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BeeGees, disco surpass Marco Rubio’s rap — Pg. 12 LLE I V HE AS ASHEVILLEʼS GREATEST NEWSPAPER

May 2012

Vol. 8, No. 6

An Independent Newspaper Serving Greater Asheville


Preparedness event records turnout surge By JOHN NORTH

Flash dance in the park

Daily Planet Staff Photos

A flash dance was held at Pack Square Park on a Saturday afternoon in April, providing a brief-but-lively show for those enjoying the sunny day. Several dozen dancers trained in advance and then sprung the surprise on a delighted crowd.

BLACK MOUNTAIN — The Second Annual Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar on May 4-5 recorded a near doubling of the crowd from its debut last year, perhaps indicating concern about being prepared for emergenies, event organizers Bill and Jan Sterrett said. The Sterretts own Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville. They expressed delight with the turnout of about 700 people on May 4 and about 1,100 people on May 5 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain. Last year, about 700 people attended the seminar at Haywood Community College in Clyde, The keynote speaker for the second consecutive year was Dr William Forstchen, author of a New York Times bestseller, “One Second After,” and a military history professor at Monteat College, which adjoins Black Mountain. Forstchen’s book is set in Black Mountain,, with a number of references to Asheville and Ashevillians — ,many of them negative. Among the other speakers were Tim Glance, who manages Old Grouch’s Military Surplus in Clyde. Also present was Brooklyn Bagwell, casting director for “The Doomsday Preppers,” the all-time highest rated show on the National Geographic TV channel. Bagwell is from nearby Marion. • Stories on the preparedness seminar appear on Pages 4-5

‘Sustainability’ termed code word for elite’s takeover plan

of Sovereignty International. EPI bills itself as focusing “on providing profesHENDERSONVILLE — A prosional guidance and training in defining gresive-liberal elite intends to use environmental problems and solutions Agenda 21 and other measures to crebased on Judeo-Christian principles of ate a worldwide government in which stewardship, as contrasted with pantheit would have complete control over the istically based environmentalism.” masses and the planet’s resources, Dr. Among Coffman’s books are “ResMichael Coffman said on April 28. cuing a Broken America: Why America “Basically, the end game is to create Is Deeply Divided” and “Global Warma world government,” he told a crowd ing or Global Governance.” of about 75 people during the second of In addressing what he termed two addresses on consecutive nights at “the elite,” Coffman said succinctly, the Opportunity House Cultural Center “They’re trying to take your liberties in Henderosnville. away ... and have a world government.” Coffman addressed “How the United Coffman, who holds a Ph.D. in forest Nations’ Destructive Agenda 21 Is Rapscience, said he left his job as a manidly Being Implemented in America — Dr. Michael Coffman Without Anyone Knowing It.” ager for Champion International paper He also reviewed some high points of company about 20 years ago because his April 27 speech, “The War of Worldviews That Is he said he saw the danger facing the nation from radical Causing Increasing Violence and Gridlock in America.” environmentalists in particular, and progressive liberals Coffman was billed as “perhaps the foremost expert in general. and most active speaker on the subject of Agenda 21” by He noted he had spoken the previous night about the the region’s Anti-Communism KTM, the event sponsor. John Locke models, with 100 percent tyranny on the far Coffman is widely credited with playing a key roll in blocking the Biodiversity Treaty. He is president of left and anarchy on the far right. See ‘SUSTAINABILITY,’ Page 6 Environmental Perspectives Inc. and executive director By JOHN NORTH

Hold that tiger

Daily Planet Staff Photos

Two students at UNC Asheville were among the many who took turns petting the baby tiger and other exotic animals during UNCA’s Lawn Party in April. Students also sang karaoke-style to a live band.

2 —May 2012 - Asheville Daily Planet

Daily Planet Staff Photos

Benny Anderson’s Drifters had the crowd singing along to many of the group’s hits during a concert on May 5 at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center.

Drifters, Tams score hit in Asheville


Benny Anderson’s Drifters and Robert Lee Smith and His Original Tams gave a small-but-enthusiastic crowd its money’s worth with a nearly three-hour concert featuring beach music and other rhythm-andblues classics on May 5 in the sparkling new Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville. Billed as “A Tribute to Motown Scholarship Benefit Concert,” the show — the first concert ever to be staged in the Sherrill Center — actually included only a few Motown hits, as neither The Drifters nor the Tams were part of Motown Records. While the show proved terrific, with high

quality musical performances, choreography and general showmanship, among the disappointments was the turnout of only about 400 people. Also, even though popular local vocalist Kat Williams was billed as a “special guest” at the show, she actually only made a few brief appearances on stage, mainly in an emcee capacity. Notably, Williams joined the two groups — after the Drifters invited The Tams, who already had changed into their street clothes — to join them on stage to reprise The O’Jays’ disco-era anthem “Love Train.” Much to her credit, Williams, when given a chance by the groups to sing a verse, made

The Drifters, Tams and Kat Williams (far left) all came out on stage at the end of the show to perform a reprise of “Love Train.”

the most of it by belting the lyrics out with a whiskey-voiced, blues-singer styling. An area with a smooth floor to the left of the stage was set aside for dancers — and the dance floor was kept near capacity during much of the concert, especially during The Tams’ high-energy songs. Each group played its trademark hits, with a selection of other artists’ songs. The Tams, who performed first, opened the show with a rip-roaring version of “Love Train,” followed by “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You” and “Treat Her Like a Lady.” The group then played a number of Tams’ classics, including “I’ve Been Hurt,” “Untie

Me,” “Laugh It Off,” “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?” “Hey Girl, Don’t Bother Me” and the spirited crowd-pleaser “Be Young, Be Foolish, But Be Happy.” A highlight was a trio of songs The Tams introduced as its “College Medley,” which included “Oh, What a Night,” “You Send Me” and “Daddy’s Home.” The Tams finished their set with a second performance of “Be Young, Be Foolish, But Be Happy.” The Drifters opened with “On Broadway,” followed by “This Magic Moment,” Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Saturday Night at the Movies,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Some King of Wonderful” “Dance With Me” and “Up on the Roof.”

Robert C. Smith and His Original Tams were flashy on stage.

Asheville Daily Planet — May 2012 - 3

UNCA celebrates 84th annual commencement A spring downpour couldn’t dampen the spirit of the more than 5,000 family and friends gathered on UNC Asheville’s Quadrangle on the morning of May 5 to celebrate the university’s 2012 graduating class. Some 731 students were honored as the Class of 2012 during the 84th annual Commencement Ceremony, including 480 spring graduates, 222 winter graduates and 29 summer graduates. Erskine Bowles, one of North Carolina’s best-known public servants, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and delivered the Commencement Address. With a serious rain shower in progress, Bowles congratulated the Class of 2012, then offered a shortened but strong message to the graduates about the national debt: “lt’s an enormous problem that came about because my generation hasn’t been willing to step up... We have kicked the can down the road. I do want you to think about the problems facing this country. I do want you to be more aware. I want you to get mad at people like me and my generation. And then I want you to demand that the politicians in Washington, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, do something about it …. They have to make the hard choices. Please make them do it… for yourselves, for your classmates, for the kids you’re going to have some day. Most importantly, please, do it for our country.” Bowles, former chief of staff in the Clinton Administration and then president of the University of North Carolina System, was appointed by President Obama to co-chair the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Chancellor Anne Ponder also presented

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UNCA graduates appear to be unphased by a spring downpour during commencement on May 5. an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Al Whitesides, whom she described as “a leader in the Asheville community, a friend of local business, and an advocate for the state’s education system.” Chancellor Ponder recalled Whitesides’ activism as a student during the civil rights movement, and how he brought textbooks along to lunch-counter sit-ins. She quoted Whitesides as saying, “We couldn’t lose track of one thing: If we didn’t finish school and graduate, we couldn’t take advantage of what we were fighting for.”

