Brugle on February 11, 2011, 09:10:22 am
this arc was inspired by a real event in history (though in a backward sort of way). Please, everyone, let's hear your guesses
I've already spent too much time looking through Wikipedia.  My guess is the Bear Flag revolt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Republic#Bear_Flag_Revolt

Tucci78 on February 11, 2011, 10:55:56 am
The british spent a whole lot of money developing north america, including a whole lot fighting the french here. They thought the north american colonists should pay their fair share of that expense. But a lot of them revolted instead. Some of them just didn't want to pay, and some of them agreed that it was a legitimate debt but they deserved to have representatives in Parliament to have some say in how much to charge and how to collect it.

It would make sense the UW would not want to spend more money developing the Belt until they had a police force that could make sure their employees (or somebody else) didn't just walk off with it all.

Education on the political economy of Great Britain's colonies in North America, on the history of those colonies, and on the military aspects of the struggle between the two principal northern European imperial powers - England and France - through the 17th and 18th Centuries seems to really suck, pardon my split infinitive.

Much as I'd like to jump right in and teach about it, this isn't the place to do the job, and I'm not immediately aware of any one or two or three good online sites which provide summaries suited to meet the need.  Most of what I've gained in the way of information fund has been by way of a lifetime's on-and-off study of the wars waged in North America by Great Britain, against both the French and the Americans, during the 17th, 18th, and early 19th Centuries. 

Let's start by observing that the "sunk capital" of Royal government expenditures in the North American colonies (as opposed to the enterprises undertaken by monied private individuals and limited liability companies) for the purpose of "developing north america" wasn't much at all.  On "infrastructure" over on this side of the pond, Parliament allocated just about damn-all in the way of budget.  The colonial royal governors were expected to levy and collect such taxes as were required to perform the limited local functions of civil government in that era, and did so.

The Crown's military spending, particularly in the latter half of the 18th Century, bothered the hell out of H.M. government, but that expenditure was required much less by a desire to make the Atlantic coast colonies any sort of economic engine than by a strategic military imperative in the effectively perpetual warfare against France. It was judged not only necessary to prevent the French (and to a lesser extent the Spanish) from threatening what the American colonies did represent in the way of imperial economic benefits (timber - particularly the extremely valuable tall-trunk'd trees suitable to provide masts for sailing ships - cordage, tobacco, indigo, and the other raw materials needed by England's expanding industrial and mercantile economy) but also to deny the French such benefits.  The French were consistently far less interested in settling self-sustaining agricultural colonies in either Upper or Lower Canada than they were in resource extraction, both from the interior and from the western Atlantic fisheries.

This military necessity left Parliament with a budget problem, and like any other bunch of elected politicians, they wanted to find other sources of plunder rather than extorting funds directly (and obviously) from their constituents.  Making the American colonists pay for "protection" from the French and the Spanish seemed to be a very good excuse.

The problem for Parliament and the Crown was that with the American n'er-do-wells they were not dealing with the same kinds of people found in the counties of their "right little, tight little island."  Even the colonists in the most settled lands along the Atlantic seaboard had to expect combat with Indian raiders, whether the French were present to incite such attacks or not.  The populations of New Jersey and Connecticut and Rhode Island had to anticipate militia call-ups for fighting along the nearby frontier, or to repel attacks within their own colonies. 

Between the necessity of taking up military arms and the fact that the frontier provided dissatisfied lower-class Americans ample opportunity to "vote with their feet" (how do you keep an indentured bondservant from simply walking to hellangone away when he can vanish beyond the local government's reach in a day or two of travel?), the American colonists were a vastly different breed from the class-bound and relatively helpless forelock-tugging "Y'r Lordship, sir" English working man. 

Ah, I'm going on too long.  With regard to Crown military spending in the American colonies, suffice it to say that nobody among the colonists "agreed that it was a legitimate debt" Parliament was trying to impose upon the Americans.  They may have made noises in that direction (particularly the loyalists who looked to make a bundle themselves by way of "tax farming" and other collection measures), but the Americans suffering under British mercantilist trade restrictions and other economic strangleholds knew full well that the worldwide war against the French empire was only in very small part their war, and in many ways they were paying plenty more than their share to enable the King to wage that war. 

