(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY JUNE 27, 2018) — “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”

So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, author of one of THE PLANET‘s favorite books from a childhood full of them. We speak of Treasure Island. Stevenson’s aphorism works so profoundly that when the fledgling Berkshire Community College began baby stepping in 1960, the school adopted it for its motto. To this day, when The Ol’ Perfessor walks to class and passes by those words so proudly affixed to the administration building, we nod in agreement and thanks.

Arrival too often means anticlimax, let down, disappointment. ‘Tis the quest, man, that fuels dreaming. The accomplishment of arrival, whether figuratively or literally but especially the first, stands alone in its own reality and truth. Arrival can put an end to dreaming, and that, too, is good, as illustrated by two news items on the agenda. The first is as local as Lanesborough, and son, you can’t get more local than that. Green Acres meets Snuffy Smith. It seems that this week at a birthday celebration, a couple of the partygoers, perhaps fueled by soad-dee pop, decided to explore one of the borough’s 58 caves, this one off Silver Street.

Lo, the wobbly walker slipped on wet rock and tumbled head first, got stuck, and stayed a cork for a couple hours contemplating life, death, the stars, the lifetime batting average of Don Buddin, and other assorted mysteries. It took the combined efforts of fire fighters — bless ’em — from the town, Dalton, and Pittsfield to unplug the dude. He got acoustic, you might say. The partier’s fix reminded us of the movie Everest, which we watched with our love a couple nights ago.

In Everest, we follow the adventures amateur climbers who each paid a travel company $65,000 to guide them to the summit. On the way up and down, however, the hikers run into … weather. Can you imagine? A bunch die, and others come back missing hands and noses from frostbite. The film was based on actual events that occurred in 1996. Everest, you see, is a comedy. The dumbasses who risked life and limb got what they paid for. At one point, one of them remarks that she can’t breath. Another points out the cold. Hello?!? McFly?!? There’s little oxygen at 29,000 feet and it’s not balmy. When one of the party becomes delirious from oxygen starvation, he takes off his clothes and jumps over the side We haven’t laughed as much since  the last time Peter Marchetti tried being a competent politician.

And so when we read of the adventures of the wandering birthday partier, we too laughed. Only this one had a sad ending. Rescuers brought the intrepid lad to safety rather than let free will, stupidity, nature, and consequence work out the end result in a more just and maybe final manner. Or do you feel good when some idiot drives his two-ton on the thin ice at Pontoosuc Lake in December, falls through, and then first responders have to risk it to erase the stupidity at taxpayers’ expense?

So you see, ill-advised travel can lead one to undesired consequences, which leads us to the Supremes. The country’s highest court this week upheld President Trump’s ban on immigrants from certain Islamic countries. Trump banned travelers from countries with a track record of terrorism. It seemed reasonable, but lower courts fought it, successfully arguing for the rights of potential terrorists to come here and commit mayhem. The President took it all the way to the top, and the Justices ruled 5-4 along political lines to uphold Trump.

They made the right decision but for the wrong reasons. The ban helps protect the country and secure its borders, same as immigration policy. However, it reveals how justice has become yet another political tool, a lever in which one side can put enormous pressure on the other. Five conservative judges supported Trump. Four liberal judges did not.

Justice … or “just us?”


“The impossible simply takes a little longer” — Attributed to Gen. George Patton.



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  1. dusty
    June 27, 2018 at 12:21 am #

    Ironically most of the 9/11 terrorists were from oil rich Trump buddy country Saudi Arabia who hosted him and his wife and lavished gifts upon them. So Trump decided that muslims with big money that were nice to him and his family are welcome in his country even if they flew planes into buildings in American cities.

    So you decide what his real reason for the ban is and try not to lie to yourself.

  2. Paul
    June 27, 2018 at 1:49 am #

    The travel ban does not specify Muslim countries. Only countries that are producing terrorists, supporting, or training them. This ban has nothing to do with religion or race.

    • dusty
      June 27, 2018 at 2:53 am #

      so if it is about countries producing terrorists, why not Saudi Arabia? I mean like most Americans killed by terrorists have been killed by terrorists from Saudi Arabia.

      • acheshirecat
        June 28, 2018 at 5:05 am #

        The countries banned were banned for many reasons, not just that some were Muslim majority. They were banned because some of them produce state sponsored terrorists and their vetting processes are non existent.

      • Joe Blow
        June 29, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

        North Korea and Venezuela are also on the list!

  3. Paul
    June 27, 2018 at 3:00 am #

    The goverment of Saudi Arabia does not support terrorism. Any country can produce a terrorist our own included. The distinction is weather or not it is State sponsored. As far as I know the Saudi government does not sponsor terrorism.

    • dusty
      June 27, 2018 at 3:38 am #


      • Paul
        June 27, 2018 at 4:45 am #

        Dusty, I see your typical response. You hate it when the facts get in the way of your point of view. Do you even know what countries are on the travel ban list? Everything isn’t a conspiracy, some things are just common sense.

        • Shakes the World
          June 27, 2018 at 6:04 am #

          “Saudi Arabia represents a paradox for U.S. counterterrorism. On the one hand, the Saudi government is a close partner of the United States on counterterrorism. On the other hand, Saudi support for an array of preachers and non-government organizations contributes to an overall climate of radicalization, making it far harder to counter violent extremism. Both these problems are manifest today as the United States seeks to counter the Islamic State and its allies.”

          • Paul
            June 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

            Shakes, well said.

          • Shakey Wakey
            June 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

            It is a quote from a Brookings institute report

          • Edward R. Murrow
            June 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

            Personally don’t trust Saudi Arabia–or the Bush family connection with.

  4. The school committee
    June 27, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    I am waiting for the liberal media to write why,why ,why did our low class 1st lady wear a coat with the message I dont care when she was sent to check on the children seperated from their families.She has embarrassed America and she has showed all Americans the Trumps tipping point is giving the middle finger to courageous people who care about these human beings and their efforts to be one of us…….I use to feel sorry for her and now I know she’s ruthless…..She as a migrant does not know anything about the old America……Russia has defeated the USA

    • Still Wondering
      June 27, 2018 at 5:04 am #

      And you just cannot see that she was trolling you and the MSM.

      • Edward R. Murrow
        June 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

        Yes, let’s amp up the snark on the First Lady–good journalistic practice, that.

  5. Mr. Fritz
    June 27, 2018 at 5:05 am #

    Hats off to SCOTUS! The constitution was upheld! Hollywood heads are exploding and the leftist media are going batcrazy. Winning again, MAGA!

  6. Gigi
    June 27, 2018 at 5:46 am #

    It was a great victory for our President and country!

    In other news…Trump was right about John McCain – he is no American hero.

    • NIB
      June 27, 2018 at 10:48 am #

      McCain was an American war hero. Politically, not so much.

      • danvalenti
        June 27, 2018 at 11:32 am #

        A fair assessment.

  7. Shakes the Shake
    June 27, 2018 at 6:28 am #

    The actual administrative law never had anything to do with religion. The president, the media, and the left have all called the thing a duck, except this duck doesn’t quack. There are several countries, that for one reason or another, do not provide adequate information to the US for potential entry of immigrants. The EO basically says that until the foreign country provide this information, we are blocking MOST requests for entry from foreign nationals from these states.

    Trump: “I’m banning Muslims”
    Media: “Trump’s banning Muslims”
    Court: (On the 3rd try), Trump’s order creates a legitimate framework improving foreign national vetting from a few countries, most of which happen to have a lot of Muslims.

    Excerpt from the majority opinion:

    Three additional features of the entry policy support the Government’s claim of a legitimate national security interest. First, since the President introduced entry restrictions in January 2017, three Muslim-majority countries—Iraq, Sudan, and Chad—have been removed from the list. Second, for those countries still subject to entry restrictions, the Proclamation includes numerous exceptions for various categories of foreign nationals. Finally, the Proclamation creates a waiver program open to all covered foreign nationals seeking entry as immigrants or nonimmigrants. Under these circumstances, the Government has set forth a sufficient national security justification to survive rational basis review.

    • danvalenti
      June 27, 2018 at 7:41 am #

      Good info. Appreciated.

    • NIB
      June 27, 2018 at 10:46 am #

      And only 8% of the Muslim population is affected. Liberals are grasping at straws because they are getting killed on the real issues.

    • Edward R. Murrow
      June 27, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

      I believe this writer went through all this in here a while ago, but good to see someone can get it right.

      Who has actually read the executive order itself, and the earlier SCOTUS case? Besides me, I mean.

      All perfectly reasonable arguments to be found in those docs.

      But those affected with Trumpsteria can get that far.

      Plus, the man signs an executive order to keep immigrant families together, but the media keeps reporting as if he did nothing. Too invested in their narrative.

      A “Muslim” ban would have to include the largest Muslim nation on earth–Indonesia.

  8. NIB
    June 27, 2018 at 10:42 am #

    SCOTUS lands a blow to public sector unions, saying a govt worker can’t be forced to pay union dues. Libs are crying their eyes out over this, as all these no work/overpaid public sector jobs may eventually go away.

    • Shady Shady
      June 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

      The flipcyde is now public sector unions should not be forced to represent non-members unwilling to pay an agency fee. Government costs will actually go up because they will have to implement frameworks for these non-union employees that were previously under the union contracts. Congrats conservatives, your cost of government just went up.

      Full disclosure, I am a dues-paying member of a non-mandatory public sector union.

      • NIB
        June 28, 2018 at 5:09 am #

        How will costs go up when non-union members are likely to get paid less, get less bennies, and can actually get fired when they suck at their job?
        I don’t expect this to affect MA much – people will realize that for the cost of paying union dues they get alot in return. Like doing as little as possible each day and getting paid handsomely for it.
        If I had the choice I’d pick the union every time.

  9. The school committee
    June 27, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    Democrats are getting killed on truth as Trump lies his way into great power.You kneel at the Trump alter.You know not what you do.You spread his evil.

  10. Halo
    June 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm #

    I now lie down to The Trump. I will do as I am told by the Highest Priest in the Land. Trump is higher than King or President, he compares to no one, he follows no one, I’m thinking of coloring my hair Orange, or calling myself spa don, in his honor.

    Gaetani News,SIX ……..Channel out there,1301

  11. The school committee
    June 27, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

    FBI investigation was clean,no bias against Trump and some against Clinton …stop whining

    • Roberto Del Halitoso
      June 28, 2018 at 5:51 am #

      You are delusional.

    • Ed Check
      June 28, 2018 at 11:06 am #

      I think the bias was in favor of Clinton. If you had done all the things Hillary had done (listed by Mr. Comey), you would be wearing orange and using soap on a rope.

  12. Mr. Fritz
    June 28, 2018 at 5:55 am #

    According to The Hill – top 3 Dem prez candidates are….Biden (pedophile), Hillary (of the Clinton Crime Family), and Bernie (avowed Socialist). Trump will win by a landslide. Ride the Red Wave!

    • dusty
      June 28, 2018 at 6:52 am #

      So pretty rough on Biden. Do you have fact checked sources or are you as usual repeating shit sent to you by the propaganda network.

      • Mr. Fritz
        June 28, 2018 at 7:15 am #

        There’s enough video footage out there of Biden touching young girls to sink a small ship! Do your homework !

        • dusty
          June 28, 2018 at 7:49 am #

          You are working for Putin. I am sure you will be repeating all kinds of fake news as we get closer to the mid-terms.

          • 12 Gauge
            June 28, 2018 at 9:45 am #

            Welcome to today’s episode of democrat delusions with dusty.

  13. The school committee
    June 28, 2018 at 8:41 am #

    As Trump said,he loves the stupids.

    • 12 Gauge
      June 28, 2018 at 9:46 am #

      You must feel loved.

  14. dusty
    June 28, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

    some power out in coltsville area…some traffic lights not working…may be safer that way

  15. Mr. Fritz
    June 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

    As reported on – Van Shields is stepping down at Berkshire Museum.

    • danvalenti
      June 28, 2018 at 6:33 pm #

      It takes masslive to break this. The Boring Broadsheet doesn’t have an interest due to compromise or ability due to a scared ownership and editorial staff.

  16. Jonathan Melle
    June 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

    We are nearly close to the half-year mark of 2018, and today [6/28/2018] marks the 154th mass shooting of 2018 in our country. That means we are headed for over 300 mass shootings this year of 2018. We need to change our gun laws! We need to hold our elected officials accountable on this important issue of gun control. Bump stocks are still legal. Background checks are still not mandatory for all gun sales.
    Source: 6/28/2018 email from Gabby Giffords (PAC).

    • Wilson
      June 28, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

      Gabby Giffords should focus on disarming her bodyguards, they aren’t going to give them up without a fight, so she try to revoke the automatic weapons ban so she can buy an Uzi

    • Hoyt Clagwell
      June 28, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

      More very fake news from Mr. Melle.

      • Jonathan Melle
        June 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

        You are right! All of my comments are “fake news”, and I am a pseudo-intellectual who uses “Godwin’s Law” when I compare Trump to Hitler. Shame on me for speaking out in what used to be a free country. I should see Trump as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Nothing short of that is un-American. What a scary country we live in!