Sep
07

Interview with Mark Cates

By

Election season is upon us, and I’m offering Asheville City Council candidates the opportunity to interact with Scrutiny Hooligans readers. Each candidate received the same set of questions, and I posted their responses here unedited. Our first guest was Marc Hunt. He was followed by Chris Pelly, TJ Thomasson, Lael Gray, and Bill Russell. This is the last in this introductory interview series. Keep an eye out for Round Two – coming soon. Today’s guest is Mark Cates:

Q. How long have you been a ScruHoo reader? Tell us how much you love this blog.

As an engineer and business owner, incorporating many different perspectives is crucial. Doing so will provide a unique insight and allow a person to see things as they are and not how we think they should be. This is part of who I am. Given that fact, I try to get a wide variety of news each morning, and ScruHoo has been a part of that process for a few years. It has always fascinated me to read the centrist/left posts of many of the ScruHoo readers, they are a great foil to other voices on the blog.


Q. You’re too kind, too kind. So why are you running for Asheville City Council?

I love Asheville. I love its culture, its history, its natural beauty, its people and the unlimited potential that surrounds us every day. When it came time to decide where my son should be raised I was fortunate enough to be able to choose any city in the country… and I chose Asheville.

Today Asheville is facing some serious challenges. Thousands of our neighbors are out of work. Those lucky enough to have a job are often underemployed and those of us who have the ability to employ others are struggling to keep our employees paid, let alone merely keeping the doors open and the lights on. But the fact remains, more than 17,000 of our neighbors are on unemployment and we have no idea how many more are out of work but not being counted. This is the most important issue facing Asheville, hands down.

Our city has done a fantastic job of supporting tourism industry, but now we face the challenge of the unintended consequence: a seasonal economy. Simply put, when the tourists aren’t around, neither are the jobs or the money to put food on the table for many of our citizens. The city council has the power to change this. Fortunately, Asheville’s greatest characteristic, culture, is still strong. We must protect this culture as we move forward.

So I’m running–not only to provide for a future in the city I love for my son’s generation–but to bring my skill set and knowledge about creating jobs and healthy companies to a position that will meld Asheville’s unique culture with a sustainable economic future we can all enjoy.

Q. What’s your skill set?

For nearly 20 years I’ve been consulting in the areas of technology and business development. I grew up in a family business (we installed glass) and now help the entire industry by helping other companies make better uses of technology, helping ‘mom and pop’ companies provide health care to their employees, and helping them to streamline their business operations. Outside of the glass industry, I consult on how companies can use technology to save time and money. I am also a trained aerospace engineer and have had the opportunity to work on satellites and navigation systems for national and international projects. Being trained in aerospace engineering was a great experience, and it led to a method of thinking about business development that has been extremely successful throughout the years.

Q. Any recent council decisions that you’d like to comment about?

I’ve been enjoying the meetings this year and have to say, any time the city council talks about supporting local businesses to create a more robust economy I think it’s great. Our local businesses put food on the table for our neighbors. With Asheville being the seventh worst place in the nation for hunger, making sure that businesses can provide quality jobs is important. So it’s not about specific decisions per se, but about the times when the members of the city council are taking up the banner of economic development, helping businesses do better and ultimately addressing the needs of Asheville’s most important asset: her people.

Q. What do you do when you’re not working?

When I’m not spending time with my son, my time is usually spent on my main hobby: continuing education on finance, economics, job creation, economic development and looking at what other cities are doing to accomplish these goals. If I can get in a little yoga and gardening with my neighbors during the week, that’s great too.

Q. Who’s your favorite Beatle?

Paul McCartney is a left-handed guitar player. I am a left-handed guitar player. As a lefty, it’s great to be inspired by someone of such talent.

Q. Challenge: In 25-words or less, sum up your goals for a term on City Council.

To merge Asheville’s unique culture with a sustainable plan to diversify our local economy and set our citizens on a path to quality jobs.


Comments

  1. RHS says:

    Mr. Cates,

    You were quote in the August 23 issue of Mountain Xpress as saying at the Buncombe County Republican convention in March that “we live in the heart of enemy territory” and that “we have to strike a blow from the inside.”

    Could you please explain your comments?

    Thank you.

    Thumb up 12

  2. shadmarsh says:

    He was for it before he was against it.

