Electing Liberals will imperill "...the future of the country."

From the Ottawa Citizen:
"If anybody in the rest of the country sends a signal that they are prepared to tolerate corruption, they are, quite frankly, imperilling the future of the country. Because the reaction to that in Quebec, and quite frankly not just Quebec, in Alberta and other places, is going to be outrage that I think will lead to lasting damage to this country..."
...
"There's no doubt in my mind that if the Liberals are re-elected, this country will move backwards and we will be a long time recovering from the consequences of that kind of election result."
...
"The decision would have been more difficult if we were talking about the timing around the corruption issue, but now it's been simplified," Mr. Harper said. "There's no way we can support an NDP budget. It's got nothing to do with the polls. We wouldn't have any credibility."

This is just the beginning of the rhetoric being cranked up. The most interesting part of all this is that we are effectively already in an election. Really this is a two month election campaign at best, and at worst a 10 month election campaign. This country used to have 60 day elections. That was changed 20 years ago to 30 day election campaigns.

I've always found it a little scary that Canadians are expected to have a debate on things like healthcare in a 30 day period. It's impossible to have an intelligent debate on any of these issues in 30 days. The US electoral system with fixed election dates means literally that the real campaigning begins months in advance. Although there are some abuses I've noticed that issues get an airing in the US that they wouldn't if the campaigning was restricted to 30 days as it is in this country.

Who does this benefit? I hope the Tories. I think with longer election campaigns it's harder to demonize someone like the Liberals did to the Tories the last time around. You can only spin issues so many times before people start to really pay attention and realize you're full of crap. And also when certain people make comments about policy that are their own personal opinions, and not those of the party, the longer you give the electorate to understand that the better.

Liberal Shenanigans Exposed

Angry in the Great White North has unconvered evidence that suggests that the latest poll showing Liberal support overtaking the Tories may be politically motivated.

I'd like to point out that other polls in the last few days have confirmed that Tory support has slipped. Most show that the Liberals and Tories are statistically tied. But that isn't a sexy headline so it's no surprise that the media doesn't report it that way.

What I've always thought is that what pollsters really can be biased on is on the details on how the poll is performed. The questions asked, if asked correctly can either boost or decline one side's support. Also the time the poll was conducted is also critically important.

A word is being thrown around right now. Everyone says the electorate is "volatile." That's doublespeak for no one knows what the heck is going on.

Let's not prejudge election results until the election is called at the very minimum.

The Death of the NDP

One of the strange things about holding the balance of power in any legislative body around the world, is that you have as much power to improve your reputation as you do in destroying it.

The Labour Party in Israel took a gamble and supported the governing party years ago. The end result was that a good chunk of Labour supporters became disenchantment with the Labour party. The next Labour Party leader upon election declared that it was a mistake that should never be repeated. When Ariel Sharon made an appeal for Labour's help the next time around, Labour refused learning it's lesson.

The NDP, despite its long history in managing it's influence in minority parliaments, hasn't learned that lesson yet.

By aligning itself with the most corrupt government in Canadian history it will take all the criticism for any of the actions of the government from this point forward. And what will it have gained?

It's a precarious situation. The NDP will almost certainly loose support over the long term. As a left wing Canadian you have to be asking yourself why are supporting the NDP when they are just supporting the Liberal Party that you refuse to vote for?

The NDP's prime political purpose is to steal votes away from the Liberal Party. By doing this they pull the Liberal Party to the left. In a minority government, with the NDP holding the balance of power, many devoutly socialist policies have been implemented by aligning themselves with the Liberals. Over time the revelance of the NDP decreased and decreased until the NDP became a minor player in parliament barely making official party status.

Jack Layton takes a gamble right know. He was disappointed by his party's performance in the last election. He was supposed to usher in a recovery of the NDP. The NDP was supposed to regain it's prominence in the last election. That didn't happen.

Now the NDP is going to be forced to defend the corruption of this Liberal government. Because if they don't, people will blame the NDP for keeping them in power. They have handcuffed themselves to the Liberal Party, whether they like it or not.

The NDP gained a socialist Day Care system out of this deal with Martin. The question is how much did they really pay for it?

Whore it up...

John Reynolds over the years has gotten a reputation for himself:
A veteran Conservative MP cranked up the name-calling a notch yesterday, declaring his Liberal opponents the political version of hookers.

"They're whores," said B.C. Tory John Reynolds.

"I don't like to call them that because there are probably some whores who are nice people."

Reynolds, who will head up his party's national election campaign, was responding to increasing attacks from Prime Minister Paul Martin and New Democrat Leader Jack Layton that the Conservatives are jumping into bed with the separatist Bloc Quebecois to topple the minority government.

"The Liberals will do anything to try and scare people in Ontario and other parts (of the country)," Reynolds said. "I think Stephen Harper as prime minister will make damn sure Quebec stays in the country."

What's amazing is that the Liberals have the gall to talk about other people climbing into bed with the seperatists. Who is Paul Martin's chief Quebec organizer? Jean Lapierre, the co-founder of the seperatist Bloc-Quebequois.

If anybody is climbing into bed with anyone it's the Liberals climbing into bed with the both the separatists and the socialists. They will do anything to cling onto power.

But hey don't worry folks. Despite all the polls and despite all the attacks the Liberals are still crooks. Everyday more and more evidence from Gomery comes out that proves it.

Layton the Hypocrite

NDP leader Jack Layton's response to Paul Martin's address:
"As testimony shows, at the core of this scandal is a Liberal Party that cannot distinguish between the public purse and its own. Tragically, it may have let federalism in Quebec be seen as corrupt, even criminal.

I believe people are tired of this corruption and tired of asking for respect but receiving none.

It pains me that many people in Quebec see federalism as corrupt..."

This is the same Jack Layton that is now propping up this corrupt Liberal government. Jack Layton is a hypocrite.

Robot Guy's latest post expresses my feelings exactly.

More Space Elevators...

I've been thinking more and more about Space elevators these days and I can't say that I'm convinced they would reduce the costs of access to space.

I understand I think a little better know the whole theory behind how they would theoretically work. Launch a payload up to an orbit of 100,000 km and unfurl a carbon-nanotube tether. That tether is dropped down to some tower complex on earth and is attached. A counter weight satellite is attached at the top of the tether to ensure a certain tension in the tether. Also that satellite would have to be accelerated by a rocket burn to a higher speed than usual for an orbit at that altitude to make sure it keeps up with the lower portions of the tether. If I'm wrong someone please correct me.

Theoretically, if planned correctly, the center of mass of the whole enchilada is at 35,000 km or at Geo orbit. The importance of this is that the center of mass will rotate perfectly in tandem with the rotation of the earth.

Assuming that this carbon-nanotube tether can withstand all the temperature differences and tensions, and assuming that we could build a complex on earth that could deal with the massive charges built up in the tether, and that the friction created by the tether moving through the atmosphere can be accounted for a space elevator could work.

However most estimates I'm hearing of would involve a cost of $5 billion dollars to build this thing. And personally I think that must be a conservative estimate.

It seems like you're trying to build the highway before you build the car.

The only way we're going to open up space is if smaller groups and companies can find cheap ways of getting there.

Going this route you're going to hit a roadblock at initial investment. What company is going to be willing to pay all of this money up front?

If someone could build it though the costs of space may not necessarily go down. Right now the greatest cost involved in conventional chemical rockets is from two things: range costs and insurance.

Can you imagine the insurance costs on this structure? Can you imagine how much it would cost to finance the on site structures and facilities and personnel to upkeep something like this?

Shuttling to Death

BBC reports that that Space Shuttle return to flight launch has been delayed to July:
Although the space shuttles have been showered by small pieces of debris thousands of times during the 24 years that they have been flying, Nasa can no longer naively close its eyes to the possibility of danger.

After 113 flights of the space shuttle only one has had a fatality loosely linked to tile damage. I say loosely linked because in this situation it is impossible to come up with conclusive evidence that ice chunk A caused tile C to knock off. The CAIB report specifically identified a foam ramp as the likely cause of the ice that they believe struck the wing of the Space Shuttle knocking off one or more tiles that left a section of the shuttle unprotected during re-entry. It seems like there really is no way to give conclusive evidence of anything sometimes in Engineering.
Last week, shuttle program managers told reporters that engineers had assessed 170 sources of potential debris and cleared all but a handful as a potential threat to shuttle safety. A follow-up review was held at the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, but managers could not dispel their concerns.

Again I'll say it is interesting that in spite how sure NASA seemed to spin that the ramp foam was definitely the cause of the failure, they still felt the need to comb through 170 other possible causes. I'd like to know specifically how they cleared those other potential sources. Did they do impact tests? If not that what testing was done to clear them?

The other thing that bothers me is that when I look at footage of Shuttle launches I wonder how they can be so sure of themselves. The amount of debris coming off of everything in those launches is too numerous to count. How can they be so sure that only a handfull of them will cause such a failure in the future? Even the first Shuttle launch had shown some tiles to fall off.

