Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Support Your Troops, Not the Dent 9

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAfter yesterday's post concerning the "Dent 9," I heard from a former LEPOCO contributor, RadCenter. He really sums up the growing frustration I've experienced with LEPOCO. And more importantly, he has a very positive suggestion for all of us, whether we support or oppose the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Here's what he has to say:

I received the same letter you did from Lepoco--the one containing the full-color postcard of the nine arrestees looking, if I must say, rather chipper, considering the supposed seriousness of their mission.

My first reaction was to snicker at the ridiculousness of the name "Dent 9." Can they seriously be comparing themselves to the
Catonsville 9? Please. This trivializes the concept of civil disobedience.

I used to pledge to Lepoco in the futile hope that, considering their origins and name, they might actually be instruments of progressive change in the Lehigh Valley or the Poconos. Instead they seem to be "concerned" about every region of the world except the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos, from East Timor to South Africa. What about East Texas and South Bethlehem? I explained this to the last Lepoco volunteer who called me during their annual pledge drive, and was met with total confusion.

Lepoco has been silent on the two issues arguably having the most impact on its immediate neighbors--rampant "upscale" development and the social parasite that is casino gambling. How does it expect to be heard on matters involving the larger community?

I take the adage "Think globally, act locally" to mean that if we want peace in the world, we must create peace in our communities. They take it to mean that if we want peace in the world, we must try to solve all of the world's problems using our own limited local tools. I think they are sincere; I also think they are wasting their time. They could, if they put their minds to it, really make a positive difference in their own community. And if many such small groups in each community around the world would do the same, we *would* have world peace.

It is no longer 1968; it is 2006. New tactics are needed for a new generation of foot soldiers. But we have to be ready to lace up our boots.

Speaking of soldiers: For what it cost to print and mail the postcard that Lepoco sent to me and you, Lepoco could have purchased one or more helmet upgrade kits, the purpose of which is to keep a Marine's brains from getting scrambled when he's hit with a blast. Go to
http://www.operation-helmet.org/ to contribute. Remember, they're dying while we're debating.

It's a much better idea than those silly yellow ribbon magnets. Thanks, RadCenter. I think our soldiers need a little more help than the "Dent 9" or LEPOCO right now.

Afternoon Update:

The Dent Nine are not fryin', but they were all found guilty of summary offenses in Lehigh County Court today. Each was sentenced to a few hundred bucks and costs. I don't have an opinion on the criminality of their behavior. I don't wear a black dress. But in my twisted book of justice they were guilty of rudeness in the first degree, bullying in the second degree, and obstruction of other constituents who also had business in Dent's office that day.


FtHillDem said...

Your analogy of the Dent 9 to Nazi brownshirts is a false one and especially repugnant to me. The protest was non-violent.

If your post confined itself to the wisdom of the tactics of the protesters, that would be a
debatable point. Instead, you promulgate the image of non-violent protesters, whom events have increasingly vindicated, as being bullies and brownshirts. I'm sure that this image will be trotted out by those whose interest is to further their violent aims in Iraq and elsewhere.

And most of all, I object to the ridicule you aimed at these protesters. If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that these people were sincere in there opposition to what they consider, and what I consider, is an immoral war. The protest is not about the Dent 9, it is about the war.

I congratulate you on the previous anti-war activities that you claim. You have done more than I. I fail to see that your current comments are very fair or helpful.

Bernie O'Hare said...

FTHILLDEM, I read what you said both yesterday and today. Although these folks are certainly sincere, they did try to force themselves on another. Their actions were nonviolent, but they were bullies. You may not like that, but it's the truth. They were acting like nonviolent brownshirts, if you will.

You're willing to overlook rude and obnoxious behavior simply because its perpetrators are correct about the war. In other words, the ends justify the means. I suppose this is where you and I part company.

You're aghast that I would dare ridicule an annointed institution like LEPOCO. Despite the sincerity of some of its members, it's a useless group that has accomplished very little since its formation. Now that's OK with me, but when they start engagaing in bullying tactics, I think a good dose of ridicule is entirely appropriate because their antics actually hurt the antiwar movement. Actually, more than ridicule is needed.

I will no longer give LEPOCO a dime. I think RadCenter is entirely correct. Instead of giving money to LEPOCO so it can send picture postcards of 9 of its smirking bullies, I choose instead to spend an equal sum for a helmet upgrade kit for some folks who really are in trouble.

Thanks for your comments. I think the current comment is helpful if it points out to LEPOCO that its tactics are not appreciated. I also think it is entirely fair. You don't like it bc you apparently only like to see the right ridiculed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Incidentally, if my anaology to Nazi brownshits is inaccurate, so also is the analogy to the Catonsville 9. I think my analogy is closer to the truth.


Dem Fly on the wall said...

