Asheville Daily Planet
RSS Facebook
The Daily Planet's Opinion: October 2016
Sunday, 09 October 2016 12:09

County manager merits praise for giving up $34K 

Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene deserves praise for taking the high road by relinquishing an increase in benefits worth more than $34,000, explaining that the compensation, which had come under scruity, had proved to be a distraction.

The compensation package awarding Greene 300 hours of compensatory time was approved by the county Board of Commissioners during a June annual budget hearing without comment.

However, when Greene’s compensation came to light, it drew public criticism.  Also, after the vote, two commissioners said they did not even know about the financial award to the county manager. The 300 hours of time could have been cashed in for $34,000, only if Greene leaves her position.

In the aftermath, Greene showed good character as well as political savvy on Sept. 8 by emailing the Board of Commissioners and Curt Euler, director of human resources, noting she was voluntarily asking that her comp time balance be reduced and reiterated that the matter had been a distraction.

Greene earlier had provided the local news media with a balance sheet showing she had worked nearly 3,800 hours of extra time since 2009.

Comp time is a form of overtime in which employees receive time off in lieu of extra pay for hours worked beyond a normal work week. Buncombe offers compensatory time through a straightforward process for certain employees. Greene’s situation is more complicated.

“I am sorry I caused a distraction,” she said in the email “Via this email, I am asking Curt Euler to reduce my comp time balance. This eliminates any possibility that I would be compensated in the future for any of the comp time hours in question.”

We appreciate Greene’s willingness to be above-board on her compensation — and we are confident that her action will bring her good karma for a bright future here.

The Candid Conservative: Conservatives are the real free spirits, Part II
Sunday, 09 October 2016 12:02

Conservatism is a hard choice for a society that has become accustomed to big government and big entitlements promoted by liberals.

—  Jesse Helms


Special to the Daily Planet

The Problem

Last month we covered five reasons it might be a good idea to get an early start on your New Year’s resolution on becoming a conservative.  

Even if the best you can muster is rethinking lock-step liberalism, this round will provide some contrasting thinking to stir your prefrontal cortex.  If you’re one of the left’s marching munchkins, your brain needs the exercise.

 So here it comes. More right-wing extremism from a guy who believes the best time to be a conservative is when conservative isn’t cool. Here are five more reasons it should be.

Conservatives reach for the positive

As surely as conservatives resist harms, we should illuminate blessings. Taking good for granted provides opportunity for the left to manufacture catastrophe, manipulate the facts, and introduce fears and doubts in order to secure greater power. Conservatives impair those missions by celebrating and highlighting the real American ideal and the successes that pour from our system of intentional versus accidental liberty. 

The successful history of our free enterprise system is an example of a system in desperate need of positive attention.  Capitalism has uplifted more people, by far, than any other social order in history.  The corruptions of crony capitalism have enabled the left’s wealth redistribution advocates to discredit the true liberties and opportunities of capitalism.  Dividing up a pot of stone soup will never approach the potentials of a system whereby people are able to make their own soup.

There is so much about our country’s history and present that is right, just, and good.  Left-headed thinkers delight in negative propaganda that convinces the unwitting our constitutional system of governance and heritage of success is fraudulent.  This message of deception from People of the Lie merits enthusiastic resistance. That includes a keen emphasis on the overwhelming evidence America has a history meriting celebration – not mourning.

Conservatives are willing to challenge the opposition. That’s not a pass to surrender to the temptations of habitual attack, ignoring valid points, and otherwise vilifying those we disagree with. Anything by anyone that is constructive and on the right side of truth deserves our fullest congratulations.

Resist deceptions

There are few more demanding challenges than avoiding the temptations of drama, dogma, and doctrine over higher-level thinking. The world is filled with seducers in all fields of endeavor intent on pulling us into a web made up of the 3-d’s. 

Seldom do these deceivers appear with a tail and a pitchfork.  More often they come with the confidence of the self-deceived and an outreached hand and a smile.

Anything that encourages us toward addiction, shame, victimization, anger or vanity should be suspect for deception. The worst things of man come with hidden agendas that run counter to our best interests and are designed to enslave versus uplift.

The search for right requires our best efforts.  Comfort, familiarity and the attractions of belonging rarely serve that agenda.  Instead, we will become ripe targets for the enemies of truth, enlightenment and authentic liberty.    