Whitesides went on to a long career in banking and was honored for his ongoing community service to many Asheville organizations and institutions including Asheville City Schools, the YMI Cultural Center, South College, and the Mission Healthcare Foundation. Whitesides has served as chair of UNC Asheville’s Board of Trustees and is now president of the UNC Asheville Bulldog Athletic Association. Student and Faculty Awards During the ceremony, three graduates

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4 - May 2012 - Asheville Daily Planet

‘Scariest man in America’ issues warning By JOHN NORTH

BLACK MOUNTAIN — Dr. William Forstchen, the keynote speaker at the Sensible Montain Preparedness Seminar on May 5 here, appeared to get a charge out of the memorable introduction he received. MrMadMick15, the emcee, introduced Forstchen by saying, “Coming forward now is the scariest man in America. “His book (“One Second After”) has changed a lot of lives. It’s like the Bible. So, without further ado, I’m going to introduce the scariest man in America.” As the crowd applauded and a few laughed, Forstchen said, “I’ve never been introduced as ‘the scariest man in America,’ although when I give my students a final exam, I get the same thing.” When he asked how many had read his book, most of the hands in the crowd shot up into the air at once, causing Forstchen to smile. He noted that “One Second After,” which was a New York Times bestseller, is based in Black Mountain and the Ridgecrest Conference Center where the preppers were meeting was converted into a nursing home in his book. Forstchen then told of other places around the immediate area that were mentioned in his book. Forstchen said his intent was to speak as briefly as possible “and do as much Q&A as possible” with the crowd of about 1,100 people at the seminar. He told how he came to write the book, noting that about eight years ago, “I went up to D.C. to meet with my friend (former House Speaker Newt Gingrich) to discuss writing a book” together. Gingrich arrived late for their meeting and was frustrated in his attempts to get Congress to consider the dangers of an electro-magnetic pulse attack. Forstchen said he told Gingrich that “I know about EMPs because of my background as a military historian.

William Forstchen After further conversation, he said Gingrich convinced him he should write a novel involving an EMP attack, so that the idea would be much better known to the public. He said that, to date, there has been no federal funding to help people prepare for an EMP attack or solar flare. “No,” Forstchen said, “because there is no constituency. So that was the reason to write the novel — to build a constituency for EMPs. “It’s been a very interesting journey for me for the last three years. But in the last year of so, I’ve seen reason for hope.” On the other hand, he said, “I’ve lost hope

in bureaucratic systems solving anything ... I’ve come to believe in ‘We the people.’” For instance, Forstchen said that three years ago, there might have been eight or nine people attending the preparedness conference, if one had been held. Instead, there was a turnout of 1,100 people on May 5. He asked how many of the attendees “had gotten into this in the last year of so?” About half the attendees raised their hands. “That gives me encouragement,” Forschen said. In speaking of his aspirations for preppers, he asserted, “We are loyal Americans ... In general, we are people of faith ... We as Americans must read the Constitution constantly ... The Constitution, nowhere, says there’s a separation of church and state.” (Some in the audience applauded) “What it says is we should not have an infringement of the separation of church and state. He also said a prepper, in his view, operates from two principles — seeks more guidance from God and looks to the Consstitution as that person’s political guide. “Regardless of left or right (politics), if we have people in office who do not have a moral system of government, then it needs to be removed.” He then noted that he is “troubled by the stereotyping” of preppers by the mass media. Forstchen asked, “How many of you would have defined yourselves as preppers three years ago?” No hands were raised. Shaking his head, Forstchen said, “From a

small acorn, a mighty tree grows.” He said that a prepper “is not about you, yourself or your family. It’s about America.” Forstchen quoted Abe Lincoln saying — during a low point for the North during the Civil War — that “We are the last best hope of mankind.” Forstchen asserrted that “the thing that binds us together ... is being united by the Constitution ... that we’re all equal ... What other country has given so much? Regarding dangers to the U.S., he said “the EMP threat is not sci-fi. The Iranians have been testing them for years.” To that end, he discussed the scenario where the Iranians or North Koreans send a cargo ship off the U.S. coast in the Gulf of Mexico and “fire a vertical shot 250 miles above the earth” with a nuclear misisile, sending America back to the Middle Ages, technologically. He said experts tell him that there will “definitely” be a catastrophic CME, or solar flare, “within our lifetime,” with the prediction of one occuring in the next two or three years.” Regarding a “military event,” Forstchen said, “I think it will happen ...” As for an EMP attack, the professor-author also believes there is a high probability of that happening soon, too. In wrapping up his speech, Forstchen closed with a prayer, after which he received a standing ovation from the crowd. • EDITOR’S NOTE: More stories on the Sensible Montain Preparedness Seminar will appear in June’s edition of the Daily Planet.

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‘Doomsday Preppers’ casting director aims to be prepared, too By JOHN NORTH

BLACK MOUNTAIN — Brooklyn Bagwell was among those operating a booth at the Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar on May 4-5 at Ridgecrest Conference Center here. She also is a Marion native who recently graduated from East Carolina University and joined the National Geographic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers” television show as a production assisant. Months later, she is the casting director. While in Black Mountain, she chatted with the preppers passing by — and passed out applications for those who might want to be cast on a future show. Her mother, Tabitha Bagwell of Marion, stood proudly near her. “No, I’m not a prepper, but I’m going to start” to become one, the casting director told the Daily Planet during a May 5 interview. “It’s hard living in New York (City), but me and my friends” deal with it as best they can. As for the “Doomsday Preppers, Bagwell said with obvious pride, “It’s the highestrated show” in the history of the National Geographic Channel. She noted that, while the show appears on the National Geographic Channel, she is employed by Sharp Entertainment, which actually produces “Doomsday Producers.” Bagwell said she always had wanted to “do TV,” so she did an internship. After college, she took the job as production assistant.” She stressed that the show already was in its formative stages when she joined. “They’d already done the pilot, when they brought me in.” In casting for the show, Bagwell said she does most of the work by interviewing people over the telephone. For the first season, which has been completed, 12 episodes were filmed. For the

next season’s production, which is about to begin, there will be 15 episodes filmed, she said. The second season will start sometime in September. As for the criticism by some viewers that those who are cast on the show are setting themselves up for danger from those watching and learning of their plans and fortifications, Bagwell said, “We definitely respct the rules of operational secuirty.” Besides, she said, “It’s all voluntary.” She added, “People think we’re making them look extreme and paranoid. We’re not ... I don’t think anything I’ve seen is too crazy.” When pressed further, Bagwell said that having “underground bunkers” might be a bit over the top. Then again, she later noted that one of her top desires with the show is to “go on a shoot at an underground bunker,” just to satisfy her curiosity of what it would be like. As for strange experiences in her career, she said she was with a prepper who chopped off a chicken’s head and a pig’s head — and she joined him in eating the pig’s tongue and the chicken’s brain. Also, during the first season, she joined a prepper in eating bugs for sustenance. One of the things she has learned — and followed — from working with preppers is to “always carry a bug-out bag with you,” she said with a smile. Bagwell emphasized that she believes most preppers are highly intelligent and among the most aware of what is happening around them. “A lot of preppers are engineers,” she noted. “Preppers are preparing” for emergencies, which Bagwell said is smart. “They don’t take anything for granted, while most others (in America) just live day-by-day,” oblivious to everything outside their immediate orbit, which she considers risky behavior.

