(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE,  THE WEEKEND EDITION JULY 28-30, 2017) — Welcome to Bizarre-B-World. In Bizarre-B-World, an article on O.J. prompts heavy-breathing comments on JBIII. The first is O.J. Simpson. The second is John Barrett III. They are both legends. They have both sets records running. They both can be expected to light up THE PLANET upon even the most insignificant mention.

Barrett, record-setting mayor, wants back in politics again, seeking to fill the state rep’s seat vacated by the death of Gail Cariddi. It’s kind of the opposite of O.J. He was in prison and wanted out. Leaving the sanity of civilian life for the dysfunctional dementia of local politics may seem to you the act of a madman, but for a man like JBIII, it’s the goldfish looking to get back into the pond. Politics is in the man’s gills.

Given the lightweights in the all-to-eager field for a back-bench seat on Beacon Hill, THE PLANET welcomes Barrett’s decision to pull a Frank Skeffington. We won’t bother to explain the allusion (hint: it’s literary, cinematic, and political). Suffice it to say that Barrett has the incalculable advantage of experience. He plays hardball when required, knows where the bodies are buried, and can fit Beacon Hill in his back pocket. Is that enough to win? Who knows in this era of social-media illiteracy. He has THE PLANET‘s endorsement, not based on hearsay, which is how most people for their judgments of Der Wunderbarrett. We base it on first-hand experience going back years. We won’t bother you with a “Dear Diary” record. All we need to say is that in our dealings with JBIII, he’s been up front, straight, and to the point. He’s returned every call, and he doesn’t shrink when you get in his face. He can give and take a punch. In that respect, he’s nothing like the typical, hidebound Berkshire politician, who’s skin is made of onion paper. We’ll take his breed every time.

With North Korea about a year away of reaching the U.S. With an ICBM, this rep seat race reduces to its proper size, which is, in the vast scheme of events, the stuff of insignificance. That being said, who would you rather have  fill the seat, an intimidated rookie or a grizzled vet who will eat a bowl of cactus and come back for seconds? The cliched version of JBIII comes off as lacking nuance, the edges too sharp and the thoughtlessness too pat to allow nuance. Some like to call him a bully. That designation, however, fails to properly categorize the man’s nerve and verve. “Bully” too often gets mistaken for “forceful” and “direct.”

Perhaps his time has passed. If so, it’s a shame, for it will mean no more of the Peter Arlos-Mary Flynn brand of representation. If so, we will have the death knell of public service and the sad apotheosis of vacuity — you know, the kind of politics that has driven the city of Pittsfield into the cesspool.


“You shouldn’t took more than you gave.”Dave Mason



The Usual Disclaimer.




  1. 12 Gauge
    July 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    Barrett is a baboon. North Adams is the anal opening of the Bay State and Barrett did little to change it. If anyone thinks life in North Adams will improve with Barrett in the state legislature they have spent too much time in NA gin mills.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    July 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    Barrett is a Democrat who endorses Republicans, including Bill Weld, the late-Paul Cellucci, and the current Governor Charlie Baker. He reminds me of an old school politician who prefers order over citizen participation. People who speak out against him are treated unfairly by him. Most recently, Jeffrey Ferrin posted his anti-Barrett comments on social media, which caused Barrett to call Ferrin’s boss, Brian Bedard, to have Ferrin summarily fired from his job. North Adams has political factions just like Pittsfield politics. Barrett represents one of the political factions. He was defeated as a 13-term Mayor by outgoing Mayor Dick Alcombright. Barrett takes a lot of credit for the success of Mass MoCA, which he has long supported. However, like Pittsfield, North Adams has lost thousands of people and jobs over the past generation. It has put all of its eggs into one basket, which is arts and tourism, which provides low-income jobs you cannot feed your family with. North Adams is the poorest per capita community in Massachusetts! Thousands of people depend on welfare and social services programs. All K-12 public school students receive free lunches! During Barrett’s 26-year tenure as Mayor of North Adams, the state government looked at taking over the school district. Moreover, North Adams had serious financial problems. Barrett ran a tight ship as Mayor. He did not tolerate differing views, citizen participation, and especially dissent. Indeed, his management style was top-down with a sharp focus on micromanagement. All in all, I think he believed in his community and helped it transition from an industrial past to a creative economic future.

