March 30, 2008

Auto Manufacturers Show Up At Rally!

Filed under: Rallies — Sean @ 9:59 am

We thought that Mercedes came out to show support for our troops, but it just turned out that this was just another protester who couldn’t draw their beloved peace symbol. 

Mercedes Protester

Photo credit – NeoCon.

Click here for NeoCon’s great pictures from the rally.

Special people defend our freedom

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 7:28 am

There are people among us who volunteer to defend our freedom. In America, we can peacefully gather and demonstrate for our point of view because of these special people who understand how precious our freedoms are and are willing to sacrifice so much to ensure that we always have them.

Below is an outstanding article by Cal Thomas that outlines exactly why we support our troops and why those who call them occupiers and demand that they “come home now” are undermining them and America.

You can find the original article here.

The fight for freedom never ends by Cal Thomas – Mar 28, 2008

Following Sept. 11, 2001, a day of infamy on which nearly 3,000 died at the hands of terrorists, the New York Times began publishing the names and pictures of the dead. I made a deliberate effort to look at those pictures and to read the names and hometowns of each victim. I wanted to identify with them as much as possible.

Now the Times has published more pictures, names and ages, this time of American war dead. They are part of the 4,000 casualties to have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan since those wars began. They – and their families – deserve our gratitude. Some politicians who oppose the war – mostly Democrats, but a few Republicans – offer obligatory and oblique references to “the troops” and their bravery, while undermining their sacrifice and objectives by calling for their immediate withdrawal. That is not a policy, unless one regards surrender and retreat only to fight a bloodier war another day policy.

What is remarkable is that America continues to produce the kind of young men and women who are willing to lay down their lives for a principle: the principle of freedom – for others and for us. This is a characteristic that may not be uniquely American, but it is one this country has fully embraced, as time and time again it fights wars to liberate others and protect itself.

As the excellent HBO series on the life of John Adams portrays, the notion of freedom was conceived in the hearts of our countrymen even before America became a nation. It is a story about sacrifice, separation from loved ones and the forsaking of familiar and comfortable surroundings in favor of misery and hardship. The fight for independence involved emotional and physical pain and unenviable loss. But it also produced gain for those willing to pay the price.

“John Adams” tells another truth: freedom isn’t free. It must be bought and paid for by every generation and sometimes more than once within a generation. Freedom is not a natural state – otherwise more people would be free. Tyranny, oppression, dictatorship and the denial of human rights are the norm for much of the planet. Mankind’s lower nature dictates that far too many seek to reduce others to servitude in order to elevate themselves.

President Bush has repeatedly said that freedom is a God-given right that resides in the heart of every human. Maybe, but sometimes one must fight to extract it from the hardened hearts of others who want it exclusively for themselves.

Looking at the faces of those who have fallen and driving by Arlington National Cemetery, I am reminded of the cost of freedom. Those who died allow me to travel freely. Those who sacrificed everything invested in freedom for my family and yours so that we can all live our lives where we choose to live them and worship where, and however, we please. These are freedoms most of the world can only dream about.

It has been said that most of us no longer know anyone who is serving in the military and that’s too bad. Some college campuses (like Harvard) continue to ban the ROTC without acknowledging that Harvard might not exist were it not for soldiers willing to fight to preserve academic freedom.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,” goes the Kris Kristofferson lyric. But that is a cynical view of freedom. In a city and a state that helped give freedom birth, there are constant reminders of those who were freedom’s midwives. If John Adams, his cousin Sam, Paul Revere and so many others from our past could speak today, they would remind us that freedom is never fully paid for and that its loss would exact a greater cost.

Folk singer Joan Baez plans to return to Cambridge this week to mark the 50th anniversary of Club Passim, where her career of singing mostly protest songs began. That she still has the freedom to sing those songs results from the sacrifices of the patriots who died for her right to protest. It would be nice if she sang a song honoring them, but that’s probably “just blowin’ in the wind.”

March 27, 2008

The Chester County Victory Movement SUPPORTS Our Troops

Filed under: Press,Rallies — Sean @ 7:42 am

Amongst the other lies spewed by Karen Porter on this morning’s WCOJ radio interview was the unbelievable slander that the Victory Movement is not for the troops. She bases this upon the dubious notion that we ‘refused to sign’ a petition that she circulated once.

The Chester County Victory Movement:

  • Holds signs saying ‘THANK YOU TROOPS’.
  • Holds signs saying ‘We Support The Troops AND Their Mission’.
  • Holds signs saying ‘OUR TROOPS ARE HEROES’.
  • Stands vigil against those slandering our troops.
  • Gets more and more support from passers-by every week, and it seems more and more FAMILIES of TROOPS getting out of their cars to THANK US.

