Tuesday, September 2, 2008
While about 500 people gathered outside for the Poor People's March, facing Police in Riot Gear...
A partially empty arena conducted the Republican Nlt. Convention. It's hard to tune in to the RNC, it's really like a different planet. When I first tuned in, I caught the tail end of Fred Thompson's rant. Talking about democrats raising taxes. Right Fred, because why should people- especially wealthy people have to pay taxes.... nothing wrong with running a $9.5 trillion dollar debt. Fred made a strange comment- that McCain picked a VP who is the only one who "knows how to field dress a moose" (hunting reference). Maybe this was meant to be funny and macho, but please..... what an insult to everyone's intelligence.
Next up was "lost sheep" Joe Lieberman. Joe pointed out over & over & over again that he is an AMERICAN, ans we all are, before we might be Democrats , Independents or Republicans. He had the gall to call himself a Democrat, as he stood at the podium at the RNC, pitching McCain as the man for the presidency. Joe has all the appeal & fervor of a wet dishrag. My dolt-o-meter was in the red zone.
I heard a lot of reference to the "T" word. Terrorism & some fear mongering. Lots of grumbling about why a sitting president fails to make a personal appearance @ the convention of his party. The answer is he has tarnished the Rep brand. He is a liability and a black mark on a candidacy. They are saying he is busy with hurricane relief business- but it's not like he does not have his own government plane he can hop in & go wherever he wants. It's been 40 years since a sitting president has not attended their convention. Then again- think about it-- if they tried to make one of those video montages about his terms as president, it would be some horrific recount.
Scenes from Abu Ghraib, bodies floating in the floods of New Orleans, crowds of people chanting We Need Help!.
The first election, settled by the Supreme court. His "bring it on" international "diplomacy" tactic. Six years of an illegal occupation, with the Mission Accomplished backdrop. The indictments. The revolving door of his staff as Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Powell, Scooter, Delay, Abramoff, Gonzales and a host of others came and went- often to jail, or should have gone to jail, but skated. Now we have economic failure, the mortgage mess, and his abstinence only program has raised, for the first time in 14 years, the teen pregnancy rate. That failure has hit really close to home as the wildcard VP choice of Palin is abuzz with the announcement her unwed 17 year old daughter is pregnant.
Chalk up another one for republican failed policies. Thus the absence of both the president & the video montage.
There was a strange & uncomfortable moment of a Minnesota firefighter, making no rah rah political statement, just saying she is proud to be a firefighter who sorted through the rubble of the collapsed bridge.
The crowd looked uncomfortable and somber.
The speaker in her floral dress just matter-of-factly told the story & said she was a proud firefighter.
The republicans have this disaster to be responsible for- as it happened under their watch.
The failing infrastructure is another republican legacy.
While this yammerfest went on, I found this story about a 17 year old who was beaten by 5 officers in St. Paul.
From The Minnesota Independent:
As he walked along, someone asked him if he had a lighter. He said he didn’t think so but he would look and then set his backpack onto the ground and began to look through it. He explained that almost immediately five police officers surrounded him and demanded that he “put the bag down and put his hands in the air.” He was confused but immediately dropped the bag. Being inexperienced with the police, he did not raise his hands over his head immediately, but rather held his hands out and said, “What? I’m not doing anything!” They immediately attacked him, throwing him to the ground, repeatedly kicking, beating, dragging and hitting him. He responded by protecting his body, only to be accused of resisting arrest. When he was escorted away from the scene he was heavily covered with blood, so the police officers used a shirt to cover his body, possibly to avoid media coverage of the attack. The officers subsequently arrested those that were within the area who attempted to defend our son. Apparently because the people within hearing distance responded to his screams during the attack, he was later told that he was being charged with felony conspiracy to incite a riot. Additionally, he was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and despite giving his correct name and telling the officers exactly where his wallet was in his backpack so they could see his id, providing false identification. However, I should add at this time that since he never had his Miranda rights read to him, was never offered a phone call nor were we, his parents, ever notified of his arrest or charges, and when we sought information from the Juvenile Division they refused to give it to us, and since he was not provided with any paperwork indicating what he was arrested for or ever arraigned in court before being released, we are not entirely certain what the charges against him are.
To our horror, despite his medical needs, he was released from the Juvenile Detention Center, into the darkness of night, alone, without a parent ever having been contacted, to a city that was unfamiliar to him, by the Ramsey County Juvenile Division. He was forced to borrow a stranger’s cell phone to call home. After much confusion about his location, his father found him and brought him into our hometown hospital for medical treatment. They treated his multiple wounds, bruises and scrapes, took pictures, wound measurements and after hearing the story, stated that they would record the incident as a criminal assault.
Our family is devastated. The police could not have attacked a more respectful young man. We are asking anyone who might have been present for the beating to please contact us. Our son is unsure where he was located at, but he overheard an officer refer to 9th and believes that may be the street he was on or near. He was wearing tight fitting, knee length, dark grey corduroy pants and a dark green and black long sleeve flannel. The police ripped off his shirt during the attack and replaced it with a white t-shirt with a flag on it that said “Remember 9/11”. We are also interested in any recordings or still photos of the incident. We are currently seeking legal advice for how to proceed. Any suggestions are appreciated."
Full story here
How much more can we stand to listen to the *God Bless America* speeches, knowing this chaos in the streets is going on?