Tim Glance of Old Grouch’s Real Military Surplus in Clyde answers questions from a prospective customer after his talk on “Prep Vehicles” on May 4 at the Sensible Mountain Preparedness Seminar in Black Mountain.

Asheville Daily Planet — May 2012 — 5

Brooklyn Bagwell, casting director for “Doomsday Preppers,” is from nearby Marion.

6 —May 2012 - Asheville Daily Planet

Sustainability Continued from Page 1 Within a triangle, he listed (from top to bottom) federal government, state government, county government, city government, individual and God-given inaliable rights. “What we’re seening is an ... effort to assert federal sovereignty ... By the way, the Constitution was designed to protects citizens from the government” — and not the other way around. “What he (President Barack Obama) wans to impose” is the model by Swiss-born French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau — “the feudal system model.” In a triangle depicting his interpretation of Rousseau, Coffman listed (from top to bottom) federal government, state government, local government and families and individuals. “I’ll say again what I said last night ... We have one chance to roll this back — and that’s in the election this November. “If we don’t, I think it will be — at a minimum — 200 years before we get the opportunity again” to be free. (In a brief interview with the Daily Planet immediately after the program, Coffman said the new Dark Ages could last up to 400 years.) Coffman said the Rousseau model was behind fascism, Marxism and communism — and that 200 million citizens have been killed in its name. What’s more, he asserted, “The Rousseau model is converting our Constitutional Republican into feudalism.” Coffman then turned his criticism to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which, he said, “basically wrote Agenda 21 for the United Nations ... It’s a modern-day weapon against freedom.” In quoting from IUCN documents, Coffman said Agenda 21’s purpose is to “promote alternative models ... based in eco-spiritual practices and principles ... to accelerate our transition to a just and sustainable future ....” More succinctly, Coffman said, “It basically means Mother Earth is far more important than you and I.” He called Agenda 21 “the legal implementation ... to force nations that sign this treat to physically worship nature ... They want to re-establish the feudal system of government.” Coffman then asked, rhetorically, “What does ‘sustainable development’ really mean?” From a document by those implementing Agenda 21 titled “Our Common Future,” he said it says that “sustainable development’ meets the needs of the present without compromising future generations ... But that’s not what their endgame is,” rather the aforementioned statement is “for public consumption,” Coffman asserted. He then reiterated that pantheism — defined by Coffman as “the belief that nature is God” — is a key value and “if you believe in reincarnation, that makes sense — reincarnation into ascended masters.” Coffman showed a diagram of a triangle labeled United Nations, with World Research Institute on one side, World Wildlife Fund on another and IUCN on the third. He added that many federal agencies would be classified with IUCN, including the EPA, the USFS, the USFWS and NPS. He said that about 700 environmentalists, social and socialist organizations are members of the IUCN. “They (the IUCN groups) meeting every year behind closed doors in small groups — to plan their social-spiritual programs on you and I ... The goal is to implement an eco-spiritual strategy locally ... Their ruse is

If you have kids in public schools, get them out ... I know it’s hard to homeschool kids. But, if you want your kids to be sane and educated, get them out of public schools and homeschool them,” Dr. Michael Coffman said. to make it look like it’s a spontaneous movement — but it’s not.” He reviewed an IUCN document that paved the way for Agenda 21, noting that, in its 40 chapters, “it basically covers every aspect of our lives, with all socialistic solutions ... Private property rights will disappear ... Now the Sierra Club gets to decide what you can do with your property.” President George H.W. Bush signed Agenda 21 on behalf of the United States in 1992, Coffman lamented. President Bill Clinton, who succeeded Bush at the helm, also supported the agreement, as has every president since then. In 1993, Clinton supported Agenda 21 through the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, he said. “Basically, this is all coming from the federal government and, for over five years now, every grant (from the federal government) has Agenda 21 strings attached.” At that point, a woman in the crowd asked, “Has Agenda 21 been ratified?” “No,” Coffman replied, “it doesn’t have to be ratified. Its just an agreement — not a treaty.” Continuing, he asserted, “You have these egghead bureaucrats trying to make the point that we all need to bow down to Mother Nature ... We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars to do this — for no defined benefit.” Coffman said the changes resulting from Agenda 21 have “become the new guidelines for every federal agency.” As a result, he noted, the role of the federal government has shifted “from helping the American people to be successful to helping the economy to hurt the American people.” Ultimately, he said, “If you take money from the federal government, you’re signing on to a sustainable America ... The last 15 or 20 years — we’re well down the road” to socialism. He reiterated that, “in one fell swoop, the purpose of the federal government changed” under Agenda 21. “If you happen to have progressives on your council or commission, they’ll be willing partners to shovel this right down your throats. “If you take federal money, you’re signing onto sustainable development,” Coffman said. “Fortunately, this county (Henderson) has backed away from this” as a result of citizen input. “I want to praise the people who worked on this and the commissioners for being

willing to listen to you.” In his observation, Coffman said, “Most of the time, they (government officials) are not” listening. He also said that Agenda 21 “is basically a way for people in urban areas to have control over rural areas.” As for what can be done about what he termed the threat of Agenda 21, Coffman said, “Every regional ‘this or that’ should be stopped dead in its tracks .... because you have no recourse” as concerned citizens. “It’s designed to strap you into tyranny.” He then reviewed a number of benefits touted by proponents of Smart Growth, noting that “it does none of those things.” He added that “the whole concept of Agenda 21 and Smart Growth “open the doors to corruption. Coffman cited some examples, asserting that “it’s horrifying” and that “it’s happening every day.” He explored examples of Smart Growth from Portland, Ore., to Los Angeles, stating that “the real family income stays steady, but housing costs go up by a multipe of three.” What’s more, Coffman said, “Land under Smart Growth has gone up by 600 percent in Los Angeles. It’s all due to Smart Growth and comprehensive planning because now you’ve put an artificial barrier on what can be developed and what cannot be. In reality, Coffman said, Smart Growth “dramatically increases congestion.” He also noted the following effects of Smart Growth: • Increases air pollution. • Destroys the American Dream of owning a home. • Dramatically increases the cost of living. • Transfers privated property rights to the government, which, Coffman said, is Smart Growth’s main purpose. Next, Coffman addressed what he termed “the corruption of education ... In the 1950s, the Congressional Reese Committee found that the Education Foundation ... contributed to the reckless public spending an overgrowth of government by ‘radical educators’ who ‘subborn schools.’” In addition, he said the Supreme Court ruling in 1962, forbidding school-sponsored prayers and Bible readings” are the source “of all problems in the schools from 1962 onward. The National Education Association became the “most powerful institution in America’s schools.” He cited a teacher initiative in which the goal was “dumbed-

down students to be compliant global citizens led by elites.” As supporting examples of the dumbingdown process, he cited the Careaus Act in 1995 and President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” from 2001. In the aftermath, the crowd cheered as Coffman urged, “If you have kids in public schools, get them out ... I know it’s hard to homeschool kids. But, if you want your kids to be sane and educated, get them out of public schools and homeschool them.” #3

When am I eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits? Regardless of whether you miss any time from work due to an accident, all of your medical expenses should be paid by the Worker’s Compensation insurance carrier. When your work injury causes you to miss more than one (1) week of work, you are entitled to receive 2/3 of your gross wages until you are able to return to work. Once you have missed one (1) month of work, you will also be paid for that first week. Under new laws effective June 24, 2011, a 500 week maximum of disability payments. If you are still unable to return to work, the Industrial Commission (WC court) can extend this 500-week period.

