Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 11, 2015

FBI: Background check ‘flaw’ let Dylann Roof buy a gun

Roof 3Perhaps it’s technically the New York Times that’s saying a “flaw” is what allowed Roof, the Charleston church killer, to buy a gun.  “Flaw” is the word used in the NYT headline.  The actual communication from the FBI is summarized this way in the text:

A loophole in the system and an error by the F.B.I. allowed the man, Dylann Roof, to buy the .45-caliber handgun despite having previously admitted to drug possession, officials said.

The “error” by the FBI stands up to scrutiny as an actual error.  The “loophole” in the background check system is another story.  Here’s the extended summary from NYT: Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 10, 2015

Memphis and the inconvenient dead: We’re all snarling jihadis now

Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)

Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)

Congratulations to the Memphis City Council.  As Howard Portnoy reported, Memphis’s finest voted this week to dig up the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest – and his wife – from their resting place beneath Forrest’s statue in a Memphis park.

It’s politically incorrect, according to the council, for the Forrests’ bones to repose there any longer.

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” said City Council member Myron Lowery.

So now our own, all-American Memphis, Tennessee is just like the jihadi animals who’ve been attacking graves around the Middle East, as they slash and burn their way through the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 10, 2015

Campaign against religious freedom: Orwellian? Demonic? Both?

Mocking freedom of religion, to weaken your commitment to it. (Image: 21alive Indianapolis)

Mocking freedom of religion, to weaken your commitment to it. (Image: 21alive Indianapolis)

A campaign against religious freedom – the central purpose for which America came into being – had been underway for some time before the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case, on 26 June.  But the campaign went into overdrive with the news of that ruling, and it’s becoming increasingly furious and determined.

The principal method of the anti-freedom campaign is owning the terms in which it is discussed.  The anti-freedom contingent insists, in essence, that what traditionalist Christians want is not legitimate freedom, but a license to hurt people.

Fascist collectivism always makes its arguments in these terms, and the campaign against religious freedom is no different.  It picks a specific demographic target and vilifies the members of it, based on a garbled and inverted premise about social harm. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 8, 2015

Nuke talks: Why Iran doesn’t need or want an actual deal

Obama MunichThere have been some excellent editorial pieces written in the past week on the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.  As is to be expected, given that the “deal” gets worse by the day, they are uniformly pessimistic; see Melanie Phillips, for example (apologies for the paywall), along with Charles Krauthammer and Joseph Klein.

Informative articles raise troubling questions about any potential “deal,” like “The Secret Side of the Iran Nuclear Deal” (Eli Lake and Josh Rogin).  Clauses in the “deal” that will never be made public are not a reassuring feature.

That’s especially the case when Obama and Kerry are claiming that they are ready to walk away from a bad deal, while at the same time the Obama administration is preparing to put intense political pressure on Democrats – calling up a Soros-funded dark money group, in fact, as an arm-twister – to back Obama’s play.  Administrations don’t usually anticipate having to put political guns to people’s heads for good deals. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 4, 2015

Why the pro-illegal lobby owns Wednesday’s murder in San Francisco

Masters of non-compliance.  (Image: AP via deadline.info)

Masters of non-compliance. (Image: AP via deadline.info)

Assuming that 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez is the right suspect, in the apparently random murder of Kathryn Steinle on Wednesday, 1 July, in San Francisco – and Sanchez is, of course, innocent until proven guilty – the case against lawless pro-illegal policies will be clear-cut.

The failure of Democrats and Republicans in Washington to cut off illegal entry across America’s southern border is why Sanchez was here in the first place.  He’s here illegally, and he has already been deported five times.

He also has seven felony convictions in three different states (Arizona, Oregon, and Texas).  According to the Daily Mail and NBC San Jose, he has “a slew of phony birth dates and aliases.” This all no doubt has something to do with why he’s been deported five times.

