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Year of the Pig: If only politicians were more like them

Your average pig tries to live a pretty clean life, and would likely avoid the Beltway if at all possible; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Your average pig tries to live a pretty clean life, and would likely avoid the Beltway if at all possible; photo by Jason Velázquez.

My image of our leaders in Washington is of a herd of pigs wallowing in the muck. But that’s a disservice to pigs. I love pigs, and I really wish politicians were more like them.

I raised pigs for several years, beginning with Milda, a Yorkshire I had every intention of raising to 150 pounds and putting in the freezer. Like a pink puppy, Milda was soon following me around and visiting the other animals. She was a “Babe.” I decided, “Hey, I like pigs. I want more!” When Milda reached maturity, I trucked her off to a friend with a boar. The union resulted in a litter of fourteen. Of these, I kept five females, rounding out the herd to a half dozen. An extension that included a maternity wing was added to the barn, three roomy straw-filled pens for my girls. And Milda became the matriarch of hogdom.

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Catharsis #1: Beatriz Buarque on Bolsonaro victory

by Eoin Higgins, special to the Greylock Glass

In this launch episode of our newest podcast, Catharsis, Eoin Higgins hears from Brazilian journalist Beatriz Buarque about Jair Bolsonaro’s once-unthinkable victory in Brazil’s runoff election on Sunday, October 28. Editor Jason Velázquez joins the conversation and welcomes Eoin to the Greylock Glass.

President Elect Jair Bolsonaro; photo by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ Agencia Brasil; [CC BY 2.0]; via Wikimedia Commons
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TLC #67: A hot property, office of the Northern Berkshire Register of Deeds surveyed by two candidates

Hey, Greylock Nation, today is Tuesday, October 23, and you’re listening to TLC episode #67. I’m your host, Jason Velázquez, and, as always, thanks so much for tuning in. On this week’s show, we explore the topic of the Registry of Deeds.

Deborah Moran, right, and Maria Ziemba, both staff members at the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, vie for the top spot of Register Nov. 6; photos courtesy the candidates.

Unless you’re a real estate agent or a tax assessor, this government office is often overlooked until two neighbors have a property line dispute. And, although much of the focus on the elections next month centers around more high profile local or Congressional seats, the top position of Register of the Deeds is up for grabs every six years. Here in Greylock Nation, Berkshire County is divided up into North, Middle, and South Registries, each with their own staffs and head Registers.

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Knight Endorses Caccaviello

Judith Knight announces her endorsement for former Democratic candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello.
Judith Knight announced her endorsement for former Democratic, turned independent, candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello on the steps of the Berkshire County Court House October 16; photo courtesy Josh Landes via Twitter—@JoshLandesWAMC. courtesy Twitter:

Judith Knight endorsed Paul Caccaviello’s write in campaign for Berkshire County District Attorney on Tuesday. WAMC’s Josh Landes broke the story on Twitter.

Judith Knight announces her endorsement for former Democratic candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello.
Judith Knight announced her endorsement for former Democratic, turned independent, candidate for District Attorney Paul Caccaviello on the steps of the Berkshire County Court House October 16; photo courtesy Josh Landes, Berkshire Bureau Chief for WAMC Radio, via Twitter — @JoshLandesWAMC.

Knight, who ran against incumbent DA Caccaviello and Andrea Harrington in the Democratic primary — Harrington won — said she would be taking a position as the overseer, and thus far sole member, of a newly formed citizen’s advisory board to the DA. 

Tuesday’s announcement — the full video is below via 95.9 — came with sharp criticism of Harrington by Knight, who referred to the Democratic nominee as vindictive and corrupt.

Video courtesy Live 95.9 WBEC FM, via YouTube.com

It’s the latest in a string of dramatic political moments in the campaign, which began when former DA David Capeless orchestrated a handover of the office to Caccaviello, Capeless’s preferred successor. Capeless worked with Governor Charlie Baker to ensure the power transfer went over smoothly, but in a stunning turn of events Harrington edged out Caccaviello on September 4 in the primary (Knight was a distant third). Caccaviello’s subsequent decision to run a write in campaign has earned him both criticism and support in the community.

Three weeks to go… 

Eoin Higgins
Eoin Higgins

Eoin Higgins is a writer and historian from western Massachusetts.

Will Call Episode #57: Stacy Schiff — The Witches: Salem 1692

(from released information)

HANCOCK, Mass.—A native of Adams who majored in art history at Williams College, Stacy Schiff is a best-selling Pulitzer-prize winning author – most recently of The Witches: Salem 1692 – who will discuss the intersection of politics and hysteria at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday, July 14, 2017.

