SpaceX and Canadian phone company Rogers sign deal

SpaceX and the Canadian phone company Rogers Communications yesterday announced that they have signed an agreement to provide satellite-to-phone communications to customers throughout Canada.

Rogers and SpaceX will offer satellite-to-phone technology in Canada using SpaceX’s Starlink low earth orbit satellites and Rogers national wireless spectrum. The companies plan to start with satellite coverage for SMS text and will eventually provide voice and data across the country’s most remote wilderness, national parks and rural highways that are unconnected today.

This deal makes SpaceX now a direct competitor to OneWeb, as it is apparently structured comparable to how OneWeb operates. Up until now, SpaceX has been almost exclusively marketing to individuals, who connect up to Starlink directly. OneWeb meanwhile provides its service to large ground-based customers who then sell their network — enhanced by OneWeb capabilities — to individuals or small businesses. Because of this difference in approach, the two companies were selling their wares to different markets, making the competition less intense.

SpaceX with this deal is copying OneWeb’s approach almost exactly, which means the competition for satellite internet communications is now going to heat up considerably. For users of the internet, this is the best thing that could happen.

Modern bigotry in Canada: Simon Fraser University declares math “racist”

One of many such workshops at Simon Fraser U
One of many such workshops at Simon Fraser University

The modern dark age: Simon Fraser University in Canada (SFU) has an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion learning group in its math office, and it appears that this office is today running a seminar, in partnership with the Simon Fraser Public Interest Group (SFPIRG), asking the important question, “How can math be racist?”, led by two modern “scholars” with no training in math at all.

Those set to speak at the seminar are Hannah Ghaderi, Co-Directory of Research & Education of the interest group, and Chantelle Spicer, currently the Director of Engagement [of SFU’s math Equity, Diversity and Inclusion learning group]. Neither of these individuals appear to have any professional background in math. Mathematician James Lindsay told Human Events that it is likely better that these two DEI professionals did not have a math background.

Lindsay said: “They don’t need mathematics backgrounds. They have critical consciousness, which means they know how racism and transphobia are hidden in everything, even things they don’t know anything about.”

No, actual math has nothing to do with this seminar. SFPIRG makes a big deal on its website about how it isn’t partisan, but yet its mission is “to engage students in social and environmental justice.” Or as it states in great length one paragraph later:
» Read more

Canadian rocket startup dies because of opposition to noise produced by its engine tests

Though there were likely other issues, according the CEO of the now defunct rocket startup SpaceRyde the company died when the local government blocked engine tests on a piece of rural land it had purchased because of local protests.

The Trent Hills municipality of Ontario asked SpaceRyde to stop engine tests from a lot in the region Oct. 7 after their noise brought attention to how an industrial application was operating on rurally zoned land. When SpaceRyde bought the land, “the understanding at the time was it would be a temporary operation that focused on supporting the business of testing balloon technology to deliver satellites into orbit,” Trent Hills mayor Bob Crate said during a Sept. 13 council meeting.

A petition started last year to stop SpaceRyde rocket engine tests it says can be “heard for many miles” has received more than 800 signatures.

We are clearly entering a dark age when the general public cannot tolerate the noise produced during short static fire engine tests lasting generally no more than one or two minutes.

Trudeau’s grab of the bank accounts of his political enemies might have crashed the Canadian banking system

The decision by the Trudeau government in Canada to freeze the bank accounts of the truck convoy protesters and their supporters now appears to have backfired monumentally, so much so that it has threatened to possibly crash the Canadian banking system as people apparently began rushing to withdraw their money out of fear it will be taken from them.

What might seem like a great tool for political punishment has long term consequences, especially if people start withdrawing their money and/or shifting the placement of their investments to more secure locations away from the reach of the Canadian government. Considering the rules of fractional banking and deposits, it doesn’t take many withdrawals before the banks have serious issues.

