Medium Rare

Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done. Nonetheless, The Planet will sit under the McDonald French Fry studio lights of PCTV today and answer questions from, gasp, Republicans.

Yes, the Berkshire County Republican Association will host The Planet for an hour’s grilling at the studios. Peter Giftos asks the questions. They asked for a list of topics with which we would be comfortable. We told them ask away on whatever you wish, anything, no notes, no advance prep for us.

You can consult the PCTV website for air times.

The Planet Hosts TV Debate May 3, 7 p.m., Lenox Library

The Planet figures we ought to be in the hot seat, since that’s where we will be placing candidates for Lenox select board in our TV debate that will be aired and filmed on Tuesday, May 3, 7-8 p.m., at the Lenox Library on Main Street. The Planet teams up with Berkshire Greens, the new political action committee, in producing this event. The audience will love the format, designed to induce the most pressure on the candidates. Think of it as a job interview for the job of select.

Candidates, be warned: We won’t be satisfied with fluss, platitudes, non-answers, “speeches,” or evasive tactics.

Candidates will be seated in front of a live audience and will not be allowed to have any notes, scripts, or cheat sheets. They will be seated in close proximity to each other. They will be able to engage each other. They will have no idea of the questions The Planet will ask. There will be no podiums, no time clock, and plenty of follow-up, particularly if they duck our questions. The audience will love our “beer hall” format. The candidates will be glad once it’s over.

Green, Green, and It’s Effect on The Machine

We realize that, given the pathological need to brand people with political labels, some will say that agreeing to moderate this event for the Berkshire Greens makes us a Green.

We answer: no more than sitting down with the chairman of the Republican Party in Berkshire County, Peter Giftos, makes us a member of the GOP. In fact, The Planet’s political affiliation is Pedestrian. Our “agenda” consists of getting from one side of the street to another in safety. The Greens can share their agenda with you far better than The Planet can. Here is a link you might want to explore: .

The Planet looks forward to the Greens involvement in other elections throughout Berkshire County, including heavy involvement in Pittsfield. Again, this is not an endorsement of a specific agenda. Rather, it is an endorsement of grassroots politics, whose aim is to take the political process out of the hands of the Special Interests.

Leveling the Playing Field

Nationally, that’s an ambitious agenda that presently borders on unrealistic. Locally, however, in Pittsfield for example, if the a group organizes sufficiently and has the fund to translate ideas into action, it can (and might) decide outcomes of council and mayoral races. The involvement of such a group in the otherwise dormant political system will be beneficial.

The presence of the Berkshire Greens in Campaign 2011 will drive turnout upward. This represents a major threat to the GOBs and the Vested Interests, whose plan in Pittsfield is to drive down overall electoral turnout so as to give an artificial but weighted importance to their loyal foot soldiers, who are beholding and who, either through blind loyalty or fear, dare not vote against The Machine.


After the Goldrush

On Monday, May 2, the day before our televised debate in Lenox, the office of Pittsfield City Clerk Linda Tyer will be an interesting place to camp. On that day, nomination papers for city offices become available. Will it be a stampede? The day will tell. Candidates have until August to submit signatures, and that’s where the chess comes into play. Is it best to take out papers early or late?

The early argument says that it demonstrates resolve. Day 1 taking of papers makes a statement, no question. The statement might not add up to much in August, but for the openers, it’s hard to top. Newcomers and names that might not be household quality do better taking papers out early. If they are serious about office, they will have the most work to do. Of course, many are NOT serious. They run to see their name in the blogs, in the papers, and heard on the air.

A Bianchi Announcement Coming Tomorrow on The Planet

The Planet uses two criteria to judge the seriousness of a candidate: (1) Organization — Does the candidate have a group in place to get out into the neighbhoods and canvass, to sport lawn signs, to do mailings, and the like? and (2) Money — Does a candidate have funds to actually campaign? It doesn’t take a hundred grand, but if your serious about the corner office, we can’t imagine a floor lower than $5,000.

The “Late” argument for papers is that you can observe others in action (or inaction) and begin to shore the defenses. “Late” is a defensive philosophy, better suited, generally, to incumbents and those with name recognition. You see rumored mayoral candidate Dan Bianchi playing that game now. He’s been coy about his intentions. The Planet has some news about Bianchi coming up tomorrow. We shall have it first, if you discount of qualified statement we made yesterday for the Vox microphones with Larry Kratka.


