In 1996, on this day Jean-Louis Gassée (pictured) reluctantly sold Be Inc. for $200 million (he wanted $275 million) after discovering that his buyer Apple Computer was on the verge of striking an alternative deal with his business rival Steve Jobs of NeXSTEP.
Apple Buys Be Inc.Earlier in the year, the board of Apple had taken a strategic decision about the development of the next generation new operating system, the Mac OS X. Fatefully, they had chosen to abandon an internal development project called Copland; instead of rewriting and modernizing the Macintosh operating system, the company would leapfrog this development by acquiring a new platform with many of the desired features. The two options quickly narrowed down to BeOS or OPENSTEP. And both operating systems were owned by former Apple Executives. Which was not to say that negotiations proceeded through open dialogue between buddies, because Jobs had not entered the building since his highly publicised exit in 1985. And Gassée was forced out after a political in-fight during 1990.
Yet matters took a decidely unexpected course. Retained after the purchase in an Advistory capacity, the acquisition was so integral to the strategic direction of the company that within just six months, Gassée had replaced Gil Amelio as Interim CEO. "A man in the desert doesn't bargain on the price of water" ~ Jean-Louis GasséeOnly later would a number of deeply disturbing facts emerge; that the bid for Be Inc. was hugely over-priced, because only $80 million had ever been invested in the company; that OPENSTEP was a proven technology, unlike BeOS; that Jobs had requested a position on the board but had only been offered an advisory position; and that the abandonment of Copland and its successors Gerschwin and Taligent disguised a genuine crisis inside Apple Computer.
By then it was too late to reverse these missteps, and in any case, Jobs had moved onto other rewarding projects. Ironically, Gassée, who had only ever wanted to make a tidy profit, would be forced to watch Jobs take a staggering $1.2 billion out of Pixar Animation Studios before stepping up to a full-time position on the board of that company's biggest customer, the Walt Disney Company. But such is the fine margin between dreams and nightmares.
In 2009, on this day the leader of the "Fed Up" campaign, former Texan President Rick Perry challenged the legality of the motion of retrocession tabled by John Cornyn, promising to fight his moderate successor Kay Bailey Hutchison and her controversial plans to re-join the Union.
Dont Mess with Texas
By Ed and Jared MyersHis credibility rested upon his conservative record in office - and a broader perspective gained from overseas service in the US Air Force. A cotton farmers son who graduated in Animal Science, he was nominated for enrollment into the future leaders of America. This exchange programme was conceived by General Eisenhower as a result of his experience of un-coordinated American commands during World War Two.
And yet proponents of the retrocession plan immediately derided Perry and his anachronistic "Dont Mess With Texas" position as a Confederate-era advocacy of States Rights. Nevertheless, the majority of voters in the Second Republic of Texas appeared to share varying degrees of doubt that the US Government's Tenth Amendment provided the necessary protection against Federal overreach.
The broader debate over small government orthodoxy was making a splash in Newsweek and even CSA Today. This Richmond-based broadsheet had been a standard-bearer of states rights ever since Ted Kennedy delivered his famous Dream That Never Dies speech at the 1980 Democrat Convention in New York. And soon enough, media interest ensured that the political struggle in Austin would be elevated to a continent-wide debate about the future of a new Federal Government from "sea to shining sea".
This article is an installement of the CSA Today thread devised by guest historian Gerry Shannan.
In 1989, as part of the growing War on Drugs that had been declared by President Richard Nixon in 1971 and redoubled by President George Bush, Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega (pictured) was indicted on drug-trafficking charges and endangering American nationals in addition to his more obvious crime of suppressing democracy.
Canal Sabotage as Panama Invasion CommencesSparked by the shooting death of a US Marine at a roadblock on December 16, nine thousand US troops entered Panama in Operation Just Cause, joining the some 12,000 others that were already there as part of the defense of the jointly owned Panama Canal (set to revert to Panamanian control in the year 2000 under the Torrijos?Carter Treaties). Noriega's pet army of the Panamanian Defense Forces was easily defeated with minimal resistance, except for a devious counterattack with an unassuming small freighter that rested in the Canal near the Gatun Locks.
Rigged with explosives on a timer, the freighter exploded while unoccupied, killing several sailors on nearby boats and one canal worker. While the damage to the Canal was not catastrophic, it would take months to repair back to full capacity, frustrating international shipping and making a noticeable dent on the world economy with the Dow Jones dropping briefly below 1,000 points. News of the strike shocked military commanders and President Bush, who had been largely in control of the situation. Although only twenty-three US soldiers and three American civilians were killed (opposed to 150 PDF and some 500 Panamanian civilians), the invasion would have a black smear in the public view.
