Alan Chartock | I, Publius: Museum's art sale still stings; Trump v. Mueller nigh

The author believes that what took place at the Berkshire Museum regarding art sales is just downright wrong. Despite the efforts of a lot of good people who tried their best, the situation ended up being a travesty, he says.

GREAT BARRINGTON — We'll start with the Berkshire Museum. Sometimes, bad things happen and there's really nothing anyone can do to remediate.

What took place at the Berkshire Museum is just downright wrong. Despite the efforts of a lot of good people who tried their best, the situation ended up being a travesty.

To recapitulate, the very best art in the museum was sold by a misguided and ineffective board of directors who could have and should have taken their fundraising responsibilities seriously. In truth, they sold their birthright.

When Norman Rockwell gave some of his best work to the museum so that it could be shared with the people he lived among, he assumed that it would be there in perpetuity. So did his family, who stepped in to try to stop the disastrous move.

The board had different ideas about what the museum would be doing in the future. Well? Has the sale of that valuable art been justified by the museum?

If you want to cry, get over to the Norman Rockwell Museum and take a look at the extraordinary "Shuffleton's Barbershop" while it lasts.

A huge thank you to all the people who banded together in the "Save the Art-Save the Museum" group. They did everything they could do to put a stop to this hurtful move on the part of a few foolish people. They should have all resigned and let someone else take over the reins.

Sometimes, bad things happen, and that's all there is to it. Recently, I was asked by a good organization to give a talk at the museum. I said no, not yet.

Questions for Trump

Now, the CIA says that the Saudi Arabian crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud, was behind the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. Well, I'll be the son of a horse! Really? You mean that all these close friends of the prince didn't just go out there and decide to do this terrible thing all on their own without checking in with the chief? Hard to believe, isn't it?

This places the president of the United States in a bad spot for a number of reasons now, the least of which is that he is still shilling for the Saudis, who, he has told us, did a lot of personal business with him in the past.

Speaking of Trump (for a change), it's getting to be Mueller time! All of sudden, Rudy Giuliani is back shilling for him.

Giuliani and some of his compatriots are suggesting that by answering special counsel Robert Mueller's questions, Trump may be falling into a possible perjury trap. Now, that's a hot one. If you don't perjure yourself by lying, that isn't a perjury trap.

Let's take the famous meeting on the plane where Trump, we are told, drafted a memo about his son Donald Jr's meeting with a Russian lawyer. Trump Jr., you will remember, said that he had talked to the lawyer about the adoption of Russian children. Subsequently, it became clear that the meeting was really about delivering damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Since Papa Trump reportedly drafted the defensive memo, he may have been colluding or lying. So, here's the trap: Either Trump Jr. or Trump Sr. may be lying now, and if that's one of Mueller's questions, Trump may be forced into a lie. That would not be a perjury trap since a lie is a lie is a lie. Or, as Festus Haggen has said so many times on "Gunsmoke," "Don't you see?"

Finally, there is the question of whether to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Is a turkey less offensive than pig? The annual hype about eating turkey really involves a greater discussion concerning vegetarianism.

Our local bear, Irving, is not a vegetarian. That should solve the problem for those on the fence.

One last thing. Thanks to a neighbor who gave us some doggie poop bags with Trump's face on them.

Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.