Tuesday, December 26, 2006
That's right folks, a vending machine. It comes with 12 tokens and can hold ten cans of soda in it. In the event you run out of tokens, quarters work just fine. Yes, you can retrieve the coins from the inside of the machine and it is both easy to set up and operate. I got to admit, it is awesome to use! In the event anyone is interested in ordering one for themselves, you can get the awesome gift here. I think it would be awesome for the child who is about to hit the double digit age not to mention the college dorm kid.
How often can you say your roommate has a vending machine in their room? Or you own a vending machine? In a word, this gift is AWESOME!
Friday, December 22, 2006
While we have the Fairfax County Public Access scene all taken care of, we hope to expand by getting the show out to the rest of the state. So for all of you who are in the rest of the state and like reading my blog, please visit the Time Travel 21 website and check out some of the things there and email us the contact info for any and all public access stations you may have. Include universities in your area which might have an channel on television in your area.
Let's see that VA grassroots movement at work again with this show. Call the stations, get them to call for the show to be aired in your area. It's Viginia History!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
That’s right folks: robots will have the same rights as humans. According to an article written by the Financial Times, by the year 2056 the world will be having a new group of citizens brought into the fold. Robots are currently seen as inanimate objects; however, computers are currently being given artificial intelligence systems and becoming more powerful by the day.
Think back to the old days of the computer. Back in 1966, the idea that we would have a computer that would fit on a desk and could be carried around with you everyday was something that could only be seen on Star Trek. Today, we have everything Star Trek came up with. Interestingly enough, Star Trek even asked the question as to whether or not a robot should have rights.
In a previous post I did called “The Measure of a Man,” I stated in regards to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation the following on Lt. Commander Data:
“The key element to the hearing is whether or not Data is a sentient being. Maddox contends there are three criteria in order to be declared sentient: intelligence, self awareness, and consciousness. So let us examine the three elements of sentient beings.
Intelligence-the ability to learn, cope, and deal with new situations.
Self awareness-conscious of your existence and actions, aware of one’s self and ego
Consciousness-as Webster’s Dictionary defines it as the state of being aware especially of
something within oneself.
The whole array of the argument is something which is very unique. Can a machine be sentient? The argument Captain Picard used when dealing with the idea of a race of Data’s was that these androids would become a race and possibly achieve sentient status. If that were to happen, then these new people would be effectively slaves, all in the name of the betterment of humanity. In the end, the judge in the hearing rules that Data has the right to choose and is, in effect, sentient.”
Where we decide to draw the final line on where robots receive rights still has yet to be determined, especially since this moment has yet to occur. The most important element to remember is that if we do not acknowledge the fact that we are building a workforce to do everything for us, NOT to give them some kind of protection under the law means we are purposely creating a slave race. In addition to this, saying what can and cannot be considered intelligent or have the ability to learn would liken us to the days of slavery.
Now as for robots themselves, I for one hope the first one built is named Bender. How is he powered up? Beer. In the event you want to see how entertaining he is, check him out on Futurama. He is awesome!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
1927 Charles Augustus Lindbergh
1928 Walter P. Chrysler
1929 Owen D. Young
1930 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
1931 Pierre Laval
1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1933 Hugh Samuel Johnson
1934 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1935 Haile Selassie
1936 Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson
1937 Generalissimo & Mme Chiang Kai-Shek
1938 Adolf Hitler
1939 Joseph Stalin
1940 Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
1941 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1942 Joseph Stalin
1943 George Catlett Marshall
1944 Dwight David Eisenhower
1945 Harry Truman
1946 James F. Byrnes
1947 George Catlett Marshall
1948 Harry Truman
1949 Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
1950 American Fighting-Man
1951 Mohammed Mossadegh
1952 Elizabeth II
1953 Konrad Adenauer
1954 John Foster Dulles
1955 Harlow Herbert Curtice
1956 Hungarian Freedom Fighter
1957 Nikita Krushchev
1958 Charles De Gaulle
1959 Dwight David Eisenhower
1960 U.S. Scientists
1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy
1962 Pope John XXIII
1963 Martin Luther King Jr.
1964 Lyndon B. Johnson
1965 General William Childs Westmoreland
1966 Twenty-Five and Under
1967 Lyndon B. Johnson
1968 Astronauts Anders, Borman and Lovell
1969 The Middle Americans
1970 Willy Brandt
1971 Richard Milhous Nixon
1972 Nixon and Kissinger
1973 John J. Sirica
1974 King Faisal
1975 American Women
1976 Jimmy Carter
1977 Anwar Sadat
1978 Teng Hsiao-P'ing
1979 Ayatullah Khomeini
1980 Ronald Reagan
1981 Lech Walesa
1982 The Computer
1983 Ronald Regan & Yuri Andropov
1984 Peter Ueberroth
1985 Deng Xiaoping
1986 Corazon Aquino
1987 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
1988 Endangered Earth
1989 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
1990 The Two George Bushes
1991 Ted Turner
1992 Bill Clinton
1993 The Peacemakers
1994 Pope John Paul II
1995 Newt Gingrich
1996 Dr. David Ho
1997 Andy Grove
1998 Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr
1999 Jeff Bezos
2000 George W. Bush
2001 Rudolph Giuliani
2002 The Whistleblowers
2003 The American Soldier
2004 George W. Bush
2005 Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, & Bono
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
So I am going to propose this scenario: you are sitting at a table. There is a chair to your left, right, and in front of you. You are going to have dinner with three historical figures you would love to meet. The only condition to this particular dinner is that the three other people you are going to be meeting could not have met with the others in question. By doing this, you are guaranteed a great discussion throughout the entire evening.
Errol Flynn (Across)
George Washington (Left Seat)
Robert E. Lee (Right Seat)
There are my choices and where I would sit them. As many know, I am a great admirer of Washington and would love to meet him. I am also a great admirer of Lee, and would be curious to see how the two men would see each others causes and what they may think of their respective scenarios. As for Flynn, he was one of the most charasmatic individuals around in Hollywood and would provide for a degree of bravado that would makethe evening complete.
So who would you want to have dinner with?
Sunday, December 10, 2006
From The Independent:
"Meet the world's top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush: it is the cow.
A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.
The 400-page report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world's 1.5 billion cattle are most to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
Burning fuel to produce fertiliser to grow feed, to produce meat and to transport it - and clearing vegetation for grazing - produces 9 per cent of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. And their wind and manure emit more than one third of emissions of another, methane, which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.
Livestock also produces more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world's emissions of ammonia, one of the main causes of acid rain.
Ranching, the report adds, is "the major driver of deforestation" worldwide, and overgrazing is turning a fifth of all pastures and ranges into desert.Cows also soak up vast amounts of water: it takes a staggering 990 litres of water to produce one litre of milk.
Wastes from feedlots and fertilisers used to grow their feed overnourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. And the pesticides, antibiotics and hormones used to treat them get into drinking water and endanger human health.
