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Chapter 1 of Mr. Tucker’s novel 2065, which we will serialize in the coming months.
(Page 3 of 4)
The two of them stood for a moment in embarrassed silence. Slater fanned himself with a briefing memo. Then a 22-year-old youth rushed into the room. He had spiked hair and tattoos on his neck but still managed to project the fresh, innocent look of a poli sci major just arrived in Washington.
“Could you make this thing work?” Slater handed him the device.
“No problem,” said the intern, as if taking a rattle from a child. He sneaked a look across to Jean and rolled his eyes. S/he did not respond.
The young man tapped the screen a few times and handed it back. “There you go,” he said, “just double-click the icon. Press this to pause.” Slater double-clicked and immediately the imposing, well-tailored holograph of Prime Minister Ling Chou stood before them. He was a man of about 60, elegantly dressed, his face showing no sign of wrinkles, his hair black without a trace of gray. Although his eyes were fixed directly upon them, he could see nothing. Although Jean had long become accustomed to people sending holograms to each other, s/he was still impressed.
“Everything alright?” said the intern, stealing Jean another look.
“Yes, thank you. That will be all.”
“Citizens of the United States,” began the ghostly figure. “Today the People’s Republic of China takes title to the Islands of Fang Wen, known to you as Hawaii.”
“Is he really speaking that or is it dubbed?” whispered Jean.
“We’re not sure,” whispered Slater, adopting herm conspiratorial tone. “He speaks pretty good English.”
“The People’s Republic has several reasons for returning Fang Wen to proper ownership,” the Prime Minister continued. “First, we claim it as settlement for the $64 trillion owed by the United States to the People’s Republic. We have no hope of recovering this debt in a currency of its original worth so therefore we are foreclosing on property. Our assessors have determined the value of the Islands to be equal to the value of the debt. We have filed a claim in World Court.”
“Just a minute, stop that thing,” said Jean, incredulously. “They’re claiming Hawaii? Did I hear right?” Hawaii was Barack Obama’s birthplace. S/he was scheduled to go out there next summer to commemorate his childhood home as part of the ceremonies for making his birthday a national holiday.
“There was a claim put in to the World Court last month,” explained Slater. “We haven’t gotten around to responding. We didn’t take it very seriously.”
“Alright, go ahead,” said Jean in frustration.
Slater tapped the screen and again the Prime Minister, who had dissolved into a cloud of static, became animated. “The Chinese people own Fang Wen by ancient rights. Our scholars have located maps from the Qin Dynasty that show Fang Wen as Chinese territory. Our navigators reached these islands during the reign of the First Emperor and claimed them for his court. This antedates the arrival of imperialistic powers.
“Finally, we act on behalf of the Chinese Polynesian people. We have heard their cries for liberation and we respond. We trust the imperial American government will not want to continue to reign as a colonial oppressor.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?