(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY MARCH 6, 2019) — On Feb. 1, President Donald Trump pulled America out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a deal that has been in place since 1987. In June, Trump announced the creation of a U.S. Space Force. Both have had serious repercussions, which is like saying that sunlight gives off heat and light. We too take that for granted.

We have grown immune to the horrific presence of nuclear weapons. It’s been 74 years since the United States dropped Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We can debate forever whether President Truman made the right call, particularly with respect to the detonation over Nagasaki. The damned weapons haven’t been used in anger since. One thing stands out, though. Since that time, we have lived under an authentic and legitimate threat of total annihilation as the nuclear djinn escaped its bottle. The bombs proliferated and got smaller. The technology has kept pace. Moreover, humanity has never made a weapon it did not use or use again.

THE PLANET recalls as a lad being fascinated as Khrushchev and Kennedy signed the nuclear test-ban treaty in ’63. The sweet air of hope tasted particularly good coming as it did so soon after the October Missile Crisis, the closest we’ve come to the unthinkable. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev shook hands on the INF. Two years later, the Berlin Wall came down with Soviet Russia following not long after. Again, one could taste the hope.

Now it seems belligerence is back. Seems. We can’t be sure if this new Trump-Putin pas de deux of “Can You Top This” can be taken at face value. Are the two men genuine warmongers, or are they engaged in an act? We can’t say. What we can conclude is that we have a new arms race on our hands. Trump pulled out of the INF on Feb. 1. Putin followed a month and change later. The most troubling aspect relates to the missiles themselves. The INF was meant to control “intermediate” missiles, those with a range of 310 miles to 3,417 miles. War gamers and strategists say these are the ones most likely to be used first.

“All the actions may lead to an escalation of the military-political situation and the emergence of new threats which [sic] Russian will have to respond [to] with reciprocal and asymmetric measures,” said Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s First Deputy Defense Minister. As THE PLANET reads it, the key word is “asymmetric.” The word means that Russia reserves the right to respond disproportionately, as in, “You build one? We’ll build two. You build two? We’ll build three or four.” And the race is on.

Putin, a student of history, has to realize such a response would guarantee another loss. Keeping up with the Joneses the first time around put so much strain on the Soviet economy that the center could not hold. It’s hard to imagine a sharpie like Putin making that mistake. If so, then what’s truly going on with this dangerous game? Could it be nothing more than a napalm mix of ego and politics? This new build-up strokes the “strongman” in each man’s makeup. At the same time, it allows him to play to a respective base that cherishes “peace through strength,” a spotty strategy that, while it has kept the Big One from going off, has nonetheless not prevented continuous and continual war.

To be safe from of this type of dangerous build-up is one of the “forgotten freedoms” everyone on earth should possess.

Ah, but that it were so.


“The best things in life are free — or available on easy terms” Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice.


Love to All.

The views and opinions expressed in the comment section or in the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not necessarily endorsed by the operators of this website. PLANET VALENTI assumes no responsibility for such views and opinions, and it reserves the right to remove or edit any comment, including but not limited to those that violate the website’s Rules of Conduct and its editorial policies. PLANET VALENTI shall not be held responsible for the consequences that may result from any posted comment or outside opinion or commentary as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. All users of this website — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else making use of its information hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice. When PLANET VALENTI ends with the words “The Usual Disclaimer,” that phrase shall be understood to refer to the full text of this disclaimer.





  1. Jonathan Melle
    March 5, 2019 at 9:50 pm #

    What is the USA’s #1 non-farm export? Answer: Military weapons! That’s right. We arm the World with weapons! So does Russia, China, France, and Great Britain.

    The Founding Fathers were farmers whose militias overthrew the British Monarchy in the name of Liberty, but with Slavery. Fast forward to World War 2, and the nuclear age had begun. The USA invented the atomic and then the nuclear bomb. We used to atomic bombs to defeat Japan. Then, Russia got nuclear bombs after World War 2. Now, nuclear proliferation has reached many countries, along with many countries trying to get their hands on nuclear bombs.

    War is big business for the USA and all of the other nuclear weapons countries. We compete with other countries to sell our military weapons and related technologies to the World.

    To be clear, the USA is militarizing the World with the sales of our military weapons and related technologies.

    • Agent 86
      March 6, 2019 at 12:35 pm #

      Mr. Melle, do you get your history from Sherman and Peabody?

  2. C. Trzcinka
    March 5, 2019 at 9:50 pm #

    This is a bit of a change for the Planet. Perhaps the local news is too depressing. But let me add my two cents:

    Humanity, namely Americans, Russians, French, British, Isreali, and Chinese, have made weapons for 74 years that have never been used. All recognize they cannot win a nuclear war. However, this may change if/when North Korea and Iran get these weapons.

    The creation of a Space Force is a publicity stunt and nothing really will change for each of the real armed services.

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2019 at 9:18 am #

      You’re right with your guess. The local news is too predictable, too sad, too exasperating, too downcast, too lowering. THE PLANET needs a retreat from Pittsfield’s insanity.

      • danvalenti
        March 6, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

        I also agree about the Space Force business. Not real at all. For the five-year program, he asked for an appropriation of $2 billion. At Pentagon prices, that won’t even buy a wrench, screwdriver, and hammer you could get at Carr’s for $20.

  3. Johnny99
    March 6, 2019 at 12:24 am #

    Dan, what were the two biggest political bombs of Pittsfield’s past – our Fat Man and Little Boy as it were?

    I would say the GE Consent Decree was our Little Boy and our Fat Man was urban renewal.

    Our military is on the wane and the Chinese in particular but also the Russkies are closing the gap. Many youth now a days can’t qualify so standards are continually being watered down, and even then there is trouble meeting the numbers.

  4. The school committee
    March 6, 2019 at 3:10 am #

    2017 military spending was 1.7 Trillion world wide.Trump has raised it to 850 billion in America alone as we are 40% of all money spent.Taxpayers flip the bill for an extra 220 billion this year.We will soon approach 1 Trillion on this goverment budget item.To continue at this pace the military industrial complex will need your SS fund to be cut.Trump is a deep state power behind goverment guy.He grabbed 2 trillion for permanent tax cuts for the corporations He closed the window of tax cuts to the middle class and he took away deductions.He has been the greatest president in history for the 1%.

  5. Mr. Fritz
    March 6, 2019 at 5:23 am #

    The CC Community & Economic Dev. Committee has approved the Mayor’s plan to drain the GE Fund with handouts for home improvement. Total misuse of these funds which were earmarked for ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT!
    Anyone else provoked by this plan?

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2019 at 9:16 am #

      MR. F
      This would appear to be a plan to secure votes in November. Could backfire.

      • Pat
        March 6, 2019 at 3:57 pm #

        Especially since only 3 or 4 people will benefit from the program for outside home improvement. We can only imagine how these people will be chosen.

        • Mr. Fritz
          March 6, 2019 at 5:23 pm #

          The $250,000 is expected to be given away in the FIRST year. I suspect the second year and on into eternity – it will continue to chew up the funds, as Ruffer stated that they may forgive some of the “loans.”
          If you object to this blatant misuse of the GE funds – contact your councilors!

    • Spider
      March 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm #

      I am as well, Fritz. That is not what these GE funds were intended for.

      I can well imagine just how they will be dispersed. To a very select few.

      I am against!

      • Sojourner Truth
        March 7, 2019 at 6:05 am #

        DAN: Can you advise the remaining balance of the GE funds ? Isn’t there separate funds for city job development and PEDA and isn’t part of the PEDA funds set aside for a shared use with GE real estate for landscaping on GE retained property ?
        Barry C., please advise.

  6. Johnny99
    March 6, 2019 at 5:57 am #

    What you got a problem paying for my new siding?

    Between this big pissaway, the ge fund pissaway i n general, and the berkshire flyer fiasco Dan has a plethora or material.

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2019 at 9:15 am #

      Yeah, a veritable plethora. Pittsfield will never learn. It’s not a first-aid move to stop bleeding by inflicting more gashes.

    • LW
      March 6, 2019 at 10:22 am #

      Your home improvement loan probably won’t be forgiven so you’ll pay us taxpayers back. But the connected and certain demographics will be getting a free ride.

      • Johnny Absurd
        March 6, 2019 at 1:21 pm #

        And is that what this whole thing is about? Hunh? Certain demographics… ride? And did they hatch this whole wonderful idea in the first place? Will there be a list of the lucky winners available to the public?

  7. Mr. G
    March 6, 2019 at 6:03 am #

    I always assumed Reagan was gonna get us all incinerated. I remember like it was yesterday the duck and cover and Body Pile drills we all endured in the 60s. I recall the sheer terror of hearing the air raid siren; racing home in advance of the rain of fire. I dont want any of that for my grandchildren. We must do anything we can to avoid another arms race and the concept of MAD; Mutually Assured Destruction, which was the doctrine on which our military and foreign policy operated for decades. The ego driven instability of these two sub humans, Trump and Putin, is the most frightening thing I have ever seen.

  8. The school committee
    March 6, 2019 at 7:06 am #

    The mayor wants to get rid of the GE fund ,Bouvier wants to get rid of football,Pignatelli?

    • Acute Angina
      March 6, 2019 at 12:28 pm #

      I am auctioning off Bouvier’s old thigh master. Call me T 555-1212 if interested.

  9. Mad Trapper
    March 6, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    With the way this nation has went to, I’d prefer a quick death than life under socialism/communists.

    • The school committee
      March 6, 2019 at 10:51 am #

      What is SS Medicare Military Education Roads,Parks Tax Breaks for Rich,on and on if its not socialism.Do you work for a state agency, city

      • Agent 86
        March 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm #

        You earn another eye roll (e_e) please look up the definition of socialism.

  10. Mr. G
    March 6, 2019 at 8:22 am #

    Did my submit button not work? I was posting with a new phone and I KNOW I hit the button!

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2019 at 9:14 am #

      MR G
      Well, we got this one.

    • LW
      March 6, 2019 at 10:20 am #

      I’ve experienced the same thing. Just keep reposting and it will eventually work.

      • danvalenti
        March 6, 2019 at 10:26 am #

        Our webmaster says is could be a traffic-related thing. Glad to say THE PLANET draws heavy interest, so that at times, the number of clicks can affect a data-intensive action such as posting a comment. We have a pretty sophisticated back-stage set-up, but it’s not Pentagon worthy, so traffic could cause this. Everything else backstage looks good.

        • LW
          March 6, 2019 at 11:22 am #

          Dan, I think the Russians have hacked your site and are hijacking the more interesting posts. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

  11. LW
    March 6, 2019 at 10:13 am #

    The Russians were cheating on the INF, so pulling out of it simply means we are on even ground again. It was a good idea when Gorbachev was in power, not so much with Putin.

    • Pat
      March 6, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

      I agree. Putin was totally ignoring the INF Treaty and President Trump knows it. Russia is also furthering their military might in space. We can ignore it or try to keep up with them so we are not shocked someday with just how much Russia has achieved in that area.

  12. Two Cents
    March 6, 2019 at 12:12 pm #

    This blog has so much more readable and enjoyable over the last couple of weeks, since the conspicuous absence of a particular mad scientist with multiple personalities. Rational thought reigns again…And I give thanks for that!

  13. Jonathan Melle
    March 6, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

    I am rooting for the lovely Linda Tyer for re-election for Mayor of Pittsfield in 2019! Go Linda! She is the best Mayor of Pittsfield EVER!

    • Trump Train
      March 6, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

      I would root for her too if I lived in New Hampshire.

      • danvalenti
        March 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm #

        Your devastating wit is on full shine here!

    • Johnny Absurd
      March 6, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

      Maybe you could help her put up lawn signs. You might be invited to a victory party when it is over and who knows? You might be offered a position on her staff. Does she have a chauffeur?

      • Agent 86
        March 6, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

        Maybe you could manage her stable and take care of her polo ponies.

        • Agent 86
          March 6, 2019 at 7:41 pm #

          Melle, do you have a mayor in your town? We’ll trade Tyer and 8 city councilors plus a 3rd round draft choice for your mayor.

          • LW
            March 7, 2019 at 9:27 am #

            And throw in a Barry to be named later!

  14. Johnny2Shoes
    March 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm #

    Speaking of the mayor, has anyone heard any chatter of any possible challengers? The contest isn’t to far off.

  15. Agent 86
    March 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm #

    She’s not perfect. No one is but my support goes to Mazzeo.

    • Ted
      March 6, 2019 at 7:54 pm #

      I guess it’s her turn eh?

  16. Agent 86
    March 6, 2019 at 8:07 pm #

    Drew Herzig please investigate

  17. doomiedodger
    March 7, 2019 at 2:08 am #

    Has anyone even said they ae running against Tyer? Is she getting a free ride this time?

    • LW
      March 7, 2019 at 6:36 am #

      If anyone runs against her they absolutely need one thing. A ton of money. That’s what decides elections, whether mayoral or the DA race.
      That’s how racist, anti-semites get elected to congress. They are hand picked and vast amounts of money is thrown behind them.

    • danvalenti
      March 7, 2019 at 9:49 am #

      We can’t give details, but Linda will not be running unopposed.

  18. Johnny Absurd
    March 7, 2019 at 3:22 am #

    Did anyone see the headline the other day? DA office hires special prosecutor to help with “backlog of murder cases”.

    I am guessing this story was not proof read by our tourist bureau because it has a slightly negative vibe to it.

    Should this be Pittsfield’s new slogan? Will this help bring new business to Pittsfield other than coroners and funeral homes?

    Will there be a new TV show? CSI Pittsfield (A Backlog of Murders) Sunday nights at 8pm on FOX.

  19. The school committee
    March 7, 2019 at 4:14 am #

    Mazzeo will win if she runs.If she consolidates and cuts taxes she will be a hero to all low income retirees,veterans and the working poor.Look people are leaving Dalton because of taxes.How will Dalton survive as a town?We are right behind them.Our business tax rate is the highest in the state.The residential rate pushing people out of their homes

    • LW
      March 7, 2019 at 6:33 am #

      Mazzeo won’t do any of those things. She’s a tax and spend left winger just like Tyer, Bianchi, Ruberto. She’s just not in the Ruberto camp, that’s all.

      • Mr. Fritz
        March 7, 2019 at 8:18 am #

        I would vote for Connell.

        • Brian C. Marquis
          March 8, 2019 at 6:03 am #

          Mazzeo is a phony.

          You people are always wishing of a white Christmas, greener grass, and yet it, like Mazzeo, is a fantasy – an illusion designed to mislead the inextricable.

          She’s no different than any other pol in Pittsfield.

          Incidentally, that controversial phone call between Missy and AH -during last year’s DA’s contest – NEVER OCCURRED. Y’all been had; suckers!!!

          And that’s the bottom-line!!!!!!!

  20. LW
    March 7, 2019 at 6:44 am #

    So the Dems in Congress can’t agree on an antisemitism resolution, which should have been totally cut and dried albeit a total waste of time. Many in the party are backing Omar.
    And this is the party who claims they are anti-racist and anti-discrimination. Turns out they’re the party filled with hatred.
    If someone calls you a racist, you can be pretty sure they are the guilty party.

    • Mr. Fritz
      March 7, 2019 at 8:16 am #

      Well said LW!

  21. Theo
    March 7, 2019 at 12:38 pm #

    Couple points DV. I agreed wit those who have pointed out the much improved tone of the comments, no more insults and pointless put downs. As to your topic I think the biggest risk comes from suiotcase nukes.

    The technology is getting better and smaller and also less expensive. Only a matter of time I fear. I work in high tech in an area that borders this type of tech. Anyway we at the office enjoy your work.

  22. Mad Trapper
    March 7, 2019 at 1:57 pm #

    So concerning the global warming hoax:

    Chew on that Al Gorebot