Is this happening? It appears it might be, though the Trudeau government and banks appear to be trying to hide it. The first indicator was the sudden several hour shut down of all web access to Canada’s five major banks shortly after the bank freeze was announced. The available data, though limited, suggested that the banks had suddenly experienced a run of customers withdrawing money, and shut down access temporarily to try to stem the tide.

The next indicator is the decision yesterday to unfreeze almost all of those bank accounts. That decision, along with Trudeau’s announcement today that he is revoking his emergency powers, suggest that the banks had put pressure on him to act, because the withdrawals had not ceased, and if he didn’t act the entire system would have crashed.

Whether Trudeau’s actions will end the panic however is quite unclear. I know that if I had any cash in a Canadian bank I would right now be looking to put at least some of it elsewhere. The same thought applies to American banks, as their recent effort to shut down accounts of conservatives like Mike Lindell suggests that many banks will go along with a similar order by the Biden administration. And with an American truck convoy just now gearing up and heading for Washington, no one should be surprised if such a draconian action is just over the horizon.

Ukraine and Nova Scotia to partner in spaceport deal

The new colonial movement: The Ukraine has agreed to be a partner in the building of a new spaceport in Nova Scotia.

It appears a Canadian company, Maritime Launch Services (MLS) has raised $10.5 million in investment capital to develop both the spaceport and a rocket it dubs Cyclone-4M. That company has also been negotiating with the Ukraine to buy engines from its two rocket engine manufacturers, Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash, for that rocket. As part of the negotiations, the Ukrainian government has agreed to provide funding to these two companies.

Both sides will hold further meetings in Canada on this partnership in November, including top Ukrainian government officials, Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Uruskyi, State Space Agency of Ukraine Administrator Vladimir Taftai, and Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Canada to build a Moon rover for NASA

Canada has signed an agreement with NASA to build an unmanned lunar rover to launch in 2026.

Like NASA,the Canadian government isn’t going to build the rover but will select private companies to design and build for it.

To get the ball rolling on the project, which will explore a lunar polar region, the CSA will soon select two Canadian companies to develop concepts for the rover and its instruments, agency officials added.

Other Canadian gear will reach the moon in the coming years as well, if all goes according to plan. For example, three commercial technologies funded by the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program are scheduled to get a lunar-surface test in 2022 — an artificial intelligence flight computer from Mission Control Space Services; lightweight panoramic cameras built by Canadensys; and a new planetary navigation system developed by NGC Aerospace Ltd.

All three will travel on the first moon mission of the HAKUTO-R lander, which is built by Tokyo-based company ispace, it was announced on Wednesday.

No word on who will launch this new rover, but then it is probably too early for such a decision.

Study: Canada’s nationalized health killed nearly 1,500 Canadians waiting fruitlessly for treatment

Coming to your U.S. health plan soon! A new study has found that almost 1,500 Canadians died in 2018-19 waiting for a life-saving operation, sometimes years, because that nation’s national health system could not serve them.

The survey was also incomplete, covering only about half of Canada’s health system, which means the numbers are almost certainly higher. More significant, the Wuhan panic has made the situation worse.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, there has been a drastic decline in potentially life-saving treatments being conducted by hospitals. According to figures from the Ontario Ministry of Health, between March 15 to September 29, treatments for breast cancer and prostate cancer have gone down 29% and 25% respectively. On average, the province has reported a total of 21% fewer cancer treatments in total.

Surgeries on children were also heavily impacted by the pandemic after reporting a decline of nearly 60%. In comparison, in 2019, 28,844 surgeries were performed on children, while in 2020 there were only 11,230.

But we need to save one life from COVID! One life! It doesn’t matter if thousands of others die from other illnesses, saving people from COVID comes first!

Hat tip Phill Oltmann.

Canada’s government approves Starlink service

Capitalism in space: Canada’s government yesterday announced that it has given final approval to SpaceX’s Starlink internet service to offer those services in that country.

More here.

This final approval came from the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) agency, which appears designed to protect Canadian businesses from foreign competition. It had appeared initially that they had been stalling giving their approval (maybe for political reasons). The delay however could simply have been the slowness of operation which is typical of such government bureaucracies. As noted at the first link above, however “Clearly, the government heard the demand from consumers to get this service approved.” And since there are no Canadian companies that can offer this service, it was absurd not to okay SpaceX’s operation.

This approval means that Starlink is now posed to begin commercial operations, actually selling its internet service to the public, and doing it ahead of its primary competitor, OneWeb. Considering that OneWeb had started development and satellite launching first, this achievement illustrates again SpaceX’s nimble and fast approach to business. The company does not waste time in anything it does. It might not meet all of its scheduling goals, but not for want of trying.

SpaceX has already been offering the service in its test market in the northern U.S. for the price of $99 per month plus an initial fee of $499 for equipment, with the initial user reports very positive.

SpaceX wins partial approval to provide Starlink service in Canada

Capitalism in space: Though SpaceX has obtained permission to provide its Starlink internet service from Canada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, similar to the U.S.’s FCC, it still has not gotten full government approval to begin offering its service to customers.

It appears a different Canadian regulatory body, dubbed Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), has still not given its okay of the “satellite spectrum” SpaceX requires. From the second link:

SpaceQ had previously contacted ISED in June about SpaceX. ISED wouldn’t comment directly on any application, but did tell SpaceQ that the applications and approved website pages were up to date at that time. The website had last been updated in May. Since then, the website was updated in July. And yet there’s still no mention of SpaceX. It’s my understanding that the specific pages with applications and approvals is updated pretty quickly when there is new information to post. Though it took 3 weeks for changes to appear after Kepler submitted their application in June of this year.

With respect to how long it takes to get approval, ISED said the “service standard for the processing of satellite applications, including for those for foreign satellites, is 130 calendar days.” It’s quite possible that it could take longer.

This description carries all the hallmarks of a typical government bureaucracy whose only purpose is to block new companies and new technology. The political swamp of Canada might also be using it as a means of extortion for campaign funds from SpaceX. “Nice business you got there. Sure would be a shame if it didn’t get that license approval.”

I don’t think SpaceX needs to bow to these games. In the end ISED will back down and give approval, especially when the company begins offering its services just over the border in the U.S. The competitive and political pressure to give its okay will then be too great.

Liberals in Canada retain control

In tonight’s national election in Canada the leftist Liberal party under Justin Trudeau managed to maintain its control of the government, but without a clear majority, requiring it to form a coalition with one of the smaller parties.

Trudeau appeared to overcome a challenge in Monday’s national elections from the rival Conservatives four years after he channeled his father’s star power to become prime minister. CBC projects Trudeau’s Liberals won’t win the majority of seats in Parliament and will have to rely on another party to pass legislation.

The final numbers are not in, but it doesn’t look like much will change.

I always consider election results the real and true indicator of society’s trends. This result says that the left continues to maintain its hold on western civilization, despite the utter bankruptcy of its ideas and its increasingly totalitarian policies. Apparently a very large percentage of Canada’s population likes what the left is offering.

This also suggests that we will get a similar result in the 2020 U.S. election. We, just like in Canada, have a large population that likes what the Democrats are offering: Free stuff combined with a willingness to impose its will by force if necessary, including the silencing and literal destruction of its opponents.

Not good. Not good at all.

Canada commits to NASA’s Lunar Gateway boondoggle

Canada’s leftwing government has agreed to be NASA’s first official international partner in the agency’s Lunar Gateway project, designed to go nowhere and cost billions.

Canada has become the first nation to formally commit to NASA’s lunar Gateway project with a financial contribution to cover a 24-year period and the development of a new generation robotic Canadarm.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Wednesday that Canada would be partnering with NASA and spending 2 billion Canadian dollars ($1.4 billion) over 24 years on the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway program, a human-tended facility in orbit around the moon, as well as other space programs. The announcement included funding of 150 million Canadian dollars over five years for a new Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program to help small and medium-sized businesses develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the moon’s surface in fields that include artificial intelligence, robotics and health.

