Category Archives: Uncategorized

If at First You Don’t Succeed….

We’ve been getting feedback from readers wishing to attend the April 25 George Will speech in Charlottesville who have been unable to register. They clicked on the link only to find that the event, accessible through EventBrite, has “sold out.”

Nothing sells out that fast, not even free tickets to hear George Will. Our informed speculation is that malign bots cruise the Internet for conservative speakers, scrape the names and email addresses of conservatives listed in national organizations, and then auto-register them to the event… which they know nothing about and have no plan to attend. The purpose of feeding fake names, of course, is to ensure that nobody shows up.

Reprehensible. But not unexpected. Such are the tactics of those who despise us and excuse any behavior.

If you tried unsuccessfully to register, please try again. EventBrite is working the problem. Meanwhile, we have cleared out some of the obviously fake registrations. Don’t let the bots beat you.


George Will to Dissect the Assault on Free Speech

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The Jefferson Council invites you to hear George Will on April 25th at the University of Virginia. The topic of his address could not be more timely: “The Bad Ideas Fueling Today’s Attack on The Best Idea — Free Speech.”

Will began writing national syndicated columns in 1976, making him one of the longest-running pundits of our time. He’s also one of the best, winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1977. Age has not in the least dimmed his way with words or the incisiveness of his critiques.

The assault on free speech has been a top-of-mind issue for the conservative columnist recently. Consider a recent column he wrote about campus radicals at Stanford who shut down the speech of federal Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan.

The noun “parent” has become a verb as many people embrace the belief that perfectibility can be approximated if parents are sufficiently diligent about child-rearing. So, “helicopter parents” hover over their offspring to spare them abrasive encounters with the world. And “participation trophies” are given to everyone on the soccer team, lest the excellence of a few dent others’ self-esteem — the fuel that supposedly propels upward social mobility.
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An Open Letter to Sen. Louise Lucas About Funding New Richmond Schools

Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth

Editor’s note: Paul Goldman, a Richmond attorney and former chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, asked us to publish the letter below, which he sent last week to state Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, a fellow Democrat who serves as president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate. As of today, Sen. Lucas has not responded.

TO: State Senator Louise Lucas

RE: Why Richmond citizens, long concerned about the decrepit, shameful condition of the school facilities serving the city’s overwhelming black and brown public-school students, deserve to be allowed to have a Second Casino Referendum in 2023 as promised them by last year’s budget deal.

Dear Louise,

I write today not merely because you are the Pro Tempore of the State Senate. Not merely because you are the key to any new Senate action on the Casino issue. But I write today because you and I have long fought hard, against great odds, to remedy the many injustices suffered by the poor children of Virginia from the legacy of segregation. Especially the Black and Brown kids in cities like Portsmouth and Richmond. Continue reading

Did Southern Poverty Law Center and James Madison Museum Team Up to Put ‘Anti-racist’ Curriculum in Virginia Schools?

by Brenda Hafera

The Albemarle County school district in Virginia has been subjected to two lawsuits related to its implementation of an “anti-racist” curriculum, which one parent said was “incubating a culture rooted in grievance, discord, and victimhood.” But parents in the school district near Charlottesville may be alarmed to discover that it is not just the school board that is working against them.

Powerful political organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and one of Virginia’s own beloved historic sites may be involved. The Albemarle County anti-racist curriculum appears to have originated at President James Madison’s home, Montpelier, an historic site that has ties to the SPLC.

Montpelier, which is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by the Montpelier Foundation, has been reconstructed and converted into a museum. While some of Madison’s accomplishments are discussed during part of the main house tour and through a brief video in the visitor center, there are currently no exhibits focused on his importance as the Father of the Constitution, according to Montpelier’s website.

Staff members have also reportedly said that they have no interest in honoring a “dead white president and a dead white president’s Constitution.”
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The Governor’s Tutoring and Special Ed Services Initiative

by James C. Sherlock

VDOE has provided me a concise and clear description of the Governor’s initiative to provide tutoring and special education services to struggling Virginia school kids.

The program seems both on point and appropriately careful.

