O.C.D. In The D.N.C.?
Platters a plenty … as long as they are biodegradable, organic, locally grown, and have all the right and approved colors. Image Credit: sandwichmart.com
The fanatic level of control exhibited by the planners and leaders of the Democrat Party in the run-up to their convention in Denver is beyond belief ... almost obsessive. One is left to assume that this is exactly the level of control they would like to exert over ALL of our lives if they are given the chance.
As a natural rollout of events which began as “scare everyone” tactics initiated by the claim that Global Warming/Climate Change is created by human beings, the leaders are implementing and holding everyone (who will be attending the convention in Denver) to rules that set the “GREEN” bar very high.
From the strict policies and handling procedures regarding disposable food utensils, to the descriptions of the very colors of acceptable food items served, to strict definitions of what can be worn by service workers ... to the manufacturing composition of balloons to be used for the celebration, to an argument of whether to allow bottled water or not ... this would all be very humorous if this were a parody ... but, unfortunately, it's not.
It is widely assumed that Republicans want to control peoples’ lives, although Republicans staunchly support limiting government and maximizing self-determination. The truth is, the major control initiative over the last few decades comes down to the abortion issue. There, Republicans really only want to protect the unborn human by allowing every baby to be “brought” to term and have a life.
The Democrats, through this extreme approach to green initiatives during their 2008 convention, are making an interesting statement to Americans of all parties. This Democrat Party wants to be able to control every aspect of the lives of all citizens. The D.N.C. discomfort with many matters of self-determination by convention attendees is weirdly controlling ... and smacks of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Ms. Robinson says all the signs and placards will be made from post-consumer recycled or biodegradable materials. It will all be recycled after the event. Confetti and banners lay on the floor at the end of the 2004 convention in Boston. Image Credit: Associated Press
This found, excerpted, and edited from the Wall Street Journal and the Denver Post -
The Greenest Show on Earth: Democrats Gear Up for Denver
From Organic Fanny Packs to 'Pure' Trash, Party Planners Face Logistical Nightmare
By STEPHANIE SIMON - June 25, 2008; Page A1
As the Mile High City gears up to host a Democratic bash for 50,000, organizers are discovering the perils of trying to stage a political spectacle that's also politically correct.
Consider the fanny packs.
The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wanted 15,000 fanny packs for volunteers. But they had to be made of organic cotton. By unionized labor. In the USA.
Official merchandiser Bob DeMasse scoured the country. His weary conclusion: "That just doesn't exist."
Ditto for the baseball caps. "We have a union cap or an organic cap," Mr. DeMasse says. "But we don't have a union-organic offering."
Convention organizers hired the first-ever Director of Greening, longtime environmental activist Andrea Robinson.
Ms. Robinson suspected modern-day delegates would prefer air conditioning. So she quickly modified the mayor's goal: She'd supervise "the most sustainable political convention in modern American history."
To test whether celebratory balloons advertised as biodegradable actually will decompose, Ms. Robinson buried samples in a steaming compost heap.
She hired an Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed.
The Democrats hope to pay penance for those emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.
Perhaps Ms. Robinson's most audacious goal is to reuse, recycle or compost at least 85% of all waste generated during the convention.
To police the four-day event Aug. 25-28, she's assembling (via paperless online signup) a trash brigade. Decked out in green shirts, 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.
"That's the only way to make sure it's pure," Ms. Robinson says.
Here, a delegate eats a hamburger on the floor of the 2004 convention in Boston. Democrats' catering guidelines discourage fried food and push for organic or locally-grown ingredients. At least 50% of each meal should be made up of fruits and/or vegetables. Image Credit: Getty Images
No fried food. And, on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include "at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white." (Garnishes don't count.)
At least 70% of ingredients should be organic or grown locally, to minimize emissions from fuel burned during transportation.
"One would think," says Mr. Matt Burns, a spokesman for the Republican convention, "that the Democrats in Denver have bigger fish to bake -- they have ruled out frying already -- than mandating color-coordinated pretzel platters."
Democrats say the point is to build habits that will endure long after the convention. To that end, the city has staged "greening workshops" attended by hundreds of caterers, restaurant owners and hotel managers. "It's the new patriotism," Mayor Hickenlooper says.
Joanne Katz, who runs the Denver caterer Three Tomatoes, will take one for the green team by removing her fried goat-cheese won tons with chipotle pepper caramel sauce from the menu. But she questions whether some of the guidelines will have the desired earth-saving effects.
Compostable utensils, she says, are often shipped from Asia on fuel-guzzling cargo ships. As for the plates: "Is it better to drive across town to have china delivered to an event and then use hot water to wash it, or is it better to use petroleum-based disposables?" she asks.
But it's almost inevitable that principles, politics and profit will conflict.
To wit: Coors Brewing Co., in Golden, Colo., will donate biofuel made from beer waste to power the convention's fleet of flex-fuel vehicles. A green star for the convention -- but it has rankled die-hard liberals, who boycotted Coors in the 1960s and '70s to protest hiring practices that they said discriminated against blacks, Latinos, women and gays. Heirs to the Coors fortune have long been active in conservative causes and Republican politics.
