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.
* The War on Terror Now Includes Iraq -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* The Beltway Sniper Terrorizes the Nation from his Chevy Caprice -- 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.
The War on Terror Now Includes IraqContributed by Alex Shrugged
It is not clear whether bombing Afghanistan into the Stone Age has resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, so that issue is set aside. The debate now turns to world terrorism and what to do about it. The "low hanging fruit" as William Bennett calls it, is Iraq. The US has been trading shots with Iraq for years now. President Clinton's missile attacks on Iraq's military installations did little to stop Saddam Hussein, and his reign of terror over the Kurds. People escaping Iraq speak of weapons of mass destruction, yellow cake uranium, and a nascent nuclear bomb program. In fact, Saddam Hussein has admitted he has been building a nuclear weapon, but who would ever listen to a liar like him? Well... that would be the United Nations. General Colin Powell presents the evidence. The vote of the UN Security Council is unanimous. (Note: When everyone is thinking the same way, that means someone isn't thinking.) The US Congress votes too. (Oh, good.) They authorize the use of force if the final diplomatic negotiations break down. (Let's not kid ourselves... WHEN they break down.) By next year there will be a "coalition of the willing", "shock and awe" and a mad search for weapons of mass destruction. Gulf War 2 is on.      
HeadingContributed by Southpaw Ben
The Beltway Sniper Terrorizes the Nation from his Chevy CapriceContributed by Alex Shrugged
A bullet crashes through a storefront window missing the cashier. No one is hurt, but an hour later, a 55 year old government employee is shot dead in the parking lot of a grocery store. The next morning a man is shot dead while mowing his lawn, then a taxi driver filling up with gas, another guy visiting the post office, a woman vacuuming out her car, and many more that day. Some wounded. Most dead. A few days later, a 13-year-old boy is shot as his mother drops him off at school. It looks bad, but he lives. The victims are random. Anyone from Richmond, Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland might be a next. Fear grips the nation. The Congress has authorized the use of force in Iraq. Is this an al Qaeda operative, or Iraqi foreign agent trying to disrupt the coming war? A white van is spotted, so white vans are stopped left and right. The police are also looking for a dark-colored Chevy Caprice. The police pull over a man named John Allen Muhammad, but he doesn't act guilty, so they let him go. More people die. Then a call comes in. A truck driver thinks two guys at the rest stop are the snipers. He uses his WHITE VAN to block their escape, and waits for the police. Two men are found sleeping in a Chevy Caprice. In the back seat is a Bushmaster XM-15 and enough ammunition to start a war. John Allen Muhammad is a convert to the Nation of Islam, and Gulf War veteran. With him is 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, a Jamaican citizen. The Beltway Sniper and his "spotter" have been caught.   
Notable BirthsNo notable births as yet, but many will grow into their roles.
- Ted Williams (age 83, cardiac arrest): Major League baseball player. 
- "Bullet Bob" Hayes (age 59, kidney failure while battling cancer): "The fastest man in the world", and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. 
- John Gotti (age 61, throat cancer): Italian-American gangster. His daughter will star in a TV reality show, "Growing Up Gotti" two years later. 
- Linda Lovelace (age 53, injuries from a car crash): Pornography queen turned Christian. (She said that her films were coerced, and a public rape.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Film
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Part 2 of this epic fantasy adventure. (It is split into 3 parts because it is a frickin' LONG STORY. Not because they are dragging out the story like they will do in The Hobbit.--alexshrugged) 
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: A monster stalks the students at Hogwarts. (I shuddered when saw little children lined up to watch this film. Hadn't their parents read the book?--alexshrugged) 
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: Anakin Skywalker is in love... with himself. 
- Star Trek: Nemesis: This turkey kills the Next Generation series. Up next: the Star Trek reboot. 
- And the horror trio...: Minority Report, Resident Evil, and Sweet Home Alabama. 
This Year in TV
- The Bachelor: (Proof positive that the Apocalypse is nigh.--alexshrugged). 
- American Idol: Contestants sing their hearts out. The TV audience phones in its votes. 
This Year in Music
- Michael Jackson dangles his nine-month-old son over the balcony of his hotel room: He was showing the infant to his adoring fans, but later says that it was a mistake. (He had the boy firmly in hand, but yeah. That was heart-stopping.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Video Games
- Madden NFL 2003: John Madden is part of the game, finally. 
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: One character shouts "Kill all the Haitians!" (Uh... yeah. It's F-ed up, but remember, it's only a video game. Just like in the movie Hook, no one takes it seriously when a character shouts "Kill the lawyers" unless that someone is already insane.--alexshrugged)  
- Kingdom Hearts: A role-playing action game where Disney characters interact with Final Fantasy characters. (An amazingly successful game.--alexshrugged) 
- Final Fantasy XI Online: This massively multi-player online game will remain online until 2016. 
In Other News
- Sarbanes–Oxley is passed to prevent another Enron or Worldcom: (Given the financial collapse of the US economy later on, this law didn't help at all.--alexshrugged) 
- No Child Left Behind Act is now the law: (Now it will put teachers behind as they "teach to the test".--alexshrugged) 
- The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) is ruled unconstitutional: (Frankly, it was so broadly defined that Christina Aguilera's music videos would put her in prison immediately.--alexshrugged)