Bothwell atheism “controversy” spreads on the Web

Bothwell atheism “controversy” spreads on the Web-attachment0

It seems the only place people aren’t shouting about this week’s swearing in of new Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell is Asheville. Blogs, including that of the Washington Post, have lit up about the “controversy” over Bothwell, a “post-theist” who earlier identified as an atheist, taking his seat.

The controversy began with Asheville Citizen-Times stories on Monday and Tuesday. The latter was titled, “Critics of Cecil Bothwell Cite N.C. Bar to Atheists.” It quoted only one opponent, H.K. Edgerton, a former president of the Asheville NAACP best known locally for walking around town brandishing a Confederate flag, as saying that the state constitution would keep Bothwell, a builder, author and former Xpress writer and editor, from holding office.

While article 6, section 8 of the North Carolina Constitution does deny office to “any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God,” such state bans have been routinely trumped by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly prohibits any religious tests for public office. A similar ban in Maryland was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court back in 1961.

Since the articles came out, the proverbial Internet flood gates have opened, with national blogs from across the political spectrum weighing in, including such varied groups and viewpoints as Americans United For Separation of Church and State, Hot Air, Thought Crimes, Atheist News and Views, One Good Move, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religous Liberty and the interestingly named House of Zot. USAtheists even declared that Bothwell was denied his seat, which he wasn’t.

For all the hubbub elsewhere, Bothwell, who came in third in the November election, took his seat in City Hall on Tuesday without event, choosing to affirm his oath of office instead of swear on a copy of the Bible. No one shouted, no one tried to seriously challenge his right to do so, and he got an enthusiastic round of applause.

Besides, says Bothwell, he doesn’t really consider himself an “avowed atheist,” as the original article tagged him.

“That word’s become loaded. It carries a sense of being evangelical about your atheism. In that sense, I’m more agnostic,” Bothwell tells Xpress. “I prefer the term ‘post-theist.’ The key issue here is that there is no religious test for public office.”

“I’m definitely surprised: It’s right on the verge of being created news,” he says about the Internet reaction. “The way the Citizen-Times has presented it — talking about ‘critics’ when they only quote one person, for example — they really seem to be trying to stir up the blogosphere.”

As for the characterization of Bothwell as an atheist, that too has its roots online: a now-defunct MySpace page for his 2008 County Commissioner campaign listed him as an atheist.

As for Edgerton, he’s listed in most of the blog posts simply as “a former president of the Asheville NAACP.” While that’s true, Edgerton is better known around Asheville for the Confederate-flag waving and his support for the so-called Southern Heritage movement (something the original Citizen-Times stories did mention).

While Bothwell’s getting most of the Internet spotlight over the issues, Edgerton’s own public activities have inspired a satirical Xpress forum post, H.K. Edgerton: A Life Devoted to Performance Art, by forums administrator Steve Shanafelt.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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258 thoughts on “Bothwell atheism “controversy” spreads on the Web

  1. Peacewarrior

    We need to abide by the state consitution. If people think it is passe for an office holder to not believe in God, then get it changed. Until such a time, the law is the law.

    Asheville is still in the Bible Belt. Thank God. We celebrate our faith in God here. And this faith has helped greatly preserve this area as a family friendly place where people from other states want to move to. Ironically, after they have often spoiled their own states of origin by the very same no-absolutes nihilism they try to push here.

    Don’t believe in God? Who breathes your body at night when you are asleep?

  2. travelah

    I can’t imagine why anybody would care about any of this. How do his religious views affect his role on the pot hole and sidewalk committe of City Council or whatever mundane assignment he finds himself doing?

  3. shadmarsh

    I am still waiting for the national rallying cry to whatever that Chad Nesbitt promised us all. That and the mythical injunction that he said had been filed. So much hot air…

  4. Contrary to the theocrats of olde who injected the bigotry of religious intolerance into the North Carolina Constitution, I support councilman Bothwell’s right to be irreligious.

    And I condemn those modern-day theocrats who would consider a religious test for public office to be appropriate.

  5. tatuaje

    As is being talked about over on the MX forums (http://www.mountainx.com/forums/viewthread/2657/),
    it’s fairly amusing that the far right religious conservatives who caused this kerfluffle are seeing their political machinations backfire horribly.

    This is doing nothing but boost sales for Cecil’s book, thereby perhaps making him thousands of dollars, and garner him national attention that could very well segue into a run for national political service.

    I’m glad Cecil will be the one to show this heinous, out-dated law for what it is and finally shame the state into removing it from the books.

  6. tatuaje

    This story has now made it too the Huffington Post and has garnered close to a thousand comments there.

    Well played Chad Nesbitt!

    Your master plan seems to be working!

    Brilliant political maneuvering, sir!

  7. This is just such BS. I read through the affirmation of office and considered it to be quite reasonable.

    As a Quaker, I don’t take oaths, I don’t swear on the bible. The Friends have always insisted on separating church and state. Seriously why would a Wiccan, Hindu or Muslim swear an oath on a book they have never read and wouldn’t believe?

    So I believe in God but would never swear that oath, where does this rank me in the Bible Belt?

  8. Anasazi

    His belief in god is no more relevant to his affairs as a councilman than his preference for a particular color or favorite salad dressing.

  9. Matt Mittan

    Wow… I’m amazed that what started off as a question about conflict in state constitutional language on “Take a Stand!” a week and a half ago has led to this… LOL I only brought it up as a sidebar contrast during the whole Buncombe County prayer issue. I was just trying to make a larger point about governmental disconnect. Oops… Sorry Cecil. :)

  10. travelah

    BrianK, that puts you in reasonable company. Most Christians don’t give it much thought and if they did, they might consider your stance.

  11. Randy Bolton

    This heres the Bible Belt. Yup. It is. We pray here. We swear on a Bible in court and in govment meetings. Don’t like it? Move back to New Jersey. The last thang we need is somebody from up north tellin us how to do are business.

    Got a idea. Cecel. Go to church this Sunday, take a knee, and give yer heart to Jesus. That make everthing right and make folks happy. Y’all might even learn ta love them rightwingers you keep getin yer red flag up about.

    Praise Jesus! Amen!

  12. Barry Summers

    Okay, H.K. Edgerton… According to his website and the Georgia Secretary of State, his organization, “Southern Heritage 411, Inc”, shares an address, phone number, PO Box, and CEO with “Barber and Company”, a printing company in Odum, GA.

    Go to his website – he asks that donations go to:

    “Southern Heritage 411 Inc.
    P.O. Box 220
    Odum GA 31555″

    http://www.southernheritage411.com/contributions.shtml

    This is the same address as several other companies, all owned by one Dewey Wayne Barber. The Sec. of State lists Dewey as the CEO of “Southern Heritage 411, Inc.” Harold Edgerton is listed as CFO:

    http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?1227231

    Dewey Wayne Barber is also the CEO of “Barber and Company”:

    http://barberandcompany.com/p/about-us

    What does Barber and Company sell, you ask with some trepidation?

    The bumper stickers of Obama as a witch doctor? Yep:

    http://barberandcompany.com/barber_store/view_details?department_id=21&item_id=17185

    The t-shirts of Obama as a Muslim ape swinging from a tree? Sure, we got those:

    http://barberandcompany.com/barber_store/view_details?department_id=20&item_id=13652

    And plenty more. It appears that some of the most vile racist crap you can buy is printed and sold by the same people that H.K. Edgerton is in business with. If this Cecil thing turns into a legal fight, now we have an idea who will be paying the bills.

  13. shadmarsh

    on the plus side, Barber and Company does offer “Genuine Quality” not that fake ass quality!

  14. entopticon

    Peacewarrior/Cullen is never short on crazy rhetoric, but he has managed to outdo himself here. Of course, his endless xenophobic obsession with imagining Asheville to be some kind of 1950′s-esque oasis from all the evils of multiculturalism in the cities of the North is always pretty nuts, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised by this theocratic insanity.

    When I pointed out to him that in reality Asheville’s murder rate is actually significantly higher than NYC’s, he told me that I must be insane, because that fact doesn’t gel with the delusional narrative that he has created for himself. When I showed him the actual statistics irrefutably proving my claim, he went silent, assumedly because the imposition of reality on his confabulated fantasy was too much to bear without his head exploding.

    H.K. Edgerton and Peacewarrior would actually make a pretty good team; two peas in a pod really. One pining for the days of the Confederacy, and the other for the pre civil rights South. They could just mix it all up in a Civil War/civil rights reenactment using bayonets, fire hoses, and German shepherds.

  15. Barry Summers

    Matt said “Wow… I’m amazed that what started off as a question about conflict in state constitutional language on “Take a Stand!” a week and a half ago has led to this… LOL”

    Way to jump back out in front of the parade, Matt. You must be very proud. Uh-oh – How will you secure the merchandise rights? Hey – I hear H.K. knows some t-shirt guys down in Georgia.

    This is picking up attention worldwide. Thanks – Really thanks a lot. As a woman from Australia said on AC-T yesterday:

    “We’re not laughing with you – we’re laughing at you.”

  16. travelah

    Matt is about promoting Matt. There is nothing wrong with that. It is how he manages to support himself in Asheville. Give him a break.

  17. Barry writes: “Way to jump back out in front of the parade, Matt.”

    Matt Mittan did not jump in front of any parade. He started the conversation on this issue on his radio program.

    Check your dates. Matt Mittan brought this up on Friday, December 4th. http://is.gd/5l5hp

    AC-T picked it up the following Monday. MX on Thursday. And now you on Saturday.

    Way to jump on the caboose.

  18. Barry Summers

    Check your own dates, Tim Peck(1). And while you’re at it, check my quote. I said “back in front”.

    Yes, I listened to Matt on Friday, and I called in as soon as I heard him telling folks there was some legal issue that they could use to keep Cecil off Council. “This provision in the state constitution was rendered unenforceable by the US Supreme Court 50 years ago,” I said. It’s one of those laws or provisions that are still on the books, but everyone (with a brain) knows that it’s irrelevant, and we’re just waiting til the next Constitutional Convention to remove it. (He knew all this, of course, but I thought I’d try to tell his listeners.)

    Matt ignored it & hung up on me, as usual when someone tries to rain on his pot-stirring parade. He went on for the next two hours misleading his listeners to think that Cecil shouldn’t be sworn in because it violates state law.

    Progressives won a majority on Council – sorry if that makes your head explode, but there it is. Having lost at the polls, people like Matt have now made it their hobby to try to distract or hobble Cecil. It has nothing to do with religion, but that won’t stop the Matts, Chads, and HKs of the world from trampling honest people’s beliefs into the mud of Buncombe politics.

  19. Matt Mittan

    Barry said: “Matt ignored it & hung up on me, as usual when someone tries to rain on his pot-stirring parade. He went on for the next two hours misleading his listeners to think that Cecil shouldn’t be sworn in because it violates state law.”

    This is the beauty of having podcasts that people can freely listen to on their own. 1) I didn’t hang up on you. 2) I said that what you mentioned was something I would follow up on. 3)I NEVER said at any time he shouldn’t be sworn in. I asked people what THEY thought should be done. MY stand was and is to take the language OUT of the state constitution.

