As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.
* Our Man in Yugoslavia... or What is Left of Yugoslavia -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* xxx -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben
* The Gingrich Revolution and the Contract with America -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Notable Births -- See below.
* This Year in Film -- See below.
* This Year in Music -- See below.
* In Other News -- See below.
Our Man in Yugoslavia... or What is Left of YugoslaviaContributed by Alex Shrugged
Yugoslavia was created after World War 1, cramming together the Serbs, Croats, Albanians and Slovenes who normally do not get along. Well, after all these years they still don't get along, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia has split up into warring states. (The resale value on your Yugo-Fiat just hit rock bottom.) The phrase "ethnic cleansing" is a nice turn of phrase for what is actually rape and mass murder. It's not exactly Hitler's genocide, but it's bad. The Europeans seem willing to let these people fight it out amongst themselves, but the American public is outraged. NATO is already enforcing a no-fly-zone, so the USA pushes for NATO to bomb the Bosnian Serbs who seem to be the cause of all the trouble. President Clinton says that this will be a short war. (Uh... sure, Bill.) Officially, it is called Operation Deliberate Force. Unofficially, it is called, "The War from 10,000 feet." Shortly before the bombing begins, Captain Scott O'Grady is shot down by a Bosnian surface-to-air missile (SA-6). He ejects, and lays low for 4 days eating grass, and bugs and drinking rainwater. The American public is sitting on pins and needles wondering if he has survived. Then he calls in on his radio. Unaccountably, this fact is released to the public. No doubt this is good news to his parents, but the bad guys know it too. After verifying that it really is him, Marine helicopters pick him up. They fly low and fast. Two surface-to-air missiles are shot at them on the way back. They miss. Captain Scott O'Grady is a hero. Maybe he should run for President.   
HeadingContributed by Southpaw Ben
The Gingrich Revolution and the Contract with AmericaContributed by Alex Shrugged
Newt Gingrich is now Speaker of the House. His has led the Republicans in a landslide to break 4 decades of Democrat domination over Congress. Now he wants to change everything. The Contract with America is the key. At first, it seemed like a stunt as Republicans signed a pledge to vote on various government reforms in the first 100 days. Little reforms, like... The laws that apply to the people should also apply to Congress. Radical reform. Crazy thinking. The Democrats ridiculed the Contract, but in that ridicule, they brought the issues before the public, and the public bought it. Now Speaker Gingrich has to deliver and it is a good effort. The line-item veto passes, a major accomplishment considering that President Clinton is a Democrat. (It will later be ruled unconstitutional.) Welfare reform prohibits teenagers under 18 from collecting welfare, no additional benefits for children born while on welfare, and it places a two year limit on benefits. They eliminate the marriage tax penalty. They also pass a "Loser Pays" provision for tort reform, so if someone sues you and loses, they pay your legal bills. President Clinton vetoes that one because it means fewer lawsuits. Can't have that. And there is more. All a good effort. Unfortunately, as with all governments, the reforms slowly erode away. Without steady maintenance all systems break down in time.   
- Jacob Kogan: Played young Spock in the Star Trek reboot movie. 
This Year in Film
- Toy Story: (Pixar nails it.--alexshrugged) 
- Apollo 13: (The phrase "Failure is not an option" was never said by Gene Krantz, but he embraced it after the movie.--alexshrugged) 
- And...: Jumanji, The American President, and Braveheart. 
This Year in TV
- Star Trek: Voyager: Captain Janeway and her crew are thrown into the Delta Quadrant. Will they ever get home? (Yes, but they will never get a movie.--alexshrugged) 
- The Drew Carey Show: Situation comedy and the 1st TV show to be simulcast on the Internet. 
- Xena: Warrior Princess: The show will develop a cult following. 
- Goosebumps: A children's horror show based on the books. (A later movie starring Jack Black is not bad.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Music
- (I Think This is How Love Goes...) Check Yes or No: George Strait. 
This Year in Video Games
- Star Wars: Dark Forces: First in the series from LucasArts. 
- Tekken 2 is released to the arcades: It comes to the PlayStation next year. 3 million copies will be sold. 
- I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream: "An ethical obstacle course" with great graphics. (After the Harlin Ellison story which is a great read if somewhat twisted... actually... a lot twisted.--alexshrugged) 
In Other News
- A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans forces a government shutdown: The shutdown is more superficial than real. All essential services continue. 
- The DVD media format launches:.