Go fly, a kite

By Steve Woodward

Remember when airports were full of energy and anticipation?

I my youth, Dulles International Airport was a sparkling, modern gem erected in what was then Virginia countryside. On a few occasions, we transported my Dad to Dulles when he was traveling on business. 

From the parking lot, which rarely was even close to full, outdoor speakers blared announcements from the terminal building. A formal sounding, radio-quality voice sent the imagination soaring: “American Airlines, flight 24, Flagship service to Los Angeles, is boarding, gate 10.”

As a kid, flying to Los Angeles while being served a meal on real plates with silverware was well beyond my comprehension. Unfortunately, I missed most of that golden age. By the time I took my maiden flight to Los Angeles, around 1982, plastic and Styrofoam were the new norm.

While recently traveling by air, my comprehension was once again challenged both inside the airports and aboard the aircrafts. Here in 2023, airports are disturbing gateways in which masked zombies in hooded cotton tops and ill-fitting, pajama-style bottoms sit silently, captivated by digital content.

Particularly notable on this recent journey was the persistent mask wearing, evoking grim memories of years just passed. Some are masked snowflakes, who remain shackled to the virtue that their masks purport to signal. “If even one life is saved …”!

Others are older adults, including many who appear perfectly healthy and vigorous. Even some employees of the TSA security brigades are reporting masked up to work. Flight attendants also can be spotted wearing poorly fitted masks despite no requirement imposed by their employer.

Have they read nothing to dissuade them of the futility, not to mention stupidity, of mask addiction? Or are we at a place where even volumes on the topic would not change their minds? This is why I find myself feeling sorry for these people. They are mentally ill. Completely. 

Airports today are full of anxiety and fear. And these conditions have nothing to do with potential in-flight turbulence, delays, or cancellations. In fact, travelers appear so fixated on their devices I’m not certain they’d even brace ahead of impact, lest they miss a TikTok moment.

I do not blame them for their mental illnesses and the resulting insistence on masking up. There is plenty of blame to go around, beginning with Dr. Anthony Fauci and myriad scientists, physicians, politicians (not to be confused with leaders) and hysteria loving media personalities (not to be confused with journalists). 

The presumption that absolute safety is a reasonable expectation is how we should define so-called Long COVID. No precaution can be dismissed if it might provide an added “safety” layer. Especially now that these same people walk around thinking but never saying out loud what is their grimmest realization – the miracle mRNA jabs are useless. 

Even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines recognize how fragile and mentally challenged passengers have become. Remember when the pre-flight announcement was over in less than 90 seconds. Seat belt demonstration (the dumbest and longest surviving pre-flight ritual). Location of exits. Life vest operation. Oxygen mask demonstration.

All of those remain on the list, but the supplementals take up at least as much time and are even more absurd. No e-cigarette smoking or charging. No consumption of personal alcoholic beverages (get hammered at the airport bar, then board). And the best of the rest: 

  • Face coverings are optional. Please respect those who choose to wear them.
  • In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, please remove face coverings before placing the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose.

These two gems openly acknowledge that, a) the feelings of the masked are extremely fragile. (Under no circumstances inform a masked moron that 2021 called and it wants its masks back), and b) the masked would think twice about remaining safely face-diapered despite, ultimately, passing out when unable to breathe. (Masker’s thought bubble: Has the CDC approved this risky in-flight oxygen?)

Fellow Americans are increasingly Godless, faithless, introverted, poorly attired, ill-informed, and manic. But there is good news, friends.

Progressive left politicians in our once glorious cities have ruined these destinations and some might never recover from crime and decay. Thus, no longer will wanderlust find us venturing into airports in anticipation of journeys to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, or New York. I’d rather jet off to Havana. Or …

Perhaps what’s old is new again. See the USA in your Chevrolet. Get your kicks on Route 66. Ski The Poconos. Chattanooga Choo-Choo, won’t you choo-choo me home? All aboard the Riverboat Queen! 