    Sounds like somebody got their ego bruised Barry.

  20. Piffy!

    [b]Matt Mittan did not jump in front of any parade. He started the conversation on this issue on his radio program.

    Check your dates. Matt Mittan brought this up on Friday, December 4th. http://is.gd/5l5hp

    AC-T picked it up the following Monday. MX on Thursday. And now you on Saturday.

    Way to jump on the caboose. [/b]

    Close, tim. But, as usual, Real Life follows the lead of the Forums, when brebro pointed out this issue last July.

    http://www.mountainx.com/forums/viewthread/1506/P45/#34346

  21. Barry Summers

    Matt

    As many people will likely tell you, my ego is just fine, thanks.

    You just confirmed my point. You continued on for two + hours with:

    “The state constitution says that Cecil shouldn’t be sworn in. What do YOU think should happen?” Of course, the majority of your listeners are going to say, “Well, if it says that in the constitution, then he shouldn’t be sworn in. Let’s get outraged.”

    I never ONCE heard you say, “Although, now that we’ve looked into it, it appears that this question is moot – the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously on this 50 years ago, and that trumps our constitution, so there’s absolutely no point in leading people to believe that there’s a legal issue here. Anybody feel like expending a huge amount of energy convening a state Constitutional Convention over this one line in the text that will never be enforced? No? Neither do I.”

    But no, instead, you let the pot simmer, stir occasionally, voila! Artificial controversy whipped up!

    It’s intellectually dishonest of you to say that your intention wasn’t to stir something up. Sorry.

    And now, people all over the country and even around the world are saying, “Those people in Asheville don’t even seem to understand how their Constitution works within a federal system. Maybe they should spend more money on their school system…”

  22. Piffy!

    Barry, i think you may misunderstand matt and his process. I suspect it is very likely he was rilin’ up the locals in order to shed light on this issue. His job is to talk about local issues, in language local scan understand. You are right, he stirs the pot. He’s a personality on a radio talk show. That’s their job. I’m glad he was able to get people talking about this. Getting people about things is a good thing.

  23. Barry Summers

    There’s no avoiding the flatly partisan aspect of this – “stirring the pot”? The point for Matt, Chad, H.K., etc. is to cause Cecil and the people who voted for him a whole lot of trouble, simply because they disagree with us politically. Period.

  24. Piffy!

    I don’t think stirring the pot is inherently partisan, and in my opinion, lumping Matt into the same category as Chad and Edgerton is off-target. Matt gets people talking, Chad is deeply partisan, and Edgerton appears somewhat bonkers (although gloriously so).

    Personally, i find Matt’s approach quite annoying a good portion of the time, but to claim his approach on this issue is partisan is just lacking the facts, IMO. He often ‘takes a stand’ on some very worthwhile issues, and his contribution to the community dialogue is a million times more constructive than Chad’s. Just my perspective.

    Look at the end result of all of this; Making a big deal out of this issue got Bothwell even more notoriety, gave the community a chance to open dialogue on their differences of opinion when it comes to politics and religion, and maybe made Chad put his foot in his mouth by claiming to file an injunction “for the LOL’s” –All great outcomes, IMO.

  25. jimmytwotimes

    From Barry:
    “And now, people all over the country and even around the world are saying, ‘Those people in Asheville don’t even seem to understand how their Constitution works within a federal system. Maybe they should spend more money on their school system…’”
    Do the majority of people in Asheville know how this works? What about the majority of people period?
    We really should spend more money on our school system.

  26. Peacewarrior

    Barry: “Matt
    As many people will likely tell you, my ego is just fine, thanks.”

    Barry, you completely missed his point. As any reader of your posting history can attest to, you do have an ego that is sometimes easily riled up when you are confronted with an opposing opinion. And your assumption that Matt’s audience thinks a certain way about this issue is flatout incorrect. How would you know? I am along time listener. Matt has always had all points of view on his show. In fact Matt prides himself on his independence from political dogma.

    And Barry, pleeze, your whining about “The point for Matt, Chad, H.K., etc. is to cause Cecil and the people who voted for him a whole lot of trouble, simply because they disagree with us politically. Period.” is rather unbecoming for a man who bravely fought the Pack Square development so successfully.

    Barry, relax, and let the opposing views be aired without your knee-jerk impulse to “defend” and “label” so quickly. The world is not divided into the good liberals and the evil non-liberals.

    I saw a post up line a bit with an ironic piece of advise for Cecil. Now that you are an official politician Cecil, perhaps it would be good to have a photo op at a local church proving that you go now and then. That just may put an end to this brouhou.

  27. Bert

    If only more politicians believe in God; I don’t think we have enough homophobia, death penalty, wars, and environmental degradation.

  28. Jessica B.

    Peacewarrior says: “We need to abide by the state consitution. If people think it is passe for an office holder to not believe in God, then get it changed. Until such a time, the law is the law.”

    Actually, the State Constitution negates this “law” itself.

    Sec. 5. Allegiance to the United States.
    Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.

  29. Barry Summers

    “I don’t think stirring the pot is inherently partisan, and in my opinion, lumping Matt into the same category as Chad and Edgerton is off-target. Matt gets people talking, Chad is deeply partisan, and Edgerton appears somewhat bonkers (although gloriously so).”

    A. I didn’t say that “stirring the pot” is inherently partisan. It can also be just for fun, or to try to profit financially. In this case, as in many in the past, it’s Matt’s style to stir up something controversial in order to promote himself and his radio show. The fact is that it ALSO almost always seems be politically partisan, with the targets usually being on the left.

    B. The only lumping together of these three I did is that they oppose Cecil. Their various approaches and roles, as you enumerate, constitute the stupid and dishonest way things get done around here:

    “Matt gets people talking”. (There’s no pretending that there is potentially political damage for Cecil if this turns into a big deal. Simply saying that “Oh, I only brought it up so that we can talk about removing the provision from the Constitution,” is not really honest, IMHO.)

    “Chad is deeply partisan”. (Right – Matt knows his audience; he “brings up” things, in a carefully moderate tone, but then sits back & doesn’t interfere when the ‘partisans’ amongst his listeners take their cue: in this case, “Forget about changing the Constitution, Matt. We have to stop this darned atheist from getting sworn in.”)

    “Edgerton appears somewhat bonkers”. (And a matter of a few days after Matt “brings up” something, Chad & others make it “partisan”, you’ve got H.K. the “bonkers” of the hour, getting himself in the paper and beyond, claiming that Cecil shouldn’t be sworn in.)

    Voila!

    I’m not saying there is a conspiracy by these three guys, I’m saying that it’s dishonest to suggest that Matt simply “gets people talking”, and had no intention of creating potential problems or political damage for Cecil. Of course he did. Why can’t he and you admit that?

    In any case, my guess is that Cecil will weather this fine. What will be the next phony controversy? Tune in tomorrow to find out!!

  30. travelah

    Cecil should be left to his own devices. This whole non-event is foolishness and already settled law. … with regard to his “post-theism”, the father of it said it best followed by a taste of reality.

    “God is Dead” – Nietzsche 1882
    “Nietzsche is Dead” – God 1900

  31. Piffy!

    [b]There’s no pretending that there is potentially political damage for Cecil if this turns into a big deal.[/b]

    You sure about that? Bothwell is actually gaining a small amount of national recognition because of this, and this sort of non-issue (as travelah points out above) only serves to deepen the divide between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. In addition, it may get that archaic piece of wording removed from the NC Constitution. Everyone wins (except Chad, who still looks like a sillywilly)

    So, thanks, matt mitan!

  32. Barry Summers

    I said the intent was to do damage to Cecil. I didn’t say it was smart, or pulled off well, or wouldn’t blow up in their faces. I think it was pretty sad, actually, and you’re right, lead to unintended consequences…

    As to the wording, who wants to be the one to wrangle the 3/5ths majority out of both Houses, and then a statewide majority in a special election, just to eliminate ‘God’ from our Constitution? I want to see the provision removed too, but I’m content to let it sit unenforced until the next Constitutional Convention. We’ve got more important things to deal with.

  33. Barry Summers

    Peacewarrior, I’m gonna ignore most of what you wrote – sorry. But this?:

    “And Barry, pleeze, your whining … is rather unbecoming for a man who bravely fought the Pack Square development so successfully.”

    Can I say WTF on this forum?

  34. Bert

    People, we have let this issue be blown up by a black man who flies the Confederate flag and a Christian who thinks Christianity is about wishing syphilis on your political enemies. The inmates really are running the asylum.

  35. Alan Ditmore

    Hopefully, Bothwell can bring Asheville such a global reputation for progressive leadership, that it will attract gay and nonchristian taxpayers and tourists from all over the world. So this is all free advertizing for Asheville tourism. With this we could top Vegas! Ever hear of conflict tourism?
    But Bothwell needs to follow through and lead the effort to end invocations, and the county may need to slow down enough to let him lead if he needs more than 3 weeks, which he will judging from the quotes indicating he is not in a hurry, maybe someone needs to hurry up and sue Asheville.
    For me this could temporarily even take priority over gay benefits for the environment.

  36. Alan Ditmore

    If people from the surrounding areas would just shop closer to home and not drive to Asheville, they could also save a lot of gasoline and help the environment. They would also bring jobs to the suburbs so that suburbanites would not have to commute in either, saving even more gas. While they made more room in Asheville for more housing and hotels for all the gay and nonchristian conflict tourists.
    So PLEASE stop shopping in Asheville, your absence will help a great deal. However we do need Christian highway bypasses so you will not have to drive through Asheville to get from Weaverville to Swannanoa.

    Replying to LouisaElizabethe:
    makes me want to shop in another state….God help us all when this kind of people move in and take over Asheville, NC

    I WILL do my shopping elsewhere. That is one effective way to protest. If enough folks cease to shop in Asheville, the voting may change the next time around.

  37. Barry Summers

    Cecil will be on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC tonight (Monday) at 9:45, and Bill Press on Air America tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8:30 am.

  38. Bothwell controversary spreads on to national media. Hot-damn that was a foolish move by the folks who wanted to prevent Cecil from taking his rightfully voted in position. rotflmao

  39. travelah

    Alan, look around and take in the view. Asheville is already pretty much a dump where it matters most to the “progressive” community. It suffers from low wage scale jobs, run down and over priced housing, growing vacancy rates, an anti-business attitude BUT it has a drum circle and what? … six local craft breweries, pizza joints, coffee shops and a few places to buy a knit rag top cap with just the right colors to allow you to blend in with everybody else doing the same thing.
    Seriously, look at what your culture has produced at the end of the day. Pesonally, I do not begrudge you the right to build your community just as you wish it. More power to you. Just don’t be surprised when the place gets dumpier by the day.

