(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, AUG. 11-13, 2017) — Nearly every analyst, expert, and authority that weighs in on current developments split-side of the 38th parallel at the Korean peninsula either begins or ends by saying the United States has no good options. THE PLANET disagrees.

First, consider that none of the parties directly affected want war, North Korea least of all. For all its belicose blather, the Kim dynasty knows that war would topple the regime in an atomic instant, wiping out billions in personal wealth and a lifestyle better than Linda Tyer‘s. Kim Jung Un holds a tactical advantage shared by Donald Trump: Opponents continually underrate both men. Kim isn’t crazy. He was educated in the West, learned on the job under his father, and has keen political instincts. He will not start a war.

The U.S., likewise, won’t press The Button. Trump knows full well that war will not eliminate North Korea’s military capabilities to kill countless thousands by conventional means. While its nuclear program is just getting going, it possesses one of the world’s best-equipped conventional military forces. Going first to war would only give the DPRK a justifiable reason for full retaliation.

Do we need to say anything about South Korea, then? It’s capital city is an hour’s drive away from Pyongyang Yang, about the distance Springfield is from Pittsfield. Seoul has 25 million people in its metro area, all within easy reach of the DPRK’s tactical forces.

China, the DPRK’s major ally, has become too much of a global player militarily, politically, and economically to want war. Moreover, as North Korea’s overseer, it will not allow regional much less international hostilities. China knows that if the Kim dynasty crashes and burns, millions of desperate people will flood over the Yalu River, a situation the country will not tolerate.

The minor players, Russia and Japan, also want to avoid war. True, each side, Russia especially, has reasons to want tensions kept roiling and boiling. It’s a delicate balancing act, one Wallenda wouldn’t risk. Fortunately, Russia has Vladimir Putin, who — as a political strategist — leaves everyone else fighting for second place.

OK, now for the good options.

1. Direct negotiations — It’s the only play that hasn’t been tried in the long, anguished history of Cold War Korea. THE PLANET means heads of state, eyeball to belt buckle, Trump and Kim. The President should shatter the frame by doing the unthinkable: Invite Kim to Washington as a head of state. This move satisfies the egos of both men and provides the only method of authentic dialogue.

2. Back-channel diplomatic efforts at the highest level — Again, the idea would be to get the U.S. and DPRK into direct dialogue. It’s likely some of this is being done now, but intermediaries have not and will not work.

3. Special Envoy — The President would appoint a high-level person of international stature to engage in shuttle diplomacy with the parties. THE PLANET doesn’t mean Dennis Rodman, and Tom Brady currently finds himself otherwise occupied. In the past, Madeline Albright and President Jimmy Carter have done similar work before. Our choice would be Joe Biden.

If an all-out shooting war happens, what’s to lament? It would only put us out of our misery while foreshadowing the inevitable heat-death of the universe.

What do you think? Take the stupidity elsewhere. Can’t we for once have intelligent discussion wall-to-wall?

Have a great weekend, everybody!


“God is dead”Friedrich Nietzsche



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  1. Sum Ting Wong
    August 10, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    I had the feeling I was watching something from North Korea this afternoon as I watched William Kim Jung Barry in action at the board of registrars hearing in Pittsfield City Council Chambers. A travesty of justice occurred here on Thursday afternoon. If you want to run for office in Pittsfield don’t think you have to go door to door to get signatures. You only have to fill the papers out yourself. No questions asked. Even McCandless will show up and lie for you.

    • Still wondering
      August 11, 2017 at 6:01 am #

      This is absolute bullsh*t and you know it. Get out of your mother’s basement and get a job.

      • Sum Ting Wong
        August 11, 2017 at 7:09 am #

        So you examined the papers in question?

      • Howard Jay
        August 11, 2017 at 7:11 am #

        I knew Powell in high school and I wouldn’t put it past him.

    • Wilson
      August 11, 2017 at 9:48 am #

      Probably what’s really going on is that the teacher cartel fills out the paperwork for its puppet candidates

    • Joe Blow
      August 11, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

      Unions such as the the American Federation of Government Employees, the AFSCME, and the American Federation of Teachers contribute millions to liberal groups, which then turn around and advocate higher taxes and spending that directly benefit those unions.

