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Read the letter of petition calling for Stewart’s Original Hot Dogs to be reinstated at Marshall ballgames

17 Sep

This letter, along with a petition signed by over 4500 petitioners in less than 7 days, was delivered on 9.17.2019 to the office of Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert by Steven J. Davis of Concerned Citizens of Huntington, WV. and Mark Caserta, columnist and editor of Free State Patriot.

The event was covered by local television affiliates, WCHS, WOWK and WSAZ.

 

petion photo

petition

Mark Caserta: Will “Antifa” target Huntington, WV. next?

2 Sep

Given our current problems, how will our mayor and his administration respond?

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

September 2, 2019


 

“Antifa”, short for “anti-fascist”, is the name of a left-leaning, anti-racist group that monitors and tracks the activities of local neo-Nazis, white supremacists or anyone who would be considered “supportive” of such racist activity.

In the political sense, the term “fascist” has been used in an anti-authoritarian sense to “emphasize the common ideology of governmental suppression of individual freedom. In recent years, liberals have endeared the notion of attaching the word fascist to the “far right” movement with the intent of portraying them as “oppressive, intolerant and racist.”

Up till now, Antifa has maintained a presence mostly on the West Coast, with activities designed to prevent organizations they’ve determined support any form of racist activity from gaining a platform or a foothold.

It’s come to my attention, that potentially as a result of our region’s enduring support of Donald Trump and the liberal media’s incorrect portrayal of the president as being sympathetic to the white supremacist movement, Antifa may be “testing the waters,” if you will, seeking to pursue growth to areas around the nation heavily supporting the Trump administration.

Recently, an Antifa Facebook page emerged from within our own city of Huntington, WV. and has already begun to share its propaganda using our own city newspaper.

The page is called, “Jewell City Antifa.” Huntington, as you may know, was given the nickname “Jewell City” by steamboat captains who passed through delivering lumber and coal to help fuel the growth of the railroad extension to the West.

It gives one pause to read the “about” section of the group’s page, since it is grammatically incorrect. Call me over-analytical, but I could make many assumptions as to the competencies of such an author. You be the judge. It reads:

“keeping the Fash out of HTown since 2019.”

Now, anti-fascist groups have been around for decades. In the postwar period, antifa groups resurged to fight neo-Nazi groups, particularly in Germany. They have, needless to say, evolved in our modern day, political battleground.

Understand, while Antifa operates on a platform of defeating racism, sexism and homophobia, the groups are also, by and large, socially left, anti-capitalist and against what they consider to be “extreme right-wing ideology.”

President Trump and his supporters would most likely fall into this Antifa profile.

Antifa protestors have typically donned an “all black” look, with black work or military boots, pants, ski masks, gloves and jackets. Gas masks, goggles and shields are sometimes added as accessories, but the look is basic black, no doubt, designed to intimidate.

And they don’t appear to be afraid of violence.

On June 29, violent riots between alt-right groups and Antifa broke out in Portland, Oregon, leaving several people with severe injuries. Portland has since become a hotbed for violent, left-wing groups per multiple reports.

In late August, a crowd of thousands cascaded down Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley, California, where Trump supporters were gathering under the mission to say “no to Marxism in America.” Reportedly, the march was led by about 100 people dressed in black.

Recently, President Trump reacted to the antics of Antifa.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,’” Trump tweeted. “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”

Given the Huntington’s mayor’s inclusion policy of “open to all”, does Antifa fall under that category? Will he properly do his job?

I submit, this is simply part and parcel of this administration’s failing policies which have contributed to the city of Huntington becoming one of the most dangerous cities in the nation, per capita. Not only do we have transients from multiple zip codes coming to our city for drug rehab, free syringes and the benevolence of liberal Democrats seeking re-election, we now face the potential fostering of a group whose intent could easily be described as threatening to the citizens of Huntington.

Folks, I’m not trying to be an alarmist, but you must take note of what’s coming to fruition in what truly once was the “Jewell City.” Given the status of our infrastructure and the disengagement of our liberal, Democrat leaders, what else could our city possibly endure?

It’s time to stand firm, Huntington. We know this madness isn’t going to end with our mayor and his current administration. It’s up to the citizens of Huntington.

This liberal onslaught ends now.

 

Mark Caserta – Cabell-Huntington Health Department Syringe Exchange program must be audited – now

24 Aug

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Cabell-Huntington Health Department building in Huntington, WV.