The pollution washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating "dead zones" devoid of life. One is up to 21,000sqkm, in the Gulf of Mexico, where much of the waste from US beef production is carried down the Mississippi.
The report concludes that, unless drastic changes are made, the massive damage done by livestock will more than double by 2050, as demand for meat increases."
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
|You Are Rudolph|
Sweet and shy, you tend to be happiest when you're making someone else happy.
Why You're Naughty: You sometimes stick that nose where it doesn't belong
Why You're Nice: Christmas would be a sad affair without you!
This week, we bring to you a match from the WCW Monday Night Nitro.
Outsiders vs. Ric Flair and Chris Benoit for the WCW Tag Team Titles. One thing to note in the match is that Chris Benoit is sporting a pretty mean looking mullet. It is a good match overall and the crowd is pretty into it. Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I would give them $3.00 dollars an hour and only for the hours they worked, not any of that silly planning time. That would be 15 dollars a day. Each parent should pay 15 dollars a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now, how many do they teach in a day......maybe 25.
Then that's 15 x 25= $375 a day. But remember they only work 180 days a year! I'm not going to pay them for any vacations.
Let's see...that's 375 x 180 = $67,500.00 (Hold on, my calculator must need batteries!)
What about those special teachers or those with master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage just to be fair. Let's round it off to $6.00 an hour. That would be.......$6 times 5 hours times 25 children times 180 days = $135,000.00 per year.
Wait a minute, there is something wrong here!!!
Make a teacher smile; :-) send this to him or her.
I wish this were true. If that were the case, then I will do some stats of my own. I have 112 students and a real teacher work day is 8 hours, not the five as posted in the email I placed here. So...here is what we go:
6 x 8 = 48
48 x 112 = 5376
5376 x 180 = 967,680
So my yearly salary should be almost 1 million dollars!
Sadly, I don't think a lot of people would be willing to pay a teacher that much money. Does anyone have a reason? The obvious is that this is a lot of money, but I am flexible. I am willing to take only a tenth of that per year as a salary. Sound like a deal?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Read the letter here
It is very clear Ahmadinelad is an intelligent man and has a very good writing prose about him. That is a simple fact that cannot be denied. From my own interpretation, I would argue that he is calling for the United States to abandon its support of Israel and side with the Palestinians. if we were to do this, the Middle East might turn its views around on us.
Anyone else have an interpretation on the letter?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Season One of the show has the following episodes:
George Washington (Premiere)
The Economy of the South
Carlyle House Movies
War of 1812
The Legend of Braddock's Gold
Patrick Henry (Season Finale)
The show will air new episodes every month on the fourth week of the month: Tuesday 600 am, Thursday 530 pm, and Friday 930 pm.
In addition to the show, we have a website up: Time Travel 21 and it is here you can get a lot of news and information pertaining to Virginia history and historical events. If you have any show ideas, let me know or email us and we can try to develop the idea.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
It looks like TNA is going to make a quick shot on WWE. Not really a big one, but it is still something WWE might want to be careful about. TNA could overtake them soon enough if they don't get their act together.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This week we have a match from Japan. It is Chris Jericho vs. Ultimo Dragon. Jericho is the blonde, while Dragon is the guy who looks like a dragon. The one thing you learn about Japan and their wrestling is that they really appreciate the technical aspects of it all. Enjoy!
Perhaps my power of pronostication aren't so bad after all.
With control of Congress now in the hands of the Democrats, some might say that we are going to enter into two years of gridlock when it comes to the government of this country. In some ways, it might be a good thing. It will certainly get a lot of people to ease up and relax more. In addition to this, President Bush is a lam duck president. By all rights, Congress can sit on their hands and do nothing for the next two years except keep the government running and there really isn't much Bush can do about it.
I don't think the Democrats are going to do that. I think they will do everything they can to try and show that their message of taking the country into a new direction is an accurate message. 1994's Contract for America worked pretty well for Republicans for a while, so maybe this will work for Democrats too. Only time will tell on that one.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is that now it is time for the Democrats to step up to the plate and show the nation what they can do. It will be an interesting two years, no doubt about that. Jeannemarie (sp) Davis had said that perhaps losing Congress might be the best thing for the party. A lot of other folks have said the same thing and in retrospect I am having to agree and feeling better about the election loss thinking of it in terms like that.
Republicans can look into their playbook and figure out what they need to do next. Perhaps this is something telling about a political party. A good decade run is good, but after that it can be overkill. Who knows, after two years, maybe the Republicans can storm back, but then again maybe they won't. It all depends on how the next two years work out.
I got to admit, there were a couple of great zingers for this election. One is from a man named John, a Webb supporter, who asked in referrring to voter turnout, "Who said that man in the White House wasn't a uniter?"
But now that the mideterms are over, it is time to go for primary season. So lets get some odds going. Top five picks for Democrat and Republican nominees for the presidency:
1. Hillary Clinton
2. Al Gore
3. Barak Obama
4. Joseph Lieberman
5. Bill Richardson
1. John McCain
2. Rudy Guiliani
3. JEB Bush
4. Newt Gingrich
5. Michael Steele
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
George F. Allen (R)- 46
James H. Webb, Jr. (D)- 17
Virginia House (Chose this one because this is the district the school was in)
James Moran (D)- 31
Thomas O'Donaghue (R)- 32
Ballot Issue 1
Ballot Issue 2
Ballot Issue 3
If you pay attention to the numbers, this shows that only 63 students voted. I have 69 government students, so the six who did not vote certainly could have made a difference in the Moran race. I am willing to bet they might have tipped the scales in his favor. However, it is interesting to see what a group of high school students think. Comments?
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Sorry to everyone who missed the Main Event last week. I was busy working on grades for the my students, who had their first quarter come to an end. However, this week's main event is a good one.
Low Ki vs. Nova vs. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Shark Boy vs. Tony Mamaluke. I probably just spelled the last one wrong, but the match will speak for itself on how good it is.
Pay attention to Low Ki, who is really hitting the opponents and hurting them. The match is a little over 20 minutes, but is very enjoyable.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Halloween is almost upon us. It is during this time we have goblins and ghouls running around asking for candy. However, at the same time, we hav all the different horror movies coming out on television and giving us all good chills and thrills. Since I have a night free, what horror films will I watch this year you might ask? Well, here is what we have. Thanks to the Sci Fi Channel, I was able to get two films in.
Mortuary: This film was on at 3pm. The film deals with a family who moves into a a small town in California where the mother acts as the town mortician. There seems to be a family curse on the house where she lives and a great deal of chasing occurs for the movie's teens. Starring Denise Crosby, this film proves to be a good scare if you allow yourself to get caught up in it.
Village of the Damned: Starring Christopher Reeves and Kirstie Alley, this films looks at a small town where a group of children are all born on the same day. With white blonde hair and blue eyes, the children have powers unlike any that people have seen before. Can they be stopped, or will the children come to rule the world?
