PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012) — While we can’t say for sure who will be the next superintendent of schools in Pittsfield, we can say definitively that Christine Canning will not be the Chosen One.

THE PLANET has learned that Canning, author of the highly regarded book Perfect Phrases for Classroom Teachers (McGraw Hill) and former teacher at Taconic High School, was made to withdraw her application for the superintendent’s position. It’s not entirely clear of the circumstances of the withdrawal, but apparently it was forced after city attorney Fred Dupere contacted her lawyer and demanded she withdraw her application.

Canning’s Forced Exit Raises Key Questions

If we recall correctly, Canning file suit (we want to say four or five years ago) against Pittsfield schools under the Whistle blower Act after she witnessed what she called “abuses to the health, safety, and welfare of children”?  Apparently, one of the terms of the settlement of that legal action, sources tell us, is that Canning could never apply for future work in the Pittsfield district.

It is not clear, though, what Canning agreed to: Did she agree that she would never apply for another teaching position in the Pittsfield school system or another position of any kind within the Pittsfield schools. Only the exact wording of that contract would reveal the answer.

Apparently, the city attorney contacted Ms. Canning’s attorney, and the result took her out of the running.

So here’s the question: Who initiated the call to Canning’s attorney? Was the order given from “on high” somewhere … a smoke-filled back room? Was this a sign of GOB panic? On the face of it, it would seem she has excellent credentials: author, teacher, champion of justice (as most whistle blowers are), independent, not afraid to rock the boat. Of course, these would be precisely the qualities the GOB does not want for the Pittsfield Public Schools, which has more skeletons buried and in hiding than Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Did the terms of her lawsuit’s settlement mean she could not apply for the superintendent’s post? That is not clear.

What Else is the School Committee Not Being Told?

Here’s another crucial question that brings into the cross hairs the entire superintendent selection process: Is anyone on the school committee even aware that Canning was forced — forced, we hear — to withdraw her nomination? In other words, with the resumes for superintendent being guarded as some big, dark, state secret, how can we be sure that such winnowing is not standard operating procedure? And who is making these early selections, if so? And what else does the school committee not know.

Again, in and of itself this may not look like much, but it’s another clue that leads any reasonable and honest person to believe that the superintendent’s search is a Done Deal. We don’t know Canning personally, but we do know of her reputation in the education field, and it’s a good one. It’s a shame Someone, under the cloak of darkness, with anonymity, and without any accountability, should be able to make decisions like this — without We The People or our representatives, the school committee, knowing about it.

THE PLANET recommends that the school committee investigate the circumstances behind Canning’s application and its secret rejection. We also recommend that the committee air its findings in open session.

Otherwise, what little confidence any reasonable person can muster in the legitimacy of the superintendent’s search will disappear as does the dawn with Ol Sol’s rising.



As new information comes to light on Trayvon Martin, he becomes less the 17-year-old cherub of his family’s account and more the gangsta-type indicated by testimony of witnesses, law enforcement officials, and Martin’s own words from his Twitter account.

On Feb. 21, Martin’s cousin wrote to the boy about an incident that took place on a school bus: “Yu ain’t tell me you swung on a bus driver.” Leaving aside the atrocious bastardization of the English language, this has “trouble” dripping off of every word. This exchange took place the same week that school officials suspended Martin from high school in the North Miami-Dade school he attended.

Family Member: Bag of Pot Got Him Suspended from School

A family spokesman told the Associated Press Martin was suspended after getting caught with a bag of marijuana on school grounds.  As if you didn’t have enough reason to doubt the saintly picture of Martin painted by his hagiographic supporters, on Monday, “the Rev.” Al Sharpton and “the Rev.” Jesse Jackson are expected to lead 25,000 people in an afternoon rally in Sanford, Fla. The two Revs — enough said for credibility.

One columnist likened the media’s rush to judgment against George Zimmerman — and the thoughtless acceptance by a disturbingly large part of a gullible public — to the 2006 Duke lacrosse case. In that case, three members of the Duke lacrosse team were accused of rape. The media circus resulted in a “guilty” verdict in the court of public opinion. It was only an little-noticed afterthought when the accuser’s case unraveled and her charges were eventually thrown out by officials.

