Market Slump Continues

25 March TE 275

NEW YORK The Imperial stock market ended the day down nearly 7%, the worst one-day decline in more than 25 years. Across the board, declining issues led advances by 6-1. This marks the seventeenth consecutive daily decline in stocks; markets are down nearly one-third from their high in January. Economists blamed this most recent sharp decline on the continuing succession crisis, although AIs from the Bureau of Economic Management conjecture that an economic slowdown was already established well before Empress Cathie Kuchta's death.

Sayyid Zora Carroll, speaking for the Imperial Council, promised a swift resolution to the succession crisis, and predicted that markets would recover soon.

Quotes for the Top Twenty at today's close:
  • Schmidt Foundation: 326, down 37
  • Dalanian Antigravitics: 1498, up 2
  • Bank of Luna: 548, down 32
  • Imperial Centcom: 976, down 64
  • Gigasoft: 293, down 5
  • Rockwell: 383, down 19
  • Xerox Life Sciences: 806, down 8
  • Dow Genetics: 382, down 22
  • Mitsubishi Shipping: 832, down 24
  • Borshallan AIs: 807, down 50
  • Phuctra Manufacturing: 787, down 42
  • Coca-Cola: 2202, up 8
  • Karphos Corp: 571, down 17
  • Wuorio Construction: 403, down 78
  • Chase: 959, up 81
  • General Electronics: 592, down 2
  • Nippon Metals Interstellar: 468, down 11
  • Bank of Elendan: 525, up 88
  • Dovan Construction: 723, down 51
  • RC Fashions: 893, down 78

copyright (c) 2009, Don Sakers

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African Rebirth

from African Rebirth by Hassan Kerekou (2039)
University of Harare Net,

...Returning Blackamericans brought many things with them, but two of their gifts alone were responsible for most of Africa’s salvation and rebirth.

The first gift that Blackamericans brought was their effete attachment to Western notions of sanitation and public health. Mother Africa horrified them with her casual acceptance of disease and death, her parasites and endemic viruses, her lack of clean-water standards, and above all…her unspeakable toilets.

Imagine a continent whose people are daily robbed of their energy by dysentery, malaria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, AIDS, and a host of other diseases. Imagine a people whose bodies are alive with larvae, worms, fleas, and worse. Imagine malnutrition as a daily companion.

These are the people who managed, in spite of physical degradation that would destroy a lesser folk, to build great Timbuktu and Zimbabwe, Songhai and Goa, Meroë and Jenné. These are the people who conquered a continent, ridden with disadvantages that would make any other people lay down and die.

Now imagine this continent with Western sanitation and medicine. Gengineered viruses to kill off the parasites, water filtration, waste reclamation. Vaccines, antibiotics, bionics, regeneration. Imagine cool, clean water and safe, dependable electricity. Imagine the boundless energy of this people set free, young healthy muscles and minds working together for the betterment of all. Imagine this people possessed of the accumulated knowledge of Humankind, able to avoid the mistakes of earlier cultures. Imagine this knowledge, combined with the virtually-untapped natural resources of Mother Africa and the best technology of the age.

The wonder, my friends, is not how much Africa has accomplished in a few short decades…the wonder is that it took so long.

The second gift Blackamericans brought was more subtle, but just as vital to Africa’s renaissance. This was their matriarchal tradition, sprung from the terrible years of slavery, when Woman was the only link to Family. From the first moment of the Kurudi, the Great Return, Blackwoman came to Africa as the equal partner— some might even say, the superior— of Blackman.

Nowhere was the cultural clash between African and Blackamerican more bitter, than over the place of women in our society. African tradition made her equal to a cow or pig; Blackamerican tradition exalted her as the soul and leader of the family, strong and independent. Blackwoman arrived on African shores confident and capable, and she was not about to take on the subservient role that tribal elders decreed.

In the end, the old ways withered…and well they did! For the job of building Umoja was too great for us to leave out half our strength. The task would take every iota of Man’s determination, every milligram of Woman’s endurance. Every shoulder, every hand, and every brain was needed. United, equal, Man and Woman built together what none could have built alone.

