Wednesday, June 07, 2006

TAX CHEAT! How Alan Chartock conspired with WAMC to avoid paying IRS.

Failure to report CEO's taxable 'perks' could leave trustees liable.

Read the article:

Post your comments.


Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Alan Chartock, BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

Re: "I Publius: Making the right choice", A weekly column by Alan Chartock (The Berkshire Eagle, 9-9-2006): All that Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless is is another machine politician. If I was able to have stayed in the Berkshire State Senate race in 2004 and defeated the corrupt tenure of Berkshire state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., I would have drafted and put to a vote the IMPEACHMENT of David Capeless and Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. --Berkshire Sheriff-- for both of their strong arm tactics against first time drug offenders who were technically in a school zone but had no intent nor purpose of selling illegal drugs to school children and/or young adults. The reason why I would have pushed for the impeachment of Capeless and Massimiano is due to the fact that the LAW in our country is practiced by both the "Letter" and the "Spirit." It is blatantly obvious that the SPIRIT of the LAW was NOT considered when using the LETTER of the LAW to achieve the abusive use of the "Strong Arm of the State" to throw a bone to the political machine who made the matter into a Pittsfield v. Gt. Barrington phony debate about race and class. Like rural Berkshire County is so diverse that the differences between any two or more Towns contrast is the height of absurdity. For a Ph.D., Alan Chartock really shows flaws in his logic. Alan Chartock will go after George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Jack Welch, et al, with biting criticism, but he will not challenge the establishment in Berkshire County. What HYPOCRISY!

As for state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., I still cannot believe that Chartock gives this corrupt Pittsfield Pol such praise. Just some of Nuciforo's career highlights include: (a) Voting himself and his Legislative cohorts 3 pay raises during 3 straight years of cuts to state aid to local governments from FY02 - FY04, (b) Overruling 66% of his voting constituency in a 1998 referendum on Clean Elections to end campaign finance reform in Massachusetts, (c) Illegally serving as a private Corporate Attorney for Berman & Dowell on Commercial Street in Boston representing Big Banks and Insurance Companies while Chairing state Senate Committees setting the rules for these same big Boston financial institutions, (d) Being the only state Senator to vote against the all felon DNA database in 2003 when the passage of this law now includes such serious crimes as drugging with the intent to rape, assault and battery on a child to inflict bodily injury, all drug felonies and all gun felonies. And the list goes on and on with Nuciforo's deficient and corrupt public record as a state Senator from 1997 - 2006! Chartock is just plain WRONG, once again!

Lastly, "Smitty" Pignatelli. What an elitist and opportunistic Pol! The very first thing Pignatelli did when he took office in January of 2003 was to cast his vote for Speaker Tom Finneran, who stood for closed door, exclusive and top-down state government politics on Beacon Hill's State House. Pignatelli holds annual campaign fundraising events at the elitist Cranwell resort and one time even had Finneran as his guest of honor with a big "shit-eating" grin on his face. Pignatelli represents the wealthy and business developers in Southern Berkshire County and has not done even one thing to bring in any kind of reform legislation to State House politics. While I must distinguish that I respect Pignatelli as a good man, unlike Nuciforo, and I could have a beer with him, I dissent against his public record as a state Representative from 2003 - current times. There are many more qualified and reform-minded candidates throughout southern Berkshire County, and I cannot begin to understand how and why someone like Pignatelli is not strongly opposed for office each and every election year.

In conclusion, I dissent against Alan Chartock's political endorsements and opinions about Nuciforo & Pignatelli. My definitive thought on Chartock is is that he is just another banal member of the political machine and his opinions are flawed in logic and context. In America, every person has the Constitutional right to be an IDIOT and Alan Chartock epitomizes that fact each and every day on his radio broadcast and each and every week in his Berkshire Eagle columns. What ashame!

My regards,

Jonathan A. Melle


I Publius
Making the right choice
By Alan Chartock

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I promised that I would let you know who I was personally endorsing in the two most contentious races in the Berkshire County primary. The state Senate race and the race for district attorney, maybe the most important office of all, are crucial contests. Both offices demand talented individuals to fill them. We are lucky that the democratic process is alive and that we all have choices. Here, then, are mine.

The district attorney stands between the vulnerable public and crime. District attorneys are prosecutors and, in a strange way, are also social workers in the best sense of the word. As with all good parents and teachers, they set limits. Their job is to say to law breakers, "You have to take responsibility for your actions."

If any of you readers have ever been victimized by a criminal, if you have been robbed or raped or beaten by a thug in a random act of violence, if you have been witness to the pervasive damage that drugs have done to our society, if your kid has been beaten up or tarred with an anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic slur, if your house or the cemetery where your relatives lie has been desecrated, if you have had someone enter your home in the middle of the night, if you have been prevented from enjoying a public place by a band of rowdy thugs, then you know what crime can do to an individual's spirit and psyche. It is really quite simple. We must apprehend, prosecute and punish criminals.

The race for district attorney in Berkshire County is a good thing. Both incumbent David Capeless and challenger Judith Knight are to be congratulated for vigorously treating the public to an honest debate on the difficult issues that confront us. From where I sit, Capeless has done an excellent job and deserves to be re-elected. Gerard Downing, the late district attorney, chose him to be his No. 2 man. I loved and respected Downing and thought he was one of the nicest, wisest and most compassionate men I have met in public life. That takes in a lot of territory. I trust his judgment, and he carefully chose David Capeless as his top assistant. I like Capeless, and he is one tough guy. In fact, he is so good that he was once chosen by his fellow district attorneys as the best among them.

Before our laws are adopted by the Legislature, they are debated and thought through. Sometimes these laws are not good ones. The idea of a mandatory sentence for buying or selling drugs in a school zone is a good idea. No sensible person could disagree with that. On the other hand, in some cases, two years in prison for selling drugs is just too much. A month in jail would be devastating to most kids who would remember that punishment forever. David Capeless has used the two-year mandatory sentence as a way to force the smaller fish to turn in their heinous suppliers. He has dealt compassionately with those who have had the courage to turn on those who sold them the drugs. As a result of Capeless' work, the parking lot that once was a cesspool of drug dealing is now passable. You can walk there without being insulted or taunted.

