IRENE FIZZLES, JUST AS THE PLANET SAID IT WOULD … plus … PB IS PUT IN THEIR PLACE, THE ANATOMY OF AN ENDORSEMENT, and, OUR PRINCIPLES OF GOOD GOVERNMENT
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, AUG. 29, 2011) — So much for the Hurricane from Armageddon. Storm of the Millennia, and Big Wind from South. The fizzled Irene, as far as the Berkshires go, packed as much damage as the arguments from one of THE PLANET’s critics, which is to say: tikki aambawa, or in English, “very little.” The winds had the force of a mouse’s burp, and the rains were from Hollywood squirt guns.
If you will recall, THE PLANET had written as much. We advised not expending worry when worry wasn’t due. THE PLANET laments the manner in which television, texting, and the automobile have devastated the common sense of so many people. Having used none of them, save auto, in the days leading up to the storm, we weren’t dragged into the TV-text Tractor Beam. There were two kinds of people during the approach and settling of Irene: those who watch TV and those who don’t watch TV.
The first group sucked for it, much to the pleasure of the commercial interests, which is why TV overplays it in the first place. Hysteria and hype drive viewers. Viewers boost ad rates and make advertisers happy. Hardware stores and supermarkets rejoice. The masses obey. The second group dealt with the storm on a rational basis. They took reasonable precautions and simply reacted to conditions as they arrived, not as they could have arrived.
‘I’m a BELIEVER’
There is a small group of critics who post on this website under the name PITTSFIELD BELIEVER. Their criticisms of THE PLANET never involve a debate of the issues or of our logic in argumentation. They wallow in pure fictitiousness, much to the amusement of most of our readers.
A couple days ago, PB posted information about THE PLANET that constituted an outright fabrication, this one done with malicious intent. Our webmaster notified the sender and redacted the preposterous part of the missive.
As anyone knows who has dealt with THE PLANET, on our side or against, we stand for freedom of speech. We believe that the basis of a free society and the best safeguard to free institutions is the exchange of information, viewpoints, thoughts, opinions, facts, and everything else than can fall under the marketplace of ideas. THE PLANET believes that in public debate, even the most withering expression should be protected — yes, even when we are on the receiving end, as we often are. In fact, we take as many if not more shots than any public figure in Berkshire County. That goes with the turf.
With criticism, THE PLANET has these policies:
(1) Thank your critics. They often point out things your allies will overlook.
(2) Listen to what your critics say. If there is anything to learn from it, then do that. Often, critics are correct and identify the chinks in your arguments.
(2) In the public arena, never take anything anyone says or does personally.
(3) Finally, don’t chase criticism, something we learned early in our public life from the late, great, Aging Greek God, Peter Arlos.
That being said, we won’t tolerate malicious falsehoods sent by those wishing only to discredit and to distract, especially when we know for a fact that information being presented is factually in error — not because of honest mistake but because of intent.
PITTSFIELD BELIEVER consists of several critics. THE PLANET welcomes their best shots if they feel we are wrong. We will even tolerate a certain amount of hyperbolae when it comes to criticism, even bordering on the personal. However, when it crosses the line into blatant untruths meant only to distract people from the genuine issues, we won’t tolerate it.
We have been in touch through our representatives with PITTSFIELD BELIEVER. We will keep private our communications with the syndicate that posts as PB. Suffice it to say that we have addressed this matter, laying out to PB all of THE PLANET’s remedial options.
Anatomy of an Endorsement
THE PLANET’s endorsement of Mark Miller comes early, true, but we remind our viewers and readers that Miller is guaranteed to move on the from 3rd Berkshire Rep special election primary and into the finals in November. This is because he faces no challenger from his party, the Green Party.
We proffer our endorsement the most genuine possible, since, politically, we should we on opposite sides. He is Green. We are libertarian, lower case “L.” As we discovered in 2009, however, when No Show the Larded Lout conducted his stealth “campaign” to perpetuate the sinful, corrupt fix that nabbed him a lifetime sinecure as clerk mag in Central Berkshire Court, the Green Party is not a polar opposite. Or you could put it this way: The Greens and the libs (again, lower case, please) are so far apart they are close together, much like the orange-peel map of the world. When you splay it out, the West Coast of the United States is neighbors to the “other side” of the world, the East Coast of Russia.
It’s probably because Greens and libs tend to reject useless labels such as “Left” and “Right.” We also tend to avoide, “He’s a this, and I’m a that, and that’s why we can never have reasonable dialogue.”
THE PLANET learned this in the campaign as we discussed politics and philosophy with Miller; L. Scott Laugenour, who was running in the 4th District; and Green’s candidate for governor, Jill Stein. Was it a coincidence, we asked, that the three most intelligent and thoughtful persons in the campaign were all from this party? Again, our endorsement comes as bankable gold because THE PLANET would have no reason to be predisposed toward favoritism. In this case, in fact, one might guess the opposite striclty on perceived and conventional political bases.
We, however, don’t operate along the lines of petty, partisan politics. We approach campaigns and candidates, issues and ideas, ALWAYS with an opened mind, something our critics fail to understand or, if they do, refuse to admit. Trust THE PLANET when we say that any so-called “opponent” of ours is one only because of the choice made on THEIR side, not ours. We will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime, regardless of past dealings. Every day is new.
THE PLANET’s Principles of Government
As a lower-case libertarian and not a member of ANY political party, what does THE PLANET stand for, politically? Let me attempt to articulate, to be completely above board and transparent on our presumptions.
1. We believe in the statement: “You own yourself.” In owing yourself, you and only you can decide what to do with yourself. Only you can decide what to do with your actions, thoughts, and everything else that it means to be “you.”
2. Utopia is not an option in deciding how best to govern ourselves.
3. Unlike what mainstream politicians and political parties would have you believe, government doesn’t exist independently of people. “Government” cannot be an “itself.” It consists of people, just like you and me. The only difference is that they have power at their disposal. They act in our behalf, at our consent and ONLY at our consent. In that sense, We The People are self-governing.
4. Government’s only legitimate use is to protect citizens whose rights are being usurped by someone else, against that someone’s free will. Government should never be coercive except in this respect. The best basis for good government is voluntary cooperation, much the way the free market transacts business.
We would write at book length in building upon these principles, but for our purposes here, we borrow, finally, this definition of government, from Frederic Bastiat: “Government is that great fictitious entity by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.” In short, this is the government we have been stuck with and will be, until THE PLANET’s four principles are once again adopted by We The People.
WE WISH YOU A GREAT DAY, AND …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary