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‘Lines have been crossed’
Thursday, 02 February 2017 13:28
Special to the Daily Planet

Pete Kaliner is the host of a daily radio talk show on Asheville’s WWNC (570-AM) that airs from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. This column features posts from his daily blog.

The following was posted on Jan. 24:


i·con·o·clasm [īˈkänəˌklazəm/]

(noun) the action of attacking or assertively rejecting cherished beliefs and institutions or established values and practices.


The thing about iconoclasm is that everyone has to live with the ramifications of your destruction.

Not just your opponents. But you, too.

Progressives who argue that every conservative and libertarian policy and philosophy is rooted in a desire to see people die cannot fathom how a man like Donald Trump can be elevated as the champion of these people who feel constantly vilified. Yet, it's because the social norms no longer apply.

The same people who were so outraged at President Trump's use of vulgar language to describe female anatomy then used the very same language to rally across the nation - toting their young daughters around with placards using the same offensive word.

So, this is our new normal. Take a bow, progressives. The coarsening of the culture you've sought for so long is nearly complete! You should be happy. But you are not. Because you're progressives.

You demand safe spaces where you cannot hear an opposing opinion expressed in a civil and thoughtful manner think it's perfectly fine for an angry crowd to stalk and chase a person down an alley screaming "asshole" and "bigot" and declaring, "We got you now" once cornered against a wall.

This encounter prompted N.C. State Sen. Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg, to announce his intention to file a bill outlawing this kind of behavior:

“When the General Assembly returns to Raleigh this week, I will introduce legislation to follow the lead of the District of Columbia and make it a crime to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties.

“And I will also urge my colleagues to take other appropriate steps to guarantee the personal safety of Gov. McCrory by all necessary means.

“Because lines are being crossed.”

Indeed, they are.

They have been for quite some time.

Whether Sen. Bishop's proposal win approval in the General Assembly and passes constitutional muster, I cannot predict.

But when you celebrate and normalize this kind of behavior, you should expect your opponents to react.

Progressives who dress up in female genitalia costumes and blow air horns on the sidewalk get taken seriously by a sympathetic media.

Reporters, photographers and editors who cover these overgrown infants with pieces more akin to hagiographies than critical assessments enable the degenerative behavior that destroys the standards of decency whose absence they now lament.

It leaves people "on the other side" (and even many apolitical moderate types) feeling like they have no other options but to engage in a similar manner.

The right increasingly does not feel bound by the norms you've destroyed.

But then again, this is the party of lawlessness. During the campaign protesters blocked roads leading to a Trump rally in Phoenix; heckled him in Raleigh, Aiken, Grand Rapids, St Louis, Chicago, Kansas City; clashed with police in Albuquerque, San Diego, Costa Mesa, Burlingame, and Richmond; abused Trump supporters in Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, San Jose and Salt Lake City. And those are just the ones a quick search turned up.

Meanwhile, exactly zero Clinton rallies were disrupted by hordes of protestors.  In fact, Clinton rallies were interrupted by… Clinton supporters. In Las Vegas Secret Service agents hustled her off the stage when rabid animal rights protestors rushed the platform.

After the election, liberal protestors blocked downtown streets in more than 25 cities across the country, mostly in deep blue states with deeper blue cities.

In an act of incredible arrogance, the California legislature issued a statement that Trump did not represent “their values,” as if their voice spoke for all Californians, and theirs was only voice worth listening to. In fact, the hypocrisy of the California statement is unfathomable; they presume to unanimously lament differing views of a pluralistic society.  

This is so stupid I am not clever enough to make it up.

Whose behavior is deplorable?

This is your new normal. Do not be surprised when the right responds in kind.

The Daily Planet's Opinion: February 2017
Thursday, 02 February 2017 13:20

Gentrification poses threat to Asheville 

Asheville won a dubious distinction in late January, when it was ranked No. 2 on a list of “The U.S. Cities That Are Gentrifying the Fastest,” which was published by

It is, indeed, a downer — but probably not a surprise — for locals and others who appreciated Asheville’s reputation as a funky, artistic little town to read — in print — that their beloved city is undergoing such a radical transformation, especially compared to other cities.  

In placing second on the list (just behind Charleston, S.C.), Asheville was cited for having reached half of its gentrification  potential. The problem with gentrification is that, often, local residents are displaced by wealthier new residents.

“Back in 2000, Rolling Stone called  Asheville ‘America’s new freak capital,’ attracting an eclectic population of hippies, artists and musicians,” wrote Yuqing Pan, author of the article. “Today, tourists flock to its craft beer breweries, and gated golf communities sell homes for prices as high as $6.5 million — but the quirky, creative characters who once defined the city are vanishing.”

We urge city officials to do all they can to preserve the community’s uniqueness and to curtail changes that could transform Asheville into another Atlanta.



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