    Thumb up 2

  3. When, exactly, recently, has Council taken any action supporting local businesses?

    Thumb up 6

  4. It was at the meeting you missed, apparently.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  5. Mark Cates says:

    First off, I’d like to thank Gordon for allowing me to post my response. Having recently been told I wasn’t welcome to take part in a candidate forum because of my beliefs, it’s nice to have been given some space on Scrutiny Hooligans. Thanks. And I mean that sincerely, Gordon.

    Second, let me directly answer RHS, and anyone else who wants to continue fanning the flames of partisanship rather than talk about ideas:

    In addressing a large number of Republicans earlier this year, it was necessary to bring attention to the elephant in the room: Republicans, be they centrist Republicans, libertarian Republicans or conservative Republicans, are all grouped as one and treated like second class citizens in Asheville. Why was it necessary to address this?

    Because at the best, disrespect is no way to treat other human beings, and at worst, the actual fear that exists among many Republicans of being “outed” among our neighbors and losing what could have been a strong tie to our communities, or of having our personal property destroyed, or the very real fear among many Republicans in Asheville of losing a job… and having our livelihoods, and therefore our families, put at risk is just plain wrong.

    That day, I said that Republicans are in enemy territory. But context matters, and the context in this case is this: It is the Republicans who, according to many in our community, are the enemy.

    Republicans are told that we are not welcome in Asheville, no matter what our ideas might be. We are told that Asheville doesn’t want us… and that comes from the few people who put forth the effort to even talk at or about us. More often that I’d like to admit, I hear, “You’re a Republican? Then no, I will not talk with you.”

    Don’t believe me? It exists right here, unfortunately, on Scrutiny Hooligans…

    http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2011/07/08/city-council-open-thread-2/#comments

    and specifically this: “Cates is definitely talking about something important. Asheville does need to have conversation about its water system. It’s something we’ve put off and put off and put off. And then we all said: “Screw it, let’s put in bike lanes.” But I think I’m stating the obvious here when I say Asheville doesn’t want to have that conversation with a straight, white, male Republican. Asheville doesn’t like Republicans. Asheville doesn’t trust Republicans. A socially liberal, female, business owner Republican, maybe. But not Cates…”

    Really. Let’s disregard the fact that the author brings up my sexuality (why?), my skin color (why, again?) and my gender (seriously?) and focus on the partisanship… because that’s the heart of what I’m being accused of. The author admits that I brought up something important, but immediately says that Asheville doesn’t want to have that conversation with me because I’m a Republican, and that’s it. No other reason but political affiliation. Again, partisanship is more important to some people in Asheville than ideas. This is wrong, closed-minded and, let’s be honest, it’s flat out bigotry.

    That’s a charged word, bigotry, and it should never be thrown around lightly. Let’s reference the definition of a bigot, from Merriam Webster: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

    I doubt that we need a reminder on the definition of intolerance, but maybe some of the audience could use some help. Definition of intolerant: a : unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters; b : unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : bigoted.

    Even the dictionary references bigotry when defining intolerance.

    Is one example not enough? Just so we’re all on the same page that this isn’t cherry picking, here is another example… unfortunately also from Scrutiny Hooligans: “All across “middle Amurrica” are straight, white, male Republican types who wish all the gays/hippies/liberals/freeks would go “somewhere else.” So when the freeks find themselves just such a “somewhere else”: an Asheville, a San Francisco, a New York, the occasional college town… why, the straight, white, male Republican types aren’t happy with that, either!”

    Two examples not enough? How about this: “Straight white Republican
    males: the guys who just want to own the living shit out of EVERYTHING.”

    And this follow up: “You left out authoritarian.”

    Are we to think that these Scrutiny Hooligans contributors are Republicans? What, exactly, is the charge against my affiliation with a political group when it comes to the inclusion of racism, sexism or sexuality? If we’re going to accuse everyone today of the actions of individuals throughout history, then nobody is innocent.

    Did anyone castigate these community members? No.

    Did anyone delete the bigoted comments? No.

    Did anyone apologize? No.

    The comments have been up there for months, in a public forum.

    But that’s only half of the comment that the partisans among us wish to continue throwing up. The other half: “Let’s strike a blow from the inside.”

