Article

WE ARE NOT FORESTS; OUR WARFARE IS WANTON

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND AND BEYOND EDITION, JUNE 21 to …) — A campfire. Snow-covered mountains reflecting in a lake that does not appear on a map. End of day. It’s amazing how a setting like this can free the mind and spirit. Thoughts wander, needing no discipline. In this setting THE PLANET observed something interesting.

In a forest, we noticed a pine pushing a poplar, winning the battle for sunlight. The pine will prosper. The poplar will die. It reminded us of an essay by Brooks Atkinson titled “Warfare in the Forest is Not Wanton.” In it, Atkinson made the point that, yes, nature goes to war, and yes, it is fatal. The heartless war for survival, however, is never “wanton.” That is, it never springs from the impulses that poison human emotions. Nature’s war is always innocent. Human war is always flawed and ultimately pointless. Always.

The 99th’s “Checkerboard” insignia. The blue and white field is taken from the coat of arms of William Pitt, for whom Pittsfield, Mass., is named — thus, the resemblance to the city’s insignia.

We think this as we consider the respective war footings of Iran and the United States. Iran shot down one of America’s plane-sized drones, claiming that while it didn’t want war, it was ready for war. The U.S., led by President Trump, secretary of state Pompeo, and national security adviser Bolton, have responded by rattling the swords and taking the quotidian tough-guy stance recognized by macho men the world over.

Trump and Co., have no choice. Upon assuming office, ALL presidents must embrace war. Without war, the world’s #1 economy would collapse. It has been this way since 1946, when the Allies met to  distribute the spoils. Harry Truman, possessed by the ghost of Franklin Roosevelt, signed off on America’s fatal blunder when he fell for the Cold War being pitched by Joseph Stalin. We haven’t looked back since.

Korea. Vietnam. Desert Storm. The so-called “War on Terrorism.” It’s war, baby, and it’s your future. Put a Democrat in the White House. It will still be The Beast devouring decency. It has not, does not, and will not matter who you elect.

———- ooo ———-

We are reading a book titled Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge by Anthony Beevor. THE PLANET‘s personal interest comes from our dad, who fought in what still is America’s bloodiest fight. He came back changed from what he experienced on the front lines of the 99th Infantry, 394th regiment, as a member of a rifle squad. Yeah, he was in a Band of Brothers.

WWII — a “just” war? Not a chance. No war can EVER be just because all war stems from faulty human premises of greed, lust, and the rest of it. Unlike the forest, our war is wanton. Some of our species even enjoy the killing and carnage.

Let us close by sharing this one paragraph from Beevor’s book:

“Many soldiers closed their minds to the suffering of the Belgians [the civilian population] as they focused on the priority of killing the enemy. Those who did care were marked for life by the horrors that they witnessed. Villages, the principle targets for artillery, were totally destroyed. Farms and barns blazed. Women and children, forced out into the snow by the Germans, were in many cases maimed or killed by mines or artillery from both sides, or simply gunned down by fighter-bombers because dark figures against the snow were frequently mistaken for the enemy. GIs found wounded livestock bellowing in pain, and starving dogs chewing at the flesh of cows and horses even before they were dead. Water sources were poisoned by white phosphorous. The Americans did what they could to evacuate civilians to safety, but all too often it was impossible in the middle of a battles.”

My father fought in Belgium. He saw such things.

———- ooo ———-

The campfire gets stoked by a few more dry branches. In the glow, we wish and wonder. We are not pines or poplars. Our actions be wanton. God help us.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

————————————————————————————————————————-

“There’s no situation so bad that it can’t get worse tomorrow”Damian Green, British lawmaker.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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117 Responses to “WE ARE NOT FORESTS; OUR WARFARE IS WANTON”

  1. dusty
    June 21, 2019 at 1:12 am #

    Usually American war mongers push for war knowing that they and their loved ones will not be touched by the carnage or battlefield agony. But this time it may be different for them. Iran is said to have high level capabilities to inflict cyber pain on its foes. America could have its power grids shut down. Or its financial system disrupted. Or whatever else in their lives they may be connected to the internet.

    NOBODY should be pushing for this war. These are different times. America has alienated it allies and they may not join us in this foolishness. China and Russia may decide to help Iran. This situation has high chances of triggering world war three. America is now seen as the worlds bully and there are many who would love to see it taken down a peg or two. Nothing good can come from another war in the mid-east.

  2. Drew Z
    June 21, 2019 at 3:44 am #

    You’re blogging in the woods,how prophetic.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm #

      DREW
      Yes. One of our concessions to “the new way.” What a world!

  3. The school committee
    June 21, 2019 at 4:21 am #

    As with any question before our President you ask yourself why would Iran provoke a war with America?They would not. So what is really going on?The majority of Americans know that Iran poses no threat to America.So let’s watch this play out and see what is really going on here.

  4. Johnny99
    June 21, 2019 at 5:23 am #

    A Higher Call is a great book about WWII in the European theater. Unbroken a tremendous book about WWII in Pacific. Devotion is a heartwarming, tearjerker about loyalty and friendship and of course, devotion, in The Forgotten War.

    Dan, enjoy your sojourn. Ain’t nothin changed in Da Pitts, and ain’t nothin gonna.

    Too bad the liberal elite have forgotten, or never knew about the sacrifices made by our toxic masculine men of the greatest generation in these wars.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 8:21 am #

      J-99
      Thanks for the book recommendations. Great thoughts about those “toxic masculine men.” They only saved the world. Young people have an appalling lack of historical knowledge and almost no political maturity, which explains their love affair with socialism. I’m not talking about theoretical socialism, which is harmless and actually appealing, but the pragmatic variety. As history and present-day reality show, socialism creates an oligarchy in which a tiny group of incredibly rich elite lord it over the masses, who are kept in crushing poverty.

      • Paul
        June 21, 2019 at 8:35 am #

        Outstanding comment Dan.

  5. Herb Pease
    June 21, 2019 at 6:59 am #

    Pitt was also known as the Earl of Chatam. The phrase Benigno Numine was the motto of the Earl of Chatham. It is generally translated as “With the Benevolent Deity” or “By the Favour of the Heavens”. It is generally translated as “With the Benevolent Deity” or “By the Favour of the Heavens”.

