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Remember and Honor

Civil Disobedience Without Consequences

by James A. Bacon

The anarchists who organized the UVA Encampment for Gaza are clamoring for the University of Virginia to reverse its No Trespass Order (NTO) against nursing student Mustafa Abdelhamid. The circumstances behind the sanction are absent from the brief Instagram post by the anarchist collective, but the restriction was imposed for actions relating to the Virginia State Police crackdown on the pro-Palestinian tent “encampment” on May 4.

Abdelhamid is the only arrestee whose No Trespass Appeal (NTO) appeal was denied, claims UVA Encampment for Gaza.

Even though the protester is identified as a Piedmont Virginia Community College student, Encampment for Gaza asserts that the order prohibiting him from entering UVA Grounds is “preventing him from pursuing his nursing studies. Please join our appeal by endorsing our letter and telling UVA administration to let Mustafa nurse,” says the Instagram post.

Maybe Abdelhamid should have pondered the potential consequences before doing whatever it was that he did that got him in trouble. Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

Yup, this is how I look most of the time.

From The Bull Elephant.

Money Alone Won’t Solve Teacher Shortage

by James A. Bacon

Virginia, like other states, is facing a teacher shortage. The debate over how to reverse the thinning of the ranks has been mind-bogglingly superficial. As a consequence, there is little prospect of solving it.

The root of the problem is that the Virginia Education Association (VEA) and its ideological allies in the mainstream media define the problem as insufficient pay — a problem that can be addressed only by boosting teacher salaries. VEA rarely if ever makes an issue of poor working conditions.

Thus, we read in the Virginia Mercury that Virginia teacher pay “gets a boost in budget, but it’s still projected to fall short of national average.” The two-year budget signed last week includes $540 million for 3% salary increases each year. Predictably, the VEA says it’s not enough to keep Virginia salaries competitive.

The article delves into a discussion of methodological differences between the VEA and the Youngkin administration on how to calculate average teacher pay so it can be comparable across the 50 states.

Here’s what the arcane budget debate ignores: the teacher shortage in Virginia isn’t caused by teachers picking up and relocating to states with higher pay. It’s caused by teachers dropping out of the profession because they think their jobs suck. Continue reading

Off the Interstate: “God’s Thumbprint”

Burke’s Garden,   Photo credit: Va. Dept. of Historic Resources

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

I first encountered Burke’s Garden many years ago the first time I drove to Southwest Virginia.  I was enchanted with it and visit it every time I go to Southwest Virginia.  The latest visit was late last month when I was on the way back to Richmond from visiting my grandson in college in Kentucky.

I don’t remember how I found out about Burke’s Garden.  I certainly did not stumble upon it.  One does not stumble across Burke’s Garden.  One has to be looking for it.

To get there, you take a local road south from the town of Tazewell.  That road will lead up a mountain with the usual S-curves and hairpin turns.  Upon coming down the other side of the mountain, you will be in a large, fertile, green valley completely surrounded by mountains.  The road you came in on is the only paved way out.  (There is a forest service road at the other end of the valley but whether it is passable varies.  Some descriptions of it advise those attempting to travel it have a chain saw handy.)

Radford University geologists explain that the area was once a large dome comprised of shale and limestone capped by harder sandstone. As the forces of erosion cut through the sandstone, the softer rock beneath it eroded more quickly, forming the valley floor with hard sandstone forming the ridges around the edge of the valley. Continue reading

Fewer Children Seeking ER Treatment for Cannabis Ingestion

Cannabis-Related Pediatric Emergency Department Visits by Month. Source: Virginia Hospital Association

by James A. Bacon

The number of pediatric patients visiting hospital emergency rooms in cannabis-related incidents fell 21.5% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period the year before, a decline that some attribute to bipartisan legislation regulating the production, sale, and potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana-related products.

A Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association analysis shows that the volume of cannabis-related visits among pediatric patients had been trending higher over the past several years, peaking in late 2022 and early 2023 before dropping sharply in June 2023.

“This law was introduced to protect Virginia children and families from being harmed by ingesting unregulated, intoxicating products that can pose serious health risks,” said Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, who sponsored the bill to regulate THC-infused products. “So, it is certainly welcome news to see that this policy change appears to be having a positive effect in terms of declining pediatric emergency department visits due to cannabis exposure.” Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant

A Question for Some Supreme Court Justices

I have a question for the originalists on the U.S. Supreme Court (Thomas and Alito) and textualists (Gorsuch):  where in the Constitution does it say that the president is immune from prosecution (partial or full immunity)?–RWH

CRT Critic Carol Swain to Speak May 15

Dr. Carol Swain speaking May 15 at the Cultural Arts Center in Glenn Allen. Purchase tickets here.

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Imagine a world where civil discourse triumphs over the divisive rhetoric saturating our daily lives. It seems this reality is slipping away, but amidst the chaos, one visionary offers a solution to the schism pervading our culture: Dr. Carol Swain.

Dr. Swain embodies the American dream. Born into abject poverty in rural Southwest Virginia, she grew up in a one-room house with twelve siblings, surrounded by chaos and hopelessness. Despite dropping out of high school, marrying, and becoming a young parent, her destiny took a remarkable turn with the encouragement of a few key individuals.

Dr. Swain’s journey saw her earning five degrees, starting from community college. With a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.S.L. from Yale, she attained early tenure at Princeton and eventually a full professorship at Vanderbilt, excelling as both a political scientist and law professor. Today, she’s a sought-after cable news contributor, best-selling author, and national speaker, renowned for her expertise in critical race theory and higher education, cited three times by the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading

Souped Up on the Mountain

En route from visiting my grandson in college in Kentucky, I stopped at Breaks Interstate Park.   I will save a discussion of the park for another post, but, in the meantime, this vehicle was parked at one of the overlooks.  I immediately thought that WayneS, one of the active BR participants, would appreciate it.

Whoops.

I accidentally published a working draft of a profile I’m writing about John Reid, host of the WRVA radio talk show. It was far from ready for publication. I have taken it offline until I can finish. My apologies. — JAB

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant

Bacon Meme of the Week