By Steve Woodward

Even Moore County, a once reliable Republican foothold, can not escape the long shadow of political correctness in 2022. 

A no-brainer proposal to proceed with a plan to erect three Charters of Freedom monuments on Moore public land has been challenged repeatedly and, if and when it is built and unveiled, ultimately will be an attraction its founding organization did not envision. 

North Carolinians Vance and Mary Jo Patterson visited Washington, D.C., in 2011 for an immersion into the founding of the United States. They were inspired by seeing the original documents that chartered our freedoms as a nation — the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The following year, the Pattersons put into action an idea that followed them home from Washington. They formed Foundation Forward to bring the founding documents to communities across the nation based on the premise that far too few adults and children ever would have an opportunity to visit the Nation’s Capital.

Thus was born Charters of Freedom and its uncomplicated mission: “Create an educational non-profit that installs life-size replicas of the United States’ Charters of Freedom: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights in communities across America. Teach and preserve American history and civics, so all will know how our government is meant to serve and protect We the People.”

In the years to come 30 Charters displays would be erected in nine states. Less than two years ago, a volunteer with the Moore County Republican Party became aware that Charters displays had popped up in numerous counties across North Carolina. “What are we waiting for?” she asked.

Fast forward to Spring 2022. The Moore County Charters site only recently was approved by the Board of Commissioners, and its chairman, Frank Quis. This is the same board that has placed false barriers in the path of the project every step of the way. The same board that lost its will to do the right thing when confronted by opponents of the project from the local NAACP and its fellow apologists, demeaning America’s evolution from experiment to global beacon. 

The 18th century underpinnings of America are not sufficient, they insisted, because the documents do not reflect a country founded by racists slaveholders. Why stop with the Bill of Rights, the original 10 amendments to the Constitution enshrined in 1791? Expand the project, they said. Let our children know that ours was a nation deeply flawed at inception. And, thus, the Commissioners entertained a revised plan to add another brick-and-glass enclosed monument to contain the “Civil Rights” amendments of the post-Civil War era, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments abolishing slavery in the mid-19th century.

Not good enough, the critics retorted. You must display the 19th Amendment granting the right to vote to women in the early 20th century (1919), and the 24th Amendment of 1964 that made poll taxes illegal. A writer of a letter to the editor in The Pilot went further, demanding a bright light be cast on the 25th Amendment that makes provisions for the removal of a U.S. president from office (an amendment popularized by Trump haters after Donald Trump was elected in 2016). 

Meanwhile, Moore GOP volunteers who had invested time and effort to bring the project to fruition broke ranks with the Commissioners when chair Quis said he was handing off the Charters to another board member. At the same time, two prospective sites were shot down.

But here we are. Quis returned to the fray after our dear friend Louis Gregory was compromised by health issues. Quis suddenly was a proponent. As early as May 2022, the Moore County Charters display is expected to break ground near the county courthouse in Carthage, the least accessible location of any others considered. The executive director of Charters of Freedom tells us that adding the amendments is “not something we do under the scope of our work.” In other words, of the Charters sites across our state from Murphy to Bolivia (western mountains to eastern shore), none have grappled with concerns about the validity of the nation’s founding documents.   

Finally, the Commissioners have yet to provide construction cost projections. The Pilot dutifully has reported that the project will be built on public land using private funds. This raises one of many questions. Will those funds pay for the expanded scope of the project? We do not know. And some big ones: Will local schools be interested in organizing field trips near the courthouse, where bus access and pedestrian gathering space is limited? Will the many tourists who visit Moore County ever find their way to the heart of Carthage, far removed from Pinehurst’s golf and Southern Pines’ vibrant shopping district?

Will our Moore citizens ever be willing to forgive the division and mistrust sowed by these Commissioners? We shall find out in November. 

Here’s Johnny

By Steve Woodward

The cyber-universe is a cesspool of trivial content that sadly has become a “news feed” for growing numbers of low-information citizens. Of course, my denunciation of trending ingenuity has been repeated in previous eras. Pessimists in our nation’s past feared the automobile, radio, television, cable television, computers, and cell phones. All would erode our culture, and, to some extent, they have. But we agree generally — to the extent we as Americans agree at all — that progress is progress. 

Thus, I rise to pledge allegiance to YouTube. It is the world’s greatest repository of video content, from solemn Presidential addresses, to historic achievements, great moments in sports, as well as humanity at its most inane. Not sure how, but recently I happened upon a 1993 Kennedy Center tribute to Johnny Carson. 

