Russian Poison From The Sky

This time, it’s the Russian’s turn to randomly drop a spacecraft to Earth from orbit, only this one is loaded up with ten tons of highly toxic chemicals. When you duck, don’t forget your umbrella.

Toxic Russian Mars Probe Heads Back to Earth

It’s hard to believe that only last week we were getting excited for Russia’s first interplanetary mission in 15 years to launch. By now, we should be happy in the knowledge that the ambitious — and awesome — mission is powering through space, toward the Martian moon Phobos.

The reality is that we are now discussing uncontrolled reentry scenarios.

As if that wasn’t enough bad news, we are looking at an uncontrolled toxic reentry scenario. Phobos-Grunt — correctly written “Fobos-Grunt,” meaning “Phobos-Soil” or “Phobos-Ground” — is fully-laden with unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide; that’s ten tons of fuel and oxidizer. The probe itself weighs-in at only three tons.

The majority of the fuel will likely vaporize during reentry, but everyone will be hoping for a splash-down in an ocean (which covers two-thirds of Earth, fortunately), as the wreckage will still be hazardous. There’s also a small quantity of radioactive cobalt-57 in one of the science missions housed in the probe — a fact that will most likely cause a media frenzy.

It is for these reasons that the Russian media is dubbing Phobos-Grunt “Most toxic falling satellite ever.”

See also:
Russia’s Phobos-Grunt Spacecraft Goes AWOL
Russian Mars Probe Will Likely Come Crashing Back to Earth
Toxic Russian Mars Probe Likely Heading Back to Earth
Mood grim over Mars probe faultRussia Running Out Of Time, As Mars Mission Seems Destined To Fail
Report: Russians Believe Martian Moon Probe is ‘Lost’
Source: Russian Space Probe Unlikely to be Saved
Phobos-Grunt Mars probe remains silent in Earth orbit
Now Russians can’t even contact their busted Mars probe
Contact with Russian Mars probe ‘unlikely’ – expert
Failed Russian space mission shows difficulty of exploring Mars
Salvaging Science from Stricken Mars Moon Probe: A Scientist’s View
Phobos-Grunt mission
Fobos-Grunt

Man, the Russians just can’t catch a break. This is their fourth launch failure just this year and now they’re 0 for 18 at Mars missions.

/and we trust the Russians with our U.S. astronauts, it makes me nervous

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Behold Muslims Doing What They Do Best

Another day, more Muslims rampaging and killing innocent people in the name of Islam.

Bombing of Nigerian Beer Garden Kills 25

Suspected Islamic militants threw a bomb into a beer garden in northeastern Nigeria Sunday, killing 25 people and wounding at least 12 others.

Police and witnesses say the attackers drove up to the open-air pub in Maiduguri on motorcycles and tossed a bomb into the crowd of drinkers. Some witnesses say the attackers also fired gunshots into the crowd.

Authorities are blaming Boko Haram, an Islamic fundamentalist group whose name in the Hausa language means “western education is sinful.”

Not to be outdone by the Nigerian Muslims . . .

Muslim Mobs in Egypt Attack Christian Homes, Threaten Priest

Enraged Muslims burned down several Christian-owned homes, surrounded a church and threatened to kill a priest last week in two unrelated incidents in Upper Egypt.

On Saturday (June 25) in Awlad Khalaf village, just outside Sohag, 240 miles (386 kilometers) south of Cairo, local Muslims attacked Coptic Christian Wahib Halim Atteyah, robbed him of 32,000 Saudi Riyals (US$8,530), and bulldozed his home along with the other structures on his property, according to local media. The group then raided six other Coptic-owned homes and burned them to the ground . . .

See also:
Nigeria Boko Haram Islamists ‘bomb Maiduguri drinkers’
Beer garden bomb attack kills 25 in Nigeria
Deadly blast kills 25 in Nigeria
25 killed in Nigerian attacks
Nigerian Islamists open fire on beer garden, kill four
Mob torches Christian homes in Egypt
Report: Egyptian Muslims Torch 8 Christian Homes on Rumor of Church Construction
Christians, Muslims clash over new church in Egypt
Egyptian Muslims torch 8 Christian homes on rumors of church construction
Egypt Christians and Muslims in Violent Clashes Over Church Construction

And this is only a tiny sliver of the worldwide mayhem perpetrated by Muslims, on a daily basis, in the name of Islam. Pick up any paper tomorrow and, like clockwork, there’ll be more.

