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TRASH IN THE CITY, PT. 1: GARBAGE AND THE MOB NOT JUST THE STUFF OF FICTION

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

First in a Two-Part Series

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY FEB. 10, 2020) — There are numerous places that offer temptation and near occasions of sin for anyone in power (or close to power) in municipal government owing to Shroedinger’s First Law of Graft, which states that “power + money = some who yield to corruption.” It’s inevitable, human nature enraptured in and by Poe’s Imp of the Perverse.  Two of the most prominent areas of temptation are public schools and public works (snow removal and trash services, especially). Today let’s take out the trash.

As anyone knows who has at least watched The Sopranos, garbage attracts more than flies.

The tie binding organized crime and municipal government to garbage goes back a century or more, at least back to the end of Prohibition, which wiped out one of the mob’s most monopolistic enterprises, alcohol (lately having been replaced by drug trafficking). There’s gold in trash, as we all learned from Joe Pesci and James Gandolfini. Today, municipal “waste management” is a $2.5 billion business. According to law enforcement estimates, crime’s cut — the so-called “mob tax” — amounts to about 40% of that total, roughly $1 billion.

Why does garbage collection and disposal appeal to Remo and Uncle Cheech?

  • Garbage routes allow for legitimate travel throughout a city, especially downtowns and other places with industry and traffic. This is highly effective for drug trafficking and shakedowns.
  • Dumps and dumpsters provide great places to get rid of evidence, including corpses.
  • Waste management firms provide a legitimate front through which to launder money from illegal activities.
  • Legit businesses provide much-needed tax cover.
  • Garbage haulers provide convenient no-show “jobs” to make income look on the up-and-up.

It used to be, as it was in Pittsfield case, that cities provided internal garbage pickup with city personnel and resources. After Prop. 2.5, however, Pittsfield jobbed out garbage collection. It’s puzzling, since a careful look at the finances in the almost 40 years since then would likely show that taxpayers saved little if any money in the switch. THE PLANET hasn’t examined all the numbers, but our guess is that since the early 80s, contracted garbage services have cost taxpayers more than if the city had kept it in-house.

In the 1990s, large waste-management corporations began to move in to fill the market demand, realizing the tremendous need of cities for these services. Garbage stands (or piles up) as one of the non-discretionary services a city must provide for its citizens, either through government or licensing of private contractors. Like any business with a permanent, built-in market, garbage attracted attracted the mob. Organized crime realized these companies could provide cover for operations, especially the laundering of large amounts of cash. This works along the same lines as organized crime “investments” in the “legitimate” liquor, gambling, construction, and entertainment industries.

Garbage also conveys much power. Think of any garbage strikes that lasted for a duration of time: In a week, a city can be transformed from beauty into a vermin-infested wasteland. No, even more than the mail, the garbage must be bagged, collected, and disposed.

None of this preamble says the mob is into Pittsfield garbage, although organized crime does not have to be involved for fraud to occur.

Let’s be clear about one thing before we get to the details (Part 2): THE PLANET has no evidence of corruption. We make no judgment, one way of the other. THE PLANET‘s default position assumes honesty on the part of our public servants.

With that assumption, Part 2 gets into the gritty details of Trash in the City. Some of it you won’t believe.

——————————————————————–

“Good resolutions are simply checks that we draw on a bank where we have no account”Oscar Wilde.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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JoePesci
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JoePesci

Personally, I think the garbage men, or should I say garbage person, because we can’t say manhole anymore, we have to say service hole, do a fine job in this city. Now that doesn’t mean the city’s not a garbage laden mess, cuz it is, but that they do a nice job on their route, at least in my neighborhood.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

I’m PC too.

We have a Mailwoman deliver our mail

Two Cents
Guest
Two Cents

FYI- It’s the non-gender “Letter Carrier” now

Be The Change
Guest
Be The Change

What’s the deal with “pie hole”, man/she ? – I can never figure out if it’s a bad word or not…… if I get creative enough it very un-PC, but on the surface we’re talking about apple pie in a mouth…. still confused if I can say it freely. Dan you got us all intoxicated waiting for part 2 of this story, not one of us is making sense…… gimmus the deets on the trashishh…..