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

August 24, 2019


 

Our country has arguably never been more divided. While progressives are content to blame it on Donald Trump, it began a long time ago. All President Trump did was force spineless liberals out of the closet, into the light and under God’s judgement.

Truthfully, I can distinguish three separate divisions among us. The informed, the uninformed, and the “apathetically” informed.

Informed citizens are able to reach logical conclusions for the betterment of our nation. The uninformed among us (for whatever reason) lack the ability to reach a logical conclusion or choose wisely. The apathetically informed are those who understand the consequences of their choices, but choose a path that best serves their selfish purpose, regardless of its impact on others.

Let me be perfectly clear as I unequivocally place most liberal Democrat politicians in the apathetically informed category!

They’re not stupid. Many are business people, lawyers, or administrators that understand the adverse impact of higher taxes, overreaching regulation and lawlessness, but choose to propagate these big government policies because it serves the purpose of creating a perpetual voter base dependent upon government or “the hand that feeds them”.

There couldn’t be a clearer case of high crimes and misdemeanors against one’s nation.

Among those liberal decisions proving to wear on the foundation of any city which adopts it, is the decision to implement a syringe exchange program despite its poor track record across the nation.

The syringe exchange program has been around to some degree for the past 20 years. Look around you. Has anything gotten better? Has the opioid epidemic improved? Are there fewer deaths? Are their less sexually transmitted cases of HIV? Certainly not!

Yet, by presenting it under the guise of “compassion” and “care” for our fellow man, liberals make an emotional connection with the “uninformed,” as well as the “apathetically informed”, potentially giving them support of a mob majority and enabling them to pursue their liberal tenets.

Since the beginning of 2018, there has been a dramatic uptick in reported HIV cases in our area. Reportedly, there been 55 new cases of HIV in Cabell county, which includes the city of Huntington. State health officials claim nearly all the infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

It’s my opinion there is no clear way to make the distinction between sexually transmitted and syringe transmitted HIV, since many partake of both. I believe officials often tell the public what best serves their agenda.

A March column on WSAZ’s website, by Nick Oliver, reports the Cabell County needle exchange program is seeing more needles coming in than they see going out. The Cabell County Health Department did add a disclaimer, saying “it is impossible to determine which needles were used to inject drugs, as many may be related to medical treatments such as diabetes”.

Really? So, it’s forensically impossible to test what was injected from the needle? Any “Columbo” fan knows that’s malarkey! And do you really expect us to believe people are just “showing up” to return needles without an even exchange? How is that even mathematically possible?

Perhaps it’s because we really don’t want the public to know the truth? It was interesting the assertion was also made in the column, regarding the HIV cluster, “mostly all avoidable with the use of clean needles.”

How about some intellectual honesty, folks – geez.

In the column, Health Department Director Dr. Michael Kilkenny stated his departmental goal was to help people stop drug use.

“If they are really wanting to stop, we can get them in a program today or even tomorrow,” said Kilkenny. “I hope this means there are less users. Our goal is for nobody to inject.”

Now, I’m just a small-town country boy, but how does providing them free needles accomplish that goal? Dr. Kilkenny added a positive spin by sharing, “There are a lot of things going on that are working here in Huntington and things are getting better generally.”

Really? Compared to what, Dr.?

We’ve seen how liberal policies, like the syringe exchange program have contributed to the demise of large cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, one of the earliest adopters of the needle exchange. But it isn’t confined to the large cities or states any longer.

Per the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, West Virginia has the highest rate of fatal opioid overdoses among all U.S. states, with 49.6 per 100,000 individuals. (For naysayers who don’t understand “per-capita” statistics, look it up. It’s how relative statistics are calculated)

Here are the “top ten” fatal opioid overdose states in the nation as ranked by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  1. West Virginia – 49.6
  2. Ohio – 39.2
  3. District of Columbia – 34.7
  4. New Hampshire – 34
  5. Maryland 32.2
  6. Maine 29.9
  7. Massachusetts – 28.2
  8. Kentucky – 27.9
  9. Delaware – 27.8
  10. Connecticut – 27.7

Interested in how many of these states have at least one syringe exchange program? This may shock you, but there is no arguing the correlation. Look at the graphic I prepared below from Becker’s Hospital Review website.  All of them!

needle states

Folks, we cannot allow this program to continue without oversight. There must be an audit, preferably conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services who conducted a similar audit in Kanawha County and shut it down!

We have absolutely nothing by which to gauge this program’s success other than the Cabell County Health Department’s word. I’m not even claiming it should be discontinued, at this point. Let’s look at it, leverage its strengths, deal with its deficits and determine if there is any value in it at all!

