My Life, My Times, My Doings and those of the Alternate History World. If you want an automatic copy of any new entries, please go to http://mail.changingthetimes.co.uk/mailman/listinfo/blogupdates_changingthetimes.co.uk and sign up.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Singapore Naval base in Australia?
I was discussing the pacific side of WW2 with David and I realised just how stupid the decision to build Singapore Naval base was. Not just the commander, a competent commander could have held the base, but the location as well. It’s built in a nation that has natives who don’t like Britain very much, as well as too near the Japanese for comfort and on the end of a long supply line.
What if, however, the British had built their Far East naval base on Australia instead? There would be some issues about sovenity with the Australians, but they could have been resolved. Britain could lease or be given the land as an extraterritorial location, perhaps, and the British could guarantee to employ Australian workers, as well as building ships for the RAN/RNZN.
Singapore itself could have been left as a small resupply depot, not very important, although the Japanese would have had to grab it anyway. The British could also have expanded the bases in India to make up for the Indian defences.
So, what effect does this have? First, the British won’t suffer a humilitating defeat in the early days of the pacific war. This would mean that they had more forces to face the Japanese in Burma and possibly India. Meanwhile, Australia would be stronger and would make life difficult for the Japanese in the Corel Sea. (Or more difficult than it was in OTL.)
A while back, I posed the question’ what if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?’ to myself and considered it. The problem was that it was very hard to see Napoleon producing a victory, even assuming he wiped out the main British army. There was a Russian and a Prussian force travelling to France as well, even Napoleon would be unable to win against such odds. So, at first glance, a nappy victory at Waterloo is about as significant as a Japanese victory at Midway.
But it might have been very important indeed. It was Britain that won the battle and hence the war, therefore the British founded the Pax Britannica, based on their victory. If the victory had gone to the Russians or the Prussians, they might have been motivated by the desire to see France humbled or crushed. Can you imagine a German prince or Russian prince on the throne of France? Not to mention Russian troops based in France.
The British would have difficultly objecting. Britain did not have a large army (and what they did have would have been wiped out at waterloo) and a strong navy would have little effect on Russia. We might get a unified Italy (plus the papal states) and a unified Germany early.
Any other thoughts? Anyone want to do an AH on it?
Subject: Re: 1945 and why it was not finished
Author: John Ringo
Date: 07 Mar 2004 11:41 AM
Long, weird, story that I've heard several versions of.
The short story is that Baen and Tom Doherty Associates agreed to do
a collaborative novel with Bill Fortschen and Newt Gingrich (Bill
and Newt's idea IIRC) during the height of Gingrich's popularity.
The base idea was Newt's, Bill was to do most of the writing. Newt
agreed to "push" the book towards the major non-SF market, thus
giving it a huge potential market share and Baen and Tor agreed to
do major advertising. (Major for SF houses, anyway.)
As it turned out, the book came out just as Newt was in crash and
burn mode. He refused to discuss it publicly, they ended up with a
huge number of unsold copies/returns and it nearly crippled Baen
Some of the unofficial longer story items:
The IRS, for some unknown reason, suddenly found it important to
audit Baen books. Not only once, but every single year after 1945
came out until the Bush administration was elected.
Significant portions of the book required rewriting, and since there
was no one else to rewrite it, other people being a bit too busy,
Jim had to. Jim's motto, in everything, is "less work for Jim." This
was "more work for Jim."
The overall financial impact was high enough that Jim had to ask
some major writers to forego a portion of their royalties during one
period. Some did, some forced him to stick to the letter of the
contract. But even in the case of those who did, it created some
strained relationships that may or may not have contributed to a few
semi-major authors walking away from Baen books.
To say the least it created strained relationships between Jim and
Bill Fortschen. There was also the subject of the advance that had
been paid based upon a very high sales number. Gets very sticky when
a book crashes and burns like that one did.
And for years thereafter, until they changed warehouses and pulped
the last of them, whenever Jim went in the warehouse the one book
that was noticeable, because it took up about 25% of the shelving,
was 1945. The one time that Jim took a major gamble on a book. And
he nearly lost the whole shooting match.
You're not going to, ever, see a 1946 as long as Jim Baen is the
head of Baen Books. Not from Baen, anyway.
Let’s suppose that instead if Ann Bolen being knocked up with Elisabeth, she has a son instead, called Edward. This would mean that Henry has a relatively healthy heir instead of the sickly Edward, with Mary waiting in the wings.
Presumably, Henry would appoint the healthy Edward his heir. Edward would need to keep the separation between England and the Pope, as recognition of the Pope would bring his legitimacy into question. There would, however, be some other interesting effects:
-Edward would be free to marry without political problems, which would a) not allow James to inherit and b) align England with another power.
-Kings tend to be more land-grabbing and aggressive than queens, though I’m not sure how often there have been enough powerful queens to provide a decent sample. Changes are that Edward would be more aggressive with Spain and take the throne of Holland when it’s offered.
-Mary would probably end up married to some poor Englishman or a foreign prince. If a) there’ll be a contender for the English throne in the wings, if b) there might be a foreign heir as well.
Anyone want to do this? Don't forget that this would leave Charles I (the one who lost his head mentally then literally) running scotland.
In 1919, the entire German high seas fleet scuttled itself in Scarpa flow, ending the debate about who should have the German fleet. What if the British had seized the fleet?
It would give them a massive advantage over any other sea power, forcing both the US and Japan to build faster in hopes of matching the fleet. If the British could use the ships, what might happen? A treaty favourable to Britain in the Far East, keep the alliance with Japan? Or an Anglo-American war in 1921 as the Americans begin building desperately to match the expanded British fleet?
Review of the hit comics latest issue, as man fights superman for the future of the planet…
The world has changed remarkably. In the space between #19 and #20, the Authority have taken over the United States and their position has been recognised by the world. In the Coup D’Etet mini series, the Stormwatch team have gone underground; this is the first story that takes place after the Coup.
The story beginning in a manner that must be confusing to new readers. Santini is walking through the UN to the secitaitary-general’s office, having a conversation with two others on the phone. Entering the SGs office, Santini confronts the leader of the UN, who has cut off Stormwatch’s funding after the coup, and demands to know why the Un has just given in. The SG informs Santini that he’s a wanted criminal and he has to leave. After a parting shot, Santini leaves, wondering aloud how long it would take the UN to betray him to the Authority. “Not very long at all”, says the Midnighter, appearing out of a door.
There is a brief confrontation, which must add to the confusion of the new reader, but it ends with the Engineer sent to Liberia and the Midnighter trapped in China. Later, Santini and Flint are approached by a man who offers them unlimited funding and supplies. Suspiciously, Santini investigates and discovers that the man is part of a group that hides the descendents of Jesus Christ, and that there is a heir alive at the moment. Invited to a meeting, Santini demands proof, and upon asking if the heir can raise the dead, shoots the agent and demands that the heir raise him … or Santini’s people will kill them all…
Wow! This issue, which I suspect takes place a week after the coup (in contrast to Authority V2 10, which takes place three months after the coup), shows both the hard nature of Santini’s personality and the dangers of appeasing a powerful enemy. Santini also shows a softer side with the relivation about his relationship with Flint, as well as his work with Tefibi, hacking through records and discussing the history of the knights.
