Tag Archives: mark caserta

Sarah Thacker: An Overview of the Needle Exchange Program in Huntington, WV.

13 Aug

Is this program actually being effective in reducing drug abuse in Huntington?

sarah thacker

Sarah Thacker is a professional, free-lance writer with a versatile writing style.  Free State Patriot welcomes her youthful, energetic style and versatility to our blog as a regular contributor.

 


NEEDLE PHOTO

If you spend much time walking around Huntington, chances are you’ve seen the new state flower: the hypodermic needle. They pop up in the grass, on sidewalks, in alleys, and in massive heaps in parks. I’ve personally even seen them in the middle of the road, making me wonder how that even happened.

It’s becoming a problem, with children being stabbed by them while playing in public parks and working-class pedestrians stepping on them while walking home from work. Even though it’s become public knowledge through documentaries on national news networks and popular video streaming platforms that Huntington is one of the most drug-addled cities in the United states, there are no documentaries that show where the needles come from.

A lot of people would, understandably, assume that most drug addicts wouldn’t have the money to buy needles. Stereotypically, drug addicts spend their money on their drugs, and when their money is spent, they steal from other people to fund their addiction. So, what do they do when they have their drugs, but not the needles to do the drugs with? That’s a problem that the city and county officials took it upon themselves to solve.

Shortly after Huntington was dubbed the overdose capital of the nation, city officials and the Health Department created a “Harm Reduction Program”, which is colloquially referred to as the “needle exchange program”. It’s goal is to give drug addicts clean needles and supplies so that they aren’t tempted to share needles with other users and spread blood borne illnesses and diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV. There are, what I consider, some outrageous oversights regarding this program.

First, an addict can walk in, and for a nominal fee, receive a handy hype kit. It includes everything that they need to do drugs, except the drugs. Secondly, the term “exchange” is used far too loosely regarding this program. It’s not a 1-for-1 exchange system. If they pay the fee, they can walk in and get more needles without ever bringing any back.

This causes a lot of problems for those of us who live and work in Huntington. It seems that the officials are enabling drug addicts and the drug problem, literally handing them the supplies they need to do drugs and overdose. And then taxpayers must pay for the harm reduction program and the emergency services to help the addicts when they overdose. As of right now, taxpayers are literally paying to keep drug addicts alive, and no one really asked us our opinion about that. And because the program doesn’t use a true 1-for-1 exchange, addicts are leaving needles wherever they’re using, which seems to be in mostly public places.

There are those that argue that without the harm reduction program, disease will run rampant throughout the population. But, it seems to me that most illnesses associated with drug use are blood borne, not airborne. This means that they’re not super contagious. All one should have to do to not catch a blood borne illness from a needle- drug user is to avoid exchanging bodily fluids with them, which seems like a good rule of thumb, in general.

Should we end the exchange program? Probably. But we’ll need to have a solid game plan in effect to combat the drug use, crime and homelessness that drug use and addiction brings with it, and that’s a topic for another article.

 

Mark Caserta: Conservative Columnist’s Next Season: Life after the HD

13 Aug

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

August 13, 2018


 

There was about to be a severe drought in the land of Israel.  Elijah the Tishbit, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab, the son of Omri, warning of a total drought, with “not a drop of dew or rain” until God said otherwise.

God then told Elijah, “Get out of here, and fast.  Head east and hide out at the Kerith Ravine on the other side of the Jordan River.  You can drink fresh water from the brook.”  God even ordered Ravens to feed Elijah during the drought.

Elijah obeyed God’s orders.  As God promised, ravens brought him his meals, breakfast and supper and he drank from the brook.

But God had plans for Elijah, beyond the “ravine”.  He needed him to fulfill His Word throughout the land and provide for His children.

Soon, the brook dried up.  God then spoke to Elijah saying, “Get up and go the Zarephath in Sidon and live there.  I’ve instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you.

Elijah, again, obeyed the Lord God and went to Zarephath.

As he entered the village, he met a woman, a widow gathering firewood.  He asked her, “Please, would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink,” Elijah said.  As she went to get it, he added, “And while you’re at it, would you bring me something to eat?”

But the woman was very poor.  She said, “I swear as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit.  I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle.  You found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me.  After we eat it, we’ll die.”

But Elijah trusted God.  He said, “Don’t worry about a thing.  Go ahead and do what you’ve said.  But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here.  Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son.  The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.

Now, it was time for the widow to obey the words of the man of God.  And true to God’s Word, the jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty!  The widow and her son were sustained by God’s loving Hand and the obedience of His servant, Elijah.

“God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!”

A Message?  Absolutely!

Sometimes God must move us out of our comfort zone to place us in His perfect will. No doubt, this requires faith and certainly perseverance and a total resolve to lean not to our own understanding and trust in God’s Word.

I was absolutely overwhelmed with the reader’s responses when the Herald Dispatch (HD) decided to censor the publications of my columns, along with the columns of an otherwise expendable liberal columnist who probably would have attempted to discredit the above Biblical account.  Understand, this was only an HD attempt to negate the potential charge of censorship and in no way an attempt to provide balanced opinions.

If you doubt that, one only need review the remaining lineup of liberal columnists and the occasional “token” conservative rebuttal on the HD opinion page.

Since I’ve been removed from the Herald Dispatch, the readers of Free State Patriot (FSP) have multiplied exponentially!  I’ve no doubt our readership far exceeds the readership buried within the pages of the HD.

But God had to “dry up the brook” at the HD to move me into my next season!  I’m now empowered to share the “Good News”, along with my FSP contributors, without fear of editing or censorship under the guise of principled journalism.

Once again, what man meant as “evil against me”, God turned it around for “good”.

So, we begin a new journey together.  Free State Patriot is adding Christian conservative columnists, I’m building new relationships with great folks like Tom Roten, of “The Tom Roten Morning Show”, on 800 News Radio WVHU, Norm Miller, of Huntington City Watch, serving our city with more than 17,000 members, and Tony Rutherford of HuntingtonNews.net, an online news agency covering a metropolitan area of 300,000 plus, including the most populated city in the state of West Virginia.

I highly encourage support of these media outlets, as they are working to support you!

God has great works in store! The attempt to censor our conservative voice wakened a “sleeping giant.”  I look forward to partnering with our readers in print and in action as we work to “Keep America Great” and “Make the Tri-State Great Again.”

I leave you with a final thought.

A very wise man once asked, “What would you attempt in life if you absolutely knew it was impossible to fail?”

Progressives wouldn’t even understand this question, much less answer it.

But with God, all things are possible.

Let’s get informed, engaged and join forces in making a difference – today!

God Bless America and our communities!

 

 

Bill Moore: Local Decision; National Pattern

13 Aug

Is free speech being suppressed by the very institutions that benefit from the First Amendment?  Locally?  For what purpose?

bill moore photo

Bill Moore is a businessman, author, and conservative columnist.  Originally from Ashland, KY. Bill spent the summers of his formative years playing in the hills and coal mines of rural Eastern Kentucky.  He believes in smaller government, the free market and is a fiscal conservative. Free State Patriot welcomes Bill as a regular contributor in the fight to support our nation’s founding principles and expose the progressive movement.

“You can have everything you want in life… If you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

~ Zig Ziglar / Bill Moore


 

Alex Jones, Candice Owens, Elizabeth Heng, Diamond and Silk, Herman Cain and our own Mark Caserta. What do these people have in common? De-platforming, temporary bans and shadow banning. Each has been actively limited by a publisher(platform) for their opinions. Conversely Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Antifa each post encouragement to harass conservatives or actively encourage fighting and disobeying law enforcement, yet their accounts remain active and often trend higher than conservative posts on the exact same subject matter.

Let’s examine for a moment the bans each person listed above has endured. Alex Jones, far right shock jock, was de-platformed from SIX major sites in just over 24 hours. (Apple iTunes, Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn) Candice Owens, African-American conservative, was banned on Twitter for 12 hours when she copied and posted Tweets from a radical left journalist replacing the word “white’ with “black” and “Jew” but otherwise leaving the Tweets intact. Elizabeth Heng, Vietnamese-American conservative running for election, had an ad banned on Facebook that described her family dealing with Communist Vietnam. Both Diamond and Silk and Herman Cain, African-American conservative broadcasters, have been shadow banned on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Of course, readers of this blog know Mark Caserta and what the Herald Dispatch did to him.

The most common reason for bans and de-platforming are listed as violations the term and conditions (vague community standards) of said web platform. Just like the movie “Animal House” these content creators were on “double secret probation” while Facebook, Apple Et al gathered enough information to decide whether silencing them would negatively impact the bottom line. Once they felt the bottom line was safe good bye conservative leaning voices.

Shadow bans are more insidious. The person can login and post as normal. However, the platform limits the reach of the post, giving it lower ranking in searches and not allowing subscriber notifications to notify. For example, Diamond and Silk post a video and expect a certain number of views based proportionally on the number of subscribers. When shadow banned they reach fewer people than expected and thus make less revenue from advertisers, get fewer clicks for merchandise sales and cannot grow their channel or follower base.

Even bans that get lifted like in the case of Candice Owens hurt because the optimum widow for the message has passed and is now “old news” as the fickle public has moved on to a new crisis of the moment.

Mark’s situation could be considered different as it involves a physical publication with limited print real estate. However, the situation can be used to demonstrate how social media is really a publisher as opposed to a neutral platform. The Herald Dispatch terminated its working relationship with a “token” conservative over what was termed as the “newspaper’s best interest”, similarly themed articles and a lack of local subject matter. As distasteful as the decision is they have the right to act as they see fit. Just like we as consumers have the right to terminate subscriptions to the Herald Dispatch and stop patronizing its very few advertisers.

We also have the right to contact said advertisers and voice our displeasure over them supporting a business that actively silences conservative speech.

The main stream media (newspaper, radio and TV), more accurately defined as “legacy” media pushes a general narrative that leans left of center. How far left is dependent on the outlet ownership and sponsors. Even the right leaning Fox News slants stories, limits facts and editorializes “news”. Do not misunderstand Fox News adds balance to the vast liberal ramblings that pass as “news” in modern journalism, but they are also complicit in adding opinion to facts and calling it news. “News” reporting in and of itself should be like the old TV court drama oath: “Promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Remember when news shows ended with an anchors opinion and even warned viewers saying, “what follows is an editorial opinion”? In today’s era of 24-hour news every opinion, every headline must be sensationalized to keep viewers tuned in. Sponsors demand a return on their advertising dollars. Clicks, views and eyes are the measurements that matter for a news channel not clear presentation of facts. Remember legacy media outlets are businesses and businesses must make a profit to continue.

You see, the social media giants hide behind “we are a platform and don’t exercise editorial control over posts” thus “we can’t be sued when an individual defames or slanders someone”. They can’t be held responsible when someone like Maxine Waters encourages harassment or threatens the President. If the bans are given across the board, regardless of ideology, the websites would be correct. However, a strong case can be made showing the social media platforms do, in fact, only target conservative opinions.  Any ambulance chasing lawyer can connect the dots and tear down the platform vs publisher veil of protection. If the website publishers are not held accountable we will soon see “community standards” banning Joel Osteen or your local church because someone finds the doctrine offensive.

I find it ironic that Mark Caserta was silenced locally for writing on national subjects when nationally the debate is raging on silencing all conservatives. What impacts the nation impacts West Virginia and West Virginia can influence the nation.

Silencing Mark right before a mid-term election, as well as silencing other conservative voices smacks of collusion and election tampering. You don’t have to change votes or have ghost ballots to “fix” an election, just keep spreading fake news and silence the opposition.

Special Metals Lockout Continues – Watch live report from today.

12 Aug

special metals

WOWK 13 News Reporting Live from Special Metals guarded gates

 

sen contact

Huntington Alloy Plant “shuts out” workers – community, already struggling, is stunned.

11 Aug

Where are our elected officials?  Contact information below!!  Call now!

special metals

Special Metals in Huntington, WV. 

 

Watch this compelling video!

My brother, Scott, a man with compassion, supported by integrity and principle, tells the story.

A community in shock, a plant not negotiating, local politicians missing.

Where are you elected officials?

He’s calling you out, as are all of the residents of the Tri-State area.

If you knew ahead of time about this situation – shame on you.

If you didn’t know ahead of time – shame on you.

Part of your job is keeping your fingers on the pulse of your constituency and business.

Supporting these workers, is supporting business, the economy and our city’s future.

This is why you were hired. Time to earn your money.

Rest assured, Free State Patriot will not be shy in recognizing your support, nor will be be shy in naming names of those who don’t support these workers.

By supporting these workers, you support the business and economy in our area.
Time to get to work.

