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Mark Caserta: Grace Food Pantry – An act of love toward our children.

6 Dec

But they need our help…desperately.

Hebrews 13:2 King James Version (KJV)

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

GRACE KIDS PIX

 

December 6, 2019


 

It’s time for God’s people to realize that simply “talking the talk”, versus “walking the walk”, makes us no more valuable to the Kingdom of God, than the very worst among us.

I’m convinced God has placed earthly Angels among us, with the clear assignment of ministering unto His little children.  I believe Connie Miller, of Grace Food Pantry could very well be one of those ministering angels.

As I interviewed Connie while guest-hosting The Tom Roten Morning show on News Radio 800 WVHU, it was difficult to hold back tears.

Connie shared the story of one small boy who only had one pair of socks that he wore every day.  He protected those socks as if they were gold.  He hid them in his backpack for fear someone would take them.

She shared how children would smile and rejoice whenever they saw her coming with a meal.  They knew it belonged to them.  And it may be some time before they get another.

We take far too much for granted in this country.  We have children in our own communities going to bed hungry.  That’s just not acceptable.  And it’s up to us to fix it.

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Connie, a cancer-survivor, herself, has certainly not been overwhelmed with the financial means to fulfill her calling in this benevolent ministry. But without Grace Pantry, many people, including children, would have far less than they really need this time of year.

Connie has tenaciously risen from poverty and is on a mission to feed, cloth and minister to the most vulnerable among us – our children.  And believe me, when I tell you she ministers!

But Connie and her team can’t do this alone.  She needs our help.  Her stories about children in our area going to bed hungry and lacking many of the basics we tend to take for granted are touching, to say the very least.

People are hurting.  And the environment in which Connie and her team are ministering is rapidly changing.  The opioid crisis, addiction and family decay have made her job much more difficult.  She faces challenges in which parents make the choice to cover their addiction rather than choosing to feed their child.

It doesn’t get any sadder than this, my friends.  Won’t you help?  Financial assistance is critical, but Connie will also value your donation of time.

Act now, before it’s too late.

This is a non-profit organization which returns every penny to the ministry. It’s simply an act of love.

GRACE KIDS CLUB

Donations can be mailed to:

Grace Food Pantry

P.O. Box 3007

Huntington, WV. 25702

Or send your tax-deductible contribution to:

  www.paypal.me/gracefoodpantry

Visit their Facebook page at:

 https://www.facebook.com/gracefoodpantry/

Website: www.gracefoodpantry.org

Or simply call Connie at 304-638-1119, to arrange a tour of the facility.

 

Mark Caserta: Democrat impeachment hearings against American people – Contact your representatives now!

30 Nov

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Committee Chairman Adam Schiff conducts House Impeachment proceedings


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Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and editor for Free State Patriot

November 30, 2019


 

Ladies and gentlemen, liberal Democrats have been desperately seeking a way to stop Donald Trump since his election to office in 2016. Needless to say, they’ve failed miserably.

Understand, everything important to advancing the interests of the American people has been placed on the back burner in lieu of the Democrat debacle designed to negate the results of the last presidential election.

Democrats have lied, connived and attempted to create a scenario in which they can convince Americans President Trump is an illegitimate president. I submit, he is indeed, illegitimate to them, as he represents the antithesis of their progressive agenda which is laden with ploys to continue the work of Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton in “fundamentally changing” America.

If you recall, they nearly succeeded.

The president’s “grade card” for his performance as president is nothing short of incredible! Despite the diversions of the liberal media, our nation’s economy has never been stronger. Unemployment is at a 50 – year low! It is at an all-time low for nearly every single “disparaged” demographic for which Democrats claim to represent! The labor participation rate continues to climb, with more people joining a viable workforce.

Our military and subsequent national security is, once again, respected by our allies and feared by our enemies. President Trump continues to fulfill his campaign promises to the American people with total disregard to how it may be leveraged to negatively impact him in the polls.

President Trump couldn’t care less about polls. He couldn’t care less about “political correctness.” He couldn’t care less about how “doing the right thing” will impact him in the mainstream media. His love for his country and commitment to Americans takes precedent over all of the metrics by which liberal Democrats run their political campaigns.

That’s why they hate him so much! Liberal “loathing” of Donald Trump greatly surpasses their “love” of country.

Liberals would like nothing better than to see our economy tank, our military fail and our nation falter if it means ridding them of the “pestilence” of President Trump.

