Good morning, everyone.
How many times have we heard the lab leak theory bandied about only for it to fall back quietly into the ether to be forgotten until it again emerges to taunt us, providing temporary hope that the truth will finally come out?
Below, we look at what one Nashville resident is doing to empower small businesses, wonder who the newest Tennessee resident, Morgan Ortagus, is, detail a book banning that wasn't, and revel in the wonder that Idaho has the most overpriced housing market in the nation.
In other news, Jerod Hollyfield picks apart Adam McKay's latest political screed, Don't Look Up.
Thanks for reading.
☀ WORKING FROM HOME TODAY...
The first step towards a more permanent small business win in Tennessee.
After Covid forced everyone to work remotely, home music studios began to be the primary mode of operation for music producers (unless, of course, you were part of the chosen few). During Covid, Elijah "Lij" Shaw ran into issues operating from his home studio due to Covid restrictions. In his fight for the right to earn an honest living, Shaw got Metro Council to change the law temporarily in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary fix will be sunsetting in 2023, so Shaw decided to work with the Beacon Center to take his case to court.
The Tennessee Supreme Court Heard oral arguments on Wednesday. Reported by Main Street:
“At today’s argument, Metro asked the Supreme Court to affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals to dismiss the case,” said Metro Director of Law Wally Dietz. “The Court of Appeals ruled that the case was moot because the Metro Council repealed the code provision that was being challenged. We believe that was the correct decision.”
In a world getting farther and farther away from the Constitution, court cases such as Shaw and Raynor vs. the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County are important to reestablish Constitution rights.
Read the full story behind the Shaw lawsuit in this article by the Beacon Center.
⇟ WHO IS MORGAN ORTAGUS?
Tuesday night, Donald Trump dropped a surprising endorsement for Tennessee's newly drawn 5th Congressional district. No one had heard of the woman he endorsed, nor had she announced her intent to run. Having only moved here in February of 2021 after serving as spokesperson for the State Department under Mike Pompeo, Morgan Ortagus was not on anyone's map, taking the entire state off guard.
Other potential candidates in the 5th Congressional district include the grassroots-led campaign of Robby Starbuck, political automaton Baxter Lee, and Tennessee legislative veteran Beth Harwell. The Republican primary will put on full display the trifurcating paths the GOP could take going forward. Will it stick to Trump and back Ortagus, retreat to the Bush-era establishment credentials of Harwell, or ride the tiger of an emerging, energetic Conservative movement presaged by candidates like Starbuck?
- State rep files bill that would relocate undocumented workers to President Biden, VP Harris’ home states (WSMV) Rep. Bruce Griffey, R-Paris, filed the bill that would relocate the illegals to the home state of individuals responsible for the border crisis.
- In rare show of bipartisanship, 34 Tennessee lawmakers slam TWRA plans to clearcut (Lookout) Lawmakers urged Tennessee wildlife officials to immediately halt all plans to clearcut 2,000 acres of hardwood trees at the publicly-owned Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in White County.
- Lee raises more than $3M for re-election bid (TNJ) Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will report raising more than $3 million in the period covering the second half of 2021. The Republican had about $5 million on hand as he began his re-election year.
- Record number of building permits approved in Davidson County in 2021 (Tennessean) The Codes and Building Safety Administration issued more than 14,600 building permits in 2021, valued at nearly $5.5 billion. The previous record number of permits approved was 12,561 in 2016. In 2020, almost 11,500 permits were approved, valuing $4.6 billion.
- AJ Capital Partners closes on more Wedgewood-Houston land near other projects (NBJ)
- West Nashville home to brewery sells for undisclosed sum (Post)
- Nippers Corner-area apartments sell for $57.35 (Post)
- Music Row property sells for $1.75M (Post)
- Franklin Pike apartments fetch $12M in sale (Post)
- Taco Mamacita set for summer opening in Germantown (Post)
✖︎ BOOK BURNINGS AIN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE
The insufferable Tennessee Holler (they don't get a link) released a story yesterday about the McMinn County Board of Education voting 10-0 to remove the acclaimed graphic novel Maus from the school's curriculum. The book depicts the events of the holocaust with cats playing Nazis and mice playing Jews. Outlets from the WSJ to the BBC picked up the story on the decision made in a county of 50,000 people.
