(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION MAY 25-27) — THE PLANET greets Preident Trump’s cancellation of the proposed June 12 summit with North Korean head of state Kim Jung Un with deep disappointment.

The President wants to blame Kim’s “anger” and “hostility” as the reason for pre-emptying the greatest chance of achieving peace on the troubled peninsula since the “victorious” Allies won WWII and played Etch-A-Sketch on the map of Eastern Europe and the Pacific Rim. In fact, however, truth must finger the belligerence of the United States as the underlying cause of the rift. Despite a willingness of South Korea to suspend join military exercises with the U.S., the President ordered them continued, and we all know that when America itches, South Korea scratches.

And so just as Trump looked as if he were committed to avoid the Korean tarpit that has snagged every U.S. President going back to Harry Truman, he falls into the same trap set by the yoyo North. The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea has alternated carrots and mostly sticks when it comes to dealing with the international community (read “with America”). The hothead in Trump puffed up and bellowed loudly about his “military solutions” being “locked and loaded.” Right. On Korea, Mr. President, there are no military “solutions.” There are military “options.” There are  military “responses,” but there are no “solutions.”

This country had its best chance in Korea at the Yalta Conference, when an ailing, tired, and spent Franklin Roosevelt let Soviet premier Josef Stalin claim the 38th Parallel and land north to the Chinese border as its own sphere in influence.

Stalin ran circles around an outmanned FDR and an outgunned Winston Churchill, insisting on the north as a communist buffer between Red China and the USSR. Stalin played Bobby Fischer-level chess, strategizing ten moves ahead. He knew he would need the north to keep control of newly minted Red China and Mao. Uncle Joe’s biggest miscalculation (though historians divide on this point) involves his failure to understand the determination and steel courage of the 1949-vintage Mao, who didn’t waste much time in attacking South Korea through the surrogate North.

Did Truman have a choice in June 1950 between intervention and hands-off? Again, historians will disagree. It’s beyond reasonable dispute, though, to say that the U.S. combat presence preserved the South, which, fueled by capitalism, grew into one of the world’s most dynamic economies. As long as China remained the reddish sort of Red in its butchering of Marx’s grand idea of a classless society, the strategy made sense. However, Mao and the Cultural Revolution are long six feet under. Today’s China is, if not in principle then in effect, as capitalistic as the U.S., and in some measures even more so — to such a degree that it stands poised to challenge America as the world’s most functional economy.

China today doesn’t want war on the Korean Peninsula. When Kim began building and successfully testing nukes, the war alert ratcheted up to Red Alert. That’s when Trump put his negotiating skills to work, huddling through back channels with his Chinese counterpart. Trump and Xi Jinping realize the mutual interest of keeping Korean cool. Xi put Kim on speed dial and ordered the reclusive one to visit Beijing. After plying Kim with a boatload of gifts, including a case of Johnny Walker Blue and mounds of Beuluga caviar, Xi slapped Kim aside the head and told him to begin playing ball with the South and with Trump.

The “corrected” Kim then turned all lovey-dovey, shaking hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and making nice with America. It was all set to go, and then Trump pulled out of June 12. His letter to Kim hinted at the chance of a reopener, but it also makes clear that Kim must be the first one to pick up the hotline, something the DPRK leader won’t do because of lost face. The only way he will find face is if, again, China intervenes. Perhaps Xi, currently the best politician on the planet, may yet save the day.

He and Trump have talked privately since this turn of events. Meanwhile, he urged “calm” and”restraint” while eyeballing the North. Kim can’t afford to tick off Xi.

Until then, THE PLANET will hold off on our planned trip to Pyongyang Yang.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everybody.


“And so it’s true pride comes before a fall” — The Beatles, “I’m a Loser.”



The Usual Disclaimer.


  1. Jonathan Melle
    May 24, 2018 at 8:46 pm #

    Pittsfield politics rivals Russia, China, and North Korea’s one political party system! Instead of Democratic Party political hacks in Pittsfield, you have Communist Party political hacks in the East.

  2. dusty
    May 25, 2018 at 2:40 am #

    Trump, with his enablers Pompeo and Bolton are salivating over a chance to bomb North Korea. Not only is this an absolutely asinine idea as far as accomplishing the goal of denuclearizing N. Korea but the backlash will be huge. Remember that China and Russia are BOTH allies of N.K. Any war in the north is going to devastate S. Korea who has been a very strong American ally in southeast Asia for a long time.

