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Author Topic: Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc  (Read 3596 times)

Offline airrocket

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« on: November 26, 2009, 01:47:02 pm »
It reminds me of how our investment in space related technology has been degraded since Johnson started his social programs (debt for votes) back in the sixties. With health care looming on the horizon the debt closing in on us our national space program is toast. So this forum will be where we go to explore space in the future...what could (should) have been!!! Hopefully a more frugal and responsible generation, society and nation will pick-up on this technology and apply it to further the influence of mankind in the universe.
Vis Viva

Offline Skyblazer

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 01:51:49 pm »
to further the influence of mankind in the universe.

Personally I don't give a hoot about extending man's influence beyond the reaches of our tiny little planet, I'm even against the idea completely! There is enough damage done here already, let's use all the money and energy we have for the betterment of those who inhabit the earth instead of wasting it all on claiming uninhabited rocks as our own!!!

Offline Orionblamblam

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 01:57:56 pm »
to further the influence of mankind in the universe.

Personally I don't give a hoot about extending man's influence beyond the reaches of our tiny little planet, I'm even against the idea completely! There is enough damage done here already, let's use all the money and energy we have for the betterment of those who inhabit the earth instead of wasting it all on claiming uninhabited rocks as our own!!!

I could not disagree with you more. As far as we've been able to see, the universe is dead, dead, dead. The only chance life has of surviving long term *is* humanity spreading to the planets, asteroids, comets and stars.

What, you think cute little bunny rabbits are going to build rockets out of carrots and sprouts and colonize Mars themselves?
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And so the endless circle of life comes to an end, meaningless and grim. Why did they live, and why did they die? No reason. Two hundred million years of evolution snuffed out, for in the end Nature is horrific and teaches us nothing

Offline Skyblazer

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2009, 02:17:07 pm »
Would YOU move to Mars if you were given the chance? No atmosphere, you'd be confined to specially pressurized / oxygenized quarters... No water. You'd have to depend on reserves brought from Earth... Unless it is an absolute necessity (i.e. a nuclear holocaust on Earth or something), Mars and the likes are fine for scientific research and small groups of astronauts... but for large earth colonies? Forget it! Not even to mention the fact that even if life on Mars was made reasonably safe and viable, the likes of you and me would not be going. Hundreds and thousands of VIPs, politicians, military and so forth would be considered a priority... and we'd stay down here, slowly dying. Not that I mind... I'd rather die here on Earth than somewhere in space, anyway...

Offline Orionblamblam

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2009, 02:34:24 pm »
Would YOU move to Mars if you were given the chance?

I'm getting really close to saying "yes."

Quote
No atmosphere, you'd be confined to specially pressurized / oxygenized quarters... No water. You'd have to depend on reserves brought from Earth...

Initially, yes. Over time, though, the planet would be terraformed. Mars and Venus are planets that we *today* know how to terraform. Not vague handwavy terms... with enough funding, we could start tomorrow. It would take a very long time to make them green and lush, but that's not really a problem if you think long-term. Unfortuantely, our window for doing this is vanishingly short. We could've started maybe 20 years ago; we've got maybe a century or less to get it done. Mankind without a spacegoing civilization a century from now will likely be planet-bound for the foreseeable future.

Look at it this way. There are any number of calamities that could cause western industrialized society to collapse. Nuclear war, a major pandemic, an asteroid impact, a true economic collapse, the middle east going up in flames and taking their oil with them, zombie apocalyse, etc. After WWII, Europe and Japan were trashed, and were damn near unable to haul themselves back up... except the US stepped in with the Marshall Plan and built them back up. (Except, of course for the Soviet occupied territories, which remained trashed for a long time, and are still well behind the western areas in many ways.) Well, if that same level of collapse were to happen again on a broader scale, who would step in? If industry collapsed, how would you start it again? The easily accessible energy deposits of oil and coal are *gone.*  If the collapse is lengthy enough for nuclear plants to be made nonfunctional, it's a reasonable supposition that wood-burning steam power might be the best we could do *forever.*

