Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday, one of our writers told me it takes eleven times for someone to remember something they see. We were talking about how to get more visibility for Geneva's story on the water problems in Jefferson and Sevier Counties, but I guess it's supposed to apply to anything you see.
Now, I don't know if that's right or wrong (and I don't intend on looking it up), but it did make me realize that repetition is important. It's possible for a message to get lost in the noise if you flit across different topics or ideas too quickly and often. For example, yesterday Geneva wrote a story on water problems in Jefferson and Sevier Counties. Now, go read that story.
That's only three or four times we've mentioned it now, but I think our readers are possessed of keen perceptive faculties and preternatural inquisitiveness, so that should be enough.
Later in the day, meditating on the importance of repetition, I thought, "Maybe I should write more about long-rise pants. I don't think I've gotten that message across well enough. It certainly seems to get a rise out of folks. If I take an extreme enough position on rises– such as advocating for the federal regulation of men's pants in the interest of improving men's fertility– we'll score a viral hit and win favor with a long-rise pants producer, resulting in the launch of our oft-mentioned long-rise pants empire."
Speaking of repetition and empires, I talk about Bitcoin here and there (repetition). Yesterday, I had the pleasure of talking to Texas Slim, who is a cattle rancher and Bitcoin advocate. Slim has set up a network of ranchers through his organization, The Beef Initiative, all of whom produce high-quality, grass-finished beef which he ships across the country.
With the US and other Western governments wailing about cow farts and how bugs are ackshully more nutrient-dense, Slim has ensured that people who don't buy into that bullsh*t will retain access to high-quality food by facilitating the creation of supply chains that live outside of supermarkets. We recorded a podcast conversation about this and more that you can listen to here.
As an aside, there's an interesting symbiosis between ranchers and Bitcoin that I and others have observed. We get into that as well. I learned a couple of things. Maybe you will too. Do I need to repeat myself?
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Thanks for reading.
❍ LAST NIGHT AT THE METRO COUNCIL
“We’ve gotten off the topic of deferral motions and into emotions.”
Sparks flew at last night’s council meeting: local public figures stumped on behalf of the LPR pilot program, and the 123-item agenda wrapped up just after midnight. Let’s take a look at what happened.
LPR PILOT PROGRAM PASSES
“I don’t break the law, take my picture,” one LPR supporter declared during last night’s public hearing.. There was an even split between those who showed up in support of the six-month pilot program and those who showed up against it. While Councilmember Rosenberg made it a point to call the legislation “red meat,” it’s clear that most of the political support for this program in Nashville is coming from Democrats.
This legislation wasn’t just pushed by Mayor Cooper’s (D) office: John Drake, the Nashville chief of police (D) and District Attorney General Glenn Funk (D) showed up at the public hearing to make statements in support of LPRs. “I want to be very clear,” said Chief Drake. “Our police department wants to use license plate readers to identify criminal suspects who flee from scenes and vehicles.” He continued, “We want to help find children who are missing, and our senior citizens who are missing as well. We have no interest in using them for any other purpose other than what I stated for this.”
Arguments against LPRs, on the other hand, were made by people across the ideological spectrum. Self-identified libertarians, first-gen immigrants, and members of other minority coalitions spoke out against the installation of fixed license plate readers (not unlike February’s hearing for the first LPR bill). In the end, the program was approved with 22 yeses, 13 noes, and 1 abstention.
STADIUM LEGISLATION UPDATE
BL2022-1529, which approves the 1% hotel/motel tax increase, was passed on second reading with an amendment. The new tax capture is designed to fund the stadium and East Bank development. As amended, funding cannot be collected until the agreement for the stadium is finalized and approved. Originally, the mayor’s office was hoping to get the ball rolling with this tax in order to fill the piggy bank before breaking ground.