    There is no good answer to the situation but it could easily be made much much worse. Donald trump is the last, the VERY LAST person on earth, who should be dealing with this situation. God help us all.

    • Spagirl
      May 25, 2018 at 3:30 am #

      Trump possesses all the ingredients of a natural disaster. Push the buttons and you have an implosion. That’s what we are facing. As an American, I have never felt worse than I do now.

      • dusty
        May 25, 2018 at 4:57 am #

        Also, Trump thinks bombing N. Korea or Iran will be painless because they are half way around the world. This is 2018 and I believe they can bring any war we start to our mainland through terrorism or cyber warfare. Where the hell are the republican leaders who could yank on trumps chain a bit? What is he holding over McConnels head? Or Ryans?

      • Pat
        May 25, 2018 at 6:15 am #

        As an American, I have never felt more HOPEFUL than I do now. Hostages released with NO money exchanged and a possible meeting with North Korea in the future. The North Korean leader is the crazy and unstable one and President Trump realizes that he needs to speak in the only language that man understands which is power talk.

        Obama tried appeasement and throwing tons of money at the North Korean leader (which he used to make all the nukes he has now) and this only made Kim Jong-Un think that we are a bunch of easily manipulated idiots and he took full advantage of our weakness by making us pay billions for hostage exchange and making his country a nuclear power player which is why we are having all this trouble to deal with now.

        • Definitely NOT Praxis33/Shakes His Head
          May 25, 2018 at 11:12 am #

          You do understand the money to Iran was not for the hostages’ release but a settlement from us stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from Iran in the 1970’s?

        • The school committee
          May 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm #

          Bush tried war threats ,how did that end.?

  3. Gigi
    May 25, 2018 at 4:10 am #

    While I am also disappointed that the summit has been cancelled, I would also like to add 2 facts to consider;

    1)Talk of using the “Libya Model” by globalist Bolton and VP Pence appeared to anger Rocket Man, and

    2) the North Koreans were no-shows at the most recent summit planning meeting

    So who really cancelled the summit? The situation went rapidly downhill and I think it was wise to hit pause until cooler heads prevail. Excellent letter by Trump to Rocket Man.

    • Pat
      May 25, 2018 at 5:59 am #

      I agree Gigi. North Korea was going to cancel anyway. All the indications were there. I think President Trump wanted to be the one to cancel before they did. I think the meeting will happen in the near future though. President Trump has NO intention of starting any war with them. It’s all President Trump’s way of dealing with the North Korean leader. Peace through strength.

      Remember the hostage return a few weeks ago with NO money exchanged. Not billions of dollars. No praise for that from anyone, but they did praise Obama when billions of dollars were exchanged for hostage release.

      • danvalenti
        May 25, 2018 at 7:39 am #

        GIGI and PAT
        Excellent points made by both of you.
        Trump’s way may prove to be the wisest course with Kim. THE PLANET’s main frustration is with the mistakes of the past. History be an unforgiving ally.
        I, too, am hopeful a summit will still take place. I see a ray of hope in Trump’s relationship with Xi Jinping. The latter may hold the key to what happens next.

    • Spider
      May 25, 2018 at 7:42 am #

      Exactly, Gigi! The US delegates waited 3 days for NoKo to show up to plan the meeting. NO SHOW! Does that sound like they were going to meet with Trump?

      I am delighted that our Prez. called it quits.

  4. Dotdotdash
    May 25, 2018 at 4:23 am #

    Sweet tax incentive for Shire City Herbals. Must be nice to have friends in politics. Thanks Helen !

  5. The school committee
    May 25, 2018 at 4:34 am #

    Trump is along with Fox is dividing America along racial and economic lines.They favor the wealthy and corporations over the working poor and minorities and they have won.America has no chance of being great if they continue winning.

    • Pat
      May 25, 2018 at 6:05 am #

      You are getting President Trump confused with the Progressives. The Progressives are the ones dividing this country on race and gender.

      • The school committee
        May 25, 2018 at 3:50 pm #

        White is good and will be great.Regressives live in fear,regressives sell fear and want voters scared of everything except corp. And the wealthy

    • 12 Gauge
      May 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm #

      Buffoon, black unemployment is at an all time low.

  6. SisterGoldenHair
    May 25, 2018 at 6:52 am #


    Twas after Little Rocket Man was called to China that he started the tough talk again with the US. I don’t think the Chinese leaders want the US to be friendly with the north. They want to keep the north dependent on, and beholden to the Chinese. The Chinese are plotting to be the worlds’ superpower. They are afraid the north will become like the south. The Chinese are calling the shots with Little Rocket Man.

