Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

I am a little behind with this timeline, so lots of reading ahead...

Chapter 71: January 1995 – May 1995

Goodbye Walker - don't let the door hit you on the way out
'Sun Farms' is a cool name for solar plants
Ramzi Yousef - another man no one will miss
Republican Politician outing themselves in 1995? Amazing
That earthquake sounds nasty- good job there was some decent supply networks on hand
When a the military becomes food-insecure, a coup will follow
"Talks of making a “Mutants” TV movie ahead of the series soon began over at DC despite their “Justice League” film still planned for a 1999 release. The Mutants movie aired in 1998 to decent reviews, but is most memorable for introducing the world to Keanu Reeves as Wolverine." - should that not be Marvel there??
Did Tim Burton make Batman: Year One and Batman Returns also?
Interesting that a 1990's Superhero movie boom happens given effects back then
Compromise Voting Accessibility Bill is a great set of ideas!
Honda used to be good cars
SpongeBob’s threatening KFC regionally? Just buy them surely is the American Way?
Wonder if that Food Quality law will cut down the amount of crap and GM in US food supply?
Like how Pres Iacocca almost praises Japan for its school system there
You tell it B.I.G.
Wonder if Iacocca will keep the savings and investment banks apart?
That Eugene Debs movie sounds quite good
Nice boost for South Africa there. Might prompt some local car innovation too
North Korea is far, far worse than OTL...
Good for you McVeigh
Luck be with you Gary Johnson - its a strong case, but... you got nitwits like Walker about
Xenogenesis being a success might help make Cameron a better, less combative director.... maybe. Shame about Terminator though...
Wonder if Pres Volkov put the debt back on?
Alania is quite a cool name for a country
"Massachusetts Becomes The First U.S. State to Grant Same-Sex Marriages" - AWESOME
Wonder if Morocco will invest in solar tech?
Oscars coming for The Man Behind The Chicken I wonder? Wonder what the Sanders family thought?
PM Lennon the PM the UK really needed
Nice that Uluru is back under Pitjantjatjara control
Qatar and Bahrain? *sigh* Idiots
Crown Prince Jimi? Cool....
Auditing the Federal Reserve does not sounds like a bad idea
Reducing school meal subsadies cannot come back and hurt Iacocca at all no...
Congratz (again) to Marilyn Monroe, and Harry Belafonte, here hoping for a long marrage!
I love to watch thi version of Star Trek: The Animated Series - it sounds like a right laugh. Be fun to read Memory Alpha trying to squeeze these into continuity before Gene dumped it all!
Hooray! This timeline got a Sulu series. I want to watch all the Star Trek shows here, but esp Star Trek: Excelsior!
Commander Worf of Deep Space Seven?

Thank you for the Star Trek roundup!
Wait Sarah Heath is Sarah Palin OTL and ITTL married Trump? Wow...
Two Star Wars Holiday Specials? I thought this was not a dystopia?
More details of Star Wars: The Knights Arise please!
Oh... ending on a cliffhanger!

Nice chapter @gap80 - sorry for the very late post.
Chapter 84: January 2002 – May 2002
Chapter 84: January 2002 – May 2002

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

– Zig Ziglar

In the moment, Bo Xilai forgot his position and spoke like Chairman Zhu. “This has happened before, hasn’t it? Hasn’t it! Answer me, damn you!”

Health Minister Zhang Wenkang relented, “Yes, alright? Yes, it has. Twice, in fact. In 1999, there was a minor SARS outbreak.”

“But you did nothing to address it, did you? There was no improving of the regulations, of how those markets handle and treat the animals, was there?”

“Look,” Zhang was also curt, “When it first appeared in 1999, it was far north of Hong Kong, and it was quickly contained. And a second outbreak in 2000 even smaller. That’s why I really don’t think we have much to worry about.”

“Nothing to worry about?!”

“Yes. I think it will all just blow over soon enough.”

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009

…There is reasonable evidence to support the notion that the initial theory – that Subject A toured a live animal market in Zhanjiang before traveling to Haikou, Hainan, for his hotel occupation and contracted SARS to patrons there – should be dismissed. This strain of SARS was an “animal-origin virus,” but all animals from the “wet market” in question tested negative for traces of SARS.

A second theory suggests that cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in southern Yunnan bit an Asian palm civet, a small woodland mammal native to the region. Said civet was then captured by poachers and sold to a different animal market, one in Huizhou, a small city located north of Hong Kong. Subject AA obtained SARS when fecal matter from the civet descended onto the animals stacked under its cage. Subject AA, a worker at that market, then gave SARS to Subject AB, who was a customer; said customer then gave SARS to their employer, a.k.a. Subject AC: a wealthy from Hong Kong woman who then vacationed at Haikou, Hainon the same time that Subject A was returning from their visit to Zhanjiang…

– CDC, 2006 report


…When asked “Do you think BLUTAGO marriages should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?” 58% said yes, 32% said no, and the remaining 9% had no opinion or were undecided. When divided by political allegiance, 33% of Republicans support BLUTAG marriage, 51% of independents support BLUTAG marriage, and 72% of Democrats support BLUTAG marriage. These results show that support among Republicans rose 7% from the same survey conducted in 1996; support from Democrats rose 15%, and supports from independents rose 11%…

– Gallup, 1/6/2002 report


…Starting off working behind the camera, helping his mentor Colonel Sanders prep for his roles in ads for KFC while learning the burger business from the then-future US President, Thomas first stepped in front of the camera in the 1980s to promote Wendy’s, and ultimately appeared in more than 800 commercials – more than any other company founder in TV history... A staunch advocate for adoption, Thomas had been receiving kidney dialysis for at least a year…

The New York Times, 1/8/2002

…KFC’s woes more visible after deaths of Dave and Margaret. KFC flags being lowered to half-mast for the second time in only a few months put a damper on the company; the mood heightened the sense of trepidation that floated among the managers and investors. Bad vibes swirls around the offices at Florence; even in the lobby, visitors could feel a sense of sadness, but also an aura of “impending doom,” one visitor called it. …As the search for a replacement CEO of Wendy’s went underway (with Chief Financial Officer and former regional manager Frederick Reed ultimately winning the job over other company members such as John Schuessler, Paul Hous, John Barker and others), more higher-ups at FLG headquarters began starting to think that more conservative moves could help. CEO Cain seemed happy to comply with the idea of “pumping the brakes,” and cancelled all outlet expansion plans “indefinitely”…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

“EMPOWER YOURSELVES!”: Gravel’s National Initiative Proposal Sees D.C. Progress As More Americans Voice Support

The Washington Post, 1/10/2002


Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones Trump and her husband Donald Trump have announced the birth of a son. …Weighing in at 2.92 kilograms [1], young master Timothy is the seventh child of Mr. Trump, whose two previous marriages resulted in the birth of his sons Donald Jr. (b. 1976), Eric (b. 1978), Charles (b. 1988), and Richard (b. 1993), and daughters Pepper (b. 1986), Katrina (b. 1990), and Maryanne (b. 1991)…

The Daily Telegraph, celebrations section, 1/11/2002

Donald’s uncouth mannerisms and habits, as well as his lack of respect towards Sarah upon marrying her, quickly stole away the rose-tinted illusions Sarah had set up while recovering from her prior relationship. She found her new husband to be increasingly disrespectful and contemptuous, and she soon decided that she would divorce him, or least begin a trial separation.

Then the stork arrived.

At first Sarah hoped the unexpected pregnancy would bring them closer together, only for it to become apparent that Donald cared more about producing an heir or royal blood than about Sarah’s own wants and desires. The expectancy stalled her plans for divorce, but only temporarily. Just weeks after young Timothy officially went from “entering the world” to “entered,” Sarah took an “extended vacation” to the Canary Islands. Soon after, Donald’s legal aides received the divorce papers. Sarah was kind enough to grant Donald visitation rights.

Naturally, Donald took the matter to court, and very publicly, too.

– Andrew Morton’s Lady Sarah and The Duty of Loyalty, O’Mara Books, 2012


Houston, TX – After nearly eight years of deliberations, weighing calculations against the results of recon probes of several potential landing sites, NASA has announced that the shuttplane Milestone 1’s Martian lander, Seeker 3, will land six spacefarers onto Jezero Crater. “This is best location because of its greatest amount of potential. Other locations considered may be studied in future missions, but Jezero Crater’s potential for scientific discovery is key to fulfilling the main point of the mission – to confirm whether or not microbial life is or was on Mars or not,” a NASA spokesperson announced today. [2]

Several politicians had lobbied for Gusev Crater, better known as Columbia Hills, to be the landing site, due to the latter name having “a nice, American ring to it,” as Congressman Bo Gritz (R-ID) observed last year, and that probes had recently confirmed that mineral springs once burbled up from underneath the crater’s surface, which could hold scientific value. However, the region is relatively isolated from other potential “hotspots,” or areas that may contain evidence of microbial lifeforms once living on Mars.

Eberswalde, near Holden Crater, was a favorite for scientists, as its ancient river delta rests at the foot of a Martian river. Deltas only form in places where water existed over long periods of time. A well-preserved network of water-flow features exists here, including winding stream channels and riverbeds. Water-deposited sediments hardened in these streambeds and they have resisted erosion by the wind. As a result, many of the streambeds here are higher than surrounding terrain. Reactions between water and volcanic rock created the clays found here. Clay minerals are an important sign of a watery past. They also have the potential to preserve any signs of life for a long time [3].

However, Jezero Crater was chosen because of its close proximity to two other “places of interest” – Nili Fossae and NE Syrtis Major – and, more importantly, because scientists at NASA see evidence that water carried clay minerals from the surrounding area into the crater after the lake dried up. Conceivably, microbial life could have lived in Jezero during one or more of these wet times. If so, signs of their remains might be found in lakebed sediments [3].

The New York Times, 1/19/2002


…the first time in the company’s history, the number of KFC locations in the United States has decreased over the year; earlier this month, over 5,000 KFC part-time employees laid off to cover expenses tied to declining sales as Chik-fil-A and several non-chicken-themed rivals siphon away a younger generation of American customers...

Nation’s Restaurant News, monthly trade publication, January 2002 issue


…Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi’s Commerce Minister was cleared of corruption charges after police discovered evidence that yakuza associates has hacked his online accounts in order to try and frame him for their own money laundering practices…

– The San Francisco Chronicle, 1/25/2002


…The establishing of the Community Development Cabinet position and its prominent undersecretary departments last year was the largest government reorganization measure to occur since the Mondale Administration. Now, another landmark change may be coming to America in the form of a bill that would be an even stronger enforcer of voting rights than the Voting Rights Act passed under President Lyndon Johnson. …as the legislation stands in its current form, if passed, it would allow former felons who have served their time and have finished parole periods to be allowed to vote. President Jackson has said that their inclusion in the democratic process is the “morally right” thing to do. …“This will cut down and crack down on voter discrimination, voter intimidation, and voter suppression. It addresses polling places by demanding appropriating the numbers to correspond with local populations, clarified the do and don’t from district lines, and clears up voter fraud jurisprudence. This here legislation enshrines and guarantees the right to vote by mail, restore non-violent ex-cons the right to register and vote, and invalidates the photo ID laws implemented under former Governor Sonny Landham of Kentucky and under city leaders across the country in recent years,” says African-American lawmaker E. B. McClain (D-AL), age 61, a US Representative since 1991, and co-sponsor of this hefty bill…

The Washington Post, 1/29/2002


…the proposed Constitutional Amendment would create a federal process for National Referendums and Initiatives to be held in all states and territories in order for American citizens to “determine and dictate their own laws, free from the influence of lobbyists and political fat cats,” as former Vice President Mike Gravel put it in a 1998 speech…

– Gallup, 1/30/2002 report

…By the end of January, five more cases of SARS were reported in United Turkestan and the first three cases of the virus in Pakistan were reported as well…

– Jim Droder’s, Behind The Masks: SARS vs. The World, Sunrise Publishers, 2008

…In Texas, the Federal Railroad Administration has signed off on a collaborative American-and-Japanese transportation project that will see the construction of a high-speed train line linking Dallas to Houston – a project that promises to cut commute travel between those two cities down to 90 minutes. The project is scheduled to be complete by 2009…

– ABC Morning News, 2/1/2002 broadcast

…Under US President Jesse Jackson, bullet trains designed by Japanese companies began being built across America, though many conservative activists during his administration held rallies and protests at numerous construction sites. Many of these activists, claimed that these federally-funded, multi-state transportation projects tarnished and insulted the legacies of Presidents Eisenhower, Sanders and Iacocca, as all three leaders had been strong supporters of America’s highway systems. Some even stated the use of trains designed by Japan insulted America’s greatest creative minds, despite such people coming out to promote the implementation of these bull train layouts…

– John Wood’s Travel Technology: Maglev Trains, Hovercrafts, And More, Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2019

…The streets are jammed with ebullient crowds determined to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, a triumphant celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 50 years on the throne. Half a century ago today, our beloved monarch ascended to the throne, and the longevity is being marked by large-scale and popular events across the country. …Despite recent years showing British republicanism sprouting up here and there, most embarrassingly in Canada, and the existence of some rather controversial in-laws such as Don Trump, the Queen is personally still a massively popular, as one can tell by the joyous crowd behind. Indeed, across the commonwealth, festivities ranging from elegant dinner parties to nearly-rowdy bacchanals are being held in praise of our collective symbol of reliability, stability, security, and consistency in a constantly-changing world, a world that looked much different half a century ago...

– BBC Special Report, 6/2/2002 broadcast

…Mike Gravel’s National Initiative Amendment finally reached its first major step toward realization when his proposed amendment was finally tabled for a vote, scheduled for February 6, 2002. Its primary controversy and the source of Senate aversion and avoidance of it was the concept’s potential to benefit the opposing party.

“The people could vote for raising taxes on the rich, which would hurt Republicans, or they could outlaw abortion, which would be a blow to liberals, or they could outlaw guns or bibles or something that would receive blowback from conservatives. Or they could legalize heroin, which would hurt everybody!” complained one anonymous Florida congressman.

“It’s a really big gamble because you don’t know how it could help or hurt your career prospects,” said an anonymous freshman Senator.

“That’s why you’re supposed to educate your constituents. So they make what you think is the right choice,” countered Gravel to a group of Democratic Party leaders early that year. The elder statesman promoted the idea that extensive campaigns to inform the masses of the repercussions of their vote would sway public opinion and benefit the country overall. “But most importantly, it’d be the choices and decisions of the people, not the politicians.”

“One good aspect of an N.I.A. is the idea that voters will be unable to blame their reps for certain laws,” argued one pro-NIA Republican in a private DC meeting ahead of the vote. “They’ll no longer be able to point the finger at us for some unpopular laws. They try it, and we just point the finger right back at them. We’ll say, ‘Hey, we put it to a vote, we are not responsible for this or that.’”

President Jackson ultimately endorsed the proposal after becoming convinced that it would benefit African-Americans and other minorities due to their high turnout rates. With progressive Democrats urging moderate Democrats and liberal Republicans that giving the voters a say in what laws they lived under would make lawmakers popular among their constituents back home, the bare minimum number of US Senators needed to approve of a Constitutional Amendment – 67 – voted in favor of it. All 52 Democrats, both Independents, and Senator Diamondstone of the Liberty Union party, were joined by fifteen Republicans – Jalmar Kerttula of Alaska, Michael Bilirakis of Florida, John Bayard Anderson of Illinois, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Bill Weld of Massachusetts, Jack Lousma of Michigan, Gil Gutknecht of Minnesota, Larry Williams of Montana, Frank X. McDermott of New Jersey, Mary V. Mochary of New Jersey, Norma Paulus of Oregon, Nancy J. Mayer of Rhode Island, Larry Pressler of South Dakota, David Marriott of Utah and Lyle Hillyard of Utah.

Once proposed and approved by both chambers of congress, the amendment next had to be ratified by three-fourths of the states, either through state legislature, or a Ratification Convention...

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


– Mike Gravel, 2/7/2002

…Ahead of the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony tonight, here in Toronto, Canada, thousands of people have arrived from across the globe, and many are still flying in to be spectators at this international event…

– ABC Morning New, 2/8/2002 broadcast

The Lunar New Year festivities were to be held in four days. Thousands would be flying out of the People’s Republic to visit relatives in the States, and in Canada, Europe, and other parts of the globe, and visa-versa. Tourism Bo Xilai grew to believe that the celebrations would only worsen the situation spreading out from the Hainan hotels. On February 8, Bo pleaded with Chairman Zhu to declare a national emergency, or, at the very least, put out a travel advisory. “If this virus, whatever it is, gets out of control even more so than it already has – through no fault of your own, of course – think of the economic and financial consequences. The money we’d lose from tourists cancelling reservations would pale compared to the money lost because of thousands of our own being in hospitals instead of at work.”

With great reluctance, Chairman Zhu issued a national travel advisory, and alerted the W.H.O. about the outbreak of several “suspicious pneumonia cases” in southern China.

Bo Xilai did not wish to go over his boss’s head, and so instead had his head deputy minister contact other UN agencies about the possible international effects of a frightening scenario.

“A former guest at the Haikou Resort at Hainan is attending the Winter Olympic Games in Toronto. It is current unknown if they were infected with this virus, as symptoms are not immediate. Because of this, we do not know if the virus has spread to North America or not,” the WHO Director-General spoke on the phone from his headquarters in Geneva to UN Secretary-General Carol Bellamy at her headquarters in New York.

Her reply: “My God. It’s happening again.” After a moment, she added with more assertiveness, “But at least we have a game plan this time.”

– Tim Brookes’ SARS, Governance, And The Globalization of Disease, Borders Books, 2014

“Hello, Jesse? It’s Carol.”

“Oh, hey, Carol. How’s the UN?”


“I imagine it would be. Especially since it’s 1:30 AM. There’s only one reason why you’d be calling me at this hour, so, tell me, who’s at war with who?”

“It’s not war, it’s pestilence, Jesse.”

“Come again?”

“First thing tomorrow morning – so, uh, in a few hours – I’m calling for a UN Emergency Delegate Assembly to convene ASAP, in a few days at the latest. We have to get coordinated.”

“What are you talking about, Carol?”

“You remember when the hantavirus started spreading around?”

“Yes, and it was a false alarm.”

“This isn’t. There is more than enough evidence to believe that a terrible virus called SARS – S.A.R.S. – is developing into a massive outbreak China.”

“Okay, so we’ll keep our eyes on China. Screen flights, cargo coming in from over there.”

“I’m afraid it’s worse than that, Jesse. At least one Chinese citizen from the area of outbreak is in the crowds at the Winter Olympics. The games may be becoming an unintentional hotspot for unintentional superspreaders even as we speak.”

“Holy Moses! This is serious, Carol. We have to contact Canada’s Prime Minister, uh, McTeer. Get those spectators screened before they can leave.”

“I’m calling her right after this, but that’s thousands of people, Jesse. Not to mention the utility workers, concession stand operators, security guards, transportation workers, and media members walking around up there.”

“It’s going to spread down here, isn’t it?”

“That’s why I’m telling you now, ahead of the emergency session, former POTUS to current POTUS, please, follow the protocols the CDC established after the Hanatavirus scare. Those scenarios and operations were made and thought out by experts, Jesse.”

“Of course, of course! Lord help us. And thanks for the heads-up.”

– White House phone conversation transcript, private line, 2/20/2002; declassified and disclosed on 1/15/2013 by order of the US President


…In passing this controversial but historic bill, all 52 Democrats, both Independents, and Third-party Senator Pete Diamondstone were joined by Republican Senators Kertulla, Anderson, Bilirakis, Rodham-Clinton, Pressler, Paulus, Mochary, Williams, Lousma, Snowe, McDermott, Wold, Marriott, Hillyard, and Weld; Republican Senator Kelly Downard of Kentucky abstained from voting…

The Washington Post, 2/22/2002

“I really think that, at this rate, Jackson is going to burn through, clean out of, his political capital before half of 2002 is even out! He’s just asking too much from Decent Americans and it will turn the suburbanites away from him. The Decent Americans will reject him and his party, in this November’s congressional elections.”

– political analyst Deroy Murdock, Meet the Press, 2/23/2002

…it appears that the Jackson administration’s plan for a gradual withdrawal of US military advisors and other “security forces” in Mexico is beginning to bear fruit, as Mexico’s armed forces take on more anti-recreadrug roles. “The soldiers down there are finally learning how to do their jobs. We’re just helping them along,” said the US Secretary of Defense in a recent interview…

– The Associated Press, 2/23/2002

…By the time Winter Olympics’ Closing Ceremonies had concluded on the 24th, I.O.C. officials were noticeably tense and nervous. Those who believed in the national government’s private phone calls informing them of a possible disease outbreak there wanted to keep the situation from evolving into a panic, and thus attempted to delay departures and the possible mass spreading that was sure to follow. Some officials even attempted to convince spectators to stay in their hotels and enjoy their accommodations for as long as possible; one even remarked to a family from California “you haven’t lived until you’ve been tested for any illnesses at one of our top-notch hospitals.”

Meanwhile, news outlets were beginning to increase their coverage of the virus by now, but due to it seemingly only unfolding in southern China, most thought “how awful” before immediately resuming their day’s activities. The major networks focused on the winners and losers of the contests, and touched on the higher-than-usual spectator turnout. “These games may have been a contributing factor in Quebec citizens voting against independence in the 1999 referendum,” said one TV reporter. “Yeah, we would have lost being in the country hosting the Olympics,” replied an avid snowboarding fan from Montreal. Neither paid much attention to the spectator who coughed just as he was passing by the two of them…

– Tim Brookes’ SARS, Governance, And The Globalization of Disease, Borders Books, 2014

– Air Canada flight, departing from Toronto, Canada for London, UK, 2/24/2002

…The WHO finally declared SARS to be a “global emergency” on February 24, the last day of the Winter Olympics. Several tourists returning to their home countries were quarantined, but not all. Russia, for instance, did not quarantine Russians returning from the games due to airport officials believing that the announcement was “exaggerated” or “overly dramatic,” and thus did not take the situation as seriously as they should have...

– Jim Droder’s, Behind The Masks: SARS vs. The World, Sunrise Publishers, 2008

“We’ve got Bellamy, Lennon, Estier, Stoiber, and Zhu to coordinate with us and to share with us any information we pick up,” the President informed the gathering of minds.

Secretary of Defense Larry Ellis urged, “We should push for China to release more info. They must be holding something back; it’s China, for pity’s sake!”

“Get Ambassador Jarrell to try and twist their arm,” Jackson suggested.

“We have to face this possible global crisis with a unified approach. We have to act on it and we have to act now,” Wellstone nodded as he went over the medical charts. There were already over a thousand cases, both confirmed and suspected, worldwide in total, with no sign of slowing down.

“I know, I know!” Jackson picked up a picture of the disease laying on the central table. He perused the other documents spread out over the table. Nearly all victims have fever and trouble breathing. There is a week-long “delay” in symptoms appearing after infection. The mortality rate is currently unknown, but early cases suggest anywhere from 4% to 12%. “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Amazing – microscopic poison, and no postage needed to send it around the world.”

“Previous local outbreaks in 1999 and 2000 had lowered authority concerns, Jesse,” Secretary of State Ann Richards informed the latecomers finally joining them all in the Situation Room. “They essentially let their guard down. And dropped the ball worse than a kindergartener with butterfingers.”

“Just how bad could this end up being?” asked Health and Welfare Secretary Jane L. Campbell as she took a seat across from the three medical leaders.

“Worst-case scenario: SARS becomes a yearly thing, never fully going away and eventually we all, or at least the next generation of humans, develop immunity to it,” the CDC Director, Jeffrey Koplan, coldly explained. As frightening as it sounded, US Surgeon General David Satcher has to concur, as did Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIAID since 1984.

“Let’s look at the historic precedence for the kind of thing we’re looking at here,” suggested Education Secretary Dudley W. Dudley. “We can downplay it, but let’s face facts – thanks to all of the Olympic and Chinese New Year traveling and partying, we are having a global outbreak. And the last time such an outbreak occurred – Spanish Influenza – it took two years for it to leave. Showed up in 1918, left in 1920.”

“World War One may have exacerbated the problem, though,” Ellis noted.

“Yes, but still, the fact remains that with the yearly outbreak pattern likely occurring this time too, SARS might not be gone until 2004.”

“What are you saying?” Ellis asked.

“What I’m saying,” Dudley explained, “Is that there is a very real possibility that this outbreak will lead to the Beijing ’04 Olympics being postponed if not cancelled.”

“Oh, chairman Zhu won’t like that,” Ellis, a critic of Red China’s militaristic tendencies, had to grin slightly at the thought of Zhu’s outrage in such a situation. “He’s pinning his entire legacy on those games, especially since they’re supposed to be held at the end of his time in office.”

“Exactly my point.” Dudley nodded to him, “When Bucky,” referring to ambassador Bucky Ray Jarrell, “meets with Zhu, he has to stress that, and stress that them sharing as much info as they can on this disease will help protect that goal of his.”

“At least we were able to positively identify the new virus,” Koplan flatly stated, “at least we have that going for us. The sooner we figure out what makes it tick, the sooner we can create a vaccine for it.”

“How long will that take?” Jackson asked.

“Best-case scenario?” Koplan thought for a moment before announcing the sobering likelihood of future events. “Three years, maybe two.”

“Three years?!” The President exclaimed.

“Maybe two. We have to isolate it, preforms trial runs on vaccines to ensure they are effective and safe, receive approval,” Kaplan reflected, “It’s a lengthy and time-consuming process.”

“And what should we do in the meantime?” asked Transportation Secretary Toney Anaya.
“Keep people safe,” Fauci spoke with a raspy-but-nonthreatening voice, “This is an infectious respiratory disease, possibly of zoonotic origin. It gives you flu-like symptoms: fever, muscle pain, sore throat and coughing, and pneumonia.”

“Sore throat?” Anaya eyed the physician.

“I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t have it. I sound like this naturally.”

“Oh. Sorry,” Anaya apologized. “My condolences.”

Fauci continued, “And the incubation period is roughly a week, give or take a few days, meaning you might not even know you have it until after a week of walking around and spreading it to everyone you come into contact with.”

“How?” Wellstone was curious.

“Hantavirus was spread by rat feces, but this,” Jackson looked at the picture again, “This mother is more transmittable. Just water droplets, as in just breathing in someone’s general area is enough to do it.”

“Our precious bodily fluids,” Ellis recalled a line from an iconic film from the 1960s.

Looking up from the contents of the giant blue binder that laid before him on his end of the central table, a “short version” of the scenarios laid out under President Bellamy, Jackson finally got to the point. “Without a vaccine, our best bet to beat this bastard is to keep people apart. Recreate what was called for in 1918. Everyone stand several feet away from one another, cover their mouths when they talk, watch what they touch, and wash your hands. Do what our Mamas teach us the whole time we are growing up – wash, wash, wash.”

White House Press Secretary Betty Magness concurred, and asked, “We’ll need a term for keeping people away from one another.”

Shifting to a less dire and somber aspect of the crisis, Speechwriter Kevin Alexander Gray remarked, “How about ‘Safety spacing’?”

“Sounds too cutesy, not serious enough,” Magness answered.

“Then how about ‘Safezoning.’ One word,” was Gray’s second suggestion.

“I like that,” Jackson remarked, “Let’s go with that.”

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

…On February 26, President Jackson sent medical teams to the Canadian border and to US all major international airports in order to check the temperatures of people entering the US, but stopped short of declaring it a national emergency, instead calling it a “national precaution.” While the biggest urban clusters in the US complied with the federal government’s February 27 call to practice “safezoning measures” – covering the mouth in public and staying at least four feet away from others – Republican New York Governor Bernadette Castro, and Republican NYC Mayor John Castimatidis, were reluctant to impose such measures.

Not having the time to try and convince them to comply, on February 28, Jackson mobilized the National Guard to the Empire State ensure airplane passengers and crew members entering New York City’s airports, including the top three – Idlewild International (IIA), LaGuardia International (LIA) and Newark International (NIA) – were tested and quarantined for a week before they were allowed to leaving the airport. This order led to Castro making judicial moves, challenging the legality of Jackson’s mobilization in circuit court. This action came about despite a majority of passengers and crew members willingly complying with these safety measures…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

…Jackson is overstepping his boundaries by demanding people pause on important work, businesses, and family get-togethers over government overreaction. If we learned one thing from hantavirus is that when under Democrat control, the feds always overreact. And now we have a President trying to round people up, holding them hostage at airport terminals. They might do that kind of stuff over in Red China, but not in these United States…

The Arizona Republic, 3/1/2002 op-ed


…less than three months after SARS broke out in China, the deadly virus has spreads all the way the world, with confirmed cases being found in Russia, United Turkistan, Pakistan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and now to India’s most crowded city…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 3/3/2002

“Good evening, my fellow Americans. It is high time that I speak to you all about the nature of our nation’s developing situation. Last month, Chinese officials reported the spreading of a deadly virus called SARS, which is spread person-to-person through air droplets and aided by close quarters. Since then, we have been in frequent and constant contact with world leaders to combat this serious health threat. A public health emergency was declared and federally mandated quarantines were put into place for the first time since the Trojan Tower Disaster of 1979. Travel concerns required the implementation of quarantines at all airports and the implementing of safezoning measures as well. These are not meant to inhibit individual freedom, but to preserve the lives and wellness of all of us. Safezoning is the taking of steps that anyone in public must take to protect themselves and their loved ones. Cover your mouth, stay five feet away from others, touch as few things as you can, and wash your face and hands thoroughly...


