Honoring 6 January

By Steve Woodward

On a glorious December Monday morning, five days ahead of Christmas Day 2021, Moore County citizens stood shivering under a brilliant, blue Carolina sky, unified and inspired. We gathered to watch retired U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Bartel and his family (including four children) receive a ceremonial key to their new home and the beginning of a new chapter in their often turbulent lives.

Ground was broken on the site off of Linden Road in Aberdeen last August, and was built collaboratively through a program launched by Helping A Hero. It is the first North Carolina home completed for a wounded veteran connected to a “100 Homes Challenge” whereby Bass Pro Shops has pledged to cover 25% of the cost of Helping A Hero’s next 100 home builds. Monday’s celebration was attended by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris of Springfield, MO, and vocal legend Lee Greenwood, Helping A Hero’s national ambassador. 

The mood and the weather sparked a memory flashback to another wintery day, more than 11 months ago, when a crowd of tens of thousands shivered under brisk conditions near the White House ellipse in Washington. The day was January 6 and, among a roster of speakers, was President Donald Trump. I journeyed from Pinehurst the night before, as did many of my fellow Republicans, some by air, some by car, another group by buses.

Bitter cold caught many off guard as winds gusted and clouds gathered. But this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds, which stood shoulder to shoulder, from across the nation, unified by their love of our country, their pride in President Trump and his administration’s considerable achievements, and their deep and abiding concern that a virus unleashed by communist China had been leveraged to compromise the integrity of votes received and counted before and after November 3, 2020. 

Despite the media’s intent to set in stone a narrative that January 6 was planned and carried out as a violent insurrection to overtake the U.S. Capitol and threaten the lives of member of Congress, anyone who was there knows that this is pure delusion. The aura never was violent. You can feel that kind of tension. It was non-existent. There was no discussion of attacking anyone or any property. The major source of aggravation was that the mayor of Washington deliberately limited the number of restroom facilities in the area.

When the time came, around 1 p.m. — after Trump’s lengthy, impassioned speech that never called for “insurrection” or anything close — to move toward the Capitol, thousands bailed out to seek shelter and warmth. I had every intention of heading that direction and, though my spirit was strong, my flesh was weak. And what would have been the point of slogging a mile up the street? Look back at the groups that coalesced to organize the rally. The point of gathering at the Capitol was to hear from a lineup of speakers, crowd pleasers such as Rep. Jim Jordan and other staunch conservatives. There is no doubt that almost everyone assembled — almost everyone because there is strong evidence that a brigade that entered the Capitol at the outset was inserted to infuse mob mentality into the proceedings — desired to postpone the certification of the vote that would secure the Biden presidency and his swearing in 13 days hence.

These memories came back vividly on Monday, during the Helping A Hero event, but later at lunch with my wife and daughter in Drum & Quill. Part of its charm is that it is cozy. The booths are a tad tight. A booming voice in the booth behind me, for which eavesdropping was unnecessary, launched into a diatribe about none other than Donald Trump, whom he called “the worst President this country has ever had”.  This 60-something who ought to know better would go on to dismiss the building of a southern border wall as a marketing gimmick by Trump. He said Trump only cares “about himself”. Then he pushed me over the edge. He said those assembled on January 6 threatened to end our democracy, a democracy “that people died for”.  (And, loud mouth was not referring to the unarmed military veteran, Ashli Babbitt, 35, who was shot January 6 by a Capitol police officer who never has been identified).

As my blood boiled, I stood and gestured to loud mouth and his less talkative lunch guest. Please quiet down. On his way out, loud mouth’s guest apologized. “Sorry,” he said. 

Had I confronted loud mouth, I would have reminded him that Ms. Babbitt died on January 6, not as an insurrectionist but as a patriot who traveled from California to stand for fair and free elections in these United States. And, I would have told him about my new Linden Road neighbor, Sgt. Bartel, who had his left leg blown off during a deployment with U.S. Army forces in Iraq after — after — retiring from the U.S. Marines and re-enlisting in the Army. 