For her part, Judith Knight is a good lawyer who got one of the parking lot 18 off the hook, only to see him rearrested for even more serious crimes. She believes that if district attorneys were more like social workers and did more significant outreach and community bonding, there would be less crime. I like her. She just hasn't established a rationale for running.

Then there is the race for the state Senate. There are lots of very good men and women running for the office. I love the fact that so many people have put themselves forward for this important job. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., the son of a great man, was elected to the office and has distinguished himself in it. He has proved to be popular and has worked hand in hand with the Berkshire delegation to bring home the bacon. It is my hope that history will repeat itself, which is why I am going to vote for Ben Downing, son of Gerry. Ben has all the great qualities of his father. He has worked for U.S. Rep. John W. Olver and won high praise from all quarters for his work in that job. What we need in this Senate is more young blood. Too many young people are turning their backs on the political process. The election of a principled, centered and accomplished young man like Ben to this high office would send a message that same old, same old will no longer be tolerated. Ben Downing is right on on all the issues, from women's choice to the environment. None of this should diminish any of the other candidates. They are mostly fine people, but Downing is the right person for the job.

Finally, a word about Smitty Pignatelli. This guy is the best single state representative I have ever seen. He has worked harder than any political figure I know. He could have won the Senate seat, but he loves his work, and we love him. It goes without saying that he deserves re-election.

Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany.

Saturday, September 09, 2006 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

God Bless America! September 11th, 2001 was a day of infamy, tragedy, and ultimately national unity. I feel badly with empathy and remorse for the good American People who perished and whose families were affected on this day 5 years ago today. I hope that we will never forget these vicitims of international terrorism and post Cold War regionalized conflicts with no regional boundaries in war. I hope that we will honor the heroes, especially the New York City public safety community, and memorialize the courage and dignity in this trying time of tragedy.

As for Alan Chartock, I had a conversation with my dad about his backing of Berkshire County machine politicians who stand for corruption and self-service instead of integrity and the common good. My dad told me that Chartock's strong support for such politicians as state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. and state Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli really show just how "out of touch with reality" that Alan is when it comes to common citizens. Ergo, Alan Chartock is more of an ELITIST than a Berkshire County machine politician. My dad said that when he ran for Berkshire County Commissioner 10 years ago in 1996, Alan Chartock backed Tom Stokes for the elected office. I replied that while I am glad my dad won the election, Tom Stokes was a fine choice as well. My dad then replied that Alan's endorsement of Ben Downing for state Senator was a good decision. My dad, like Alan, hopes that Ben Downing will win the election on September 19th. I told my dad that I don't know Ben Downing, but that if Alan Chartock and my dad --two thoughtful and brilliant men-- both favor him, then Ben Downing is the best choice out of the pack running for right to face Republican Party candidate Matt Kinnaman, whom I greatly admire, in the November election.

For my entire life until moving to New Hampshire in 2004, I have listened to Alan Chartock on WAMC and read his Saturday Berkshire Eagle political columns. Like my dad, I believe Alan Chartock cares about American Politics and Democracy with passion and reason. Really, I like Alan Chartock, but we both seem to anger each other at times with our respective political thoughts, speeches and writings. We live in a free country and I hope that Alan, myself, and anyone else out there is able and willing to freely participate in our democracy with civility and thoughtfulness.

Tomorrow (one week before Massachusetts), New Hampshire is holding her primary. For United States Congress, I am going to cast my Democratic Party primary vote for CAROL SHEA - PORTER. I have not met this progressive candidate from Rochester, New Hampshire, but I have read about her and watched her on television. She is a well educated and informed candidate who has a clear platform for ending the War in Iraq and providing Universal healthcare to all American Citizens. Carol Shea - Porter is from the seacoast area of New Hampshire and faces a similar set of circumstances that a Southern Berkshire County candidate would face with getting enough Pittsfield area votes for the Berkshire State Senator seat. The Town I live in, Manchester, NH, has a big political machine that may by default swing the primary election towards Jim Craig of Manchester. He, too, is a good candidate to take on Republican Party Incumbent candidate Jeb Bradley, who is a rubber stamp for the beltway's RNC and Bush Administration, but I am backing Carol Shea - Porter because she has a clear platform of progressive ideals that will help lift the human conditions of all peoples both at home and abroad.

On this anniversary date, may we all find bonds of unity and stand together for the cause of America! God Bless America!

My regards,

Jonathan A. Melle

Monday, September 11, 2006 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

From what I understand, U.S. Congressman John W. Olver hosted an annual breakfast in Pittsfield this morning. I hope everyone enjoyed the fine Congressman from Amherst, Massachusetts, but I hope that Denis E. GUYER, Tim Kiely, Peter Marchetti, et al, did not yet again take another opportunity to bash and slam my character to the good people of Pittsfield, Massachusetts!

-Jonathan A. Melle

Re: Alan Chartock's column in today's B-Eagle:

Dear Alan,

You are intelligent and usually fair, which is why I canNOT understand how and why you keep praising Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.! You say that "he's been a great state senator, a fine lawyer and has done a lot for all of us." You state that he should win this office (Central Berkshire Register of Deeds) in Pittsfield, which shows how uninformed and therefore BIASED you are about this bad man.

My reasons for writing to you in DISSENT, once again, of your endorsement and praise of Nuciforo focuses primarily on the following issue with an enclosed news article, thereby backing my critical statements against Nuciforo backed with ACTUAL FACTS!!!!, which I have presented below:

(1) Before Nuciforo went into this race, there were two women running. Their names were (a) Sharon E. Henault and (b) Sara Hathaway.

