Sunday, July 25, 2021

Your July 25th Sunday Summary ...

Dear Friend of TJI,
Last week, Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the 1619 Project proclaimed “The most equal multiracial country in our hemisphere, it would be Cuba. That’s largely due to socialism, which I’m sure no one wants to hear.” If the last two weeks have proven nothing else, it is that the citizens of Cuba certainly don’t want to hear it.
Meanwhile …
1.) Loudoun County is planning to join Alexandria and Arlington in establishing collective bargaining for its public employees. Critical race theory raised its head here, too, in the form of Supervisor Juli Briskman who declared that collective bargaining is being opposed because “the sky is falling for certain people who want to keep our society ruled by white supremacy.” She was promptly rebuked by Board Chair Phyllis Randall who noted “it is the epitome of white privilege to not know what white supremacy is,” adding “If you make everything about race then nothing is about race.” Briskman is white. Randall is black. The story is here.
2.) Perhaps Ms. Randall received the memo from Rick Hess, over at the American Enterprise Institute, who warns “Critical race enthusiasts should learn the lesson of ‘defund police.’” (here). No less a Democrat than James Carville agrees (here).
3.) That lesson can also be learned by reading the recent column by Asra Nomani, who opposes any such critical race theory ideology and recorded the “Let Them Die” comments of a Fairfax County PTA official outside a recent school board meeting. A single mother, Muslim, immigrant and Democrat, her votes have gone to Republicans in recent years because, she says, her rise from a non-English-speaking four-year-old living in poverty to Wall Street Journal reporter at age 23 was powered by “America’s democracy and our public school system.” Powerful reading, here.
4.) Former civil rights activist Bob Woodson founded the community-based Woodson Center four decades ago to transform lives in the communities. But when the 1619 Project was published he leapt into action to form 1776 Unites.  In National Review Friday, he offered “A Better Way to Fight Critical Race Theory” (here). Woodson and the Thomas Jefferson Institute are planning a collaborative effort as Virginia begins the process of revising its History Standards of Learning. Stay tuned.
5.) Closer into DC, the Arlington County Board has now officially replaced the name of Lee-Jackson Highway with that of John M. Langston. The Washington Post editorially approves, noting he was a constitutional scholar who was the first black American elected to public office (here), and citing his long resume. One thing they could not bring themselves to mention: the first black American elected to public office was ... a Republican. 
6.) The week before last, Jefferson Institute Senior Fellow Steve Haner offered an analysis of the CNBC Rankings proclaiming Virginia “Best State for Business” here and here. This week, former Delegate Chris Saxman, now head of the business group Virginia FREE, weighs in here. Thirty-year entrepreneur and former Delegate Mike Watson elaborates further here.
7.) Conservatives have long warned about the dangers of incompetently-run government health care and no finer example could be the disaster now taking place in the Virginia’s mental hospitals, where the private sector is being asked to step up to do what the state-run system can’t. The progressive Virginia Mercury does a deep and objective dive into the problem here. Meanwhile, the former leader of the state’s behavioral health system, a 30 year veteran, puts the blame on Governor Ralph Northam here.
8.) Percentage of covid cases in Virginians not vaccinated: 99.30%; 
Percentage of covid hospitalizations in Virginians not vaccinated: 98.20%;
Percentage of covid deaths in Virginians not vaccinated: 98.47%. 
In economics and politics, this is called a clear trend. So too in health. It’s as good a reason as any to join George Allen in getting vaccinated (here), as well as Reps. Steve Scalise and Elise Stafanik (here), and a host of Republican Governors (here).
9.) And yet, many don’t, despite the fact they should. Over at National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty blames part of the reason on the approach of the health establishment and talks about “Convincing the Skeptics” (here), offering a booster shot of ideas on how to reach vaccine skeptics here.  The Roanoke Times editorially suggests such skepticism is an aspect of “American Exceptionalism” (and not in a good way) here. Finally, the CEO of Newsmax says President Biden is doing a good job in getting Americans vaccinated – starting with Biden’s embrace of “the Trump vaccine.” (here)
10.)               The issue of getting vaccinated (yes, you should) is different from the question of masks on kids in schools. Governor Northam has issued new guidelines recommending schoolchildren again be masked up this fall (here). But “guidance” is not a mandate, and the issue will be decided by local school systems throughout the Commonwealth (where most education decisions repose under the Virginia Constitution). Over at Bacon’s Rebellion, Jim Bacon suggests there is missing data needed to make an informed decision (here). Either way, the most dangerous place to be is between a Mama Bear and her cub: In this case there will be competing cohorts of Moms who object to masks and those who fear what may happen without them. And either way, the children have suffered through all of this.
11.)               Those with the audacity to insist on free and fair elections in Virginia need to work at it, which is why the Virginia Fair Elections Coalition is hosting a series of election integrity workshops throughout the state. Covering topics such as recent election law changes and the roles and responsibilities of paid election officers and poll watchers, and local Electoral Boards, four such workshops are coming up: July 29 in Franklin County (here) and Chesterfield County (here), August 5 in Loudoun County (here), and August 12 in Fredericksburg City (here).
Finally … It will be quieter in the stands this year, but for 16 days we wait for these moments.
Happy Sunday, Everyone.
Altogether now: U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Chris Braunlich
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