Not only those conditions predisposed to revolt.  A bit of time spent studying the English Civil Wars gives ineluctably to the conclusion that the American Revolution was really not much more than a continuation of those conflicts, and neither Parliament nor the King could have been much surprised that this insurrection should have taken place.  The opinions of Burke and like-minded British politicians show that in England there were many who knew that the Americans were really doing nothing more than what had been done to overthrow the Stuart monarchy in the 17th Century. 

Had the advice of those perceptive parliamentarians been received instead of allowing the pig-headed arrogance of H.M. government to prevail, the Revolution might well have been defused, and we'd all be Canadians.

God forbid.
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

spudit on February 11, 2011, 11:39:58 am
Waving metaphorical mechanical arms here.

Danger --  Sandy Sandfort -- Danger.

Twin towers conspiracy theories are a slippery slope Mr. S. We could get lost in them as surely as JFK was killed by a meteor.

In my suspicious opinion as a former fry cook and so as much an authority on this stuff as anyone. the Feds suspected something small was going to happen around 9 11 and thought it might be useful but were way off on the scale of it all. Those People might be hijacking a plane, OK, so we make a big fuss, add even more control to the airports and hope Fidel will still give the planes back like in the old days. What they got blew their minds too. They made full use of it, no dummies in DC but nothing more than that.

That is what Prof Ed means, the disconnect between some damned suspicious plane crashes and Saddam's date with the hangman.

Quote
Of course, it might also be that the UW military is doing this on its own initiative.   In a great many countries over recent decades - most notably Red China but also in Egypt and other similarly enlightened venues - the officer class do not wait to become retired before taking up ownership positions in all sorts of industries.
Interesting thought, a UW Norinco?

Which reminds me of the 700,000 + M1 carbines and 80,000 garrands the Philippines wants to sell back to the US public. It ended up on State's desk and Mrs. Clinton said no way.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 12:57:23 pm by spudit »
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J Thomas on February 11, 2011, 12:32:13 pm
Well, I'm with Ed in the analysis up  until he seems to be saying he buys the Twin Towers as a fake incident generated as a pretext for war. Am I misunderstanding him, or is he expressing belief in the inside job conspiracy theory? Outside that, he's clearly right on the money.

He called it a pretext. Clearly it was a pretext for the invasion of Iraq, a nation which had less connection to 9/11 than the USA or France did. Nobody has ever given a convincing reason for the invasion of Iraq, but Saddam's (probably false) claim that Iraq had oil second only to Saudi Arabia might be one, and the Israeli claim that Iraq had something like the fourth largest army in the world and was a prime threat to them could be another, and of course it's a dandy place to invade iran from.

It could be argued that it was a pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan, Rationally we could have done other things, like for example negotiated with Taliban until they either gave Bin Ladin to us or let him escape, or invaded after it was clear they wouldn't do either one. If they let him escape, practically anyplace in the world would be easier to catch him in. But what would it be a pretext for? There's the claim that there's some natural gas in Afghanistan. Not enough to fight a war for. There's the claim that somebody wants to build a pipeline through afghanistan to get oil to China. That might be reason for some deep thinker to fight. We could prevent such a pipeline, or enable it and control it, depending. As it is we could embargo china or japan if we wanted to -- oil tanker owners won't send ships to china if we *might* bomb them or impound them. But pipelines don't listen to vague threats, oil rushes through them until they actually get bombed. So that might be enough reason for an easy quick cheap war.

Whether Cheney caused 9/11 or just used it as a pretext after it happened without his prior authorization, may be forever unknown. But it's clear he used it as far as he could.

spudit on February 11, 2011, 12:34:31 pm
I wonder about the new and improved Reggie, will they rush past the "crown prince" to find the old king?