Donald Trump backed a strong military, thus a strong America. Loud mouth is a hypocrite. He’s sleeping well at night because Joe Biden is sleep walking through his presidency, presiding over a “woke” military and weakening our nation by every measure. Let’s hope loud mouth was merely visiting for the holidays. 

Global coup d’etat

By Steve Woodward

Vaunted mRNA vaccines, brought to the fore by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, have disappointed millions who were assured (as was Trump) by their makers that these shots were a “one and done” solution to protection from the Wuhan Virus.

This has proven to be wildly inaccurate, but available data did not stop The Wall Street Journal from devoting three-quarters of its December 4-5, 2021, opinion page to “The Vast Promise of mRNA Technology”.

Broadly, this vast promise might in fact be realized in years to come but the Journal’s unpaid advertisement for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna overlooks warnings about unintended or unforeseen consequences of vaccines and endless boosters. (Click here to watch an excellent deep dive into mRNA shortcomings by local investigative reporter Bill Still).

Mainstream media and heavily censored social media platforms have zero tolerance for vaccine debates. Recently, Twitter red flagged a link to an American Heart Association Journal site, where a physician posted an abstract linking mRNA shots to acute coronary syndrome. Read more.

One might assume mRNA pioneer Robert Malone would be held up as a leading authority on the vaccines’ evolution before our eyes, but Malone has been forced to rely on alternative media platforms to share his dire warning: COVID/Wuhan virus vaccination has become subverted by a global totalitarian movement that has no interest in restoring public health or confidence.

In recent appearances on the Real America’s Voice streaming network’s “War Room”, including on December 4, 2021, Malone echoes a largely ignored warning by Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano of “a global coup d’etat in which a financial and ideological elite has succeeded in seizing control of … media, the judiciary, politicians and religious leaders (by assuring) power, money and social affirmation.” This is must viewing. Click here.

There is subtle evidence here in the U.S. that absolute mandates and deprivation of personal and medical liberty is becoming the norm, with a constant drumbeat of vaccine requirements but never discussion of how to treat cases of the Wuhan virus with proven therapeutics. Anecdotally, in Moore County, it is all but impossible to find a prescription of the proven therapeutic Ivermectin.

An example of this iron boot approach comes to us from the National Football League. A member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently was the target of snitching by a personal assistant, who was suspicious about Antonio Brown’s vaccine documentation. The NFL launched an “investigation” and determined the snitcher was on to something. Brown and two other players were suspended for three games for daring to evade a vaccine they do not want in their (very) healthy bodies.

Two “sportswriters” with The Wall Street Journal decided the story was less about Brown and mostly about a most regrettable reality, that “it’s actually quite difficult in the U.S. to determine whether someone’s paper vaccination record is authentic — even for a mighty power like the NFL.”

They lament further that “there’s no single database tracking Covid-19 vaccination in the U.S.” and that “the biggest issue for employers is that they can’t go to any of these databases to double check that a card is real. Vaccine records are generally considered confidential.”

Before the archbishop’s warning of a totalitarian plot spawned by a war on Covid-19 goes global it will take root right here, beneath our noses, trampling freedom and medical confidentiality.

Ashe heap

By Steve Woodward

I’ve recently escaped the encampment known as Asheville, North Carolina, where masking is pronounced and pronouns are never masked.

Asheville reminded me of remote Japanese islands after Japan surrendered to end World War II. Its people are walking around in masks as if the war on the Wuhan Virus is still raging, and we’re only one bad data point removed from returning to 100% lockdowns, vaccines at gun point and citizen street patrols.

And, I sensed they’d actually prefer this scenario. Dude, c’mon! Mask up. My spouse was scolded entering a restaurant in the “arts district” for her failure to wear a mask during the six-step walk to our table. Fortunately, I was parking the car, or we would have moved along. (I snuck in, undetected by the mask cops).

Before there we mask mandates in Asheville, it appears there were stringent tattoo, body piercing and gender reassignment mandates. It’s a population grounded in government control and “woke” culture. But behold, says the tourism bureau, don’t miss breathtaking autumn colors and horizons dominated by mountain peaks. So we lowlanders flock annually.