Got woke?

By Steve Woodward

It is worth noting, and only mildly surprising, that “woke” is assigned a definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. One who professes to be woke is “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” 

There is no mention of other ways through which a woke person exhibits his active attentiveness, such as by vandalizing private property, threatening college campus guest speakers, or hijacking public education.

We now see the evolution of woke on a track similar to the one that re-defined “science” during the age of Wuhan Virus hysteria. It has become an “ism”.

“Science-ism” (especially under the reign of Dr. Anthony “I Am Science” Fauci) became the sweeping explanation for all restrictions on daily life “required” to keep everyone safe from certain death should one contract a head cold. Similarly, “woke-ism” no longer is merely persistent awareness that all aspects of culture are racist. It is a persistent state of misery that goes beyond finding racism at every turn, and now extends to rejecting every element that heretofore comprised what we once knew as American values.  

To name a few, woke-ism rejects Christianity, America’s founding, gasoline combustion engines, red meat consumption, and the obvious existence of but two genders, female and male.

During a recent interview with Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer, who hosts a highly recommended podcast, The Josh Hammer Show, a University of Pennsylvania professor and expert on all things woke-ism described in great detail its cancerous spread within academia. Amy Wax, a tenured member of the Penn law school faculty, has become an outcast and, despite constantly facing the wrath of woke mobs, refuses to be silenced. 

Woke-ism, she says, reduces everything to “oppressed versus oppressor” and sees our nation as “irredeemably racist” thus requiring society’s “demolition from the bottom up.” Woke dogma “dwells on the evils of our democracy and our system, and accords special status to oppressed minorities and especially blacks. And, finally attributes all disparities between groups to this nefarious force of racism.”

At UPenn and beyond, Wax warns, “the key is that the woke forces have taken over the university, and they do not tolerate dissent.

“They are extremely wary of anyone who questions any of these tenants, and whom points to facts on the ground or ways of interpreting them that are inconsistent, and sees those as a threat to their hegemony and to these oppressed groups who, of course, are of paramount importance now. Cosseting them and pleasing them and protecting them is the top priority in academia.” 

As we find ourselves at a cultural crossroads, it is important to recognize that woke-ism is not generational, making it a much broader phenomenon than, say, anti-war protests of the 1970s, or the 99% who became the Occupy Wall Street movement a decade ago. Exhibit A: Hyper-woke President Joe Biden, 80.

This reality recently was on display in a whiny editorial published in The Pilot, the undertones of which tell us that the honeymoon is over in its relationship with a reformed and revitalized Moore County Board of Education.

The editorial laments that the cause of ongoing unrest and faculty resignations at Crain’s Creek Middle School is entirely the fault of outspoken school board vice chairman David Hensley and his fellow board minions, who are accused of hanging on his every word like bobblehead dolls.

It’s not the first time we’ve been subjected to a baseless editorial by The Pilot’s editorial board (comprised of one, or maybe two, white males). The assessment of Crain’s Creek chaos blames Hensley’s rhetoric while overlooking all of the root causes of discipline problems in schools. Such as: lack of discipline enforcement; children who have not recovered mentally and emotionally from pandemic lockdowns; parents, or a single parent, who are raising disrespectful kids; and, last but not least, overwhelmed teachers and bus drivers.

Instead, The Pilot infers that Hensley & Co. forced the reassignment of the Crain’s Creek principal that sparked a wave of faculty resignations, which is patently false, and then does what the woke always do — denies that woke-ism sows seeds of chaos.

Hensley rightly has called out “the failed woke strategic plan which governed (Moore County Schools) from 2019-2022,” and pointed to “their ‘woke’ plan which resulted in this breakdown in student discipline and declining academics.”

Amusing and also delusional were comments posted at ThePilot.com in response to the editorial. One commenter suggested that dismissing another person as “woke” is as demeaning as assigning an ethnic slur to those of Polish, Italian and Hispanic descent. He further lamented that woke is “a word meant to demean”. Think about that. How does one demean someone whose world view is that all are to be demeaned?