  40. [b]There’s no pretending that there is potentially political damage for Cecil if this turns into a big deal.[/b]

    How do you figure that? He’s already been elected and sworn in. He’s being made into a hero of the religious tolerance and civil liberties set for something he didn’t even start. He’s being talked about positively on MSNBC, and very few people outside of the extreme religious right — not exactly his voter base — are going to say that he shouldn’t be allowed to take office because of what the NC Constitution says, never mind that it was ruled irrelevant in the 1960s.

    This is a total and complete backfire — an inarguable one, as far as I can tell — with Cecil reaping all of the benefit. And now he has some exposure to a much, much larger audience than he ever would have as a City Council member. I’d be willing to bet Cecil’s book sales are through the roof as well.

    So where’s the potential “political damage” here? I don’t see it.

  41. entopticon

    Asheville is already pretty much a dump where it matters most to the “progressive” community.

    Surely Mr Mallett, Lake Junaluska is just too dangerously close to all that liberal evil that you so despise. It’s time for you to high-tail it out of here once and fore all. You could always shack up in Charleston for good, although rumor has it that the liberals are running amuck there as well. Of course, you could always go back to Louisiana. Maybe you could start an intentional snake-charming community on the Bayou with David Duke. I have absolutely no doubt that you would get along famously.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  42. Barry Summers

    As I said before, I never said that this was smart, well conceived, or guaranteed not to lead to unforeseen consequences. My point was that Matt & others who jumped onboard hoped to cause Cecil problems either by causing the City to consider not swearing him in, or creating some sort of scene. Matt said loudly at least once or twice, “Should Cecil Bothwell be BANNED from being sworn into City Council?” Calling the legitimacy of his seat in government into question is petty and wouldn’t lead to him being unseated, but it looks crappy. Simply the stink of being called the dreaded “A” word in the public square would be enough to possibly limit Cecil’s effectiveness in some parts of the community.

    The other problem down the road, is if in fact someone is pigheaded enough to file a lawsuit, it could tie up Cecil’s time and energy, along with the City, which would have to defend the swearing in as well. And all of this at a time that the City has a how much? $5 million deficit?

    I don’t think they thought it through past the “Hey guys, look at what it says in the Constitution. Let’s mess with the damn commie!” stage. But the intent was to throw sand in the gears to prevent the new Council, and at least one of it’s members, from hitting the ground running.

    BTW, on that same program, Matt Mittan was all about trying to get Gordon Smith on the record about his own religious beliefs, as well. If he could’ve gotten some quote from Gordon that he could spin into calling his ‘faith’ and therefore his legitimacy into question, I’m sure he would’ve.

    Interesting that he didn’t make any effort to put, at least as far as I know, Esther Manhheimer, or any of the sitting Council members into the Holy Inquisition. Just Cecil and Gordon. Hm.

  43. Gotta admit it has been a barrel of fun.

    Missed my big chance for a face-to-video-face with Rachel Maddow, though. MSNBC couldn’t find a satellite truck or a studio closer than Charlotte, and by the time they realized that Asheville was miles from nowhere it was too late to make driving there a choice. Sigh. I coulda been a contenda.

  44. You got six minutes of Rachel Maddow talking about your situation on national TV, which isn’t bad for a freshman City Council member who hasn’t even been in office for two weeks. And who knows, they may even invite you back if more people get riled up.

  45. Barry Summers

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#34424043

    My favorite moment came when the Legal Director of the NC ACLU felt she had to say:

    “The City Attorney’s office in Asheville, there’s some smart people over there, and they know the law.”

    America says ‘whew’. They aren’t ALL the cast of “Idiocracy” out there in Asheville.

  46. travelah

    You got six minutes of Rachel Maddow talking about your situation on national TV, which isn’t bad for a freshman City Council member who hasn’t even been in office for two weeks. And who knows, they may even invite you back if more people get riled up.

    Well, let’s be realistic for a bit. Six minutes of Rachel Maddow’s time is equivalent to just a portion of the people who actually pay attention to the dog food commercials on Fox News (assuming they actually have dog food commercials)

  47. travelah

    Cecil, what is going to be your big focus in office? Potholes, sidewalks or property taxes?

  48. Well, let’s be realistic for a bit. Six minutes of Rachel Maddow’s time is equivalent to just a portion of the people who actually pay attention to the dog food commercials on Fox News (assuming they actually have dog food commercials)

    You’re completely right, it clearly means absolutely nothing whatsoever to anyone, anywhere, and anybody who thinks differently is a moonbat.

  49. Barry Summers

    “You’re completely right, it clearly means absolutely nothing whatsoever to anyone, anywhere, and anybody who thinks differently is a moonbat.”

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  50. entopticon

    Poor Mr Mallett/traveliar… all those microbreweries, coffee shops, drum circles, and independent shops are drawing in all of the liberals and making Asheville “dumpier by the day” for him.

    Mr Mallett/traveliar yearns for the days that the city council was considering leveling downtown and turning it into a mall, but it’s not too late to flee. Unfortunately for you traveliar, you can’t build a time machine to take you back to Selma Alabama in the 1950′s, but the farther you get away from Asheville, the most liberal city in the Southeastern US, the better off you will be.

    And then you can watch dog food commercials on Faux News in peace. Plus, you will be that much further away when the secret Marxist takeover happens, and there is some aluminum manufacturing in Alabama, so they could probably make you a really swell new tinfoil helmet to keep all of Obama’s liberal/Muslim brainwashing rays out of your head.

  51. travelah

    You’re completely right, it clearly means absolutely nothing whatsoever to anyone, anywhere, and anybody who thinks differently is a moonbat.
    OK, so you are calling yourself a moonbat .. now what?

  52. travelah

    Yeah, it’s not like she’s consistently been the third-most watched TV cable news personality in her time slot or anything…

    Well, that means that Fox and CNN both have her beat out in that timeslot and actually by impressive margins? Coming in third out of three or four relevant cable news programs in that time slot … yeah, thats impressive!

    You missed the point … Touting the leftist liberal media as national exposure is fairly weak. Now, I’m not dissing the fact that Cecil garnered a bit of national liberal media but the truth of the matter remains. This is a little stink about nothing. This whole issue was foolish to begin with.

  53. You missed the point … Touting the leftist liberal media as national exposure is fairly weak.

    Hundreds of thousands of people — several times over the population of Asheville — and perhaps the most national attention any Asheville Council Member has ever gotten for a national issue like religious tolerance is weak? Perhaps I misunderstand you. Maybe if you’d stop hand-waiving this away so furiously I could read your lips a little better.

  54. Truly delightful to see how this played out. I’d suggest to the instigators, that they take some basic lessons in message control. Right now they look very, very foolish…and nationally foolish at that.

  55. Barry Summers

    Amazing. Didn’t O’Reilly and Neil Bortz comment on it as well?

  56. entopticon

    First we were supposed to believe that the “leftist liberal” media was an unstoppably powerful force that stole the Presidential election by warping the minds of America, and now we are supposed to believe that they have less influence than “dog food commercials on Fox News.” The extreme right’s utter disregard for continuity is nothing if not entertaining.

    If you want to better understand traveliar’s garbled, conflicted, and confused message better, reading lips won’t help, but if you could get him to sit on a seat without a cushion it would be considerably less muffled.

  57. pfftastic

    [b]Cecil on Matt Mittan tomorrow. Will Matt apologize? [/b]

    apologize for what? Matt Mittan is NOT Chad Nesbit.

  58. travelah

    Well, Steve, perhaps you could give an update on the big buzz from tomorrows news?

    Good Gosh, Stevie Entopticon! Maddow is REALLY wowing them!

    9 PM – P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
    Hannity –2,871,000 viewers (744000) (1,288,000)
    Larry King Live —980,000 viewers (258,000) (425,000)
    Rachel Maddow Show —877,000 viewers (240,000) (390,000)
    Oprah Effect — 275,000 viewers (153,000) (160,000)
    Joy Behar- 654,000 viewers (188,000) (310,000)

  59. tatuaje

    Yeah, only 14,000 times the population of Asheville!

    I mean, that’s nothing for a small town city council member. Think of all the others who have gotten so much notoriety over the years. There are so many I can’t single just one out.

    Almost a million people is nothing. I’m sure trah’s blog gets ten times that number every day.

    In other news, Nickleback was the decade’s most popular band, and that many people can’t be wrong.

    Can they?

  60. Jessica B.

    Travelah says: “Well, let’s be realistic for a bit. Six minutes of Rachel Maddow’s time is equivalent to just a portion of the people who actually pay attention to the dog food commercials on Fox News (assuming they actually have dog food commercials)”

    Dog food commercials would be more truthful and non-biased than the editorializing that masquerades as news on Fox.

  61. entopticon

    It is just too funny that the hypocritical irony is completely lost on traveliar. Either the liberal media is a massively powerful force manipulating American opinion or it is an impotent and meaningless hand-full of squeaks bowing at the throne of Faux News. You can’t have it both ways.

    Since traveliar seems to think Sean Hannity is the bee’s knees, let’s do a quick comparison of another sort….

    Rachel Maddow graduated from Stanford with a degree in public policy and won the prestigious John Gardner award for her work there. Then she went on to receive a Doctorate of philosophy in politics from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

    Hannity was a broadcasting major who dropped out of college.

  62. travelah

    wow … according to tats only 63 people live in Asheville. Cecil is going to be real busy.

  63. tatuaje

    OF course that’s only supposed to be 14 X’s.

    But pretty telling that a typo is the best you could come up with.

  64. Matt Mittan

    Barry writes… “Cecil on Matt Mittan tomorrow. Will Matt apologize?”

    If Cecil is ‘on’ me, shouldn’t he apologize to ME?

    You forgot to mention, on the show with Cecil (in studio), will be H.K. Edgerton. Callers welcome, EVEN yours Barry.

  65. So let’s see: 877,000 people saw a six-plus minute story on national television about Cecil’s situation. Easily a few million more read about it in the hundreds of papers and websites that ran the AP wire story, not to mention the Air America radio appearance he did today. If you count blogs, forum posts, Twitter and Facebook updates, it’s easily double that number who have at least been exposed to the story.

    I don’t think it’s veering too far into speculation that perhaps ten million people have heard of Cecil Bothwell and the NC Constitution issue this week. In fact, the real number is probably higher than that, because Maddow alone delivered nearly a tenth of it alone, and as we all know thanks to you, having your own show on in Prime Time on a major cable news channel makes you barely more relevant or listened to than a dog food commercial.

    How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you say stuff like this, man?

  66. Barry Summers

    Matt – I won’t try to put you on the spot to apologize to Cecil, but I will make the observation that you were fairly strong on your show in questioning whether Cecil should be sworn in. As the past week has unfolded, I think it’s become clear that most people think that was pretty silly, and in fact he is now a sitting Council member. In the interest of showing proper respect to the democratic process, do you now regret calling into question the legitimacy of his swearing-in?

  67. shadmarsh

    Barry,
    that was last week, do you really expect any of his listeners to remember that?

  68. Barry Summers

    “will he be bring the stars and bars into the studio? ”

    How about his business partners’ “Obama as a muslim ape” t-shirt?

