Tag Archives: PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT

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

6 Jul

city of huntington


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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: Call to Action: Conservatives, get back in the game!

13 Jun

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President Trump takes some time to interact with factory worker supporters


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

June 6, 2019


 

For the first time in 15 years, I recently took a month-long sabbatical from writing.

Like many Americans, the constant barrage of fake news, liberal talking points and downright lies began taking its toll on me. And while I always pray for guidance before I write an opinion column, I felt it was important to just step back, observe and seek a fresh, innovative perspective on the idiosyncrasies of politics and the world around us.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’ll never compromise the principles of conservatism or the tenets of God’s Word. But introspection is a crucial part of preparing to change the world around you. How can one possibly attempt to address societal or economic woes if one is unable to move forward, objectively, considering all points of view.

So, after several weeks of thoughtful consideration to not only my critics, but critics of the conservative movement, I’m back in the game. And low and behold, I’ve received an epiphany! I’ve arrived at an incontestable conclusion about the progressive movement.

There are two types of liberals. Those who are unknowingly ignorant and those who are willfully ignorant. Either way, they’re ignorant.

And by calling them ignorant, I’m actually giving them a pass! Ignorance means “uninformed” or “unaware”! I’m crediting them with not knowing the facts!

Because, if they aren’t somehow ignorant of the facts, then, in my opinion, they’re knowingly traitorous to the American dream of peace and prosperity! There is no in-between!

Folks, liberals don’t like America very much. To them, we are and have been on the wrong side of history in everything from Capitalism to Nationalism. They seek another “anointed one”, like Barack Hussein Obama, to help them re-institute “fundamental change”.

In other words, flush America down the toilet in lieu of their new progressive matrix which is void of filters promoting morality, justice or common sense.

Despite their battle cry for “Democracy” and “freedom”, the Obama presidency was more invasive than a colonoscopy with a light saber. And our local leadership isn’t far behind. (No pun intended)

And please don’t rely on the mainstream media, either locally or on a national level!

They’re on a mission to do two things: Prop up the progressive movement and get ratings – period. And facts will never stand in their way! Recent events have illuminated local liberal ideology trafficked by those in whom we’ve mistakenly placed our trust.

Unsightly liberalism is impossible to disguise for very long. Even then, it’s like putting lipstick on Jabba the Hut.

Ok, enough Star Wars metaphors. Geez.

And by no means should you rely on local print media. The Herald Dispatch has succumbed to the Deep State and are seemingly content to solely channel news and opinion designed to influence, not inform. What an inequitable travesty for our local newspaper to take up “virtual arms” against the community that gave it birth.

It’s no wonder, they’re often giving away free copies at the grocery store.

Your peace and prosperity means little to nothing to these minions of progressivism. Trust me when I tell you, many of them would gladly sacrifice America’s wins for a single shot at removing President Trump from office.

Liberals must be the most vicious, vindictive vermin on earth, worse than a “vermicious knid”. (Willy Wonka 1971).

Losing the 2016 presidential election to a politically-incorrect outsider, who calls them out regularly for their intellectual dishonesty, is something which must be avenged! And they are only too happy to spend your hard-earned tax dollars on a witch hunt to dig up anything to discredit our president.

But after millions of dollars, dozens of liberal lawyers and a special prosecutor on a mission to unseat our president – they have nothing – at your continuing expense.

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, America was on a dreadful, downhill spiral. Jobs were disappearing. The economy was grinding to a halt. Our enemies didn’t fear us and our allies didn’t trust us. A record number of Americans had dropped off the labor participation force. Democrat, socialist policies and government regulation were strangling industry in lieu of donations and support from radical left-wing activists.

We were dying as a nation.

Yet, in 2 short years, President Trump’s pro-growth policies have resulted in real gross domestic product growth at over 3 percent over the last four quarters!

More than 5 million jobs have been created under President Trump and the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low!

African American unemployment, in May, fell to 5.9%, which is the lowest rate on record.

Asian and Hispanic-American unemployment rates have reached record lows as well.

President Trump has delivered on his promise to bring back American manufacturing. The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index had the highest annual average in its history over the past year.

Small Business optimism jumped to a record high under President Trump per a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business.

But, I ask you. Do you hear or read about these accomplishments or dozens of others, either locally or on the mainstream media?

Why not?

Simply put, liberals rely on your disengagement of the facts. They believe if they tell a lie often enough, marginally engaged voters will begin to believe it.

That’s the premise of fake news. And it should make you angry that the media is willing to play you for a fool.

I encourage you, my friend, to research your own facts. Come to your own conclusions. Don’t continue to allow the liberal media to force feed you trash.

And do some introspection. Take some time and gather your thoughts.

