Thursday, August 14, 2008

Run it up the flag pole and see who salutes

UPDATE: 9:00 PM: Well, the crusty Bully finally went cyber, so here's my Letter:
If you can't take the heat...
So it’s prognostication Thursday morning: What will the Bully reprint this week from the Daily Hampshire Gazette—especially on the Front Page?

Well, this week has been soooooo boring I can’t safely predict the 'Above The Fold' Page One lead story (maybe they will do some original reporting for a change). But I can safely predict my written response to last week’s column. Yeah I know, only Larry Kelley would demand the right to respond to a column that defended him.

Since Mr. Morse is a faithful reader of this blog (although last year he told people to boycott it because it feeds my ego) let me again repeat that I appreciate him taking the time to defend my First Amendment rights in the Awad residency scandal as well as the rights of the July 4’th Parade Committee to limit protest signs.

But he crossed a most sacred line when he brands my public pronouncement seven years ago (and continue to this day) on the infamous ‘Only in Amherst’ flag flap as being a “prior wrong.”

A prosecutor turns public defender


My buddy "Icky" gets off the first column

A story about one of the infamous flags

Jennie Traschen speaks

All these years later, and they still do not get it!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, Freedom of Speech. Wow, then I am free in saying that the S.B., in Amherst, truly SUCKS, ecept for two women who have the common intelligence, to see fairness in decisions, before making them.

Hats off to Larry!!!!!!!!!!

Until later...............

Neil said...

Debating whether Amherst should fly 29, 1 or 0 American flags is a reasonable debate if one of small consequence.

The problem of course, is that symbols (american flag) mean different things to different people and so the debate for practical purposes will be served only by compromising near the center, not at the ends.

We have a flag pole in town and I assume it was erected to fly the stars and stripes. That we choose to fly the UN flag too is another inconsequential policy that does not offend me.

I think it is an extreme position to argue for a policy of flying 0 American flags in Amherst and I would vote against it. As for whether we have 1 or 29, I have no preference one way or the other. I thank our flag or bunting with red, white and blue are wonderful elements for a July 4th or other suitable celebration.

People who see the US as a destructive imperialistic power are entitled to their opinions and you are entitled to join in debate. I don't see either person as less patriotic.

I think Mr Morse is saying that the sometimes free speech can result in intimidation and that kind of free speech chills others free speech.

My comment on Mr Morse's opinion piece.

Anonymous said...

> People who see the US as a
> destructive imperialistic power are
> entitled to their opinions and you
> are entitled to join in debate. I
> don't see either person as less
> patriotic.

*I* do.

Those who seek to aid the enemy abroad so as to defeat the enemy at home are engaged in acts of treason.

Treason. Something that most other countries would execute you for.

And sometimes I think we should too. If you don't like America, move somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

hey larry
with the selectboard changing are you going to ask them again to fly the flags on 9/11

neil said...

Those who seek to aid the enemy abroad

What are you talking about?

If you don't like America, move somewhere else.

If you don't like America, improve it.

------------------------------

Larry,

Which of the following already took out papers and which are new? Of those, which ones do you suspect were recruited by Weiss /Awad constituency?

Calvin Brower, 33 Kellogg Ave.,
Aaron Hayden, 1491 South East St.,
David Keenan, 28 Shays St.,
Vladimir Morales, 4 Laurel Lane

------------------------------

Consider requiring a name. There are only so many anonymouses one can have a conversations with.

LarryK4 said...

Yes Neil I mostly agree with your First Amendment 9/11 flag opinion.

Believe me, you and Mr. Morse are folks I would much rather have as friends than enemies. But the flag issue is--for lack of a better term—my’ Mother Of All Issues’. And to be perfectly honest, I’m not totally sure why.

Long-time friends and associates said to me at the end August 2001 (my column ran for 14 years on the last Friday of the month) when I was perhaps the only professional columnist in America to write a pro-American flag piece (two weeks later EVERY American columnist wrote a pro-flag piece). “Say what! Larry, you are as anti-establishment as they come, and yet you write this jingoistic pro-flag column…what’s up with that?”

Well…I run a small business--and the less government intervention the better. I’m Irish, and we have this loyalty thing (family, friends and country.) And I’m a Martial Artist where we train to turn our body into a weapon—one that we hope and pray we never have to use.

So I have this ultra respect for the use of force (and I’m proud to say over the past 35 years I have never had to resort to physical violence).

In September 1982 I wrote my first ever ‘Letter To The Editor ‘(Daily Hampshire Gazette) to commemorate the 10’Th Anniversary of the 1972 Olympic s Munich Massacre. As a coming-of-age athlete I just could not comprehend what occurred that day when sport, politics and terrorism came together for the first time, and innocent athletes died.

In the late 60’s or early 1970’s a Harvard professor created a national stir issuing an erroneous press release stating a half-dozen students went blind because, under the influence of LSD, they had stared directly at the sun.

On the morning of 9/11, because of what occurred the night before, my minds eye was WAY too wide open. When the South Tower evaporated live on national TV, I was talking to a Springfield Republican reporter about the 9/10 Select Board meeting and for the first time in my life I said, “I can’t talk anymore.”

It was like staring directly into the sun—using binoculars! So yeah, I have no problem admitting that I was permanently altered by the horror of 9/11.

LarryK4 said...

Neil,
As to your second question/comment: I don’t’ think ANY of the four SB candidates thus far identified in the media have been recruited by Weiss/Awad.

But I’m sure one will surface soon enough. (BenEzra or the Umass student who is an “Iraq War Vet" for instance).

