Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Hi new member and longtime reader and I have enjoy reading your TL.

I do have some questions.

What are some of the major mass shootings or mass attacks that have happen in TTL?

What happen with some the major horror series?
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

What was the fate of Pablo Escobar and Evangelos Goussis?
I am happy with this TL I will be sad when it ends eventually but I look to the wonders we’ll see on the journey
Even if it does end (and I do want it to keep going for as long as gap80 can do it), we ought to be grateful for the story. A ride it has been. From TTL having a President Sanders (not that Sanders. Or Sandurz, for that matter) to Trump and Wiseau joining forces to craft three so-bad-it's-good films that make The Room look forgettable by comparison; seriously, imagine all the memes (or what they're called ITTL) that would come from just one of these movies, let alone a trilogy. These little details add to the timeline, and if it were a book, I'd imagine it'd require thousands of pages and lots of volumes. And months to read, probably.
Thank you for the compliment!
ITTL, the meme equivalents are called "lafpics" (pronounced like "laugh pics"); I think I mentioned the term once or twice.
Yes, especially given that this story is already at 1.2million words - that's longer that Stephen King's IT, his longest book!

Hopefully we will get to see a spin-off, The Kentucky Fried Future, in which Cyborg-Sanders leads humanity to the stars ;)

For real though, gap80, this timeline has been an absolute blast and will be very sad the day it ends
Thank you for the compliment!
Hi new member and longtime reader and I have enjoy reading your TL.

I do have some questions.

What are some of the major mass shootings or mass attacks that have happen in TTL?

What happen with some the major horror series?
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

What was the fate of Pablo Escobar and Evangelos Goussis?
Hi and welcome to the site!
Those are excellent questions!
I'll cover 20th century mass shootings/mass murder incidents in a 2018 chapter.
Friday the 13th and Halloween are less mangled and confusing franchises ITTL, but NES's, though. is more "diverse," with installments ranging from surreal to too disturbing to Tim Burton directing one of them - I'll cover them better in an upcoming chapter.
James Cameron works on the Aliens franchise at one point - I'll cover it, along with the Predator franchise, in an upcoming chapter as well.
Oh, you're right - I haven't mentioned Goussis since the 1990s and I didn't actually axplain what happened to Escobar at all! I'll mention both near the end of the next chapter (E.T.A.: April 30).
Thank you for asking, and my apologies for the delayed response.
I like your alternate course for Raul Labrador. Is he still a Mormon in this timeline?
No; while he was born in Puerto Rico in 1967 like in OTL, here his mother finds work in Florida (as a Castro regime cut short means less Cuban refugees looking for work there) instead of in Nevada. Labrador attended the University of Tampa, and is a Catholic, ITTL.
Got it. I don't mean to be a bother, but it'd also be nice to cover film criticism (for example, Siskel and Ebert) and TV judges such as Judge Judy, which I completely forgot about in my suggestions post.
No problem! Expect that stuff to be covered in a 2019 chapter.
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Got it. I don't mean to be a bother, but it'd also be nice to cover film criticism (for example, Siskel and Ebert) and TV judges such as Judge Judy, which I completely forgot about in my suggestions post.
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Chapter 115: January 2018 – May 2018
Chapter 115: January 2018 – May 2018

“No man becomes wise without stepping on the soil of fools.”

– Larry (Michael Weston), Lucky Numbers, 1:10:50 mark (OTL)

“…And with the New Year comes a new goal for the lawmakers of this chamber – a goal that I believe with be a well-deserved rebuke to the multimillionaire corporations that are willingly and willfully harming the health of this planet...”

– US Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), calling for the passage of the GREEN (Globally Reduce Emissions to Empower Nature) Deal bill introduced last year, speech of the floor of the US Senate, 1/2/2018


…US Senator-Elect Oletha A. Faust-Goudeau (D-NE), the first African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate from The Cornhusker State, was finally sworn into office today. Under state and federal law, the official election results from her victory in last November’s special election needed to be certified before she could be sworn in. Typically, this takes only a few weeks. However, one week after Faust-Goudeau was declared the winner by nearly all news sources, the office of Nebraska’s Secretary of State announced that the state’s typically-early deadline for the counting of all military and overseas ballots coming in would be extended to December 21. Additionally, deadlines for counties to certify their results were extended to December 28, and the deadline for the state to certify the results was pushed back until January 3, stalling the swearing-in of the Democratic Party’s “rising star,” nicknamed “OFG” by her supporters ontech, by several weeks.

The move is being considered partisan by Democratic leaders, with US Senator Tony Pollina (D-VT) claiming “this was the Nebraska GOP’s way of minimizing her seniority in the US Senate by as much as possible. This pitiful action is petty, pathetic, and unprofessional, and the people of Nebraska deserve better”…

The Washington Post, 1/5/2018

“BIG-STATE” REPUBLICANS JOIN DEMOCRATS TO VOTE “YEA” IN N.I.A. ADVISORY VOTE: Action Clears Path For America’s First-Ever National Initiative

…The Legislative Advisory Vote was completed with a narrow bipartisan vote approving the measure. The action comes 89 days after the Deliberation Committee delivered the initiative to both federal legislative bodies. With this major step complete, in accordance with the rules and parameters of the US Constitution’s National Initiative Amendment, the Electoral Trust is now tasked with forming and publishing a schedule for the election of the initiative. The initiative will be the first time ever that a “ballot measure”-like issue will be voted on in every single state and territory. The issue – reforming how we vote for President by introducing a Ranked-Choice Instant-Runoff Voting system that will render the Electoral College “vestigial,” or “ceremonial” as some have described it.

“We are very proud of the politicians who voted in favor of Americans playing a far greater and direct role in the formation of the national laws by which we live,” Tom Atlee, spokesperson for and former director of the Electoral Trust, the independent agency responsible for overseeing National Initiative procedure, confirmed the completion of this penultimate step. “The Electoral Trust is going to announce its schedule for the election very soon.”

Out of hundreds of proposed initiatives, ones concerning reforming the Electoral College received the most headway in the aftermath of the controversial 2012 election, which saw Kelsey Grammar be elected President despite incumbent President Paul Wellstone winning the popular vote, in a reversal of the fates that befell Wellstone and US Senator Olympia Snowe in 2008. And out of all of those proposals, the RCV proposal gathered the most momentum and garnered the most amount of support.

“This calls for a national celebration,” says US Senator Mike Gravel (D-CA), the former US Vice President who led the charge for the creation of the N.I.A. for decades. “Now we’ll finally get to see the National Initiative in action. ...Registration roll certification could a few years, but I have to commend everyone involved for the pace of the hearings and quality of the committee report, along with how the House responded to it.”

Indeed, many political pundits expected US House Speaker McMaster to successfully drag out the process for as long as possible. Instead, the longtime legislator “seems to have dropped the ball on fighting this,” observes NBC Correspondent and former Hollywood actor Joe Scarborough. “It seems he spent more of 2017 working on tax cuts and kept combating the N.I.A. on the back-burner for too long.”…

– The New York Times, 1/7/2018

“There’s a big debate on the rise right now. It’s the healthy economy versus the rising automation. On one hand, markets are expanding, and Wall Street fat cats are happier than pigs in mud. But after another round of layoffs swept through the trucking industry this week, calls for a nationwide trucker strike are reaching record-breaking heights, both on the technet and out here in the real world. Now, if this proposed strike happens, understand this, it will severely impact these greedy corporations and their nefarious machinations. It will inhibit commerce and cost shipping agencies millions. It will strike at the very hearts of these S.O.B.s – their bank accounts. The time is coming. It’s only a matter of time before this powder keg goes off, and when it happens, I am going to wheel my way right out there and cheer those workers on as they fight for better job security. What about you? Will you back your fellow workers? Or will you do what the corporations want you to do – just stay lazy and ignorant, and lay back and do nothing while your fellow Americans suffer? Will you allow it, or will you fight it?”

– Disabled rights activist and political commentator Alexander E. “Alec” Jones, 1/9/2018 podcast

“…President Grammer today signed into law a bill that will transfer more responsibilities from cabinet departments to independent federal agencies, cutting taxpayer money currently being used to subsidize federal departments such as Agriculture, Commerce and the Interior...”

– CBS Evening News, 1/11/2018 broadcast

…In early January, the President met with the nation’s three Black Republican US Senators, Herman Cain of Georgia, Allen West of Florida, and Randy Brock of Ohio, to discuss his idea for implementing tax breaks for slave descendants. Many anti-taxation Republicans, and many more Republican candidates for congress, backed the notion of implementing tax exemptions or tax breaks for anyone who could prove that a blood-related ancestor was the slave of an American within the borders of the United States prior to the abolishing of slavery in the US in 1865.

“It’s a narrow definition that excludes many Black people,” Cain touched on the proposal’s parameters. “My ancestors were slaves in Mississippi, but there’s thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Black people in America whose grandparents did not come here until after 1865. Just look at Rocky McCain, the governor of Montana. His father wasn’t the descendent of slaves, he was a Kenyan national. Hell, his father probably owned slaves over there. He wouldn’t qualify for tax breaks because he doesn’t have Slave Blood in him. But he’s Black. He’s faced prejudice. That’s the thing – all Black people experience prejudice at some point, but this tax exemption would not help all of them.”

“I think it worsen things, frankly,” West shook his head. “I can see it dividing communities, friendships, and couples. An internal division, the Black communities of this country torn and split between those with Slave Blood and those without slave blood. Those with it will boast about it, and expect extra credit, and extra privileges and respect on account of it. This could open up a host of further problems.”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with you two,” Brock opposed his colleagues’ comments. “Check the polls. Our brothers and sisters are firmly in favor of the proposal, as am I, Mr. President.”

“Thank you, Randy,” Grammer nodded appreciatively.

“If we pass such a thing, it will worsen Black-and-non-Black relations,” West responded. “Black people aren’t the only kind of people who become poor. Low-income white people will become jealous, and they will become angry, before we know it, they’ll be saying that blood is on our hands.”

“I really have to question that idea, Allen,” said Brock. “Would anyone really get that riled up over tax breaks?”

“Do you want to risk it?” Cain answered.

“There’s nothing to risk,” Brock replied. Turning back to the President again, he added, “You’ve got my support, sir.”

The President again thanked him for his allegiance.

“Heh, Uncle Tom,” Cain quietly muttered...

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

“…the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at 28,565, after its worst week since the economic recession of 2013. The drop, called a ‘mini-bump’ by Commerce Secretary Rodham-Clinton earlier this evening, comes just three months after the DOW posted its second-largest ever one-day point gain of 1,032 points, back in late October 2017...”

– KNN Evening News, 1/14/2018 broadcast

“…with the support of French President José Bové, a French court has made the bold move of heavily fining the cruise ship company Carnival for emitting roughly eight times more Sulphur Oxide off of Europe’s coastlines than all of that continent’s 210million fossil-fuel-powered cars. Carnival, one of the largest cruise corporations in the world, is expected to challenge the fines at the International Court of Justice in New York City, New York…”

– BBC World News, 1/16/2018 broadcast

…King Constantine II of Greece stood firm against public calls for him to use the powers of his office to change Greece’s order of succession to one based on Salic law. Conservative-minded, the King supported the use of male-preference primogeniture to determine secession. However, the King sought to lower disapproval of his decision by allowing his daughter Alexia to take on a more active role in national affairs and by having his son Pavlos (Paul), the Crown Prince, take on more official roles in order to both prepare him for the throne. The idea was that Pavlov would publicly prove himself to be capable of taking over once he ascended to the throne, and thus improve his approval ratings among the Greek populace…

– John Koliopoulos and Thanos M. Veremis’s The Greek Modern Greece: A History since 1949, Atlantis Publishers, 2022

…PAVS – Partially-Autonomous Vehicles – also known as semi-self-driving cars/trucks, had been a boogeyman-type talking point for labor leaders for years, but in January 2018, the albatross finally landed. Ever since the latest version of Chrysler’s EPIC, or Electric Powered Interurban Chariot, rolled onto the streets in 2017, only to be followed soon after by Ford’s Ranger Surplus EV and the Volkswagen Firefly, tension and trepidation among the workers of the transportation industry were at historic heights.

On January 19, management at the California-based freight transportation company Bay-to-Bay Trucking announced the firing of over 2,000 part-time truck drivers and forklift operators to cover the company’s purchase of 15 Ford PAV trucks for “long haul” transportation routes and the automation of several small warehouses. The immediate protests from the workers to the mass layoffs soon led to the discovery that their CBA contained a loophole that did not protect part-time workers from being fired in such a way.

For enough unionized members of the transportation industry, this was the last straw. With contact between the Teamsters and the non-unionized Bay-to-Bay workers soon established, truck drivers and other workers in California and other locations performed a mass walk-out on January 22. The laborers refused to return to work until managers at Bay-to-Bay Trucking, and the top three largest trucking/shipping agencies of the US, agreed to re-negotiate the CBAs with their “worker representatives.”


[pic: ]

Above: Teamsters on strike in Los Angeles and San Diego, in a coordinated effort to end “unjust firings” through CBA negotiations and public pressure

The multistate strike impacted deliveries nationwide. Within hours, people were either voicing support for the workers – with some even expanding on their protests to call for other concerns, such as wage theft, to be addressed as well – while others complained of delayed shipments. Ontech delivery sites scrambled to minimize damage. Shipping agencies and companies offered above-average wages to temporary truck drivers. Conservative pundits accused the strikers of holding the economy hostage, while California Governor Cruz Bustamante suddenly insert himself into the CBA debate by throwing his support toward the workers on January 24, the third day of the strikes…

– Gloria Skurzynski’s Sweat and Blood: The History of Labor Strikes in The United States, Borders Books, 2021

…Even with the warfare between Burkina Faso and the Fulani Republic entering its second year, President Grammer steadfastly stuck to his libertarian “guns” and refused to intervene militarily, even as the number of technetters accusing him racism rose. Condemning the accusations, Grammer reportedly ranted to his Vice President, “When Wellstone intervened in Sudan, people in both parties called him racist because they saw it as neo-imperialistic – whatever that means – to stop Black people from killing each other. They say the US is trying to govern the world. But when we don’t intervene in Burkina Faso, people in both parties call us racist because Black people are killing each other.”

“I keep tellin’ ya, Kels, you just gotta ignore the technet,” Brown allegedly stated.

“Don’t they understand that American involvement would just complicate things, turn a two-sided war into a three-sided war, and only lead to more people being killed?” Grammer continued.

“There is some good news, though,” the White House Chief of Staff then told the President, “at least according to the latest polls. It seems Americans still back non-intervention by a wide and bipartisan margin.”

“So we shouldn’t expect too many losses in the 2018 midterms, right?” Asked Brown.

“Well, the six-year itch is upon us, but we anticipate retaining both chambers going into 2019. The slavery-reparations-through-tax-exemptions idea is winning over a small but growing number of Black voters.”

Meanwhile, the L.A.-based trucker strike was intensifying as both workers and managers refused to make any concessions. The Commerce Secretary feared that the situation could soon reach “major crisis” levels…

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

…Businessman Andrew Yang was an unconventional choice for mediating negotiations to end the Teamsters strike. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang’s father was a patent-winning researcher for IBM and General Electric for decades while his mother was a systems administrator for Columbia Law School, from which Andrew Yang graduated. After briefly working as a corporate attorney, Yang co-launched the celebrity-affiliated philanthropic fundraising netsite StarGiving. The effects of the SARS Pandemic led to Yang becoming more involved in philanthropic work, founding the medical research company CureSeekers in 2003. By 2010, Yang had published two best-sellers on how, based on his experience with StarGiving and other netsites and Silicon Valley-based companies, automation was “America’s next grave challenge.” In 2012, he began working for TumbleweedTV as a commentator of various topics, and soon made a name for himself. This strike, however, was what truly thrusted him into the national spotlight.

Yang had been on the corporate and management side of business, but he was passionately dedicated to preventing the mass layoffs that analysts predicted automation would yield. He presented himself as a man who could bring both sides of the strike together. And after a few days of internal debate, both sides agreed to give the noted philanthropist and TV figure a chance to essentially lead and moderate discussions.

“So what exactly can be done about automation?” Asked Bay-to-Bay COO Dan Case, brother of former AOT Inc. President Steve Case, in an early February sit-down between Yang, and Teamsters representative Jane Barden, and himself. “Because you can’t stop progress, you know.”

“Yes, but you, and I mean you specifically, Dan, you yourself can help stop disaster. You can help prevent the economic crisis that you know can come about from mass layoffs.” Yang said gently but assertively.

“How?” Case asked with a slight chuckle in his voice.

“Improve work retraining program options. Offer better retirement benefits. Create new jobs elsewhere,” Barden bluntly blurted out her bullet points, her eyes locked on Case.

“Janice, a mechanic working on an old Peterbilt is not the same as an IT specialist working on a PAV,” Case reply matter-of-factly.

Yang broke the sudden tension by referring back to the proposals of International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Mary Kay Henry. “What we mean is management should provide ‘ramp-off’ programs to teach their workers. They should be taught new skills prior to their jobs being automated away. You didn’t do that with these workers.”

“Well if we’re going to get philosophical here, let me tell you both one thing – whether you like or not, and something tells me neither of you do, it actually is not the responsibility of an employee to teach their workers how to work. Lots of companies do this, yes, but it’s not illegal to hire people who already have the skills your company needs. Bay-to-Bay is not a charity, and it’s not a vocational school. It’s a business. You want these laypersons to pick up more modern-day technet-reliant skills, tell ’em to go back to school.”

“But that’s the thing Dan. Education and training are currently not set for the speed of change that we are seeing in the modern economy. Most schools are still based on a one-time education model, with school providing the foundation for a single lifelong career. With content becoming obsolete faster and rapidly escalating costs, this system may be unsustainable in the future. To help workers more smoothly transition from one job into another, for example, we need to make education a more nimble, lifelong endeavor. And that could start at Bay-to-Bay. Your company could be a leading company in that major shift in workplace training and education.”

Case shook his head, “I’m in the trucking business, not the education business.”

Yang replied, “So your company can be one of the first to look for more customized skills and take a larger role in education, providing on-the-job training for specific capabilities. You could partner with community colleges to create apprenticeship-style learning, where students work part-time in parallel with their education.”

“Are you seriously telling me how to run my company?”

“No, I’m brainstorming ideas with you,” Yang answered defensively but convincingly.

Barden was surely holding back a slew of swears; she reportedly dug her nails so deep into her chair’s arms they cut through the upholstery. Gritting her teeth and restraining her temper, she replied “If you train your workers so they can perform more than one job, you can keep them around when economic conditions evolve. Turnover rates are costly, Dan. If you refuse to think of the workers, maybe think of the costs.”

“Alright, alright,” Yang sought to keep Barden from driving Case away from the negotiations table. “We’re off-topic, we’re off-topic now. Let’s get back to the meat of why we’re here – the workers want more employment protection. No more layoffs that pop up unexpectedly. They want to at the very least be given fair warning, at least enough time to try and transfer over to a new field within your company if they so choose. The workers dedicate their lives and livelihoods to you, and –”

“You’re supposed to be impartial here, Yang,” Case interrupted.

“You’re right, sorry. I’m just trying to figure out how to show you that I get where you are coming from. I’ve run companies and organizations, so I know what it’s like to have all those responsibilities swimming around. Responsibilities to the workers, to stockholders and stakeholders, to investors and customers. And I understand that you can’t stop the inevitability of evolution. Nobody should try to. But with jobs and roles in response to this evolution shifting, so should the social contract between the stakeholders. In the very near future, business leaders are going to have to take on some of the roles traditionally played by other parties in order to stay afloat. Like the schools, businesses are going to train workers. Like the government, businesses are going to contemplate the risks of economic proposals to combat unemployment—in part because of businesses having a greater agility in adapting to change than schools and government.”

After continuing this discussion for a little while longer, Yang reiterated the workers’ and Teamsters’ demands before the meeting adjourned inconclusively. The next day, Case agreed to a new CBA, and the day after, the three met again to iron out the new CBA’s details, starting with the closing of the part-time workers loophole. And, secondly, Yang convinced Case to sign on to a new Automation Adjustment Assistance clause, which formed a retraining program for truck drivers willing to learn how to work on computer software for a living.”

When Barden presented the new CBA to the workers as a victory they should accept – despite said new CBA only slightly improving upon its predecessor’s wording on wage theft – they followed her advice, ending the strikes after 15 days of slowed, delayed and/or cancelled deliveries for millions across the continent.

According to Yang, President Grammer called him soon after to “essentially praise” him for leading the negotiations…

– Gloria Skurzynski’s Sweat and Blood: The History of Labor Strikes in The United States, Borders Books, 2021 [1]

…As the Burkina Faso-Fulani Republic War continued to descend into chaos and anarchy, the images of ethnic-based massacres led to continued claims that non-intervention was a passive form of racist. In February 2018, Grammer attempted to counter these technet-based claims by again calling for reparations for slavery in the form of income tax exemptions. However, the idea was still opposed by party leaders, with House Whip Webster claiming that slave descendants benefited more from the Negative Income Tax Rebate law implemented in the early 1970s more so than any other demographic, and that further reparations would worsen racial relations...

