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The Daily Planet's Opinion: Series return worth celebrating
Thursday, 12 March 2015 01:20

After a five-year hiatus, one of our favorite local warm-season entertainment series, UNC Asheville’s Concerts on the Quad, will return this summer.

The concerts ended in 2010 following a 28-year run canceled because of a lack of funding.

Fortunately, support from Mission Health and the Asheville Citizen-Times will allow the series to return with free concerts from 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 15, 22, 29 and July 6 and 13. 

The bands will perform on a stage just in front of the steps of UNCA’s Ramsey Library. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and picnics to enjoy on the lawn. 

The lineup will feature local and regional bands, focusing on fun and diverse music. Genres showcased will include gypsy-folk, bluegrass, blues and Native American music.

The June 15 launch will feature Asheville’s own Sirius.B, an “absurdist-gypsy-folk-funk-punk” group formed in 2006.

Other headliners will include Stephaniesid, Ulali and Chatham County Line.

UNCA Chancellor Mary K. Grant said of the series, “These concerts bring people together in the heart of our beautiful campus, and UNC Asheville is excited to be able to present them again, together with our great community partners.”

We agree with Grant’s assessment and are thrilled about the return of what has been a joyful summer celebration for the community.

 
The Candid Conservative: The Candy Man can’t
Thursday, 12 March 2015 01:14
By CARL MUMPOWER
Special to the Daily Planet


“The art of pleasing is the art of deception.”

— Luc de Clapiers

 

The Problem

lease don’t jump out of the recliner, but have you noticed America’s culture is on a downhill run?

Per tenacious data, our morality, economic vitality, dedication to truth, and core social ideals are slipping.

At the same time, immorality, government dependency, deception and the rule of convenience over law are accelerating.

This betrayal of the American Dream rests in the hands of three distinct groups. Though diversely motivated, these assemblies have twice elected a sociopath to America’s highest office.

In less than two years we get another chance. A refresher course on givers, takers, and waiters can ease the slide.  

 

Givers

Thank goodness there are people who put something back into the world. Most givers are motivated by a sincere desire to uplift their fellow man and should be celebrated for such. Unfortunately all that’s good has a dark side that isn’t.

In the case of givers, vanity is a shady temptress. Giving can drift to a means for fixing one’s ego versus other people’s problems – landing on treating the less fortunate as mascots versus answerable adults. To the extent bad personal choices create more pain than all other harms combined; this separation of opportunity from responsibility downgrades the helper as surely as the helped.

Takers

One measure of social decay is belief that creating, producing and building no longer work as paths to prosperity. When ‘me first’ becomes the majority’s personal tune, a march toward the cliff is well underway.   

Takers are created, not born. Greedy infants can’t be spotted in a nursery. Harsh circumstance, an absence of good role models, self-absorption and public propaganda can turn just about anyone into a human vacuum cleaner.

Our political class is fully dedicated to securing voter loyalty by promising booty with no skin in the game. Too many otherwise smart people have bought the lie. For affirmation this is a doomed run against nature’s ‘nothing is free’ call, witness since 2008 it’s taken nine-trillion in additional federal debt to float the illusion.   

Once human beings are conditioned to take, they rarely voluntarily reform. Asheville’s various tax subsidized public housing developments shelter many tenants whose families of origin track back 4 or more generations.

To the extent the maxim “crime doesn’t pay” is true, neither does taking. Over time the selfishness, deceit, pessimism and lost potential lead to a karmic personal hell.

 


Waiters

Waiters are the largest group. An absence of courage, clarity or conviction easily morphs into an artificial license to sit and wait. 


Our current Commander-in-Chief likes waiters. He was elected less by voters he seduced than those who chose to stay home.

 

Waiters wait because it’s easier than studying and taking a stand. Waiting requires little effort and no immediate risk. It’s the moral equivalent of fatback and white bread as comfort food. Similarly there is a difference in postponing consequence and dodging it.

 

 

 

Solutions

Goodness and nobility have never been a majority dedication. We need enough of such people to preserve our much blessed nation. A quick measure of where one stands is to measure personal action. Good and noble is usually an uphill climb.  