    • Ted
      June 21, 2019 at 7:24 am #

      Now Pittsfield has the Duke of Earl.

      • danvalenti
        June 21, 2019 at 8:17 am #

        TED
        Yeah, and rumor is that Gene Chandler will be running at-large.

        • Agent 86
          June 21, 2019 at 10:42 am #

          Duke of pickle ball?

          • danvalenti
            June 21, 2019 at 7:53 pm #

            Duke of Pocket Pool.

  6. Herb Pease
    June 21, 2019 at 7:07 am #

    Chatham NY and Pittsfield MA are both named for William Pitt. Moe Howard owned a home in Chatham NY. It’s unknown if he bought the home before or after his legendary performance at the Colonial.

  7. Pat
    June 21, 2019 at 9:30 am #

    How did Iran manage to shoot down a drone that was designed to evade being shot down? How did they get such sophisticated weaponry? Russia is helping them more than likely and Obama gave them billions of dollars which they used mainly on their military.

    • Johnny Absurd
      June 21, 2019 at 3:06 pm #

      Russia IS helping them. And Russia is Donald’s best friend. So who is Donald really working for? Something very fishy about that Trump family with all their Russian contacts and Saudi friends.

      • Pat
        June 21, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

        Stop the nonsense. NO relationship between Russia and Donald Trump. Mueller proved it after an exhaustive 2 year needless investigation.

    • The school committee
      June 22, 2019 at 5:12 am #

      Pat,Russia is the enemy and also is involved in our elections as that was the reason behind the investigations.This is what make the presidents position with Puttin a danger to our freedom.You don’t believe the information found in the final product.Puttin in playing Trump

      • Fake News
        June 23, 2019 at 7:58 am #

        MSNBC bitter clinger

  8. CC The Maze Sun
    June 21, 2019 at 9:33 am #

    The powers that be often refer to: “The Theater of War”. That ought to give you all the clues you need in figuring out that aspect of this Game.

    “”The Trees”

    There is unrest in the forest
    There is trouble with the trees
    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas

    The trouble with the maples
    (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
    They say the oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light
    But the oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade

    There is trouble in the forest
    And the creatures all have fled
    As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’
    And the oaks just shake their heads

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights
    ‘The oaks are just too greedy
    We will make them give us light’
    Now there’s no more oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe and saw”

    – Rush

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 7:54 pm #

      An apt lyric, considering my observation of the pine and poplar.

  9. Jonathan Melle
    June 21, 2019 at 11:40 am #

    War = Money!

    The U.S.A. has the World’s largest market share of selling military weapons and technology. It is our nation’s #1 non-farm export. We always fight or are involved in wars each and every year since World War II, which was the last officially declared war. We have a military industrial complex and war machine that runs our government. Our national debt is huge to feed our nation’s hunger for war.

    It is all very tragic and sad!

    – Jonathan Melle

    • Pat
      June 21, 2019 at 1:38 pm #

      Only a very foolish country would cut back on their military when so many countries like Russia, Iran, and China are increasing the sophistication and size of their military. Liberals may not want our country to be the number one power in the world, but with all of our resources that other countries would love to take from us, we would be absolute fools to think that a strong military isn’t needed in today’s dangerous world with so many countries looking to increase their power and take what others have.

      • Jonathan Melle
        June 21, 2019 at 2:35 pm #

        North Korea is a nuclear threat.
        Vietnam is a Communist country.
        There were no WMD’s in (oil rich) Iraq.
        The Middle East is politically unstable with rising tensions between the U.S.A. and Iran.

        Despite it all, Wall Street is at record highs, while the World spins away from Peace! As long as Wall Street makes money, then the hell with it all.

        To be clear: WAR = MONEY!

        • Johnny Absurdo
          June 21, 2019 at 3:07 pm #

          Pat wants to see what world war 3 will look like. Pompeo and Bolton want to show him.

          • Pat
            June 22, 2019 at 5:09 am #

            Wanting to protect your country doesn’t translate into wanting WW 3. Not protecting your country translates into easily being taken over and losing our freedom, well, that is, if the far left doesn’t take away our freedoms first by enslaving us all to big socialist government.

            Unfortunately there may be a WW 3 someday, but only because evil spreads to such a degree that humanity no longer values life. I wish nukes did not exist, but unfortunately they do and we have to deal with that reality.

            Not valuing life begins with allowing abortion for any reason and at anytime in the pregnancy. Don’t like the gender of the baby, then you can abort? A baby already born can be allowed to die?

  10. Mad Trapper
    June 21, 2019 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Dan. What is up with your Robot sensor?

    I tried to post this ~ 4-5 hours ago……..

    Dan, You on vacation up in the woods someplace?

    I used to do that each spring. Fill up my pack and get dropped off for 2 weeks. Live on wild brook trout and what I could forage from spring greenery. No people, no computer/cell phone/TV.

    The clouds and animals/plants tell you the weather forecast.

    A campfire is a wonderful thing. Heat and warmth, a place to cook, and the fascination of just watching the flames. A primeval practice of man.

    Watching nature unfold in spring is also a wonder. All sorts of plants growing and blooming, young animals just getting to see and explore the world.

    A few weeks in the woods is good, a catharsis of the soul.

    My dad was 8th Air Force WWII.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm #

      TRAPPER
      Sorry for the delay. The “robot sensor” is actually an algorithm created for this site to deal with the pests, the crazies, the wanna-bees, and that type. As with any form of heightened security or firewall. the idiots force the 99% of good people into these measures. The techies who came up with this said it would keep the drivel to a minimum and they guaranteed that would lead to increased hits. They were right on both counts. When it comes to tech, we have learned to listen to the millennials and younger. They know it in and out. So for the Good Ones like you, we give thanks for your understanding and patience. For the nut jobs, “Thank you for flying Al Italia!” In other words, goot-bye. Yes, goot. Now for the woods. Yes, the wilds. Off the map wilds. As you say, catharsis for the soul. God bless your pop!

  11. Jonathan Melle
    June 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading the news article about the lovely Melissa Mazzeo’s campaign for Mayor of Pittsfield.

    https://www.iberkshires.com/story/60197/Mazzeo-Launches-Bid-For-Pittsfield-Mayor.html

    • Pat
      June 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm #

      Both Tyer and Mazzeo are terrible for Pittsfield. Both are interchangeable for the most part. Both answer to their Progressive masters in Boston. Both love high taxes. Both love giving tons of money to school teachers and administrators. Both love Hillary and Liz Warren. Tyer has already been bad for Pittsfield. We will be in the same sinking boat after 4 years of Mazzeo.

      • Agent 86
        June 21, 2019 at 5:18 pm #

        Pat, let’s hope that Mazzeo sees this and uses good judgement. Hopefully she’ll do the right thing for the taxpayer. I think she’s much more open-minded than the vibrant and dynamic linda tyer.

        • Pat
          June 22, 2019 at 5:44 am #

          Nobody can be open-minded when it comes to far left politics. They all need to think as one mind meld. They all need to follow the basic principles of their far left ideology without veering off course. I have seen Mazzeo up close and I do not hold much hope for her thinking independently.

          Their basic principles are high taxation, paying the schools very well to perform their vital task of spreading the far left philosophy to the upcoming generations of youth, and promoting free college education although many colleges are so loaded with money that they should be offering the free education, if they feel that strongly about it, and not the federal government.

      • Jonathan Melle
        June 21, 2019 at 6:11 pm #

        So who do you support for Mayor of Pittsfield in 2019? I am for the lovely Linda Tyer. She represents all of the people, including the economically disadvantaged people. However, I thought the lovely Melissa Mazzeo made a good point about changing the way Pittsfield politics does business. The reason why I thought it was a good point is that Pittsfield politics has not produced any positive results over the past 4 decades. I have come to believe that the worse things are for Pittsfield means more power for the Good Old Boys who ran the city into the proverbial ditch!

        • ProxyDate
          June 22, 2019 at 7:45 am #

          Anyone buy tyer. She’s a complete failure.

        • Pat
          June 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm #

          No, I don’t support Tyer either. She has obviously not been good for Pittsfield. In a choice between Tyer and Mazzeo, I will not vote. Leave the election to the school personnel who control most elections in Pittsfield anyway. They win whether Tyer or Mazzeo is elected since both support lots of money to the teachers and administrators.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm #

      Interesting to note that iBerkshires allowed no comments. That’s what we’ve been saying, folks: THE PLANET is the ONLY game in the area if you want your voice to be read and heard.

      • Tom Betit
        June 22, 2019 at 10:01 am #

        Dan you were ahead of the curve, exposing information many wanted to keep buried – by allowing the freedom of speech guaranteed in the first amendment.

        Mazzeo will be a change,and any change is a good change

        How she pivots from or defends her support of now disgraced district attorney Caccaviello, will be deciding factor.
        Being she has two daughters, I would assume she did not know of” “no probable cause Paul’s “
        coverup of criminal behavior of his friends and colleagues.
        Nilan etc.
        Best to admit mistakes, learn the lessons and move forward.

        Andrea Harrington allowing former administrations loyalists to undermine her credibility, will result in her being second shortest serving da in Berkshire County.
        Promises made promises broken.

  12. ProxyDate
    June 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm #

    The Berkshire Eagle just got caught plagiarizing an article and got called out by a kid for it.

    If you go to their Facebook page, the posted an article about some lawyer bringing $125k into the US illegally.
    They attribute the article as written to By Haven Orecchio, The Berkshire Eagle.
    A person asked who the lawyer was because (s)he can’t read the article.
    The Eagle social media person says:
    “Hi Kris, Of course you can read it! We have a digital subscription that will get you unlimited stories and access to Berkshire County news for about $13 a month. Please subscribe today.”
    Kid chimes in, posts a link to the original article by Matt Berg of The Republican on MassLive.
    The articles are IDENTICAL no byline credit given to the wire service or The Republican. It’s 99% plagiarized. The Eagle deleted to post super quick.

    • ProxyDate
      June 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm #

      By Haven Orecchio-Egresitz , The Berkshire Eagle
      PITTSFIELD — A former Pittsfield attorney was sentenced Wednesday in Springfield federal court for smuggling $125,000 into the United States from Bermuda by mail.

      Federal Judge Mark G. Mastroianni sentenced John Castiglione, 75, to one year of probation and forfeiture of the entire $125,000, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

      Castiglione pleaded guilty March 22 to one count of bulk cash smuggling. As a part of the plea agreement, he resigned from the practice of law and can’t seek readmission to the bar, the statement said.

      On May 2, 2014, Castiglione attempted to mail two packages containing $60,000 and $65,000 from Bermuda to his home in Pittsfield, with the intent to evade federal tax reporting requirements. When the packages were seized upon arrival in the U.S., law enforcement interviewed Castiglione, who admitted that he was aware of the federal reporting requirements but had attempted to smuggle the money into the United States because, in part, he did not want to pay any taxes and fees, according to the statement.

      Castiglione also provided various contradictory statements regarding the origin of the $125,000, including saying the money might have been owned by a client of his law practice, when he knew that the money actually belonged to his family.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 6:59 pm #

      PROXY
      Oh my! If this is true. Plagiarism is journalism’s Capital offense. People lose jobs and careers over what’s being alleged here.

      • ProxyDate
        June 21, 2019 at 7:38 pm #

        Ex-lawyer pleads guilty to smuggling $125K into US
        Posted Thursday, June 20, 2019 3:36 pm
        By Haven Orecchio-Egresitz , The Berkshire Eagle
        PITTSFIELD — A former Pittsfield attorney was sentenced Wednesday in Springfield federal court for smuggling $125,000 into the United States from Bermuda by mail.

        Former Pittsfield attorney John Castiglione sentenced to probation for smuggling money from Bermuda

        By Matt Berg | The Republican
        Posted Jun 20, 2019
        SPRINGFIELD — A former Pittsfield attorney was sentenced in federal court yesterday for attempting to smuggle $125,000 from Bermuda into the United States through the mail.

        U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni sentenced John Castiglione, 75, to one year of probation and ordered him to forfeit the money. Castiglione pleaded guilty to one count of bulk cash smuggling in March. As part of his plea agreement, Castiglione agreed to resign from practicing law and to never seek admission to the bar again.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

      MASSlive posted it yesterday. It appears to be well prior to the one posted by the Eagle with H-OE’s byline. The seriousness of the issue cannot be overstated. If all is as it appears, it’s a fire-able offense. Question: Who slapped the byline on it? The “writer” or an editor?

  13. ProxyDate
    June 21, 2019 at 7:41 pm #

    The Republican
    On May 2, 2014, the former attorney attempted to send two packages to his residence in Pittsfield — one containing $60,000 and the other $65,000 — with intent to evade federal reporting requirements concerning cash, officials said.

    The Eagle
    On May 2, 2014, Castiglione attempted to mail two packages containing $60,000 and $65,000 from Bermuda to his home in Pittsfield, with the intent to evade federal tax reporting requirements.

  14. ProxyDate
    June 21, 2019 at 7:45 pm #

    The Republican
    He also gave contradictory statements on where the $125,000 came from, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. This included a false statement that the money belonged to one of his clients, when Castiglione knew that it actually belonged to the client’s family.

    The Eagle
    Castiglione also provided various contradictory statements regarding the origin of the $125,000, including saying the money might have been owned by a client of his law practice, when he knew that the money actually belonged to his family.

    As the republican’s reporter was actually there and filed the report. The byline should go to him.
    Nowhere does the Eagle reference wire service, other reporters, or other papers. The Eagle reporter was not at the trial.

    • danvalenti
      June 21, 2019 at 8:56 pm #

      The two articles originally posted — Matt Berg’s in Masslive and HO-E’s in the Eagle’s FB page, under her byline, appeared to be IDENTICAL. Did anyone get a screen grab of the FB piece? The two excerpts you just presented, PROXY, would also qualify as lifted material. Changing a few words here and there doesn’t not make it new work.

      • ProxyDate
        June 22, 2019 at 6:26 am #

        I have screen grabs. They then deleted it or hid it.

  15. Aerin
    June 22, 2019 at 5:27 am #

    Looks like the Eagle once again got beat by iBerkshires – an in-depth interview with Mazzeo on her campaign kick off. WTF do they do if not this? https://www.iberkshires.com/story/60197/Mazzeo-Launches-Bid-For-Pittsfield-Mayor.html?fbclid=IwAR0s0A5ldkVBq5zAnsVnsztGEmNjVkRJpo1edGcQFeV2SdNEO8A3UrAFPxI

  16. Mr. G
    June 22, 2019 at 5:39 am #

    “oligarchy in which a tiny group of incredibly rich elite lord it over the masses, who are kept in crushing poverty.”

    Sounds exactly like what we currently have.

    • Pat
      June 22, 2019 at 5:51 am #

      Sounds like a great definition of socialism to me Mr. G. It certainly describes Venezuela very well in its current situation. We give all the money and power to the government in exchange for some freebies and we are all ” allowed” to live in the same income bracket until we run out of other people’s money and turn into crushing poverty like in Venezuela. Big government, that entity doling out the money as it sees fit, lives in a different income bracket since they have all the money and power. They can have cars, fly in planes, and live a different lifestyle than the masses they claim to want to help.

  17. ProxyDate
    June 22, 2019 at 6:41 am #

    The thing about tyer, she had 4 years (2 more than prior admins for a single term)

    A vote for her will bring 4 more years of downward spiral and mismanagement. Four more years of cuff links Kerwood and his Dagwood Bumstead level bumbling and incompetence.

    • Gigi
      June 22, 2019 at 7:24 am #

      I completely agree, Proxy. Tyer’s time is up. After two terms (per the prior city charter) what has been accomplished? Not much!

      • Johnny Absurdo
        June 22, 2019 at 11:30 am #

        I also agree. Tyer took a bad situation and made it much worse. When you turn over control of your budget to special interests you are going to come out looking totally inept.. and she looks totally inept at budgets, infrastructure and crime control not to mention the city look dirty. It was never near this bad. And apparently the city has become so poor that there are food pantries opening up in parks. That is pretty bad mayor.

  18. Gigi
    June 22, 2019 at 7:22 am #

    Dan, you are cutting edge.

    The Eagle is promoting a talk by Susan Masino, a professor of neuroscience & psychology at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
    “When it comes to human health, forests offer opportunities for exercise, mindfulness and stress reduction.”

    Enjoy your time in the woods, a gift from our Creator for our enjoyment!

    • danvalenti
      June 22, 2019 at 8:52 am #

      Much appreciated, GIGI.

  19. Mad Trapper
    June 22, 2019 at 7:56 am #

    Censored again Dan

    Your Robot is batting 1.000

  20. Mad Trapper
    June 22, 2019 at 7:59 am #

    I have been critical of “The Berkshire Eagle” since journalism and the Millers left town, over 20 years ago.

    When I was critical of “The Left Winged Parrot” , to city officials ,I got an email from Rutberg.

    Seems his dirty feathers were ruffed a bit. Yes the truth hurts “Honorable” Mr. Rutberg.

    • danvalenti
      June 22, 2019 at 8:52 am #

      24 years ago, the fire sale. It’s been downhill ever since. Newsroom sources say the tide of red ink keeps rising. They give it two years.

  21. Mad Trapper
    June 22, 2019 at 8:07 am #

    Censored yet again………….

    How is that algorithm working? What is the algorithm?

    Maybe it’s an AL GORE-Rhythm

    • danvalenti
      June 22, 2019 at 8:51 am #

      TRAPPER
      As you will notice, once the moderator gets to your posts, they are approved. An algorithm is a mathematical procedure that outlines the solution to a problem, in other words: Here are the steps you need to solve this problem. In THE PLANET’s case, the problem was how to make the firewall stronger for the benefit for all our readers. I don’t pretend to understand the exact calculus involved in our wall, but the results have been spectacular. As I explained, some posts randomly get tossed into review. We set some criteria that would automatically throw certain posts into moderation (review) every time. Other are assigned at random. So it doesn’t mean the post is killed. It just means it’s up for human review. Our process is proprietary, so I won’t get into the details, but if a poster is saying good stuff, he or she will get on the board after a slight delay. Thanks for your patience. And by the way, you have a great definition of Al Gore rhythm.

      • Mad Trapper
        June 22, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

        I understand algorithms. I graduated with highest honors math/science, then got a PH D.

        I was wondering who made up the algorithm? Hence the Al GORE rhythm! The censor seems to be a little …..left winged

        I hope you’re not paying people left of Chairman Mao for website help…… : )

        • danvalenti
          June 22, 2019 at 5:52 pm #

          That’s funny. You think it’s left of Mao. Others think it’s right of John Birch. Must mean we’re driving it long and deep down the fairway!

          • Hung Wang
            June 22, 2019 at 8:01 pm #

            昨天

          • Mad Trapper
            June 23, 2019 at 6:41 am #

            That’s funny too. I saw CDB band play Music Inn , Charile sang about John Birch.

            I wish I could go back 40 years.

            As you give both sides a voice Dan, God bless you.

            If the God refrernce don’t piss off…….

    • ProxyDate
      June 22, 2019 at 10:15 am #

      Sometimes it’s length, sometimes it’s links, sometimes it’s language, sometimes it is a name.

  22. Pat
    June 22, 2019 at 11:13 am #

    Democrat 2020 Platform & Goals:

    -Open Borders.
    -Sanctuary Cities.
    -Tax increases.
    -Elimination of ICE
    -Disarming Americans just like Venezuela did in 2012
    -Infanticide.
    -Voting rights for illegal aliens.
    -Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit)
    -Increase refugee’s from the third world.
    -Illegal aliens allowed to hold public office.
    -Socialism.
    -Free Abortions for all (Taxpayer funded)
    -The green new deal.
    -End of Electoral College
    -Free Medicare care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded)
    -Have adolescents vote
    -100% Tax funded college for all including non-citizens
    -Reparations for every race “harmed” by the white man.
    -Convicts, Terrorists voting.
    -Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms.
    -Late term abortions.
    -Pay check for every person in the US even if they choose not to work.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      June 22, 2019 at 11:33 am #

      YAAHH. And I betcha they let those damn kids out of Trumps cages too. Bastards!

      • Fake News
        June 22, 2019 at 4:01 pm #

        JA= fake info

    • Mr. Fritz
      June 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

      Great post, Pat.
      How could anyone in their right mind vote Democrat?!!

    • Johnny99
      June 22, 2019 at 1:02 pm #

      Right on Pat. You are so spot on with your posts. Keep up the truth telling, maybe it will knock some sense into the liberal murderous progressives – you can kill an innocent baby, as far as they are concerned, but you can’t kill a brutal murderer who killed an innocent adult. Ridiculous.

  23. ProxyDate
    June 22, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

    The boring broadsheet and fish wrap, after plagiarizing a recent article can’t help but dedicate above the fold coverage to how awesome they are.

    https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/to-our-readers-associated-press-article-shines-light-on-the-eagle,577521

    • ProxyDate
      June 22, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

      Dear Reader,

      I am bursting with pride that The Eagle is featured in an in-depth article about the progress we have been making over the past several years. I hope you will read the article and make your own judgments; although I am clearly prejudiced, I believe it casts us in a most favorable light.

      The article was written by Alexandra Olson, the national business writer for The Associated Press, and it has been republished hundreds of times this past week by news organizations including The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and CNN.

      Ms. Olson’s article comes on the heels of the publication of a similar article that appeared on the front page of The Boston Globe on Sunday, June 2. That article was written by Globe reporter Mark Shanahan. Interestingly, Mark’s father, Ed, wrote for The Eagle between 1961 and 1965. The Globe’s assessment of the recent developments at The Eagle was also quite complimentary.

      To further “gild the lily,” I have previously written about a series of awards that have been given to us over the past several months from the New England Newspaper & Press Association as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Frankly, these have been heady days at The Eagle.

      When my colleagues and I purchased the paper, we announced two goals: to make The Eagle the finest community newspaper in America and to build a company that would last 100 years. Our business plan was simple and concise: increase the quality of the content to attract more readers, which will, in turn, attract more advertisers.

      The accolades we are receiving both locally and nationally attest to the fact that we are on the way toward making The Eagle America’s finest community newspaper.

      I believe honestly and modestly that we have reached “the end of the beginning” in this process of transformation, and the credit must go to the entire Eagle crew from the newsrooms in North Adams, Great Barrington and Pittsfield through the sales and administrative offices to the pressroom, mailroom and carriers.

      Almost 200 people work for New England Newspapers, the company that publishes The Eagle, and most likely you know one or more of those folks. If so, and if you appreciate the changes that have been made to The Eagle over the last three years, please take a moment to say “thank you” when you see them or communicate with them on social media. They are a group of extremely talented and devoted journalists.

      On the other hand, if you have issues or complaints, please send them my way.

      The fact that we may have reached the end of the beginning of our quest for excellence does not guarantee that we will make it to the beginning of the end, or the end itself. We still have myriad hills to climb and obstacles to surmount, but we are facing these challenges with renewed vigor.

      The support and praise we are receiving fuels that vigor, and I invite you to add to it. Buy the paper more often, write a letter to the editor, give a gift subscription, let our advertisers know when you patronize them, and please be proud to call The Berkshire Eagle your hometown newspaper.

      Thanks so much.

      Fredric Rutberg is the president, publisher and co-owner of The Berkshire Eagle.

      • Mad Trapper
        June 23, 2019 at 9:59 am #

        Journalisum left Pittsfield with the Millers, Freddy!!!!

      • Mad Trapper
        June 23, 2019 at 10:44 am #

        My, cat won’t $#!T in a box lined with “LEFT WINGER PARROT”

        Mr Rutberg

    • Mad Trapper
      June 23, 2019 at 10:13 am #

      Freddy has the LEFT WINGED PARRORT protected from comments on that left winged POS.

      WHY FRED? ASAHMED? OR Just a LIBERAL?

  24. Johnny99
    June 22, 2019 at 1:05 pm #

    Anybody know what’s up the the General Layfayette Way signs that sprouted up on route 20 by Clapp Park? How many of these signs are going up on Route 20 throughout the state and at what cost and for what purpose? The Economic Engine cause?

    • Johnny Absurdo
      June 22, 2019 at 3:10 pm #

      All that while pretty much begging people to buy their paper. But they are not willing to give up their alliance with city hall and that is costing them about 1000 paying customers. So hopefully the coins they bring in from city hall out weighs actual paying customers.

  25. ProxyDate
    June 22, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m really miffed that the Eagle keeps blowing its own horn and plagiarizes articles and pushes people to subscribe

    I’ve found, if using Safari (or any browser that has the ability to disable JavaScript), if you go into advanced features and turn off java script it stope those “click here to subscribe overlays.

    Since I used chrome for everything else and don’t use safari at all it works perfectly.

    • Hung Wang
      June 22, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

      Blowing its own horn? No wonder Rutberg has back problems.

  26. Jonathan Melle
    June 22, 2019 at 6:52 pm #

    It amazes me that someone of this high caliber is running for office in Pittsfield! I am rooting for Yuki Cohen, along with the lovely Linda Tyer, of course.

    https://www.wamc.org/post/yuki-cohen-announces-bid-pittsfield-city-council

    • John Duns Scotus
      June 22, 2019 at 7:49 pm #

      Other than underage age drinkers shooting each other in front of her joint ,what does Yucky Cohen bring to the table?

      • Jonathan Melle
        June 22, 2019 at 7:54 pm #

        “Yuki Cohen, 51, holds an MBA from New York University and spent much of the 2000s working on Wall Street. She’s been a resident of Pittsfield since 2011.”

        Usually it is the other way around when it comes to Pittsfield politics. See: Gerry Doyle!

      • Brody Hooper
        June 23, 2019 at 6:07 pm #

        Pretty nice rack…..

    • Fugimoto Hockalugi
      June 23, 2019 at 6:54 am #

      As far as confronting crime, Cohen favors a holistic approach. She says her study of communities facing similar issues suggests that planting more trees and promoting a more vibrant, festive environment would create a more peaceful space for Pittsfield residents.

      “And there’s even things like the Maharishi effect, where Transcendental Meditation kind of helps lower the crime rate by 5 percent per year,” she told WAMC. “It’s very fluffy, but there is a placebo effect that’s actually real and scientifically proven.

      • Non Essere Uno Stronzo
        June 23, 2019 at 8:04 am #

        Hmmm. sounds like another Pittsfield winner.

  27. Goodbye Krol World
    June 22, 2019 at 7:47 pm #

    Is there any reason why Pittsfield can’t have a Pickle Pocket Pool tournament?

    • Johnny Absurdo
      June 23, 2019 at 1:12 am #

      Actually there is one every Tuesday night at city hall. It is usually a wet mess and but one leaves satisfied.

  28. C. Trzcinka
    June 22, 2019 at 7:56 pm #

    War does not equal money. War is a huge waste of resources that somebody has to pay for. The producers of war material usually but not always make profits. Defense workers usually do very well during a conflict. But all this material is smashed by combat. During WWII planes lasted about a month or so before they were destroyed, (we lost 170 per day, about 1/3 due to training accidents), a Sherman tank had a life expectancy of weeks, most vehicles were destroyed. What was left was largely useless for civilian purposes. The cost and waste was enormous. The only reason why the US did so well after the war was the destruction across the globe.

    • Jonathan Melle
      June 22, 2019 at 8:34 pm #

      If you are right, which means that I am wrong, then please answer my questions: Why is our nation’s #1 non-farm export military weapons and related technologies? Why does our nation have the World’s largest market share of sales of military weapons/tech? Why does our nation have a military industrial complex with a tragic history of many military conflicts since World War II? Why is our national debt $22.4-trillion after 4 tax cuts and two wars over the past 2 decades? Why is Wall Street at record highs?

      I respect your opinions. I hope you will answer my questions about the correlation between war and money.

      – Jonathan Melle

      • C,Trzcinka
        June 23, 2019 at 7:58 pm #

        I don’t think you are right about non-farm export but here is the US Commerce Dept website for trade stats. https://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/tradestatistics/index.asp#P11_403

        I am sure you are right about the % of the market of defense expenditures. We spend more than the next four or five countries combined. Would you want us to spend less? Would that make us safer? I argue no but this administration wants to pull back from Nato and elsewhere which would make defense less expensive.

        We can argue about how tragic our post WWII history is but keep in mind that decisions are made ex-ante (before the outcome) not ex-post (after the outcome). The fact that the Iraq War was an ex-post mistake doesn’t mean it was an ex-ante one. Any fact that the decision-makers could not have known is irrelevant to the argument about any decision.

        The US Budget is like an insurance company with a military. Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare each take more of the budget than defense. See http://www.cbo.gov.

  29. Merry & Bright
    June 23, 2019 at 6:30 am #

    Dan, hope you are enjoying your well deserved vacation. Sounds so peaceful!!

    Thought I would share a little story about my Pittsfield adventure I took yesterday morning. Decided to go to Berkshire Common’s Farmers Market. Parked in First Street lot, didn’t have to pay, but I did double check first. Pushed the button to cross the street . Many others joined me. We got our signal to cross only to have two cars blow through the red light. Stepped onto the lawn at the Common just in time to see two PPD cruisers drive up onto the lawn with their lights on. Decided to leave because honestly I did not feel safe. Get in my car and proceed to leave the First Street lot only to hit one of the biggest potholes I have seen, thought my car broke in half, this huge pothole is visible from City Hall. Traveled to the Eagle Street traffic signal, got the green, thankfully waited as three cars blew the red light. Finally felt safe to proceed, went right passed Cumby’s on First to have to jam on my brakes as a man was intoxicated and falling into the road. About two houses later I saw another PPD cruiser headed my way, flashed my high beams to him, stopped, tried to flag him down to make him aware of this person, he was staring at his cellphone, didn’t see me or the intoxicated man. Turned up Tyler Street and took notice of the prostitutes along the way meanwhile dodging all the jaywalkers. Finally got home. My adventure only lasted 20 minutes. What a wonderful morning in this Dynamic Vibrant City. Do we have a Police Chief? Do we have a Road Boss? It seems to me that Vibrant/Dynamic Tyer does not have one department head that is doing their job! All of them are certainly getting paid a lot of Pittsfield residents money! So hope for a change soon! Got to go, going out of Pittsfield to do my errands. Everyone enjoy this beautiful day!

