Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘rnc convention’

Abu Ghraib comes home/update

Posted by Charles II on September 8, 2008

The account by this 19-year old who was jailed at the Republican National Convention alleges that the Ramsey County jail used methods that amount to torture, including beatings, hooding, and neglect of medical conditions brought on by the beating. He claims that there was no basis for his arrest.

Other allegations of abuse of power by the police are detailed here. As much as I sympathize with officers, who have to do a difficult job, there’s enough smoke here to believe that there’s also fire.
Update: Stormcrow notes that FDL has been on this story. Dr. Murphy’s comments are well worth reading.

Update: Mayor Coleman’s brother has stated in an OpEd that the police overreacted. For his pains, he got a couple of dozen mudballs from the kind of lowlifes that think that the LA riots were caused by the police being too mellow.

Posted in abuse of power, Republican National Convention | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Agent provocateurs at Minnie/St. Paul protests?

Posted by Charles II on September 8, 2008

Ray McGovern, Consortium News:

The young protesters had some success in exposing infiltrators in their ranks. During confrontations, members of the Welcoming Committee, in particular, took copious photos of law enforcement officers and then memorized the faces.

This tactic worked like a charm in one of the St. Paul parks, when a man who looked like a protester — dark clothes, backpack, a bit disheveled — walked by.

One of the protesters recognized the man’s face and searched through her camera until she found a photo of the man actually performing the raid on the Welcoming Committee’s headquarters on Friday night.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in phony scandals, Republican National Convention, Republicans acting badly | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Agent provocateurs at Minnie/St. Paul protests?

Minnesota’d wince

Posted by Charles II on September 5, 2008

One of the amazing people to protest at the RNC convention was Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Program.

She did an interview with Amy Goodman that is worth listening to, or reading. Here’s an excerpt:

CHERI HONKALA: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been involved in large demonstrations for like the last twenty years, and I’m very ashamed of my home state. I’ve never seen so many reporters like yourself being detained. A Channel 5 reporter was trying to cover a story of us; he was thrown into an elevator. A couple other folks that we know that were trying to cover some of our events were also detained and then later released on two different occasions. We were inside the Capitol trying to have a peaceful demonstration during regular open hours of the Capitol, and the reporters were literally locked out of the Capitol and unable to come in, even though they showed their credentials. And so, I don’t quite get what is so horrible about covering a story of women and children and the elderly and people of all colors trying to come together to talk about the day-to-day reality of their lives….

we set up encampments, particularly during the Republican National Convention, for some place for people to sleep, because we can’t afford the W or the Hilton. And so, people were staying at the Bushville, and our first Bushville that we set up on Harriet Island, the first night we were surrounded by 200 police officers in riot gear. They turned on the sprinklers on our children while they were sleeping, turned off all the park lights and drove their police vehicles up onto the lawn with their brights on. And myself and a couple of our other leaders were then arrested, and our Bushville was torn down. Later through the week, they brought dogs to our Bushville, while the kids were sleeping, let the dogs bark and scare the kids, and then periodically would just go by and drive up and run their sirens at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, just to make people afraid.

You know how few Christians there are in this country when police can use tactics like these against the poor.

Posted in activism, Republican National Convention | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

I Am Officially Appalled

Posted by MEC on September 5, 2008

I have never watched a video of the attack on the World Trade Center. I avert my eyes from photographs, too.

I have two reasons for avoiding those images. One, I know that experiencing merely the images of horrific events can be traumatizing, and I don’t believe that traumatizing myself will give me any better appreciation of the events or greater sympathy for the victims. Two, I have too much respect for the people who really did experience the attack to pretend that watching a recording means I am sharing their experience and understand what it did to them.

No, wait. I have three reasons. The third is that I know there are people out there for whom replaying the attack isn’t a way to learn more about it and try to understand what happened, or a way to empathize with the victims. For those people it’s tragedy porn, and the way they get excited about the ghastly details is really, really creepy.

So you can probably guess my reaction when I learned that last night’s festivities at the Republican National Convention included slow-motion videos of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Not just videos, but slow-motion videos, the better to burn the horror into the viewers’ brains, or maybe to savor the thrilll of seeing violent death, or maybe to stir up mass rage in order to direct it at more accessible targets than the people who planned and carried out the attacks. If there’s a good reason for showing that video to the delegates and to the TV audience, I for damn sure don’t know what it is.

Those people have no concept of decency.

Posted in Republican National Convention, Republicans as cancer, World Trade Center | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

They’re Really Slipping

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 5, 2008

They can’t even fake authenticity right any more:

Those homemade convention signs that look like a kid’s art project? GOP operatives made them

Republicans attending the GOP convention are fired up – but not so motivated that they’ll hand-paint their own “McCaination” signs.

The fakery didn’t end there:

On Tuesday night, 15-year-old Victoria Blackstone, a sophomore at the St. Agnes School in St. Paul, led the crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in the Pledge of Allegiance. The audience heard her 434-word essay, “Pledging myself to the Flag of the United States of America,” an essay she’d entered in the “Wave the Stars & Stripes” essay contest and won. The RNC turned that essay into a three and a half minute video, a visually stirring montage rolling over Victoria’s words about sharing the Pledge with Americans who have stood at important moments
in history.

