Conservative Blood Bath

The Conservative Party has enough problems to worry about without having it's own people stab it incessantly over and over again with out end in the back. Shooting ourselves in the foot isn't going to help.

Case in point: Adam Daifallah, and Bound By Gravity.

I've had it.

If you're not a social conservative and you agree with same sex marriage get over it. Policy in this party is decided at national conventions where debates are held and votes taken. And the party voted against SSM. You may not like it. I didn't like the party voting to essentially make this a pro-choice party by banning any legislation from ever being brought forward on abortion, but I don't make a big deal over it. Making a big deal about it would only play into the Liberals hands. And quite frankly I agree with most of you on most points so why would I shoot the party in the foot over a single issue of contention?

If you don't like Harper get over it. I don't like lots of people. But if I agree with them on most points I don't start a back stabbing campaign for blood.

Get over it. Get some gonads. Critize if you want to, but stop the stabbing please. Let the Liberals do that.

The Scent of Horse Manure

The rancid smell of crap reeks off of this:
Commercial startup company SpaceX planned to launch its first low-cost Falcon 1 rocket this summer from Vandenberg. But the U.S. Air Force won't allow the new Falcon to fly until after the final Lockheed Martin Titan 4 rocket lifts off from the base carrying a large National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft cargo.

Military officials are worried about the possible threat, however minuscule, that the unproven Falcon booster could rain debris on the Titan pad in a liftoff mishap.

The clandestine Titan mission was supposed to launch July 10, with Falcon following behind in August. But the wait to launch recently grew longer when an undisclosed problem with the spy payload postponed its liftoff to September 9, and potentially even later.

I was unaware that this was the reason for the Falcon I being delayed. I smell foul play in all of this. SpaceX and the Falcon would have been a direct threat to Titan and Lockheed... I can't shake the possibility that some shady back room dealings were in the works to make things hard for SpaceX. The threat of debris was low enough - and quite frankly I would be more afraid of something going wrong with the Titan 4 than with the Falcon...
"The Air Force has said they are unwilling to take any risks with the last Titan 4 mission," Musk said. "There is some risk that if Falcon 1 were to go off track, there's some risk of damaging the Titan 4. I think it is a very tiny risk, but they are unwilling to take even a tiny risk."

Bearaucratic nonsense. It seems to me someone's constituency was threatened by SpaceX. They could have taken the risk. They weren't willing to take the risk because the government had already poured so much money into the Titan program they didn't want to take the risk and maybe they couldn't afford to let a small private company show that the government is wasting taxpayers money on big aerospace contractors who balloon the costs of going into space.

Those suspicions are unconfirmed however. Though my gut tells me that something's not right here.

Killing Astronauts

Robot Guy is livid after reports that not all the CAIB recommendations have been fully implemented:
"NASA officials have consistently said in recent months that while they value the task group's role, space-agency managers ultimately will decide whether the shuttle is safe to resume launches."

My question is: why go through the charade of the CAIB and this subsequent review? Why bother if the results will simply be ignored?

The Shuttle is a bad design. Period, full stop.

The CAIB was just public relations exercise for NASA. They blamed the entire accident on a single piece of foam striking the orbiter wing from bipod ramp foam. This is based on footage of the launch showing a fuzzy piece of something white flying past the wing... And of course everyone knows by telepathy that it was icy foam from a single bipod ramp that was the culprit and not the hundreds of other potential sources of debris that can knock off Shuttle tiles and cause disaster. No, the CAIB had to look like they knew where the problem happened so that NASA could fix it.

It was darned bipod ramp foam. Evil foam. No one should have ever trusted the foam. It's not like the thousands of other ways that tiles could have fallen of the orbiter wing were of any consequence to the CAIB. But they were to NASA engineers, who, although apparently still convinced of the guilt of he bipod ramp foam, spent weeks cataloging hundreds of other sources of ice debris that weren't guilty. They even reworked old stats on debris in space knocking off tiles... Why would they bother if the CAIB report was right?

It was politics. Sometimes in Engineering people have to look like they know what the problem was specifically - even when they could never in a million years figure it out.

Though Rand Simberg makes a good point:
Of course, as is often the case when it comes to space (and sadly, other) reporting, it's the media who should be embarrassed. If they had had a little more technical competence at the time, they would have pointed out that some of the CAIB recommendations were technically unrealistic, and that Sean O'Keefe was foolish to pledge to meet them all. This was, in fact, the first point at which it was becoming clear that he was the wrong man in the job.

True, I wouldn't doubt that judging the Shuttle preparedness for flight based on the CAIB report is not realistic, but the issue is the Shuttle itself. Robot Guys is right: It's a bad design. It is a white elephant in space. And it's incredibly unsafe.

We shouldn't be looking to any task group for advice, we should be looking to NASA engineers. And right now there are some NASA engineers that do not feel satisfied with the situation thus far from what I've read in recent weeks. They've been shoved aside and we've been told that the Shuttle is "A-0K." Well it's not. The Shuttle external tank fuel sensors were malfunctioning in fueling tests. The problem is believed to be fixed, but needs to be confirmed by performing another fueling test.

Another fueling test was promised to Engineers. That hasn't happened. I just hope the fix worked - for the sake of that crew.

Watch Out For Mercer

Rick Mercer, the comedian, is out to destroy Harper by turning him into a national joke. He's doing a tour throughout the summer to talk to conservatives across the country supposedly to run for the leadership of the party. Mercer's in the closet conservative bashing humour knows no bounds.

Mercer was legendary for his gag against former leader Stockwell Day and the old Canadian Alliance's Citizen's initiated referendum policy. The policy would allow a national referendum to occur if a certain percentage of the population signed a petition asking for one on a particular question. The vote would not be binding, and would require the motion to be ratified by parliament. Apparently Mercer doesn't believe that letting the people have a say in contentious issues in a national referenda is a good idea. No, populism is evil to Rick Mercer. So he started a campaign to get Stockwell Day's name changed to "Doris Day" by getting Canadians to sign on online petition. The gag was a classic. And it destroyed Stockwell Day at a time when he didn't already need someone else to make even more of a joke out of him than the national media had already made him.

Finally someone has responded with this site. We need to watch out for Mercer. He's a Liberal. And he's funny. And he's dangerous. Stop laughing people - because Mercer's not laughing with us, he's laughing at us.


I wonder if Tom Cruise is a comedian at heart:
Asked in an interview with the tabloid daily Bild if he believed in aliens, Cruise said: "Yes, of course. Are you really so arrogant as to believe we are alone in this universe?

Funny, because he almost sounds arrogant saying it. The truth is that no one really knows if we are alone in the universe. It's one of those questions we all ask ourselves when we look up at the night sky and wonder... The truth is that life, in the form that we know, is extremely fragile and so many factors seemed to need to come together for things to just happen.

But there are many stars out there. Who really knows?

That doesn't matter in any case. For me space exploration should have nothing to do with little green men. It's about colonization and the survival of the human race.

Range Costs...

Range costs definitely are the greatest costs involved in getting to low earth orbit:
Private Rocket Heads for Island

The privately-built Falcon 1 rocket has experienced yet another hiccup in getting off the ground. The maiden flight of the booster is being slipped to later this year due to a range conflict at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Furthermore, the delay has meant the rocket’s premier flight is being moved to the Kwajalein Atoll.

Falcon 1 is built by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of El Segundo, California, an effort bankrolled by entrepreneur Elon Musk. The booster went through an on-the-pad hot fire test of its engine May 27, bolstering hopes the rocket would take to the air in August from its Vandenberg Air Force Base launch pad.

But in a short statement on the SpaceX website: “We were just informed that the Titan 4 flight will launch no earlier than September and may very well be delayed until October or November.”

Since Falcon 1 is required to launch after the classified flight of the Titan 4, SpaceX said its first launch “will now be from our island launch complex in the Kwajalein Atoll” in the western Pacific Ocean.
-- Leonard David

LBJ Killed the Space Race

At least that's what Allan Wasser claimed in the first of a two part piece on LBJ's involvement of the space race. His theory was that President Johnson wanted to end the space race after we got to the Moon so he could pay for his war in Vietnam. To do it he signed the Outer Space Treaty which prevented anyone from claiming any territory on the Moon.

