Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics — Rick Moran @ 1:31 pm

The so-called deal on the President’s judicial nominations has absolutely incensed the right, relieved the left, and pointed out that Republican moderates are a bunch of pansy-assed, lily-livered weak kneed smurfs who are more interested in winning approval from the liberal media than they are from the base of their own party.

I was pretty non-committal about the entire nuclear option to begin with. It wasn’t until the Democrats started their “end of the world” rants, comparing the coming of an up or down vote on judicial nominees with the coming of the anti-Christ that I started to take notice. Here was an issue where the 10 seat Republican majority could be put to use for a good cause. The idea that a minority should be able to dictate to the President on judicial nominations or anything else for that matter, goes against the very idea of free and fair elections. Why bother to have an electoral contest when the losers can act like winners? What’s the penalty for being, like the Democrats have been, obstructionists?

The penalty is that you lose elections. And looking at Congressional and Senatorial elections, the Democrats were slaughtered. Especially in the Senate where Republicans picked up 4 seats, the Democrats entire electoral strategy failed miserably. But wait! Here come the Republican RINO’s to the rescue. It’s enough to turn one’s stomach.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Captain has hit the bullseye with this analysis:

In other words, welcome to Versailles. The centrists who made their play for power last night have constructed an elaborately meaningless document that holds no one truly accountable for their actions and only applies to five of the controversial nominees, splitting them 3-2 for the Administration. It may sound Solomon-like, but in the end the nuclear option will return to the table as soon as the Democrats filibuster anyone outside of Saad and Myers. They have not ended the war, but have merely set the seeds for a more polarizing battle than ever before, as accusations of “bad faith” will now be added to the abuse-of-power allegations already bandied about so casually during this debate.

In the meantime, the GOP centrists will have explicitly endorsed the use of the filibuster in dealing with interbranch transactions, against the model of equality among the branches, while the Democrat centrists have betrayed the notion that ideology had nothing to do with their obstructionism. The only winners appear to be Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and William Pryor, and only because they’ve been allowed to escape.

Versailles is right. Immediately after that treaty was signed - the treaty that ended World War I - British Prime Minister Lloyd George said “This isn’t a peace treaty! It’s a cease fire for 25 years!” He was off by 5 years. World War II broke out in 1939, almost 20 years to the day after the treaty was signed.

It seems clear that the next group of nominees that come to the floor will probably be blocked by the Democrats putting us right back where we were yesterday. This time, the Republicans will have the precedent of compromise going against them as the Democrats will be able to say that they tried to make a deal but the Republicans were not operating in the spirit of the agreement. In short, the Democrats will be able to take the high ground and make the Republicans look like a bunch of power hungry politicians who won’t compromise.

The Captain plans on continuing his “Not One Dime” campaign this time refusing to donate money to the party until Bill Frist is replaced as Majority Leader. I couldn’t agree more. Frist has made one disastrous move after another, including his appearance on the Reverend Dobson’s TV extravaganza thus tying the Republican party more closely with the man who believes that Sponge Bob Square Pants is a threat to children’s sexual development because the character espouses a gay lifestyle.


Frist has allowed Harry Reid to outmaneuver him at every turn. And to make matters worse, he can’t even bring his own caucus along with him on the most important issues of the day including social security and tax reform. This “compromise” should be seen as a total unmitigated defeat for the Senator from Tennessee and should in all fairness, lead to someone in the caucus challenging his leadership. Alas, it won’t happen. Frankly, the Majority Whip Mitch McConnell isn’t much better and may be even more of a colorless personality than Frist, if that’s possible.

So it will be up to others in the Senate to hold Frist’s feet to the fire on this deal if only to get the most out of it that we can. In the end, what we’re getting is less than half a loaf. And the baker doesn’t realize it.


Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 10:37 am

It could have been two of the best hours of network television in a long time.

The stage had been set for 22 hours. A nuke headed toward an unnamed American city. An implacable terrorist whose brilliant mind kept him one, sometimes two steps ahead of CTU and the entire US defense establishment. A plan so diabolical, almost satanic in its evil simplicity that it had the US on its knees. A drama at the White House with an incompetent jellyfish for a President being propped up by an ex-chief executive who, like Jack, was willing to do anything to save the nation. And a cast of supporting characters - heroes and villains - who carried out their assigned tasks with skill and courage.

This is the stuff of legendary TV. Instead, the writers either lost their nerve or just couldn’t bring themselves to face the consequences of previous plot threads they created. Instead of a bang, we got a piddle. Instead of a “High Noon” like confrontation between the forces of good and evil, we got soap opera froth.

It was something like hiring a $2500 a night hooker and when crunch time came, having her perform like a crack-addled, $5 whore.

In short, I feel cheated.

This may be one of those situations where the suits stepped in to massage the ending to fit some preconceived formula. Television producers are among the most clueless creative people in the business. It’s why Keifer Sutherland wanted to be an executive producer. Having creative control in the hands of, well, creative people makes for good TV. Unfortunately, given that negotiations for the fifth season were probably at a critical point when the writers were working on the finale, it may be that the suits demanded that the writers had to work certain guarantees regarding characters into the final two hours.

I’m guessing, of course. And maybe indulging in some wishful thinking. After 22 excellent hours, maybe the explanation for this tepid, unsatisfying ending is as simple as the writers just weren’t up to the task.

