August 29, 2008 archive

Brand America Goes For Broke…Sort Of

So…this was originally supposed to be something about how Brand America/Monied Interests/PermaGov/The Man is, in 2008, finally grudgingly acknowledging certain global sociopolitical realities by conceding the nomination of a major American political party to a black man. About how said black man and his crew had been following in the footsteps of great political marketers and ad men of the past-specifically, the past of 1960 and 1980-in creating an indelible brand with which to sell themselves to the American consumer population. About how, after all, this is the American Way, and that’s just what we do here.

Belated slideshow from day three at the DNC: Biker standoff with Denver Police

SO many things going on. I didn’t get a chance to submit these last night because I was too damn exhausted. As I was heading home last night, I came across a biker stand off with police at 15th and Blake Streets in Denver. One guy got hauled off and arrested but the picture I took came out all fuzzy. It was one of those spur of the moment photographs that just didn’t come out right when you needed it to.

I’m including these photos because the Democratic National Conference is more than just a dog & pony show. Political conventions have always been about protests, overreactive police force, etc. These photos capture some of the things that took place. When I left the bikers were chanting “The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!” Activists never get credit for the actions they do. That’s why they belong here.

As always….. more to come.

– ctrenta

The Stars Hollow Gazette

There are people who don’t think that I’m a cold hearted killer of a partisan Democrat.  They are mistaken.

My motivation is my conviction that the radical, social democratic parts of my political agenda are more likely to come to pass under a party that at least espouses some claim to the principles this nation was founded on and can perhaps be shamed in to action on the most egregious offenses.

I believe that the most efficient way to create an atmosphere where that can happen is to permanently eradicate the Republican Party root and branch and make the “conservative” brand a mark of Cain.  Biblical destruction, sowing of salt in the fields, their lamentations music to our ears.

Dead as the Whigs.

It may be that we will have to suffer under 8 or 16 years of Democratic Party failure too, but at least it will be Democratic Party failure and not a frog march into the dustbin of history.

I expect massive disappointment at best.

The struggle will be to create a democratic wing that is strong enough to fly on it’s own, and it’s just not yet.  The environment needs to get better.

It is no secret that I think we need change in the Corporate Media Culture of Washington D.C..  Sally Quinn and Tim Russert deserve the judgement of history on their complicity, but nobody lives forever.  Things can change and they are changing.  People don’t buy the bullshit so much anymore, look at the ranking of “journalists” in any credibility poll.

Right there with Congress.

So better Democrats and Rachel Maddow, that all you got ek?

It’s a start.  We need to build on this success.

Most of all we need to keep our eye on the goal and it will be hard because we’re a long way away.  It’s certainly not going to end in November.



Well here is a larger version of the “port-holed header” from last night.

Although Olivia guessed correctly that the header image was a “form of caterpillar”, my friend Dave in Okinawa, guessed it as a “Tomato Worm” which I believe it is.

I`m going with that hunch, since I saw it on a tomato plant here, along with it`s partner, laying waste to dozens of tomatoes.

It is over 3″ long & very beautiful if you like green.

Hector Protector was dressed all in green,

Hector Protector was sent to the queen.

The queen did not like him,

no more did the king

so Hector Protector was sent home again.

Obviously some people don`t like green.

On Planet Earth, a beautiful large format Hibiscus. There are more beyond it.

The header shows that you can pick up the pieces of a broken heart, but you can`t put a flower back together.

Please do go see the character actors beyond the main post.

Their expressions are strange. I don`t know if you can tell, but there are two “Tomato Worms” (Olivia)

So Dave, tell me which one you want a print of.

As for Olivia, you get one also for being so “hot”. That`s what the judge ruled

Our World Can Be Different

I’ve said a lot, here in these pages, about the nuances of government policy, and power.  I’ve said a lot about how difficult it is to change things, and poorly we understand the task ahead of us.  And I’ve said that I feel that the policies advocated by the Democratic Party and their nominee for President, Barack Obama, are not all that I have hoped for, or that I think we need.

But it is not merely the details that matter.  Part of it is the ability for us to believe in ourselves.  We have a difficult time simply accepting our world as it really is.  We have an exponentially more difficult time accepting the idea that it could really be different.  That we can be different.

