PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, DEC. 29, 2012) — You hate the government meddling into your business. We hate the government meddling in our business. But the politicians at the State House in Boston (85% Democrats, by the way) love it, as they did when they sent to my dining buddy from Wheatleigh and Blantyre, Gov. Deval Patrick, a ridiculous legislative bill that, of course, makes the life of the average person, the Mary Jane and Joe Kapanskis of the state, even more difficult.

As of Jan. 1, you might be in for a surprise the next time you go shopping at Price Chopper, Big Y, Stop and Shop, or another supermarket. Check this out, from the Associated Press. You might have otherwise missed it. It will affect you every time you go to the supermarket.

Welcome to Massachusetts.

—– 00 —–

BOSTON (AP) — Food stores in Massachusetts will no longer be required to place individual price stickers on each item for sale in their shops.

A law taking effect on Jan. 1 allows shop owners to place price scanners throughout their stores. Customers can then use the scanners to determine the cost of each item.

The bill was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick earlier this year.

Store owners pushed for the new law, saying it would save them the expense of having to put stickers on everything in their shops.

But consumer advocates opposed the law. They say scanners can be unreliable, forcing consumers to play “guess the price” before heading to the checkout line.

—– 00 —–

You can imagine how some of our more technologically challenged food shoppers will fare with this provision. There are lots of people out there who can’t figure out how to work a cell phone and who think that VHS is the latest video format.

Even for technologically savvy folks, the new law will mean locating the nearest scanner, schlepping an item to it, hoping there aren’t other people wanting to use the same device, scanning the item, committing the price to memory, all the while trusting that the scanner is giving you accurate information. Then, you have to hope that the information stored in the aisle scanner agrees with the information stored in the computerized cash register up front.

You idiots on Beacon Hill and in the Corner Office: Way to make our food shopping experience more pleasant than we have a right to expect.

THE PLANET predicts the cost of many items going up based on this little ruse alone. Oh, wait. We forgot. Every penny the grocer saves for not having to put price labels on items will be given back to the customer …

… Not!

Data suggest that affixing individual price labels provides more accuracy than scanners, which often ring up the wrong price or information. Creating a label with one of those neat little sticker guns requires a person to deliberately punch in an exact amount, say, $3.59. Scanners, notoriously unreliable, can and do easily misread bar codes. The misreads, by the way, are almost always in the house’s favor.

Thank you, Boston, for again saving us from ourselves. Consumers, thanks to the governor and our heroes on Beacon Hill, you just got screwed again.



This will be a popular entry, we predict, one that will draw a lot of comments. Unless we are mistaken, much of the opinion will excoriate us for being heartless, uncaring, unkind, cold, callous, cruel, and the only person in America who will not go to see The Hobbit.

And you thought it wasn’t serious.

Be that as it may. There is something to be said about the overreaction to the random Newtown slayings, and we shall say it. THE PLANET has already addressed the hand-wringing angst of politicians nationwide, including the city of Pittsfield, to the shootings. Invariably, they have staged photo-ops and Big Meetings to Go Over School Security. In Pittsfield, Mayor Dan “The Amazing, Transparent Mayor” Bianchi conducted such An Important Meeting that he barred the public and press.

Now there is another example of how we have lost our collective heads in America.

Union Demands Rewrite of Insurance Contract

It seems that some of the police officers who responded to the gun tragedy in Newtown, Conn., were “critically affected,” a term employed by the lawyer for the police officers’ union, Eric Brown, to describe 15 of the responders (out of several hundred). A tiny number of these 15 (officials won’t say how many) have not reported back to work, citing residual trauma from the crime scene. The people are using sick leave and vacation time to keep their paychecks coming, as well they should. The problem, says the union, is that the official, contractually granted leave time will run out in some cases in January.

The union, through Brown, has been pressing the town’s insurance company for more generous assistance than what the contract specifies. The union is also lobbying politicians to change state law in Connecticut to increase workman’s comp for officers who witness trauma or tragedy.

These are all bad ideas.

Re-negotiating the terms of an agreement after the fact to adjust to specific circumstances is never a good idea. It happens frequently in Major League Baseball, after someone has a career year and then botches about the three years remaining on his old contract. It should never happen in municipal government.

THE PLANET agrees with the town’s insurer, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, which has ruled that officers are entitled only to the benefits specified by the contract. Social engineering is rarely a good idea, but especially changing terms of an agreement to the detriment of taxpayers based solely on emotion. The job of police officer (and soldier, for that matter) puts people in positions where they often see people at their worst. That is, however, part of the understanding when one volunteers for that line of service. No one is conscripted into police service or into the armed forces. The ability to stomach the worst is part of the job. Those are the hard, cold facts.