“Oh how little we have learned,” David Shane wrote on “The media has rushed to judgment yet again. Now, it’s quite possible that Zimmerman is guilty of everything his worst foes accuse him of. There is plenty about this case that troubles me. But that’s exactly the point—I don’t know. Neither does anyone else, and both the scope and tone of the media coverage ought to reflect that fact.”

How Much Did the Hoodie Factor into the Outcome?

Then there’s the matter of “the hoodie.” We don’t think the hoodie got MArtin killed. We do believe, though, that when you dress in the manner inviting trouble, you’re more apt to get it.

“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,”Rivera said on Fox and Friends. “You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta—you’re going to be a gangsta wannabe, well people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant, reflexive action.”

Rivera has a point. We can pretend that the current style of dress among young males who fashion themselves in “gangsta” style is harmless. It’s not, especially when worn in and about public schools. This style of clothing — baggy pants worn ass-crack high, hoodies, flat-rimmed baseball caps, etc. — convey not only that learning is gauche but that dressing like a punk is from reverse form of intelligence.

THE PLANET will be discussing out solution to this obvious problem — school uniforms — in a future post. For now, we can’t pretend Martin’s lifestyle, including his manner of dress, was negligible in the tragic outcome.

Yu ain’t tell me his clothes ain’t got none do with it. Ain’t yu?

In case you missed it, Rivera issues a “sort-of’ apology for his hoodie remarks:


I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my, “very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies.”

But here’s the rub, according to my legion of critics, by putting responsibility on what kids wear instead of how people react to them I have obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager, and I began today’s program with a sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone I may have offended by my crusade to warn minority families of the danger to their young sons inherent in gangsta style clothing; like hoodies.

Over the last week, I’ve been buried under an avalanche of rage and the ridicule; essentially saying that I was blaming Trayvon Martin for his own death. I wasn’t and I don’t. And, I remain absolutely convinced of what I said about asking for trouble. There’s trouble enough for minority boys and young men not to provoke mad responses from paranoid jerk offs. But that doesn’t change what many, including members of my own family and friends believe.

That I have obscured or diverted attention from the principal fact, which is that an unarmed 17-year old was shot dead by a man who was never seriously investigated by local police. And if that is true, I apologize.

We are creating a generation that calls ignorance wisdom. It worships moronic idiocy and makes of accomplishment and hard work a sucker’s game.

God help the United States of Amerika.








  1. GMHeller
    March 28, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Mr. Valenti, not to change the subject, but is not the new Mayor’s honeymoon over by now?
    When is Mayor Bianchi going to get cracking on re-opening the G.E. Consent Decree and tackling the cleanup of Silver Lake and Hill 78?
    Time’s awasting!

    • Olga 1975
      March 28, 2012 at 7:45 am #

      Seriously doubt that will ever happen, There has to be new information and or a new development for the re opener clause to be invoked. Also all parties can agree to a change as has happened in the past . We all know that won’t happen in the instances that you mentioned above

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      March 28, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      How about opening up THE WHOLE CONSENT DECREE?


      There is more TOXIC WASTE, JUST in SILVER LAKE, than has been cleaned up, anywhere, EVER.

      This from a frormer GE worker, whom tested GEs CESSPOOL

  2. BionicMike
    March 28, 2012 at 7:23 am #


    As always, excellent blog. In recent days, myself and a few friends have been catching flak from “the masses of sheeple” who simply post and re-post about Justice for Trayvon. When we speak against these sheeple, we are met with insults and claims of racism. While I think it is a tragedy that such a young life was lost, there has to be more to the story. But, people today only see what they want to see and believe everything they hear/see on Oprah/CNN/FoxNews/etc, etc, etc.

    Noone thinks for themselves, noone looks at both sides of the stories and almost everyone assumes you are a racist bigot if you disagree with their (often) liberal – victim viewpoints.

    You hit the nail on the head… idiocity and ignorance reigns supreme. Hunter S Thompson said it perfectly and I wish Al Sharpton would take note,

    “Call on God… but, row away from the rocks.”

    • danvalenti
      March 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      Excellent observations, Bioman! Thanks.