    When a people are being met with intolerance and bigotry, there is no excuse for them to take the same path. Are some Republicans and conservatives guilty of intolerance and bigotry? Just like some Democrats and progressives, yes. Two wrongs don’t make a right, so it is now incumbent upon someone to stand up and win an election in the city… based on the merits of ideas. A Republican who can win an election in Asheville, when his or her campaign is based on ideas, sends a huge blow to bigotry and intolerance. Hopefully, all sides will see that. Education, tolerance, engaging in conversation (especially with those who we might not agree with at the outset) and, ultimately ideas… these are the tools with which we fight intolerance. These are the weapons with which we fight against bigotry. And winning an election, in the face of bigotry and intolerance, in the face of fear for our property and livelihoods, is just that: striking a blow from the inside.

    The proof is in the pudding: my campaign is about ideas. My positions on economic development, quality jobs, clean air, clean water, hunger, homelessness and poverty, and access to responsible government have been up on my website for months. Let there be no question that I love Asheville, voted for it with my feet, and that I wholeheartedly believe in the culture that exists here. Our culture is what makes us great. We are interesting. We are creative. We are independent. We have a soul when so many of the cities around the country no longer have one. And it is exactly this culture that I was determined to protect, preserve and promote when I developed an economic and environmental vision to help the more than 17,000 of our neighbors who are out of a job right now get back to work.

    But that’s an idea… and I wasn’t asked about that.

    -Mark Cates

    Thumb up 12

  6. shadmarsh says:

    whoa…thin skinned much?

    Thumb up 2

  7. Keith Thomson says:

    “Mr. Cates,

    You were quoted in the August 23 issue of Mountain Xpress as saying at the Buncombe County Republican convention in March that “we live in the heart of enemy territory” and that “we have to strike a blow from the inside.”

    Could you please explain your comments?”

    I, for one, would still like to understand how many enemies Mr. Cates feels that he is the victim of in this territory.

    One of his compatriots in the Republican Party recently elected to serve on the Buncombe County School Board has made it her role to treat others on the Board and in the school community as though they are enemies. This model does not work, and impedes us moving forward together.

    Playing the victim when people respond negatively is a poor response, and seeks to exploit feelings of liberal guilt. There are plenty of Republicans, many of whom I count as friends and associates, in Asheville who live, conduct business, and associate with others freely without following the example of Chad Nesbitt and the Carolina Stompers. There are reasons that these types of Republicans cannot get elected dog catcher, and the fault is not in the stars, but in themselves.

    Thumb up 9

  8. Jesus Saves Coupons says:

    Two Questions for Mr. Cates:

    1) Your website suggests you moved to Asheville with your family in 2004 yet NC board of elections data shows you never even voted in the 2009 Asheville City Council election? Assuming you’ve lived in City limits this whole time, how do you justify failing to participate in the political process?

    2) Since you do live in enemy terrortory, how do justify moving your family to such a hostile environment? Do you feel safe at night? or do you live in some sort of a barbed wire compound?

    Thumb up 4

  9. RHS says:

    “Second, let me directly answer RHS, and anyone else who wants to continue fanning the flames of partisanship rather than talk about ideas:”

    Mr. Cates,

    Thank you for your reply.

    First of all I was not wanting to “continue fanning the flames of partisanship” with my question which I asked in a sincere effort to understand to context of your comments which I might add, given the partisan audience to which they were made, could well be construed to fanning those very same flames.

    At a time when hyper partisanship has brought Washington to a virtual standstill, referring to others in address before a specifically partisan audience as the “enemy” hardly seems constructive and in doing so one should not be surprised to have questions raised about them. I am sorry if you feel that your comments have overshadowed your ideas you want to bring to your campaign but they, are after all, your comments. Just as you sow shall you reap.

    Thumb up 5

  10. Deus Ex Machina says:

    George is my favorite Beatle.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  11. ivanrich says:

    Looks like you are getting a good lesson in the experience of being a MINORITY. Doesn’t seem fair does it? Your opinoins aren’t valued as highly, you are stereotyped unfairly, you have absolutely no where near as much chance of having any political pull or ability to create change in your community…. the list goes on and on. Ponder all these things that are stinging you so badly now… then take a hard look at the right-wing agenda of your political party and see if you can truly reconcile the two. Enjoy your pity trip.

    Thumb up 5

  12. Whew. I came late to this conversation. Mark directed my attention to this thread when we met at a CIBO meeting this morning.

    Get a life, Mark. We white male middle-class folks run the damned world. Your posturing as some sort of beleaguered minority is completely nutzo.