The aim of the change sought by the union for a tiny percentage of its officers is noble enough, but its practical application will open up a municipal mess. For example, how does one define “trauma?” One person’s traumatic reaction is another person’s day at the office. Would any death qualify for extra coverage? Based on what and whose testimony? Would the officers who witness the devastation of a car accident qualify? What about the witnesses to child child abuse? What about soldiers who have seen combat? Human nature being what it is, if the officers win this exception, there will be others to follow, more questionable and more inclined to dishonesty.

As taxpayers have seen in Pittsfield for years, when generous allowances for Workman’s Comp became the norm in the city, those in genuine need were taken care of, but then the inevitable occurred. The goldbrickers rushed in with their freeloading ways. These are the “public servants” who think the world owes them a living, you know, the ones out on Workman’s Comp for phantom back injuries who are seen every day jogging or working out at Gold’s Gym. They are a minority, true, but an overly expensive minority that taxpayers cannot afford but nonetheless have to support because of lack of accountability, lack of oversight, and garden-variety corruption.

The fact remains that by far the vast majority of responders to the Newtown shootings have held up well, have returned to work, and have done so productively. This includes the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, by the way, who have resumed classes with few problems. The town as well as outside agencies have been provided boatloads of counseling services for people needing help coping with the enormity of the tragedy. That help will be there long term.

That’s how it often is with this type of situation. The overwhelming majority is OK, but somewhere along the way, the expectation has been to legislate in favor of the tiny exception. We are a litigious society, and this is one odd and interesting example of it.

Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time and prevent the shooter from his appointed rounds. An event like the Newtown shootings sets up an unblinking test of survival: It will weed out those who can’t suck it up and handle it. Most can. Those who cannot need to find another, less stressful job.


 O Memory, where is Youth, which used to say that Love was Truth? — T. Hardy. Happy Weekend!




  1. Mike Ward
    December 28, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    I agree that removing the requirement for individual package pricing in stores is a disservice to customers but how is that more government meddling? Removing any regulation is less meddling, no?

    • Wilson
      December 28, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      Individual price tags are burdensome to retailers and useless to customers when there are regular discount cycles. There still will be shelf tags, and scanners in the store let you verify what the register system will charge you that particular day. Dan might be right that that stickers and manual registers are simpler, but those days are over.

      • Wilson
        December 28, 2012 at 8:17 am #

        Also, I am sick of price stickers concealing expiration dates!

        • Blind Justice
          December 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

          Well then don’t buy it.

          Can’t ex date?, who knows what pathogens it contains, put it by the price scanner with the rest of the corporate feces.

    • Blind Justice
      December 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

      Simple solution Dan,

      When you find the overpriced item, LEAVE it at the scanner. Make the PILE really big, take all that crap to the scanner. Block the whole isle if you can.

      • danvalenti
        December 31, 2012 at 8:51 am #

        Funny stuff, BJ.

  2. FPR
    December 28, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Hey Dan,

    Interesting about the supermarket scanners. Scanners seem to ring up the wrong price a lot.
    WalMart has been working on a system where you run your whole shopping cart through a scanner and it rings up everything in your cart. They are still working out all the bugs but this would eliminate cashiers entirely. They’ve already done away with the smiley stickers and WalMart greeter jobs.

    Seems like Massachusetts will forge ahead with this technology. Lets see how many jobs this technology will eliminate.

    School security:

    At Taconic they can have high double layer fences with circular razor wire affixed to the top. A guard tower can be installed with slave labor from the carpentry dept. Lasers can vaporize any unauthorized intruders.

    At PHS they can just be free to move about the country. Like Dunkin Donuts and such. A gunman is free to enter PHS grounds of his own freewill with the assurance that no one will have a weapon on school grounds to “protect the children” mandated by law.

    After all the Taconic students are far more valuable being as they have the slave labor program and radio station and all.

    The west side is the best side.
    Don’t mess with the best or you’ll end up like the rest in Hilcrest.
    (Just had to — from my High School days.)

    • raider50
      December 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Even if officer Quetti has his gun on him he always has his back to the action.

    • Blind Justice
      December 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      I left Wally World years ago.

      YOU support CHINA

  3. tito
    December 28, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Just curious to know how anyone will be able to detect the various book bags and duffle bags that go into these schools.The only way to monitor illegal guns and such, will be an armed police officer right at the entrance of the each facility.