  69. Peacewarrior

    I read in the AC-T that Cecil’s character assination book on the Reverend Graham has picked up in sales. Instead of the normal 1-2 books a month sold nationally, Cecil is now selling 1-2 books a week! God bless the exposure on the mainstream press liberal arm of the democrat party,NBC CBS MSNBC CNN.

    But the nation watches Fox Cable News because that is the only place you get objective news reporting. Fox wins hands down during ratings. So “national exposure” on the liberal propaganda networks isn’t much exposure.

    I’m going to tune in to Matt’s show for sure. Mr Edgerton has the courage of his convictions. And it will be fun to see how a “progressive” is uncomfortable with an independent African-American man. Good casting Matt!

  70. AngryVoter

    I guess I missed Chad Nesbitt’s interjections, but Ill more easily consider HIS POV anytime over that of his career democrat step daddy who has stepped on up down at Rawleigh.

    Now, it’s time for Cecil and Co, PLUS the local state reps, Susan Fisher, Jane Whilden, and Bruce Goforth to heed the call, and sponsor legislation to REMOVE the ‘offending’ UNenforceable language in the NC Constitution.

    It’s time for the ‘leaders’ to lead, right? Strive to be smarter than the controlling force of evil in NC wants you to be…

  71. travelah

    tats, 14,000 is not a typo for 14 when you consider you had to actually add the comma and three zeros to get to 14,000 … but, ha’el …. call it a typo.

    Stevie, I am not concerned with your consideration of me as relevant or not. It is pretty much given that Maddow doesn’t draw the crowd that Fox News or CNN commercials do.

    Now, show me today’s relevant news stories about Cecil or some indication that anybody anywhere else in the country knows what to hell it is you are trying to promote. This is just another one of those 15 minutes of fame things although in this case it’s 6 minutes. That’s the way news is. Some editor browsing through a BIG list of AP stories grabbed the quirky thing and ran with it for a news brief. Great! OK, what next?

  72. Hank Kennesaw

    A real pity. That show on MSNBC wasn’t watched by very many people because MSNBC has the lowest ratings of all cable channels. And we need this travesty known by the whole country! How dare North Carolina’s constitution bar those who hate God. That just isn’t diverse. And Asheville is the diversity capital of the southeast.

    And thank you to Steve Shantifelt for posting his wedding photo. That’s one good way to advertise how diverse Asheville is that all are accepted in their alternative lifestyles. Keep Asheville weird!

  73. I’ll just be glad when all the circus is over and Ceciland his fellow council persons can get to work on serving the citizens of Asheville.

    Working class people ( conservative, Libertarians, and progressives)in Asheville and the surroungind areas have real issues affecting their lives.

  74. Piffy!

    [b]Now, show me today’s relevant news stories about Cecil or some indication that anybody anywhere else in the country knows what to hell it is you are trying to promote. This is just another one of those 15 minutes of fame things although in this case it’s 6 minutes. That’s the way news is. Some editor browsing through a BIG list of AP stories grabbed the quirky thing and ran with it for a news brief. Great! OK, what next? [/b]

    Umm, that STEVE is trying to Promote? This was a backfire from your buddy Chad Nesbit, dude. Chad Nesbitt is the one who tried to make this into a big deal, and it backfired. You are double-talking and side-stepping your ass off trying to make this go away, arent you? Must be pretty embarrassing.

  75. Piffy!

    [b]But the nation watches Fox Cable News because that is the only place you get objective news reporting. Fox wins hands down during ratings. So “national exposure” on the liberal propaganda networks isn’t much exposure.[/b]

    So i guess “the media” isnt ‘liberal’ after all, eh, cullen? Although I fail to see the connection you are trying to make between ratings and objectivity.

  76. For those of you keeping score at home.Moving rapidly toward 6-1/2 minutes.
    Russian TV (Washington DC Bureau) 2 p.m.
    Catholic Radio Network (Sirius) 2:40 p.m.
    John Boyle blog at AC-T 3 p.m.
    Matt Mittan, 570AM, 5 p.m. (I plan to thank him)
    Alan Colmes tonight at 11:06 p.m.
    Local Edge, 880 The Revolution, Friday, 4 p.m.

    And bringing it up to 7 minutes …
    Joshua Warren, 570 AM, Saturday night, 8:35 p.m.

    WhooHoo! Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

  77. entopticon

    I read in the AC-T that Cecil’s character assination book on the Reverend Graham has picked up in sales.

    Ahh, that would be Bothwell’s critically acclaimed book, The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire. I can see why Cullen would dislike it; it is full of exhaustively researched, irrefutable facts, and if there is one thing that Cullen doesn’t like, it’s facts.

  78. travelah

    This was a backfire from your buddy Chad Nesbit, dude.

    I have never met the man and I recall being on record as stating this is all foolishness. Why don’t you throw in a little more race baiting to stay in your nasty character?

  79. travelah

    I’ll just be glad when all the circus is over and Ceciland his fellow council persons can get to work on serving the citizens of Asheville.

    Absolutely, there are potholes, sidewalks and property taxes to deal with … you know, important local stuff people are elected to deal with.

  80. entopticon

    Why don’t you throw in a little more race baiting to stay in your nasty character?

    Mr Mallett, who uses terms like “ragheads” and “black thugs,” and has a picture of a guy who lobbied against the Civil Rights Act as his personal icon, is accusing people of race-baiting. The hypocritical irony of the extreme right really is a never ending source of entertainment.

  81. Just confirmed Overnight America, with Jon Grayson, 1 a.m. tonight (Thurs. morning).

    Allright! Back up to 7 minutes!
    WhooWhoo.

  82. Barry Summers

    Cecil, I just gotta ask. While you’re dealing with this nonsense, what other important work AREN’T you doing? This was my point from the beginning. The Matts and Chads and Kirks and HKs simply want to tie you up in irrelevant crap, because they know what you intend to focus on if you are left alone. Why play along with them?

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  83. Fortunately the construction industry has collapsed so I am out of work … oh, I mean, unfortunately … but, in any event, the important work I’m not doing is working on my next book and working on my fixer-upper house.

    I’m well up to speed on city issues, contacting various key players, reading documentation for upcoming council issues, and etc.

    Honestly, the opposition thrust me into the limelight through no effort of my own, and if it serves to increase my visibility as an author it helps my other day job as a writer. Sales of the Graham book are about 20X what they were before this week, and the next book (due out early in 2010) might get a boost too. I’m grinning.

    And, more important for the nation, raising the twin issues of the archaic NC constitutional clause and the widespread attitude that public policy should invoke religious belief is significant. We were led into the current wars by religious ideologues (Bush said God told him what to do, Rumsfeld quoted the Bible at the top of his presidential briefings, a General touted the wars as a Crusade against Islam, Blackwater’s CEO was an evangelistic Christian, and etc. and etc.)

    We need to push back, and if I’m part of that push back, I am pleased and proud to devote some of my time to the cause.

  84. Barry Summers

    Just please don’t get distracted too much. We need you at the local level.

    BTW, don’t let Matt wriggle out of the fact that he’s the one that set this smelly ball rolling. And maybe ask H.K. about those racists he’s in business with…

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  85. Now, show me today’s relevant news stories about Cecil or some indication that anybody anywhere else in the country knows what to hell it is you are trying to promote.

    How about today’s story on Examiner.com? It’s only one of the top 600 sites on THE ENTIRE INTERNET according to industry-standard tracker Alexa.com. And what’s the story about? The Cecil Bothwell story on the Rachel Maddow show.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-8947-LA-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m12d16-Rachel-Maddow-on-the-NC-atheist-election-row

    This is just another one of those 15 minutes of fame things although in this case it’s 6 minutes. That’s the way news is.

    You only said a few posts up that it wasn’t news at all, and that it didn’t matter. Now you’re saying that it’s 15-minutes of fame, meaning that it actually is relevant, just not for very long. Pick a position and stick with it, because right now you’re moving the goal posts every time someone legitimately rebuts one of your points.

  86. And thank you to Steve Shantifelt for posting his wedding photo. That’s one good way to advertise how diverse Asheville is that all are accepted in their alternative lifestyles. Keep Asheville weird!

    Ad hominem much?

    I find it hilarious that a photo of a fat guy in a Sailor Moon costume from a cosplay convention that I found on the internet somehow makes you threatened. Doubly so if somehow you think it has something to do with me as a person simply because I happened to find it funny enough to use as an avatar.

  87. Matt Mittan

    Barry writes: “The Matts and Chads and Kirks and HKs simply want to tie you up in irrelevant crap”

    Are you for real? LOL You seriously think this is some kind of conspiracy of a coalition that you have listed? Are you on drugs Barry? LOL

  88. But Steve, I solemnified your wedding ceremony in the courtyard of the former epicenter of Asheville’s literary core, and I’m sure that’s your photo. Or, maybe you were the redhead?

  89. Barry Summers

    Shanafelt said: “Pick a position and stick with it, because right now you’re moving the goal posts every time someone legitimately rebuts one of your points.”

    You get used to that around here.

    “This man is an Arminian; this is a mad dog.”

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  90. But Steve, I solemnified your wedding ceremony in the courtyard of the former epicenter of Asheville’s literary core, and I’m sure that’s your photo. Or, maybe you were the redhead?

    Nah. I’m not into Sailor Moon. I’m more of a Macross fan.

  91. Girding myself for the Mattcave. Just had a call from FOX Carolina wanting to shoot me after Matt, so gotta dress up. Radio is kinder in terms of attire.

  92. Barry Summers

    I dare you to refer to the Civil War as:

    the “War of Liberation and Unification for which They’ll Thank Us Later”.

  93. Barry Summers

    Matt said:

    “Barry writes: “The Matts and Chads and Kirks and HKs simply want to tie you up in irrelevant crap”

    Are you for real? LOL You seriously think this is some kind of conspiracy of a coalition that you have listed? Are you on drugs Barry? LOL”

    That’s disappointing, Matt. I never said there was some “conspiracy” of these individuals. You have distorted what I said. People can act individually from different perspectives on the same issue, and that’s what I was alluding to. Read my other comments above, as I’m sure you have. There doesn’t have to be a “conspiracy”.

    You have shown me that you are not always an honest debater – disappointing.

  94. Matt Mittan

    I appreciate your disappointment Barry, although I doubt I will lose any sleep over it.

    Peace…. :)

  95. travelah

    Durn Cecil, you getting be kinda like Sarah Palin, well, not really.

  96. travelah

    Well Shucks Stevie ….. I must cave. Cecil’s status as a post theist city councilman in Asheville is busting out all over the place … big news and well, I guess the potholes and sidewalks will have to wait. How many newpapers carry that weird news of the world column? If he makes that he will be really global!

  97. Alan Ditmore

    Ashevile City Hall could become a historic landmark to religious tolerance and conflict tourism rivalling the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the St. Augustine swimming pool. And Wounded Knee SD and the Memphis balcony.
    This could fill the hotels!
    But why on earth is the county leading the city on ending invocations when the city has far more religious and cultural diversity????? The county needs to slow down in order to let the city lead.