The only way to ensure no future failures is to have some sort of system that can validate the existence of every tile on the Space Shuttle once it is in orbit. They could either do this by visual photos from the ISS, or they have onboard sensors to detect the presence of tiles. That way once in orbit mission control would have map of missing tiles and could determine within minutes the situation. I'm thinking they could install magnetic sensors inside the hull to detect the presence of the tiles. That is assuming of course that the tiles can be magnetized enough to show a difference in the sensor output. I'm sure if not that they could use a host of other sensors to achieve the same goal. But I'm bloviating right now. I'm sure there are other Engineers out there with a much better sense of what NASA is doing than I have.

Also I think about how ridiculous this all is. NASA has known about this danger for years. They considered it an acceptable level of risk. All of sudden a fatality occurs after 113 successful flights and it becomes a serious issue?

I have to ask the question what other factors does NASA not consider a serious level of risk in Space Shuttle launches?

AdScam Forgotten

It took less than a month for Canadians to forget about AdScam.

A new Decima poll has the Liberals at 27% and the Tories have dropped down to 25%. Other polls have already confirmed this drop.

People will be analyzing this to death coming up with pet theories about why the drop happened. Some will say it's so-called Tory-Bloc alliance that people are reacting to. Others will say it's the NDP Liberal alliance and budget.

Whatever happened Canadians have moved on.

The Tories have to make this election about more than just AdScam. They can't run an election based solely on corruption. What AdScam does is it gives people a reason not to vote Liberal. What the Tories need to do now is to give people a reason to vote Conservative.

We should be talking about lower taxes. We should be talking about safer streets. We should be talking about a credible Canadian passport. We should be talking about a strong military. We should be talking about winning the war on terror in Canada.

If we let the Liberals define the issues, the Liberals will define the issues.

Let India In

Annan's mum on giving India veto power and a permanent seat on the UN security council.

As I've said in the past, and I'll say it again, I believe the best thing the UN security council can do to regain legitimacy is to return to it's original purpose: preventing nuclear war. Both India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons. Both need to be added to the security council as soon as possible. If the UN does not include countries such as India, Israel and others that have reached that level of development on the security council then it becomes useless.

There will plenty other countries to add in the future as the 3rd world expands and develops.

Breaking up Canada...

Austin Bay has written an amusing piece on the potential for Canada to turn into a failed state.

He correctly identifies the separatist threat in Quebec as the spark that could light the fire. A Quebec Nation would probably create a chain reaction of splintering in the rest of the country. There are rare examples where countries can remain united when they are separated in two by large land masses. In the case of Quebec splintering of Canada there would be no way you keep the eastern provinces on side with Ontario and Western Canada with such a geographical difference.

Newfoundland separatist sentiments I don't think have ever completely died away. They would probably be the first one to secede after Quebec. Alberta would almost certainly come next. The rest of the provinces may struggle to survive as the last remnants of the Dominion, but I would think it would be just a matter of time before they would be swallowed up by the US.

He also brings up DeGaule's famous line "Vive Le Quebec Libre!" that created many separatists in Quebec. I've always had a big problem with the Gaullist Party in France. Not necessarily because of it's policies, but because I believe it has always had a secret strategy of trying to break up Canada. It still sees the world in terms of former now lost French colonies.

And the Gaullists want them back.

It wouldn't honestly surprise me if Jaques Chirac stepped out of an airplane tomorrow in Quebec and started talking about AdScam. "Rejoin Mother France!"

I have cousins in France that love the guy - I don't trust him or his Gaullist Party one bit.

Tip o' the hat to Curmudgeons.

Addendum:
AITGWN has some scary conclusions on this matter. I can't argue with his Engineering logic. The system seems sometimes too unstable. It was precisely that line of thinking that Preston Manning and the old Reform Party strategy was originally based on. They decided to label themselves as the Party of English Canada. That way when the country eventually broke up, the Liberals would no longer have a reason for being and the subsequent Anti-French sentiment would catapult them into office. The current Conservative leader Stephen Harper is said to have left the party because of his disagreement over this strategy. My hope is that Stephen Harper can find a way to avoid such a catastrophe.

Papal Spies

Apparently a high ranking priest in JPII's entourage was secretly supplying information knowingly or unknowingly to the Communists. This should come as no real surprise to anyone. I've heard of one former Communist agent that claimed that she personally sent hundreds of communist agents into seminaries. Most of them were almost certainly filtered out of the system, but the truth is that the Catholic Church has had a big bullseye on it for years. It is the biggest threat to dictators everywhere.

Any dictator in the history of western civilization has always had to contend with the power of faith. It has always been a dangerous thing in the eyes of any autocratic state that the people could believe that they have a higher more enlightened master than the bureaucrats. That type of idea breeds revolutions. It's the type of thing that frees slaves and brings down Kings.

The real question here is whether this priest is one of those agents? Or is he someone that was just befriended? Only he knows.

Tip o' the hat to NealeNews.

Judeships on Sale: only $1899.99

Angry In The Great White North has found out the average money a judge needs to pay to the Liberal Party of Canada to become a judge: about $1800.

That's pretty cheap. I wonder how that ranks up against bribes in Mexico, or against bribes in India or other countries. Sorry, that was unfair. India and Mexico don't deserve to be compared to this Government of Crooks and Liars.

Tip o' the hat to Stupidus.

Paul Martin on Gagliano Video

During the last federal election, in the dying days of the campaign, a nameless Tory started giving out a videotape to reporters. It was a tape of Paul Martin praising Alfonso Gagliano for his birthday. Gagliano is believed by many to be the prime political connection between Chuck Guite and the sponsorship program and the Liberal Party of Canada. Jean Chretien near the end of his term appointed Gagliano to the posh patronage appointment of ambassador to Denmark for his fierce loyalty. Paul Martin took the extreme step of firying Gagliano as ambassador as the revelations of AdScam came out.

The videotape was scandalous in the sense that Paul Martin heaved praise on Gagliano, when at the time Gagliano was knee dead in the AdScam mess no one knew about. The media, predictably, ignored the video tape as a non news item.

Rick Fuschi has posted that exact same video.

I wonder if the Main Stream Media in this country will finally start reporting this stuff. They'll probably continue reporting manufactured stories on the Tory "hidden agenda."

Tip o' the hat to Daifallah.

Harper Declares War

He did it!

This is a whole new ball game now.

Harper Slams NDP-Liberal Coalition

The National Post reports:
RIDGETOWN, Ont. -- The Conservatives won't support an "NDP budget" that would prop up a "corrupt" Liberal government, party Leader Stephen Harper said Wednesday, effectively shifting blame for a possible snap election from his party to the NDP.

An angry Harper said he was shocked that the Liberals would spend taxpayers' money to retain power.

"I'm flabbergasted by the amount of taxpayers' money these guys are prepared to throw around to keep themselves in office," he said.

I wasn't necessarily shocked that Paul Martin would do whatever he had to do to retain his strangehold of power. What I was shocked by was the beads and trinkets the NDP traded for it. The NDP had the clear strategic advantage and what did they get for it?

A delay tax-cuts and some extra spending in the mean time.

It's moments like this where, if I was advising Layton, I would lay out the big whoppers. He could have demanded democratic reform. That would be something every Canadian, including Conservatives, would have cheered him on for. He could have demanded that the government buy back Petro-Can, or increased corporate taxes. He had Martin by the jugular and he could have sliced and diced without fear.

I guess what got him in the end was the fact that by going down as the man that had turned this country into a left-wing basket case with these whoppers, he would have made himself unelectable. From my perspective he wasn't electable to begin with.

Or maybe somewhere deep down Layton knows that the NDP is really a home of retired Canadian hippies, and communist freeloaders. And maybe he knows that if he actually did get in power the country would drop dead.

Either way this country just had a brief brush with left wing extremism.

Nuclear Powered Piston-Engine?

All I can say is what the?
Imagine a piston engine in which the cylinders are the size of the Vehicle Assembly Building and the spark plugs are replaced by nuclear bombs.

While you're at it the thing might as well be placed into orbit. Imagine the generating potential without the effect of gravity on the thing.

That would make for one heck of a power generation station... How 'bout this: use the thing to power a huge laser. Use the laser to propel a solar sail... One of billion other potential uses.

Well you think you've heard every insane idea imaginable, but every once and a while people surprise you.

Tip o' the hat to Joseph Hertzlinger.

Electionorama

Jack Layton could not contain his grin with his newfound pal in Paul Martin. What's interesting is that it seems like Layton didn't even bother to hold Martin's feet to the fire. Sure he blackmailed Martin to win his support against a non-confidence vote that would have catapulted the country into an election. But Paul Martin's hide was on the line. Layton could have hagled so much more out of Mr. Dithers. If Martin's previous history is a guide, Martin will do anything to be and to continue being Prime Minister.

Instead he's pledging Martin his support for some beads and trickets as far as I'm concerned. Not that it matters all that much. Layton's support in the house doesn't guarantee Martin that the vote will fail.