/just remember, Islam is the Religion of Peace and Tolerance, you know, except for the peace and the tolerance

Squelching Dissent, When Free Speech Becomes An Enemy Of The State

Venezuela to Add Charge Against Globovision, Cabello Says

Venezuela will open a sixth administrative proceeding against the Globovision television network and will “inspect” 29 radio stations after some media outlets supported marches against the government this week.

Diosdado Cabello, who as minister of public works and housing oversees the state telecommunications regulator, announced the measures today in a speech at a pro-government march in downtown Caracas shown on state television.

Cabello took 34 radio stations off the air July 31 and opened five earlier proceedings against Globovision. He said today that the mass media were behind marches against President Hugo Chavez around the world yesterday and a thousands-strong march through Caracas today by foes of Chavez.

State-run Venezolana de Television spent the day showing images of the pro-Chavez rally where Cabello spoke. Globovision broadcast from the opposition march for hours. Other news broadcasts showed both marches.

Cabello said he had ordered that Globovision be charged over viewer messages that scroll across the screen during a talk show. He said the station allows viewers to post messages in favor of violently overthrowing Chavez while filtering messages critical of Globovision.

See also:
Chavez minister vows more Venezuela radio closings
Venezuela opens new probe into anti-Chavez TV, announces 29 more broadcasters will be closed
Venezuela opens new probe into anti-Chavez TV
Critics denounce Venezuela’s Chavez in multi-city protests from Argentina to Honduras
“No More Chávez” worldwide rally begins
Venezuela rivals march in Caracas

And, in a disturbing, eerily parallel tangent to this story, check out who praises Hugo Chavez and admires the way he handles the Venezuelan media.

Now, you may ask yourself, who the hell is Mark Lloyd? Well, he’s the Obama administration’s Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the Federal Communications Commission.

Chavez comes to the FCC

If for a moment you thought the Obama administration was going to sit there placidly while some on talk radio were so bold as to criticize its actions, think again, because here comes Mark Lloyd, the new diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission and a man with a mission.

It’s not a pretty mission, not if you value free speech, but it is a mission made clear by Mr. Lloyd’s own words.

There he was in 2008, participating in a conference on “media reform,” telling us what a wonderful leader Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was and wincing at an unpleasantness the dictator had to deal with, the uppity owners of media, people who had some objections in mind.

He spoke of Mr. Chavez’s “incredible revolution, a democratic revolution,” and of the “property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela” who “rebelled” and who “worked to oust him.” Still, said Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Chavez “came back with another revolution, and then … began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

Dang those property owners. Aren’t they a pain? Mr. Lloyd seems to think they are a pain in this country, too, at least those who own radio stations. As much becomes clear when you read a report he and some others produced for a left-wing think tank that said conservatives dominate talk radio, not because they are more popular than liberals, as the evidence clearly shows, but because most station owners are white men who apparently heed their monolithic ideology more than the marketplace and their pocketbooks.

The solution to this supposed problem? The report advised limiting how many stations can be owned, which means you would take property away from some people. You would get a lot tougher on renewing licenses of those who don’t play the game according to profit-eroding, make-local-groups-happy rules, and you would assess enormous fees to give money to public radio if there was insufficient saluting of all this. It adds up to go broke or go broke.

Do you maybe begin to see that Mr. Lloyd is not as distant as you might like from Mr. Chavez, who has been happily revoking radio licenses of the politically non-compliant in his country? To Mr. Lloyd, as he wrote in a 2006 book quoted in an Internet article, the whole free speech thing is at any rate a bit of a fraud meant to serve global corporations and obstruct policies of the kind our society needs.

See also:
Don’t call this ‘diversity’
FCC’s New Hire Targeted Conservative Radio Stations in Writings
Two surprising appointments by Obama administration
Mark Lloyd – the Federal Communication Commission’s Chief Diversity Officer

/if you’re a free speech advocate, Mark Lloyd, given his public pronouncements and published writings about the media, seems to be an odd, even scary, choice to be appointed to his current FCC position by the Obama administration, is there an agenda here?