If, on the other hand, that collapse happens on Earth after off-world colonies are self sufficient, then either those colonies could step in with their own Marshall Plans, or they could write off Earth, and continue the human success story unabated. With a serious space colonization effort, it's not unreasonable that in only a century or two there'd be more humans offworld than on. And while there are obvious limits to human population on Earth, there are none for off-world. There could easily come a time when the complete destruction of Earth (genetically engineered pandemic, invasion of giant radioactive rubber Jimmy Carters, whatever) would mean as little to humanity as a whole as the complete destruction of, say, Tanzania would to humanity today.
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And so the endless circle of life comes to an end, meaningless and grim. Why did they live, and why did they die? No reason. Two hundred million years of evolution snuffed out, for in the end Nature is horrific and teaches us nothing

Offline aemann

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2009, 04:30:12 pm »
to further the influence of mankind in the universe.

Personally I don't give a hoot about extending man's influence beyond the reaches of our tiny little planet, I'm even against the idea completely! There is enough damage done here already, let's use all the money and energy we have for the betterment of those who inhabit the earth instead of wasting it all on claiming uninhabited rocks as our own!!!

Assuming this is meant without irony, I paraphrase Dorothy Parker: " These are not opinions to be put aside lightly - they should be thrown aside with great force".

Offline OM

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 05:49:24 pm »
Would YOU move to Mars if you were given the chance? No atmosphere, you'd be confined to specially pressurized / oxygenized quarters... No water. You'd have to depend on reserves brought from Earth... Unless it is an absolute necessity (i.e. a nuclear holocaust on Earth or something), Mars and the likes are fine for scientific research and small groups of astronauts... but for large earth colonies? Forget it! Not even to mention the fact that even if life on Mars was made reasonably safe and viable, the likes of you and me would not be going. Hundreds and thousands of VIPs, politicians, military and so forth would be considered a priority... and we'd stay down here, slowly dying. Not that I mind... I'd rather die here on Earth than somewhere in space, anyway...

...Troll very often? Or was this your first time?

[shakes head in total disgust]

Offline Orionblamblam

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 05:53:36 pm »

...Troll very often? Or was this your first time?

Calm yourself. This is basically an aircraft forum, not a spacecraft or space policy forum. Thus we will have the occasional anti-space opinion without the need for it to be a troll. And as such, with calm and careful responses, the "troll" can be taught the utter wrongness of their viewpoint.
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And so the endless circle of life comes to an end, meaningless and grim. Why did they live, and why did they die? No reason. Two hundred million years of evolution snuffed out, for in the end Nature is horrific and teaches us nothing

Offline Skyblazer

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2009, 07:05:29 pm »
...Troll very often? Or was this your first time?

[shakes head in total disgust]

I didn't know that having a different opinion qualified people as trolls.
The race to space may have been relevant in the 1950s and 1960s, but to me it is pretty irrelevant today.
You have to accept that not everyone may share your views, and also that some people with minority opinions do not necessarily have to be ashamed to express them in public.
You need to reconsider the notion that someone with a different opinion or set of values from you is not necessarily "wrong".
You also need to accept the notion that such people, however convincing or carefully chosen your arguments may be, could very well never change their opinion.

I did not mean to spoil this topic, so as far as I'm concerned if a moderator sees it fit to just dump the last few posts, feel free to do so.

Offline Steve Pace

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 10:14:00 pm »
"Beam me up, Scotty."
When you know you're right, go ahead.

Offline flateric

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 10:50:58 pm »
well, I'm not going to wipe last dozen of posts
people, damn, please learn to hear other's opinion and, OM - please think twice before using term 'troll'

now, back to my fav Shuttle project
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline Simon666

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Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 01:08:47 am »
Quote from: flateric
well, I'm not going to wipe last dozen of posts
people, damn, please learn to hear other's opinion and, OM - please think twice before using term 'troll'
Well, there's "opinion" and "blatant distortion of historical facts". Regarding that:

After WWII, Europe and Japan were trashed, and were damn near unable to haul themselves back up... except the US stepped in with the Marshall Plan and built them back up. (Except, of course for the Soviet occupied territories, which remained trashed for a long time, and are still well behind the western areas in many ways.) Well, if that same level of collapse were to happen again on a broader scale, who would step in? If industry collapsed, how would you start it again?
Could you really keep politics and especially your Americanized version of "history" out of this forum please? It's pissing me off beyond belief. Regarding Japan:

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Plan
Japan too, had been badly damaged by the war. However, the American people and Congress were far less sympathetic towards the Japanese than they were to the Europeans. Japan was also not considered to have as great a strategic or economic importance to the United States. Thus no grand reconstruction plan was ever created, and the Japanese economic recovery before 1950 was slow. However, by 1952 growth had picked up, such that Japan continued, from 1952 to 1971 to grow in real GNP at an average annual rate of 9.6 percent. The US, by contrast, grew at a rate of 2.9 percent from 1952 to 1991.

Regarding Western Europe:

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Plan#Modern_criticism
In a review of West Germany's economy from 1945 to 1951, German analyst Werner Abelshauser concluded that "foreign aid was not crucial in starting the recovery or in keeping it going". The economic recoveries of France, Italy, and Belgium, Cowen found, also predated the flow of U.S. aid. Belgium, the country that relied earliest and most heavily on free market economic policies after its liberation in 1944, experienced the fastest recovery and avoided the severe housing and food shortages seen in the rest of continental Europe.[96]

And the ugly side which you'll never see in US history books is that before the Marshall plan was implemented, the US first systematically destroyed German industry in the first few years and stole German patents on a grand larceny scale in the Morgenthau plan:

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_plan#Implementation
The Morgenthau Plan was implemented[47], although not in its most extreme version.[47] The Morgenthau Plan spawned the JCS-1067 [2], which contained the ideas of making Germany a "Pastoral State". This concept's name was later changed to become "level of industry", where Germany's production was to be severely limited but not completely eliminated. No new locomotives were to be built until 1949, most industries were to have their production halved. Automobile production was to be set at 10% of its [pre-war] 1936 level, etc.

By February 28, 1947 it was estimated that 4,160,000 German former prisoners of war, by General Dwight D. Eisenhower relabeled as Disarmed Enemy Forces in order to negate the Geneva Convention, were used as forced labor by the various Allied countries to work in camps outside Germany: 3,000,000 in Russia, 750,000 in France, 400,000 in Britain and 10,000 in Belgium. [4] Meanwhile in Germany large parts of the population were starving [5] at a time when according to a study done by former U.S. President Herbert Hoover the nutritional condition in countries that in Western Europe was nearly pre-war normal". [6] General George S. Patton opposed the forced labor, finding the practice to contravene the ideals the United States fought for in its Revolutionary and Civil wars.[72] German prisoners engaged in dangerous tasks, such as clearing mine fields.[73]

In Germany shortage of food was an acute problem, according to Alan S. Milward in 1946–47 the average kilocalorie intake per day was only 1,080, an amount insufficient for long-term health.[74] Other sources state that the kilocalorie intake in those years varied between as low as 1,000 and 1,500. William Clayton reported to Washington that "millions of people are slowly starving."[75]

All armaments plants, including some that could have been converted to civilian operation, were dismantled or destroyed. A large proportion of operational civilian plants were dismantled and transported to the victorious nations, mainly France and Russia.
Destroying industry, causing starvation, use of forced labour, hey what does that remind me of? Concentration camps.

Also there:

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_plan#Implementation
According to some scholars, the Marshall Plan, which was extended to also include Western Germany after it was realized that the suppression of the Western German economy was holding back the recovery of the rest of Europe,[90] was not the main force behind the Wirtschaftswunder.[91][92] According to them, the amount of monetary aid (which was in the form of loans) received by Germany through the Marshall Plan (about $1.4 billion in total) was far overshadowed by the amount the Germans had to pay back as war reparations and by the charges the Allies made on the Germans for the ongoing cost of occupation (about $2.4 billion per year).[91] In 1953 it was decided that Germany was to repay $1.1 billion of the aid it had received. The last repayment was made in June 1971.[92]