I was skeptical at first. Conspiracy theories are abounds, especially when it comes to NASA. However in his second installement he's provided proof in the form of uncovered documents.

Many times I've wondered what happened after the Apollo program. It took humanity barely a decade to get to the Moon. And for nearly forty years we've been stuck in low earth orbit unable to send but a handful of astronauts into space every year. If the momentum of the 60's was kept up, we would be honeymooning on Mars by this point...

I had settled on the idea that it was the fact that NASA was a government organization, and eventually the bureaucracy and red tape that goes along with being tied to government would eventually overcome the momentum as it did with the end of Apollo.

However these documents point the finger squarely at one man: Lynden B. Johnson. If these documents prove true, LBJ will be remembered as the man who killed the space race and humanity's drive to the stars.

Tip o' the hat to Curmudgeons.

More SSM

Jay Hill only confirms what I've known for a while:
"There is no way to stop it. . . . It's inevitable, because even with some 30-some backbench Liberals that will vote against, there's insufficient numbers to stop it," he said.

This on the eve of talk that Liberal Cabinet member Joe Comuzzi will resign over his party's support for same sex marriage.

By late next week their is little doubt in my mind that the legislation re-defining marriage will become law. The only hope the Defend Marriage movement had was that the government would fall, trigering an election which would delay the passing of the legislation and potentially change the balance of power in parliament.

But I have to say from what I've seen of the Defend Marriage movement, and their tactics, I haven't been impressed. I think the first problem is that the leadership of most on this side have no experience in politics. They had no appreciation for strategy, and didn't know the apparatus of Ottawa and how it works. Although well intentioned they seemed like they didn't know what they were doing.

Anyone could have counted the votes in parliament and realized that no letter writting campaign was going to make any difference in the result. The only thing that would change the result was if an election were called, and the Defend Marriage coalition swept MP's that supported Marriage to parliament. They should have had a massive letter campaign aimed at MP's like Comuzzi to vote against the Liberal budget to force an election on the issue. in a vote like that one all you needed was 1 MP to switch sides - not the 30 some odd needed in a vote on SSM. But I honestly think they just didn't get it. Instead they were still living by the assumption that they could win the vote on the SSM issue...

I would get Defend Marriage pamphlets in the mail, that were professional looking, but you honestly had to ask yourself what they were thinking. You see a white middle aged couple kissing on the front. What they should have had was a black young aged couple kissing on the front. This is politics people, and perception is everything. The media portrays the Defend Marriage movement as a bunch of apes running around burning crosses and wearing white masks. They should have had musslims, asians, and immigrants at the forefront of the entire organization. Everything we do needs to shatter those perceptions the media tries to create.

But it's all over now. The question is will the movement learn, and hire on some political strategists that have worked in federal politics - and actually take their advice? They have a federal leader of a federal party willing to back them up. And even he seems to get that the anti-SSM movement will only win as part of a large coalition.

Tawain to be Invaded?

The issue of Tawain always raises the deepest of emotions. I've noticed that especially Chinese people get very irritated by the subject. Basically all you need to know is that the remants of old political group that was the only counter to the Communists withdrew to the Chinese island called Tawain. They claimed they were the official government of China, and the Communists in China declared that they were the real government and Tawain was just a splinter island. At least that's the jist I understood of the whole situation. And now we are hearing reports of China invading Tawain in the near future.

First of all China is already a fascist state. It has embraced capitalism while maintaining an iron grip on the country keeping any discussions about democracy in the closet - using violence if neccessary. The only real thing that communism stands for in China is the continued existence of the official Communist Party. They've forgotten about Marx, and Lenin, and the rest of the socialist bozos.

I have the perfect solution to this problem: let Taiwan build the bomb. A nuclear capable Taiwan would be the greatest deterrent against war that I can think of. And since the Communist Party only cares about its own continued existence, then we have a surfire way to make sure that war never does in fact happen. The whole problem of nuclear proliferation aside, it would create a better balance of power in the region.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Stop Alien Abductions...

Courtesy of Stupidus I found this little tidbit:

Oh yah... Now I bet this guy probably is the man when he walks down the street wearing this get up. Well I won't be the one laughing if the invasion finally happens...

NASA can't quantify Ice debris threat?

Apparently big behemoth NASA can't get their stats right:
"It's a really complex formulation, going from how much ice can you have on the spacecraft and what velocities, at what vibration levels it shakes loose, how big are the pieces that shake loose and then how they transport through the aerodynamic environment," he said.

"And then, what's the resistance of the tiles to ice impacts and finally, given an ice crater - which is different from a foam (insulation) crater - how well can we enter (the atmosphere) with regard to that?

"The uncertainties in each of those areas are significant," he said. "There are all sorts of numbers that are floating around. We have nine different estimates for ice on tile from one ice location. ... It is a very complex problem.

"So what we did was, we looked at the relative risks and we're convinced the ... the remaining risks due to ice is around an order of magnitude less than the ones that we fixed."
Muratore said ice represents more of a threat to the shuttle's tiles than it does to its reinforced carbon carbon leading edge panels and that even though engineers used "all the supercomputers at NASA to run it down ... it doesn't lend itself to a single number."

"Impact dynamics are a very complicated engineering discipline," he said.

While he would not discuss the statistics underlying today's "go" recommendation, sources said some estimates of the likelihood of tile damage due to ice impacts - damage that would require repair or some other response - could be as high as 1-in-100 or so or as low as one in tens of thousands, depending on the assumptions that were made.

So in a nutshell they don't know what threat ice debris has on the shuttle in quantifiable terms... Or do they? What about the analysis that was done weeks ago that showed a much higher than acceptable risk of debris that was brushed away as being to armagedonish by NASA officials? The stories they are a changing. Joe Blow Astronaut must be scratching his head while simultaneously crapping his pants listening to the nerds give him updates on the ice debris risk situation. So what does NASA do when it don't know? It gives the green light:
"At the end of the day, the recommendation ... was that we're in an acceptable risk posture and they recommended to me, the program manager, that we proceed on with the launch," said shuttle chief Bill Parsons. "I accepted that recommendation. And that's where we're headed now."

Wait didn't they just say that impact dynamics was too complicated to know the risk. So it's an acceptable level of risk, which we don't know the actual risk, but it's an acceptable risk... Although we don't know the risk, it's still an acceptable risk. Anybody else confused?
"We believe it's an acceptable risk at this time," Parsons said.

Is not scheduling a second ET fueling test an acceptable risk? NASA engineers requested it to ensure that the Hydrogen fuel level sensors were operating correctly after they showed to be working intermitently. There are many ways that a vehicle like the shuttle can go kaboom. You'd figure the thought would endeavour a little more willingness to go the extra mile to allieviate some of these oustanding issues.

12 years old and working...

Alberta will now let 12 year olds work.

Before I comment any further I should make it clear: I broke the law when I was 12. I worked for a pizza shop when I hit 12, part time, and under the table for way below the minimum wage. I needed cash, and no it wasn't a sweat shop, and no I wasn't intimidated by my boss into anything. He was a nice guy, and I only have good memories of him. Thinking back, I was incredibily fortunate that I found someone like him that was willing to pay me under the table and take the chance.

I remember at the time wondering what type of idiot made up a law that wouldn't let people my own age work? I can understand you don't want 4 year olds running around doing back breaking labour but this is one extreme I've never been able to explain.

People should get over this. There is a whole underground economy, where people like me used to dwell and work without the permission of the state. Some 12 year olds are always going to want to work no matter what law they pass.

Funny Man...

I love how when the Liberals come within a hairs breath of defeat, the opposition is forcing an election and using dirty tactics. But when the Liberals call a snap vote catching the conservatives off guard they're only accused of dirty tactics.

Case in point:
The Liberals caught Conservatives flatfooted Thursday night, teaming up with the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP to cut off budget debate with surprise procedural tactics. The Liberals and NDP then used their numerical advantage to swiftly pass $4.6 billion in budget amendments proposed by the New Democrats.

You can almost imagine this journalist salivating at the mouth as he writes these words. Caught the Conservatives "flatfooted" and now they have "numerical advantage." It could almost pass a Liberal press release if tweaked a little bit.
"This was standard parliamentary procedure," Martin said as he toured a flood zone in High River, Alta. "Everyone is aware of parliamentary procedure.

