Good morning, everyone.
Just as the Gods of Rome crumbled as their society decayed, so too will the Woke Gods of America's hallucinatory detour these past sixty years. And the decline is already well underway.
The best evidence of this is the low libido corruption of President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Lazy criminals. Uninspired criminals. There are no grand gestures of corruption such as Alcibiades' affair with the King of Sparta's wife after he was ejected from Athens for his arrogance. Few, if any, corrupt leaders could muster the energy or will to carry out such intrigues, and thus, we are left with the petty, unimaginative, boring saga of Hunter Biden smoking crack with hookers.
We should be clear here that there's a distinct difference between the corruption of an individual and the corruption of a government or an institution. A corrupted government expresses some societal sickness that is beyond the common and eternal faults of man, collects them all, and then uses them to punish individuals. A government need not reflect the collected sins of its citizens. It should transcend and withstand the blows of individual corruption in its ideal form. Ancient Athens, for example, withstood the hijinks of Alcibiades.
That said, a corrupted man and his choice vices can tell us something about the state of things. Hunter's pathetic little sins—the easy ones, the ones that require no effort, the ones you can buy with little to no skill—express a culture on the decline because of how boring they are. Steinbeck put it well when he said, "It is a fact verified and recorded in many histories that the soul capable of the greatest good is also capable of the greatest evil. Who is there more impious than the backsliding priest? Who more carnal than a recent virgin?"
The degree to which the sins of our "elite" are impressive or scandalous is something of a barometer by which we can measure the energy of culture. As Micah Meadowcraft put it in his piece in The American Conservative that influenced me to write about this:
But the hookers, you say, isn’t that shocking? No. It’s the world’s oldest profession. The shocking thing about Hunter Biden is not what he’s gotten away with, with his money and his connections. It’s how little he seems to have tried. Smoking crack in a sensory-deprivation tank, transporting prostitutes across state lines; in that there is a total absence of imagination. The son of a U.S. president truly off the leash should be running his own cartel, carving out a petty kingdom in some jungle, building giant robots or cloning ancient birds.
Am I running covering fire for Hunter Biden trying to excuse his sins? No. Am I unimpressed by his faults? Yes. Spend any amount of time in the suburbs and you'll meet a handful of dudes who are capable of the depravity Hunter Biden has revealed to us.
It'd be far more interesting if Hunter were to, say, flee to Saudi Arabia and take up with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman where he'd charter a deal with Iran to secretly enrich uranium. In the meantime, he sleeps with the Crown Prince's wife which requires him to escape the country by the cover of night and seek refuge in Sri Lanka where, as the government collapses, Hunter uses the opportunity to inject himself into the fracas utilizing his connections to wrangle control of the flailing country and calling in boatloads of American beef and corn to feed the people, thereby establishing an American colonial outpost, and in turn, receiving the love and admiration of the Sri Lankan people.
Either that or, as Meadowcraft suggests, cloning ancient birds, reviving the Wooly Mammoth, or building strange and hypnotic monuments and structures.
The degree to which a person channels his depravity into corruption says something about that person's imagination. Presumably, you'd want to elevate the people with the highest capacity for good and those with the grandest imaginations to the nation's most distinguished positions. These should reflect the best of the best. That Hunter Biden and his father are corrupt says nothing unique, because men are and have always been corrupt, except in their lazy blandness.
As for the theoretical Saudi Arabia scenario laid out above: sure, the collateral damage would be stressful and you might harangue at his guile just as you do now on the revelation that he smoked crack with hookers. But, at least you'd have to grudgingly admire his thriftiness and wonder how he could pull something like that off instead of shrugging and saying, "I could be that bad too, but I know better."
Maybe Hunter's efforts in this theoretical scenario would motivate you to take the opposite side and inspire you to do something good on that grand of a scale because you are not predisposed to crack and hookers like a degenerate.
Today, we look at Tennessee's new school funding formula, consider the ongoing after-effects of government policy during the pandemic and its effect on the youth, and marvel at how many lawyers there are in the US.
Also, be sure to check out our podcast. New episodes every Monday. Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks for reading.
✱ SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULAS
Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) will be replacing the Basic Education Program (BEP) to become the new education funding formula used in Tennessee beginning in the 2023-24 school year. TISA restructures funding and shifts away from the resource-based funding model of the BEP to a student-based structure.
TISA activates a major transition. The money now follows each student, incentivizing student retention and parent/student school choice. Tennessee continues to rank as one of the country’s least educated states and has a literacy rate that falls below the national average. In addition to dollars following students, the Governor’s office has expressed the intention to champion school choice by supporting charter schools across the state. Embracing charter schools is a strategy aimed to bolster school choice and improve the quality of Tennessee's education system.
The Sycamore Institute recently did a comprehensive breakdown of the funding structure provided by TISA. Here’s the Pamphleteer's quick review of their findings focussing on the things that matter the most to Tennesseans:
PROTECTING SCHOOLS DURING FORMULA TRANSITION
Major concerns have surfaced regarding the abrupt shift to the new formula. School districts are afraid of being left behind when it comes to the new funding incentives. There is, however, a grace period for the transition. If a school’s funding by TISA falls short of the funding they were allocated by the old BEP formula during the 2022-23 school year, the difference will be fully covered by the state the first year. The state coverage of the difference will then gradually be reduced, creating a 4 year transition period.
It looks like this
- Year one: difference 100% covered by the state
- Year two: difference 75% covered by the state
- Year three: difference 50% covered by the state
- Year four: difference 25% covered by the state
ALLOWING FOR ANNUAL PUBLIC INPUT
Though some of the formula base and weights in TISA are set, there are details that the public is allowed to have input on every year.
- The public can solicit their elected representatives regarding the annual budget.