But think for yourself! Don’t allow the progressive prevaricators to control you and your children’s future.

And when you’re armed and ready, get back into the game.

 

 

 

 

Mark Caserta: Progressivism “smacks” Huntington, West Virginia

24 Nov

drag queen power of one

(Huntington Mayor Steve Williams recently honored by Rainbow Pride of West Virginia)


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Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and founder of Free State Patriot

November 24, 2018


 

It would seem Mayor Steve Williams would like for Huntington, West Virginia, historically one of the most conservative cities in the Mountain State, to become the East Coast distributor for progressivism and liberal ideology.

In prelude to this column, understand that in a 2015 Herald-Dispatch opinion piece, regarding the mayor, I wrote, “I’ve always considered Mayor Williams an honorable man, with a successful track record, committed to making Huntington a better place to live.”

The column was meant to offer a calm voice of reason during the 2015 controversy involving allegations by my brother, former City Councilman Scott Caserta, regarding the legality of a payout of nearly $34,000 to former Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook for accrued sick leave.

My position, at that time, was unpopular with many, including my brother, with whom I’ve spent the last few years rebuilding a relationship I inadvertently compromised by offering perspective that I felt Mayor Williams was attempting to “do the right thing” even if his action was ultimately a mistake.

Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that one executes leadership without facing the challenge of difficult decisions and the realization that not everyone will be pleased.  But the majority of the people must benefit. When the effectual results of a leader’s decisions do not ultimately improve the peace and prosperity of those they serve, the people have the right and yes, the responsibility, to offer dissent.

Consider this column a clarion call for the citizens of Huntington, WV. to rise and take an active role in protecting our city from progressive demise.

I’m going to attempt to give this information all the honor and dignity it deserves. I have no doubt, there are good people involved.

But while God called us to love all people, He didn’t call us to enable or condone their miss-steps or their attempts to disingenuously influence others, especially the most susceptible among us – our youth.

I’ve spent much of my adult life studying liberalism and the progressive movement.  I understand the power of progressivism and the tenaciousness of liberals.  Most liberals understand the steps in their movement aren’t taken in large strides, but “baby steps”.

The film industry wasn’t able to thrust adult content into prime time television overnight.  They strategically tested the networks by inserting lascivious content and gradually desensitizing viewers.  Understand, they began with poisoning programming designed for younger viewers.

A perfect example would be when Disney renamed “ABC Family” to “Freeform” hoping the name would reflect the “edgier” content it added to its programming.

Liberals can be the most patient of “visionaries”, understanding that in a few years, these “children” will be adults who will want an even “edgier” product, one with even more “shock and awe”.

I recall, growing up, the movie, “The Exorcist”, was terrifying in its portrayal of demonic activity.  Today, the shock factor of such a movie is minimal compared to the progressive evolution of modern-day fright films.  As a baby boomer, I admittedly can’t watch modern-day shockers.  But movie moguls realize millennials and “next gen” folks demand this level of intensity.  Hence, progressivism.

It saddens me greatly that I feel the very same progressive movement is being propagated by Mayor Williams and “supporting cast” dark state members in our community

In April 2018, Mayor Steve Williams was honored by Rainbow Pride of West Virginia as part of “The Power of One”.  The group’s website read as follows:

“Under Mayor Williams’ leadership, Huntington City government has embraced diversity and has actively sought inclusiveness for its employees and its residents. Williams formed  citizen-based LGBTQ and Diversity advisory committees.  Working together they formed the “Open to All” diversity campaign pledging to maintain a welcoming and safe environment for all.”

I reiterate, God forgive and deliver me if I have a single racist or bigoted bone in my body.  But I believe a portion of Mayor Williams’ path to “inclusiveness” includes an intentional attempt by progressives to indoctrinate our children to an alternative lifestyle contrary to God’s Word.  And we should be infuriated at this covert influencing of our children’s lives by exposing them to an event obviously marketed by Huntington city leaders.

drag queen story time

“Drag Queen Story Time” is coming to Pullman Square in December.  The reading of the book entitled, “Jacob’s New Dress” entices children of all ages with “free admission, cookies and hot chocolate” and is promoted as introducing “children to the idea that all people are worthy of love and respect and in all clothes.”

Another book, entitled “And Tango Makes Three” focuses on the “contemporary, philosophical issue: What constitutes a family?

One can only assume that readers, “Jade” and “Gisselle”, are men dressed as women, with a mission to challenge the Biblical definition of family under the guise of promoting love and respect for everyone.

The liberal argument here is that anyone not subscribing to the progressive, inclusive definition of a family, couldn’t possibly be operating in love and respect, but from hate and intolerance.