    – Jonathan Melle

    P.S. I am going to see the Pittsfield Suns baseball team in Nashua, NH, with my dad tomorrow (Friday) evening. I wonder if I will see any Pittsfield tourists in southern New Hampshire at the old ball park.

    • Sum Ting Wong
      July 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

      Well said.

    • Jonathan Melle
      July 28, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

      I was told that former Mayor John Barrett III’s campaign for State Representative has a financial component. Under Massachusetts law, you can collect a public pension and also collect a public salary in an publicly elected position such as State Representative. That means that Barrett would still collect his public pension, while he would also collect a public salary as a would be State Representative. He would be a “double dipper”!

      – Jonathan Melle

      P.S. I watched the Pittsfield Suns baseball team play the Nashua Silver Knights tonight in Nashua, NH. The Pittsfield Suns won 8 – 2. I didn’t see anyone I know from Pittsfield in Holman Stadium tonight (Friday, July 28th, 2017).

      • Sum Ting Wong
        July 29, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

        Good old oink, oink Barrett.

  3. dusty
    July 28, 2017 at 12:23 am #

    Barrett is a wunnerful guy. I wish we could give him some kind of tax break or honorary position at city hall. Perhaps Mayor Tyer can get the man back on the gravy train of political sustenance.

  4. The school committee
    July 28, 2017 at 2:41 am #

    Who believes Trump is succeeding?

    • Still wondering
      July 28, 2017 at 6:26 am #

      Depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

  5. Pat
    July 28, 2017 at 5:17 am #

    The trouble is that the people running against Barrett are the type who will take their orders from the big bosses in Boston. They have no independent thinking about how to help this area. It will be a different face in the position, but the same old Progressive philosophy that has destroyed this area. Independent thought is not allowed.

    • 12 Gauge
      July 29, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

      Pat any vote for a Massachusetts Democrat is a vote to continue the crap that has done the Berkshires in. There are a lot of people who I used to think we’re smart who always said I don’t vote by party I vote for the person. This is as stupid as it gets. You are always voting for a party if you vote for someone in a party without question.

  6. Pat
    July 28, 2017 at 5:36 am #

    This is from an article in the UTNE Reader, a traditionally Democratic magazine, but even this magazine is saying that the best hope for this country is a lot more Independent candidates beholden to neither Democrats or Republicans. His book is called “Five Easy Theses” by James M. Stone. This is an excerpt:

    As a Democrat, I considered at one point writing a book addressed mainly to members of my own party. Much of what I propose, though, ill fits the political mainstream for both major parties at the moment. I have more hope that Independents and open-minded people more generally can make progress than I have for the most partisan factions of either party. At this juncture, the Democrats are weak in both clarity and farsightedness, and the Republicans are disinclined to change what must be changed. Too many Democrats have fallen into espousing bland policies that voters see as unlikely to bring any major improvement to their lives and finances. Republicans have not broken free from wealthy interests with manifestly narrow objectives.

    The Democrats are hurt nowadays by the natural pendulum of politics writ large. Left-of-center ideas had held sway from the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt until the Reagan Revolution. Lofty expectations proved unmet, and the pendulum swung. An even grander pendulum was simultaneously in sweep. From the time of Karl Marx until recently, idealistic egalitarian thinking was in vogue worldwide. Many intellectuals around the world looked forward to the near-perfectibility of their societies; this was a futile notion from the start. The harsh truth is that we humans are an imperfect species by our evolutionary nature, forever to be conflicted between altruism and selfishness, warlike and peaceful urges, competition and cooperation, hierarchy and rebellion, empathy and antipathy. The Left has never recovered from the embarrassment of having fallen in love with a disillusioning dream. As the reigning giant of evolutionary biology, E.O. Wilson, likes to say, “Great idea. Wrong species.”

    The problem for Progressives is that they have been trying to create a utopia with their vision for the country, but as this author writes, and I agree, we are incapable as a species of this disillusioning dream.

  7. Trumped Up
    July 28, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    Trumps agenda was very clear,jobs,a wall,health care and military, he has failed on all four.