    • Pat
      June 23, 2019 at 7:26 am #

      What a terrible experience!! They could have been drunk or they could have been stoned or high. Who knows now that pot has been added to the mix of substances that people can abuse and we are supposed to be so happy about all the pot shops springing up all over the place and not just Pittsfield!!

      The roads are still in horrible shape. Can’t they just drive around and identify the bad spots and fix them?

      Speeding is out of control in the city and especially with so many people out and about because of the weather, people need to SLOW DOWN!! Pedestrians are getting hit and there will be more accidents.

      • The school committee
        June 23, 2019 at 11:54 am #

        Keep pot and get rid of Alcohol.

        • Pat
          June 23, 2019 at 3:14 pm #

          No stoned, drugged or drunk people on the roads!!! Enough said. ALL are a danger to the public.

    • Ted
      June 23, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      You felt unsafe at the farmers market?

      • Merry & Bright
        June 24, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

        Ted, yes I did and the PPD Log shows a person was arrested. Heard screaming and now a days you never know if a gun is involved, so I left.

    • doomiedodger
      June 23, 2019 at 11:46 am #

      You would think the mayor would be too embarrassed to run for another term. No shame in politics though. The city cannot be too far from the bottom now. You can’t just plug any warm body into running a city. There needs to be some level of knowledge and competency.

  30. Joe Zinque
    June 23, 2019 at 6:31 am #

    Yuki Cohen,Jonathan Lothrop,Helen Moon,Peter Marchetti,Peter White, Donna Todd Rivers, Mayor Linda Tyer,John Krol,et al are pigeons for the schools, and if Cohen and Lothrop get in,add Arts. I’ve seen Cohen twice at Carms Court, the last violation was a suspension in lieu of a donation,and at one of the other hearings,Jesse Dublin, a lawyer,from Downtown Inc. was clamoring for the board not to shut her down. She stood there as if the board didn’t exist and didn’t seem at all interested in the findings.

  31. Pat
    June 23, 2019 at 7:32 am #

    The electoral college is important because without it only the large population areas like California and the very crowded Northeast (mainly Democrat of course) would decide future elections. This is why the far left wants it to go away. Americans need to understand the importance of the electoral college because it gives voices to low population areas in the country.

    It’s bad enough that the far left is trying to flip Texas to Democrat by using illegal immigration which is why they have no interest in immigration reform. Lose Texas and it could be game over for any competition for the far left.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      June 23, 2019 at 11:48 am #

      You sound worried Pat. Is it possible that Trumps cult following and the phony religious right tribe will not be enough to overcome his complete lack of competency?

      We are all praying.

      • Pat
        June 23, 2019 at 3:11 pm #

        So sad that you believe religion is phony since it might influence so many on the far left to reconsider infanticide.

        This country has a big fight for the minds of the younger generation what with the complete takeover of the schools by the far left and near total control of the media by about 15% of very wealthy far left Dems. The TRUE CULT is the far left and I believe that the truth will win out in the end.

    • The school committee
      June 23, 2019 at 11:52 am #

      Yes Pat I agree and the best reason to get rid of the electoral college is the elitism of the conservatives. Popular vote is the only way to go.

      • Pat
        June 23, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

        No, School Committee, because popular vote is mob rule. The elitism is on the side of the far left wealthy New Yawkers (very wealthy and pro-Hillary) who want revenge for Hillary losing the election. We have seen the lengths they will go to including some very wealthy Democrats who control the media and will do anything to destroy our current president.

        Under popular vote, there will be no need for candidates to even bother to campaign in lower population areas. They will only care about appealing to large populations areas like California and the Northeast. The rest of the country will truly be the forgotten people, that is, except for collecting lots of tax money from them.

      • Pat
        June 23, 2019 at 5:36 pm #

        In a popular vote the political candidates will only bother to campaign in high population states while the rest of the country will be forgotten. Popular vote is mob rule. That’s what we have now in Pittsfield….mob rule. No thank you. I love the electoral college!

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        June 23, 2019 at 6:18 pm #

        Please explain your comment if you can. As usual you have no idea what your talking about.

  32. Spider
    June 23, 2019 at 7:54 am #

    There is a must read letter in today’s BB from an Adams resident.

    She talks about the “prohibitive categories” established by The Eagle for letters to the editor.

    She gives a list of libelous accusations and ad hominem attacks in published letters from Trump haters.

    She does this to answer criticism of a conservative letter writer.

    WHAT A LIST!!!!

    • Brody Hooper
      June 23, 2019 at 7:20 pm #

      The person who snuck that letter in was fired toda.. That’s what I heard

  33. The school committee
    June 23, 2019 at 11:57 am #

    In 4 years the pickle people will want to introduce it as a varsity sport,this idea must be stopped in its tracks.Nobody doing tennis anymore.

  34. Dewberry Doors
    June 23, 2019 at 12:13 pm #

    I still think Martina still plays.

  35. Denny Trout
    June 23, 2019 at 12:15 pm #

    Tyer hasn’t taken advantage of the Cities dental plan,I commend her.

  36. Jonathan Melle
    June 23, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

    Letter: “No C of O for Taconic puts city at risk”
    The Berkshire Eagle, June 23, 2019

    To the editor:

    I find it outrageous that the administration of the city of Pittsfield would choose to risk major liabilities by operating Taconic High School without a Certificate of Occupancy (Eagle, June 7.) This dangerous decision could have left this city in a perilous situation. Heaven forbid if any kind of disaster had happened, this administration would have exposed our city to major litigation.