There’s the Continental Congress…A real WWII vet…Photos of workers at Ground Zero. A close-up of a folded flag presented to a grieving widow at a military funeral… profiles of soldiers swelling with pride in slo-motion.

But CBS News found that the footage of the ‘funeral’ and soldiers is what is called ‘stock’ footage. The soldiers were actors and the funeral scene was from a one-day film shoot, produced in June. No real soldiers were used during production.

The footage, sold by stock-film house Getty Images was produced by a commercial filmmaker in Chicago. Both Getty and the production company, Mr. Big Films, confirmed that the footage was shot on spec and sold to the Republican National Committee.

Shades of Ronald Reagan, who never actually served overseas, confusing his movie scripts with actual “war stories”.

By contrast, CBS did a web search of video footage used at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and found no obviously-stock footage, much less any faked war footage such as what McCain and Company used at the RNC.

Posted in 2008, John McCain, liars, Republican National Convention, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, WTF? | Tagged: | Comments Off on They’re Really Slipping

The end of an eerie

Posted by Charles II on September 4, 2008

There was something iconic about it. The brave young man who unfurled a banner, “McCain votes against veterans.” The brave young woman in pink hustled out of the hall. And the chants of “USA! USA!” designed to silence those deviations of opinion.

As rhetoric, the speech was awful. It had no center, no specifics, no direction. It was the common denominator, the essence, the wrung-rag eidos of every bad political speech: glittering generalities, pandering, and questionable assertions. The only coherent meme was the Christian one embodied in his reminiscence of being broken and helpless and of how this brought him to a life of service. And yet it was the tale of an old man, told again and again until it had become fractured and stale, not possessing any substance or reality.

As near as the speech ventured toward specifics, McCain promised to reform Washington. He did not say that it needs reforming from the corruption of his own party, or that he enabled the corruption. He again shamelessly put forth the canards that Obama would raise taxes (a statement that would only be true if every listener earned over $250,000 per year) and that Obama would insert a government bureacrat between patients and their doctors. He promised people anachronisms, such as a new program of retraining for jobs destroyed by globalization–jobs that left our shores a decade ago. And he pandered to his audience, telling them they had achieved (almost!) victory in Iraq, thanks to the brilliant Petraeus and the president whose name no one can quite remember.

The speech was sad to witness. The small bit of reality intruded in the form of protestors, and was quickly squelched. The rest of the pageant was completely unreal, like an episode of Leave it to Beaver playing in Sadr City. John McCain is a man whose time is past, speaking to a party whose time is also past. And neither has the wit to get off stage as our nation burns to the ground.

Posted in John McCain | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Support journalists jailed for covering RNC

Posted by Charles II on September 4, 2008

Amy Goodman has requested that people write to St. Paul Attorney John Choi and Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, with ccs to the indicated DN address to ask them to drop the charges against her and her producers, Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous.

This is not a venal request. The arrest and roughing up of these three journalists represents an unusual transgression by police across the line drawn by the First Amendment. This ain’t normal, folks, and we cannot let it become so. The cops deserve plenty of leeway in which to make mistakes, but these arrests were very clearly deliberate, political in nature, and intended to silence the last gasps of a free press.

Posted in Good Causes, media, real journalism | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Pants on Fire at the GOP Convention

Posted by MEC on September 4, 2008

Is the Associated Press responding to all the criticism from the left, or pissed off by McCain’s recent attack on the media? It’s distributing a report that’s all about the lies spewed at the GOP convention last night, with special attention to Sarah Palin.

The report even describes Senator Obama’s accomplishments and details his plans for making the tax system a little fairer to the poor and middle class.

Posted in liars, Republican National Convention, Sarah Palin | Tagged: | Comments Off on Pants on Fire at the GOP Convention

The important stuff

Posted by Charles II on September 3, 2008

Palin lapel pin

Palin lapel pin

Palin’s speech wasn’t much more than lies stitched together with faux folksiness. So on to the important stuff. What was the lapel pin she and husband Todd were wearing, which had red borders top and bottom and some sort of something in the center of a white field?

Posted in John McCain | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

The Elephant in the Room

Posted by MEC on September 3, 2008

As AMERICAblog points out, the Republican National Convention is more notable for what’s not being said than what is being said.

The subject that’s conspicuous by its absence? “It’s the economy, stupid.”

And no wonder. Eight years of Bushonomics have left them with nothing to brag about except CEOs’ salaries.

  • Mass layoffs have grown 5% in the last year.
  • Median weekly income has not grown in real terms over the last eight years.
  • After inflation, the federal minimum wage of $6.55 is worth 40 cents less per hour than it was a decade ago.
  • Employer-assisted childcare and employee wellness programs cover less than one quarter of American workers.
  • More workers are working part-time because they can’t find full-time work.
  • More than 10% of workers are unemployed, discouraged from seeking work, or underemployed, almost a 25% increase over last year.

Add to those grim statistics the steep increases in foreclosures and bankruptcies, the increasing number of children living in poverty, the inflation rate, the record deficit, and the growing cost of the Iraq War, it’s no wonder the Republicans would rather remind us that John McCain was a POW than announce their plans for undoing the damage their own party has caused.

Posted in economy, Republican National Convention | Tagged: | Comments Off on The Elephant in the Room

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