    • Pat
      July 28, 2017 at 10:08 am #

      Hello. He’s been in office six months. Let’s hear your critique of the politicians in this area and how well they are serving the people living here in the Berkshires. Let’s talk about the local economy and whether it’s working for all citizens and grade local politicians on how well they are doing.

      • dusty
        July 29, 2017 at 3:01 am #

        Nice pivot Pat.

      • Dan Valenti
        July 29, 2017 at 9:17 am #

        The local economy. That will be the one issue that no candidate for city of state office — particularly city — will dare address, with the possible exception of JBIII.

        • Shakes His Head
          July 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

          JBIII arguably had the best position to impact the local economy during his decades in office. While the record is a mixed bag, I can’t see him taking responsibilities for failures or sharing credit for successes.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 29, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

          Drain the swamp…….. Don’t vote for the creature who’s been living in and running the swamp fo many years…..Drain that swamp and make northern Berkshire great again.

  8. Milt Plum
    July 28, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    Drain the swamp…..and by the way Barrett is the swamp.

  9. Don T
    July 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    trumps sickens me. I won’t even watch or listen to him anymore, he’s one of the most vulgar politicians ever.

    • Gary Wood
      July 28, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

      You’re just Trumpophobic….see a shrink.

      • danvalenti
        July 29, 2017 at 9:19 am #

        You should have gotten the shot at starting QB in ’64, Y.A.’s last and painful season.

      • 12 Gauge
        July 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

        Don T. Take 2 Viagra and call Shakes in the morning

  10. CosbiesLadies
    July 28, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    That’s why he has the following he does, mostly red necks looking to kick so embody and this whole America against everyone
    But each other, what a hypocracy, I’m. Ot worried about Jumg or Putin, I’m worried about the neighbor shooting out the windows in the house next door as was said here the other day.

    • Pat
      July 28, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

      North Korea just launched another ICBM even better aimed than last time. Now Iran is getting in on the action. Remember when Obama let Iran do anything it wanted? His Appeasement program and giving Iran a lot of money? Now they just launched a satellite carrying rocket into space. That wasn’t a good idea of foreign policy toward Iran. I forgot we can’t say anything that Obama did was wrong. Here in Massachusetts we can only attack Trump.

      We do have to worry about our enemies like North Korea and Iran thanks to failed foreign policy for the last 8 years. We also do have to worry about getting windows shot out here in Pittsfield thanks to crime being out of control. A poor economy leads to lots of crime. We need to worry about both.

      • The school committee
        July 28, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

        Who was president under the last 4 middle launches in Korea and Iran today…who?

        • CosbiesLadies
          July 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

          Tou’re on to something.

        • Pat
          July 28, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

          Not so fast School Committee. Liberals did the same thing when 9/11 happened and Bush had only been president a few months. They attempted to blame 9/11 on Bush when it was Bill Clinton who ignored all the smaller attacks leading up to 9/11 which he did nothing about because as a liberal he could not risk being seen as aggressive. Obama did the same thing attempting to placate an enemy (Iran), but by giving them so much money aided them in creating the technology that is being used only a few months into Trump’s administration.

          I really worry about the lack of logic in the Berkshires or maybe locals just choose not to use it.

  11. The school committee
    July 28, 2017 at 3:29 pm #


    • Gary Wood
      July 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

      I suppose they developed everything in the last 6 months.

  12. Slick Willie
    July 28, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    And this crap from the Eagle from a boot licker.

  13. Shakes His Head
    July 28, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

    Trump can’t find his way out of a wet pants we sack.

    • 12 Gauge
      July 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

      Blah, blah, blah Torch.

      • Shakes His Head
        July 29, 2017 at 7:16 am #

        You could out suck Steve Bannon.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 29, 2017 at 8:17 am #

          Blah, blah, blah Torch.

  14. The school committee
    July 29, 2017 at 2:39 am #

    Pat will Trump do the right thing today in North Korea and pull the trigger.

    • Pat
      July 29, 2017 at 5:47 am #

      If Trump attacked North Korea progressives would blast him as a typical aggressive war mongering Republican. “He’s going to murder us all” would be the outcry.