What does is whether Harper or Duceppe Backs off. They could very well do that. The theory goes that neither want to go into an election without the NDP backing them up. The last thing they want is for people to talking about a Conservative-Seperatist coalition.

Lo' and belold Independent MP Chuck Cadman has made his choice to go for an election like I figured. Liberal Anti-Americana nutso turned Independent MP Carolyn Parrish is voting against to save her hide. That leaves the other Independent David Kilgour which will almost probably vote against.

Again 154 for and 153 against an election.

I'll be watching that vote closely next month.

Branson Planning Orbital Flights?

Some are suggesting that Richard Brason's interest in having an Australian site for suborbital launches may be part of a larger grand scheme.

Apparently Australian launch sites have been investigated before by the Russians as a potential area to conduct launches.

For me it makes perfect sense. Aussieland has lots of open space. Lots of open space is a good thing for industry that will probably needs lots of room to launch vehicles. And lots of room too if things go wrong. Also Aussieland is near the equator, where payloads are easier to launch.

But this guy is also suggesting that suborbital intercontinental rides are next. That would make sense too. If Branson has bases in US and Australia, he can create a market for flights to the land of the rising sun yesterday.

Orbital flights I think is a no-brainer in terms of future planning. I don't think there is a single person that would claim otherwise. The main goal of all these guys has and will always be cheap access to low earth orbit.

Step 7) Earth orbit is "half way to anywhere". The solar system is now your oyster.


Good point. Robert Heinlein said that once and his words I think are the ultimate measuring stick when it comes to access to space. Once in orbit you've achieved half the energy you need to go anywhere else in the solar system. Once that door opens the sky really is the limit.

Not More Space Elevators...

Yes the space elevator guys are at it again. It's interesting that they figure they can do this little project of theirs making a buck as they go. If they can do it I will be in complete awe of how incredible the feat would be.

Let's be honest though folks. A space tether stretching up over 62,000 miles? (By the way is that number really right or did they just accidentally add three zeros?) They are certainly aiming big if that number is right. You're talking about a space tether above Geo-synchronous orbit. Which brings to mind another question: Why above geo and not at Geo? The whole advantage I thought of having a satellite at Geo levels of altitude was that the period of your orbit was exactly 24 hours. This means you have a satellite at exactly the same point in the earth's sky 24 hours a day 365 days a year. If you're above you start to go slower than the period of rotation of the earth so wouldn't the satellite attached to the tether get dragged along?

Either way this is getting a little far fetched. I'll believe it when I see it. Until then I still think conventional chemical rockets are the best way to go.

Put Paul Martin into Suspended Animation!

Researchers have developed a way to make mice slip into deep hibernation using only hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen Sulfide is what gives rotten eggs, and stink bombs their sweet odour. I don't understand why it took researchers so long to figure out that suspended animation might be this easy. You would have figured this type of research would have been done already. This technology could be useful for astronauts on long duration missions, or we could put someone with cancer in hibernation, slowing his metabolism to a crawl until we find a cure. That is assuming that human trials pan out with the same results.

This story is a couple days old, but I was struck by another potential application.

All we need is someone with a big enough stink bomb to show up and deploy it at a Liberal fundraiser and within a few minutes Paul Martin will slip into a long gentle sleep...

Now that's usefull.

Chretien Vs Gomery Part II

Chretien is at work at his shenanigans once again. He's taking Gomery to trial for being "biased." He wants Judge Gomery removed from the AdScam inquiry and he's using the courts to do it. It's too bad we can't do the same for any of the Liberal judges appointed by the Prime Minister that were appointed fresh off of the Liberal patronage bench.

And what's worse he doesn't think it proper that Gomery's lawyers be present to hear his side of the argument:
In submissions filed with the court last week, Chretien's lawyers argued it would be "inappropriate and unseemly" for the lawyer of the commission to oppose Chretien in court at the same time the inquiry looks into the actions of the former PM.

I see. It's "unseemly" for Gomery to get a fair hearing, but it's not unseemly for the Liberal Party of Canada to be granted intervener status at the Gomery Inquiry. And to make matters worse the lawyers for the Liberal Party of Canada are being paid by guess-who? Canadians.

Chretien is desperate to bring down Gomery. He knows the only way for his lackluster meaningless legacy in Canadian politics to retain any credibility at all is if he shuts the Inquiry up. No need for the truth here. Jean Chretien doesn't like the truth. He likes it much better when no one knows how dirty his reign of power was.

Pants on Fire

Either Paul Martin is lying, or a good chunk of his Liberal caucus is lying. Politics Watch covers it all with this little gem on Paul Martin's cheerleading in the caucus.

You see in Canada Prime Ministers don't care about Inquiries. They're just a burden. They don't care about a few hundred million dollars disappearing. That's just the Conservatives tring to distract Canadians from their hidden agenda. And they certainly don't care about Inquiry judges and their opinions. After all Liberal Prime Ministers in this country are above the law.

So Jean Chretien, the former Prime Minister, went on the witness stand at the AdScam inquiry. He offered nothing but golf balls and pot shots at the Inquiry's daughter for an explanation of what happened to the millions lost.

And what was our current Prime Minister's response? Lead the Liberal caucus in a cheerleading event for the great performance Jean Chretien made. Or at least that was what numerous Liberal MP's claimed coming out of that meeting. But Mr. Dithers himself denies this ever happening.
On February 10, when Canada AM host Beverly Thomson said Martin had "asked for a standing ovation and credited Jean Chretien for strengthening the Liberal Party" at caucus the previous day, Liberal Senator David Smith agreed with her description of events.

"He did," Senator Smith said. "Mr. Martin was very generous. And he spoke very well of Mr. Chretien."

Other Liberals who were at the meeting were singing the praises of Chretien's performance after they walked out and met with reporters.

"Mr. Martin is very supportive of Mr. Chretien and what he's done," Liberal caucus chair Andy Savoy said after the meeting. "Everybody in the entire caucus was extremely proud of Mr. Chretien.

"Mr. Chretien was a small-town guy opening a big town can of whoop ass on his detractors."

Paul Martin's take on the events:

After being reminded by an earlier caller that Martin's reported praise of Chretien's appearance ran counter to his public support of Gomery, Murphy asked the PM if the reports he led the Liberal caucus in a cheer for the former prime minister were true.

"No," the PM said.
...
"But fundamentally what happened is caucus did react to the fact that a former prime minister had just testified. And that's a very, very rare occasion to testify in front of a commission such as this.

"That's all that happened," the PM said.

"There were a number of issues discussed. They just simply said, 'Former prime minister testified.'"

I guess you have to ask yourself the question who do you trust more in this situation. Either you believe Paul Martin, or you believe his caucus.

AdScam Fallout in Quebec

Angus Reid reports that the Quebec Liberal Party has dropped to 21% support in La Belle Province. The only downside is that the seperatists are climing to 47% support. The conservative ADQ though holds out ray of hope with them climbing to second at 25%. Obviously AdScam is spilling over into provincial politics.

Could this be a sign that provincial politics in Quebec is undergoing a dramatic shift? I don't want to jinks it before it happens, but it is a real possibility. But it wasn't the shift I was hoping for. In the rest of Canada politics is "normal." What I mean by that is that we have a right wing party vs. a left wing party that rotate power just like the rest of the planet. In Quebec you have a different dynamic: it's a separatist party vs. a federalist Liberal Party. That dynamic has created weirdness like having a Quebec Liberal Party leader that was once a Federal Conservative Party leader.

The fact that there is only one federalism vehicle in Quebec has forced many to have to hold their noses and vote sometimes for federalists even if they are Liberals. Having the rightist ADQ always held the hope out that the seperatists could go the way of the dodo and eventually a right/left dynamic would take shape.

Instead it's as if the Quebec Liberal Party is just imploding and we might have the same dynamic in Quebec just a different name of a federalist vehicle. Of course now the party that is the federalist vehicle will have rightward tilt instead of leftward one... Although that wasn't even clear sometimes with the Quebec Liberals supporting sometimes tax cuts.

Election Here We Cometh

Carolyn Parrish apparently doesn't want to go into an election quite so soon. She is one of 3 independent MP's in the house that will pretty much decide to make or break this corrupt Soviet styled government. As it stands the Conservatives and the seperatists, all gun-ho for an election, have 153 seats. 2 of the members are sick... Something tells me they might get spontaneously healed in a month's time.

151 seats belong to the Liberals and the NDP, which common wisdom says will vote against an election. Although that might be a changing scenario.

Carolyn Parrish is a former Liberal kicked out of Martin's caucus for failing to apologize after having stepped on a doll in the likeness of George Bush on a comedy program. Of course no one remembers her previous history where she called George Bush names and at one point exclaimed "Stupid Americans... I hate the bastards!" It was if Paul Martin wanted to inflict harm on US relations when he did nothing in the face of these ridiculous stupidities. She could have easily agreed to disagree with the American position on the War in Iraq. Instead she decided to harm the relations that our country depends so dearly on for trade. But Screamin' Parrish didn't care. Oh well, at a certain point Paul Martin's dithering self finally made a decision. An eon after he should have acted he kicked Screamin' Parrish out of caucus straight on her behind.

