Friday, May 18, 2007

Hall Of Shame!

Politicians Who Voted Against The (American) Flag:
Nancy DeProsse, David Robson Gillham, Patricia Holland, Peter Jessop, Mark Jackson, Stephen King, Randa Nachbar, Vince O’Connor, Kenton Tharp, Carolyn Bentley, Anne Sterling Bush (obviously no relation), Howard Ewert, Irene and Seymour Friedman, Irwin Friman, Grace Griecci, Joesph Lynn, Patrick Robert McCarthy, Judy Simpson, Robert Biagi, Barbara Ford, Lynn Griesemer and Bryan Harvey (Umass should be so proud), Edih Nye Macmullen, Renee Moss, Kristin O’Connell, Fil Valunas, Sharon Vardatira, Alice Allen, Leeta Bailey, Dorwenda Bynum-Lewis, Steven Dunn, Thomas Vlittie, Janet Lansberry, Larry Orloff, Catherine Porter, Marcy Lala, Patricia Blauner, Michael Giles, Alan Powel, George Ryan, Baer Tierkel (sensible center, eh?) Cheryl Zoll, Donna Zucker,Florence Boynton, Pat Church (flag thief), Fred Levine, Leo Maley, Margaret Nunnelly, James Oldhan, Alan Root, Christina Rose, Merrylees Turner, Mary Wentworth, Jeff and Maralyn Blaustein, Silvia Brinkerhoff, Harry Brooks, Gloria Chang-Wade, Gordon Freed, Michael Greenebaum, Mary Kersell, Lisa Kleinholz, Constance Kruger, Joan Ross Logan, Andrew Melnechuk, Faythe Turner, Marilyn Gonter, Carol Gray, Jeffrey Lee, Alice Morse, Robert Quinn, James Scott, Andrenne Terrizzi, Jane Ashby, Bart Bouricius, Pamela Crotty, Robert Todd Felton, Frank Gatti, Ruth Hooke, Jennifer McKenna, Eric Nakajima, Sonya Sofield, Mary Streeter, Barbara Berlin, Joseph Bodin, Felicity Callahan, Ben GROSScup, Mangala Jagadeesh, John and Peg Roberts, Amanda Singer, Molly Whalen, Edith Wilkinson, Anne Awad.
And to the other 50 Town Meeting members who checked in that night but abstained from this vote: If you don’t have the courage of conviction on this issue, how can we trust you to handle the mega-million budget discussions coming up next week?


jp said...

Hi Larry,

To be accurate, these people voted againt hanging 29 small flags in town at half mast on 9-11. Maybe some of them prefer the single flag on the common, maybe some have their own flag, maybe some have their own personal way of mourning and remembrance that doesn't involve flags at all. I'm not being facetious, just pointing out that there may be people who care deeply about their country, their world, and about 9-11 who might still have voted no. Also, an abstention does not necessarily indicate a lack of 'courage of conviction' sometimes it just means they couldn't decide! I have occasionally abstained at TM for that reason.


Jim P

LarryK4 said...

Hey Jim,

Yes I'm sure all those and a few more could possibly excuse a half-dozen or so.... maybe.

And 50 strikes me as a pretty high rate of abstention. The other two Tally votes that night (WFCR meddling) had 18 and Resident Aliens Voting had only 10.

Gavin Andresen said...

I almost abstained (but ended up voting yes), but only because the article asked that they hang at half-staff forevermore on 9/11. While 9/11 is the most important event in recent US history, will we still be mourning 50 or 100 or 200 years from now?

LarryK4 said...

I hope to God we will Gavin. Because otherwise, that would mean something even worse happened.

We still mourn Pearl Harbor, and that happened over 65 years ago.

Why were the flags ordered to half-staff after the recent Virginia Tech mass murder?

Because it was the worst whacko lone-gun episode in history. And if, God forbid, some other nut with a gun takes out a dozen or so Umass or Amherst or Hampshire College kids during graduation ceremonies, the flags (nationwide anyway) would NOT go down to half staff simply because, as tragic as that is, it would not be a new record.

Plus, my motion does not say “forevermore” but to be accurate “for as long as the Republic stands”. So if a missile strike from Mars or an asteroid brings down our Republic…

I vividly recall as a young child how stunning that awful day in Dallas was simply because our nation (well at least our collective memory) had not experienced such a tragedy; and then, only a few years later, a sniper climbed to the top of that Texas Tower and our shock threshold went up another few notches.