    A C of O is a legal document issued by the building department upon final inspection of an addition, new house, or a $120 million school. It is only issued when all the trades involved, wiring, plumbing, HVAC, fire protection and so on have been inspected and signed off by the appropriate inspector. That means all work meets all state codes and the inspector has approved the quality of work “up to codes.” Then and only then does the building commissioner issue a C of O.

    A temporary C of O is used when someone wants a C of O but does not comply. You either meet the criteria or you don’t. Anyone who has had a problem obtaining a C of O knows the hoops you must do go thru to satisfy the inspectors.

    The decision to operate Taconic without a C of O did not come from the building dept. Our building inspectors have too much integrity to jeopardize their reputation on such a foolish decision. The fact that the building maintenance director and the school superintendent say the school is safe carries no legal weight. The fact that three temporary C of Os were issued indicates many problems still exist. I can only wonder how happy the school and city insurance carriers are to know that this administration chose to put the city’s students, teachers and faculty at risk by occupying a new school without the proper legally required documentation. These are the same tactics the mayor and the Office of Community Development are using with the Proprietors Lodge. Issuing temporary C of Os for areas that do not meet requirements for occupancy so Proprietors can open for a wedding without meeting the standards for a C of O is not acceptable.

    It is wrong for the current administration to interfere with the operation of the building dept. at Taconic and at Proprietors Lodge.

    Robert Snell, Pittsfield
    The writer is a member of Concerned Citizens for Ethical Government.

  37. Pi Kellbaugh
    June 23, 2019 at 4:04 pm #

    Pickle ball will bea required course in all schools before you know it. Pickle Ball 1 2 A P

  38. Free Bird
    June 23, 2019 at 5:22 pm #

    I believe that to post a comment on iberkshire you need to first create an account with them using your email.

    • ProxyDate
      June 24, 2019 at 4:23 am #

      Like Dan said ….

      Comments are closed for this article. If you would like to contribute information on this article, e-mail us at info@iBerkshires.com

      • danvalenti
        June 24, 2019 at 7:22 am #

        Amazing, isn’t it. “Comments are closed for this article?” That’s the best iBerk can do to keep down the nut jobs? Shut down everybody? THE PLANET took the hard way. We invested in a better firewall to protect those who deserve the privilege of free speech. The Boring Broadsheet, let us remember, long ago banned reader comments.

  39. ProxyDate
    June 24, 2019 at 4:00 am #

    Letter: Trump-bashers regularly violate standards
    Posted Friday, June 21, 2019 4:42 pm
    To the editor:

    In a letter to the editor on June 20, Paul Brazie accused Thomas Gilardi of violating at least three of the “prohibitive categories” established by The Eagle for letters to the editor: No violation of good taste, no libelous accusations, no ad hominem attacks. His letter demonstrated none of these violations.

    I suggest Mr. Brazie review the following quotes from actual letters that I have saved and am citing. You found his letter “offensive to many in the community.” Where was your outrage over THESE blatant violations of the left-wing Eagle’s standards when these were published? And why does The Eagle not enforce its own rules?

    * “Trump is simply a lousy human being, not fit to clean horse stalls.” — John Richards. Ad hominem attack? Violation of good taste?

    * ” Commander-in-Chief General Bone Spurs, a draft dodger has a rich daddy who had a doctor on his payroll. A yellow-bellied coward who would have sprinted away from gunfire” (at Parkland school shooting) — Arne Waldstein. Ad hominem attack? Libelous statements? (Beyond the pale, Arne.)

    * “Burn the flag that Trump molested at the CPAC convention.” — Jamie Larkin. (Really? Flag burning?)

    * “Our cheeseburger-eating, television-watching, golf-playing, part-time president. A mob boss in the White House. Must remove this crime family from the White House. Trump has to go. Whatever it takes: armed forces, revolution, insane asylum.” — Charles Steinhacker. Libelous. Suggestion of violence? (Great ideas, Charles. How about just removing him via ballot box in 2020?)

    * “Ouster of the current criminal administration and its infantile, narcissistic, criminal president.” — Christine Jordan. Libelous? Ad hominem attack?

    ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THESE ADS
    * “Trump has proven himself to be a great liar, a ranting toddler, and a disgrace of a human being.”— Leon Serre. Ad hominem attack? Poor taste?

    * “Idiot-in-chief spoiled brat in the White House.” — Amy Renak. Ad hominem attack?

    * “We have an illegitimate and tainted president who stole the election by deceit and fraud.” — Bob Rosen. Libelous? (Can you prove this assertion, Bob?)

    * “Trump, when a child, needed psychotherapy He might still benefit from some reputable form of psychotherapy.” — Len Kates. (Reading a manual by the American Psychiatric Association does not qualify you to diagnose the president as having Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Len.) Libelous?

    * “I believe [Trump] is in the early stages of dementia.” — Joseph Casella. (Another wannabe psychiatrist?)

    The suggested idea to deal with Stockbridge Bowl pollution: “Throw President Trump into Stockbridge Bowl and see what happens.” — Jim Andersen. ( FYI, Jim, it’s a felony to even jest about harming the president. Beware. Secret Service might knock on your door.)

    As a frequent letter writer, I always present facts that are documented, and opinions that are respectfully and politely stated. With a volatile election season already in progress, I would recommend all letter writers refrain from the kind of journalistic violations cited above. I suggest the left-wing Eagle’s editorial board enforce its own rules to promote intelligent, unemotional, factual discourse regardless of the writer’s political position.

    Judith Belanger,

    Adams

    • Sonny
      June 24, 2019 at 5:38 pm #

      Nice to see good Americans like J Belanger + T Gilardi dealing in facts not some far Left ideaology. Too many Loonies on the Democratic side either don’t realize or don’t care how Anti-American their Actions + Beliefs are. The border crisis was manufactured, Russian Collusion, the dirty Dossier. Maybe people on the right are just naturally smarter + more Patriotic!!