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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

In case you missed it:
Gentlemen, ladies: We came dangerously close to war today. That all of us reacted emotionally to the nuclear detonation is understandable. But leaders are required to have patience beyond human limits. The kind of action we nearly took should only be exercised after all other avenues have been exhaused, after the strictest standard of proof has been met. By casting me aside so quickly, you effectively lowered those standards, and that was a profound mistake. It was not, however, a mistake you are likely to make again. Therefore, I do not accept your resignations. We have a nation to heal today, and all of you play a vital role in that healing process. -- President David Palmer, from the season finale of the amazing Fox show, "24."

The plot went like this: A nuclear bomb was brought to Los Angeles. Federal agent Jack Bauer finally tracked it down at an airport, and had it flown into the desert before it detonated, where it killed one to three people. The bad guys tried to pin the plot on "three Middle Eastern countries" which weren't specified in the show (I liked to imagine that it was Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel). President Palmer was encouraged by his cabinet and the military to launch an immediate war against the three countries. Meanwhile, agent Bauer tried to show that the evidence of the "three countries'" involvement was forged. He convinced the president, who tried to call off the attack, but his vice president and majority of the cabinet voted that this meant he was unfit to stay president and removed him from office via the 25th amendment. Bauer finally got evidence conclusive enough to convince the vice president, now acting as president, to call off the attack minutes before the bombs dropped. The cabinet then rescinded its previous action and offered resignations, Palmer became president once more, and gave that speech to the gathered cabinet.

The show itself is amazing, but even more amazing is that they had this fictional president who actually thought military action should be "exercised after all other avenues have been exhaused, after the strictest standard of proof has been met." So unlike the fictional president we actually have! And this was on Fox!

I don't watch that much TV anymore (except sports), but if you want to laugh, watch "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" If you want to be completely spellbound by an action show, watch "24." The bad news is that season three won't start until probably October 28, after the World Series. The good news is that season one is on DVD, and season two should be shortly. See if you can borrow or rent them! (I try to recommend not buying anything.)

[And Another Thing!] President Palmer pronounced "nuclear" correctly!