(2) What happened once Nuciforo entered the race?
-----Multiple Choice-----
Is the answer? ...
(a) Nuciforo wanted to uphold the institutions of democracy and support the opposing candidacies of Henault and Hathaway.
(b) Nuciforo, who is a man, wanted to uphold the values of diversity and support the opposing candidacies of the two opposing women candidates.
(c) Nuciforo wanted the people to have a choice by supporting the different views of opposing candidates.
(d) Nuciforo wanted to have a political discussion among his political opposition as to how to best run the Registry of Deeds Office.

(3) The ANSWER is NONE of the ABOVE!

That is right, Alan Chartock! Your sorry praise of Nuciforo is unwarranted. The TRUTH is is that Nuciforo STRONG-ARMED his two opposing political candidates out of the race for Registry of Deeds.

(4) HOW DID NUCIFORO DO IT? The answer to your predictable question of retort is that Nuciforo is part of the Pittsfield Political Machine! If you read the news article, below, you will see by cutting through the unwritten "layers of the onion" that Nuciforo would have FIRED --yes, that is right, Alan, FIRED -- Henault if she had opposed Nuciforo and lost to him on September 19th.

Now, Alan, you would ask, "Jonathan, isn't that the name of the game? My answer to you Alan is that by Nuciforo giving her a "choice" to drop out and letting him run ultimately unopposed -- as Nuciforo soon there-after strong armed Hathaway out of this race -- or Henault would have lost everything. By everything, Alan, I mean Henault would have lost all of her own long-term state pension contributions, her health-care coverage, her income, and the like, and she would be then forced to have lived an old age in poverty. To put it into a phrase everyone can understand, if Henault did not drop out of the race and Nuciforo then defeated her, Nuciforo would have "FED HENAULT TO THE WOLVES!" Ah, now we understand, Alan.

(5) Alan: You are PATHETIC --yes, PATHETIC -- for your praise for state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.! Nuciforo is a strong arm, machine politician who only represents himself and the powerful special interests that will keep him powerful. Alan: You are a good man, but I am going to legally and legitimately warn you that from here on, when you unduly praise Nuciforo, I will ALWAYS be writing against your biased opinions with the strongest of my DISSENT! I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN with U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS and CIVIL LIBERTIES, AND I WILL ALWAYS SPEAK MY GOOD CONSCIENCE for AS LONG AS I LIVE! GIVE ME LIBERTY or GIVE ME DEATH! (As quoted from the Revolutionary Virginian Leader Patrick Henry, who declared at the Continental Congress that "I am not just a Virginian, I am an American!")

My very best regards and fondness to you Alan Chartock, my friend,

Jonathan A. Melle

Register race narrows to two

By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire [The Berkshire] Eagle Staff
Berkshire Eagle

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

PITTSFIELD — Sharon E. Henault yesterday withdrew as a candidate to succeed Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds Mary K. O'Brien and said she will instead support State Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr.'s bid.

The 38-year-old Henault's decision leaves Nuciforo and his former chief of staff, ex-Pittsfield Mayor Sara Hathaway, both Democrats, as the only two candidates who have so far taken out nomination papers to run for the six-year term as O'Brien's successor in the November elections.

"I love and enjoy my job," said Henault, who has been the first assistant register to O'Brien for almost four years. She began working at the registry of deeds 21 years ago as a junior clerk.

"I was running because I was concerned about what was going to happen to the office," she said. "When I took out my papers, I didn't know who was running or who was interested in the position."

Henault was the first to take out nomination papers for the office, but after meeting with Nuciforo to discuss how the registry operates, and after talking over her decision with family, friends and supporters, Henault said she decided to withdraw from the race and back Nuciforo.

"I've always respected him and enjoyed talking to him," she said. "I felt confident that if he got into office that it would remain the same."

Both Nuciforo and Hathaway could not be reached for comment last night.

The register's position is a low-profile post but carries an annual salary of roughly $80,000 and is a position that incumbents can hold for decades. O'Brien was first elected in 1975, when she defeated three men in the Democratic primary and then out-polled the Republican candidate, the late Paul Abkowitz.

Henault said the register performs more administrative duties than the first assistant does.

"I enjoy being an assistant because I like everything I do and because I'm very hands-on," Henault said. "I felt that if I was elected register it wouldn't be as hands-on. I hope he (Nuciforo) gets in so that I can remain in the position that I'm in."

Henault said she will support Nuciforo's candidacy, but isn't sure how.

"I will do what I can, but as a state employee I have to be careful," Henault said.

Saturday, September 16, 2006 1:58:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dear Alan Chartock:

You are right about the government needing to entitle every American Citizen with quality and affordable universal healthcare. To the big institutions with large economy of scales, specifically the federal government, the people are seen as a liability. My United States Senator in the great state of New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, wants to limit federal government entitlement spending instead of grow it on social insurance programs that really do help the poor, such as Social Security and Medicare. I write to Senator Gregg about these issues, and he cloaks his big government supply side economic views in the very terms you lay out, which it would place greater constraints on small business to hire and pay entry to mid-level workers. The big business & big government argument is fallacious in its logic and spirit because to small economy of scale institutions such as small business and municipal governments, it is the poor people, healthcare liabilities and the diminishing big institution investments in the declining middle class that are doing the most damage. I agree with you, Alan Chartock, that universal healthcare must be a top priority from our policy makers in big government and business, down to our state governments and small economy of scale local governments and small businesses.

Thank you,

Jonathan A. Melle

Saturday, October 07, 2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...


Dear Alan Chartock:

It is very interesting to me, Alan, how you have always, 100% of the time, unduly and illegitimately praised state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. for his very deficient public policy record that you cannot even begin to defend against my own written, oral and documented brain trust of knowledge on this aforementioned political persecutor and machine politician (see the annotated citation below my signed name), but you now choose to vilify MATT KINNAMAN because he actually wants to represent the PEOPLE of Berkshire County against the long-standing POLITICAL MACHINE that has ruined an otherwise beautiful and proud region that more than complements the rolling mountains of bordering Vermont. Alan, your arguments for Nuciforo are outright sorry and terrible, and I must now contrast them with those you have and are now making against Matt Kinnaman, whom you have demonstably made into a villain. I am not arguing against Ben Downing, and my dad, like you, really wants this fine young man to win the state Senate seat representing the county he once proudly served less than a decade ago as the last Chairman of the Berkshire County Commission. What I am arguing for is that Matt Kinnaman is not a villian and does not deserve your villification attacks against his "Bush-like" socioeconomic conservativism that conforms much more to the political mores of Kansas than to those of Massachusetts.