      The potential for corruption in such a system is obvious. Even President Franklin Roosevelt, the great champion of bigger government, agreed. “All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” he wrote in 1937.

      It should shock no one when organizations that owe their existence to big government do whatever they can to perpetuate it.

      by Megan McKinley and Eric Peterson

    • Dan Valenti
      August 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

      If Bill Barry is “the answer,” we’re asking the wrong question. Mr. Blumin left he Soviet Union to escape totalitarianism, only to find it in Pittsfield.

    • VillageKnight
      August 13, 2017 at 7:48 pm #


  2. C. Trzcinka
    August 10, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    I agree that the parties in this conflict do not want war but North Korea has repeatedly taken negotiations as appeasement. Three presidents have tried to negotiate with them, none succeeded in stopping either the missiles or the nuclear warhead. We have reached a critical point in the history of this conflict. All three previous presidents have agreed with Trump that we cannot live with a North Korea that has the ability to destroy the US. Nor can South Korea or Japan. At the moment, Kim Jung Un thinks he has no option but continue to develop missiles and warheads. China could stop this in a very short time by closing down trade and giving him an option for safety. For example, Chinese troops could take up positions in North Korea if the missiles were dismantled. If China doesn’t act, we will need to destroy those missiles.

    • Dan Valenti
      August 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

      Yes, CT, China is the best hope. They could shrivel N. Norea by cutting all ties, but this would only prompt Kim to launch after the situation reached the point of no return. He would think he had nothing to lose. A China blockade coupled with an all-out attack from a U.S.-China-Russia coalition would be optimal. Short of all that, I would love to see Trump invite Kim for talks, a kind of “or else” invitation.

      • The school committee
        August 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

        What…bomb into oblivion or have for talk and either way is the correct thing to do…thats a Trump answer uhh

  3. Magoo
    August 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

    Regan said it best
    “you can’t negotiate with terrorists”

    10/21/94 slick Willey made a mess.
    Its getting worse.

    • Slick Willie
      August 10, 2017 at 9:19 pm #


      • Mad Trapper
        August 14, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

        That would be William Jefferson, Clinton. The pervert and rapist.

        You might remember his wife, Hillary? She took in Chi-Com money in 2008 from a boi named Hsu, but strangely never prosecuted? Then she rigged the 2016 DNC primary in collusion with the DNC, but strangely, was never prosecuted.

        Those Clintons took in Millions for relief of the poor Hatians when there was an earthquake, but kept all the money for themselves.

  4. dusty
    August 11, 2017 at 12:21 am #

    Some years ago we had the phony “weapons of mass destruction” excuse to invade Iraq. Several weeks ago the defense dept was saying it would be one to two years before N. Korea would be able to mate a nuclear weapon onto a missile. Now, all of a sudden, with the Russia probe heating up to new levels, Donald has his people saying that we are in imminent danger. I call bullshit. Someone wants to start a war and we are getting alternate facts to support the cause.

  5. 12 gauge
    August 11, 2017 at 6:05 am #

    Andy McKever…… did you examine copies of Denis Powell’s nomination papers or did you let William Barry lead you by the nose to your conclusions?

  6. Spider
    August 11, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    If negotiations did take place and NK agreed to stop all threats, how much money would it cost the US to make them be good boys?

    Remember the millions Clinton gave them years ago to stop the missile buildup? That really worked….didn’t it?

    Those who think we are dealing with a sane person needs their own heads examined!

    • Pat
      August 11, 2017 at 7:19 am #

      North Korea has been threatening us throughout their nuclear buildup. Now they are naming a specific place they will attack. They could be fooling us, however, and we should be prepared for anything.

      China needs to step up. They could bring North Korea under control very quickly. What are they waiting for?

  7. Shakes His Head
    August 11, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    NK wants to negotiate directly with and only with the US. They want a peace treaty instead of an armistice. NK does not want to lose face and wants respect in the international community as a modern, technologically advanced country that is trusted to use this nuclear weapon program as a deterrent, not as a weapon.

