Good morning, everyone.
We know you don't read The Pamphleteer to seek out investment opportunities, but we've got exclusive, privileged insight into the opportunity of a lifetime this morning, folks. Yesterday, the USA Today printed an article titled 'It could happen tomorrow: Experts know disaster upon disaster looms for West Coast'.
The San Francisco Bay Area is the focus of the article which details how a massive earthquake would cause power outages and totally transform the city. Thousands of people would die. Hundreds of thousands would be left without shelter. It would be a real disaster even worse than the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake which burned the entire city to the ground.
We're not trying to dismiss concerns, but one thing's glaringly obvious about all this: the market has not priced it in. The Bay area is home to the most expensive real estate market in the US. Are Bay Area residents concerned? Apparently not. Should they be? We'd have to consult the Science and the Numbers and look up the odds in an actuarial table to provide you with that answer, but it kind of seems like one of those concerns you should take up with God and not the USA Today's sources. Could this be a concerted effort by USA Today to drive down prices in the area? Interesting theory. Is this part of the Biden administration's initiative to "lower costs" and curb inflation? Opens up 1,000th Chrome tab and begins trawling 4Chan.
As you can see, the questions multiply. But one question rises above the rest to your benefit: is the market concerned? Clearly not. Huge arbitrage opportunity.
You heard it here first, folks.
Today, we take a look at Tennessee's new public school funding formula, gossip about Biden's on-again, off-again relationship with oil, revisit an old fan favorite section, and gaze upon an ancient meme.
Thanks for reading.
〒 TRANSMISSION FROM THE GROUND: Jordan Peterson at the Ryman
A high-energy, colorful crowd filled the Ryman at Jordan Peterson’s talk last night.
Peterson spoke about Rule 16 from his new book: “Work as hard as you possibly can on one thing and see what happens.” Great message. I felt it deeply though the drunken hieroglyphics in my notepad indicate that I thought “sun your nether regions” would have been a more worthwhile call to arms. I say that partly joking because you’d be pleasantly surprised by the results.
During his talk, Peterson confirmed something that I’ve been mulling over in my head as of late. That “you have to have a stony heart and a cynical soul” to feel negative emotions while looking at things like the ancient cathedrals of Europe. “If you think this is trivial, maybe your aims are trivial.”
Now, I said something similar about Joan Baez and Doc Watson — a little different from great European architecture — but I think it explains the aversion to beauty that seems to have crept up while we weren’t looking.
Peterson closed the show by bringing a Pamphleteer favorite, Kelly’s Heroes of Robert’s Western World, to the stage. The band outdid themselves again, being the showmen that they are. Excellent move, Jordan, The Pamphleteer salutes you.
↠ THE WAR ON CHARTER SCHOOLS
If you’re looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the new school funding formula (TISA) presented to Tennessee legislation as HB2143 and SB2396 by Governor Lee and Education Commissioner Schwinn, look no further.
- Here’s the actual breakdown on the TISA website.
- Here’s a good breakdown through the lens of The Alliance TN.
- Here’s another good breakdown of the formula and other legislation that is coming through the current General Assembly session relating to K-12 education.
The formula itself has come under minimal scrutiny except for the vagueness of some of the language regarding its weights and methods of evaluating students' needs. This is mostly because the Governor’s office is proposing pouring more annual state money into the overall education system — making everyone pretty happy. Instead, the backlash has been coming after charter schools.
We outlined the importance of the advancement of both charter schools and a new education funding formula in Pamphleteer No. 194. The availability of charter school options alongside traditional public school options is beneficial to all students, yet there continues to be an attack on charters coming from left-leaning politicians, various union backed education professionals, and Tennessee media outlets.
The ambush on charter schools represents something larger under attack: freedom of choice. Fear of decentralizing the institution of education has many local and state voices desperately flipping the narrative away from the general bipartisan acceptance of the new formula. Instead, they prefer to demonize the move towards diversity of public education choice. This tweet by Amy Frogge of Pastors for Children sums up the entire issue presented by dissenters when it comes to the funding formula: it allows charter schools to compete for state education dollars. Other voices of various bylines expand on this notion by claiming all new charter schools are going to be Christian and conservative — and it’s all a conspiracy for Hillsdale to infiltrate the state and turn our children into violent political extremists.
Yes, they are using the argument that Governor Lee is trying to Christianize and conservatize our state’s youth with — get this — the freedom of individual choice for public education. The headlines are so backwards, we’re surprised they’re still running them.
The K-12 education crisis in the state of Tennessee has been a nagging itch the state has not been able to scratch for decades. The alignment of the Governor’s office, State Legislators, parents, and communities presents a small window to make the changes needed to elevate the education of Tennessee’s children. The time is nigh.
- Bill To Lock Out Congressional Newcomers Faces Amendments In House (TCN) Sen. Frank Niceley’s effort to avoid an “invasion” of carpetbaggers in the 2022 congressional races could hit a stumbling block in the House.
- Bill aims to change age requirements for conceal carry permits (Channel 5) The bill would essentially lower the age limit for conceal carry permits. Currently, if you are at least 21 years old or are 18 to 20 and meet military requirements, you are eligible. The bill would get rid of the military requirements and make it 18 and up.
- Clarksville church erases $1.5 million in medical debt in communities hit by storms (Channel 5) Madison Street United Methodist Church was able to erase more than $1.5 million in medical debt across several counties in Tennessee and Kentucky.
- Blackburn backs Nashville's music industry in fight against China IP theft (Axios) Blackburn is backing Nashville's largely left-leaning music scene in advocating for tougher action on trademark protections for music in the Chinese market.
➫ BIDEN'S ON-AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN RELATIONSHIP WITH OIL
Biden's relationship with oil reminds you of a 16-year-old's angsty disregard for his parents until he needs money to go eat at Wendy's with his friends.
- 🟢 For Oil Despite levying a bevy of sanctions against Russia, the US continues to import nearly 600,000 barrels a day from Russia.
- 🔴 Against Oil Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline.
- 🟢 For Oil Releasing oil from the nation's reserves to shore up inflating gas prices.
- 🔴 Against Oil Halting new drilling permits on federal lands.
- 🟢 For Oil Begging OPEC+ to increase production to help lower gas prices.
- 🔴 Against Oil Supporting ESG initiatives to divest from the oil and gas industry.
Make up your mind there, big guy.
Source: Biden Continues to flip-flop on crude oil policies
New Geography, March 1st, 2022, Read Online
Been a while since we've done one of these, but a few months have passed, and the headlines have started to accumulate dust like a pair of clown shows in the attic.
- Scottish government drops flag logo over Russian resemblance (Politico) I'd hate to be a Scottish kid named Vlad right now.
- The case for a Black History Year (Vox) Beginning to wonder if there are people that live in America that aren't black.
- Use of ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ in the New York Times increased over 400% since 2012. (The Guardian) There's been an explosion of racism and sexism in the past ten years, but if you go outside and turn off your internet, you won't be able to find it.
- Chicago’s “Race-Neutral” Traffic Cameras Ticket Black and Latino Drivers the Most (ProPublica) I guess not breaking traffic laws is too much to ask? It would be quite the twist of fate if it's the "implicit racism" of traffic cameras that saves us from mass-audiovisual surveillance.
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 💥 Russia deepened its military offensive in southern Ukraine, penetrating the city of Kherson and pushing toward Zaporizhya, as the campaign stalled in the north of the country and the two sides prepared to resume cease-fire talks.
- 🇺🇳 The United Nations General Assembly voted Wednesday to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demand an immediate military withdrawal. Out of 193 member countries, 141 voted to approve the resolution, five opposed, and 35 abstained.
- 🇲🇽 Mexico will not impose any economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. He also criticized what he called censorship of Russian state-sponsored media by social media companies.
- 🇨🇳 The Biden administration is preparing to confront China on its industrial subsidies and seek ways to protect America’s edge in new technologies, hardening U.S. economic policy toward the nation’s chief global rival.
- 🛢 With the price of a barrel of oil soaring, the group of oil producers known as OPEC Plus declined to take steps to cool the market at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
- 💰 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked a policy agenda crafted by fellow Republican Sen. Rick Scott, saying it would raise taxes on lower-income Americans, as Democrats seized on the proposal for their midterm elections message against the GOP.
- 🌵 Gov. Greg Abbott and former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke easily won their respective primaries Tuesday, setting up a high-profile race for Texas governor in which Abbott is still heavily favored.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
Notable events this week
- TN Brew Works is serving 2,000 lbs of boilt crawfish on Saturday and Sunday
- Black Dynasty Ramen is serving up high-quality ramen with guest chef El Maizestro tonight
⚜ Nashville Mardi Gras celebration guide
🖌 At the Cheekwood, Spanning the Atlantic, The Arts and Crafts Movement, an international trend in the decorative arts that originated in the British Isles during the 19th century.
🌾 Nashville Lawn & Garden Show @ The Fairgrounds, 10a, $12, Info
🍀 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
🍲 Black Dynasty Ramen w/ Guest Chef, The Maizestro @ Bearded Iris, 5p, Info
+ Black Dynasty is an excellent ramen restaurant serving out of Bearded Iris
GET 'EM WHILE YOU CAN
🌕 Full Moon Cemetery Lantern Tour (3/18) @ Montgomery Bell State Park, 7:30, $10, Info
🎸 Buddy Guy (3/26) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $80, Info
🐷 Primus a Farewell to Kings tour (5/9) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
🎸 My Morning Jacket (9/23) @ Ascend Amphitheater, 7p, $40+, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM LAST WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
✘ Generation X Finally Steps into the Battle Generation X — roughly born 1965-1980 — is a small generation sandwiched between two giant ones.
✈ Teen who tracked Elon Musk’s jet turns his attention to Russian oligarchs Jack Sweeney has amassed 162,000 Twitter followers on a new account monitoring the private jets of billionaires and tycoons
❍ Putin, Russia, and Ukraine: Historical Roots of a Tragedy When Vladimir Putin channeled history in his Feb. 21 speech justifying Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, many Western critics dismissed his remarks as a pack of lies, the ravings of a delusional madman.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Ron DeSantis to university students: ‘You do not have to wear those masks…Please take them off.’
- Joe Biden on whether his Catholic faith affects his views on abortion: 'I don't want to get in a debate with you on theology, but you know...I'm not going to make a judgment for other people.'
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Words of Wisdom
"The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going."
Ralph Waldo Emerson