I was transported to a place and time in our country we can not recognize today, in 2022. Guests were dressed up in formal wear, aka, tuxedos and black gowns. The evening was not hijacked by profanity laced rants. There were no “Tax The Rich” designer dresses (AOC at a 2021 gala). It is doubtful anyone boycotted. Nearby businesses were not boarded up in anticipation of riots. It was an evening dedicated to a talented entertainer who was engrained in the fabric of American life for 30 years during a 60-minute NBC television show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1962—1992. 

Seated alongside Carson was a young President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary, and countless other self-proclaimed dignitaries. A celebration of Carson was a celebration of Americana. The evening included a live procession by the University of Nebraska marching band, tubas, bass drums and all the pomp and circumstance. The native Nebraskan was reclusive throughout his career, but brilliant when the cameras and lights were on. Carson was a master at delivery, and a keen chronicler of every day life. He interviewed Hollywood’s biggest stars with proper deference; political power brokers with respect, and, famously, derived the most laughter when quirky farmers and other regular people, the kind of folks he grew up with in rural Nebraska, appeared as guests.     

Carson and his writers were keen observers of the political landscape, but not with the intent of lambasting one side while protecting and defending the other, which is the sole of objective of current late night hosts (Kimmel, Fallon, etc.). In 1988, a Carson monologue directed attention to a Senator from Delaware who was running for President. Sen. Joe Biden was accused of plagiarism while out on the campaign trail. Carson quipped that Biden had gathered his staff to assure them, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” 

The 1993 proceedings at the Kennedy Center included an appearance by then up-and-coming late night host David Letterman, who spoke with genuine admiration for Carson, a role model and mentor. The Letterman of the early 1990s was funny and playful; he would devolve into an angry curmudgeon, diminished by sex scandals, before exiting the late night universe in 2015. Letterman seemed back then a worthy successor to Carson. The same can not be said of today’s post-Letterman lineup, who have forsaken comedy for Trump Delusion Syndrome, cancel culture and gender fluidity. They’re so woke they don’t notice their imploding ratings.

The Kennedy Center Honors continue to this day, the arbiter of popular culture relevance. But it, too, has lost its way. Organizers expressed such unbridled revulsion toward the 45th President that Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump bowed out of the annual ceremonies during the Trump White House era. The official reason was that the President did not want to be a distraction. In 2017, singer Lionel Richie, dancer Carmen de Lavallade and television producer Norman Lear said they would boycott a White House reception that is part of the agenda. 

It’s a safe bet that Johnny Carson would have shown up in 1993 if George H.W. Bush had won re-election by defeating Clinton. His monologues were renowned for humorous shots at sitting Presidents from JFK to Bush 43. But Carson was not in the business of savaging their characters or demeaning the officeholder’s families. America could use a Johnny Carson about now. We could use a wink and a smile. 

On the tee, hypocrisy

By Steve Woodward

Let me get this straight. The United States sends billions of dollars to the human rights wasteland of Saudi Arabia to import its oil, but an American professional golfer is disgraced after expressing an interest in leveraging the Saudi economy by way of a proposed Super League featuring the world’s elite golfers? 

American golf legend Phil Mickelson is being canceled as if he had been caught on video beating his wife and abusing the family pet because he suggested a certain attraction to this as yet still conceptual Saudi league, and amid his reasonable dissatisfaction with the lords of the PGA Tour. Why the indignation? Because Mickelson also acknowledged that the Saudis routinely violate human rights and murder innocent people.

Among his most vocal critics — after Mickelson’s remarks were released by the author of a forthcoming Mickelson biography — was Rory McIlroy of Ireland, a PGA Tour veteran who resides in the U.S. McIlory lashed out at his fellow competitor’s supposed nonchalance about Saudi authorities who routinely kill gay people as exposing Mickelson as “naive, selfish, egotistical and ignorant.” That about covers the character assassination spectrum.

Undoubtedly, negative reactions by McIlory and other players emboldened sponsors to drop Mickelson as if he had been exposing himself to children on a playground. KPMG. Callaway. Workday. See ya, Phil.