    Great commentary, Planet.

    • Spider
      August 11, 2017 at 8:06 am #

      SHH – That statement is ridiculous! NK wants a “peace treaty”? Thank God you are not leading our country!

      • Shakes His Head
        August 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

        Are you too stupid to realize that there was never a peace treaty to end the Korean War?

        • Spider
          August 11, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

          And what the hell has that got to do with this situation?

      • Boys From Barazil
        August 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

        Planet is the best!

    • Dan Valenti
      August 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

      Thanks, SHAKES. The root of this, one step after the failure of the U.S. and the Soviets to “close the deal” peacefully after WWII, is the armistice. Offer a true peace, and let’s see what happens. Perhaps true peace might result.

  8. Dilly Dally
    August 11, 2017 at 8:18 am #

    Understand that North Korea does have trillions of untapped minerals,and gold unexplored. They are a very wealthy country. Starting to doubt if Jung is serious at all about a real attack. When did they come up up with anything Nuclear, until recently. Maybe Trump has sent Dennis Rodman on an Apprentice Mission to explore some mining business deal for Trump in real life. The Media is making a big deal of an attack, it isn’t going to happen.

    • dusty
      August 11, 2017 at 8:27 am #

      If it is true that they have trillions in gold and minerals that would explain why Trump wants to kill all the people living there. He wants the oil in Iraq as well.

      If you have anything worthwhile in your back yard do not let Trump find out about it.

  9. Dilly Dally
    August 11, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    Well, he certainly isn’t interested in Jung’s wardrobe.

    • 2112
      August 11, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      I can’t tell the difference between Jung’s and Hillary’s wardrobe. I think they both shop at Commies R Us.

      • 12 gauge
        August 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

        Her’s are slightly more colorful and a much larger size

    • Dan Valenti
      August 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

      Or his haircut.

  10. 2112
    August 11, 2017 at 9:40 am #

    I would covertly tell China that if they took down Kim or invaded NK we’d look the other way.

    • Dan Valenti
      August 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

      It could work.

  11. Gigi
    August 11, 2017 at 10:28 am #

    C Trzcinka I agree with your comments. Joel Pollak has written an excellent article today on Breitbart titled “Donald Trump Wins Round One with North Korea.” President Trump has shown backbone, unlike his sniveling wimpy predecessor.

    • dusty
      August 11, 2017 at 10:41 am #

      Great to know. We can put that on all gravestones that we are going to use at Arlington.

    • The school committee
      August 11, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      North Korea has no fear of Trump

      • Pat
        August 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

        Are you on the side of North Korea?

        • 12 Gauge
          August 12, 2017 at 6:49 am #

          Who needs North Korea when you have Pittsfield?

          • VillageKnight
            August 13, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

            Reply to 12 Gauge: Nicely said!

        • The school committee
          August 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

          Pat how would you interpret his statement,does he sound intimidated?

  12. Pat
    August 11, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    China has weighed in. They will fight against whoever fires the first round. Since this will be North Korea we don’t have to worry about China not being on our side.

  13. Pat
    August 11, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    This article is about Pittsfield holding a vote on pot usage in the city. We all know how that will turn out. Just read the comment section under this iberkshires article. All young people and people who grew up in the 60’s are complaining. They complain there is nothing to do here in Berkshire County and yet the city wants to take away their pot.

    I complain about the Berkshires too, but my complaints are different. No places to shop as stores continue to move out, too few good jobs, and everything in the Southern Berkshire area is for the wealthy.

  14. Gigi
    August 11, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    Bill Clinton’s administration gave billions of dollars and technological expertise to the North Korean regime through the NK deal of 1994 – in exchange for the promise that North Korea would limit itself to civilian nuclear power. How’d that turn out, Bill? Trump is right – we have some pretty stupid people in our government conducting “negotiations!” And thanks to Obama & Kerry and the infamous Iran Deal – now Iran is the up & coming new threat on the horizon.

    And speaking of politicians – it’s time McCain, McConnell, Pelosi, Maxine Waters and Schumer retire. Paul Ryan also needs to be voted out of office. Drain the swamp!

