!! PLANET EXCLUSIVE !! MORE INFORMATION SURFACES ON THS TAILGATE … EVIDENCE SUGGESTS HARD-CORE STUDENT DRINKING, LED BY COACHES, DID HAPPEN … SCHOOL DEPARTMENT REMAINS MUM … COMMITTEE MEMBER MEETS WITH DR. NOSEWORTHY … PLANET GIVING AWAY FREE TURKEY DINNERS, SO TELL US WHO COULD USE ONE …plus … MEET AMERICAN HERO WILLIAM BINNEY, THE KNIGHT OF THE KEYBOARD
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, DEC. 7,2012) — The story of the UCONN tailgating party involving Taconic High School senior footballers, the THS football coaching staff, and massive amounts of beer drinking has all but officially been confirmed. THE PLANET has heard from several people who claim knowledge of the situation, and their testimony tells us that the sad incident did take place. If it did not, we challenge the school department, the THS administration, and/or the school committee to tell us it did not, and that the initial report we received from “a THS mom” is in error.
THE PLANET also learned a few more tidbits on this story:
— We learned that two of the students did not participate in the drinking at Tailgate. These two students should be commended for their responsible behavior, and they should be publicly acknowledged.
— THE PLANET also learned that yesterday, a member of the school committee and Dr. Gordon Noseworthy met to discuss the matter. We later heard from former school committeeman Ron Kitterman who says a similar incident came up during his tenure on the school board, and everyone looked the other way. This, of course, cannot be allowed to happen.
NOT THIS TIME.
On behalf of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, who just gave the United Educators of Pittsfield a pay raise of 10% to 16% to teach the little darlings and who for years have put up with one indignity after the other in the administration of Pittsfield public schools, THE PLANET puts forth a few questions:
* THE PLANET wishes to know what THS principal John Vosburgh, Noseworthy, and the seven members of the school committee intend to do about Tailgate? We would add Joe Benjamin, THS vice principal; Pete Falkowski, dean of students; and Dr. N. Tracy Crowe, deputy superintendent to this list.
* Will they investigate?
* If so, will the investigation be aggressive and above-board? How will we know? Who can we trust?
* If they confirm that drinking did take place, will they take appropriate action against the coaching staff and the students who did the drinking?
* Is this sort of thing standard practice at THS for its senior footballers, one of the stupid, meat-headed traditions that often accompany neanderthal programs and assemblies?
A Line Drawn in the Sand
THS Tailgate is a line-in-the-sand issue now. At this address, we have detailed the fraud and corruption that has been allowed to calcify inside the heart and soul of the Pittsfield Public School system by years of poor performance, lack of accountability, and a deadening “hear, see, and speak no evil” policy that’s been in place for at least two decades. We have seen whistle-blowers punished and ostracized. We have seen unprincipled insider trading. We have seen incompetents rewarded and the accomplished held back. On behalf of taxpayers, we say: Enough!
THS Tailgate thus takes on a magnified importance. What will be done? Vosburgh, Noseworthy, and the school committee needs to face the public and tell us one of two things:
(1) This incident did not take place and the reports of it are in error
(2) This incident did take place, and here are the consequences we will dish out on the matter.
The policy manual of the PPS states that “Any student who uses, possesses, distributes, sells, or otherwise furnishes alcoholic beverages … in any of the following circumstances: while on school property, on a school-provided transportation vehicle, at a designated school transportation stop, at a school-sponsored activity which is not on school property, or any activity under the jurisdiction of the school department, shall be referred to the appropriate school administrator for disciplinary action. Such an offense can range from short-term suspension to expulsion. Violations may also constitute a criminal act.”
Do these words mean anything, or are they there as window decorations?
What of the “zero-tolerance” policy? Just a game, or do they mean it?
Their actions will tell all.
TURKEY GIVEAWAY: GIVE US NAMES OF WORTHY RECIPIENTS
As we remember the 71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor, THE PLANET repeats the offer of free turkey dinners:
Recently, THE PLANET announced its Turkey of the Year Award. Today, with the help of a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, we want to help him give away three full prepared Christmas dinners. Yes, today, we giveaway real turkeys.
The dinners include a 10-12 pound turkey, cooked to perfection; potatoes (an “e”, Dan Quayle!); gravy; dressing; dinner rolls; and choice of a pumpkin or apple pie. It will all be give and served with love. They will be available for pickup at Price Chopper at Berkshire Crossing.
Our donor says he’s looking for “3 preferably eldery households who might be a little tight this time of year and could use a little rest as well. I’m looking for Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski types, you know, those that have worked hard all their lives and played by the rules only to find themselves being punished with high taxes, etc. at this stage of the game.”
If you know of someone who could use this delectable Christmas gift, please respond in one of two ways:
(1) Send an e-mail to email@example.com or (2) Send a postal request to Dan Valenti, c/o Europolis Management, PO Box 1268, Stockbridge, MA 01262. In your communication, state the name, address, and phone number of the person(s) you are nominating, why you think they would appreciate this gift, and your name and contact information. THE PLANET can take nominations through Sunday, Dec. 16.
Please, no jokers. This is a bona fide giveaway meant with all the good wishes of the Christmas season. We want to get these dinners into the hands of three people or families that can use them. Thanks.
EVERY KEYSTROKE, HARVESTED
When computers first started appearing in the ordinary milieu of everyday life, proponents hailed it as the greatest thing since clumping kitty litter. They would make offices and the workplace paperless and void of people, leaving us with one problem, and that would be to figure out what to do with all the leisure time.
We all know how that turned out. Most every forward and free thinker saw immediately the problems inherent in high technology, many of which had long been before outlines by artists and writers. THE PLANET has long been speaking about and writing on the implications of high technology on our lives. Our themes have included the technological homogenization of cultures, the new tools to brainwash the young (hello, Twitter, video games, texting, and the like), the threats to civil liberties, and the profound ramifications of networking.
As technology progresses to smaller, faster systems with greater storage and retrieval capacities, the threats to privacy have never been greater. Those threats will only increase, thanks to the damning and damnable so-called “national security” legislation ushered in by President George W. Bush in the hysteria following Sept. 11, 2001 and the efforts by the Obama Administration to takes Bush’s handy work and make it much worse. Good gosh, we even live in a “Homeland,” a creepy word with 50 shades of Seig Heil.
William Binney, National Hero
With this, we bring to light the work of whistle blower William Binney, a former employee of the ultra secret domestic spying agency, the National Security Agency (NSA). Binney is an American hero by his principled stance for constitutional government and the fearless manner in which he has spoken out about secrets the U.S. intelligence agency would rather you not know. We hold Binney in the highest esteem, and put him with Julian Assange in that pantheon of courage and greatness whose presence allows a shred of optimism in our technological future.
Binney says that new computer systems have made it possible for the NSA to intercept, copy, and store literallyevery e-mail being sent domestically. The e-mails aren’t being examined first and filtered for content such as terrorism or national security threats, as one would think, but are simply being harvested in bulk for storage.
What purpose would the government have in doing that? Binney answers by saying that the information can be retrieved later, by name and other qualifiers, if the government thinks it has reason to investigate someone. He has used the cases of Generals David Petraeus and John Allen to illustrate the point.
Petraeus and Allen, particularly Allen, had committed no crime, were not charged with any wrongdoing, and were persecuted solely on the basis of private e-mails sent to a private citizen. One could argue that in the case of the CIA director, the government had a legitimate reason for spying on his personal e-mails, to make sure he didn’t pass along classified information. The argument, weak as it is, would not explain going after Allen.
Another argument is that if a person isn’t doing anything wrong or hasn’t anything to hide, they shouldn’t mind the e-mails being confiscated. This line of reasoning reduces to nonsense when one realizes that it will be the central government and not the person being targeted that will define wrongdoing.
That’s the key point here. “Wrongdoing” will not be defined by common norms but by the secret definitions of the National Security State. Talk about your slippery slopes. This domestic spying — made “legal” only because in the government’s eyes, crime is a legal concept and not a moral one — threatens to undermine the pillar of the country itself: constitutional law.
You wold do well to perform a Google search on Binney if you are interested in this issue.
Welcome to Amerikant.
OH, GO INTO THE WEEKEND IN PEACE. GO THERE IS SAFETY. FIND LOVE. MAKE SURE YOU SMILE A LOT. DON’T FORGET WHO YOU ARE AND WHY YOU ARE HERE. HAVE FUN. BE HAPPY.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.