Good morning, everyone.
Every day, words like left, right, liberal, and conservative lose power in their ability to describe the current political situation here in the US. (They are certainly not achieving more clarity.) I have started to find humanist and transhumanist to be better descriptors of our present divide. One side is bent on remaking the whole of humanity in its image (the transhumanists). The other is working to keep the flame of mankind lit (the humanists).
If that binary sounds dramatic, it should. It's a vast simplification of a very complicated political reality. That said, it better addresses the collection of concerns that define our post-COVID political reality. It's no coincidence that those who were most assertive about COVID lockdowns also happen to have a jihad against hydrocarbons and defend the God-given right of children to receive life-altering surgeries before they’re old enough to drink a beer.
We tend to throw the word progressive at these folks to differentiate them from their more moderate liberal allies. Useful, but again: not descriptive or clear enough. How many of us can succinctly define liberalism?
In some instances, you’ll see a more benign form of transhumanism persist in those who aren't necessarily the extremists I describe above. The "Follow the Science" crowd reflects a one-dimensional view of the world that, whether by design or not, excludes the human element entirely. As Matt Malkus discussed in his review of Nashville “COVID Czar” Alex Jahangir's pandemic diary last week:
Jahangir, like many others in similar positions of leadership and crisis management in 2020, quickly lost sight of public health as a holistic, all-encompassing objective meant to serve all members of a deeply interconnected society, instead focusing narrowly on COVID-19 case counts and mitigation efforts.
Jahangir might not be advocating for the reconfiguration of the human digestive tract to produce less pungent human waste or some other arcane wizardry like that, but his worldview does permit such things lacking a human context for his decisions, as evidenced by the policy course he charted for the city through the pandemic. As we've discussed here before, it’s the permissiveness of less extreme allies that aids and abets the growth of government tyranny—and in this instance, allows those harboring transhumanist views to entrench themselves in various political bodies and institutions.
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Thanks for reading.
❏ 34% PROPERTY TAX LEGAL BATTLE IS OVER
Last Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court rejected the Davidson County Election Commission's appeal in the ongoing lawsuit over a petition filed to battle the county’s 2020 34% property tax increase. After two years of litigation, the anti-tax group that led the charge– 4GoodGovernment–lost the war.
COURT CASE RULING
Presiding over the case was Chancellor Russell Perkins, who tossed it due to its “mootness” and “multi-date invalidity.” Though this was a secondary attempt to get the 2020 34% property tax increase on the ballot, the State Supreme Court rejected Davidson County Election Commission’s appeal, citing that they “agree with the trial court that the Commission acted illegally in deciding to hold a referendum election given the referendum petition’s failure to prescribe a single date for an election.” In other words, the Supreme Court agreed that the petitions displaying multiple dates for the referendum election was an issue, making them invalid.
THE POLITICS OF IT
4GoodGovernment and Metro weren’t the only ones who appeared in court to litigate property tax increase petitions over the last two years. The grassroots organization No Tax 4 Nash used robocalls to solicit signatures in an effort to battle the 34% tax hike. Multiple lawsuits were filed against the group, one of which was initiated by Rachael Anne Elrod, a member of the Metro Nashville Public Schools Board. The lawsuits argued that the robocalls from No Tax 4 Nash were in violation of 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The group settled and was ordered to pay over $1M.
Back in 2019, John Cooper, the current Nashville mayor, unseated the incumbent David Briley. During his campaign, Cooper explicitly stated he would not raise property taxes to fill the holes in the budget. But a year later, Cooper proposed the aforementioned unprecedented 34% property tax increase in Davidson County, the likes of which led to backlash, petitions, and the two-year legal battle mentioned above.
Mayor Cooper also claimed he was rolling back property taxes in 2021, and reversing the 2020 34% tax increase. This claim was criticized as misleading by many including the nonpartisan think tank and policy watchdog Beacon Center of Tennessee. Here’s Mark Cunningham of the Beacon Center as reported by WZTV:
“I think the worst part of this is, we all make mistakes right, he hasn’t even apologized or admitted that's not true, that is not happening. He should admit and say, ‘I'm not reversing the 34% tax increase, you are still going to pay that and some will pay even more.’”
The battle over Davidson County’s property tax increase may be over, but it remains a point of contention among property owners and small businesses trying to recover after pandemic-induced shutdowns and inflation.
- Tennessee closing in on $6B in sports wagers since online wagering opened in Nov. 2020 (Center Square) The largest months of gambling to this point in the state has been $386 million in bets in January along with $375 million in wagers in October 2021 and $370 million in March 2022.
- First-time gun possession charges for young people in Davidson County are back up to pre-pandemic levels (WPLN) More than 100 young people have been charged with first-time handgun possession so far this year. That’s on track with 2019. And a few of those kids were caught bringing guns to their schools.
- City turns focus of Planned Parenthood grant from abortion access, to birth control (Tennessean) Mayor John Cooper's administration proposed substitute legislation Friday with support from Council members that removes references to abortion-related services from the grant allocation, including navigation assistance for Davidson County residents seeking abortion care outside Tennessee.
- Court: Metro can’t enforce some party bus restrictions (Post) Davidson County Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal said in an order that Metro could not, at least for now, require transpotainment operators to fully enclose their vehicles or obtain liquor liability insurance. The city can, however, enforce its limits on party buses operating during rush hour or late at night.
- Shelby County man pleads guilty for role in U.S. Capitol insurrection (Lookout) Ronald Sandlin, 35, of Millington, Tenn., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding — the certification of the 2020 presidential election results — and assaulting and impeding police.
- The Former Eldorado Motel Site Is Slated For A Mixed-Use Development In North Nashville (Now Next)
- October start set for Green Hills senior living project (Post)
- Start nears for One City project (Post)
- Nonprofit pays $2.16M for MetroCenter building (Post)
- Music Row building home to BMG sells (Post)
✿ CHART OF THE DAY: WHERE'S CORN GO?
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🇷🇺 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a decree that will annex four Ukrainian territories into the Russian Federation in a move that was condemned by Western powers.
- 🌾 The top Republicans on the House Agriculture and Oversight committees have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate foreign investment in U.S. farmland, questioning whether Chinese acquisitions in particular could pose a national-security threat.
- 🌀 The death toll from Hurricane Ian climbed to 54 on Sunday, with 47 confirmed deaths in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba, the Associated Press reported.
- 🪖 The Army fell about 15,000 soldiers — or 25% — short of its recruitment goal this year despite a frantic effort to make up the widely expected gap in a year when all the military services struggled in a tight jobs market to find young people willing and fit to enlist.
- 🗳 Legislation that would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections in the District of Columbia quickly gained momentum Tuesday as a committee approved the bill, sending it to the full D.C. Council for consideration.
- 🗺 Three more counties are the latest to express support for Texas declaring an invasion at the southern border, bringing the total to 32.
- 🇧🇷 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a left-wing former president, finished in first place Sunday in Brazil's presidential election, but failed to secure enough votes for an outright victory and will face right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in an Oct. 30 run-off.
- 🇳🇿 New Zealand will ban live animal exports from next April, two years after storms sank a livestock ship, killing 41 crew members and 6,000 cattle.
- 👥 Action movie legend Bruce Willis has just become the first Hollywood actor to sell his rights to the possibility of a "digital twin" to the US firm Deepcake.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (the next meeting is this Thursday, October 20th) at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM.
🍻 The streets and bars of Germantown are hosting the Nashville Oktoberfest this weekend. highly recommended.
🕯 Kinda Spoopy (not a typo) music festival in Adams TN. Indie Rock, Bluegrass, Jam, and Electronica. Costumes highly encouraged.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.
⚔️ The Knights in Armor exhibit is running till October 10th at the Frist: European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy.
🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, our playlist of the best bands playing in town this week.
🎩 History Class @ Bold Patriot Brewing, 5p, Info
🎸 Memphis Mondays @ Basement, 7p, $10, Info
🎸 Harry Fontana @ American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
💀 Grateful Monday @ Acme Feed & Seed, 7p, Free, Info
🕯 A Macabre Dance Party @ The Blue Room, 7p, $6, Info
🕺 Motown Monday @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $5, Info
🎹 Jazz Jam @ The Villager, 11p, Free, Info
ON THE RADAR
🎸 Yes @ Ryman, (10/11), $60, Info
🕯 W.I.T.C.H. @ Blue Room, (10/17), $15, Info
+ The biggest rock band in Zambia in the 1970s and spearheaded a new genre: Zamrock
🎻 Mozart & Tchaikovsky@ Schermerhorn, (10/28-29), $25+, 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
🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone (10/30-31), Info
🌶 The Gypsy Kings @ The Ryman, (11/1), $39.50, Info
+ The roving band of flamenco guitarists
🎻 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, (12/31), $35+, Info
🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl (2/22), $23+, Info
Around the Web
✹ Revolutions Occur When a Significant Portion of Elites Defect From the Existing Regime And why Harvard shouldn't admit more students
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