Another commenter concludes that “woke” is meant to shut people up, leaving no room for discussion or debate. Here again, we see a typical tactic of the Left. Accuse your polar opposites of doing and saying precisely what “wokesters” are doing and saying, then add tears, rage and shrieking to drive home the point.

Allow me to offer an alternative view on the matter. Woke is a joke. But no one is laughing.

Mask destruction

By Steve Woodward

Courtesy of Twitter, we encounter daily cases of mass psychosis that infest the land, transforming seemingly intelligent people into willing prisoners who derive pleasure from complying to a higher authority. (As for God, they would advise that He take a number and get in line behind the otherworldly, Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates et al).

Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, a high priestess of COVID hysteria and self-described clinical epidemiologist and “intersectional feminist”, tweeted devastating news that she became infected with COVID despite a total of six mRNA jabs and boosters, and fervent mask wearing. She fears infection occurred when she removed her mask at an airport for TSA, or “perhaps outdoors, swimming”.

Remember how we once were impressed when a person had the preface “Dr.” ahead of his name? Those were the days. Now the question is: what does “Dr.” actually stand for? Dork? Drumstick? Draconian?

Drumstick Gurdasani also commented that she has experienced “a rough week”. Presumably, she refers to the effects of the Fauci-Wuhan-19 virus. Apparently, she did not die but it would be of interest to know the degree to which she was ill in contrast to past illnesses she has survived. Or maybe she was having a rough week because she looked into a mirror and saw a face that told her she has been wrong about everything for three years.

We could be tempted to chuckle contently, knowing these hysterical morons finally have been exposed. But we can’t afford to. The forces that have rocked our society for nearly three years are just getting started.

This is what we know in 2023. Masks were/are a joke. The “vaccinated” (mRNA jabs are not vaccines) are more susceptible to infection and re-infection, and inexplicable injury and sudden death. Natural immunity is at least twice as effective as any mRNA jab.

It’s all coming out. But the Dr. Deeptis of the world have no regrets. They probably feel empowered. And like addicts, they’re ready for another, more intense fix.

Laura Dodsworth, writing for the ever vigilant Brownstone Institute, nails it. The masks will come off for a time but the goal of masking has not been defeated.

“The behavioral scientists deliberately exploited the human desire to conform and literally said out loud that the public would ‘do the heavy lifting’ and enforce masks using social pressure,” Dodsworth wrote. “This was the case: if you refused to wear a mask, people stared or even shouted. Twitter shouted #WearADamnMask. Venues denied entry. (General practitioners) refused medical appointments to the unmasked.”

Friends barred us from their homes. Businesses we desperately wished to support turned us away. Let’s never forget that the Moore County Board of Education physically removed citizens who would not wear a mask while attending board meetings. This seems Orwellian now. But we lived it.

Worse was the vaccination cabal. Jobs lost. Careers ended. Reputations destroyed. Why? Because independent thinkers, formerly known as Americans, declined to consent to an experimental mRNA “remedy” — imposed on a free society by pharmaceutical companies funded by the federal government — that was not a vaccine and not even a deterrent.

Comply or die. That was the drum beat of government, pharma and media. It was a soft coup. The United States of America was overthrown before our eyes.

Where do we go from here? It sounds like cliche. But it is a vital question.

In this community, we go to the Board of Health meeting scheduled March 6 at 6 p.m. Two newly elected board members will be on hand, Julie Baugher, MD, and Tom LoSapio, member at large. These new members have been asking the same questions: Why have we been lied to? Why did this board parrot the false narratives of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? Why did you participate in the destruction of our local economy and the unwarranted torture of children, who were denied freedom and a proper education?

Keep asking. Keep demanding accountability. Failure to do so soon brings us Pandemic 2.0.

‘Hill’ to die on?

By Connie Lovell

In late January, the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill voted unanimously to create a new learning environment, The School of Civic Life and Leadership. Board Chairman David Boliek told The Wall Street Journal: “The idea is to end political constraints on what can be taught in university classes.” Essentially, to avoid conflict with the established curriculum, this school would start with a new dean and new professors in what might be called liberal arts. Students would be able to crosswalk the new school and establish studies to fulfill their core requirements.

This follows the 2015 University of Chicago commitment to freedom of expression on campus that has gotten little traction. The weight of tenured faculty and entrenched administrators has allowed for radicalization in higher education, which is reaching new heights of irrelevance. As expected, the UNC faculty has had a meltdown in the lounge and is “flabbergasted” that the trustees could pull off such a stunt without being consulted.  

The School of Civic Life and Leadership promises to offer a platform of free engagement between faculty and students without judgment or intimidation. The curriculum will include Liberty and Equality in America, Race and the American Story, and The Role of Science and Religion in Society.  Scary stuff.  Ideological blinders will be checked at the door. The trustees recognize that leadership to navigate a polarized society is a skill best learned in an atmosphere of free expression.

This is a much-needed course correction for higher education. Our institutions are threatened by inflated tuition and failing graduation rates. Anger and frustration are fomenting an unsafe and unhealthy environment for our next generation of leaders. Campus aggression must de-escalate. The UNC trustees should be praised for facing the poor condition of higher education, working out a reasonable remedy and promising to fund it.  However, resistance is mounting.

In mid-February, Belle Wheelan, accreditation official for the Governor’s Commission on Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina, suggested UNC could lose its accreditation, citing the announcement of the new school.   She assured authorities that this was not a threat, rather a warning to the UNC board of trustees. Wheelan is president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).   

In the meeting with the Governor’s Commission, Ms. Wheelan advised that the role of board members should be “eyes in, hands off.”  She said SACS standards “give the faculty the role of developing the curriculum,” and to do otherwise could jeopardize accreditation. This is important because federal financial aid to the institution is dependent upon favorable accreditation. Her statement contradicts the North Carolina constitution, which gives responsibility to the trustees by their appointment by the legislature. It is the trustees who run the school not the students, the faculty or outside influence peddlers.

UNC-Chapel Hill has given the state a voice for higher education that is nearly unmatched in our nation today.  We have a role to play in the advancement of civil life and leadership in our state. We have the funds necessary to create a new learning environment, free of ideology and aggression.  We have students capable of learning civil discourse and leadership. We have a courageous board of trustees willing to recognize the need for a new institution of free expression.

Studies now show that hiring reforms in government and private enterprise are adopting a “best practice” model, reducing college degree requirements amid a tight labor market. This is very favorable to high school graduates and community colleges. Many students qualify for skilled and technical placement with basic education. Four-year colleges and universities must find a way to fulfill the role of advanced education in developing professional and leadership skills. Teaching classical and practical thinking in a forum free of bias makes good sense and good citizens.

This is an extremely important advancement in the state’s university system. UNC is a national leader in higher education, thus there is no doubt other ranking universities are watching to see if this new school will open opportunities for them. The State Board of Education, Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, Catherine Truitt, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the 24 members of the Board of Governors need to hear your support for this important endeavor.  Give them the confidence to prevail. Call them, write them, lobby them. Let freedom ring.

Stupor Bowl

By Steve Woodward

I was one month removed from a 12th birthday in January 1973 when the undefeated Miami Dolphins opposed my beloved Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Here we are, a half century later. I’m no longer 12, at least physically. The team’s name is, sadly, no longer the Redskins. And with Super Bowls at 57 and counting, the use of Roman numerals has become impossibly tedious.

The game was the focus 50 years ago. Runs, passes, blocking, tackling. I’m almost certain it was played in broad daylight, not in prime time. The Dolphins won, 14-7, to become the only undefeated Super Bowl champions, a distinction that remains intact, incredibly. The Redskins’ offense produced nothing. (The team earned its lone touchdown after a blocked field goal attempt found its way into the tiny hands of Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian. He tried vainly to throw a pass that he then volleyed above his head, only to watch helplessly as a Redskins defensive back intercepted it and ran untouched into the end zone). 

That was all folks could talk about after the game. Now they talk about TV commercials and halftime shows. Which is why the Super Bowl has evolved, or devolved, into the nation’s cultural mega-party. But that begs a question: Why are we partying? What is it we are celebrating?

For many, the Super Bowl is not really watched so much as monitored. A salivating media army scrutinizes every word, every image, tracking cultural data points rather than extra points. For all its commercial success, the National Football League is not universally admired. In fact, the Left sees the NFL as a high-stakes plantation ruled by white (Republican) team owners and sustained by oppressed multimillionaires (players). (Rush Limbaugh warned for years that the Left hated football and would seek its demise).

USA Today’s coverage team for the Kansas City-Philadelphia Super Bowl included one Mike Freeman, its diversity and inclusion sports “columnist”. He gleefully wrote that it was a defiantly black-centric affair. Apparently, the black meter was so far into the red that Freeman tolerated the National Anthem being sung by a God-loving, white country pop star (who rolled up in a Ram pickup).

Freeman gushed, “The Blackest, most woke Super Bowl ever — can’t believe I wrote that since this is the Republican NFL, (emphasis added) but here we are — started by again featuring the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. …  

“ … We had the Black national anthem, Rihanna performing and two Black starting quarterbacks for the first time ever. During Black History Month. This wasn’t the Super Bowl. This was Wakanda. But wait, it gets woker. 

Rihanna, Super Bowl 57

“The traditional flyover before the game was performed by an all-women pilot team, the first time ever. Wokity wokity woke.” (Were the male pilots busy tracking spy balloons? Asking for a friend). Wakanda was a cartoon, so I can’t disagree with the comparison, Mr. Freeman.

He then concludes the Super Bowl has become “a mirror for us all”. That’s a clumsy way of saying the television show reflects our upside-down society. It’s a stretch to call that entertainment. That’s also why it is hard to watch for anyone with an IQ higher than an avocado, and there are a few of us albeit a dwindling few.

Prime-time Super Bowl 57 was a reflection of a diminished nation populated by idol worshippers, by Godless hedonists who derive pleasure from watching morality being crushed under the iron boot of relativism and transhumanism. What else explains a media largely indifferent to a Super Bowl in which both starting quarterbacks were black? Progress? Nope. There was an underlying reason: Patrick Mahomes (KC) and Jalen Hurts (Philly) are devout Christians. Media: “Why’d they have to go and spoil a perfectly good woke storyline by trotting out a couple of black Tim Tebow’s?” 

Notice, too, that Freeman’s analysis took no exception – as expected – to Rihanna’s vulgar gestures (stroking herself with two fingers), and that the NFL’s brass and/or Fox Sports made no effort to conceal the repeatedly grotesque display. Halftime shows are pre-screened.

The commercials, many of them so very inane, are no respite any longer. (The one featuring a loyal dog was certainly an exception). They once were funny and, in some years, more entertaining than the football game. Lately, they are weighed down by narratives. The McDonald’s ad excluded all images of burgers and fries, emphasizing gay and mixed-race couples talking about relationships underpinned by fast food. I’m not giving these relationships much chance of being intact for Super Bowl 58.

Considering that our fraying culture teeters on the edge of becoming unrecognizable, at least the NFL still permits a giant on-field American flag during the pre-game. And a bold and beautiful flyover by four U.S Navy fighter jets — piloted exclusively by women. 

Of the seven comprising the crews for the jets, five pilots were white. Oops. Apparently, USA Today missed that glaring indiscretion.

For the record, I’m all for women piloting fighter jets. Last time I checked, there is no requirement to parallel park a jet.