Good morning, everyone.
We're imagining a bounty program this morning for graffiti. A truly progressive policy that would incentivize the gifted street artist and punish the talentless punk.
The first step would be to establish a commission to oversee this thing. Let's call it the Metro Street Art Commission (MSAC, pronounced em-sack). MSAC would be staffed by local architects, designers, and artists. Their one job would be to judge graffiti around the city. Citizens, through the use of a nifty mobile app, would be able to submit graffiti to the commission for review. If graffiti met some aesthetic standard as agreed upon by the board, the artist would be offered a bou0nty that he could claim after proving that he was the artist.
Bad graffiti — and this is where it gets draconian — would be met by harsh fines, and if the artist is successfully identified, the removal of one of his fingers. In addition to including bounties for artists to claim if their work is deemed edifying, MSAC would post bounties for the identification of Aesthetic Criminals that could be claimed by the criminal in exchange for the removal of a finger or the bounty hunter that finds him and drags him to the commission's office where armed artists trained in Krav Maga would subdue the offender and place one of his fingers in a vice grip.
One current example is the billboard by the roundabout in Sylvan Park. Once a billboard for Elá Mar Esthetics Boutique, it now sports a garish, abrasive, yellow graffiti tag covering the bottom half of the ad. Billboard ads aren't great from an aesthetic point of view, but this is objectively worse. Under the governance of MSAC, a bounty for this piece of graffiti would be posted, the perpetrator hunted down like a dog, and the bounty hunter awarded with a prize.
To discourage the perp from offending the city's aesthetic sensibilities again, we'd have to remove one of his fingers. For developers of the tall and skinnies (more on that below), we'd remove an entire leg, but that'd require a whole other commission legally empowered to destroy ugly buildings. A topic for another time.
A simple idea to beautify our fair city.
Today, we look at the Bible becoming the state book, check in on Elon Musk's Twitter buyout attempt, and look at how this year's wheat crop compares to years past.
Thanks for reading.
⇥ TIGHTENING THE BIBLE BELT ⇤
During this year’s General Assembly, the battle over the state book continues as House Representative J. Sexton (R) sponsored HJR0752. In 2016, 2015, and 2020, Rep. J. Sexton has brought forth bills that, if passed, would make the state book of Tennessee the Bible. Such a bill passed in 2016 but was vetoed when it made it to the Governor’s desk by then Governor Bill Haslam. Haslam considered the Bible a sacred text and therefore decided that the bill "trivialized the Bible."
J. Sexton tried again in 2021, bringing it forward as a House Joint Resolution instead of a bill. It passed, but was shelved by the Senate and was never put up for vote. Many Republicans, including the Senate sponsor of the Resolution Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R), echoed Governor Haslam’s sentiments about how the action would trivialize the Bible: "I do think it trivializes [the Bible] and places it along with other symbols that the state has like the salamander and the limestone rock and mockingbird, things like that.”
This year, the Resolution has another chance, and the numbers look a bit different. For one, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is once again the sponsor of the Resolution in the Senate despite his hesitancy stated last year. The number of co-sponsors on the Resolution also increased as did Republican Ayes, while the number of Republican Noes decreased. In the past, Governor Lee stated he would consider the Resolution if it comes across his desk. It will be up to the Senate whether or not that happens this year.
Meanwhile, this type of thing infuriates left-leaning media outlets. Last year the Tennessean ran an opinion piece outlining a telling view of America’s founding and the Constitution stating, “The United States was not founded on the Bible or any ‘holy book,’ but on our secular and godless Constitution, which grants sovereignty not to a deity or a ‘holy book’ but to ‘We the People.’ The founders were well aware of the horrors of the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Thirty Years War, the witch hunts, and the persecution of various faiths in the individual colonies. That’s why they wanted no part of religion in government." The view is not surprising, but strikingly different from founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who believed that separating church from state protected religious freedom, not the other way around.
Regardless, it's clear that local news outlets have not caught wind of this year's resolution passing in the House. It's also clear that Representatives remain divided over the notion of making the Bible the official state book of Tennessee, though more seem open to it given the past year.
☗ TRACT HOUSING IN DRAG ☗
Our semi-regular segment admiring Nashville's latest architectural achievements (More Info)
- 🖼 Titans release rendering of proposed new stadium, price tag (Channel 5) An enclosed stadium would cost between $1.9 to $2.2 billion at 1.7 million square feet. Construction would take 31 months, with the hope of completion for the 2026 NFL season.
- 💭 5 Reasons Why A New Titans Stadium Would Be a Rip-off For Taxpayers (Beacon) Great insight into how a new Titans stadium would only further complicate the city's present debt crisis and offer little in return aside from some "cool" points.
- State unemployed rate at all-time low (Main Street) The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.2%. The decrease of 0.2 of a percentage point in March allowed the month to eclipse the previous all-time low rate of 3.3%, recorded in August 2019. The latest rate is 1.7 percentage points lower than it was this time last year.
- Metro works on 'plan of action' to save trees from emerald ash borers (Main Street) The emerald ash borer is a small beetle the size of a cooked grain of rice that bores into ash trees, lays eggs on the bark, and when the eggs hatch the larvae bore into the tree, feeding off of the sapwood, soft tissue within the tree.
- Only 44% of MNPS high school graduates enrolled in college in 2021 (Channel 5) In line with a nationwide trend, the pandemic has posed challenges the question of affordability continues to be a key factor in going to college.
- Davidson County DA candidate accuses incumbent of breaking campaign rules (WPLN) Sara Beth Myers says DA Glenn Funk broke the law earlier this week, when he recruited several of his prosecutors to speak during a campaign forum about domestic violence. The DA is disputing the allegation.
- Mayor Cooper signals re-election bid to influential group in private session (NBJ) "He wanted to be certain people knew he clearly was going to run for mayor again. There was no mistake about that," said one attendee of the private, invitation-only session.
- Tennessee Legislature Moves a Bill to Protect Energy Infrastructure (Heartland Daily News) The Tennessee Senate passed a bill that would largely prevent local governments from restricting or prohibiting certain energy infrastructure projects.
- TN Bill That Would Require Non-Profit Groups To Report Expenditures 60-Days Prior To Elections Passes Senate (TCN) An Amended Version Of A Caption Bill That Seeks To Have 501c4 Non-Profit Groups Report Expenditures Of $5000 Or More Made 60-Days Prior To An Election Has Been Passed By The Tennessee Senate With A 26 To 2 Vote In Favor.
- Details unfold for mixed-use building eyed for Edgehill (Post)
- East Nashville commercial site sells for $950K (Post)
- Commercial buildings near brewery listed for sale (Post)
- Wedgewood-Houston commercial property sells for $1M (Post)
- California retailer to establish Gulch presence (Post)
↯ RED PILLED, BLUE PILLED, POISON PILLED
In response to Elon Musk's attempt to take over Twitter, the board of directors voted unanimously to institute a "poison pill". Under the provision, if any person or group acquires more than 15% of Twitter's outstanding common stock without the approval of the board, existing shareholders are offered the opportunity to buy additional shares at a discount in order to dilute the offending party's position.
Many, including Musk, have pointed to a Goldman Sachs report that shows the 12-month price forecast from February 2022 onward to be only $30. Musk's buyout offer is $54.20 a share for a total of around $43 billion. Typically, the decision of whether or not to sell would be up to shareholders, but as Musk is viewed as a hostile entity, the board has formed into a phalanx against him.
The question remains whether the board has adopted its position in order to shop for a better deal or simply to further entrench existing management — the latter seems more likely. If it's the latter, lawsuits from shareholders will follow. Jack Dorsey, who still sits on Twitter's board, has taken a populist stance in public, but presumably, he voted in favor of the "poison pill" during the board's deliberations. He's spent part of the past couple of days rousing the sentiments of the pro-Musk crowd while claiming that Twitter's board is the most dysfunctional part of the company.
The icing on the cake of the whole incident is the outspoken position taken by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who voiced his opposition to the buyout. In a curious twist of fate, the moral left has been forced into siding with one of the more anti-liberal regimes in the world simply to quash the chance that someone who doesn't have a "trans rights are human rights" sticker on his laptop gets a modicum of influence in the media.
↗ GRAPH OF THE DAY: WHERE'S THE WHEAT?
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 🛢 The Biden administration on Friday said it has resumed plans to facilitate oil and gas drilling on federal lands, but that it would offer fewer acres of land than initially proposed for lease sales, and charge higher royalties to oil and gas companies.
- 🤡 The suspect in a South Carolina mall shooting in which nine people were wounded has been released under house arrest and ordered to wear an ankle monitor after a judge set a $25,000 surety bond. We've seen this movie too many times by now.
- 🥃 The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which runs 16 alcohol treatment centers nationwide, had close to 700 admissions across all of its sites in the month of March — the highest number of monthly admissions it has recorded since it was founded 73 years ago.
- 🇰🇵 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of what the country’s state media said was a new type of tactical guided weapon aimed at boosting its nuclear capabilities, following a series of provocative missile launches that allow Pyongyang to diversify its arsenal.
- 📉 Several million workers who dropped out of the U.S. workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic plan to stay out indefinitely because of persistent illness fears or physical impairments, potentially exacerbating the labor shortage for years, new research shows.
THINGS TO DO
You can view our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours every Thursday night at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab. Join us to discuss how to shake off the sloth of the modern era and recapture the vitality that made this country great.
🎙 Hannah Juanita is playing two steppin' music every Friday in April at Bobby's Idle Hour.
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide
🎩 History Class @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 5:00, Info
🎸 Harry Fontana @ American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
💃 Swing Dancing Lessons @ The Bold Patriot, 8p, Free, Info
🕺 Motown Monday @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $5, Info
🎹 Jazz Jam @ The Villager, 11p, Free, Info
GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN
🌊 The Brian Jonestown Massacre (5/5) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $25, Info
🐷 Primus: a Farewell to Kings tour & Battles (05/09) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
🥁 Gogol Bordello (5/21) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $33, Info
FROM THE PAST FEW WEEKS
Around the Web
➥ French Presidential Election Déjà Vu Five years ago, Macron convincingly beat Le Pen in the second round by taking two-thirds of the vote. This feat is unlikely to be repeated.
⚙ Locklin on science From ancient Gears and Screws to Quantum Mechanics
𖼥 The War On Young Minds On the new religion and the cost of letting the left define freedom
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- MSNBC Host: “[Elon] could actually control what people think… that is our job.”
- Two women at New Jersey's only all-women's prison have both fallen pregnant after having sex with transgender inmates.
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Words of Wisdom
"Without some goals and some efforts to reach it, no man can live."