I was in my office posting to Gazettenet’s Amherst Forum about the actions of our Select board the night before on the morning of 9/11, when I received an I.M. about the North Tower strike. When he moments later informed me of the second strike, I ran to the restaurant out in front of my Club to find my business partner of over 20 years.

I said to him “this will be the most historic day that we will ever live through.” Thus far, almost six years later, I’m still correct.

Rick said...

Pearl Harbor got us into WW2. In that war we lost 418,500 and the world lost 72 million.

There is simply no comparison between 911 and Pearl Harbor.

I am not against hanging flags at half staff on 911, but not until flags are hung for way more important dates than that - like Pearl Harbor, or VE day or VJ day.

Rick said...

And in Vietnam we lost 58,000 and the Vietnamese lost 5 million.

For 911 we are somewhere around 7,000 US dead (including 911 + Iraq + Afgan).

Rick said...

Or maybe you refer to the future, when Al Qaeda eventually gets a nuke into the country (inevitable) and millions of Americans die. Yes, then 911 – or whatever day that happens – will top the list, at least for US deaths.

LarryK4 said...

In early October 2001, I went back to the Amherst Select Board and asked the question: “Can we now add 9/11 to the list of six events the flags commemorate?” I was amazed that Eva Schiffer and Anne Awad talked about how history would have to sort out the importance of 9/11. Yikes!

Ms. Schiffer specifically talked about Pearl Harbor, and since she was around then I cut her some slack. The dramatic difference between these two awful surprise attacks is clear: Pearl Harbor was a military target and 95% of the casualties that day were military (and the handful of civilian deaths were mostly from “friendly fire”—anti aircraft shells misfiring).

The Twin Towers were civilian targets and they used civilian aircraft as weapons. 95% of the 3,0000 American dead murdered on 9/11 (more than the total number killed on December 7) were civilians.

But I hate to use body counts as a measurement, as it starts to remind me of the nightly news during the Viet Nam era.

Jeff said...

At the risk of giving Larry the opportunity to once again attempt to ridicule the letter-writer for expressing an opinion at odds with his own, I will explain some of the many reasons that I have heard. I and some others objected to the phrase "worst attack in our history," or whatever the precise wording was. Perhaps it was the worst attack on our soil, but not in our history. Some people object to what 9/11 came to stand for (i.e., the misleading by the administration by linking Saddam Hussein to it, which then led to loss of hundreds of thousands of lives ((I include the Iraqis in my own count, and the count for their war casualties, many, many of whom were innocent civilians, is well over 650,000)). Some folks didn't like the show of commemorative flags as opposed to the more solemn flying one flag at half-mast. Some didn't like the "as long as the republic..." phrase. In short, Jim is quite reasonable and accurate in his assessment of the situation. One TM member commented that she would have like to see all nations' flags flown.

I would say it's time for the town to move on regarding the flag issue. Jeff

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, Amherst has tried to ‘MoveOn’ (as in ‘.org’) with the American flag issue since the night of September 10'th 2001, only 12 hours before the world changed.

As long as I draw breath I will “never give, never give in, never, never, never never”-- especially since so many of those aligned against the flags lack the “convictions of honor and good sense.”

Rick said...

For what its worth, there is a United States Flag Code that "establishes advisory rules for display and care of the flag of the United States."

"The flag in mourning

• To place the flag at half-staff (or half-mast, on ships), hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff.
• The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered.
• On Memorial Day, the flag is displayed at half-staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
• The flag is to be flown at half-staff in mourning for the death of designated, principal government leaders.
• The flag is to be flown at half-staff for thirty days in mourning for the death of the current or former President of the United States.
• The U.S. flag is otherwise flown at half-staff (or half-mast, on ships) when directed by the President of the United States or a state governor.
• When used to cover a casket or coffin, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave."

Bill said...

Wow. Amherst needs a seriouse wake up call! It seems none of you know about the American Union we are entered into with Mexic (narco state) and Canada (socialist) both systems I can live without! And yesterday the Executive Branch by executive order transfered ALL power to themselves in a declared "Emergency" Wake up and protect individual liberty or we are in for a tough time!