    -c

    Thumb up 7

  13. Fritz Chaleff says:

    This is not a post from the Mark Cates campaign, this is a personal post. Full disclosure: I work on Mark Cates’ campaign.

    ivanrich: I am extremely offended by your comment.

    How dare you assume that Mark or any of us need a lesson in what it means to be part of a minority? How dare you wish that anyone feel the sting of intolerance? How dare you publicly profess hate, especially in such an open-minded community like Asheville? You have never reached out to get to know us.

    It is precisely because we are a minority that members of my family have been murdered. I have lost count of the number of times when I have personally had to endure intolerance, injustice and anti-Semitism. I have been physically attacked, verbally attacked and my property destroyed. Why? Because I am part of a minority, be it Republican, Jewish, or otherwise. I do not need a lesson in the sting of intolerance, and there are many individuals in the world, also Republicans, who have histories you know nothing about.

    For any reader who knows ivanrich, I implore you to speak with him about his bigotry. It is wrong and no matter how it is directed (at race, sexuality, gender, political affiliation, spirituality), it must stop. It is never justified. If you know him and don’t say anything, then you are then guilty of letting this type of behavior continue in our community. Overcoming bigotry takes the courage of friends, and confronting a friend is often the hardest type of courage to muster. If you need help with how to confront a friend, there are many resources on the Internet that might point you in the right direction. A cursory search found this link, which might be helpful: http://www.essortment.com/confront-friend-36419.html

    If you are ivanrich, please, stop. There are people among all political affiliations who wish to bring about a better world for everyone. If you believe in this, as I do, then drop the hate and engage on issues. Ending hatred, and finding common ground, starts with two individuals who are willing to talk respectfully with each other. To prove that I’m willing, I invite you to join me for dinner next week. We can discuss politics and the world, and maybe we’ll even find some common ground. I’m willing, are you?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5

  14. TJ says:

    “Republicans are told that we are not welcome in Asheville, no matter what our ideas might be. We are told that Asheville doesn’t want us… and that comes from the few people who put forth the effort to even talk at or about us. More often that I’d like to admit, I hear, “You’re a Republican? Then no, I will not talk with you.””

    Wow! You’ve got guts! Actually, you’re full of “it.” I can think of all sorts of reasons to feel life isn’t fair, but for you to victimize yourself by this definition, it’s insulting to the senses. Or, is that CENSUS? Did you get counted? Did anyone have to tread through the back woods and mud to find you to be counted? Did you have to stand in line at DSS, or ABCCM to keep your heat on, or to get a great box of food you can host a party with (NOT!)?

    Unbelievable! When you have some REAL loss of identity based on something personal, try again, maybe I’ll stick a quarter in the donation slot.

    Meanwhile, I’ve got clients with REAL problems, who have NO affiliation to politics, or many other parts of our taken for granted privileges. Please don’t insult their situation by trying to cash in the “victim” card.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  15. Dixiegirlz says:

    I’ve been hearing this “spin” lately from other Republicans I know. It’s sometimes coupled with Avl being a sin-filled place. This is ludicrous. Fact is there are many non-affiliated voters, who’d appreciate a few level headed Republicans…at least I would. And if Asheville is sin-city to folks they’ve obviously not been many places.

    Thumb up 4

  16. TJ says:

    “And if Asheville is sin-city to folks they’ve obviously not been many places.”

    That’s for sure. Well, I guess the commercial is right….what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
    Or, whatever happened to the line from people here used to always say when they saw my CA tags? Something about all the evil stuff trends come from CA.
    Never mind the spikes crime rate in D.C.

    And is just a couple. Calling Asheville sin-central is like calling a Honda cycle rider the coolest in front of a Hells Angel biker. (Well, my Shadow IS a wanna be Sportster ;-) ).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  17. TJ says:

    By the way, Mr. Cates…if you are such a victim, then what good will you do us in a public office. It is one thing to say the words “change,” but if you are about the business of claiming victimhood, I don’t see how you can hope to be a leader to the city folks.

    I have clients, who are embroiled in the system for decades, who still refuse to roll over and claim to be a victim. Sure, they complain at times, but I think I’ve heard more from you on this one thread about how poor Mr. Cates is not treated fairly and no one wants to play with him, than I have from the total clientele I have served since October of last year. Give it a rest, stop being so defensive, and maybe people would see you as leadership potential (or not). Either way, have the maturity to accept that not everyone is going to like you, but that you can still have a positive focus. Too hard for you to do?
    Then, you are surely one person I would not consider for office, no matter WHAT party you affiliated yourself with.

