Category Archives: Uncategorized

AP StyleBook Beclowns Itself. Again.

by Kerry Dougherty

The AP Stylebook has long been the “bible” of American journalism. This guide attempts to standardize language and grammar in newspapers. It deals with everything from when to use “concrete” and when to use “cement” to the use of hyphens when describing Asian or African Americans. New rule: No hyphens.

In recent years it’s also become the bible of political correctness. For instance, the editors scold writers who cling to the term “illegal alien” to describe, well, illegal aliens. The AP prefers euphemisms such as, “migrants” or “undocumented immigrants.”

Last fall, the Stylebook cautioned against using the incendiary word “riot” for mobs of people tossing incendiary devices in the streets of American cities. Those were “protesters” and “protests.” No matter how many buildings burned or people were killed.

Recently the AP declared that when writing about blacks the B should be capitalized, but the w should remain lower case for whites.

Now this.

The AP is deeply worried about offending women who sleep with married men. Continue reading

A Cautionary Tale of Rural Healthcare and a Peek Inside a Health System Board Meeting

by James C. Sherlock

Revised 12 April at 1:34 PM

I ran across a fascinating story buried deep in a massive Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) database on Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) inspection reports.

The report I will share with you is a cautionary tale both of rural healthcare and of the way hospitals view and treat ASCs, even when they own them. The ASC in this case is in Virginia, the hospital that owns it is in West Virginia.

Nobody told the Virginia Department of Health or Medicare, which license and certify it respectively. This is the story of a VDH surprise inspection at the end of November 2020.  It was indeed a surprise – to the inspectors.  The ASC was closed, and had been closed a long time.

But it revealed a great deal about rural hospitals, ASCs and the business calculations of integrated health systems.

It also revealed that antitrust law is not always in the forefront of the decision trees of the boards of non-profit health systems.

Continue reading

COPN Drives Richmond’s Tuckahoe Orthopedics to Be Acquired to Survive

Bon Secours’ St. Mary’s Hospital, in the same medical complex as Tuckahoe Orthopaedics.

by James C. Sherlock

This is pretty straightforward.

COPN is driving a physician shortage in Virginia because doctors are not granted the independence to practice the way they want to with the facilities and equipment they need and that in turn is depressing their incomes. Reversing Robin Hood, COPN takes from the physicians and gives to the hospitals.

I offer in this essay a direct example.

Pre-COVID projection physician shortages in Virginia

The Medical Society of Virginia is of the opinion that: 

“Virginia’s COPN has failed to improve access, control costs, and ensure quality. … COPN laws prevent private health care providers from competing with larger providers to bring patients the same service at a lower cost in a more convenient location.”

A story yesterday in the Richmond Times Dispatch announced that Richmond-based Tuckahoe Orthopedics is getting a new owner, Bon Secours. Bon Secours operates five hospitals in the Richmond area.

Continue reading

Driving While Black

Photo credit: Pope County Tribune

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

If anyone ever doubted there was a need for society to address the problem of police officers stopping Black drivers, a recent event in the town of Windsor should dispel those doubts.

The incident is reported in today’s on-line Virginian-Pilot. Like incidents at Virginia institutions of higher education that have been recently discussed on this blog, the narrative is based on side’s story. In this case, the description comes from a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Black driver. Unlike those other incidents, however, there is graphic police body camera footage that backs up the Black driver’s story.

For those who do not have access to the Virginian-Pilot with the accompanying body cam footage, I will summarize the incident: Continue reading

The Bureaucratic Banality of Academic Oppression

by James A. Bacon

Two-and-a-half years ago, Kieran Ravi Bhattacharya, a medical school student at the University of Virginia, attended a session on “microaggressions” in which psychology professor Beverly Colwell Adams gave a presentation about her research. In what he thought to be a collegial manner, Bhattacharya challenged her analysis.

The challenge was not well received. Indeed, other participants in the session deemed his questions disrespectful. There followed a sequence of events in which Bhattacharya was investigated by the Academic Standards and Achievement Committee for unprofessional behavior, was told to submit to psychological evaluation, was suspended, was branded as a threat to the university community, was banned from the university grounds, and ultimately was expelled.

Bhattacharya has detailed his side of the story in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Charlottesville against the University of Virginia and various university officials. The defendants filed for a motion to dismiss, but Judge Norman K. Moon ruled that the case should proceed. I base the account that follows upon the details contained in Moon’s ruling.