Canada will develop and contribute a smart robotic system – Canadarm3 – that will repair and maintain the Gateway, Trudeau announced.

I wonder if this Canadian program will survive a new rightwing administration. Such boondoggles often don’t, or get reshaped into something completely different.

Of course, this question assumes a truly rightwing government might someday retake power in Canada.

We are now entering a new cold war. This time the battle lines are not between the capitalist west and a communist Soviet bloc, but between the socialist big governments across the globe and the capitalist free citizenry struggling to survive independently under the thumb of those increasingly oppressive governments.

We can see this clearly in space. While big government space agencies in the U.S., Europe, Russia, and Canada are teaming up to get coerced government funding for Gateway (even as they work to simultaneously squelch any competing space exploration visions), private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and the new smallsat companies strive to launch their own private endeavors, using profits and any available investment capital they can convince others to freely provide them.

The big government space programs will spend a lot of money taken involuntarily, wield power to maintain their dominance, and likely accomplish relatively little for all that power and money. The small private efforts, if allowed to do what they want to do, will spend comparatively little capital (voluntarily committed to them), work very efficiently, and likely get a lot more done. The key is whether the former will allow the latter the freedom to operate.

Sadly, the track records of powerful government throughout the history of the world leaves me very pessimistic about this coming cold war. Those governments will quite likely use its growing unchecked power to squelch any competition, especially competition that makes them look foolish.

We have already seen this happen somewhat at NASA with its commercial crew program. Unless the public starts voting for politicians that favor them over the government — something that public simply hasn’t done for more than a century — I can only see this government dominance grow and worsen.

Moon Express and Canada cement business relationship

Capitalism in space: Moon Express today signed deals with seven Canadian companies, further cementing an agreement with that country’s space agency to work together to provide Canada with a lunar mission capability.

The news comes just two weeks after Moon Express had signed an MOU with the Canadian Space Agency whereby “the CSA and Moon Express will explore the possibilities of using Moon Express lunar orbiter and lander systems for potential CSA payloads and will promote possibilities for collaboration between Moon Express and the Canadian space industry and academia.”

Moon Express was co-founded by Canadian Bob Richards who has strong ties to Canada’s space sector having started his career in Canada. Richards moved to the U.S. to pursue his dream of building a company that would be an enabler for a sustained economy based on lunar resources.

Moon Express has been working for some time on developing relationships and laying the necessary groundwork, to expand into Canada. More agreements could come as result of today’s Industry Day.

The company has not said when the first mission will fly, though there are hints they are aiming for late 2019 or early 2020.

These deals however point to the future of planetary exploration. Rather than create a big lumbering space program, Canada is hiring a private company to build its lunar probe so that it gets it quickly and for little cost. I expect other nations will soon follow.

Canada exits WFIRST project

Like rats fleeing a sinking ship: The Canadian government has decided not to fund that country’s contribution to NASA’s WFIRST space telescope project, presently expected to cost $3.2 billion total (already over-budget in the design phase) and set to launch sometime in the 2020s (don’t bet on it).

The Canadian instrument would have been focused on studying dark energy, the mysterious force that is theorized to cause the universe’s expansion rate to accelerate over vast distances.

I can understand the skepticism of the Canadian government. Why commit anything to a project that is already over-budget and has unreliable support in the U.S. (Trump tried to ax it, Congress restored it, for now)? The project is also so far in the future it makes more sense to spend this money on astronomy projects that could be built and used now.

Canada’s Supreme Court rules against tribe in development dispute

In a case that appears similar to the dispute in Hawaii over the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope, Canada’s Supreme Court this week ruled against a local tribe in its more than quarter century battle to block the construction of a nearby ski resort.