The input describes the sources of the money, where it was originally targeted, where some of it is being re-targeted for tutoring and special ed services, how  soon it will be spent and the services made available to parents, who will receive vouchers variable by household income to purchase them.

The plan for this initiative spends $30 million out of a total of $68 million available.

That money is available because:

  • the schools to which it was originally targeted with Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS I & EANS II) funding were not able to use it all within guidelines; and
  • it reverted to a more broadly usable fund, Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER).

The supply of tutoring and special education service providers nationwide and in Virginia who are qualified under federal guidelines for expenditure of the money under GEER has fallen far short of demand.

This program is making a major attempt to organize supply at the state level.

If this attempt proves successful, and additional qualified suppliers become available, demand will exceed what $30 million will buy. If that happens,  I expect the allocation of funds to be quickly increased.

But it remains difficult to provide such services legally, efficiently and effectively. All of it is tax money, or borrowed money that taxpayers will have to repay.

We want value for the money and for the students. Continue reading

Why Shouldn’t Virginia’s Felons Have To Ask Their Voting Rights Restored?

by Kerry Dougherty

Lemme make sure I understand this: Virginia’s ACLU, that left-wing organization that sat on its derriere during Gov. Ralph Northam’s unconstitutional closure of churches and businesses, is suddenly active again.

Its lawyers want Virginia’s convicted felons to automatically get their voting rights back, even if they haven’t made restitution to their victims or paid their court costs. No matter how heinous their crimes or how repentant or unrepentant they are.

The priorities of this group are fully on display: they’re more worried about rapists and child molesters and carjackers being able to vote than they ever were about people of faith who simply wanted to attend worship services, or ordinary decent Virginians who simply wanted to earn a living during Covid.

Some of us waited in vain for those who claim to hold the U.S. Constitution dear to stand up to the dictatorial Gov. Northam, but the civil liberties crowd sat those battles out.

Yet now that a Republican governor is doing what the Virginia Supreme Court has ordered — that is, to review every felon’s request for a restoration of rights individually — they’re back in action.

The great defenders of civil liberties. For criminals, anyway.
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Arlington CPS Seizes Baby Girl Over Tylenol

by Asra Q. Nomani and Debra Tisler

Late Wednesday afternoon, in Courtroom 4B of Arlington County’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Sean Jackson beamed widely as a judge granted him and his parents, Carlos Makle and Kim Jackson-Makle, joint custody of Sean’s baby girl, Amoria, instead of relegating her to foster care or instability with a mother struggling with drug addiction.

Kim later said, “Hallelujah,” thinking the nightmare they had been living for over a year with the County’s inept Division of Child Protective Services was finally over. But it was just about to begin all over again. Arlington County’s Child Protective Services was about to dispatch a social worker to an apartment in Arlington to seize Amoria’s second cousin, London, also a cute baby girl, from her mother, Paris Adams.


Over an alleged missed dosage of Tylenol Wednesday morning that the baby wasn’t even required to get, per doctor’s orders, but was rather prescribed “as needed.” With so much written in the news about public policy, legislation and politics, this story is disturbing because of the sheer inhumanity of bureaucrats operating with complete disregard for actual child welfare or a mother’s heartache.

First, a rewind.
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Maglev & Light Rail: Once-Shiny Objects Now Tarnished By Reality

by Kerry Dougherty

Gosh. It isn’t often the local newspaper provides two examples of “shiny object stupidity” in one week.

But The Virginian-Pilot delivered.

On Wednesday the newspaper quietly reported on the absolute demise of the failed maglev system at Old Dominion University. That’s magnetic levitation technology for those of you who weren’t around here to experience Shiny Object Fever in the late 1990s that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

The promise of maglev was that beginning in 2002 students would zip around campus on this raised train using futuristic technology. Problem is, it never worked. The rails were sold for scrap years ago and according to a report in The Pilot, the rest of the structure is being demolished without ever transporting a single student.

The thing the reporter failed to mention in her brief story is that the developer borrowed $7 million from the commonwealth — that’s you and me — to build this monument to snake oil. As best I can tell, the loan has not been repaid.