The issue has predictably been framed as a "book banning" and nigh on indicative of an imminent coup by a shadowy cabal of white supremacist Nazis hiding out in rural Walmart parking lots, but the minutes of the meeting reveal a far more mundane reality: administrators deemed the book inappropriate for children based on depictions of sex and graphic language. Nowhere in the minutes do they diminish teaching about the holocaust and only talk about Maus in particular, noting multiple times that the language and sexual themes depicted therein are unnecessary to the teaching of history.
The Holler wants its low-IQ readers to view the story in the context of an attempted coup by vague "right-wing" coalitions in rural, blue-collar areas to entrench white supremacist ideology in the place of the purportedly egalitarian ethos expressed by progressives which we've come to know as Critical Race Theory. They've tried to associate the timing of the decision with Holocaust Remembrance Day (today) to play up the anti-semitic and racial undertones that the banning of such a book would engender.
The thing is: the book wasn't banned. It's a patently dishonest misrepresentation by the hacks that run the Tennessee Holler. The Holler also takes admirable positions like standing against school choice, supporting the progressive party line that parents don't deserve to have a say in how their children are educated, and all the other delusions that follow from lying to yourself consistently on a day-to-day, minute-by-minute basis.
They deserve your scorn. Reply 'S' to spit.
↗ NUMBERS: BEACHFRONT PROPERTY IN IDAHO
Four of the top ten most overvalued real estate markets are in Idaho with Boise leading the pack. Recently named the least affordable housing market in the US, home prices in Boise are estimated to be 31.8% above true market value.
Driven in part by a mass exodus from big cities as remote work becomes more entrenched in workplaces around the globe and people seek more livable conditions, workers applying for "remote" jobs in Boise account for 32% of all applications.
Idaho cities top list of most overvalued real estate markets
Axios, January 25th, 2022, Read Online
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 💸 The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it will begin a series of interest-rate hikes in March, reversing pandemic-era policies that have fueled hiring and growth — and stock market gains — but also stubbornly high inflation.
- 🏛 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring after serving more than two decades on the nation's highest court. Biden has pledged to appoint a black woman as his replacement.
- ⛽️ The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it was working with gas and crude oil suppliers from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia to bolster supplies to Europe in the coming weeks, in an effort to blunt the threat that Russia could cut off fuel shipments in the escalating conflict over Ukraine.
- 🐀 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said she plans to seek re-election this fall, but gave no indication of whether she wants to remain her party’s leader, as Democrats face an uphill battle to keep control of the chamber in the midterms elections.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
This week you could get a dose of Psychobilly from Three Blue Teardrops at the Legion, swap seeds at Percy Warner, hear a sweet blend of Jazz/Blues/Country/Swing from Sweet Megg at Acme, get your sustenance from local farms, learn about prehistoric Native American history in the field, watch a monster truck rally, and learn to two step… All in one week. Go get yer ya-yas out!
🐖 Farmers’ Market @ Green Door Gourmet, 9a, Info
🍅 Seed Swap @ Warner Park Nature Center, 9a, Free, Info
🎻 SPBGMA Bluegrass Fest @ The Sheraton, 5:30p, $10, Info
+ Bluegrass music awards, national convention, and band competition
🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info
🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info
+ Best honky tonk in Nashville
🎸 Kathryn Legendre @ American Legion, 8p, Free, Info
GET 'EM WHILE YOU CAN
🔆 Jordan Peterson (03/22) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $40+, Info
🎸 Buddy Guy (03/26) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $80, Info
🐷 Primus a Farewell to Kings tour (05/09) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
☭ The Confucian Model The economic system behind East Asia’s rise represents an epochal threat to human freedom
⇠ The West that wasn’t On a world without Western civilization
⌾ The importance of Bronze Age Pervert The radical Right flourishes in an atomised world
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Larry David unloads on ‘ridiculous’ and ‘idiotic’ NFL overtime rules
- Disney defends its 'Snow White' remake after criticism from Peter Dinklage
- Justin Trudeau says the "small fringe" trucker convoy on the way to Ottawa does "not represent the views of Canadians."
Words of Wisdom
“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.
They kill us for their sport.”
William Shakespeare, King Lear