MaggieMay
Guest
MaggieMay

And it’s whatever your preferred pronoun is too – “they” today, she tomorrow.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

It

CC The Maze Sun
Guest
CC The Maze Sun

The door to the bird cage is wide open
It’s always been wide open

“Free as a bird
It’s the next best thing to be
Free as a bird

Home, home and dry
Like a homing bird I’ll fly
As a bird on wings

Whatever happened to
The life that we once knew?
Can we really live without each other?

Where did we lose the touch
That seemed to mean so much?
It always made me feel so…FREE”

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

Garbage In, Garbage Out

But the real question is: Who let the dogs out!

Fuechsel
Guest
Fuechsel

GIGO

Be The Change
Guest
Be The Change

Here’s +5, sorry …..

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

Hiring outside firms to do the garbage hauling was actually one of the smarter things Pittsfield has done. I liken this to tech companies that hire consultants, temp workers, temp programmers. They will pay outside consultant companies, 1.5-2x an hourly rate to get the staff they need. While that upfront cost seems to be a lot, it saves money on the backend and in OPEB, insurance, workmen’s comp, unemployment, secondary costs, and capital costs. It’s saved the city of Pittsfield millions in future costs. It’s an easy thing to figure out, by looking at any small town that “contracts” for waste removal. Small Town A has weekly pickup one day a week. It runs one truck with either a single operator or a driver and operator, it’s a two compartment truck (waste and recycle). The contract cost is $177k for the year. That covers… Read more »

Shakes
Guest
Shakes

For that matter, you can contract anything out that isn’t elected or a charter appointment.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

More snow than anticipated. Get off the blog and get out there a little early because you may be plowed in.

JoeSixPack
Guest
JoeSixPack

I don’t think so. My street might get plowed tomorrow!!!

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

My street has been plowed 25 times since 6am. A friend of mine on Alden ave, if he is lucky, gets a quick once over for the morning. Always been that way. Ward 1 guy. Probably plowing driveways most of the time.

Vinci Duhbarber
Guest
Vinci Duhbarber

Ricardo has you covered (with Snow) He worse than Terochi.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

2.5 million over budget for snow removal and we cant get kids to school by 730am.Remember the schools are open but pittsfield cant pick them up.If you want roads plowed by 6am that will cost you extra.Now every snowfall disrupts the city of 40k sending parents on monday into caos because they need to go to work on time.Tyer just cant get the kids to school.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Reporting 1.8 inches and the snow is slippery as usual.This is a joke.Did anybody at your work tell you to come in 2 hours late today.

Hendrix
Guest
Hendrix

I drive right by one of the elementary schools every day, I was heading into work for 8AM and the road hadn’t been touched.

Damn I wish we had delays and cancellations for 2″ of snow growing up.

Thomas More
Guest
Thomas More

They did.

Teecha Teecha
Guest
Teecha Teecha

Ward 3 was an absolute mess this morning around 7:00a. I saw many a pickup truck fishtailing trying to climb the hill on Williams St heading towards Dalton Division Road (which was just as bad)

We need Senor Barrett at the helm. Linda and her “crew” are about as effective as Bianchi and his. Which is to say, a 2 year old with a magnifying glass could melt the snow quicker than they plow.

Even on Saturday morning South St. West St. Elm St, etc were horrible. Those are main roads too

Plead the Fifth
Guest
Plead the Fifth

We would have if we had the availability of hungry attorneys ready to sue if a school bus got stuck.

Spagirl
Guest
Spagirl

This is so true. I have been thinking that every storm now is a big deal. People in general are so worked up over snow. It really is disturbing how no one can plan ahead, get up earlier and get yourself to where you have to be.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

CC needs to have a meeting with the mayor on why we cant get kids to school on time when it snows during the winter

Dalyn Creck
Guest
Dalyn Creck

Haven’t seen a low or sander all morning.