We’re waiting…

Free State Patriot

 

Contact your representatives here:

Sen. Joe Manchin

900 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 629
Charleston, WV 25302
P: 304-342-5855
F: 304-343-7144

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

500 Virginia Street East
Suite 950
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304-347-5372

Call the President!!!

PHONE NUMBERS
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Mayor Steve Williams
800 Fifth Avenue
P.O. Box 1659
Huntington, WV 25701

304.696.5540 (office)
304.696.4493 (fax)

sen contact

Mark Caserta: Nation’s political discourse impacts local columnist.

5 Aug

Has Huntington, WV’s only newspaper joined forces with the liberal media?

 

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

8.5.2018


 

Our nation’s number one threat may no longer emanate from a foreign entity, a rogue leader or even threat of war.

Our nation’s single, most urgent peril may stem from within – the liberal media.

I believe the liberal media has successfully propagated a vehement, political discourse that’s become nothing short of a debilitating disease, spreading its effect throughout every bone and sinew of our nation, crippling our Republic and dividing the American people.

And I’m very saddened to report, I firmly believe the Tri-State area has now been infected by this “journalistic disorder.”

For the past 14 years, I’ve been arguably, the primary, if not only, regular local, “conservative” contributor to the Herald-Dispatch (HD) in Huntington, WV.  I’ve never taken that responsibility lightly. I’ve been honored to be the voice of thousands of people who, otherwise, would not have their opinions shared in such a venue.

Together, my readers and I have had some successes.  In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, the conservative candidate, won West Virginia with a whopping 68.5% of the vote per BallotPedia.  I happen to believe my readers and I, along with FreeStatePatriot.com, had some impact on the outcome of our state’s choice.

Following Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing loss to political outsider, Donald Trump, liberals simply lost their grasp of reality.  I believe they’ve proven they hate President Trump more than they love their country and I’ve endeavored to substantiate it with what I believe to be undeniable truths.  My columns have produced supportive evidence showing that no matter what “wins” President Trump has for the American people, liberals are more concerned with delegitimizing his presidency and his supporters than they are with fostering America’s peace and prosperity.

From the miraculous rebound of our economy, to record-low unemployment, increasing labor participation rate, more viable healthcare options, lower taxes, a stronger military and improved foreign relations, President Trump has amassed victories like nothing in my lifetime!  Yet, all the liberal media can do, including local columnists in the HD, is trash Trump based on his tweets, relationships and political incorrectness!

And as with President Trump, my readers have supported my writing through the years because I’ve always done my best to present the truth with integrity and the best interest of the people in mind.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, providing information in the “best interest of the people” is a diminishing aspiration for the HD.  In fact, HD leadership, for all intents and purposes, said just that.

In the interest of absolute clarity and transparency, here is the text from the actual email I received from the HD editorial page editor notifying me my columns would no longer be acceptable for publication in the newspaper.

“Hi Mark: I didn’t find pieces of your column submitted this week acceptable, in terms of your attacks on other columnists. Therefore, I am not publishing it.

 I have also decided that the H-D will no longer publish any more of your columns, partly due to this most recent submission, but also for a couple of other reasons. One is that you seldom write about any subject that is more local in nature; the other is that most of your columns repeat the same theme from week to week.”

Just so you’ll know that this isn’t about conservative vs. liberal, we are also discontinuing publication of Milt Hankins columns. He, too, veered off into a more direct response to your columns in a recent piece that I also chose not to publish, and also poses the same issues regarding local content and repetition.

 I appreciate the many columns you have contributed over the years, but I’m afraid this is no longer working in the newspaper’s best interests.”

I haven’t the words to share with my readers the shock I felt after receiving this, rather “matter of fact” email from my editor after 14 years of service.  Yes, I was paid for my columns, but I assure you, it was a gratuitous amount. I would have written for free.

If you’ve followed the Herald Dispatch for any length of time, you’ve noticed the guest column lineup throughout the week.  It’s not unusual to see back to back opinion pieces from the other liberal, local contributors lambasting Donald Trump and/or conservative values.

I was obviously the “token” conservative columnist!

On Fridays, which has been typically the day my column was published, many readers shared it was a “breath of fresh air” being able to read someone who truly represents who I believe are most readers in this area, with an opinion piece, usually written in support of a conservative agenda.