Dumbed-down U.S. predicted; small Ice Age could be looming From Staff Reports

HENDERSONVILLE — American society in the future “will be a leisurely one,” as some citizens “will be in various stages of drug-induced experiences” to keep them from being clear-headed enough to criticize and oppose what the federal government is doing. Indeed, he said hedonism and other distractions will be encouraged by the government, so that the ruling elite can gain more control. “If this doesn’t shake you down to the core, then there is something wrong with you,” according to Dr. Michael Coffman, considered in some circles to be the top authority on Agenda 21. He also is a frequent public speaker and the author of a number of books. He made his remarks on April 28 at the Opportunity House in Hendersonville. To the crowd, he said, “You are the exception ... You’re here because you want to do something about it.” In contrast, Coffman asserted that “99.9 percent of the American people is out there — dumb and happy ... but not for long.” He then lambasted the Wildlife Project, which, he said, “seeks to set aside a half of the United States as wilderness ... with the rest of people in Human Habituation Zones. Speaking more generally, Hoffman said he credits some of his successes not to himself, but to God. Yet, he said the Agenda 21 proponents “hate Christian folks. They hate Christianity.. The despise Christianity.” As for Roussea’s view of property rights, Coffman said, “Basically, property rights are whatever the government says they are..” Next, he said the ideal world population, under the scenario of an agricultural world where “human beings are peasant” should be able to support 5 billion to 7 billion people. “In contrast, a reasonable estimate for an industrialized, world society at the present North American material standard of being would be 1 billion people,” he said. When questions arose from the crowd about how the population reductions would be achieved, Hoffman said, “These human occupation zones are designed to be totally self-sufficient ... So, if you have a problem, there’s nowhere to go” and a disaster occurs. Hoffman termed any effort to reduce the world’s population to 1 billion people “bizarre — and it is extremely dangerous ... It is unbelievable, folks. And you’re not hearing about any of this” in the mainstream media. For the second half of his program, Hoffman addressed global warming, saying that “the discussion is almost totally debunked.” He added, “The Obama administration is leading the pack,” even misrepresenting the plight of the polar bear to the public. “The polar bear population is the highest it’s ever been,” Coffman said. “Now there is a strong correlation between CO2 and global warming, right? Coffman asked. “No!” said a man in the crowd. Continuing, Coffman said, “Temperature leads CO2 by 600 years, but you’d never know this by reading the popular press.” Regarding scientists who support the notion of global warming, he said, “They’re basically trying to change the data to fit their hypotheses ... We’’ve not been warm compared to what’s happened in the past.”

Coffman reviewed 3,000 years of temperature data and noted that some scientists believe “what we’ve seen for the last 300 years is a warming up from the Ice Ages. “There is nothing unusual. It’s part of a natural cycle. They didn’t have any SUVs (to create global warming) back then,” he quipped. The crowd laughed when a man interjected, “Yeah, but they had fire-breathing dragons.” Coffman said that “ironically, England is way ahead of us and they forbade the showing of Al Gore’s film ‘Earth in the Balance,” claiming it was too “alarmist.” Meanwhile, he said, “There is not a single scientist in the world who believes CO2, by itself, will cause global warming ... There is no warming in the areas where the computer models say there should be. In fact, there’s actual cooling.” As for what is actually going on, Coffman said, “It’s related to our oceans. So what drive our oceans? The sun is the key ingredient in climate.” In looking at past cycles, he said, “We’re right at the point where another Ice Age occurs.” He added that Solar Cycle 24, which is being used now, “is much less than what it should have been ... They’re expecting Solar Cycle 25 to be just a bump.” After a pause, Coffman said, “It could be ... that we’re entering into another Ice Age ... Buy groceries.” (He said the Ice Age likely would be about 3 degrees cooler than average. On another dismal note, he said, “Europe is right on the brink of collapsing, despite what you’re reading in the (mainstream) papers.” If Europe collapses, “we could he moving into a great depression or hyperinflation — all of this is caused by Democrats and Republicans.” During a question-and-answer period, Coffman told one man that “Spain is about to go bankrupt, in part because it’s been working on their alternative energy for about 15 years.” He explained that he has seen research showing that every green job costs six regular jobs. England and Germany are abandoning alterative energy. “Windmills don’t work,” Coffman said. “To even get 2 percent of energy from these sources is a stretch.” However, he said the proponents of alternative energy “basically are so disconnected from realtiy” that there is not much room to have a discussion with them. A man wondered how Coffman could say that human beings are “in a warmer period right now, when the glaciers are melting.” Coffman disagreed with the man’s assessment, stating that “always, 50 percent of glaciers are growing and 50 percent are shrinking.” “From 1975 to 2000, we’ve been in a period of warming, but we’ve leveled off now,” Coffman said. “We will see a high variation in temperatures” in the foreseeable future. Another man said, “I think Obama said oil is obsolete.” “Algae,” Coffman replied. A man asserted, “You said last night you see the currency going down.” “They have to break the U.S. dollar and make it (the country) insolvent ... to convert to a world currency,” Coffman answered.

Asheville Daily Planet — May 2012 — 7

Thank you

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8 - May 2012 - Asheville Daily Planet

Calendar Events Send us your calendar items

Please submit items to the Calendar of Events by noon on the third Wednesday of each month, via e-mail, at calendar@ashevilledailyplanet. com, or fax to 252-6567, or mail c/o The Daily Planet, P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, N.C. 288148490. Submissions will be accepted and printed at the discretion of the editor, space permitting. To place an ad for an event, call 252-6565.

Saturday, May 12

MHC COMMENCEMENT, 9:30 a.m., Moore Auditorium, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill. Expected MHC graduates total 138, including 22 from the college’s adult programs. Dr. Guy Sayles, pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, will give the baccalaureate address. Also speaking will be Rachel Connor, an English and Spanish major from Granite Falls; and Edgar Silva Marroquin, a Spanish major from Mars Hill. A reception will follow on the upper quad of the campus. WWC COMMENCEMENT 10 a.m., lawn of Sunderland Residence Hall, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa. WWC has 223 degree candidates this spring, surpassing the previous record of 201 in 2012. Grammy Award winner Janis Ian will deliver the main address. Best known as a writer-singer (“At Seventeen”), she also is a magazine columnist, science-fiction author and memoirist (“Society’s Child”). ANIMATION FESTIVAL, 10 a.m., 250 Owen Hall, UNC Asheville. The Super Saturday Animation Festival will feature a screening of stop-motion animations by students in UNCA’s Super Saturday classes.

Monday, May 14

COIN CLUB MEETING, 7 p.m., basement, Grove Arcade, downtown Asheville. The Buncombe County Coin Club will hold its monthly meeting. WEST COAST SWING CLASSES, 7:30 and 8 p.m., The Hangar, Clarion Hotel, Fletcher. Free beginners’ lessons for West Coast Swing will be held at 7:30, followed by intermediate lessons at 8 every Monday. The lessons are free. After the lessons, an open dance will be held. CONTRA DANCE, 8 p.m.,Grey Eagle. 185 Clingman Ave., Asheville. A contra dance is held weekly. Admission is $6.

Tuesday, May 15

TANGO LESSON/DANCE, 6 p.m., Eleven on Grove, Grove House Entertainment Complex, 11 Grove St., downtown Asheville. Tango lessons will precede a dance. SWING LESSON/DANCE, 6:30 p.m., Club Eleven, Grove House Entertainment Complex, 11 Grove St., downtown Asheville. A lesson will be followed by a dance, with live music. SHAG DANCE, 7-11 p.m., The Hangar, Clarion Inn Airport, 550 Airport Road, Fletcher. The Mountain Shag Club’s weekly dance will feature a DJ. At 6:30 p.m., free lessons will be offered by Paul and Debbie Peterson. Admission is $5.