No matter, grumbles Anna Flynn, a longtime union member from Denver who objected to the donation. "Any way you put it, it's still Coors," she says.
Watching the greening frenzy from afar, Fred L. Smith Jr., president of the libertarian Washington think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, suggested the Democrats could really shrink their footprint by staging a virtual-reality convention: "Just have everyone stay at home with their laptops, sitting in their pajamas, interacting through their avatars."
Ms. Robinson, the greening director, says big showy conventions are part of the American political tradition, and thus worth a few emissions here and there. Also, she hates to be a killjoy.
True, she did try (unsuccessfully) to get bottled water banned from the convention hall. But remember those balloons? She checked the compost heap last week -- and found them still intact.
So will the fanny packs -- made in the USA of undyed, organic fabric. Mr. DeMasse vows to get a union shop to print the logo, but he says the ink will be petroleum based. Unless, that is, he decides to get the logo embroidered -- with biodegradable thread.
There are always veggies left in bins after the weekend farmers’ market. You just can’t eat ‘em all. After a couple of days grace, the remains are off to the compost heap. Today, it’s a nice selection! Image Credit: Tiny Farm Blog
And This –
Caterers find eco-standards tough to chew
By Douglas Brown - The Denver Post - 05/18/2008 11:33:44 PM MDT
Fried shrimp on a bed of jasmine rice and a side of mango salad, all served on a styrofoam plate. Bottled water to wash it all down.
These trendy catering treats are unlikely to appear on the menu at parties sponsored by the Denver 2008 Host Committee during the Democratic National Convention this summer.
Fried foods are forbidden at the committee's 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both.
And caterers must provide foods in "at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white," garnishes not included, according to a Request for Proposals, or RFP, distributed last week.
The shrimp-and-mango ensemble? All it's got is white, brown and orange, so it may not have the nutritional balance that generally comes from a multihued menu.
"Blue could be a challenge," joked Ed Janos, owner of Cook's Fresh Market in Denver. "All I can think of are blueberries."
"I think it's a great idea for our community and our environment. The question is, how practical is it?" asks Nick Agro, the owner of Whirled Peas Catering in Commerce City. "We all want to source locally, but we're in Colorado. The growing season is short. It's dry here. And I question the feasibility of that."
Agro's biggest worry is price. Using organic and local products hikes the costs.
"There is going to be sticker shock when those bids start coming in," he says. "I'll cook anything, but I've had clients who have approached me about all-organic menus, and then they see the organic stuff pretty much doubles your price."
The document, which applies only to the host committee's parties, came after months of work that involved discussions with caterers and event planners along the Front Range, says Parry Burnap, Denver's "greening" director.
"We are hoping that everything we are doing for greening (the convention) has some legacy value," she says.
The RFP, for example, will likely live on after the convention in a brochure the city will distribute widely to help guide local businesses interested in improving their green practices.
"It takes some creativity because some of these things are more expensive," she says. "But we're at the front end of a market shift."
Burnap acknowledged that figuring out what is most green can be difficult.
"One we are talking about now is, is it better to compost or to recycle? If you are using a cup for a beverage, is it better to be (plastic) and back in the materials stream, or compostable, biodegradable waste and go into the waste stream or compost? There are no definitive answers."
Composting for the convention hasn't been entirely figured out yet, she says.
The committee is working with other groups to develop a carbon-footprint "calculator" that will measure the environmental impact of each event and suggest an "offset" — a fee — that will go toward a fund helping to match carbon losses with carbon gains.
"That's a fun one," Burnap says. "If these event planners will calculate and offset, it will start to get the money flowing into the Colorado Carbon Fund, a fund that will reinvest in renewable energy here in Colorado."
Say hello to the green exchange, spearheaded by a leading cast of energy and environmental brokers -investors- who are launching a new exchange for trading credits that offset the global warming greenhouse gas emissions. Image Credit: triplepundit.com
So who really profits from such demanded activity?
It is time to re-think what we really wish for when we are deciding to change things up in the structure of our country.
The Democrats, through their own controlling management styles and behaviors, are showing all of the citizens here in the United States how a Democrat Party headed up by a Barack Obama presidency will be. Personal freedoms and choices will be reduced and/or eliminated.
We are already hearing it in the speeches, as Obama preaches that we all should be driving smaller cars while willingly paying continually increasing prices for fuel (no problem, they would like to see $10.00 a gallon gas if it were up to them), wearing sweaters instead of expecting warm homes, etc. It is a short Democrat drive to an America that can quickly feel like a third world nation given the expectations of our Democrat Party.
While in Denver, attending the "second coming" and coronation of the party's new leader, here’s hoping you enjoy your confetti-colored appetizer with your biodegradable fork. I hope the plate holding the meal of the day does not disintegrate, or fold in your lap!