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

“As our nation’s cybersecurity systems are of top quality, there is little reason for anyone to believe that another hacking attack on private netsite accounts will succeed.”

– Australian PM Nick Varvaris, 2/3/2018

…On February 5, 2018, Australia's Parliament was hacked by agents working out of either Russia or China in the largest cyber security breach in Australian history. Thousands of classified documents and hundreds of thousands of private messages were “dropped” ontech. Practically overnight, the private and personal paraphernalia of political people across the country were publicly viewable, in a move that significantly lowered Australia’s trust in the government – or at least, in their then-current government…

– Lee Kim’s Keyboard Campaigns: The Worlds of Cyberwarfare, Created Space Independent Press, 2020

…On February 6, House Speaker McMaster announced that he was retiring from Congress, telling his colleagues on the hill, including the President, and then reporters that he would not run for re-election but would not resign, planning on instead simply finishing out his term.

The announcement framed McMaster almost as a “wise elder statesman” retiring, after roughly a decade in the Speaker’s chair, in order to pass the office and its responsibilities over to a “new generation” of Republican House leadership. In reality, McMaster’s popularity with the House GOP was waning, and he decided to leave on his own accord, rather than be forced out of office, like what had happened to Speaker Robert Smith Walker.

While Vice President Brown was visibly sad to see McMaster retire, President Grammer’s relationship with the outgoing Speaker was reportedly more tenuous. While not exactly ecstatic to see him go, Grammer was not saddened by it either, only apathetically asking McMaster if he would reconsider. This reaction was likely due to the very conservative McMaster often being at odds with the increasingly libertarian administration and GOP House…

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


…the most expensive space probe to ever be launched by France’s National Center for Space Studies, President Bové reportedly had to be convinced to not cancel the project because its funding had already been spent by the time he entered office. Bové’s predecessor, Francois Leotard, signed off on the project back in late 2012…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 7/2/2018


…Jenny Leong (Labor) performed better than expected, winning 85 seats against incumbent PM Nick Varvaris (Liberal), who won 62 seats, while Bob Katten (The Outsiders) retained three seats. This is being considered a landslide rejection of an incumbent government that is during its tenure been plagued by gaffes, controversies, and numerous foreign and domestic policy failures…

– The Canberra Times, Australian newspaper, 2/8/2018

Winter Olympics In United Korea Open Today With Cheers, Reflection

The New York Times, 2/9/2018


…with approximately 12,480 locations in 14 states and with a self-reported annual sales of more than $5billion annually, the fast food chain’s spokesperson says they are awarding employees more than $100million in bonuses across the “lower half” of company’s payrolls as a means of thanking their employees for their service “doing their part to help out during last year’s crises.” The company managed pull back from the brink of financial disaster last year, during last year’s hurricane season. However, in a humanitarian gesture, Whataburger locations in Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico offered free food to Hurricane survivors and, in some cases, served as emergency shelters for displaced families. “We are grateful to all our employees, from managers to cashiers and delivery personnel, who went above and beyond the typical responsibilities of the hospitality industry to help customers and local citizens in their time of need.” Whataburger locations in many flooded regions were praised by local news outlets for going “that extra mile to serve guest with care and concern, which are cornerstones to success and the heart of this company,” stated the spokesperson at today’s press briefing...

–, 2/12/2018 e-article

…Europe was also dragged into this new era of cybersecurity threats on February 15, when the EU’s European Parliament and Council of Ministers were hacked in a cyber-attack originating from somewhere in northeastern China. The EU responded with the subsequent formation of the Data Protection Directive of 2018. Stronger than and essentially replacing the Data Protection Directive of 1993, the “second” DPD gave EU residents more personal control over privacy plans for their personal data, regulated and capped costs on such “modern security requirements,” and simplified the regulatory environment for international business with the EU. This simplification was done unifying the regulation with the EU’s General Data Privacy and Protection Regulation Council…

– Hanspeter Kriesi and Takis S. Pappas’ In The Shadow of The Great European Recession, ECPR Press, 2021

US HOUSE RULE REPEALED: Food Can Now Be Eaten on The Floor of The House, Albeit “Carefully And Respectfully”

…the original rule was put into place to maintain decorum and minimize distractions during legislative debate. Furthermore, in order to satisfy hungry lawmakers, US Senators have access to a dining hall inside the US Capital Building called the Senate Cafeteria, best known for serving Senate Bean Soup every day [2]. However, the no-food rule has not been truly enforced for nearly a century. Indeed, it seems very unrealistic to tell lawmakers to not bring snacks to work. Point of fact: members of the US House have had a pair of desks filled with candy for decades in an open and willful disregard of the rules. While the introduction of the House Candy desks back in the 1960s did lead to health-conscious senators successfully lobbying for more “Heart Smart” meals in the Senate cafeteria, it did not lead to a call for the repealing of the rule barring food on the House floor until fairly recently.

The rule change comes roughly 29 months after the US Senate voted to change another longstanding rule, this one banning newborns from being brought onto the Senate floor during votes. Said rule change, voted through by nearly unanimous consent, was done to accommodate federal legislators with newborn babies, especially ones that breastfeed said newborns, allowing them to be able to bring a child under 14 months old onto the floor. That change in policy came after several young US Congresswomen spearheaded the push in 2015. [3]

Like with the “breastfeeding” rule change, this “eating food” rule change comes with strict parameters, establishing small fines for infractions. In the new food rule’s case, lawmakers can be fined for leaving “excessive crumbs” on the carpeted chamber floor, or failing to properly clean or sanitize any place where food is eaten. Amazingly, one fineable offense is eating food that is “too loud” and proves distracting to any other lawmakers…

The Washington Post, 2/19/2018


…while the widow of cult leader Jim Jones has repeatedly apologized for the destructive actions of her husband, she still received criticism for twice accepting a Hosea Williams Humanitarian Award… After her husband died, Jones, a registered nurse, returned to the healthcare industry in her native Indiana, and, once her children had grown, became a researcher of mental health for the Indiana University South Bend. …Marceline was known by her friends and coworkers for having a gentle and reflective personality, and for having a kind demeanor to everyone who met and knew her. She never remarried, but filled her off-work hours by volunteering at children’s hospitals and homeless shelters. However, despite her love for her community, she kept a low profile. “Her past kept her at bay,” says one Sally Wilson, a friend and fellow researcher at IUSB. “She just feared so much that people would recognize her as the widow of a nut-job instead of as the woman who read to the blind every Saturday.”

– The Evansville Courier & Press, Indiana newspaper, 2/22/2018


…the Closing Ceremonies also showcased the innovate strides and successes made by the nation of Korea in the years since the 1996 “War of Reunification”…

The Los Angeles Times, 2/25/2018

List of Summer Olympics locations (since >1960<):

1960: Rome, Italy

1964: Tokyo, Japan

1968: Mexico City, Mexico

1972: Munich, West Germany

1976: Los Angeles, United States

1980: Moscow, Russia

1984: Athens, Greece

1988: Brisbane, Australia

1992: Barcelona, Spain

1996: Egypt, Cairo

2000: Manchester, United Kingdom

2004: Beijing, (the People’s Republic of) China

2008: Berlin, Germany

2012: Cape Town, South Africa Tehran, Iran

2016: New York City, United States

2020: Santiago, Chile

2024: Jakarta, Indonesia

List of Winer Olympics locations (since >1960<):

1960: Squaw Valley, United States

1964: Innsbruck, Austria

1968: Grenoble, France

1972: Sapporo, Japan

1976: Ryazan, Soviet Union

1980: Lake Placid, United States

1984: Calgary, Canada

1988: Falun, Sweden

1992: Zagreb and Belgrade, Yugoslavia

1994: Lillehammer, Norway

1998: Munich, Germany

2002: Toronto, Canada

2006: Budapest, Hungary

2010: Athens, Greece

2014: Ankara, Turkey

2018: Pyongyang, United Korea

2022: Almaty, United Turkestan

–, c. early 2018

…On February 27, just two days after the conclusion of the year’s Winter Olympics, a Russian hacker launched yet another cyberattack onto America. But this time, the US’s cybersecurity leaders would cut the onslaught short with anti-virus technology and coordination.

The swift American action gave China’s own cyber agencies pause. Premier Yang was surprised by their effective firewalls, and seemed to have informed his agency leaders to “make note of it,” according to Wen Jiabao.



[pic: ]

Above: the PRC military’s “control center” in Beijing, alleged “headquarters” for China’s cyberwarfare operations, according to a February 2018 CIA report.

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

“Back in The Colonel’s day, the only networking tools he had to work with were word of mouth, radio, paper-mail, yard signs, door-to-door canvassing, and (if you were fortunate) local television drop-ins [4]. But now, we have so much more. Modern tools at your disposal include yard signs, net-mail, community events, tv/radio ads and net-ads, podcasts, public net-forums, ProfilePocket and other business-centric netsites, Ourvids and other A/V-sharing netsites, BuddyTalk and other communication-centric netsites, net search-engines, peer-to-peer referrals, vidcalling technology, social networking lar phone apps, and virtual tour apps. Utilize these tools, and withy your help, our company can reach a wider range and a larger number of potential customers than even The Colonel himself ever thought possible.”

– Jan Fields, head executive of FLG’s Smoky Mountain BBQ Steakhouse, in a training video for new KFC marketing employees, first used c. March 2018


The Washington Post, 3/5/2018


...True to his Marxist loyalty, the one-term Senator and two-time Presidential Candidate passed away on March 8, the 101st anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. He is survived by his wife, Doris Lake (b. 1935); their four children, Aaron, Jessica, Ian, and Paula; several grandchildren, including Owen M. Diamondstone-Kohout, and a great-grandson, appropriately named Karl.

Diamondstone was known as a perennial candidate for decades – running for public office every other year from 1970 to 2016, with the sole exception of 2002 – until winning a US Senate seat in 1998 in a poll-defying outcome many dubbed “the upset of the century.” His subsequent Presidential bids in 2000, during which he called for the nationalizing of all industries and the outlawing the US military, arguably made fellow candidate Jesse Jackson more appealing to some voters by making him seem more moderate by comparison. Diamondstone lost re-election to the Senate in 2006, but continued to run for the office, as he had always.

Diamondstone’s passing, unofficially from the results on unspecified heart ailments, is a major blow to the Liberty Union party, a small third-party organization he co-founded in the late 1960s and had unofficially been the leader of for decades. Several prominent members of the LUP (Dennis J. Morrissey, Murray Ngoima, Rosemary Jackowski, Ben Bosley, the widow of Richard F. Gottlieb (1935-2012), Jerry Levy, Mary Alice Herbert, Jane Newton, Matthew Andrew (b. 1981), and Martha Abbott (b. 1931) are set to attend and speak at Diamondstone’s memorial service tomorrow.

The most famous and successful member of the Liberty Union party, Diamondstone’s political legacy will likely be continued by his family. His wife, who was nominated by the party for Vermont at-large congressional seat in 1971 and again in 2002, is a radical progressive much like her husband. Their daughter Jessica “Jessy” Diamondstone, age 51-52, is even more politically involved, working on her father’s many political campaigns and currently serving on the Brattleboro City Council; as a result, she is expected to pick up where her father left off, and run for higher office later this year…

– The Brattleboro Reformer, Vermont newspaper, 3/11/2018

…France’s President José Bové stirred up more trouble for international businesses when he tried to get American companies to leave France with higher tariffs and taxes on foreign businesses and slashing taxes and fees for domestic product producers. These new laws were passed despite polls finding that a majority of French citizens “approved” of foreign businesses existing within their borders.

However, one could see the French people’s attitudes toward the alleged “Americanization” of urban centers more directly in ontech discussions and interactions. Even a quick glance at a BuddyTalk-France thread, and one can see how the French approved of KFC, and that most simply wished that their goods – the sources of the food served at KFC-France outlets – be locally sourced better. Bové, a decades-long critic of global chains, wanted to make the “French market [be] for French workers, French businesses, and French customers,” but in doing so, he made it more difficult for French farmers to sell their wares to international businesses who operated in France.


[Pic: ]

KFC-France outlet in Paris (left) and one on the French-administered island of Martinique (right), demonstrating the range of both KFC and President Bové restrictive international trade policies.

KFC-France took a two-pronged approach to the tariffs. The company’s legal team challenged Bové in the Paris courts, with the threat of bringing the matter all the way up to the International Court of Justice if necessary. Concurrently, the company’s R&D department sought to work around the new tariffs by testing a switch to ingredients pulled entirely from French markets…

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


The Washington Post, 3/19/2018


Although guest artists had been entertaining at the White House for more than a century, President and Mrs. Johnson made the White House a true showcase for the performing arts and their creativity and dedication provided a model for succeeding administrations to the present day. Performances at the Johnson White House comprised such a large cast that they were held outdoors on a special stage or indoors in the East Room on a portable stage donated by the Harkness Ballet in 1961. Music in the White House during the Sanders administration reflected the First Family’s diverse preferences, with the First Lady favoring piano and classical music while The Colonel was most supportive of southern, western and “country” styles, with Elvis’ rock-and-roll classics being a notable exception.


The administrations of Presidents Sanders and Mondale showcased a wider segment of American culture than ever before, with the appearance of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and popular song, as well as classical concert and vocal forms. In 1972, following an official state dinner, Pearl Bailey, with First Lady Claudia Sanders at the piano, sang for President Mitterrand of France. The Captain and Tennille performed for the Queen of England, President and Mrs. Mondale, and their guests. Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughn, and Dizzy Gillespie entertained Shah Reza Pahlevi of Iran under Mondale, too.

The most important musical event of this period, though, arguably was the first of five hour-long PBS programs. Broadcasted nationally and throughout Europe from the East Room, the series was initiated by President Mondale in 1978, after discussing “cultural promotion ideas” with his Secretary of State, Jimmy Carter. The first series comprised of Vladimir Horowitz, Leontyne Price, Mikhail Baryshnikov with Patricia McBride, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Andres Segovia.

Music in the White House during this period reflected a wide segment of American culture. The birthday dinner and Medal of Freedom presentation to Duke Ellington turned into a massive jam session with jazz luminaries.
First Lady Joan Mondale was especially successful in matching the musical programs to the interests of the many heads of state who visited the United States, demonstrating that “Joan of Art” was a champion of music as well as the visual art medium. The high point of this was in 1979, when Van Cliburn interpreted Chopin, Schuman and Debussy during the first White House entertainment for a reigning Japanese emperor.


Called "In Performance from the White House," the PBS programs
from the Mondale White House spilled over into the years of Jeremiah Denton, where First Lady Katherine Denton broadened the program to include not only classical and country styles sampled under the Sanders and Mondale administrations, but Broadway, jazz and much more gospel as well, and with creative theatrical flair to boot. The music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Johnny Cash, Rodgers and Hart, and the Beach Boys all performed at the Denton White House, as did the casts of various Broadway musicals, complete with their festive costumes and dance.

The Kemp White House retain Katherine Denton’s enthusiasm for celebrated and distinguished American symphony orchestras, such as the Boston Pops Orchestra and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Whether to enliven parties for children, holiday fetes, or Congressional picnics, music was vital to the Kemp White House. However, First Lady Joanne Kemp departed from Katherine’s approach to music by hosting more informal events, often charity drives and benefit performances, on the White House lawns. By 1989, Pinchas Zuckerman, Frank Sinatra, Jessye Norman, Lionel Hampton, and many others had contributed to the long White House tradition of after-dinner concerts held in the East Room to honor important heads of state.


President Bellamy’s lack of a spouse left the office of First Spouse vacant at first, only for the President to soon sign off on a rotation of several White House hosts and hostesses. This created a White House with arguably the widest selection of musical performances ever, with the likes of Frank Zappa, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Wayne Brady, Anita Johnson, Diana Krall and even Eartha Kitt all serenading guests and visitors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Upon President Iacocca assuming office, though, the new President promoted more “America-friendly” talents. Iacocca publicly described music as “a supreme American gesture, a vital symbol of American life as it underscores every important national event, social cause and ceremonial mood” in the White House. The subsequent collection of music was relatively retained upon his successor entering the White House. Dolly Parton famously performed at the White House in 1996.


Expanding the White House’s music selections to more non-white performers, President and Mrs. Jesse Jackson hosted a Juneteenth 2001 celebration of the music of Stevie Wonder, Festiva Latina, Selena, Martina McBride, India Ariel, Esperanza Spalding,, and many members of the African-American and Hispanic-American music scene. That same year, President Jackson presented to Mr. Wonder the second annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, an award that honors artists “whose creative output transcends distinctions . . . , brings diverse listeners together, and fosters mutual understanding and appreciation.”

Festiva Latina, a concert dedicated to Hispanic musical heritage, took place on the South Lawn of the White House
in 2002. Performers included Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, Eva Longoria Parker, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, George Lopez, Thalía, Tito "El Bambino", Aventura, and Los Lobos.


[pic: ]

Above: the Chicano rock band Los Lobos performs during the "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina" concert on the South Lawn of the White House.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


As a former professional thespian, President Grammer welcomed music of all kinds into the White House, with performers ranging from Kenny Rogers to KISS. President and Mrs. Grammer hosted a celebration of accomplished musicians in 2013, and welcomed back the Festiva Latina in 2014...

– [5]


…This satisfyingly dark and suspenseful work had this reviewer on the edge of their seat not because of it being too dark to see (like Predator 6), but because of the director knowing how to stage good suspense scenes. Returning to the franchise’s roots, the film follows UN peacekeeping forces in Cameroon trying to maintain civil order at the height of the SARS Pandemic when Predators begin their hunt. In a nod to War of The Worlds, initial efforts to kill the Predators with germ warfare fails spectacularly. The film presents the subsequent mayhem that is easy to follow, utilizing sweeping panoramic views to showcase the extent of the carnage, horror and action sequences... …While the Predator film from 1987 remains a classic, and Predator 2 (1991) is a decent sequel, Predator 3 (1993), a “crossover” film in which Carl Weathers’ character from the first two films must help professional boxer Rocky Balboa fight off a team of Predators, underperformed at the box office. The third installment’s letdown put the franchise on hold until James Cameron was hired to direct a fourth Predator film in 1999, which, while considered on par with the first film by audiences, received negative reviews from critics. A “trilogy” of Cameron-directed Predator films was nevertheless attempted, but after Predator 5 (2002) went over-budget and also underperformed, Current Century Fox fired Cameron from the franchise and the trilogy was completed in 2007 after many delays. Predator 6: Genesis (2007), which concerns “wormholed” astronauts of the fourth and fifth films, finally fighting a Predator in its own home star system, is still considered the worst in the franchise…

Variety, 3/24/2018 film review


–, 3/27/2018

ALIEN (franchise)

Alien is a science-fiction horror/action media franchise centered primarily on the film series depicting security officer-turned-outlaw-turned-General Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and her encounters with a form of extraterrestrial life called a Xenomorph, the franchise’s titular “alien.”

The franchise is produced and distributed by Current Century Studios, previously known as 20th Century Studios, beginning with the film series starting in 1979. This series has led to numerous novels, comics, vidgames, and a TV series, along with spinoffs and crossovers.






Alien (1979) – a commercial cargo ship responding to a distress signal is invaded by a quickly-growing alien dubbed a Xenomorph; Ripley kills the creature, but only after the rest of the crew is killed and the ship is destroyed, trapping Ripley in hypersleep.

Aliens (1983) – Almost immediately after the events of the first film, Ripley awakens from hypersleep after a facehugger stowaway creates and fire that causes her escape pod to crash, destroying the facehugger. Due to the lack of substantial evidence backing her story, Ripley is accused of murdering the crew of the first film; in an effort to clear her name, she travels to the planetoid colony where the ship’s remains were taken. Discovering the colony has just been wiped out by the Xenomorphs, Ripley leads the survivors back to the ship she took hostage to travel there, but only her and a few others survive.

Alien III (1995) – After 92 years in hypersleep, Ripley and the survivors are awakened by an alien-worshipping cult who plan to impregnate Ripley with an alien queen and sacrifice the others. They discover that Xenomorphs have “invaded” multiple human colonies in the time that has passed. When Xenomorphs come to the cult’s planet, though, the woshippers are killed, and Ripley and Company steal their documents and a ship to escape, but are soon arrested by galactic police. After successfully aborting the alien growing inside her, Ripley must convince them of their innocence, but only one officer believes her, and soon claims that the stolen documents hold the key to defeating the Xenomorphs.