A new story by Jeff ProvineWhile the fighting ended shortly after it had begun, Noriega found asylum in the Vatican anuncio and did not surrender until arrested by US Drug Enforcement agents on January 3. During this time, the US scrambled to polish its image. Polls sponsored by CBS and articles by the New York Times showed that Panamanians were pleased that the dictator had been overthrown and the properly elected Guillermo Endara sworn into office; even those who had suffered property damage or the loss of loved ones supported the US invasion by as much as 80 percent. Other news sources were not as friendly, giving accounts such as those from Paul Eisner of Newsday describing blacklists and ".sapo". informers upon neighbors as well as the Miami Herald's report of ".Neighbors saw six U.S. truck loads bringing dozens of bodies to a mass grave" and a mother's "voice rose over the crowd's silence: 'Damn the Americans'".
International disapproval arose, made all the louder by the economic fallout of the damaged Canal. The Organization of American States and the European Parliament made formal protests, calling the move a violation of international law. As public criticism grew, more stories began to come out about Noriega's past. Most recognized him as a money-launderer and drug-trafficker, but the story of his origins by CIA support became widespread. Noriega had been picked by the CIA as a potential block to fears of Central American communism in 1970, but was dropped from the payroll in 1977 after he had become mixed in drugs. Two years later, the Sandinista National Liberation Front came to power in Nicaragua, and Noriega was tapped again to keep communism from spreading and became dictator in 1983. Throughout the Reagan Administration, which came into its own problems with illegal activity in the Iran-Contra Affair, Noriega enjoyed American support as he rigged elections and was condemned by US Senate committee reviews of drug traffic. Upon word that Noriega may have been connected with Cuba and the Sandanistas, he was cut off by the US government. After his arrest in 1989, he would be sentenced in 1992 to federal prison for forty years.
President Bush raced to salvage his administration, citing his own experience with the CIA and admitting that certain intelligence activities were necessary to stop the spread of communism. With the Berlin Wall falling in August and the Soviet departure from Afghanistan earlier in February, he noted that American fears of international instability had been satiated and now was the time to ".clean up the mess".. With new policies on cutting international aid from dictators and new CIA transparency, a wave of revolution watched over by UN and largely American forces came in several countries such as Nigeria with free elections. Most famous would be the removal of Saddam Hussein at the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 after his invasion of Kuwait. The actions would give Bush a narrow election victory for a second term after successfully winning support in Maine and Colorado from Ross Perot's dropping out of his campaign in July of 1992. The fall of the Soviet Union that December would be a further feather in Bush's hat.
In 1860, at precisely 1.15pm on this day the ill-fated Republic of South Carolina seceded from the Union following the passage of a vote in the Special Convention in Charleston which had been summoned solely for that purpose by the State Legislature on December 6th.
Our Weaker Brethren"We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the other nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do".
The declaration was a result for State Governor William H. Gist who had been absolutely determined to force secession. He upheld the view that South Carolina, having joined a compact of states of its own free will in 1788 had the right to leave when it chose. Which was right now that Abraham Lincoln had been elected, or so he told Governor Pettus of Mississippi, because he did not mean to let the other Southern Governors - who he labelled as "our weaker brethren" - dodge the issue of abolition which he believe the incoming President would enact.
Ever the masterful politician, Lincoln used the period of transition to reach out to southern unionists and dismiss the prospect of the sudden liberation of four million African Americans. And so the scenes of marching bands, fireworks and flag-waving rallies of citizens were confined to Charleston. At least for the time being. Because Gist had anticipated this lack of support, and now set about firing up Southron indignation by provoking a confrontation over the disputed ownership of a Federal Asset, the Union's Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
In 2001, it was pre-dawn on the morning of 20 December 2001 when the Indian Tank Army moved towards the border.
A contemporary Alternate History of the 2001 India-Pakistan War by David Atwell
The Indians had done extremely well. Within a week they had assembled the most powerful field army in all of Asia. Combined with the Indian Air Force, there would be little to stop them save for a nuclear weapon. This consideration had been taken into account and thus the "Charge to Lahore", as it was known, was seen as the tactic to use against any possible nuclear attack. Time, however, was the essence here. The Indian Tank Army had to race to Lahore before Pakistan could react. It was believed that once at Lahore, the Pakistanis would not use a nuclear weapon on them. The trouble was they had to get there first.
The 2 Pakistani brigades never had a chance. Not only did the Indian Air Force dominate the skies, they were outnumbered 250 000 to a mere 7 000. The Indians simply drove over them. Many prisoners were taken, which were treated with much respect. It is interesting to note that, although the soldiers of both countries were trained to kill the other, they showed much chivalry and honour in battle. Furthermore, the Indian officers mostly referred to the Pakistanis as "those people" rather than "the enemy".
Unbeknownst to the Indian Tank Army, though, was the readiness of the Pakistani nuclear forces. Musharraf had already put them on full alert and ensured that both the missiles and the bombs had been dispersed around the country. This, the Indians had missed during their preparations for the attack. If the reverse had been true then maybe the Indian attack would have been delayed. Yet as it was, 250 000 Indian troops were on their way to Lahore. None of them would make it.