I, too, enjoyed the scenery, and the confines of the Grove Park Inn, where unmasked weekend guests crowded the grand lobby even as the staff was suffocating behind “mandatory” face diapers per a county mandate. The young adult crowd seemed comfortable spending $10 for a lobby bar beer, and untold thousands of dollars for rooms and amenities to accommodate wedding guests, even as all complied with masking while meandering, but never when seated, talking, eating, drinking, and hugging. Some day, will they look back and regret their complicity after history unveils the farcical conditions under which we now live? The mask surely will join the ranks of the 1970s leisure suit. No one will admit to having worn one. But, alas they did not have iPhones in the ’70s.

Face coverings are not the lone weapon against societal norms. Did you know that hotel guests are destroying the planet and starving people? At The Grove Park, an Omni property, guests are urged to “opt out” of housekeeping services. By passing up on clean sheets and towels, you authorize Omni to donate a meal to a community organization. (No details about who coordinates it; are we talking a cheese sandwich or a four-course feast? No clue.). If you insist on being a jerk and expecting housekeeping, a guest still can earn “green” points by hanging a used towel. Or, leave it on the floor, you planet killer, and the staff begrudgingly supplies a fresh towel.

As with many hotel chains, green initiatives are marketing schemes designed to reduce operational costs. These cutbacks only have escalated during the Wuhan virus era. The Grove Park’s many corridor walls are covered by photos of the rich and famous who’ve stayed in the hotel since 1913, guests who were welcomed with deference and denied nothing. In 2021, if you want coffee in the morning forget about room service. There is no such service. But please brew your own cup in a Keurig device. It’s a paper cup, of course. Did Thomas Edison sip his coffee from a paper cup?

Closer to home, The Pilot, a newspaper serving Southern Pines but ideally suited to an Asheville constituency, complained in an editorial that the county school board is being derailed by “politics”. The editorial proclaims a school board is a “nonpartisan arena”. Sure, and Jeffrey Epstein’s island was a spa and spiritual retreat.

Apparently, there is nothing partisan about nonchalance toward “Critical Race Theory” as a continuous anti-American thread woven into social studies curricula. Nothing partisan about pandering to a “land trust” shaming Moore County Schools until it accepted a racially motivated plea to purchase a former school property on the cheap. The three newly elected, “political” school board members voted against the land grab; and even brought a member over to their side in a 4-3 vote to ban CRT from curricula in Moore schools.

Everything is political, and always has been. Everything is not perverse, however. You would not know that given the intent of so-called local Republicans in waging recent campaigns to defame Lydia Boesch and Kevin Drum, Pinehurst Village Council members, and Maureen Krueger, the former district attorney.

Political cannibalism is an enduring trait of the Republican Party for reasons that remain elusive. But there he was, Pinehurst Mayor John Strickland, recently claiming council members Boesch and Drum committed “ethics violations” on the flimsiest charges since the Steele Dossier was used to target Donald Trump’s presidency. In the case of Drum, the charge was made weeks ahead of his re-election bid on November 2. Drum lost to a pair of first-time, novice candidates, including Strickland crony Patrick Pizzella.

Krueger made the fatal mistake of accepting a nomination to become President of the Moore Republican Women’s club, an award winning club regionally and nationally, and the state’s largest. The spouse of the current district attorney, Michael Hardin, whom Krueger did not endorse in 2020, mounted an expensive campaign to oppose Krueger for the club presidency. In a secret-ballot election on November 3 Krueger received two-thirds of the vote to easily secure the position. But if she was trying to sow seeds of division in the club, Victoria Hardin also scored a victory, perverse though it was.

Republicans at all levels of government have to figure out how to be more skeptical of the many frauds who slither into our midst. Consider the 13 House Republicans who last week voted in favor of the Biden administration’s $1 trillion “infrastructure” bill that will allocate a scant $110 billion for legitimate infrastructure projects (The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2021).

The Village Council’s perversion may yet bring down its conspirators. Boesch, whose ethics violation is alleged to be talking to a village employee without permission, correctly sensed that Strickland and two fellow council members colluded to prepare a statement denouncing her before a scheduled October public meeting. Member Jane Hogeman was reading “her” statement rather matter-of-factly when Boesch interrupted to ask who had authored it. Hogeman was caught off guard and soon acknowledged that it has been “passed around”.

