Friday, January 18, 2013

Celebrate & Mourn

 Odd juxtaposition: Commemorative flag, Christmas decoration, main flag at half staff

No, the seldom seen 20 some-odd commemorative American flags are not up in town center to commemorative Martin Luther King Day.  They are flying to herald Inauguration Day.

On the night of September 10, 2001 -- The Eve of Destruction -- the Amherst Select Board voted 4-1 to allow 29 commemorative flags to fly on six "holidays" and once every four years for Inauguration Day (and yes, amazingly, they even flew for President Bush's two terms).

9/11 has become a seventh infrequent occasion for the commemorative flags to fly, only once every five years.  As some of you may remember, this past 9/11 the town received international notoriety for not flying the flags to remember the most historic day of our lifetime.

The main flag is currently at half-staff to mourn the passing of Pfc. Antonio Syrakos of Lynn, who died January 10, 2013 in an off base accident near Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Governor Patrick routinely lowers the flag for any state resident in the military who dies, be it in combat on foreign soil, or an accident back here in America.

Another even more sobering statistic of the casualties caused by war:  This past year Army suicides outpaced military combat casualties in Afghanistan.


Anonymous said...

Two comments on the Army suicides -- first, anyone who seeks any help of any kind immediately looses his right to own or possess a gun for life and that means even for hunting.

This is sarcastically referred to as "disarming veterans" and is part of the Brady Bill -- and is a real issue in some quarters.

Second, a lot of veterans have a strong streak of stubborn independence and a lot of the mental health folk have a practice of demanding total submission with the threat that "we will lock you up" -- involuntary commitment -- if you resist.

That isn't unknown amongst the veteran community -- and a lot both do the best they can on their own and aren't always successful.

If we took away a little bit of the loss of rights and dignity that is the prerequisite in seeking help, we would have a lot more voluntarily seeking it and a lot less suicides. If we took away the power of the Voodoo Scientists to lock people up, there might be a veteran who commits suicide that they could have physically stopped but there likely will also be TEN OTHER veterans who would otherwise have committed suicide and that means nine fewer suicides.

The more mandated reporting and the rest we have, the more suicides we have. Hasn't anyone noticed this???

Anonymous said...

Yet another topic where Ed is an expert!!

Walter Graff said...

Frankly, Amherst has it's head up it's a$$. That's why something as simple as flying a flag becomes a maze of political correctness that's more complicated than decrypting a 128 bit password. Shame on this town. Too much living in a fantasy world has created a town with a moat and wall around it. But it's doesn't keep people out, only the dullards in.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that Walter, turn back the clock 14 years and I would now be living elsewhere!

Walter Graff said...

You too? 14 years ago and I would never have come to visit this ell on earth (not a typo, only the 'h' is silent). Now it's just a place to stay out of as much as possible. I'm here because I have to be so don't anyone tell me to leave if I don't like it. I've been in cities and towns up and down the east coast and frankly this town is so a$$ backwards it makes Mayberry RFD look like Shangri-La. If only we could Extirpate this Execrable Race as Lord Jeff once suggested.

Anonymous said...

Unrecognized mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury) is often a precursor to suicide.

Let the flags fly.

Anonymous said...

"If only we could Extirpate this Execrable Race"

Quoting the desire of someone to commit genocide is not amusing. Perhaps you would like to provide us with a few choice Hitler quotes as your next bon mot?

Walter Graff said...

Anonymous did not say that, I did. And frankly I think it pretty funny that Amherst is named after and continues to be named after a person who was all for genocide. Sort of a Hitler of his time, but without enough power to carry his wishes through. And it fits this towns way of talking out of two sides of it's mouth.

As for Hitler, here's a quote as requested: "What good fortune for governments that the people do not think."

Save it said...

"Quoting the desire of someone to commit genocide is not amusing. Perhaps you would like to provide us with a few choice Hitler quotes as your next bon mot?"

You want a bon mot?

(dedicated to "Sirhan Sirhan"???)

"Our intention is to disrupt the empire, to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks, to make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning against the people of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from the inside."

-William Ayers, terrorist

(nice one Amherst, nice one)

Anonymous said...

Flying flags to commemorate an attack on the country? Amherst won't do it.

Flying flags to flatter and praise the Dear Leader? Amherst scrambles to comply.

All hail the Dear Leader!

Anonymous said...

Gallup said today that the dear leader averaged 49.1% job approval during his first term in office, among the lowest for post-World War II presidents. Only Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford had lower job approval averages. All hail the leader!!

Anonymous said...

We are flying flags to honor that we choose our leaders by voting rather than at the point of a sword.

James Hunt said...

A few brief comments,
I had the pleasure and honor of serving in the same team,squad and platoon as Tony. He loved his family and home. I am overwhelmed with pride by the Governor that notices one who gave so much and received so little. When I move from CA, MA will be the top spot on my list. RIP BATTLE.

Dr. Ed said...

Two things on the Rolling Green fire that I doubt you will see anywhere else -- first, it and a lot of other places in Amherst have a design flaw that is no longer allowed -- the combined plywood roof with neither between-unit firebreaks nor any sort of fire detection equipment up there, not even a battery-powered smoke detector.

Watch the Channel 40 video and come to your own conclusions:

Second, notice the police SUV parked on Route 9 in the background -- that is a UMPD vehicle, not APD. A fire in Rolling Green is 100% Amherst's problem -- and when people start tolling the university for all the costs it burdens the town with (Larry, this includes you), will anyone remember to balance it off by remembering this?

But as to the combined pitched roof structures, other than Townhouse, I don't think that anyone has any separation between units nor any form of fire detection (let alone suppression) up in those attics, which are "grandfathered" from long-obsolete codes. And perhaps this needs to be raised ?

You have had two close calls with this -- the first was in North Village where a tenant was fortunate enough to notice that his bathroom fan was on fire, and now this one, and even though there was one fatality, my guess is that but for luck, it could have been a whole lot worse...

Anonymous said...


Seems like you missed the conflagaration.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the Granby condo fire (similar roof, lack of fire blocks)

Anonymous said...

Back in 2002 it was all about "Support Our Troops." But now, and people of the republican persuasion listen up, the republicans in congress won't pass bills to support out troops.

They don't care about our troops and never did. They all supported sending these precious young men and women to war however. I don't think they thought twice about it.

Sham patriots. You push them to war but then turn your backs on them when they come home. This is nothing new. This is the way republicans operate!

Anonymous said...

Larry is eerily quiet on the Rolling Green episode. He must be preparing his attack on [insert town official/private landowner here].

Anonymous said...

"Dr." Ed.
First, that has been pointed out in this case and others. You are not breaking news here.
Second, a UMPD vehicle was at the scene? Who cares?

Dr. Ed said...

I'm reminded of the Granby condo fire (similar roof, lack of fire blocks)

Me too -- but as I wasn't sure, I didn't include that one.

First, that has been pointed out in this case and others.

Really? Where?

Second, a UMPD vehicle was at the scene? Who cares?

I wasn't thinking the vehicle as much as the person(s) who drove it out there and proceeded to jump out of it to help. Whom I presume that the APD and AFD were glad to have there.

The Town of Amherst has police resources that it can draw upon when it needs them the absolute most (e.g. unexpectedly at 5 AM) that it is not paying for.

Anonymous said...

wow ed, you really are trying hard to find stuff to complain about.