Saturday, February 09, 2008

Limbs

In 1962, an American spy plane pilot was freed from prison in the Soviet Union in exchange for a Russian spy jailed in the US.

Captain Francis 'Gary' Powers had been previously sentenced to 10 years in a Soviet prison after his U-2 plane was shot down over Russia in May 1960.
 - Gary Powers
Gary Powers
Gary Powers' capture in 1960 caused an international crisis. Initially the American authorities believed there was no evidence left of either plane or pilot and tried to convince the President the U-2 had been a weather plane. However, the Russians then produced Mr Powers alive and well claiming he had admitted spying for the CIA. Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev demanded an apology from US President Eisenhower which was forthcoming, enabling plans for a superpower summit in Paris to go ahead. Historians believe the Eisenhower apology cut short the Cold War by as much as twenty-five years.
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In 1992, the author Alex Haley died in Seattle, Washington on this day. At the funeral, Miles Davis, Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King and Malcolm X spoke warmly of the interviews Haley had conducted for Playboy magazine. It was the first time that King and X had meet in twenty-five years. Following King's narrow escape from an assassination attempt, Malcolm X had stated that the chickens have come home to roost. Both agreed that they should meet on a more regular basis, and explore ways to work together for the benefit of African American Civil Rights.
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In 1954, defeated Presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower warned against United States intervention in Vietnam. He was wasting his breath, President Douglas MacArthur had invested too much in the AsiaPac theatre to let the Viet Cong roll him and his French allies over. Brass Hat believed that the recourse to nuclear weapons in Japan was the source of American weakness, after all, had they of executed Operation Downfall as he proposed, no one would doubt their willingness to fight. Still, it did not mean that the bomb was wrong, on the contrary, he intended to drop thirty to fifty such weapons that very year in Manchuria to defeat China.
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In 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. She would die giving birth to Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg in 1857. In isolation with republicanism in the ascendancy, the Regent turned to his blood family in Prussia, starting the beginning of an alliance between Great Britain and Imperial Germany that would dominate the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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Ariel SharonIn 1983, in an undisclosed location in Palestine, the funeral was held for General Ariel Sharon better known as the notorious terrorist Arik.

At his request, Arik's gravestone was marked If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. ~ Psalm 137.
Ariel Sharon - The terrorist Arik
The terrorist Arik
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In 1928, the first murmurs of controversy surround the publication of D.H. Lawrence novel Lord Chatterleys Lover. In England Heterophobia was still rife even in the swinging twenties and the heterosexual love scene between Lady Chatterley and the Gardener Mellors was not considered acceptable.
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In 2006, Alessandra Mussolini opened the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

The President dedicated the event to her grandfather, Il Duce.
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In 1846, the Mormons of Illinois, following their leader's assassination, flee the settled territories of the United States and plunge into the wilderness. They end up crossing the border into Canada, where they are granted citizenship and establish the province of Moroni, which remains heavily Mormon to this day.
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In 1933, the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City, seeking a way to distinguish its messengers from all others in the highly-competitive era of the Great Depression, hit on the musical telegram. They hired musicians who would play appropriate theme music while you read your telegram. It was a huge hit, and spawned copycats all over the nation.
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Docklands BombIn 1996, BBC News report: Docklands bomb ends IRA ceasefire - 'The IRA admit planting the bomb that exploded in the Docklands area of London last night.

One man was found dead by police sifting through the wreckage today and another person has been reported missing. Five of the 39 casualties - including three police officers - remain in hospital, one of them in a critical condition. The bombing marks the end of a 17-month IRA ceasefire during which Irish, British and American leaders worked for a political solution to the troubles in Northern Ireland. They have all condemned the attacks.'
Docklands Bomb - End of Ceasefire
End of Ceasefire
British security forces engaged in a tooth and claw battle with paramilitary forces as the situation in Northern Ireland descended into anarchy.
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In 1964, American spy plane pilot Captain Francis 'Gary' Powers was freed from prison in the Soviet Union by US Special Forces. During his internment, the Cuban Missile Crisis: Second Holocaust has occured. War broke out after a senior Soviet naval captain uses a 'nuclear torpedo' against United States naval forces off the Cuban coast on October 27, 1962. The US immediately initiated airstrikes upon the Soviet missile bases inside Cuba, which succeeded in destroying most, but not all, of the completed missiles. Two remaining Soviet missiles are launched from Cuba, apparently by local commanders exercising their own launch authorities granted from Moscow rather than on a specific order approved by Moscow. The lone functioning missile destroys Washington, D.C. and kills President John F. Kennedy, Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson, and most other key decision-makers.
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This act seals the Soviet Union's doom: had Kennedy survived, he might have ordered a measured response; since he didn't, surviving American generals at NORAD, upon learning that the US was under nuclear attack and that the National Command Authority was defunct, initiate the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP), which orders a full-scale response before the Soviet leadership is even able to understand what has happened in Washington and begin their own strategic responses. Key Soviet strategic commands are destroyed within minutes, crippling the USSR's ability to respond to the US attack, but the immense reserves of US nuclear warheads in 1962 ensures that retaliation continues well past the destruction of any Soviet military capacity. In the course of The Two Days' War, Cuba is completely destroyed, with 95% of its population being killed; heavy radiation spreads throughout the Caribbean and also damages southern Florida. The Soviet Union is also destroyed, not just militarily crushed, with some 80-90% of its population perishing in the nuclear attacks themselves and the ensuing large-scale famines and radiation sickness. The East European countries are also severely damaged and lose a large part of their populations. The aftermath of the war results in severe, though temporary, environmental changes due to nuclear fallout. Famines occur in India and China and severe food shortages occur in Europe and North America. The US soon comes to be viewed as malefactor rather than victim, and eventually becomes completely isolated and ostracised in the post-war world and is accused of having perpetrated genocide, the 'Second Holocaust'
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Stephen R. DonaldsonIn 1968, Stephen Reeder Donaldson languished in Vietnam. By inclination a conscientious objector, he had been compelled to serve in the armed forces.

Much later, and after dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first 'Covenant' trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.

Donaldson's two year compulsory military duty would be the deep undercurrent of his escapist fantasy writing. In 'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever', the protagonist was a leper struggled with disempowerment in a Land he did not really believe in.
Stephen R. Donaldson - Unbeliever
Unbeliever
But then the mute atonishment of the Heers, and the Hireband's crumpled form steadied him. Test me? He rasped. B*stards.
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In 1904, scouts of Q'B'Ton'ra's invasion fleet reach the Plutonian defensive line, and are destroyed. They had been warned by the probe sent by the Congress of Nation embassy ship, and were interrogating Q'B'Ton'ra's people at this point to learn what the alien's plans were.




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