  3. Jim Gleason
    March 28, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    To the best of my understanding, Christine Canning brought to the attention of the schools higher ups the shabby practices t Taconic under Dudley Do Right, AKA Doug McNally, and the lack of consistency on gangs and bullying. Too bad she’s out of the running, she would’ve made a great Supt. of Schools.

  4. Andrew
    March 28, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    Since you’re obsessed with black kids wearing clothing you don’t approve of all while implying that events in Treyvon’s past which ZImmerman wasn’t aware of when he shot the kid mean anything to this case, I’m sure you’ll include the equally troubling past of Zimmerman himself.

    “According to a records search on George, he was previously arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and most shockingly, resisting an officer with violence — a felony charge that surely could have landed him in prison.
    All three of those arrests, however, were mysteriously closed with no semblance of charges for the Florida resident. So how was someone with a violent past including that of battery against an officer able to carry a 9 mm handgun? Maybe that’s a question Robert Zimmerman should answer …”

    So two misdemeanors and a felony count, all which were closed by the police after initial charges were brought up. How could that possibly happen?

    Did it have something to do with the fact that his father is a local judge (part of the GOB network that haunts Dan so much)? Maybe Valenti should dig a little deeper before pinning the blame on hoodies and weed.

    Seriously though, if we cannot pretend that Treyvon’s past is negligible (actually, we can as it pertains very little to the actual circumstances of this crime) then we cannot also pretend that Zimmerman’s violent and criminal past is negligible.

    • Silence Dogood
      March 28, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Zimmerman stopped the pursuit and returnrd to his car where Martin confronted him, struck the first blow, had Zimmerman on the ground and was beating him. Martin tried to get Zimmerman’s handgun. Zimmernan fired at Martin.

      • Andrew
        March 28, 2012 at 9:06 am #

        According to whom?

        • Silence Dogood
          March 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

          eye witnesses not left wing mythology sites

      • Scott
        March 28, 2012 at 9:25 am #

        have they said who it was screaming yet?

      • DC
        March 28, 2012 at 9:32 am #

        Dogwood, your just reiterating Zimmerman’s telling of events. There is no witness to say Martin threw the first blow. The witness reported seeing Martin on top off Zimmerman, but he didnt say that he say who started the fight. The witness didn’t see Martin follow Zimmerman to the car either, and he did not say that Martin was trying to get the gun. You’re jumping to conclusions just like Sharpton and the media!

        • Silence Dogood
          March 29, 2012 at 8:32 am #

          does inserting a w into this pen name give you more credebility?

      • DC
        March 28, 2012 at 9:32 am #

        Dogwood, your just reiterating Zimmerman’s telling of events. There is no witness to say Martin threw the first blow. The witness reported seeing Martin on top off Zimmerman, but he didnt say that he say who started the fight. The witness didn’t see Martin follow Zimmerman to the car either, and he did not say that Martin was trying to get the gun. You’re jumping to conclusions just like Sharpton and the media!

        • Joetaxpayer
          March 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

          I believe there was a witness.Bottom line on this tradgedy, there seems to be enough evidence to take this to trail.They should have never let him go without charging him.Let the courts decide his fate, not the black panthers and a mob of racists.

    • Silence Dogood
      March 28, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      Martin and Zimmerman both seem to have trouble in their pasts

      • Molly
        March 28, 2012 at 9:37 am #

        Agree. The media, the Pres, the Congress and the Rev’s have this entire country speculating on a case that is an on-going investigation, that we don’t know all of the facts on, and that have some real troubling ‘issues’ on both sides. This country needs to stop this and let the investigators and now Federal investigators, do their jobs and then inform us of the facts, and proceed from there in our criminal justice system. If it turns out that Zimmerman is just a racist idiot out hunting blacks, then he should fry and big time! And if not and he was attacked by Martin (as you say – where did you hear that from? Haven’t heard that at all!), then that’s a different story and he’ll get exonerated, but with 10,000 black panthers out trying to kill him.

    • Silence Dogood
      March 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

      Before the shooting was even a twinkle in the eye of MSNBC, an eyewitness gave a detailed account to the local media, indicating that it was Martin who was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling him, as Zimmerman screamed “Help!”

      The police report says Zimmerman’s nose was bleeding and his back covered in grass stains when they arrived at the scene. His lawyer and friends say he was treated for a broken nose the next day.

      There’s no sense in arguing in public about such facts. The medical records exist or they do not.

      Of course, the information contradicting the media’s fantasy comes to us only in the form of witness statements and police reports appearing in the press, not as evidence in a formal criminal investigation.

  5. Steve wade
    March 28, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Andrew once again you make great sense. Boy is Dan going to be mad at you! Calling out Dan is going to get you band from this blog

    • Andrew
      March 28, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      I absolutely do not care if I get banned. That will free up 10 minutes from my day.

  6. Dee
    March 28, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    The U.S. Justice Department provides a breakdown of homicides by the race of both the victim and offender. Looking at the data for 2005 (the latest year available), we find that whites committed 48.0% of all murders and blacks committed 51.2% of all murders. However, whites outnumber blacks in the population. In fact, non-Hispanic whites are about 69% of the population and blacks are about 13%. These statistics alone, shows that blacks are 13% of the population, but commit 51.2% of the murders, indicate that blacks commit a seriously disproportionate number of murders.”

    Combine this statistic, together with the distrust of the gansta’ lifestyle and wardrobe choices and is it any wonder that people tend to be more suspicious and watchful?

    I would love to see race taken out of this, however the more I hear of Zimmerman’s 911 tape makes it impossible. To mutter under one’s breath f****g coons is beyond offensive. Presumably this is why the attention-seeking reverends are jumping on their soap boxes and thumping their chests.

    Regardless of all this, can’t we please just let the justice system and courts sort it all out? The only things that are known for sure is that there was a man with a gun, and a young man with a package of Skittles and his hood up on a rainy night. Anything beyond that is speculation.

    • Molly
      March 28, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Agree – well said.

    • Silence Dogood
      March 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Be carefull truth s the new hate speech

    • Scott
      March 29, 2012 at 6:28 am #

      I listened to the 911 call all he said was “these a holes always get away.” It’s interesting how the media makes up it’s own facts you never know what to believe you have to investigate for yourself these days you can’t believe nothing you hear. Also I t’s understandable why the black culture although lower in numbers is more violent.

  7. Scott
    March 28, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    ” Martin was suspended after getting caught with a bag of marijuana on school grounds. As if you didn’t have enough reason to doubt the saintly picture of Martin painted”

    If anything the dope would chill him out I never heard of marijuana making someone violent but I’m sure there’s violent people who smoke marijuana.

    • Jim Gleason
      March 28, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Martin had a baggie with traces of pot in it, not a bag of pot. Please get your story straight.

    • Silence Dogood
      March 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      or they end up as editors for a certain newspaper

  8. Molly
    March 28, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    So yet again, decisions are being made unilaterally, without the knowledge and vote of the entire School Committee. Makes me wonder if yet again, there were more “informal meetings” held without ALL of the members in attendance or if it was one person? Either way, totally and completely unacceptable.

    Amazing to me that they’re willing to promote this person to such an important job, but unwilling to put her up against any competition at all!! They obviously don’t think that she’d make it if they did it all “above board”, now right?

  9. Molly
    March 28, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    What’s with the latest Real Estate transactions? There are many properties being bought up by LLC’s, and there are two on Hubbard Ave – (addresses of: Hubbard Ave #1 and Hubbard Ave #X) that were sold on 2/23, for $14,700,000.00 EACH — seller of both is “Hubbard Ave LLC” and the buyer is LBWPIMA LLC. What in the heck is this? That’s a LOT of money!
    I saw this on at:

    Any ideas anyone?

    • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
      March 28, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      I believe that was the exchange of ownership of the BJs property

      • Molly
        March 28, 2012 at 11:23 am #

        Ahhhh – must be it. Good call. Two lots each at $15 million? Wow.

        • Tom Sakshaug
          March 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

          I would guess that includes the building and the lot improvements as well.

  10. Molly
    March 28, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Also, “Worthington Group, LLC” bought 3 Dalton Ave, for $485,000 on 3/7. It last sold in May, 2006, for $86,000. That’s quite a jump for Pittsfield! Worthington Group specializes in the lodging industry?

    • Tom Sakshaug
      March 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Again, a building is on the site which is the home of Oral Surgery Associates. I believe it was built shortly after the 86K sale in 2006.

  11. Molly
    March 28, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Oh – I missed this article! Malkas is one of 4 finalists for the Superintendent’s job in Ashfield! Man, did we call THAT one! She “made the cut” after a marathon of interviews with 10 semi-finalists culled from 30 applicants. Ashland School Committee is visiting Pittsfield this week with more interviews next week, and a decision by April 9th. Salary would be between $150K and $170K.

    What poor Leadership to ever allow an employee to put you in this position – if she wants to leave, by all means – there’s the door! Don’t let it hit you on the way out. If you want to apply here, then get in line and we’ll consider you alongside all of the other applicants. Unbelievable! AND, this means that she’ll also get to dictate her salary as if she’s chosen there, then we’ll have to pay more to keep her! These are our leaders – this is bad…

    • danvalenti
      March 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      I think she’s a finalist in Ashland, Mass., not Ashfield — for the record. Agree on “There’s the door … bye bye!”

      • Steve wade
        March 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm #


        • Molly
          March 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

          Steve – take a look back at all the comments for the past few weeks, or longer, about all of the problems with our schools and all of the money that we are paying for such performance. That’s why I think she would be a VERY bad choice! Since she’s currently the Deputy Super, I would expect most things to just remain the same – status quo. We need someone with some real experience of turning around a school system that is in serious trouble. Just my opinion. But also, why not do a BIG search for this position and let her compete against other candidates? She is being shoved down our throats, the entire School Committee isn’t even included, we will never know who else out there is available and with what experience, and this just reeks to high heaven. It is being handled in an extremely poor way and I think even you would have to agree with that.

          • Quentin
            March 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

            Careful, Ms. Molly, you’re trying to reason with a dolt when you talk to Steve that way.

          • taxmano
            March 29, 2012 at 3:03 am #

            I find your comments inconsistent and self-contradictory:
            1. You have in the past expressed much support for the current super (even calling his mysterious departure “a big loss.”) BUT
            2. Jake’s only experience was as a GOB operative who benefitted from Poppy Eberwein’s connections AND
            3. No candidate was ever “shoved down our throats” more than the current, sainted super.

          • Molly
            March 29, 2012 at 6:02 am #

            Yeah taxmano, I’ll admit when I’ve been wrong. And I was wrong. I fell for some things that were designed for me, and all other Pittsfield residents, to fall for. Dr. Eberwein impressed me when he came on here and spent a lot of time explaining some things to us and “opening up”. And I liked him! And liked that he did that!

            However, since then I’ve spent some time really looking into our schools, have attended the meetings, watched the meetings, did some research on how well they perform (beyond the glossy presentations on the PPS website that don’t give the real story). And then I witnessed just how corrupt the PPS system is with Alf chairing the School Committee and the fiasco of this Superintendent search. During all of this, I started changing “my tune” to reflect what I have learned and experienced.

            And a good reminder to myself – I usually don’t comment or form strong opinions on things until I have done my own research. And I did with this! And found out I was very wrong. So the inconsistencies are in the past — although I will (and always try to) give credit where credit is due so if something good happens, I’ll credit it. But overall these schools are in a huge mess, they do a fairly good job of hiding that fact and spend a lot of money hiding that fact. They are corrupt. And they need some major changes.

          • danvalenti
            March 29, 2012 at 6:44 am #

            Most anyone who has looked carefully and dispassionately into the mess that is the Pittsfield Public School system can only conclude that its administration is “woefully underperforming” — that would be a kind way of labeling the incompetence and corruption. The “search” for a new superintendent takes on a new importance when seen in this light. The dog-and-pony shows the PPS put on regarding bullying, academics, and any number of issues are designed so that the casual citizens and those who don’t pay attention get fooled, as Molly admits here. A careful look, however, reveals the true story.

  12. Judy
    March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    In regards to Ms. Canning what you see on paper is not what you get. Look at her imployment prior to Pittsfield Public schools and talk to people who have had to work with her. I think they did a good thing to get her to pull out.

