I continue to be astounded by the things I find on YouTube. I haven't seen this one in years:
Technorati Tags: Video, Charlie Brown, Christmas
you don't have to feel so morose about the recent vote. It doesn't mean that much. But don't just cheer up. Milford wants to reinvigorate the amendment's opponents: Keep fighting. You can re-amend the constitution.To this, I left the comment that "Perhaps the States and the federal government ought to follow the first amendment and abide by the principle of separation of church and state, and get out of the marriage business altogether."
Money with [congressmen] is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."Want to balance the budgets of the United States and Canada? It couldn't get much easier, or follow the constitutions of those nations any more closely, than to eliminate income tax, government pensions, and welfare, and get the governments the hell out of the domains of churches. After all, we wouldn't want the reverse - churches being involved in the business of government - would we?
...A growing body of financiers, lawyers and space enthusiasts believe that the recognition of personal property rights 'out there' is the only realistic way to finance the new frontier of commercially driven space exploration.Mark Whittington published an article in Associated Content last week called The Case For Private Property Rights on Other Worlds. However, the content of the article didn't really match the title:
...the 1979 Moon Treaty, which states that no pieces of the Moon can become property of any "state, international or national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person". But, perhaps because the prospect of any risk in this area seemed so far away, hardly anyone signed: only 12 countries agreed, none of them major players in the space game.
..."The Outer Space Treaty is ambiguous as to the precise nature and scope of the property rights that an individual may hold in celestial bodies," says California-based space law expert Ezra Reinstein. Glenn Reynolds, who teaches space law at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, goes further. "Personal property rights are not banned by the Outer Space Treaty."
... The pertinent article of the [UN Outer Space] treaty is Article II, which reads, “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” The problem is that private property rights are determined and defended by a sovereign nation. Absent sovereign authority, property rights can be determined by international treaties. But with sovereign authority forbidden on the moon and “other celestial bodies” and no international treaty governing private property on other worlds, there is literally no body of law governing such things.Obviously, there is considerable disagreement as to whether private individuals may own extraterrestrial property. I think that the reason for the disagreement is encapsulated in the assertion by Mark Whittington that "private property rights are determined and defended by a sovereign nation".
... By the way, organizations such as the “Lunar Embassy” claiming to have the power to sell lunar land are, in the opinion of this writer, perpetrating a fraud. There is no body of law suggesting that one actually owns the land which such organizations “sell.” The parcels of land being sold have as much worth as the paper upon which the certificates are written on. One might as well buy the Brooklyn Bridge.
... There are two ways that private property rights can be established on bodies such as the Moon ... the United States could withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty and claim the Moon as national territory ... [or] by international agreement, either as an amendment to the Outer Space Treaty or as a brand new treaty. It would be a treaty which—unlike the Moon Treaty—would define and defend private property rights on other worlds rather than oppose them.
In his classic text, "The Common Law", Oliver Wendell Holmes describes property as having two fundamental aspects. The first is possession, which can be defined as control over a resource based on the practical inability of another to contradict the ends of the possessor. The second is title, which is the expectation that others will recognize rights to control resource, even when it is not in possession.I submit that the "title" aspect of property is the aspect to which Whittington, Dennis Hope, Glenn Reynolds and others are referring when they speak of property rights in space. Further, absent a universally-recognized (well, at least solar-system-wide-recognized) police force and/or government to uphold the value of title, title becomes moot; it is only the possession that matters.