Composite image created from cover of The Witches: Salem 1692 and "Witches flying on broomsticks," from The history of witches and wizards," 1720; Wellcome Library, London; CC BY 4.0
Composite image of cover for The Witches: Salem 1692 and “Witches flying on broomsticks,” from The history of witches and wizards,” 1720; Wellcome Library, London; CC BY 4.0

 

”The hottest biographer on the block,” according to Vanity Fair, Schiff is the author of numerous biographies, as well as essays and articles have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times, and The New York Review of Books. Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Vera, a biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of Vladimir Nabokov, and her Cleopatra was #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Saint-Exupéry: A Biography of Antoine de Saint Exupéry.  “With The Witches Schiff is at her best,” continued Vanity Fair, “infusing a historical event with as much life, mystey, and tragedy of any novelist.”

Stacy Schiff; photo by Elena Seibert.
Stacy Schiff; photo by Elena Seibert.

 

“She’s perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time,” said novelist Brad Gooch.

“Settlements were isolated and lit with only smoky fires, which fed vivid imagination. New Englanders lived very much in the dark, where one listens more acutely, feels most passionately, and imagines most vividly, where the sacred and the occult thrive,” writes Schiff.   The Witches entailed voluminous research, and Schiff conjures up late-17th-century New England with gripping detail.

Come be seduced.   Meet the bestselling author over dinner, when she talks about the witch trials: what we know, what we think we know, and what we indeed should know.

The evening includes a seasonal, neighborhood sourced, three-course dinner prepared by noted regional chef Brian Alberg, wine, and a copy of the author’s book.

The Salem Witch Trials, by Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Salem Witch Trials, by Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Tickets:

Dinner with Stacy Schiff is part of a series of important authors talking about far-ranging subjects of relevance today.  Far ahead of their time, the Shakers addressed issues as far ranging as gender equality, sustainability, land renewal, racial equality, pacifism, and shared economies decades before fashionable, let alone there being a vocabulary to address such subjects. Hancock Shaker Village’s Food for Thought is a monthly dinner series with today’s best thinkers, who address topics of relevance to our world today.  The series is sponsored by October Mountain Financial Advisors.

The next Food for Thought dinner in the series is Friday, August 11 with Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The New York Times bestseller The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

But don’t listen to us…Here’s what the critics say:

“An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J. K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King, and Marina Warner… Schiff’s writing is to die for.” The Times (London)

“Schiff excels at finding fresh angles on familiar stories, carries out massive research and then weaves it into a dazzling social panorama.”  Elaine Showalter, The Washington Post

“She writes with such spirit and agility that to read her books is something like watching a great dancer. To say that her latest book is fascinating and insightful is hardly sufficient. It’s brilliant from start to finish.” David McCullough, Favorite Reads of 2015

“Eerie and engrossing. Schiff is a proven spellbinder.” Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“In this beautiful retelling of one of our ugliest tales, Schiff describes the sheer strangeness of the trials and the society from which they spring.” Boston Globe, Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

ABOUT HANCOCK VILLAGE

Home to the Shakers for more than 220 years, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy and making that story relevant and illuminating for today’s visitors. Situated on 750 acres of picturesque farm, field, and woodland in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Village consists of 20 historic buildings, a working farm and heirloom gardens, and a premier collection of 22,000 authentic Shaker artifacts.

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Top Left Corner #36: A Conversation with Mass. State Senate Candidate Christine M. Canning

Christine M. Canning is running, unchallenged on the Republican ticket, and will not, therefore, be on the September 08 Democratic primary ballot (campain photo).

Christine Canning is running, unchallenged, on the Republican ticket, and will not, therefore, be on the September 08 Democratic primary ballot (campain photo).
Christine M. Canning is running, unchallenged, on the Republican ticket (campaign photo).

About Christine Canning

(excerpted from submitted materials)

Christine Canning was born and raised in Berkshire County. Her mother, Kathy, was a Latin teacher for over 30 years at Saint Joseph’s. Her father, John “JAY”, was the award winning principal of Monument Mountain in Great Barrington. Currently, Chris resides in Lanesborough, MA with her children Katherine and Alex. Her husband, Doug, died of Leukemia thirteen years ago.

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Problem Solvers…ish #17: Political Cows and Facebook Vitriol

So, the campaign season that is Monkey House 2016 is in high gear. Unfortunately, so is the Facebook vitriol that keeps showing up in your feed! These people are your friends, right? Or, at least they were back in April, before everybody lost all sense of political proportion.

