(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE-ESSEX, THE WEEKEND EDITION, JULY 27-29, 2018) — Late July on the farm delivers the fruits of labor, both literally and figuratively. For the first, we list the raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, honey, tomatoes, lemon balm, feeding plantains to the goats … ah, THE PLANET could go on and on. For the second, we would bring forth out meditations by the stream, the nights of star-spit celestial sky, and even splitting of the hives. Nature’s incredible production shames human “work” with its diligence, its honesty, and its total humility.

THE PLANET loves to stop, breath, and become aware of the blessings that life can bestow, especially in its silence. We would heartily recommend such sentience to all who wish to retreat from the pressures and pulls of everyday life, and all the fatuous noise and activity that accompanies it.

We leave the weekend commentaries in your hands. Please use these next days to comment upon any and all issues. Here, your voice will be heard. Keep it on mark and intelligent. That’s all we ask.

Have a great weekend, everybody.


No time is to be lost. Awake, arise, or be forever fallen” — Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice.



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  1. SisterGoldenHair
    July 26, 2018 at 8:06 pm #


    I hope you have a nice weekend with some quiet time in nature. Thank you for giving us the talking stick. For starters, I will simply say congratulations to the mayor and Mr. Clairmont. Hopefully, they can enjoy a quiet weekend.

    • danvalenti
      July 26, 2018 at 10:18 pm #

      Thanks. I am enjoying solitude. And I add my congratulations to Linda and Barry, wishing them a long and happy life together.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    July 26, 2018 at 10:09 pm #

    I dislike Trump. I hope that makes me a Socialist!

    • 12 Gauge
      July 27, 2018 at 6:43 am #

      Take your ex-lax Jon. You’ll feel better.

    • Mr. Fritz
      July 27, 2018 at 8:35 am #

      I thought you were moving to Canada? My offer to drive you to the border still stands!

      • 12 Gauge
        July 27, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

        I’ll chip in for gas eh.

    • NIB
      July 27, 2018 at 8:53 am #

      Jonathan, I don’t like Trump either. But it’s irrelevant whether a president is likeable or not. He’s done a much better job as Prez than Obama, Bush, and Clinton before him ever did. And certainly a much better job than Hillary would have ever done. HRC would have been one of the most disastrous presidents in US history.
      Results are what counts, not whether you like the person. I actually liked Obama as a person, but he was a terrible president who backed and signed bills that negatively affected my life and the lives of countless people I know. He also failed miserably on foreign policy.
      But do me and others a favor – before you criticize Trump for something, ask yourself if previous presidents did the same thing yet you did not complain one iota when they did?

      • dusty
        July 27, 2018 at 9:18 am #

        I bet if Hillary was president she would have put more kids in cages than Trump did. I betcha.

        • NIB
          July 27, 2018 at 11:56 am #

          First of all, Trump did not put anyone in a cage. It was HHS that did so stop throwing your lies around. If HRC was prez, god forbid, there would still have been kids separated albeit significantly less. But under her those kids and their parents would have come into the US illegally, gotten on welfare, and sucked the teat of the American taxpayer.
          You are a typical liberal, you care more about foreigners and foreign countries than you do about American citizens and America. You are everything that is wrong in this great country today. Why don’t you go burn a flag in support of Maxine Waters, it would fit right in with your low grade mindset.

      • Pat
        July 27, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

        I agree. President Obama was a bit likable, but a terrible president…..much too secretive and very weak. President Trump is an extremely strong president, but that can make him hard to deal with at times, but strong people can be difficult, but I think President Trump is not even a fraction as bad as the far left and the in bed with liberals media makes him out to be.

    • Gigi
      July 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

      This is what happens when your Socialist economic programs are implemented;

  3. Harrison
    July 27, 2018 at 3:09 am #

    Thanks Dan. Speaking of nature, get out and enjoy the full moon tonight, and look about 8 o’clock from the moon to see Mars the brightest it’s been in 15 years.

    • danvalenti
      July 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

      I saw Mars last night, H. It came as spectacularly as advertised. It’s impossible to miss.

      • dusty
        July 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

        With Trump as president I feel like I am ON Mars.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 27, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

          dusty, your problem is that you spend too much time watching Uranus.