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2018 at 7:44 am #

      You may well be right. I would only add that China is already a superpower. It seems on its way to becoming preeminent in that respect. One has to admire its methods: Using best practices with take from capitalism what works, building an elite economy, focusing of education of young people, and maintaining social order. It’s military capabilities must be included, as well. If you think about it, these are the practices that made America great. They have adapted our game plan brilliantly.

  7. Fugimoto Hockalugi
    May 25, 2018 at 8:52 am #

    Does North Korea have a toter system?

    • NIB
      May 25, 2018 at 11:53 am #

      Yes, they do. That’s were they put the bodies of anyone who speaks badly of their govt.

  8. Two Cents
    May 25, 2018 at 9:13 am #

    Yes, and violators of the ordinance and those who do not recycle will be shot!

  9. Etymology
    May 25, 2018 at 9:22 am #

    Dan, you may not want to return your ticket to Peon-Yang just yet.
    Trump is reconsidering going.
    He may meet with the little Peon after all.

    He musta read your column.

    • h
      May 25, 2018 at 11:18 am #

      Sick of trump lies and games

      • Etymology
        May 25, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

        Sick you hate and your Trump hate speech.

  10. NIB
    May 25, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    Stormy Daniels also says Trump pulls out too soon.

    • 12 Gauge
      May 25, 2018 at 6:19 pm #

      Who gives a crap about Skanky Daniels?

  11. H
    May 25, 2018 at 10:40 am #

    Gas is up,biggest increase in year.D0W is Down,again, no deal in sight woth JONG,Wall not here,water rater could sky rocket here. Thank Goodness for Councilor Mazzeo for squashing the Walmart Deal.

    • dusty
      May 25, 2018 at 11:01 am #

      Gas is up due to Trump mouthing off about bombing Iran. Heating oil for the winter will be high as hell. Lock in now with Pioneer

    • Pat
      May 25, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      No thank you Ms Mazzeo for squashing that Super Walmart deal. Where is the affordable retail for the city? Thank you for the very expensive bakery that is now on Tyler Street. Is that what we can expect more of in the future? Trying to turn Tyler Street into North Street or worse, trying to turn Tyler Street into Great Barrington Main Street or Williamstown Main Street. Hello, we have 70% of the people living in poverty here in the city. Who will be able to afford these pricey stores on Tyler Street if more are brought in, except for BMC employees and Pittsfield school employees? Is that who these pricey stores will be catering to?

      • The real Shakes His Head
        May 25, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

        Pat, Aldi is very affordable and I always find great produce and meats there.

    • Etymology
      May 25, 2018 at 1:14 pm #

      So, does Dan want his comment section filled with “Dow is down, dow is down”? It gets pretty sickening.

      Is Trump in the oil business? Trump has nothing to do with gas prices. Absolutely nothing.

      I never seen Dan ask for Trump hate speech in his comment section.

  12. CosbiesLadies
    May 25, 2018 at 11:03 am #

    Most on this thread can do very little or nothing at all to correct the myriad of problems we have here in City Government. Talk at best is cheap and accomplishes nothing.

    For well over three years, Gaetani has made it perfectly clear that there is only one way and one way only to correct the slime we call City Government here in Pittsfield.

    We all know what he means by Gob-Sigs. He points them out every week on his T V Show.

    The B Man says the corrective action lies in the hands of the none GOBSIGS! These are a plurality of twenty one thousand voters who haven’t voted I the ACity Wpelections for ions.

    He states that if only half of these twenty one thousand came out to vote they would most likely vote for a non GOBIG candidate.

    Gaetani right states that any non GOBSIG candidate. Ust overcome a seventy two GOBSIG vote count, which has shown up for the GOBSIG candidate time after time like clockwork.

    The Wiz has been staging a one man show to try to entice the non GOBSIG voter, but he said without broad support he will likely
    fail as Dan has. That being said, what are you people going to do? We know that G will be there on his T V Show and at all other City Meetings trying to help the taxpayer anyway he can. Let’s hope that the chronic talking complainers on this thread can be enticed to join the G Man in his crusade taxpayer. Talk is cheap….Time for ACTION

    • Pat
      May 25, 2018 at 11:24 am #

      I like Gaetani and I would vote for him. I have even offered to help his campaign in the past, but he said he was OK with the help he had.