The Christian conservative argument is we can love and respect all people without condoning or promoting a lifestyle which conflicts with our religious beliefs.

How do you suppose Rainbow Pride of West Virginia members would respond if I wanted to join their event and request equal time reading from God’s Holy Word?

I am officially making the request. This is an official request to the Mayor’s office as well as to Rainbow Pride officials.  Let’s see if “inclusiveness” leans both directions.

Citizens of Huntington:  It’s time to become equally as tenacious about having our voices heard above the fray as those who would fundamentally change our city.  We do not have to surmise what would become of our city if we allow Mayor Williams and our city’s dark state to continue down this road of destruction.  All one need do is look at the city of San Francisco, where illicit behavior and filth abound.

We must get informed and speak out against progressivism in our city.  Our children rely upon us to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  They also rely upon us to protect them from those who would prey upon their innocence.

God give us the wisdom and desire to prevail.  Convict our hearts should we step out of your will.  Empower and embolden us in its pursuit.

Let “the Power of One” emanate from the “One God Almighty”.

Mark Caserta: President Trump really has divided America

15 Oct

But not in a bad way…

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Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

October 15, 2018


 

Yes, President Donald Trump has, indeed, divided America.  But not in a bad way.

The “Trump Factor”, which employs many successful attributes, is exacerbated by an unapologetic approach by the president to put “America first” in every decision he makes.  This lack of “political correctness” has exposed a growing dichotomy of ideology in our nation and driven people into their metaphorical corners.

In the first camp, we have patriots who love America and seek the continuation of our founding principles. These are God-fearing people who believe our nation is built on Biblical principles and our founding fathers sought direction from the Almighty in framing our U.S. Constitution.

In the second camp, we have dissenters who believe America is the problem and would fundamentally change society to align with their liberal passions.  They believe principles and morality are on a sliding scale and our Constitution is antiquated to our modern-day challenges.

Many of those who’ve lost hope in perpetuating their progressive agenda, suffer from “Trump Anxiety Disorder”, causing them to act and respond irresponsibly to even the simplest of issues.  While funny to watch, it’s disconcerting that many are so hopeless, they now advocate eliminating civility and conversation in lieu of intimidation tactics, up to and including violence.

Keep in mind, these morally depraved individuals are a minority and would be quietly whimpering in the corner in the fetal position, if it wasn’t for the liberal media giving them voice.  Trust me, when I tell you there isn’t anything progressives won’t say or do if it means convincing Americans to disavow the Trump presidency.

This so-called “fake news” is simply a reality of the world in which we live.  Understanding its existence is the first step to returning our country, state and city to greatness. But understanding its purpose, will help each of us circumvent it in our daily lives.

As a reminder, the definition of fake news is “reporting designed to disingenuously influence” rather than to genuinely inform.  The ethical principles of journalism, in stark contrast, have no place in progressive reporting.  Truth in reporting will never stand in the way of a manipulative story for liberals.

Remember, Hillary Clinton, while campaigning for president in 2008, told a story in a speech at George Washington University how she landed “under sniper fire” during a 1996 trip to Bosnia.

“There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport,” Clinton reminisced, “But instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

Too bad the Bosnia war ended in 1995.  The Washington Post debunked her claim with old news footage taken when Clinton landed.  It revealed the former first lady calmly walking away from the plane and greeting people on the tarmac, while an 8-year-old Muslim girl read her a poem.

One can see how this could easily have been mistaken for sniper fire.

How about the 2015 admission of Brian Williams, then a very popular news anchor on NBC, falsely claiming to have been on a helicopter shot down by enemy fire while on a news reporting trip to Iraq in 2003?  Williams told the story numerous times, of how his Chinook helicopter was forced down by rockets and small-arms fire.

But factually, per crew members aboard the craft, Williams and his crew landed prematurely due to an impending sandstorm about to erupt in the Iraqi desert.

Interesting how a seasoned field reporter mistook sand and wind for a ground to air attack.

In both instances, the purpose of these prevarications was to disingenuously inform and influence behaviors conducive to their success and the progressive movement.

An underlying lesson one might also extrapolate from these outright lies, is that liberals welcomed both Clinton and Williams back in their good graces.  Their assets in the progressive theater, obviously outweighed their liability as liars.

Liberals are very predictable in the use of fake news to mislead and influence marginally-informed people around us.  Frankly, without the liberal news media, far-left progressives would be virtually powerless in propagating their agenda.  The bully-pulpit lends itself to impacting the masses.

In a recent study conducted by such authors as Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon, entitled, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” most Americans fit outside the camps of “hard-left” liberals and “hard-right” conservatives.