O.K., Alan, so Kinnaman is a "red stater" who is making several big government political runs in a blue state. What is wrong with that? What if Deval Patrick did the same thing, but in Kansas? Would you allow your flipped diatribe against Patrick to pass by that of a Kansas-styled conservative columnist? The answer is "No." Matt Kinnaman has my support not for his "Bush-like" views on conservative political issues, which is his God-given right, but because he wants to tear down the political machine that runs the business and government apparatuses of fine places like Pittsfield, Massachusetts; which has made one of the most intelligent Mayor's in Pittsfield's history into a puppet of special interests instead of the man of integrity that he sought out to be. I can back that last statement up and you know it!

Anyway, Matt Kinnaman has it right about Berkshire County politics! The political machine, entrenched politicians, and special interests run the Berkshires instead of the people who do the living, working and dying in these 32 special communities that I had called home for over 28 years. I have made political arguments against Matt Kinnaman like everyone else and, you know what Alan, he encourages me to do so. Matt Kinnaman wants to hear from me, while Pols like (Bureaucrat) Dan Bosley tell me to "shut the (cough) up!", Denis Guyer retaliates against me with the most vicious and upsetting of slanderous rumors that makes Kerry Healey look like Mother Teresa, and best of all, your favorite goon, Andrea F. Nuciforo tried to have my dad fired from his 31 year state job and his son (me) jailed all at the same time period in the Spring of 1998!

Those aforementioned "Liberal Democrats" you are so fooled by are nothing of the sort, Alan! The only reason why Bosley, Guyer and Nuciforo are "Dems" is because that is where the power is inside the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts! To illustrate, the comprehensive healthcare bill the Liberal Legislature passed has no funding mechanism and will never work when implemented next year; Dan Bosley is the poster boy public defender of the annual record breaking and profiting state lottery, which is nothing but a tax on the poor and a dead weight on poor post-industrial communities; Denis Guyer is a money-grubber who married Allison Crane for her multi-million dollar inherited trust fund accounts and whose character is that of a bullying tormentor; Andrea Nuciforo worked and continues to work for a private Boston law firm representing Big Banks and Insurance Companies, and even the Berkshire Eagle has labelled him as a strong fiscal conservative, but social liberal. In the verbage of that (not so) great icon of Pittsfield Politics and the Berkshire County political machine that represents special interests as a current lobbyist, PETER J. LARKIN, I must say to you, ALAN CHARTOCK, "C'mon!"

How can you vilify Matt Kinnaman, but not Dan Bosley, Denis Guyer and/or Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.? Is the answer so simple as that of "social liberalism" that these aforementioned phony political machine goons portend to give lip service to, but when you look at Massachusetts the public schools' (1/3 drop out rate in Boston and other urban regions) failing grades you realize it is not just do to the proliferation charter schools, but due to the fact that these same state Legislators and/or those "liberals" who pre-dated them cut state aid to cities and towns for 3 straight years while bequething themselves with three straight pay raises from Fiscal Years (FY) 2002 - 2004 in order to balance the state's record budget deficits after the Big Dig had a record $2 Billion cost overrun in the Spring of 2000? Where on Earth are you coming from, Alan, to SCAPEGOAT MATT KINNAMAN when the problems the state has and is facing come from those "Liberal" (in name only) POWER BROKERS in the state Legislature? Matt Kinnaman never held state office before and his ideas only counter those of the "Liberals" in the state Legislature that have created and sustained such a terrible and problematic comprehensive pubic policy record. Look at the arguments and what you have wrote just one more time, Alan, and I challenge you, if you dare, to an open written e-mail debate regarding your unfair and preposterous vilification and scapegoating of Matt Kinnaman, who is only offering a different direction of inclusion and positive change all for his LOVE of the PEOPLE of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, hopefully someday, the greatest nation on Earth: The United States of America!

In truth,

Jonathan A. Melle



"Session closes; laws left behind: Higher education bill, others are unresolved" (The Berkshire Eagle, August 01st, 2006); This news article states:

Auto insurance reform is another key issue on which the Legislature adjourned without taking any major action. Gov. Mitt Romney proposed his own legislation that would have scrapped the current system in which the state regulates the rates and allows competition to drive the market.

A similar proposal was advanced by House lawmakers, but state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., D-Pittsfield, strongly opposed it. Nuciforo, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said both proposals to deregulate the auto insurance market would lead to sharply higher rates for young drivers in urban areas.

However, state Rep. Denis E. Guyer, D-Dalton, said he wants to see auto insurance on the agenda when lawmakers reconvene next year and address inequities between rural and urban drivers.

"Drivers in our region are subsidizing the auto insurance rates of drivers in Boston, and I don't think it's fair. My constituents deserve the same types of rates and deals as drivers in Boston," Guyer said.

Monday, October 23, 2006 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Alan,

I agree with your basic premise that because same sex people and partners are human beings that they are entitled to HUMAN RIGHTS, which includes the civil right to marry. Indeed, our nation was NOT founded on corporate wealth, capitalism, imperialism, and the like; but instead on one underlying premise that God made human beings equal therefore we are free. In a state of nature, people have natural rights (since 1948, called, "Human Rights"). Under the social compact, people form a government that protects these natural rights (human rights), but defer their autonomy to a democratic institutions -- the state -- to secure their safety, health and welfare in order to collectively prosper at a greater standard of living then we would if we were all only out for ourselves. Interestingly, corporate wealth, capitalism and imperialism all undercut our Founding Father's basic beliefs in natural rights, democratic institutions and property rights for all American Citizens (excepting slaves, women, and the like). In the beginning through the possible end of our nation's long-standing Constitutional governance, natural rights and democracy have always been a struggle against many other interests, especially because of HUMAN NATURE! (which is why we have state institutions -- or better stated: "A nation of laws, not of men."

