Proactive patriots

By Steve Woodward

It is understandable that millions of Americans do not know that the Middle East’s sovereign nation of the United Arab Emirates in August established diplomatic, “normalized” relations with Israel. Bahrain followed earlier this month. Saudi Arabia’s royal family is debating a similar decision.

The United States is leading the discussions and brokering the historic breakthroughs. The New York Times, believe it or not, acknowledges that the Bahrain-Israel pact “leaves open the possibility that more Arab states will follow.”

For Americans who’ve followed closely the game changing achievements domestically and abroad during the Trump administration since 2017, re-electing President Donald Trump this November is a no-brainer.

But as the countdown to early voting dwindles to a matter of days (beginning Oct. 15) there is much to talk about beyond the realm of U.S. foreign policy and America’s fast recovering economy in the era of Wuhan Virus hysteria.

When we look over the two-page sample ballot now in circulation there are 31 other choices to make beyond President and Vice President. A ballot really is much more than a roster of names and multiple choices. It is a series of questions: How much does a strong economy matter to you? Do you demand choices in matters of health care, education for our children and energy consumption? Or, are you OK with higher taxes to punish capitalists, fewer thriving charter schools and severe environmental restrictions impacting daily life?

With the radical Left now firmly in control of a 21st Century Democrat party, these questions do not exaggerate the choices before us as Americans in Moore County, N.C. And the radical left is deeply embedded in our state. They came here for the quality of life, the moderate climate and the business friendly environment. But when the welcome mat was rolled up, they set about to transform and “re-imagine”, and here we are. Living in the American South but occupied by the Left.

Vote the ballot, all the way, from back to front. Or front to back. Please finish the ballot. In order to do this, you just might need to become a proactive patriot. You will need to “read up” on the candidates who, if elected, will protect North Carolina from a silent coup. We have a web site and a link therein that will introduce you to all of the fine men and women running to be re-elected or elected for the first time. Here it is: moore.nc.gop.

Silent coup? Marxist militants aligned with Black Lives Matter are not silent. In fact, they’re quite the opposite. But while their terrorism fills up our new cycles, their enablers quietly, silently, funnel millions of dollars into races for North Carolina Governor, U.S. House of Representatives, state Supreme Court, N.C. Secretary of State and Superintendent of Public Education. And they sit back and count on us to block out the “noise” of election ads, complain about yard signs and, worst of all, to fail to flip the ballot over and vote to the end.

Countless American patriots have risen to the challenges of their times. They’ve risked everything. They’ve sacrificed. They’ve taken up arms to oppose tyranny. They’ve died on desolate battlefields. Today, we are asked only to read, to be informed, to comprehend the magnitude of the choices before us. At the worst, this effort might subject you to a paper cut. Take that chance.

Let’s surprise these arrogant manipulators. Let’s make their heads explode on November 4, the morning after Election Day. Let’s not give them the ability to declare the races are “too close to call”.

Let’s celebrate as the virulent Left tears away its masks to scream to the heavens as defeat courses through its veins, at last. And, in that moment, the virus will disappear from our daily discourse.

Generational hypocrisy

By Steve Woodward

The Left rejects the United States of America as founded.

It would confiscate and ban firearms owned by law abiding citizens. But it does not reject the use of knives, bricks, rocks, flames fueled by chemical agents and spray paint in the hands of lawless citizens.

It is calling for police departments to be defunded by state governments. But it resists calls to defund Planned Parenthood abortion on demand, which annually culls the black population by the tens of thousands.

The Left is fine with killing and wounding law enforcement officers. The Left is unmoved by weekly deaths of young black and Hispanic men who are murdered openly, on the streets, by fellow young black and Hispanic men. The Left ignores white people who are improperly detained by law enforcement, white and black, and, sometimes, killed, deliberately or unintentionally.

The Left rejects school choice for children of impoverished black families, preferring they attend underperforming public schools, from which they are likely to drop out.

The Left decries “systemic racism” in 2020. Before that, it was 1964. 1968. 1992. 2008. 2014. Black Lives Matter. But they only matter, apparently, when a moment in time says they matter. The rest of the time, black lives are shackled by the soft tyranny of low expectations and social justice programs imposed on those lives by, guess who? The Left.

Few civil rights warriors possess stronger truth radar than North Carolina native Clarence Henderson. In 1960, he and other young black men sat down at a white-only lunch counter in Greensboro. They changed the world. Nothing was set on fire. Nobody died. They sat down. Before the end of the decade federal legislation passed to begin the slow unraveling of segregation. The Left is unimpressed. Why did it not happen in the 1600s when slaves arrived on the shores of a future land mass called America? Why did it take so long? Ask Democrats, who defended slavery in the 1860s, and formed the Ku Klux Klan around the same time to oppose Republican Reconstruction-era policies.

