Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Chapter 113: January 2017 – June 2017 New
Chapter 113: January 2017 – June 2017

“Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us.”

– John Dickinson (1732-1808), 1787



Kelsey and I got the new congress to sign off on several new law ideas before January 2017 was even over. Senate Leader Webb fully backed the push for transportation maintenance in light of his own home state having a problem with interstate tolls not being enough to pay for improving Mississippi’s road conditions. Speaker McMaster backed the idea of education reform, to further regulate the nation’s schooling agenda to allow teachers to have more say in curricula and overall making education responsibilities be at the state level, while still encouraging schools to continue to offer vocational training programs. For a lot of students, those kind of classes prepare you for the real world better than any calculus class.

Urban repair funding legislation was also one of the first things introduced that month. It was something that Kelsey had more interest in. That’s another way that you could tell that our administration covered all bases. He cared about things like renewing Jack Kemp’s Z.E.D. program to help out decaying cities, while I cared about ensuring farmers got the mental and financial help they needed to cut down on their suicide rates and high mortgage and debt concerns. He was welcomed across the North and the East, and I was praised across the South and the West. Only haters and morons rejected our administration. The 2016 landslide election results should prove that more than any fancy speech.

– Harley Brown’s Riding Through Hell (a.k.a. Congress): The Political Career of Harley Davidson Brown (So Far), Simon & Schuster, 2020



…According to a 2016 study by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, roughly 25% of front-line fast-food workers rely on at least one public assistance program to support their families. “Because of this industry’s business model of low wages, non-existent benefits, and limited work hours, fast-food businesses cost taxpayers an average of $1.5billion every year,” according to the head of the research team [1]. …It is clear that workers need higher salaries to cover paying for food and basic necessities. This report also highlights how the taxpayer burden for low-wage workers would be even more costly to taxpayers – as high as $8million per year – if the US did not have UHC.

[snip]

…While McDonald’s alone costs American taxpayers a plurality of that $1.5 billion annual amount – at roughly $900,000 a year – by paying its workers insufficient wages, the leading multinational billionaire corporation found to give all of their employees living wages is KFC and its parent company, Finger Licking’ Good, Incorporated. No doubt, FLG will capitalize on this report and milk it for the good publicity it is worth. However, in their defense, FLG Inca., a public company, has managed to over the years address both the labor conditions of those on the bottommost rungs of their companies to the demands of their largest stockholders and shareholders in a manner beneficial to consumer confidence and labor rights movements...

– SUPER-SIZING PUBLIC COSTS: How Low Wages at Top Fast-Food Chains Leave Taxpayers Footing The Bill, National Employment Law Project, 2018 report



“…as you can see by the hardworking efforts to the cleanup crew here, the extent of the damage to the Pinnacle is to the entire front and in a ripple effect runs all along the starboard side of the ship. It is a miracle that the lifeboats were able to be deployed before the ship listed, or tilted, too severely, but the fact remains that this ship can never sail again. Thus, it is of no surprise that Carnival is planning to carefully set it upright and haul it back to its home port to be salvaged for scrap metal, though that whole process may take more than a year due to this ship’s size making it the largest maritime salvaging operation in decades. Amid the loss of life and damage each ship gave the other, it is unconfirmed but very likely that the Sirena can never sail again, either…”

– BBC World News on-the-scene reporter, 1/26/2017 broadcast



…In late 2016 the West African nation of Burkina Faso launched a territorial war against The Fulani Republic, the doubly-landlocked neighbor to their north which had broken away from Burkina Faso in a 2008-2011 war for independence. With both nations in the throes of a bloody conflict, Secretary of State Eileen Collins was expecting the President to want to “pull a Sudan” and intervene in the warfare. To her surprise, Grammer made it clear in a late January 2017 cabinet meeting that this time he was sticking to his libertarian principles.

“We got a lot of flak for Sudan,” the President explained.

Secretary of State Dick Morningstar agreed, saying “Intervening in localized incident would be a misuse of government resources.”

“And if our troops are not welcomed by the locals fighting one another, how will I explain to any next of kin that some of our soldiers died playing referee to two obscure lands instead of defending America’s interests abroad?” Indeed, apart from some gold ore deposits not dug up under Burkina Faso’s 1990sdictatorships, both that nation and The Fulani Republic had economies predominantly based around livestock. Both lands suffered from food insecurity, and were already receiving assistance from the EU, several charities, and West African Monetary and Economic Union.

“Bellamy,” referring to former US President and former UN Secretary-General Carol Bellamy “is still heavily involved in the World Bank. Maybe we can get her to organize some more charity drives for them,” the President suggested.

The Defense Secretary was not convinced that the warfare overseas could be ignored. Meeting with the President again at “the Tank,” the Pentagon’s most secure room, Collins made the case that “active participation” in resolving foreign conflict such as the one in Burkina Faso could open up economic opportunities for both the US and the region. “We’d be putting a klieg light on the area,” Collins observed, “bringing their plight to the attention of the rest of the world, but we’d be there first.”

The President was still not convinced. “There’s less than 20 million people living in both nations. North Sudan had more than twice that many people.”

Rob Sobhani, the President’s Chief Foreign Policy Advisor, added his two cents. “We can encourage the warring parties to seek try and negotiate a peace deal, but like with Sudan, it would be more appropriate if some country like South Africa oversaw the actual peace process.”

White House Chief of Staff Patricia Clarey agreed, adding “It’s just bad optics to be continually interfering with regional conflicts, Eileen.”

“I disagree very strongly with that,” said Collins.

“Well let’s take a vote on it.” The President ordered. “All in favor of dedicating even more military resources and energy towards a relatively minor conflict?”

Collins and several military advisors, but not all of them, raised their hands.

“Evan, you’re in favor of it, too?” Vice President Brown lowered his hand in confusion.

“What benefit would it serve the US?” Asked CIA Director McMullin.

“How about ‘saving people from getting killed by their own idiot third-world governments is good publicity’?”

“Will the media see it that way when soldiers come home in coffins? Will the Gold Star families see it that way? Will the libertarian wing of the party see it that?”

“Not with that attitude!” Brown answered.

“Alright, alright, and all in favor of backing South Africa or one of the other stable African countries in offering peace talks?”

A narrow majority of the room raised their hands.

“I think we have a quorum.” The President spoke to Collins directly, “We’ll hold off on intervening for the time being.”

– historian Jane Mackaman’s What Principles Endure: An Examination of The Grammer Presidency, Vintage E-Books, 2022



SHOULD WE INTERVENE IN BURKINA FASO?

NO: 77%

YES: 12%

NOT SURE: 11%

– Gallup poll, 1/28/2017



…debate soon began over a federal bill proposal that if passed would outlaw autoguns (automatic weapons such as semi-auto machine guns) from even being available for use at gun ranges. Vice President Brown was livid at the idea, saying in a Potomac radio interview, “Yeah, there’s no practical use for that kind of weapon outside of a war zone, but if you’re not even owning it, you’re just using one that’s at a gun range, where’s the harm? Where’s the danger? If we start banning things that aren’t practical, we’re going to end up banning a lot of things that are fun and that are American, like fast cars and motorcycles. Why ride a bike when public transportation’s all the rage. Why allow people to drink expensive coffees when cheap caffeine patches are more practical? Why allow women to wear whatever they want to wear when making everyone wear the same uniform is more practical? It’s a slippery slope, people!”

However, Brown’s rant was rendered most by the fact that Republicans controlled the Senate 58-to-46, and the House 232-to-209. The bill was viewed as “excessive, even among some Democrats, and it ultimately died in committee…

– Kathryn Millstone’s The Grammer Administration, Borders Books, 2021



GERMANY FINALLY ENDS “EMERGENCY” POLICIES

…with conditions in the nation arguably hit worst by the 2013 recession finally making a full recovery, Germany is rejoining the rest of the continent in relishing in the post-recovery economic boom…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 2/2/2017



ROSS-INSPIRED E.P.I.C. PROJECTS BILL INTRODUCED IN SENATE

…a “G.R.E.E.N. Deal”-like piece of legislation was also introduced the week, with US Senator Denise Juneau (D-MT) joining US Senator Warren Mosler (D-CT) in backing the proposals popularized by the former VP during his White House run last year…

The Washington Post, 2/7/2017



Former US Energy and Technology Secretary Harold HAMM: “I think this E.P.I.C. Jobs proposal will, uh, will fail to pass, uh, because, uh, the private sector does a better job creating innovation and change.”