A Chapter from Hell's Doors OpenMusharraf gave the order that any sane person would dread and regret all their life. As a result of this order, 4 Ghauri missiles, each with a single 10 kiloton nuclear warhead, were launched from their mobile launchers. Three minutes later, four nuclear explosions, all on Pakistani territory, destroyed India's finest army. Although there were survivors, none were battle capable. Ironically, 4 500 Pakistani prisoners, who had been moved from the battlefield to POW camps in India, witnessed the mushroom clouds from a safe distance, then volunteered to help any Indian survivors. There would be about 50 000 of these horrified and tormented human souls. It was just on 8am local time.
Word got through to New Delhi about fifteen minutes later. Vajpayee could not believe what he was hearing. Then it hit him. He broke down and cried for about five minutes according to some witnesses. Soon afterwards, however, he was back in business as the Prime Minister. Knowing that Pakistan could not get away with the nuclear attack, and yet dreading where all this may end, he demanded nonetheless a nuclear attack on Pakistan. His generals were not confident that this was the right move, yet Vajpayee and other government Ministers were committed to it. Eventually it came down to an attack in Kashmir on military targets. The generals reasoned that by keeping it limited to the military, the general public will suffer little and that the 17 million casualty figure quoted by the United States only a few days before would be remarkably less.
The orders went out. The planners decided to use strike aircraft instead of missiles. The aircraft would be more accurate plus they could be recalled at the last moment if the Pakistanis surrendered. Furthermore, nuclear armed missiles were in limited numbers and India had control of the skies. Thus, unlike the Pakistanis, the Indians had the luxury of using aircraft on several missions.
About an hour after the decision had been made, 8 Mirage 2 000 jet aircraft dropped their bombs on the Pakistani Army in Kashmir. Although 8 bombs were delivered on target, the Pakistani casualty rate was not as high as the Indian Tank Army. Having said that, the Pakistanis lost 50 percent of their forces. Those that survived did so thanks to the numerous trenches and bunkers which crossed the Kashmir countryside. Nonetheless it was far from pleasant being on the Pakistani side of the border. Of those that survived, one can hardly imagine the horror that these humans went through.
Up until know, all the nuclear detonations had taken place in Pakistan. This was soon to change rapidly. Within a few minutes of the Indian attack, Musharraf was informed. Like Vajpayee 90 minutes earlier, he was put into an impossible position. Should he respond with another nuclear attack? Most of his fellow generals were all for it and wanted to target the major cities of India. But Musharraf was against it. Although he was determined to show the Indians that Pakistan could not be intimidated, he decided to play it by India's example and hit the Indian troops along the border in Kashmir. This the others agreed upon. Soon afterwards, 10 nuclear armed Ghauri missiles were heading for the 600 000 Indian troops. Musharraf said a prayer to Allah for the Indians to come to their senses and not fire back.
The Indian troops were ready, as much as one can be when facing a nuclear explosion, and hid in their trenches and bunkers. All had seen what had happened across the border to their counterparts and everyone knew what weapon had made those mushroom clouds. The troops realised that their turn for nuclear hell would be next. As a result, several thousand had taken off in an easterly direction to get away from the potential nuclear battlefield. All, however, prayed to their respective deity. Then the missiles hit. Even though the Pakistanis used more weapons than the Indians, their missiles were not as accurate as the Indian aircraft. The result meant that Indian casualties mirrored those just across the Kashmir border.
If these exchanges seem horrifying enough, it was only the beginning. It was about 10.30am and already 600 000 lives had been lost. More would follow as the horror would soon get worse, although at this point things appeared to quiet down. By this stage the world had caught up with the madness. Pleas for peace, humanity and above all sorrow came from all parts. World leaders began calling India and Pakistan demanding an audience. None were listened to. All calls were rejected. But it seemed that Musharraf's prayer had been answered as by 1pm India had not counterattacked, even though no word had come through from the Indian government.
This, unfortunately, would change by 1.30pm. The reason for the lull was never understood by the Pakistan government, but for the India it was time well spent. Since the last attack Vajpayee had ordered a list of military targets in Pakistan. He wanted the top 25 on the list targeted with India's Prithvi nuclear armed missiles and end for good Pakistan's ability to wage war. As a secondary phase to this attack, the whole Mirage 2000 strike force would be back in the air armed with free fall nuclear bombs. Their job was to hunt down and annihilate the mobile launchers that Pakistan had been using to attack India. Just like what America did to Iraq in chasing their Scud missile launchers, so too India would do to Pakistan: except India was going to use nuclear weapons.
An hour later, as the Indian Air Force began hunting for the Pakistani mobile launchers, nuclear death rained down on Pakistan. All of the 25 Pakistani military bases were obliterated in the attack. Unfortunately, many of these bases were often located next to large urban centres. Although it was not the intension of the Indians to go from the tactical to the strategic in terms of nuclear warfare, to Musharraf and the others in Islamabad, this certainly appeared to be the case. The war had spun out of control and now even generals, prime minsters and presidents had become mere pawns in it. With little alternative Musharraf ordered every nuclear missile fired at Indian cities within range, and every plane capable of carrying a free fall nuclear bomb into the air.