Forgive me, but where in parliamentary procedure does it say that the government can ignore a clear vote of confidence? Where does it say that calling a snap vote on a budget bill is in order? Heck, it may not be against the law, but sure aint saintly.
Martin also accused the Conservatives of still sleeping with the Bloc.

"On the fundamental issue of the budget they voted against it," he noted.

Let me get this right... On the eve of Martin teaming up with the seperatists so that he can pass his spending spree socialist prostituted budget he's still accusing the Tories of being in bed with the seperatists?

Paul Martin is a funny, funny man.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

No more property rights in US?

The US Supreme Court has just ruled that local governments can seize private property at will so long as it serves a public use. Say it aint so. This sounds more like a ruling that would come out of my own Canuckian backyard from our wayward Liberal judges than from the Yanks.

Not that Canada has anything to talk about. When we decide to draw up a Charter of Fundamental Rights & Freedoms we cleverly forgot to put in a right to property.

That and technically no Canadian owns land anywhere in Canada. In reality every piece of land in any country in the commonwealth derives ownership from a deed that the Queen of England gave for that land to be used by a specific person. That person then sold that land to someone else, and then that person to someone else, and eventually the original deed is lost in paperwork. Yet essentially it is still the Queen's land, it's just that she lets us use it.

So that's how you get into situations similar to Robot Guy's experiences.

I should clarify: I like the Queen. She's a nice harmless wise old mother. I don't mind having her around, but I wouldn't cry if she was gone. I just wish that this country would find some way of affirming somewhere that Canadians do in fact have a right to property - not just granted to us.

Seizure of property? I wonder how a Jewish holocaust survivor would react to that one.


The government may yet fall. I'm glad the Conservatives are sticking to their guns. This Liberal/Socialist deal was made at the expense of this country.

People don't get that point all the time. This has nothing to do with being a Liberal or being a Conservative. What this has to do with, is the fact that the federal government was engaging in activities that were borderline criminal. They have turned this country into a joke, and have lost the moral authority to govern. It doesn't matter who's higher than who in the polls. The right thing to do is to take this government down. It would raise serious questions about the health of Canadian democracy if after the greatest corruption scandal in this nation's history, the federal government stays afloat in spite of it all.

Grewal Cleared... Again

Another charge, another victory for Grewal. I doubt that this story will get media coverage at all. The media is to busy hanging the Conservative Party with a barbed wire noose to correct the false impressions they made about Grewal weeks ago. The charges against Grewal are falling all over the place... Those charges did what they were intended to do: distract attention from what was in those disastrous recordings in the first place.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Senator Byron Apologizes

The Liberal Senator that made it a personal mission of his to crusade against imposing restrictions on one the greatest murdering rapists of the century, Karla Homolka, has apologized for doing so. I guess restrictions like making sure she doesn't associate with other criminals and keeping her away from children when she's released aren't too draconian afterall to Mr. Byron.

We should always have compassion for those people that are truly sorry for what they have done. Even Karla Homolka. But we have to look not just at what they say, but what they do to know if they are truly sorry. Karla Homolka never testified against her husband Paul Bernardo out the goodness of her hearth. She did it after wrangling out a deal with the prosecution. She could have told the prosecution about those tapes made of the criminal acts. She could have plead guilty out of shame and humility. As far as I know she did none of those things.

Mr. Byron compared Karla's relationships to murderers in prison to his personal dates with women from his nearby childhood convent. He compared her relationships to puppy love. This is what he had to say in his apology:
"I can hardly imagine the grief and pain that the families have suffered," the letter reads. "I sincerely regret if any of my statements over the past few days have contributed to their pain."

Mr. Byron completely misses the point. The families did suffer. But that's not the important part. The important part is that we make sure that Karla can never do this again. That is true justice. That is exactly what the restrictions are intended to do. Mr. Byron, quite frankly, needs a little therapy of his own I think. Doing what he did was a colossal lapse in judgment that is being condemned by people of all parties all across the country.

What this story does highlight is another problem in this country: the Senate. We have to be one of the oddest democracies in the world, where we still allow an entire body of government to be unelected and unaccountable. The Prime Minister appoints Senators in this country, and despite his claims otherwise, they are partisan. And with the caliber of Senator that Mr. Byron has proved to be seeming like the norm in that chamber of government, we need Senate reform and badly.

Black Out

At least that's what could have happened if things had turned out differently a couple weeks ago. It's not that I don't like the Liberal Provincial Energy minister, it's that his party lies and breaks it's promises so much I can't really tell if it's him that's lying or the greedy union.

I've stopped counting how many promises they've broken - but some apparently haven't. Since then I've kind of got the hint that you believe what the Ontario Liberals do, not what they say they will do.

The most practical solution to the power crisis is to build more coal plants. The truth is that the government can't build more coal plants because of our commitments under Kyoto. We can't build more Nuclear power plants, because that would prove everyone right that has been saying for a while that Kyoto would force us to do just that. Deregulation - nah - the Tories tried to do that... The Ontario Liberals would never admit they were wrong. Giving alternative energy sources a chance... That would require that people pay the true price of electricity and not the government capped rate that is killing alternative energy providers. And that won't happen, because it would tick off too many voters in McGuinty's constituency. As soon as they would have to pay more, and actually turn off the lights when they leave a room, voters would freak.

My guess is that all we'll do is buy excess capacity from the US... That is after a couple black-outs happen that tick off the millions of Americans our system is interconnected with.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Solar Sail shows some life

Last night it was first reported that the indenpendently financed solar sail Cosmos-1 failed. Supposedly the second stage rocket engine experienced a failure - or so the reports I heard read.

However there are now signs that the spacecraft has made it into orbit. How useful a solar sail would be is doubtful in my opinion, as I've mentioned before on this blog. Though part of me wants this venture to succeed anyway. It's a private venture, privately funded, and got it start outside of a government program. We need more of this type of initiave to get humanity into space.

That alone makes me pray that Cosmos-1 is still alive.

Tip o' the hat to Curmudgeons.

Addendum:"If the spacecraft made it to orbit, its autonomous program might be working, and after four days the sails could automatically deploy. While the chances of this are very, very small, we still encourage optical observers to see if the sail can be seen after that time." -The Planetary Society
This quest might go on for days? Talk about not giving up.

Lazy Buggers...

Not that it matters to MP's, but unlike them most of the rest of Canada doesn't get a paid 2 month vacation during the summer, but this summer they might be forced to stick around. Tony Valeri is introducing a motion to extend this session of parliament indefinitely.

Apparently the Conservatives are doing a good job a slowing down two things:
(a) the socialist breaking the bank Wacko Jacko Layton budget admendment,
(b) and the same sex marriage legislation.

Good. Now if we could only get our MP's to work a working man's hours every year we might actually get it through to the knuckleheads that Wacko Jacko Layton's burning the cash budget isn't such a good idea.

And as for same sex marriage we have to be honest about this folks. If this thing came down to a vote in parliament - right now it would pass. I just don't think we have the numbers. The only way to prevent this legislation from being passed is delay, delay and more delay. If an election ever gets triggered, then the new parliament will look completely different and who knows then. I just don't think that parliament will go against it. There are only about 20 to 30 Liberal MP's that are against it and about 97 Conservative MP's and the maybe 3 or 4 other independents and members from other parties. That's not a majority folks.

And those 20 to 30 Liberals know it.

My prediction is that this session of parliament will never end until an election is triggered. Either that will be after Gomery issues his report, or before. Either way it makes little difference.

When Warren Kinsella is Right

I couldn't stop laughing when I read Warren Kinsella's latest piece on Conservative Leader Stephen Harper:
- Two, whenever a political party dips in the polls, the media will call up anonymous nervous nellies to get a quote about the need for an immediate leadership convention. The media do that all the time -- and, all the time, it is generally only the Conservative party's nervous nellies who rise to the bait. My advice: Stop the nervous nellyism. Focus on the long game. You Tories brought the most successful political machine in Western democracy to within one vote -- a single vote! -- of a humiliating defeat in the House of Commons. You forced the Martin Liberals into all sorts of tawdry, backroom deal-making to avoid an election. And, now -- a few short weeks later -- you are all inexplicably committing ritual political suicide in public. My advice: Fire the nellies, strap on a set of gonads and fight like your lives depended on it. And quit the kvetching in public.

I've added the emphasis on the last two lines. Some good advice from a Liberal strategist if you ask me.

Robotic Moon

After the anger died down, I started to think again after reading this:
TOKYO -- Japan wants to help build a lunar base and populate it with advanced versions of today's humanoid robots by around 2025, according to the head of the nation's space agency.

First there is no way that a lunar base would be able to completely indepently operated by humanoid robots. I think our AI and robotics technology is still just a few years off from pulling off that gargantuan miracle. Until you see Toyota producing a completely robotically manufactured car a robot lunar base is that much farther off. Even then they'll need human programmers and people that can actually improvise beyond programming.

Where does the anger come from? Because I started to actually think it was possible. Imagine that: a Lunar base filled with robotic colonists. I don't want to send robots to colonize, I want to send my own derierre... Johnny-5 can wait his turn.


They've developed a nifty patching solution for tiles missing from the space shuttle wings from debris damage or vibrations.

Of course all of this depend on them being able to visually identify missing tiles from the space shuttle hull... And of course the patches are all experimental at this point. My guess is that after a couple flights NASA will forget about this. Especially with Griffin rushing ahead with the new CEV to replace the shuttle like he is. He can't be expecting to have to have many more shuttle flights.

Solar Sail Bust

The privately funded venture to test solar sails in space is underway. Though I doubt anything useful will come out of this for two reasons.

The first is that it does nothing for reducing the costs of access to low earth orbit. Until that barrier is breached we can talk all we want about interplanetary travel - it will never happen.

The second reason is that the accellerations needed for travel to the moon, let alone anywhere else would take a typical sail months where chemical rockets can get there in weeks. It may be cheaper, but does it really justify the increase in time it would take to get to your destination? And also solar radiation pressure decreases the farther you go out, so the concept of using solar sails as a form of interplanetary transport is a fantasy until someone convinces me otherwise. It's more useful for inner planets interplanetary exploration more than anything else.

The Foetus Trade

Regardless of where you stand on the Abortion issue, I hope you are equally disgusted with the burgeoning Foetus trade in Eastern Europe:
Aborted foetuses from girls and young women are being exported from Ukraine for use in illegal beauty treatments costing thousands of pounds, The Observer can reveal.

The foetuses are cryogenically frozen and sold to clinics offering 'youth injections', claiming to rejuvenate skin and cure a raft of diseases.
Abortions performed more than 12 weeks into a pregnancy are restricted in Ukraine. Older foetuses fetch extra because their curative powers are thought to be greater.

'When a doctor wants a foetus [to sell], he tells a girl there is a medical reason for an abortion later than 12 weeks,' said Shorobogatko. 'A special procedure extracts it with the placenta.'

The woman would be paid to wait until a late stage of her pregnancy, or might never even know she was duped, he said. Her aborted foetus would be passed to a middle-man or institution, which would cut it into separate organs before placing these in storage. The material was then sold and taken abroad.

This is revolting. And I've read it in more than place. Apparently a good chunk of the upper class in Russia is obsessed with this. I don't think getting rid of a couple wrinkles are worth this. It's the stem cells in the foetus that create the rejuvenation they are talking about. They remove the wrinkles, and make the person look younger.

Not About Science

Dan Schrimpsher's latest post hits the nail on the head when it comes to space exploration and NASA:
Space Exploration/Colonization isn't about science. Exploring the new world wasn't about science. Opening the west wasn't about science. Marco Polo wasn't about science. Science is wonderful. Engineering is even better. Giving us room to roam is the best of all.

No kidding. We can dabble in science all we want to, but we shouldn't fool ourselves - it brings us no closer towards expanding out in the solar system. Maybe I should rephrase - much of the science being done won't mean anything.
How many people would give up the modern conveniences we are so proud of to work as a miner on the moon. I sure would. Most people I know would. Not everyone, but a lot of people. What does that tell you about priorities. How many people in the 18th and 19th century gave up the conveniences of the east coast to break new ground out west?

I would give it up. Give it up in a second. Nanosecond. Microsecond. The chance to start a fresh new society on another world leaving behind everything bad from this one? You bet.

And then he leaves off with this quote:
"NASA is not about the 'Adventure of Human Space Exploration,' we are in the deadly serious business of saving the species. All Human Exploration's bottom line is about preserving our species over the long haul."
Astronaut John Young,"The Big Picture"

Amazing post.

Grewal is cleared...

That was about the least biggest suprise of my life. Gurmant Grewal, the man that recorded senior Liberals offering him a bribe is now cleared of those pesky allegations of him moving packages secretly on airplanes.

I'll be even less surprised when those allegations of him asking for a bribe from a constituent get proven false... That is unless the Ethics Counselor, who is a Liberal appointment, decides to get a little partisan.

Abortion Doctor Gets Honored

Les is blogging up a storm on Morgentaler receiving a honorary degree.

Here's the best line of it all:
It's not womans suffrage asshat. It's the sanctioned murder of countless innocents that is paid for by my government and my tax dollars!

And that's the kicker. It's hard enough for those that are pro-life to live in a society that sanctions a culture of death, but then they force those same people to pony up cash to pay for it... It's a slap in the face - just like giving Morgentaler an honorary degree. Except that in the case of the UWO, people can withdraw their support. They can't when it comes to the government no matter how much they wish to.

Shuttle Post #23138974192835979327894l....

The Space Shuttle is back on the launch pad. Typically I find that a Spaceflightnow piece that's of higher calibur. If you're looking for a semi-decent technologicaly sound piece go to If you're looking for a lowly tabloid edition usually fits the bill.

Back to the shuttle. Robot Guy is repeating his prediction that another shuttle launch will not happen. He may be right.

The shuttle was fitted with a new heater meant to prevent ice buildups. However during a fueling test it was found that sensors reading liquid hydrogen levels in the tank were misreading... A potentially dangerous thing if the hydrogen fuel supply runs out in flight while the liquid oxygen is still being supplied to the main shuttle rocket engines. Engineers didn't know if this was a problem with the sensors on the fuel tank, or if it had something to do with the new heater that was installed. The engineers decided to attach it to a new tank under the proviso that another fueling test would be done to determine if the problem was still there. That never happened:

As for the hydrogen sensors, which operated normally the second time around, engineers now believe whatever caused problems during the first tanking test was corrected during extensive post-test troubleshooting.

Translation from NASA speak: "uh we tink de problem is fixed."
NASA managers decided June 6 to forego a third tanking test, saying they were confident the new tank would behave normally during Discovery's countdown. Even though the hydrogen pressurization system begins operating just two minutes before liftoff, the countdown can be safely stopped if any problems develop.

I'm not a flight controls expert, but I'm thinking those engines fire for longer than the two minutes on the launch pad. If the sensors are working intermitently, it's conceivable they could show no problems on the launch pad, but could start malfunctioning after lift off.

Wanting to avoid any such last-minute surprises, however, some engineers argued in favor of a third tanking test to make sure the analysis is correct. But senior managers decided to press ahead. Any serious problems with the tank almost certainly would delay the flight beyond the July 13-31 launch window regardless of when they were discovered.

Reminds me of those Engineers that got the jitters every time they saw ice striking the wings of the Space Shuttle... There is a pretty good chance I would say that the shuttle launch may be delayed again after the meeting on ice debris on June 24. They could make up some excuse about ice debris, but then schedule another tanking test all the same. In Engineering sometimes politics creeps in, and if those critical people in on that ice debris meeting are jittery about those sensors on the external tank, I would bet they would use any opportunity to delay that flight, like for example a few minor sources of ice debris still not wrapped up... Politics, Politics...

The Autopsy

Terry Schiavo's' autopsy has been released. Curmudgeons comments on the debate raging over it. The Anchoress points out that dehidration will cause someone's brain to shrink. Sobrino weighs in himself.

I'm more inclined to agree with Curmudgeons in the sense that either side will just spin it to their advantage.

Besides the spin, and the obvious political biases everyone has, the thing that worries me the most is that the woman showed some signs of consciousness. Bush was right that where there is doubt we should err on the side of life. I sincerely hope that everyone pushing for Terri to die was right - that she was brain dead. Because otherwise this woman was murdered.

But for a woman to show the signs of life that she did, I can't understand how anyone in their right mind can be so sure that not at least a part of her was alive and aware.

And that thought scares the living daylights out of me.

