Dark Day

Terri Schiavo is dead.

I wish I could say something hopefull or inspirational right now. All I can say is that nothing will be the same.

Today the most fundamental right that we have, our right to live and to exist, has been challenged and discredited. Terri Schiavo's case was just the beginning. I have great fears of where we will be heading next.

There were many people that saw this as a "quality of life" issue. To those people this day won't be remembered. To those people this day will only be an after thought. But to those of us that know that Terri was alive, and that she could feel pain, this was the beginning.

I hope and pray that I'm sincerely wrong. I hope that it goes no farther than here. Something tells me it will go farther, and many people on both sides of the debate won't like where we are heading.

Warren Vs. ALW

Oh you had to know I was going to comment on Warren "I live in Fantasy Land" Kinsella's latest rant against ALW. And something tells me I won't be the only one by the end of the day, and there are probably more that have already commented on it.
March 30, 2005 - My comments below about Big Tobacco elicited this crazed response from a first-year law student named Aaron Lee Wudrick at Western.

It was the usual stuff: defamatory, profoundly stupid, and so on. Whatever. But what I found most interesting was that little logo in the bottom right-hand corner. Are my eyes deceiving me, or is this kook - and kooks like him - actually writing stuff like this with the approval of the Conservative Party? If so, why? If not, how did he gets his hands on the Conservatives' logo, and what steps are they taking to quickly get it back? Is it the position of John Tory and Stephen Harper that Big Tobacco is swell? (I rather doubt it, but one never knows, these days.)

I don't know what Warren is talking about. There was nothing "defamatory" or "profoundly stupid" about his comments. This is what Warren is busting ALW over:
Poor old Warren seems deeply disturbed by his instincts that there's "Big Tobacco money" behind this group. And who knows - he might be right! But that doesn't change the substance of the message - that Dalton McGuinty is indeed Mr.Nanny, and his government seems hell bent on meddling in our everyday lives as much as bureaucratically possible. Perhaps Warren doesn't grasp that maybe, just maybe, people don't like government in their face at every turn.

I'm thinking good ol' ALW got under Warren's skin. And Warren didn't want to play no more when ALW hurt his feelings-sob!-poor Warren.

You know what: It's true. The message is right: Dalton McGuilty and the rest of his merry band of Fiberal liars deceived the Ontario public, and in their desperate search for a purpose, after breaking every promise they made, they've decided to go on this Nanny State patrol to meddle in whatever they can. Sorry Warren but you can keep on poutting - it won't make a difference... We all know the truth.

Tip o' the hat to the Hunter.

CAUTION: Sales Taxes may be hazardous to your health...

Mark Whittington is in love with the idea of a national sales tax.

Canadians have a little experience in this category. The last time a Conservative government was in power in this country (over 15 years ago) a national sales tax was introduced called the GST...

My understanding is that those fighting for a sales tax said that a consumption based tax system would make the system more fair and simplified. So introducing a sales tax means nothing to those fighting for it unless income taxes and all other taxes are eliminated.

The GST was introduced in this country over 15 years ago. We still have an income tax. We still have taxes rates that are increasing every year. Today we work more for the government then we do for ourselves (That isn't an exageration).

The GST has become the most notoriously hated tax in Canadian history. It was part of the reason why the Conservative movement split in two in this country and started it's long journey in the wilderness before we re-unified.

Just a word of caution.

John Linder may have good intentions... But something tells me not everyone does. Some people will try to use this as an excuse to raise taxes - especially those RINO's in the US that didn't like the Bush tax cut.

Dividing The Right

Conservative leader Stephen Harper's fate will literally be decided based on what happens in a nameless boring parliamentary comittee.

The Liberals have obviously bundled the Kyoto provisions, a long with the offshore revenue agreement as an attempt to divide the Conservative Party along the East West divide.

Giving Eastern provinces a better share of offshore oil and gas revenues was a central theme of the Conservative campaign. Voting against it would be poke in the eye to the East, and would really tick off Newfounland Conservative Premier Danny Williams. And as we all know you don't want to tick off Danny.

Meanwhile the Kyoto protocol would kill Alberta's burgeoning economy and it's freakishly Conservative population wouldn't be happy with a Conservative Party that voted for Kyoto and propped the governing party up instead of bringing it down like good western Conservatives should.

Bundling the two together was brilliant strategy on the part of the Liberals. Dividing the right was the main beating rod Jean Chretien loved to use. The current Prime Minister Paul Martin employed it again with his tactic of appointing Senators from out west that were labelled "Progressive Conservatives." (For all you Americans out there the Progressive Conservative Party doesn't exist anymore - it merged with the rightist Canadian Alliance ending a decade of vote splitting between the two parties).

My only hope is that Harper can split up the two in that comittee before it's too late.

"...many Americans are bigots."

Don't look at me. I didn't say it. It was Joe Ford, who has something in common with Terri Schiavo.
The reason for this public support of removal from ordinary sustenance, I believe, is not that most people understand or care about Terri Schiavo. Like many others with disabilities, I believe that the American public, to one degree or another, holds that disabled people are better off dead. To put it in a simpler way, many Americans are bigots. A close examination of the facts of the Schiavo case reveals not a case of difficult decisions but a basic test of this country’s decency.
...
Besides being disabled, Schiavo and I have something important in common, that is, someone attempted to terminate my life by removing my endotracheal tube during resuscitation in my first hour of life. This was a quality-of-life decision: I was simply taking too long to breathe on my own, and the person who pulled the tube believed I would be severely disabled if I lived, since lack of oxygen causes cerebral palsy.(I was saved by my family doctor inserting another tube as quickly as possible.) The point of this is not that I ended up at Harvard and Schiavo did not, as some people would undoubtedly conclude. The point is that society already believes to some degree that it is acceptable to murder disabled people.

I can't argue with someone who's had these experiences. Although I wouldn't label those on the other side of the debate "bigots," his perspective is one that those that want to end Terri's life should read. I honestly just believe that many don't know all the facts about Terri's case. In Canada most people base all their opinions unfortunately on a handfull of news organizations that don't exactly have the highest news quality - ahum - I mean they have a bias - ahum - I mean a huge bias - ahum - I mean they might as well call it Soviet Propaganda.

That being said if that's how he views the people of a country that had two legislatures, a President, and a Governor that pushed the limits of the law to try to save Terri's life, then I wonder how he would judge us Canucks.

By the looks of public opinion here, I wouldn't doubt that Terri would have been dead a long time ago if she was Canadian. Joe Ford if you think Americans are bigots, then Canada is on the fringes of fiery hell.

If the courts wouldn't get her the healthcare system here sure would. The socialist institution would have probably made her wait 5 weeks just to get the surgery performed to insert the tube in the first place. Either that or they would make her wait 2 weeks then tell her OHIP doesn't cover that procedure. And of course, heaven forbid, she try to go to one of those private clinics to pay to get the work done, because as we all know politicians can do that but regular Canucks can't live in a "two-tiered" healthcare system.

Tip 'o the hat to The Curt Jester.

Real UN Reform

In the Annan circus some new proposals for UN reform have popped up.

Now I don't understand why I would offer helpful advice to the UN. I personally have no real issue with the UN. I just have a problem with those busy bodies inside the organization that have an agenda to turn it into a world government. Because of that I have a real distrust for the United Nations in general. My father used to say everyone needs a healthy distrust of authority. So if that's true, I probably account for a good chunk of the Canadian distrust.

Either way when I read the proposed new structure for the UN security council I found myself considering what I would do if I honestly wanted the UN to regain relevance:
Annan offers two proposals that increase the membership from 15 to 24. There are currently five permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Proposal A suggests adding six new permanent seats without veto: two from Africa, two from Asia and the Pacific, and one each from Europe and the Americas. Three more two-year seats would also be added for a total of 13.

No countries are named, but the most likely candidates for the new permanent seats would almost certainly be Nigeria, South Africa, India, Japan, Germany and Brazil.

Security Council proposal B would create no new permanent seats, but would add a new category: eight renewable four-year seats, two each for Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. An 11th two-year, non-renewable seat would also be added.

First of all I asked myself the question what was the original purpose of the Security Council? It was comprised of the prime nuclear powers of the day. The reason was obvious: to prevent a nuclear war. When a country gets a nuclear weapon it becomes a whole new class of nation. Nuclear bombs I've always believed are like guns: they are the greatest equalizer. Big nation or small, if you have an atom bomb, you are listened to. Unlike Canada, which for the most part is ignored.

So why not entrench that principle? Eliminate these "rotating" memberships. And stipulate that the sole requirement for a seat on the Security Council is the possession of a nuclear weapons. That would bring countries like India, Pakistan, and Israel onto the security council.