That ruling presents only one side of the story, Bhattacharya’s, and has to be considered in that light. But Bhattacharya version is well documented with emails and audio recordings. If substantially correct, the implications for freedom of thought and expression at the University of Virginia are extremely troubling. The lawsuit opens a window into the internal workings of Virginia’s flagship university. Free thought and expression are stifled not only by the widely recognized phenomena of doctrinaire faculty and Twitter Outrage Mobs, but by administrators acting through the university’s clunky bureaucratic machinery. Continue reading

Virginia Democrats Govern in the Service of Dogma and Power

by James C. Sherlock

Karl Marx

Socialism and communism are so 19th and 20th centuries.  

Under socialism, individuals would still own property. But industrial production, which was the chief means of generating wealth, was to be communally owned and managed by a democratically elected government.

Socialists sought change and reform, but sought to make those changes through democratic processes within the existing social and political structure, not to overthrow that structure.  Socialism was to be based on the consent of the governed. Communism sought the elimination of personal property and the violent overthrow of existing social and political structures.

So what has changed for today’s progressives who have taken over the Democratic party, especially in Virginia? 

A lot. Continue reading

Northam’s Vaccine Quotas

by Carol J. Bova

Reporter Sabrina Moreno asked Dr. Danny Avula at a Virginia Department of Health (VDH) teleconference on March 26 if Virginia planned to do what Maryland’s governor had done a few weeks previously in reserving a portion of doses at each of its COVID-19 vaccination sites “for priority populations, you know, Black and Latino populations, lower income areas, to kind of help with that equitable distribution.”

Dr. Avula, who is state vaccine coordinator, said:

We’ve been doing a lot of that in a lot of our mass vaccination events… We do a combination of weighting our pre-registration… Say for example, if we have a 2,000-person event in Richmond, we would set a certain number of those slots for people that are on the wait list, and then a certain number of those slots for people on the wait list who are African-Americans, so that we can more mirror the demographics of the population.

He went on to say that different health districts might vary in their weighting methodology, “but we definitely have been weighting the preregistration lists for African-American and Latino communities. And I think it’s made a difference.” Continue reading

Yes, the Virginia Beach Gang Shootings Should Be Investigated

Virginia Beach shooting scene. Credit: WAVY TV.

Delegate Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, and other state legislators have called upon Attorney General Mark Herring to conduct an investigation into the shooting death of Donovon Lynch by a Virginia Beach police officer during a wild exchange of gunfire at the Oceanfront a week ago. Herring had said he supported a Virginia State Police investigation, but Jones, who is running against him for the Democratic Party nomination for attorney general, wants something more high-profile.

Any time a citizen is killed by a policeman, an inquiry of some sort is called for. Given political realities today, an investigation outside the normal intra-departmental review is prudent if the victim is African American. Under the curious circumstances of this particular incident — the policeman had failed to activate his body camera — it is not unreasonable for Jones and his friends to demand an even closer level of scrutiny.

But if there is to be an investigation, let’s not focus solely on the one shooting. Let’s dig into the entirety of what happened at Virginia Beach that night, in which one other person was killed and eight were injured, including a policeman who was struck by a car. Continue reading

Northam School Policy: The Gendered Majority Must Accommodate the Tiny Transgender Minority

by James A. Bacon

When Virginians voted for mild-mannered, middle-of-the-road Ralph Northam for governor in 2017, they had no clue that he would preside over the most sweeping transformation of public education since the end of Massive Resistance. Even while students were suffering from a catastrophic loss of learning due to the COVID-19-driven shift to online instruction, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) preoccupied itself with implementing Critical Race Theory. Now, we learn, the Northam administration also has been busy figuring out how to restructure public schools around the needs of transgender students.

The VDOE has issued a document describing “model policies” for the treatment of transgender students in Virginia’s public schools. Two conservative groups have filed suit to halt implementation of the guidelines. Not surprisingly, The Washington Post has disparaged these organizations, noting that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified one as a “hate group” and that the other, the Family Foundation of Virginia, among other crimes against humanity was originally founded to oppose sex education.

Karl Frisch, an LGBTQ member of the Fairfax School Board, described the lawsuits as “a mean-spirited attempt to turn the clock back on equality in Virginia. “Our students deserve better than bigotry and hate.”

The litigation, said Northam spokesperson Alena Yarmosky, “is beyond the pale.”

