18 May 2001
1. CANADA WILL BACK MISSILE SHIELD - FOR A PIECE OF THE ACTION.
According to the National Post, a senior member of Canada's
defense policy team explained that opposing the shield would
cost Canada jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of
high-technology contracts. "We will try to safeguard the 1972
ABM Treaty," he said, "but, in the end, Canada will support the
United States." Thus are partners openly purchased on the
international market. It's not like this is something new. Bud
McFarlane, National Security Advisor under President Reagan,
boastfully recalls how he purchased Prime Minister Thatcher's
support for SDI in 1984. In the privacy of Camp David, Thatcher
had explained why SDI was such a lousy idea. Afterwards, the
President asked McFarlane to go to London and try to persuade
Mrs. Thatcher to adopt a more subdued position. McFarlane
merely remarked to the Prime Minister that "the President
believes that up to $300 million ought be subcontracted to
British firms." She began to realize that SDI might have merit
2. HARVARD BACKS HOLISTIC MEDICINE - FOR A PIECE OF THE ACTION.
Acknowledging that patients are experimenting increasingly with
alternative treatments, the Harvard Medical School is creating
an institute for nontraditional medicine. According to a recent
Harvard study, Americans last year made an estimated 600 million
office visits to practitioners of so-called "integrative"
medicine, which combines mainstream and alternative treatments.
More significantly, they dropped $30 billion on the treatments
they received. Hmmm. Perhaps Harvard should also establish an
institute for the study of astrology.
3. NASA SURVIVORS: NO RUSH TO FILL THE ADMINISTRATOR'S SLOT.
You might think the President's Science Advisor would have some
input into the choice of a replacement for Dan Goldin as
Administrator of NASA - except the President has no Science
Advisor. The hot rumor inside NASA is that former Space Command
General Tom Moorman will get the NASA job. But why not Denis
Tito, the only recent space figure who is recognized by the
4. ENERGY: PRESIDENT BUSH'S "BOLD" PLAN.
Many physicists will
applaud the inclusion of nuclear power in a plan that emphasizes
production, but they will recall that funding for development of
a new generation of fission reactors, including inherently safe
reactors, was almost eliminated years ago. Just-in-time
delivery of new nuclear plants based on new technologies just
can't happen. Added R&D funding for renewables, slashed in the
Bush budget, is tied to ANWR and off-shore-drilling royalties.
But efficiency and conservation are not quite forgotten: a tax
credit is proposed for the purchase of hybrid gas/electric