House on Haunted Hill: Which version is what a movie buff would ask. The one I have on is the remake starring Geoffrey Rush. Dealing with a group of people locked in an asylum for one night, the name of the game is money. If you can survive the night, you get one million dollars. A pretty sweet deal at the face of it, but what happens when the house is alive and trying to kill you? This is a film where if your house creeks alot, you might need all the lights on.
Snow White: What happens when you take the classic Disney cartoon, turn it into a live action film, and decide to really make it scary? Answer: this film. Sigourney Weaver as the wicked witch is a perfect casting. The way in which the film is remade is spectacular and makes you happy the kids version is the first one you see. As an adult, you can appreciate it more for the fact that it answers some questions of like: why doesn't the witch try to kill off the dwarves?
The Shining: The be all, end all of any horror film marathon. Any person with common sense knows this film starring Jack Nicholson is just AWESOME. A Stanley Kubrick classic, this film looks at a caretaker who loses his mind at a hotel out in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and tries to kill his wife and son. A guarantee classic if ever there was one.
After being scared half to death or at least having enough pent up emotion to create some scary as anything dreams, how do you break the tension of it? Well, a good comedy will more than take care of that problem. But which comedy is recommended before bed? Answer: any. I haven't decided which one I will go with as the movie to end the night and go to bed on, but I am sure I will be able to think of something. Just a few movie ideas for everyone this Halloween. Below are other movie suggestions for Halloween viewing. Anyone else have ideas I might have missed?
The Halloween Series
Friday the 13th Series
Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Vincent Price movies
Child's Play Series
Classic Horror Films: Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon
Monday, October 23, 2006
Last night was TNA's Bound for Glory Pay Per View. This event was held in Detroit, Michigan and went up against the World Series. The arena they were at held about three thousand people and was an aswesome show from start to finish.
This week's song is the themes song for the ppv, sung by the band Fozzy. The lead singer is former wrestler Chris Jericho, who was the first Undisputed Heavyweight wrestling champion after the wrestling wars ended officially.
Enjoy the vidoe. This is an awesome song!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
King of the Mountain
This is the first ever King of the Mountain match TNA ever put on. While this is not necessarily an older match, this one is still a classic as it is a first match. The rules are explained by the first minute of the video.
Now this one is twenty minutes long, but WELL worth the watch. A high spot to note is AJ Styles, who will do a running start and then leap over the penalty box. Trust me on this one, it is a good spot.
What is truly noteworthy about this match is that shortly after this match, TNA will move to cable television on FSN and have their first major pay per view: Victory Road.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
"Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers vs. Johnny Valentine
For this week, we have a classic black and white match from the olden days. In this case, the match is shown via clips on a news reel. In addition to this, the match is fast forwarded a little in order to move things along just like it is slowed down a little as well. The ring is technically a boxing ring, but it still got the job done when it came to wrestling. Still a classic considering most of Buddy Rogers' matches aren't seen by many people.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Rules: Show must be based off of a theme. Show must not have some inherent one side swing/spin to it. Show must relate to Virginia is some manner.
Tapings will begin on Thursday and I will announce when the first show will air. Hope to hear soem great ideas!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Match 7: Fatal Four Way World Heavyweight Title Match: King Booker vs. Batista vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Finlay-ALL HAIL KING BOOKER!!!!!!! Winner King Booker via pinfall. ALL HAIL KING BOOKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Match 6: Chris Benoit vs. William Regal-Winner Chris Benoit via submission. Side Note: Great match and well worth the surprise.
HOLY SHNIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHRIS BENOIT IS BACK!!!!!
Match 5: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero-Winner Rey Mysterio via pinfall.
Match 4: Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker (Non Title Match)-Winner by Disqualification Mr. Kennedy...........KENNEDY!!!!!
Match 3: MVP vs. Matt Garner-MVP wins, but I called this one: Bathroom Match.
Match 2: Tag Team Title Match-Paul London and Brian Kendrick (c) vs. KC James and Idol Stevens-Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick via pinfall.
Match 1: Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy (Non Title Match)-Winner Matt Hardy via pinfall.
Tonight is No Mercy, brought to you by the WWE Brand Smackdown! Overall, this show looks like it will be a good one wrestling wise. Smackdown has consistantly produced better matches than Raw, but is always classified as the B show. So here is the card:
World Heavyweight Title Match: King Booker vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Batista vs. Finlay
Tag Team Title Match: Paul London and Brian Kendrick vs. KC James and Idol Stevens
Cruiserweight Title Match: Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy
Falls Count Anywhere: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker
Debut of MVP
While the card is subject to change, here are my predictions:
1. MVP is your bathroom break match.
2. If Kennedy does have to defend his title, he will probably lose. But I am going to go out on a limb here and say Kennedy will win, but probably through a count out or disqualification.
3. Chavo Guerrero is going to win this one so that there will be a Wrestlemania match between the two.
4. I think Gregory Helms is going to retain the title tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if the feud between Helms and Hardy continues.
5. Considering how any new "hot" team becomes tag champs, I am betting Stevens and James will win the tag titles tonight in what could be a show stealing match.
6. ALL HAIL KING BOOKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Booker T will retain the title. Little doubt of that in my mind. He has been a good champion thus far and his fake English accent is too funny.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
This match is certainly a classic for any wrestling fan. A young Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in the ring. While he might not have been the best wrestler out there, the man was a master of working the microphone. Note how he is able to try and make a “convincing” argument as to how he should not wrestle his opponnent for almost 6 months.
For those wondering, the two big guys with Heenan are The Blackjacks, a vicious tag team who could make many opponents wish they were anywhere but in the ring. By today’s standards, the most notable part of this team is that there is a BJ initial for Blackjacks inside a horseshoe on the back of the two men’s tights.
The bulldog headlock is now just used as a wear down move, but back at this time, the move was impressive enough to finish an opponent off. If you get anything out of this match, it is how a wrestler/manager can use his personality to get a lot of people mad at him. Truly a classic for The Brain.
I will post come current match stuff up. Still toying with a few other ideas, but I am sure folks will come to like what I am doing, in one way or another.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
A question was once asked if the blogosphere could ever be taken seriously. The answer, in my view, is no. If we need examples, we only need to read the posts all of us have done for the past couple of months to see that all of us have made this forum a joke, myself included. As such, I feel I can no longer be a part of this. I enjoy blogging and will continue to do so with my own interests, which I will address in a little bit, but the time has come to move on. A lot of people are getting frustrated with what has been going on, and I don't blame them.
As you may note, the links on the side ofthis page have been changed. The only ones who were there before dealing with politics are Mason Conservative, Republitarian, Commonwealth Conservative, and Shaun Kenney. I keep these four because (1) I know MC, (2) I love the Weekend Caption Contest, (3) Republitarian has blogger theme songs and I want him to give me one :o) , (4) Shaun does deal with other issues that I like to be kept informed on.