So… Anyone who defends social norms that have prevailed for 2,000 years and objects to faddish constructs that have popped into the popular culture in just the last few years is a bigot, a hater, and engaged in behavior outside the bounds of acceptable discourse. Continue reading

Will Fairfax Schools Become Ungovernable?

by James A. Bacon

Having previously prohibited several forms of physical restraint to control disruptive students, the Fairfax County School Board approved in December a policy that banned seclusion — isolating students in a place where they are physically prevented from leaving. As an alternative, teachers would use conflict resolution, de-escalation, and prevention.

What could possibly go wrong?

For starters, the school system promised to train staff on alternative approaches to dealing with highly disruptive students. But now that students are returning, post-COVID, to school buildings, staff training has been limited to online sessions, reports Inside NoVa.

But that’s a temporary problem. Eventually, staff will receive better training. Here’s what can happen when you mainstream students with severe emotional-control issues:

“The fact is, when it takes five of us to even physically keep a student in an area that’s safe, then that’s not worth the injury to staff,” special education teacher Cheryl Sandford told Inside NoVa. “No one is going to stand there and just get bitten or hit repeatedly, or be given a concussion because a chair was thrown at their head.” Continue reading

Jeanine’s Memes

Jeanine’s Sunday Memes, Bull Elephant

Why Haven’t More Asians Been Vaccinated?

Vaccination stations at the Richmond Raceway around noon today.

by James A. Bacon

Asians comprise 7% of Virginia’s population, but according to the latest Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, they account for only 3.6% of confirmed COVID cases, 4.5% of hospitalizations, and 1.5% of deaths.

That would seem to be good news for Asians and Asian-Americans. But never fear, the intrepid social-justice reporters at the Richmond Times-Dispatch can always find an angle supporting their narrative of racial oppression. An article published this morning focuses on the fact that Virginians with an Asian background are getting vaccinated at a lower rate than Whites, Blacks and Hispanics.

The RTD identifies some genuine obstacles that hinder Asians from getting vaccinated, such as the spread of rumors that non-citizens don’t qualify to get the vaccine, and limited proficiency in English, which makes it more difficult for public health authorities to combat misinformation. But the article also postulates some nonsensical reasons, such as the supposed “model minority” myth that all Asians are well educated and financially well off, and, in a total non sequitur, a supposed wave of of anti-Asian violence. Continue reading

Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Is Ris…

… I wonder where the boidies is
The boid is on the wing,
But that’s absoid
From what I hoid
The wing is on the boid!

The so-called Brooklyn National Anthem was on my mind this afternoon when I strolled through my neighborhood. Yesterday, it was still winter. Today, it’s spring. Trees had exploded with red bud and white cherry blossoms. The forsythia and periwinkle were in full bloom. And the frogs in pond, normally very reclusive, were croaking their little hearts out in mating rituals. As for the boids, I did notice a red-breasted robin or two. Continue reading

Virginians in Cooperstown

by James Wyatt Whitehead V

On March 3rd, 1987 a long-distance telephone call came to the home of Ray Dandridge. It was a call well remembered by Mr. Dandridge in a speech given that summer in Cooperstown, New York.

“I was resting and my wife was in the backyard. So, I answered the phone. The phone caller says, I’m trying to find Ray Dandridge. I say, I’m Ray Dandridge.  Are you Ray Dandridge the ball player?  I said, yeah. And all the sudden he said, your life has changed.  I said, what do you mean my life has changed? I said, sometimes you know you get crank calls. So afterwards, me and him and talk awhile and then he said, I’m Ed Stack, President of the Hall of Fame and you have just been elected to the Hall of Fame. I want to thank each and every member of the Veterans Committee for allowing me to smell the roses. My only question is, why did you take so long?”

And just like that Mr. Dandridge, long time third baseman for the Negro League Newark Eagles became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Continue reading

How to Contextualize a Confederate Statue

Clarke County courthouse. Credit: Wikipedia

by James Wyatt Whitehead V

On March 18th, 2021, the Clarke County Board of Supervisors accepted the eight-member Monument Committee’s recommendations for the Berryville courthouse Confederate Monument. The six-point platform, approved by the committee in a seven-to-one vote, called for:

  1. Dedicating the Courthouse Green to memorials and education.  Efforts should be made to recognize the contributions of African Americans in the Civil War.
  2. Preserving the Confederate monument with contextualization added.
  3. Placing additional memorials to highlight the service of more than 90 African-American soldiers in the Union armed forces as well as the recognition of Thomas Laws, a slave and informant for the Union army.
  4. Renaming one of the courthouse buildings in honor of a noted African American from Clarke County’s past.
  5. Acquisition of the Confederate monument by Clarke County.
  6. Enlisting private groups and citizens to fund the Courthouse Green improvements.

Continue reading