BY DAN VALENTI
Candidates Grilled, Well Done, Tonight at 7
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MAY 3, 2011) — Come one, come all, to The Planet’s Amazing Beer Hall Chat, held in the guise of a debate, at 7 p.m. at the Lenox Public Library tonight. Produced and sponsored by the recently formed political action committee, Berkshire Greens, The Planet will put on the grill the four candidates for Lenox select board — two incumbents and two challengers. We grill “well done,” of course, and we have advised candidates to bring their A game and game faces.
The beer hall chats aren’t your daddy’s debate. There are no desks or podiums. Candidates wear lapel mics and are seating in a semicircle in proximity to each other, guaranteeing plenty of eye contact. The moderator, Your Humble Servant, has a hand-held mic and doesn’t sit still but roams in and out. There will be no notes, cheat sheets, or stump speeches allowed. There will be aggressive followup. And don’t ask us what we intend to ask, because we won’t know until it gets going. This is a combo Theatre of the Absurd, Improv, and Street Politics.
The fun states at 7 p.m., Lenox Library, tonight.
Osama, Now Passed into Myth, the Col. Sanders of Al Caida
OK, a brief word on the death of Osama Bin Laden, which says much about the sorry state of “biparticisan” (truly, “antipartisan”) politics in America. The right gave the credit to President W for getting us into the $1 Trillion swap of Iraq and Afghanistan. The left gave credit to Obama, who has kept America in the swamp.
The death of Obama will have little to no impact on “winning” the “global war” against “terrorism.” The war is a fig leaf of imagination, hung upon the large sexual organs of the phallic Twin Towers crumbling in a heap in a manner than is inconsistent with the laws of physics. It is a “war” without an opponent, unless we are fighting an idea. All the weapons in the world will not defeat an idea, so that if there is such a “war,” America cannot win it. We still haven’t learned the lessons of Vietnam and straw men propped up by the government as “our enemy.”
Osama bin Laden had become the Col. Sanders of Al Caida — a revered figurehead who had little to do with the day-to-day operation of the organization.
Each Al-Caida cell operated bascially as a franchise, much the same as a local KFC franchise. The parent company provides the architecture, plans, and know how. The local store provides the product. Each is independelty owned and operated. And just as Col. Sanders became more valuable to the company as an image, so to with Bin Laden. He got the martyr’s death he wanted, and how his image can be used to plaster all over the operation, much the same as Col. Sanders’ mug. In death, Osama graduated into myth and immortality — like Che Guevara, like JFK, like MLK.
CEDS Riot Act
- Brenda Burdick, General Dynamics.
- Deanna Ruffer, OCD director, city of Pittsfield.
- Heather Boulger, county regional employment board.
- Keith Girouard, county office, state small business development center.
- Kristine Hazard, Berkshire United Way.
- Laurily Epstein, Berkshire Grown.
- Michael Hoffman, TD Bank.
- Mike Supranowicz, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.
- Christine Ludwiszewski, Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.
- Eleanore Velez, member of public.
- Helena Fruscio, Berkshire Creative.
- Kevin O’Donnell, town of Great Barrington.
- Lauri Klefos, Berkshire Visitors Bureau.
- Mark Berman, MCLA.
- Michael Nuvallie, city of North Adams.
- Robert Wilson, IBEW Local 7 (electrical workers).
- Roger Bolton, BRPC.
- Tim Geller, Community Development Corporation.
(1) The CEDS guidelines specify that a region’s committee should have heavy private sector representation and also include a healthy citizen component. The Berkshire committee has only two of the 18 that can be considered from the private sector: Burdick of GD and Hoffman of TD Bank. That’s 11% private sector makeup. And as you can see, we don’t count the two Chamber reps or Girouard as private sector, especially Supranowicz, given the way politics rules all in Shire City, the county seat. Burdick and Hoffman were basically overwhelmed by the “public” forces.
(2) One, just one, “member of public” was included on the committee, out of 18. Eleanore Velez, the token, also has her address listed on the “daft” report as “1350 West St., Pittsfield.” Now that’s odd, since that’s the address of BCC. Why have they hidden her address? Fishy fishy fishy.
If we look at attendance, you can just for yourselves how seriously or not the committee, including BRPC, took its CEDS work. There were eight meetings from October 2010 to April 2011. The Planet doesn’t not have information on the final, April 12, meeting. Thus, the first seven meetings produced (18 x 7) attendance opportunities for the committee — 18 possible attendees for seven meetings, for 126 attendance opps.
Some 37 times, members didn’t show up for the meetings. That’s a failure rate of 30%. In other words, the committee flushed 30% of the opportunity to meet and fashion a plan right down the porcelain kermode.
A closer look at the breakdown reveals something even more startling: the two biggest no-shows were arguably the two most important members: OCD director Deanna Ruffer for the city of Pittsfield and president Mike Supranowicz for the chamber of commerce. Ruffer failed to attend 5 of the 7 meetings. Supra ducked 4 of the 7. They 9 of 14 no-shows amounts to 64.2% or two-thirds of the time.
The mayor needs to direct some of his fire at Ruffer and Supranowicz. Meanwhile. The Planet salutes Tim Geller and Mark Berman for PERFECT ATTENDANCE. Bravo!!
SEE YOU TONIGHT IN LENOX.
“OPEN THE WINDOW AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.