MIKE WARD LOSES HIS LUNCH … plus … FOR WHOM DID CAIUS V. WORK? THE PLANET HAS THE ANSWER … and … STRANGE BEDFELLOWS HOOK UP TO FIGHT CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET DEFICITS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, SEPT. 29, 2011) — On Election Day, prelim division, THE PLANET can now reveal: We skipped town for some serious fun and R&R. We got back home late that evening to find an e-mail from our Right Honorable Good Friend, Mike Ward, the esteemed councilor from ward 4 in Pittsfield.
WARD LOSES HIS LUNCH
Ward asked THE PLANET for a friendly wager, loser buying lunch, on the accuracy of his pre-election poll versus our day-before prognostications. We immediately, and with a smile, accepted. We add that, though the pools were closed for about an hour by the time we got back to the Ponderosa, we had not scanned any of the results. Like Sgt. Schultz, we knew nothing about the actual turnout.
Here’s the poll Mike sent:
|Thank you to the 87 respondents to Friday’s poll question about tomorrow’s city preliminary election.
Peter Marchetti garnered nearly half of the votes in a field of five running for mayor, with Dan Bianchi coming in second at 29%.
The ward 4 race was more surprising with political newcomer Jim Bronson emerging as the leader with “Undecided” in second place and veterans Chuck Vincelette and Chris Connell in a tight race for a spot on the ballot in November.
City Councilor Ward 4
As you all know by now, THE PLANET called the mayoral and Ward 4 contests with crystal clarity and razor precision. We got the top five and top two finishers correctly. We got lunch.
Ward graciously offered to pick up the tab at Wheatleigh or Blantyre, promising in the process that he was not PITTSFIELD BELIEVER. We accepted his word, just as he accepted our word that we had not cheated to look at the results before accepting his wager. He made the pledge as Scout’s Honor, even though we have never been a Scout.
The esteemed councilor remarked the day after:
Upon further consideration I don’t think my survey results were completely garbage because the undecided votes were so high, 24% in the case of the ward 4 councilor race. What’s interesting is that a large percentage of the those undecideds ultimately chose to vote Connell. I’m not sure how to interpret that.My poll results for the mayoral race track fairly well with precinct 4A results, 4B was a different story of course. That’s the other interesting fact of the day because 4B was a very strong Ruberto precinct. Again, I have no explanation for the disparity in the ward 4 precincts — that’s why it’s interesting!
So, the respective Ward and PLANET camps shall be engaged in intense negotiations of a watering hole with vittles. THE PLANET thanks Mike Ward, winner of our first Orbit Award, and as always, a good sport.
CAIUS WORKED FOR RICHMOND GARDEN DESIGNER MATT LARKIN. IS IT RELEVANT?
THE PLANET has learned the identity of Caius Veiovis’ employer. According to sources, the bodied-modified accused killer in Pittsfield’s triple murder case, one of four charged in connection with the heinous crime, worked in some capacity for Richmond horticulturist Matt Larkin.
A search of Larkin on the internet reveals much information, and we would invite readers who want more to check it out for themselves.
Larkin, an amateur photographer, has self-published a book called Suspended in Time, a collection of photographs depicting stubble-scalped young men in various poses of tortuous suspension — the practice of hanging from metal hooks (which piece the naked skin) suspended from a ceiling. You’ll recall in previous coverage of the murders here and in other media, suspension entered the discussion. We’d go further with this, but we think it would be a stretch.
The book contains 70 photos and goes for the “aren’t we special” price of $70. Larkin’s website and Google show some of the pictures.
Is there a market for such trash (the label is subjective, admittedly, but no: We cannot call it “art”)? If enthusiasts perform what appears to be a grotesque act, the dilapidated answer may be yes. This is 2011, after all, a year and a couple months away from the Mayan prophecy. I’m OK, you’re OK, everything’s OK. Thirteen year old girls in Pittsfield middle schools learn to put condoms over models of penises. Get with it. Do whatever you want then whine about the consequences. Vive la differance!!
Freaks, not geeks, will of course, rush to the defense of suspended self-torture and butt ugly body modification, under the “everything is OK” banner. Most others, however, would reject such extreme practices of the manifestation of selfhood. Most others are not that bored with life and with who they are. Most others have not allowed their self-hate to calcify in such a manner.
True, Freedom allows a certain amount of self loathing, of course, but for an amateur shutterbug to attempt to profit from it is … ugh! Capitalism!! As a fellow publisher, we do with Larkin well with his enterprise, but, Van Helsing, bring out the garlic necklace, mirrors, and crucifixes. Sweet Lucy needs to be saved.
UNLIKELY BEDFELLOWS PACE WAY FOR NON-PARTISAN ACTION ON CRIMINAL BUDGET DEFICITS
THE PLANET shares this message from MAssachusetts MASSPIRG, FYI. It may interest some of you.
“Sen. John Kerry is one of 12 congressional members appointed to the deficit reduction Super Committee, charged with cutting $1.2 trillion over 10 years from the federal budget by November. Difficult? It shouldn’t be. Don’t believe the hype that there isn’t common ground.
In a joint venture with the National Taxpayers Union — a group whose positions on the proper regulatory scope of government and a host of tax policies varies widely from ours — we’ve identified cuts that should have broad based support. In our report, we’ve agreed on more than $1 trillion Congress could save through budget reforms and by cutting wasteful spending, which should be done even if we weren’t facing a deficit crisis.  But unfortunately, the special interests who profit from this wasteful spending are swarming committee members to try and protect their favored subsidies and programs.  Don’t let them get away with it. Tell Sen. Kerry to start with the easy stuff. Do we really need to spend taxpayer dollars to fund ExxonMobil’s research on the best way to drill? Do we need to subsidize Domino’s to put more cheese on their pizza, or pay Fruit of the Loom to run ads oversees? Do we need to keep subsidizing corporate farms to help make junk food cheaper?
Of course we don’t. But for years, Washington lobbyists have been very effective at steering money to the narrow interests that hire them, which we can ill afford — especially when failure means across-the-board cuts to public priorities from financial aid to food safety (things that actually help the public). If two organizations that don’t often see eye-to-eye can come together out of a deep concern over how to address the nation’s growing fiscal problems, so can Sen. Kerry and members of Congress.
Thanks for all your support,
Janet S. Domenitz, MASSPIRG Executive Director
THE PLANET support this interesting joint effort. We find it striking that two organizations which such divergent positions on so many issues can reach reasonable compromise and commit to such productive cooperation. This should serve as a warning shot across the bow of the hopelessly gridlocked partisan poison of Washington, DC.
It CAN be done.
AND THUS THEY DAY MOVES AHEAD. WITH HOPE AND JOY,
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.