LarryK4 said...

Yes, Anon of course I’m going to ask the SB to fly the flags on 9/11.

In October 2001 I went before them to request that they include 9/11 as one of the permanent days for the flags to fly. Chair Carl Seppala said they would take it under advisement. By August they still had done nothing, so again I went before them and asked during the Question Period to allow the now famous flags to fly. And they did, but just for that year.

And the next year I also went before the Board in late August to ask that the flags be allowed to fly…and once again they did.

Then in 2004 Anne Awad became Chair and Gerry Weiss came aboard and although I asked that year and every year since the flags have not flown.

So yeah, not next week when the X-Czar has her last hurrah (because we know how she would vote)) but the following week I will again as I have always done ask the SB to allow the 29 flags to fly in town center on 9/11.

And if money is a concern (not wanting to overtax the DPW) I will offer volunteer help to put them up at the stroke of midnight and take them down 24 hours later so that they are only up for 9/11.

Obviously His Lordship Gerry Weiss will tell me to go to Hell. Stephanie and Alisa will support it and the deciding vote, ugh, will be Stein. I’m hoping she’s smart enough (although not a safe bet) to abstain, so the motion passes 2-1.

Neil said...

I'm pleased you use the word friend in a sentence with my name. You are thoughtful and honest and even where we disagree I can learn from you and hopefully, you from me. I can say that about Mr Morse... that I can learn from him.

I understand the idea, the inclination to reaffirm our pride in our country after 9/11, the worst attack on our country, on a civilian target, which happened to be televised nationally and worldwide after the fact.

It was terrifying. I'm quite sure I was in shock because I watched the whole thing unfold in TV and still didn't clear from a trance until after the buildings fell.

I think the cultural practice is to hold a memorial service on days like December 7 and September 11, and celebratory flag demonstrations on days like VE and VJ day.

I would attend an memorial on the common around the flag pole on 9/11 that starts with reveile and raising the flag, and ends with taps and lowering the flag. If that brought us together around a tragedy, I'd be happy to participate.

Anonymous said...

Save us from the Rich Amherst Liberals....

There once was a man named Richard Milhouse Nixon who was rather unpopular with some, and they "hounded" him from office.

There once was a selectperson named Anne Awad who was rather unpopular with some, and they "hounded" her from office.

How - exactly - is there a difference between these two cases?

Should elected officials be above the law? Should they be exempt from all criticism? Are our politicians public servants or imperial royal officials?

I mention this because I somehow suspect that those complaining the most about the criticism of Awad were possibly the most vocal opponents of the late Mr. Nixon...

And how, exactly, is there a difference????

Ed Cutting

LarryK4 said...

Hey Neil,
On the First Anniversary of 9/11 the July 4’Th Parade Committee had combined with the American Legion to hold a memorial service that was probably the most extensive in the nation (the AP sent a photographer and the same reporter who had covered the 9/10 Select Board meeting.)

We held an Irish Wake for a replica of the Twin Towers on the Town Common bathed in portable high-energy lights--the same generator powered units used at Ground Zero--the entire night before 9/11.

A float of the WTC Twin Towers (that lead the Amherst July 4 parade two months earlier) started early in the morning of 9/11 in Northampton and slowly journeyed to Amherst center arriving around 8:15 am. In each of the three towns local police, fire and ambulance personal escorted the float through their respective municipalities.

The ceremony on the town common included the striking of the Four Fives (code for firefighter killed in action), a lone bagpiper playing ‘Amazing Grace’; rifle squads volley salute, and a haunting rendition of ‘taps’. Church bells chimed, followed by a moment of silence, at approximately 8:50 am, 9:03 am, 9:43 am and 10 am to commemorate the crash times of four civilian airliners ruthlessly used as military fodder.

Finally, after darkness descended, a candlelight ceremony (donated by Yankee Candle) consisting of three thousand points of light highlighted the magnitude of innocent lives lost that fateful day.

Anti-war folks also demonstrated on the common for much of the day; one of them, Kenton Tharp, taunted me over the drizzly, windy conditions at the moment saying “You’ll be lucky if you get 100 people tonight!”

The weather cleared just as the sun went down. We had about 2,500 people show up (WHMP radio news great Ron Hall MC’d the event.)

Town Manager Barry Del Castilho was asked by a reporter why private groups were doing all the commemoration work instead of the town: “We were waiting for more direction from the Federal Government,” he replied.

Neil said...

C'mon Ed. Frame an argument you can win. The difference is that Awad cant use the FBI to spy on her political enemies without warrants or FISA court approval. Nixon, like Bush, wants to Presidency to be unaccountable to the rule of law but the founders were smarter than to invest too much power in one branch. Awad is just a self-righteous ahole.

Neil said...

Larry, that sound like a fine series of memorial events. Still, do you get my point? Celebrate 7/4, memorialize 9/11.

Anonymous said...

> The difference is that Awad cant
> use the FBI to spy on her
> political
> enemies without warrants or FISA
> court approval.

Yes, she can. She is the person who supervises the Amherst Police Department (and isn't Charlie an "at will" employee as the UMPD's O'Connor is?) and then goes to them and asks them to do worse than spy on her political enemies....

Other than scale, what exactly is the difference? You have an elected official using the power of the state (and turning Larry into the cops IS using the power of the state) to punish political opponents...

> Nixon, like Bush,

Like Awad....

> wants to Presidency to be
> unaccountable to the rule of law

Or the Selectboard....

There really is no difference....
Sorry folks, there really isn't...

Ed