Lois Brown runs...

Well it's going to be Brown vs. Belinda afterall. Don't have a news link yet.

I've talked about the possibility before.

Lois Brown, for those that don't know, was the candidate that ran against Belinda Stronach for the Conservative nomination in the riding of Newmarket-Aurora in the last election. It was the battle of opposites when it comes to women. It was the blonde multi-million dollar heiress Stronach against the small town, motherly looking Lois Brown. No one expected Lois to win, but she lost by a surprisingly narrow margin.

Now that Belinda is a gutless Liberal, she will be facing off against her arch-nemesis once more. This time I don't think the results will be so narrow.

Shuttle Launch Postponed again?

According to SpaceDaily that's what's happened. It's like a never ending story. At first they would postpone by months, then by weeks, now it's by days... Eventually it'll be by hours and then we'll know we're getting close to an actual launch.

Robot Guy doesn't think the shuttle will ever fly again. I think we would be all safer for it.

And I've been locking at Russia's next generation launch vehicle with delight... The Kipler looks to be everything the shuttle was originally meant to be.


Legislation was passed now allowing Japan's Defense chief to order the interception of a missile without needing to get it rubber stamped by the Japanese parliament...

I can imagine, in an alternate universe, Japan never passing this bill, and when the Defence Chief orders an emergency session of parliament to get approval to shoot down a nuke some nimwad politician would start a filibuster for some reason or another...

Kind of reminds of me of Mr. Dithers in good ol' Canuckland. That genius doesn't want to sign on to the US's missile defense system, but still wants to be consulted before a missile gets shot down over Canadian airspace.

I can't say we Canucks are any better than the Japanese.

A380 or Bust

I keep on hearing/reading/seeing/gawking at anything to do with Airbus’s new A380 commercial jet. The A380 is basically a huge, massive, grotesque piece of airline trash. The thing is supposed to be able to carry a maximum of 850 passengers. That’s like the Star Ship Enterprise of the airways. Now the propaganda Airbus spews out talks about a 550 seat passenger jet with bars, and shops on board – heck they might as well add in a swimming pool. We all know that everyone who buys the suckers will just stock it full of seats – that is if they are interested in making money at all.

Now I have to be careful what I say most of the time about the A380, because some of the people I may be potentially working for soon will be doing work on that enchilada. So – ahum – my bias is clear.

But I have to be honest – the A380 in my opinion is not a good idea. Basically my motto is bigger ain’t better.

The number one expense that commercial airliners face isn’t fuel, isn’t maintenance, isn’t the little pre-packaged meals from ONEX, it’s financing. I know, as an aspiring Engineer I was disappointed to. You’d’ like to believe that all the fluid and stress analyses you do makes a difference – but really it’s a low item in the totem pole of life. Jets costs millions to make, and millions more to buy – financing is the critical issue. And with the A380 you’re talking about a quarter billion. To me that would seem a little ridiculous to increase what is already the number one cost associated with airline travel.

And that’s not to mention the other effect such a huge aircraft will have on the airline industry – more regulations. Politicians only move when the peasants don’t like what they see. And the peasants, when they see a few hundred car fatalities a year on the news it’s given to them in healthy regular doses. But when a hundred seat passenger jet crashes killing everyone on board – that just overdoses them. Politicians react to large death counts in high concentrations. And replacing a couple hundred seat size passenger jets with 800 seaters is only going to mean more reaction and more regulations.

If that weren’t the worst of the A380 I can think of no more damning a thing than this: what happens if fuel prices rise even more? Ticket prices will probably go up… What airlines really need is more efficient airplanes that can travel farther, faster, and are easier to maintain… Not a humongo monstrocity...

Airbus has only 100 orders left to sell before they break even though – so I may be proven wrong yet.

Of course if I ever get a job working on something to do with the A380 I take it all back.

CPC Communications Shake Up

Apparently the Conservative communications shop is getting a shuffle:
Sources said Harper's chief of staff, Phil Murphy, is on the hit list to be axed, in favour of Doug Finley, who was recently brought in as the deputy chief of staff.

I've never met Phil Murphy. I have met Doug Finley. Though I'm not so sure about the validity of this source. Doug seemed more like he was happy where he was. He may step up to the plate but I would think it would be relunctantly. He never seemed as hungry for power as some. I always wondered what they paid Finley for what he was doing - my guess was it couldn't have been very much. His wife wasn't an MP back then. My sense of things is that Finley is financially secure enough on his own not to need a huge salary.

It will be interesting though to see him as Chief of Staff... He was a Trudeau Liberal once you know...

Tip o' the hat to Daiffalah.

Senator Biron: Karla's just got puppy love...

Senator Biron is the Liberal senator supporting infamous murderer and rapist Karla Homolka.

I don't think I've met a single person, Liberal or otherwise, that doesn't think Karla is a high risk to re-offend. In Prison, her dating history has shown that she hasn't learned a darn thing - she's still going after men that fit the profile of her ex-husband Paul Bernardo who she claims was the instigator that lead to her rape, rape again and then murder her victims.

Senator's Biron's take on those relationships? The Judge is too old fashioned, and he doesn't remember what it was like to be 13 years old.
Biron said Quebec Court Judge Jean Beaulieu overreacted to Homolka's relationship with Jean-Paul Gerbet, pointing out that his expected extradition to France means it could never flourish.

"I think the judge, he's too old, he doesn't remember when he was 13 years old," Biron said in an interview yesterday.

"There's nothing to be really concerned about it."

Biron compared Homolka and Gerbet's relationship to the ones he fostered during his 15 years in boarding school with girls at a nearby convent.

"You know when you are in a prison and you have an occasion to see somebody of the opposite sex you create a romance ... and I think if it would have been anybody else, she would have done the same.

"You know you have to have hope, you have to try to dream, otherwise how can you stay in a prison?"

All righty then... If anyone seems to be confused it's Senator Biron. Karla Homolka is not 13 years old sir. I'm pretty sure she must be over double the age. Also if he is comparing a relationship to a hardened criminal to puppy love and can't see anything wrong with it... That's just one level of cuckoo I can't relate to.

I'd like to point out that his experiences in a boarding school, although interesting, are nothing like prison - or at least I'd hope they are nothing like prison... Because that means were running a Club Med for cons.
Biron said by using the section he called better suited to a "totalitarian regime," Beaulieu has painted Homolka as a great risk to re-offend and impeded her chances of finding a job.

"There's no proof at all that there's imminent danger," Biron said, adding he couldn't offer her a job at his ski resort or telephone call centre even if he wanted to because of the restrictions.

She raped, violated and murdered her victims which included her younger sister. There were no bounds for Karla Homolka. And the defense she held was that she would never have committed those crimes if it wasn't for her relationship with Paul Bernardo. Infact she would never re-offend if she didn't meet another Paul Bernardo the public was told. Well her new boyfriend just doesn't make all too confident.
Biron stressed he also sympathizes with the victims' families, saying they should benefit from publicly paid therapy as Homolka will for the next year.

The victim's families should want true justice. True justice is making sure that it can never happen again. We shouldn't be feeling sympathy for the families, or the accuser, and yet forget the sympathy we should be feeling to the potential future victims. Experts are not sure if Karla is a psychopath or not. What is the harm of providing her with more therapy by keeping her in prison until they know for sure?

That's what's important Senator Biron... Not free time with a shrink.

Calling all US Senators: Don't you have better stuff you should be doing?

Looking through some of the meager hits I get on this blog I came across this one:
Host Name
IP Address

All right, I thought to myself, I got me a Senatorial fan. Then I looked at the referring link and started to laugh:,GGLD:2004-14,GGLD:en&q=How you become an Ambassador

Apparently someone working in the Senate wants to become an ambassador and came to a posting I made about the Liberals appointing ambassadorships based on how loyal, and how open their pocket books they were. I wonder if whoever it was took the advice to heart...

No, I'm not making this up.

Liberal Senator Supports Murdering Rapist?

I don't believe that every Liberal is a crook, a liar, or a criminal, but I'm starting to believe that all have a few too many screws loose in the machinery. Especially after reading this statement from Liberal Senator Michel Biron:
"I have to give her a chance... I don't consider her dangerous," he said.

"I understand the distress and the sorrow of the families of the victims and I sympathize with them. In no way am I defending the crimes that Homolka has done," he told Canada AM Friday.