“As someone who made an impact during the (’60s) Civil Rights era, I know that strong, peaceful protests can make a difference,” writes Henderson. “We never damaged property or encouraged any type of riotous actions.”

The men who are complicit in the alleged murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis will remain, perhaps forever, a mystery to a majority of Americans because we go about our lives without a trace of contempt toward “people of color”. We worship together. We work together. We volunteer together. What is not mysterious is why one man’s senseless death has sparked violence, property destruction and orchestrated outrage which our streets have not see in more than a half century.

One, it is an election year and the Left despises President Donald Trump. So there is a strong exploitation motive. Two, widespread riots, mostly violent not mostly peaceful, carried out by Antifa and other global threats to civilization, conveniently divert attention from generational black poverty, lawlessness and unemployment.

Observe where the deepest unrest lies. In cities controlled by Democrats and the Left for decades. The worst kind of racism is subtle, and the Left owns it. A friend from college days who has devoted 20+ years serving Los Angeles homeless through a major organization should be angry at the neglect of California’s Democrat establishment which today finds areas overrun by homeless. But instead he laments in an email to donors “decades of generations being denied their basic rights, access to quality education, equal pay and opportunity.” But no mention of Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown or other long entrenched Democrats who have been quite content to let the crisis escalate knowing they’d be re-elected for life.

Where are we two weeks into this? The Left is calling for what President Barack Obama promised 12 years ago as the nation’s first president of color, a transformational change. It did not happen under our black president and his black Attorney General, Eric Holder. How will it happen now? Perhaps if we just allow property destruction to go on long enough. On our side of the “aisle”, pathetically, there is pandering. Hollow, boilerplate outrage.

A Republican N.C. congressman who I choose not to embarrass calls for “important and needed conversations regarding race and equality” without saying who is doing the talking. He says we should “learn from one another” and “bridge the divides”. And, the worst cliche of all: “Let’s get to work.”

Here’s an idea. Let’s denounce the Left for cheering our country toward anarchy. Let’s engage more National Guard and U.S. military in the streets to restore order. And let’s stop accepting false narratives. Let’s promote facts and reality in 21st century America.

Writes Hans Bader, a civil rights attorney, in a recent post to CNSNews.com: “Resist calls from prominent Democrats to ‘defund the police.’ Police save many lives in the black community by arresting dangerous people. Black people are much more likely to be killed by an ordinary criminal than by a police officer. Peter Kirsanow, a black civil-rights commissioner, says that in 2015, ‘a cop was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was likely to be killed by a cop’.”

In other words, let’s defund the Left, defund Antifa and heavily fund leaders like Clarence Henderson who are not invested in false narratives.

 

 

 

American Al Qaeda

By Steve Woodward

If we are expected to patiently observe a phasing in of a return to freely living our daily lives amid Wuhan Virus hysteria, should we not expect, demand, a phasing out of domestic terrorism overwhelming our urban streets? Government had all of the solutions for the former, issued as “emergency” orders, but suddenly is silent on how to combat the latter. No orders.

Radical left Democrat mayors and governors (including North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper) have repeatedly admonished us to “stay at home”, followed by guidance that we are “safer at home”. Now, it turns out they were right but for the wrong reason. Cooper expressed that he was “frustrated” by mounting unlawful riots in the state’s urban centers after an incident in Minnesota involving a white police officer and black man. But where was the executive order to call in the National Guard, where was the order declaring Antifa and its network of at-the-ready flamethrowers what they are, domestic terrorists? (President Trump took care of that on Sunday).

Political tyranny suddenly has yielded to political gamesmanship and anarchy in the streets not far from home, in Charlotte, Fayetteville and Raleigh. If states and municipalities were not prepared for the invisible Wuhan Virus, they certainly have been shown even more ill-prepared to combat highly visible and well orchestrated assaults on private businesses and innocent citizens.

Quite the one-two punch. The virus shatters small businesses’ finances; the street thugs shatter their windows and recent returns to semi-normalcy. If the left saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to allow virus hysteria to take down the U.S. economy, just imagine how their heads must be spinning at the thought of leveraging renewed racial tensions, largely staged and carried out with great precision. They mobilize suddenly and formidably in a way reminiscent of Al Qaeda and Isis, as if they have lingered in the shadows until the moment arrives. The big difference is that these terrorists are bred from within our society.

During Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I strolled the neighborhoods and streets of Charleston, S.C. As I write, King Street in the heart of Charleston was covered in glass fragments and debris when the sun came up on May 31. A week ago, no one would have suggested there was radical tension in the air. Maybe it was simmering, but Charleston was not a city that felt tense. It felt open and resilient.

