Tag: Republican convention

Well, thank God THAT’s over

Christ on a cracker what an awful spectacle.  Pissy, vacuous, hypocritical, pompous, dishonest, bitter – all the worst of America splashed on an embarrassingly big, Soylent Green screen.

Oh, and can I just ask one question?  Did John McCain actually do anything after he got out of Nam?

Besides a mercifully brief part of the bio movie recounting the touching story of how Cindy and he first met (John was still married and they both lied to each other about their ages), you’d never know from his three-day enshrinement into the Halls of High Goopertude that McCain had ever left Hanoi.

Of course, this would all be simply pathetic if it wasn’t so goddamn scary.  

“Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America. Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.”

You have to watch the video to get a full appreciation of the desperately hysterical, nothing-to-lose atmosphere, but give that segment a German language dub and it would sound eerily like Goebbels announcing the Soviets had just crossed the Oder.

And speaking of flirtations with Fascism, how about this guy’s speech?

Like a bad, way-Off-Broadway Mussolini biopic starring Don Rickles.

What a hockey puck.

And Mrs. Mooseshooter notwithstanding, does anyone doubt that the election of these Christian Corporatists would indeed bring real change in this country, as they claim?  Change not for the better, of course, but in ways that the Founding Fathers sought every Constitutional obstacle to prevent?

Let’s face it: if this authoritarian nightmare of a political convention doesn’t get you off your ass to vote, and convince others to do the same, then you simply don’t understand what is at stake here.

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Cross posted at dkos

After the stellar week that was the Democratic Convention it was only natural that the following week would be a profound disappointment.

Every day of the Democratic Convention went off without a hitch. Each speech was better than the last. Each speaker gave the speech of a lifetime. The fireworks went off on cue unlike the memory of the balloons that got stuck, and people cried with joy, happiness and pride for what their country could produce.

I watched every day and was enthralled by the ability of every speaker to deliver a well-crafted, inspiring speech.

The Republicans could not match it.

Walking across Wisconsin, witnessing against war

In some ways, much of Kathy Kelly’s adult life has been a walk against war. So it was completely in character for her to be walking through Milwaukee Monday, on a 450-mile trek to St. Paul and the Republican national convention.

Kelly, (left) a high school and community college teacher, has repeatedly risked her life and her freedom as an advocate for non-violence.  She is now affiliated with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, based in her hometown of Chicago, which organized Witness Against War now making its way across Wisconsin.

A three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work , Kelly is a longtime pacifist who refuses to pay war taxes.  She’s served prison time for  planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites and for crossing the line as part of an ongoing effort to close the School of the Americas, an Army military combat training school at Fort Benning, GA.

She helped initiate Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign which brought medicine and toys to Iraq in open violation of UN/US sanctions against Iraq. Voices in the Wilderness organized 70 delegations to visit Iraq in the period between 1996 and the beginning of “Shock and Awe” warfare in 2003. Kelly has been to Iraq 24 times since January 1996, when the campaign began.

In October 2002, Voices in the Wilderness declared their intent to remain in Baghdad, alongside Iraqi civilians, throughout a war they still hoped they could prevent. Kelly and the team stayed in Baghdad throughout the bombardment and invasion and maintained a household in Baghdad until March, 2004. During 2007, she spent five months in Amman, Jordan, living amongst Iraqis who’ve fled their homes and are seeking resettlement.

Got a message for the GOP? IN GREAT BIG LETTERS?

Got something you’re itching to tell John McCain, or delegates to the Republican national convention?  Here’s your chance.

While some are planning to take it to the streets in St. Paul, one group wants to elevate protesting to a whole new level — the Jumbotron. (See more below on the Labor Day march, and urge St. Paul officials to do the right thing and grant a permit.)

MinnPost reports:

Giant television screens – Jumbotrons, 22 feet high and 30 feet wide – will broadcast anti-Republican-themed messages to convention-goers, the media and the international audience following the proceedings.

Organizers figure they will have much more impact than bullhorns.

The goal is to have pithy, witty and compelling messages laying out the problems in the Republican agenda, and outlining better alternatives, organizers say…

Martha Ballou, an unabashed Democrat who doesn’t mince words: “Every bad guy in the world will be here – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, gay-haters, immigration stoppers. They’ll all be sitting in a bowl in St. Paul, and we do intend to engage them.”

…”We realize that the people in the Xcel center are never going to agree with us, so our audience is the media and those who watch what’s going on,” Ballou said.

“This could change protest forever,” she said.

Messages on the giant screen could include opposition to the Iraq war as well as thoughts on social issues and labor concerns.

A steelworkers group has contributed $30,000 to the Jumbotron effort, which is enough to rent one screen for a week. Ballou hopes to raise at least $70,000 more, to get two more screens to better blanket the convention area, in the West Seventh Street/Kellogg Boulevard area…

Ballou said that most opponents to the Republicans haven’t yet figured out good ways to get their messages across. “Ironically, the only ones really organized so far are the anarchists,” she said.

“But we’re working hard on this, and our intent is to come up with messages that are witty and technologically sophisticated, so people will want to watch,” she said.

Asked for examples, Ballou said she doesn’t have any yet.

“But the guidelines are: Hold the Republicans to their record. Hang them with their own words. Show people a better way,” she said.

True Blue Minnesota is looking for ideas, and you can offer yours here.

What would you say, if you had a Jumbtron all your own to program and the whole world was watching?




Well, sure, but we can do better than that.  Share your ideas for words, photos and video with True Blue Minnesota.  And, if you’d like, offer some ideas in the comment section here, too.

Photo credit: ThreeQBlog.

This from United for Peace and Justice:

ACTION ALERT: Tell St. Paul officials to grant permit for RNC anti-war march

For months now, organizers in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St.Paul) have been hard at work planning for a major antiwar demonstration on September 1, 2008, the opening day of the Republican Nominating Convention in St. Paul. That also happens to be Labor Day and so everyone is hopeful that because this is on a holiday it will be easier to bring large numbers of people to this important mobilization.

The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, made up of more than 100 organizations from around the Twin Cities and across the country – including United for Peace and Justice – has been seeking permits for the Sept. 1st demonstration since days after the Republicans announced they would hold their national convention in Minnesota. The local organizers have been given a permit to assemble and rally at the State Capitol, but the City of St. Paul continues to withhold a permit for a march up to and around the Xcel Center, where the Convention will be held.

For months, City officials promised that the permit process would move forward at the beginning of March. This past March 3rd, the Coalition finally received a formal response to their application: a “provisional” permit to begin a march at the State Capitol on September 1st, with no route, no times, and with a suggestion that whatever route is eventually granted will not be for our exclusive use for the duration of the protest. The document the Coalition received was a mostly blank form, and was accompanied by a set of guidelines that unreasonably restrict the rights of any protesters planning actions during the 2008 Republican National Convention.

On Monday, March 24th, attorneys from the National Lawyer Guild and the ACLU filed a complaint in federal court, on behalf of the Coalition, asking the judge to order the City to approve the Coalition’s permit application and that no extra guidelines be attached. The hope is that legal action will help win the permit that’s needed – one that takes a massive, anti-war march to the doors of the Republican Convention at the Xcel Center.

Local organizers also know that political pressure is no less important than legal pressure. St. Paul City officials have worked hard to create the impression that they want to work with and even welcome protesters. If they truly wanted to roll out a welcome mat, they already would have. The Coalition is planning for a march against the war on Iraq, and we shouldn’t have to wait for a court ruling to force the City to issue a permit that takes us to the Xcel Center on September 1st.


1) Contact St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Urge him to deliver a final permit to the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, taking us from the State Capitol to the Xcel Center on September 1, 2008. Mayor Coleman can be reached at [email protected]  or 651-266-8510. Please send a copy of your message to the Twin Cities organizers at [email protected]

2) Send a letter to the editor at either of these two newspapers in the Twin Cities and explain why you believe the permit needs to be granted, now:

    – Star Tribune in Minneapolis – send by fax to 612-673-4359

    – St. Paul Pioneer Press – send by fax 651-228-5564 or by e-mail to [email protected]