July 18, 2006


Unrelenting summer swelter pushes region's hot button (Nathan Bomey and Jon Ward, July 18, 2006, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Searing. Sweltering. Sizzling.

Forget the adjectives. It's just plain hot, and it's going to stay that way for the rest of the week.

"For Washington, D.C., it's looking like the high is going to be right around 100 [degrees]," said Sarah Allen, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Baltimore-Washington forecast office.

The District's high temperature reached 96 degrees, and the record high for July 17 is 102 degrees.

But high humidity made it feel like more than 105 degrees in the District and around the region yesterday.

A man's gotta have more sense than to violate his own state border rule.

MORE (via The Other Brother):
Understanding Hezbollah’s rockets:Katyushas and the failed Westphalian system (Austin Bay, 7/178/06)

When fired from positions in southern Lebanon or Gaza, the extended-range Katyushas place roughly sixty percent of Israel’s population in range. (That’s my estimate.) All of Israel’s major cities and towns may soon be a bull’s eye– Hezbollah leaders boast of striking beyond Haifa and “beyond beyond Haifa.” Indeed, there are indications that longer range rockets are being employed. These rockets are “FROG-type” — free rocket over ground. They lack guidance systems but have more reach. They may be able to carry chemical warheads (the Russian series of FROGs could carry chemical warheads).

But now for the layer complexity: Hezbollah hides these weapons among apartment houses and in villages– other words, nests of rockets in neighborhoods.

These neighborhoods and villages are controlled by Hezbollah, not the Lebanese government.

Israel is being fired upon from a Lebanon that “is not quite Lebanon” in a truly sovereign sense.The rockets, of course, come from “somewhere,” but Hezbollah’s “somewhere” is a political limbo in terms of maps with definitive geo-political boundaries. Lebanon is a “failed state”– a peculiar failed state (its not Somalia), but nevertheless failed. It will continue to fail so long as the Lebanese government cannot control Hezbollah–and control means disarm.

So Hezbollah attacks Israel with ever more-powerful, longer-range rockets, then hides behind the diplomatic facade of the greater Lebanese nation state.

Thus terrorists and terror-empowering nations, like Iran and Syria, abuse the nation-state system– or exploit a “dangerous hole” in the system..

Iran and Syria then appeal to the United Nations (a product of the Westphalian “nation state” system) to condemn Israel for attacking Lebanon– when Israel is attacking Hezbollah, which “is and is not Lebanon.”

Everybody’s got to be somewhere, but maps and UN seats and press bureaus don’t make an effective nation state; they are the trappings of state-dom.

Weaknesses in the Westphalian system exist, in part because it has never been a complete system. (The Westphalian system evolved from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and the series of peace settlements that ended the Thirty Years War in Europe.) Westphalia’s “nation-state system” has always faced “gaps” (anarchic regions) and “failed states” (which are often collapsing tribal empires with the trappings of modernity, not the institutions).

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 18, 2006 9:55 AM

The District's high temperature reached 96 degrees, and the record high for July 17 is 102 degrees.

But high humidity made it feel like more than 105 degrees in the District and around the region yesterday.

Two comments:

1. D.C. hot and humid in the middle of July. Who would have thunk?

2. Regarding the portion of the story quoted above, I am 6 feet tall but I feel 7 feet tall when I play basketball with my kids.

Posted by: pchuck at July 18, 2006 10:40 AM

Going to D.C. in this weather will give you the chance to pretend you're in Miami or Houston. Same heat/humidity awfulness (and did you know you cross fewer state borders traveling 1,900 miles from El Paso to Washington -- three -- than you do traveling from New England to the nation's capital?)

Posted by: John at July 18, 2006 10:49 AM

So, the media can get the "summer=hot" story right, but falls apart on the "terrorist=bad" story. I want my man bites dog story...

Posted by: M. Murcek at July 18, 2006 11:05 AM

And - Chicago's is over today.

high-70s-low-80s and upper 60s tonight. a beautiful day.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 18, 2006 11:10 AM

My grandparents took my brother and me on extended car trips (Sorry, Orrin!) during the summer when we were small. One of my most enduring memories is walking in and out of the Smithsonian museums and the D.C. heat/humidity. The contrast was unforgettable even to a 10 year old boy.

Posted by: Rick T. at July 18, 2006 1:09 PM

Iirc, in the days before a.c. the Brits gave their diplomatic corps in D.C. tropical pay b/c of heat.

(I guess that's what you get when you build your capital on a swamp. Should've kept it in NYC)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 18, 2006 2:13 PM

David Brinkley's book about D.C. during WWII has some interesting observations about members of Congress and the heat/humidity.

Posted by: pchuck at July 18, 2006 2:26 PM

Heh. Reminds me of the story a (very old) circuit judge told me in my hometown when I was a kid. When he was a young man, he worked on the Washington staff of notorious South Carolina senator "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman.

He was relieved to find that they wouldn't have to work in D.C. through the summer. He was dismayed to find that he was expected to return to South Carolina and work on the Senator's farm!!

Posted by: Twn at July 18, 2006 5:55 PM

Jim in Chicago has probably never lived through a summer in the Big Apple where heat and humidity are the rule no less than DC.

Posted by: erp at July 18, 2006 7:03 PM

Au contraire Erp. Many summers spent in NYC when I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn.

Escaped nearly every day however to the Irish Riviera that is Breazy Pt at the westertn tip of the Rockaways.

My parents are also NYers who went to college in DC during the oppressive pre-AC days, and it is from them that I get my stories about DC heat.

(And NYC is manifestly not built on a swamp (mostly, I'm sure pts of the 5 boros were drained at some pt, but lg pts of Brooklyn and Manhattan are high ground)

My larger pt however is the unconservative nature of creating a capital city in a previously uninhabitable and indeed uninhabited place. (Jefferson! spit.)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 18, 2006 11:25 PM

Your greater point of not building the capital of the world in a swamp is well taken, but I don't think NYC was the better choice because it's cooler in the summer. It isn't.

DC does suffer from a dearth of great beaches. I spent summers at Rockaway as well -- 116th Street to be exact. We took the LIRR from the Forest Hills station for, IIRC, $0.21 round trip. oj. Eat your heart out!

Posted by: erp at July 19, 2006 8:35 AM