Good morning, everyone.
I hope everyone had a wonderful and leisurely Father's Day. I could use this opportunity to skewer Juneteenth as a deliberately divisive holiday inheriting its spirit from the 1619 Project in an attempt to reformulate the American founding, but I won't do that because hopefully, it's obvious to everyone here and need not be addressed. If the holiday were a celebration of the end of slavery — a moment worthy of celebration — it would look very different from the jocular "second founding" that it's being sold as.
Anyway, back to the Father's Day stuff, in particular, the leisurely part of it.
Leisure — and what people do with their leisure time — says a lot about a person and a group of people. Proper leisure can only be enjoyed in an atmosphere of confidence — like a lion laying in the open savannah knowing that he is the apex predator and that no one can threaten him.
There's the material prosperity side of confidence — a full fridge, a climate-controlled house, and a stuffed bank account — but in addition to the material conditions that offer the opportunity for leisure, there is a spiritual dimension that arises from a certain faith in one's own abilities and that of his culture and its institutions. It is in situations like this — materially prosperous and culturally secure — that a civilization thrives and bubbles over with vigor and vitality.
Leisure in these instances, such as in Ancient Rome before the barbarian invasions and in post-Napoleonic Europe before World War I, produces an overflowing of beautiful art and architecture, and offers citizens the opportunity to live beautiful lives. It should be fairly obvious that the US in its present state has only the materially abundant side of this equation, questioning, as it does, every other aspect of its existence. We see this reflected in buildings, movies, and the lives of those around us down to the way they look and dress. A confident civilization, safe in its leisure and confident in its ideas, would not tolerate this kind of decay.
As much as Donald Trump represented the kind of brash, self-confidence that many people craved and vaguely referred to here, he also fell short on how to translate such an attitude into real political action. Distinct from the current year President who oozes unconcern between his geriatric outbursts punctuated by confused mumblings and lost gazes, there's a clear line between what is and what could be were a leader to reassert, at minimum, a confident competence.
Today, we review some recent political comings and goings in Tennessee, look at Google Street View and its use in a popular new game, and consider where the people who fight the wars come from.
Also, be sure to check out our podcast. New episodes every Monday. Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks for reading.
✰ OVER THE WEEKEND IN NASHVILLE POLITICS
Donald Trump Spoke at Friday's Faith and Freedom Coalition event, Robby Starbuck is running as a write-in, and Tre Hargett was booked for a DUI.
Local political coverage in Nashville continues to read like a tabloid headline, but as we pursue deeper investigations into local government, we wanted to catch you up on some recent highlights.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition hosted a multi-day "Road To Majority'' convention over the weekend at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Headlining the event was former President Donald Trump who gave a speech on Friday.
Most notably, forty-five addressed the House's January 6th committee hearings that are being widely televised. NBC notably decided to cut away from the hearings to cover the U.S. Open. Though the 12 channels had initially attracted 20 million viewers for the first day of hearings, the numbers rapidly declined; a point the former President Trump didn't forget to point out during his address.
Trump compared the hearings and handling of January 6th to the many political shenanigans during his presidency. "If you just insert January 6th instead of Russia, Russia, Russia," Trump quipped as he referred to the unfair characterization of what happened after his speech the day the joint session of Congress convened to certify Joe Biden.
Trump also criticized Mike Pence for not sending the certification back to the state legislatures. The full speech was live-streamed and posted by various national outlets.
Watch the full speech via local live coverage provided by Nashville's WSMV News 4.
Though Robby Starbuck won't appear on the primary ballot as a Republican running in the 5th district for the US Congressional seat, he will be running as a write-in. As reported by the Nashville Post, Starbuck submitted his name as a write-in to the Davidson County Election Commission (DCEC). Starbuck had to hand deliver the write-in paperwork to all the counties included in the new 5th district by June 15th (50 days prior to the election) for ballots with his name written in to count.
Tennessee's Secretary of State (SOS), Tre Hargett, was arrested for a DUI over the weekend. Driving home from Bonnaroo, Hargett got pulled over Friday night, was booked in Coffee County, and posted $2,000 bail Saturday morning. It is unclear what substance Hargett was under the influence of.
Hargett released this statement regarding the incident:
"On Friday night after leaving the Bonnaroo Music Festival, I was stopped by the Tullahoma Police Department and subsequently arrested for DUI. Driving Under the Influence is a serious matter, and I regret the circumstances that led to my arrest. I respect law enforcement and will trust the legal process as we move forward."
- Predators confirm Haslam joining ownership group (Homepage) The Predators announced on Friday, that former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will acquire an ownership stake in the team from team chairman Herb Fritch. Haslam will become a minority owner of the team within the next few months and transition to its majority owner over the course few years, once approved by the NHL.
- Knox And Anderson County Overdoses Greatly Increased In 2021 (TCN) According to the 2021 Drug-Related Death Report for Knox and Anderson Counties, produced by the Knox County Regional Forensic Center, the number of overdose deaths in Knox County increased by 29% and by 67% in Anderson County last year.
- Nashville could commission $200K study on Titans' stadium lease obligations (Center Square) Nashville will consider spending $200,000 on a "stadium study" to evaluate the Tennessee Titans’ claim that the city would owe $1.839 billion under the terms of the team's current lease if Nissan Stadium in Nashville was renovated instead of having a new estimated $2.2 billion stadium built.
- Potential MLB stadium in North Nashville would be built with 'almost all private funding' (Center Square) The stadium is planned for North Nashville near Tennessee State University and would be set to open for the 2026 or 2027 season if the Nashville Stars management group is able to bring an expansion franchise or move a current franchise to the city, the group told the paper.
- New details reveal Meharry subsidiary charged MNPS nearly double for thermal screeners (Main Street) A for-profit subsidiary of Meharry Medical College dramatically upcharged Metro schools for equipment to monitor student temperatures during a controversial $14 million no-bid contract last year.
- District has no plan to place school resource officers in Nashville elementary schools (Tennessean) Critics claim that though police presence is increasing in schools nationwide, there is no evidence they prevent school shootings and often contribute to inequitable disciplinary consequences and even arrests of young children.
- Tennessee Supreme Court to hear felon voting rights restoration case (Tennessean) The Tennessee Supreme Court agreed last week to hear arguments in an ongoing lawsuit over reinstating voting rights to residents with out-of-state felony convictions.
- Mill Creek Residential tees up another apartment project, this time in The Nations (NBJ)
- Downtown mixed-use building sells for $8.25M (Post)
- Bernard Health buys new HQ in Midtown (Post)
- On-site work to resume on 12South project (Post)
- New Riverfront Development Planned For The Nations In Nashville (Now Next)
𖼥 ...AND NOW YOU KNOW
In recent months, an internet game called GeoGuesser has caught on. GeoGuesser shows you a random Google Street View photo and then lets you guess where the photo was taken by clicking on a map. It's a fun diversion. The kind of thing I'd probably find myself doing in the back of the classroom on my laptop in a boring high school lecture.
The rise in popularity is due in large part to the videos put together by one of its players, Trevor Rainbolt, who can identify a place after seeing a Google Street View photo for 0.1 seconds. There are all kinds of rules and tricks the players use to effectively identify where they are. Whether it's a certain kind of road marking paired with a particular tree or the color of another car's license plate, players run a quick mental calculus and then click on the map to guess where they are with shocking accuracy.
One of the "tells" that stuck out to me was in Germany where many of the houses are blurred. It hammered home the privacy violation of something like Google Street View. A company sends a car down your street to snap an exterior photo of your house, and you're never asked or made aware of it. Google doesn't exactly have a reputation for protecting people's privacy and that this flagrant violation has gone largely unchallenged is just another unique reminder of that fact.
In Germany, they handled things differently, negotiating a deal with Google that allowed homeowners to opt out of the mapping project. Around 250,000 Germans chose to forgo it, and now if you wander down the streets of Hamburg via Google Street View, you'll see many houses blurred out as a result.
It got me to thinking if I could get my house blurred, and sure enough, the service does make it relatively easy to request that your house be blurred. You can read some instructions here.
❦ VEGAN TO THE GRAVE
Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan won the award for best restaurant in the world in 2017. It's a staple of the NYC culinary scene with a dining room overlooking Madison Square Park and clinetele distinguished enough to draw attention based on that fact alone. Led by chef/owner Daniel Humm, the restaurant underwent a major transition in June of 2021.
Facing bankruptcy during the pandemic, Humm pondered shuttering the place altogether but eventually decided to reopen as vegan in an attempt to "redefine luxury as an experience that serves a higher purpose." What he meant by that was producing a "meat-free" menu that has since made it difficult to hang on to staff who complained of feeling "under nourished" by the staff meals completely absent meat while taking in a measly $15/hour to produce a $400 vegan tasting menu.
I'm rehashing the story as told wonderfully in Business Insider, so I'll leave it there for those interested in reading more. A kind of modern parable of silly excess.
Source: Eleven Madison Park went vegan. It's been an understaffed, chaotic mess of a year.
Business Insider, 14 June 2022, Read Online
➡ GRAPH OF THE DAY: WHO FIGHTS?
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🚼 U.S. lawmakers urged Alphabet Inc's leading Google search engine to give accurate results to people seeking abortions rather than sometimes sending them to "crisis pregnancy centers," which steer woman away from the procedures.
- 🚼 The Supreme Court of Iowa on June 17 overturned a four-year-old decision it made holding that the Iowa Constitution guarantees the right to abortion, and determined the state constitution does not in fact provide any such guarantee.
- 📦 Amazon is facing a looming crisis: It could run out of people to hire in its US warehouses by 2024. If that happens, the online retailer’s service quality and growth plans could be at risk, and its e-commerce dominance along with it.
- 🔎 UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed an order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he faces espionage charges, in a decision his organization said marked a "dark day for press freedom."
- 🔥 The FBI is investigating attacks on pregnancy resource centers across the country as acts of domestic violent extremism, the bureau announced on Friday.
- ⛽️ The Exxon Mobil Corportation fired back at President Joe Biden’s letter calling on U.S. energy producers to bring “near-term solutions” to address rising gas prices and decades-high inflation.
- 🏭 Germany must limit its use of gas for electricity production and prioritize the filling of storage facilities to compensate for a drop in supply from Russia. In a move that goes against the principles of his environmentally-friendly Green Party, the country will also have to increase the burning of coal.
THINGS TO DO
You can view our full calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third 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 - Redneck Rumble in Lebanon this weekend, see us there.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.
👂 Listen to The Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of the bands featured in this week's calendar.
🎩 History Class @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 5p, 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
🏁 Waxed w/ Soot @ Basement, 9p, $5, Info
+ Nashville hardcore
🎹 Jazz Jam @ The Villager, 11p, Free, Info
ON THE RADAR
🎹 Steely Dan @ First Bank Amphitheater, (7/13), $34+, Info
🏜 Hiatus Kaiyote @ Marathon Music Works, (8/14), $35+, Info
🐂 Professional Bull Riding @ Bridgestone, (8/19-21), $20+ Info
🐖 Roger Waters @ Bridgestone, (8/27), $39, Info
🎹 Stereolab @ Marathon Music Works, (9/6), $35, Info
🎸 My Morning Jacket @ Ascend Amphitheater, (9/23), $22.88, Info
🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/10), $133+, Info
FROM WILLIAM HARWOOD
Around the Web
⤴ On Inflation, Economics Has Some Explaining to Do Models that worked for decades broke down during the pandemic, and alternatives have yet to emerge
⬇ The End of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy Something beyond rising energy and labor costs is leading to sticker shock on once-cheap urban amenities.
✼ Mind and Muscle Lessons from History
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Lt. Col. Allen West: ‘A disarmed individual will be a subject,’ not a citizen.
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Words of Wisdom
“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”