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Bob Janova

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About Bob Janova

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    His Royal Majesty, King of Seria

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    The Order of Grämlins
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  1. Oh come on, it was common knowledge that C&G were preparing to be a counter, and I'm pretty sure they have confirmed that since the war. NPO can choose to see a pre-empt on them as okay if they wish, but let's not pretend that an official posting of a DoS makes any real difference when intentions are known. Letum, interesting comments there. Apparently the 'new NPO' is a reality then!
  2. There's two very surprising things that have been aired to the public in Brehon's thread. First, and the main point of discussion within that thread, is that alliances now think it acceptable to refuse a no-punitive-terms peace agreement, and think that they have the right to a white peace on their own terms and at their convenience. The second, which I'd like to explore briefly here, is that the NPO has offered such a termless peace in the first place. There are two important precedents which they could call upon to easily justify far harsher demands. The first one is probably most obvious, and regards Fark and FAN. Although Doomhouse got away with one by winning the war in the last outing, pre-emptive attacks by losing alliances could reasonably expect to be treated like TOP and IRON in Bipolar: enormous reparations as a penalty for the aggressive action. Although I've always felt that the terms demanded in Bipolar were unreasonably large, the NPO would certainy be justified in demanding some reparations. The precedent to go to regarding Sparta comes from the Karma War. In order to protect some of its high NS nations, in that war the NPO sent them into hiding in peace mode and ordered them to stay there, just as Sparta has done in this war. The Karma alliances on that front demanded that NPO bring those nations out to get levelled before they would get peace, and even threatened a reparations escalator for every day they didn't (here is a discussion thread about it). Again, although what happened to NPO during Karma was too much, there is a precedent there that would certainly justify a refusal to give peace until Sparta actually permit the war to be won. Obviously, to implement any peace terms, NPO would have to get the agreement of its front partners. But I don't think it would find that too hard considering the availability of applicable precedents. In a way it is a good thing that the NPO is still so frightened of its own Hegemonic reputation that it doesn't dare demand surrender terms, three years later. Karma has actually done its job quite well in some regards. But in my view, alliances which commit aggressive attacks and then lose deserve to have some terms levied.
  3. Yes, it's that special day again, fireworks going off all around Seria – the 5th of November. Harmlin Day. The anniversary of the signing of the MDP between The Grämlins and the Mostly Harmless Alliance, five years ago now, and also of the signing of the Härmlin Accords a year later. The bond may have been broken and our two alliances not as close as they once were, and those who can truly call themselves Harmlins gradually fading into inactivity or disappearing entirely, but it is still an important day in history. Rarely have two alliances with such different roots, membership approaches and friends come so close; for the best part of the relationship (over a year) we were more than allies, we were brothers. Eternal treaties may be a joke nowadays (and, to be honest, rightly so) but it took the madness of Ramirus to break this one, and I know that it was hard for MHA to do. We may no longer see eye to eye in the new Grämlins and the post-Bipolar MHA, but on this special night, I will raise a glass to all my Harmlin brothers, green and aqua. Happy Harmlin Day to you all!
  4. Games in which wars are started over nothing are much less interesting than this one. And yeah, considering that your alliance has nestled in the core of the treaty-based power structure that dissuades anything from happening since Karma, I'm not sure you're really in a position to complain about it.
  5. That's been the case since the Viridicide.
  6. Yes, this. I think the scariest is around 50m. I've been to Cabo Girão and also to St. John's Head, Orkney (the highest cliff in Britain) and they both seem just surreal, not really much higher than a normal tall cliff of 100m or so.
  7. This isn't really news, but it is something to take on board for all alliances: make sure that your staff are all up to date on what's going on.