The first hour and 22 minutes were good. It’s only after the missile was intercepted did the show go to hell in a handbasket. I’ll summarize the first hour here and do the second hour later this morning with some final thoughts.


After finding out that Tony is a hostage, Jack and CTU scramble to redeploy their manpower and search the apartment complex for Mandy. Bill tells Michelle that they’ve got to proceed as if there is no hostage, that the number one priority is to get the hostile. Michelle accepts this in a superficial sort of way. It’s only when push comes to shove - when Mandy calls her (how did she get her cell number?) and asks that she duplicate Tony’s betrayal of CTU from last year - that Michelle realizes how much Tony means to her.

Thinking she holds all the cards, Mandy orders Michelle to clear the way for her escape. Wanting to comply, Michelle agonizes over the decision until Bill comes in and reminds her, indirectly, of the consequences.

One wonders if there had been an intervention like this last year if Tony would have carried out the terrorists instructions that ended up costing him his freedom, his job, and his wife.

That said, Michelle pulls back from the precipice and Bill and Jack set a trap for Mandy. But Mandy is too clever by half. Using her next door neighbors, who inexplicably do exactly as she says with no apparent leverage on them from Mandy, she tricks CTU into thinking that she’s blown herself and Tony up when CTU exposes their positions too soon.

CTU headquarters is plunged into mourning for Tony and Bill calls President Jellyfish to give him the bad news and explain that CTU has no expectation of being able to intercept the missile. This causes Jellyfish to quiver like a porn star’s fake bosoms. Palmer tries to calm him down by grasping at straws:

Jellyfish: Do you know how speculative that sounds? My God! We’re never going to find it in time…

Palmer: Don’t say that! We will stop it. But you must believe that if you’re going to lead today.

Jellyfish: How am I going to believe that? Every second that passes brings that missile closer to its target. Which for all we know is us!

Palmer then gives Jellyfish some lessons in “How to be a President Without Really Trying.” He tells the Spineless One to “demand success” from your people and you’ll get it.

If I were Palmer, I would have taken this miserable excuse for a man and whacked him upside the head a couple of times. Conducting a Presidential Leadership 101 class doesn’t help much.

Agent Burns who was briefly exposed during the Consulate Operation, is now at the San Diego airport ready to be whisked out of the country so Bill instructs him to develop an airtight alibi. Great idea except the Chinese have a better one - they kidnap the hapless agent and start to go to work on him.

Back at the apartment complex, Jack is replaying the tape of Tony’s “death” again and again, not quite believing what he’s seeing. Good thing too, because Mandy’s only slip up of the day was that she was talking on the phone at the same time the bomb went off. Seeing the door close as the couple next door get in the car and not hearing the sound of it on the telephone call, Jack realizes that Mandy is still at large. And Tony, after deliberately cutting himself on an eggshell(?), leaves a trail of blood that’s soon discovered and puts Jack on his trail as Mandy and her hostage try to escape.

By the way, one of the burning questions for all female Tony Almeda fans was answered when it was revealed that he is indeed, a boxer man.

After making a heroic attempt at escape by fighting Mandy with handcuffs and losing (Mandy is one tough woman. Tony gave her some shots that would have put an ordinary man down), Jack, following Tony’s blood trail catches up with them in the parking garage.

The cornered terrorist, still confident, looks at Jack as just another soft CTU agent. Bad move:

Mandy: Do you really have what it takes to kill him while looking him in the eyes?

Jack: Yes.

For the first time, Mandy looks scared. That’s because she believes what Jack is saying and says so. While Mandy’s attention is focused on Jack, Curtis flanks her and with Tony’s help, disarms and punches her lights out.

With Mandy in custody. CTU is back in the ballgame. And Tony and Michelle’s emotional phone conversation with Tony actually saying the “L” word while a little sappy was nonetheless nice to see.

And Agent Burns? He’s taken to the Chinese embassy where’s he’s grilled by the intel chief. After being threatened with the prospect of being spirited out of the country and thrown into a communist labor camp, Burns talks. He names Jack as being responsible for the attack on the Consulate.

The fact that we never find out what happens to Burns is one of the many annoyances in the final two hours. But this was a minor one compared to some of the other major disappointments to come.


Mandy kills one neighbor in the apartment and is responsible for the young couple’s death when the car blows up. Again I ask what leverage she had on that couple to make them walk to the car? She had a gun on them yes, but it was dark and raining and there had to have been a spot where they could have made a break for it. Just. Not. Believable.

The Chicoms take out two CTU agents at the airport before hijacking Agent Burns.

Jack: 42

Show: 237

Chloe: 1

Stop by around 10:30 AM Central Time for a recap of the second hour, a final body count, and some final thoughts.


Reader Greg points out in the comments that Tony did not step on eggshells but rather a busted light bulb. That makes more sense.


Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 10:35 am


Now in custody, Mandy accepts Jack’s offer of a Presidential deal to reveal where Marwan is. Before President Jellyfish can sign off on it, the Secret Service brings up an old tape of Palmer shaking hands with Mandy at the end of Season 2. She had a biological agent on her hand and almost killed Palmer. Despite this info, Palmer OK’s the deal and Mandy tells Jack that Marwan is in downtown LA ready to take off from the roof for a ship out in the harbor.

