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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: wdg3rd on November 07, 2008, 06:40:29 am

Title: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: wdg3rd on November 07, 2008, 06:40:29 am
This series could wind up shorter than I expected.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 07, 2008, 09:21:08 am
Oooh, shivers.  Their treaty sounds like something I'd get out of the anarcho-communist crowd, heh.  I'm torn between wanting a raincoat or just non-association with anybody receiving that "appropriate response".  Probably safest to be at a distance from that "appropriate response" regardless, but for the sake of the series I imagine they'll just end up marooned there while the cereans? cerereans?  end up preparing another "appropriate response" should any attempt be made to seize their assets for redistribution to the UW.  The UW has never, apparently, had to deal with a well-armed populace.  Ahh, the lessons they should've learned from Somalia, heh.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: SandySandfort on November 07, 2008, 12:59:59 pm
Oooh, shivers.  Their treaty sounds like something I'd get out of the anarcho-communist crowd, heh.
Actually, the wording is taken verbatim from Article 4 of the the real, "Agreement Covering Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies."[/size]
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Monkt on November 07, 2008, 01:46:50 pm
Oooh, shivers.  Their treaty sounds like something I'd get out of the anarcho-communist crowd, heh.
Actually, the wording is taken verbatim from Article 4 of the the real, "Agreement Covering Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies."[/size]
                              Article 4

1. The exploration and use of the moon shall be the province of all
mankind and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of
all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific
development. Due regard shall be paid to the interests of present and
future generations as well as to the need to promote higher standards of
living and conditions of economic and social progress and development in
accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

2. States Parties shall be guided by the principle of co-operation and
mutual assistance in all their activities concerning the exploration and
use of the moon. International co-operation in pursuance of this
Agreement should be as wide as possible and may take place on a
multilateral basis, on a bilateral basis or through international
intergovernmental organizations.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 07, 2008, 07:33:54 pm
Oh, Lysander damn it...  That's one hell of an act.  Has anybody ever, yanno, smacked them up?  Driven it home that they basically declared that anybody colonizing anywhere in space is the bitch of the UN?  No wonder nobody's been investing heavily in it.  They expect that they'll never see a dime of profit from any space ventures, if they want to keep doing anything earthside.  Or the UN (and associated nations using the UN mandate as justification) will destroy their terran holdings to secure the proceeds from the space businesses.

It makes me hate those politicians even more.  By what grounds do they claim juristiction to make treaties concerning currently uninhabited territories?  Yanno, thinking of it, what grounds does the UN have for making claims on who owns Antarctica?  Was anybody there used as a signatory to the treaties covering the continent?
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: wdg3rd on November 07, 2008, 08:35:04 pm
Oh, Lysander damn it...  That's one hell of an act.  Has anybody ever, yanno, smacked them up?

I do know that Jerry Pournelle bitched at Reagan (to his face) for signing the fucking thing.  It is indeed an atrocity.

By the way, everywhere in my writings you see the string "frack", I meant F+U_C~K.  I don't speak Battlestar Galactacese natively.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 07, 2008, 09:14:44 pm
And to think I was annoyed enough when I knew the gov was subsidizing its own crappy spaceflight, and making it illegal to engage in spaceflight privately.  Now I know they made it illegal to own space?  Talk about locking us in.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Monkt on November 07, 2008, 09:32:38 pm
And to think I was annoyed enough when I knew the gov was subsidizing its own crappy spaceflight, and making it illegal to engage in spaceflight privately.  Now I know they made it illegal to own space?  Talk about locking us in.
What are they going to do if you make a private spacefight and claim land on the moon? Shoot you down?
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Rocketman on November 07, 2008, 09:55:54 pm
More than likely they would used some little known charge to arrest you and confiscate your spacecraft, put you on a show trial where the verdict has already been decided and ship your butt to some out of the way military prison where you would spend the rest of your life talking to the cockroaches while at the same time denying you the right to an attorney.   >:(
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 07, 2008, 11:27:34 pm
Or, take the lifeblood out of such a project.  Confiscate the earthbound property of anybody who stakes such a claim.  Any spacebound business would then be required to either try to profit indirectly from a space presence, or essentially give up ever being involved with earthside commerce again.  Assuming a terran government doesn't launch a military assault on any territories held out there.  Or, just tax the hell out of it.

