Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More Unintended Consequences

One of the (many) downsides of having an internationally lousy reputation with American flag related protocol is that people are quick to believe the worst.  So yes, last week the Amherst Select Board refused the people of Amherst the right to vote on whether commemorative flags could fly in the downtown on 9/11.

And as far as I'm concerned the only thing more unAmerican than not flying the commemorative flags on 9/11 is not allowing The People to exercise their most basic American right to VOTE on it.

However:  NO, No, no -- a thousand times NO!  The town of Amherst did not lower its flag to half staff to honor Hugo Chavez, even if Howie Carr (sort of) said so:

“…It was a sad day for the moonbat community. The People’s Republics of Cambridge and Amherst rushed to lower their flags to half staff first. A spontaneous candlelight vigil erupted in Muddy River. Funeral dirges played endlessly on the NPR stations, like Radio Moscow when Uncle Joe passed. Someone dimmed the lights at the Globe, causing an immediate panic in the newsroom, where the fops assumed the newspaper was finally being shut down….”


Yes UMass flags are currently at half staff, but that is to honor and remember the passing of former Chancellor Randolph Bromery.  Although someone should tell the Chancellor Subbaswamy that only the governor can order state flags to half staff.


UPDATE:  As I have said all too many times, sarcasm requires its own special font (even for Howie)

Although, one major corporation is lowering the American flag for Chavez.  


Dr. Ed said...

Many of Howie Carr's columns start out on his radio show, and I was listening to him in real time discussing this yesterday. My take was that it was a joke -- that Amherst & Cambridge would have a "race" to see who would get to the flagpole first.

One other thing: I will not speak ill of the dead, but some of us remember how/why the Chaplin at Springfield College himself died back in the '90's....

Anonymous said...

You've got the flag protocol upside down. This isn't 1960s communist China where only Chairman Mao can order the flags lowered. Anybody or any organization can lower their own flags for anyone they want. They don't have to get permission from the governor.

Larry Kelley said...

"According to the Flag Code, only the president of the US or your state governor can order the US flag lowered to half-staff."

So says And if you can't trust them, who can you trust?

Anonymous said...

Joe Kennedy paid his respects. President Chavez offered poor New England residents reduced cost heating oil when President Bush left his own citizen n the cold. Think about it....

Anonymous said...

Many people are confused about this. The flag code applies only to government buildings.


"While the Code empowers the President of the United States to alter, modify, repeal or prescribe additional rules regarding the Flag, no federal agency has the authority to issue 'official' rulings legally binding on civilians or civilian groups."

Ponziville chimps for Chavez said...

"Joe Kennedy paid his respects. President Chavez offered poor New England residents reduced cost heating oil when President Bush left his own citizen n the cold. Think about it...."

Think about what?

"He's been going around the continent giving money away, subsidizing every country in the region, and this move (providing low cost fuel oil to the US) is part of that," says Ricardo Hausmann, an economist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a former Venezuelan planning minister. "Such things are meant to make it harder for a political coalition to limit his actions."

"By his second full term in office,” Human Rights Watch concludes, “the concentration of power and erosion of human rights protections had given the government free rein to intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticized the president or thwarted his political agenda.”

In a series of detailed research reports published over the last decade, the respected rights organization has documented the crushing of judicial independence, the large-scale censorship and intimidation of the media, the quashing of opposition parties and banishment and silencing of opponents, and the imprisonment of human-rights activists. During an era when such excesses and abuses of power were disappearing in most other major South American countries, Venezuela stood nearly alone in its magnitude of demagoguery."

I would ask ~you~ to think about it (or anything, for that matter)but then

I'd be asking the impossible.

Dr. Ed said...

Yes let's think about that oil - and the high incidence of asthma and other respiratory illnesses in the minority community today.

<Hugo Chavez and Joe Kennedy are directly responsible for sick & dead African-American children.

