Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

Post 61
Post 61: Chapter 69

Chapter 69: March 1994 – July 1994

“I’m trying to light a fire”

– Lee Iacocca (OTL) [1]


The Houston Chronicle, 3/8/1994

Seeking to raise his restaurant’s profile, Hillenburg looked to the advertising companies responsible for animated breakfast cereal commercials such as those for Cookie Crisp, Fruit Loops and several Mattel toy lines. In early 1994, early ideas for SpongeBob’s Undersea Cuisine (S.B.U.C.) advertisements suggested commercials that would be similar to the live-action “McDonaldland” ones released by McDonald’s in the 1970s (and produced by Needham, Harper & Steers, which had become “DDB Needham” via merger under its new parent company “Omnicom” in 1986). Both would have had upbeat styles, a narrator, and some sort of villain failing to steal a food item. However, Hillenburg’s sketches for the animatronics impressed advertising experts, who convinced him to combine the elements of breakfast cereal commercials (cartoons interacting with real people) and McDonaldland (namely, world-building). Noticeable differences between SpongeBob’s “Waikiki Sea” and “McDonaldland,” such as the use of energetic ukelele music, became more noticeable through the research and development process. What asked about the combination of animated characters interacting with live action footage in a 2001 interview, Hillenburg, said that he drew inspiration from the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” which “opened the doors” for many nontraditional animation ideas…


While Stephen worked on the commercials, I went around making sure we had animatronics of the highest quality, especially after opening a second outlet in March of, uh, 1994, all the way over in Pensacola. Far enough away to win customers unfamiliar with the first outlet, but not too far away for there to be logistical issues. …I don’t think we really ripped off Chuck E. Cheese with our animatronics and costumed employees. They were more like an homage than anything else...

– Bryan Hillenburg, 2019 interview

HOST: After several weeks of bilateral peace talks, a temporary peace treaty has been agreed to in Sri Lanka. Selvarasa Pathmanathan of the secessionist group The Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan President Dingiri Banda Wijetunga have agreed to terms they believe will restore order and establish equality in the island nation. Mr. Martin, your thoughts?

GUEST: Well I think Mr. Pathmanathan made a very wise move, here. The Tamil Tigers’ tactics until the start of the talks left them without allies and was detriment to their side of the peace-making process.

HOST: Yes, and it is interesting how both of these leaders have agreed to a trade-off of sorts – Pathmanathan has called for an end of hostilities in exchange for the gradual expansion.

GUEST: In step with a gradual surrendering of LTTE members, all of who will receive amnesty in exchange for soldiers the Sri Lankan government going without trial as well.

HOST: A “clean slate” approach, really, but will it hold up?

GUEST: Honestly, I do not think so. Many members of the Tamil ethnicity truly believed secession was the only answer after decades of prejudice from the Sri Lankan ruling elite. It is possible that, if the structural changes promised in this treaty do not come to pass over the next twelve months, riots, cam bombs and guerilla warfare may erupt in Sri Lanka once more.

HOST: Well I disagree due to the amount of time, energy and dedication put into these talks. Granted, previous armistices have failed in the past, but perhaps this time things will go differently…

– Sky Group Limited, roundtable discussion, 3/23/1994

…In March, Iacocca met with auto parts makers at the White House as the President was detecting what he believed were more and more signs that Japan’s PM Hosokawa was “welching on our deal.” Consumption on American products in Japan had only increased 7%, compared to Japan sales in the US increasing 28% in the same time period…

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


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– Bob Ross, protector of animals, enjoying a pepperoni-and-sausage pizza slice, shortly after signing into law the state of Alaska’s Natural Animal Population Levels Protection Act of 1994, 3/26/1994


…Santa Fe’s city council Democrats, currently in charge of an ineffective plurality of the city council, are forming a political coalition with the three pro-legalizing-marijuana members of the La Raza Unida Caucus to form a majority. The La Raza Unida political party has been most successful in local elections (especially in New Mexico) since its founding in the 1970s, and this caucus is the largest of its kind in the nation. Santa Fe’s New Mayor, Debbie Jaramillo, who was sworn into office seven days ago along with the city council members, approved of the move out of political necessity. Elected on March 1 via ranked choice voting, Jaramillo won despite her opponent outspending her nearly 3-to-1. She promises to rein in runaway development and return city government to the people; “This town is not for sale. It belongs to the community.” [2] As such, she has said she is “open to trying out” legalizing marijuana on libertarian principles of creating tax revenue to replace sales and property taxes in city limits with a recreadrug “that can be regulated and taxable without inhibiting first amendment rights,” says the leader of the L.R.U. Caucus, two of whom were elected on March 1. The Democratic/L.R.U. coalition members are planning on reaching out to white conservative voters to convince them that “this laws would benefit all of us by getting government out of our private lives,” argues city council assistant Gloria Mendoza…

The Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/28/1994

…Following the January 25 firefight, Hutu guerillas harassing Tutsi natives began to attack UN peacekeeping forces with cam bombs and mass shootings as the civil conflict intensified. The Hutu claimed the raid was proof that the UNAMIR was partial against the Hutu, leading to the Tutsi becoming more favorable to UN intervention. Romeo Dallaire survived two assassination attempts during the subsequent weeks as the UN Secretary-General doubled down on his pledge to “defend the oppressed populations of the world.” Meanwhile, Burundi’s Hutu dictator/president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, began a program of having radical members of Rwanda’s far-right CDR party “disappear”... In early March, another turning point arose when further aspects of the Arusha Accords were finally implemented. The promise of the repatriation of refugees willing to return to their homeland and amnesty for low-ranking Hutu guerilla soldiers encouraged hundreds to end the conflict that by this point was “approaching the edge of genocide,” as Dallaire later put it. In one iconic incident, low-ranking CDR soldiers turned their guns onto their superior officers upon being ordered to massacre a Tutsi orphanage. On March 30, the CDR received a mortal blow when its extremist co-founder Jean-Bosco Baragwiza was assassinated by Hutu moderates loyal to Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana. His death quickly led to a leadership void in the CDR, culminating in its fracturing and its remaining extremist members failing to coordinate as the tide turned against them…



…Itami, b. 5/15/1933, directed the 1992 film “Minbo,” which parodies Yakuza activities. It is a possibility that Itami’s murder was the response of a Yakuza syndicate angered by the film’s portrayal of the Yakuza…

The Chosun Ilbo, South Korean newspaper, 3/31/1994


…the Yakuza are Japan’s version of the mafia. Think Don Corleone in a kimono. Or better yet, don’t. Like how the Italian mafia comprises of multiple “families,” Japan’s Yakuza consists of multiple syndicate groups that work together more often than against one another – creating a united front that is unfortunate for their victims and for law enforcement. Last year, CIA Director Bill Studeman warned at a press briefing that the Yakuza are “very dangerous and incredibly well-connected,” and called for Japan to increase their efforts to quell their influence. The Anti-Boryokudan Act of 1992 was Japan’s largest attempt to curb the influence and control of the Yakuza so far, but there are still thousands of members.

Time Magazine, side article, April 1994 issue

…The hantavirus outbreaks of 1991 and 1993 revealed several “detriments of various size,” as House Speaker Robert Smith Walker put it, in the UHC Act. For example, patients requesting elective procedures, especially during times of crisis, can end up waiting for several months before the procedure occurs, as UHC aims to provide basic and emergency care over specialist and elective care. The biggest concern, however, was raising the limits of compensation payouts that doctors received, which was the tradeoff for care costs being lower for patients. …A 1989 report showing that healthiest 50% of Americans only consume 7% of the health care costs in the country was resurfaced in April 1994, which led to US Senator Jack Raese declaring, “Nobody should have to pay more in taxes because someone else is making poor lifestyle choices!” …The President sought to address the “imperfections” in the UHC Act because public approval for the legislation was as high as 80% in some 1994 polls, and only as low as 62% in others. Nevertheless, Speaker Walker and others within the Republican Party wanted to use these detrimental aspects to dismantle the UHC Act completely...

– Allison Swanson’s The Hantavirus Epidemic, Signet Books, 1998

THE KARAKALPAK AND THE SHRINKING ARAL SEA: Can These Fishers Save Their Livelihoods From Drying Away?


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Above: The estuary of the Amu Darya, a tributary feeding the Aral Sea.

…The Karakalpak population in Uzbekistan State, United Turkestan, are trying to save the Aral Sea, once the fourth-largest lake in the world, from diminishing in size any farther as water sources dry up. Through a combination of poor administration policies during the Soviet Era and the Global Climate Disruption phenomenon, evaporation of the body of freshwater has devastated the lives and livelihoods of the locals. The Aral Sea has lost 40% of the area it had in 1960, the calamity being noticeable since the early 1970s, when waters began receding from the piers at Muynoq on southern coast.

…The local habitats – ancient oases fed by rivers lakes, reed marshes, forests, grazing lands, and even some farmland – are not just affected by the loss of the lake. The wind-borne salt from the emptied coasts blow farther inland, poisoning crops; additionally, fertilizer and pesticide residues once dormant on the beds of the sea, are exposed to the regions winds as well. These developments have led to a public health crisis, as recent surveys reveal a staggering increase in respiratory illnesses among the local inhabitants.

…In 1987, United Turkestan began implementing the Aral Sea Basin Revival Project, meant to stabilize the local ecosystems and reverse the loss of water. The regional government of Uzbekistan has scaled back irrigation slowly to avoid economic disaster, while the federal government is working with them to diversify their economy to scale back even father. Larger but less coordinated groups of Kazakhs on the north side of the sea, where the effects are less severe, are joining in their efforts of the Karakalpak.

However, with the people’s economy heavily reliant on fisheries, the decades-long fight to save the Aral Sea – and the Amu Darya, the river flowing into the south of the Aral Sea – has taken its toll on many. “The younger people are giving up hope. The children leave home and move to the cities. Families are moving out, and the stinging sands are moving in,” says former local man Kiyas Kusekeev, who is being treated at Tashkent Medical Center for a respiratory illness his physicians believe is the result of exposure to D.D.T. residue carried by the wind from the newly revealed sea beds.

…The Karakalpak hope the organizing of parades, festivals, and contests held in multiple locations and sponsored by Greenpeace, National Geographic, and several health-related charities will garner more attention for their plight; leaders of such efforts agree that this crisis destroying the livelihoods of the locals could have farther-reaching consequences. “If the Sea dries up, the river will dry up, the farms will turn to dirt, the poisoned wind will spread to throughout the rest of United Turkestan,” says local scientist Jamil Askarov, “The extent of the spread of the poisons could end up being worse than what we saw after the Aktau Disaster of 1980.”

…In the regional capital of Nukus, the Mayor says that the Kazakh regional government plans to implement Phase 2 of the ASBR Project, which is the reintroduction of fish stocks in the north. “If it works, we could soon see the return of the traditional backbone of our community. It will all depend on three very important things: dedicated observation, hard work, and hope.”

– National Geographic, April 1994 issue


Washington, DC – President Iacocca has instructed US Trade Representative Paula Stern to investigate various acts, policies and practices of the Japanese government relating to the transferring of technology, intellectual property and innovation to non-Japanese companies...

The New York Times, 4/4/1994

…When I first entered a relationship with him, it seemed like a passion that fascinated me. It nearly bewildered me how one man could hold the anger of ten. James Wenneker von Brunn began having run-ins with the law since the 1960s and he never stopped. He once considered somehow attacking the Federal Reserve Board of Governors over their immediate response to the Crash of ’78, but called it off after coming to approve of Denton’s handling of the economy. He thought of bombing or kidnapping the Supreme Court bench to highlight the injustice of Denton’s “persecution in the court of public opinion.” Even when in his seventies, his rage was unabated. Iacocca’s handling of trade with Japan, for example, prompted him to tell me that he wanted to make “a citizen’s arrest for treason” for consumer prices continuing to rise under our new President. James fantasized about kidnapping the president, and sometimes his mind went to its even darker corners, especially when he shifted focus to other politicians and institutions that he simply loathed more than any man should...

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011

“…I just did the sketches. Actual animation, making the characters move, now is tough. Slaving over a desk or in front of a computer screen for long hours on end every day, it’s like flogging yourself [3]. I have both awe and respect for people who put themselves through such conditions just for a paycheck or so they can entertain others, since all I did was come up with designs, styles, uh, the details for how they should move. …When Life In Heck took off in the late 1980s, it really opened up possibilities for animation. That show, and the 1980s Mighty Mouse reboot, allowed for even more experimental shows like Duckman to develop a following. The SpongeBob commercials, though, those were a lot more sanitized than the surrealist early drafts were, because they had to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone…”

– Stephen Hillenburg, 1997 interview

The franchise’s first commercial was of low budget, being filmed with the help of a local TV station. It first aired on April 12, 1994, and featured a live-action character named King Neptune whose plans on establishing a fast food empire are foiled by the existence of superior food found at SpongeBob’s:

NEPTUNE (live-action, portrayed by local actor Matt Battaglia at the time): “I shall conquer the food markets! My enemies will be left defeated and hungry!”

SPONGEBOB (cartoon, voiced by local actor Tony Hale at the time): “Or, you could eat at the place I work at – SpongeBob’s Undersea Cuisine.” [cut to establishing shot of outlet 1 exterior]

[cut to interior] SPONGEBOB: “With dozens of burgers, sandwiches, and seafood platters to choose from, I think this is the most magical and family-friendly place in the universe!”

NEPTUNE: “Trickster! This place has conquered…my appetite!” [pan out to show Neptune enjoying a krabby patty at a table flanked by live-action and cartoon characters]

More commercials soon followed, phasing out Neptune to instead center on the dynamic between SpongeBob the frycook and Squidward the cashier, with the latter being the butt end of jokes from the former, and with there being a running gag when something bad happens to Squidward every time he says he doesn’t like the restaurant’s offerings, somewhat similar to the Kermit-Wilkins commercials of the 1960s. These commercials caught on in popularity in a manner similar to the Ernest P. Worrell commercials of the early 1980s, with the biggest difference being that the SpongeBob’s characters rarely broke the fourth wall.


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Above: a still from a commercial for SpongeBob’s that first aired in late 1994.


…British-American astronaut and astrophysicist Colin Foale has set a new record for space endurance by spending 17 days, 23 hours and 47 minutes aboard the International Space Station without interruption. The accomplishment is a much-needed boost for space exploration after an international study was published revealing the details of several detrimental effects that prolonged exposure to weightlessness has on the human body. The study, publishing in the peer-reviewed medical journal “American Journal of Medical Sciences, seems to confirm claims given by former astronauts – that temporary blindness, blood clots, and bone loss are associated with human spaceflight as the lack of gravity disrupts the natural flow of blood vessels and compounds pressure on the human eye and other parts of the body. These revelations could spur further investment in researching and developing artificial gravity for future spacecraft…

– BBC, 14/4/1994 broadcast

…Turner-Kennedy-Broadcasting’s Cartoon Network first began airing “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” on April 15. The animated parody talk show proved to be “groundbreaking” by appealing to both young and old viewers...


Iacocca unleashed an arsenal of alleged “dirty tricks” against Japanese businesses, often directly in front of the White House press. “That Annie-May stuff is too violent, it’s got disturbing imagery from a disturbed peo-…pool of animators,” he once controversial said on April 17 in order to win over concerned Americans in the suburbs. Later that same month, he accused Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party of being “rife with corruption,” which was not far from the truth. He went after the country’s “frequent changing of the guard,” almost mocking the “high turnover rate” of Japanese Prime Ministers.

Meanwhile, Japanese car companies such as Toyota and Nissan were in an optimistic place with US-Japanese relations boiling over, as they had been opposed to the “Buy American” campaign since its 1993 inception. Toyota’s work with General Motors slowed, but was replaced with a new interest in European markets. Nissan, after thirty years of expanding, sought to diversify its product lineup.

For Honda, however, it was too late. The company found itself being outpaced by Nissan and Toyota. Overwhelmed by the SUV boom of the early 1990s and caught off guard repeatedly by “schizophrenic” US-Japan relations, the company succumbed to a hostile takeover by Mitsubishi Motors in April 1994, less than a month into the US-Japan Trade War of 1994

– Rosalind Lippel’s Driven: The Presidency of Lee Iacocca, StarGroup International, 2012

…In Washington, D.C., a new law has been passed that is controversial and polarizing. It has been more than two years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all fifty states, but now, congress has passed the Smith Provision, a legislative act meant to bar the use of federal funds to pay for abortion by making the procedure considered “elective,” and thus not covered by the American Universal Healthcare Act. According to Speaker Walker, the legislation will curb the, quote, thousands upon thousands of abortions performed annually with taxpayer funds, unquote. Introduced last year by Congressman Larkin I. Smith of Mississippi, the bill was passed in the House on partisan lines but has yet to be voted on in the Senate, where Democrats maintain a narrow majority. Nevertheless, “pro-option” groups are increasing activism in opposition to the Smith Provision, arguing the barring actually violates the UHC Act instead of overriding a part of it. We take you now to the Washington Mall, where a group of several hundred pro-option activities have gathered to protest the bill’s House passing…

– CBS Evening News, 4/30/1994

…and over in eastern Europe, the people of Poland and just picked their next President. Consistent favorite and former Minister Commerce Leszek Kolakowski of the Solidarity party secured victory over two major challengers, Waldemar Pawlak of the Christian Democratic party, and Leszek Balcerowicz of the Reform party. Incumbent President Jarek Kuron, also of the Solidarity party, is retiring after two five-year terms. With the country dominating the European coal market, Poland’s economy has been soaring since the start of this decade, while very likely aided Kolakowski’s campaign as it faced criticism for his former allegiance to Marxism and alleged lack of political experience…

– BBC, 5/2/1994 broadcast

…For example, in order to push through a Federal Jobs Guarantee Program (which Speaker Walker opposed on the grounds of it being yet another attempt by Democrats and liberals to “saddle the federal government with state-to-state problems,” while Iacocca, initially against it over fear it would damage small businesses), Iacocca had to work with several conservative Democrats and progressive Democrats, from Senate Leader Robert Byrd to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who introduced the bill for the F.J.G.P. in early May 1994…

– Julian E. Zelizer and David F. Emery’s Burning Down The House, Penguin Publishing Group, 2020


…A comment from a 1986 Playboy Magazine interview has resurfaced among press circles, in which Iacocca, who was still the CEO of Chrysler at the time, commented, "Once, in an interview, I was asked about the recognition of Chrysler products in Japan, so I said, 'Jesus Christ, they certainly know the Jeep -- they saw enough of them in World War II!' You know what I really wanted to say? I wanted to say, 'But they always saw the ass end of the Jeep -- running over them.' Now that would be Japan bashing, right?" [4]… Iacocca’s Press Secretary said earlier today that the comment was “not meant to be taken seriously in any way that would be hurtful.”…

The New York Post, 5/7/1994



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…the citywide law makes it legal for the buying and selling of “recreational marijuana,” albeit only within city boundaries… Conservative legislators in the state congress are calling for an investigation into the legality of city law conflicting with state law. Aides close to the Mayor have stated that they “wouldn’t be surprised” by the new law being challenged in court. “Progress is always inhibited by the fear of change, of deviating even slightly from the status quo,” says the Mayor, “But I am not afraid of embracing individual freedom, and neither are the people of this great city.”…

The Albuquerque Journal, 5/9/1994

…On the other hand, some more violent members of the feminist cause can be cited for giving radicals a bad name. For instance, on May 10, Governor George Allen of Virginia signed into a law a state bill that outlaws abortions during the first trimester except for cases of rape, incest, and danger to the mother. The next night, the Virginia GOP headquarters were vandalized; spray paint spelled out vulgarities and two windows were smashed, setting off the alarm, before the perpetrators fled. At the time, Iacocca’s approval rating among women was mixed. Gallup polled 80% of conservative women approved of him, while only 55% of “unaffiliated/nonpartisan” women and 40% of liberal women approved of him; another poll found his approval to be at around 59% overall. George Allen’s approval rating among women, meanwhile, was in the toilet, at 37% overall…

– Radical feminist Catharine Alice MacKinnon’s More Than Words: Women’s Lives Under Men’s Laws, 2008 edition

…Iacocca sought to rebuttal the “unfair” practices with allegedly underhanded tactics such as tariffs on major imports from Japan “that we make at home,” as he put it. This action, this any action, led to a reaction, as the Japanese government reacted by imposed tariffs of their own. Iacocca countered with tax incentives for firms and businesses that “did business elsewhere,” and with attempts at “triangulation” with other countries that also felt threatened by Japan, such as India, China, and South Korea, just to name the major players in Japan’s region of the world...

– Rosalind Lippel’s Driven: The Presidency of Lee Iacocca, StarGroup International, 2012


…the Findings Section of the bill explains that “responsible representative Government requires public awareness of the efforts of paid lobbyists to influence the public decision-making process in both the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government.” It continues, “existing lobbying disclosure statutes have been ineffective because of unclear statutory language, weak administrative and enforcement provisions, and an absence of clear guidance as to who is required to register and what they are required to disclose… the effective public disclosure of the identity and extent of the efforts of paid lobbyists to influence Federal officials in the conduct of Government actions will increase public confidence in the integrity of Government”… [5]

The Washington Post, 5/17/1994

Could have gotten a job today. But they learned about my ’92 assault charge. I told them about how that [censored] of a daycare worker had let my daughter get hurt under her watch. I had to teach her a lesson. I thought they understood. I guess they were too dumb to get it. No matter. There must be some job out there for former bartender, caterer, construction worker, I’m a jack of all trades, in fact. If only the landlord understood that. The [censored] doesn’t get the idea of this ZED, does he? Neither does the ball-and-chain [censored], always telling me off, harassing and attacking me in front of our three-year-old. She doesn’t get it. Life is hard. The pressure of it, the responsibilities and headaches that come at you every day, distracting you from life, practically telling you not to actually live, it is all just so hard and despite that the [censored] and The Man just refuse to give me a [censored] break!

– Lynwood Crumpler Drake III’s personal journal, 5/19/1994 entry

The series ended on May 22, 1994 [120], with the episode “Who Shot Binky?” A touch-in-cheek season finale, it ended on a cliffhanger that was never answered due to the series not being renewed for another season. According to creator Matt Groening, the episode purposely ended without a conclusion as a “demonstration of solidarity” meant to honor TV shows that were cancelled before their own cliffhangers could be resolved [121]. In the Life In Hell comic strips, the series finale was never mentioned, leading to fans of the series creating numerous theories and fanfiction works concerning how the conflict is resolved. [source required] On December 10, 2011, a Life In Hell comic “special” finally address the finale by suggesting that either the final episode, the entire final season, or possibly the entire series, was not canon with the comics. [122] The resolution was dissatisfying for many fans, and has possibly contributed to further calls for the series to be revived. [123]


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Above: an early uncolored promotional drawing for the series cliffhanger/finale.

–, c. 2012

…I think he sought to distract himself from the anniversary of Pat’s passing. Work was the best thing to keep his mind off the tomb-like quiet of him California home, and so his dedication to his job only increased. In fact, I remember him spending more than a few nights falling asleep in his office, awaking to the smell of the interns brewing coffee in the outer chamber. Nixon would sleep on a futon at the office at other times, waking up early and making his rounds, meeting with Senate leaders and the Secretary of State, working so hard to keep the US from going to war against anybody or even everybody. To the average American, their country was in a good place, but he knew better, as he would say. “For ten years now the military’s only adversary has been pathetic drug lords and radical guerilla idiots tearing up their own villages across Latin America, while the top brass men continuously keep their eyes on North Korea and the Taiwan Straits, with both of the Red Bastards just waiting for any excuse to drag us into another Cuba,” he once ranted to me. Maybe it was Nixon’s tendency to dance toward paranoia, but the Lion of the Senate would take no chances. He oversaw the Senate military intelligence and diplomatic affairs in the State Department, and overviewed committees with an iron grip, one tighter than a bull rider’s grip on the rope during the rodeo. I remember he seemed to be enjoying himself, but at the same time, it seemed to make him so very tired...


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Above: Nixon in the Senate chamber, June 5, 1994

– longtime US Rep. Robert Hutchinson “Bob” Finch’s Counselor to The Lion: My Memoirs, Sunrise Publishing, 1995


…Robert Haldeman’s “The Haldeman Diaries: Three Decades of Tough Decisions and Tricky Dick,” [6] published by Barnes & Noble Press, makes multiple claims concerning the influential former Vice President. Some nuggets of intrigue found within allege that Nixon supported President Denton overthrowing several anti-American leaders, including the dictator Pakistan; that he considered working with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to arrest The Beatles for possession of narcotics during the late 1960s, possibly as a frame job; and that he successfully had recording bugs installed in the offices of leaders in Canada, the UK, and other places... Haldeman, who Nixon “fired” from his inner circle in 1986 over allegations of “disloyalty,” is suffering from terminal cancer, and claims he “could not wait until either me or he were dead. I need to get the truth out about how crummy the Lion truly is.”

The New York Times, book review section, 6/6/1994

“I am just outraged by this garbage! Haldeman’s book is nothing but a dirty pack of lies! I will most definitely be suing him for slander; his cancer will just have to wait until after the lawsuit to take him!”

– Richard Nixon, 6/8/1994


Washington, D.C. – Last week, US Senator Mario Obledo (D-CA) introduced legislation that would make the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of either every year or every four years a federal holiday. If passed by the House and Senate, and then signed into law by the President, over a million federal workers would have a paid day off work, with the intention of them being able to vote in that day’s elections, and possibly encourage private companies to do the same. At the moment, only two states – Hawaii and Vermont – have designated Presidential Election Day to be a state holiday.

However, the legislation is controversial due to its pros and cons. On one hand, years of multiple and extensive polling show a lack of time off work as the top reason people give for not voting, and thus, supporters of this bill, such as Rep. Bill Sorrell (I-VT), argue that it will increase voter turnout and “embolden more people to participate in the Democratic process” by enabling more people to have the time to vote.

On the other hand, such a federal law would not force private employers to give employees paid holidays off, and there is already much debate on the hill over how much control and regulation the federal government should have over private enterprises. US Senator Barbara Vucanovich (R-NV) argues that “retail workers, hospital jobs and other low-pay workers in the private system would not benefit from this sort of bill. If anything, shutting down all those jobs, just the federal occupations alone, on election day would lead to more low-income people having to work that day to make up for the lost business and revenue.” Vucanovich also notes that “closing the schools on a Tuesday would be problematic for households with both parents working.”

Two other bills introduced earlier this year that are still in committee are being promoted as alternatives to the new “Election Holiday” bill. The first one calls for all states to impose laws requiring employers to allow employees time off for voting. Several states already have such laws, and thus would not be a major shift in policies for many employees. In North Dakota, for example, employees are required to inform their employees of the state’s vote-by-mail option, which gives workers as early as 30 days before an election to send in a ballot. The second bill, which is the least divisive of the three, would requires state government agencies such as the DMV and the post office to offer customers “voter registration opportunities” meaning such employees, if taken up on the offer once asking, would work to help customers vote by mail or register to vote...

The Washington Post, 6/10/1994


….Nichole Brown, who may have been home at the time of the incident, has been brought in for questioning. This is a developing story…

The Los Angeles Times, 6/12/1994

...My generation grew up mourning the death of Bambi’s mother. Now comes “The Lion King,” with the death of Mufasa, the father of the lion cub who will someday be king. The Disney animators know that cute little cartoon characters are not sufficient to manufacture dreams. There have to be dark corners, frightening moments, and ancient archetypes like the crime of regicide. “The Lion King.” Which is a superbly drawn animated feature, is surprisingly solemn in its subject matter, and may even be too intense for very young children… …Kadeem Hardison, best known for his role on The John Amos Show that went off the air last year, joins an all-star cast as the main character of Simba… [snip] …The early Disney cartoons were, of course, painstakingly animated by hand. There has been a lot of talk recently about computerized animation, as if a computer program could somehow create a movie. Not so. Human animators are responsible for the remarkably convincing portrayals of Scar and the other major characters... But computers did assist with several remarkable sequences, including a stampede in which a herd seems to flow past the camera[7]

– Roger Ebert’s review of Disney’s “The Lion King,” 6/15/1994

...Japan’s Commerce Ministry today announced that his country will impose more tariffs on American products. The announced details include a list of American products that will receive tariffs expanded and finalized, with rates ranging from 10% to 25%...

– ABC News, 6/16/1994 broadcast

…The US-Japan Trade War has escalated again, with the US Treasury declaring Japan to be a currency manipulator earlier today. The US Treasury Secretary Jean Yokum claims the Japanese falsify the value of the yen to garner, quote, “an unfair competitive advantage in international trade,” unquote. Japan’s treasurer minister is refuting the claims and is reportedly in contact with the IMF over the accusation...

– CBS News, 6/17/1994 broadcast


– The Hollywood Reporter, 6/18/1994

The revelation itself was not as big of a shock as the details found within. On June 19, 1994, South Korean investigative journalists from The Chosun Ilbo, together with two Chinese-American reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle, announced in a stunning expose that North Korea was still trying to develop WMDs, even after pledging that they had stopped roughly two years ago. The group of journalists presented their video and photographic evidence to the UN’s I.A.E.A., the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the CIA, who authenticated the footage of workers improperly handling and storing materials used in the development of nuclear warheads, not nuclear energy plants. US President Iacocca immediately met with the US Secretary of State Edward J. Perkins, the US Secretary of Defense Rocky Versace, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor Richard Rahn, and Chief of Staff Richard “Dick” Brandt to discuss what to do next.

As Kim had “clearly and unashamedly” violated the 1992 US-North Korean Grain Deal agreement, President Iacocca official “revoked,” or cancelled the accord, thus cancelling further grain shipments, on June 21st.

The next day, North Korea replied by severing diplomatic relations with the US. America’s Special Liaison to North Korea was called back to the states immediately. Soon, the liaison, Richard Llewellyn Williams, reported to the President “they were arriving in Humvees and jeeps when we were boarding the helicopter. We believe they planned on expelling us from the country at best or planned on using us as some kind of leverage or at the very worst arresting us for treason or something to that effect.”

– Elizabeth Drew’s On The Edge: The Iacocca Presidency, NYT Publishing, 2011 edition

June 23, 1994: The United States congress designates the U.S. portion of the I.S.S., Section 1A, as their nation’s newest national laboratory in order to maximize the I.S.S.’s use for other federal government agencies and also for potential future use by academic and private institutions… [8]


FEDERAL JOBS GUARANTEE PROGRAM BILL PASSES HOUSE, 230-201; Senate Set To Debate And Vote On Bill “Before New Year’s”

The Washington Post, 6/24/1994


Washington, DC – Earlier today, President Iacocca signed an executive order that will provide more power to federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (founded in 1930) and the Recreadrug Regulations Enforcement Administration (founded in 1981), and will expand their size, influence and jurisdiction over the rules, regulations and punishments concerning federal drug control policies.

…Iacocca’s moves clash with, or may even be motivated by, the recent actions taken by the mayors of several communities fighting state law by decriminalizing recreadrugs such as marijuana. Santa Fe Mayor Debbie Jaramillo (D-NM) and Albuquerque Mayor Gary Johnson (R-NM)’s marijuana legalization efforts are the most prominent as they are the mayors of the largest of these communities. The closely watched situation is polarizing to some, as one side argues that these substances are too dangerous for individual private use, while the other side argues their illegality goes against individual rights. “Drug addicts need education and employment, not just sobriety,” says Mayor Jaramillo. “More and more Americans are starting to learn that not all recreadrugs are woefully dangerous.” Indeed, marijuana is at the forefront of this argument due to its medicinal value, with the use of hemp in non-smoking-related products becoming more prominent in recreadrug decriminalization discussions as well.

“Let’s not return to the recreadrug hysteria of the early 1980s,” cautions Mayor Johnson. However, a recent poll shows that a decent percentage of Americans are still very wary about HRU, or Harmful Recreadrug Use; a Gallup poll from last month reveals 21% of Americans polled see recreadrug abuse as the country’s “Number One Problem.” On the other hand, that number is much lower than its January 1985 peak of 67%. Additionally, in President Iacocca’s defense, the President is also encouraging higher-quality prevention and education programs for colleges, high schools, and even middle schools…

The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/30/1994


…the feud between media magnates Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell has intensified as of late, with Maxwell dividing his time between hospital visits and reorganizing publishing empire after pulling it from the abyss of bankruptcy, while Murdoch fights off various accusations of impropriety in court… Maxwell’s latest jab – him yearning to “send him back to Australia” highlights the animosity between these two publishing giants...

The Daily Mirror, UK tabloid, 1/7/1994

…Joining us now is Mike Reynolds, an architect from New Mexico who is building sustainable housing units out of used tires, bottles, cans and other recyclables as part of a large project to build fully functioning homes out of 50% recycled materials. [9] The project aims to also incorporate solar power into its current electric grid as part of Reynolds’ plan to promote Earth-friendly homes...

– ABC Morning News, 7/2/1994

In July 1994, newcomer J. Preston Bezos got promoted from peon to co-worker to me at the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Grissom Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, over in the California interior, where you can pee on almost any cactus and no one will care (I know from first-hand experience). He got the promotion from figuring out how to cut the total launch mass down to 800,000 kilograms even, which helped ease calculations and chipped away at the budget concerns. I kept my eye on him.

His office was across from mine. He often kept the blinds closed despite the office having a Hawaiian-shirt casual type of vibe. Very off-putting. One time, in the lunchroom, I swear, to my deity and to yours, instead of buying his own meal, he whipped out a can of tuna and poured it out onto a slice of frozen pineapple pizza. He claimed it was homemade hummus on homemade pita bread. He said it several times. Doesn’t make it true. It was tuna on pineapple pizza. Was the guy pregnant at the time or something? Because that’s too much even for me!

Anyway, his calculations and design for the payload fairing ended up competing against my own superior ideas for the 200-foot-tall protective vehicle. For my design, I considered more safety concerns – from basic medical emergencies and sanitation and mental health necessities to outlandish hypotheticals such as vomit seeping into wiring and incompetent sabotage – than Bezos did, and so I finally got the corner office.

The rivalry continued on for another 17 years, but its conclusion won’t be for another few chapters, so if you’re impatient, go ahead and skim through the upcoming pages. Or you can just read this book like the adult or adult-minded kid you must be in order to have read it this far. Unless you’ve just skipped to this page. In that case, put down this book and find something closer to your level to read, you impatient loon!

– John McAfee’s autobiography Outer Space Deserves More Iguanas: My Life Being Me, numerous on-net publication sites, 2022

“I found McAfee to be a unique individual. We did not always agree on the same thing, but when it came to the things on which we did, we got along fairly well, I’d say.”

– J. Preston Bezos, 2012 interview

…We have just received word that North Korean State TV has announced that the dictator Kim Il-Sung died two days ago, on July 8, at the age of 82. The nation’s state-run media has also announced an official morning period for their leader of the past five decades…

– CBS Evening News, 7/10/1994 “breaking news” broadcast

Officially dead from a heart attack, South Korean and American news and intelligence agencies claimed he was also a long sufferer of diabetes and the hardening of arteries in his heart. Succession was initially questioned by the western media, until thoughts of a potential power struggle proved false when Kim Il-Sung’s son, Kim Jung-Il, immediately took charge in Pyongyang.

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

“Well,” Iacocca asked, “What’s he saying?”

In the control room, Chief National Security Advisor Susan Livingstone and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, retired Vice Admiral Tom Sargent, joined Perkins, Versace and the President in viewing the feed.

“He’s saying the new leader will continue on his father’s legacy,” answered the translator.

Iacocca groaned, “He better not.”

An assistant turned up the volume on the set tapped into North Korea’s State TV. A bespectacled man in a black business suit spoke, shedding crocodile tears feigning the sounds of one who is about to sob, without his voice actually breaking. At times the camera would cut to footage of various citizens wailing about.

– Elizabeth Drew’s On The Edge: The Iacocca Presidency, NYT Publishing, 2011 edition

[vid: ]
– footage of North Koreans mourning Kim Il-Sung’s death, North Korean State TV, 7/10/1994

“That looks so fake!” Livingstone vociferated.

“It is fake, Sue. If they smiled, they’d be shot,” Sargent bellowed.

“Actually, a large number of citizens truly believe they have it better over there than the rest of the world,” noted Secretary Perkins.

“Yeah, ignorance will do that to ya,” lamented former liaison Williams.

“Hold up,” the translator uttered, “Now they’re saying…they say Kim Jung-Il blames the U.S. for his death.”

“What do you mean?” Secretary Versace ululate, offended by the remark but not certain if he should be. “You mean, the country specifically, the people, the…the President?” He asked with some caution and much seriousness.

On the screen, the image of Kim Jung-Il appeared. Markedly similar to his father, sporting combed back hair and thin-rimmed glasses, the 53-year-old who had just inherited a nation, spoke angrily.

The translated did his job. “He says…America’s betrayal was too much for his father. He died of a broken heart.”

Iacocca rolled his eyes, “Oh, I’m sure he was just bawling over losing our grain supplies.”

“He’s saying that…he swears his father will be avenged.”

The room reacted the way one would expect a room full of national security leaders would react to such a statement. “A threat?” Versace exclaimed with outraged.

“You sure you got it right?” Perkins asked.

“Verbatim, he said ‘The insolence made to our glorious nation’s founder will not go unpunished. He will be avenged.’”

“Was that meant for the US, the populace, or the President?” Sargent mirrored Versace’s query from earlier.

The translator answered, “I do not know.”

After glanced back up at the monitor, Kim Jung-Il’s face at the center of the screen, Iacocca did his job as well. “We’re not at war, soon keep things at DEFCON 5. But Studeman,” he looked at the CIA Director, “increase monitoring efforts. Shove a microphone into every plant in every forest in North Korea if you have to, but remember, if anyone gets caught, we know nothing about it.”

“More than understood, sir.”

The President then addressed his Secret Service men. “I think we’d better increase security.”

Livingstone asked, “Sir, dictators are known for blowing smoke up and out of their asses. How do we know Kim Jung-Il isn’t bluffing?”

“We don’t,” Iacocca answered, “And I’m not willing to risk the lives of any innocent civilians on the chance that he’s just blowing smoke.”

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

…Kim Jung-Il backed up his rhetoric with action later that same month by withdrawing North Korea from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refusing to allow foreign inspectors access to any nuclear power facilities anywhere in the country...

– Van Jackson’s Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in the Post-Cold War Era, Cambridge University Press, 2016

SK PRESIDENT KIM YOUNG-SAM CALLS FOR DE-ESCALATION IN US-JAPAN RELATIONS; Claims Trade War Goes Against “The Interest Of Japan, America, And The Free World”

The New York Times, 7/14/1994

…The escalation of tensions broke after Kim Jung-Sung passes away, and heads suddenly got whiplash as they swerved to look at North Korea. Keeping with the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement signed in 1960, Iacocca and Japan’s latest PM, Tomiichi Murayama of the Socialist Party, agreed to negotiate a bilateral trade deal for the sake of maintaining US military presence and coordination in the region, and with Japanese officials concerning safety and security elements such as training exercises and the like. The “equal trading” deal was scheduled for finalization later in the year…

– Rosalind Lippel’s Driven: The Presidency of Lee Iacocca, StarGroup International, 2012

IACOCCA CANCELS RETALIATORY TARIFFS; Rescinds Currency Manipulation Claim To Pave Way For Trade Negotiations

The Washington Post, 7/16/1994


The New York Post, 7/18/1994

NARRATOR (voice-over as footage rolls): Prime Minister Lennon today called on parliament to establish caps on the emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses in light of further research on the Global Climate Disruption phenomenon being recently published.

LENNON (in footage): The GCD cannot be ignored, and after talks with Tony Blair, Tony Benn, and John Smith, and the other ministry members and parliament leaders, I am introducing a plan to reduce our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by the end of the next ten years.

NARRATOR: The Prime Minister also called for a flagging up of millions of pounds for more environmentally-friendly policies and economic regulations.

LENNON: We need to work together on this. The lovers of nature and the lovers of business should both love Mother Earth and work together to reverse the damage done to her. (end of footage)

ANCHOR: Lennon’s inner circle have suggested that a heavy carbon tax or heavy fines may be levied against businesses that fail to comply with eco-friendly standards. We shall see how the public react to this – at the moment, the Prime Minister’s approval ratings are at an all-time low for him, at 54%...

– BBC News, 7/20/1994 report

…After the 12-minutes-long 1988 Pixar short “Tin Toy” won an Oscar at the 61st Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1989, CRI became more generally accepted as a legitimate artistic medium. Tin Toy itself was praised by critics, especially for its depiction of the human baby who attacks the toys. Behind the scenes, the baby had been the hardest object for the creators to animate, having to replace a diaper that never moved with a puffy pajama onesie, and having to redesign the face at least 17 times before it left the Uncanny Valley. As the 1990s approached, both Pixar and Disney explored the idea of making a CRI film that was feature-length. Disney revisited their 1983 attempts to make a combination CRI-traditionally animated adaptation of the book “Where The Wild Things Are,” after Lasseter failed to pitch them remaking 1987’s The Brave Little Toaster in CRI as originally suggested. Concurrently, Pixar considered expanding “Tin Toy” into either a half-hour special or an 80-minute theatrical release. The project was given the working title “Toy Story.”

Pixar’s ideas quickly evolved from a story focused on Tinny from Tin Toy and a marionette named Woody to a story about a bad-tempered marionette who learns to be a less selfish toy. The film originally was to be about a group of abandoned toys traveling around a city in order trying to find children to take them in, with the group including the aforementioned Tinny and Woody, a deluded space ranger named Jerrie Parsec (after astronaut Jerrie Cobb, though early drafts depicted her as a male named either Lunar Larry or Gravity Grissom), and a soft pink bear named Lotso. Concerns over how to depict fuzzy textures led to Lotso being pushed back to being a minor character, as his fur was too difficult to render.

Upon Disney finally abandoning their own CRI efforts to instead work on “Toy Story,” a major shift in the story development came in 1991, when several characters were redeveloped. First, the Woody character was once again altered to be a likeable hero instead of a villain, with Tinny being redesigned to appear more like a modern toy. Second, the space ranger was made more prominent, having a minor C-plot conflict with a ditzy Barbie doll; an epiphany came with having space ranger be unaware she is a toy, which Lasseter described as being a “game changer” for the film. And thirdly, the decision was made to rewrite the story to focus on Woody (representing “old ways”), Tinny (representing “modernity”) and Jerrie (representing “the future”) learning to get along while trying to return to an owner they already have, instead of having it focus on a larger group of toys finding a new home, in order to add depth and better character development to the story.

Casting saw Tom Hanks voice Woody, Tim Allen voice Tinny, Vicki Lewis voice Jerrie, and Michele Green voice Barbie, with Paul Newman, Billy Crystal and Bill Murray voicing smaller roles.


[pic: ]
Above: The film retained its initial working title.

Upon the theatrical release of “Toy Story” on July 21, 1994, the film was praised for its story and technological innovation, with critics describing it as “inventive,” “touching,” “original” and, most importantly for the history of CRI, “groundbreaking.” For example, Roger Ebert described the film as being “surprisingly breathtaking and deep.” …The scene involving the characters fight off a silly putty monster and an evil cabbage patch doll was lauded as being “particularly creative”; it was also one of the hardest scene to render. Critics also celebrated the platonic friendship between Jerrie, Tinny and Woody, and the film’s ability to entertain children and adults with a story that was exciting and heartwarming. The film’s success made a huge impact on the film and video game industries, with companies becoming more invested in computer-rendered imagery and technology immediately after its success…

– Kristen Whissel’s CRI: Computer-Rendered Imagery And The History of Special Effects in The Computer Age, Penguin Publishing, 2013

…The end of hostilities over Ghana’s oil reserves came about due to pressure from UNICEF Special Administrator and former US President Carol Bellamy and the UN’s peace process mediator Kofi Annan, along with Ghana’s President Jerry Rawlings’ shock at the Sanwi Kingdom’s successful secession. “The Ivorians kept up the belligerency, and they’ve lost a part of their country as a result. I will not let that happen here,” Rawlings wrote in a private letter. After a ceasefire was declared, several weeks of negotiations between the Poor People’s Front and the National Government led to an agreement in how revenue from the oil wells would be distributed. As the wells were “partially nationalized,” meaning the government received 50% of profits, the Kumasi Accords declared that half of those profits would be divided among local provincial government via a complicated distribution system where the wealthier the province the smaller the province’s share of the profits. However, provinces could still lobby for the federal government to give aid provinces loans from the remaining half of the original 50%. This agreement appealed to both sides, culminating in the Kumasi Accords being signed on July 22, effectively ending the internal civil conflict…

– Historian Roger Gocking’s The Modern History of Ghana, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005


The Los Angeles Post, 7/27/1994

Conservative politics in Canada went through a transformative process during the 1990s. With PM Nielsen coming in third place in the previous election cycle, and his immediate successor as PC leader (longtime Ontario MPP Alan Eagleson) stepping down three months into the post over a financial scandal as replaced by Dan Mazankowski (an Albertan MP since 1968), the 1995 PC leadership election became a crossroads moment. After a very tumultuous year of scandals, gaffes, and disappointments, the Progressive Conservatives were split into three factions, each holding the banner of a different streak of conservatism – populist, “soft” moderate, and “deep” conservative.

Leading the first group was Ontario MPP and “common sense centrist” Dianne Cunningham, who was supported by the retiring Mazankowski. However, her handling of school vouchers while in Nielsen’s cabinet led to Jean Charest of Quebec entering the leadership race. A possible breath of fresh air for the party who could potentially improve the party’s waning relations with Quebec as well, Charest also hailed from the liberal “soft conservative” side of the party. Populists, meanwhile, rallied around a longshot candidate: David Orchard, a farmer from Saskatchewan who opposed globalization and who became activist in response to Erik Nielsen’s “butchering” of the government’s trade policies. The “Deep” Conservative faction, meanwhile, coalesced around Nova Scotian MP Roger Stuart Bacon, who was strongly supported by Stephen Harper, an MP for Calgary West since 1993, who did not run himself due to him being viewed as too inexperienced.

In the July 29, 1993 PC leadership election, Orchard and Bacon were eliminated in the first and second rounds, respectively. Due to the bad blood developed between them and Charest, both Orchard and Bacon both threw their support to Cunningham, leading to her narrowly winning on the third round of voting.

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


…the new measures may be connected to remarks made by North Korea’s new dictator…

The Washington Post, 7/19/1994

Announcer: This is CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and Connie Chung.

Chung: Good evening. The race for Governor of Alaska took an unexpected political turn today when incumbent Governor Bob Ross endorsed a third-party candidate, his former Secretary of Education and Early Development Nora Dauenhauer of the Green Party.

Rather: A political outsider upon her 1988 appointment, Dauenhauer is a cultural preservationist who focused on education opportunities for low-income families while in charge of the state agency. We begin our coverage with correspondent John Blackstone, live in Juneau. John?

Blackstone: Well, Dan, it seems the nonpartisan Governor endorsed Dauenhauer, who left the administration earlier this year after the state’s Green Party drafted her to be their nominee, because he disagreed with the major party candidates. [footage rolls] (voice-over) This November, the two main candidates for Governor of Alaska will likely be former Lieutenant Governor Red Boucher, a moderate Democrat, and state senator John Lindauer, a conservative Republican. Both men have opposed Ross on issues and legislation multiple times, enough times for Governor Ross to split from being consistently nonpartisan and to instead endorse the Green Party candidate for Governor, a former member of his administration known for celebrating Native Alaskan culture and education reform…

– CBS Evening News, 7/30/1994 broadcast

[1] Line found on page 13 of the OTL 2007 Lee Iacocca book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”:
[2] Quote and her political positions were found here:
[3] Italicized bit used in an OTL interview I remembered listening to a few years back:
[4] Quote found here:
[5] Quotations were found in and pulled from here (and this TL’s bill is even more transparent than the one from OTL, FYI):
[6] I used this fictional book as a “source” in “entries” in 1960, 1964, 1979, and 1986
[7] Italicized bits pulled from his OTL reviewe:
[8] Something we didn’t actually do until 2005, but that’s because the I.S.S. got built much sooner in this TL:
[9] OTL:

Also, credit for several details concerning Japan goes to @ajm8888
Post 62
Post 62: Chapter 70

Chapter 70: August 1994 December 1994

“One key to maintaining love, peace, and other godly characteristics is to let God deal with the injustices. There is no place, nor do we ever have the right, for personal retaliation”

– Romans 12:19

[vid: watch?v=ky66Woh97S0 ]
– KFC commercial, first aired c. late summer 1994


…Longtime US Senator and former US Vice President Richard Nixon has been released from Washington, D.C.’s George Washington University Hospital, having been admitted to the emergency two over two weeks ago for what we now know was some form a phlebitis-related incident. Nixon first suffered an “attack” of phlebitis, a form of vein inflammation, during a diplomatic trip abroad in 1965 [1]. In a second major incident in 1971, the elder statesman suffered leg enlargement, and tenderness in the left calf and thigh. This time, Nixon was described as having shortness of breath, spells of dizziness, and pain in the left leg upon his admittance to the hospital on July 19th. An hour-long operation to remove a clot from his left liliac vein in his left leg was successful, but was followed up by post-operation complications that extended his stay in the hospital. …Leaving the hospital earlier today, the “Lion of the Senate” looked noticeably skinnier after his ordeal. …Rumors of Nixon having pulmonary embolism in his lungs or of suffering from brain damage of some kind have not been substantiated...

The Washington Post, 8/2/1994

…today saw an interesting development in Asia today, concerning North Korea’s new dictator. According to South Korean journalists, Supreme Leader Kim Jung-Il has declined offers from the People’s Republic of China for them to send food aid to the Hermit Kingdom in the wake of the United States refusing to send any. Kim reportedly believes that North Korea’s, quote, food concerns are so little they can be managed internally without outside interference, unquote, with said quote coming from North Korea’s official state media…

– KNN, 8/5/1994 broadcast

…South Korean’s Prime Minister Lee Hoi-chang, a staunch conservative politician supportive of America ending its food aid program to North Korea recently, today stated that he favors the cessation of all forms of aid to North Korea until the end of said nation’s pursuit of nuclear material and human rights violations. Lee’s comments are odds with any and all attempts made by his or the US government to establish détente or even communications with Kim Jong-il, the leader of North Korea since July…

– BBC World News, 8/7/1994 broadcast

…In international news, The Rwandan Conflict, which has plagued the small, landlocked eastern African nation of Rwanda for nearly four tumultuous years now, may have finally come to a close as the country’s remaining extremists are reeling from a united effort by Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira, and UN Peacekeeping forces to end their guerilla warfare and establish stability in the troubled country. Earlier today, Rwanda’s leader declared that several laws limiting the freedoms of the country’s minority Tutsi population have been revoked by his coalition government…

– The Overmyer Network, 8/8/1994 broadcast

“It was on an August afternoon in 1994 when it was discovered. Dad had retired and was spending a lot of time in Florida. My mom had apparently just gotten off the phone with me, congratulating me on a recent promotion of sorts, when she first experienced some stomach pains. She immediately went to the hospital the next day, and thanks to UHC, she got diagnosed very quickly. It was startling news – suffering from uterine cancer – it was terrible for her, for everyone. I remember, she was grateful that they had caught it before it could spread to the ovaries, but they had to move fast to beat it.”

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


…a planned “summit meeting” in Hanoi, Vietnam has been either cancelled or put on hold indefinitely…

The New York Times, 8/15/1994


…TumbleweedTV’s “On A Cross of Gold,” a 5-part biopic miniseries on the life of political firebrand William Jennings Bryan, is set to premier this September. Retired MLB pitcher biopic Donald “Don” Trump has confirmed that he will have a brief cameo in Episode 1, in which he will portray conservative US Senator Thomas E. Watson of Georgia as he appeared in the 1890s. It is currently unknown if the Queens native will attempt a Georgian accent for the role…

The Hollywood Reporter, 8/16/1994 side-article

“Um, one of my aides, uh, recently directed my attention to this upcoming cartoon series called Futurama. They, uh, recorded an early extended promo thing for it, that aired on TV recently, and they showed me the tape from when he recorded it. The animation looks fluid, the premise sounds like it has potential, but the humor seemed off. I don’t think it will appeal to many Americans so I think this cartoon will be around for that long. But, uh, my point is, uh, I asked my aide, ‘Why am I watching this?’ And then I saw why. Apparently, there’s a character on the show – a major character or just a minor one-time joke, I’m not sure – but it’s a character that is supposed to be me, or rather, my head, alive, and preserved in a jar. It’s a brief moment in the promo and it shows me – apparently, the show suggests that my head will be cloned or re-animated at some point in the future – and it shows me being denied entrance into a ‘Hall of Presidential Heads,’ alongside the, uh, jarred heads, I suppose, of Barry Goldwater and Lamar Alexander. Now, I will admit that I chuckled a bit when the, uh, the characters in the moment booted out a jarred head of Jack Kemp, with one of the characters saying he shouldn’t count, but other than that, the brief scene was not very funny. I don’t get why it would be funny for my head to be in a jar. I also don’t understand why the cartoon version of me made this odd, peculiar wolf howl of sorts. It was random and frankly, rather dumb. But I’ve been mocked and I’ve been parodied and I’ve been satirized before, and often in much more insulting ways, but certainly in less bizarre ways. Certainly less bizarre than being depicted as a head in a jar, like the science experiment of some made historic preservationist or something. If that’s the kind of humor the young people today laugh at – the, uh, then heads of famous Senators and Presidents inexplicably in jars – then I’m glad I’m not a young person in this decade.”

– Richard Nixon, 8/18/1994


Mexico City, MEXICO – America’s southern neighbor held general elections tonight that saw Luis Colosio of the Institutional Revolutionary Party be elected President by a ten-point margin. Colosio, 44, an economist and former Senator from Sonora, ran on a campaign calling for more libertarian policies, speaking of “the people’s independence from government,” ending government abuse, and addressing the still-rampant drug cartels gaining influence in northern states in Mexico such as Colosio’s home state. His candidacy gained the support of the poor and the indigenous. With Luis H. Alvarez of the National Action Party (PAN) being term-limited, supporters of his “bottom-up” economic stimuli policies voted for PAN nominee Diego Fernandez de Cevallos. Colosio called Alvarez’s policies ineffective in combating inflation and food insecurity, while Fernandez defended them …Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of the PRD underperformed by just over 11%...

– The Phoenix New Times, Arizona newspaper, 8/21/1994

…Iacocca preserved the Office of Technology Assessment [2], bucking Speaker Walker’s advice to instead expand its power and influence for the sake of technology-related businesses…

…The Congressional Budget Committee oversees the Congressional Budget Office and reviews budget requests submitted by the President. Iacocca would meet with members of both the committee and the office between former’s official bi-weekly Wednesday meetings. A major concern for the House’s budget leaders was UHC. Such a healthcare system requires strong management skills to ensure that its costs do not overrun or overwhelm the federal budget, as it could interfere with funding for small businesses, infrastructure, education, and welfare programs already being reduced in size to accommodate the UHC Act. As a result, budget analyst for the CBO Dick Darman, along with his superior, House Budget Committee Chairman David Stockman, a US Representative since 1977 (R-MI), often clashed with Iacocca concerning how to “handle” healthcare.

“The UN declared health care a basic human right all the way back in 1948. We’re not turning back the clock on our own citizens,” Iacocca once said at an informal meeting in August 1994.

“We are not going to dismantle UHC,” Stockman explained, “but just have to trim it back a bit to make room for other programs.”

– Julian E. Zelizer and David F. Emery’s Burning Down The House, Penguin Publishing Group, 2020


…Chris Hani (ANC), a leading member of the National Council of Provinces, narrowly unseated incumbent President Steve Biko and several smaller candidates. The two major candidates agreed on maintaining the nation’s current “universal” healthcare system established under Biko, but with Hani being more “cautious” on healthcare expansion. Hani also supported keeping South Africa in the Non-Aligned Movement. Instead, the topic most likely responsible for Hani winning over Steve Biko of the BCM/Inkatha Freedom (People’s) Party was race relations. Biko, despite his successes in foreign policy, healthcare, and economic recovery overall, was increasingly unpopular among white voters due to several divisive housing and policing policies; Hani, however, was much more moderate, calling for community outreach-style “camaraderie committees” and other measures meant to support further “positive interactions” white and black South Africans. Hani, age 52, was a political activist and a key member of the uMkhonto we Sizwe militant wing of the ANC until its dissolving amid peace talks in the early 1980s. Following the end of Apartheid and surviving two serious assassination attempts, Hani was elected to South Africa’s upper house, where he often was an ally of President Mandela…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 25/8/1994

Natural Born Killers
is a controversial American film, described as a crime film by some and as a “crime exploitation” film by others, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis along an all-star cast. The film presents a story of two traumatized lovers-turned-murders whose crimes are irresponsibly glorified by the media… The film was first released in theaters on August 26, 1994, and received both box office success and, initially, a polarizing reception from critics and audiences…


…Ted Kennedy and Ted Turner had different views on the future of print. Kennedy believed that Americans – particularly elderly Americans – would “never tire [of] receiving their daily paper, opening it at the table during breakfast, handing the sections they don’t care for to other family members, and working on the crossword puzzle if they had the time.” Turner, on the other hand, more forward-thinking. During the 1990s, Turner invested heavily technet media, believing it to be the way of the future. Turner believed that the newspaper would become an “obsolete way of distributing information[3] within their respective lifetimes due to the possibilities of the technet, which Kennedy was less reluctant to embrace at the start of things...

– Lisa Napoli’s Up All Night: The Story of Two Teds, KNN, And The Birth of 24-Hour News, Borders Books, 2020

…in other news, Nichole Brown is cooperating with police investigating the murder of her ex-husband, actor and football star O. J. Simpson. At the moment, the police have still not announced whether or not they have any leads or suspects…

– KNN, 8/28/1994


…In a demonstration of his pledge to assist in humanitarian drives for countries “big and small,” warm ties, President Gustavo Arcos has offered aide to the governors of America’s southern states hit worst by Tropical Storm Alberto. While lightly brushing Cuba’s westernmost provinces, Alberto hit America’s state of Florida with powerful force, sending floods to many communities across several states. So far, only Governor Bruce Smathers of Florida has replied, accepting Arcos’ support, calling to gesture “demonstrative of the good nature and close ties that the people of Florida and Cuba share”…

Diario de la Marina, Cuban newspaper, 8/29/1994

He was blinking a lot. He seemed off-balance, too. Regardless, Richard Nixon seemed to have overall bounced back from the health scare he had had the previous month, but Rebozo had informed me that he was eating less, and sleeping less, too. “He has a lot on his mind,” Rebozo said, “There’s just so many things he has to do.” Indeed, Nixon had packed a lot onto his daily plate. He was suing his former aide for libel, he was meeting with Senate and House leaders to stay on top of major legislation. Plus the doctor’s therapy exercises and his increasingly poor eating habits, he was wearing himself thin. The last time I spoke to him, he informed me of his need to meet with several more members of the State and Defense Departments over Nixon’s concerns over the increasing tension between the US and North Korea. He proclaimed, “the country will go up in flames without me!” And then left in a huff.

As far as anyone knows, those his last words. Right after, he walked down the hallway, and down to Senate Leader Byrd’s outer office. There, a blood clot, formed by the man’s atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), from which he had been suffering for a few years, broke off from its place in his upper heart during his fuming travel, and the clot did some traveling of its own, until it found itself landing right into Nixon’s brain. Richard Nixon, my dear friend and mentor, suffered a fatal stroke while doing his job in the Senate. It killed him instantly at the age of 81.

– longtime US Rep. Robert Hutchinson “Bob” Finch’s Counselor to The Lion: My Memoirs, Sunrise Publishing, 1995


[pic: ]

“Nixon was a good friend to my father and to our family. He wasn’t the warmest or most open and personal guy in the room, but he had charm, an infectious sense of dignity, and a keen drive for sensibility. And he had loyalty. Loyalty to his country, to his friends, to his allies, and to his family. His actions in life are proof of it, and in death he will be remembered for it. Long live the Lion of the Senate!”

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles speaking at Richard Nixon’s funeral, 9/4/1994

Having already held their primary on June 6, and determining that the party had insufficient time to run another, the California GOP turned to the former Lieutenant Governor (1987-1991) and former state Attorney General (1979-1987) George Deukmejian. Despite having lost a bid for the Republican nomination for Governor in 1990 (after having decided against running for the position in 1982 to run for another term for the position of state Attorney General), Deukmejian was a supporter of Nixon’s tough-on-crime record and accepted “the challenge of this duty” of becoming the GOP’s nominee and running for the seat. His nomination was made official at an emergency convention a week later.

Meanwhile, the Democrats were reeling. As Nixon was considered unbeatable, only minor candidates had run to be their nominee; this had led to political activist Peter Camejo becoming the candidate. But with a largely ignored and forgotten race suddenly becoming possibly winnable, several state party leaders sought to convince Camejo to drop out in favor of a more formidable candidate such as Governor Kennedy or Congresswoman Barbara Boxer. However, the former sacrificial lamb that was Peter Camejo refused to bow out, and publicly criticized the party for lacking faith in “the primary voters of our own party.” The comments soured Camejo’s relations with the California Democrats, and led to many state party leaders merely giving tepid support to his campaign as the November contest neared…

– psephologist Malcolm Mackerras’s Deciding Factors: The Complete Guide To The U.S. Senate in The Post-Cold War Era, e-publication, 2019 edition


The Washington Post, 9/6/1994


...the thawing of icy tensions signals an renewal in efforts to find a solution to ongoing trade relations concerns...

The Los Angeles Times, 9/7/1994


…Pierre Paradis (Liberal), the Premier of Quebec since Robert Bourassa’s resignation in January, has carried his party to victory in tonight’s election, winning a term of his own over Jacques Parizeau of the Quebecois Party. The Liberals lost several seats, but still stayed above the 63 seats, which is the number of seats needed to maintain their majority in the provincial government...

– The Calgary Sun, Canadian newspaper, 9/12/1994


As the 25th anniversary of this long-lasting franchise approaches, a look back on its origins produces interesting surprises. Back in the early 1960s, parental and psychoanalytical concerns over how media violence affected young children rose significantly, as TV coverage of the Cuba War, student protests and riots coincided with a rising saturation of Saturday morning action cartoons. The assassination of Hosea Williams and Aaron Henry and the 1963 attempt on the life of President Lyndon Johnson spurred concerned parents to demand the removal of violent cartoons from the lineups.

Come 1965, Colonel Sanders is in the White House. His subsequent demands for tighter regulation of violence in media meant for consumption by minors flew in the face of Sanders’ pro-business campaign message, but not in the face of his personal moral commitment to protecting children and families. Comic book makers from the period have written many books on the regulations of this era, as a moral panic gripped suburban parents. However, this very panic paved the way for a “softer” theme of cartoons – ones that balanced mature themes of mystery and intrigue with humor for children – to seek out by the major network. Soon, Scooby-Doo began being made to answer this call. While not the first “soft” show of the late 1960s, it was certainly the most successful. The original series – and most of its predecessors, too – contains plenty of action and adventure without serious peril or adult situations such as bloodshed or death threats. It’s instead a show about four kids and a dog going up against fake monsters instead of real ones. And we can, at least partially, thank The Colonel’s regulation policies for it.

Tumbleweed Magazine, September 1994 issue

…California’s Governor Donald Kennedy has appointed former US Congressman Augustus Hawkins to the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator and former Vice President Richard Nixon. The appointment of Hawkins, an African-American Democrat who represented the Golden State’s 21st district from 1963 to 1975 and its 29th district from 1975 until his retirement in 1991, has tipped the Senate to a composition of 50 Democrats, 48 Republicans, and 2 Independents, Angus King of Maine and the retiring Harry Byrd Jr. of Virginia, both of whom caucus with the Democrats. This narrowing of the Senate composition will most certainly raise the political stakes for the upcoming midterm elections in November…

– KNN report, 9/15/1994 broadcast

JONES: Let’s shift back to Futurama for a minute.

GROENING: Alright.

JONES: When it premiered on September 17, 1994, it reached high Nielsen ratings among homes and young adults, making it one of the strongest and most-watched premiers of the week. While critics scrutinized the exposition and lack of jokes, the world building and characters received a lot praise, and the thing was, people kept watching the show – instead of seeing ratings slope down, they stayed steady. The question in mean to ask, though, is, with a lot of fans of Life in Heck either loving Futurama or simply disliking it, why do you Futurama got such positive feedback, uh, back then, uh, compared to Life in Heck?

GROENING: Well I think it had something to do with the structure of both. While L.I.H. focused on more episodic situational comedy, Futurama was much more character driven. The show wasn’t exactly syndicated, but there was more continuity and overall characters arcs and character growth over the course of the seasons than in L.I.H. I think because, while both were originally passion projects, L.I.H. was about getting out messages dear to me. Down with nuclear power, preserve the ecosystems, fund our schools, and some more conspiratorial ideas that I would not like to talk about.

JONES: Hey, and you don’t have to, I understand.

GROENING: Yeah, well, when it came to Futurama, I wanted to focus more on the interaction between the different characters and explore what crazy stuff might be found in the 30th century, on top of the ability to, uh, explore various issues. Plus, the animation was of much higher quality thanks to our bigger budget. That allowed us to have more details in the backgrounds and character designs…


[pic: ] (my apologies for the shoddy photoshopping around Fry/Key's neck and left hand, sorry about that)
Promotional image for Futurama featuring (left to right) NNYC Mayor Simpson, Bender, Lrrr, and Key, c. 1994

–, 2009 interview

On September 21, Air Force One touched down at Nago, Okinawa. Iacocca climbed out and immediately entered the building, where his Japanese counterpart had already arrived. The two men agreed to skip the pleasantries and get to work forging a solution; their respective groups of advisors stayed outside the room. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama and US Commerce Secretary Betty Tom Chu called the Nago Summit “productive,” which was accurate. Murayama and Iacocca agreed to more closely monitor the enforcement of the 1993 trade deal, and for it to not automatically expire upon “the changing of the guard,” i.e. every time a new PM took office. Years later, Murayama claimed that during the primate meeting, Iacocca apologized for previous rhetoric that “maybe went too far;” this confession, alleged given at Secretary Chu’s urging, helped the meeting go smoothly. Another pivotal part of the Summit being a success was both leaders agreeing that the LDP was corrupt.

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


…Hussein El-Husseini, the speaker of the Lebanese parliament, won a decisive victory over challengers Boutros Harb and Selim Hoss to succeed the term-limited incumbent President Antoine “Tony” Frangieh...

The Guardian, side article, 23/9/1994

…“Yogi had it easy because Lee [Iacocca] did the hard stuff,” he said, referring to Berra’s predecessor preventing a strike in 1987 and improving the financial situation baseball experienced in the late 1980s and very early 1990s. Berra’s most active action while in charge of MLB was his attempt at serving as representative of all major league owners during labor negotiations in 1993; his poor performance in this endeavor proved unpopular even among the owners, who withdrew their support for him in favor of his initial pledge to serve in an acting capacity. In August 1994, seeing the writing on the wall, Yogi Berra announced that he would be stepping down in September: “I’ve made too many wrong mistakes here.” [4]

Team owners soon gathered to find a new, more permanent MLB Commissioner. The Executive Council of Major League Baseball, Allan Huber “Bud” Selig, was the early favorite until MLB pitcher-turned-businessman Donald Trump, withdrew from consideration due to the very public and “nasty” divorce proceedings he was going through at the time. Trump endorsed Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott for the top spot over the third and final major candidate considered, George Walker Bush. Bush, as the manager of the Houston Astros, was credited with helping the team win the world series in 1993, and this victory boosted his candidacy’s support among many players. In a reportedly “contentious” vote, Bush bested Selig for his life-long dream job on September 25...

– John Helyar’s Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball, Ballantine Books, 1994

On September 30, Iacocca sought to finally address Republican concerns over the cost of American universal health care by signing into law a “marginal reform” bill (which he privately called “anti- monopoly-on-the-small-scale” in a letter) that was meant to limit the extent and benefits of hospital mergers. Such mergers prior to 1990, when UHC was implemented, often led to lower quality and standards as regional hospitals would lose competition and thus would be able to raise costs of services. Under UHC, such mergers were meant to lay off workers to save money, and these were leading to longer waiting lines and fewer doctors employed by major hospitals. The Hospital Merger Reform Bill, was passed narrowly by the House and then by the Senate by a wider margin, and aimed to complicate the hospital merger process in order to inhibit them via red tape that would absorb lots of time and money. The bill also encouraged the opening of more hospitals in rural areas to increase healthcare availability. Iacocca publicly planned on revisiting the issue in late 1995 with a “much bolder” plan…

– Elizabeth Drew’s On The Edge: The Iacocca Presidency, NYT Publishing, 2001

Iacocca responded to Kim Jung-Il’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric against the US with sanctions upon sanction, trying to see if they could “smoke ’em out,” and agree to a food aid deal that included tighter inspections of food distribution.

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

I served in the mud marines in Angola, in Libya, and in Nicaragua, and in 1985, I retired at the rank of Major. I kept getting passed over for promotion so figured, hey, “I’ve served my country, and the Cold War’s over. America has won. Maybe civilian life will suit me.” I didn’t. I got out of the service and several years later I was at the low point of my life. I mean things were bad. And I cried out to God. I said “God, how about putting me back on active duty and making me be a battalion commander?” And in that moment I saw the light and the glory of God, and he told me, “Belay that, my son, I’ve got a higher rank for you. If you keep the faith, you will be destined to lead this country to glory.’ And with the country, at the time, gearing up for war somewhere – where exactly, I didn’t know, but make no mistake, I figured we were heading for something the way things were getting tense with Japan and China, the Koreas, Colombia, something was going to go down – I figured that God must have been telling me to re-enlist, and lead some of my fellow patriots to victory, where we would end up going to victory in the name of freedom. So I re-enlisted. I didn’t know what to expect, but the great thing about religion is the comfort that comes with placing faith in something more powerful and more in control of things than you are or ever could be. Don’t think I’m crazy, ’cause I’m not. [5]

– Harley Brown’s autobiography I’ve Got A Masters Degree In Raising Hell, Sunrise Publishers, 2019

“I don’t dispute that security is a legitimate concern. There’s no question about that. We’ve been too lax for too long about devising a workable solution to the problem of illegal immigration. …But even if we built a wall that stretched the entire length of the border, it would not solve the problem. …My immigrant father taught me that there is only one reason why people leave the country of their birth to go somewhere else: jobs. Every immigrant, legal or illegal, comes to America because he wants to improve his lot in life. Most immigrants work hard and make great sacrifices to create better futures for their children. It’s the American dream.” [6]

– President Iacocca at a WH news briefing, when asked to comment on Senator Raese’s “Security Wall” proposal for the US-Mexican border, 10/6/1994

SENATE VOTES IN FAVOR OF F.J.G.P. BILL!; Iacocca Readies To Sign It Into Law

The Washington Post, 10/8/1994


The Daily Telegraph, 10/10/1994

…the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, along with its subcommittee on communications and Technology, is reviewing a bill meant to limit the concentration and consolidation of media ownership. The bill is controversial to some for blurring the lines between anti-monopolism and anti-deregulations…

– CBS Evening News, 10/11/1994


[pic: ]
– President Iacocca at a party celebrating his 70th birthday, Washington D.C., 10/15/1994

…Prime Minister John Lennon’s call for more “environmental responsibility” led to a slight rise in tension between the UK and the nations of China and India, due to the latter two being the leading contributors to the world’s air pollution rate. Chemical specks entering the lungs and can causing lung cancer, cardiovascular issues, and serious infections were seen as a serious health threat under Lennon’s administration. With most of the pollution stemming from coal-burning power plants and other industrial facilities, China’s death rate (deaths per lakh) by the year 1994 saw China experience 146 air pollution-related deaths per lakh of its population; it was even worse in India [7]. Outside of industries, personal actions such as the use of domestic cooking stoves, gas stoves in restaurants and eateries, and even common agricultural practices such as burning fields, to clear them for planting new crops, added to the complexity of the situation. Roughly half of Indian households at the time cooked with wood, while a quarter cooked with gas and/or kerosene; meanwhile, Chinese citizens used wood, gas and coal at nearly equal levels.

In 1994, France’s President Claude Estier and Germany’s Helmut Kohl met with Lennon in Berlin to discuss how to lower CO2 emissions across Europe. During these discussions, Chancellor Kohl suggested using international pressure to force China to impose and scale up anti-pollution efforts in said country; Estier ultimately conceded, “it worked to get their feet off the backs of the Uyghurs, so it could work again.” Lennon, however offered a less contentious strategy of meeting with Indian and Chinese representatives.

Putting the idea to the test, in October 1994, Lennon travelled to New Delhi to meet with its mayor; the two discussed hiring more street sweepers and other workers to improve the conditions of business and residential areas of the city. Lennon next met with India’s Agriculture leaders to discuss investing in technologies to mechanize the clearing of fields before returning to London. Upon his returned, Lennon argued that better living standards abroad would encourage trade and business deals between India and the UK. “Nobody tours a smogged-up town. Nobody will buy a home near Aktau. Nobody will open a new business in Centralia, Pennsylvania. Heavy industry can lift an economy in the short run but dooms it and the people the economy is meant to work for in the long run. We have to be smart about this, we have to address and confront the truth about these sort of things.”

Due to Lennon’s long history of praising Indian spirituality, the visit eased UK-Indian tensions and helped paved the way for closer UK-Indian economic ties as both countries began to walk “the global tightrope problem,” as Lennon called it – confronting and combatting Global Climate Disruption without upending economic gains…

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

Harrods Chief Paid Tory MPs To Plant Questions

…Ian Greer of Ian Greer Associates, a prominent lobbying firm, has bribed two Members of Parliament to ask questions in the House of Commons on behalf of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods department store…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 20/10/1994 exposé


…the new federal law “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected” in all states and territories, but with careful wording in order to not violate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution’s First Amendment… [8]

The Washington Post, 10/21/1994


The New York Times, 10/22/1994


A Vote for Nader Is A Vote for...
- Consumer Protection
- Economic Prosperity
- Pragmatic Action
- Professional Experience
- Peace At Home And Broad
Vote Independent on November 8th!

– A Ralph Nader for Senate poster, c. October 1994


[pic: ]

– Ralph Nader posing for an ad for his Senate campaign, c. October 1994

THE ATTACK ON SLEAZE: Nolan Committee Expected To Look At Outside Interests

…instigated to review political standards, MPs Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith, along with Harrod’s store owner Al-Fayed, may be investigated over bribery charges…

The Independent, UK newspaper, 24/10/1994


The Wall Street Journal, 10/26/1994

...Democratic candidates and even some Republican think-tankers are blaming Wall Street’s concerns of an impending economic windfall on Iacocca’s tariffs on Japan. The President has fired back with the notion that increasing investments in and trade with other nations in Europe and Asia should, quote, make up the difference, unquote...

The Overmyer Network, 10/27/1994

…James [von Brunn] was outraged by talks of raising interest rates by the end of the year, but he also said he was “disgusted” by the government’s support of the left-wing governments of South Africa and the UK. He once told me he did not consider Iacocca to be “a true white,” saying to me “And you know why.” I wasn’t absolutely sure why, though, so I just nodded my head, and he resumed his rant…

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011

…Over in the country of Rwanda, UN peacekeeping forces are slowing leaving the nation in the wake of the end of mass killings by Hutu extremists in the country. The UN seeks to ensure that the country will be able to successfully, quote, start a new chapter in its history, unquote, once all UN troops leave…

– NBC News, 10/28/1994


The Washington Times, 10/29/1994

…presently, plenty of pre-election predictions – and poll after poll – promote the proposal of the Democratic party procuring more positions of power than the Republicans next Tuesday, as people partake in voting in the 1994 midterms…

– CBS Evening News, 10/31/1994


The New York Times, 11/8/1994

November United States Senate election results, 1994

Date: November 8, 1994
Seats: 36 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
Senate majority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Senate minority leader: Bob Dole (R-KS)
Seats before election: 50 (D), 48 (R), 2 (I)
Seats after election: 52 (D), 46 (R), 2 (I)
Seat change: D ^ 2, R v 2, I - 0

Full List:
Arizona: Harry W. Braun (D) over Scott Grainger (R/Liberty); incumbent Barry Morris Goldwater (R) retired
California: C. George Deukmejian (R) over Peter Camejo (D/Green/La Rada Unida); incumbent appointee Augustus Hawkins (D) retired
Connecticut: Ralph Nader (I) over Daniel C. Esty (D) and Gary Franks (R); incumbent Antonina P. Uccello (R) retired
Delaware: incumbent William Victor Roth Jr. (R) over Charles Oberly (D)
Florida: incumbent Lawton Chiles (D) over Tom Gallagher (R)
Hawaii: incumbent Patsy Mink (D) over Maria Hustace (R)
Indiana: incumbent Katie Hall (D) over Barbara Bourland (R)
Iowa (special): incumbent appointee Terry Branstad (R) over David R. Nagle (D)
Maine: incumbent Edmund S. Muskie (D) over John R. McKernan Jr. (R) and Plato Truman (I)
Maryland: incumbent Paul Sarbanes (D) over Constance “Connie” Morella (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Eunice Kennedy-Shriver (D) over John Lakian (R)
Michigan: W. Mitt Romney (R) over Bob Carr (D); incumbent Elly Maude Peterson (R) retired
Minnesota: incumbent Joan Growe (D) over Rod Grams (R) and Dean Barkley (I)
Mississippi: incumbent William Webster “Webb” Franklin (R) over Ken Harper (D)
Missouri: Alan Wheat (D) over Bill Johnson (R); incumbent appointee Thomas M. Keyes (D) retired
Montana: incumbent Jack Mudd (D) over Tom Faranda (R)
Nebraska: incumbent Theodore "Ted" Sorensen (D) over Jan Stoney (R)
Nevada: Anna Nevenic (D) over Kenny Guinn (R); incumbent Paul Laxalt (R) retired
New Jersey: incumbent Mary V. Mochary (R) over Herb Klein (D)
New Mexico: incumbent Pedro Jimenez (D) over Robin Dozier Otten (R)
New York: Gabriel “Gabe” Kaplan (D/Labor/Progressive/Green) over incumbent Michael Rockefeller (R/Liberal), and Henry F. Hewes (Conservative/Life)
North Dakota: incumbent Arthur Albert Link (D) over Ben Clayburgh (R)
Ohio: incumbent John Glenn (D) over Paul E. Pfeifer (R) and Joseph Slovenec (I)
Ohio (special): Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. (D) over Phyllis Goetz (R); incumbent Carl Stokes (D) announced premature retirement/resignation due to cancer
Pennsylvania: incumbent Darcy Richardson (D) over Dick Santorum (R), Diane G. Blough (Country) and Donald Ernsberger (Liberty)
Rhode Island: incumbent Claudine Schneider (R) over Linda Kushner (D)
South Dakota (special): Teresa McGovern (D) over incumbent appointee Carole Hillard (R)
Tennessee: incumbent Albert Gore Sr. (D) over Bill Frist (R) and John Jay Hooker (I)
Texas: incumbent Ann Richards (D) over Harry “Steve” Bartlett (R), Mary J. Ruwart (Liberty) and Jose Angel Gutierrez (La Raza Unida)
Utah: David D. Marriott (R) over Patrick A. Shea (D) and Gary Van Horn (Country); incumbent Frank E. Moss (D) retired
Vermont: incumbent Phil Hoff (D) over Jim Jeffords (R) and Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union)
Virginia: Frank Wolf (R) over Rick Boucher (D); incumbent Harry F. Byrd (I) retired
Washington: incumbent Jolene Unsoeld (D) over Rod Chandler (R)
West Virginia: incumbent Robert C. Byrd (D) over Stanley L. Klos (R)
Wisconsin: incumbent Susan Engeleiter (R) over Alvin Baldus (D)
Wyoming: incumbent John S. Wold (R) over Susan Anderson (D)


United States House of Representatives results, 1994

Date: November 8, 1994
Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: Robert Smith Walker (R-PA)
New House minority leader: Richard "Dick" Gephardt (D-MO)
Last election: 234 (R), 199 (D), 2 (I)
Seats won: 225 (R), 206 (D), 2 (I)
Seat change: R v 9, D ^ 9, I - 0


United States Governor election results, 1994

Date: November 8, 1994
Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 11
Seats before: 34 (D), 15 (R), 1 (I), 0 (G)
Seats after: 34 (D), 14 (R), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seat change: D - 0, R v 1 or 2, I - 0, G ^ 1

Full list:
Alabama: Bettye Frink (R) over Lambert Mims (D); incumbent William R. “Shorty” Price (R) was term-limited
Alaska: Nora Dauenhauer (Green) over Robin L. Taylor (Liberty), Red Boucher (D), J. H. Lindauer Jr. (R), and Joe Vogler (AIP); incumbent Bob Ross (I) retired
Arizona: Samuel "Sam" Goddard III (D) over Barbara Barrett (R) and John A. Buttrick (Liberty); incumbent Carolyn Warner (D) retired
Arkansas: incumbent Mike Beebe (D) over James Douglas Johnson (R)
California: Kathleen Brown (D) over Carol Boyd Hallett (R); incumbent Donald Kennedy (D) retired
Colorado: Wellington Webb (D) over incumbent John Andrews (R)
Connecticut: Bruce Morrison (D) over Jodi Rell (R); incumbent Eunice Groark (R) retired
Florida: LeRoy Collins Jr. (D) over Tillie K. Fowler (R); incumbent Bruce A. Smathers (D) retired
Georgia: Eston Wycliffe “Wyc” Orr Sr. (D) over Sonny Perdue (R); incumbent Jimmie Lee Jackson (D) retired
Hawaii: incumbent Fred Hemmings (R) over Malama Solomon (D) and Frank Fasi (I)
Idaho: Butch Otter (R) over incumbent Larry LaRocco (D)
Illinois: incumbent Jim Edgar (R) over Dawn Netsch (D)
Iowa: incumbent Joy Coming (R) over Bonnie Campbell (D)
Kansas: Martha Keys (D) over Jan Meyers (R); incumbent Jim Slattery (D) retired
Maine: James B. Longley Jr. (I) over Andrew Adam (D) and Richard David Hewes (R); incumbent Libby Mitchell (D) retired
Maryland: incumbent Decatur “Bucky” Trotter (D) over Ellen Sauerbrey (R)
Massachusetts: incumbent Evelyn Murphy (D) over Paul Tsongas (Liberty) and Argeo Paul Cellucci (R)
Michigan: incumbent James J. Blanchard (D) over Connie Binsfeld (R)
Minnesota: incumbent Rudy Perpich (DFL) over Harveydale Maruska (IRL (Independence-Republican-Liberty))
Nebraska: Kay A. Orr (R) over Maxine B. Moul (D); incumbent Helen Boosalis (D) retired
Nevada: Doug Swanson (R) over Sue Wagner (D); incumbent Joseph Yale Resnick (D) retired
New Hampshire: incumbent Christopher "Chris" Spirou (D) over Steve Winter (R)
New Mexico: Richard P. “Rick” Cheney (R) [9] over Paul G. Bardacke (D) and Bill Richardson (La Raza Unida); incumbent Ben Lujan Sr. (D) was term-limited
New York: incumbent Mario Cuomo (D) over Tom Golisano (Conservative) and Herbert London (R)
Ohio: William J. Brown (D) over Bob Taft (R); incumbent Jerry Springer (D) retired
Oklahoma: Robert S. Kerr III (D) over Wes Watkins (I) and incumbent Bill Price (R)
Oregon: John Lim (R) over Rod Monroe (D) and Ed Hickam (Country); incumbent Norma Paulus (R) retired
Pennsylvania: Lynn Yeakel (D) over Marguerite Ann “Peg” McKenna Luksik (R); incumbent William W. Scranton III (R) retired
Rhode Island: incumbent Robert A. “Bob” Weygand (D) over Bob Healey (Cool Moose) and Lincoln Almond (R)
South Carolina: Robert Durden “Bob” Inglis Sr. (R) over Theo Mitchell (D); incumbent Nick Theodore (D) was term-limited
South Dakota: incumbent Gus Hercules (R) over Jim Beddow (D) and Nathan Barton (Liberty)
Tennessee: Frank Goad Clement (D) over Don Sundquist (R) and Dick Fulton (Independent D); incumbent Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R) was term-limited
Texas: Henry Cisneros (D/La Raza Unida) over Keary Ehlers (Liberty), Clayton Williams (R) and Ramsey Muniz (Natural Mind); incumbent Rick Perry (D) retired
Vermont: Howard Dean (D) over incumbent John McClaughry (R) and Dennis Lane (Liberty Union)
Wisconsin: Margaret Farrow (R) over Martin J. Schreiber (D); incumbent Paul R. Soglin (D)
Wyoming: Harriet Elizabeth Byrd (D) over Richard Bruce Cheney (R) and Mary Mead (Conservative); incumbent Thyra Thomson (R)



[pic: ]
…Dauenhauer’s victory came after weeks of polling showing her in a virtual three-way tie with Taylor and Boucher. Pundits blamed Boucher’s unenthusiastic campaign and liberals splitting from the Democratic Party to vote for Dauenhauer for Boucher underperforming, with recounts confirming his coming in third place. Similarly to the Democratic siphoning, Republicans who disliked Lindauer, either for his anti-family relief programs or for his anti-BLUTAG rhetoric for it being too similar to that of former Governor Tom Fink, instead voted for the Liberty party nominee, who supported BLUTAG rights and keeping family relief programs in exchange for removing all other programs…



…The Necessary Use Act of 1994, which aims to legalize the use of cannabis (marijuana) for medicinal and medically-necessary purposes, has been approved by the state’s “vote initiative” process, which has enact the new law with a “yes” vote of 52.5%, versus a “non” vote of 47.5%. Supporters of the proposition argue that this will improve people's health and lower recreadrug-related incarceration rates..