Wednesday, May 16

TEA TIME SOCIAL, 6 p.m., J&S Cafeteria, Enka. The Asheville Tea Party will hold its weekly Tea Time Social. All interested are invited to attend.

Thursday, May 17

CONTRA DANCE, 8 p.m., Bryson Gym, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa. A contra dance is held weekly, preceded by

beginner’s lessons at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6.

Friday, May 18

BOOK SALE, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. The UUCA will hold a book sale through May 19.

Sunday, May 20

STAMP CLUB MEETING, 2 p.m., Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community Center, 1617 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville. The Asheville Stamp Club will hold its monthly meeting. ETHICAL MEETING, 2-3:30 p.m., Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Rd., Asheville. To celebrate the founding of the Ethical Culture in

1876, the Ethical Society of Asheville will present “Ethical Heroes — From Jacob Riis to Eleanor Roosevelt.” The play was written by Stanley Wayne, a member of the Ethical Society of Boston. It features seven ethical heroes and will be performed by members of the ESA. Afterward, a discussion period will be held. After the meeting, time will be provided for informal conversation.

See CALENDAR, Page 9

Asheville Daily Planet — May 2012 - 9


Continued from Page 8

Monday, May 21

WEST COAST SWING CLASSES, 7:30 and 8 p.m., The Hangar, Clarion Hotel, Fletcher. Free beginners’ lessons for West Coast Swing will be held at 7:30, followed by intermediate lessons at 8 every Monday. The lessons are free. After the lessons, an open dance will be held. CONTRA DANCE, 8 p.m.,Grey Eagle. 185 Clingman Ave., Asheville. A contra dance is held weekly. Admission is $6.

Tuesday, May 22

TANGO LESSON/DANCE, 6 p.m., Eleven on Grove, Grove House Entertainment Complex, 11 Grove St., downtown Asheville. Tango lessons will precede a dance. SWING LESSON/DANCE, 6:30 p.m., Club Eleven, Grove House Entertainment Complex, 11 Grove St., downtown Asheville. A lesson will be followed by a dance, with live music. SHAG DANCE, 7-11 p.m., The Hangar, Clarion Inn Airport, 550 Airport Road, Fletcher. The Mountain Shag Club’s weekly dance will feature a DJ. At 6:30 p.m., free lessons will be offered by Paul and Debbie Peterson. Admission is $5.

Wednesday, May 23

TEA TIME SOCIAL, 6 p.m., J&S Cafeteria, Enka. The Asheville Tea Party will hold its weekly Tea Time Social. All interested are invited to attend.

Thursday, May 24

CONTRA DANCE, 8 p.m., Bryson Gym, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa. A contra dance is held weekly, preceded by beginner’s lessons at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6.

They’ve got the beat

Drummers appear to be highly focused as they lay down a beat in Pack Square Park on a sunny, balmy Saturday afternoon in April. The springlike conditions — combined with many entertain-

Daily Planet Staff Photos

ing events — have made the downtown Asheville park a prime gathering point on weekends for locals as well as outof-town visitors. Soon, bathrooms will be available at the park.

Located at the Grove Arcade



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10 - May 2012 - Asheville Daily Planet

Faith Notes

Friday, May 11

CONCERT, 7 p.m., Jubilee!, 46 Wall St., downtown Asheville. Dr. Will Tuttle will perform in concert. SLIDE TALK, 7 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. A social justice program titled “Peru: Organic Agriculture & Water Protection in the Sacred Valley” will be presented by Cathy Holt. She will use slides to talk about her eight months in Peru, from initiating a listening project to teaching a hands-on organic agriculture class at a local school. Holt hopes to provide permaculture classes in Asheville in August. A discussion will follow the program. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. MUSICAL REVUE, 7:30 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The Ninth Annual Musical Revue of favorite show tunes will be performed in costume. The 30 songs will include selections from “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Mame” and “White Christmas.” The Revue also will be performed at 2 p.m. May 12. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 on the days of the show. To reserve tickets (via credit card only), call 891-8700. Refreshments will be available.

Saturday, May 12

OPEN HOUSE, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., The Cove, 1 Porter’s Cove Rd., Asheville. An open house will be held at The Cove from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A concert will followd at 7:30 p.m. Events are free, exceopt the dinner option for $20. Attendees will tour the chapel and other sites, sample summer camp activities, eat a free hot dog lunch and watch an illusionist perform from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To attend, call 298-2092 or visit MUSIC-DRAMA-DANCE, 7:30 p.m., The Light Center, N.C. 9, Black Mountain. The “Fest of Magdalene will be presented, featuring msuic, drama and dance. The event will celebrate the evolving of divine feminine spirit. Admission is $15. For reservations, call 669-6845.

Sunday, May 13

CRYSTAL BOWL MEDITATION, 10 a.m., The Light Center, 2190 N.C. 9, Black Mountain. The Light Center will offer healing crystal bowl meditations with the Rev. Heidi. Suggested donation is $10. Attendees are asked to wear comfrotable closing and bring pillows, blankets and mats. Water will be provided. To register, call 669-6845, or visit urlight. org. GREEK LUNCHEON, 11 a.m.2 p.m., Hellenic Center-Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 227 Cumberland Ave., Asheville. Meals will be served cafeteria style. CONCERT, 6 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 Sixth Ave. West, Hendersonville. The combined 90-voice adult choirs of Grace Lutheran and First United Methodist churches will join for a Festival of Hymns. The choir will be accompanied by piano, organ and hardbell choirs from both churches, as well as the Methodists’ brass enseble with timpani.

Tuesday, May 15

AGING PROGRAM, 10:30 a.m., Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church, 249 E. Main St., Brevard. A series focusing on the challenges of aging will offer a program on “Where Will I Live When I Am Older?” The program is for aging people and their families.

Wednesday, May 16

QUANTUM TOUCH PROGRAM, 7 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Pam Hurst will present “An Introduction to Quantum Touch.” She will explain how it came about and how it works. A love offering will be taken.

Saturday, May 19

SPRING FLING, 8 a.m., First Christian Church of Asheville (Disciples of Christ), 470 Enka Lake Rd., Candler. The church will hold its Sring Fling, a fund-raiser including a yard sale, barbecue, art and entertainment. Barbecue will be sold at $8 per plate.

CELEBRATION, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Calvary Episcopal Church, 2840 Hendersonville Rd., Flecther. The church will celebrate Benedictine Day. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. The day will include worship, study, silence, discussion and music focused on the Rule of St. Benedict. The theme for the retreat is reconciliation. The cost is $30 and includes lunch. To register, call 684-6266. HISTORY TOUR, 2 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church St., Asheville. The church invites the public to experience its 160 years of history and art during a lecture-tour. The program will be presented in collaboration with the Preservation Scoiety of Asheville and Buncombe County. The church’s legacy has recently been compiled by members of the congregation in a pictorial book, “An Illustrated History: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1849-2011.” The book is constructed as a narrated photo gallary of Trinitys “iconic art and architecture,” the author noted. BARBECUE, 4-7 p.m., Bell United Methodist Church, 17 Mayrand Rd., Leicester. The church will serve barbecue for a $7 suggested donation.

Wednesday, May 23

SATSANG, 7 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. The Rev. Chad O’Shea of the Unity Center iwill hold a “Satsang with Chad.” He will explore a deeper way of looking at life and what individuals perceive as their stress — or any of those times they label disturbing. He calls reality a “do-it-yourself” project. Discourse and discussion will be featured. A love offering will be taken.