Cedi Goinson
Guest
Cedi Goinson

Watched something very unusual today. A Salt truck made four passes on the street. No salt though? What do they do,fill salt trucks and where do they dump I? Not on my Avenue?

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

The irony that is Pittsfield.
They can’t afford a resource officer in a school but they can afford two ticket agents driving around on the same street in a snow storm.

They are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt in winter roads but they have contractors in tiny sanding trucks following large municipal plows with sanders. Watching them both sand the same road made me want to light money on fire.

Mayor Linda Tyer uses taxpayer money to bring Dulye Leadership Experience conference to Pittsfield so she can get paid speaking engagements elsewhere.

Anderson williams
Guest
Anderson williams

Paid speaking engagements elsewhere? Please show us that to be fact or is that more of your BS babble that the minions gobble up.

juicylucy
Guest
juicylucy

bear bear

Jumpin Joe Curtis
Guest
Jumpin Joe Curtis

$500 registration fee to have speeches by “high impact professionals”

Sounds like a deal to me. Since my house assessment went up, as did my taxes, I trust that Captain Barry of the Hawaiian shirt company can cover my costs.

Be The Change
Guest
Be The Change

Put the Mitts on, Sunday Schoool is over…. I wonder what time school starts in Utah, the greatest snow on Earth.

There’s a Quorum for that.

Happiness & Light, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Vinci Duhbarber
Guest
Vinci Duhbarber

I was at the joint City Council School Committee and heard the auditor say “ Your ability to tax was is number one asset”.

payfratemaya
Guest
payfratemaya

Can you believe the graphics at the las C C budget meeting? You couldn’t see the figures that were proposed, graphics were terrified ble. When did Kuffkinks become a market analyst? Does the taxpayer really want him spending our money based on his market expertise or economic conditions.

Wolf Blizthownd
Guest
Wolf Blizthownd

Now to Renaldo for the puppy mill work on behalf of dog owners. This is a Dershowitz type performance by said lawyer. Bravo!

Pipes Macdineered
Guest
Pipes Macdineered

Water increases out today? We should have gotten behind the three Councilors and private citizen that was totally against this project.

Maceesgonwild
Guest
Maceesgonwild

Check out the North Street slush at North Street going north of the fancy hotel. And there are a few vacancies,empty stores.

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

Mayor Linda Tyer, her speeches age like milk not wine. Tyer said the city needed to go through that depression, but it led to a series of disagreements among councilors, residents, and the mayor at the time. In 2002, there was a massive overhaul of city leadership. In the next couple years, planning efforts began in earnest. Those in government set their minds on not recreating the past but determining the city’s future. “It really was 13 years ago that we really started thinking differently about our city. And it wasn’t easy because we still had people who believed very strongly that the only thing, the only measure of success, would be another GE,” Tyer said. The keystone of that was the efforts to revitalize downtown. A planning process was completed and the focus centered on arts and culture. “We were just coming off… Read more »

Mr. Fritz
Guest
Mr. Fritz

“Renaissance in our downtown?” What renaissance?? It’s full of empty storefronts and vagrants wandering about.
She got paid for this speech?

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

There use to be zero downtown

Gobsig
Guest
Gobsig

Tyer is delusional.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

City hall and its cronies have been putting up rose colored wall paper all over the city to mask what has, in reality, become an unmitigated mayoral disaster. They need to stop looking for “next projects” and stat taking care of what is already here. The Tyler St. upgrade comes across as a dumping ground for taxpayer dollars with machine connected cronies being the beneficiaries. A forensic audit might shine a light on what all this huge spending is really all about. It seems like the taxpayers are over taxed a minimum of 20 million dollars a year for pie in the sky projects that really have little or nothing to do with the stated goal.

Hendrix
Guest
Hendrix

Well duh, where else would the people who have no transportation, no job, that need to utilize all of the free social services that North St has to offer stay?

JoeKapanski
Guest
JoeKapanski

A big fat effin mirage!!!! Renaissance my ass. A great big Kapanski Screwin!