It could have been worse. In 1999, Virginia Beach City Council came close to spending between $20 and $30 million on a maglev line along the oceanfront. Continue reading

Marion Smith: a Thinker-Activist with a Global Perspective

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In The Jefferson Council’s meeting on April 4th, you will hear how the Council is fighting for free speech and intellectual diversity at the University of Virginia, and how our struggle is just one front in a nationwide alumni rebellion to reclaim America’s universities from the left. From Marion Smith, president of the Common Sense Society, you’ll hear how the crusade to restore American universities is part of an even larger war of the woke on Western Civilization.

As president of the Common Sense Society, which is dedicated to the defense of liberty, prosperity and beauty, Smith believes that ideas matter. He has recruited an all-star roster of conservative intellectuals – of whom a previous Jefferson Council speaker, Douglas Murray, is just one – in the defense of our way of life. A liberty-loving doppelgänger of George Soros, he has built an international organization with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Hungary.

In his address to The Jefferson Council, “American universities and the battle for Western civilization,” Smith will make the case that nothing less than democracy, market capitalism, and Enlightenment thought is at stake.

Click to view the full program.

Click to see the speakers’ biographies.

And click here to register.

Jeanine’s Memes

From The Bull Elephant

RVA 5×5: Heard the Noise, Seen The Light

by Jon Baliles

Well, it seems Mayor Levar Stoney has finally picked up on a problem on Richmond’s streets that many of us have known about for three-plus years. If you live downtown, or in the Fan, Oregon Hill, Jackson Ward, the Museum District, Randolph, Scott’s Addition, Byrd Park, Malvern Gardens, parts of Northside, Monroe Ward, or several other neighborhoods, the sound of jet-like roaring from annoying packs of motorcycles has permeated the air at night (usually on weekends) in a way that would wake Rip Van Winkle with ease.

And for three-plus years, nothing has been done. I have talked to those in public safety who have been told for years that these insanely loud gatherings of cyclists, noisemakers, and idiots — whatever you want to call them — are off limits for stopping or arresting, even if they gather by the dozens (even during the day) and violate the city’s un-enforced noise ordinance or dozens of traffic laws in and around Bryan Park, Byrd Park, or on Broad Street.

But this past Thursday afternoon, several noisy riders caught the mayor’s attention in Shockoe Bottom. He not only called the police chief to track them with an airplane, but he also later made sure that all the local media outlets (all three TV stations and the Times-Dispatch) knew about it. The result was three young men from the Tri-Cities area were arrested (ages 19, 18, 17), one stolen gun was recovered, and one teen escaped.
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A Virginia Team in the Championship Game

CNU guard Jahn Hines.  Photo credit: CNU Athletics

by  Dick Hall-Sizemore

During this time of year, the sports world is fixated on the NCAA Division I basketball tournament. Richmond fans give the VCU Rams a big sendoff.  Hokie fans cheer their top-seeded women’s team. UVa. alumni die a little bit inside when the Cavaliers lose to Furman in the last seconds. Despite being assured in 2019 by the administration that, upon the firing of long-time basketball coach Tony Shaver, it was time for a “new chapter” in  Tribe basketball to include participation in the NCAA tournament; William and Mary alumni and fans are still waiting.

However, there is another basketball venue in which two Virginia schools are powerhouses: Division III. Last year, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland won the national championship. Before its defeat in the Sweet Sixteen earlier this month, it had compiled a record 64-home-game winning streak. Talk about giving the fan base some excitement!

The other Virginia college in top of the Division III tournament is Christopher Newport University in Newport News. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams made the Final Four. This was the fourth time in the programs’ history that the men’s and women’s team have made the Final Four (although not in the same year until now). The men’s team made it to the Elite Eight last year. The women’s team was undefeated this year. Yesterday, the men’s team won its semi-final game to make it to the championship game for the first time. Continue reading

Glenn Loury Highlights Jefferson Council Event

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Glenn Loury

Glenn Loury is one of the foremost African-American intellectuals in the country. No, actually, that’s selling him short. He’s one of the foremost intellectuals – period — in America. As an economics professor at Brown University, an author, a columnist, a podcaster, and a self-described “liberal who has been mugged by reality,” he has emerged as a leading conservative voice in the debate over Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

I saw Loury in action at an American Council of Trustees and Alumni event last year, and I can tell you, he is phenomenal. DEI in higher education, he charges, makes African-American students think of themselves as victims, deprives them of agency, and induces passivity and fragility. He also makes the case for Black patriotism. Black people, he says, are blessed to be Americans.