Alien IV (1997) – Ripley is pardoned by the Governor of Planet Colony Cobb 17, introduced in the previous film, who is revealed to be a descendent of Engineer Parker, a character from the first film, and believes Ripley is innocent. In order to avoid impeachment, her pardon comes with the stipulation that she join the army and participate in a recon mission to the Xenomorph’s suspected home world as part of a larger plan to locate and destroy the “primary queen.” During the mission, however, the primary queen is killed, and it does not stop the aliens. However, Ripley’s growing ability to understand aspects of the aliens due her previous impregnation leads to her discovering a major chemical weakness held by the aliens. For her heroism in saving the crew, she is promoted in rank.

Alien V (1998) – Revealing that combining alien acid with a rare human blood type (which Ripley has) is fatal to the aliens (explaining why the alien fetus was slow to evolve inside her and why the fetus growth time has fluctuated over the course of the series), Ripley leads an army of soldiers, equipped with new weapons technology, to wipe out the aliens “infesting” Exoplanet Ergos, the site of the worst “infestation” of Xenomorphs. The success leads to her being promoted to General. In her new position, she soon learns of a scheme between mercenaries and a radical faction of the military to save some aliens in order to exploit them for their own nefarious purposes. Locating the captive Xenomorphs at an underground base beneath Cobb 17’s military HQ, Ripley and her team do battle with the radical militants while Xenomorphs escape at the same time. Both the radicals and the aliens are vanquished, but not without much destruction, numerous casualties.

Alien VI (2019) – also known as James Cameron’s Alien Menace, this film is current in preproduction; it will reportedly feature Ripley tracking down a mutated Xenomorph in the aftermath of the alien race being repelled from all but a few infestation sites.


Aliens: The Ripley Chronicles (2011-2017) – a “world-building” midquel series set between the second and third films, following the lives of Ellen Ripley’s daughter Maura (mentioned in the second and third films), portrayed by Chrysanthemum “Chrissy” Turner. Maura is a young security officer for an Hoffmium Energy Station on a remote exoplanet who, with the help of her friend and researcher Janey Urban (portrayed by Kelly Marie Tran), start out defending their home planet from Aliens before venturing out to other locations, including Earth, in an effort to stop the menace about which her mother tried to warn humanity.


Aliens: Retribution (2002-2006) – a net-based comic series that aimed to “flesh out” the world and character of the films and TV show, along with showing how life on Earth has changed over the course of the series, and how the aliens live and grow on their home world, in greater detail. Current Century Fox considered the series to be “canon,” but several directors and writers involved in the Ripley Chronicles TV series did not, leading to some minor plotholes and retcons in said TV series.


The first film was surprise hit, standing out among the other spacefaring films that were made in the wake of the successful and wildly popular first Star Wars film. The second film received lukewarm reviews. The third, fourth and fifth films (together making up an unofficial “trilogy”), though, are considered by some fans to be the best in the franchise, possibly even better than the first, though Alien V was the least commercially successful of the three.


Alien won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Aliens also won that award along with Weaver three nomination (Art Direction, Film Editing and Sound Effects Editing). Weaver finally won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Ripley in Alien III. Alien IV and Alien V were each nominated for Best Visual Effects awards and Film Editing awards, but did not win them.

–, c. 2018

…Ahead of the General Election in August, opposition leader Olivia Chow worked to unite the Progressive Liberal party. Endorsements from the Trudeau brothers, Michel and Justin, both actors engaged in political activism but not elective politics, soon joined other voices of support. MPs Alison M. Redford, Pierre Paquette, Naheed Nenshi, Christy Clark, and Jacques Duchesneau, plus Provincial leaders Jean-Yves Duclos and Lisa Raitt, all expressed support for the PL leader soon enough. However, who won in August would depend on who could pull in enough support in the competitive regions, who has strength where, and their level of experience with both campaigning, and internal and intraparty political processes...

– Richard Johnston’s The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History, UBC Press, 2021 edition

…The Eritrean Liberation Front achieved its goal in the mid-1970s. After years of fighting, the Addis Ababa Peace Treaty of 1977 was signed by the leaders of Ethiopia, Somalia and the ELF, making Eritrea an independent nation on New Year’s Day 1978. Setting up a parliamentary system with Isaias Afwerki (1946-1982) as Prime Minister, the new nation started off on shaky ground. Domestically, infrastructure developments were slow and rife with corruption from the start. In regards to foreign policy, Afwerki promoted maintaining a neutral position on the world stage, and possibly allying with Yugoslavia in that endeavor, but was inhibited by other members of parliament and the military who believed the nation was better off under either western, Soviet or Chinese spheres of influence. Political infighting worsened in 1980, and in 1981, Afwerki was removed from office. His successor, however, was even less effective, and was soon overthrown in a military coup led by former ELF leader Osman Saleh Sabbe (1932-1987). Sabbe oversaw a communistic regime, but wisely allied himself closer with China than with the Soviet Union, allowing him to stay in power after the USSR collapsed in 1984.

Upon Sabbe’s unexpected demise from cancer in 1987, his brother Mahmoud Saleh Sabbe succeeded him until he was overthrown by his own military in 1989. The nation has been ruled by General Sebhat Ephrem (b. 1951) ever since….

– Emanuel Biedemariam’s Eritrea: A History of Triumph and Betrayal, Aksumite E-Press, 2021

…April 5, 2018 began as just another hectic day for President Grammer. Amid stable low-50s approval ratings, government deregulation efforts going smoothly in the GOP-majority congress, and the GOP’s party factions being overall complacent for the time being, the President was mainly dealing with foreign policy concerns. Russia’s Nikolayev was unpredictable, China was continuing their cyber-warfare campaign, and several central African countries were refusing to get off their respective warpaths at their own respective volitions. But on this day, a new foreign policy issue arose.

Grammer loosened his tie as he watched the news report on the latest batch of hacked documents leaking onto the technet. The Situation Room was not exactly quiet, but he could still hear the anchors’ discuss this newest “doc drop,” with the assortment receiving the most amount of attention being the leaked documents pulled from the servers of the small African country of Eritrea. The documents revealed that the Eritrean military government was planning to test a nuclear missile, already in their possession, within a week.

“Well, at least this leak actually helps us,” Grammer murmured. “This thing almost snuck up on us.”

“Alright, so first off, we have to find out how serious this is – if it’s even legitimate,” Secretary of State Dick Morningstar advised. “Do they really have The Bomb?”

“It could be some dumb joke,” Vice President Brown suggested.

The Secretary of Energy and Technology, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, shook her head “I just spoke with our experts. They’re sure those aren’t doctored docs.”

“Then we have to figure out how in God’s name the Eritreans got ahold a nuclear device! The country is so small you could claim it wasn’t real and people would believe you without batting an eye!” The President exclaimed.

“So, wait, they didn’t make that bomb themselves?” asked White House Chief of Staff Patricia Clarey.

“No, definitely not” Secretary of Defense Eileen Collins answered.

“Why didn’t they build up their own nuclear program?” was Clarey’s follow-up.

“Because when North Korea tried that shit, we wiped off of the map before they could complete it!” Brown proclaimed, smiling from the wave of nostalgia suddenly rushing over him.

“It must have been sold to them,” Morningstar surmise confidently, “They must have bought it off either some other government, or from some private enterprise, some weapons trafficker, maybe one of the mafias.”

“But who?” Brown asked.

“We’re still working on finding the missile’s source, sir,” Morningstar continued to speak to the President. “There’s not much for us to go on, but judging by the leaked images, it’s most likely we’re dealing with an old Russian model. Tech is trying to find a digital trail to follow.”

“But it’s not just the supplier that matters here, Mr. President,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hudson Holliday interjected, “The age of the bomb can affect its detonation, so when they got it is important too. And like you said, Dick, it’s likely an old model. Could be a lot more sensitive than others.”

Collins nodded, “And if they’ve got one to spare in a test, I can guarantee that they have other mushroom makers, too.”

“So,” Grammar asked his experts, “What should we do about this and how? Do we tell the dictator of Eritrea that we say he can’t set it off? Throw a bunch of UN laws at him and hope for the best? Do we launch a global boycott like what President Kemp did in the 1980s? Or do we do something much more drastic, and invade them over this?”

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

…While no international agreement or convention explicitly banned the possession, manufacturing and/or use of nuclear weapons, the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion of 1996 was that nations who did all three posed a serious international risk that “could” be considered a threat to humanity. In regards to worldwide diplomacy, only five nations are recognized of having “nuclear weapon possession” status – the US, Russia, China, India, and Pakistan – and only the first three of them have thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs and missiles, et cetera).

However, it was impressive that no countries had conducted explosive nuclear tests since the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1999 (while the US signed onto it under President Jesse Jackson, it was never ratified). The main issue with Eritrea’s behind-the-scenes activities was that the nation’s government and military had never made it known to any international organizations of their efforts to become a nuclear power. This was most likely due to the outspokenness of North Korea establishing a potential precedence.

Thus, on April 6, the US Ambassador to the UN, diplomat Norma Jean Almodovar, joined other western nations in condemning Eritrea, demanding that its leader, General Ephrem, postpone the testing of the nuclear device until the UN National Security Council could inspect their facilities and ensure that the tests would be conducted safely.

It was not too surprising when Ephrem replied the next day with the refusal to “bow to the whims of imperialists,” and stated that no other nations or organizations could “push around” any other nations “less than a war.” The belligerent response did not flinch the UN Security Council, who confirmed on April 8 that Eritrea did not notify any international organizations of their nuclear possessions despite the leaked documents suggesting that the Eritrean military had them to in their possession for no less than six weeks – which was “ample time” to report it, as Almodovar observed in a White House Press Briefing on April 9. These breaches of international safeguards, agreed to under the CNTBT of 1999, which Eritrea signed onto but didn’t ratify, raised tension among world leaders uncertain of how to proceed further.

Then, another leak occurred on April 11. Despite Eritrea’s efforts to troubleshoot hacking attempts, another firewall penetration led to the reveal that Individuals of uncertain origin and allegiance stole five Russian nuclear missiles made in the early 1980s and smuggled them to Eritrea in December 2017. These documents seemed to confirm allegations that Eritrea had not in fact “legitimately purchased” these devices. Ephrem responded by denying the new allegations and claiming that both batches of information were somehow doctored if not entirely fabricated in a contradictory April 14 speech.

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

NIKOLAYEV REPORTEDLY IN TALKS WITH EPHREM! Swears He Will Resolve The Eritrean Incident Peacefully

Kommersant (The Businessman), Russian newspaper, 4/15/2015

Nikolayev’s sudden entrance into the controversy caught the Americans by surprise. Nikolayev was simply faster than Grammer in establishing lines of communication with General Ephrem’s people. On April 17, Nikolayev and Ephrem traveled to the neutral location of Kuwait City, Kuwait to establish an “understanding.” The meeting was a sensation for media outlets who presented Nikolayev’s active and “firsthand” reaction to the alleged possible threat of Eritrea’s shady activities having an ulterior motive like invading or holding hostage some regional country like Ethiopia or Saudi Arabia.

On April 21, the two men attended a joint press briefing in which they announced that they had negotiated a resolution to the controversy. “Ephrem has clarified the misunderstanding with the improperly purchased items,” said Nikolayev, who proceeded to claim that the members of the Eritrean Army in charge of the missile’s purchasing had been identified and arrested for procedure violations. Ephrem than announced that he was returning the nuclear devices to their “rightful place,” Russia’s arsenal. However, he did not clarify if this meant that he was cancelling his nuclear program, or if he would seek out other pathways to nuclear possession in the future.

Either way, the declaration of resolution was celebrated by news outlets in and out of Russia. Nikolayev went from being seen as a man surrounded by allegations of corruption to being a successful negotiator and world leader; internal approval ratings showed the President’s approval ratings show up from the low 40s to the high 70s. The ascension of Nikolayev into an nearly idolized politician seemed too good to be true…

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


Pssst. The secret's out at KFC. Well, sort of.

Colonel Harland Sanders' handwritten recipe of 11 herbs and spices
was removed from safekeeping at KFC's corporate offices in Florence, Kentucky, for the first time in decades. The temporary relocation allowed the global chain’s headquarters to revamp security around a yellowing sheet of paper that contains one of the country's most famous corporate secrets.

The brand's top executive admitted his nerves were aflutter despite the tight security he lined up for the operation.

"I didn't want to be the Head Executive who lost the recipe," KFC leader Roger Eaton said. "Imagine how terrifying that would have been."

So important is the 78-years-old concoction that coats the chain's Original Recipe chicken that only two company executives at any time have access to it. The company refuses to release their name or title, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents.

Louisville-based KFC, part of
the fast-food “umbrella” parent company Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., hired off-duty police officers and private security guards to whisk the document away to an undisclosed location in an armored vehicle for an undisclosed number of days. The valued document was then carefully placed in a briefcase and handcuffed to security expert Bo Dietl for the ride.

"There's no way anybody could get this recipe," said Dietl, a former New York City police detective. His security firm is also handling the security improvements for the recipe at headquarters, but he wouldn't say what changes they're making.

For more than 20 years, the recipe has been tucked away in a filing cabinet equipped with two combination locks in company headquarters. To reach the cabinet, the keepers of the recipe would first open up a vault and unlock three locks on a door that stood in front of the cabinet. Vials of the herbs and spices are also stored in the secret filing cabinet.

"The smell is overwhelming when you open it," said one of two keepers of the recipe in an interview at company headquarters.

The biggest prize, though, is a single sheet of notebook paper, yellowed by age, that lays out the entire formula -- including exact amounts for each ingredient -- written in pencil and signed by Sanders. Others have tried to replicate the recipe, and occasionally someone claims to have found a copy of Sanders' creation. The executive said none have come close, adding the actual recipe would include some surprises.

Sanders developed the formula in 1940 at his tiny restaurant in southeastern Kentucky and used it to launch the KFC chain in
the early 1950s before launching a successful career in politics. Sanders died in 1990, but his likeness is still central to KFC's marketing.

"The recipe to him, in later years, was everything he stood for," said Shirley Topmiller, his personal secretary for about 12 years.

Larry Miller, a restaurant analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said the recipe's value is "almost an immeasurable thing. It's part of that important brand image that helps differentiate the KFC product."

–, 4/23/2018 [6]

“The legislation I propose today would finally address the silent scourge of wage theft. …tens of billions of dollars are stolen from low-skill workers every year. Compare that to the dollars stolen in all cases of larceny, burglary, auto theft and robbery, which make up less than a third of the total amount of money illegally obtained in the US each year according to an average of several independent studies...”

– US Senator William Tong (D-CT), in a speech of the floor of the US Senate, 4/24/2018


…Saudi Arabian Space Center, or Markaz Alfada Alsaeudii (MAA) in Arabic, with the collaboration of space agencies in Iran and United Turkestan, today launched astronauts Hazza Al Mansouri (b. Dec 1983) and Sultan Al-Neyadi (b. May 1981) of the United Arab Emirates in the manned rocket Perseverance in a trip to the International Space Station. The launch and voyage marks the first time that the MAA has launched astronauts since 2008, and marks the time that Emirati astronauts have ever gone to space. The successful voyage could give Middle Eastern space agencies the confidence to re-enter the space industry at its pre-2008 levels…

The Houston Chronicle, 4/25/2018

UN REPORT: Standards of Living Finally Improving In Several Sub-Saharan African Nations

…the extensive report credited the Great Green Wall project, begun in late 2003, for improving the quality of life in the countries of Mali, Senegambia, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. However, the multinational GGW endeavors have been less successful in nations such as Burkina Faso, The Fulani Republic, Darfur, Sudan, and Eritrea…

The Boston Globe, 4/29/2018

Prof. Janice FINE: “The Grammer administration should go forward on the proposed executive order to start a knife buy-back program similar to the knife-surrender programs the United Kingdom have had over the past several decades. A federal buy-back program would be much easier and cheaper to get set up than passing some sort of federal legislation. And, furthermore, the UK’s programs have helped lower knife crimes over there, and –”

Contributor Alec JONES: “No, economic reform to keep unfair business practices at bay lowered knife crime rates over there. Poverty and unemployment are linked to domestic, ‘home-grown’ acts of violence, so instead of the government telling people something as ridiculous as they can’t own knives, the government should be funding more anti-poverty measures to nip these trends in the bud.”

Reporter Jennifer RUBIN: “I don’t know, you guys, the Grammer administration seems pretty keen on following the UK example. The President’s reportedly talked about it with Prime Minister Goodlad several times by now.”

JONES: “Well if they try it, they’ll have to figure out how to say ‘we don’t trust you to own a knife’ in a way that isn’t so insulting.”

RUBIN: “Yes, I too am interested in how this wouldn’t come off as infringing upon one’s personal freedoms.”

JONES: “Well, I mean, they probably aren’t exactly going to say anything obviously dumb like, ‘you don’t need a bread knife when you can buy sliced bread’.”

FINE: “Heh. Unless Harley Brown heads the program. He’d probably say something like that. [chuckle]”

– KNN roundtable discussion, 5/2/2018 broadcast


The Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 5/3/2018

The Top 10 Best Sesame Street moments

Sesame Street has cemented itself as an instrumental part of early education for millions of children around the world. Since episodes of the highly-praised children’s series began airing in November 1969, there have been countless tender, wholesome, hilarious and even controversial moments in the show’s nearly-50-year history, as the show addressed real-world topics and issues with humor and heart. …We conducted an open-ended survey ontech, and discovered that the following Sesame Street moments are considered to be “the best” ones in the show’s run:

1 – It Ain’t Easy Being Green (1969) – a simple bit in which Kermit the Frog sings a graceful and touching song about his green skin in a lauded segment that subtly addresses the issues of race, individuality and self-acceptance, and still holds up to this day.

2 – Galopy Revealed! (1972) – the adults on Sesame Street finally meet Mr. Galopagus; Galopy was first introduced in 1970 as a metaphor for workplace pestering, as nobody believed Big Bird until his friends supported him and get the adults to believe him after over a year of skepticism.

3 – Rubber Duckie, You’re The One (1970) – first performed 48 years ago, this segment has been redone many times due to how popular it is with young children.

4 – The Perils of Distance (1975) – a classic Grover sketch in which he runs himself ragged demonstrating the differences between distances; a simple premise that resonated with audiences, the sketch regained relevance with a 2002 re-do covering safezoning distances during the SARS pandemic.

5 – Farewell, Mr. Hooper (1983) – when the actor portraying Mr. Hooper, Will Lee, died from a heart attack at age 74, the writers confronted his demise by killing off his character to make it a learning experience for young audiences in what is one of the saddest moments in the show’s history.

6 – Love Is Love (2001) – the show addressed BLUTAGO Rights with the introduction of Lily, an openly BLUTAGO muppet; the episode begins with her introduction, with the poignant reveal that she is married to a woman being near the end of the episode.

7 – “What’s ‘assassinated’ mean?” (1995) – this tear-jerker of an episode has the adults on Sesame Street address the assassination of President Iacocca, an event that dominated the news cycle and discussions at homes across America for months.

8 – Elmo In Quarantine (2004) – a sketch centered on a young character loved by millions, Elmo struggles to adapt to ontech “remote classroom” learning and the isolating effects of quarantine, but finds strength from his family and friends.

9 – Bridging Borders (1998) – walking a tightrope and using delicately-worded lines to address the rise in racial violence at the height of the War on Recreadrugs and the aftermath of the Second Korean War, this segment and other like it was praised for its anti-hatred stance.

10 – “C” Can Be For Carrot (1979) – Cookie Monster was introduced in 1971 at a time of heightened national health concerns; presented originally as a recurring character, he was a sympathetic cautionary tale of addiction before “cleaning up” and joining the regular cast in this episode, cementing his role as a promoter of healthy eating who struggled to not give in to his more unhealthy cravings too often. He still teaches important lessons like moderation, patience, and self-control, and always with hilarious results.