At first the Pakistani response could not get under way until 4pm, mostly due to the fact that suitable aircraft had to be found, fuelled, crewed and armed. But by 2.50pm reports started coming in stating that Indian aircraft were roaming over Pakistan dropping nuclear weapons. Although this was somewhat expected by now, this alarmed Musharraf into thinking that the Indians were after the remaining Ghauri missiles. He was right, of course, and immediately ordered their launch. The remaining 38 missiles thus headed for India's largest cities. It would be Pakistan's final attack.
By 3.10pm Vajpayee did not need to read any more of the reports flooding into his bomb-proof bunker in New Delhi. The fact that he just survived an horrendous earthquake told him that the capital of India had just been destroyed by a nuclear explosion. How much longer he had to live he did not know, but Pakistan would pay a heavy price for what they had done. He thus issued his final order of the war, hit the Pakistani cities. A few minutes later 30 Prithvi nuclear missiles were launched into the sky. Some five minutes later 29 Pakistani cities suffered the fate of New Delhi. Two missiles were deliberately aimed at Islamabad. The commander of India's Missile Force came from New Delhi. Furthermore his wife and four children lived there until a few minutes ago. Added to this horrific attack were the remaining Indian Mirage 2000s which still had their nuclear payload aboard. Ordered now to seek out and destroy all the remaining Pakistani Air Force bases, this had been achieved by 3.50pm. Pakistan never got in its nuclear air strike on India.
Read the whole story on the Changing the Times web site
In 1812, on this day Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of their Kinder-und Hausmarchen ("Children's and Household Tales") better known in English as Grimm's Fairy Tales.
Grimm's Fairy TalesIn truth, the brothers were mostly innocent academics, editors of story tales from Charles Perrault and many other sources. Because they were just a little more than dreamers, idealist nationalists who wanted to see the multitude of German states united as one country and who believed that folk tales revealed a national German identity.
Or at least there were. Years before publication, they were secretly visited by Astrid Pflaume (pictured), a neo-Nazis from 1968 that traveled back through time to create a shadowy world-wide Zionist organization, the enemy they had always imagined. Because Pflaume saw great opportunity in the popular interest in the folk stories - the awakening of Aryanism. Without her visit, the Grimms would probably never have progressed further than childishly articulating cultural homogeneity in a pure form. But she took them in a frightening new direction introducing sub-textual violence and anti-semitism into a volume that was wholly unfit for children or indeed fair-minded people of any age. And she planted a seed in Jacob's mind, an advanced linguistic concept about the existence of a common ancestor of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family. In time this bore evil fruit and eventually became known as Grimm's Law.
Of course Pflaume paid many other such visits, to the Rothschilds, early Zionist conferences, the office of Foreign Secretary Balfour and so forth. And in so doing she nurtured the Rise of the Greater Zionist Resistance (GZR) which she herself would lead until her grisly death in 1935. By then of course, she had turned coat, becoming the New Reich's bitterest enemy.
Part one of the novel can be downloaded here and continues as a thread on this site.
In 1740, on this day American diplomat and spy Dr Arthur Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Birth of Dr Arthur LeeAt the age of thirty he was named Massachusetts correspondent to Britain and France. But his innocent belief in the revolutionary cause was challenged to the core by the extravagant lifestyle of Benjamin Franklin.
Later, in Paris, after helping to negotiate the Treaty of Alliance (1778) with France, he fell out with Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane. He also identified Edward Bancroft, the secretary to the American legation in Paris, as a British spy. However Bancroft managed to persuade Lee to turn, although he soon recanted, and turned both himself and Bancroft in .
After the peace settlement, there was a proposal to establish a secret service because of events such as the Lee-Bancroft scandal. However by this stage, the US Government was near to implosion - no revenue
source, no curency and the unanimity rule. And then events came full circle when it was discovered that spies at the highest level of the USG were supporting the Commonwealth of Kentucky to negotiate a separate treaty with Spanish Louisiana for free navigation on the Mississippi River.
In 1936, on this day Socialist President-elect Alfred Emanuel Smith, Jr. confirmed the abolition of the Office of Secretary of General Affairs.The Business Plot Unravels
Because in 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been reduced to a figurehead by the so-called Business Plotters, Wall Street elites who had manoerved Major General Smedley D. Butler into the all powerful position of super-secretary.
The most decorated US marine in history, Butler had been elevated to national political stature by his appearance alongside former Army sergeant Walter W. Waters at the Anacostia flats (pictured) on July 17, 1932. Water's so-called Bonus Army were the thousands of World War I veterans who had converged on Washington, D.C. to set up tent camps, demanding immediate payment of bonuses due them according to the Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924. President Herbert Hoover ordered the marchers removed, and their camps were destroyed by US Army cavalry troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.
But it was not just veterans that questioned whether the foundations of liberal democracy were being shaken by the Great Depression.
The cocktail elite's opposition to the New Deal program led the White House to leak the silent government take-over to the press. Yet the newspapers were controlled by the elite, who down-played Roosevelt's evidence to protect the interests of advertisers and their owners.
In the absence of New Deal Projects to employ the general population, the public soon turned against the popular General Butler. And two years later, the defeated Democratic candidate from the 1928 Presidential race Al Smith ran on a Socialist ticket, promising to seize the government back for the people. Perhaps the iconic image of the era would be Smith's grandchildren cutting the ribbon when the world's tallest skyscraper, the Socialist State Building opened on May 1, 1941.
Of course less than twelve months later the Building was destroyed by RAF bombers flying from the last outpost of British power in North America, St. Johns in Newfoundland. And as imperial British and Germans troops prepared to invade, Socialist America would sorely miss the commanding leadership of 'the Flying Quaker', former Secretary of General Affairs Major General Smedley D. Butler.
In 1974, the spy film The Man with the Golden Gun made its world premiere in Spain.Jeremy Brett as James Bond, Part 3 by Zach Timmons
In this ninth James Bond movie (and fourth to star Jeremy Brett), Bond is sent to locate a device designed to harness solar power. He also must deal with the assassin Scaramanga - the 'Man with the Golden Gun'. Although the movie did well at the box office, grossing $97.6 million dollars, it is generally regarded as one of the weaker Bond films.
Jeremy Brett would go on to make one more Bond film (1977's The Spy Who Loved Me), afterwards relinquishing the role to Timothy Dalton.
In 2012, on this day Searching For Albert was re-issued in paperback in advance of the 40-year anniversary of the novel's original hardcover publication.
Searching For AlbertAccompanying the paperback launch was an e-book version of the novel that within 24 hours of release would become the most downloaded non-game app in Amazon UK's history. The re-issue of Albert also enjoyed huge success in the United States, debuting at number three on the New York Times bestseller list and reaching the top spot within a week of its release. Not surprisingly, the brisk early sales of the 40th anniversary paperback fueled anticipation on both sides of the Atlantic for the release of the film adaptation of Albert's sequel Memorial in November of 2013.
Ironically, one of the biggest overseas markets for the Albert 40th anniversary re-issue paperback was Argentina, Great Britain's adversary in the Falklands War. The Spanish-language translation of the novel sold one million copies in Buenos Aires alone during its first week on bookstore shelves. Critical reaction among Argentine reviewers to Albert was sharply divided, with some accusing the novel of glorifying alleged British imperialism and others praising it as a vivid portrait of the realities of combat. A well-known Argentine film director would later be inspired by the novel to write a script for a Falklands-themed historical drama sharing some of Albert's basic themes.
In 1941, as thirty-fourth President Frank Lloyd Wright was sworn in the Federal Bureau of Investigation interrogated the British secret agents who had assassinated his predecessor Charles A. Lindbergh in a final, desperate attempt to reverse the US policy of isolationism.
Codename Intrepid 2That team comprising Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, Noel Coward, David Ogilvy and Ivar Bryce had been put in place by the Canadian Spymaster William Stephenson.
Ordered by Churchill to "do all that was not being done and could not be done by overt means" he had formed British Security Co-ordination successfully infiltrating Washington Society until he was betrayed by Joseph P. Kennedy.
Britain was now facing total collapse. Whether the incoming President would also look the other way was now the question. Because Wright had a grander vision for the country, he aspired to be the greatest American architect of all time.
In 1930, the 'Christmas Week riots' erupt in Berlin, Nuremberg and other German cities as Roehm's supporters battle Goering loyalists in the streets. Goering's backers want another military man to head the Party, and distrust Roehm, whom persistent rumors accuse of homosexuality.Christmas Riots by Eric LippsDozens are killed and millions of marks' worth of property damage is done before the fighting dies down three days later. In the aftermath, some prominent industrialists who had been backing the Nazi Party begin to reconsider. Among those now feeling doubts is Alfred Hugenberg, who despite being a prominent member of the rival German Nationalist People's Party had supported the Nazis through the newspaper empire he controlled. Hugenberg sees the fighting between the Roehm and Goering factions of the NSDAP indicate that with Hitler gone, the Nazis will splinter, making them less useful as partners with the Nationalists.
In 2001, with Osama bin Laden still at large, public pressure for military action has grown tremendously.
Even some liberals normally opposed to the use of force have come out for invading Afghanistan in pursuit of the terrorist leader and his followers. President Gore, unable to offer the nation any positive results from the CIA?s Operation Kipling, feels he has little choice but to send in troops.
|Osama Bin Laden|
Nevertheless, he is determined to offer the Afghan government a final chance to cooperate wit the U.S. against Al Qaeda. Contacting the major television networks, the President requests an hour's air time for 9:00 the following evening.
In 1941, troops loyal to the German Underground are being pressed hard by the winter and by the Greater Zionist Resistance in western Russia. G.U. leader Adolf Hitler orders his men in the east to keep pressing forward and not surrender; when word of this reaches Hitler's neo-Nazi backers from the future, they countermand the order and save thousands of G.U. soldiers from certain doom.
