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No. 253: Slave to the Traffic Light

⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Traffic Lights · Weekend Tunes · Starbuck · USSR · Dark Lights · Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

Phish, the perennial jam band, has a song called 'Slave to the Traffic Light.' It's a ballad with an enduring presence in the group's catalog, typically coming at the end of their shows as a kind of benediction for its fans — a reminder to live wild and free and never let the man get you down.

The only lines in the song are:

Slave to the traffic light
See the city, see the zoo
Traffic light won't let me through

It's easy to mock Phish — trust me, I've mostly done that — but the song always resonated because the childish reminder that "you're a slave, man, and you don't know it" really rings harshly in the ear when you're staring at a red light at 10 PM with no other cars around. I've started to just run these because I'm a free man, and sometimes the 'machines' don't know better than I do.

The whole idea of being a "slave to the traffic light" seems childish, but then I remember one of Nietzsche's more famous aphorisms which goes, "Maturity in a man: that means having found once again that seriousness which man had as a child, in play." It's become a convenient out for me whenever I brook an idea or activity that on the surface seems childlike or immature. This, of course, is not a perfect means of organizing and living one's life — and I'm not here to suggest you do the same — but nonetheless, as we will see, I think it applies here.

James Scott, a renowned scholar of political science at Yale, wrote a lovely little book called Two Cheers for Anarchism. More an exploration of ideas around anarchy and how to use them to critique central planners than a manifesto, it's told through stories from history and Scott's own life. One vignette details Scott's time in Germany wherein he witnessed how rule-bound German citizens were. The scene involves a crosswalk, late at night, on an empty road across from a quiet train station.

James observes people queuing up at the crosswalk and refusing to cross against the light even when no cars can be seen or heard. When someone dares to cross the empty road without the proper signal, he's immediately beseeched by the goody-goods who wait for the signal.

Scott imagines what he'd say to those Germans years later when writing his book. It's here that Scott coins a phrase that I haven't been able to erase from memory since. I'll quote the passage in full:

You know, you and especially your grandparents could have used more of a spirit of lawbreaking. One day you will be called on to break a big law in the name of justice and rationality. Everything will depend on it. You have to be ready. How are you going to prepare for that day when it really matters? You have to stay ‘in shape’ so that when the big day comes you will be ready. What you need is anarchist calisthenics. Every day or so break some trivial law that makes no sense, even if it’s only jaywalking. Use your own head to judge whether a law is just or reasonable. That way, you’ll keep trim—and when the big day comes, you’ll be ready.

Anarchist Calisthenics. It's a radical idea that some will hem and haw against, but it's important to cultivate some level of civil disobedience so that, as Scott says, when the time comes, you don't find yourself at dusk of a bender wearing a swastika around your arm and screaming "Sieg Heil!" (as an aside, the conditions for Hitler's rise were largely a by-product of government's abuse of fiat currency and inflation, but that's a tale for another time.)

So get out this weekend and break some petty rules. I'll continue my regular regimen of running red lights I don't agree with.


Today, we present a weekend playlist of good tunes, look at Robby Starbuck's attempt to get back on the ballot, and consider the USSR.

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

Thanks for reading.

𝄞𝄞𝄞 Weekend Playlist 𝄞𝄞𝄞

Check out our weekend playlist on Spotify! (Listen)



After filing a lawsuit in an attempt to override Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee’s decision to oust him from the ballot, Starbuck still isn’t back on. The 5th Congressional District hopeful is still looking for a way back on the ballot as a bonafide Republican.


Presiding as the judge in the case is United States District Judge Waverly Crenshaw Jr. Judge Crenshaw was nominated and appointed to the position during the Obama Presidency. Taking some cues from Starbuck’s own filing, TNJ reported that the Judge’s written decision also used the same language alluding to backroom deals. “Exactly why Mr. Starbuck’s name was removed from the ballot the Court may never know,” Crenshaw wrote in Thursday’s order. “His Complaint speaks of smoke-filled rooms with carpetbaggers engaged in political chicanery reminiscent of the Daley machine in Chicago during the 60s and 70s, and New York’s Tammany Hall in the late 1800s and early 1900s.” Crenshaw continues, "Starbuck's efforts were thwarted not because of any clear violation of federal law, but because (for whatever reason) the (Tennessee Republican Party) decided not to follow its own rules."