– The New York Times, 11/8/1994

Correspondent JOHN BLACKSTONE: Democrats made some gains overall, while Republicans fared even better on local levels in some places, but worse in others.

Co-Anchor CONNIE CHUNG: And such midterm results are typical for a first-term President’s party. Polling was, I’d say, much more accurate tonight than two years ago, as polls suggested the Democrats would perform better, and that is what happened. That’s very telling, because it suggests pollsters surveyed more voters, or voters were more open about who they supported than they were two years ago.

BLACSTONE: Well I think it’s very telling just how popular the outgoing Governor up there is, as the Green Party’s victory in Alaska is the biggest fish they’ve caught by far. Up until now, they’ve only won a few city council or council-level positions nationwide. So this is definitely a game-changer for them, and we will see if they can develop some momentum from this, or if it was just a blue-moon kind of moment.

CHUNG: Well it was not the only major election victory out west, John. While Alaska was just voted for its first female and first Native American governor, Wyoming has elected an African-American woman to the Governorship. 68-year-old state senate leader Harriet Elizabeth Byrd will become the first-ever Black female Governor in American history. With the additional elections of five other women to governor seats last night – that’s Bettye Frink in Alabama, Kathleen Brown in California, Martha Keys in Kansas, Kay Orr in Nebraska, and Margaret Farrow in Wisconsin – this can definitely be called a good night for woman candidates, and a historic one at that.

Co-Anchor DAN RATHER: Yes, Connie, and I have to wonder how it came to be so.

BLACKSTONE: Well, based on what I’ve reported on from the polls, it seems a lot of woman voters are supporting women candidates because of President Bellamy losing re-election.

Special Guest JANICE FINE: Well of course, John. A lot of congressional pushback to her policies were male-driven. If Congress had had more than just a measly 24 female Senators and only 80 or so female Representatives, maybe she could have gotten even more done than she already had gotten done during her term.

– CBS Evening News, post-midterms analysis discussion, 11/9/1994

…we have some breaking news: Antonietta Perrotta Iacocca, the mother of President Iacocca, has died. Mrs. Iacocca was born in Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1927. She passed away in her sleep from natural causes at her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She was 90 years old, and is survived by the President, her daughter Delma Iacocca Kelechava, one sister, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Surely, this is a sad day for the Iacocca White House, and Antonietta, who served as Acting White House Co-Hostess a three banquets earlier this year, will be truly missed…

– NBC News, 11/18/1994 broadcast


…with hundreds dead and millions of dollars lost in its wake, Hurricane Gordon’s path of destruction ranged from its November 8 birth over Nicaragua and Costa Rica, to its death over the Carolinas. Hundreds of homes have been lost in Costa Rica, floods have inundated Haiti, and thousands of damaged houses (but, seemingly miraculously, zero deaths, only many injuries) are left behind in Cuba. Haiti, the worst nation hit by the storm, already issued an appeal to the international community for help on November 16. The UN and the Canadian government have begun donating, with Japan following suit, and then, most recently, citizens of the United States have begun sending whatever it can while America’s government assesses its own internal damage, such the destruction that has befallen the crops of the American state of Florida. Meanwhile, earlier today, the World Meteorological Organization credited Cuba’s infrastructure for the zero-casualty count, and contrasted it to Haiti’s poor roads and emergency services systems...

Diario de la Marina, Cuban newspaper, 11/12/1994


…Under the new president, the Mexican government may finally be getting into the corner of the hogares, a system of nonprofit orphanages. As for poor families with children, Colosio is working with the government’s treasury department to allocate funding needed for reforms concerning basic needs such as medicine, food security and education for children. …While some Mexican citizens have high hopes that Colosio’s economic development programs will lower unemployment and improve living standards, others are less optimistic. “Alvarez,” Colosio’s Presidential predecessor, “promised the same kind of things and he only got so far,” says one mother in Cuernavaca, twenty miles south of Mexico City, where the difference in the quality of life is starkly different. “I guess getting some of us out of poverty is better than getting none of us out, but trying telling that to the people still struggling and see if they’ll care those others who’ve made it out. They won’t be happy for them; they’ll be angry they aren’t doing better, too.”

The El Paso Times, 12/1/1994

Lee knew Speaker Walker would not like it, nor would the Senate leader, Bob Dole, his second-in-command George V. Hansen, or party whip Kay Bailey Hutchison. Party elder Strom Thurmond, would stir up a fuss, as would Jake Garn behind the scenes, while the party’s more boisterous voices like Richard Obenshain or Jack Raese, would no doubt exude their frustrations in front of some cameras somewhere. But in these private exchanges with his advisors, Lee had begun to form a very un-Republican view about the War on Recreadrugs: “A man of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed policy. A leader must have courage. I’m talking about balls. That even goes for female leaders. Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. …Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk. If you’re a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. …We spend around $40 billion a year fighting the war on drugs. A conservative estimate of the total amount we’ve spent would be around one trillion dollars. So, are we winning? Well, we lock up almost half a million people a year – mostly drug users. But every expert analysis of our progress shows the same thing: After over twenty years, we have not reduced the quantity of drugs or the consumption of drugs one lousy percentage point.” [10]

– Julian E. Zelizer and David F. Emery’s Burning Down The House, Penguin Publishing Group, 2020


…With this new law, the Australian government will pay “generous” monetary reparations to Aborigines who were displaced during nuclear testing at Maralinga and other places during the 1950s and 1960s, and with give back over 70,000 km of land in Western Australia and Northern Territory back to the Aborigines… …Prime Minister de la Hunty’s successful return to the call for Aboriginal land rights reform can be credited to her 1992 election mandate and to her allies’ PR work to drum up popular support for the large act…

The Age, Australian newspaper, 12/3/1994


…While focusing more on games than consoles at the time, Sony nevertheless released the PlayStation 1 on December 3, 1994. It went on to become the first video game console to ship more than 100 million units. It is considered to be a part of the fifth generation of game consoles and competed against the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 in the mid-’90s… [11]


“A thousand words can’t bring you back. I know because I have tried. And neither will a million tears. I know because I have cried.”

– Claudia Sanders, 12/4/1994 [12]

Bob Haldeman, Former Nixon Aide And Author of Tell-All Book, 67

– The Santa Barbara News-Press, obituary column, 12/6/1994

The [censored] left me. She took the baby with her. The [censored]! Just like the [censored] who keep cheating me at the card tables. They don’t take me seriously, and feel no guilt over [censored] me over. Well two can play at that game! I hate being called “Crazy Jim”! Is it crazy to want the good found in the crap-heap we call life? They call me “Crazy Jim.” What [censored]! I could have been somebody! I was in a movie with Linda Evans for the love of [censored]! Now look at me. Unemployed, living off disability, the NITR the only good law in this entire damn country. And now I hear the government wants to scale it back! The only law keeping me from starving to death. When nobody else will help me. Not even Ma or sis. The [censored]! The [censored]! They refused to help. Damn the American family to hell. God forgive me. [13]

– Lynwood Crumpler Drake III’s personal journal, 12/8/1994 entry


…the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act is designed to limit frivolous security fraud lawsuits that have proven to be extremely costly in the past, even when containing “evidence as little and as weak as barely circumstantial,” says US Congressman Richard "Dick" Shelby (R-AL), who worked on the bill. “This will raise up what was up until now a very low barrier, one that was costing the federal government millions of dollars.” In addition to decluttering American court systems of frivolous lawsuit congestion, the bill also aims to “free up” funding for multiple other federal programs…

The Washington Post, 12/10/1994

CORRESPONDENT: …well it’s 3:05 AM and the final district we’ve been waiting on has announced the results of their recount – state senator Terri McGovern has won the final district by 211 votes, which re-confirms her November victory. Again, Teresa McGovern will be South Dakota’s new junior US Senator come January 3rd... …and there’s the winner now, there she is, flanked by her husband Paul and her three children, Colleen, Marilyn and Greg. A teetotaler and possibly the nation’s first vegan US Senator – we’ll have to research that – McGovern ran for the Senate seat with a host grassroots supporters dubbed “McGoverniks.”

CO-ANCHOR 1: Yes, while her opponent was an establishment Republican who accused her of using, quote, “performance-enhancing narcotics,” unquote. Could you clarify for the viewers what that was all about?

CORRESPONDENT: It was her opponent’s alleged explanation for McGovern’s seemingly-constant positive and energetic mood, which McGovern herself has described as the result of her family and will to do good as simply driving her every day. That’s not an exact quote, mind you, that’s just the gist of it.

CO-ANCHOR 2: Do you find that answer valid in your opinion?

CORRESPONDENT: Well I don’t think her demeanor’s drug-related. I’ve been following Terri’s career for a while now, and, you know, of all of the McGovern children, Terri delivered the most fevered speeches on her father’s campaigns of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Intelligent, funny, generous, charismatic, tender even, that is just her personality, I believe.


NARRATOR (as footage plays): Teresa Jane “Terri” McGovern was born on June 10, 1949 in Mitchell, South Dakota. The middle of five children, she was close to her father, a Democratic politician and future Governor of this state. In 1967, McGovern entered medical school, and in 1970, worked on her father’s first successful gubernatorial bid. In 1971, McGovern was in a car accident that killed a school friend. The shocking event traumatized her; it was the very first and very last time she ever drank alcohol, and as a result is one of the few Democrats in the House who is both progressive and opposed to recreadrugs and alcohol.

McGOVERN (in footage of the sole debate she had with her Republican opponent): It is true that alcoholism tends to run in families, and that all kinds of people can become alcoholics, including brave people and strong people. And yet it is also true that you recover not through conventional medicine, but through what amounts to a colossal act of will. So if alcoholism is a disease, it is not simply a disease: it is, on some level, a terrible seduction.

NARRATOR: This viewpoint on the responsibilities of private consumption likely helped her candidacy win over moderate and anti-recreadrug voters.

McGOVERN (in footage of an interview from earlier in the year): I’m either an idealist or a sap, depending on who you ask.

NARRATOR: Prior to becoming a state senator in 1986, McGovern had worked in the state capitol, in day care centers and in a hospice for terminally ill cancer patients.” Before shifting to working as an intern for US Congressperson Trudy Cooper, a fellow progressive Democrat… [14]

– The Overmyer Network, special election night broadcast, 12/13/1994

SMITH DOES THE DECENT THING: After Talks With Tory Leaders And PM Lennon, Admits to Taking Bribes And Resigns From Parliament!

The Independent, UK newspaper, 16/12/1994


…while Ross was willing to compromise on the issues, do not be fooled by his misguided endorsement of Dauenhauer. Our governor-elect is much farther to the left, and having run on the positive-but-vague promise of “peace and protection,” you can be certain that her administration will care more about preserving the lives of Bambi and Thumper than the livelihoods of our lumberjacks, oilmen, and other valued workers…

– Alaskan businessman Steven Ditmeyer’s op-ed in The Skagway News, Alaska newspaper, 12/19/1994


Washington, DC – David F. Emery (R, ME-1), the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, has announced his candidacy for Speaker of the House, ahead of next month’s leader election. In the wake of the GOP losing House seats in November’s midterm elections, incumbent House Speaker Robert Smith Walker (R-MS) is facing increasing scrutiny for his uncompromising “country conservative” policies.

While an incumbent House Speaker being challenged by a member of his own party is not unprecedented, such an event has not occurred for several decades, and the likelihood of Emery succeeding is “actually not that low,” according to outgoing US Congresswoman Virginia Dodd Smith (R-NE). “Emery,” a member of congress since 1975, “is well connected, with allies among moderates, among centrists, and among the remaining liberals on the Republican side of the House.” Additionally, with House Whip Edward Madigan (R-PA) having died from cancer on December 7th, Walker lacks his “cheerleader,” as Smith called Madigan. “His first mate smoke himself to death, and with Walker rubbing many so many committee members the wrong way, there’s a real chance of Emery winning over many of them, and the Republican members of the incoming freshman class.” On the other hand, Congresspersons supportive of Speaker Walker, such as retiring US Congressman Richard Bruce Cheney (R-WY), believe Emery has “zero” chance of winning: “Walker will crush him and you can quote me on that.”

House Speakership elections are unique, because all representatives cast a vote, and while typically each one will vote for the nominee of their party, representatives can still vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. Walker’s disputes with House Republican Conferences and his opposing of President Iacocca on several bills this year has dropped his popularity within the party. As a result, the GOP and RNC have pushed back the day for nominating their candidate for Speaker until January 3. The actual vote for Speaker will be held on January 6, per tradition.

Emery’s announcement makes for three candidates running for Speaker – Walker, Emery, and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO). Elected at the beginning of the new congress via a roll call, which is simply repeated until a majority of votes have been ascertained by a candidate, Republicans have 225 seats/votes, while the Democrats have 208; 218 are needed to become speaker. At the moment, given historic trends, the odds favor Walker, but with the number of Republicans favoring Emery over Walker being currently unknown, Emery could still pull off a surprising upset.

The Washington Post, 12/21/1994

[1] This date is according to this site:
[2] Thus it was not dismantled like it was in 1995 in OTL!
[3] This is an OTL Ted Turner quote that was found through his wikipedia article!
[4] A variation of an OTL “Yogi-ism”!
[5] These italicized parts are OTL remarks that were pulled from here:
[6] Quote pulled from page 119 of the OTL 2007 Lee Iacocca book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”:
[7] Italicized line pulled from here:
[8] The quoted bit is from the wiki page of this bill’s OTL counterpart, which passed in 1993 IRL.
[9] This is NOT this Cheney guy, but this Cheney guy!
[10] Lines pulled (and edited slightly) from Page 8 of the OTL 2007 Lee Iacocca book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”:
[11] Italicized bit pulled from here:
[12] I actually can’t find that actual person who said this OTL quote (I think it is; if anyone knows its source/origin, please let me know!
[13] This OTL quote as found through Source 5 on his wiki page; and he really was in a movie with Linda Evans, BTW…
[14] Italicized parts are from here: Also, a (sort of) explanation: because McGovern lost his 1962 bid for the US Senate, Terry and her family never moved to D.C., where she obtained her drinking addiction via downing a Colt 45 with a some new “friends” in early 1963 at the age of 13. Instead, she grows up in South Dakota, and doesn’t take her first drop of alcohol until years later than in OTL.

I’ll cover both Trump’s financial and marital situations in 1995, as well as the Eugene V. Debs film, and the results of the Sanwi’s search for a figurehead…
Understood; the British Pound currency system will stay!
We’ll see what happens with James Cameron here…

The next chapter's E.T.A.: June 23 at the very latest.
Post 63
Post 63: Chapter 71

Chapter 71: January 1995 – May 1995

“The Problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubt, while the stupid people are full of confidence”

– Charles Bukowski

The day before the January 6 election for House Speaker, President Iacocca finally publicly broke from Walker’s side to endorse Emery. There were 225 Republicans, 208 Democrats, and two Democratic-caucusing Independents voting; a majority 218 votes were needed to win the Speakership. In the first round of voting, support for Walker within the GOP collapsed; 210 went for Gephardt, 131 for Emery, and just 94 for Walker. This was despite speculations prior to Iacocca’s endorsement suggesting that Walker would receive at least 180 votes, and post-endorsement speculation suggesting a win of a least 150. The results thus demonstrated how popular and influential Iacocca had become among Republican lawmaker. Or, just how unpopular Walker to become among his fellow Republicans; just weeks prior, Congressional Quarterly wrote that "he [Walker] has raised too many hackles and rubbed too many nerves to be very popular" in the House for much longer [1]. Indeed, it appeared that Emery was preferred even by some conservatives over his pledge to work with the GOP conservative caucuses, and, more importantly, due to his record of consistency; “In his twenty years in congress, David had showcased better work performance and a stronger work ethic than Walker has shown in his four years as Speaker,” said Ira W. McCollum Jr. (R-FL) in a 2001 interview. In the second round of voting held later that same day, 210 votes again went to Gephardt, and Emery expanded his number of votes to 201, while Walker received only 24. Just before the third ballot, Walker went onto the House floor to give an impromptu speech condemning his fellow congressmen for choosing “personality over principles,” and criticizing the character of “turncoat” legislators. Walker had hoped that he could “shame ’em” into returning to his side. Instead, he just lost more of them. In third and final ballot, 219 voted for Emery, 210 for Gephardt, and just 15 die-hard conservative Republicans stood by Walker at the end of a historic House Speakership vote.

– Catherine Whitney’s Where Have All The Leaders Gone?: A Look Back on The Iacocca Years, Simon & Schuster, 2011

He had only another hour of the Speakership to get his affairs in order. Meeting with his remaining allies, including Congressman Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), in his soon-to-be-former outer office, Walker announced that he would resign from his House seat at the end of the month.

“Now, does anyone else have any other news for me before I wrap things up?” Walker asked bitterly.

“Um,” Coburn hesitated.


“Well, I don’t know if I’d call it news, but – ”

“Get on with it, before I leave the Speakership, please.”

“You know Congressman Steve Gunderson?” Coburn said, referring to the Republican Representative of Wisconsin’s Third District since 1981.


“Well I wanted to talk to Congressman Herb Bateman about him being on the fence during the vote, and so I wanted to talk to him alone somewhere, someplace private. I walked him over to the one broom closet near the south stairwell. I open the door, and there’s Gunderson, with Congressman Harvey Milk, and they’re…well as soon the door swung open they pulled apart from one another, or at least, Gunderson jumped to the side, but I swear, they were making out.”

“When did you see this?”

“During the break between the first and second round of voting.”

“And you’re revealing it to me now, instead of when I could have used it.”


“You know what? If not even my allies here can help me, then maybe losing the Speakership was a blessing in disguise. Maybe I can do more to maintain traditional values from some think tank than from the hill, and with less headache!”

After the meeting and Walker saying his goodbyes, Kolbe, having not yet “unmasked himself,” [2] met with Congressman Gunderson to give him fair warning…

– Julian E. Zelizer and David F. Emery’s Burning Down The House, Penguin Publishing Group, 2020

…Saudi Arabia’s MAA space agency boosted the nation’s popularity and interests among investors hailing from Africa and Eastern Europe. King Abdullah agreed with Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud’s push to make space exploration a joint regional collaborative venture. Concurrently, in the Rub-al-Khali, the world’s largest continuous sand desert, Saudi Arabia began planting massive sun farms, with government contracts being issues to several technology companies such as Boeing, strengthening connections and contacts that were instrumental in the government’s endeavors and goals. However, not everyone was onboard with these developments. Believing them to be “too western” and of little benefit to the lower classes, a 26-year-old engineer and radical named Ramzi Yousef attempted to assassinate the King. On January 11, Yousef fired three times at King Abdullah from an otherwise-receptive crowd in Al-Kharj before being tackled to the ground by guards. However, due to an unnoticed crooked sight, the borrowed six-shooter failed to hit its target, instead injuring one crowd member and mortally wounding a security guard. Yousef was tried and executed later that year…

– Madawi al-Rasheed’s The History of Modern Saudi Arabia, Sunrise Books, 2019 edition

REP. STEVE GUNDERSON “UNMASKS” HIMSELF! Republican From Wisconsin Reveals He Is A Blutagoist

The Washington Post, 1/12/1995


The New York Times, 1/15/1995

JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AFTERMATH: Gangsters In Kobe Organize Aid For People The Government Allegedly “Left Behind”

The Chosun Ilbo, South Korean newspaper, 1/17/1995

The Great Hanshin Earthquake hit the city of Kobe, southern Japan on January 17. Measuring in at a 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale, the tremors were quick but devastating for the thousands affected by them. The Yamaguchi-gumi soon led relief efforts to distribute food and supplies as official support from the provincial government was inconsistent and chaotic for the first several days. Hospitals struggled to handle the sudden influx of patients, causing some patients to have to be operated on in crowded hallways.

On the business side of things, both American and local companies such as Daiei and 7-Eleven took advantage of their pre-existing supply networks in Japan in order to provide needed supplies in the areas affected by the quake. For example, KFC distributed free meals, medal supplies, and blankets at victim centers, as part of said companies “tradition” of humanitarianism. Concurrently, NTT and Motorola provided free telephone services for victims as well.

– Glen Fukushima’s The Great Hanshin Earthquake, Japan Policy Research Institute, Occasional Paper No. 2, 1995

The United Nations was on the side of the US, and thus, through UN representatives, America imposed a set of sanctions on North Korea. “We put a lot of money into the UN,” US President Iacocca privately told his Secretary of State at the time, “and now it’s paying off.”

North of the DMZ, the new Kim resisted foreign help for as long as possible, and even then, refused to allow donor representatives to supervise the distributing of their own donations out of fear of being seen by a “weak.” Kim Jung-Il’s actions led to his country retaining inadequate medical supplies, and the continuation of conditions deteriorating. Water and environmental contamination, power failures, and a lack of rudimentary medical skills, supplies, equipment, drugs, and professionals plagued the population. UNICEF delegates from the UN’s World Food Programme (est. 1961) who had studied conditions outside of Pyongyang in early 1994 remained horrified by the country’s poor life quality.

Famine was becoming a growing concern. Child malnutrition was estimated to be at over 10% by the start of 1995. Premature births had become common due to vitamin deficiency, and without any infant formula being made locally, malnourished mothers had difficulty breastfeeding, according to the 1994 WFP report. If an infant was fortunate enough to not die during this era, it had a high chance of becoming one of the many homeless orphans that began roaming the countryside for any kind of nourishment; by early 1995, they had become known as the “Kotjebi.” Naturally, the famine led to birth rates entering a period of steep decline.

In the midst of this drop in the North’s already-low standards of living, the North Korean Black Market thrived, and provided services that the government could not. Even military officers could be bribed to look the other way via a percentage of the black market vendor’s profits during this time. Higher-ups, though, feared people trusting black market vendors more than liking the Kim family and regime, and thus crackdowns on black market hubs were not uncommon.

However, black market raids became less frequent as 1995 began, as even the military became food-insecure. Ordinary soldiers of the million-strong army often remained hungry, as did their families, who did not receive preferential treatment simply because a son or daughter was serving in the armed forces.

– Jang Jin-Sung, Yeonmi Park, and Maryanne Vollers’ In Order To Live: Tales of Surviving The Great Korean Famine, Red Sun Press, 2016 [3]

…President Iacocca has announced that he will make budget cuts to several cabinet and cabinet-level departments in order to reach the Balanced Budget Amendment’s requirement for the 1994 Fiscal Year budget. The announcement comes at practically the last minute, but the President says that the cuts will be evenly distributed in order to make them fair and just...

– The Overmyer Network, 1/21/1995 broadcast

…The comics industry experienced a boom in the late 1980s that continued on throughout the 1990s thanks to a combination of DC’s extended comic storylines and, longer-lasting, the surprise success of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), which led to Batman: Year One (1990) and Batman Returns (1993), three successive DC hits that seem poised to run the struggling Marvel Comics into the ground. Fortunately for Marvel, the 1992 Spiderman film was also a major hit. Suddenly, the rivalry between Marvel and DC was reinvigorated. Upon Marvel announcing in January 1995 an animated series adaptation of The Mutants for KNN Kids, DC’s The Doom Patrol soon got its own TV show, too, and on the more ‘toon-friendly’ TON.

For the big screen, Superman Lives, with a release in July 1995, was announced that same January to be the start of the DC Comics Cinematic Universe, or DCCCU, for short. Talks of making a “Mutants” TV movie ahead of the series soon began over at DC despite their “Justice League” film still planned for a 1999 release. The Mutants movie aired in 1998 to decent reviews, but is most memorable for introducing the world to Keanu Reeves as Wolverine.

Meanwhile, merchandising played a more central role in the financial success of comic book adaptations. The Burton Batman (or “Bat Cage”) films made companies realize the financial potential of films adhering to both fans and families due to the large numbers of the latter and the money potentially spent by the former. Theater popcorn and food, Halloween costumes, breakfast cereals, bathroom products, fast food toys, action figures, novelizations to suggest films are educational, and other commercial tie-ins fueled the comic-themed juggernaut of 1990s consumerism…

– Wheeler Winston Dixon and Dan Rumbles’ A History Of Comic Book Movies, Springer Publishing, 2007 e-book [4]

In my lifetime I’ve had the privilege of living through some of America’s greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises – the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Cuba War, the Indochina Wars, the 1970s oil crisis, the Crash of ’78, and the struggles of recent years…If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: You don’t get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it’s building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play.[5]

– Lee Iacocca’s 1/24/1995 State of the Union address


…the new bill combines the time-off ideas of US Senator Mario Obledo’s Election Holiday Bill with US Congressman Visclosky’s State-Level Time-Off Requirements Bills and the Voter Registration Opportunity Bill first introduced in late 1993. This new proposed legislation would give tax breaks to private businesses that give employees paid days off for election days; eases and expands qualifications for voting by mail, even if said voters are not affected by rural travel difficulties; and requires state government agencies to offer assistance to citizens attempting to register to vote or attempting to vote by mail. As the compromise bill is supported by most members of both political parties, and the US President, it will likely be passed very quickly…

The New York Times, 1/25/1995


…Cuomo, in office since 1981 and facing decreasing approval ratings, confesses “I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, but at the present time, it is very much too early to make a decision about it”…

The New York Post, 1/26/1995


…The Somali government today announced that Somalian President Siad Barre passed away yesterday from complications stemming from a heart attack the politician suffered on January 2. Barre had ruled the eastern African nation since an October 1969 coup. Barre leaves behind a controversial legacy, as he was on friendly terms with both democratically-elected leaders and dictatorial despots. For instance, he held President Denton in high regard, but was also on friendly terms with North Korea’s Kim Il-Sung, even receiving the Order of the National Flag, First Class, from the DPRK in 1972. [6] While his time presiding over the Somali people led to a general increase in their living standards, the gradual removal of due process for anyone even suspected of being opposed to his rule led to international condemnation. However, as he fulfilled his promise of uniting the Somali lands of Ethiopia with the rest of Somalia during the 1970s [7], domestic resistance to his reign was smaller in scale than it was outside of Somalia. Barre has been succeeded into office by former Somali Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Samatar, Barre’s Vice President since 1991…

The Washington Post, 1/27/1995

…The Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced that the company will retain the brand name Honda for certain products, similar to how Touchstone Pictures is owned by Disney but used for releasing certain works made by Disney…

– ABC Morning News, 1/28/1995 broadcast

They failed me again. The FJG Board sent me from one cr*p job to just another another cr*p job. I think they think I’m unemployable. There was some talk or something about disability and living off that and the NITR. Couldn’t do the job – it was glorified lawncare work! No better than the last stable job I had before signing onto the FJG plan. I had to stand up for myself then, too. And it wasn’t basically the same as minimum wage like it is for all these J.G. jobs, I got $5.55 – a dollar more than what I’m getting now – at that pizza shop. Now I’m getting only $4.55 an hour [8] for 35 hours a week of “public benefit” jobs – ha! What the f**k does that even mean? The bosses are all a**holes and I just won’t put up with their bullsh*t. So I get penalized and moved around for standing up for myself. That’s big government for you. They say they care about people but then they send you off to cr*p job after cr*p job. The f*ckers.

– Lynwood Crumpler Drake III’s personal journal, 1/30/1995 entry

…Management at KFC outlets were intrigued and concerned by the rise of SpongeBob’s from a local “family fun” spot to a regional enterprise. I thought it might have just a small, niche following, but then I saw those commercials they made. They were impressive – impressive enough for us [at Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc.] to begin investing more funding into expanding Hatton Salt’s Fish & Chips chain, which had been, pardon the pun, floundering for a few years by then. With Hatton now sporting white hair, his image was updated to that of a kindly grandfather, whose fish ’n’ chips were “tried and true.”…

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000


…the new law mandates higher health-based standard for pesticides used in foods, with a heavy focus on providing special protections for babies and infants, streamlining the approval of safe pesticides, establishing financial incentives for the creation of safer pesticides, and requiring yearly updates of pesticide registrations… [9] Former President Carol Bellamy supported the legislation upon its introduction last year, and today celebrated her successor’s “wise choice” in deciding to back the bill, after several days of uncertainty due to its call for additional business regulations…

The Washington Post, 2/1/1995

“I believe that most parents care about the quality of their kids’ schools. But too often they’re blind to what’s really going on. They don’t know how to evaluate quality. In a recent Gallup poll, 76 percent of parents said they were satisfied with their children’s schools. A lot of them pointed to the fact that their kids were getting good grades. But what they have to understand is that just because a kid is doing well against his peers in America, doesn’t mean he’s doing well. We’re not getting clobbered by Japan, South Korea and Singapore in math and science scores because their kids are smart and disciplined and ours are stupid and lazy. They’re clobbering us because their parents and their schools demand more of them [sic]. In America our kids attend school 180 days a year. Japanese kids go to school 240 days a year. If we want our kids to catch up, you’d think we’d at least start by sending them to school for as long as the kids in Japan. Now I know very well that the three-month summer vacation is a sacred cow. I once wrote a newspaper column calling for the extension of the school year. I got bombarded for that lousy idea – mostly from teachers. But we should consider reforming the school year or the ways we are teaching our children, one way or another. That’s why I am calling on congress to study our state-level education systems and to find a solution to this problem before it gets any worse.[10]

– President Lee Iacocca’s “School Year Reform” address, before a joint session of Congress, 2/3/1995


The Washington Post, 2/5/1995

“The North is still threatening vengeance as famine conditions worsen,” CIA Director Studeman summarized the situation, “and, as you can see here in these satellite images, ladies and gentlemen, Kim Jung-Il is still trying to develop WMDs.”

The increases in tensions and hostilities had one word on everyone’s mind: war. Considered to be “clearly” on the horizon by some such as Defense Secretary Versace and National Security Advisor Susan Livingstone, others were more optimistic. State Secretary Perkins, for instance, believed Kim could still be brought back to the table.

“Well, you and the UN Ambassador can work on that, but right now I want to go over some hypotheticals,” Iacocca remarked. “Namely, in the event of a war, how to handle millions of brainwashed masses. According to your reports, Williams, the entire country is like one big army.”

“Indeed,” veteran advisor and former liaison to North Korea Richard Llewellyn Williams signed. “I’ve toured that place too many times. Going in there gun a-blazing would be 100 times worse than Cuba in the early 1960s. A war with North Korea would potentially wipe out tens of thousands of people, even without nukes.”

The most war-happy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Tom Sargent, nodded, “Then we’d better wipe ’em out before they get nukes.”

Williams turned to Sargent, “Not to mention the thousand’s that’d die on our side.”

“The Kim regime has spent hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on Russian vodka, Chinese scallops, imported cheese and whisky, and on wine and champagne,” Studeman continued.

“And not a single cent on the people, right?” Iacocca.

“Yes, sir,” Williams confirmed the extremes between North Korea’s elite and everyone else in the Hermit Kingdom.

“It’s enough to make you sick,” Iacocca noted, “But we haven’t the time to get sick. Studeman, go over what we know about their air power once again.”

– Elizabeth Drew’s On The Edge: The Iacocca Presidency, NYT Publishing, 2011 edition

TROUBLE IN TURKESTAN: Soviet Slipups Still Scar Central Asia

A new report on radiation levels and the handling of radioactive material in United Turkestan has caused further focus on environmental protection efforts in the region. As if the Aktau Disaster and the Aral Sea were not enough, another environmental catastrophe from leaders of the Soviet era’s disregard for local concerns is plaguing the central Asian federation of United Turkestan. The Semipalatinsk Test Site in northern Kazakhstan was the site for over 400 nuclear tests between 1949 and 1984, creating long-term damage to the locals and local environment. The new report reveals exposure to these tests has led to the area becoming a radiation hotspot in a part of country close to the Kazakhstan Republic’s capital. The nearby villages being the sites of many lands battles during the UT-USSR War of 1983 may explain reports of high cancer rates among soldiers on both sides of that conflict. The situation may fuel further efforts currently being undertaken by U.S., U.T., and Russian scientists and engineers to secure the plutonium waste still stored in underground tunnels located across the mountainous testing site.

– Time Magazine, early February 1995 issue

“Puff Diddy made his own label in ’93, called it Bad Boys E. E for Entertainment. You know what I meant.
I led it into the East Coast scene. And the big east-west feud, y’know what I mean?
But one day ’95, I was in concert, I was real alive. When the head D.J. came out and went about, grabbing the mike and he was like
‘Everyone listen here. Cut the noise, drop the beer. Bad news tonight from a sh*t street fight.
Rapper Eazy-E’s dead,’ that’s what he said. Gunned down at 33, his soul’s flyin’ free.
Just when he’s getting started, he’s become departed. The media decipher, say it highlights ‘our violent culture’
They say thug life will give your back a knife, but our beats are deep. Hard, real, make you laugh and weep.
Not that Fresh Prince bullshit, it’ll make you quit. Then Kool Keith got hit, but it was a quick clinic stint.
He bounced back and with his pack did a counterattack. Tim Dog started it all with that shot in the fall.
You know in ’91 he made that diss track flak, going after Eazy-E wasn’t cool or whack. He took a shot at L.A., L.A. shot back.
Tim Dog got killed two weeks later, still, the white man say our music’s doing ill.
We know the truth, it was violent youth. The motherless of the streets are maced, imprisoned and misplaced.
So Bad Boy versus Death Row, and what did you know? It was first Eazy-E, and then almost Jay-Z
When will we be willing, to stop all this killing? Of brother versus brother instead of loving one another?
Who else will get capped for somethin’ they rapped? Thug life is phat, but no-one should die like that!”

– Christopher George Latore Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. The Big One (1972-2019), impromptu untitled rap during 1997 interview

RUSSERT: “Senator, you have repeatedly criticized Iacocca’s regulation policies since he entered office. Will that be a major focus during your time in the U.S. Senate?”

NADER: “No, there are more important things to work on than criticizing the President, like, you know, actual legislation and the issues on which I ran my campaign. And my criticisms of him re becoming less frequent. As it turns out, he and I actually agree on some things. Most noticeably, he concurs that the Corvair really was irresponsibly dangerous and unsafe [11].”

RUSSERT: “Well due to your political experience, there’s a lot of talk of you being a potential candidate for President next year. And just earlier this week, two members of the Connecticut Democratic suggested that you would have their support if you ran for the Democratic nomination next year. How are you taking such calls for you to run?”

NADER: “I’m not running.”

RUSSERT: “How come?”

NADER: “You mean, other than for the fact that I’ve only been a Senator for a few weeks? Heh. Well, the President has really turned a corner in recent years. Apparently, meeting with air bag survivors at some point in the late ’80s or even later helped convince him that having high-quality safety features that work is an essential aspect of car purchasing. [12] I respect him for this. But to answer your question, let me just say that I will be of better help to my constituents and to my country if I do the job I was elected to do.”

– Senator Ralph Nader and host Tim Russert, Meet The Press, 2/24/1995 interview

…We have breaking news coming out of North Korea, where state media has announced that Marshal O Jin-u, the nation’s Minister of Armed Forces since May of 1976, has died at the age of 77, after suffering from lung cancer for several months. Marshal O was a trusted advisor to North Korea’s Kim Il-Sung, and was considered to be the most powerful man in The Hermit Kingdom not related to the Kim dynasty. According to experts, Marshal O will most likely be succeeded by his preferred successor, Marshal Choi Kwang, which would mean that, after Kim Jung-Il, a 76-year-old man would be in charge of North Korea’s military...

– KNN, 2/25/1995 news broadcast

“What the business establishment of this country has to do is get away from this new financial-transaction mentality. It used to be that Wall Street, the financial markets and the banks were there to promote and fund the companies that produced goods and created jobs. Now they’ve taken on a life of their own: ‘What’s the play? Where can we make a fast buck?’ What we really need to do in this country is get back to the factory floors.” [13]

– US President Lee Iacocca’s “Factory Floor Renaissance” speech, given at a belt buckle factory in Xenia, OH, 2/26/1995

“Debs: The People Warrior” was released on February 27, 1995 – the 107th anniversary of the start of the Burlington Railroad Strike of 1888, a pivotal moment in the film and in Deb’s life – both in theaters and on cable television for “maximum exposure,” as Sanders explained it. The first film purposely made for both the big screen and the TV screen, Sanders invested much of his personal fortune into the film, selling his Florida home for a smaller one to pay for extra costs.

Upon release, the film was favorable among audiences, while critics were torn. Siskel and Ebert skirted around the politics of the film to discuss its worth on the grounds of filmmaking; both ended up praising its pacing, cinematic scope, and performances, with Ebert giving specific praise to Miguel Ferrer’s “fiery and passionate” portrayal of the titular role. Gene Shalet urged people to watch the flick, saying “it has everything for everybody. Drama, action, suspense, romance, even clever dry wit. Young kids might fidget in their seats, but more mature kids might relate to Deb’s fight against forces that are older and more powerful than himself alone.”

Historians, meanwhile, praised the film for bringing attention to an often-ignored part of our nation’s history, though some criticized the film for vilifying certain historical figures. “It has a clear message and that message is clearly biased,” said former U.S. House Speaker Robert Smith Walker in 1995, who “condemned” the film, calling it “un-American” and overrated. President Iacocca, who watched a taped copy of it several days after its premier, claimed to have found it “enlightening and entertaining.”


[Pic: ]
Eugene Debs (left) was portrayed by Miguel Ferrer (right) in the film.

– Michael O’Connor’s Bern Sanders: The Biography of a Multimillionaire (Democratic) Socialist Maverick, Greenwood Press, 2009

…The US’s slow repairing of relations with Japan also saw South Africa’s Chris Hani support a “third way” option during 1995 talks between US and Japan. Hani suggested American and Japanese companies invest in the post-Apartheid nation. He noted that while Japanese cars were smaller and thus a better fit for European roads, American car designers “like to think big. Texas, wide roads, open country and all those things. South Africa shares the open roads phenomenon. There is plenty of room for America’s vans and trucks.” Hani’s opening up of the South African economy to American car sellers proved to initially be beneficial to US investors and South Africans who could afford such vehicles, and led to further talks of American and Japanese manufacturers building construction factories and facilities in South Africa’s poorer areas in order to lower the African country’s unemployment rates…

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

CORRESPONDENT IN SEOUL: …Dan, the energy crisis north of the DMZ has worsened famine conditions up there. North Korea’s electrically-powered irrigation systems are shutting down, the country is running out of pesticides produced outside North Korea, and most recently, attempts by the government to make pesticides on their own has led to a factory explosion in the province of Chagang. Kim Jung-Il has blamed the explosion, though, on a band of traitors, as he put it according to state TV yesterday, and the state-run media reported today that the accused were executed earlier today.

RATHER: it sounds like conditions are desperate, to put it bluntly.

CORRESPONDENT: It’s almost Orwellian over there, Dan. The public usage of the words “famine” and “hunger” have been banned, and even implied belief in government failure or doubt in the government has led to people disappearing in the night. The interior provinces of Chagang and Ryanggang are the worst off in this crisis due to being them too mountainous, cold and inadequate in rainfall to support much farming efforts...

– CBS Evening News, 2/25/1995 broadcast

INTERVIEWER DAVID FRICKE: “What was with all the talk about you guys breaking up a little while back? Are you all comfortable talking about that?”

DAVE GROHL: “Maybe.”

KURT COBAIN: “I’m not.”

KRIST NOVOLSELIC: “Aw, go on, man.”

COBAIN: “No, you tell it.”

NOVOLSELIC: “Alright. So – ”

COBAIN: “It was after coming back from the desert, uh, the first time I did.”

NOVOLSELIC: “I thought I was telling it.”

COBAIN: “Yeah, sorry, go tell, man.”

NOVOLSELIC: “Well it seems Dave had been real busy writing music in his spare time. And one day Kurt found out about this, uh, ‘hoard’ of songs and music ideas. You called it a hoard, right?”

COBAIN: “Maybe.”

NOVOLSELIC: “And so he followed him around until he found out about his scheduled private recording sessions.”

COBAIN: “I got a little pissed…”

GROHL: “You smashed a chair on my head.”

COBAIN: “A little chair…”

NOVOLSELIC: “Kurt thought Dave was holding out on us, holding back on purpose for malicious reasons.”

GROHL: “Truth was I was intimidated by Kurt here. I mean, he doesn’t like to brag, but he’s got serious talent, so I kept my songs to myself [14]. And really was planning on approaching him about making more contributions to the band.”

NOVOLSELIC: “Yeah, and you told him that when he confronted you about it. But then you went and said were holding back until Kurt got ‘better’.”


COBAIN: “Better. ‘I’m not an invalid,’ I remember shouting. We argued. Insults and maybe some light furniture were thrown here and there. It was ugly.”

INTERVIEWER: “That must’ve sucked. How’d you resolve it? I mean, you have, right?”

NOVOLSELIC: “Yeah, I helped them bury the hatchet. I remember I said, ‘Let’s not break up like all those other bands.’ I meant groups like the Beatles, Tommy Chong and his band, the Allman brothers, and Quiet Riot, who broke up very loudly.”

INTERVIEWER: “Well that’s good.”

NOVOLSELIC: “Yeah, and it got all the dirty laundry out, too, or however that saying goes.”

COBAIN: “Yeah, it got us to focus more in the music, what each of us wanted to do.”

GROHL: “And Kurt here was real great for working on my tunes here and there, uh, with me.”

COBAIN: “Yeah, but we’re still experimenting now, like, I’d really like to bring back new wave and breakdancing…that’s what our new music is sounding like, we’re using a lot more effects boxes…our tastes are just changing so rapidly that we’re really experimenting a lot of stuff. It might get too indulgent and be too embarrassing for the next album, but…we had to get it out.” [15]

INTERVIEWER: “Cool, I get it.”

– snippet from Nirvana interview for TumbleweedTV, 2/26/1995


The San Francisco Chronicle, 2/27/1995

Timothy James McVeigh
(b. April 23, 1968) is an American computer programmer and left-wing political activist best known for Operation Lockjaw… [snip] …McVeigh was the target of bullying at school, and took refuge in designing fantasy worlds where he imagined retaliating against the bullies, and by spending his spare time “taking his anger out on the characters in violent video games,” according to school classmates. Most who knew McVeigh during this time described his adolescent self as being very timid and withdrawn, especially after his grandfather’s death in a freak gun-loading accident, which prompted McVeigh to become openly opposed to gun ownership [16]. McVeigh named “Most Promising Computer Programmer” of Starpoint Central High School, from which he graduated in 1986. Years later, McVeigh admitted to being “The Wanderer,” a computer hacker who infiltrated government computer systems on a Commodore 64 during the middle and late 1980s. Despite unimpressive grades, his technological prowess allowed McVeigh to get into Syracuse University on a special computers scholarship, but dropped out after four semesters to accept a computing job at Commodore International. Upon Commodore International going defunct in early 1995, McVeigh successfully applied for a securities programming job at Microsoft...



The Los Angeles Times, 3/1/1995

GARY ON THE GO: The Marijuana Mayor Makes A Case For Mary Jane

Las Cruces, NM – Gary Johnson is traveling across New Mexico to promote legalizing low-harm recreadrugs at the state level. Ten months ago, as the mayor of Albuquerque, Johnson barely managed to implement legalization of recreational marijuana, but is now boasting the effects of doing so has had on his city.

“Our community has seen a new industry pop up that is safely regulated and monitored, and provides additional tax revenue that is going right into schools, road repair, and public waterworks,” the 41-year-old former businessman boasts as he addresses a crowd of working families and small business owners at Las Cruces’ town hall. He laments, almost half of what our state government spends on law enforcement, on the courts and half of what we spend on the prisons is drug related.” Painting a bigger picture, he adds, “Our current policies on drugs are perhaps the biggest problem that this country has.''

“Everyone tells kids not to do drugs,” Johnson says. “Despite this chorus,
millions of Americans under the age of 21 have tried them. Do we really want our kids to be branded 'criminals’ for having experimented with drugs? If they're not driving or stealing while high, where is the harm?” Mayor Johnson looks down at his cheat sheet; a politician since early 1993, he's an unpolished if ardent speaker. He resumes speaking with statistic, such as how last year, “450,000 people died from smoking cigarettes. Alcohol killed 150,000, and another 100,000 died from legal prescription drugs. How many people died last year from the use of marijuana? Few, if any. From cocaine and heroin? Five thousand.” [17]

The El Paso Times, 3/3/1995

“If the leaders of America do not do their duty and protect their fellow Americans from the scourge of recreadrugs, the people of America will end up experiencing the same horrors plaguing Mexico, Colombia, and practically every country between those two: massacres, violence, sorrow, and death will become a way of life as the drug cartels overwhelm our inner cities and ruin the lives of our nation’s youth. Hundreds of Americans are dying from overdoses already, and thousands more could end up addicted if we do not act to prevent the ease of access to these dangerous substances. Legal or illegal, they pose a threat. That is why we need to target how the cartels fund their operations. These low-life criminals use a practice known as trade-based money laundering, or T.B.M.L., to move illegal goods and money funding their operation. It’s how drug cartels traffic both drugs and people. It is how rogue nations get around international sanctions and how the black market continues to thrive under our noses, and it’s why people keep dying. We follow the money, keep track of their schemes, it will be a step in the right direction.” [18]

– former House Speaker Robert Smith Walker, speaking before a Senate panel on recreadrug regulation in the US, 3/7/1995

Cameron sought to enter the film industry in 1978 by creating a short film. However, due to the economic crash of that year, financing the project proved difficult. While employed in the models department of Roger Corman Studios, Cameron slowly taught himself how to write and direct, leading to him finally completing the 14-minute-long Sci-Fi short “Xenogenesis” in 1980. Corman, invited to view the work, was impressed enough by it to promote Cameron to cinematography on “The Howling” (1981), and to director of special effects for the 1982 war epic “Iwo Jima.” After co-writing the screenplay for the 1984 Rambo sequel, Cameron sought to turn Xenogenesis into a 90-minute film, ultimately convincing Orion Pictured to fund the project in 1985. After two years of production, with most of the time spent on special effects, the film released in August 1987; while critics were unenthusiastic to it, believing its style to resemble that of “just another Star Wars ripoff,” the film proved popular enough with audiences for it to be a surprise box office success.

Wanting to produce a film that both critics and audiences would praise, Cameron teamed up with colleagues Gale Anne Hurd and Boris Sagal to create “The Abyss,” a sci-fi/horror movie based on an idea Cameron first thought up in high school. Though production was infamously difficult, the film, upon release in 1990, was a hit with critics and audiences, and won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. This led to him being hired to direct the 1992 film True Lies,” a remake of the 1991 French comedy “La Totale!” This too was a financial success.

Cameron’s first unsuccessful film was Stranger Days, a sci-fi thriller that was panned by critics and audiences upon its release on March 10, 1995. Cameron took the failure as an indication that he should return to pursuing passion projects like Xenogenesis and The Abyss. Being fascinated with shipwrecks all his life, and wanting to try a film with more drama and romance than most of the films he had worked on previously, Cameron soon began writing a scriptment for a movie centered around “the Mount Everest of all shipwrecks,” the Titanic…

– [19]

…Russia, having been awfully quiet amid rising tension between North Korea and the rest of the world, finally stepped up to bat and sought a peaceful resolution to the situation. President Volkov first tried to help by cancelling North Korea’s debt for past aid owed to the former Soviet Union. Kim accepted offer, but then refused to change course. “A skillful tactician like his father, the new Kim is not,” Volkov reportedly said. Volkov next tried to offer, via private telephone calls, exclusive access to luxury Russian product markets for North Korea’s wealthiest in exchange for a reversal of increasingly isolationist and possibly self-destructive policies. Again, Kim would not reverse course. Volkov was severely criticized for the debt cancellation, and following the private talks, Volkov openly condemned the Kim regime on nationwide Russian TV in order to win back support…

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

...In March 1995, the leaders of North Ossetia and South Ossetia officially declared the unification of the two territories into a single country, dubbed “Alania,” after the medieval kingdom Alans. The South’s President Torez Kulumbegov was declared President of the new nation, while the North’s President Alexander Dzasokhov was declared Vice-President. While warfare between Ossetian Independence guerillas and the forces of Russia and Georgia had been occurring intermittently for roughly a decade, the announcement returned public interest to Volkov’s perceived weakness in bringing the conflict to a satisfying close and contributed to his dropping approval ratings...

– Ivan Ivanovich Zassoursky’s After 1984: The Lands and Would-Be Lands of The Post-Soviet Era, 1985-2005, Milton Park Publishers, 2016

“A MAJOR VICTORY FOR BLUTAGS!” Massachusetts Becomes The First U.S. State to Grant Same-Sex Marriages


[pic: ]
Above: a variation of the “blu rainbow” flag representing the BLUTAG community; lavender and lavender-and-blue variations are also common

[snip] …Meanwhile, another victory for the BLUTAG community occurred in Washington, D.C., where the Supreme Court has declined to hear a city-level marriage license case concerning San Francisco’s marriage licenses. This means that the definition of marriage will stay at the state level unless the judges change their minds and agree to hear the case, or a similar case, and rule on it…

The New York Times, 3/14/1995

MOROCCO: “The Farthest West”

…with the rise of privatization among certain economic sectors, the kingdom is becoming known as a “jewel” on the continent as natural and market-based resources are now catching the attention of international investors as the country moves past the Western Sahara War that ravaged the region from 1975 to 1992. The conflict saw a 1993 peace treaty establish the Polisario Autonomous Territory in Western Sahara’s interior, thus granting the Sahrawi people greater self-determination…

– Time Magazine, mid-March 1995 issue

...In “The Man Behind The Chicken,” a film directed by Ang Lee, presents a serious and dramatic look at the Harland Sanders presidency, in which Richard Attenborough depicts The Colonel in his post-presidency years as a frail and flawed man. Temperamental, impatient, and complaintive, The Colonel is shown wanting to make his mark on the world while being tortured by the events of his Presidency. The film’s plot follows the former President as he works on ending conflicts in Middle-East in order to be “nearly forgiven” by his Maker. Scenes in which The Colonel blames himself for all the soldiers killed in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are Attenborough at his best, while the director fills every scene with rich and moody atmosphere...

– Vanity Fair, film review section, 3/17/1995

…The Aizukotetsu-kai yakuza organization received a crushing blow in March 1995. Japan expanding police powers for aid in cracking down on their activities had led to The Aizukotetsu-kai’s leader, Tokutaro Takayama, campaigning in public against the new laws, with the Aizukotetsu-kai even launching a lawsuit to challenge their constitutionality. However, their open legal actions were overshadowed when Chizuo Matsumoto, a partially blind pharmacist who ran a front for the organization, was arrested on March 17. The next day, after several hours of police interrogation, Matsumoto disclosed the location of shipping documents that confirmed Takayama’s connections to a human trafficking racket in the Shiga Prefecture. On March 20, Takayama was arrested, beginning a period of decline in the power and influence of the Aizukotetsu-kai syndicate… [snip] …Matsumoto would end up murdered for testifying against Takayama…

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

Due to heavy resistance from his own party and the United Kingdom Independent Progressive MPs maintaining the minority ruling government, Lennon decided to “shift strategy.” The Prime Minister agreed to subsidize electric charging infrastructure, as well as solar panels, wind turbines, and water turbines, in exchange for curbing back his penalization laws for polluters that the Tories called “draconian” and “unproductive.” On March 22, Lennon clarified that he wanted to “ease us [the UK] into the twenty-first century as smoothly as possible.”

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


…Australian PM Shirley de la Hunty today finalized a controversial agreement with Aboriginal Australians as to the “ownership” of Uluru, a natural national monument also known as Ayer’s Rock. Talks between the government and the Aborigines were first proposed during the early 1980s and began in 1989. After several negotiations as to the role both parties should play in preserving the landmark, the final form of the agreement will return full ownership to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines in exchange for them allowing supervised tourists to climb to the top of the sandstone formation sacred to the local natives…

The Los Angeles Times, 3/28/1995


[pic: ]
– President Iacocca at a Washington, D.C. luncheon with delegates from Japan, 3/29/1995; the man standing next to him, just out of frame, is a member of his Secret Service detail

…And in academic news, students at San Diego State University in California are protesting the school’s hiring of former Alaska Governor Bill Clinton due to his history of, to put it lightly, borderline sexual pestering, with his most high-profile accuser being US Senator and former Kentucky Governor Martha Osborne…

– CBS Evening News, 3/30/1995 report

April 1995 saw a quick, unofficial but repercussive war occur between Qatar and Bahrain. In 1994, two Qatari citizens were arrested in Bahrain on espionage charges. During the subsequent trial, Bahraini officials claim it that Qatari agents had performed spy missions in Bahrain in the past, with a similar international incident occurring in 1987. The two citizens being found guilty in early 1995 led to diplomatic talks breaking down. A month later, a Qatari national (a relative of one of the alleged spies), fired at police in Hamala, Bahrain in a “one-man army” effort to “liberate” the two prisoners; the national was killed in the subsequent shootout. The incident led to a riot in Manama, Bahrain, in which several Qatari nationals were attacked, leaving 12 injured. The next day, March 1, a Qatari military helicopter fired upon a Bahraini coastal patrol boat that Qatari officials then claimed was too close to Qatari territory that both parties had agreed belonged to Qatar.

Hours later, troops were mobilized in Bahrain and confronted unofficial “enemy forces” (Qatari military officers) in the Hawar Islands, a group of islands between the two countries whose ownership had long been disputed. Qatari forces were unprepared for the attack, and were soon rebelled from the three islands closest to Qatar. At this point, Qatari’s Emir, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, called for UN intervention.

A ceasefire was declared on March 3, after roughly 72 hours of unofficial warfare. On April 2, 1995, the UN’s International Law Commission resolved the dispute by dividing the islands. Due to Qatar being ruled to have instigated the fighting by firing upon a Bahraini patrol boat that was not demonstrating “belligerent intent” – a legal term that took on much significance in international affairs after this ruling – Bahrain was granted all disputed territory except for Janan Island.

The war was an embarrassment for Qatar, and was a contributing factor in the nation’s Emir abdicating a month later in favor of his son, Hamad bin Khalifa, ascending to the throne…

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

The Sanwi Kingdom’s search was finally over.

The people of the Sanwi had initially wanted Michael Jackson to serve as Crown Prince [20], only for him to die in 1993; interest in selecting O. J. Simpson ended with Simpson’s death in 1994. Former Governor Jesse Jackson of South Carolina was the next favorite [21] until he declined in late 1994 in order to focus on a potential run for the US Presidency in 1996. Activists Al Sharpton and Malcolm X also declined, though X did so at the insistence of his wife. The people of the new country accepted these declinations due to Jackson and Sharpton only being able to speak English, and due to X initially opposing US intervention in favor of the Sanwi “fight[ing] for themselves,” as he was wary of the image of “the Black man needing the help of the White man to become free.”

In retrospect, however, it is possible that none of these men would have been welcomed monarchs because the Sanwi people wanted an influential (though figurehead-like) leader that had five characteristics: ties to the US, to thank them for their part in their drive for independence; a basic grasp of the French language for communication purposes; be of western African ancestry; be willing to live in Sanwi, at least part-time; and be able to inspire.

Enter Jimi Hendrix. The guitarist, an icon of the 1970s, had spent six years (1983 to 1989) living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada due to fear of being arrested for recreadrug possession under President Denton, after fellow guitarist Duane Allman was arrested for one ounce of marijuana in 1982. Since moving back to the states in 1989, the musician had struggled to modernize his music to appeal to younger listeners. Additionally, with his third divorce finalized and the call for legalizing the drug that he described as “keeping me calm and cool” going seemingly unanswered, Hendrix was looking for a change of scenery once more.

On April 2, Hendrix received a phone call from his agent informing him of the Sanwi Kingdom’s offer of a low-paying “gig” on the other side of the world. At first, Hendrix told him, “April Fool’s was yesterday, dumba$$,” but until being informed that the offer was legitimate, he surprised his agent by telling him he was “interested” by it. Hendrix soon visited Sanwi, become the most high-profile person to arrive to in-person to apply for the job. Among the small-time businessmen, former X-Men radicals, and hardly-known sociopolitical activists, Hendrix stood out the most. Hendrix was reportedly “disappointed” by how small the country was, but was still interested because, unlike the businessmen and would-be politicians, he saw opportunity for others in this land. “I can really help out some brothers and sisters here. And it’s not too bad a place. The heat isn’t unbearable, and the women, hell, they’re just divine!”

A week later, the Sanwi Governing Council, with the approval of King Amon N’Douffou IV, voted unanimously to select Hendrix for the semi-ceremonial position of Crown Prince of The Sanwi. They had determined that the singer-songwriter “checked off all the boxes”: he was recognizable, inspiring, willing to live there, of western African ancestry, of American origin, and (thanks to his years living in Quebec) spoke “enough” French.

– Ivory Coast historian Aminata Kouassi, Ivorians: The History of Cote d’Ivoire, Sunrise Publishers, 2017


…the 52-year-old singer plans to keep his New York apartment and his Los Angeles estate, but will now purchase a third home in Adjouan, coastal village a short drive away from the Sanwi Kingdom’s capital of Krindjabo. Due to the title’s responsibilities (largely supporting the King’s decrees, promoting his own ideas for laws and reforms upon them being approved by the King, and serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the spring and harvest festivals), Hendrix has announced that he will divide his time between Sanwi and the US and apply for dual citizenship… His “coronation” will occur in June…

The Hollywood Reporter, 4/7/1995

“I think the federal government should do a more extensive auditing of the Federal Reserve. Because, the thing of it is, mind you, is that the Federal Reserve is not owned or controlled by the federal government any more than the Federal Express delivery company. …Their Board’s financial statements may need to be given a closer look.”

– Lee Iacocca’s remarks to a reporter at a WH Press Briefing, 4/8/1995


…news contributor and University of Canberra professor Michael Grant Ignatieff of the Labor party has just won election to Canberra’s seat in the Australian House of Representatives…

The Australian, daily newspaper, 4/9/1995

IACOCCA SUGGESTS THE US COULD WIN A TRADE WAR WITH THE UK; WH Press Secretary Clarifies “The President Was Joking”

…“It’s just a hypothetical. We have more workers, more innovators, more consumers, and more spenders. It’s a numbers game.” The comments came after a meeting between the President and the US Ambassador to the UK, which led to Iacocca commenting to members of the press “I’m glad we [the US and the UK] are on the same page, because I’d hate to fight a trade battle with them [the UK]. I mean, we’d win it, but I’d feel bad about it.”…

The Washington Times, 4/10/1995

…Another complication in the deterioration of US-North Korean relations was the continuation of South Korea’s annual military exercises in April. While the 1995 exercises went as planned, Kim Jung-Il claimed they were a purposeful “show of force” stunt meant to “intimidate the people of True Korea, which has failed because the people of True Korea cannot be intimidated,” according to the state-run media. However, according to official US and South Korean military reports, the April 1995 exercises were not larger it scope or scale than the ones held in 1993 and 1994…

– Rosalind Lippel’s Driven: The Presidency of Lee Iacocca, StarGroup International, 2012


[pic: ] (Getty Images; sorry for the poor cropping)
– Lee Iacocca with family members while visiting his hometown of Allentown, PA during the Easter break, Easter Sunday, 4/16/1995

…One of Geotz’s most loyal supporters was local realtor and political activist Terry Nichols. Born in 1955, Nichols played varsity football and graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in business, after struggling in the first two semesters to adjust to campus life, and after switching from aspiring to be a physician to being a businessman or real estate developer. Disliking the family farming business, Nichols moved out to Colorado in 1977. Among the homes and business spaces he sold, one was to businessman Bernard Goetz. The two became close friends over their rural backgrounds and their “distrust” of non-white communities. Nichols’ first public political moment came when he went on a hunger strike at the Colorado state capital building, chained himself to a pillar to protest Governor Webb’s business regulation policies; the stunt lasted for 22 hours, at which point Nichols unlocked himself and went home to make himself a baloney sandwich...


…Iacocca agreed with several liberal Governors in their decision to reduce reimbursement rates for school lunch programs, with some even capping them off at 10 cents per lunch meal. With less revenue comes less budget, and these state Governors responded to state-level financial shortfalls by mirroring the economic decisions made by Iacocca and the GOP Congress during their balancing of the budget earlier…

– Rosalind Lippel’s Driven: The Presidency of Lee Iacocca, StarGroup International, 2012


…Actress Marilyn Monroe, 68, married actor and activist Harry Belafonte, 68, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in a private ceremony yesterday morning. …While the marriage is Belafonte’s third, the nuptials make for Marilyn’s 11th marriage to 10 people over the course of 53 tumultuous years for the semi-retired starlet.

Monroe was first married to a factory worker named James Dougherty (1942-1946, divorce) before marrying a string of celebrities. First was professional baseball player Joe DiMaggio (1954-1955, divorce), then writer Arthur Miller (1956-1961, divorce), then DiMaggio again (1963-1969, divorce), before marrying African-American singer Roy Hamilton in 1969, only for Hamilton to die suddenly and unexpectedly just weeks after the wedding. Actor Dean Jagger was Monroe’s next husband (1969-1970, divorce), and he was followed by director Nick Ray in 1973, who supported Monroe’s “desert period,” during which time the actress relocated to Nevada and did not work on any projects from 1975 to 1979 in order to work on her health and to “clear [her] head.” Following Ray’s death in 1979, Monroe was married another director, Elia Kazan, for two months in 1981 (ending via an annullment), and to a third director, John Huston, from 1982 until his death in 1987. Huston convinced Monroe to return to the spotlight, leading to her winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Role for portraying Maerose Prizzi in the 1985 film “Prizzi’s Honor.” Monroe’s last previous marriage was to Italian-French singer Yves Montaud, from 1988 until his death, during the process of divorce, in 1991.

Monroe believes that Belafonte is “the right one,” telling reporters in Kingston, Jamaica, today “tenth time’s the charm!”

The Hollywood Reporter, 4/23/1995

With talks of a Star Trek movie on the rise, let’s look back on the installments already made to the Star Trek Universe…

Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1971, 5 seasons). TOS barely made it to Roddenberry’s goal of five seasons, but thanks to an unprecedented fan mail campaign, and some string-pulling from producer Lucille Ball and former President Lyndon B. Johnson, viewers received the Enterprise’s crew’s long-promised send-off on schedule.

Genesis (1973-1975, 2 seasons). John Saxon starred in this “western in space” that received lukewarm responses from critics and audience, but gained a rather small cult following and was later made a part of the Star Trek Universe in via a 1983 crossover episode of ST: P2. [22]

Star Trek: Phase Two (1978-1983, 5 seasons). With “Star Wars” being the massive hit that it was and still is, interest in Star Trek resumed, culminating in Roddenberry creating a more mature, darker, and more syndicated ST series centered on TOS’s cast and characters.

Star Trek: The Animated Series (1983-1984, 1 season). TAS was the result of an odd twist of irony, given the history of TOS. After Phase Two ended after five seasons, as planned from the beginning, the network insisted franchise receive more installment. Hoping to discourage the NBC heads, Roddenberry purposely made a poorly-animated pilot for a more “kid-friendly” version of Star Trek that involved over-the-top plot lines rejected from TOS and P2. To his surprise, NBC greenlit 20 more episodes, resulting in the most bizarre installment of the ST franchise, involving magic, Bigfoot, a Scooby-Doo parody, a “musical” episode, and even a crossover with “The Jetsons.” Roddenberry officially declared the series non-canon in 1990, to the relief of fans everywhere.

Star Trek: Excelsior (1985-1990, 5 seasons). After actor-politician George Takei gave up his seat on the San Francisco City Council to unsuccessfully run for a US Congressional district in 1984 – a bad year for Democratic nominees, even in California – Takei took up NBC’s offer to star in a spinoff series centered on Captain Sulu. An openly gay lead in a TV series was new territory for American television – complex, openly gay side characters had been around since “Soap” premiered in 1977, but never before had such an “open” member of the BLUTAG community received such an opportunity. Takei repeatedly insisted that Sulu the character was not gay, and to confuse the role with himself was a disservice to the franchise [23]. Combining Roddenberry’s earlier idea of a medical drama in space, the character Sulu’s adventures would see his optimistic view of things clash with the ship Excelsior’s chief doctor, the PTSD-plagued Dr. M’Benga (a minor character from TOS), played by African-American actor Booker Bradshaw.

Assignment: Earth (1986-1988, 2 seasons). Another spinoff series, STAE followed an alien played by Teri Garr as she attempted to protect Earth’s history from malicious aliens from the future. A “history-hopping” series set in multiple places and time periods, many compared it to “Doctor Who” and, after the series ended, “Quantum Leap.” Except Garr’s character, “Seven,” had a talking cat named Isis. Like how Sabrina the Teenage Witch had a talking cat. Not the most original series, but nevertheless entertaining.

Star Trek: Deep Space Seven (1995-2002, 7 seasons). Set on a stationary shipping lane hub in space and close to Earth, the series explored the details and conflicts of daily life in the Milky Way Galaxy of the 24th century, and the prejudice faced by said space station’s new Commander, a Klingon named Worf (played by Franklin Brooks). Critically acclaimed for its writing, acting and atmosphere, it is so far the only STU installment to make it to a sixth season.

Star Trek: Liftoff (since 1999, 3 seasons and counting). The latest installment of the STU is a prequel series set in the late 21st century, after alien contact and warp five have been achieved by humankind but before the formation of the UFP.

Movies have always been tricky business for Star Trek. The closest the franchise has ever gotten to one has been the movie-length pilot made for Deep Space Seven, which aired on April 27, 1995, ahead of the show’s September premier. Apart from several multi-episode plotlines [24], most Star Trek concepts and ideas have either been episodic or sustaining syndicated plotlines too long and complex for a feature-length theatrical presentation. Will this mean we will never get Star Trek on the big screen? Not necessarily, as talks are still ongoing over producing a “grand cinematic opus” that Roddenberry had “toyed around with” during the last few years of his life, according to his widow, Majel Barrett...

– “Star Trek: The Ultimate Trip Through the Galaxies,” Entertainment Weekly Special Edition, 2003

…Donald’s 1993 extramarital affair with Miss Atlanta 1992 Jennifer Prodgers led to Sarah Heath Trump filing for divorcing in 1994, soon leading to a nasty custody battle concerning their underage children: Pepper (b. 1986), Charlie (b. 1988), Katrina (b. 1990), Maryanne (b. 1991), and Richie (b. 1993). The public conflict, with each accusing the other of being an unfit parent, contrasted sharply with the family’s once-wholesome image.

Heath met Trump at his “lowest point,” in 1984, after retiring from baseball but before taking charge of and expanding in father’s construction/real estate renovation company. Sara Heath, born and raised in Starpoint, Idaho [25], had won second place (and a college scholarship) in the Miss Idaho pageant held earlier that year. After graduating from high school in 1982, she attended University of Hawaii at Hilo, but soon transferred to North Idaho College. Upon winning the aforementioned scholarship, she transferred again, this time to Queens College in NYC, leading to her meeting Trump soon after her arrival. Upon their marriage in 1985, Sarah encouraged Donald’s business efforts while she balanced raising their growing family and her work for the NYGOP as a regional communications director (a job she began almost immediately after graduating from college with a degree in communications).

Sarah’s career launched at the start of the decade by becoming a sports reporter for The Overmyer Network’s NYC-based SportsTime segments. Interested in politics, Sarah also worked on her sister-in-law’s successful 1993 gubernatorial campaign, until learning of Donald’s affair and separating from him in October of that year. The breakup was not Donald’s first, though, as his first marriage, to former beauty pageant winner Mary Theresa Hinterberger (which last from 1976 to 1979, and had led to the birth of his sons: Donald Jr in 1976, and Eric in 1978) had ended the same way.

Concurrently, an ethics investigation delved into Donald’s financial deals concerning the renovations of the Hudson Building in Tribeca and the Kemp Housing Center in Riverside South, the latter of which was his first non-sports-related construction endeavor. The situation unfolded at an unfortunate time for Donald, having just begun his first real estate venture on the west coast, and feared the “probe” would scare off investors. Fortunately for him, Donald was never indicted, but several close business partners were charged with, found guilty of, and fined for hiring practices that violated the Civil Rights Act of 1962. In late April, Donald testified against a former business partner in one NY court case before having to appear in the same courthouse an hour later to make his case for child custody. The legal procedures concerning his divorce and his “soured” business deals lasted from 1993 to 1997, and made the 1990s become the Don’s “dark decade,” as he later put it. Donald was eventually granted joint custody…



[pic: ]
Above: President Iacocca discusses reforms in both the federal government and the MLB with Donald Trump during the latter’s visit to D.C., late April 1995

– Kate Bohner’s The Art of The Don: The Unofficial Biography of Donald Trump, Times Books, 2017 edition

HELEN THOMAS, UPI: “What about the troops still in Colombia? When will our boys be coming home?”

PRESIDENT IACOCCA: “The military’s all-volunteer, Helen; those men, boys, and women have chosen to defend America’s ally that is the law-abiding people of Colombia. And American forces will leave Colombia’s combat regions either when the guerillas agree to a peace deal or surrender. We’re in the corner of the honest Colombian here. Last question, now. Yeah?”

JUAN WILLIAMS, THE WASHINGTON POST: “Have you received any updates on the cause of the Daegu Metro Explosion what killed nearly 100 workers in southern South Korea on Friday the 28th?”

IACOCCA: “I’m actually going to speak with members of the South Korean government, to find out what they’ve learned from their still-ongoing investigation, right after this whole briefing thing, but I can tell you that at the moment there is a very high chance, I’m going to say a 95% percent chance, uh, pending what I’ve been told about, um, and shown concerning the incident, a very high chance that the explosion and destruction was not the work of North Korean espionage. And to be honest, I don’t think they have the rights smarts to pull off such a high-casualty cam bombing.”

JUDY WOODRUFF, NBC NEWS: “So there is a chance that it was an attack from some North Korean agent?”

IACOCCA: “A low chance, Ms. Woodruff, a low chance. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have to get ready for a phone conference and then a trip to Michigan. So long, folks.”

THOMAS: “Mr. President.”

– Transcript of D.A.T. recording of White House press briefing between President Iacocca and the White House Press Corp, 5/1/1995

In truth, workers doing underground construction on a metro line accidently drilled into a city gas pipeline, creating a 50-meters-long pillar of fire that consumed the workers in the tunnel, and nearly 40 pedestrians above, and injured nearly 200 others when the private parking lot resting above the new pillar of fire collapsed, plunging dozens of cars into the engulfing flames. [26] The images of a fiery crater nearby the Daegu secondary school sparked outrage and fear, as a shocked city soon delved into paranoia as rumors spread that the explosion was the result of North Korean sabotage.

In the midst of rising international tension as the Deagu’s transportation office head pointed his finger at the North, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Walfare immediately began to investigate. South Korean President Kim Young-sam declared the odds of North Korean agents being responsible for the loss of life to be “unlikely” on April 29 to calm down public panic that was causing citizens to overwhelm stores as fearful and worried masses prepped for the unknown future.

On May 2, the H.L.W. Ministry announced that they had uncovered negligence in the city’s transportation office. The subsequent arrest and trial of those accused of business misconduct put an end to several days of international diplomatic tension as the world’s eyes made glances of suspicion at the Hermit Kingdom. The announcement also fueled two social movements in South Korea – further support for the South Korean President’s anti-corruption campaign, and further interest in above-ground maglev transportation.

– Elizabeth Drew’s On The Edge: The Iacocca Presidency, NYT Publishing, 2011 edition


[pic: ]
– President Iacocca, speaking at an auto parts manufacturing facility in Lansing, Michigan, on the success of job growth efforts in the auto industry, 5/3/1995

>MOTHER-POST: Was Anyone Else Disappointed By The Fourth Star Wars Movie?

After 1983’s Return of the Jedi, we had to wait eleven years for Lucas to make a Star Wars prequel movie showing the Clone Wars, and how the Jedi Knights came to be in the first place. The new characters were interesting, and I’m looking forward to the sequel to this prequel coming out in two years, but did the story seem like it was at times too boring, and at other times too clichéd? I mean, don’t get me wrong, “The Knights Arise” was alright, not great but certainly not bad, but I just feel like, maybe, if they had released it as TV miniseries, Lucas would have expanded on the universe and actually do some character development instead of spending so much time on military tactics and nonsensical sci-fi technology mumbo-jumbo. Am I alone on thinking this? Anyone?

Lucas would not have gone for a miniseries. While Star Trek stays shy of the big screen, Lucas is shy of the small screen; that’s why he’s pushing for all SW spinoffs to be standalone films.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 1:
Either that or because the two SW Holiday Specials, and that God-awful Ewok cartoon from the late ’80s, just scared him away from putting any more SW stuff on TV.

>>REPLY 2 to REPLY 1:

I heard Lucas is looking into using CRI to make a movie entirely or almost entirely with just droids, no people.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 2:
Please Source Where You Heard That!

I wasn’t expecting it to top the first three movies, so no I wasn’t disappointed by it. But at least the casting was decent. Lance Henriksen did a good job as the main bad guy, and Taaffe O’Connell, she was superb!

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 3:
Melody Thomas Scott’s character was hotter.

–, a public pop-culture news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting netsite, 5/4/1995 posting “thread”

Today I read in the paper Iacocca’s visiting L.A. in a few days for some kind of thing at their city hall. It’s not too far a drive.

– Lynwood Crumpler Drake III’s personal journal, 5/5/1995 entry

James had decided; “enough is enough,” he declared… [snip] …The US Secret Service agency were a very confident bunch for a good, long while. No President had been seriously targeted for assassination since 1986, and no President had been killed since McKinley got shot in September 1901, nearly 94 years ago. To most Americans, the idea of the President getting shot was a crime that, while heinous, was also rightfully left in the history books. That while inferior nations suffered such calamities, it could never happen here.

Then Kim Jung-Il made his vague threat of “avenging” his dead father. The Secret Service began monitoring crowds for anyone suspicious; even cleared visitors to the White House were followed around. Rooftops were checked whenever the president appeared in public, but most servicemen suspected a cam bomb or acid attack would be far more likely, and so crowds received more attention than windows and roofs. In retrospect, what happened on that day may have been due to prejudice aimed toward Asian-Americans (due to the US-Japan Trade War of 1994), and/or to African-Americans (due to negative stereotypes concerning them)...

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011

On May 9, 1995, Iacocca flew in to Los Angeles, California, to accept an honorary diploma from the University of Southern California’s business school. After the ceremony, he dropped by the site of the Sunrise Tower project near Venice Beach, in Santa Monica. It was Donald Trump’s newest urban development project, the endeavor he believed would usher in a new era of success for him, after a messy divorce and an ethics investigation.


[pic: ]
Above: Iacocca and Trump going over designs and financial reviews for Trump’s hotel/business complex/spa project

After the brief meeting, Iacocca made one last stop, to the Mayor’s office to cut the ribbon at City Hall to celebrate the building's recent renovation. Trump joined him in the limousine for the free publicity of the photo-op; he needed the ride to meet with the city's zoning commissioner.

The photos had been taken but the cameras kept rolling as the President shook the hands reaching out from the adjacent crowd.

– Elizabeth Drew’s On The Edge: The Iacocca Presidency, NYT Publishing, 2011 edition

The assailant laid on his stomach, positioning himself near the corner of the rooftop. A mild breeze joined the day’s 65-degree weather. It was sunny, with only some clouds in the sky. The breeze made him put on a hat to keep his ratty locks of hair out of his face. He crouched down carefully, trying to blend in to the dark façade of the building top. He watched the men below glance around, and did his best to stay out of sight. He heard the clapping and resumed peaking from his makeshift crow’s nest. He saw the target preparing to leave. He knew his window of opportunity was closing, and he prepared his weapon. Without hesitance, the perpetrator readied, aimed, and fired.