      Unless Gaetani goes from door to door in the city and gets people who have never voted before to vote for him, he will not win. The school employees are just too hard to beat (too many of them) UNLESS more people are brought to the polls. It will take a massive ground effort to win an election in this city that favors the people and not the special interests. It can be done, but it will take, as you say, a lot of hard work.

      • NIB
        May 25, 2018 at 11:51 am #

        Gaetani also spends very little money (aka cheap) on his campaigns. Can’t win without the $$. And it was foolish of him to turn down your offer to help.

      • Harrison
        May 25, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

        Yeah but Pat, isn’t much easier to blame all the progressives out to get you?

        • Pat
          May 25, 2018 at 5:17 pm #

          The Progressive agenda is bad. This issue is about out voting the school employees at the polls. Yes, I imagine most of the school employees are Progressives since this is education we are talking about, but that just shows the hypocrisy. Progressives are supposed to be so above caring about money, right?!? It’s all about equality right?

          • The school committee
            May 26, 2018 at 3:43 pm #

            Yes Pat,most educated people want progress.We dont want to go back in time to racial regression.

      • 12 Gauge
        May 25, 2018 at 7:57 pm #

        If he ran a traditional campaign he could win

  13. dusty
    May 25, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

    NFL players now gotta kneel if they come out of the locker room. Trump wins again. He OWNS those guys man. When they come to stadium to play football they best be honoring their commander because it is all about him

    • acheshirecat
      May 25, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

      Is it really too much to ask to stand for the approximately 2 min anthem that pays respect to the flag that represents all the men and women who gave their lives so these football players can live free, speak free and play a childs game and get paid millions for? Absolutely has nothing to do with Trump and everything to do with money the NFL lost due to the millions of fans who tuned out due to the game becoming a platform for protests.

      • Pat
        May 26, 2018 at 5:26 am #

        True acheshirecat. You go to these games to get away from the political agendas. If these people want to protest, they should do it on their own time not during a game for which they are being paid millions of dollars.

  14. Halo
    May 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

    The Left Wing Parrot here in Pittsfield has no clue or just doesn’t want to put certain news out there. Gaetani built the Water Plant, why woldn’t anyone reach out to him?

    Another shooting at a school today.

    • Mitchell McConnell
      May 25, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

      because it would ruin kickbacks?

  15. Har
    May 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

    So, the five kiosks to be added aren’t to replace five under performing ones, just added ? That makes no sense.

  16. danvalenti
    May 25, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

    Success and failure are individual visions. Each man and woman must reckon the two on an individual basis. No other assessments matter whatsoever.

  17. Spagirl
    May 25, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    When its all said and done dusty, the Commander will resign or get stuffed and cuffed.

    • Fugimoto Hockalugi
      May 25, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

      Did you get wet after writing that?

  18. Joe Blow
    May 25, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

    I think POTUS Mattis and Pompeo know exactly what they are doing. I believe POTUS has already meet KJU , probable in the forbidden city. I think we are watching a “show” the deal is done. Trump loves Sun Tzu art of war “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.” this is whats going on. The media and Dem leaders are actively trying to destory this process.

    We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.
    3,185 replies 4,536 retweets 15,257 likes
    Donald J Trump 5:37


  19. The school committee
    May 25, 2018 at 6:52 pm #

    United States has negotiated with North Korea 15 times from Reagan,Bush,Clinto ,Bush2,Obama,Trump and regressives talk like its the first time this might happen.

  20. Jonathan Melle
    May 25, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

    Pittsfield politics works for the following 2 groups: (a) the wealthy, and (b) the poor! The rich can afford the annual tax hikes, while the poor don’t have to pay. It is a fact that Pittsfield is one of the most economically unequal communities in the state and nation. Of course, if you are a G.O.B. or part of the vested interest group, you are well taken care of in Pittsfield. Someone like me can only hope to win the state lottery jackpot because I will never find a full-time, living wage job in Pittsfield!

    • Mitchell McConnell
      May 26, 2018 at 1:41 am #

      or if you have connections you can get non-profit status for your home/church/business and save big bucks. Lots of money can be saved on your taxes if you are a millionaire, own a business in Pittsfield and have the proper connections.

    • Thomas More
      May 26, 2018 at 4:12 am #

      Have you tried to find a living wage in Nashua? That’s where yiu live.

      • Jonathan Melle
        May 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

        I am a disabled Veteran. Nashua is a nice city, but I live west of there in Amherst, New Hampshire.

