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The Daily Planet’s Opinion: August 2015
Monday, 10 August 2015 00:01

Big pool of council choices touted

What a wonderful situation it is for our community to have 16 candidates vying for only three seats on Asheville City Council.

The large field of candidates is not unprecedented in Asheville’s recent political history, as there were 14 candidatates on the 2007 ballot.

However, it certainly shows the vitality of citizens here, especially compared to the last councilmanic election, which was in 2013, when there were just eight candidates seeking four seats.

Not only is the field for 2015 unusually sizable, but the quality and diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds of the candidates appear to cover just about every aspect of which one could conceive.

For instance, there are candidates with experience that are seeking seats, including incumbent Vice Mayor Marc Hunt, along with former mayor Ken Michalove and former vice mayor Carl Mumpower.

Also vying is John Miall, a long-time city employee who now works as a private consulant.

Among the other candidates are at least two social activists and, even, a long-haul trucker.

Again, we think the large pool of candidates is indicative of a healthy and involved citizenry that cares about making a difference on the local level.

The primary will be held Oct. 6 to narrow the field to six candidates, followed by the general election on Nov. 3. The election is, at least in theory, considered nonpartisan.

We hope the electorate turnout will match the enthusiasm of this superb collection of candidates.
The Candid Conservative: Vigorously losing our way
Sunday, 09 August 2015 23:53
Special to the Daily Planet

“In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

 — George Orwell

The Problem

We live in a curious time where information is everywhere and yet truth grows rare. 

The louder things get, the less we hear, and when we do, we’re more likely to embrace comforting soundbites than distressing facts.      

Surrounded by frothy deceit it’s easy to become jadedly indifferent to reality, morality and sanity. Thankfully, we still have a good pool of culturists trying to keep their shoes under the right bed. For those wishing to stay on the better side of right and wrong, here are a few dodgeable temptations.  


Socialism Works and Capitalism Doesn’t

 Five decades after his departure, Che Guevara continues to be a darling of the left. His reality as a brutal murderer with the social conscience of a weasel in a hen house doesn’t matter. That he was a handsome, personable and charismatic devotee of socialism is apparently all that’s necessary to sustain immortality. Having spent time in his communist paradise, allow me to assert there is nothing romantic or sexy about the boot Che and Castro, another guy who should have died young, laid on Cuba.

Socialism needs sexy front men and clever fantasies to keep it alive. That’s because socialism doesn’t work – anywhere. Sure, the illusion can be propped up for a while, but per one of the brightest lights of our time, Winston Churchill, socialism’s outcome of “equal sharing of misery” is inevitable.

Devotees of the socialist mantra like to claim capitalism doesn’t work either. When one explores their evidence, it always tracks to ‘crony capitalism’ having nothing to do with the real deal. This corrupted version of a free market is nothing more than a masked duplication of socialism’s authentic agenda – power, control and opportunity for a select few.

Capitalism – the real kind – retains an unbreakable marriage between opportunity and responsibility. Anyone suggesting otherwise is gaming the system. Capitalism’s opportunities cannot last without matching accountability any more than fire can exist without heat.

Nature’s unrelenting message that “you have to pay to play” sounds the death bell for Socialism before its race to disaster even starts. Precisely because of its sincerity to nature’s call, capitalism has contrastingly uplifted more people than any other social/economic movement in history. We’re abandoning its magic to our collective peril.


Fighting for Our Freedom

A deception with the sequel longevity of a horror movie is that our military “fights for our freedom.” Though it may be true that’s the agenda of many who join, freedom has little connection to how our young men and women are put to the test.  

WW II was arguably America’s last solid effort in fighting for our freedom. Even in that war, politicians gave in at the end, handed half of Europe over to Stalin, set the stage for a 30+ year cold war and assigned us a tin badge as the world’s policeman. 

Korea is an unresolved mess still in active play. Hundreds of thousands were injured and died in Vietnam before Congress quietly capitulated. Iraq and Afghanistan were bipartisan adventures where we went in like enthused teenagers playing a new video game and ran out like sullen delinquents being asked to wash the dishes. In both countries, our troops tore their fingers off doing little more than reshuffling a deck of tragedy.

For those who really care about the few with the courage to fight for America, action isn’t satisfied with a flag and an “at-a-boy.”

The best way to honor our troops is to use them as intended – to fight for our freedoms – not to police a crazy world or prop up the vanities of opportunistic politicians.

How do you tell the difference between fighting for our freedoms and military adventurism? In the former you fight to win and you don’t stop until you’ve put your enemy down for good.  In the latter you bitch slap the opposition and hope they’ll submit. On discovering it will take more you walk away and turn up the rhetoric on our “honored” veterans. It’s a bad lie.


Giving is Always a Good Thing

One of the great ironies of current times is the persistent willingness of conservative minded people to contribute to organizations actively antagonistic to their core values. It’s the social/economic equivalent of stretching your neck to make it easier on the hangman.

No better example exists than our contributions to colleges and universities. To the extent the vast majority of these institutions operate out of a dynamically left-leaning value system, funding one’s old Alma Mata because of what they did for you yesterday is likely not so prudent today. Unless you like the idea of training our young to be Che Guevara fans.

Bedrock charities also merit scrutiny. Consider the YMCA and YWCA. Both were purposely built upon a Christian foundation. Slowly but surely, over the past few decades, liberals have captured both organizations and quietly killed authentic Christian connection. The YWCA has dropped any such reference in its mission statement and if you search the web sites of either organization you’ll have a tough time finding any reference to Christianity. That’s not to say these organizations are not doing some good things. It is to say that the methods and dedications of both have become largely indifferent to the faith that brought them to the dance.

Then there’s the Chamber of Commerce – the strongest supporter of illegal immigration in the country. Per consistent advocacy patterns, the idea of an exploitable, cheap labor pool gives the Chamber goosebumps. That this criminal enterprise is producing a political force of unassimilated immigrants and unscrupulous businesses more dedicated to milking than uplifting America is apparently not a concern.

The sum of it is charity is good, but that doesn’t mean the recipient is. Whether it’s local or national, in today’s rush to the left, a large number of organizations have been kidnapped toward values having absolutely nothing in common with conservatism.

Less you be skeptical, make a specific inquiry of UNC Asheville as to how many of their faculty are conservatively minded. If you get an honest answer, it will be a small single digit. When you’re done, give the United Way a call. Ask them how many Christian-affiliated charities receive funding from community donations. You’ll then know why where you give is becoming as important as what you give…

Thanks for spending a few minutes with a candid conservative!

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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