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Incredibly pat historical occurrences


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In French "Oussama" (Osama) sounds like "ou, ça m'a..." which mean "this doesn't seem...".
"Ou, ça m'a pas l'air net tout ça" means "this doesn't sound right"

same for "Mollah Omar" in french a homard is... a lobster. As for Saddam, "sa dame" means "his wife" (no kidding)

"t'a vu sa dame acheter un homard ? ou ça m'a pas l'air très net cette histoire..."

You guess, when Mullah Omar escaped the Coalition forces in Afghanistan riding a moped, Les Guignols de l'info (inspired by Spitting image) got a field day.

"Where did Saddam Hussein go, and how did he escaped ?"

Anchorman "So where are you ?"

Saddam "I'm here, stupid. Also, I'm on Paris Match cover."

Omar "I'm currently working as a moped dealer in Montelimar (southern France), and my business is flourishing."

Osama "Same place as before. At the bottom of your arse." (the three laugh stupidly)

"Someday the CIA will catch you, be warned !"

(the three laugh hysterically)

Mullah Omar "The CIA... losers... they can't even found their own wiener to pee"

(anchorman, outraged) "You faces are known of the entire world. You will be caught. What else could happen ?'

Osama "Cool. We could form a rock band. Hey Saddam, just grow a beard, and in three months, we are the new ZZ top"
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Peter Hyams

In April 1968 Clarke and Kubrick masterpiece, 2001, hit both the sreens and book shelves.
In December 1968 Apollo 8 flew around the Moon.

so sci-fi soared very high, and the real space program was not too far behind.

and then... both miserably crashed down. 2010 sequel and movie were awful. As for Apollo, the euphoria did not lasted long. The program stopped, the Space Shuttle happened, 14 astronauts died, and what's more, the Moon hoax flourished.

One man is the center of both 2010 and Moon Hoax miseries. His name is Peter Hyams. Hyams not only made that 2010 turd (Clarke is equally culprit, while Kubrick stayed away from it)

Hyams also made Capricorn One, a movie that put oil on the Moon Hoax flames.
In the movie, a dishonest NASA finds that its crewed Mars mission, standing in the launch pad, is flawed, and that the astronauts will die. Instead of cancelling it, they move the astronauts out of the ship, launch it empty, then stage the entire thing from a studio in the high desert. When the real ship is destroyed, killing its fictious crew, NASA decides to kill the astronauts for real, since they flatly refuse to stage their fictious death.

The mind-blowing thing is that the Lunar Module you can see in the film (standing for a Mars ship) is not an Hollywood prop, but a very real one, from Apollo.
Now just read the scenario, that throws a lot of shit at NASA (this is space Watergate, and NASA = Nixon) and wonder how could NASA loan a full blown LM to fucking Peter Hyams.

The answer here http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1718/1

Szebin interviewed Capricorn One’s producer Paul Lazarus, who had previously produced Michael Crichton’s Westworld and a 1976 sequel, Futureworld, which had involved some NASA cooperation.

According to Szebin:

The key to getting such a film made within the budget available was to have NASA’s cooperation, a situation Lazarus had enjoyed on Futureworld.​
A stunt-heavy picture, Capricorn One could only gain from the space administration’s assistance, but the very nature of the story—NASA killing its own to keep a secret—caused Lazarus to despair of any further help from the organization.​
“This is a highly unlikely film to get NASA cooperation, because they are the bad guys in the movie,” says Lazarus.​
“But I called my contact at the NASA Clear Lake facility [i.e. the Johnson Space Center], and he said he would have to see a script. I said to Peter, ‘We’re dead.’​
I sent the script and my contact said, ‘Oh, it’s a good story! We’ll be happy to give you our prototype landing module.’ We didn’t have to build any of that! It came up from Orange County, California. In a sense, it’s tax-payer paid for, but anybody who’s been around the government knows that if it’s not something they like, you’re not going to get cooperation.We had untold savings, not to mention authenticity, to get those capsules and other materials from NASA,” Lazarus continues.​
“Much after the fact, I said to someone at NASA, ‘How could you possibly have approved that script?’​
He said, ‘If it had gone to Washington, you would have been finished, but because we liked working with you on Futureworld, I took it upon myself to give cooperation.’​
I said, ‘We’re really grateful and surprised.’ He said, ‘I thought you might be.’”​
You can be sure that, in my alt-history, I happily screwed Peter Hyams movie career...
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none of the two. The Moon hoax was already living a life of his own, and Capricorn One was kind of bonanza to the morons. He made the idea more popular at the wrong moment- just after Watergate !
It is is hardly Hyams fault, and doesn't mean the movie is bad...

By the way, one of the three unfortunate astronauts was played by O.J. Simpson. Since the Simpson trial brought Robert Kardashian in the lime light, no Capricorn one might change Simpson life barely enough he does not murder his wife and (most importantly) the freakkin' Kardashians remain anonymous.

So we have so far
- better 2001 sequels, or no sequels at all
- less Moon hoax
- no O.J Simpsons trial
- no Kardashians

Wouldn't America be a better place (and the world as a whole) ?
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Tom Clancy Debt of honor has a Boeing crashing on the capitol.

What's more, Arthur clarke, who wrote 2001, had another masterpiece, Rendezvous with Rama.
The story starts with an asteroid crashing on Earth without any warning, triggering a huge fireball that kill thousands. It happens on a beautiful late summer day... september 11. Clarke wrote Rama in 1973 and chose the day randomly. And he was apalled by the coincidence.

And finally, there is Verhoeven Starship troopers, made in 1997, that got the entire sequence from 9-11 to Saddam Hussein capture, completely right. In the sense of what happened after the diaster stroke.
- Bueno Aires and the meteor
- the patriotic reaction to it
- the ennemy that wasn't (Iraq and the Arachnids - how could dumb insects hit Bueno Aires, of all Earth cities, from the other side of the entire Galaxy, with an asteroid ? there is not a single proof they did it in the entire movie. Same, Saddam, for all his crimes, did not helped Osama, for two reason a) it would have been suicide and b) baath was a laicist party, at least at the beginning).
- at the end of the movie, they capture the chief ennemy buried at the bottom of a hole, and parade him in front of the cameras (Saddam, is that you ?)
- Afghanistan is a very honest-to-god Klendathu
- despite the Arachnids being crushed on Klendathu, the war is NOT over and will last for decades (ISIS, is that you ?)

So it started like Debt of honor, on a September 11 like in Rama, in 2001, and the end result was a Starship troopers more and more dystopian TL. On top of that, Trump has now created a space force.

Best scene is the entire movie

"Mobile infantry made me the man I am today" ROTFLMAO every time (even if it is horrible - damn you, Paul Verhoeven !)

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Here is one bizarre coincidence. One of the 2015 terrorists, Amedy Coulibaly (the hyper casher bastard), born in a poor suburb of Paris, actually met Sarkozy at the Elysée palace in July 2009. At the time he already knew the Kouachi brothers that slaughtered Charlie Hebdo journalists. What's more, the three men were already under the influence of Djamel Beghal, a die-hard fan of Bin Laden. It just blew my mind.


imagine if he had shot Sarkozy or blew the Elysée palace. Dear God. :eek:

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
This may be crap but there is currently a theory doing the rounds on the interwebs that Atilla was a title or nickname rather than the actual name of the warlord. And based on the Ostrogothic language said nickname means that we could have been calling the most infamous barbarian in all history and villain of the christian tradition...Daddy.

I want this to be true so badly.
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God is Law and Law is God.
The Scourge of God (the Father) is known as the Father...

Either the Church at the time recognized the irony and deliberately suppressed it, the irony flew right over these learned clergymen’s heads, all those hundreds of records and documents where they flip out over the irony were destroyed, or the theory’s false.

I think I have a preference...


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Zinedine Zidane was born on June 23, 1972 in Marseille on a poor suburb, La Castellane.

Fast forward, 12 years later.

June 23, 1984: the day of his 12th birthday, the very same Zidane was selected to be a ball boy for a match at the Velodrome. That peculiar match was the Euro 84 semi-final. France won against Portugal and went to the final and claim the title.

Fast forward, 16 more years.

June 28, 2000. The very same Zidane, now aged 28, won a semi-final for the Euro 2000. Against Portugal. And France went on to claim the final, and won the title.