…The genius of Jim Henson, who passed away last week at the age of 81 from an unspecified ailment, was not limited to Sesame Street. Other TV series that he spearheaded included Sam And Friends (1955-1961), The Wizard of Id (1969-1970), The Muppet Show (1976-1982), Fraggle Rock (1983-1989), Muppet Babies (1984-1993), The Dark Crystal Chronicles (1987-1992), The Storytellers (1994-1995), and The New Muppet Show (1997-2001), and The Jim Henson Show (2005-2006) and The Muppets (2011-2017). Henson famously voiced dozens of his Muppet characters until his voice’s decline in quality led to him retiring from voice-work in 2003…

Time magazine, early May 2018 issue

Lava Devours Homes, Spews Globs 300 Feet Into The Air As Flow Spills Across Big Island

–, 5/7/2018


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 5/11/2018

“…So the New York Times published a report concerning the long-term effects of New Jersey’s F.A.D.-like program. Essentially, money brought in by tourism and companies based in the state contribute to a monthly dividend for every New Jersey citizens, even for official residents who work in places like New York City and Philadelphia, which is probably where a lot of them spend a lot of that money, too. But, anyway, according to the report, the F.A.D. allows many working mothers to stay home and spend more time with their children, and that’s the same for families that move to New Jersey, too. Apparently, the type of family dynamic, where there’s kids and both parents work, has plateaued in the Garden State, while it’s risen in New York and Philadelphia, over the past forty years. As result, with example of microcosmic socialism is actually viewed by most conservatives in the state in a positive light. To them, it’s not a handout, but a ‘traditional family stipend’ of sorts, upholding values and all that jazz. As a result, the monthly checks are highly popular among liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans in the state, and so its untouchable by politicians. NJ folk expect those checks, and they demand those checks; they all collectively pay high taxes for them, anyway. It’s their money after all. And in my experience with the state, any anti-dividend folk are usually considered to be hypocrites because they back low inheritance taxation and private schools, but not stimulus checks and farming subsidies. But the real interesting thing about this – the report and how much New Jerseyans like their monthly checks – is that it’s only gradually catching on in other states. In 2010, only five states had something like this – Connecticut, Alaska, Wyoming, New Jersey, and Maine. Now that numbers gone up to only 12, with Oregon and our very own state of Colorado adopting monthly dividend programs last year after state referendums were held on the matter in 2016…”

– KXKL Radio Denver’s The Ken Hamblin Show, local talk/news program, 5/12/2018 broadcast


[pic: ]

– “Harley on his Harley”; US Vice President Harley Davidson Brown (R-ID), spotted outside a bar near Reno, Nevada, during a trip to the state for a political fundraiser, 5/13/2018

…After graduating from MIT with degrees in computers sciences and mathematics, Reed Hastings worked for Adaptive Technology creating debugging software tools. Meanwhile, in 1991, entrepreneurs Raymond Peck and Mark Box, both keen on capitalizing on the rise of the technet in the early 1990s, co-founded Raymark, a debugging/antivirus company.

In 1993, Hastings was assigned the task of comparing business models of rival companies to try and determine a possible cause for their drop in sales and stockholder confidence. During the project, Hastings concluded that offering services at a flat rate would incentivize customers to maintain their services for longer periods of time and bring in more revenue. However, Hastings’ idea was not adopted, and in 1996 he was fired alongside 500 other workers laid off by the company hemorrhaging money.

In 1996, Hastings presented his flat rate idea to Raymark, which adapted it and hired him as a creative consultant. Hastings has since worked for several computer companies, and was the leader of the team who co-created ShieldPiece Systems technology in 2003, contributing further to anti-virus efforts…

–, c. 2018

…As the 1990s began, an increasing number of average American family households began owning computers and accessing the technet, leading to the ability to share videos ontech. Wanting to capitalize on this, companies that typically published mail-order catalogues develop ontech versions, including Bloomingdale’s and Victoria’s Secret. The rise of e-commerce soon effected home video rental store companies when minor chains such as Texas’ I-Heart-Films and the larger Value Videos established netsites to offer sending MLDs directly to customer’s home through the mail.

However, the ability to watch films directly on PCs became increasingly possible as bandwidth technology improved. In 2001, Paramount studios became the first studio to, for a fee, allow people to watch their films on; this attempt to promote older films soon led to other studios following suit. By 2004, film distributors establishing partnerships with film productions to release films on ontech downloading sites, such as PopcornTime, and the more popular Netfilms founded by Marc Randolph in 2001, in a manner similar to how Micro-LaserDiscs were rented or sold at video stores in the 1980s and 1990s.

Similar to how MLDs outpaced VHS tapes in popularity and use by the start of the oughties, with the SARS pandemic being the final nail in its coffin, ontech downloading and other vide-streaming services soon eclipsed MLDs. By the mid-2010s, ontech film-watching had become more popular due to easier accessibility, increasingly cheaper costs, and physical storage no longer being necessary in the wake of digital storage capabilities. …As of May 2018, most studies show that a majority of Americans who watch movies at home primarily do so on their computers or compTVs via the technet/via streaming (55%), compared to how many primarily watch films on MLDs (35%) or on more “traditional” TV channels such as KTB’s Cinema Classics channel (10%)…

–, c. 2018


…the number of politicians being accused of improperly spending government funds meant for public works projects has now risen to 14... “This is perhaps the most severe crisis of faith in government in years if not in decades,” says Opposition leader Olivia Chow (PL-ON). ...Several high-profile MPs in both the Progressive Conservative and Progressive Liberal parties are involved, and the spending scandal seems to have discredited all of them…

The Regina Leader-Post, Saskatchewan newspaper, 5/16/2018


–, 5/17/2018

> Since 1980 <

Year – location – fatalities – description

5/2-3/1983 – Moscow, U.S.S.R. – 31 – dissenting protests turned to deadly riots against increasingly oppressive military state in USSR’s capital

7/17-18/1983 – Shalkar, Kazakhstan, U.T./U.S.S.R. – 230 – civilians killed by Soviet Army platoon for aiding seceding Kazakhs

2/20/1984 – Grahamstown, South Africa – 14 – white radicals shot upon unarmed blacks as the Apartheid system was collapsing

8/9/1984 – Pacoa, Colombia – 300-400 – recreadrug lord ordered a hit on a rival’s farm/base

10/10/1986 – Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka – 129 – Tamil Tigers held monks at a bus stop and executed them once police arrived, leading to a deadly shootout

4/6/1987 – Findlay, Ohio, U.S. – 16 – local man later diagnosed with mental health issues shot up his local post office

11/29/1987 – Concord, North Carolina, U.S. – 5 – personal revenge incident in which a landowner fired into a crowd containing his neighbor at a mini-mall

7/8/1989 – Ypsilanti High School, Ypsilanti, North Dakota, U.S. – 5 – student opened fire indiscriminately before committing suicide, motive still unclear

8/21/1990 – Rreshen, Albania – 4 – anti-Yugoslavian radical fired into a crowd in reaction to rising calls for the struggling Albanian republic to join Yugoslavia

11/12/1991 – Tirana, Yugoslavia – 12 – anti-Muslim extremist fired into a primary school in response to Albania becoming a part of Yugoslavia

6/29/1992 – Sudharmono Mansion, Jakarta, Indonesia – 17 – security police opened fire on protestors outside the President’s manor

9/30/1993 – Tema, Ghana – 7 – police shot rioters amid period of social unrest

3/3/1994 – Rugasha, Rwanda – 300-600 – Hutu militia orchestration; part of an ethnic cleansing campaign against Tutsis

2/2/1995 – W.J.B. Dorn High School, Greenville, South Carolina, U.S. – 6 – troubled freshman targeted and fatally shot students who allegedly were bullies

3/1/1995 – Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, U.S. – 4 – anti-BLUTAG student targeted and fatally shot specific students alleged to be BLUTAG-American

8/15/1995 – Las Virginias, Chihuahua, Mexico – 3 – recreadrug gunmen ambushed and killed US federal agents

2/3/1996 – Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia – 62 – joint US/Colombian forces raiding Pablo Escobar’s compound led a gunfight in which Escobar was killed

2/22-26/1996 – Tokchon Prison, North Korea – 1,000-1,200 – imprisoned civilians were slaughtered in the closing weeks of the Second Korean War

9/18/1997 – El Paso, Texas, U.S. – 17 – gunfight between border agents and cartel smugglers

10/4/1999 – Palmyra, Syria – 50 – splinter military faction ambushed Syrian Army soldiers; part of the 1997-1999 Syrian Civil War

11/11/1999 – Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China – 21 – knife attack in public marketplace, motive unknown

12/1/2000 – Bagiata, Alania – 22 – domestic political radicals shot up the schoolyard of the school that the President’s grandchildren attended

10/3/2001 – Atlanta, Georgia – 13 – police raid on a high-crime neighborhood led to locals protesting police brutality

9/19/2003 – The Cactus Jack, Zanesville, Ohio, U.S. – 17 – arson attack against the BLUTAG bar’s patrons

5/5/2004 – Qurgonteppa, Tajikistan – 55 – riots over empty shelves at stores due to government corruption and mismanagement led to military opening fire

12/12/2005 – Shabunda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo – 1,000-1,100 – Tutsi civilians killed by two converging anti-Tutsi militias

1/8/2006 – Bagirma, Darfur, Sudan – 250-300 – part of the Sudanese government-sponsored ethnic cleansing campaign

6/7/2006 – Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India – 173 – a Hindu mob attacked a Muslim community amid false rumors of them hoarding a cure for SARS

3/30/2007 – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India – 350-500 – police opened fire on rioters demanding a SARS vaccines be created faster

4/24/2009 – Juba, South Sudan – 142 – part of the armed fighting in Juba’s streets following the South Sudanese coup attempt on the nation’s President

1/11/2011 – Jebel Marra, Darfur – 400-500 – local Darfur civilians were slaughtered by members of the Sudanese Armed Forces

2/12-19/2014 – Tun-Nyu and Loikaw, Myanmar – 500-800 – mass executions of members of the Ka-Ren ethnic group, carried out by the Myanmar Army

5/6-7/2015 – Derbent, Dagestan, Russia – 10 – separatist radicals took civilians hostage and began executing them as the police breaching the compound

11/9/2016 – Mitsiwa, Eritrea – 138 – civilian protests demanding government reform led to guards opening fire

5/19/2018 – Kaya, Fulani Republic – 300-900 – The Burkina Faso Army attacked the community in response to local militia attack as week before

– clickopedia/list_of_events_named_massacres, c. May 2018

“So, I just saw the new Friday the 13th movie, and I’ve got to say, given this franchise’s history, this was a refreshing change of pace. Let me explain. See, the first movie came out in 1980, and the franchise took a different direction by focusing on Jason instead of Mrs. Voorhees the first sequel, Friday the 13th Part 2, which premiered in 1981. Part 3 came out in 1982 and Part 4 came out in 1984. Both were descent, but they didn’t make as much money as the studio wanted them to. So with Part 5: The Next Chapter, initially called the Final Chapter, premiering in 1986, they raised the stakes by having Jason stealing a silencer from a dead recreadrug lord in the first five minutes of the film. Part 6: Voorhees’ Vengeance premiered in 1989, and seemingly closed the franchise, only for the network to sense that the drop in the popularity of the Nightmare on Elm Street films meant that there was an opening for new Jason fans. So we got Friday The 13th Part 7: Jason’s Return in 1997. After disappointing results, with that movie, though the franchise was rebooted with the 2005 film Friday The 13th – no subtitle, just Friday The 13th. A prequel to the reboot, Friday The 13th: The First Friday, which ignores Parts 1-to-7 in a continuation of the reboot Jason universe, came out in 2010, but this was also a box office bomb. So, the network’s gone back to the original “Part” timeline with Part 8. Also known as the movie I just watched. And…it’s certainly an improvement, I can say that much. Better than part 7, but not as good as the original. Which can be said about all the sequels, since I want to be honest when reviewing this here…”

– transcript of “Friday The 13th: Part 8 – Reviewtime,” video uploaded to, a video-sharing netsite, on 5/19/2018

MOTHER-POST: Halloween Continuity Question

So the first Halloween film in seven years is coming out soon, but I’ve only seen the first two films, plus Freddy vs. Michael. Do I have to watch all the other movies in the franchise to understand this one?


The franchise’s breakdown is pretty straightforward. Movies that have a Roman Numeral in their title are part of the primary/original timeline, and ones that don’t are either spinoffs or failed reboots.

Halloween (1978) – the original classic

Halloween II (1981) – the almost-as-good follow-up where Michael presumably dies in an explosion

Halloween: Season of the Witch (1983) – the studio’s attempt to make the franchise an anthology series; it’s not connected to the primary timeline as Halloween and Halloween II are shown to be movies within this movie; the film is basically three stories in one vehicle, connected together only with their shared theme of witchcraft

Halloween: Horrorville (1984) – a second anthology installment with just one plot, but it’s a very convoluted plot; often considered the worst film in the franchise; while it has its fans nowadays, at the time it did so poorly that the network returned to the original timeline

Halloween III: Michael Returns (1989) – turns out Michael survived that explosion in Halloween II; he gets captured at the end of this one

Halloween IV: Michael’s Revenge (1991) – starts with Michael escaping a mental hospital and ends with him being decapitated

Halloween V: Michael’s Resurrection (1995) – turns out the guy beheaded in the last movie wasn’t Michael; an overall lukewarm film

H20: Halloween 20 Years Later (1998) – ignores all the films made after the first movie, and suggests that magic and a family curse is responsible for Michael’s pure evil and seemingly superhuman abilities; it underperformed at the box office and got a “meh” from fans

Halloween VI: (2011) – set in October 2002, during the SARS Pandemic, where people wearing masks were common; it ignores the events of Freddy vs. Michael (2001), and ends in a way that satisfied a lot of fans.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2018) – set to come out this October, Zombie’s version is apparently going to be a reboot of the whole franchise, giving Michael a new backstory and retelling the events of the first film in the present to incorporate modern technology and make the show more relatable to modern audiences…which never works out and just ages and dates the film, so I have my reservations about it.


So, I don’t have to watch any of the previous films to understand this one?

REPLY 1 to REPLY 1 to REPLY 1:


REPLY 2 to REPLY 1 to REPLY 1:

Unless they decided to litter the film with “easter egg” references to the previous films…

–, a public pop-culture news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting netsite, 5/20/2018 posting


…the program is only eligible for large knives such as hunting knives. Small knives such as butter knives and plastic knives will not be accepted, nor will novelty swords of replicas of fictional weapons, including (but not limited to) the franchises of Highlander, Thundercats, Lord of the Rings, Conan The Barbarian, Hagar The Horrible, Xena Warrior Princess, Skullkickers and He-Man. …The program is to be funded by the department of the Deputy Secretary of Domestic Security, a subdivision of the Department of Defense. This executive order also complements the bill signed into law late last year that provides more federal funds for states that establish public awareness programs on knife safety…

The Washington Post, 5/21/2018


The New York Times, 5/22/2018

…with the debate now coming down to how America would vote in its first nationwide initiative, Gravel was “elated but cautious” when compared to the reactions of “ecstatic” RCV supporters and “incensed” RCV opponents. Leaders on each side of the debate were quick to promote their own talking points and discredit their opponents’ ahead of people taking to the polls in November…

– Pat Sheffield and Rachel Joy Scott-Ireland’s Voices And Votes: The History of the National Initiative Amendment, Tumbleweed Publications, 2021


…roughly 30 members of a small knife-advocacy group called the Kansas City Knife Knights gathered around a metalworks business in Sacramento today to demand they cancel a commission they have accepted. The business is working on a memorial honoring the victims of last year’s Independence Day Knife Attack in Crescent City, California. “We think a statue is unwarranted and will do more harm than good by promoting the idea that even a small blade, like a helpful tool that could save someone’s life in an incident or help them with a skill or project, is a bad thing to have. It will give children wrong ideas about real and proper gun use,” says one protestor.

Another protestor present at today’s protest, which ended unceremoniously when the business closed up shop at the end of the day on schedule, is more critical of the sculpture’s design. The Crescent City memorial will be a sculpture of a heart-shaped tree, symbolizing the heart of the community, that will be molded out of knives donated in a “knives for cash” drive held late last year in Crescent City. The drive saw hundreds of blade weapons be donated, including katana swords and switchblades. “I think it does more the honor attacker to use his weapon of choice,” he says. “And, the ironic thing, is that this business is using blades and other sharp tools to make a monument opposing the use of sharp tools.”

The memorial is set to be completed in time for its unveiling on the one-year anniversary of the attacks, in which the assailant killed three and injured five…

The Seattle Times, 5/24/2018


…“In a rapidly growing region like Asia, it is unwise to rely so heavily and on only the People’s Republic of China,” Leong explained in today’s speech on the floor of parliament. Leong went to describe how her government is “looking into” doing “better” deals with other nearby nations such as India, Indonesia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the rising star that is Bangladesh. Leong also announced that the government would work on creating trade deals to invest more into developing countries in Asia and Africa in order to provide basic needs to the citizens of those nations in exchange for “a sliver” of the profits yielded in their growing sectors.

“Basically, she wants to use our country’s current national surplus to turn Australia into the loan shark of the world,” the Leader of the Opposition claims…

The Barrier Daily Truth, NSW Australia daily newspaper, 5/25/2018

NIKOLAYEV ALLOWED NUKE SMUGGLING! Whistleblower Alleges Plot to Boost Russian President’s Popularity

…a former member of Russia’s Domestic Security department claims that Russian President Nikolayev orchestrated the “theft” of Russian weapons and the release of sensitive information onto the technet in a staged hacking. “He wants to play a bigger and stronger role on the world stage. He worked with Eritrea’s General Ephrem to establish a deal,” the whistleblower alleges. “Ephrem is a paranoid despot desperate to hold onto power, and with American forces liberating countries across Africa, Ephrem probably fears he is next. Ephrem wants protection, and Nikolayev offered it to him. So Ephrem went along with it. Nikolayev would guarantee him protection in the event of some western imperialist aggression, and in exchange for it, Nikolayev would get to play the role of a hero. Be celebrated by millions. Win re-election in 2020. Stay in power and extend that power to who knows what extent.”

The New York Times, 5/26/2018

…Nikolayev vehemently denied the allegations, calling the whistleblower a liar and a traitor. But it was very telling how, very soon afterwards, he began firing dozens of people en masse on suspicion of betraying him to the press. Now why would an innocent person do such a thing?…

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

“WE NEED TO KNOW!” Russian Parliament’s Opposition Leader Demands An “Investigative Query” Into Nikolayev’s Role In “The Eritrean Incident”

The New York Times, 5/30/2018

[1] The lines in this segment that are in italics were pulled from here:
[2] OTL! Also, here’s an OTL article that I found, thought was really interested, and just want to share with y’all:
[3] Some passages in this paragraph were lifted from here:
[4] This and more/other stuff found here:
[5] All italicized passages were pulled from here:
[6] The italicized parts of this segment (so, yeah, a lot of it) were all lifted from here:

Sorry for taking longer than usual to work on this chapter everyone. I recently got a new job, and it’s kind of time-consuming.

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: Within two weeks...hopefully...
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Here's some names it would be fun to bring up
Steve Jobs (I suspect Lando Sanders is Steve Jobs, just based on the clue that he was adopted, as Steve was.)
Mike Pompeo
Rebecca Sugar
Maddie Blaustein
Rachel Scott
Pete Buttigieg
Rupert Murdoch
Lily Singh
Maria Hinajosa
Greg Kelly
Scarlett Johanssen
Mandy Patinkin
Roy Wood, Jr.
Natalie Merchant
Jim Gaffigan
Jane Lynch
Lewis Black
Adam Schlesinger
Carly Simon
Don McLean
Pat Robertson
Great update! Thanks for using my suggestion about Eritrea. Nice to see Jenny Leong become Australia's first female PM in TTL. Congratulations on your job again man! :)
Sorry for taking longer than usual to work on this chapter everyone. I recently got a new job, and it’s kind of time-consuming.

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: Within two weeks...hopefully...
Real life, forever getting in the way.
Seriously though, look after yourself and don’t burn yourself out on our behalf

The whole Eritrea Nuke situation feels like the plot of a Tom Clancy style techno-thriller and would not be surprised if it does become the plot of some cheesy action movie in-universe.

I don’t remember if this was ever touched upon (cause my brain is butts), but did the whole Catholic Church sexual abuse coverup scandal still occur or did butterflies erase/change it?
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Loving the pop culture updates about those movie franchises. Some sound like fun, others seem like they'd be a case of being so bad you'd only want to watch them to mock them... speaking of which, what happened with MST3K in this timeline?

And can't wait to see what comes of this Russian scandal.
Wow, thanks for the kind and supportive words, everyone! :D
I don’t remember if this was ever touched upon (cause my brain is butts), but did the whole Catholic Church sexual abuse coverup scandal still occur or did butterflies erase/change it?
Yeah, I mentioned it back in the late 1980s, as the Second Ark Wave (sexual pestering allegations) encouraged those abused by clergy members to come forward. I think I mentioned some prominent churchmembers getting imprisoned in some of the 1990s chapter. I'll add a list/update in one of the 2019 chapters, thanks for asking!

