Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Incoming!

WBUR Boston radio reports (NPR affiliate)
Cartoon in today's Amherst Bulletin (also loaded with Letters and Columns on Gitmo)
Ruth Hooke addresses Amherst Town Meeting

UPDATE: 9:20 AM So conservative Boston talk radio station 96.9 WTKK called and will be interviewing me at 10:10 AM. Google search them as they stream live
Looks like this story hit the AP wire about an hour ago as the Boston Herald just published it and the 'Comments' are already pouring in (not overly complimentary of course)
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ORIGINAL POST last night 10:30 PM

So batten down the hatches, dig the foxhole a little deeper or fire up the Romulan cloaking device, as Amherst will once again become Ground Zero for conservative scorn. The "advisory" article welcoming "cleared" Gitmo refugees passed Town Meeting muster rather overwhelmingly.

Select Board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe gave a "minority report," but it was more an advisory to Town Meeting that she has done numerous interviews with all manner of mainstream media and heard from Umass officials concerned about safety and parents threatening to scratch Umass and Amherst College off their list of prospective schools.

Being a former PR flack she knows that the real story is not getting out--and that Amherst is being misportrayed as providing safe haven for terrorists.

Within hours of the horrific attacks on 9/11 democratic and republican lawmakers lined up at the capital building and sang "God bless America." Tonight I felt like trying to get Town Meeting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, especially the closing: "with liberty and justice for all."

Princess Stephanie reads an apologetic piece.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciated those folks who made attempts tonight to find the happy medium between the two poles that developed in this debate: Ms. Brooks with her prudent amendment to strike the presumptuous word "unjust" from one paragraph, Ms. Gage in her shrewd willingness to accept Ms. Brooks' amendment, and (apparently) Mr. Scott in dividing the unusually bold "welcome to Amherst" clause from the traditionally Amherst-arrogant clause instructing the US government what it should do.

Mr. Weiss and the article's sponsors claim to be able to pass judgment on all of the policy choices that were made to create Guantanamo. They ignore the problems of definition presented by terrorism and the way that it has blurred the lines between law enforcement and national security. That's no problem for them. And, for me, there's a fundamental arrogance in how much they think that they know and can condemn others about.

In responding to that, Ms. O'Keeffe says that we're just little people, who really know nothing. At the outset, it's an argument for humility. But she's sadly making it into a blanket "leave it to the experts" argument that is resolutely elitist and ignores any history of political change from the bottom up. (AND it ignores Mr. Weiss's historical argument about communities that DID decide to do something to protect outsiders.)

It appears that she would ban all matters of conscience from Town Meeting that address anything outside of town. As we know, that's not gonna happen, but she refuses to find a way to accommodate it. And, after all the slaps from Mr. Kelley about her being a "p.r. flack", I found her caring just a little too much about what people think of us in Amherst, as if we should first calculate the public relations cost to the Town before speaking our collective minds.

She will deny it, but I suspect that she loves this kind of argument about TM jurisdiction and expertise. And tonight, in her zest to put in her two cents, she made it, unfortunately, all about herself with more first person pronouns than I'd ever heard from her. She may think she's being courageous in support of a principle of TM governance, but tonight she was essentially speaking on behalf of personal and collective cowardice.

There has to be some collective expression of citizenship and conscience from the grass roots that sits in the reasonable space between claiming to know it all about the world and US foreign policy, and resolutely asserting that we don't know a damned thing about any of it and therefore should say and do nothing.

Rich Morse

Ed said...

There were some states in the '80s that refused to have the King holiday. And they paid the price.

Amherst is going to pay a price as well. And it will be an economic one as the legislature shifts more of UMass down to Springfield.

And Amherst will be arrogant, but broke...

Anonymous said...

Strap on your helmet as you go out this morning, because here comes a storm of right wing excrement like you've never seen or heard before.

LarryK4 said...

Ending slavery, giving women the right to vote or banning smoking in public places also resulted in shitstorms.

Anonymous said...

This was the biggest waste of time I've ever seen. To the woman that "wanted to put faces on those men"

http://www.danzfamily.com/pictures/pictures02/hijackers.jpg

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I would not have recommended that. But notice they did seem to back off on the two guys in particular.

Again, the warrant article approved last night did not mention any names and clearly used the word "cleared" four times.

If we can't trust our Federal government to figure out who is a terrorist threat and who is not, then how can we trust them to prevent another 9/11?

Anonymous said...

Annnnd the rrrrockets red glare, the bombs blasting the Umass librarrrrryyyy...

Anonymous said...

http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/

detainees/290-ahmed-bin-saleh-bel-bacha#1

Anonymous said...

Would someone explain why these dudes have to come to Amherst, or indeed anyplace in the U.S. at all? Don't they have homes back in Afghanistan or wherever they were captured being completely non-violent and un-militant? If they're innocent of any wrongdoing one would expect them to be eager to get out of the Great Satan and back to their completely non-violent and un-militant lives.

Anonymous said...

Duh.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Amherst is as important as it thinks it is.

LarryK4 said...