  13. Sandy
    March 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    It is amazing on the video taken in the Sanford Police station when they took Zimmerman in that there is not a scratch on him, no blood etc. the investigator of the Sanford Police Dept has been qouted as saying there was/is plenty of evidence to arrest him in the case of Trayvon. I think some of you should read and listen to the real news and not the made up stories before you make some of the unbelieveable statements you have made on here. Just watch the video released by ABC news tonite of Zimmerman being taken into the police station that night. He had no blood on him. The policemen did not wear plastic gloves when they checked him out.
    I think if some of you lived in FL or a southern state you would look at this in a different light. However, Bill Russell never felt at ease in Boston all the years he played for the Celtics. It is time this nation started healing rather than stirring up hatred. Sanford has it’s GOB network too, Zimmerman’s father is a retired Judge. He is the one that has had run ins with the law. Tyron had no record with the law, only in his school, and he was doing nothing to be shot for.
    The hatred expressed in here the past two days has been very upsetting to me.

    • Molly
      March 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      I honestly haven’t seen any hatred expressed here. I think everyone stated what a tragedy it really is for such a young boy to be killed. What people are angry about and hate is the overwhelming biased coverage of the mainstream media. As we all continue to say – no one should be making any judgements on this yet (including and especially the media!) because we just don’t know all of the facts yet! There are strange things with this case on BOTH sides – it shouldn’t be tried in the media, nor should the President or the Congress be involved in and commenting on it. It should be thoroughly investigated (as is now being done by the Feds) and after all the facts have been determined, THEN it should go to a court of law. And THEN we, and the media, can make judgements that are based upon the facts!

      • Andrew
        March 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

        Excellent point Molly. You of course do the exact opposite when talking about the Nilan/Moore case (it’s so clever when you call her Merideath!) but you’re absolutely right that it shouldn’t be tried in the media but instead in the courts.

        That being said, Dan has made it clear that his position on all this is that there is some justification in the killing of Treyvon because Trey had previous trouble in school, smoked marijuana (something 42% of Americans have tried), and wasn’t dressing like somebody from Mad Men. He may not have said it directly, but the only possible reason he has now twice spoken about the dress and past of Trey is to suggest that the victim is to blame.

        • Molly
          March 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

          I have to totally disagree with you on the Nilan/Moore case in that I have only made suppositions based on the FACTS of the case as were iterated in the show/cause hearing (in a court of law). I will agree that to some extent it is being tried in here, but anything that I’ve said and any suppositions that I’ve made were based solely upon the facts of the case. Also, the Nilan/Moore case is not the top, 1st story of every national news corporation every night for weeks on end, all spouting just one side of the story. Nor has the President commented on it, nor the U.S. Congress. We don’t need to worry in Pittsfield about it being tried in the “media” because the Berk. Eagle doesn’t print much about it but rather does what it’s told to do. Not to mention that the Nilan/Moore case isn’t dividing this country. This is one little blog that people debate what’s going on with the case. Big difference.

          And I don’t know that Dan has made it clear that he thinks there was justification in the killing of Treyvon, but rather that, contrary to what the media was reporting, there are two sides to the story. The media was not reporting both sides. That being said, I’ll let Dan defend himself as he doesn’t need me to do that. But that was my take on it. I do agree with you that what he was wearing and whether he ever smoked pot or not, has no bearing on anything.

          • danvalenti
            March 29, 2012 at 6:48 am #

            There is no need for me to “defend” my position, which has been clearly expressed. My words stand for themselves. I do not generally draw defensive perimeters around my positions. My words stand for themselves. How other — you, Andrew, etc. — interpret my words is what you, as readers, add to the writing process. The readers, the audience, “completes” what the writer or speaker begins. I would have it no other way, which is why I can enjoy all points of view, even those who disagree. I reserve my respect for those points of view to those who can reason from the known facts. That’s how We The People help each other in the quest for truth.

      • taxmano
        March 29, 2012 at 7:26 am #


        It takes a big person to admit when they’ve been wrong.
        Don’t feel bad, they don’t call him “Jake the Snake” for nothing. He’s made a career out of looking the part (a little man in a well-fitted suit, hair a distinguished gray) using the right buzz words–and covering his tracks.

        I do notice people continue to be fooled, though, and seem reluctant to put the balme where it belongs–squarely on his shoulders.