The other two independents include the likes of David Kilgour. David was once a Tory. He jumped ship when things went awry. Then AdScam happened a decade later. And now he left the Liberal caucus when things went awry again. Kilgour knows he toast. That's why he didn't bother to join the Tories. He doesn't want an election any more than a dead cow wants to be chopped up into prime steak.

That leaves Chuck Cadman the self professed "Independent Conservative." Once a member of the now defunct Canadian Alliance Party, Chuck lost his nomination as a Conservative Party candidate but didn't want to give up there. Apparently his nomination was taken over by the other guy unfairly. He ran and won as an independent MP. The other guy barely could get a fourth place finish. Chuck will probably vote for an election. Because if I'm right, all of his constituents that he represents are mad as hell about AdScam. And I don't think they would take kindly to Chucky boy voting for the government of Crooks and Liars.

That makes it 153 against an election and 154 for (assuming those miraculous recoveries do in fact happen).

The future of a member of the G7-Nations decided by a single vote? You betcha.

Oil-For-Food and Paul Martin

More from the New York Sun on the Canadian links to the Oil-For-Food scandal. Here are basics to this whole fiasco:

-Tongsun Park has been accused of taking $1 million dollars from the regime of Saddam Hussein and investing it in a Canadian company owned by the son of an UN official that later went bankrupt. (I'm assuming that the money was taken through profiteering in the Oil-For-Food program).
-Mr. Park, has admitted to investing $1 million dollars in a company named Cordex owned by Maurice Strong, a well connected UN official with strong ties to Paul Martin, and his son. The company went broke soon thereafter.
-Maurice Strong was President of Montreal based Power Corporation. Other members of the board of this corporation have made donations to Cordex. UN investigator Paul Volker was also a member of the board of Power Corps, and it puts him a situation where he may be in a conflict of interest.
-Paul Martin listed Cordex as one of his assets to the Federal Ethics Committee in 2003.
-Paul Martin's bizzare and unusual televised address to the public coincided to the day when Maurice Strong was tied to the $65 million dollar United Nations Oil-For-Food scandal. This has lead some to speculate that he real motive behind Paul Martin's address was to distract the media away from his ties to Maurice Strong and Cordex.

Tip o' the hat to M.K. Braaten.

Scary

For those American readers, these are the leaders of the 3 main national parties in Canada:

Scary isn't it?

Quote of the Day from Conservative Leader Stephen Harper (Seen farthest left) refererring to Paul Martin's (Seen farthest right) pledge to hold an election in 10 months when the Gomery Inquiry submits it's final report: "What the prime minister wants is a 10-month election campaign where he can go around the country throwing around tax dollars like crazy to try and smother the stench of corruption. I don't happen to think that's in the best interests of the country."

In case you're wondering the moustached man is leftist NDP leader Jack Layton.

Sometimes politics is laugh out loud funny.

One last Hurrah for Florida?

Curmudgeons pointed me to this piece fretting about Florida's future role in private so called alternative space efforts like the X-Prize's X-Prize Cup.

I don't understand the need for one last Hurrah to come out the state of Orange juice and missing chads. Who cares what state this comes out of? In the end all if a viable space tourism industry comes out of it what does it matter?

Well I guess there will be those that will point to cutbacks in the Cape, that will no doubt come with the increased competition, as being a bad thing. Of course new jobs will be created in New Mexico, but that will matter little to the reactionaries I'm sure. The truth is that there will probably be some clamoring for the US federal government to stop all this competition between the so-called big aerospace and these enterpreneurial start-ups... Congressman will be rattled by lobbyists for "old aerospace" against "new areospace."

Hopefully Congressmen won't do anything foolish, like actually acting on the side of the reactionaries.

Trust me it'll happen. Unless of course Florida smartens up.

The Attacks on B16 Have Just begun

Popen Ben had just had an experience in the molestation of public image courtesy of this piece claiming that Cardinal Ratzinger obstructed justice in the sex abuse scandals.
The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church's opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims.

'In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offence of paedophilia is unfounded,' Bertone said.

This suggests that the Bishop does not believe that a crime should be reported to the police. I have serious doubts that that was what the Bishop had intented to say, and I sincerely hope that I'm correct. Maybe he meant only claims of sexual abuse should not be reported - which I would agree with.

I can understand the church investigating claims of sexual abuse in secret, because doing it in public could start a witch hunt. Especially if there is no real evidence of any wrongdoing. But if the Church investigations find clear evidence of such acts happening I would even say that it would be against church doctrine not to contact authorities. The Church has a moral duty to tell the truth and I don't think the church has ever violated that rule.

Something tells me though that there are sinister motives afoot. I will wait to see the Vatican's response, and more information considering this letter before I come to any conclusions.

Addendum:
This letter could turn out to be another 1962 cover up letter. Debuncted here. Thanks to the Curt Jester.

Paul Martin And UN-Scam

Strongworld seems to be all over Paul Martin's apparent links to the Oil For Food Scandal.

All of this comes from one man: Maurice Strong. His especially close relationship with Paul Martin has been known for years. The fact that he's had to resign his post at the UN over these allegations has turned heads in Paul Martin's direction.

Mr. Strong has earned the ire of Conservatives not just in Canada but around the world for saying such learned things as this:
"isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"

Shuttle Risk Played Down?

That's what the peanut gallery is saying today. Sam Dinkin provides an excellent rebuff with this piece.

Shuttle Risks being played down? It seems to me more like a risk adverse culture at NASA that seems to be the problem.

Sam Dinkin asks the question why are Astronauts lives more heavily valued than soldiers in Iraq? Well the answer is simple: publicity. When a soldier is killed in Iraq people hear of it as a brief report at the end of the evening news. When an Astronaut gets killed within moments CNN is broadcasting live coverage, and even Canadian TV gets bombarded with the morbid details.

When a fatality occurs in an automobile nobody cares. When an Astronaut dies it becomes a national crisis.

The current failure rate for the Shuttle is 1.7% (2 failures in 113 flights). Many compare this to Commercial airliner failure rates unfairly. First of all space travel is still no where near as routine as commercial airline travel. And second, the first pioneers to go on ships and travel across the Atlantic were probably given less favorable odds of surviving than 98.3% with all the risk of disease, malnutrition, and storms. They were taking a risk. And that's what NASA is supposed to do.

Also commercial airliners have a lower fatality rate than Automobiles do as far as I know. Why the difference? Because when a commercial jet crashes the entire country knows about it because hundreds of people die all in one day. When hundreds of people die over a year in car crashes it doesn't get the media exposure. In other words it doesn't sell newspapers.

Polling to Death

NatPost reports the Tories are on the verge of winning a majority government. It's a good headline but that's all it's good for.

Darrel Bricker should be saluted, not for telling the truth, but for managing to spin the poll into a headline for the National Post. So many people really don't know how to read polls, don't know the basics of statistics, and are easily drawn to the wrong conclusions. Especially if Pollsters feed those perceptions.

This poll had a survey size of 2000. This should produce a confidence interval of somewhere between 2-3%. All a confidence interval means is that if that same poll was redone 100 times, 95 times out of 100 the numbers would be within 2-3% of the first poll you did. That is what they call a 95% Confidence Interval and is an industry standard. Now depending on the question you ask, the time of day you ask it and a host of other factors the accuracy of your poll can be affected. Merely by asking a different question you can get significantly different results.

This poll has a national confidence interval of 2-3%. However what determines if the Tories are within majority territory are the numbers in Ontario. The numbers in Ontario are based on about a 1/3rd of the survey size. That means a confidence interval of about 5%. The numbers given for Ontario was 40% for the Tories, and 35% for the Whigs. The intervals between Tory and Liberal support overlap. That is usually a pretty good indication that there is a high statically possibility that those two proportions could be equal. In other words: the Tories and the Liberals might actually be tied in Ontario. In fact other polls coming out lately have shown much closer numbers for Ontario would you believe.

So seeing this Darrel Bricker, if he wanted to be statically sound, would have said nothing of the sort that he did. He could have said there is a slight possibility of a Tory majority. If he wanted to say more he should have done a poll just of Ontario - because as most agree a difference of 5% could make a majority or minority at this point. But coming to conclusions like this one - no matter how satisfying to myself personally - makes no sense.

I would feel dishonest if I said nothing about it.

DART Collided with Satellite?

That's what NASA is saying today.
“The DART spacecraft did make contact with the target satellite during the rendezvous phase of the mission and boosted it into a slightly higher orbit,” NASA spokeswoman Kim Newton said April 22.

I love how bland and uninteresting a NASA spokesman can make anything sound. They were playing bumber cars at a 300 km altitude but somehow you get the feeling no one at NASA is excited or even surprised.
NASA initially reported that the self-guided DART spacecraft closed to within about 100 meters of Mublcom before DART’s onboard computer detected that it had prematurely exhausted its onboard propellant. The computer then called off the approach.

