Good morning, everyone.
Last night in Memphis, an active shooter killed four people. This may seem par for the course, except that the shooter live-streamed his rampage. It was a gruesome act by a gruesome man, accentuated even more by its proximity to the kidnapping of Eliza Fletcher, which we spoke about yesterday.
As usual, those reacting to the murders split into the same two overly-predictable factions: : the anti-gun camp and the anti-crime camp. The Tennessee Holler, for example, belongs to the anti-gun camp. Aside from some performative "Shut up, Nashville" theatrics directed at Nashville resident Clay Travis, the outlet fixated on the previous Shelby County DA’s tough-on-crime stance and our state’s permitless carry laws.
Picking on these guys is too easy, especially since they've clearly suffered the slings and arrows of America's crumbling education system. But what's a writer good for if not for picking fights?
The former "tough on crime" DA, Amy Weirich, who lost her reelection campaign to the "soft on crime" Steve Mulroy earlier this year, has been out of office for only seven days. In that time, Memphis has witnessed two earth-shattering criminal incidents—both of which perfectly underscore the importance of DAs like Weirich.
Progressives, whose policies provide fertile soil for crimes of this sort, predictably lay the blame on the guns. Remove the guns, presumably, and the bad men will kill fewer people—or something. It's the kind of ethical arbitrage that you'd expect from a lieutenant in the heat of battle, but we're not at war, right?
I railed on this point yesterday, but it bears repeating: to expect zero incidents like the two that have rocked Memphis the past week is both acceptable and appropriate.
In a civilized society, such incidents would be so rare even a single one would set off an immune reaction ensuring they never happened again. The acts of Jack the Ripper in late-19th century Britain, for example, were so horrific and out of the norm that his visage continues to ripple across time and inspire visions of evil. At the time, the murders both brought attention to the brutal impoverishment of the East End and galvanized public opinion against the insanitary slums Jack the Ripper roamed, which would ultimately lead to their demolition two decades later. In our own time, what immune reaction is being suppressed by the normalization of crime and efforts to soften law enforcement's role?
Unfortunately, these Jack-the-Ripper-like characters have become so normalized we forget their names just hours after we discover them. They get added to the ever-growing list of the irredeemably evil. Their identity is not important because these people—be they school shooters, spree shooters, or mass shooters—are so de rigueur and as much a part of the American political body as our elected leaders that we even have a special taxonomy to divide them up and categorize them: school shooters tend to be victims of bullying from dysfunctional families. To each, we ascribe different maladies. To each, different characteristics.
The understanding of criminals in the United States is highly sophisticated; about as sophisticated as the Ancient Greeks' understanding of love.
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Thanks for reading.
↯ TN GOP Disqualifies Write-in Campaign For State Executive Committeeman
Last night the State Executive Committee (SEC) held a meeting to decide the fate of Mark Pulliam’s election to the Tennessee Republican Party’s SEC as a write-in in Blount County.
SEC NULLIFIES BLOUNT COUNTY WRITE-IN RACE
With 300 state certified write-in votes, Mark Pulliam won an uncontested race in Blount County for the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committeeman position. Though his credentials as an active and bona fide Republican did stand up to scrutiny, the election was called into question because Pulliam ran as a write-in and did not go through a vetting process by the Republican party itself. Stuck in yet another unprecedented situation this year, the SEC called a meeting. Acting as the State Primary Board, the members voted to nullify Mr. Pulliam’s election with a roll call vote of 25 to 13.
WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE MEETING
During the meeting, there was a lively discussion regarding the committee’s bylaws, Mr. Pulliam’s activity in the Tennessee Republican Party, his voting record, the precedent created if the body allowed a write-in to take the position as a Republican SEC member, and Mr. Pulliam’s intentions in running as a write-in instead of executing the proper protocol to appear on the ballot.
“Mr. Pulliam, this is not about you personally. I would encourage you in the appointment process… We have been sued repetitively this year over candidates that have decided that they shouldn’t have to meet qualifications in order to run,” Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden said.
