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.
* Israel Evicts Jewish Settlers from the Gaza Strip -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Global Warming Madness -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged with reaction from Southpaw Ben
* Notable Births -- See below.
* This Year in Film -- See below.
* This Year in Music -- See below.
* In Other News -- See below.
Israel Evicts Jewish Settlers from the Gaza StripContributed by Alex Shrugged
It is called the Disengagement Plan. Jews must evacuate from the Gaza Strip in order to lessen tensions and to enhance security. Years ago the government encouraged settlement in the area. Many Jews settled into tight-knit communities. FYI, religious Jews tend to pray together, and they don't drive on the Sabbath, so they tend to live within walking distance of each other. But these Jewish settlements have become a problem for the Israeli government. Israeli soldiers are forced to defend these areas from Arab attacks. Israeli soldiers tend to draw more attacks. (Wash, Rinse. Repeat.) When Israel retaliates for these attacks, the world criticizes, so Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decides to evict the Jews from Gaza. The settlers will be well compensated. (It is not as good a deal as it sounds.) This also means that the dead must be disinterred, established businesses must be abandoned and religious Jews must give up their piece of biblical Israel. 40,000 soldiers arrive to force everyone out. Many tears are shed by soldiers and settlers alike. Some people must be pried from their homes. Others are scooped up in the midst of prayer. It is painful to watch. Many Israeli citizens say, "We can never do this again." But did it help with security? No. Not really.   
Global Warming MadnessContributed by Alex Shrugged
This is the year for hurricanes, so naturally the Global Warming evangelists are telling us that this violent weather is due to Global Warming and that your government must do something about it. After all, President Clinton had promised to stop all tornadoes, but now President Bush is President. To hear the media tell it, Bush refuses to save us from bad weather. The list of hurricane and tornado disasters for this year is formidable, but the worst are Hurricane Katrina which hits Louisiana and Mississippi, and Hurricane Rita which hits Texas. The whole media angle on Katrina is that President Bush doesn't care enough to have emergency aid ready for Louisiana. Of course, the fact that the Democrat governor doesn't want a Republican president to get the credit for saving the state has something to do with the delay. Then the New Orleans flood walls and levees fail due to engineering mistakes. (As a former soils inspector, I say that the mistake was in hiring someone's brother-in-law. I smell corruption. Rumors that President Bush blew up the levees are ridiculous.) Many people from Louisiana come to Houston, Texas to escape these bad weather events. Then comes Hurricane Rita. Houston is evacuated. People die simply trying to get out. Buses overturn. ATMs are emptied out. Austin is a primary evacuation center. It becomes inundated with people from Louisiana! Rita hits Galveston and Houston hard, but the aftermath seems to play out differently. There is no whining. Whatever FEMA money that is normally due is fine because when a state is along the Gulf coast, hurricanes happen. Preparing for the obvious is the state's job... not the federal government's. If your state is not prepared for the expected in your region, then your state representatives are idiots or on the take. (Say no more, Alex.)    
Contributed by Southpaw Ben
On a related note, the Kyoto Protocol came into affect this year, which was a treaty signed in 1997 that declared that global warming exists and that man-made CO2 was the culprit behind it. It also forces the countries to set binding emission reduction goals. 
Notable BirthsVarious princes and princesses, but no one I recognize.--alexshrugged
- Pope John Paul II (age 84, septic shock after an infection): Last words, "Allow me to depart to the house of the Father". 
- Rosa Parks (age 92, natural causes): She refused to give up her seat on that bus. 
- William Rehnquist (age 80, unspecified): Supreme Court Chief Justice. 
- James Doohan (age 85, scarring of the lungs, probably due to chemicals breathed during WW2): Scotty in the original Star Trek series. 
- And...: Johnny Carson, Don Adams (Get Smart), and Bob Denver (Gilligan's Island). 
This Year in Film
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: (Rough stuff.--alexshrugged) 
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: . 
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: (It did better in the box office, than I would have expected.--alexshrugged) 
- And...: War of the Worlds, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Hitch. 
This Year in TV
- American Dad!: Animated satire about a conservative, all-American crazy person. 
- Dr. Who is revived: The series died almost 10 years ago. (Good to see it back.--alexshrugged) 
- The Office: A sitcom mocking office politics. 
- And...: Grey's Anatomy, Deadliest Catch, and The Colbert Report. 
This Year in Music
This Year in Video Games
- 60 Minutes beats up on video games: (Apparently, 60 Minutes is promoting censorship. Strange.--alexshrugged) 
- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii are unveiled: Xbox is released this year. The others will be released next year. 
- Madden NFL 06 is the top grossing console game: '06 was released in August of 2005 for some reason. 
- World of Warcraft is the top grossing PC game: A massively multiplayer online (fantasy) role-playing game. 
In Other News
- The Housing Bubble bursts: Home prices decline to below that still owed on the mortgages. 
- The Unemployment Rate falls below 5% and will remain so for 2 years: . 
Weather Madness (It's Global Warming!)
- Hurricane Dennis hits Florida, killing 42: It causes 4 billion in damages. 
- Hurricane Rita hits the Gulf Coast, killing 97: Houston is evacuated. It causes 12 billion in damages. 
- Hurricane Wilma hits Florida, killing 23: It causes 29.1 billion in damages. 
- Tornadoes form near Evansville, Indiana and kill 25: It causes 92 million in damages.