I am frustrated with you, Alan, for the very same reasons that I am frustrated with our buddy Dan Bosley and your new historic Governor Deval Patrick. While I mostly find myself admiring and agreeing with you, Dan & Deval, I also find many of your views to be both myopic and skewed. If same sex marriage was a real issue to you, then you would have advocated for at least one law to be passed supporting it. Never mind amending the state Constitution -- the oldest functioning document of its kind in the entire World, but first start by passing a law supporting the human rights of same sex people and partners to be allowed to enjoy the civil benefits and entitlements of marriage. That has yet to be done. It seems to me that same sex marriage is an issue where politicians like to speak out about, but really don't do much about, especially the social liberals.

I see through Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, and everyone else, too, just like you, Alan. You are not the only political analyst with X-Ray vision. I, too, can peel through the layers of the onion in matters of government, politics, economics, finance, and the like. I know that the intent of the opponents of same sex marriage is to discriminate against a minority group -- namely, homosexuals -- to build their red state political base in order to win the 2008 Presidential Election. I read your past columns about "The 1948 Democratic Party Upset" when Truman defeated Dewey. I read your statements about when and how the Corporate Elite -- Wall Street -- Republican Party bosses came up with both social (i.e., abortion) and cultural (i.e., civil rights: "blacks") platforms to divide the common people against the traditional economic platforms of F.D.R.'s "New Deal." You are a genius, Alan, but that does not mean that the Democratic Party can get away with being the "do nothing" party, which is the case in point with same sex marriage from 2003 to the present.

Keep up your good work! Sometimes I think you are an elitist phony, but at other times I also think you politically biased, too. Overall, I concur with your political philosophies supporting human rights and democracy. In conclusion, I agree with your ideals and hope that the people start participating in the state institutions that protect our human rights and democratic way of life before we someday possibly lose them --in part or in whole-- to corporate wealth, capitalism, imperialism, and/or the like. I like that you both get me to think and that I get frustrated by your myopic and skewed views of politics.


Jonathan A. Melle

P.S. What do you think of President Bush II being entitled to open our mail? I think "Bush is a tyrant" and the president should be impeached this year for violating both U.S. Constitutional Laws and many other Federal Laws and Regulations. Down with tyranny! Go Democrats on Capitol Hill in 2007 & 2008!
Source: "I Publius: It is a matter of human rights" (By Alan Chartock, a political columnist, The Berkshire Eagle, Saturday, January 6, 2007)
Note: I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live. No Mayor, Governor, President, or anyone else will ever stop Jonathan Alan Melle from speaking out on public policies and participating in government. "Give me Liberty or give me death!"

Saturday, January 06, 2007 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Alan:

Re: "I Publius: Casino — not in my backyard" (A weekly political column by Alan Chartock, The Berkshire Eagle, Saturday, February 03, 2007):




If you can answer me these two questions, then I may begin to believe that State Representative Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams, Massachusetts) is using rational economic incentives instead of perverse economic incentives concerning gambling public policies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Forever Friendship & Thank you,

Jonathan A. Melle

Saturday, February 03, 2007 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Saturday, 2/24/2007

Dear Alan, Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Pols, & the People:

Re: "I Publius: Keeping the hospital healthy" (A weekly column by Alan Chartock, The Berkshire Eagle, Saturday, February 24, 2007): By defending Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) hospital CEO Dave Phelps' Berkshire County ONLY monopoly on specialty medical equipment via the specialized medical services that use such equipment, Alan Chartock is defending the narrow interests of the local hospitals over the general interests of affordable healthcare.

First, his political analysis. I have followed one of Alan's favorite Berkshire Pols very closely after "Luciforo" tried to ruin my dad and have me jailed in the Spring of 1998. After returning home from the U.S. Army in July of 2001, I soon became aware that the Massachusetts Legislature and Acting-Governor Jane Swift did not pass the FY02 state budget by the July 1, 2001 deadline. I was living in the beautiful village of Becket that summer through the summer of 2003, actually, and I started following all of the state budget crises that delayed the state from formulating a plan to pay all of its financial obligations. By that Fall, we were dealing with the aftermath of 9/11/2001, which was a very tragic event indeed. Columbus Day and then Halloween passed by, but the Legislature and the Acting Governor couldn't seem to pass the budget, which finally passed in late-November of 2001, and became infamously known as "The Thanksgiving Budget."

During this time of Beacon Hill meltdown and national tragedy, the Pittsfield area Radiologists lobbied "Luciforo" and Larkin for state permits to operate medical devices at their private Pittsfield practice in order to more effectively and efficiently treat cancer patients. In fact, both "Luciforo" and Larkin wrote back to these doctors with assurances that they would be granted their request. Then, in a secret budget rider to the late "Thanksgiving Budget" of 2001, both "Luciforo" and Larkin made a law with no public hearings or disclosures to give BHS hospitals sole monopoly power in Berkshire County ONLY to own and operate such medical devices.

Of course, Alan Chartock wrote a column in the aftermath of "The Thanksgiving Budget" praising both "Luciforo" and Larkin's move to protect the profit margins of the hospitals at the expense of the private Radiologists and medical patients suffering from cancer in the Pittsfield area. In fact, Alan Chartock has never once criticized Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. for his deplorable public record of strong-armed tactics, illegal political corruption, and closed door, secretive laws! Instead, when "Luciforo" does something dishonest, Alan mostly praises the son of a bitch, and at other times Alan remains silent.