    • danvalenti
      December 28, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      It’s government meddling by virtue of the creation of this law to remove price tags. In other words, this crazy law exists only because government, via politicians crumbling to lobbying, stuck its nose into a procedure (price tags) a second time.

      • Jeffrey Turner
        December 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

        So letting supermarkets do what they want and remove individual labels on merchandise is meddling? Interesting.

        “GROCERY STORES IN Massachusetts would no longer be required to put price tags on each item and could instead deploy price scanners for consumers to use, under long-stalled legislation that quietly cleared the House this month.
        If the bill becomes law, Massachusetts would become the last state in the nation eliminate individual price tag requirement for grocery and food stores. The supermarket industry has fought for years to stop tagging each item; consumer groups say the move is bad for shoppers trying to compare prices.”

    • danvalenti
      December 28, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Right you are, an in addition to the police officer, there will have to be personnel to wand scan and pat down each student, the way they do for courtrooms and airlines

      • outfox
        December 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

        So if we need personnel to do wand scans and pat downs, that means jobs for PIttsfield! Finally!

      • FPR
        December 29, 2012 at 7:39 am #

        An officer with a wand won’t do it.

        In addition to locking down the perimeter, back scatter radiation naked body scanners need to be installed at the entrance of each school. Duffel bags and brief cases need to be X-rayed and hand searched on the way in.

        A swat team of TSA agents needs to be there.

        Children need to have ID chips surgically implanted in their foreheads. They also need to fitted with tazer/shock bracelets so that teachers can bring unruly students to their knees at the touch of a remote with 30,000 joules of discipline. The real problem students just need to be given much higher dosages of psychotropic medications to make them more docile and controllable.

        After all the State has been charged with the duty of educating our children. Its not the parents responsibility anymore.

        All of this can be paid for with “free cash”. If there is not enough free cash then the city of Pittsfield just needs to raise taxes higher so they take in more than they need, thus generating more “free cash” to be used in education.

        After all, percentage wise, not enough money is being spent on educating our children.

        Its all about “the children.”

        • dusty
          December 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

          What about the guy that might parachute onto the roof from 2 miles up? And what about the nutcase who builds his own drone and shoots a laser through the second story window taking out the entire boys restroom during the lunchtime pot distribution?

          And don’t take lightly the drugged out nerd who decides to burrow under the building and comes up on the auditorium stage with a bag full of water balloons.

          Whatever precautions you take a determined evil doer will find a way around them. So lets just cool the hell down and not waste millions more dollars we can not afford. It is a tough world we live in and we had better get used to it.

          • danvalenti
            December 31, 2012 at 8:51 am #

            Well stated. To build a campus free from ALL forms of invasion would require an impractical amount of overload security. Let’s face it: We live in a world where there is no absolute security. Reasonable measures should be taken, yes, but not past the point where they cross the line. We are at that point now as a culture and society.

    • Blind Justice
      December 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      We used to bring guns TO SCHOOL OPENLY, checked them, and hunted before and after classes.

      It’s the assHATS that never used a gun, in a responsible way, do bad things.

      How about 50 MENTAL INSTITUTIONS, one for each state as a start???

  4. Charles Trzcinka
    December 28, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    The state is allowing stores to remove stickers, not requiring them to do so. A store is free to put up the pricing stickers it wants. If consumers think scanners are inaccurate they can go to the stores with accurate scanners or pricing stickers. I suppose a store could use scanners to electronically manipulate consumers but it would not survive long if this was publicized. I think the market is competitive enough so that a store’s reputation will protect consumer against fraud.

  5. tito
    December 28, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Scanners seem to be the theme here. But in reality, if someone is intent on these kind of crimes, they don’t always have to go to schools, sporting events, supermarkets, a church, all venues that attract multitudes, you can’t have scanners and police everywhere.

    • Scott
      December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      It’s much easier to just rely on regular everyday people who choose to carry heat. Needs to be more of that.

      • Jeffrey Turner
        December 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

        Sure. That’s why everywhere there are more guns there are more firearm homicides.

        We need more restrictions on guns.

        • Scott
          December 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

          Jeff your statement is untrue. ME NH and VT have the least crime and the least firearm laws.

          • The Kraken
            December 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

            That’s because ME, NH, and VT don’t have large cities where crime occurs at much higher rates. Nice try.
            So Scott, your statement is untrue.

          • Blind Justice
            December 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm #


            Why is the gun problem in cities? Maybe a LIVING wage instead of CRIME might help?

        • Scott
          December 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

          CA has the toughest so why is it people feel so uneasy in South Central LA?

  6. ShirleyKnutz
    December 28, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Dan, while you are eating with the “gov’ner” could you ask him how our debt is? There was an internet story about how each state was being run and MA was near the bottom due to our debt. With all the top Universities and schools we should be number 1 according to what they tell us.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      MA is number 20 and that’s not near the bottom. CA was at the bottom and RI was 49th. I’m assuming you read the same story that I did and I am wondering why you said we were near the bottom.

  7. Scott
    December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I can never imagine and hopefully will never see in my life what the first people to respond in CT had to see. With that said I agree they need to get through it or find another line of work. I have noting against them starting a charity for people having major issues that the public can willingly contribute to.

  8. Santos Bruski
    December 28, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Do you have any tips for cheaper grocery shopping?

    • danvalenti
      December 31, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      Buy items on sale.
      Buy produce in season.
      Buy fresh foods vs. processed.
      Use coupons.
      Eat healthier, and not as much.

      • Blind Justice
        January 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

        Dan, you forgot grow your own.

        A small plot will feed a family over the summer, and if you grow some root crops and/or freeze and can, you will eat better food without genetically manipulated Frankenfood or heavy does of herbicides and pesticides the whole year.

        • danvalenti
          January 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

          Great addition. A garden is one of the best things you can do.

          • Blind Justice
            January 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

            Thanks Dan.

            My parents grew up on a farm during the depression, they were poor, but always had plenty of work and food

          • danvalenti
            January 2, 2013 at 7:14 am #

            My dad grew up on a farm, and same thing. Even my city-born and raised mom’s family had a huge garden.

    • dusty
      December 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Be careful of all the shell game “specials”. More often than not a BOGO (buy one get one) is a sham. What they do is to mark the price of the first one up to just under double so that you are really paying for the free one as well as the first. Same with buy one get two free. They almost triple the cost of the first one so that you are paying for just under the actual cost of three believing that you are getting two free. NOT HAPPENING FOLKS. This is just one of the many intelligence insulting scams your super market friends are perpetrating on you. The free gas scam Price Chopper has made famous is another. Super markets are right up there with casinos in the art of ripping off their customers.

  9. joetaxpayer
    December 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    I just wish this issue was as simple as adding intercom systems to the schools. Anyone that believes this is living in a fantasy world. If a crazy person wants in they will find a way. Unless we start building schools like prisions there is no stopping ilegall entry.

    • Scott
      December 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Yeah look at the guy who just started his house on fire and shot at firefighters when they arrived at the scene. He was convicted of murdering his 92 year old grandmother and served 17 years. So somehow regardless of current laws in place to prevent this felon from owning a firearm he still obtained one some how. The judge that sentenced him and the board that released him are to blame. Anyone who is found guilty of a heinous crime against a woman, child or the elderly especially when it results in a death should be sentenced to death themselves. Surly they should never be allowed to walk the streets again.

      • The Kraken
        December 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

        Agreed, light sentencing is definitely part of the problem. There are many factors leading to all this violence, there is no one answer to solve it.

  10. Scott
    December 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    “So Scott, your statement is untrue.”

    My statement is backed by facts that all experts in the respected field will tell you. Like Dan said emotion rules the day!

    • The Kraken
      December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Scott, you are saying that the least gun laws lead to the least violence. That is patently false. You can twist your stats around all you want, but those of us with a conscious, functioning mind know better. Those states have less violence due to low population, and lack of any large cities. They have the least amount of gun laws due to the lack of violence, not the other way around. Remember, it’s always acts of violence that lead to increased gun laws.

      • Scott
        December 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

        I’ll listen to the experts which include a Ma retired police chief before some anonymous poster on a journalistic blog. Most states in the south have lax gun laws.

      • Scott
        December 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

        And I didn’t leave it out I gave you CA which has the toughest and is the most violent. Plus I’m not pro 2nd amendment to argue violence statistics anyways. I know it would be much worse if the weapons were taken away. It’s impossible to see what the stats would be with out guns but the stats do show that gun control doesn’t work.

      • Blind Justice
        January 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

        Maybe the problem is a dysfunctional society in the cities.

        Most people in rural ares were raised with firearms as part of everyday life.

        Why should they surrender their RIGHTS for wackos in the cities crimes?

  11. tito
    December 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    It’s ironic that some are suggesting more people carry firearms, if that happens, who to say adults won’t go off on a rampage?

    • Scott
      December 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Give up the right and see where it get’s America.

    • Blind Justice
      December 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

      Lets take away you RIGHT, to comment, Tito.

      How ill that be ???

      The 2nd guards the 1st

      • Joe Pinhead
        December 31, 2012 at 7:49 am #

        There is NO such thing as gun control, when someone can teach guns to all line up and march down the street in cadence at the sound of a whistle I will believe in gun control.
        The term gun control was coined by those in government to be used in place of what any law(s) are designed to do; Citizen control. Make no mistake about it “gun control” laws are not and cannot control guns but are made to control citizens who have guns but the latter doesn’t sound so good and puts more responsibility on those in political power. And at all costs they will blame someone or something else.
        unless of course “its for the children”

        • danvalenti
          December 31, 2012 at 8:45 am #

          Yes, JP, “gun control” is “citizen control” with a different name. Unless, as you say, it’s for “The Children.”

  12. The Kraken
    December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Here are some stats that Scott conveniently leaves out of his arguments. Atlanta. GA. has some of the least strict gun laws in this country. You don’t even need a permit or license to carry a shotgun, handgun, or rifle. Here are their crime stats. So Scott, why did you leave these stats out of your previous posts? Yeah, it’s called not telling the whole truth.
    “The city violent crime rate for Atlanta in 2010 was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 165.49% and the city property crime rate in Atlanta was higher than the national property crime rate average by 95.16%.”

  13. joetaxpayer
    December 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Adults have gone on rampeges, and will. It is your right to protect yourself and your family.

    • Scott
      December 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      It’s more of a responsibility. Everyone is out for themselves. There’s a huge disconnection in society. You all think you’re plugged in but you’re not! Technology is having the opposite effect in most cases. Get outside go for a walk in the woods hear the creatures scurrying about, breath the air and feel your heart pump blood that’s living.

  14. pjmh
    December 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I don’t know the answer, but something must be done. Below are headlines from across the US one week after CT shooting (from Huff Post):

    3 Shot And Killed In Mich… 18-Year-Old Shot Multiple Times, Dies… Man Kills Wife, Teen, Himself… Man Shoots, Kills Own Son… Cops Shoot Teen Dead… Man Gunned Down In Parking Lot… 5 Dead In Spate Of Shootings… 2 Murdered In Philly… 2 Kansas Cops Shot Dead… Shooter Killed… 4 Die In Apparent Murder-Suicide… Ga. Cop Dies From Gunshot… Argument Leads Teen To Shoot Friend… Man Shot To Death… Teen Dies After Being Tied Up, Shot… Man Shot Dead In Street… Drug Deal Leads To Shooting Death… Mother Of 2 Killed In Road Rage Shooting… Man Shoots, Kills Intruder… 1 Killed In Coney Island… Man Dies From Gunshot Wounds… Cops Investigate Gun Death… Shooting Victim’s Body Found On Bike Trail… Man Charged With Shooting Own Brother Dead… Man Dies After Being Shot In Chest… Body Of Shooting Victim Found In Pickup… Teen Arrested For Robbery Shooting Death… Man Carrying 2-Year-Old Son Shot Dead… Man Fatally Shot Near Home… Parolee Dies In Shooting… 1 Killed In Buffalo Shooting… Man Shot Dead In Apartment Complex… Street Gun Battle Kills Grandma Bystander… Man, Woman Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide… Woman Shot Dead By Intruder… 14-Year-Old Arrested Over Fatal Gun Attack… Man Found Shot Dead In Parking Lot… Woman Shot In Face By Ex-Boyfriend… 1 Woman, 3 Men Shot Dead… 2 Die In Attempted Robbery… Army Reservist Shot To Death In Alley… Man Shot To Death In Bodega… 2 Shot Dead In Burned House… Man Shot During Break-In… Man Fatally Shot… 20-Year-Old Gunned Down… Man Shoots Self During Police Pursuit… 1 Killed In Baltimore Shooting… Cops ID Shooting Victim… 60-Year-Old Man Shot Dead… Shot Man’s Body Found In Vacant House…. Woman Shot And Killed Outside Her Home… Shooting Victim Was ‘Trying To Turn Life Around’… Slain Shooting Victim Found In Street…. Driving Altercation Leads To Shooting, 1 Dies… 3-Year-Old Dies In Accidental Shooting… Man Turns Self In After Allegedly Shooting Wife… Man Shot Dead Outside Home… 3 Slain In Separate New Orleans Shootings… Cops Investigate Shooting Death… Man Shot Dead In Ohio… Teen Shot To Death… Man Dies After Being Shot Multiple Times… Man Charged Over Son’s Shooting Death… Cops Find 2 Men Shot Dead… 1 Dies In Shooting… Man Charged Over Gun Killing… 1 Shot Dead In Confrontation… Man Charged With Murder Over Shooting… Motel Owner Shot And Killed… Husband Shoots Estranged Wife Dead… Suspect Arrested Over Deputy’s Shooting Death… Police Probe Fatal Shooting… Cops Kill 2 Suspects In 3 Shooting Deaths… Man Killed Fighting Back Against Robber… Man Killed In Home Invasion…. Nightclub Shooting Kills 1… Child Brain Dead After Drive By Shooting… Man Charged Over Shooting Of Ex-Wife… Body Found In Vacant House… Teen Fatally Shot…


    • Scott
      December 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Would it make you feel better if they were pushed out of windows?

