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March 24, 2015

Imbibing in Mr. Jefferson’s Town

Harry M. Covert

The thing that is so disturbing by news “presenters” is they get to jawing before knowing any facts. Naturally, it depends, too, on an agenda.

There is no question tenseness involving race abounds throughout the land, and I suspect far more specious than in Frederick, the county. The news dogs, both male and female, get excited when their police radios blare to some event.

I stayed home on St. Patrick’s Day. I could say I was afraid no one would ask for my up-to-date driver’s license, or some other form of identification. But, friends, I won’t.

For me any celebration would only prove I would be somewhat overage for the machinations of the checkers whether they be public or private.

Let me lambast the cable people. They didn’t know, and, what’s worse, they didn’t know a thing about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s ABC board, its mission or its agents. Well, I do.

The fun for the CNN gabbers especially was to imply that Mr. Jefferson’s University is rampant with racism and all sorts of obtuse conduct. I usually don’t like to spell out the names of these scoundrels, but I refer to the Cable News Network. I know, change the channel and listen to a few other more nimble-headed reporters.

The University of Virginia is an elite school. It provides quality education for those who manage to be accepted. And, I might add, the professors at all levels are not dunderheads, else they would not be around the hallowed halls. I can also allude to similar qualities at the College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, Virginia Military Institute, George Mason, Radford, Longwood, Liberty University, Old Dominion and Christopher Newport.

So, I’m a bit prejudiced about the educational quality in the Old Dominion, you know the Mother of Presidents, even if you include a fellow named Woodrow Wilson.

Virginia’s ABC board is no joke, and for years has established itself as a quality agency, guarding the business of alcoholic acquisition and distribution. A guy who should know better on cable, a retired FBI assistant director, maligned the agency and quite frankly didn’t know what the mission of ABC agents is.

The ABC board is indeed a watchdog and is led by a three-member commission appointed by the governor, usually to four-year terms. ABC agents have a tough job. First, to enforce the law that bars, saloons, restaurants and all sorts of drinking facilities don’t sell to underage customers no matter their racial makeup.

Oh, yes, the ABC agents must also scrutinize the owners. Any failings lead to immediate loss of the license and lots of establishments go broke and out of business.

I can add they also keep a close look on the bootlegging business, which is still a busy one in the mountains of Virginia, the Carolinas and other places. Probably in Maryland, too.

Cable purveyors of bad news jumped the gun a lot last week. First they slandered the Charlottesville university; second the ABC agents; third, the public. There are always two sides to every story and then the truth, but the matter in discussion was merely racial first, no facts second and public panic third.

A UVA student was refused service on, yes, St. Patrick’s Day. He is merely 20, from Chicago and probably looking for a way to imbibe. It’s the college way. The Illinois boy, sad to say, didn’t have any manners, but he sure caused the agents angst. I heard him use the “f-word” to authority. Here is time to use the “n-word for him – “nincompoop.”

Disobedience of a legal and proper order is a dangerous thing and should be. I have known, and do know, lots of UVA graduates and students. It is hard to believe that disrespecting the law is their mien. Most end up as lawyers, judges, law professors, even justices of state and federal courts.

I do know about Virginia’s sworn officers of the law, including ABC agents, aren’t rookies or just picked up off the streets. They are tested, tried and educated. The tragedy is they have to deal with nitwits on a daily basis. Today, of course, everybody has a video camera and, just like one-sided love affairs, aren’t fun and don’t always tell true stories.

Say what you will, but Mr. Jefferson, I suspect, turned over in his grave on the latest escapade. Too bad today’s students don’t know about old Carroll’s Tea Room, a place of edifying magnificence of some years past in downtown Charlottesville. Lots of imbibing tournaments were recorded and never made headlines in The Cavalier Daily or the city’s Daily Progress.

Now, for the real news. Read Dr. Larry Sabato’s political reports. He runs UVA’s Center for Politics and is the expert. He knows who’s going to be the next president. Even bookies and bettors can figure this out.


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