Now, it would seem, despite the disengagement of the American people and the disenfranchisement of due process, Democrats will be conducting hearings of impeachment against the man who saved our nation from becoming something representative of a third-world nation under Democrat-socialist policies.

Trust me, when I tell you the world will be watching to see how “you” react. It’s imperative we do not lend credibility to these hearings and let our legislators know how much we oppose them.

Contact your local representatives at the phone numbers below. Let them know we respectfully ask them to support our president in his battle for the American people.   Yes, these hearings aren’t against our president. These illegitimate impeachment hearings are against the American people.

We should take that personally. Call now and forward to your patriot friends!


 

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito – Washington office – (202)-224-6472 – Charleston office (304)-347-5372.

Sen. Joe Manchin – Washington office – (202)-224-3954 – Charleston office – (304)-342-5855

Rep. Carol Miller – Washington office – (202)- 225-3452 – Huntington office – (304) 522-2201

Rep. Alex Mooney – Washington office – (202)- 225-2711 – Charleston office – (304) 925-5964

Rep. David B. McKinley – Washington office – (202) 225-4172 – Morgantown office – (304) 284-8506


 

 

 

Mark Caserta: Will Huntington become a sanctuary city?

29 Nov

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Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and editor for Free State Patriot

November 29, 2019


 

Have we gone so far astray in politics that we’re willing to accept a culture of lies and deceit from our elected leaders simply to perpetuate their progressive agenda?

It would seem, on both a national and local level, we’ve allowed the evil in the hearts of men to run “amuck” seeking to satiate the desire for power and allegiance from the very people for whom they’ve pledged their servitude. And they do so, fully in the face of the American people. Why?

Because they don’t believe you are smart enough or engaged enough to know the difference. And certainly, they have the complicit liberal media hiding the details behind smoke and mirrors. And it’s no different locally, than nationally.

On a national level, only a complete an utter fool would propose returning to the failing policies of the Democrat past and even go as far as building a campaign platform on socialist tenets. But that’s exactly what liberal Democrats would do if given the votes.

You don’t believe it would adversely impact members of Congress, do you? Reportedly, two-fifths of senators and representatives have become millionaires since elected to office. Trust me, when I tell you, many of our elected officials have secured their financial future. It’s yours that many couldn’t care less about.

See the list of millionaire politicians here: https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/every-member-congress-wealth-one-chart

Don’t you understand? Acquiring a sustainable voter base is the sole premise behind legalizing all forms of immigration! It’s also the singular motivation behind the feigned benevolence for the LGBTQ vote, the college tuition “indebted” vote, the Hispanic vote, the African American vote, and every “disenfranchised” demographic in-between! Democrats just desire to “buy” the vote with every single tax dollar you are willing to give them!

The next time you look at your pay check stub and moan at the percentage of money the government withholds from your family, just know that Democrats are happily wasting it away on everything “but” improving your quality of life.

On a local level, it’s no different.

Our city leaders have the same mindset of the prior presidential administration with regard to bringing back manufacturing jobs to Huntington and the surrounding area, despite taking more of your money! They either don’t believe it’s possible or are clueless as to how to do it! Hence, the focus on building a business model around addiction recovery.

And are you sitting down? Are you aware we have individuals and institutions actively soliciting addicts from other states to come to Huntington, WV for sanctuary and drug rehab? Yes, I said sanctuary. Many of these “rehab” houses have zero accountability for residents – no random drug tests, no curfew, no restrictions. But each new resident represents additional funding from your tax dollars.

Yes, Huntington, WV. is being transformed, through attrition, into a sanctuary city for addicts. And don’t be surprised if we don’t already provide “safe injection” zones behind closed doors.

What’s to keep it from happening with zero accountability policies? We already provide free needles!

We have a model for what transpires under liberal rule! Just look at Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore to see where we are headed. These models are proven accurate, time and again. How long will it be before Huntington is burdened by the same pestilence and filth enveloping other cities under liberal Democrat rule?

Our nation has been rescued from dying a slow death under liberal rule simply because the American people made it happen by electing Donald Trump. Huntington, sadly, is still dying the same, languishing, slow death.

Huntington, our answer is the same. We must elect leadership who cares more about you than they do getting re-elected or propagating their liberal ideology.

Let’s make it happen in 2020

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Caserta: Democrats forsook “Democracy” long ago.

16 Nov

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressmen Adam Schiff (both D-CA)


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Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and Editor for Free State Patriot

November 16, 2019


 

Call it a “pet peeve”. Call it a “bete noire”. Call it what you will.  But stop calling it the “Democratic Party.”