The Ktunaxa Nation had opposed a resort on Crown land near their community in southeastern British Columbia, arguing that it would affect a grizzly-bear habitat and drive away the Grizzly Bear Spirit essential to their faith.

But, in a line that stunned some academic observers, seven judges of nine said that they looked on the religious-freedom claim under Section 2(a) of the Charter of Rights no differently than if it were made by non-Indigenous. They said the Ktunaxa claim fell entirely outside of the Canadian notion of freedom of religion, as established in previous Charter cases, which protects only the right to hold and manifest beliefs.

“In short, the Charter protects the freedom to worship, but does not protect the spiritual focal point of worship,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Malcolm Rowe wrote for the seven judges. The court also affirmed that, while developers and government need to consult with Indigenous peoples and accommodate their concerns, the First Nations possess no veto power over development.

What I find interesting about this story is that the developer first proposed this ski resort in 1991, and has spent 26 years consulting and then fighting with the local tribes. Talk about stick-to-it-ness! Moreover, the insincerity and delaying tactics of one tribe are revealed by this quote:

It was only in 2009, the Supreme Court said, as the proposal appeared on the verge of approval, that the Ktunaxa first mentioned the Grizzly Bear Spirit and said that no accommodation was possible.

It is important to note that the land in question is privately owned by the resort, and that the tribe essentially wanted a full veto over the rights of that private owner to use their land as they wished. The Supreme Court ruled that the tribe does not have that right. Had it agreed to this demand, the court would have essentially given the tribe the power to rule over everyone else in Canada, on almost any issue the tribe wished. All they would have had to do is to come up with some religious excuse (as it appears they did here).

Hat tip Peter Arzenshek.

Canadian Inuit officials demand halt to rocket launch

The coming dark age: Canadian Inuit officials are demanding that the launch of a European atmospheric research satellite by a converted Russian ICBM be stopped out of fear of the pollution it might cause.

The position of the rocket company is based on calculated engineering:

In a statement to CBC News, the European Space Agency insisted the fuel won’t reach Earth’s surface. “Please remember that under standard pressure, hydrazine boils at 113.5 C,” the agency said. The stage containing the fuel will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere much hotter than that, it said. “The structural parts lose their integrity and by melting the destruction of the stage occurs. The agency said that six kilometres above the ground “the propellant components have completely burnt up.”

The position of the protesters is based on fear and lack of knowledge:

The concern for Inuit is the rocket’s second stage, which contains hydrazine-based fuel and is expected to splash down in the North Water Polynya. Though it’s outside of Canada and Denmark’s international waters, it’s home to a vast array of birds and marine mammals that Inuit rely on for food.

“It’s the birthing ground of all the animals that we eat, that people in the North depend upon,” said Eva Aariak, Canada’s commissioner on the Inuit Circumpolar Council and former Nunavut premier. “I know it’s being played down in terms of the kind of effect it would have, but nobody knows. This is the most concerning part is that nobody really knows. And before people know exactly what kind of effect it can have, we will keep fighting.” [emphasis mine]

The article also interviews a pro-Inuit scientist whose primary evidence apparently comes from a youtube video.

There is no doubt that hydrazine is very toxic, which is why it is generally not used as the launch fuel for rockets. However, these protests appear based on mindless fear, almost like the protesters were primitive tribesman afraid of thunder. Ah, but maybe that is exactly what they are!

Sierra Nevada and Canada sign agreement for using Dream Chaser

Capitalism in space: Sierra Nevada has signed an agreement with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to study ways in which Canada might utilize the company’s reusable Dream Chaser spacecraft.

This agreement is very preliminary, with no apparent specific plans announced nor any exchange of money. It is however another signal of the strong interest that foreign governments have in buying time on Dream Chaser, once it is operational.

Large archive of Canadian ice cores melts

A large archive of Canadian ice cores has been lost, melting when the freezer they were stored in failed.