Friday, May 25

CONCERT, 7 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church, 531 Haywood Rd., Asheville. The church will host a performance by the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band.

Sunday, May 27

WORSHIP/CELEBRATIOn of CHOIRS, 3-5 p.m., Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 47 Eagle St., Asheville. A worship and celebration of the choirs will be held.

Tuesday, May 29

AGING PROGRAM, 10:30 a.m., Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church, 249 E. Main St., Brevard. A series focusing on the challenges of aging will offer a program on “Faith, Hope and Dementia.” The Rev. Morgan Gardner, director of pastoral care services at Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community, will speak. The program is for aging people and their families.

Wednesday, May 30

AGING PROGRAM, 7 p.m., Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Rd., Mills River. Dr. RIchard Kownacki will present a program on “Proper Care of the Body Temple.” A love offering will be taken.

Saturday, June 2

USED BOOK SALE, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Lifeway Community Church, 31 Allen St., Sylva. A used curriculum and book sales, hosted by Great Smokies Christian Home Educators, will be held.

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Asheville Daily Planet — May 2012 — 11

Girlfriend feels used, abused from breakup story

After my girlfriend and I split up, I wrote a creative nonfiction piece about our breakup (changing some identifying details). I published it on a popular blog and linked to it on Facebook. We’re back together, and things are great; however, she saw the story and was humiliated. I explained that what I wrote was beautiful and vulnerable and true, and many people were moved by it. She really wasn’t down with that and told me to consider her off-limits in my writing. This seems unfair. I write nonfiction. What will I write about if I can’t write about my life? — Expressive As lame as some creative writing exercises sound -- “Write a haiku about what you had for lunch!” -- a thinly veiled portrait of your chicken salad will cause way less relationship stress than “Turn your fight with your girlfriend into a blog post!” (And no, you can’t just change her name from Molly to Holly so nobody but your 546 Facebook friends will know it’s her.) Yes, I’ve heard — privacy is reportedly dead. It was pronounced dead in 2006 at an Internet security conference. This doesn’t mean that it is actually dead or should be — just that lots of people are finding their dirty laundry uploaded to Instagram and their private conversations turned into content. Chances are, those nonchalantly ripping away others’ privacy online would be spraining their tongues tsk-tsking if somebody did it the non-virtual way, like by hijacking the mic at an outdoor concert series: “My girlfriend, Molly … second row, that blonde in the red … FORGOT to tell me she was weapons-grade slutty in college. She’d have a tat of that McDonald’s “x million served” sign, except that there’s no room on her disturbingly small breasts.” Like websites, relationships these days seem to require a privacy policy — one agreed upon in advance (before anybody becomes relationship-o-tainment) and maintained in the event of a breakup. Clearly, your preferred policy would be “By sharing your life with me, you agree to share it with anyone with an Internet connection.” Sorry, but the more private person gets to set the standards, and sadly, this woman only wants to be your girlfriend, not your cure for writer’s block. Yeah, I know, you’d think it’d be any woman’s dream, sitting with you in some out-ofthe-way Paris cafe as you chronicle her shortcomings on your netbook. But, wait — if you and your girlfriend have a fight and nobody comments on it on Facebook, how do you know your lives are worth living? The answer is, decide which you want more, this girlfriend or an audience. This isn’t to say you have to stop writing about her; you just don’t get to hit “publish.” Try to see this as an opportunity to expand your writerly horizons. Go do things you can write about: Climb something. Fish for marlin. Drop in on the Spanish Civil War. And remember, everybody’s got a story, and lots of people are just dying to have theirs told. Seek them out, look deep into their eyes, and say, “So, tell me the horrors you experienced as a prisoner of war, and would you mind not leaving any participles dangling?”

Meek him halfway

I’m a writer, and I went to a book party where there were many interesting writers, including a very cute, witty man. Problem is, I’m afraid to go talk to new people, especially cute, witty men, so I

The Advice Goddess

Amy Alkon

hung back and eventually left. Now I’m ruing yet another missed opportunity. — Regretsville You apparently learned your social skills from a park ranger. Playing dead is a successful strategy when you’re being chased by certain types of bears. When you’re hoping to be chased by a man, you need to go over and say hello. But, you whimper, you’re scared. Yeah, okay. But, why would that be reason to avoid doing it? By making yourself do something you’re afraid of, you shrink your fears and probably feel better afterward, unless it’s something like walking off the ledge of a tall building. Don’t worry if you aren’t a genius conversationalist. Just ask questions: “Are you a friend of the author’s?” “Is that soup on your shirt?” If somebody likes you, he’ll talk to you. If not, it’s a big world; go talk to somebody else. And don’t see every interaction as some statement about your worth. Some people will like you; some won’t. Unless you’re running for office, who cares? The more people you talk to, the bigger your life will be, and the less each interaction will matter in the grand scheme of you. Until then, remember, 90 percent of success is just showing up -- and then not running back out to your car, powerlocking your doors, and speeding home.

Baby makes flee

When I married five years ago, I was on the fence about having kids. I thought some parental gene might kick in, but it never did. Now, at 40, I’ve accepted that a childless marriage is best for us, given my wife’s fertility issues and my ambivalence about parenthood. My wife, however, sees no purpose to life without children. It upsets her to see me happy without kids while she pines for them. She is also upset that I won’t try all possible alternatives, such as adoption and fertility treatments, and is generally angry and outright hostile toward me. — Nobody’s Dad There are things it’s okay to procrastinate on, like cleaning behind the toilet. If you’re like me, as soon as you look back there and see new plant life cropping up (and, okay, maybe a woodpecker and a couple of deer), you break out the bleach and it’s all good. But, procrastinate on figuring out whether to have a family? There you were: “Let’s see, should we create another human being, spend 20-plus years and hundreds of thousands of dollars raising it? I dunno… let’s just sign this contract to spend the rest of our lives together and figure it out later.” Chances are, you both had baby-related plots brewing in your heads. You maybe thought you’d ignore the issue and it might go away. Your wife maybe figured she’d get pregnant, you’d just have to go along, and the moment you saw the baby you’d melt into a loving father. But, whoops, fertility issues crept in. You can get accidentally pregnant, but you can’t accidentally adopt a child, as in, you’re driving along one day, glance into the back seat and notice a 6-year-old Romanian orphan coloring on the headrest. Although you can’t offer any solutions

that work for your wife, you do see a number of alternatives that work for you: not having kids, having no kids, remaining childless. There is one other alternative: getting divorced so your wife can try to find a man who’s interested in being a dad…as dim a prospect as that may be for a fertility-challenged 40-year-old woman competing with pert-breasted, fertility-iconish 20-somethings. Obviously, this option is not exactly the fast track to happily ever after. Then again, that’s probably not in the cards here unless you two can somehow find some wiggle room in how she “sees no purpose to life without children” and how you aren’t up for adopting anything you can’t pat on the head and leave tied to a chain-link fence.


I recently married and should be bathed in newlywed bliss, but a rock star in a famous alternative band wants me to have an affair with him. I’m shocked and thrilled, to say the least. My conscience says, “Are you insane? You love your husband and chose him for a reason. Don’t jeopardize that!” But I’m also hearing “You only live once, and thousands of women wish they had this guy’s attention.” — Chosen You said “I do,” not “I’d do a rock star first chance I get.” (If only you’d known you’d meet this guy, you could’ve asked your husband for the indie rock star exception to lifelong fidelity.) Yes, thrillingly, of all the hipster girls in black-rimmed glasses and earnest T-shirts worn ironically,

he wants you. This says something about you— probably that you are conveniently located, reasonably attractive, and don’t seem the type to poke holes in the condom. Wow. The romance. You’re buying into groupiethink — the idea that you’re somebody if you have sex with somebody famous. But, he’s just a guy. He stinks up the bathroom same as any other guy. Okay, the fame fairy touched him with her magic wand. Maybe not because he’s so much more talented than the next guy with a guitar but because he was in the right place at the right time with the right chin. If his gig were at the coffee shop instead of Coachella and his panting fans were his two dogs tied up outside, would your panties still be flying off? Remember that guy you stood next to in the big white dress? Weren’t you two eventually supposed to be holding hands in twin rockers on the porch of the old folks home? If you’re going to jeopardize everything you have with him, just be clear on what you could end up having and holding instead — a 50-year-old memory of some musician whispering those romantic words every woman longs to hear: “How ‘bout we have sex for a couple hours and then I see if there are any other cute girls outside the tour bus?” • (c) 2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol. com ( Amy Alkon’s just-published book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

12 - May 2012 - Asheville Daily Planet

Daily Planet’s Opinion

Disco, BeeGees, surpass 2012 rap

If one ignored his poor taste in music and failure as a cultural critic, freshman U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., appears to be a bright and personable politician on the rise. One day, he may even occupy the Oval Office. However, his recently expressed contempt toward what he characterized as the decadent disco era of the 1970s — and deriding of the music of the BeeGees, while touting forgettable rapper Nicki Minaj — unmasks a misplaced contempt that, if anything, he should be directing at today’s culture of mediocrity. Rubio went on a tirade during an April 4 speech at the Pinellas Lincoln Day dinner in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was giving a decade-by-decade political summary, when, suddenly, Rubio put the blasters on 1970s disco and bell bottoms.

Worse, he took a particularly cheap shot at The BeeGees, a highly respected super group with a solid legacy across several eras of music. Suddenly greeted with boos, Rubio realized he had lost his audience — and backstepped rapidly. “Rubio’s deep-rooted animosity towards the BeeGees and disco stems back to when he was a young kid, and could never get his hair to feather like Barry Gibb’s, coupled with the fact that he could never really fit into his polyester leisure suits,” the Shark Tank website reported, citing friends close to Rubio. Disco, like any other genre and era, had its pluses and minuses, but it certainly must be said that the music remains popular — and likely will stay that way. Indeed, he BeeGees were — and are — one of the best-ever musical groups.

Letters to the Editor

Federal government Democrats, Republicans ripped for doing too much not working for electorate The federal government is spending $11,500 per person (every man, woman and child) this year, doing things for — and to you. Of all the things the federal government does, what three are most important to you? If you need a list to pick from, you can find many significant issues in the candidate questionnaire at Your voice in Washington is your member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Do you know where your representative and his or her opponents stand on your three issues? If not then call or email them and ask. See if the answer is definitive or political doubletalk. If you don’t like the situation inWashington, you must hold your representative accountable. It is your money and your government, but only if you act. If you don’t, then it all belongs to the politicians. Irving B. Welchons III Charlotte

Candidates brought forward by the GOP and the Democratic parties represent their parties and the special interests that fund them, not you and me. These candidates must conform to one of the two, usually diametrically opposed, political platforms. This candidate selection process gives us fiction-based polarizing campaigns, a failed education system, trillions in public debt, and a tax system for special interests. Candidates should represent the people who elect them. That’s how the U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to work – members represent the voters from geographical districts within each state. We should be voting for individual candidates, not a political party. There is a process that does allow citizen representatives to be selected by the people in their local district. These candidates are not associated with any political party and will limit themselves to two terms. Go to to learn more. Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career. Billy D. Clifford Austin, Texas

The Candid Conservative

Praying for bad things to happen Winning through intimidation CHAPEL HILL — Why are so many people these days praying for bad things to happen to good people? And what does the answer to that question have to do with the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare? Here is a short answer to the first question. Whenever things are going bad for our country, it hurts the political party trying to retain control of the presidency. And it helps those out of power who seek to turn out those in power. Back in 2008 some Democrats secretly rejoiced at the economic disaster plaguing the country. Although George W. Bush was not running for reelection, the Republican candidate, John McCain, represented the party that controlled the presidency. Both Republicans and Democrats knew that the worse things got for the country, the better chance Barack Obama and the Democrats had to win. Can you blame some Democrats for wishing for the worst in 2008? They thought a bad economy was a small price to pay for the changes an Obama victory would, they hoped, bring about. Were they actually praying for bad things? I do not know for sure, but I would not be surprised. This year the shoe is on the other foot. The economy is still struggling to recover from the 2008 downturn that helped get Obama elected. Republicans have been licking their chops at a chance to turn the tables and take advantage of the down economy. They think they can take away the presidency from Obama the same way he took it from them. They will blame the bad economy on the president and his party. Their greatest fear in the next few months is that the uptick in the economy will continue or that people will begin to think things are finally getting a lot better. So, are some Republicans praying that the recovery will slow down or even reverse? I would not be surprised. Even those not praying for a bad economy are preaching one, describing the condition of America’s economy in more frightening terms than an old-time revival preacher’s most vivid portrayal of a fiery Hell. With all this political posturing about the

D.G. Martin economy, we need to ask if it’s condition, real or perceived, really does determine the outcome of our presidential elections. For answers to such a question, North Carolinians turn to N.C. State’s wise economist and columnist, Mike Walden. In a recent column he explained how factors in the economy were part of a model developed by Ray Fair of Yale University to predict correctly the outcome of every presidential election since 1916, except three (Kennedy-Nixon, ClintonBush I, and Bush II-Gore). Fair’s model has lots of factors, but according to Walden, “The real wild card is economic growth,” which has been slow under Obama, “as a result of the deep recession and slow recovery. But growth appears to be picking up in 2012, and if it accelerates, voters could enter the election booth with more optimism about their economic future… pointing to a close election!” Meanwhile, some Democrats might be beginning to pray for something that they think would be bad for the country, but good for Obama’s reelection chances, even if the economy is in trouble this fall. These Democrats hope the Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare. Why would they want to lose their crowning achievement, something they still believe is critical for our county? Overturning Obamacare would, they say, take away one of the big emotional issues that would otherwise motivate Republican workers to get out the vote in November. And, they think, that the loss to many people of their benefits from Obamacare will drive those people to action this fall and put Obama back in office. Do these prayers for bad things make any difference? I hope not. Surely a good God pays no attention to such politically motivated appeals. • D.G. Martin hosts UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch, which airs at 9:30 p.m. Fridays and 5 p.m. Sundays.

Man may be equal, but cultures certainly aren’t. An often overlooked trait among many Muslim cultures is the credibility given to aggression as a measure of character. In many countries, the Judeo-Christian model of reason and composure is interpreted as weak. That assessment is essentially correct – unless reason and composure is backed up with determination and courage. Mark Thompson, head of the United Kingdom’s socialist propaganda arm – the BBC – is missing that grit. During an Oxford University interview, Thompson admitted the fear of Muslim retaliation makes him treat stories about Islam differently than he does stories about Christianity. That’s an endorsement of Christians and an indictment of the BBC and Islam. Thompson noted a recent show portraying Jesus in diapers would not be duplicated with Mohammed. He thus revealed who’s really wearing the diapers in our darkening world.