Part 1: Basic Petrochemistry

Venezuelan crude oil is contaminated with high levels of Sulfur, in the oil industry this is referred to as "Sour Crude" and Venezuela has some of the most "sour" oil in the world.

First, Hydrogen Sulfide -- the gas used in a recent Amherst suicide -- gas is every bit as lethal as Hydrogen Cyanide. Occupational exposure can be every bit as lethal and it has to be removed from the oil so it doesn't kill everybody.

Second, an oil refinery uses catalysts to "crack" molecules into desired products such as gasoline, propane, butane and the rest. Sulfur will contaminate the catalysts, just like leaded gasoline will contaminate the catalyst convert on an automobile, and it takes a special kind of refinery to deal with sour crude.

Third, Hydrogen Sulfide combines with water vapor to form Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4), a very nasty pollutant known as "Acid Rain" that kills fish, trees and whatnot, but isn't exactly healthy for human beings to be breathing. This is one of the reasons why there are concerns about Diesel exhaust -- from both trucks & trains -- and the shift from Low Sulfur Dieselfuel to Ultra-Low Sulfur Dieselfuel -- 200 PPM down to 15 PPM.

See the US EPA website:

Conservatives & Libertarians don't often agree with the EPA but we did on this one. No one really enjoyed breathing the nasty sulfur and once the EPA defined what "ultra-low" would be and how it would be labeled, the free market took over. Customers asked for it, went out of their way to get it, and were willing to pay a couple pennies more for it.

Large trucking companies and entities such as the MBTA shifted to it -- the MBTA also shifting it's railroad locomotives to it. So even though the EPA mandated a shift to this new fuel, and imposed limits on the higher sulfur diesel oil that refineries could produce, the market for the dirty oil collapsed.

Hugo Chavez, who was not stupid, saw this coming. He had a product that he could only sell to the USA and it wouldn't be long before no one in the USA wanted to buy it.

Anonymous said...

I wondered what was going on with all UMass police station flags at half staff while the north fire station flag was not

Dr. Ed said...

Part 2 -- Hugo Chavez's problem.

Hugo Chavez had "sour" (high sulfur) crude that could only be refined in America. His oil could be made into Gasoline and Diesel fuel.

The Diesel fuel still had too much sulfur in it to meet the new EPA regs, and the EPA was going to require that an increasing percentage of refinery production meet the new ultra-low sulfur requirements.

He was still allowed to sell his Diesel fuel as #2 Home Heating Oil -- which is exempt from all sulfur limits, and he was free to sell the product as either, but he had to somehow get rid of this high-sulfur oil in order to sell the gasoline that he was making money on.

The EPA refers to this as "Sulfur Dumping" and for some reason is surprised that instead of spending the money to remove the sulfur from their Diesel fuel, they would instead just drop the price and sell it as Home Heating Oil.

So Chavez can do what everyone else is doing, "dumping" the dirty Diesel into the much smaller market for Home Heating Oil (really only used in the Northeast) except that he has to undercut the price of everyone else who is doing this -- or essentially give it away to free to someone willing to take it.

Joe Kennedy comes to his rescue and what had once been Diesel fuel too dirty to be burned on American Highways is now re-labeled as Home Heating Oil that is burned in congested urban areas. The sulfur is still released into the atmosphere, except that instead of being dispersed along hundreds of miles of highways, it is concentrated in the neighborhoods where poor people live.

So Hugo Chavez is able to get rid of something that he couldn't sell, make a profit on the gasoline which he can, and probably get some nice tax deductions in the process.

Joe Kennedy gets over $1M per year for smiling in front of the TV cameras, and poor American children die. Yes, the toxic fuel helped keep them warm, but everyone in their neighborhood had to breathe its toxic byproducts. And because the Chavez-owned CITGO refineries paid fewer tax dollars into the US treasury, there was less money to fund things like HEAP.

The only people who really won here were Chavez & Kennedy -- and that needs to be remembered here....