Prescient to the last, Marwan realizes that “something’s wrong” after he fails to get in touch with Mandy. Less than 4 minutes after getting the information on Marwan’s location, Jack is there with the helicopter.

Did the writers have to ignore the “real-time” aspect of the show so blatantly so late in the show?

Hovering above Marwan’s still grounded helo, Jack starts shooting at the rotors hoping to disable it. Realizing the jig may be up, Marwan tries to destroy the missile tracking device he just happens to be carrying (why?). Leaving the now smoking helicopter, Marwan makes a last break for freedom. Jack, Curtis, and another CTU agent catch up to him in the parking lot where Marwan offs his last American and wounds Curtis. A pursuing Jack catches Marwan and shoots him in the lower leg which finally brings the elusive terrorist to ground. Seeing no escape, Marwan takes the only logical step left to him; he runs toward the railing of the 20 story parking garage and attempts to hurl himself over the edge.

Jack appears ready for this and sprints to the railing just in time to get a hold of Marwan’s hand before the terrorist falls to his death and reaps his 72 virgin reward. But Jack isn’t ready for Marwan’s fanaticism. While screaming at him “Where’s the missile” Marwan takes out a knife and slices the top of Jack’s hand but good, severing some muscles in the process and loosening Jack’s grip on his hand. Marwan slips away with a look of triumph on his face and his head hits the pavement with a sickening thud.

Marwan, Jack’s best adversary in the history of the series, dies believing he has won. How much more satisfying if he had known that he failed before he died? One more missed opportunity for satisfying drama by the writers.

President Jellyfish has a cow when he finds out CTU has lost Marwan but he’s got bigger problems. The Chinese, who broke CTU Agent Bierne simply by threatening him with the Gulag, inform Jellyfish that they want Jack’s head on a platter. Palmer, while opposed, knows its the only thing to do. But Logan’s top aide Cummings has a different idea. Why not kill Jack and solve the problem that way? Saying that “This Administration does not condone murder and it never will,” Jellyfish leaves the door open for Cummings to play Ollie North to his Reagan.

Back at the helicopter, CTU finds Marwan’s tracking device and, even though badly damaged, are able to pull some information off of it. It’s enough for the geek squad of Chloe and fat geek Edgar who, working some really fast geek magic, are able to find the track of the missile so that the US Air Force can save the day.

The F-15’s scream toward the target area and using their multi mode “look down shoot down” radar are able to acquire the target. One well aimed Aim 9x air-to-air missile and poof! Los Angeles is saved. Somewhat anti-climactic after Marwan’s death but still satisfying.

In past seasons, the show’s writers would then take the last 30 minutes and try and tie up a few loose ends and set the stage somewhat for next season. Not this time.

Palmer calls Jack with the bad news that the Chinese want him and that the US government is going to turn him over. Jack takes it like a good soldier, realizing that once the Chinese had Bierne that there was nothing else to do. Meanwhile Cummings gets in contact with the Secret Service agent being sent to arrest Jack and makes it clear in no uncertain terms that it would be better if Jack died.

This is the second time that I can recall Hollywood sliming the Secret Service, some of the most selfless people in government. Oliver Stone thinks they had something to do with JFK’s death. The idea that Cummings could call a random agent and have that guy agree to kill Jack is outrageous and a slap at the dedicated men and women who willingly give up their lives to save the ones they protect.

Novik, being something of a creep himself, eavesdrops on Cummings conversation with Agent Spaulding about killing Jack and immediately informs Palmer. This sets the stage for one of the most maddening exchanges in the entire 24 hours.

Jellyfish, all smiles and relaxed now that being President means simply being a politician, grandly motions Palmer to join him while he’s receiving the undeserved congratulations from world leaders for his “leadership” during the crisis.

Palmer informs him of Cummings duplicity and Jellyfish, probably more out of a reluctance for confrontation than anything else, refuses to talk Cummings out of his plan to kill Jack. He praises Palmer for “playing a role” in resolving the crisis and dismisses him. On his way out the door, Palmer gives Jellyfish a look of contempt that could have withered an evergreen.

Palmer calls Jack to warn him of the danger. Upon hanging up, Jack gets a rueful smile on his face and looks at Tony.

Agent Spaulding shows up at CTU to claim his victim but Jack has evidently escaped. He’s cold cocked Tony and made a bid for freedom. Spaulding goes after him with Tony and they corner Jack in the utility room. In the exchange of gunfire, Jack is apparently hit and, upon approaching him, Tony realizes that he’s dead. Spaulding checks to make sure. Yep, he’s a goner.


As soon as they’re alone, Tony get’s an ephenedrine shot from Chloe to revive Jack from…what? What drug could stop his heart and breathing so effectively and how did Jack and Tony 1) get the drug and from where, and 2) get the fake blood they smeared all over Jack, and 3) while we’re thinking about it, where the hell did they get the ephenedrine?

No matter, with a little coaxing from Tony, Jack revives. I’m sort of glad we didn’t have to see Tony giving Jack mouth to mouth - maybe they could have enlisted Chloe for that job.

Anyway, after telling Chloe to run interference with the coroner until they could switch bodies (where they gonna get a body this time of the morning anyway?), Jack, Tony, and Michelle pile into an SUV and make their escape from CTU. Before getting out of the car, Jack waits for Tony to say something, anything. After all, it’s supposedly the last time they’re going to see each other. Tony says nothing until Jack is walking away when he manages to mumble “Jack. Be careful.” You can always tell when Tony is under great emotion. He get’s this look on his face like he’s disgusted with himself for being so weak. Tony looked real disgusted when Jack left.

