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No. 203: The Conflict to End All Conflicts

⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ How the War on COVID became the War on Russia

Good morning, everyone.

Did you see Lindsay Graham's tweet calling for the assassination of Putin? Things are starting to get really unhinged around here. It seems like the US is staking its entire future on engaging in a conflict with Russia simply to win some votes. Scary thing is that it appears to be working — more on that below.

Today, we provide a variety of perspectives on COVID as it gets cut and replaced by the new "media thing" on the block: the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

You can follow us on Twitter (@realpamphleteer), LinkedIn (@realpamphleteer), or Instagram (@realpamphleteer) for additional content.

Thanks for reading.


♨︎ The Costs of Mask Mania and the Case of Knox County

Jerod Hollyfield issues a dispatch from Knox County. Not Nashville, but related.

No elected official in Tennessee has remained a greater defender of civil liberties in the face of COVID policy than Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. Unfortunately, pandemic politics has hamstrung the WWE star turned politician during the last two years of his first term, leaving him with few options beyond espousing his views on social media or during the occasional appearance on Newsmax. First, a loophole in Governor Lee’s emergency declaration allowed Knox County’s unelected Board of Health to mandate masks for the county. Then, after the Knox County School Board twice voted down requiring masks last September, District Judge Ronnie Greer forced a mandate on the system due to a lawsuit filed by a group of parents who claimed the school board was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s reasonable accommodation requirements. As the CDC loosens its mask policies and the blue bastions of Los Angeles and New York state begrudgingly let their school mandates expire, Knox County students will remain masked for the foreseeable future largely because the glacial pace of the court system is not designed to keep up with the whirlwind flip flops of the “science.”

To their credit, the families who initially filed the lawsuit with whom the W.-appointed Greer sided have asked the court to take into account revised CDC guidance on masks. Yet, their sudden change of heart does not alter that masks have been forced on thousands of students whose parents overwhelmingly voted for officials opposed to the mandate. Worse, it calls the sincerity of the plaintiffs’ claims into question, especially since, as other outlets have reported, none of the students are currently enrolled in-person at any school in the county as their peers continue to mask up purportedly to protect them. These parents argue that their children have such severe medical conditions that their lives were at stake despite the school offering a host of accommodation from free N95 masks to remote learning to increased social distancing measures. Unless these students’ medical conditions suddenly subsided, the CDC’s change of heart has no bearing on the alleged danger they would continue to face on school property.

Likewise, Judge Greer’s lazy and rudimentary interpretation of ADA fails to grasp the potential repercussions of his decision. Over the past year, a groundswell of research on masks in the classroom has highlighted such policy’s debilitating effect on student learning and health. Consequently, an entire generation of students who did not consider themselves disabled before mask mania could claim such status using Greer’s argument. Worse, Greer’s decision has set a dangerous precedent that allows students claiming a vaguely defined disability to alter the behavior of their peers against their wishes with no regard for others’ comfort or well being.

Last week, the parents of a Knox County student filed a lawsuit in federal court that would require the county to ban consumption of food and gum during classes in which their daughter is enrolled because the sound of chewing can lead her to panic attacks as a result of her auditory condition. While we await a response from the helicopter parents of the diabetic kid in the back who needs that Clark bar on his desk to stay out of a coma and the ADD-riddled honors student up front who claims gum chewing is vital for concentration to weigh in, we have time to contemplate the next unintended outcome of Greer’s laughable logic. Postmodern feminist Judith Butler referred to such grievance porn as the “embarrassed, etc.” Judge Greer should simply be embarrassed.



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Davis Hunt issues a dispatch from the pages of history.

We've been off the COVID wagon for some time now at The Pamphleteer, but can't help but observe how quickly the superhero villain threatening your safety — and even Democracy itself — has quickly pivoted from the unvaccinated to anyone with anything but venomous antipathy for Russia and everything that has to do with the Old Bear. The same insults are even employed — Russians are Nazis, Putin is Hitler, the Ukrainians are Jews, Zalenskey is a War Hero, etc. Soon enough, expressing anti-war sentiment will get you bounced from Twitter.

It should be clear how this works by now. Once antipathy directed at the unvaccinated proved a poor electoral strategy for Democrats — due, mostly, to nonsensical policies that clustered around it like masking children and attempting to indiscriminately mandate vaccines for everyone regardless of how vulnerable they were — a convenient pivot to redirect anger away from them emerged: Ukraine vs. Russia. It was here that all antipathy was then funneled by the government and media. Biden spent more time talking about Ukraine than he did any other topic and essentially ignored COVID as his year late at-home testing push failed miserably indicating to political strategists that people just don't give a sh*t about COVID anymore.

The new narrative emerged complete with the same simplistic good/evil binary that adherents of the COVID Blockbuster could easily understand and adapt into their infantile worldview. 'Unvaccinated people bad' quickly became 'Russian people bad.' And now, we're watching the same 'unpersoning' that colored the COVID Blockbuster come back for a Russian sequel.

Some examples:

  • The International Cat Federation has banned Russian cats from its shows (Read)
  • CCM Hockey to stop using Russian NHL stars in global marketing campaigns (Read)
  • Russian and Belarusian athletes to no longer compete at 2022 Winter Paralympics (Read)
  • Liquor stores and supermarkets ditch Russian vodka (Read)
  • A University Tried to Ban Dostoevsky to... Punish Putin (Read)

We've seen this before in American history — and not just last month.

Following his reelection in 1917 under the campaign slogan 'He kept us out of the war', Woodrow Wilson began a propaganda campaign to castigate antiwar dissent as treasonous and insurrectionary — his motivations for doing so are complicated and beyond the scope of this newsletter, but suffice it to say that he now wanted war. Lacking the free-of-charge censorship capabilities of large techno-conglomerates like Facebook and Google, Wilson passed the Sedition Act of 1918 which punished citizens for expressing "anti-government" sentiments — in short, anti-war sentiments.

After a lackluster public response to Wilson selling the war as a Democratic crusade — "a war to end all wars" — he pivoted to simply demonizing the Germans. As a result, Americans began to purge German associations from the language (e.g., Sauerkraut was renamed Liberty Cabbage), and support for the war skyrocketed in the ensuing months.

Wilson's strategy and involvement in WWI ended up kicking the US to the top of the global leaderboard and asserted the USD as the reserve currency of preference for the entire world kicking off almost 100 years of American hegemony. What's not clear today is what the US has to gain from a protracted conflict in Eastern Europe aside from the export of politcal unrest over the pond and away from the homeland.

The present situation has similarities with Wilson's move to entangle the US in the First World War, but for the most part, represents an entirely different set of challenges. What's instructive for us is how Wilson ginned up public support for the war, and it's no different from what is happening today.


Megan Podsiedlik issues a dispatch from East Nashville.

I walked into a restaurant in East Nashville on Wednesday and noticed that no one was wearing a mask. Am I surprised? No. Am I annoyed that suddenly we’re just pretending people haven’t been ostracized/harassed for — literally — years now over masking followed by vaxxing/boosting status? Yes. I mean, I received a death threat in my own building because I wasn’t wearing a mask while checking my mailbox… I was alone, with no one around, until someone walked in (from the outside where she could clearly see me through the glass door) and yelled at me to drop dead for not wearing a mask. Hashtag East Nashville vibes.

A magic signal was sent out, then solidified on Tuesday via The State of the Union address. The entire chamber was noticeably maskless. An abrupt change. Up until a few weeks ago, there were still battles over masking students. Those, and all masking debates, have miraculously disappeared across the country. Or, at least they’re not making headlines in the wider reaching media outlets. No, instead, fearful maskers are left to their own devices as they wrangle with mental instability caused by such a sudden change in identity.

Let’s look at some things announced this week, the week of the SOTU:

We can go on all day… The science has impeccable timing, thanks to the CDC.


Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude After being exiled to Elba, Napoleon broke from the island on the brig Inconstant, careened up the through France to reclaim the throne, and launched his final campaign which concluded with the Battle of Waterloo and his permanent exile to Saint Helena where he lived out his days. The nation's response to his return changed as he climbed. Must've had quite the PR team.


  • 🇪🇺 The European Union must move towards the creation of an EU army after Vladmir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron has said. The French president said EU leaders would meet to discuss plans to pool military resources on March 10 at a summit in Versailles
  • 🇮🇳 US President Joe Biden will decide whether to apply or waive sanctions on India, one of America's key partners, under the CAATSA law for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, a senior administration official has told lawmakers.
  • 🛢 Global crude oil prices surged to more than $110 per barrel and the cost of natural gas skyrocketed to a new record in Europe on Wednesday as Russia’s escalating military campaign in Ukraine stoked fear in markets about a supply shock.
  • 🇨🇳 China is looking for alternatives to the US dollar as a reserve currency after Western nations froze the foreign assets of Russia’s central bank last week. The seizure of Russian sovereign assets has no precedent in postwar history and sets a precedent for similar action against China in the event of hostilities over Taiwan.


  • 💰 Jerome Powell has signaled that the Fed is poised to raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point at its meeting that ends March 16, and follow up with additional rate increases over the next several months. Fed officials are also planning to come up with a strategy for shrinking their vast holdings of government-backed debt, which will increase longer-term interest rates.
  • 𝕭 The city of Lugano, Switzerland, will make bitcoin legal tender and allow citizens to pay for public service fees or taxes in bitcoin. The city has already worked with over 200 merchants to propel the adoption of bitcoin and Lightning payments.
  • 🌘 The moon is about to get walloped by 3 tons of space junk, a punch that will carve out a crater that could fit several semitractor-trailers. The leftovers from a Chinese rocket launched nearly a decade ago will smash into the far side of the moon at 5,800 mph on Friday.


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 farmers’ market @ Nashville farmers’ market, 8a, Info

🌾 Nashville Lawn & Garden Show @ The Fairgrounds, 10a, $12, Info

🎻 The Cowpokes @ Acme Feed & Seed, 12p, Free, 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

🎻 Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder @ Grand Ole Opry, 7p, $50+, Info


🐖 Nashville farmers’ market @ Nashville farmers’ market, 8a, Info

🐖 Charlotte farmers’ market @ Richland Park, 9a, Info

🐖 Franklin farmers’ market @ Franklin TN, 9a, Info

🌿 Weed Wrangle @ Percy Warner Park, 9a, Info

🌾 Nashville Lawn & Garden Show @ The Fairgrounds, 10a, $12, Info

🦐 Crawfish Boil @ TN Brew Works, 11a, 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

🎻 Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder @ The Grand Ole Opry, 7p, $60+, Info


🐖 Nashville farmers’ market @ Nashville farmers’ market, 8a, Info

🌾 Nashville Lawn & Garden Show @ The Fairgrounds, 10a, $12, Info

🦐 Crawfish Boil @ TN Brew Works, 11a, Info


🌕 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



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Around the Web

⌁ Everyone is Hitler There is no moral equivalence between Ukraine and Russia, but neither country is Nazi Germany.

➫ Accommodating Iran Will Be No More Successful Than Accommodating Russia Putin’s horrifying war in Ukraine shows the likely results of the West continuing to ignore Iran’s nuclear quest

✴ Kayfabe in Kiev The latest spectacle in the globalist war against all

Political Theater Highlight Reel
  1. Stacey Abrams compares her push to upend voter laws in Georgia with Ukraine’s invasion by a murderous dictator.
  2. Progressive Activists riot during campus speech, assault father who was denied custody of son after contesting transgender diagnosis
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Words of Wisdom
How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics,
Yet here's a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there's a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war's alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms.

'Politics' by W.B. Yeats