Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gone, but not forgotten

The Mandarin is taking a little holiday and will return in mid-October.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Shrub seeks clarity on torture

The Mandarin is relieved to see actual Republicans developing backbones on this issue. For chickenhawks like Rumsfeld, draft-dodger Cheney, the raft of Neo-Cons who never wore a uniform, and of course AWOL Shrub to say that we need to "clarify" the Geneva Conventions to make sure that abuses like "waterboarding," for example, are not considered torture, well, Shrub, here are two simple tests.

One: when a former POW (Senator McCain) who has been totured himself says the Geneva Conventions should not be watered down, that should be a hint.

Two: if by some unimaginable twist of fate your daughters someday followed in their grandfather's footsteps and fought in a war, and were captured, anything you would be outraged to learn they had suffered at the hands of their captors, well,... get the picture.

When the Mandarin was a young officer back during the previous pointless overseas quagmire (think rice paddies), he and his fellow soldiers were trained in the Geneva Conventions. The Mandarin even was issued a little wallet card with the key provisions printed on it.

And we were taught that if we were captured, we should hold out if at all possible for twenty-four hours, and after that tell the enemy whatever they wanted to hear. The assumption was that after twenty-four hours, anything useful a captured soldier knew, the enemy knew, so plans and codes, etc., could be changed to take advantage of what the enemy thought they had learned of value, to turn it against them.

If Shrub and his chickenhawks start interpreting the Conventions to permit abusive interrogations in the name of protecting Americans, American soldiers will pay the price in blood, sooner or later. Perhaps on a waterboard....

We need to live up to our ideals as a country. As a wise old man (whose initials were B.F.) once said, "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either." The same will be true of a country who trades the long-standing protections of the Geneva Conventions for a temporary political advantage.

Original photo caption: President Bush pauses during a Rose Garden news conference, Friday, Sept. 15, 2006 at the White House. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Movie Description of the Week

The Mandarin was flipping through the on-screen cable guide this evening and came across this little winner. Unfortunately, he was drinking from a glass of water at the time and the professional-quality spit take that followed (never laugh out loud and drink water at the same time) was fortunately not caught on film.

"When Night is Falling." A bisexual mythology professor has an affair with a circus performer she met at a laundromat.

Well the Mandarin thought it was funny. Maybe you just had to be there.

Monday, September 11, 2006

If Shrub wants a Constitutional amendment banning flag-burning, this little trick ought to get him a serious spanking at the very least....

Talk about being made of teflon! The Mandarin wonders what the right-wing blogosphere would make of a picture of Hillary Clinton pulling this little trick.

Plus he did it on September 11th of all days, defiling a date that is sacred in the hearts of all Americans: the Mandarin's birthday.

And to my loyal readership, despite Shrub's callous insensitivity, thanks again for making it a memorable day in Mandarin-land.

Original photo caption: U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush stand on a carpet commemorating the date of the attacks of September 11, 2001 near a mural depicting those attacks outside the Ladder Company 10 firehouse opposite the site of the World Trade Center in New York, September 10, 2006. Bush lay a wreath at Ground Zero before visiting a chapel for a memorial service. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Condi channels Travis Bickle

"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here."

The Mandarin is fairly sure Condi doesn't have a gun up her sleeve, like Travis Bickle did in Taxi Driver, but she sure does have that "I'm practicing my mean face in the mirror" look, doesn't she.

Note: Sharp-eyed readers will recall the Mandarin has used the Travis Bickle bit once before, but this one was just too good to resist.

Original photo caption: In this photo provided by CBS, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appears on CBS's 'Face the Nation' in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006. (AP Photo/CBS Face the Nation, Karin Cooper)

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Mandarin Supports the President in the Fight Against Terrorists - President Clinton, that is....

Shrub is right - politicians who don't want the President to have the tools he needs to fight terrorism should be thrown out of office.

The Mandarin suggests we start with those Congressional Republicans who were "soft on terrorism" ten years ago.... click me.