If we go back too far for the example everything becomes small scale and numerous.  This little Greek city state screwed over this smaller one in 127 BC.

As to early investments in NA, True the king provided some start up capital but the people provided the labor, skills and brains. He and Parliament did it for the prestige as much as anything. Up yours France, look what I got!

Good point about their Civil War in another venue. New to me. I recall a grade school teacher who refused to discuss the war of 1812. No point, he said, our "war" was just one small front in the vast Napoleanic wars. We'll cover it then.

Every day I wonder, are we Americans better off than in 1775?  New management yes, but?

Disregard, what's the point?
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Brugle on February 11, 2011, 01:03:27 pm
It could be argued that it was a pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan ... But what would it be a pretext for?
For war.  Nothing else is necessary.  The direct political benefits of war are immense.  The indirect benefits, such as taking even more wealth from the citizenry and giving it to friends, may be even greater.  (If there are benefits to invading a particular country, such as enabling a pipeline to benefit friends, that's just gravy.)

spudit on February 11, 2011, 02:24:09 pm
Referring to Ed's statement in the bottom center of Friday's strip # 635.

So let's say there is an incident, the troops take charge and the good guys do the minuteman thing, as they started to do with Harris. The troops are defeated or maybe the smartest have defected, what then. Say they hold the hotel, all the comforts of home, with a perimeter around it.  Stalemate.

The UW can't call it an embassy unless they recognize the World (of) Ceres, do they. If they just hold up and growl to say just leave us alone, the locals will. It's just another odd neighbor, what's one more?

Do reinforcements arrive? Does a warship orbit and make threats forgetting the weapons confiscated from Harris? Note to UW leadership, as far as firepower goes, Ceres is not impressed on any level. Remember Reggie's is that a nuke in your pants or are you just happy to see me stunt?

It is the UW's perspective that matters here, and their perceptions. This is not a rabble throwing rocks at real troops. But do they understand it?
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SandySandfort on February 11, 2011, 02:34:37 pm
Waving metaphorical mechanical arms here.

Danger --  Sandy Sandfort -- Danger.

Twin towers conspiracy theories are a slippery slope Mr. S. We could get lost in them as surely as JFK was killed by a meteor.

Read what I wrote. Nowhere did I say that 911 was a false flag. But one might draw that conclusion with regard to the Paris dirty nuke...

FOR THE RECORD: I have no idea who brought down the Twin Towers... and neither does anyone else, who wasn't involved.

Having said that, I see no convincing evidence that it wasn't a false flag. The official story is clearly a lie, but other than that, I see no compelling evidence for any of the competing theories. What I do find extraordinary, though, is that so many people reject the false flag hypothesis out of hand. Again, I do not know who did what, but I would like to hear why those of you who dismiss the theory, feel justified in doing so. Any takers?

mellyrn on February 11, 2011, 02:38:27 pm
And, for an alternative -- they did it.  Egypt, I mean:  Mubarak's out.  So that's two longstanding dictatorships undone by a resistance that would have made Gandhi proud, in -- what is it, less than two whole months?  And how many (not) dead?  Go, ZAP!

sams on February 11, 2011, 02:43:53 pm
Referring to Ed's statement in the bottom center of Friday's strip # 635.

So let's say there is an incident, the troops take charge and the good guys do the minuteman thing, as they started to do with Harris. The troops are defeated or maybe the smartest have defected, what then. Say they hold the hotel, all the comforts of home, with a perimeter around it.  Stalemate.

The UW can't call it an embassy unless they recognize the World (of) Ceres, do they. If they just hold up and growl to say just leave us alone, the locals will. It's just another odd neighbor, what's one more?

Having uniformed UW servicemen being killed is enough to provide justification for a full scale invasion. I have a feeling that that if the fighting cause Cereans casualties and damages there might have many people wanting them to pay for it either in bond or with their lives.

Do reinforcements arrive? Does a warship orbit and make threats forgetting the weapons confiscated from Harris?

You should remember that the UW lost a whole starfleet, including their fearsome ''World Conqueror'', the last time and I have a feeling that the Orbital blackmail is not going to work, just like Napoleon losing his fleet at Trafalgar, Nazi Germany loosing the Bismark, the UW might have a lot more starships, however Ceres is not their unique possession and losing their fleet and empire over it will hurt
Especially since you pointed out that the weapons confiscated from Harris are in Cereans possession.

It is the UW's perspective that matters here, and their perceptions. This is not a rabble throwing rocks at real troops. But do they understand it?

Just like the many people who currently dismiss Libertarian and anarchist ideas, I'm sure the UW high comand think of Ceres has a colony of dope smoking Hippies who took advantage of Harris stupidity. Soldiers are trained to fight their equals.

GlennWatson on February 11, 2011, 04:38:27 pm
Well if the inspiration is not Hawaii how about the way Hitler moved into the Sudetenland claiming to only be protecting the Germans living there from the Evil Czechs.

This also makes me think of the way Athens manufactured causus belli for the Peloponnesian wars against other Greek city states. 

Or better yet the Athenian aggression in Anatolia was based their supposed need to protect the Greek cities in Persian territory.  This of course led to the failed invasion of Greece by the Persians.

spudit on February 11, 2011, 05:34:45 pm
As far as we know 9 11 was what we all saw, crazy people did something nuts. Why is open to debate as is the backstory. I have stated my opinion for what it's worth. I admit, I have no data beyond the standard stories.

Silly me, I let a reflex respond with my mechanical arm waving, thought the discussion here would degenerate in that direction. Not this bunch though.

If I heard right, Ed implied that it was siezed upon as a blank check for most any response, just like the other incidents, some or all of which were suspect.
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That is what Prof Ed means, the disconnect between some damned suspicious plane crashes and Saddam's date with the hangman.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 05:37:45 pm by spudit »
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J Thomas on February 11, 2011, 05:55:43 pm

With regard to Crown military spending in the American colonies, suffice it to say that nobody among the colonists "agreed that it was a legitimate debt" Parliament was trying to impose upon the Americans.  They may have made noises in that direction (particularly the loyalists who looked to make a bundle themselves by way of "tax farming" and other collection measures), but the Americans suffering under British mercantilist trade restrictions and other economic strangleholds knew full well that the worldwide war against the French empire was only in very small part their war, and in many ways they were paying plenty more than their share to enable the King to wage that war. 

I'll back up some and say that some Americans thought there was _a_ legitimate debt and they thought they should have full representation in Parliament to debate how much the debt was and how it should be paid.

I don't know a whole lot about the situation and most of what I think I know comes from secondary sources. I find that the attitude of American apologists and British apologists are very different and their facts seem to be rather different too. British apologists say that whatever trade restrictions the Americans had during the war, they had it worse with independence and it took them a long time to recover.

I don't know about the details, but I get the impression a lot of the argument is about moral issues. In that context I say that if the colonists were going to be part of the British Empire then they had an obligation to pay their taxes, and Britain had an obligation to give them a voice in Parliament to explain their positions and to vote. As it turned out they did not on average want to be part of the British Empire under the conditions that Britain allowed.

spudit on February 11, 2011, 06:25:31 pm
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I don't know about the details, but I get the impression a lot of the argument is about moral issues. In that context I say that if the colonists were going to be part of the British Empire then they had an obligation to pay their taxes, and Britain had an obligation to give them a voice in Parliament to explain their positions and to vote. As it turned out they did not on average want to be part of the British Empire under the conditions that Britain allowed.
Like Jefferson said in the Declaration, it was just time.
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Tucci78 on February 11, 2011, 09:09:34 pm
I'll back up some and say that some Americans thought there was _a_ legitimate debt and they thought they should have full representation in Parliament to debate how much the debt was and how it should be paid.

I don't know a whole lot about the situation and most of what I think I know comes from secondary sources. I find that the attitude of American apologists and British apologists are very different and their facts seem to be rather different too. British apologists say that whatever trade restrictions the Americans had during the war, they had it worse with independence and it took them a long time to recover.

I don't know about the details, but I get the impression a lot of the argument is about moral issues. In that context I say that if the colonists were going to be part of the British Empire then they had an obligation to pay their taxes, and Britain had an obligation to give them a voice in Parliament to explain their positions and to vote. As it turned out they did not on average want to be part of the British Empire under the conditions that Britain allowed.

It wasn't simply that the American colonists didn't think that the Crown's war debt was in any way a legitimate call upon them (you've got to understand how wars were fought and funded in the 18th Century, when professional armies took to the field, supported from stocked arsenals and magazines, with little or no call upon the rest of the nation) but that H.M. government didn't undertake the kinds of military actions the colonists actually wanted, which was principally to drive the French and the recalcitrant Indian tribes out so that the American colonists could push their own settlements further into the continent. 

Parliament and the Crown had the "big picture" in mind, and that included maintaining good trading relations with the tribes along the Great Lakes and in the Ohio River basin.  The colonists' acquisitive aspirations threatened this, so it's not really possible to speak of those colonists as having considered themselves under any kind of moral "obligation" at all.

They weren't, after all, given any voice whatsoever in setting those British Empire "big picture" objectives and policies, and were being very much thwarted in their own ambitions thereby. 

Beyond that, it's wrong to speak of "whatever trade restrictions the Americans had during the war" as if these were merely wartime exigencies.  They weren't.  Those trade and other restrictions were applied against the American colonists under the aegis of mercantilism and require a helluva lot more consideration here.

All Americans know about the time-honored practice of using remote rustic areas to hide whiskey distilleries, and wandering in the woods of Appalachia one can easily come across the remnants of once-flourishing stills that had been discovered decades before by the Revenooers and smashed to uselessness.

Under the Royal government of these American colonies, the manufacture of stonewear was a crime.  The colonists were supposed to purchase such stuff from manufacturers in Great Britain.  Simple porous clay pottery (about what one sees in a flowerpot) could lawfully be made here, but not the hard, durable, watertight stuff preferred as common houseware in that era. 

So in places that were once wilderness in the old colonies can be found today the remains of secret potteries where criminalized ceramics were thrown, glazed, and fired for the American domestic market. 

A number of manufactures and imports were forbidden the American colonists, even when there was no state of war obtaining.  The Americans were supposed to be a captive market, able to purchase only from sources in Great Britain.  To this end, H.M. government did much to prevent the colonists from developing trade within and between their colonies, too, so there was a deliberate policy to keep specie - coins - out of America.  It was understood that without hard currency to facilitate trade, exchange would be more readily funneled through the ports and merchants of the motherland. 

Force the colonists to dicker by way of barter. So much weight of tobacco for this, so much dried cod for that, this man's note-of-hand for such, another guy's I.O.U. for something else.  Keep the colonists' commerce screwed up and inefficient. 

How the hell do you think the Spanish dollar came to be the de facto (and only eventually the de jure) unit of currency for these United States?  The pillar dollar struck in the Spanish governor's mint in Havana came into the American colonies by way of wholly illegal trade to take the place of the shillings and pounds that Parliament did its best to keep out of the colonies they wanted to victimize. 

To speak of any alleged "moral obligation" on the part of the American colonists is to ignore the decades during which Parliament and the Crown put the economic screws to those colonists.  In the musical 1776, the authors put the following through the character of Benjamin Franklin:

"Never was such a valuable possession so stupidly and recklessly managed than this entire continent by the British crown. Our industry discouraged, our resources pillaged...."

Though not drawn from Franklin's own writings. this line rings true because this attitude was indeed prevalent at that time.  Read Paine's Common Sense and other contemporary pamphlets. 

The costs of remaining "part of the British Empire under the conditions that Britain allowed" were simply too damned high for whatever minimal benefit that might accrue, and the colonists understood that. 
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

 

anything