"What concerns me is the 810 part of the law," he said, adding in French that he doesn't believe the section has any usage in a modern society."
Senator Biron is talking about his support for infamous Murderer and rapists Karla Homolka that is set to be released, and is currently arguing for leniancy in restrictions - restrictions like for example not being allowed to be around children, or to associate with other criminals...

Let's recount for a second exactly what Karla Homolka did that got her 12 years in prison in the first place:
- She encouraged Paul Bernardo, her husband, to rape other women before they were married.
- She drugged her younger sister so that her husband could rape her. Her sister died choking on her own vomit.
- She drugged a 15 year old girl she met, raped her, then gave her to her husband so he could rape her.
- She videotaped the brutal raping of Leslie Mahaffy by her husband.
- She was involved in the rape of several other teens by her husband.
- Karla lured Kristen French in a Church parking lot to her car so that she could be abducted and raped by Karla and her husband.

Karla has never denied any of these facts as far as I know. She's only ever denied that she was responsible for killing Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. For that she blamed Bernardo. That's what she testified, and that testimony was the price the Crown paid to let her go free in as little as 12 years.

And this is the woman that Senator Biron doesn't think is dangerous?

Remind me again why the Liberals are 48% in the polls?

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Of mass murderers and Catholics...

This piece might tick off some pro-contraception people. But the truth needs to be said: the Pope was no mass murderer in Africa.
Superimposing maps of prevalence of AIDS on prevalence of Catholicism is enough to sink the link between the Catholic Church and AIDS. In the hospice which is Swaziland nowadays, only about 5 per cent of the population is Catholic. In Botswana, where 37 per cent of the adult population is HIV infected, only 4 per cent of the population is Catholic. In South Africa, 22 per cent of the population is HIV infected, and only 6 per cent is Catholic. But in Uganda, with 43 per cent of the population Catholic, the proportion of HIV infected adults is 4 per cent (9).[Emphasis Added]

It shouldn't be surprising to anyone... You tell people to start being faithful, to start having some self respect, to start being true to themselves like they did in Uganda with a pro-abstinence campaign and Aids takes a hit. Also the fact that more and more Ugandan's are devoutly Catholic can't hurt either.

The media is this country offers a different spin on the Pope when it comes to Aids in Africa - but the truth is more powerful than a lie. And that's a testament to how even now Catholic churches are swelling in Africa. If Catholics were systematically killing themselves by not using condoms you'd figure the opposite would be happening.

Tip o' to the Curt Jester.

Battle of The Experts

Via NealeNews I piked up Jason Kenney's latest press release:
OTTAWA – Conservative Deputy House Leader Jason Kenney today released a letter to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper from Randy Dash, Senior Editor and Manager of Operations of dMAX Media in Ottawa. The letter summarizes Mr. Dash’s analysis of copies of original recordings supplied by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal.

“Mr. Dash’s analysis of the recordings shows that they are clean and unaltered,” Kenney said. “These recordings speak for themselves. Now, it’s time for Paul Martin, Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy to begin answering the questions about their involvement in offering rewards to members of parliament in exchange for their votes. To this day, there has been no information produced by any of these individuals to dispute the facts on these recordings.”

Kenney pointed out that Mr. Dash, a professional audio engineer specializing in post-production work, is the only expert thus far to have examined copies of the original recordings, and invited others to do the same. “There has been a lot of conjecture about the authenticity of the recordings,” Kenney said. “None of this speculation is based upon fact, and would indicate that those speculating have not taken the time to listen to or examine the entire recordings, which are publicly available.”

What is this a war of the experts? I still find it hard to understand how the media can spend so much time obsessing about a few lines of missing speech on a tape when they completely ignored what is clearly heard on those very same tapes.

Socialist Health Care System Takes Blow...

The ban on private healthcare in Quebec has been ruled a violation of the rights of the individual. Could it actually be? You mean that maybe all those naysayers that for years have been saying that banning private healthcare violates our rights weren't Conservative extremists?

What a crock. The Liberal media will no doubt spin this into an attack on the poor, and the disabled, and the meak, and the disadvantaged, and aboriginals, and minority groups, and immigrants and anything they can come up with.

If I were Stephen Harper tommorow in the House of Commons I would ask the Prime Minister this question: "Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the ban on private healthcare in Quebec was found to be a violation of the rights of the individual. It is only a matter of time before simmilar challenges are brought foward across the country. Is the Prime Minister prepared to invoke the not-with-standing clause to keep on violating people's rights?"

Paul Martin had this to say about the whole fiasco:
"We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country," he told reporters following Thursday's ruling.

"Nobody wants that."

Apparently the Liberals are still spewing out the "Two-Tier" talk still. What a load of baloney. In some areas of the country we already have "Two-Tier" healthcare. King Paul should know - his own family doctor operates a private clinic...

The only one who believes Grewal

I have to be the only one who actually believes Grewal, and believes he's the target of a Liberal smear campaign. A man does not get involved with the right wing Canadian Alliance, then when they merge with the Progressive Conservatives brings his wife on board and then thinks about ditching ship. He had more than ample opportunity in previous times, so why now? Maybe Grewal was less than saintly with these recordings, but somehow I have to question the main stream perceptions of Grewal.

Apparently most Canadian disagree with me:
A poll by Decima Research said 25 per cent of respondents sided with the Liberals, compared to 23 per cent who said they believed Grewal.

"It has not worked as an effective attack on the Liberals," said Decima's Bruce Anderson.

That statement isn't very smart. First that type of information is a little more complicated than Bruce Anderson leads on.

Unfortunately, as I could see from the beginning, the Liberals span away at this story. First they were blameless and never made any offers. Then they started to claim that the tapes were altered and were no better than cheap fabrications. Canadians saw it all unfold on the news. And the media let them get away it.

And let's not kid ourselves here that's exactly what the media did. If the tables were reversed and it were the Tories getting caught on tape doing the exact same thing they would have been hung out to dry.

Risk, Risk, Risk...

Apparently I wasn't the only one questioning that ice debris was what lead to the Columbia disaster. Tiles had been known to fall off the hull of the space shuttle for a variety of reasons besides ice debris collisions - one of the ones I heard most prominently was vibrations. Debris in space was always a possibility but it was considered an acceptable risk.

This new study blows down that assumption:
Steve Poulos, a top shuttle official, acknowledges there is "a debate" inside the agency about the threat posed by space debris. One school of thought is that a fatal debris strike is "probable," Poulos says. But he says others think such an event is likely to be "infrequent."

Let's cut the crap for a moment here. This is all gut instinct from Engineers at NASA. Some think it's a serious issue, others don't. The real problem here ain't the debris - we can never eliminate debris or vibrations for that matter. The real problem is the tiles themselves. Their design is the issue, everything else they're doing is just an attempt to patch up a design flaw.
In February 2003, the shuttle Columbia broke apart when a piece of foam fell from the fuel tank and opened a 6- to 8-inch-wide hole in the front edge of the left wing. As Columbia returned to Earth, hot gases entered the hole, causing the shuttle to disintegrate.

I love how they still talk as if that was the God given truth. The truth is no one can know really what caused the tiles on that left wing to fall off to open that hole. The best guess is ice debris, but then why is NASA spending so much time identifying and eliminating or minizing hundreds of other sources of debris? It's nice spin, but the truth is no one knows jack.
Space debris, including bits of rock, pieces of old satellites and other trash, often ding the shuttle as it circles the Earth but usually causes no serious harm. Before Columbia, NASA estimated the spacecraft stood a 1-in-500 chance of being destroyed by space debris. That's well below the shuttle program's goal of a 1-in-200 chance.

But the preliminary analysis dated April 26 placed the odds that orbital debris could destroy the next shuttle at a range from 1 in 54 to 1 in 113. That risk estimate stems from recent tests showing that the space shuttle's heat shield is more fragile than NASA had realized.

The analysis was obtained by USA TODAY from a NASA staffer who declined to be identified because this person is not authorized to release such documents.

The analysis done by the staffer is based on the assumption that the tiles can't withstand even a pinhole of exposure. That is the main reason for the difference in results. NASA must have serious problems if this staffer/engineer felt ignored enough in his concerns to release this to the press. Poor bugger.
Tests show that the shuttle can survive scrapes up to 0.1 inch inflicted by space debris to the front of the wing, Poulos says. He points out that orbital debris has smacked the front of the wings 42 times and did significant damage once.

