Tony Bourdain in Lebanon
My favorite culinary writer, Anthony Bourdain
, was in Beirut filming an episode of his television program
when the Israel/Hezbollah war began. He writes in Salon
of what he saw while waiting to escape the country.
We wake up to molar-vibrating percussions and go to sleep to distant thunder. Afternoons, we watch as Beirut is dismantled. Bit by bit. First the sound of unseen jets flying overhead. Then silence. Then a "Boom!" Then a distant plume of smoke. Black, brown, white ... the whole city south of us slowly growing more indistinct in the midday light under a constant, smoglike haze.via BoingBoing
Prez Gets a New Neighbor
has reportedly bought 5 acres of land in Crawford, Texas
. It seems she plans on using it as a base during an upcoming demonstration
planned for August 16th - September 2nd.
Geneva Protections for Detainees
Four years after declaring that terror suspects held in Guantanamo and elsewhere are "illegal combatants" and not entitled to the protections of the Geneva conventions, the White House has reversed its position
. From the NY Times
In a sweeping change of policy, the Pentagon has decided that it will treat all detainees in compliance with the minimum standards spelled out in the Geneva conventions, a senior defense official said today.
Jackson Mayor Extends State of Emergency
Frank Melton, mayor of Mississippi's capital of Jackson
, has extended a state of emergency
in the city for a second time. The original order, signed on June 22, was for a five day period. Now the mayor is saying it will last until residents feel
When asked when that will be, Lewis answered, "until he (the mayor) is comfortable that the community is comfortable. He will make that decision."
It's notable that the city government is using residents emotions as a guide, since the city is apparently refusing to release actual data on the effectiveness of the state-of-emergency order until after it is ended, whenever that is.
It is also notable that the situation is not so critical as to require the mayor's presence. He is reportedly on vacation and could not be reached for comment.