Today, women and men are equal in culture and law across every Umoja client state. Women serve at every level of our society. One of the most revered persons on the continent is a Blackamerican woman who took the name Princess Mahlowi, and who now sits on the throne of the vast Songhay kingdom from which her ancestors were torn half a millennium ago….

copyright (c) 2009, Don Sakers

Find out more in Dance for the Ivory Madonna

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The Year 2030

It had been quite a year. After four bloody years and over a thousand deaths, the Euskadi civil war was concluded with the establishment of a second Basque homeland, the Basque Republic. On the recommendation of the AIs, the United Nations set 2030 carbon emissions totals at the same level as 2029; Secretary-General Pham Cao Ky predicted that2029 levels were sustainable indefinitely, and declared the global climate crisis over.

Three different clones of Seattle Slew carried off the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes respectively, leaving the racing world divided over whether the Triple Crown had been won or not. The Disney-Hohokus animated virtie Gorbachev shattered earnings records and made an instant star of its lead vocalist, Mahari Ge'ez -- but was widely criticized for its distortions of history. With the establishment of Kilwa, the second Umojan settlement on Mars, the Red Planet finally (albeit reluctantly) implemented a system of postal codes.

copyright (c) 2009, Don Sakers

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The Daamin

Homeworld: Verkorra (Gathered Worlds), Nephestal (Scattered Worlds)

Also known as The High Race, the Daamin are small in number and stature, peaceful and philosophic. Physically, they most resemble meter-high rabbits. The Daamin were one of the original Seven Races of the Pylistroph.

When the Gergathan proclaimed Mertorthar c. 1.2 billion BCE, many of the Daamin refused to yield allegiance to the repressive new government. Led by the Elder Ashli Sicne, and accompanied by many of their friends, several million Daamin fled to the Scattered Worlds, where they established a new home on the planet Nephestal. This event became known as The Flight of the Daamin. One of the Singing Stones was destroyed in the Flight.

The Flight of the Daamin was a central event in Daamin history. Even though a billion years of slow evolution permanently sundered the exiles from those who remained behind, the Daamin of Nephestal never forgot their lost home, and never stopped longing for the star-crowded skies of the Core.

To the Terran Empire, the Daamin are known as the Kien Khwei. In the Scattered Worlds, the Daamin are often referred to as The Elders.

The titular head of the Daamin race is referred to as The Senior. The ruling council of the Daamin is referred to as The Wise.

The Daamin spend a large part of their lives in an alternate mental state called Forever Dreams, a state of nonlinear causality. Natural intitutive mathematicians, they constantly extrapolate and visualize possible futures, readjusting their visualization with each change in the environment. The Daamin see every person/place/thing in the world overlaid with possible future versions, a constantly-shifting kaleidoscope of predictive visions.

To the Daamin, some things are relatively stable and in focus: physical landscape features, buildings, anything motionless; also periodic or easily-predictable events. More fuzzy are living beings and things in chaotic motion; these tend to blur or smear.

Usually, it takes great concentration for a Daamin to leave the Forever Dreams anbd become exclusively aware of the world of the present. Those who can focus on the present to such a degree that they can deal with other races, are usually considered unstable or even mad by other Daamin.

The touch of other sapient beings is a source of discomfort and even pain for the Daamin, and they will take even extreme measures to avoid being touched. Throughout the Scattered Worlds, there is a strong taboo against touching one of the Daamin. Which is a pity, as their fur is so fine and beautiful that the impulse to stroke it is almost irresistable.

Daamin reproduction resembles a Greek tragedy crossed with the mating of fish and played out backwards over several years. Basically, one Daam drops an unfertilized egg. Years earlier another Daam, figuring out exactly where the egg will be dropped, arranges to have it fertilized at some time after it is dropped. Both the egg and the fertilizing material are carried by any of several intermediate lower animals.

The whole thing rather seems like a large-scale chess game, and is further complicated by the fact that the Daamin are female most of the time, and only develop the ability to fertilize or drop eggs under certain conditions -- conditions which vary with the individual and the tribe.

Nowadays it's all done with machines anyway, but primitive Daamin versions of Romeo and Juliet probably sounded more like Tristram Shandy.

copyright (c) 2008, Don Sakers

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