  14. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    March 29, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    I must say that yes the media is crazy in their non stop attention of the Trayvon case but also that I am appaled at the callousness and plain disgusting implications of some of you people, whom I normally resepect, even if we disagree, on some of your twisting of the facts of this case. Which are plain and simple. A young 17 yr old African American boy was walking, armed only with skittles and ice tea, and was shot dead, point blank range by someone 10 yrs older and 100 pounds heavier and was actively pursuing this young man after having been told multiple times to stop following/chasing him.
    Those are the facts PERIOD….baggy pants, hoodies are no different to this generation than ripped jeans, earings and leather jackets were to the older generation. Traces of Pot makes this guy Charles Manson, c’mon. You guys have gone way OFF the road with your assesment of this kid and this case. In my opinion , you should all be ashamed at your blindness and lack of senstivity and basic human compassion.

    • Scott
      March 30, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      They’re using this case today to spread misinformation and Deval Patrick is vetoing the stand your ground law here in mass I wrote his office this morning.

      Mr. Patrick I request that you reconsider your decision on the “stand your ground” bill. It is our right as Americans to defend our selves from violent offenders that are on the streets every day. Yes what happened to Trayvon Martin is a tragedy but for every unjustified use of force there’s 20 situations just like it where an innocent person is hurt by dangerous criminals who have no regard for law. I think the citizens of Mass are completely capable of using the right to defend themselves responsibly and we already have strict gun laws so it’s not like if this bill is passed every nut job can go out and buy a gun. Thank you.
      Scott Moore

  15. Mrs. Peabody
    April 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    This post is so unbelievably absurd in reference to the Martin case. Just a side note to the older generation of misinformed people- “gangstas” don’t wear hoodies. High school kids wear hoodies. Athletes wear hoodies. And often, people who have to go out in the rain wear hoodies. Martin wasn’t wearing a hoodie because he was trying to be bad-ass. He was wearing a hoodie, probably with the hood over his head, because it was RAINING. He was a kid walking to the store in the rain, not a drug-dealing thug like the media is now trying to purport. He was a high school kid, walking in the rain. If Joe Shmoe white-kid from Lenox was gunned down wearing a hooded sweatshirt while walking to his step-mother’s house, you would all be horrified. Because guess what, high school kids of all races, incomes, and neighborhoods smoke weed and wear hooded sweatshirts. But apparently, only the black ones deserve to die.

    • danvalenti
      April 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      MRS. P
      Right, Martin wasn’t gunned down because he of what he was wearing, but it could have been because he tried to beat the you-know-what out of the other guy. A look at Martin’s profile reveals a different picture than the angelic one his family created, after the fact. Don’t get us wrong. We’re sorry for any loss of life, but actions have consequences, and bad actions generally lead to bad consequences. Thanks for you input.

      • Mrs. Peabody
        April 3, 2012 at 4:20 am #

        I am confused as to which bad actions Martin took that would justify KILLING. From your response I gather that it is okay for an armed adult to shoot and kill a high school kid upon confrontation, a confrontation the adult provoked with a child. Or are you saying that teenagers who get suspended from school for (alleged) marijuana use deserve to be hunted down and murdered? WHAT are you saying here? How can anyone think it is ever okay under any circumstance to murder a child? It cannot be self defense if you provoked the attack. If Martin DID attack Zimmerman, it could have been in his own self defense. If I’m a young black kid walking through a neighborhood I am unfamiliar with and a white man with a gun is stalking me, I’d pretty well defend myself too. George Zimmerman murdered that boy either by accident or with intent. But you should be ashamed of yourself for blaming the victim. He wasn’t a “gangsta” slinging dope in Miami gang territory. His only “action” was being a young black male walking through a residential neighborhood patrolled by a wannabe cop with a gun and a mission to eradicate the community of “coons.”

        • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
          April 3, 2012 at 5:04 am #

          Gotta agree with Mrs P here…

        • danvalenti
          April 3, 2012 at 6:29 am #

          MRS. P
          Strong points. You have definitely moved the discussion forward. We thank you.

      • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
        April 3, 2012 at 5:04 am #

        What bad actions DV?

  16. Mrs. Peabody
    April 3, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    The “guilty by hoodie” association can be likened to the mentality that if a rape victim was previously in a bar in a short skirt and high heels, when she gets raped, she was asking for it. Blaming the victim is wrong, period. And I too am curious as to what actions taken by Martin warranted his murder.