Saturday, February 06, 2010

Moral Lethergy

The headlines are telling us that a NATO warship has recaptured a ship that was taken over by Somali pirates. Good news, right? But read the article and you will see that when the pirates saw the NATO special forces coming, they left the ship. No pirates shot, no pirates disarmed, and no pirates arrested. After all, there are restrictive rules of engagement, and even arresting a pirate is problematic due to a lack of laws.

But I shouldn't be too hard on NATO forces. After all, the Ottawa City Council can't even deal with some coyotes prowling around a local playground. The council has got permission from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to watch the coyotes for a month. If they are deemed dangerous, the animals will be trapped and released. But regulations require the release site to be within 1 km of where they were captured. So the whole exercise will remove the coyote for about an hour. In the mean time, our council is beginning an information campaign to tell us that coyotes tend not to be dangerous unless they are sick or provoked. And I am sure that if a child encounters a sick coyote or "provokes" it, our municipal and provincial governments will find a way to modify their information campaign, or get the coyote some therapy or something.

We have to be the stupidest people on the planet. Western civilization totters on the brink, and most of the world must wonder how we were ever a power to be reckoned with. And we can't even come up with the moral energy to deal with a coyote.

By the way, my wife asked is farmers were allowed to kill coyotes that prowl around their livestock. I don't know if "allowed" is the right word, but I suspect most farmers know how to handle the situation without asking the government to help.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Back to the Moon? Not on my watch...

Rumour has it that President Obama will cancel the current plans to return to the moon. More troubling is the possibility that he will cancel the Ares I and Ares V rockets, which were to be a replacement for the Space Shuttle. The Shuttles are at the end of their lives, and the Ares replacements have already started test launches. The Ares program is almost ready to go, and canceling them means another decade without a major launch system.