Well we sure seem to be getting nationwide attention.

Anonymous said...

"Amherst is going to pay a price as well. And it will be an economic one as the legislature shifts more of UMass down to Springfield."

Welcome to more of Ed's fantasyland.

Ed, they're adding 10,000 students, not taking them away. Local politics of the moment have no impact on UMass's long range plans.

BTW, do you ever plan to graduate?

LarryK4 said...

What I find kind of fascinating is that Princess Stephanie takes so seriously the anecdotal remarks of one Nitwit parent who threatens to boycott Umass and Amherst College.

Last I looked both institutions had W-A-Y more applications than spaces available.

So one or two Chicken Little's who do not apply will hardly be missed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, you think this guy was "cleared"?





(CNN) -- Eleven people plus a gunman were dead and 31 wounded after the gunman opened fire Thursday on a soldier-processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, officials said.

The gunman was a soldier, and two other soldiers have been detained as suspects, Army Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said.

The slain gunman was identified as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan, according to a law enforcement source. The source believes he is 39 or 40 years old.



Flush.

LarryK4 said...

The murderous kids at Columbine were Anglo whites as was the Oklahoma City bomber, David Koresh and his band of merry Davidians and most if not all the guys who “go postal”.

What’s your point? (Other than hanging around toilets.)

Anonymous said...

Don't be braggin' about national exposure. Sometimes the saying "Bad press is good press" doesn't apply.

Or, were you campaigning for Amherst to be a safe haven for Level 3 Sex Offenders for the attention?

LarryK4 said...

The point I was making about Level 3 Sex Offenders (and you gotta think for 2.5 seconds to get it, so obviously that leaves you out) is that they ARE here, they WERE convicted and found GUILTY of a horrendous crime, and yet the state forces us to accept them even though they are "likely to reoffend".

So what is the big deal of saying we will accept somebody who has been declared INNOCENT of their supposed "crimes"?

Anonymous said...

"So what is the big deal of saying we will accept somebody who has been declared INNOCENT of their supposed "crimes"?"


Brilliant.



Flush

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, kind of what I expected from philosopher like yourself.

Anonymous said...

My point?

MY POINT?!!!?


I think you know my point you fking meathead.



"If we can't trust our Federal government to figure out who is a terrorist threat and who is not, then how can we trust them to prevent another 9/11?"




"The slain gunman was identified as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan..."


Fck ups happen. You supported a BIG one in Amherst, Larry.

Never forget that, understand?

LarryK4 said...

As pointed out by an Anon no less.

Yeah, memorable indeed.

Anonymous said...

Never forget that.

LarryK4 said...

I'll try not to. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, 13 dead, 30 wounded and not even a single peep? What kind of patriot are you old man? Cat got your tongue?

LarryK4 said...

And he was an American citizen (born and raised). What's your point young man?

Anonymous said...

"There were some states in the '80s that refused to have the King holiday. And they paid the price.

Amherst is going to pay a price as well. And it will be an economic one as the legislature shifts more of UMass down to Springfield.

And Amherst will be arrogant, but broke..."

UMass Amherst is expanding...In Amherst itself...

The plans for Springfield are merely plans...and wouldn't take anything away from Amherst I believe...

Anonymous said...

"[Stephanie O'Keeffe] may think she's being courageous in support of a principle of TM governance, but tonight she was essentially speaking on behalf of personal and collective cowardice."

Rich,

The logical flip side to that statement is that courage was somehow displayed by Ruth Hooke in bringing forth this article, or by Town Meeting in supporting it. Doesn't courage depend on taking a risk? Where's the risk in expressing an opinion that so many of our friends, neighbors, and representatives apparently share?

There are many forums in which Ms. Hooke could have made her point, but only one in which the town's business can get done. And there are a lot of smart, civic-minded people in Amherst who will never consider serving in Town Meeting so long as they perceive it to be largely a forum for debating petition articles like this one.

Keith Ulrich

Anonymous said...

Keith,

Let's examine our assumptions. That large number of civic-minded people in Amherst who would otherwise serve in Town Meeting if only......

Where, Keith, where? I assumed this once also, and then I went out looking for people to run.

This debate took all of 40 minutes. The fall session was two nights. I agree with you to this extent: if we were to get more than one of this type of article per year, and they served to prolong TM appreciably, then there would be something to discuss. But "these articles" are now used as an excuse for people not to serve.

The core of TM business is the business that only TM can address. The careful consideration of that core business was in no way endangered by Ms. Hooke's article.

Ms. O'Keeffe seems to want us to simply sit there and consider zoning articles and crunch budget numbers. Although that's very important, it's simply unrealistic to expect TM to settle for that. But I agree that a little restraint is in order, as it has been over the past few years. Ms. O'Keeffe has taken an important principle, the idea that TM needs to attend to its exclusive business carefully, and misapplied it. And, yes, I think she relishes this argument.

It was disappointing to me as an otherwise enthusiastic supporter and former campaign contributor to listen to her thinking inside of a very small box Wednesday night.

Rich Morse