Karen’s ‘Peace’ Movement:

  • Holds signs slandering the President, who happens to be the Commander-In-Chief of our TROOPS.
  • Holds signs calling our troops murderers and torturers.
  • Holds gatherings “in honor of 4,000 troops dead” (take note of the wording – it is a verbatim quote from her interview.)
  • Slanders our veterans who have not been in combat by suggesting that they are not real veterans.
  • Have physically shoved a Blue Star Wife into the street, and slapped another girl’s camera away.
  • Get honks from crazed, middle finger-wielding leftists who hate America as much as they do the Victory Movement.

Our only objective is to support our troops. Karen Porter doesn’t understand that yes, we will call attention that she and her group demoralize the troops and hurt America – but this too is SUPPORTING our TROOPS and our COUNTRY.

I hope everyone can come out this Saturday to join me in our support – like we have been doing every Saturday for seven months.

March 24, 2008

My take on the rally and how to prevent future episodes.

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 10:01 pm

After Saturday’s rally, I’m sure everyone has been reflecting on what occured. I’m sure all kinds of thoughts are going through people’s heads. What will happen now? Will cool heads prevail? How did things get to this point? How can we prevent them from happening in the future?

Leading a movement like this is very challenging to say the least. The difficultly has been compounded by many things. Ever since the beginning of my counter-protest, I was demonized by Karen Porter – called a trouble-maker, a war-monger, prone to violence. The constant drumbeat that we are violent and hateful has been very unproductive and disappointing.

People make mistakes. I am a reasonable person, imperfect in many ways, but I do try to recognize mistakes and learn from them. Karen Porter decided a couple months ago that I should never contact her again and if I did she would consider it harrassment. I don’t think this is wise or productive, but this is what she wanted.

I have always said that our rallies will be peaceful and legal and ethical. I have written and sent out guidelines for my people to follow. I gave a copy of the guidelines to the Mayor, the Police and the Daily Local Newspaper.

I was very disappointed (astounded really) at the newsletter that Karen Porter wrote following the rally this past weekend. I do not think this is the kind of leadership that will cause tensions to ease. I am hopeful that some of her people will reach out and try to focus on ways to keep things from getting out of control.

My own opinion and suggestion is that both sides should stay on opposite sides or corners for the entire rally. This should be done on a cooperative spirit. I know both sides have intermixed all this time, but at this point we must recognize it is probably wise to consider this.

Many people don’t know this, but I have received threatening phone calls (Karen printed my contact information in one of her newsletters), including one guy sending me a threatening letter. Karen’s constant characterization of me and my movement as being a bunch of violent people who really don’t care about the troops is irresponsible and reckless.

Karen has been joined by many new groups including Women In Black, Veterans For Peace, and Code Pink (Delaware chapter) sent out a request to support Porter. Inciting hatred and resentment is easy. Being decent towards each other and doing the right thing is hard, much harder – but it is worth doing and I think it’s what two opposing sides should strive for.

My door is open and I welcome any suggestions or feedback from anyone that will help prevent future episodes like last weekend.

Click here to see the photos from Saturday.

Here is what Karen Porter had to say in her newsletter:

Some of you were at our vigil today, some weren’t. Very briefly, here’s what happened (and we have it all on film by several people):One of our vigilers had a verbal conflict with a counterprotestor who has for six months constantly harassed many of us (including me). We ended that, but it started again; and we called the police. The police came and had a conflict with the peace vigiler who had the original conflict. The police arrested
him, and another one of our folks, attempting to support the first vigiler, got involved in a conflict with the police – and the police thereupon arrested him. Several of us went to the WC Police Headquarters. Both vigilers were released after about 45 minutes.
I will not go into more detail for legal reasons. Plus, I was so busy trying to divert the crowd that I didn’t see it all. Luckily, a lawyer was at our peace vigil, went to the police station with them, and has offered to represent them both. The entire affair is now in the hands of lawyers.