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

The Berkshire Eagle’s web-site has a lot of news articles on the EPA and GE rest of the river cleanup settlement today. I feel bad for the town of Lee (Massachusetts) for being a cite for a future dump for PCBs. That is horrible! It is never a wealthy town that gets the shaft. Rather, it is always working poor areas like Lee that gets screwed over. I have said it many times over: Capping PCBs is a short-term solution akin to putting a band-aid on a major wound. The caps’ lifespan is limited from day 1 until they ultimately expire over a few short decades. After the caps become ineffective, the PCBs continue to spread all over the place in the air, water, and land. Gerry Doyle and Jack Welch, et al, conned Pittsfield and all of the towns south of Pittsfield through… Read more »

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Our green CC is sending 300 students to school on top of a toxic chemical swamp.Moon Caccamo and White will not talk about these 300 students.Tyer and Elias could end it by adding on to Morningside.Moldy Crosby could close by adding on to Conte

Ham Anex
Guest
Ham Anex

Conte and Moringside parents put their kids in Williams and Egermont if they can arrange transportation.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

School choice is racism.

juicylucy
Guest
juicylucy

and Doyle, in Boston known as “the bar stool mayor” negotiated with the top lawyers for “The G.E.” on our behalf.

Dactlinduh
Guest
Dactlinduh

And Hickey. His Ward to.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Devillars of the EPA, took a GE job after he sold out the citizens.

JoeKapanski
Guest
JoeKapanski

And Doyle took a part time gig with Galvin’s office, and Hickey took a gravey job at PEDA.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

The PCB dump should be at Jack Welch and Jerry Dolyes homes.

Ham Anex
Guest
Ham Anex

The beer cans would have to be moved

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Put it in Stockbridge

Dactlinduh
Guest
Dactlinduh

So im driving down Crane to North Street and this big ass truck-plow is doing a 90 degree turn into the intersection of the road, and he was moving. This Rodrigo over at DPW should have a course on operating these trucks safely , let alone bad plowing.. I’m on outer Crane and there is a thirty miles an-hour speed limit, Rodrigo? Also,I travel pecks road to go ice fishing,what the hell is that mess near the fire station,no warning cones and dangerous bad road in front of that White Apartment house. North Street was a mess today.

I C Aminure
Guest
I C Aminure

I’ll take those picks and send them to barbell neck.

Dactlinduh
Guest
Dactlinduh

Dan,I have twenty,yes twenty pics of potholes,do you want them? And who are those ticket drivers,they look to be in their seventies? I thought retirement was sixty five?

Merry & Bright
Guest
Merry & Bright

Taxpayers deserve an explanation and apology from Lovely Linda as to why the streets are such a mess still at 3p.m.! The plow truck has been up and down my short street at least 9 times and has yet to put the plow down. Guess they will plow tonight on overtime pay. My street is near an elementary school, vehicles with four wheel drive can barely make the hill, the roadway in front of the school is glare ice. In speaking with my City Councilor they said the whole City is a mess and they are trying to find out what the problem is. Is Lovely Linda afraid of her Department Heads? Is she afraid to confront them and tell then to straighten out and do their jobs? Or, does she just not care as she is making 6 figures , what is pathetic… Read more »

SCOn Lon
Guest
SCOn Lon

Kuffkinks is the real Mayor. L L just collects the check.

Merry & Bright
Guest
Merry & Bright

I believe Bare Bare Clairmont is the real mayor.

Heroine Luup
Guest
Heroine Luup

Off topic. New Stat out.Fifty thousand opioid deaths last year in the U S.

EddieP
Guest
EddieP

On the scanner yesterday, counted 4 overdoses and 2 doa’s in Pittsfield within 6 hours.

Bibby Boisbich
Guest
Bibby Boisbich

How about have students run a kangaroo court type resource program at Reid. Have the five toughest kids control the handful of kids in hat get out of control..They’re near,their there.