Also, I kept Cat House Chat because while she does talk a bit about politics, she also discusses other things dealing with life. If anything, her blog might be one of the best around because I for one enjoy going over there and seeing what is going on.
As for this blog, I plan on changing formats altogether and discussing topics that interest me alone: pro wrestling, fiction and non fiction books, my show, quizzes and tests, dvds, computer games, etc. You might have noticed the changes already occurring in the blog as I have thoguht about this for a little while. And so...
The Fact of the Matter is setting sail for a new horizon.
Monday, September 25, 2006
A house show is an event where wrestlers would fight each other in order to go ahead and prepare for a bigger match on television or pay per view. In the old days of wrestling, house shows were where something big could happen. IN many cases, rare and classic matches were fought and gave fans memories of a life time. This match, while technical in many aspect, does haev some good spots in it. Do allow the video a few moments to load up. YouTube can be a little slow, but when the video is ready, it is well worth the wait.
I will say, while watching this video, I had a couple songs going. Numb by Linkin Park and Downfall by Trust Company. Good songs to go with this match.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
For wrestling fans out there, this is huge news. Angle is an Olympic gold medalist. He is a former 6 time heavyweight champion in the WWE. Angle is hands down one of the best and legitimate tough wrestlers there is alive today. If you tick him off, he will stretch your body out in directions that would make Gumbi scream.
In addition to this, Angle coming to TNA is a huge thing for him personally. The travel schedule means he really only has to work 3 times a month. In addition to that, he has wrestlers who can put on great matches and carry themselves in the ring. Things are heating up in the wrestling world. The reason is because this will give the entire industry a much needed boost wen it comes to the product being given. Add that to the fact TNA is going to prime time television, things will really get interesting once November 16 arrives.
While it is going to be too soon for the company to go head to head with WWE on Monday nights, TNA can carve out Thursday nights as their own and begin to grow larger with their fan base. And once the house show tours begin, I will be there when they come to Virginia.
This is going to be exciting. How do you spell it?
K U R T A N G L E
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is that if Osama bin Laden IS dead, al Queda is in trouble. The former area of pride for the terrorist organization was that their leader was completely hidden from the rest of the world. It was already common knowledge that bin Laden was ill and that time was against him.
In the event this information is confirmed, it will most likely signify a major blow to terrorism as a whole and bring more stability to the world. Added to the recent announcement that Palestine will acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and it would see that Middle East peace could actually occur. Time will tell if this story is true.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Well, today certainly proved that as I saw a number of gas stations have gas priced from $2.47 to as low as $2.40. In Woodbridge, there is a gas station that has been reported to sell gas at $2.14 a gallon for regular unleaded.
With the prices going down because of the changes in the season and the announcement that the oil companies have reserves that are at full capacity, market influences dictate that prices are going down.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is that I am going to go on record with this one. Gas prices will be BELOW $2.00 by the first weekend in November. Now granted, not every station might be there, but we will see a number of stations being below two dollars by the end of November 5.
If I am wrong, we will cross that bridge when we get there. But I am very confident in this prediction. Considering how prices have been going down ten cents a week, it makes pretty logical sense. As for other parts of the state, I bet it will be below two dollars by the middle of October, assuming the prices are like that which GOP Hokie is describing in Blacksburg.
So here we go. The march to $2.00!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
1. John Smith
2. The Glorious Revolution
4. House of Burgesses
5. Massachussetts Bay Colony
As for the previous quiz, the answers are as follows:
4. Spanish Armada
5. Virginia Dare
Again, thanks to everyone who took part in the quiz. You can expect another one later this week!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Is it any wonder this got match of the year for TNA?
I totally got to watch the full match. Its Joe, AJ, and a match that has five stars written all over it. Keep in mind, Samoa Joe there is nearly three hundred pounds, but flies through the air as if he was one hundred and fifty pounds.
Friday, September 15, 2006
1. Who said, "Those who do not work shall not eat?"
2. What was the arrival of William and Mary called in 1688?
3. What name was Edward Teach better known as?
4. What was the name of Virginia's legislature during the colonial era?
5. What colony was settled by the Puritans?
Any takers? The previous quiz was the following:
1. What year did Columbus discover the New World?
2. Who conquered the Aztecs?
3. What was the name of the colony whcih would famously become "lost"?
4. What was the name of the fleet which tried to take over England in 1588?
5. What was teh name of the first European child born in the New World?
Each question is worth two points. Once the quarter is finished, I should hope to hav enough quizzes to combine together and create a test grade. Good luck to anyone who wants to take the quiz! I'll let you know how you did after you answer the questions.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
As well know, gas prices have been really high for quite sometime. Many of us long for the days of when gas was only a dollar and filling up in the gas station did not mean you had to thinkin your head about how much of your budget you could spare for gas alone. A few months back I had read over at Drudge Report how oil prices were going to fall towards the end of the year and that gas prices themselves would go extremely low.
Now it appears a story I thought was hopeful, but maybe along the lines of far fetched, could be coming true. With the price of oil dropping $14 since July, and oil stockpiles going up, it seems as if the markets might be readjusting to things in the early 21st century. Assuming if we do not have a really cold winter this year, there is a real chance gas prices could drop not only below two dollars, but could go down to levels lower that $1.50.
In thinking about my own car, filling up 8 gallons in the car means I might have to only pay $12 or less for gas. Now that is a good bargain! If the prices were to go down to $1.15 as the article Virtucon describe, then my car would cost less that $10 to fill up!
Now granted, none of us want to get ahead of oursleves when it comes to gas prices. But considering how fast the prices have been going down as of late, there may be some major truth to all of this. In driving to and from work, the highest gas price seen on Lee Highway is $2.71, while the lowest is set at $2.61. It would not surprise me if by the end of the month gas were down to $2.50 or less.
Already, if you drive past Manassas and get down to Warrenton, the prices are at least thirty cents cheaper. So could happy days be here again? I would like to think so. Think of the benefits of all that extra money!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
But now we are back to reality. already, a big announcement is expected to be made this afternoon for George Allen as reported by the A-Team. As I readjust trying to get back into the swing of politics after the emotionally draining day, a few thoughts came to mind that I wanted to share with all of you.
Yesterday, the school I work for did not have a moment of silence, memorial service, or anything in commemoration of 9-11. We had a bit of a lengthy prayer at the beginning of the day, but a number of my students commented that they were expecting more to be done. Members of the SCA(Student Council Association) said that when they were planning out events for the calendar, they forgot about 9-11 and thought the Administration was going to do something.
As near as I can tell, there was a serious breakdown of communications here because neither side knew what the other wanted to do for 9-11. In talking with my students, it was interesting to note how most teachers never really acknowledged the day at all. Some class spent a little time on the subject, but in a lot of depth.