    Thumb up 4

  18. KevinA says:

    Dixie did you even read anything about mark before that last post or..? I’m up to around halfway through this “vision” as he phrased it and he seems like the most level headed person to post thus far.

    Asheville’s finally got a republican, who isn’t spouting relgious beliefs and actually has a pair down below.

    If anything the fact he’s been in Avl this long yet feels that way says something about his resilience and strength.

    It’s responses and opinions like most of these that make me glad I switched to unaffiliated.

    Also I guess I can be post number two to actually try being on topic (dues ex m). Is that 17000 number accurate? That seems incredibly high for people to just be overlooking. Out of that 17k how many are still looking? Or is that the amount and there’s actually more?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5

  19. Keith Thomson says:

    Asheville *METRO* Region Unemployment figures

    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/north-carolina/asheville/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. Keith Thomson says:

    I will credit Mark Cates with actually deigning to speak to his potential constituents, even if he feels than they are enemies. Tim Moffitt clearly has declared war on Asheville and won’t come down from his high horse to speak to or be exposed to what we might think, before he acts to take away rights and opportunities to citizens of Asheville.

    Given that only two Republicans serve those of us who live in Asheville/Buncombe County in state and local government (not counting unaffilitated, former Republican, Bill Russell) I am not encouraged that Tim Moffitt and Buncombe County School Board member Lisa Baldwin operate as though they too “live in the heart of enemy territory” and that “[IMHO, they act as if they] have to strike a blow from the inside.”

    This aspect of his declaration requires a better accounting from Mr. Cates before he simply accuses others of what he stood before God, and the Buncombe County Republican Party Convention, and declared that he considered his future constituents to be “enemies.”

    Not even Carl Mumpower, as sanctimonious and pious as he can be looking down his glasses on the rest of us, has ever come out of the closet as such a Carolina Stomper. We might as well elect Chad Nesbitt to serve on Asheville City Council.

    Mr. Cates, apologize for the inexcusable and tell us that we are your neighbors and that while we might not always agree on every issue we can move forward together. That is an “idea” I can respect. Without such an apology for misplaced words, I will not buy what you are selling. I will certainly not trust the well being of my children and my community to someone who placed their bet on such a position.

    Thumb up 7

  21. shadmarsh says:

    Wow you can actually watch his campaign go into the toilet on this thread.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  22. Dixiegirlz says:

    Kevin, it appears to be more of the same behind the scenes, Thunder-piggishly forging ahead with slash and burn tactics…meanwhile acting the bafoon. That’s not my idea of good Republicanism.

    Thumb up 4

  23. KevinA says:

    Dixie, are you basing that judgement off anything in reality? Please point me towards anything he said that reflects your argument. I would completely agree if you were to say that there’s a good chunk of R’s who are over the top, but does being affiliated with a group who has bad apples automatically make someone a bad person? Everyones guilty by that standard.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  24. Dixiegirlz says:

    Kevin A, see comment #7.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  25. Keith Thomson says:

    This thread should be available on Monday morning to reflect upon if the weekend flurries have covered it up. So, here goes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. RHS says:

    I agree, Keith. This matter warrants further discussion.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  27. Dixiegirlz@gmail.com says:

    Kevin, I too am un-affiliated. I have friends and acquaintances on both sides. Some extreme and some not so. I’ve not seen you here very often. If you had been, you’d know I’m one of the few here who has wished for solid Republicans to come out of surrounding hills and hollows. Unfortunately the attitude that anyone not in agreement with Mr. Cates is the “enemy,” simply stops any support he might have received due to the mindsets overt stupidity.

    Cate’s mentioning “enemy territory” is a manifestation of the pity-pot mindset that is coming out of the local GOP. They have themselves to blame for allowing certain extremists to lead the local GOP down the garden path to an ideology that does not appeal to many, so they’ve lost ranks instead of building their ranks. I suggest they lick their wounds and figure out where they’ve gone wrong.

    Thumb up 7

  28. TJ says:

    @ Dixiegirlz:

    I agree here. While I may not agree anymore with the ideological mindset of Republicans after having lived through that as a military brat, I would find more respect for someone who stood on principles and didn’t feel a need to manipulate emotions to get accepted. I know that tactic is used across board, but if I saw a Democrat (or others) doing that, I would feel the same way.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. Keith Thomson says:

    If I were to hear a fellow Democrat refer to my neighbors here in Asheville as “enemies” I would choose to vote for someone other than that person.

