Good morning, everyone.
We released the second episode of our new weekly podcast this morning. You can get it wherever you get your podcasts. I know some people had some issues accessing it last week. These issues should be addressed this week. We're on Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, etc. If you don't see your service when you go to listen, let us know.
Today, we look back over the weekend in Nashville, consider some of the more obvious contradictions with the hope for an all-electric future, and wonder aloud what constitutes a newsworthy crime.
Thanks for reading.
☀︎ WEEKEND WRAP UP
Despite the overcast conditions, many got a glimpse of the total lunar eclipse event casting a shadow over the full moon last night. A perfect way to wrap up a weekend that truly felt like the beginning of a new season. Let’s catch up on some happenings.
SNAP DECISION WINS AT IROQUOIS STEEPLECHASE
25,000 people showed up to enjoy the horse races at the 81st Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville this weekend. While race track onlookers buzzed with enthusiasm and speckled the inner and outer fields at Percy Warner Park with the vibrant colors of their fashion, jockeys and trainers strategized as they prepared for the heat and possible rain.
Luckily, the rain never showed up but Snap Decision sure did. For the third time, Snap Decision and Jockey Graham Watters won the biggest race of the Steeplechase, The Calvin Houghland Iroquois race. Pistol Whipped came in second, Amschel in third, Moscato was fourth and Brianbakescookies was fifth.
THE REST OF THE RACES
Bright Hour Handicap Hurdle
- Fast Vision
- Queens Empire
George Sloan and John Sloan Maiden Hurdle
- Proven Innocent
Green Pastures Novice Hurdles Stakes
- Scorpion's Revenge
- Decisive Triumph
- Going Country
Margaret Currey Henley Sports of Kings Filly & Mare Hurdle Stakes
- Down Royal
- Burn The Evidence
- Kicking Myself
Mason Houghland Memorial Allowance Timber:
- Monbeg Stream
- Elusive Exclusive
NASHVILLE SYMPHONY REMOVES TREES
A displaced roost of Purple Martins staked claim in the trees surrounding the Nashville Symphony hall for the past few years. Unfortunately, the birds make a mess. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center was built using Tennessee limestone. The material is sensitive to the elements and is very difficult to clean without damaging its integrity.
The solution? The symphony is removing 31 trees today. The trees will be replaced after a few years once the birds find a new home. The Nashville Symphony will also be donating 115 trees to Metro Parks to make up for the removal.
CAMPAIGNS KICK INTO HIGH GEAR
- Metro City Council Meets tomorrow evening. You can read over the agenda ahead of time. We will outline important legislation to pay attention to in tomorrow’s newsletter.
- The Davidson County Republican Party announced the details of a debate with engaged Republican candidates for the Congressional 5th District. All proceeds raised will go towards supporting the Republican candidates for Metro Nashville Public Schools and judges. Date Tue, Jun 21 • 6:00 PM CDT. Tickets available here.
Some things never change. As more political candidates start making their rounds, it’s good to remember we’ve been here before. Here are some pictures archived by the Tennessean to remind us that there’s nothing new under the sun.
- Nashville’s football stadium will not be taxpayer burden under new plan (Tennessean) We are working on plans for a new stadium because doing nothing is not an option, and renovating the current stadium would be financially irresponsible. Tourists and spending around the stadium will pay for this project, not Nashville families.
- Changes in Tennessee's film and TV incentive program could result in more subsidies (Center Square) A new Tennessee film tax credit program will change the way that entertainment companies receive subsidies from the state, but it won’t reduce the amount that those companies receive.
- No jail time for convicted nurse RaDonda Vaught (Post) Former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse RaDonda Vaught will not serve jail time after making a medication error that resulted in the death of a patient. She was sentenced to three years probation Friday for impaired adult abuse and criminally negligent homicide, both felonies that could have resulted in a three year jail sentence.
- 📸 81st running of the Iroquois Steeplechase (Tennessean)
- Tennessee Farmers Prepare For Spring (Tribune) As more warm spring days are in the forecast, Tennessee farms will quickly be offering fresh strawberries, greens, and even locally-grown cut flowers.
- How Much Food Costs In Tennessee Compared To The Nation (TCN) In Tennessee, a family of four can expect to spend an average of $9,595 on food in 2022, the 24th lowest amount among states, according to the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator.
- Conservative Model Legislation Group Urges Governor Lee To Veto Incumbent Protection Bill (TCN) ALEC Action, advocacy partner of the American Legislative Council, has sent a letter to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee strongly urging him to veto legislation that, once made law, could trigger nonprofits to disclose the names of their donors.
- 📸 Newer Renderings & Construction Progress At The Finery In Wedgewood Houston (Now Next)
- East Nashville building lands restaurant heavyweights (Post)
- Status unclear for planned Gulch hotel project (Post)
- Five Points property listed for sale for $1.65M (Post)
- Companies plan $200M buildout of Gallatin data center (Post)
- North Davidson site eyed for mixed-use project (Post)
- Pie Town property offered for sale (Post)
↔ CONTRADICTIONS IN THEIR ELECTRIC CAR FUTURE
Despite the explosion of electric vehicle (EV) sales over the past ten years, the US continues to show dimmed enthusiasm for EVs when compared to its European and Chinese counterparts. In China in 2021, electric vehicles made up ~12% of total vehicle sales. Europe saw an even greater share of EV sales at 19%. Compare both of these to the US where just 5% of new vehicle sales were EVs. Globally, EVs made up 8% of new vehicle purchases, a metric the International Energy Agency wants to be 25% of total sales by 2025 because, you know, the numbers have a certain symmetry to them. Can't argue with that science.
Consumer disinterest aside, there are a few other wrinkles in this whole equation. Firstly, the price of lithium is up 341% from this time last year. Yes, you read that correctly. The price increase is so dramatic that Tesla chief Elon Musk has indicated that, if Tesla is to continue meeting its production goals, it may need to get into the mining and refining game.
The second, and most crucial, component of EV adoption is the price advantage they may or may not offer when compared to gas-powered vehicles. Unless one is keen on burning his hard-earned money as a sacrament to the Gods of the Green Movement, there's no reason to purchase an EV unless you think they are cool to which I'd say de gustibus non disputandum est (in matters of taste, there can be no disputes.)
As a recent piece from Protocol put it 'You’re thinking about EV prices all wrong: Here’s the math' before arriving at the conclusion that the only way EVs can be affordable and save you money is through government-sponsored tax incentives. As the writer notes, "Uncle Sam will give you a tax credit up to $7,500 for buying an EV. That’s the secret sauce to making the cost of EV ownership work in the average person’s favor."
This number has not been adjusted to account for rising lithium prices. Until then, the EV future remains a state-sponsored cash grab that sits on a shaky environmental pretext. We don't need to tell our readers this, but look at a picture of a Lithium mine, consider that output must more than triple to meet the above goals, and ask yourself what is so sustainable about stripping the top off a mountain and doubling grid capacity to account for the hour it takes to charge these things every day. All for what exactly? For whom? Cui bono?
✚ THOUGHTS ON SHOOTINGS IN THE US
"Who is to blame for this person's actions?" is a question you see a lot these days. Not to make light of or diminish the horror of this weekend's massacre in Buffalo, but it wasn't the only 'mass shooting' event this weekend. 17 people were shot outside of the Milwaukee Bucks' stadium on Friday, 5 in Houston on Sunday, 6 in California, 7 in Winston-Salem, and 5 in Amarillo.
There's a whole website set up for these things because they happen so often. So, why do we hear about some, but not others? What kind of calculus do media outlets apply to the mass shootings that come across their desk when they decide which to promote and which to dismiss? But more importantly for media outlets, who is to blame for the shooter's actions aside from themselves?
When Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon on December 8, 1980, he cited J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye as his inspiration. When police showed up at the scene, Chapman was calmly reading the book. Today, however, The Catcher in the Rye is read widely in schools the last I checked. My grandfather, when he learned that I was reading it in school, opined, "That Holden Caulfield is one sorry son of a bitch." To me, that about sums it up.
No one is responsible for someone else's actions. People see what they want to see in things, and ultimately, the decision of whether to follow through with some action is nobody's fault but theirs. That didn't stop the Rolling Stone — who usually writes mediocrely about music — from writing mediocrely about politics, headlining an essay 'The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He’s a Mainstream Republican' before concluding that Tucker Carlson is to blame. Original, compelling stuff.
Ben Shapiro had a wise quip, tweeting, "Bernie Sanders is not responsible for the Congressional baseball shooting. Barack Obama is not responsible for the mass shooting of Dallas police officers. And Tucker Carlson is not responsible for the Buffalo massacre."
The real question, however, is why some shootings receive national attention and not others. It seems that the only criterion is whether or not the shooter had a racial motive. Saturday, there was the Buffalo shooter, and a month or so ago, there was the NYC subway shooter, both of whom expressed some kind of racial animus.
Presumably, these events are more pregnant with drama and driver viewership numbers better than the humdrum, semi-regular mass shootings in poor, black neighborhoods because, for all the hooting and hollering about equity, equality, and such things, no one actually cares and these shootings simply don't drive the numbers well enough. This is the real tragedy. The American people desire to see their factional divisions projected onto the screen so they can avoid confronting the uncomfortable truths that cluster around the mundane facts of modern American life and shirk personal responsibility in the process by outsourcing their own and others' actions to a third party.
We're all just actors and the show must go on.
✵ INFOGRAPHIC OF THE DAY: NUCLEAR EXPLOSION SIZE
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🇨🇳 China’s economy descended deeper into a Covid-19-induced doldrums last month, raising questions about whether Beijing’s planned stimulus measures can prevent a prolonged downturn.
- 🍔 McDonald’s said it would quit Russia and sell its business there, ending more than three decades in the country over its invasion of Ukraine.
- 🍿 Netflix dished out a new 'culture memo' telling staff if they are offended by the content they can leave the firm. Bosses warned they will not 'censor specific artists or voices' even if employees consider the content 'harmful'.
- 🚼 The Texas Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a lower court erred in issuing an injunction blocking state child abuse investigations of the parents of transgender children, but also concluded that the governor and attorney general do not have the authority to order such investigations.
- 🛢 The Biden administration canceled plans to auction drilling rights in three regions off the U.S. coastline later this year, adding more friction to an uneasy relationship with the oil industry during a period of high gasoline prices.
- 🏦 The Senate confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a second four-year term that is shaping up to be every bit as trying as his first term as the central bank faces the highest inflation in 40 years.
- 💸 President Joe Biden is agonizing over ordering a sweeping cancellation of student loan debt, despite pressure from Democrats -- including Vice President Kamala Harris -- eager for a political win before midterm elections, according to several people familiar with the matter.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the last Thursday of every month — May 26th will be our next meeting — 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.
🎩 History Class @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 5:00, Info
𐐎 GZA @ City Winery, 6p, $30+, 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
ON THE RADAR
🎻 Leftover Salmon (5/24-25) @ Station Inn, $35, Info
👁 Beethoven's 9th (6/2-5) @ Schermerhorn, $25+, Info
🚨 Eprom (6/25) @ Eastside Bowl, 9p, $25.50, Info
🎸 Boulevards (7/17) @ Basement East, 7p, $10, Info
🎸 My Morning Jacket (9/23) @ Ascend Amphitheater, 7p, $22.88, Info
🎸 Smashing Pumpkins (10/10) @ Bridgestone Arena, 6:30p, $133+, Info
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
◉ The Tom Wolfe Model Why the career of Tom Wolfe should serve as a lesson for Conservative donors and young dissident writers.
𝌡 Can California Change? An Interview with Michael Shellenberger
↯ Guided by the Beauty of One’s Philosophies Why aesthetics matter to the success of ideologies and movements
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer: "We're at war." Are we?
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Words of Wisdom
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!'"
Hunter S. Thompson