The target was a 1 in 200 chance. If the actual chance turns out to be 1 in 42 that is a significant design buster. And hence comes a big problem with NASA: inability to design safely. Produce some pretty numbers that show we're good to go, and nobody questions.

And this story proves it:
Meanwhile, shuttle managers have decided against a third fueling test. The test, which would have added several days to the amount of work necessary at the launch pad, is no longer necessary because NASA believes it has enough information from previous tests to identify and fix the cause of the problematic fuel valve.

The first fueling test failed because the sensors used to detect fuel levels in the tank were misreporting actual levels. If the Shuttle's engines continue to burn as the fuel supply runs out the consequences could be disastrous. The belief was that the problem was caused by the tank they were using. However some were concerned that the new heaters that had been installed to prevent ice build ups on the tank were interfering somehow with the sensors. The idea was hook it up to a new tank and test and see if the problem remains. I bet that satisfied the naysayers.

Apparently the idea got turfed because it would have meant to much extra work. I wouldn't want to be the astronauts on that next flight.

Competency of Forensic Experts Questioned...

Some Forensic Experts have claimed that the Grewal tapes have been altered.

Angry in The Great White North reports on doubts he has in the competency of one of those so-called experts.

The Liberals don't care. They are already accepting it as a fact that the Grewal tapes are a fabrication. Only in Canada would the Canadian media let a political party bribe an MP for his vote, get the tape of it happening handed to them, and then let the idiots get away with with this spin.

Let's be honest folks... If the situation were reversed, and the Tories were caught red handed in this situation, the leader would have been turfed by now.

This is just too cool

Space suits from a defunct space program in the 60's have been found in mint condition.

Now what would be really cool is if the Pentagon ever released files that show that the Manned Orbital Station Programme was never abadoned but completed in secret. That would be one conspiracy theory that I wouldn't mind being true.

Tip o' the hat to MarsBlog

Don't trust the Mounties...

Via Stupidus, I found that Licia Corbella has been talking about the bias in the RCMP for years:
I said something like: "If it's true Grewal was approached by the Liberals to defect prior to the non-confidence vote in the House for a plum political position, instead of just taping his calls and meetings with the Liberals, he should have got the RCMP to do it, then the veracity of his claims would not be questioned."

My friend's response: "The RCMP would have just tipped off the Liberals as to what was happening. The RCMP is a Liberal puppet."

And why is biased?
What's more, how diligently can we expect the RCMP to investigate AdScam when it's known the RCMP helped launder money for the federal Liberals to help Liberal-friendly advertising companies in Quebec, who then funneled the money back into Liberal party coffers?

Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser unveiled in April 2004 the feds pumped $1.3 million of the $3 million earmarked for the Mounties' 125th anniversary celebration into the coffers of Liberal-friendly ad firms.

In turn, the RCMP deposited its $1.7-million share of the sponsorships in a separate non-government bank account that was discovered by Fraser's probe.

The Mounties always get their man... And in this case it's whoever is unfriendly to the Liberal regime in Ottawa.

There are probably no doubt hundreds of mounties that deserve our respect and thanks. But the more I read about their activites in AdScam, the more I suspect that at least at the senior levels the Liberals have turned them into a eager corrupted puppet.

Another Liberal MP quits...

This time it's Pat O'brien. No big surprise there. Though O'brien can't be the smartest of the bunch. Most people could see long before him the number of Liberal broken promises stacking up on themselves.

This puts the count in the house of commons at 152 Liberals and NDP'ers, 152 Conservative and Bloc members, 1 nutbar former Liberal independent, 1 kind off Conservative independent, and 2 former Liberals that boggle the mind.

Congratulations: It's an Arian!

They might as well have said: "Congratulations, it's an Arian. Apparently Eugenics is alive and well - but I'm not going to fry too much on that enchilada today.

What I've been thinking lately about is the irony behind all of this. I would bet dollars to pesos that most sperm donors are not married men... After all I'm thinking most married couples would have a problem with one spouse donating to the local spermatoza bank. Maybe they get married later on in life, but I'm willing to bet they probably don't have many children if any at all. That means the gene pool we are dealing with here is made up of males that would not normally have the opportunity to procreate and pass on their genes. So I'm not thinking that natural evolution would have kept these genes in circulation for long.

What if we are creating an artificial evolution? What I mean is, what if brown eyed people, are, for whatever reason, more apt to procreate, but because of this new uptopian designer children they are wiped off the face of the planet. Where will the race head? Will we go? And what happens if the choices we make are based on our own suppositions on the ideal human being when in reality it could be some ugly fat idiot that is meant to be the future of the human race?

What makes anyone think that perfection neccessarily is to be buff, skinny, and smart? Who knows what this crazy universe has in store for us. So the next time you look a married couple ask yourself this question: would they make it on the cover Forbes? So what's perfection anyway then?

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Fetal theft

fetal theft is more common than I thought.

I find it strange. In many countries the fetus has no legal right to life so I wonder how a "fetal theft" would be prosecuted - if at all. How can you prosecute a crime against a person that has no rights? Interesting that they call it "fetal theft" and not "fetal abduction"...

Why don't we call a spade a spade anymore? What's the difference between a newborn baby and one that has 5 minutes to go still in the Mother's womb? Nothing. Just semantics.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

I got tagged...

Ya, I know I got book tagged by Robot Guy. This is post where you find out how much of a nerd I really am.

The Number of Books I own

Too many. I'm going to say about 60 to 70 good books lying around in my room and the surrounding area. That is not including Engineering textbooks that I've collected over the years or any of the books I have lying around in the basement. That and losts of crap in the form of newspaper articles and some - ahum - writting I've done myself but thought it was too stupid for widespread consumption.

I got some books that I stopped reading when I went back to school this summer term after spending a term on co-op. Reading on school terms is not realistic. Well not recreation reading. The same goes with writting. The only time I ever get is during co-op terms.

The Last Book I bought

This is tough because I don't keep a mental note of this kind of useless info. The last books I bought were Robert A. Heinlein's The Green Hills of Earth. My sis gave me a copy of Bill Clinton's "My Life." I haven't opened it yet because I'm waiting for PG rated version to come out. And somewhere sometime I bought Dune:The Battle of Corrin. Project Orion is somwhere in the pile beside my desk too.

The Last book I read

The Green Hills of Earth... almost. I'm on the last story "Logic of Empire." It's not as good as the rest of the shorts in the book. I'm 2/3rd's done Battle of Corrin. I'm anxious to find out how the legendary blood few starts between the Harkonen and the Artreides but that'll have to wait for my next work term.

The last actual book I read in full was "Target Switzerland." It's all about armed Swiss neutrality in WWII. It was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.

Five Books that Mean A Lot to Me

1) Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein- For making me believe that good Science Fiction is still out there that I haven't read yet. It spoke a lot to me especially at the point I was in my life.

2) The Moon is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein - I don't want to mention Heinlein twice but really it was an unbelievale book. Something about Heinlein's writting made me identify so much with the characters. I really hope they don't screw up the movie adaptation.

3) The Law by Frederick Bastiat - It was originally printed as a pamphlet in the 1840's. It was only reprinted in a small paperback book form a few years ago. Bastiat's ideals, and his conclusions on freedom and the state are not only right on they are prophetic for someone from his time.

4) Anthem By Ayn Rand - I would place this one higher on the list but I've always thought that Rand was a little long winded.

5) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - I don't know if I can mention this one as a book but I am. I used to be able to read old english so well. I could understand it better than ever at one point. In highschool I never did well in English. When I started to read Shakespeare's other plays besides the one's that appeal to the Liberal Artsy Farsty Navel Gazing crowd that dominates English Literature studies, I realized that Shakespeare was no more than an older version of Quentin Tarantino. Shakespeare loved to entertain. He loved to shock his audience. I finally have an appreciation for this.

Seperatist Leader Quits

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the provincial leader of the seperatist Parti Quebequois, Bernard Landry, has resigned after receiving a confidence vote of 76.2%.

Apparently a 76.2% majority of party members is not enough of a majority for Landry. Ironic because a 50% plus one vote for sovereignty in a referendum on Quebec independence is way more than enough to unleash hell to the seperatists. Just not enough apparently for a confidence vote of party members of their leader.