It isn’t.

Political pundits need to stop referencing the party of Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff as the “Democratic” party. It’s not the Democratic party! Left-leaning Democrats forsook democracy years ago in their pursuit of bigger and more powerful government. They are the “Democrat” party.

In retrospect, I suppose there are other applicable names, though.

It would be perfectly acceptable to call them the “denial” party. They simply refuse to believe Donald Trump legitimately defeated and ultimately humiliated them in the 2016 presidential election. The lie in bed at night hoping it was all bad nightmare. And they awaken each morning to find out it was! Just for them!

You could even call them the “futility” party. Since the election of President Trump, and even after taking back the House of Representatives in 2018, they’ve set aside their representation of the American people in lieu of solely focusing on crippling the presidency of the most effective world leader in my lifetime.

You may just want to call them the “bogus investigation” party. In their “service”, since the election of Donald Trump, if there wasn’t something legitimate to investigate, that certainly hasn’t stopped them. They just create something! And then they spend millions of your tax dollars on their pipe dream! They must really think the American voters are ignorant!

One title that certainly fits could be the “charlatan” party. I’ve never seen a group of individuals, not to mention “elected” officials, who lie so much, yet are continually protected by the liberal media. The truth will never stand in the way of our current group of liberal politicians. It simply doesn’t factor into their progressive equation, nor is it relevant to their mission of crushing Donald Trump.

How about the “treasonous” party? The subversive agenda of these self-serving politicians is as unpatriotic as it comes. They absolutely hate Donald Trump and conservatism more than they love the United States or its citizens. Can someone say, “political domestic terrorists”?

The “hypocrite” party fits nicely! Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff decided to investigate a Trump phone call with a Ukrainian leader, citing a threat to withhold military aid unless the country investigated Joe Biden’s nefarious dealings with the Ukraine. The decision to investigate Trump, rather than investigate then Vice President Biden’s “admitted” threat to withhold millions of dollars of aid to the nation unless they fired the prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter, for collusion, is the epitome of hypocrisy. The real kicker is the Ukrainian leader denied he felt pressured and received the military aid! Facts be damned, we’ll get Trump!

“Progressive” party is certainly a title apropos to their agenda and is analogous the “communist” party. They are even running a presidential bid on socialist tenets! The term, “progressive” to Democrats means “anything goes”! Abortion should be without limits and upon demand. The government knows better how to spend your tax dollars than you do. Fossil fuels are destroying our planet, with the exception of the fuel used in their jets or SUVs. There is no such thing as “illegal immigration.” We are one big happy family which should be willing to “take from those who have” and give to “those who have not”. Anything less is homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic or Christianophobic.

It’s very sad that a few liberal leaders have diminished the party of John F. Kennedy into something unrecognizable. Factually, they’ve evolved into something quite “less” than American. Yet we continue to condone their behavior on our behalf. Congruently, many Americans are spending way too little time defending and supporting President Trump, who is simply fulfilling the promises upon which he was elected.

But that’s just too strange a concept for the Democrat Party.

 

 

 

Doug Smith: “General principle” insufficient in impeachment probe

16 Nov

trump leaving for camp david


doug at wvhu

Doug Smith is an opinion columnist, historian and Associate editor for Free State Patriot

November 16, 2019


 

I learned the specific application of a general principle in the Navy. The specific application was “Anything which is everyone’s job is nobody’s job. The general principle is anything which is too widely, or universally applied becomes meaningless, since it does not specify any thing.

One example in practice is me and my fellow Republicans. Each time we disagree with Leftists, on anything, we are racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes. Now, I’m willing to accept the premise that among the universe of Republicans, there may be people who are one or some combination of those things. But the words are now meaningless, because they are thrown around as an indictment for anything the Left disagrees with, and not for the real meanings or actions behind the words. So, because it means anything, it means nothing when a “Leftist” calls us one of these names.

To bring the general principle to another specific case in point, let us consider the case for impeachment of Donald Trump. The Left, of course, made the point that he was not qualified to be President during the campaign. Fair enough. That is how politics is played. ( Note for a future article: the point may be made that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is not qualified to hold any position of public trust, including dog catcher in Little Rock) But, here we differ from the normal, because as soon as it became apparent that Trump would win, the argument became one of get him at any cost. For any reason. He must be impeached, the reasoning went, because we think he is unfit (and by extension, so are all of you who voted for him) and therefore, ought to be impeached. Not, mind you, because he committed high crimes and misdemeanors in office, but because we do not like him. Our opinion of his qualifications, his manners, his speech, his “pink monkey” outsider status, is enough that he “deserves” to be impeached. So now all we need is a reason, or an excuse.