We all deserve occasional ridicule, for getting to tied up in our causes. Those Brownshirts are both inside and outside od Government, my friend.
I miss your comments Bernie, here I thought we were having a "torrid" on Blog affair. You did my blog, I did yours.
Alas, I have come clean to my husband, and he just laughed. I like it when men Blog me Bernie, it's the only variety I get anymore! :)

Dem Fly on the wall said...

Damn, I forgot the spell check!

Dem Fly on the wall said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FtHillDem said...

Hmmm.. Nonviolent Brownshirts. Congratulations Bernie, I believe that your use of that phrase must be the first time that those two words have ever appeared one right after the other.

Let's call your equation of non-violent antiwar protesters to Nazi brownshirts what it really is --- bullshit.

I'm actually in a pretty good mood as I have just had a driver's license photo taken which is much superior to the one taken four years ago. So I offer to volunteer to provide a service to this website: official bullshit detector.

Bernie, I think that your heart is in the right place, and that's saying something in the age we are living through. But you are prone to occasionally spouting bullshit.

I know. It's thankless work, but somebody has to do it. Thank God I'm still around to try and do the job.

C'mon. Try to sneak one by me.....

Bernie O'Hare said...

DemFly, Actually, I read your blog entry concerning Follweiler this morning, and am "musing" an appropriate response. It really sounds like Follweiler has a shot.

As far as our blogging affair goes, I had to end it. I was thinking of your children. That and the fact that your husband calls himself MadBatter. Oh, yeah, and your obsession with castration.

Are you sure your husband is just laughing? Someboday took after me with a bat in his hands this morning, and he was laughing, too. You've got your bow to protect you. All I have are the Nazareth police.

Dem Fly on the wall said...

you think the Boulder Police would let me chat with that Carr fellow for a few minutes? I don't think he had a damn thing to do with it, but he sure is getting his 15 minutes of fame. So he looked into a sex change? Hmmm, wonder if I could interest him in my in home service?! Don't worry, I'm not stalking you Bern, but I am disappointed our online affair had to end! :)

Bernie O'Hare said...

FtHillDem, You know, I think you're right. Comparing the Dent 9 to a group of brownshits is, in all probability, bullshit.

But if I were you, I'd hesitate a bit before volunteering to be "official bullshit detector" on my blog. You'd have to give up your day job.

Although I probably was caught up in rhetoric when I wrote that in comments yesterday, I don't think there's any argument over the bullying tactics used. I also don't think there's any dispute that their rude behavior marginalized those of us who have good reason to believe a mistake was made in going into Iraq. I deeply resent being marginalized by this group, no matter how sincere. Their antics did nothing to highlight an immoral war. Instead, they send a picture postcard of themselves, asking for support.

You know, there were probably people who had other business in Dent's office that day. There were probably other people who were calling in that day. I don't think Dent's office got much done that afternoon.

And God, if thy're going to do something stupid, why not pick someone who actually voted for the war? Santorum has an office in the area. And nobody likes him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dem Fly on the wall, I'm just saying that for your husband's benefit.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of maroons!

Dem Fly on the wall said...

Lets get all radical and compare the "dent 9" to the "Chicago 7"1 NOT!!! I'd be more inopressed with these guys if they had gone Symbionese Liberation Army, robbed a bank, and kidnapped a politician.
but they are just a rag tag bunch of neer'do wells. Their 15 seconds are up. Bye Bye!!
Oh and Bernie, don't worry, I was thinking of calling Upper Mac Queen and one of those Stepfords about maybe having a four way "Blog" Love fantasy!! The Mad batter flirts with PoP all the time. Why can't we have some fun?!!

Dem Fly on the wall said...
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Doctor Rick said...

Filthydem is wrong Bernie.

And supporting the troops is what everyone should be doing. Except you, you can't be liberal and support the troops. It's impossible.

Bernie O'Hare said...

DemFly, You're on, but no bows, no knives, and no bats.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dr. Rick,

Actually, FtnHillDem put me in my place. The Dent 9 were out of line, but I think I was a bit overboard with the brownshirt analogy.

As far as supporting the troops is concerned, I don't think a soldier will mind that his helmet protector was paid for by a liberal so long as he has one.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, Want to explain to us why you met for lunch recently with Rep. Dent in Allentown? Just a friendly lunch with small talk??? Care to fill us in on your reason and conversation?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sure! After writing numerous posts about both Charles Dertinger abd Charlie Dent, I was separately contacted by both and asked to meet with them. I met Dertringer at Wegmans and met Dent at the Hotel Bethlehem. The conversation in both meetings? Politics, of course! I consider both of these meetings as interviews, and will be writing posts about those meetings. They are both very well informed, and I was glad for the opportunity to talk to both of them, especially since I've been critical of both.

Don't worry! I'll be writing about these interviews in upcoming posts.

This was the first time in my life I was ever contacted by two candidates for Congress.

Don't fret. Condemning the antics of the Dent 9 does not mean I've turned Republican on you. I just think they were a bunch of bullies who actually hurt the antiwar movement.