I will never forget my college political philosophy professor mocking John Locke's attempt to ground the foundations of property on the admixture of labor or property to unclaimed resources by asking whether, were he to legitimately acquire a can of tomato paste and pour it into the ocean, he could therefore claim the ocean as his own.
Think that's silly? How about Gregory Nemitz of Carson City, Nevada, who claims to own Eros, and wants NASA to pay him $20 for “parking and storage fees” now that it has landed the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft on “his” asteroid. Basically, the basis of Nemitz's claim to ownership of Eros is, well, that he claims to own it, and that he's expending resources to pursue the claim, so it must be his. Oh yes, and that the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies of 1967, which precludes private ownership of celestial bodies, sounds in the Communist Manifesto, so it must be illegal.
This would be funny if the guy were not (it seems) funded by the sale of beef jerky (I am not making this up, see the bottom of his web site), and appealing (pro se) the loss of his district court case up to the 9th Circuit. Where I confidently predict he will lose again.
(The words “sui juris” on his brief are by the way a giveaway that the appellant is in the grip of a legal cult, akin to the common law court cultists, or the people who think that writing “Without Prejudice UCC 1-207” will somehow have a magic effect on their debts, or who think that they can avoid paying taxes by eschewing Social Security numbers and claiming to be just a state citizen not a citizen of the US.)