          • dusty
            July 28, 2018 at 1:59 am #

            Nasty supporter…just like the Messiah

  4. The school committee
    July 27, 2018 at 4:18 am #

    Monday will bring discernment to many on this board concerning just one aspect of Don Trump and that would be the acknowledgement that Trump lies to his supporters.He is lying to all Americans and the most important thing is even his attempts to not lie always end up with some made up facts that most people still know is just another phony statement.

    • NIB
      July 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm #

      Of course he is a liar. Just like Obama, Hillary, Bush, Clinton. All of ’em. You don’t get that rich and powerful, or become president by being honest and treating people fairly. That’s why you judge a president, and others, mostly by their actions not their words.
      You libs all act like Trump is the very first president ever to tell a lie. It makes you look really dishonest, hypocritical, and idiotic.

      • dusty
        July 27, 2018 at 3:40 pm #

        Maybe all presidents lie. But not all of them lie every time they open their mouths. Not all of them are pathological liars. Trumps whole personna is based on lies. So yes, while Trump did not invent lying he has certainly brought it to celestial heights. How this can be good for a country escapes me.
        Any house of cards can only be built just so high before it collapses in on itself. Stayed tuned for that.

    • KAG
      July 28, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

      Keep America Great.

  5. The school committee
    July 27, 2018 at 4:42 am #

    Remembering an explosion at PHS when kids were allowed back into the refurbished building before the High School was complete in 1976.Dont allow students in this building before its 100% done.

  6. Wonkru
    July 27, 2018 at 5:07 am #

    God bless President Trump, jobs are back and GDP according to news reports is going way up today. Also, congrats to Barry and the Mayor, good luck.

  7. Sojourner Truth
    July 27, 2018 at 5:38 am #

    PPD officer McHugh on PAID administrative leave for Two Years ?
    Does anyone know how many PPD officers are on leave, medical, disability,etc. at any given time ? or is this another Mike Wynn secret, albeit citizen taxpayer money and impacts public safety.

  8. Gigi
    July 27, 2018 at 5:57 am #

    The numbers are in! Go Trump!

    • Pat
      July 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm #

      Thank you President Trump!!!!!

  9. Wondrous
    July 27, 2018 at 7:50 am #

    Haven’t we had enough coverage by Amanda Drane on the wedding? The Mayor has it on her Facebook Page,that should be enough.

    • 12 Gauge
      July 27, 2018 at 6:46 pm #

      Give poor little AmanDUH a break. She only does what Fake Krol and cockeyed Clairmont re her.

  10. pothole
    July 27, 2018 at 11:00 am #

    The cop and investment guys who tracked down and beat up an older man should both be convicted. I hope their attorneys don’t find a way to twist this so that just because he had some drinks, he deserved a beating that left him in the hospital for ten days at the hands of a police officer and a Marine!! sorry. I also heard there was an incident at the wahconah country club involving LaBelle a few years ago. Another guy took a beating in the mens room.

    • NIB
      July 27, 2018 at 11:59 am #

      That’s the problem with public sector unions, you can’t get rid of the bad employees be they policemen, teachers, or anyone else. Heck, a teacher can’t get fired unless they sleep with their students and even then they have to get caught first.

    • Ghost Rider
      July 28, 2018 at 11:18 pm #

      “………………….you also heard.” That about says it all on your credibility!

  11. Phil McCracken
    July 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm #

    South st .and w.housatonic walklight is such a train wreck! Who’s miracle idea was that ? One idiot decides to push the walk button at 3:30 pm and a whole line of vehicles are stacking the intersection in all directions? They shoulda built the bypass.

  12. The school committee
    July 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

    NIB you can easily get rid opinion employees but most high salaried non union bosses are to lazy to do it.End of story.

    • Ed Check
      July 29, 2018 at 6:40 am #

      Turn off your auto suggest / fill. It makes you look foolish. Also proof read your post before sending it, that may help.

      Teachers bosses (principal) are union employees BTW. The reason it is hard to fire a teacher is they typically go after teachers that fight their dumbing down agendas and similar initiatives that do not hold students accountable. Recently transferred PHS principal is trying to implement his similar programs to improve graduation rates at his new job as THS principal. Do everything to pass a student through, teachers must justify why a student fails, etc. It’s all to help administrator graduation rates, not doing anything for student learning.