But who has called out McIlroy’s blatant hypocrisy? No one, apparently. In January McIlroy finished third in the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates, taking home north of $500,000 (excluding a hefty appearance fee, no doubt). It’s a wonder he was even willing to show up. Human Rights Watch identifies the UAE as a serial human rights abuser. The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to criticizing government officials. Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. Against this backdrop, tour professionals nonetheless typically include a stop at the Dubai Classic on their annual schedules.

Within the ladies’ ranks, LPGAers frequently play in the annual Shanghai Classic in China, a nation ruled under the iron fist of the Chinese Communist Party. The tournament was cancelled the past two years due to health concerns in a country where the Wuhan Virus was unleashed out of a lab that exists under the guise of research. In recent weeks, Beijing played host to the Olympic Winter Games, which went on without a hint of protest by American sponsors and TV rights holder NBC. Everyone who seeks to profit from turning their backs to China’s brutality toward dissidents and rural slaves seems to rationalize the tenuous relationships with ease. 

In China’s Xinjiang province, an estimated one million Turkic Muslims are detained in interment camps. This genocide has been ongoing since 2014.

Meanwhile, how many PGA Tour millionaires strut around wearing Nike golf attire and shoes made in China in partnership with a ruthless authoritarian government that manufactures the iconic “swoosh”-branded garb using what amounts to slave labor? 

It bears repeating that Nike athletes are paid millions of dollars to wear the brand before stepping foot on a golf course, or a basketball or tennis court. On the PGA Tour alone, there are numerous top players who are not perplexed by the Nike-China conundrum. Tiger Woods, of course, was Nike’s first golf star. But today, the roster includes elite players such as Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Francisco Molinari and Jason Day.

Oh, and Rory “The Pious” McIlroy. A few years ago he signed a 10-year Nike contract that will pay out around $200 million. 

Fear itself

By Steve Woodward

As a prolific plagiarizer Joe Biden is missing an opportunity in 2022 to steal a great line at a time when Americans need to hear it.

We need Franklin Delano Biden to appear on national television proclaiming, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

The Wuhan Virus obviously decimated a small percentage of Americans struggling with and debilitated by life threatening comorbidity. In other words, absent China’s lab-manufactured virus, these individuals likely already were on a path to demise owed to morbid obesity, heart failure, diabetes and other terrible illnesses. Apart from family members, no one would have been aware of these deaths. They would not have been part of a CNN tally in the lower right screen.

Mortality is reality. Death in this world is permanent, contrasted by the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ in his kingdom. And death does not care about a person’s age. Model and young conservative activist Zoe Bethel died recently after an auto accident. A Minnesota U.S. congressman, 59, died of kidney cancer (but the media could not help itself; it had to report that he also tested positive for the virus a month ago, as if that was relevant). A former Miss USA from North Carolina recently hurled herself off the balcony of a New York City high-rise at age 30. 

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth, 95, reportedly tested positive for the “deadly” virus and is getting along just fine with “mild symptoms”. One can only imagine that her immune system is akin to a bank vault. 

An objective review of the “data” will conclude that a vast majority of Americans never were infected by the virus, and many that were never missed a beat, never felt ill. Some lived beneath the suffocation of a flimsy mask for months. Others never wore a mask day to day except under extreme cases of government tyranny, such as a still intact federal “law” that requires masking in airports and aboard commercial flights. (On a recent flight, masking was sporadic, and flight attendants were not prowling the aisle).

The real virus is fear. It has been leveraged, exploited, and imposed on our country’s psyche. I’m thinking we never will recover. 

CNN is reporting that immunocompromised children are terrified that mask mandates are — finally — disappearing. In public schools where masks no longer are required, students opt to keep them in place. These are not kids being safe. These are kids demonstrating that fear is ingrained in them. They’ve accepted the false notion that masks are both effective and symbolic of virtue. Wear the mask because you care. And wear it they will. For how long, we shall see.

Yet another attempt by The Pilot to issue guidance on how we should go about living appeared in the form of a February 19 editorial. Don’t dare leave your house until you read it. To wit, “It is time to learn to live with what we can’t rise above.” Have we not been doing that throughout the course of human history? And, as it turns out, we humans are pretty good at it.

On the other hand, do not get too comfortable. “It will be critical to keep people updated on the virus’ progression and prevalence,” warns The Pilot. “And it will be important to get into underserved communities to provide education on the virus.” The latter is particularly hollow in as much as local and state governments have largely failed to “get into” these communities with broadband internet, or a public education system that affords their kids a chance to read and write at acceptable grade levels. During the virus, we told them to “get into” your home, lockdown and learn at a later date. How do they recover from that?

