Up here in Canada we’re coming under political pressure from President Bush to sign up for the U.S. Missile Defense program, we’ve got all this territory up North where they’d like to situate the launchers. Rather than just saying “Get lost!”, our Mr. Martin is (wisely I think) playing it cool and fuzzifying. It’s good not to irritate the U.S. when you don’t have to, but there’s absolutely no need for Canada to assist the dwindling but influential band of cultists who believe that Missile Defense is anything but a defense-contractor boondoggle. It was bogus back when Reagan launched it and it’s still bogus. But don’t take my word for it, check out what the American Institute of Physics has to say. Mind you, it’s less dangerous now than it was in Reagan’s day, when there was a nonzero probability that “Star Wars” might have provoked some paranoid Russians who were sufficiently stupid to believe that it might work to launch a first strike while they still had a chance. (Lauren has told me of how she, like every other underfunded Physics Ph.D. in the Eighties, noticed how dressing research up as missile-defense-related was a good way to tap into the gushing SDI money pipeline). Now, it’s just an extremely profitable waste of money. We all know that religious cults are distinguished by believing in things that are obviously not true, usually combined with substantial cash flows in the direction of those running the cult. Missile defense is an obvious example.