Talking to Palmer one last time, the men exchanged words of respect and affection. When Palmer said that “Jack Bauer is now dead” Jack got that rueful smile on his face again. It’s almost as if the idea appeals to him immensely. No more days like this. No more doing things that make him hate himself for the thug that he his. No more having the weight of saving the country on his shoulders.

He walks off into the sunrise. Alone as always.


I tried my best but there were two gun battles where you knew there were CTU casualties but no mention was made of them. There were also the untold number of people who died in the meltdown of the powerplant. And there were a couple of times where you thought there might be wounded but no mention was ever made of that fact. Given these and other limitations that I’m sure you readers could point out if you put your minds to it. Here are my figures for the final body count.

First, the last hour saw Jack add one notch to his gun when he offed the helicopter pilot. Marwan killed his last American, the CTU agent. And Marwan himself fell to his death with a sickening splat. Because I’m in a charitable mood, let’s give Marwan to Jack, shall we?

Jack: 44

Show: 237

Chloe: 1

Forty Four people dead in 24 hours. And only a couple of them friendlies. Way to go Jack.


First, a speculative thread for next year.

Tony, Michelle, Jack, and Palmer are now all “retired.” How about a scenario with Jack working with CTU from the outside in a foreign country to stop a terrorist attack in the states? Jack tracks down Tony and he joins him while Michelle stays behind and coordinates with CTU. Palmer is enlisted to get Jack help from foreign governments.

One thing is pretty clear, unless Jack is caught by the Chinese and the show opens with him being released from the Gulag, Jack is through at CTU. And the foreign locales would be another breakthrough for network TV. Never been done as far as I can remember.

As far as this year, the first 22 hours I’d put up there with the best TV drama done in a while. I know there were other moments where you had to ignore some of the more outrageous plot devices, but I really thought a lot of them could have been explained by a mole - either in the Defense Department or CTU itself.

The fact that there was no mole pokes so many holes in the plot that most of them are too ridiculous to mention. I will say that I think that if they had stuck with one terrorist plot - to meltdown the reactors - and not had a mole, the plot would have worked perfectly. The override device (itself a ridiculously concocted invention) and everything that happened from that could have been traced back to the defense contractor McGlennon Forster. Corporate bad guys working with Islamic fruitcakes would have been better than the virtual army that Marwan had at his disposal.

There are dozens of terrorists and mercenaries armed to the teeth still loose in the United States when the show ends. And no hint that CTU, the executive branch, or anyone else cares very much about that.

All this being said, it was still enjoyable. I don’t know whether I’m going to blog the series again. It depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is where this site will be come January 2006. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed visiting and sharing this experience with me. I hope you come back often.



Filed under: WORLD POLITICS — Rick Moran @ 4:41 pm

The New York Times, one of the United Nations biggest cheerleaders, has an article today that reports on UN peacekeepers getting tough when carrying out their peacekeeping duties.

Given the problems and scandals in the Congo and Darfur with the Blue Helmets, does anyone else think that the timing of this article is just a little suspicious? Could the Times be doing the PR flacks at the UN a favor by pushing this flattering story of gallant UN peacekeepers battling against foes that want to break the peace?

No matter. Although not in the Times article, here are ways for UN Peacekeepers to get get tough with insurgents that continually try and upset the status quo.

1. Don’t say “please” when asking rebels to stop firing.

2. Move forces within 50 miles of insurgent activity. This will prove you mean business.

3. Relocate command headquarters from four star to three star hotel.


5. Remove all French and French trained troops from UN command. Replace with mannequins.

6. Put cardboard guns on turrets of APC’s. Better yet, put real guns on cardboard APC’s.

7. Put saltpeter in troops food and tell them to stay away from little boys and girls.

8. Take comfy chairs out of tanks.

9. Require commanders to take a course in how to be mean.

10. Require UN Security Council members who vote for peacekeepers to join them in the field. (The “Chickenhawk” argument)

At the very least, people may stop laughing at these guys if they follow my suggestions. Then again, maybe that’s the only thing they’ve go going for themselves.

Everyone likes clowns.


Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 2:41 pm

The title of this post is in reference to one of the most thrilling political potboilers ever written. “Come Nineveh, Come Tyre” was written by Alan Drury and it was the last in a series of political novels by Drury that started with the Pulitzer Prize winner and hit movie “Advise and Consent.”

In the book, a Clinton like President faces mounting challenges and incursions from the old Soviet Union. Each time he backs down, he’s cheered on by liberals and the MSM. Finally, realizing he’s destroyed Americas position in the world (and after a clumsy effort to remove him by the Joint Chiefs) the Russians come calling. The President committs suicide and the reins are handed over to his Vice President, a Soviet agent.

The real reason for the references to these cities is in a biblical context. Nineveh was the city that God told Jonah to save from their wicked ways or he would destroy it. Eventually, after Jonah’s little adventure with the whale, he did indeed reform the people and save the city.

Tyre wasn’t so lucky. The prophet Ezekial predicted that Tyre would be destroyed for its wickedness and sure enough, it was.