And get on with your lives, by all means, unless you think better of it, preaches the sanctimonious author. “If you feel more secure and healthier wearing a face mask, you should wear one.” Please, especially when driving a car, or showering.

For the brave, The Pilot offers the continuing prospect of “safe and effective vaccines” (disputed by the federal government’s very own VAERS reporting system that tracks vaccine related adverse effects including death). And, what a relief, there are “fewer tables in restaurants.” Go back to normal everyone, except restaurant owners. For you guys, it is the year 2020 into perpetuity.

While it is rather easy to dismiss the keepers of the Nanny State as the idiots that they are, the stark reality is that we might soon actually get back to exercising American liberty as the delusional among us to move to the margins of society as they always do. But what does not go away, because government tyrants on the Left do no want it to, is the foundation that as been put in place to broaden the reach and tolerance of totalitarianism in our land.

Author and historian Rod Dreher, reports The Epoch Times (February 16, 2022), “believes that our fear of pain and struggle has been exploited by the elite class and created soft totalitarianism in the United States.” Just wear the mask, or get expelled. Just take the shot, or lose your job. Do as you are told by unelected bureaucrats, or else!

Dreher’s timely book, “Live Not By Lies”, concludes that the hysterical compliance of millions of Americans to unconstitutional public health emergency declarations, and unlawful vaccine mandates, are merely a window into their overall state of mind. Dreher’s book largely is based on interviews with immigrants from China, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet bloc.

“I would ask them, ‘Are the things you are seeing happening in America today, in terms of cancel culture — wokeness, things like that — does it remind you of what you left behind?’ Every single one of them said yes,” Dreher told The Epoch Times.

Every single one of them fear a repeat of their personal histories, or what they used to be told was “normal”.


By Bill Demastus

In high school back in the late 1950s I took a typing class. It was not the most popular class for young men to take, but in the interest of full disclosure the class was taught by a most attractive young teacher, not much older than myself. And, she asked me to take the class.

Did I mention that the class was scheduled the hour before lunch and this gorgeous lady told me that I would be excused at whatever time I finished the days typing assignment?

I discovered quickly that one could type with 10 fingers very easily and that I was pretty good at it.

An Underwood classic

Little did I know as a 16-year-old this class would one day land me in a very cushy job in Uncle Sam’s Army and, years later, be the catalyst behind a job interview with the company where I would spend the next 39 years of my life. As one of the leaders in this company I was afforded a lifestyle that few 16-year-old boys could imagine.

But I digress.

I am writing this article not to explain my high school curriculum or how fate stepped in to use a typing skill to provide a wonderful career. I am writing this to quote one sentence that I learned in that typing class that has stuck with me all these many years. This sentence was a practice typing line that students repeated over and over on the old Underwood typewriters the school provided.

Evidently, this sentence required the typist to be capable of using both hands and all fingers on those hands and was a precursor to the quick brown fox thing.

The sentence is: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

Obviously, this simple sentence means a lot more today than it did in that young beautiful teacher’s typing class.

Today, I might be tempted to change the sentence to read, “Now it is imperative that all good men and women come to the aid of their country.”

As an old guy who has made more than 80 trips around the sun I have been exposed to many things. I have witnessed many things. I have watched a world explode in technology, and medical miracles, and watched the American people become the most generous and beloved people of this world. I have watched and participated as young men and women went gladly to defend liberty and human rights all over the globe in service of our country.

I have never seen anything to equal what I see happening in our America. I keep thinking that when I wake up tomorrow it will all be over, and we will be back in a world that is rational and sane.

I also know that thought is a dream that will never happen. We must come together as a nation and take back our liberties and our freedoms. Not by force. Surely, the Civil War taught us that Americans killing Americans was not the way to solve issues in such a blessed land.

We must do it at the polls. We must do it by enforcing laws that are already in place but being ignored. We must be rational. We must be willing to listen to one another. We must not be afraid to stand and speak. We must. We must!

Go to the polls in every election but, before you do, educate yourself on the issues and on the people on the ballot.

Vote for God! Vote for Life! Vote for the things that made America the envy of the world. Staying home on election day is voting to light the fuse that will destroy this beautiful dream that our forefathers and founders died to establish.

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country!