Essentially that declaration of the commons pulls the plug on private space ventures where it'll hurt'em the most: the chance to earn money.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Monkt on November 08, 2008, 12:50:28 am
Or, take the lifeblood out of such a project.  Confiscate the earthbound property of anybody who stakes such a claim.  Any spacebound business would then be required to either try to profit indirectly from a space presence, or essentially give up ever being involved with earthside commerce again.  Assuming a terran government doesn't launch a military assault on any territories held out there.  Or, just tax the hell out of it.

Essentially that declaration of the commons pulls the plug on private space ventures where it'll hurt'em the most: the chance to earn money.
What about black market space ventures?
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Rocketman on November 08, 2008, 10:54:36 am
Monkt:  Even if you had Warren Buffet's money that wouldn't work.  Let me give you one example.  Frequently, the US government goes after individuals that in their opinion cheat on their taxes.  If the individual has all his money in an offshore account what they do is to go to a subsidiary of that bank in the United States and sieze the amount from that bank telling them "We've taken the twelve million out of John Smith's account and now it's up to you to get it from him if you want your money back".   See how it works?  It's kind of like playing poker with someone who already knows what cards are in your hand before they make their bet.  With all the money laundering laws on the books they can do pretty much anything they want.   >:(
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 08, 2008, 06:07:41 pm
And if the bank doesn't have a subsidiary/affiliate in the states, they just threaten to push'em off the EFT network and put embargos on any country brash enough to permit their banks to be so anonymous.  They managed to get swiss banks to link identities with their accounts, I think the cayman islands also caved.  If they haven't, it's only a matter of time. 

So any company that makes the investment has to be planning to go extra-terran with its entire company, and frankly most current companies rely on gov intervention for their market position, so even if the move pays off for the people in general, it's not gonna pay off for any of them.  The lack of continued Terra presence essentially puts everybody who doesn't have gov sanction and probably subsidy (look at what NASA is gonna be doing with the private space ventures while it doesn't have a shuttle) out of the race, and ensures that should a private venture have the ability to establish a lunar/etc. base is gonna have to figure out how to do it within the rules.  And probably prevent anybody it brings up to do so from breaking them, either.  If the US/UN/etc. decide they're benefitted by going after a company it wants that's just letting profit be had by the people working for it, they could lose their holdings here until they "deal" with it.

There's little "appropriate response" available, though.  If the Cerereans have a poverty-stricken trading partner, they depend on the trade as much as the partner does.  The UW in this SL is probably just realizing they're at risk of losing control.  Much like the only possible mentality for the interference in Somalia's rebuilding efforts is that they can't have a nation free of governance actually succeeding.  That would imply we don't need them at all here, either.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Rocketman on November 08, 2008, 07:19:51 pm
Well said Leviathan.  You pointed out nicely that the game is so incredibly rigged against individuals dealing with pretty much any government that it's a waste of time and money to even start.  Here's something to think about, what if the the United Nations had been founded in say 1500 AD and the legislation pertaining to outer space had instead been applied to the "new world"?
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Monkt on November 08, 2008, 07:59:16 pm
What was that former Soviet republic that had a space program?
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: wdg3rd on November 09, 2008, 09:18:30 pm

What about black market space ventures?

This where I really have to plug Victor Koman's Kings of the High Frontier.  A dynamite book, and it won a Prometheus before its first dead-tree publication.  Yes, it's a bit dated now (hard to predict those shuttle accidents), but still a damned fine read with some good ideas.  Vic did some damned fine research.

The original publisher, pulpless.com is nonfunctional.  Hardcopies are at http://www.bereshith.com/frontier.htm and have a much better cover than my download.  I own the book in HTML ( from Pulpless, I bought a dozen or so extra licenses to hand out disks to folks at several edges of the Nolan chart and I used them all up -- that took a bit of communication between me and J.Neil, because the system wasn't set for multiples), a signed floppy with the Word document (Vic gave it to me when he got his Prometheus in San Antonio) , and the beautiful Bereshith hardcover.

I repeat, I recommend this book.  If I had the authority, I would recommend this book to whatever deity is currently supervising this planetary system.  (I doubt there is one, but I'm a fewking atheist, so how could I know?  God spoke to Oral Roberts, Billy Graham and Jerry Fallwell, he doesn't say shit to me).
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: wdg3rd on November 09, 2008, 09:26:17 pm
Well said Leviathan.  You pointed out nicely that the game is so incredibly rigged against individuals dealing with pretty much any government that it's a waste of time and money to even start.  Here's something to think about, what if the the United Nations had been founded in say 1500 AD and the legislation pertaining to outer space had instead been applied to the "new world"?