Frankly, based on results, there has been no real value or success that can be measured.

Government without accountability is dangerous. People are dying and it’s getting worse. It’s time for the people to act. Contact your local representative and even the governor’s office. Demand accountability.

Our city is dying a slow death. It’s time for some leadership “by the people”. Choose not to be part of the “uninformed” among us. We need you in the “informed” category!

The apathetically informed will never change.

Mark Caserta: Liberal Democrats run “shamelessly” on a socialist platform.

13 Aug

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mark at wvhu

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

August 13, 2019


 

Democrats used to attempt to “hide” their socialist tendencies from potential voters.

Now they run presidential campaigns on them.

Folks, it’s high time you take note of exactly what liberal Democrats are willing to do to our country, simply to beat President Trump. There is nothing they wouldn’t do, legal or otherwise, to see him fail. If it means our country returns to high unemployment, a low labor participation rate, record food stamps and poverty, and international embarrassment, then so be it.

And they don’t plan to “earn” enough votes to beat him in the 2020 presidential election. They plan to buy them – with your tax dollars, of course.

 Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) proposes forgiving the student debt of 45 million Americans, roughly 1.6 trillion dollars, and that we pay for it by taxing the wealthy. Sanders is, of course, an unapologetic socialist.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), aka: Pocahontas), along with other Democrat presidential candidates are doubling down on opening our borders and essentially decriminalizing illegal immigration. Additionally, Warren believes those who illegally overstay student visas, should be allowed to stay in America indefinitely.

Could that be the definition of an “Indian giver?” (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) wants to end private health insurance and force everyone into a government-run, universal healthcare program. Harris told CNN, “I’m a progressive Democrat. I am a Democrat, I’m a proud Democrat. I’m not a socialist.”

Uh…what’s the difference, Ms. Harris.  Oh, and by the way, the government can’t run what it’s got now, much less an additional twenty percent of the economy. Putting the government in charge of healthcare would be like putting film maker, Michael Moore, in charge of the buffet at Golden Corral.

“Sleepy” Joe Biden vows to raise the corporate tax rates back to the Obama era, per the New York Post. Yes, Mr. Biden, that’s exactly what Americans are looking for – a return to the inept policies of a community organizer who set a new “low” standard for the U.S. presidency.

Oh, and it’s time for your afternoon “gaffe”.

Why, pray tell, do you suppose these Democrat (not Democratic) candidates offer “freebies” to students, illegals and the economically-deprived? If you believe it’s out of compassion, I’ve got some beach front property in Harlan, KY. to sell! It’s about garnering a sustainable voter base for years to come!

Frankly, Democrats believe Americans are just ignorant enough to fall for their ploy to “purchase” enough votes to beat Donald Trump. And they’re not doing a very good job at hiding it – for those watching.

Ask yourself, “What has the Democrat Party done for me since re-gaining the House of Representatives?” Instead of doing their job and working for the American people, they’re using your hard-earned money to continue a witch hunt against President Trump!

Afterward, ask yourself what President Trump has done for this country in just over 30 months? The “wins” are unprecedented! And he’s done it, despite the leftist Democrats, the media, and some Republicans!

One may be compelled to ask the question, “Do liberal Democrats hate Trump more than they love their country?”

Well, does Hillary Clinton wear pant suits? Unequivocally, (and thank goodness) YES!

Destroying Trump simply outweighs serving our country for liberal Democrats. If this doesn’t meet the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, I’m not sure what does. Isn’t it ironic these criminals seek to impeach President Trump! Talk about diversion tactics!

It’s time these dysfunctional, pseudo representatives be ousted. If their employment was contingent upon their performance, like the rest of Americans, they would be unemployed.

If these Democrat presidential candidates think America is such a bad place, let’s give them a productive use for our tax dollars and purchase them “one-way’ tickets to Venezuela. Let them run for office there.

They’ll also gain some perspective on the truths of socialism, where everyone is, indeed, equal.

Equally poor.

Mark Caserta: WV “Open for Business” once again! This time murdering babies.

28 Jul

abortion billboard

This billboard is among many promoting abortion in the state of West Virginia


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

July 28, 2019


 

West Virginia is promoting “open for business” once again. Only, this time it’s not coal, steel, gas, oil or any industry which would enhance our prosperity and improve our economy.

This time it’s the business of murdering babies.

I find nothing fundamentally wrong with delineating the state of West Virginia from surrounding states if it means attracting additional visitors conducting business, vacationing or simply enjoying our beautiful landscape.