Boesch hired a well established attorney, who warned the council that it very likely violated state opening meetings laws by meeting on the sly to craft its denunciation of Boesch, herself an attorney.

Even the most betrayal minded Republicans can not mask their intentions forever.

Adorable pawns

Unmasking the failure of public education

By Steve Woodward

Parents have begun to accept that their kids can’t breathe in school. Turns out there are a lot of things they can’t do.

They can’t read. They can’t add and subtract. They can’t stop thinking about sex. They can’t reason. They can’t wait for Thanksgiving Day to be over.

In a world turned upside down, educators demand (pretend) that students will be absolutely safe but are not concerned, apparently, that they know absolutely nothing. The dirty little secret has been unmasked. School performance across Moore County for 2020-21, an academic year sacrificed at the hands of hysterical lockdowns, unreliable “virtual” learning and cancellations of everything, went from lackluster to alarming. Thank God, administrators say, consoling themselves, there were fewer runny noses and scraped knees.

The problem, laments longtime Board of Education member Ed Dennison, is that parts of Moore County are occupied by too many “disadvantaged families”. And how does the Moore County school system show it’s compassion? Let us count the ways.

It allocates tens of millions of dollars drawn from a bond referendum to build Taj Mahal schools in Aberdeen, Pinehurst and Southern Pines for the same reason dogs lick their privates — because it can.

(Case in point, courtesy of fiscally focused board member David Hensley, who reported via Facebook last September: The Moore County Board of Education spent $37,875 per student building the new Aberdeen Elementary School. Contrast that with The Academy of Moore County, a charter school and Moore County’s only “A” rated school, (which) spent only $8,333 per student to build (its) new school. Phrased another way, the Moore County Board of Education spent almost FIVE TIMES building a new school (more) than what the county’s only “A” rated school spent.)

(Another Hensley Facebook nugget from last June: At $47,500 per student seat, Pinehurst Elementary is, by far, the most expensive elementary school ever built in the state of North Carolina. Had the previous Board of Education spent the state average of $26,278.43 per student seat for new public school elementary school construction, Moore County could have FIVE new, 800-seat elementary schools, not three.)

Meanwhile, schools in “disadvantaged” north Moore County remain decrepit and in need of innumerable repairs. But even after blowing its wad on south Moore school construction, the school board’s four disciples of Superintendent Bob Grimesey had a chance to do the right thing and take a fiscally sound vote. This could have happened September 22, just last month, when the board decided the time had come, once and for all, to decide what to do with 17 acres formerly occupied by the old Southern Pines Elementary School.

The back and forth on this debate is well known to those who pay attention (never enough, by the way). The board finally voted 4-3 (chair Libby Carter and her three sock puppets) to “sell” the land to a fly-by-night Southern Pines Land Trust for an apprised value of $685,000. The other board members exercised common sense and backed selling the land to a commercial developer at a fair-market price that was projected to come in around $1.5 million .

Never mind that the Land Trust, in collaboration with the Left wing Southern Pines Town Council, stole the land to build a park that will keep west Southern Pines effectively racially segregated. The real gut punch here is the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Moore County schools left on the table to pander to a racially charged cabal without regard for how the additional funds from a private sale would have benefited students across the board. The land belonged to the school system. The board was obligated to sell it to the highest bidder. It betrayed the community.

Carter lamented that she wanted to separate the board from endless forays into the “real estate business” under the false pretense that it is laser-focused on quality education. But that does not square with:

  • A board that twice has voted 4-3 to force kids to be masked all day in classrooms despite overwhelming bodies of evidence that masks are not effective and more than likely pose a mental health threat. Elementary school children especially are distracted and despairing of their filthy masks.
  • A board that is hell bent on ramming down the throats of students so-called Social Emotional Learning and Climate surveys to learn as much as possible about their sexual proclivities, gender insecurities and emotional states. Currently, Moore County schools are surveying parents about the implementation of surveys by a third party, Panorama, a data mining operation backed by Tech tyrant Mark Zuckerberg. What could possibly go wrong?
  • A board on which three members refused to condemn the inclusion of Critical Race Theory in history and social studies curricula. CRT would, for example, condemn Thanksgiving Day as a celebration of the disenfranchisement of native Americans. In other words, “Tell granny you’re sitting out next Thanksgiving.”
  • A board that has refused in recent years to deny Superintendent Grimesey a contract extension amid a downward spiral in school wide performance numbers.

