The Fog of Corona Lifts
Momentum continues to gather behind the theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan. The Biden administration initially shut down the investigation started under Trump about the virus' origins, but Wednesday, they urged the intelligence community to produce a new report on the theory within 90 days. After intelligence agencies, tech companies, newspapers, and DC politicians all aligned to censor the spread of "conspiracy theories" concerning the origin of the virus, it's degrading to watch. We hear lots of talk of the "New Normal." Increasingly, that new normal seems to be a government completely void of merit run by a ruling class with no respect for its subjects.
🌎 Changes in Attitudes A good Twitter thread tracks the change in attitude towards the Wuhan origin theory by comparing headlines over the past year.
👊 Paul vs. Fauci Rand Paul's amendment to ban the National Institute of Health (NIH) from funding research in Wuhan passed the Senate. The sparring between Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci the past few months has seen wide circulation. Fauci, at first, adamantly denied Paul's claim that NIH channeled funds to a Wuhan lab to research whether bat coronaviruses could be transmitted to humans. But, on Tuesday, he reversed course, conceding that the NIH did channel funds to Wuhan. Fauci's spine has the rigidity of a wet noodle.
🔒 Lockdown Denial Evidence of the ineffectiveness of lockdowns and the undue burden they placed on citizens continues to mount. An MIT data scientist revealed that "More restrictions in a state is NOT correlated with fewer COVID-19 deaths." But, heavier restrictions are strongly correlated with higher unemployment rates. Economic recessions are not side effects of novel coronaviruses.
🧂 A Grain of Salt COVID-19 is not the end of world, nor is it nothing. The fact is, it is a significant issue confronting governments around the world. But, it stands to reason that with wide vaccine availability and the relaxing of restrictions, the world will return to "normal" very soon.
With summer approaching, we hope you will make the most of it. Get out and see some live music. Actually build a raised bed. Throw lavish dinner parties. Commune with friends and family. Etc. The greatest rebellion against a world that wants you depressed, dependent, and weak is to live joyfully, independently, and with strength.
New this week
In case you missed it:
- Burt Reynolds' Southern Vision: How a Legend Chronicled the Region’s Potential (Read)
- The Last Action Heroes: 'Nobody' and 'Fatman' Face the Twilight of the Genre Star (Read)
- Ordinary People, Pt. I: On Artistry and Hollywood’s Insular Diversity (Read)
- Ordinary People, Pt. II: An Oscars Postmortem (Read)
- Biden Administration Finally Offers Response to Migrant Children Being Flown into Tennessee (Star)
- Press Secratary Jen Psaki claims children were "passing through" state
- How Income Growth in Tennessee Compares to Other States (Center Square)
- Ten year wage growth in country was 25.5%
- Ten year wage growth in Tennessee was 21.3%
- Gov. Bill Lee's criminal justice reform efforts marked by both optimism and frustration (Tennessean)
- Gov. Lee's most personal campaign promise was to reform criminal justice in the state
- Entrenched legilsation has slowed down his ambitious goals
- Metro Nashville school board sends $1 billion operating budget request to Metro Council (Tennessean)
- Much talk about raising adminstrator salaries, very little about improving schools
- One member complained about not getting a raise because of his race, which was disproven (Tennessean)
- Watchdog warns of risks of billions in stimulus money heading to Tennessee (Channel 5)
- Bill Lee Does Not Enforce a Conservative Refugee Policy, Tennessee Stands Warns (Star)
- Nashville’s Parks Get Mixed Scorecard As City Slips Down National Ranking (WPLN)
- Nashville's park system ranks 86 out of US's 100 most populous cities
- City spends $70 per citizen annually compared to the national average of $96
- Only 45% of Nashvillians are within 10 minutes of a park compared to the nationwide average of 75%
- Explore the city's parks and access zones here
- HCA partners with Google Cloud on analytics capabilities (Post)
- Metro Police Chief says he was traumatized by Nashville officers as a youth (Tennessean)
- State to retake coal mining regulation with industry at rock bottom (Lookout)
- Nashvillians more concerned about affordable housing than COVID-19 (Post)
- Area job growth hit pothole in April (Post)
- Business-centric airline launches new nonstop destination to Nashville (Biz Journal)
- Nokian Tyres will double output at Rhea County factory (Tennessean)
- In Knoxville, new constructions permits are up ⏫246% (Twitter)
- Metro Nashville home values up $32K from last spring, but it's not another housing bubble (Tennessean)
- Housing market responding to shifts in demand as people flock to Nashville
- Median home price up ⬆️11% from last April to $320,818
- Inventry down ⬇️54% from last April
- Sales up ⬆️43% from last April
- Nashville homes on market for average of five days
- Builders face delays as construction prices continue to rise (Main Street)
- East Nashville hotel, FieldHouse Jones, offered for sale (Post)
- Hawaiian and Peruvian cuisine restaurant planned for Chestnut Hill (Post)
- MetroCenter office building sells for $16.5M (Post)
- Local development company pays $1.3M+ for WeHo building (Post)
- East Nashville property listed for sale for $1.3M (Post)
- Site of Former Church in East Nashville Sells for $1.3 Million (Scene)
- Images released for project eyed for site near The Gulch (Post)
- Image released for future Midtown Velvet Taco building (Post)
- Gibson Garage opening soon in Nashville (Main Street)
- Take a look inside this new church-turned-hotel in East Nashville (Biz Journal)
Chart of the Day
In response to lingering unemployment handouts, companies are raising employee wages. The 3% growth in wages during the first quarter is the strongest since the 1990s. During the 2000 and 2008 recessions, there was a notable spike in the ratio of worker compensation to corporate profits. Curiously, such a spike was absent from the COVID crash in March 2020 despite the market reaching an all-time high and unemployment levels going as high as 15%. The absence of a spike underscores the fact that government mandated business closures hurt service sectors and low income workers the most, further exacerbating the wealth gap.
Good to Know
🥩 Recent research has shown that organic meat is significantly less likely to hold harmful bacteria than non-organic meat (Read)
One Good Read
🧟♂️ The Zombie Enlightenment enslaves us to a new religion. (Read)
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!