RS2022-1827, which authorizes Metro Government to pursue financing, construction, and operation of both the stadium build and the East Bank development, was deferred; however, the proposed amendments attached to the legislation were approved. Both Councilmembers Mendes and Hurt gained support for their amendments, ensuring minority or women-owned businesses will be prioritized and that the agreements in this resolution are non-binding (meaning that the council may still decide to block the stadium build).
- The bill that would rewrite Nashville’s animal code was deferred.
- A bill set to close a homeless encampment was deferred. Discussions on the floor included arguments over an amendment that seemingly prevented the encampment from being closed until all homeless members were housed.
- A lively discussion also centered around this bill, which would allow for a free-standing emergency room to be built in Bellevue. It passed on second reading.
- Gun control and safety were mentioned three times during different discussions on both the council floor and during the public hearings.
- We’ve now seen multiple public figures and institutions come out in favor of the stadium build, including Garth Brooks; The University of Tennessee; and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
- Jon Robinson out after seven years as Titans GM (Post) Forty-eight hours after the Tennessee Titans got embarrassed by their former star receiver A.J. Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles, the man who sent Brown to Philly is out of a job.
- New Third Quarter Business Filings in Tennessee Set Record (Star) A new Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report issued by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office revealed that new business filings in the third quarter of 2022 were the highest for a third quarter in the 24-year history of the data being collected.
- Governor’s transportation proposals draw wide reactions (Lookout) Facing tens of billions of dollars in transportation project backlog, Gov. Bill Lee’s administration is proposing a patchwork of proposals designed to expedite work and raise more revenue, the most notable of which would institute toll roads or “choice lanes” built and maintained by the private sector through a state partnership.
- Proposed bill could block access to non-criminal death records, following Judd family suit (Tennessean) A proposed new bill would limit access to death records, investigative reports and 911 calls in Tennessee if law enforcement determines the death was not the result of a crime.
- Eric Church Offers First Glimpse At New Downtown Nashville Venue Chief’s (Music Row)
- Metro approves downtown restaurant space design (Post)
- Madison senior living facility sells for $3.26M (Post)
- Details emerge for project on Cumberland (Post)
☁︎ THOUSANDS ARE WITHOUT WATER IN SEVIER AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES
A combination of neglect and corruption has kept the residents of English Mountain from receiving clean drinking water
English Mountain is in the northeastern part of Tennessee, right in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. The area is known for its spring, a major water source that releases two million gallons of water each day and is used by bottled water companies like English Mountain Spring Water Company (supplier of water to Cracker Barrel and Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers). The people who live there, however, don’t see much of it.
For at least a decade, due to poor management and a lack of infrastructure in the area, water utility pipes have been rusting out and falling apart. During more than half of the days in both 2021 and 2022, at least one person within the community had no water at all. When they are lucky enough to have water, the quality is questionable at best. Most of the time, what comes out of a faucet in English Mountain looks more like mud than anything one might drink. Fire hydrants have been running brown. Wells and taps across the area test close to the legal limit for iron, manganese, and colony counts of E.coli.
In the English Mountain community, which is mostly populated by people over the age of sixty, it is common to see tax paying citizens on canes and walkers bringing buckets to a pond and kneeling to fill them so they can flush their toilets that day. Many living on the mountain travel forty miles to shower at truck stops and use coin laundry. The water situation has been in decline for at least a decade, with no signs of change to come.
Patricia Rogers moved to the mountain in 2012 after her son tragically died in a car accident. When her other son wanted to visit this Thanksgiving, she had to turn him down: there was no potable water in her house. This kind of story is all too common for residents in the area who were out of clean water for eleven days over Christmas 2020. The following January, they went nine days without. In July, some were without water for nearly six weeks.
⌘ STAT OF THE DAY: BLOATED HARVARD
Across [Harvard] University, for every academic employee there are approximately 1.45 administrators. When only considering faculty, this ratio jumps to 3.09. Harvard employs 7,024 total full-time administrators, only slightly fewer than the undergraduate population (which is 8,527). What do they all do?