Now, Alan extrapolates BHS' monopoly power in Berkshire County ONLY over MRI and PTE medical equipment to treat Berkshire County cancer patients to the new proposal by area orthopedists to operate their own private medical practice outside of BHS' operations. In Alan's political analysis, I wonder whether he would want the current group of Berkshire Legislative Delegates to pass a parallel law on the orthopedists that they passed against the radiologists -- a law whereby the state lawmakers gave false assurances to the medical doctors, and was attached as a rider to the state budget without any public hearings, public disclosures, or merit to the general medical field. I wonder whether Alan Chartock's political anaylsis is limited in scope to the small scale operations of Berkshire County medical care where "Luciforo" and Larkin's monopoly on Radiologist only applies, or whether Alan wants these secretively passed laws to apply throughout the whole commonwealth. I wonder whether or not Alan wants the new law to be openly disclosed, have public hearings, or even have merit for a broader scale than a limited Berkshire County only monopoly.

In short, Alan Chartock's political analyses and bias towards BHS and its wealthy CEO Dave Phelps is really frustrating. Moreover, his indirect praise for "Luciforo" and Larkin for passing the BHS monopoly on MRI and PTE medical equipment in Berkshire County only LAW is really reprehensible and he owes us all an apology for praising two such corrupt and special interest Pols.

Second, his economic analysis. While I concur with Alan that single payer is the most effective, efficient and practical means to insuring every American Citizen with quality healthcare, I also dissent against his postulations that hospital administered care is the optimal means to provide medical services. In fact, there have been multiple, yet conflicting, studies on medical services: Some favor hospitals while others favor private practices. At any rate, there is simply no evidence to back up the line of Dave Phelps regarding his BHS hospitals' economic incentives, against the private practice medical doctors' respective economic incentives. The outcomes of private medical practices, which is inevitability across the nation, have yet to be either fully quantified or qualified per their trade offs in medical care. The bottom line in medicine should NOT be Dave Phelps' salary or the fancy car he drives around the Berkshires, or even the profits of a private medical practice, but rather the health of the medical patients in the communities the doctors serve in. This point seems to be lost on all of the Pols in local, state and national government, including many of the political commentators, namely Alan Chartock. This point was certainly lost on both "Luciforo" and Larkin, whose neglect of the cancer causing PCB pollution in Pittsfield will be a tragedy for many more generations to come!


Jonathan A. Melle

Saturday, February 24, 2007 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Alan, Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

You are right to criticize the President for diminishing the will of Congress and the People (democracy) on the issue of stem cell research. The benefits to medicine hugely outweigh the cost to the disputed "human" value of embryonic stem cells. The irony to me is that of the real issue, which is federal funding for stem cell research. While the Bush Administration does not blink an eye at giving $1 Trillion to a never-ending, illegal and immoral war in Iraq, where many thousands of innocent civilians have perished at the hands of the military strikes of the U.S. Government, they will turn around fight to the death over a paltry sum for scientific research. What a double standard! When it comes to OIL and American Corporate Domination in the Middle East, Bush will spend many multiples the amount of federal dollars on the Iraq War where many multiples the amount of fully developed human life/innocent people have been killed by U.S. Military Strikes. But when it comes to SCIENCE and curing diseases, Bush will fight the will of the Congress and the American People to protect embryos that will most likely perish anyway.

Alan, you are WRONG to selectively criticize some politicians and not others on the issue of democracy. I cannot and will not stand for it. You know full well that Luciforo strong-armed 2 women candidates out of last year's Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds state government election race, illegally served as a private banking and insurance Attorney for a Boston Law Firm while chairing state government legislative committees overseeing these same committees, took in record amounts of campaign contributions from special interest lobbying firms, corporate executives and financial institutions to fight auto insurance reform measures, tried to make a deal with Governor Deval Patrick to put himself as the Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner and resign the Registry of Deeds position less than a month after taking the oath of office, and is part of the Pittsfield Political Machine that is anything but democratic. So while you rightfully criticize the president for not listening to the will of the Congress and People, you wrongfully remain silent on Luciforo's trampling of democracy in Massachusetts State Government Politics!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


I, Publius
The news of the week in review
By Alan Chartock
Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bush to Veto Stem Cell Research: So here is this guy who probably would have lost in an up-and-up election, whose polling numbers are in the toilet, and who is still cynically catering to his conservative and reactionary base. I've got news for the president — stem cell research holds the promise for the biggest medical breakthroughs in our history.

People suffering from everything from Parkinson's disease to juvenile diabetes are desperately hoping and praying for a cure while this self-identified "compassionate conservative" is proving to be a whole lot of neither. He isn't conserving precious life and, in dashing people's last best hope, he could hardly be considered compassionate. Both Republicans and Democrats are suffering, and the country is wildly in favor of this new science. Apparently, the last thing the president thinks about is democracy. ...

Saturday, April 14, 2007 2:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Dear Alan Chartock

Re: "I, Publius: More stories ripped from the headlines" (A weekly column by Alan Chartock, The Berkshire Eagle, Saturday, May 19, 2007): Dr. Alan Chartock writes, "[North Adams Mayor] John [Barrett] and I share a reductionist view of mankind. Reduced to their natural essences, people can be self-serving and obstructionist. It is as simple as that." Chartock contrasts Mayor Barrett's view of human nature (bullying to get one's way) with a contrived view of Pittsfield Mayor Jim Ruberto's contrived view of human nature (inducing). How to begin to sort this all out?

First, let me provide my views of Mayors John Barrett III and Jimmy Ruberto.

(a) Both are similar because both rely more on perverse incentives to net their fair cities federally funded, state administered dollars. To illustrate, for several recent decades, North Adams was known to the northeast as "the teen pregnancy capital of the World." Now, just last year, Pittsfield's steadily increasing rates of teen pregnancies doubled the statewide average. Both communities -- Pittsfield & North Adams -- have all the power in the world to drastically lower their coterminous artificially high rates of teen pregancies, but won't provide any real solutions other than feel good canned ones. The bottom line financially is that high rates of teen pregnancies annually provides Pittsfield with tens of millions in social service, welfare, public education, and the like public dollars, and North Adams gains by the millions, too. The Mayors of Pittsfield and North Adams then take the millions of public dollars and complement them with their other revenue sources, thereby keeping their property tax rates artificially low so that they can get re-elected for many consecutive terms. Any excess municipal surplus public dollars doesn't find its way to stopping the cycle of poverty -- as that (intergenerational poverty) is what Pittsfield & North Adams both feed off of -- but rather, the surplus public money goes to SPECIAL INTERESTS!