There was a "United Nations" then.  The pope gave half of the new world to Spain and the other half to Portugal.  Look at a map and remember what languages are spoken where.  There may be less native speakers of aboriginal languages in South America than native speakers of Gaelic.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: KBCraig on November 10, 2008, 04:26:58 am
What are they going to do if you make a private spacefight and claim land on the moon? Shoot you down?

No problem. Whoever is on the moon can throw rocks at 'em.  ;)
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 10, 2008, 10:04:17 am
Moon is a Harsh Mistress reference.  Nice.  Only problem is if the businesses that end up with chunks of the moon have earthside interests, they won't be too keen on it.  Which is the issue with getting investment, since they'd be risking the earthside investments by profiting with space-based ventures.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: SandySandfort on November 10, 2008, 03:48:39 pm
Moon is a Harsh Mistress reference.  Nice.  Only problem is if the businesses that end up with chunks of the moon have earthside interests, they won't be too keen on it.  Which is the issue with getting investment, since they'd be risking the earthside investments by profiting with space-based ventures.
The only thing wrong with "dropping a rock" is that it is almost always a collectivist solution. "You killed our innocent people, so we will kill your innocent people." In a world like that, it is almost only the innocent people who suffer. Heinlein's solution at least warned the innocents to get the hell out of Dodge. (Yes, some actually went to Dodge, but their deaths were on their own heads, no the Loonies'.) In EFT the subject of bombarding earth with asteroids will come up soon as a bluff, but even that elicits a strong negative reaction.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Leviathan on November 10, 2008, 05:03:43 pm
I have stated that nuclear weapons and other decimation weapons are really only gov vs. gov weapons.  And barely that.  They're a good way to extort large numbers of people with the threat, and if used takes out the powerbase of any given government.  The industries, the taxpayers.  So by hurting the populace, you hurt the gov that feeds on the populace.  Like killing the animal with a parasite to kill the parasite.  It's useless for invasion by a gov, though, because the invading power inherits the same problems that plagued its predecessor.  Except insofar as nuking San Francisco might cause the population elsewhere to be cowed.  Though it by no means eliminates guerilla resistance for the invaders.
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Rocketman on November 11, 2008, 11:07:15 am
I agree with Leviathan.  Attacking civilian populations and causing mass casulities is never a good idea given the situation that they're in because the Cerereans don't have anywhere enough people to effectively police earth afterwards if they manage to win.
  Their best option in my opinion is to discredit the two tax collectors and make it appear to drive a wedge between Ceres and Earth to the Earth authorities.  If nothing else it should at least buy Ceres some time.

WDG3rd
   The pope is not the same thing.  He only had some pull over Catholic countries and his decisions were not readily accepted outside of them. 
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: SandySandfort on November 11, 2008, 01:28:14 pm
I agree with Leviathan.  Attacking civilian populations and causing mass casulities is never a good idea given the situation that they're in because the Cerereans don't have anywhere enough people to effectively police earth afterwards if they manage to win.
  Their best option in my opinion is to discredit the two tax collectors and make it appear to drive a wedge between Ceres and Earth to the Earth authorities.  If nothing else it should at least buy Ceres some time.

Wait for it...
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: wdg3rd on November 11, 2008, 02:07:46 pm

WDG3rd
   The pope is not the same thing.  He only had some pull over Catholic countries and his decisions were not readily accepted outside of them. 


Well, there were no Catholic countries in the Americas before the papal decision to divvy them up..
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Sean Roach on November 12, 2008, 10:14:00 pm
And how much of europe was Catholic at the time?  I think Greece may have been non-catholic...
Title: Re: 11/07 "appropriate response"
Post by: Rocketman on November 15, 2008, 12:03:21 pm
WDG3rd:  I was thinking along the lines of an UN like orgainzation that would include all or at least most of the civilized or semicivilized nations of the time, irregardless of their religion.  The list for example would include Nippon (Japan) and Cathay (China).  But as far as it goes your right.  Both Portugal and Spain and even England of the time were Catholic.