Loving the pop culture updates about those movie franchises. Some sound like fun, others seem like they'd be a case of being so bad you'd only want to watch them to mock them... speaking of which, what happened with MST3K in this timeline?
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

I'll cover MST3K in a 2019 chapter! :)
Chapter 116: June 2018 – November 2018
Chapter 116: June 2018 – November 2018

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

– Nelson Mandela (OTL)


…the deadly confrontation sparked a brief turf war inside the prison between rival prison gangs consisting of former members of rival Yakuza syndicates. The conflict ended when the prison security forces deployed knockout gas, allowing masked personnel to quickly subdue the prisoners and avoid a possible riot…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 6/1/2018


The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 2/6/2018

3 June 2018: On this day in history, the Volcan de Fuego, an active stratovolcano in Guatemala, erupted with such speed and intensity that there was essentially no time to evacuate nearby areas; subsequently, the quickly-moving lahars, pyroclastic flows and volcanic ash clouds killed no less than 197 people, making it Guatemala’s deadliest volcanic eruption since 1929


KING VS. CZAR VS. CHEF: Drive-Thru Ordering At Three Major Burger Joints

…after carefully weighing the differences in wait-time and order accuracy, I have to say that, in my experience, the underdog that is Burger Czar is prevailing over the bigger chains in regards to customer service and wait-line movement efficiency…

–, review section, 4/6/2018


…the rare species of blue calamintha bee, once thought to be extinct, has been rediscovered in Florida, roughly five years after it was last spotted. First identified in 2009, these rare blue bees made headlines for their specific habitat needs, foraging strategies, and beautiful indigo coloring. The bees’ reemergence was confirmed by Chase Kimmel of the Florida Museum of Natural History…

–, 6/5/2018 e-article [1]


…economics expert Guy Standing bested fellow MPs Polly Toynbee and Aravella Simotas in a landslide leadership election…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 6/6/2018


…the alert was issued for the higher areas of the island due to freezing rain and ice falling as a result of the continuing lava flow plowing a path through a large section of Big Island. The quantity of lava reaching the ocean via this flow is creating large plumes of steam. These plumes are so massive, they are rising high enough into the atmosphere, where they are condensing and freezing before falling back down onto the island…

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 6/7/2018

…US President Kelsey Grammer’s working relationship with PM Bachand was on display in early June 2018, when the two leaders participated in a bilateral meeting on renewable energy trade between the US and Canada. The meeting was held at Niagara Falls, and while the two agreed on fiscal policy positions generally-speaking, Bachand had a personality that just did not seem to “click” with Grammer’s at the event. This professional but impersonal relationship contrasted sharply with the friendship Grammer formed in his first year in office with PM Rogers, which the Canadian magazine The Walrus dubbed a “bromance.” With Rogers no longer in office, it appeared the head of state closest to Grammer was UK PM Goodlad; the two men had a reputation for being “classy,” yet pragmatic individuals, and the two spoke often after Goodlad’s ascension on strengthening economic and social ties between not just the US and the UK, but between the US and the British Commonwealth.

On the more domestic side of things, Bachand got along better with Australian PM Jim Varvaris than with Grammer; the two of them famously – or infamously, depending on who one asks – spent a weekend fishing off the coast of Queensland in early 2017. When Varvaris was replaced by Jenny Leong, she and Bachand struggled to not have a less tenuous relationship. But with conflicting ideologies and personalities, Leong and Bachand failed in this endeavor before the end of 2018...

– Richard Johnston’s The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History, UBC Press, 2017


The Washington Post, 6/10/2018

11 June 2018: On this day in history, the ontech sales of popular singer-songwriter Calypstica’s hit single “Calypstica” broke several records…



Florence, Kentucky – For the first time in eight years, since the death of Mildred Saunders Ruggles, a direct descent of The Colonel sits as the Chair of KFC’s Board of Directors. Honorary Kentucky Colonel Harland David “Davey” Sanders IV (b. 1959), son of industrial designer Harland David “Lando” Sanders III (b. 1939) and grandson of US Senator Harland David “Harley” Sanders Jr. (1912-2007), has served on the board since his great aunt’s death, but only is moving up the corporation’s leadership ladder, and it seems he may have plan for how to keep the company “at the top.”

Sitting down with Davey in his Florence HQ office, the short and graying 59-year-old, looking more like his great-grandfather every day, explains, “I spent my free time being with my family, helping my kids, especially my son Vinnie.” He refers to Harland David “Vinnie” Sanders V (b. 1985). “But he’s beaten his drug addiction, and now that he and his wife have another little Harland to handle on their own,” as in Harland David Sanders VI (b. 2014), “I figured that this was the best time for me to get more involved in my great-grandfather’s company.”

I ask him to explain further. He replies cryptically with “I think it’s time for a sort of rebirth of KFC…”...

The New Yorker, 6/12/2018 article


…This old hound dog won’t hunt. The latest Elvis single, his first in four years and yet another collaborative work, this one with Vanilla Ice, fails to live up to its own hype. But the two musicians aren’t handling it well. Each are saying that the negative reviews ontech “don’t reflect the real people,” as Mr. Ice put it on the 11th. On the 12th, Mr. Presley suggested that the harsh comments are “being planted by our rivals” without offering any further specifications or clarification…

– Variety magazine, 6/14/2018


[wikibox pic: ]

William Mark Fagerbakke (FAY-ger-bah-kee) (born October 4, 1957), also known by the nicknames “Bill the Fang” Fagerbakke, “Fingerbang” Fagerbakke and “Fake-and-Bake” Fagerbakke is an American actor and retired award-winning professional football player. Born in California but raised in Idaho, Fagerbakke began his athletic career in college football at the University of Idaho (1976-1979), and then played in the NFL as a lineman, first for the Houston Oilers from 1979 to 1983, then for the Minnesota Vikings from 1983 to 1998. Fagerbakke retired from the NFL in 1998 at the age of 40.

After feeling “unfulfilled” coaching football at his alma mater, Fagerbakke moved permanently to California in 2001 to begin a modest acting career. In early roles, he was typecast as either tough brutes or idiot sidekicks before proving he could do serious film roles in the late 2000s decade. He cameoed in the 2010 “Orca” remake starring Liam Neeson, and starred as a retired football coach in the award-winning TV series “Endzone” from 2011 to 2015, a spiritual successor to the 1990s TV series “Coach” (starring Craig T. Nelson and John “Tooz” Matuszak); Endzone maintains a small but strong cult following. Fagerbakke was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 2018 film drama “Crashing Plume,” but lost out to 27-year-old Sophie J. L. North. He has since maintained a modest celebrity status, most often appearing in numerous medium-budget films and occasionally lending his talents to commercials for various products. Fagerbakke has more recently begun doing voice acting, most notably voicing the arrogant and dimwitted Troll King in the New Line Animation fantasy film “Rocklickers.”

– clickopedia, c. early 2021


…Estevan “Steve” Montenegro, born in 1981 in El Salvador, at a time of economic renewal for El Salvador, is this Central American nation’s latest conservative-leaning leader…

The Washington Post, 6/19/2018

LEBANON VOTERS PICK NEW PRESIDENT: Boutros Harb Wins Over Soleiman Franjieh Jr.

The Guardian, side article, 23/6/2018


…The Land Down Under has had no extradition arrangements with Russia since 2000…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 27/6/2018

“…In financial news today, Chevron announced that it will finance and facilitate over $2trillion over the next five years to back GCD solutions and sustainable development programs as the oil giant seeks out their own slice of the growing ‘go-green’ pie. Chevron executives have been very wary of their global corporation’s impact on the environment ever since the Chevron Oil Spill of the 1980s that devastated the Alaskan coastline and created a PR disaster that rival oil companies capitalized on throughout the 1980s and 1990s…”

– CBS Evening News, 6/28/2018 broadcast

THE SPONGEBOB ZONE (TV series; 5 seasons, 1997-2002)


> Main Cast <

Tony Hale as SpongeBob (pilot)

Carlos Alazraqui as SpongeBob (Seasons 1-5)

Don Cornelius as Squidward

Charlie Adler as Mr. Krabs and Patrick Star

Brooke Burns as Rosie the Squirrel

Domenick Jack Irrera as Bubble Bass

Dougie Osowski as Mr. Barnacle

Linda Wallem as Pearl the Waitress

Robert Clotworthy as Fred Legg (Seasons 2-5)

Matt Battaglia as King Neptune (Seasons 1-2, 5)

Kevin Meaney as Sheldon Plankton (Seasons 2-5)

Levi L. Knebel as Dr. Flotsam (Seasons 3-5)


FUTURAMA (1994-present)


> Main Cast <

Rob Paulsen as Markey Marvin “Key” Martin

Katey Sagal as Taranga Leela

Billy West as Professor Cramble Xenoba Farnsworth and Dr. John Bleep Zoidberg

Kathy Soucie as Bartokovski Dennis “Bart” Farnsworth

John DiMaggio as Bender Rodriguez and Willie the Janitor

Lauren Tom as Lisa Wong

Marvin Katzoff as Houseley Penfield Grubbs

Phil Hartman as Captain Zapp Branigan

Christina Applegate as Patty Martinez

Phil LaMarr as Hermes Kingston

> Recurring Cast <

LeVar Burton as Police Chief Clancy Corvallis

Harry Shearer as NNYC Mayor Homer Seymour Simpson (and several minor characters)

Robyn Petty as Maggie Johannesburgopolis

Ali Ahn as Janey Lee

Patricia Alice Albrecht as Patty the Robot

Robert Clotworthy as Lrrr (and several minor roles)

Dougie Osowski as Volkor the Amoeba

Irene Tedrow as Earth President-in-exile Marjorie Wiggum (1994-1995)

Tress MacNeille as Earth President-in-exile Marjorie Wiggum (1995-present)

Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Whitemarsh Telesphore Cherubusco Schwarzchild

Rob Paulsen as Dr. Nicholas Devlin Percival McCrackenthorpe III




> Main Cast <

Patrick Pinney as Binky Notarabbit, the father of the Notarabbit family

Debra Clinger as Sheba, Binky’s wife

Christine Cavanaugh as Bongo, Binky’s teenage son from a previous marriage

Dana Hill as William and Abe, Binky and Sheba’s young twin sons

Frank Welker as Snarla, the family cat

Joel Kenney as Jeff

Joe Alaskey as Akbar

Dan Castellaneta as Krusty the Clown, a retired clown who is the Notarabbits’ neighbor

Maggie Roswell as Selma Simpson, the only employee at their town’s only employment agency



…Miguel Angel Osorio Chong (PRI), age 53, is of Chinese descent on his mother’s side. …Osorio won in an upset over the PAN candidate that many assumed would win due to the popularity of the term-limited incumbent President Santiago Creel (PAN). ...Earlier this year, Osorio surprised political pundits by besting Lilia Marodio Reza (b. 1978) in the PRI primary, a race that was even closer than tonight’s general election, and gained much more media attention than typical party primaries, because of its intensity between the two candidates and their differing ideas over direction the party should take in the years ahead. Osorio promoted stability and bipartisanship, while Reza championed for radical social changes that energizer young voters but alienated older and more conservative members of the PRI…

–, 7/1/2018

“Heat Dome” brings dangerously high temps, humidity to much of Canada and the states

The Toronto Star, Canadian newspaper, 7/2/2018


[pic: ]

– Former Vice President Bob Ross doing some fishing, c. summer 2018

DEATH TOLL LIKELY HIGHER THAN REPORTS SUGGESTS: Heat Wave Deaths Are High, But Not In The Way You Think They Are

…The apparent concentration of heat wave-related deaths in the past several days being in Quebec is not the fault of province mismanagement, nor is it the result of some GCD-related anomaly. The perceived concentration is due to Quebec being the province with the loosest rules and regulations for attributing deaths from heat in official medical reports. ...This summer’s heat wave is surely one for the history books…

– The Cape Breton Post, Nova Scotia newspaper, 7/7/2018

“…When lava flows over vegetation, the burning plant life create methane gas as a byproduct. And as you can see by the blue flames shooting out from the lava over there, there is a lot of methane gas being produced and released here. The flames are not emerging directly in the lava because the methane gas seeps into subsurface voids and then explodes from the heat, so they emerge from cracks in the ground several feet away from the lava itself. This is a serious safety concern, so officials have established a very generous evacuation zone…”

– Kennedy News Network, “Breaking News” segment, 7/8/2018 broadcast

…Another fiscal crisis concerning the federal budget arose in July 2018, and it stemmed from the expensive damage that the 2017 Hurricane wrought upon the southern United States. The Grammer administration initially received praise for federal responses to the hurricanes, with praise coming especially from the Governors of Texas and Puerto Rico (Rick Perry and Raul Labrador, respectively), both of whom were Republican Party loyalists. Both in hindsight, it was apparent that Grammer’s fiscal conservativism had restricted the extent of federal assistance. Most notably, the annual budget for ODERCA (Overwhelming Disaster Emergency Response Coordination Agency) was in 2017 roughly 40% of what it was in 2011. …As more statistics came out over state governments lacking federal help during the 2017 Hurricane season, more American citizens demanded more federal funds be allocated to services such as ODERCA.

However, this would require restructuring the 2018-2019 federal budget just weeks ahead of the deadline established by the BBA. Ergo, Grammer held an emergency closed-door cabinet meeting on July 15.

“The media’s giving us the beating of a lifetime over the shrinking of the federal government – as if they don’t know that that is what being libertarian means!” The President allegedly remarked.

In the meeting, Grammer went around the room and discussed with each cabinet member which department could afford cutbacks in order to increase ODERCA’s “shoestring” budget. As expected, the heads of State, Treasury, Defense, and the Justice department all made excuses and alleged that their budgets were already smaller than they “should” be. Postmaster General Ralph Nader reluctant was resistant to have his department be a sacrificial lamb for another fiscal shortfall; Grammer had already proposed merging the responsibilities of his “final job in Washington” into the department of Energy and Technology. As a result, Nader joined with Secretary Jager and the heads of Agriculture, the Interior, Commerce, Labor, Education, HHS, Transportation, VA, and Community Development in voicing great reluctant to let go of additional funding.

“Look, people, please!” Grammer displayed impatience with the bickering. “There’s fifteen of you. Surely a flat-across-the-board .5% sliver from each one of you would suffice, right?”

The President’s “budget gurus” all nodded. The President’s Secretaries all grumbled and then nodded in compliance.

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

Reporter Brian SCHWARTZ: “Extensive polling has found that bipartisan majorities fid ranking choice voting to be easy in states and cities already using it. One extensive poll, asking the simple question ‘Which would you more likely support: A) a leader elected by a majority of the vote or B) a leader elected by a plurality of the vote’ resulted in 90% of Americans polled supporting Option A), 3% support Option B) and 7% going for Option C), unsure.”

Guest panelist, political researcher and former CEO of Gehl Foods Katherine GEHL (pro-RCV): “Yes, and that study also revealed that on partisan lines, sentiments are almost even among Democrats and Republicans, with 93% of Democrats and 87% of Republicans voting for Option A.”

Guest Panelist, CEO and President of The FairVote Institute Rob RICHIE (pro-RCV): “More than 76% of people polled by Gallup said that R.C.V. is either somewhat easy to understand. 12% said it was very easy, 10% said it was somewhat difficult, and just 2% said it was very difficult. On partisan lines, 16% of Republicans called it very or somewhat difficult, while just 8% of Democrats found it very or somewhat difficult.”

Guest Panelist, former DNC Committeeman Robert ZIMMERMAN (anti-RCV): “In other words, 12% of Americans find this difficult? That’s too high a number.”

Former NRC Communications Director Matt GORMAN (anti-RCV): “Yeah, I agree, nobody should be able to accept suppressing, or at least discouraging, the will of 12% of any population.”

Guest Panelist, Senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation Hans VON SPAKOVSKY (anti-RCV): “This instant-runoff proposal is unnecessarily complicated. We should just implement a two-round voting system similar to the one that the French have.”

Guest Panelist, professor of political science at UMSL David KIMBALL (pro-RCV): “But that would be more expensive than RCV.”

– Kennedy News Network, roundtable discussion, 7/19/2018

The Positives And Negatives of Ranked-Choice Voting: A Guide

…Ranked Choice Voting is nothing new. It was invented in 1870 and Australia has been using it for lower house elections since 1918. Proponents of this voting process claim it could streamline the election process, making it less expensive, more efficient, and fairer. Studies of its use at the state and local levels, such as for mayoral elections, suggest that Ranked-Choice Voting systems lead to the election of more moderate representatives who better reflect voter preferences rather than rewarding ideological extremists. The system also prevents a “spoiler effect” in which a third (or fourth or fifth) candidate splits the vote of the most-popular candidates by making elections less of an either-or proposition. …US Senator Mike Gravel (D-CA), a leading proponent of the N.I.A., also says it leads to less negative campaigning, stating that “since each voter can potentially vote for a candidate as well as their opponent, candidates shy from negative campaigning that would alienate the supporters of other candidates, instead trying to appeal to those voters as their second or third choice.”…

–, 7/20/2018 e-article [2]

“I want to see everyone vote ‘No’ on RCV. It is not at all a democratic approach. It will not solve our election problems; it will instead create more election problems. Ranked-choice voting is the flavor of the day. And it will turn out to have a bitter taste.”

CO-HOST: “Its advocates believe RCV is, at least, more democratic than the Electoral College occasionally determining the winner.”

“Its advocates want to replace real democracy, in which a majority picks the winner, with something akin to a game show method of selection. The result could be more like Family Feud than a decision about one of the most important choices people can make.”


“The thing about RCV, the thing that its proponents always ignore, is the fact that it doesn’t actually lead to a candidate who represents the majority of voters. This is because an easily exhausted electorate doesn’t always rank all the candidates on a ballot. Especially in the U.S., where most people do not even bother to even learn about third-party candidates, or even that much about the major party candidates, either, for that matter. And as a result, some voters will end up with their ballots eliminated before the final round of voting, and thus will no say in the final outcome. For example, say there were five names on a ballot and you only ranked three, who were all eliminated, your now-blank ballot wouldn’t be counted in the final vote at all. You will not have expressed any choice about the two leading candidates.”

CO-HOST: “Well then maybe people will strategically pick more popular or electable candidates for their second and third choice.”

Contributor JANICE FINE: “Which is exactly what the establishment may want us to do!”

“Either way, RCV is clearly not a solution. It may just be another complication, and of that we should be very wary, because there are legitimate reasons for skepticism when it comes to RCV. But the thing is, the larger element that is broken in American politics, and therefore what should be focused on, is election procedures, not our well-established and only occasionally-imperfect election processes.”

– Former US Rep. Gordon Weil (R-ME), head of the political activist group “Ranked Is Wrong: Vote No On RCV,” CBS News, 7/21/2018 segment [3]


…the rise in reported cases of the virus has the potential to be worse than the 2013-2014 Kivu Ebola outbreak, but the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s President is confident that his administration will “avoid the mistakes” of his predecessor, telling his nation’s press today that “our communities are working together to keep each other safe and sanitary in the weeks and months ahead”…

– The Cape Times, South African newspaper, 7/23/2018

“…Torrential rains have triggered massive floods in Japan, displacing thousands and killing at least seventy people…”

– BBC World News, 7/25/2018 broadcast


…After tackling a missile incident and now facing a fiscal crisis in D.C., President Grammer must have been ecstatic to get away from the Beltway and spend some fun in the sun with the First Family…


[pic: ]

Above: The President spending quality time at Santa Monica Beach with one of his sons, while vacationing with his wife and his four youngest children (photograph provided by Splash News, our coast-centric division)

The Hollywood Reporter, 7/28/2018


…Today, Mars made its closest approach to Earth since 2003, four days after reaching “opposition.” This event was marked by former NASA Director John McAfee declaring it to be a “gravely missed opportunity” for the US and the world. “We should have planned a second Marstronaut mission for this second window instead of just sending out more probes,” said McAfee in a THN interview.

Incumbent NASA Director Bezos, on the other hand, took the moment to give an optimistic speech at NASA’s HQ in Virginia, in which he promoted Project Postman, the “Lunar Bot Hub” endeavor that is still in development.

McAfee, however, also commented on Bezos’ speech, saying “If Bezos hadn’t spent so much time working with private businesses to decentralize American space travel, we would have built it by now. And that would have allowed marstronauts to only take five months to travel to the Red Planet instead of seven.”

Saudi Arabia’s space agency announced in 2001 their own plan to go to Mars in 2018, but the mixed results of their 2008 moonshot led to the country’s government cancelling the project. Earlier this week, they launched a robot space probe, the Glory 5, to the planet Mars instead…

–, 7/31/2018

“…new polling shows that President Grammer’s approval rating is down to its lowest numbers since 2014, with the recent gradual dip most likely stemming from controversies concerning his apparent response to last year’s Hurricane Season being ‘insufficient’ according to multiple reports…”

– ABC News, 8/2/2018 broadcast


The Los Angeles Times, 8/3/2018

…The rise of the California wildfires as a major issue led to the White House immediately pledging to help California combat them. President Grammer discussed the matter with the state’s Governor, Cruz Bustamante, would had previously served as Grammer’s lieutenant governor; as a result of this previously-established relationship, the process of coordinating a federal response went smoothly.

