Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Patriotic Pyrotechnics

The July 4’th Parade Committee has made it crystal clear from inception that we are a non-profit, non-political, family-oriented event with a Mission Statement to honor our Guardian Angels—Police/Fire/EMT and yes, Military.

The Supreme Court decided unanimously (overturning a Massachusetts Court)--precisely because of the First Amendment--we can exclude marchers carrying signs that circumvent our Mission Statement.

If The People’s Republic of Amherst steals the July 4'th Parade then they would have to allow the KKK, NAMBLA, and the Hells Angels to march, or ride as the case may be.

If I purchase a full-page ad in the local newspaper to say “Happy Birthday America” on July 4’th, I don’t expect somebody to demand part of my ad-space for their anti-war statement. They can buy their own ad.

And if war protesters (or supporters for that matter) want to march, they can finance their own Parade. Only in Amherst would government nationalize something private citizens have worked hard to build.

Maybe Fidel Castro should retire to Amherst.
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UPDATE: 4:222 PM So, yeah the Town Manager has called Kevin since this post went up and left a very short message to call him back. But I do have on my Mac another recording from yesterday when he left a second message (apparently not knowing that it is perfectly legal to post messages left on answering machines), so stay tuned.

UPDATE: 7:17 PM Well, the Crusty Gazette is on it! Kevin and I both did interviews late this afternoon and we could tell from the reporter's questions (after interviewing Shaffer) that he's not overly pleased (Shaffer not the reporter) and is trying to portray us as the troublemakers who love to pick a fight.

But this came out of the blue, whereby a fringe group of malcontents banded together and finagled a meeting with Shaffer to purposely and with malice sabotage the Parade. And we were not invited to the meeting.

So in the next few days the Parade Committee will get a formal request in the mail to allow Mary Wentworth to march in the Parade carrying a "F_ck Bush" sign and we will deny the request and the town will pull their equipment. Only in Amherst.

8 comments:

O'Reilly said...

The July 4’th Parade Committee has made it crystal clear from inception that we are a non-profit, non-political, family-oriented event with a Mission Statement to honor our Guardian Angels—Police/Fire/EMT and yes, Military.

A fine mission statement too.

Who is on the "The July 4’th Parade Committee" and was it formed to keep the parade aawy from those who would like to exploit the audience to serve their partcular cause?

Who's Kevin?

LarryK4 said...

Kevin Joy, X-FBI agent, also 5'th generation Irish Amherst family resident. Strangely enough, even though we both grew up in Amherst, I did not meet him until the infamous Select board meeting of 9/10/01 where he too spoke up for the American flag.

Kevin spearheaded the move in 2002 in the wake of 9/11 to revive the Parade (not held since 1976) and was Chair of the Committee for the first three years and is still very active.

We are a pretty diverse group of men and women young and old, black and white who just want to put on fun show without the gloom and doom of politics that so saturates this town the other 364 days out of the year

O'Reilly said...

But I do have on my Mac another recording from yesterday when he left a second message (apparently not knowing that it is perfectly legal to post messages left on answering machines), so stay tuned.

I would say don't torture the poor guy but if he offers to make an exchange, the recording for a reasonable policy that permits the Boy Scouts to sell trees in Kendrick Park in December, then do it!

bambert said...

The real question is whether or not Shaffer is wearing red lipstick in that photo!?!

Mark said...

I hope they cancel your militaristic parade celebrating this warrior nation. And when Amherst has its own parade - you will not be marchin in it.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, well, if Amherst were to run the parade--I would not WANT to march in it

O'Reilly said...

I never considered fire fighters, the EMTs or the police force milataristic but if they are, so what? They serve and protect. Same with the armed forces. Our problem is not how the do their jobs, it is when and where they do their jobs and that is decided by Congress and the President. If you don't like it, vote.

painter said...

Larry
Thank you and Kevin for your time and effort. I'm also 5th generation of my family to live here(one street over from where you grew up)Have been reading your blog for a while, keep up the good work. Some of the stuff that goes on in town now just makes me shake my head..............