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

[1] Italicized portion is from here:
[2] TTL’s term for “coming out of the closet”
[3] Italicized part is taken from Source 41 on the OTL famine’s wikipedia page:
[4] Thank @Igeo654 for the ideas that went into this.
[5] Lines pulled from pages 13-14 of the OTL 2007 Lee Iacocca book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”:
[6] OTL, according to his wikipedia article
[7] For map, see TTL’s 1/1/1978 entry
[8] The minimum wage at this point of TTL; Bellamy would have likely made it higher than the $3.80 Bush made it in 1990 IOTL before the GOP took over the House in 1990:
[9] Pulled from the 1996 F.Q.P. Act of OTL:
[10] Un-italicized lines here were pulled from page 216 of the OTL 2007 Lee Iacocca book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”:
[11] Iacocca did agree with Nader on this, saying “Here I find myself in rare agreement with Ralph Nader: The Corvair really was unsafe”!:
[12] A March 12, 1991 source ( notes that Iacocca wrote the following in a full-page newspaper advertisement in that same year: Safety Should be Our First Priority. The Auto Industry Has Dragged Its Feet Long Enough… In the early Eighties, the American car industry made a mockery of ‘Made in America.’ …We believe a car engineered for safety is a car engineered for quality.”!
[13] OTL Iacocca quote (from an interview found in a 1991 issue of Playboy magazine)
[14] The origin of his Foo Fighters songs of OTL.
[15] OTL quote from his final interview.
[16] IOTL, it was his grandfather who introduced him to firearms in the first place.
[17] Italicized parts are from an article from 2000, found here:
[18] Italicized passages are actually pulled from here:
[19] So there’s no Terminator series ITTL because Cameron came up with the idea for it after having a nightmare brought on by food poisoning he got while on the set of Piranha II, a movie he worked on IOTL but not ITTL due to the 1978 recession delaying his filmmaking career by nearly two years.
[20] This is real! They declared Michael Jackson to be their King in 1992 in OTL!
[21] Also based on OTL; they appointed him “king” after Jackson’s 2009 death in OTL!
[22] More details mentioned in the late 1982 chapter
[23] Takei opposed making Sulu gay IOTL, saying it “twisted” Roddenberry’s “vision” for the show:
[24] The most notable one being the four-parter in the final Season of Star Trek: Phase Two (1983), which is this essentially TL’s version of OTL’s Star Trek 4 movie. In episode 1, a space probe of unknown origin approaches Earth, creating earthquake-inducing sounds that when heard underwater are revealed to be the calls of a long-extinct species of whale. To remedy the situation, the Enterprise II slingshots around the sun to travel to 1983, but receive severe structural damage and make an emergency landing in the Mojave Desert. In episode 2, crewmembers arrive in San Francisco while most remain at the ship, with Scotty overseeing repairs that will take several days to complete. In the city, Spock wins an impromptu debate with a philosophy professor, Kirk gets the Arkwave Treatment his character avoided in the final season of ST:TOS, McCoy gets kicked out of a hospital after angrily telling the staff that they are doing everything wrong, Uhura and Sulu experience real prejudice for the first time in their lives, and the crew have to break Chekov out of a military prison. In episode 3, the prison breakout escalates into US military leaders accusing Russia of sabotage, resulting in Kirk and Spock having to prevent an international incident before it gets out of hand. After the situation is resolved via manipulating security footage, Kirk finds love but struggles to adapt to 20th century courtship. Meanwhile, to fix the ship, Scotty goes on a side-quest to obtain rare earth elements that are abundant in the future, while a conspiracy theorist begins claiming that something massive and invisible exists out in the desert. In episode 4, Kirk’s love interest, who happens to be a marine biologist and whale expert, accidently beams herself aboard the cloaked ship when Kirk loses his communicator. Meanwhile, Spock learns of the origins of whales on earth and their connection to the space probe via crew member “Seven,” who would later get her own spinoff show. Scotty returns, repairs the ship, the whales are beamed into the ship’s tanks, and the crew leaves Earth before the theorist can take a picture. Back in their present, the reintroduction of the whales ends to space probe’s sounds, saving Earth from further destruction. Afterward, Kirk discovers the marine biologist was still onboard when they left her present, and the two begin a relationship (while Kirk’s character arc sees him matures and begin to consider settling down, which conflicts with the biologist’s adventurous fascination with the world she now inhabits) that continues for the rest of the season (and discussed/expanded upon in future S.T.U. installments).
[25] Because the economic situation was worse in TTL’s 1964 than it was in OTL (anyone remember TTL’s Salad Oil Recession of 1963-1964?), Sarah Heath’s father did not get hired for a new job in Alaska, and thus did not move the family up there in 1964 like in OTL!
[26] Which is similar to what happened in OTL!
Post 64
Post 64: Chapter 72

Chapter 72: May 1995 – August 1995

“You must make your own life amongst the living and, whether you meet fair winds or foul, find your own way to harbor in the end.”

– Capt. Dan Gregg, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, 1947

James [Wenneker von Brunn] burst through the motel room’s door in a sweat, slammed it shut, and then took a peak through the adjacent window’s curtains. And I thought, “He did it, my God he actually did it, didn’t he?” I walked over to him and he hurriedly staggered into the bathroom. In the moment I thought he was packing his things up. We have to move – no, not move. Moving requires contacting a realtor and shit. We have to flee. “The cops are hot on your trail, is that it?” I remember asking as I took a good look at my man from outside the bathroom doorway. My boyfriend, the killer, the liberator of democracy. Bold, brave, flustered, fierce. Wait. Flustered? Then I noticed his face. It was not the look of a face that had experience success, but the face of one experiencing anger, rage, and above all, failure.

“Honey?” I walked closer and saw him rubbing his face, spreading his palm across his wrinkly face before slipping it off and down the side of his face, momentarily transforming half of it into that of a bloodshot hound dog.

“What?” He answered with a voice tired, and almost out of breath.

“The cops aren’t after us, are they?” I said it flatly.

“No, and unless they suspect I had something to do with it, they’re not going to be, dammit.”

“What happened?”

He spilled immediately, “I was all set. I had my gun,” he pulled it out, unloaded it, and laid it on the bed, “all read for action. And I got close to him, so very close. Just two more feet, two another handshake or two and would have gotten him. I went for my gun and I think the Secret Servicemen looked to me as my arm moved, you know, that tell of when someone’s hiding something bad.” He continued, “And as everyone was cheering and he was approaching and I was seizing the chance, POW! Somebody beat me to the chase! Someone beat us to it! Some cowardly punk hit Iacocca with a cowardly sniper shot. He guy went down like a sack of potatoes. Thinking they’ll start arresting or at least starting patting down everyone in the crowd, I skedaddle. Damn it!” He kicked the waste basket out of frustration. “What or who the f@#k even was that sniper?”

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011

At 5:15 PM, while turning his head to address more well-wishers, Iacocca was struck just above the left ear at a 45-degree angle, with the bullet exiting the back of the head. The explosion of brain matter sent a splattering of blood onto Mayor Bradley, L.A.’s US Congressman Nick Patsaouras, and businessman Donald Trump. The three accompanying men each responded differently – Bradley stood in a state of shock; Patsaouras (closest to the President) went to try and catch Iacocca as he felt but was not quick enough; and Trump by stepped back in a recoil and, upon realizing what had happened, turned and hurried back into the building (Trump would later state that he was going for help). Concurrently, the crowd devolved from one of cheers into one of fear as panic and confusion swept the area. The roughly 200 people dispersed in all directions.

However, while most spectators (including a one James Wennecker von Brunn) fled in terror, some brave souls stayed to try and help the President up only for the Secret Service to quickly step in. Others still responded to the sudden chaos by standing nearly frozen, unsure where to go or of what had even happened. Of the people that were filming the event, some just continued to film, including the KNN cameraman nearly run over by the departing crowd.

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

“‘Beacon is down! Repeat – Beacon is down!’ We picked him up by the shoulders and carried him into the limousine. The driver sped to the hospital as [fellow serviceman] Grant [M. Schmidt] called ahead. We even clipped at least two cars on our way to the closest ER, the Good Samaritan Hospital on Wilshire Boulevard. Priorities.”

– retired secret serviceman Gary J. Byrne, 2005 interview

…This just in: shots have been fired at the President in Los Angeles, California. I repeat, shots have been fired at the President…

– KNN, 5/9/1995 “breaking news alert” segment

Drake immediately fled the scene of his heinous crime. Upon sliding his sniper rifle down an air vent, he hurried down the stair well and went out the back service entrance, hoping to blend in to the panicked crowd and skedaddle to Mexico. At 5:19, after pushing down two citizens – an elderly couple uncertain where to go in the new sea of melee – out of his way, causing them to tumble, a security guard shouted “Hey!” Believing he had been discovered, Drake panicked and pulled out his revolver from his windbreaker jacket pocket. The jacket snapped on the weapon, causing him to drop it onto the sidewalk. The guard spotted all of this, and pulled out his own weapon. Rightly believing he would fire into the crowd, Drake crammed into a group of anxious passersby, causing the guard to chase after him.

Drake led the guard into the adjacent City Hall Park, believing he could lose him (and return to his car) by looping around the building. This almost worked as he made his way to North Spring Street, but was he ran, his hat got caught on a low-hanging tree branch. The hat pulled his head back just enough for him to slip and fall. Before he could pick himself up, a second policeman who had joined in the pursuit of the “suspicious individual” jumped on him.

As the two officers apprehended him, he reportedly uttered “I guess I’m not heading to Mexico after all.”


The city of Los Angeles had not experienced any major violence in nearly ten years, since the anti-Denton protests of 1985-1986 led to a minor riot in October 1986. Despite this, LAPD Chief (since 1978) Daryl Gates reacted swiftly by calling for the inspection of all surveillance tapes and other available footage, a check of all individuals present at the shooting, and the stopping of traffic on the streets surrounding city hall. Mayor Tom Bradley’s waning popularity (he had barely won re-election over businessman Richard Riordan) saw a sudden rise as he traveled to the hospitals of people injured in the crowd dispersal.

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

“I tried the defibrillator again and again, until the senior chief came over to me and grabbed my shoulder.

‘Charles,’ he lamented, ‘he’s gone.’

There was just too much of him missing. We pumped the blood in, his h poured it back out. In retrospect, I’m amazed a heartbeat was even detected when they wheeled him in. [sad sigh] I was the one that had tried to operate on him, the last man in line to save him, and I failed. When the day was over, I sat down and cried. All lost patients are hard to overcome, and this one was no exception.

I still felt obligated to tell the news to the press, but the chief insisted the hospital manager do that, and let me answer the questions only. I said no. As the doctor that operated on the President, I felt an obligation and duty to make the announcement confirming to the world that the President had passed away.”

– Dr. Charles Krauthammer, PhD, L.A. Good Samaritan Trauma Room physician 1987-1995, 2005 interview


[pic: ]
– Congressman Nick Patsaouras (D-CA) offers his condolences to the Iacocca family after Dr. Krauthammer’s comments, still wearing his blood-covered suit, 5/9/1995

EXTRA!: IACOCCA KILLED!: Sniper Shoots Dead U.S. President!

The New York Times, 5/9/1995


[pic: ]


“Yes, I struck him down!” Larry rejoiced as he knocked down the final pin. This bowling alley was a special place for us, it being the most fixed location of our lives for past several years. Ambassadorships took us away from D.C., and we had lived in northern D.C. home for only two years when Larry went from being a Senator to being Vice President, thus causing us to move again for the umpteenth time. But in the midst of the changing locales, the DC location of Bowl America had remained constant. Not too far away from the children’s schools and both of our offices, the place was the most convenient place for family outings. “I think I’m getting better at this” he smirked as he sat down at the table.

I pointed up at the score board, “Not better enough, though, Larry.”

He shrugged, “Practice makes perfect, though.” He then looked at his watch.

I went up to take my turn. “There,” I began as I turned around just as I scored a ten, “now getting all the pins down is what you call a – ”

Larry was rummaging through his bag. “Honey, I think I left my pager at home.”

“Well it’s not like nobody knows where you are,” I said, “We know the first names of everyone who works here.”

“But Lee said he was going to call me around now, and yet the phone hasn’t rung for me.”

“He’s probably running late.”

As he was nodding, several men in black suits burst through the door, bringing a yelp out of Waitress Wendy. It was a surprising image that gave both of us a jump before realizing they were Secret Servicemen. That replaced our surprise with curiosity, as our family’s own security officers quickly stood beside us.

After some of the men spun around the room with guns, one said “The room is secure,” and our surprise returned as Chief of Staff Dick Brandt walked through. Tearfully he approached Larry. “Mr. President,” was how he addressed him.

“You mean Mr. Vice President,” Larry said with a look of befuddlement and horror.

Brandt shook his head. He pulled out a bible (we later found out it was his own, and he had picked it up on his way over to us), and added, “We need you to come with us, sir, and formally take the oath.”

Dinger’s eyes widened at the implications, and uttered a barely-legible “No,” but one in disbelief, not one in refusal of his duties.

“What, sir?” Brandt asked.

Dinger replied with “H-how did it happen? When? Why?”

“We’ll catch you up to speed, sir. Now please, your country needs you.”

It must have felt unreal for him in that moment; he must have been frightened and saddened. I’m talking about Brandt, of course; I could already tell that Larry was feeling the same things.

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

Everyone can remember where they were when they heard of Lee Iacocca’s death. People were coming home from work. Children were out of school. Drivers were listening to their radios. Others were watching TV when KNN’s footage became news worthy of interrupting most programming. Even later, opening up the latest newspaper with the word “Extra!” written across it informed the less social. The death of Iacocca shocked the nation, to put it simply. While not the first president to be murdered, it was the first successful Presidential assassination in 94 years, and the atrocious act saddened millions of people both nationwide and worldwide. Regardless of whether or not you agreed with, him he was a respected leader and his end troubled many. It rocked them to their core. The folks on Capitol Hill were not immune, they were shocked, too.

But nobody cried until the second day, when it really began to sink in that Iacocca would never again give a speech or sign a bill into law or visit a factory or school. On the hill, never again would he enter their offices, never talk to them, never speak to them ever again. That’s when the salt-rivers flowed. But as tears were wiped and people returned their attention to their jobs and families, attention also turned to the man whom had succeeded Iacocca, the man whom was now the President of the United States – a man named Larry Miles Dinger.

– Julian E. Zelizer and David F. Emery’s Burning Down The House, Penguin Publishing Group, 2020

[pic: ]
Larry Miles Dinger, the 42nd President of the United States of America

“I congratulate you on your promotion but offer my most sincere condolences for how it came about.”

“Um, thank you, and uh, well, this may be a little over two years late, but, uh, likewise.”

– phone call between the President of Sir Lanka and US President Larry Miles Dinger, 5/10/1995

Lee Iacocca laid in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol from Friday, May 12, to Sunday, May 14, at which point his casket was moved to the Washington National Cathedral for the state funeral. President Dinger’s speech on this day was similar to the televised address he had given five days earlier, in which he announced the death of Iacocca, declared a month of national mourning, and order all flags to be lowered to half-mast for said month. In that speech, he had lamented, “He wanted for us what we all want for each other. Family, security, and the belief that things will get better. It is now more important than ever that we uphold this last want, and believe that things will get better. The clouds of misery and uncertainty will someday depart and reveal the sun once more, but not without hope and being together with the people we love, during this time of national tragedy. We cannot make sense of the senseless, but we can overcome the worst of situations when we are there for each other, and stand together, united in our shared belief that the American Dream that Lee Iacocca believed in is strong and indestructible, and still alive in the hearts of every freedom-loving being. We will continue on, we will return to our families, return to our jobs, and continue to strive to be the America that Lee Iacocca strived for throughout his life.”

At the state funeral held the day before Iacocca’s casket was finally brought to its final resting place in the slain President’s hometown of Allentown, PA, Dinger added, “We as a nation have been through turmoil and heartache again and again, and each time we’ve come back stronger. We are still here because we never give in to fear – we conquer fear. We acknowledge our fears, we confront them, and we defeat them. And in this moment, our nation fears the unknown, the uncertainty presented to us in the wake of this tragedy. And as Americans, we will stand tall and honor Lee Iacocca, and continue on the legacy that he started, a legacy of love for his family, his friends, his colleagues and his countrymen, and for all the people of the world with love in their hearts.”

– Rosalind Lippel’s Driven: The Presidency of Lee Iacocca, StarGroup International, 2012

“He’s with Mom now.”

– Kathryn Iacocca, 9/14/1995


[pic: ]
– New US President Larry Miles Dinger pays his respects as Lee Iacocca lies in wait in the US Capitol’s Rotunda; the man to his left is retired Navy Admiral John S. McCain III; 9/14/1995

“I was Governor of Nevada when Iacocca was assassinated. At the time it happened, we didn’t know if it was an insurrection, what it was. All of the states went on an alert. The president had been assassinated. I dealt with so many things. I got very involved because I was chairman of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Commission. [1] And my state has a lot of military installations. So just like Governor Mario Cuomo in New York and Governor Kathleen Brown in California did in their states, I put everything on high alert, basically on lockdown, just in case this was the start of some kind of coordinated attack or something. We were all on edge, shocked into being really, very anxious, for a very long time.”

– former Governor Douglas A. "Doug" Swanson (R-NV), radio interview, 2007

“I think the lack of any public announcement concerning his alleged killer is very revealing, Art.”

“You don’t think it has anything to do with the Iacocca family and the new administration requesting a period of mourning? You know, before we delve into the trial?”

“I think it has more to do with the government either covering something up or trying to get to the bottom of who were the perpetrators.”

“They already have the suspected killer, though, Joe.”

“No-no, Art, I’ve seen the KNN footage – we have all – but I’ve studied it closely and carefully. Iacocca turned his head as he was shot, and from the angle, I don’t think the line of trajectory lines up with the building directly across the street, but with the building over from that one.”

“Alright, Joe, I see you’ve got another one of your lists there, so tell me – if Drake somehow didn’t do it, who did?”

“There’s plenty of suspects. White supremacists who didn’t like Iacocca being Italian. Religious fanatics who disliked him being Catholic. Feminist radicals like that Marilyn Jean Buck who’s been on the run since trying to blow up some office in D.C. during the Second Ark Wave. There’s the Albanian mafia – ”

“The Albanian mafia?”

“Were you expecting Mother Theresa and Reverend Jerry Brown in matching string bikinis?”

“Why Albania?”

“FBI Director Kennedy’s really gone after their activities in the US this past year. They’ve kind of spread out since their country joined Yugoslavia.”

“I see. So the Albanian mafia, but not the Italian mafia?”

“Nah, too much of a stereotype. If not the Albanians, then the yakuza. Yeah, in fact the yakuza are even more likely!”

“You should have led with them. Any other more likely suspects?”

“Of course! The big one is North Korea, because let’s face it, who’d be a better sniper, an N.K. agent, or a guy who can’t hold down a job as a garbage man?”

“Okay, that thought has merit. Lots of Asian-Americans have been harassed in the past few days because of such rumors. So it’s not the first time I’ve heard it.”

“And it might not be the last time, either! But if it was not a North Korean sniper, than maybe it was one sent by one of the Recreadrug Cartels plaguing Colombia and Mexico and apparently every country between the two.”

“You’re done with the list then?”

“No, there’s more! Iacocca publicly feuded with the Federal Reserve; that could have done him in. There’s some talk that the Secret Service were distracted by some shifty guy in the crowd; there could be something to that. Iacocca alternatively could have been rubbed out by MI6 – the man had suggested starting a trade war with the British just a few weeks ago!”

“All of those seem very unlikely.”

“Unlikely, but not impossible.”

“That should be the tagline of his show.”

“Next up on my little list here, Art – .”


“Is Big Pharma – ever since UHC, billion-dollar medicine and insurance companies have lost millions in revenue as the cost of medical care has shifted. I think some CEOs hoped Iacocca would reverse this, but because of how popular it is, he left it alone. Then there’s the gun lobbyists I read about in some news article a while back. I think gun manufacturers are not as powerful as they would like to be, and don’t forget the fact that the military-industrial complex described by President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address is very real, and if they were behind this, than it’s time for people to heed Ike’s words!”

“I dunno, most of the evidence still seems to point to Drake, so I’m more interested in the motive, what drove him to do it, you know?”

“There’s already some theories on that.”

“Of course there are.”

“According to Drake’s former roommates and his ex-wife, the guy enjoyed violent video games, and was a fan of the movie ‘Natural Born Killers.’ That guy who failed to assassinate the King of Saudi Arabia back in January could have inspired him to do it, too – if he did do it, that is. Also, Drake apparently also likes Bud Light beer.”

“You think Bud Light had something to do with Iacocca’s assassination?”

“Drake was reportedly seen drinking the stuff just before he went into the building.”

“You think maybe the caffeine did it?”

“No, I think maybe something else was in that specific drink, and it influenced him, like some kind of drug slipped to him by some agent, working for some sinister orchestrator.”

“[sarcastically] You sure there’s no other reason why it was Bud Light, Joe?”

“well, Iacocca did once praise Coca-Cola back in February, so, hey, maybe you’re on to something!”


“I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not crazy, Artie, I just think big!”

– Host Art Bell and recurring caller Conspiracy Joe on KDWN’s late night political call-in talk radio program Coast to Coast AM, Sunday 5/14/1995 [2]



[pic: ]
Above: Lynwood Drake, currently awaiting trial in an undisclosed location

The New York Post, 5/16/1995

“Well, Joe, that was straight from the mouth of the horse’s ass. Care to comment?”

“Um, well, Art, uh, it’s very possible that he’s just lying for one of, um, many reasons. I know – I’ll make a list of reasons! Just give me a few minutes…”


– Host Art Bell and recurring guest Conspiracy Joe on KDWN’s late night political call-in talk radio program Coast to Coast AM, 5/16/1995

Even with Drake’s confession, many criticized the FBI for keeping America “left in the dark,” a decision that fueled rumors of the assassination being a North Korean plot. These rumors soon grew into elaborate conspiracy theories on the technet, theories (later amended to claim that Drake was forced to claim he acted alone) that marked the first mass spreading of disinformation on the technet. Soon enough, entire netsites dedicated to an interpretation of events based on circumstantial evidence or hearsay were founded. The circulation of falsehoods led to incidents of verbal abuse and even physical assault targeting Asian Americans. To address this, local and state-level governments across the country called for peace and civility, and condemned such attacks. After a May 19 attack left two Taiwanese-American high school students in the hospital for stitches, President Dinger called such acts “unpatriotic” and “beneath us as a nation” at a May 20 press briefing.

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

“Guns are not toys. They are tools meant for hunting dangerous or nutritious animals, not for harming people. The second amendment defends the rights of well-regulated militias. This heinous act, a cowardly act of treason, was perpetrated by a lone wolf, not a militia, let alone a well-regulated militia. Aware of the need to protect law-abiding citizens from those who wish to abuse the tool of the rifle, we hereby endorse the Gun Control Bill currently making its way through congress.”

– NRA spokesperson, 5/29/1995 press briefing


The Washington Post, 5/30/1995

History Repeats Itself in Iacocca’s Death

…In a personal attempt try and make some sense out of this senseless tragedy, here are some comparisons I, a historian, have found exist between Lee Iacocca and another great-but-slain leader, Abraham Lincoln:

1. Both Presidents had a wife named Mary, and both marriages ended in death, with Lincoln dying in 1865 and Mary McCleary dying in 1983.

2. Both men worked in transportation prior to becoming President: Lincoln for the Alton & Sangamon Railroad company as a legal representative in 1851, while Iacocca worked for both Ford and Chrysler.

3. Both men favored the modernization of industries, with both paying attention to the needs of the American Midwest.

4. Their respective presidential campaigns used a “self-made man” message.

5. Both oversaw military action while in office, with Lincoln dealing with the Civil War and Iacocca handling U.S. troops helping to fight off anti-government guerillas in Colombia.

6. Both men were known for famous speeches: Lincoln for the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debate and the 1863 Gettysburg Address, while Iacocca’s best speeches were given at the third Presidential debate of 1992, and at the 1993 State of the Union address, in which he proclaimed an effort to send mankind to Mars.

7. Both men were assassinated thespians: while John Wilkes Booth was a noted man of the stage, Lynwood Crumpler Drake III had bit parts in only a few TV shows.

8. Lincoln was shot at a theater; Iacocca planned on visiting a theater later in the evening on the day of his assassination.

9. Both men redefined Republicanism; Iacocca shifted the GOP’s primary focus from social issues to economic issues, while Lincoln [see Lincoln’s wiki page].

10. Both ABE LINCOLN and LEE IACOCCA contain 10 letters each.

11. Both were survived by two children (Lincoln by two sons, Iacocca by both daughters).

– The Chicago Tribune, side article, 6/1/1995 editorial

As police revealed confirmed the existence of a “man of suspicious nature” in the crowd having distracted Secret Servicemen from the rooftops, talks of a two-man operation increased despite Drake insisting he acted alone. Meanwhile, neighbors and acquaintances of Drake were shunned for admitting in TV interviews that they knew he had expressed interest in harming or killing himself or others, but did not take him seriously due to his reputation of being a “nut.” A one Andrew Zatco, 83, a former landlord to the victim, said “I thought he only talked a big game. I don’t think anyone ever took him seriously.

Drake allegedly being mentally unwell renewed criticism of the Mental Health Research Bill of 1986, with many of the left claiming it was “weak” legislation. Regardless, the assassin’s ability to legally purchase a gun opened a dialogue on gun safety, and revealed the remaining bureaucratic “holes” of the mental health treatment parts of American Universal Healthcare Care (the fact that he man had been diagnosed with cancer of the leg in the early 1990s but that it had been in remission since early 1994 brought forth a controversy all on its own).

On June 2, Senator Bethine Church (D-ID) called for a national increase in services for the mentally-ill, believing that it would help ease gun violence. Senator John Judge (R-IA) supported her on this, but also called for the launching of a “nationwide campaign” to remove stigmas regarding mentally-unwell individuals, citing mockery of 1986 would-be Presidential killer J. O. Huberty as a “big example of our society intimidating those left in the shadows, afraid to step out and ask for help.” Judge blamed “[the] Hollywood writers and stand-up comedians” of the later 1980s for discouraging Americans from seeking mental help, “to instead suppress, deny, and maybe even convince themselves that they are fine. Case in point, Mr. Drake has told police that he will not plea innocent on a plea of insanity and will not comply with any offers for mental help because he believes he is a sane man. How do you get such people the help they need but that they don’t want? If we force them to go to a sanitarium, it is against their wishes. And if he is a sane man after all, such a force, a violation of his will, come traumatize him.” The actions of Church and Judge thus opened up a national debate on how to best address mental health as well.

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

“Yeah, I mean, remember when the hip-hop scene got blamed for Lee Iacocca getting killed, all because Drake allegedly liked to listen to rap?”

“S#!t, everyone was getting the finger pointed at them that time. Even some whack-job on the radio blamed one of the beer companies. Coors, I think.”

“So you don’t think there was a connection.”

“Lee getting capped happened a bit after Eazy-E and Tim Dog got shot, and after Jay-Z and Kool Keith surviving getting hit, too, but we weren’t to blame, because we started changing our music even before Lee died. Right before he got hit, Biggie, man, he released a single called ‘Thug Truce’ for a reason.”

“Well, yes, those four rappers getting shot did worked as a wake-up call of sorts for fans of the genre.”

“And that’s when things started changing. Cokey getting capped just sped it up. Eazy-E and Tim Dog died from the very lifestyle they glorified in their music. We all romanticized the thug life. Looking back, I guess we took things too far.

“Indeed, it made a lot of people turn away from ‘pro-thug’ hip hop scene and seemed to push the whole genre in a lighter direction.”

– Interviewer with Tupac Shakur, Tumbleweed Magazine, 2003 issue


The Los Angeles Times, 6/8/1995

RAESE: “Private firms are still required to train new workers in job-specific skills like before.”

KAPTUR: “Yes, but FJG workers are far more likely to have retained higher levels of skill than those who are forced to succumb to lengthy spells of unemployment. This changes the bargaining environment rather significantly because firms now have reduced hiring costs. Previously, the same firms would have lowered their hiring standards and provided on-the-job training and vestibule training in tight labor markets. This means the FJG policy actually reduces the hysteretic inertia embodied in the long-term unemployed and allows for a smoother private sector expansion like the kind the economy’s starting to see in recent months” [3]

RAESE: “Don’t give me that. Drake killed the President of the United States because of the low-quality employment opportunities offered by the FJG bill.”

KAPTUR: “It was because of his refusal to seek help for his poor mental health.”

RAESE: “Mental health probably worsened by the terrible ‘buffer stock’ jobs he kept getting. We have to have good, honest jobs people will be proud to show up for!”

– KNN round-table discussion between Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Sen. Jack Raese (R-WV), 6/10/1995

North Korean General Executed, Possibly Connected To Alleged Coup Attempt!

…Kim Pyong-ryul, who has no known relation to the Kim Dynasty, had only recently become a member of the Hermit Kingdom’s Supreme Guard Command. According to South Korea news outlets, it most likely that the General spoke either “out of turn” or uttered something that someone viewed as “treasonous.” One South Korean newspaper claims the execution follows a failed attempt to overthrow Kim Jung-Il, but this allegation has not been confirmed…

– The Arizona Republic, 6/12/1995

…Dinger’s first departure from his predecessor’s administration was his genuine attempting of rapprochement with Japan. LMD sought to re-establish the harmonious relations felt in the pre-Iacocca years, and Dinger was more sincere about it than Iacocca. This strengthened US-Japan relations, and it came at a most critical time…

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

Officers broke the door right off its hinges with a loud firecracker-type bang. Wooden splinters scattered around as the armed figures quickly filled up the room. James [Wenneker von Brunn] bolted out of the kitchen and into the bathroom, but the window there was impossibly small; fecal smells couldn’t exit through it, let alone a man about to turn 75. Within seconds, several officers had him on the ground, then in handcuffs, as other participants of the raid went about searching the motel room.

“Don’t tell them anything, babe!” He said to me.

“Okay,” I complied. I looked at the officer next to me and then pointed to the bottom of the bed. They promptly seizing James’ weapons. Hidden clumsily in the duffel bag were three pistols, an uzi, and three uzi magazines.

“Evie?” James looked at me in disbelief.

“I can’t live like this, James. Living in a different motel room each week, living on monthly checks in some godforsaken state like Alaska or New Jersey? That’s no life, James.”

His shock quickly turned to a familiar anger, “You b!#ch!” He called out a lurched forward, but with his hands in cuffs, he just collapsed out of his chair.

The next day, James was charged in federal court of attempted murder and firearms violations; he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011

IOC Session No. 104

Date: June 16, 1995
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Subject 1 of 1: bidding for hosting the 2/8/2002-2/24/2002 (or XIX) Winter Olympics

Toronto, Canada – 29 (Round 1) – 33 (Round 2) – 34 (Round 3) – 45 (Round 4)
Sion, Switzerland – 16 (Round 1) – 17 (Round 2) – 28 (Round 3) – 34 (Round 4)
Salt Lake City, U.S. – 25 (Round 1) – 27 (Round 2) – 27 (Round 3)
Ostersund, Sweden – 14 (Round 1) – 12 (Round 1)
Quebec City, Canada – 5 (Round 1)

End Result: Toronto won on the fourth round

…Kim Jung-Il’s son and heir apparent, Kim Jong-nam, disagreed with father on multiple fronts, but never to his face, or in his presence or even out loud, lest a loyalist rat him out. Born 10 May 1971 to a woman of which his grandfather did not approve, Jong-nam was sent by his father Kim Jung-Il to live with his maternal aunt to keep his existence a secret. When he was old enough, he was sent to boarding schools in Russia and Switzerland until returning to North Korea in secret in 1988; this fact makes me contemplate whether Kim Il-Sung knew of his grandson’s existence all along. But I digress.

In one moment of bravery, Jong-nam attempted to ask his father what had truly unfolded in the 1995 incident with General Kim Pyong-ryul. Always treading lightly around him, Jong-nam had to choose his approach carefully, for the Supreme Leader was always a rather cold man. He was like that to all but a few people, some yes-men here and some military loyalists there, people who truly believed in him and he was convinced that their belief in him was genuine. Anything short of outright loyalty and blind belief that he was always right was seen as a hostile threat.

“Father, how traitorous was the General?”

“He approached Major General Choe Sang-ryo with the idea of re-opening relations with Russia, on the grounds that they have worked with us in the past. The fool. They are in the American camp now, and can never be trusted. For him to suggest such a thing was proof he was an American sleeper cell agent.” He looked at his son, “You know what I am talking about. I saw The Manchurian Candidate film in your little collection.”

“You did?” Jong-nam’s face brightened. Always thankful for the movie set his father had built for him, where the young Kim made amateur short films and did scriptwriting, he was internally hopeful his father was finally showing an interest in his interests. The moment, however, was just that – a moment.

“We must destroy America before they destroy us.”

He sighed on the inside and went with the conversation’s new direction, “It seems they are destroying themselves, sir. We had nothing to do with Iacocca’s death…” he eyed him with one brow raised.

“Of course we didn’t!”

“Yes, that’s what I said, sir,” he firmly said to his father.

Hyon Chol-hae, a close advisor to Kim Jong-il, the Director of the Standing Bureau of the National Defence Commission, and former bodyguard for Kim Il-Sung, soon joined the three of us in the room, followed by General O Kuk-ryol, a close personal friend of Kim Jong-Il since childhood and unofficially the second most powerful man in North Korea.

“Good. You are early, but not too early.”

The meet greeted one another before sitting down to discuss progress being done on the nuclear research. General O was pleased in announce that a rocket would be ready to be tested underground in two months.

“Father,” Jong-nam asked “You know I support this program, but…” The eyes of the men across from the Kims widened. “I know it is wise, but how wise is it to oppose everyone?”

To this, the Supreme Leader replied, “You must learn your place, son. I know all that is best for you, for the military, and for True Korea. If you cannot comprehend this, maybe putting my legacy into your dicey hands is not a good gamble.”

You forgot to slip in a pun about his drinking problem, I thought in my head. The young Kim’s collection of alcoholic beverages from around the world was impressive, but impractical when it came to ruling True Korea. His tendency to play cards with the True Korean elite was also a stain on his reputation, a stain the Supreme Leader sought to remove by forcing his son to attend each and every one of his high-profile meetings, and by instructing me to follow him everywhere he went.

This began after the young Kim made a clandestine visit to Tokyo, Japan in early 1995, creating an eight-hour gap in his day for which he had an explanation but no alibi. As his “shoulder peeper” as he called me, he turned more inward, but I knew what he wanted to say. “I do not wish to succeed my father.” “I am more interested in movies.” Things of this effect. I suspect that his being educated in Switzerland led to him being exposed to the concept of free markets, and thus becoming sympathetic to capitalism and less so to the government of his father and grandfather.

Another interest he had was his relationship with his wife, Lee Hey-Kong. On June 16, 1995, Hey-Kong gave birth to their first child, a son named Kim Han-sol. His first name meant “large pine tree,” a symbol of strength and natural prosperity; it also sounded similar to Harrison Ford’s character in Kim Jong-nam’s favorite film franchise...

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

…On May 13, 1995, the northern inland Greek regions of Grevena and Kozani were hit by a powerful earthquake that destroyed homes and left hundreds homeless. Turkey sent aid and carpenter tools/materials to the affected areas, along with hired workers, plus some volunteers, to help rebuild homes. Turkey repeated the favor a month later, after a second earthquake ended up killing over 20 in the northern Peloponnese city of Aigio on June 15...

– Frederick B. Chary’s The Modern Balkans: The History of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Romania and Turkey After The End of the Cold War Era, Greenwood Publishers, 2018 edition

Syria’s dictator was the weakest link in Ireali-Arab relations. A loose cannon, he had been the most reluctant signatory of the Atlanta Peace Treaty of 1978. Among the young people of his country, only some opposed his belligerence toward their southern neighbor. Such youngsters agreed with Syrians who had visited Israel and saw no reason to oppose their “wayward-but-innovative” neighbor.

In 1995, though, Hafez al-Assad saw a situation unfold of which he just had to take advantage. He imagined he could turn the region against Israel and return things to how they once were, and his influence would expand as a result. Ever since his election in 1992, Lebanon’s most belligerent radical in their parliament, Emile Lahoud, had been of great concern to the Israeli Defense Front, who, having little to do but spy on Israel’s neighbors for the past 17 years, had since 1992 repeatedly failed to convince Israel’s Prime Ministers that assassinating Lahoud was necessary “to keep our country protected.” Upon asking Israeli PM Shulamit Aloni no less than the seventh time, Aloni told the IDF Chief to drop the matter or else face termination, explaining that “tolerating the fringes [sic] is necessary to keep the peace with all others.”

However, one rogue IDF agent refused to accept such a notion, and on June 17, 1995, Lahoud was killed a drive-by shooting outside of Beirut. Lebanon President Hussein El-Husseini dusted off “defense maneuvers” but then spoke with Aloni. On June 18, Lebanon and Israel leaders held a press briefing on the Israeli-Lebanon border to make an impromptu joint announcement that all was well between the two nations, as the IDF agent in question was to be persecuted by Lebanon’s court system in compliance with a binational judicial agreement made in 1985.

The two nations wanted to settle the matter to retain focus on economic growth; Assad was outraged.

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

“Fools. They are frightened by the threat of war. El-Husseini, he is castrated by calls for peace with these,” and Assad proceeded to use a slanderous word for Jewish people. Take your pick, Hafez used them all over the course of his reign.

“That Member of Lebanon’s Parliament had Syrian ties.”

“He did?” asked Assad’s son and chosen successor Bassel al-Assad.

“Yes, he was on the board of several Syrian defense and security organizations.”

“He was?”

“Yes, and that means this assassination was an attack on our defense….Yes?”

“Oh…oh! Oh yes, yes it was!”


It would not be until 2019 that Israel publicly revealed that the IDF had wanted to assassinate Assad in 1983, 1988 and 1991 for supporting Libya, Pakistan, and ATRs (Anti-Treaty Radicals) in those respective years, only to be told no due to Assad’s high popularity within in nation, and that such an act would potentially lead to Syria and other Middle Eastern countries ending their relations with Israel. That would mean the end of their oil supplies and other economic gains accrued since ’78. This was just what Assad hoped he would accomplish when he accused Israel of “unlawful agitation” on June 19. After Aloni refused to acknowledge “a blatant lie and [a] disregard for the well-being of all citizens of the Middle East,” Assad declared war on Israel on June 20, started the first war in the Middle East in 17 years.

Israelis and Syrian citizens alike feared reprisal, and older residents somberly and fearfully thought back to the “pre-Atlanta days,” when outbursts of violence claimed the lives of so many innocents on such a regular basis that it seemed pointless to even try to seek peace. And yet, peace had come to the region. Through the art of communication, the nations of the Middle East saw their leaders sit down and agree to tie their economies to one another for the purpose of mutual benefits. The fighting was discouraged at the top, and locals celebrated, some in disbelief, as terror attacks became more scrutinized, and thus less normalized. Now, an entire generation had grown up without the prior ways, instead learning about them through their parents and in school.

And they weren’t too keen on experiencing the prior ways, not at all.

After Syrian tanks rolled into the border town of Merom Golan on June 21, something truly amazing happened – something that would have been improbable if not downright impossible to have happened two decades ago were it not for the nations of the Middle East coming to rely on one another for non-endemic goods, for relaxing the borders between one another and for letting their peoples meet one another on something that was not a battlefield.

The day after the declaration of war, the nations of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Sudan publicly sided with Israel instead of Syria, claiming Syria’s charges as, in a word, unfounded and Assad’s response as, in another word, inappropriate. Clearly in defense of Israel. Even the country of Palestine, with whom Israel shared a “special territorial relationship,” condemned Assad’s actions, and while they stopped short officially siding with Israel, the leaders of Palestine made it perfectly clear that they were on Israel’s side. It may have taken the fear of economic ruin for it to happen – the long-term effects of 17 years of the people on both sides to being told they should do business with one another certainly helped – but fact remained that Palestine sided with Israel and against Syria during this conflict.

– Martin van Creveld’s Defending Israel: A Controversial Plan Toward Peace, Thomas Dunne Books, 2004

Local and national leaders feared warfare would deteriorate growth in the region. Egypt and Palestine companies had already poured large amounts of times, funding, energy and resources into terraformation projects into both southern Jordan and southern Israel, aiming to create bustling communities out of hundreds of square miles of desert (and making a handsome profit in the process), and wealthy investors were not going to allow war to end it.


After Israel and Palestine, Iraq is the location of the most biblical history in the world. It was multicultural, with the most prominent ethnic and/or religious groups being Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Christians and Yazidis. With the nation becoming more open to business endeavors in neighboring nations, including Israel (albeit cautiously over concerns over anti-Israel backlash from socially conservative Iraqis), Iraqi President Abd ar-Razzaq Said al-Naif backed Israel during their “standoff” with Syria.

In Egypt, President Mubarak privately resented having to “play ball” with Israel, creating a “cold peace” between the two countries for years despite Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s closest ally, increasing their economic ties to increasingly tech-savvy Israel. In private, Mubarak believed Israel to be a “paper lion” [sic] that would collapse were it not “propped up by western imperialism,” i.e. the US and Europe. There was some truth to his beliefs, but only some, as Israel’s efforts to be a major player in the regional economy were sincere, but also supported by the US and much of Europe. However, Mubarak was also hypocritical due to his own acceptance of US aid for his own domestic assistance programs, especially from the “very generous” President Bellamy. Regardless of his personal opinions, Mubarak understood the fiscal importance of backing Israel over the relatively less-wealthy Syria.

Israel also found an ally – and a close one, no less – in Jordan. The nation’s Prime Minister, Taher al-Masri, the pro-US former Jordanian Ambassador to France who previously served as Prime Minister in 1991 and again from 1993 to 1996, sided with Israel during its 1995 “confrontation” with Syria, famously stating “it is always wise to keep the lives of millions out of the hands of the fundamentalists.” [4] The 1990s saw the Kingdom of Jordan enter a phase of democratization, a period about which Jordan’s President of the Senate, Ahmad Lozi, in 1995 remarked “on the whole, I don’t think that even the Prophets Jesus or Muhammed could bring about a faster movement toward democracy.” [5] Ergo, Lozi did not seek to risk progress on siding with the dictator Assad...

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

Facing regional – and, quite quickly, international – pressure and with Syrian troops being surprisingly kept back by the Israeli army, Assad “recalled” the troops on June 23, three days after declaring war and after only two days of exchanging fire, claiming “we have already sent a clear message to Israel.” In 72 hours, 63 people were killed – 15 Israeli soldiers, 42 Syrian soldiers, and 6 Israeli citizens.

The Three-Day War of 1995 was seen as a major miscalculation for Syria, as the nation’s leaders failed to gauge the reaction of other heads of state in the region, and failed to inspect the likelihood of winning their support due to Assad deciding to invade Israel as soon as possible, instead of better viewing the geopolitical situation first. The war damaged Assad’s popularity within Syria only somewhat (though anti-Assad sentiment among young Syrians increased notably), but the war, which Assad considered to be an “embarrassment” did a greater effect on his health. Assad was a diabetic who suffered a heart attack in the 1980s...

– Martin van Creveld’s Defending Israel: A Controversial Plan Toward Peace, Thomas Dunne Books, 2004


The Washington Post, 6/29/1995

…“Return To The Planet Of The Apes” entered Development Hell after Adam Rifkin first pitched the idea for it in 1988 to Twentieth Century Fox. After several writes, Rifkin managed to win over studio executives in 1992, when he convinced Philip Noyce to produce and Chuck Russell to direct. Award-winning Danny Elfman signed on for film score in 1994. ...A sequel to the first film that ignores the second, third, fourth and fifth films, “Return To The Planet Of The Apes” centers on a young human slave, a descendent of George Taylor (Charlton Heaton’s character in the original 1968 film) named Duke Throckmorton (played by Carlos I. Estevez), living in the ape empire’s “Roman Era,” i.e. the height of its power, who leads a human slave revolt. Major characters are the Ape physician Dr. Izan (Tim Curry), Ape Army General Tiberius (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and Ape “Presidentress” Rembetika (Glenn Close) and her daughter Aspasea (Meg Ryan); Roddy McDowall cameos as Vitruvius, a da Vinci-style Ape inventor sympathetic to humans. The action-adventure-scifi film hit theaters on June 30, 1995 to critical acclaim, financial success, and praise from audiences…

– [6]

Cancer can hit anybody. Nearly 300 in every 100,000 Americans suffer from cancer nowadays [7]. And if of them are over 70 years old, then that means half of them are under 70. And not everyone survives a bout with cancer. Being the governor of a state can certainly help, though.

On July 4, 1995, Ross, finally publicly acknowledged that, since the start of the decade, he had been battling cancer – specifically, lymphoma, a white blood cell cancer with a thankfully high survival rate. Telling reporters he was “beating the devil out,” of him, he also remarked that he would not run for President in 1996, but did not rule out serving as running mate if his health improved by the next summer.

In the meantime, Ross had decided to, in the wake of the Iacocca Assassination, return to his roots. “We all need some brightness right now. The days have been too dark lately. I want to bring the sun out and help make people smile again.” A week later, Ross appeared on an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to promote speaking to parents about the event:

“It’s okay to be sad. A lot of adult have been sad lately, haven’t they, Bob.”

“That’s right, Fred, but when you’re sad, it’s very important to tell someone about. It’s very important to talk it over, because that makes the sadness easier to take.”

One month later, Ross announced that he was returning to hosting duties for the PBS public access show “The Joy of Painting,” which had initially aired with Bob Ross at the helm from 1975 to 1988.

Ironically, at the same time that Ross was “restarting” his life without electoral politics in mind, an ambitious politician with whom Ross shared a mutual respect was battling a health scare of his own.

– R. Lynn Rivenbark’s With the Stroke of a Brush or Pen: The Life of Bob Ross, Brookings Institution Press, 2012


…the former Vice President revealed today that he was diagnosed with early-stage cancer two months ago. Litton’s father, Charles O. “Charley” Litton, died in 1980 at the age 72, from two-year battle with cancer of the same type. …Litton, 58, revealed his decision to go public with the development due to the actions of Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who ran for President in 1968 and 1972 while battling cancer in secret. …Litton’s wife Sharon, 56, and their children Scott, 31, and Linda 32, are maintaining privacy during this “personal family crisis,” according to a representative of the Litton family…

The Washington Post, 7/10/1995

On July 11, Drake’s trial finally began. It has ambiguous and uncertain how long the judicial system would take for him, as Leon Czolgosz shot President McKinley in September 1901 and was executed less than eight weeks later, while Charles Guiteau shot President Garfield and was not executed until almost exactly one year later. …Outside the courtroom, in living rooms and bars, in homes and businesses, millions of Americans turned sadness to anger as they centered on the cause of their mourning. They wanted blood... …Drake’s doctors claimed he suffered from persecution complex, blaming personal decisions on various systems and bureaucracies. Drake’s court-appointed defense noted to him being a known gambler and to his tempestuous relationship issues in an attempt to avoid the death penalty on the grounds of insanity. During the trial, it was revealed that Drake had tried to kill himself in jail on May 27. However, Drake claimed he attempted it to avoid embarrassment for his five-year-old daughter, not out of shame for his actions.

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

Drake was not political. He did not aim for Iacocca for an economic or racial motive. It was instead a reaction to anger; specifically, his frustration at the composition of his life; he felt he deserved more. On trial, when Drake admitted to willingly taking the President’s life, he said he did so “because The President is supposed to make sure everyone in this country is well-off. I’m not well-off. Lee wasn’t doing his job.” Drake then claimed that he had never met von Brunn, claimed it was not a conspiracy when asked, saying “I did it without anyone’s else help and despite so many being against me. That’s the story of my life, your honor.” Drake also stated that he was inspired by the 1986 attempt on President Denton by James O. Huberty…

– Lawrence Goldstone’s Mindfulness: Analyzing What Makes A Murderer, Paducah Press, 2018

…Warner Bros. ended the 1980s Superman franchise after “Superman III” (1983) underperformed at the box office and the spinoff film “Supergirl” (1984) bombed. After the success of the Batman films of the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, the series was revisited. The decision was made to “reintroduce” the “classic” characters in order for the same actors to appear in the 2-hours-long Justice League film planned to be released in 1999. The subsequent film was “Superman Lives,” a financial success that was popular among critics and audiences. …“Superman Lives” was co-written by Dan Gilroy and Jonathon Lemkin and directed by Shekhar Kapur. The official start of the DCCU, the film stars Barton Johnson (a relatively unknown actor at the time, his filmography only starting in 1991) as Superman, Linda Fiorentino as Lois Lane, and John Malkovich as Lex Luthor, with Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen, Ed Harris as Brainiac and actor-wrestler Jesse Ventura as Doomsday in supporting cast, and cameos from Nicholas Cage as Batman and Morgan Freeman as Martian Manhunter…


…The heat wave was a major crisis for poor and elderly city residents, who succumbed to the historic temperatures due to them lacking air conditioning, fearing being unable to afford to run the AC, or keeping windows closed out of fear of open windows inviting crime. By contrast, during the heat waves of the 1930s, many residents slept outside in the parks or along the shore of Lake Michigan…

…Under the leadership of Mayor Thomas C. Evans, who took over upon the death of Mayor (1977-1987) Harold Washington in 1987 (as he was Washington’s preferred successor), crime rates rose. Evans left office in May (he had declined to run for another term) and was succeeded by Richard M. Daley. Due to Daley’s inexperience running a city, the Mayor’s office was poorly prepared to handle such as crisis. By the end of the summer, at least 853 Chicago residents had died…

…The temperatures soared to record highs in July with the hottest weather occurring from July 12 to July 16. The high of 106 °F (41 °C) on July 13 was the second warmest July temperature (warmest being 110 °F (43 °C) set on July 23, 1934) since records began at Chicago Midway International Airport in 1928. Nighttime low temperatures were unusually high — in the upper 70s and lower 80s °F (about 26 °C)…

..Because of the nature of the disaster, and the slow response of authorities to recognize it, no official "death toll" has been determined. However, figures show that
853 additional people died in that particular week above the usual weekly average. Further epidemiologic analysis showed that blacks were more likely to die than whites, and that Hispanics had an unusually low death rate due to heat. At the time, many blacks lived in areas of sub-standard housing and less cohesive neighborhoods, while Hispanics at the time lived in places with higher population density, and more social cohesion. These factors were combined with power failures, poor ambulance service, and unprepared hospitals, plus pollutants and humidity which worsened the heat’s effects as the lack of wind kept pollutants low to the ground instead of higher up in the atmosphere.

so many city residents died that the coroner had to call in nine refrigerated trucks to store the bodies… From the moment the local medical examiner began to report heat-related mortality figures, political leaders, journalists, and in turn the Chicago public actively began to blame the disaster on either the new Mayor Daley or the previous Mayor Evans. Many of the blamers fell on racial lines, with many white Chicagoans blaming Evans and nonwhite Chicagoans blaming Evans. Calls to remove Mayor Daley from office began to sprout up soon after…

– Eric Klinenberg’s Dead Heat: A Social Autopsy of Chicago’s 1995 Disaster, Detroit Press, 2002 [8]

The film “The Mutants,” based on the comic series of the same name [9] created by Stan Lee, hit theaters of July 12 to lukewarm reviews. John Logan did the screenplay and Steven-Charles Jaffe produced, while several B-list celebrities and typically-TV-based actors made up the cast, most of whom were basically unknowns at the time… Basing the live-action film more closely on the popular animated series that ran from 1991 to 1999, the movie focuses on the Mister Sinister storyline from Season 2 – that’s the 1992-to-1993 season – because the studio execs determined the original story featuring the Sentinel Robots would be too expensive to produce, even if using CRI for them. I think this was a good idea, as it makes the movie focus more on the relationships between the major characters instead on the complex world building, which wouldn’t have won over people being introduced to the Mutants for the first time via this movie …Action-packed flicks of this variety seemed to come out at just the right time, as they distracted Americans from the tragic fate of President Iacocca. Patriotism, or at least moments or visuals hits of it – in film went up like a rocket. For a long while, but especially the middle of the decade, practically every movie had American flags everywhere, all over the place. The Mutants was no exception. Despite there being only two months left before the film hit theaters, the CRI team rushed to insert American flags into the backgrounds and foregrounds of multiple scenes…

– James Rolfe, technet video, “Paper-To-Screen Adaptations: What Works and What Doesn’t” series,, 9/10/2012

The 1995 NDRR Presidential Election was held in the National Democratic Republic of Russia (Natsional’no-Demokraticheskaya Republika Rossiya) on July 27, 1995. Incumbent President Vladislav Volkov was ineligible for a third five-year-long consecutive term, and would not be until the 2000 election, in accordance with the NDRR constitution. The election was seen as a mandate on Volkov’s handling of the post-Soviet economic recovery and on US-NDRR relations…


Candidates (5):

Vladimir Bukovsky, b. 1942 (Progressive), a candidate for President in 1985 and a member of the National Assembly since 1988, ran on a platform similar to his one from 1985, which focused on mental health care and government reparations for survivors of the USSR’s “horrific” mental hospitals/labor camps/work-prisons, but also called for using foreign investments to pay for environmental protection and social programs.

Viktor Chernomyrdin, b. 1938 (Motherland), a conservative former Gas Industry Minister and incumbent Prime Minister, was critical of “warm” US-Russian relations, believing such “reliance” on “such overly-capitalist” nations was responsible for the weak status of the ruble at the end of the 1980s.

Dzhokhar Dudayev, b. 1944 (Independence), a former military air commander and Chechen secularist, ran on the pledge to decentralize the government and allow for ethnic groups such as the Chechens, but also Ossetia and Kalmykia, to break away from the NDRR if they wish to do so. Considered “dangerous” to some and an outright traitor to others for supporting secession groups, he was consistently a long-shot candidate.

Anatoly Lukyanov, b. 1930 (Democratic), was an anti-corruption former member of Volkov’s cabinet, though he was much more to the center of the ruling party than was Volkov. However, as he was a strong supporter of increasing Russia’s position in the Second Space Race, Volkov endorsed him over Bukovsky.

Yevgeny Primakov, b. 1929 (independent), the centrist former Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, began his career as a journalist for Soviet radio and as a correspondent for Pravda. Much more fiercely anti-American than Chernomyrdin, his campaign suffered when US President Lee Iacocca was killed.



In the July 13 primary round, Chernomyrdin came in first place with 27% of the vote, compared to first runner up Lukyanov’s 24%. Coming in at a close third was Bukovsky with 23%, followed by Primakov with 21%, and Dudayev with nearly 5%. In the runoff held two weeks later, Lukyanov sought to win over Bukovsky supporters despite being reluctant to adopt his key policies, leading to only 60% of former Bukovsky voters holding their noses and voting for Lukyanov, according to exit polls, while the rest stayed home. Primakov, on the other hand, strongly endorsed Chernomyrdin. As a result, Chernomyrdin won the election by a margin of 4%.



– The Associated Press, 7/28/1995

...An atypically warm El Nino weather pattern [10] brought forth flooding that made the situation in North Korea worsening even more; described by outsider observers as being of “biblical proportions” [11], the floods of the summer of 1995 hit as much as 30 percent of the country [11] and destroyed much of the country’s arable land. As food supplies ran out, “the government stopped providing rations altogether, and prioritized feeding the military over civilians” [10]

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

DINGER WELCOMES CHERNOMYRDIN AT WHITE HOUSE; Russian President-Elect Seeks To “Redefine” US-Russian Relations

Above: Chernomyrdin last year
The Washington Times, 7/31/1995

“We have to move on. There is still a nation to run.” Dinger had told the vetting committee. “There are several considerations for choosing a running mate,” he emphasized, “I know because I was on the other end of this process not that log ago. There basically five things to consider about a possible V.P.: Do they have the ability to unite the party? Can they help reinforce the administration’s message and platform? Do they compensate for the President’s shortcomings? Do they balance the ticket in terms of geography, ideology, experience, age, demographics, and/or any other possible aspects? And most importantly, would they be capable and will they be ready to serve as President should, uh…” Should Dinger leave office prematurely like his predecessor. The room nodded, he didn’t have to say.

Several months later, and Dinger was personally meeting with the last candidate on the vetting committee’s shortlist, Calvin A. H. Waller, an African-American US Army General from Louisiana who had served as an unofficial advisor to the Denton, Kemp and Iacocca administrations.

“And uh, once again, what is your opinion on BLUTAGO-Americans?” Dinger asked.

Waller answered, “Well, personally, sir, I don’t think they should be allowed to serve in the military. A soldier has to know that on the battlefield his brothers-in-arms will be watching his back, not his backside.”

“I see,” Dinger paused, “Well that is something to be considered.” He soon wrapped up the vetting interview, and said to the General “Thank you for your time.”

Later that day, Dinger convened with the members of the vetting committee to review the candidates.

“I think we should pick Waller. He’d appeal to our party’s base, and he’s black. That’s almost always a plus,” RNC Chairman Haley Barbour suggested.

Dinger thought carefully how to deny the most conservative pick in a way that wouldn’t offend. “In this critical time, the country needs to project unity, so we need a nominee that’ll be accepted by the senate without incident. Frankly, I think Waller would be too divisive.”

“We can always pick someone else in ’96,” Barbour countered.

“True, but that could suggest poor decision making, to pick a new first-mate less than a year after picking one.”

“I prefer Murkowski,” opined Rep. Ramona Lee Etta Barnes (R-Alaska). “He’s the safest pick. He’s conservative, but also a bit libertarian on some social issues, so he’s not too conservative for a national campaign.”

“It would also be a boost to the Alaska state party, would it not?”

“Heh, yes, sir, we have been growing unpopular up there. Each time we think we’ve got a good candidate, something ruins their campaign.”

“There’s also the fact that with Murkowski’s seat vacant, Governor Dauenhauer gets to put a progressive – possibly even a member of the Green party – in the US Senate.”

“And we’d get rid of them in the ’96 special election.”

“The way things are in the GOP of Alaska, I wouldn’t bet on that.” Dinger then moved on to other choices. “How about the candidates hailing from the cabinet: Ed Perkins at State, Jean Yokum at the Treasury, and Rocky Versace at Defense, and Ambassador Ann Bedsole. All good people, all competent at their jobs. And I’m considering doing a full sweep of the cabinet if I win a term of my own next year, so this would be the start of that a bit early, kind of, almost...” Dinger began to mumble as he perused the portfolios. Several other names suggested seemed like “wild cards”: Admiral John McCain, Congressman Larkin Smith of Mississippi, Governor Jon Huntsman Sr. of Utah, Congressman Bob Martinez of Florida, and even former House Speaker Robert Smith Walker had been floated. Dinger sighed with uncertainty at the high number of choices.

Barbour got the discussion going again by noting, “Since we’ll need approval from the Senate, not a national party convention, I think we should pick one of their own to show that the Dinger Administration will play ball with their chamber.”

“The Senators,” Dinger nodded, and re-engaged with the conversation with a bit more enthusiasm, “Boy-howdy, talk about diverse: Buddy Roemer of Louisiana, Susan Engeleiter of Wisconsin, James Meredith of Mississippi, Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, Michael Bilirakis of Florida, and Webb Franklin of Mississippi. All good names, all good picks.” He pondered aloud, “Who to pick, who to pick…?” [12]

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

[1] Italicized lines are from here:
[2] @ajm8888 – how’s this for some of the conspiracy theories of this world?
[3] Italicized bit pulled from here:
[4] OTL quote (found on his wiki page)!
[5] An OTL quote found on page 17 of Curtis R. Ryan’s “Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah” (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002), ISBN 978-1-58826-103-8.
[6] Plot and some casting ideas pulled from here:
[7] So a bit lower than OTL ( due to long-term butterflies such as The Scranton Report, UHC, better awareness of and access to healthier foods, safer habits, etc. by 2012.
[8] Italicized parts were pulled from here:
[9] Called the X-Men IOTL (I previously mentioned this way back in the chapter covering September 1963).
[10] Mentioned here:
[11] Described here: Oberdorfer, Don; Carlin, Robert (2014). The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History. Basic Books. p. 290. ISBN 9780465031238. And also here: ^ Buzo, Adrian (2002). The Making of Modern Korea. London: Routledge. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-415-23749-9. At least, according to wikipedia…

[12] Who do y’all think should be his running mate? Any ideas?

The next chapter's E.T.A.: July 5 or so!

Clorox23 said:
Okay, cool, Quantum Leap still exists ITTL. But, is there anything substantially different (excluding the obvious absence of the "Lee Harvey Oswald" two-parter) compared to OTL, or is it basically the same show (ending included)?
I'll cover it in late 1995
Post 65
Post 65: Chapter 73

Chapter 73: August 1995 – November 1995

“God will not place a burden on a man’s shoulders knowing that he can’t carry it”

– Muhammad Ali (OTL)

DINGER NOMINATES SENATOR MEREDITH FOR VP; would be African-American first if confirmed by Senate

…sources close to the President’s vetting committee claim the three finalists were Meredith, a longtime US Senator from Mississippi known for often choosing his personal beliefs over the party line; US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Native American lawmaker who switched parties only a few years ago; and Congressman Larkin Smith, a consistent “country conservative” from Mississippi. A fourth option suggested by several media outlets, US Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton of Tennessee, was surprisingly not one of the options vetted... According to said sources, the Senate will likely confirm Meredith in order to remove him from their ranks: “He’s popular with his constituents, but not with his fellow lawmakers; they’ll be happy to see him go, even if he isn’t chosen for running mate next year”...

The Washington Post, 8/2/1995


…Ali Sadikin (b. 1927), the longtime Governor of Jakarta, opposed incumbent President Sudharmono (b. 1927) over the issue of government oppression and abuse of power during the nation’s 1993 Civil War. Sudharmono has taken several strides to modernize and diversify the nation’s economy to prevent a repeat of Indonesia’s 1991 economic collapse. With Sudharmono having improved his public image in recent years, the incumbent defeated his challenger by an 8% margin...

The New York Times, side article, 8/2/1995

The film was produced by Universal Studios and Jay Ward Productions (with The Overmyer Network collaborating with the latter), was theatrically released on August 4, 1995, and earned roughly $350 million worldwide against a $48 million budget, making it a major box office success. The film also earned positive reviews from critics and a positive reception from audiences. Its faithfulness to the source material, visual effects, costume design, and performances were particularly praised.


Development And Writing:
In 1985, shortly after purchasing the rights for it, producers Keith Barish and Joel Silver commissioned Steven de Souza to write a script for a film version of The Flintstones. However, de Souza was eventually replaced with Mitch Markowitz, whose idea for the film – the characters seeking employment in a depression-era Bedrock – was too somber, leading to Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, and several other writers being hired to work on the script; by 1991, the script had gone through “at least” 19 writers. The script was finalized in 1993, and focused on the characters’ lives as Fred and Barney compete in a bowling championship, causing a rift between their respective wives as the regional fame gets to them.

John Goodman was sought out for the role of Fred Flintstone “immediately.” Faith Ford was cast as Wilma over Geena Davis and Elizabeth Perkins. Danny DeVito was approached for the role of Barney, but believed he would not do the film justice, and suggested Rick Moranis for the role, which Moranis accepted. Janine Turner was cast as Betty instead of Tracey Ullman or Daphne Zuniga, though her signature giggle had to be dubbed over by voice actor June Foray. Sharon Stone was cast as hotel assistant Miss Stone, while Marilyn Monroe agreed to cameo as Fred’s mother-in-law. Rob Lowe, Nicole Kidman, and John Amos appeared as bowling judges, while John Candy, John Belushi, Kathy Bates, Danny DeVito, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Chris Farley, and Sam Kinison all cameoed as some of Fred and Barney’s fellow bowlers.

Principal photography began in June 1994, and wrapped in September 1994; the film was shot at Glen Canyon, Utah, and on sets in Los Angeles County, California.


The network executives considered the film to be so popular that a sequel was considered, and ultimately made with the core of the original cast intact; it was released in 2001, but failed to be as popular or as financially success as its predecessor. Nevertheless, the success of “The Flintstones” led to The Overmyer Network, and even other studios, consider adapting other ’60s-era cartoons into theatrical films during the late 1990s…


…Lynwood Drake has been found guilty of murder, but due to his history of mental illness and possible schizophrenia, he has just now been sentenced to spending time at a high-security sanitarium before being transferred to a maximum-security prison. The federal judge presiding over the case ruled against the death penalty due to the assassination of President Iacocca occurring in California, his home state, and by a California resident, with the judge arguing he wished to avoid violating the concept of states’ rights…

– KNN, 8/7/1995 broadcast

ANCHOR: ...On Capitol Hill, Senator Gabe Kaplan is calling for what he calls Procedural Restructuring for police officers and precincts amid recent reports that show New York City incarceration rates rising faster than NYC’s crime rate.

CLIP, KAPLAN ADDRESSING SENATE CHAMBER: We’re all still reeling from the loss of Lee Iacocca. It was a shock that’s got us all jumped up. So now we’re seeing assassins everywhere. On every rooftop, under our beds, in cereal bowls, you name it, somebody’s convinced that’s where there’s another Lynwood Drake. And it seems the police in New York – in fact, in lots of cities, it seems – are having vision problems – they can’t tell the difference between a 16-year-old with a spray can and an actual murderous criminal. [snip] Disruptive adolescents need guidance. Treating them like hardened criminals will make them hardened criminals, which makes the cops some real lousy psychics.”

ANCHOR: Kaplan’s calls for a closer study of how police address juvenile delinquency puts the freshman senator at odds with his fellow US Senator from New York, Mario Biaggi.

CLIP, BIAGGI SPEAKING TO REPORTERS: “Kaplan says that more police department needs to be looked at, and that not every kid in an alley with a spray can is a future criminal. Heh, shows what he knows. Zero tolerance is key to keeping our cities and our families safe. It doesn’t matter how young you are, if you act like a criminal, it’s a cop’s duty to treat you like one.”

CONTINUATION OF KAPLANCLIP FROM BEFORE: “It is vital that we properly mold young minds. Young people need moldy minds. Wait, let me rephrase that.”

TON Before Ten: The Morning News, The Overmyer Network, 8/8/1995 broadcast

SHIRLEY DOES IT AGAIN! Liberals Gain Seats As De La Hunty Bests Labor’s Bill Hayden

The Canberra Times, Australian newspaper, 8/11/1995

SEN. NADER CALLS FOR DEEP PROBING OF “BIG PHARMA”: Claims Over-the-Counter Medicine Industry Seeks To “Undermine” UHC With “Unfair” High Prices

The Washington Post, 8/14/1995

…The Arduous March that began at the start of the decade worsened by the floods and torrential rains in the summer of 1995 that ruined both the crops and the emergency grain reserves stored underground. That August, the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs reported that at least 1 million tons of grain reserves had been destroyed by the summer floods. Power-generating capacity was also lost due to storm damage to the country’s basic electric grid; for example, all of the nation’s trains, which ran on electricity, were rendered immobile with the breakdown of the Yalu River’s large hydro turbines.

What little food the government instructed military officers to distribute went not to the worse-off of the starving people first, but instead to those who held special political statuses and/or had obtained special levels of state loyalty. In essence, only higher-class citizens – those connected to the top elite – were actually assisted. As a result, only 6% of the actual population was receiving food aid from the government by January 1996, according to international reports…


[pic: ]

Above: a collective farm in Kaesong, North Korea, c. 1992; a work prison is in the background

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

On August 16, 1995, three US advisory officers, working with the state government of Chihuahua, Mexico, were ambushed. The subsequent Las Virginias Massacre of US agents in Chihuahua became a defining moment as Recreadrug Lords began to defy international pressure more openly. “They have a choice, fight or flight, and most of the cartels have chosen to defy, scoffing at the Mexican government and by extension the people of the world. And the world should not stand for it. The US certainly won’t,” said Robert Smith Walker in a KNN interview the next day. Walker, former Congressman and former US House speaker, was a fierce advocate of stronger drug laws. While in Congress, he had proposed that all federal contractors institute programs among their employees with violations to result in the forfeiture of federal contracts – even if as little as one joint were found in a contractor’s workplace. [1] In the wake of the Las Virginias Massacre, Walker was becoming the face of the calls for stronger action against recreadrugs…

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

Because it was logistically impossible to send planes overhead to drop food, the U.S. military, under the direction of President Dinger, responded to the summer floods by funneling in counterfeit bill of the North Korean currency (the “won”), creating a financial crisis meant to encourage anti-government sentiment. As people used the money to buy food, loyalist merchants drove up the prices over perceived “inflation,” complicating the situation. As one famine survivor from Cheongjin later put it, “You could tell which bills were fake by nibbling them. The ink used by the Americans tasted better, and with food being so scarce, some government loyalists encouraged us eating the counterfeit wons. They were more edible than the real thing, as it turned out.”


[pic: ]

Above: Kim Jong-il was not amused by American attempts to sabotage the already-damaged North Korean national economy

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

…Optical video recording technology was first invented in 1963 by David Paul Gregg and Jim Russell; by 1969, the Dutch corporation “Philips” had developed the videodisc reflective mode; the Dutch combined efforts with the company MCA in 1972, culminating in the Laserdisc being unveiled in 1978, two years after the release of VHS VCR but four years ahead of the CD (based on the same technology but created separately). The 1987 release of the CD Video used digital encoding and served as an example of how the technology of the laserdisc could be condensed into a smaller format.

Due to laserdiscs having high-quality picture and sound, only roughly 2% of American households had them due to their price and their large size of nearly a foot in length. MCA’s 1994 invention of the Micro-LaserDisc combined the CD-Video and Laserdisc to create “a more affordable home-video experience.” The invention was dubbed “the micro-LaserDisc,” or “MLD,” for short. By using a mass-production method of “stamping” the information onto discs only four inches in diameter, MLDs were now typically less than half the cost of a usual laserdisc and only a third of the size.

Apart from film enthusiasts, most consumers did not mind the MLD having inferior picture and sound quality – between mid-1994 and mid-1995, the number MLDs sold in the US dwarfed the number of laserdiscs sold in that same period by 12-to-1. …First introduced in 1994, the MLD gained in “home entertainment” popularity as the 1990s continued on, while regular LaserDisc sales plummeted; by 2000, MLD had completely replaced its larger predecessor…


In late July, six weeks after his arrest, James [Wenneker von Brunn] was indicted. A month after that, on August 25, the federal judge ordered he undergo competency evaluation to determine if he could stand trial. Over the next several weeks, James’ defense sought to prevent him from standing trial. An attempt to find him insane failed due his premeditation, and an attempt to find him in too poor health to stand trial due to past history of sepsis and chronic congestive heart failure also failed.

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011


The Chicago Tribune, 8/26/1995


…After a 6.6 earthquake hit western Macedonia in May, Yugoslavia immediately offered assistance rebuilding the areas worst hit. The Yugoslavian government has helped cover the US$450million in damage in a move that some claim is an attempt to bring Greece into the Yugoslavian sphere of influence. Regardless, the move was much obliged by the citizens of northern Greece, and has significantly improved relations between the two nations in question. Earlier today, the mutually-positive feeling culminated in Yugoslavia’s Presidium, Ibrahim Rugova, and Greek PM Mercouri agreeing to a binational trade deal, that has been approved by King Constantine II, and will most likely be approved of by the E.U. (as Yugoslavia is not a part of the E.U., but Greece is)…

The Atlantis, Greek-American newspaper, 8/27/1995

BOMBS AWAY! Kim Jung-Il Sets Off Nuclear Device In Underground Test, But It May Have Failed To Detonate Correctly!

…Seismology experts who have studied the region’s activities have confirmed that “in all likelihood” a nuclear device was detonated in an underground test site in northern North Korea. However, due to the small size of its reverberations, it is likely that the payload underperformed or failed to fully detonate. Even if this was a misfire or failure, the detonation itself is still a major development for the North Koreans’ unofficial nuclear weapons program…

The New York Post, 8/30/1995

“The reality is that Kim Jung-Il’s most recent attempt to make North Korea a nuclear power instead make his government a hostile global threat.”

– UN Secretary-General, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan of Iran and Switzerland, 9/1/1995


…representatives of the world-renown fried food franchise are urging US Senators and US Representatives against possible warfare with North Korea, possibly over fear that a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula would endanger the lives of employees and customers, jeopardize profits, and endanger the outlets that the billion-dollar corporation (and its parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc.) has established in several locations across South Korea…

Associated Press, 9/2/1995


The Washington Post, 9/3/1995



– Gallup poll, 9/3/1995

In the late summer of 1995, Dinger floated a consideration of his: reversing Iacocca’s spacefaring aspirations in order to balance the budget for the 1996 fiscal year. There was immediate push back from several Senators and Congresspersons supportive of the “Mars Drop ’03” plan, and opposed Dinger suggesting it be pushed back to 2018.

“We need to know all we can about what we’d jump into,” Dinger explained to an Oval Office containing himself and ten members of Congress. “We can get to mars in either summer 2003 or on July 27, 2018, when the planet will be just 35.8 million miles away. And it would be a very good year, with the Red Planet looking very red and bright in the night sky!” Dinger had met with the Treasury and the number-crunchers at NASA; the 2018 trip would cost roughly $500billion-to-800billion in 2018 dollars when adjusted for inflation. Dinger believed the US would be in greater financial shape 23 years, not eight. “I propose launching unmanned probes to better study the conditions on Mars.”

“We’ve already got those!” Glenn exclaimed. Indeed, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, developed by NASA’s Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory, had launched from Cape Canaveral in 1990 [2] on a mission to map the entire Martian Planet, from the ionosphere all the way down to the surface atmosphere, in order to identify potential landing sites for future missions and to relay surface telemetry. It had arrived at Mars in 1991, and began its primary mapping phase in January 1993 [3]. In fact, it had been a contributing factor in Lee Iacocca announcing a Mission to Mars that year in the first place, telling NASA Director Dale Myers “if it’s making us a map, we might as well use it!”

Will Roth, Ranking Member of the US Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Extraterrestrial Competitiveness, added “There also The Prospector, that space probe we launched over a year ago. It just landed on Mars; passed by the Recon Orbiter as it did so, too. The Prospector’s going to conduct analysis on Mars’ atmosphere, climate, geology, rock composition, soil, and all that other stuff. Both probes – the Recon Orbiter and the Prospector – are part of the, um, oh what’s it called, the Mars Environmental Survey Program or something like that – as part of a two-part pre-human setup, with part three being the sending of a rocket to Mars in 2001 with provisions our boys and gals may need over. A Life Preserver of sorts; a lifeboat pushed out to sea ahead of the main ship.”

“Dinger,” Glenn continued, “We’ve already started getting Mars prepped, and it hasn’t sent us into another Great Depression. We can afford this!”

“I dunno, probes aren’t the same as a months-long manned voyage,” Dinger replied. “I just don’t think we can afford this time. The economy’s strong, but it’s not strong enough. Unless it’s a joint effort with the folks in France, the UK, and possibly even China and Russia, this trip could break the bank. Now, I’ve already run the idea past former President Mondale. He was never exactly a NASA fan, and he says he’ll publicly support the proposal of pushing back the launch date to the Plan B date. He’ll back that.”

“But most Americans will not,” John Glenn spouted, but still held back his outrage.

Congressman John Lewis appreciatively took a sheet of paper delivered to him by an intern. “He’s right. In a Gallup poll conducted last year, 79% of 700 Americans polled were supportive of a Mission to Mars occurring in 2003 instead of Plan B’s 2018 date.”

“And to chicken out over costs would be an insult to Iacocca’s legacy,” argued Congressman Mack, a Republican from Florida.

This was the rub that got to Dinger, and made him stop bringing up the idea after the meeting adjourned. Even if the 2003 drop’s price tag was larger than the 2018 one (when not adjusted for inflation, of course), the image of fulfilling the vision of a slain leader was too strong to oppose.

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

BELLAMY: “Dinger’s response to the rise in hostilities from North Korea is very worrisome and troubling. I am very concerned over them. Many of my fellow Democrats have told me they think Dinger, because he is in a very dangerous situation, may lead us into a nuclear war.”

HOST: “Does that mean you’re going to run for the nomination next year?”

BELLAMY: “Well, I have considered it, but I have also considered the work I’m doing at the UN. I think I have a good position at the moment to help the lives and health of a lot more children worldwide, uh, at my current job than at my order job. And there are already a lot of good candidates in the race. So, um, unless there is a significant change in the race, I am not going to run for a job from which the American already fired me.”

– Carol Bellamy, Meet the Press, 9/4/1995 interview


…The assassin is serving time at the Grand Island Maximum Security Correctional Facility in central Nebraska, where he will involuntarily receive mental health improvement therapy. In a twist, given that he killed Iacocca over employment complaints, Drake will also work various prison jobs such as making license plates…

– The Los Angeles Times, 9/5/1995

…Leading up to the 1995 general election, PC leader Diane Cunningham feared a splintering of the conservative vote among four parties, two regional and two more national in their efforts. Along with the PCs was former PC Nova Scotian MP Roger S. Bacon heading the newly-formed Canadian party, and on the regional level were the Albertan Party and the Bloc Québécois…

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

….students here at ACLU are protesting the University’s recent hiring of former Governor of Alaska Bill Clinton due to Mr. Clinton being at the center of several allegations of sexual pestering over the years, the most recent and most high-profile charge being in 1991, when he was accused of inappropriately caressing current-US Senator Martha Osborne. The students are demanding they reverse their hiring because Mr. Clinton’s long history of misconduct. These nonviolent protestors chanting and holding a sit-in outside this administration building, they reminds me of the youth activism of yesteryear…

– NBC News, 9/10/1995


…the longtime Senator claims he has more experience for the job than anyone else running or considering a run…

The Washington Post, 9/12/1995

…James’ trial began on September 13, 1995. He had already spoken at Drake’s trial, where he applauded Drake upon his entering the courtroom and had said “You did this old man proud when you bumped off that old man.” A week later, due to the testimony of the Secret Servicemen who spotted him approaching the President just before Drake fired, and influenced by my testimony against him, the jury found James guilty of firearms violations and attempted murder, for which he surprisingly received the relatively light sentence of just thirty years in prison. This meant that he would get out and be a free man again until he was 105...

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011


– The Anchorage Daily News, 9/15/1995

…Naturally, we had some grave concerns ahead of the 20th Chicken Dinner Summit In Jerusalem. The Syrian delegates requested heightened security amid fear of prejudiced violence against them from the other delegates, despite the Syrian speakers being against the Three-Day War from the get-go. When their representatives entered, they indeed receive a rather cold reception. It was the speech given by the retiring Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kolleck, that broke the ice; Kolleck was, in fact, instrumental in ensuring the Syrian representatives have a more lukewarm welcome at the function, and by the end of the festivities, ease the tension significantly…

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

In the 1980s, Manning and several colleagues began to grow aware of the political discontent found in Western Canada and of disillusionment Alberta was having with the traditional federal parties. While such sentiments subsided after Yukon politician Erik Nielsen became Prime Minister, they returned upon him leaving office, and grew after he was replaced as PC leader by the subjectively milquetoast Diane Cunningham. After multiple talks in 1993 and 1994 with his fellow populist-conservative Western Canadians, Manning co-founded the Albertan Party, partially inspired by the regional success of the Bloc Quebecois. Initially meant to be a provincial-level-only party, Manning was convinced to encourage the party to participate in the 1995 federal election, but only ran candidates within Alberta. The new party called for reducing federal and provincial government involvement, cutting taxes, and opposing the “distinct society” title given to Quebec. However, the party was disorganized as it tried to hastily expand from some regional popularity into a prominent part of the national stage in time for the 1995 federal election. Party leadership at the federal level was placed in the hands of the populist and socially conservative Bob Ringma, who soon came under scrutiny for bigoted remarks toward Black Canadians and BLUTAGO-Canadians. Ringma ally David Chatters defended these remarks, worsening the party’s image.


Text-to-speech computer endeavors began at M.I.T. during the 1960s with the braille translation software DOTSYS. Robert Mann of M.I.T. received funding in 1971 to expand of this project, leading to RM Computerized Braille Systems being founded in 1972. The inaugural International Workshop on Computerized Braille in Muenster, Germany in 1973 helped make Mann’s company at its product, the DOTSYS II, financially successful. Technological innovation during this period led to further computers and computer programs designed for the blind/visually impaired being developed. For example, in September 1995, Ray Kurzweil, a developer of text-scanning devices since the 1970s, founded Ray-K Educationology, a US tech company focused on literacy solutions and computer-based assistive tools people; its development of the Kurzweil 3000 software made the company a pioneer in the field of text-to-speech software.

