Matt Hintz

By Steve Woodward

Matthew Hintz appeared within the ranks of the Moore County Republican Party almost out of thin air, and during the past roughly two years he inspired many of us through his passion and deeply rooted convictions. Often, his passion was mistaken for rage but his friends knew better. Many most likely found their passions wanting by contrast. 

Matt rejoiced in his children and his marriage. When he came to realize that local public education was fraught with peril for young minds, he and Melissa chose to home-school their two boys of school age. He was deeply engaged in their homeschooling activities before earlier this year sending them off to a Christian school.

We worked together on a team that organized the Moore County School Choice Expo last May. By all accounts it was a resounding success, attracting both private and charter schooling advocates, and a steady stream of visitors from the community.

I will certainly miss Matt’s warmth and thoughtfulness. He was indeed a kind soul with a sharp wit and an unassuming presence though his intellect was substantial. In the face of hypocrisy and deceit, Matt was the first to stand up and speak up.

When Matt recognized that thousands of retired military veterans in our midst are unregistered voters, he wrote a powerful radio ad calling on them to fulfill a solemn duty and honor their oaths by voting.

Matt entered God’s eternal kingdom on November 23. We no longer can hear his voice, but let us vow to be his voice.

This broken world too often turns its back on the very individuals best equipped to heal it. Thus, how can we mourn too long when they leave us in search of peace? I pray that Matt is now immersed in peace.  

Domestic jihad

By Steve Woodward

It was striking that Election Day and Veterans’ Day fell 72 hours apart last week. Both events, one a duty, the other a sacred observance, have reliably and boldly reflected American priorities and values across the years.

There was indeed much to celebrate among values-based conservatives after November 8, Election Day 2022. There was much for which to be thankful and sobered on November 11, Veterans’ Day.

In Moore County, the conservative values wave sent the left crashing into the jagged rocks of irrelevance. Voters overwhelmingly chose morality and stewardship when offered the alternative – cultural secularism and reckless spending. More on these triumphs later. Let’s simply say that where public schools and the Moore County Board of Education are concerned the status quo rubber stamp has been placed permanently in a drawer, and citizens who attend future meetings can rest assured they will not be subjected to metal detectors, masks, and intimidation by security personnel.

But the bigger picture is disheartening, and not for reasons about which the corrupt mainstream media would dare pontificate.

Two examples. Republicans did not seize iron clad majorities in the U.S. House and Senate because they ran too many tainted, Trump-backed “election denier” candidates who are not, and never will be, electable. BS. 

Are we to accept this absurd notion even as The Big Steal 2.0 plays out before our eyes in Arizona, California, Nevada and Oregon? Election integrity is taking another hit out West, where “officials” are complacent and, likely, complicit.

The Left is not a wing of the Democrat party in 2022. The Left IS the Democrat party. Its candidates and its voters are not fixated on the so-called insurrection of January 6, 2021. Their fixation is abortion on demand, climate change, LBGTQ rights and gender fluidity. They do not care about our “institutions”, and they are not Never Trumpers. They barely noticed Trump because they never cared about low unemployment, peace through strength abroad, energy independence and restoring the greatness of America. Trump’s foe was and is corporate-owned media.

We can no more understand the radical Left than can we understand that which drives Islamic jihadists to commit acts of unthinkable terror. But we must acknowledge what drives them to vote, what inclines them to go all-in for John Fetterman (PA), Gretchen Witmer (MI), Mark Kelly (AZ), et al, allies of the Left who have no obvious popular appeal. 

Senator-elect John Fetterman (D-PA)

It’s not about ideology. They have no ideology. They have a religion that is untethered from Christianity, or even common sense. Common sense tells us that citizens of all political stripes would reject unbridled inflation, rising urban crime spreading into formerly “safe” neighborhoods, energy dependence on our enemies and crippling prices for gasoline and heating oil, a military significantly weakened by vaccine mandates, and endless January 6 commissions that crucify Trump but seek no remedies for election fraud.

Second example. It is the default mode among Americans of a certain generation to honor and salute military veterans. But the aforementioned Left views the military industrial complex, alive and well, as a channel through which wokeness and transgenderism will be further engrained. Thus, we honor our veterans one day a year but, should we lose focus, we will witness the demise of the brotherhoods that sustained them in times of war and peace. The Left is in charge in the upper ranks. The faces of valor they see in the black-and-white photos from past World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, leave them cold. They are not moved by these men and women who fought unconditionally. The woke military brass of the 21st Century prefers conditions for those who serve. They must be vaccinated, indoctrinated, and emancipated from the past. Duty is not inherent; it is irrelevant. Duty gets in the way.