That would give the Council real relevance. It would go back to it's original role which was to prevent a nuclear holocaust from occurring. Today that threat is more of a regional one and smaller. But for some people in the world it would be real nonetheless. It would also bring a new perspective on global security issues like peacekeeping from former colonies like India.

It would also buttress the UN against irrelevance in the future. Because the countries they place on the council may be relevant now, but in the future they might not be. With a rule like this one relevant countries are guaranteed to be placed on the council once they have reached that level of development.

Some people will say that this will encourage Nuclear proliferation. My answer to that is that no one can stop nuclear proliferation. Not so long as nuclear bombs are the great equalizer that they are. And that won't change unless by an act of God an atomic war becomes survivable...

Either way it's all academic. The real reason the UN has lost credibility is that it's dominated by elite leftist activists, the general assembly passes ridiculously biased resolutions against Israel, and it gave up all pretence of really respecting human rights when it put the worst human rights violators in positions of authority in the UN.

Contradictions From George Felos

The fact that George Felos, Micheal Schiavo's attorney, has dabbled into into New Age mysticisms isn't what concerns so much, it's the frequent contradictions that come out of his mouth.

Today Micheal Schiavo's attorney is relaying to the public the message that a full autopsy will be performed on Terri before she is cremated to alleviate our concerns about them hiding something sinister. Although we don't know who will perform the autopsy, something tells me that it will be a doctor that Felos knows well.
"He's requested this very strongly," Michael Schiavo's lawyer George Felos told reporters. "He believes it's important to have the public know the full, the full and massive extent of the damage to Mrs. Schiavo's brain that occurred through the cardiac arrest in 1990."

Really? If Terri's brain were really that far gone then why do we always hear from you Micheal's claim that his wife would have never wanted to go on living under these circumstances? If she really is brain dead then this isn't a right-to-die case, and George Felos (a known right-to-die advocate), shouldn't be involved at all because Terri isn't conscious in the first place. This wouldn't be a case of a woman deprived of "quality of life." This would be a case of a dead woman with parents that are unwilling to let go . So why bring up the "right-to-die" issue at all? It's either one or the other not both.
Felos said Terri "has never been on a morphine drip." She has received two small doses of five milligrams of morphine a week ago and on Sunday, but not for pain relief, he added without elaborating.

I'm not a doctor, but if the morphine wasn't used for pain relief what was it used for? It doesn't have that many uses...

It's time that George Felos choose one argument or the other. Either Terri is alive, conscious and can feel pain, and she would have wanted to die, or she is brain dead, unable to feel pain, and it doesn't matter whether the tube is removed or kept there because the real Terri isn't there anymore. At least that would be logical.

People on the other side of this debate have to choose one side or the other. You can hide behind contradictions. You can't hide behind truth.

Go LEADS!

Mark Whittington wrote a piece on the future of Lunar exploration a few days ago that deserves mention.
The fourth option proposes the creation of a Lunar Exploration and Development Authority (LEAD) to fund and build the lunar infrastructure needed.
...
The stated objective of the LEAD is to, “open space to enterprise, markets and ultimately sustained autonomous, self-supporting activities. A similar institutional innovation is required to assure early industrial, private and international market involvement, in analogy to the East India Company of ages past and of Comsat/Intelsat of the Space Age.”

Reminds me of another corporation that's pretty important in the history of the Canadian frontier: the Hudson's Bay Company. The company was given a virtual monopoly on the fur trade throughout the North West Territories by the British Empire. Canada's owes it's early expansion days to HBC, which has turned itself today into a chain of retail department stores oddly enough.

Though in light of these comments from the new NASA administrator Mike Griffin I'm a little concerned:
“What the U.S. gains from a robust, focused program of human space exploration is the opportunity to carry the principles and values of western philosophy and culture along with the inevitable outward migration of humanity into the solar system,” he said. Such an effort, he noted, would be similar to the influence the British Empire had because of its mastery of the seas. “Can America, through its mastery of human space flight, have a similar influence on the cultures and societies of the future, those yet to evolve in the solar system as well as those here on Earth? I think so, and I think our descendants will consider it to have been worth twenty cents per day.”

There were also unfortunate effects of both the British Empire and the Hudson's Bay Company. In the case of the latter was the fact that a single company was given a government sponsored monopoly on the early Canadian frontier. This prevented other competitors from moving in and possibly decreasing prices.

In the case of the British Empire, I don't think I need to mention to Mark a little problem with Tea in Boston to remind him of those pesky little issues of an Empire's influence on a burgeoning frontier people.

Canadians on Terri Schiavo

Why doesn't This suprise me? This doctor's diatribe on "community" is a little weird and smacks of "group-think" dogma, but he's right that the Liberals going to be pushing for doctor assisted suicide in this country in the next coming years. The debate on Schiavo's case in the States scares the living daylights out of Canadians like me in terms of where we could be heading.

Apparently Svend Robinson has come back from his brief departure from the national scene to say this:
"Fundamentally, the issue, it seems to me, is the question of the right of an individual to make these decisions for themselves," Robinson said in a CTV interview.

Robinson added he finds it appalling that American politicians and "outside forces" have intervened in what he believes should have been the decision of Schiavo and her husband.

I was hoping that after Svend had gotten caught stealing jewellery last year and was forced to quit federal politics that maybe he might come out of that experience a little more humble and a little more apt to consider what other people's points of view are.

Apparently he's learned nothing. For him this is all about the "right to die," and American politicians are "appalling." What he should be appaled about is that woman that can feel pain, is starving to death as we speak, after a series of trials in which she had no representative, and after judges have made mind boggling decisions that have left some legal experts stunned.

I would email Svend to try to explain that to him, but he's probably flown already off to Israel, to confront another Israeli soldier on TV again...

Nuclear Rockets and Space Elevators...

I've been meaning to comment on this for days but I've gotten distracted lately...
NASA's going ahead with its Centennial Challenges push to encourage the commercialization of space. I get the tinglies just reading this.

Then I start getting doubts:
Even if the ultimate missions that the prizes are geared toward never come to fruition, the technologies developed in the process will be useful to NASA and others, Sponberg said in an interview prior to the announcement. Beaming energy for a space elevator can also be applied to beaming power from Earth to support a Moon base, he said. High-stress composite materials would be useful in the air travel industry.

This kind of reminds of me Al Gore turning down the Delta Clipper for a next generation launch vehicle because it didn't present enough of a technical challenge. It was like he was kicking a gift horse in the mouth. Better design, better chance of success, hence Al Gore doesn't like it. These prizes stand little chance of being usefull. NASA takes two steps forward and one step back.

I guess given that Congress hasn't fully approved the total amount of money NASA wants to spend yet, these prizes were probably the best ideas they could come up with given the circumstances. But honestly, we can't even get into orbit using conventional methods at a reasonable cost. How do people expect to do it building the tallest man made structure ever made? Space Elevators? Is that technically challenging: yes. So much it stands little chance of success. So by Al Gore standards it's a good waste of taxpayer money.

Then Dyson comes into the fray:
"Keep the space science going," the 81-year-old Dyson advised the agency. And "build the infrastructure" and set policies that encourage private enterprise to enter space.

Dyson worked on the Orion project in the late 1950s. Orion was a parallel program to Apollo. It planned to detonate nuclear devices to launch a spacecraft. "The thing could have flown," he said. The project was dropped because of the now-obvious nuclear fallout problem, he said.

Sure the thing would have. But at what cost? Would it have been any better than conventional rockets? Look at the ridiculous culture of anti-risk at NASA... Imagine how much worse it would be when you start talking about nuclear detonations. Plus Gas Core Nuclear Rockets have been actually tested before and have shown promising results. I would put my money on something that's actually been tested before something that hasn't.

Either way, there needs to be a change in attitude towards nuclear technology - especially when it's used in space - before anything like that would ever happen.

Whether it's space elevators or nuclear rockets, we are so far away from that right know that it's more like science fiction. At least that's the way I see it.

Ok, the rant's over.

Bottle Rocket Bonkers...

SpaceDaily's Solid Rocket Booster article this morning is making me a little confused.

Solid Rocket Booster's were one of the design features of the space shuttle that was supposed to reduce the costs of going into space. An SRB is basically like a bottle rocket. Solid propellant is formed and placed inside the rocket. A star point hole is drilled through the center of the solid propellant and the interior of the rocket is designed to ensure that all sections of the propellant are ignited appropriately.