- There are public comment periods/hearings every time a state agency changes a rule or proposes a new one.
STUDENTS AND TEACHERS FIRST
Not only is the new funding formula based on each student’s needs, the formula also rewards school growth and performance. It also helps directly increase the salaries of teachers and those providing services directly to students.
- Funding will be awarded to schools with 1.25% in a single year, and/or 2% in each of three consecutive years.
- Funding is allocated to each student with unique learning needs.
- Funding is allocated for small and sparse school districts.
- The General Assembly has the authority to require a portion of base funding to increase the salaries of teachers and direct services provided to students.
INCENTIVISING LITERACY AND OTHER CORE CURRICULUM
Multiple incentive structures encourage literacy, English learning, and academic performance in the core curriculum. Districts can receive additional funding by achieving certain student outcomes in:
- 3rd-grade ELA TCAP scores
- 4th-grade growth on ELA TCAP
- 8th-grade math and ELA TCAP scores
- ACT scores
- High school industry credentials
- High school students with a disability graduating
- Ready grad Indicator
- Flat dollar amounts for students in K-3 specifically aimed to help literacy
Read more about the full TISA formula by reviewing the Sycamore Institute breakdown. (More Info)
- 'A crisis:' There's 1,000 teacher openings in Middle Tennessee. The breakdown per district. (Channel 5) During the 2021-2022 school year, the state had 1,024 unfilled vacancies, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Education. From that same school year, the state issued 1,354 permits, which give a person an emergency credential to teach in the classroom without any teaching license.
- Tennessee Students Still Falling Short As State Celebrates Literacy Progress (TCN) Education officials across Tennessee are celebrating successes made on last year’s state assessments, but the state’s students still are not quite up to par as more than 25% of them are still scoring below grade levels in some areas.
- Tennessee's post-employment benefit liabilities are growing at a rapid rate (Center Square) The American Legislative Exchange Council report ranked Tennessee as having the second-fastest growing section of pension debt referred to as Other Post-Employment Benefit liabilities with a 29.3% increase in FY 2018-19. Virginia (36.96%) was the only state with a faster growing liability.
- Republican Candidate For State House Previously Marched With Open Border Groups (TCN) Tommy Vallejos a 21-year veteran in the U.S. Army Infantry, county commissioner, and pastor, led Hispanic Organization for Progress & Education (HOPE) as it’s director for nearly five years, something not mentioned on his campaign’s website.
- Voter Guide: School Board Elections (Opportunity Nashville) Comprehensive look at the August School Board elections in Nashville.
- Status unclear for stalled humanitarian-focused hotel project (Post)
- Chartwell Residential moves ahead on 124-acre Spring Hill community (NBJ)
- Kroger opening delivery facility in Nashville (Post)
- Berry Hill building with country stars component sells (Post)
- Status unclear for stalled humanitarian-focused hotel project (Post)
𝓧 PANDEMIC HANGOVER IN THE YOUTH
Two years of school closures and city-wide lockdowns continue to leave their impression on America's children:
Almost a quarter of Americans over the age of 18 are now medicated for one or more of these conditions: depression, anxiety, and A.D.H.D.
Since 2017, there has been a 41 percent increase in antidepressant use... For this same 13- to 19-year-old bracket, in the first two years of the pandemic, there was a 17.3 percent change in anxiety medications. It had been a 9.3 percent rate of change between 2017 and 2019.
It seems the more we rely on medication to modulate our moods, the worse things get.
Source: The Age of Distracti-pression
NYT, 9 July 2022, Read Online
➫ CHART OF THE DAY: LAWYER UP!
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🚨 Police arrested an illegal immigrant on Tuesday after he allegedly raped and impregnated a ten-year-old girl who reportedly traveled from Ohio to Indiana for an abortion, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
- 🐪 President Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday to kick off a trip to the Middle East that his administration hopes will bolster U.S. ties in the region, but could yield limited progress on American priorities.
- 🇮🇱 U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint pledge on Thursday to deny Iran nuclear arms, a show of unity by allies long divided over diplomacy with Tehran.
- 🌾 Officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the United Nations agreed on key aspects of a plan to resume exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, senior Turkish and U.N. leaders said.
- 💸 Another big increase in consumer prices last month led investors Wednesday to anticipate that the Federal Reserve would strongly consider raising interest rates by a full percentage point, which it hasn’t done in decades, at its meeting later this month.
- 🪖 The House approved an amendment for the yearly defense spending bill on Wednesday that compels government officials to prepare a report on instances of white supremacy and neo-Nazi activity in uniformed services and federal law enforcement.
THINGS TO DO
You can view our full calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (July 21st) 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.
⚔️ Knights in Armor at the Frist starting July 1st: European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy.
🎼 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks, our playlist of bands playing in Nashville each week.
🍔 Burger week in Nashville. $7 burgers at participating restaurants all week. Vote for your favorite at the end of the week.
🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info
🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info
🎸 Palm Ghosts @ 5 Spot, 6p, $10, Info
🎻 Bluegrass Nights @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $35, Info
🕺 Vinyl Ranch @ The Blue Room, 8p, $15, Info
ON THE RADAR
🏜 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
⚔️ HELMET @ Marathon Music Works, (9/24), $35, Info
🎻 Gustav Holst's The Planets @ Schermerhorn (9/29-10/2), Info
🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/10), $133+, Info
🎸 The Doobie Brothers @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/12), $43+, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM LAST WEEK
Around the Web
✺ Whose breath are you breathing? How much of the air you're breathing is air someone else exhaled?
⬆ Princeton’s Buried Bodies Revelations of academic fraud and sexual harassment allegations against a little-known librarian in 2008 may help explain the firing of tenured professor Joshua Katz 14 years later
You May Also Like
Words of Wisdom
“And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.”