However, conservatives, in the general sense of the term, far outnumber radical or even moderate liberals.  Christian conservatives continue to be the most powerful voting demographic in the country, when we bind forces.

Based on the report, 25 percent of Americans are traditionally or devoted conservatives.  Of course, that metric varies greatly, depending on geography.  But only 8 percent of Americans consider themselves progressive activists, with views far less typical than either conservatives or moderates. If that 8 percent also varies with geography, the percentage must be miniscule here in Appalachia.

How did Huntington get so lucky to have most of them set up camp downtown?  And if these numbers are accurate, why does the liberal fringe seem to have the loudest voice in the room?

2 reasons: Among the 8 percent, fall the liberal media. They leverage their venue to the fullest. Secondly, Christians are way too lazy and complacent.  In many cases, we’ve simply allowed liberals to have their warped way with our city and our families while we sit on the sidelines waiting on Jesus to return.

I believe Jesus is going to have many hard questions to ask of those who didn’t join the battle.  Our savior took 12 men and shook the world! What have you accomplished with all you’ve been provided?

Consider this colossal attempt at molding history with fake news.

How many media outlets or journalistic pundits predicted Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election? None, but not only did they not predict his victory, they amused themselves before their audiences with the incredulity of the Donald even running for the office!

No doubt, this liberal faction was split among those to whom the possibility of a Trump presidency was so revolting, they couldn’t bring themselves to adequately assess reality, and those who truly believed the American people were so disengaged they couldn’t possibly understand how frustrated most Americans were with failing liberal policies.

Either way, the same liberal loons who assured us of a Clinton victory are the same ones promising us a “blue wave” during the November mid-terms.  Once again, liberal Democrats are attempting to leverage the progressively complicit media in convincing the American people to stay home.

Liberals know the game always must be rigged for them to achieve victory.  And trust me when I tell you, they are shameless in doing so.  All’s fair in love and politics to progressives.

Understand what’s at stake in this November election.

If liberal Democrats regain power in the House of Representatives or the Senate, the least that can happen is the Trump agenda will be slowed.  But the worst is not beyond speculation.

Liberals will work diligently to accomplish the following in a very short period of time:

  • Eliminate Trump’s tax reform and raise your taxes.
  • Seek total and lasting elimination of parameters on abortion.
  • Re-instate EPA powers of regulation over energy industries, including coal.
  • Implement Obamacare to the fullest degree, to include the individual mandate. Once this fails, expect a government orchestrated healthcare system trapping you in its socialist net.
  • Despite our thriving economy, they will work to eradicate all Trump has done to rebuild it.
  • Liberals will work hard to impeach President Trump and Justice Brett Kavanaugh – and anyone else in their way!
  • Return us to the dysfunctionality of the Obama era, to include a lack of respect for America on the global stage.

The list goes on.

Additionally, understand, this liberal agenda will be supported 100% by our liberal leaders right here in Huntington, WV. who sadly, have their priorities for our city upside down.  All one need do is drive through our historic streets to witness first-hand the heartbreaking economic decay.

And as with Washington and the liberal media, our local print media is complicit with Huntington’s progressive agenda.  The leadership of The Herald Dispatch, have caused such degradation of the paper, it’s difficult to read.  And they’re surely no supporter of President Trump’s winning strategies.

Truly the only reason to vote Democrat is if you’re simply tired of winning.

Don’t listen to the media’s fake news.  We can own this election if we get out to vote.

Let’s shock the world and liberal media, once again, by keeping America great and making Huntington great again!

 

Doug Smith: Is Huntington, WV. headed down the same path as San Francisco?

1 Oct

Reflections and so much more from historian and Free State Patriot associate editor, Doug Smith.


 


DOUG FOR FSP

Doug Smith: Historian and Free State Patriot associate editor

October 1, 2018


 

Although I spent many years away from her, the River City of Huntington, WV is my home town. I spent parts of my boyhood there, but my Father’s moves pulled me far afield and I also grew up in Ohio, Virginia, and California. After High School, I became a Navy sailor, and, as one would expect, saw even more of the world and country. These travels give me a somewhat different perspective on my hometown than those who spend their entire lives hanging their hats on a hook in Huntington.

As a boy, there came the point when I was deemed able to take a bus to downtown on a Saturday to walk around and explore. I can remember (Always!) getting a bag of nuts from the Planter s store, sometimes a BLT from Whites, or a Milkshake at the lunch counter at Kresge Department Store, exploring the stores for Christmas gifts, even enjoying a Disney movie and a box of popcorn.  I loved the smell of the bus fumes (a matter of contention: some did, others despised it. To me, it smelled like Huntington) I remember going with my Dad to watch the Thundering Herd, (or the Blundering Bird, as we called them when they blew it started to lose) play Bowling Green.  There were trees to climb, dirt to dig, pop bottles to collect and sell for pocket money. All in all, it was not such a bad place to be a young boy in the late 50s and early 60s.

In 1977, the US Navy sent me off as a 21-year-old young sailor to Mare Island, California, on the North side of the San Francisco Bay, for a 2-month school. I left my young wife and 18-month-old daughter (who imperfectly understood Daddy’s travels: for her I was on the airplane to California for 9 weeks) in WV and went off to further my education as a Submariner. While I was there, I took advantage of my travels to visit Sacramento, Vallejo, and San Francisco. San Francisco was quite the experience.

I had fresh seafood on Fisherman’s Wharf, saw the Ripley s Believe it or Not Museum, went aboard a replica of The Golden Hind; Sir Frances Drake’s ship, had lunch in Chinatown, and took a cab down Lombard Street, one of the curviest in America. I heard street musicians playing bagpipes, string quartets, jazz Saxophone, you name it. I bought an Aran sweater from an Irish import shop. It was quite a place to visit.

I also saw, somewhat to my surprise, a young man with a long raincoat, with many pockets, strolling along and singing, like street vendors his wares: heroin, cocaine, marijuana. Say What?  I had an inkling then that something was not quite right about San Francisco.

Looking at San Francisco today, they are a city which just committed $ 750,000 a year to cleaning up human feces from the streets from their homeless population. They put out maps of where the poo builds up, so you won’t step in it. A medical convention that had been hosted for years cancelled.

San Francisco is far down the path of decades of extreme progressive rule. They have the sort of mind set that rewards failure, undergirds bad mistakes, and punishes hard work and achievement. And they are a living, or perhaps, dying ongoing experiment proving the premise that what you pay for and encourage, you get more of. So, San Francisco becomes a scofflaw city, welcoming illegal aliens with criminal records, rejecting law enforcement, and achieves notoriety when one of their aliens murders a tourist, and is then acquitted by a jury of San Franciscans.

If you were considering visiting and spending your money in San Francisco after hearing of my adventures in 1977, think again.  San Francisco has chosen to be warm and welcoming to IV drug addicts with free clean needles, violent citizens of other countries, homeless street dwellers, while driving off hard working citizens and businesses with high taxes, over regulation, and the highest cost of a place to live in the country. At the same time, they have looked down their elitist noses at the military, which has a long history in the San Francisco Bay area, cops, and business and condemned them and made them feel unwelcome.

Rudy Giuliani took the approach that what you accept, you get more of and proceeded to instruct the NYPD not to tolerate low level crime such as the “squeegee “guys or broken windows. The result? NY under Rudy became one of the safest big cities in the world, as crime overall took a nose dive.  

And San Francisco? Well, ask Kate Steinle. Wait, you can’t, she was murdered in broad daylight on a busy street in San Francisco. In 2017, SF lost more population (moving, not murdered,) than any other city in the US. 46% of current residents plan to move away. Companies have been bailing in droves. Even the Raiders (from Oakland, just across the Bay Bridge,) are moving the franchise to Las Vegas after this season. (Aside: The Las Vegas Raiders? That conjures all sorts of images.)

Pardon the puny allusion to the Poo Problem, but San Fran is circling the drain.

And as for my erstwhile hometown? If you work there, you get to pay an extra fee each week to the City. If you shoot up there, the City will provide you a nice clean needle, since they are all about the safety of IV drug use. Heaven forbid we let it be dangerous or spread disease. Business does not seem high on the list of Huntington priorities. Huntington manages to lose long time businesses to other locales when the choice in Huntington or virtually anywhere else. Once we could beam with pride seeming a bottle from Owens Illinois, or (if one is a Submariner) seeing a Main Sea Water valve stamped DeLavel, Huntington, WV. Not anymore.  

Can you imagine a parent today letting their 10-year-old repeat my adventures on the bus? No peanut shop for them. Nor would they feel safe to wander the streets of Huntington. Nor do businesses feel safe or welcome, in their revenues or hiring employees nor in the safety of their facilities.

Now, how much of this is a result of the liberal, grasping policies of Huntington political leadership?  I’ll leave that as a thought exercise for the residents of Huntington. Walk down pothole filled streets, past boarded up buildings with desperate “For Sale” signs, consider the ¾ million-dollar poop patrol out scooping up what so far, we still deposit in porcelain and send to a treatment plant in Westmoreland, and pause to wonder: Are we doing the same things? And if we are, how far are we from the “poop patrol” and half the population, the working half, fleeing the old town?

Huntington used to be a heck of a town, not the Big Apple, but not so much wrong with it. Not so much anymore. Maybe it is time to alter course.

 

Doug Smith: Some Advice to Progressives and the Younger Generations

16 Sep

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Doug Smith is an historian and Free State Patriot associate editor

September 9, 2018


 

 

As a Conservative, I adhere to the principle that nothing is free:  TANSTAAFL (There aint no such thing as a free lunch). But I am aware that everybody loves a bargain, and lots of people want free stuff.  Having stated my principle regarding “free stuff” in advance by way of fair warning, here is some “free advice and wisdom. Do with it as you will. May it serve you better than your degree in Pre-Columbian-Art from Columbia and your $ 150,000 student loan debt.

  1. You are not always right. Neither are you always wrong. No one gets it right every time, nor do they get it wrong every time.  Will Rogers perhaps said it best: “There was never a horse that couldn’t be rode, and never a rider that couldn’t be throwed.”  A mature, adult human will make peace with these facts and learn a truth from them. Check your assumptions.
  2. Know why you believe what you believe. Be able to defend your articles of faith. Apologetics, from the Greek Apologia, means to make a defense. Arguing your beliefs based on “Mom said so” stops working when you are about 10. Basing it on, “Well you’re mean and ugly and your Mommy dresses you funny” stops at about 5. Challenge your beliefs. If they are true, if they are valid, when you question them, when you question the reasons that you believe them, you will finally come to rock solid evidence of a few basic things you can unshakable believe. This practice will serve you well.  If you can challenge and then defend your own beliefs, you need never fear when they are challenged by others. If you cannot, then you may have built a system of belief with no solid foundation. Truth is not the same as opinion. If someone tells you the truth, be it an author, boss, professor, preacher and you challenge it, dig back to its roots and discover why it is true, it will still be true. This is what we used to call “Education.”
  3. People will disagree with you. That is ok. Hearing ideas you don’t know or believe will hardly kill you, or even hurt you. It may stretch your mind. But (See 1, and 2, above) people who disagree with you are not always wrong, and they are not always right. Know why you believe what you believe and disagree. Debate your position. You may learn something. They may learn something. The moment you refuse to hear any position or opinion other than your own it the moment when you stop learning. Ignorance is curable. Stupidity is not. Bullheadedness is very resistant to treatment. If you try to be protected from hearing speech with which you disagree, you lose the chance to apply principles 1 and 2 and challenge not only yourself, but the one with whom you disagree, to defend their position. If you disagree, and they are wrong, 2 will prove it. If they are right, or a little bit right, 1 will help you learn.
  4. There ARE NO safe spaces. That is an absurd concept. As a growing child, you wanted to get away from Mom and Dad, who wanted to keep you in a safe space, so you could live a more dangerous life. We try to keep children safe enough not to die, but they will climb trees, fall out of them, break bones, skin knees, and live a dangerous life. Life IS dangerous. It WILL eventually kill you. But you are going to have to experience things that might hurt you and learn to survive them, ideas you don’t like and learn to deal with them, or debate them, or reject them, relationships that are challenging, all the parts of being a functional adult. I don’t like snakes. So, I could have stayed in a bubble where I was never around one, protected by my parents. Except: my mother is dead. My Father is 82. I am old enough for Social Security. And there are snakes in the world. I learned to deal with snakes. Don’t reach under a wood pile without lifting it from a distance. Watch where you step in the woods. I did not sit in a safe space from the age of 8 till now to avoid snakes. I learned to deal with a danger in the world in which I lived. So, when it comes to snakes, I am a safe Person, not a person who lives in a safe space. I am also a dangerous person. I ll blow that snake in half and not blink an eye. But I won’t kick a dog or a kid. Be an adult. Be safe when safety is called for, dangerous when danger is called for. Safe spaces? No one lives there. You live in the world. Grow up. Deal with it.
  5. I don’t give a fig about your self-esteem. Neither does anyone else, despite what they told you in schools. I don’t want you to feel good about yourself just for existing. If you are my child, I love you because of who you are, and you are unique and important to me. But to feel good about yourself, DO something. You all have someone who loves you and to whom you are important. I ran track in Jr High School. I sucked. I was not built to be a runner. I got no trophies for participating. My self-esteem was not tied to that. I was a fair musician, and a decent writer, and a great sailor. I feel good about those things. I esteem myself for those accomplishments. You want to feel good about yourself? DO SOMETHING. Get a job. Pay your bills, feel good about doing what you can with your abilities.  If you have high self-esteem and do nothing, you are going to portray a self-importance that will irritate people. DO something.
  6. Let us explore a bit the concept of TANSTAAFL. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Bars used to advertise “Free Lunch.” It was, of course, a lie. Yes, you could come in and drink their beer, and eat a sandwich they had thoughtfully provided. And in doing so, pay more for your beer than you would in a place with no “free” lunch. Guess who bought your lunch? You did. TANSTAAFL.  Some hotel chains provide a (bad) “free” breakfast. Can you figure it out? For the feeble breakfast, or in fairness, sometimes a good breakfast, you are paying more for the room than you would otherwise, or than you would in another hotel down the road. Because? There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Painted across a broader canvass, when your employer provides you with “free” healthcare and gym memberships, they are doing so by paying you less than they would otherwise. And when government offers free stuff, like healthcare, housing, food, needles, education, the list goes on and on endlessly, the principle still applies. And even more so, because government has no money. That bears repeating. Government has no money. How can that be you say, since they have a trillion-dollar budget? Government, has no money, so the money they spend, or promise to spend, must come from somewhere else. Anyone? Bueller? If you have a job, like I do, look at your pay stub. See how much you grossed? See how much was taken out before you got to touch it?  And that, children, is how the government gives free stuff. Not free, because somebody had to work and produce the money to buy that sumptuous lunch. There really is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a cost.
  7. The way to get more is to become worth more. Don’t expect to get more for what you do just by continuing to breathe. If you are worth minimum wage when you are hired, (often a questionable premise) you will become worth more if you learn to do more, if you show you are reliable to show up, if you become better at your job, if you learn to do more and other jobs.  Sorry to shake up what you have undoubtedly heard from politicians and other people who don’t have to pay you, but you are not entitled to a certain wage. If you can’t afford what you want to make what you make, buckle down, work harder, learn more, don’t make obligations you can’t afford (spouse, children, car payment, 1000-dollar cell phone), and improve your lot. No one owes you a good living. No one owes you a Living, period. The compact under which we live is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So, you get to live, and are free to earn your living as you see fit. You are not entitled to eat my food.
  8. Most people don’t care that you can quote French poetry or determine which period in Chinese history produced a vase, of if you have read Das Capital, the Little Red Book, or Upton Sinclair. They care if you smell bad. Take a shower. They care if you keep your word. Don’t make promises you cannot or will not keep. They care if you pay your bills. Pay what you owe. Earn what you expect to receive and expect to receive what you earn. Giving, or receiving charity is a choice. Forced generosity, however grand sounding we make it, is simply theft. Be a good neighbor, whether on a tree lined street, in a tall building, or in a barracks. Be kind, speak gently, be ready to help when you can. It is far easier to deal with the results of living this way.
  9. Despite the social chic that has tried to show otherwise, it is a good thing to love your country and your people, and to defend them. Patriotism is not reflected by despising and finding constant fault with your country. It is in defending and supporting it.  If you are an American, you live in a nation that is wealthier, freer, and more desirable than any nation in the history of the world. She has grown and become steadily better, correcting inequities, and learning from failures, in a way few others have done. If you focus on the 10% that needs improvement, you miss the 90% that is laudable. Note that for all the bluster of the wealthy chic every 4 years, few leave this country. None who lack the resources to live in luxury, insulated from the realities of other countries do so. Many, on the contrary, desperately seek to come here. Reflect on those truths. And find a sense of gratitude. You will find that the vast majority of people who have worked to build the country, who have fought and sacrificed to keep it secure, or who have buried those who did, will honor that sense of gratitude far better than the child throwing a tantrum because his cake is not big enough.
  10. Equality means the game is the same and the rules are the same for everyone. It does not mean we will all get the same.  There is no shame in the guy who pushes a broom down the halls of a hospital, but I expect that the Surgeon who says good morning to him will make more money. A lot more. If you expect otherwise, then hand the scalpel to the janitor and have him remove your appendix. There is no equality of outcome, because people are created equal, and there the similarities cease. We could mandate that Thom Edison will make exactly the same as the push broom operator. But the push broom operator will give us clean floors. Thom gave us light bulbs, recording equipment, movie cameras, electricity in our homes, microphones, fluoroscopic X Ray systems, well, I could go on. I’m ok that Edison made more than the guy who swept out his lab. If we are all to have equal outcomes, then they must, necessarily, be those of the least capable among us. Paying the guy on the broom a million bucks won’t make him produce a light bulb, paying Edison 10 bucks pretty much ensures that he won’t, either.

These are a few truths based on life and observation of the human condition. Life exists in places other than student centers on campuses and coffee shops. Those of us who live out here in the world learn these things by trial and error, often more error. But learn them we do. Come, join us in the adult world. It is not the rainbows and unicorns you may be expecting, but it is not such a bad world. We mange. Grow up and join us.

 

Doug Smith: Free State Patriot is a conservative blog on a mission

23 Aug

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Doug Smith is a historian who proudly served our nation in the Navy aboard the submarine “USS Gato”.  He is also Free State Patriot associate editor

August 23, 2018


 

Mark Caserta began a blog in 2013 as an adjunct to the regular conservative commentary he was contributing in newspapers.  The idea was simple: to expose the Progressive Movement. This is more necessary than it sounds. 

The history of the Progressive Movement is that it cannot win in the public arena of ideas, or in a straight up battle of candidates in an election. To put it more personally, progressives, the folks who adhere to that movement, cannot win with the truth. They never run up the middle toward their goal: it is always an end run or a back-alley deal.  Why? Because their ideas and nutty, and anathema to most common-sense people. So, they lie, they deceive, the alter the meaning of words, the promise the moon, in order to get power, then they do whatever they wish.

 Make no mistake, the Progressive Movement is ALL about gaining power, then enforcing their ideas on the unwilling, who, in their eyes, must be unenlightened if they have the temerity to disagree with them. They (so their thinking goes,) are the best and the brightest, and everyone will be better off if we are in charge. In the Progressive mind, the Founders were wrong to restrict the power of the Government to protect the People (the purpose of the Bill of Rights), instead, they insist, the role of Government is to make people be, and act, like they think they should, and govern based on what “ought to be, “rather than what is.  They are not fans of individual liberty, and certainly not of this great experiment in, as President Lincoln noted, “Government of the people, for the people, and by the people. “

 But people are cantankerously self-interested, and a lot of the old saws of wisdom remain true, despite the most voluble protests of the Progressives:

 There really Aint no such thing as a free lunch

 If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. If you give him a fish, he will eat today. And then come back tomorrow to get another fish.

 And, in Progressiveland, vote Democrat.

 Their ideas are unpopular, not simply because, as they would have it, no one is quite as bright, or virtuous, or will intentioned, as they, but because their ideas are nutty, wrongheaded, ignoring basic truths of human existence, and more importantly, always, always, result in misery and destruction.

 Ronald Reagan quipped that the scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Given that Progressives are firm believers that all things good and worthwhile come from government, he might well have said, I m a Progressive, and I’m here to help YOU.

 Not convinced?  In 1916, Woodrow Wilson ran for re Election on the campaign of “He Kept Us out of the War (WW1)”, and “Too Proud to Fight”. Indeed, in early 1917, the war was winding down, with both sides weary of fighting and nearing a settlement. Wilson won, and was Inaugurated in January, 1917. In April 1917, he went to Congress to request to go to war with Germany. So much for his promises. And the results of Wilson s “best and brightest” leading?  Over 300,000 American casualties, Wilson largely responsible for the Treaty of Versailles, which set in motion a chain of events that led to WW2, and the deaths of 80 million people worldwide.

 The Great Society of LBJ and his War on Poverty has spent 20 Trillion dollars, and done little to reduce poverty. Back to the fish analogy, if we feed a man a fish, and reward his ability to breath and show up every day for a fish, we pass out a lot of fish, but we don’t get many fishermen. Nothing is more costly, less efficient, or longer lasting than a temporary government program.

 We believe, based on observation of our country and our world, that the greatest thing to raise people out of misery and poverty are the property rights and free market protected by our Founders. They understood that all rights have to do with property.

 Every man beneath his vine and fig tree, and none shall make him afraid. None shall prune his vine or pick his figs, either, he must do so for himself and sell them or eat them.  American, since its founding, has done more to raise the economic status and individual freedom of more people than any other nation in history. It is a nation, at its core, not of “immigrants”, as our Progressive friends would tell us, but of ideas. Our Founders formed this nation on the notion that any who came to embrace our ideas and build a strong country on that basis were welcome to roll up their sleeves and jump in.

 Our founding principles are good and sound. That is why we extoll their strength and virtue, as well as exposing the moral bankruptcy of the Progressives.

 Never before, or since, in history, has a nation fought a war to give rights to men who were enslaved. Never before has a nation gone to war to rescue and free other people from tyranny without keeping the land that they subdued.

 Never before has any nation so totally been a draw to outsiders to come and live in it, or to turn to it for help in times of trouble. No nation in the world worries that taking money or food or medicine from the United States will cause it to be subjugated.

 America is unique in history, unique among the nations of the world, unique in her peoples and her core ideals. This we believe.

 So our purpose here at FSP is to educate about the strengths and sound ideas of America, to expose the deceit and bad, dangerous ideas of the Progressives and the Left, and by shining light on both, encourage people to choose the good, sound, tried and true principles and ideas that have built, not a “ Perfect Day” , not a Utopia, but “ A more perfect union,” that is devoted to “ securing the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to ourselves and our posterity.”

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