Johnny99
Guest
Johnny99

Not city’s fault. ‘Was The Perfect Storm. That will be the take home message delivered at next council meeting if the topic is even brought up at all.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Curious, did the city ever hire a replacement DPW chief? And if so was he a political ally with little experience or someone who actually did work in the field?

Heroine Luup
Guest
Heroine Luup

Four hundred million plus Pittsfield open debe.

Ham Anex
Guest
Ham Anex

Just watched a meeting chaired by Helen Moon. Boy is she dumb. She kept looking down at her phone, Someone must have been coaching her. She doesn’t know when to shut up. She just continued to ramble on and on. God help us. Dhe’s as dumb as Harrington.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Maybe she was checking on her DA work.

Water Boy
Guest
Water Boy

Maybe they ran out of water in conference room two.

flogging molly
Guest
flogging molly

She’s a Words With Friends addict. I sat next to her at the DA human trafficking presentation and she played it the whole time when she wasn’t checking Facebook.

Merry & Bright
Guest
Merry & Bright

I also saw her staring at her phone, I figured that Lovely Linda was telling her what to do to run the meeting since she was clueless. Had enough of her little giggles, she should know better by now. I give Morandi, Connell & Maffuccio all the credit in the world to have to sit through the meeting. Has anyone heard Yuki speak yet or is she just going to sit pretty. Although, I would like to give all the students/ parents a lot of credit for writing letters and speaking about the Resource Officer issue at Reid. I feel sad that our students have to do this and get involved in this little political game that is being played. Can someone explain to me how Lovely Linda can run her whole recent campaign on the lie that she has added officers. Yet Wynn… Read more »

juicylucy
Guest
juicylucy

There is no Leadership.

Police Report
Guest
Police Report

Mayor Tyer and Chief Wynn know EXACTLY why officers aren’t leaving in droves. It’s the lack of leadership. It’s a Mayor and a Police Chief who would rather pander to a progressive DA and progressive special interests than actually do the hard work they were hired to do.

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

February 11, 2020 Dear Berkshire Eagle Editors, How can you rationally support the settlement between the EPA and GE that puts yet another inadequate toxic waste chemical dump full of cancer causing PCBs in Berkshire County, Massachusetts? The Eagle published the following facts, which I cut and pasted below my name, which once again demonstrates that the capping of PCBs in local dumps in Pittsfield and a future dump in Lee will eventually fail. The caps need to be monitored from day 1 and will only last a few short decades. Once the caps fail, then thousands of Berkshire County residents will be exposed to GE’s left behind industrial chemicals that negatively impact the brain development in children, as well as cause cancer in people. I really dislike The Berkshire Eagle newspaper because the Eagle has supported GE’s screwing over of Pittsfield and areas… Read more »

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

The Left Winged Parrot was real big on pushing the original clandestine consent decree. A back door deal brokered by Doyle Devillars and Welch cronies.

Pittsfield got some Judas money and a forever polluted toxic waste superfund site.

The toxic brew that is still in Silver Lake, supposedly has more toxins than they removed from the Love Canal Superfund site. The Parrot thought it was great to “sweep it under the rug”!

No wonder today, that the same dirty bird thinks it’s O.K. for some local toxic dumps , rather than forcing GE to clean up their foul spoor

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Cosmetically they did a great job on Silver lake. But as typical Pittsfield mayors do, it is going back to nature with a baby forest growing up around it. I thought the original idea was to make it look nice and it did but oh well. At least some people made big bucks making it look good for a while. Kinda like North street and soon to be Tyler street.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

Councilor Moon does not think about our school at the chemical swamp.White knows its our number 1 problem and wont mention it.Marchetti wont do a thing about these children.Caccamo cares more about recycling to save the environment than the toxic swamp at Allendale .Mccandless never mentions it. Cameron knows whats there but wont say how he feels.
We must knock down Allendale school and save the students.You cant put a restuarant on the PEDA site but you can let 300 kids sit in a toxic swamp.

whutabuub
Guest
whutabuub

Guarantee STOOGEwill have Rutberg and Kevin Moran on to explain the fund campaign, you watch. Such a great and successful newspaper now, looking for a handout. Pretty soon they’ll be asking for a T I F Remember when Trish was in the paper photo ops almost regularly,hmmmm.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

Yes to every word you said!

