Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
2009 August 22 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Wildfire Near Athens

FireThe BBC reports on the latest of a number of wildfires around the Mediterranean Sea: Fires rage unchecked near Athens

Major wildfires north-east of the Greek capital Athens are burning out of control, officials have said.

The government has declared a state of emergency in the area as fire crews, backed up by helicopters and water-bombers, fight to contain the blazes.

Fed by strong winds, fires have reached the towns of Grammatiko and Varnavas, but no casualties have been reported.

The fires are the worst on the Greek mainland since those in 2007, when 70 people were killed.

The fires broke out late Friday and developed overnight, fed by gale-force winds that kept shifting direction, fire officials said.

The fires are further contributing to the deforestation of the mountains around Athens. Three of the four mountains surrounding the capital have already been stripped of their trees by fire, says our correspondent.

If the rain comes, there will be nothing to hold the water, and the cycle will continue.

August 22, 2009   Comments Off on Wildfire Near Athens

A Nudge?

Bill and Hilliary Clinton had to leave Bermuda early because of Hurricane Bill.

I wonder how President Obama feels about heading to Martha’s Vineyard, which just came under a Tropical Storm Warning due to Hurricane Bill.

Maybe if the next one hits Washington DC in September, politicians will figure it out.

Could we start taking Climate Change seriously, and start doing something to reduce the effects? Even if you don’t take Climate Change seriously, the necessary actions to combat it will also save money and reduce our dependence on finite resources, like coal, oil, and gas. We know how to do it.

August 22, 2009   Comments Off on A Nudge?

Ramadan 1429 AH

According to authorities, today is the first day of the ninth month, Ramadan, in the Islamic calendar.

This is a brief description of the month of fasting and the reasons for it, with more details and links at Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, in recent years, Ramadan has signified an increase in violence in the Middle East.

[The site I normally reference for the timing of Ramadan has been hacked to download malware. That is unfortunate as it was a reliable source of the timing which requires a decision on the sighting of the crescent moon, and is not the same world wide.]

August 22, 2009   Comments Off on Ramadan 1429 AH

Hurricane Bill Cat 1 Day 8

Hurricane BillPosition: 39.1 N 67.8 W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North-Northeast [015°] near 25 mph [40 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 85 mph [140 kph].
Wind Gusts: 105 mph [170 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 275 miles [445 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 85 miles [140 km].
Minimum central pressure: 961 mb.

It is 195 miles [315 km] Southwest of Nantucket. Bill is a Category 1 storm.

Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches have been issued for the Atlantic from Massachusetts to Newfoundland. Canada has issued a Hurricane Watch
for Southwestern Newfoundland.

The Atlantic Coast from Florida to Nova Scotia will be receiving major increases in wave height related to Bill. If you go to the beach expect rip currents.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 22, 2009   Comments Off on Hurricane Bill Cat 1 Day 8

Can They Take A Hint?

Digby comments on the DKos weekly tracking poll.

The short form is that Obama and the Dems in Congress are seeing lower favorable numbers this week. The news is that the loss of support is among Democrats.

My Mother had the Bubble-headed bleach blond on tonight, and one of the last segments featured Willie Brown, now former San Francisco mayor, but for years the speaker of the California assembly, and a very canny politician. They call the video clip “Selling health care reform: What went wrong?”, and while they say they have transcripts, it seems to be a matter of when they feel like it.

Mr. Brown says that Obama only really wants to reform the current system, and isn’t really concerned with the uninsured. It came out not as a complaint, but more like, everyone knows that Obama isn’t a liberal.

So, they aren’t “reaching for the stars” [single payer], they aren’t even interested in the “low hanging fruit” [public option], they are only interested in tweaking the existing system for the “middle class”, and probably mucking about with Medicare and Medicaid.

If Willie Brown in right, the Democrats can expect to join the GOP on the sidelines as a minority party. Harry Reid faces election in 2010. Just a thought.

August 22, 2009   5 Comments