So “deserves to be impeached”, or impeachable offense, has becomes so general as to be meaningless. Everything the Left, or the Never Trump Elitist so called Conservatives, disapproves of, disagrees with, or dislikes about Donald Trump becomes the latest smoking gun, bombshell, reason, excuse to remove him.  And they all become so universal as to become meaningless. Worthless. Impeachment itself, has become a meaningless political exercise, and excuse for soft coups to change governments. It has been used over and over, and we should remember, has never been successful. I suspect it never will.

But the greatest offense of the Left, (again, Never Trumpers on the Right? A whole different article.) is the assault on language, and ultimately, the Constitution. The protection of impeachment against a truly egregious POTUS is evaporated. No one takes it seriously as anything other than sour grapes. And no one takes seriously the latest avocado. Huh? Means as much as bombshell, and I like avocados. And no one who is not consumed with Trump Derangement Syndrome misses the fact that without reason, or with excuse after excuse which has evaporated, the Democrats are into a political process, impeachment, which will fail, in the hopes of skewing the outcome of the next election, which they surmise they will also lose to Donald Trump.

And so, they should.

Mark Caserta: Huntington recognized as the 2nd poorest place in West Virginia.

9 Nov

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Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and editor for Free State Patriot

November 9, 2019


 

Population decline is arguably the most prominent metric for determining the socio-economic stability of any state or city across America. And Huntington, West Virginia, once again, is being recognized for all the wrong reasons.

Per recent United States census estimates, Huntington, the 2nd largest city (based on 2017 estimates) in West Virginia is losing its population at an alarming rate. I will go further to speculate that if this metric could somehow be modified to reflect the ratio of people who left our community who were contributors to our economy versus the incoming ones who incessantly “make withdrawals” on our economy, the attrition rate would reveal a much greater negative impact to our city.

According to recent estimates, Huntington started the decade with an estimated 49, 153 people. By 2018, the number had fallen six percent to 46, 048.

Based on data from the American Community Survey, the average size of a household was around 2.21 persons with a median “household” income of around $30,359.

The survey went on to rate the top ten poorest places in the Mountain State for 2019. It’s not surprising to those paying attention or being impacted by our depraved economy, that Huntington is near the top of the list. Very near.

The survey analyzed the most recent data from cities in West Virginia with a population of 5,000 or more people. They arrived at these cities as the poorest places in West Virginia.

  1. Keyser
  2. Huntington
  3. Morgantown
  4. Buckhannon
  5. Grafton
  6. Martinsburg
  7. Moundsville
  8. Parkersburg
  9. Bluefield
  10. Oak Hill

The facts of the survey were very telling, indeed. (The survey is available for viewing at 2013-2017 American Community Survey) The information gathered to declare Huntington as being one of the poorest places in West Virginia, indirectly points to our city as being one of the poorest places in America!

The study examined the poverty level, median household income adjusted for the cost of living and the unemployment rate, as they explain below.

“The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 27 places with more than 5,000 people in West Virginia, we ranked each place from 1 to 27 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.”

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Keyser, crowned the “Poorest Place In West Virginia For 2019”.

And Huntington receives a “silver” medal for being the 2nd poorest place in West Virginia. Doesn’t that make you proud!

It should make you angry! Under the direction of our current city leaders, we have experienced a social and economic decline like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime!

At this point, I’m not certain which is happening more rapidly, the loss of economically productive people or the acquisition of people dependent upon our city and our tax dollars.

But I can say without hesitation, both are happening.   And that’s a recipe for disaster. And we appear to be working harder at attracting the dependent folks than we are at retaining those who contribute to a thriving economy.

In what world does that make sense? It seems the only business benefitting from this madness are those who receive government grants or subsidies to support their programs.

Yes, there is certainly a need for these sorts of supportive entities. But the rehab industry cannot and must not be considered a viable replacement for good, living wage paying jobs in manufacturing and infrastructure.

I’m convinced our city leaders are either clueless or unwilling in addressing the problem.

After all, they can simply vote themselves pay increases, while the poor remain poor and without hope.

Oh, you didn’t know? Why, yes! In October, Huntington City Council approved an ordinance to increase the mayor’s salary from $85,000 a year to $114,500 by 2021. That’s nearly a $30,000 increase in 2 years!