And in case you were wondering, why I was highlighting previously "although not in its most extreme version":

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_plan#Content_of_one_of_the_original_proposals
The original memorandum, written sometime between January and early September 1944, signed by Morgenthau, and headed "Suggested Post-Surrender Program for Germany" is preserved at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The text, and a facsimile image, can be viewed online.[26]

The main provisions can be summarized as follows:

"1. Demilitarization of Germany.
    It should be the aim of the Allied Forces to accomplish the complete demilitarization of Germany in the shortest possible period of time after surrender. This means completely disarming the German Army and people (including the removal or destruction of all war material), the total destruction of the whole German armament industry, and the removal or destruction of other key industries which are basic to military strength.
2. Partitioning of Germany.
    (a) Poland should get that part of East Prussia which doesn't go to the USSR and the southern portion of Silesia as indicated on the attached map, (Appendix A).
    (b) France should get the Saar and the adjacent territories bounded by the Rhine and the Moselle rivers.
    (c) As indicated in part 3 an International zone should be created containing the Ruhr and the surrounding industrial areas.
    (d) The remaining portion of Germany should be divided into two autonomous, independent states, (1) a South German state comprising Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and some smaller areas and (2) a North German state comprising a large part of the old state of Prussia, Saxony, Thuringia and several smaller states.
    There shall be a custom union between the new South German state and Austria, which will be restored to her pre-1938 political borders.
3. The Ruhr Area.
    (The Ruhr, surrounding industrial areas, as shown on the attached map, including the Rhineland, the Kiel Canal, and all German territory north of the Kiel Canal.)
    Here lies the heart of German industrial power, the cauldron of wars. This area should not only be stripped of all presently existing industries but so weakened and controlled that it can not in the foreseeable future become an industrial area. The following steps will accomplish this:
    (a) Within a short period, if possible not longer than 6 months after the cessation of hostilities, all industrial plants and equipment not destroyed by military action shall either be completely dismantled and removed from the area or completely destroyed. All equipment shall be removed from the mines and the mines shall be thoroughly wrecked.

        It is anticipated that the stripping of this area would be accomplished in three stages:
        (i) The military forces immediately upon entry into the area shall destroy all plants and equipment which cannot be removed.
        (ii) Removal of plants and equipment by members of the United Nations as restitution and reparation (Paragraph 4).
        (iii) All plants and equipment not removed within a stated period of time, say 6 months, will be completely destroyed or reduced to scrap and allocated to the United Nations.

    (b) All people within the area should be made to understand that this area will not again be allowed to become an industrial area. Accordingly, all people and their families within the area having special skills or technical training should be encouraged to migrate permanently from the area and should be as widely dispersed as possible.
    (c) The area should be made an international zone to be governed by an international security organization to be established by the United Nations. In governing the area the international organization should be guided by policies designed to further the above stated objectives.
4. Restitution and Reparation.
    Reparations, in the form of recurrent payments and deliveries, should not be demanded. Restitution and reparation shall be effected by the transfer of existing German resources and territories, e.g.
    (a) by restitution of property looted by the Germans in territories occupied by them;
    (b) by transfer of German territory and German private rights in industrial property situated in such territory to invaded countries and the international organization under the program of partition;
    (c) by the removal and distribution among devastated countries of industrial plants and equipment situated within the International Zone and the North and South German states delimited in the section on partition;
    (d) by forced German labor outside Germany; and
    (e) by confiscation of all German assets of any character whatsoever outside of Germany."
What does that remind me of? Oh yeah, what the Red Khmer did to Cambodia, complete desindustrialisation and turning into an agrarian state. Works really well for civilian populations by the way.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 01:14:20 am by Simon666 »

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Off-Topic ranting about space, Marshall Plan etc
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2009, 01:28:10 am »
I thought about deleting these posts, but perhaps leaving it here is better.

When we veer off the common interests of the forum, we get stupid, pointless arguments like this. Learn from this please. Simon666 in particular, your post was way out of line, immediately following a moderator trying to put the discussion back to topic.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 01:31:47 am by overscan »
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