Teaching Social Studies, it is rather obvious talking about that day was a very important step. The truly scary thought was that the Freshman class here, when asked about 9-11, gave blank stares about it. The fear which crossed my mind was that before too long, we are going to see more people forget every day what happened on 9-11. Do we really want that to happen?
If people stop talking about the Holocaust, then we will forget and a dictator might try to do it again. The same thing can be said about 9-11. If we don't talk about it and forget it happened, then a terrorist will try to do it again.
President Bush certainly hit it on the head when he said this War on Terror was the defining moment of the 21st centruy. If we chose not to stop the terrorists now, then who will? Do you think China or Russia will? Of course not. How about the United Nations? Well, they have been asleep at the wheel for some time now.
Some people say this Administration may go down as the worst ever. I for one doubt that. think history will ge the final decision on this. In the end, an depending on how things go with the War on Terror in the long run, we may see this Administration being the torch bearer to vicotry, or the only chance we had at trying to root out terrorism before it got a stranglehold. If the Howard Dean's of this country take control, we might want to start getting ready for the next attack because those people will deplete our military and roll out the welcome mat for the terrorists.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Five years ago around the time I am typing this, I had gotten up to get ready to go to class and then to work in Alexandria after that. I showered, shaved, and went to the Bistro in the Johnson Center at George Mason University. My first class was at 9am, dealing with how to write history papers. The Bistro had the news on, but I left there at 840am. I sat in class and tried to stay awake through the whole thing. What got my attention was my cell phone vibrating on my hip.
It was not very often that someone called me and so I figured it was either a wrong number or something might be up. When my cell kept vibrating, knew there was a message, but the timing for the message alert was off. It was around then I knew something was up, but figured it had to do with a family member. My mom might need me to do something, etc. After I got out of class, I was more wrapped up in my own world and looked to see who called me. It was rather amazing now to think of how oblivious I was to my own surroundings at that time.
I had three messages from my dad. THAT caught my attention immediately because he usually never calls me during the day. I tried to access my voicemail, but was unable to. I shrugged it off and figured I would get the messages later. It wasn’t until I got to my History of Germany class that I found out what happened. The Twin Towers were hit and they collapsed.
When I heard that word, I imagined the buildings falling over like a tree and the surrounding buildings destroyed too. I raced back to my dorm room and grabbed my mini television and took it back to the classroom. By the time I got back, my professor said she was going to let people leave.
I went back to my dorm room and my roommate was freaking out because rumors were circulating that the State Department was blown up, in addition to the Pentagon being hit. Cell phones were worthless that day as everyone tried to call each other. I emailed my cousin Erin, who lived in NYC, to see if she was ok. Thankfully, she was alright.
I tried to get in touch with my parents, but that was almost next to impossible. By the afternoon, I finally got in touch with them. I found out my mom was in the Pentagon, but on the far side of the building and safe. Both my mom and dad were going to wait out some of the traffic in Crystal City.
As for me, I sat through a meeting of the Mason government which seemingly did nothing to comfort anyone and then went back to my dorm. It took a while for me to finally listen to my dad's messages on my cell phone. I was smart enough to remember to save them and I do have a tape of my dad’s messages on my voicemail which tells of how the news came in on this day. For a historical record, it is something that shows exactly everything that we were feeling on that day.
A moment that had occurred at GMU, but I was not witness to, was that a couple of Arab students walked up to ROTC students and said to the effect that they had gotten us good today. I reflect on the fact that the ROTC students showed remarkable discipline in not lashing out at those students. If it were me, I would have probably done it and gone into mob mentality mode. Sometimes not being somewhere is a good thing.
After everything that had happened and the emotional drain I had experienced, I will always remember the movie, The Patriot, because that was the first “regular” thing my roommate and I watched after the attacks.
So on this day, let us all say a prayer and remember the victims who were killed. May we never forget.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
For instance, anonymous comments are more often than not people saying things which are rude and very insensitive. Many people feel that if you got a comment to say, put your name to it. I for one have seen a numbr of anonymous comments on this site and unless I know specifically who it was the wrote the comment, I have little to no respect for those who write it. If you need to hide behind a mask, then you have no honor. It is as simple as that.
There are those who might say that it is perfectly alright to leave an anonymous comment and not have to worry about incrimination or what not. Truth is, I like to know that this person has a name. Even if it is “Dude from (fill in the blank zip code),” it is not as if I am like some bloggers who look up your IP Address and can figure out how close you are to me. I have better things to do with my life. But on to politics and its problems.
It is rather clear that a number of politicians no longer serve the interests of the people and the country as a whole. A number of Democrats spout out hatred and anger towards the President and his policies, but when asked to provide one of their own, it is virtually identical to the Republican one. So why the hatred? It stems from how George W. Bush was elected President in 2000. If this was Al Gore as President or even John McCain, would Democrats be complaining as much.
The obvious answer is no, but there are reasons. First and foremost, these two men might have done any number of things differently. We can’t say what their policies could have been, but we can speculate. Odds are if this was a McCain administration, we would still be fighting the War on Terror, but would Democrats be in such opposition to it? The possibilities are mind boggling, but the fact remains that some people will only complain to get their names in the newspaper and on television, but really seem to have no interest in doing what is best for the country.
Fact of the Matter
Fact of the matter is that we are governed by a political class. These are people who enjoy getting paid to be politicians and listening to special interests. I for one am a firm believer in setting term limits on Congress. A senator should only serve for 12 years, while a representative should serve for 10. If the President can only serve for 8 years, then why not get Congress to have term limits. If you think about it, there are numerous advantages:
1. Special interest groups lose their grip on Capitol Hill.
2. More business will be conducted and concluded in Congress than there is now.
3. More people will become interested in politics in the country.
4. Voter turnout will go up dramatically.
5. More citizens of this country will be able to get involved with politics and maybe get into
In addition to this, a thought was presented to me by one of my students. During our first Friday group discussion, the young man gave the equivalent of a stump speech, but a very passionate one at that. He said that while he likes much of what the Democrats stand for when it comes to economics, he is polarized and torn away from voting for them because of their moral issues such as abortion. Since a number of candidates spend more time trying to pander to the interest groups and allow moral interest to dominate their election cycle, it does turn a number of voters away from the polls. The student’s solution was to allow all the moral issues to become state issues. Let each state deal with them and get the candidates to discuss major national issues. After giving this speech, the class erupted in applause. I myself have never seen such well stated argument like this before. If anything, THIS is what more people think and believe in this country.
So where do I stand on the issues? Well, I am against flag burning, abortion, higher taxes, illegal immigration, and crime. I am for lower taxes, small government, death penalty, and holding people accountable for their actions. And obviously, if you got this far down in the post, I am for term limits in Congress.