  8. Because the people in control declare residence in Monaco (or I guess for you Americans, the Bahamas), or other tax dodges, so that way you get nothing from anyone. So it becomes yet another tax that gets the little people and not the rich. Also, taxing profit is much fairer than taxing income, because if you tax income, you can turn a viable wage into a non-viable one (by pushing the income below fixed outgoings), whereas by taxing profit you can never turn a profitable business into a non-profitable one. Thus, corporation tax shouldn't deter entrepreneurship. Accounting isn't as hard as you make out. The company knows perfectly well what its profit/loss and revenue/expenditure are, because otherwise it wouldn't have a clue whether it was a viable business or not. Considering every nail, screw and rivet of a modern mechanised production line is probably affixed by robot, it's actually very easy to keep track of each one. But you don't need to, anyway. You just keep track of the inventory, like you do for any material.
  9. Only in my sig . But I was a member of VE for 11½ months of the year.
  10. Another year passed since the day that ended the illusion of a stable and friendly Green, and another year of success and relevance for Viridia. The main event of the past year was the signing of Pandora's Box – the new central bloc of its area of the treaty web, and thrusting Viridia into the spotlight. Entering such a large and mixed bloc, in the top tier of world politics, had a predictable effect of attracting detractors, from the other power clusters. And, also predictably, the bloc made enough enemies that one of them did something which triggered a war, becoming the main event of the first half of 2011 (and still ongoing on subsiduary fronts). VE's part of that war, in the initial strike on the New Polar Order, eded in a victory, if a somewhat damaging one, and left Pandora's Box in a strong position as almost every other power cluster was defeated or disintegrated. The appearance of the new bloc XX in May leaves the political landscape more interesting for the PB alliances, and VE, for the coming year. What will XX and PB do in the next twelve months? On that question, the fate of the world may lie. Of course, the other big piece of news is that the Grämlin banner once again flies over Seria – although with the Viridian one, on this day, of course. The reformation of an alliance which still had some remnants remaining is a new adventure to everyone, but the alliance seems to have been received well, and working with some of the same nations that made up the original alliance in its heyday is good for all of us. The next year is not only an interesting one on the political stage for the world as a whole, but also for the new Grämlins, and Serians. Let's make the most of it!
  11. The links in the OP attribute the problem almost entirely to abortion. You can hardly blame me for not following links posted after my post.
  12. Progressive taxes are good because it makes the normal people feel better about having to pay their, lower, taxes. GVC is correct that there aren't enough of them to cover the whole bill. However, a large stack of it could be collected from closing corporate offshoring loopholes, and a small transaction tax on financial markets (which would have the additional benefit of reducing the sort of high frequency trading that can cause major market instability). Surely the sustainable level is 0?
  13. 'Submitted without comment'? Lol. Your one line comment is about as incendiary as you could make it. The fact is that issues like this are a symptom not a cause, and using it as a stick to beat abortion with is silly. If abortion suddenly became impossible, they would be killed when they are actually people, and that would be much worse. Sex selection or determination is already illegal there, anyway (according to the linked article). The problem is that girls and women are considered to be (i) useless and (ii) expensive – and with dowries, the second part at least is a simple fact. That's what needs to be changed.
  14. This post is kind of like saying 'everyone has two arms and two legs, so you're all the same'. Yes, we all sign the same types of treaties (though the wording is often quite different, so I wonder if you actually read treaties) and have similar clauses in our charters. Why? Because those are the things that alliances need to operate successfully. (Also, treaties are between at least two alliances, so there will always be compromise of alliance culture.) Most alliances don't have a strong IC basis for their identity, but they do have strong IC identities nevertheless, often shaped by their history. OBR and NPO are the two with the strongest RP element, I would say. But if you think that GOONS and TOP are 'too similar', or MK and NpO, then I don't know how you manage to live in a western country without complaining that everybody there is too similar.
  15. Yeah, much of the cost of illegal drugs is because they're illegal. Though I rather agree with Bama, at least some hard drugs should remain illegal because they are too dangerous to let people use without training. Since alcohol and tobacco are ingrained in our culture as legal, though, anything which is less harmful than them should be legal, and that's a pretty high bar, particularly in the case of tobacco which is addictive, carcinogenic and has multiple other negative health effects to the user and people around them. Cannabis in particular should be legal, its harm is only on a low level (comparable at worst with tobacco) and countries where is is legal (e.g. Holland) are hardly drug-addled dystopias.
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