One city saved…One city destroyed. What will it be for America in these final two hours? Here follows my predictions as well as some excellent, funny, wild, and weird speculation from the readers.


Marwan will be killed. Some commenters, notably Sue, would like to see Marwan resurrected next season. This would be a possibility and not without precedent. Nina survived till season 2. However, the pure evil that Marwan represents necessitates his destruction if only to make a satisfying ending.

So who kills Marwan? The Maryhunter and Beth agree it could be Behruz, a very intruiging possibility. My speculation about Behruz was that the terrorists would reprogramme him and release him with a bomb belt to blow up CTU. That still may be a possibility (nice way to knock off Michelle, eh?) but the boy may be just as angry at Marwan for killing his mother.


I don’t know. I can’t even hazard a guess at this point. I will say that whoever it is, we’re going to be surprised. On the wild guess side, there’s Diamond who thinks Palmer may be the traitor. The writers have done things more outrageous so I wouldn’t put it past them.

Beth jumps the shark by guessing President Jellyfish. The Maryhunter is going with Secretary Heller (he obviously missed the last show!) James Wright thinks it’s Audrey; still a possibility but both Hellers were taken out of play I thought in the last episode.

Beth also jumps back over the shark by guessing it’s someone already dead, maybe Paul. The problem there is that the mole tipped off Marwan’s men when CTU stormed the warehous and originally captured him. If the men had been there before CTU got there why didn’t they open fire then? Clearly, someone in CTU - someone close - organized Marwan’s rescue.

More speculation centers on someone we know but haven’t seen yet. Diamond thinks Wayne Palmer, President Palmer’s amoral brother. Not bad but maybe not in the loop enough to help Marwan very much.

In the past, I’ve guessed both Audrey and her father and wildly speculated on both Tony and Michelle. Here’s one out of the blue.

How about Bill Buchanan from division?

I say Buchanan only because he’s in a position to carry out everything the mole has done.

Then, as Brendan suggests (and others) there’s the possibility there is no mole in which case the show has failed miserably and will sputter to an inconclusive and unsatisfactory conclusion.


Universal agreement that either Tony or Michelle will get whacked. Michelle is expendable but one wonders how they will be able to kill her off with her safe and sound at HQ. This is why I think…I think there’s a possibility the nuke may be deflected from it’s original target - but land close enough to cause massive damage.

Target: Los Angeles.

It all fits (plus an emailer that will remain anonymous says that the radar screen in the teaser for this week shows that it is indeed LA).

If indeed LA is the target all bets are off as to who lives and who dies. Since Fox has already announced that season 5 of the show will premier in January of 2006, they can’t kill off too many of the stars.

My own guess is that Tony will get whacked. And despite the convoluted reasoning of Hector (A “triple reverse strategery” used by the writers in which they know that we know that they know that we know…) I think Tony gets it at the hands of Jack who then completes his descent into Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell.


Again, universal agreement that Audrey gives Jack his permanent marching orders. I’m not so sure. The writers may leave an opening for Jack and Audrey to do it again next year as the chemistry between them was better than it was between Jack and any other woman in the show’s history.

Unless Audrey is the mole in which case Jack pops her and, after killing Paul, Tony, and now Audrey, sees that life isn’t worth living and tries to off himself. Unsuccessfully of course.


I like Brendan’s take on this:

The Chinese will capture the CTU agent that they photographed and torture a confession out of him. They’ll demand that Jack be handed over for trial in China.

This would make an intruiging opening for next season, yes?


No brainer. They’re either caught or the writers forget about them. Which brings up an interesting scenario.

There are so many Americans working for Marwan. Remember the highway crew that helped the one terrorist switch cars in the tunnel? Then there are all the terrorists who fired on CTU to help Marwan escape. The list goes on and on.

Even if they catch Marwan, there are a hell of a lot of people out there - enough for 10 more seasons - that want to kill us all.

Kind of frightening when you think about it…


This elicited the funniest comments.

James Wright: “For the sake of all that is good and decent, Chloe and Edgar will never get it on.”
Bert: Chloe is SOOOO hot!
Diamond: Bert: It seems that your above statement has brought this posting place to a screeching halt. Maybe you should re state your affection for Chloe.
Hector: Chloe and Edgar will get it on. I said it before and I will say it again, these computer geek guys like abuse. > but, image Chloe in black leather with a cat of nine tails whipping naked fat geek Edgar bend over a double processor computer. (This is a family website…please. Ed.)
The Maryhunter: prep for future nasty geek love sammich.

Chloe and fat geek Edgar will in fact become an item and have an ongoing relationship played out next year.


Jack kills Tony but takes swinger woman (who I’m informed and now remember was “Mandy” in the first season, the one with the greedy lesbian lover) back to CTU and grills her. She reveals a location for Marwan and he’s recaptured. Taken back to CTU, Marwan reveals (under hideous torture and Dr. Feelgood’s ministrations) a frequency that the missile can be accessed on.

It’s too late to blow it up but fat geek Edgar and Chloe are able to deflect it where it explodes out in the ocean. LA is sideswiped by the blast which destroys CTU headquarters just after Jack discovers who the mole is. The mole escapes in the confusion.

The rest of the show is the chase for the mole (fill in your favorite candidate here). Palmer is left to try and defuse the Chinese situation. Jellyfish collapses in a quivering heap of manflesh following the blast. Novik betrays Palmer again by telling Speaker Ashton about the incapacitation of Jellyfish. Ashton takes over, declares martial law (which is what the mole wanted) and tells the Chinese he’ll hand them Jack’s head if they don’t attack.