Prof. JANICE FINE: “What are you talking about? E.P.I.C. Jobs would mean the reshaping of the entire US power industry, promoting the established and rising renewable energy industries such as electric, solar, wind, wave and hydrogen, to phase out the fossil fuel industry completely within most of our lifetimes.”

HAMM: “And what about the workers, then, huh? How are they gonna make a living after that?”

FINE: “Workers will be rehired and retrained to combat in the newer industries. This would cancel out the unemployment concerns and defy the growing trend of automation in American’s workplaces.”

HAMM: “Oh, that would never work, so many workers can only learn one skill and get used to only that one skill. Many would sooner retire!”

FINE: “Well, wouldn’t that lead to more jobs becoming available for young people?”

HAMM: “It won’t work, I say. Nature will get better just as easily through everyone doing their part, like what they say in those commercials.”

FINE: “Those commercials, the ones telling consumers to change their own habits themselves, are run by industries who refuse to change their habits. Study after study proves that things cannot change unless they are changed from the top down.”

– KNN roundtable discussiom, 2/10/2017



“Tonight on Oprah – survivors tell their harrowing experiences onboard last month’s cruise ships that played chicken in the Mediterranean – with fatal results…”

– The Oprah Winfrey Network, 2/13/2017 promo



“Kelsey Grammer Falls Off Stage”

[vid: youtube, watch?v=Eu-BqOsvj00 ]

Description: On February 16, 2017, US President Kelsey Grammer, attending a political fundraiser in Foggy Bottom, Potomac, began to speak of his experience collaborating with Disney Studios back in the 1980s when he accidently fell off the edge of the stage. In a move that some compared to President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1912 “Bull Moose” moment, Grammer, despite receiving a massive scrape/cut up most of the side of his leg, got up and continued speaking despite the cut causing him to be bleeding by the time he was done speaking. [2]

COMMENTS SECTION:

>Comment 1:

The stage tried to assassinate him.

>Comment 2:

Our President, people. Smh.

>>Reply 1 to Comment 2:
Didn’t you read the description?! He hurt himself bad enough to end up bleeding, but nobody remembers that, let alone talks about it, except for only his supporters smart enough to actually remember the reports noting that! It’s like if there’s no pictures showing the blood, then there is no blood! You are a part of the problem here – while the blood bit actually makes him sort of a badass, the moment is mocked because the totally-leaked footage failed to capture the badass part! Argh!!!

>Comment 3:

I remember when this happened. I heard a few days later that Grammer actually had to get his leg either stitched up or just bandaged up because of how bad the cut was. But you know what? Even with the context that he actually hurt himself kind of badly here, it’s still funny!

>>Reply 1 to Comment 3:
I love how he says “Oh, good Lord” instead of cursing. It’s so polite! And it’s in one of those moments when it would be perfectly understandable for you to swear, so the fact that he doesn’t just makes it even more polite!

>>>Reply 1 to Reply 1 to Comment 3:
Yeah, it’s such an unintentional “Dr. Crane” moment!

>>>Reply 2 to Reply 1 to Comment 3:
Kinda shows how religious he is, doesn’t it, that in a split second of panic he thinks of the Lord instead of swearing. This guy’s got a good soul.

>Comment 4:

*voice of Futurama’s Bart Farnsworth* Man… fall down… funny…

>Reply 1 to Comment 4:
*voice of others hooked on TV* Mmmmmm….

>Reply 2 to Comment 4:
LOL!

>Reply 1 to Reply 2 to Comment 4:
It’s even funnier once you remember that Grammer was in that episode (Dr. Schwarzschild cameoed at the beginning of it!)

– video uploaded to OurVids.co.can, a video-sharing netsite, 8/9/2019



LONGEST-SERVING US SENATOR DIES

…John S. Wold, a Republican from Wyoming who had served in the Senate since 1965, passed away earlier today at the age of 100. Wold (b. 1916) was elected over incumbent Democratic Senator Gale McGee in 1964, was re-elected eight times, and served under 11 US Presidents. Now that he has passed away, after just over 52 consecutive years in office, the longest-serving incumbent US Senator is now Bob Dole, a Republican from Kansas, who has been serving in office since 1969…

The Washington Post, 2/19/2017



“…Growing, changing, and evolving technology is unavoidable, and it cannot be stopped. But what can be stopped is the rich exploiting that technology to further consolidate wealth to the detriment of the working classes. Workplaces can adjust to automation if governments protect workers during such industrial shifts, but with the President showing no signs of wanting to further the federal government’s role in combating this major national crisis, politically addressing the needs of the workers must be at the state level. But organizations can still work nationwide to raise awareness and mobilize…”

– former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich, 2/21/2017



MCMILLAN SIGNS VACANCY TAX INTO LAW

…the raise from 1% to 15% is meant to “motivate” landlords into filling empty units, the plan being that it will cut down on homeless and encourage landlords to more actively encourage more people to move to New York City…

The New York Times, 2/22/2017



FAST PROTEIN SYNTHESIS TECHNOLOGY BRINGS US CLOSER TO CURING MAJOR DISEASES

…In a revolutionary breakthrough, chemists at MIT have discovered a way to drastically reduce the time required to generate artificial and synthetic proteins that are used in the fight against diabetes, cancer, arthritis and other diseases. These proteins are often required in large quantities and take quite a while to generate. The team has designed a tabletop automated flow synthesis machine that can play a major role in the search for cures to these diseases going forward…

– scientificamerican.co.usa, 2/23/2017 [3]



“…In the continuing fallout of the Pinnacle-Sirena Cruise Ship Double-Collision, the Spanish government investigating the Carnival cruise line’s claims that the Sirena is ‘entirely’ to blame for the maritime disaster, with Carnival claiming that their ship had the right-of-way. However, the company of the other ship is making the exact same claim…”

– ABC Morning News, 2/24/2017 broadcast



PIZZA HUT CEO BARRY GORDON ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

…Pizza Hut hired Barry Gordon for CEO in 2007 upon CEO Greg Creed announcing his retirement to pursue other ventures. Gordon, a former S.A.G. President and former two-term US Congressman (D-CA) who also performs voicing acting work intermittently, oversaw the company expand its pickup-only locations after their popularity rose during the SARS pandemic of the mid-aughts. After ten years leading the multinational corporation, Gordon aims to retire in six months. It is most likely that the company will select Peter Rokkos, Greek-American businessman and former prosecuting attorney who is second-in-command at the company, to be the next CEO of Pizza Hut…

The Wall Street Journal, 2/25/2017



PEOTONE AIRPORT FINALLY OPENS

…After over twenty years in development, Chicago Mayor Al Wintersmith today presided over the official opening of the Windy City’s third airport. The long-awaited Peotone Airport, located roughly 40 miles south of Chicago, finally began receiving commercial aircraft today. Peotone was built in order to serve the southern suburbs of the Chicago metro area, and to decongest air traffic at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports, in a development project begun under Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1998. The long-proposed and controversial construction of a third Chicago Airport has faced opposition from locals in Protons, along with many claiming the airport is too costly and too expensive to operate…

– The State Journal-Register, the only local daily newspaper for Springfield, IL, 2/27/2017



…And in Europe, the nations of Austria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were all the target of a massive cyberattack over the weekend, with thousands of ontech bank accounts being breached and made vulnerable to identity theft in a major failing of financial firewalls…

– ABC Morning News, 3/1/2017



…concurrent with debate over the merits of foreign intervention in Burkina Faso came calls for a “safer technet,” though the term had a multitude of meanings ranging from promoting wholesomeness on all sites, to shielding the underage from adult elements Intec, to sites themselves cracking down on nefarious site members, to even returning to the draconian proposals of the late 1990s, a.k.a. the technet’s “Dark Ages” period. With data breaches becoming increasingly prominent in public discussions and increasingly problematic behind the scenes, hackers targeted the vulnerable or the “technologically illiterate” to use ID theft to buy fancy items, or in some occasional cases, to pay off bills. Ontech anonymity still on a site-by-site basis, but in Europe, talk of limiting anonymity to curb negative ontech behavior was growing into a major debate issue, pitting people promoting privacy against pushers for the more publicly-oriented “personalization” of the technet...