That’s not to say America is perfect. Persistent racial inequality is real, he says. But the higher-ed panaceas of “anti-racism” and DEI are grievously flawed.

As the keynote speaker of The Jefferson Council’s April 4 annual meeting, Loury will explain what’s wrong with DEI, suggest what can be done about it, and stand up for the founding fathers, the American Constitution, and the American democratic system that has created unparalleled opportunity for Blacks in the 21st century. Continue reading

Meet Abrar Omeish, Exhibit A in the Woke Army

by Asra Q. Nomani

Exclusive: In 2019, Abrar Omeish canvassed for support at a fundraiser for the anti-Semitic group American Muslims for Palestine and said she wanted to change the “narrative” on Palestinians. She was elected to office and launched a tirade against the state of Israel, which she smeared as an “apartheid” nation, repeating the talking points of an anti-Semitic brigade in the Woke Army. Here is the full transcript.

Last month, at Luther Jackson Middle School, parents gasped as a Fairfax County Public Schools board member, Abrar Omeish, stumbled through a clumsy speech and called the historic battle of Iwo Jima “evil,” even though the decisive victory by U.S. Marines led to eventual victory by Allied forces against Japan and Nazi Germany and its leader Adolph Hitler, ending the brutal genocide of Jews in the Holocaust.

In the days after, the remarks sparked a national outcry, even spilling over globally, with Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, a former U.S. Marine, assailing the remarks and a pair of comedians asking indelicately: “How did this clown get elected to a school board?”

Editor’s note: For Asra’s twitter conversation on the event see here.

I know the answer because I witnessed it happen, and the answer reveals an unholy alliance that I expose in my new book, Woke Army, between the Democratic Party and rigid anti-Israel, anti-Semitic establishment Muslim leaders in the United States. These establishment Muslims include activists, politicians, and academics — from Women’s March co-founder Linda Sarsour to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), University of California at Berkeley academic Hatem Bazian. and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

What is particularly disturbing is that this Woke Army set its sights on K-12 schools and their children. School board member Abrar Omeish is Exhibit A in this dangerous alliance in K-12.

I saw it first-hand one Saturday night on Sept. 7, 2019, documenting the evening in video shared here for the first time.
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Is Washington and Lee Committing Suicide?

by Kenneth G. Everett

One of my ’64 classmates, and a good friend throughout our four years at Washington and Lee University, grew up in a Chicago suburb and graduated from a top high school there. Once during an idle moment while we were studying for a Charlie Turner exam in European history, I asked him why he, a big-city Illinois boy, chose to attend a small southern college like W&L. He answered, “Because my dad thought it was a good conservative school.”

Indeed, W&L was “a good conservative school” back then — and one in the best and most authentic sense, despite some faults it has long since shed. Long gone are such perishable appendages to W&L’s conservatism as “conventional dress” (the requirement to wear a coat and tie to class and in public), the all-male student body, and the racial segregation that still lingered at the school in those days and was associated with the conservative element of society.

But for a long time thereafter, the more fundamental, rightly imperishable portion of W&L’s conservatism remained intact: the rigorous Honor System, the code of personal honor and gentlemanly conduct, the correspondingly pervasive ambience of civility and respect of persons, along with instructional and curricular adherence to the enduring truths bequeathed to us by Western Thought and Tradition.

Those imperishables were deeply rooted in W&L’s long history, ingrained in its traditions, and illumined by the inspiring examples of the lives and characters of our venerated namesakes, George Washington and Robert E. Lee. I think no one during my W&L years could have imagined that these W&L values and traditions, so fundamental to civilization itself, would ever come under full assault by educated people.
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