  98. Opps…make that Bothwell.

    According to Charlotte Examiner, the story has “gone viral.”

    “Since the story broke a week ago, it’s gone viral; picked up by blogs, on-line news sites and newspapers all over the country. Now it’s reached a national television audience via programs like the Rachel Maddow show and even Fox News. “

    http://www.examiner.com/x-8947-LA-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m12d16-Rachel-Maddow-on-the-NC-atheist-election-row

    Heh, heh, heh…careful what pandora’s box you open.

  99. Barry Summers

    I feel a little bad for H.K. – he’s obviously full of outrage over this Cecil issue, but he doesn’t even have all the facts. He was on Matt’s show, incensed that Cecil had been allowed to ‘affirm’ to uphold his duties and the Constitution without ‘swearing’ to God. He read the oath of office from state law:

    § 11?7. Oath or affirmation to support Constitutions; all officers to take.

    But either he, or the people who are feeding him stuff, never bothered to look three lines above:

    § 11?4. Affirmation in lieu of oath.

    “When a person to be sworn shall have conscientious scruples against taking an oath in the manner prescribed by G.S. 11?2, 11?3, or 11?7, he shall be permitted to be affirmed. In all cases the words of the affirmation shall be the same as the words of the prescribed oath, except that the word “affirm” shall be substituted for the word “swear” and the words “so help me God” shall be deleted.”

    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_11/GS_11-7.html

    Based on his ignorance of state law, he’s saying that Cecil “God bless him,” isn’t legitimately on City Council, and he’s threatening a lawsuit over it. It took me literally 30 seconds to find this online. How hard is it to see this is a non-issue?

    Matt, you’re the state law expert – did you really not know that it is entirely legal to be sworn in the way Cecil was sworn in? Because you let H.K. go on about it without correcting him.

    Thanks for letting me on, by the way, for some fact-checking…

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  100. shadmarsh

    I’ve noticed the Chad has stopped posting in this thread. I wonder what’s up with that? Perhaps he an his poker buddies are regrouping to think up another strategery to ruin local libruls. Godspeed Chad, may you and your cretin cronies continue to make asses out of yourselves.

  101. Barry Summers

    “I’ve noticed the Chad has stopped posting in this thread.”

    Don’t wake him up, for God(?)’s sake!!

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  102. Piffy!

    [b]Well Shucks Stevie ….. I must cave. Cecil’s status as a post theist city councilman in Asheville is busting out all over the place … big news and well, I guess the potholes and sidewalks will have to wait. How many newpapers carry that weird news of the world column? If he makes that he will be really global! [/b]

    Nice straw man you keep trying to build, t-pain. But no one is trying to claim it’s “Really Big News”. Folks are just posting examples of it continuing to be in the news in response to your constantly shifting claims of this story’s non-existence over the past 24 hours.

    It was folks like Chad who had hoped this story would be a ‘big deal’, but not quite in the way it manifested.

    But please, continue to refute positions no one is making. You are great at it.

  103. Piffy!

    And I’m still waiting for Matt Mittan to admit brebro beat him to this issue by 4 or 5 months.

  104. Sigh. Barry is right. There’s no there there. The story will quickly expire and I’ll be knocked back to 6-7/8 minutes of fame. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, or some such.

    But there’s still the Ghostbuster. Hope springs eternal.

  105. But no one is trying to claim it’s “Really Big News”. Folks are just posting examples of it continuing to be in the news in response to your constantly shifting claims of this story’s non-existence over the past 24 hours.

    This. The fate of nations doesn’t rest in the balance here, but clearly it is/was being talked about and is/was worthy of noting considering it’s a local politician getting national attention.

  106. pffff

    IT’s almost as if earlier today he said:

    [i]“Now, show me [b]today’s[/b] relevant news stories about Cecil or some indication that anybody anywhere else in the country knows what to hell it is you are trying to promote.”[/i]

  107. JWTJr

    “Honestly, the opposition thrust me into the limelight through no effort of my own”

    Cecil, I could care less about the prayer thing, but I have to comment on what you said here.

    Are you trying to say that you didn’t think some would get riled up about the oath thing? Really? A tiny little bit of you didn’t want to make a public issue of this? You were blindsided?

  108. entopticon

    Durn Cecil, you getting be kinda like Sarah Palin, well, not really.

    Thank goodness you took it back traveliar, because that would have been a pretty cruel comment. Making fun of someone is one thing, but comparing them to Caribou Barbie is just plain harsh. As opposed to Palin, Cecil actually reads, he believes in dinosaurs, and he knows that Africa is a continent, not a country. And chances are he will actually make it through at least one term without quitting.

  109. just way stupid
    HK talked and talked and talked and talked and etc.
    I was accorded time for a sentence or two.
    Nothing of substance emitted from the speakers.

  110. Barry Summers

    I didn’t know you were going on with HK again. I would avoid that if it comes up again…

    After the Matt show ended, do you know if HK or Matt checked the state law regarding the affirmation? It wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t…

  111. it was right there in front of HK, he had a print-out of the law. I read it across the desk.
    HK ignored it, of course.

  112. jimmytwotimes

    From Travelah;
    “Absolutely, there are potholes, sidewalks and property taxes to deal with … you know, important local stuff people are elected to deal with.”

    I’m curious how many potholes have gone ignored because of all this media attention. I also want the rest of city council to stop all of their non-city council business. Think of all the time wasted with family, at jobs, in church.

  113. Ham

    What a joke. This doesn’t matter. What about separation of church and state? Don’t let anyone pull this frivolous BS. You have religious freedom.

    Please just fix our roads and re-time the traffic lights for roadway efficiency/fuel economy- more than half of them need to be re-evaluated. Oh yeah and repair the courthouse if you can get a low enough bid. We don’t really need anything else.

    This religious squabbling has no bearing on why these officials are in office. They were put there to do a job because they were deemed qualified, and that’s it.

  114. travelah

    I’m curious how many potholes have gone ignored because of all this media attention

    Every single one of them.

  115. pff

    [i]I’m curious how many potholes have gone ignored because of all this media attention[/i]

    [b]Every single one of them. [/b]

    Well, i’m sure you’ll take Chad Nesbit to task over it.

  116. entopticon

    Preempting traveliar’s response:

    “Oh, yeah, well Bill O’Reilly is 6’4″ and you are all Marxists because the all-powerful liberal media controls everything, but nobody watches them an they are meaningless. Potholes.”

  117. Jessica B.

    Cecil Bothwell says: “it was right there in front of HK, he had a print-out of the law. I read it across the desk.
    HK ignored it, of course.”

    Reminds me of the Professor in a Heinlein story, who, when confronted with something he was opposed to, refused to even acknowledge its existance, in front of witnesses. I think maybe the cheese slid off Mr. Edgerton’s cracker a long time ago.

  118. Potholes are for professionals, and I’m all about mending them, but one thing I hope to use my sudden notoriety for is to enlist volunteers to re-open sidewalks.

    In the New Year I intend to organize weekly volunteer efforts to clear and clean-up sidewalks. In many places around Asheville otherwise functional sidewalks have been allowed to mound up with eroded dirt, bushes have overgrown, and, in some cases, breaks in the pavement or brickwork are hidden by detritus. It seems to me that reclaiming those sidewalks already installed is the cheapest way to increase pedestrian and wheel chair access, and its something that can be accomplished at the human workerbee level.

    When we reveal what we have and where the disconnections occur, we can map it and press the city to fill the gaps.

    My intent will be to pull volunteers to put in some hours in their own neighborhoods.

  119. Oh, and to answer JWTJr, I’ve only had one other occasion to take an oath, on jury duty some years ago, and I chose to affirm then, too.

    So, no, it didn’t occur to me ahead of time that my affirmation would cause any stir.

    And, of course, this whole thing was stirred up by the Asheville Citizen-Times BEFORE I was sworn in. And they had no advance information concerning the ceremony. Once the AC-T stirred the pot, it was clear that my affirmation would become part of the story, but I was hardly going to offer false testimony in reaction to their reporting.

  120. pff

    [b]My intent will be to pull volunteers to put in some hours in their own neighborhoods. [/b]

    That is SOOOOOO Communism!

  121. Barry Summers

    “And, of course, this whole thing was stirred up by the Asheville Citizen-Times BEFORE I was sworn in.”

    Matt was the one who first stirred this up on you, Cecil, as confirmed by Tim Peck(1) above. AC-T followed a few days later. Was this a slip of the memory, or has someone else reconstructed the timeline to absolve Matt for this ridiculous partisan attack on our electoral process?

  122. JWTJr

    “So, no, it didn’t occur to me ahead of time that my affirmation would cause any stir.”

    I’m a tad surprised you were blindsided by this. Just so you know, there are lots of people who take prayer very seriously around here. Just so you know. Since you didn’t know. How did you not know? You really didn’t know that?

    Welcome to the Jungle Cecil.

  123. Barry Summers

    Boyle also still stirring the pot on behalf of right-wing crazies, just yesterday on his ‘chat’ with Cecil, putting out there the suggestion that Cecil’s swearing-in is not legal:

    “For the record, when you took the oath of office, did you say, “So help me God?”
    Thursday December 17, 2009 3:15 actblogger (BOYLE)
    3:17

    “Cecil Bothwell:
    “I, Cecil Bothwell, do solemnly and sincerely affirm that I will support and maintain the constitution and laws of the Unites States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina, not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as a Council Member of the City of Asheville.”
    Thursday December 17, 2009 3:17 Cecil Bothwell
    3:17

    “actblogger:
    I ask because Kirk Lyons asserts that if you don’t say, “so help me god,” the swearing in is not valid. Thoughts?”

    “THOUGHTS?” Here’s one: How about actually checking state law before throwing out right-wing blather, from people who don’t even recognize the legitimacy of the US Constitution?

    From the NC General Statutes:

    § 11?4. Affirmation in lieu of oath.

    “When a person to be sworn shall have conscientious scruples against taking an oath in the manner prescribed by G.S. 11?2, 11?3, or 11?7, he shall be permitted to be affirmed. In all cases the words of the affirmation shall be the same as the words of the prescribed oath, except that the word “affirm” shall be substituted for the word “swear” and the words “so help me God” shall be deleted.”

  124. No intent to leave Matt out of it, but it was the Citizen-Times story that first got wide attention, reposting all over the Web, attracted the A.P. reporter, etc.

    And we’re leaving out Leslee Kulba who posted a story on the John Locke Foundation Web site over that weekend. Truth be told, it could easily have started there. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association suggests that Article VI does not apply in North Carolina or any other state, and there’s no telling who is teamed up with the AFA.

  125. Matt Mittan

    LOL I wouldn’t be so worried about it Cecil. You almost sound like you’re giving one of those award acceptance speeches now. “And of course, I can’t forget Bob and Sue and Josh and Lucy and all the gang down at Billy Joes BBQ Shack…” LOL :)

  126. entopticon

    Poor, poor Chad…. From his step-daddy issues, to his gambling bust, to this, his life has been an ongoing series of embarrassments.