…In the 1990s, Microsoft released a new user interface: the CRAVITS (the Computer-Reading Assistant for Visually Impaired Technetters System). With new revisions for Windows released yearly, this highly-customizable interface “allows all major functions of the Microsoft Windows operating system to be controlled with keyboard shortcuts and spoken feedback. These shortcuts are kept as consistent as possible throughout most programs, but the very high number of functions needed to fluidly use modern computer software effectively requires the end user to memorize many specific keystrokes[4]

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

…In the Canadian federal election held on September 26, 1995, several political parties of various ideologies attempted to unseat incumbent Prime Minister Margaret Mitchell (of the far-left Progressive Tomorrow party). Martin wanted to cut the deficit to create a surplus that would then be spent on assisting children in poverty and job creation. Mitchell called for the continuation of the increased government spending on social programs begun under her tenure. Cunningham attempted to walk a tightrope between populism and moderate conservatism by focusing on price controls to combat inflation, touting national unity over Albertan and Quebec regionalism, and vaguely discussing cutting unnecessary government expenditures.

In the end, the PTs defeated Paul Martin Jr. (of the left-of-center Liberal party), albeit while losing three seats and failing to form a majority government once again; like what was done in 1992, the PTs formed a minority government with the Liberals. Meanwhile, Diane Cunningham (of the right-of-center Progressive Conservative party) lost her party three seats, which again ended up in third place. In fourth place was Lucien Bouchard (of the Bloc Quebecois Party).

Three other parties won or retained at least one seat in parliament. In fifth place, former Prime Minister Paul Hellyer led the left-wing populist Action party into picking up a total of 10 seats, while MP Roger S. Bacon of the deeply conservative Canadian party garnered 5 seats. Picking up only three seats, all in Alberta, was the Alberta Party (also informally called the Frontier Party in parts of western Canada) led by former MP Bob Ringma…

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



[pic: ]
…only Senators Smith (R-AL), Holloway (R-LA), Andrews (R-ND), Thurmond (R-SC), Obenshain (R-VA), Byrd (D-WV) and Cubin (R-WY) voted against Senator Meredith… …Smith states the reason for the “nea” votes is due to reasons that are ideological, not racial: “his spotty voting record makes him unpredictable, and thus unreliable.”…Holloway voiced a similar explanation: “the man is never a team player. He’s bound to be a thorn in the President’s side”…

– The Washington Post, 9/28/1995

“Well, at least nobody will assassinate Dinger – because nobody wants Meredith to be President!”

– US Senator George V. Hansen (R-ID), 9/29/1995 (allegedly)

…Pete [Harman], Jimmy [Carter], Millie, and Harley all concurred that the Three-Day War occurred due to a lack of proper communication between the Syrian and Israeli delegates and their respective governments and communities. Harley and Jimmy believed that the participants of the annual summits had lost sight of what they were meant to be – a platform for local leaders, not national bigwigs. So Jimmy got together with us and we began contacting recurrent delegates to discuss how to best reform the summits. Though I would be lying – and uncharacteristically modest – if I didn’t say that I played a hand in it, too, Harley and Millie were instrumental in contacting local leaders after the ’95 summit to establish local food security programs and to assure them prime seating and slots in the speaking list. Jimmy increased the number of Habitat for Humanity locations in Syria and Israel, and Harley used his status as a former US Senator to discuss the possibilities of easing travel restrictions in the Middle East in order to encourage people in the region visiting different countries…

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

While tension in the Middle East was dissipating, KFC’s competition was on the rise. Gaining in popularity was the franchise Chic-fil-A, which was not ashamed in catering to socially conservative customers and groups. Franchise founder S. (Samuel) Truett Cathy (1921-2014) proudly a Sunday school-teaching devout Southern Baptist, welcomed clientele supportive of the “traditional family values” Cathy claimed were supported by the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and (somehow) Lee Iacocca but not like Colonel Sanders – a false and ironic notion, given how devoutly Christian the Colonel was in the last quarter of his life, but a notion Cathy promoted nevertheless.

KFC’s countermeasures at this time seemed to be touting its sanitation and safety standards being routinely praised by labor organizations. The company also attempted to highlight and capitalize on the humanitarian contributions made by the Sanders family and Finger Lickin’ Good Inc. in a worldwide promotion of a new FLG slogan, based on the rhetoric of the Colonel: “Good Faith, Good Doin’s, Good Eatin.’”

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

…In space news, NASA space probe “Galileo” has sent back data strongly suggesting that there is be water on Europa, one of Jupiter’s several dozen moons…

– ABC Morning News, 10/3/1995 broadcast


…A judge in Japan has rejected a lawsuit filed by Tokutaro Takayama, the leader of the Aizukotetsu-kai faction of Japan’s yakuza (mafia). The legal challenge opposed Japan’s anti-corruption laws that give greater power to arresting police officers in matter relating to yakuza activities. The judicial decision is a blow to the yakuza, who have faced increases in hostilities from local and national government and law officials in recent years…

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/4/1995

“Today has been a very busy day for Washington, D.C. In the Senate Democratic lawmakers are fighting off efforts led by Republicans to repeal some parts or all of the Federal Jobs Guarantee Bill, leading to Senator Mario Obledo of California giving a fiery speech on the Senator floor earlier today. Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Democratic lawmakers calling for stronger mental health laws have introduced legislation meant to discourage for-profit prisons and encourage for-profit sanitariums, therapy training, affordable counseling, and other related services…”

– CBS Evening News, 10/5/1995 broadcast

“I’M ALL IN!”: Litton Announces White House Bid As His Cancer Enters Remission

…according to the former Vice President, his cancer has entered a state of remission …Litton says of his recent health scare the following: “It put things into perspective for me. It’s cemented my beliefs that, one, family always comes first, and, two, that America’s healthcare system under UHC is the finest there is.” Litton says he is running on more government transparency, and to defend UHC against “the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and their lackeys in congress, who oppose it.”...

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri newspaper, 10/6/1995

LENNON MEETS WITH DINGER AT WHITE HOUSE; Urges US Leader Meet With Kim Jung-Il “Before Thing Go Overboard”


[pic: ]

Above: PM Lennon speaks to American media (an NBC microphone is visible to his left) during his trip to Washington, D.C.

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 10/7/1995

“Quantum Leap was wonderful experience to work on, for all seven seasons. And to be honest, I would have liked to have made an eight, if only for the chance to make an episode covering the Iacocca assassination. It would have been an episode that worked to debunk all those ridiculous conspiracy theories, and focused on Drake’s mental condition in the days or hours leading up to the event, similar to an episode we filmed in Season Three, where Sam ends up in a mental hospital. Would have been expensive, but worth it. Speaking of expensive – the final season is probably the one I’m most proud of because of how diverse the episodes were. Which explains why it was the most expensive season for us to shoot. We dived into the technological aspect of the show, we showed more of what happens to the people who end up in Sam’s body when Sam ends up in theirs, and we better explained how and why things stay on the new path once those people go back to their lives. However, the ending is, in my opinion, not one of our best episodes, and that’s despite how much the audience liked it. I mean, fans of the show, I remember, they really liked how we concluded things. They really liked the sense of closure, the way we had the one scientist character, Dr. Wonderworth, introduced in Season 3, finally make her breakthrough in a natural way and how she and Al finally brought Sam’s consciousness back to his own place and his own body instead of one or the other. Sam finally returns to his wife Donna, and there’s that big scene where Sam and Al share that big hug and it’s all sentimental, but that sentimentality is why I didn’t like it so much. I thought it was too sappy and not dramatic or, you know, big enough, for a series finale, especially given how the episode begins with Sam leaping into an Air Force soldier during the Libya War of the early 1980s. It starts off with bombs going off, end with a hug. I thought it needed to be more profound, or maybe have some extra tension, like some kind of uncertainty that his leap home wasn’t a complete success. Like maybe his leg didn’t leap back so now he’s got someone else’s leg. Or something, I dunno. But, to my surprise, the audience really liked it, so, hey, what do I know?”

– producer/screenwriter Donald P. Bellisario, Archive of American Television, 2001 interview

…A little while after Dinger became President, the U.K.’s British National Space Centre, Russia’s Roscosmos, and France’s Centre National D’études Spatiales all started calling for NASA to allow them to contribute to the US’s 2003 Mars Mission. John Lennon was all “This time, it should be an international effort.” France’s leader pointed to the multinational pooling of minds that went into the I.S.S. and others talked about non-American space voyagers making up a part of the crew. This sucked for everyone on our end because of what bulls#!t it was. NASA had been working with non-American companies for years, acquiring construction materials from China and South Africa, technology from Israel and Japan and all over Europe. It was a global effort lead by the US and we wanted to keep it that way.

Not helping matters was France’s CNDS getting all cocky in October 1995, when their Ariane 4 rocket was successfully launched from French Guiana. They had spent billions of francs – or euros or whatever the French use as currency (wine, probably) – over the course of several years, and could not have afforded to make a mistake, especially after the 1992 explosion of the Ariane 3. The expensive rocket of theirs erupted into a fireball right on the launch pad due to a software problem concerning a handler for horizontal bias variables. I could have fixed that, by the way...

– John McAfee’s autobiography Outer Space Deserves More Iguanas: My Life Being Me, numerous on-net publication sites, 2022


The Washington Post, 10/10/1995


The Los Angeles Times, 10/12/1995


…“It depends on who the Democrats nominate – a representative of the people, or a puppet for billionaire corporations.”…

The Washington Times, 10/14/1995

“Seeing Lee died like that shook me. It showed me just how dangerous being a politician can be. I’ll never run for public office, not ever. If you want to make things better, for your neighborhood, for your country, there are better ways you can do it. Open a business, run a charity, invest in beautification projects, fund some program for something you care about. You don’t need to play politician. I don’t need to play politician. I don’t plan on ending up like Lee. I’ll never run for any office, never.”

– Donald Trump, 6/15/2015 interview

DINGER WELCOMES COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT AT CAMP DAVID TO TALK SHOP; Duo Discuss Binational Coordination Against Guerillas And Cartels

The Washington Post, 10/16/1995


…citing its 1993 decision in the case of Karger v. Sonoma County, the United States Supreme Court today issued its decision to not hear a state ruling from Massachusetts concerning BLUTAG marriages. This means that, unless the controversy is addressed at a future date, BLUTAGs have the right to marry – and to be legally recognized at the state level as a married couple – in The Bay State, and possibly any other states that pass such state-level rulings...

The San Francisco Chronicle, 10/18/1995


London, UK – The man who brought KFC to Britain, opening the first restaurant in Preston, today announced that he is retiring from the board of directors and from management duties for KFC-UK and the Miss Millie’s “spin-off” chain founded in the late 1960s.

Harry Latham set up the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Britain way back in the early 1960s, pre-dating the arrival of McDonald's on this side of the pond by several years, and soon found himself commanding large “empire” of KFC-UK franchises, under the watchful eye of his good friend Colonel Sanders.

Mr. Latham, originally from Bristol, followed the success of KFC with the opening of a new chain of smaller fried chicken shops he called Miss Millie’s. He named them Colonel Sanders’ daughter, Mildred “Millie” Sanders, who took over KFC leadership responsibilities upon the Colonel’s election to the US Presidency in November 1964. Miss Millie’s, under the care of its parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., now stretches from Weston-super-Mare to Bristol to Cardiff in a respectable financial showing of its own.

In Mr. Latham’s announcement of his “full retirement” from management responsibilities, he mentioned that the Miss Millie’s chain will remain under his family’s control. His four daughters – Ann Walker, Sheila Wilson, Kerry Baldin and Kate Ostrowski – will take over the running of the franchise; Latham did not state whether this would be for an indefinite period of time, or only temporary, until a more permanent management team could be assembled.

One store manager of a Miss Millie’s outlet says of the announcement, “The owners, management and staff of Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken are saddened by the retirement of its founder Mr. Harry Latham, but we wish him a happy retirement.”

The new owners are very keen to build on the foundations and heritage that Harry has created over the years,” says a low-ranking member of the KFC-UK Board of Directors. “We have plans to increase store numbers in and around the South West over the coming years.”

With his partner Ray Allen, Mr. Latham and the Sanders sisters – Margaret and Millie – set up the first KFC franchise in Britain in Preston in the early 1960s, with the supervision of Colonel Sanders himself during the next few years. The four expanded the franchise to hundreds of stores within ten years.

Mr. Latham next moved on to serving as the managing director of KFC’s operations in Britain in the mid-1970s, before ‘retiring’ to set up Miss Millie’s in 1988, which now has 10 shops across the Bristol and Cardiff areas.

At the announcement of his retirement, Latham shared his experiences with Colonel Sanders, the early days of KFC, and setting up Miss Millie’s. “All our shops had a life-size cut-out of the Colonel in his white suit and walking stick,” he said. “Our late-night customers sometimes ‘borrowed’ these and they ended up in all sorts of places, the favourite being at a bus stop. The bus drivers were not too amused when they stopped and there were no passengers to pick up, but again a story goes around that on a foggy night an elderly lady thought it was a ghost and was so shocked she had to go to hospital,” he added.

Mr. Latham also described how the day they opened the first Miss Millie’s chicken shops in Bristol, it came with an offer. “On the first day as Miss Millie’s we advertised that we would give away two pieces of chicken and chips to the first 100 customers on the following Sunday at each of our Bristol stores,” he said.

“One family appeared in every shop - we must have fed them for days,” he added.

The Louisville Times, Kentucky newspaper, 10/19/1995 [6]

MOTHER-POST: DC Just Cancelled Deadshot Spinoff Flick!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics and Warner Bros. has scrapped plans for a movie either centering on or prominently featuring the character Deadshot, one of the deadliest snipers in the DC Universe, which was to come out in late 1998 and star Billy Zane as Deadshot. Apparently snipers are too sensitive a subject for people in the wake of President Iaccoca. Thoughts?

>REPLY 1: We’ve got to stop cowering in fear. So many people I now keep ankshiously looking at rooftops. Folks are getting paranoid.

>REPLY 2: I’m okay with this. Lets just let everyone calm down, move on, get over it – I think we can – John Wilkes Booth didn’t kill the theater industry, did he? – and maybe we can have this movie after a few years. I’d say give us until 2005, our nation psyche should be able to tolerate glorifying a sniper by then.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 2: It’s a slippery slope. Will we become too afraid to ever show guns in movies ever after this?

>REPLY 3: They’re already planning a documentary on Limpwood Dork Lynwood Drake, but we can’t have this? This is ridiculous!

>REPLY 4: DC snipered their sniper movie

–, a public pop-culture news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting netsite, 10/23/1995 posting


…despite ethnic tensions being lowered down to a simmer in Rwanda and Burundi, the UN Secretary-General is receiving some flak over his violation of UN anti-intervention policy, especially in the wake of more recent reports of ethnic massacres targeting Tutsi refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…

The New York Times, side article, 10/28/1995


…under the leadership of the 72-year-old socially conservative Jill Knight, the Conservatives have lost 17 seats, with 15 going to Labour and 2 going to the UK Intrepid Progressives. This swing has granted Lennon’s Labour Party a narrow majority in Parliament, which will strengthen his party’s position and influence in this next term of Prime Minister Lennon. Knight, also known as The Right Honorable Joan Christabel Jill Knight, Baroness Knight of Collingtree, has represented Birmingham Edgbaston in Parliament since 1966 and became the leader of her party after Alastair Goodlad stepped down in 1992…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 10/29/1995

Mina and the Count
was an American TV series created by Rob Renzetti. Beginning as a series of animated shorts that began airing on November 5, 1995, it ultimately became a full-fledged series that lasted for five seasons and gained a cult following…


…The series’ creator was Rob Renzetti, an animator who also created “My Life as a Teenage Robot,” was a director on several episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory, the Whoop-ass Girls, and Samurai Jack, and has contributed to several other projects as well...


… After Turner-Kennedy Broadcasting, Inc. launched The Cartoon Network in 1991, it soon began competing with The Overmyer Network’s Ton-o-Toons for original creative content, along with the Warner Bros’ Nickelodeon. At the same time, Fred Seibert was heading TON’s Ton-o-Toons division, and sought to capitalize on the Baby Boomer generation’s nostalgia of the Golden Age of American Animation (1930s-1960s), and also sought to introduce young people to the animated styles of that era as well. These two events led to the 1993 creation of the What-a-Cartoon “showcase” program (lasting from 1993 to 1999), consisting of cartoon shorts not related to one another and each produced by different animators in order to test ideas and proposals for full-fledged animation shows. In early 1995, Seibert greenlit Renzetti’s “Mina and the Count” pilot in response to TKB purchasing the rights to “Count Duckula” several weeks earlier. Positive reception to the short led to additional episodes being produced and aired in 1996 and 1997, which finally convinced TON to greenlight its own TV series, which aired from 1998 to 2003...


…The series is often compared to Dexter’s Laboratory (1996-2004) and the Whoop-ass Girls (1997-2009) for similar humor, tone, and animation styles while still being distinct in its own right…


ANCHOR: “Baptist minister, independent filmmaker, and former Presidential candidate Estus Pirkle has just been declared the winner of tonight’s contest for Governor of Mississippi. Pirkle, a “country conservative” Republican, won over Democrat and state Secretary of State Dick Molpus by a wide margin, with Pirkle receiving roughly 58% of the vote, compared to Molpus receiving roughly 42% of the vote. Now, if I understand correctly, Molpus was not as effective a campaigner as Mabus, and failed to appeal to the state’s Black vote as well as Mabus did in 87 and 91. Is that right?”

ANALYST: “Yes, but I would like to say that I don’t think Pirkle would have won tonight were it not for Mabus’ declining popularity in the state and for the culture shock of the Iacocca assassination. I think Pirkle’s campaign fiery religious rhetoric appealed to a large slice of the state’s white population and maybe even some conservative Black Mississippians, too, who may have been convinced to vote Republican because, well, our new Vice President is a Black Republican. Molpus gave it a fight, it was competitive, but after eight years of Mabus, the pendulum has swung right back to the GOP.”

– CBS Evening News, 11/7/1995 broadcast


…It seems the breed of American activist known as the “actor-politician” did not die out in 1976 with Ronald Reagan’s landslide loss after all! Last night, in a major upending of expectation, film actor and political activist William M. “Sonny” Landham, a libertarian Republican, won the governor’s seat over state Secretary of State Bob Babbage, a moderate Democrat. Sonny Landham best known for playing supporting or starring roles in several 1980s movies such as “Predator,” “In Horizon’s Blue,” “The Psoglavac,” “Boldly Into Hell,” “The Devil’s Doctors,” “Truck Off!” and “Paracel.” After defeating two state representatives in the Republican primary, Landham faced controversy for being libertarian-leaning but pro-war. He also received harsh criticism for racist remarks following the Iacocca assassination, in which the then-candidate claimed “this must have been a Ch*nk conspiracy, only someone as yellow-bellied as a yellowface would do this,” and suggested the US military “reply [with] a counterstrike.” Despite Landham backing conservative policies in a rather conservative state, most polls indicated he would lose handily, by a margin of no less than 5%. Instead, Landham defeated Babbage last night by a margin of 1.9%, or less than 20,000 votes. Descending from Cherokee and Seminole tribes, he will become the first Native American governor of Kentucky on December 12…

The Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky newspaper, 11/8/1995

…Smith attended Henry Hudson Regional High School where he was known for videotaping basketball games for the school. He was inspired by SNL to produce sketch comedy skits for the morning announcements, though these led to two separate incidents in which he was reprimanded for using colorful language in sketches that were aired without prior approval from the school. These incident led to him believing he could make a career in comedy, and began such a career upon graduating in 1988 [5]. However, Smith failed to make an impact in New York City’s comedy scene, and in 1991 moved to California. Without any money due to California lacking a “basic dividend” program like New Jersey, Smith resorted to working as an intern and later editor’s assistant for Universal Pictures. Smith “caught [his] big break” in 1993, when he obtained a paid internship under Steven Spielberg. Being on set with the famous director inspired Smith to go into filmmaking, and soon began work on his first independently-made film, the 1995 horror cult classic “Brodie and Jay: Killer Nerds From Jupiter.” The film was picked up for distribution by Universal; Steven Spielberg later stated “it’s the movie that really made me notice Kevin.” Smith became “a sort of apprentice” soon afterward…


…Late 1995 saw several House Republicans propose cutting Social Security in 1996 in order to avoid it running out of revenue in the long-term. A possible solution to the problem, offered by Congressman Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D-in), was an increase of payroll tax (a tax on earned income, as in wages/salary) set for an early 1996 implementation, as a fiscal year in congress begins on October 1. More fiscally conservative Republican lawmakers disliked the notion of raising taxes in an election year, and instead called for an increase in Congressional oversight of Social Security in order to eliminate “inefficiencies” found within it. This notion called progressives to call for a change in qualification thresholds in order for more wealthy people become ineligible for Social Security benefits. A “means-testing” of raising or lowering certain thresholds found in the Negative Income Tax Rebate came under consideration as well as the new year approached...

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

“You wanted to see me, Father – um, sir?”

“Jong-nam,” the Supreme Leader motioned him into the inner office, a wide chamber whose walls were lined with book never read, maps never viewed, and albums never played, all to present Kim as a man of culture. The dust, way in the back of the shelves, were to present him as a man too busy to partake in culture, I suppose. “I take it there was a reason why you missed yesterday’s briefing.”

Jong-nam thought back on his day. Woke up, ate, played cards with friends, ate again, went to friends’ house, something poured, same something gulped down, someone young and pretty, nudity, blur, darkness, wake up, medicine, ate again, sleep. When was the meeting?

“I know you visited the Thae estate. Their son likes to lavish and wallow in our nation’s slender even more so than you.”

“I was…making sure that none of the elite were conspiring against you”

The Supreme Leader eyed him.

“You know people tend to say what’s on their mind when they’re drunk.”

“Of course I do. Why do you think your Uncle Pyong-il is in Finland?” Born in 1954, Pyong-il is the younger half-brother of Kim Jong-il. Their sibling rivalry was notorious back in the 1970s. Back then, Pyong-il was also a party animal; he was also a notorious womanizer. At some point, Pyong-il fell out of favor with their father after partygoers began shouting “long live Kim Pyong-il!” to honor their host. Since then, Pyong-il had been sent from Ambassadorship to Ambassadorship, the most recent post being Helsinki. By being far away, Pyong-il he was completely uninfluential and inconsequential in True Korea, and had been practically and quite easily forgotten by most of the populace.

“I want to believe you,” the Supreme Leader finally addressed his son’s claim. He stood up from his seat and faced the giant mural of his father, an oil-on-canvas at least twelve feet wide, its length starting a the ceiling and ending one inch short of the floor. Someone held responsible for that missing inch had already been executed for treason, and a new painting was already underway. As his father stood, Jong-nam did the same. When the ruling Kim sat back down, his troubling protégé stayed on his feet. “Jong-nam. Continuing our family legacy requires you to become just as super-intelligent as me. It is a monumental task requiring a monumental brain, running the most important country on Earth. True Korea requires your full and undivided attention. Anything less and those who wish to destroy this country will find their ways in.” He sighed, “Your sister Sol-song is three years younger than you but is already proving to be an excellent leader, heading the literary affairs at our truth-telling department,” i.e. the propaganda department. He sighed again, “I do not want you to end up like your Uncle Pyong-il, but if you are too incompetent to be my successor, than I will have to find another.”

Jong-nam’s eyes widened at the threat. “Who?” He said either out of curiosity or for lack of something better to say in the shock of the moment.

“At the moment, your younger half-siblings may have to do. Jong-chul just turned 14, but he is a sharp one. Same could be said about Jong-un; though I have not seen him lately, the servants in Switzerland confirm he is one of the school’s top students. And then there’s your half-sister Yo-jong; she’s only eight, but she may have to do if you do not start behaving like the next future Supreme Leader. I might even put your Aunt Kyong-hui in second-in-command if you keep up his disgustingly irresponsible lifestyle of yours!”

“Father, sir,” the younger Kim quickly interjected during the Supreme Leader’s apparent pause, “The next meeting is the day after tomorrow at noon, correct?”

“Yes,” the Supreme Leader said very matter-of-factly.

“I promise I will be there. I’ll be there early if I have to.”

“You do have to.”

“Oh! Um, alright.”

Kim Jung-il’s temper seemed to cool. “You and I need to go over the upcoming nuclear tests. The scientist who replaced the original one has himself been replaced for his slow progress. I want the next test to be ready by the end of January. And I want an arsenal by late spring. Late summer at the very latest.” General O was still overseeing the program, and was still blaming American sabotage for each and every time a miscalculation happened under his geriatric watch. “We will have nothing stand in the way of our destiny, Jong-nam.”

“Destiny, Father, uh, sir?”

“We must destroy our enemies before they destroy us. America killed Russia. America tamed China. America killed our nation’s leader! They will do none of these things to us!”

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004


…Controversy surrounding Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is only rising as the number of parents concerned its dark undertones continues to rise over the past several days and weeks. …“It’s like they’re trying to give Don Bluth a run for his money instead of staying in the family-friendly lane that has made them so successful for so long,” complains a father of five. Others complain of the sexual undertones of the film… Concerned parents from all walks of life and religious are being joined by several religious groups, who seem to be the most critical of the film’s villain being a man of the cloth. “For Pity’s sake, Frollo wasn’t even a villain in the original source material, so they’re insulting people around now and people around back then,” says a pastor from Fort Lauderdale who alleges the film is an “insult” to author Victor Hugo and to “all the people of France” …Walt Disney pictures, however, has kept quiet during all this, essentially ignoring the complainers in the hope that they will eventually go away…

The Hollywood Reporter, 11/11/1995

THE BEAR’S DOGS: A Regional Favorite

Bear’s Hot Dogs [7] is a common staple of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, with outlets ranging as far south as Bethesda and as far north as Boston, but mostly found across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. It is also amazing that the business existed for over twenty years before proving popular enough for the owner to try franchising, much to the benefit of customers outside of its “home town.”

Starting out in Sayreville, New Jersey, these white-yellow-red-and-black sites hosting hot “home chili” began in 1971, when its creator, a private man who goes by the moniker “Bear McSavory,” began making said chili at home and lugging it out to a roadside stop near increasingly-quiet train tracks. The ironically-called “Dirty Water Dogs” made on-site with locally-sourced ingredients for weary and hungry travelers of Bordentown Avenue kept the business afloat, but Bear’s Hot Dogs didn’t expand into a regional delight until the mid-to-late 1990s, when its second location opened up near Asbury Park, New Jersey, on November 12, 1995. Slowly but steadily, McSavory expanded his enterprise thanks to an unconventional marketing strategy that saw outlets be set up shop not close to sports stadiums but instead near where long waiting lines flowing out of the stadiums typically ended for each region.

Bear’s Hot Dogs outlets come in a variety of sizes and modes, as they have a much less uniform aesthetic than other franchises. In stark contrast to the tight ships run by earlier fast-food proprietors like Ray Kroc and the late, great and unparalleled Colonel Sanders, BHD franchise owners have noticeably more control over promotional gimmicks, hiring practices, customer relations rules, and location presentation. The only real rule is to not discontinue food items without prior approval. This led to a bit of confusion last year, when customers went to the technet to complain of BDH discontinuing its original chili recipe for a sweeter variety. The backlash to this was immediate and at times rather intense. With sales dropping, McSavory, still kicking after all these years, brought back the original recipe for the chili. It is now served as the “Classic Bear” recipe, versus the less-popular “Extra Sweet” would-be replacement Chili...



[pic: ]

Above: how the original location, still standing over four decades later, looks today in the year 2014

–’s_dogs, 2014 posting

The American President
is a 1995 romantic comedy drama directed by Sydney Pollack and written by Aaron Sorkin and William Richert. The film concerns a President Len D’Agostino, a widower, who elopes with a progressive environmentalist while trying to pass an anti-corruption bill ahead of a re-election bid. The film premiered on November 17, 1995 to positive reception from critics and audiences. It was nominated for several Golden Globes, and accumulated a worldwide gross of $115million on a budget of $58million.


Robert Redford as US President Len D’Agostino (D-PA)
Olivia Newton-John as Sydney Anna Wade
Barbara Hershey as Helen Wade-Roraglaski
Candice Bergen as Bethany Kodak, Sydney’s employer
Michael Douglas as White House Chief of Staff August Sheppard
Ward Connerly as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Darrel Sudenbaum
Michael J. Fox, Cameron Douglas and River Phoenix as speechwriters Charlie Kinders, Matt Stream, and Jack Lewison
Rebecca Schaeffer as White House Press Secretary Alexis Katalthy
George Chakiris as US Senator Hank Denwell (R-WI)
Kirk Douglas as US Senator Dashiell H. T. “Dash” Nightson IV (D-SC)
Diane Keaton as Martha Nightson
Danny Glover as Governor Harvey Stackhouse (D-MN)

Starting in the late 1980s, actor Robert Redford approached several screenwriters with the simple three-word premise: “the president elopes,” inspired by rumors and hearsay concerning the bachelorette President Carol Bellamy (1989-1993) and also by writer William Richert’s failed attempt to make a film with a similar premise during the early 1980s. Upon Iacocca’s election to the Presidency, writers Aaron Sorkin and William Richert voiced interest in writing a screenplay for a film that was based more on Iacocca than on Bellamy. In a TV Guide interview, Sorkin explained that Bellamy was willfully single, while Iacocca was a widower, and so a character based on the latter would “be way more interesting.” Redford opposed selecting Rob Reiner to direct the project due to Reiner’s interest in the political aspect of the film, whereas Redford wanted “to do a love story.” Casting occurred in early 1994 and principle photography wrapped later that same year. Originally set for a July 1995 release date, the film’s premier was pushed back several months following Iacocca’s assassination in order to reshoot several scenes, delete a joke “made at the expense of the mental impaired,” and to insert “a lot more American flags into the movie,” according to Richert in a Variety interview.

The film was a major box office success, with Siskel and Ebert giving it two thumbs up and the former calling it a “charming and captivating romance with a little bit of a political bite.” Film ended up being seen as “an unintentional love letter” to President Iacocca, as Redford’s character is very similar to him (Italian heritage, a widower with two daughters (albeit much younger than Iacocca’s daughters were during his time in the White House) and other details).

While writing the screenplay, Sorkin developed several political ideas for the film that Redford ultimately rejected to keep the story’s focus on the development of the two main characters. Thus, they ended up being removed from the script. Sorkin took many of these ideas and later used them in the TV drama series “The West Wing.”


FIELDS ELECTED GOVERNOR! Beats Horne In A Narrow Upset!

Baton Rouge, LA – Last night’s election results ended a weeks-long debate between two contrasting political ideologies, as Louisiana voters chose a pro-welfare African-American Democrat over a strongly-libertarian Republican in the biggest Democratic pickup of the 1995 gubernatorial season. In the October 21 blanket “jungle” primary, U.S. Congressman Cleo Fields and state senator T. Lee Horne III advanced to yesterday’s runoff contest; Democratic state Treasurer Mary Landrieu came in third in the primary, and Republicans Mike Foster and Dave Treen came in fourth and fifth, respectively. …Fields, an “odds-buster,” grew up in poverty during the 1960s and 1970s. A lifelong supporter of government welfare programs, his “underdog” campaign focused on child nutrition and food insecurity; “When a baby cries, it's not a white baby or a black baby — it's a hungry baby[8]. Fields’ campaign also support gun ownership law reform and openly opposed the “thug life” promoted in many hip-hop songs; Fields seeks to increase state funds for education and environmental protection. …Contrasting sharply with Fields’ policies were those of state senator Horne, a deeply libertarian Republican opposed to all government regulation, and he meant it; Horne possibly lost the vote of many socially conservative Republicans in the state for opposing the government regulation “of behavior between consenting adults[9]. Horne also but stoked up controversy for opposing gun regulations on the grounds of such policies would most likely “unintentionally infringe upon one’s right to self-defense”... Fields, who will turn 33 on November 22, will enter office on January 8…

The Times-Picayune, Louisiana newspaper, 11/19/1995

Following the Japanese House of Councillors election of July 1995, Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s party lost seats in an already-weak and unwieldy coalition; the drop in seats convinced him to resign a few weeks later; he was replaced by Ryutaro Hashimoto, head of the Liberal Democratic Party, on August 30. There was talk of Hashimoto staying tied to his interparty faction as PM, breaking a long-held tradition, but due to the highly tense of the time, Hashimoto declined to do so; such a break of tradition would not occur until several years later.

Hashimoto soon met with his American counterpart to suggest a revising of the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty. In the midst of rising tension in Asia, Dinger concurred with Hashimoto’s belief that the times merited the Japanese Defense Agency being revised and made a ministry. The two men met privately in Honolulu to discuss the expansion of the 1960 treaty on November 2, in which the two heads of state agreed to allow for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to buy or rent out US ships in the event of an attack, and/or as part of a “stop gap.”

When the details of these discussions reached the press, the inaccurately-dubbed “Honolulu Talks” were unpopular among most Japanese citizens. In the Diet, though, LDP House members Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda, and Yoshirō Mori supported the revisions, as well as Hiroshi Mitsuzuka. These politicians were concerned about China as well as North Korea, and welcomed the expanded military options. On November 21, Hashimoto and Dinger formally revised the treaty (of course, with prior approval from the Diet and the Congress, respectively) in a Washington, D.C. ceremony.

As a part of the “deal,” and in an unofficial fulfillment of Lee Iacocca’s call for greater Japanese investments in American production, the JMSDF, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) began investing in US weapons manufacturers. According to an Associated Press expose, the JGSDF purchased 200 AAVs (a form of amphibious landing vehicle) and other American weapons a month later, in December 1995, and were delivered to the country on New Year’s Eve of that year.

The most noteworthy immediate result of the treaty revision was the Japanese government successfully “renting” two of the US’s two most recently-commissioned Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship (aka a LPH, or “Landing Platform, Helicopter”) ships – the USS New Orleans (the LPH-11) and the USS Inchon (the LPH-12). The Japanese getting AWACS on loan from the US was also a major development as well.


[pic: ]

Above: the USS Inchon in 1995. The USS New Orleans would be unofficially renamed the Mount Kita, after the second-highest mountain in Japan, by Japanese officers

Responses to these developments in the US were mixed; a November 25 Gallup poll suggested 53% of Americans supported it, 33% of Americans opposed it, and 14% of Americans were not sure. On the political front, several Democrats running for Presidents claimed the move was a misstep. “This is exactly the kind of irresponsible, belligerent, conspiratorial action that can easily lead us into a nuclear war,” said candidate Jesse Jackson on November 26; fellow candidate John Glenn, however, was quieter on the matter due to his own hawkish tendencies, and instead touted his own foreign policy bona fides for why he would be a better leader to oversee such an expansion of the 1960 Treaty...

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

“…Our first Christmas as the First Family was a bittersweet moment for the White House because of the reason why we Dingers were celebrating it there of all places instead of at 1 Observatory Circle…”

– Paula Dinger, 2009 interview

HOST: This this shift in US-Japan military policy is a very noticeable shake-up. Does it violate the US-Japan Security Treaty of 1960?

Former National Security Advisor ELMO HUNTER: Oh, no, the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between US and Japan grants the US permission to act as peacekeeper in the region. And just like how that treaty was mutually revised to delete US being able to exert its power on any domestic concerns within Japan – they got rid of that part rather quickly – this change just takes advantage of the treaty’s loopholes concerning whether or not Japan’s military loan ships and weapons from the US. They can, and the US is encouraging it because after 35 years of strong US-Japanese relations, this administration has come to believe that Japan should have a greater amount of control over their own affairs.

Former US Secretary of Defense ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO: Yeah, this is very understandable. With North Korea becoming increasingly hostile, it makes sense for Japan to be able to defend themselves in the event of some sort of emergency. That’s very unlikely, but you can’t be too careful when it comes to nukes, and Kim Jung-Il on working on nukes, and aiming to aim them on everyone, it seems.

HUNTER: Preparedness is precautionary, but it’s also economically wise for the US to do this.

HOST: How so?

HUNTER: Because of the Balanced Budget Amendment – I think it’s really smart for President Dinger to free up the military funds that go into docking and maintaining those ships, and to let the Japanese leaders have some more responsibility for the safety and well-being of their own people.

– The Overmyer Network, 11/28/1995 round-table discussion


…Dinger, who turned 49 on August 8th, was a Democrat [10] until Mondale’s mishandling of the economy led to him shifting to the right, switching to the GOP in 1981. The baseball-loving bookworm once worked as a coffee barista before his experience in the US Army (he served in Cambodia from 1968 to 1970) influenced his foreign policy views, as did various ambassadorships from 1981 to 1988… With former Vice President Jerry Litton of Missouri losing momentum due to his cancer diagnosis delaying his entry, and several “big name” politicians such as Governor Evan Bayh of Indiana, US Senator Bill Bradley of Missouri, Governor Mario Cuomo of New York, US Senator Lawton Chiles of Florida, former Governor Bob Ross of Alaska, US Senator and 1988 Presidential candidate Eunice Kennedy-Shriver of Massachusetts, US Senator Gary Locke of Washington state, Governor Jim Florio of New Jersey, US Representative Dick Gephardt of Missouri, US Senator Ann Richards of Texas, US Senator Darcy Richardson of Pennsylvania, US Senator Mario Obledo of California and Governor Evelyn Murphy of Massachusetts all deciding to “sit this one out,” most of whom are doing so due to Dinger’s approval ratings, the party seems to be without a clear frontrunner for the time being. The most recent polling by Gallup shows Litton, US Senator Glenn of Ohio, Governor Ray Mabus of Mississippi being the most recognizable of the candidates [11]… …Former Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter wonders “Will the 1996 election be the long-promised resurgence of the right-leaning Democrat, or the final nail in their coffin?”

The New York Times, 11/30/1995

[1] Italicized part pulled from his wikipedia article
[2] Launched on November 1996, and with the names “Mars Global Surveyor,” IOTL
[3] In OTL, it arrived at Mars in September 1997, began its primary mapping phase in April 1999, its second extended mission phase began in February 2002 (so 1996 ITTL), and its “Science and Support” mission section began in December 2004 (so 1998 or so ITTL).
[4] Passage in italics is from the wiki page for JAWS (“Job Access With Speech”)
[5] IOTL, he was inspired by the 1990 film Slacker to become a filmmaker in New Jersey, but here he doesn’t see the movie (either it never gets made or he never gets around to watching it), and so he tries out the comedy angle first before trying out filmmaking in Hollywood, the traditional place for it…
[6] Italicized lines were pulled from this article, on which this whole passage is pretty much based:
[7] OTL place!:
[8] OTL quote from this person’s wiki page
[9] Ibid.
[10] He worked on Mo Udall’s Presidential campaign, was a legislative assistant to John Culver, and did not change his registration to Republican IOTL; this demonstrates how his experience in TTL’s Indochina Wars and other parts of the Sanders administration influenced his worldview during his formative years.

[11] Speaking of which, ahead of the 1996 Democratic primary season, I made a preference poll to see who should run and of them who should win. Please vote! :) :

Also, here’s a quick breakdown of the 17 candidates on the poll:

Roberto Clemente, 62, the former MLB player and former Governor of Puerto Rico entered the race once US Senator Mario Obledo (D-CA) declined to do so; he’s running a pro-peace, humanitarian campaign with notable religious undertones, either due to his faith, to accrue strong support from Catholic and Hispanic voters, or, most likely, both.

Ann Dunham, 54, the US Secretary of Health And Welfare from 1989 to 1993, has never held elective office, but was a passionate surrogate for Bellamy in 1988 and 1992; a survivor of ovarian cancer (thanks to an early diagnosis via UHC in the autumn of 1994 while working in D.C.), she is well-connected, but that may not translate into the popular grassroots support that she seeks to build up in the early primaries.

Timothy C. Evans, 53, the African-American protégé of Windy City icon Harold Washington, served as the Mayor of Chicago from 1987 until 1995, and forewent re-election in April 1995 to instead try his hand at “pulling a Bellamy,” i.e. advancing from Mayor to President; however, his handling of the city’s crime and poverty rates are being scrutinized, especially in the wake of the Chicago’s Windless Heat Wave in the summer of 1995.

Joan Finney, 71, was the state Treasurer of Kansas for four years, but has been a US Representative since 1979; a former Republican and consistently pro-life, she is from the right-of-center section of the party and seeks to win the suburban, middle-class, and conservative voters in the southern primary contests.

Pete Flaherty, 72, also known as “Mayor Pete,” was the Mayor of Pittsburgh before serving as a US Congressman for several years, and then as Bellamy’s Secretary of State; a self-declared “pragmatic liberal,” he supports finding a peaceful resolution to “The North Korean Question” and touts both his foreign policy and urban development accomplishments in his pursuit of the White House.

John Glenn, 75, a US Senator from Ohio since 1971 and a former astronaut, has run for President twice before, and each time as a centrist appealing to older voters; this time is no different, save for the fact that he has accumulated an impressively large war chest and a legion of top-notch, top-of-the-line campaign surrogates and contributors to push his “modern moderate” message.

Jesse Jackson, 55, a Baptist minister and Civil Rights activist, served as Governor of South Carolina from 1987 to 1991 and as a “special liaison” to the Ivory Coast from 1991 to 1993; running for President for the first time, he’s doing so on a progressive campaign reminiscent of the Gravel campaigns of yesteryear, and aims to assemble a winning coalition of diverse voters, coming from all ethnic and racial groups, as well as from lower and middle classes.

Mickey Leland, 52, a prominent African-American politician, represented Texas’ 18th U.S. House District (Houston) from 1979 to 1989 before being the US Ambassador to Ethiopia under President Bellamy; his “Gravel-lite” campaign’s similarity to Jackson’s is creating concern that the two men will cancel each other out, while his humanitarian activism could threaten to siphon supporters away from Clemente's campaign.

Jerry Litton, 59, made a late entry into the race due to a battle with cancer, but due to his status as Bellamy’s Vice President, the former US Senator from Missouri has a high chance of winning the nomination; though notably to the right of Bellamy (for example, as a Senator, he sponsored a bill to reduce US payments to the UN (OTL)), his connection to her, plus his image of being a charismatic “family man,” appeals to some progressives and young voters, and appeals especially to some suburban, white middle-class, and midwestern voters.

Ray Mabus, 48, the Governor of Mississippi from 1988 to 1996, is aiming to straddle between the progressive and centrist factions while focusing on education reform (reminding people of his raising of teachers’ salaries to record levels while Governor), and increasing exports to “maintain American importance” in the global economy; while increasingly unpopular in Mississippi for allegedly being “out-of-touch” with Mississippians, his supporters believe that “the Face of the New South”/“The Yuppie of the Statehouse” is the only candidate who could return several southern states to the Democrat column.

Rick Perry, 46, was the conservative, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-recreadrug Governor of Texas from 1987 to 1995, whose record in that office, especially his handling of the 1991 hantavirus outbreak, could make for some serious controversy during his bid for the White House; at the same time, he can tout his handling of the early '90s recession and his ability to lure major companies to the state, which lowered Texas' unemployment rates; the youngest candidate in the race, he is also the most conservative candidate in the race, even with his recent pivots to the center.

Vincent C. Schoemehl, 50, the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri since 1993, served as Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri from 1981 to 1993, during which time he promoted “public-private partnerships” for urban design projects, beautification programs, and home safety measures, as well as encouraging small business development; he is running on a moderate platform, offering himself as “a more practical alternate to” Litton, as Schoemehl has put it, but may face criticism for his demolition of historic buildings while Mayor, and over claims of his ZED-style “gentrification” projects increasing homeless in St. Louis during his mayoral tenure.

Jim Slattery, 48, was the progressive Governor of Kansas from 1987 to 1995, during which time he worked on environmental protection, and supported farmer unionizing and the implementation of UHC, though he failed to prevent the construction of the Superconducting Super Collider; a fierce supporter of Bellamy, this anti-war politician is hoping to gain her endorsement, coveted by the “Bellamy” faction of the party, despite running on a “Litton-esque” campaign concerning property tax law reform and retaining the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Bruce Smathers, 53, the son of former US Senator George Smathers, was Florida’s state Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor before serving as its Governor from 1987 to 1995, during which time this "pragmatic centrist" invested in small businesses, improved city infrastructure, and encouraged local charity efforts; his campaign is similar to Mabus’ campaign, but his record is noticeably to Mabus' right.

Gus Triandos, 66, a former MLB catcher and a conservative U.S. Representative from San Jose, California’s District since 1989, is running on a platform more conservative than Glenn’s platform but less conservative than Smathers' platform.

Decatur “Bucky” Trotter, 64, was been the Governor of Maryland since 1991; he is a productive politician, overseeing ZED successes across the state along with welfare reform, tax reform, small business regulation reform, and improvements in the quality of the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority; he is an African-American progressive who may appeal to moderates and business-oriented voters.

Jolene Unsoeld, 65, a US Senator from Washington since 1989 and the wife of famous mountaineer Willi Unsoeld, was one of the first Senators to support a proposed nationwide ban on the private possession of fully automatic weapons; she also supports election finance reform, government transparency, and is a major supporter of alternative fuel sources such as solar, wind, and wave, and of nature conservation efforts.
Post 66
Post 66: Chapter 74

Chapter 74: December 1995 – June 1996

“The secret to happiness is freedom. The secret to freedom is courage.”

– Thucydides

The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to both physical and intellectual threats, which explains why we respond to both kinds of threats in the same way, with either violent “fight” or cowardly “flight.” And since it is more socially appropriate to counter-debate than to skedaddle out of the room, “fight” usually wins out. Kim Jung-Il was not immune to nature, to this aspect of the natural human condition. It was just that his nurturing, being raised surrounded by grandeur and receiving praise from birth onward, inflated his ego and the “fight” tendency of his amygdala. The nature and nurture conditions made for a unique dictator.

But make no mistake – Kim was not mad. Or at least, not mad enough to be suicidal. He was very much aware that due to the South’s superior economic and technological power, it was a region impossible to actually conquer.

His father knew this too; it was what led to Kim Il-Sung deciding to pursue nuclear weapons. The nation’s founder believed that, with the Cold War over and Russia and China becoming less reliable than before, nothing else could intimidate the US out of invading. This took care of the US, but not of possible coups from within. To counter those, the scare tactic of purges kept the military and the elite in line.

Thus, one must ask: what was the Kim strategy in the event of war breaking out before nuclear weapons could be built? The answer: a scorched earth policy and the sacrifice of as many soldiers as the regime we need to make in defense of the True Korea. Kim Jung-Il personally, though, believed that such a war would end for the US the way it almost ended for the US in Cuba, where news footage led to anti-war protests. Jung-Il was convinced that, in his day and age, with cameras more prevalent and detailed than ever before, the American people would be shocked by the carnage on both sides, and a new peacenik movement would arise, calling for change and wearing away at the US’s very foundation.

“They have nuclear devices, but they would not dare use them because the American President has to answer to his idiot people, who would oppose nuclear use. During the war, we’ll continue to build nuclear weapons and possibly even threaten to use them if they do not withdraw,” the Supreme Leader once explained to Jong-nam.

In such a best-case scenario, the US would collapse and/or withdraw from the peninsula. In such a worst-case scenario, the US, would still withdraw, but from exhaustion, after several years of fighting. In the aftermath Kim Jung-Il, would stay in power, and continue his reign of terror (purges of suspected coup backers in the military and among the police).

But as we all know, that is not exactly how things unfolded…

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004


…the diplomatic trip was to reassure the South Korean President, Kim Young-sam, that the United States has its “full support” in regards to Kim’s hawkish but cautious approach to North Korea. At the moment, roughly 48,000 US soldiers stationed in South Korea, up from just 34,000 in 1992…

The San Francisco Chronicle, 12/1/1995

“I was hungry – always, hungry – and very much alone. I sometimes wish I had been a ‘kotjebi,’ a street urchin, than be born into Special Control Zone, a prison-within-a-prison where prisoners spend their entire lives and even raise families. If you could call us that. My mother and my father were both prisoners, had seen selected for family-making in the SCZ for some reason. When I was an infant, the guards killed my father for what I had always amused must have been a good reason; in the SCZ, there were only two people, good people and bad people, right people and wrong people – the guards were always rights, and us, the prisoners, were all wrong, bad people, even us simply born to prisoners. I was born to and raised by a mother who would beat me every time she returned from the labor fields. That made me hate her, and because she was in there for some reason, I blamed her for my misery. For the longest time I thought life in the labor camp was all there was, but as I grew older, I began to wonder what lied beyond the hills and jungles surrounding the prison walls. And that wonder turned to yearning and that yearning turned to desperate anguish. I wanted to know, I had to know. I just needed two things – the opportunity to leave, and the courage to take it.”

– Shin Do-Kyung’s account of his life in Park Sung-min’s anthology Nothing to Envy: Loss And Survival In A People’s Republic, Rhee-Pak Press, 2016 [1]

Kim Jong-Il again attempted to stop South Korean balloons carrying anti-regime leaflets from traveling over the border by ordering them to be shot down on sight. However, a December 3rd restating of this order led to a communication error: NK soldiers stationed at the DMZ thought they were now being told to shoot down “anything with anything,” instead of “any balloons with any weaponry.”


[pic: ]
Above: North Korean soldiers at the northern border of the Demilitarized Zone

The false message made one DPRK soldier more jumpy than usual. The situation had grown too suspenseful for him; he could no longer stand the longer and longer hours, must to him meant a grave threat being imminent, and caused his fellow soldiers to either grin madly at the prospect of destruction, or privately grimace in fear. And fear, in this soldier’s eyes, only came from real threats.

On December 4th, said soldier mistook an indigenous crane bird flying overhead to be a spy plane, causing him to being firing his automatic across the DMZ. His fellow soldiers followed suit as rumors of a South Korean fighter jet flying past them led to the soldiers’ CO ordering the firing of anti-aircraft missiles into the South Korea-DMZ border, near the SK city of Paju.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…Over one hundred South Korean military officers and citizens, along with over 50 American military officers and tourists, have been killed in a massive attack on the city of Paju, South Korea. Despite the anti-aircraft missiles being clearly fired from across the Demilitarized Zone, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il is claiming the vicious assault was a false flag attack…

– KNN Breaking News update, 12/4/1995

Before North Korean military leaders could realize their error, South Korea had already retaliated by firing “warning shots” into North Korea, striking the NK-DMZ border city of Kaesong and killing at least three according to observations. It remained unknown at time if these counterstrikes came from direct orders by the SK military or from a rogue government or military individual, as SK President Kim Young-sam took the fifth on this, saying the counterstrike was justified but stopping short of taking responsibility for it being carried out in the first place.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…Two days later, on December 6th, Kim Jong-Il ordered 1,000 troops to march to the northern border of the DMZ in a theatrical showing of force, and then went onto state-run TV to declare that all of the DMZ was a part of the north.

The Americans and the UN increased their sanctions and condemnations, of both the Supreme Leader’s “erratic and irresponsible behavior” as President Larry Dinger put it, and of all countries continuing to do business with the dictatorship. Meanwhile, South Korea’s President Kim Young-sam took a much bolder approached. On December 7th, he announced two-week ultimatum – either disperse the “band” of DPRK troops on the edge of the DMZ or make amends (via public apology of financial compensation for loss of life and property damages) for the Paju Assault within 14 days, or face “serious intervention of repercussive consequence.” South Korea’s political leaders believed, and American politicians hoped, that the South was in a position that would allow them to pressure Kim Jong-Il into submission, or at least into backing down, similarly to how the Xinjiang Camp Crisis in China had concluded with China’s leaders reversing course without losing face over the matter. However, the Supreme Leader did not believe it to be a deteriorating situation; he saw it as his moment to call the South’s bluff, for he truly believed that they would not start a war over as something as insignificant as 167 fatalities on the SK-DMZ border…

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

“In Korea, I worked as a drill sergeant for the US Marine Corps battalion stationed in Seoul, getting our troops into shape for running the amphibious boats and overseeing exercises, ours and the joint ones with the Southies. One of the soldiers under my wing was Eric Fidelis Alva. He’d joined in 1990 and was one of those fellas that had ‘unmasked’ themselves in that ‘open secret’ kind of way, and so he was one of those fellas that tend to get assaulted and harassed by some of his more close-minded fellow soldiers. I sided with Alva on this because before re-enlisting, I used to drive taxis in Boise, Idaho, at night, and I picked up my fair share of the gay community and they have true love for one another, I’m tellin’ you [2]. So I stayed close to him, but not too close – a soldier doesn’t need a mother to cling to, he needs a spine to support himself with. But anyway, my point is that Eric had an ally in me and a few others, and I did my best to remind them all that we were all there for the same reason – to serve and protect our country. Because if you easily succumb to unfounded fears about a fellow Americans, then how’re you supposed to stand up to real fears about foreign hostiles?”

– Harley Brown, 2014 interview


…While candidates Clemente, Dunham and Leland essentially condemned the President for his handling of North Korean aggression so far, Jesse Jackson and John Glenn sparred more on domestic issues. Litton, meanwhile, surprisingly underperformed as he attempted to portray himself as a “compromise” type of candidate for the foreign-policy-minded and the domestic-policy-minded members of the party…

The Washington Post, 12/17/1995

The situation is still currently being monitored as instructed. With the North raising tension and refusing to back down in response to the South increasing military exercises near the DMZ, I am surprised POTUS has not raised the DEFCON level.

– US Army Maj. Gen. J. Nicholas “Nick” Rowe, in private message to US Army Gen. Gary E. Luck, Commander of USFK (United States Forces Korea), 12/19/1995

On December 21, 1995, the 14-day deadline of Kim Young-sam’s ultimatum expired. Kim Young-sam announced that the North’s Kim Jung-Il had “decided his fate.” In the days and weeks that followed, the several prominent heads of state reiterated their support of the ROK and their use of military support in the event of South Korea requiring “defensive assistance.”

Dinger’s advisors were torn on how to proceed. “We should work with Young-sam to coordinate a proper strike,” suggested Defense Secretary Rocky Versace.

Secretary of State Perkins counters, “No, we’ve avoided war before, we can do it again. Larry, we need to get the North to open up to negotiations, maybe me or you travel to the DMZ or a neutral spot like China and we can talk this out with Kim, because – ”

“It’s obvious Kim wants war,” Versace interrupted, “We keep talking and almost-talking, and it’s all been a big waste of time. All while Korean in both countries suffer.”

“I agree, Rocky” spoke the President, “I’ve spoken with Young-sam, and with the Prime Minister of Japan, and they both agree, too. There’s a time for talking and a time for doing, and we ran out of talkin’ time when the first of one of our boys got killed in Paju.”

The next day, Dinger asked Congress to pass a resolution “authorizing the use of military resources and personnel in US operations in conjunction with South Korea,” stopping short of all-out declaring war on North Korea. The resolution was passed with relative ease.

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

Entrepreneur JOHN RUGGLES JR.: “Turn the TV off already! Thanks. Sheesh. It really looks like a full-fledged war’s gonna break out over there, huh?”

Ten-year-old HARLAND SANDERS V: “But war’s a bad thing.”

Doctor LANDO SANDERS, M.D.: “Tell that to some adults, sonny.”

HARLAND V: “But I just told it to you!”

RUGGLES: “I wouldn’t worry about it, Vee. If they try any more funny business over there, we’ll be sure to give ’em somethin’ to think about they’ll never forget.”

Businessman HARLAND ADAMS: “Yeah – we’re Americans! We never back down from a fight! Never!”

LANDO SANDERS: “What about Angola?”

HARLAND V: “Ang-what-a?”

RUGGLES: “Lando, shhh!”

LANDO: “What?”

RUGGLES: “We don’t…talk about Angola. Alright?”

– Sanders family members, home video recording, Sanders family compound, Corbin, KY, 12/25/1995 (“spilled” online in 2020)

With tension in the Korean peninsula, the US government took stock of its allies and potential opponents in the event of war being declared. In secret back-channel talks with the PRC in the summer and autumn of 1995 and again in 1996, China’s Premier Zhu and US representatives discussed the economic and geopolitical ramifications of multiple hypothetical scenarios. Ultimately, Zhu agreed that, should war break out, they would stay neutral. Furthermore, if the Kim regime fell, Zhu admitted that he would be willing to let South Korea – but not the US – occupy North Korea in exchange for there being no new military bases set up in the North, and for the US decreasing their military presence in Korea. Dinger agreed to such a scenario, but only if US military was allowed to remain in the area for an “exit strategy window” of no greater than five years. The talks were never official, but laid the groundwork for international collaboration and understanding. “Just in time,” Dinger reportedly repeated stated during these low-key discussions.

In DC, the State and Defense departments began to feel that the time for talk was coming to a close. In a private exchange with Secretary of State Ed Perkins on December 27, 1995, Dinger expressed certainty that US and South Korean forces “must act before Kim develops any more nuclear weapons,” and added, “Time is running out. Talks and sanctions are getting nowhere. We have but one option left. Lord have mercy on all of us.”

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

The Supreme Leader seemed outraged by the South mobilizing their army at the border on December 28, in case of further strikes from the North. Kim believed the mobilizing was because they were in the process of a strike. He was certain the South attacking was imminent due to their increase in military exercises off the coast of Seoul, when actually, those were only occurring due to the North repeatedly threatening them with war. On the other hand, with the walls closing in, Kim had to make such threats to ward off possible overthrow. It was a vicious cycle that was running the North into ruin.

“We will not lose the upper hand,” he announced to his military leaders at a meeting held on New Year’s eve, “Our day has come!”

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

“One evening – New Year’s, as it turned out to be – I was sent to the part of the woodlands beside the camp, surrounded by an electric fence, to haul timber with three other prisoners. At dusk, it was dark and cold. We were just fifteen meters away from the fence when the guards walked away. Usually, they would take smoke breaks one at a time, but they were more nervous than usual. We didn’t know why; nobody was ever told anything about life outside the camp.

When they both walked away, I thought, “This is it, my only chance to get out or die trying. Either outcome’s better than this.”

I dropped my pile of timber and bolted.

One of the older boys in our group was nearby, and I guess he got the same idea. Only he was faster than me, and I think may have even tried to push me out of the way. He got past me, but I’m glad he did. Whether he thought he could push his way through the fence or he tripped, I do not know. All I know was that when he made contact with the fence, there were several sparks, and a sudden burst of a terrible stench. As I reached the fence, I heard some commotion behind me; I didn’t look back. I crawled over the other boy’s limp body I scratched and burned my arms on the high voltage, likely weakened by his intentional demise. As I got to my feet, I think I heard the guards shouting. As I ran into the trees, I heard the guns; one bullet grazed my arm and another two whizzed past my head, but I didn’t look back. I kept running. I had no idea where to, but I figured that my place was better than that one.”

Below: a view of the prison camp in question, c. 1997:


[pic: ]

– Shin Do-Kyung’s account of his life in Park Sung-min’s anthology Nothing to Envy: Loss And Survival In A People’s Republic, Rhee-Pak Press, 2016

It’s arguable that the war officially began on January 2nd, 1996, when the North attempted to pull off an astounding artillery attack on Seoul in response to the South moving to seemingly invade the North over the escalation of incidents over the past several years and in the past month most particularly.

The North severely miscalculate their situation. Their carpet-bombing agenda, dubbed Operation “Wave of Fire,” turned out to be seriously underwhelming because of how many of their planes were outdated. Their Lim-5 fleet, purchased from Indonesia in the 1980s, sought to counter this with multilayered, overlapping and mutually supportive air defense sites across North Korea, but no such system was established for the attack of Seoul in time for the planes to present themselves as a formidable challenge to the North’s planes.

Many of the planes and their missiles ended up landing or crashing miles outside of Seoul’s city limits; despite their impressive sizes, roughly 75% of the North’s guns’ ranges were out of reach of the city. Even the long range 170mms guns could only reach the edge of the city limits, and the ones not hit by South Korea’s immediate counter-fire wore out very quickly because Kim had purged most of the military experts who knew how to properly handle those babies. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, President Kim Young-sam’s government temporarily relocated to Hwaseong during the “Siege of Seoul.”

The most damaging weapon in Kim Jung-Il’s arsenal, at it turned out, was not aerial in nature; they were chemical weapons such as sarin, phosgene and mustard. When the launch commenced, many NK planes dropped several tons of sarin gas, mustard gas, and other chemical, blister, and nerve agents onto the city, ultimately ruining the health – often fatally – of at least 40,000 people. In the end, these gases killed more people than anything else did during the Siege of Seoul.

Holding almost 50% of country’s population at the time, the poisonous missiles and the more successful planes being launched sent the city into a panic. Thousands went running for any sort of shelter they could find. Hundreds sought to flee by car, train, and even by boat if near the Han River, which led to traffic jams and further chaos. Gas mask distribution became a top issue as well, with the Mayor ordering stores caring away to “give them out and complain about the cost later.”

Thankfully, just four hours into the assault from the North, the South knocked out the attacking batteries, sparring the city from further devastation. This was done by South Korea going big right out of the starting gate and having fighter jets conduct the world’s largest aerial assault undertaken since the 1967 Invasion of Hanoi. The footage of a frightened panic turning to cheering crowds overwhelmed news cycles in countries worldwide.

When it came to international support, the rest of the world generally approved of the South’s reply due to the financial and economic importance of Seoul on the world stage. The South’s exports trading had nearly double since the end of the Cold War. Furthermore, Kim’s unhidden efforts to acquire a nuclear stockpile presented a national security threat to the entire region.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

“Because North Korea has intentionally attacked and killed at least 75 American troops stationed in and around Seoul – not to mention the number of slain American tourist and foreign exchange students as well – with willful intent, I, as President, formally requested approval from Congress for a formal declaration of war on North Korea. In light of the Kim Jung-Il’s attempts to obtain weapons of nuclear capability, the Senate and House have approved, as well as our allies of South Korea, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The Kim regime has cast a fearful shadow over South Korea for too long, and with their most recent heinous and belligerent act, the regime has sealed its fate. By the grace of God, the time of liberation is at hand.”

– President Dinger’s Special Address to the Nation, 1/3/1996


…the farthest the North had advanced into the south in just 20 kilometers on the edge of the Sea of Japan, where a DPRK advance has stalled outside of Goseong and Sokcho…

– The Associated Press, 1/5/1996

“I will not send our soldiers to die in a war we have nothing to do with. This war is going to kill thousands of innocent people and I for one refuse to have any of their blood on my hands. If any Briton wants to fight over there, I suggest to head over to Canada, where [Prime Minister] Margaret [Mitchell] has disappointed the likes of me and my fellow peace-seekers by offering her nation’s support to the American war machine.”

– UK Prime Minister John Lennon, 1/6/1996

…The UN-backed Alliance of the US, South Korea, and several other countries is usually referred to as just the Alliance, or the US-SK Alliance, or even, sometimes, the Asian-American Alliance. …Kim Jung-Il seemed to believe that Dinger was bluffing, even after Senate and Congress approves of the war and the even after the Alliance was declared, and especially after the Blizzard of 1996 distracted America’s government officials, albeit temporarily. Kim was wrong…

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004


…the North American Blizzard of 1996 ravaged the northeastern United States from January 6 to January 8. Influence from the arctic high pressure system and unusually warm early January weather made for a nor’easter historically more severe than usual, with torrential rain flooding rivers reminding some of the Superstorm of March 1993. With over 100 people killed, and NYC and DC public schools having to close as over 4 feet of snow fell, one would expect this storm to have been a major news event.

It wasn’t; in fact, many tend to not recall it, even those who survived it. This was largely caused by it occurring in the midst of the Korean War of 1996, which dominated the news cycles and relegated coverage of the storm to the weather segments and the bottom-ribbon. Governors declared states of emergency, precautious measures were implemented, ODERCA readied for post-storm rescue and repairs, and even President Dinger told Americans to stay safe at a press conference. Despite all this, most Americans who look back to the month of January 1996 comment on their county’s military exploits, not so much the 178 fatalities attributed to hypothermia, accidents, and floods…

–, 2016 article

…On January 7, 1996, Kim Jung-Il finally appeared on state-run TV to proclaim “the evil race from across the sea has launched an unprovoked act of aggression against The True Korea.” The Supreme Leader immediately launched a sea-and-air invasion of South Korea. One of the first locations bombed was the American Embassy in Seoul, which had already evacuated:


[pic: ]
These attack was immediately met with resistance from the South. The North’s use of SCUD missiles, however, proved to be woefully poor; their missiles were inaccurate due to the North lack of any sort of even primitive satellite navigation technology. Their MLRS rocket launchers and nearly all artillery shells underperformed, too, as did their M-1978 Koksans, a self-propelled gun with a crew of eight and of North Korean design that proved to have a surprisingly short range. Their underwhelming firepower allowed the South Korea jets to hit their indented targets in the North – military factories, army tanks, anti-aircraft missile launchers and troop concentrations – with much more accuracy. The South sought to avoid civilian areas, but many were killed in the counterattack nonetheless…

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

…On January 10, 1996, Operation Cutting Edge began with ROK-led air strikes – not on the North’s industrial centers but on the North’s elite neighborhoods in Pyongyang and the “resort” towns of Hamhung and Anju, destroying the property of the ruling class. ROK/US forces also launched air strikes on nuclear testing and research sites at Yongbyon and other locations. These strikes were followed by land troops being deployed via aerial drop-off into southern North Korea and naval deployment on North Korea’s southern coasts, marking the beginning of an initially-slow land invasion of the DPRK...

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

…Just two days after the launch of aerial and naval campaigns, Kim Jung-Il called for soldiers on the ground to cross the Demilitarized Zone. Their send-off was used as a publicity stunt of which Jong-nam’s sister was put in charge, despite Jong-nam’s interest in the cinematographic aspect of the event…


[pic: ]
Above: North Korean soldiers pose for the state-run media’s cameras prior to them rolling into the DMZ

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

…Only 2.5 miles wide and 160 miles long, the Korean DMZ’s natural isolation of the environment from no human habitation created an involuntary park, one of the most well-preserved lands of temperate habitat on Earth, with proposals to turn the region into a national or binational reserve going as far back as 1966. The belt strapped across the middle of the Korean peninsula had developed a thriving, unrestrained wildlife after over 40 years of human-free influence (apart from land mines near the borders), giving endangered species like the Korean Fox, the Asiatic black bear and even the extremely rare Siberian tiger and Amur leopard a chance to prosper.

This made entering the DMZ more treacherous than initially thought. When the tanks entered the strip near its center, aiming for the South’s city of Yeoncheon, south of Cheorwon, my fellow foot-soldiers of the KPAGF [Korean People’s Army Ground Force] and I failed to keep up with them. There was much less organization among the lower ranks due to the haste of the operation, and soon we found ourselves without visual contact of the group ahead of us and unable to contact them on our group’s low-quality radio.

After a few minutes of isolation in the mountainous path, we heard a loud crash and then screaming from over the hill. We then heard shooting and more screams. We reached its crest and saw below the tank had somehow, in the wintry snow, crashed into a river tributary and fallen to its side. When we reached the site, we discovered that several of the men had been killed, their clothing tattered and torn, and their blood speckled the snow.

The white-naped and red-crowned cranes were merely nuisances, but the Asiatic black bear can grow up to five feet tall. We were in the territory of a sleuth of such bears. What most likely happened – based on the snow tracks – was the soldiers ahead of us crashed or damaged the tank, making the nearby bears approach them out of curiosity. The soldiers fired at them, and while some bears ran, others attacked. Several men were killed or seriously wounded, while the rest had fled.

Our CO took up the tank’s radio equipment, called in the situation, and was soon given his orders – we were to press onward, and we were to give the survivors no assistance. It would have slowed us down. Victory mattered more. If every soldier died, it would be worth it to protect the True Korea…

– Former North Korean soldier Rhee Dae-won, 2006 memoir

…The US-led “Alliance” saw a joint collaboration among the US and South Korean navies in order to properly coordinate bombardments of the coastal cities of North Korea, hitting Haeju and Nampo on the western coast (the Yellow Sea), and Wonsan, Sinpo, Riwon, and Tanchon on the eastern side (the Sea of Japan). Japan’s loaned LPH vessels played a vital role in many of these operations, with the USS Inchon preventing two private yachts and five smaller vessels – its inhabitants being either members of the North Korean elite, or North Koreans citizens or soldiers attempting to flee the carnage via bribing smugglers – from exiting North Korean territorial waters at the beginning of the conflict. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Forces flexed their muscles in an actual war for the very first time since its founding, and found that over four decades of contemplating hypothetical scenarios makes for well-trained leadership…


North Korean planes proved to be no match to US B-52s and Tomahawk cruise missiles, making the main fighting occur on the ground, often in closed quarters as US/SK began advancing into the North on the eastern side of the Peninsula, driving PDRK troops out of the South’s Goseong and Sokcho regions and then out of the North’s Tongchin and Wonsan areas by the end of the first month of the conflict.

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


...George Washington’s 1790 State of The Union Address contained only 1,089 words. Dinger’s address last night had only 1,117 words, with which the President briefly described the strength of America and her allies overseas, the growing economy giving hope to families and businesses, and national unity being vital in “this moment of truth” ...This year’s State of The Union Address was held last night instead of on the originally-scheduled date of January 23 because the date was pushed back a week after the conflict unfolding in North Korea. Dinger was seemingly eager to return to the White House’s “War Room,” as he immediately left the Capitol Building to return to the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue once the speech was over…

The Des Moines Register, 1/30/1996

…Dinger cut to the chase: “What’d I miss?”

“It looks like Kim’s family members have relocated to Hyangsan and Huichon, farther north and further inland from the capital, and may be planning to move farther up to Tongsin, but we are not too certain of that. Kim Jung-Il himself, however, may still be in Pongyang,” Defense Secretary Rocky Versace informed his boss.

“Though it could be a possible a stunt double, or simply a lie,” noted Chief Foreign Policy Advisor Susan Livingstone, “And Kim Jung-Il could really be with military leaders elsewhere, but most likely, they’re holed up in the inner basement of the Ryongsong Residence in Pyongyang.”

The President asked for a refresher: “That place has underground escape tunnels, right?”

“Yes, to other official residences in Kangdong, Pyongsong, and at least two other locations,” Livingstone answered.

“So getting him would be a huge undertaking; the world’s most expansive, expensive and deadliest manhunt,” Dinger thought aloud. “We should instead focus on troop advancements; if we absolutely crush Kim’s forces, maybe we won’t need to try and keep track of him through all this. Maybe they’ll just hand him over!”

“That’s wishful thinking,” said Vice President Meredith. “Logical wishful thinking, but wishful thinking nonetheless. With all due respect, Mr. President.”

“No, you’re right, James,” Dinger replied, and then addressed the rest of the room. “We should get Young-sam [the President of South Korea] on the line, see how things are on his end.”

The people of Seoul were brushing themselves off and contributing in any and every way that they could to the war effort…

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

…Scores of young adult men in Mexico ended up employed by cartels, often because they were the only employment around in the poorest regions of the north. Most feared them, though others welcome them because they did not “push” their “products” onto the locals; “they aren’t getting my kids hooked on the garbage, they’re selling it others. I hear 90% of what comes from here goes to America,” said one anonymous local Chihuahua resident in a 1996 investigative report by the Associated Pres…

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

…In the war in North Korea, we have reports that the US and South Korean forces have performed the first-ever large-scale use of weaponry called laser-guided smart bombs, which are precision-guided weapons meant to minimize collateral damage. In the US-led coalition’s performance of this technology in a push on the North Korea city of Sariwon, South Korean forces have apparently levelled a military bunker and weapons depo that the North Korean state-run media is claiming was an underground hospital for photosensitive children…

– ABC News, 2/3/1996 broadcast

“This war is going to be a major misstep. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are going to die and all because this administration failed to get the North to come out of its shell and negotiate with us.”

– Former Governor Roberto Clemente (D-PR), 2/4/1996

…On February 10, 1996, Dinger ordered the additional bombing of the upper-class districts of Pyongyang. This, coupled with Kim’s lack of aid to his wealthy supporters, angered said backers, making his reign increasingly unpopular among the nation’s elite. Kim and his Generals’ overall poor planning and coordinating of troop deployment did the same among the nation’s military leadership. In both groups, hushed talk of “going on holiday to China or Russia” became increasingly commonplace…

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

…North Korea’s navy had over 100,000 men, but all of them had inferior weaponry and crafts. For example, the sole indigenously-built submarines of North Korea were the small Sang-O (Shark) single unit, built in the Bong Dao Bo shipyards of Sinpo. With a fleet of no more than 50, when the Second Korean War began, all Sang-Os were deployed into The Sea of Japan and attempted to fire upon the military ships of the US, South Korean, and Japan. However, as they were constructed with outdated, formerly Soviet technology, the vessels had more misses than hits, and were easily defeated by US submarines…

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

We found ourselves cornered at the DMZ border, our attempt to ransack Yeoncheon an abysmal failure. We have no aerial support and no backup; our weapons were outdated, and we lacked proper provisions. We were starving and the weather was freezing. Then our CO received word that all soldiers were ordered to shoot dead for treason any soldier who attempted to turn back. Not a single foot of conquered terrain was to be returned. This did not exactly boost our morale. We eyed Byung-hun, the most blindly patriotic of the group by far. But then we noticed our CO eyeing him too.

The next day, Byung-hun was sent ahead to scout out a reasonable path through the city. While he was gone, our CO announced that we would backtrack, back into the DMZ, in order to regroup with a larger division of troops. He said he’d received his orders through the radio equipment when we were all busy. We knew that he was scared, that, to him, killing one’s own troops was too much. We knew he was lying, that he had some other plan in mind – most likely, we were to hole up in the DMZ or in a village north of it, until we could regroup with a real division of troops. We knew what was going on; we didn’t care.

– Former North Korean soldier Rhee Dae-won, 2006 memoir

It was dark and cold and my burn wounds were throbbing. They’d gotten infected, so my body was fighting that, and the cold. I ended up heading south because the prison grounds sloped down in that direction. I ended up at a marshy river, the biggest one I’d ever seen by far, with a long fence on the other side of the bank. I’d learn later it was the north side of the DMZ. I had no idea how deep the water could possibly be and I tried to step through it. The water swept me downstream but only a few meters. I crawled out and began shivering, so I stripped. I was now cold, alone, and nude, but not afraid. I was instead hungry, as usual.

I walked along the river until the river became a stream, then the terrain became too rocky and I departed from the river and went over a long hill. At the top, I spotted a group of soldiers and quickly ducked out of sight. I crawled over a little to get a better look at them. They were heading north, and they were tired and weary like me, but more agitated. They anxiously darted their eyes around; the man leading the group was fiddling with some radio gizmo strapped to a subordinate’s back. As they were about to pass, the leader raised in hands, like in triumph. I couldn’t tell exactly what they were saying, it seemed a larger group of soldiers was heading their way from the north of them.

Suddenly an explosion sent several of the soldiers in the back flying into the air, some intact, others in pieces. A tank with markings I didn’t recognize appeared from the behind the crest of the distant hill. As it turned out, American and South Korean forces had crossed the DMZ and been following the same trail left by the North during their own excursion through the terrain. As the tank approached and the explosions grew louder, I remember jumping behind a rock formation and the sounds of the gunfight growing so intense that I had to cover my ears. Then I felt a jolt in the back of my head, and I collapsed within second. I thought, maybe the cold finally killed me. Maybe I’d finally starved to death. Or maybe one of the soldier's bullets had strayed and had struck me down, putting me out of my misery. It was dark and quiet.

When I woke up, I found myself in what I learned was a makeshift medical camp outside of Seoul, with my wounds wrapped in bandages... [snip] ...I soon found out that a mortar blast had rendered me unconscious and during my time with my face on the ground the North Korean foot soldiers and their approaching tank division had been repelled, but most of the soldiers on both sides had been killed. The advancing soldiers found me among the dead. Apparently, they mistook me for small child instead of for a young man because of how malnourished I had become.

– Shin Do-Kyung’s account of his life in Park Sung-min’s anthology Nothing to Envy: Loss And Survival In A People’s Republic, Rhee-Pak Press, 2016

"…I am mighty proud of the soldiers I trained. When time came to go into a war zone, they knew what to do, and how to do it – the right way. …I was there when we liberated Tanchon, that’s on the east coast, and the locals didn’t exactly embrace us, at least not at first. First they attacked us and tried to kill us, even as their own military abandoned them. The fact that so many of the very people we were liberating were convinced we were the bad guys was a hard reality for some of the soldiers to accept. These were not the cheering crowds found in Europe in World War Two; this was not the war of our fathers or grandfathers fought in the 1940s. This was much closer to the hell found in Cuba in the early ’60s. Our object for these violent locals was to subdue or disarm, so we’d try to get them in close quarters for hand-to-hand combat to knock ’em out. A lot of the more crazy ones did The Hari-kari Dance before we could stop ’em. Lots of them got shot in self-defense. But don’t get me wrong; a lot were happy to see us. Especially the little kids; them and the adults would reach their hand out at us, hoping for food. That was the job for the uniforms behind us – we cleared, they fed."

– Harley Brown, 2014 interview

…The North saw heavy casualties due to their poor supplies of conventional and even chemical weapons. The military’s purges in the months and weeks prior to the war breaking out created leadership voids. Both the army and the country lacked proper infrastructure, and this and the famine meant the North’s Army was comprised of weak troops who nevertheless aimed to fight to the death. …Americans back home were horrified by the high number of casualties on the northern side of the conflict, with many initially believing it to be the result of our military “going too far,” as put by Roberto Clemente after the fall of Tanchon, which left thousands of Northerners lying dead across the city streets. However, US Secretary of State Perkins responded to the criticism by beginning a “clarification tour” on multiple TV and radio programs on February 20…

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

“Update: New development Out of Hyangsan

I must commend you for your overseeing of the land-based operations in the northeastern quadrant. That is why I trust you to perform admirably in overseeing the new Operation Foxhunt. Monitoring the Chinese and all other elements have proved our suspicions. Kim never left the tunnel complexes connecting his palaces to one another – until this morning. Last week’s ransacking of the Ryongsong Residence led to us clearing out the surrounding palaces, and at Hyangsan, we got some of his ex-lackeys to squeal – he fled Hyangsan at 600 hours yesterday and is heading your way, to his official residence at Paektusan, near the Chinese border.

We’re so close to getting him, Rowe. Don’t let him cross that border.”

– US Army Gen. Gary E. Luck in classified message to US Army Maj. Gen. J. Nicholas “Nick” Rowe, Commander of USFK (United States Forces Korea), 1200hrs, 2/27/1996

…In the midst of the Second Korea War, a.k.a. KW2, a.k.a. The War of Korean Reunification, tech companies pressed onward. In a notable example, the Nokia 5110 was introduced by Nokia on February 26, 1996 [3]; as technet forum discussions and sales showed, it was the most popular kind of phone for the second half of the 1990s, largely because of its style – it looked like a phone, despite the convenient screen built into it – and because of how easy it was for consumers to use…

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


…despite foreign policy, Flaherty's strong suit, being at the forefront of politician discussions at the moment, the former frontrunner’s campaign was losing momentum and money ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire… A similar problem is plaguing Litton, who suffered from a late entry into the race but may benefit from Flaherty's departure freeing up more donors...

The Washington Post, 2/27/1996

…The United Kingdom set an example for American politicians contemplating how to address mental illness on February 28, when the UK judicial system sentenced Thomas Watt Hamilton, a 43-year-old man arrested after and found guilty of attempting to violate an elementary school student in 1994, to a sanitarium to receive psychotherapy. Since 1987, UK law considered pedophilia to be “a dangerous form of mental illness,” which created a legal distinction for “unwell criminals” that differed them from nonviolent sufferers of other forms of mental impairment such as autism and Asperger’s...

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

As US-SK ground forces advanced further into the North, Kim ordered the release of all of the remaining chemical weapons, even if it killed more North Koreans in surrounding areas than it would kill enemy soldiers. In 1987, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense had reported the North as having obtained, both independently and through the post-Cold War chaos, “up to 200 metric tons of chemical weapons.”

As the troops that were still loyal to the Kim dynasty took to the skies to distribute the poisons on March 2nd, Kim’s servants went about packing for him.

“Where are we going?” Kim Jong-nam asked. He was concerned about his wife and child; he had last seen them on New Year’s Eve, right before they boarded a plane to Switzerland. Just days later, Kim Han-sol’s grandfather went to war and had made his father stay by his side through it all – the nonsensical orders, the contrition that threw away troops like they were nothing, the growing scale of starvation among the people fighting to the death, the scorched earth policy of burning homes ahead of advancing US-SK foot soldiers, and now chemical warfare. Jong-nam was increasingly sickened by it all.

“We are going to continue the defense of True Korea from outside True Korea,” the Supreme Leader finally answered as he looked upon a large map of the world hanging on the one wall of the basement. This was their third day being holed up in the bottom level of Paektusan Residence, since their arrival of February 28th, and already the site was no longer considered safe. “We are so close to the Chinese border. Zhu might be a traitor to our cause, but like the capitalist scum like to say, 'money talks.' We will simply buy our way into his country.”

“And if that does not work?”

“Are you questioning my superior intelligence, Jong-nam?”