As I await any comments, which usually never happens, I wonder if I will actually get legitimate comments that have depth, logic, and an argument in it or dribble. I think it is time we start to take back the blog universe and get real debate going amongst the people. Who’s with me?
Friday, September 08, 2006
However, as soon as this news was released about the new ad, a response was made from an unlikely source: Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan announced that she wanted Jim Webb to pull the campaign a from television spots because it falsely uses her late husband’s image to spread messages he never said.
Already Democrat bloggers are screaming at the top of their heads that they screwed up big time. In addition to this fiasco, the folks over at Raising Kaine could be looking at some legal trouble in regards to soft money, and the most recent Mason Dixon poll shows George Allen once again leading Jim Webb.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is that Jim Webb is in trouble. First of all, I have contended for the past few weeks that Webb’s poll numbers have been nothing more than transparent figures. If you replaced his name with folding chair after the whole Macaca-gate scandal, the folding chair would have done just as well. Now that we are getting further away from the late summer scandal, people are beginning to wonder where Jim Webb is.
Add this to the fact that his new campaign ad has been asked not to air by a former First Lady, Webb is in a rather precarious situation. If he airs the ad, he might as well get ready to see every Reagan lover in Virginia rally to vote against him because of the pain he is causing an elderly widow who had to watch the love of her life die right before her eyes for fifteen years. If he decides to pull the ad, he has just wasted a great deal of much needed money on an ad spot that could have helped it. No matter how you look at it, Webb is damned either way.
So what will he do? While I don’t have the answer, I think Webb is going to need to look into some form of damage control as the inmates are seemingly running the asylum. If any of the allegations about Raising Kaine is true, then he could be looking at some FCC problems. How people are going to spin this will be very interesting.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
But another thought plagues my mind this year. Two years ago I knew nothing about the kids I was going to teach and was like an island unto myself. Last year, I knew a number of students and could at least rely on some of them to help keep a few of the new kids in line. This year, I find myself again almost alone. There are a couple students left that I know, but the new challenge of dealing with a large group of unknowns is rather appealing. In a sense, I have a new challenge in front of me. I also plan to introduce a few new things into the mix of my teaching, while at the same time continuing to do the same things as before.
So as the 1444 students arrive, the brave 105 faculty prepare to defend their sanity as we teach another year of our courses. Wish us luck on this future endeavor. We will need all the help we can get. And for all you parents out there, remember, the teacher is not out to get your kids. We aim to challenge them and get them to push themselves to the extreme. So have some faith in us and know that we know what we are doing.
Friday, August 25, 2006
The reporter cited water damaged cars and a house that was almost into the middle of the road. In response to this comment, Nagin said, “You guys in New York can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be fair.”
So the World Trade Center is nothing more than a hole in the ground for Mayor Nagin. Never mind the fact that this “hole” was created thanks to terrorists and people who want to destroy our nation. New Orleans got hit by a hurricane and the next day the levies broke. Considering that meteorologists were telling the people along the Gulf Coast to get out while the getting was good days in advance, Nagin shows once again how inept he is as a mayor. People were killed for no reason in NYC. New Orleans could have evacuated in advance, but Nagin did nothing until it was too late.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this is that people will spin this on how they want to see it. Liberal bloggers who read this will say that the federal government was incompetent when it came to New Orleans in the post Katrina days. But who ever said Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin were only supposed to sit on their hands and do nothing as news of a massive hurricane was coming their way? Is there not a little thing called initiative, the ability to act on one’s own decision and do things on their own?
It seems Ray Nagin doesn’t quite seem to understand that command is a lonely job. In addition to this, a leader needs to be able to make the tough decisions. One would think it isn’t hard to figure that if a big, big hurricane is coming your way, one might want to get to higher ground. More importantly, lets get the people out to safety.
Whether or not Nagin will apologize for his rude comment is yet to be seen. I bet he won’t. Any opinions? Let’s also watch our language people. We did learn vocabulary in school for a reason.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
In Spotsylvania, the folks there didn't care one bit about politics. Only thing they cared about was making sure there was good food on the table and plenty of it. Between the crabs, hot dogs, burgers, and the other fixings that were there, it was a VERY enjoyable day.
I for one think a lot of folks in this area needs to drive down to rural Virginia and just spend time down there with the people. It is a whole different experience. Things are more relaxed, easy paced, and just enjoyable. So for those of you up here who can't turn off your minds about politics and other things, then tough luck. As for me, I am getting a fork and about to enjoy some home made coconut cake. Yummy!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Credit must be given to Kat from Cat House Chat for this video.
A number of folks have said the United States' presence in Iraq ha generated a lot of hatred towards us and that people in the Middle East are fighting us because this is how they feel. Problem is that if you feel that way, it should come up out of nowhere.
As the video shows, the entire culture of the people in the Middle East has children learning hate and violence at a young age. With the constant bombarment of kill Jews and kill Americans, this serves a purpose of showing that for the war on terror to end, it is necessary to break the culture that supports this doctrine of education.
Watching this video once is sickening enough, but I am sure the Left will come up with some nonsense about the video.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is the video speaks for itself.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So for the Greg’s out there that like to pass judgment like that, all I can say is karma will come back to bite you in the ass. I don’t claim to have superiority over other races and you cannot claim to have any form of integrity what so ever.
Already, blogs are beginning to scream Allen is a racist. James Martin is screaming off the rooftops that Allen called this Webb supporter a nigger and monkey. (See James, its not the hard to say or type.) Even ‘s more interesting is how fast people started to pull up Allen’s familial history, which showed Allen’s mother was from Tunisia and the word in question is often used by Europeans in describing North Africans.
Shortly after the entire blogging world got their panties tied into a knot over this, George Allen issued an apology and that should be the end of it. But no, it isn’t. It seems the Left is all in favor of blasting this in favor of their candidate Jim Webb. It wasn’t too long ago though Jim Webb was accused of being Anti-Semtic. A cartoon which displayed common stereotypes about Jews was made by the campaign and Harris Miller took offense. Webb issued the apology and that was fine by the Left. If we used the logic of James Martin and other like him, Webb should have dropped out of the race during the primary.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is some people are willing to throw comments out there with full impunity. Lets face it, did Allen say he was better than this kid? NO. Did he pull out a sheet and a cross? NO. It seems people in NOVA have a certain degree of superiority about them because of where they live. Is “Welcome to America” now a racist comment? NO.
Let’s be honest here. The Metropolitan DC area is an anomaly compared to the rest of America. There are multiple races living here and a lot of money. Go elsewhere, and it is like a whole different country. Back in 2002, my dad and I did a cross country trip. We drove across the country, namely with the thought in mind that after 9/11 we should really appreciate everything that is America. I highly recommend doing it. Hell, if you want, I can tell you some places to go and even map out some routes for you.
But here in our little part of the country, we find ourselves living in a rich area with a population that rivals most states. Let’s face it people: THE REST OF VIRGINIA IS LIKE A DIFFERENT STATE!