…After meeting with congressional leaders, Congress has agree to pass an Emergency Funding Bill to support vaccine research, treatments, distribution of medical supplies, testing and hospitals. I have instructed the SBA to provide emergency capital and liquidity to business hit by the economic ramifications and damages brought about by this pandemic, and to offer and provide low-interest economic loans as well…


…During times that test our resolve, it is best and it is necessary to stand firm, and to stick to our values as Americans, to help each other stay strong during times of need. Public health comes before personal desires. If this SARS pandemic escalates, it will require more of us relying even more so on our fellow Americans. To trust in our neighbors, coworkers, relatives and friends to do the right thing. We are facing a global crisis the likes of which only occur every one hundred years or so. But like crises of the past and like crises of the future, this current crisis will pass someday, and when it does, you will want to be able to look back on it and say that you got through it without losing your mind, without your sanity, without losing your faith in yourself, in your fellow man, in your fellow American. For a while, we are all in the same boat, weathering the same storm. Hold onto faith and facts – faith in your fellow man and fact that the crisis will someday be nothing more than a memory, an event our children may only learn about for the first time in their history classes...


...We have been through worse and have always pulled through; we have faced depressions, warfare, civil strife and scandals that have tried our resolve and have tried our very souls, and each time we have come out stronger than before. Have strength, my fellow Americans. Have faith, find strength, stay safe, and God Bless America.”

– President Jesse Jackson’s nationally televised Address to the Nation, 3/5/2002

…SARS was slowly working its way into the US, but in the meantime, there was still a federal government with work to do, meaning that there were still laws to be passed. As many Americans went about panic buying, hoarding food, and wearing gloves to handle hard currency (“just in case,” as many would often say), former President Jack Kemp was publicly campaigning for an update to his 1987 ZED legislation. The return to the public limelight was to encourage home ownership and affordable housing legislation that was being promoted by several moderate Republicans in Congress as a means of improving the development of new and small businesses. These calls to aid “main street merchants” only grew as the year continued...

– Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes’ Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America, Sentinel Books, 2015

Zhanjiang’s animal markets were ordered shut down, but Chairman Zhu thought a simple order was not enough. In an effort reverse the growing stigma of being either too slow or too ignorant to prevent SARS from staying a regional epidemic at the most, Zhu sought to showcase his ability to maintain order and enforce national law. Thus, the police were sent in to crack down on other poorly-maintained “wet markets” in Guangdong Province.

The resulting raids and the beatings of merchants would had taken advantage of the government’s lax attitude to regulations were caught on tape and “shared” across the technet. Media commentary shaped the situation into one suggesting the people of the People’s Republic lived in a violent police state Additional reports of the government seizing personal recording devices only reinforced the notions of totalitarianism and worsened Zhu’s standing on the world stage. Zhu responded by firing half of the Zhanjiang police force, and having its chief arrested for “incenting riots.”

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009

House Passes National Initiative Amendment, 329-106

…after decades of Mike Gravel lobbying for this “direct democracy” vehicle, the US House has approved of the proposed US Constitutional Amendment that would create the means for citizens to essentially create their own proposed laws and then put them to a vote in a national referendum. This landmark bill won support and opposition on both sides of the political aisle over concerns over how Americans would vote on certain topics. For example, politicians in both parties were weary of the possibility of a vote approving of a law abolishing corporate lobbying or capping campaign contributions. On the other hand, libertarian Republicans believe a National Initiative will take responsibilities (and blame for legislative repercussions) away from the federal government. …The passing of the NIA in both chambers of congress, however, does not make it the newest law of the land. That will only happen if three-fourths (38 of 50) of the state congresses approve of the NIA. “Congress has washed their hands of this thing,” explains one former US Congressperson, “Now it falls to the states!”…

The Washington Post, 3/3/2002


– The Associated Press, 3/4/2002


…According to his granddaughter, Fogel’s dying wish was that “a diehard conservative” be appointed to fill his seat…

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/5/2002

“Democracy doesn’t work that way. We do allow the will of one dying grandfather to influence as many as thirty years of Supreme Court decisions, not even a grandfather as respected as Justice Fogel. The people elected a forward-thinking progressive to the Presidency; by the people’s command, the President will appoint a forward-thinking progressive to the Supreme Court.”

– White House Press Secretary Pam Watkins (I-DC), 3/6/2002


The San Francisco Chronicle, 3/7/2002


The New York Times, 3/9/2002

…On March 10, the CDC issued an emergency travel advisory stating that all American citizens should not go to several highly-infected areas, such as northern India, parts of Russia, and most of Eastern China...

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

“…The markets remain in disarray and Wall Street is in a panic as stock for sanitary wipes skyrocket, but everything else is plummeting…”

– Financial correspondent, KNN, 3/12/2002 broadcast

“In light of the rising rate of American citizens being tested positive for SARS, we are implementing emergency temporary safety measures for our employees and customers. Beginning on March 21, all Ollie’s Trolley locations will serve delivery and drive-thru orders only. We advise all customers practice safezoning measures described below and on our netsite, Thank you.”

– Ollie’s Trollies Inc., official announcement, posted at most outlets and online, 3/14/2002

“Our company is still recovering from prior windfalls. To implement costly procedures for an illness, one with what is most likely to be a ridiculously low fatality rate, would only hurt our company even further.”

– Herman Cain, CEO of Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc. (parent company of KFC and other franchises), 3/16/2002

“I got approval from the company elders – Harley, Harman, Collins, Yarmuth, and the remaining Sanders sister – to order safezoning be practiced in all KFC outlets. Only some of them refused, and they were working elsewhere by the end of things. Cain was angry at me going over his head. He accused me of sabotage, of pulling a J. Y. Brown on him, but Harley had my back. We weren’t exactly in the red, but Cain was all about that profit margin. Don’t get me wrong, a major point of a business is profit, but when placing profit ahead of customer safety, that’s when business ethics comes into play.”

– KFC Head Executive David C. Novak, 20012 interview

>MOTHER-POST: Did NASA Just Accidently Confirm Aliens Exist on Mars???
NASA just published details on next year’s Manned Mars Mission, and the instructions include a classified (all but the heading is inked out!) section entitled “Procedure For Off-World Vehicles.” What does this mean???

It’s probably just a hypothetical scenario. NASA did say they’ve taken every possible scenario and planned out a, uh, plan for each one.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 1:
Then why isn’t it titled “procedure IN CASE of Off-World Vehicles” huh?

Maybe “off-world vehicles” refers to the Milestone and Seeker vehicles and those little dune buggies they’ve got on board. Those things are all going into orbit, they’re all “off” OUR world!

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 2:
So you think it’s just boring instruction guides/manuals? Why classify them?

>>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 1 to REPLY 2:
To keep the Russians, Chinese, and Saudi governments from seeing exactly how they work. Revealing that stuff would be an open invitation to either sabotage the mission or copycat our designs and stuff!

>>>REPLY 2 to REPLY 1 to REPLY 2:
Because they’re not instruction guides for our vehicles – they’re instructions for how to handle alien vehicles!

–, a public news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting techsite [4], 3/18/2002 posting thread


…the current DOJ accuses the former official of the Dinger White House of authorizing the use of torture on suspected drug dealers at the height of the War on Recreadrugs. Bybee reportedly used the term “advanced questioning methods” when describing acts defined as torture by Amnesty International and other groups. There is a real possibility that Bybee could go to prison for human rights violations…

The Boston Globe, 3/19/2002


The Washington Post, 3/21/2002

…Mexico’s new President, Esteban Moctezuma, shifted policy as local police began to improve their handling of recreadrug cartels, and redirected the military and police to instead focus on gas theft. With bandits stealing thousands of barrels of oil, diesel and gasoline daily, these long-overlooked criminals were costing the Mexican economy billions of dollars a year, according to a bombshell 2001 report.

Moctezuma also gave more power and funds to Mexico’s Tax Administration Service, allowing them to finally go after the root of the cartel’s recreadrug supply – money laundering schemes (not Colombian pot fields)! When funding for the major drug lord’s lavish lifestyles began to dry up when their underlings’ operations went up, they began to sweat. Some began to turn their eyes to markets farther away from North America, some decided to go “underground” and lay low until Moctezuma left office, and some began to fight back with fleets of lawyers.

A third upending of the cartel business model was the arrival of SARS, which was suspected to have a fatality rate of over 5% and seemed to spread very quickly throughout the poverty-stricken areas where many pushes worked their magic. When Moctezuma ordered Mexico City to implement “sanitation necessities,” many drug users became cut off from their suppliers as police began to better monitor the streets for the sake of public health. This sort of situation was nationwide in the US, and possibly put drug lords in an even bigger quandary than had the TAS crackdowns…

– Roberto Roybal’s South of the Border: US-Mexico Relations During The 1990s, conclusion section; University of Oklahoma Press, 2015

The first major race riot of Jackson’s administration broke out in Springfield, Illinois. Much bigger than a minor incident from 2001 in which an off-duty police officer shot and wounded a 14-year-old African-American in Huntsville, Alabama. This riot broke out in nearby Florence, Alabama, after a white business owner refused to serve a trio of Black Middle School students due to a rumor that non-whites were more prone to being asymptomatic SARS carriers. Word spread of the prejudiced action, and soon led to the store being vandalized, which was caught on tape by the local news.

The story spread as the store incident spread into additional acts of violence, which were only worsened after a white local punched out an eleven-year-old protestor. The Florence Race Riot lasted from March 23 to March 25, and ended only after President Jackson flew down to the area.

He beseeched, “Your voices have been heard, and justice will be served. You have all made it known that this form of intolerance is not acceptable – not in the twenty-first century, not in this city, not in this county, not in this state, not in this region, and not in this country!”

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

“We do not need this right now, Ron. In the midst of a global pandemic is one of the few times where rising up against racism and prejudice may bring about more harm than good. For goodness’ sake, most of these youngsters were not even safezoning!”

– President Jesse Jackson to WH Chief of Staff Ron Daniels, c. 3/23/2002 (possibly anecdotal)


The Washington Post, 3/25/2002


…NASA has released more details concerning the 2003 Mars Mission’s safety requirements. The latest batch of details includes producers for how the marstronauts are to prevent the possibly “biological contamination” of Mars from Earth, and visa versa. [5] “We’re trying to balance the interests of the science community, the interest of the human exploration community, and the interest of the commercial community, without compromising the composition of the Martian surface and atmosphere conditions,” NASA Director Dale Myers explained at today’s press meeting…

Above: the Red Planet.

…Ten astronauts will blast off from Earth in January 2003...


Angie M.:

If there was ever a time to leave Earth, now would be it!

–, 3/28/2002 e-article


Washington, DC – “The gated community does not protect you from the pandemic,” the President said at today’s press conference. “Our military cannot defeat this germ. Having the biggest banks, having the biggest military has no meaning in this kind of germ warfare. The frontline is not soldiers; the frontline is doctors and nurses. The planes are grounded, the bombs are irrelevant.”

President Jackson is pushing for more emergency economic relief to combat racial and class-based disparities recently observed among those testing positive for SARS. “If the poor are not protected, the rich are in jeopardy, because you cannot separate by community the poor from the rich, the white from the black,” said Jackson today [6]. The White House is following the emergency plans bequeathed by Bellamy to blunt the destruction of disease on “our national communities,” as well as making good use of the infrastructure Bellamy implemented for a rigorous national testing operation like the one we are seeing today.

Better testing and the procuring of treatment data were also discussed in today’s briefing…

The Washington Post, 3/30/2002


– The Associated Press, 4/2/2002

…Certain Chinese provincial leaders were able to pay for safezoning measures and equipment for their upper class residents and their assistants – Plexiglas walls for their offices, hand sanitizers and mask stations, temperature scanners, and other tools – due to the funds that said leaders had pocketed from multiple provincial construction projects where materials were replaced with cheap alternatives. However, it would only be after the SARS pandemic was over that this corruption would come to light…

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009

…The first American death from SARS happened tonight in Concord, New Hampshire. The victim, a 67-year-old sporting goods owner, was possibly infected by one of some friends of his who were spectators at the Olympics and re-entered the US by car before testing centers could be set up at the Canadian border. At the moment, it seems that none of these Olympics attendees were tested for SARS…

– CBS Breaking News, 4/3/2002 broadcast


…Governor Tracy Potter, a moderate Democrat, remained silent on the matter of a 2000 state referendum approving of legalizing medical marijuana by a razor-thin margin. Under state constitutional law, if the governor neither signs a bill into law nor vetoes said bill, it becomes law after a certain period of time – a time which has now passed earlier today. …The new law, which will allow state residences to use marijuana for medical purposes – upon receiving a legitimate prescription for it from a certified physician, of course – comes at a time when the state economy beginning to feel the repercussions of businesses lowering occupancy levels, operating hours, and other aspects for the sake of public safety. As the SARS virus spreads out from China into Canada and elsewhere in the world, Potter has followed federal guidelines and has implemented state safezoning laws, resulting in businesses and schools needing to physically spread out workers and students. Football fields, parking lots, parks, warehouses and other places are being used as makeshift classrooms, churches and bars in order to keep North Dakota citizens “safezoned,” or no less than five feet apart from one another…

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota newspaper, 4/5/2002


…“many people are very angry at the situation right now,” explains sociologist Marjorie Bates of Ohio State University. “New Hampshire’s In Total Lockdown, major urban areas are under temporary quarantine, and safezoning is quickly becoming the new normal, which is not exactly preferable to people who live alone in small apartments, especially if they are older Americans or disabled, if they don’t own a computer, or lack the skills needed to use one. A lot are reliant on relatives checking in on them. A lot of people are relying heavily on phones stay connected. And even more people are blaming China for it.” Indeed, the leadership of the People’s Republic of China are receiving much of the blame for this international crisis. And thousands have turned their frustration to an online petition calling for the US to not participate in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Beijing. 5,000 have already signed the petition online…

The New York Times, 4/6/2002


…Michael Joseph Sandel, age 49, is a highly distinguished professor at Harvard Law School. Highly recommended by Vice President Wellstone, Sandel is a strong supporter free speech laws, and of freedom of information online, and was considered for a Supreme Court seat last year... …According to a source close to the Jackson White House, the President opted to go with a “relatively less extreme” candidate in order to avoid “the kind of drama” his administration experienced last year, when Jackson successfully appointed America’s first Black Chief Justice. “At the time, we had no way of knowing if that would be his only chance to nominate a real progressive to the court, and because we were still in a sort of honeymoon period, we could afford to fight for it,” says the source, who wishes to remain anonymous. “But now, with the midterms approaching and SARS still around, the administration wants to minimize complications and focus on the real important work that needs to be done on Capitol Hill”…

The Wall Street Journal, 4/7/2002


…A historic and unprecedented distribution of anti-SARS face masks is to be put into motion as soon as possible. This collaboration between the White House SARS Task Force, the Department of Health and Welfare, and several Textile Manufacturers will mail out reusable cotton face coverings to every residence in every US state and territory. The price tag of this huge operation is being covered by a cut in military weapons spending for the 2003 fiscal year. The first shipments are expected to arrive at households as early as May 1…

The Washington Post, 4/9/2002


…“this is something that differently able Americans have needed for a long time, and now more than ever,” says Theodore Speliotis (D-MA), 48, a US Congressman since 1989 who co-authored this bill…

The Boston Globe, 4/11/2002


…the medical expert was working on painting isolation and quarantine measures in Australia. While traveling to a research center in United Korea on April 23, Urbani began feeling unwell, and entered hospital as soon as the plane landed. After 19 days of being on a respirator in intensive care, Urbani succumbed to the effects SARS had on his lungs, which will donated to science, per his last request…



This man was a leading physician, an expert on keeping sanitary. If even HE wasn’t safe from it, what does that say about the rest of us?! What are OUR chances?!”

–, 4/12/2002 e-article


…by declaring a national emergency, the President is mobilizing the armed forces and reserves to help people impacted the most by the need to stay at least five feet away from others in order to minimize the spreading of SARS, which has already killed five people in the United States… Officers are working with local officials to deliver food and medicine to people unable to purchase orders online or over the phone. …One of the biggest issues facing many Americans during our current crisis is going out to the stores to obtain food. Many are going shopping less often, but are purchasing more items each time they hit the shelves. “Less people are browsing. More and more come in with lists in their hands, they go in, they get out, no small talk,” says the store manager of an A&P in Bakersfield, California, whose store, along with the pharmacy next door, are seeing local police, firemen, EMTs and military officers drop in to purchase items for elderly and infirm residents who find the current crisis “very challenging,” as said manager puts it. “We’ve all got to check up on one another. Thank God you can’t spread the virus to someone by giving them a simple phone call.”

The New York Times, 4/14/2002

NPR REPORTER: “Is there a contingency plan for the possibility of the Seeker 3 crew becoming stranded on the Martian surface. I ask because the Spanish film ‘Stranded,’ about a mission to Mars gone wrong, hit theaters a few days ago and has led to a rise in technet forum discussions on its premise.”

WH PRESS SECRETARY: “We are aware of the movie, ma’am. We’ve already coordinated the necessary precautions and protocols for every scenario, even that one, several months ago. We would also like to point out that our altimeter equipment is top-quality, the landing craft model has been crash-tested time and again, and food supplies on board the Seeker 3 landing module can be stretched out to last for up to two-point-seven years – provided nobody hosts any makeshift keggers while awaiting rescue.”

– NASA press conference transcript, 4/15/2002


…the SARS pandemic is not stopping congress. Keeping the Senate and House floors at 25% holding capacity, lawmakers take turns appearing in the buildings. A line of Representatives slowly passes through the halls as each one votes yes or no or procedure, with interns keeping the legislators up-to-date, and while others phone in and listen to discussions over cellular phones.

…“In 1967, the Supreme Court case of Pierson v. Ray ruled that police officers were inhibited and prevented from performing their jobs by the fear of legal ramifications for damages made during arrests. This ruling established the concepted of ‘qualified immunity.’ It was meant to help police, but it has hurt innocent civilians wrongfully hurt by police instead. Civil Rights lawsuits have argued for years that this exemption from responsibility violates civil rights, constitutional rights, and other federal rights, but the exemption was only strengthened in the 1980s, making it even more difficult for public officials to be sued for misconduct. Additionally, studies suggest that qualified immunity may have been a bigger contributing factor to police brutality than recreadrug use during the 1990s. …This bill will empower those wronged by police misconduct to receive justice by holding police precincts responsible for injuries and deaths brought about by the willful use of excessive force,” argues Congressperson Alton Waldon (D-NY), a co-sponsor of the bill…

…“Essentially reversing the 1967 Supreme Court decision should be done at the judicial level, not the legislative level,” counterargues Congressperson John A. Sullivan (R-OK). “This bill will burden our police officers and hinder and inhibit their job performance”...

…there is also discussion over the possibility of the Qualified Immunity Removal Bill being paired with a proposed Disabled Americans Rights Bill, in order to create an omnibus package that would be voted on prior to Congress’ Summer Recess…

The Washington Post, 4/17/2002


…“There is a significant risk of economic downturn, if not a return to recession, if the condition does not stabilize by Independence Day,” says one Wall Street executive... The number of SARS cases exploded after the 2002 Olympics worked as a “super-spreader center” and sent the virus across the globe…

The Wall Street Journal, 4/19/2002

NEW ZEALAND: Leading The World’s “Green Revolution” Through The SARS Pandemic

…the emergency shutdowns and quarantines have presented a unique opportunity to study the effects of human activity suddenly ceasing. Air travel has come to a standstill, resulting in recent improvements in air quality. The drop in human presence outdoors is linked to cleaner beaches and less noise pollution… “In an ironic twist, this momentary scuttling of typical contributions to CGD may be just what our planet needs to at least partially and momentarily recuperate from decades of pollution,” says one New Zealand weather specialist…

– National Geographic, April 2002 issue

…It was not until the number of deaths in Russia reached 100 did Russian President Nina Lobkovskaya take more aggression action. After roughly two months of the virus spreading relatively unchecked by the national government, relegating most of the responsibility onto the heads of the administrative divisions within Russia, Lobkovskaya reversed course and placed the entire nation on lockdown, suspending travel in and out of the country and deploying the military to ensure all citizens in public areas (in places deemed to not require quarantine or stay-at-home decrees at the moment) remained ten feet apart at all times. Elevators were sprayed with water and soap, as were subway trains and city buses. Poster, pamphlets, fliers, and radio/TV ads urging handwashing and disinfectant were everywhere within two weeks of the lockdown announcement...

– Tim Brookes’ SARS, Governance, And The Globalization of Disease, Borders Books, 2014

A TELECONFERENCING CONGRESS: Lawmakers Adopt New Voting Rules

…In order to continue congressional sessions while minimizing viral contamination, both chambers of congress have agreed on special safezoning measures to protect themselves from SARS while working on legislation. The new Senate and House rules, adopted nearly unanimously in both chambers, allows audio-visual “remote voting,” but not “vote by phone” over security concerns. “Anyone who can do a good impression of some senator could hack into their phone line or cellular phone and use their vote. A visual confirmation is needed,” says Senator Eddie Basha (D-AZ)...

The Washington Post, 4/24/2002


…Republican NYC Mayor John Castimatidis is not upholding safe-zoning measurements, and with the more liberal Republican Governor Bernadette Castro doing nothing to stop him, state Democrats have launched an “information campaign,” handing out pamphlets, buying air time and buying netsite ad space in an effort to inform as many people as possible about the importance of safezoning. The city’s police commissioner has broken away from the Mayor’s policy of business-as-usual in order to minimize the current SARS crisis’ effect on NYC’s economy. Instead, the city’s top cop is joining Democrats and health experts across all the Burroughs in imploring city residents stay eight feet apart and wear masks and gloves whenever outdoors…

The New York Times, 4/25/2002

– Two residents look at a poster of the latest issue of Newsweek in Chinatown, NY, NYC, while wearing masks but not “safezoning,” 4/26/2002


The Daily Telegraph, 27/4/2002


…It appears a group of private security guards approached the two men when they stopped at a red light, and forced both of them out of their truck over suspicion of having drugs on their person…

The Arizona Republic, 4/28/2002 e-article

“The refinancing of police departments is a double-edged sword. Governor Nolan should have known this when he went along with President Jackson and slashed funding for Arizona state police last year. On one hand, it can make mostly-minority communities feel safer and less like they live in a police state. On the other hand, white neighborhoods can easily fill in the void with their own private security forces not beholden to a police precinct, and those kind of groups can easily descend into forms of veiled vigilantism, and in turn can become harbors for racists. I think that this is why racism in places like Arizona is on the rise.”

“You don’t think the stress that many are having over this SARS pandemic is a contributing factor?”

“It may be, but only a minor factor. Relations between conservative whites and Mexicans, Blacks, and even Native Americans have been weakening since before the crisis began.”

“Yes, they were worsening even further under President Dinger, though. Under Jackson, the rate has slowed.”

– Guest Ann Coulter and Host John Michael Seigenthaler, The Overmyer Network’s Nighttime News, 4/29/2002


The Washington Times, 5/1/2002


– The Associated Press, 5/3/2002

…By May, the situation was even worse in northern India than it was for western Russia. Prolonged supply chain issues were prevalent and medical infrastructure overwhelmed after citizens failed to maintain safezoning measuring in crowded urban centers. This even the Deputy Prime Minister contracting (but surviving) the virus, it seemed nobody was safe from infection…

– Tim Brookes’ SARS, Governance, And The Globalization of Disease, Borders Books, 2014


The Los Angeles Times, 5/5/2002

…in other news, President Jackson today signed an executive order that will pour tens of thousands of dollars into America’s naturalization process. The order is to speed up the citizenship application time in order to make the legal process of immigration to the US, quote, “more appealing” unquote, than illegal processes. More specifically, Jackson aims to encourage a “pathway to citizenship” over guest-worker visas, arguing temporary employment in a host country heightens competition for jobs to the detriment of all workers, and negatively affects the life quality of guest workers...

– ABC News, 5/6/2002 broadcast

“We’re going to fight this one. The courts have to defeat it. This executive order is a blatant abuse of Presidential power and I refuse to see it go unchecked.”

– US Senator Dick Obenshain (R-VA), 5/7/2002


Premiered: May 8, 2002

Genre (s): action/disaster/suspense
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Written by: Ted Eliot and Robert Rodat
Produced by: John Landis

Idrissa Akuna Elba as Ludger Sylbaris
Gerard Butler as Leon Compere-Leandre
Bridgit Claire Mendler as Havivra Da Ifrile
Chrissy Margeaux as Olivia Robért
Gerard Depardieu as Governor Louis Mouttet
Jason Isaacs as Police Chief Allez
Geoffrey Rush as Captain Leboffe

See Full List Here

Based on the real-life Mount Pelee disaster of 1902, and premièring on its centennial anniversary, the film depicts the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century, which saw over 29,000 people die in just a few minutes from the eruption of the Mount Pelee stratovolcano on the Caribbean island of Martinique.

Trivia Facts:
Trivia Fact No. 1:
The film premièred in what was a historically poor year for theatrical releases due to The SARS Pandemic occurring that year. While most film companies pushed back release dates or re-edited their films to be broadcast on TV and released in theaters much later, producer John Landis insisted that Mount Pelee be released on schedule, arguing “the cinematic scope makes it unsuitable for TV release.” However, due to most states imposing stay-at-home orders and most theaters imposing safezoning measures if they didn’t close, the film saw a limited release and even less ticket sales, leading to it winning positive reviews but ending up a box office bomb. As a result, the film was released on home video, and after a theatrical re-release in 2005, managed to ultimately become a box office success.


“We’re working virtually, making conference calls, using this time to organize people,” said the President in today’s press briefing. Jackson also discussed how to best handle restrictions that safezoning measures have placed on places of worship: “We’ve talked to about 2,000 ministers around the nation over the past 10 days, trying to convince their congregations to honor the protocols and stay in the house.” [7]

The Washington Post, 5/9/2002

…Treasury Secretary Tim Johnson sought to ease the financial aspects of the national crisis by depositing federal treasury funds into national banks and buying government bonds in order to keep them afloat. Nevertheless, economic downturn continued…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


…just after the nation was beginning to truly recover from the Millennium Recession of 1999, the first quarter growth of the US GDP, and the 2002 fiscal year, closed at a rate of -0.5% today…

The Wall Street Journal, 5/11/2002

…The Long Recession was initially called the Millennium Recession due to it beginning in March 1999, near the start of the Third Millennium A.D.; however, as many families did not feel the effects of economic recovery (it was a slow “U” shaped economic recovery, rather a fast “V” shaped recovery) before the economy re-entered recession three years later in May 2002. As a result, the term “Long Recession” became more colloquially common-place, as it was a more apt way to describe the sort of singular extended “double dip” recession that many Americans experienced during this period. The term Long Recession rose to prominence and replaced the term “Millennium Recession” by middle of the 2000s decade…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

The Stock Market’s sudden and unexpected return to recession resumed the Long Recession, which varied from country to country (examples: 1999-2003 for the US, 1998-2003 for UK, 1997-2007 for Japan). However, thanks to Dinger’s policies concerning business development opportunity, unemployment during the National Safezoning Era never went above 9.5% at the national level. The former President, maintaining a mostly inactive and private retirement, was sure to combat certain political talking heads who claimed that these same policies were actually hurting economic recovery instead of helping it along. In defending them, he actually broke with his own party, saying on NBC on May 11 that “Some Republicans think that the welfare state makes more people lazy, but the fact that so many Americans keep going out to work as this virus makes its way across the country, and the fact that states such as New Jersey, Maine and Alaska offering Federal Aid Dividend-style monthly checks have not seen spikes in willful unemployment, argue otherwise.”

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

Larry confided in me that Republicans opposing Democratic-led bills in D.C. concerned him terribly. He was very well aware that there was a bitter and stubborn streak among Republicans, and he feared that the ascension of an African-American to the Presidency was “bringing out the worst in them,” referring to the Republicans still working in Congress. “On some days, it’s enough to make me wish I had become a Democrat instead.”

– Paula Gaffey Dinger’s Starting In Riceville: The Journey of Larry And I, Random House, 2011

…American school districts initially considered scheduling the end of the school year to be in April or early May – and possibly hold longer school days, or even classes on Saturdays – in order to finish the curriculum as fast as possible before SARS become too widespread. However, more and more students began being tested positive for SARS as April approached. “More and more parents are keeping are children home from school, but at this rate, most will be at home by the end of the school year,” lamented on teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina in early March. With the numbers of cases among children growing faster than anticipated, a rising number of Governors began the process of “premature early dismissal,” giving districts as little as two weeks to get their affairs in order before schools were closed.