A local sage wisely observed that the Moore County school performance stats are so categorically disappointing that it is impossible to cherry pick them. But three categories shine light on the big picture staring county educators in the face.

  • 55% of third graders are not reading at grade level across Moore County public schools.
  • 49% of all eighth graders are not proficient in reading. (In other words, they probably can not pronounce “proficient” or tell you what it means).
  • In grades three through eight, only 46% of students are performing at grade level in math.

The third rail of public education is the teachers themselves. In Moore County, the time seems ripe to re-evaluate both who is teaching our students and why they’re forsaking them. Let’s not repeat the mistake made in allocating new school funding. Let’s spread the blame around.

Alternative reality

By John Rowerdink

President Joe Biden’s August 31 speech on the Afghanistan withdrawal was ripe with statements requiring further examination.

  1. He says it’s an amazing success but does that comport with what you’ve seen?
  2. Then, in the next breath, he says there was no way to end this in some semblance of an honorable, organized way. It can’t be both an amazing success and an unavoidable mess. Which one have you seen unfold over the last couple of weeks?  Who are you going to believe — Biden or your lying eyes?
  3. He continues to confuse the decision and support for ending the war with the disgusting way he did it. 
  4. He continues to blame President Trump for this mess. Here are two questions about that:
    • With all we know about President Trump, do you think he would let himself be viewed as weak by the rest of the world?
    • Biden reversed all kinds of other decisions Trump made but he left this one in place. So where does that buck stop?
  5. If you see the list of military equipment we left behind, it will make you sick.
  6. How could the president, our diplomats and our military brass be so wrong about the Afghan army’s ability to hold the country for a few years? Did we not work with these people for 20 years?
  7. He said we would get every single American out before we left. Did we do that? No.
  8. We said we would protect the thousands of Afghans who worked with us and get them out if they wanted. Did we do that? No.
  9. We got about 123,000 people out. 5,000 of them were Americans who wanted to leave; 6,000 of them were our troops; and by all accounts, not many of them were the 60,000 Afghans who helped us during the war (give him 12,000 of them). Who were the other 100,000 that we got out and how were they selected? How good was our rushed vetting process? Did we just take whoever the Taliban decided to allow into the airport?  What’s the chance that some of them are terrorists?
  10. We gave the Taliban a list of the Afghans who helped us during the war. What do you suppose they’ll do with that list now that we’re gone?
  11. He says we will still get these people out. Yeah, right.
  12. He talks about our support for women and girls. Go back to Afghanistan in a few months and ask women and girls how they’re doing under the Taliban.
  13. In the days ahead, watch how many of our dollars the Biden administration is going to give the Taliban. So we fight them for 20 years, we then quit and leave them billions of dollars of our military equipment while we plead for them to help us. Then after we’re gone, we send them more taxpayer dollars. How disgusting is that? Is that what he calls an amazing success?
  14. His military advisors wanted him to leave 2,500 troops there to assist the Afghan army, which they had been doing for many months with no loss of American life. The bipartisan Afghanistan Study Group in Congress recommended that we leave troops there. Military testimony to their 2020 report warned that a withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 U.S. service members from Afghanistan would result in “catastrophic consequences for the security and stability of Afghanistan, including the potential resurgence of terrorist organizations that could threaten the U.S. homeland”.
  15. Our NATO allies wanted us to stay and continue to support this NATO mission.
  16. We have 28,000 troops in South Korea more than 60 years after the Korean War, successfully keeping the peace. We have 320,000 troops in Europe more than 70 years after the end of World War II. Was it really so hard to keep 2,500 in Afghanistan? 
  17. But no, Biden wanted zero and this screwed up mess is what we ended up with. 
  18. The President of the United States is living in an alternative reality