  127. Barry Summers

    Matt, not trying to be a pest. It just comes naturally to me. You didn’t answer my earlier question: Did you really not know that it is entirely legal for Cecil to take the affirmation he used at Council? Because you let H.K. go on for quite a while without correcting his assertion that it is not legal to omit “So help me God”.

  128. JWTJr, I didn’t say I was blindsided. I simply indicated that having affirmed for jury duty, knowing that it was an equally valid way of promising to do my job and adhere to the law, I didn’t see any reason why anyone would much care.

    Of course I know that many people in our community hold very different views than mine (and have often acknowledged that they may be right and I may be wrong) but taking exception to an affirmation seems a stretch to me. If it were a hot issue, why don’t we see protest about the use of affirmation in court rooms? It happens every day.

  129. Barry Summers

    “If it were a hot issue, why don’t we see protest about the use of affirmation in court rooms? It happens every day.”

    Because it has nothing to do with the affirmation, or state law, or the Constitution, or even religion. It has to do with attacking Cecil and Gordon before they are even sworn in, by people who were against them from the beginning. These hacks are taking advantage of conservative people’s genuine religious views for petty mudslinging.

    The rest of the country had a good laugh at our expense. We absolutely deserve the insult, “What a load of Buncombe.”

  130. Matt Mittan

    Barry wrote: “Did you really not know that it is entirely legal for Cecil to take the affirmation he used at Council?”

    See, here’s the problem Barry. It doesn’t seem to matter how often or how clearly I address things, you don’t hear it.

    I never said that he couldn’t affirm, I never said he should be kept from office or any of the other claims you’ve said I made.

    As far as letting “HK go on for some time”… It was a conversation between Cecil and HK on the program. You must have me confused with O’Reily or something. LOL

  131. Because it has nothing to do with the affirmation, or state law, or the Constitution, or even religion. It has to do with attacking Cecil and Gordon before they are even sworn in, by people who were against them from the beginning. These hacks are taking advantage of conservative people’s genuine religious views for petty mudslinging.

    And in the process they’ve made turned a member of City Council known by maybe tens of thousands of people into someone millions of people are aware of, and who has been cast as a champion of freedom of belief and the separation of church and state. And if anything ever happens to change this part of the N.C. Constitution — something more likely than ever thanks to this — it’ll be Cecil who gets the lion’s share of the credit.

  132. Barry Summers

    Hey Steve – How did you retroactively go from a transvestite to a drunk? Posts referring to your previous avatar are nonsensical now. (Not that they weren’t non-sensical to start with… Oh, never mind.)

  133. shadmarsh

    I believe that is espresso. Steve is of the latte crowd. Booze scares him.

  134. Barry Summers

    Are you sure? Who drinks espresso out of a shot glass? Not that I’m up on all the perverted new trends among young people today… Looks like Baileys & Kahlua or something.

    Speaking of perverted, if you add whipped cream to the recipe above, apparently you get a drink whose name I can’t repeat here. Although here’s two hints: this drink is very popular at Bachelorette parties, and it’s name will always be linked to our 42nd President…

  135. I confess, I pull my espresso shots into a shot glass…I never get that much crema though. Shot glasses are the perfect size for a double espresso.

  136. Barry Summers

    “Barry wrote: “Did you really not know that it is entirely legal for Cecil to take the affirmation he used at Council?”

    See, here’s the problem Barry. It doesn’t seem to matter how often or how clearly I address things, you don’t hear it.

    I never said that he couldn’t affirm, I never said he should be kept from office or any of the other claims you’ve said I made.

    As far as letting “HK go on for some time”… It was a conversation between Cecil and HK on the program. You must have me confused with O’Reily or something.”

    The problem isn’t my hearing, Matt. You have refused to answer the question once again, haven’t you?

    I’ve asked twice now, and you still haven’t answered: “Did you really not know that it is entirely legal for Cecil to take the affirmation he used at Council?”

    Why can’t you answer a simple question directly?

  137. Hey Steve – How did you retroactively go from a transvestite to a drunk? Posts referring to your previous avatar are nonsensical now.

    It’s an espresso, not a beer. The thick foam at the top is a perfect pull of crema, the emulsified oils in the beans. It’s clear because it’s a measuring glass. Here’s the source photo: http://www.flahute.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/perfect-espresso-shot.jpg

    I change my avatar and forum signature all the time, which is why I thought it was funny that Cullen got so worked up about the one I happened to have at the moment. In fact, it was a cat wearing shades with a cigarette in his mouth for much of yesterday until Ashkat over on the forums asked to use it instead.

  138. Barry Summers

    I believe that it is espresso, and not hooch. As someone who is off the sauce, I wouldn’t want to be accused of promoting drink…

    My only point is that it was weird to see your avatar change going back several days. I can think of a number of people on this thread who would love the chance to turn back time that way.

  139. If you change your avatar, it impacts all the posts you’ve ever made. All of them just call a single image file, and if that image changes, it changes site-wide.

    Given how often we change our avatars over on the forum, I seriously this will be the last time such confusion happens. If the “joke” falls flat now, it serves him right for making it in the first place.

  140. Ashevegasjoe

    But, as long as he advances the same liberal-socialist-marxist-aetheist-commie-gay loving-wealth distributing- pansy ideology I hold to, I don’t care what he holds his hand on.

    How many politicians take an oath on the bible and lie? C’mon man, it’s almost 2010 and we’re still debating religious tolerance.

    Why does our city council always get thrust into debates on immigration and separation of church and state? Isn’t there a supreme court of founding document we can refer to?

  141. Ashevegasjoe

    Oh yeah, Brought to you by Carl’s JR. Cecil Bothwell’s got what plants crave. I would write LOL, but Mittan has used up all of the LOL’s allowed per thread as stated by MX.

  142. JWTJr

    Affirming for jury duty and swearing in for being a new city council person …. same thing for sure …. same press …. same publicity … same notoriety … same thing completely …. absolutely no difference at all.

    I hope to see less naivety in the future.

  143. Cute, but no cigar, JWTJr.

    I adhered to state law when I affirmed for jury duty. I adhered to state law when I affirmed for City Council. Naivete has no bearing here.

    So, I didn’t expect anyone to make an issue of it. What, exactly, would you imagine I would have done differently if I HAD expected anyone to make a fuss? Hold a secret swearing-in ceremony in the basement of the City Hall? Naivete only has relevance if it results in some different behavior.

  144. Barry Summers

    Cecil, I think their point is, you should’ve done the only honorable thing, and recuse yourself from serving on Council until the Constitution is amended.

    Either that, or lie, like untold politicians before you, placing their hands on the sacred texts, smiling those big s*** eating grins and saying “So Help Me God,” with fingers crossed behind their backs, their only real bow towards God being to secretly thank him later for making His creatures so gullible.

    Sorry, JWTjr, if Cecil’s being honest about who he is wound up getting egg on the faces of local partisan dweebs…

  145. JWTJr

    I’m not saying Cecil should have done anything differently. Where did I say that barry?

    What I’m saying is that it was naive thinking there would be no push back. Especially in today’s political environment. Either that or he knew there would be and is pretending this just fell in his lap.

    Also, continuing to think that a citizen affirming for jury duty and new council person being the first ever – has there ever been another? – to affirm for that office are two equally newsworthy events is kind of surprising for a politician.

    Is it just a rookie in office making a rookie mistake or is it just another politician saying one thing and thinking another?

  146. So these posts aren’t off topic?

    They are. No more questions about my avatars, please. If you simply must know more about them, feel free to start a thread over in the forums.

    Now, back to Cecil.

  147. Barry Summers

    “I’m not saying Cecil should have done anything differently. Where did I say that barry?

    What I’m saying is that it was naive thinking there would be no push back. Especially in today’s political environment. Either that or he knew there would be and is pretending this just fell in his lap.

    Also, continuing to think that a citizen affirming for jury duty and new council person being the first ever – has there ever been another? – to affirm for that office are two equally newsworthy events is kind of surprising for a politician.

    Is it just a rookie in office making a rookie mistake or is it just another politician saying one thing and thinking another? ”

    If I misquoted you, I apologize. But there was this sense from your earlier post, confirmed here, that you’re claiming he either engineered this, or gleefully took advantage of it. From having worked with him for a number of years, I don’t think either of those things is the case here. He’s not that politically astute, to be honest, and I say that in the best possible sense.

    I believe he took the legal affirmation offered to him by the City Attorney and District Court Judge Gary Cash, and thought that would be the end of it. The fact that he didn’t anticipate the stupid shenanigans that ensued says that he is not geared mentally towards CYA politics, and that’s a good thing.

    You frame this as if either he made “a rookie mistake”, or he is a liar. Maybe there’s a third possibility: he’s an honest guy who expects to be treated fairly, but he’s up against a bunch of a**holes. Maybe you should blame them, and not Cecil.

  148. jimmytwotimes

    “Is it just a rookie in office making a rookie mistake or is it just another politician saying one thing and thinking another?”
    Interesting how both options are negative. No wonder people see this as an attack.
    “Also, continuing to think that a citizen affirming for jury duty and new council person being the first ever – has there ever been another? – to affirm for that office are two equally newsworthy events is kind of surprising for a politician.”
    I think the point he made was that he thought neither were newsworthy. I’m all for persecuting sleazy politicians, but we should wait until they actually start acting sleazily.

  149. JWTJr

    Ok barry, I’ll take your word for it for now.

    Excuse me though if I’m skeptical of a politician that says a big press event was ‘unexpected’. Lots of things are manufactured. We’ve all heard it before from many different elected types on both sides of the isle.

    I’ll let Cecil earn his stripes.

  150. Barry Summers

    I could be wrong, and this was all ‘manufactured’ by Cecil and not the local partisans who want to bring him down. But I doubt it. I think that if you ask around of people who know him and agree with him on the issues, he’s not known as a particularly ‘clever’ person politically, and again, I consider that to be a compliment. I’d rather have someone who is “what you see is what you get”, than a ‘clever’ politician who plays CYA or ‘gotcha’ politics.

  151. Hank Kennesaw

    Barry finds it easy to mock Jesus and the religion of the majority of North Carolinians. Yet when his spiritual guru Obama, or locally Cecil, is even politely criticized, he goes ballistic. Ask Matt Mittan. Barry, dude, don’t throw stones at Jesus when your liberal socialist house is an enormous glass mansion, in Hyde Park, People’s Republic of Chicago no less. -g)

  152. Barry Summers

    BTW, I would pay that same compliment to someone like Carl Mumpower or Don Yelton, both people that I have disagreed with over the years. They state their beliefs pretty clearly & don’t seem to have room in their heads for playing political games.

  153. Puh-leeze…this was an attempt by extremist partisans to circumvent the will of the people.

    That it backfired big time is their just desserts.

  154. Barry Summers

    “Barry finds it easy to mock Jesus and the religion of the majority of North Carolinians. Yet when his spiritual guru Obama, or locally Cecil, is even politely criticized, he goes ballistic. Ask Matt Mittan. Barry, dude, don’t throw stones at Jesus when your liberal socialist house is an enormous glass mansion, in Hyde Park, People’s Republic of Chicago no less. -g)”

    A) I wasn’t mocking Jesus, I was mocking the shallow and hypocritical representations of Jesus, by people who clearly have no regard for his teachings.