We live in a world filled with manmade paths to oblivion marketed as something special.  God created man in his image, and ever since, to his detriment, man has been trying to return the favor.


Conservatism comes in many forms

The left and mainstream media have done an excellent job of distorting the authentic conservative message. In truth, pretend conservatives have been our greatest enemy. Throughout history it has been demonstrated that defeated armies, cultures and countries are first destroyed from within.

Conservatism is a value system devoted to political governance. It recognizes that the selective introduction of conservative personal, social, and spiritual values into the administration of society is a dangerous precedent, once accepted, not easily restrained.  Our mission is to preserve a superior model of governance – not to run things based on our personal preferences. Selectively applying the constraints of the Constitution while we’re in power opens the door to our opposition when they’re in power.    

 As individuals, we’re capable of blending our personal, social, spiritual and political values. Values integration is a more complex undertaking for an entire society. Our growing indifference to shared values is fragmenting America and weakening our national spirit.  Recovery necessitates that conservatives retain a sincere dedication to the political value system found in the Constitution.  Ironically, a unifying allegiance to this document’s political principles offers the greatest security for the personal, social and spiritual values that ultimately matter most.

Conservatism is not about what is best.  It is about making sure we have a consistent and functional system of governance that allows us all to seek what is best.  God encouraged man to avoid competing with Caesar.  Conservatives do not compete with God.  We’re dedicated to preserving a system of governance that allows every man to pursue their liberated path to heavenly values or earthly ones – each in his own way as our Founders, and God, clearly intended. 


Stand for something

Political principles should be attained with care, maintained with enthusiasm, and traded with restraint.  Conservatives, to remain such, have to make a conscious and persistent choice to embrace their principles before all other considerations. Once you make the decision to make an exchange for power, popularity, prosperity, practicality, posterity and other “p” words, the slide into unprincipled territory becomes increasingly permanent.

Principles on governance are not like a change of clothes that comes in and out of style. True principles have been thought out, practiced and affirmed by the tests of time. Political chameleons adapt their principles to their immediate needs. Conservatives do the reverse and adapt their actions to their principles. One flutters with the wind while the other weathers the storm.

Remaining true to one’s chosen principles remains an essential component of hope. Conservative principles remain an essential component of America.


Don’t worry – be happy

Politics is not the essence of life. It is more a means to keeping man’s collective nonsense in check so that life can go on. Conservatives do not live for politics, they engage in politics so that they and others may live freely through sound governance.

We have each been granted the gift of life and a set of unique skills, talents and abilities through which we are at liberty to craft that life. It is our choices — above all other considerations including place of birth, upbringing, social influences and chance — that most influence our final outcome. Conservatives know we must choose wisely if we are to live fruitfully.

 If we are to be politically successful in securing a sound model of governance for our country, we must live a life that is more dedicated to creativity and delight than martyrdom. Above all, lest we be corrupted by our narrowness and obsessions, we must retain a close relationship with love as a motivation for action. Little good will come from much we do unless it’s filtered through a heart that seeks to make the world better for its beating.   

America’s future rests on its conservative patriots. We have something to smile about as we persevere in that magnificent mission.


In closing

There you go. In two short months you’ve taken the fast course on conservatism. You already know more than most conservatives who’ve called themselves such for years. Having a few conservative positions doesn’t make you a conservative – it makes you a political toddler.

As Churchill noted at the conclusion of the Battle of Britain in 1942:

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”  

You have a pretty good start at stepping out of the dangerous ditches of progressive-liberal-socialism and political opportunism and up unto the road to reality, reason, responsibility and right.

Your timing is impeccable. You’ll one day be able to say that you were conservative when conservative wasn’t cool.

As the world gets more dangerous, and it will, we’ll all get more conservative. That’s because conservatism operates out of the core messages of nature. And in a dangerous world, working with the tenets of nature is the only way to have a future ....

 Carl Mumpower is a psychologist and former elected official. He thanks you for spending a few minutes with a candid conservative and invites you to reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




contact | home

Copyright ©2005-2015 Star Fleet Communications

224 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 | P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814
phone (828) 252-6565 | fax (828) 252-6567

a Cube Creative Design site