If you have any doubt about the fact that the counterprotestors are probably celebrating tonight, see what they think of us:
_ I did what any red-blooded peace protestor would do after this experience – drove into Philly to see a movie (taking a break from registering voters!). And I feel fine.For six months now, the counterprotestors have tried incessantly to intimidate, provoke, harass – to try to cause violence in any way possible. I have never in my life known such a hate-filled, hate-ful, obnoxious, vicious group of people – ever. I was right from the beginning about this group – so,
please, let’s get real:
* They care nothing about us as human beings – we are objects, “sheep” to them. They also think we’re absolutely stupid, as conveyed by some of the very offensive names they call us.
* They care nothing about rights of any kind, constitutional or otherwise.
* They want nothing more than violent confrontation.
* They will do whatever it takes to cause confrontation, violent or otherwise. Almost every week, I hear about them trying to set up a confrontation – those of you who cannot avoid their “traps” (and they are contrived, plotted traps) need to stay away from them. Please.
* They are not there to “support the troops” – they never were. My guess is that these people would be an embarrassment to anyone who truly does “support the troops” and who realizes what this group is.
* We moved over to the other side of the street to avert violence – they have never honored that, so our moving has accomplished nothing. We did the right thing – they never will because the “right thing” does not fit their plan.
* Playing “nice” means nothing to them. They aren’t there to “play nice.”
* Many of you keep trying to “dialogue” with them – and I have pleaded with you in the past not to do that. I keep hearing “I tried to say this…and they just laughed…or cursed…or whatever.” GET REAL – you will not get rational responses, so please take it from me: Stop trying. I hope today will show you that such “dialoguing,” though noble and “right,” is futile – some very tough, experienced people can do so (a few in our group) and can handle them – but most of you can’t. So please don’t. I put out an e-mail early on asking you to “shun” them – please do that unless your skin is think as a rhino’s, and you can laugh off their abuse. I can laugh off their abuse now (and I’ve caught a lot of it) because it’s just plain SILLY, but most of you (I know) are very peaceful people who cannot because their actions, words, and signs are abusive and sadistic. For example, they have had an absolutely obscene, huge sign there recently with my name on it – I had to avert an 11-year-old girl’s eyes from it the other night. A very, very sick sign – and we have heard and seen some very, very sick stuff. We can’t do anything about
that kind of nonsense or the kind of mind that can create such stuff. It’s futile. They will manipulate, spindle, and fold everything you say or do. Let me give you an example: When they first appeared, they criticized us for not having American flags. When some of you have had American flags, they have
criticized you for being hypocritical – YOU CAN’T WIN.
* They are on that street corner for one reason and for one reason only – and it has nothing to do with “the troops”: To “scare” us away. It’s an obsession I can’t explain – it’s weird. This they cannot do, and I expect that’s why they are so frustrated and keep trying to pull our chains – we just can’t let them. And, no, we will never be scared away. Never.
Today we had a lovely march around town – this was the 5th Anniversary of the war’s beginning. It was to be a very solemn occasion. We had just almost wrapped up some very special readings when this all began – so we never finished. Everything was just right – but they managed to pull a chain or two.
That’s over, and no one got hurt. The vigiler who was at the center of all this apologized to us as he was released at the station.
I told him, and I say this to you all – HE OWES US NO APOLOGY. Everyone has a breaking point. We are human. He had put up with months of this stuff, as we all have. We all lose it sometimes. I lost it the other night when I came to the candlelight 5th Anniversary vigil, the counterprotestors were there, I told them it wasn’t our vigil but that of some local ministers – only to be told, very loudly and rudely: “YOU ALWAYS HIDE BEHIND RELIGION, KAREN PORTER.” Well, I lost it in my own way then. I was enraged. Angry. Bent out of shape. Shaking with rage. WE ALL LOSE IT – and an apology’s fine, but this vigiler has nothing to apologize for to any of us. He happens to be a veteran who served his country in Vietnam – and we love and honor him. He is one of the kindest, most wonderful people you can ever know – he not only served his country in war but also in peace in public service.And he’s worth a million of those who bear nothing but hatred and destruction. We love him, and neither he nor the other vigiler who was also arrested owes us or anyone else an apology. The “counterprotestor” group (for lack of another polite term) owes every one of us an apology. But I’m not holding my breath. Now, if you feel uncomfortable coming to these vigils after today (that’s what they want you to feel – it’s their plan), simply don’t. I can’t promise you that they will ever behave themselves. We don’t have a school principle to punish/teach our schoolyard bullies. They warned early on that I, personally, needed to grow a “thick skin” for what was to come – I took that for what it was: A threat. And they’ve made good on it with their incessant harassment – I just expect it now, and it’s water off a duck’s back. My skin got very thick. I now see them pretty much as wallpaper. We know what they are, what
they are capable of. And that’s just what we have to live with.

But guess what: They have to live with us, too.

March 19, 2008

Their Religion IS Peace

Filed under: Rallies — Sean @ 9:04 pm

Tonight, seven fellow sheepdogs stood watch as the flock ‘protested’ our five year anniversary in Iraq. We withstood the rain and the usual nonsensical slurs from the not-so-peaceful gathering, but one stood out.