        My point is that Pittsfield is a place of great economic inequality. Pittsfield uses the excuse that GE left town, but that was over a generation ago. They have done nothing to provide employment opportunities to the working class in 3 decades. Instead, they raise taxes and drive out the middle class. It is a fact that thousands of people have had to move out of Pittsfield. It is also a fact that thousands of jobs have been lost in Pittsfield. Once jobs are lost, they ain’t comin’ back in our lifetime!

        The only people who can afford Pittsfield are the wealthy and the poor. The only people who are well taken care of in Pittsfield are the Good Old Boys and the vested interests group.

        I believe Pittsfield and North Adams are run on the economic concept of “perverse incentives”! To be clear, I believe the severe economic inequality in the Berkshires are by the design of the one political party system of G.O.B. political hacks who do nothing to bring living wage jobs to the poor people who could really use them. I detail my ordeal as a then young man living in the Pittsfield area years ago on my blog page:

        I close by asking the following questions: “Why are there no living wage jobs in Pittsfield for the poor people who need them to get out of poverty?” “Why does Pittsfield’s unequal economic model of “perverse incentives” continue decade after decade after decade?” “Is the one political party system of political hacks that important to the Good Old Boys’ hold on power in an acutely economically unequal community?”

        – Jonathan Melle

  21. mi
    May 26, 2018 at 9:36 am #

    I was talking to Gaetani who happened to be at the same Xharity Event I attended and of course we started talking on this water predicament. He states that you may not like him but cannot u der stand why he doesn’t have any support for at least trying to help out with the crazy rates that the eight city clowncilors have appropriated money ( our money) for.

    One city clowncilor should not make multi million dollar decisions for the city, citizens need to with in. Donna flip flop rivers vote change cold result in thousand more for rte payers.

    Gaetani feels reall bad because he isn’t in it for himself, he is very wealthy, but has been fighting for the people who grew p here and apwill struggle with this unqualified reason to increase rates to zenith proportions.

    He reiterates it is not to late. He has been trying to get a meeting with the EPA and does not understand why they wouldn’t at least have a meeting with the builder of the Plant or anyone who represents the tax and rate payer. This is a fundamental flaw that the leaders here are negligent, we have a right to know if there are other avenues to explore and Gaetani knows many exist. Existing C C do not let this die on the fine. Get that meeting!

  22. Halo
    May 26, 2018 at 10:23 am #

    Two neighbors of mine are counting on Mr. Gaetani. They are primed to move. Good people to, they will be missed, hope that water guy can deliver, he’s about the only hope we have.

  23. Dilly Dally
    May 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

    The thing on the water, is that there are other avenues and the Wizard has told us how to navigate that.

  24. h
    May 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm #

    Imagine not using the Master of the Projects expertise. And because he cares about us…..let personalities be an aside.

    • Lenny
      May 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

      Please stop. The self-grandisement is annoying.

  25. CosbiesLadies
    May 26, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

    Gaetani is theMatt Dillon of our time.

  26. Halo
    May 27, 2018 at 9:19 am #

    It’s good to see there are some on this thread that appreciate the work Gaetani is doing for us. And it isn’t just recently, he’s been on this Crusade for over three years.

  27. Cos
    May 27, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    There is no doubt that Gaetani-G-Man -Wizard has been the most beneficial in the Ahistory of the City as far as selfless service. He saved us over 100 million plus already and is focused on doing the same here.

  28. The school committee
    May 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm #

    Regressives have gone back in time to deregulate the banks again.Thanks republicans for making banks great again……10 trillion in damage the last time they were great.You guys are destroying everything we got back as Obamas bull market is about to fail

    • dusty
      May 27, 2018 at 1:27 pm #

      Awww, but Ivanka just got several new patents in China as reward for Donald helping out Chinas phone manufacturers. So she and the Trump brand are doing just swell. And I think that is kinda why he wanted to be president in the first place isn’t it?

    • 12 Gauge
      May 27, 2018 at 5:49 pm #

      Obama and bull do belong in the same sentence.

  29. Joe Blow
    May 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm #


    Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!

    1:09 PM – 27 May 2018

    Even the trump haters should be behind the POTUS on N.K. if this fails the only option is war! The media and the Washington establishment want us divided…….UNITY NOT DIVISION! Where we go one we go all!

    • Mitchell McConnell
      May 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

      I agree with the brilliant potential part Trump is using his good words and communicating with his base

  30. amandaWell
    May 27, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    Jong is locked and loaded.

    • 12 Gauge
      May 27, 2018 at 5:46 pm #

      Gerry Doyle is just loaded.