    B) I have no guru, especially not among politicians. Obama has let progressives down repeatedly (I was a Kucinich supporter), and Cecil is a friend, but we have butted heads as often as we have agreed.

    C)Cecil wasn’t ‘politely criticized’, Matt Mittan and others were loudly calling into question whether he should be allowed to take his elected seat on City Council. That wasn’t ‘criticizing Cecil’, that was throwing a wrench into local government & the will of the voters, and it’s been exposed as such.

    D) I have no idea what an enormous liberal socialist glass mansion in Hyde Park is, or what it has to do with this topic.

  155. JWTJr

    ‘Politely Criticized’

    barry – is that the bar now? When did that memo go out?

    Are you his campaign manager or what? Its like you can read his mind or something.

  156. Barry Summers

    JWTjr said “‘Politely Criticized’

    barry – is that the bar now? When did that memo go out?”

    I don’t understand your question – “is that the bar now?”

    I was responding to someone suggesting that I had overreacted to Cecil being ‘politely criticized’. I pointed out that he hadn’t really been ‘criticized’, but rather, people were claiming there was some legal reason he shouldn’t be sworn in at all, and that’s a very different thing altogether.

    Do you not understand the difference between those two things, either, or why someone might feel the need to speak up?

  157. JWTJr

    “I was responding to someone suggesting that I had overreacted to Cecil being ‘politely criticized’. I pointed out that he hadn’t really been ‘criticized’, but rather, people were claiming there was some legal reason he shouldn’t be sworn in at all, and that’s a very different thing altogether.”

    Trying to separate him and the office will make you crazy. You will fight that battle forever.

  158. Barry Summers

    “Trying to separate him and the office will make you crazy. You will fight that battle forever.”

    OK, I have no idea what that means. That really doesn’t make any sense at all. Are you alone there, JWTjr? I think you may be having a stroke.

  159. Piffy!

    [b]Trying to separate him and the office will make you crazy. You will fight that battle forever. [/b]

    Are we talking about Bothwell or Steve Carrol?

  160. Add the Los Angeles Times:

    Councilman under fire for atheism
    http://is.gd/5ySsN

    “Cecil Bothwell, a member of the Unitarian Universalist church, declined to mention God in his swearing-in ceremony. Angry conservatives say his stance violates the state constitution.”

  161. Mister Blister

    Did someone lose an election… awww… poor babies. Love your enemies, bitches!

  162. Kenneth Hinckley

    The adults did lose this election. But whenever the liberal/marxist/democrats are in to play, they always screw things up. The adult party will be elected in large numbers in 2010 & 2012 nationally. This will “trickle down” to state and local level as well. Socialism is very expensive for those who work and produce the milk and honey we all enjoy in this country. We are not going to stand by while Cecil and comrade Obama tear our country down. Mark my words boys, a change is on the horizon. So enjoy your little power to try to put a square peg into a hammer & sickle hole. It won’t work.

  163. cows and all other mammals produce milk
    bees produce honey
    socialism actually works brilliantly for most people (Kenneth, are you turning down Social Security and Medicare?) but I am not a
    Socialist and have never advocated socialist plans for Asheville. Mr. Hinckley has apparently succumbed to some bad drugs.

    um, hum. “tear our country down”

    What country do you live in, dude? The only country I might be tempted to tear down at the moment is Uganda which seems to be falling prey to right-wing fantasies spun by conservatives in Washington. Oh, Hinckley, that’s your crowd!

  164. Barry Summers

    And socialism, I mean ‘price supports’, produce milk in this country. Ask any dairy farmer how much money they receive from the federal government.

    * btybcj

  165. Barry Summers

    And honey bees? Don’t get me started on those Commie bastards…

    *btybcj

  166. Jerry Thornton

    Socialism: Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.

    I do not believe social security comes under this definition, Mr Bothwell. Ken’s assertion that you do Obama’s bidding here on the local level may be based on your own post here at Mtn Xp that people should vote for you locally for the same reason they voted for Obama nationally.

    Social Security was setup originally as a trust fund. A government run pension system. They collected from you and put it into your account, based on how much you earned. Well guess what? Rather than keeping faith as a trust fund, democrats in congress used the money for entitlement programs, against the original intent. An example of JUST WHY the government cannot be trusted to be involved in running important parts of our life. So now they want to run healthcare. It will be a disaster. The Postal Service is losing a lot of money. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are about bankrupt. The government cannot manage anything, except the pork graft they give themselves as “public servants” (isn’t that rich?). And of course the government elites have their own cadillac healthcare system that ismuch better than what they want us taxpayers to get.

    The best course of action? The least government necessary. Low taxes. Everyone be responsible for themselves. Welfare only for those who are unable to work.

    Socialism just plain doesn’t work. “Progressivism” is an intellectual fraud wrought with wishful thinking and no practicality. Ken, above is right. The republicans will take over again in 2010 and 2012. And the democrats will be out of power for another 10-15 years, until people forget just how incompetent democrats are and how tax raise and spent crazy they are. We can only hope that the country isn’t ruined before responsible leadership is put back in place.

    Just the thoughts of one person. But I suspect my views are legion hereabouts, and in the nation as a whole. The loud liberal minority that posts here notwithstanding.

    God bless each and every one of you. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. Praise His love by loving each other this time of year. And especially let us have our local hero, The Reverend Billy Graham, in our prayers that good health will be with him in 2010 and beyond.

  167. Barry Summers

    Be careful at that holytaco site – I had no problem at first, but I clicked on one of the links & my security software immediately reacted to a trojan horse attack, & I had to shut down my browser.

  168. Barry Summers

    Funny – I was just watching The Thomas Crown Affair last night, which starts with criminals sneaking into a museum inside a crated sculpture, an “Etruscan Sarcophagus/Greco-Asian Horse”…

  169. Cullentastic

    [b]Socialism just plain doesn’t work. “Progressivism” is an intellectual fraud wrought with wishful thinking and no practicality. Ken, above is right. The republicans will take over again in 2010 and 2012. And the democrats will be out of power for another 10-15 years, until people forget just how incompetent democrats are and how tax raise and spent crazy they are. We can only hope that the country isn’t ruined before responsible leadership is put back in place.[/b]

    And how did those Republicans lose the white house and congress last time around? Oh, right, by running the country into a ditch, raising the national debt to never-before-seen levels, starting two un-end-able wars, … yes, those Republicans sure did a good job! Good thing it’s just the Dems who are to blame!

  170. pff

    [b]Welfare only for those who are unable to work[/b]

    And Michelle Bachman.

  171. Barry Summers

    Welfare only for those who are unable to work

    And Michelle Bachman.

    And Goldman Sachs.

  172. jimmytwotimes

    “‘Progressivism’ is an intellectual fraud wrought with wishful thinking and no practicality. Ken, above is right. The republicans will take over again in 2010 and 2012.”
    a few actual examples of wishful thinking:
    “I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators”
    Dick Cheney, 3/16/03
    “And the people of Afghanistan view the United States as liberators”
    Ari fleischer, 10/11/02
    Jerry, I wonder who the “responsible” people will hear crying out for “liberation” next

  173. Hank Kennesaw

    Thank you Jerry for pointing out what real socialism is for the uninformed here. Does this following country ring a bell: The Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics? Heck darn in that “country” whatever the communist party said should happen, happened. The people were very poor and depressed, with alcoholism very high. But the commissars in government lived pretty darn well. Dacha’s on the Black Sea, special quarters and food. Cars.

    Same in the People’s Republic of Cuba. The people just have run down shacks to live in, and rice and beans to keep body and soul barely together. But old Fidel has 4 mansions spread around the “country” to live in. He lives pretty darned good. And his henchmen do too, while the people barely get by. Thinking about what job you’d like to do? Don’t have to worry in Cuba. The government will TELL YOU where you’ll be working and what you’ll be doing. Want to complain about how rotten things are in this Workers’ Utopia? Can’t say it out loud there because there are government spies everywhere. One of your neighbors will turn you in, you’ll be picked up by the secret police in the middle of the night, and no one will hear from you again. You see, there is no freedom in socialist countries.

    So whine all you want y’all! Other people have had the guts to fight for your freedom of speech here in the good old United States of America!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL!

    And remember, JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!! God bless us one and all. Amen.

  174. Jerry Kennesaw

    “Hank”, “Jerry”, and “Kenneth” sure do sound similar!

    Must be because they are all strong Southern men!

  175. Seems to be a lot of confusion about the differences between socialism and totalitarianism here.

    In democratic socialist countries there are universal single payer health care, free university education for all qualified/interested students, paid maternal leave, and other benefits.

    And if you’re looking for powerful pols with big bucks and big houses, none come close to the U.S. And the disparity between rich and poor here is huge and growing.

    But, once again (because I can hear it coming), I haven’t advocated a socialist agenda for our fair city and implementing such an agenda at the city level would be impossible for anyone who did so.

    *Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  176. entopticon

    Jerry/Hank/Cullen/Peacewarrior/etc. really needs to make up his mind…. Is he a pious Christian like he is always claiming to be in his rants, or is he an obsessive-compulsive liar that is constantly pretending to be different people on here? We all know the latter is true, so why does he still claim to be the former?

    Pretending to be a bunch of different people on here clearly falls into the the category of bearing false witness, so unless he wants to give up those incessantly ham-fisted attempts at deception, he should really just stop with the whole pretending to be a Christian thing.

  177. JWTJr

    Nice letter in the ACT barry. Is Cecil paying you for your PR work?

  178. JWTJr

    Cecil, I heard you on the radio when I was driving the other night. Interesting show for you to go on, but that’s another matter.

    Question – you said that folks need to use less power. If the power were clean, solar for example, would you be ok with everyone using all they wanted?

    BTW – are you really a reptile?

  179. JWTJr.- I’m pretty sure Barry is being paid by Carl’s Jr. or by Carl Mumpower, but have no insider info.

    “Use less power” is shorthand for be more efficient and reduce carbon footprint. I think it’s perfectly okay for people to use as much power as they can afford as long as we don’t permit the seller of the power to externalize costs to the public and to the environment. Unfortunately we have an essentially socialist system for the benefit of energy producers which makes tax payers fund energy wars, eat the health care costs caused by pollution and environmental destruction, and etc.

    As for the other matter of appearing on Joshua Warren’s show, I admit that having been dragged into the spotlight by my detractors I am perfectly willing to advance my writing career while I have some public attention. I was a writer long before I entered politics and if this hoo-hah helps me sell some extra books it will contribute to my ability to devote a great deal of time to city matters. I’ve nabbed some paid speaking engagements, book sales are up, and campaign donations are flowing in from around the country. I really do owe H.K. Edgerton a note of thanks.

  180. Barry Summers

    Nice letter in the ACT barry. Is Cecil paying you for your PR work?