We showed up first. Karen Porter was so livid that Rich would counter-protest a ‘religious’ gathering that she told him to “go to hell”. (Not so peacefully, I might add.)

So, it was a religious gathering?

Is today a religious holiday that I didn’t know about? If it really was a religious gathering, why wasn’t it at a church? I doubt that their congregation meets on the courthouse steps every Wednesday. Then again, this is their religion. They respect God as little as they do our troops to say that their infantile candlelit vigil was anything other than political whinging.

All I know is that my sign tonight didn’t get any of our troops killed tomorrow. I don’t think the 80 or so on the courthouse steps can say the same.

March 15, 2008

Another Great Day, Great Rally

Filed under: Rallies — Sean @ 3:53 pm

The weather was beautiful today, crisp and cool with some scattered clouds. About 25 of us showed up to once again support our troops and defend them from the slanderous traitors across the street.

March 12, 2008

Tony exposes Karen Porter

Filed under: Rallies — Rich Davis @ 7:24 pm

Vietnam war hero Tony Oleck sent me an email this morning about something he learned about Karen Porter. 

For those of you who don’t know.  Karen Porter is the leader of the Chester County Peace Movement (CCPM).  After 5 years of protesting against Bush and the war in Iraq (every Saturday unopposed), I decided to counter them last September. 

Porter did not like someone opposing her, so she wrote a newsletter about me to her readers.  It was written months ago, but Tony just saw it and felt compelled to send Karen a reply.

 Here’s his email – it speaks for itself.

Karen…I read your letter where you first respond to Rich’s counter protest. I have never seen such hatred without one degree of evidence…only your inner hatred projecting out.

You claim to be able to psyco analyse Rich’s daughter by looking at her across the street??? Are you completely out of your mind Karen?

You spew hatred and judgment with no provocation and then you talk about yourself, saying “me, me, poor me. I struggle for God, I struggle for my son….I can’t sleep but I must go on….poor me, woe is me…but my people need me…I must go on.”

My friend you are in need of some professional help…it’s NOT all about YOU……you can’t confine God to your corner of the street and you can’t judge people by the clothes they wear..

Get a life Karen….Rich is 10 times the person you are….he is loving and peaceful and he ends each of his” violent” demonstrations with a prayer.

You my friend should take a Saturday or two off….and spend that time with a good psychologist.

 Here’s excerpts of the newsletter that Karen wrote that inspired Tony:

For five years, I’ve seen only peace and love on that corner at High and Market Streets. God has been with us every week when we gather there, a sacred place to us.  It’s been our church, our place for sending a positive, life-giving message to the world. Our way of saying, “No, we haven’t ALL gone mad in this country, some of us are sane, some of us don’t want to destroy mankind.” 

But God wasn’t there today for me, and I can only hope He will return.

Instead, I saw raw hatred and death and destruction. I saw a glimpse of the coming end of the America I have loved all my life.  I saw “Mad Max” in its destructive, tragic future. I’m not sure if God will come back there. He may be gone forever. Countries and empires fall, and I think this one has seen its best days long ago.  But, of course, they’re all “for the troops,” and we aren’t, don’t you know?

I saw old (my age) men who are still living the wet dreams of youth, decked out in gray beards on those wrinkled faces and leather and metal and waving Old Glory like swords, not like flags.  Men who should know better,  who should be at better places in their lives,  men who should be making positive contributions to our young folks’ futures - but still searching to fulfill dreams that appear to be all they have left, vainly and desperately trying to relive the adventures of their youths.  Tragically, those old men’s wet dreams are now fulfilled only by sending off younger men to die. I am sad for them because they seem to have nothing better in their lives than feeding a hungry and hateful war machine, singing praises to tragedy and destruction, and feeding their young to the very jaws of hell. “In tie of peace, sons bury their fathers; but in war fathers bury their sons.”–Croesus  But, of course, they’re all “for the troops,” and we aren’t, don’t you know?

One of our group wasn’t there this morning but came this afternoon. He had been at the military funeral of a soldier who had committed suicide in Iraq.  (But, of course, they are all for the troops – we’re not, don’t you know?) Those grey-bearded men in their  leather jackets and metal studs, with their phallic motorcycles with hideous roaring engines continue to send off young men to die like that, or to return, broken shells of themselves, with the rationalization that they have already “served their time, served their country,” so it’s OK to sacrifice their young to keep alive their never-ending wet dreams. 