Meanwhile, the White House inner circle hoped that combating the fires would reverse the sinking approval ratings of both Grammer and the GOP. They also believed that a successful response to the fires would “finally shake off the narrative spun by liberals in the media,” as the WH Communications Director later put it, “that ‘libertarian’ means ‘irresponsible’ or simply ‘irresponsive.’”…

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

5 August 2018: On this day in history, a 6.9m earthquake struck the island of Lombok, Indonesia, destroying homes and building, displacing thousands, and killing over 400 people…


ERITREAN SCANDAL UPDATE: Nikolayev Unwilling To Green Light Investigation

…inquiries into allegations of Russian President Nikolayev allegedly staging a missile crisis with Eritrean President Ephrem are being met with fierce resistance at the Kremlin. The President’s loyal Prosecutor-General is refusing to “humor the lies and waste our valuable time” directing the Justice Department to address “this baseless rumor.” Meanwhile, the leaders of the National Assembly’s Majority coalition (National with Strong Arm and Motherland) seem very reluctantly to launch any probes into the Kremlin or the military, likely fearing that such action will collapse the coalition o the detriment of their political careers. However, Vlad Chub, Leader of the National Assembly Opposition/Minority coalition (Democratic with Green and Protectionist) claims the inaction from the ruling party leaders is due to a “fear of reprisals from the madman holed up inside the Kremlin.”…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 8/8/2018


…The PCs lost a considerable number of seats, becoming just three seats shy of losing majority control. In the event of this event happening, along with Chow’s PLs still failing to gain a majority of seats, Bachand likely would have tried to form a coalition government with the Quebec Party to stay in power…. Opposition leader Olivia Chow (PL) conceded earlier tonight, as did Pierre Paquette (Quebec), while Ken Melamed (Green) and Tim Hudak (New Maple) are expected to concede soon...

–, 8/10/2018

Agafia (2017-2018)
was a Canadian digitally-streamed miniseries based on real events in which a family was isolated from the rest of humanity for over 40 years. The series follows the incredible survival of the Lykov family in the isolated wilderness of the Russian Taiga, and of the four geologists who discovered their existence there in 1979. Each episode ran for 40 minutes on average. The series received good reviews, and concluded with a series finale at the end of Season 2, totaling 20 episodes.


Yuliya Snigir as Agafia Lykov
Konstantin Khabensky as Yerofei Sedov
Oleg Tabakov as Karp Lykov

[see full list here]

Season One: Episode 1 – “A” Story (1979): while surveying land in a helicopter, four Soviet geologists (Yerofei, Petros, Vlad and Ivan) stumble upon a human settlement in a remote mountainside in the Abakan Range of the Taiga, a dense boreal forest area, 150 miles away from the nearest human settlement; the inhabitants inside, and the geologists, are concerned about how to respond to seeing each other. “B” Story (1936): The Lykov brothers are members of a fundamentalist Russian orthodox sect that had been persecuted since the days of Peter the Great in the 18th century called “the Old Believers.” Fearing religious persecution for practicing religion in communist Russia, Karp Lykov wants to stay in the Ural while his brother wants to flee father east, but when his brother is killed, Karp flees with his wife Akulina and their children, Savina and Natalia, into the forests of the Western Sayan mountains with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Episode 2 – “A” Story (1979): the geologists make firm contact with the Lykovs, starting up a dialogue with them, and the family members learn about developments such as World War Two, the Cold War, and television for the first time. One geologist, Yerofei Sedov, soon establishes a friendly relationship with the family’s youngest daughter, 34-year-old Agafia. Yerofei soon realizes her peculiar speech pattern is the result of a lifetime of isolation, not mental impairment. “B” Story (1937): Karp and his family survive their first winter in the taiga by eating their shoes, and with their basic shelter receiving extensive damage from blizzards and the freezing cold.

Episode 3 – The geologists debate whether they should report the existence of the Lykov family. Yerofei and Petros believe they shouldn’t while Ivan and Vlad believe they should; they also disagree on telling the family about Mikhail Suslov, the rising civil unrest they have witnessed, and their own lack of confidence/uncertainty in how the Soviet government would respond to the family’s existence. In the end, they take a blind vote among the four of them, and they unanimously vote to not telling anyone of the family’s existence. Meanwhile, the Lykovs show their visitors how they have adapted to the tundra.

Episode 4 – “A” Story (1979): two of the geologists are intrigued by Dmitri, Afagia’s older brother who is a strong man and who lives in the forest “like a Russian Tarzan.” Meanwhile, back at their base in the Oblast’s capital of Abakan, Yerofei is caught trying to bring some dresses to the girls, but gets away with it by saying they belong to his ex-girlfriends. “B” Story (1961): it snows in June, destroying the family’s crops, and making the mother worry.

Episode 5 – “A” Story (1980): the geologists find a recording device in their office and soon tell the family they will have to not visit them for a while, upsetting Agafia and troubling Yerofei. “B” Story (1961): Karp’s wife dies feeding the children, and the family reacts to it with grief, anger and sadness.

Episode 6/7 (two-parter) – “A” Story (1980): the family hears a low rumble in the distance but no clouds; the geologists return to finally tell the family of the growing political unrest and of the Aktau Disaster (a major nuclear power plant meltdown), then must calm them of their fears that it is the end of the world. During the geologists’ stay, Agafia encounters love and sin with Yerofei (who has not told Agafia that he is married), while the rest of the geologists contemplate moving up there with them in case a nuclear war really is to occur and destroy Russia. “B” Story (1961): after burying the mother and all hope being seemingly lost in the wake of the lost crops, Agafia finds a single rye grain growing in the remains of the family’s garden. The family guards the grain with their lives, protecting it from animals and the elements. When the grain grows, the Lykovs celebrates the endurance of life.

Episode 8 – “A” Story (1980): Ivan is shot and killed by Soviet officials for trying to smuggle food onto the department’s helicopter, and Petros and Vlad must survive interrogations, as their higher-ups believe they are planning some sort of treasonous act. Meanwhile, Yerofei walks in on his wife having an affair, leading to a sad but mutual separation. “B” Story (1950): a young Agafia is frightened of the woods before they become her home.

Episode 9 – Traumatized by the interrogations, Vlad burns their department’s headquarters to the ground to keep the Lykov family safe, and then flees with Petros and Yerofei to the Kykovs. They travel by boat with lots of supplies, but Yerofei and Vlad still arrive in weak condition from the effects of the trip. The Kykovs then helps them build a separate cabin near the family’s “homestead.”

Episode 10 – In late 1981, Agafia deals with her feelings for Yerofei while Yerofei deals with the Lykov family’s strict and conservative religious observances. Meanwhile, Petros and Vlad spend time learning about the family and how to survive in the area, while Dmitri’s increasing interest in the outside world worries Karp. In the final minutes, Yerofei asks Karp if he can marry his daughter, but the screen cuts to black before Karp responds.

Season Two: Episode 11/1 – “A” Story (1985): Agafia and Yerofei are married and have a son. Petros and Vlad return from a trip back to Abakan to report that the Soviet Union has collapsed. Believing it is safe to return to civilization, the geologists plan to leave, though Yerofei is reluctant to do so. After some arguing, Karp allows Dmitri to travel with Petros and Vlad back to civilization while Yerofei stays behind. “B” Story (1959): Karp and his wife wonder if they should return to civilization and risk persecution, and ultimately decide against it.

Episode 12/2 – “A” Story (1985): the family again refuses to leave their home despite the hardship, and argue when Petros and Vlad decide to return premanently to civiliation. However, the geologists do get the Kykovs to agree to tell the world of their existence. “B” Story (1983): Agafia deals with childbirth and her child becoming sick, leading to arguing after Yerofei suggests he should venture out for medicine. Right before he leaves, the baby’s fever breaks, and it is revealed to the audience that Petros gave the baby medicine from a secret stash he has in his hut. “C” Story (2014): Agafia deals with Yerofei’s failing health while their daughter is living “far away,” and Agafia discovers a lump on her breast.

Episode 13/3 – In 1986, the geologists meet with journalist Vasily Peskov. The subsequent publication of treatises and photographs of the family in Russian newspapers make the Lykovs national celebrities. After much convincing, Karp finally agrees to tour the country with the rest of his children, finding good and bad things in the world of modernity. During the trip, we learn that Russian President Vlad Volkov pardoned the geologists for burning down their department headquarters due to nobody being hurt by the fire, and that the Russian government has paid for the Lykov family to tour the country for a month, during which time Agafia sees airplanes, horses, cars and telephones for the first time. Agafia is both frightened and fascinated by the unfamiliarity of Moscow and St. Petersburg. When they return home after four weeks of travel, though, Dmitri begins to not feel well.

Episode 14/4 – In 1986, Dmitri is suffering from pneumonia, and there is debate if the trip out of the homestead damaged his immunity. The father refuses to send him to a hospital, but when his situation deteriorates, he relents and Dmitri is airlifted to Abakan. However, the “illness” has already become too severe, and he passes away at the hospital. Agafia fears for her children’s health; the final minute reveals that Agafia is now pregnant with her second child.

Episode 15/5 – “A” Story (1986): Vlad, the geologist who was most supportive of Dmitri’s travelling aspirations, is reeling with guilt over Dmitri’s death, and, after attempting suicide, announces he is permanently moving to St. Petersburg to seek therapy. After a misunderstanding, Agafia, thinking Yerofei is leaving to, refuses to leave the homestead and pushes Yerofei away in reaction to the fear of being alone. She and Yerofei make up in the end after saving Petros from drowning in a separate incident. “B” Story (2014): Agafia still refuses to leave the homestead despite unprecedented floods, and she and Yerofei barely survive the destruction of one of the property’s huts downhill from the main building. Agafia only agrees to seek medical attention for her breast lump.

Episode 16/6 – In 1986, Natalia dies from some sort of illness, and the father is also suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms. At the same time, Karp is furious to learn about the contents of a book on the family that has been airlifted to them, demonstrating the negative aspects of celebrity status. However, Karp’s attitude improves after communicating with other Old Believers over the property’s new solar-powered telephone.

Episode 17/7 – “A” Story (1988): Agafia is diagnosed with a tumor, leading to her traveling to hospital while Petros looks after the ailing Savina. Upon her return from the hospital, though, she and Yerofei are saddened to learn that Savina died while they were gone. “B” Story (1948): Karp and his wife Akulina deal with three of their four children being sick, but they deal with it together.

Episode 18/8 – In late 1989, the 6-year-old daughter of Agafia and Yerofei questions the family’s religious practices after Yerofei admits doubting some of it, causing an argument that ends when Karp feels sick and his health declines yet again.

Episode 19/9 – In early 1990, Karp dies, traumatizing both Agafia and her daughter. Petros returns after not visiting the Taiga for over a year to give the family gifts and to try to liven up the mood.

Episode 20/10 (double-length) – “A” Story (2001): the 18-year-old daughter of Agafia and Yerofei announces that she wants to leave the family home to get an education in civilization. Yerofei and Agafia go with her for the first few days. The daughter has trouble at first, but adjusts to modern life better than Agafia did in the 1980s. “B” Story (2016): Yerofei has been dead for months. Agafia’s daughter returns to her mother’s bedside (pneumonia) after years of rarely visiting, and her brother comforts his sister in explaining why Agafia refused to abandon the Homestead, her home. A text crawl explains Agafia recovered from pneumonia and was still alive, and still at “the Homestead,” at the time of the episode’s airing on October 19, 2018.


…Mexico’s economy is continuing to rise healthily, as the stock market in Mexico City closed today with its healthiest numbers in decades…

– ABC Morning News, 8/20/2018 broadcast


…Star Parker (b. 1956), an African-American political official (R-CA) with a focus on education and urban renewal, was hired by the Grammer administration’s department of Community Development in 2015. A self-declared “anti-welfare” conservative, Parker served in the US House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015, winning election in 2010 and 2012 before losing re-election in 2014. …Parker says she has stepped down over “multiple disagreements” that she has had with the incumbent administration, alleging that the incumbent US Secretary of Community Development – physician and former Marstronaut Patricia Consolatrix Hilliard “Doc” Robertson – is doing “an abysmal job. She never took up any of my ideas”…

The Washington Post, 8/21/2018

HOST 1: “So did you see this news bit? Apparently our Governor’s dad, retired Admiral John McCain, just got a terminal cancer diagnosis, and so his son Barack and his daughter Naomi are going to be spending some time with him down in Florida.”

HOST 2: “Yeah, the Governor’s basically putting everything on hold because of a family crisis.”

HOST 1: “You know, its moments like this where you can see why Rocky is so popular. He’s a family man. He loves his dad, he loves his wife, his sons and daughter, he’s a guy who cares, you know? Remember that video that went fervid ontech a few years back where he calms down a supporter’s baby?”

HOST 2: “Yeah, yeah, but it’s also touching, his backstory I mean. McCain’s dad is a war hero, and they’ve reportedly had a strong family bond for decades, even after his parents divorced, so this diagnosis has got to be heartbreaking for Barack.”

HOST 1: “I know I’d cry if it happened to my Dad. And I’m not ashamed to say that, either.”

– KCAP (950 AM) Helena, Montana news/talk radio station, 8/24/2018 broadcast

“The [N.D.R.R.] Supreme Court has ‘original jurisdiction’ in certain special national cases, as authorized by the 1985 [N.D.R.R.] Constitution. Those include the challenging of individual acts of the National Assembly and challenging, questioning, and determining the legalities of the decrees of the President. The military’s refusal to investigate just how it misplaced nuclear devices or release documentation concerning it on the orders of the President merits scrutiny, and the Prosecutor-General knows this. He knows of this, he knows of all of this.”

– Russian Supreme Court Chief Justice Yury Chaika, 8/26/2018

“…Tonight in London, a free trade deal between the UK, India, Australia and South Africa was signed into law by the heads of state of these four nations. The deal will very likely leave on impact on much of the world’s commerce as economic allegiances shift to adjust for financial windfalls resulting from this major multinational trade decision…”

– BBC World News, 28/8/2018 broadcast

William Nealon, Supreme Court Associate Justice, Is Dead At 95

…appointed to the seat by US President Walter Mondale, William Joseph Nealon Jr. (7/31/1923-8/30/2018) had served as a moderate-to-liberal voice in the US Supreme Court since June 29, 1974. His eventful tenure on the bench, at roughly 44 years, 2 months and a day, makes him one of the longest-serving federal judges in US history…

The Washington Post, 8/30/2018

Nealon’s vacancy created a Supreme Court consisting of five left-leaning justices (Delgado-Colon, Sandel, Chin, Schroeder, and Chief Justice Page) and three right-leaning justices (Thompson, Garza, Bacon). This meant that Nealon’s demise did not “endanger” the “liberal majority” of the court. However, incidentally, the three conservative justices each represented a faction of the GOP – Thompson was a far-right conservative, Garza was a “Colonel conservative” type, and Bacon was a Snowe-like centrist. Thus, there was one major political philosophy found in the Republican Party but not on the Supreme Court – libertarianism.

Deciding to make the court “more reflective of America,” Grammer both made a strategic gesture and upheld of his own principles when he carefully began vetting for a potential Supreme Court seat appointee by reviewing several libertarian and libertarian-leaning judges and law experts. According to his former White House Communications Director, “race and gender were not deciding factors. The court was already made up of two Hispanic justices, two Black Justices, a Chinese-American justice, and a Jewish justice, so the bench was already ethnically diverse – majority-nonwhite, in fact. And three of the justices were women.” Despite this, many media outlets reported that, among the names being considered, were Filipino-American Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye (b. 1959), Chinese-American Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Dolly Maizie Gee (b. 1959), and Indian-American Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Amul Thapar (b. 1969). Freshman Republican US Senator Rand Paul of North Carolina (b. 1963) was also rumored to be in consideration, but he publicly declined interest in the position on September 1.

During White House discussions, Grammer slowly narrowed down the options to a shortlist of five potential nominees. Chicago Law School Professor Gene Healy (b. 1970) was an accomplished academic and an expert on federalism and US law. Georgetown University Dean Randy E. Barnett (b. 1952) was an even more seasoned teacher and writer of constitutional law, but was 66 years old. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Patrick Murphy (b. 1976), on the other hand, was a spritely 42. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Norman Stephen Kinsella (b. 1965) had not been in his seat for very long, as Grammer himself had appointed him to it in 2015, but he had made a name for himself by being a passionate proponent of Hans-Hermann Howe’s theory on augmentation ethics. Finally, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Martinez Guzman (b. 1961) had a libertarian-leaning record in a conservative state.

As deliberations continued, the list took up an almost RCV-like composition, with the libertarian ideologue Murphy taking first place, the alleged “diversity” option in second, in case Murphy failed to be nominated, and Barnett as the “safe” option.

– Linda Greenhouse and Morton J. Horwitz’s Sustaining Liberty: The Supreme Court Under Our Current Chief Justice, Sunrise Publishing, 2020

KILAUEA ERUPTION DECLARED OVER; Crisis Ends After Lava Lake In ‘Ahu‘Aila‘Au Recedes Below Surface

– 9/5/2018


…Hawaiians are lauding Governor Doug Chin’s handling of orderly evacuation procedures that kept civilians safe as the Kilauean Lava Slow overwhelmed a wide swath of Big Island on its way to the ocean. Only six major injuries and zero deaths were reported…

– The Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 9/7/2018


…Murphy was appointed to a California District Court in 2011 before Grammer appointed him to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2013…

The Washington Post, 9/8/2018


…The underworld kingpin who killed his way to the top must serve a minimum of 30 years before being eligible for parole, at which point he will be 80 years old. Evangelos Goussis, age 50, began his adult life with great promise, becoming a professional athlete and even competing in the 1988 Olympics. His life took an unexpected turn when he was banned from the sport and the 1992 games for alleged steroid use. After that, the disillusioned Goussis entered the world of crime, starting out in drug trafficking and using his own fitness and training equipment supply business as a cover. Upon switching to the more lucrative recreadrug-smuggling business, he found himself locking horns with competition such as the Russia Mafia and several yakuza syndicates, leading to him orchestrating the murder of several rivals from 1994 to 2009. By 2001, Goussis’ own “cartel” of allies made him one of the most powerful criminals in central Asia, allowing him to transfer narcotics from Afghanistan and Tajikistan across United Turkestan and into Russia and China. He established a “barrier” of allies in Uzbekistan, making himself nearly untouchable to law enforcement by making himself popular in the region with gestures such as paying for schools and hospitals, along with distributing masks and other supplies during the SARS pandemic of 2002-2004. His criminal career reached its apex with the ascension of alleged ally Islam Karimov to the U.T. Presidency in 2006, and ended abruptly with Karimov’s assassination in 2008. Karimov’s successor launched an anti-corruption crusade that targeted hundreds of underworld figures including Goussis. The recreadrug smuggler’s power and influenced gradually eroded away as the U.T.’s Justice Department worked their way up from small offenders to major influencers, until Goussis was finally arrested in 2015. UT officials revealed in 2017 he was caught a sting operation in which he confessed in front of a hidden camera to ordering the recent killing of five ex-allies out of fear that they would speak to police. That reveal put an end to rumors that the gun smuggler-turned-author known as Tommy Gun Thompson had collaborated with U.T. police, which he reportedly did not…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 9/9/2018


…the iconic star of dozens of comedic film and TV roles passed away suddenly in his sleep from a heart attack, a spokesperson for his family announced. Candy had suffered from health issues intermittently for years, and had survived three health years already (in 1993, 1999, and 2016)...

The Los Angeles Times, 9/10/2018

11 September 2018: On this day in history, Hurricane Florence, a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused catastrophic damage across the eastern North American continent, especially in the U.S.’s North Carolina, reaches peak intensity, with 1-minute winds of 210 km/h [4]; the hurricane, responsible for 17 direct fatalities, formed on 31 August and dissipated on 18 September.



[pic: ]

– A deer wades through a flooded suburban street in North Carolina during the final days of Hurricane Florence

GRAVY GRAVEYARDS: Top 12 Defunct Fast-Food Chains From Yesteryear

A restaurant chain going out of business always weighs heavily on the hearts of its most die-hard fans. And years later, even fast-food joints scuttled for poor sanitation conditions or general incompetence can still be thought back on with nostalgia for its best years. To honor the one-year anniversary of the final Chuck-E-Cheese outlet locking its doors for the last time, here are the Top 12 restaurant chains that America has said goodbye to over the last few decades.

1: Pizza Toppings – This knockoff of Pizza Hut founded in 1987 and slowly grew to a string of outlets across the West Coast. By the mid-1990s, it was a popular place for teenagers to hang out after school. However, its own internal mismanagement got to it before its competitors could. Several outlets were shutdown in 1996 and 1997 for severe health code violations, damaging their reputation. One of the chain’s founders had relatives that kept tipping their hands into the till and pestering some employees, and another co-founder was arrested for crack possession in 1998, at the height of the Recreadrug Wars. Later that year, amid multiple legal issues, the chain was sold to a larger company that eventually shut down all of its remaining locations by 2003.