A few years ago, I directed regional marketing for a restaurant chain that had one of its locations on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. On the evening of May 30, a brick took out a glass panel in the restaurant, and the carnage was far worse heading up the street toward the State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion, according to photos and video posted to social media. I spent many days and nights in downtown Raleigh, famous for its recurring street fairs. Downtown Raleigh is an emerging and thriving place as more high rise apartments spring up and more jobs come to town (courtesy of new inhabitants such open-source software firm Red Hat). What Raleigh is not — until recent days — is a city brimming with overt racial tension. During Cooper’s unconstitutional lockdown, a series of #ReOpenNC Tuesday protests, attended by all races and ethnicities, were conducted peacefully with only a handful of symbolic arrests, no police showdowns and absolutely zero property damage.

The current violent uprisings have happened before, as recently as 2014 in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. They are happening now. They are likely to happen again. Why? The left blames our society for refusing to have a “serious conversation” about racial prejudice in our country. Cooper insists the latest protests arose to address “real systemic racism”. This is entirely disingenuous. The nation’s most impoverished, racially divided (measured by economic prosperity gaps) metro areas have been controlled and manipulated by Democrat politicians for decades. Their government solutions, their social engineering policies and cyclical programs to ingrain welfare dependency are deliberate. Yet conservatives are the racists. Just ask any mainstream media organization.

Without a hint of irony, a Washington Post columnist makes this recent observation: “It’s also notable that the cities where we’ve seen the most social unrest following high-profile police abuse cases — Baltimore, Ferguson, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and now Minneapolis — are cities with a well-documented history of police discrimination, abuse and violence. These are the cities where black people were probably more likely to have had their own bad experiences with police and, presumably, more likely to see themselves or someone they know in the shoes of Freddie Gray (Baltimore, 2015) or Laquan McDonald (Chicago, 2014) or Tamir Rice (Cleveland, 2014).”

And what else do these cities have in common? Democrat mayors appointing police chiefs who continue to preside over unethical, undisciplined forces comprised of cops who protect the bad actors in the department to uphold the fraternal code. (The Minneapolis cop charged with third-degree murder in the death of the apprehended George Floyd had 18 previous complaints about his conduct in uniform in his personnel file). This, rather than cleaning house, extracting the dangerous cops from the roster and finding ways to actually address racial tensions between law enforcement and young people caught in up in multi-generational hopelessness.

We’ve been told for two months to wash our hands. Turns out, Gov. Cooper and fellow Democrat governors, Democrat mayors and law enforcement leadership washed their collective hands and withdrew compassion for the most vulnerable long ago. The virus is not the worst blight on our society, after all.

 

 

 

Stay solvent

By Steve Woodward
The North Carolina General Assembly unanimously allocated $1.6 billion to fund Wuhan Virus relief programs two weeks ago. The money was sourced out of a pot of $4 billion sent down from Washington through the federal CARES Act.
Although no explanation as to the timing was offered, two bills were filed in the state Senate only last Thursday to tap into those federal funds in an effort to rescue state restaurants crippled by dine-in restrictions.
Return America
A Return America rally in Raleigh, Jones Street, May 14, 2020, coincided with a lawsuit filing that later overturned Gov. Cooper’s ban on worship service gatherings.

The Save Our Restaurants Act proposes the appropriation of $125 million, with $50 million targeting “restaurant stabilization”, and $75 million targeting “hotel stabilization”. The bill for whatever reason proclaims compassion for restaurants but allocates more money to hotels, many of which never have closed. In fact hotels are open while churches subsequently were ordered to close by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper. (Saturday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order overturning church closures after a lawsuit was filed by Return America with the support of Republican state Rep. Keith Kidwell, D-79).