Fast forward by 16 years. Euroe 2016: Zidane was no longer there, France - Portugal was the finale, and well... France lost. Forget about it. :unsure:

If we return to the 12 years rule, next step in the love triangle between France, Portugal, and Zidane should happens in 2028... and surely enough, there shall be an Euro that year (provided the planet don't blew up before that date)
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This may be crap but there is currently a theory doing the rounds on the interwebs that Atilla was a tittle or nickname rather than the actual name of the warlord. And based on the Ostrogothic language said nickname means that we could have been calling the most infamous barbarian in all history and villain of the christian tradition...Daddy.

I want this to be true so badly.
I too need to believe. If they get reliable cross-sourcing I think you ought to take pride of place and make "Who's Your Daddy" in Ostrogothic (inflections and/or doubled letters very much included) a sig line. It would be fun if the same were true of Ghengiz/Chinggiz...


Hong Kong, now and forever home
she/her + they/them
The ascendancy of the British Columbia Social Credit Party and Premier Wacky Bennett and their forty odd years of crazed highway building and bond burning. All of it. Special mention must go to the 1952 general election that gave them their foot in the door, though. Here's a rundown.

A coalition of the B.C. Liberal and Conservative parties had governed the Pacific province in coalition since 1945. The pact was formed as a result of the insurgence of the socialist B.C. Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the predecessor to the modern New Democratic Party. However, voter fatigue was starting to get to the government and the CCF seemed ready to make a rebound.

To pre-empt this, the Coalition used their majority in Victoria to institute an Alternative Vote electoral system. The idea was to shut out the CCF by pooling Liberal and Conservative votes such that, if one party's candidate lost, the votes that went to that candidate would go to the other's by use of second preference flow. Easy path to victory there.

That came shortly before 1951, when the Conservatives withdrew from the coalition. In 1946 and 1947, the two men instrumental in bringing the pact together - Tory leader Royal "Pat" Maitland and Liberal leader and Coalition Premier John Hart - died and were succeeded by the dueling personalities of Herbert Anscomb and Byron Ingemar "Boss" Johnson. Anscomb wanted the Tories to have a larger role in the coalition, while Johnson rather madly believed that the Liberals didn't need the coalition and could run everything on their own. All this caused the coalition to fray, which led right up to the election.

There was a certain, rather arrogant, belief among the higher ups in both parties that the province could return to a Grit-Tory duopoly, this time on opposing benches once again. But they were playing to win by gaining seats, not by shutting out the CCF. The old animosities returned, and loyalists followed along to try to keep either party from making it into the second round votes. But if that meant eliminating the Grit or Tory, who to put in second. Sure as hell not the hated CCF. By and large, this left one last party, the only other one running candidates in all the ridings (sans one) - the British Columbia Social Credit League.

On the other side at the CCF, they were buoyant in the polls, supported by an "Anyone But Grits and Tories" contingent as a result of voter fatigue and the government's infighting, despite the party being led by the same person leading it since 1938. What they failed to consider was that quite a large number of CCF voters, being from that contingent, were inclined to put another party in the second preference. The only other contending party in nearly all the province? Social Credit.

It must be noted, the B.C. SoCreds at this time were merely an appendage of Alberta's SoCreds - its "interim leader" was the Reverend Ernest George Hansell, a sitting Alberta MLA whom Alberta Premier Ernest Manning appointed to run the party just for the election. In effect, they were leaderless, going into an election that even they had no expectation of winning.

And yet, when the votes were counted on June 12, 1952, Social Credit had a plurality in the Legislative Assembly, with 19 seats - just one more than the CCF - and 30% of the popular vote. Boss Johnson and Anscomb lost their seats, their respective parties reduced to just six and four seats respectively.

So now SoCred was tasked with forming a government, but first needed a proper leader. A caucus vote chose one of the three in the party with any prior political experience in the Legislature - William Andrew Cecil Bennett, the independent MLA from South Okanagan, who had defected from the Tories after losing in a leadership election against Anscomb in 1951 out of his frustration with the coalition, and in December bought a SoCred membership.

While all this was happening, SoCred and the CCF were scrambling to form the government. To that end, both pursued MLA Tom Uphill, who was a radical leftist who found the CCF "too conservative". The CCF argued that although Uphill wasn't part of their party, he was still a leftist and by that virtue they had an equal number of seats with the government, hence they should form the government. Bennett, however, foresaw this and pre-empted it by securing Uphill's support for the SoCreds. Except he changed his mind again and backed the CCF.

