WHAT’S IN A NAME, PT. II: WHILE THE GOVERNMENT CRUMBLES, PRESIDENT ‘O’ WEIGHS IN ON THE ‘REDSKINS’ MATTER … plus … BIANCHI’s DUBIOUS LISTING OF GOALS ON CITY WEBSITE AN EXERCISE IN NADA, BESIDES LIKELY BEING ILLEGAL
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 9, 2013) — With the government in shutdown mode and a debt-ceiling confrontation looming, it’s heartening to see our great commander-in-chief taking on a vital issue, one on which the fate of the republic swings in the balance.
Barack Obama, as over his head and out of his league as he’s ever been in his less-than-stellar stint in the Corner Office, made it clear where he stands on this life-or-death matter:
“(P)eople get pretty attached to team names, mascots,” Obama told the Associated Press. “I don’t think there are any Redskins fans that mean offense. I’ve got to say that if I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team – even if it had a storied history – that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it.
“But I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team, and rightly so – even though they’ve been having a pretty tough time this year. But I think – all these mascots and team names related to Native Americans, Native Americans feel pretty strongly about it. And I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real, legitimate concerns that people have about these things.”
That’s what we’re paying the Most Powerful Man in the World to think about. Good God, the next thing you know, Mayor Dan Bianchi might do something equally as bold, like cut a ribbon or hand out a certificate. It’s called “leadership,” baby, “leadership.” After all, the city of Pittsfield is going down the tubes (four more downtown businesses announced closings this week) and he continues to waste his time on cotton candy. It’s becoming more and more clear why Bianchi is seeking a second term: To pad his pension. The evidence certainly supports that opinion, since the mayor has done next to nothing and may not even be working full time for the citizens of Pittsfield.
This is what THE PLANET posted on the topic of the “Redskins,” long before the President:
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If we may step back from the boiling cauldron of local politics for a moment, near simmering in some aspects that THE PLANET shall be revealing in the near future, we have to ask, with Will Shakespeare and Gertrude Stein: What’s in a name?
This from wire service reports:
The debate over the use of the name “Redskins” to refer to the professional football concern in Washington took a new turn [recently] when Robert Klemko, a writer for “Monday Morning Quarterback,” a Sports Illustratedwebsite, announced that the site will no longer use the “Redskins” name.
“I know that our site, we’ve talked about it, and we’re not going to use Redskins in our writing,” Klemko told CBS Sports Radio. “We’re going to say ‘Washington football team.’ And it’s not something we’re going to publicize or write about. We’re just not going to do it.”
Can we inject a note of common sense here, or has political correctness taken over what’s left of reason in this country? Sports Illustrated runs a gimmicky feature on the Apocalypse, picking out a bizarre happening or outrageous quote to tell us that The End is near. This feature typifies howSI has, like many but not all media outlets, prostituted its standards to appease the increasingly illiterate sports hounds 30 years old and under. It’s more of a shame when it happens to a magazine once known for its high standards, including excellent writing.
The new SI target audience consist of the ADHDd, hyperactive, overstimulated lads, mostly, who grew up on line. They love fantasy leagues more than the real thing. Video games have reduced their attention spans to the life duration of the fruit fly, and so SI has come up with lots of picture-rich content lacking words with lots of veneer but little if any substance. In fact, we nominate Klemko‘s sanctimonious PC stance regarding “Redskins” as the best sign to date that the End is Nigh.
THE PLANET vociferously disagrees with this position. We think of “Redskins” as a perfectly fine nickname for a team, certainly along with “Braves” and “Indians.” As a matter of fact, Boston had both these teams: The Boston Redskins of the NFL and the Boston Braves of the National League. These names pay homage to America’s first inhabitants, who largely see them as badges of honor. We have long stopped reading SI, and the magazine’s PC position on “Redskins” won’t be bringing us back any time soon.
Great minds run in channels.
BIANCHI LISTING OF GOALS ON CITY WEB SITE LOADED WITH VAGUE, NEBULOUS TERMS AND MAY BE ILLEGAL — BUT THEN, BREAKING THE LAW IS SECOND NATURE TO HIM
The Pittsfield Public Schools eat up more than 70% of the city’s $137 million budget, almost 75 cents out of each dollar. One would think that in looking to restrain the out-of-control cost of running the city, a person would begin there, particularly since this district has performed poorly, well below quality, and by practically each measurement seems to specialize in a range of outcomes ranging from failure at the bottom to mediocrity at the top.
But no. Pittsfield Has Mayor Photo Op in the corner office, the cutter of fat ceremonial ribbons.
Mayor Dan Bianchi has for two budgets in a row increased spending in the public schools by millions each time. Not many of those dollars find their way into the classroom, where they might benefit kids. Most are gobbled up by administrative pay raises, additions to the payroll, and hush money to keep the teachers’ union happy.
On the city website, Bianchi lists “2013 City Goals.” He has nine bullet points under education. Bianchi’s the kind of guy who thinks more is better. Every office has at least one such bum kisser: 10 e-mails are better than two, even if two will do; nine bullet points look better than eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, or one, even if the lesser number covers the situation. Bianchi’s the kind of office ghost that “cc”s EVERYONE in on worthless memos to create the impression that he’s doing something.
Here are the mayor’s nine points under Educational Goals:
* Fast track Taconic Vocational Technical High School
* Vote on final vocational course offerings
* Advance project to the feasibility stage
* Determine whether to build or renovate
* Secure financial commitment from the state
* Continue assessment of school security
* Plan for needed improvements
* Secure input and funding from the state
* Quantify the costs associated with police in schools.
Allow THE PLANET a few observations on this vacuous laundry list.
(1) Nowhere does Bianchi mention cost-out, that is, reducing the dollars sent into the school, which are obviously being thrown into a shredder at this point as far as taxpayers are concerned. Saying nothing about the financially obese PPS isn’t a crime, but it ought to be.
(2) Nowhere does Bianchi address the huge problem of a top heavy, cost-intensive administration. Instead, he supports the wish of Supt. Jake McCandless a.k.a., Jake IV, a.k.a. JIV (pronounced “Jive”) to add two administrative positions to the bloated top levels. You heard it right: They want to ADD two administrative positions. Bianchi has sold out and betrayed not just taxpayers but all — teachers, administrators, parents, citizens, and students — who actually want to improve the performance of the district. The only thing Bianchi is interested in is politics, and in Pittsfield, that means giving the larded PPS all the dollars it wants without demanding accountability. It’s a way of buying votes (but not respect).
(3) Notice how the first five bullet points are actually only one. He could have handled it with one point.
(4) Notice, too, how vague and general these objectives are. THE PLANET would have more specific goals, such as “* Institute school uniforms in high schools” and “Find $2.8 million (4%) in cost-out in the school department budget” and “Insist that School Committee agendas do not include ‘recommendations’ from the superintendent.”
In short, Bianchi’s listing of goals for education, as well as public safety, economic development (a howler; you need to check it out for yourself!), and “miscellaneous” (yes, he has a strategic planning category named that) is a make-do posting of nothing, signifying nothing, and adding up to nothing. THE PLANET, in a fit of charity, won’t even discuss the legality of this sort of campaigning on the city’s web site, though we are near certain Bianchi has, once again, violated the law.
It’s time for Pittsfield to wake up, make a statement, and declare they are sick and tired of being screwed and will not take it again. The way to do that is to register a write-in vote for “Dan Valenti” come Nov. 5. Announcements coming soon.
“The Corner Office strangulates morale, and Bianchi’s Fluff Room resembles more the OK Corral.” — Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice, from “Ode to a Ribbon Cutter.”
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.