      • Shakes His Head
        July 29, 2017 at 7:21 am #

        ‘Pulling the trigger’ will anihillate South Korea. Trump can’t even hire a staff, how is he going to solve any other problems?

        • Pat
          July 29, 2017 at 9:37 am #

          You are missing the point Shakes. The problems with North Korea and Iran were created by the previous administration.

          • Shakes His Head
            July 29, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

            I think the problems with North Korea started with an armistice instead of a peace treaty in the 1950’s and didn’t Iran have a revolution that ended up in Reagan’s lap?

            It’s reciculous to pin these issues on any one person or party because D.C.’s F*ucked it up for decades.

          • Pat
            July 29, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

            May be true, but Obama sure didn’t help the mess.

  15. The school committee
    July 29, 2017 at 2:49 am #

    Trump should go to a infrastructure 20 year plan to rebuild America’s water delivery problem and put to work the people who voted for him and he should take back the solar future from China and invest in it here and that will get Dems on board not dismantling healthcare.Middleclass tax cut and a higher tax on the wealthy and the economy will go off the charts creating more wealth.

  16. dusty
    July 29, 2017 at 3:04 am #

    Scaramucci wife has filed for divorce. Melania is petrified of Trump or would have done the same thing years ago. You can see the misery in her eyes.

    • CosbiesLadies
      July 29, 2017 at 4:09 am #

      I believe that is the female most popular name for babies in 2017, Misery.

    • Pat
      July 29, 2017 at 5:36 am #

      I completely disagree. Melania is very much in love with her husband. She always looks at him with adoration in her eyes which is so sweet to see. I have seen Melania with a stern look on her face which is probably disgust and anger at the way the media treats her husband. On the other hand here is Hillary looking at Bill as he ogles yet another woman…Melania as it happens.

      • Shakes His Head
        July 29, 2017 at 7:18 am #

        Pat never gets those looks.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

          Torch gives those looks to young boys

          • Shakes His Head
            July 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

            Says the man that can’t go within 500 feet of a school.

  17. May Hemm
    July 29, 2017 at 4:52 am #

    With tensions at an all time high,the President now endorses Police Brutality. What a dumb statement.

  18. The school committee
    July 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    Dumbest bastard to ever hold that office.

  19. H
    July 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    I wish people like Apat would see what the President is really all about. He’s a game player, anundercutting sob and his specialty is pitting Americans against Americans. he is using the Military and Police as his hide behind podium so he is protected against any personal violence. he has a problem though, because this ass clown in North Koorea is going to push hi to the limits to where he will have to put American Lives at harm, something America clearly disavows.

    • Pat
      July 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

      Pitting Americans against Americans? No, you are getting confused. That was the last administration that was stirring everybody up to cause riots and police shootings.

      • dusty
        July 30, 2017 at 2:21 am #

        Me and all my friends agree that all the screws ups that Trump and his family and friends are getting blamed for are Obama’s fault.
        Except for the ones caused by Hillary or little children in orphanages who were apparently born mean spirited.

  20. The school committee
    July 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    If that is Melanias I’m happy look something is wrong.She does not seem happy.

  21. Sum Ting Wong
    July 29, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

    And meanwhile what’s the skinny on the upcoming local elections?

  22. Pat
    July 29, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    I disagree with Trump about Jeff Sessions. I think Sessions is doing a good job and really likes his job so I hope Trump does keep Sessions. I think it would be a mistake to replace him.

  23. Pat
    July 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    I read this as an opinion piece by John Fund. I think it would quickly get Congress to fix healthcare. Here is the excerpt:

    “If President Trump wants to fulfill his repeated promise to end ObamaCare, his best course of action is a radical change in tactics that would hit members of Congress where it hurts – in their wallets. The 55-45 vote Wednesday by the Senate rejecting a straight repeal of ObamaCare makes it clear that the president needs to try something new.

    “With a mere stroke of his pen, President Trump could end the exemption that President Obama gave members of Congress and their staffs that makes them the only participants in the ObamaCare exchanges to receive generous subsidies from their employer (the American people) to pay for their health insurance. Nothing would better focus Congress’ attention on changing ObamaCare than being trapped in it just like other Americans.”