 One of our most regular vigilers for  the past five years has a son who’s now in his second deployment to Iraq, and she lies awake at night and cries and cries and hopes and hopes – but, of course, they’re all “for the troops,” and we aren’t, don’t you know?

Several of “our men” saw real combat in Vietnam and other “theaters” (I’ve always detested the use of the word, “theater” for war) – but, of course, they’re all “for the troops,” and we aren’t, don’t you know?

Rich, your daughter appears to be potentially quite a lovely young woman, yet in the three weeks I’ve seen her, I’ve never seen her smile, and she never speaks - not once.  She has a hardened expression, an incessantly unemotional expression painted on her young face like a mask.  Are you really, as her father, content to let her age and become like the others – hard, time-worn faces, angry words, walking to the chant of “Kill, kill, kill; maim, murder, bomb, shoot!”  Will she send her own son/s/daughter/s, your own grandson/s/daughter/s off to war “for the good of the country” to die to line rich men’s purses?   I feel so sad every time I see her young face because I wonder if she even has a chance. She’s still young enough to avoid that fate, but only if someone shows her the way. But, of course, she’s all “for the troops,” and we aren’t, don’t you know?

The woman with the t-shirt, “Proud to Support Bush,” was particularly disturbing to me. I could overlook the women in the leather and metal and the down-home weariness of their faces.  But proud to support a village idiot from Texas who never had to work for anything in his life, who would never even let her tie his shoelaces, who was his own father’s acknowledged trouble-maker-son whom he had to hide to escape embarrassment, who  grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and a blank check in his hand, who fakes a down-home Texas demeanor when he’s anything but down-home, who couldn’t manage (or think) his way out of a paper bag,who is a dry drunk and real war criminal who should be in prison for all the death he has caused - and who would send, with no conscience, that woman’s own loved ones off to die to enrich himself and his oil crony friends? Oh, what’s wrong with that woman, anyway? How can she be so blind?  How can she be so damned stupid? It’s maddening.  Sadly, in the past five years, I have seen the enemy, and he is us. But, of course, they’re all “for the troops,” and we aren’t, don’t you know?

March 11, 2008

A Great Meeting w/WC East High School Republicans

Filed under: Rallies — Sean @ 10:16 pm

Yesterday, a great patriotic high school teacher at West Chester East invited the Sheepdogs to speak to their High School Republicans group.  Rich Davis and I took the afternoon off, not really knowing what to expect.

To say that we were impressed is an understatement!  These young men and women were all intelligent, articulate, well-informed, and passionate.  It was a pleasure to watch the topics fly – from Halliburton to Israel to Iraq to Saturdays at West Chester and back – all challenging and civil debate.

Rich and I would like to thank Jane, the brave teacher who organized the High School Republicans, for inviting the Sheepdogs out to speak.  It’s great to see her and the other teachers bravely showing their red, white, and blue while helping organize this great group of young men and women.

Jane has been out to our rallies before, and she’ll be back in two weeks after a visit to Parris Island this weekend.  Hopefully we’ll see some of her High School Republicans on Saturdays as well, showing their support for our country and our troops!  We’ll treat them as warmly as they did Rich and I.

Thanks Jane, and be sure to thank your students for us!

March 9, 2008

Great (Wet) Victory Rally on Saturday!

Filed under: Rallies — Sean @ 9:14 pm

We had an amazing 25 show up despite the cold and wet. THANKS EVERYONE!!

Rich had a great run-in during the rally. His message:

“So many great things happened today – my favorite was a man named John Regan, who was stopped at the light about 3 cars back, and got out of his car, and walked in the rain to shake our hands on the sidewalk. And he showed us pictures of his HERO son (also named John) who is in Iraq fighting for us. This man was so appreciative, his eyes were filled with tears. In fact, he took his time, and when the light turned green – he stayed with us to talk a little more, he wears his son’s spare dogtags around his neck, he just kept saying, “Thanks for being here – you don’t know what this means to see all you people supporting my son, he’s behind a 50-caliber machine gun in Iraq right now.” And the traffic was behind him and you know what – nobody fussed about it. I think they knew what was going on.” ”

It was a great day. It was cold, it was wet, and we let our troops know that rain or shine, we support them.

The wet Sheepdogs – Dee said it best – when we ask for a table at Iron Hill, make sure they’re prepared for a bunch of wet Sheepdogs!

March 4, 2008

Are Apologies In Order?

Filed under: Rallies — Sean @ 8:18 am

Doubtful that we would ever see any, but Tony Oleck makes some great points in his recent Letter To The Editor of the Daily Local.  Give it a read!

Thanks Tony!

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