Yet he keeps getting back in.  And here’s where the tale gets extra disgusting. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 4, 2015

Independence Day, 2015

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Another national holiday rolls around, and Americans ponder where we have been, and where we are going.  For those who are deeply troubled by recent events, taking time to celebrate a spirit of liberty and a national declaration that remain unequaled in human history may be a welcome break.  But it can’t instill a sense of complacency.

Now is not the time for the emptiness of false cheer.  But it is a time for taking courage from the remarkable deeds and thoughts of our political ancestors.  What they did was as impossible as what we may need to do.

So please give serious consideration to two selections from LU for Independence Day.

The spirit of liberty Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 4, 2015

America facing the truth II: The dialogue

The watchmen wait for morning.

The watchmen wait for morning.

This post is a follow-on to the earlier post at Liberty Unyielding, “A time for facing the truth.”  The link is in the text below.

I realized after posting the lengthy comment copied below that I had basically written another blog post.  I’m not going to bother cleaning it up or adding points to make it more comprehensive.  Spurring the dialogue on this topic is the most important thing.  So this post will be a summary of the counterpoint created by much-appreciated reader comments from NaCly Dog, Stephanie O’Leary, and teejk, at my original post “A time for facing the truth.”

Disclaimer on my extended comment below:  there are of course other points to make about the vision we need for government and what has to happen to get there.  I haven’t tried to make all of those points, or even give a complete list of what the most important ones are.  Feel free to add your ideas; I’m not neglecting things that may be important, just keeping this going, because we’ve got to stay engaged. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | June 30, 2015

History strikes back: Turkey, Iran inevitably jockey over Syria

Erdogan and Rouhani meet in modern times.  (Image via Aydanlik Daily)

Erdogan and Rouhani meet in modern times. (Image via Aydanlik Daily)

The beginnings of a dynamic are emerging, one as predictable as anything ever was.  “Turkey” and “Iran” (in their earlier as well as contemporary incarnations) have jockeyed over the disposition of Syria (and Mesopotamia) for many centuries, and now that the clamps of the post-World War I order have been released, they are going to do so again.

Michael Ledeen initiated a fresh focus on this with a short post late last week, in which he predicted that Iran would soon form a federation with Syria and Iraq, or at least with the nominal central governments that remain to them: an arrangement that would formalize the Iranian military presence for which the mullahs have big plans.  Says Ledeen: Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | June 30, 2015

Nuke talks: Iran keeps holding out for a more complete surrender from the West

Iran talksYou may have heard that the Iran nuclear talks will continue past the 30 June deadline.  It just won’t be possible to negotiate a “deal” on this charged topic by tomorrow.  That’s not really because no matter how much the Obama-Kerry negotiating team gives in, the Iranians keep reiterating terms for our surrender.  The Iranians have been quite consistent all along.  It’s because Team Obama is dragging its heels on the surrender, making our concessions piecemeal.

The latest concession by the Obama-Kerry team involves the earlier demand, by the U.S. and EU-3, that Iran allow international inspection of the military sites potentially connected with a nuclear weapons program.  Like the other demands once outlined by Team Obama as indispensable (e.g., the “freeze” on new enrichment-related activities, the long-sought disclosures on earlier weaponization work, or “possible military dimensions”), this one was categorically rejected last week by Ayatollah Khamenei in a major policy speech. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | June 27, 2015

Same-sex marriage: Supreme Court cries ‘Havoc!’

The law, as she is practiced in America.

The law, as she is practiced in America.

It’s been a banner week for the opponents of reason and the rule of law.

It will also turn out to have been a banner week for the opponents of tolerance, which includes most of today’s political left.

The left has never been about tolerance.  It has always been about opposing what other people believe, as the left defines it – which may or may not even be what those other people actually believe.  The left is about opposing things: about setting up definitions that require either affirmation or enmity.

And it’s the tide of the left’s “affirmation or enmity” proposition that will quickly rise around us, now that the Supreme Court has declared that people have a “right” to have their specialized definition of marriage recognized by the state. Read More…

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