The initial report I read did not specifically say that DART had used up all of its fuel. It was only suggested days later that that might have happened. As information about DART comes out we can already start to guess what may have happened.
The first indication that DART hit Mublcom came from ground controllers at Orbital Sciences who detected that the military satellite was in a slightly higher orbit than it was before its encounter with DART, according to Newton.

So let's say that DART did collide with Mublcom. Why was all the fuel exhausted? May I provide a couple theories? The collision cracked a valve or connection and created a fuel leak. The only other thing I can think off is a massive programming error. And I'm assuming the software as tested the heck out of, so I'm thinking the first theory is the only plausible explanation. But why did it collide in the first place?

Anybody else got any other ideas?

Paul Martin Link to UN Oil For Food Scam Found

Angry In The Great White North reports on Paul Martin's links to Saddam Hussein. It is based on a report from Canada Free Press that has suggested that the UN oil for food scandal may be tied to Paul Martin.

Does the stench of corruption know no bounds?

Flaherty Runs

I just got this off the grapevine:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2005


FLAHERTY SEEKS FEDERAL CONSERVATIVE NOMINATION

Whitby - After speaking with family and friends, Whitby-Ajax M.P.P. Jim Flaherty is seeking the Federal Conservative nomination for the riding of Whitby-Oshawa.
...
"This was an extremely difficult decision for me, but I cannot sit idly by and watch while the Federal Liberals deceive Canadians and tarnish our reputation worldwide," said Flaherty. "I am shocked and angry by what I have heard at the Gomery Inquiry, and quite frankly my children deserve better, my neighbours deserve better, all Canadians deserve better."
...
"I believe that this is a fundamental election and a turning point for the future of Canada," said Flaherty. "The time has come to bring honesty, integrity and leadership back to Parliament Hill. To me this is about the kind of future we want for our children, it is about the kind of country we want them to inherit. I want to help build a better Canada."

I think most people guessed this would happen. There have been rumours that Flaherty would do this for months. I think it's obvious that he's just using AdScam as an excuse to do what he always wanted to do. To be frank his future is pretty bleak in Provincial politics. He tried twice to win the leadership of the Ontario Provincial Tories based on a campaign of principle. He failed both times.

This gives him an opportunity to seek office in an arena that desperately needs principled conservatives: Ottawa. Jim Flaherty has shown himself to be an adept politician, and a genuinely good person in politics. He's stood for principles when other Tories were flailing in the wind. He's fought against impossible odds for lower taxes, less government, choice in education, and traditional family values when they weren't exactly the most popular causes.

Stephen Harper just gained another seat tonight in Whitby Ajax. Only 135 Liberals left to knock off.

May I suggest Flaherty for Minister of Finance? This country would be exploding past the US in growth in a matter of nanoseconds if we did... Well it may take a little longer than that...

Supreme Court Justices on the take

To make matters worse for Paul Martin, a senior member of the Liberal Party is now claiming that in order to be a Supreme Court Justice in Canada you need to be friendly to the Liberal Party.

"The Liberal network . . . definitively controlled everything: nominations, mandates, contracts, grants," Corbeil told Radio-Canada. "I am convinced that a person who want to be named a judge or a person who wanted to have important mandates has to have friendly ties with these people, who can influence the political apparatus and eventually, but there I don't have tangible proof, eventually the administrative apparatus."


In my opinion any Supreme Court Justice appointed in the last 10 years should take a leave of absence until an investigation clears their name. This is the only way to ensure the credibility of the Canadian court system.

Also the Mounties should be removed from investigating AdScam and any other criminal investigation involving the federal government. The OPP and the Quebec Provincial Police should take over. As it stands now even the Mounties have been implicated as being on the take from the PMO.

Apologize All you want...

There is a saying, you know it's bad, not when you have to apologize, but when you have to apologize twice. And that's exactly what Paul Martin did in his speech minutes ago.

He made a commitment to call an election "within 30 days of the final report of the Gomery Inquiry." It's a stalling tactic pure and simple. The final report may not be tabled for a year. And the opposition may force an election before that. This is a bout of panick designed to make Canadians think that the opposition is out to go haiwire calling elections purely for political gain.

Plus, what's a commitment worth from Paul Martin? What happened to his commitment on Same Sex Marriage? What happened to his support on missile defense? What happened to his wanting to get rid of the GST? What happened to his opposition to Free Trade?

A Liberal commitment is about as good as toilet paper.

Paul Martin's address was worth even less.

Political Circus

I was watching a liberal member of Provincial Parliament explain that the reason why Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty broke many of his promises was because "...once we were in government, we had to make responsible decisions..."

No I'm not making this up.

Ironic considering that Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin is about to make a National televised address. The only other time Prime Ministers have done this, was during the terrorist FLQ crisis in Quebec in the 70's, the imposition of wage and price controls, and other national emergencies.

Apparently the impending collapse of the Liberal party is a national emergency.

This event will be preceded by a live appearance by Conservative leader Stephen Harper to offer a response.

This will be the biggest political circus this country has ever known.

"A man of hesitation has turned into desperation..."

Gilles Duceppe hit the nail on the head last night in a media scrum. "A man of hesitation has turned into desperation..." Paul Martin has no one to blame but himself for the sponsorship scandal. This ridiculous public relations stunt he is planning tonight is merely a sign of his failure as a leader because of his dithering nature.

This isn't a national emergency. This is a Paul Martin and his Party of Crooks and Liars emergency. For him to make a national televised address to the nation is a clear indication of the desperation his party is going through.

And now we have this strategy coming out the PMO:
If the Martin TV address doesn't do the trick, Liberal strategists have a "Plan B" in the works.

Senior Liberal party strategists, including Trudeau-era cabinet minister Ed Lumley, met last weekend to discuss getting former prime minister Jean Chretien to speak publicly again on the sponsorship scandal. It was suggested Chretien admit no wrongdoing but accept responsibility for what happened under his watch.

Chretien is reported to have heard the proposal and hasn't ruled it out.

How can Chretien admit no wrongdoing but still accept responsibility for what happened under his watch? And why would Chretien make himself the fall guy in this mess when he's been Paul Martin's foe for so long?

This is all spin. Spin and more spin. There is so little truth in any of this.

The only truth is that the Liberal Party stole taxpayer money. It's up to Canadians to decide what to do next.

Nuke 'em

I came across this piece and this one on NASA's efforts to use Nuclear reactors in space probes and ships.

People have a natural anti-nuclear reaction when they start to hear suggestions like this one. Fears, founded or unfounded, of accidents occuring and potential disastrous consequences are to be expected.

This technology has been sold as a necessary requirement for missions to Mars or beyond. I'm not so sure that is true.

I really think that this effort has more to do with NASA getting the public comfortable with the concept of using Nuclear power in space. If successful they may become less jittery about ideas that NASA has proven could work in the past and deliver huge increases in rocket efficiencies... like say nuclear rockets...

The Dying days of a Corrupted Regime

Gagliano, the Liberal most tarnished by AdScam, is lashing out at Paul Martin.
OTTAWA - Alfonso Gagliano is predicting the end of Canada after Quebec separatists win the next referendum in the province -- and the country will have Paul Martin and his inquiry to blame.

The good ship Liberal is not only sinking, it's not just twelve feet under water, it's not just dead, it's mincemeat.

It would really surprise me that a referendum would be held in Quebec over AdScam. This isn't something that the federal government did against Quebec - - all Canadians were a victim of these crooks. This is just the desperate ramblings of members of a dying old corrupted regime.

Canadians should be afraid of another nanosecond of Liberals controlling the purse strings of government.

The Trouble with Polls

73% of Canadians believe Paul Martin was somewhat or very responsible for AdScam...
But you wouldn't know any of this from the highly selective reporting of this poll last week by the CBC, which commissioned it, and by other media, who, incredibly, portrayed it as a positive finding for Martin. (For alerting me to this controversy, I'm indebted to blogger "Michael" of Winnipeg, who first wrote about it Sunday on his website, bluemapleleaf.blogspot. com).

Is this the beginning of an alternative media coming to life in this country similar to the one in full bloom in the US?

I hope so.

Pope Benedict XVI

The Curt Jester Reports that Cardinal Ratzinger has been selected as the new pope.

I never saw this coming.

Ratzinger I saw more as the darling of young seminarians. He was well liked because of his orthodoxy or tradionalism.

I think JPII drew a lot of young people that were disaffected with today's modern society. There is a disconnect I think between modern society and many young people. The Pope drew on that dissatisfaction and presented a different type of culture.

It was a culture based on fidelity, honour, courage, fellowship, compassion, and faith. That is, in a nutshell, what drew a lot of young people to JPII. And those young seminarians, that will be JPII priests, saw that orthodoxy in bucketful's in Ratzinger.

Ratzinger's election is a real surprise not because of his orthodoxy, but because of his outspoken orthodoxy.

