The Obligatory Apollo In Memoriam Post


Forty years ago today a couple engineers from this flying ball landed on another flying ball and planted a flag.

Let's all pat ourselves on the back one more time for humanity's great ingenuity.

"We got to the moon!" Yippee.

We can all hunker down and worry about more serious things now - apparently.

The bottom line is that we went to the moon and did nothing with that success. Really we could have never gone and would the world have been really different? Was the psychological effect of a moon landing stunt really of that much value to humanity?

I have to admit to thinking it was once. Today though I can't say that. It would have been far better for humanity to have hunkered down and tried to develop safe and cheap access to space for everyone. That's the stuff that changes things. That's the stuff that people should be patting themselves on the back for.

Where people really need to be focusing their attention on is the work that companies like SpaceX are doing.

The timing of their recent launch success is the thing we need to latch unto as a benchmark for human progress. Not the antics of a select few in another century who in the end did not do much to change the essential reality that spaceflight is expensive and dangerous.

The Two Encyclicals

The Pope's newly released encyclical has been called everything but a shift left for the Vatican.

As a public service I figured I'd post an actual quote from the encyclical that those crying foul might do well to reflect on:
"By considering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being, subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state. ... In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together."

For those not familiar with the principle of subsidiary...

From the Roman Catholic Catechism 1883:
"Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervatrion by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity according to which 'a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of the community of a lower order..'"

From 1885:
"The principle of subsidiary is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits on state intervention... It tends towards the establishment of true international order."

Let's re-quote the encyclical's more controversial passages:
"67. In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. ...Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity..."

In other words the UN needs more teeth. No to socialism. You can call that a contradiction, but the Pope was careful to warn that he was not offering any technical solutions to the current economic crisis.

The Principle of Subsidiary is fairly present in this encyclical. It's interesting how no one seems to notice it.

I wonder just what Papal encyclical the press seems to be commenting on.

Ten Percenters

"A pervert in a plaid shirt is luring a child in a park, but the Bloc Québécois will not do anything to stop him, the Conservative Party says in a new round of attack ads.

The message, which was sent at taxpayers' expense in every single Bloc riding, features a blurry picture of a small boy leaving a park with an older man. The two are walking hand-in-hand, and a nearby kiddy swing is empty.

“Your Bloc MP has voted against the protection of children,” the tag line states.
Mr. Guimond said the use of parliamentary resources to send out the ads is despicable."

The infamous "Ten Percenters" are the annoying pamphlets you get in the mail from MPs that aren't your own, you could care less about, and know nothing about.

Sometimes they are from someone outside your province. You see as an MP you are allowed to send a mailout to ten percent of riding's population anywhere in the country at the taxpayer's expense.

Never mind the reason "Ten Percenters" exist. The point is they are used by political parties to infiltrate new markets. Basically MP A will use his "Ten Percenter" for some Riding on the other end of the country where his party is weak.

Inappropriate use of parliamentary funds? Absolutely.

Though just where does everyone think that the Conservatives picked up this tactic? Does anyone really think they've dreamed this up on their own?

Pay attention to those annoying pamphlets the next time you get one. You should notice not all of them come from the Conservative Party of Canada.