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”.

Typing

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!

Cowering like it’s 2020

By Steve Woodward

Our kids now can go to school, free as birds, but only if smothered beneath unsanitary masks, and pumped full of experimental serum, to protect them from, at worst, a chest cold.  

Our kids conversely are made to stay home from school because three inches of snow that has melted into residual clumps makes traveling by bus potentially hazardous, or so say our unelected authorities. What’s next, a Dry Pavement Alert? A Blue Sky Glare Advisory? Fresh Air Delirium Syndrome?

If I am a school age child in 2022, what is my default mode? Bold individualism endowed upon me by the fortitude of the American spirit?  Or, am I a bowl of jello, quivering in fear of disease and Mother Nature?

The answer is obvious and it is the latter. Sponge Bob and his sidekicks are in charge. Our children are gelatinous beings, trained to recoil whenever the ruling elite or weather forecasters proclaim foreboding doom. 

But don’t blame the kids. The fault lies firmly at the feet of a group now passing as “adults”. There was a Greatest Generation, those who fought in, died during and emerged from World War II to forge an even greater America. But here in the 21st Century, we are stuck with the Gravest Generation, a class of citizenry best described as weak, self-absorbed, delusional and lost.

They existed among us for who knows how long but have been exposed by the hysteria imposed upon normal day to day life by the Wuhan Virus that escaped a U.S.-funded laboratory in China in 2019.

And we are understanding that it is all but impossible to marginalize these most un-American of Americans because they are put forward by corporate, mainstream media as normal, rational Americans who just want every citizen to “stay safe”.  Even small-town newspapers are trying to show how “woke” they are, just like their highly paid brethren in the prestige media outlets in New York and Washington.

In its January 23 editorial, The Pilot issued an impassioned plea to the rubes it calls readers: Do your part to curb COVID! The premise for yet another frenzied treatment of the topic is that “there is virtually no aspect of life that isn’t being affected these days by COVID-19 and its highly contagious Omicron variant.” And if we don’t return to crackdown mode we will be blindsided when, inevitably, the next variant “comes along”. This warning raises suspicion that The Pilot must have access to Anthony Fauci’s emails. 

Listen up, insists The Pilot (specifically, editor John Nagy and his staff death-watcher, Jamie Baxley), “we owe it to everyone around us to do what we can to safeguard public health.” The Pilot essentially is calling for another round of lockdowns. Virtual classrooms. No church services. No elective surgeries in hospitals. Take-out only restaurants. Vaccine passports. And testing, testing, testing of asymptomatic mass murderers, our children.

But public opinion is turning. Despite the best efforts of the county health department and school board to quell their optimism, determined Moore County citizens trekked to Washington on January 23 to join thousands assembled across the National Mall for a “Defeat The Mandates” rally. A lean, mean machine known as Freedom Matters NC, formed in 2020 by Lydia Boesch and Mitch Lancaster, held its banner high in frigid DC. The mandates are going down.

Freedom is making a comeback, and it really ticks off the Left. Just when absolute tyranny was beginning to feel normal. At least to them. (A reporter at Joe Biden’s marathon stumble-fest January 21 actually asked what the President would say to parents “frustrated that there is no vaccine for children under 5?” By all means, let’s inject the least vulnerable and roll the dice on side effects).

Meanwhile, allow me to take on our local rag’s wrist wringing, point by point:

  • Deaths with Covid never have been separated from deaths BY Covid. That shell game certainly suggests “inflated” data points. Same goes for “cases”.
  • With the sudden shift — by the Fauci-ites — to the new conventional wisdom that cloth masks are ineffective compared to the N95 cone masks, little wonder precautions have been “scoffed at”. Normal people knew the face diapers were symbolic signals of virtue from the start.
  • Schools are struggling to stay open because administrators continue to “test to stay” among asymptomatic kids. And, furthermore, there is outright denial that the vaccinated are at least as vulnerable to Omicron as the unvaxed across all age groups.
  • Beware the next wave that “comes along”? Omicron, say credible members of the medical community (when not censored), is nature’s vaccine. It will drive herd immunity. Why would you dwell on the threat of a “next one”? How about the next killer, three-inch snow storm, or the next routine flu season? Best hunker down inside your bunkers on Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • This is an “unchecked and ignored” pandemic? Citizens have had every aspect of normal life taken from them. Replaced by: Masks. Social distancing. Gloves. Vaccines. Boosters. Denial of therapeutic drugs to promote recovery. Travel restrictions. Unchecked? What a very Australian point of view.
  • Masks are awesome. Quit saying they equate to “child abuse”. The consequences of masking children will not be known for years. If it is not abusive it certainly is dangerous. Many experts believe it is inhibiting speech development in the very young. How could it not?

This just in. 2020 phoned The Pilot’s newsroom. It wants its hysteria back.