– Kathryn Millstone’s The Grammer Administration, Borders Books, 2021



Orgazmo
is an American live-action comedy TV series written by, co-produced by, and co-starring Trey Parker and Chet Martin, and also starred David Krumholtz, Sarah Hyland, Tyler Okonma, Calum Worthy, Michael Cuccione, and Pratyusha Banerjee, along with Tawdry Teal, Dian Bachar and Jason McHugh, plus many guest stars. The plot followed a devout Mormon missionary who, after reluctantly joining the adult film industry, inadvertently stumbles into the world of superheroes, and joins several fictional crime-fighters in defending the world from evildoers.

After Parker initially developing the concept for it in 1995, the series was greenlit in either late 2000 or early 2001. After several delays, finally premièred on September 4, 2003 and concluded on March 4, 2017 after 12 seasons and 296 episodes. Originally meant to be a sex comedy that parodied superhero tropes and superhero movies that were highly popular during the 1990s and 2000s decades, the final seasons included “slice-of-life” comedic storylines that were more syndicated in nature and focused more on the development of the character within the series. The show also became more experimental over time, with its 2014 Halloween Special receiving several awards for its nontraditional means of storytelling.

Similar to Parker’s earlier long-running series “Time Warped,” Orgazmo developed a strong cult following.

– clickopedia.co.usa



“I think it’s messed up how the President gets to pick and choose, you know, which African country we go into and which ones we don’t. It’s kinda racist, like the days of colonizing, and imperialism, they never went away. White people are still messing around with Africa like it’s still the 1960s.”

– Tupac Shakur, radio interview, 3/3/2017



“Mr. Shakur grossly oversimplified the complexities behind American foreign policy in his comments yesterday. He either overlooked or willingly ignored several key facts. First of all is the fact that President Jesse Jackson intervened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Secondly, the more important fact that the situation in Sudan was bringing about a humanitarian crisis that could not go unaddressed, while the current ongoing conflict between Burkina Faso and the Fulani Republic is a localized issue that can most likely be resolved through local negotiations that American diplomats are capable of help with if the local parties involved wish us to become involved.”

– White House Press Charlotte Schultz, new briefing, 3/4/2017



…Despite Schultz’s best effort to douse the social media fire that had been spurred into a raging blaze by Shaker’s words, Grammer’s approval ratings continued to slide within the African-American community. To counter the claims that the President was “racist” for not intervening in the warfare in West Africa, Grammer resurrected a decades-old proposal.

“Maybe we should push for a variation of reparations for slavery in the form of income tax exemptions. It would be in keeping with this administration anti-tax themes,” the President ran the idea by his Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, the African-American healthcare advocate and former nurse Renee Amoore.

“It could makes amends,” she observed with a slight nod of approval.

“I don’t think the congress would go for it,” Vice President Brown shook his head. After four years presiding over the senate, he had gotten a good “feel” of the place. “I don’t think any Republicans will go for it, and I can think of at least ten Democrats that would say ‘Hell no’ to it.”

“One way it could work would be to pair it up with Webb’s proposed budget cuts,” Grammer suggested. “He wants to cut down on all those frivolous social programs so the BBA won’t be such a nuisance for the next fiscal year.”

After a quick moment, Amore replied, “With the tax exemptions, African-Americans could afford to pay for things covered by those programs. So it would be like cutting out a middleman between those communities and their necessities.”

“Yeah,” Brown grinned with a nod, “We can describe it like that.”

“You are going to have to describe it like that if you want to win over the more fiscally conscious people in Congress,” warned Amoore.

“Okay, okay,” Brown said in a defensive manner, “That should take care of them, but it will do no good for those who think that you shouldn’t get special treatment just because your dead ancestor were shit on. Even I’m on the fence on that point.”

Indeed, the talk of income tax exemptions for only the descendants of slaves but not for the descendants of other maligned groups, such as the Native American, the Mexican, and the Jews, was debated on for the next several weeks. Even within the African-American community, the proposal was controversial. While polling showed that an overwhelming majority of African-Americans supported the notion, several prominent individuals from across the political spectrum, such as Tupac Shaker, Senator Herman Cain, and actor Samuel L. Jackson, considered the proposal to be “like a bribe,” as Shaker called it in an NPR interview. “They want us to shut up and stop calling them racist for how they treat Black people in Africa and Black people over here. …You can’t put a price on us. You can’t silence us. You can’t give us Hush Money like you’re some Buz Lukens wannabe.”

Nevertheless, the President believed the proposal was in line with libertarian principles, and, if implemented, would be overall beneficial for the country…

– historian Jane Mackaman’s What Principles Endure: An Examination of The Grammer Presidency, Vintage E-Books, 2022



With the “Trump-Wiseau” film trilogy complete, many believed that Donald would found his own film studio. Instead, the Don decided to return to his roots, and shift back to real estate. Donald cited the recent construction of the Chicago Spire, the tallest building in the US, as inspiring him to get “back into the construction game” during an NBC interview.

Agj5Vih.png

[pic: imgur.com/Agj5Vih.png ]

Above: MLB pitcher-turned-real estate developer Donny Trump wears his glasses as he looks over floorplans for his latest real estate venture, c. early 2017

– Kate Bohner’s The Art of The Don: The Unofficial Biography of Donald Trump, Times Books, 2020 edition



BREAKING NEWS!: Cyberattack Leaks Info On Over 1,000,000 Private US Bank Accounts!

– Kennedy News Network, 3/22/2017 broadcast



“Heh. Told you so.”

– former NASA Director John McAfee, reply-comment posted on buddytalk.co.usa, a popular social media netsite, 3/23/2017



“Although the attack had several of the characteristics of a state-sponsored act of cyber-terror, the US intelligence agencies could not confirm that this act was such an attack,” said the latest NBC News anchor. “All that could be confirmed was that the hackers behind the assault of 1.1million bank accounts originated from inside Russia, and was similar in strategy to an earlier, smaller cyberattack reportedly originating from inside China.”

“Mute,” The President instructed the remote, turning off the screen. “I can’t believe the cyber-terrorism is a still new ‘field scenario’ for American intelligence. Still! Even after the technet became a prominent aspect of global commerce and trade 25 years ago!”

“I’m more angry at the Chinese and Russian governments than our own,” the Vice President grumble. “There’s no evidence it was government-sanction, but there’s enough circumstantial evidence, and if that’s good enough for corrupt cops, it’s good enough for me!” Brown looked around the secured room, at all the leading members of the US intelligence community, much of the Grammar Cabinet, and a few members of the White House inner circle. “This was a threat to our national security! Why aren’t we calling out the Russian bastards for this? They violated American enterprise. They betrayed American goodwill. They practically invaded us, are we’re just going to do nothing but go on defense?!”

“Well of course it’s going to sound bad when you put it that way,” State Secretary Morningstar spoke up. “But this wasn’t exactly a remake of Pearl Harbor. Responding to this sort of this…requires nuance.”

“Nuance,” the Vice President sounded disgusted by the word leaving his mouth.

The White House Chief of Staff looked to the President, who, with a slight gesture of his hand, waved her down. He wanted to hear where this was going.

“We can condemn the Russians for not doing more to prevent this, but we can’t condemn them for supporting it or even accuse them of being behind it because they were clever enough to cover up any government connections, if any. So the best we can do is come together with our allies and try to use multinational solidarity to pressure Russia into submission.”

“You really think guilt and shame can make the Russians cut it out?” Brown said flalty, clearly unconvinced.

“We’ll have our Ambassador to the U.N. call out Russian Intelligence for their ‘irresponsible, negligent and abysmal’ job performance, and claim that it reflects poorly on President Nikolayev.”

Brown grumbled, “Well, it’s a start, at least. I mean, after all, Rome didn’t fall in a day.”

President Grammer seemed to ignore the comment to contemplate further. “We need to figure out how to take more defensive measures to prevent any further attacks from causing such damage. Hell, we need to stop them from happening in the first place, but that could take a lot of diplomacy. It also would take up a lot of time. Time that too many can’t afford to waste. So in the meantime, what we need to do is set up defensive measures. Secure vital technet-based infrastructure, such as power grids, banking systems, healthcare centers and hospitals, and encourage businesses and residential areas go in for additional backup generators. And maybe even encourage businesses pay extra for anti-virus firewalls.”

Hillary Rodham-Clinton, the nation’s newest US Secretary of Commerce, lamented, “So much of our infrastructure is in the hands of the private sector. If we had the kind of oppressive big government that Beijing is overseeing we could easily clamp down on this, and force businesses to use anti-virus software.”

“Well that’s the trade-off you get with small government, I’m afraid,” Secretary Weld said to Rodham-Clinton in a sympathetic manner. “Sometimes you go in alone.”