(b) Mayor John Barrett III: He is a machine politician. Barrett does NOT have a mind of his own, but follows the Good Old Boy Network. In 1994, Pittsfield Mayor Ed Reilly, Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., and Barrett all stood on the steps of the Pittsfield City Hall and endorsed BILL WELD for Governor of Massachusetts! These are the leaders of the Berkshire area Democratic Party endorsing a guy who stood only for the CORPORATE ELITE or supply side economic public policies in a region that is anything but! Moreover, Mayor John Barrett III is a BULLY! He strong-arms anyone who doesn't go along with his public policies, including the North Adams City Council! North Adams is full of MAJOR SOCIAL PROBLEMS, including the top worst performing public schools in the commonwealth and nation, contaminated and polluted drinking water that stunts learning in children, high rates of welfare caseloads, high rates of declining population, and the like. Just try to help people and stand for GRASSROOTS governance, and your resistance is FUTILE under the heavy handed bullying in the name of leadership of John Barrett III.

(c) Mayor Jimmy Ruberto: Where to begin! My God! Pittsfield really went downhill under the Ruberto Regime. I have contributed about 50 Blog entries against Jimmy Ruberto over the past 2+ years. Things in Pittsfield center around TEEN PREGNANCIES, 1-out-of-3 public school high school students dropping out, high welfare caseloads, the poor being hit with inequitable regressive taxes and fees, and on and on. The irony here is that Jimmy Ruberto voiced concerns about Pittsfield's many SOCIAL PROBLEMS, but the only constituency he was willing to assist was the wealthy business community. Moreover, Ruberto's inducements to businesses were ineffective, AS BERKSHIRE COUNTY IS NOW THE NUMBER 1 REGION IN THE COMMONWEALTH FOR JOB LOSSES!

Second, let me provide my views of Alan Chartock.

(d) Alan Chartock is Orwellian! He lives by George Orwell's philosophy that:


Time and time again, I have written to Alan Chartock about his DOUBLE STANDARDS, a paralell to my many essays of Dan Bosley's HYPOCRISIES. Never once did Alan Chartock admit that some Pols get off without even a slap on their wrists, while others are downright lambasted for lesser offenses. Alan Chartock likes to go after the CORPORATE ELITE: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Jack Welch, Jr., and the like, yet he will support Pols like Bill Weld who only serve this same exact constituency, which makes no sense for Berkshire County where the people are the regions biggest economic and social resource (for rational incentives only, NOT perverse incentives). However, the one thing I truly admire about Dr. (Orwell/)Chartock is his commitment to HUMAN RIGHTS! Even before his politics and Orwellian favoritism, Chartock always -- and I mean always -- places HUMAN RIGHTS first. Alan Chartock brings tears of joy and happiness to my heart because he is a man committed to HUMAN RIGHTS!

Third, let me provide my view of human nature.

Human Nature is GOOD! Reduced to our natural essences, people want help and for this reason learn to help one another. If you go back to the days of Colonialism, it was the Church and State that sponsored businesses to exploit peoples by dividing them based on their differences. The Genocides of Europe and now Africa, which was colonized by European states, are rooted in the "divide and conquer" bully principles of Colonialism. When babies are born, people are reduced to their natural essences and our hearts all melt. We see God in the faces of our newborn family members. We only want to see our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren receive the best the World has to offer in their future lives. Human Nature has provided us with many compassionate and worthy institutions and cultures around the World. In the aftermath of tragedy, peoples come together to atone and make our World a safer, freer and more just place for people to live in.

Human Nature is NOT bad! Rather, Human Nature is CORRUPTED by self-interests, greed and power. Peoples learn hate, to be violent and hurtful. Every War and divisive idea that has presented us with social injustice came from a group of people(s) in politics and business who have played on our insecurities to the point that we have draw artificial boundaries, such as political boundaries, walls of class and status, and one god being better than another god. Inside of Human Beings, however, is the need to unlearn the falsehoods our "corporate masters" have taught us and begin again to see people(s) for the people(s) we all are, and look past all of the man-made differences.

Fourth, let me provide my conclusion to Alan Chartock's thesis of human nature, and how one Mayor is better than the other.

In conclusion, Alan Chartock's political philosophies are WRONG! It is that simple. I would not waste my time writing this essay of DISSENT against Chartock if I did not believe so much in the wrongness of his fallacious logic. He has the Human Rights to state what he believes, and I have the Human Rights to state my differences to what he writes. I believe that Mayor John Barrett III is a failure for North Adams! His public schools are worse off than they have ever been, his drinking water is contaminated and polluted with no real long-term solutions being offered, his welfare caseloads are sky high. I believe that for Alan Chartock to compliment and praise Barrett for his long tenure as Mayor of North Adams because he is basically a dictator and bully is ORWELLIAN. Moreover, I believe to place Barrett's executive skills against Jimmy Ruberto's boils down to Chartock's Orwellian philosophy that ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, but Mayor Barrett is more equal than Mayor Ruberto. Some believe that Chartock's praises for Barrett are due to the fact that he is looking out for his lovely wife, who does great work for HUMAN RIGHTS at the higher educational institution formerly known as North Adams State College. If so, I would probably do the same thing Alan Chartock is doing, but much more discreetly. In the end, however, Alan Chartock (& his wife's) commitment to HUMAN RIGHTS makes me proud and trumps all of my past, present and future criticisms of the man who believes that all peoples are entitled to basic rights no matter who, what, where, why, when, and how they are in the World. Alan Chartock brings warmth to my heart because he places HUMAN RIGHTS above politics! That means he is a good man!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Saturday, May 19, 2007 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Re: The best of the best!

Dear Alan, Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Pols, & the People:

My responses to your points are as follows:

Point # 1. As we sit and watch the destruction caused by his new five-judge majority that would give all power to business and erode basic human rights...we see the manifestation of evil.