And like a bottle rocket once you ignite it, there is no turning back. There is no engine shutdown. ...You've just lit rocket fuel, good luck if you've screwed anything up, because there is no way to stop it until it's burned every last inch. That was Werner Vaun Braun's problem with SRB's, so he stuck with liquid rockets with lots of turbines and moving parts in early days of NASA. With liquid rockets you can shut down the engine. It was the legendary argument in Engineering favouring control over cost. Quite frankly based on my experience in small piddly engineering projects I'm more apt to favour control as well so I can't blame the grand master Vaun Braun himself.

Though SRB's are simple. No moving parts, and they should be relatively easy to build. Like a child building bottle rockets it should be easy. Somehow the costs doubled from the Apollo years.

But this is the final nail in the coffin for SRB's:
The Space Shuttle's solid rocket motors are periodically tested to ensure they can withstand environments similar to those generated by an actual motor during flight. For example, the motor's insulation materials must withstand chamber gas temperatures that reach 5,652 degrees Fahrenheit during a Shuttle launch.

If it worked once, twice, thrice, and a hundred times, why do they need to test it periodically? Maybe somewhere out there someone has an awnser to this, but to me it makes no sense. All of this should have been done during the design phase of the space shuttle. For them to do continously makes me wonder.

If I designed a process that required a central component to be tested periodically I'm sure the Engineers around me would conclude that the system I designed wasn't very robust. I would probably agree, and hope I wouldn't get fired.

Poor Terri

I go to sleep. Terri Schiavo.

I wake up. Terri Schiavo.

I eat. Terri Schiavo.

I can't escape her. No matter what I do. No matter how I try to avoid it.

I believe in the "Culture of Life" and the sanctity of life. For me this is murder. For me this is Judicial Tyranny. For me this whole affair is something I'd rather not even see.

Terri's skin is pealing right now. She's bleeding. And my only hope is that they continue to give her the pain killers she's been given for years to minize the pain.

No matter what I do, I keep on getting hit with it. And then last night the media reported that the Schindlers are filing new information that suggests that Terri Schiavo tried to vocalize the words "I want to live."

Listening to commenters, one asked why the family waited 5 days to release this information. It was at that moment that I realised that I knew more than this reporter. The truth is that the lawyer had posted this information on a blog for Terry days ago. I don't have the link right know, but I distinctly remember it.

It amazing that bloggers can receive this information and absorb it faster some members of the media. But that's another story.

If Terri dies a vocal minority in US politics will no longer believe in the rule of law. This is a dangerous thing. If a small, yet significantly large enough portion of the population no longer believes that the state, and the courts will protect their rights then chaos ensues.

Any disabled relative will immediately think about kidnapping or other method to attempt to prevent their deaths in mercy killing cases, or similar cases. If the public believes that the courts have a bias, then they will no longer trust them.

People will take the law into their own hands. And that's the most dangerous thing to come out of this case.

Terri's Last Days

I've been trying to avoid saying anything on Terri Schiavo lately. Curmudgeons has been blogging a storm for his part. Although I can tell by the way he's blogging lately that I'm not alone right now. Part of the reason I haven't said much is because I really don't know how to react...

Terri never had a lawyer present to represent herself during her trial proceedings. You would figure that a judge would appoint someone to represent her interests in these proceedings - or else how would an opposing point of view be included in the trial?

Terri's parents, and many friends have gone on record to say that Terri would have never wanted to die under these circumstances.

Doctors, including a Nobel Nominated Neurologist, have questioned whether Terri is really incapable of consciousness. Her CAT Scans have been posted on the internet and respected doctors have questioned court doctors opinions that her brain was incapable of thought.

Terri has been given pain killers by the hospice where she's been cared for. No explanation has been given of why Nurses would feel the need to give pain killers to someone that is supposedly incapable of feeling pain.

A Nurse that cared for Terri has gone on the record saying that Micheal Shiavo once said "When is that bitch going to die?" She said she also thought Terri was capable of thought, and was conscious.

Terri's brain damage has never been explained. It's only theorized that she was bulimic and this was the cause of the brain damage. However when ambulance personnel first came on the scene the case was originally labeled a homicide. Again no one has explained why the police never investigated further.

How do I feel? I feel like the world has been turned upside down. Those that feel that Terri Schiavo should die I don't think are aware of these facts. Much of this evidence was suppressed during the trials. And quite frankly I get the impression that some people are just more willing to label this as being a pet issue of the "Christian Right," and that it's part of their agenda. It's a convenient stereotype to use. This has nothing to do with agendas. And quite frankly many Democrats I'm sure agree with me on this issue. This has to do with a disabled woman's right to live.

I only know only one thing. If Terri dies, then nothing will be same.

Addendum: Ralph Nader has come out in support of Terri Schiavo.

Send Emails To Aliens

Reading this I found out about talktoaliens.com. Want to send an email 1 to 3 light years into space to the aliens beyond? They'll do it for ya - for a price.

Apparently the folks behind CSXT, the group that flew the first amateur rocket into space last year, are giving these guys a hand in their little venture.

It's a great idea. If there are aliens out they might as well be bombarded with spam...

What happens if the Aliens misinterpret all the spam as an attack? They would desire bloody revenge against the merciless humans and the electronic messages... Now that would be a hilarious sci-fi short.

Dictatorships.... Dictatorships...

As you've all heard by now Daillaire and host of others have been appointed to the senate. Dallaire's appointment was obviously meant to be a distraction from the senate reform question.
The list specifically refers to the two new Tories as "Progressive Conservatives" - the now-defunct federal party that merged with the Alliance to form the Conservative Party of Canada. It wasn't immediately clear why the distinction was made.

Please... It don't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's going on here. This is the worst Gerrymandering I have ever seen. For Paul Martin to have taken an action like this one it's the clearest indicator ever that Martin pays only lip service to democratic reform.

It's time that Canada joing the 21st century and become a democracy. That means electing the members of all our leglislative bodies.

More Buck Rogers

There is a lot of truth to this article.

And it also explains why so many people talk about how when they were wee lads they would dream about space...

The truth is at some point in most people's lives the bubble bursts with the realisation that in human history only a half dozen hundred people have ever gone into space. In other words, my own personal chance at getting my own derriere blasted on a rocket: zero.

Also to be selected to be an Astronaut you need to get an amazing resume, be in top physical shape (although you don't really need to be to go in space), and even then you have to compete in a pool of 1000 similar people every year for one single position. And even then if you do get selected you might be put on a flight 4 years away... If the flight doesn't get cancelled then you get one shot at an adventure of a lifetime. Oh, and good luck if you're a Canuck getting on an American bird.

It's selfish.

At some point I realised that. Why should I get to go on the taxpayers back when no one else gets the chance? What makes a bunch of NASA-sucks ups, in Chris Hadfield's words, "deserve" the right to go into space?

When I dreamed about going into space as a kid I thought of Buck Rogers, or Enterprise - where everyone got a chance to go. That's what NASA has lost - the inspiration that even you could go into space.

Instead NASA is much more interested in testing dead frog legs, and seeing how mice crap in space. That's not my idea of space exploration. That's not space cowboys, that's space nerds.

That's what I'm hoping a new private commercial launch market will provide. A chance at real colonization - more Buck Rogers less David Suzuki.

We should be focused on creating real economies utilizing space resources, and colonization to go along with it. Anything else looks nice on a documentary, but it's not what got Von Braun, Aldrin, or any high chinned kid involved in engineering and science.

Alien Fart Detected

Courtesy of IAM(also)CANADIAN proof of life on Mars has been found in the form of an alien fart... Isn't that nice?

Keep in mind Titan, the largest of the Saturnian moon's, has an atmosphere that is mostly methane... That would make for a helluva blue angel~!

*(&(!!(*#

Why doesn't this surprise me? What did Andrew Mills hide in a plant pot somewhere to eavesdrop?
"It's a huge slap in the face to young people," said David Burnie, a 22-year-old who has been a member of the Progressive Conservative party for five years. "I once was dedicated to the Conservatives — not any more."

No what was a slap in the face was that all the options put forward for any youth wing included delegate quotas for conventions... And here I thought Conservatives didn't believe in quotas, silly me.
"The Conservative Party of Canada has just denied you a voice," it reads. "Do not despair. You can join a party that allows you the right to BE HEARD."

Sure they'll listen, they'll promise to make it better, and then they'll get elected and just to make it full circle they'll forget about ya and break those promises in the first place. To each his own.
On Saturday afternoon, in a quiet hallway at the Conservative policy convention in Montreal, a swift and nasty row broke out when a small group of young Tories, who supported the party's decision, tried to break up a larger, angrier group trying to create a defiant youth wing.

Where did this happen? I must've been living in lala land while this was going on.
The verbal fight — barely noticed but out in the open — was a sign that, at least for those who will one day inherit this still fractious party, the convention designed to mend those fractures didn't work.