This will change everything. Quebec Liberal leader Jean Charest's government will no doubt get a boost from the PQ's leadership issues. They've been floundering of late to the PQ's benefit. What hasn't helped is the federal sponsorship scandal has tarnished all Liberals, even provincial Liberals as crooks liars and criminals.

I find Quebec politics to be a little nutso sometimes. The last three leaders of the Liberals and PQ in Quebec have been acclamations... I can't recall Jean Charest's election but I'm pretty sure it was an acclamation. Landry never faced a leadership race, and neither did Bouchard before him. I guess Quebequers can't stand to see internal divisions. Otherwise all these acclamations don't make any sense. What's the point? Why not have a leadership election and generate some excitment?

Everyone will start talking about the big cheese in Ottawa coming in to save the seperatist cause in Quebec now... That would be the leader of the seperatist leader of the federal Bloc Quebequois Party Gilles Duccepe - more reknown for wearing styling hair nets more than anything else. Well that and his victory in the last election that almost oblitirated the federal Liberals in Quebec has given him the air of a winner.

Since Duccepe publicly supported Landry for the leadership of his provincial cousins, he's in the perfect position to ride in and get an acclamation of his own. The people that were against Landry will be happy they have a new leader, and so will be those that loved Landry to begin with.

If Duccepe does jump ship it may decrease the bite the Bloc has had in parliament recently. Also the bloc's eagerness to go into an election may be lost while they find a new leader to replace Duccepe.

If any of that happens federal politics will shift again. Will this corrupt Liberal regime ever end?

Well just another day in this wacky place called Canada where we allow people who want to split up the country to sit in our National parliament. I guess we have a death wish here up in the great white north.

Homolka not a psychopath?

At least that's what this psychiatrist thinks.

Her reasoning bothers me:
Louis Morissette portrayed Homolka as a woman with low self-esteem who participated in violent sexual crimes in the early 1990s because she was afraid of losing her then-husband, Paul Bernardo.

"The experts mostly agree, if she hadn't met Bernardo, it would never have happened," Morissette told a hearing into whether Homolka should face restrictions when she is freed from prison in about a month.

So let me get this straight: Homolka was afraid that if she didn't rape and kill that she would loose the great catch she had in Paul Bernardo...

Look, I ain't a shrink, but to me that comment sounds psychophatic itself. You're afraid of loosing you're hubby so you decide to kill and rape? Isn't that a skewed vision of reality?

Hey, I don't know jack about Freud, but I'm willing to bet that if giving the opportunity she would re-offend. Her recent choice in boyfriends shows that she's learned nothing.

I don't want to say this, but I think this all mute. I'm expecting some sort of accident to happen to her no matter where she goes... Unless she gets plastic surgery that is...


I love how you can see the skin on his face roll back while he's making those turns... Then again that may be just him holding back the puke.

More Grewal

The Tories have responded to claims that they have tampered the audio tapes that show senior Liberals offering patronage appointments as bribes for Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal's support. Apparently there is audio missing from the recordings.

Someone screwed up.

This missing audio should be released to the public immediately. The longer they wait, the more the Liberals can spin this into a story of a Conservative cover up.

We don't want the public to focus on the few minutes of lost audio in the worst technical blunder I can't think of to happen in the world of politics. We want the public to be focusing on this:
"[Conservative Leader Stephen Harper] will have to deal with [Tory MP Gurmant Grewal, who made the tapes], but we have to deal with our own... The use of the words 'Senate' and 'foreign posting,' even if no offer was made, is totally odious. There are several MPs who are remaining silent but who think Murphy and Dosanjh have crossed the threshold of acceptable political discourse."

Who said this? Sarnia Liberal MP Roger Gallaway. A Liberal MP calling on the health minister and Paul Martin's right hand man to resign?... The stench is so bad even Liberals can't take anymore.

Someone needs to get canned...

Another episode in the Grewal affair claims that some Conservative MP's think that Grewal's tactics were immoral. I think what should be immoral is for reporters to publish allegations without direct evidence to back up that claim.

If someone in the caucus did say this to the reporter writting this article, or whoever the source is for this story, should be canned without delay... Tape recording a crime is no crime - it's evidence. It would be ridiculous to say otherwise. It only becomes immoral if you're tape recording someone who is doing nothing wrong - that's a violation of their privacy.
He was taken to task at caucus Wednesday and told his actions were dishonest, wrong and brought disrepute to all politicians.

No actually his actions were courageous and he is being demolished for doing the right thing.

I really doubt anyone in the caucus really did say this. Somehow I'm thinking this reporter just talked to a disgruntled Tory friend of his in a bar last night and decided his friend's wild lunatic drunken ravings would be a honky dory story idea.


It's a sufficiently neutered name for NASA to call the asteroid with the best likelihood of hitting this flying rock. Playing pool with planets doesn't mean you have to call your poll balls by nerdy half-witted names that will easily be forgotten. I can just imagine if NASA had called the thing a more biblical apocalyptical "Wormwood"... On second thought naming asteroids after biblical references isn't a good idea.

Not that I want to bring about the end of the world. Far from it. That's why I have to speak out against this:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) said in a phone interview on Friday that he supports former Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart's proposal to create a federal asteroid-response agency. Rohrabacher said he will push Congress and the president to "take action on this by the end of the year."

Space Pragmatist thinks this is a good idea.

The whole fate of humanities future rests in another government bureaucracy? Ain't that quaint? Better yet, let's put NASA in charge of the operation, they'll spend your 300 mill on 3 one inch thick reports and conclude that were all screwed and there is nothing we can do about flying doomsday rocks in space. Because honestly folks there is nothing we can do about MN4 even if we wanted to.

Most plans of action around stopping an asteroid or comet from crashing into Terra Nova don't involve the sexy Armageddon or Deep Impact scenarios of landing on the things and detonating bombs. No. Most know that a true Life-killer sized asteroid would never be stopped no matter how many nuclear bombs we lobed at it. The only way we could stop one is to detect it decades ahead of time. Once we've figured out which rock has us in her crosshairs we could technically launch of multi year mission to slowly modify it's orbit out of a collision course with the planet.

At this point we have problems even going to low earth orbit. And somehow we expect to detect a flying rock millions of miles away and launch a mission to stop it with what little capabilities we have? Even if we did have settlements on the Moon or Mars no mission is perfect, and there would be high likelihood of failure if NASA's deep space mission failure rates are any measure.

Nope there is only one way to ensure the survival of the human race: expand, colonize, and don't look back. So long as we remain a one world species, we will have the problems of having all our marbles in one pot.

Space Pragmatist is right in his first post a while back. His optimism, no matter how refreshing, is misplaced in my opinion. I'd like to believe that humanity is powerful enough to save itself from extinction in a heroic long term deep space mission - but I have doubts. He's right though to suggest that we need to pay more attention to NEOs like MN4.

No, if we ever see a confirmation of an impact anytime in the future, you better start measuring your coffin.

Addendum: Reading over this post I can't help but feel like I've been a little hard on Space Pragmatist. I don't really agree with him on this one, but I do appreciate the fact that he knows miles and miles more than I do so I hope he doesn't take offence to anything in this post. And I'm glad he's back to regular posting after his week long hiatus.

Grewal tapes exposes liberal media bias...

I just finished watching reporter Julie Vandusen from the CBC explain to everyone that the Grewal tapes help no one and hurt everyone politically equally. What a bunch of crap.

The Liberals were caught red handed insinuating, without explicitly offering, a bribe to Grewal in return for his vote. Why does Julie believe that is somehow equally as bad for the Tories? Because Grewal was recording his conversations. And recording conversations is a shadowy thing to do.

How horrible. And MP gets wind of wrongdoing so he records it for evidence, and he's considered by Julie Vandusen to be less than above reproach for doing it. I guess Julie must think that all those federal civil servants that broke the silence in the sponsorship scandal and came out to testify against their former bosses are equally smeared as their bosses are... Or is that not ideologically pure enough for my comrades at the CBC?

Ironic that the man who leaked the information in the Watergate scandal in the US has revealed his identity today. The legendary informant "Deep Throat" was considered to be a hero by many. Grewal should be seen the same - not through the skewed Politburo-like analysis of Julie Vandusen.