2 (tie): Chicken In The Rough/Chicken-To-Go – These two chicken-selling chains were friendly rivals to KFC during The Colonel’s early years. Despite Chicken-To-Go’s “Texas-sized” pieces being larger than KFC’s, it folded quickly in the early 1960s. Similarly, Chicken In The Rough closed its doors for the final time in 1963. Both simply failed to compete in the growth period the fast-food industry experienced in the late 1950s, even with The Colonel himself trying to convince Chicken In The Rough’s founders to fight harder to keep up with the competition. Sanders allegedly argued, “we [KFC] can’t be the only chicken sellers in town; people will think we’re the best by default instead because it’s true.”

3: Taco Bell – A dispenser of “Mexican-inspired” taco, burritos, and other items, its founder slowly and gracefully build it up across the states, but then brought the chain to the front of national new cycle with an independent bid for the Presidency in 1988. The media attention soon led to the company becoming the center of several scandals. While investigations into the chain’s wage theft practices and mistreatment of undocumented workers wasn’t enough to significantly impact its base, the allegations of the company having a toxic workplace environment was the final nail in its coffin. By the mid-1990s, Chi-Chi’s and Zantigo’s had taken Taco Bell’s place in the Mexican-American fast food game. Taco Bell’s final location shut down in 1999, but not before three avid loyalists chained themselves to the building and had to be removed by police. Thus the company’s history ended up reflecting its food – its entrance (into the fast-food industry) was smooth, but its departure was more than a little messy.

4: Long John Silver’s – Before founding SpongeBob’s – the oddly-named family-friendly seafood “dining experience” that practically redefined the term “dinner and a show” by launching a TV series based on the chain’s mascots – Stephen Hillenburg of Ohio originally worked for Long John Silver’s. In the late 1980s, LJS’s was losing seafood-hungry customers to Boston Sea Party and Red Lobster, but Hillenburg’s superiors dismissed his rebranding ideas. In 1990, he left the chain to found SpongeBob’s Undersea Cuisine. And soon enough, the sponge – much like the gluttonous nematodes pulling apart a rival restaurant’s foundation in an episode of the iconic ’90s series – joined the lobster and the sea party in pulling apart LJS’s customer base. Long John Silver’s filed for bankruptcy in July 1998, and officially entered the annals of history during the “mini-recession” of 1999.

5: T.G.I. Friday’s – Founded in 1965 as a place for single adults to mingle, the bar-centric chain expanded quickly before priority was shifted to it’s casual dining aspects. However, financial struggles in the late 1970s led to the chain plateauing and changing hands several times. Its focus was switched to a sports bar but reverted into a family-friendly atmosphere a few years later. The chain was on its way out when an obvious knockoff chain, Burger Hut Thursdays, took off in popularity. Instead of trying to replicate BHT’s superior business model, TGIF’s newest owners spent millions taking BHT to court, suing them for unfair competition. Litigation from 1992 to 2000 drained their finances. Then, the New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of BHT, stating that the similarities ended at the similar names of the establishment and some similar menu options. The ruling was seen as establishing loose guidelines for how much imagery one can rip off from something when one opens up a business in New York. Efforts to bounce back from this embarrassing defeat ended when the SARS pandemic essentially killed off the chain’s remaining outlets. Most of its former locations now belong to former finals such as BHT, Arby’s, and Steak-&-Ale (also known as The Jolly Ox in some markets).

6: Chuck E. Cheese’s – The “real cool place to be a kid” began to decline in popularity in the late 1990s, a slip worsened by the effects of the 1999 mini-recession and the SARS pandemic. It seems children grew tired of its mediocre food, creepy animatronics and lackluster games. With indoor dining pausing abruptly during the pandemic and home-consul videogaming surging, the company never fully recovered and shut down all but one store in 2009 [5]. The final location closed in 2017. Essentially, Chuck E. Cheese’s failed to modernize; they learned the hard way that it is exponentially more difficult to use a robotic rat-man to impress young people who have lar-phones and techslabs for entertainment.

7: Sambo’s – This jungle-themed breakfast eatery reached its apex of over a thousand locations in 1978, just before that year’s markets enter recession. Financial shortfalls soon combined with sanitation inspectors shutting down several locations, and with protests over their mascot (a dark-skinned, half-naked Indian boy, with a name considered pejorative to African-Americans, who is riding a tiger), resulted in them closing up shop in 1989.

8: Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream – not to be confused with Steve’s Ice Cream, which still has locations across 32 states, Ben and Jerry’s began after Bennett Cohen’s chain of bagel-and-coffee outlets, called Ben’s Bagels, went belly-up in 1979. Two years later, Cohen met up with his childhood friend Dr. Jerry Greenfield, MD, who was practicing medicine in Youngstown, Ohio. The two men soon launched Ben’s newest entrepreneurial enterprise in the area, and by 1991, Ben and Jerry’s was an award-winning company involved in numerous charity and community development projects across the US, especially in the Midwest. However, the co-founders’ increase in progressive political activism took its toll of the company; by 2001, their ice cream was losing so many customers to rivals such as Steve’s Ice Cream that B&J outlets began closing. But Cohen was inspired by President Jackson. Cohen’s humanitarianism ultimately culminated in him launching a bid for Governor of Ohio in 2005, only for the two men to die in a plane crash in early 2006. Interestingly, Cohen and Greenfield had sold the rights to the ice cream company for multinational use to a large parent company ahead of the primary deadline, but had not sold any of their trademarks for use before they died. As a result, under new management, the remaining stores were soon closed.

9: Beefsteak Charlie’s – Clocking in at 105 years of operation, the first restaurant of this chain was founded in 1910, but its final location was closed forever in 2015. After rising in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, head executive Larry Ellman sold it in 1987 to what would become one of several owners until its final parent company there in the towel. Its businessmen management turnover rate was due to it defying financial spreadsheet basics with gigantic prices and rock-bottom prices. With that and an all-you-can eat salad bar, and free refills for all alcoholic beverages, it is a wonder how it stayed afloat for so long!

10: Minnie Pearl’s Chicken – On July 29, 1963, Colonel Sanders demonstrated on live TV how he made his famous chicken, doing so in front of Tennessee Ernie Ford and Minnie Pearl from “Hee Haw.” Six years later, Nashville attorney and would-be politician convinced her to lend her name and likeness to a chicken chain that would try and compete with the “monopolistic” KFC. The subsequent restaurants sold chicken in hatbox-shaped containers dotted with yellow daisies and featuring a picture of “Cousin Minnie” present a drumstick. The chicken, reportedly salty but serviceable, came with biscuits, honey packets and moist towelettes. The restaurant venture opened a total of 523 outlets before the US SEC investigated Hooker for stock price manipulation and accounting irregularities, culminating it the sudden demise of Minnie Pearl’s Chicken in 1979.

11: Don Pablo’s – Taking its cue from the success of Taco Bell, this full-service Tex-Mex chain was founded in Lubbock, Texas, in 1985 and boasted 260 outposts at its height. Don Pablo patrons appreciated how the burritos, chimichangas, salsa and tortillas were all made from scratch. Also, the restaurants were visually striking. You felt like you were in an old Mexican village on a movie studio lot. Don Pablo’s may have just been unlucky. Ownership changed hands several times, and the companies that had big plans to expand it were prone to bankruptcy. Fans still mourn its 2011 demise.

12: Royal Canadian Pancake House – While noticeably more subdued in presentation than other flashy restaurants, both at the time and on this list, this small NYC-based chain had a cult following. Oddly, its menu had little to do with Canadian breakfast staples or methods of preparation. The chain was most famous for pancakes the size of large pizzas – in fact, leftovers went home in a pizza box! Other favorites included the Womlette, an omelet-topped waffle, and the Canadian Cracker, a waffle topped with fried eggs and cheese. The chain closed in 1998, not long after the owner was indicted for ethics violations.

–, 9/15/2018 [6]

Stephen McDannell Hillenburg
(b. August 21, 1961) is an American philanthropist and the CEO of SpongeBob’s Undersea Cuisine, a chain of family-friendly seafood restaurants found across North America and Europe…


…Hillenburg founded the first “SpongeBob’s” restaurant in 1991, and the company quickly grew. In 1994, Hillenburg began work on hybrid live action-animated TV commercials to advertise the chain; these commercials were so popular, Hillenburg was convinced to create a TV series centering on his restaurant’s mascots. The TV show “The SpongeBob Zone” ran from 1997 to 2001, with an additional collection of episode “specials” airing in 2002...


…In the 2000s and 2010s, Hillenburg used the wealth he had amassed from SpongeBob’s to expand his interests to other areas such as marine research and food distribution. Hillenburg’s humanitarianism and community activism, his treatment of workers at his restaurants, and his maintenance of management transparency has received praise from various groups. Hillenburg has also received criticism from other groups for keeping his restaurant chain privately-owned, refusing to take the company public over his mistrust of “the intention of stockholders.” …In 2018, political activist Tulsi Gabbard accused Hillenburg of cultural misappropriation for operating a tropics-themed chain despite he himself not being from the tropics. However, the incident did not develop any farther, with thousands of technetters coming to Hillenburg’s defense ontech…

–, c. 2021

Guest Panelist, political analyst and former Gov. Karl ROVE (R-UT): “So, would this referendum make it so each state does Ranking Choice Voting separately or is it at the National Level? Or somehow both?”

Co-Panelist Ana NAVARRO: “It’d be a national law, Karl, so it would be the law of all the lands – as in all the states would have to comply with it, like how all the states have to comply with the US Constitution, Karl, as a matter of principle.”

ROVE: “Nah, nah, I don’t like that. Maybe some states are already planning on doing that, rendering this useless. Or maybe an incentive that should have been added to this would be that it allows states to run their primary races, and races for the US Senate, US House, and governor races however they want to. That would be the trade-off. Is it too late for them to add that sort of thing to this?”

NAVARRO: “Well, given that this was a years-long process and the election’s less than two months away, I’m going to say no, you’re a bit too late to the party here, Karl.”

The Overmyer Network, roundtable discussion, 9/20/2018


…the national spending scandal may have just worsened for the Prime Minister. According to recent reporting, Bachand rejected the proposal of creating a special commission to investigate federal spending discrepancies out of fear that it would lead to a high-profile item for the media to follow. Bachand hoped that a referral to the RCMP would “keep it [the scandal] out of the news”...

The Toronto Star, Canadian newspaper, 9/21/2018


…the National Congress’ narrow vote will make Chile the 30th nation to legalize same-sex marriage…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 9/22/2018


The Washington Post, 9/23/2018


Chief Justice (since July 2001): Alan Page (D-MN, liberal) – succeeded Frank Johnson – appointee: J. Jackson

Associate Justice Seat 1 (since March 1999): Larry Thompson (R-GA, conservative) – succeeded Leon Higginbotham – appointee: Dinger

Associate Justice Seat 2 (since May 2000): Emilio Garza (R-TX, conservative) – succeeded Ed Levi – appointee: Dinger

Associate Justice Seat 3 (since April 2008): Aida Delgado-Colon (D-PR, progressive) – succeeded Joseph Sneed III – appointee: J. Jackson

Associate Justice Seat 4 (since September 2018): Robert Murphy (R-CA, libertarian) – succeeded William Nealon – appointee: Grammer

Associate Justice Seat 5 (since November 1971): Sylvia Bacon (R-PO, centrist) – succeeded John Harlan II – appointee: Sanders

Associate Justice Seat 6 (since May 2002): Michael Sandel (D-CT, liberal) – succeeded Herb Fogel – appointee: J. Jackson

Associate Justice Seat 7 (since July 2009): Denny Chin (D-CA, liberal) – succeeded Miles Lord – appointee: Wellstone

Associate Justice Seat 8 (since October 1990): Mary Murphy Schroeder (D-CO, progressive) – succeeded William Brennan – appointee: Bellamy


28 September 2018: On this day in history, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing a tsunami that kills at least 4,200 people and injures over 10,500 others…


RUSSIAN LEGAL SHOWDOWN: Prosecutor-General Aleksandr Matovnikov Clashes With Russian Supreme Court As Probes Struggle To Make Headway

The New York Times, 9/29/2018

“…Rock-and-roll icon Elvis Presley, having recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, today announced that he is undergoing treatment to fight the cancer, but did not confirm reports that he is set to receive a lung transplant. The move to stay private about his latest health scare is possibly in response to the controversies surrounding a highly-publicized heart transplant he had in the year 2000, in which a fan donated their heart to him that was touching to many but concerning to others. Transplant or no transplant, Presley has stated that he believes he, quote, ‘can and will beat this thing,’ end-quote…”

– ABC News, 10/1/2018 broadcast


…Kathryn Jane Maury Denton served as First Lady of the United States from 1981 until her husband’s resignation in December 1986. She was married to Jeremiah A. Denton from 1946 until Jeremiah’s death last year...

– The Atmore Advance, Alabama newspaper, 10/3/2018

BROWN BACKS BROWN: Actress Endorses Governor Hopeful

…state senator Yvette McGee Brown (D) is aiming to become Ohio’s first African-American female Governor, and she is getting some help from some Hollywood heavyweights. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown mirrored Halle Berry-Williams and Arsenio Hall last month in endorsing the liberal politician…

The Hollywood Reporter, 10/5/2018

Rodger Albert Bumpass
(born November 20, 1951) is an award-winning American actor, director, producer, and voice actor. Bumpass has since appeared in over 70 films, including Heavy Metal (in a minor voice role), National Lampoon’s Vacation (as a minor character), The Goonies (as a police officer, a minor character), Vampire’s Kiss (as the main character), Shakes the Clown (as a secondary character), Forrest Gump (as the main character), The Blood-Red Butterfly (as a main character), Highway to Hell (as a major character), Godzilla 2000 and its three sequels (as a major character), Ghost Rider 4 (in the main antagonist role), Killionaire: The Loaded Assassin (as the main character), and Stormwrecker (as a major character). Bumpass has also appeared in, or has performed voice acting for, almost 50 TV shows, including CatDog, Jimmy Neutron, Roseanne Returns Yet Again, CSI, NCIS, and The Arizona Trail.


[pic: ]

Rodger Bumpass was born in 1951 to Virginia and Carroll Bumpass of Bumpass Cleaners and Dryers. He was raised and educated in Arkansas before moving to California to pursue an acting career...


…Bumpass’s rise to fame began with the release of the 1979 National Lampoon film “Fin” (also titled “Jaws 3, People 0”), in which he starred as the main character. In the film, Bumpass has a love scene with Bo Derek, who eventually married Bumpass...


…Bumpass began directing and producing films in 1999 with the high-budget film Kneel Before Ed, starring Chris Farley as a kindhearted-but-clumsy man who receives God-like powers…


...Bumpass has received dozens of awards for his work. In 1994, he won an Oscar for Best Actor, for his performance as the titular role in the film Forrest Gump. Actor Tom Hanks later expressed regret at declining the role over an issue with the script, remarking that he thought it was too unrealistic that the character would go into space…

–, c. 2018

…I would say it was on a cold day in October, but this was in Moscow, where every day in October is cold. However, I will say that it was in the dead of night, during The Witching Hours. And that it was a private moment, held in the den of the President’s private residence between Nikolayev and a few of his friends from Siberia.

“Their insolence is astounding,” the Russian President loudly and angrily grumbled with a sneer of contempt on his face. “I should threaten to nuke Australia for taking in that little snitch. And if they call my bluff? Hey, I’m a man of my word!” As he exclaimed, he threw his hands up dramatically.

To the remark, one of his mafia friends – a well-built bald man with a small nose, one-and-a-half chins, and a nearly all-black suit – meandered over to the seat across from Nikolayev’s armchair beside the giant window. The blinds were drawn so one could look out over the capital’s nocturnal ambiance. The Bashnya Rossiya was visible on the President’s side, standing tall above the rest of the financial sector. “Vladimir, you’re going to have to access some sort of hit in order walk away from it. Butting heads is getting you nowhere but deeper into a hole.”

“And what would you have me do?” Nikolayev asked, either dumbfounded or insulted.

The Bald Man answered candidly, “Orchestrate an investigation. Control all aspects. Make a patsy out of someone. Ever heard of a kangaroo court? Put ’em through one if you want. Or, if you want a more permanent solution, there’s always our guys.”

“Even saying that this is worthy of an investigation acknowledges their suspicions. It legitimizes the attacks on my Presidency. Why should I give my enemies the satisfaction?”

“Because you struttin’ about like you own the place is worsening your own government’s reputation. This and your temper. Which reminds me, what’s this we hear about you roughhousing National Assembly Members?”

“I was just putting them in their place, like you would with any disloyal customer.”

“Well, word on the street is that the only reason why the assembly isn’t impeaching you is because of us. Remember that. We got you here and we’re keeping you here. you’re welcome.”

Nikolayev smirked, “Last time I checked, the President is the leader of Russia. That’s me. I control the military, I appoint the justices, I can influence the legislation. You can only try to do any of that by proxy. And I’m that proxy.”

“You don’t have to be,” the Bald Man said ominously.

The President made a snort-like chuckle, and remarked sarcastically, “Oh, sure! I forgot! You definitely don’t need me!”

“You really think you’re untouchable, don’t you?”

Nikolayev answered, “Well I do have a security staff. They’re like yours, only they have a better dental plan.”

“Don’t be smart with me Vlad, be smart out there!” The Bald Man angrily bellowed and pointed out the window. “The people of the world are watching you. Be smart here, you’re acting like a moron. Listen,” he leaned in closer, and I just barely heard him say “We didn’t sign on to a moron President. Remember how you got here, my friend. Because we do.”

The following Monday, Nikolayev public reversed course by announcing that Prosecutor-General Matovnikov would lead a “corruption review board” to study the matter concerning “unwanted agents” committing acts of espionage for the benefit of Eritrea. Matovnikov made his nose browner by remarking that he was “certain” that the board would find “not a shred” of evidence connecting the President to the weapon smugglers and military members in question…

– Marina Lebedev’s tell-all memoir My Time In The Nation of Nikolayev, Perspective Publishers, 2022


…The transformative new procedure has just been cleared by the last of several federal boards… Because the human optic nerve goes directly to the brain, surgery on it is incredibly difficult, requiring a level precision thought impossible until now thanks to the development of neuro-nanobots. Microscopic robots that make repairs too small for human hands to perform are now able to help surgeons. The damaged nerve can now be repaired, restoring eyesight.

“This new procedure has the potential to help millions,” says the head of the research team, “especially once it stops being so incredibly expensive an operation.”

The research team also note that for optic nerves too damaged to repair, it is currently still very risky “but not completely impossible” to have neuro-nanobots carefully “break down and remove” the “dead” optic nerve” and replace it with a new one. Due to the nerve’s connection to the brain, this step is still in the hypothetical stage of development.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the new procedure for repairing damaged optic nerves may be the first step to unlocking mental health repair efforts, “correcting brain damage brought on by accidents, genetics, or disease,” as the head of the research team explains...

–, 10/9/2018

10 October 2018: On this day in history, Hurricane Michael hit Mexico Beach, Florida, making for one of the most intense hurricanes to hit the mainland U.S. since Camille in 1969…



Host: “How did you get your start in the world of cooking?”

Borboa-Firro: “When I got out of High School in 1984, I got a job working at a fast food place. Chicken George. It’s a chain that’s still around, but just barely, which is a shame because it was at one point the largest chain under African-American ownership, serving chicken, gumbo, biscuits and other soul foods. It was so big, the character Chicken George in the 1977 ABC miniseries Roots is a reference to the chain. I learned a lot from working there, from the coworkers, from the cuisine, and I was inspired to try out, like, actual cooking, to see how you can combine different cultures and their respective flavors to make something new and enticing.”


Host: “So what in your opinion is the best family-friendly restaurant around right now.”

Borboa-Firro: “Well, my personal favorite would have to be one that’s real gimmicky, but it’s also real good. You ever hear of G. G. Ritzy’s Luxury Grill and Ice Creams. That place is decidedly cool. The striking art deco logo harked to the Gatsby era. The hexagonal tile floor that somehow mesmerizes me every time I walk in. The kids’ meals that, I remember, they come in little cars made out of biodegradable cardboard. The perfectly seared burgers, the shoestring fries. It all makes for a real good time, especially if you like the distinctive novelty of the 1920s as much as I do.”

Host: “That’s interesting, because last month you celebrated your grandson’s second birthday with him at a ShowBiz Pizza Place.”

Borboa-Firro: “Well, yeah. The little tyke loves that place. And, listen, that chain is a lot less annoying that it used to be. You know how only some restaurants can pull off the animatronics gimmick? Self-aware ones like SpongeBob’s, Chi-Chi’s, and Casa Bonita? ShowBiz Pizza Place wasn’t one of those places, and they realized it, and they fixed it. They didn’t dig in their heels like the stubborn idiots at Chuck E. Cheese's [5]. The people in charge at ShowBiz Pizza Place got rid of most of the noisy arcade games. They were able to adapt to changing times and evolve with their customer base, reducing the number of old-fashioned arcades and replacing them with the latest Trix multiplayer techsports, the latest vidgames, even VR headset games.”

Host: “And the food?”