“Not necessarily,” Defense Secretary Eileen Collins suggested. “If a government can do something to ensure freedom, it has to do so. It may be paradoxical, but in cases like this, maybe government involvement can better ensure freedom, because we wouldn’t be ensuring freedom from government interference – we’d be ensuring freedom from external threats, threats are much more sinister, and, believe it or not, much more heartless than IRS auditors.”

The President replied, “Well, for the time being, we are going to work with the private sector on this. We’re going to have to come up with some specs on how to modernize our cyber defenses, and deepen private-public partnerships. And soon, say, by the end of the year?” He looked around the room.

“That sounds doable,” Weld nodded. Rodham-Clinton concurred as well.

Brown nodded as well, “Yeah, the hackers gained access to private sector groups and two federal agencies, so we’re all on the same bike here.”

Rodham-Clinton inquired, “Isn’t it ‘all in the same boat here’?”

The Vice President groaned, “If you like that better, sure, whatever!”

Osman “Oz” Bengur, the Deputy US Secretary of the Treasury, then began the meeting’s brainstorm with “How about we raise the cost of Russia doing business with the U.S.?”

“You mean tariffs, or encouraging businesses to raise their prices and demands?” Rodham-Clinton asked.

“If necessary, maybe both.”

Weld opined, “Maybe that, or, perhaps, some economic sanctions on Russia?”

“No, no, any of that may hurt American businesses more than it hurts them,” Rodham-Clinton shook her head.

“Then how about we just fight fire with fire? Each time they hack us, we hack them.” Brown bellowed, “Give them a taste of their own medicine!”

Grammer mulled, “Hmm… Maybe.”

“But Kelsey,” Morningstar objected, “There’d be the risk of that blowing up in our faces.”

Grammer replied, “True, true. Alright, how about this – we focus first and foremost on defending American technet accounts, all private info held by banks, netsites, the works. That should be the top priority. Then we focus on the rest.”

– Kathryn Millstone’s The Grammer Administration, Borders Books, 2021



CO-ENDORSEMENTS RISING IN PROMINENCE

…With Boston about to go through its first RCV Mayoral election, “endorsement-splitting” is becoming the new political strategy, both for the City as well as for other parts of the country… The Boston Globe’s endorsing of the two leading progressives in the race is telling, as promoting more than one candidate can help to promote an ideology shared among similar candidates instead of limiting one’s support to just one option. Multi-endorsing thus may play a key role this November…

– usarightnow.co.usa, 3/28/2017



…On March 29, 2017, NASA Director J. Preston Bezos announced the planned launch of the Blue Moon Carrier, a robotic space cargo carrier and lander for making cargo deliveries to the Moon, as a part of the building of the Lunar Bot Hub. The first lander to be sent to the moon, Bezos announced it would land on the moon in August 2018. Capable of carrying 9,000 pounds to the lunar surface or LBH, this cargo/payload vehicle had great potential in Bezos’ eyes. The Director had begun developing the idea after conceiving its design in 2008 after groundbreaking breakthrough was made in Vertical Landing Technology earlier that year. The BMC would be the first time that the new VL technology was used on the lunar surface, and was scheduled to travel there on a NASA New Grissom sub-orbital rocket, with further plans on a manned mission to Moon to oversee development of the LBH’s completion in May 2021…

– researcher R. Cargill Hall’s Impact: The History of NASA, Dover Publications, 2018 edition



TOP RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT: N.D.R.R. Should Lead “Constructive Assistance” In “Troubled” African Nations

...Sergey Lavrov, the former Russian Ambassador to India who in the past has been praised for overseeing post-SARS renewal efforts, has been Russian President Nikolayev’s Chief Foreign Affairs Advisor since 2015… The comments come after US foreign policy officials expressed disinterest in addressing conflicts in Eritrea and Burkina Faso with “direct and immediate military intervention,” instead backing a plan for promoting “locally-sourced negotiations”…

The New York Times, 3/30/2017



GOVERNOR PRITT SIGNS NEW US SENATE VACANCY RULE INTO LAW

…the new state law stipulates that in the event of a vacancy in the US Senate, whoever is appointed by the governor to serve until the next election must be from the same political party as that of the vacating senator. Amid both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition, the bill barely prevailed in state congress last week…

The Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia newspaper, 4/2/2017



W.H.O. DECLARES ANOTHER POLIO VIRUS STRAIN ERADICATED: “There’s Just One Left Now!”

…The King of Afghanistan is praising WHO workers for assisting his efforts to eradicate the strain from his country …the global organization is now currently aiming to completely eradicate polio by 2020 as the virus is now at-large in only one country: Pakistan…

The Daily Telegraph, 4/4/2017 [4]



NASA CONFIRMS HAVING MORE DATA ON THE ANCIENT OCEANS OF MARS

…Deputy NASA Directors Ronald McNair and Dr. Dava J. Newman reported that they are “pleased” by the findings of the Space Probe Inquisitor, which returned to Earth last month after conducting geological science on Mars for two years, drilling for deep-layer soil samples at the Red Planet’s south pole, where underground glacial lakes were discovered in 2001. “The probe’s findings give us further geological evidence that Mars’ ancient planet-wide groundwater system was connected to a larger Martian ocean during the Planet’s early history,” says Dr. Newman, who worked for Mission Control Houston during the historic Marstronaut Mission of 2003...

– popularmechanics.co.usa/space/news, 4/7/2017



WHO KNEW RUSSIAN PHILOSOPHY COULD BE SO CAPTIVATING?!

…when the progressive multimedia empire Tumbleweed Media selected the relatively obscure independent actor/filmmaker known by the moniker Bagel Pizzazz [5] to star as Peter Kropotkin in a high-budgeted movie about the Russian philosopher’s life, many were taken aback. Pizzazz, best known for producing surrealist avant-garde projects and promoting his work almost entirely ontech, is fairly unknown; this was Pizzazz’s first-ever serious film role. Thus, a lot was riding on Pizzazz being able to transition him acting skills into this dramatic vehicle. To our surprise, the pseudonymous thespian pulled it off!

ANHbUeI.png

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Above: Pizzazz (l) and Kropotkin (r)

…While its obscure subject matter may make many moviegoers hesitant to watch this 2-hour-long biopic, the film itself is good overall, with decent camerawork, a superb soundtrack and, apparently, a close dedication to historical accuracy. Though its script may leave the audience wanting more, we recommend this flick for its stellar dramatic performances…

The Hollywood Reporter, film review section, 4/10/2017



…By 2017, Tommy Gun Thompson, the infamous weapons smuggler from several armed conflicts, had already survived two attempts on his life, reportedly via contracts issued by former associates he had named in his 2015 best-selling all-tell autobiography “With Cold, Dead Eyes: A Gun Runner’s Confessions.” The conviction of three major gun running leaders were directly tied to the book’s publication…

– clickopedia.co.usa/arms_trafficking



HOST: “…For more on the new Guggenheim Guadalajara Museum set to open soon, we are joined now by Angelica Araujo Lara, one of the leading architects overseeing construction of the museum. Senora Araujo Lara has been working on the museum since Mr. Jorge Vergara became personally invested in the project. Senora Araujo Lara?”

ARAUJO LARA: “Good morning, and hello, everyone. I’m glad to be here.”

HOST: “We’re glad to have you on. So, tell, this Guggenheim Guadalajara Museum, it has been in development for a long time, with the initial proposal being announced all the way back in 2004. Why has it taken over a decade to get built?”

ARAUJO LARA: “Well, first of all, you can thank Mr. Vergara for getting it built in the first place.”

HOST: “You mean Mr. Jorge Vergara, the famous billionaire film producer and owner of the nutrition company Omnilife?”

ARAUJO: “Yes, that very same Mr. Vergara. He is a very important and influential figure in Guadalajara, and he ensured the museum got the funding needed for it to get built. The Guggenheim foundation had wanted to open this branch for a long time, and originally, they proposed an architectural project similar to the Guggenheim Bilbao, which cost about 85 million pesos to build. Right from there, the project slowed because of financial issues.”

HOST: “So there were monetary concerns?”

