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The Daily Planet’s Opinion: July 2015
Thursday, 09 July 2015 15:44

African-American marker needed 

We think the time has come for a monument to be erected in Pack Square, downtown’s centerpiece, to recognize under-represented contributions to Asheville.

Indeed, the African-American Heritage Commission has been working diligently for months, trying to see that a black monument is built.

David Gantt and Jan Davis also deserve praise for recently pointing out that there are many different perspectives on history and acknowledging the importance of recognizing the contributions of the African-American community to Asheville.

The aforementioned remarks were made during their separate addresses at the Vance Monument rededication in downtown Asheville’s Pack Square on June 6. The ceremony followed months of renovation.

“I see no reason that there shouldn’t be a marker somewhere in this area to recognize that community that is not represented here,” Davis, a member of City Council, said.

Gantt, chairman of the Buncombe Board of Commissioners, Gantt said the Vance Monument creates an opportunity for constructive dialogue about the harsh realities of Asheville’s segregated past.

Zebulon Vance, for whom the memorial is named, served as a Confederate officer in the Civil War and later as governor of North Carolina and as a U.S. senator. His family owned slaves before the Civil War.

“I do think (Vance) would welcome the opportunity to tell both sides of everything,” Gantt said. “If we don’t, we’re going to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

A black monument is long overdue.



The Candid Conservative: Solomon was a conservative
Thursday, 09 July 2015 15:27
 Special to the Daily Planet

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” 

— William F. Buckley Jr.

The problem

The smartest man in history would smile at the sham of modern liberalism. He’d spot the left’s false Gods of hyperbole, seduction and entitlement with the same insight that caught a prostitute stealing another’s child.  


A bit of history

Solomon was the favored son of God’s favorite King. For proof positive that past perfection is not a condition of God’s love, witness that David committed adultery and murder to secure Solomon’s future mother – Bathsheba. He suffered the consequences, repented and – a point of hope for the rest of us who lose our way – remained in the graces of his higher power.

Upon Solomon’s succession to his father’s throne his request for wisdom was granted. Solomon thereby secured more honors, riches and assorted blessings than any leader in history. One of those ‘blessings’ included a thousand or so wives and concubines that proved his undoing. At the end, having done all, seen all, had all and learned almost all, he wrote the Old Testament book Ecclesiastes. Therein rests the core of modern conservatism.


Solomon’s take on life

Ecclesiastes is about a dozen pages long. Though presented in a somewhat cynical format – Solomon appears to have been struggling from depression brought on by trying to keep up with 1,000 ladies – the landing place is anything but negative. His summary take was that everything worth anything tracks to living in God’s will. Upon that bedrock is a table resting on the four legs of labor, love, learning and living. It was Solomon’s take that the rest of man’s pursuits were ensnaring ‘vanities’ by which all are undone. Thousands of years ago Solomon revealed the stable table of conservatism over the vanities of liberalism.


To labor

Solomon recognized that work is central to personal wellbeing. We live in a world where, contrary to the pretenses of the left, nothing is free. It thus behooves all of us to seek ways to produce and contribute. For the same reason parents spoil their children for selfish purposes, enabling a man to sit down versus stand up is never a positive action. The rewards of living off your own labors include purpose, growth, independence and hope. The outcomes of living off the labors of others include emptiness, regression, dependence and despair.

If everyone is working to potentials, the opportunities for prosperity are limitless. Democratic public policy pushes people to stop working and fight over a shrinking pie instead of baking one big enough for us all to enjoy. We can thank Solomon for providing a succinct summation of one crucial difference between right and left handed thinking.


To love

Conservatives and liberals both talk love – their walk reveals the point of separation. Solomon would recognize the vanity fix the left gets out of confusing love with enabling. Baltimore offers example. Democrats have been in charge there since the sixties and received buckets of state and federal monies lavished on their misguided policies. The result has been a Baltimore where the best thing most minorities can do to step up is move out.

Conservatives love by recognizing that opportunity is bitter medicine without personal accountability and that bad choices cause far more harm than any social force. No amount of money, political correctness or entitlement will make up for being foolish. America’s traditional success equation of liberty, opportunity and responsibility represents the conservative equation of love.  

