Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Review; Skylab's Fateful Reentry

July 11th, 2007

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The Announcement

Alternate Historian Recommendation: For a couple of weeks now, I've been listening to the audiobook for and reading the hardcover book World War Z by Max Brooks (Mel Brooks' son!) - soon to be a major motion picture at a theater near you. It is a near-future look at a world that has survived a zombie apocalypse, told through personal interviews with survivors, both the ordinary and the famous. I cannot recommend this highly enough – the audiobook, especially, which is a star-studded affair filled with such actors as Alan Alda, Carl & Rob Reiner, and my favorite, Mark Hamill as the soldier Todd Wainio. The world that Brooks has drawn is so fascinating that I want him to write a sequel just to let me know about how that world comes out – I want to see the new, leaner America, the suddenly super-charged Cuba, the horrors of the devastated lands of Asia, all in a new work. I was amazed at how well the younger Brooks writes, since this is most decidedly not comedy – I wouldn't have been surprised to find Mel Brooks' son writing good slapstick. But, World War Z is as much political thriller and alternate reality piece as it is a plain zombie story, and this is where Brooks really shines. The zombies, in fact, although never far from people's minds, are just kind of a background for what's really going on – intrigues, last-minute revenges in the face of utter annihilation, hope in the face of oblivion – for once, I have to say that this is a bestseller for the good, old-fashioned reason: it deserves it. Pick it up. If you can get the audiobook, it is wonderful. It's abridged, unfortunately, because it's been done as a full-cast theatrical piece rather than a straight reading, but it is still well worth listening to.
OK, now that I've gushed all over the page, on to Steve's stuff!

"We face a hostile ideology [communism] global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method ... [warning about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals] [that] we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by ...
Eisenhower.. [Ike leans forward for emphasis] the congressional military industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
~ Final televised Address to the Nation from the Oval Office on January 17, 1961.
Eisenhower - President
34th US President
The "iron triangle" refer to an institutionalised collusion among defense contractors (industry), The Pentagon (military), and the United States government (Congress, Executive branch), as a cartel that works against the public interest, and whose motivation is profiteering.

Congressional leaders saw it, they requested that he remove the word 'Congressional' - Eisenhower refused as the point was central to the warning he was giving. A synopsis of Eisenhower's speech is described at Wikipedia.
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 2009, TV networks ran episode two of So What If?. The "terrorist" Nelson Mandela is sentenced to death at the Rivonia mistrial. Twenty-six years later, his compatriots are released from Robben Island. Alongside Desmond Tutu, Oliver Tambo raises a black power salute to the cameras in the glorious sunshine of Archona. Three years later, he is elected the first black President of the Rainbow Nation of the Drakia.

~ variant entry by Steve Payne: extensive use of content is made to celebrate the genius of S. M. Stirling's dystopian alternate history series.

In 2010, Physicist Mike Ryder returns to the HARC II to celebrate his diffusing of the catastrophe ahead of the 1:00am sunrise in Alaska. The added solar excitement would have catastrophically amplified the vibration, destroying civilization in North America. However Ryder had not succeeded in reactivating the HARC I site at Eureka, the Skip Zone must have been created by someone, or something else.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

"Max" Aitken
"Max" Aitken
In 1942, on the Irish Isles further reports from subversive underground newspapers in Southern England continue to fuel “the Troubles” with the Dublin Government. 32nd US President Winston Churchill was quoted as saying “If you're going through Hell, keep going” . This was considered out of context as a statement of encouragement to the protestant terrorists in Southern England.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1979, the returning space station Skylab broke up on entry into the atmosphere with debris scattered over an area covering portions of the Indian Ocean and Western Australia. Waiting dormant inside the aero shell was a devastating space plague bacillus. In a coincidence for the organisers, the annual Miss Universe pageant .. Skylab
.. was scheduled to be held a few days later, on 20 July 1979 in nearby Perth, Western Australia. A large piece of Skylab debris was displayed on the stage.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Salomon August Andrée
Salomon August ..
In 1897, Salomon August Andrée departed from Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, situated in the Arctic Ocean. Andrée reached the North pole by balloon where he was sucked into the powerful vortex. Multidimensional energies fold space and time, sending them to the court of that most shrewd of monarchs, ..
.. Gustavus Adolphus, the only Swedish king to be styled "the Great". Bohemian General Albrecht von Wallenstein was marching from the south, and Andrée knew he had but the briefest of moments to dissuade Gustavus Adolphus from entanglement in the disastrous thirty years war.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1859,it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . ” in the historical novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Juxtaposed in the capitals of Richmond and Washington, Dickens described the brutal War of the States that broke out of over the explosive issue of First Nation genocide. The .. Charles Dickins
Charles Dickins
.. book closes, as it opened, with the finest prose in the English Language, 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren declares “it is a far, far better thing that I do. . .” as he proclaimed a Cherokee sovereign state.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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