With the school year typically ending in early-to-mid June, debate arose over whether or not America’s school system could survive in its current form for the final four-to-six weeks of classes. “Computers are helpful because most schools have websites, and most schools do homework online, but textbooks, in-class assignments are still central to learning agendas” was one argument. A common rebuttal was poor students who did not have computer access at home. As a result, some schools began computer rental programs for poor families in earnest in order for curricula to be completed online. Rural communities returned to tactics used in the past. When blizzards or power outages prevented school building usage, teacher gave out homework and directed group discussions over CB radio to radios used by students in their respective homes. …By mid-May, all but two states (Montana and West Virginia) had switched the remainder of school years (the ones still not completed) from in-person to primarily online.

…The emergency changes indicated a need for more preparedness for disasters among school districts. …“There will be significant changes to curriculum for the 2002-2003 year, I can tell you that,” said Education Secretary Dudley W. Dudley at a May 23 press conference…

– Marshall McAlliter Criser Jr. and Zephyr Rain Teachout’s Education vs. SARS: How Safezoning Created Temporary And Permanent Changes To How Our Children Learn, Simon & Schuster, 2005

“Now we’ve got to stay at home for another month because some idiot became a superspreader in Pittsburgh. This is a total and complete violation of our individual rights. When this is over, I’m mounting a class-action lawsuit against the Governor. Care to join me, dude?”

“This is nothing – during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793, Philadelphia’s city government performed random inspections. Basically they violated the Fourth Amendment! Just calm down, bud, and appreciate the fact that at least you have family to spend time with. I live in a one-bedroom apartment. I’m getting cabin fever over here!”

“What are you talking about? You’re lucky! You get peace of mind over there. I’m stuck with a gaggle of gargoyles – I never realized how bratty my kids are. How do their teachers put up with their cr*p?!”

“Dude, relax! Cholera is no longer a major threat, and smallpox has been eradicated. This SARS cr*p will end up like cholera, or like smallpox, if we’re lucky. Just give it time, and in the meantime, take advantage of the time you got. Time flies when you’re having – so do something constructive before we all have to go back to living like sardines again!”

–, online discussion board, 5/25/2002 private discussion

…UKIP leader Belinda Lee’s earlier call for a snap election came back to bite her when PM Lennon and the Labor Party complied via holding one just as Lennon’s popularity was swiftly on the rise. Winning accolades for his handling of the then-ongoing SARS pandemic, the Prime Minister coasted to another term on 29 May 2002. In said election, the Tories, under Ken Clarke, lost several seats, leaving them with just 195 seats; the Liberal Democrats, under Charles Kennedy, lost 4 seats, leaving them with just 55 seats; the United Kingdom Intrepid Progressive party lost half of their seats to Labour candidates, leaving them with just 4 seats and prompting Belinda Lee to retire as party leader; three minor parties each won two seats. This meant Labour walked away with 396 of the total 659 seats in parliament, and thus granting the party a coalition-free majority of seats for first time in Lennon’s tenure as PM…

– Jacqueline Edmondson’s A Legend’s Biography: The Lives And Times of John Lennon, London Times Books, 2010

…Canadian Prime Minister McTeer began ramping up screening processes for her country’s citizens, while Jesse Jackson continued to follow Bellamy’s “playbook,” as he called it. On May 30, Jackson shut down the border with Canada and imposed “invasive screening procedures” on all Chinese exports. That same week, Jackson sat down with all fifty state governors to justify his handling of airports, piers, and other entryways into the US...

– Doris Helen Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership In Turbulent Times, Simon & Schuster, 2018


– The Burlington Free Press, Vermont newspaper, 5/31/2002 op-ed

By the end of May 2002, the total number of cases worldwide reached 1 million. By this point, the countries worse off were Russia, India, Canada, China and United Turkestan in that order (considered to be in the “top tier” of affected countries), with Australia, the US, United Korea, most of Europe and the Middle East, and much of South America in the “middle tier,” and the rest of the world in the “bottom tier.”


CONGRESS PASSES STIMULUS CHECKS OMNIBUS PACKAGE: Americans To Receive $500 Each In Emergency Cash Payments

…according to an anonymous source, President Jackson initially wanted the individual payments to be “at least $800,” but “his hands were kind of tied” by the Balanced Budget Amendment, which is already putting a strain on the US Treasury during these unconventional times… It is possible that another Stimulus Package may be passed if economic conditions do not pick up by the end of the year…

The Washington Post, 5/30/2002 [8]

…Immunologists at the CDC are working diligently with leading scientists and researchers around the world in pursuit of a vaccine. However, international collaboration is being impeded by doctors in India, China and Russia stating they are working on vaccines of their own for their respective countries...

Above: a doctor in Ottawa, Canada, uses a mobile phone to discuss matters with other personnel instead of meeting them in-person during the SARS pandemic

Time Magazine, late May 2002 issue

[1] 6 pounds, 7 ounces
[2] Same conclusion that NASA made in OTL:
[3] Pulled from the analyses described here:
[4] Though “website” is an alternative, but less common, term for them as well.
[5] Based on their OTL measures!:
[6] Jesse Jackson quotes are from OTL, and can be found here:
[7] Jackson’s quotes are from OTL; they were pulled from here:
[8] $1,000 in 2020 is the equivalent of $662.52 in 2000

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: Soon!
Last edited:
Chapter 85: June 2002 – January 2003
Chapter 85: June 2002 – January 2003

“Alright, what just blew up over the Mediterranean?”

“Most likely a small asteroid, Mr. President,” answered Secretary of Defense Larry Ellis.

The two men continued with the Q & A as they and their respective entourages made their way to the White House situation room.

“Most likely?”

“They’re almost positive,” Ellis referred to the folks at NASA and NORAD, and to the men and women at the scene, of course.

“Well if it was a space rock, how’d nobody know it’d hit the atmosphere there?”

“NASA’s claiming it went undetected.”

“Well that’s encouraging. We can spend half a trillion on a trip to Mars but we can’t monitor the skies for rocks?”

Soon they were in contact with Captain Marvin, who confirmed that a prominent air burst was occurred almost directly above the USS Lee Iacocca. “It was an immensely bright flash, high above us but prominent enough for everyone on board to witness. It was followed by a medium-sized shockwave that rattled the ship. We’re still checking for minor damage caused by the jolt.”

“At least everyone’s okay,” said the President.

“Sir!” US Army General Henry Doctor Jr., the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called out.

“What is it?” The President traversed over.

“Just confirmed it – our early warning satellites picked up the explosion. It had the energy release equivalent of 12 kilotons, about the same strength as the blast power as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”

“Get Richards on the phone,” Jackson reacted. “Make sure no other countries are mistaking this for some kind of nuclear strike.” Italy, Libya, Greece and Tunisia were the closest nations, and a British cargo ship was twenty nautical miles to the west of the USS Lee Iacocca. However, with the exception of the cargo ship, nobody in any of those nations’ governments were aware of the event until they were contacted by the US.

“Good idea,” Ellis agreed. “Few countries have our kind of sensors, sophisticated enough to differ a natural but potentially hazardous impact event from an atomic detonation.”

“All the more reason to redirect some military funding to putting in that N.E.O. warning system the Navy Secretary was telling me about,” Jackson replied back. Then he sighed, “I’m just glad this didn’t happen elsewhere. The air burst lightly damaged an American vessel, but had a foreign military vessel been in the area as well, the situation could have led to some sort of military standoff. Instead it was high above open sea. But if it’d hit a mountain range it could have started a war. And we as a nation just could not get through something like that. Not at a time like this. Nobody could get through something like that, at least, not for a space rock.”

The Eastern Mediterranean Event on June 6, 2002, is instead looked back on is a minor incident despite it having the potential, under different circumstances, to spark a major international disaster.

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016 [1]

“After the Ark Waves of 1970 and 1986, voluntary army recruit numbers went up. And I’ve asked around, since there doesn’t seem to be a way to study and record social changes like you can weather patterns, and if you ask around like I have, people say that guys started to be a little more cautious when picking up chicks, watching what they were saying, you know, to not offend. Especially after ’86, when colleges were being held more accountable for things, so college scandals had more repercussions. Now I have a theory as to what happened with the recruiting thing. All the party bros from colleges figured it’d be better off for them to join the army than for them to stick around and try to get jobs out of fear that some alleged sexual pestering incident from college would surface and he’d be, essentially, unemployable. But if you’re a veteran, you’re in a better position to defend yourself. Everyone loves a veteran. My point is, Democrats hate the military, but their two crusades against masculinity likely drove up the number of people serving in the military!”

– Rush Limbaugh, KFBK-AM radio, 6/8/2002 broadcast


The New York Times, 6/10/2002


Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Pepvibes v. California today. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that California’s state Supreme Court ruling of 2000 that found technet user anonymity to “endanger domestic security” by making tech users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft, hacking, and other “tech dangers” did not violate freedom of speech.

However, after carefully perusing the specific wording of the California ruling, it seems that “public netsites,” i.e. ones available for use without being a member and can be found through simple searches on search engines (such as or have to comply, but private websites are excused from the ruling. This may lead to a different judiciary-based controversy all together…

The 2000 ruling has been scrutinized by technet companies who profited from offering users complete anonymity when using their sites. “The existence of death threats does not take away from the value of the technet any more than car crashes take away from the value of roads,” argued a dissenting California Associate Justice at the time…

…An argument favoring the ruling was the rise of extremism. For example, religious extremists in the Middle East took to the technet as the millennium approached, are were partially to blame for online complaints over the lack of Muslims slated for the 2003 Manned Mars Mission; activists in the US contributed to such complaints as well. “In fact, many netsites feature extremism, paranoia, conspiracy theories and promote a very hate-filled, virulent and very baleful sort of tech culture. Lifting the veil of anonymity will remove, or at least dampen, such activities,” argues Republican state senator Steve Knight...

The Boston Globe, 6/12/2002

…A new study shows that the rate of new cases of SARS is actually beginning to drop in China due to Chairman Zhu’s increasingly draconian measures to ensure citizens practice safezoning when permitted to leave their homes. Security officers make their rounds across every street while technicians install security cameras at seemingly every corner. Siren alarms blare if one is caught violating someone else’s safezone, a.k.a. coming within five feet of someone… Zhu is also stepping up efforts to keep residents from leaving the country… There is creditable fear that the nation’s ruling government is using this moment in history to crack down on anti-government elements, both in person and on the technet. Home inspections may not be as ransomed as state police claim they are; netsites are becoming increasingly monitored and censored.

However, for many citizens of the PRC, these elements of a police state are minor concerns in the face of the country’s death toll...

New management is helping, though. In March, Zhu fired Health Minister Zhang Wenkang and replaced him with his understudy, Gao Qiang; Zhu repeatedly accused Zhang of being undiligent despite not keeping him involved in early anti-SARS meetings, according to an expose by the Japanese newspaper “The Asahi Shimbun.” Additionally, Zhu sacked Beijing Mayor Liu Qi and replaced him with Wang Qishan, who has departed sharply from Qi’s closed-door government approach by holding daily press meetings and improving mayoral government transparency...

– The Associated Press, 6/14/2002

As the possibility of same-sex marriage advancing to the Supreme Court became increasingly likely, those in favor of it focused in on two pillars, two bases of support, two key aspects of it: consent and age. Rather than lead the nation conversation on the “third pillar” of biology, BLUTAG supporters accused libertarian Republicans critical of same-sex marriage of hypocrisy by presenting anti- same-sex marriage laws as a part of large government. Conservatives meanwhile stated that homosexuality was “unnatural” as it cannot lead to conception. US Senator Patrick Downward (R-KY) took offense to this, pointing out on June 15, 2002, “my sister-in-law has ovarian cancer. Her marriage to her husband can’t lead to conception. Is their marriage ‘unnatural’?” Another Republican lawmaker, Senator Ken Blevens in New Hampshire, went even further by denouncing supporters of rumors of BLUTAG “recruitment” by repeatedly expressing “there is no BLUTAG agenda” on TV networks during the early 2000s.

When it came to arguments regarding children, and it allegedly being “unnatural” for a child to have “two daddies,” President Jesse Jackson himself took offense, for he himself grew up with a mother and two fathers. One, Noah Robinson Sr., his biological father, and the other, Charles Jackson, his adoptive father; Jesse was close to both men, and regarded both of them as “Father.” Jackson could not relate exactly, but he understood that one does not have to fully understand another’s plight to nevertheless sympathize and support them and their fight for their rights.

– Brandon Teena’s The Rise of BLUTAG Rights: The Story of the Bi-Lesbian-Undefined-Trans-Asexual-Gay Movement, Scholastic, 2019

…Jackson wanted to continue working with congress to pass more legislation, while others in the White House wanted to pump the breaks, fearing he would exhaust his political capital if he pushed too hard too much progressive reform too soon. The President countered with “You don’t take it easy during a crisis. You take charge and you get things done.” For instance, in late June 2002, Jackson successfully negotiated with Mexican President Moctezuma and Canadian Prime Minister Maureen McTeer to reach a tri-national agreement for migrant workers, leading to the North American Migrant Workers Act (NAMWA)…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

“Consumer demand is what creates jobs, and write now, millions of Americans are making atypical consumer demands. The job market is trying as best it can to adjust to them, and government assistance will improve this. The rise of new jobs – deliverers, caregivers, EMTs, tech supporters, home repair, phone-based support givers, tutors, and other occupations – is making up for the drop in other job types, and are all being provided by and created by small and medium-sized businesses. These new innovators are doing good for their country and fellow countrymen, especially the employers who pay a living wage; compare them to the millionaires and billionaires who prefer to seek out loopholes and corner cutting, who outsource and capitalize on illegal immigrants to create slavery in the 21st century. With this in mind, I support the latest bill on the hill to reform the immigration department, and, more central to the core of the legislation, give further tax breaks to small businesses suffering in these concerning times.”

– President Jesse Jackson, 7/1/2002

…The high summer temperatures of June, July, and August took the wind out of the virus’s sails in the US, and overall granting the world’s hospitals a “plateau” of sorts where global case rates became much more management, if only just until the colder weather returned…

– Jim Droder’s, Behind The Masks: SARS vs. The World, Sunrise Publishers, 2008

“THANK GOD CAROL CARED”: Why Technetters Are Praising Carol Bellamy

…the UN Secretary-General and former US President is being commended send lauded for her rapid responses at the start of the pandemic and for the safety guidelines her administration established after the Great Hantavirus Scare of 1991…

The Los Angeles Times, 7/8/2002


…Arcos Bergnes, 71, began his political career as a human rights activist during the 1950s, and opposed both the Castro and Batista regimes. In the National Senate since 1978, he ran for his party’s nomination for President in 1984 on a platform of police reform, but sat out the 1990 to battle a cancer diagnosis. …Arcos Bergnes returned the Conservative Party to the Presidential Palace with 58% of the vote, a clear rejection of the controversial administration of outgoing President Alfredo Lee of the ironically-named Stability Party…

The Miami Herald, 7/10/2002



“I just thank God every day for those ARTEMs – the “Already Ready To Eat Meals” things – you know, those packets given out by the military and by ODERCA? I praise the Lord single every day for the service for those things being started by President Jackson, for that service provided me with emergency provisions to get me through those dark times, O Lord.”

– Marjorie H. of Caspar, WY, SARS survivor, speaking at a SARS Survivors support group, 2012


…UN Secretary-General Carol Bellamy is calling for better international cooperation amid a row over responsibility for the SARS pandemic and how to best proceed forward in these uncertain times. “We can’t let this get out of control, and I refer to both SARS and this quarreling!”

In the verbal fight, Russia butted heads with China at the UN earlier today over which of the two nations hold the most responsibility for the SARS pandemic interrupting world commerce and requiring emergency safezoning in a wide majority of countries on Earth. The sharp exchanges at a teleconference meeting reflects the strain and exhaustion that medical centers are experiencing in Russia, as the spreading of SARS is aided by colder weather...

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 18/7/2002

PRESS SECRETARY 1: “Travel to Mars can range from 150 days to 300 days. We plan to reach the Red Planet when it is closest to Earth – when the energy for transfer between planetary orbs, or “Delta-V,” is at its lowest point – which will be in late August 2003, meaning a 7-months-long trip will be launched in late January 2003. This makes it imperative that, in order to reach our window, all potential weather conditions in Cape Canaveral have been considered.”

NYT REPORTER: “So basically, if a hurricane hits Florida that January, then whole thing will be a bust?”

PRESS SECRETARY 1: “The mission may be delayed for as late as March. We’ve already made calculations in case such a scenario occurs. However, Florida usually does not get hurricanes in January, so we should be fine on that front.”

MIAMI HERALD REPORTER: “At least you don’t have to worry about snow.”

[scattered laughter]

WP REPORTER: “So, long will the whole voyage last, round-trip?”

PRESS SECRETARY 2: “Roughly 14 months. After landing and spending a few days gathering soil and rock samples, and photographing and video-recording the surrounding areas of Jezero Crater, the Seeker 3 will reconnect to the Milestone 1 and head back to Earth. That trip will also take seven months, meaning the Milestone should splashdown into the north Pacific in late March 2004.”

PRESS SECRETARY 1: “The precision of the launch dates is critical due to the multiple variables at play here. To put it in layman’s term, both planets are moving around the sun, and as a result, this mission is sort of like throwing a football from the window of one speeding car into the window of another speeding car. You have to consider all factors and variables before you make that throw.”


LAT REPORTER: “Isn’t it irresponsible to use nuclear rockets on this mission?”

PRESS SECRETARY 2: “No, it isn’t, and let me explain why. The rockets heat hydrogen, a working fluid, to intense temperature in a reactor in a method that makes the fuel more energetically denser than that found in other chemical rockets, and thus giving the Milestone a higher thrust velocity with comparatively less fuel to carry said shuttleplane all the way to Mars. These nuclear rockets are the rockets capable of getting the Milestone to Mars in just seven months. We have tested these rockets multiple times. We had a few hiccups at first, we will admit. In 1995, there was, shall we say, an explosive development, or three, but we learned from those mistakes. We have worked out the bugs, and we have tested them again and again now. We are 100% certain that the hydrogen rocket system will work without critical incident.”

PRESS SECRETARY 1: “Additionally, Roger Boisjoly, a leading NASA engineer, created a new design for the shuttleplane’s rocket boosters in 1987, after the older boosters caught fire in a 1985 ground test. He’s headed safety operations and inspections for both the Milestone and Seeker, including the over-sees testing, the ground testing, and other preparations ahead of the launch this January.”

BBC REPORTER: “What about the advertisements on the exterior of the ship. Is it true you had to run tests on those as well?”

PRESS SECRETARY 1: “Yes, we conducted tests to ensure that their adhesion, integrity, and even their coloration will endure the rigors of space travel. Half a trillion dollars weren’t spent on nothing; the mission is worth the amount of funding put into it.”

WP REPORTER: “How will the marstronauts land on the Martian surface?”

PRESS SECRETARY 2: “Aerobraking. The Seeker will fly into Mars’ atmosphere at the periapsis, or lowest point, of the planet’s orbit, resulting in drag that slows down the Seeker’s velocity significantly.”

PRESS SECRETARY 1: “And yes, Mr. Martin and the rest in the French news pool, NASA does appreciate your country working with us and other international counterparts to ensure configurations and other requirements for success of the Mars Mission are accurate and sound.”

– NASA press conference transcript, 7/23/2002


…found guilty of armed robbery, conspiracy to destroy public landmarks, and conspiracy to murder, would-be Presidential killer Leo Felton has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. Erica Chase, who accepted a plea bargain but in court sought to defend her boyfriend’s actions, received only 2 years in jail for illegal possession of a firearm…

– United Press International, 7/26/2002

…In the same vein as Bonnie and Clyde and the main characters of “Natural Born Killers,” boyfriend-girlfriend team Leo Felton and Erica Chase sought to unleash a reign of nationwide terror, only for a counterfeiting operation to end their plans. Both members of the White Order of Thule, a white supremacist organization currently under scrutiny from the Justice Department, Felton and Chase robbed a bank in Memphis, Tennessee to buy materials needed for making counterfeit dollar bills; they planned to then use that money to buy weapons, and to buy materials needed to make various types of bombs. Their targets: the US Holocaust Museum, several monuments to “mud people,” as Felton repeatedly called all non-whites while in the courtroom, and several other institutions associated with Black and Jewish communities before finishing off their spree with the assassination of both President Jackson and Vice President Wellstone. They planned to assassinate prominent non-whites as well. Police arrested them only three days after the Memphis bank robbery after using surveillance footage from a building across the street to identify their getaway car. In an ironic twist, court documents revealed Felton to be part African American…

– Dana Altschiller’s Hate Crimes: A Reference Handbook, Borders Books, 2005

…While Mexico experienced a rise in unemployment throughout 2002, the country also experienced a rise in violence from Drug Cartels…

Above: Mexican police officers secure an area around the burning wreckage of a truck; they are waiting for fire trucks to arrive in the immediate aftermath of a shootout with drug-runners that caused the disguised drug shipment to explode and three cars to be totaled.

– Christopher M. White’s The War on Recreadrugs: A History, Routledge, 2019

“Look, violence is the only thing these criminals understand. I should know. I battled them for four years as Governor of New Mexico. I was shot and nearly killed by hitmen working for the Juarez Cartel. The thing the American people once understood but are now somehow forgetting is that these recreadrug lords are monsters, and their lackeys are scum. They should be shot on sight, no questions asked.”

– Former Governor Richard P. “Rick” Cheney (R-NM), NBC interview, 7/30/2002

…The drug lords are beginning to destroy themselves by attacking each other for control over increasingly diminished territory. The multinational heat is making more gangs and pushers pull out from urban areas. The SARS pandemic is only speeding up the process. Most are retreating back into Mexico, or to Central American and even some South American countries such as Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Overall, drug pushing is on the decline, but we suspect they will resume more active activities once the SARS pandemic subsides. As such, I recommend the continuation of your current orders in regards to combating heroin, crack, speed and other non-MJ/hemp recreadrugs. We must not let the lords think we are letting up because of widespread disease. We must show that not even a global crisis can stop us from repelling them from our communities…

– CIA Director Linda Cleland to President Jackson, private memo, 8/1/2002; declassified 1/15/2013


…the retired diplomat and one-time presidential candidate contracted the virus five months ago in March, but he had never fully recovered, according to his family’s representative’s press release…

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/3/2002

…According to the latest medical reports from Russia’s Ministry of Health, at least 20% of survivors of SARS in the NDRR, or for older viewers, the former Soviet Union, suffer from either osteoporosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and/or other health issues concerning and/or afflicting the heart, the lungs, and/or even the brain. Stay tuned for our more detailed coverage of the revelations at 10:30 PM…

– CBS Evening News, 8/5/2002

…Well it looks like there’s a new judicial conflict rising out of the tech industry, as several tech companies in California and fighting in legalese with state regulators and insurance agencies over who holds responsibility for accidents involving self-driving cars. According to tech companies, the state’s current law inhibits Silicon Valley companies from making, or at least trying to make, self-driving cars street-legal and, ultimately, publicly available for purchase at reasonable sticker prices…

– ABC Morning News, 8/7/2002 broadcast


Please maintain safety spacing practices when at voting stations:

– Stay seven feet back from others

– Keep your mouth covered

– Be careful what you touch

– Wash your hands as often as possible

If you can order by mail, please do so!

– Australian Public Service Announcement, c. August 2002

– [2]

On August 11, 2002, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Stuyvesant v. Edwards, which upheld the constitutionality of Congressperson Sonny Bono (R-CA)’s Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. Said law applied to “current” copyrights, but not “retroactive” copyrights, meaning that those still covered by the 70-year law had their “expiration dates” extended but nothing was changed for items for which the deadline had already passed. The 1998 Act also stipulated that, in regards to publication copyright law, a character or work falls into public domain if it is not used in a new work/publication/book of some medium after 50 years have passed since its previous usage. [3]

Soon after, several tech/computer companies and other “netsite runners” went to the Supreme Court to appeal for the higher court to overturn the controversial California state supreme court ruling of 2000 regarding Technet Safety. They argued that it was unconstitutional to impose anti-anonymity laws onto businesses. The Supreme Court declined to hear their case, with Justice Lord believing the runners could find a “right to privacy loophole” in the wording of the ruling, and suggested a review of how such an argument had worked in the Moseley v. Van Dam Supreme Court decision of 1992.

The original complaint was filed with the US Supreme Court in December 2000, with the plaintiff arguing en banc (in front of the full panel of judges) in 2001; the court, essentially, decided against granting their filed petition for “certiorari,” but remained open to hearing their case.

Oral arguments were presented in August 2002. Lead counsel for the plaintiff emphasized the First Amendment, devolving into a very classic argument: which takes higher priority in a free and democratic society – individual rights, or public safety?

“Does it exceed the limits of the California constitution?” was the basic question before the court. The tech companies argued “Yes,” because technet companies headquartered in California can have customers and site users anywhere in the country or in the world, thus making the argument spill into a more broad debate concerning international trade and information-sharing.

California’s Attorney General defended the law by stating there was “a principled reason(ing)” behind the court decision, to which the plaintiff counter-argued that the ruling weakened the public domain and harmed the economic health of the nation overall.

– Omri Rachum-Twaig’s Regulating Creativity: US and International Copyright Law and Derivative Works, Routledge, 2019

“I think the people at Microsoft, Dell, Newton Computers, and other silicon valley companies have every right to fight in the name of the free enterprise system. Technet anonymity, in my opinion, should be allowed to be a part of California-base companies because it allows people to protect themselves online, especially people who may be targeted for their views. But, on the other hand, by making nobody anonymous, those making the targets online are not anonymous, either.”

– Jesse Jackson, 8/12/2002


…internet pornography is a very sensitive subject, but it needs to be discussed when arguing the merits of allowing people to hide behind fake names, freeing them from social eyes and thus the social contract that guides them away from immoral and illegal temptations… Anonymity invites immoral and deviant behavior on the technet. Thus, in a twist of irony, the progressive Californian court is upholding American moral values!

– National Review, August 2002 issue

“That ruling was a rushed overreaction to then-recent hacking incidents. The court completely overlooked how the law leaves millions of technet users vulnerable to identity theft and identity fraud by professional hackers. The law also doesn’t take into account technetters who use sites for embarrassing medical issues, advice on sensitive subjects like how to leave an abusive relationship or a teen pregnancy, thing like that. The law is also especially damaging for BLUTAGO Americans, who feel more comfortable ‘unmasking,’ uh, revealing themselves to be BLUTAG, uh, online but often with anonymity, because it allows them to express themselves without fear of attack, both online and in person. I mean, police and journalists get tipped off by anonymous sources all the time. Is that going to end up being illegal in California, too?”

– Brandon Teena, progressive writer/activist, 8/14/2002

…Additional appeals in circuit court and the passing of several years eventually led to the US Supreme Court finally making a decision on the constitutionality of the anti-anonymity law in 2003…

– Omri Rachum-Twaig’s Regulating Creativity: US and International Copyright Law and Derivative Works, Routledge, 2019


…said one attendee, “We should be spend money on this planet not that planet. What bread-and-circus bulls--t is this?”

– The Miami Herald, 8/17/2002

“The US government needs to be a better partner in creating jobs in cities and in the countryside. These proposed Industrial development bonds, industrial revenue bonds, and mortgage revenue bonds will all play a role in this, for these constructive forms of government intervention are key instruments in the fight for equity and equality for all Americans everywhere.”

– Jesse Jackson to US Senate Commerce Committee Chair Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), 8/18/2002

…Houston Police have uncovered an alleged shooting spree plot after a local Texas man was arrested for unlawful gun ownership. According to his wife, who called police on her husband, the man had a history of making death threats online, especially to known African-American technetters…

– KNN Breaking News, 8/21/2002

“As a safety precaution, all forms of education planned for the upcoming school year are to either be undertaken over the phone, over the technet, or in physical locations large enough for classrooms of no more than 15 students per teacher. This is for all centers of learning and for every county in this state.”

– Governor LeRoy Collins Jr. (D-FL), 8/22/2002


…the nation becomes the eleventh country in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage...

The Boston Globe, 8/24/2002

MASSIVE RIOTS SEES “AT LEAST” 50 DEAD IN NEW DELHI; Social Unrest Widespread As Govt Struggles To Contain SARS Spread, Enforce Safezoning Practices

The Chicago Tribune, 8/26/2002

Ryutaro Hashimoto, Prime Minister from 1995 to 1999, mounted a political comeback in 2001 and hoped to be victorious again in 2001. Incumbent PM Junichiro Koizumi was losing support over his mediocre handling of the SARS pandemic (Koizumi feared developing an assertive policy would bolster claims made by yakuza supports that he favored a “police state”) but hoped the “summer slump” in SARS cases would help him. Instead, Hashimoto edged out Koizumi for his former position. Once in office, Hashimoto went even further on anti-Yakuza actions, but also instituted stronger safezoning measures as well. Alongside these issues, Hashimoto strived to be a major world leader in the fight to address GCD. On 29 August, he gave an address describing the road to recovery as being slow but certain; with the proverb “Dripping water wears away the stone,” the PM told the nation how removing the damage caused by crime, recession, and the pandemic would require patience, “upholding just laws,” “maintaining community health,” and “the slow weaning off of polluting conveniences to alternative conveniences,” but swore “we can overcome this period.” Hashimoto had experienced in his first four years of office how to handle humanitarianism and a national economy, and was determine to learn from those four years of experiences.