Artists rendering of what political discourse might look like Facebook vitriol took place in physical gathering places, such as cafés, instead of in "the cyber" of social media, (by Manuel Cabral y Aguado Bejarano).
Artists rendering of what political discourse might look like if all this recent Facebook vitriol took place in physical gathering places, such as cafés, instead of in “the cyber” of social media, (by Manuel Cabral y Aguado Bejarano).

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Top Left Corner #33: A Conversation with Mass. State Senate Candidate Andrea Harrington

Andrea Harrington, a native of XYZ, will be on the Democratic primary ballot on September 8 (campaign photo).
Andrea Harrington, a native of XYZ, will be on the Democratic primary ballot on September 8 (campaign photo).

Andrea Harrington will be on the Democratic primary ballot on September 8 (campaign photo).
Andrea Harrington will be on the Democratic primary ballot on September 8 (campaign photo).

About Andrea Harrington

(excerpted from submitted materials)

For Andrea Harrington, this district is home. She grew up here, she attended Taconic High School in Pittsfield, and now with her husband Tim, she’s raising two young sons as a mom herself. Having spent the past decade of her life in the district, she knows on a personal level that it is defined not by its geography, but by its people.

Get in touch with Andrea Harrington

http://www.andreaforsenate.com
https://www.facebook.com/andreaharringtonforsenate
https://twitter.com/andreaforsenate

Andrea is a practicing attorney and started her law practice 13 years ago. While working to defend those who had trouble affording representation and fighting to overturn wrongful convictions, she saw first-hand the problems that plague our criminal justice system. Andrea also gained a deep understanding of the importance of listening to people and earning their trust.

As a small business owner, an attorney, a parent, and a true local, Andrea Harrington has the unique experience and perspective to represent this district Her experiences have reaffirmed the importance of hard work and being responsible; the very values that her parents and teachers instilled in her from a young age. She’s proven herself a competent businesswoman and attorney, a doer who can seize the initiative and who knows what it takes to succeed.

And LEST we forget…Andrea Harrington was the only candidate to correctly identify the Western Mass (Un)Official Salutation…

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Top Left Corner #32: A Conversation with Mass. State Senate Candidate Rinaldo Del Gallo

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III is a Pittsfield native who will be on the Democratic Primary ballot September 8 (campaign photo).
Rinaldo Del Gallo, III is a Pittsfield native who will be on the Democratic Primary ballot September 8 (campaign photo).

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III is a Pittsfield native who will be on the Democratic Primary ballot September 8 (campaign photo).
Rinaldo Del Gallo, III is a Pittsfield native who will be on the Democratic Primary ballot September 8 (campaign photo).

About Rinaldo Del Gallo

(excerpted from submitted materials)

Rinaldo Del Gallo III has not only been in the Berkshires for the last 16 years, he was raised in Pittsfield. He is one of us and has not been living elsewhere. He has also been a highly visible member of the community during the entirety of that time.

Get in touch with Rinaldo Del Gallo

http://statesenate.rinaldodelgallo.com

https://www.facebook.com/DelGalloforSenate2016

https://twitter.com/delgallo4senate

Since returning to the Berkshire 16 years ago, Del Gallo ran a free legal clinic for the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, for non-custodial parents (and sometimes custodial parents) for over a decade. With the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, he has appeared in the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade, the North Adams Fall Foliage Parade, and the Pittsfield Halloween Parade on over 35 occasions, turning the organization into a community group benefiting the community.

From doing the pro bono work of any 30 average attorneys in Berkshire County for the indigent; to writing about progressive causes for local papers (as well as other topics) without compensation; to his endless volunteer hours at the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition both lobbying and running a weekly free legal clinic for over a decade; to his fight for the First Amendment pro bono or for almost no cost; to his volunteer efforts to have good zoning laws; to his fight for animal’s rights and the environment (done also without pay); to his involvement in numerous other causes and issues of public interest too numerous to enumerate without recompense; to volunteering as an usher and greeter at both Tanglewood and Shakespeare and Company; Del Gallo has shown a willingness to give and volunteer for the betterment of his community over and over again. He has big heart that will serve him well in the legislature.

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Top Left Corner #31: A Conversation with Mass. State Senate Candidate Adam Hinds

Adam Hinds spoke with the Greylock Glass before the August 17 debate at MCLA (campaign photo).
Adam Hinds spoke with the Greylock Glass before the August 17 debate at MCLA (campaign photo).