Jack catches up to the mole and kills him/her. We’re left wondering if there is someone else in the government - someone who profits by a declaration of martial law - that the mole reported to.

This scenario leaves a lot of openings for the writers next year which is how they’ve ended the previous seasons. Expect some threads to wither away but others to be carried over till next January.

Tomorrow, I’ll post in two parts. First part should be up by 7:00 AM Central time.

So hold on to your hats…this is going to get bumpy!


Filed under: War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 8:33 am

If true, this is very bad news:

Militants in Iraq today claimed to have executed an American hostage in a statement on the internet, which was accompanied by pictures of the man’s driving license.

The group, headed by al-Qaeda’s frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said the victim was a US pilot.

“Your brothers in Al-Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers got their hands on a US pilot who turned out to have bombarded several mosques and the Sheraton hotel in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq, as well as several civilian homes,” the statement said.

“After questioning this infidel, the divine verdict was applied to him.”

There’s been no confirmation of this from the Pentagon or the US government.

A while back, the Jawa Report listed several civilian American hostages still being held in Iraq. The hostage in question, one Neenus Y. Khoshaba, was not listed in the Jawa’s report. However, as Rusty points out, that may not mean much:

It is unclear how many other American hostages are still being held or are missing in Iraq. The Pentagon has been tightlipped about non-military casualties leaving it to private companies to choose whether to release information to the public or not.

It’s also possible that an American citizen would be kidnapped and held for ransom by one of the numerous criminal gangs that have sprung up in Iraq following the chaos that ensued after liberation. It’s even possible that one of these gangs could have “sold” the victim to Zarqawi’s group.

The claim that Mr. Khoshaba was a pilot in the military is probably false. It would be pretty hard to keep something like the taking of American military personnel quiet for very long unless he was with the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency.

We haven’t heard from Mr. Zarqawi and his Merry Band of Beheaders in a while so this may be just a quick grab for cheap publicity. Then again, it may be real which would be very bad news.

Cross Posted at Blogger New Network


Filed under: WORLD POLITICS — Rick Moran @ 6:12 am

It seems probable that, unless they can be dissuaded by China, the North Koreans will indeed go through with a nuclear weapons test. This is extremely troubling news for the United States. But for South Korea and Japan, the news borders on the catastrophic:

The North Koreans are basically hellbent on proving to the world that they need to be taken seriously. That’s dangerous,” said Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

“A North Korean test would embarrass China and might actually rally other nations to our position. But the result might push Kim Jong Il to take whatever steps he felt were necessary to rally his people into war,” Weldon said.

Weldon, who led a delegation to North Korea in January, said he met last Monday in New York with North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Han Song Ryol, and told him, “If you do a test, you’re going to set this process back years and years, and it’s going to lead to consequences neither of us want.”

Geography and military reality are two reason that US options would be limited in the event of a weapons test. The North Koreans have thousands of heavy artillery pieces trained on Seoul, the South Korean capital. Any military action taken by the United States to destroy the North’s nuclear capability would probably be met by a conventional military response that would devastate the capitol city which lies just 30 miles from the Korean DMZ. This would start a war the US can’t afford to fight. With our military engaged in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s doubtful we could send enough help to stem the onslaught from the North Korean’s 1.2 million man army.

In addition, a North Korean nuclear test would cause a radical shift in Japanese defense priorities and philosophy:

The potential downside of a test is enormous,” said Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of defense for Asia in the Clinton administration. “It would set off a chain reaction in the region with completely impossible-to-predict consequences.”

It could even lead South Korea and Japan to rethink their current policy against nuclear arsenals, Campbell said.

North Korea says it has removed fuel rods from a reactor at its main nuclear complex — a step toward extracting weapons-grade plutonium. U.S. officials say spy satellites spotted the digging of a tunnel and the construction of a reviewing stand in northeast North Korea, possibly suggesting an upcoming test.

During the cold war, it was an important American policy goal to keep Asia relatively nuclear free. While China exploded it’s first bomb in 1964, their nuclear arsenal was aimed mainly at Russia. And Japan, whose constitution forbids an extensive defense establishment, was one of the worlds best nuclear citizens in that they followed all treaties and conventions regarding nuclear power and were noted for the transparency of their program.

Recently however, Japan has taken the first tentative steps toward projecting its military power beyond its shores. Their deployment of a tiny contingent to Iraq as well as their military assistance during the recent tsunami are the first real deployments since the end of WWII. In addition, by some estimates, the Japanese extensive nuclear power program has produced enough separated uranium over the years to make 10,000 nuclear warheads.

That’s only the first step, of course. As far as we know the Japanese don’t yet have the capability to turn that enriched uranium into weapons grade material or even if they have a design or delivery systems for a bomb. But Japan is the most technologically advanced society on the planet and it would seem logical to assume that the time between making a decision to go nuclear and having a nuclear capability would probably be measured in months.

China’s reaction to a nuclear Japan would be extremely negative. The Chinese haven’t forgotten the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1933 and the resulting devastation wreaked by the Japanese military on much of the country. If Japan felt compelled to go nuclear as the result of an overtly nuclear North Korea, it could trigger a nuclear arms race in Asia.