“I am considering all possible situations, sir.”

“Don’t. Remember, everything would have gone exactly as I planned it if True Korea was not so full of so many traitors!”

The young Kim thought back to how many faces from his father’s inner circle had disappeared in the past eight weeks – had it only been two months? – how each man had sworn their allegiance to the Supreme Leader, only for each one to be “purged” each time a battle was lost, or a province was overrun by US-SK forces. Underfed soldiers, outnumbered and outgunned, had "only themselves to blame," his father swore. Kim Jong-nam watched as his father stared at the map, as did I. Like the son, I was bewildered and curious of our leader’s long-term plan, if such one existed.

As such, we did not notice the sound of gunfire until it had grown very loud. By then, US forces had already breached the perimeter, and a force of North Korean peasant-soldiers were nipping at their heels, following the invaders into the residence complex and into the lower levels.

The Supreme Leader finally looked away from the wall map just as the main entrance’s doors began to shake from the pounding of enemy forces. “Heh. They will not break through that barricade, I inspected it myself.”

A battering ram smashed its way through the doors, throwing about splinters and woodchips and throwing the metal frame pieces off their hinges with a mighty clang, pound, and thud.

“Someone in here has sabotaged the barricade!” Kim Jong-Il bellowed.

An American soldier, looking through the widening entrance to the room, shouted something I later learned was English for “There he is!”

Immediately the Supreme Leader bolted from the room, fleeing to the inner chamber (expanded and refurbished in the early 1990s), down the hall, down another flight of stairs, down a second hall and behind an even thicker door. I was right behind him and two lower-ranking servants; Jong-nam made up the rear.

“Jong-nam, the door!” Kim Jong-Il shouted as he ducked into the inner chamber. His father was referring to a thick metal sliding door at the bottom of the stairs. Closing it would slow down the invaders long enough to escape through the secret back entrance and finally lose our pursuers.

As I rushed into the room to join the Supreme Leader and the two others, I was surprised by the sounds of foot-soldiers growing stronger and louder, instead of the sound of them pounding at the door. Before we could catch our breath – and before any of us could grab a gun – they invaded.

First, the South Koreans charged in with their guns raised; their orders were to try and capture him alive. The Americans made up the rest of their company, and the US and ROK troops were soon followed by the angry, starving, blindly pro-Kim peasants. As all three group piled into the large room, they all stopped in awe as their eyes caught and absorbed what was before them - the scale and contents of the inner chamber. Piled and stacked alongside the three farther walls, with each wall reaching a height of 6 meters (20 feet), were hundreds of crates of boxes, jars, tubes, lids, and packages of various foodstuffs. Preservatives had been canned and sealed, from herbal teas to Russian chocolates. Large commercial refrigerators, complete with see-through glass doors and installed in this vault-like artificial cave only a year before, stored the fine meats, vegetables and aged cheeses, along with some chilled bottles of wine of multiple regions and years. Wooden creates housed the rest, which all made for more food than any of the peasants could even fathom existing all at once outside their purest fantasies.

As such, the locals that had arrived on the scene to protect their beloved leaders slowly lowered their weapons in confusion.

“Wait, I thought there was no more food anywhere,” one of them uttered.

“Yeah, why are you hiding all of this from us, dear leader?” whispered another in a moment of pure curiosity.

Despite the ROK troops’ guns still being locked in on him, the Supreme Leader, standing between the crowd and his provisions, took one step forward and addressed the large crowd that had formed behind said ROK soldiers. “My fellow patriots, I was going to distribute this food to you all as soon as possible, for I personally stole this hoard of food from our enemies.”

One of the ROK soldiers let out a snort of contempt. Kim gave him a dirty look, and likely would have called for the crowd to "address" that soldier first, were it not for the fact that Kim found himself surprised by murmurs continuing to come from the crowd.

Then, one of the more desperate peasants, a broken one, half-mad from malnourishment and half-dead from same, began to lead further murmuring. "Why do the crates have our kingdom's writing on it. I can't read, but you can tell - that's how our leaders style things."

The US-ROK soldiers were not sure how to proceed. The COs glanced at each other and motioned to their subordinates to stand their ground.

“So can we have that food now?” A female voice finally called out, sharply, like the howl of an animal caught in a painful forest trap.

“No!” Kim shouted, likely thinking about his personal supply. He probably also thought about how much he wished he had not executed the last of his speechwriters last week, as he then awkwardly blurted out, “Uh, this, uh, this food is a trick by the Americans!”

This remark led to more murmuring as the agape mouths of the starving began to salivate. Their minds were running wild with the unbridled desire of consuming all they could to settle the pain that refused to cease shooting across their shrunken stomachs.

“Forgive me, O Great One, but that makes no sense,” shouted out a raspy-voiced observer of the contradictory statement.

A man with the look of ghosts in his eyes accused, “He’s keeping this food all for himself!”

“Why must we starve, Supreme Leader Kim?”

The voices grew in anger and disillusionment.

“We were told you are a living God, so why do you need so much food?”

“We’re dying! Give us something to eat!”

With the standoff intensifying, one of the voices sprinted out of the hostile mass, whizzing past the ROK troops and making a run at either Kim or the food supply behind him.

“Stay back!” Kim finally remembered the pistol in his side pocket and whipped it out, causing the South Koreans to ready their own. Remembering their order, though, they did not fire into him. Instead, Kim was the one that fired, right into the crowd. He first struck the voice - a teenaged boy - almost directly in the forehead, causing his running to end with an awkward flop down onto the concrete floor. Kim then kept on firing again and again, almost blindly, into the increasingly disillusioned crowd, until he heard the click of the empty chamber. The starving mass of peasants, with wide and empty eyes and yellow skin, began advancing. Many stepped over the shot and the fallen without hesitance or care. The room seemed to close in. I thought I was done for. But the angry, steaming, enraged lunatic-peasants walked right past me. They didn't a mere lackey. They were focused, entirely focused, on approaching their Supreme Leader.

“Stay back, I command you!” Kim bellowed as the peasants moved faster, past the ROK soldiers. Kim threw his gun at one them, but it simply bounced off of their shoulder and did not impede their staggering but determined gait. The crowd cornered their leader between a cooler of cold cuts fixed adjacent to a crated collection of American hard candies.

“Give us something to eat!” The mad voice from before, belonging to the man with the haunted eyes, rang out as the mass grew louder, now shouting, screaming, practically howling like wolves descending upon a frightened fat rabbit.

I heard Kim shout out in desperation. “You’ll all be executed for this! You’ll all – ” And the rest was garbled, blocked by the sounds of fabric being torn, punches being blown, and teeth, weak from calcium deficiency, doing their best to bite, clamp, and gnaw into the Supreme Leader’s flesh.

I looked back at the ROK and US soldiers. They just stood there, with their jaws hanging low, shocked beyond words at the carnage unfolding before their very eyes.

Only one of them had the sense to snap out of it and begin recording the scene on a small camera from the group's pack.

“Hey,” I quietly said to the ROK soldiers as I carefully walked over, “If I turn myself in, I fall under your protection, right? I mean, I’ll be in a nice, safe prisoner truck or something, correct?”

--- --- ---

I would only find out much later what had happened to Kim Jong-nam. The young Kim had heard his father’s command, but had not registered it. He understood that the final door before the inner chamber was all that kept out the enemy forces. Maybe it was for that reason that he froze. He just stared at the door, either contemplating something for too long, or not thinking at all. For eventually, the South Koreans and peasants arrived, and instead of trying to close the door, Jong-nam bolted to the side of the room and hid under a table that had a long, thick tablecloth on it; the invading Koreans ran right past him, and he did not come out until after I had been taken away and the ROK troops were raiding the complex. He surrendered immediately.

The news – and ultimately the footage – of starving masses overpowering Kim Jung-Il for being “a betrayer of his father’s generosity by harboring food during a nationwide famine,” as one of the, um, diners put it, was soon broadcast worldwide. While the US-SK troops who witnessed the conclusion of the Kim regime were reprimanded for not preventing his demise (with both COs being temporary reassigned as punishment for not capturing Kim alive when they, arguably, could have quite easily), the main takeaway from it all was the visual. That image of a wave of disillusioned bone-thin servants, driven simply mad by their inhuman circumstances, descending and enveloping their oppressor like a pack of wild dogs. It became an iconic example of what happens to dictators who forget to care about their subjects and left a significant impact that is still being felt today.

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004


…Clemente, the leading “dove” candidate in the state, lost momentum in the wake of recent developments in North Korea. With Kim Jung-Il dead and the Hermit Kingdom seemingly going through a leadership void, exit polling suggests voters are becoming more confident in the President’s foreign policy actions. This shake-up seems to have made Clemente’s previous anti-war rhetoric seem unfounded and exaggerated, leading to two other dove candidates, Jackson and Leland, gaining more support. In turn, the anti-war vote became more evenly divided, allowing Glenn to come in first place with less than one-third of the vote. …Last week, polls for the New Hampshire primary showed Clemente with 34%, Glenn with 32%, Jackson with 17%, Leland with 11%, Litton (who did not focus on campaigning in the state) with 4% and all others making up the remaining 2%. Last night, Glenn acquired approximately 29%, followed by Clemente with 24%, Jackson with 23%, Leland with 17%, Litton with 3% and all other candidates on the ballot receiving the remaining 3%…

The New York Times, 3/5/1996

…As the news of Kim’s death swept the countryside, responses were mixed. By this point, most North Koreans had grown completely disillusioned, but a large amount believed that the circumstances of his death were lies created by “The Enemy.” The event altered the dynamics of the war, as the regime’s remaining leaders fractured between several Generals and other military leaders, supported by various leaders of the DPRK elite class, as the Kim family became a no-show. Kim Jong-Il’s brother, for example, sought political asylum at the Russian Embassy in Helsinki, while his sister went further into hiding. The lack of a clear successor increased the spread of doubt in the Kim family’s alleged divinity…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…with tensions in western Africa cooling down, KFC is venturing into Ghana and the Ivory Coast. “We are negotiating with the Ivorian government on a deal, and we expect the Ivorian people to be able to enjoy the experience of our establishment in select areas of the country by the end of this year,” according to a spokesperson for the company…

– Financial Times, 3/11/1996


…Leland almost acted as a spoiler to Jackson, only for former Senator Jerry Litton to siphon off enough votes from Glenn to give the state to Jackson; the results are considered an upset, as polls showed the contest to be a toss-up between Jackson and Glenn but with Glenn leading. Instead, Glenn came in at a close second place, with Mickey Leland coming in third, Jerry Litton in fourth, and Roberto Clemente underperforming with a fifth-place finish…

The Boston Globe, 3/12/1996

…North Korea’s forces saw a high number of desertions as soldiers went AWOL in the face of Kim’s death. As the days progressed, the DPRK military began to split into smaller and smaller factions, rallying around no less than two-dozen military and/or political figures each claiming to be the rightful successor to Kim Jung-Il. And the smaller these factions, the easier it was for the US-SK forces to overwhelm them and defeat them…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


The Inuit Prepare To Embrace Self-Government With Hope, Fear, and Fierce Determination

By John Geddes

…Helen Maksagak, a notable Copper Inuk, has been the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories since January 1995, but will became the first Commissioner of Nunavut upon it officially separating from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1996. This covers the conditions of the Nunavut Act, which established the new territory’s borders, and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, in which its separation from the Northwest Territories was negotiated; both Acts were formed back in 1991, under the direction of then-new PM Mitchell. The first major change to Canadian political map since Newfoundland became a province in 1949, a 1994 plebiscite chose Iqaluit to be the new territory’s capital city over Rankin Inlet by a wide margin. …The achievement of Nunavut has been a boost to government relations with the First Nations of Canada, strained since the 1989 Leaky Shack Scandal of the Nielsen administration, in which federally subsidized housing projects for First Nations were found to have inferior quality – the most iconic of them being poor roofs – and contributing to Nielsen’s loss to Mitchell. Repairing confidence in federal government can be partially credited to MP Dave Barrett, of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca since 1988, a member of Mitchell’s ministry and one of her close allies. Barret is also urging the party and administration to confront the “western alienation” encouraged by Preston Manning’s Alberta Party, in order to strengthen the PT Party’s hold on government...

The Globe and Mail, Canadian newspaper, 3/14/1996

…As the conflict in Korea continued to decline in the wake of the power void, soldiers began to act like mercenaries, offering their allegiance to whichever Generals could best guarantee for them food and protection for their families. Generals Ryo Chun-seok, Major General Ri Yong-ho, and Vice Marshall Ri Jong-san each claimed control of Pyongyang, leading to a turf war that lasted for roughly two weeks; the conflict was resolved when US-SK forces in Pyongyang killed all three faction leaders in a four-sided firefight on March 18. Elsewhere, other military leaders either surrendered, or commit suicide, often with their fellow soldiers following suit. For example, on March 15, in a dilapidating farmhouse outside of Yangdok and surrounded by SK soldiers, Choe Kwang, the 77-year-old Marshal of the Korean People’s Army, shot himself with his own rifle, lamenting in his suicide note “I have failed the People’s Republic.” The very next day, Kim Il-Chol (b. 1933; no relation to the Kim Dynasty), the Commander of the Korean People’s Navy since 1982, killed himself onboard his doomed ship in the Yellow Sea via hara-kiri; the soldiers loyal to him either followed suit or surrendered.

However, the Vice Marshal of the Korean People’s Army (and thus next in command after Choe), Kim Young-chun (b. 1936; no relation to the Kim Dynasty), was captured alive on March 17, and closely monitored due to his repeated attempts to commit suicide while in custody after that. Kim would end up as the signatory of the March 21 Instrument of Surrender that formalized the war’s conclusion, at least as far as America was concerned…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


…Glenn promotes keeping our troops in “the hot zone until we’ve cemented stability to it,” while Jackson called for “a gradual withdrawal as soon as possible”…

– The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/17/1996

…Kim Jong-nam surrendered to American forces willingly. Continuing his oath to be responsible for the personal protection of the ruling Kim family, General Yun Jong-rin ensured Kim’s other children were safe from harm. Kim Jong-chul, Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yo-Jong had all been attending the Liebefeld-Steinholzli public school in Bern, Switzerland when the war began. With their mothers (remember, they are half-siblings) soon joining them, these Kims became effectively stateless as their country slowly died. This made for a complicated diplomatic situation; South Koreans debated extradition, believing the surviving family members would encourage continued fighting from abroad. Meanwhile, the Kim children continued with their schoolwork, their classmates still unaware of their true identities…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


…Clemente’s campaign had hoped to pull off an upset victory in this state tonight; however, tonight was Clemente’s best performance of the primary season so far, as he came in second place with 28% of the vote. Glenn won with 35%, while Litton, Jackson and Leland have basically tied for third place with each receiving about 11% of the vote…

– The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/19/1996

…Soldiers brainwashed continued to fight to the death, with some regrouping to launch brief guerilla campaigns until they starved to death or died trying to steal food from US/SK troops. …North Korea’s Sang-O-class submarines either surrendered, tried to continue fighting, or purposely sank or crashed in order to avoid surrender. Immediately, it seemed many had gone AWOL, as over 20 Sang-Os were unaccounted for by the end of 1996. Eventually, most were discovered to have fled to Russia, China, or one case, Brazil, but all were ultimately arrested or repelled from the nations. As of the time of this writing, there are 5 Sang-O subs still missing, but it is assumed they all purposely sank or crashed; still, speculations continue as to their exact whereabouts...

On March 21, 1996, officers from South Korea and INTERPOL apprehended Kim Jong-Il’s sister, Kim Kyong-hui, and her husband Jang Sung-taek, at a pier in Hong Kong, foiling their attempt to seek political asylum in Indonesia, Pakistan, or any country that would take them. With the final prominent Kim family members surrendering to authorities, US Army Gen. Gary E. Luck, Commander of USFK (United States Forces Korea) proclaimed the war to “officially over,” while South Korean forces remained cautious.

Still, US media report it as an official declaration of victory. Naturally, Dinger’s approval ratings skyrocketed from the 70s to a whopping 89%...

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


[pic: ]

JACKSON EDGES OUT VICTORY IN MARYLAND; Beats Challengers In A Five-Way Split Of The Primary Vote

– The Roanoke Times, Virginia newspaper, 3/26/1996

…with former Ambassador Mickey Leland being declared the winner of tonight’s Democratic Presidential primary contest in Vermont, the race for that party’s Presidential nominee continues to be without a clear frontrunner. Leland is one of five candidates who seem to have a chance of winning, the other four being Jesse Jackson, John Glenn, Roberto Clemente, and Jerry Litton…

– CBS Evening News, 4/2/1996

A HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH?: NASA Announces Meteorite May Contain Evidence Of Martian Life!!!

…Thought to originate from Mars, the meteorite possibly contains microscopic fossils of bacteria. …The grooves and bacteria-shaped husks are 20-100 nanometers in diameter, smaller than any cellular life known at this time... NASA scientists made the discovery, and NASA spokespersons made the announcement at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas...

– The New York Times, 4/4/1996 [4]

President Dinger’s April 8, 1996 Statement Regarding The Allan Hills Meteorite


“Like all discoveries, this one will and should continue to be reviewed, examined and scrutinized. It must be confirmed by other scientists. But clearly, the fact that something of this magnitude is being explored is another vindication of America's space program and our continuing support for it... I am determined that the American space program will put it's full intellectual power and technological prowess behind the search for further evidence of life on Mars.” [5]

The meteorite made headlines worldwide, causing President Dinger to make a special televised announcement speech from the South Lawn of the White House to mark the event about it being a possible milestone discovery. Despite controversy brewing over the source of the alleged fossils, most agree that, whether life was present in their formation or not, interest in the meteorite fueled an increase in interest in astrobiology…


…Even though the wider scientific community has since rejected the hypothesis due to the fact that all of the unusual features in the meteorite have been explained away without requiring life to be present on Mars, fringe theorists exist. One claims the scientific community is hiding the truth despite all the research being publicly available. Another claim is that the rock is fake, and created in order to fuel space exploration and increase NASA’s budget, due to President Dinger being like Mondale in regards to space travel, continuing the Mars Mission to honor Iacocca but overwise shutting down all other manned flight proposals...


…In the political world, talk of the meteorite discovery greatly benefited the Glenn campaign, which feared losing several key states in the then-upcoming April Cluster of Democratic Presidential primaries. Most of these states were in the south, where African-American candidates Jesse Jackson and Mickey Leland were expected to perform the strongest. Glenn barely winning the states of New Hampshire and Nevada gave clout to the notion that his campaign was about to falter. However, with talk over the validity of the meteorite dominating the news cycles, focus returned to Glenn’s decades-long support for NASA, and his campaign worked to capitalize on this; soon, the Senator appeared in segments on all five of the US’s biggest networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, TON, KNN) to share his thoughts on the meteorite’s significance, and to plug for his candidacy as well: “If those fossils are of extraterrestrial bacteria, then it will merit further study of the Red Planet, and if they’re not the remnants of alien germs, then it will merit studying what they are and how they came to be. I saw a lot of things in space, and I’ve been privy to a lot of things as Chairman of Senate commissions concerning space exploration and the like, so what I can tell you is that when I become President, exploring the cosmos, God’s biggest creation, for the benefit of humankind will be of high priority in my administration.”…

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

Host SACHI KOTO: …It’s 2:45 and for those of you just tuning in, the First April Cluster of 1996 has put some winds into the sails of the Glenn campaign, and maybe the Clemente campaign as well. Voters in twelve states and territories cast their Democratic primary ballots today, and the results are the following: Jesse Jackson won Louisiana and Alabama as well as Massachusetts and Minnesota, while John Glenn won Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, and Roberto Clemente won Puerto Rico, Colorado, and Florida. Texas was only recently called, and it seems Glenn won it by a plurality, with Mickey Leland coming in third, behind Jackson. Missouri, meanwhile, has gone to Litton – it is his only pickup of the night.


KOTO: Given its high concentration and high number of Black voters, I think Glenn winning Mississippi is very impressive.

Guest Panelist ROZ ABRAMS: I disagree. It looks more like Mabus, Clemente, Leland and Jackson all picked up the Black vote, since Glenn won with only about a little over a third of total vote down there…

– KNN, 4/10/1996 broadcast


…once a leading candidate, Governor Mabus lost momentum as the primaries approached, with many former supporters and donors flocking to the Jackson and Leland campaigns. In last night’s primary contests across the South, Mabus’ best performance was 18%, or third place, in his home state of Mississippi. In his concession speech, he threw his support to Glenn, arguing the “elder statesman” had “the best chance of beating Dinger in November”…

The Washington Post, 4/10/1996


...Congressman Mickey Leland understood that failing to outperform his opponents in his electorally-rich home state would be "breaking point" of his campaign...

The Boston Globe, 4/11/1996

LITTON SUSPENDS WHITE HOUSE BID: “There’s No Honest Pathway Forward From Here”

The Houston Chronicle, 4/12/1996

American and “Victorious Korean” soldiers soon found their ways among the Kim Dynasty’s incredibly complex tunnel systems, ultimately finding the former nation’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon stockpiles, vindicating the invasive intervention by proving to the world how much of a threat Kim Jong-Il was to the world. Most scientists and technicians that weren’t captured or didn’t kill themselves, however, fled to China, Russia, and several other countries. In the past, escapee of the north sought refuge in South Korea, China, Japan and even the US; some also find their way to Taiwan. When the war ended and the North was enveloped, family members became reunited and many former escapees began to return to their now-liberated homeland.

But amid the sea of smiles, I kept wondering: how is the South going to feed themselves and the North? Competition for resources for survival will occur; a humanitarian disaster may be unfolding!

– Former North Korean soldier Rhee Dae-won, 2006 memoir

“Colonel Sanders once said ‘Punish the government, never the people.’ Indeed, we should point the finger not at those who were forced, but threat of death or by brainwashing, to commit heinousness. Point the finger at the root, at the instigators and their willing and willful accomplices. The United States will work with South Korea to honors The Colonel’s call to punish the government of the people, not the people themselves. The formerly North Korean people are victims of this war, and that is exemplified nowhere better by the gruesome details of Kim Jong-Il’s demise…”

– President Larry Dinger, 4/15/1996

…To the surprise of the North Koreans uninformed of China’s neutrality, the remaining members of North Korea’s elite and military leaderships did not receive a “here comes the cavalry” moment from an intervening PRC. Instigators of Kim’s worst policies were uncertain if they would be granted amnesty by the (former) South Koreans; no doubt, the word “Nuremburg” was stuck in their minds. In response, dozens successfully fled. Many leaders that managed to escape had to go into hiding and watch as the captured rest went to UN, US and SK courts for murder, crimes against humanity, and other offense, with Muammar Gaddafi’s legal hurdles being used as precedence. …But in 1996, it was still unknown how China planned to address the post-war Korean peninsula...

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

…Alright, and with our own state of Alaska going for Governor Jackson – or former Governor Jackson or Reverend Jackson or whatever you want to call him – well it looks like last night’s primaries have all had their winners announced. To recap: in the latest round of Presidential primaries for the Democratic party, Jesse Jackson picked up Arizona, Alaska, Maine and Washington, D.C., while Senator John Glenn picked up Wyoming, Connecticut, Delaware and Iowa, though those last two – both of which were the winner-take-all kind, at last this time around – were very, very close. I think this was a very bad night for Clemente, because he bet all his chips on Arizona, and he came in third; in fact, he came in third in a lot of states tonight...

– KAEB 91.9 FM radio, 4/17/1996 broadcast


The Miami Herald, 4/18/1996


The Los Angeles Times, 4/21/1996

…In tonight’s Second April Cluster 2, Jesse Jackson won the Wisconsin and Virgin Island primaries, while John Glenn won Illinois and his home state of Ohio, and just now, we can confirm that a favorite-son candidate, former Governor Jim Slattery, has won his home state of Kansas…

– KNN, 4/23/1996 broadcast

…In the primaries held on April 30th, Jackson won Oregon and Washington with ease, while Glenn only narrowly secured the winner-take-all contest in Pennsylvania. Glenn’s victory in Indiana, however, was relatively easier to obtain…

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


…Senator Glenn, who describes himself as a moderate technocrat and a “Median Lane Democrat” last night won the Democratic Presidential primary contests of West Virginia, Nebraska, Arkansas, Idaho, and, by a very thin margin, Michigan as well, which widens his lead in the delegate count...

The Orlando Sentinel, 5/8/1996

…UK punk rock music rose in prominence as Riot Grrrl and Riot Boy bands began to slide slowly out of their genre’s “golden era” that was the 1990s. Coupled with the rise of other groups like Oasis, Blur, Suede, and Elastica, the rise of American bands such as The Backstreets led to rival British boy bands rising in prominence as well…

…Geopolitics briefly created controversial songs in the 1990s, too. Propagandhi, the Canadian punk rock band formed in 1986, was at the front of this, as they began to shift to more technical “heavy metal” styles. On February 7, 1996, the group released a single, hastily-assembled but still catchy, called “Fingerblood,” a song that espoused a stance against warfare in Korea on the grounds of it being a part of “sick imperialistic games.” It was released separately from the group’s second full-length album “Less Talk, More Rock,” which was released on May 12, 1996. With a hardcore punk rhythm and anti-authority lyrics, the band began to compliment the works of Green Day, another rock band originating in the 1980s with an anti-war ideology. This one American, Green Day was part of the Californian part of the Riot Boi scene of the early and middle 1990s, but grew in prominence during the mid-1990s, expressing disappointment in Dinger’s inability to resolve the Korean Question peacefully, and covered the “loss of innocence” felt in the immediate aftermath of the Lee Iacocca assassination. In London in early May 1996, the two bands ended up being booked at nearby venues at the same time while both where touring the UK, and ended up hanging out after their sets were done. In a continuation of The Scene That Celebrates Itself, the band members established on a rapport and ultimately collaborated on three albums together over the subsequent ten years…

…The Dixie Chicks formed in 1994 as a female version of Take That, had their breakthrough in 1996…

…Country music in the 1990s saw the likes of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks rise to national U.S. prominence as well…

– Caroline O’Connor’s The Scene That Celebrates Itself, London Times Press, 2011

…Four more primaries were held on May 14. Glenn predictably won Kentucky, and Virginia while Jackson narrowly won South Dakota. The main focus on the night, however, was the New York primary. Jesse Jackson fought hard to win this one, but lost by a margin of less than 1%. The loss was a major setback for the fledgling campaign, and was looked back on as a pivotal moment for the Jackson’96 campaign)…

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


…When southern Koreans are asked what they think about their government’s plans for the North, most are supportive, but only cautiously. “Our government won the war, but have we really won over the soldiers. So many of us and so many of them fought and killed. How do we heal from this?” The Korean government has yet to fully flesh out a place for addressing the widespread poverty found among the former North Korean people, many of whom (but not most of whom) are hostile to their southern brethren despite receiving food from them…

– Georgie Anne Geyer, syndicated columnist, Universal Press Syndicate, 5/16/1996 article

The debate over mental health intensified on May 18, 1996, when Governor Kathleen Brown of California passed a controversial bill that lowered the state’s requirements for and grounds for inspection of supposed mental illness/impairment, and amend sanitarium laws to allow for immediate-family members and spouses to involuntarily commit people for psychiatric evaluation. The bill was passed concurrently with the greenlighting of new mental health treatment centers, to be built in order to lower the state unemployment rate. Immediately, there was great concern that people would use the law have sane people committed on trump-up charges or circumstances; US Senators George Deukmejian (R-CA) and Mario Biaggi (D-NY) made a joint press briefing on May 20 to condemn the California Mental Health Protection Law, with the former stating “this…will violate The American Citizen’s right to be considered innocent before being proven guilty.” As Brown continued to receive flak for signing off on the bill, her approval rating dropped, lowering down ten points in a month. Nevertheless, in the face of legal/judiciary challenges to the law, Brown still backed it, claiming “it will keep Californians safe.”

– Robert Wilder’s The Politics of Mental Health Services and Societal Protection in California, University of Sacramento Press, 2017

…In political news, Senator John Glenn won last night’s Presidential primaries held in Hawaii and North Carolina as Jesse Jackson’s campaign shifts its focus to the delegate-rich Final Five contests to be held in early June. Glenn most likely won Hawaii due to its key military importance this last year – Glenn’s candidacy is clearly favored by military groups and military-conscious voters. The presence of several withdrawn progressive candidates on the ballot may have also played a factor in the narrow upset victory…

– ABC News, 5/22/1996


…the state law would penalize employers or, alternatively, prevent them from firing any employee who takes time off of work to exercise his right to vote, provided that the employee can prove that he spent his time off work going to vote. Maryland’s Governor, former Presidential candidate Decatur “Bucky” Trotter, praised the state court decision… Opponents of the law are seeking to advance the case to the US Supreme Court…

The Washington Post, 5/23/1996

HOST: Tonight’s Democratic primaries were split evenly between the two remaining candidates: former Governor Jackson easily won his home state of South Carolina, while Senator Glenn narrowly won the winner-take-all contest held in Utah. On the Republican side, President Dinger’s sole opposition throughout the primaries has come from Tom Laughlin, a former actor known for advocating child psychology care and cancer research who briefly served as the Mayor of Santa Monica during the 1970s. Laughlin, who was running on a populist platform advocating term limits, public education, and tax cuts for, quote, “ordinary Americans,” unquote, today announced he was dropping his bid for the Republican nomination, despite Dinger already securing the number of delegates needed to win it six weeks ago. In his concession speech tonight, Laughlin, an outspoken critic of the war in Korea over the casualty counts, called for what he calls, quote, a “realistic exit strategy,” unquote.

LAUGHLIN (in pre-recorded footage): Our troops may end up staying there indefinitely, just like they almost did in Cuba and still are in Colombia!

– CBS News, 5/28/1996 broadcast

In the final round of primaries, held on June 4, Jackson managed to pull off an upset as the national mood shifted farther away from foreign policy and closer to domestic affairs. Jackson won California, New Mexico, and the popular vote in New Jersey, while Glenn won North Dakota, Montana, and majority of the delegates in New Jersey. Jackson’s last-minute push was not enough to deny Glenn a majority of delegates, despite Glenn’s second-place finish in the popular vote…


[pic: ]
– [6]

[1] based on OTL account described here: and also inspired by OTL accounts described here:
[2] OTL quote, found here:
[3] On April 12, 1998 IOTL, but earlier here due to technology developing faster here.
[4] 5/12/1996 IOTL. IOTL, this meteorite was called the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite, and was found in the Allan Hills region of Antarctica in 1984. ITTL, it was discovered later, but analyzed sooner.
[5] This italicized part is actually part of what Bill Clinton said on the matter; it was pulled from here:
[6] Based on the results of the previous chapter's poll, as of 7/10/2020

Note: the pacing, length, and results of the war described in this chapter were inspired by the discussions found in the following threads:, and If there are any statistical aspects that seem to be too unrealistic/ASB, or parts that require clarification, please let me know so I can go back and edit it/them in. Thank you!
Post 67
Post 67: Chapter 75

Chapter 75: June 1996 – December 1996

“It takes less courage to criticize the decisions of others than to stand by your own.”

– Attila the Hun

With the President’s approval ratings persistently staying above 70%, many in the DNC began to focus more on down-ballot races. Others, however, remained hopeful that the party could pull off an upset. “The current situation is vastly different from how it was in October ’95,” argued centrist US Senator Mary Texas Hurt Garner (D-AL) in an NBC interview on June 3, “And the situation may be vastly different in October ’96 from how it is now.”

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

…In late 1995, in order to appease the war hawks in the government, Chairman Zhu allowed for the testing of surface-to-surface missiles and for the increase of military exercises off Taiwanese coastal areas, which began almost immediately. The US’s President Dinger condemned as an act of potential provocation, but nothing changed. However, after the American-South Korean coalition overthrew North Korea’s Kim, Zhu’s government began to take American President Larry Dinger much more seriously. It was not exactly a sense of intimidation so much as it was a new sense of caution. With that in mind, it was not surprising that Zhu cancelled the missile tests and ended the exercise in the Taiwan Strait…

– Shan Li’s China in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press, 2003


Disney has a history of using a certain formula for several of their movies: the main characters carry all the drama, while the side characters provide the comic relief. This has in the past led to successful and beloved movies like Sleeping Beauty, where fairies and prospective father-in-laws compensate for the heroine’s bland personality. A better example is Cinderella, where a Tom-and-Jerry precursor fill up half the running time because the titular character is too much of a Goody-Two-(Glass)-Shoes to carry a feature-length picture on her own.

Disney’s Pocahontas sees the studio return to this formula, but with disastrous results this time around. Instead of fighting a correct balance to blend a serious, historically-accurate depiction of the story of Pocahontas and John Smith, and a more cartoonish depiction of the first Thanksgiving, the tone of the film flip-flops in a painfully awkward manner, essentially creating the experience of changing TV channels back and forth. One channel depicts the dramatic moments of conflict between Natives and settlers and the relationship between the rough-around-the-edges John Smith (voiced by "Grizzly Adams" star Dan Haggerty), the titular 11-year-old Pocahontas (animated adorably and voiced by newcomer Catherine Running Bird in her film debut), and Chief Powhatan (voiced by Mako) and his brother Opech (shortened from Opechancanough and voiced by Jim Cummings).

The other channel presents a comic tale of a smug Pug (voiced by Alan Rickman) brought over by the settlers, and a Goofy-esque turkey named Tom (voiced by John Candy) who wants to avoid ending up as the central part of the first Thanksgiving (which did not occur until 1621, not in 1607). The two channels merge at the end in a rather awkward and dissatisfying manner. Tom’s life is also spared in a pretty dark moment, where it’s suggested that five deer “bullies” from earlier ended up being served at the first Thanksgiving (though it may be accurate – deer may have been the real meat served at the first Thanksgiving).

In short, this is one of the most disappointing Disney films that I have ever seen. Practically every character is generic and hygienic, though at least there is effort to give the characters at least some personality. While beautifully animated, the dramatic characters are not fleshed out enough and the B-Plot belongs in its own separate film, perhaps in a short meant to precede this films. Its historical accuracy may be getting massive praise from the likes of activist Russell Means and Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, but to me, this woefully fails to make up for the movie’s weak and uneventful plot, reliance on several Disney clichés, and its tonal imbalance.

Chicago Tribune, 6/14/1996 film review

…In the early 1990s, CBS approached Finger Lickin’ Good Inc. with a proposal for a children’s animated television series they called “The Young Colonel.” The project was meant to depict the life of Colonel Sanders was he was a young child, but also cover events from his later years as well. The idea reportedly came about from the fact that KFC was already publishing color and activity books concerning the Colonel for over twenty-five years by then:


[pic: ]
Above: The cover of one of these coloring books


[pic: ]
Above: A page from one of these coloring books

Proposed episodes covered the Colonel leaving home at a young age to travel, the Colonel in his teens, him during his brief time in the army, and him meeting interesting people while working on the railroads. KFC ultimately rejected the proposal due to its unfortunate timing of being proposed at a time of uncertain monetary woes for the company; Chick-fil-A was on the rise, and SpongeBob’s was quickly growing in size as well, cutting into the profit margins of FLG Inc.’s H. Salt Esq. Fish and Chips. While little details on the plots have survived, concept art, much of which was heavily based on the animation style of the coloring books above, would be later used for on-net/technet-based fan-art, while the concept of an animated Colonel would be revisited later on in the decade...

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

On June 22, 1996, the videogame “Pocket Monsters: Blue” was released in Japan. After being released in the United States in February 1997 under the title “Pokémon: Blue Version,” the game series were a massive hit among younger Americans.

– [1]

...The Wide-Awakes of the late 1990s took their name from the original Wide-Awakes paramilitary group created by the GOP during 1860 Presidential campaign season. This time around, though, the group was a pseudo-paramilitary organization, created by hawkish grassroots organizers, that was meant to support military intervention overseas and oppose gun restriction efforts. The Wide Awakes first aimed to influence the 1996 RNC platform and support like-minded candidates in the general elections in that November. State senator Lt. Col. (ret.) Bo Gritz (R-ID) became its unofficial figurehead after working with its organizers and advocating for them on local radio and TV stations in the weeks ahead of the 1996 RNC…


Paul [McCartney]’s album “Off the Ground” was released on June 29, 1996. McCartney later stated in a BBC1 interview “I stopped over to Lennon’s new digs in London – cramped, compared to his homes – and tried to get him to record a song or two with me. We weren’t getting the band back together, obviously. George worked on the one song, Ringo did the drums for another one, but Lennon was too busy to jam out anything. He’d only been practicing during weekends, in fact, he said. I told him he was bein’ a sod, but, since he was the one cleaning up things in the government, at least he was bein’ a sensible sod” …His first post-Beatles solo, “McCartney” (1978), was followed by McCartney II (1986) and it had some duet songs with his wife Linda. Both were successful, as were Tug of War (1989), and Flowers in the Dirt (1992)…

– Pat Sheffield’s Dreams, Reality, and Music: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole Entire World, Tumbleweed Publications, 2000


…airing on TV yesterday with plans for a theatrical release later this month, the hastily-assembled “Iacocca” depicts the dramatic moments of the former President’s life in the 1970s and 1980s, handling crises at Chrysler and his wife (played by Blythe Danner) slowly losing her battle with diabetes. Danny Aiello depicts Lee Iacocca in a dignified manner that is respectful and engaging…

Variety, 7/5/1996 review

Governor Richard P. Cheney of New Mexico responded to recreadrug cartel fears by doubling the size and funding of the state’s border patrol and the New Mexico National Guard, believing it would lower illegal immigration and state unemployment to boot. On July 5, the Juarez Cartel of Chihuahua, Mexico attempted to assassinate Governor Richard P. Cheney of New Mexico in response. The perpetrators attempted a drive-by shooting; while Cheney was exiting his private home, where he had stayed for Fourth of July celebrations, to catch a train back to the state capital, the would-be killer fired automatic rifles at his awaiting limousine. Cheney received two bullets to his recessive arm and in his chest, passing vital organs and missing his lung by two millimeters. His driver, however, was killed in the barrage of bullets that riddled the limo.

The suspects were eventually killed in a shootout when cornered by state police ten miles north of El Paso. Cheney was released from the hospital two weeks later, in time to speak before the 1996 Republican National Convention in Columbus, Ohio, where the law-and-order Republican gave a fiery speech on the need to “acknowledge and destroy [the] threat” of the recreadrug cartels plaguing Latin America. His speech helped to fire up the conservative base of the party, promote the Dinger/Meredith ticket, and make the cartels – and, incidentally, gun control – more prominent issues on the US’s national stage.

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


…incumbent President Claude Estier (Socialist Union) won a second seven-year term over National Assemblyman Jean-Claude Gaudin (Republican), National Assemblywoman Edith Campion Cresson (Independent Socialist), Jean-Pierre Stirbois (National Front), and several others… Because Estier received over 50% of the vote, the 23 July runoff is no longer needed, and thus will not be held…

– The Guardian, UK newspaper, 9/7/1996

…When the time came for John Glenn to choose a running mate, the Gravelite faction of the party urged him to pick someone “bold, new, exciting and historic,” as DNC Chairman (1989-1993) Ron Brown put it. Media attention soon focused on the growing Hispanic and African-American populations in the US as something that would benefit the party if they successfully capitalized on it. Upon expressing interest in selecting a Hispanic running mate in a gaffe made in a live TV interview on July 5, several candidates were suggested: Governor Ben Lujan Sr. of New Mexico, US Senator Mario Obledo of California, US Rep. Albert Bustamante of Texas, Governor Henry Cisneros of Texas, and US Rep. Bill Richardson of New Mexico were all mentioned amid the speculation. Also suggested were Gravelite Senators Nick Galifianakis and Gary Locke, as well most of the Presidential candidates from the 1996 primary cycle.

However, on July 9, the third and penultimate day of the convention, Glenn announced that he had chosen Raymond Green for running mate. Green, 49, was a moderate US Congressman representing Texas’ 29th Congressional district since 1989. The selection infuriated the left, and according to staffers, nearly lead to a walkout of over two dozen party delegates. They did not bolt, though, due to the party’s 1996 platform including some progressive points, most notably “reform concerning mental health” and “the gradual elimination of for-profit prisons.” Still, Leland received a quarter of the delegate count in the VP voting process, after voting by acclamation was struck down in an earlier delegate vote.

Glenn’s strategy (“win Texas, win the election”) was poorly thought out. Even is one overlooked his belief that he would win the Hispanic vote in New Mexico because the party had won the state in 1988 and 1992, and the claims from the moderates in the party that he had chosen a “safe” running mate, the fact remained that Cisneros of Bustamante would have made for a better running mate. The party’s underwhelming post-convention bump in the polls indicated this lack of enthusiasm for the Glenn/Green ticket. Despite this, Glenn and his campaign team largely regarded the polls showing Dinger ahead by 15 points on average, believing that these numbers would decrease sharply as Election Day neared...

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

GLENN/GREEN – A Future Brighter Than Ever

– Glenn for President ’96 slogan, first used 7/9/1996


…Lee, a member of the National Assembly from the Stability Party who is of Chinese ancestry, was a former ally of Fidel Castro. His candidate received much scrutiny, as Lee had never formally denounced the Castro Regime like previous formerly Castro-allied Presidential candidates. Despite this, Lee (who was endorsed by the popular incumbent-but-term-limited President Gustavo Arcos) defeated challenger Albio B. Sires, a National Senator of the Conservative Party, by a margin of 5%. Many compared Sires to Jorge Mas, the 1990 Conservative party nominee, in that both men were considered too business-oriented, and that both men have close ties to the US...

The Miami Herald, 7/10/1996

…In early July, the few generals that had not killed themselves finally gave up the ghost and surrendered to US and/or SK soldiers. On July 12, the Ceasefire Agreement Resolution officially dissolved the DPRK and incorporated its territory into South Korea, which soon changed its name to United Korea. The CAR also paved the way for the joint US-SK rebuilding of the North, a cost estimated to go into the billions range. However, no amount of financial coverage could un-brainwash the hundreds of thousands of former North Koreans still attacking US troops and slowly entering the former South Korea, either seeking revenge for losing the war, or, far more often, seeking out the abundancy of food promised by the liberating soldiers. A common modern reminiscence from this period concerns Northerners being shocked or even moved to tears by the sheer volume of food found in South Korea’s supermarkets. Multiple reports of violence breaking out south of Seoul from Northern diehards, however, were far more than concerning; soon, concerns of possible cam bombs and other “residual attacks” beginning in full force caused the US-SK coalition to seek solutions for how to reign in these “reluctantly liberated” individuals...

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

“Okay, how was that?” Larry looked past his advisors and asked me.

“It was…decent,” I hesitated.

“Please give it to me straight, love.”

“To a computer or a robot, you’d sound riveting.”

He sighed, “I’m not cut out for this. Running in Iowa, I can do, even being VP and overseeing operations from the war room, I can do. There weren’t that many eyes directly on me those times. But now, an entire country…”

“Just the politically interested, dear. Exaggeration won’t help.” I walked over to him and fiddled with his tie. “You have to be more exciting, Larry. I love you because I know who you are. The people are still getting to know you; you have to show them that outgoing, comforting side of you.” I recalled an event concerning one of our children. “Remember Noah’s birthday party that one year when the clown was running late, so you entertained the crowd until they showed up?”

“Goofy voices and slapstick pratfalls aren’t going to make people vote for me, dear” he replied with a nervous grin.

“The point is you were engaging, you got them involved, you made them laugh. Why?”

He answered, “They were worried the clown wasn’t going to show and I didn’t want them to worry.”

“Yes! You made them stop worrying. You have to show that on the campaign trail – that passion to help others. Maybe some fiery oration to boost America’s confidence in you. Ensure them that you know what you are doing.”

“Well, I do think I know what I’m doing,” Larry smiled less nervously.

“They depended on you and looked up to you when Lee died, right? Make them still care.”

He kissed me, “Your wonderful to talk to, you know that?”

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


“We’ve expelled tyranny from northern Korea; we’ve repelled fear and dark that befell us when Lee Iacocca was slain, and together, we will defend American rights and protect American families from the scourges of inequality and insecurity!”

The Washington Post, 7/22/1996

…The 1996 RNC platform called for a vague “strengthening” of a new term to describe internal safety concerns – “domestic security.” Additionally, the platform called for further farm relief, an increase of the “war” on “dangerous recreadrugs,” immigration talks with Mexico in 1997, and addressing “maintaining family values in a changing world,” a way of addressing the BLUTAG marriage debate heating up at the time (as more states and cities were considering legalizing gay marriage at the time) without infuriating or offending the far-right of the party.

Even with Meredith on the ticket, several GOP leaders still feared the party was losing African-American and women voters to the Democrats, with Republicans struggling to galvanize these demographics in the wake of the Second Ark Wave and the striking down of the 1991 Civil Rights Act. Their share of the African-American vote dropped even farther during the late 1980s and early 1990s – from 33% in 1988 to 26% in 1992 – due to the rise of “racial antagonist” individuals and groups, such as Estus Pirkle, rising in party prominence. Under Dinger, the party eye to win them back, and to win over Hispanics, with conservative rhetoric appealing to the socially-conservative Catholics of Mexican, Cuban, and most recently, Colombian heritage. Statistic and studies [2] showing African-Americans to be more socially conservative on some matters than many Democrats also gave the party hope that they would remain relevant among these voting demographics in the coming years…

– Suzanne M. Leland’s The Suit Circuses: A Look At Presidential Conventions in The U.S.A., 2016 edition

“I’m Down With Dinger,” “Dinger For Democracy,” “Dinger Can Do It”

– Dinger ’96 slogans, first used circa late August 1996

…President Dinger has announced an increase in US military personnel to be sent to US military efforts in the crumbling civil-war-torn nation of Colombia, as anti-government guerilla activities there are increasing in intensity and deadliness…

– KNN, 7/24/1996


The Washington Post, 7/27/1996



[pic: ]
Above: one variation of the Cairo Olympics logo

…Beginning on July 19, the 26th Summer Olympics in Egypt highlighted the region’s impressive transformation over the last few decades, with the only confrontations being the ones found in the arena, as sportsmanship and camaraderie prevailed over geopolitical radicalism in Egypt’s capital city…

The New York Times, sports section, 8/4/1996

…The Inagawa-kai was the third largest of Japan’s yakuza groups, primarily involved in gambling but also drug trafficking, blackmail, extortion and prostitution. Said syndicate was prosperous during the 1980s and 1990s, their assets only growing as Japan’s economy continued expanding and being beneficial for both honest and dishonest businessmen. …On 7 August 1996, high-ranking syndicate member Masaru Takumi was assassinated by agents of rival syndicate member Taro Nakano. Soon, rising tension between members of the rivalry engulfed Inagawa-kai, leading to the syndicate splitting into two rival clans, weakening their grip on illegal activities and allowing rival clans – and police – to close in on their operations...

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


The San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10/1996


Washington, DC – US Senator Mark Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat up for re-election and a member of the progressive faction of his party, issued a blunt warning to Democratic donors and supporters during an off-the-record conference call with KNN this week: Republicans are in a “strong” position to turn his state red in November, one of many that, if flipped in the Senate, would return Senate majority control to the GOP. “I really think Minnesota is in play,” Dayton said last week in a call with KNN’s Aaron Brown, “because Dinger didn’t mess up in Korea, and if the polls are right, he’s popular enough for GOP to make some major pickups, and some pretty unconventional ones, too.”...

Associated Press, 8/12/1996

Anchor JOAN LUNDEN: In international news, China News Service, the PRC’s second-largest state-owned news agency, has announced new and more restrictive technet rules to minimize anti-government rhetoric espoused at technet cafés popping up across the country.

Anchor CHARLIE GIBSON: Well, Pete, you’re the expert, so tell us, what does this mean for the technetters of China?

Foreign Correspondent PETER LLOYD: It means their activity on the technet will be more heavily monitored, though what kind of punishment they could receive is not yet clear, the rules simply say rule violators will be “severely but appropriately reprimanded.” So if, say, someone visits an anti-government website or even leave an anti-government post in a forum, we’ll have to see if they are just fined, or if they have their computer equipment seized by police, or if they’re blocked or banned from certain sites – because the Chinese government can do that – or if they’re even banned by police from entering technet cafés. Premier Zhu has so far been a very forward-thinking man, so I do not think he will take it too far.

– ABC Morning News, 8/17/1996

…As late as August 1996, Dinger remained reluctant to respond to Mexico’s growing economic crisis. On the precipice of financial collapse, America’s southern border had responded to the early 1990s recession by borrowing large sums of money from a plethora of nations. On multiple occasions, in response to the runaway inflation that began prior to him entering office, Mexico’s President Luis Colosio requested Dinger invoke U.S. federal emergency powers and extend a federal loan to cover Mexico’s $12billion debt in order to help them avert a financial crash, only for Dinger to decline the request. According to his former Secretary of the Treasury in a 2005 interview, the Balanced Budget Amendment was the main reason for these declinations. “To keep the loan from sending the US’s budget into the red, Dinger would have had to scale back the budget for other departments. In an election year, and at the height of Dinger’s popularity, Colosio wanted Dinger to make budget cuts to pay for another country’s debt. The American people would have overwhelmingly rejected that; thus, so did Dinger. It wasn’t going to happen, at least not before November ’96.”

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

…On August 26, Maine Democrat Ed Muskie, a US Senator since 1959, died in office at the age of 82. The elder statesman had been suffering from health issues concerning blood clots and his heart for several months, with their conditions possibly being aggravated by his work in the US Senate. He was planning on retiring, even saying in his 1994 re-election bid that he would serve for only one more term.

Maine’s Governor, Jim Longley Jr., as a Republican-leaning Independent, appointed the liberal Republican congresswoman Olympia Snowe to Muskie’s now-vacant Senate seat, with a special election scheduled for 1998. This switch from a Democratic-held seat to a Republican-held seat shifted the US Senate composition in favor of the GOP, from 45-53-2 to 46-52-2, which added to the Democratic Party’s fears that they would lose majority of the Senate that November…

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

In the US, the first high-speed rail project was completed in California in 1996. Connecting Los Angeles to San Diego, US and Japanese companies collaborated on The LA-SD Project, and this relatively small effort’s success and popularity among the locals of southern California sparked further interest in high-speed, and in maglev trains as well!

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

…and in Mississippi, Governor Estus Pirkle has signed into law a controversial bill that will increase tax exemptions for Christianity-based religious organizations, and will increase administrative autonomy for religious schools in the state in regards to curricula and handling disruptive students. The new law comes only weeks after Pirkle, a deeply-conservative Republican, began another controversy when he formally declared Christianity to be the official religion of the state of Mississippi...

– CBS Evening News, 8/27/1996 broadcast

The Kiev Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Global Climate Disruption (UNFCGCD) that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas (/carbon) emissions. The protocol was adopt in Kiev, Ukraine on August 17, 1995, and was opened for signature four months later… The treaty acknowledges that individual countries have different capabilities in combating climate change, owing to economic development, and therefore puts more responsibilities and obligations to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [3] … [snip]

…The US signed the Protocol on September 1, 1996, during the Dinger Presidency. In order for it to become binding, however, the treaty had to be ratified by the US Senate. Democrats held a narrow majority, but Republicans strongly opposed ratification on the grounds of it possibly harming the economy despite the existing greenhouse gas/carbon emissions “caps trading” mechanisms found within. There was also concern over China’s open reluctance to sign onto the treaty. On September 1, Dinger broke with his party by announcing his support for the treaty even if China did not sign on, citing “our collective responsibility to this planet trumps geopolitical tactics,” but also strongly criticized China for “refusing to recognize the significance of Earth.” The next step was for it to be ratified by the US Senate...


…On September 5, 1996, singer-songwriter Mike Judge’s animation debut, “High High,” began airing on MTV. A subversive parody of the American high school experience, the series showcased the exaggerated stereotypes of the high school student body with the five main characters – cynical Daria, opportunistic Jodie, gullible Bobby, and the dimwitted duo Beavis and Butthead – and the setting and adults around them. Set in the fictional Robert King High High School, named after real-life politician Robert King High - get it? High High? - it was gritty, chaotic, and was a vehicle that took cold-blooded jabs at everything wrong with the world on a weekly basis. And because of it airing on MTV, each episode contained at least one original song or song parody, usually a short bit of under one minute, with guest musicians such as Weird Al Yankovic, Tommy Chong, and Kurt Cobain (a close friend of Judge) contributing to bits. Now, when the show concluded in 2003, it wasn’t exactly a shocking tragedy – Judge wanted to focus on King of the Hill, another show of his that ran from 1998 to 2015, and his music career was going places again – but in recent years, the show has seen a revival of sorts on the technet, with many fans calling for a revival series, or maybe a spinoff of Butthead and Beavis. Honestly, though, such comic relief characters are best for shorts, not twenty whole minutes. But anyway, the recent renewed interest in the show is focused on the intelligent writing and anti-establishment tone of the show, and this has made me wonder something – is it really as great as people remember it being? In this video series, I’ll be taking a harsh look at this show, its parodying of the glamourous idealism of the 1950s and early 1980s, and the gritty, chaotic, adult-oriented violence and borderline-sexual content that made this show so popular among the teens and young adults of the late 1990s…

– transcript of video essay “High High: Unintentional Genius or Intentionally Dumb? Part 1,” uploaded to on 7/10/2017

Tim Warped
is an American historic satire television anthology series created by Trey Parker. Using a combination of live-action, stop-motion, and animated segments by guest animators, the series covered a wide variety of historical events, often parodying them through musical sequences and gross exaggerations, which led to several controversial moment throughout its run.

The series focuses on the time-traveling adventures of the only consistent characters throughout the series: Tim Vulner, a time-traveling “superscientist” child prodigy with autism; Kyle Borowitz, Vulner’s best friend; and Cartman Ericson, Vulner’s antagonistic neighbor and schoolmate who often sides with "the wrong side of history" during their travels to past events. Due to their similar premises, Tim Warped is often compared to Peabody and Sherman, despite their actual episodes and subject matter being wildly different in both nature and in execution. After two pilots were made in 1995, TumbleweedTV greenlit the show, but only after jokes about Vulner’s autism were removed from scripts in the wake of President Iacocca being assassinated by someone with mental illness. This revision led to the show inadvertently receiving praise for depicting the autistic community in a positive manner.

“Tim Warped” premiered on September 12, 1996, with Trey Parker, Chet Martin, Juan Swartz and Tawdry Teal providing voice talents and playing in sketches with recurring stars Dian Bachar and Jason McHugh, plus several guest stars, throughout its early seasons. After Chet Martin and Tawdry Teal left the show after Season Three, “Tim Warped” began commenting more openly on current events by comparing them to past events. Parker’s occasional arguments with the network executives over several episodes garnered much media attention and almost led to the show’s cancellation in 1999, 2001, and 2005. The series ended in 2008, after a three-year ratings drop, but currently sustains a small cult following.



…U.S. Senator Ralph Nader, an Independent from Connecticut, today announced that, after much contemplation, he will not run for President after all. In the announcement, Nader stated that ballot access would be a major hurdle at this point in the race, as well as fundraising and name recognition. However, analysts believe Nader, with his progressive tendencies, would have pulled more support from Glenn than from Dinger, and so it is possible that Nader has chosen not to run in order to prevent him influencing the election results. Nader, in his announcement, urged “all voters everywhere” to “listen to your heart and vote accordingly,” and endorsed neither Glenn nor Dinger. Despite this call for exercising one’s right to vote, it is very possible that anti-Glenn Democrats will sit this election out in protest of Glenn’s policies…

The Washington Post, 9/17/1996

…after months of studying the plutonium product centers and nuclear research facilities in the former North Korea, the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the Kim Jung-Il regime was in fact developing weapons of mass destruction…

– CBS Evening News, 9/19/1996 broadcast


…the unsuccessful bill would have demanded states and territories make would-be gun owners take some form of mental health test before being allowed to have possession of a firearm; the bill, ultimately scrapped over possible First Amendment and right to privacy law violations, is being looked at once again. Some Senate Democrats are considering introducing a “revised” version of the bill. …The ongoing national debate concerns Democrats pushing for stricter gun safety measures while Republicans promote mental health reform…

The Washington Times, 9/21/1996

MEXICO OFFICIALLY ENTERS RECESSION; Colosio Declares State Of Emergency As Banks Collapse And Contracting Economy Raises Unemployment Nationwide

The Wall Street Journal, 9/28/1996

…Apart from the subjects of “criminal aversion tactics,” recreadrugs and cartels, and the post-war cleanup in Korea, the Glenn and Dinger campaigns also focused on “kitchen table” topics such as private schools versus public schools, social security, and the effectiveness of the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Dinger stuck a “Colonel Conservative” message, calling for improving mental health care without raising taxes by running such programs more efficiently, blaming Mexico’s recent economy crisis on their own mishandling of their own economy, supported stronger immigration and recreadrug regulation policies, and continued US involvement in the post-war Korean peninsula. Dinger also sided with private schools as a way of cutting down on federal red tape, and praised the BBA. Social Security and BLUTAG rights were “third-tier” issues to Dinger, though socially conservative Republicans in this year went after the latter in the non-Presidential races.

John Glenn, meanwhile, supported “partial gun safety reform” and agreed with Dinger’s approach to mental health care. Glenn was also critical of recreadrugs, but with the exception of marijuana due to medical uses (and to throw a bone to progressive Democrats still bitter that their candidate(s) lost). Glenn backed public schools, social security preservation, and “slightly” amending the BBA to allow for a “one-year investment period condition” that would allow the government to go into deficit for no more than one year, in order to allow the government to make investments that had the potential to not yield results immediately. Still a centrist, Glenn swore that as President he would work with both Democrats and Republicans to find “more efficient answers” to illegal immigration and dangerous recreadrugs…

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015


…Dinger, who was seen as the loser of the 1992 VP debate, had a much easier time in this verbal showdown, easily deflecting what little criticisms Glenn threw his way. Dinger clarified his centrist position on gun reform and mental health care, and stood by his declaration of war on North Korea despite the continuing problems plaguing that peninsula such as chemical weapons survivors and communist guerilla diehards. …Glenn did not even go after Dinger’s objectively poor handling of Mexico’s economic descent despite the moderators bringing up said topic during their questioning of the two candidates. …Overall, this was a win for Dinger and a loss for Glenn, who is still struggling to win over progressive Democrats…

The El Paso Times, 10/1/1996

INTERPOL, Police Report: Two Floridian Tourists Killed In Tijuana In Recreadrug Deal Gone Bad

The Orlando Sentinel, 10/2/1996

…As Election Day neared, Dinger increased talk of combating recreadrug cartels. On October 3rd, Vice President Meredith informed “Meet the Press” that US and Mexican law enforcement were “looking into putting The Big Squeeze” on recreadrug-related criminal activity in the US and Mexico. “The Big Squeeze” phrase was soon picked up by other networks to describe US efforts underway not just in Mexico but across Latin America as well…

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

Anchor DAN RATHER: “Well I think tonight’s Presidential debate will help Glenn’s polling. He was assertive, he challenged the President on several topics, and I think he made his campaign theme of modern moderateness very well-defined here.”

Analyst TIM RUSSELL: “I have to disagree with your assertiveness point there, Dan. His constant criticism came off as cranky, not courageous. I think Glenn really showed his age here, and his persistent pessimism concerning things like how slow it will take for post-war issues to dissolve in Korea cast him as more of a complainer than a problem solver. Plus, Dinger’s call for a shift in responsibilities from the feds to private enterprise, and his proposed ‘net balance of trade’ were very well-spoken moments. I don’t think Glenn won this one, not at all.”

Guest panelist JANICE FINE: “Yeah, I concur. Dinger talked unemployment; Glenn talked spaceships to Mars. Guess which topic more people care about.”

RUSSELL: “Yeah, and neither of them discussed what should happen to Korea now that their unified but facing growing food insecurity concerns. The possible ramifications of Mexico's recession were not discussed, either.”

FINE: “And despite so many people approving Dinger’s handling of the war, there’s still a lot of anti-war Democrats that Glenn is completely ignoring. He’s betting all his chips on winning over independents, and I’m telling you, it is not going to work.”

– CBS News, post-debate round table discussion, 10/8/1996


…with the government of the nation formerly known as South Korea adding roughly 50% more people to its total population, efforts to feed the malnourished masses is quickly becoming a major concern for the peninsula, especially in the eyes of economists who ponder what the price tag will be for overseeing the well-being and social integration of roughly 20 million people…

The New York Times, 10/10/1996

…The UN has announced a special tribunal for arrested former North Korean leaders being held in United Korea on charges of crimes against humanity. The leaders in question believe they would face unfair trials in South Korean quote, and the UN and Korean officers have agreed to a UN court process for them…

– NBC News, 10/12/1996 broadcast


…Though friendly overall, there were two notable heated exchanges in the debate. The first one was Green suggesting Meredith would make for a poor Vice President for four more years due to his history of sparring with his own party; Meredith responded with “How does anyone know if their idea’s a good one if someone doesn’t make you explain how it’s a good idea? I don’t fight, I just work loudly when I have to so things turn out right.” The second heated exchange occurred after Meredith questioned Green’s experience; “Mr. Green, I served in Cuba as an Air Force Captain, and I served in the US Senate for just under 17 years. You’ve served in the House for about eight years. I’ve worked with people as far left as Mike Gravel and with people like Strom Thurmond to make sure the right bill got passed or the right call was made. If there’s any way that you’re more qualified for this job, now is the time to say it.” Green failed to make an effective counter-pitch. …Unquestionably, this was a win for Vice President Meredith…

The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi newspaper, 10/15/1996

Correspondent CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Japan’s roaring economy is not reaching some members of the lower classes, and due to rising housing and rent prices that typically come with most having more to spend, homelessness is on the rise in some places. Or instance, here in the city Shizuoka, the destitute with nowhere to go have congregated to this public park.

Anchor CHUCK ROBERTS: Condition look pretty bad there, Christiane. Is the government working on any anti-poverty legislation or proposals for these people?

AMANPOUR: Just a minute, Chuck. It seems the police have arrived, it looks like there some kind of commotion and – oh!

[camera blurs; running sounds]

ROBERTS: Christiane? What’s going on?

[correspondent returns to screen; camera shakes somewhat unsteadily]

AMANPOUR: Chuck, it appears that the police are evicting the homeless people out of the park, but the situation has quickly turned violent. As you can see behind me, the police are attack the people here with batons and using pepper spray to try and force them out of the park…

– KNN, 10/22/1996 transcript


The Asahi Shimbun, Japan newspaper, 10/26/1996

LIBERATED: Former Prisoners of North Korea Tell Their Stories

…thousands were killed in prison labor camps that were, in essence, concentration camps. Anyone even suspected of harboring anti-regime sentiments were sent to work grueling manual labor, for 12 hours straight in rock quarries and fields, half-starved, and tortured for information they never had. The situation worsened as the war progressed, with large swaths of the population being purged each and every time ground was lost to the advancing US-SK forces. The atrocities committed under the Kim regime is gaining more international attention as former prisoners come forward with their stories of hope, despair, and survival… [snip] …“I don’t know if it was luck or some kind of blessing that got me out, but I’m thankful for either just the same,” says Shin Do-Kyung, a former inmate of a major prison complex south of the city of Wonsan. Shin is still looking for his mother and half-brother, who he last saw in the prison camp. “They may have been executed for me escaping, but I escaped right before the guards abandoned the camp.” He adds with a hopeful smile, “I think they might have lived; I still think I will find them.”…

Time Magazine, October 1996 issue

…After coming off as weak and shy in the first debate and then presenting himself as a cantankerous grouch in the second, Glenn tried to thread the needle between too friendly and too confrontational on the third and final go-around. He failed.

The first question of the night saw Dinger bungle up his reply to his handling of rising recreadrug issues in Colombia and Mexico. Unfortunately for Glenn’s campaign, while Dinger’s response was considered lackluster, Glenn saying “That was a bad answer to a good question” and then failing to explain how he would handle Colombia and Mexico differently did not exactly win over undecided voters. In fact, the exchange essentially set the tone of the debate, with Dinger barely passing by and Glenn once more being a disappointing debater…

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

“So it was in the news today, apparently, poll after poll are showing some troubling signs for John Glenn – he’s winning over oldsters and conservatives but is doing really badly among young voters. No sh*t! Of course they don’t want grandpa at the wheel! Of course they’re unenthusiastic, Glenn, you’re a 75-year-old elitist crony! You went to space and left your brain up there! Do you have any new, interesting, or exciting ideas, Glenn? Kids want pot, and you want to send people to Mars? Don’t spend a trillion dollars, Glenn – just let us smoke pot and we’ll all get to Mars! We’ll dance with unicorn tigers on the f*cking rings of Saturn! I don’t know what you heard with those hairy eras of yours, Grampa Glenn, but the White House isn’t a f*cking retirement home!”

– Comedian Sam Kinison, 10/30/1996


[pic: ]

Larry Miles Dinger (IA) / James H. Meredith (MS) – 63,396,511 (60.3%)
John H. Glenn Jr. (OH) / Raymond E. Green (TX) – 40,056,502 (38.1%)
All other votes – 1,682,162 (1.6%)
Total Votes – 105,135,176


…In an election "wave" that saw many moderate Democrats voted with a highly popular incumbent Republican alongside independent and undecided voters, the increasingly Democratic-leaning California was the closest state, followed by Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, in that order... the loss of his home state was "particularly embarrassing" to Senator Glenn, given that his certainty in winning Ohio was a contributing factor in his decision to not heavily campaign in the state... With this election, Dinger became was the first candidate in a US Presidential election to win over 60% of the vote since Franklin Delano Roosevelt secured 60.8% of the vote in 1936. …multiple left-wing third parties received a majority of the remaining vote, with none winning more than 0.6% of the total number of votes cast… Voter turnout was high among registered Republicans but very low among registered Democrats, independents and third-party members …Democrats performed well among centrists but poorly among nearly all other demographics... The typically Democratic states of Delaware and Minnesota voted Republican, while Democrats underperformed in other traditionally “safe” states such as Maryland, alongside areas with significant African-American populations. Several psephologists credit these results to the ascension of James Meredith, an African-American Republican, to the Vice Presidency… This election saw the GOP’s best performance among African Americans for a Presidential election since 1968…


…In what some are calling the most predictable election in years if not decades, President Dinger has won re-election in a landslide. In the U.S. House elections, Republicans increased their majority, while the GOP has finally retaken the Senate...

– CBS News, post-election round table discussion, 11/5/1992

November United States Senate election results, 1996

Date: November 5, 1996
Seats: 34 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
New Senate majority leader: Bob Dole (R-KS)
New Senate minority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Seats before election: 46 R), 52 (D), 2 (I)
Seats after election: 53 (R), 45 (D), 2 (I)
Seat change: R ^ 7, D v 7, I - 0

Full List:
Alabama: incumbent Albert Lee Smith Jr. (R) over Roger Bedford (D)
Alaska: incumbent Jalmar “Jay” Kerttula (R) over Frank Vondersaar (D)
Arkansas: incumbent Jim Guy Tucker (D) over Virginia Johnson (R)
Colorado: Bernie Goetz (R) over Nancy E. Dick (D) and Wayne Allard (I); incumbent Hank Brown (R) lost re-nomination
Delaware: Raymond J. Clatworthy (R) over incumbent Joe Biden (D)
Georgia: incumbent Sam Nunn (D) over John Gregory Cashin (R)
Idaho: Helen Chenoweth (R) over Bo Gritz (Defense) and Susan Vegors (D); incumbent George V. Hansen (R) retired
Illinois: John Bayard Anderson (R) over incumbent Paul Simon (D)
Iowa: incumbent Terry Branstad (R) over Jim Ross Lightfoot (D)
Kansas: Carla J. Stovall (R) over Sally Thompson (D); incumbent Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R) retired
Kentucky: incumbent Martha Layne Osborne (D) over Dennis L. Lacy (R)
Louisiana: incumbent Clyde Cecil Holloway (R) over Richard Ieyoub (D)
Maine: incumbent Angus King (I) over Susan M. Collins (R) and John Rensenbrink (D)
Massachusetts: incumbent Bill Weld (R) over Robert Stowe (D) and Susan Gallagher (Conservative)
Michigan: incumbent Jack R. Lousma (R) over William Roundtree (D)
Minnesota: Gilbert Gutknecht Jr. (R) over incumbent Mark Dayton (D)
Mississippi: Kirkwood Fordice (R) over incumbent appointee James E. Chaney (D)
Montana: incumbent Larry Williams (R) over Stephen Heaton (D)
Nebraska: incumbent Orrin Hatch (R) over Ben Nelson (D) and John DeCamp (Liberty)
New Hampshire: Ken Blevens (R) over Dick Swett (D); incumbent Endicott Peabody (D) retired
New Jersey: incumbent Mary V. Mochary (R) over Robert Torricelli (D)
New Mexico: incumbent Roberto Mondragon (D) over Bruce M. Bush (R)
North Carolina: incumbent James Grubbs “Jim” Martin (R) over Harvey Gantt (D)
Oklahoma: incumbent Bud Wilkinson (R) over Glen D. Johnson Jr. (D)
Oregon: Norma Paulus (R) over Peter DeFazio (D); incumbent Mark Hatfield (R) retired
Rhode Island: Nancy J. Mayer (R) over Donald Gill (D); incumbent Claiborne Pell (D) retired
South Carolina: incumbent Strom Thurmond (R) over Elliot Close (D)
South Dakota: incumbent Larry Pressler (R) over Gene N. Lebrun (D)
Tennessee: Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R) over incumbent Marilyn Lloyd (D)
Texas: incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) over Richard W. Fisher (D) and Victor Morales (LRU)
Utah (special): incumbent appointee Lyle Hillyard (R) over Karen Hale (D)
Virginia: incumbent Richard Dudley Obenshain (R) over Leslie Byrne (D)
West Virginia: Jon McBride (R) over Joseph P. Albright (D); incumbent John Raese (R) lost re-nomination
Wyoming: incumbent Barbara Cubin (R) over Kathy Karpan (D)


United States House of Representatives results, 1996

Date: November 5, 1996
Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: David F. Emery (R-ME)
New House minority leader: Barbara B. Kennelly (D-CT) (incumbent Dick Gephardt (D-MO) stepped down in light of results)
Last election: 225 (R), 206 (D), 2 (I)
Seats won: 265 (D), 167 (D), 1 (I)
Seat change: R ^ 40, D v 39, I v 1


United States Governor election results, 1996

Date: November 5, 1996
Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 11
Seats before: 34 (D), 14 (R), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seats after: 29 (D), 19 (R), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seat change: D v 5, R ^ 5, I - 0, G - 0

Full list:
Delaware: incumbent Janet Rzewnicki (R) over Midge Osterlund (D)
Indiana: Steve Goldsmith (R) over Frank O’Bannon (D); incumbent Evan Bayh (D) retired
Missouri: incumbent Mel Carnahan (D) over Margaret Blake Kelly (R)
Montana: Denny Rehberg (R) over incumbent Gordon McOmber (D)
New Hampshire: Ovide Lamontagne (R) over incumbent Chris Spirou (D)
North Carolina: James Carson Gardner (R) over Lacy Thornburg (D); incumbent Harvey Gantt (D) retired
North Dakota: incumbent Edward Thomas Schafer (R) over Eliot Glassheim (D)
Utah: incumbent Jon Huntsman Sr. (R) over James Bradley (D)
Vermont: incumbent Howard Dean (D) over John Gropper (R) and Mary Alice “Mal” Herbert (Liberty Union)
Washington: incumbent Ellen Craswell (R) over Mike Lowry (D)
West Virginia: Cecil Underwood (R) over Joe Manchin (D) and Wallace Johnson (Liberty); incumbent Gaston Caperton (D) retired


…By the end of 1996, it was not just recreadrugs contributing to worsening crises across Latin America. Multiple nations in the region were also host to armed warfare over agribusiness issues, with violent land grabs overwhelming communities in nations such as Honduras and Nicragua. This conflict was over domestic agriculture production of palm oil estates… However, local small farmer insurrections against corrupt organizations stealing their land and livelihoods were overshadowed by the War on Recreadrugs…

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

On December 1, leaders of the designated boryokudan (“particularly harmful”) yakuza syndicate Yamaguchi-gumi were surprised when their Kobe, Hyogo offices – the group was founded in 1932 and has been a part of Hyogo Prefecture’s economic scene for decades, of course they had offices – were raided by federal police, who arrested several yakuza members and confiscated computers and paper printouts documenting illegal activities. Considered one of the largest anti-yakuza “busts” in modern Japanese history, subsequent additional arrests sent members of the Yamaguchi-gumi reeling and fleeing, and allowing members of the Aizu-Kotetsu syndicate from nearby Kyoto began to move in on the formerly Yamaguchi-gumi territory. This development soon led to rumors that the Aizu-Kotetsu had collaborated with the local Kobe police to remove their local syndicate in exchange for the Kyoto-based syndicate taking their place, albeit with activity limitations and other conditions. Investigations concerning these rumors looked into the coordinating of the raid, and eventually led to three police officers being indicted. However, all three officer were killed by Yamaguchi-gumi syndicate members before they could face trial. …By 1997, the Aizu-Kotetsu and the Yamaguchi-gumi were at war full-on with local police, certain local businesses, and with each other...

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

…With their membership on the decline since government crackdowns began, the Aizu-Kotetsu yakuza syndicate began to see enemies everywhere. On the night of December 3, yakuza members set fire to a KFC outlet in Kyoto, in response to KFC “moving in on their territory.” The arson attack, which ruined the structural integrity of the outlet but led to no deaths or injuries, was a move supported by local businesses who felt threatened by KFC’s competition.

The San Diego Padres can relate to the feelings the Aizu-Kotetsu had soon afterward, as the attack on KFC led to their businesses only worsening and to their sales plummeting. By the end of the decade, locals were attributing the decline and possible downfall of the Aizu-Kotetsu largely to the KFC incident summoning forth some sort of hex. In reality, their decrease in influence in the region was much more likely due to growing public disapproval, the continuation of anti-yakuza practices and crackdowns, and – most notably – said syndicate’s own poor business-handling practices and decisions as the decade reached its end…

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

A United Nations Secretary-General selection process occurred from 19 November to 13 December 1996. The winner selected for the position would begin their term on January 1.


The incumbent UN Secretary-General, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, was increasingly unpopular over his handling of crises in Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Burundi, and, most contentiously, North Korea. Prince Sadruddin had opposed the US-SK military coalition upon its formation despite other UN members declining to oppose or condemn it or its intervention. As a result, President Larry Dinger had the US withdraw its support from the Prince’s re-election bid. After several US allies did the same, and several more threatened to veto the Prince, his initial cakewalk to a second term became much more uncertain.


Hamid Algabid – Former Prime Minister of Niger (nominated by Niger)

Carol Bellamy – Executive Director of UNICEF and former President of the United States (nominated by the United States)

Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Egypt (nominated by Egypt)

Amara Essy – President of the UN General Assembly and former Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs (nominated by the Ivory Coast)

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – incumbent UN Secretary-General and the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (nominated by Indonesia)


As pressure mounted for Prince Sadruddin to withdraw, or for a challenger to oppose his re-election, in the midst of the Prince losing support among members of the Security Council, the Chairman of the Organization of African Unity approached suggested nominating US President Carol Bellamy for UN Secretary-General. Bellamy had worked closely with the UN since her Presidential days and more so afterwards; Bellamy was the Special Administrator for UNICEF from 1993 to 1994, and had been Executive Director of UNICEF since 1994, and had served on UN-related boards and commissions while concurrently working with US-based charities and organizations. Bellamy met with Security Council members to say she would accept the nomination on the condition that she would only serve one term, which made more Security Council members more willing to support her candidacy. Upon Kofi Annan openly supporting her, the US did the same; the US officially nominated her shortly before the voting process began.

Voting members became deadlocked between Bellamy, Niger’s Hamid Algabid, and the incumbent. Bellamy’s supporters stressed her life-long dedication to improving the standard of living worldwide, as evidenced by her actions as Mayor, President, and UNICEF Director, as well as her pre-war efforts at negotiating third-party peace talks and pre-war and post-war food-and-aid drives. After several days of negotiations, Hamid Algabid withdrew and supported Bellamy on 11 December due to her contributive work in returning Ghana and the Ivory Coast to more stable conditions. The next day, Prince Sadruddin withdrew as well. On 13 December, Bellamy was chosen almost unanimously to become the new and seventh UN Secretary-General.



The Washington Post, 12/18/1996

Christmas ’96 was a big shindig for the Sanders family. The Corbin estate was filled with the usual relatives. I and my children and company (Jim Adams, Josephine Worster and Harland Adams and their families) showed up late as usual, and were greeted at the front by none other than [my ex-husband] James and his beau Hattie. Millie, being her pernickety old self, had arrived early with [her husband] John, [their son] John Jr., and John Jr’s daughter Marlona to help set things up. They were joined soon enough by the Four Harlands. By this point, Harley (Harland Sanders Jr.) was 83 and more like our Dad every day when it came to his temper; during the evening, when the conversation rolled around to relations improving in the Middle East, Harley bellowing “If Assad falls, so be it” led to an eye-roll from Lando (Sanders III). At 56, Lando had never caught the political bug, but that did not stop him from helping Davey (Sanders IV), age 36 at the time, organize a successful bid for a state senate seat earlier in the year. Little Vinnie (Sanders V) was just as spunky at age 11 than he was as a toddler.

And at the center of things, overseeing the preparations to keeps from becoming messier than mud wrestling, was Claudia, as the family matriarch. The family concentrated onto the grounds to celebrate the year. Harley shook his cane merrily as he toasted to the troops who help liberate the North Koreans; I solemnized them with a salute. When Mildred commemorated KFC’s latest sales, though, some of the younger generations of the family groaned in disinterest.

“If we’re so successful, how come the Rockefellers have so many mansions and we’ve just got a lot of regular houses?” Little Vinnie whined.

“You can thank your great-great-grandfather for that, son,” Davey said with a smile. “He gave away most of his fortunes to charities because he didn’t want us to be greedy.”

“Says the guy on the board of several of those charities,” chortled Josephine.

“Oh? Like you aren’t, either?” John Jr. made the snide remark to his cousin.

“Alright, that’s enough of that now,” Claudia said with a voice still commanding after so many decades.

“Did he have to be so generous?” Little Vinnie asked.

There was laughter, “Generosity is better than a mansion, kid,” Harland Adams. “What’s the point of a mansion if you can’t fill it up with family and friends? And I mean real friends, not fair-weather jerks. And you know how you get real friends? By not keeping all your stuff to yourself.” Harland proceeded to offer Little Vinnie more of the mashed potatoes to get the message across; Little Vinnie happily indulged in their fluffy goodness.

“I’m so glad you like those taters, li’l one,” said Claudia, “they were made with the Colonel’s own recipe.”

The evening saw ebullient and effusive emotions run high as was finished dinner and gathered around the giant Christmas tree outside, banishing the nighttime for a long while in a costly but beautiful celebration of the Lord.

It was a happy Christmas. We didn’t realize at the time that it would be Claudia’s last, but in retrospect, it was a very respectful and touching Last Hurrah for her to go out on.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997


[pic: ]

[1] Again, such a thing occurs earlier due to technology slowly progressing along at a faster rate ITTL than IOTL.
[2] One example:
[3] Italicized parts pulled from here:
Post 68
Post 68: Chapter 76

Chapter 76: January 1997 – December 1997
(w/ writing credit for noted segments given to @ajm8888 )

“Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare – Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami, Florida? Vincennes, Indiana? Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there’s hate, where there’s prejudice, where there’s bigotry. He’s alive. He’s alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He’s alive because through these things we keep him alive.”

– Rod Serling, the Twilight Zone


…for the first time since official polling in this subject began in 1971, there are clearly more Americans supportive of BLUTAG marriage there are Americans opposed to it. …When asked “Do you think BLUTAGO marriages should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?” 48% said yes, 45% said no, and the remaining 7% had no opinion or were undecided. [1] …When divided by political allegiance, 26% of Republicans support BLUTAG marriage, 40% of independents support BLUTAG marriage, and 57% of Democrats support BLUTAG marriage [2]

– Gallup, 1/2/1997 report

…Among the hundreds if not thousands of suspected drug lords the US is seeking to combat as President Dinger seeks an escalation of the War on Recreadrugs, there is one alleged regional warlord who is gaining international attention for his uniqueness. Evangelos Goussis, born in 1967 to Greek immigrants in what was at the time the USSR’s Uzbekistani Soviet, to Greek immigrants, represented United Turkestan for kickboxing in the 1988 Summer Olympics, and came in fifth place. After being banned from the sport for using steroids, Goussis seems to have drifted into a life of crime, being acquitted of drug trafficking in 1991. Since then, Goussis has operated a fitness and training equipment supply business in Tashkent, though UT authorities expect it to be a front for smuggling narcotics – possibly originating from Aghanistan and Tajikistan – into Russia…

Time Magazine, side article, early January 1997 issue

“The true character of our friends and our enemies, as well as the true character of ourselves, are seen for what they are and without adulteration of truthfulness, through our actions and our resolve, during moments that call for action and test our resolve. In the past 21 months, we have been through tragedy, terror, and warfare, and we have come back stronger each time. The implementation of our strengths as a nation to bring forth peace where there is war, prosperity where there is devastation, and light where there is darkness, whether through Pax Americana or collaborative alliances, is what has made us that shining beacon of hope for people worldwide. Over the next four years, let’s continue to make that common phrase ring true. Let’s make it a fact, not just a phrase, not just to every American who just passed their citizenship test, but to every American in every city, every American in every suburb, every American on every farm, in every mine, in every tech hub, university, hospital, assembly line and Mom-and-Pop shop in every state and territory in the United States of America!”