What a putts. Just 'cause you say it, don't make it true. I admit to being dissapointed on some matters coming out the convention. I don't understand why some things were done, but it was nothing serious. It's like this stuff is almost borderline Soviet propaganda.
Young members won't become powerful political pawns, advocates who shape the party's agenda and voting blocs just waiting to be mobilized by crafty candidates trying to get elected by the party.

Hunh? Isn't that a good thing? I would think that I wouldn't want to be a powerful political pawn. I would want to be a full and equal member of the party.

As for a voting bloc? What are we a union?!!! Sorry I don't want to be pawn. Something tells me that I like having a mind of my own.

Young Tories want to know why they lost the vote on a youth wing? Because young party members like me weren't convinced. Convince me that a quota system is good and being told to go play in my own sandbox is a nice thing. It's either that, or you actually propose a youth wing that doesn't include those elements and I'll vote for it.

Terri's Last Chance

Terri's case will go before the Supreme Court. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected her right to a stay of execution. In doing so, it refused to uphold for Terri the same right given to prisoners on death row. I cannot understand why.

A Nurse that has cared for Terri in the past, has given testimony in a sworn affidavit that implicates Micheal Schiavo in trying to end his wife's life, and furthermore that Terri is very aware, and can ingest some fluids on her own.

Judges have not heard this evidence. In fact no representative for Terri was allowed in any of the court proceedings in Florida. A woman is being starved to death based on a trial where she had no representative. Also much of the evidence that could have supported the case to keep Terri alive has been suppressed from the courts.
"This is a clear cut case of judicial tyranny. All the judges who have ruled against Terri are tyrants, and we fully expected this decision," said Tammy Melton, 37, a high school teacher from Monterey, Tenn.

The concept of a judge has its roots in ancient Israel before Israel had kings. Judges were strong men that would rise up in a time of turmoil and make things right in Jerusalem. Judges were the heroes of ancient Israel. They were in many cases common men, that came to the people's defense. A Judge literally was someone who saved.

Right now Terri needs a true Judge.

Stick To The Basics...

Clark Lindsey is creative with his timeline on private space efforts.

I'd like to believe that private space efforts to get to the moon could beat NASA at it's own game in the race for space - but I can't bring myself to believe it. Imagine that... A private initiative by private citizen's beating big government in space... Reminds me of another Book called Rocket Ship Gallileo.

First of all the only real success civilian or private space initiaves have to draw on is the Space Ship One's win of the X-Prize. But we still don't even have customers flying in the bird yet paying ticket fares. And that's just one supplier, we don't have that essential ingredient for this enchilada of Free Market Enterprise in Space: Competition. I'm sure we will, but until we do thinking about getting to LEO is whole other ball game and requires a lot more effort.

Bigelow's 50 million dollar America Prize is an amazing idea. And I honestly hope I'm wrong in saying this, but I don't believe it's winnable this time around. Bigelow is just too far ahead of his time. A prize like this one would be more usefull in ten years time. Right now we're having problems just getting our collective behinds in sub-orbital let alone LEO, or going Lunar for that matter.

Stick to the basics. Get a sub-orbital tourism market going, and slowly increase the speeds and the altitudes of the vehicles until it becomes another stepping stone to get to LEO. Competition will drive that as soon as TGV, Blue Origin, and SpaceDev come a 'roaring.

It's like Robert Heinlein used to say once your in LEO, you've reached half the energy you'll need to get anywhere else in the solar system. The hardest steps are the first. (Robert Heinlein was the author of Rocket Ship Gallileo, and if you're still breathing and haven't read one of his books I would slap you if I could).

Crap who am I kidding? This world's going to hell in a handbasket faster than a meteorite. I'd better hope we have permanent settlements in space by 2025 at the rate things are going... Go Bigelow! Go!

No Right to Life

Terri's right to life has been effectively revoked.
Judge Whittemore wrote that Ms. Schiavo's "life and liberty interests" had been protected by Florida courts. Despite "these difficult and time strained circumstances," he wrote, "this court is constrained to apply the law to the issues before it."

No. Ms. Schiavo's liberty and life were not protected. She is being starved to death as we speak. And according to a Nobel nominated neurologist she can feel pain contrary to what many have been saying.

The law is meant to protect the rights of it's citizens. In the case of Ms. Schiavo, a woman who would respond to her parents, and received these injuries under very unusual circumstances that have lead some to believe foul play, her basic right to survive has been declared null and void.

Why?

Because her husband says he heard her, years ago, say that she would want to be killed under these circumstances. A claim refuted by Terri's parents. Furthermore many of Terri's closest friends say that this is not what Terri would have wanted and have gone on the record to say that Terri's relationship with her husband was never that good.

Surely that's enough for reasonable doubt. And in these cases if there is reasonable doubt, then we should always favour the side of life.

My heart goes out to the parents, friends, and family of Terri Schiavo. Terri is in her darkest hours right now.

Nothwithstanding a miracle to come out of these court challenges it seems like Terri's life is over. My hope is that a judge will at least allow Terri to spend her final dying hours with her parents and friends. Right know neither are being allowed to visit her by orders of her husband. Also all those visitors are strip searched for food incase they feed her. I hope some compassion will be shown eventually by someone.

Today a new era is dawning before western civilization. It's an era where a person's right to life is no longer respected. It's an era where euthenasia has been declared open season on the disabled. It's an era where Judges have lost the respect of the people they are supposed to serve. It's an era where the flood gates have been opened... And people may not like what they are opening themselves up to.

Saving Terri

Terri's feeding tube is about to be re-inserted.

I watched the coverage of the Congress passing the bill on both CNN and FOX. I can't believe how sickening it made me feel. FOX is supposed to be the tyrannically unbalanced Right Wing Nutso in the American media, while CNN is it's left wing equivalent.

Last night nothing was farther from the truth.

Fox presented both sides of the argument in a fair way. Watching CNN you would have thought that there was no dissenting opinion from doctors on whether Terri was in "persistant vegitative state," and that death by starvation isn't really a painful thing for people who are disabled. On FOX you find out that there is dissenting opinion.

It was horrible. At least FOX had debate. With CNN it was a closed and shut case.

That being said, it hasn't really been anyone in the media fighting this campaign. It has for the most part been bloggers that have kept the fight alive. They deserve all the credit here. It's something that Canadians should take notice of.

Update:
Terri's new judge is skeptical. Apparently he's a former Clinton appointee.
Brian Schiavo, Michael's brother, said he spent Sunday afternoon with his brother and Terri at the hospice, but Terri did not move or make any noises. ``Anybody that thinks that she talks and responds, they need to have a mental health examination,'' he said.


Apparently a Nobel Nominee Scientist Disagrees. Judge for yourself and listen to a recording of Terri Schiavo.

Tip o' the hat to Curmudgeons.

Shuttle Woes

The Shuttle is being rushed to return to flight and I don't really believe that anything they've done will prevent another Columbia disaster from happening again.

The Shuttle tile system for protection against re-entry is an accident waiting to happen regardless of the safety procedures put in place. At any moment, for multiple reasons, the tiles could fall off from the hull of the shuttle. Space debry could strike the shuttle and dislodge a tile even in orbit. So even if inspections are performed on the hull of the space shuttle in orbit, many things could happen before re-entry that would dislodge a tile in a potentially disastrous area.

That being said, previous missions have been flown successfully and have shown that this issue, if anything, is a minor one. Some risk is inherent in space travel, and will always be. You can't have a 0% risk in anything in life, and sometimes you have to live with a little risk. It's either that or you live in a bubble drinking apple juice your whole life.

But either way what NASA has done is more a PR exercise more than anything else as far as I'm concerned. The problem hasn't been solved, and what's worse we really don't know for sure that these new procedures would have prevented the Columbia accident from happening in the first place.

Good PR.

Bad Engineering.

Kicking Some Chair

The Main Stream Media (MSM) strikes back: Harper, MacKay deny rifts in relationship, party.
Harper also displayed a rare display of strong emotion when he kicked a chair during the convention but he told CTV's Craig Oliver that he couldn't remember what -- or who -- made him so angry.

"I think I kicked some balloons as well as I recall, and I can't honestly remember, Craig, but I will assure you that it was not you that I was thinking of."

Harper being passionate about something? Really? I thought he was nameless faceless tax accountant without emotion. What I think made Harper angry was the media and their ridiculous behaviour this past weekend.

The Liberals were right there is a group with a hidden agenda in this country: the MSM.

Terri Killers

Democrats are having a press conference on Terri Schiavo's case. None of them have argued against Terri being conscious or alive.