The genesis of the hotel-restaurant bill, and a parallel bill to support expansion of mixed beverage sales to take-out and delivery orders, will come as a surprise to Republicans, the party of small business and free-market capitalism. The two bills’ sponsors are Senate Democrats, Jay Chaudhuri (D-15, Wake County) and first-termer Harper Peterson (D-9, New Hanover), himself a restaurant owner.
Upon closer inspection, the Save bill is not likely to be a game changer for independent restaurants relegated to take-out service the past two months and facing deeply felt uncertainty going forward. If there is a forward. The most any restaurant will be loaned under the bill’s current language is $50,000. That’s right, it’s not even a typical Democrat bailout. It’s a loan at 3.5% interest. The bill is so weak that it gives Republicans an opening to counter it with a bill that actually sustains restaurants. It’s a no-brainer.
“I wish more of our (state) officials would get out and the realize the damage, and stop looking to the federal branch to fix things,” a Moore County chef told me. “They seem to think we will just bounce back.”
A glimmer of optimism was delivered Monday by Gov. Cooper, who described himself as “hopeful” that his incremental re-opening plan for small business will move into a long awaited Phase 2 this Saturday. Cooper also, for the first time, said he would consider regional re-openings as he stated the obvious, that “it’s important to cushion the blow to the economy.”
The blow was struck weeks ago, in reality, and will only come into sharper view as state tax revenues begin to crater. Furthermore, Cooper continues to insist that Phase 2 would extend four to six weeks, leaving already suffocating restaurants, salons and fitness clubs operating at reduced capacity. For eateries, dine-in or patio seating at 50% for an excruciating month or longer will hardly launch a turnaround and will keep employment way down.
The worst case scenario is not that people will die indefinitely from complications from the Wuhan Virus. Even the most extreme doomsayers are not pushing that narrative. Worst case is that businesses of longstanding close, never to return, even as the state sits on billions of federal relief that has not been allocated, and even as state lawmakers flirt with crushing debt by the temptation of receiving another round. The Democrats in Washington have created a new bailout monstrosity carrying a $3 trillion price tag (but it never will clear the Senate).
“When considering how best to structure federal aid, I think the best image to keep in mind is a shock absorber,” wrote John Hood, chairman of the Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation. “As a condition for accepting any new round of federal funds, (state) governments should be required to restate their unfunded liabilities using honest accounting and then submit a clear plan for discharging the debt.”
This is essentially what legitimately small businesses are required to do if they were among those who managed to apply for and receive funds under the bungled Paycheck Protection Program via the original $2.2 trillion CARES Act. If it turns out they do not have enough employees left to use 75% of the PPP for payroll, the money received converts from a grant to a loan. For many, it’s not a matter of staying safe but staying solvent.

The long game

By Steve Woodward

It is impossible to understand what religious persecution feels like until it comes home to a free land. It feels surreal. Worshipping inside the four walls of a church this past Sunday with a small gathering of Christians marked the first time I have experienced this horrible feeling. We were where we were not supposed to be, doing what we were not supposed to do in the company of others — praying, singing, contemplating scripture.

“Stay at home,” decreed North Carolina Democrat tyrant and Governor Roy Cooper back in March, joining governors across the nation imposing mass shutdowns to slow the spread of the Wuhan Virus. Cooper’s order specifically prohibits gathering for religious services in churches, or for that matter, anywhere. Dutifully, the churches closed and adopted streaming video services, excluding those most in need of their church community, the ones without internet or the know-how to use a device to access it.

There was so much outrage about businesses that were forcibly closed, hospital procedures that were deemed unnecessary and the suspension of education inside classrooms that the trampling of a Constitutional right to assemble and worship God was all but overlooked. This should never have happened. Churches should have been granted the freedom to make their own decisions about how to conduct services amid virus hysteria, using the same formula that determines how many people can enter a grocery store.

We know the left has poisoned higher education and K-12 education. We know the corporate-owned media has been coopted and is corrupt and compliant. We know voting integrity is increasingly at risk as the left becomes ever more brash about rigging elections. We know the courts have been packed with activist judges to render the will of the American voter meaningless (see NC voter ID lawsuits). And now, sadly, we must acknowledge that clergy and denominational governing bodies apparently have been similarly hijacked. Where was the outrage when Cooper abruptly banned church services? There was none expressed by the church where I am a member.

Thankfully, along came one pastor who stood up, opened the doors of his church and exercised his rights as a U.S. citizen.

This came in stark contrast to John Nagy’s Sunday column in The Pilot. The virus is “everywhere,” he wrote, failing to specify his source, scientific or otherwise, behind this declaration. Nagy’s was a tone of doom, of resignation that North Carolinians should not expect to live the lives we knew only a few weeks ago. Ever again. I sensed an underlying motive for writing it. This is what they’ve always hoped for in America on the left. Less freedom. More governance by edict. More social shaming of anyone who fails to comply with orders, no matter how extreme.

These ambitions were forecast as long ago as 1963 when a member of the U.S. House of Representatives placed into the Congressional Record the 45 goals of communism derived from a book recently published at the time, entitled “The Naked Communist”. Read the list here. It is clear the left has played the long game. More than a half century later the unthinkable goals they articulated are being achieved, one by one.

If we are being honest with ourselves, we must acknowledge, as Americans and as Republicans, and as North Carolinians, the Wuhan Virus appears increasingly to have spread across our world deliberately with a lot of collateral damage but one target, the United States. The U.S. economy, our health care system, our food supply, President Donald Trump, our Constitutional freedom, religious and speech freedom specifically (who will soon forget a Raleigh police officer announcing that protests are “non-essential” activities under Cooper’s iron boot orders?), and anything else the virus can disrupt along the way. Note the surge of nodding heads as the State Board of Elections turns up the volume on the necessity of 100% mail-in voting this fall. For our safety, of course.

The Wuhan Virus is exacting a sad but hardly unprecedented human toll. The broader death toll remains to be seen. The left is counting on historic carnage. God empowers us to win the war now being waged outside of labs working on vaccines, the war on liberty. Let us pray we have the courage to leverage that power so that churches, like some American businesses, do not close their doors forever.