– US President Larry Miles Dinger’s 1/20/1997 inauguration

Vice President: US Senator James H. Meredith (R-MS) {since 1995}

Secretary of State: Chief National Security Advisor and former Assistant Secretary of the Army Susan M. Livingstone (R-MO) {since 1997}
Secretary of the Treasury: right-wing libertarian author, academic, and political consultant Llewellyn Harrison “Lew” Rockwell Jr. (R-AL) {since 1997}
Secretary of Defense: retired US Navy Admiral John McCain (R-VA) {since 1997}
Attorney General: Associate Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Linda K. Neuman (I-IA) {since 1997}
Deputy Attorney General: prominent lawyer and attorney-at-law Andrew Franklin Puzder (R-MO) {1997}
Postmaster General: former publisher of The Los Angeles Times Albert Vincent Carey (R-CA) {since 1993}
Secretary of the Interior: African-American former Director of the US Office of Personnel Management and US Undersecretary of the Interior Constance Berry Newman (R-IL) {since 1997}
Secretary of Agriculture: Deputy Secretary and former US Representative Standish Fletcher Thompson (R-GA) {since 1995}
Secretary of Commerce: businessman and COO of Goldman Sachs Henry Merritt Paulson Jr. (R-NY) {since 1997}
Secretary of Labor: US Representative Larkin Irvin Smith (R-MS)
Secretary of Education: African-American author and President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Freeman A. Hrabowski II (I-MD)
Secretary of Health and Welfare: US Representative Richard Michael DeWine (R-OH) {since 1997}
Secretary of Transportation: Cuban-American state secretary of Transportation Guillermo “Bill” Vidal (D-CO) {since 1996}
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: US Representative and former Arlington Mayor Tommy Joe Vandergriff (R-TX) {since 1997}
Secretary of Energy and Technology: US Representative and retired mathematics professor Rodney David “Rod” Driver (D-RI) {since 1997}

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): former Director of the National Security Agency William Oliver “Bill” Studeman (R-TX) {since 1993}
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): businessman, former US Congressman, former US Attorney General and former FBI Deputy Director William Ruckelshaus (R-IN) {since 1997}
US Trade Representative: former Chairperson of the US International Trade Commission Paula Stern (D-TN) {since 1993}
Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA): COO of AT&T Cara Carlton Sneed (R-CA) {since 1997}
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): former Governor Charles Woods (R-AL) {since 1993}
Administrator of the Overwhelming Disaster Emergency Response Coordination Agency (ODERCA): former US Congressman and EPA Deputy Administrator James Prather “Jim” Jontz (D-IN) {since 1997}

White House Chief of Staff: former Director of the US State Department’s Office of Press Relations, former interim US Ambassador to Mongolia, and former campaign consultant John R. Dinger (D-IA) {since 1995}
Chief Domestic Policy Advisor: African-American CEO of the Teachers Insurance And Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAAAA-CREF) Clifton Reginald Wharton Jr. (I-MI) {since 1993}
Chief Economic Policy Advisor: US Representative Enid Greene (R-UT) {since 1997}
Chief Foreign Policy Advisor: Director of Chinese Affairs for the US State Department and former Peace Corp Director Kent Wiedemann (I-OR) {since 1997}
Chief National Security Advisor: former US House Speaker Robert Smith Walker (R-PA) {since 1997}
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: financial advisor, author, and founder of Orman Financial Group Susan Lynn Orman (I-IL) {since 1997}
WH Press Secretary: campaign press secretary Andrew J. Duck (D-MD) {since 1997}

To Australia: Governor and former businessman Fred Hemmings (R-HI) {since 1997}
To China: former US Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord (R-NY) {since 1997}
To Colombia: US Ambassador to Venezuela, former US Ambassador to Cuba and former US Ambassador to Chile Charles A. Gillespie Jr. (R-CA) {since 1997}
To Germany: Governor Gloria A. Decker (R-NJ) {since 1993}
To Japan: US Ambassador to Indonesia, former US Ambassador to China, and former US Ambassador to Hong Kong J. Stapleton Roy (I-DC) {since 1997}
To Korea: US Representative Jay Chang Joon Kim (R-CA) {since 1996}
To Mexico: former US Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan Jr. (R-NM) {since 1997}
To Russia: former Governor Ann Bedsole (R-AL) {since 1993}
To the U.K.: former US Representative Richard Keith “Dick” Armey (R-TX) {since 1996}
To the U.N.: diplomat, business executive, former TXGOP Chairman and former US Representative George Bush (R-TX) {since 1993}

Solicitor General: attorney and US Deputy Attorney General Thomas “Tom” Liddy (R-AZ) {since 1997}
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman: US Army General and Supreme Allied Commander Europe John M. D. Shalikashvili (I-DC) {since 1997}
Federal Reserve Chairman: former US Representative and Chairperson of the US International Trade Commission John Kasich (R-OH) {since 1997}
NASA Administrator: Deputy NASA Administrator Dale Dehaven Myers (D-WA) {since 1993}


Kim Young-sam quickly became aware of the price tag of victory. It was going to be extremely expensive to modernize North Korea. Hundreds of billions of dollars, by most estimates. The former Northerners required re-education, medical care, housing, and employment. The costs of therapy for those who suffered mental and physical anguish at the hands of the Kim regime, high-security prisons for former DPRK leaders, and so much more were added to the victorious government’s list of responsibilities. Additionally, continued suspicion of insurrection from communist diehards, while a weak and pathetic cult-like collection of holdouts, was nevertheless taken very seriously by the emboldened Korean military [3].

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

…Additional “reabsorption” plans were announced by the Korean government on January 29, 1997. Due to the cultural and even linguistic differences from nearly 50 years of separation, complete “merging” of the northern provinces into the economies and infrastructures of the southern provinces would occur over the course of ten years, aiming to end in 2006. The northern provinces were administered militarily until these plans were announcement; after them, they were treated more like territories with federally-appointed province leaders; they aimed to allow the provinces to host local elections as early as 2001. The UN approved of the government’s administrative plan, as did China due to Dinger sticking to his then-still-unofficial pledge to not build any US military bases in the former DPRK. PRC hardliners, though, wanted American troops to leave the peninsula altogether, (Chairman Zhu’s Defense Minister famously bellowed “no more North, no more need!” in English to American reporters in Beijing on January 30, 1997), but Zhu believes that to aggressively push the US off the landmass was not viable in the face of international praise of the US-SK Alliance’s swift toppling of the Kim regime.

Documents declassified in 2009 reveal that additional back-channel talks commenced in late January, in which Dinger promised Zhu that American troop presence would be down to their lowest numbers in decades within a decade, but would be even sooner if order returned to the North. This incentivized Zhu to encourage the PRC hardliners to amp up their calls for US withdrawal in order to “apply the pressure of the ticking clock” to American forces stationed in the former DPRK…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

“I’ve never met Mr. Lennon for more than a handshake’s worth of seconds, so I don’t know that well, and so I don’t know what went through his mind when he thought it was a good idea to abandon the innocents of North Korea. I will concede, I also opposed the war when it first broke out. But I am not a politician. Mr. Lennon was in charge, in control, and in command. He knew more about the war and the conditions in the north than me or my husband Tommy or anyone not in government ever could have known. He knew, and he should have supported the liberation of those poor souls. Shame on him! Shame on you, Mr. Lennon!”

– Musician, artist, singer-songwriter and activist Yoko Ono, 2/2/1997

As it turned out, China was needed in “social reunification” efforts in Korea, playing a vital role in ending hostilities on the peninsula, because the formerly North Korean people had been taught that China was their ally. Thus, the “brainwashed” masses were much more willing to listen to representatives of the PRC than to those of the ROK or the USA. The “Reconciliation period” seemed much like couple’s therapy, but for the roughly 40,000 Northerners still swearing allegiance to the Kim family. Zhu offered his services to United Korea, and his efforts to help them approach these 40,000 or so, dubbed “The Reluctants,” slowly improved PRC-ROK relations.


Above: Zhu, pointing and smiling at the Korean press ahead of a 9 February 1997 meeting with Korean President Kim Young-sam in Seoul, Korea.

– Shan Li’s China in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press, 2003

…The Denton administration’s method of targeting “demand” on the streets, instead of the source of supply, led to the imprisoning of millions of American citizens who suffered from addiction, resulting in stigmatization and lost lives without any lasting or impactful effect on the recreadrug crisis. Their secondary method was the one that targeted supply, by going after drug dealers and drug makers; this, however, only created a game of whack-a-mole as promises of high profits continued to attract more of both. Illegal selling, distribution and consumption of fentanyl, heroin, crack/cocaine, and methamphetamines only continued, contributing to the public health crisis and muddying the waters surrounding marijuana. Solving the drug problem required a plan would bring about the erosion of the cartels’ business models, not imprison their victims or play cat-and-mouse with their lackeys. In early 1997, the Dinger administration shifted its focus from buyers and sellers to the financial sources of cartels’ powers to begin with. In February of that year, Dinger doubled the budget of the US Border Patrol for inspecting cargo containers going through all ports and entry-points. The US Postmaster General’s suddenly started getting national attention, as the department was tasked with monitoring and inspecting what people sent through the US postal service, and thus prompting many progressive activists to question the constitutionality of what they viewed as a violation of privacy?). The administration worked on intelligence gathering in collaboration with the governments of several Latin American countries, and on improving trade security measurement with those same nations as well...

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


…Kenny Rogers’ Roasters are now seeking to open up more outlets, both north and south of the former DMZ line…

BusinessWeek, mid-February 1997 issue

NATURE SHOCK: Canada Must Take Action Now To Avoid Ecological Disaster In The Next Millennium

– The Calgary Sun, Canadian newspaper, 2/19/1997 editorial

20 February 1997: on this day in history, the Kantanka car company Kantanka Automobile released its first CBU (Complete Built Unit) vehicle. Founded in 1994 by Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, the automotive manufacturing company quickly grew in the growth that followed the 1992-1994 Ghana Civil War. Kantanka Automobile takes great pride in working with local businesses for materials and components, and in hiring and training low-educated Ghanans to give them valuable working skills.


…With his approval ratings at an all-time low and members of the opposition trying to brand him as a “communist sympathizer,” the Prime Minister knew verbally denouncing the Kim regime over and over was not enough. On February 24, Lennon flew to Pyongyang in an elaborate publicity stunt. The city was reminiscent of London during the Blitz, with the addition of vandalized painted murals, frescoes, statues, and other propagandistic advertisements of the Kim Dynasty’s supposed glory. Lennon met with local leaders and toured orphanages and food distribution centers, all while talking about how to help the local survivors as quickly as possible, “these people need some helpful helping hands in the short term so they can stand on their own feet in the long term, and the peninsula can’t go at it alone.” Once back in London, Lennon began his quest to have the UK be the leading nation in humanitarian efforts in Korea, in order to make up for opposing the “war of liberation” (as some Conservatives who truly disliked Lennon spitefully called it) back in January 1996…

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

…Soon enough, another incident gave fodder to Kathleen Brown’s defense of her controversial mental health policy. On March 1, 1997, Bonnie Nettles of Mariposa was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility; Nettles, believing herself to be “the female reincarnation of Jesus,” had formed a small cult of 29 followers who had planned to gather in Yosemite National Park for a mass suicide on Christmas 1996, only for their event to be interrupted by state police [4]. The subsequent news coverage made Nettles and her cult a major talking point for those who believe that the social need for mental health care reform needed to be implemented at the federal level, possibly by amending it to or having it be covered by the 1990 UHC Act...

– Robert Wilder’s The Politics of Mental Health Services and Societal Protection in California, University of Sacramento Press, 2017

6 March 1997: on this day in history, American rapper Biggie Smalls released his 3rd album. Entitled “First To Last,” the album was widely successful, and featured production contributions from several young rap up-and-comers such as The Neptunes, Charli Baltimore, Timbaland, and others.



After 32 months of debate, which included two federal commissions to study gun violence trends, the Firearm Responsibility Act was signed into law today at the White House. Bipartisanship was not required due to the Republican Party’s D.C. “trifecta,” controlling the White House and a majority of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress; nevertheless, the bill, which had been worked on since June 1995, was supported by a majority of Democrats and nearly all Republicans on the hill. Thi8s bill, meant to curb gun violence in response to the assassination of President Iacocca, raises the federal minimum age for buying firearms from 18 to 21, except in Washington, D.C. and all US territories. The bill also mandates that a waiting period of no less than a week be established at all state levels, as well as background checks for all gun buyers. Further guidelines on the transfer of firearms across state lines are also imposed, as well as several other aspects that the champions of this bill believe with lead to a drop in gun violence and a rise in “Troubled Americans” seeking out “mental health assistance” instead of resort to violence. Here’s hoping.

The Washington Post, 3/12/1997

…In 1995, after Bryan Hillenburg floated the idea to representatives of Klasky Csupo, an animation company founded in 1982 known for producing children’s animation, the idea of producing an animated series based on the successful SpongeBob’s commercials was proposed to Stephen Hillenburg. Executives in SpongeBob’s marketing department leaped at the idea, comparing the concept as “a new level” in advertising. Stephen Hillenburg was reportedly opposed to the notion, calling it “blatant commercialism,” and not wanting such a notion to potentially “open the floodgates” and encourage other companies to make children’s programming for the sole purpose of selling products, despite being aware of precedence for such endeavors (as he reportedly declared "This is not General Electric Theater"). However, Hillenburg was a practitioner of Robert K. Greenleaf’s “servant leadership” philosophy, and thus put the matter to a vote at a union-managers meeting in early 1996; according to Bryan Hillenburg, over 75% of workers from all franchisees voted in favor of expanding into the Saturday Morning Cartoon industry.

In 1996, Klasky Csupo, in collaboration with DDB Needham, who held some distribution and merchandising rights but not intellectual property rights, began production on “The SpongeBob Zone,” colloquially known as simply “SpongeBob” or “The SpongeBob Show.” Based on the underwater world glimpsed at in the highly successful commercials airing since 1994 and centered around the chain's mascot (who was finally given the surname "SquarePants"), the production began on the series in collaboration with the SpongeBob Seafood Corporation, and with Stephen Hillenburg in particular; he insisted “we don’t shove a product into the kids’ faces every two minutes. Kids don’t respond to that. Have the characters simply use the soda fountain, show them eating the food while going on their adventures, show them having fun, and with the restaurant being an almost incidental part of it.”


The first episode aired on March 18, 1997. Set almost entirely within an underwater outlet of the SpongeBob’s restaurant franchise, meant to be “the original” restaurant, the titular character agrees to ditch work to hang out with his friend Patrick, only to yearn to return to the job he enjoys, and continuously delays leaving until closing time. The episode was a hit with children, while parental and educational “watch groups” appreciated the story not focusing on the products as many of them had apparently feared it would. While elaborate commercials for the franchise are still made today, the SpongeBob series would only last for five seasons…



…The 1996 state court ruling that upheld a state law that prevents employers from preventing employees from voting or firing them for taking time off work to exercise said employee’s right to vote, provided that the employee can prove that he spent his time off work going to vote. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bill by a margin of 7-3. Already, this decision has lead to several pro-business GOP US Representatives calling for an increase mail voting, arguing that it will render such laws moot if employees can vote from home. Calls for a bill expanding availability of mail voting may pick up support from rural areas, where geographical distance discourages drives into town, even for practicing in the democratic process...

The New York Times, 3/22/1997

The Korean Northern Provinces Renewal Assistance Bill was dubbed “A Marshall Plan for the North” by Newsweek upon its introduction in the Senate on March 26. Initiated by the State and Defense departments and by US Senator Richard "Dick" Obenshain in order to limited the influence of communism on the north (due to China’s own contributions to redeveloping said provinces), several fiscally-conscious and libertarian-leaning Republicans in the House nevertheless opposed the notion spending huge amounts of money to keep Korea financially sound. Already, guns-for-food drives had began established to try and demilitarize the region, and free health treatments were being offered by numerous charities. However, the KNPRA bill aimed to invest in modern technology and farming techniques in order to help the southern provinces bring the northern provinces into the modern world. Still, it would be a monumental undertaking; “Never before has an advanced state like the former South Korea had to fully integrate such a backwards third-world territory like the former North Korea,” as Obenshain put it in 2004.

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

Potatoes. They were the key to feeding the North. First introduced in northern Korea in the early 1800s, cultivation of this crop in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea exploded in the post-KW2 era. After a year of test-running, the United Korean government officially designated over 250,000 hectares of terrain for cultivation in March 1997. Experts flew in from Italy, Greece, Russia, Ireland, China and the United States to train the locals on how to use the latest modernization techniques, and architecture and agricultural firms showed up to help build, renovate, and/or repair farms and storage facilities.

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


[pic: ]

– President Dinger visiting an elementary school, late March 1997

…On April 2, 1997, freshman US Congressman Jim McGovern traveled to the North to study how the upper classes of the Kim regime had stockpiled food just prior to the war breaking out. He visited guarded semi-indoors farms, secluded and meant for personal use, and noted that the emergency temporary provincial governors were using them as large sources of immediate and fresh local food, but also noted that at the rate of use, there was usually not enough for all. After returning to DC, he began to work with local Korean government leader to discussion how to best implement food production methods, with the US Agriculture Department stepping in to help as well soon afterwards…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


…the City of Angels voted overwhelmingly for US Congressman Nikolas “Nick” Patsaouras to be its new Mayor. …After incumbent Tom Bradley retired due to declining health, Patsaouras launched a populist-progressive campaign focused on gun safety and mental health reform. …With the city giving him the nickname “Nik-Pat,” Patsaouras, age 50, bested his Republican challenger, businessman Steve Soboroff by a margin of 22%. He will become the city’s first Greek-American Mayor upon entering office on July 1…

The Los Angeles Times, 4/9/1997

11 April 1997: on this day in history, Burger Czar opened its first store. The fast-food company was founded by Marc Benioff, a Californian of Russian Jewish heritage who developed an interest on science and technology at a young age but became interested in how to utilize software in the food industry during the 1980s. In the 1990s, Benioff teamed up with several former Burger King executives to launch a “state-of-the-art greasy spoon,” later giving it a Russian theme to make it “stand out.” Benioff used the on-line advertising capabilities of the technet to launch the brand “Burger Czar” in the most successful utilizing of the technet for commercial promotion.


UN’s North Korean Tribunal Update: Witnesses Paint Bleak Picture as Defense Fumbles

…prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of North Korea, responsible for carrying out purges and hoarding food supplies for wealthy elites at a time of intense famine, have already been tried and found guilty, with most being sentenced to life in prison. Prosecution yet to occur concerns the personnel responsible for operating and managing labor camps and prison camps, those accused of crimes against humanity, and those accused of war crimes connected to the North Korean war-time scorched-earth policy…

The San Francisco Chronicle, 4/15/1997

…On April 18, 1997, Russian president Viktor Chernomyrdin announced that Russia’s space agency was resuming its Mars Program from the USSR era, which was founded in 1960 and was cancelled in the early 1980s [5]. Similar to the Lunokhod program of the 1970s, which sent Soviet Rovers to the Moon [6], Russia’s new “Project Besstrashiye (Fearlessness)” aimed to use proton rockets to land a manned crew on Mars in the year 2018 “if not sooner,” since that was the technology being developed since it was first used to deliver their contributions to the I.S.S. in the early 1990s.

Meanwhile, the European Space Agency was farther along in the race to see which nation could obtain which Mars-related accomplishments. On April 21, the ESA, via France’s space agency, launched the “Inquisitor” space probe from French Guiana in order to study the Red Planet’s polar ice deposits; four years and two months later, the probe discovered that there was enough water in Mars’ polar craters to support in theory a small human colony and a rocket fueling station [7] – again: in theory…

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

After being “traumatized out” of politics and losing full custody to Sarah, Donald doubled-down on his plans for Venice Beach, Santa Monica. After financial flops in the early 1990s, Donald would do everything in his power to ensure Trump Sunrise Tower would be finished on time, and without going into debt for a third time. He was beginning a slow but sure rise back to the top of the heap.


Above: Trump Sunrise Tower

To cover costs, especially those he blamed on California’s liberal labor laws, he gave his name to multiple products. Donald soon became a spokesperson for these sponsors, which included Chick-fil-A and the fledgling Burger King. In one commercial for the latter, first aired April 24, Donald remarks “I was the King of the baseball square, and now I’m the King of architecture, but this guy right here, the Burger King, he’s the King of Burgers. Now King like him and me have to stick together. That’s why I always eat Burger King, and that’s why you’ll find a Burger King right in the Trump Sunrise Tower opening next Feb-oo-wary in L.A.” The Burger King mascot then hands Donald a burger. Donald unconvincingly pretends to inspect it, and then goes “Thanks, Kingy, I always have it my way at your place.” After the narrator speed-reads the specs, Donald concludes the bit with a conversation that trails off: “If you need a moat around this restaurant, I know just the guys for it…”

– Kate Bohner’s The Art of The Don: The Unofficial Biography of Donald Trump, Times Books, 2017 edition

…People associated with the Wide-Awakes soon began calling for US military invention in several African countries, most frequently the central African nation of Zaire – which changed its name in 1997 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo after President Mobutu Sese Seko was overthrown – over multiple incidents ranging from minor rioting to full-blown civil war. However, none of these conflicts were of great concern to the US, or to American citizens. In fact, one study published in April 1997 revealed that 80% of Americans were not aware of the civil conflict in Zaire when asked.

Nevertheless, multiple notable individuals began to either publicly ally or privately promote the Wide-Awake Movement. Some like Bruce Carroll Pierce (b. 1954), a white supremacist located in Montana, were on the fringe of political discussions as failed to make headlines, while controversial columnist Peter Brimelow (b. 1947) wrote many articles reflects WAM views. Ben Lewis Jones (b. 1941), a former actor who had been a member of the US House of Representatives since 1989, first as a Democrat from Georgia, and then as a Republican from Georgia after 1991, was arguable one of its most recognizable supporters. As a result, despite its heinous supporters, the Wide-Awakes raised the prominence of a debate being held among certain political circles that focused on the following question: “What exactly was ‘the cut-off’ for US military intervention?”

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


…the standard-bearer of “Pragmatic,” or “Pro-West,” faction of the ASU Party, the incumbent since 8 May 1991 won a second six-year term with nearly 58% of the vote. In the election, he defeated Ahmad Husayn Khudayir as-Samarrai (of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party (reformed)), who received approximately 28% of the vote, and Arif Abd ar-Razzaq (of the ASU’s “Moderate” faction), who received roughly 12% of the vote…

The Guardian, UK newspaper 1/5/1997


…President Dinger is engaging in dismantling the US’s nuclear own stockpile in order to “lead the world by example.” At its height in 1966, the US’s nuclear stockpile had 31,000 warheads, but is now down to less than 8,000; Dinger plans to cut that number down to 6,000 “before I [he] leave office.” The move is largely considered to be in response to unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories claiming that nuclear material was stolen or smuggled out of the former North Korea prior to US-SK forces arriving. However, the move could possibly be to buck the “Wide-Awake” activists garnering attention from D.C. leaders, while still maintaining his “strong abroad and at home” stance. With the conclusion of the Cold War in 1984, the last American nuclear test occurred in 1986…

The Washington Post, 5/9/1997

“I think Kathleen Brown should be commended for her actions in California. They were not brash, they were bold. We need Brown’s brand of thinking in D.C.; that is why I am championing this legislation introduced in the Senate for mental health reform. To put it simply, this bill, if or when passed – and here’s hoping ‘when’ – will expand the expanse of the 1990 Universal Healthcare Act’s mental health care provisos. It’ll amend those provisos by making them also cover what we are calling ‘mental afflictions,’ which are basically debilitating conditions ranging from alcoholism and drug addiction to rage and anger management issues…”

– US Senator Terri McGovern (D-SD), Meet the Press interview, 5/14/1997

The biggest problem post-war Korea faced that had an international reverberation was arms trafficking. “In 12 years, Gunrunners have had two Christmases,” said former US Secretary of Defense William Westmoreland in a 1997 interview. “One was the fall of the USSR, the other was the Second Korea War. Now the Allies are focused on Chemical weapons, biological weapons, missiles, and so forth. So the AK Clones at Worker-Peasant Red Guards facilities? And the Makarov clones at the former DPRK storage facilities? They aren't going to guard them as closely.” Criticism of US-SK forces’ lack on properly obtaining or securing arms in the aftermath of the war seemingly fell on deaf ears as forces combated black market gangsters and anti-unification radicals sporadically sprouting up across the former DPRK. “Some buck Korean Private bored out of his mind? He can get a grand or two to ‘have a night on the town!’ The Allies aren’t worried because the AKs aren't weapons of mass destruction. Hell, I bet there are gun runners over there in the North right now who are basically being allowed to take guns, maybe with Kkhangpae help, maybe with fake CIA credentials, and everyone in the lowest rungs of the chain of command are just turning a blind eye to it!” [8]

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

THOMPSON: "When the DPRK fell, it was the second time my line of work was busy, I mean I got into the business in 1985, it was just so much money in guns. The USSR shit the bed and it was a black market fire sale for YEARS! Fighter planes, tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and warships. I mean I heard the Russians loved so much of one soda they sold a naval fleet to some soda company.
“The DPRK was harder, the tanks, and fighters, what was left, was better for scrap than war. But what interested me was the paramilitary and reserve arsenals. The first I saw were disappointing, either bombed out or destroyed but then came Hamhŭng! 49,000 Type 56 Clones! I mean the Type 56 is one of the larger batches of AK-47 clones out there! From there I hit the motherload at Sunch'ŏn I think it was the largest facility of weapons that the allies hadn't hit. I mean AK-47s, over a hundred thousand Tokarevs, I think they still had 20,000 Mosin–Nagants! 40,00 SKS's I mean that was huge! God that was where I first got the RPG7s, heavy machine guns and so forth. This was after the Korean mobsters and their spy minders came in and took what they wanted."

REPORTER: "So the Government let you take all those weapons?"

THOMPSON: "The CIA and whatever Korea's CIA is currently called took what they wanted and they allowed their Korean mafia friends to take a large share of the guns too."

REPORTER: "Why would spies allow a criminal group to take the weapons?"

THOMPSON: "Probably wanted to make sure they ran the black market, kept it controlled. That's what one of the Kkhangpae guys told me."

REPORTER: "And why would the Government allow that?"

THOMPSON: "Government authorities cared more about a peacenik with recreadrugs over a guy moving forty thousand AK-47s. And if they did care, I know the loopholes, the holes, and cracks to make them disappear. I mean you really think a bunch of CIA asshats give two fucks about John Q. Public? The CIA has only cared about keeping American interests protected and more importantly, American Business interests must be protected. Trust me I never liked the CIA but in this line of work, you become friends with spies. I never asked their names so I don't really care who they were. But you can tell the CIA if it is another white guy in far northern Korea, not wearing a uniform or press pass." [9]

– Interview with “Tommy Gun Thompson,” reclusive former arms trafficker, TumbleweedTV, 2016


The Washington Post, 5/20/1997

Anchor DAN RATHER: …We have some troubling news from Torreon, Durango, Mexico, where 11 Journalists and government officials have been killed in a cam bombing, likely planted by members of the expanding Sinaloa Cartel. At the moment, it appears that the deadly attack was in response to Mexican police killing one of the cartel’s regional leaders in a warehouse raid that happened earlier this month.


Former Ambassador to Mexico BEN FERNANDEZ: “The Sinaloa Cartel intimidate locals wanting to live in a safe, law-abiding society. And because the cartels do not just push recreadrugs – they pay off local police, elected officials, even teachers and business owners to look the other way. And locals, especially now that Mexico’s economy is in the toilet, are becoming trapped into a ruthless cycle of violence.”


Former US Secretary of Defense WILLIAM WESTMORELAND: “We need to give these cartels a kick in the pants. These cartels need to be taught the lesson that, in the long run, crime does not pay. …I don’t think working with Mexican law enforcement is working. These cartels are pushing recreadrugs onto America’s youth – that, if anything, would perfectly justify President Dinger ordering our troops to cross the border and settle this thing once and for all!”

– CBS Evening News, 5/29/1997

INTERVIEWER: “Can you let us in on anything about the upcoming Disney movie ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’?”

BULLOCK: “Well because I voice the Queen, I actually recorded a lot of dialogue with Kelsey Grammer, who plays both The King and The Court Jester. And, uh, he did a phenomenal job in my opinion. Having the dual role, I think, it really gave him an opportunity to show off both sides of his acting skills – the lovable goofy side shown of Frasier and Futurama, and the serious side shown in Periscope Down and his many leading theatrical roles – and in Frasier, too, now that I think about it!”

– Sandra Bullock interview, The Hollywood Reporter, 6/1/1997

…In the 1990s, fast-food companies were welcomed into school cafeterias because it helped fund the school lunch programs slowly being cut by state governments in response to spending cuts made under the Iacocca Administration and, to a greater extent, the Dinger Administration as well. By the end of the decade, surveys showed a large majority of public schools had contracts with at least one major (a.k.a. no less than 50 outlets) fast-food franchises…

– Josh Ozersky’s Colonel Sanders and the American Dream, University of Texas Press, 2012

…NASA ultimately announced that the administration would select the crew of the 2003 Mars Mission from American astronauts. Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev (b. 1958), a mechanical engineer cosmonaut, who flew on the I.S.S. and in the Shuttle-Mir Program, joined British astronaut Helen Sharman in calling for NASA to reconsider the policy, arguing it shut out the world’s best and brightest and made the mission a clearly American endeavor, instead of it being a global endeavor. Soon, French astronauts Jean-Loup Chretien, Michel Tognini, Jean-Pierre Haignere, Claudie Haignere, Leopold Eyharts began demanding they be vetted for a spot on the mission. German astronauts Klaus-Dietrich Flade, Ulf Merbold, Thomas Reiter, and Reinhold Ewald followed suit, as did Austrian astronaut Franz Viehbock and Slovakian astronaut Ivan Bella…

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


If you’ve ever traveled to Korea, you may have noticed a gray-haired southerner promoting chicken on posters, banners, billboards and other advertisements. Give these promotions more than just a passing glance, and you quickly realize they are not promoting Colonel Sander’s KFC, but Kenny Rogers’ KRR: Kenny Rogers Roasters. In a noticeable departure from its neighbors China and Japan, Korea has taken a liking not to the American icon of Kentucky Fried Chicken but to the American singer of “The Gambler” and “Lady.” Why? Because of timing, and bravery on Mr. Rogers’ part.

Kenny Rogers got into the food business through his music career, appearing in several commercials for the Dole Food Company. In 1991, believing that the Colonel’s passing would spell disaster for KFC, giving newcomers a chance to make a firm foothold in the fast-food chicken industry, Rogers ventured into a partnership with several former employees of Chick-fil-A, who had left that company over its founder’s religious practices allegedly “inhibiting fiscally-sound options.” Soon, later that same year, Kenny Rogers Roasters’ first restaurant had its grand opening in Rogers’ home town of Houston, Texas.

The menu of Kenny Rogers Roasters originally featured wood-fired rotisserie chicken, but by 1995, the menu had expanded to include turkey, ribs, and various side dishes. As a brand, Kenny Rogers Roasters advocates healthy eating as reflected in its brand tag line "less fat...less salt...less calories." The chain eventually grew to over 350 restaurants, including locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The establishment became so well-known that the November 14, 1996 episode of the TV series “Seinfeld” (1989-2001), entitled "The Chicken Roaster,” centered around the character Kramer's love of Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken.

At the start of its history, Kenny Rogers Roasters found itself in competition with “Boston Chicken” and several smaller roasted chicken chains. Kentucky Fried Chicken also introduced a roasted chicken line of products called Rotisserie Gold to compete with Roasters and Boston Chicken in 1995. In December 1992, Clucker's, a smaller player in the roasted chicken market, sued Kenny Rogers Roasters, claiming the chain had copied its recipes and menus. The lawsuit continued until Kenny Rogers Roasters purchased a majority stake in Clucker’s in August 1994. [10]

With growing success and a legal battle ending with them as the victor, Rogers and his cohorts were feeling bold and ambitious. This drive lead to Rogers turning his attention to Korea once the Second Korean War began to wrap up. Upon the collapse of Communist Korea in 1996, American companies were wary of investing in the newly liberation country because of reports of black markets and mafias run rampant. Kenny Rogers’ supporters saw things differently, believing the land to instead be prime real estate. Kenny Rogers’ Roasters swiftly moved in on Korea, opening up an outlet in Pyongyang in late 1996 before expanding into Seoul and opening up a second outlet there in early 1997.


Above: a KRR outlet at a Seoul food court, c. summer 1997

And what was KFC doing during all this? Testing possible menu items. They came up with a u-shaped chicken being used as a hot dog bun, and flattened chicken being used for a proposed KFC Pizza chain. Yeah, they dropped the ball on this one big time. Granted, in KFC’s credit, the company also mobilized charities and charitable contributions for, and donated money to, redeveloping Korea.

Despite everything, it is now ten years later, and most Koreans, in a scene bizarre to most outside the country, associated Kenny Rogers with chicken dinner instead of Colonel Sanders.


North Korea’s primary economy in the immediate aftermath of the War of Reunification was the Black Market; maintained semi-discreetly under the Kim dynasty, smugglers and their compatriots boldly sold their wars out in the open as US-SK forces were initially stretched thin across the newly-liberated land. The Kkangpae of South Korea – the gangsters and thugs populating the south’s seedy underbelly – who were facing periodic crackdowns south of the DMZ, were quick to move in on the prime, newly-cleared real estate up north. As the months progressed, clashes between the Kkangpae and local Northerner mobsters clashed over turf. This allowed the Yakuza of Japan to seek to do business with rival groups on the Peninsula, often pitting groups against one another to have competition wipe each other out.

Thus, the US-SK Alliance went from combating one group – the DPRK military – to four rivaling groups – the Northern Black Market, the Kkangpae, and the “visiting” Yakuza. This situation meant that US Commander Gary Luck, his South Korean counterpart, soldiers on the ground, and diplomatic experts, all sought to combat organized crime without “tarnishing the brands” of democracy and market economics. Obviously, this was no easy undertaking.

Back in Japan, the surviving members of the Yamaguchi-gumi Yakuza group sought to reconquer ground lost to police and rival syndicates by cashing in on the sudden influx of formerly-DPRK guns being smuggled out of Korea...

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

UNIDENTIFIED ADVISOR: The good news is that the Northerners who’ve emigrated south seem to have quickly likened to capitalism, likely thanks to humanitarian efforts led by the WHO, the UN, the US, Japan, the UK, Canada and other countries. The bad news is that some of them are being discriminated against. You can tell by their demeanor, their accent, and even their height.

KIM YOUNG-SAM: Terrible, but understandable. We lost a lot of good people to their side. No doubt, a lot of survivors and soldiers are angry over their loved ones, dead or still dying from the gases. In some people, that anger will never subside.

UNIDENTIFIED ADVISOR: But experiences of hospitality have been overwhelming more common for former Northerners – at least, initially. Now, though, now that the war’s been over for over a year now, uh, people are starting to notice more people in the cities more willing to do dirty jobs, low-paying jobs that are blissful compared to the hell they went through before the war. Southerner workers have higher standards and more demands from employees, so there is a big disconnect between how northerners and southerners view working conditions.

KIM YOUNG-SAM: Don’t tell me. We are heading towards a massive unemployment crisis in the south, aren’t we?

UNIDENTIFIED ADVISOR: Mm, more like an employment quality crisis, um, sir.

– Transcript of private recording, 6/21/1997

FORMER US SENATOR JACK RAESE: It is, to me, atrocious how Dinger and the Republican Senate are considering allocating, uh, redirecting funds from federal welfare programs to fund things like rebuilding Korea and combating drug lords in Mexico, both place where there ain’t that many Americans.

FORMER US DEFENSE SECRETARY ROCKY VERSACE: Well hey, in Dinger’s defense, the Balanced Budget Amendment is great in theory but really limiting in practice, and with Korea and recreadrugs being top priority, certain domestic programs have to, you know, temporarily take one for the team.

– TON Nighttime News, round-table debate, 6/27/1997

With the President and Congress disagreeing on funding for federal operations and agencies, the federal government came incredibly close to having a funding gap [11]. In such a scenario, non-essential personnel would be furloughed, temporarily leaving employment, and, in essence, the federal government systems’ processes would be disrupted. As a contingency plan, assistants for Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole hired a private security company to patrol federal monuments in the event of a funding gap. The failure to adhere to the BBA would also prevent congress from working at proper capacity until the gap was closed, which would likely cause congressional leaders to shorten summer recess by a month to make up for lost time.

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

DINGER, SENATORS REACH FUNDING COMPROMISE: US To Limit Financial Loans To Korea To Avoid Cutting Domestic Food Aid Programs

The Washington Post, 6/30/1997


…according to observers, the bilateral discussions between US President Larry Dinger and Mexican President Luis Colosio over immigration law have borne fruit… there is a “very real and very likely chance” that a bilateral immigration policy treaty or act will be agreed to and signed early next year...

The Los Angeles Times, 7/15/1997

From my perspective, reunification and reconstruction in the North was going relatively well until July 18, when a cam bomb planted by a radical communist diehard in Tanchon killed three South Korean military officers, and injured 23 people total. Two days later, President Dinger announced that US peacekeeping forces would stay in the North “for as long as it takes.” The comments suggests an indefinite occupation, and resulted in France and Canada soon after announcing that they would be withdrawing their own troops from the peacekeeping coalition come September.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


The territory of the former DPRK could have a high amount of rare earth elements nestled under its mountainous terrain. Given that it was a reclusive country until recently, these resources have not yet been exploited, which means that explorations of RE deposits have begun, and this could potentially upset the current global order. Just as the Cold War split the world along ideological lines, this trove of resources may create fissures between those who have access to its rare metal resources and those who do not. Because entire industries are built on a few rare metals, disruptions to their supply can have profound global implications while providing some countries with tremendous leverage. Conversely, the rise of a new possessor of such metals can lower the prominence and economic health of other countries and regions.

Erbium, Thulium, Cerium, Samarium, Lithium . . . these are some of the elements that under the “rare earth” label. Many of the technological advances that have been realized over the past few decades have elements derived from the seventeen elements of the periodic table.

Not insignificantly, rare earth elements are also an essential component for the arms industry. “Neodymium” is used to produce bombs, lasers, radars and sonars, “Dysprosium” for missile guidance and video systems, and “Terbium” is used for electric motorization. The United States owns the third largest reserve in the world, with the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California. That mine was the world’s leading producer until the 1980s, which is when China entered the element market and is poised to surpass the US in production fairly soon. The main factors in China’s market rise is the nation’s relative availability of cheap labor and a lack of concern over environmental and work conditions. It is not impossible for the new United Korean government to follow in China’s footsteps. Already, China’s Treasury and Mining ministers have met with Korea’s President Kim Young-sam.

Recent studies suggest that the area once known as North Korea could in fact have some largest reserves of rare earth materials in the world. These deposits cannot at present be exploited, however, due to a lack of infrastructure and workers in the region, as the Kim dynasty failed to update their mining system for years, and as more and more “Northerners” emigrate to south of the former DMZ. Implementing the proper infrastructure needing to mineral extraction will increase the costs of starting said mining projects, create higher operating costs, and lead to the production of more expensive metals. On top of feeding, housing and treats the health issues of millions of ex-northerners, it is debatable whether or not United Korea will be able to afford such an investment despite its high chance of rewarding results.

The Jongju site, in the former North Korea, is home to nearly 216.2 million tons of rare earth oxides, double the known world reserves. In terms of monetary value, if these figures are accurate, United Korea officials estimate the value of these mineral resources to be no less than around roughly $1.752 billion [12]. According to the Korea Resources Corporation (KORES) report, the former North Korean provinces collectively could hold vast amounts of magnesite (six billion tons), graphite (two billion tons), iron ore (five billion tons) and tungsten (250,000 tons). [13] If projections are correct, and businesses and consumers continue to pay attention to alternative energy forms requiring such elements – from solar panels to wind turbines to electric-battery vehicles – the country of Korea could become a key player in the rare earth industry, with the United States and China as its main potential buyers.

The Financial Times, UK newspaper, 21/7/1997

…John A. Davis pitched the concept of Jimmy Neutron to Warner Bro’s Nickelodeon network in the fall of 1995; executives immediately expressed interest in the series due to its characters’ personalities, and greenlit a series after a “pilot short” was completed in 1996. The Overmyer Network purchased the distribution rights to it in 1997, ahead of its full-length pilot premiering on July 25, 1997. The series’ CRI animation was considered groundbreaking at the time, arguably rivaling Disney’s Toy Story from just a few years before. However, its character models were slightly enhanced for its second season, and were given greater detail and more realistic movement when production began on the 2002 Jimmy Neutron film, which may or may not have been initially greenlit in an attempt to capitalize on the 2003 Mars Mission that captivated millions and dominated over a large part of popular culture during the late 1990s and early 2000s…

– Kristen Whissel’s CRI: Computer-Rendered Imagery And The History Special Effects of the Computer Age, Penguin Publishing, 2013

On August 1, 1997, Dave Foley had his first “breakout” role, thanks to getting Award-winning A-list stars such as Kelly Preston and George Clooney so play supporting roles in the comedy film “The Wrong Guy.” The story followed a fired employee who flees to Mexico after finding his boss murdered and falsely believing he’s been framed for it. …The film had minor cameos from fellow members of The Kids In The Hall TV series; the film also jabs at the poor reception The KITH Movie received upon its release over a year earlier in a quick visual gag…


Above: Foley appeared on The Tonight Show With David Letterman on July 26 to promote the film

– James A. Miller and Tom Shales’ The Comedy Wars: SNL vs. CSTV, Vanguard Publishing, 2016 edition


…a deadly riot snowballed into a major conflict between Indian and Pakistani troops in the biggest outbreak of warfare between the two nations since hostilities seemingly subsided in the wake of the 1989 India-Pakistan Peace Treaty…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 30/7/1997

“…I defected at just the right time, it seems to me. When the gun smoke settled, I became involved in obtaining food donations for the husk of my former country. But I kept my face out of things. No, I kept a low profile and worked as a liaison of sorts between local governments, food companies, food charities, and the US and SK governments. Most importantly, though, is that I helped the North adapt to and adopt the advanced technology pouring in from the South…”

– So Kwan-hui, former Minister of Agriculture for North Korea, 2007 interview


…former US Senator Joe Biden has backed legislation that will increase federal prison funds, saying to members of the press earlier today that the President’s budget proposals for FY1997 work against his own administration’s goals: “These types of budget cuts certainly would seem to contradict a serious effort to develop a federal drug strategy” [14]. Praising his former colleague’s ongoing efforts to curb illegal drug use, Biden’s comment come at a time when crack cocaine is at the center of a growing debate on the nature of recreadrugs and their place in both American society and America’s legal system. Year after year, more people are coming out in support of legalizing either medical marijuana or both medical and recreational marijuana, for financial and/or medical reasons. “The nation is under siege, a siege conducted by illicit narcotics, they’ve infiltrated America’s inner cities and the South, they’re plaguing the poor, the juvenile, it’s a mess and we’ve got to clean it up before it gets worse,” says Biden...

The Washington Post, 8/8/1996

…The “Kotjebi” orphans of Korea were sent to foster homes and into the orphanage system established in South Korea with help from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity religious congregation. …US Representatives Steven Craig Gunderson (R-WI) joined fellow Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) and several other American lawmakers working on programs to feed the food-insecure children and ensure they were sent to good families and orphanages. Child adoption agencies in the states, Europe, and elsewhere did their part in pushing for prospective adoptive parents to consider adopting a Kotjebi…

– Jang Jin-Sung, Yeonmi Park, and Maryanne Vollers’ In Order To Live: Tales of Surviving The Great Korean Famine, Red Sun Press, 2016


[pic: ]

– US President Larry Dinger discusses post-war renewal efforts and security queries with United Korean President Kim Young-sam and US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell at Camp David, 8/11/1997

August 14: The I.S.S. observes, monitors and records the largest-yet collection of sub-millimeter wave emission lines of trace gas molecules in the stratosphere. The recording is made onboard the I.S.S. Module “Champion,” made by the European Space Agency, which was found in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France.



…however, the United Korean government noted that several high-profile individuals are still at large, and will be brought to justice if/when apprehended…

The Washington Post, 8/19/1997

As mentioned previously, the Three-Day War of 1995 was a debilitating misstep on the part of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. His attempt to bombard Israel and lead other nations against them over an overblown local incident instead led to multiple regional powers coming to Israel’s defense, albeit to protect their financial investments in Israel’s economy. In its aftermath, Syria was left diplomatically isolated. Assad granting political asylum to former members of the DPRK military and political elite only worsened his reputation on the world stage. Inside Syria, though, his cult of personality kept a thin majority of Syrians supportive of his regime. Instead, it seems the place where these miscalculations had the most impact was Assad’s physical health, as he reportedly suffered yet another heart attack in November 1996.

By the summer of 1997, Assad’s health had deteriorated significantly; western diplomats reported the leader struggled to stay focused and at times even awake during meetings; increased seclusion from day-to-day government affairs led to the government operating largely without his input. On August 25, Assad suffered a third heart attack, brought on by a sudden resurgence of his phlebitis condition and complications to his diabetes. This time, it was fatal; he was 66.

The death of Assad immediately triggered a succession crisis. Assad’s 35-year-old son Bassel “The Golden Knight” Assad had long been groomed for the office, but had not yet taken the proper position of Vice President in the Syrian line of Presidential succession, as the nation’s succession laws had not yet been amended. As a result, Abdul Halim Khaddam became President. Bassel at first believed Khaddam would serve as an “Acting President” at step aside for “the heir apparent” soon, only for Khaddam to immediately declare that he was “undisputedly, undeniably, and unquestionably in command.” Immediately, several military leaders sided with Bassel (but not all, as the Assad family had soured on many in the military due to them blaming Hafez for “losing” the Three-Day War), while nearly all political leaders sided with Khaddam. Calling their actions a “treasonous coup,” Assad declared himself “the rightful President.” Supporters of the two men locked in a power struggle escalated the situation with riots as civil warfare broke out across the country. The Syrian Civil War of the late 1990s had begun.

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


– The Washington Post, 8/30/1997

NEW BOB ROSS NATURE SHOW FOR KIDS PREMIERS: Painter Promotes The Beauty of The Planet


[pic: ]

…the former Governor of Alaska and art instructor on public access TV has developed a children’s show about wildlife in order to “branch out from art and” promote actively helping to protect and preserve Mother Nature. “In his last year in office, amid his medical and health problems, Bob held onto an idea for a kids’ show called Bob’s World, where he went out into nature and taught kids about wildlife,” explains his former Chief of Staff…

– The Anchorage Daily News, 9/3/1997

…On September 5, 1997, the International Olympic Committee announced that they had chosen Beijing, China to host the 2004 Olympics, having defeated Athens, Rome, Cape Town, Stockholm, Oslo and Buenos Aires in six rounds of voting; Rome was the runner-up. Chairman Zhu’s single 12-year term was scheduled to end on June 21, 2004, and though these games were set to be held two months later, in August, Zhu considered them to be “the true and proper conclusion” to his time in power. Beijing was chosen in 1997 for 2004 after being rejected for the 2000 Olympics back in 1993 due to the changes in geopolitical circumstances since that time. The regional threat of the Kim regime was no longer an issue, and because of Zhu’s labor improvements in the past five years, manual workers in China were experienced relatively better standards. Naturally, protests still broke out over the selection, but they failed to change the IOC’s decision – at least, as of the time of my writing this, that is…

– Shan Li’s China in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press, 2003

REVERED MOTHER TERESA DIES! “Angel of Mercy” Suffers Fatal Heart Attack, Aged 87

…the Nobel Prize-winning champion of the poor will be buried Wednesday beneath Calcutta Chapel…

– The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/6/1997

“Handling the anti-Norther Southies and the Northers themselves was complicated. On one hand, it was hard enough to tell the two groups apart, but they basically spoke the same language, too. But, thank Jesus, there were telling signs. Northers were shorter and thinner, and spoke with a slight accent, like someone who wasn’t too educated, at least according to the Southies I talked to while I was over there. All sounds the same to me, to be honest. But more telling was that many Southies could speak English but no Northers could, none at all. So if you spoke to a Korean and they just looked at you in confusion, and they short, and they thin, then you may have to a Norther in front of you.”

– Veteran James L. Jones Jr., 2006

MEXICO’S MONEY MELEES: Shaky Economy Giving Investors Pause

…US analysts are also wondering how soon America will feel the effects of Mexico’s recession. “Scores of produce and merchandise sold in the US come from across the border,” says former US Ambassador to Mexico Ben Fernandez, “And with Mexico essentially going bankrupt, banks are foreclosing on farms and factories, worsening the problem as people lose work and American companies have to scramble to figure out how to meet consumer demand. The situation in Mexico is only worsening at the moment, and so, right now, it’s a question of when America’s economy will feel the effects of this, not if we’ll feel its effects.”

The Wall Street Journal, 9/13/1997

MASSACRE! GUNFIGHT AT US-MEXICO BORDER LEAVES 17 DEAD NEAR EL PASO!; 5 Border Agents Killed Stopping Cartel Smuggling Attempt

– The New York Times, 9/18/1997

“I have met with the President of Mexico and he and President Dinger are in agreement; the heinous acts of the scourges plaguing both countries merit further investments, involvement, and dedication to combating them and their suppliers.”

– US Secretary of Defense John McCain, 9/17/1997

…When The Whoop-Ass Girls began being advertised ahead of its September 19, 1997 premier, the “Ass” part of its controversial title was always censored with a character standing or flying in front of it. Outside of the United States, such in TV stations across Europe, the series was instead called The Power Punch Girls… The Overmyer Network’s Ton-o-Toons’ airing of The Whoop-Ass Girls came during an era of animation that “pushed the envelope,” as Joe Murray, creator of Rocko’s Modern Life (1992-1997) once put it; an era that saw many animated TV shows such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Futurama and High High either lightly touch on or deeply explore controversial material and subjects despite some of these shows being meant for young or younger audiences…


…Depending on the type, a potato can take anywhere from 70 to 130 frost-free days to reach harvest. By September 1997, the North’s first post-war potato crop output was undoubtedly a success, ensuring locals would be fed that winter.


Above: farmers harvest potatoes with sacks and a repaired truck; a brand-new tractor is in the background

News of the successful harvest lead to many northerners emigrate back to their former homes from their new residents in the South, though most chose to continue to remain in the more “established” southern provinces. Nonetheless, experts took note of the soil composition in the north, and began considering establishing hydroponic farms to counter the regions’ small amount of actually workable arable land. The first hydroponics farm was established in Pyongyang by the end of the year….

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

Meanwhile, KFC’s newest offerings such as the “hot chicken dog” – a hot dog with a thick u-shaped piece of breaded chicken in lieu of a traditional hotdog bun, introduced in July – and the “KFC Pizza” – basically, just KFC popcorn chicken on top of a cheese pizza, introduced in September 1996 – proved to have underwhelming long-term sales once the hype wore off. The company took this to mean these items were “disastrously unpopular,” when they instead only were able to develop minor niche followings. Rumors of the company actually making less money in the upcoming Fiscal Year than in the previous FY, which would be the first time such a downward trend would occur for the company since the Crash of 1978 constricted American spending habits, began to spread in the face of financial losses connected to the dog, the ’za, and the company investing in post-war Korean recovery with considerate charitable donations but only one franchise outlet (in Pyongyang)…

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

…In Washington, D.C., Senator Ralph Nader, a public safety advocate who rose to prominence by opposing the car industry, is now working with car companies to promote the self-driving car. Early testing of second-generation Chrysler EPIC, or Electric Powered Interurban Chariot, a seater-minivan first built by the company in 1993, has led to researchers concluding that these new cars are more environmentally friendly than regular cars. Testing of Ford’s Ranger EV, a battery-powered compact pickup, have also suggested that that pickup may be better for the environment than typical gas-powered vehicles. As a result, Nader is calling for tax incentives to promote car companies making more such cars. The recent resurgence in electrically-charged cars comes after years of the technology become more commonplace in the industry and easier in install into vehicles, thus lowering the price tag on these kind of cars. In turn, more people are buying these kind of vehicles…

– ABC Morning News, 10/1/1997 broadcast

…In London, England experts climatologists from around the world gathered today to coordinate G.C.D. Mobilization efforts. Leading scientific experts in the United States, meanwhile, are pushing for the creation of a multi-state initiative to combat the impact of carbon emissions on the global climate…

– CBS Evening News, 10/8/1997 broadcast


…With Republicans firmly controlling both chambers of Congress, the GOP is successfully executing the Dinger White House’s plan to “strip” U.H.C., as US Senator Roberto Mondragon (D-NM) has called it, of “excessive parts of its cost,” as the White House Press Secretary has put it. Citing the constrains of the Balanced Budget Amendment, the Dinger administration is aiming for a more “efficient” welfare state, says the White House Press Secretary. The White House has also planned on coordinating with state governors so that rural areas can offer special programs and funding services to keep hospitals in said rural areas financial solvent...

The Washington Post, 10/14/1997

“DShk 1938. The Russian answer to the Browning .50 caliber machine gun. And there was the KPV, a 14.5mm machine gun. I sold hundreds of those but the customers that wanted that the most were the Mexican cartels. It was in a facility outside of Pyongyang where I found them. It was like Alibaba’s treasure cave. Just guns as far as I could see.

“The KPV turns people to mist, tears up most conventional vehicle armor for VIP protection, at least at the time. I mean we saw what it would do in Mexico a few years later. I mean those armored limos didn’t stand a chance.” I made a noise that sounded like a machine gun firing.

“So how many guns did you give the cartels of Mexico?” asked the reporter.

“Oh, I sold so many guns, I started a gun business in Central America. Of course, I stored most of my guns in the US, in California, my home state. From there and from Costa Rica and Panama, I sold to cartels, the Yakuza loved the handguns, but when they wanted a fight, an AK-47 was their pride and joy. The gangs in South Central LA, the remnants of the mob, nut jobs in the woods, and of course people who bought my guns to sell them.”

“So you’re businesses weren’t just a front?” the reporter asked.

“They may have been but it became so profitable I actually got some of the early rights to Korean made weapons in the states. The USAS-12 Autoshotgun was not my idea, but the Atchinson Automatic Shotgun? That was my baby. And when the American military bought it later in bulk? By god was I proud.” As a gunrunner, I smile. “Though even with so much Soviet style weapons I had to set up some facilities to make Soviet bullets for some of the guns, too.”

“But how did you even get the money to start your business in the first place?”

“Apart from my previous sales, I got a loan from a big bank; one of those guys I saw in Korea, I saw again in Mexico, but what floored me was seeing him at the bank I got the loan from. He had left the CIA at that time but made sure my loan got through good.”

The reporter asked another question – it was sort of a pattern with him. “You mean he was connected to the CIA?”

“I mean them Agency guys, they’re a bunch of East Coast preppies, but hey I am just a hyped up used car salesman that started making his own brand. But I know enough of them were involved in that shit in Korea and other areas that they did what I wanted often.” I smile again. “They can try all they want but I know a few of those shit birds that are in Congress and I can end their careers with the pictures and documents I have.” [15]

– Tommy Gun Thompson’s With Cold, Dead Eyes: A Gun Runner’s Confessions, Borders Books, 2015


The Washington Post, 10/17/1997


[pic: ]

– Musician Kurt Cobain messing around with statues of fast food icons, c. October 1997

This book is dedicated to all of my friends, for always putting up with me when they could have walked away at any time; to my parents, for always believing in me; and to James Trigg Adams Sr., my husband for many years and the father of my beloved children, who died at the age of 88 this past October.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

“Republicans should be just fine on Tuesday, I really don’t think Democrats will perform well at all, especially not the progressive candidates on the ballot.”

– James Carville, former political advisor to John Glenn, TON Nighttime News, round-table discussion, 10/30/1997


…the popular incumbent NYC Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, won a second term tonight in landslide, winning over 70% of the vote in his defeat of his biggest challenger, former US Congressman Herman Badillo, who switched from being a Democrat to being a Republican less than a year ago…

The New York Times, 11/4/1997


…despite incumbent Governor George Allen (R) suffering from low approval ratings, state Attorney General Jim Gilmore (R) managed to pull off a narrow victory last night over Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer (D)…

– The Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/5/1997


…On February 27, New Jersey Governor Maryanne Trump Giuliani (R) resigned from office after President Dinger appointed her to a Federal Circuit Judge amidst low approval polls and a surprisingly prominent gubernatorial primary challenge. Because New Jersey has no Lieutenant Governor, the President of the state Senate, Richard J. Codey (D), has been serving as Acting Governor since her resignation. Codey declined to run for a term of his, opting to instead continue to serve in the state senate, which he was done since 1978. With the race wide open, dark horse candidate Richard Pucci won the Democratic Nomination. Pucci, 51, was the Executive Director of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority since its creation in 1989, and was the Mayor of Monroe Township, a rural-suburban community in central NJ, since 1987. This past Tuesday, Pucci defeated Republican challenger José F. Sosa, a 46-year-old Republican state assemblyman; Pucci won over elderly voters by touting his improvements of his town’s and his county’s hospital and retirement community systems.

Pucci faces several challenges left behind by Governor Giuliani. Upon entering office in January 1994, Giuliani kept to her campaign promise of lower state property taxes by 10% each year; this led to rising concerns over tax revenue shortfalls, which Giuliani failed to address, and refused to raise state income taxes to make up for the predicted budget shortfalls, instead promoting the Garden State to new businesses. Under Giuliani, the state’s recreadrug worries rose as the Governor refused to spend tax money on needle exchange programs to reduce drug-related infections and disease-spreading, and vetoed a state law meant to improve rehab clinic conditions...

The Washington Post, 11/6/1997


…after weeks of talks with several international leaders, including the leaders of Canada and France, Dinger has reversed his previous stance on US military presence in Korea. Dinger now plans on slowly withdrawing our troops from the region, and on decommissioning 50% of US military bases in the former South Korea territory by January 2001… This is currently uncertain if this development will lead to Canada and France rejoining the peacekeeping coalition in northern Korea…


Above: Dinger sits down with the Seoul-appointed interim Mayor of Pyongyang to discuss the possible use of US military troops in the former capital city as a form of “special security.” The idea was ultimately scrapped over concerns over PRC reaction to it.

The Los Angeles Times, 11/16/1997

TITANIC (1997)

Premiered: November 19, 1997 (U.S.)
Genre(s): epic/disaster/romance
Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron
Produced by: James Cameron and Jon Landau

Chris O’Donnell as Jack Dawson
Claire Danes as Rose DuBois
Anna Lee as Elderly/Present-Day Rose
Matthew McConaughey as Cal Harkins
Frances McDonald as Ruth DuBois, Rose’s mother
Christopher Jones as Charles Barnes, Rose’s maternal grandfather
Bill Pullman as Brock Majors
Stephen Dorff as Tommy
Mikey Cuccione as Fabrizio
Kathy Bates as Margaret “Molly” Brown
Victor Garber as Thomas Andrews
Sean Connery as Captain Edward Smith
David Garrison as J. Bruce Ismay
See Full List Here


Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1: Kevin Smith Unofficially Co-Wrote The Ending

The original ending was greatly different that what happens in the movie (warning: ruiners ahead). The difference between the original version and the final draft begins when Rose agrees to enter the lowering lifeboat while Jack and Cal stay on board to find another lifeboat despite both knowing there are none left. In the final version, Cal ends up chasing Jack through the sinking ship trying to kill him, leading to both of them end up on floating debris. As a result, all three are rescued, albeit at near-death, but each believe the other two are dead. However, when reunited at the dock in New York City, Cal confronts Rose and lambasts her siding with Jack over him, only for Rose, to her surprise, to receive support from her mother and other wealthy survivors who witnessed Jack’s heroic acts as the ship was sinking. In the original version, Rose irrationally climbs back onto the ship and Cal sneaks onto another lifeboat, similarly to the J. Bruce Ismay character’s actions, which is redundant. The story ended on a completely different and somber note, with Jack and Rose failing to find adequate debris to hold onto. According to these early script drafts, this leads to Rose holding onto a door that is, apparently, too small for Jack to also hold on to, and he DIES. That’s right - the story was going to steal half the ending of Romeo and Juliet and have Jack freeze to death in the water. The movie then would have shown Rose simply hiding from not only Cal for the rest of his life (how would she have pulled that off?), but, presumably, never meeting up with her mother ever again, as she changes her name and everything; talk about cold. Overall, the original ending left the characters’ fates too open-ended to be satisfying and left a bittersweet taste in Kevin Smith’s mouth. When Smith, Cameron’s budding apprentice, convinced Cameron to change the ending, Cameron was initially reluctant to because he wanted the audience to understand “how tragic this all was,” and so to make up for Jack surviving, more focus was given to other characters who die. The death of Rose’s grandfather was also written into the story for this reason as well, which is often considered one of the saddest scenes in the movie, if not the saddest.



…Pizza Hut, one of the largest pizza franchises in the country, introduced its stuffed-crust pizza option in March 1995, and immediately, it became an enormous success... The concept of filling the bread edge with cheese was concocted by Pizza Hut franchisee brothers Anthony and Lawrence Mongiello, who patented a stuffed pizza shell design in 1987; the two men ran a family restaurant before the 1978 economic crash ended the business, leading to the Mongiellos opening up a Pizza Hut outlet in 1985, and have jointly operated it since then [16]...

The Wall Street Journal, 12/1/1997

…Shymkent officially became United Turkestan’s new capital on December 4. The U.T.’s inaugural capital was Akmola (later Astana), Kazakhstan, but many political leaders had grown increasingly concerned over how far away it was from the other nation-states. By the start of the 1990s, the possibility of its location being more influential on local issues at the expense of the other nation-states in the central Asian political union led to the national government switching to a new location. The city of Shymkent, in southern Kazakhstan, was selected due to location, as it was much closer to the state capitals of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and less than half the distance to the state capital of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan than was Akmola...

– Ke Wang’s Turkestanis Unite!: The Rise And Execution of An Idea, Cambridge University Press, 2013

CAMEROON: The Latest Destination For Biofuel Companies

…the African country is teeming with palm oil plantations, making sub-Saharan land a “hot spot” for manufacturers and entrepreneurs with biofuel production on their minds…

Business Weekly, early December 1997 issue


…a quickly-rising star in the party, MP Michael Ignatieff has successfully challenged incumbent Labor Party leader Bill Hayden in a leadership spill, with all but one anti-incumbent candidate dropping out ahead of the election, which Ignatieff won on the first round. Ignatieff, a professor and writer who worked in the US, the UK, and Canada before moving to Australia, was drafted to run for the Labor party leadership by a faction of party member who believed Hayden would fail to win the next election scheduled for in or before November 1998…

The Australian, daily newspaper, 12/12/1997

I’m sure a lot of you have tripped out on alcohol. It’s a lot safer to do it on marijuana. …We have become a nation ruled by fear. Since the end of the Second World War, various political leaders have fostered fear in the American people – fear of communism, fear of terrorism, fear of immigrants, fear of people based on race and religion, fear of gays and lesbians in love who just want to get married and fear of people who are somehow different. It is fear that allows political leaders to manipulate us all and distort our national priorities. …I have supported progressive policies and candidacies through the Gravel Institute for over a decade now, and I cannot stay on the sidelines anymore. Not when our President decides against the progressive policies our nation needs. It’s high time I do something about this. And with Senator Obledo retiring and me having lived here since 1985, I’ve decided to run for Ol’ Mario’s seat!” [17]

– Former Vice President Mike Gravel, Eureka, CA, 12/15/1997 press announcement

...Ninety percent of Guyanans trace their roots to either India or Africa, and yet, in December 1997, the most popular politician in the South American nation was a white Jewish 77-year-old grandmother born and raised to American parents in Chicago, USA. On December 14, Janet Rosenberg Jagan was easily elected President of the only English-speaking country on the continent. Taking office on the 19th, Jagan had been Guyana’s Prime Minister since shortly after the death of her husband of 54 years, Cheddi Jagan, who served as President of Guyana from January 1992 until his sudden death from a heart attack five years later. As President, Jagan continued to push for the same policies promoted by her husband, and by the democratic socialist People’s Progressive party to which the two famous Jagans belonged. …With the space race unofficially restarting over the US’s goal to land on Mars in 2003, many space enthusiasts, including some members of NASA, began to take note of Jagan, and of her country’s close proximity to the equator…

– Uzo Marvin’s The History of Guyana, Independent Platforms Publishing, 2018


Premiered: December 20, 1997

Genre(s): political thriller, suspense, drama


Synopsis: George Clooney portrays Lynn Lowe, a lifelong Republican farmer who ended up serving as Governor of Arkansas from 1987 to 1991. The film covers his surprise upset victory win in a bad year for Republicans, and the accusations of corruption that led to him losing re-election in 1990.


Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1: When the film premiered, Lowe was 60 and still politically active, working at the time as a committeeman for Arkansas’ GOP; upon watching the film, he angrily disapproved of Clooney’s “negative” depiction of him, of inaccuracies, and of the fact that he was not consulted during any phase of producing the film. Lowe sued Universal, and the film’s distributors, for slander in 1998; a state judge voted against Lowe that same year due to the nature of the film; “the Lynn Lowe case” soon became an example of the nuances of free speech laws and how films and works of fiction depict figures that are both living and historical at the same time.



…A possible cure for the ISF Virus, the virus that plagues the BLUTAG community, most noticeably in the 1980s, may have been discovered at a research center in Minnesota. Scientists have discovered a rare DNA mutation that prevents the Immunity System Failure Virus from infecting blood cells by testing the human mutation on ISF-positive chimpanzees. The group of humans who carry the mutation are naturally resistant to ISF, but their numbers are small. However, the doctors in question believe that maybe, if bone marrow donated from these persons have the same mutation, then it will be a major step in making people free of the ISR virus, too. [18] Relying on a “medical cocktail” that includes bone marrow replacement and stem cells, the scientists believe further research and study is needed to assure that transplants of the mutation will work in practice on humans, and how effective it is…

The New York Times, 12/28/1997

…The 1997 Presidential election was the first post-reunification Presidential election, and due to the high popularity of the term-limited incumbent President Young-sam, his preferred successor, conservative PM Lee Hoi-chang, was largely expected to win the election over liberal challenger, the peace activist and former Presidential candidate Kim Dae-jung (no relation to President Kim or the Kim Dynasty). Lee Hoi-chang won support from Minister Lee In-je and other potential challengers, essentially making the race a two-person contest. Lee’s campaign was hit by scandal at the last minute, though, over discrepancies concerning where his sons were during and after the January 1996 Siege of Seoul. Reporters soon revealed that not only had Lee’s two sons been twenty miles south of the city when the Siege of Seoul began (despite Lee Hoi-chang claiming his sons were in the city for its entirety), but that they had also evaded military conscription by shedding weight before their physical examinations in late February. Such cowardly activity was revealed to the public just two days before Election Day.

On December 18, opposition leader Kim Dae-jung won the election, 46%-to-52%. The remaining 2% went to several conservative write-in candidates; reportedly, 57 votes went to members of the former DPRK Kim dynasty. According to several exit polls, while Kim Young-sam’s approval rating was roughly 80% among Northerners who voted, over 90% of said Northerners voted for Dae-Jung. This was due to claims that Lee Hoi-chang was elitist, and because Northerners could relate to the trials and tribulations Dae-jung had lived through as a political prisoner during the 1970s and 1980s.

The election marked the first time in Korean history that a ruling party peacefully transferred power to a democratically elected opposing party. This turned out to be very pivotal in Northern-Southern relations; according to multiple surveys, after Northerners witnessed this peaceful transfer of power, support for democracy and the United Korean government among Northerners skyrocketed.

Being born on 6 January 1924, Kim Dae-jung was 74 when he entered office on 25 February 1998, promising to “heal the wounds of the past for the sake of the present and for the prosperity of our future”…

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

[1] Compare this to OTL, where it was 68% no and 27% yes in 1996:
[2] Compare this to OTL, where it was 15% yes among Republicans, 33% yes among independents, and 33% among Democrats:
[3] Italicized bits written by @ajm8888
[4] Here, she never met Marshall Applewhite, and as a result, he continued to struggle with his personal religious and BLUTAGO-leaning problems, hopping around from job to job until suffering a nervous/mental breakdown in 1978. Financially-speaking, he loses everything in that year’s economic crash, leading to him jumping off a building and falling to his death in 1979 at the age of 48. Huh, I should have mentioned that in the 1979 chapter(s); maybe I’ll go back and edit it in…
[5] OTL! It lasted from 1960 to 1973 IRL:
[6] Also OTL
[7] Apparently, this water amount is OTL and this is a real theory (though it was discovered a wee bit later in OTL)!
[8] Italicized bits written by @ajm8888
[9] This entire segment was written by @ajm8888, I just did some light editing on it
[10] Italicized parts are from here:
[11] TTL’s version of a government shutdown, though here it is more associated with the feds failing to balance the budget
[12] It was $2,800 billion in the article, so I adjusted it to 1997 dollars via this site here:
[13] Italicized passages are pulled from this OTL article:
[14] OTL quote, according to an article from The Guardian.
[15] This entire segment was written by @ajm8888, I just did some light editing on it; also, no, Tommy Gun Thompson is not OTL Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, its just a gunrunner/international criminal’s pseudonym
[16] In OTL, these two guys actually sued Pizza Hut for stealing their idea:
[17] The parts in italics are OTL Gravel quotes found on
[18] Italicized bits are from here:
Post 69
Post 69: Chapter 77

Chapter 77: January 1998 – December 1998

“Conviction creates indomitable efforts. This is the key to (true) miracles…Man’s potential is limitless.”

– Chung Ju-yung (OTL)

…After discussing South American conditions with several US Ambassadors, US State Secretary Susan Livingstone today issued a new set of travel guidelines for Americans visiting the Latin American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, and Colombia. Forming a connection chain of nations across the map as you can see on this graphs, these countries are seeing a rise in the cultivation and/or trafficking of recreadrugs illegal in the United States. Recreadrug cartels are becoming especially active on opposite ends of the chain. In Colombia, manufacturers of illicit narcotics are fighting off the local government and US-led peacekeeping forces, while Mexico’s economic downturn has emboldened narcotics pushers. As a result, cartel-related hostilities and acts of violence are on the rise in Mexico and along the US-Mexican border…

– CBS News, 1/2/1999

There was reason to suspect that she would “sell” her country to the US. Janet Jagan (20 October 1920 – 28 March 2009) and, to a greater extent, her son Cheddi “Joey” Jagan Jr., were at least open to the idea. Contrary to foreign fears, Cheddi Jagan Sr. had ruled as a dictatorial democratic socialist; nevertheless, Guyana’s economy remained sluggish, and with each passing year, more people who could move to the US were doing so. To counter these trends, both Jagan Presidents encouraged US investment, and that seemed to include NASA. Whether via a base, a basic station, a vast launching center, or even more, the Dinger administration was listening to calls from NASA to take advantage of the nation’s close proximity to the equator. Dinger also considered taking advantage of Guyana’s close proximity to Colombia, as well. To the rumblings of strengthened ties, the European Space Agency (or ESA) hoped that Janet Jagan would be strongly opposed to allowing NASA to expand into Guyana over concerns of NASA not sharing data and advancements with the international community…

– Uzo Marvin’s The History of Guyana, Independent Platforms Publishing, 2018


…The nation holds strategic value for current and any future wars in central and South America. It lies on the equator, which is beneficial for anyone attempting to fly anything into outer space, as the Earth rotates faster the closer you get to the equator. 99% of its population speaks English because it is a former British colony, and the natives are already heavily supportive of the US. In fact, their President, Janet Jagan born in Chicago to Jewish-American parents! The alleged possibility of there being vast amounts of crude oil off the nation’s coastline, according to recent surveys conducted by various American oil companies such as Chevron, is also a plus…

– Former US Congressman-turned-D.C. corporate lobbyist Richard Bruce Cheney, The Washington Post, 1/15/1998 op-ed

…By 1998, the cost of reuniting and covering damages still remained overwhelming for the United Korean government; food aid and humanitarianism had helped significantly, but Korea’s government was still facing high unemployment. …At the beginning of reunification, in 1996, many former Northerners, demoralized and defeated, had opted to kill themselves rather than accept food from “the enemy.” Children, and people disillusioned by the Kim regime, however, gladly accepted the food. …On top of providing adequate housing and employment for the 20 million new citizens, the Korean government also focused on trying to convince citizens of the south that northerner radicals were not representative of all northerners...

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

“It’s a beautiful tower, isn’t it?” Donald’s “Trump Sunrise Tower” featured large balconies on the east and west sides of all 76 stories, with penthouse apartments having gorgeous views of the sun rising above the Hollywood Hills on one side and of the sun setting on the horizon of the Pacific on the other side. …The tower’s two street-level floors hosted high-quality restaurants, but also featured a “pedestrian” food hall due to Donald’s predilection for fast-food leading to him wanting to have them right in the building for his convenience.

At 7:44 AM on January 29, 1998, an assistant D.A. for California’s Attorney General, assigned to overseeing the crackdowns on the crack cocaine seeping into California from their Mexico border, checked into the hotel to meet up with an alleged informant for the Tijuana Cartel, the meeting place being the pedestrian food court. At 8:15 AM, the alleged informant, an elderly man suffering from terminal cancer, approached the informant. He sat down, and simply opened up his suitcase, detonating the bomb within.


Above: the food hall after being cleared of people; the Chick-fil-A (center), which was planned to fully open in two months, was damaged by the explosion.

Six people were killed and another 29 were injured in what was initially reported to be an attack on the Trump Sunrise Tower itself, with local news reporting unconfirmed allegations of former North Korean agents setting off a poisonous gas bomb. Panic slowly subsided, though, as the hours wore on the clear picture appeared. Trump responded to the attack – orchestrated by the Tijuana Cartel to take out a key member of the state AG department’s legal team – by increasing security measures. Privately, he began to travel with more security guards in case of emergency. This bombing, coupled with him being present when President Iacocca was assassinated, made Donald a greater fan of New York City, calling it “a much safer place than Hollyweirdland” and a fierce supporter of anti-gun and anti-bomb security measures. …In 2017, Donald once ranted to Larry King: “they got those guns that are very long so the bullet comes out faster, and they make it so you have to go through all these legal hurdles to get them, right? That’s good, except hunting rifles are still allowed. What the hell are we doing? Lee Iacocca was a very, very, very good friend of mine, and he died because of a loony with a sniper rifle! Why do we let people have rifles when you can just shoot Bambi with a bow and arrow? Or better yet, we have farms, the kind of farms where the beef and the deer and the pork all are prepped for butcher time. You-we don’t need to hunt now that we’ve got those places prepping the meat for us, so what are we doing?”

– Kate Bohner’s The Art of The Don: The Unofficial Biography of Donald Trump, Times Books, 2017 edition

…The violent and brutal murder of an assistant District Attorney in Los Angeles had ramifications across the US. The state governments of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas increased focus on the border, while President Dinger greenlit several CIA operations to “nip [recreadrug production] in the bud” in Colombia. Dinger also strengthened US relations with Afghanistan even farther in order to better monitor possible drug cartel members purchasing poppy plants for narcotic production. On the domestic level, fears of drug lords seemingly running rampant in Mexico lowered American tourism south of the border, worsening Mexico’s financial situation. Mexican families grew more worried about their own safety, and may have contributed to the 1998-2000 spike in Mexican citizens applying for US citizenship. Mexican-American communities, meanwhile, sought to stand firm and united against a rise in racism against them…

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


…In tonight’s runoff election, the top two winners of the country’s 16 January first round of voting faced off against one another. Incumbent Elisabeth Rehn of the Centrist Party/Swedish People’s Party Alliance ultimately won re-election over Tarja Halonen of the Social Democratic Party. The confirmation of the results concluded the first Finnish Presidential election in which both second-round finishers were women...

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 6/2/1998

“For example, there was this militant compound in the mountains north of Kimch’aek. And we kept getting reports of gunfire going off up there. We thought it was just idiot university students who’d gotten their hands on some old abandoned Northerner weaponry. We went up there thinking we’d just scare them into handing in the arms like they were supposed to. Instead, deep in the underbrush, we found this pocket of diehard Kim supporters. They were testing their ammo, and were holed up in a little den of a bomb shelter sticking out of the side of this foothill. When we first came upon them, they immediately fired on us. Then we tried to sneak around them and they fired on us from there. They shot at anyone who approached, as it turned out. When we found out who they were, one of them had an ex-wife, who tried to talk to them. They just shot at her!

See, other fundamentalist groups and radical clans that had tried to stay holed up in less secure locations had already been captured. But the Kimch’aek Gang were different. They were the last of the nut-jobs. We informed them of the amnesty, and they refused. We tried to get anyone connected to them to try and convince them to give up, and they refused. They even refuse to recognize Kim Jung-nam when we flew him in from his Tokyo penthouse – the one near Tokyo Disneyland – to, uh, to try and talk some sense into them. It was no use.

So, we did what we had to do. We had the whole area cordoned off, and we bombed the crap out of their hideaway. By the time the fires died and the smoke cleared, there was nothing left of them at all.”

– Park Jae-beom, retired Korean police officer and KW2 veteran, 2019 interview

The Congressman was known for having a close family, attending Roman Catholic mass every Sunday with his wife Bernadette and their four children, and for his former work as a member of the FBI. Only those close to him knew of his tendency to visit strip clubs often, and only a select few were privy to him allowing certain friends of his to watch him make love to his wife via a video camera hidden in his master bedroom. Those indecent acts, however, paled in comparison to what ultimately booted him out of public office.

On February 12, freshman Congressman Bob Hanssen (R-Virginia), was giving speech at a private luncheon/fundraiser, condemning “the godlessness” of the Chinese government, when FBI agents entered the room. Hanssen initially welcomed the agents over, recognizing some of them from his time at the bureau, and believing they had arrived to congratulate him on what would surely be an easy bid for a second term.

His invited smile quickly faded away into a frown of disbelief as the agents he knew coldly arrested him for treason.

– Lawrence Schiller’s Into The Mirror: The Life of Master Spy Robert P. Hanssen, Diane Publishing Co., 2004

Robert Philip Hanssen
, (b. April 18, 1944), codenames/aliases Ramon Garcia, Jim Baker, and Mr. Graysuit, is a former US Congressman and FBI agent who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States from 1979 to 1985 and again from 1995 to 1998, even after being elected to the US House of Representatives, as a Republican from Virginia, in a 1997 special election. The Department of Justice calls his espionage as “most likely the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.” He is currently serving 14 consecutive life sentences (pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty) at a federal “supermax” prison in Colorado, US.

In 1979, three years after joining the FBI, Hanssen approached the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) to offer his services, launching his first espionage cycle, which lasted until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1985, at which point he broke off all communications out of fear of being exposed. However, ten years later, shortly after Viktor Chernomyrdin became President of Russia, Hanssen resumed spying for Russia, until his 1998 arrest.

In 1997, Hanssen, who reported to Russia anonymously for large sums of “financial compensation,” was inspired by the Second Korean War to run for a special election. Hanssen believed he would better serve “his associates” from a foreign affairs-related House Committee…


…For older Americans, and for people in the UK, Hanssen’s arrest brought back memories of Prime Minister John Stonehouse... [snip] Hanssen’s wife, Bernadette Wauck, divorced her husband during the trials and was ultimately granted full custody of the couple’s four children...