– Walter LaFeber’s The Sun And The Eagle: US-Japanese Relations In The Post-Cold War Era, 2019 edition

– A mask station at a hospital in New York, c. 9/1/2002

BLUTAG MARRIAGE DEBATE: Claimants Appeal To Supreme Court On Same-Sex Marriage Circuit Rulings, Beginning A Possibly Months-Long Judicial Process

The Washington Times, 9/2/2002

ALL-TIME HERO PASSES AWAY: Audie Murphy Dies At 77

…the most decorated War Hero of WWII passed away in his sleep yesterday morning, roughly a year after being diagnosed with severe cardiac arrhythmia. Murphy had lived a diverse life. Born to dirt-poor sharecroppers in northern Texas, Murphy served valiantly in WWII and returned home a hero for his many actions in battle. In 1955, he starred as himself in a movie based on his war memoirs; his film career began in 1948 and continued on into the late 1970s, with more than 50 film credits to his name at the time of his death. Initially appearing in westerns and warfare films, he later branched out to detective, sports, and drama films, and appeared in TV promos for PTSD counseling (he confessed to sleeping with a loaded pistol under his pillow for decades, once explaining “I don’t think [people] ever really do” survive warfare). Murphy then veered into politics by serving as the inaugural US Secretary of Veteran Affairs, a position established under President Denton. Murphy was one of the first Denton Cabinet members to resign in protest of Denton’s involvement in the Lukens Hush Money Scandal. In 1988, the Texas GOP drafted him into running for the US Senate, but he lost by a hair to Democrat Ann Richards. Murphy then taught at West Point until his retirement in 1995. Murphy is survived by a wife, two ex-wives, five children, and eleven grandchildren…

The New York Times, 9/4/2002


The New York Times, side article, 9/4/2002


…MP Pauline Marois (Quebec) has so far been the only member of parliament to openly criticize Prime Minister Maureen McTeer’s new measure, claiming “forcing people back into their homes now over a slight rise in SARS cases is economically irresponsible and, more importantly, is going to be psychologically damaging, beyond repair, for millions of Canadian children and families!”

The Toronto Sun, Canadian newspaper, 9/9/2002

A new player entered in the form of Jon Huntsman Jr., the son of long-time KFC ally Jon Huntsman Sr of the Huntsman Corporation. Junior’s career seemed to have reaches its apex early, as he had served as the US Ambassador to China from 1999 to 2001, and thus had left that office at the age of 40. With his father, the former Governor of Utah, still contemplating a Presidential bid in 2004, Junior decided to enter the food production business in the meantime. FLG Inc. signed him on as COO of KFC Asia in September 2002. He was an assertive, but attentive boss; bold, but not belligerent, taking order from Cain when given but was otherwise given a long leash so long as sales continued to rise.

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


…promoting the rising social creed to “act local, think global,” the Jackson administration is giving tax reductions to housing and real estate developers who create “urban farm plots.” …In Boston, Massachusetts, greenhouses on rooftops aim to grow fruits and vegetables for locals... The US Department of Agriculture is hoping to popularize local sustainable gardening as an economic and healthy activity that Americans can do during lockdown… The US Attorney General, meanwhile, is going after several major food production companies; the “big farmland-holders that deceptively own nearly all farmland in the US, sucking small and independent farmers dry.” …Safezoning and other pandemic-related complications have delayed the implementation of food security and anti-food waste projects, but supporters are optimistic. “This crisis should be a moment of reflection for millions of households worldwide. If you have the space, and can afford the initial investment of fertilizer, potting mix, tools, and, heh, seeds – heh, can’t forget them, you know – if you can grow your own food, and help yourself and maybe your neighbors, then please do!”…

– National Geographic, September 2002 issue

“We human beings have no immune system to this because we’ve never been exposed to it before. Our bodies can’t properly respond to it, so our bodies can’t fight it properly. Each of our bodies is like someone who’s never even taken one karate class trying to pick a fight with Bruce Lee. But the thing is, we have the chance now to protect each other, lest this spiral out of control like what is happening in southern China, where at least 50% of the people living there have gotten it by now!”

– US Senator Clyde Cecil Holloway, (R-LA), defending mask-wearing practices at a press meeting, 9/12/2002


Huntsman Brothers Diversify Career As Patriarchal Leader Plans Out His Next Move

Woodlands, TX – A generational changing of the guard is taking place at Huntsman Corp. After serving as executive chairman of the Woodlands, Texas-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals from 1969 to 1988 and again since early 2001, Jon Huntsman Sr. is relinquishing that position in January 2003 and taking a seat on the company board as chairman emeritus. His son Peter Huntsman will take full leadership of a company worth billions of dollars. Peter Huntsman will become Board Chairman, adding to the responsibilities he’s held since 1994 as president and chief executive. “I am honored to be taking on this responsibility at a times when the company has never been stronger and had more opportunities before it, said Peter Huntsman, age 39. “This will be a smooth transition as our founder, my father, will continue in a valuable capacity as a board member, maintaining vital relations with customers, suppliers and policymakers, as well as sharing his 56 years of industry experience.” Jon Huntsman Sr. did not disclose the reason for his decision to turn over the reins to his son, whom he called “one of the world’s outstanding CEOs,” but there are rumors of him considering a bid for the White House in 2004.

The market took the news in stride. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Huntsman Corp. shares rose 0.16 points Tuesday, or half a percentage point, to close at $32.82. Originally founded in 1970 as Huntsman Container Corp., the company expanded significantly in 1994 with the acquisition of Texaco Chemical. Huntsman bought Texaco’s last petrochemicals plant five years later, when it also purchased the polyurethane, titanium dioxide, aromatic and petrochemical businesses of Imperial Chemical Industries. After going public in 1997, Huntsman Corp. quickly became one of the world’s largest pigments businesses, and, soon after, even aquired an advertising spot on the back section of the 2003 Manned Mars Mission’s Milestone shuttleplane…

– The Wall Street Journal, 9/15/2002 [5]

…In other news, anti-mask technetters planned to hold an anti-safezoning protest/rally event in Broward County, Florida. Over 2,000 people pledged online that they would arrive, only for about 70 people to actually show up today. Due to the planned venue being capable of holding 2,000 non-safezoning people, the group was actually small enough to hold an event there with safezoning measures in place. However, the organizers of the protest ended the event early, claiming travel restrictions and a quote-unquote police state prevented the remaining 1,930 people from attending the protest…

– ABC News, 9/18/2002


…the nation is preparing for a rise in cases as colder weather sets in. Meanwhile, the justice ministry is investigating medical officers who were too slow to respond to the SARS pandemic that has infected millions and killed thousands worldwide…

Kommersant, Russian newspaper, 9/20/2002

…The first major incident, though, occurred during the SARS Pandemic of 2002-2003. In late September of the first year, increases in positive testing for SARS were linked to Jewish people breaking from safezoning measures to attend weddings, funerals, and the religious holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. According to two separately-reported White House sources, Jackson was angry at this development concerning the likely rise (or “wave”) in winter cases, and vented out his frustrations to his Vice President, Paul Wellstone, via a speakerphone call:

“Damn it, their going to worsen the Winter Wave. Paul, you’ve got to keep your people in line.”

“‘My people’?”

“Oh, you know what I mean. Listen, I need you to go on TV and work tour magic on the lot of them. The Jewish people will listen to you. They certainly did during the primaries, and they’ll certainly listen to you now. Just go on TV and tell your, uh, the Jewish people to celebrate their religion safely. Will you do that for me, please?”

Wellstone complied, and gave a televised speech calling for “all religious observances” to be done while maintaining safezoning measures. According to two of his aides, Wellstone agreed with the President and understood “what he had meant to say,” but disagreed with the words and attitude with which he had said them. “He didn’t take it personally, but he did see it as a part of a bigger problem,” Wellstone’s former chief of staff said in a 2014 interview. “It can be hard being friends with someone who can get like that. It was hard for Paul, at least.”...

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


The Billings Gazette, Montana newspaper, 9/26/2002

…More studies suggest that the SARS pandemic may in fact be contributing to a drop in the use of recreadrugs such as heroin and cocaine across Europe and Latin America, likely due to safezoning regulations inhibiting recreadrug transporting endeavors. Additionally, violent activity in Colombia is also at an eight-year low…

– ABC Morning News, 9/27/2002 broadcast

…Be Sure To Get Your Flu Shots: ahead of the first flu season since the northeast and most of the US was hit by SARS, health-care professionals are urging residents in areas vulnerable to the flu nationwide to get vaccinated…

– CBS Evening News, 9/29/2002 broadcast


The Daily Telegraph, 1/10/2002

...Lady Sarah remarried in 2005, and has had three more children since then…

– Andrew Morton’s Lady Sarah and The Duty of Loyalty, O’Mara Books, 2012


…With Russia’s President holed up in Moscow and our own President Jackson spending most of his days in secure locations – primarily the White House – the two world leaders used the latest A/V technology to approve, verify, and sign a treaty that essentially updates and continues on the joint missile-dismantling efforts ongoing since the demise of the USSR in 1984…

– The Washington Post, 10/5/2002

– A Mexican soldier distributes protective masks to citizens in Veracruz, Mexico, 10/8/2002

...Calls to boycott the 2004 Olympics are on the rise online, with technetters in North America, Europe, and, in a bit of historic irony, South Africa all supporting the notion due to China’s delay in reporting suspicion of a disease outbreak to the WHO/UN until February – several weeks after cases had come to the government’s attention and had begun to spread to neighboring countries…

– The Overmyer Network Nighttime News, 10/10/2002 Special Report

…Chairman Zhu took several more steps to make amends with the world community by reversing course in October and sending all of their information on the virus and the progress they’d made on their vaccine to the WHO. Immediately afterwards, Zhu declared that the PRC government would work with the international community to develop a SARS vaccine...

– Omar Khan’s Breadstick Bridge: The PRC And The SARS Pandemic, 2009

“The Life of The Colonel” is a 2½-hour-long made-for-TV film covering the entire life of Colonel Sanders, using different actors for each time period. The lighthearted film, more “family-friendly” and lighter than many previous cinematic recreations of our 36th President’s sundry biography, begins with his young adventurous years (starring 21-year-old Erik Charles Nielsen in his film debut), then his start of the KFC mega-franchise (starring Jim Gaffigan, whose makeup alone is definitely worth an Emmy), then his Presidency (starring 68-year-old Robert Redford), and finally concluding with his final years (starring Anthony Hopkins, who also dons a stellar makeup job). Overall well-acted, this marathon of a TV movie plays as a combination of dramas and is very fast-paced – which is understandable given how much rich material to tries to cover in its 153 minutes of dense-but-entertaining footage…


…Colombian Peace Talks continued on event with SARS finding its way to Bogota. If anything, the mutual fear of viral transmission worked as a common enemy for both sides, and required the sort of extended pause in hostilities that mediators were hoping to establish by the end of 2002. SARS thus indirectly sped up the peace process. …Colombia’s head mediator during peace negotiations was Aurelio Iragorri Hormaza, who, while representing the ruling Colombian government, pointed to other countries “holding on” amid the pandemic despite internal divisions in his explanations for why Colombians needed to stay united once the SARS pandemic subsided, and why the country needed to permanently end the multisided civil conflict…

– Miguel LaRosa and German R. Mejia’s Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History, Chronicle Books, 2013


…challenger Winthrop Rockefeller lambasted incumbent Governor Nicky Bacon over his heavy-handed handling of the SARS-demic at tonight’s gubernatorial debate, calling Bacon’s shutting down of state borders and have state guardsmen place visitors in quarantine “draconian and likely unconstitutional.” Bacon referring to the “worse actions” undertaken by leaders during disease outbreaks of yesteryear, such as the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak, seemed to only worsen his position and validate rising complaints over his anti-SARS tactics…

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/14/2002

REPORT: US ECONOMY ADDED 500,000 SINCE JANUARY 2001, LOST 20% SINCE APRIL 2002; Wages, Prices Stabilize As New Batch Of Stimulus Checks Go Out

The New York Post, 10/15/2002

…Well, it seems that France’s daily reports on SARS cases and deaths were too overwhelming for 28 people in a small town north of Marseille, France, where local police have come across the site of what is left of an apparent suicide cult. This is a developing story…

– BBC News, 10/17/2002


The Washington Post, 10/19/2002

A GREEN WAVE? Four More States Will Vote On Cannabis Legalization This November

…cannabis decriminalization and medical marijuana legalization are on the ballot in Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Ohio. The state referendums may add four more states to the growing list of US states and territories that are gradually reforming their Mary Jane laws. The legal marijuana industry and its supporters are hopping for more wins and victories as marijuana supporters work to separate Mary Jane from other narcotics. “The hard stuff like heroin and cocaine, those horses are different colors, man,” says the regional director of Legalize The Good Stuff, an organization that aimed to educate Americas on the differences between marijuana and much more harmful narcotics. “Legitimizing what millions of Americans already practice will clean up pot-related crime and bring in millions of dollars for state-level markets – but nay if The Good Stuff if made a legitimate market”…

The Denver Post, Colorado newspaper, 10/21/2002

…federal relief and SARS Stimulus checks kept a majority of state governments afloat as the nation readied for a re-rise in SARS cases as the wintery season approached…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

Due to the uncomfortable nature of the current crisis, many pundits are predicting that Republicans will gain seats, or at least break even, in the midterm elections still scheduled for November 5. Some psephologists are even suggesting that there is in fact a high chance of gaining back either or both chambers despite Jackson’s job approval ratings currently remaining above 50%.

However, some GOP officials fear that such pro-GOP forecasts will lead to low Republican voter turnout and high Democratic turnout. Already, voter registration and voter turnout are higher than usual for a midterm, with hundreds of thousands of voting ballots being sent in through the mail.

– The Associated Press, 10/23/2002

“I lived through the Great Depression. This is nothing compared to that mess. Appreciate modern amenities, kids. Say what you what about Jesse Jackson, and I know you do and so do I, but Roosevelt never was as generous as this man is. Jackson actually sent out masks to us, while I remember Roosevelt doing was just talk on and on over the radio; actions speak louder than words!”

– Jeremiah M., octogenarian resident of Guymon, Oklahoma, local radio call-in segment, 10/24/2002

...Thanks to government compassion and assistance, the compliance and assistance of most state governments, Bellamycare, bolstered unemployment benefits, and emergency loans and bailouts for small businesses, the midterm election may not favor the GOP much as they were initially expected. Plus, many Democratic Party candidates are embracing a rising campaign strategy – constantly pointing how poorly other countries have fared this year compared to the US…

– CBS Evening News, political analysis segment, 10/25/2002 broadcast

…Even with SARS cases rising in the US overall, Democratic chances to retain or even make gains in both chambers of congress are improving as Election Day nears. Republican allegations that the Democratic Trifecta in D.C. is stymying economic recovery seem to be doing little to impede the President’s personal popularity, which is still hovering in the mid-to-high 50s in most national polls, and Democratic voter turnout may be higher than initially anticipated for this election cycle. All this and more after these messages...

– KNN, 10/25/2002 broadcast

– President Jackson stands with aides while campaigning in Raleigh, NC for Senatorial candidate D. T. Blue Jr. (a secret serviceman can be seen in the background); the image was controversial, as Jackson and others were criticized for momentarily removing their masks for the photo-op, even though all present had just been tested negative for SARS; 10/26/2002

“We’ll loosen restrictions as soon as you people stop getting each other sick!”

– The gaffe that cost Governor Susan Wismer (D-SD) re-election, 10/28/2002

SARS UPDATE: India Outpaces Russia In Cases As Both Nations Continue To Suffer “Hotspot” Outbreaks

The Guardian, side article, 29/10/2002

…tonight’s elections will, above all other subjects, be a referendum on President Jackson’s overall handling of the SARS pandemic…

– CBS Evening News, 11/5/2002 broadcast

November United States Senate election results, 2002

Date: November 5, 2002
Seats: 33 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
New Senate majority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
New Senate minority leader: Webb Franklin (R-MS)
Seats before election: 52 (D), 45 (R), 2 (I), 1 (LU)
Seats after election: 57 (D), 40 (R), 2 (I), 1 (LU)
Seat change: D ^ 5, R v 5, I - 0, LU - 0

Full List:
Alabama: Spencer Bachus (R) over Susan Parker (D); incumbent Albert Lee Smith Jr. (R) retired
Alaska: incumbent Jalmar “Jay” Kerttula (R) over Jim Sykes (D)
Arkansas: incumbent Jim Guy Tucker (D) over Jim Bob Duggar (R)
Colorado: Josie Heath (D) over Joseph Bernard Rogers (R); incumbent Bernie Goetz (R) retired
Delaware: Marjorie “Midge” Osterlund (D) over incumbent Raymond J. Clatworthy (R)
Georgia: Bob Barr (R) over Terry Coleman (D); incumbent Sam Nunn (D) retired
Idaho: incumbent Helen Chenoweth (R) over Alan Blinken (D)
Illinois: Jim Edgar (R) over Arthur Simon (replaced Rod Blagojevich) (D); incumbent John Bayard Anderson (R) retired
Iowa: incumbent Terry Branstad (R) over Tim Harthan (D)
Kansas: incumbent Carla J. Stovall (R) over John W. Carlin (D) and Steven Rosile (Liberty)
Kentucky: incumbent Martha Layne Osborne (D) over Jeff Hoover (R)
Louisiana: incumbent Clyde Cecil Holloway (R) over Mary Landrieu (D)
Maine: incumbent Angus King (I) over Chellie Pingree (D) and James D. Libby (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Bill Weld (R) over Tom Birmingham (D)
Michigan: incumbent Jack R. Lousma (R) over John D. Cherry Jr. (D) and John S. Mangopoulos (Reform)
Minnesota: Sharon Sayles Belton (D) over Carol Molnau (R); incumbent Gilbert Gutknecht Jr. (R) retired
Mississippi: incumbent Kirkwood Fordice (R) over Gilbert Fountain (D)
Montana: incumbent Larry Williams (R) over Hal G. Harper (D)
Nebraska: incumbent Orrin Hatch (R) over Charlie A. Matulka (D)
New Hampshire: Beverly Hollingworth (D) over incumbent Ken Blevens (R)
New Jersey: incumbent Mary V. Mochary (R) over Rob Andrews (D)
New Mexico: incumbent Roberto Mondragon (D) over Orlin G. Cole (R)
North Carolina: Daniel Terry Blue Jr. (D) over incumbent James Grubbs “Jim” Martin (R)
Oklahoma: Steve Largent (R) over David Walters (D); incumbent Bud Wilkinson (R) retired
Oregon: incumbent Norma Paulus (R) over Bill Bradbury (D)
Rhode Island: Elizabeth H. Roberts (D) over incumbent Nancy J. Mayer (R)
South Carolina: incumbent Strom Thurmond (R) over Alexander Sanders (D)
South Dakota: incumbent Larry Pressler (R) over Herman Eilers (D)
Tennessee: incumbent Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R) over Jim Cooper (D)
Texas: incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) over Ron Kirk (D/LRU) and Roy H. Williams (Green)
Vermont (special): incumbent appointee Anthony Pollina (D) over William Meub (R)
Virginia: George Allen (R) over Meyera Oberndorf (D); incumbent Richard Dudley Obenshain (R) retired
West Virginia: incumbent Jon McBride (R) over Jim Lees (D)
Wyoming: incumbent Barbara Cubin (R) over Joyce Jansa Corcoran (D)


“I love this state, and I love its people, but I probably would not have run for this office if it weren’t for my friends and family, who support my entering the race, and if it weren’t for what my father said to me shortly before his death. Days before his fatal heart attack back in 1970, he said to me, ‘Jimmy, never let anything hold you back. Not fear, not some statistic, not even pain. Let nothing ever hold you back, and nothing ever will.’”

– Senator-Elect Jim Edgar (R-IL), 11/5/2002

United States House of Representatives results, 2002

Date: November 5, 2002
Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: Barbara B. Kennelly (D-CT)
New House minority leader: David F. Emery (R-ME)
Last election: 219 (D), 215 (R), 1 (I)
Seats won: 226 (D), 208 (R), 1 (I)
Seat change: D ^ 7, R v 7, I - 0


United States Governor election results, 2002

Date: November 5, 2002
Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 36
Seats before: 35 (D), 12 (R), 3 (I)
Seats after: 33 (D), 16 (R), 1 (I)
Seat change: D v 2, R ^ 4, I v 2

Full list:
Alabama: Ryan DeGraffenried Jr. (D) over Richard Shelby (R); incumbent Winton Blount (R) was term-limited
Alaska: Niilo Emil Koponen (Democratic-Green-Union) over incumbent Kenneth James Fanning (Libertarian-Republican Alliance), Don Wright (AIP), W.A.R. Ross (Defense), and Ralph Winterrowd (Patriots’)
Arizona: incumbent David Fraser Nolan (R) over Betsey Bayless (D)
Arkansas: Winthrop Rockefeller (R) over incumbent Nicky Daniel “Nick” Bacon (D)
California: Dana Rohrabacher (R) over incumbent Kathleen Brown (D), Peter Camejo (Green) and Van Vo (Liberty)
Colorado: incumbent Wellington Webb (D) over Bo Callaway (R)
Connecticut: Phyllis Busansky (D) over John Rowland (R); incumbent Bruce Morrison (D) retired
Florida: Antoinette “Toni” Jennings (R) over Gary Pajcic (D); incumbent LeRoy Collins Jr. (D) retired
Georgia: Karen Christine Walker (R) over Roy Barnes (D); incumbent Eston Wycliffe “Wyc” Orr Sr. (D) retired
Hawaii: Gerald Michael “Mike” Gabbard (R) over Roseanne Barr (D); incumbent Pat Saiki (R) retired
Idaho: incumbent Larry J. Echo Hawk (D) over Daniel Adams (R)
Illinois: Jim Cantalupo (R) over Pat Quinn (D); incumbent Darrell Issa (R) retired
Iowa: incumbent Sally Pederson (D) over Kim Reynolds (R)
Kansas: Nancy Boyda (D) over Tim Shallenburger (R); incumbent Martha Keys (D) retired
Maine: Matthew Dunlap (D/DSA) over Tom Connolly (R), Jonathan Carter (G) and John Michael (I); incumbent James B. Longley Jr. (I) retired
Maryland: incumbent Eileen M. Rehrmann (D) over Spear Lancaster (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Michael Dukakis (D) over Daniel Grabauskas (R)
Michigan: Ronna Romney (R) over incumbent James J. Blanchard (D)
Minnesota: incumbent Nancy Elizabeth Lee Johnson (DFL) over Steven Sviggum (IRL)
Nebraska: Lowen Kruse (D) over Mike Johanns (R) and Stormy Dean (I); incumbent Kay A. Orr (R) retired
Nevada: incumbent Doug Swanson (R) over Joe Neal (D)
New Hampshire: incumbent George Condodemetraky (D) over Craig Benson (R)
New Mexico: Gary Johnson (R/Liberty) over Martin David Bacon (D/Green/DSA/LRU); Richard “Cheech” Marin (D/La Raza Unida) was term-limited
New York: Andrew Cuomo (D/Working Families) over Tom Golisano (I/Conservative) and incumbent Bernadette Castro (R/Liberal)
Ohio: incumbent William J. Brown (D) over Paul Eugene Gillmor (R)
Oklahoma: J. C. Watts Jr. (R) over Brad Henry (D); incumbent Robert S. Kerr III (D) retired
Oregon: John Elwood “Bud” Clark (I) over Ted Kulongoski (D) and Kevin Mannix (R)
Pennsylvania: Lynn Swann (R) over Catherine Baker Knoll (D); incumbent Lynn Yeakel (D) retired
Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse (D) over Ken Block (R); incumbent Bob Healey (I) retired
South Carolina: Lindsey Graham (R) over Jim Hodges (D); incumbent Elizabeth J. “Liz” Patterson (D) retired
South Dakota: George S. Mickelson (R) over incumbent Susan Wismer (D) and Nathan Barton (Liberty)
Tennessee: Bart Gordon (D) over Ron Ramsey (R); incumbent Bill Haslam (R) was term-limited
Texas: Kinky Friedman (D) over Tom Loeffler (R); incumbent Henry Cisneros (D/La Raza Unida) retired
Vermont: incumbent Howard Dean (D) over Jim Douglas (R) and Cornelius Hogan (I)
Wisconsin: incumbent Kathleen Falk (D) over Mary E. Panzer (R)
Wyoming: Mary Mead (R) over Paul Hickey (D); incumbent Harriet Elizabeth Byrd (D) retired



…Tuesday’s elections showed Americans approving of the President and Congress, while several governor’s seats flipped (with four Democrats and one Republican losing re-election) over their more statewide reactions to the still-ongoing pandemic...

The New York Times, 11/6/2002

“It’s Not Gone Yet!”: As Cold Weather Sets In, US SARS Cases Are On The Rise!

The Washington Post, 11/15/2002

“The great economic contraction of our generation keeps on going, we still haven’t reached the trough of this economic cycle, and the Democrats keep talking about how greatly the economy is going to expand once this whole crisis is over. Yeah. Like that really helps, talking about post-pandemic America instead of mid-pandemic America!”

– outgoing US Senator Bernie Goetz (R-CO), 11/26/2002


– The Wall Street Journal, 12/4/2002

…The second United Korea Presidential election was expected to be a cakewalk for whomever won Kim Dae-jung’s endorsement. The incumbent retiring President was extremely popular, though many Former Northerners were relieved that Kim did not seem to plan on serving as leader for life. Thus, when Kim Dae-jung’s Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) nominated Lee In-je, Lee was initially considered to be a shoo-in for the election. However, three other candidates soon entered the race and upended it. The first two were the last-minute entrances of two other candidates (both former MDP members who had lost said party’s nomination to Lee) – Roh Moo-hyun, and Chung Dong-young, with both running poorly-organized campaigns – which siphoned off support from Lee.

The third upending candidate was Hong Sook-ja, a female diplomat and feminist activist who served as President of the International Council of Women from 1986 to 1988, briefly ran for President in 1987, was the appointed Governor of South Hamgyong in the former North from 1997 to 2001, during which time she worked to root out domestic abuse, and improve food and energy production and healthcare. The nominee of the Social Democratic Party, Hong used the technet to spread her message, calling for anti-poverty and anti-discrimination measures. Hong also openly criticized United Korea’s “male-dominated society,” but noted that “in the past decade, miraculous accomplishments have been performed. Together, we toppled a dictatorship. Now, it is time to topple discrimination.” Hong polled fairly poorly among many Former Northerners due to her more socialistic rhetoric, but she did poll very well among female voters. Misogyny in the press was criticized by external media outlets, and claims of early “voter intimidation” (i.e., husbands and boyfriends “pressuring” their wives and girlfriends to not vote for Hong) made their rounds on the technet as well.

Meanwhile, DLP nominee Kwon Young-ghil and GNP nominee Choi Byung-ryul each called for the other to drop out.

In a six-way race, Lee was expected to win, with Kwon and Choi coming in second and third place, not necessarily in that order, and with Hong in fourth. However, Kwon and Choi’s bitter and unpopular attacks toward each other lowered their support more than expected, while female voter turnout was much larger than anticipated.

On 19 December 2002, with only 28% of the vote, Hong was elected President of United Korea over Lee (26%), Choi (19%), Kwon (18%), Roh (5%) and Chung (4%). Only 35% of her support came from The Former North, with a plurality of Former Northerners backing Lee; despite initial concerns, incidents of violence in connection to the results were minimal on both sides of the former DMZ. Instead, calls for a two-round Presidential election system increased dramatically… Hong entered office on 25 February 2003…

– Choe Yong-ho’s Bittersweet: Korea After Reunification, Columbia University Press, 2010


…SARS is still hammering many countries across the globe, but cases in Africa, Oceania and South America are dropping as the Earth’s southern hemisphere relishes in the summer heat…

The New York Times, 12/25/2002


…Oliver Gleichenhaus, whose spicy "Ollieburgers" are sold nationwide, died Thursday from heart failure. He was 91 years old. Gleichenhaus opened “Ollie's Sandwich Shop” in 19305, and his secret recipe for his classic “Ollieburgers” made the shop a popular local spot for many years. In 1971, a former KFC executive formed a partnership with Gleichenhaus and expanded the shop into the “Ollie’s Trolley” fast-food franchise still fond today in 29 states...

The New York Times, 12/30/2002 [6]

The launch date came and went without incident. Liftoff occurred in weather typical for Florida that time of year. The only prominent visual element that made the audience of onlookers locked in the early years of the 21st century – a distinction to be seen in photos and videos in the coming decades by the incoming generations – was the high number of face masks worn by onlookers standing under five feet apart. All of us “Marstronauts,” as the press labeled us, were SARS-free, as we had been in quarantine for over a month, and were tested one more time prior to boarding for safe measure. There was no drama; no last-minute replacement; no eleventh-hour mechanical breakdown or computer error. Not even a bird strike on the way up.

“We’ve been really lucky,” I remember Poutine saying. “That’s very good sign.”

“Is it?” Captain Polansky asked.