In 2003, a pale rider on a pale horse rode through London, and all who stood within his path died. The horse was seen galloping towards Buckingham Cathedral after an Estellian in his way had called upon her to save him. He was the lone survivor of that horseman?s hideous ride.
In 1989, when President George Bush attempts to order American troops into Panama in order to 'enforce American law' against dictator Manuel Noriega, Congress halts the operation and expands the so-called Iran-Contra hearings to include events in Panama. When it comes out that the Panamanian strongman was one of the conduits through which the Contras sold drugs in order to support their war efforts, impeachment proceedings began in the House.
In 1980, wealthy socialite Sunny von Bulow flees her Rhode Island mansion, pursued by her husband. Although he catches her, several neighbors in their suburb witness his attack and call the police. When the cops arrive, Claus von Bulow flees, never to be seen again.
In 1965, years after Comrade President Joel Rosenberg's famous speech, the Berlin Wall is opened to foot and auto traffic between East and West Berlin. Although the German monarchy still fears the communists of the east, the cries of the people to be reunited with their loved ones has become too loud.
In 1946, with World War II over and Japan safely out of his country, Indochinese leader Ho Chi Minh begins his long crusade to free his native land from French colonial rule. With the aid of such unlikely allies as Joseph Stalin and Dwight Eisenhower, Ho secures freedom for his people, although the French negotiate the use of the Indochinese coast for several naval bases.
In 1892, New York inventors Alexander Brown and George Stillman patented their design for an inflatable tire, in order to make auto travel a little less bumpy. Auto manufacturers refuse to use it, though, because of the ease with which they wear out compared to the standard solid rubber tire. This does spur the development of shock absorbers, giving the nation's auto-riding public a bit more comfort.
In 1888, Mikhail von Helfin set sail from Brest, France, for the United States. The few descendants of his who had managed to stay in contact with him had immigrated to a place called Texas, and he had decided to join them.
In 1783, Lord Stephen Dumont-Warrington is given the newly-created Duchy of Ohio, created from the western possessions of the Virginian commonwealth. Dumont-Warrington is famous for raising an army among the natives of his new duchy and using it to fight the Canadian nationalists; the fight proved foolhardy, as the natives abandoned him when the fight went badly, and he was killed by the Canadians in 1786.
In 1579, England's greatest playwright was baptized in Sussex. John Fletcher took over writing for the King's Men and the Blackfriars from the unsuccessful hack William Shakespeare, and the magical settings of his writing enchanted the court. Since then, his star has never faded, and such gems as Wild Goose Chase are still performed today.
'Too bad we can't draw that much out of an ATM machine,' Janice said. 'We could use some fundage.'
'Have you thought about just reporting in, givin' 'em what they want, and then seeing if they'll let you go?' Steph wanted to find a reasonable way out of all this.
'You wouldn't be thinking that if you'd seen little Miss Raintree.' Janice shuddered. 'Man. I'm gonna have nightmares over that one.'
'We could report in and see if they try to detain us,' Kevin said. 'I mean, there weren't that many people in the armory when I went there. More than likely, everybody's out enforcing martial law. We zip in, we report what we found in Waco ? except for you, Miss Carbonari,' he said, after seeing Janice straighten up to protest. 'Then, I say, see you later, gotta report back to my unit in Bryan.'
'What about me?' Jake looked over at Kevin. 'I'm at my unit. I ain't got 3 million bucks to grease my way out. They tell me I gotta stay, I'm stuck there.'
'We could... we could... we could say you got picked up by a unit from Dallas that needed additional manpower!' Kevin was proud of this scheme. 'Yeah, we ran into another unit that was going through Waco, they needed a good sergeant right away, they took you. Paperwork'll be down in a few days.'
Jake looked at him much like he would look at a piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe. 'You don't tell too many lies, do you, Bradley? Cuz that one sucks. Nobody gets transferred without the paperwork.'
'This is an emergency.'
'Army won't care.'
'It could buy us some time, at least, Jake,' Janice said. 'I think it's pretty stupid, too,' she said, prompting Kevin to pout at her, 'but it'll cause enough confusion to give us a day or two. That's all the time I need to work my contacts and get the word out to the world.'
'And then, what?' Kevin had raised his voice a bit, embarrassing himself. He lowered it and kept talking. 'What happens when a lot of people know? Whoever's responsible for this just folds up shop, says 'you got me', and lets us get back to regular life? You liberal nutjobs, you all live in your own little fantasy world - ' All three of them shouted at him, and he was about to raise his voice to reply when Joan and George walked back into the dining room.
Steph ran over to her children and told them, 'Don't worry now, the discussion just got a little exciting.' She looked disapprovingly at Kevin, and his face burned with shame.
'I'm sorry, Steph. Kids, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have raised my voice like that.' He turned to Jake and Janice, and apologized to them, too. 'This has all just been...' He couldn't think of anything to finish out his thoughts, and they both nodded.
