Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
A few weeks ago I profiled Nezar Hamze, a Muslim activist and Republican in south Florida whose quest to join a local GOP committee prompted accusations that he is un-American and that Islam is incompatible with the Constitution.
Last night, the Broward Republican Executive Committee met to consider Hamze’s application to become a voting member, a meeting that ended with him being called a “terrorist’ by hecklers and an unprecedented 158-11 vote to deny him membership.
The usually perfunctory approval process for BREC membership was changed at the meeting in order to publicly vet Hamze and to then vote on his application using a secret ballot. He was the only one of 11 candidates rejected.
The Miami Herald was there:
At times, when he addressed the packed room at the Sheraton Suites in Fort Lauderdale, a few members shouted out among the crowd of about 300.
“Terrorist!” said one man.
“Let him speak!” said another. …
“I don’t have a positive impression of Mr. Hamze. I don’t think he will be an asset to our party,” said Scott Spages, who is involved in programs concerning radical Islam at his church, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. …
A new litmus test was then born: Do you support Rep. Allen West? The tea-party Republican has repeatedly denounced Islam and clashed with Hamze. So has Joe Kaufman, chairman of the group Americans Against Hate and former vice-chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition of South Florida. “Are you willing to support Congressman Allen West… as a Republican?” Kaufman said loudly in the microphone. “Will you denounce terrorism?”
Some Republicans told the Herald they objected to the fact that Hamze is the director of the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, citing the fact that CAIR was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a material support for terrorism case in Texas several years ago. The list of “co-conspirators” in that case — which involved sending money to the Palestinian organization Hamas — ran to more than 300 groups and individuals, none of whom were charged with breaking the law.
Joe Kaufman, who Hamze told me today appeared to be the leader of the effort to vote down his candidacy, is a former Republican Jewish Coalition official who now leads a group called Americans Against Hate. His ideology is perhaps best captured in a eulogy he wrote for the extremist rabbi Meir Kahane.
Hamze, for his part, told me he rose at the meeting to respond to his critics, telling the crowd, “All of this terrorism stuff is garbage. I’m a law-abiding citizen. I follow the Constitution. I love my children. I love this country.”
He plans to attend Broward Republican meetings as a member of the public.
“They can’t stop me from attending the meetings. I believe I can accomplish my goals of helping the party and introducing a Muslim Republican to candidates so they know Muslim Republicans are out there,” he said.
Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustinMore Justin Elliott.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.