ARAUJO LARA: “Yes. The project was already expensive before groundbreaking even began, with a 1-million-peso feasibility study for the branch happening in 2004. But the state and local governments really wanted this to be a tourist destination for the benefit of the people of Jalisco, especially in the wake of the SARS pandemic drying up the tourist industry over there. But the city government wanted it to be affordable, too. They were willing to pay no more than 50 million pesos altogether, but the Guggenheim wanted an architecturally significant building, so they would not go any farther down in cost than 75 million pesos, and the foundation refused to have the museum be scaled down any farther than they already had been by 2006. The dispute lasted for another two years, until 2009, when Mr. Vergara finally stepped in to cover the outstanding cost with a personal donation in exchange for a wing of the building to be named after him.”

HOST: “Well that was very considerate of Mr. Vargara; he sounds like a great man. And now a word from this program’s sponsor, Omnilife – live your best life with Omnilife nutrition products…”

– Azteca Uno, Mexican TV channel, 4/21/2017 broadcast (translated) [6]



REPUBLICANS INTRODUCE THEIR OWN VERSION OF THE E.P.I.C. JOBS BILL

The Washington Post, 4/22/2017



LABOUR MP EXPELLED FROM PARLIAMENT FLOOR FOR STARTING VERBAL QUARREL

…With shouts of “loonie,” “liar” and “got ahold of the wrong end of the stick, you have,” Danny Dyer, Labour MP from London, was asked to leave of the floor of parliament after beginning a shouting spat with Tory MP Andy Burnham over Burnham’s support for the new Conservative government’s tax reform proposal. Labour leaders have in the past week claimed that the proposed reform, which is being backed by PM Goodlad, will only benefit the wealthy and hurt the middle and lower classes…

– thedailytelegraph.co.uk, 4/24/2017 e-article



ZIMBABWE’S GOV. PLEADS FOR CITIZENS TO “BE MORE MINDFUL” OF ELECTRICAL USAGE

The country’s National Energy Reliability Council is appealing to Zimbabwean consumers of electric power to reduce and limit their usage during peak demand hours of 2-to-7 pm after reserve capacity fell below 5,000 megawatts last week. This could impact business operations if Zimbabwe is involved in anyone’s work. Just an FYI post.

>Comment 1:

I got relatives over there, so thanks for the notice.

>Comment 2:

This is not the first time they’ve had energy issues. They’ve had it much worse before. It’s sort of the reason why investments into in-place bicycles hooked up to independent generators is at an all-time high in Zimbabwe.

>Response 1 to Comment 2:
It’s not a bad idea. Those things are popping up all over the place here in Cape Town. They’re quite good. They’re reliable during storm and energy shortages, and they work well even when the power is not out and you just want to exercise at home, or just cut some money off your next power bill!

>Response 1 to Response 1 to Comment 2:
Yeah, but you really have to save up to buy it. But the price for one of the kits is going down a bit each year, so some day I’ll probably get one of them too!

– discussiontime.co.soaf, popular social media site endemic to South Africa but downloadable globally, 4/25/2017



…On April 26, US Attorney General Susana Martinez announced that the US Justice Department was pressing charges against three individual members of the People’s Republic of China’s military, alleging that they directly hacked, or directly ordered the hacking of, several computer networks of several American companies last year, stealing intellectual property and even some trade secrets. The indictment was the first of its kind to be brought by the U.S. publicly against possibly state-sponsored hackers.

However, journalists were quick to point out that it was very likely that the defendants would never see the inside of a U.S. courtroom, which in turn fueled questions on whether the indictment strategy for intimidating Russia and China into ceasing and desisting the technet hacks would be a success or a failure.

“This is pitiful,” former NASA Director John McAfee opined in an April 27 THN interview. McAfee, who had designed software for NASA for decades, claimed the indictments were “meaningless,” saying “They do not actually stop them from getting other government-sponsored hackers to continue the hacking.” McAfee alleged that those accused were directed directly by PRC Chairman Yang Gang.

Meanwhile, Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-profit think tank founded in 1921, took an even more defeatist attitude. “Even if they allow their own to be exposed, if we catch such individuals hacking our systems, or if we admonish them for it, it’s just a few government workers. Peons are a dime a dozen to them when compared to the billions of dollars in business projects and secrets that they steal. They don’t care, because we depend on them for manufacturing.”

To Segals’ claims of imbalanced trade relations, Robert Reich made a counterpoint in a CBS interview the next day. Reich, the former US Secretary of Labor, stated that “Commerce works both ways. If we indeed depend on the Chinese for manufacturing, then they depend on us for a customer base. If you can convince American consumers and businesses to stop buying from China, their government may see that the underhanded undermining of international commerce is no longer worth it. They need to see economic consequences.”

In Reich’s defense, such leveraging happened once before in 1988, when a band of US-based businesses drummed up a boycott of China to protest their mistreatment of Uyghurs in western China. However, national dynamics have altered dramatically since then. The People’s Republic of China was now much stronger economically on the world stage than it was then, and so there was no guarantee that such a retreat would hold up in the economic world stage of 2017 and sway China’s opinion toward reconsidering their current alleged practices. But with Russia, there was some greater chance at persuasion, albeit slight…

– Kathryn Millstone’s The Grammer Administration, Borders Books, 2021



Ali Ahn, Voice Actress, Lands Occurring Role On Futurama Ahead of Season 23 Premier

…the “rising star” of the voice acting community is set to play Janey Lee, a distant relative of Lisa Wong, a major character on the long-running series. The character will be introduced to Futurama fans in the premier episode of Season 23, which is scheduled to air on September 3rd, 2017…

– thehollywoodreporter.co.usa, 4/30/2017 e-update



…By May 2017, President Grammer was mentioning to his States and HHS Secretaries that he was considering withdrawing US funding contributions to W.H.O. in order to make federal ends meet for the 2018 budget, in order to not violate the Balanced Budget Amendment. It was either that, or shave off the WHO equivalent from the military. Vice President Brown opposed the latter option, believing that due to the rise in “agitation” from Russia and China in the form of cyber attacks, the military could not afford such cuts.

However, in a 2021 radio interview, then-former Secretary of Defense Eileen Collins stated that “Harley [Brown] did not initially understand how cyberwarfare worked. He thought that it could easily lead to a regular, more conventional form of warfare, and wanted to be prepared. And even though both he and the President sat in on weekly briefings, Grammer was the brighter student; he picked up on things quicker, and could see that the budget could be cut away from both the Defense and State department to make up the difference and bringing the budget out of the red.”

Grammer reportedly did not discuss the 2018 budget with his Vice President, instead sending his “first mate” of sorts on a V.I.P. tour of Saudi Arabia during the week that the budget was finalized, assigned with returning on a report on US-Saudi relations…

– historian Jane Mackaman’s What Principles Endure: An Examination of The Grammer Presidency, Vintage E-Books, 2022



…In light of the rise in cyberattacks, FLG Inc. CEO William Kirk Hannon and KFC Head executive David C. Novak sought to establish greater parameters to better protect the accounts and investments of FLG’s stockholders and the contracts of their business partners concerning materials, manufacturing, processing and transportation. On the lighter side of matters, though, Hannon and Novak assured stockholders that there was no danger of arguably the most famous culinary trade secret in world history – The Colonel’s legendary 11 Secret Herbs and Spices blend – falling into the possession of foreign or domestic hackers.

“The recipe itself is written on paper. It has never once touched the surface of a printer or comp-scanner,” Novak described the situation during one meeting with investors that was held in early May 2017. “We use two or more different and unrelated suppliers to prepare the 11 spices and herbs in order to ensure that no single entity has the whole thing. We use two or more different and unrelated companies to actually make the actual recipe for us – one makes the one part, the other company makes another part, and then a state-of-the-art computer processing system carefully blends the parts together. However, not even the computer itself knows what the ingredients are; all the culinary elements are labelled ‘Ingredient A,’ ‘Ingredient B,’ Ingredient C,’ et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. If the computer’s in the dark, and our firmly-secured computer software system is hacked, the computer can tell the hackers nothing because it knows practically nothing.” After the blending process is completed, the parent company then ships the final product – the secretive blend – to KFC outlets to preserve the recipe's secrecy.