'Hey,' Janice said, brightly, 'I'm just surprised I've only seen one dead body in all this. People like me, we've been expecting a blood bath with the coup.'
In 1996, award-winning scientist and celebrity Carl Sagan undergoes the last treatment to remove the bone cancer he had been plagued by for 2 years. The cure for cancer was developed, appropriately enough, by a young doctor who had been inspired to go into science by Dr. Sagan's Cosmos book and series. 4 years after this, of course, Dr. Sagan became National Science Advisor to President Al Gore, and was instrumental in crafting the international treaty that halted the global warming epidemic, as well as the ground-breaking Universal Treaty for the Exploration of Space. Although he has no political ambition, Democrats in New York state have urged the governor to appoint the good doctor as the state's junior senator should Hillary Clinton win the right to succeed President Gore in the Oval Office, due to his immense personal popularity.
In 1990, the Kuwaiti Oil Tanker fleet transports the alien seaborne creatures into the English Channel. Made possible by the Iraqi occupation, they had been transported across land in Kuwait and secreted into the tankers for their invasion of Great Britain.
In 1979, the Lancaster House Agreement is signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Dr S C Mundawarara. Secret promises are made by the Britain Government to the White settlers regarding the security of their farms. These are underwritten by the South African government, who required a buffer state with Black Africa.
In 1992, with the Red Army massing along the borders of Western Germany, British Home Secretary Norman Lamont spoke candidly about the refugee crisis developing around the entrance to the Channel Tunnel at Coquelles near Calais in northern France. Controversially, Lamont made reference to Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech from 1968 - 'I seem to see the River Thames foaming with much blood.' Who now could say Powell was wrong about the vampire threat from Russia?
In 1973, on this day mixed tributes were paid to the Spanish Caudillo, General Franco, who was killed in a car bomb attack in Madrid the day before. Franco's legacy is controversial. While some Spaniards remember him as a strong leader who pacified and stabilized Spain, others remember him as a harsh dictator. Issues surrounding his controversial legacy include whether the Second Spanish Republic he overthrew had become an unstable regime, the nature of the relationship between his politics and those of contemporaries Mosley, Hitler and Mussolini, the repressive policies adopted in cultural and regionalist domains, state centralization, the nationalist and corporatist ideology of the Movimiento Nacional, and the execution of thousands of military and political opponents during the civil war and in the early years after. British Prime Minister Enoch Powell paid tribute to Franco, describing him as a great leader. Franco had united two great nations after five hundred years of conflict. The Armada was now 'water under the bridge' he quipped.
In 1977, the Young people from the Norwich Choir spoke of their admiration for Home Secretary Margaret Thatcher returned forty-eight hours after a Christmas reception at Number 10 Downing Street. 'Where there is discord, may we bring harmony' was one of the key messages they had taken on board. Shortly after the party, Thatcher had returned to her office and worked through the night on stockpile forecasts for primary resources oil and coal. Within the next twelve months, she would break the back of the British Trade Union movement for sure, provoking a Miner's Strike this time.
In 1945, private Kurt Vonnegut died of gangrene that had started in his mangled feet. After his capture on December 14th, German soldier has swapped his boots for clogs and force marched him and the 'three musketeers' of the 106th Infantry Division into Germany's interior.
In 1958, Charles de Gaulle was elected President for life by an unstable and frightened French nation. Revolt in the Algerian colony led the French down the road of dictatorship, which de Gaulle followed with relish. Under his unquestioned reign, he forged closer ties with fellow dictator Franco of Spain, massacred workers and students who protested against his policies, and made France the world?s second-greatest nuclear power. The Second Napoleon, as he was known, was finally halted by death in 1970.
In 1970, Elvis Presley became a narcotics officer for the FBI, under the direct order of Richard Nixon. With Presley's help, most of the musical talent of the 60's was put into prison on drug charges.
In 1945, on this day US Army General George Smith Patton Jr. narrowly avoided serious injury in a road accident at Neckarstadt, (Kafertal), in the country outside Mannheim. At 11:45 a 2.5 ton truck driven by T/5 Robert L. Thompson appeared out of the haze and made a left-hand turn towards a side road. The Cadillac smashed into the truck. His chief of staff, Major General Hobart R. 'Hap' Gay, was thrown forward and his head struck a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats. The driver PFC Horace Woodring and Patton were uninjured. Paralyzed from the neck down, General Gay died of an embolism on December 21, 1945 at the military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany with his wife present.
In 2007, the Ghost Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come shows Ebeenezer Scrooge a strange vision of the far future. Eugene Cratchit Facebooks an annual megablurb of a family update, 'In May we hired a beachfront in Malibu, Timmo got that iPhone he wanted..Awesome!' Yet something is missing in this future. Or someone. Despite the wild extravagance there's not nearly so much joy as at the 1843 Cratchit family christmas. If these descendants thought they were having a nice day, they sure were lieing to themselves.
On this day in 1982, 'Psycho' Tommy Rich got an unexpected and unwanted early Christmas present when WWF world champion Bob Backlund confronted him during his interview with Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine on that night's edition of 'The Psycho Ward' on Monday Night Raw.