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Let them experience what many Americans have been going through.

  24. Harlan RinkleNutts
    July 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    President Trump when all is said and done, will be the worst President in U S History.

    • Pat
      July 30, 2017 at 5:48 am #

      Obama will be seen as the worst president in US history. Everything got even worse under Obama. Race relations worsened, police shootings, Russia and North Korea strengthened, a bad healthcare plan was started, climate change was turned into a religion, energy costs skyrocketed, social engineering, job creation was non-existent and we saw a huge increase in big government.

  25. The school committee
    July 30, 2017 at 2:51 am #

    Pat ,you do know it healthcare,then Medicaid, Medicare,SS

    • Pat
      July 30, 2017 at 6:26 am #

      I had my insurance changed at least 5 times under Obamacare. Massachusetts put everyone under Obamacare when I think they were better served under Romneycare. If I was Trump, I would have each state handle their own health insurance. It worked fine here in Massachusetts for many years. I still don’t like any government handling healthcare, but I would rather have the state be in charge than the insanity of the federal government taking it over.

  26. Pat
    July 30, 2017 at 8:33 am #

    JK Rowling made up a story and changed a video to make it look like Trump avoided a wheelchair-bound boy:

    I love the Harry Potter series, but this is really stupid and childish of her.

  27. h
    July 30, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Trump and his failed Health Care promise nixes anything going forward and everything else will be funded,payroll tax hike looms, since everyone is working now.

    • Pat
      July 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

      In Berkshire County so many are not working. Rest of the country is doing much better. There are many jobs in other areas thanks to Trump. Albany is booming. So is Springfield, Berkshire County is lagging far behind.

  28. Koz
    July 30, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    Planet Pat

  29. The school committee
    July 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    Where is the infrastructure bill?

    • Pat
      July 30, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

      Did you keep tabs on Obama like you do on Trump? Most of Obama’s accomplishments centered around social engineering.

  30. Jonathan Melle
    July 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    July 30, 2017

    Re: Open letter to the Berkshire Eagle Editorial writers

    The Eagle editorial regarding Pittsfield State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier’s vote for a second legislative pay raise of up to 40 percent should have been denounced as yet another backroom deal that define Beacon Hill governance.

    Moreover, the entire Berkshire delegation voted for this inequitable bill that did not allow for any public input. The main beneficiaries of the pay raise bill were Speaker (for life) Bob DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg. Furthermore, the pay raise bill increases the state pensions of every state Legislator.

    Massachusetts has a recurring budget deficit that is currently estimated at $900-million. The Governor, Charlie Baker, and the highly paid Legislative “leaders” have increased state spending, but refuse to increase state revenues. In fact, Massachusetts is the number one per capita debtor state government in the nation. Neither casino gambling nor legalized marijuana will solve the commonwealth’s fiscal woes!

    While the state government has serious financial problems, the “iron rule of Oligarchy” wins once again by the political hacks taking care of themselves at the expense of the hard working taxpayers! During my time in the U.S. Army, true leaders stood in the front lines of battle. They took the heat and made the sacrifices. The opposite is the case on Beacon Hill!

    – Jonathan Melle

  31. 12 Gauge
    July 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    Oink, oink Tricia.

  32. mi
    July 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    Someone has to pay for those w h e n outfits. Anyone see our Mayor stroll down Tyler Street, (ugh), she called that Tatoo building funky and a hip place to be. Failed to mention,it also was the former residence (creepy) of child murderer Lewey Lent. Later on a stroll tp the Hess Forest, it was highlighted by Deanna Ruffer how corporate blight is left, Mrs. Ruffer, weren’t you here years ago while the former Gas station was still morning into blight.

    • dusty
      July 31, 2017 at 1:19 am #

      I think Hess forest was cleaned up just before the walk through. Just a coincidence though.

  33. Tricksie
    July 31, 2017 at 5:51 am #

    the political season is upon us…gonna be a real snoozer. look forward DV’s grades for Tyer at the half way point – things sure are a changing – bahahahah – clean up the outside of City Hall it’s a disgrace –

  34. Trumped Up
    July 31, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    I believe the word is renaissance.