    Oh. Maybe I should’ve asked for that up front… Hey Cecil – I been doing this PR work on spec. – am I going to get paid for this someday?

    Seriously – these yahoos tried to overturn an election by smear and demagoguery. Someone stands up & says ‘Hey that’s not cool’, and all you can say is he must have been paid? Typical.

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  181. JWTJr

    Cecil – thanks for the answer.

    Regarding the show – Was it part of your election plan to make money off of the seat once you were elected?

  182. No. It was part of my election plan to try to make enough money from other pursuits to make the $13,800 half-time salary work out. (Actually, while I was running I was under the mistaken impression that the salary was $11,800 – so the higher figure has come as a pleasant surprise.)

    I didn’t imagine that an Asheville City Council seat would greatly increase my visibility outside of the county, even outside the country! This may yet prove to be a windfall. (So far, we’re talking a few hundred dollars, just for the record.)

    As to whether being on Council might increase my local income, it was not a plan but wouldn’t be a surprise if I sold an extra painting or a handful of extra books thanks to my new visibility. But having spent the great preponderance of my time for ten months running for office, I would advise others that it is not necessarily a good strategy for gainful employment. Not running would have been a far smarter economic plan.

  183. Barry Summers

    barry – just asking.

    You still didn’t answer.

    Well, JWTJr, I make it a policy not to take seriously insulting questions or comments from people too afraid to use their own names.

    I joke because I don’t respect you.

  184. Piffy!

    how dare you benefit from chad nesbitt’s failed attempt to unseat you, cecil! What a snake-oil salesman you are! I bet you have planned this for years, and are not even an atheist, but a devout jew who merely planted the term ‘atheist’ on your facebook page in order to generate this faux-controversy, generating you millions in sales of your books!

  185. Piffy!

    oh, and jwtjr, are you being paid by carl’s jr and chad nesbitt to try and drag out this non-issue for a few more weeks?

    why wont you answer my question!!!!!!!

  186. Barry Summers

    how dare you benefit from chad nesbitt’s failed attempt to unseat you, cecil!

    Again, just to recap: this was started by Matt Mittan, not Chad or HK or Kirk Lyons or the AC-T or any of the others who jumped on later…

    sorry to interrupt, go ahead with your snark – it’s great.

    *btybcj

  187. JWTJr

    puffy – I’ve asked reasonable questions yet you want to censor discussion. Typical left. Come to the the center. There is happiness in the center.

    barry – starting with the personal attack … all you had to say was ‘no, f off’ and I would have. The non answer with an underlying agenda is too typical of current politics. Is it so horrible to simply ask?

    I’m not sponsored at this juncture. However, I am looking.

  188. Barry Summers

    No. It was part of my election plan to try to make enough money from other pursuits to make the $13,800 half-time salary work out. (Actually, while I was running I was under the mistaken impression that the salary was $11,800 – so the higher figure has come as a pleasant surprise.)

    So your PR slush fund is fatter than expected? I want a raise.

  189. Barry Summers

    Is it so horrible to simply ask?

    When the question itself is insulting, yes.

    BTW, do you still grind up live puppies for your breakfast?

    What? What’s the big deal? I’m just asking, nothing wrong with that…

    Never mind. You’re just a sock with little plastic eyes glued on.

    *btybcj

  190. Piffy!

    [b]puffy – I’ve asked reasonable questions yet you want to censor discussion. Typical left. Come to the the center. There is happiness in the center.[/b]

    Yes, so many of the things I said that you are responding to are so obviously trying to censor you, and are so obviously from ‘the left’, and you are so obviously on ‘the center’.

    Tell, me JWTJR, are you or are you not a paid employee of Carl’s Jr. WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION!!! Hmmmm? Typical left wing wacko, just refusing to answer the question.

    Come to the center JWT, where we all love each other, pay our taxes, and support the president!

  191. entopticon

    Way to spread false internet rumors there Jr….. That rumor about Baucus being drunk was started by a post on an internet blog, and has no basis in reality. It is just the usual right wing extremist smear machine at work. Personally, I think Max Baucus is a total scumbag, but there is no reason to spread lies about him.

    What exactly are you in the center of Jr? Rush Limbaugh’s anal cavity?

  192. Barry Summers

    Okay guys, lay off the crazy attacks on the JWTJr puppet. We’re trying to be adults here.

    Let’s give him another few minutes to deny the charge that he tortures and kills puppies for fun and nourishment. youtube clip to follow…

    * brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  193. JWTJr

    Ent – Are you trying to say that the guy in that video wasn’t slurring?

  194. JWTJr

    Cecil – thanks for another solid answer.

    Here’s another question on Solar power since I brought it up.

    Would you rather see a solar power plan that incentivized towards utilizing big collection areas and used the grid to distribute the power or would you rather see incentives for each building/structure to become energy independent?

  195. Barry Summers

    Cecil – thanks for another solid answer.

    Oooh. Look who’s all teachers pet, now. Word to the wise, bro. If you’re gonna do PR for Cecil, get paid up front.

  196. JWTJr

    You have the pet status locked up. I’m just asking questions. Please forgive Cecil for answering them.

  197. entopticon

    Jr, I am saying that it was a shameful right wing smear campaign exploited by the Drudge Report that is already being condemned as baseless, tabloidesque muckraking by legitimate news sources. Baucus actually talks that way.

    You really need to give your brain a rest from the endless, steaming pile of right wing extremist news blather that has been polluting your mind for so long.

  198. JWTJr

    I’m not so sure he always talks that way. Let’s keep and eye on him and see.

  199. Distributed generation with grid connection seems the best way to go. We have all these roofs already, so why cover up new acreage with solar panels?
    (And after spending 21 years on photovoltaics with a battery bank, the grid connection seems far preferable to me. Batteries are expensive and toxic.)

  200. entopticon

    I’m not so sure he always talks that way. Let’s keep and eye on him and see.

    That’s because you just lap up and regurgitate whatever disgraceful blather that the right-wing extremist Faux News sources that you obsess over put in front of you.

    You also think that barry is a secret employee for Cecil, and Cecil secretly conspired to get into the Asheville city council so that he could stir up controversy to sell books, so you don’t exactly have a track record of having basic reasoning abilities. In other words, you are the perfect dittohead. If you had any integrity, you would be disgraced to be spreading such shameful nonsense. As the Washington Independent put it:

    “This seems like a slow-news-week joke story to most people, but I find it truly bizarre that this “story” took off. It’s like one of those photos that catches a celebrity at a bad angle and is run in the National Enquirer as proof that So-and-So has ballooned to 200 pounds. Actually, it’s sillier than that, because Baucus talks like this all the time. “

  201. Barry Summers

    I’m just asking questions. Please forgive Cecil for answering them.

    Cecil, I forgive you for having thoughtful answers for JWTJr. Heck, even Ralph Nader went on Sesame Street to talk to the puppets.

  202. JWTJr

    Rush was able to pull of working on drugs for a long time. I guess this is Baucus’ coming out party

  203. [b]Socialism: Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.

    I do not believe social security comes under this definition, Mr Bothwell.[/b]

    You need to learn some history. [b]Social[/b] security has more-or-less always been viewed as unconstitutional, communist, socialist and any other derogatory term available by the conservative right since the introduction of the idea back in 1935.

    Medicare, itself part of the Social Security Act of 1965, was specifically called a “socialist” program by Ronald Reagan in the 1961 AMA-funded scare-tactic album “Ronald Reagan speaks out against SOCIALIZED MEDICINE” (emphasis in the original). You can hear his own words on the subject here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs

    Also, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Cecil’s situation. If you want to argue about socialism, please start a thread on the Mountain Xpress forums.

  204. Barry Summers

    Rush was able to pull of working on drugs for a long time. I guess this is Baucus’ coming out party

    I don’t know if Baucus was drunk, or simply tired as his defenders say. I know he helped deliver a bill gift-wrapped for the insurance companies, so screw him.

    As for Rush, I used to listen to him daily at work. The days leading up to his admission that he was a drug addict were hilarious. He spent entire shows ranting that the reason his speech was slow and slurred was that liberals were intercepting his uplink! They were digitally changing the sound of his voice before it went out to the radio stations, in order to discredit him!

    When I pointed out to my dittohead co-workers that this was nonsense, they immediately jumped to his defense and said that of course, it was entirely possible. I just didn’t know anything about digital effects. Right…I conceded that it was possible to change the pitch on a live broadcast, but slowing down a persons speech, when they were talking to live callers (whose voices were NOT altered), was patently impossible.
    Oh, this made them very angry, and they accused me of joining the Clinton-machine attack on their hero.

    A few weeks later, when it was revealed that their hero was a lying drug abuser & had made fools of them all, they just kept their heads down & didn’t want to talk about it…

    Yeah, but Rush ‘pulled it off’ for a while.

  205. JWTJr

    Steve – its not fair you get the last word on that one.

    If you don’t pay into SS, you don’t get a benefit. Your benefit is determined by how much you paid in. Medicare is similar. If you don’t pay in, you get no benefit.

    That doesn’t not sound like classic socialism to me.

  206. JWTJr

    Medicaid probably fits into the classic socialism mold. You don’t have to pay in to get a benefit. Very different from SS and Medicare benefits even though they are housed in the same bill.

  207. That doesn’t not sound like classic socialism to me.

    Take it up with Reagan’s ghost, the conservatives of the 1960s and the AMA. It’s not my claim, it’s theirs.

  208. Piffy!

    [b]Take it up with Reagan’s ghost, the conservatives of the 1960s and the AMA. It’s not my claim, it’s theirs. [/b]

    Come now Steve, you are dealing with an amnesia-con, also known these days as a New Conservative. You know they don’t remember the past as it actually happened, and you can’t expect them to respond to specific quotes and statements like Reagan calling Medicaid “Socialism”. That’s called [i]context[/i] and is a known socialist concept.

    For them, history happened in whatever way their current spin needs it to have happened, regardless of pesky facts or quotes or references.

  209. Barry Summers

    For them, history happened in whatever way their current spin needs it to have happened, regardless of pesky facts or quotes or references.

    “Facts just push the truth around.”
    David Byrne

  210. Piffy!

    there are posts in this thread that appear on the front page of the blogs, but not here…

  211. Barry Summers

    It’s like the topic has been shut down, only not all the way. I thought it was only me, like my comments were being held or something.

    It’s like we’re ghosts, shouting for the living to notice us!

    Oh Gods! Make it stop!

  212. Piffy!

    I think it is just an opportunity for brevity. And that 255 may be the threshold for comments. Or they’re sick of us.

  213. Just Me

    Wiccans, Atheist, and Pagans were not all bussed to Asheville en-masse to corrupt Asheville, Buncombe County, and WNC. Many of ‘us’ are your native neighbors. We’ve either been raised here, have extensive ‘bonafide’ mountain familes here, or both. A few I know are from other rurual parts of NC outside of WNC. If you get rid of our us vs. them mentality and stop insisting that every single person who is not just like you must have moved here from somewhere else, this becomes a lot easier. Nice try, though.

    Once again, we are NOT ‘Others’. We are you.

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