They are arguing that it would have been Terri's wish to end her life. One congresswoman said for us to think about when we have gone to a funeral in the past and said "God forbid I was in that situation..." They are also arguing for states rights - but Democrats don't believe in States Rights when it comes to medicaire or education or on any other issue - so why now?

Well, apparently Terri's parents and family, have no clue, according to congressional Democrats, what Terri's desires would be at this point.

And for the Democrats to use arguments for Euthenasia of Terri Schiavo is disengenious. Who would want to go through the pain of dying through starvation? That's not dignified death - that's murder. And that's exactly what will happen unless Congress passes this bill.

Democrats will never get elected if they bring down this legislation. They will be known as the people that killed Terri Schiavo.

This is about a woman's right to life. And I'm sorry, but that's every government's business to protect that most fundamental right. That trumps any state's rights.

New Rome

I've been wanting to post on Terri Shiavo for the past while now. I haven't had much to say. Most other bloggers have said everything. Then I found out that Terri apparently started to cry when she was told her feeding tube was going to be removed.

Does that sound like someone devoid of consciousness? Does that sound like someone who is brain dead? How many coincidences does Terri's husband need to have for him to figure out that his wife is still alive and he has no right to end her life.

If this happens, and Terri dies, it will signal that Western Civilization has entered a new era. An era where eugenics has become accepted as a norm - and don't kid yourselves that is what this case is all about.

We would become new Rome. And Rome didn't last forever.

Tip o' the hat to Curmudgeons.

Brain Fart

Harper at one point during his closing address referred to a conversation he had with his Communications guy months before the convention asking him what headlines the party should be looking to get out of this convention. His response was that if everything went for the worse the headline would be "Conservative Party Divided." If all went for the best the headline would read "Harper Papers over Cracks."

I doubt anyone in the main stream media was particularly happy with those comments. But the media should be ashamed at their behaviour at this convention.

First they dig up recycled news on a flyer that was released 2 weeks ago as new news, and then they take the emotional comments of MacKay coming out a workshop and broadcast it as national news. They were looking for a bad story, and they made one up.

MacKay I don't think was clearly thinking through what he was saying when he said it. Someone I know said he had a "brain fart." And that's about what it was. He made a mistake and the media hung us out to dry for it when there so many other positive things they could have mentioned like the amazing speech by John Baird, or the great speech from Harper on Friday night.

What really scares me is that the media - the source for all our news - can so drastically misrepresent events. I went to the convention. And I'm telling you there were two conventions: the one I went to, and the one the media went to.

I only noticed this after someone remarked about it to me, but apparently when the 84% approval rating was mentioned for Harper, which was much greater than the 70% initially predicted by the idiots at the Mop & Pail, the media almost seemed glum. Kind of like "Shucks no way to paint the party as a racist, facist, intolerant, or divided..."

Rick Mercer looked positively nervous in a convention of over 2700 conservatives.

And leave it up to the Mop & Pail to come up with the one possible negative headline they could: "Tories Vote To Support Traditional Marriage." Oh, how horrible... Thanks buddy, and thanks for Jane Tabers obsession with old men whacking Scott Reid in the back. You know what Jane - I'm suprised only one person whacked Scott. Nice job on reporting the news.

Here's the truth about the convention:
-It was the largest political convention in Canada
-The Motion suporting the Traditional Definition of Marriage passed with 75% support garnishing a majority in a majority of provinces and terroritories including Quebec.
-The resolution preventing a Conservative government from pasing a bill on Abortion passed by a narrow 55% to 45% margin - though it wasn't news anyways since Harper already made that commitment himself. I voted against the resolution, and I didn't expect it to pass. Elsie Wayne was amazing. She couldn't have fought a better fight for the Pro-Life movement if anyone could.
-Unfortunately MP Recall was defeated.
-The party took the stance that Private options in healthcare should be explored - so Ralph Klein won't be able to derail a federal campaign in the future.

Question everything. Never trust anything that comes from the Red Star, Mop & Pail, and especially the Not-So-Conservative Post.

The Two Conventions

So at some point today I was sitting down for lunch, after a hard day of standing in nameless policy and constitution rooms. Looking around me I noticed MacKay in a scrum with the media, and I couldn't help but thinking how lucky the party had been with this convention. There wasn't anything weird, or disastrous that had happened - at least not yet.

Then I decided to take a break from the convention for a bit, to see what's really happening out there in world. And then I see this and this.

Apparently MacKay is "Angry." He didn't look so angry the last time I saw him which was an hour ago.

And as for this mysterious flyer, I'd like to actually see it. I have not, and I haven't heard a peep from any delegate discussing anything like it. Someone in the Main Stream Media must have been working overtime to discove that little gem. And I'm sorry but how is this extremist? Christianity is under attack, not neccesseraly from the Liberal Party, but from modern culture in general.

How come there is no mention anywhere of the amazing speech given by John Baird? What about all the ethnic and cultural diversity that was shown last night? None of that made it on the CTV.

It's like there are two conventions. The real one I'm at, and the other one that is artificially produced by the media.

Van Horn Texas Future Spaceport?

That's what will happen if Jeff Bezos has his way.

Jeff is the man behind Amazon.com, and he also has a little space tourism venture called "Blue Origin" on the side.
Over the next 30 to 40 minutes, Simpson said Bezos told him the goal of his venture - known as Blue Origin - was to send a spaceship into orbit that launches and lands vertically, like a rocket.

“He told me their first spacecraft is going to carry three people up to the edge of space and back,'' Simpson said. “But ultimately, his thing is space colonization.”

First things first, this will be a real rocket ride with Blue Origin not some airplane on steroids. I'm thinking that he's planning on using some sort of Delta Clipper type rocket system... Come to think of it I remember reading somewhere I think speculation that was the direction he was going... Whatever it's been a long day, for all I know right know that's been common knowledge all along and I'm just too dazed to remember it know.

As for space colonization, I feel like I'm in touch with this Bezos guy. Nothing else really matters. If we can't have a permanent settlement in space where regular people can go as an escape from this world, than nothing else matters. Weird, it's like I have so much in common with all these freaking multi-millionaires.

There's only a gagillion dollars of difference between our bank accounts.

Though I'm wondering how serious they are. The real barrier it seems for most of these ventures is simple: funds. I figure you need to spend atleast 30 mill to get atleast a prototype bird made. And you need someone like Sir Branson to finance it further if you take Space Ship One experience as a baseline.

Does Bezos have that much cash lying around he can spare? Does anyone? I hope Virgin isn't the only one in the business of space tourism... I'd like to see those prices come down with some competition sooner rather than later.

Lapierre Don't Resign!

Please! Lapierre Don't Resign! You have been the main source entertainment I've received from this federal government... Without you, I would never have woken up to read quotes like these:

“It’s like we took over a house, all the rooms looked nice and okay, and then we opened the fridge… Inside, we found a big stinking fish. It smells up the house.”
(Toronto Star, March 20, 2004)

"People who are active in the party in Quebec now are not representative of the mainstream. The Liberal party in Quebec is a collection of has-beens. "
(Macleans Magazine, May 14, 1990)

“You know some people have lived in a dream world for years… Maybe it’s time they wake up – there’s an English Canada and a French Canada.”
(Kitchener-Waterloo Record, March 16, 1990)

Don't resign! Resist the pressure... Please for the sake of my personal comedic enjoyment don't go!

Hollywood's Conversion

Man o' Lou! This is the best spin I've seen from a lobby group in a while.

It's targeting right to heart of the Bush Presidency, that dreaded group everyone loves to hate - moral conservatives.
"We want to call on our friends in the studios to continue this trend and to continue to distribute to us family titles, because that's where we sell more movie tickets," John Fithian, the group's president, said at ShoWest, an annual convention of theater owners.

Because as we all know, sex-craven, morally oblivious, shock factor driven Hollywood has always pushed family titles. You know, it's not like they've been at all hostile to those in so-called "middle america" in the past. And it's not like they've snubbed religious movies like the Passion in the past... The Hollywood spinters must be working over time in Krazyfornia.
Like Valenti, Glickman said his biggest task is fighting movie piracy. Illegal copies of major films, often shot by camcorders off movie screens, can turn up for download on the Internet the same weekend the movies open. Pirated DVDs show up just days later.

Oh... So that's what this is all about. You see the Hue Hefner's need help from the feds to get this movie piracy thing sorted out. But they need the Dubya's help to do it.

The Nanny State Strikes!

The deficit, healthcare, seniors, homelessness, the environment, taxes, debt, two-tier health care, crime, are all critical issues facing Ontario today. How much Nancy Sue pays on dresses compared to Joe Blow isn't one of them.
TORONTO -- Why do women pay more than men for dry cleaning, hairstyling and clothing, among other things?