But when we allow an evil, liberal campaign designed to attract mothers from bordering states in which abortion has been legislatively restricted, by promoting the procedure in our state, it’s time for voters to draw the line in the sand.

What’s next Governor Jim Justice, a “buy one get one free” promotional coupon? Are you serious? This isn’t marketing a competitive deal on a new automobile or advertising a new Powerball lottery game! Have our leaders lost all sense of morality? Have we become so destitute of Godly values we now choose to openly side with propagators of evil, all for the sake of a dollar?

Well, the love of money is…

And nothing could be more evil than abortion providers marketing death and exploiting the ignorance of our legislators to promote infanticide for financial gain.

Except, maybe our elected officials allowing it to happen, just to preserve a vote.

My wife and I couldn’t believe our eyes as we traversed the 17th street bridge from WV into Ohio and observed a Lamar billboard which read, “Abortion is still legal in West Virginia”. The bottom of the billboard (placed in a very high traffic area) encouraged women to “Make an appointment at Woman’s Health Center of West Virginia by calling…” and it gave a phone number.

But wait! Isn’t the progressive argument on restricting federal funding for abortion clinics supposed to be about women’s health? You know, contraception, pap smears, those sorts of things?

Don’t pee down my leg and tell me it’s raining! It’s about money! And this marketing ploy proves it!

Recently, Ohio and Kentucky joined six other states in passing legislation that severely restricts abortions upon the detection of a heartbeat. But rather than reasonably looking at joining our sister states in legislation that supports the values of most of Appalachia, West Virginia liberal activists decided to “corner the market” in destroying the lives of the most innocent among us.

“The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable among us, those who don’t have a voice,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said as he signed the bill. “Government’s role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end.”

It seems government in Charleston sees it differently.

Social media and local reporting has exploded in protest over the billboards, which apparently span multiple areas of the state. One comment from a Fairmont, WV. resident spoke to the “heart” of the issue.

“14 weeks we heard our grandbabies heart beat,” said Theresa Singleton. “This baby is real, it’s human, it’s alive, it has a heartbeat.”

How hypocritical is it for liberals to stand firm on “progressive” science when it comes to climate change but totally disregard the science of Biology gauged by the presence of a heartbeat. Isn’t the “demise” of life determined by the absence of a heartbeat?

It would be funny, if not terribly sad, that if liberal scientists found even the tiniest of microbes on Mars, they would blast the airwaves that they’ve found “life” on another planet. I guess the definition of life is as ambiguous as the gender of a liberal here on earth.

They don’t want boundaries, unless it supports their ideology. They’re so corrupt.

So, do our tax dollars help fund this regional promotion of infanticide? Well, I checked it out!

According to the Guttmacher Institute, which once boasted ties to Planned Parenthood, 17 states use taxpayer money to fund abortion. West Virginia is one of them. Your tax dollars are funneled to Planned Parenthood via Medicaid, which isn’t protected by the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision that bans federally funded abortions.

If it means removing limits on abortion – liberals will find a way. Don’t expect morality to be an obstacle.

On the face of this outrageous turn of events, it appears West Virginia leaders are willing to barter with the devil to perpetuate their power and influence. They’ve cast their lots with a cache of liberals from whom they hope to garner a future vote. Just like illegal immigration, if progressives can’t win in the theater of ideas, they’ll seek to win by attrition. Let’s run off citizens who represent Godly values and replace them with voters who will succumb to the wiles of malevolent politicians hoping to capture them in their nets of dependency and extort their votes.

Connect the dots, you say?

If liberal West Virginia politicians are unwilling to take a stand on protecting the life of an unborn baby, simply for fear of losing a vote, can they be trusted with anything? Anything at all?

So, what can you do? Well, it’s simple and is the answer to most of our Mountain State woes. Don’t boycott Lamar Advertising. Don’t attack the Women’s Health Center.

Go after the derelict politicians who are allowing this travesty to take place. Fire them with your vote and hire someone who’ll represent Godly values.

Only “You” can make West Virginia great again!

 

 

Mark Caserta: Don’t be fooled by policies of “inclusion” or “compassion”. It’s about power.

6 Jul

city of huntington


me

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

July 6, 2019


 

Let’s be very clear about the “newly discovered” progressive policies of empathy and benevolence toward mankind which Democrats have made such an integral portion of their platform.

Can someone please say, “hogwash”!