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

NASA’s “Ares” Program’s hard work left Earth without a hitch. “Upon arrival, the landing module Seeker 3 will depart from the shuttleplane Milestone 1 and touch down at Jezero Crater. We know what we are doing. We have reviewed safety, testing, simulations, hypotheticals. The brave men and women on board have logged extensive amounts of time in space, with Payload Commander Frankie Chang Diaz sending record-breaking 26 months on board the I.S.S. in 1995.” NASA Director Dale Myers proudly touted the extensive work his administration had done in covering “all bases.”

“It was important that there was good chemistry and no tension among a crew stuck together for a 15-months long round-trip voyage in a limited amount of room,” noted then-Deputy Director of NASA Barbara Radding Morgan. “Like quarantine, but in space and with loads of math homework” was how she described their situation to younger space enthusiasts who watched the shuttleplane launch with wide, inspired eyes.

Above: the Milestone 1, blasting off from Cape Canaveral, January 11, 2003

– Harland McKeeble’s Dreams, Reality and Legacy: The Epic Journey of The Milestone and Seeker, Heinlein Books, 2020


The Washington Post, 1/12/2003

…As 2003 began, President Montezuma’s reforms of the Mexican military improved soldier sufficiency significantly; in January 2003, Executive of Mexico’s Federal Police said in an interview, “Our soldiers are learning how to do the job of keeping the streets clean. ...I wouldn’t call it a ‘police state’ like some do, though. I’d call it a ‘safe state,’ instead.” The improved performances and the retreating of several cartels to other countries allowed for the gradual withdrawal of American “assistance forces” from Mexico to occur at an even smoother rate...

– Lynnette Sánchez-Foster’s A Brief History of Modern Mexico, Santa Fe Publishing, 2019


…reduced interest rates are encouraging bigger spending habits, which is giving our consumer economy a boost. Government spending on housing and sanitation is aimed at encouraging “positive mental thinking” and “moral actions;” the same sort of attitude is being applied to the building of more detox clinics for nonviolent drug addicts. “We have to create a more forgiving and more understanding view of drug addiction. Most of these people are victims,” says the Health Minister… Federal spending on public works and employment agencies are also yielding positive results... To placate Zapatista-centric conflicts seemingly on the rise in Chiapas, Moctezuma has cut back on laws limiting indigenous people from farming, and is promoting agricultural projects in neighboring areas for the local subsistence farmers. As American President Larry Dinger once put it, “it costs a fortune to oppress a people.” …Cuts to business payroll taxes for new hires are promising, but President Moctezuma is reportedly being “very careful” not to exceed the self-imposed “Debt Floor” of 5% of the national GDP ($1 owed on every $20 brought in) in order to prevent another bankruptcy/debt disaster…

El Economista, Mexican newspaper, 1/14/2003

[1] Real event, by the way:
[2] Inspired by an old post (“1998 Oceanic General Election”) made by @Newne76 , circa May 2, 2019; also: my apologies for the color banners being incorrect (D’oh!)
[3] Based on a brilliant idea that @Andrew Boyd posted in a “laxer international copyright law” thread on September 17th.
[4] OTL, NASA discovered that liquid water does exist on Mars on 9/28/2015, we just evidence suggesting it much earlier due to all the probes sent out prior to the manned mission.
[5] Italicized sections are taken from here:
[6] IOTL, he died after open-heart surgery in January 1991 at the age of 79. Here, his franchise being more successful means he can afford higher-quality healthcare prior to the implementation of American UHC/Bellamycare, and so he manages to stick around for another decade or so:

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: Soon!
Chapter 86: January 2003 – August 2003
Chapter 86: January 2003 – August 2003

“The greatest threat to victory is the acceptance of failure as a possible outcome.”

– Nick Rowe (TTL)

Cain and company planned on 2003 being the year the company finally bounced back. SARS was expected to go away before its conclusion, and FLG Inc.’s CEO had finally yielded to the FLG Board’s calls to harness the technet for delivery on top of the pre-existing drive-thru model.

But unknown factors always have a funny way of throwing plans off-course. For KFC, the factor in question was an explosive and scandalous exposé, courtesy of the Associated Press. According to the report, KFC had contracts with several chicken farming corporations where the living conditions of the chickens was unquestionably inhumane – unsanitary cages so cramped that many birds were permanently disabled from broken legs, wings and spines, workers brutally throwing the chickens into “the killing machines,” breaking their necks in a manner of treatment not even fit for the likes of Lynwood Drake. The photographs and videotapes sneaked out of farms – appropriately nicknamed “holding cells” – in Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri spurred on calls for people to boycott the company and bolstered the efforts of animal rights groups such as HATS (Humane Animal Treatment Society) and NAPO (National Animal Protection Organization).

Inside FLG Inc., Board members met with PR executives to coordinate damage control. On the fourteenth, two days after the scandal hit the pavement – and, more prominently, the technet – David C. Novak, KFC CEO since 2000, told reporters “their decrease in quality in their attempt to cut corners and costs was completely unbeknownst to us, possibly hidden from our inspectors.” It appeared the company’s plan was to pin the scandal almost entirely on the farms in question, only for FJG Inc. CEO Cain to go off-script…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

“That report is biased hogwash funded by our competitors. Those pictures were taken out of context, and that video is heavily edited. The journalists who turned out this pack of lies may face legal consequences for this heinous slander.”

– Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc. CEO Herman Cain, 1/15/2003

But to the annoyance of Herman Cain, there would be no legal challenge to the exposé. Cain’s comments only worsened as the week went on, as he contradicted himself on the sixteenth; he claimed he had never met with their farm managers of the Missouri farms in question despite journalists releasing footage of Cain conversing with said managers at the 2001 Finger Lickin’ Good Inc. Restaurant Manager Convention in St. Louis. The main problem with Cain discussing the matter with members of the press was that it occurred within prior discussions with Board members. The BoD and others within the company management knew that, this time, the scandal being a fabrication was not the case. While it was false that KFC approved of such animal treatment, it was true that KFC had cut back on regulations in order to maximize profits and loosen up cash flow to pay worker salaries. Cain’s decision to double down and call for other news outlets to inspect the other farms that worked with KFC on the seventeenth worsened the company’s situation even further.

According to Novak, him and the other CEOs and COOs of FLG Inc.’s chains had to “stage a mini-intervention,” meeting with their boss on the eighteenth to convince him to let PR stabilize the situation. Two days later, Novak announced the chain had terminated their business deals with the farming companies in question due to a “good faith” section of their contracts being violated, leading to a court challenge from the Nebraskan farm company “Platte Plucking Farms Inc.” They were joined by the South Dakota and Missouri farms after all of them were shut down by health inspectors the next month.

Meanwhile, KFC’s PR and HR worked overtime to address customer concerns, while the company’s numbers-crunchers sought to improve cash flow by no longer tying quality controls to it, but this was initially unsuccessful…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


…“Their fight for equality is similar to the fight against slavery, and, more so, to the fight against anti-miscegenation laws that once prevented interracial marriage,” the President said today when praising BLUTAG veterans of KWII, and ultimately became the first incumbent US President to publicly endorse the notion of extending marriage rights to BLUTAGO Americans. Of the five living former US Presidents (Mondale, Denton, Kemp, Bellamy, and Dinger), only Mondale and Bellamy have publicly supported same-sex marriage, both in 1994…

Comments Section:

Comment 1:
Had I known he thought this, I wouldn’t’ve voted Dem in Novem.

Comment 2:
Good on ol’ Jesse. Stand up for what you believe in, I always say.

Comment 3:
If he’d said this in October, the Dems would have lost the Senate and House.

Reply 1 to Comment 3: No he wouldn’t; Democrats kept talking about how JJ’s handled SARS way better than other countries, and we’re all enjoying those stimulus checks

Reply to Reply 1 to Comment 3: I dunno I think if that mid-November spike in cases had hit before the elections the Democrats would have at least break even then, yeah?

–, 1/22/2003 e-article


…The cheering crowd in the stadium seemed eerily quiet at only 20% seating capacity. Federal and state requirement, plus concerns that the game could become “another Toronto,” as in a major center for “superspreading,” led to the typically large crowds to shrink and the tailgating parties to be cancelled. But pigskin enthusiasts across the country nevertheless cheered on the players and partook in Superbowl traditions, just from the comforts of their own homes instead of in-person...

The New York Times, 1/26/2003


…The new Governor of California, Republican Dana Rohrabacher, has in the past expressed strong pro-Russia opinions. Rohrabacher won last November’s gubernatorial election by a narrow margin over an increasingly unpopular and controversial incumbent…

The Washington Post, 1/27/2003


…despite many Americans breaking quarantine and safezoning measures nationwide during the Winter Holiday season to visit loved ones for Christmas, Hanukkah and other religious observances, cases of new SARS cases were lower than anticipated. In our state, for instance, the last Arizona resident to be tested positive for SARS was so on December 29, after visiting grandchildren in California. The national rate of cases is on an uneven decline, but a decline nonetheless…

The Arizona Republic, 1/28/2003

…We now turn to politics, where Senator and former Vice President Mike Gravel has introduced legislation for the abolishing of the IRS. Gravel has been critical of the complicated nature of America’s tax system, especially its alleged pro-wealth loopholes, and believes the simplest solution is to dismantle the service and replace it with a new, smaller, simpler organization. Since returning to the US Senate in 1999, Gravel has also voiced support for abolishing the Federal Income Tax, alongside other taxes and several social service programs, in favor of implementing a 20% National Sales Tax and a Federal Aid Dividend Program…

– ABC Morning News, 1/29/2003

MCTEER REORGANIZING CABINET: Ministers Jane Sterk, Lorne Nystrom To Stay, Former Hockey Player Bobby Orr To Be New Health Minister

The Toronto Star, Canadian newspaper, 2/2/2003


…While the states and much of Europe are seeing their rates of transmitting SARS continue to fall, the virus is still quickly spreading in India, and the authorities are struggling to keep the situation under control. The cramped living conditions in the country’s northern “belt” of urban centers makes quarantine and safezoning measures difficult to maintain. Additionally, Indian citizens fleeing these urban areas seem to be spreading SARS to more spread-out populations, which is leading to violent incidents between those areas' locals and “the urban refugees.”

Above: People boarding a bus in New Delhi without adhering to spacing and masking measures, save for a few

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 2/2/2003

The top three House Democratic leaders (Speaker Barbara Kennelly, House Majority Leader William Herbert Gray III, and House Majority Whip Ed Markey) were torn over Jesse Jackson’s suggestions to Secretary of State Ann Richards that the US “might just have to” intervene in India.

“Our numbers are dropping. We’re doing better than expected, while India’s doing worse than expected. Their numbers keep rising, their mortality rate is higher than ours. What I’m saying is that the situation is under control here, but out of control over there,” said the President in this multicaller teleconference.

“What about the Prime Minister of India?” Asked Kennelly.

“Lal Krishna Advani? That man balked at my proposal. Just medical advisors and experts, some supplies, extra masks made over here instead of over there. Isn’t that ironic – that their numbers are rising because their mask sweatshops are staying open? I tell you, that old buzzard, he’s gonna kill half his own countrymen if he doesn’t take this thing more seriously.”

“Well, how do you twist another world leader’s arm?” Gray inquired.

“I was thinking of condemning his actions at the UN. Lee’s up to it,” the President said about his UN Ambassador, former US Congressman Lee Hamilton.

“Maybe a bluff, like the threat of a trade war, would be taken more seriously than just harsh words,” suggested Kennelly.

“I don’t know, maybe we should remain focused on our own cases before we try intervention in India,” Gray countered. “We shouldn’t strain ourselves with a nation with nearly three times as many people and nearly ten times as many cases.”

“Well we have to do something, we can’t just turn a blind eye to their suffering just because their leader is,” responded Jackson.

“I agree,” spoke Markey. “Lal Krishna Advani’s actions do not define his nation and he will not be in office forever. When he’s out and this pandemic is over, we’ll want to be on friendly terms with the industries, businesses, and people of India. And we can better assure that by establishing a humanitarian reputation now, when they as much help as they can get.”

“We just need to get certain Indian politician – regional leader, you know, the governors of India’s states and territories – to sign some agreements with us,” noted Ann Richards.

Jackson nodded and politely but sternly replied, “Then let’s get on with it, huh?”

– Jim Droder’s, Behind The Masks: SARS vs. The World, Sunrise Publishers, 2008

COCAIN’S LEGACY: A Special Report; A Drug Running Its Course Begins Hiding With Its Users

…much like the crack epidemic of the 1980s, the new generation of adolescents and young adults are taking notice of the past twelve years and taking note of the powerfully destructive tendencies of drug abuse, with particular scrutiny aimed at cocaine. According to extensive polling, the rate of narcotic use among Americans under 18 is at a ten-year low. The damaging effects of cocaine are seen across racial lines as well as generational groups. Cocaine has been linked to a 20% increase in the homicide rate for black male victims under 25 during the 1980s, a rate that peaked at 24% in 1999…

Time Magazine, early February 2003 issue

“They’re called Do-Nothing Democrats for a reason. It was Denton and Dinger who are responsible for the gradual drop in recreadrug use among young people. It’s just that Bellamy and Jackson were in office when their zero-tolerance recreadrug policies really started taking effect!”

– US Rep. Bo Gritz (R-ID), 2/13/2003

“WE WILL LAND ON THE MOON IN FIVE YEARS”: Saudi Space Agency Announces Bold Plans For 2008


Comments Section:
ANONYMOUS: “Of course they want to claim the moon – a cresent moon is on almost all of their flags!”

–, 2/15/2003 e-article


…It is already legal to use marijuana, if authorized by a physician, in Alaska, New Mexico, and the “first three” states of Massachusetts, California and Colorado [1]. Recreational marijuana, which requires no prescription, is only legal in Alaska and New Mexico, though Colorado may soon join that list. …Overseas, medical marijuana is legal in much of Europe, including the UK but not France, as well as in Australia and Brazil…

The Chicago Tribune, 2/16/2003

…And in California, Governor Dana Rohrabacher is facing controversy and criticism for his friendly attitude toward Russia. The Governor is fiercely defending his travelling to Moscow in 2000 and 2001, officially as Chairman of the US House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, amid claims that his pro-Russia tendencies are hurting American businesses and workers in California. A strident advocate for space exploration, especially US-led space exploration, Rohrabacher claims there is, quote, “nothing nefarious about any of this,” unquote...

– KNN, 2/17/2003 broadcast


…with only seven Congresspersons (most vocally Republican Bo Gritz of Idaho) in opposition, the House today approved of a bipartisan resolution condemning several white supremacist and white nationalist groups, including all of the multiple minor groups using the name “Ku Klux Klan.” Demonstrating Republican calls for upholding President Dinger’s “domestic security” policies, GOP leaders agreed with Democrats that such groups “impede American freedoms and have no place in the twenty-first century,” said House Minority Leader David Emery (R-ME).

Rep. Bo Gritz, on the other hand, criticized the resolution by noting “what about the X-Men, and other Black nationalist groups. The resolution officially condemns all hate groups and groups supporting and promoting the persecution of groups based on race. Well what about Black supremacist groups, does this cover those groups? You say it technically does, but how do the American people know that for sure?”

The resolution has no force of law, but it is meant to be a powerful display of political unity, as 382 Congresspersons are now on record condemning these groups…

The Washington Post, 2/19/2003


…Roscosmos’ collaborative Russia/UT space rocket project failed during the engine burn, causing it to crash back into the Aktobe Testing Grounds, located in rural western Kazakhstan Nation. The resulting explosion has incinerated half a hangar and has injured at least seven people, to varying degrees of severity, most likely from high burns and shrapnel...

–, 2/21/2003 e-news article

…While ten people flew across the cosmos, thousands back on Earth were living in fear of De Beers, an international corporation controlling 40% of the world’s rough diamond mining and distributing. The corporation’s operations in Botswana were atrocious but gaining international condemnation thanks to the technet. With each passing year, more people became aware of how De Beers’ acts: of the thousands of indigenous San Bushmen people the corporation was trying to forcibly relocate since diamonds were discovered in San Bushmen lands in Botswana in the late 1980s; of the corporation artificially inflating the price of diamonds; of De Beers’ use of slave labor to operate the mines; and of the corporation’s indirect links to the corruption of local and regional government officials in Botswana, who sought to ensure workers failed whenever they sought better treatment via political venues.

The San Bushmen people, though, was not without friends. The non-governmental organization Survival International was in their corner, claiming the corporation’s forced removal of San Bushmen from their homes and homelands equated to a cultural genocide. A major ally, though, was found in President Jesse Jackson. Under his administration, the US government condemned De Beers’ work ethics, and amplified legal actions. Jackson also discussed the matter with President Chris Hani of South Africa; since entering office in 1994, South African-Botswana relations had waned considerably due to Hani’s anti-corruption measures.

After attempts to pressure the corporation into altering their policies went nowhere, the Jackson administration tried a different approach, and went after De Beers’ books. In late February 2002, the US Department of Justice charge De Beers of price fixing in connection to their distribution of diamonds in US markets, and soon, via an executive order inevitably upheld by the courts, banned it and intermediaries from selling what Jackson called “De Beers’ blood diamonds” in all 50 states and territories. The subsequent legal battle went on for several years, with Jackson and company remaining a thorn in the corporation’s side the whole time…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


…the former colorectal cancer survivor passed away suddenly from an unspecified ailment…

The Orlando Sentinel, 3/1/2003


…Dana Rohrabacher was elected on a platform of dismantling Governor Kathleen Brown’s “War on Mary Jane” by legalizing recreational marijuana (along with supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners), making this the most pro-marijuana state law in the union. …At last week’s ceremony at which Rohrabacher signed the bill into law, he said “The Recreadrug Wars are costing Californians individual freedom and is responsible for gang violence, civil forfeiture, poverty, and the militarization of the police”…

The Sacramento Union, 3/2/2003

“Not all Blacks back Jesse. There are Blacks who are conservative, there Blacks who are liberal, there Blacks who are progressive, there Blacks who are libertarian, and there are Blacks who are populist. There are Blacks who are nationalist, there are Blacks who are moderate, and there are Blacks who are centrist. To corral all of them together into one bloc, into one party, into one voting bloc, based on color instead of content, would create a political tent so big, P. T. Barnum would rise from the grave out of sheer jealousy alone! I oppose the US having just one political party for just one very diverse group of people for the same reason why I opposed Russia being a one-party system during the Cold War – because opposition and political competition is healthy, and play a vital and necessary role in our country’s people’s ability to exercise their freedom of choice.”

– Former VP James H. Meredith (R-MS), 60 Minutes interview, 3/3/2003


Kommersant (The Businessman), Russian newspaper, 3/6/2003

SOURCE: Supreme Court Likely to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage “Soon”

…petitions for writs of certiorari have already been filed with the Supreme Court…

The Washington Post, 3/9/2003

…Forest fires have broken out outside of Voronezh, in southwestern Russia, in a furious blaze spreading across the region’s forest steppe that truly highlights the destructive effects of Global Climate Disruption, or GCD…

– The Overmyer Network, 3/11/2003 broadcast


– The Yakima Herald-Republic, Washington state newspaper, 3/15/2003


…an official “inquiry” is being opened into claims of foreign influence being present in both Rohrabacher’s gubernatorial campaign and in his current gubernatorial staff…

The Los Angeles Times, 3/16/2003

MARS MISSION UPDATE: Propulsion Systems, Life-Support Equipment Functioning Normally

– NASA press release, 3/18/2003


The Guardian, UK newspaper, 19/3/2003

…In March 2003, a new competitor emerged out from its regional success in the American northwest. The Herring Network, founded in 1999 in Reno, Nevada, was the brainchild of Robert S. Herring Sr., a businessman who decided to found a hard-c conservative media company in Reno Nevada to protest what he viewed as America’s biased media companies (the big five: ABC, NBC, CBS, TON, KNN). At the time, Herring was a major supporter of President Dinger and the Wide-Awakes movement spawned out from jingoistic supporters of the Second Korean War. “Overmyer’s at least centrist, so is Kennedy and Turner, to a lesser extent, but the older three, especially NBC, they were just too much for me. And then, year later, their downplaying of Jackson’s overreach of Presidential powers during the SARS pandemic, that was the final straw,” said Herring in a 2015 interview. Herring invested much of his fortune into expanding the scope of his network across the plains as the SARS pandemic slowly subsided, and offered viewers “different takes” on political and social events in ways that appealed to certain conservative viewers…

– Michael O’Connor’s A Tale of Two Teds: How Kennedy And Turner Built A Media Empire, Greenwood Press, 2017

…The US military budget for 2004 was slashed even further than it was for 2001, 2002, and 2003…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


…Rohrabacher, whom Russia favors so highly the Kremlin gave him a code name, may have possibly accepted Russian government “kickbacks” after signing a trade deal with Russia’s Trade Minister back in February. The deal itself was controversial as pundits on the left and right claimed to was too beneficial to Russian manufacturers, to the detriment of California workers…

–, 3/22/2003

“Apparently, the Governor was convinced to run into order to ensure a better trade deal for a foreign entity, which, apparently, is only legal if you don’t accept payments each time you do something that favors that country over America.”

– Brian Williams, NBC News, 3/23/2003

“Dana put the interests of Russia ahead of the people of California, who were essentially tricked into voting for him, deceived by a heinous cad of a man.”

– Rev. Jerry Brown, 3/24/2003

POLL: US Citizen Approval of President Jackson’s Handling of the SARS Global Pandemic

Approve: 58%
Disapprove: 31%
Uncertain: 11%

– Gallup, 3/25/2003

…Bulgaria has become the latest country to join the European Union. With E.U. officials approving of Bulgaria’s final legal, they should officially join the international organization on the first of June…

– BBC News, 27/3/2003 broadcast

…Russian officials claimed that their nation’s record-breaking forest fires in 2003 were the direct fault of embers from post-SARS “survival party” celebrations. Their Interior Minister make note of similar celebrations occurring in those campaign grounds for decades, but not the apparent lack of major forest fires breaking out in the region before. This is because of the truth of matter, that the region’s dry climate was becoming more arid due to irresponsible shifting cultivation and by slash-and-burn tree clearing practicing that the Interior Ministry had allowed logging companies to perform since the NDRR’s conception in the mid-1980s. Records leaked in 2013 reveal the Russian government largely dismissed GCD concerns under Lobkovskaya and her predecessor, and regulations were often ignored or simply not enforced until late 2005...

– Avril Stevenson’s A Collective Need: The Race To Reverse Global Climate Disruption, Simon & Schuster, 2020


…With the Prime Minister of India refusing to accept “any foreign aide” from the US government, federal officials have assisted the Texas state government, and several mask-making businesses, in establishing a “humanitarian business deal” with the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Home to the most densely-populated areas of India, Uttar Pradesh is considered to be the most-populous country subdivision in the world. In this section of northern-central India, the SARS mortality rate is at nearly 20%, staggeringly higher than the world average of 8.5%, due to hospitals being overwhelmed and the region’s difficulty in establishing safezoning measures; in addition, ethnic clashes between majority Hindus and minority Muslims have only worsened the situation over there...

The Houston Chronicle, 4/2/2003


…an E-frame model first designed in the 1990s and inspired by the Jaguar E-type, the 2004 model harnesses the sweeping lines of the classic “vintage” car it emulates, but with all the latest amenities and features without compromising the look of the car. With high performance ability and durability, the Growler is an homage to the 1960s that is brilliant and beautiful.

Production and release of the 2004 model was delayed by the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic, and so Ford heavily promoted it online. The utilization of e-commerce during this period proved how helpful the technet could be in regard to both communication and commerce...


Weight: 1,550 kilograms

Engine: 5.0-litre V-8

– [2]

…With the National Initiative Amendment now in the hands of the states, Mike Gravel turned his attention to foreign policy. He was consistently critical of Jackson treatment of American intervention in Colombia, saying “We should not stay in there until the peace treaty is ratified, we should pull out right now. We should have pulled out over a decade ago!” in 2001. Hoping to prevent a possible primary challenge from the former Vice President, Jackson held teleconferences with Gravel several times in the spring and summer of 2003. They primarily discussed the merits of intervention, with Gravel calling American peacekeeping forces in Colombia “militarism veiled as humanitarianism.” The two politicians agreed the foreign aid was almost always warranted, but differed on approach. When Jackson brought up the chaos in India, Gravel adamantly refused to support a military approach even hypothetically: “You send in doctors to heal, not soldiers.”

It is debatable how influential these private discussions were, at least in the short term. While many WH officials claim they convinced Gravel against running for President in 2004, others, including Gravel’s second wife, claim he had already decided against another run weeks beforehand…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

…In mid-April 2003, CIA officials together with Colombian national police successfully thwarted an AUC plot to bomb the FARC/ELN/Government peace accords negotiations commencing in Bogota. The incident led to some concern that the negotiations were occurring too slowly. Jackson responded to these concerns three days later, by noting at a meeting with the President of Colombia that “Peace is not just a word but a process. And even after the process of peace has been completed, there are always continued conflicting interests. This is seen in nations, in states, in counties, in cities, even in some families. But we cannot give up on peace simply because the length of the process eats away at our patience and makes us want to give in to our natural urges for immediate results.”…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015


The New York Times, 4/11/2003

“IT SEEMS ASSEMBLY LINES ARE STILL HOTSPOTS”: Governor Cantalupo Passes New Factory Regulations As SARS Cases Resurgence Linked To Re-Openings

The Chicago Tribune, 4/21/2003


The Louisville Courier, 4/23/2003

…According to this latest investigative report from The Sacramento Union, the FBI had warned Presidents Dinger and Jackson that Rohrabacher, a US Congressman from 1989 to 2003, was “an interest” to the Kremlin under Russian President Viktor Chernomyrdin and incumbent President Nina Lobkovskaya, but did not consider the then-congressman to be a serious risk to our nation’s security…

– KNN, 4/24/2003


–, 4/29/2003 e-article


Baghdad, IRAQ – When two-term incumbent President Abd ar-Razzaq Said al-Naif opted to retire after twelve productive years in office, he established a major precedence…


…Saleh Muhammed al-Mutlaq won the Presidency of Iraq on May 1st by a 7% margin in the popular vote, but due to neither major candidate winning a majority of the popular vote, the end result of the election was determined by a national representative system. Said system was the Council of Representatives (in which a candidate needed a 2/3rds majority to win) until the implementation of the US-inspired Iraqi Electorate College was established in 1991.

Four candidates won districts in the election: Saleh Muhammed al-Mutlaq (b. 1947) of the ASU (“moderate” faction), a former Ba’ath Party member who supports reforming Iraq’s justice system; Ahmed Chalabi (b. 1944) of the (ASU “conservative” faction), a businessman with close U.S. ties; Ahmad Husayn Khudayir as-Samarrai (b. 1941) of the Iraqi Ba’ath (reformed) Party, a career politician who underperformed and won only one Electoral Division; and Ibrahim al-Jaafari (b. 1947) of the Dawa Party, anti-Israel politician who made some inroads among Kurdish and even some Sunni populations with a negative campaign that blamed all non-Iraqi people for Iraq’s infrastructure issues, and won only one Electoral Division but still accused all three other candidates of individually committing voter fraud – “especially” al-Mutlaq because “he was the one who was successful at it.”

On May 2, 2002, the Electoral College was deadlocked like so:

Al-Mutlag had 66, Chalabi had 59, as-Samarrai had 10, and al-Jaafari and 8. However, one the second convening of the EC on May 3, as-Samarrai threw his support to al-Mutlag, giving him 76 of 143 EC votes – a majority, and thus the Presidency…

–, 5/8/2003 e-article


…This week, New Hampshire’s Preservation Society is hosting a fundraiser to cover the latest round of repairs made to The Old Man of The Mountain, the Granite state’s most famous landmark. The “Old Man” is a naturally-created rock formation of five granite cliff ledges in the state’s White Mountains that, when viewed from the north, resembles the profile on an elderly man, with a heavy brow and a powerful chin, jutting out the side of a mountain. In the past several decades, several New Hampshire Governors, from Malcolm McLane to Ovide Lamontagne, have helped preserve this iconic image, but erosion is still damaging this source of regional pride.

The mountain’s freezing temperatures make weather-proofing measures increasingly difficult. Prominent cracks in The Old Man’s “forehead” have existed since at least the 1920s, meaning that the profile is starting to erode away, but not if the people of the Granite State can help it. Cement, plastic covering, steel rods and turnbuckles are giving this Old Man one doozy of a facelift.

The NHPS’s fundraiser with feature several local and prominent rock bands such as Tim McCoy and The Papercuts, Scissorfight, and Joe Asselin, with the proceeds going to the NHPS for The Old Man of the Mountain and other state landmarks...

The Boston Globe, 5/11/2003


…Saudi Arabian media claim the “megarocket” exerts 3.1 million pounds of thrust upon ignition, and exceeds all ballistic requirements for such a rocket in terms of new materials and designs. The test-firing demonstration was closed to media outlets, but the state agency has released footage and photographs of the test…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 15/5/2003


…President Dinger campaigned hard in majority-Latino communities, arguing that intervention in Colombia and Mexico was crime-based, not ethnic-based. The move seemed to pay off, as the 2000 Presidential Election results revealed a rise in Latinos voting Republican, up 22% from 1996. However, this may have most likely been due to Dinger campaign’s depiction of Jackson as a left-wing extremist – a characterization that likely reminded older Cuban-Americans of the Castor Regime that plagued Cuba in the early 1960s. …In Puerto Rico, the number of locals supporting the GOP has slipped down 5% in the past year as Jackson increases funding for rural and development programs for the Caribbean Commonwealth. Most PRs, though, show little preference for either party according to another poll. In another indication that President Jackson is winning over more Hispanic voters as the years pass, the 2002 midterms showed a 12% drop in GOP support and preference among Latino American voters nationwide. …Republicans will have to try and appeal to this demographic if it wishes to stay competitive in certain geographical areas such as the American Southwest, and if it wishes to be a major player in Puerto Rico, should it become a state in the near future…

The Boston Globe, 5/20/2003




> Is it safe to go back to normal now?
>> Maybe. My governor’s already lifted restrictions a while back, but I’m keeping the masks on until Prezy JJ gives the okay.
>>> I’m waiting until Bellamy says its over.
>>>> Carol Bellamy 4 Pres (again) 2008!

> It looks like we’re finally in the clear! We got lucky, it was a lot worse outside the US.
>> Tell me about it – a work as an EMT, and while we have several cases, we here in West Virginia didn’t even see a single fatality!
>>> I think we had like 1 or 2 deaths here in Montana, but there were hundreds of casualtys in NYC, right?

–, 5/25/2003

To wrap my head around it, I imagined they were being sent by messenger pigeon. As communication signals traveled at the speed of light through space and satellites, the delay between messages sent back and forth from Houston and the Milestone was several minutes. At the halfway point of the Mars-bound leg, it was approximately 17.5 minutes. I spent those minutes reviewing the monitors and imagining that we had sent out some homing pigeon in a little spacesuit, and that he’d be back with Houston’s reply in roughly twenty minutes. It helped pass the time.

“Glad to hear you’re all holding up. Situation normal and on schedule back here. We do have some personal news for Engineering Commander Krikalev, though. Congratulations, Crackle, your wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy yesterday. We think it best to hold off on the passing out of the cigars until after you’ve returned, though.”

McCool immediately pulled out his good luck charm, a small vial kept around his neck. Inside the tiny clear container was a dried-up four-leaf clover the pilot had found an hour before he was selected for the mission. After crossing himself with it, he explained, “In space movies, whoever discusses their family the most is always the first to go.”

“Good thing we’re not in a movie, then,” Commander Polansky replied. “Let’s see. Readings are normal. Supplies are good, engines are good.” He nodded to Zorba, who nodded back to confirm. “We just need an update on the payload to send out the next message.”

They looked to me. “I’ll get Frankie.”

Frankie Chang Diaz, Payload Commander, was soon with the rest of us in the front of the ship, where the rotation of the shuttleplane’s front section granted us artificial gravity. As he concluded his report, confirming the payload was secure, he began to rub his eye.

“Something wrong with your vision?” Asked the Doc.

“No, I’m just a little fatigued from starring at the monitors for too long, I suspect,” answered Frankie.

“Remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 twenty minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds,” Sharman suggested.

“I know, thanks anyway, but I know.”

Doc shook her head. “You’ve been spending too much time in the gravity-free shafts, Frankie. I don’t like it. Commander, requesting permission to give the Payload Commander a physical checkup.”

“Permission granted,” answered Polansky, who then said to Frankie, “Better safe than sorry, Frankie.”

“Understood, sir. Not a problem.”

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006


Above: FLG Inc. CEO Herman Cain argues with reports in January 2003

…the head of KFC’s parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., is in hot water for implementing cost-cutting measures during his tenure that have tarnished KFC’s reputation and quality standards for the sake of yielding profit. Cain is reportedly fighting off opponents inside KFC management, including company elders such as Millie Sanders, Pete Harman, and former US Senator Harland “Harley” Sander Jr., who is the most publicly vocal of the three in his castigating of Cain’s business ethics and priorities...

The Hollywood Reporter, 5/28/2003

…The internal divisions leaking into the public light hurt the company’s reputation among investors more so than the scandals. Carefully, Harley and Millie began to teleconference with several members of the FLG Board of Directors in order to see if Cain still had the support of a majority of its members…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


El Espectador, Colombian newspaper, 6/1/2003

…In Washington, D.C., oral arguments were heard in a US Supreme Court case that could lead to the judges making a nationwide ruling on the legality of BLUTAG marriage, also known as same-sex marriage…

– ABC Morning News, 6/4/2003 broadcast

Mars Mission Control back on Earth, in Houston, received our message 19.2 minutes later. “We have had a medical incident.”

During sleeping hours, P.C. Chiang Diaz felt uncomfortable and upon waking up immediately reported to Doc that he had essentially lost vision in his left eye.

“Could be from eye strain?” Asked Polansky.

“Possibly, but unlikely, Commander,” Doc Robertson began her analysis. “It’s most likely a blood clot issue. Or a blood vessel burst. His eye’s got blood in it. Now, blood clot issues have been experienced onboard the I.S.S. several times, but this,” looking back at her patient, lying on the bed, resting, with a bandage over the left side of his face, “This could be much worse than any of those incidents. But what is most, um, concerning about the situation here is the high number of factors involved. There’s age – he’s the oldest one on board. There’s the total amount of time in space – maybe his was from previous space time clocked in before the mission. I mean, he did stay aboard the ISS continuously for over a year, but that was close to Earth.”

“Say what you mean, Doc,” Zorba spoke, “We’re in uncharted medical territory out here.”

Polansky gave him the look. “Diamandis.”

“Blood clot are supposed to hit your legs, maybe your arm, not the back of your eye. We know where we’re going but we don’t know what we’re getting into here.”

“Zorba! What’s with you, man, are you having a panic attack?”

Realized he’d raised his voice and took a deep breath. Exhaling, he answered “Maybe” in a calmer demeanor.

“Then go clip yourself to the wall and get a bit of rest until Robertson can see to you.”

The transmitting delay felt much longer than it actually was. I imagined a homing pigeon fighting his way through a hailstorm. With one eye closed.

Finally, NASA replied back. They informed us of their decision: to leave the deciding up to us. “Robertson is the medical physician. If she says he should not risk going to the surface, then Anderson will take his seat on the Seeker 3.”

I could say only one word. “What?”

“We need the landing party to be in the best of health,” Commander Polansky concurred.

“But… This is Frankie’s turn. This is his final mission, his only chance to – And, and I’m – ”

“His understudy,” Sharman noted.

“Mike,” said a voice behind me.

I turned around; Frankie had woken up.

“It’s alright,” he said, “Circling around Mars is good enough for me.”

Doc agreed with Polanski, “Michael, if he went down, he could have further visual problems. That could complicate if not compromise the mission. I just can’t approve of him heading down.”

It was with bittersweet sadness that I accepted to change, that I would take Payload Commander Chiang Diaz’s seat on board the Seeker 3.

As we sent out the message confirming this seating adjustment, Frankie said to me in a voice full of sincerity, “Make me proud, Mike.”

I answered, “Come on, man. You know I will.”

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

…It now appears that Russia’s foreign ministry recruited Republican Dana Rohrabacher to act as a, quote, “agent of influence,” unquote, but this latest development from the state Attorney General’s office suggests that the ministry began recruitment efforts only after Rohrabacher had decided to run for Governor…

– CBS Evening News, 6/21/2003

“Make no mistake – I am innocent!”

– Governor Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), 6/22/2003


…the announcement on the status of SARS within the borders of Germany comes after 40 straight days of zero new cases in said country…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 25/6/2003

…The warden of a prison complex in Los Angeles has been arrested for allegedly purposely exposing Black inmates to the SARS virus. Stemming back to a scandal that began in October when a whistleblower led to security guards being indicted earlier this year, an inquiry into the sanitation conditions of the prison as launched by California’s state Attorney General Bill Lockyer. L.A.’s Twin Towers Correctional Facility opened in California in 1997, and had until recently maintained a low profile during President Jackson’s calls for prison reform...

– KNN, 6/26/2003 broadcast

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: A Review of “Wonder Woman”

“Is it worth risking my life over?” That is the hyperbolic but succinct question on one’s mind when contemplating whether or not to go to the theaters to watch the superhero action flick “Wonder Woman.” Starring Argentinian actress Carolina Ardohain as the titular heroin, this latest superhero film was greenlit after audiences responded positively to her side-character’s appearance in the 1999 blockbuster “Justice League.” A stand-alone adrenaline flick aimed at male and female demographics, it’s been promoted on TV – and on the technet – as a movie full of jaw-dropping action sequences so intense that a TV release would not do it justice; Warner Bros. held off on releasing this film for over a year, until SARS case rates dropped significantly from where they were during last year’s “peak” in the spring. Despite viewers being seated five feet (or two-to-three seats) apart in nearly all big screen locations, many audiences this summer are still very wary of the SARS pandemic.

Though ticket sales are vital to their business projections for the movie, Warner Bros. and DC can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to reviews: both critics and audiences are praising this film, and I agree with them. Wonder Woman indeed features spectacular fight scenes, from the main character’s upbringing to her fights in World War Two.

While I cannot tell anyone to risk their health to see a movie, I can say that if you can watch this one in a way that you assess is safe, for you and those around you, then I say go for it!

The New York Times, side article, 6/27/2003

“I’m feeling great. I feel great because I love what I’m doing. I’m playing a major role in the fight against President Jackson’s radical agenda. That is what is keeping me going. His mishandling of the SARS pandemic – nearly a thousand Americans dead – it emboldens me to oppose his extremist plans. It fuels me.”

– US Senator J. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), South Carolina’s WAGP 88.7 FM Christian talk radio, 6/29/2003 interview

…With summer truly beginning and the rate of global cases dropping in most countries, it is very possible that we are almost out of the woods… India and China were significantly hit by SARS, with India having over 185,000 cases and over 18,000 deaths so far, China having over 287,000 cases and roughly 25,000 deaths so far. ...Canada, host of the “superspreader” hotspot that was the 2002 Winter Olympics, has handled over 27,000 cases and over 3,200 deaths so far, while the U.K. experienced over 14,200 cases and just over 1,100 deaths so far…

…Due to the quick implementation of aggressive preventative measures in the U.S., that nation’s numbers are noticeably lower: roughly 11,500 cases, and between 840 and 970 deaths so far…

…Australia, Russia, central Asia, China, parts of Europe, and Central America were the regions hit worse during this global crisis; on the flip side, South America and Africa were least impacted, with the latter area being practically untouched…

–, 6/30/2003

“I strongly disagree with the President’s recent comment that Black people who vote Republican are trying to act white. Children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. The President’s comments do not at all support this notion, but instead only promotes the narrow way of thinking that all Black people must act in a single certain way.” [4]

– Barack “Rocky” McCain, former Chief of Staff to Vice President James H. Meredith, Meet the Press, 7/1/2003

Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1: The Manned Mars Mission Made Treasure Planet A Reality

Treasure Planet surprised Disney executives when it dominated The Box Office on opening weekend in July 1998. Initially, many higher-ups at the Disney company did not believe that the concept “Treasure Island, but in space” would work. However, Lee Iacocca’s call for a manned mission to Mars in 1993 led to a resurgence in people being interested in space travel. Hoping to capitalize on this, the first film was greenlit in 1993.

Trivia Fact No. 2: Expanding On The First Movie

The first film took over four years to make due to rewrites and the cost of its technological design. The surprise success of the first movie spawning two sequels and a two-seasons-long TV series. Both sequels and the series used elements from the original source material, and elements that were left out of the first movie. Examples include the second film diving into Silver’s backstory, an action sequence concerning an ambush, and the introduction of characters Allardyce, David Pew, Abe Gray, and Redruth.

Trivia Fact No. 3: The Third Film Was Purposely More Mature

Some critics noted that some elements of the second film made it very much like the first. To avoid a third “similar rehashing” of the first film, as one critic called the first sequel. The franchise founders set the third film after the series, when Jim is at the Academy, to when Jim is an adult commanding a ship of his own. The third film also draws inspiration from other seafaring books of the 18th and 19th century, such as Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and Sir Walter Scott’s “The Pirate.”

Trivia Fact No. 4: A Delicate Opening

The second movie of the franchise, often called “Treasure Planet 2,” premièred on July 4, 2003, to critical acclaim, and was considered a sleeper hit, doing modestly at the box office before gradually doubling the money put into it by the end of the year 2005. The film saw a limited release due to the US and much of the world slowly weaning off of safezoning measures imposed during the SARS pandemic of 2001-2004. The film was even re-released in theaters in the summer of 2004, though some claim that that action was to siphon off moviegoers from a Warner Bros. Animation film.

Trivia Fact No. 5: Nirvana Contributed to The Soundtrack

Guitarist and mental health advocate Kurt Cobain openly loved the first film, especially the “troubled pre-teen angle Disney gave Jim” Hawkins.

– [5]

…With Democrats having an even larger majority than at the start of the Jesse Jackson Presidency, Senator Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union-VT) introduced a bill that, if passed into law, would tie the nation’s bosses’ income rise rates to employee income rise rates. “Essentially, if your boss’s income rises 5% between 2004 and 2005, your own income must rise by a minimum of 2.5%.”

Multiple Republicans, and some moderate and conservative Democrats, reeled from the proposal, arguing that “this proposed authoritarian seizing and controlling of the private sector and small businesses” would suppress the entire concept of the free market system, and claiming that it would ruin economic growth and freedom if passed. As expected, the Democratic Senate leaders made sure the bill died in committee; Diamondstone responded by claiming this action “proves both parties are in the pockets of the corporate elite.”

Even so, Diamondstone pressed on with his attempts to pass many – or, at least, any – of his other socialistic policies, such as nationalizing the banks, transportation systems, energy sources, and the media, capping income levels so no American citizen can be a billionaire, disbanding state-level National Guards and replacing them with civilian militias, eliminating the voting age, and opposing water fluoridation and genetically modified foods, among other “radical” policy positions that made Jackson actually look moderate by comparison…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


The New York Times, 7/11/2003

“Well, astronauts are a lot like truck drivers, aren’t they? Condensed into small space, you know? But, we’re all condensed into small spaces right now, so these brave man and women are essentially stuck doing quarantine for an extra year. A least they have a unique view to stare out into.”

– Christiane Amanpour, KNN coverage of the 2003 Mars Mission, 7/14/2003


…In tonight’s runoff election, Marie-Segolene Royal of the Socialist Alliance defeated Francois Bayrou of the Centrist Party, 52.6% to 47.4%. Royal, a former member of the National Assembly who served as the head of three different ministries under outgoing President Claude Estier, defeated Bayrou, as well as Jean-Louis Debré (of the Republican Party), Marie-France Stirbois (of the National Front), and others, in the first round of voting that was held on the ninth of July 2003. …Royal will be sworn in on July 30…

The Daily Telegraph, 23/7/2003


…After two years of negotiations, Colombian guerillas leaders today signed a non-aggression treaty with the President of Colombia in Bogota. Due to safezoning measures, the heads of the multisided conflict saluted one another from across a large room, with each man at a separate table. President Jackson VidCalled in to the signing ceremony to congratulate the participants and urged the members of F.A.R.C. and the Colombian government to work together to “solve the mutual problem” that is the A.U.C., a right-wing Colombian terrorist group who refused to enter negotiations…

The Washington Post, 7/27/2003

…On July 30, Richard P. “Rick” Cheney finally launched his long-awaited bid for the US Presidency. His stern and militaristic “law-and-order” campaign, which targeted recreadrugs and supported private prisons at a time when they were on the decline, was reminiscent of the one that Jeremiah Denton had run on in 1980. Almost immediately after entering the race, Sherriff Joe “Kill ’em all” Arpaio and US Rep. Bo Gritz endorsed Cheney, and in doing so greenlight the Wide-Awakes to rally around the former New Mexico Governor…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

…SpongeBob’s outlets operated at 30% capacity during the SARS pandemic in order to maintain safezoning guidelines, and did so until 2004, months after most other national chains had ended safezoning in the summer and fall of 2003. The pandemic also lead to a shift in advertising for the franchise. For example, the side character Dr. Flotsam from the SpongeBob cartoon series, “The SpongeBob Zone,” began appearing in commercials as a health inspector approving of the restaurant’s cleanliness and good food.

The franchise’s introduction of a health-focused character as a way of addressing a rise in concern over a health issue had been done before in 2000. The rise in the number of children suffering from peanut allergies (for reasons still not entirely clear) at the turn of the century led to the Rosie Cheeks feature in an episode of The SpongeBob Zone focused on how to use an epipen. An image of cartoon squirrel also is placed next to items on the menu containing or made in the same place as items containing peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts…


…Breaking News: The FBI has confirmed that they are in fact indicting California Governor Dana Rohrabacher for willingly committing the felonious act of accepting bribes from a foreign entity in order to influence official state policy and legislation...

– The Overmyer Network’s Nighttime News, 8/1/2003 broadcast


…The California state house approved three articles of impeachment earlier today in a teleconferenced assembly of state lawmakers… In the past, the Governor has described teleconferenced sessions as illegal despite a “remote sessions” bill being passed in February 2002… It is currently unknown how Rohrabacher is planning to handle or address the mounting scandals concerning his closeness to foreign entities…

The Washington Post, 8/3/2003

Mars was in sight. It would only be another more days.

Frankie was still having vision issues, from having we now knew was a pulmonary thrombosis that originated in his leg but had travelled to his brain during his extended stays in the gravity-free shafts of the shuttleplane. There was concern that he had experienced the equivalent of a mini-stroke, and so was still not cleared for being in the landing party.

Thus, I joined Kicker, McCool, Sharman, Payette and Crackle in prepping for what we all kept calling “The Big Day.” The Seeker 3 was a fine vessel. It was smaller than one would expect it to be, but as it was to the Milestone how a lifeboat is to a yacht, I should not have expected that much comfort. It had just enough room for six astronauts, scientific instruments and equipment, and several weeks worth of provisions. The first Seeker had been scrapped due to a design flaw, and the second Seeker had been damaged beyond salvaging in a flight test gone awry that left two astronauts with minor injuries and placed on the “understudy” list in 2001.

Nevertheless, I was highly confident that the vessel would serve its purpose of transporting us safely from the Milestone to Jezero Crater and back.

Above: Jezero Crater and surrounding areas

As I looked through the windows, staring, almost mesmerized by the Red Planet seemingly growing in size as we approached it, I thought about a line from William Shakespeare, a line I thought was very apt for this landmark moment in human history: “It is not the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

[1] As mentioned in August 1999 ITTL.
[2] Photo found here:
[3] Originally called the Orange County Airport; it was not renamed John Wayne Airport on June 20, 1979, because Wayne said “awful” things about the “role” of women during the First Ark Wave (1970), on top of those OTL race comments from the 1970z; instead, it was renamed after Bessie Coleman!
[4] OTL quote, from his OTL 2004 DNC speech
[5] This segment (and some (hinted-at) plot elements) were inspired by comments made in the comments section of the youtube video “Treasure Planet 2: The Cancelled Film’s Untold Story”

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: October 15!

Why are the colors of the Aus politcal parties all buggered up Labour has always been red while the Greens are a light Green, the coalition is a blue.
I noted that mistake/oversight of mine in the notes section of that chapter.
Wow was not expecting SARS to happen in the new millennium! Especially with a certain virus happening this year. I also liked that Labor won in Australia! Also glad no war on teterror ITTL. Keep up the great work
Wow. A lot of things to read up on. Still, great stuff here. A version of Sars. If you haven't covered these people, or pop culture events already in some way. Joe Biden, Sergey Lavrov, Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Primakov, Ann M Martin. Have some likely pop culture ideas I can PM you, if you'd like.
Chapter 87: August 2003 – February 2004 New
Chapter 87: August 2003 – February 2004

August 27, 2003. That was when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in over 60,000 years. Timing, opportunity, and luck all seemed to be on our side.

“Now remember, no keggers while your down there,” joked Frankie.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to miss out on that,” Zorba added.

“Don’t worry, Frankie keep I’ll an eye on them,” replied Willie McCool; my guess is our pilot thought it was inappropriate, given Frankie’s temporary eyepatch, for he then said, with a switch to a more serious tone of voice, “Um, no offense,” while motioning with his hand to his left eye.

“None given, none taken,” answered Frankie with a polite shrug.

Kicker, Willie, Charmin’, Poutine, Crackle and I boarded the landing module Seeker 3 without incident and soon detached from the Milestone to begin orbital descent.


“Contact light, and we’re clear for– ”

The module came to a stop with a sudden and awkward lurch to the left, slanting and sliding into the touchdown spot in Jezero Crater. Sensors had not been able tell the exact strength of the soil below us, for the Seeker’s weight had collapsed a more malleable section of the Martian surface. A planet covered in volcanic basalt rock, and we touched down in a thicker-than-typical mound of Martian dust, a top layer of soil containing sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium, fine like talcum powder, and, in this one spot in particular, just as collapsible under the weight of our module as a sandcastle is under the weight of a dune buggy’s speeding tires.

“Status report, people,” asked McCool.

“Scanners functioning normally,” stated Sharman, “oxygen systems and life support systems normal.”


“Fuel’s not damaged, no detectable leakage of any sort. A manual inspection would not hurt, though,” Crackle reported.

“Well, the plan is to step outside anyway. Suit up, everyone,” McCool put on his helmet and unbuckled himself.

When everyone was prepped for exiting the module, and we had all double-checked each other’s suits for good measure, our CO tried the door on his side of the module to discover one overlooked aspect of the Seeker 3 coming to a stop at a 20-degree angle on its left.

“The door’s jammed over here. It’s pushed up and into the ground.” McCool turned around, said, “We’re not getting out this way,” and then looked at me.

My seat, the one originally intended for Frankie Chiang Diaz prior to his health crisis, lied beside the only other entryway into the vessel. “Um, here, let me scoot over, sir.”

“Denied, Anderson. Look at the space in here. Attempting to, um, scooch over across those controls could be damaging. To your suit, to the controls...”

“Then you and I can just back up and – “

“It’s too risky, Mike,” Sharman said as she looked at the space surrounding us. “There’s not enough floor clearance. You could damage your suit, and the three spare suits are in the back over here,” she pointed over to the corner of the cabin, which was starting to feel smaller and smaller the more we discussed the matter.

Kicker just came out and said it. “Mike, either you step out first to make room for the rest of us, or none of us are going anywhere.”

I sighed, “Where are those robot rovers when you need them? They could open Willie’s door from the outside, I’d bet.”

“The Surveyor’s ten miles northeast of us,” Poutine spoke up. “Oh, you were being sarcastic, weren’t you? Right. Sorry about that.”

I took a deep breath and exhaled, “Well, alright then.” And I thought, God, I hope I remember your line, Willie.

The stepladder down was, roughly, a foot off the ground, but I eyeballed it and I believed I could jump it with ease. Being 38% lighter than I was on Earth due to Mars’ gravity, my steps had a bit of a bounce to them, but it was a bounce noticeably smaller than the ones made when Gus Grissom, and then Ted Freeman, stepped onto on the Moon in their own famous descent off a stepladder on March 7, 1969, more than 44 years prior.

33 million miles away, roughly 2.5 billion people, more than a third of the world’s population, was watching the almost-live feed from the cameras and transmitting equipment the Surveyor and Discovery rovers had set up for us months prior. I found comfort in the fact that none of those 5 billion eyes could see my face through my sun visor. If they could see my face, many would cheer, and, undoubtedly, others would jeer, at the surprise – that I, not, Willie, was to become the first man on Mars. I myself would have retched from the unwanted limelight and attention.

I was not supposed to even be in the Seeker 3; I was supposed to work aboard the Milestone. Instead, because of a blood clot taking out my superior’s eye, and then because of loose soil and a jammed door, I, Michael Anderson, a payload commander for NASA, an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, a timid but adventurous African-American man from Spokane, Washington, became the first human to step foot on Mars.

As I took the small leap off the ladder and, upon landing, took in the scenery – the dawn sky had some blue to its overall pinkish tone, a reversal of the color palettes of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, and the rocky terrain had more shades of yellow, red, orange, grey and brown than I anticipated – I found myself to be at a loss for words. A sort of mental fog rolled into my head as I soaked in the moment, the realization of where I was. McCool was supposed to say, “We have journeyed far in the spirit of discovery and in pursuit of answers, and with that footstep, we just made history.” All I could say was “My stars, what a view.” McCool would instead say the scripted line as he descended next.

Internally, I cracked the old joke, Hey, I think I can see my house from here!

Above: Willie, sun visor up, preparing for the flag planting (left); me, sun visor down, taking a look beyond the crater (right)

– Michael P. Anderson’s A Million Different Things, Borders Books, 2006

“Oh, they definitely found something up there. They’re just not saying what.”

“You really think so?”

“Do you really think the government would let NASA spend all that time, effort, and money just on some trip to some lousy crater? Oh no, they found evidence of intelligent life up there. Just look at the live feed, and you’ll see how often they ‘lose’ the image for a few seconds, or even for several minutes.”

“From solar flares.”

“From alleged solar flares, but they almost never lose audio contact. That’s just too convenient. There was some kind of cover-up, I tell ya. How else could they have gotten whatever they found up there into the Seeker 3? On the return trip, they’ll probably keep it on ice in the food supply area, now that the from-Earth half of the food supply’s gone, hey, all that empty space, it’s the perfect hideaway!”

“I suppose.”

– Host Art Bell (before his retirement from the program in late 2003) and recurring caller Conspiracy Joe on KDWN’s late night political call-in talk radio program Coast to Coast AM, Sunday 8/29/2003

“Our presidents can send people to other plants but can’t send food to other mouths. The SARS pandemic has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a strong, centralized, nationalized government is best equipped for handling national emergencies. If Russia was still the Soviet Union, they would have only had a fraction of the number of SARS cases they got. …We need to work for more competent and compassionate leadership in the Congress and we need a true representative of the people in the White House. That’s why I’m running for the Democratic nomination for President.”

– US Senator Peter Isaac Diamondstone (Liberty Union-Vermont), 8/30/2003

As September approached, the SARS crisis in the US was essentially lower for a majority of states, with cases dropping to below those of the common cold and the seasonal flu overall. Despite these optimistic signs, parents homeschooling their children remained on the rise. Thousands of children would not return to public school in September 2003 over parents’ fears concerning their children’s health and safety. However, 60% of the children homeschooled in the 2003-2004 school year would return to either private or public school by the start of the 2007-2008 school year…

– Tim Brookes’ SARS, Governance, And The Globalization of Disease, Borders Books, 2014

The marstronauts tried fast-growing produce like radishes. They were only staying for a fortnight, or two weeks, and that is how long that vegetable takes to bear fruit after breaking through the soil (they had germinated on board the Milestone and kept delicately in cargo during the descent to the surface); hence the term “a radish’s worth of time” catching on in the astronomer community and ultimately becoming a fairly common phrase.

While Sharman and McCool tended to radishes and other crops in the temporary inflatable greenhouse, Melvin and Payette installed solar panels and related equipment in order to study the Martian atmosphere. Anderson and Krikalev tended to the engine systems and to the task of digging out the Seeker 3 so it could launch back to the Milestone properly. All systems were checked and maintained regularly by all six members of the landing party; contact and communication with the Milestone was frequent. Every night the crew shared meals and slept without elbow room in the small cabin of the Seeker, and every day they ventured out on the surface.

The collecting data – mainly via soil samples – was meant to help scientists determine exactly the Red Planet’s history. The planet, especially Jezero Crater, had experience repeated periods of wet and dry climate, and the nature of several unique features at Jezero Crater were documented in depth.

On August 29, Krikalev and Payette ventured south of the landing site to seek out water sources and document landscape features. The next day, the Surveyor rover dropped by, but was more interested in photographing the marstronauts’ boots than stay still for a photo-op before heading west. Testing for radiation, and studying the effect of wind and sun on Mars was daily.

Back on the Milestone, Dc Robertson continued to study the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body. “Bone mineral density loss, central nervous system issues, eyesight impairment,” Robertson counted off.

Commander Chiang Diaz understood the opportunities his condition was giving her, but he found no comfort in it. “I’m your guinea pig, eh, Doc?”

In the Milestone’s Black Box recordings, you can hear Robertson reply, “Frankie, of course not! Ooh, that’s so morbid!”

Chiang Diaz then remarks. “Eh. Any way that I can help out will make this trip worth it. I hope.”

Back on the surface, the landing party did physical testing of their own, observing weight, strength, health, performance, and other physical differences between activities on Mars versus activities on Earth.

On August 31, The Manned Mars Mission confirmed to NASA that Jezero Crater was once flooded with water, and now had a very diverse assortment of clay deposits and clay minerals such as magnesium and even small amounts of iron, which form in the presence of water. The lake bed in the center of the crater, discovered in 1998 and from which the crater received the name Jezero (in several Slavic languages it is the word for Lake), was found to have grooves similar to the rings of a tree, and gave enlightening insight into the details of the planet’s history.

The search for signs of ancient life, however, continued on with only circumstantial on non-indisputable evidence to promote the idea. The Seeker’s cargo compartments were filled to maximum capacity with samples of sediment layers for good measure.


On September 10, the Seeker 3 reconnected to the Milestone and began the long trip home.

– Harland McKeeble’s Dreams, Reality and Legacy: The Epic Journey of The Milestone and Seeker, Heinlein Books, 2020

…And down in South Africa, that nation’s President-Elect, Mangosuthu Buthelezei, was sworn into office earlier today. Buthelezei, age 75, has been a highly controversial politician in South Africa for decades due to accusations from opponents that Buthelezei supported paramilitary groups and encouraged acts of violence against whites during the Apartheid Era. However, due to his many years of public service improving the quality of life for all South Africans, Buthelezei won enough white South Africans to win the August 25 Presidential election outright. Outgoing President Chris Hani and former Presidents Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela also spoken highly of Buthelezei during the election campaign, allowing the new President to win over challengers Mathinus van Schalkwyk and Peter Marais…

– BBC News, 1/9/2003 broadcast


The Sacramento Union, 9/2/2003

…On the morning of September 3, when state police visited the Governor’s mansion, workers and interns informed them that the Governor had disappeared. At some point during the point, he had left the premises. His car was gone, and so were two suitcases. Police put out an APB for Rohrabacher after inspecting the room. Upon Dana’s wife suggesting they check the airports, Governor Rohrabacher was soon found at Sacramento International. He was attempting to board a flight to Vladivostok…

– Robert Stewart’s Radical Capitalist: The Story of A Freewheeling Dana Rohrabacher, Herald Tribune Press, 2015

…With Dana Rohrabacher being convicted and removed from office by the state senate, Lieutenant Governor John L. Burton is now the Governor of California…

– CBS Evening News, 9/3/2003


– The Los Angeles Times, 9/5/2003

…September 6 brought about yet another race riot, this one in Socorro, New Mexico. A minor traffic stop led to a police officer putting an 81-year-old Hispanic man in the hospital after the senior citizen questioned the reason for him and his grandson, who was driving, being pulled over. Rumors that the elderly man was killed only increased the crowd soon protesting the police station. A couple of pepper spray spurts later and the street corner was inundated with riotous frenzy. Jesse Jackson immediately responded to “Hispanic-Americans fighting back against police brutality” toward the growing Hispanic community in Socorro by personally flying west, his Attorney General to tow in highlight the judicial answers to the injustice brought on by racism in police culture...

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016


…In his speech, the Attorney General called for peace and reconciliation between “all members of this richly diverse community.” …“This riot, as terrible and destructive as it is,” Jackson told the assembly of Hispanic locals, “highlights the very issues that must end – not just here, but anywhere and everywhere else in these United States where communities are divided on race, where working classes either oppress or are oppressed, and where these divisions are strengthened by poor education and employment inequality. …Any prohibition of any of our fellow American citizens from having a life that is free, fair and equal, solely due to their skin color or country of origin or any other type of prejudice, is a betrayal of the very foundations and ideals of this republic.” The Attorney General then met with the Mayor while the President met with police officials…

– The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/7/2003


The Chicago Tribune, 9/8/2003


…Herman Cain, the CEO of KFC’s parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., has abruptly given the multimillion-dollar global corporation two weeks’ notice in order to launch a run for the US Senate seat being vacated by the retiring incumbent, Dr. John Skandalakis (D-GA)...

The New York Times, side article, 9/9/2003

…Cain knew that the Board was considering firing him; he did not want to give them the satisfaction, nor allow them to ruin his career. The retiring of Senator Skandalakis gave Cain an opportunity – an exit strategy – and he took it.

His brisk departure pleased Harley, who told the Board in a teleconference, “We can finally do what I’ve been saying we should do – improve standards and customer outreach, not cut corners. Give a little, get a lot, but give a lot, and you get even more.” Harley wanted the parent company’s new CEO to chart a new course for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Cain’s remaining supporters on the Board only humbly commented on the positive aspects of his tenure and legacy. KFC’s domestic sales decline did continue under his watch, but it did slow down considerably from the 1999-2001 freefall. The Board credited Cain’s BEAM program, that taught workers how to “make our patrons smile” by teaching employees how to smile, present themselves, and be well-received by customers, as being behind the stopping of the freefall. As a result, this program was one of the few elements of “The Cain Era” left intact after his departure from FLG Inc.…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020


…the search to succeed outgoing CEO Herman Cain has already ended thanks to “Company Elders” Harley Sanders, Mildred Sanders-Ruggles and Pete Harman all endorsing a single candidate. Initially a Sunday school teacher, Mary Lolita Starnes Hannon, 72, joined the “KFC family” in 1962, and oversaw the operations of 24 KFC outlets in Mississippi by 1980, at which point she became regional manager, and then joined the FLG Board of Directors in 1989. Outside of KFC, Hannon supported Colonel Sanders’ charitable donations to religious organizations; she is also known for opening her home to religious, social, and charitable gatherings, leading to her being well-connected and to her developing a friendly rapport with The Colonel. [1]. Hannon was chosen over KFC Head Executive David Novak, Takeshi Okawara (the head of KFC Japan), and several other potential picks, all from inside the company, in contrast to Cain, who was an “outsider” selection. The Board likely hopes that a leader with deep roots in the corporation, in tune with its work culture and familiar with both its basics and details, will set FLG Inc. in a new and better direction, and finally turn the company around after years of domestic stagnation…

The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2003


The Washington Post, 9/14/2003

On September 15, the Supreme Court made its landmark “Brill v. Cohen” decision. Associated Justices Schroeder, Lord, Nealon, Bacon, and Sandel, and Chief Justice Page in positioning themselves on the one side; Associate Justices Sneed, Garza, and Thompson found themselves on the other side.

Thus, the Supreme Court ruled 6-to-3 that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution, which was adopted all the way back in 1868. The ruling thus required all 50 US states and the federal district of Washington, DC, plus all US territories, commonwealths and other “Insular Areas,” to recognize and allow the performance of same-sex marriages and issue marriage licenses, certificates, and/or other required documentation, on the same terms and conditions used for opposite-sex marriages, and with the same rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.

At the time of the court decision, either same-sex marriage or “civil unions” were already legal in 26 states (starting with Massachusetts in 1995) and in Washington, D.C., with several state legislatures already in the process of legalizing it.

The Supreme Court case actually stemmed from seven lower-court cases from five states culminating in a multi-state class-action lawsuit being filed in 2001 over discrimination after two lower-courts ruled against the plaintiffs arguing for same-sex marriage legalization. One of the cases began all the way back in 1997 over a funeral director refusing to host services for a widower and his deceased husband, upon learning that “Michelle” was a French man, not a woman, despite the director having already been paid for said services. A second central case centered on Indiana’s Health Commissioner Dr. Neal L. Cohen, who had denied a marriage license to community organizers David P. Brill and Matt Foreman. Nearly a year after oral arguments and briefings were made for both sides (with Brill received legal assistance from Mark Leno, Fred Karger, and other prominent individuals), and with the Supreme Court consolidating focus on the most pressing and prominent case – the one concerning Indiana’s Health Commissioner, hence “Brill v. Cohen” – the judges’ ruling essentially reversed the Indiana circuit court ruling, on the aforementioned grounds of violating the 14th Amendment.

Above: the Supreme Court building

– Brandon Teena’s The Rise of BLUTAG Rights: The Story of the Bi-Lesbian-Undefined-Trans-Asexual-Gay Movement, Scholastic, 2019

…Denny Rehberg, Republican Governor of Montana, is refusing to acknowledge this month’s landmark Supreme Court ruling, and so is ordering law clerks across to state to not give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples…

– KNN, 9/16/2003

“The South’s desire for the federal government to keep its hands off how they do things is very understandable. The South has been this way since forever. In the words of Henry Grattan, ‘Control over local affairs is the essence of liberty.’ The people of the South understand this sentiment and what this means. However, there is a difference between being a state and being an autonomous territory, and the southern states have to acknowledge that with all of the benefits of being in the union comes what to some of them may be the detriment of having to follow and obey the major orders, rules, and rulings sent out by Washington, by Congress, and by the Supreme Court, to all US states, northern and southern.”

– Former US Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA), 9/17/2003

The deadliest post-ruling attack happened on the night of September 19, when The Cactus Jack, a BLUTAG bar in Zanesville, Ohio, was hit in an arson attack. While most the people inside managed to get out without serious injury, many did receive burn wounds, and, tragically, the building burned to the ground, taking with it 17 patrons and half of the staff members on duty that night. The tragedy highlighted the level of homophobia that still existed in the US, and made BLUTAG activist Brandon Teena announce “The Supreme Court ruling will mean nothing if we cannot convince our opponents that we do not want opponents. We want to be treated equally by not just American law but by our fellow Americans.”

– Matthew Wayne Shepard’s Unmasked And Unafraid: A History of the BLUTAGO Rights Movement, Pressman Publications, 2020


The New York Times, 9/20/2003

LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE: With Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal, Can Polygamy Please Be Next?

…already, several individuals and groups in four separate states have filed for “multi-party” marriage licenses, using the argument that the choices of three (or more) consenting adults should not be regulated by the government. If our country truly upholds and follows the concept of the separation of Church and State, then whatever happens to the souls of polygamists is between them and God – it is nobody else’s business…

– The Deseret News, Utah newspaper, controversial op-ed, 9/21/2003


– The Columbus Evening Dispatch, 9/22/2001

[vid: youtube: Ioxk2nHop2I ]

– Harley Brown for Mayor Commercials, 9/24/2003

“The citizens of America who oppose the President’s mishandling of SARS need to have a real voice in this election, and they need to have a real leader in the White House. That is why I am running for President.”

– Former Governor Bettye Frink (R-AL), 9/25/2003

However, Shintaro Ishihara’s fall from power did not end with him losing the office of Prime Minister. Nearly two years later, with the LDP increasingly uncomfortable with his fiscally conservative and isolationist positions, Ishihara was being kept out of party discussions and ignored by moderate and liberal party leaders. Sensing a majority of members of the Diet wanted to essentially ousted from the LDP, he left the party to found his own…

– Alec Dubro and David E. Kaplan’s Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, University of California Press, 2003

ISHIHARA FORMS NEW CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Former PM Vows To Win Next General Election With A “Red Sun Coalition”

…anti-American sentiment from the early 1990s are persisting nationwide, especially among older and middle-class voters who approve of Ishihara’s more populist talking points…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 9/29/2003

Was S.A.R.S. Created In a Lab?

Okay, so I first though the Republicans created SARS because it looked like it was going to hurt the Jackson White house, but after Prezy JJ responded to it so quickly I thought it was too quickly and the Democrats actually gaining seats in November made me think they had something to do with it breaking out to create a rally-around-the-flag effect for the midterms. But now I’m starting to think maybe someone else benefited from it, maybe Xinjiang separatists or some anti-social introverted extremists. What do you think?


I think your abode lacked proper air circulation during quarantine.

–, 1/11/2013 posting thread; initial poster was banned for site rules violations soon afterward


The New York Times, 10/2/2003

…The peace agreement benefited the Jackson administration was well. The hostilities in Colombia seemingly coming to an end severely cut into Republican criticism of Jackson’s handling of foreign policy issues, and caused support for anti-immigration Republican primary candidates to begin to decline. President Jackson’s strategy team touted their boss as being a “tried-and-true peacemaker,” and in Colombia, “the fight [being] won” was a boon to popular Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango, as recreadrug cartels not being arrested began to lose power and control in Colombia, and in turn flee to Central America and elsewhere…

– Miguel LaRosa and German R. Mejia’s Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History, Chronicle Books, 2013


…Shearer is a sort of jack-of-all-trades, working primarily as a radio host since 1981, but has also been an actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, author, musician, director, and producer. Beginning his career as a child star, he was a cast member on SNL from 1979 to 1983, and voiced several recurring characters on the animated shows “Life In Heck and Other Fun Places” and “Futurama,” among other roles. First visiting New Orleans in 1983, Shearer moved to the city in 1988, and began being politically active soon afterward. Shearer has been critical of outgoing Governor Fox McKeithen’s policies, and entered the gubernatorial race as a businessman and outsider. …Republican Huntington Downer, a self-described “outsider” candidate, and Shearer, a middle-of-the-lane Democrat, and defeated Democrats Richard Ieyoub, Buddy Leach, Randy Ewing, and J. E. Jumonville Jr., among others, for first and second place, respectively, in tonight’s jungle primary…

– The Opelousas Daily World, Louisiana newspaper, 10/4/2003


…recognizable by the baseball cap and dairy farmer overalls he wore at all times, even in the halls of the US Senate building, and by his thick Vermont accent, Tuttle startled pundits, and even himself, by winning primary and general elections for a US Senate seat in 2000. He had run as a protest candidate, and had modeled his campaign after the one depicted in the cult film “Man With A Plan,” in which Tuttle starred. Tuttle made headlines by promising to resign from his as soon as a dairy farm protection bill was passed, a promise he ultimately kept. Vermont’s “favorite son,” who made friends across DC and the Green Mountain state, and across the aisle, Tuttle passed away peacefully in his sleep, from the effects of a heart attack he had suffered several days before, after spending a long day planting potatoes in a small garden behind his humble abode. His body is spent, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on...

The New York Times, 10/5/2003


…a freak circuit breaker accident shut down electricity across London proper for seven hours, starting yesterday evening at 5:00 PM...

Le Parisien, French newspaper, 10/6/2003

With foreign policy a no-go, Republicans went after Jackson’s handling of domestic affairs, claiming his rhetoric on recreadrug legalization and police reform as “immoral” and “dangerous,” and his expansion of the federal government and welfare programs as “oppressive” and “un-American.”

When former VP James H. Meredith began ramping up his Presidential campaign, however, he tried out a different tactic – going through old footage and reports on Jesse Jackson to uncover controversial or contradictory tidbits. On October 7, a pro-Meredith political group, the generically-titled Meredith For America, first aired a 30-second ad in which a narrator thundered, “Jesse Jackson says the Republican Party ‘harbors racist extremists.’ But in 1978, he actually supported the GOP!” The ad then showed Jackson, in archive footage, stating “Black people need the Republican party.” The ad, however, pulled the clip out of its full context. The full statement, made prior to Jackson even considering running for public office, went as follows: “Black people need the Republican party to compete for us so we can have real alternatives… The Republican Party needs Black people if it is ever to compete for national office.” [2] The group’s use of only the quote’s first six words was derided by Democrats as “misleading” and “deceptive.” Interestingly, both Jackson and Meredith stayed mute on the controversial ad until the subject ultimately left the news cycle…

– Nancy Skelton and Bob Faw’s Thunder In America: A Chronology of The Jesse Jackson White House, Texas Monthly Press, 2016

“I am going to run for the White House and I am going to win.”

– US Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R-TN), 10/9/2003

…By mid-October, Jackson’s inner circle was worried that his approval ratings were increasingly inflated. While never dropping below 45% through 2003, there was concern that, as the SARS crisis became more of a memory for Americans, conservative claim would start to chip away at support pulled from moderates and undecided voters. Some “Country” (as in “deeply”) Conservatives like Senator Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) accused the White House of taking advantage of the SARS pandemic to implement totalitarian policies, and others like her claimed Jackson was successfully establishing “an anarchist police state over our country,” as US Congressman Ben Lewis Jones (D-GA) put it. Jackson’s 2004 campaign director decided the President had to step back “a bit” from his boldest policies until the Republican primaries had generated a nominee, allowing the campaign to better organize and fine-tune their message for American voters next year: that Jesse Jackson had proven himself to be a leader worth keeping around for another four years…

– author A’Lelia Bundles’ Consequential: The Presidency of Jesse Jackson, Random House, 2015

“I’m sick of hearing my fellow Americans say that their own country sucks because industrialization is destroying the planet. That we’re the most to blame for Global Climate Disruption. We’re not the only country that uses coal, you know! We alone cannot be blamed! If anything, these east coast elitist hypocrites should point the finger at China – they produce more coal for each Chinese citizen than we produce for each American citizen! Way more!”

– Former US Senator Bernie Goetz (R-CO), 10/11/2003

“FEEL THE BERN, ELITISTS!” Larry McDonald Endorses Bernie Goetz

…McDonald, the 68-year-old former Democratic US Congressman and former third-party Presidential candidate, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, has thrown his support behind Republican presidential candidate Bernhard “Bernie” Goetz…

The Atlanta Journal, Georgia newspaper, 10/12/2003

…The day of vindication finally arrived for Silicon Valley. On October 14, 2003, the US Supreme Court overturned California’s state supreme court’s 2000 ruling that technet anonymity presented a risk to security and personal privacy. The overturning established that technet sites were, in fact, not like the US Postal Service, with letters and packages requiring names and addresses, and that it was irrelevant whether or not a site was established by members of or in the private or public sectors. The ruling was a boon to the US technology industry, as it allowed technet sites to finally resume anonymity practices without fear of judiciary opposition...

– Joy Lisi Rankin’s Computers: A People’s History of the Information Machine, Westview Press, 2018

A COUNTRY IN CRISIS: How It All Went Wrong (Again) In India

…as a second SARS wave grips the Indian subcontinent, the nation’s government it at last ramping up efforts to combat the infectious virus. That in itself, however, has presented its own problems: reports of police brutality – especially toward Muslim citizens – sparked riots in September and earlier this month, resulting in at least 50 deaths and possibly contributing to the rise in SARS cases. …“Because of how high the pathogenicity of the virus is, containment requires aggressive tactics to isolate the sick, quarantine their contacts and implement social controls. Sadly, India’s officials are not doing this right,” laments US Secretary of State Ann Richards… …seemingly on its way to recovery during the summer months, India’s numbers are sharply on the rise once more, and unless India’s police and government focus more on preventative measures and end police brutality and racial/ethnic hostility, order may not return any time soon to the country’s collapsing cities and infrastructure…

Time Magazine, mid-October 2003 issue

THE ST. ALBAN’S RAID: An Enjoyable Break From SARS Woes

…This made-for-TV dramatization of the real-life St. Alban’s Raid depicts the life of Bennett Henderson Young, a 21-year-old Confederate soldier who, towards the end of the American Civil War, escaped with a posse of fellow soldiers to Canada and invaded a quiet Vermont community in the hope of rekindling the war, only for things to not go as planned. Starring 27-year-old Leo DiCaprio as Young as a young man in way over his head, the filmmakers work hard to make the main character the kind that the audience loves to root against without making him hard to watch. DiCaprio presents Young with charm, making him seem to be more foolhardy than villainous. Young’s use of a dubious concoction dubbed “Greek fire,” and his inability to handle neither his cohorts nor the unafraid townsfolk only highlight the lighter moments of this good-intentioned action-dramedy…

Variety, 10/22/2003


…as older Latino-Americans are usually more socially conservative, Republicans hope this will lead to them backing more GOP candidates in next year’s elections. …Former President Jack Kemp is calling for an “Earn Your Citizenship” program for illegal immigrants. Such a program which prevent illegal immigrants from facing charges so long as they, upon entering US territory, immediately report to immigration offices to fill out paperwork to live in US legally. Kemp has been supportive of Jackson’s efforts at immigration reform despite their political differences. The former US President’s comments come weeks after announcing that, despite months of heavy speculation, Kemp, 69, will not run for a full Presidential term next year...

The Washington Post, 10/24/2003


…the general mood tonight is also one of relief; is that things seem to finally be getting back to normal, after the 2002 World Series was cancelled over concern that the games would serve as a SARS “superspreader” hotspot…

– The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/25/2003

1994: Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) def. Cleveland Indians (AL)

1995: Anaheim Angels (AL) def. San Francisco Giants (NL)

1996: Houston Astros (NL) def. Baltimore Orioles (AL)

1997: New York Yankees (AL) def. Milwaukee Brewers (NL)

1998: Boston Red Sox (AL) def. Florida Marlins (NL)

1999: Houston Astros (NL) def. Louisville Colonels (AL)

2000: New York Mets (NL) def. Seattle Mariners (AL)

2001: Texas Rangers (AL) def. Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)

2002: cancelled due the SARS pandemic

2003: St. Louis Cardinals (NL) def. Boston Red Sox (AL)


…US-Russian relations were icy under Jackson and Lobkovskaya, but both leaders managed to maintain a respectable professional rapport, if not a warm personal one. In fact, Jackson made better inroads with the leaders of Pakistan during the early years of the 2000s decade, getting that nation’s Prime Minister in 2003 to agree on the gradual eliminating of all of its materials, equipment, and programs aimed at producing weapons of mass destruction over the course of ten years – on the condition that India agree to the same denuclearization policy. Some historians have suggested that this proviso is what made Jesse Jackson son invested in India’s sociopolitical state during the SARS pandemic, as a stable government and a healthier economy and social climate would make it easier for Jackson to convince India to agree to the same program…

– David Tal’s US Strategic Arms Policy After the Cold War: Globalization & Technological Modernization, Routledge, 2020


…after months of considering it, to the point that he was being called the “Huntsman the Hamlet,” three-term former Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman Sr. has announced today a run for the US Presidency...

– The Salt Lake Tribune, 10/28/2003

HARLEY BROWN RIDES AGAIN: Former Congressman Elected Boise Mayor

…Harley Davidson Brown has been elected to serve a four-years-long term as Mayor of Boise (set to begin in January 2004). Brown won by a plurality in an official nonpartisan race, besting four other candidates – city councilwoman and initial frontrunner Carolyn Terteling-Payne, incumbent Mayor H. Brent Coles (running for a third term after surviving a recall effort in 2001), state representative David H. Bieter, and activist Mohsen “Max” Mohammadi. …Incumbent Mayor Coles came in third place due to ongoing accusations of mismanaging funds for personal use. An Ada County grand jury is investigating claims of Coles presenting a fraudulent account and misusing public money. Both Brown and Terteling-Payne called for the formation of an Office of Internal Auditing while on the campaign trail. …Brown, who lost re-election for a second term as the US Representative from Idaho’s First District in 2002 by a narrow margin, ran as a populist anti-corruption candidate known for traveling to campaign stops on in his prized Harley Davidson motorcycle. …It is possible that Coles and Terteling-Payne each refusing to bow out of the race split the anti-Brown vote…

The Idaho Press Tribune, 11/6/2003

…We can now confirm that Gatewood Galbraith, the Democratic Governor of Kentucky since 1999, has won a second term over Republican state senator Rebecca Jackson, a former teacher and education reform activist. Despite both candidates being passionate on the campaign trail and running on populist platforms, debates between the two candidates were polite and professional. Galbraith defeated Jackson by a margin of roughly 5%...

– CBS Evening News, 11/6/2003 broadcast


…Chaney, 60 was endorsed by incumbent Governor Unita Zelma Blackwell, who retired this year despite being eligible for a second term due to declining health. Chaney was previously appointed to James H. Meredith’s US Senate seat upon his ascension to the US Vice Presidency; Chaney served from 1995 to 1997. Beginning his political career as a Civil Rights activist in the early 1960s, Chaney gradually became a conservative Democrat as a backlash to the perceived negative after-effects of the “nik” (beatniks, peaceniks, and shoutniks) generations of the late 1950s and early 1960s. …Chaney easily defeated retired Sheriff and former state senator Cecil Ray Price, 65. Price, a hard-r social and fiscal conservative whose time spent as both a Deputy Sheriff and a Klansman in the 1960s came under intense scrutiny during the campaign, lost by a margin of 11%...

The Dallas Morning Herald, side article, 11/6/2003


…Roberta Achtenberg, who has served since January 2000, was first elected in Nov 1999…

The Sacramento Times-Union, side article, 11/6/2003


…In a race featuring two political outsiders, Shearer (a Democrat) edged out opponent Huntington Downer (a Republican) by a margin of roughly 3%...

The Houston Chronicle, side article, 11/15/2003

…In Cuba, a special election for President has just ended, and it seems incumbent Acting President Jorge Luis Garcia Perez of the Conservative Party has defeated his challenger in a landslide. His opponent, Provincial Governor Felix Rodriguez, is a pro-US liberal from the island nation’s Stability Party...

– KNN, 11/17/2003 broadcast

A BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE PARTY? Meredith Defends Jackson In GOP Debate

…in contrast to most of the other candidates on stage, former President James H. Meredith pushed back against vitriolic and possibly-racist rhetoric against the incumbent President, saying such rhetoric is “unprofessional and disqualifying.” …Former Senator Bernie Goetz defended his previous statements by saying “every American has the right to say what they really think about the President. If I want to call Jesse Jackson a dictator for telling everyone to wear masks, for pushing people around and telling them how to keep themselves safe rather than let adults act like adults and use their own common sense to take care of their own health, I have the right to do so.”…

The Boston Globe, 11/19/2003

WILLIAMS: “Protests in St. Petersburg ended violently last night when city police dispersed a crowd of protestors with tear gas and fire hoses. Several dozen protesters have been arrested for violating safezoning measures that are still being implemented in Russia, as SARS case rates are only recently beginning to drop over there. We now take you live to the scene of the protests with our foreign correspondent.”

HARRIS: “Brian, I’m here with local resident Vlad Putin, a community organizer who played a role in mobilizing people online to participate in last night’s protest. Mr. Putin speaks several languages, including English. Sir, what was the goal of the protesting?”

PUTIN: “People who need medical assistance are being forgotten in this pandemic. There is no room at hospitals. We want the government to allow medical attention to be given at community centers, churches, gyms, schools, any place where there is room. Even tents at parks if necessary.”

HARRIS: “Did you expect local police to respond the way they did?”

PUTIN: “Yes, because I know firsthand how the city, oblast and national governments view protests – they are not to be tolerated. And at one point in my life, I also believed that. I was a KGB officer until the day when, during a protest, a stray bullet to the spine killed everything below my waist. And the bullet was from a fellow KGB officer, no less [3]. I remember how I was before then, back when I didn’t need a chair to move around. The police and the KGB, I know, will not tolerate us unless we make them tolerate us, make them address us, make them help us. We need better medical assistance, we need actual leadership from the Kremlin. We want fairness and safety for all Russians everywhere, and if that change doesn’t come from the top, then it must start at the bottom, with local changes and challenges.”


HARRIS: “…Back to you, Brian.”

– NBC News, 11/21/2003 broadcast


…an effort to draft retired US Army General Gary E. Luck to run for the White House next year has failed. Earlier today, Luck, who oversaw US military operations in the Second Korean War, making him a War Hero and household name in 1996, announced “I refuse to partake in this or any later election cycle. I will not run now and I will not run later. I will not run in any of the primaries, I will not be involved in any contested conventions, and I will not run third-party. I will not run as a favorite son, as a last minute replacement, or as a write-in candidate in any primary or general election contest. I have no interest in coming out of retirement when I am more than confident that there are other people better suited for the job.” The announcement was a crushing blow to his supproters: “We were really hoping he’d end up being another Dwight D. Eisenhower, not another William T. Sherman,” says one disappointed member of the Draft Luck campaign…

The Washington Post, 11/24/2003

“WE MIGHT STILL NEED MORE PODIUMS”: Who Is (and Isn’t) Running In the 2004 Republican Primaries

…Former Governor Jim Gilmore has endorsed George Allen due to the latter having a much higher national profile. Former Congressman “Doug” Wead of Arizona has signed on to the Nolan campaign as an advisor, while Governor Darrell Issa of Illinois declined to run, after initially expressing interest in doing so, most likely due to several scandals tied to his administration. Governor Ellen Craswell of Washington state, a two-time cancer survivor, ultimately declined to run over health concerns, while House Minority Whip Scotty McCallum of Wisconsin, a lifelong politician and a US House member since 1985, decided to seek another congressional term after initially considering a bid. Governors Steve Goldsmith of Indiana, Doug Swanson of Nevada, Kay A. Orr of Nebraska, Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Bob Inglis of South Carolina, and Pat Saiki of Hawaii have all declined, as have Senators Buddy Roemer and Clyde Cecil Holloway of Louisiana, and Larry Williams of Montana...

–, 12/1/2003 e-article


Above: The Logo for this international anti-desertification endeavor, which aims to increase the quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa, thus helping millions of people

Time Magazine, mid-December 2003 issue

…In international news, the President of Iraq today signed a landmark treaty with the head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Special Region, allowing for further autonomy for the local ethnic Kurds of that contentious section of Iraq…

– NBC News, 12/13/2003

MARS MISSION UPDATE: Propulsion Systems, Life-Support Equipment Functioning Normally

– NASA press release, 12/18/2003

Republican leadership in Congress – namely, House minority leader and former Speaker David Emery, and Senate leader Webb Franklin – were growing worried about the direction of the party as the 2004 primaries approached. Polls were suggesting that a rising number of party members were embracing its “radical” conservative faction, conflicting with the RNC’s attempts to woo over minority voters.

…Because support among Hispanic Americans appeared to be “steady and stable at the time,” as he put it in his recent autobiography, a major concern for the party, at least in David Emery’s eyes, was African-American support. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies & Pew Research Center, African-American Party Affiliation studies backing back to 1936 showed that the GOP’s “high point” concerning African-Americans identifying as Republican was all the way back in 1940, when there was a 40%-40%-20% split of the Black vote, between Democrats and Republicans and “other/independent,” respectively. [5] That number dipped to 22% in 1960 and, after the passing of the 1962 Civil Rights Act under President Johnson, plummeted to 12% in 1964, only for President Sanders’ domestic actions – most notably, expanding housing and employment opportunities for African-Americans – to boost said percentage all the way up to 26% in 1968. Since then, the numbers hovered between 20% and 30% in presidential elections, except for 1996, when James Meredith became VP (and Jesse Jackson lost the 1996 Democratic primaries to Glenn despite getting more votes than Glenn); in that election cycle, the number of “Black Republicans” shot up to 38%. In 2000, though, with Jesse Jackson leading the Democratic ticket, the numbers sank again, this time all the way down to 24%.

The GOP share of “The Black Vote” was even more embarrassing, with no candidate ever doing better than Eisenhower did in 1956 (winning 39% of the vote). In 1964, 11% of African-Americans voted for the Colonel, but that number doubled to 23% in 1968, and to 25% in 1972. The numbers hovered between a quarter and a third before Meredith’s appointment occurred; that lead to a modern-era “high water mark” of the GOP winning 35% of the African-American vote in 1996. In 2000, that share plummeted down to 25%.

These numbers cemented Emery’s belief that Meredith was the only GOP primary candidate who could win the Black vote, and other minority voting blocs – and with them, the Presidency – in 2004. The hard part was convincing white Republicans to vote for the former VP…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2021 edition


The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 26/12/2003

…Thousands of homes collapsed like sandcastles over here because they were built by the homeowners themselves using the centuries-old mudbrick technique, a style traditional for Iran but not best suited for earthquake resistance… There’s the Shah of Iran, helping to lead the cleanup efforts, and – oh! Oh, it looks like, yes, there are some survivors and – and the Shah is joining the rest of the emergency crewmen to pull the people. This is truly an amazing site, the Shah working alongside these laymen to help out. We’ll try to get closer...

– BBC Special Report, 12/27/2003 broadcast

The Kerman Earthquake left a deep impact on Iran. Government officials even suggested the nation’s capital of Tehran, located on the other side of the country, be relocated over an almost-paranoid fear of another earthquake striking the country. The Shah opposed the notion over logistical and cost concerns, and decided that a better use of their funds was the redevelopment of the Kerman province, especially the urban centers of Bam and Baravat, the latter of which had almost no homes still standing.

The quake was an eye-opener for the Iranian government and led to the establishing of new construction regulations. Plans to completely redevelop the Kerman Province to be “a display” of Iran’s architectural capabilities, and sought to harness technological innovation in building up the region. The government worked with both international organizations and local engineers and other groups both in and out of the country to reconstruct…

…A photograph taken of the Shah pulling out a young adult survivor alongside three volunteer firefighters became an iconic image that served as a general representation of his popular rule, in stark contrast to that of is father...

– James L. Gelvin’s Lines In Sand: The History of The Modern-Day Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2010 edition

...While the rate of SARS transmission finally began to drop and the government began to regain control of the situation, President Lobkovskaya depended on Yevgeny Primakov to minimize the pandemic’s damage to Russia’s reputation abroad. Starting out as a journalist for Pravda, Primakov had spent the past thirty years developing an impressive range of diplomatic expertise, and was now serving as Russia’s Ambassador to the UN. At the time, and in her memoirs, Lobkovskaya commends Primakov for his tireless work to improve relations with China, India, and the West in a continuation of his advocacy of multilateralism. Her praise made Primakov popular among conservative circles, but despite his own political tendencies – he previously served in the National Assembly under President Volkov, and had considered running for President in 1990 and 1995 – he declined to run for President in 2005, but cited his age (75 in mid-July 2005) and declining health as the main reasons for doing so.

Another notable diplomat at this time, less political than Primakov but more influential than he in the post-SARS years, was Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Ambassador to India. Having contributed to peace talks in the 1990s that ended the Sri Lankan Civil War, Lavrov met with America’s Ambassador to India in order to coordinate SARS relief efforts in Uttar Pradesh. Both Russia and the US hoped to lead efforts to impede SARS transmission and reassert infrastructure aspects in order for hospitals and delivery systems to function well without damaging relations with India’s government, which was struggling to not appear weak on the world stage despite their number of SARS cases remaining the highest in the world by the start of 2004. Lavrov found the correct balance of intervention, between supervision and direct involvement, which he called “constructive assistance.”…

– Victor Cherkashin’s Relentless: The Leaders of Post-Soviet Russia, Basic Books, 2020

…The new CEO quickly began correcting her predecessor’s attempts to introduce more cheaply-made Kentucky Fried Chicken in certain select outlets in order to test if they could replace the original recipe. Naturally, the inferior product, dubbed “New KFC,” was testing very poorly. A poll attached to the company’s January 2004 Quarterly Earnings report revealed that customer views of KFC quality actually worsened after the rather covert introduction of what was quickly becoming an embarrassing attempt to scrimp on (or “economize”) KFC ingredients and procedures.

Hannon was livid, bellowing at the first company meeting of 2004, “Every time we try altering the damn recipe, people complain. So let’s stop try to fix what isn’t broken!” Instead, the company began looking into more diversifying the menu by taking regional menu options from oversees and introducing them to domestic outlets.

Up first was Kentucky Fried Chicken Tikka Masala. This dish was selling very well in KFC-UK and KFC-Bangladesh outlets because those branches had capitalized on the fact that there is no standard recipe for the hot dish. The most common version consist of chunks of boneless chicken, marinated in spices and yogurt, and roasted in an oven. KFC thus utilized the pieces of chicken left over from prepping wings, legs, and breasts, by breading them in a special variation of The Colonel’s Eleven Herbs and Spices (which meant the company just added low-fat fresh yogurt to the mixture) and pressure-roasted them. The new concoction required a new ad campaign, and with it, Hannon hoped the company would see a return to dominance in the US fast-food market…

Above: a classic example of Chicken Tikka Masala, served with rice and flatbread, somewhat similar to KFC’s version, first introduced in the US in 2004.

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

“I’m a former businessman, so I know how to keep the economy healthy without gutting the military’s budget and subsequently leaving our country completely defenseless in order to avoid a deficit and as a result violate the Balanced Budget Amendment. I want to apply tried-and-true business methods to the direction of public affairs. …I strongly oppose idea of the federal government instigating a ‘redistribution of wealth,’ like what Jesse Jackson is rumored to be considering, because it will discourage that part of the American spirit that believes that any fortune can be amassed if you think smart and work hard. It will also discourage foreign investors and lead to more of our own unpatriotic and unscrupulous millionaire and billionaire businesspersons to take their business elsewhere, to other countries, in order to not lose all they worked hard for to something like this alleged redistributing wealth plan.”

– Former US Senator Bernie Goetz (R-CO), Herring World News interview, 1/9/2004

REPORTER 1: How are the Marstronauts holding up on so far?

PRESS SECRETARY: The crew members are getting along well, if that’s what you mean. They are keeping busy conducting experiments onboard.

REPORTER 2: How is commander Chiang Diaz’s condition?

PRESS SECRETARY: He has noticeably improved from the health scare. The vision in his eye is still weaker than it was before the incident, but it is expected that he will return to having 20/20 vision by the time they touch down.

REPORTER 3: Speaking of which, when exactly are they due back?

PRESS SECRETARY: The Milestone and Seeker should re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in early March.

REPORTER 1: Just in time to vote in the primaries!

[scattered laughter]

REPORTER 1: Unless you guys somehow figured out how to get them to vote from all the way out there.

PRESS SECRETARY: That, I’m afraid, is the only hypothetical scenario that we did not anticipate.

[scattered laughter]

– transcript, NASA press briefing, 1/11/2004


The Washington Post, 1/12/2004

TEACHER: “That is how congress works. Take-take for example this controversial bill passed late last year, a-a defense appropriations bill, ah, that President Jackson just now passed just now. 3/5ths, or 60 Senators of the total 100 Senators, were needed to move the l-legislation to a vote through a cloture motion, w-which closed debate on the bill. The same measure, uh, the same motion, it works same for nominations, too. Uh, thus, 60 Senators are needed to end a filibuster. And when it looked like Senator Chenoweth was going to f-filibuster right, uh, just before the Senate could leave for winter break, Senate Democrats had just enough votes – let’s see, that’s 57 Democrats, plus the two Democratic-caucusing Independents, plus liberal Republican Bill Weld – yeah, just enough votes to prevent the bill being filibustered. Uh, yeah?”

STUDENT: “What about recent calls to have Senator Pete Diamondstone and Congressman Bo Gritz expelled from Congress? How serious is all that?”

TEACHER: “Well, Pete and Bo should be happy to know – huh, that rhymed, heh – um, uh, they, uh, that the voters will kick them out of congress before congress kicks them out of congress. You see, their fellow lawmakers need a supermajority to expel someone from either chamber, but, uh, doing so has always been reserved for major things like outright federal crimes being committed, n-not for rhetoric.”

– guest lecturer and former US Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) [6], Delaware State University, taped class lecture, 1/14/2004


Washington, DC – Savannah Diane Rodham-Clinton and Bradford Corbett Bush are proud to announce the birth of their first child, a son named Harland Sanders Bush. Weighing in a 9 pounds and 7 ounces, the newborn Harland is named after the former US President, Harland “Colonel” Sanders. Harland’s mother’s mother is Hillary Rodham-Clinton, a US Senator currently running for President. Harland’s father’s father is George W. Bush, the Commissioner of Baseball whose father-in-law was former US Vice President Richard Nixon. Savannah and Bradford met, live, and work in the DC area for numerous political organizations, promoting a wide variety of causes.

The Washington Times, celebrations section, 1/15/2004

CHURCH AND STATE: Why Religious Conservatives Are Backing Jesse Jackson

Time Magazine, mid-January 2004 issue

– The First Couple attending a Sunday church service, 1/18/2004

“…Jesse is not this wild radical that half of the GOP field is trying to make him out to be. For instance, he’s not extremist enough to ban nuclear power because Jesse is smart, he is aware that nuclear power is low carbon and basically renewable, and it just needs to be handled very carefully, and that means maintaining top-of-the-line high-quality safety regulations for nuclear power plants. Plus, banning nuclear energy would lead to Americans more reliance on oil and other fossil fuels, not more reliable on electric, solar, water and wind because, while those industries and energy sectors and catching on very well, their infrastructure and familiarity is still not there yet for most Americans. Instead, the President backs tight regulations, ‘oppressive red tape’ like some Republicans label them, and Jesse is also promoting the opening of more thorium power plants, which are much safer than nuclear power plants…”

– White House Chief of Staff Ron Daniels, NBC’s Meet the Press, 1/23/2004

Rohrabacher Trial Begins Today: Disgraced Former CA Governor Accused of Treason, Bribery, Multiple Other Charges

The Los Angeles Times, 1/26/2004

MARTIN: “What amazes me is that the Diamondstone candidacy was actually foretold nearly a hundred years ago in the prophetic 1907 novel ‘Lord of the World,’ [7]. According to the book, an antichrist from Vermont will bring about a religious war and the end of the world. Diamondstone is openly agnostic. He is a denier of God and the True Faith. He is an unhinged radical who, if given the nuclear codes, will undoubtedly bring about a nuclear Armageddon!”

NOORY: “Okay, I agree that that is freaky, but don’t you think that this kind of rhetoric will only help the Jackson campaign?”

MARTIN: “No – it’ll keep the American people from bringing about The End Times through atomic fire!”

NOORY: “Okay, alright, fair enough, fair enough...”

– Host George Noory and recurring guest Xander Martin, KDWN’s late night political call-in talk radio program Coast to Coast AM, 1/29/2004


Helsinki, FIINLAND – After coming in first place in the first round of voting on January 16, Dr. Pekka Puska, has won a decisive victory in tonight’s election for President of Finland. Puska, 68, is a celebrated health leader often credited for overseeing the life-extending changes made to the Finnish diet in the 1970s and 1980s; as the nation’s long-serving Minister of Health, Puska worked with leaders across Finland to ensure food shipping lines and energy use remained uninterrupted during the SARS pandemic, and repeated appeared on Finnish television to inform citizens on how to maintain and improve their diet and mental health during the crisis. Puska ran for President on a Green/Social Democratic Alliance ticket, and won over centrist former Prime Minister Esko Aho, 49, of the Centre ticket, by a margin of roughly 21%...

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 6/2/2004

“To be President, you must have the necessary qualities. You must be a man of logic, tolerance, understanding, honesty, and integrity. Bernie Goetz does not have these qualities. …Bernie has presented division and bigotry as individuality and order. …As President, I will bring honesty and integrity to the White House, and I will bring peace and justice to the United States of America.”

– James H. Meredith, GOP Primary Presidential debate, 2/3/2004


…the LDP gained seven seats tonight thanks to incumbent Prime Minister successfully fending off right-wing attacks from three conservative parties who all nominated former PM Shintaro Ishihara. Ishihara, whose candidacy was once again endorsed by yazuka syndicates, continually failed to do better than 38% in polls taken before the election…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 2/6/2004

HOW FAR CAN PETE GO?: More Than An Uphill Climb For An Unapologetic Marxist

…Senator Diamondstone’s self-described “crusade” aims to establish a non-violent sort of crypto-utopian society were government is large but peaceful. Pete’s chances of primarying the popular incumbent President are somewhere between slim and nil, but it may be possible for the openly Marxist politician to influence the party’s official platform for the 2004 general election in some small way. That, though, will depend on how many delegates he receives in the upcoming primary contests, and judging by his standing in the polls – where he hovers between 5% and 0% – well, we refer back to the aforementioned slim-to-nil chances…

The Burlington Free Press, 2/11/2004

DJ: …Alright, so another Republican primary debate was held tonight, and it looks as if, out of the one dozen candidates on the debate stage, those considered to be the top winner of the night are Goetz, Huntsman and Meredith. Now, Goetz started off on the wrong foot by criticizing safezoning, but quickly turned it into a call for individualism and, I guess, libertarianism:

GOETZ (in clip): If you’re an adult, and your responsible to drive a car or raise children or own a business, the government should trust you to keep those around you safe during a crisis. Imposing heavy fines for not maintaining safezoning measures means the government doesn’t trust the American citizen to do the right thing! Listen, you can’t let yourself be pushed around. You can’t live in fear. That’s no way to live your life. [8] And if you are a smart, intelligent and wise individual and you know what you are doing, then the government should get off your back!

DJ: Huntsman, meanwhile, seemed to play to the more religious crowd with optimistic rhetoric:

HUNTSMAN (in clip): A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn't think we possessed… Life is not a game of Solitaire; people depend on one another. When one does well, others are lifted. When one stumbles, others also are impacted. There are no one-man teams—either by definition or natural law. Success is a cooperative effort; it’s dependent upon those who stand beside you. [9]

DJ: And then there’s former Vice President Meredith, who had a few things to say that got lots of applause from the audience, but will definitely lead to criticisms from the left:

MEREDITH (in clip): Integration is the biggest con job ever pulled on any group of people, any nationality in the world. It was a plot by white liberals to gain black political power for themselves and their wild ideas, and for a few black bourgeoisie who were paid to exercise leverage as black spokesmen… Have you ever hear of Irish, Poles, Germans, Italians and Jews being integrated? They go anywhere and just enjoy their rights. Why call it integration when black folk do the same thing? It’s a con job. [10]

– WDRC-AM, 2/17/2004 radio broadcast

“Twelve years is enough, thanks,” John said. He was clearly fatigued from the responsibilities of the office. John had planned on resigning right after the Queen’s Jubilee, only for SARS to appear. The subsequent crisis demanded immediate action, and that meant delaying stepping down until the country was safe enough and stable enough for a leadership election to commence. John made his decision known to his ministers before the press were let in on it, and with John’s approval rating at 63%, the decision split the cabinet. One half though he should capitalize on the popularity to pass more laws, despite John having already passed healthcare reform, improved housing, lowered unemployment (save for jobs lost during the SARS Pandemic), and had enacted progressive laws for environmental protection, BLUTAG marriage, and medical marijuana. He felt his job was done: “You get no thanks overstaying your welcome.”

– Lyn Cornell-Lennon’s memoir, Lennon & I: Our Lives: From Liverpool to 10 Downing Street And Back Again, Thames Books, 2017

…When Prime Minister John Lennon announced on 20 February that he would step down from the job and resign from parliament in under a month, the race was on to see who in the Labor party would succeed him to office… [11]

– Jacqueline Edmondson’s A Legend’s Biography: The Lives And Times of John Lennon, London Times Books, 2010


…The RNC Chair laments, “At this moment in time, the race for the nomination is without a clear frontrunner. It’s pretty much anybody’s guess who will end up the nominee right now.” …When asked about the upcoming March primary contests yesterday, former President Kemp remarked “It all depends now on how the people vote!” [12]

The Washington Post, 2/25/2004

[1] OTL bio bits pulled from (and thus can be found) here:
[2] OTL comment, according to Source 24 on Jesse Jackson’s wikipedia article:
[3] As previously mentioned in the March 1982 chapter
[4] OTL endeavor!:
[5] This statistic was found via a graph found on google images, belonging to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies & Pew Research Center
[6] @historybuff : I mentioned before, but only in passing, that Biden lost re-election in 1996. This was because it was a really good year for Republicans, so he ran to the right of the Democratic party to win over conservatives, while the Republican nominee ran to the left to be competitive in a state as left-leaning as Delaware; the result was a narrow loss of a two-term incumbent (Biden lost the 1972 Senate race ITTL, but served as the Governor of Delaware from 1977 to 1985 before winning a US Senate seat in 1984 and again in 1990). He sat out the 1984 Presidential primaries due to Denton’s high popularity, and he sat out the 1988 primaries due to his OTL aneurysm incident occurring earlier than it did IRL. His political career is essentially over, though he has publicly expressed interest in running for public office again someday. Also, @historybuff : I’m not familiar enough with Ann M. Martin or “The Baby-Sitters Club” to know for sure how her books ITTL would differ from OTL. Maybe the 1990 TV lasts a few more years? Certainly more than just 13 episodes! And, since, I believe, the books were popular in the 1980s, maybe the TV reboot gets made in the 2010s instead of in 2020 like OTL? If you concur, then I’ll cover it in one of the 2010s chapters (like, 2017 or so). Sound good?
[7] This dystopian thing: (I think someone on this site mentioned it a long while back…?)
[8] Italicized piece is from OTL:
[9] Italicized bits were found here (along with some other good JHSr. quotes):
[10] Entirely from OTL, as found here:
[11] @Igeo654 and others: any suggestions for should be PM John Lennon’s successor?

[12] Speaking of which, ahead of the 2004 Republican primaries, I made a preference poll for y’all:
And here’s a quick breakdown of the 20 candidates found on the poll:

George Felix Allen of Virginia, age 52 – a Governor from 1994 to 1998 and a US Senator since January 2003, Allen also served as the US Ambassador to Venezuela from 1998 to 2001; he is running as a self-labeled “Colonel Conservative,” but many pundits state his record shows more right-leaning tendencies when it comes to social welfare issues.

Mario Biaggi of New York, age 87 – with a political resume dating back almost forty years, Biaggi is a candidate with experience; he was a Governor from 1967 to 1981, during which time he played a crucial role in the 1971 Attica Prison Massacre, and a US Senator from 1981 until his retirement this year; having run for President as a Democrat in 1968, 1972, 1984, and 1988, that party’s shift to the left has convinced this former police officer to run in this election cycle as a Republican with a campaign defending “our boys (and gals) in blue.”

Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, age 71 – a Native-American, Campbell has been a Republican since 1991 and a US Senator since 1993; with a reputation for being independent-minded and at time bipartisan, Campbell claims he would appeal to undecided voters in November better than any other Republican; his campaign is focused on minority rights, and on balancing environmental protection and Native American land sacredness with the financial gain that comes from fossil fuels and land put aside for sun farms.

Richard P. Cheney of New Mexico, age 67 – not to be confused with US Congressman-turned-corporate lobbyist Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney of Wyoming, Rick Cheney was a Governor from 1995 to 1999, and the US Ambassador to Norway from 1999 to 2000; having survived an attempt on his life by members of a Mexican recreadrug cartel, Cheney’s campaign is focused heavily on law enforcement, defending police precincts and reversing Jackson’s drug policies.

Joseph Maxwell “Max” Cleland of Georgia, age 62 – a retired US Army General, Cleland has never held public office before but has a diverse military background, having served in some capacity in nearly every major American military confrontation since 1964 (Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Uganda, Angola, Libya, Nicaragua, and, most famously, Korea); Cleland believes Jackson’s annual cuts to the military’s budget are leaving the US vulnerable, and that a more pro-military President is needed; he supports programs for veterans and, interestingly, may have social and even fiscal views that are to the party’s left.

Hillary Diane Rodham-Clinton of Tennessee, age 57 – Clinton was a Governor from 1991 to 1995, and has been a US Senator since 1997; Clinton, initially an Illinoian, canvassed for Republicans in 1966 in Tennessee, which is where she met her future husband George Stanley Clinton, with whom she had a son (Bill, b. 1975) and a daughter (Savannah, b. 1977); her working for Governor Pusser led to her gaining an anti-corruption reputation, while her tenure as governor has won the support of many teachers unions and other professional groups in this election cycle so far; she is running as a “sensible moderate.”

Lowell Jackson “Jack” Fellure of West Virginia, age 73 – a retired engineer who opposes the very concept of the technet and was a Lieutenant Governor from 1985 to 1989, Fellure was the GOP nominee for Governor in 1992, and the “Exposure party” nominee for Governor in 1988; a “Country Conservative” who occasionally makes appearances as a commentator on radio and TV programs, he is running a “low-key” (or “slow-and-steady”) campaign based on his highly-religious and deeply-conservative social views.

Bettye Frink of Alabama, age 71 – a Governor from 1995 to 1999, Frink is a fiscal centrist with religious flair; Frink, whose main focus is the Treasury and economic recovery and diversification, has served in various statewide office since the 1950s, and originally as a moderate Democrat; her emphasis on IRS reform, tax code simplification, and protecting Social Security appeals to older voters, while her rhetoric may win over more religious and evangelical voters.

Bernhard Hugo “Bernie” Goetz of Colorado, age 57 – a US Senator from 1997 to 2003, Goetz grew up in New York but moved to Colorado in 1984, where he owned a hardware store that he grew into a statewide franchise before expanding into real estate in Denver; a libertarian-minded populist who is heavily pro-gun and favors making marijuana "a legitimate business," Goetz, whose surname is pronounced like “guts,” is running on a strategy of securing the support of “forgotten Republicans,” i.e. blue-collar, non-college educated members of the GOP; though he says he appeals to businesspersons big and small, his campaign also (alleged) features some racist undertones.

Gilbert William “Gil” Gutknecht Jr. of Minnesota, age 53 – a US Senator from 1997 to 2003 whose surname is pronounced “GOOT-neck,” this Republican moderate hopes to appeal to enough conservative Democrats and white ethnic voters in enough GOP primaries to clinch the party’s nomination; his campaign focuses on “small town issues” such as small business ownership and college affordability.

Fred Hemmings of Hawaii, age 59 – a former award-winning professional surfer, Hemmings was a Governor from 1990 until his resignation for a diplomatic post in 1997, serving as the US Ambassador to Australia from 1997 to 2001; a lifelong opponent of recreadrug culture, Hemmings also supports efforts to construct wave turbines to power coastal cities; Hemming also plans on running on his record as Governor.

Lamar Hunt of Texas, age 72 – a businessman and sports promoter with abundant wealth, Hunt is the brother of incumbent US Ambassador to New Zealand Swanee Grace Hunt, and the son of billionaire oil tycoon H. L. Hunt (who the famous TV character J. R. Ewing is partially based on); Lamar Hunt is spending much of his own fortune on this campaign, through which he is spouting conservative-populist promises of deregulation and investing in “safer fracking” procedures while also supporting the tiring notion of running the federal government like it is a business, in order to cast himself as “another Iacocca.”

Jon Meade Huntsman Sr. of Utah, age 67 – a millionaire businessman with close ties to KFC and a Governor from 1989 to 2001, Huntsman led his state’s growth in industrial, agricultural, and tourist sectors during the 1990s decade, ad was commended by President Jackson for his handling of the SARS pandemic; as Governor, Huntsman also oversaw his state’s Attorney General go after “rogue sects” of the LDS religion over allegations of “underage pestering” and other offenses.

Alan Lee Keyes of Maryland, age 54 – an African-American diplomat by trade, Keyes has served in every Republican White House since 1981 in a variety of posts, including assistant Secretary of State under President Dinger (from 1995 to 1997) to White House Deputy Chief of Staff under President Kemp (from 1987 to 1989) to US Ambassador to Zimbabwe under President Dinger (from 1997 to 2001); Keyes is running a populist, socially-conservative campaign.

Walter Fox McKeithen of Louisiana, age 58 – a Governor from 1992 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2004, McKeithen almost always goes by his middle name; McKeithen has already won a few labor endorsements due to his campaign call to “protect hardworking Americans everywhere”; McKeithen was also commended by members of both sides of the aisle for his handling of a race riot in 1995 and for his handling of the SARS pandemic.

James Howard Meredith of Mississippi, age 71 – a US Vice President from 1995 to 2001 and a US Senator from 1979 to 1995, Meredith is trying to be seen as a candidate that all of the party’s factions can rally behind despite he himself being very conservative; nevertheless, Meredith’s broad-reaching campaign has already been endorsed by former US President Larry Dinger, and the Iacocca family, and even two former KKK leaders, along with Charles Evers, and several other prominent Black Republicans.

Marilyn Neoma Shuler Musgrave of Colorado, age 55 – a US Representative since 1997, Musgrave is moderate-to-conservative Republican who is calling for tax cuts across the board; additionally, Musgrave advocates both gun rights and women’s rights; Musgrave may have a rising base of supporter out west; at the moment, religious primary voters are torn between Musgrave, Frink, Fellure, Keyes, Meredith and Rehberg.

David Fraser Nolan of Arizona, age 61 – a Governor since 1999, Nolan is a “Libertarian” Republican, or “Liberty-Conservative” Republican, as others call it; a longtime supporter of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, his initial response to the start of the SARS Pandemic was slow, but he more than made up for it by April 2002, implementing travel restrictions, and quarantining and safezoning measures in order to keep Arizonans safe; Nolan plans to run on his gubernatorial record, but also on the positive benefits of recreadrugs.

Dennis Ray “Denny” Rehberg of Montana, age 49 – Rehburg, the Governor of Montana since 1997, is the youngest candidate in the race; sporting an iconic moustache and plaid shirt as part of his “rugged outdoorsman” image, Rexburg, a defender of mining and fracking who is running on his gubernatorial record, supports expanding gun rights, opposes the US Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, and is “pro-police” in the face of the Jackson administration’s police reform efforts.

William Floyd “Bill” Weld of Massachusetts, age 59 – a US Senator since 1991, Weld is indisputably the most left-leaning candidate in the race, a lingering remnant of the Rockefeller Republican at the national level; he stands out from office candidates by actually defending Jackson on several front, and so his campaign is primarily focused on tax reform and reigning in government spending without hurting those who need the support of the welfare state.

Please vote!

The next Chapter’s E.T.A.: October 29!

...okay, given how Bernie Goetz is running for President, I really have to wonder how "We Didn't Start the Fire" would be written ITTL.
TTL's version of that song was included in the 1989 chapter! :)
When did Wendyburger get renamed Wendy's ITTL?
1987, over concerns people were confusing it with Whataburger.
Loved it. Hope Meredith is the Republican nominatee against Jackson two African Americans from different parties running for President. Historic
Thanks! We'll see how well he does in the primaries...
Last edited:
Started reading this today (have reached 1965), am really liking it.

Also, this TL made me eat KFC for the first time (here at home we were going to have delivery, convinced my mum to order KFC, which she disliked but hadn't eaten in over 5 years) and I really liked it, we didn't order the original recipe (she though I would think it was too spicy), but agreed to have the original next time.

So thanks for that @gap80!
Just reached the end of 1990 after binge reading up to it since my last post. And I must say I loved it, I found it funny (in special the changes in therminology, the end of the Mason Family, the changed careers and marriages of various historical and political figures, the fact that you never show Harley face...), awesome (the Sanders presidency and the ways in which the world of this TL has already come farther than in OTL while still being on the 90s), surprising (the earlier end of the Cold War, the fact that Fried Chicken was the answer for peace on the Middle East, Hoover's end and what's happening in China) and at some times saddening (Ho Chi Min's death, the Iranian kidnapping).

The last chapters have been particularly heartwrenching, I tend to bond with the characters when I read so I felt rather emotional when the Colonel's death started nearing, his birthday made me start tearing up a bit (it didn't help that it was very similar to my last christmas with my grandfather, since we all knew there wouldn't be another one and I think I spent more time wanting to cry than partying), and the reactions to the colonel's death made me cry.

Now that the he has passed, I think I'm going to stop reading the TL for a bit (since its the only thing I did for the past two days), rest and then finish reading up to the latest update.

Again, splendid job @gap80.

EDIT: PS, a thing I was curious while reading: did the PODs cause Star Wars to never be made or (A) I didn't notice (B) it simply wasn't commented?
Last edited: