PLANET’S ADVICE TO CANDIDATES: TOUGHEN UP THE HYDE AND TOUGHEN UP THE HIDE … plus … QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS TACKLES BIANCHI’s THROWING ARM and INJURIOUS NEW ‘PC’ LANGUAGE ENDORSED BY OVERMATCHED PITTSFIELD SCHOOL COMMITTEE
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013) — Toughen up the hyde, and toughen up the hide. Hyde. Hide.
That was, is, and shall be THE PLANET‘s free advice to candidates running for public office. We won’t explain the homonymic difference. We trust you are smart enough to figure it out for yourself. If not, then you should take out papers and run for public office on a “GOB ticket.”
We gave Donna Todd Rivers a treatment no different from any of the other countless candidates you might name, going back to our more than 20 years commenting on the comings and going of the fair city of Pittsfield, particularly its politics. That includes about 4,000 radio shows, a few hundred TV shows, thousands of newspaper columns, mostly in the Berkshire Eagle and the Pittsfield Gazette, and nearly 800 online columns. Yet you would think by our innocent and simple questions that we had offered a joy buzzer to the queen and a whoopie cushion to the prince.
When this type of reaction occurs, we look to the most logical explanation: We dared to ask questions of a GOB-backed Favorite Daughter.
Quite a Response
The accusations emerged instantly, as if it had been pre-made for such use (which is how all cliches find employment): We heard that we had begun a “smear campaign.” We stood accused of trying to “torpedo a nascent candidacy. We heard we were sexist. From that, we can conclude that when you give a certain type of woman equal treatment, it’s considered pouring on. Thinking “equal” meant “equal,” we didn’t realize we had to tread on eggshells in this case.
Fortunately, the vast majority of the readers of this blog realize THE PLANET has been guilty — once again — of nothing more or less than speaking the truth as we see it. We humbly submit we are eminently qualified to issue such commentary as an interest observer who studies the issues more than most.
A reasonable, curious, and open person would have to wonder: Why would some people object so strenuously to a simple and fair analysis of a questionable set of behaviors by a rookie candidate?
Dum-de-dum-dum, as the old Dragnet TV theme used to hum.
A Sure Sign
We read it as a sign that the candidate in question is a GOB sacrificial lamb. Under this scenario, if she wins, the GOB gains a vote it will own. If she loses, she becomes “collateral damage,” so much campaign fodder.
People have been speculating that, with several “safe” office holders not seeking re-election, the GOB would be desperate to control council seats they might otherwise lose. Every so often, you get a Joe Nichols or a Terry Kinnas who defies the odds, but essentially, with low voter participation, the Special Interests dictate the stakes and the outcomes. Observers have been speculating on people (mostly from a pool of “wanna-be players”) that might come forward, and ever since the first announcement of the “closing” of her business, Rivers’ name found easy circulation.
Come on in, Donna Todd Rivers! Welcome aboard as a candidate for higher office in the city of Pittsfield. Don’t flatter yourself that you are special, however. You are just another of the washed bunch who looks to “lead” the city and its unwashed masses for the next two years.
What we’re saying is: “You’re not special, believe us.” Now go out and prove us wrong by running a great campaign and voting for TAX RELIEF — repeat TAX RELIEF, which is the single-most important issue of Campaign ’13. What you say and how you vote on the school department budget will determine all.
We will hold this standard to every candidate running. Will they vote with the GOB and continue to fund an over-bloated and unaccountable school department or will they vote to finally reign in the biggest drag on the city’s economy, one which keeps taxpayers in perpetual bondage?
We shall eagerly await. We wish Rivers and all the other candidates well.
QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS
GIRL TOSS — The 1,000 players, officials, and families clogging up Pittsfield this week for the New England Regional Championships of the Babe Ruth Softball League provided Mayor Dan Bianchi to exhibit his throwing arm. Bianchi threw out the first pitch. The mayor also had the honor of first pitch for the Futures League collegiate all-star game at Wahconah Park on Jan. 25. This being judged “BIG news” by the Boring Broadsheet, the paper published two photographs on the same day of Bianchi’s “first toss” efforts. The verdict has finally come in: He throws like a girl. By the way, we didn’t realize the Bambino played softball.
HANG ON TO YOUR COMMON SENSE: PITTSFIELD SCHOOLS MONKEY WITH ‘NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES — The federal government sneezes, and the Pittsfield School Committee catches cold. How else can we explain the exercise in uber-political correctness that took place at the latest school committee meeting on Wednesday, July 24? The committee voted in several policy changes pertaining to anti-discrimination rules.
“These are from feedback, from coordinated program reviews,” said N. Tracy Crowe, deputy superintendent. What feedback? What program rules.? She did not say, or we missed it.
The changes have to do with “mandated language.” It seems the Feds are not only dictating local educational policy but ordering the actual words being used when it comes to the blank check of “discrimination.”
We quote this paragraph from The Pittsfield Gazette, July 25 issue: “The main non-discrimination policy vows that the district will not tolerate any intimidation of threat that could be interpreted as ‘interfering with … freedom to learn and work.'” The policy also adds “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as unacceptable bases for action along with “race, color, sex … religion, or national origin.”
Throw in “handicapped” as well.
In other words, we’ve just about come to the point as a society where every person is a minority of some kind capable in any situation of being a “victim,” able to sue taxpayers for a free ride for the rest of their lives.
The school committee, it needn’t be said, heartily embraced the changes. Hang on to your wallets, my good friends.
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P.S. — Stay tuned for two major announcements pertaining to two current members of the Pittsfield School Committee.
“Law makes long spokes of the short stakes of men” — William Epsom, first line of the poem, “Legal Fiction.” 1935.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.