That's what Ontario Liberal Lorenzo Berardinetti is asking.

He he has introduced a private member's bill in the Ontario legislature to outlaw "gender-based" pricing.

What's next? Should we bend over so that the Nanny state can wipe our behinds now? Obviously McGuilty ain't convinced people are capable of making choices in a free market anymore so how can we be trusted with anything?

The Davinci Code Hoax

Because of this I won't be watching any Tom Hanks movies anytime too soon.

If any of you have read the Davinci Code I would strongly suggest that you read this to get the other side of the argument. What distresses me the most is people I know won't bother to read books by Nicky Gumble, or won't bother to read church history, but will more than likely read factless conspiracy stories that may do good to sell books but have no basis in reality.

My favorite boggus claim from the book so far is that the Merovingian royal line founded the city of Paris. Speaking from someone that's actually been there, I can tell you nothing can be farther from the truth. Rome built an encampment where the city of Paris is now located, and before that there was a Gaulish settlement on the same lands. Those Gaulish settlers is where the name "Paris" comes from.

Also, as far as I know, it was the church that originally encouraged the centralization of power in France around the Merovingian royal line. Why would the church encourage the ascention of a line of descendants that would be the secret enemies of the Catholic church? Sounds like suicide to me.

Wise Guys

All right, who was the wise guy that put this little gem in plain view of the MSM?

Well I'm waiting?
OTTAWA -- Stephen Harper is a dog of a leader, according to a picture sent out to Conservative delegates who will vote on his leadership at the party's upcoming convention in Montreal. The doctored picture has Harper's head pasted on the body of a dog over the headline, "This Dog Don't Hunt," and was mass e-mailed to delegates yesterday.

It's believed to be the work of hard-core right-wingers in the party who fear the Tory boss is turning the party into "Liberal Lite."

It's fine to send a joke to a couple buddies, but this is like committing self suicide. When are we going to learn as Conservatives we shouldn't be airing our dirty laundry in public?

The Liberals already have enough political ammunition to throw at us already without members of our party providing them with extra cannon fodder.

Please people think before you act.

A little aside... Here is the pic in Question:

Why's the Pentagon Involved?

I got this little tidbit from an article on Griffin:
During his stint at the Pentagon, Griffin also worked on concepts for solar system exploration. He was an impetus behind a NASA-Pentagon mission that uncovered the first credible evidence of water-ice on the moon.

The discovery buoyed the contention that water-ice at the lunar poles could be converted into breathing air for moon colonists or rocket fuel for expeditions elsewhere.

Never did I read anywhere on that mission that the Pentagon was involved. Maybe I must've been asleep while that whopper went by me.

Why is the Pentagon interested in water-ice at the lunar poles? How did Griffin sell a mission like this to the Pentagon?

In other words what threat exists that the Pentagon would need to receive intelligence on when it comes to lunar-ice? I'm thinking it's that if lunar ice deposits do exist they would be prime locations for lunar bases.

I can see the future of the moon being guided by those that control it's main resource: ice. If the US can control the ice deposits the moon becomes effectively American property. The ice would become the future battleground. It's interesting that the US Defense Department is looking that far ahead. I wonder what other governments of the world are thinking themselves.

Warren Kinsella In Fantasy Land

Warren Kinsella's March 11th posting was the worst political spin I have ever seen on a serious and deeply saddening story in the US about a judge shot to death by an accused criminal who stole a gun from the deputy beside him. The criminal was eventually caught, but this is what the ever living in fantasy land Warren Kinsella had to say about it:
The shooter hijacked a reporter's green Honda. We, meanwhile, are now (a) at Atlanta and (b) on I-75, where police are looking for the green Honda. Being Canadians, we are unused to this sort of thing (viz., our daughter has even written down the Honda's plate number, because we saw it on CNN at lunchtime, and is on the lookout). Being Americans, the Georgians we have talked to barely seem to be aware that anything is out of the ordinary.

Traffic on the Interstate is at a crawl, or stopped, as police search for the shooter. Things like this just don't happen every day in our neighbourhood, back in the snowy North.

In other words things are just so much better up here, because the Americans are so much worse off.

Warren is obviously oblivious to stories like this:

A 30-year-old Ottawa man is in police custody after three of his family members were found dead in their home Sunday morning.
...
"I got shock," neighborhood resident Michel Abdulnour told CJOH News. "Why here? Because they are nice neighbours here." His son Chady added: "It's very quiet here (in) the neighbourhood. I've never heard of this kind of stuff."

The Maxheleaus took frequent walks in the neighborhood. Michel Abdulnour described them as "nice, nice people."

I think Warren's problem is he selectively reads tragedy stories that only support his own world view. He would be better to take a look around at reality. If he did he would realize that no one nation on the planet is perfect, and no one nation is without those that are evil and commit evil acts.

Paul Martin is an Alien!

Paul Martin is an alien. Everything makes sense now. The stuttering, and the weird hand actions. Even his large head...

They're infiltrating us. You've all been warned!

So much for secret plans...

Does this really surprise anyone?

Iran's only recourse is to develop a nuclear weapon. What other options are really available? It's long term viability as a nation depends on it being able to sustain control. The only way to keep control is through power. Iran as a nuclear power would change the balance of the entire middle eastern political situation. That includes both Iran's internal political situation, as well as the region's.

No one, not even the US would invade Iran if it had a nuclear bomb in its arsenal. And furthermore Iran needs to show a strong hand against its foes if it has any hope of convincing the populace that it isn't nearing collapse.

That leaves Israel little choice as well. Iran has declared itself to be Israel's mortal enemy on numerous occasions. I don't see any other choice for Israel to make but to protect itself from a Nuclear Iran.

That being said Canada should mind its own business and stay out of the affair. Diplomatically it should use whatever means it has to convince Iran not to pursue that course, but realistically they will anyways for the reasons listed. It should do it anyways for the sake of hope.

Getting involved militarily by either the US or Canada is a quagmire waiting to happen. It would be better to let Israel take the initiative in this situation. After all they're the ones that are really affected by this.

Tip o' the hat to Nealenews.

Hollywood Should Be Worried

A new poll from Angus Reid shows that a majority of Americans believe that Hollywood movies are lowering moral standards in the US.

Hollywood should be worried.

Entertainment is still a free market after all. Given some time, renegades in the Hollywood community will start to produce movies that aren't so distant morally from the rest of the US population. So long as people vote with their money a revolution could happen in the Film industry.

Tip o' the hat to Drudge.

Space Colonization? Anyone?

Tumlinson provides a great read for any space nutso (like myself).
The president has said we should go back to the Moon and on to Mars, this time to stay. Of course from his mouth to the ears of NASA is a journey far greater than the distance to the Moon.

Already, the concept of permanence has been redefined by those who are mono-maniacally focused on the end point of Mars. They have jettisoned lunar development, instead opting for touch-and-go missions to the Moon on the way to a grand-flags-and-footprints mission to Mars. They prefer Apollo redux rather than the careful build up of an Earth-Moon infrastructure that can teach us how to go and live anywhere in space forever.

That's about where I come from to. There is no point in having an Apollo sequel. I have no interest in sending a man to Mars so he can plant a flag in the ground, pat himself on the back, and never go back.

The real goal should be a permanent presence in space, which requires something more than just science experiments in lab modules. It's about real people in space for colonization purposes - or at least it should be. That requires NASA to think about the exploitation and the industrialization of space resources.

Somehow I doubt NASA will ever get on board that bandwagon.

Tip o' the hat to Transterrestrial.

Another Haper Convention Flip-Flop

Dan Dugas must think he's a funny funny man:
OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservative party has reversed another policy for its Montreal convention - one that would have literally interfered with the chairing of meetings and tabling of documents.

Organizers have changed their minds and ordered more tables and chairs for the media room when the convention begins Thursday.

The first plan called for about 20 seats in the press room, even though organizers expect over 100 media representatives.

"It was a budgetary thing - either tables, chairs, or coffee, and we went with the coffee," said an official earlier in the week.

After word reached Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's office, word went out that the whole point to a convention is to get coverage, and that includes providing tables to write on and chairs to sit on.

No word on how the coffee supply will be affected.

The party earlier reversed itself on a process that would have avoided debate on hot-button social issues such as gay marriage and abortion.

Why does it seem that it is somehow plausible that you could open the Red Star one day and find this as a legitimate story instead of the joke it is?

New Nasa Admin

A new NASA administrator means a fresh start for the space program in the US with possibly a new way of looking at things:
Griffin has a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering and master’s degrees in aerospace science, electrical engineering, applied physics, civil engineering and business administration.