That America is exceptionally worthy and important is indisputable. In this century we’ve lost our way under the misguided leadership models of our current President and the guy who most surely secured Obama’s election – George Bush. On one hand we have BHO’s ‘strategic patience’ – otherwise known as paralysis-by-analysis. On the other we have Bush’s ‘neo-conservatism’ – otherwise known as initiating political vanity wars we have no capacity to finish. In the middle is a missing-in-action model of measured and dependable international engagement.

 

America cannot be our planet’s policeman, but we can partner with those seeking a better way. That mission finds its strongest heart in recognizing and upholding a beacon of light in a darkening world.

 

The vacuum left by our country’s shrinking footprint is increasingly apparent. Middle-east horrors are expanding amidst the absence of a strong moral compass and the juice to back it up. We may not be burning people alive, but surrendering the moral high ground is setting the stage for lesser men to do so.  Those to whom much is given – much is expected.

 

Embracing America’s traditional success equation – liberty, opportunity and responsibility hitched to the same wagon – is the best means to containing takers and limiting the recruiting capacities of unscrupulous politicians. Gaining power by corrupting the minds of the poor, disadvantaged and otherwise vulnerable should be recognized as sophisticated evil. 

 

U.S. Air Force Major Gen. Frederick C. Blesse is a legend among fighter pilots. His 1955 tactics manual, ‘No Guts, No Glory’ is the Bible of air-to-air combat. Modification of his oft repeated quote offers direct challenge to waiters – no guts, no America.  

 

Give serious consideration to where you stand on the givers-takers-waiters spectrum. If you’re blessed to be a giver, do it the right way. If you’ve been programmed to take, find a better way. If you’re into waiting, accelerate your search for truth and a point of action. Every man and woman counts.

 

 

 

Conclusion

In 1972, Rat Pack bon voyant Sammy Davis Jr. recorded catchy tune, “The Candy Man.” A replay offers what might be a perfect conservative take on the crafty character of our current president:

 

“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two? The Candy Man, oh, the Candy Man can, cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.”

 

Mr. Davis was a bright, courageous and pragmatic man much ahead of his time. He had a demonstrated understanding of how to avoid the wrong side of giving, taking and waiting. Sammy would suggest that recent years have found too many of good and noble people under the spell of a Candy Man – and that we not repeat our error.  

 

 

 

Conservative Tip of the Month

In the Hollywood ‘Taken’ trilogy retired super-agent Liam Neeson guns down a gazillion bad guys. In his liberally conditioned conscience, this fantasy mayhem is just entertainment. Clueless on tons of research demonstrating otherwise, Mr. Neeson is indifferent to how surely gunned-up imaginary tough guys kidnap the minds of those seeking to prop-up a frail identity. This Hollywood hero is a highly vocal anti-gun activist finding solace in the mission of disarming America while firing up the most dangerous weapon of all – weak minds. 

 

That’s like waving a cheeseburger in front of a puppy and yelling “no!” Having turned Rover you now have to hide the sneakers. It’s easy to forget that Neeson and similarly minded anti-gun people are anti-liberty people.

 

The right to self-protection is a bedrock freedom. In that the vast majority of Americans are value-driven law abiding citizens, the guns they possess are dedicated to security, not aggression. As current world eventscontinue to demonstrate, disarmed citizens are one quick moment from becoming victimized citizens.

 

America remains one of few places in the world where the natural right to self-defense is built into our Constitution and applicable to the common man. It’s folly to allow Hollywood, bodyguard-protected elitists and other “progressives” to inoculate vulnerable lizard-brains to real violence – and then disarm the good guys.

 

It behooves mature thinkers to boycott Neeson and invest the savings in ways to protect home, family and community from the fragile minds he, videogame programmers, hip-hop misogynists and other culture vultures are unleashing. 

 

 

Do you have information about a source of mischief in our community? You can safely contact us at 252-8390 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We are offering a $500 reward for information on corruption, crime, or other harms you share in confidence and we reveal in print. Bad things grow in the dark. We have a flashlight – do you have a whistle?

 

 

Carl Mumpower is a former member of Asheville City Council.

 



 



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