About Adam Hinds

(excerpted from submitted materials)

A native of the district, Adam was raised in Buckland and attended Mohawk Trail Regional High School, where his mother was a librarian and his Vietnam Veteran father was a school teacher.  He studied at Wesleyan University before studying international law and negotiation at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Get in touch with Adam Hinds

http://www.adamhinds.org
https://twitter.com/adamghinds
https://www.facebook.com/adamhindsforstatesenate

Adam has been a resident of Pittsfield in recent years, where he started Pittsfield Community Connection, a program designed to proactively engage at-risk youth before exposure to and engagement in violence and crime.  He, along with Pittsfield City officials, was successful in winning a grant that will bring up to $5 million to Pittsfield to move young men engaged in illegal activities towards education, jobs, and counseling. He continues to serve as the Chair of the program’s Steering Committee and is an active Board Member of Downtown Pittsfield Inc., dedicated to fostering local economic development.

Adam is currently the Executive Director of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition based in North Adams. As the leader of this organization, he works to connect, engage and empower regional residents and actors to respond to local challenges. This includes issues related to employment, health and addiction.

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FMC #1 — Moral Dimensions of the 2016 Election Cycle

"The Death Leap of Marcus Curtius," by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 - 1765)
"The Death Leap of Marcus Curtius," by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 - 1765) See it live at Smith College, Northampton, Mass. Has the political rift in the U.S. widened into a chasm? What will it take to close, or at least narrow, the divide? (from Wikipedia) After an earthquake in 362 BC, a huge deep pit suddenly opened in the Roman Forum, which the Romans attempted to fill up in vain. Despairing, they consulted an oracle who responded that the gods demanded the most precious possession of the country. The Romans doubted the warning, and struggled to think of what that was. However Marcus Curtius, a young soldier, castigated them and responded that arms and courage of Romans were the most precious possessions of Rome. With his horse, fully and meticulously armed and decorated, he went into the gap. Immediately, the deep pit closed. The Lacus Curtius in the Forum receives its name from him.

The Death Leap of Marcus Curtius, by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 - 1765). Has the political rift in the U.S. widened into a moral chasm?
“The Death Leap of Marcus Curtius,” by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691 – 1765) See it live at Smith College, Northampton, Mass. Has the political rift in the U.S. widened into a moral chasm? What will it take to close, or at least narrow, the divide?

 

Welcome to the Faith-Mind Continuum!

Around the water cooler at work, picking up the kids after school, working out on the treadmill at the gym—no matter where you are lately, you’re probably hearing people talk about the presidential election.

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Problem Solvers…ish #3 — Election Woes: Living in an Idiocracy?

Cerebral Electoralosis:

Stupidity Exacerbated by Prolonged Exposure to Election Coverage"Problem Solvers...ish" — a twisted take on the advice column with comedy duo Seth Brown and Lex Friedman

 

 

Has the coming election turned YOUR friends, family, and co-workers into morons?

Hoo-BOY is this a tough problem! You can just about hear the droplets of sweat trickle down the ashen faces of our trustee solutioneers as they grapple with one of the BIG conversational No-Nos—politics. But we knew it couldn’t be avoided. Someone was bound to call up begging for help with the common problem of being surrounded by idiots durning a heated (and unnaturally long…) election season.

Seth and Lex do their best to grapple with the deeper social and psychological issues surrounding the people’s-brains-turn-to-mush syndrome that occurs on both sides (but this year, a LOT more on one side, if you follow me) of the campaign divide. What do you DO when people you know, like, and maybe even love are politically challenged? Is there any way to get all the way through the election in November without alienating half of your community? The Problem Solvers…ish tell you how!

What’s YOUR Problem?

Every week Seth Brown and Lex Friedman tackle a listener submitted problem. It could be any kind of issue—family, career, love, religion, political. Doesn’t matter! Seth and Lex are equally unqualified to address ANY of your troubles.

BUT, that doesn’t mean they won’t try. And it doesn’t mean they might not solve your problem by accident! Just Skype click the link in the sidebar to access our web-based voice-messaging system. Or, if you’re bashful, e-mail it to us at problems<at>greylockglass.com

At your request, we will “Anonymize” your voice, making is less likely that your boss will recognize that it’s you complaining about her peculiar bathroom habits and tendency to stalk you on social media.

Problems dealt with on a “funniest-come, first-served basis.” Real Debbie-downer issues like death, IRS audits, and that sink hole swallowing up your carport? The may take a lonnnnng time for us to get around to. Just leave a voice message by clicking the picture in the side bar of the girl on the party line!

 

 

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