The 2 April failure left “pools of water all over the floor and steam in the room,” UA glaciologist Martin Sharp told ScienceInsider. “It was like a changing room in a swimming pool.” The melted cores represented 12.8% of the collection, which held 1408 samples taken from across the Canadian Arctic. The cores hold air bubbles, dust grains, pollen, and other evidence that can provide crucial information about past climates and environments, and inform predictions about the future.

The storage facility is normally chilled to –37°C. But the equipment failure allowed temperatures to rise to 40°C, melting tens of thousands of years of history. Among the losses: some of the oldest ice cores from Mount Logan, a 5595-meter-high mountain in northern Canada. “We only lost 15 meters [of core], but because it was from the bottom of the core, that’s 16,000 years out of the 17,700 years that was originally represented,” Sharp says.

Scientists also lost 66 meters of core from Baffin Island’s Penny Ice Cap, which accounts for 22,000 years—a quarter of the record. That leaves “a gap for the oldest part, which is really the last glaciation before the warming that brought us into the present interglacial,” Sharp says.

Considering the cost and difficulty of drilling these cores, and then safely bringing them to the facility without melting, it seems to me astonishing that the facility did not have back-up freezer capability.

Ukraine-Canadian partnership to launch from Nova Scotia

The competition heats up: A new launch company based in Canada and using a Ukrainian-made rocket called the Cyclone-4M has chosen as its launch site a location in Nova Scotia.

The rocket appears to be a variation of the Ukrainian Tsiklon-4 rocket, and would make this company competitive and in fact more capable than India’s smaller PSLV rocket that recently put 100 smallsats into orbit.

Robot lie detector being tested by Canada

What could possibly go wrong? Canada’s border police are currently testing a robot lie-detector that would be used to screen travelers and flag those whose answers it doesn’t like.

AVATAR is a kiosk, much like an airport check-in or grocery store self-checkout kiosk,” said San Diego State University management information systems professor Aaron Elkins. “However, this kiosk has a face on the screen that asks questions of travelers and can detect changes in physiology and behavior during the interview. The system can detect changes in the eyes, voice, gestures and posture to determine potential risk. It can even tell when you’re curling your toes.”

Here’s how it would work: Passengers would step up to the kiosk and be asked a series of questions such as, “Do you have fruits or vegetables in your luggage?” or “Are you carrying any weapons with you?” Eye-detection software and motion and pressure sensors would monitor the passengers as they answer the questions, looking for tell-tale physiological signs of lying or discomfort. The kiosk would also ask a series of innocuous questions to establish baseline measurements so people are just nervous about flying, for example, wouldn’t be unduly singled out.

Once the kiosk detected deception, they would flag those passengers for further scrutiny from human agents.

This Elkins guy fits perfectly the 1960s stereotype of the scientist who is so caught up with the coolness of his invention that he is completely oblivious to its moral and ethical short-comings. Sadly, he appears to be finding lots of governments interested in buying his product.

A Canadian man faces jail time for merely disagreeing with two feminists on Twitter.

Fascism: A Canadian man is now threatened with six months in jail because he dared to post on Twitter his disagreement with two feminist activists.

Read the article. These feminists fit the description of fascists so closely we could put their pictures in the dictionary next to the word.

Note also that this is in Canada, which does not have a first amendment comparable to what we have here in the U.S. Then again, the first amendment here in the U.S. is increasingly being ignored by those in power, so I’m not sure what advantage it gives us at the moment.

Fascist gays attack business for providing them services

Fascists: A Canadian jewelry provided polite service for a lesbian wedding, but was then threatened with boycotts and violence because he dared put up a sign stating his personal opposition to gay marriage.

Let’s understand what happened here. This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield. Which, of course, he did.

You understand, of course, that this is not about getting equal treatment. The lesbian couple received that. This is about demonizing a point of view, and driving those who hold it out of the public square. Just so we’re clear about that.

The goal in all these cases has never been about guaranteeing that homosexuals get fair and equal treatment. No, the real goal, clearly revealed in this case, has been to destroy any opposition, verbal or otherwise, to the homosexual agenda.