I was wondering about the same thing myself over the past few days. What does the world need? Does it need a Pope that will softly persuade people of the need of those values in today's world?

Or do we need a St. Augustine. Do we need someone to shake us up? I think we might have that answer today.

Border Vigilante Woes

Us Canucks living in Liberal Soviet territory are being targeted by these guys.

Now I'm a big Robert Heinlein fan. And I can still remember reading "Puppet Masters" and examining the need for Vigilantes where governments can sometimes fail. There are trade-offs of course. The biggest is that vigilantes can turn into extremists going on witch hunts. The best example of vigilantes taking control where a government fails is in California. Back in frontier days Gangs took control of the future city of Los Angeles and kicked the federal government out. A group of vigilantes rose up and created something called the "Vigilance Committee." They took down the gangs, then the Federal government in the US finally got its act together and took over from the vigilantes. That is until the gangs rose up again.

In this case I can't see the point. To be honest the problem with Canada isn't necessarily that it lets too many terrorists get across into the US, it's more that it lets too many terrorists in in the first place. The Refugee claimant system in this country is a joke. We let known terrorists and criminals into this country and deny perfectly legitimate immigrants that try to get through the system honestly without bribing Liberal officials.

Warren Didn't Disappoint

So I said Warren Kinsella would cause general mayhem when he testified, and he didn't dissapoint.
Warren Kinsella, a former advisor to Jean Chretien and a vehement political foe of Mr. Martin's, said the then-finance minister was aware of allegations that contracts in the mid-1990s had been "rigged" to favour the Earnscliffe Strategy Group.

"He absolutely had knowledge of these things," Mr. Kinsella told the House of Commons public accounts committee during hearings into a 2003 Auditor-General's report that looked at how the government handled contracts for polling and other public opinion research.

Now we have a direct link to the current Prime Minister Paul Martin and corruption in Liberal Party of Canada. Thanks a bunch Warren.

Black Smoke

Black smoke rose from top the of the sistine Chapel today.

No Cardinal received two thirds of the votes cast...

Flying Cars or Flying Pigs?

Paul Moller and his cohorts in the AirCar brigade everyonce and a while come out with another claim that AirCars are just a breath away... And CBS falls ripe for it.

Mr. Moller has been working on an AirCar for 20 years. His primary investor has spent millions financing his venture. So far bupkiss for results.

I've seen a documentary on Moller. He seems like a very lonely guy. He's dedicated himself so much to one cause I think he's starting to wonder what he's done with his life. He often takes a variety of medicines and vitamins and other "new-age" type alternative remedies to try to prolong his life. It really seems like he just does not want to leave until he finishes his work.

It's a little sad, and almost sadistic quite frankly - - at least that's how it came across in the documentary.

The problem is every couple years or so him and his buddies will push another story about how AirCars are right around the corner. 20 years have gone by. No offense Mr. Moller, but I'll believe it when I see it.

NDP Blackmail

NDP leader Jack Layton stood up today and told good ol' Paul Martin that if he wanted to keep on going being PM, he'd better cancel those corporate tax cuts and give Ontario more cash.
If Paul Martin does the Layton's bidding, the NDP will prop up Martin's minority government in the case of a non-confidence vote.

In the face of the greatest corruption scandal in Canadian history, a scandal where public officials blackmailed Ad executives, Layton decides to join the blackmail train blackmailing King Paul himself.

I guess you could say the Liberals are getting a taste of their own medicine.

Of course the difference here is that the NDP is doing it out in the open and not lurking around in shadows exchanging checks.

Another Publication Ban?

You would have figured that these jokers would have figured it out yet:
The week of May 25 promises fireworks as Coffin Communication owner Paul Coffin takes the stand under a publication ban to protect his right to a fair trial on allegations he defrauded taxpayers. Gomery will rule on whether to lift the ban on his testimony before a return appearance by former sponsorship head Chuck Guite.

Another pub ban? It took less than 72 hours for the last one to be broken. Something tells me it will take less 24 hours for this one to break wide.

The more I read about what is coming up in the AdScam inquiry, the more I think the election will be in the fall, or late summer... This stuff is just too juicy. An election would delay this information from coming out. It's still the right thing to do to call the election now in my opinion. This government has lost the confidence of Canadians pure and simple - - regardless of political considerations.

But part of me is thinking you might as well let it come out now and see how far Liberal support can really drop before it bottoms out...

JP II A Centrist?

Courtesy of Papabile I stumbled upon this piece claiming that JP II was a centrist. This mirrors comments I made a while ago on the same topic.

The fact is that their exists a Tradionalist end to the church that prefer the Latin mass, and are uncomfortable with changes since Vatican II. Labelling them as "right" or "conservative" is really unfair. I would bet that most "traditionalists" are probably very much economic Liberals. At the other end of the church are Reformists that are pro-choice, pro-contraception and generally would like to reform the church. Again labelling Reformists as "Liberals" doesn't help either because I'm betting some Reformists are probably Libertarians.

The last Pope was really in between the two extremes. It's just that the agenda of one extreme is more in line with the agenda of those in the media. Because of that you only hear one side of the criticism.

Also keep in mind I know some Catholics that prefer the Latin mass, are pro-life but they do not understand why women can't be ordained as priests. Some people will never fit any mold you come up with.

A good defense for Warren Kinsella

I'm watching the tv show GlobalSunday right now with National Post Editor Diane Francis, and legendary (or should I say infamous?) Liberal "rat-packer" Sheila Copps. They are talking about AdScam.

I can't believe how incredibly reasonable Sheila sounds. I feel like someone should hit me to knock some sense into me... Well mostly.

At one point Sheila starts talking about how she saw a lot of secrecy in the Liberal Party when she ran for the nomination of her riding. You see Sheila ran a desperate, some would say foolish campaign, against Paul Martin for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Martin ended up getting 94% of the vote. And, not being satisfied with keeping 6% opposition, Martin used his heavy control of the internal organization of the Liberal Party to run Sheila Copps straight out of politics. And Sheila blamed her loss on Martin's tight grip on the party. That tight grip included a secretive culture dominated by Paul Martin supporters.

But in this edition of GlobalSunday, it's almost as if she's saying that it was this "culture of secrecy" in the Liberal Party that lead to AdScam. In other words AdScam was not caused by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, it was Paul Martin's control over the Liberal Party that created AdScam.

Warren Kinsella, who always seems to be looking at ways to defend Jean Chretien's legacy in the face of the corruption now apparent through his tenure, should take a look at Sheila's argument.

At least this argument seems plausible. To suggest that AdScam was somehow necessary for the country, or that the Gomery inquiry is manufacturing this evidence is a fantasy obsession the he would best to get over.

Jeancula

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien's legacy in Canadian politics is about as low it can go:

The Liberal Party of Canada: Sucking your blood dry since 1867.

DART Fails

I never expected DART to fail.

I wonder though the reason for the fault. I guess human Astronauts pilots are needed afterall...

Bad Headlines

The Tories have to stop stories like this one. Yes the populist measures from the Reform movement of MP recall and Citizens initiated referendums were defeated fairly at the last convention - but you don't need to rub it in peoples faces.

In Canada among the very many factions of Conservative includes the so-called "Democratic Conservative." A DemoCon believes that the people in this country do not have enough say in politics in general. Most believe that people should be able to recall members of parliament if they deserve it, and that citizens should be able to initiate referenda like they do in the US and in many countries in Europe. Included along with that is the cause of having our Senators actually be elected in this country.

This may help the Tories with so-called moderate voters, but coming off of the convention some DemoCons such as myself are not going to be happy with people continuously pouring salt on the wound. Move on please.

Another Poll, More panic

Ipsos Reid released another poll showing the Tories climbing to 36% today and the Liberals falling to 27%. This confirms previous polling from EKOS that shows the same numbers.

What can we see from these numbers from the pollsters thus far? Well it's showing us two things: the first is that the Tories are overtaking the Liberals in Ontario, and that the Liberal base of support in Quebec has collapsed. Also there might be some positive momentum for the Tories in the rest of Canada.

Inferring anything else from these polling numbers is nothing anyone should bet on. The 95% Confidence Intervals for these polls are in the 2 to 3% range and will balloon when you look at regional numbers. And in Canada, the land of 10 colonies masquerading as a nation, the regional numbers are all that count. In Canada's fragmented politics, the only way to get a real accurate look at the political landscape is to divide the numbers into Quebec, Ontario, the East, and the West. Because the fact is that the ballot question in Quebec has the seperatist element to it, and out East you're either Irish or unhappy, and out West you're either a wacko environmentalist or a died in the wool Tory. Canada is not a land of "two-solitudes." Canada is a land of 3 or 5 solitudes.

Some polls have shown the NDP overtaking the Tory stronghold of B.C., and the Liberals climbing in the Conservative prairies. Something doesn't fly with those numbers - as to be expected there are some uncertainties in polling. The first and foremost comes from the fact that a poll is merely a "snapshot" of the electorate's opinions. The second depends on how the question is asked of voters. One weird aspect of Canadian polls is that it matters by as much as 5 points if you ask the question "If a federal election were called today, would you vote for: The Liberal Party of Canada," etc. etc. or if you ask the question "...would you vote for: the Liberal Party lead by Paul Martin," etc. etc.

