Asheville Daily Planet
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Sunday, 03 February 2019 21:06
Special to the Daily Planet

“Political corruption, social greed, and Americanized quasi-socialism can ruin even the most wonderful places. California proved that.”

— Tiffany Madison

The Problem

erhaps you’ve heard the suggestion of Asheville as “the San Francisco of the East.” It’s an arguable comparison – that’s not the same as a good one. Here, as in San Francisco and everywhere else where progressive-socialists get control, there is ample evidence our foundation for success is at risk.  

What started as a one-column attempt to shine a little light on some of the corruptive influences on our community morphed into a three-part series. This is the last one – unless a whistle-blower gives the Daily Planet editor further opportunity to demonstrate his noteworthy courage button.  

Please let us know if you know some bad guys deserving attention. In the interim, here’s some more on current hazards to our mountain paradise.

A dysfunctional criminal justice system

 If there’s a portal to hell in Asheville it lies somewhere under the Buncombe County Courthouse – and if there’s one word to describe the consequence of that proximity it would be paralysis.

 The inefficient, costly, slow and amazingly unpredictable outcomes of our judicial process reveal a system generating universal misery. Do you know any happy attorneys? Stand outside the security check line and watch sometime. The staff, legal reps, criminally accused, family members and others walking in and out of those green tinted doors look like a shift change out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

 Why so? Because no one – absolutely no one – is making a sincere effort to fix things. The understaffed, underfunded, symbiotic, zombified, and convoluted criminal justice code impaired nature of that world has been cryogenically frozen in place.

 Reform will have to come from within, and thus it’s not likely to come at all. Reflect back to the last time you remember any member of our criminal justice system challenging status quo. There’s more social activism going on in your average Catholic kindergarten class than in our legal community.

 The professional association in charge – the N.C. State Bar – is more devoted to supporting their fraternity than justice. That’s a sad landing place, because we’ve got a ton of young attorneys who went into law intending to lay a good hand on the world. Perhaps one day they’ll find their own courage buttons, unify, get on with the business of bringing reason and timely justice back into vogue.

 Surely this lack of will doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that out of the bazillion attorneys gracing our county, only about a dozen are uncloseted Republicans.

 Oh, speaking of justice, if our City Council doesn’t stop micromanaging our police department and our new sheriff starts implementing his campaign promises, public safety is going to be an increasingly hot topic.  

The Block

 Remember “The Block?” That’s the epicenter of Asheville’s black culture that’s long been located right behind the police station.

 For decades it was ironically – as in “right behind the police station” – also Asheville’s haven for illegal drugs, prostitution and gambling.

 Fast forward to the mid-’90s and the move by city government and nonprofits to “secure the heritage” of this community cultural icon. Since then literally millions have been wasted on that location through one unrealistic fantasy after the other.  

 Until recently, none of these expensive visions and progressive indulgences did anything more than build images for politicians, jobs for planners and emptier pockets for taxpayers.

 Fortunately, after all that waste, insincerity and neglect, The Block has finally found its happy place. Per that outcome, evidently wall-to-wall high-rises represent the earnest expression of our community’s black heritage. Who could have known?

Hospital mayhem

 Just when it looked like the Memorial Mission yard sale was a done deal, cracks have appeared. The effort to magically transform a too-many millions to count community-owned public resource into a for-profit commercial enterprise has hit some hurdles.

 The loss of control of our hospital could be a good thing. One can safely assume administrators and board members aren’t walking away from success.

 The Mission Hospital system has been heading toward a cliff for years. Chronic Medicare and Medicaid underfunding; government hyper-control; abuses by our city’s army of illegal immigrants, drug enthusiasts, and folks who’d rather just skip the responsibility of carrying their own weight; and dare we say questionable administration have made it so.

 On the last one, it’s important to note that there has been little or no investigative journalism applied to why Mission has failed. All we’re really getting is what’s going to happen – very little on why it’s going to happen.

 May we help by suggesting the administration and board of Mission has been shamefully culpable in failing to publicly declare the realities noted above? Theirs has been a persistent policy of putting on a happy face while termites were eating the heart out of the system.

 That they have made it this long can be tracked in part to a remarkably ignored practice of chronic understaffing. Staff shortages are normal in emergent situations – staff shortages day after day, year after year, department after department reflect undeclared policy.

 So, where will it all land? Two options – the sale goes through and past sins are lost in the tangles of a switch from non-profit to for-profit status – it doesn’t and those sins come to roost and responsible system readjustment becomes a community emergency.

Rampant liberalization of our schools

 Our public school, college and university system’s once commendable dedication to a liberal arts education has become corruptively dedicated to teaching our children to be liberals.

 That progressive-socialist mission of mischief is a betrayal of everything true liberalism is all about. Political correctness, one-view only myopia, anger-based social activism, anti-Christian malice and left-leaning political bias is totalitarianism masquerading as benevolence.

 Can anything be done? Sure, but again it takes people with activated courage buttons – most especially parents. Applied to what? Inoculating their kids against liberal indoctrination – challenging school bias – and where possible, seeking alternatives to public education that champion the crucial difference in liberal arts and liberal propaganda.

Public debate is AWOL

 You might be wondering how this one made the list. May I suggest it is both a cause and a consequence of corruption?

 The total absence of public debate in our community is a travesty. Without civil, open and spirited discussion on the issues, truth gets lost. Isolation, biased institutions, closed systems and silence are poor forums for a smarter citizenry and future of hope.

 Are you part of a group that has the courage to debate? Please let me know – I can find you someone to represent the conservative, Christian, Republican view.   

What to do?

 There’s more to talk about, but all this darkness is making me sleepy. Perhaps one could take a cue from our freelance homeless population and pop in for a nap at Haywood Street’s “Pit of Despair?”  

 No corruption here. I’m sure Asheville’s governing body is sincere in suggesting there’s nothing they can do about our persisting vagrant issue. Other thus-unimpeded tourist destinations like Gatlinburg and Charleston are just lucky. How about the millions of dollars wasted on land purchases, lost enterprise, planning, and displaced tax revenue from putting prime real-estate in timeout?  Heck, the original plan was for a parking garage – aren’t we glad that got scuttled!    

 There’s one last flag that may represent the underreported story of the century. Have you noticed someone is controlling Asheville’s pigeon population? It’s a good bet some secret agent with a rooftop bucket of instant-acting poison is on the job. Not to keep any progressives up tonight, but who is it and who knows?

 From the sounds of things, you might think I believe Asheville is hopeless. Not so. Anything you want – good as surely as bad – is here for the opportunity and enjoyment. Good people are coming just as surely as bad, and good growth is going on in equal measure to bad. That’s life. Nothing stays the same, and adjustment and flexibility are the cost of doing business above ground.

 If you want to help, consider activating your own courage button and finding ways to challenge wrongs. Culturists are needed as an antidote to progressive arrogance. In our mountain paradise it’s easy to forget things that have been damaged can be damaged some more….

Carl Mumpower, a psychologist and former elected official, is chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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