A safety net versus a hammock

One of the most sinister forces in modern America is enslavement as a path to power. That’s the central agenda of twenty-first century liberals – make people dependent on the least dependable things in the universe – politicians. The poor, weak, disadvantaged, insecure, angry, fearful, young, and damaged are especially vulnerable to this seduction. Most of us fall into one or more of those categories at some point in our lives and the left is there with a message of false hope as a recruitment tool. Conservative thinkers believe that everyone occasionally needs a safety net and a hand-up. Understanding the ease with which functional individuals embrace dependency, we resist the harms of hand-outs and safety-nets turned into hammocks. Creating entitlement, victim, or dependent thinking is the mark of a social predator – not a benefactor. Liberals on that mission, and that’s most of them, are operating from power and vanity, not love.

Black Panthers stay true to form

Anyway you cut it, Trayvon Martin died tragically. He’s either a victim of a Latin vigilante, a black thugs-are-us cultural model, or liberal whites teaching victim thinking to minorities as a means to acquiring political mascots. Time will reveal the truth, but by then most folks will

Carl Mumpower have moved on to the next drama. Trayvon won’t be moving onto to anything and George Zimmerman will be in danger for a long time to come – no matter who first attacked who. It seems the New Black Panther Party has put a bounty of $10,000 for the “capture” of Mr. Zimmerman even though the police know his whereabouts 24/7. Ironically, the old Black Panther Party is criticizing their new competition. It was OK to murder people in the sixties, but now that most of those old Black Panthers are dead criminals or live university professors, bounties are out of bounds. Using dead teenagers as a PR tool – well that’s evidently OK for the old and the new.

The real war on women

Liberal Democrats continue to win the hearts, minds, and votes of a majority of women. The left’s most recent success centers on convincing women Republicans are warring against them. Any attempt to question abortion policy or forced birth control funding has been boldly proclaimed as evidence of conservative hate for women. Ironically, it’s actually the left that’s warring against women. Need proof? Well how about the fact that 50-percent of women under 30 have their children out of wedlock, and that 75-percent of all black children are born out of wedlock. Taking daddy out is deadly for children and moms. We’ve aborted 50-million children in America. Half would have been women and does anyone really believe that killing your off-spring uplifts women? What the left’s done is create an America where women are neglected toys for immature little boys. That’s not progressive – it’s a hollow victory in the left’s real war on women. • Carl Mumpower, a former member of Asheville City Council, may be contacted at

Asheville Daily Planet —May 2012 — 13

Letters to the Editor

5-4 overturn of Obamacare predicted by Supreme Court

I hear it said that Chief Justice John Roberts loves the Supreme Court and doesn’t want partisanship to be his legacy. I hear he’ll work to bring some kind of happy ending to the Obamacare case. Yeah, sure. Dig it: this is a partisan, activist court. It has been partisan since Bush v. Gore. These birds aren’t going to give Barack Obama a “victory.” It will be 5-4, to overturn. The current court isn’t just partisan. John McCain called them “arrogant, naïve and stupid” for their 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. They ruled that “a PAC created by a corporation can still speak” and so “prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech.” And so we have super-PACs, wonderful super-PACs. Why are they so naïve? Look at the makeup of the court. This court has spent less time in private law practice, more time in universities and more time living in Washington than any Court in history. None has held elective office. Their bubble is located deep inside an ivory tower. It is not uncommon for courts to have ideological leanings. The court that opposed Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was made up of seven justices appointed by Republicans. They believed, on ideological grounds, that the New Deal was more from Lenin than from Alexander Hamilton. The New Deal only happened because Justice Owen Roberts changed his opinion on such as Social Security and minimum wage. (The chief justice had been Republican candidate for president, and he did work behind the scenes with Republicans in Congress to derail Roosevelt. That’s more the smell of this court.) In the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, the divide was 7-2 in favor of slaves’ being property. Of the seven, five were from the South, a Pennsylvanian had been an organizer for Jackson, and a New Yorker who was only confirmed because he was an “uncontroversial jurist.” One of the dissenters, John McLean of New Jersey started out on the court as a gung-ho Jacksonian, but by Dred Scott, he was an abolitionist. The other dissenter, Benjamin Curtis of Massachusetts, resigned the Court in disgust after Dred Scott. McLean politely said the decision was “more a matter of taste than of law.” The Dred Scott Decision shocked the North. As Abraham Lincoln said, “the Supreme Court has made Illinois (where Scott

Lee Ballard had sought refuse) a slave state.” It swept away Northern apathy and so became a cause for the Civil War. Overthrow of Obamacare won’t be as seismic. It might even be a good thing. Immediately, it will silence shrieks for repeal. And it might, like Dred Scott, bring an end to American apathy about health care. It’s my hope that a new debate will come, including factual studies like Fareed Zakaria’s recent special on CNN, waking up Americans to how really pathetic our health care system is. And out of it all, maybe my children and grandchildren will have real health care. • Lee Ballard lives in Mars Hill.

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Amendment One OK? Disappointing EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was written following the passage of Amendment One by the majority of North Carolina voters on May 8. • By Jeremy Kennedy Tonight’s results were disappointing, not just for gay and lesbian North Carolinians, but for the hundreds of thousands of nontraditional families who may face the harmful impact of Amendment One. Our campaign may have fallen short this evening, but your work over the past several months did not. Your efforts and dedications achieved many victories along the way, and demonstrated to North Carolina and to the entire country that discrimination and victimization will not achieve easy victories. Tonight’s result was truly historic. This amendment began with a 40-point lead just a few months ago — but you, undeterred and undaunted, worked to educate your fellow citizens about its harms. Your work has made a difference not just in North Carolina but in our country as a whole. People from all over the country can now look to North Carolina as an example of a state that fights to protect, defend, and support all of its citizens. Our campaign was a rejection of the divisive vision offered by the National Organization for Marriage and similar organizations who advocated for this damaging amendment.

Just as they have done in many other states, these organizations injected millions of dollars of funding into a messaging campaign that framed the Amendment as a fight to protect “family,” never admitting that it stood to endanger families, children, and individuals across our state. Over the course of the campaign we showed them that North Carolina was better than this amendment, and better than their divisive tactics and misleading messages. We may lost in the polls tonight, but in the final days of this campaign we succeeded in reframing this debate, replacing divisive messaging and scare tactics with pragmatic discussion and empathy. We would like to thank you and everyone who fought against Amendment One. Over the course of the campaign we were inspired by the tens of thousands of people we met at events, encouraged by the thousands of volunteers who stepped up and spoke out, and awed by the 11,000 people who contributed financially to our success. All of our efforts were boosted by a historic coalition that came together across North Carolina, and our spirits were lifted by our diverse and courageous allies. Our partners include Equality North Carolina, HRC, the NC NAACP, ALCUNC, Blueprint NC, Replacements, Ltd.,

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Southerners on New Ground, and dozens of faith communities and community organizations . Together, we have proven to North Carolina and the entire country that fear tactics, discrimination, and division may compete with love, compassion, and solidarity in the short term, but we know that the time is coming for true equality. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” Finally, I want to say to all North Carolinians, gay and straight, who I have met during this campaign: you are worthy of love and acceptance. Your family cannot be defined by discriminatory amendments or statutes. I ask that we continue to support one another, fight for one another, and work together to move this state and our society closer to our ideals -closer to our creed that ALL men and women are created equal. Thank you for your support over the course of this journey and I urge you to please continue to work with all of our coalition partners on behalf of equality in North Carolina and beyond. • Kennedy is with The Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families in Durham.

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Asheville Daily Planet — May 2012 — 15

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Asheville Daily Planet May 2012  
Asheville Daily Planet May 2012  

Asheville local news and politics