To learn

It’s a fact that most of us live as an echo – we simply recycle the nonsense our lizard brains are programmed to believe. The alternative to this stupefaction is learning.

In twenty-first century America public schools and colleges are dangerous places to learn. Dominated by habituated educators confusing liberalism with a liberal education, propaganda taints their function. Less you don’t buy it, inquire of any education setting as to how many conservatives they have teaching or administrating. You’ll be shocked.

Truth remains one of the most elusive commodities in modern life. Give up comfort, convenience and concord if you seek truth. Learning to separate what’s real from what’s not takes hard work and an independent spirit rarely rewarded in a vanity driven culture.


To live

Solomon recognized life as an extraordinary blessing worthy of celebration. It was his thinking this finite gift should not be taken for granted and that doom and gloom, selfishness and stagnancy have absolutely no connection to gratitude.

Solomon knew that no matter how bad it gets, God hides possibilities amidst the miseries. These words of wisdom offer challenge to those of us sometimes kidnapped by the depressing absurdities of today’s world. His view would be that the more darkness engulfs us the brighter the light of life shines.



Solomon revealed three stellar truths: 1,000 women will exceed the capacities of even the smartest man; the left’s life plan is corrupt; and conservative principles track toward God’s stated will and thus the right side of the final outcome. With all due respect to the left, you seem to have forgotten that in the 21st century the Devil is more likely to carry a briefcase than a pitchfork.

We are graced to live in a self-correcting world. No matter how crazy, absurd and wrong-headed things get; in the end reality, reason, responsibility, and right will prevail. It thus behooves conservative minded folks to smile at the noise, resist it when possible and put our primary energies into Solomon’s formula for success.

The left’s master plan is that of a hungry wolf eating itself for nourishment. That’s a short-term deal no matter how fat the wolf grows in the process. The Democratic Party has unleashed unrealistic and unquenchable appetites in its mascots – think Baltimore – that assure failure.

If you’re member of the Republican Party, keep hammering on the elephant’s stated principles. Resist those who dilute those Solomon graced agendas for personal gain. Above all else keep smiling and doing your labor, love, learning, and living thing.  Happy functional people who can be normal in an abnormal world offer hope for the lost.


This Month’s Whistle – Fort Buncombe

Been to jail lately? Thanks to short-sighted thinking subsidized by a ton of tax dollars, we now have a downtown Asheville fortress that’s about as accessible as Berlin’s 1930’s Gestapo headquarters.

Analysis of walk over talk reveals the Democratic Party as a well-organized body of control freaks. Jails are one of the few places where those skills can serve good purpose. Unfortunately excessive appetites have succeeded in turning our house of incarceration into a gated community where the good guys are kept out as surely as the bad guys are kept in.

Ask a family member, bondsman or other visitor attempting to visit Fort Buncombe. Floodlights, machine guns and guard dogs have been skipped as unnecessary. With 5 public parking spaces within shouting distance, a pass secured gate and an uphill climb that will give Aunt Mary a heart attack, our jail has less public access than the Grove Park Inn at Christmas.

Per internal bureaucracies, you can dissect a turtle faster than you can get a legally released inmate out the front door. Need to use the bathroom after five? Sorry, that door is locked. Need to wash your hands when it’s open? Bring your own soap.

All this is a problem for many reasons, not the least of which is that people in jail remain people. Curtailing physical access for visitation and professional contacts adds insult to the injury of a phone system costing $14.99+ a call. There’s a difference in holding criminals accountable and holding criminals hostage. 

Try building anything in Asheville and you’ll quickly run into daunting landscaping, access and parking codes. Per the usual, government exempts itself. Ever tried to navigate the stairs to the jail between City Hall and the Courthouse? Think Mt. Mitchell in concrete.

It’s also a concern that Buncombe has quietly become one of the most indebted counties in North Carolina. If our national economy falls off this fake money tight wire we’re walking, the consequences will be severe. It happened in the thirties and we’re foolish to pretend it can’t happen again. 

Part of that debt involves a sexy state-of-the-art courthouse annex that looks great from the front. Inside our judicial system operates out of boxes dedicated less to justice than rewarding the $250 an hour inefficiencies of lawyers. Out back is Fort Buncombe. We thus have a summation of Democrat controlled government in Asheville and Buncombe County – a smiling front, busted inside and up tight backside…

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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