On the spot Rich challenged Backlund to a title match at the WWF's next scheduled PPV broadcast, the Royal Rumble; the champion, eager to put Rich in his place once and for all, immediately accepted the challenge.
On this day in 1970, the Dallas Cowboys demolished the Houston Oilers 52-7 to finish the 1970 NFL regular season at 14-0.
In 1967, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina announces he will be a candidate for president in 1968, directly challenging President Johnson's anticipated run for re-election. The Senator has been a thorn in Johnson's side for years. The historically minded, both among his supporters and his critics, observe that Thurmond has chosen to make his announcement on the anniversary of the day in 1860 when his home state declared its intention to secede from the Union. His action is taken as a signal that his campaign will be dedicated to opposing racial integration and civil-rights legislation. This comes as no surprise to anyone.
In 1954, unaware of Arthur C. Clarke's televised remarks of three weeks earlier, President Eisenhower convenes a meeting of his scientific advisers to ask if "anything useful can be done" with orbital satellites now that America has the means to produce and launch them. Present at the meeting is Wernher von Braun, who had previously been interviewed for Collier's magazine for an article on "The Future in Space". Von Braun offers a number of suggestions, including "observation platforms" in space which could conduct surveillance of the globe and "refueling stations" for rockets launched from Earth which are intended to travel to the Moon and beyond.
|Arthur C. Clarke|
The German-born scientist does not mention Clarke's idea for communications satellites. The President leaves the meeting unimpressed with what he considers the scientist's 'pie in the sky' ideas, which even von Braun admits will require the development of much more powerful rockets and far larger and more complex satellites.
On 22.214.171.124.19, Valum Votan acted as the closer of the cycle with the ending of the fourth creation.
Despite the publicity generated by the 2012 date, Susan Milbrath, Ambassasor to the Palenque, stated that 'We have no knowledge that the Maya think the world will come to an end' in 2012. 'For the Maya, it is a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle,' said Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Relations. in Crystal River, Fla. To render Dec. 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is 'a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.'
In 2007, the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come shows Ebeenezer Scrooge a strange vision of the far future. Portly parents (and children too!) consume vast quantities of packaged food in a shopping mall flooded with light. Huge amounts of money pass hands. Yet something is missing in this future.
Despite the wild extravagance there's not nearly so much joy as at the 1843 Cratchit family christmas. Something is missing. Or rather, someone.
|Lakota Sioux tribals|
In 2007, the Reconstructed United Nations recognised the new nation of Lakota. The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, had withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday. 'We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.
A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.
Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.
The treaties signed with the United States are merely 'worthless words on worthless paper,' the Lakota freedom activists say on their website. The treaties have been 'repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life,' the reborn freedom movement says.Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.
'This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution,' which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said. 'It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,' said Means.
The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England.
Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because 'it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row,' Means said.
One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.
'We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,' Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.
The US 'annexation' of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere 'facsimiles of white people,' said Means.
Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies -- less than 44 years -- in the world.
Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.
'Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots,' said Young. 'We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We are here to continue the struggle for our children and grandchildren,' she said, predicting that the battle would not be won in her lifetime.
In 5764 anno mundi, on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar European Jewry celebrated Hanukkah. The Festival of Lights commenced an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt. The earliest known celebration of Hanukkah in Europe was the arrival of the Bethlehemite Rabbhi Yeshua Ben Jesse in Rome in 3761 anno mundi.
In 1980, in one of the most obvious attempted murders of the century, Sunny von Bulow was found in a coma in her Rhode Island mansion. Her husband, Claus, was arrested and quickly confessed, since the police had him dead to rights. He is currently serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Rhode Island.
In 1976, all of Illinois mourned as the illustrious chairman of the state's Communist Party, Comrade Richard Daley, died in Chicago. Comrade Daley had briefly been the mayor of Chicago during the 1960's, but his services were better put to use building the most successful party organization in the Soviet States of America.
In 1946, magician and world-renowned skeptic Uri Geller was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. Geller, an accomplished magician, took on all sorts of 'psychics' in his native land, proving them to be phonies. He then took his act to America, where he helped unveil the truth behind notorious frauds such as Jeanne Dixon.
In 1989, the United States send troops into Central America. On the pretext of overthrowing the government of Manuel Noriega, they recover Extraterrestrial Technology (ET) buried in Panama. Like Iraq a year later, former CIA Director George Bush had developed a long-term plan for harnessing ET since his access to Project Blue Book in the mid-70s, but needed the Presidency to make it happen.
In 1812, the North American Confederation started a minor war against its Sioux neighbors when a group of N.A.C. colonists moved into land they mistakenly believed to have been ceded to them by the Sioux. Nearly 50 colonists were killed, along with an equal number of Sioux, before the dispute was settled and the N.A.C. colonists withdrew.
In 1996, NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X which is used on 98% of personal computers today.
In 1993, different sex marriages are legalised in the United States.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.