Freedom for me but not for thee.

One of John Franklin’s lost ships found?

A Canadian expedition thinks it has located one of the ships from John Franklin’s lost 1845 Arctic expedition.

The Canadian government began searching for Franklin’s ships in 2008 as part of a strategy to assert Canada’s sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, which has recently become accessible to shipping because of melting Arctic ice. Expedition sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island, clearly show the wreckage of a ship on the ocean floor.

Two low-cost, car battery-sized Canadian space telescopes were launched successfully in Russia today

Two low-cost, car battery-sized Canadian space telescopes were launched successfully in Russia today.

The important detail here is this quote:

“BRITE-Constellation will exploit and enhance recent Canadian advances in precise attitude control that have opened up for space science the domain of very low cost, miniature spacecraft, allowing a scientific return that otherwise would have had price tags 10 to 100 times higher,” [emphasis mine]

Most nanosats and cubesats have not had the kind of precise attitude control of larger satellites, which is one of their limitations. If the technology is now maturing so that these tiny satellites can be pointed as accurately as bigger payloads, it will mean that unmanned satellites are going to get smaller very quickly. This lowers cost and increases the customer base, creating more business for launch companies.

A Canadian disabled woman was denied entry to the United States after a customs agent cited her supposedly private medical details.

Does this make you feel safer? A Canadian disabled woman was denied entry to the United States after a customs agent cited her supposedly private medical details.

“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’ said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others. The Weston woman was told by the U.S. agent she would have to get “medical clearance’’ and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security. She was given their names and told a call to her psychiatrist “would not suffice.’’

At the time, Richardson said, she was so shocked and devastated by what was going on, she wasn’t thinking about how U.S. authorities could access her supposedly private medical information.

If Homeland Security can get access to a Canadian woman’s confidential medical records, how easy do you think it is for them to get access to your Obamacare records?

SpaceX has signed a contract with MDA to launch all three of Canada’s next generation Radarsat satellites.

The competition heats up: SpaceX has signed a contract with MDA to launch all three of Canada’s next generation Radarsat satellites.

MDA’s willingness to go with SpaceX prior to the September 5 launch of its Cassiope satellite on the Falcon 9 illustrates again the confidence they have in SpaceX. At the same time, this contract is for launches expected to occur around 2018, which is a long way away. Much can happen till then, including the possibility that SpaceX will go bust.

In other words, right now it is the successful launch of Falcon 9 that is of significance, not these new contracts. Only if those launches succeed will these contracts then become really significant.

“This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms.”

The words of a Canadian yesterday: “This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms.”

The reason? The Mounties had been breaking into the homes of a town (evacuated due to flooding) and seizing firearms. When the residents found out about this they were not pleased.

Officers laid down a spike belt to stop anyone from attempting to drive past the blockade. That action sent the crowd of residents into a rage.

“What’s next? Tear gas?” shouted one resident. “It’s just like Nazi Germany, just taking orders,” shouted another. “This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties.

Officers were ordered to fall back about an hour into the standoff in order to diffuse the situation and listen to residents’ concerns. [emphasis mine]

Obviously, the rage of the citizens had some positive effect, as it forced the police to fall back.

“We’re just not interested in continuing to support bureaucracies and talkfests.”

Canada to the UN environmental movement: “We’re just not interested in continuing to support bureaucracies and talkfests.”

The country has pulled out of a UN program supposedly aimed at “combating desertification,” noting that

only 18% of the roughly CAD$350,000 per year that Canada contributed to the U.N. initiative is “actually spent on programming,” [Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper] told Parliament this week during question period. “The rest goes to various bureaucratic measures. … It’s not an effective way to spend taxpayers’ money.”

As is their normal approach to debate, there is a lot of wailing, gnashing of teeth, and name-calling among the environmentalists, but no substantive response to counter Harper’s point above.

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