Either way the two constants, the way I see it, in all these polls is that the Tories are in the lead in Ontario, and the Liberals have been decimated in Quebec.

panic is the obvious thing I expect from the Liberals. Ontario contains over a third of the seats in Canada's parliament. I'm expecting the worst attacks yet from Liberals.

Coupled with the fact that the Liberal party is polling below 20% in Quebec it will most likely mean that the separatist Bloc Quebequois will sweep Quebec. The only hope I have is that part way through the campaign, federalists in the province start to see the hopelessness of supporting the Liberal party and jump ship to the Tories. Given a semi-bilingual Conservative leader and you have a shot at an electoral breakthrough.

I think the talk of referendum is premature though. A referendum will require the seperatists to be elected in the Quebec Provincial legislature (I refuse to call it by it's official separatist name) and that will only happen if Jean Charest and his Provincial Liberals are tarnished by the behaviour of his Federal cousins.

Canuck Rocket Histeria

And here ends one of the most ridiculous chapters in Canuck Rocket histeria.

The US Department of Defense wanted to make a launch that would head over the Newfoundland offshore Oil rigs.

Nevermind that the actual chances of getting hit with debry on some of the worst planned trajectories is incredibly remote, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams ordered the offshore platforms to be evacuated anyways. Then he said this:
"It's the one is the number that's that important. ... if there's a one chance that something could happen out there ... with regard to human lives and human safety, that's simply not acceptable."

Williams also said, "We don't have any idea of what the consequences of that size of an object dropping in the ocean are.

"We have not been told what the effect would be on the wave action or the ocean floor. We haven't been given the full ecological impact, so at this point we're not getting answers to the question that I want answered."

Rocket paranoia is not uncommon in Canada. Unfortunately a great deal of it stems from a Soviet satellite that spread radiation over the Canadian north long ago. Canadians have been jittery ever since.

But quite frankly anyone familiar with space, and physics can't help but laugh a little bit. What poor mistaken soul was advising the Premier on this one?

Really, for all the space junk floating around in low earth orbit, you don't see people getting struck in the head all the time by rocket debris. The chances are somewhere near a trillion to one. Something tells me that the Premier of Newfounland should be able to live with that level of risk.

Princess Leia has taken over Ukraine!

Courtesy of Robot Guy...
The New Prime Minister of Ukraine:

Princess Leia in the Empire Strikes Back:

No wonder dictatorships are falling all over the place in Eastern Europe: Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca are kicking some tail behind the scenes!

Those Darn Bipod Ramps

In Engineering there's an idea that if you can't eliminate a problem, you attempt to contain it and mitigate its effects.

That's exactly what they're trying to do with these tests on the External Tank of the Space Shuttle.

Basically the external tank carries a load of liquid hydrogen and oxygen required by the Space Shuttle during flight. It needs to be cooled so low that it creates ice build ups on the external tank. It's essentially a huge sophisticated pop can.

It's theorized that foam from the bipod ramp near the connection between the space shuttle and the external tank fell off during flight and struck the wing of the space shuttle causing damage to the tiles on the wing. This is based on sketchy coverage of Shuttle during launch showing foam striking the wing. What has always bothered me is that they can't really produce evidence that it was that piece of foam that caused the damage that lead to disaster. In reality it could have been anything. They base their findings on the launch STS-50 which showed considerable damage from a falling piece of foam. However it's still just a theory. NASA engineers have seen this happen on countless other launches. Some raised a red flag, but NASA in the end decided to ignore any potential damage. The truth is that many things besides foam can cause protective tiles to fall off during flight. Going nuts over coverage of some falling foam hitting the wing is the least of the Space Shuttle's many problems.

Engineers would usually call something like this a "design flaw." The only way to fix a design flaw is to scrap the design and start fresh.

Instead of scrapping the Shuttle they've chosen to try to mitigate the risk. Notice that they speak about inspecting the External Tank for "ice buildup." If Engineers were really convinced that the source of the problem was the bipod ramp foam they would test that component alone in a smaller test.

This large scale test I bet included an inspection of ice build ups in sensitive areas that NASA engineers decided on without any impetus by anyone else. Ice falling off the external tank and striking the wing are just as liable of a culprit, and my bet is that Engineers at NASA know it and that's why these intensive tests are being done.

It's convenient to point your finger at a piece of foam as the culprit because it makes everyone think you know what your talking about. The truth is that Engineering is sometimes filled with uncertainty, and it may be the worst thing to say but the truth is you really don't know.

Corriveau's Memory Lapses

Corriveau, a friend of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, can't seem to remember many things. Through recent testimony heard at the Gomery inquiry, he has been implicated as being a key person in the funneling of dirty money to the Liberal Party of Canada through Ad companies hired by the federal Government in Quebec.
He also denied he ever discussed sponsorship contracts with Chr├ętien.

He often could not remember events such as meetings he may have had with the prime minister noted in Chr├ętien's agenda.

"Forgive me commissioner," Corriveau said. "Sometimes it's easier to remember things that happened a long time ago more than recent events."

I guess that must be the Canadian version of "I have no recollection senator... I cannot recall senator..."

If this corrupted Liberal Party stays in power much longer I fear where this country will be heading.

LunchScam

Just when you thought Paul Martin couldn't get dragged down any lower, this glorious little tidbit fell from the sky...

And hence begins the drama that is LunchScam. The ultimate question: Did Martin have lunch with Claude Boulay who then pushed Martin for a contract or not?

Martin says no. Alain Renaud says yes.

But Martin also said a lot things. He said he was open to missile defense. He said that we would get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal before the next election. And he left the door wide open when it came to the War in Iraq before changing his dithering mind.

Who are we supposed to be believe?... A man suspected of criminal action, or lying deceiving joke of a dithering Prime Minister?

And here begins the LunchScam dilemma

The National Joke

Is this intelligent Canadian debate?
Did the Prime Minister have lunch with Claude Boulay on any occasion, yes or no?
Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my testimony is a matter of public knowledge. Any allegation that I interfered in any contract is a lie.

I will tell members what is not a lie, and that is what is now the Conservative position on health care. Last week it was Ralph Klein. Today it was Preston Manning and Mike Harris.

What is the Conservative agenda, which is no longer hidden? I will tell members. It is no federal role in health care. It is no Canada Health Act. It is no one saying no to the privatization of health care. I will fight the Conservatives tooth and nail and we will protect the Canada Health Act.
...
I will put my question again. Did the Prime Minister have lunch with Claude Boulay at the Liberal convention, yes or no?

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again, the full testimony is there. However, let us talk about transparency. Let us talk about the Conservative hidden agenda on health care that the hon. member refuses to divulge.
...
Having said that, why is the hon. member refusing to address his hidden agenda on health care? Why is he refusing to stand here and deal with the issues raised by Preston Manning and by Mike Harris on his behalf? Canadians are entitled to know what the Conservative position is. Why did he send Mike Harris and Preston Manning out to do his bidding?

Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, if this were not so serious, I would say the Prime Minister is in danger of making himself a national joke.


CalgaryGrit of all people says it better than anyone else:
...A former Progressive Conservative Premier and the former leader of a defunct party can represent the Conservative health care vision but when high ranking Liberals are involved in scandal, they're "rogue Liberals"? This is an absolutely mind-boggling contradiction to me. I can't remember the last time a federal government looked this desperate.

Moon Troubles...

Mark Whittington and Rand Simberg seem to be having fun this morning:
Rand ignores several facts. First, the public was excited when men walked on the moon--the first time. The public became bored with each lunar expedition that followed. I think there were a couple of reasons for this. One, (and Rand has a point here) it did not appear that lunar exploration would ever progress beyond "a few government employees."

Speaking as someone that was not actually alive when the Moon landings happened, the most inspiring thing that NASA ever did was land on the Moon. I can't stress how much of an effect the whole concept has on a dreaming stupid kid.

I read books on Apollo, not like they were some sort of mundane mission report, but like they were an adventure tale. It's an extremely romantic notion to think that that strange disk in the sky way above had humans on it once. No matter what the generation starry eyed idiots like myself will forever be mesmerized by the idea.

Slowly over time the dream wears off. And most come to the realization that a "few government employees" are really the only ones that will ever get to go.

Simberg is right in the sense that a return to the Moon will produce no more long term excitement than the last one did if it ends up being a "plant a flag in the ground" job.

But in the short term people would definitely be excited. Maybe not necessarily the US, but imagine the case for other nations. Right know only Americans have ever made it into Space. As Europe, Japan, and China make it to the Moon fascination with Space exploration will reach a global appeal. I'm sure that the Japanese would go nuts over the first Japanese moon landing. And I find it hard to believe that Americans would not tune in to see Americans running around on the Moon.

