Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The state of TIAH

September 13th, 2006

in 1947, Doctor Phillipe de le Roscaux, who had been an assistant at the discovery of the Lascaux cave paintings 7 years before, returns to the cave to check on the seal of the secret passage. He has done this every few months for 7 years; like that old German professor, he was determined that what he had seen in that passage should never be seen by men again. When he sees that the seal is starting to deteriorate, he liberally applies some of the concrete that he has brought with him to cover up the patches that are opening. His visits have become more frequent because the last few times, his patches have begun breaking more quickly. In the back of his mind, he knows that he will eventually have to find some way to deal with what was on the other side of the wall; for now, though, he applies his patch and returns to Paris.

in 1971, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York orders the retaking of the Attica Prison in Buffalo. The prison had erupted in riots four days before, and several guards and prison employees had been taken hostage. Governor Rockefeller, who was considered something of a liberal in the Republican Party, felt that decisive action could bolster his chances of challenging President Nixon for the Republican presidential nomination the next year. When the bloody strike at the prison ends in dozens dead, Rockefeller tells the press, “We're not going to sit around and let criminals make the first move anymore. We're taking the fight to them.” His harsh attitudes do, indeed, sit very well with Republican voters, especially after President Nixon's election shenanigans are revealed early in the campaign in '72, forcing him to drop out of the running. Rockefeller then faces George McGovern in the general election, and loses by such a narrow margin that he challenges the results. Although count after count is upheld, he maintains, like Nixon did about the 1960 election, that the Democrats stole the election. Republicans across the country picked up the mantra, and President McGovern was dogged by it all 4 years he was in office. Rockefeller ran against him again in 1976, and won by less than 10,000 votes. Since President McGovern had been unable to end the war in Vietnam due to hard Republican opposition in Congress, President Rockefeller enters office determined to get America out of the quicksand it had found itself mired in. Before peace negotiations can accomplish anything, though, South Vietnam is overrun by North Vietnamese forces, and American troops are forced to flee the country or be decimated. America's first military defeat becomes a noose around President Rockefeller's neck, keeping him from accomplishing anything of substance in office. He reluctantly relinquishes the Republican nomination for the office in the 1980 elections to Representative John Anderson of Illinois, who tells the electorate, “The Republican Party has become too entwined with the interests of the rich and powerful, like our current president. It's time for some plain old Americans to run things again.” Although this sentiment does well, it doesn't do well enough to keep Senator Edward Kennedy from winning the election handily. The first brother of a president to win office in his own right proves that he was not coasting on reputation; his two terms leave America more prosperous and strong than it had been since Johnson left office.

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