Source: Fire Them All; God Will Know His Own
Harvard Crimson, 29 November 2022, Read Online
𝓧 CHART OF THE DAY: FIGHTING ANIMALS
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🗳 Georgia’s Democratic senator Raphael Warnock was re-elected Tuesday night, winning his second runoff in less than two years by besting Herschel Walker, a scandal-ridden football star whom former president Donald Trump had once called “unstoppable.”
- 🐦 Twitter owner Elon Musk confirmed that one of its top officials, James Baker—a former FBI general counsel—was “exited” from the company on Tuesday amid concerns that were raised about his “possible role in suppression of information.”
- 💸 Two companies with the Trump Organization were found guilty Tuesday on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud in a case brought by the Manhattan district attorney. The Trump Organization was accused of being complicit in a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on job perks.
- 💨 The U.S. launched the sale of offshore California wind rights on Tuesday, a first for the West Coast that would bring a new technology to the U.S. to try to shore up California’s power supplies.
- 🇨🇳 China has lifted its strictest zero-Covid policies after protests challenging the draconian measures swept the nation. Citizens who contract the virus and exhibit mild or no symptoms will no longer be required to check into a state facility to quarantine and can do so at home now.
- 🗺 The Supreme Court considers Wednesday whether the Constitution renders state courts powerless to remedy gerrymandered maps drawn by state legislatures, having ruled in 2019 that federal courts have no authority to do so.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
👨🏻🌾 See your best options for winter farmer's markets on our farmer's market guide
🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, a playlist of our favorite bands in town each week
🌮 Nashville Taco Week is running from the 5th to the 11th. Help nominate the best taco in Nashville.
🎙 Larry Longpump @ Acme Feed & Seed, 6p, Free, Info
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
💃 Free Salsa Lessons @ Plaza Mariachi, 7p, Free, Info
ON THE RADAR
🤣 Louis C.K. @ Ryman, 12/14, $35, Info
🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone, 12/30-31, Info
🎻 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, 12/31, $35+, Info
🎻 Chopin & Rachmaninoff @ The Schermerhorn, 1/6-8, $43+, Info
+ Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 & Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances
🎸 Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Ryman, 1/23-25, 8p, $49.50, Info
🎻 Billy Strings @ Bridgestone, 1/24-25, 8p, $TBA Info
🎻 Billy Strings @ Ryman, 1/26, 8p, Info
+ Only elligible if you purchased a ticket to one of his previous nights' Bridgestone shows
🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/22, 8p $23+, Info
- In Conversation: Texas Slim (The Beef Initiative) (Listen)
Around the Web
This re-moralisation of power is chiefly driven by progressives, not conservatives, and constitutes the nuclear core of contemporary “culture wars”. It’s also the backdrop to the Hunter Biden story, and why that story matters beyond American electoral politics. For since 2016, Twitter has emerged as one of the most powerful digital-era mechanisms for elite consensus-formation, with a reach well beyond the United States.
Twitter leaders have justified this role with a claim to liberal neutrality — even as it has grown increasingly clear that content moderation decisions taken by the platform’s employees in fact skewed progressive post-liberal. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the younger graduates who flock to the tech sector skew progressive — especially the graduate women who, in that sector, cluster in non-coding roles (such as, for example, content moderation). But when a platform that serves in effect as public square is governed according to an overt moral framework, what you have is something like a soft theocracy.
So is Elon just trying to end this theocracy, purge the bad actors, and make Twitter into a liberal neutral space again? Perhaps. But I think it likely he knows how futile such an attempt would be. For there’s no putting the post-liberal genie back in the bottle: it is to a great extent an effect of our transition from print to digital, a profound shift that makes key liberal ideas increasingly untenable.
Source: Musk is becoming a true Caesar
Unherd, 7 December 2022, Read Online
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Words of Wisdom
“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further.”