Worden said that he believes Griffin will “make maximum use of the true private sector” in implementing the space exploration vision, heading one of the central recommendations of a blue ribbon panel Bush chartered last year to advise him turning the exploration goals into reality

This and this might just prove that point. At least he sat at the table of a board where space tourism issues may have at least come up as a topic of conversation.

Accident waiting to happen

This worries me a great deal. I'm no Rocket Scientist, but it seems an awful lot like the problems on the space shuttle that caused the Columbia disaster have not been solved at all.

The only thing anyone really knows for sure about the Columbia accident was that the shuttle systems were functioning normally up until the point where mission control lost contact with the crew as they re-entered the atmosphere. What happens from that point forward is that the shuttle must maintain a specific angle throughout re-entry so that the protective tiles on it's underbelly prevent the ship from burning up. The problem that started this whole disaster happened after that point.

The tiles have been a source of problems for years. Even the first space shuttle mission astronauts reported missing tiles that they could see visually were missing from protected areas of the shuttle. The risk is that crucial areas of the space shuttle underbelly could become exposed without protection to the large temperatures of re-entry. NASA whenever it would receive these reports made the determination that the risk was an acceptable one and the crew made re-entry and nothing happened each time.

However, two things bothered me about the results of the accident review board. They found evidence that foam from the external fuel tank of the shuttle fell and hit the wing of he shuttle. But that doesn't neccessarily mean that it knocked off tiles off the wing. For all we know the shuttle instrumentation may have had some sort of fatal flaw that made the shuttle loose control in re-entry.

This is not a new problem, footage of foam hitting the wing can also be found on other previous misions. Those crews made it home safely. Did they even ask the question was there any tile damage found in the locations of the foam impacts shown in the footage on those missions? You need to prove your theories after all. If they didn't that means the review board really doesn't have conclusive evidence of anything.

Second let's suppose that the foam was infact the cause of the disaster. The most important thing an Engineer can do when tackling a problem is ask the question "why?" five times. The shuttle burned up on re-entry. Why? Because tiles were missing from the wing. Why? Because frequently tiles will fall off from the wing from vibrations or falling foam or other causes. Why? Because the space shuttle was designed to ride not on the top of the launch system but in-line with it causing it to be the target of debry from the external fuel tank, and SRB's. Why? The wings need protection for re-entry, so these specific tiles were chosen. Why? So that they could removed when they got worn and replaced because the space shuttle was designed to be a reusable system.

And hence the true problem with the space shuttle. Originally the first space re-entry systems built by NASA were what they call ablative heat shields. These were shields that could never be used again. The tiles on the space shuttle were designed to be used over and over and were split into tile segments. Each segment is attached to the wing. This was supposed to be cheaper, but I have little doubt that this new system is more expensive than the old throw away one.

The basic problem of the tiles falling off the wing for a variety of causes has not been solved.

This could happen again.

Enough corruption for everybody...

First the CBC breaks this story:
Cochrane, 58, pleaded guilty in an Ottawa court Friday on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

He admitted in court that he and his family received more than $200,000 in cash and gifts in exchange for funnelling more than $70 million in contracts to a native addictions foundation in Manitoba.


On a different note the Red Star does some reporting for once:
Most of the 67 witnesses heard so far by Justice John Gomery have failed to tell the truth to the commissioner about the operation of the now-defunct $250-million program, Harper told reporters outside the Commons. "What can also be concluded is that virtually everyone there is lying and not telling us what they know," he said.

...

Asked if he was saying that Martin and Jean Chr├ętien lied when they testified at the Gomery commission last month in Ottawa, Harper replied, "I will just say that a lot of people aren't telling everything they know, and I think that is obvious, and I will let Justice Gomery make the specific conclusions."

I should have figured. If the stench of corruption is so bad in one single Fiberal government program, what makes us think it's any different in any other government program?

Corruption is abound in crappy Ottawa.

To Youth or Not to Youth...

The more I read about the debate on whether to youth wing or not to youth wing the more I lean towards the latter.
But to Dave Forestell, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Western Ontario and former president of the Ontario PC Youth, a youth wing is no sandbox. It's a training ground.

"On the PC side, there's a long tradition of that — people like Brian Mulroney, Bill Davis, Tony Clement, John Tory, all were in PC youth wings."

"I just cannot see the detriment in having a purely volunteer organization there to assist the party."

A training ground for what? What do 20 year olds need special training that someone else that's new to politics doesn't need? That's the detriment that a youth wing seems to bring. It's condescending to think that people my own age have jobs, are married, pay taxes, but if they join a political party they have to be "trained."

If the aim is to have a purely volunteer organization that's different. But a full fledged youth wing has youth riding associations, a president, it's like a party within a party. I'm not part of a special interest group. I don't want any special treatment.

Propose a youth wing that is solely volunteer in nature and that doesn't denigrate the position of youth in the party and I'll vote for it.

Convention Crapola

The Red Star today has presented us with more factless crapola on the Convention.

What I love about this whole debate is that if Harper tries to control the convention more, he's criticized for stifling debate. If he gives way to democracy he's opening the party up for fault lines to appear.

It's like how Harper was criticized for not taking a strong enough stand on the issues a few months ago, now he's criticized for taking too strong a stand on the issues. He can't win.

It's like he's in quicksand, and whatever move he makes it just pulls him in deeper.

I think a lot of this will fade away once the convention is over... At least I hope.

Looking for Martian Germs

Curmudgeons has made a good post on using "the discovery of life" argument for going to Mars.

It's a little ridiculous to use the excuse that we are going to Mars to find some germs on a far flung rock somewhere. And so what if we do? What have we gained?

I think some people honestly believe that as soon as they do find Martian germs that Congress and the world will suddenly snap to attention and follow the barking orders of the space scientist elite. That may happen in Star Trek but this is reality folks.

Unfortunately what would probably happen if they did find even the most basic life on Mars is that enviro nutsos would immediately want to quarantine the whole planet for the sake of preserving the Martian ecosystem. Then others would be worried about astronauts bringing back a deadly martian bug to Earth that could infect the human population. The most probable outcome of discovering life on Mars sadly is that they would plant a few flags in the ground, head back home, and for thirty years space enthuasists will wonder why humanity hasn't done a thing since then.

The only hope I have with this new VES iniative is that NASA will be forced to allow more private industry involvement. Since Bush set a gap in between the shuttle retirement and the first flight of the new Crew Exploration Vehicle, it forces NASA to look at other providers to supply NASA with space transportation services during that time period. My hope is they will look to private providers instead of the Russians. Also since the focus is on returning to the moon there is the real possibility of setting up a permanent settlement there.

If we can't even colonize our nearest neighbour how do we expect to colonize another one thousands of times farther away?

Lafleur Gets sued by the Fiberals?

Apparently the Fiberal Party of Canada has decided to sue Lafleur Communications and a bunch of other Ad companies.

I can already see the arguments each side will use. The government will say it was the ad companies that bamboozled taxpayers money, and meanwhile the ad companies will say the government knew about it all along so how could they steal money from someone who was a willing contributor?

Fun stuff.

Though I expect nothing usefull to come out of this.

Government in the way of space exploration...

I would cry over this but I'm too darn tired right now to do anything.

T/Space's bid to build the CEV was kind of like the David vs. the Goliath story in terms of NASA contracts. T/Space assembled a team that include people like Burt Rutan that built and designed Space Ship One, and a host of other people from the so-called alternative space movement.

They were unconventionals in a land of big government.

The CEV contracts will probably go now to the usual suspects of those big aerospace companies that are addicted to government money so much they wouldn't know a cost reduction measure if it slapped them squarely in the face.

No the only way humanity is ever going to be a more than one world species is if the government backs off from the arena of space and private industry steps in.

Hence the title of this blog.

Must get sleep soon.

Tip o' the hat to Transterrestrial. Rand Simberg, for whatever reason I both like and dislike everything you say...

Talk about a slow news day...

So you can tell the National Post doesn't have anything good to report on when they produce dribble like this.

It's flipping amazing. It's like they've created a whole story out of Free Dominion posts.

Here's a solution: book a freaking private room, and if people want to come let them come and pray. If the media is going to hunt people down and accuse them of having faith, then let them. There is no way to stop them - or me.

And if they can't find that story, I'm sure they'll concoct any other type of story they can that paints the party as racist, bigoted, extreme, red-neck, fundamentalist, anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-minority, scary, having a hidden agenda, intolerant, pro-American, pro-life, militaristic, war mongering, and stupid.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews...

Coren's on the Rampage...

Micheal Coren is obviously feeling spunky this morning. His latest column hits the Oscars hard.