Remember, people like me haven't had the opportunity to see it with their own eyes. Seeing Astronauts on the Moon, at the very least, over the short term will spike interest again of the young.

Brison Gets Whacked

Talk about wacking someone over the head, Liberal MP Scott Brison apparently is getting notorious for attracting the venomous ire of some Conservatives...
The purpose of this site is to provide visitors with a background of Scott Brison and illustrate the lack of integrity he has exhibited since joining the Liberal Party of Canada.

Read more from turncoat.ca.

Schiavo Doctor Discredited

You remember all those neurologists that claimed that Terri Schiavo was in persistent vegetative State? One of those doctors said that he was "...105 percent sure she is in a vegetative state."

That doctor was Dr. Ronald Cranford.

He made a similar prognosis about another patient in a similar situation.
''Sergeant Mack will never regain cognitive, sapient functioning,'' Cranford said six months after Mack was shot while serving a search warrant on Dec. 13, 1979. ''He will never be aware of his condition nor resume any degree of meaningful voluntary conscious interaction with his family or friends.''

On October 22 1981, Sergeant Mack woke up. In fact he regained "...95 percent of his intellectual abilities."

I wouldn't want that doctor diagnosing me.

Tip o' the hat to Curmudgeons.

Kinsella Strikes Back

I'm sure Warren Kinsella will probably deny, obstruct, fly off the handle, and cause general mayhem when he testifies at the Gomery Inquiry. Kinsella must be feeling like a cornered rat, unable to think clearly at this point because his political ideals and dubious opinions have been shattered in the poop fest that is AdScam. The stench is so bad even somewhere in the back of Mr. Kinsella's strange mind he must know it stinks.

He put a lot of stock in Jean Chretien and in the Liberal Party. He must have. He was a Liberal in freaking Conservative nutso Alberta. He's put so much of his life in one cause he can't be wrong.

And now that his deceiving, lying, decrepit, thieving, crooked, corrupted Liberal Party is tumbling to electoral oblivion he had this to say:
Word on the Ottawa grapevine is that a couple of powerful people are insisting they have "reached out" to me, have tried to make amends, etc. Boy, talk about your eleventh-hour, death's bed Act of Contrition. I'm certain it's completely unrelated to recent events.


Can Stephen Harper win big? Sure he can - if he was leader, caucus and CPC membership rolled into one person, that is. Google "blogging Tories," an you'll see what I mean. Preston Manning used to say a bright light attracts a lot of bugs. That's true. So if I was Stephen, I'd get out the industrial-strength Raid, and pronto.

Typical Kinsella.

He first swims in his own personal sweaty vat of vanity. Only he apparently can save the Liberal Party. Memo to Warren: you can save a sinking ship, not a ship already 12 feet underwater.

Then he ends off with an attack on Conservative bloggers.

May I suggest you frequent rabble.ca if you want some real extremism.

Are Feeding Tubes Artificial?

Stupidus posted this couple days ago from Yet Another SF Fan on Terry Schiavo:
"Would People in Space Colonies Be Really Alive? After all, all of them are going to be maintained by artificial means."

Excellent question... Where does the argument over the artificial nature end?

After all babies cannot survive other than by artificial means... Does that mean they shouldn't be fed? Obviously not. Though what about artificial breathing apparatuses, are they any different then an oxygen tank strapped to the back of an astronaut?

Papal Choices

North Western Winds provides a pretty good summary from George Weigel of the issues that Cardinals will probably be considering when they vote on the next Pope:
"The first of these is the virtual collapse of Christianity in its historic heartland — western Europe."

"The second great issue is the Church’s response to the multi-faceted challenge posed by the rise of militant Islam."

"The third involves the questions posed by the biotech revolution."

"Questions of the Church’s intellectual discipline will also be discussed..."

"The 'foreign policy' of the Holy See [as it has been practised] for more than two generations"

Reading the piece in question I'm understanding the "foreign policy" of the Holy See to mean the Church's approach to the European Union. As to the "Church's intellectual discipline" I'm reading that to mean that they want to make sure the Church presents a clearer argument for Christianity in intellectual terms in the modern age.

Makes you wonder who exactly the next Pope will be. With a lot of Cardinals I don't think we don't know their views on many of these issues. And despite the naysayers, I have complete trust in the process of the Conclave and I know that the right Pope will be selected. The process has been perfected over 2000 years - this isn't something that was started yesterday.

Regardless of what the media is saying there are really two wings in the Catholic church. There is a Reformist wing, the one the media exclusively talks about, that believes in the ordination of women, is pro-abortion, pro-contraceptives, and the more extremists question the physical resurrection of Christ and prefer a "spiritual resurrection" as a substitute.

But there is also a traditionalist wing, who's more extremist elements believe literally that they're more Catholic than the Pope. The Society of St. Pius X, for example (I'm pretty sure) rejects Vatican II and is in schism with the Vatican. They only celebrate the Latin mass, but it does have a Vatican recognized counterpart:the Society of St. Peter.

The two extremes tug at the church, and really the Holy See is somewhere in between. The media doesn't show any traditionalists critics of JP II only Reformist. Not that I agree with either side but it's pretty obvious that the media has an agenda of it's own.

Bruce Willis won't rescue you from the sky falling

Curmudgeons is excited about the remake of the film "When World's Collide." The story is that a gas giant is on a collision course with Earth. It was the first disaster story about cosmic collisions. Every other comet impact, or asteroid impact story is just a pale copycat. The novel was where the plot of a "lottery" was dreamed up to decide who would survive.

In this post-911 world it's to be expected that disaster stories are going to be the norm. Also, I'm told at least, that when society is in a war, horror movies and sci-fi movies become more popular. Right know the world is in War against terror, and so you're seeing movies like this one come out, along with the remake of the "War of the Worlds," and I wouldn't doubt that more are to come.

But Rand Simberg is right when he says that Nuking the flying rock in space Bruce Willis style won't do a thing. The truth is that if a giant rock was heading for earth we wouldn't have the capability to even save ourselves by sending people to another planet to survive. We are really powerless to stop a Dinosaur killer sized asteroid or comet. We have problems just building a space station on time and on budget how do we expect, even in a 100 years, to build something that could take down a celestial body?

The only way to ensure survival of the human race is to have a colony somewhere off this floating blue spec.

Insurance A Barrier to Access to Space?

I just finished reading Sam Dinkin's paper on Orbital Access.

I can still remember once sitting down and doing a little research. I took the total tank capacity of the Space Shuttle External Tank, and did some number crunching. Using the cost of Liquid Hydrogen that I could find, I calculated how much a Space Shuttle launch costs just in terms of fuel, just in terms of the External tank not including the Solid Rocket Boosters.

Right know the average cost of single Shuttle flight works out to about 1/2 a billion US. All it took was some simple arithmetic to figure out that the cost of the fuel in the external tanks was a mere fraction of this number. It was an eye opener. I suddenly started to research more and more about where exactly these costs were going. The majority I found were from operation of the launch site.

Sam Dinkin's paper was like a lightingbolt. The two major obstacles to lowering the cost of launch vehicles seems to me to be range costs, as they are with the space shuttle, but also insurance. They alone account for over %70 of the costs of launching a rocket in the scenario he's described. Ranges are regulated by governments, and they charge a flat fee for their use. He's suggesting that instead a tax be put on range usage, on a per pound, or on a percentage of revenue basis. Also he talks about rocket launching operations self-insuring themselves to further reduce costs.

I doubt that Sam Dinkin could have botched his numbers to the extent that those two factors aren't at least a significant portion of the costs of access to space.

It's amazing that those two components are the biggests obstacles to space exploration. I wonder though how Mark Oakley would respond to this though. He's always argued that some sort drastic technological improvement in propulsion technology needs to happen for launch costs to lower below the $1,000/pound range. But he's been kidnapped by TGV-Rockets since sometime last year.

Why There won't be an Election...

Elections Canada still has not rebated Districts associations, of any party, with their refund checks.

In Canada 1/2 of all money spend by a local campaign by a candidate for Member of Parliament in a Federal Election is rebated at the taxpayers expense.

For the most part this rule is how many ridings finance themselves in elections. If they have $30,000 in the bank, they raise another $30,000, and spend $60,000. $30,000 of that money is returned and the process is restarted the next election. Some ridings will even take out loans taking into account the refund they will receive.

All in all, I'm figuring about $20 million dollars Canadian is oustanding from Elections Canada to be paid to various parties operating in 308 District Associations.

No election will happen in this country until those rebates are sent out. The federal parties may have enough money for an election, but in Canada, elections are a district by district fight. The Parties local Distric Associations are the ones that pay for signs, get out the vote efforts, and even will pay for ads for the local candidate.

It's mostly agreed that Elections Canada is dominated by Liberals. It's becoming a little strange that Elections Canada still hasn't send out the rebates yet.

Something tells me that those checks won't come out until sometime in the fall, probably at a time when the Gomery Inquiry is finished, or maybe when the Liberals have recovered a bit...