In thinking about all of this, I think it is safe to say that those who scream Allen is a racist only wishes to do it from the safety of their homes behind a keyboard. Even more important is the background of these people. If they have lots of money and seemingly nothing to worry about in life, then why should they not be afraid of calling people names.
Add on to this logic the fact that a number of people did not know what “Macaca” meant, but KNEW it was bad, says something else. It makes me think of Clerks II when Randall did not know that porch monkey was a racist comment. His logic became: I am taking back porch monkey! Already I saw blogger comments using Macaca and showing how ridiculous it is. Kenton Ngo had a flag and promptly removed it after I called his actions dishonorable.
So for everyone who likes to call people racist just because you feel like you can, grow up! You know who you are.
Monday, August 14, 2006
In a story being pushed as bigger than it really needs to be, Not Larry Sabato shows his true colors. He openly admitted he was being PAID by the Webb campaign to have a banner ad on his site. As a result, it doesn’t take very long for NLS to go ahead and get some video to Allen look bad. Above is the video. As you can see, Allen is not being racist as NLS and the liberals are going on about Senator Allen. This is partisan politics. Granted, Allen could have chosen some better words, but who among us has ever said things just in the heat of the moment?
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter is that NLS is serving only one interest here and that is the green of the Webb campaign. ASG, author of the site Action This Day, Mystical Fascination, and Time Machine, asks the question of who is doing the people’s business? In my opinion, NLS is not doing that. He is serving his own greed by getting paid for doing advertisement on his site and then blasting Allen.
I think Mason Conservative summed it all up by saying:
This is just going to get into a pissing match between "he said this, no he said this . . ." and its all going to be sound and fury and you know the rest. This is seriously grasping at straws. For the purposes of "both sides of the argument" check out these:
But I guess if you pray and wish hard enough, this could be what you want it to be. The fact it, it is not. And for someone to say they "shuddered" when they head this is laughable. And I love Ben and his site, its usually my first stop. But this is the truest sign of desperation. 16 points down, no money, no support from the DSCC, and no issues that have captivated the commonwealth. So now what? Lets go back to the classic liberal attack: race. Lets try and catch Allen in some amorphous "racial" comment, feign outrage, and hope we can slip in the back door.
THAT is grasping.
(KILO gets credit for those links)
As for me, I think NLS needs to make it public that if he wants to support Webb and bash Allen, that he DOES NOT accept money from the Webb campaign. If NLS wants to support Webb, then he should be more than happy to advertise for the man for free. Stop serving your greedy interests NLS.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Hawk = George W. Bush
Flint = Dick Cheney
Duke = Donald Rumsfeld
But what about the masked figure above at the beginning of the post? We got Cobra Commander. There is only one person who that could be! Cobra Commander is none other than Osama Bin Laden! I knew it all along. As for the rest of Cobra, we know it is al Queda.
Of course, GI Joe never had to worry about people wanting to tuck tail and run. Let's just hope the weenies out there don't screw over the real GI Joes.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this is that the liberals are going to blow this off, while conservatives will remind everyone of the dangers in the world. In fact, already President Bush has begun saying this. We can never deny that terrorists are out there and that they want to cause a lot of problems in the world. It is on record they hope to reform the former Ottoman Empire and basically try to get things back to the way it was before the West was able to take over being dominate in the world.
I cannot help but feel though the Democrats are now finding themselves in a rather awkward position. With Ned Lamont and other anti-war candidates coming up as challengers in the November election, it seems the new face of the Democratic Party is emerging. It would seem our politics is now being based off of what your position is on one issue.
While I would love to say that the world is a happy go lucky place, I can’t. I would seem some people still believe it is like that and we can just turn the clock beck to the Clinton years, where all we had to worry about was which intern was going to get goosed tomorrow. We would all love for that to happen again, but it will not come back. Instead, we live in a pretty scary world. In some way, it is still kill or be killed. So for the anti war Democrats and the liberals who will probably say who knows what to this post, I can only think of what Dane Cook said in Waiting:
Welcome to Thunder Dome, bitch!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I have a “Source” within the Webb campaign that has not said anything positive about it. While some folks at Virginia Progressive are convinced my source does not exist, I think the fact they can’t figure out who it is says more about how blind they are. If you need a hint, look carefully at your volunteers and see if there is an older and thinner version of me. His comments have been rather interesting. The NOVA Headquarters were not what he expected.
Now, Webbers have been saying they got campaign literature and are ready to go with that. “Source” said a rather different tale. As he pointed out, it was as if the campaign was spending more time rationing out their supplies than trying to canvas the community. This observation came at a Webb event being held on the Waterfront in Alexandria. In addition to this, “Source” indicated that even the volunteers helping at the event were less concerned with winning and more concerned about trying to keep an Allen victory at five percent or less. This does not inspire confidence in a candidate if his own supporters are ready to reel it in and quit.
As for Webb, if he was as serious as he claimed to be about becoming the new junior senator for Virginia, why does he need to run across the country and raise money. He should be pressing the flesh, kissing babies, and being seen throughout the state. Allen, on the other hand, is here.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this is Webb is floundering. I know all of his supporters will say their usual stuff about him winning, but so far he isn’t impressing me. Yes, I support Allen, but that doesn’t mean I won’t look at an opponent and see what they say. The one weapon Webb has is his blogger minions (Virginia Progressive) who will be more than happy to blast whatever negative ideas and thoughts out to the electorate as they wish.
They claim they don’t like negative messages, but it is funny how they are still willing to do it themselves. Swords have two edges for a reason. I think if Webb is serious about being a senator for Virginia, he needs to get serious about it. Lose the boots, stop traveling across the country, and start making an impact in Virginia.
Friday, August 04, 2006
In order to show my own ideas as to how the cast ought to look. Any other ideas?
Jock Ewing played by Sam Elliot
Miss Ellie Ewing played by Rosemary Harris
JR Ewing played by John Travolta (confirmed)
Sue Ellen Ewing played by Julieanne Moore
Bobby Ewing played by Matthew McConaughey
Pam Ewing played by Jennifer Love Hewitt
Lucy Ewing played by Katie Cassidy (confirmed)
Ray Krebbs played by Kiefer Sutherland
Cliff Barnes played by Ed Harris
Digger Barnes played by Ken Kercheval
Kristen Shepherd played by Mandy Moore
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Now, time for the story. The whole premise of this series centers around the Maryland Campaign in 1862. While marching through the state, General Robert E. Lee issued orders to all of his generals as to how they should march their divisions through Maryland and the roads they should use. As history records it, one of the messengers sent out to deliver the orders lost one message and it was eventually picked up by a Union soldier a couple of days later. In this divergence from history, it is a Confederate soldier who sees the message fall from the rider and returns it to the messenger. The end result is General George McClellan is humiliated at the Battle of Camp Hill, which is located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Because of this major victory, Great Britain and France will formally recognize the Confederate States of America as a nation. (Before anyone starts to gripe, I will give a historical analysis towards the end of the post.)
The first book, How Few Remain, begins in 1881. The Confederate President, James Longstreet, makes a deal with the Empire of Mexico to buy the two northern states, Sonora and Chihuahua and annex them to the Confederate States. The Confederacy was already successful in obtaining Cuba from Spain. When word of this reaches President James G. Blaine of the United States, the decision is made to make it well known that if the Confederacy decides to go through with the purchase and expand, the United States will use military force to stop it. Longstreet will use political pressure to get help from Great Britain and France, but comes the realization that he will have to push a plan of manumission to get the support of those two European powers. The leader of Confederate forces, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, will center his defense around Louisville, Kentucky. The general in chief of American forces, General William S. Rosecrans, hopes that American resolve will help to beat the Confederacy and maybe bring back the southern states into the Union. In order to provide a backdrop to the story, there is a subplot of a Mormon rebellion in Utah, the emergence of Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln starting a new political party, and the editorial reports of one Samuel Clemens in San Francisco. For the United States, the war goes from bad to worse. Jackson is able to smash their advance and the British make a daring strike on a US Mint. The only area of comfort the nation arrives when the military, under the command of George Armstrong Custer, is able to beat back a British Expeditionary Force in Montana. The end result of the book comes with manumission for slaves, two new states for the Confederacy, a second humiliating defeat for the United States, the near complete destruction of the Republicans politically, and the rise of the American Socialist Party.
The first full trilogy for this time line is called The Great War: The American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs. Instead of going through each book, I will summarize the events of the war. The United States will find itself on a multiple front war. To the north is Canada and the British armies there. To the south is the Confederacy. The east has British, French, and Confederate navies. The west has British and Japanese navies. The difference though between this war and any others is that the United States has spent thirty years preparing itself for the next war. The naval battles will end with the United States controlling the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and forcing the Empire of Brazil to switch sides and effectively starve Europe. As for land battles, the southern front will prove to be a major punching bag. The Confederacy will be able to drive up toward the United States capital, Philadelphia. However, due to fewer numbers, they will be forced to fall back. Helping the United States in this case is the Red Rebellion, started by the Negroes of the south. With this in play, troops are needed to put down the uprising. The shocking results of the war will be found when General George Armstrong Custer realizes the full potential of barrels (tanks). By pushing through Kentucky, Custer will advance on Nashville, Tennessee and create an open wound in the Confederacy. With the way things are going on that front, the Confederacy has no choice but to surrender. What is truly amazing is that even in 1917, artillery gunner Jake Featherston realizes the strategic importance of Maryes Heights in Fredericksburg. The northern front proves to be a different experience as the United States rolls through much of the country. The biggest problem with this area is that rebels show up behind their lines and causes trouble. In a bold political move, the Republic of Quebec is formed. As the war comes to a close, Great Britain is thrown out of Canada and can only reside in a few islands in the North Atlantic. Like the Confederacy, the United States deals with a rebellion of their own in the form of the Mormons. The end result in that comes with the heavy price of making Utah even more desolate than it already is. The Presidents for both countries are President Theodore Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson, three guesses which is which. In the end, the United States will crush the Confederacy in the peace treaty, take the states of Kentucky and Sequoyah, create the state of Houston out of West Texas, make Northern Virginia into part of West Virginia, and make it clear that they aim to keep the Confederacy from being able to rise up once again.
The second series is American Empire: Blood and Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition. In this series, the country goes between wars. Everyone in the United States is happy because the economy goes very well. Meanwhile, the Confederacy is miserable as they go into a state of hyper inflation. With this hyper inflation in state, the Confederacy has a rise of new third parties. Of all of them, the Freedom Party will become the most popular with the leadership of Jake Featherston. With a few setbacks, the Freedom Party will get an extra boost of power when the Great Depression hits. While Featherston gets his party going, the Socialists find themselves weakening. In 1920, they elect Upton Sinclair as president, and then Hosea Blackford in 1928. During Blackford’s administration, the economy topples and he gets the blame. 1932 will see Calvin Coolidge get elected president, but an accident of fate gets Herbert Hoover in office instead. Hoover will fair no better in office and 1936 will have Al Smith become President. For the Confederacy, Jake Featherston will become president and implement a new policy of doing everything he can to rebuild the country through programs very much like the New Deal, but also work towards eliminating the Negro population of the south. Featherston will be able to get a plebiscite in the states of Kentucky, Houston, and Sequoyah. While the former two rejoin the CSA, the last will not. No real loss in Featherston’s mind. The series will end on June 21, 1941, the invasion of Ohio.
The current series, Settling Accounts, is on its third book. The books thus far are Return Engagement, Drive to the East, and The Grapple. The final installment will be entitled In at the Death. In this series, the Confederacy is able to push its way through Ohio, capturing it, and drive towards Pittsburgh. The Mormons will once again return in a third rebellion, but this time the decision is made to make sure there won’t be one more: exile. The Negro population in the south is being wiped out as death camps eliminate Negroes by the thousands. The United States is able to show that they can survive a short war and make things into a long war as they turn things around in Pittsburgh and drive the Confederates back out of Ohio and all the way down into southern Tennessee. Featherston finds himself now trying to get his uranium project completed before the United States does and it seems that all of his hopes are caving in on him. While this series is not done yet, I would bet it will end with the United States having to occupy the Confederacy and reuniting the country. Whether or not that is true will be decided next year when the final book is released.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this series is that it does make one think. The Civil War itself is something that had too many possibilities. If the South had been able to pull of what Turtledove wrote about, it is highly unlikely Lincoln would rolled over in 1863. Instead, the war might have continued until 1864, or March 1865. However, with the help of England and France, maybe the United States would decide to end hostilities. It is a difficult thing to say. The manumission of the slaves probably would have also occurred, but a little bit later. As for the constant warring between the two nations, it is also hard to say. A great number of things comes down to how diplomacy between the two nations would have worked.
What makes alternative history so fascinating is the fact that it does make you think about the things that could have been. For instance, in this series, the lack of a strong Republican party make the Democrats become more conservative, with the Socialists are the liberals. I am sure a number of Democrats have fainted at the prospect of their party looking like the Republicans in an alternate universe.
However, there are a number of things in our history that certainly is very interesting. The eugenics programs of the 1920s in this country did give Hitler the idea of medical experimentation in Germany. Race relations in this country could have lead to something like how the CSA treated their Negro population, with the exception of death camps. The rise of a national third party is not unheard of and could have occurred a number of times in our own history. I think above all else the most fascinating part of this is that it gives you a chance to explore other dimensions and worlds. If we don’t think about the other possibilities out there, then we turn ourselves away from those numerous possibilities. As a result, we put blinders on ourselves and stay that way permanently.