Response # 1. I agree with you, Alan, that the Corporate Elite is more powerful than ever before in national politics -- and now shame on the Democratic Majority in U.S. Congress, too. "Tax Cuts with Wars" is completely Orwellian and in the favor of the Corporate Elite, especially war profiteer contractors like Dick Cheney's Halliburton! Human Rights are dramatically falling in value to big business' narrow interests supported by special interest Pols on Capitol Hill.

Point # 2. Anyone else think that George Bush has wreaked havoc with the basic right of habeas corpus in the name of "protecting us?"

Response # 2. Yes, I, too, believe that President Bush II has shredded the Constitution's Bill of Rights protections under false pretenses. We have never had such a secretive White House since the dark days of President Nixon.

Point # 3. It may start with only overseas phone calls but little by little, we get closer to George Orwell's terrifying vision of the future and Big Brother.

Response # 3. I believe Orwell's totalitarian visions of the future and Big Brother are reality. We still are fighting a never-ending war in Iraq that is illegal and for American Corporate control of Oil and military dominance in the Middle East region. It has already been reported that the federal government has illegally tapped countless numbers of American's phone and email communications.

Point # 4. We have watched Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney move to cement their power to the point that we are on the verge of real corporate fascism.

Response # 4. The power to set, control and manipulate the political agenda is absolute power. The corporate elite does this each and every business day on Capitol Hill. It is the epitomy of corporate fascism, indeed.

Alan, your column was the best of the best that I have ever read in my entire life of reading about politics. I am impressed with your high level of intelligence and excellent analytical skills in explaining the current state of American and International politics in a concise opinion column. Good work!

Jonathan A. Melle

I Publius
Common chords in our kings
By Alan Chartock
Berkshire Eagle
Saturday, July 07, 2007

As I listened once again to the annual reading on WAMC of the Declaration of Independence, outlining the crimes of the King of England, I was struck by two things: the common chords between then and now and the fact that the King and the resident President share the same first name.

The fact that George Bush's own election is more than a little suspect gives added weight to Thomas Jefferson's impassioned words in the Declaration. Everyone who reads this revolutionary document, far more incendiary than the Constitution, will be struck by the parallels between the state of affairs then and now. And everyone will find their own gems in the list of wrongs attributed to the King in this call to revolution but there are a few beauties that literally jump off the page and smack you in the eye.

One of my favorites comes right at the top of the list of the King's wrongs: "He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

Just think of it. Here we sit on the verge of huge scientific breakthroughs in stem cell research. We have the potential to help those suffering (not a word to be used lightly) with diseases like Parkinson's and diabetes. But our King George uses the threat of his veto pen to kill a bill that could potentially save millions of American lives. Why? Who knows?

Maybe he is playing to his right wing conservative base. Maybe he really believes the Almighty has commanded him to let us suffer. One thing is for sure — he is anything but a compassionate conservative. And consider the so-called signing statements in which he tells us that while he is signing the law, he will not follow it, thereby dishonoring the very Constitution he is sworn to uphold. I would remind you that he swore that oath on the Holy Bible he so venerates.

"He has made judges dependent on his will alone ..." As we sit and watch the destruction caused by his new five-judge majority that would give all power to business and erode basic human rights like a woman's right to reproductive freedom and the right to sue for basic wrongs, we see the manifestation of evil.

He has chosen judges of ill repute who will, for whatever reason, do his bidding, oppressing the American people. What difference is there between his hand picked crony judges and those of the quite insane King George?

"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the civil power." Anyone up for a trip to Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib? Anyone else think that George Bush has wreaked havoc with the basic right of habeas corpus in the name of "protecting us?" The chickens are coming home to roost here, too.

We all know the game. Take rights away from "them" and then extend the "them" to the rest of us. Sure, tap their phones and don't even bother to go to a court that always gives permission. It may start with only overseas phone calls but little by little, we get closer to George Orwell's terrifying vision of the future and Big Brother.

To be fair, Bush's military may be independent of us civilians abut it is hardly independent of him, in much the same way King George's military wasn't separate from that despot.

If one of your agents breaks the law, commute his prison sentence for now and eventually pardon him. Proclaim that the law is wrong and the sentence is too severe. At the same time, persecute and prosecute all those who might offend you.

I don't think any right-minded American believes that we ought to rebel against the tyranny of this George. While we still have it, we can use the ballot box. And now is the time to use it, before it, too, is hopelessly corrupted. This President needs to be replaced along with the learned but flawed judges and generals who do his bidding.

The thing about power is that sooner or later, people will do whatever they must in order to maintain it and make it more absolute. We have watched Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney move to cement their power to the point that we are on the verge of real corporate fascism. I would recommend that everyone get a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it through. Then grab the Constitution and read the first Ten Amendments.


On another matter, it is gratifying to see just how much culture is available to us. Roselle and I saw Tennessee Williams' classic "The Glass Menagerie" at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. It was terrific. I love the idea that talented Kate Maguire played the very pathetic and, in my mind, evil mother who so many of us will recognize in families we have seen.

As always, some people will make the mistake of fostering competition between arts organizations. Last week I wrote about Julianne Boyd and Barrington Stage's presentation of "West Side Story." Don't you know that one powerful and, I'm sure, well-meaning person, let me have it for not saying more good stuff about Kate and her troop at BTF? This seems to be an annual event and it is misguided. Folks, I love all my children..



Monday, July 09, 2007 8:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Dear Alan, et al,

In response to your columns of the best and worst in politics, the following is my concise view of you as a political activist in the news media:

I like that you always stand for Human Rights before either political passions or banalities. On every issue you discuss, from economic to social theories, I like that you place Human Rights for All Peoples as paramount. I believe you are a good man.

The one thing I do not like about you is your long-standing support for Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. (aka Luciforo)! Luciforo is a special interest, corrupted Pol whose only goal is to become a future Congressman through big corporate financial institutions campaign donations in return for special interests. Luciforo is NOT a man of the People, yet you still support him in politics.

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Monday, August 06, 2007 3:16:00 PM  

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