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Drive for your life
Photo by Robin Pierre / Unsplash

Drive for your life

馃殫 Why everyone is driving crazy 路 Title IX 路聽Nashville limelight 路聽The politician's widow maker 路聽Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

Given Nashville's status as the Athens of the South, a label I much prefer to the alternatives, thought some of you might find this recreation of the music of Ancient Greece interesting. Watch here.



Getting pulled over in Nashville used to be a fairly regular occurrence. Before graduating high school, I got at least a handful of speeding tickets and warnings, and attended driving school on two separate occasions; in general, I felt very monitored on the road. Because of that, I'd try to follow the speed limit, use turn signals more consciously, and come to a full stop at every stop sign. The thought of a law man out there who might pull me over changed the way I drove. 

Then, in 2018, I learned that the Metro Nashville Police Department would no longer pull over drivers for minor infractions. After a series of studies were released purporting to find no correlation between the number of traffic stops and the reduction of criminal activity, traffic stops fell off precipitously.

It had long been a goal of the department to reduce the number of stops. In 2012, MNPD initiated 445,152 stops. By 2018, they got that number down to 204,484. In 2022, the most recent year for which there鈥檚 full data, MNPD conducted just 18,663 traffic stops. 

With this in mind, at the start of Covid, I bought a cheap 1990 Mazda Miata and didn鈥檛 bother to register it. I treated it as a 鈥渇ugitive鈥 car of sorts. I stopped considering speed limit signs, referred to it as my go-kart, and on lazy Sunday afternoons, I鈥檇 blitz down Briley Parkway and split off onto the rural roads in North Davidson County. Looking back on that period, I am certain that I achieved nirvana.

My point in telling this story is that I could feel the lack of police presence on the roads, and as a result, my behavior changed. Even with the risk entailed while driving an unregistered vehicle, I wasn鈥檛 concerned in the slightest about being stopped.

Similarly, less conscious and more reckless drivers than myself across the country have changed their behavior. As traffic stops plummeted, drivers have acted more erratically and, as a result, roads have gotten more dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Pedestrian deaths are currently the highest they鈥檝e been in forty years

A number of reports analyzing what鈥檚 contributed to this rise focus on the size of SUVs, the use of smartphones, or inadequate infrastructure. Twelve years ago, an entire global initiative designed to address it called Vision Zero emerged. And cities like Nashville have adopted its tenets, building out pedestrian infrastructure and modifying roads to make them safer (e.g. illuminating crosswalks and banning right on red). Vision Zero initiatives are tied deeply into Freddie O鈥機onnell鈥檚 transit referendum. It鈥檚 a program you hear about repeatedly from local leaders as a kind of secular mandate from heaven that requires urgent attention.

And yet, the solution is sitting right at their feet. The roads are more dangerous now because people drive more dangerously. The most immediate thing the city could do to make them safer is empower police officers to pull over people for driving like idiots again. DAVIS HUNT


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馃懄 The Yutes Imagine Nashville just dropped the results from another survey, this time compiling responses from young鈥檜ns across the city. Between August 2023 and March 2024, nearly 1,200 young people between the ages 5 and 18 participated. 

Probably the funniest thing gleaned from the survey was that 54 percent named traffic as the most negative thing about Nashville鈥攖he feeling knows no age. As for the positives, 53 percent cited good restaurants, shopping, entertainment as their favorite aspects of Music City.

Interestingly, 43 percent said that city growth will make things worse over the next five years. The average score out of 10 given when asked how much they like living in Nashville was 7.2, but when asked how they鈥檇 feel in five years, the average dipped to 6.3. The children surveyed also feel slightly safer in their own neighborhood (7.7 out of 10 ) than at school (7.6 out of 10), and 60 percent agreed and strongly agreed that they felt a sense of belonging.

As for the future, participants were given five choices as to which big idea they favored for their vision of Nashville: 28 percent hope for strong neighborhoods; 27 percent backed learning; 18 percent music and arts; 15 percent inclusiveness; and 12 percent connectedness. Take a gander at the full results here. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃彌锔 Title IX: Comply鈥or Now Following yesterday鈥檚 press conference, Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti encouraged Tennessee schools to comply with the Biden administration's changes to Title IX. Over the last three years, Skmretti鈥攁longside a slew of other attorneys general across the country鈥攈as pushed back against the admin鈥檚 redefining of 鈥渟ex鈥 to include 鈥済ender identity.鈥 Though a number of lawsuits are pending, the AG made it clear to Fox News that refusing to abide by the revisions "undermines the rule of law."

鈥淭he new Title IX rule is illegal and I鈥檓 suing to kill it,鈥 Skrmetti posted on X. 鈥淚 believe in our constitution and I took an oath to support it. We can鈥檛 just ignore laws we don鈥檛 like.鈥 He appealed to reason by adding, 鈥淲e need to pursue the rule of law, not a descent into anarchy.鈥

After the conference, the AG鈥檚 office issued a strongly worded press release echoing his earlier speech. 鈥淯nder this radical and illegal attempt to rewrite the statute, if a man enters a woman鈥檚 locker room and a woman complains that makes her uncomfortable, the woman will be subject to investigation and penalties for violating the man鈥檚 civil rights,鈥 the statement reads. 鈥淔ederal bureaucrats have no power to rewrite laws passed by the people鈥檚 elected representatives, and I expect the courts will put a stop to this unconstitutional power grab.鈥 MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃専 Nashville Praise Last week, just hours after Larry Ellison crowned Nashville as Oracle鈥檚 global headquarters, another global luminary name-dropped us: this time, it was JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon, who offered some powerful observations. 

"No one has the right, in my view, to think they have a divine right to success,鈥 Dimon said at the Economic Club of New York the same day. "You鈥檝e seen it with cities, you鈥檝e seen it with governments, you鈥檝e seen it with countries. People go the wrong way.

"When I first started working, most cities were not that attractive places to work. Dallas didn't have anything like what it has today. Hong Kong was a mess. London didn't have the restaurants and the infrastructure it has today. Now, every place is competitive: Nashville, Austin, Hong Kong, London, Singapore." DAVIS HUNT


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Inflation: the politician's widow maker

Respondents to a recent WalletHub survey say that inflation matters more to them than tax rates. The Biden administration would like you to believe this gives them the green light to raise taxes. But it's actually because most people earn under $100k a year and pay under a 12% income tax rate in our steeply progressive system. So, it's logical that inflation, which has greatly exceeded 12%, is their biggest concern. Inflation is a tax that has no benefits. (You could argue that tax dollars provide benefits like roads, bridges, and the Post Office).

Inflation, Richard Nixon found, is a politician's widow-maker. Painted into a corner, the Nixon administration enacted price controls which disincentivized production and sent inflation skyrocketing. Biden is under the same political pressure, so it's no surprise that the administration has recently floated the idea of Nixon-like price controls. It's already a pain running a business due to government policies, capping prices will be the be the coup de grace. Inflation could once again slay a presidency.

Which leads me to interest rates: Most economists and professional investors believe that the Biden administration will pressure the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in front of the election. I might argue the opposite. The President's handlers see these polls. Cutting interest rates will supercharge inflation. They're damned if they do, damned if they don't. TOM LANDSTREET



View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide.


馃幐 Palace @ Brooklyn Bowl, 6p, $27.50+, Info
+ alt rock band from London

馃獣 Missy Raines & Allegheny @ Station Inn, 8p, $20, Info

馃幐 Waxahatchee @ Ryman Auditorium, 7:30p, $30+, Info
+ indie folk singer-songwriter

馃獣 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info