Additionally, Council members will be getting about $40 to $50 more each month.

I’m all for pay increases based on performance. But what have they done to deserve these increases? Most people producing their type of results wouldn’t be rewarded, they’d be terminated!

Look around you. It’s obvious our city leaders have been as feckless and ineffective in their duties. And unfortunately, as we continue to be recognized for all the wrong reasons, Huntington will continue to be avoided by businessmen and entrepreneurs like the plague.

Don’t be fooled by a sharp-tongued, political orator in 2020. Vote to return the Jewell City to greatness, before we pass the point of no return.

 

 

 

 

Mark Caserta: Building a city on drug rehab is a disastrous business plan.

26 Oct

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Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and editor for the conservative blog,  “Free State Patriot”

October 26, 2019


 

Anyone who tells you Huntington, WV. is successfully addressing its devastating level of drug addiction via its rehab efforts, is trying to sell something.

To say that Huntington is “spinning its wheels” in dealing with drug abuse is a monumental understatement. We are, indeed, digging ourselves into a trench from which it will be very difficult to escape. And sadly, we have leadership who believes in doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

In fact, our city leaders are unable to offer any confirmable metric showing any sustainable level of success at reducing opioid addiction within our own city.

It gets worse.

Reliable sources have confirmed we now have rehab facilities actively sourcing addicts outside our city limits, encouraging them to come to Huntington for treatment.

Why? Why bring them to our city – our centers for treatment? Why not help duplicate efforts in their own communities and educate their personnel on providing treatment to their citizens rather than bring them here. And furthermore, what is their incentive to ever leave?

Well, just follow the government money feeding these institutions.

According to a recent information provided by AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans), a national association whose members provide coverage for healthcare and related services, under Mayor Steve Williams’ leadership, “Huntington has become known as the ‘epicenter of the solution’ to the opioid epidemic”

Really? Many informed individuals vehemently disagree!

Huntington has become the epicenter of the “problem” and rapidly becoming the East Coast provider for rehab services! Additionally, we offer a city-sponsored level of enablement incentivizing these people to stay, virtually living a lifestyle supported by taxpayers!

Reportedly, since 2015, the City of Huntington, WV. has acquired $4.8 million in state, federal and philanthropic grants to combat the opioid epidemic.

What do we have to show for it?

Has the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy been effective in utilizing the so-called “harm reduction program”, adult drug court and drug overdose response team to reduce the problem? Or have they simply enabled behaviors and attempted to build an “economic model” on drug rehab?

How do you build an economic model on addiction? What economic future is there for taxpayers in a business that never increases cash flow in a city, and even adversely impacts current business?

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Let’s be clear. Until people have hope in this city for a real future, both socially and economically, we are doomed to a perpetuation and ultimate increase in the socio-economic woes we’ve seen grow under the current city administration.

Don’t take my word for it! Listen to what experts have to say!

Per a 2017 report from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “The brain adapts and responds to the environments and conditions in which a person lives. When we speak of addiction as a chronic disorder of the brain, it thus includes an understanding that some individuals are more susceptible to drug use and addiction than others, not only because of genetic factors but also because of stress and a host of other environmental and social factors in their lives that have made them more vulnerable.”

The report goes on to say that while opioid addiction is an “equal opportunity” problem that can afflict people from all races and walks of life, it has particularly impacted some of the poorest regions of the country, such as Appalachia, where vast numbers of people are living in poverty. These individuals, void of economic hope, are especially at risk for addiction, and subsequent consequences like overdose or the spread of HIV.

Sound familiar?

Bottom line: A population facing increasing economic challenges and increased psychological stress are disproportionately impacted by addiction.

If we ever expect to reduce drug addiction in our city, we must improve the economic model.

Look around you. When was the last time you saw the construction of business that could provide a living wage to the inhabitants of our area? People are hurting. Many of them are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Others aren’t even trying. They’re either leaving the area or being engulfed by the quick sand of hopelessness and despair. Yet, we have a city administration which seems oblivious to a solution.

Yes, there is definitely a need for rehabilitation and re-assimilation into society. We all care about people either bound by addiction or languishing in the hopelessness of poverty. But without economic improvement, without jobs, without hope, more and more people will fall into the calamitous abyss of addiction.

The City of Huntington, WV. will never see economic improvement until leadership begins putting people, not political gain, first.  And building a city on rehab, is a disastrous business plan.

 

 

 

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