– [2]

WINTER OLYMPICS CONCLUDE IN BAVARIA; US, Norway Celebrate Record Victories

The Los Angeles Times, 2/22/1998


…Two U.S. Congressmen from California today joined the ranks of several prominent Democrats promoting the rising movement to repeal the Balanced Budget Amendment. “The Amendment prevents the government from making necessary investments in social programs… The government has increased its reliance on foreign imports to balance the budget, much to the detriment of American workers,” says U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Today’s representatives have called for amending the BBA with a “Budget Reconciliation Process,” which they say would allow Congress to extend the BBA’s annual deadline for when the feds have to “return from the red.” Congress would need to vote on a yearly extension each year under such a revision. The idea the BRP is that, with it, the government can invest in programs that may not see money back within a year. “The BBA in its current form has created an unrealistic confinement for the federal government,” says Brown. “When President Colonel Sanders balanced the budget, he did so without this amendment. We need to correct the BBA before more social programs are cut to make way for it and its supporters’ ‘no-risk, no reward’ way of managing things.”

The Washington Post, 2/27/1998

Host KEN HAMBLIN: Governor, you signing off on this marijuana legalization bill makes Colorado only the third state to pass such a law, the first two being California and Massachusetts. Now those two I can understand because they lean to the left on most things, but Colorado’s a lot more conservative, so do you think all Coloradans will be able to get behind this sort of thing?

Governor WELLINGTON WEBB: They will when they see the revenue we’ll bring in by regulating the stuff. The Bay State and the Golden State are already starting to see profits from legalizing recreational marijuana, and the money from this will go to paying for social programs such as educational after-school programs, urban renewal, and –

HAMBLIN: But, see, I think a lot of conservatives like me will not like the idea that these good things, these good programs, are being funded by this gateway drug, like you’re saying ‘Make yourself an addict so my kid’s school can have more chalk.’

WEBB: It is not a gateway drug, and if anyone becomes addicted, and most Mary Jane users do not become addicted to it, we are opening up rehab and treatment centers for them. This is not a sinful thing, this not an immoral thing, because like it or not, people do like marijuana, and if we keep it illegal, we’ll see more criminal activity linked to it, and more people improperly using it. Legal, people can learn about it and its benefits and positive attributes. Illegal, and it’s just a waste of something that can be taxed and monitored properly, just like alcohol and cigarettes.

– KXKL Radio Denver’s The Ken Hamblin Show, local talk/news program, 3/1/1998 broadcast


…President Dinger’s recent executive orders extending the rights of customs agents and border patrol personnel in order to better combat “the recreadrug epidemic plaguing” the US have received condemnation from several Democratic Congressmen. “I agree with the President when he states that this is a new kind of war,” says US Rep. Al Bustamante (D-TX), “That the enemy is not a nation’s military but an organization permeating several nations like how a parasite can invade several organs. But the President is overstepping boundaries by essentially giving border agents the ability to step on civil liberties. This will not go well.”

The New York Times, 3/2/1998

THE “UNLUCKY AT 33” CLUB: Celebrities Who Died At The Age of 33

Nicole DeHuff (actress)
Robert Downey Jr. (actor)
An infamous drug user, Downey began abusing marijuana at the age of six, as he and his father, filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., also drug addict, bonded over the recreadrug. Downey Jr. won accolades for his acting in films like Chaplin (1992), for which he won an Academy Award, but starting in 1994, the rising star’s career hit trouble when he was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine. In 1997, he was arrested again for committing a public disturbance while under the influence of an undisclosed substance. By the end of his life, Downey was failing to find work, but was willing to perform his own stunts in dangerous scenes that put stress on his body. On March 4, 1998, while attempting to jump down from a moving car for a minor role in “Jaws 6: Hellbeast of the Sea,” Downey suffered a seizure, and died on route to the hospital. According to the official report, he had high levels of valium and cocaine in his system, both of which were listed as contributing factor to his hematoma-related attack, along with aggravation to his body from performing a physically stressful stunt. In was just under a month shy of turning 34. In the aftermath of his demise, conservative pundits in the US used his death as an example of the need for anti-recreadrug laws, similar to what was done with Elton John's demise in the 1980s. Downey Sr. still deeply regrets introducing his son to drugs, and has since established three drug rehab charity organizations.
Eazy-E (rapper)
Elton John (singer)
Elizabeth Taylor (actress)
Jim Morrison (singer)


KOREAN MARKET STILL UNDERPERFORMING: Downturns Heighten Stability Concerns

The Wall Street Journal, 3/5/1998

…Even at the age of 82, businessman and billionaire philanthropist Chung Ju-yung worked diligently to normalize relations between “the two halves of one Korea.” In 1998, he sought to provide even further economic assistance to Korea by providing a $100million donation to the nation Treasury, per request from President Kim Dae-jung. Chung also sent well over 1,000 “unification cows” to the north; bovines he’d purchased from other countries as a gift, and to promote ongoing efforts to terraform the north into a more arable and economically sustainable place for all Koreans to live and work… Meanwhile, American Rev. Jerry Brown began contacting multiple talent agents of a proposal for “an international version of Farm Aid”…

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

…In order to demonstrate how wealthy their nation would be if their narcotics industry was controlled and regulated, the Colombian government today announced that it will include the estimated value of Colombia’s illegal drug crops, which may amount up to nearly US$1billion, in its official Gross National Product amount for its 1997 fiscal year report...

– ABC Morning News, 3/21/1998 broadcast

KING OF THE STAGE: Titanic Wins Six Oscars Out of Ten Nominations

…at the 70th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Brandon Lee and held at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A., James Cameron’s epic “Titanic” swept six categories, including Best Picture, Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress and Best Director...

The Los Angeles Times, 3/23/1998

…As the Governor of Tokyo Prefecture, Yukio Aoshima knew it was impossible to fully exterminate the yakuza from Japan, at least not in his lifetime. Nevertheless, he was determined to snuff out as much of their influence as possible. “They were not underground like America’s mafias, but out in the open. We knew their operations, knew their locations, their hideaways and routes, and we knew all of their dirty habits, tricks and trades,” he once said in a 2001 interview. “In early 1998, the police chief of Minato City decided to use all that for our advantage. His plan went into motion on 25 March. He had my backing because the plan looked like it would work. After all, lift a rock and roaches will scatter.”

However, 25 March would turn out to be a bad day for the Minato Police. A plan to ambush and apprehend Kakuji Inagawa, the founder of the Yakuza syndicate Inagawa-kai, failed on this day, when city police were met with Uzi fire from Inagawa’s bodyguards. Inagawa’s vehicle, a customer stretched white limo, sped onto the nearby city motorway, the busy National Route 1. In hot pursuit, the city police took off after them in five police cars, on of which contained an RPG (a rocket-propelled grenade) from a recent SAT exercise. One policeman thought it was a smart idea to try and take out the limo’s tires with it. Unfortunately, the officer was unfamiliar with the launcher, and when firing hit, hit the side of the limo. The blast knocked the limo’s driver unconscious, causing the vehicle to bang into three civilian cars as it swerved across the highway. After this chaotic moment, the limo stabilized, likely as the bodyguard in the passenger seat took over driving. At the next exit, the limo gained distance from the police and, ultimately, the police lost track of the vehicle. It most likely snuck into a nearby location run by a syndicate.

The most damaging action of the day – the foolish rookie’s use of an RPG – led to the Minato PD being accused of incompetence by local news, while the drivers of the three cars damaged in the police chase sued the department for reckless endangerment. Among the rest of the people, though, the embarrassing fiasco only raised support for Yakuza syndicates even further. In turn, this rise in popularity emboldened more yakuza clans to resume more of their practices, as the tide of public opinion turned back to their favor once more.

Meanwhile, other yakuza clans allied with Kakuji Inagawa went after police with a vengeance. Cornering police officers in alleys and attacking them with baseball bats (mean-spiritedly dubbed “The Iacocca Special”), and knifing them in crowded marketplaces became more common. That summer, the number of incidents in which yakuza members shot up a police “Koban” (a very miniature office building, typically for bike patrol officers, often found near street corners) with AK-47s reached an all-time high.

Governor Aoshima was nonetheless steadfast in his determination to cut down the influence of the Yakuza…

– Alec Dubro and David E. Kaplan’s Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, University of California Press, 2003 [3]


El Paso, TX – Federal officials on Thursday announced that the US Border Patrol had intercepted a $5million bribe attempt to stop a criminal investigation into the owner of a warehouse on the southern edge of the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. The warehouse was allegedly used to store various items for local cartels. At a news conference, the officials displayed large bags of seized US and Mexican currency in a major blow for local recredrug pushers...

The Los Angeles Times, 4/5/1998


The New York Times, 4/7/1998

…As it turned out, the US’s handling of post-war Korea’s security was better than its handling of Korea’s economy. The official declaration of a recession raised the number of Americans worried that the US's economy was the next to fall. Dinger responded to the sudden drop in consumer confidence by cutting federal spending yet again...

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


...the wife of musician Paul McCartney passed away after her breast cancer spread to her liver, a family spokesman says. An ardent supporter of animal rights and vegetarianism, her activism led to her working with Prime Minister John Lennon on several nature preservation efforts…

The Daily Telegraph, UK newspaper, 17/4/1998


…Freda Meissner-Blau, 71, a leading member of the Austrian Green Party in her nation’s parliament, a former party spokesperson, and a candidate for President in 1986, successfully challenged incumbent President Thomas Klestil, an Independent, in Austria’s presidential election held tonight. Klestil failed to win over the support of the Austrian People’s Party, while Meissner-Blau won the crucial endorsement of the Austrian Social Democratic Party, while the Austrian Freedom Party supported neither candidate…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 19/4/1998

…The civil conflict in Syria intensified as war progressed, but President Abdul Halim Khaddam remained steadfast. On April 21, he reiterated that he would not leave Damascus, and retained that promise even when Bassel-backing militias came close enough to the Presidential Palace to be able to hit its outer walls with mortar blasts and machine guns smuggled over from the land formerly known as North Korea. Syrian military loyalists repelled these anti-government forces in the Labour Day Battle of May 1-16, 1998.

Shortly afterward, a new variable entered the conflict in the form of Jamil al-Assad, the younger brother of Hafez. More popular than their brother Rifaat, Jamil began promoting himself as a “compromise leader” to both sides of the war; however, Jamil was a deeply religious practitioner of Shiism while Hafez had spent literally decades enforcing secularism onto the Syrian people. As a result, instead of appealing to both sides, Jamil peeled off strips of religiously fundamentalists from the religious-and-pro-Israel Khaddam government and the secular-and-anti-Israel Assad militias. By the summer of 1998, Assad’s son Mundhir had begun trafficking arms into Syria to back the Jamil supporters…

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

“Now, I’d like to say something about all the baseless claims I’ve been hearing lately, claiming that the atrocious conditions of the North Korean Kim regime were exaggerated. Especially because a lot of these claims are coming from people who are, like me, are supportive of democratic socialist policies that go even farther than the policies of Mike Gravel and Carol Bellamy. I want to set the record straight and clarify that North Korea was a totalitarian dictatorship, not a working, functioning, democratic socialist state, and anyone sympathetic to the former dictatorship needs to study it better. Take a better look at the real facts of what went on over there, because reports of atrocities, laid out for the world to see during last year’s trials of the NPDK’s war criminals, were not exaggerated. The evidence of poverty, of people tortured and deformed by malnutrition, were everywhere and were obvious. To hide it or exaggerate it would be the greatest parlor trick in the history of trickery. Not to compare one atrocity to another, but to say that the anguish of the northern Korean people may not have happened the way it happened is like saying the atrocities of Holocaust was exaggerated.”

– Bern Sanders, NYC radio discussion, 4/22/1998

…In 1998, two state courts – one in January, and the next in April – ruled that discharging homosexual individuals from the military solely due to their sexual preference(s) was unconstitutional, leading to the US military finally allowing open BLUTAGO-Americans to serve in the armed forces, starting in January 1999. The declaration fueled conservative rhetoric about preserving traditional values among conservative radio programs and made many Republicans confident that the GOP would retain both chambers of congress come November. Meanwhile, with the other state courts still debating the merits of similar same-sex legalization processes unfolding in three other states, the US Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Frank Minis Johnson declined to hear an appeal until the start of the next year…

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

…With the rise of same-sex marriage in the news came a rise in more prominent focus on trans rights, and an early news story in the US concerning that group focused on Kristin Beck. Born in 1966 and given the name Christopher, Beck graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1987 and began serving in the Navy SEALs in 1991, becoming a part of SEAL Team Six and being in counter-terrorist and active combat missions during the Second Korean War; Beck was awarded a Purple Heart in 1996. Two years later, Beck was encouraged by close friends to “unmask herself,” identifying herself “Kristin” and wearing feminine clothing by 1998. …In May 1998, Marine Commander Harley Brown, as well as several of Beck’s fellow soldiers defended her choice to be openly BLUTAGO in an interview for Time Magazine, with Brown saying “he – sorry, she – almost got, uh, herself, right – she almost got herself killed kickin’ the crap out of the commies up in the North, putting herself in the thick of things up there. If anyone has earned the right to dress as fancy as they like, it’s Petty Officer Beck.”…

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

ELECTION RESULTS: Pm De La Hunty (Barely) Keep Liberals In Power

…Incumbent Shirley de la Hunty barely won over the increasingly popular Michael Ignatieff, who lead the Labor party to victory in several traditionally-Liberal places, and as such will likely stay on as party leader. Green party leader Christine Morris and Fred Valentich, founder of the “Open” party calling for full government transparency over “all extraterrestrial events,” each lost both of their seats...


…Due to only obtaining a slim plurality of seats, the center-right Liberals have once again formed a “coalition” government with the agrarian-conservative Nationals. The leader of the Nationals, Dr. Ben Carson of Perth [4], and the leader of the Country Liberals, anti-recreadrug businessman Donald Mackay of the Northern Territory, will have positions in this new government. …Trade Minister Barry Goldwater Jr. will likely be elevated to Deputy Prime Minister…

– The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian newspaper, 5/5/1998


…first legalized in Ontario in 1995 following a provincial court of appeal ruling, same-sex marriage was subsequently recognized in several additional provinces in 1996 and 1997. Prime Minister Margaret Mitchell approved of the enactment of “The Civil Marriage Act” in January, and it received “royal assent” from Queen Elizabeth soon after…

The Boston Globe, 5/19/1998

…On May 21, Dinger signed into law a capital gains tax cut bill dubbed “The Taxpayer Relief Act” that stripped several UHC and non-UHC programs, “because nobody ever wants or likes getting a tax hike,” as he privately put it. The top marginal long term capital gains rate subsequently fell from 28% to 20%, and the 15% bracket was lowered to 10%; retirement accounts were made exempt from the capital gains tax as well [5]. …House Speaker Emery was heavily criticized for allowing the bill to pass, with Congressman Bill Weld (R-MA) calling him a “traitor [to] liberal Republican ideals” for not putting up a stronger opposition to it. As it turns out, though, Emery – at least, according to his memoirs, believed that the TRA would improve consumer confidence (and thus ward off recession, which was bothering Mexico and Korea at the time) and promote more people saving more for their retirement. Thus, Emery thought he was doing the right thing at the time…

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

LATEST POLL: President Dinger Approval Ratings Among U.S. Citizens

Approve: 49%
Disapprove: 41%
Undecided: 8%

– Gallup, 5/24/1998

On May 25, an American newspaper, “The New York Post,” was forced to make a retraction of an article published the week before that claimed that more Koreans had been killed in post-war cam bomb attacks ignored by most media outlets than in the actual 1996 war. When published, the article was immediately castigated, with citizens from across the American classes and political spectrum condemning the pushing for such an obviously false report. Korean news outlets caught wind of the article, and responded to it with an increase on reporting the overall smooth transitioning of “the two Koreas into one.” The NYP inevitably apologized for, but the embarrassing moment left behind a long-lasting negative reputation for that newspaper.

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

…By May 1998, the Wide-Awakes were gaining more attention, and support in the wake of recent pro-BLUTAGO court rulings that were slowly clearing the way for same-sex marriage. One congressional candidate, Republican Tommy Tancredo of Colorado, opted to wear the group’s endorsement like a badge of honor, saying he was “proud to be recognized by my fellow patriots for my long-held belief in the need for stronger defense of our nation’s values and laws.”…

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


…Richard Anthony “Cheech” Marin (RU-NM) was elected Mayor of Las Cruces, the second-largest city in the state, on November 7, 1995, in an officially nonpartisan race. Located north of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces joined Albuquerque and Santa Fe in legalizing marijuana use within city limits in defiance of Governor Cheney’s executive order outlawing such declarations. Before entering office, Marin started out as a musician, playing backup for the late Frank Zappa in the 1960s before turning to Hispanic labor rights activism in the 1970s. After serving over six years in jail for possession of one gram of marijuana, Marin entered the film industry, and produced, wrote and starred in five pro-recreadrug films between 1982 and 1993.

Marin’s success in both of tonight’s primaries has surprised political pundits who believed US Representative Bill Richardson was a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination. Instead, Marin defeated Richardson, state representative Gary K. King, and state auditor Robert Vigil in said primary, and defeated activist Frankie Salas in the LRU primary.

…Despite being a progressive politician, Marin was endorsed by certain Republicans (most notably the pro-recreadrug Gary Johnson, the mayor of Albuquerque since 1993) and by moderate Democrats (such as pro-recreadrug Debbie Jaramillo, Santa Fe Mayor from March 1994 to March 1998).

…Governor Cheney stated previously that he believes Marin is a “weak” candidate: "he'll lose spectacularly.” We will see if Cheney is correct…


Above: Mayor Marin and Governor Paul Wellstone (D-MN) attending the CA-DEM Convention in 1996

– The Gallup Independent, New Mexico newspaper, 6/2/1998

…Chinese citizens in northern China were faced with the problem of refugees from North Korea still popping out of the woodwork from time to time. With most of them being former DPRK soldiers, their presence made immigration across the China-Korea border a major issue. In early June, in response to the rising number of refugees found in China, mostly residing near the north side of Mt. Pektu (mainly former troops who, while underfed during the war, had fled across the border to steal food from Chinese citizens), Zhu discussed the matter with Korean President Kim Dae-Jung, who agreed to letting Zhu send additional troops to the Chinese side of the China-Korea border. This action cut down on refugee incidents considerably…

– Shan Li’s China in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press, 2003

The most iconic of the online music-downloading services of the 1990s, though, would have to be Pepvibes, which soared onto the national scene in the late 1990s. Founded in 1996 by a 21-year-old computer programmer named Tom Pepper, with help from fellow programmers Jeff Bates and Gene Kan, Pepvibes offered technetters a music-focused on-tech service with pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing software, focused on digital audio files with an encoded MP3 format. By 1998, the service site had gradually grown in popularity, surpassing other already-established file-sharing sites, due to its user-friendly interface. By the end of the decade, Pepvibes had transformed music selections into public goods – and in doing so opened a torrent of legal legislation and debate over availability, fair use laws, parody law, copyright law, and record label distribution sales. Lawsuits presented to Pepper and company for claimed the site was the equivalent of piracy, as recording label releases lost revenue from the site’s download.

The controversy opened up a national debate on the right of sharing music. If someone plays a recording from off a public technet site, but for private consumption, is it still considered public use because it is not a privately-owned legal-purchased copy of the song? Singers like Chuck D, Biggie Smalls, and Tupac Shakur backed the new technology, believing sites hosting “fan-sharing” activities promoted their music by word of mouth. Other singers, though, such as Madonna, Tiffany, and Elvis Presley, opposed these alleged examples of pirating songs, believing “song drips” (songs “dripped” onto the site) would make it impossible for anyone to make a profitable life out of recording music. As a result, the millennium began with several district courts issuing resolutions and clarification on these matters…

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


…the ceremonial keys to city are to honor the Dinger brother’s success at ending a union disagreement back in 1991, when Larry Dinger was still a US Senator. John Dinger joined his more famous brother in overseeing negotiations between pig farm union leaders, farm management, and the state Agriculture Department over insurance coverage controversies. Seven years later, and Iowan pig farmers have a strong relationship with management while the Iowan economy remains one of the strongest in the Midwest.


Above: President Larry Dinger (right) and his brother, US White House Chief of Staff John Dinger (left)

The Des Moines Reigster, 6/10/1998

RUSSIA CIRCULATES NEW RUBLES TO NIP RECESSION FEARS IN THE BUD; Chernomyrdin Seeks To Stem Inflation, Promote Market Confidence

The Wall Street Journal, 6/14/1998

…The war was a boon for the careers of so many of my brother-in-arms. Eric Shinseki was promoted to US Army General in May 1997, while Larry R. Ellis was promoted to US Army General in October 2000, and while some like Gary Luck retired from the military on a high note and went about writing memoirs, others such as Harley Davidson Brown became more politically active once ultimately leaving. Others still, though, stuck around to rise even higher in the ranks, such as yours truly… [6]

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…On the Fourth of July, 1998, the Chrysler Corporation unveiled the 1999 Chrysler Iacocca, a luxury car containing a transverse engine and all-wheel drive. Its design was an attempt to combine the best features of the late, great President’s two favorite cars – the Lincoln Continental Mark III designed by Ford’s Gene Bordinat, and Chrysler’s own Plymouth Reliant K-Car. Externally, the car more closely resembles an updated version of the Mark III’s design than a K-Car’s design, but internally, its suspension configuration made it drive much more like a luxury K-Car than anything else. The vehicle was a modest market success…

– Doron P. Levin’s Behind the Wheel: Iacocca’s Handling of Cars, Sports, and Politics, Opus Publishers, 2012 edition

FEED THE WORLD: One Day Of Global Unity

It was like another version of The Righteous Brothers’ 1974 hit “Rock And Roll Heaven.” The Rolling Stones and the temporarily-reunited The Who were sharing jokes. Jaco Pastorius passed around beer while David Bowie chatted with Boy George over makeup tips. Led Zeppelin Reunion, Cat Stevens, Kurt Cobain, and Tommy and Yoko Chong formed a circle on the floor and passed around some Mary Jane. At some point in the festivities, The Spice Girls and Take That partook in a friendly impromptu dance-off. When Marvin Gaye accidently knocked half of The Kinks into a pool, Mick Jagger proclaimed “Now this is what I call a party!”

The icons were celebrating the completion of Feed The World, a.k.a. the Care For Korea drive initially conceived in 1996 as reports of starving former prisoners of the Kim regime flooded the news cycles. On July 4, 1998, just under 2 billion people from across the globe turned on their radio and TV sets, or, for the more tech-savvy, had logged onto on-tech “live pouring” services to watch a huge gathering of musicians from across the music genres – over seventy performers in total – play their greatest hits in stadiums in Paris and New York City. The next day, at 2:30 AM, a time when the parties inside those cities’ top-class suites were still going strong, the amount of money raised for the “nutritionally insecure” people of post-war, economically devastated United Korea had already exceeded a whopping $90 million. It would turn out to be more than double that in the end, leading to Korea actually sharing some of the money with charities in Japan and China in order to ease regional tension. The record-breaking event most likely warded off further economic collapse for Korea, keeping them from descending from recession to depression.

The Scene That Celebrates Itself, on the decline in the United States and then in London as the 1990s came to a close, had One Last Hurrah in this star-studded moment, as the biggest names in music shared sofas, toasted one another, and shared laughs, putting aside their egos for the collective pride of a successful group effort.

Elvis, The Police, Queen, The Talking Heads, Billy Joel, Duran Duran, Hall and Oates, Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, and several young up-and-comers based out of London, Paris, Beijing, and even Korea itself, serenaded millions in a collaborative feat that has yet to be equaled…


Above: Elvis on dual jumbo-tron screens at the “Feed the World” section hosted by the Trump Sports Stadium in New York City

– Tumbleweed magazine, July 2018 special issue [7]

“Yeah, I already had out my first album by then, but I wasn’t a big enough star for them. But, hey, not every bigshot went to shore up money for the Koreans. Biggie didn’t go and do it. Tupac didn’t go and do it. But lots of rappers who were, you know, around Biggie and Tupac went over. But, you know what, don’t matter, because that concert marathon sh*t was great even without me there!”

– Marshall Bruce Mathers III, a.k.a. Eminem, 2013 interview


The Houston Chronicle, 7/7/1998

LONG JOHN SILVER’S FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY! Franchise Seeks to Reorganize While Tricon Agrees to Buy L.J.S. and A&W

The Chicago Tribune, 7/9/1998

“When, LJS’s, Stephen’s former employee, essentially kicked the bucket, I thought it was hilarious, because Stephen had said they would regret firing him! I mean, yeah, they were sort of already having trouble by the time they pink-slipped him, but the surprisingly quick rise of SpongeBob’s just really overwhelmed them, and it probably hastened their demise. Stephen, though, he was more concerned about all the employees now out of work.

So he went, ‘Well, if SpongeBob’s is going to expand, we’re going to have to hire more people.’ So we started hiring the workers laid off by LJS’s!

At the same time, the franchise was starting to expand not only into the world of cartoon TV, but into other geographical areas in the United States, some with nautical history or some other kind of oceanic connection, but also other place nowhere near any major bodies of water, where seafood wasn’t exactly a local food staple. Basically, we were throwing everything we had to the wall and seeing what stuck. And, boy, a lot of stuff stuck!” [8]

– Bryan Hillenburg, 2019 interview


The Washington Post, 7/23/1998

“I really think this whole Global Climate Disruption thing really being overblown here. Thousands and thousands of experts were telling us for decades that the Cold War would lead to all of us being killed in a fiery nuclear exchange. But that didn’t happen. We all got scared and anxious over what ended up as nothing. You see, listeners, people – especially people in charge – tend to exaggerate minor issues to make them seem like major disasters. Does that mean G.C.D. isn’t real? I’m not saying that. What I am saying that people exaggerated back then, during the Cold War, and now people are exaggerating about this, in whatever freakin’ era we’re living through right now.”

– Rush Limbaugh, KFBK-AM radio, 7/24/1998 broadcast

“The Battle of Hayes Pond,” director Spike Lee’s latest movie, chronicles the real-life Battle of Hayes Pond that unfolded in 1958. The film portrays the events leading up to the North Carolina confrontation with a raw sense of intensity, as a black woman dating a white man, the local bar owner, and the local Lumbee family joined the local Native Americans who take a stand against the local Ku Klux Klan targeting them all. The film, produced by Bern Sanders and staring an all-star ensemble cast, is sure to win several awards for its performances, historical accuracy, and directing…

The New York Times, film review section, 7/30/1998

When it came to financial oversight, Zhu limited monetary supply, cut interest rates, and reformed the tax system to curb inflation; tax reformation happened again in response to Korea entering recession. In order to sell his reform ideas to the people, Zhu personally visited the capital city of each province to sell a new “tax sharing” idea modeled on the U.S. federal tax system, in order to raise the central government’s cut of total national revenue, which brought the highly decentralized banking system under closer Beijing direction, in the name of “marketized socialism.” Premier Zhu’s reforms were seen as successful at the national level, but nevertheless received backlash from regional leaders; controversially, Zhu responded to their complaints of losing the unbalanced-in-their-favor funding and attention they had relished in over the years by simply forcing them into retirement and replacing them with more complacent provincial leaders.

To strengthen the nation’s growing markets, Zhu invested in transportation, agriculture, and energy sectors. Greater oversight of the banking sector to discourage reckless spending and poor choices the nation’s rudimentary-but-growing “free” markets, again in the name of “marketized socialism,” became especially important to Zhu as the millennium came to a close. Zhu responded to woes of an impending recession by reducing state bureaucracy and streamlining banking systems to prevent future financial panic, plus maintaining strict “capital controls” (residency-based measures meant to monitor, regulate, and promote cash flow) in order to keep massive infrastructure projects from losing funding. Despite all these “adjustments” to China’s financial systems, Zhu refused to devalue the Chinese Yuan.

In 1997, in an example of his anti-corruption crusade, Zhu expelled the leader of Guangxi Province from his position after he was found guilty of receiving kickbacks from businessmen connected to embezzled state funds and “tilted” government contract bids. In August 1998, his administration uncovered the largest corruption ring in modern Chinese history, with high-ranking officials in Fujian orchestrating a massive arms smuggling operation. “Purge” became the new word of the month, as several government officials were sentenced to life imprisonment and talks of strengthening trade and commerce security measures intensified. Upon facing international criticism for two embezzlers being sentenced to death for treason and executed, though, Zhu proclaimed “I will prepare 100 coffins for the corrupt, and one for me, for I will die of fatigue.” [9]

– Shan Li’s China in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press, 2003

The reasons behind the idea were sound. Young people were not so familiar with the Colonel’s iconic image as their parents were. The company feared it was soon to fall behind to Chick-fil-A and other chicken-centric companies. Plus, many at KFC’s advertising department feared that, possibly, the company was losing customers due to their mascot being a known dead man; “death doesn’t make you hungry,” noted board member Bob Yarmuth. The decision to “rebrand” the Colonel’s likeness – to “breathe life” back into the former world leader – was a delicate process, requiring the development of something that would be fun and exciting but still respectful to the real life founder’s life, legacy and memory.

KFC R & D ran with the prior notion of a KFC cartoon show and developed an Animated Colonel for KFC commercials. Mildred, Margaret and Harley all were enthusiastic for the idea, but all three turned to Pete Harman for his input. A 79, the elderly Harman was still serving on the board, and even he “believed in” the notion.

When the news of the Colonel was turned into a cartoon character in order to return to KFC’s commercials, news decrying “Colonel Reincarnated!” and similar exclamations hit the pavement and cyber-pavement. KFC chief concept officer Jeff Moody said the so-called “resurrection” of The Colonel was “a fresh new way to reach out to the young adult consumers of today.” KFC CEO James A. Collins, still precariously in the top chair, praised the “forward-thinking” decision, as did COO Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and, David Charles Novak, a rising star in the company who, at under 50, was one of the younger bloods in the board room.

In the summer, the first batch of these “Animated Colonel” commercials began airing.

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

[vid: LEYSsshadN0 ]

– A commercial for KFC’s Spicy Tender Roast Monterey Sandwich, c. August 1998

…These new commercials advertised the company’s latest offerings, with CCO Jeff Moody explaining “Our new line of sandwiches is meant to appeal to more health-conscious people. Just because ‘fried’ is in our name doesn’t mean everything on the menu is fried.”

Consumer responses to the commercials were polarizing. Many young consumers surveyed in the days and weeks after they began airing said they were much more “exciting” than commercials of the previous few years. Many older consumers, however, disliked the new depiction of a former US President; some called it “disgraceful,” other “offensive” or “cheap.” The voice, providing by award-winning actor Randy Quaid, was also polarizing; while most approved of Quaid’s “boisterous” energy, those same older customers who could still firmly remember the Colonel’s distinct voice – one much lower and gravelly than Quaid’s – disapproved of it, complaining about it being too inaccurate.

Among the board, reactions to these reactions were mixed. “It’s a new age, the information age, the technet age,” bemoaned the aging Mildreds, “Complaints on technet sites are now becoming news article sources!” Indeed, media sites were truly beginning to utilize the commercial, informative, and communicative capabilities of the technet by the end of the decade. By the end of 1998, the White House already had established an official website, as had KFC – one of the first major corporations to establish one, in fact. But not the first.

However, because these new commercials were producing controversy, and the controversy was giving the company much media attention, the decision was made to continue making and airing ads featuring “The Animated Colonel,” though for many in the “second batch” of them, Quaid used a lower and more gravelly voice…

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

As warfare continued on at a steady and sluggish pace across Colombia, Dinger signed off on a new tactic in the war on recreadrugs: civil asset forfeiture. A process dating back to the 1600s, civil asset forfeiture allows the government to take assets from any suspected of a crime without formerly charging said persons of a crime. Excessive, invasive, and possibly in violation of the fourth and fifth Amendments of the US Constitution, Dinger nevertheless signed off on the GOP-majority congress heightening US federal laws, and encouraging federal law enforcement agencies to use civil asset forfeiture liberally. The Dinger White House also encouraged its use at the state level as well, with outgoing Governor Richard P. Cheney (R-NM) being a strong support of it being used as “a vital and necessary tool,” as he put it.

Opponents, on the other hand, were outraged by the President increasing its use. “Christ, they’re taking away all our stuff now, too? What next? Where does it end?” asked then-Mayor Cheech Marin of Las Cruces, New Mexico, in an August 1998 NBC News interview, “Does President Dingo Dodo really think thousands of our fellow American citizens spending the rest of their lives in prisons, jail cells crammed with teens and old shoutniks, is a sign of victory? How many more of us have to go to jail before we, heh, win, heh, this alleged war? When there’s more people in prisons than out of them?”

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

Governor of Tokyo Prefecture Yukio Aoshima’s opportunity to cut down the Yakuza’s influence arose during a moment of crisis and carnage, an incident known as the Shinjuku Shootout. It began on August 22, when two groups, members of two rival Yakuza groups (the Inagawa-kai and the Sumiyoshi-kai, both from Minato, Tokyo, groups competing for turf in the city and greater prefecture of Tokyo), encountered each other on the Odakyu Electric Railway. According to witnesses, the two groups immediately began arguing verbally, and the conflict swiftly escalated.

Then, the rival syndicate members drew their weapons, instigating a shootout on a train bound for Tokyo during rush hour. The fairly crowded train car began to panic as handguns began firing in closed quarters. Ricochet struck several innocents as a mass run for the adjacent cars occurred. Among the citizens, 5 were seriously injured from bullets, while 8 people were injured from being trampled in panic unfolding in such closed quarters.

The train conductor learned of the chaos, then phoned ahead, so to speak, and continued on to its stop at the close-by Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, the oldest and busiest railway stations in Japan. Police there typically have New Nambu M60 guns, which would be called “pea-shooters” by Americans for their diminutive size. However, the station’s security guards had recently begun storing bigger ammo (mainly bolt-action rifles, like what the local police stored), in case of emergencies.

And this was an emergency. Station security was soon joined by local police and members of the SAT (or “Special Assault Team,” a police tactical unit established in 1977 (though their existence was not officially revealed to the public until 1996) for emergency and special counter-terrorism and/or law enforcement situations). When the train pulled into the station, frightened citizens spilled out as soon as they could. The yakuza members only stopped shooting when they heard the chief deputy police officer use a bullhorn to inform them that they were surrounded.

Putting their differences aside, the yakuza members joined forces to partake in a hopeless standoff, being completely surrounded by station police and the train’s security guards. The station was cleared and put in emergency lockdown as the members fired all of their rounds at the slowly approaching police. When the bullets stopped firing, six SAT officers charged into the subway car. With the last of their bullets spent, the yakuza members tried and failed to attack with their knives and other blunt objects. In the end, however, the yakuza members that weren’t killed in the shootouts were apprehended and removed from the train station, allowing commuters to return to their routes.

Public opinion on how police were handling yakuza-based crime and corruption went from low to lower after that March’s limo snafu, only for the police’s handling of the train station shootout to be praised as being effective and highly successful. It was enough to finally win back the people’s support. Governor Aoshima beamed with glee.

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

…The “Wednesday Demonstration” protests had been held weekly at noon on every Wednesday in Korea since 1987 [10], after the Second Ark Wave hit the region, as a means of raising awareness of a grave injustice in need of correcting. When the Korean peninsula was under the rule of Imperial Japan during World War II, the Japanese government established a large scale sexual slavery system that forced its female Korean victims into being “comfort women,” a Japanese euphemism for “prostitutes.” Survivors were often, if not always present at these demonstrations, largely consisting of protests demanding the Japanese government not only recognize and apologize for these actions, but to also agree to pay reparations to its survivors.

Thousands annually gather across Korea for this movement, but after the liberation of the North, the demonstrations took on a second subject, namely the sexual slavery and human trafficking activities undertaken by the former DPRK government. These “new Koreans” or “new protestors” as called by some, stood in solidarity with fellow victims demanding the restoration of their dignity. For the former Northerners, this meant persecuting additional former DPRK members who were tried for war crimes, but not for their involvement in the rape and trafficking of former North Korean prisoners. These accusations saw more of an immediate response, as the Korean government placed uniting the peninsula’s populace above addressing Japan’s decades-old wrongdoings.

However, things became awkward for many involved in September 1998, when investigative journalists from the Japanese newspaper “The Asahi Shimbun” published extensive reports of South Korean soldiers raping North Korean women during the final weeks of the War of Reunification. Korean President Kim Dae-jung approached the dilemma boldly, by announcing that “all accusations” would be treated “equally and without prejudice,” believing this to be the only way to ensure “national cohension” in regards to these unsavory scandals…

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


…fighting between pro-Assad and anti-Assad forces led to a heavier vetting of Syrian invitees in order to ensure a fair and balanced collection of voices representing said nation, according to a spokesperson from Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., the primary sponsor of these annual congregation of various local community leaders such as Mayors, aldermen, and religious leaders…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 14/9/1998

…Digimon, a Japanese video game series, was created in response to the popularity of Pokémon and Tamagochi (but failed to outlive either), and was introduced to American markets in 1998… In the American music, the “Scene That Celebrates Itself” began to wane considerably. An early example of this can be found in the girl band S Club 7. Created in 1998 in a poor attempt to create another “Spice Girls” group, S Club 7 remained in the shadow of the “Spice Girls” and from that position often criticized said rival’s music… …Turbo Folk, described by Freddie Mercury as “folk music on cocaine,” found a niche pocket of fans in Europe by the end of the decade…


…By the end of the 1990s, Ireland’s agriculture sector was still important, but its modern technological industry was the most prominent section of its national. In social trends, the Catholic Church continued to lose influence due to the younger generation being at the forefront when America’s “Ark Waves” of 1970 and 1986 found their ways overseas in 1971 and 1987, respectively, questioned the morality of church representatives. The most prominent of these cases, such as the court procedures surrounding disgraced Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, and other, more heinous “collar criminals,” left a bitter taste in the mouths of a populous that was moving on from “the old ways” of yesteryear...
List of Presidents of Ireland
19/12/1974-21/3/1978: Cearbhall O Dalaigh (All-Party Nomination)
22/5/1978-21/5/1992: Patrick Hillery (Fianna Fail)
22/5/1992-present: Mary Robinson (Independent)

– Daniel Hollis’ The Emerald Isle: A Brief History of Ireland, Contour Publications, 2003

Pundit 1: “The Second Korean War only happened in the first place because of America’s first intervention in the peninsula, back in 1950.”

Pundit 2: “Then they are just finishing what they started.”

Pundit 1: “But when will that happen? The American military has been in Korea for nearly three years now. I thought the war had been won!”

Pundit 2: “Yes, but another one needs to be prevented now. Despite them initially planning to lower military presence in Korea once the situation was under control, the fact that recent reports revealing that the PRC has begun to strengthen their border with Korea has made the Korean government more willing to keep their allies close.”

Pundit 1: “If the Chinese didn’t intervene in ’96, then they are not going to now.”

Pundit 2: “Even still, the situation is forbidding. It is almost as if the Korean Demilitarized Zone was just moved up a ways on the map!”

– BBC1, roundtable discussion, 9/23/1998

LATEST POLL: American Military Presence In Korea Approval Ratings Among U.S. Citizens

Approve: 43%
Disapprove: 39%
Undecided: 15%

– Gallup, 9/24/1998


– First-term US Congresswoman Laura Welch (R-TX) meets with MLB Commissioner George Bush while on the campaign trail for a second term, 9/27/1998


Premiered: September 30, 1998 (U.S.)
Genre(s): suspense/horror/thriller
Synopsis: A small group of people survive underground in a post-apocalyptic “eastern Europe,” but are on the verge of societal collapse due to bickering, paranoia, suspicion and infighting. The group must put aside their differences, though, when a beast from mythology breaches their borders, threatening to doom them all with either radioactive fallout or its terrifying taste for human flesh.

Trivia Facts:

Trivia Fact No. 1: The Creature in The Film Is Based on A Real Myth

{spoiler} The Psoglav, or Psoglavac when plural, is from primarily Croatian and, less commonly, Slovenian, folk tales that describe a beast with a man’s body and a dog’s head that digs up graves to eat human remains [11]. Like in the film, the Psoglav’s most iconic characteristic is its single eye in the center of its face. It is described in the movie as the only animal to naturally develop cyclopia, which is the inability of the embryonic forebrain to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. In psoglavs, according to the film, this event naturally occurs due to the psoglav’s natural habitat – underground caves and tunnels, where vision is limited; nostrils and olfactory glands develop farther south of the snout than on regular wolf-based animals. The scientist character in the film states that another possible reason for their cyclopia is the plant veratrum californicum (corn lily), which contains the toxin 2-deoxyjervine (cyclopamine), a highly teratogenic alkaloid toxin that has been documented as misdirecting the embryonic forebrain-dividing process in farm animal births over the centuries. This plant is found growing all over the psoglav’s tunnels in the third act of the film.

Trivia Fact No. 2: The Movie Spawned Cincinnati’s Movie Industry

The city of Cincinnati, Ohio hosts the largest abandoned subway tunnel system in the US, as construction on the costly endeavor halted during the Great Depression [12]. Without any plans to revive the rapid transit project, the city began seeking other ways of using the roughly over 2 miles of empty tunnels. Proposals varied over the decade, but often faced issues; the space was inadequate for use as a city storage facility, as a fallout shelter, or as a train line due to its small space and sharp turns inhibiting mobility. In the 1970s, businessman Nick Clooney managed to turn a small part of the tunnels into an underground night club, with plans on expanding the area into an underground mall, until insurance costs and liability concerns scrapped both the club and the mall proposal after the US entered recession in 1978. However, in the 1990s, filmmakers in Hollywood learned of the abandoned systems’ existence due to technet forums raising awareness of it. Paramount initially planned to use only the Race Street station in this the horror film and produce the rest in Yugoslavia, but ultimately chose to film most of the film in Cincinnati due to the much lower costs. “It’s Watching You” performed modestly at the box office and developed a cult following. Since the film’s release, interest in the tunnels has gradually increased; since then, other major Hollywood films (such as Look Out Below, Afghan Junction, Dead Quiet, and The Warriors 2), as well as several independent films, have been filmed in the tunnels, and the city has seen a rise in tourism and in films being shot in the city.


…President Chris Hani’s “camaraderie committees” were bearing fruit by the end of 1998, as race riots reached an all-time low. Hani hoped to unite white and Black citizens of South Africa under the “Africa For All” concept, opening markets and trade to left-wing democracies and to all stable African nations. To this end, South Africa added to its automobile consumption by investing in the Kantanka car company headquartered in Ghana. …On the military side of things, President Hani received criticism for supporting UK Prime Minister John Lennon’s refusal to commit UK troops to military intervention in northern Korea in early 1996; by 1998, Lennon had apologized for the decision, while Hani refused to follow suit, arguing “he [Lennon] was right at the time.” In October 1998, though Hani did attempt to play a role in brokering peace a deal for warring groups developing chaos in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…

– Julian Brown’s The Road to Soweto: Resistance & Revolution in Post-Soweto South Africa, Jacana Publishers, 2016

“Korea’s recession spurred on the Feed The World concert, and that collaborative musical showcase did helped the Koreans ward off further economic disaster, but in doing so, it may have lessened the Democratic Party’s impact in the November midterms. Without Korea’s economic collapse, our own economy stayed strong, and who’s going to vote out the incumbents when the economy’s not doing too bad?”

– James Carville, former political advisor to John Glenn, TON Nighttime News, round-table discussion, 10/30/1998

…In October 1998, Wendy’s decided to discontinue The SuperBar, a generous buffet-style offering at select stores that had been first introduced in 1988, in over 75% of participating outlets. Financial statements confirmed that in high overhead costs were responsible for the company’s drop in total profits margins; to put it simply, the SuperBar was too expensive to retain – not to mention being very difficult for employees to maintain due to the need to frequently sanitize multiple trays and distribution utensils – without large a number of customers using it. And Wendy’s outlets only rarely saw such a large number of customers...

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

[vid: B2pzL_mysBI ]

– A commercial for Wendy’s The SuperBar, c. 1989

THE EVOLUTION OF FRITZ HOLLINGS: Why A Former Segregationist Is Passionately Backing Jesse Jackson

…Fritz Hollings, who supports Jackson’s plans for economic revival for the state, was a supporter of industrial training programs during his own time as Governor, from 1959 to 1963... Jackson served as Governor from 1987 to 1991, winning during the “blue wave” of 1986 midterms. In September 21-22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo destroyed billions of dollars of upscale housing built along the coastline during the 1970s. Jackson, with the help of historical preservation groups and construction firms, built the city of Charleston back to its pre-Hugo conditions within a year. Limited to one term, Jackson spent the rest of his term fighting tooth and nail to overhaul education. The state economy had focused on offering low-wage industrial jobs since the 1970s, and so was failing to attract high-wage industries and the kind of workers who can afford high taxes imposed under Governors Westmoreland, Riley, and Stevenson... …Jackson’s opponents claim he is only running for the Governor’s seat once more to use it as a stepping stone for another run for the White House in 2000; however, Jackson remains popular among SC Democrats, especially those who don’t mind. “If he wants that higher-up job,” says one support referring to the White House, “then you’ll know he’ll put his nose to the grindstone and do a good job during his first year, so that way he can run for President in the second year and win.”

Time Magazine, mid-October 1998 issue


The Chicago Tribune, 10/20/1998

…news of more violence coming out from Korea and Mexico concerning Black Markets, gunrunning and drug trafficking made many American voters begin to question if Dinger was indeed handling these situations as well as the GOP claimed he was. In October, Mexico’s civilian death toll rose as more locals began to rise up against cartels, after a 5-year-old boy was killed in crossfire during a cartel-police gunfight north of Cabo on October 21 jumpstarted a popular grassroots-based anti-drug movement among locals in northern Mexico. Concurrently, the marijuana legalization movement was making headway in political discussions leading up to the 1998 midterm elections; it even began to gain supporters in Mexico as well.

On October 26, gunmen working for the Juarez Cartel overwhelmed a local jail and “liberate” the drug cartel members being temporarily held there; local citizens responded by planting cam bombs outside one of the cartels’ warehouses, setting it ablaze. The cartel replied by shooting a local community organizer, to which the citizens responded by giving further support to police...

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

“Liberty must be defended at all levels of government and in all troubled lands. Whether Americans and their fellow lovers of freedom and democracy are separated by an ocean, a language or a religion, the principles of life, liberty and happiness are universal, worldwide truths. We have pulled these principles out from under the thumb of oppression in northern Korea, and we will pull these principles out from under the thumb of oppression in Mexico, and Colombia, and every nation in between where innocent citizens live in fear of violent recreadrug cartels. The same cartels that threaten the lives and health of our children with their narcotics. Their lives must be protected, and that starts with a strongly anti-drug Senate!”

– US Sen. Patrick Downard (R-KY), 10/28/1998 stump speech


The New York Times, 11/1/1998

November United States Senate election results, 1998

Date: November 3, 1998
Seats: 36 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
Senate majority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Senate minority leader: Bob Dole (R-KS)
Seats before election: 53 R), 45 (D), 2 (I), 0 (LU)
Seats after election: 50 (R), 47 (D), 2 (I), 1 (LU)
Seat change: R v 3, D ^ 2, I - 0, LU ^ 1

Full List:
Alabama: incumbent Mary Texas Hurt Garner (D) over Jerome Shockley (R)
Alaska: incumbent Frank Murkowski (R) over Tony Knowles (D), Billy Toien (L), Jeffrey Gottlieb (G) and Marc Millican (I)
Arizona: incumbent Eddie Najeeb Basha Jr. (D) over Robert Lee Park (R)
Arkansas: incumbent F. Winford Boozman III (R) over Lottie H. Shackelford (D)
California: Mike Gravel (D) over Edward C. Nixon (R); incumbent Mario Obledo (D) retired
Colorado: incumbent Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R) over Dottie Lamm (D); incumbent Pat Schroeder (D) retired
Connecticut: incumbent Chris Dodd (D) over Wildley Moore (R)
Florida: incumbent Michael Bilirakis (R) over Frank Mann (D)
Georgia: incumbent Dr. John Skandalakis (D) over Paul Coverdell (R)
Hawaii: incumbent Daniel Inouye (D) over Crystal Young (R)
Idaho: incumbent Bethine Church (D) over Mike Crapo (R)
Illinois: Cardiss Collins (D) over George Ryan (R); incumbent Alan Dixon (D) retired
Indiana: Evan Bayh (D) over incumbent Richard Lugar (R)
Iowa: Patty Jean Poole (D) over incumbent John Judge (R)
Kansas: incumbent Bob Dole (R) over Gloria O’Dell (D)
Kentucky: incumbent Patrick “Kelly” Downard (R) over Scotty Baesler (D)
Louisiana: incumbent Buddy Roemer (R) over Marty James Chabert (D)
Maine (special): incumbent appointee Olympia Snowe (R) over Sean Faircloth (D)
Maryland: incumbent Barbara Mikulski (D) over Ross Pierpont (R)
Missouri: incumbent Wayne Cryts (D) over Tamara Millay (R)
Nevada: Patricia Anne “Patty” Cafferata (R) over James Bilbray (D); incumbent Barbara Vucanovich (R) retired
New Hampshire: Lou D’Allesandro (D) incumbent Kathy Alexander (R)
New York: incumbent Mario Biaggi (D) over Will McMillen (R)
North Carolina: incumbent Nick Galifianakis (D) over Barbara Howe (R)
North Dakota: incumbent Kent Conrad (D) over Donna Nalewaja (R)
Ohio: incumbent Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. (D) over George Voinovich (R)
Oklahoma: incumbent Mickey Edwards (R) over Laura Boyd (D)
Oregon: incumbent Les AuCoin (D) over Tonie Nathan (R) and Aaron Dixon (Green)
Pennsylvania: incumbent Bob Casey Sr. (D) over Barbara Hafer (R)
South Carolina: incumbent Fritz Hollings (D) over Richard Quillian (R)
South Dakota: incumbent Teresa McGovern (D) over Ron Schmidt (R)
Utah: incumbent James V. Hansen (R) over Scott Leckman (D)
Vermont: Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union) over Bob Melamede (D) and Hugh Douglas (R); incumbent Madeleine Kunin (D) retired
Washington: incumbent Gary Locke (D) over Linda Smith (R)
Wisconsin: incumbent Bronson La Follette (D) over Stephen B. “Steve” King (R)


…Senators Angus King, Ralph Nader and Senator-elect Peter Diamondstone were willing to caucus with the Democrats, while the centrist wing of the GOP still tried to get Nader to caucus with them more often. Together, the three made up “the triumvirate,” the “kingmakers” of the senate for the next two years. With their caucusing, the Senate was split evenly, 50-50, but with a sitting Republican VP, Republicans remained in control …A possible wildcard during this period was conservative Senator Biaggi (D-NY), who had more than once been rumored to be considering “defecting” to the Republicans over his alleged “poor treatment at the hands of the Democratic establishment.” Such a defection during this session would give Republicans 51 seats; this would have been enough for a clear, albeit narrow, majority for the GOP in the Senate, without the need for the VP’s tiebreaker vote...

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

United States House of Representatives results, 1998

Date: November 3, 1998
Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: David F. Emery (R-ME)
New House minority leader: Barbara B. Kennelly (D-CT)
Last election: 265 (R), 169 (D), 1 (I)
Seats won: 242 (R), 191 (D), 2 (I)
Seat change: R v 23, D ^ 22, I ^ 1


…In California, Jim Gray, a Republican Superior Court Judge in Orange County since 1989 and an early supporter of legalizing “low-harm recredrugs” such as marijuana since the early 1990s, successfully primaried incumbent Bob Dornan of the 46th District, and barely edged out a win in November…

…While Tancredo, Gritz, and Wilson were elected to congress from Colorado, Idaho, and California, respectively, all other candidates endorsed by the Wide-Awakes lost in either their respective primaries or general elections. Most notably, libertarian-leaning US Senator M. Katherine Alexander (R-NH) lost re-election in a surprise upset, as did fellow incumbent US Senator John Judge (R-IA)…

…Florida’s most notable freshman congressman, however, was Willie Logan, the African-American state representative and former Mayor of Opa-Locka, who ran a quixotic campaign for southern Florida congressional seat as an Independent. With anti-establishment platform calling for a combination of Gravelite Progressivism and “fiscal responsibility,” Logan narrowly edged out the major-party nominees to become one of only two Independents in the 1999-2001 Congress, the other being Bill Sorrell of Vermont…

…Texas Democrats stood firm as the state veered further to the right and to the GOP. Governor Henry Cisneros pulled off a very narrow victory; US Congressman Bill Sarpalius road on his coattails into another House term, as did incumbent Pete Geren and Jack Brooks, as well as six new freshmen Democratic representatives…

…Pennsylvanians elected female African-American banking executive and former CEO of the United Bank of Philadelphia Emma C. Chappell, a progressive Democrat who supported Jesse Jackson’s 1996 Presidential candidacy, to an eastern PA Congressional seat…

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

United States Governor election results, 1998

Date: November 3, 1998
Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 11
Seats before: 29 (D), 19 (R), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seats after: 31 (D), 16 (R), 3 (I), 0 (G)
Seat change: D ^ 2, R v 3, I ^ 2, G v 1

Full list:
Alabama: Winton Blount (R) over Lenora Pate (D); incumbent Bettye Frink (R) was term-limited
Alaska: Robin Taylor (Libertarian-Republican Alliance) over Sam Cotton (D), Jim Sykes (Green) and Joe Vogler (AIP); incumbent Nora Dauenhauer (Green) retired
Arizona: David Nolan (R) over incumbent Sam Goddard III (D), Paul Johnson (I) and Scott Malcolmson (I)
Arkansas: Nick Bacon (D) over Sheffield Nelson (R); incumbent Mike Beebe (D) retired
California: incumbent Kathleen Brown (D) over Dennis Peron (R)
Colorado: incumbent Wellington Webb (D) over Gene Nichol (R)
Connecticut: incumbent Barbara Kennelly (D) over Jodi Rell (R) and Sandra Bender (Independent Democratic)
Florida: incumbent LeRoy Collins Jr. (D) over Joe Scarborough (R)
Georgia: incumbent Eston Wycliffe “Wyc” Orr Sr. (D) over Mike Bowers (R)
Hawaii: incumbent Pat Saiki (R) over Jackie King (D)
Idaho: Larry J. Echo Hawk (D) over Dirk Kempthorne (R) and Peter Rickards (I); incumbent Butch Otter (R) retired
Illinois: Darrell Issa (R) over Glenn Poshard (D); incumbent Jim Edgar (R) retired
Iowa: Sally Pederson (D) over Tom Tauke (R); incumbent Joy Coming (R) retired
Kansas: incumbent Martha Keys (D) over Bill Graves (R)
Maine: incumbent Jim Longley Jr. (I) over Tom Connolly (D) and William Clarke (R)
Maryland: Eileen Rehrmann (D) over Helen Delich Bentley (R); incumbent Decatur “Bucky” Trotter (D) retired
Massachusetts: Michael Dukakis (D) over George Bachrach (R) and Paul Loscocco (I); incumbent Evelyn Murphy (D) lost re-nomination
Michigan: incumbent James Blanchard (D) over Allen Alley (R)
Minnesota: incumbent Paul Wellstone (DFL) over Frank Germann (IRL) and Warren Limmer (Sanctity)
Nebraska: incumbent Kay Orr (R) over Kim Robak (D)
Nevada: incumbent Doug Swanson (R) over Jan Laverty Jones (D)
New Hampshire: George Condodemetraky (D) over incumbent Ovide Lamontage (R)
New Mexico: Richard “Cheech” Marin (D/La Raza Unida) and John Dendahl (R); Richard P. “Rick” Cheney (R) was term-limited
New York: Bernadette Castro (R) over Mary Anne Krupsak (D), Tom Golisano (Independence), Roy Innis (Working Families), Rudy Giuliani (Conservative), Al Lewis (Green), Evan Galbraith (Liberal), Lenora Fulani (Natural Mind); incumbent Mario Cuomo (D) retired
Ohio: incumbent William J. Brown (D) over Greg Lashutka (R)
Oklahoma: incumbent Robert S. Kerr III (D) over Hoppy Heidelberg (R)
Oregon: John Elwood “Bud” Clark (I) over John Kitzhaber (D) and Bill Sizemore (R); incumbent John Lim (R) retired
Pennsylvania: incumbent Lynn Yeakel (D) over Ernie Preate (R)
Rhode Island: Bob Healey (I) over Jack Dennison Potter (D) and Lincoln Almond (R); incumbent Bob Weygand (D) retired
South Carolina: Jesse Jackson (D) over Carroll Campbell (R) and Jim Hodges (I); Robert Inglis Sr. (R) was term-limited
South Dakota: Susan Wismer (D) over Jack Billion (R); incumbent Gus Hercules (R) retired
Tennessee: Bill Haslam (R) over John Jay Hooker Jr. (D); incumbent Frank Clement (D) was term-limited
Texas: Henry Cisneros (D/La Raza Unida) over Ray Hollis (R); incumbent Rick Perry (D) retired
Vermont: incumbent Howard Dean (D) over Ruth Dwyer (R) and Richard Gottlieb (Liberty Union)
Wisconsin: Kathleen Falk (D) over incumbent Margaret Farrow (R)
Wyoming: incumbent Harriet Elizabeth Byrd (D) over Bill Taliaferro (R)


REFERENDUM RESULTS: 60% VOTE FOR STATEHOOD; Historically High Voter Turnout Likely Fueled By Years of Commonwealth Corruption

…Two weeks after Villaronga narrowly won a second term as governor, Puerto Rican voters participated in yet another status referendum. This time, however, turnout was at an all-time high, amid more and more reports of corruption in the commonwealth government. Additionally, the commonwealth has played a vital role in helping the federal government crackdown on recreadrug trafficking and smuggling in the Caribbean. …“The Three Options” appeared on the ballot as usual. Statehood would make us no longer autonomous and would make us be ruled by a capital that has different language and different values and traditions; remaining a commonwealth would ensure further corruption from the local and mainland governments would go unchecked; independence would allow domestic corruption to go unchecked by a greater government agency. After the ballots were tallied, “statehood” had clearly obtained 59.1% of the vote, while “commonwealth” received 39.2%; “independence” once again received under 2%. Marking the first time that “statehood” has surpassed 50% in one of these referendums, and due to the high voter turnout, these results may just finally initiate mainland congressional action…

El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico newspaper (English version), 11/17/1996

…appeal to more conservative demographics and in turn develop pro-conservative atmospheres in their workplaces and advertisements, leading to some controversy later on…
…by the 1990s, Jell-O had shifted completely from being a stereotypical go-to dessert for shoutniks in the 1960s to being a common staple at conservative homes and social events in conservative communities. This was especially true out west, most noticeably in Utah, where Mormons seemed to embrace Jell-O as a proud stereotype of theirs. The company only began to distance themselves from this “niche” customer base and expand their marketing operations to a try and appeal to a wider range of customers in the late 1990s. This second shift was in response to many conservatives ontech promoting Jell-O products despite not being paid to advertise these products. Jell-O subsequently developed a negative stigma among liberal consumers who associated their products with groups such as The "Wide-Awakes" and several conservative activists who got into legal trouble for pestering people ontech. The bad image was slowly rejected – surveys conducted by Jell-O show that in 2010, Mormon customers still strongly supported their product, “radicalism” was no longer associated with their productions, and sales results were actually improving among “liberal” consumers…


“By the end of 1998, the Drug Enforcement Administration could confirm that most of the heroin was coming in from Mexico after being grown in Afghanistan. Their King was trying to work with us, but his job security was a bit on the precarious side. A lot of locals weren’t keen on America’s secular nature and often caused trouble when the King showed off his allegiance to us too much. Heh, despite all we did for them in the ’70s. But anyway, the fact of the case was that we needed to nip in the bud the cartels’ attempts to set up operations in Afghanistan and Nepal, due to the former’s poppy fields – a big source of opium – and in Tajikistan, too. A lot of scumbags, a lot of arrogant murderers and torturers, could be found over there, giving law-and-order officials headache after headache. Instead of cops and robbers, it was cops and dealers.”

– Former White House “drug czar” Robert Smith Walker, 2006 interview


…the progressive Associate Justice had served on the bench for over 23 years...

The Washington Post, 12/14/1998


…Despite being backed by the popular incumbent President (since 1996) of Belarus, Zianon Pazniak (of the Conservative Christian party), Belarussians voted against becoming a part of Russia again by the narrow margin of 1.1% in a Yes-No nationwide referendum. While the government and the people of Russia and Belarus have maintained very strong and very close ties since the latter’s independence in 1984, this referendum marks another unsuccessful attempt to unite the two groups into one. “We work better separately, with open borders and free trade and travel, but with separate laws and leaders, and I think the Belarussian people made that perfectly clear tonight,” says Belarus’ Commerce Minister, who confirmed for us that a recount is already underway in several villages. The Minister, though, notes that “I don’t think the results will change. It was narrow, but not very narrow.”

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 17/12/1998

…The results of the 1998 Belorussian Referendum were so narrow that Russian President Viktor Chernomyrdin considered annexing the country anyway! His defense minister drafted a plan to stage nationwide riots the next time their economy had a little hiccup. The idea would be to intimidate investors with the riots, causing the economy to worsen, and requiring Russia to step in to restore peace and order to Belarus. However, after several weeks, Chernomyrdin cancelled the operation. Concerns that the invading forces would actually turn Belarussians against Russia gave Chernomyrdin pause, and in the end he changed his mind. Still, for a while, at least, the people of Belarus were incredibly close to their closest ally invading them, and never knew it until; the proposed annexation would not become public knowledge until 2018…

– Alexander Korzhakov’s After The Pact: Post-Cold War Russia And The Twenty-First Century, St. Petersburg Press, 2020


Hantavirus had the whole nation – and the federal government – on edge for several weeks in early 1991, and American scientists knew that another version of the deadly virus had existed in North Korea as far back as the 1950s, when American soldiers got the thing during the Frist Korean War. Is it possible that the Bellamy, Iacocca and Dinger administrations put into motion an elaborate plan to simply invade the north just so American scientists could get their hands on that virus? The motive – to see if the Korean strand holds the secret to finding a vaccine to beat the hantavirus. After all, nobody would notice a bunch of scientists running around during a war. Plus, the Bellamy administration did leave behind an extensive collection of files or whatever you call it – a large amount of protocols, simulations and instructions for hypotheticals concerning a resurgence in hantavirus cases. Maybe not all the documents were publicly released. Maybe the docs mapping out the war were never publicly released, because they were destroyed? And thirdly, a war would kill two birds with one stone – work as a cover for a secret scientists team, and topple an anti-American regime!

It may look like a stretch, but if you connect the right dots in the right way, the whole picture becomes perfectly clear!

–, 1/11/2013 posting thread “motherpost”


…At the moment, more Japanese citizens are purchasing items on credit than ever before – despite Korea’s economic downturn possibly sending ripples over to Japan’s Treasury and business sectors…

The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/1998


– Christmas in United Korea, c. December 1998


…An analysis of the world-renown franchise’s business model of emphasizing quality at established locations reveals a slow-down in expansion over the past eight years. …The chain’s parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., have only recently relegated 20% more funding to KFC’s advertising department, with results being overall mixed…

– The Caterer, weekly UK business magazine for hospitality professionals, late December 1998 issue

[1] Inspired by this:
[2] Parts of this segment are verbatim from here:
[3] @ajm8888 came up with the idea of this segment
[4] I covered Carson moving to Australia and getting involved in local politics in the 1983 and 1991 chapters.
[5] Same as OTL except the act is a bit more damaging ITTL:
[6] Both of these promotions come a bit earlier than in OTL
[7] Based on this:
[8] I’ll go into more detail in the next chapter
[9] OTL quote!
[10] Real life demonstration, just founded five years earlier than IOTL.
[11] OTL:
[12] Also OTL!:

The next Chapter's E.T.A.: August 10 at the latest!
Mordalfus Grea said:
I have a little question that came to mind upon seeing Elvis at the Trump Stadium bit; What has happened to this timeline's version of Johnny Cash?
His biography is similar to OTL. He spends his life battling pill addiction and getting arrested on occasion in the 1960s, but maybe he doesn't accidently burn down a national forest here like he did IOTL. It's possible that, if the pivotal 1967 arrest in Georgia that caused him to get his life together and not let his pill addiction overwhelm him didn't happen, than some other, similar event unfolded instead, maybe during the anti-war shoutnik music scene of the early 1960s. He most likely was very happy when LBJ expanded Native American lands, even if it was just to get out of the Curse of Tippecanoe (covered in a prior chapter).

Like in OTL, Cash was on friendly terms with all the US Presidents, here starting with Sanders. As a devout Christian, Cash likely supported Sanders' post-Presidential religious activities, and prayed for him when The Colonel got shot in early 1980.

If he has a cameo in TTL's Futurama, the Space Coyote may be a "real" creature in the show, instead of a figment of Homer's insanity-pepper-influenced imagination!

Cash wasn't in the 1998 Feed the World concert because his health was in decline and his doctors advised him against it; I think 40 years of intermittent drug abuse, and having heart issues in the '80s, would catch up to him one way or another. Under UHC, though, his condition is correctly diagnosed as a neuropathy in '97, instead of it being twice misdiagnosed like IOTL. So, because of that, and maybe due to easing up on the pills a bit more successfully than IOTL (plus butterflies), he may live a bit longer here, but not by that much. Eight more years, tops, I'd say. Maybe I should cover all this in an obituary in a later chapter?...
Steelers94 said:
Uh over half it it has a line through it.
I don't know why that happens, this isn't the first time it's done that. Check again - is it alright now?
Steelers94 said:
Looks ok for me now
Kennedy Forever said:
Great chapter I liked President Dinger's cabinet. Nice to see Korea has a new leader now hopefully peace can last
Thanks and thanks; indeed!
Sunstone77 said:
How's Ireland doing? The mid-90s was when the economy really began to grow and led to the Celtic Tiger book. The overall nature of this timeline makes me think any economic growth will be much more tempered here. But who knows, maybe the Northern Ireland Peace Accords in the 70s have led to more investment in ireland sooner and butterflied the whole 90s boom away
Ireland's economy was sluggish during the early 1980s due to the effects of the Crash of 1978, but was doing very well by the end of the decade. Europe's tech boom is sort of coming earlier here, and Ireland is sort of at the forefront of it. The growth isn't as rapid as OTL, though. I'll go into more detail in the next chapter.
Excellent question! Hillenburg cares about the quality of the show like in OTL, so it won't be a shameless cash grab; the latter may be more likely, then, right? What do you think? (I'll cover it in either 1998 or 1999)
Wendell said:
This timeline remains interesting. Wow. That Dinger cabinet is something else.
Post 70
Post 70: Chapter 78

Chapter 78: January 1999 – June 1999

“When you’re right, nobody remembers. When you’re wrong, nobody forgets.”

– Muhammad Ali

Prior to Higginbotham’s passing, a clear majority of the Supreme Court was liberal. The most progressive were A. Leon Higginbotham, Mary Murphy Schroeder, Miles W. Lord, and, to a lesser extent, William Nealon Jr.; the two centrists of the court were Edward H. Levi and Chief Justice Johnson; the two right-of-center “Colonel Conservatives” were Sylvia Bacon and Herb Fogel; and the deeply conservative Joseph Tyree Sneed III made Bacon at times seem liberal by comparison.

To shore up GOP support among Hispanic Americans, President Dinger heavily considered Emilio M. Garza to fill Higginbotham’s seat. At 51, the centrist Republican Latino-American from Texas was appointed Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in early 1993 by President Iacocca, and was initially considered the frontrunner for the post, with former US Attorney General J’Ada Finch-Sheen of the Virgin Islands also being considered.

Other names floated by the media during the weeks that followed Justice Higginbotham’s deaths included Jewish centrist Republican Circuit Judge Barry Scheck of New York, Circuit Judge Barrington Parker Jr. of Washington, D.C., 40-year-old Republican state Attorney General Lavenski Smith of Arkansas, state judge Ruben Castillo of Illinois, 40-year-old state judge David M. Medina of Texas, Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Giuliani of New Jersey, and female conservative Republican Circuit Judge Edith Jones of Texas.

However, because Higginbotham was the only African-American on the bench, calls for him to be succeeded by another African-American led a new name arising. Larry Dean Thompson, age 53, was an African-American Republican from Georgia. After serving as US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1982 to 1986, he was a US Deputy Attorney General under President Kemp, and was appointed Circuit Judge under Iacocca. Experienced and touting a moderate-to-conservative voting record, Dinger ultimately nominated him for the position on January 12; the Republican-majority Senate confirmed the nomination, 94-to-6, on March 5th.

– Linda Greenhouse and Morton J. Horwitz’s Upholding Liberty: The Supreme Court Under Chief Justice Frank Minis Johnson, Sunrise Publishing, 2019

In early 1999, fears of “Y2K” reached its peak. The problem rested in the large number of computer programs commonly used that only allowed for the use of the final two digits of recent years. Due to this, there was panic that a computer’s date recording descending from “99” (1999) to “00” (2000) would cause its system to shut down over its possible inability to comprehend what would appear to be time going backward. The technical issue during New Years’ transition into the new millennium was feared to crash computer systems worldwide, creating a severe market crisis and environmental catastrophe as banking systems lost their records and power plants went offline. [1] Fear and panic even led to a fairly-well-known conspiracy theory, taken seriously or semi-seriously by some, that the 2003 Mars Mission had been established in case nuclear missile silos were activated by the supposed computer crash, destroying the planet.

To placate the YSK Scare, governments and individual companies worldwide spent millions of dollars – a total of $600billion in US currency by some estimates – in IT/software updates to minimize the impact of “the Millennium bug.” For example, the Dinger administration passed the “Year 2000 Technological Information Readiness and Improvement Act” (or “YTTIRI Act”) and worked with ODERGA to fund and monitor private companies’ preparations for system conversion endeavors.


After educators and then businessman got their hands on the technet, the price of computers began to drop to a level low enough for even the technologically curious to experiment with the device’s potential applications in various fields, from music to medicine to artistry. Branching off of the edu-tainment programs of the mid-1990s, the technet’s more creative possibilities began to bloom as the new millennium approached. One software program, dubbed “noosphere,” was a major step in computer animation and design. The creators of the software were followers of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest and philosopher who believed in a future scenario he called “globalized thought,” naming it the “noosphere” and calling the subsequent “greatest degree of collective consciousness to which the universe would evolve” the “Omega Point.” Hence the use of that phrase in many sci-fi films during the 2000s decade.

At this point in time, despite internet websites being private property not yet very subject to major laws concerning privacy setting, it was just general practice for a slim majority of technetters to use their real names on sites, and for mes-reps (message-replies) as they would on their physical mail letters (George P., Max V., Daniel S., Stephanie M., etc.).

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


…several economic analysts and experts believe the Dinger White House is failing to prepare for American markets to downturn similarly to the markets of Mexico and Korea in recent years…

The Boston Globe, 1/12/1999

DINGER DEFINED: The President’s Smooth Handling of The Markets As Other Countries Falter

– The Weekly Standard, conservative magazine, mid-January 1999 issue

“These studies show that the President’s progressive plans to modernize the former North and reform industries nationwide to keep the newly-acquired regions economically afloat are keeping the situation steady. Conditions will improve overall. The people of the north will be helped during this recession. They will not suffer like in the past. We acknowledge that they are survivors. That they survived forced labor, decades of ruling madmen, and terrible famine after famine, but our country is beautiful, our ancient history is rich, and we are alive. And the northern people will not struggle alone, not anymore, and not ever again.”

– Park Jie-won, chief presidential secretary to United Korean President Kim Dae-jung, 1/17/1999 press briefing

In February 1993, Lee Iacocca warned that if Japan “continue[d] on with their bubble economy, an illusion of profit from manufacturing and frequently manipulating the yen decade after decade, well, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, as they say.” Six years later, his comments went from being controversial to being prophetic.

Japan’s economy finally collapsed at the start of 1999, with the Treasury and Commerce Ministers officially declaring the nation’s months-long slump a recession on January 22, 1999. Their “bubble” had burst. After two decades of unprecedented growth (save for a brief crisis in 1987, and the intermittent 1993-1995 trade wars with the US), the country suffered economic collapse almost as bad as the one felt by Mexico just two years earlier. Several Japanese economists blamed the crash on the 1996-1998 humanitarian crisis that was the survivors of the former North Korea, with 1996 markets showing woes over how the expensive reunification phase would effect Japanese markets and Korea-Japan trade.

However, the true cause of the slightly-abrupt end of what until then had been Asia’s strongest economy, with China close behind, was unchecked speculation. The Bank of Japan gave out too many loans, as in loans that could not reasonably be paid back as expected. Concern over Korea’s and Mexico’s economies only caused other banks to double down on similar practices. In addition, after President Dinger ended his predecessor’s trade wars, several Japanese businesses began showing projected future sales in place of current sales in order to create the illusion of a strong and healthy market, creating a false sense of consumer confidence. In late 1998, several banks were bailed out of debt by the Japanese government, signaling to investors that the god times were possibly about to end; other banks and businesses turned to help from local yakuza syndicates in order to stay afloat.

The instability grew to be unsustainable by the end of the year, as inflation grew and cracks began to appear in the markets, and, like rats swimming away from a sinking ship, many foreign investors began to distance themselves from Japan in the winter of 1998-1999.

Thus, nearly four years after his death, Iacocca’s unheeded words for internal reform in Japan were vindicated – and the yakuza were poised for a comeback…

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

6.2M EARTHQUAKE STRIKES WESTERN COLOMBIAN; At Least 800 Killed As Buildings Collapse In City Of Armenia And Surrounding Areas

The Orlando Sentinel, 1/25/1999


A film from Mexico addressing their immigration debate concerning the Mexican-Guatemalan border. The film follows two Guatemalan immigrants, the malevolent Hector, and the benevolent Rosa. They share the same creed but are otherwise unconnected, with Hector being a murderous gang member abandoning his family for greener pastures north, while Rosa is searching for a better quality of life, away from the recreadrugs plaguing her village.

The film was highly controversial upon its release. Several theaters in Mexico refused to play it, leading to a partially on-tech “underground” release campaign. In the United States, many right-wing politicos claimed the film was pro-liberal, while many liberals believed the film was pro-right. The heavy amount of discussion surrounding the film led to many American audiences seeing it, making a high-grossing, and critic-polarizing, foreign film in the US.


“…this protest outside of this police station in Arizona over alleged Hispanic prejudice from the officers here has turned violent. The origin of this rise in tension is currently unknown, but the fact remains that bedlam has broken out here in Tucson…”

– NBC News reporter, 2/2/1999 broadcast

When The Colonel, the great American President Harland Sanders, first sold KFC in the People’s Republic of China, I was a rare novelty. Now, KFC is the People’s Republic of China’s largest fast food chain, with more than 4,500 outlets in the country! [2] And so today, on the 25th anniversary of the very first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet’s grand opening here in Beijing, we are offering all customers 25% off all purchases totaling 100 yuan ($25 dollars) [3] in all participating locations across the People’s Republic of China!

– KFC China, official statement, 2/9/1999


– KFC China 25th Anniversary Celebrations, 2/9/1999

…By the end of her ninth year in office, Maggiemania being dead was unquestionable to all but the ruling party. Prime Minister Margaret Ann Mitchell’s poor handling of the rise in concerns over student loans and pension plans made her seem weak, and she seemed tired of the office.

Furthermore, her wage and price controls were increasingly unpopular, and her calling for Quebec and Alberta to not “abuse provincial jurisdiction” in a February 1999 gaffe was viewed as being akin to poking “two bears with the same stick,” as former Prime Minister Jean Chretien described it. Mitchell’s latest term as also plagued by her failing to form a consensus or even enact much meaningful legislation, as the far left-wing PT party kept failing to work with the centrist Liberal party, and were really failing to work with the conservative Progressive Conservative party.

Additionally, her “long-gun registry” had alienated western provinces, her sending of troops to Korea upset the far-left member of the ruling Progressive Tomorrowists, and her “deficit spending” to cover healthcare costs were drawing the ire of conservatives.

Her chances of winning another term looked poor, but with the election so close, and her remaining popular among a clear majority of PT parliament members and party members, Mitchell entered the federal election with high hopes – misguided hopes, but high hopes nonetheless…

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


The Guardian, 7/2/1999

…a new extensive Gallup poll has found that 42% of Americans support legalizing cannabis and other low-harm recreational narcotics, while 51% do not. This is a major change from ten years ago, when only 21% did and 78% did not… [4]

– ABC Morning News, 2/11/1999

Lewis and Clark and The Dinosaurs
is a 1999 young adult alternate history book written by then-23-year-old Seth Greenburg in his writing debut. The book made it onto the New York Times Bestsellers list for 1999, and a made-for-TV film based loosely on the book was made in 2002.


The story is set in an alternate universe that depicts the American West (more specifically, parts of the Louisiana Purchase and Pacific Northwest) as how Thomas Jefferson thought it was like in real life – a land of active volcanoes, living dinosaurs, and mastodons! [5] As a result, in the early 1800s, Lewis and Clark head out from St. Louis in an expedition that surprises both men with the adventure of a lifetime.


The story begins with a description of Jefferson’s real-life belief that it was impossible for entire animal species to go extinct [5], and how Lewis and Clark would have faced numerous challenges if Jefferson had been right. Upon the expedition crossing into the Rockies, they soon have to deal with surviving active volcanoes and lava flows. Next, they become lost in a prehistoric forest before cave-dwelling Native Americans save them from giant flightless birds. At their camps in the mountains, the Native Americans tell them of other wild monsters in the area, what they’ve named them, and how to protect themselves from these creatures. The next morning, the expedition is attacked by Pterodactyls. A Native American woman and Sacagawea subsequently lead a group of warriors that kill one, as they have good, tasty meat.

Heading out with provisions and a guide the next day, the expedition enters what we are shown on a map to be where Montana would be. There, they are attacked by T-Rexes, and many men are injured. Later, they find peaceful dinosaurs and, thinking they could use them for military purposes, quickly try and fail to tame and train some. The local Native Americans, humored by these failures, show Lewis and Clark and company how to ride them. The group subsequently rides several dinosaurs to the Pacific, where they finally come across giant mastodons near what would be Seattle.

On the return voyage, Lewis and Clark and their men are attacked by more dinosaurs, and again they all have to deal with lava flows from active volcanoes. At “the border” (the Rockies), the “good” dinosaurs refuse to travel over due to the different climate and air pressure/altitude. A T-Rex subsequently attacks the group, but, by remembering what the Native Americans taught them, the expedition manages to capture it.

When they return to Washington, D.C., Lewis says to Jefferson, “Mr. President, have I got a story for you,” and Clark pulls out a T-Rex egg that has just begun to hatch. Upon the baby inside popping out, Jefferson ends the story with the reply. “What, no mastodons?”


The book was financially successful, and was a hit with many critics. Some writers such as Harry Turtledove praised its ability to potentially popularize the alternate history genre. However, the book was also polarizing upon its release, as while many teachers and adults found it harmless, many other teachers feared it would confuse children trying to learn of the real Lewis and Clark voyage in history class. Concurrently, religious conservatives believed the book was a mockery of evangelism and sought to have it banned in a few places. To address this, re-releases of the book featured a “disclaimer” before and after the story, telling audiences to not use the book for any and all history classes. The same was done for the 2002 movie adaptation.



…the Arab World’s first venture to bodies in outer space began today with the successful launch of the “Wondrous Glory” probe, which is set to study the southern hemisphere of dark side of the moon. The launch, performed by Saudi Arabian Space Center, or Markaz Alfada Alsaeudii (MAA), comes after years of testing rockets in the Empty Quarter. The probe was launch from the Jilib Launch Base north of Jilib, Somalia; the base was opened in 1997 after a four-year international collaborative project funded by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Somalia, along with other Middle Eastern countries…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 2/24/1999


The New York Times, side article, 2/26/1999


…For most Americans, this former British colony is hardly on their radar, and may only be hearing about it in the news very recently due to its President being a Jewish woman born and raised to American parents in Chicago. Some channels and networks are focusing on her rise to power like it’s a romance novel, reflecting on her love for her husband prompting her to move to an obscure nation far away from the US, and all that mushy stuff. Those media outlets are overlooking the more important aspects of Guyana. Not only does a considerable Guyanese diaspora live in the United States, but the small and impoverished nation’s GDP per capita is expected to triple in the next decade as it soaks up the windfall of its recently discovered petroleum wealth. [6] The sudden supply of major oil and gas deposits near its coastline has complicated a nearly-centuries-old dispute over its border with Venezuela. Guyana’s larger and wealthier neighbor, Venezuela still lays claim to the entire western half of Guyana, and now both parties claim ownership of the off-shore fuel deposits. The subsequent impasse has largely paralyzed life in the country of less than 750,000 people. [7] If the governing and judicial parties fail to find a solution, then President Dinger must at the very least consider sending in American forces to defend the Guyana people from Venezuelan agitation…

– Former US Congressman-turned-D.C. corporate lobbyist Richard Bruce Cheney, The Washington Post, 2/28/1999 op-ed

…in the Garden State, the New Jersey state assembly has voted to impeach Governor Richard Pucci over his involvement in a campaign finance law violations scandal…

– CBS Evening News, 3/1/1999 broadcast


Born March 30, 1973, Istvan was an award-winning swimmer and water-polo player before joining the National Geographic Channel as an on-camera reporter and ontech writer in 1995. During his four years with us, he popularized the extreme sport of volcano-boarding, and wrote extensively on the future possibilities of the technet. His stepping on an undetected landmine during the filming of a documentary series on the Indochina Wars will not be forgotten. His friends, family and colleagues will honor his memory, and National Geographic will honor him by establishing the Zolton Istvan Award for reporters who go above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts to study and explore the world we all live in.