There are also many unanswered questions. When the Midnighter rides the Project Entry teleporter, we see three figures trapped in the Entry universe. One is clearly Deadhead, from #18, where we thought he had been killed. The second may be senator Terns. I can’t place the third. Was that what happened to the other prisoners from the Stormwatch compound in Coup #2? If so, how did deadhead survive?
There are a few jarring moments. The Midnighter is badly misused and walks right into a trap. Further, when did the Midnighter learn Flint’s real name? Was it part of his training or afterwards? When did Santini and Flint develop their relationship? It explains his treatment of her when in President Kent’s office, but it’s a change from Coup #2. Finally, there are several references to 9/11 and the security measures taken by the US, but those don’t fit into the Wildstorm Universe.
Finally, the most striking thing about the issue is the cover. Unlike the normal action picture, this cover features speech bubbles and a very confusing situation. Hopefully, we’ll learn why next issue.
Most of the nations that took part in WW2 were big nations (Great Powers). The smaller nations that took part tended to get steamrolled by one or the other of the Powers. As something else for us to debate, were there any possibilities for one of the smaller nations to have a decisive part in the war, or altering its outcome?
Could Ireland invade/liberate Northern Ireland in 1940?
Could Iran join the Axis or make a contribution to the Allies?
Could Siam make a difference if it was a complete ally of Japan?
I tend to consider the Irish alternative the most interesting. Let’s say that Dev decided to seize Northern Ireland while the British were worried about Sea Lion and gamble that the British would let him get away with it out of fear of US opinion. I suspect that the Irish would be able to take the area, but would then face the opinion of the unionists, who wanted to stay with the UK, and would fight the Southerners.
Further, the UK would not have many forces suitable to hand to attack Ireland and recover NI. They might be forced to resort to bombing ROI, or to invading the ROI, occupying the cities and ports, but simply not having the forces to hunt the IRA and resistance fighters throughout the interior of Ireland.
However, the British might lose WW2 this way. Not only would the Irish-Americans be campaigning for FDR to do something, which threatens Lend Lease, the British would have fewer forces to send to the western desert. Operation Compass might be impossible if half the active divisions were in Ireland, which means that the Italian position might be stronger and they might achieve some success by a) having fewer British to fight and b) providing incentive for a nationalist revolt in Egypt.
Thoughts? Could Dev have knifed the British in the back or would he have been quickly squashed?
Finnish War never happens: Let’s assume that the Finns offer guarantees that please Stalin enough so that he does not attack in 1940. Finland takes no part in WW2, which means that a northern prong looks far less possible to German strategists in 1941. German launches a massive drive for Moscow and the Baltic’s. Meanwhile, few people have any idea how bad the Red Army really is: The reforms of 1940-41 are slower and less complete. The German advantages last longer. Probable result: German win in 1941.
Mussolini joins in 1939: The west has the chance to mop up North Africa while the Germans are recovering from Poland. Germans can’t send much to help, so I suspect the Italians would have a few successes, but the allied naval might would eventually overwhelm them. There’s be less British forces in France when (if) Hitler attacks in 1940, meaning a quicker German victory and more bad Anglo-French blood unless something else changes as a result of the POD. Italy becomes a satellite of Germany earlier.
US refuses Lend Lease: The British are forced to conserve scarcer resources and attempt to do as little fighting as possible. They’d need to come to an accommodation with Italy and Japan in some fashion and seize the gold supplies of the governments in exile. However, most likely result is a British collapse in 1941 at the latest and a German Victory. Axis Victory.
Japan attacks the British in 1940: Converse of Scott’s Victorious Japanese Arms. British were weaker in the Far East than in 1941 and the Japanese won’t be fighting the Americans at the same time. The Japanese would probably mop up Singapore (which won’t be such a disaster because of less troops in the area) and most of the other British Far Eastern Territories. India would probably collapse. Australia makes a separate peace. Unless the US declares war, Axis Victory.
Hitler comes to power earlier: Let’s assume that Hitler somehow manages to forge a coalition that makes his ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ a success instead of an inglorious failure. If Hitler came to power in say 1926, he’d probably start preparing for war at once with the technology immediately available instead of WW2-level tech. The probable result would be a large German army with tactics not much more advanced than the 1918 army with far fewer tanks and guns. Assuming he gets as far as a situation comparable to Munich, the Czechs and Poles would be in a stronger position, while the USSR would have less ability to intervene. If war did come in say 1930, the result would be a smaller version of WW1 with France, Czechoslovakia and Poland in a coalition against Germany. Probable result: Someone in Britain or France develops better tanks and crushes Germany.
Japanese Biological Attack in 1939 succeeds: The Japanese tried to deploy biological weapons against the Soviets at Nomonhan with minimal results. Let’s assume they managed to weaken the soviets enough to allow them to recover and counter-attack. Fighting continues while Hitler devours Poland and then takes much of Stalin’s portion. Disputes over the booty lead to a German-Soviet war in 1940. Meanwhile, the west is panicking over Japanese biological weapons and the US is pushed to start a massive military build-up in the Far East, out-producing the Japanese so badly that even they can see a war is futile.
West demands a fair deal for Poland: Let’s assume that the western allies have an attack of brains and demand that Stalin allow Poland to have free elections, no occupation and their 1939 borders. Most likely result: Stalin breaks with the west.
West gets Poland, East gets Germany: Let’s alter the above a little. Stalin gets most of Germany apart from the Rhineland; in exchange the west is allowed to occupy Poland. There are strict limits on the number of outside forces allowed inside the occupied areas. Now, the west comes out ahead, as in OTL the soviets were VERY untrusting of German units, no matter how much the GDR protested loyalty to Moscow. Poles, on the other hand, have considerable incentive to develop an indigenous defence force, while the French would be far more nervous about a Russian satellite so near and be a) far more committed to NATO and b) less inclined to believe their own communist party when horror stories are coming from refugees.
“Quit India”: In 1943, there were many uprisings and disturbances in India. The Raj had the organisations well under observation and was able to head off much of the trouble and remain in shaky control. What if the disturbances had been much greater or the British had had less warning? If they lost control over the southeast of India, everything above there would be cut off, the princes might assert their own independence, china’s supply line would be cut and the British would be forced back to Karachi and Ceylon. If the rebellion managed that much, the British would probably have been pressed by FDR to abandon India and leave India alone. The result would have been a massive human crisis across India, China would probably collapse and the British would have lost the rest of the empire earlier.
No lean lease to China: The Chinese nationalists were pretty much a lost cause, but the US sent tons of Lend Lease to them anyway. What if those supplies were rerouted somewhere? They could equip dozens of British Empire divisions, free French divisions, etc. The war might be won a lot sooner.
Within the scientific community, the question is no longer whether extraterrestrial life exists, but if ET is smart enough to do long division. Scientists are of two minds regarding the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Skeptics acknowledge simple life-forms might be found on other planets, but insist that intelligent life is unique to Earth. Their belief is based on the assumption that Earth possesses unique physical attributes, including a magnetic field that deflects cosmic rays and a moon that absorbs asteroids. Together, these protective features make Earth a rare safe harbor--one that nurtured the evolution of primitive life-forms into intelligent beings. The opposing camp sees the prospect for discovering alien life in more mathematical terms. Its touchstone is the Drake Equation, which links the probability of discovering extraterrestrial intelligence to factors such as the size of the universe and the number of stars with earthlike planets. With the discovery of each new planet beyond Earth's solar system--there are now more than 100--the odds of encountering intelligent alien life increase. Governments and international organizations around the world have taken notice of the changing odds. No governmental official has gone on record claiming that UFOs are real, let alone a threat. Yet with little public fanfare, they have begun preparing for the single most important event in human history: first contact. That is, the moment earthlings discover incontrovertible proof that they are not alone.
This may lead to nothing, but in the weeks preceding Elizabeth the First’s death, Sir Robert Cecil kept a stage team of horses in readiness along the route to Scotland, planning to inform James of Scotland of her death before anyone could take advantage of the sudden power vacuum. Let’s suppose that something happens to one of the relay riders (say about mid way to Scotland) and the message is lost. Cecil has no idea what’s happened to the message and he’s expecting at least a reply, James has no idea he’s now the King of England.
Might something go wrong? There were a fair number of people who wanted a chance at the throne itself and, no matter how much it was apparent that the Queen wanted James to succeed her, she left no formal will. Someone might well have a chance to take power, causing a mini-civil war. The more fighting, the more unstableEngland will be, and Spain and France will try to take advantage of the fighting.
There’d only be a week or so before Cecil realised that something had gone wrong, but it would be harder and harder to keep the Queen’s death secret. A week might just be long enough for someone to strike for power.
Cursed bandwith. All I was trying to do was sort out the baen site and they think I've overdone the bandwith. Grr. Anyway, here's a review of Wildstorm's new masterpeice, Coup D'etat, for your pleasure. AH fans who don't like this, there are three small AHs and one big one coming up in the next week or so.
Coup D'Etat: Sleeper. Free will. It's like butterfly wings: once touched, they never get off the ground. No, I only set the stage. You pull your own strings. - Al Pacino, in the role of Satan.
The first issue of the much hyped Coup D'etat plot begins with a disaster straight out of Independence Day. An alien shiftship is falling out of the Bleed (a dimension between dimensions) and is heading on an impact course to Florida. We see in a flashback the reason why – TAO, a supervillain with a very odd style. Tao isn't the kind of man to simply lay waste to a city for the fun of it, or steal nuclear weapons to gain power or money. He's far more interested in seeing what a supposedly civilized and democratic government might do if it accidentally came across some technology it is clearly not ready for. Surely, they'd at least test it extensively, and make sure they know how it works. Especially if this technology had access to the inter-dimensional bleed that regularly poured out problems and threats. Right?
Of course they would. And the resulting destruction proves too much for even the Authority to handle, and millions of human and alien lives are lost. Tao's plan works better than even he probably realized. As a result, the Authority makes the decision we've all paid to see... they're taking over the United States, because the current leadership has used up all its chances. The most intriguing thing about this decision is the fact that they do it with the full knowledge that Tao was behind it. Sure, Tao set the stage, but as John Lynch declares near the end, it was the government's fault for taking such an obvious and risky bait. Just because Tao gave them the technology, doesn't mean for a second that they wouldn't have used it had they gotten it some other way. That the Authority comes to the same conclusion is both refreshing, and also quite a bit frightening. It will be very interesting to see just how accountable the Authority will hold the country's leaders once they take over, and exactly who will take the blame. Something that many Wildstorm titles have is the claim that the President is really one of the lower officials, so who will really take the fall?
The characterisation is excellent. Tao comes across as very cold and harsh, providing a counterpoint to Holden’s near guilt at the carnage. Jack Hawksmoor is shown as a true leader, while the Doctor finally gets over his problems with using his powers. Here, he slows down time for the evacuation, allowing countless lives to be saved. To see him use his powers so creatively, especially in light of the painful reminder that he has limitations early on, is a real joy. Sadly, we don’t really see much of the Sleeper team beyond the first few pages, but, for those of us who don’t know them, it’s not a big loss. Hawksmoor’s grief at the losses and his desperate search for someone to blame struck a chord in me, although I’d have loved to see the discussion the team held about the Coup D'etat. The final page, the Authority’s announcement to the world, is one of the most dramatic cliff-hangers in comic-book-dom.
Personally, I can’t wait for next week…
COUP D'ETAT: STORMWATCH. This issue has the interesting touch of starting before the end of the first issue and taking the daring step of introducing us to a new character while developing the expanded Coup D'etat plot. There is only one plot in this book, but it’s very good. Whether it makes up for the artwork, which is so-so at best, is another question.
Its another normal day for the Stormwatch team. A super-powered villain called Baron Chaos (pretty much a copy of Doctor Doom) has taken over Bulgaria. From there, a little over half the issue is dedicated to showing the Stormwatch team carrying out a carefully planned and executed strike, slowly but surely wearing the seemingly invincible dictator. Through this scene Wright shows new readers how the team works, and highlights the names and abilities of nearly every member of the team. This allows for a completely accessible jumping on point for this series, without bogging the reader down with a bunch of exposition. Stormwatch defeats the villain and accidentally discovers his secret base, leading Santini (the commander of Stormwatch (weatherman) and the principal character) to grumble about how super-powered nutcases always try to take over the world. In one of the worse lead-ups (somehow one cannot imagine the Authority missing it’s cue), the team hear Hawksmoor’s broadcast, informing the world that they’re taking over the US. Adding insult to injury, the reader is treated to President Patrick Kent's response speech to the Authority's threats. Kent, an obvious mirror to Bush, goes straight to calling the Authority “evil” before making up a whole bunch of “almost-words” to try and sound smarter. Grrr.
Don’t let that put you off though. Santini is very quick to realise that his team (which fought and beat the Authority once before) will be target one in the takeover. The Stormwatch team abandon their base in the UN literary minutes before two members of the Authority arrive, to be greeted by the bases self-destruct system. Ouch.
The highlight of this issue, however, is Santini addressing his men as they are on the run from the Authority. This man is hardcore, and he doesn't sugarcoat anything. “If you come with me to fight the Authority, I guarantee some of you will die.” However, we also see a softer side of Santini, at least towards his men. He outlines a way out to everyone for whom it’s a possibility, no questions asked. It’s comforting to see that a man who later guns down the formerly great Baron Chaos (while bound to a chair no less) has at least some compassion inside of him. Having received the entire teams decision to come with him (no surprises there), Stormwatch evatuates Baron Chaos’s base – again seconds before the Authority arrive – and vanish. Somehow, we know that the teams will fight again.
This is a very interesting issue again, but it seems to be at an odd disconnect from the previous Stormwatch/Authority interaction. We know that the Authority were beaten in Stormwatch (4-6), and then there was a quiet discussion (#8) between Jukko and the Midnighter about Finland and finally (#19) Santini asked the Authority to help out with the Citizen Solider problem and the Authority obliged. So why did the authority over-react to Stormwatch and do it so badly? If only two members of the Authority were sent in the first time, both of whom had been beaten in the previous battle, did they not consider that they might be captured and held hostage? Santini’s decision to go underground might have been reasonable, but why not at least try to talk? The Engineer, the only member of the Authority who supported Stormwatch in (#5), helped the other to find them without bothering to argue.
Some nice continuities did come though. We got a reference to Finland and the problems involved with hiding superheroes there.
My major gripe with this issue was the artwork. Neither Flint nor Apollo is as ugly as they’re portrayed here.
By the end of this issue I was aching to see the Authority come to blows with Stormwatch, only to have them miss each other by seconds. However, I'm a patient man. I can wait to see what happens without resorting to some silly melodrama.
Coup D'etat: Wildcats. There are few words I can say about this issue that really capture my feelings, but only one comes to hand: WOW! The art, the story and the dialogue were terrific. Many kudos to the author.
There are three different plots in the comic. The first one is the authority’s ongoing Coup D'etat in the United States. We see some of the most spectacular artwork as Apollo, The Doctor and The Engineer take out different parts of the US infrastructure, identified by a news report (one of the nicest touches of the whole Coup D'etat series is the news reports we overhear) as the US strategic Defence system. One does wonder why the Authority would bother to take out satellites – not to mention how quickly they were replaced after Stormwatch 14-19. It’s a little hard to see what the doctor is doing, to be honest, the picture looks a little wrong, somehow.
The second plot is the reaction of two of the Wildcats, Cash Cole (also known as Grifter) and Mr. Dolby to the takeover. Grifter goes ballistic and convinces Dolby to join him in a stunt to steal a super-weapon from an arms dealer, which they obtain after an adventure. There’s also some interesting conversation between the two over what the Authority means to them personally. Grifter’s plan hits problems, though, when they discover the size of the weapon involved and Grifter tries to convince Marlowe to use his abilities to transport the weapon to the Authority’s home base. After some thought, Marlowe refuses, believing that the Authority's coup won’t last and then the world can continue along the lines Marlowe has planned for it. There’s an interesting argument between the two over what the role of a superhero is; Grifter being a traditionist, while Marlowe (ironically, like the Authority) defines it as helping to save the world in the long term. The two argue until Grifter leaves with a parting shot: “What makes you think they won’t come after you next?”
That leads nicely to the third plot. A contemplative Marlowe teleports himself on to the carrier (a stunt that the Authority should have managed to block by now, having been done at least twice before) and confronts most of the Authority. Marlowe and the Midnighter really don’t get along for some reason – The Midnighter acts more like a thug than normal in these pages (I suspect that many writers don’t get the full depth of his personality). Marlowe’s basic message to the authority works on many levels: No matter the philosophical right and wrong of the Authority’s actions (Marlowe appears to agree with them on some level), their actions will, in practice, have serious consequences. The world is a far more complex place than the Authority knows and their failure to understand this means that their actions will have catastrophic consequences. This does tend to follow previous problems the Authority have had; leaving Gamorra to the mercy of the reminder of the circle (Authority V2 #1) and making it impossible for a new president to appear in some other country. (Authority, V1, #13-17 Naivety). Marlowe is clearly far more of a thinker than Santini or the Authority, forcing the four Authority members to cling to their positions (for some reason the Doctor and Swift are not present), and the Authority are at a serious disadvantage. However, Marlowe is unable to convince them to stop and leaves with a parting warning.
As I said above, WOW! The artwork is far better here than the previous two issues. Apollo, for example, had the indignity of looking like a super-thug in Authority #13-25 and in Stormwatch (#5-6 + Coup D'etat). Here, he looks far more of a hero, as do the other characters. The picture of him blasting a satellite is a beautiful drawing. The cliffhanger page is fantastic – it made me want to read the conclusion at once.
The characters have also improved. The dynamics of the reactions to the Coup D'etat are very different; while Stormwatch had no choice, but to do their duty and react swiftly, Marlowe and co have the luxury of considering their actions before they do anything. Grifter’s preparation (apparently still held in reserve) of an anti-authority plan testifies to the skills and ingenuity of the character. There is little development of the Authority characters, sadly, but the most interesting development is that of Mr. Dolby. The common man (as far as I know, Wildcats is not among the titles I read regularly) is clearly scared of the Authority, being worried about the implications and having a bitter conversation with his mother, concluding that the Authority think they can do anything they want.
So, in six days, it’s the final battle for Washington. I can’t wait…
Let’s suppose that some mad genius – or even a covert government op of some kind – decided that the world was too overpopulated, or feared that current birth trends would see their nation overflow with people or be overwhelmed by immigrants from somewhere that had too many people. That person/team uses a biological weapon, akin to the one from ‘Drakon’, to cut down the birth-rate. No matter what happens, 98% of women in the world can only have two pregnancies. After that, they’re sterile.
As you may be aware, Baen has granted permission for me to copy the CD ISOs and share them with anyone I want – on the condition that I don’t charge for the service. They are shared here. However, if you want them on CD, I am allowed to charge for the CDR/CDRW (your choice) and the postage. If you want a copy of any or all of the discs, drop me an email.
Payment: You can pay me in three ways. 1) You can pay me the money via PayPal (www.paypal.com). 2) If you live in the UK/ROI, you can send me a cheque. BRITISH MONEY ONLY! 3) You can purchase a few Baen Ebooks and share them with me. I’ll meet the rest of the costs.
Please Note: I will be unable to produce any CDs until the 12th of February. However, feel free to email me at any time and we’ll discuss terms.
Some discussions on several boards and list recently have discussed the possibilities of the real life existence of superheroes, both mutant and alien in origin. Would, they asked, be like the marvel universe with massive anti-mutant discrimination, the wildstorm universe with the heroes openly interfering with the government, or the DC universe with the heroes treated as, well, heroes.
I suspect that there may not be as many changes as have been anticipated. Why would the mutants band together against us normals? There have been no cases – as far as I know – where one group of people have banded together without some dissent. Many of the successful pre-ACW blacks that were free opposed emancipation, as they feared it would upset their achievements. Even the United States has some dissent within it.
Just how much use in a military situation mutants would be is questionable. Someone with the ability to turn invisible would be a neat trick, but could they fool a heat detector or a scent detector? Someone who could fly, with no other special abilities, could be simply shot down. Few mutants are really that powerful.
A situation like that shown in ‘The Authority’ is unlikely. I always figured that the authority was a seriously bad team – as far as teamwork went – because they kept arguing. They all held strong personalities and were very powerful, but they did not train together or had a strong leader (since jenny sparks died – I kind of lost interest after her death.) The net result happened in ‘Stormwatch: Team Achilles’ #5-6’: Manipulated by the merely human Stormwatch (unless you count Jukko’s uneviable and unwanted power of feeling others pain), they are defeated one by one when Stormwatch uses advanced techniques and strategy.
‘Stormwatch: Team Achilles’ is probably the best indicator of the effects of Super Powered Beings (SPBs in the Wildstorm universe). The first issue makes the point that “fighting a super-powered opponent need not be a death sentence” and continues in that vein. Mutants may add a touch of surprise to military operations, but they may offer no real advantage in the long run, not to mention being single people and easily influenced, compared to a group.
Just how ordinary people would react is unclear. A lot of people would probably be afraid of them, but how is that different from the fear that many people feel about immigrant communities? I suspect that open ‘racism’ would be rare, see Alara’s ‘All About Eve’ for a possible take on the existence of mutants: http://www.alara.net/xbooks/allabouteve.html
A final detail that was not discussed was how the mutants came into existence. Genetic mutation, a possibility, might lend itself to increased strength, better senses, and telepathy, but I don’t think that most of the X-Men are in any way realistic. Artificial enhancement is probably a better bet, with strength, pain resistance, better senses and much more (http://www.baen.com/library/0671720856/0671720856___4.htm) being added onto a group of volunteers, but I can’t see them developing super-troops with the ability to fly and x-ray vision. (Though think of the lawsuits the girls could press against the poor boys who ended up with that power and no way of proving they’re innocent.) Alien/Human hybrids are impossible, so let’s not speak of it again. (Shut up over there, lol.)
Something that struck me when I started to explore history in the 1600s was that the pacific was a blank slate to some extent. The Chinese were in a state where they did not have the inclination to go exploring and the Japanese were entering a state of isolation. The Dutch and the Spanish claimed a few islands, but they never found Australia or settled the area to any great extent. The British therefore got most of the important territory.
However, what if the Japanese got there first? Instead of an attempt to conquer Korea in 1590, perhaps they could head south to the Philippines and downwards. If they did that, it is unlikely that the Spanish would be able to stop them, even if they did hold a technological advantage. That would allow the Japanese a chance to take most of the East Indies and Australia (the Spanish missed it by a few miles). The Japanese were well aware of the location and the weakness of the Spanish and it would allow the Shogun a chance to export most of the troublemakers.
An event that would enrich Japan and put them into conflict with two of the foremost European powers would make it difficult for them to enter isolation. They would need to learn the reminder of the European arts and do so very quickly. I suspect that they would make up the lost ground and start building their ships to an European standard very quickly, which would allow them to colonise Australia very quickly. It would not be impossible, perhaps, for the Japanese to land their own colony in Mexico or California, making for an extra twist to the American stew pot.
The Japanese would have consolidated complete control over their new conquests very quickly, either by absorbing or exterminating the Chinese and marginalizing the natives of the islands. The Chinese might well head back to china and force the Chinese to innovate as well.
Something I’ve been wondering about was the growing conviction that the British monarchy is no longer needed and in fact is a serious waste of British resources. What might have happened if the monarchy made a major blunder at some point, perhaps a worse incident of the Duke of Edinburgh’s racism, and hurt the national interest badly? Could they be removed from their preach?
The Duke makes a major anti Saudi comment when the Saudi’s are looking for someone else to supply arms during the days after Sept 11th. (Some dunderhead having decided that one royal should talk to another royal.) Result: The Saudis publicly slam Britain and award the contract and billions of pounds to the French. Many British workers lose their jobs. There are massive anti monarchy demonstrations, but the Duke refuses to apologise or make up for his actions.
An idea that’s crossed my mind recently while thinking about getting a greater commitment to space and space travel is that of including space companies right from the start. Like this, perhaps:
Let’s say that an earlier president than Kennedy (perhaps Truman) realises that the US needs to be in space and that it will be seriously expensive. The US must not lose space dominance and, as a democratic society, must not allow most of the GNP to be poured into an activity that won’t benefit most of the nation for years.
Therefore, start by offering a deal to the large aerospace companies, or whatever they were called at the time. Something like, “You build us a couple of YOUR design for the space shuttle and we’ll let you run a few of your own.” As US law prohibits monopolies, there should be at least three companies building rockets and launching satellites.
The rest happens though the marketplace. Satellites become more important earlier. There is therefore pressure to develop cheaper and better launch systems (SSTO anyone?), pressure to establish bases in space, pressure to continue to develop space further. Sooner or later someone will have the bright idea of mining the moon instead of a few missions that do nothing beyond showing off – and then outwards to mars and the asteroids.
Chances are that the USSR would not be happy, but what could they do? They could not match the US’s space program without introducing a free market economy, which would destroy their system. They might well consider the possibility of demanding that the US limit their space deployments, but once the big money is behind space, congress is hardly likely to pass laws to limit their actions, although the possibility of a lunar declaration of independence and the USSR providing support to the rebels is interesting.
Tom Kratman’s book A State of Disobedience includes a list, at the end, of proposed amendments to the US consitution. Kratman is at some pains on the boards to point out that they are proposed, but someone started a list of problems with them. Here’s mine. WARNING SPOILERS!!
Amendment—The Sixteenth Amendment is hereby repealed. No direct taxes shall be levied upon living persons, real or artificial.
What is a direct tax? It might be better to have a VAT tax of say 0.05% per item bought, excepting food and medicine, or perhaps Tarriffs on foreign imports.
Amendment—Federal expenditures shall not exceed ten percent of Gross Domestic Product. An estate tax, not exceeding fifty percent may be levied on estates over ten million dollars in current dollars upon portions of those estates exceeding that amount. The figure of ten million dollars shall be adjusted annually in accordance with the rise in cost of living as determined by the Consumer Price Index.
I like this idea, as it puts a limit on how much the government can spend on itself, but what exactly is an expenditure? The military, the police, etc? Or does it mean the costs of government departments instead of the total?
Amendment—The Social Security and Medicare tax is repealed. Current interest holders in the Social Security system shall have their money repaid within ten years at an interest rate of nine percent.
Not sure of the point of this after the preivous amendents.
Amendment—Within ten years from the date of enactment of this amendment the Congress shall not have the right to delegate its authority under the constitution. The Congress shall reduce the manpower of currently existing agencies to which it has delegated its authority by ten percent per year.
As someone else pointed out, read literally, the government would be in ten years at somewhere around 0.676 percent. (Rough guess).
Amendment—No one shall be elected to any office of the federal government more than twice in succession, three times in life, or twelve years total.
Amendment—Every four years, in conjunction with the election for the presidency of the United States, each ballot shall list all the members of the United States Supreme Court. That justice of that court whose name garners the greatest number of votes in that election shall be forever disbarred from a seat on the Supreme Court or any federal elective office.
And the point of this? To remove people who are too popular? People think of the court as a monolithic entity, not individual judges.
Amendment—At any time when a majority of the governors of the states shall vote, in joint session, to overturn any decision of the Supreme Court impacting upon the rights of the sovereign states under this Constitution, that decision shall be overturned. Thirty such governors shall constitute a quorum.
I can do no better than to quote the madprez herself: “"And speaking of the Supreme Court, are you all really so enthusiastic about castrating it? Creating some governor's council that can overturn its decisions? Hmmm. So, when Alabama decides to reenact some Jim Crow laws and the rest of the South follows right along, you really don't want anybody who can say 'no'? I don't believe it for a minute."
Amendment—The Second Amendment is hereby repealed. The federal government shall insure that no private individuals keep or possess nuclear, chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction. All other forms of weapons may be owned, borne and possessed by the citizens of the United States without restriction or registration. Such weapons may not be taxed.
Good idea with the single flaw that criminals can also have weapons as well. Perhaps a registry of weapons would be helpful, or perhaps banning weapons procession to people with serious criminal weapons.
Amendment—No suit against the United States, or any of its states, for any grievance which accrued more than twenty years prior to the enactment of this Amendment, shall be maintained or sustained.
I think this is meant to remove the possibility of children/grandchildren of slaves suing the govt. for the slave trade. But what about the people who were poisoned by agent orange?
Amendment—The Regular Armed Forces of the United States shall be no greater in manpower than half of one percent of the population of adult citizens of the United States. In the event of war requiring greater levels of manpower, the states are required to provide further troops, up to six percent of the state's population as determined by the most recent census.
What if the US is in a WW2 situation and you need to create a huge army?
Amendment—Neither the federal government, nor any of its branches, shall make any rule limiting or interfering with the free exercise of religion on the part of any of the lesser polities of the United States or the citizens of those polities.
Amendment—A human being shall be defined as an implanted, fertilized ovum of the human species, or any later stage of development of that implanted ovum. All human beings within the United States shall be entitled to the full protection of the law.
What about mothers who smoke? Drink? Are they harming their unborn children? Why no abortion for medical problems or it as a right?
Amendment—It shall be the right of citizens and lawful residents of the United States to speak in plain, standard and traditional English. It shall be illegal and actionable against any citizen, resident, business entity, educational institution or government to make any attempt to limit that right on the part of a citizen.
Amendment—Federal law enforcement personnel are restricted to not more than one twentieth of one percent of the adult population of the United States.
Good idea, particularly if there’s a strong state force as well.
Amendment—Whereas responsibility and authority must be equal, and whereas it has been demonstrated that abuse of authority is inevitable at some point for some responsibilities, so the United States Government is relieved of the following responsibilities: to ensure the economic well being of individuals of any class or by any means or for any period of time, to regulate commerce except that no state shall be permitted to set up tariffs against any other state or states, to conduct economic planning, to ensure the rights or presumed rights of any group as a group, to engage in social engineering, to interfere with or aid education at any level.
Good idea with one small flaw. What happens when a US company decides to set up a poisonous plant in corruptstan somewhere?
This may come under the heading of future or present history rather than alternate history, but its an interesting idea nonetheless.
There are three states in East Asia that are reasonably democratic, fairly, though nessacity, warlike and share a common short-term foe. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Japan has a bludgeoning population with a massive nuclear industry. US analysts have speculated that Japan would be able to produce a large nuclear force fairly quickly from a standing start – and she has a sufficient threat, from North Korea and China, to justify doing so.
Taiwan faces a China bent on reunification. After seeing what is happening in Hong Kong, the Taiwanese are determined to avoid reunification, and they have the ability to defeat a Chinese invasion. The Chinese face huge problems in controlling the air above Taiwan and in shipping enough troops to overwhelm a well-armed and motivated population. As Taiwan has the ability to bomb the mainland (although this would be a pinprick), China has made threats about nuclear weapons. Three or four nuclear hits would completely ruin Taiwan.
South Korea faces a similar situation, with the possibility of massive civil disturbance in NK forcing a communist attack on the south.
This situation offers the possibility of an alliance, on a closer basis than NATO, between the three states. If Japan was to construct nukes, they could deploy a first-class force very quickly and provide a deterrent to Chinese attacks. Further, an alliance would allow the three powers to work together as a group, get better representation in the UN, and work to develop the resources of the Asian region. For different reasons, both China and Australia would find that very threatening.
Planetary is a comic book created by Warren Ellis and produced under the Wildstorm imprint. To quote the master:
"One hundred years of super hero history, slowly leaking into the modern world... Sometimes, ordinary people uncover things that are best left covered. Sometimes, things best left covered emerge into ordinary life and do not have the world's best interests at heart. These are the times when Planetary arrive - invited or not..."
Planetary explores the secret history of a world teeming with superhumans and the supernatural. From a ghost cop to a universe-spanning starship, to children born at the turn of the century, to the secret chiefs of the world, plotting evil and deadly outcomes. The planetary team battle those who would hide or destroy the hidden history against that background…..
Dale Cozart pointed out (http://members.aol.com/althist1/Oct03/comments.htm) “I may have mentioned in an earlier issue that much of the Confederate artillery came from one of the big Virginia naval yards, overrun by Confederate troops early in the war.”
What might have happened if that artillery had been destroyed or fallen into US hands? If the CSA army were badly deficient in artillery, would they have risked the battle of Ball Run? Worse, if the army did not at least have a faint chance of success, would some of the wavering states stay with the US?
Alternatively, perhaps some Virginians would be implicated in the destruction/transference of the artillery. In which case, it would be human nature to be suspicious of the other Virginians in CS service, who included Robert E. Lee and many others.
I don’t think the south could have replaced the lost artillery without foreign support, which never came in OTL, even at high tide. The CS may have to make promises to the French or British, or may lose the war quicker.
Why did the Turks join Germany in WW1? Was it the British seizure of their ships or something deeper? Consider it from the Turks point of view. There are five options:
1) Join the British/Germany wins. Good in the short term, but the Germans are likely to demand colonies if they win, and the ottoman empires the site of a LOT of German investment, which might have been damaged by the ottomans if they join the British. British would probably allow the Germans to occupy turkey in hopes that they would not demand other colonies in locations that could really hurt the British. (Through being so near to the Suez is not too good for the UK.)
2) Join the British/Britain wins. Not a bad situation, but the British might well have made (as they did OTL) secret agreements with the French, Russians and Italians to give them ottoman territory. At best, they lose a large chunk of land, at worst total annexation.
3) Join the Germans, Britain wins. What happened OTL, but at least they’ve tried to fight off what might have been inevitable.
4) Join the Germans, Germany wins. Germany would have a period of tidying up in Europe to do, allowing the ottomans to recover land stolen from them by the British, Italians and Russians. All sorts of interesting effects from this.
5) Stay Neutral. Whichever power (s) wins the war will be able to carve up the ottomans like a roast whenever they want. Probably a bit slower in the German case.
Now, none of these require hindsight, they should all be ovousl in 1914. The Turks best option was to strive for a German victory and join them. Unluckily for them, the Germans rather let them down by losing.
From 1870ish-1914, Britain looked for allies among the states of the world. Contrary to much propaganda, the British seriously considered an alliance with Germany, and the Germans were receptive. There were, however, problems. Britain and Germany were in competition over the naval race and colonies around the globe. Germany was trying to assert itself in places that the British felt were their rightful domains.
What if an agreement had been reached? Perhaps one on the lines of the RN being used to attack the French colonies if Germany found itself (as seemed probable) at war with two parties. Britain would also provide cover for the German colonies and hand over a few of the French colonies to the Germans. Britain would not have to make a massive continental commitment at all. Unlike the French, the German system could take massive casutities without the need for stupid headbutting – Verdun being an exception to that.
So, what might happen if an agreement had happened?
I’m a big fan of many of the books published by Jim Baen, but there are some books that need a fairly extensive rewrite at the best, and, at worst, don’t live up to their promise. ‘A State of Disobedience’ (http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200312/0743471709.htm?blurb ) is one such book. While the idea of a 2nd US civil war is interesting, I don’t think that the author remotely approaches plausibility. (Before anyone complains about my reading tastes, Scott has the same opinion.)
So, I challenge you, is it possible to get a 2nd USCW? Now or within the near future, as Alternate History or Future History.
1) Archduke Ferdinand not assassinated, preventing World War One
2) Germany Wins WW-I rapidly (in 1915 or 1916)
3) Japan has a 'perfect' raid on Pearl Harbor, wiping out the oil storage and repair facilities
4) Germany defeats Russia in 1942, cutting of the oil supply [Baku] from the bulk of Russia's Armies.
5) A-Bomb not used at all in WW-II, leading to a violent US/USSR Confrontation in the 1940s
6) Cuban Missile Crisis goes 'hot', leading to a Nuclear exchange.
7) Nixon's Watergate scandal a) never happens b) is never found out c) is found out sooner
8) PC revolution happens earlier (usually through Xerox Parc's successfully marketting their early invention of the GUI)
9) Europe intervenes earlier in Bosnia
10) Rabin is not assassinated 11) Al Gore wins in 2000 (not popular yet...too soon, but likely to be a popular POD as the 21st century wears on)
12) US space program funded at a higher level in the 1970s-80s (i.e., space station and lunar base in the 1970s, missions to Mars in 1980s)
13) George Bush the Elder beats Clinton in 1992 (already popular in some quarters at least!)
14) Earlier mining of Haiphong, unrestricted bombing, and sensible antiguerilla tactics lead to allied victory in Vietnam. South Vietnam becomes fifth Asian "tiger".
15) Israel gets earlier warning of planned Arab attack on Yom Kippar, 1973. Egyptian and Syrian armies decimated from the onset, followed by a clear Israeli win.
16) President Kennedy not assasinated. Second term wracked with scandals.
17) More vigorous British-French response to German aggression in 1936-39. Germany backs down. Hitler overthrown by military coup.
18) Hinkley assasinates Reagan. Cold War prolonged into at least the 1990s.
19) Sino-Soviet nuclear war in the late 1960s. Ends Cold War due to the destruction of the two largest communist societies.
20) American social security is designed as a mandetory private account system from the onset. Greater economic growth and greater wealth creation results in the long run.
21) Cold War ends with a conventional war in Europe in the mid 1980s. Nuclear war barely averted.
22. 1991 anti-Gorbachev coup succeeds, Yeltsin arrested/killed/disappeared, Cold War continues.
23. RFK not killed, becomes POTUS.
24. MLK lives, continues civil rights work.
24. FDR dies by assassin's bullet in 1933, John Nance Garner can't get anywhere with Depression, with negative effects for Allies on WWII because (most times this is done) isolationists take over in US.
25. Japan attacks USSR instead of US in WWII.
26. McKinley not assassinated.
27. Boston Red Sox do not sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. (I included that because it's probably the only sports WI I know of that's been done to death.)
28. No prohibition or volstead acts
29. no internet in 1993
30. Trostky takes power in russia insteado f stalin
31.FDR creates a national healthcare system
32. Jimmy Carter elected in 1980
33. FDR dies of a massive heart attack a few weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack, Henry Wallace becomes President
34. Soviets reach the rhine
35. A movement to peachefully secede from the USA in the southern states on the level of the quebec independence movement appears after WWII
36. Cuba and the phillipines annexed as territories.
37. Wilson goes to war with mexico in 1916.
38. Normandy goes wrong and the reds ovverun gemrnay,the low counries,italy,turkey,the balkans and greece.
39. Japan wins at midway
40. the USSR collapses in 1979-1980 after
41. Gerlad ford elected in 1976. I see Carter in 80's and the liberla 1970's not really ending.
42. an actor makes an a bid for the presidency in 2000
44. Clinton impeached.
45. Japan attempts a war against russia but loses korea and manchuri but gains sakhalin and the kurils. The militarists are overthrown.
46. The generals overthorw hitler in early 1944
47. When gemrany reunites in 1989, Austria decides to join up
48. Kerensky's keeps control of the USSR and its transformed into a social democracy
49. Vichy france becomes a strong axis supporter
50. a civil war between fascists and democrats in france in the late 1930's
51. France keeps northern algeria
52. South africa keeps aparteid
53. No AIDs virus appears EVER
54. Germany holds on longer on obth fronts with atomic weaposn being used on it.
55. No intenrational conventions against chemical wepaosn ipost WWI
56. GErmany makes its own nuclear weapons
57. The ORION program is established
58. No UN treaty forbidding exploitation of space
59. Germany has a policy of slave labor but not genocide
60. Germany goes communist in the 1920's
61. a deng Xiaoping style figure apppears in the USSR and does economic reforms
62. India revolts and leaves the british empire in the 30's or 40's
63. India becomes a dominion in the 20's
64. No J. Edgar Hoover
65. Japan loses its influence over kore and manchuria by losing the russo japanese war
66. The nationalists in china do'nt mess things up and they win
67. Huey long elected president
68. No WWI
69. a rash of christian militia terrorims happends in the 90's
70. WWI begins in 1905
71. Tolkien finishes the simarillon and makes a sequel to the lord of the rings
72. The transistor is invented in the mid 30's
73. Atari,colcovision and the others do'nt collapse
74. soviets screw over poland and make east gemrnay much bigger
75. Hubert Humphrey elected president
76. the russian civil war becomes bloody,indecisive and never ending
77. Russia splinters apart even father than IOTL with Crimea,tatarstan,khanbaly,chechnya,buryatia,kuban and other countries being formed.
78. Post WWI armenia gets a small slice of turkey in order to get a black sea coast.
79. Marijuana and psychadelics legalized in america in 1968.
80. Yucatan and Chiapas leave mexico during the mexican civl war in 1910
81. Instead of voting for independence or to stay with britian, Bermuda,bahamas,jamaica and belize vote to join america inthe 60's and 70's
82. Quebec secedes form canada anytime after 1980
83. Puerto rico gets statehood
84. Hawai gets made into a commonwealth and the marians become a state with plans for guam statehood being looked into.
85. the Entente succeeds in the Dardanelles
86. The British Empire collapses in the 1930s.
87. the Germans turn East in 1914
88. Hitler purges Hitler's SS but keeps Roehm's SA on his team
89. a soviet civil war in the mid 20's over sucession after lenin dies
90. Turkey joins the allies in WWII
91. the Bolsheviks take over Poland in 1920
92. the leauge of nations survives
93. Melvin laird elected president in 1975
94. China gets carved up after the boxer rebellion
95. the empress supports the hundred days modernization
96. The japanese get *all* of sakhalin and the kurils after russo-japanese war
97. Alaska ends up like puerto rico with Puerto rico being #49 in 1962 and Hawai being #50 in 1969
97. Hawai votes for independence
98. An american socially liberal and sucessful social democrat party is formed before WWI
99. FDR establishes proportional represntation pre WWII
100. Bay of pigs suceeds
101. Japan doesn't surrender but if wiped from the face of the earth with nukes
102. instead of vietnam how about a war in cuba?
103. TR's bull moose party suceeds
104. Poland intervenes when Czechslovekia is attacked
105. The Hashemites suceed and make sure Hejaz Arabia survives
106. no persian gulf war
107. the korena war is won with manchuria liberated and taiwan recognized
108. Chinese communism falls in the late 80's-early 90's
109. Manga and Anime break onto american markets in the early 70's
110. instead of manga and anime, translated versions of latin american animation become poplar in the USA during the 1990's
111. before WWI gemrany arms mexico and helps it build industry to prepare for a war against the USA
112. Czar Nicky reforms and survives
113. spaceplanes are adopted by space programs
114. a russian revolution in 1914
115. Germany does'nt accept the armistice and fights on to the very end.
116. Britain takes the maritime option when fighting WWI.
117. Rasputin gets a different series of hallucinations and convinces the Tsar that WWI is a *Bad* idea
118. Germany wins WWI
119. virtual reality is more widespread
120. Soccer becomes them ost popular american sport pre WWI
121. in a move of cold war era anglo-american solidarity, an american team is formed and plays in the world cricket leauge
122. The New York Times encourages Goddard in the 20's
123. 'Gunpowder plot succeeds, and leads to an evil US.
124. no 9/11
125. no olkahoma city bombing
126. prohibition enforced more harshley
127. a final redoubt strategy is adopted by the nazis
128. Operation Overlord happens in 1943
129. Stalin attacks the west in 1945 in an unprovoked move
130. The allies attack Norway instead of North Africa in 1943
131. America's politics move to a more fascist bent in the 1930's
132. no elvis
133. no political correctness
134. Strom Thurmond elected president
135. The southern democrats split off and make their own party
136. Adlai Stevenson elected president in the 60's
137. no margeret thatcher
138. no enron scandal
139. Stalin attacks the Japanese in 1941
140. Alf Landon elected in 1936 to president
141. The Rise of a "Black Messiah" in the 1960s/70s
142. The soviets win the Moon Race
143. Al Smith is elected President in 1928.
144. the central powers lead sucessful boer and indian revolts during WWI
145. Stalin extends a finland style compromise to the East
146. Beria gets power in the USSR
147. German remilitarisation of Rhineland opposed in 1936
148. Al Gore selects Paul Wellstone or Russel Feingold as his running mate
149. Hitler gets into an art academy
150. Robert La Follete jr does'nt lose the 1946 senate race
151. equal rights amendment passes
152. a more violent come out of the civil rights movement
153. a sino-soviet war at anytime betweek 1945 and 1980
154. Chinese-Indian War - 1959/1962
155. a second great depression in eaither 1974 or 1987
156. Dole defeats Clinton in '96
157. the indian film capitol of bollywood becomes popular
158. long movies become popular in the 30's
159. Hitler lets somebody else handle the creation of the Me-262, and the worlds first jet fighter goes into production in 1942.
160. What if Ronald Reagan had stayed in Hollywood as an actor?
161. FDR lives till 1950
162. cocaine legalized in the 80's
163. WI US "Oil War" in 1970s
164. Neville Chamberlain survives WW2
165. UNITA Victory in Angola
166. 1909 Taft dies of a heart attack in his first year in office.
167. 1915 Nobody has done a story where the Lusitania isn't sunk? Or, Italy remains neutral, or sides with Austria.
168. a Communist revolution in Italy during WW I.
169. 1922 Harding dies in office.
170. Kemal Ataturk dies and doesn't overthrow the last sultan. Subsequent sultans have limited power.
171. 1927 Trotsky is not exiled; Chiang Kai-shek is assassinated; or Mao is assassinated and Chiang takes over.
172. 1947 Marshall Plan not adopted; UN approves a different plan for dividing up Palestine. India-Pakistan war.
173. 1954 Puerto Rican nationalists do not shoot and wound US congressmen; would it have made any difference?
174. Joe McCarthy dies in traffic accident, or, he is assinated by...whom?
175. 1955 Bulganin does not become Soviet Premier.
176. Eisenhower had a coronary; what if he had died?
177. 1956 Suez crisis peacefully averted
178. 1957 US agents warn US of Sputnik launch months in advance.
179. Eisenhower doctrine expanded; Israel and all Mideast countries will get equal amounts of aid from US.
180. 1958 de Gaulle dies; does not become President of France
181. 1959 Batista gets aid from US, stays in power; or Castro asks for aid from US; or Castro dies.
182. 1975 Ford assassinated; or, one of the two women who attacked him use martial arts instead of a gun. Pol Pot dies instead of taking over Cambodia.
183. 1976 A different Democrat runs against Ford for President.
184. 1983 Reagan has a massive stroke.
185. 1985 Reagan has a massive stroke. Gorbachev or Thatcher die; India-Pakistan war; civil war in India.
186. 1986 Challenger launch delayed; it doesn't blow up.
187. 1990 Bush authorizes assassination of Saddam Hussein.
188. World Wide Web was available to public OTL, but what if some farsighted government official tries to introduce regulations concerning Internet software, to try and prevent spam and viruses from becoming such problems.
189. 1992 Bush chooses a different VP, Nancy Kassebaum, and is re-elected. Gulf War II removes Saddam Hussein and a Democrat wins the next two elections. Gulf War II drags on and on.
190. 1993 Havel does not become Czech president; president of Sri Lanka not assassinated.
191. 1996 Dole wins.
192. 1997 Monica Lewinsky gets a job in California, never meets Clinton. Taliban doesn't seize Kabul; Diana doesn't die;
193. 1998 Clinton not impeached.
194. 1999 Clinton convicted.
195. 2001 The FBI puts 2+2 together and prevents 9/11.
196. 2002 India civil war. India-Pakistan war.
197. 2003 Saddam Hussein assassinated; Iraqi Information Minister announces Hussein is now the Emperor of the World.
Iraqi Information Minister asks for asylum in Canada, joins cast of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", a popular comedy satire program.