So what’s holding the North Korean’s back? More than any potential action by the United States, the North may be worried about angering their best trading partner, China. In the last year, China has almost singlehandedly kept the North Korean people from massive starvation as their deliveries of foodstuffs and energy is keeping Kim Jong Il’s “worker’s paradise” from collapsing altogether:

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio, voting record), R-Ind., said he concluded from a recent meeting with Bush that the president expected other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — including Russia and China — to join him in seeking U.N. penalties against North Korea if there were a test.

China has indicated it opposes such action as a means of leverage over North Korea.

But Lugar said Bush “feels the Chinese … would take a dim view of the test, to say the least, and would be prepared to go to the U.N. if that is required.”

Clearly the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula is about ready to come to a head. Unless the US can get the North Koreans back to the bargaining table where the six powers involved - the US, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea - can work to contain the crisis, the consequences flowing from a nuclear test by North Korea would change the face of politics and security in Asia forever.

Cross Posted at Blogger News Network

(MORE THAN) 24 TILL “24″

Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 5:41 am

Okay…You asked for it and here it is…

For the next 48 hours (if I can figure out how) this post offering you, the reader, the opportunity to speculate to your hearts content on the multitude of loose ends that need to be tied up during the final two hours of the show will stay right at the top of this blog.

There are so many questions to be answered:

What happened to Behruz?
Is Dina really dead?
Will the President recover?
Who’s the mole?
Is there a mole?
Does anyone care if there is or isn’t a mole?
Who’s gonna die?
Michelle and Tony? Discuss among yourselves.
Jack and Audrey? Ditto.
Where did all the American turncoats come from?
Is the F-117 pilot who shot down Air Force One dead?
What about the Chinese?
Where’s the missile headed?
What about the “Iowa Cell.” Will they be caught?
Will Chloe and fat geek Edgar do the nasty nasty…geek style?

The big question for me and I suppose for everyone is “Who’s the mole?” If the writers decide not to have a mole then an entirely different set of loose ends present themselves like where did Marwan get the transponder codes to track the football and the like.

A general bit of speculation involves how the final two hours will play out. Help yourself on that one. I don’t have a clue.

ATTENTION: Please, for the love of God, NO SPOILERS! I understand that some sites that will remain nameless have some inside info. Please don’t ruin it for the rest of us. If you know something, keep it to yourself.

C’mon everyone! Dig in and help yourself to some pure fun! The wilder the better. Because if I know the writers, the wildest we can come up with will pale in comparison to what they’ve got in store for us Monday nite!



Filed under: Moonbats — Rick Moran @ 10:25 am

The Battle of Trafalgar as seen from HMS Victory

In English history, the Battle of Trafalgar is considered to be that nation’s greatest triumph. Not only did Admiral Nelson’s destruction of the Franco-Spainish fleet ensure that Napoleon’s plan to invade the British Isles would be frustrated, the battle set the stage for British supremacy on the seas for the next century.

In one glorious afternoon, the combination of British high technology ship construction and rigging along with the indomitable spirit of the British sailor beat the combined might of the French and Spainish fleets. It’s considered the most important sea battle in history.

This June, the Portsmouth ship yard will host dignataries from around the world to mark the 200th anniversary of that titanic contest. Plans are that a re-enactment of the battle will cap the festivities using high tech pyro-technics and lasers.

This should be a truly awesome sight and a marvelous show except for one tiny little detail; the PC police have struck with a vengance:

Organisers of a re-enactment to mark the bicentenary of the battle next month have decided it should be between “a Red Fleet and a Blue Fleet” not British and French/Spanish forces.

Otherwise they fear visiting dignitaries, particularly the French, would be embarrassed at seeing their side routed.

(HT: Sir George)

That’s right. In order not to upset the French, the combatants who took part in the battle will remain nameless. Even the name of the battle is to be expunged from the historical record for the day:

Even the official literature has been toned down. It describes the re-enactment not as the battle of Trafalgar but simply as “an early 19th-century sea battle”.

Frankly, I don’t see what the French should be so upset about. After all, they haven’t won a war since the middle ages. The fact that a couple of times in the 20th century they ended up on the winning side of a conflict is purely an accident. You couldn’t say that the French won WWII since the Petain government did everything they could to defeat the allies including actively opposing our landings in North Africa. And as far as WWI was concerned, by the time the war was over the French were almost ready to surrender anyway. Only the intervention of the United States in 1918 saved the French from a humiliating defeat.

But, deferring to French sensibilities (or insensibilities as the case may be) seems to be the thing to do in Europe these days. And maybe the Brits have the right idea. Maybe we should try something similar here.

Imagine the next time the Battle of the Little Bighorn is re-enacted. We wouldn’t have the US Army. We wouldn’t have Lakota warriors. We could have “shirts” and skins.” And we wouldn’t call it a battle between cultures or a conflict by Native Amerians to preserve their way of life. We could say it was “a disagreement over water rights” or “a misunderstanding about the intentions of the indigineous peoples of the prarie.”

Political correctness has become the bane of Western civilization. It has penetrated our schools, our art, our culture, our workplace, our government, and even our churches. Anyone who believes that this kind of doublespeak is harmless or is actually beneficial needs to take a second look.