      • joetaxpayer
        December 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

        You are twice as likely to die from a accidental fall than to die from a gun homocide

        • pjmh
          December 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

          Window, blah blah blah. Statistic, blah blah blah. You don’t know my position on guns, so don’t assume. Just look at the headlines. One week. One. We have a bigger issue here, my friends.

          • Scott
            December 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

            The issue is larger on one hand you have a kid who took the guns from his mom and went on to commit the most devastating assault on children in a school in recent years and the other you have a felon who is ineligible to obtain guns fire on firemen responding to an arson. One thing is for sure people are going nuts. Assault weapon and high capacity mag bans won’t change anything. Murder is still lower now then in any documented point in history. Dan’s right the media is sensationalizing violence and emotion trumps reality.

          • joetaxpayer
            December 29, 2012 at 11:27 am #

            Headlines blah blah blah. Really don’t no the answers, but think this Country has more of a mental health and drug problem.

    • raider50
      December 30, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      4 dead in OHIO

    • Gene
      December 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      This is powerful. Great posting pjmh

    • Blind Justice
      December 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      Google up the ARMED citizen, MORON.

  15. Tim Bartini
    December 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Dan the elementary students HAVE NOT gone back to school! You state that first responders in MA get workmens comp. yet another false statement Please get your fact right befor you print them on your blog, The Planet trolls will believe anything you print Dan before you make irrational statements about post traumatic stress disorder Did you ever think that maybe some of those first responders maybe were either related or knew some of the victims ? Have you ever seen a mutilated dead body? I have, it’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s bad seeing 1 body now think what it’s like to see 20 young mangled bodies. It’s easy to say you knew what the job was. Nobody would expect to see 25 mutilated body’s

    • Scott
      December 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      You’re missing the point. One can assume that you will run into these scenes in said lines of work. The pay is already adjusted and employees compensated for the duty. I don’t imagine there’s many surgeons that pass out at the sight of blood. It doesn’t mean it’s any less tragic or traumatizing.

      • Tim Bartini
        December 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

        Scott my base pay is $16 bucks per hour I guess you make more as a painter?

        • Scott
          December 29, 2012 at 7:16 am #

          I’ll take your job any day my grandfather (McLoud) was a fireman for Pittsfield. I may make more when I bid or go by the hour but right now I’m not making much. The only thing that keeps me from working for someone else is the freedom I enjoy by not having to ask for a day off. Still you’re missing the point no one is forcing you to stay where you are and I bet you have more put away for retirement than I do.

          • Scott
            December 29, 2012 at 7:28 am #

            Of course the money both of us makes isn’t worth being ambushed when we show up to do our job are you guys allowed to carry while on duty?

  16. joetaxpayer
    December 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Tim you are correct, the Sandy Hook students have not gone back to school. All the other students in the Newtown district returned Dec. 18.

  17. Mr. X
    December 29, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    I just read that a New Haven attorney is “seeking permission” to sue the State of CT for $100 million on behalf of “Jill Doe” who is a student at SHES.

  18. Mr. X
    December 29, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    The attorney says the state failed to protect students from forseeable harm.

    • Scott
      December 29, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      Well the states do make the rediculous laws that prohibit people from carrying protection with them. Criminals love gun free zones.

      • The Kraken
        December 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

        Not true again. Most shootings occur in places were guns are allowed. Fort Hood was not a gun free zone. Neither was Tuscon, Arizona. There were numerous people in that crowd with guns. What did they do when the shooting started? It took someone without a gun to stop the shooter. Bank robberies – not a gun free zone. Convenience store holdups – not a gun free zone. Gang wars – not a gun free zone. People who murder, then commit suicide themselves don’t give a hoot if there are guns there or not. They are targeting innocents, not gun free zones.

  19. chuck Garivaltis
    December 29, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Though the fix is in for Rep. Ed Markey to be the dem. nominee to replace Senator Kerry I remain hopeful Ben Downing throws his hat in the ring. It’s not because he’s a local guy, but his background, smarts, and youth are a huge plus factor. Youth and intellegence are key factors here.
    If there is one thing that counts in Washington, D.C. it is seniority. If you’re an elected oficial and live long enough you rise to positions of power by chairing committees where rules are made. I have seen blubbering, sick, drooling, alcoholic old fools who rose to positions of great power because they outlived peers.
    The power boys are lining up for Markey to avoid a primary bloodbath. Mitt knows what I mean. One good ole’ boy said that Markey knows where his home is. Meaning he’ll bring home the bacon. Nothing wrong with that. That’s how the game is played. But when the game becomes reelection is all that matters then we have a problem. And we see that in todays news.I think the last thing this country needs is a 65 year old man with political ambitions to start a senatorial career.
    I hope Ben goes for it. A young man with considerable ability is a breadth of fresh air.

    • Tim Bartini
      December 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Mr. Garivaltis I agree Ben Downing will make a tremendous US Senator ! Smart ,young ,experienced, and a great guy.

      • Dave
        December 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

        Mr. Garivaltis, is your reasoning for thinking Ben Downing would be a good U.S. Senator partly because he “brings home the bacon” for the Berkshires(sadly mostly in cultural dollars}, or because he is from a family in Pittsfield that is known and well respected by you. I have heard Ben Downing on numerous talk shows and am tired of the same response to every question that he, or some committee are “looking into” the issue or that the issue needs to be “studied further”. Is his voting record 99% with the Demoratic majority? Would that make him desirable in these parts? I’m sure he is a “great guy” as Tim points out, but if all the great guys got us where we are now, it’s time to start electing a bunch of assholes in to straighten this shit out!

        • Tim Bartini
          December 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

          Dave. Sorry Ben Downing is 10 times a better candidate than Scott Brown. I know he is not a Repubican so you would never vote for him. Scott Brown only voted against party lines when He knew that his vote didn’t matter.

          • joetaxpayer
            December 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

            Ben Downing is a small fish voting for everything D no matter what even if his vote didnot matter. He could not carry Scott Browns lunch pail. We cannot afford anymore bacon.

        • chuck garivaltis
          December 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

          Joe, I’d love to see a race between Scott Brown and Ben Downing.

        • chuck garivaltis
          December 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

          Dave, As Tim pointed out and to address your last sentence, that is exactly what we have elected. How can anyone call these guys leaders? The men who signed the Declaration of Independence put their lives and fortunes at risk. Today’s weak so-called leaders are concerned about their next election.

      • chuck garivaltis
        December 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

        Tim, Sure it’s a long shot, but why not? After seeing what we have in D.C. now anything can happen. I agree with you.

      • ambrose
        December 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

        and he’s never worked a day in his life and never will

    • Blind Justice
      December 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      Beacon Hill schooled toilet paper, flush him.

      • Joe Pinhead
        December 31, 2012 at 7:28 am #

        Mr. Downing goes to Washington? Lord help us if he is the best the commonwealth can come up with. Talk about gridlock. Everything is being “looked into” needs “more study” or “still being explored” which as demonstrated from his track record translates to Let me see which way the wind is blowing, or the Democrat party bosses will tell me how to vote. He is more concerned about his political career than the overall good of the commonwealth.
        He’s a good guy? Compared to whom? Remember Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gasey and a slew of others were described as “good guys” it has no meaning and is often only used to help bolster a politician who has done very little for his constituents or worse screwed them, the statement is used to detract from his record for the purpose of not speaking to it.

        • Tim Bartini
          December 31, 2012 at 9:52 am #

          Joe That has to be some of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard.

          • Joe Pinhead
            January 1, 2013 at 7:51 am #

            Tim, see here’s another one a “good guy” I’m sorry Tim but no one should cast a ballot the most sacred of items in a Democracy for anyone based upon someone telling us he’s a good guy. That might fly for those voting how there told to. For those who vote based upon researched positions, beliefs and weighing the candidate on his or her record don’t give a darn about someone telling us if he’s a good guy or not.
            Are we voting for Senator or homecoming king here Tim?

            unless of course its “for the children”

          • danvalenti
            January 1, 2013 at 9:59 am #

            Agreed. “He’s [or She’s] a good guy.” How often have we heard that raised in relation to some local GOB who has soiled the bed via a misuse and abuse of the public trust? Too often. The “good guy” argument is almost always a sure sign that you’re onto an inconvenient truth. It’s an inside out “ad hominum” fallacy. Thanks for pointing this out.

  20. joetaxpayer
    December 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Chuck, what about we get the best person for the job, Scott Brown.

  21. billy
    December 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I hope someone read the BB this morning and saw Commisioner Collingwood taking credit for the snow removal reccomendations created by Mayor Barrett and enacted by Pete Bruno. I will never understand how something this adminstration rallied against is now putting it into effect. ,stay tuned maybe they will come around to see the Commisioner of Public Services is a good idea.and stop spending their time fighting everything that is effective and well thought out from a individual with 26 years of proven street cred.Ihope that credit will be given in the future to the individuals who come up with great ideas instead of grand standing for your own benefit. i hope there are people left in politics that know how to let others take a bow for work well done . I hope i live to see that day come to pass.

  22. Paul
    December 30, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    I guess we are going to tell our Vets returning from war that they get no help because they signed up for it?People volunteer to be soldiers,police officers and firefighters not knowing the effect that seeing 20 children killed in a gruesome way might effect their mental status.So Dan says “Deal with it or find a different career”.Seems typical of Dan Valenti anyone who reads this junk on this sight can see he doesn’t respect what the heros of our society do for him and for all of us, because he has never had the courage to serve his fellow man.Dan it takes people unlike you to take on those jobs, men with courage and the passion to help others in terrible situations.These men and women are put through physical and mental screening when they are hired, If the Docs can’t tell how these individuals will react to future events how is the soldier,police officer or firefighter suppose to know?

    • Scott
      December 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Gov’t is already guilty of turning its back on our guys when they get back. Plus there’s plenty of therapist being made available why should anyone get a free ride? Are we talking about general sadness or a life altering negative reaction? If the latter I agree help should be provided for a longer term. Of course there will be those who abuse it.

    • JB
      December 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      I have mixed feelings about what “the job” entails, on the one hand I have no sympathy when a snow plow drivers significant other writes in how cruel to blast the snow removal folks when their street is unplowed a mere 37 seconds after the last flake falls, sorry you work when the snow flies…get over it.

      On the other hand I do first aid, mainly in winter at ski areas, but occasionally at other venues. It is hard enough for me to treat a 10 year old with a broken leg, it is part of the job I signed up for. God forbid I ever have to deal with anything even close to what your average EMT on traffic duty or fireman deals with more or less regularly basis. Should that ever happen, I’ll be done for good and look to find my own source of solace and counsel. It was my choice to voluntarily do this. I don;t see how, in good conscience, I could ever ask anyone else to shoulder the bill for my problems dealing.

      That said, even knowing the job description, there are certain catastrophes that NO ONE should have to shoulder alone. Take 911. How in the world should anyone be expected to deal with that sort of event?

      Turn Sandy Hook into a school sponsored outing and a bus load of 20 students and 6 adult chaperones and a driver all died as a result. Those responders will encounter similar carnage, yet, I’ll bet, will be better equipped to deal with the aftermath.

      So, Dan, In this instance, I disagree….a mass shooting is NOT part of the job.

      • Joe Pinhead
        December 31, 2012 at 7:39 am #

        No one has said lets not help anyone, whats being discussed here is should they get workmans comp at this point in the game? If anyone has failed the responders it is the unions.
        Lets be clear here they have health insurance and are entitled to medical benefits that do include some mental health components, The union now wants to negotiate for workmans comp Can the taxpayers renegotiate the same contract and lower the pay for all the responders? How many times have taxpayers attempted to reopen any contract and have had the door slammed shut on them? To the point of cities filing for bankruptcy. It cannot be one sided as much as the employees want it to be.
        Doesnt the union have a fund to help them out? if not maybe they should start one.
        Should they have access to mental health? yes and they do and will.

        • danvalenti
          December 31, 2012 at 8:47 am #

          Correct. No one, not even the cold and heartless meanie, THE PLANET, has suggested that people not be helped. They should be given all of the comp time their contract allows, plus as much counseling and mental health rehab that they need. There is no need, however, to redo the terms of a contract signed with taxpayers.

          • JB
            December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am #

            I missed the part of re-doing a contract. My apologies.

  23. Giacometti
    December 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Isn’t it interesting that a concealed weapon can be carried ( with a permit ) into a public restaurant but cannot be carried into the Halls of Congress. Perhaps if that were not the case we might have real gun control.

  24. tito
    December 31, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    A suspect was shot and killed while being booked at a police station in New Jersey, three police officers were also shot while booking the criminal. The criminal disarmed a female officer and started shooting before being shot by the officers at the precinct. I have no problem with the suspect being shot as the officer’s were in danger, it’s the handling of the booking and disarming of the officer that should be looked at.