The “unacceptable” column to which the editor refers contained some direct call outs on local columnists for their hypocritical attacks on President Trump.  It’s available in its entirety on my blog’s website.  It’s “in your face” accuracy in identifying local hypocrisy, while not revealing columnist’s names, was apparently more than the HD leadership could fathom!

Let’s be clear.  Removing me as a local contributor to the newspaper had little to do with my final column.  The column was simply the “opportunity” for which the HD had been hoping, enabling them to rid themselves of this “rogue conservative” staining the editorial page and giving them headaches every Friday.

Allow me to offer these points in presenting my case that my dismissal was “politically expedient” for the HD.

Through the years, I’ve had a good working relationship with my editors. I’ve respected their position and learned from their experience. There have been a handful of instances where my editor refused to publish a column as it was originally submitted. Perhaps it was a bit “over-the-top” with regard to my conservative position, or the editor felt the column may have compromised my “credibility” as a writer.

However, in every single instance, the editor would reach out to me asking for a re-write, or at least give me an opportunity to write another piece. In the interest of being a paid, regular contributor, I would always comply.

This email arrived less than 24 hours prior to publication of what was to be my final column, hence no opportunity for a re-write.

Additionally, the HD editor felt the need to share that he was also discontinuing publication of another “liberal” columnist to show this had nothing to do with “liberal vs. conservative.”

How thoughtful.

While I strongly disagree with this liberal columnist’s dismissal, I believe he became an unfortunate casualty in an effort for the HD to save face.  Milt Hankins, the aforementioned columnist, in my opinion, had already lost credibility with readers by fostering outlandish liberal positions, I believe even local liberals stopped reading his material.  I believe the HD felt he wasn’t adding value and was simply expendable.

Regarding the “repetition” of my columns, I encourage readers to check out the exact same form of repetition from even the most “tenured” columnists still writing for the HD in their attacks on President Trump and his supporters.

The bottom-line, in this humble writer’s opinion, is the leadership and ownership of the Herald Dispatch had simply gotten tired of losing ground to this deplorable, right-wing, Trump supporter.  For no matter how many liberal columns the HD published – by Friday morning, they were rendered null and void.

As my friend Tom Roten, host of the popular, “Tom Roten Morning Show”, on 800 WVHU would say, “A lie is still a lie, no matter how many times you say it!”

My columns, for 14 years, offered truth and integrity.  While I sincerely appreciate the HD publishing my material, I did not write in the “interest of the newspaper.”  I wrote in the interest of the people.

And I shall continue to write!  Following my conversation with Tom on his morning show the day after my release from the HD, my blog, FreeStatePatriot.com, received a record number of hits, most likely more than the HD sold papers!  Tom also shared the podcast of the interview went “viral” in terms of normal site visits.  Praise God!

When liberals cannot substantiate their lies and animosity toward President Trump or any conservative, the only way they can “win” an argument is to quiet the voice of the opposition.

Unfortunately, for the HD, they haven’t quieted my voice, they’ve wakened a sleeping giant!  Doug Smith, co-editor of Free State Patriot, and I will continue our work “exposing the progressive movement” in our nation and in our area.

Part of that mission now includes exposing the Herald Dispatch for what I believe to be enabling the progressive movement in the Tri-State.

And folks, we should be taking that personally.  When a town’s local newspaper begins filtering the message being delivered to the reader, they’re negating the very amendment of the Constitution which provides them the opportunity.  That, my friend, is the epitome of hypocrisy.

I look forward to partnering with each of you in helping “Keep America Great” and making the Tri-State great again!

God bless America and God Bless the Tri-State!  May He continue to deliver us from progressives who would silence His Word!

Stay tuned and armed with knowledge by visiting Freestatepatriot.com and HuntingtonNews.net.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Caserta: Conservative columnist canned after 14 years! Listen to an interview with 800 WVHU’s Radio Talk Show Host, “the Straight Shooter”, Tom Roten

27 Jul

https://800wvhu.iheart.com/featured/the-tom-roten-morning-show/content/2018-07-27-mark-caserta-no-longer-an-hd-columnist/#.W1tvDbrD2WE.twitter

Click the above link to hear 800 WVHU Radio Talk Show Host, Tom Roten’s conversation with conservative columnist, Mark Caserta.

Listen to The Tom Roten Morning Show, Monday through Friday, 6-9 am.

800 WVHU on iHeartRadio

me

 

TOM ROTEN

%d bloggers like this: