Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dump Freeborn

this is an audio post - click to play
General congratulations are in order for the winners of our recent city elections, hard fought and handily won by the so-called progressive political element in Asheville. The remaining question before an empowering public now is who should properly fill the two-year City Council vacancy left open by the transference of Ms. Terry Bellamy from Council-member to Mayor.

Even though failed candidate Bryan Freeborn received the fifth-highest number of votes overall, with 7,319 just behind Dr. Joe Dunn's 8,004 votes, sheer popularity among partisans cannot be made the sole criterion for selecting a candidate to represent a diverse body-politic until the next election offers that citizenry an opportunity for course-correction.

I contend that the extreme left-wing activist Bryan Freeborn is unfit for service on the Asheville City Council due mainly to his well-documented character flaws, his juvenile flouting of municipal authority, and his demonstrated disdain for the sober process of the law.

In view of Dr. Dunn's new-found revulsion for local politics, I suggest we look for another grown-up for this important post. And, in my view, that grown-up is Chris Pelly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Best Little Town in the South?

"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." -- Thomas Jefferson

IN THIS GENTLE AUTUMN SEASON, as the trees shed their colors, we find ourselves once again looking deep into the landscape to spy what nature’s unveiling reveals.

Every shack and chalet, once hidden, peeks through a naked row of trees to announce themselves to our consciousness. We are again reminded that things long-concealed by cover can quickly lose their seeming distance and rejoin a visible scenery.

And winter's closing in.

Now, in our fair town, the revelations of nature find their counterpart in the stark arena of human action. An election season has come—and passed—and it has brought with it a similar shedding of cover that lays bare something long-suspected but only just out of sight: A creeping statist vision of command-and-control that seeks to aggressively plan the minutiae of your life, to further constrain individual liberties, and to control dissent through media puppet-masters and the raw exercise of governmental power.

In many ways, Asheville has readied herself for this moment. Committee after committee has churned out page after page of reports and recommendations that address every aspect of the life we used to freely choose. Now those choices will be made for us. And our talents and creativity will be brought to heel to serve the vision of a rising New Class and the Prophets of Order who cheerfully propose to engineer a better life for your own good. Their methods, among others, will include interference in the marketplace, oppression through taking, coercion through regulation, and relentless demands for conformance. Coupled with this approach is a cool indifference to property rights and an overt hostility toward the regional values and traditions that have carefully built up a foundation of permanence and hope.

Let’s look at some of the several ways the elites plan to reconstruct and micromanage your lives:

The HUB Project
Sustainable Economic Development Strategic Plan
Asheville City Development Plan 2025
Downtown Asheville City Center Plan
Greenway Master Plan
Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness
Pedestrian and Bicycle Thoroughfare Plan
Eng Dept Addendum to the Pedestrian Plan
Long Range Transportation Plan 2030
Consolidated Strategic Housing and Comm Dev Plan
Coming Soon: The $40,000 Bike Plan (yes, merely the plan)

I challenge you to read and fully comprehend the consequences of any of these monstrosities. The HUB Project alone will leave your head spinning with its sweep and ambition.
“The 2025 Plan is one of things I first want to look at.” –Terry Bellamy

“The city already has a good plan [the 2025 Plan], but the current majority of council chooses to ignore it.” –Robin Cape

“Ride more bikes.” –Bryan Freeborn
Yes, rather than tend to the proper role of city government—which is to provide basic services and protect individual rights—the giggly inmates are running the asylum and they have their eyes on your change-purse.

The chief activity conducted by the Asheville City Council consists of civil piracy. I'll be damned if they think they can take my private property and money so they can build a network of bike paths for Bryan Freeborn and the Speedo concession. Yes, we want your money--"AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO!"

And they have the gall to call themselves progressive. Progressive?! Hey, look: Cancer is progressive. Seriously though, "progressive" is a just a euphemism for “Leftist.” What the progressives are advocating is a hundred years old--and it didn't work then. The Leftists are about as progressive as the Piltdown Man.

When they do ask for input on how best to spend their greedy accumulation of tax dollars, my response is simple: “Give it back and then stop confiscating it. It's not the role of government to take property from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not. If you want to help people afford housing, stop forcing people to live in high-density like lab rats, stop raising taxes, stop scaring away businesses, development and jobs and give up your overblown pipe-dreams of yellow-brick bike paths and rickshaws to Utopia.”

The day when these elitist visions were held in abeyance is over. The voices of reason have been sent packing; or allowed to stay and bark in a darkened corner. Joe Dunn has been voted off City Council and Carl Mumpower is in the extreme minority of one. There is little left now to stand between the tax-producers and the tax-consumers.

The voters have spoken and you would think that they want you to live in a crunchy-green Disneyland scrubbed clean of the flesh-and-blood serendipity of human action; the open process of free minds operating in free markets that dares to craft its own path to happiness without the arrogance of effete intellectuals trumping the common sense of free men and women at every turn.

You can relax your fervor and passion for life lived on your own terms. Remember folks, the expensive reports listed above are not simply lovely suggestions on how the free market ought to operate. These are P-L-A-N-S for Y-O-U. They are enforceable only by the iron police power of government. You must conform to the directives of your betters or suffer the consequences. You can have it “any way you like it” as long as you like it the way we make it.

If you had any thoughts on how you want to live your lives free from government interference or how you’d like to preserve the lifestyle you have come to cherish, forget it. It’s all been done; it has already been thought of. You are no longer needed. When the newly-formed City Council convenes this month, you will be officially in the way. If you can’t get with the program, City Council will certainly be about the business of thinning the herd. They can do what they like. After all, they have received a mandate.

What the City of Asheville is rushing toward is not unknown in history.
"Socialism is the doctrine that no person has the right to exist for his own sake; that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, and that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good." -Ayn Rand
This doctrine denies that rights belong to the individual; specifically, the right to use and dispose of your property as you see fit within legal limits.

Socialism claims that all life, all liberty, all property, all money—indeed, all constituents and products of an individual's life—are commodities of the state to monitor, regulate and distribute at its whim and pleasure without pain of consent.

This political ideology defines you, in fact, as chattel; a servant of the state: a slave; with no say ultimately in how the products of your achievement are to be valued, used and disposed of. Your life—your very being—is a resource to be measured and constrained, or parceled out to you as the government sees fit to satisfy its ephemeral whimsy. All property belongs to the state and government will determine to what extent you may possess any remnants.

Anyone denied freedom in his person and the use of the fruits of his labor is a 'de facto' slave at the end of a chafing leash. The names and faces of our masters change from time to time with each election but in the end we are only haggling over the length of the leash.

So, as you drive your favorite privately-owned vehicle through the winding streets and washed out roads in and around greater Asheville, take the time to peer out into the landscape to see how autumn has uncovered the little secret bits along the roadside that now come into full view.

And also reflect on that other secret that is now coming clearly into view: That under a local government that blithely relishes lurching toward socialism, the New Class is fast at work fashioning “the best little town in the South.”

The air here is now cooling. The chilly winds will supplant the sun’s warming rays. The unfriendliest season is fast upon us; where the snowbirds--and others--get the urge for going.

And winter's closing in.