Many SEC members shared the same sentiment, but the frustration was palpable amongst the committee. It is clear they are hoping to clean up some of these loopholes in the bylaws going forward. The final decision centered around the SEC’s duty as the standard bearers for the Tennessee Republican Party and, in voting to disqualify Pulliam’s write-in campaign, it vacated the position once again. Going forward, the empty Republican SEC positions across the state will be filled by appointments decided on by the newly elected SEC members who will take office in September. It seemed as though Pulliam had some current members willing to vouch for him during that process.
STATEMENT BY MARK PULLIAM
“In the course of last night’s discussion, many SEC members who voted against my election explained that they felt compelled to do so in order to maintain consistency with the pre-election disqualification of other candidates on similar grounds. This is a valid consideration, although I question whether those candidates presented a factual profile comparable to mine. Some members also expressed the hope that the TRP will appoint me to the “vacant” position in District 2 when the newly-elected SEC is sworn in. I decided to run as a write-in candidate to give District 2 voters a voice on the SEC. Appointing me to fill the “vacant” position in District 2 would demonstrate the sincerity of the objections expressed last night. I would be willing to consider an appointment if it were offered to me. The District 2 Republicans who voted for me deserve no less.”
You can read Mark Pulliam’s full statement here.
- Nashville condo market remains strong as home sales lag (Post) According to data from Greater Nashville Realtors, there were 16 percent fewer home closings in the nine-county region that includes Nashville in August 2022 as compared to August 2021. Condo sales, however, were up from 2021 to 2022. Home sales were up slightly from July to August.
- Tennessee counties, cities receive $38M in federal funds for water infrastructure improvements (Center Square) The grants, approved by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, are part of $3.7 billion of American Rescue Plan funds sent to Tennessee. Of that, $1.35 billion were set aside for water, wastewater and storm water projects of which $1 billion will go to non-competitive, formula-based grants to counties and eligible cities.
- Judge warns staffing shortage at DCS is putting the department ‘near collapse’ (WKRN) The staffing shortage at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has gotten so critical a judge has warned lawmakers some of what’s happening to kids in the department’s care is “illegal.”
- Tennessee Registry of Election Finance to audit Gary Humble's state Senate campaign (Tennessean) The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance recommended an audit of Gary Humble's state Senate campaign to see if there was improper coordination between Humble and the political group Tennessee Stands.
- State Rep Calls Out Publicly Funded Universities For False Statements Regarding LGBTQ Title IX Protections (TCN) State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge-District 33) sent letters at the end of last month to 11 state universities challenging them for publishing false statements that implied that LGBTQ+ students are a protected class under Title IX.
- Nashville beer distributor acquired by Illinois company (Post)
- Developer plans 165-unit residential complex for North Nashville (Post)
❃ POPCORN SEASON DONE RIGHT
By Geneva DeCobert
Things are starting to cool down here in Tennessee, and that means two things: we can spend cozy nights indoors, and popping corn is being harvested all around the area. What a perfect marriage! If you’re familiar with the plague of seed oils, you’ve likely stood frustrated in the supermarket snack aisle, skimming the ingredient lists of this excellent movie night treat and finding that not a single one was just made with good old-fashioned butter. We don’t need them. We live in farm country, and we can enjoy delicious, buttered popcorn with our movies in a matter of minutes. Let me tell you how.
WHAT IS POPPING CORN?
Popping corn is not the same as your everyday sweet corn kernel. There are a variety of types of corn all grown across the country that are made into different types of corn products: dent corn, flour corn, pod corn, flint corn, sweet corn, and popping corn. Popping corn kernels, which are a subvariety of flint corn, have a very strong hull that contains hard starch and 14-20% moisture, which when heated causes the hull to break and the kernel to puff up.
Popping corn can be grown pretty easily at home, as long as it is separate from other corn. Part of the process of testing for when it is harvest ready involves taking a few kernels and attempting to pop them — when they are mostly popping, you can harvest and store all of your ears.
There are some farms in Tennessee that grow their own popping corn kernels, and sell them online or at local markets through November. One such farm is Ike’s Amish Depot and General Store. Ike’s Amish Depot and General Store was founded in 1942, and is now a large tourist attraction near the Amish community of Etheridge, Tennessee. While it’s a great place just to visit for a meal or a look at some unique antiques, they also have a variety of Amish-made goods, including soaps, baked goods, and of course: popcorn.
↯ CHART OF THE DAY: CHINA PASSES US
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🇬🇧 Scrambling to spare millions of households the pain of skyrocketing energy bills this winter, Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, announced a sweeping plan on Thursday to freeze gas and electricity rates for two years, at a cost of tens of billions of pounds to the British Treasury.
- 🌾 Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to curtail the export of grain from Ukraine and said Moscow was ready to extend its rationing of natural-gas exports and cut off oil and refined products if the West went ahead with a price-cap plan for Russian crude.
- 🇺🇦 The U.S. is sending $675 million in new military assistance to Ukraine and $2 billion in additional funding for that country and other nations in the region, as Kyiv launches offensives to try to retake territory captured by Russian troops this year.
- ⚰️ A Las Vegas Democratic official was arrested Wednesday night as a suspect in the violent killing of local journalist Jeff German.
- 🇮🇷 Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium has grown enough to easily produce enough fuel for an atomic bomb as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal falter over Tehran’s last-minute demands for U.S. guarantees.
- 📉 A senior Federal Reserve official cited a number of reasons to expect inflation to decline over the coming months but warned against prematurely declaring victory.
- 📉 For the first time in two years, US consumers expect home prices to fall over the next 12 months. An August survey by Fannie Mae found that respondents see a 0.4% decline in housing prices compared with the prior month’s expectations for a 1.9% increase.
THINGS TO DO
View our full calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (the next meeting is September 15th) 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.
🎭 Shakespeare in the park is every Thursday through Sunday from August 18th till September 11th.
🎡 The Nashville Fair is running ever day from the 9th to the 18th at the fairgrounds.
🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, our playlist of the best bands playing in town this week.
🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info
🎸 Wand @ Blue Room, 6p, $16, Info
🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info
🎸 Open Mic @ Fox & Locke, 6:30p, Free, Info
💃 Free Salsa Lessons @ Plaza Mariachi, 7:30p, Free, Info
🏜 The Good the Bad and the Ugly @ Belcourt, 8:10p, $12.50, Info
ON THE RADAR
🎹 Stereolab @ Marathon Music Works, (9/6), $35, Info
🎙 Amyl & The Sniffers @ Brooklyn Bowl, (9/20), $26, Info
+ Aussie punk
🎸 My Morning Jacket @ Ascend Amphitheater, (9/23), $22.88, Info
⚔️ HELMET @ Marathon Music Works, (9/24), $35, Info
+ 90's alternative metal band from NY, a Pamphleteer favorite
🏜 ZZ Top & Beck @ First Bank Amphitheater, (9/27), $49+, Info
👾 Flamingosis @ Basement East (9/29), $20, Info
🎻 Gustav Holst's The Planets @ Schermerhorn (9/29-10/2), Info
+ Early 1900's orchestral suite, each movement is named after a planet
🕺 Remi Wolf @ Brooklyn Bowl (10/6), $30, Info
+ Young talented funk/pop/hip-hop singer, one of the few
🎸 Yes @ Ryman (10/11), $60, Info
🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/10), $133+, Info
+ 90's alt-rock from Chicago
🎸 The Doobie Brothers @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/12), $43+, Info
🎺 Too Many Zooz @ Basement East, (10/31), $20, Info
🌶 The Gypsy Kings @ The Ryman (11/1), $39.50, Info
+ The roving band of flamenco guitarists
- Right to Work, Sandbox Laws, Etc. (w/ Ron Shultis of the Beacon Center) (Listen)
- Wild Markets, Church of the Fed, and Government Subsidies (w/ Tom Landstreet) (Listen)
- Blood Money in U.S. Schools (w/ A.J. DePriest) (Listen)
- The Problem with American Agriculture (w/ William Wheelwright) (Listen)
Around the Web
𝓧 Effective altruism is the new woke It is impossible to hack the ethical world
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Words of Wisdom
“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”