Additionally, I hate it when I hear people refer to Democrats as the “Democratic” Party. They’ve become the antithesis of Democracy or “government by the people”! They should simply be called the “Democrat” Party! But I digress.

Liberals bank on the fact that way too many Americans are only marginally engaged with the fact versus fiction of politics. If educators and the media did their jobs in educating and reporting the truth, the Democrat Party would be forced into working in the best interest of their constituents.

But, those with their finger on the pulse of the “myocardial infarction” known as “broken government”, know all too well that’s very unlikely to happen.

While I abhor using terms hollow commentators often bandy about in unison like a flock of cawing seagulls by the seashore, I believe I must in this case.

Democrats are very fond of “weaponizing” emotions.

Unlike knowledge, which some people clearly lack, everyone, no matter their level of engagement, has emotions.

And not unlike the scheming, manipulative person who will work harder at playing with a person’s emotions than establishing a relationship based on fact, liberals cling to controversies in which they can solicit and emotional response in influencing the masses.

Illegal immigration is a perfect example of Democrats engendering emotion while subjugating the facts.

If you recall, liberal Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, swore to the American public President Trump’s “crisis at the border” was manufactured for political interest. All it took was a few principled journalists and representatives to visit the border and inundate the airwaves with such overwhelming “fact”, Democrats were forced into telling the truth. And even then, they denied their lack of integrity and action had anything to do with the mess they’ve created.

After having to finally admit there is, indeed, a crisis, as the president and border experts were saying, they now employ the “benevolence argument” that enforcement of the law and protecting the sovereignty of the U.S. is not being “compassionate”.

Liberal journalists are complicit in searching for photos of overstaffed facilities and fatal anomalies simply to claim “migrants” (not illegals) are being mistreated by the Trump administration.

These are not migrants! These people are committing crimes against the U.S. and against humanity. Yet, Democrats personify it in terms of, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I wish we could add the word, “legally” in the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. But Democrats would have a mental breakdown.

I’m not sure which is worse, the despicable nature of the Democrat lies intended to maintain power or the treasonous manner in which they are intentionally damaging our country.

Liberal loons, like Democrat Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fabricate stories about illegals being forced to “drink from toilets” at holding stations, knowing these type stories can never be substantiated.

Canards of this nature are simply designed for an emotional response. Facts be damned.

It’s all about power.

Just as in the state of California, where uncontrolled illegal immigration has resulted in such a leftist political environment, no conservative could ever hope to win a major election or push a conservative agenda – it’s all about getting votes and staying in power.

Understand, progressives pave a way to the ballot box for these folks, knowing they’ll never vote against the “hand that feeds them”, all at the taxpayer’s expense.

California lawmakers have already passed legislation to give illegal aliens a driver’s license.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Please understand, this methodology isn’t proprietary to Washington. The desire for power at the expense of those who would deny it, is a ravenous emotion.

Liberal fanaticism is saturating our great nation, including right here in our own city of Huntington, WV.

Our mayor’s policy of “inclusion”, just as illegal immigration, isn’t complicated. It’s about inciting an emotional reaction from marginally engaged individuals by insinuating the inhabitants of our city are racist, homophobic, xenophobes incapable of loving people whose lifestyle we may not condone. We therefore must pry “open” the heretofore “closed” doors to members of the LGBT community and their promiscuous lifestyles. This includes allowing them to read to our children and begin desensitizing them to the LGBT lifestyle at an early age.

I know I’m strange, but it reminds me of the 1963 hit by “The Roof Top Singers”:

“Walk right in, sit right down: Daddy, let your mind roll on. Everybody’s talkin’ ‘bout a new way of walkin’. Do you want to lose your mind?”

Well, based on the liberal desire to welcome anyone with a pulse to cross into any city in our nation – they already have.

Just don’t forget to come to the courthouse and register to vote – Democrat!

Liberal Democrats know they cannot win in the theater of ideas and truth. In fact, they’re perpetually afraid of the truth making its way to the American people. It would be devastating to their platform, which is based on public ignorance and emotion.

It’s no different here in Huntington where I believe the local media searches desperately for “wins” by our city administration while clouding the truth that our city is dying a slow death.

Terms like “inclusion” and “compassion”, sadly, have become red flags in the political theater. They’re now, the hollowest words in the liberal thesaurus.

What used to be genuine compassion for others, has morphed into policies of “enablement” and “coercion” of those beholding to liberals to vote for the progressive, Democrat agenda.

One could say, we’re witnessing a Democrat, proposed form of “government organized crime.”

Protection and entitlements for those willing to be controlled and conforming.

Not for this patriot.

 

 

Mark Caserta: Huntington leadership policies on drug abuse not working

22 Jun

huntington, wv

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me

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

June 22, 2019


 

“The highest per capita overdose rate and the highest per capita death rate in the country for opiates is right here in the Southern District of West Virginia. To a certain degree, Huntington has become ground zero, the epicenter of the opioid crisis” – Mike Stuart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia is quoted as saying on the AddictionCenter website.

Per Addiction-Treatment.com, the United State spends approximately $276 billion every year to deal with substance abuse – with absolutely nothing to show for it!

Folks, believe me when I tell you there is big money in drug rehabilitation. While I’ve no doubt there are sincere samaritans who have a heart for healing, I believe there are sinister members of society who profit by the enterprise.

It’s a disgusting fact, but one in which we must be cautiously cognizant.

Many experts will confirm that our fair city of Huntington, WV. has become a “hub for drug trafficking”. Sadly, our city leadership and local media have failed miserably in bringing light to this disturbing fact.

Drug traffickers traveling to West Virginia bring large amounts of synthetic opiate drugs for distribution. And why not? We’re a nation of supply and demand, and the demand for drugs in our area is huge.

Dealers and addicts travel from Michigan and surrounding states to market their wares in the prominent heroin “flea market” known as Huntington. Reportedly, major drug trafficking organizations have now taken root in the city, some of whom are gang related, with Detroit and Columbus being the main sources of traffickers of heroin into Huntington per my sources.

And the fruits of their labor are all around us!

Our city is laden with increased property crime, visible prostitution, homicides and regular fatal overdoses, all stemming from an industry which is alarmingly growing in our own back yard.

And what does our city leadership do? As far as I can tell, very little, except enable destructive behavior. Our court house policies of reduced first responders, drug rehab and needle exchange seem to do far more to enable the drug culture than prevent it.

Disagree? Look around you.

Our city is a stone’s throw away from becoming the East Coast distributor for liberal, progressive policies of inclusion and temperance. How long will it be before the homeless overtake sections of our city and our streets are laden with disease and pestilence? How long will it be before the scourge of life without purpose begins to suffocate our very existence?

How long will it be before our city takes its last breath?

Overly dramatic? Perhaps. But try telling that to the helpless citizens of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York who have fallen prey to the whims of progressive activists who spend more time fighting for the rights of illegals than they do our nation’s citizens. Their tax dollars are stripped away at alarming rates to coddle the increasing numbers of the poor and destitute.

But rise in protest and you’re declared a racist, intolerant homophobe. Such is the progressive ideology.

It’s time we demand our city leaders to take another approach, using a rather unique concept to liberals.

It’s called enforcing the law.

A 2018 column in The Hill, by Kahryn Riley, entitled, “Detroit a model when it comes to solving the opioid epidemic” describes steps drug-ridden cities have taken to curb the opioid epidemic.

Detroit and other cities across the nation are now using specialty dockets as an innovative way to respond to the opioid challenge. These “problem-solving courts”, sometimes known as “drug courts”, were pioneered by a trial judge in Hawaii to combat drug addiction and alcoholism among defendants in his courtroom.

Offenders who are caught up in substance abuse often cycle perpetually through the traditional criminal justice system with minimal results. But drug courts seek to end substance abuse by the people who enter them, using “treatment, intensive supervision and drug testing, frequent status hearings before their judge, and graduated incentives and sanctions.” Judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, defense counsel, probation officers and treatment providers collaborate to help participants build accountability and make healthy choices.

As law enforcement agencies work to get drugs off the street, lawyers and judges are doing their part to ensure justice is served for dealers and users. Prosecutors are bringing homicide charges against drug dealers whose wares result in the deaths of their customers.

They’re simply enforcing the laws on the books. And the model is working!

By treating the underlying problem, these courts reduce the rate at which offenders commit additional crimes while simultaneously shrinking the number who are drug-addicted or alcohol-dependent. The model saves money in the long run — and the lives of defendants.

It’s time we lay aside the fruitless efforts of our city leaders which have proven feckless in the fight against drug abuse. Continuing down the same road and expecting different results is simply insanity.

It’s time our leaders get smart and look at how other cities facing similar issues are being successful, if they truly want to solve the problem.

I call upon city leaders to immediately reach out for counsel in helping Huntington overcome this plight that is devastating our city economy and future. Put your service to the citizens of Huntington ahead of your pride.

Our approach to this problem must change. It isn’t working.

 

 

 

 

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