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AH Run-downs, summaries and general gubbins

Wolfram

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COLLECT THEM ALL: The Freedom State Quarters

This year's tranche of state quarters will honor the five states created from former slave states immediately after the Civil War, in order to provide a home and a protective government to freedmen and -women. (The ten guaranteed Republican Senate seats sure didn't hurt, either.) The National Freedom State Historical Education Fund is issuing a sheet to elementary and middle schools throughout the five states in question describing the ten quarters that will be in circulation by October:
  • Amistad: Middle Passage NHS, Charleston, AM
    • Alternate: State outline, great blue heron
  • Cimarron: Palo Duro NM, Randall County, CI
    • Alternate: State outline, leaping jackrabbit
  • Guadalupe: Enchanted Rock NM, Llano County, GU
    • Alternate: State outline, post oak tree
  • Liberty: Monument to the Union, Vicksburg NMP, Vicksburg, LI
    • Alternate: State outline, saxophone
  • Rio Grande: Alamo NHS, San Antonio, RG
    • Alternate: State outline, prickly pear cactus
 
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Ares96

es wird wieder passieren
Published by SLP
Location
Fubbicktown
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Party rundown, September 2020

United Labour: What's to say? For a party that's been in government since Confederation, they sure are in government. Andersén mentioned something in his summer address about raising child allowance to help working mothers afford childcare, and who knows, it may just happen before the next election.

Citizens' Coalition: Who cares what's going on right now, these people still haven't gotten over the VSB Treaty. Maybe someday the right will enter the 21st century, and maybe then we'll have an election that's actually worth staying up for.

Democrats: For a party allegedly devoted to championing small business and economic freedom, the Democrats have been oddly quiet about the VSB Treaty. Could it have anything to do with the fact that every single agricultural supply business is making millions selling stuff to the USSR? Guess we'll never know!

Radicals: Oh look, a party of ideas! The Radicals don't have a class base, and that makes them the most moral force in Scandinavian politics! And let's all please ignore the fact that all the people saying this are white men with master's degrees!

Christian Coalition: Are really struggling for direction now that they can’t just point to West Germany or Italy and say “we want that”. I mean, never mind Communism, the Italians have abortion on demand now.

Communist Party of Scandinavia: Glory to the USSR! Onward to final victory against the capitalist-imperialist West! Long live Comrade Putin and the working Soviet people! (We're meant to have positions on Scandinavian politics? What? Why?)

Communist Party of Scandinavia (New Marxists): Down with the USSR! Crush the degenerated workers' state and liberate the working masses of Europe from Stalinist domination! Death to Tsar Putin and all his collaborators! (See above.)

New Direction: Nah, I'm not even doing a joke for these loonies. Honestly, when the top policy priority on your fax sheets is "the conquest of space", who's going to be bothered? I mean, as if anyone's against the conquest of space, anyway. What is this, the 1960s?
 
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varyar

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Location
Western New York
I'm wondering if there's a way for Alaska to stay Russian by way of an earlier gold rush - one that takes early enough that all the prospectors come from the west - Russia - instead of from Anglo North America. But that probably requires Russia to be in Alaska considerably earlier, and I'm not sure if that's plausible. Anybody more informed able to speculate on the matter?
 

Tsar of New Zealand

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New Zealand
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I'm wondering if there's a way for Alaska to stay Russian by way of an earlier gold rush - one that takes early enough that all the prospectors come from the west - Russia - instead of from Anglo North America. But that probably requires Russia to be in Alaska considerably earlier, and I'm not sure if that's plausible. Anybody more informed able to speculate on the matter?
I did some research on this for a vignette a ways back, and my read was that throughout the 19th century, Alaska is simply too remote from the Russian metropole - separated as they are by the Bering Strait, the worst bits of Siberia, poor-to-non-existent transport routes, and serfdom preventing an exodus of bright-eyed young miners - to allow for Russian settlement on a wide scale. The age of the steamship, the forced exiles to Siberia, and the grudging end of serfdom might allow for something post-1861, but at that point the much closer and better-connected U.S. and British North America are right there, which dooms them to a position like the Boer Republics vis-a-vis the uitlanders.

To give settlement a kick in the pants earlier on, getting Russia into Alaska pre-1800 isn't impossible - Bering's expeditions in the 1740s demonstrated an interest from St. Petersburg - but requires political will. This is difficult in a century where Russia's attention post-Peter Velikiy is divided between the febrile atmosphere at court and wading into wars with the Ottomans every other week.

However, going back this far gives you enough early PODs to construct a plausible reason for Russian colonial expansion east of Irkutsk. @Thande's Russo-Lithuanian Pacific Company in LTTW is one of the better takes I've seen on this, as it outsources the logistical headaches to a chartered company and has some OTL precedent in the East India Company.
 

varyar

sub-creator
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Western New York
Pontifical Navy MMXX

4 diesel attack submarines
Santa Maria
Santi Giovanni
San Paolo
San Pietro


1 amphibious transport dock
Madonna della Vittoria

2 destroyers
Immacolata Concezione
Cuore Immacolato

4 frigates
Suprema
Serena
Sapienza
Solidità

4 patrol boats
Roma
Bologna
Ravenna
Perugia


The Papal States, while primarily focused on land defense against Tuscany, Venice and the Three Sicilies, maintains a sizeable navy for the defense of Latin Christendom in the Mediterranean. The latest ship, Madonna della Vittoria, has been criticized as a light helicopter carrier of offensive nature, but the Pontifical Minister of Arms has denied it will be used in such a role.
 
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Turquoise Blue

Neutrally Tibby
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Kemr, FK
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Party Rundown

172... 2020!

Tory Party: A mess as always, and always as factionalised as ever. Probably wouldn't have won last election if it wasn't for the poll tax outcry.
- One Nation: The faction on top since the collapse of the Moral Majority, they make up the party "centre" between its "left" and "right" [using French-speak]. Currently in a scandal for ignoring the science advisors when it comes to the coronavirus plague. But then, we all know Tories dislike science.
- Radicals: The wackos who somehow have an outsized influence. They somehow got the Tories to accept civil partnerships last election, as well as recently, forcing through a law [with the Whig corporatists] that implemented free food to all people below the age of 18 for the duration of the plague.
- Celtic Circle: The hyper-devolutionists, they regularly dominate Scotland and Wales and in the last Tory government succeeded at implementing Home Rule All Round, what they hailed as "the final hammer at parliamentary centralism". Often accused of having crypto-Jacobite leanings.
- Cavaliers: The most prominent of the hard-right in the Tory Party since the Moral Majority faction fell apart in the 1990s, they call for more authoritarian policies, although cannily shifting from the old calls for absolutism to a call for government above parliament. Who knows where they will go next, but they got the First Lady to accept a ban on immigration from the Germanies. The Whigs are bemoaning the ban favours Catholics. Who cares.
- Canaries: The real remnant of the Moral Majority, they're the ones who bang on about "Society in Danger", with their MPs and Lords often tearing into the latest social developments. They of course, hate the Radicals for arguing in favour of civil partnerships or giving stuff to "moochers". However, the two did come together to repeal the eugenic laws and ban abortion. The leadership is looking at stuff like that to keep the two from clashing it seems.

Whig Party: A mess like the Tories, even if less factionalised. Unrepentant on the poll tax, and tearing into the Tories for hating "progress".
- Reformers: The dominant faction for quite a bit, they're the ones most interested in stuff like economic development, and especially what they brand "efficient government". Known for clashing with the civil service a lot, lambasting them as "creatures who want to hinder the people's vote".
- Progressives: The ones who go further than the Reformers, they openly declare that the people have to be scientifically managed. The beating heart of the British eugenic movement, they herald the development of genetic manipulation as a positive good, and has lambasted the Tories for repealing their laws. One of their MPs declared that Britain has to drop its exceptionalism and accept the facts on the ground, that genes have to be managed. Oh yeah, and another one has labelled the Radicals' pushing through civil partnership as "legitimising a sickness that will be cured one day".
- Corporatists: The Whig "left", they argue that the economy has to be managed like a corporation, and reject the traditional Whig thoughts of the free market. The rest of the Party has never quite forgiven them for voting with the Tories on healthcare back in the 70s, enabling the creation of the British Committee on Public Health and National Welfare [blergh, what a long word, no wonder everyone calls it BCPH].
- Roundheads: For such a science-obsessed party such as the Whigs, their Roundhead faction sure does use very bad science. Climate change? That's just a Tory excuse to stop industry, and should be seen as one! Public welfare? That's deforming natural selection which should go ahead! The faction's leader was just recently suspended from the Parliament for deeming coronavirus "a natural correction to humanity's excesses" and declaring "only the weak will perish". You see what we're dealing with here? Even the Progressives think they're nuts. And that's an achievement!

Tried to do this cursed party system.
 
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