Savor we must the victories gained this first week in November that will subdue the march of the Left. Treasure we must military valor of ages past. But the stark reality of this moment is that we no longer can take for granted the absolute certainty of Election Day “results”, or the sanctity of future missions of those sworn to defend our homeland from enemies foreign and domestic.

In fact, domestic enemies are thriving in a perpetual open season, and they know it. 

Short sighted

By Steve Woodward

Pinehurst is a world-class, world-famous golf destination, and a nice place to live.

Pinehurst also is a small town with many melodramatic sub-plots coursing through its communal arteries. It has, like any town, its share of petty small-minded people warped by delusions of grandeur and driven by a sense of moral and intellectual superiority.

In fact, Pinehurst might be able to claim that it is home to the poster boy of said demented person. He is John Strickland, mayor of Pinehurst, registered Republican, and a member of the Country Club of North Carolina.

That thumbnail bio is important by way of understanding why Strickland is well on his way to becoming Public Enemy No. 1. 

Mayor Strickland, right, during Holly Arts Fest.

Despite broad public sentiment and a planning and zoning board opposing him, Strickland is unrelenting in his desire to eviscerate private property rights and steamroll the short-term home rental market in Pinehurst. The Pinehurst Village Council has twice delayed voting on a measure to scale back and, eventually, stop short-term rentals (STRs) after throngs of citizens lined up to speak out against Strickland and two council members (also so-called Republicans), Jane Hogeman and Pat Pizzella, who will act in lockstep to ensure a 3-2 deciding vote. What are the odds of three anti-Capitalist Republicans ending up on the same board?

The Council meets at 8 a.m. this Wednesday, October 26, in Assembly Hall at 395 Magnolia Road, to re-visit the STR issue. Time will be allocated for public comment. Comments also can be submitted by email to publiccomments@vopnc.org. The meeting will be livestreamed via the Village web site, vopnc.org/live.  

Pinehurst has two engines of commerce tied to the golf industry. It has the all-encompassing Pinehurst Resort, which operates nine golf courses, a sprawling merchandise/pro shop, one grand hotel, three inns and multiple dining venues, along with the members-only Pinehurst Country Club and its private merchandise shop. The secondary engine is fueled by area golf facilities, gated/residential, semi-private and public, which accept tee time reservations booked by golfers who are not resort guests.

Where do these golfers reside when they visit? Many choose from a roster of area hotels, from bargain to slightly less-than-bargain. Seasoned golf groups have over the years rented private homes for their “buddy trips”. As a former owner of a golf-centric rental home, I can report enjoying 14 years of rental revenue and relatively low maintenance. Golfers come and go leaving things generally unscathed. Occasionally, they rearrange furniture, or spill on the carpet, or discombobulate the cable TV settings. And they almost never clean the gas grill after grilling. All were minor inconveniences for the owner and a competent property manager.

Strickland claims these golfers are a plague on our community, a blight on our daily lives. 

As the Pinehurst STR market grew exponentially due to the advent of VRBO and airbnb, and other online rental portals, Strickland become ever more tyrannical about stopping it cold. (Historians will remind Strickland that cottage rentals have been integral to Pinehurst’s popularity since the early 1900s).

His zeal is such that he is uncaring about collateral damage, including squeezing a revenue stream that will cripple the balance sheets of the Country Club of North Carolina, where he is a member.

Contemplate the absurdity of this. A STR home on a random street in Pinehurst might, conceivably, become occupied by a group of young golfers, set free for a weekend without spousal supervision, who decide to drink too much, swear too loudly, and crank up the sound system too late into the night. In that rare case, a neighbor would be within the bounds of reason to call on the Pinehurst PD to the pay a visit to the party house. If it keeps happening, law enforcement and the Village would take steps to penalize the homeowner. Problem solved.

At CCNC, there are 14 rental homes within the gates. Who rents these homes? Members of CCNC, typically the state and national members, those who do not live on the grounds or in the area. As such, there is no comparison between STRs in the broader community and those in the pool at CCNC. But Strickland pointedly refuses to draw a distinction or make an exception. 

In a recent letter to its membership, club president Mark Reinemann detailed the board of directors’ position:

“CCNC is at a near historical low in available homes given the real estate buying frenzy of the last several years. We need to expand the number of rental homes, not cap them. Not only is this an obvious impact on our members who travel to CCNC and typically stay at one of our rental homes, it also impacts individual homeowners who plan one day to place their homes in the rental pool at CCNC for a variety of reasons.”

The loss of rental home income would negatively impact the club’s annual revenue stream by millions of dollars because of Strickland’s reckless plan.

