They set off through the summer darkness along the unpaved, ill-lit road

The Bancroft Library has an on-line exhibit up of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection and has a nice interactive map, as well as a 360 panorama:

This panoramic collage of San Francisco shortly after the disaster of April 1906 comprises eleven separate photographs taken from the roof of the Fairmont Hotel.

How to tell if Iran is the next big thing from Atrios, How It Goes

Winter/Spring – The clone army of foreign policy “experts” from conservative foreign policy outfits nobody ever heard of before suddenly appear on all the cable news programs all the time, frowning furiously and expressing concerns about the “grave threat” that Iran poses. Never before heard of Iranian exile group members start appearing regularly, talking about their role in the nuclear program and talking up Iran’s human rights violations.

Andrew Sabl looks at Moral reform movements led by ministers: RIP. for Martin Luther King Day

The Civil Rights Act would probably have happened with or without religion, but real changes in the acceptability of personal racial prejudice required–as King stressed constantly–a change in conscience, not just in law. While muttered, submerged racism and structural racial inequality are still with us, those who think nothing fundamental has changed simply don’t know much about the Jim Crow era and the racial attitudes–let alone the structures–that respectable white people and their leaders, North and South, defended openly back then.

Apparently we can’t expect the First Lady to understand the issues either, Laura Bush Defends Domestic Spying Program
so I guess Laura is not currently on speaking terms with this cranky Republican, Specter: If Bush Broke The Law With Warrantless Spying, Impeachment Is A Remedy
and I guess Laura is just a gangsta that doesn’t care too much about the rule of law

A report by Congress’s research arm concluded yesterday that the administration’s justification for the warrantless eavesdropping authorized by President Bush conflicts with existing law and hinges on weak legal arguments.

The Congressional Research Service’s report rebuts the central assertions made recently by Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales about the president’s authority to order secret intercepts of telephone and e-mail exchanges between people inside the United States and their contacts abroad.

Doesn’t every Dad tell his son, never mess with strippers Strippers to rally against smoking ban

Galvanised by two radio disc jockeys, about 100 strippers were expected to rally today at the Statehouse against New Jersey’s new ban on indoor smoking in public places.

The ban, which affects bars and restaurants – but not casinos – is to be signed into law on Sunday.

So the new law is intended to encourage people to watch strippers, smoke, gamble, drink liquor and eat, but not to watch strippers while you just smoke, drink, and eat. Maybe they could just issue a set rats and mice to bar patrons as they enter and they could roll the dice as they watch the strippers.

“Let’s go,” Masako said. Sometime after the New Year, she’d begun to hear talk of a strange man hanging around the road that led from the parking lot to the factory. And then several of the part-timers had reported being pulled into the shadows and assaulted before barely escaping; so the company had just issued a warning that the women should walk in groups. They set off through the summer darkness along the unpaved, ill-lit road. On the right was a ragged line of apartment blocks and farmhouses with large gardens-not particularly appealing but at least a sign of life in the area. On the left, beyond an overgrown ditch, was a lonely row of abandoned buildings: an older boxed-lunch factory, a derelict bowling alley. The victims said that their attacker had dragged them between the deserted buildings, and so Masako kept careful watch as she and Kuniko hurried along. – from OUT A Novel by Natsuo Kirino


Constitution Project Members Sign Letter Rebutting Administration’s Legal Justifications

Constitution Project Members Sign Letter Rebutting Administration’s Legal Justifications of Surveillance Activities

We, the undersigned members of the Constitution Project’s Liberty and Security Initiative, are deeply troubled by the administration’s recently disclosed domestic spying program. President Bush has stated that the administration authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop, without obtaining a warrant, on telephone calls and emails between Americans in the United States and other persons outside of the United States. Although we fully agree that the president must be able to take action to protect our nation from the threat of terrorism, he must do so in a manner consistent with the rule of law, our commitment to civil liberties, and our constitutional system of checks and balances.

Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), the United States government can seek warrants to conduct such surveillance. Indeed, the Act created a special FISA court specifically designed to review applications for electronic surveillance of foreign intelligence activity conducted within the United States. Section 103 of the Act requires that proceedings before the FISA court be conducted “as expeditiously as possible” and under special “security measures.” Moreover, Section 105 of FISA permits that in emergency situations, the government may begin to conduct the surveillance and then seek court approval up to 72 hours later.

The rest of the letter is available at the link in PDF.

Nothing in the AUMF can be read as amending any of these provisions and authorizing warrantless surveillance.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson