—A Use for the U.N., Pentagon Report on “Able Danger” , Earth Seen From Saturn Orbit, and Other Stories


The U.N. is good for something, after all!
FOXNews.com[AP] – Chavez Says U.S. Empire Will Soon Fall, Calls Bush ‘Devil
For a few golden, peaceful days, it allowed us to know exactly where some of the world’s most dangerous lunatics were located. Chavez and that Iranian soccer star spewed anti-American hate-speech to an approving audience, and Chavez used the forum to advertise his anti-American book club:
FOXNews.com[AP] – Chavez’s U.N. Speech Boosts Chomsky Book Sales
Unfortunately, it didn’t last long enough:
FOXNews.com [AP]- Chavez Repeats ‘Devil’ Comment at Harlem Event
Chavez was soon roaming the country at large. He reappeared in Harlem, offering his discount-oil-for-the-poor program. Several prominent, like-minded U.S. celebrities got all kissy-face with the Venezuelan dictator.

Spaceflight Now | STS-115 Shuttle Report | Atlantis returns from space with predawn landing
Despite an eerie encounter
with orbital trash flying out of the cargo bay, Altantis made it back to KSC. Griffin, in a post-flight press conference this morning, became sort of surly when asked how NASA was going to deal with its trash problem.

My Way News – Pakistani Clerics Demand Pope’s Removal
The conflict of competing heresies continues. Leaders of Islam have apparently determined that they have more widespread authority than most of the rest of the world supposed.

“Able Danger” reviewed:
My Way News [AP]- Pentagon: Secret Unit Couldn’t Stop 9/11
Intelligence officers involved in “Able Danger” claimed that the military and others ignored or prevented the transmission of evidence of the activities of Atta and other al-Quaeda operatives well beforre the 9-11 attacks.
This Pentagon report clears the military and FBI of any negligence. It also finds that Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer—who went public with the claims about “Able Danger”—was not retaliated against, although the IG found “…”procedural oversights” in the handling of his office contents and his performance evaluations.”
I’ve commented a few times on what Federal Inspectors General—supposedly the watchdogs guarding the interests of the American people against government corruption—are actually used for.
Of course, if the FBI had gotten the information about Atta and the other hijackers a year earlier, they most likely would have entered it into their “filing system”….

My Way News[AP] – Nelson Cited for Marijuana Possession
W
hen we saw Willie Nelson in Dallas a couple of years ago, he seemed to have occasional problems remembering his lyrics onstage. At a recent traffic stop in Louisiana, Willie and the band were found in possession of marijuana and various other hallucinogenic substances.
Nelson is one of the most unique and talented vocalists and guitarists around. Tragedy in slow-motion….

Just a routine government overthrow….
FOXNews.com [AP]- Thai Military Launches Coup to Remove PM Thaksin
Yup….the Thai military overthrew the country’s Prime Minister the other day in an apparently bloodless coup. The leader of the takeover apologized to tourists and others for any “inconvenience”.

Eeeek!
FOXNews.com – A New Look for FOXNews.com
FoxNews.com has gone all blue and….informational.
Blessedly, it looks like they’ve also gotten rid of the hellish “dancing baby” insurance ads and other direct personal Flash-driven insults that usually infest the site. At least I think they did—I have been using AdBlocker and FlashBlocker for FireFox, so I wouldn’t see that stuff if it was there anyway.

Instant messaging worm builds menacing ‘botnet’ – tech – 20 September 2006 – New Scientist Tech
There’s a new worm—“W32.Pipeline”—designed to directly exploit insecure Instant Messaging communications—and unwary users—using fake JPG images and messages to make a system of IM “zombies” or a “botnet” from users’ “buddy lists”. If you get an IM asking to post an attached picture of you on the Internet, just delete it.

Cassini picture of Earth from Saturn
JPL: Catalog Page for PIA08323
There really is an Earth! Saturn passed between the spacecraft and the Sun, allowing Cassini to get a nice picture of Earth from 930 million miles away, free from the Sun’s blazing glare. Earth is seen as a bluish dot behind Saturn’s rings. At higher resolution, the Moon can be seen as a fuzzy bulge on the Earth’s disc.
Oh, and Earth evidently is still considered a planet.

ESA – Mars Express – Cydonia – the face on Mars
Another popular bit of Sci-Fi mythology ends in (further) disappointment. ESA’s Mars Express orbiter recorded high-resolution stereo images of the rock formation, which were used to produce 3D projections.
It’s just kind of a lumpy piece of old rock, guys. Maybe we could claim the Martians were just really bad, or maybe sort of indifferent, sculptors….

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