In reaction to the ruling, mum’s still the word on Robby Starbuck’s social media. YahooNews did print a reaction, quoting Starbuck as saying, "There's no excuse for keeping a vouched for, bonafide, leading Republican candidate who's endorsed by Senator Rand Paul off of the ballot."


The Starbuck campaign requested an injunction that would prevent the TN GOP and the State’s Election Commission from removing Mr. Starbuck from the ballot. More specifically, the case called upon Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Crenshaw stated that Starbuck did not have a case for his court.


The Starbuck campaign marches on, but what are his options? If he decides to continue to pursue the ballot for this year, Robby Starbuck has two options left:

  1. File a lawsuit at the state level and try to get reinstated on the August Republican primary ballot.
  2. File the paperwork necessary in all the counties within the 5th district and begin a November general election campaign as a write-in candidate.





  • Coyote Ugly Saloon Re-Opens Following The Nashville 2020 Christmas Day Bombing (Now Next)
  • Midtown site eyed for apartment building sells for $9.47M (Post)
  • Year’s-end start slated for Donelson project (Post)
  • Major tenant sues to get out of Cummins Station lease (Post)
  • Plan to buy School for the Blind property delayed over cost concerns (Main Street)


The abominable and completely undesirable Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) continues to throw out psychotic justifications for things. Her latest is in regard to abortion. On MSNBC, Porter states, "The fact that we're seeing this jump in expenses ... pay more at the grocery store, pay more at the pump, pay more for housing is a reason" for abortion."

Not to be outdone, Janet Yellen, who is the Treasury Secretary, stated, "I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades."

And way back when, Ruth Bader Ginsburg — that pearl of wit and wisdom — famously wondered aloud about the purpose of abortion, saying, "Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of."

There's a term for this. It's called Malthusianism after Thomas Malthus who theorized that while the population grew exponentially, food production grew linearly. So eventually, according to Malthus' napkin math, the world would starve unless we stopped producing more people. From this purview where humans are nothing more than inputs or at best ants, abortion is a means of population control. There's another word for this, and that is eugenics, but eugenics of the bad kind — negative eugenics — comparable to culling a herd.

It'd be relieving if these three women would just state directly what they mean by all this instead of vaguely invoking the specter of "economy go down" and then limply referring to "women's rights" to bolster that. Were it talked about candidly as a mechanism of population control, maybe then we could have a sane conversation about it. Instead, it's pushed on citizens as a "rights" issue so that women can try to sleep with the DJ without consequence.

In the 1930s, Stalin banned abortion because of birth rate issues in Russia at the time. As the nation summited World War II and coalesced into the Cold War USSR characterized to a great extent by famine and poverty, the nation lifted abortion restrictions citing economic concerns. The more mouths to feed, the greater the burden. Central planning in action. Third-world Communist ideology is here in America.


  • 🚼 A worsening nationwide baby formula shortage is putting parents across the United States on edge as they scramble to find ways to feed their children.
  • 🇭🇺 EU diplomats are weighing up a radical option to get around Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's reluctance to ban Russian oil: park the plan.
  • 🛢 Russia's oil and gas revenues hit another record high in April. 1.8 trillion rubles in a single month, after 1.2 trillion in March. After only 4 months, Russia's federal budget has now already received 50% of the planned oil and gas revenue for 2022 (9.5 trillion).
  • ⛽️ European natural gas prices jumped after Ukraine’s state-owned grid operator suspended Russian flows through a key entry point.
  • 📉 A massive sell-off in cryptocurrencies wiped over $200 billion of wealth from the market in just 24 hours, according to estimates from price-tracking website CoinMarketCap.
  • 🇫🇮 Finland is preparing for Russia to cut off gas supplies after leaders in Helsinki backed entering Nato “without delay”. The Kremlin warned it would retaliate with "reciprocal steps, military-technical and other" as it branded Finnish membership to the US-led alliance a risk to Russian security.
  • 🦄 CA Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday unveiled a proposal for a series of tax incentives in an effort to “provide additional consideration for companies leaving states that have enacted restrictions on reproductive rights and anti-LGBTQ+ laws.”
  • 🔥 Twitter’s chief executive fired two top executives, froze most new hiring and said he was slashing spending on Thursday, as the social media company tries to change its business trajectory while grappling with a takeover from Elon Musk, the world’s richest man.


View our full event calendar here.

🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the last Thursday of every month at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab.

🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.

👨🏻‍🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide


🎻 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

🎙 Musicians Corner @ Centennial Park, 5p, Free, Info
+ Concert series at Centennial Park

🎙 Leon Bridges @ Ascend, 7p, $54+, Info

🎸 The Steepwater Band @ Eastside Bowl, 8p, $15, Info

🎸 1971 Greatest Year in Music @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8p, $20+, Info


🦎 Repticon @ Fairgrounds, 9a, $12, Info
+ awaken the addiction

🏎 Drag Race @ Music City Raceway, 11a, Free, Info

🦐 Crawfish and Music Fest @ 6th & Peabody, 12p, $20+, Info

🎙 Musicians Corner @ Centennial Park, 12p, Free, Info
+ Concert series at Centennial Park

🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

🎙 Vinyl Radio @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8p, $15, Info
+ Boomer nostalgia band

🎻 Borrowed Mules @ Station Inn, 9p, $20, Info


🦎 Repticon @ Fairgrounds, 10a, $12, Info
+ awaken the addiction

🎻 Bluegrass Brunch @ Von Elrod's, 10a, Info

🎅🏽  Santa's Ice Cold Pickers @ Santa's Pub, 7p, Free, No Info‌‌

🎸 Oliver Wood @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8p, $20, Info
+ of the Wood Brothers

⚡️ Lightning 100 Nashville Sunday Night @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8p, $15, Info


🥁 Gogol Bordello (5/21) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $33, Info

🎸 Boulevards (7/17) @ Basement East, 7p, $10, Info

🎸 My Morning Jacket (9/23) @ Ascend Amphitheater, 7p, $22.88, Info



The Pamphleteer Streaming Guide May 2022
From recent Oscar nominees to neglected 70s classics, this month’s offerings go beyond the algorithms.


Nashville’s Best Beer Gardens
A trip through Nashville’s best outdoor imbibing spots
Starbuck Brews A New Cup To Take On The TN GOP
After getting booted from the GOP primary, Starbuck sues to get himself back on the ballot
Automobile Nostalgia
The industry brings back some older models without any of the cool parts


The Flat Curver Awards
Our first, and hopefully last, awards honoring those who stood strong against the rising tide of Covid tyranny and ruthlessly mocking those that didn’t
On Right Wing Media
Food shortage imminent, we promise.
The Whole World In Its Hands
The Biden administration’s efforts to conserve America’s land and waterways are not what they seem
Around the Web

𖼥 Ukraine and Western Geopolitical Mythology The globalist empire insists always and everywhere that it is fighting the last war, even as it inches closer to the next one.

﹅ How the Democrats became the party of the rich The working class is excluded from its agenda

↔ The French Realignment Understanding the political shift in France’s economically struggling regions

Political Theater Highlight Reel
  1. Candace Owens implies Bill Gates is behind baby formula shortage
  2. Joe Rogan goes after people trying to eliminate the term ‘groomer’: ‘How many people are doing it under the guise of I’m an LGBTQ educator!’
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Dark sky tourism is on the rise across the U.S. (Read)
Words of Wisdom
"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you."


Today's newsletter is brought to you by Megan Podsiedlik (Nashville), Edward Landstreet (Local Noise), and Davis Hunt (everything else).