The Only Magick The Planet Employs is with Words and Logic, “PB”

There’s an imposter who posts to this website using the name “Pittsfield Believer.” “PB,” we have found, is more than one person. They have ties to the GOB network, and it appears their job is to monitor the site and provide digests — to whom, we don’t know, but we can guess. Also they disseminate. They make statements about The Planet that are pure fiction and present then as fact.

“PB”s job is to keep an eye out on The Planet and let us know They are watching. We are cool with that. We hope They do know what’s brought up on this website.

“PB”s schtick is to comment on where we have allegedly had a meal (yeah, bizarre) and sometimes with whom. These flights of fancy are amusing on one level, slithery on another. Yeserday, for example, “PB” said The Planet practiced magick, offering as evidence “Svengali”-like “spells” we have cast over certain office holders.

“PB” offered such nonsense literally. We know, because the Planet contacted one “PB” shill and asked him (they are all “he”) if that was a literal remark. Yes, he answered, to our surprise. We didn’t believe him, of course, or that They believe such rubbish, but we understand this ridiculous claim has one aim: deflect attention away from our true method of discourse. We achieve our effects or don’t through the simple power of the written and spoken word, employed through the agents of rationale, logic, and argumentation — debate in the  good, old-fashioned, formal sense of crafting arguments, defending arguments, and picking apart opposing arguments.

So no, “PB,” for your edification, there is no magick. There’s only words. The closest we have come to magic is the magic kit we got for our 11th birthday. We can make coins disappear, and we might do that with “you,” if “you’re” not careful. All it takes is for the webmaster to hit the “trash” button.







  1. john
    April 27, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Was particulary interested in the svengali hold on the mayor, comment. why would this p b, say this? Could it be possible this person knows something?

  2. John
    April 27, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    When is the Kris Knutson press conference? Is it going to happen?

    • scott
      April 27, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      They’ve done a good job of discrediting him but some of his statements ventured on hearsay. I’m sure he knows a lot but I doubt anyone will take him seriously. I do but you know what I mean delusions of Granger I guess…

      • GMHeller
        April 27, 2011 at 11:47 am #

        To the contrary, Kris Knutson he has been able to hold his own remarkably well in the face of withering criticism from sleazy SEIU/AFSCME-affiliated city employee union hacks who don’t even have the stones to identify themselves but who keep trying to undercut Mr. Knutson.

        • scott
          April 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

          I don’t know.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      We will keep you posted if, and when, this happens.

  3. scott
    April 27, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Dan the Eagle deletes all post that they don’t agree with why can’t you?

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      I can. I don’t. Disagreeing with me is NEVER a reason for taking down a post. Idiocy, however, will henceforth be a sure guarantee of a post being trashed, as we have done with several from today involving matters that are irrelevant and of no interest to the vast majority of people. We’re done humoring ideologues. Disagreement on policy matters, though: bring it on. We welcome that every single time!

      • scott
        April 28, 2011 at 4:10 am #

        I know Dan I have made several post here that the Eagle removed from their “Disgust” forum it’s very american the way you conduct business here and the local thugs that control the media and law enforcement around here don’t like it.

        • GMHeller
          April 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

          The Eagle and The Transcript both forbid my comments.
          Can’t imagine why.
          Not to worry.
          One can post to Topix, create one’s own threads, whatever, plus Topix threads have a far larger audience than The Eagle or Transcript Disgus COMBINED.
          Plus Topix comments stick around seemingly for months and years (so far), whereas Disqus comments disappear as soon as the article to which they are attached cycles out from The Eagle’s or The Transcript’s web sites — in about 30 – 90 days.
          Further, Topix comments are searchable using Google, whereas Disqus does not appear to exist as far as Google is concerned.
          Topix is definitely the way to go as an alternative if The Eagle, The Transcript (or even god forbid, PlanetValenti) opts to censor.

  4. dusty
    April 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I would not be surprised to find out that the city clerk is a member of the PB. There was also a long ago city council member during the Doyle administration that prostituted for the Eagle ball park. Short, black curly hair and glasses…professed to be a big baseball fan. Would have traded one of his kids for a pat on the back from Doyle. He would enjoy being a slanderous mole….fits his profile to a tee.

  5. Jonathan Melle
    April 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I like Berkshire Greens because they stand for social justice & against corrupt Pols like William “Smitty” PIGnatelli.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

      I like the Greens because they are getting involved in the political process, ordinary people trying to take back government. Ideologues who are blinded by party loyalties or ideological blinders refuse (or can’t from blindness) see the good of that, irrespective of the politics involved. The Greens, who believe in something and act for something, threaten ideologues.

      • Joetaxpayer
        April 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

        I like greens because they take public transit,ride bikes to work and walk.This leaves more room on the road for me and my SUV.

      • GMHeller
        April 29, 2011 at 8:47 am #

        Yeah, Greens aren’t ideologues, they just want to regulate everything one does and what one uses: like light bulbs, like the fuels one can use in their cars, like the foods one eats, like what one may do on one’s private property.
        Yeah, these are ordinary people taking back government.

  6. Ron Kitterman
    April 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Thanks to the Berkshire Greens for sponsoring the Lenox Select Board Candidates to be held May 3 at 7 p.m at the Lenox Library. I hope you will check out candidacy of Eric Vincellette, 1 of the 4 candidates running for 2 of the seats on the board, he’s a financial advisor and member of the Lenox Finance Committee, and a worthy choice for your consideration if you reside in Lenox or the Dale. He’s a good choice, he’s family man, business man and is working hard for your vote, so give him vote!!

    April 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I have to said WOW to Mass house passing a new bill that goes against union bargaining rights. Didn’t read all the facts yet, but the unions are furious. Also heard would save tax payers millions. Bout time unions got knock down, but in liberal Mass. ummmm One for the TAX PAYERS!!!!!!!!

  8. Joetaxpayer
    April 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    WOW! William Stanley gets first tenant.At 5 to 7,000 square foot building it should bring about 25 jobs.I think some of the homes at Woodmonte are bigger.Hope they are not getting to much of a subsidy from the taxpayers.Wonder how many of the jobs will be new positions.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

      yea but it is a start. we hope JT

      • GMHeller
        April 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

        Gee, I dunno.
        Be honest, would you want to sit in an office eight hours a day atop and beside two of the biggest toxic chemical dumps in the U.S.?
        Aunt Millie, what’s that bleach smell, you doing laundry?

  9. GMHeller
    April 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Since you are looking for constructive suggestions:
    Why not post an interview by you with David Scribner, and let him present his side of the story.
    This would also be a perfect excuse for you to contact Andrew Mick at The Berkshire Eagle to inquire of management’s recollection of events.
    Also suggest contacting Eagle columnists, reporters, and editors during that period for their recollections on what transpired.
    From all this, the facts will no doubt emerge.
    It would sure make for a great column and my guess is that traffic to your site would spike that day.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      Some people, including you, GMH, who have obvious issues with David Scribner have assumed the ridiculous. For instance, you have assumed that David and I are best friends or some such. We had a professional relationship when I wrote columns at the Eagle. He was my editor. He fought for and allowed many columns that took fierce issue with Eagle sacred cows, the Civic Authority, for instance, or municipal unions. That earned my respect. That’s pretty much the extent of our relationship. I have NO INTEREST in the story of why he left the Eagle. ZERO. You do? Fine. Pursue it, but do it elsewhere. Not here. Any more requests along the lines of previous (that I’m hiding facts or some such fever) will be trashed.

      • GMHeller
        April 28, 2011 at 3:20 am #

        Mr. Valenti,
        Now your arguments on this are making even less sense than before.
        It’s you who claims that David Scribner is a “real newspaper guy” and that “Scribner tried to pitch a fair game, but even he was stifled” by the powers-that-be at The Berkshire Eagle.
        Further, you express interest in “looking more deeply into the publisher of the BB”.
        Was not Andrew Mick publisher or in upper management at The Eagle at the time David Scribner was, in the words of Benning de la Mater “asked to resign”?
        Therefore, would not getting to the bottom of just why Mr. Scribner was asked to resign also give insight into publisher Andrew Mick’s management abilities especially if he fired without cause a crusading editor seemingly doing the job for which he was being paid?
        C’mon Mr. Valenti, even you gotta admit that that is more compelling than just finding out the salary Andrew Mick is being paid.

  10. Joetaxpayer
    April 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Agree,just dont want to pay for it, hope they open it up to all types of bussnesies.They really should not be so picky.Funny how they want to put a drive thru,though.