Every day, we have more  reason to be cynical, to be pessimistic.  There is a never-ending litany of the dangers we face, both lurking around every corner in the present, and looming in our future.  Tonight, as Obama accepted the Democratic nomination, Vladamir Putin said that “the suspicion would arise that someone in the United States created {the conflict in the former Soviet republic of Georgia} on purpose to stir up the situation and to create an advantage for one of the candidates in the competitive race for the presidency in the United States.”  Can we have any trouble dismissing him, after our government created a false crisis in Iraq?  Tonight, as Obama accepted the nomination, another storm is arriving in New Orleans.  Can we have confidence that the public services that we have purchased with our hard-earned money will be there for them, after they failed them so spectacularly three years ago?

It is difficult to believe, in our leaders and in ourselves.  I have a hard time with it often, both as a citizen, and as a person.  Indeed, often in my bitterness with the world as it is and as it has been, I wonder why I am possibly so gullible as to believe that things can change, and that they can be better, and whether I can even possibly contribute a share, even one three millionth of the total effort.

And tonight, watching Barack Obama speak, I am reminded why.  Because, to the extent that I know anything, I know that he believes it is possible.  He believes that our world can be different.  He believes that I can be different.  He believes I can be better, that I can be a better person tomorrow, and next year, and ten years from now.  And he believes that our world can be better.  He believes in me.  He believes in us.  And belief is infectious.  That is what I believe.

Rape Denial of the SD Attorney General & Custer


Amnesty International conducted detailed research in three locations with different policing and judicial arrangements…: the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North and South Dakota, the State of Oklahoma and the State of Alaska.

– snip –

It (sexual violence) has been compounded by the federal government’s steady erosion of tribal government authority and its chronic under-resourcing of those law enforcement agencies and service providers…

– snip –

Some of the data…suggests that a high number of perpetrators of sexual violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women are non-Indian…It appears that Indigenous women in the USA may be targeted for acts of violence and denied access to justice on the basis of their gender and Indigenous identity.

Now why did“the South Dakota attorney general and researchers at the University of South Dakota challenge(d) that conclusion?”

Sign ze papers, old man

“Voluntary early retirement papers” that is, and note my convention of enclosing evil Orwellian doublespeak phrases in quotation marks.

The Democratic Party and the Politics of Lesser Evilism

The Democratic Party and the Politics of Lesser Evilism, and International Socialist Organization web book, via

This book traces the history of the Democratic Party as a party of Southern slaveholders, a party of big business, and as a party playing on populist themes in order to win the votes of workers and the oppressed. He also looks at the party’s latest, neoliberal incarnation under Clinton and the “new Democrats.” As Selfa shows, the party has always played the role of coopter of any left alternative outside the limited framework of the two-party system. Selfa argues convincingly that the current “Anybody But Bush” mantra that has gripped many on the left has once again set back the struggle to organize a genuine independent left political alternative in the United States.

Dreaming The Dream Making History

Dreams give us hope. They inspire us to reach heights of creativity and invention that we believed were not possible. Dreams help us through are most desperate times because they allow us to see a future that is beyond the place we presently occupy.  Dreams are not just personal moments they can also be public.

Public, being that we allow others dreams to be our dreams by embracing them as if they belonged to us this has happened throughout the history of America. In recent history its been people like Franklin Roosevelt who offered America and Americans a New Deal and delivered it. Roosevelt brought electricity to rural America, created the Social Security Administration providing all Americans with a social safety net something no previous administration had ever done.  Rosa Parks a seamstress living in Alabama and a Civil Rights Activist who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery Alabama to a white customer setting the stage for the Montgomery bus boycott and the furtherance of the civil rights movement.  The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King who inspired by the ideals of Gandhi and his use of nonviolence to achieve his goals applied those same principles to the American Civil Rights Movement inspiring millions to join his cause.  President John F. Kennedy a man who just didn’t allow Americans to dream but inspired millions around the world to dream. How popular was he?  So popular that his picture could find in the most unexpected places in the world be, it in America, Europe or Africa. So popular that he gave a speech to 10’s of thousands West Berliners at the Brandenburg gate one of the most famous speeches ever given.      

All of these people and millions more had one common thread among them.  They dared to dream.  Dreams sometimes which others believed to be impossible but they still dreamt they could be reached.

So, yesterday not only did a dream come true but history was made when Barack Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party to be their presidential nominee. He is the first person of African American heritage or African decent in either America or Europe to be given the opportunity to be the leader of a major political or economic power.

Dreams can come true and Barack Obama has proven just that.  

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