    The problem I have with Mr. Cates is that he seems to be running a stealth campaign, and I wonder if his speech before the Buncombe County Republican Party, or his stated approval of Republican US House Speaker John Boehner’s “all of the above” energy policy are more authentic statements of Cates’ approach, or whether he was being insincere by throwing red meat to the Carolina Stompers in the convention gathering. If the latter is the case, he might need to explain something to Republicans that he didn’t mean what he said.

    I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, but his rambling response in comment #5 above led me to think he has a very detailed construct of why “enemies” in Asheville need to be struck “a blow from within.”

    Thumb up 6

  30. TJ says:

    ” well, what’s that Shakesheare quote… I dost think thou protesteth too much? I’m not into Shakespheare, so forgive my errors if there are.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. Dixiegirlz says:

    “And this follow up: “You left out authoritarian.” Mark Cates~ this is a link to a comment I made back in July. http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2011/07/08/city-council-open-thread-2/#comments

    Mr Cates, I don’t think there’s any denying that white males have held the reigns of power for millennia. Be they Democrat or Republican, Marxist, Leninist, Communists, etc…I believe the hierarchical power structure that has it’s basis in authoritarianism is a big part of the world’s problems.

    Interesting fact when juxtaposed against your whiney response @ comment #5, given the fact of white male authoritarian dominance in the world. And no I’m not a man-hating femanazi…I have plenty of male friends who I have total respect for…they’re just not of the authoritarian mindset.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  32. Keith Thomson says:

    @TJ

    “The quotation “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, scene II. The phrase has come to mean that one can “insist so passionately about something not being true that people suspect the opposite of what one is saying.”[http://www.goenglish.com/ProtestTooMuch.asp]

    The phrase is often misquoted as “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”[http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations] and is commonly used in the second person as “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”"

    Having spent fifty years in an extended family with mostly Republicans as relatives and in-laws, and having spent thirty years in Asheville trying to build bridges with folks with whom I don’t agree on every issue, I sincerely am offended by anyone, like Mr. Cates or Chad Nesbitt, who seek to serve in important positions affecting my self, my family, and my local community that openly espouse that the world is divided between enemies and their tribe. At this level of community that is unnecessary, IMHO.

    If you doubt my sincerity, as your attempt to conjure Shakespeare would imply, then the fault may be due to my attempts at commentary, or it may be something else. I suspect it is not a sense of how frequently you judge that one should comment on this site. ;-)

    Take care, and enjoy this taste of early Autumn.

    Keith

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  33. TJ says:

    @Keith: I should ask your forgiveness for the misunderstanding. I was actually referring to Mr. Cates’ protesting
    earlier on. And, no, for one seldom at a loss for words, I make no judgements about frequency. ;-)
    (although, I have once or twice found myself speechless at the overt disregard for human rights described here- but, then, outrage takes over, and-at least tonight, I took action over words downtown)

    I can credit a certain amount of boldness to speak to a “hostile”(or, as he said, enemy) audience, but when he resorted to playing the victim role, I lost what respect that step had built in.

    I hope you continue to comment, but it’s not my blog, so I offer no guarantees about receptivity ;-). You offer variety, and I love hearing various perspectives, even when I don’t agree…except when it’s blatantly disrespectful.

    Thanks for the Shakespheare lesson, but, again, it wasn’t about you. I also agree about the unnecessary act of focusing on divisions in a community, when there is such a need to be unified in many common causes.

    I am ashamed of my lack of sophistication in literature, but any time you want to engage with Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, Dostoyevsky, or Nietzsche, I’m game. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. Keith Thomson says:

    @TJ

    No worries, it would be nice if we had the luxury of more discussion of literature and history.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  35. TJ says:

    Well, there are PLENTY of connections between those and politics. Take Soren Kierkegaard. Had to write Fear and Trembling under a pen name because of the power or the church in his time, he would have been judged a heretic.

    Sort of like all the people who don’t “fit in” with local politics and religious extremists here in Asheville. Like what I felt needed people to stand up and be counted for tonight downtown-regardless of what my friends or co-workers might think. Too many lives are at stake for me to just want to be “safe” and comfortable. How can I live a safe life, when others want to simply live and to have the security of a family?

    See? ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. Satan says:

    lolololol. Calm down brohams.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0