With The Colonel famously claiming that the ingredients “stand on everybody's shelf,” maintaining and publicly announcing such activities heighten the allure of cracking the code and uncovering the special blend. This has made for a fantastic marketing ploy, as whomever wants to try and reverse-engineer the blend must purchase from KFC in order to reverse-engineer it and compare the conclusion of their own endeavors against The Colonel’s own creation. The allure also leads to more people learning how to cook – or, at the very least, learn how to cook fried chicken – which is always a plus in any endeavor…

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



JENNY LEONG WINS LABOUR PARTY LEADERSHIP ELECTION

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…Sidney MP Jenny Leong, b. 1977, was a member of the Greens until 2012, and was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from Sidney from 2009 to 2013. A member of Parliament since 2013, she is the first female MP to rise to the position of leader of the Labour Party, making her PM Varvaris’ Opposition Leader. Her ontech media presence, progressive proposals, and inspiring oratory skills and rhetoric account for her quick political rise…

The Canberra Times, Australian newspaper, 5/5/2017



PRESIDENT OF FRANCE EMBROILED IN FINANCES SCANDAL

…Leotard still insists that his political party’s funds for his re-election bid were only “temporarily resting” in his personal account…

– The Montreal Gazette, Quebec newspaper, 5/11/2017



BEZOS MEANS BUSINESS: NASA And The Privatization of Space Exploration

…In light of increasingly limited funding for NASA coming from the federal government – a part of President Grammer’s creed of “minimum government, maximum freedom” – the administration’s director, J. Preston Bezos, has teamed up with Rob Myerson of the private space company Glenn Horizons to collaborate on the “Sustained Orbital Gateway.” Better known as the “Lunar Bot Hub,” the SOG, an idea put into motion by the previous NASA Director, John McAfee, is an ambitious plan that Bezos aims to have completed – that’s designing, launching and assembling in space – within just the next five years.

Glenn Horizons is not the only private space exploration enterprise, but it is one of the largest. Other big dogs in the arena of space-centric businesses are Atlas, Space Launch Systems, and Vulcan Enterprises. They too have been strengthening ties to NASA in recent years in the for of several long-term business contracts. Along with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grunman and Draper Labs, closer relations to these companies as a part of Bezos’ effort to “open up” space to private enterprise in order to “shake some of the responsibilities of expanding to other worlds off of the shoulders of NASA and other government agencies,” as the Director described at a press meeting last year.

NASA’s newfound support for the private sector means that the agency is now engaging in an “industrial partnership” to work on multiple projects. The most ambitious of these scientific endeavors is developing greater fuel cell power with the assistance of Vulcan Enterprises in order for such cells to better endure the frigid temperatures of “lunar night” when installed on a LBH. “Working with our friends at Glenn Horizons to assemble the Sog, partly on Earth, partly in orbit, and partly on the lunar surface for maximum stability, will allow for a greater, wider and more diverse pooling of resources and ideas that will benefit us all in the long term.”…

Time Magazine, mid-May 2017 issue



…Bulgarian President Angel Marin of his nation’s Socialist party today announced that that the Bulgarian National Assembly had compromised on reforms for their national court system with the opposition, getting their National Court Justices to be voted by national elections in exchange for voting down a proposed law to ban indoor smoking in public buildings nationwide. The compromise is reportedly similar to one made last year to shut down the controversial Belene Nuclear Power Plant in northern Bulgaria in exchange for deregulating the nation’s patent office to encourage private enterprise.

Marin, who has spoken favorably about controversial President Nikolayev of Russia for him supporting Marin’s government during the 2015 Bulgarian coup attempt, also met with the Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov in Sofia this week to discuss improving Bulgaria’s relations with both Eastern and Western Europe, saying that innovation on both sides of the continent can benefit the Bulgarian people…

– BBC World News, 5/17/2017 broadcast



NIKOLAYEV REVEALS THE TEN COSMONAUT FINALISTS FOR PLANNED RETURN TO THE MOON

…Star City, the nation’s astronaut training facility in Moscow Oblast, has announced the names of the ten applicant finalists selected for a 2021 “moonshot” plan, which, if successful, would be the first time in 13 years that humans have stepped on the moon, and the first time since the 1970s that Russian cosmonauts have walked on the lunar surface…

Kommersant (The Businessman), Russian newspaper, 5/20/2017



HERB WESSON ELECTED L.A. MAYOR

…Wesson, a 65-year-old Democratic city lawmaker, won the runoff election in a landslide after winning roughly 48% of the vote in the city’s blanket primary on May 7… Wesson will be the first African-American to serve as Mayor of Los Angeles since Tom Bradley left office in 1993...

The Sacramento Union, 5/23/2017



PULLMANTER CRUISES REPORTS “STAGGERING” LOSSES FOR FQ2

…the cruise liner company is losing money and stockholders as sponsors pull funding and investors distance themselves from them. The Spanish cruise line company received infamy earlier this year from the double-liner collision off the coast of Sardinia that occurred this past January between a Carnival ship and a Pullmanter Cruises ship…

COMMENTS SECTION

>Comment 1:

Serves them right. They got people killed.

>Comment 2:

I guess this works against the conspiracy theory that claims that the rival shipping companies were in cahoots to sink “outdated” ships (i.e., three years) to collect the insurance money?

>Reply 1 to Comment 2:
It blows that theory...right out of the water!

>Reply 1 to Reply 1 to Comment 2:
Get out.

– usarightnow.co.usa, 5/24/2017 e-article



…In late May, Congress responded to the rise in concerns over cyber security issues by introduced the Technology Defense Act to reorganize the US Department of Energy and Technology so that it contained greater powers for addressing and combating technet-based criminal acts and prevention by creating for it a new subdivision, the Undersecretary of Cybersecurity. The TDA also emboldened the powers of the State and Defense Departments, along with the FBI and CIA, in manners concerning cyber-terrorism. With all but the most libertarian of Republicans, and even some Democrats, backing its contents, the legislation was expected to pass with ease.

In the Executive branch of the government, President Grammer rejected creating a new position called “Chief Technet Policy Advisor” to instead hire someone for the pre-existing position of Deputy National Security Advisor for Emerging Technology. The “tech czar” position had been vacant since its incumbent left the administration in February for a think tank position, and so the situation was ripe for a new “tech czar” to take over.

Unfortunately, the person chosen for the position was the controversial US Army General (ret.) Ronald L. Kovic. Kovic, age 70, previously in charge of the DET’s anti-cyberbullying division, attempted to quell concerns over his qualification for the job later that month with a press conference, where he spoke in detail on the “grueling task” at hand. “Cyberattacks can be carried out by government, either directly or by sponsoring hackers. But such sorts of attacks are more often carried out by individuals…. We must increase cybersecurity control systems. We must protect America’s transportation systems, electronic voting systems, and international commerce. This administration will be working with governments around the world in what we hope will be a global, multinational effort to keep the technet safe from all malicious agents”...

– Kathryn Millstone’s The Grammer Administration, Borders Books, 2021



James Brendan Patterson
(born March 22, 1947) is an American author and philanthropist whose books have sold over 400 million copies; he was the first person to sell 2 million e-books, doing so in May 2017. Among his best works are the Alex Cross, Mothers’ Murder Club, The Robot Diaries, Max Einstein, LAPD Red, and Martin X series, along with many stand-alone thrillers and romance novels, as well as some non-fiction books, too. Additionally, several of his books, such as Susan’s Day, The Hawk Family, A Dog’s Survival, and The President Faked His Death, have been made into TV shows and films.

A prolific writer considered one of the most successful of contemporary American writers – alongside the likes of Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Jacqueline Wilson, and Octavia E. Butler – Patterson has won several awards. He has won been praised for his efforts to making reading and literature “top national priorities,” using his wealth to donate millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to universities and colleges in the US and the world. As of 2020, he is one of the highest-paid American authors currently still writing, with an estimated total yearly income of roughly $80million...

– clickopedia.co.usa, c. 2020



C.D. PARTY GAINS SEATS IN DIET LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

…Prime Minister Renho tonight led the Constitutional Democratic Party to victory over opposition leader and former Deputy PM Akie Matsuzaki of the Centrist Party. The plurality-holding C.D.s gained 22 seats, and the Social Democrats, with whom the C.D. party is allied, gained 12 seats, as support for the Centrists continues to fall…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 5/30/2017



G.R.E.E.N. DEAL LEGISLATION KILLED IN SENATE VOTE, 58-46; Minority-Holding Democrats Swear: “We Will Keep Introducing It Until It Passes!”

…the landmark proposal was rejected on partisan lines by the majority-holding Republicans despite polls finding that as many as 74% of Americans support the implementation of a “national deal” to “Globally Reduce Emissions to Empower Nature” proposal…

The Washington Post, 6/1/2017



INTERVIEWER: “So then, how did you get into the music scene?”