It's absolutely mind boggling that Hollywood still hasn't figured it out yet. The Oscars are a joke. The only people that watch them are more concerned about who's wearing what then who really wins the pointless statues.

Mel Gibson called this years Oscar's an "exercise in mediocrity." The Passion grossed over 300 mill worldwide. The top films that received Oscars this year totaled barely over 300 mill. It's obvious that there's a disconnect between the people and the Hollywood elite.

The Oscars are slowly drifting in the bleak darkness of oblivious irrelevance.

Star Wars Again...

STARWARS: RTG is making it's trailer debut this Thursday.

There are plenty of spoilers out there. If you're never going to see the movie, or you just love spoilers the entire movie script can be found here.

Is it the real script? Who knows... Either way there are some Star Wars fans with way too much time on their hands.

Following the Stench...

Wow. I guess the fun's just started at the Gomery inquiry.
Jean Lapierre, Prime Minister Paul Martin's Quebec lieutenant, has insisted there were no tainted funds in the Liberal bank account because the Quebec wing inherited a $3.8-million debt when Martin became leader

Man... Lapierre should be called "The Minister of Truth." That would be doublespeak for "The Minister of Not Exactly Lying But Not Exactly The Truth Either."

Sure there were no tainted funds in the bank. The dirty money had already been spent.

Volvo's Space Gamble

Apparently Volvo's Boldy Go campaign has been a resounding success:
Volvo supported the Boldlygo.com campaign with print, online and broadcast ads and public relations initiatives that continued through the registration deadline. During this time, the site generated 18 million hits and 1.9 million unique visitors. Of the 135,000 who signed up for the trip to outer space, 60,000 requested more information on Volvo products. Also, Volvo estimates the advertising equivalency for press coverage the sweepstakes received was more than double its original investment in the Super Bowl ad.

Well I guess Volvo must be happy.

Whoever the lucky &(*&#*! is that wins he'll be a celebrity to space nutsos everywhere... Until of course those space nutsos themselves get their own turn.

The Big Monte

Monte Solberg just got slapped silly by the main stream media. You can read the post in question that got Monte in big todoo here.

What did he expect? Monte ol' buddy and pal are you telling me that you didn't see this coming?

When I first found out about Monte's blog my first reaction was blind faced mind numbing fear. To have a sitting member of parliament post daily comments on the internet in public for everyone to see... It was a deadly airbus crashing into the 401 type accident waiting to happen. Even though I noticed the Solberg was taking great pains to choose his words wisely and carefully in every single little post - it didn't matter in the end.

As I figured, this would lead to no good. His opponents have obviously just been waiting until he said the slightest controversial thing to ripp him one.

My second reaction to Monte's blog was that this was great. The Solberg is an unbelievably clever, smart, and talented guy. He was offering an inside look into what was really happening in the inner entrails of the bowels of crappy Ottawa.

Should have seen this coming Monte. Now the question comes will the Solberg be able to keep this infamous blog going? I think that'll depend on the way the group of 99 reacts.

Miracle

Someone was looking after this little girl.

It's eerie. I can almost imagine this happening in front of me under the same circumstances and me not noticing a thing.
Richardson noted that many people saw what was unfolding, "but they didn't really stop and stop him because they couldn't really believe what might be happening."

It scares me to think about this. It scares me even more to think that I could see myself not noticing something like this unfolding in front of me.

I guess all you can do is be thankfull that this little girl survived, and pray that you would notice it and try and stop it if you were ever in that situation.

Lapierre fesses up...

The bumbling talking head of the Liberal Party in Quebec fessed up on BMD:
"I must tell you that the decision by the prime minister and cabinet on missile defence will make the task easier for us to rebuild and regain ridings in Quebec," Jean Lapierre, the transport minister and Quebec cabinet heavyweight told Liberal convention delegates.

No ya think? Lapierre must be brighter than a light bulb to have figured that one out all by himself.

The Liberal strategy on BMD in one word: opportunism. They honestly don't care about the weaponization of space, or fear greater integration with the US. The gradiose ol' governing party has only one sole defining principle: win. They will do anything, promise anything, fight for anything, just so they can win.

Prisontopia

Why are these people having more fun than I am? I guess deterrence is a foreign concept with our friends over at Corrections Canada.
Prisoners at Joyceville penitentiary marked Black History Month with musical entertainment and a "feast" of chicken and red snapper. According to an internal memo from Warden Larry Stebbins obtained by the Sun, about 93 inmates were scheduled guests for the Feb. 24 "celebration." One staffer at the medium-high security jail described it as a "Caribana-style" party.

Now doesn't that just make you want to cringe at the thought of going to prison? How horrible it must be for these poor inmates, with their Caribana parties and red snapper feasts.

Prison isn't supposed to fun. It's supposed to be hard. I'm not saying we should abuse prisoners - that would be wrong. But I do expect prisoners to live a simple life without excess.

But hey I must be a freakin' radical.

Is Axworthy For Real?

When I first saw this letter I thought that there was no way this letter could be real. It was filled with too much Liberal rant that I almost expected the letter to start calling Bush an infidel. I knew Axworthy hailed from the left of the Liberal Party, but not this left. This had to be some sort of joke.

Then everyone seemed to be talking about this letter. And suddenly I realized, it wasn't some brutal comedic stunt - it was for real...
I know it seems improbable to your divinely guided master in the White House that mere mortals might disagree with participating in a missile-defense system that has failed in its last three tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully rigged to show results.

Alright that's just nasty. If anyone thinks he's divinely guided it's the snotty Axworthy. He should pull his pants down because they're up so high it's obvious they're cutting off the blood circulation to his large head. Bush never assumed Canada's support was a given, but I think he did take heart that the ever present Mr. Dithers in this country said some nice things about it in the past. If anyone had a fite of pique it was Martin who spontaneously changes his mind faster than a nuclear reaction. After McKenna screwed the pooch, and Liberal Youth called his bluff, he gave in to the pressure.

And apparently Axworthy is also a conspiracy theorist. He has evidence that the US has been rigging test results. He should do us all mere stupid red necks out here the favour of showing up the goods that prove this little conspiracy theory.
Coming to Ottawa might also expose you to a parliamentary system that has a thing called question period every day, where those in the executive are held accountable by an opposition for their actions, and where demands for public debate on important topics such as missile defense can be made openly.

Our Parliament is a joke in this country. Axworthy's pants are burning on fire at this point. He knows like anyone else that parliament has become more about optics and shouting matches than anything else. The real work gets done in committees where the luring eyes of cameras don't peer in too closely.
You might also notice that it's a system in which the governing party's caucus members are not afraid to tell their leader that their constituents don't want to follow the ideological, perhaps teleological, fantasies of Canada's continental co-inhabitant. And that this leader actually listens to such representations.

Ok, now that's just funny. Paul Martin's big issue in his run for the leadership of the Liberal party was that he was going to give more power to MP's, instead of being the trained seals and loyal pets of the PMO. So far no pay dirt. That dastardly little devil instead created Parliamentary Secretaries that effectively brings more MP's under the power of Cabinet and hence the PMO.
Above all, ignore the Cassandras who deride the state of our relations because of one missile-defence decision. Accept that, as a friend on your border, we will offer a different, independent point of view. And that there are times when truth must speak to power.

Ignore Axworthy. He wouldn't know truth if it was a 300 pound gorilla traveling at 600 miles per hour and it knocked him out funny in the face.

Abortion Freedom

Mississipi could very well become the first Abortion free jurisdiction in America.
What's interesting is the tactics Pro-Lifers have employed:
Pro-Life Mississippi has made life hell for the abortionists, digging up material from lawsuits involving doctors with ties to clinics. Using cases where women have alleged poor treatment, common enough in the litigious US, they have pressured state authorities to take action.

And officialdom has done their bidding, revoking doctors' licences, launching hygiene swoops and endlessly checking paperwork and demanding more of it.

Basically they are using Government regulation and over-regulation to bring them down. If this works it'll be a matter of time before these tactics spread so far north they may cross the border.

What's important is that the people at the face of the movement in Mississipi are not black or white, but seem to be all women. It's an issue that the pro-life movement has had in the past. The best people to spread the pro-life message aren't middle aged white guys, but women - particularly younger women.

Whenever anyone sees a representative from any pro-life movement it should always be a woman and never a man. Men can work in the background, but the pro-life movement needs to get more media smart. It looks like that's what they've done in Mississipi.

The illusion of control

This just proves that planned deaths only create the illusion of control. The way I look at it, you can't control fate or if don't believe in fate chance.

Sure it sounds good if you take a pill and gently fall a sleep. What happens if you take the pill, and on your way upstairs you fall down and break your neck? So much for planned deaths.

What people don't want to admit is they are never in control.