Overall, the economic damage to Pinehurst’s STR owners, restaurants and pubs, and retail has the capacity to make Governor Roy Cooper’s maniacal pandemic lockdowns feel mild by comparison. Strickland’s “state of emergency” would be indefinite. But this assumes that his hand-picked predecessor, most likely Pizzella, is elected in the future.

Pat Pizzella

Meanwhile, a cascade of lawsuits is certain to be filed by all parties, which will almost certainly add to the long list of citizens fed up with Mayor Strickland, and for he and is “legacy” the timing could not be worse.

Early next year, candidates will begin filing to run for mayor in November 2023. Strickland has given his ideological foes (Republicans who know all too well he is not one of them) an irresistible campaign issue – the resurrection of short-term rentals by 2024, just in time for the return of the U.S. Open that summer.

Things never end well for tyrants, do they?

Stein way

By Steve Woodward

When a Democrat rolls into town to provide free advice about how to spend other people’s money it can be safely assumed a diversionary tactic is at play. 

NC Attorney General Josh Stein (D) arrives for an appearance in Moore County on September 26, 2022.

In the case of Attorney General Josh Stein, the play is, “I’m running for governor in 2024, and what better way to drive around the state oozing compassion than to talk about the opioid crisis and what we are doing about it.”

Stein and the Democrats never will address the root cause of the crisis, which is the nation’s deliberately unprotected border with Mexico. And the secondary cause is not likely to come up, either — two years of Left-imposed virus lockdowns, unconstitutional, that drove mental illness and drug dependency through the roof. 

Instead, Stein graced a small, clamoring gathering September 26 in the Moore County Agricultural Center in Carthage, to lead our wide-eyed servants through leveraging the so-called “national opioid settlement” intended to fund projects that “fight addiction and help save lives.” The settlement project involved a group of attorneys general suing opioid (drug) manufacturers and extracting $26 billion that will be doled out to states hardest hit by the opioid crisis, with an estimated $750 million headed to North Carolina’s 100 counties.

The devil will be in the details, and the suspicion is that Stein and fellow Democrats will distribute the funds with numerous caveats and strings attached, which is what brought Stein to Carthage. This money will be worth following in coming months and years as we see if it really is allocated to opioid programs, or is just moved round from one slush fund to another.

The Left that despises the Pharma giants who make the opioids fell on their collective knees when it came to their riding to the rescue on Wuhan virus vaccines. In this case, they were undisputed saviors and their profit motives are ignored entirely. Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount that the miracle virus vaccines have caused a plethora of injuries and fatalities, including among healthy adult athletes and children. Even worse, the vaccines are being exposed as having had negative efficacy over time. Will there be a settlement for those vaccinated against their will who now are now paying the price? Let us not hold our breath.

Stein’s compassion for human life was his calling card here in Moore, but when unborn life is on the table, literally, he is a fierce proponent of so-called abortion rights. He railed in a Twitter post after the U.S. Supreme Court neutered Roe v. Wade that “women’s reproductive freedoms” remain intact in North Carolina. 

But Stein failed to acknowledge that the Supreme Court’s Roe decision had an immediate consequence when, on August 17, 2022, a U.S. District judge reinstated a previously unenforced 20-week statewide abortion ban, citing the fact that his 2019 halting of the ban no longer was backed by legal foundation. 

We are then left to wonder why Stein forced a nervous grin in Carthage as he walked past a sign displaying this sentiment, “ABORT THE LEFT. ADVOCATE FOR LIFE.” Probably went over his head.

Edgartown

By Steve Woodward

(Sing along with your friends to “Allentown” by Bruce Springsteen)

Well we’re livin’ here in Edgartown
And they’re closing all the B&Bs down

Down in Washington they’re killing time
Undoing norms
Reciting false lines

Well looks like the nasty immigration war
Has now come to the Atlantic’s shores

Met resistance from Barack Hussein O
He and Michelle sim-plee reee-fused to go
And compassion for we folk is sinking quite low

The Obama estate on Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown, MA.

But they’re livin’ here in Edgartown
Trapped here in a human lost-and-found
Awaiting promises that Biden made
Just walk right on in
Pour in and invade

So we flew on up to Mass, had a ball
But now imprisoned by a Leftist cabal
They’ve never really told us the deal
We’re drinking cold Cokes
It’s getting surreal

Now, Ed-gar-town is drivin’ us out
‘Cause their immigration love is in doubt
They just want us back — a way down south
And sure like to talk … both sides of their mouth

Nope, we’re not livin’ here in Edgartown
Why’d the locals greeted us all with a frown?
Bussed us over to a naval base
Now we just wait, unsure of our fate

Oh no more livin’ high in Edgartown
Will we be free or left adrift, sentenced … to … drown?