Brittany PRESSLEY: “Well, I originally started out in voice acting. Not in cartoons, though. It was more like radio commercials and briefly appearing in TV ads, never the main focus of any of the TV spots. Then when I got started getting gigs narrating books on tape, I mean for downloading sites, I started to, you know, make more contacts, develop more connections, and eventually, Jermaine Dupri, the record producer, contacted me after he listened to this one audiobook where one character does a singing bit. He was impressed by how I sang the bit, and got me to sign on. Before I knew it, I had my first album.”

Interviewer: “And your newest album, Bells Don’t Ring For Me, comes out on the Fourth of July, correct?”

PRESSLEY: “That’s right. I spent a lot of time on it, and I think a lot of people will enjoy it. It’s a mix of a lot of genres, but it all runs together in a very smooth way, I think.”

Interviewer: “Well, then, I wish you thru best of luck at the Grammys next year.”

PRESSLEY: “Thanks. I really think that, this time around, I’m actually going to win one with this batch of songs. For sure!”

– interview, Tumbleweed Magazine, early June 2017 issue



MCAFEE ACQUITTED ON RAPE CHARGE

…the key piece of information – the mask seen in VidCall footage streamed inside of McAfee’s home – could not be found following a police inspection of his home. …McAfee is suing the Memphis police department for property damage, and claimed one police officer harassed his wife, who is Black, during the inspection of his home…

– The Knoxville News Sentinel, 6/6/2017



TED KACZYNSKI: The Genius Maniac You Never Heard Of

In a frozen wilderness of western Alaska, a man lied dead in shack he built by his lonesome self, surrounded by preserved goods, a Bob Ross original, an old-fashioned typewriter, and thousands of pages documenting his thoughts. Through documentation, and with his next-of-kin’s open permission, we are learning more and more about the curious antics of one Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski, a man who gave up a promising career in academia to live the life of a radical environmentalist and a reluctant technet-based cult leader.

Ted Kaczynski died in the harsh winter of 2015-2016 from a viral infection, having refused to seek medical treatment for a myriad of conspiratorial beliefs regarding America’s universal healthcare system. Based on the hand-written journals found after his death and the testimony of his closet supporters, we are uncovering more information about the thoughts of this fascinating fanatic. Who exactly was Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. “The Unifier,” the mysterious leader of the ontech-based anarcho-primitivistic cult “The Forest Fellowship”?

Ted Kaczynski was born in Chicago in May 22, 1942 in Chicago. After testing an IQ score of 167, he skipped the sixth and eleventh grades, and graduated from high school at the age of 15. He attended Harvard College, then earned a master’s degree in 1964 and a doctoral degree in 1967 after being accepted into the University of Berkeley, California, in 1962. At the age of 25, he became that school’s youngest-ever assistant professor, teaching mathematics despite being uncomfortable taking questions from students.

Rather abruptly, Kaczynski resigned from his teaching position at Berkeley in 1969 and, two years later, after hearing then-Presidential candidate Mike Gravel praise his home state’s natural beauty in 1971, moved to Galena, Alaska. Beginning to record his observations in journal entries at this point, Kaczynski expressed disappointment in how non-Native American locals and the state government treated the state’s ecosystems, but praised Mike Gravel for making a compelling case for The Last Frontier, writing “there is still hope for this corner of the planet.”

Determined to live a self-sufficient life, Kaczynski built himself a small log cabin for himself on property north of Galena; he purchased the land with the money from his teaching position. Ted suffered pneumonia in his first winter and had to amputate his own left pink toes due to frostbite, but in his second winter, he was much better prepared to live a minimalistic life of simplicity. He soon taught himself survival skills such as tracking game and sustainable organic farming, though express sadness in having to kill animals. In his journals, he describes in detail his humane treatment of game, writing “I kill them quick so they do not have to suffer.” Ted bought sled dogs in his third year in Galena, and became involved in efforts to get more books for the Galena Library in his seventh year there (1978).

By 1980, Kaczynski had become cemented in his worldview – that individual liberty and self-sustainability could be achieved by rejecting modern technological progress. Essentially living the life of an areligious Amish frontiersman, he wrote about his contempt for the “cramped” living conditions of urban centers, blaming their “deplorable…small-scale” living conditions for rises in crime, poverty, and health issues.

Known by locals as a quiet and impersonal young man, some believed he suffered from some form of mental illness, while others believed he was simply an eccentric. In his journals, though, Ted confesses to having violent tendencies. In 1983, for instance, he writes that a hunter broke his leg outside his cabin, but he kept his fire out and the door locked to avoid communicating with him. Ted wrote that the stranger’s calls for help were “satisfying” because “people like him are killing this land, killing the animals unnecessarily, without consideration for the wildlife populations.” Ted later wrote that the hunter survived the trip into town, and felt “no regret” for pretending that his cabin was abandoned. In a more violent incident, Ted confessed in a 1987 journal entry to sabotaging a nearby pipeline with a small explosive device that interrupted the line’s operations for nearly a week. In a 1988 entry, Ted writes that he even considered assassinating Tom Fink, the unpopular Governor of Alaska at the time, over his mishandling of the Great Chevron Oil Spill. However, Kaczynski’s “urge… to kill him” subsided upon Fink being recalled out of office. Ted later praised then-Governor Bob Ross for his natural preservation strides in 1989, and even sent Ross food grown on his property along with an essay on how to maintain nature that called for rejecting modernism.

Kaczynski’s fascination with Bob Ross grew upon him getting back a letter of thanks and a Ross original, which the governor would often make for “folks who put in a lot of effort to show that they care.” These gifts, which Kaczynski held onto until his dying day, sparked an obsession with the politician, with Ted repeatedly sending Ross letters of support and even meeting him during his campaigns for President in 2000 and 2016 (though prior to Ross entering each race, Kaczynski supported Harry Braun in 2000 and Gary Larson in 2016). Kaczynski left the state of Alaska for the first time in 38 years in 2009, to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with Vice President Ross; an effort of his to meet with Ross at his private D.C. residence without having an appointment, however, resulted in an altercation with Secret Servicemen. The incident seemed to have had an effect on Kaczynski, as he does not mention Ross in his journal entries again until 2015.

His actions in the late 1990s, though, was Kaczynski’s true claim to fame. Having been writing anti-technology treatises since the late 1970s, including op-eds for state newspapers beginning in the 1980s, some of his writings had found their way onto alternative media (“underground”) netsites. In 1995, his monthly visit to the Galena Library led to him learning, to his surprise, that he had ironically developed a very small group of ardent supporters ontech calling themselves the “Forest Fellowship.” He also discovered that one of these FF members, a 27-year-old who went by the username Alexander Supertramp, had been partially inspired by Kaczynski’s “manifestos,” and had in 1993 left the lower 48 and successfully relocated to a relatively new rural community called Gravel, Alaska, located near Galena.

Never owning a computer, Kaczynski soon met with Supertramp and gave him permission to publish additional essay. In his 1995 essay “To Destroy And To Use,” Kaczynski conceded that the emergence of the technet had the potential to help “give a voice to small groups,” but was reluctant to accept “the hypocritical fame” of “requiring” the technet to condemn the technet. As a result, he allowed what small number of supporters he had to “blog” and post his articles and op-eds on netsites with his reluctant permission. They soon subbed him “the Unifier” for his writings’ ability to bring together a wide and diverse variety of people enthusiastic for having simpler and freer lives.

In early 2000, Kaczynski garnered more followers after correctly predicting that “sinister government forces will not allow Y2K to cleanse the Earth,” alleging that Y2K would not lead to worldwide computer malfunctions because “the military-industrial complex would perish in the ensuing chaos, and sinister government forces would never allow that treasured complex to perish.” The strength of the Forest Fellowship reached its apex immediately after the worldwide SARS pandemic, when middle class families began moving out of cities in droves to acquire more spacious abodes elsewhere.

In 2014, several of his articles circulating ontech were found by the FBI to have sufficient pro-violence tendencies to merit him being investigated after one of his more fanatic supporters, a one Eric Robert Rudolph of Florida, bombed a technet services store in Silicon Valley, severely injuring five. Kaczynski was reportedly placed on the Bureau’s “watchlist,” but was never formally charged with or arrested for any wrongdoing.

Now that Ted Kaczynski is gone, his brother Daniel Kaczynski is conflicted on how to feel. “My brother was a very distant man, emotionally. He could get riled up over technology and humans suffering as a group, but whenever family visited him, and given where he lived, that was only once in a very long while, he had a personality colder than that tundra he surrounded himself in,” Daniel says. “But he was my brother, and I think he meant well, despite all the trouble caused by some of his followers.” The discovery of his journals reveals the depth of his philosophy, and as a result, these personal passages are proving to be highly sought after items by his small “cult” of followers. According to Kaczynski’s next of kin, his brother Daniel, Ted will be remembered as “the last of an exceedingly rare breed of American – the truly rugged woodsman.”

As Kaczynski is buried in a small grave in Galena Cemetery, the legacy of this little-known hermit radical touches on more than just the urge to lead a simple life. It highlights the rising feelings of discontent found among low-income urban dwellers, many of whom would agree with libertarian-extremist creed scribbled onto the final page of the final handwritten journal of “The Unifier” – “The only way to be free is to rebel. Never be anyone’s slave. Always be your own master, no matter the cost. It is better to die as a human being than live as some cog in some awful massive machine.” [7]

– tumbleweed.co.usa, 6/10/2017




BOSTON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES CONTROVERSIAL ELECTRONIC ROAD PRICING PLAN

...In an effort to curb urban congestion, the city of Boston is implementing an “Earth-friendly” taxation plan loosely based on a system introduced in Singapore back in 1975. The city government aims to use the “tolling” plan to pay for road repair, road expansion and several urban renewal projects. The system uses open road tolling to gather tolls without requiring vehicles to stop or even to slow down to pay them.

…In Congress, libertarian Republicans are “outraged” by the plan’s approval, claiming that it “directly violates individual rights and individual choice,” according to US Rep. Larry Householder (R-OH). The White House, however, has officially been silent on the matter, apart from President Grammer discussing the issue of states’ rights in a broad context last week, and Vice President Brown calling the proposal “horrific” two weeks ago…

The Washington Post, 6/14/2017



…Amid fears of India’s national economy entering a period of stagnancy, so soon after getting through the global ripples of Europe’s economy tanking just four years earlier, India’s Prime Minister returned to an old idea. In office since 2010, N. Chandrababu Naidu (TD), a left-of-center technocrat and former businessman, launched the “International India” movement. First proposed in 2010, Naidu sought to bring in additional national revenue via more lucrative trade deals with Australia, Japan, South Africa and several other nations. The push to invest more into private sectors at home and into foreign markets abroad was, behind closed New Delhi doors, viewed as an effort to compete more successfully against the People’s Republic of China, in the raising of tensions between those two nations. The making of “miniature Cold War” threatened to worsen Sino-Indian relations, but had the potential to work as a “distraction” of sorts to the benefit of US markets and businesses…

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



THE MANY-HATTED MAN
(released as The Polymath In the UK)

Premiered: June 21, 2017

Genre (s): biopic/drama/action/adventure

Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Akiva Goldsman
Produced by: Brian Grazer, Neil Canton and Todd Hallowell

Cast:

Nicholas Cage as Daniel Hausel

Danny DeVito
Brenda Song
Randall Park
James Hong

See Full List Here

Synopsis:

A biopic covering the storied life and career of Dan Hausel (b. 1949 in Salt Lake City), a polymath who became a leading expert in the fields of martial arts, geology, astronomy, and mineral exploration, along with becoming a successful author, artist, public speaker and rock musician [8].

Reception:

The film received overall favorable reviews from critics and audiences, and made a modest profit at the box office.

Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1: Confusion for Buckaroo Bonzai

Given the similarities between the real-life exploits of Hausel and the complex plots of the Buckaroo Bonzai film franchise (1983-1996), many have incorrectly assumed that Buckaroo Bonzai is loosely based on Hausel. This is not the case, as Buckaroo Bonzai was developed in the late 1970s prior to the first Buckaroo Bonzai film premiering in 1983, while Hausel did not become known as a notable and accomplished polymath until the 1990s. Nevertheless, Hausel is still often referred to as “the real-life Buckaroo Bonzai.”

– mediarchives.co.usa



2017 MISSISSIPPI FLAG REFERENDUM

The 2017 Mississippi Flag Referendum was a legislatively referred state statute that appeared on a June 24, 2017 special election ballot, which was held specifically for this state-level referendum.

[snip]

State lawmakers began the legislative process in the aftermath of statewide protests and calls for the state flag to be replaced. These protests immediately followed the nearly-fatal knife attack on the life of an 81-year-old Korean-American in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in August 2016, which was a part of the rise in anti-Asian sentiments that had followed the nomination of Taiwanese-American politician Gary Locke (D-WA) for President of the United States. Along with renewed calls for hate crime legislation, Mississippian residents protested outside government offices demanding the state flag be removed amid claims that it promoted white nationalist sentiments.

After the Commission to Redesign the Mission State Flag was constituted in September 2016, state lawmaker Lauren Stennis, granddaughter of former US Senator John Stencils, proposed the Stennis flag after the commission failed to agree on a single public submission, which had been accepted from October to December 2016. The selection of the Stennis Flag was finalized in February 2017.

[snip]

Voters were asked to choose between two propositions concerning the state flag. Proposition A would retain the incumbent flag, which was the last state flag in the Union to feature the Confederate battle flag in the canton. Proposition B would replace the incumbent flag with the Stennis Flag

jjdyT5g.png

[pic: imgur.com/jjdyT5g.png ]
Above: the Stennis Flag

[snip]

Results:

Proposition B – 579,364 (59.2%)

Proposition A – 399,291 (40.8%)

Total – 978,656 (100%)

– clickopedia.co.usa



“THIS COULD SAVE COUNTLESS LIVES”: Small Enough To Fit Inside A First Aid Kit, Hawaii University Tech Students Make Breakthrough In Designing “Affordable” Device To Make Saltwater Drinkable

– popularmechanics.co.usa, 6/27/2017 e-article



…by the end of June, the President’s efforts to exempt the ancestors of slaves from income tax for the 2017 fiscal year had gone nowhere. While the justices of a DC court had spoken highly of it, the majority-holding Republican leadership in both the House and the Senate had essentially shot the idea down.

But Grammer was persistent. With energy and determination, he decided to bring it up again ahead of the 2018 midterm primaries to try to bring Republican candidates more favorable to this and other proposals of his from the campaign trails to the floors of congress...

– historian Jane Mackaman’s What Principles Endure: An Examination of The Grammer Presidency, Vintage E-Books, 2022



NOTE(S)/SOURCE(S)
[1] This number is actually over 50% in OTL, and the cost to taxpayers is over $7million in OTL, according to this article: https://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/18/super_sizing_welfare_costs_low_wages
[2] According to this interview:
[3] Based on an OTL article: https://news.mit.edu/2020/faster-protein-synthesis-0528
[4] Based on this OTL article: https://www.vox.com/2019/10/24/20930553/polio-outbreak-2019-eradication-who
[5] This is what he went by before legally changing his name to Vermin Supreme!: http://idioideo.pleintekst.nl/VS.html
[6] IOTL, this museum was cancelled instead of being built because Mexico couldn’t afford it, but because Mexico has been doing better in TTL than in OTL, they can afford it here: http://www.banderasnews.com/0806/art-guggenheim.htm
[7] A variation of an OTL quote of his.
[8] All OTL!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Hausel

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: May 15 at the earliest, May 22 at the latest!
 
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Great update. I especially liked seeing your pick of the Australian Labor Party's leader Jenny Leong. I also was surprised to read about Ted Kaczynski's life in TTL. You managed to make him somewhat sympathetic at least to me.I also liked reading about the hacking happening in the US and the discussion between Grammer and his cabinet :)
 
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Liking the Grammer cabinet's reactions to the cybersecurity problems, and a very interesting take on Kaczynski here.

And for some reason, reading about the extensive measures KFC takes to protect the 11 herbs and spices recipe made me laugh.
 
I know what Z-list figure we could see as a Presidential candidate ITTL. Monica Lewinsky is a good idea, but what about Mike Leavitt, OTL Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. Considering that it would be better than what his predecessor is doing (TTL's answer to Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist.)
 
I know what Z-list figure we could see as a Presidential candidate ITTL. Monica Lewinsky is a good idea, but what about Mike Leavitt, OTL Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. Considering that it would be better than what his predecessor is doing (TTL's answer to Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist.)
Again, Tommy Gun Thompson is a moniker and is not OTL Governor Tommy Thompson, who ITTL never made it to governor.
Anyway, Mike Leavitt is an interesting political figure. Maybe he'll run; we shall see!
 
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