At this point, Bennett anticipated that he could get a stronger mandate with fresh elections, and he deliberately engineered a school funding proposal into a vote of no confidence in April 1953, leading to a new snap election called for June 9, 1953. This time around, with Bennett at the helm, SoCred decided to abandon campaigning on the monetary ideology that they were founded to institute, and instead ran on socially conservative populist rhetoric. This was a huge draw for Tory voters, their defection helped in at least some part by the provincial party rebranding as the Progressive Conservatives in order to tie itself more closely with the federal party (why they didn't do it sometime in the eleven years before, I don't know). This time, Social Credit won a majority in the Legislature with 28 seats, increasing their overall vote share by 10%. And so began an almost unbroken chain of Social Credit governments until 1991, almost as unbroken as the chain of highways built by Minister of Highways Phil "Air pollution is the smell of money" Gaglardi, built "in such shape that motorists will avoid the language which would deny them access to the highway to heaven."

TL;DR: Two opposing parties decide they hate another party more, devise a new electoral system to sabotage their representation, end up hating each other again anyway, totally different party swoops into power out of absolute nowhere because the other three are too busy sabotaging each other. Hilarity ensues.

As an aside, Bennett actually scrapped AV for the 1956 election and reverting to FPTP, despite it being the system that brought Social Credit into power. Everybody predicted that it would be the end for Social Credit. Guess what? Social Credit ended up winning in a landslide, with 39 out of 52 seats.

Anyway, it seems British Columbia has learned its lesson - preferential voting appears to be unpalatable to most of the province, amplified after complications resulting from two referenda on changing the system to STV in 2005 and 2009. The incumbent NDP government, riding on its usual hobby horse of proportional representation, has instead made this round of electoral reform one of dual-member PR, mixed-member PR, or rural-urban PR. Though in the latter case, the division of urban and rural ridings will see the latter have MMP while the former will get STV, so the spectre of ranked voting hasn't fully faded. Yet.


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Chirac early career (before 1995) is just unbelievable.

In 1974 Chirac stabbed Chaban-Delmas, the gaullist (right) candidate to the Presidential election, because Chirac reasoned Chaban had no chance against Mitterrand.
Chirac voted for Giscard (UDF, center right) and become Giscard PM as a reward for his betrayal.

Then Giscard humiliated Chirac, so after a couple of years, an enraged Chirac threw the towel and went back to Gaullism and created the RPR in 1976.

In 1981 Chirac RPR supported Mitterrand (!) against Giscard, just because Chirac hated him !

In 1986 Chirac become Miterrand PM, and Miterrand humiliated him just like Giscard.

In 1993 the left was in shambles and the right smashed them, but Chirac did not wanted to be PM a third time,he wanted to be president in 1995. So Balladur took the PM job, with growing ambitions. So he stabbed Chirac (with Sarkozy help) and very nearly become President until he collapsed in polls and Chirac returned and become President.


Hong Kong, now and forever home
she/her + they/them
Lee Teng-hui, third President of the Republic of China on Taiwan and first democratically elected one and a staunch advocate for Taiwanese nationalism and independence, was a Communist after the Second World War. Not out of any fascination for the ideology, but because he came of age during the Japanese colonial period such that, when Taiwan was given to China, he detested the KMT, so much that he collaborated with, possibly even joined, the CCP because their "anti-imperialism" meant that they might leave Taiwan alone. So much for that.
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UP THE WORKERS & Ukrainians
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The story starts with an asteroid crashing on Earth without any warning, triggering a huge fireball that kill thousands. It happens on a beautiful late summer day... september 11. Clarke wrote Rama in 1973 and chose the day randomly. And he was apalled by the coincidence.
I mean there's only 365/6 days in a year, so it's got to happen sooner or later. It also happened with a line in Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders (published in 1936):


I shall, I think, remember that 11th of September all my life.

Indeed, whenever I see a mention of the St Leger my mind flies automatically not to horse-racing but to murder.
This one has more resonance to me because I am from Doncaster, of course.


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During the Franco-German War of 1870-71, Pierre Mendès France's maternal grandfather, who lived in Strasbourg, was forced to host a young officer called Paul von Hindenburg.

The grandfather, Isidore Cahn was a very French nationalist Jew, refusing to speak German while A-L was German. That has some interesting implications down the line.