The Canadians have “Language Police” who pursue and prosecute people for not obeying the law regarding bi-lingual signage. In America, any hint of religious expression in a public place will result in the ACLU slapping a lawsuit against you faster than you can say “bigot.” And the legions of leftists who police public thought on the airwaves are ready at a moment’s notice with the whiny, self-serving press release about all sorts of PC transgressions from incorrect language to improper thoughts.

Is there any hope that society will rise up and rid itself of this disease? Not as long as we continue to coddle the practioners of political correctness. If we were to simply ignore these social tyrants, there’s a chance they might simply give up and go home.

Yeah sure.


Filed under: General — Rick Moran @ 4:09 am

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION: Will Rafuse. Visit Will at willrafuse.com.

Humorist Dave Barry has written a column in which he says, by implication, that dogs are better than cats. (HT: John at Right Wing News)


There. I’ve said it. I’ve just angered the 52 million Americans who keep dogs as companions. Ask me if I care! It’s not my fault that 52 million of my fellow countrymen have been programmed by years of media bias to buy into the propaganda that dogs are “Man’s Best Friend.”

This debate has been raging for nearly 5,000 years. Ever since the African Wild Cat discovered that simply by looking cute and capturing a few mice, (making sure to drop the dead carcass at the feet of whichever human could be trained to feed it for doing such simple, boring work) cats have carried out the most massive hoodwinking in the natural history of the planet…and are laughing all the way to the litter box.

Defenders of dogs point out that canines do much better in laboratory studies comparing the innate intelligence of the two creatures. I, like all cat aficionados, laugh uproariously at the gullibility of both dog lovers and scientists who’d be stupid enough to try and administer ANY test to a cat. For you see, cats, like very smart children attending your average American public school, get extremely bored and frustrated if they’re not continuously challenged to expand their minds and broaden their horizons. Any test given to both dogs and cats by definition must necessarily be so insipidly moronic that dogs will inevitably do better due to the sheer and utter boredom inflicted on the cat.

In his column, Mr. Barry makes a virtue out of a dog’s single minded quest to please humans. He writes of a dog’s “special toy”"

“Finally I yank the Special Toy free and hold it triumphantly aloft. The dog watches it with laser-beam concentration, his entire body vibrating with excitement, waiting for me to throw it … waiting … waiting … until finally I cock my arm, and, with a quick motion I … fake a throw. I’m still holding the Special Toy. But WHOOOSH the dog has launched himself across the room, an unguided pursuit missile, reaching a velocity of 75 miles per hour before WHAM he slams headfirst into the wall at the far end of the room.”

I tried this trick once on my cat Ebony. For a while, she found it amusing to chase a plastic ball across the floor that was filled to the brim with catnip. Having already gotten high by gorging herself on the uncontrolled substance, she would temporarily take leave of her senses and imitate a dog by “retrieving” the ball by batting it back to me with her paw. She unerringly would bat the ball so that it came to rest directly at my feet EVERY TIME. Try having a dog even attempt something like that. Come to think of it, she was more accurate than some professional baseball players I’ve seen who play for the Cubs.

At any rate, after several successful retrievals I tried pulling the old fakearoo on her. She started off like a shot and then stopped dead in her tracks. She gave me the most scornful look of contempt she could muster, turned her back on me, and wandered off with her tail held high and swishing back and forth angrily.

She ignored me for two whole days.

I once read that “Dogs are from Mars and Cats are from Venus.” Whoever wrote that obviously has never been kept by cats. Cats aren’t from Venus…they’re extra-galactic. They’ve descended from somewhere near the outer fringes of the known universe where basic laws of physics don’t apply and intelligent life has taken on an ineffable quality unknown to man and beast alike. They are otherworldly.

Watching cats closely can be deceiving. When you see them staring off into space, you might think that they’re not thinking about anything, that they’re simply existing or perhaps waiting for their next meal. Nothing could be further from the truth. When cats stare off into space, they’re communing with their equals, the Gods.

Ordinary human chatter bores them to death. They see no reason to come when they’re called, sit, lie down, beg, or perform any of the stupid pet tricks that dogs have become famous for. Not only don’t they see any good reason to obey, but they realize that it would too revealing of their true nature if they began to behave the way that other animals do. Such a revelation would allow humans to take them for granted…something that would be utterly disastrous for a cats relationship to its slave. For if humans were to place the cat on the same plane as a dog, the beast wouldn’t be able to manipulate its charge into doing exactly what it wants when it wants it done.

T.S. Elliot’s collection of 14 poems “The Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” (from which the Broadway musical “Cats” was derived) contains one particular poem that perfectly describes a cat’s uniqueness. Entitled, “The Naming of Cats,” the poem reflects on why cats are so special:

But I tell you a cat needs a name that’s particular
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Elliot, an extremely perceptive judge of catdom, points out that, in addition to the name we give our beloveds, the cat also has another name:

But above and beyond there’s still one name left over
And that is the name that you never will guess
The name that no human research can discover
But the cat himself knows and will never confess

When you notice a cat in profound meditation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name
His ineffable, effable, effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name

We don’t wonder if a dog has a name that it gives itself. The very concept of a dog doing anything without human approval is foreign to its nature. Not so, the cat. I wouldn’t be surprised if cats have names for US! I’m sure they would be impossible to pronounce and would be extremely unflattering. After all, cats know full well that they’re the center of our universe.

Perhaps that’s why we love them so.

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