    • Pat
      August 11, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

      I completely agree. Get rid of those Republicans and Democrats. They are useless. Drain the swamp Trump!

  15. Shelly Liver
    August 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    trump is a crass unlikeable man.

    • Sum Ting Wong
      August 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

      Don’t you mean Bill the barrister Barry?

  16. 12 Gauge
    August 11, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    North Korea is a zit on a pig’s ass.

  17. Mad Trapper
    August 11, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

    Word is fallout shelters are a booming business in Commiefornia these days. Can you imagine the fights that will ensue when the Hollywiedos, rich entitled Liberals, and left winged Politicians and Judges are fighting with all the Criminal Aliens about who will be able to get into these shelters?

    Now if the NK does nuke Commiefornia would that be so bad? It would get rid of a lot of fruits, nuts, and flakes.

  18. dusty
    August 12, 2017 at 1:09 am #

    Now Trump is talking about invading Venezuela. They have the worlds largest reserves of oil and he and Tillerson want their share of it. The United States already has troops fighting in a dozen countries so what is one more? Welcome to the party Venezuela.

  19. dusty
    August 12, 2017 at 3:24 am #

    No money to paint crosswalks? How did they find $150,000-200,000 to refurbish the marquees on the senior center? Who is in charge of prioritizing projects?

    And who is the city councilor for Alfred drive? Is this road on any list for repaving? Really lousy condition for a long time and these folk pay super high taxes. Step to the plate councilor. Do your job.

    • Gigi
      August 12, 2017 at 7:07 am #

      The senior center marquee repairs were debated months ago and approved by the city council . You can watch the council proceedings on PCTV, in the comfort of your home. And if you live on Alfred Drive, your city councilor is Chris Connell.

      • dusty
        August 12, 2017 at 7:58 am #

        Thank you Gigi. I am aware that the marquee was debated months ago. About the same time they should have been discussing crosswalk lining.

        I do not live on Alfred drive, an inlaw does. But it seems like that road is the last one in the city to get plowed and it has all kinds of repair bumps and divots. Maybe they do not like to plow it because it is in such bad shape it ruins the plow blade.

    • Shelly Liver
      August 12, 2017 at 8:58 am #


  20. H
    August 12, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    Do you know that Pittsfield has more urban terrorists than the Whole of North Korea. In the minutest sense, of course.

    • Sum Ting Wong
      August 12, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      Are you referring to the city council?

      • VillageKnight
        August 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

        Reply to Sum Ting Wong: You have a good sense of humor:))
        City Council is a jock. Linda Tyer recently created 2 new full time positions: Air port assistant manager and Chief Information officer. On Council Agenda it was not stated openly, but I seen it in the attachments scanned. Whole Council voted “yes” without even one quetion–Why? why do we need it?

  21. Shelly Liver
    August 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    Trumps gotta Go

    • Sum Ting Wong
      August 12, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

      Tyer first

  22. The school committee
    August 13, 2017 at 2:19 am #

    Trump needs middle class tax cut,infastructure rebuilding of America not run by big business,raise min.wage,single payer health insurance and he will be the best democratic president since Barrack Obama

    • Shelly Liver
      August 13, 2017 at 4:54 am #


  23. Dilly Dally
    August 13, 2017 at 5:14 am #

    A woman and her daughter have a ranch, their Bull dies and the mother goes to see if she can get another, but only has 500 dollars. So she goes to the farm that sells bulls and gets one for 499 dollars,leaving her with a dollar. She has to telegraph her daughter to bring the trailer to get the Bull, but it costs a dollar a word, she only has the one dollar. The Mother tells the telegraph operator to send the word comfortable, the operator says how will one word make any sense to your daughter, the woman replies, she’s my daughter and reads slow….com for ta bull.

    • RobEM
      August 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

      And Now For Something Completely Different. Good One.

    • Non Essere Uno Stronzo
      August 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

      Tyer sent me that very message before her last press conference.

  24. RobEM
    August 13, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

  25. 12 gauge
    August 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    Did anyone make it to the moonbat rally on park square today?