PROTESTORS: Free Mary Jane! Free Mary Jane!

Narrating REPORTER: Protests have popped up in Washington, D.C. over US Attorney General Linda Neuman cracking down on the selling, transporting and consumption of “low-harm” recreational narcotics. DC police have responded passively to the riots, leading to criticism from some politicians.

Former New Mexico Governor RICHARD P. CHENEY: “These cops are only encouraging the disorder; you have to show some muscle to really lay down the law! Being in a picket line is the same as signing a waiver – if you get your head busted in, you can only blame yourself for doing something as stupid and as unproductive as protesting in the first place!”

Narrating REPORTER: And these sort of comments have been criticized, too.

UK Prime Minister JOHN LENNON: “I urge President Dinger, and that Cheney fellow and others like him, uh those who agree with him, to observe their country’s own democratic standards and respect their fellow countryman’s right to protest.”

PROTESTORS: Free Mary Jane! Free Mary Jane!

– KNN, 3/4/1999 news report clip


The Washington Times, 3/5/1999

IS TRUMP DATING A ROYAL BRIT?! Billionaire Playboy Spotted With UK Queens’ Niece!

Real estate developer and former MLB pitcher Donald Trump may have snagged himself a member of a royal family! Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, the 34-year-old single daughter of the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was recently spotted holding hands and smiling with The Don at a fundraiser held in Trump’s Sunrise Tower in L.A., California. According to multiple sources, Lady Sarah broke up with her last beau a few weeks ago in “a bitter way.” If these pictures reveal a budding new relationship, Trump may have caught a member of royalty on the rebound!...

The National Enquirer, US tabloid newspaper, 3/8/1999

US ENTERS RECESSION!!! Two Months Of Market Decline Makes Woes Official!

The New York Times, 3/9/1999

…The expensive handling of post-war Korea had sent Asia’s economy into recession in April 1998, but took nearly a year to finally reach the US, making its away along the “global chain” of international finance before landing in America at last from. The humanitarian crisis that was the “Survivors” of North Korea had long made US market watchers worry over how the reunification phase would effect trade, commerce and other elements, and in March 1999, they got their answer in the welcoming in of “The Long Recession”

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

“Netizen” (noun) – a technet-savvy citizen (or, alternatively, a 21st-century shoutnik)


Mitchell’s poor approval ratings mixed with the worsening economy in the country stoked the fires of a populist wave led by an unlikely candidate. Despite being a former Prime Minister and having intermittently served in parliament since 1949, Ontario’s Paul Hellyer had developed a reputation of being “an outsider working inside the machine, like a soldier in enemy expertly surviving behind enemy lines, in hostile foreign territory,” as his campaign manager once put it. His campaign to return to his former office received a boost when his populist Action party was endorsed by the fledgling conservative-populist Alberta Party, and then by the liberal-leaning Frontier party formed by activist Dick Orchard. With MP Bob Ringma switching to the Action Party as well, Hellyer’s supporters soon convened for a round of discussions in December 1998, culminating in the big-tent populist “Action Alliance” being formed in January 1999. Hellyer’s once-small party seemed to have some legitimate credibility – and momentum – as Election Day neared.

Other candidates failed to match Hellyer’s meteoric rise in poll after poll. Paul Martin Jr. (L) and Dianne Cunningham (PC) essentially repeated their unenthusiastic messages, policies, themes and proposals from 1995, as did the tiring Lucien Bouchard (BQ), which undoubtedly impacted voter turnout. Only Cunningham came off as more polished, with a more detailed set of consumer confidence ideas for how to improve the economy; in retrospect, this was her last-chance attempt to stay on as party leader due to her rising unpopularity among PC MPs. Meanwhile, MP Roger Bacon, head of the deeply conservative “Canadian” Party, was losing support to Hellyer, while the Green party continued its stagnancy.

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



…Before the election, the Progressives held a plurality of 141 seats, with the PCs in second place at 92, and with the Liberals and their 35 seats forming a minority government with the PTs; concurrently, the Action Alliance (the merging of the Action and Frontier/Alberta parties) had 14, the Quebec party had twelve, the Greens held three, and Roger Bacon’s Canadian Party had four.

With the election, the PTs’ number of seats sank down to 107, while the PCs only lost 5. This was better than the Liberals’ results, which saw them lose 7 seats. The most shocking results of the night belonged to the Action Alliance, which tripled their number of seats and nudging out the Liberals for third place. Less dramatically, the Quebec party’s numbers rose to 21 BQ. Concurrently, the Green and Canadian parties each gained two more seats, totaling 5 and 6.

151 seats were needed for a majority. Thus, the new problem facing parliament and party leaders was the need to form a minority government. However, even if the PTs and Liberals formed a coalition for a third time, they were still 15 seats shy of a majority, at 135 seats total. Even bringing the Green Party’s 5 seats into their coalition would cap them at 140, just eleven seats shy of a majority.

Meanwhile, the heads of the PC and AA parties were convening. Together, the two parties had a coalition of 134 seats. Add the Canadian Party, and they had 140, also just eleven seats shy of a majority.

Lucien Bouchard would play Kingmaker. In late March talks, Bouchard told members of both parties that he would side with “the Action Coalition” over “the Stability Coalition” in exchange for the following – a referendum on Quebec sovereignty, to be held in Quebec within two years; a public pledge to pass a balanced budget for “zero deficits” within one year; a hard line to be taken on immigration; deregulation on several federal land use/ownership laws; and finally, the placing of Hellyer as Prime Minister instead of Dianne Cunningham. The AC was willing to agree to the first condition, while the SC was not; the same went with the second and third conditions, though Hellyer himself was hesitant on both. The AC easily agreed with the fourth condition of deregulation. The fifth condition was the most contentious, as it was the culmination of bad blood forming between the Bouchard and Cunningham camps during the campaign trail. However, in order to win over the Quebec Party MPs, many members the PC party were willing to vote for Hellyer over their own party leader, especially due to her once again failing to lead the party to victory causing her to lose even more popularity with the party.

On March 28, the incoming collection of 87 PC MPs voted 50-37 in favor of Hellyer, “for country over party,” as PC MP Charest put it, signaling Bouchard to publicly endorsed the Action Coalition. With that, the Quebec Party’s 21 seats formed a minority government with the AC’s 140, totaling 161 to the Green-Liberal-PT alliance’s 140.

And so it came to pass that Paul Hellyer would become “a third-place victor,” and return to the office of Prime Minister on the third of April…

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


…the openly-socialist junior US Senator from Vermont theatrically condemned this year’s higher-than-typical amount for the annual spending bill, which Republicans explained as being necessary spending on account of continued military activities in Colombia. Diamondstone disagrees with the notion of US troops overseas anywhere, instead calling on his Republican colleagues to “Do your fiduciary duty! Demand all American troops be brought back to America! Let’s a wholly defensive army instead of an invasive army if we have to have an army at all!”…

The Washington Post, 4/4/1999

Dinger’s plan to combat The Long Recession was to cut government waste, which handicapped several social service programs already a shadow of their former selves. Several of the more liberal state-level governments responded to these notions by lending loans to small businesses in order to keep them afloat and to promote consumer spending. BBA defenders were sure to point and essentially say “but look! Now those state budgets are woefully in the red!” To these complaints, many of these Governor simply noted “we’ll make up the deficit later,” when people were not in sure dire financial straits.

Meanwhile, other states such as New Mexico tapped into their “rainy day” funds in a second example of how the government could still function with a temporarily unbalanced budget.

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

…Three years after the war, 90% of Korea’s former DMZ was made into a UN-protected World Heritage Site. A “Peace Park” of sorts, the “Central Korean Natural Preservation” allowed for the continuation of the area’s unique mostly-human-free natural developments…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…Hellyer sought to walk a fine line between the pro-regulation and anti-regulation factions of the Action Coalition. Hellyer attempted to enact wage and price controls, combined with controls over monopoly industries, in order to enable the government to not only ensure “full employment,” but also eliminate inflation, and provide a guaranteed annual income. However, these ambitious efforts were impeded by less pragmatic members of the AC considered over the tax rates involved, and over the concept of checks and balances. Immediately, anti-regulation AC members began to condemn Hellyer, or at least his plan, as oppressive government overreach. Believing in government assistance for those who both need it and request it, Hellyer reversed course, and proposed a much more watered down idea, of directly introducing more money into the economy with a one-time-only wave of stimulus checks. Though much less invasive than the wage and price controls proposals, it still received opposition. Debates followed over who should receive how much, with some suggesting a model similar to the US’ Negative Income Tax Rebate, while others called for something more akin to the Alaskan Permanent Fund. Hellyer believed the government’s best move would be to become more involved in the direction of the economy by gradually reducing the creation of private money and increasing the creation of public money from the current ratio of 5% public / 95% private back to 50% public and 50% private. [8] Hellyer only made himself more opponents with this proposal…

– Hellyer

…As bank foreclosures continued, protests rose. One of the biggest demonstrations of the Japanese people’s discontent occurred on April 10 at the south end of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Construction began on said bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, in 1988, and opened in 1995, only for half of the maintenance crews to be laid off when the economy collapsed. Finding solidarity among fellow cleanup workers, the subsequent labor strike received national attention for its turnout. Later that same month, unemployed workers convened at another structure built during the now-bygone of economic prosperity, the Tokyo Metro Government Complex. Casually called “The Towers,” the city government’s headquarters were the tallest city hall in the world, one of the biggest buildings in Tokyo, and cost just under 160 billion yen (roughly 1.6 billion in today’s US dollar) to construct. Protestors surrounded this structure by the end of the month, demanding the government protect homeowners from eviction and workers from unemployment… The Government soon enough replied with a plan to, essentially, spend its way out of the red…

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

…In political news, New Jersey’s 51st Governor, Democrat Richard Pucci, has been convicted by the state senate on bipartisan for campaign finance law violations. He will be removed from office immediately. Since the Garden state has no lieutenant Governor, the leader of the state senate, Richard Codey, will serve as Acting Governor for the remainder of Pucci’s term. Codey voted “not guilty” during Pucci’s senate trial…

– CBS Evening News, 4/15/1999


[pic: ]

– Bob Ross in a boat on a street, c. April 1999

…To shore up funding to cover the hundreds of billions of dollars required for the mission to Mars, NASA decided to sell “respectable ad space” inside the shuttle. In a reversal of lowest-bidding winning contracts, hundreds of companies competed to have their logos splashed onto the interiors of the shuttle, where cameras would record them in the background of the astronaut’s two 57 million-miles-long journeys.

The real “money shot” was the space behind the Mission Commander’s seat, where one lucky corporation would have their logo cover a white patch (one of the storage compartments) right above the center of the screen of the astronaut. KFC put in what turned out to be the second-highest bid for the spot.

When news came that KFC had lost out – to Pizza Hut, of all places – the company heads were disappointed, but not defeated. At the last minute, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc. entered a higher bid for a space on the right wing of the Max Shuttleplane – the vessel with which ten lucky astronauts would travel across the stars. The company beat out McDonald’s by $100,000. The winner of the spot farther to the right of KFC’s turned out to be Chik-fil-A’s, in a bid many were certain the company would not be able to afford. They were wrong – in fact, Chik-fil-A’s good fortune was only improving as the new millennium dawned…

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

…Pepvibes entered the national spotlight again in August 1999, when rapper Biggie Smalls’ finally released his 4th album. The album was known as a “black album” a.k.a. a “dark album,” as in, it was released without any sort of promotion. It was “spread” entirely by word-of-mouth. A lot of that spreading ended up via the technet (of which pepvibes was at the forefront), highlighting its possibilities in regards to commerce and marketing…

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

…In April 1999, US military involvement in Colombia concluded its 15th year and began its 16th. The media in the US began highlighting the fact that US forces had been continuously stationed in the country since 1984, making the “war” longer than any other American war; the previous holder was the 14-years-long Moro Rebellion of 1899-1913. With peace talks in the early 1990s having failed, and the Cartel Wars of the late 1990s increasing focus on recreadrug black market in Colombia, there seemed to be no end to the warfare in sight. Mounting international pressure, though, was led by UN Secretary-General Carol Bellamy, would hoped to bring the Colombian government and the guerilla groups to a negotiation table as soon as possible...

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


The Toronto Star, Canadian newspaper, 4/24/1999

…these latest reports on state-level trial runs suggest that reducing pharmaceutical prices via negotiations would fail to effectively replace pricing regulations already found in the current U.H.C. Act, despite GOP amendments made to the Act under President Dinger…

Financial Review, 4/25/1999

Guest JERRY LEWIS: “I have a lot to say about the lack of respect given to American Presidents nowadays. Even in Colonel Sanders’ worse days in office, the man was never as badly disrespected as Dinger is by young people today.

Host RUSH LIMBAUGH: “I hear you, Jerry. The counterpoint they make is that people, the, uh, the younger generations now, they have started to respect the man holding the title of President, and not just the title itself. Because the title is nothing if it’s not held by someone worthy.”

LEWIS: “But then that just opens up a whole other debate on how or who determines its worth!”

LIMBAUGH: “And it makes no difference anyway, because President Dinger is clearly worthy of the office. You just have to remember that those opposing him are just pseudo-socialist imbeciles bitter and jealous that Dinger kicked the tar out of the Democrats back in ’96.”

– KFBK-AM radio, 4/29/1999 broadcast

…and over in mainland Europe, the citizens of Poland have just elected Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz to their country’s Presidency. She will be Poland’s first democratically-elected female head-of-state. Hailing from the Civility party, the national legislator defeated Andrzej Olechowski of the Defense party, who came in second place, and Marian Krzaklewski of the Solidarity party, who came in third. Incumbent President Leszek Kolakowski of the Solidarity party had chosen to retire after one term due to low approval ratings. Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz will take office on the 23rd of May…

– BBC, 5/2/1999 broadcast

…Devastating southern Oklahoma City and much of its surrounding suburbs on Monday, May 3, this was an extraordinarily powerful F5 tornado that killed 21 and injured 534. It currently holds the record for having the highest wind speeds ever recorded on Earth for a tornado, measured at 301 ± 20 miles per hour (484 ± 32 km/h) by a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar [9]


…As the debate over the merits of same-sex marriage grew in prominence, a humorous bit of irony occurred in May 1999, concerning two anti-BLUTAG US Congressmen. Bob Barr and Henry Hyde were both opponents of gay marriage, with Hyde once boisterous proclaiming that his was congress’ duty to “protect the sanctity of marriage and admonish and condemn all who seek to either corrupt or violate the sacredness of a man and woman in holy matrimony.” Hyde’s fellow US Congressman Steve Gunderson, an openly BLUTAG Republican, rebuked Hyde’s rhetoric later that week with the blunt comment “people like Henry said the same exact thing about interracial marriage.” Six weeks after saying this, investigative reporters revealed to the public that both Hyde and Barr had had extramarital affairs. Barr was sleeping with a married woman he met while engaged to the woman who was now his third wife – but would end up not being his last. Meanwhile, it turned out that Hyde’s own affair with a married woman – which led to the birth of a child in 1970 – had slipped past the radar of both Ark Waves, and had only now come out due to Hyde partially paying for the child’s 1988-1992 college education. The incidents, if anything, only added to the legitimacy of BLUTAGs wanting “the ability to be miserable like everyone else,” as George Carlin put it…

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

…In a move that proved to be a sticking point for progressives, Dinger finally signs into law the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. Crafted and passed with haste by the GOP-majority House and Senate, the FSM Act allowed banks, insurance companies and investment houses to merge, and thus, the act essentially reversed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932. Dinger believed that granting businesses this freedom would encourage business activity, which in theory would lead to more consumer confidence, and subsequently lessen the effect of the recession on the markets, consumers and workers…

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


…The Bretton Woods system was an international form of money management established in 1944. The system required all participating nations to maintain external exchange rates within 1% via tying the nations’ currencies to gold. This system prevented the competitive devaluation of currencies that we have seen through the past several years, especially during the Iacocca Administration. [10] The US terminated gold-based convertibility under President Mondale, giving us our current free-floating currency. …financial analysts supportive of Bretton Woods note the stark drop in banking crises during its nearly-three-decade period of use. …Former US Senator Ron Paul is among the many conservative think tank leaders supportive of ending the US dollar being a fiat currency… It is currently unknown what President Dinger’s thoughts are on the proposals, though he has already scheduled to make an announcement on new legislation for the 16th…


Above: Note that the rise in banking crisis brought on by the Economic Crash of 1978

The Wall Street Journal, 5/12/1999


…college graduation rates decreased in the 1970s and completely flattened in the 1980s. Senator Lyle Hillyard (R-UT) hopes that a “modern recreation” of the post-WWII G.I. Bill will encourage veterans of the Korean War of Unification, along with former fighters in the wars in Libya and Colombia, to seek out higher education… Dinger supports the bill, arguing that investing in colleges will improve the nation’s “economic situation”…

The Washington Post, 5/16/1999

“For Steve, a cartoon show wasn’t meant to be and wasn’t going to be some kind of shameless cash grab, a shameless form of selling out, or a cheap gimmicky and low way of pushing a brand onto the impressionable minds of children. When we went into the cartoon series, Steve put his heart into it, just like how he put his heart and soul into his restaurant. That’s why the show’s writing is so good!”

– Bryan Hillenburg, 2019 interview

…The Hillenburg brothers, SpongeBob’s Undersea Cuisine executives, the DDB Needham commercial makers, and the Klasky Csupo animation department (and, years later, Intertidal Media, SBUC’s own production company established in 2004) all had to collaborate with one another in order for “The SpongeBob Zone” to be a success. …After two seasons, SpongeBob’s outlets were still primarily based in the southern US but were expanding up the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, created a new debate: should S.B.U.C. license the show out to TV stations outside the US, even when outlets were not established over there? Stephen Hillenburg decided to see how the show would manage without the restaurant working to promote it, and so supported licensing; “Walt Disney didn’t to sell mice to promote Mickey Mouse.”

Unfortunately, some foreign seafood franchises believed this to be an underhanded tactic on S.B.U.C.’s part. In Germany, for example, the sea food fast food chain Nordsee accused SBUC of trying to “brainwash” children into supporting the brand in order to ensure that SBUC would make profits investing in expanding into Germany after the TV show premiered. Stephen Hillenburg opposed this notion, though was privately uncertain if some of the other executives at SBUC had supported the move for this very reason. In response to this suspicion and the court procedures going on in Europe, the Hillenburg brothers agreed to reverse course somewhat by only planning to broadcast SBUC episodes in France, Spain, the UK, Italy, and Greece. After a German court ruled in favor of SBUC in May 1999, though, the companies involved began airing “The SpongeBob Zone” in Germany later that year as well. Both the legal challenges and finding broadcasting networks to dub the episodes was an expensive undertaking – but it was an undertaking that received much media attention in the States. Domestically, “The SpongeBob Zone” was already developing a small but growing fan base of children and young adults, and positive reviews of the episodes by parents convinced Stephen Hillenburg to greenlit the show’s continuation, and the company to focus was on that revenue as well as on the restaurants…

– Tony Royle’s American Companies in Europe: An Unequal Competition, Routledge Publishing Group, 2020 [11]

“I always ask people this because I love reactions. With which are you more familiar, SpongeBob’s the seafood restaurant chain, or SpongeBob’s the TV show?”

“I guess the TV as first, because when I was growing up we got Nickelodeon but there was no outlets in New Hampshire the closest one was in Annapolis.”

“You’re showing your age; your definitely a centurion.”

“A what?”

“Someone born between the mid-1980s, like children of Libyan War vets, and the start of the 21st century. Centurions, get it? But yeah, I don’t think SB’s opened one in Boston until, like 2002. They were kind of slow on expanding, but that ironically kept them from expanding too fast like other companies.”

“When I first learned about it, I was like, what even is this? And I friend of mine said, It’s good, so don’t question it, just enjoy it!”

“Which one, the show or the restaurant?”

“Both! I always thought Chuck-E-Cheese was a ripoff of them until my parents told me it was the other way around!”

“What on Earth is Chuck-E-Cheese?”

“NOW who’s showing their age, l.o.l.”

– Private E-mail exchange, published with permission, 11/2/2011

…In April, Hellyer announced that the government was doubling the amount of money spent on combating GCD (Global Climate Disruption) shortly before attending a North American Summit with US President Dinger and Mexico President Luis Colosio held in New York City. The Dinger-Hellyer relationship was reportedly poor, as Hellyer was critical of American military involvement in Colombia and the increasingly militaristic role of the US in the “Recreadrug Wars” in Mexico... …In late May, the new Hellyer government announced that a referendum on Quebec’s political status would be held in December of that same year…

– Hellyer

“…Two major cartels here in Mexico – the Sinaloa of northwestern Mexico, and the smaller Los Zetas of northeastern Mexico – are starting to turn on one another as the Dinger Administration amplified anti-cartel efforts. These return of inter-cartel violence may mark the ending of the unofficial ‘common enemy’ truce maintained between these two cartels since early last year, and may finally give anti-cartel forces the break they need to impede their influence and control over the people down here…”

– KNN news correspondent report, 5/28/1999

“It is from these details concerning the movement of guerillas and cartels that we conclude that key drug lord allies and other cartel members are beginning to vacate Colombia. Our joint efforts with the local governments to repel local drug developers – even going so far as to burn down farmland being used for developing narcotics in spite of heavy opposition to this controversial, yet tried-and-true, defensive tactic – are yielding very positive results.”

– CIA private report from Director Studeman to President Dinger, 5/30/1999

“46 years of being told what we can and can’t do by one person who doesn’t even live here but on the other side of the globe, the same person for 46 years, that’s not something to celebrate at all. It is a sign that there is a need for significant democratic reform concerning Canada’s relationship with the UK. I know that it is taboo to criticize the monarchy, of something who is born into having a high-pay, low-intensity job for life, but regardless of their record of public service, you have to admit that the concept is outdated and woefully undemocratic.”

– Canadian Prime Minister Paul Hellyer, commenting on the 46th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, 6/2/1999

…Danny Antonucci’s seven-minute short for a “Ed, Edd ’n’ Eddy” pilot was immediately approved by the network, making it one of the quickest greenlit processes of the era. After production began under Hanna-Barbera Productions, Antonucci successfully negotiated with Turner-Kennedy Broadcasting, Inc.’s The Cartoon Network in order to work his way into getting almost full creative control for “Ed, Edd n’ Eddy” by the summer of 1999. The series finally began airing on airing TCN on June 5, 1999; its final episode aired on July 5, 2015...

…Saudi Arabia’s lunar probe launched renewed interest in their “Saudi NASA” MAA, but not in a positive way. Focus instead centered around accusations of worker mistreatment at MAA, with the agency contracting construction projects to companies that used slave labor. Foreign investigations into rumors of child labor led to the 1999 exposure of the nation’s child abduction epidemic to the global community. The technet soon circulated investigative reports and “dripped out” a video of several children being forced to use their diminutive fingers to assemble the smallest pieces of the lunar probe. The “drips” soon led to reports on Saudi Arabia’s record on the abuse of women’s rights also garnering international attention as well. In response to these, several American technology companies such as Boeing felt pressured to condemn the Saudi government for not addressing these issues, even while still maintaining government contracts with Saudi Arabia. This was because the Saudi King believed that these US connections, contracts, and contacts would be instrumental and vital to the government’s future technological endeavors and goals “should Saudi [Arabia-Israel relations] ever return to” how they were before the 1978 Atlanta Treaty upended economies and diplomacy in the Middle East...

– Madawi al-Rasheed’s The History of Modern Saudi Arabia, Sunrise Books, 2019 edition

ABC Execs: “Bob’s World” Will Not Be Renewed For A Third Season

…the TV celebration of nature, art and culture around the work geared toward elementary school students was cancelled due to the network not liking the “stable but small” ratings…

The Hollywood Reporter, 6/6/1999


The Calgary Sun, 6/7/1999

QUEEN’S MAN THREATENING TO SACK HELLYER, OPPOSITION CLAIMS! Would Have Deputy PM Charest Form Caretaker Gov’t If PM Fails To Pass 2000 Budget

…The Governor General of Canada, Romeo LeBlanc (Liberal), the viceregal representative of Queen Elizabeth II who serves at Her Majesty’s pleasure, allegedly told a gathering of aides that he is considering dismissing Prime Minister Hellyer from his office…

The Globe And Mail, Canadian newspaper, 6/10/1999

…Pro-Hellyer analysts with very erudite understandings of the legalese involved in situations like this based their replies on the hypotheticals and actions taken by previous Governors General… Hellyer claimed the “purposely-stoked rumors” had nothing to do with budget, but with his repeat criticisms of the royal family. He pointed out that Opposition leader Dave Barrett (PT) and Romeo LeBlance (L) were not members of the parties belonging to the ruling minority government coalition had were reportedly on friendly terms with one another. “I don’t want to call this a conspiracy, but there are underhanded tactics occurring here to keep us Canadians from deviating from what a ruler half-way around the world demands from us.” Hellyer doubled down on his anti-globalist policies and again pushing for monetary reform to combat the recession…

– Edward Smith’s Canada In Crisis: Populism, Regionalism, And Hellyerism All At Once, Toronto Press, 2005

CANADA IN TURMOIL!: Hellyer “On The Edge” Of A Royal Dismissal As Gridlock In Parliament Continues

…The precarious balance of power in Canada currently rests on an ad hoc coalition of the Action, Progressive Conservative, and Quebec parties, a coalition led by Action’s Paul Hellyer, with all three major parties disagreeing on several funding and appropriations bills…

The Boston Globe, 6/12/1999

Host RUSH LIMBAUGH: “Joining us now is former US Congressman and now oil lobbyist Richard B. Cheney – not to be confused with former New Mexico Governor Richard P. Cheney. Richard B. is leading the call for American intervention in Guyana…”


Guest RICHARD B. CHENEY: “…Guyana’s border case has stalled in the I.C.J., the uh International Court of Justice, and so now the oil companies can’t begin drilling in the disputed zone because they need a license from the area’s rightful owner, and Guyana issuing a license at this time could violate the Geneva agreement and thus allow the other country to take action.”

LIMBAUGH: “So what can the American government do about it?”

CHENEY: “Well, first off, about the drilling dispute, I say, ‘finders, keepers.’ Guyana found the oil, and so it is theirs. They have every right to issue licenses to hardworking American businesses. And if Venezuela wants to try something over it, then it’ll be America’s duty and responsibility to come to Guyana’s defense.”

LIMBAUGH: “Heh, that wouldn’t be good for Venezuela.”

CHENEY: “No kidding. To them, I say, good luck taking on the same mighty fighting force that wiped North Korea clean off the map, and raining hellfire onto drug pushers across Latin America!”

– KFBK-AM radio, 6/16/1999 broadcast

Relentless: The Lives of Bass Reeves
is a 1999 action-suspense-comedy-drama-biopic film directed by Wesley Snipes. Starring an ensemble cast, the film premiered on Juneteenth 1999 to critical acclaim and several awards. The film’s financial success and popularity with viewers led to it becoming another iconic Snipes film, and it soon entering popular culture.


Out of over 200 callbacks, Denzel Washington was selected for the titular role. Reeves’ wife, Nellie Jennie Reeves, was played by Danielle Spencer in one of her last film roles before retiring from acting to focus on her veterinary practice. Adrian Holmes was chosen for the role of Bennie Reeves, after Will Smith declined the role. Eric Marlon Bishop, Phil LaMarr, Tupac Shakur (in his film debut), and Jaleel White were cast as Reeves’ four other sons. Additionally, some of Reeves’ real-life ancestors cameo in the family thanksgiving scene of the movie; this includes civil rights advocate Paul L. Brady and Bass’ great-great-great-grandson (and future NHL player) Ryan Reeves.



The film begins with a flash-forward to 1875, where, in the aftermath of the American Civil War, the US’ Indian Territory has attracted outlaws due to it being free of the “white man’s court.” US President Ulysses S. Grant responds by replacing the corrupt judge of the only court with jurisdiction over Indian Territory, located at Fort Smith, Arkansas, with Judge Isaac Parker (portrayed by Ken Kercheval). One of Judge Parker’s first acts is to hire 200 deputy U.S. marshals to clean up the territory. As Native Americans distrust white deputies, Judge Parker hires several black lawmen. This leads to Judge Isaac Parker hires the 6ft2, 200 pound, African-American Bass Reeves, who knows a great deal about the Native American tribes, even speaking several of their languages, to serve as a Deputy US Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas from 1875. Reeves would serve in this position until 1893, then serve in it for the Eastern District of Texas until 1897, and then work for the Muskogee Federal Court in Indian Territory as federal peace officer until retiring in 1907, as one of the most feared marshals of the Wild West, having arrested 3,000 felons, and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense.

The film then cuts back to before the Civil War to when Reeves was a slave for a farmer and local politician of Paris, Texas named George Reeves. During a card game with his master, George accuses Bass of cheating, leading to a fight that renders George unconscious. Reeves subsequently escapes and flees north to the Indian Territory, where a tribe of Seminole Indians give him refuge. Reeves learns their language and their customs, and teaches himself how to be “a crack shot” with a pistol and a rifle – becoming so talented that he is barred from competitive turkey shoots in the future, as a quick flash-forward reveals. Upon learning that the Emancipation Proclamation has occurred, Reeves moves to Arkansas and homesteads. In a quick montage, we see he meets and marries a one Nellie Jennie from Texas and raises a family of ten children (five girls and five boys) who work the farm with them.

The film then comes to the flash-forward from the film’s start, and how Reeves’ family react to the appointment. The film then depicts Parker’s court, which covered 75,000 miles, then the largest district of any U.S. court in the nation. Reeves makes several 800-mile roundtrips from Fort Smith to Fort Reno, Fort Sill and Anadarko as part of the job.
When Reeves returns to his desk after one trip, he is given a stack of warrants for outlaws, but gets someone to read them to him, as he can’t read or write, and so would instead memorize the warrants and then, every time, leave Fort Smith with a wagon, a cook and one posse man. A camera holds on Reeves at this point, encircling him as he rides a large red stallion with a white blaze, carrying two Colt pistols and wearing his iconic black hat, black jacket and polished boots.

A lengthy montage then follows of all the people Reeves arrested, sometimes with a serious injury happening to the prisoners, even after Reeves’ hat and belt are shot right off of him on two separate occasions.

In the second act, Reeves learns of two outlaws were hiding in the Red River Valley near the Texas border. He takes a large posse to a spot 28 miles from where they are hiding and tells the posse to wait in camp. Reeves dresses as a tramp wearing old clothes and a floppy hat with three bullet holes, hides his pistols, handcuffs and badge in his clothes, and walks 28 miles to the home of the outlaw’s mother. Reeves tells the woman his feet hurt, that he has been chased by lawmen that shot him but only hit his hat, and she invites him in to give him water and a meal. She tells Reeves her two sons are also outlaws and suggests he wait for them to return and join up with them. When the two outlaws return that night, the three men talk, and the outlaws agree that Reeves should join them. Everyone then goes to sleep, but in the early morning, Reeves quietly handcuffs the pair, then kicks the outlaws awake and makes them get up and march them outside. Reeves then walks them 28 miles to where his posse is waiting, with the mother cussing Reeves much of the way. [12]

The third act covers the main story of the film, depicting the real-life situation in which Reeve’s son, Ben, murders his wife. Bass is shaken by the death of his daughter-in-law, but demands to be the one to track down his son, who was fled to the west of the territory. Ben uses the survival techniques his father taught him to survive in the plains before entering the Rocky Mountains. After a lengthy chase through rugged terrain, Bass corners his son, who pleads with his father to let him go; he is certain the courts will hang him for what he has done. After a moment of hesitation, Bass arrests his son on principle, and the two men argue on the way back to the Territory.

Ben is tried and convicted, but because he ultimately surrendered, pleads guilty, and expresses remorse, he is sentenced to serve in prison for 20 years. Soon after the trial, Bass himself accused of murdering a cook to takes out on trip to arrest someone, but Bass is acquitted, as previously racist fellow Marshall (portrayed by Thomas F. Wilson), among others in the community, serve as character witnesses, plus the last-minute discovery of the weapon that killed the cook.

In the film’s epilogue, we see that Ben got out of prison early, reformed and lived the rest of his life as a model citizen, while Reeves’ reputation for upholding justice only grew.



– Denzel Washington portraying Bass Reeves, 1999 [13]

…Border crossings have been expanded between Israel and Jordan, the development coming just days after Israeli’s Prime Minister met with Jordan’s new King, ending a thankfully brief period tension over the future of Israeli-Jordan relations…

– BBC, 6/21/1999 broadcast

…As if the Prime Minister does not already have his plate full, Paul Hellyer has today announced that he will be, quote, looking deeply, unquote, into the reports of unidentified flying objects that have occurred throughout Canadian history, from the 1967 Falcon Lake, Manitoba incident, to a more recent sighting in Montreal that made headlines in 1990 due to it being seen by over two dozen witnesses. Hellyer has supported the theory of extraterrestrial life since the 1960s, even attending the grand opening of a UFO landing pad in Alberta [14] just two years before briefly serving as Prime Minister, but his enthusiasm for them has only grown in recent years…

– CBC Television, Canadian TV news network, 6/28/1999 broadcast

[1] For (slightly) more information, see here:
[2] Source:
[3] The value of the US dollar today is 65% less than what it was back then: due to inflation: ; also, I think the yuan conversion is correct, but if anyone here thinks that either of these numbers is too high or low for such a gimmick in 1999 China, please let me know so I can adjust them, thanks!
[4] Compare this to OTL, where/when the 1989 approval level was 16% and the 1999 approval level was 31%, according to / “US public opinion on legalizing marijuana, 1969-2019” by Andrew Daniller.
[5] Really!:
[6] Discovered earlier ITTL due to the alternate fuels movement being more prominent here, prompting oil companies to look for more supplies to lower oil prices to keep them the No. 1 choice of fuel for consumers (I’ll try to cover this better in the 2000s chapters)
[7] Italicized parts were pulled from here:
[8] Pulled from his Wikipedia article
[9] Italicized bit pulled from here:–Moore_tornado
[10] Info pulled from here:
[11] Thanks for these ideas, @Damian0358
[12] Anecdote pulled directly and then lightly edited from this site here:
[13] Actually, its his character in the film The Magnificent Seven
[14] See here!: Also, he apparently became even more interested in UFOs in 2005, after previously spotting a UFO; here’s what he believed in 2014:

The rest of 1999 should be ready to post soon; I’m aiming for August 20 at the latest...

historybuff said:
Great to know this United Korea is doing well. Say, when you can, cover, or mention some of the cast of Might Morphin Power Rangers. David Yost, Amy Joe Johnson, and others.
Thanks! I'll cover the Power Rangers in the next chapter!

Kennedy Forever said:
Great update. Hopefully this Canadian crisis can be solved without a dismissal. Sad to hear about this "Long Recession".
Thanks for the compliment! Recession was inevitable in the wake of Mexico's markets going to pieces because the US President, unlike in OTL, refused to bail them out at the start.

Southeren Legion said:
Well here's hoping the Canada crisis blows over I'd hate for the Old Dominion to abandon the Commonwealth
We shall see...

By the way, I’m considering what names should be used for 2003 mission to Mars:

For the shuttleplane that’ll travel from Earth to around Mars and back to Earth again (or at least for that NASA Program (like in the Apollo Program), maybe), what about “Apergy” (a fictional anti-gravity energy first used in literature in 1880)?

For the module to go from the shuttleplane to the Martian surface, how about something like “Seeker,” “Sojourner,” “Adventurer,” “Starfarer,” “Cornucopia,” “Potential,” “Milestone,” or “Invocation”?

Or maybe any one of these more classical names for the Program, the shuttleplane, and the landing module: “Ares” (the Greek version of the Roman God Mars), “Eirene” (the Greek personification of peace (the Roman equivalent is “Pax”)), “Valor” (or “Nerio,” the Roman personification of valor), or “Concordia” (the Roman goddess of society (the Greek equivalent is “Harmonia”))?
Post 71
Post 71: Chapter 79

Chapter 79: July 1999 – January 2000

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

– William James (1842-1910)

…In July 1999, McCain departed from Senator Williams’ staff to work as a media coordinator for Vice President Jim Meredith. Describing Meredith as “bipartisan and inspiring,” McCain organized press meetings for Meredith, who, at the time, was aiming to help President Dinger’s re-election prospects. “Meredith was a hype man,” McCain reflected in a 2012 interview, “Promoting President Dinger to all groups with both of their abilities to connect to people of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and ethnicities.”…



Premiered: July 4, 1999
Genre (s): action/adventure/fantasy/comedy/superhero


Barton Johnson as Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
Ethan Hawke as Bruce Wayne / Batman
Carolina Ardohain as Princess Diana / Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Josh Hartnett as Barry Allen / The Flash
Michelle Hurd as Natalie Reed / Captain Blackhawk
Larenz Tate as John Stewart / Green Lantern
Morgan Freeman as J’onn J’onzz / John Jones / Martian Manhunter
Elisa Donovan as Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy
Chad Michael Murray as Arthur Curry / Aquaman
Shawnee Smith as Lois Lane
Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen
David Krumholtz as Robin
Gary Waldhorn as Alfred Pennyworth
David Ogden Steirs as Commissioner James Gordon
John Malkovich as Lex Luthor
Jeffrey Matthew Settle as Sinestro
Mel Gibson as Darkseid


Trivia Facts:
Trivia Fact No. 1:
The Justice League film was envisioned to be a “launchpad” film, offering characters and gauging audience reception to them in order to determine which spin-off films starring said character to increase production to produce first, and possibly which films should be cancelled or recast. The spinoff films also allowed directors to go for more artsy, futuristic, and surrealist filming methods in the 2000s, with varying results. However, despite this film’s massive success, plans for a direct sequel stalled for years, and was put on hold for five years until production was revived in 2009…

“WE WANT WEBB” Colorado’s Black Governor Makes His Case In Official White House Bid

The Billings Gazette, Montana newspaper, 7/7/1999

…In California, the state’s Attorney General has launched an inquiry into the contents of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices. The bold move to demand the billion-dollar global corporation of Finger Lickin’ Good Incorporated to disclose the famous secret blend’s contents come after Governor Kathleen Brown raised the standards of product transparency. Under the new law, companies must publicly publish, or at the least disclose to the state government, all ingredients used in food products…

– NPR, 7/9/1999 broadcast


…a major player in the reconstruction scene in northern United Korea, investigative reporters have published audio-visual proof of embezzlement and bribery, with possible crime going as far as members of the Ministry of Construction!…

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 7/12/1999

“I was the one who let in the reporters. I gave them the names and where I knew who went, they did the rest. I did it to avenge the death of a longtime public service, a man who gave so many years to that company, only for them to ruin him. He saw what they were doing – using cheap material in buildings that only passed safety codes because of palm-greasing was the main thing he saw – but he failed to stop it. He told the wrong people at Ministry of Construction. He told the ones in on it, and they framed him. He was not a part of any yakuza syndicate, but the story stuck despite it being a lie. The man took a trip to the forests near Mount Fuji soon after. He was a good man, I great man. I don’t think he realized just how I much I cared for him. What I did was my way of showing it.”

– Anonymous former intern for Sumitomo Construction, 2010 op-ed

PREFECTURE GOVERNMENT TO AUDIT SUMITOMO! Higher-Ups Links To Rule Violations Indicted As Ramifications Mount!

The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese newspaper, 7/26/1999


The Guardian, UK newspaper, 27/7/1999

>MOTHER-POST: Theory About The SpongeBob Zone: Is each episode set at a different SB location?
This would explain all the occasional setting and character inconsistencies! In some episodes, the SB outlet is next to a busy highway, but in others, it’s next to an unpaved country road. Sometimes it is surrounded by some kind of city, but at other times it’s much less crowded than. Sometimes it can hold a large school of fish, at other times it's practically a diner. The food lab Rosie works at can be in the basement or around back or even in a separate building. And heck, sometimes the restaurant is shown to be deep in the water (sometimes in the Pacific but most times off the coast of Florida), but other times they’re just right off the coast!

I thought one episode showed the outlet in the series existing in the Bermuda Triangle area. But this theory of yours is more grounded than mine, and it would explain why sometimes the street is to the side of the SB building, and I think one episode shown them have a drive-thru but not in most episodes!

Woah this actually makes a lot of sense. Heck, one episode showed SpongeBob take a bus to inspect other outlets, and nearly all are identical. One even had what I guess was, like, a cheap knock-off of SpongeBob and Squidward! SB even visited one restaurant that was above water, like in the commercials!
>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 2:
Except in the commercials he’s as tall as a regular person, like the costumed performers are at the restaurants in real life. In most episodes, his size varies, from the size of a glass bottle carrying a message, to the size of a 3rd grader on the beach!
>>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 2 to REPLY 2:
Another example of how inconsistent the show is! So, each episode is self-contained, meaning each one shows us a different outlet independent of the other episodes. Interesting theory, very plausible!

–, a public news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting techsite, 12/12/2007 posting thread


…instead of complex government regulations of monetary flows, parliament has agree to flat-across-the-board stimulus checks for the next fiscal quarter. The 2000 budget was reached after Hellyer yielded several positions and proposals in what he called “a temporary sacrifice”…

The Globe And Mail, Canadian newspaper, 7/30/1999


…The shift toward the left comes as the President’s initial actions taken to combat recession appear to be unproductive, as the number of unemployment filings continues to rise. The move to work will the Democrat-majority House also follows the President’s comment last week that the Balanced Budget Amendment “has got our hands tied.” …In the announcement, Dinger stated that his administration will to work with both Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of congress to “adjust the budget to make way for relief program funding.”

The Washington Post, 8/1/1999

“Why isn’t the President taking this moment to crack down on unnecessary military spending? Why is it that, right now, when we need those tax dollars helping taxpayers more than at any other point in his administration, President Dinger is pretending like the military’s giant budget does not exist? I’ll tell you why – because the President is complicit in the military-industrial complex, that’s why!”

– Former US Senator Ron Paul (R-TX), Freedom Report newsletter, 8/3/1999 op-ed

…The tenuous relationship with parliament and the crown led to Hellyer sitting down with the Governor General of Canada, where a deal was brokered that simmered tension with the UK government for a few months. In an unofficial accord, Hellyer agreed to call a snap election in early 2000 should the Quebec referendum, which had been moved up to November, led to a “remain” verdict. According to Hellyer in a 2015 interview, the Governor General countered with the “threat” that he would dismiss him if Hellyer openly campaigned for the “leave” verdict. “He thought it treason for me to side with the Quebecois over the rest of Canada,” said Hellyer, “but here was the thing – Lucien Bouchard chose to have his party join our alliance instead of Mitchell’s. So I owed it to him, as per our deal, uh, the conditions of his joining us. And besides, poll after poll showed the people of Quebec were much less approving of the monarchy than the rest of Canada, and I respected that. And I was determined to respect their decision on the matter of independence.” Hellyer later confided in the Governor General that he preferred Quebec remaining in Canada anyway, but in 2011 explained that this was because, in 1999, Hellyer believed that “Canada [has] a better and stronger chance of establishing a more democratic relationship with the crown if all provinces [stay] together as one nation.”

According to the Canadian historian Edward Smith, Hellyer was concerned that his alliance would lose a snap election, but decided that he would prefer leaving office “because it was the people’s choice” to leaving office “because the Queen wanted it.” Another reason for Hellyer agreeing to the snap election proviso that put talks of dismissal at bay was reports of PT leader Dave Barrett meeting with Liberal leader Paul Martin Jr., fueling speculation that the two left-wing parties were planning to merge ahead of the next federal election (an election Hellyer did not have to call until early 2004). Calling a new election before a left-wing alliance could consolidate itself was preferable to having the election after a united opposing force had formed; it improved the odds of the Action Alliance pulling off an upset and remaining in power…

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


The New York Times, 8/8/1999

…And over in California, the state’s Attorney General is taking KFC to court over its refusal to publicly release the ingredients used in their iconic 11-herbs-and-spices blend…

– The Overmyer Network’s Nighttime News, 8/14/1999 broadcast

“In 1986, the US DC Court of Appeals ruled that a business has the right to refuse to disclose to the government of its own country certain private elements pivotal to said nation’s economy. And as Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Eleven Secret Herbs And Spices blend has economic significance, the kind that would ruin our economy even further if the sacred privilege of trade secrets was upended, we believe the courts will rule in our favor, allowing us to return our full focus to continuing to serve our high-quality products to the people of America and the World. Thank you.”

– KFC spokesperson, 8/15/1999

“I’m glad that the Anti-BBA movement is finally gaining some momentum, not just among the people, but among my fellow Senators. I mean, the darn thing is just too restrictive! You might as well just up and outlaw recessions! The BBA inhibits natural money flow, and it leads to all politicians – on the right, on the left, in the center, all of them – having no choice but to raise taxes whether the people can afford them or not. Now, I know many are pointing to Connecticut’s ‘choose-your-taxes’ system, because that is very, or, somewhat, uh, popular, uh, that’s what I’ve heard. Senator Nader agrees with it, so maybe we could try it out nationwide. But we should all vote on it in a national referendum. There’s also others here on Capitol Hill who understand just how difficult it can be to repeal an amendment, even an unpopular one, and so they are instead calling for the BBA to be amended so there’s an ‘emergency stash’ proviso, or addition, uh, to the law. And this surplus would be held indefinitely by the Treasury for when the next recession strikes, so when we get a deficit, we have the money saved up to cover the losses. It’s not a bad idea.”

– US Senator Mike Gravel (D-CA), 8/16/1999 statement during radio interview

By early 1999, however, President Khaddam’s forces, allies and weapons outnumbers both Assad factions combined. Not even Bassel’s brother Maher (b. 1967) dying in battle at the age of 31, and thus creating a martyr for Bassel’s side, could stem the rising anti-Assad tide. In August, Jamil Assad responded to rising casualties and lost territory by scaling back operations against Khaddam in order to meet with the President in secret to discuss the terms of his allying with the government against his nephew in exchange for amnesty. After counseling Bassel’s pro-Khaddam brother Bashar (a doctor overseeing medical operations outside of Damascus), and the highly-respected multinational diplomat Musa al-Sadr, Khaddam reluctantly agreed to these terms, but still kept a close eye on Jamil.


Above: Syrian President Abdul Halim Khaddam

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

Greece and Turkey were struck by a string of earthquakes in 1999. The first prominent one occurred on 17 August, striking Izmit, in northwestern Turkey, with a magnitude of 7.6 (R.), leaving over 10,000 dead. Due to both the Pontic Greek population in the area and to return Turkey’s favor from a few years back, when Turkey helped Greece out with their own post-earthquake problems, Greece led the call for people in the region to pitch in and donate, leading to support also coming from the nearby nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and even Russia.

Land Of Diverse Migrations: Challenges Of Emigration And Immigration In Turkey, Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2009

…A major issue discussed in pre-primary debates was what kind of recreadrugs reform was the best kind to advocate – legalization, or the less ambitious decriminalization. The latter meant the removing of criminal sanctions against low-harm narcotics, while the former meant removing all legal prohibitions against it. At the time, several states were moving to buck federal prohibitions and decriminalize recreational use within their borders, while only three states – Massachusetts, California and Colorado – had legalized medical/medicinal marijuana, with more states being in the process of pursuing the same action...

– Michael Stewart Foley’s Race of The Millennium: The 2000 Election, Simon & Schuster, 2020

GALAXY RANGERS MOVIE UPDATE: More Casting Picks Disclosed For Upcoming Film

…the selection of David Yost, an openly-BLUTAG actor, to play the boyfriend of June, the violet Galaxy Ranger, is ruffling a few feathers, but Yost is determined; “I used to be afraid, but I’ve got a good circle of friends. Let them hate; it hurts them more than it does me.” …Amy Jo Johnson, who played Bev in Seasons 4 and 5 in the Original Galaxy Rangers series, will reprise her role… The appearance of Vietnamese actress Thuy Trang has swelled speculation that she will play the unnamed new female character in the film. Trang, who was born in 1973 in Saigon, United Vietnam, became a child star in Vietnam’s growing television programming industry before becoming a model and Bollywood starlet…

The Hollywood Reporter, 8/22/1999

The idea of adapting “The Super Sentai metaseries,” a collection of connected TV shows from Japan that began airing in 1975, for American audiences emerged in the late 1970s after an agreement was made between Toei Company and Marvel Comics to exchange concepts to adapt them to their respective audiences. Toei, with Marvel Productions, created the Japanese Spider-Man television series that ran from 1979 to 1981, and produced three Super Sentai series, which had great success in Japan. Marvel and Stan Lee then decided to try and sell the “Sun Vulcan” series to American television stations [1] as well.

“Sun Vulcan” was the fifth series in Toei Company’s Super Sentai tokusatsu metaseries. It was broadcast from 1981 to 1985, and is the only Super Sentai series to serve as a direct sequel to its previous series. “Sun Vulcan” is also the first and only series in the franchise to have an all-female Super Sentai team [2]. After the series proposal was turned down by several stations, including HBO, The Overmyer Network picked up the “Sun Vulcan” series. Rather than making an English dub or translation of the Japanese footage, the “Sun Vulcan” programs would consist of scenes featuring English-speaking actors spliced with scenes featuring either Japanese actors dubbed into English or the action scenes from the Super Sentai Series featuring the heroines fighting monsters or giant robot battles with English dubbing [1]. The series’ name was changed to “Galaxy Rangers” [3] for American markets.


The series began airing in 1989, and was a success among younger audiences. The inclusion of male side characters in the American filmed segments also led to the series winning over young male fans as well. The series, however, did receive some controversy in 1990, when parents in Chicago called for a boycott of the show over their concern that the show “sexualized the female body” via female characters “jumping around in tights.” This publicity, however, only increased the size of the show’s young male audience, though some male viewers honestly watched because of the action sequences. After Saban Entertainment chose to ignore the controversy, it naturally dissipated.

The original Galaxy Rangers entered its fourth season in 1993, in the midst of President Iacocca’s confrontations with Japan over trading policies. The show was canceled in 1994 as escalations heightened but returned in 1996 after a success fan-led technet campaign was launched to bring it back for one final, conclusive season. Continued support for the series, however, led to a successful theatrical film being released in 2000, and to several spinoffs, two of which are still airing new episodes.


Pictured: some of the Galaxy Rangers in a Season 3 promotional image



The Washington Post, 8/25/1999


…Brian John Coyle (D-MN), a 56-year-old US Representative from Minnesota since 1993, previously served on the Minneapolis City Council from 1983 to 1993, is the first openly-gay individual to ever launch a formal bid for either a Democratic or Republican Presidential nomination...

The Boston Globe, 8/30/1999

JONES: When the West Wing began airing last September [4], it was highly controversial.

SORKIN: Yeah, and I get yeah. Doing political shows can easily be hit or miss, especially when you want to tackle a issue in the news at the time, or take jabs at contemporary politicians. But I think President Davenport was why it got so much attention, even though we’ve only just recently started to focus more on her in the show.

JONES: Well, yes, the anti-war Jolene Davenport – played wonderfully by Kate Mulgrew by the way – is clearly modeled after President Carol Bellamy.

SORKIN: Except, Jolene is a blond southerner wanting to propose progressive legislation despite running as a moderate and facing opposition from conservatives and even her own party members. She’s like my father a little bit like that. I’m glad that so many people feel that she is relatable, because Davenport’s a Latin-speaking, Nobel Prize–winning economist from Florida who was a professor. So, you know, on paper, she is everything half the country is supposed to despise. [5]

JONES: At least half! Now, the series began from unused materials from early drafts for the 1995 film The American President, right? Except in that movie, much of the action was personal, with politics being on the peripherals.

SORKIN: You’re right about that. Listen, sometimes the characters need to get out of the political back-and-forth. They need to go out of the comfort zone of the four walls of their office, but they don’t ever become action figures. Like in The American President, the action almost always happens off-screen, whether it is a war or a rescue. And what we’re watching isn’t the bullets; it’s the humans that are discussing strategy and consequences and what it means. [5]

– Aaron Sorkin and Interviewer, Vanity Fair, September 1999 issue

…we have just received confirmation that the long-serving President of Pakistan, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, has passed away earlier today at the age of 75, after several years of declining health. While it is currently uncertain who exactly is in charge of the country, as Pakistan has no Vice Presidency and Zia-ul-Haq was still in the process of choosing a preferred successor, we can say that his death will certainly have an impact on the nation’s government and diplomatic relations…

– BBC, 9/2/1999 broadcast

…a prominent member of the Wide-Awakes, conservative-populist movement affiliated with the GOP, has been arrested for alleged illegal weapons holding, for allegedly lending weapon to minors, and a few other charges as well…

– KNN, 9/4/1999 broadcast

The second major earthquake of that year happened on 7 September. Athens, Greece was hit by its worst earthquake in 20 years, and Turkey’s was the first foreign government to send aid.

Land Of Diverse Migrations: Challenges Of Emigration And Immigration In Turkey, Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2009


Premiered: September 9, 1999

Company: Amblin Entertainment

Genre: action/adventure/animated/comedy/family[editor’s note: citation needed]

Directed by: Hanay Geiogamah

Written by: Tom B. K. Goldtooth and Phil Lucas

Produced by: Donald Fixico and Mona Smith

Running time: 88 minutes

Language: English


Set in Humboldt National Forest, Nevada, the film follows the interactions and character development of two deer – young bucks, one (Argil, a white-tail deer) blindly self-confident and the other one (Iggy, a mule deer) full of self-doubt, but both quick-to-anger and are from rival deer herds – who get their antlers stuck together during battle and become lost in the forest in the ensuing melee. Wanting to return to their respective groups, who are heading in the same direction, the two must travel together to in the opposite direction – the other side of the forest’s Santa Rosa Mountain Range – to become separated. But to get to “the separators,” the two must work with one another to survive the perils of the journey, including ravines, hunters, storms, angry porcupines…and each other.


Primary Roles:

Val Kilmer as Argil, a 10-pointer Buck from a herd of white-tailed deer who becomes “locked” onto the left side of Iggy; starting out as the kind of deer who boldly charges into things without thinking, his interactions with Iggy over the course of the film make him realize that he does not, in fact, know everything

Jon-Erik Hexum as Iggy, a 9-pointer Buck and a herd of mule deer who becomes “locked” onto the right side of Argil; Iggy engaged in battle with Argil in an attempt “prove himself” to his father and to himself; starting out as a nervous deer who struggles to defend his own ideas, his interactions with Argil over the course of the film help him learn how to stand up for himself and for his ideas

Brigitte Burdine as Chicken, a red-tailed hawk (sometimes known as a “chickenhawk”) with a damaged claw who helps guide Onyx and Iggy through the mountains in exchange for them helping her find food

Sierra Teller Ornelas as Sapphire, a young doe and mule deer who is Iggy’s friend; starting out as a somewhat cowardly deer, she separates from the rest of the herd to try and find Iggy on her own

Tracy Rector as Emerald, a doe and white-tailed herd with whom Argil is smitten even though she does not return the sentiments; starting out as a lazy deer, she reluctantly takes over Argil’s responsibilities in the group when he can’t be found

Graham Greene as Trocto, an elderly buck in the mule herd and Iggy’s father; he participates in the battle at the beginning of the film but is despondent when his son goes missing during the confrontation

Sandra Sunrising Osawa as Olivine, the “wife” of Trocto and Iggy’s mother; she never gives up her belief that their son will find them again

Thomas Hayden Church as Arkose, Argil’s father and the Head Buck of the white-tail deer; a “widow” whose pregnant “wife” was fatally struck by a car at some point before the events of the film, he leads the hard into battle at the beginning of the film

Eddie Deezen as Hudson, a forest squirrel originally from “the 32nd trashcan at M.I.T.” who is inexplicably in love with Chicken despite her repeatedly trying to eat him; he tags along with Argil and Iggy to stay close to Chicken, which Argil agrees to because he finds him funny

Secondary Roles:

Tress MacNeille as Rachel Forrest, a Forest Ranger who uses “the separators” – a pair of mechanical scissors on the end of a long stick – to separate the two deer at the end of the second act; the two deer then go their separate ways, but then realize they can’t make it back over the mountains without the other’s help and the two soon find each other again

Tim Allen as Hugh Heard, the head Hunter of a hunting lodge Argil and Iggy come across during their quest; he almost bags the two at a “corn trap” in the second act; after Argil and Iggy agree to return to their groups together, they learn he is following their herds via satellite technology, and the bucks must work together to defeat him and the other hunters during the film’s action-filled third act

Tertiary Roles:

Wilt Chamberlain

Richard Ray Whitman

Kirstie Alley

Winona Ryder

Michael Clarke Duncan

See Full Cast List Here


Early in the development of the film, Buck society was heavily based on Native American and Canadian Frist Peoples culture who are always on the move and trying to adjust to how humanity is constantly “changing the land.” Emphasis on this symbolism was watered down over rewrites in order to make it more subtle, with environmentalist becoming a more noticeable theme than the cultural parallels. For example, some plot points in early drafts were ultimately reduced to non-verbal background scenes, sight gags, and mise-en-scene moments. However, music from Native American Culture, most notably from the Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute and Western Shoshone groups of Nevada, were featured in the film.


Upon release, the film pulled in a modest profit, and received fairly positive reviews from critics and audiences. Native American groups celebrated how many members of the cast and crew were Native American, with only some prominent Native American individuals disapproving of it taking a "back seat" in the plot. Environmentalist groups praised its messages and for depicting a real-life occurrence of deer getting their antlers stuck together seriously, with one reviewer writing “the film will help raise awareness of the issue of bucks locking their antlers, as, like depicted in some of its darker scenes, bucks can die from it.” On this last point, the film faced controversy and criticism for depicting deer corpses, complete with bones being visible. Violent and graphic fight sequences between warring deer herds also received scrutiny. However, the film was rated PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended) and not AAA (All Ages Admitted), and it was marketed more for teens than for young children; furthermore, as stated by the director, “the characters are expressive in the face and in how the move about, but our animation is detailed and solid, not stretchy and squishy like most cartoons meant for young children.”



The Washington Post, 9/15/1999

MARIN: Eh, I think we first met at Farm Aid ’88, right?

CHONG: Um, no, I don’t think so, man, it was earlier, and it was only a brief thing.

MARIN: Yeah, like a passing thing. And we had, like, had separate cameos in several movies and TV shows, but we didn’t finally actually hang out for, like, an extended period of time until, uh, um…

CHONG: Hey, I think it was the Toronto Film Festival, man. September ’97. You were like, a f*ckin’ mayor or something, and they were showing a documentary on your labor work, and a documentary on my music work.

MARIN: Oh yeah! Yeah, and it was like, “Where the hell have you been this whole time?” Because, like, we really hit it off, man!

CHONG: Yeah, man. I really wish we’d really met up and sat down, you know, and started our friendship a lot sooner, man, because you had the whole Governor thing, and me and Yoko were going through another rough patch, so, uh…

MARIN: So we didn’t hang as much as we wanted, yeah.

CHONG: ’Cause we’re like kindred spirits almost, man.

MARIN: Yeah, we’re like a poutine wasabi taco, man.

CHONG: Hey I could go for that right about now.

MARIN: Hey can we continue this, uh, interview thing, eh, in the kitchen? Really? Cool!

– Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, Tumbleweed-TV interview, 2018

List of The SpongeBob Zone episodes


Episode Number overall / Episode Number in the season / Title / Original airdate
Plot description

SEASON 1 (1997)

1 / 1 / Closing Time / March 18, 1997

In the series’ pilot episode, SpongeBob is reluctant to leave work early to hang out with his friend Patrick, and so stalls for time until his shift ends on time.

2 / 2 / Now Hiring / March 29, 1997

Set before the series’ pilot and considered the show’s first regular episode, SpongeBob is hired to work at a struggling restaurant, as its founder has trouble doing everything himself. SpongeBob’s culinary talents and hard work turn the restaurant around; now popular, its name is still problematic. Despite SpongeBob yearning for the Employee-of-the-Month Award, the oblivious Mr. Krabs decides to name the restaurant after SpongeBob, much to the annoyance of Mrs. Krabs.

3 / 3 / Kitchen Klutz / April 5, 1997

After his friend Patrick begins working part-time at the Restaurant, SpongeBob has to continuously keep Patrick from getting himself hurt around the place. This is the episode that is considered to have fully established a running gag found throughout the series: despite his efforts, SpongeBob always fails to become Employee of the Month, with Mr. Krabs usually giving the title to Squidward despite him not caring about the title while SpongeBob clearly does.

4 / 4 / The Night Shift / April 12, 1997

Believing it will lead to him becoming Employee of the Month, SpongeBob volunteers to work the “graveyard” shift when the restaurant switches to 24-hour service, only for the poor SpongeBob to begin to crack as the night progresses, and the loneliness and darkness outside gets to him.

5 / 5 / Like Clockwork / April 19, 1997

In an episode set mostly outside of the restaurant – that shows that SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while Patrick lives in an old bomb shelter with a rock for a door – SpongeBob tries to help Patrick show up to work on time after 15 straight late arrivals. In this episode, we learn that SpongeBob is so dedicated to his job that he wears his job uniform all the time – while sleeping, while showering, and even while the uniform is in the washer and dryer!

6 / 6 / Special Delivery / April 26, 1997

In another episode set mostly outside of the restaurant, Squidward and SpongeBob become lost while trying to make a delivery, and must use any – and possibly every – mode of transportation under the sea to get to the customer within an hour.

7 / 7 / Squeaky Clean / May 10, 1997

In an effort to improve the restaurant’s sanitation levels, SpongeBob goes overboard trying to keep customers from littering and being messy when eating, even going so far as to ask Rosie, the restaurant’s food scientist, to create a mess-free Sloppy Joe, which none of the customers enjoy.

8 / 8 / Mermaid Man And Barnacle Boy / May 17, 1997

SpongeBob can’t help but ogle at – and try to get autographs from – the restaurant’s newest frequent customers, two elderly retired actors from SpongeBob’s favorite TV show (and one of them thinks he really is the character he played in the show).

9 / 9 / Rivals / May 24, 1997

In the first episode to show the fictional Chum Bucket restaurant, Squidward plans to switch and work for Mr. Plankton, the owner of the Chum Bucket, only to see how terrible of a boss he is – he doesn’t keep things sanitary, safe, or efficient, and won’t allow Squidward to clean stuff up because of feared costs. Squidward soon finds a literal loophole in his contract and returns to SpongeBob’s before anyone even realizes that he was gone.

10 / 10 / Rosie Cheeks / May 31, 1997

In her first prominent role, Rosie the Squirrel, the restaurant chain’s Chief Food Scientist, takes center stage in a peanut allergy awareness episode where Squidward swells up like a balloon when making contact with seanut brittle, leading to Mr. Krabs establishing regulations that prove to be too restrictive for most customers to tolerate.

SEASON 2 (1997-1998)

11 / 1 / Pick It / September 6, 1997

The attempts by workers of the Chum Bucket chain to unionize leads to SpongeBob offering his assistance to head union strikers Karen and Pete, who are going on strike, even though SpongeBob is not sure what is even going on or what "going on strike" even means.

12 / 2 / Rules For The Unruly / September 13, 1997

Two recurring customers, the belligerent Bubble Bass and the cranky Mr. Barnacle, push Patrick to the breaking point while Squidward handles them with passive-aggressiveness and SpongeBob remains ignorant to their abuse – until the two customers cross a line.

13 / 3 / A Date To Distract You / September 20, 1997

Squidward’s beau, SpongeBob’s parents, and Patrick’s chilling and unnerving Pet Rock keep distracting them at work with visits and phone calls. When customers complain, Mr. Krabs – who was just visited by his wife and mother – is forced to take drastic measures.

14 / 4 / Our Legg / September 27, 1997

The SpongeBob’s chain agrees to sponsor SpongeBob's friend, boat racer Fred Legg, in the Ichthyopolis 500, a major boat-racing competition, only to soon learn of Fred’s accident-prone ways.

15 / 5 / Under Water Pressure / October 4, 1997

In order to breathe, Rosie the Land Squirrel needs to get a new oxygen tank for her air suit after her old tank is damaged in a food chemistry accident in the restaurant’s underground food lab. Squidward, the only employee available who can drive, reluctantly races from the restaurant to her auxiliary food lab at the campus of Kelp University on the other side of town to retrieve it. However, Patrick, who tagged along, inadvertently causes further havoc by goofing off in the aux lab.

16 / 6 / Pearl Whirl / October 11, 1997

In her first appearance, Pearl the Waitress gets into trouble when she asks a customer for a tip, which is given. Per the company’s tips policy (mirroring SpongeBob’s real-life policy), asking for tips is not allowed due to all the workers being paid living wages. Pearl gets into more trouble when she keeps asking for tips, causing Rosie and SpongeBob to investigate why she needs so much money.

17 / 7 / Errands For The Erroneous / October 18, 1997

Squidward is put in charge of the restaurant when Mr. Krabs has to leave for surgery to correct a shell molting gone awry. Squidward’s attempts to do nothing all day gives way to the realities and responsibilities of running a restaurant.

18 / 8 / The Squeaking of The Hideous Boots / October 25, 1997

In a parody of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, Mr. Krabs steals SpongeBob’s annoying shoes and hides them in the restaurant, only for the guilt of upsetting SpongeBob to begin playing tricks on his hearing and his mind.

19 / 9 / What A Catchy Title! / November 1, 1997

SpongeBob’s attempt at advertising for the restaurant grows from a single person with an arrow sign to a huge dance rave that envelopes the restaurant!

20 / 10 / SkillBob TalentPants / November 8, 1997

To win over more customers, SpongeBob comes up with the idea of a Talent Show. Several employees and paying customers’ talents are well-received, even SpongeBob’s, while Squidward’s is panned. When Squidward then angrily admonishes the crowd for their tastes in humor, they leave, angering Mr. Krabs, who blames it all on SpongeBob, and leading to SpongeBob once again not becoming Employee of the Month.

21 / 11 / Skywriting Made Not-So-Easy / November 15, 1997

SpongeBob decides to try and take skywriting lessons in order to try and promote the restaurant, only for The Flying SpongeBob to fly out of control, and end up encountering vertigo, wild jellyfish, sea gremlins, engine trouble, US military submarines, and pirates both above and below the ocean surface.

22 / 12 / Surface Will Suffice / November 22, 1997

Believing the diet of land creatures is an untapped market, Mr. Krebs begins selling non-seafood products. These are unpopular among the fishhook and fail to bring in land-based customers – except for a giant moose, which wreaks havoc and nearly destroys the restaurant.

23 / 13 / Talk Without Your Mouth / November 29, 1997

Rosie creates a device that can scan a customer’s head and determine exactly what they want to order. Customers enjoy the scanning, but SpongeBob misses the banter. After Rosie becomes Employee of the Month despite SpongeBob coming up with the scanning idea in the first place, SpongeBob accidently destroys the device in a moment of rage-fueled temporary insanity. SpongeBob is about to be fired when it is discovered that Plankton was "hacking" into the device to steal the data of the customers.

24 / 14 / Opposite Day / December 6, 1997

Opposite Day at SpongeBob’s causes food orders, instructions, deliveries, and even comments to become confused messes as only some employees and customers are aware that it’s Opposite Day.

25 / 15 / Let There Be Lightbulbs Underwater / December 13, 1997

Mr. Krabs tries to scale back electric lighting in order to save on costs. Seeing an opportunity to become Employee of the Month, SpongeBob connects his bicycle collection to the gears in the restaurant’s generator and then hosts an exercise/cardio class, thus powering the restaurant. However, SpongeBob soon loses himself in the role of coach, causing the cyclers to pedal too much and damaging the generator!

26 / 16 / Christmas Who? / December 20, 1997

In a controversial episode, Rosie sets up a plastic Christmas Tree inside the restaurant, which puzzles the locals unfamiliar with the tradition and leads to Rosie, with the help of SpongeBob and Patrick, trying to spread the joy of the holiday to the customers who just want to eat a meal in peace. Rosie reluctantly gives up trying to push Christmas onto others, but is happy to later see SpongeBob, Patrick, and even Squidward partaking in yuletide traditions after work.

27 / 17 / Where's Your Identity? / January 10, 1998

After Tom the Tuna's unhinged reaction to a new chocolate desert on the menu frightens several customers, Mr. Krabs improves store security, including hiring security guards. But when SpongeBob misplaces his new ID Card, Flats the Flounder (head of the new security force) refuses to let him into the building. Meanwhile, Mr. Krabs and the rest of the staff become increasingly frustrated by restrictive security measures inside the restaurant.

28 / 28 / The Price Ain't Right / January 24, 1998

Mr. Krabs tries to cut corners by purchasing cheaper (and lower-quality) food for the restaurant, which SpongeBob soon calls him out on after sales begin to decline.

29 / 19 / Plankton's Plot / February 7, 1998

In the show's first two-parter, Plankton tries to ruin the SpongeBob's restaurant by spreading rumors and lies about the Chum Bucket's competition, claiming the food is unhealthy and that the staff is unprofessional.

30 / 20 / Plankton's Plot, Part 2 / February 14, 1998

Fed up with Plankton's smear campaign, Mr. Krabs challenges Plankton to a boat-off, with the loser needing to relocate their restaurant to the (literal) edge of town (we learn that enterprises fail to stay in business there due to its remote location). In a surprise twist, Plankton wins the race without cheating. However, the optimistic SpongeBob turns the area around by him and Patrick moving there, followed by others wishing to live closer to their favorite restaurant moving there, too. Soon the area has become revitalized, while the Chum Bucket continues to fail to bring in customers. Enraged, Plankton demands that he and Mr. Krabs switch locations, only for the edge to return to its prior status, conditions, and reputation under Plankton's poor management skills.

SEASON 3 (1998-1999)

31 / 1 / Quit Horsing Around / September 12, 1998

SpongeBob befriends a wild seahorse that keeps visiting the back of the restaurant, only for SpongeBob to quickly learn why you should not feed wild animals.

32 / 2 / Table For Two / September 19, 1998

Rosie and Squidward sharing a table at a restaurant to save of costs is misunderstood by Mr. Krabs to be a date, and responds by (literally) dusting off the restaurant's restrictive policies on dating in the workplace, much to the confusion of everyone, including Rosie and Squidward.

33 / 3 / Please Clam Up! / September 26, 1998

Patrick gets a new pet, a small pink clam, but does not want to leave it at home, and so smuggles it into the restaurant, where keeping it a secret proves to be quite the challenge.

34 / 4 / Room For One More? / October 10, 1998

Mr. Krabs and Plankton team up to strategize against a new restaurant that has opened in the area. SpongeBob, meanwhile, does not fear the new competition and remains almost-blindly confident in their customers' loyalty - despite the noticeable drop in sales.

35 / 5 / Burger Come Back / October 17, 1998

A "suggestion box" added to the restaurant leads to customers requesting an old item that was discontinued for reasons that nobody can remember. SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs respond by bringing it back, only to discover why it was removed from the menu in the first place.

36 / 6 / SpongeComp / October 24, 1998

In an "experimental" episode featuring CRI animation technology, an underwater cable shows up on the side of the town. The smartest minds in town, led by the inquisitive Rosie, investigate it, and soon create miniature computers so the locals can tap into the technet. The underwater citizens discover the wonders of technetting. However, in a reference to "Tron," SpongeBob's "addiction" to his computer leads to him being literally zapped into the world of the technet, resulting in Rosie and Patrick needing to work together to rescue their friend.


SEASON 4 (1999-2000)

51 / 1 / Oceanic Origins / September 18, 1999

In a particularly dark episode, SpongeBob and Patrick volunteer to check up on the places where the restaurant gets its food, leading to a showcasing of various forms of sea creatures that eat other, smaller sea creatures. In this episode, it is confirmed that certain fish in the show are depicted as wild animals while others are treated like people. The more scientifically-accurate creatures are called “unevolved” by the more anthropomorphic “fish folk” underwater inhabitants; the latter eat the former.




"She's pretty, SpongeBob"
"Ahhh!!! ...Those boots are so last year!"

– Patrick meets a more scientifically-accurate starfish, The SpongeBob Zone, 9/18/1999 episode

…With Hafez al-Assad’s brother switching sides, Khaddam’s reign began to be seen as legitimate in the eyes of many of Hafez’s loyal supporters, and Bassel’s response to his uncle’s “treason” – massacring over 50 Syrian Army soldiers in an ambush – only made the situation worse for him. In October, Bassel’s headquarters outside of Ar-Raqqah, located along the Euphrates River in northern Syria, was overtaken in the high-casualty Battle of The Euphrates, which finally concluded the two-years-old Syrian Civil War with a decisive victory for the Khaddam government and its anti-Assad coalition forces. Bassel went into “self-imposed exile” (in other words, he fled), moving first to Eritrea and then to Somalia in 2001…

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

“EXTREMIST” SENATOR RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! Will Seek The Democratic Nomination While Staying In The “Liberty Union” Party

…declaring oneself an “unapologetic Marxist” does not sound like the kind of statement a successful candidate for the United States Senate would make. And yet, last November, a far-left socialist did just that, and still won election. In 1998, Peter Isaac "Pete" Diamondstone of the Vermont-only Liberty Union party ran an anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-interventionist “Social Democracy” campaign against an uninspiring Democrat and an unenthusiastic Republican, and bested both in a head-spinning upset. Now, Comrade Pete, who reluctantly caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, is turning heads with rhetoric criticizing the very government he now wants to lead!

The New York Post, 10/6/1999

PRO-COMMUNIST SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE? Are the mascot characters of the seafood restaurant chain “SpongeBob’s” all named after prominent communist leaders?

SpongeBob = Bob Griffiths, leader of the UK’s Communist Party
Eugene H. Krabs = Eugene V. Debs
Squidward = Irish communist Frank Edwards (green skin + orange shirt = the ends of the Irish flag!)
Rosie Cheeks = Rosa Luxemburg, a Marxist philosopher
Sheldon Plankton (the villain) = Sheldon Adelson, a capitalist!

Plus, the founder of the food chain, Steve Hillenburg, is a big-time support of labor rights. Thoughts?

> It makes sense!
>> No it doesn’t, the company founder was apolitical.
>>> Are you kidding? Just listen to his comments about worker rights back in 2005 or so on ourvids, he’s a total comrad (commie-radical)!

> Always the one you least suspect
>> When it comes to what?

> Uh, this is going to be like the “is First Blood a Christmas Movie” debate, isn’t it?
>> There were Christmas decorations all over the police station!!!


“I have a lot of respect for Jesse Jackson, even if I didn’t work on his campaigns of the 1990s. I didn’t even meet with Jackson or any of his family members in any official capacity until, I’d say, 2002. In October 1999, I sat near them at a candidates town hall in Georgia, but I didn’t speak to them. I was in the Leland camp and, obviously, they were in a rival’s camp. It wasn’t exactly bad blood between the campaigns, but there was fear that, like what happened in ’96, we would end up cancelling each other out.”

– Sandi Stevens, Press Secretary for the Mickey Leland 2000 Presidential Campaign, 4/4/2009 comment

We regret to announce that Harold Kenneth Omer, the Chief Operating Officer for Kentucky Fried Chicken, passed away on the 10th. He was 75. As the son-in-law of Colonel Sander’ sister, Violet Sander Cummings, Omer was a beloved member of the KFC family who was deeply committed to overseeing day-to-day operations among our thousands of locations worldwide. He will be greatly missed. His funeral’s date and other details will be released soon.

– Finger Lickin’ Good Inc, official statement, 10/12/1999

On October 11, the Mexican military suffered an embarrassing defeat. In the Battle for Ciudad Valles, drug lords belonging to the Gulf Cartel syndicate successfully reconquered a farming community in northern Mexico near the Gulf, driving local police out of county limits to coastal Tampico.

“Ugh, these thugs are relentless!” Dinger rubbed the back of his head as he returned to his side of the Resolute Desk. He slapped the files on its top. “Every time we gain a foot of ground, they fight us over two.”

The US Ambassador to Mexico, Manuel Lujan Jr., joined CIA Director Bill Studeman, US Trade Representative Paula Stern, Chief Economic Policy Advisor Enid Greene, Chief National Security Advisor Robert Smith Walker, Chief of Staff John Dinger, and Secretary of State Susan Livingstone in the West Wing to discuss the War on Recreadrug’s progress.

“Mexico has long been a source of heroin and Mary Jane for Americans, dating back to prohibition.” Lujan lamented, “So in a way, we set the trails these bastards are now using. We made booze illegal, so bootleggers on both sides of the border established transportation and smuggling networks to take advantage of that. Even after repealing prohibition, the networks and infrastructure remained.”

The President said “I’m reminded of what McCain,” referring to Secretary of Defense John McCain, meeting with Korean officials in Seoul at the time, “told me once. ‘The stronger the action, the more underhanded the reaction.’ We’re trying prevent and educate, and support Mexico’s action – the stricter penalties, the stricter enforcement, and the like. It’s just making the pusher stoop to even lower levels.”

“We can detain the drug lords, that’s easy; it’s their armies of supporters that’s hard to manage,” Livingstone expressed dissatisfaction with US-Mexican collaborative forces. “Violent riots, retributive murders, it’s all a mess down there.”

“70% of the cocaine in this country still slips in from Mexico,” Director Studeman noted in a slight change of the subject. “And the Los Zetas cartel is growing in force along the east coast, as is the Sinaloa federation in the west. I recommend going after the two groups before they can absorb any more of the smaller groups.”

“I disagree,” noted Greene. “The American people are more worried about Mexico than Colombia because it’s not low-intensity like in Colombia. We double down and scare more citizens with violence south of the border, and we could lose re-election next year.”

To this idea, the Chief of Staff stifled a laugh. “Enid, the GOP is practically synonymous with law-and-order. If the cartel wars intensify, wouldn’t we win in another landslide?”

“Not if we keep losing ground to the Cartels,” Greene answered. “At this rate, we could see people lose confidence in us. That’s why we must switch to better tactics, Mr. President.”

The President said, “Such as…?”

“Focus more on preventing deals on the street and arresting users and pushers. Going after the money laundering, which has been a secondary goal for too long. Cutting off their funding will dismantling the cartels and amping up our PR campaigns will lower drug trafficking demand in the US and Mexico.”

“Ha!” Uttered the White House “Recreadrug Czar,” Robert Smith Walker. “Enid, if I had to choose a hill to die on, this would be the one – Americans will always seek out vices. It’s almost self-destructive. And when someone is self-destructive, use do what you have to do to protect that person from themselves, no matter how much that person cries and pouts, demanding you let them hurt themselves. Now, everyone in this room knows the dangers of smoking and alcohol, but are any of us going to stop using either? No. But pot, heroin, meth, cocaine and the rest are even worse, and so must be confined more than smokes and booze are.”

“He’s right, you know,” President Dinger said to the room. “To much freedom leads to chaos. We’ll keep on working with President Colosio, but our Special Forces should maybe go after the bribery, extortion, and kidnapping aspects as well. What I’m saying is we should cover all bases here.”

“But Mr. President,” Enid once again objected to the administration’s precise handling of the war. “Colosio is coming under fire for his militaristic antidrug policies. A new report from the Associated Press claims the number of murders in Mexico is actually rising, not dropping like Colosio keeping claiming.”

“Now who are you going to believe,” Walker curtly asked, “A head of state, or some tenth-rate two-bit newspaper writer?”

Greene looked at her President, who looked at the people in the room. Livingstone nodded slightly. The President thought for just a moment before deciding. “We’ll look into it, Enid.”

The comment was not entirely reassuring to Greene.

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

WINNIPEG WELCOMES WHATABURGER; Burger Chain Opens First Outlet Outside Of The US

The Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian newspaper, 10/19/1999

…Talk of an independent nation for the Kurds increased by the end of the 1990s. In northern Iraq, the calls for the Kurds to have greater autonomy were left unanswered by the national government. This childish ignoring of the problem in the hope that it would just go away seems to have backfired incredibly in the past two years alone…

– Gerard Chaliand’s A Nation Without A Country: The Kurds And Kurdistan, Harper’s Books Ltd, 2001

JESSE JACKSON: “Better wages for workers promotes businesses and by extension the economy because you can’t grow your business if your employees can’t afford your products.”

PETE DIAMONDSTONE: “They shouldn’t have to pay for what they made at all! Let’s cut out the middle man here, people! If it is a product of their labor, then they already