Borboa-Firro: “Do you really want to get me started on that? Because I have a lot of things to say on that subject. Not all of it’s negative, but not all of it’s positive, either.”

–, 10/12/2018


…with a construction period that seemed to go on without end, the office building aptly named Tour Sans Fin (French for “Tower Without Ends”) is now open for business, with French President Bové attending the Grand Opening ceremony in Courbevoie, Paris, France earlier today. Standing taller than the Eiffel Tower, the newest addition to the city of Paris’s skyline stands at 1,396 feet tall and with 103 floors in a long and narrow cylindrical shape that gives the allusion of disappearing into the sky on cloudy days. Construction of this, one of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe, has been consistently intermittent. Work on it stalled during the economically poor periods of 1991, 1999, 2002 and 2013, but work resumed after each period and ultimately delaying its completion by 24 years…

The New York Times, 10/14/2018


These are the primary goals that we pledge to set out to do once YOU elect us into public office

Total Government Transparency – If we are the greatest country on earth, why does our government hide so much behind the phrase “that’s classified”? Why would the greatest country on Earth have so much to hide? The whole point of government is to have leadership reflective of the people. And the people demand to know everything that their government does!

Defend All From Government Oppression – President Grammar’s libertarianism does not go nearly far enough. We will ensure that government does not infringe onto the properties, the privileges and the rights of the people.

Use The Government To Help, Not Harm – We will keep the government out of people’s personal lives by implementing public works programs and improving UNC services to cut down on long lines and remove whatever is left of the once-dominant Big Pharma.

Sensible Taxation – If you fly a helicopter to work, your taxes won’t go to paying for roads you don’t use; the more you voluntarily donate to charity, the less amount of your taxes go to social assistance programs, and visa versa.

Limitations on Superwealth – No single human individual can own more than 0.5% of the entire national economy. Pure and simple common sense.

Environmental Protection – It will be our administration’s responsibility and duty to support, protect and defend the environment, and all species of all planets, including cryptids and the unexplained, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, animal, vegetable and mineral.

Scientific Innovation – We will use funds that the government currently wastes on war to invest in the scientific study, research and development of alternate energy and lost technology, including alternative medicine, the energy fields of the Egyptian pyramids, and Atlantean interstellar travel capabilities.

Peace on Earth and Elsewhere – Our administration will promote holistic and wholesome goodwill to all nations. We will have peaceful relations with all people in all nations, on all planets, and in all planes/dimensions of existence.

No Nukes on Earth – We will ban the military use and development of nuclear weapons, but permit “constructive” nuclear uses such as destroying Earth-bound meteors or using them in science experiments carried out in uninhabited sections of Deep Space.

–, c. October 2018


…the journalist, who had stated ontech to be following a “lead” relating to the Nikolayev-Ephrem Scandal on October 20, apparently committed suicide, according to a statement by city police…

The New York Times, 10/22/2018

NEW MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH: Has A Cure For Both Glaucoma And Paraplegia Been Found In Mustard And Starfish Trials?

…a combination of drugs (and elements found in more natural items such as mustard seed (lutein and other carotenoid compounds)), when combined with the regenerative properties found in starfish, seem to be able to “alter” human DNA strands from the central nervous system – which hosts both the optic nerve (the “cable” of nerve fibers that allows one to see) and the spinal cord. The alteration was able to cause both segments to regenerate after injury. …Experiments conducted not on detached human tissue but on paraplegic mice yielded positive results as well. The mustard-starfish serum caused damaged spinal cords to regenerate, returning partial mobility to a majority of the mice in the study. …“This is still in its infancy, and much more testing needs to be done,” says the head of the project, “but at the point is, we’re definitely getting there, and that is giving us high hopes that we are onto something that can help millions.”…

–, 10/24/2018

MIDTERM POLLS: Republicans “Likely” To Retain House And Senate; Voters “Evenly Split” On National Initiative’s R.C.V. Question

The Washington Post, 11/1/2018

November United States Senate election results, 2018

Date: November 6, 2018

Seats: 34 of 104
Seats needed for majority: 53

New Senate majority leader: Webb Franklin (R-MS)
New Senate minority leader: Midge Osterlund (D-DE)

Seats before election: 58 (R), 45 (D), 1 (I)
Seats after election: 55 (R), 48 (D), 1 (I)
Seat change: R v 3, D ^ 3, I - 0

Full List:

Arizona: incumbent Grant Woods (D) over David Schweikert (R)
California: incumbent appointee Jane Kim (D) over Malia Cohen (D)
Connecticut: incumbent Warren Mosler (D) over Matt Corey (R)
Delaware: incumbent Dan Frawley (D) over Rob Arlett (R)
Florida: incumbent Allen West (R) over Alan Grayson (D) and Douglas Scott Rogo (Bigfoot)
Hawaii: incumbent Mazie Hirono (D) over Ron Curtis (R)
Indiana: incumbent Jackie Walorski (R) over Mike Braun (D)
Maine: Mike Michaud (D) over Max Linn (R) and Joe Brooks (Independent); incumbent Olympia Snowe (R) retired
Maryland: incumbent Carl Stokes (D) over Tony Campbell (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Kathleen Hartington Kennedy-Roosevelt (D) over Curt Schilling (R)
Michigan: incumbent Hansen Clarke (D) over Tagg Romney (R)
Minnesota: Farheen Hakeem (D) over Leonard J. Richards (R); incumbent Skip Humphrey (D) retired
Mississippi: incumbent Webb Franklin (R) over Mike Espy (D)
Missouri: incumbent Sarah Steelman (R) over Travis Gonzalez (D)
Montana: Stan Jones (R) over incumbent Denise Juneau (D)
Nebraska: incumbent Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D) over Charles Herbster (R)
Nevada: Doug Swanson (R) over Jan Laverty Jones (D); incumbent Patty Cafferata (R) retired
New Jersey: incumbent Upendra Chivukula (D) over Alison McHose (R)
New Mexico: incumbent Debbie Jaramillo (D) over Mick Rich (R)
New York: incumbent Tom Suozzi (D) over Chris Gibson (R)
North Dakota: David Dean Andahl (R) over Earl Pomeroy (D); incumbent John Hoeven (R) retired
Ohio: incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) over Jim Renacci (R)
Pennsylvania: Luke Ravenstahl (D) over Cam Bartolotta (R); incumbent H. J. Heinz III (R) retired
Potomac: incumbent Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) unopposed
Puerto Rico: Alexandra Lugaro (D) over incumbent Luis Fortuno (R)
Rhode Island: incumbent Myrth York (D) over Martha McSally (R)
Tennessee: incumbent Mae Beavers (R) over Roy Herron (D) and Stephen Fincher (Rational Republican)
Texas: incumbent Kay Granger (R) over Ricardo Sanchez (D) and Joaquin Castro (La Raza Unida)
Utah: Spencer Cox (R) over James Singer (D); incumbent David Marriott (R) retired
Vermont: incumbent Tony Pollina (D) over Jasdeep Pannu (R), B.J. Peacock (Independent), Folasade Adeluola (Independent) and Reid Kane (Liberty Union)
Virginia: Tom Perriello (D) over incumbent Denver Riggleman (R/Bigfoot)
Washington: incumbent Norm Rice (D) over Hong Tran (R)
West Virginia: Jesse Johnson (D) over incumbent Betty Ireland (R)
Wisconsin: S. C. Gunderson (R) over incumbent Russ Feingold (D) and Robert Welch (Values)
Wyoming: incumbent appointee Curt Meier (R) over Mike Massie (D)


United States House of Representatives results, 2018

Date: November 6, 2018

Seats: All 441
Seats needed for majority: 221

New House majority leader: Ed Markey (D-MA)
New House minority leader: Larry Lee Householder (R-OH)

Last election: 209 (D), 232 (R)
Seats won: 237 (D), 204 (R)
Seat change: D ^ 28, R v 28


United States Governor election results, 2018

Date: November 6, 2018

Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 37

Seats before: 29 (R), 21 (D), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seats after: 28 (R), 24 (D), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seat change: R v 1, D ^ 3, I v 1, G v 1

Full list:

Alabama: Twinkle Cavanaugh (R) over Artur Davis (D); incumbent Richmond M. Flowers Jr. (D) was term-limited
Alaska: incumbent Lesil L. McGuire (Liberty-Republican-Alliance) over Anna MacKinnon (Democratic), Craig Campbell (I) and Jeffrey Brown (Green)
Arizona: Barry Hess (R) over Marco Lopez Jr. (D/LRU); incumbent Tina Flint Smith (D) was term-limited
Arkansas: incumbent Connor Eldridge (D) over Tim Griffin (R)
California: incumbent Cruz Bustamante (D) over Steve Knight (R), Malia Cohen (Green), Oliver Stone (Bigfoot) and Mary “The Fringe Centerfold Candidate” Carey (Natural Mind) (runoff avoided)
Colorado: Mark A. Callahan (R) over Bernie Buescher (D), A. Harlan Romanoff (G) and J. A. Garcia (La Raza Unida); incumbent Bill Thiebaut (D) retired
Connecticut: Ted Kennedy Jr. (D) over Prasad Srinivasan (R); incumbent Nancy Lee Johnson (R) retired
Florida: Jenny Johnson (R) over incumbent Alex Sink (D), Danny Whitney (Country) and Lewis Black (Liberty Union)
Georgia: Ben Lewis Jones (D, endorsed by the Country and Bigfoot parties) over Newt Gingrich (R) and Dewey McClain (Teamwork); incumbent Shirley Franklin (D) retired
Hawaii: incumbent Doug Chin (D) over Ray L’Heureux (R)
Idaho: incumbent Butch Otter (R) over Michelle Stennett (D)
Illinois: incumbent Al Giannoulias (D) over Jeanne Ives (R) and Christopher Fleming (Bigfoot)
Iowa: incumbent Kim McFadden (R) over Cathy Glasson (D)
Kansas: incumbent Susan Wagle (R) over Pam Horton Curtis (D)
Maine: Cynthia Dill (D) over Emily Cain (R), incumbent Patty LaMarche (Green) and Justin Alfond (Independent)
Maryland: incumbent Kumar Barve (D) over Jonathan Bartlett Jennings (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Maura Healey (D) over Gabriel Gomez (R) and Scott Lively (Boulder)
Michigan: Brian Calley (R) over Abdul El-Sayed (D); incumbent Michael Moore (D) retired
Minnesota: Melvin Carter (DFL) over incumbent Michele Bachmann (IRL)
Nebraska: incumbent David K. Karnes (R) over Steve Lathrop (D)
Nevada: Lucy Flores (D) over incumbent Randy Quaid (R) and Rory Reid (Compromise)
New Hampshire: incumbent Darryl Perry (R) over Andru Volinsky (D)
New Mexico: Javier Gonzales (D) over Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R) and Hector Balderas Jr. (Independent Democratic); incumbent Allen Weh (R) retired
New York: incumbent Mike Gianaris (D) over Mike Ranzenhofer (R)
Ohio: Yvette McGee Brown (D) over incumbent Jim Petro (R)
Oklahoma: T. W. Shannon (R) over Anastasia Pittman (D); incumbent Rebecca Hamilton (R) retired
Oregon: incumbent Tina Kotek (D) over Vicki Berger (R)
Pennsylvania: Paul Mango (R) over Jo Ellen Litz (D); incumbent Barry Goldberg (D) retired
Potomac: incumbent Linda Washington Cropp (D) over Martin Moulton (R)
Rhode Island: Henrique Radonski-Capriles (R) over incumbent Marilyn Ann Briggs (Independent) and Matt Brown (D)
South Carolina: Gresham Barrett (R) over Keisha Waites (D); incumbent Andre Bauer (R) retired
South Dakota: Brendan V. Johnson (D) over incumbent Brock L. Greenfield (R)
Tennessee: incumbent Rand McNally (R) over Ron Littlefield (D)
Texas: Rick Perry (R) over Annise Parker (D/La Raza Unida); incumbent Bill Owens (R) retired
Vermont: incumbent Jeffrey P. Weaver (D) over Ethan Sonneborn (Independent), Keith Stern (R) and Brenda Siegel (Humanitarian)
Wisconsin: Cory Mason (D) over Mark Neumann (R) and Wendell Harris (DSA/Socialist); incumbent Mark Green (R) retired
Wyoming: incumbent Cynthia Jo Hill (R) over James W. Byrd (D)



…Our 76th and next Governor, Henrique Radonski Capriles, will be the first-ever Venezuelan-American Governor in US history. Capriles was born in Newport in 1972 to a wealthy mercantile family, but working at the family’s docks let him witnessing the daily struggles of the workers. …Capriles (R) won over incumbent Governor Marilyn Ann Briggs (I), a former adult film actress who was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2014 and became Governor after the unexpected death of Governor Bob Healey (I). The late Healey’s populist core message: “less government intervention, a strict reading of the US Constitution, and fiscal conservatism” were similar to Caprile’s campaign but differed greatly in style and presentation. Healey had been considered a possible running mate for NYC Mayor Jimmy McMillan during his third-party bid for President in 2016…

The Newport Daily News, 11/7/2018


…Los Angeles Mayor Herb Wesson, the city’s second African-American mayor, won his first full term in last night’s decisive mayoral election. In closest challenger, Rick Caruso (b. 1959), a billionaire businessman and philanthropist, lost to Wesson by a margin of roughly 10%. Melina Reimann (b. 1972), an activist and academic of Pan-African Studies, came in third place, ahead of fourth-place finisher Benjamin J. M. Novak (b. 1979), a B-list TV actor, and fifth-place finisher Curren Price Jr. (b. 1950), a city councilman. A sixth prominent candidate, city councilman Kevin Alexander “Kal” Leon (b. 1966), dropped out two days after early voting began after being accused of sexual pestering. All six were Democrats in an officially nonpartisan race. Wesson won with a majority of 51%, versus Caruso’s 31%.

In May 2017, Herb J. Wesson Jr. (b. 1951), a city council member at the time, won a special 18-month term after Mayoral and other city elections were “adjusted” so that they now coincide with national midterm elections, in order to improve voter turnout. The shift of mayoral elections being held in the spring of odd years came about via a 2016 city law, after much debate over the record-breaking low of only 15.4% voter turnout in the 2013 Mayoral election. Wesson is eligible to run for a second and final full term in 2022...

The Los Angeles Times, 11/7/2018

Co-Panelist Van JONES: “So in response to the question, ‘Should the United States use a “Ranked Choice/Instant Runoff” Method of Voting?’, a clear majority voted ‘yea.’ Now for those watching this who are unfamiliar with the N.I.A. process, this is not the passing of a Constitutional Amendment, and so will not require a second vote to affirm Tuesday’s vote, right?”

Reporter Kevin JAYS: “Right. This is because the initiative that made its way to a nationwide vote called for the retaining of the Electoral College for ‘emergency situations’ but is pretty much otherwise stripped of its effect on the election. This is because the new national law outlaws Presidential Electors from voting for the second-place finisher in a 2008 or 2012-style election without permission from a majority vote from a joint session of congress. And that can only happen if congress fails to certify the election results due to something like, say the vote margin being too narrow to call ahead of Inauguration Day, or something akin to the Presidential Election of 1876.”

Co-Panelist Ana NAVARRO: “So can we talk about how the states voted on this thing for a second? Here’s the map behind us –”


[pic: ]

NAVARRO: “And as you can see, 24 states voted ‘no,’ but 28 states voted ‘yes,’ and it’s interesting because it seems most people voted based on the population of their state more so than on party lines, with high-population states like Texas voting ‘yes’ and low-population states like Vermont and Oregon voting ‘no.’ Even Potomac voted against it, that’s surprising.”

Reporter Bob BECKEL: “That’s because of claims that the initiative would stifle the voices of people in ‘small’ states. I think a lot of people misunderstood that phrasing to mean small in size instead of small in population level. And, by the way, the margin in Potomac was fairly narrow.”

Guest Panelist Alisyn CAMEROTA: “It’s also interesting that West Virginia and South Carolina voted yes, because both states were expected to vote no. This result was most likely due to those two states are two of certain states where the population is going up and the economy improving. It looks like all states with those conditions voted yes, and I think that that is possibly due to citizens in these states believing that they are going to be high-population areas in the near future.”

Guest Panelist, political analyst and former Gov. Karl ROVE (R-UT): “I don’t like this. This is a move towards national centralization, the centralization of the government and the country at the national and federal levels. If I had been able to amend this initiative, I would have made it so each individual state will use the R.C.V. process, but however they choose to use it. But this National Initiative clearly states that this is at the national level, the popular vote winner is the winner of the election. That henceforth makes the states individually less significant and the vote of the nation as a whole the decider instead of key swing states.”

BECKEL: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

ROVE: “It takes power away from low-population states like New Hampshire and gives more power to states like California. This is not a time for celebration. This is a sad day for small states like North Dakota and my home state of Utah. This is a tragedy for people such as the farmer of this country who already get ignored despite their vital role in society. I’m telling you, people were not educated enough about the negative ramifications of RCV, and soon enough, they are going to realize that this was a gigantic mistake.”

The Overmyer Network, roundtable discussion, 11/8/2018

…Nakheel Tower, next to Nakheel Harbor in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was originally designed to be exactly 1km tall (3,281 ft), only for projected financial issues to result in its size being reduced to 2,460 feet and for its grand opening to be delayed to November 12, 2018. This makes it the second-tallest building in the world, behind Dubai Tower (2,626 ft) but ahead of the US's Chicago Spire (2,000 ft) and Russia's Bashnya Rossiya (1,919 ft)....this massive superscraper is still an impressive architectural feat, with nearly all of its 120 floors being dedicated to luxury apartments…


[pic: ]


Heavy Winds Fueling CA Wildfire Resurgence

– AccuWeather, 11/19/2018 report

“Thanks to the heroic actions of state firefighters and the bravery of the National Guard, fire and rescue helicopters have maintained the spread of the wildfires at the town of Paradise. Only five fatalities have been reported by local hospitals.”

– CA Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D), 11/25/2018

[1] Based closely on this:
[2] Italicized parts from here:
[3] Italicized passages from here:
[4] It reached a peak of 240 km/h in OTL, but because of more effective efforts to combat “Global Climate Disruption” ITTL, the extremity of the climate is already starting to be chipped away at (well, a tiny bit at least)!
[5] Mentioned in a November 2011 segment as having gone defunct by then.
[6] Some phrases and/or passages are from here:

Also, here’s a quick poll for the next chapter, as the Democrats have retaken the House, but not the Senate (“Should House Democrats push for some sort of slave-reparations-via-income-tax-exemptions plan in 2019?” Yes / No):

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: May 17 at the latest!

Two minor quibbles/questions. Was Jeramiah's death covered in a previous update? Given that Kemp's was, it would seem strange to not have one for him (Though I may just have missed it). And also, you mentioned here that Senator Kim was a replacement senator, which lines up with the previous senator dying in May during 2018. However, I can't seem to find a mention of him passing? As such, on my first go around I was quite shocked. Hope that doesn't come across as too pushy or anything, just a few thoughts. Looking forward to the next one.
I mentioned Denton passing away in August 2017.
Deukmejian passed away in office in 2018 but I may have forgotten to mention it. Gov. Bustamante appointed Kim to the seat.
I like the Bigfoot Party. Definitely one of the best names for a serious political party. Good to see Michelle Bachmann kicked out of the governor's mansion. Did Alex Kozinski get removed for sexual misconduct?

Good job on the chapter! I can't wait for the 2020 election. Since we’re only a few chapters away from the election I’m cheering for Charlotte Pritt as the Dem nomination and Harley Davidson Brown as the Republican nomination.

How long are you gonna take TTL gap80?
Yes, he got kicked out of office in early 2016
We'll see how the polls go!
Until it finally catches up to the present
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Great update. I really enjoyed you writing about how Grammer's personal relationship with the new CanadianPM has changed as well as his relationship with the new Australian PM. Sad to hear about the death of President Jeremiah Denton's wife. I really liked the sound of the show Agafia. I would probably have watched it 😅 Also the big foot party sound like the liberal version of the Tea Party in OTL.
Hello! I've been basically reading this timeline for quite a while now, it's one of my favourites on here, and I figured I'd write in to give it a little praise! One of the things I liked about this is that it's re-readable in an interesting way. On my first run-through, I originally was quite surprised at how low Mondale was ranking in political terms and really hated Iacocca. But on my second go around, I thought Mondale was far weaker, and Iacocca did a better job. So you've definitely crafted something great here!

Two minor quibbles/questions. Was Jeramiah's death covered in a previous update? Given that Kemp's was, it would seem strange to not have one for him (Though I may just have missed it). And also, you mentioned here that Senator Kim was a replacement senator, which lines up with the previous senator dying in May during 2018. However, I can't seem to find a mention of him passing? As such, on my first go around I was quite shocked. Hope that doesn't come across as too pushy or anything, just a few thoughts. Looking forward to the next one.