      THS faculty up in arms. Maybe they will have more success in fighting this than PHS did, since they are not yet under semi state control.

      Teachers have fought this person through the union and their own lawyers, since he is an extremely poor people manager.

  13. Cosbies
    July 27, 2018 at 3:52 pm #

    On Gaetani’s show Wednesday he critiqued the letter sent by A Dunnof the EPA, he datailed the inconsistencies in the letter and the most glaring omission was the fact that not a word was mentioned about the suspension of the clean water rule on January 31st 2018.

    He also played a tape recorded conversation of he and the assisstant to Mrs. Dunn,whereby,he asks her if she was aware of the suspension of the clean water rule, she stated she wasn’t aware of it. He further asked her, if the Massachusetts Revolving Loans are always available to municipalities at two percent interest up to fifty million dollars, she couldn’t answer that either….more to follow later

    • dusty
      July 28, 2018 at 2:03 am #

      Should one of the councilors step in and speak loudly? Is one of them running for mayor and wants to gain notoriety?

      • Shakes His Head
        July 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm #

        Why would a Federal employee explain how the Commonwealth runs its revolving loan program?

    • Booties His Shakes
      July 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

      The 2015 Waters of the US rule does not affect the Pittsfield discharge permit. Who ever thinks it does is sadly misinformed.

  14. U
    July 28, 2018 at 5:21 am #

    We have a Mayor (Gaetani) on the job. That should be sufficient.

  15. Pat
    July 28, 2018 at 5:22 am #

    There is a survey on the Berkshire Eagle (BB) asking how much people like the Berkshire Mall. The mall and Walmart hating progressives are out in force to vote against the mall. They have no alternative for people to shop except for expensive online shopping and expensive North Street and I thought they cared so much about the 70% poor living in Pittsfield.

    A socialist society will give bottom of the barrel basic healthcare and a watered down socialist recruitment type of education to live in a society with limited options unless you are very wealthy and the high taxation doesn’t impact your lifestyle. Everything will be limited including shopping choices. Capitalist societies are what have given us all of the variety and choices that we have had until recently.

  16. The school committee
    July 28, 2018 at 11:38 am #

    Pat if you have a state pension you are a socialist,if you are a SS or Medicare eligible you are a socialist,if your kids go to public school yup you are socialist if you went to a state college yes again…on and on and on…you are a did it on your own socialist…who provides you med insurance oh more socialist programs…..The Trumps met with the Russians about adoptions right

    • 12 Gauge
      July 28, 2018 at 1:14 pm #

      That’s the stupidest description of Socialism that I have ever seen.

  17. 12 Gauge
    July 28, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

    ,000,000 ResultsAny time
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
    synonyms: leftism · Fabianism · syndicalism · consumer socialism · utopian socialism · welfarism · communism · Bolshevism · radicalism · [more]
    policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    synonyms: leftism · Fabianism · syndicalism · consumer socialism · utopian socialism · welfarism · communism · Bolshevism · radicalism · [more]
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

    • Pat
      July 28, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

      Good definition of socialism. This current generation wasn’t taught in school about just about limiting socialism is to countries that have it. We do not have full blown socialism yet and the steps being taken toward it such as Obamacare have been overall a disaster. People lost their doctors, coverage is poor, and many doctors will not even accept patients with Obamacare especially right here in the Berkshires. Good luck finding a dermatologist who accepts Obamacare. I know so many people that have to travel outside of Berkshire County to find a dermatologist and other types of physicians. These are people who do not have a lot of time on their hands to travel all over to see doctors.

      • The school committee
        July 29, 2018 at 3:51 am #

        Pat,tell the truth.Its hard to get a dermatologist because there is only 1 in berkshire county and insurance is not the readon.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 29, 2018 at 5:29 am #

          It’s a shame about the dermatologist s . Because you get under people’s skin.

        • Pat
          July 29, 2018 at 5:40 am #

          There are 5 or 6 dermatologists in Berkshire County School Committee. Only one accepts Obamacare now, but that one doesn’t accept any more patients.

    • The school committee
      July 29, 2018 at 3:48 am #

      Thanks 12 guage shotgun….Pat ,read the definition of socialism so that Fox news can enter it into your vocabulary as a talking point

      • Joe Pinhead
        July 29, 2018 at 6:25 am #

        . With all due respect I submit a question. What are the official approved new sources and please give some reasoning as to why or how those news sources have made the approved list? From reading your posts it is well established you hate Fox news and the like. Please give us a counter and explain whom you like trust and follow as a news outlet.

        Thanks in advance

      • 12 Guage
        July 29, 2018 at 10:28 am #

        How do you know 12 gauge doesn’t refer to wire?

  18. Cosbies
    July 28, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

    Mr. Gaetani continued…..Gaetani also pointed out many inconsistencies in the letter to EPA. The G Man said he will wait until Friday for a response from the EPA for a letter that he and three Councilors sent to the EPA asking them to come here and answer questions, from the full council and the public.

    He has the return receipt from the sent letter, and if the EPA doesn’t respond Friday he will file a lawsuit ti. Fed court against the EPA for threatening the city to proceed with work at the sewer plant based on false Information to the city.

    • 12 Gauge
      July 28, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

      Go G MAN

  19. Jonathan Melle
    July 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    Socialism = 2008 Wall Street bailout! The American People are only an insurance policy to be cashed in when Wall Street loses money! U.S. Congress even bailed out foreign banks!
    How much is our national debt?
    $21,276,436,800,000 and counting!
    U.S. Total Debt?
    $70,800,000,000,000 and counting!
    Capitalism/Socialism hybrid programs are driving us off the fiscal cliff (Nilan)!

    • dusty
      July 29, 2018 at 12:29 am #

      All those bailouts and tax breaks to banks, farmers, oil companies and big business are simply corporate welfare. I would much rather see financial help going to the lesser haves than those who are tripping over suitcases of cash. While social security, medicare and food stamp programs need screening for fraud, corporate welfare dwarfs that problem. I guarantee you those high paid lobbyists are making damn sure big business gets the lions share of government welfare.

      • 12 Gauge
        July 29, 2018 at 5:34 am #

        Don’t forget big education. They’re on the gravy train too .

      • Pat
        July 29, 2018 at 5:42 am #

        Make government even bigger with socialism Dusty and watch corruption run wild.

      • Pat
        July 29, 2018 at 5:44 am #

        Under socialism big government will be tripping over suitcases of cash since with unbelievable taxation government will have ALL the money.

    • The school committee
      July 29, 2018 at 3:57 am #

      Regressive socialism is when they take all the profits and minimum wage labor pays off the risk they take. Ignoring the facts of republican control 2001 to 2009….Trump needs to kiss Obamas ass for tripling regressives Wall Street….maybe Trump will Tripple the 20,000 Dow Obama gave him

  20. mi
    July 29, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    Trump is sending soy beans to Europe. Everybody likes soy beans not just China.

    • dusty
      July 29, 2018 at 8:03 am #

      Trump tore up Obamas trade agreement, found out it was going to be a disaster and then recreated basically the same thing but said he saved the world. Whatta phony.

      Wanna get the real scoop on Trump you can go on youtube and watch what devoted republican George will about him.

      • 12 Guage
        July 29, 2018 at 10:25 am #

        Fake delusional information.

        • dusty
          July 29, 2018 at 11:15 am #

          If Trump said it you would believe it.

  21. The school committee
    July 29, 2018 at 10:07 am #

    Would councilor Moon and Caccamo please make a public statement as environmentalist about Allendale school PCBs and explain to the Allendale parents how air quality monitoring works on this schools polluted grounds….they along with Tyer,Yon McCandless are keeping a secret

  22. h
    July 29, 2018 at 11:52 am #

    Trump is trying to be like vince and hitler. Putis going to make a fortune on soy beans.

  23. Jonathan Melle
    July 29, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

    Donald Trump rips babies out of immigrant mother’s arms and puts them in cages!

    • Joe Pinhead
      July 29, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

      Please provide a picture or some evidence of that. Or are you going to continue to make stuff up? By posting such phoney information you do nothing but put your credibility deeper in doubt.

  24. The school committee
    July 29, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

    Behnke gave new custodial director a 15 k raise.The last custodial director was overpaid at 60k…..Should have abolished the job….where are city councilors and how come the did not abolish this position saving 100k for a do nothing job.