HvysetWET
Guest
HvysetWET

I see plain janehas a show on pct now.

All Formee
Guest
All Formee

Alex Blumin ( lone wolf) has a petition in tonight at City Clowncil to have term limits concerning Council President. Great petition.

Hoss Cardrite
Guest
Hoss Cardrite

I get it. Who’s Pete think he is,Mitch McClownal

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Absoeffinglutely!

All Formee
Guest
All Formee

Step on-kids necks like they did at a Eagleton. But I like the Kangaroo Court idea.

Kermit Frog
Guest
Kermit Frog

Actually, the old crone who was the head psychologist for Eagleton is the head psychologist for Berkshire Hills School district now!!! Instead of putting her in prison or taking away her license she is advising on South Berkshire kids. School committees and superintendents are so smart and capable. They know how to butter their own bread, to be sure.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Well if she has a history that could make any future lawsuits that more lucrative.

Watizzytlknabout
Guest
Watizzytlknabout

It’s called a dead conscience. People with dead conscience usually appear at the voting booth,that way they keep things dead.

Johnny Absurd
Guest
Johnny Absurd

Some appear as candidates.

The school committee
Guest
The school committee

I just dont understand Pittsfield residents having zero interest in the Swamp of chemicals.Moon White Caccamo Tyer are all green councilors who seem ignorant talking about everything but the school there.Please focus on the swamp.Of all people Dan Elias should save these kids.

Prodognoglue
Guest
Prodognoglue

My dog won’t take a piss at Allendale and sniffs like all get out.

Prodognoglue
Guest
Prodognoglue

Pittsfield residents outside the voting public, have little interest in anything other than putting food on the table and bitching while driving.

Mad Trapper
Guest
Mad Trapper

Well it goes back to at least Jan 2016 and the Barry Sotero administration.

That is the Russian collusion hoax. Thanks to Judicial Watch and others the whole scheme is being unraveled.

It seems there was a real reason they wanted Seth Rich dead.

“BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Deep State Brings In Big Gun US ATTORNEY to Defy Request for Evidentiary Hearing on Previously Hidden Peter Strzok and Lisa Page Emails on Seth Rich”

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/breaking-exclusive-deep-state-brings-in-big-gun-us-attorney-to-defy-request-for-evidentiary-hearing-on-previously-hidden-peter-strzok-and-lisa-page-emails-on-seth-rich/

Corrupt FBI and Sotero DOJ major players

Gigi
Guest
Gigi

I hope the truth comes out on the Seth Rich murder.

Jonathan Melle
Guest
Jonathan Melle

I read that Monday’s GE and EPA settlement may have misstated costs, and that we won’t know how much GE is really going to pay for the cleanup of the Housatonic River until after GE releases its official financial disclosure forms to the SEC in GE’s next quarterly SEC filing. I read that GE may be using “overlapping costs” because GE has already spent around $500 million on the past cleanup of the 2 miles closest to the plant in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Please understand that GE officials declined to state on the public record how much money the settlement would cost the company. GE is known for alleged accounting fraud of many billions of dollars since 1995, or for the past +24-years. GE’s alleged accounting fraud has been laid bare by the SEC and other federal government agencies. Monday’s settlement may be legally valid… Read more »

Gigi
Guest
Shuffling Karombs
Guest
Shuffling Karombs

Evidentially the man blew a gasket. It happens. I remember many years ago a former teacher well known, bludgeoned his Mother and Sister in Pittsfield. He was a very well like teacher and mild mannered. I guess he was Schizophrenic.

Water Boy
Guest
Water Boy

The blind leading the stupid

Blare
Guest
Blare

What happened? A deeply disturbed man slaughtered his family. Something that has been obvious since day 1, despite the irresponsible, ridiculous alternative “theories” floated by morons with an axe to grind from the last DA regime.

Planet Valenti