My email had stories about Rosa Clemente, the Green Party's VP Candidate, being tear gassed outside the Republican Convention. There were also stories about journalists being arrested and PA systems in free speech areas having the plugs pulled by police. I thought I'd see what the news had to say about it.


Senator Norm Coleman welcomed everybody to the town that had been known as "Pigs Eye" until some missionaries had renamed it St. Paul.

After he spoke the announcer explained that they had run a contest to write a 500 word essay to be read at the Republican Convention. It had been won by a fifteen year old woman who would now read her essay.


She did it as the narrator of a video. She devoted about a sentence each to many of the things about America that pull the heart strings. Everything from helping each other out during the great depression to fighting (and dying if that's what it takes) for good causes.


Then she led us in the pledge of allegiance and walked off the stage.


The columnist who was providing color commentary called her words "powerful".


This guy who had worked for McCain talked about how Cindy McCain had personally gone to orphanages in remote and hurting places and picked up kids that desperately needed homes. She had brought them to the USA and found homes for them. He had raised (one? some?) and they were turning out to be great daughters. The picture I got from the way the crowd responded to him and other large family stories that got mentioned on the stage that evening was that Republicans like large families.

Somewhere in there they honored a Navy Seal that had dived on a grenade during a battle in Iraq and died so that his buddies could live. The tribute left tears in my eyes.

Senator Jon Kyl is the other Republican Senator from Arizona.  He said glowing things about being on the same team as McCain.


This firefighter who had been the hero of the rescue after the bridge over the Mississippi collapsed was talking about how great it was to work with the many volunteers that helped her out that day when President Bush the first and his wife Barbara came in. Everything stopped while the Republicans clapped for them.


Then former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and PBS newswoman Gwen Ifill talked about Bush's upcoming speech. Secretary Whitman was sure it would be great.


Then 1st Lady Laura Bush took the stage to apologize for her husband not being there. She explained that he was in Washington DC overseeing the emergency services in case they were needed in New Orleans.

Bush said things like "listen to local officials for direction on when to go home". Then he endorsed Senator John McCain.


After Bush had droned on for a while I went in the other room and took the SPAM picture. I got the stuff years ago, mostly as a place to put the latest addition to my hot sauce collection while I use the one(s) ahead of it in line. I've had situations where I looked around the kitchen and couldn't find anything to eat, and it didn't even cross my mind to open that SPAM. I predict that bottle of organic hot sauce from a company with an address in Cupertino, California will have spiced up many dishes before the SPAM goes anywhere. Hopefully at least one or two more Presidents will drone on in the background while I photograph something else on it.

Anyhow, Bush the first liked his son's speech. After it was over the First Lady summarized it, but I forgot what she said to.


Then Actor and Senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson gave a speech. He talked about what a great story McCain's life is, and how wonderful the Governor of the Great State of Alaska is. He predicted their Administration will do a lot of "reform". He took what I would call some cheap shots at the other major party Candidate, accusing him of being young and stuff like that. After he was done the news anchor called the partisan comments "red meat". I think SPAM is closer to being red meat, and almost as inedible. I just don't see how anybody can enjoy that stuff.


The former First Lady liked something about the speech.


The last speaker was Senator Joe Lieberman, who was introduced as an "Independent/Democrat". The commentator explained that McCain had wanted to put Joe Lieberman on the ticket instead of Palin, but he couldn't because the Republican base wouldn't vote for a pro choice candidate.  Lieberman said we need to come together as a country. He said that McCain really is a reformer, and that he has been MUCH less guilty of earmarking and the like than most of Congress.