Political Calculus and Secularism

Editors’ Note: Reposted from The New York Times, August 29, 2021.  As the nation’s population dynamics continue to reorganize electoral maps, other social forces shift and shape to affect political outcomes. By Ryan Burge There’s no more politically unified religious… Read More ›

Gerry’s Salamander

It’s been more than 200 years since the first sighting of the salamander in Massachusetts in 1812, foisted upon the public by Elbridge Gerry. Over those two centuries, the creature has consumed or created countless millions of useless votes by… Read More ›

Wei-Chi (Advance and Retreat)

By Frank Blechman Last week, the Virginia Supreme Court cleared the legal path for the Commonwealth to remove the last remaining Confederate statue (General Lee) on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Also last week, US forces officially withdrew from Afghanistan. It is… Read More ›


An innocuous phrase in the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 2) propels one of the most crucial aspects of the nation’s political dynamics. “The actual enumeration [of persons] shall be made…within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as… Read More ›

“Talib”: Scholar or Fighter?

By Frank Blechman With the military success of the Taliban, the Islamic political movement now ruling Afghanistan, many Americans are wondering, “Who are these people?” “What do they want?” “What does this mean?” Americans asking these questions are not just… Read More ›

Beyond Our Border

CALIFORNIA The Golden State is threatened with a bacon drought in addition to its other water resource problems. Turkey bacon (turkon) is likely to experience a boon along with a price increase for orders of rashers, pancetta, gammon, and other… Read More ›

Trouble in Richmond City

                    In The Music Man, Harold Hill, a consummate con artist, arrives in River City to dupe its residents with his moneymaking schemes. Despite a complete absence of musical ability, he… Read More ›

A Lesson (a tone poem)

By Barbara Baum Levine It’s 2016 and the Party is coping With 17 candidates, each one hoping To be the next Republican President And undo the distasteful precedent Of the man from Kenya. White men from the Senate, A political… Read More ›

Outside the Novahood

LORD SUES CHRISTIAN U. A third-year law student at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Jamie Lord, is one of over 40 students suing the US Department of Education for allowing sex-based discrimination by institutions receiving Title IX funds. The law… Read More ›

Empty Chair, Empty Suit

This month, Virginia’s GOP candidate for governor declined for a second time to face his opponent. The latest is a debate sponsored by AARP Virginia, called the People’s Debate, perhaps the largest and most widely viewed broadcast. Earlier in July,… Read More ›