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141 posts from August 2006

August 29, 2006

Images of Katrina


House-to-house, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

A rescue worker spray paints an "x" on a flooded house in New Orleans.

The "x" creates a grid icon with a quadrant for the date, the search team, special hazards discovered, and the number of bodies found inside the residence.

Images of Katrina


Bush's Boat Ramps, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

One of the highway offramps used to launch search and rescue boats in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, nicknamed "Bush's boat ramps."

Images of Katrina


Flooded Cemetery, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

In honor of the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Pollutants shrink polar bear genitals


Loungin', originally uploaded by Photochiel.

Zoologists have found that polar bear packages are shrinking due to industrial pollution.

[Hat tip to A White Bear]

August 28, 2006

Separation of church and state "a lie" says Katherine Harris

More flailing on the Senatorial campaign trail by Republican Katherine Harris.

Harris told a church group that the separation of church and state is a lie and voters were "legislating sin" unless they voted for Christian candidates.

MIAMI Aug 26, 2006 (AP)— U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws." The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments which she clarified Saturday in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said. [...]

Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."

If Harris thinks that God picks our leaders, she's going to take her crushing defeat pretty hard.

[Hat tip to Talk Left]

Hurricane Katrina timeline

ThinkProgress has compiled an excellent Hurricane Katrina timeline. I also recommend Quiddity's Katrina timeline.

August 27, 2006

NY man charged for beaming Hezbollah TV

A New York City businessman is facing charges for making broadcasts from Hezbollah's al-Manar satellite TV station available to New Yorkers. [BBC]

The right wing tabloids have been all over this story. I'm surprised that the arrest of Javed Iqbal hasn't generated more attention from civil libertarians.

This case could set some very troubling precedents. So far, he has been charged with doing business with a terrorist entity, but there may be more serious charges to come:

Prosecutor Stephen A Miller had argued against granting him bail, indicating more charges were likely to be filed.

"The charge lurking in the background is material support for terrorism," the Associated Press news agency quotes him as saying. [BBC]

We can't treat all dealings with Hezbollah as if they were the equivalent of dealings with an Al Qaeda cell. Like it or not, Hezbollah has an institutional and political presence in the region as well as a military force. Hezbollah runs hospitals, schools, and other social service agencies. Hezbollah members sit in the Lebanese legislature. The US government didn't sever diplomatic relations with Lebanon just because members of Hezbollah have seats in the Lebanese legislature. Why should we hold American businesspeople to a stricter standard?

Buying a meal in a mobbed up restaurant is not the same as doing business with the mob, even if you know the joint is mobbed up. Likewise, making a deal with Hezbollah's civilian television station is not the same as running guns to Hezbollah guerrillas.

I'm appalled that a US resident is facing jail time for providing access to a TV channel as part of a satellite package. His arrest is an affront to free speech.

3Quarks Ball


Maeve, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

The 3QuarksDaily celebrated its second anniversary in style last night at Flux Factory in Queens.

Click through for more pictures.

If you missed headline act Secret Society at Flux Factory you can catch them tonight at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Who decides whether we go to war with Iran

Excellent post by emptywheel at the Next Hurrah about the power struggle that will probably culminate in a US attack on Iran--unless the forces of sanity get their act together.

At this point, it's clear that the president and the vice president want regime change in Iran, not just an attack on Iran's nuclear program. Of course, Bush can't do the standard saber rattling because it's obvious that American forces aren't in any position to invade Iran. The troops aren't available.

Empytwheel makes a good case that the US is pursuing a deliberate strategy of provocation in order to set the stage for an invasion. The goal seems to be to goad Iran into a conflict, which--what do you know--can only be solved by marching to Tehran and unseating the Iranian government. I think Cheney hopes that if we trigger WWIII accidentally/on purpose, Americans will find some new enthusiasm for the clash of civilizations.

Sunday Sermonette: Bill Maher

As you may have heard, Christopher Hitchens gave Bill Maher's audience the finger. Hitchens was ranting and raving about how it's Ahmadinejad who's itching for a fight. Why that crazy dude believes that the end of the world is coming. Maher pointed out that G.W. Bush also believes the end of the world is nigh, at which point Hitch went over the edge, to the delight of television viewers everywhere.