Good morning, everyone.
Below, we cover last night's Metro Council meeting, peer at Tennessee's robust electrical grid, look at what would happen if the trucks stopped running, explore a case of recent Woke-ism, and wonder aloud — with the help of a study — if the decline in smoking has done more harm than good.
In other news, Jerod Hollyfield reviews Steven Spielberg's recent remake of West Side Story.
Thanks for reading.
↻ LAST NIGHT AT THE METRO COUNCIL
From the floor last night we heard a quick synopsis of some of the concerns the council has regarding the Governor’s State of the State address. The main focus was on education funding. Governor Lee stated that he will propose $1 billion dollars in new, recurring education funding for public schools in Tennessee. The money is expected to be doled out based on the new funding formula. The council’s main concern was that the funding formula won’t kick in until 2024 and they are uncertain how the new funds will be allocated before then. Here at The Pamphleteer, we will be following up on this along with the rest of the Governor’s proposed initiatives as things continue to unfold.
THINGS HEATING UP
- Once we made it through some housekeeping and easy resolutions, zoning issues became the first of 3 spicy debates. BL2021-1037 & 1038, a zoning bill concerning a narrow roadway in 12 South, was the first hot button topic and attracted multiple constituents to the floor. After hearing public arguments for and against, the bills passed.
- A dispute over RS2022-1365 regarding an upgrade and restock of MNPD tasers turned into a heated discussion where multiple council members seized the moment to talk about the recent use of lethal force on a man involved in a standoff on I-65. A few members made the claim that tasers are still a potentially lethal use of force and that they shouldn’t just sign off on everything the MNPD wants. Others countered that if they want MNPD to use non-lethal force, it is best to update their outdated tasers. The resolution ended up passing.
- Joy Styles brought forward a late filed resolution designed to add an implicit bias training program that will be required of all Metro employees to take in person. This, apparently, had to do with findings of discrimination within the Metro Arts. The resolution passed.
“It’s late-filed because I wanted to make a statement…” - Joy Styles
Yes, we know.
THE FLOOR ON FIRE
The final reading of BL2021-961 regarding License Plate Readers (LPRs) led to a lengthy and heated debate on the floor. Ironically, after all the hoopla about tasers, some of the arguments revolved around the fact that it is necessary to equip the MNPD with updated technology to be able to properly do their job. In most districts where council members were arguing in support of LPRS, there were major concerns about the uptick in violent crime and drag racing. Council members who were opposed to the technology relayed that their constituents were opposed to the technology. Multiple council members mentioned being approached by coalitions who have come forward against LPRs, the main concern being that the technology will likely be used to convict minorities disproportionately.
After hearing from several council members on the floor, the bill passed on third reading. Chief Drake and Mayor Cooper have both come out in support of this bill and it is expected to get signed by the Mayor with no delay.
Worth noting: All LPRs in Metro are required to be marked and this program is only a 6 month pilot to see if MNPD and Metro consider their addition useful. The equipment will likely be put in place by March.
⍼ NASHVILLE'S CLEAN ENERGY BILL
In keeping with Bill Lee's pledge at his State of the State address to move Tennessee towards energy independence by building more nuclear power plants, here's where we stand right now:
- TVA's Watts Bar 2 is the nation's first new nuclear power reactor to enter service in the 21st century.
- Tennessee's two nuclear power plants provided 47% of in-state electricity in 2020.
- Tennessee's one petroleum refinery, located in Memphis, can process about 180,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day — about 1% of U.S. total refining capacity.
- In 2020, the amount of electricity generated annually in Tennessee by natural gas exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time. Natural gas accounted for 20% of the state's net generation and coal's share was 18%.
- Tennessee is the third-largest hydroelectric power producer east of the Rocky Mountains, after New York and Alabama. Hydroelectric power contributed 13% of the state’s generation in 2020.
If one honestly commits to carbon neutrality, then nuclear power is an integral component of a healthy grid. That Tennessee leaders understand this puts us way ahead of states like California that continue to shut down nuclear reactors at the behest of a bunch of old hippies with childish views on conservation.
Tennessee State Energy Profile
US Energy Information Administration, View Online
- Crawford Introduces TN Bill To Deny Voting Rights For Illegal Immigrants (TCN) House Bill 2128 (HB2128), introduced by Representative John Crawford (R-Bristol/Kingsport-District 1), would prevent any person who is not a U.S. citizen from participating in any federal, state, or local election in Tennessee. It would also prohibit local governments in the state from allowing those who are not citizens to vote in any local election.
- Congressional race gets first new candidate since redistricting (Post) Local businessman Baxter Lee is running for Congress in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, the seat being relinquished by longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper after redistricting.
- Congressional candidate Starbuck responds to Trump endorsement (Post) Following Donald Trump's endorsement last week of former State Department aide and Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus in Tennessee's 5th Congressional District, a number of Trump enthusiasts, including Candace Owens, Sebastian Gorka and reportedly Donald Trump Jr., voiced opposition in favor of Robby Starbuck.
- Radnor Lake State Park documents bald eagle nest (Main Street) Radnor Lake State Park announced on Thursday that the park has documented its first successful bald eagle nest on the lakefront. It’s the closest nest ever documented to Nashville and the fourth nest ever documented in Davidson County.
- Here’s How Homelessness in Tennessee Compares to the Rest of the Country (Center Square) As of January 2020, there were an estimated 580,466 Americans experiencing homelessness in the US. In Tennessee, an estimated 7,256 people are experiencing homelessness - or about 10.6 for every 10,000 people, the 23rd highest homeless rate among states.
- GBT Realty Corp. targets spring for luxury condo construction start (NBJ)
- Groundbreaking looms for Green Hills mixed-use tower (Post)
- Mixed-use building eyed for Donelson site (Post)
- Developer pays $20M for west side industrial property (Post)
- Berry Hill recording studio offered for sale for $4.2M (Post)
- 303 Unit Development Shows Why Germantown Infill Remains Hot in Nashville (Now Next)
⑆ IF THE TRUCKS STOPPED COMING
As the Freedom Convoy in Canada holds the line and self-avowed socialists and left-wingers reveal their real disdain for the working class, it's worth considering what would happen if the trucks stopped completely.
The trucking industry hauled 72.5% of all freight transported in the United States in 2019, equating to 11.84 billion tons. The trucking industry was a $791.7 billion industry in that same year, representing 80.4% of the nation’s freight bill.
Within a day of trucks ceasing operation gas stations would run out of fuel, medical supplies and food shortages would develop, and the mail would stop. Within a week, garbage would begin to pile up on the streets and car traffic would dwindle to a halt as fuel supplies ran thin. After a month, the nation's clean water supply would disappear, and everyone from the Joneses up to the Rockefellers would have to boil water before drinking it.
In short, truckers are the backbone of our hyper-dependent, consumer centered culture and without them, the world would rapidly devolve back to the Stone Age. The complex network of trucks is the only thing between us and a truly dystopian, post-industrial apocalypse. It's no wonder that there's been a strong push to "automate trucking". The political positions of truckers, if properly channeled, are stronger than nearly any other coalition. Automating them out of existence would give centralized corporations and governments more control. That the Canadian Labour Party has taken a strong position against a grassroots worker uprising says all you need to know about the real concerns of Western progressives.
Canada is the same country that tolerated church burnings and iconoclasm following a fake revelation concerning mass graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and they've recently banned "conversion therapy" for those suffering under the debilitating effects of gender ideology run rampant. The trucker convoy that has sent little Justin Trudeau into hiding is only the latest manifestation of a government actively working against the interests of its people.
❒ TODAY IN: SELF-LOATHING AND PAIN
The prestigious Collegiate School in Manhattan, founded in 1628, has a couple of hero's garden worth of alumni, but that hasn't stopped it from marring itself with Woke self-loathing. A recent decision by an exploratory committee put together three years ago to "discover" and "determine" if the school's name, crest, mascot, and motto were entrenched in eurocentrism has returned with a verdict: guilty.
The 400-page report suggests:
- Changing the school's Latin motto Nisi Dominus Frustra ("Unless God, then in vain") to the more benign and secular “Wisdom, Community, Kindness” — in Latin
- A modern redesign of its Dutchman mascot because it is too "eurocentric". Imagine that, a Dutchman is eurocentric?
- Scratched the designation A.D. from the school's founding year — Latin for “Anno Domini” — arguing it was inappropriate for what is now a secular institution.
The endless "march through the institutions" we've become bored by reminds this writer of the French Revolution. Notably, the capture of the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the renaming of it to the Church of the Supreme Being by the rascally group of Jacobins at the head of the revolt.
After the restoration of the Bourbons following the fall of Napoleon, the church was given back its old name, Notre Dame. It's likely we'll see a similar phenomenon — eventually — as Woke capture reveals itself for what it really is to more and more Americans.
Source: Elite NYC private school updates logo, motto to combat racism as parents cry ‘wokeism’
NY Post, January 31st, 2022, Read Online
♨︎ TODAY IN: AND THE STUDY SAYS...
The below study suggests that reduced smoking accounts for 6% of the current rise in obesity. For example, the study finds that quitting smoking increases BMI by 1.06, or about 7 pounds for someone who is 5’7” tall and 180 pounds.
There is also the meme-like declaration that a decrease in tobacco sales led to an increase in suicides which really adds credence to Kurt Vonnegut's declaration that smoking is a form of "civilized suicide".
If this were a corporate publication, we'd paper the previous statements in qualifications, trigger warnings, and the like, but you're not like that, are you?
Source: Does Quitting Smoking Increase Obesity? Evidence From Accounting for Misreporting
January 2022, Read Study
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 💉 Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are expected as soon as Tuesday to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a coronavirus vaccine for children under 5 years old as a two-dose regimen while they continue to research how well three doses work.
- 🛢 The Biden administration is designating Qatar to be a special U.S. ally as it presses Doha for assurances the country could help provide energy supplies to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine.
- 🇨🇳 The threat to the West from the Chinese government is "more brazen" and damaging than ever before, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Monday night in accusing Beijing of stealing American ideas and innovation and launching massive hacking operations.
- 💰 Economist Lisa Cook has often focused her research on policies that promote broad economic opportunity, particularly for racial minorities and women, an approach she could soon bring to the central bank and its policy making.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 8:30, Free, Info
🎸 Music City Playboys @ Music City Bar & Grill, 6p, Free, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, 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
🎸 Three Dog Night (02/12) @ The Ryman, 7:30, $45+, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
↩︎ Would you take free land in rural America? In the midst of a national housing shortage, towns on the Kansas plains are giving away free land and ultra-cheap houses. Is the offer worth it?
⊯ Does prison reduce crime? Yes, obviously Sometimes the common-sense solutions really are best
↡ Florida man: The meme and the reality The Florida Man meme selects the fringier, more anti-social elements in the state and attempts to frame the totality of Floridians as gator-toting loons.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Whoopi Goldberg says, on The View, that “the Holocaust wasn’t about race”
- MSNBC host says Canada's trucker convoy is a "cult."
- George W. Bush gives maximum donations to Trump’s GOP foes Liz Cheney and Lisa Murkowski