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Today's Takes: Friday, August 20

Today's Takes: Friday, August 20

Vol. I, No. 72 • A Journal of Freedom • Afghan Collapse • Weimerica • Back to the Stone Age • Blame Canada • Much More!

We can expect media outlets across the political spectrum to continue yammering on and on about the horrible conditions in Afghanistan. But, if you download Snapchat and look at the app's Snap Map feature or stumble into an Afghani Telegram group, one gets an entirely different picture. Polling around Afghanistan through the years has shown that the citizens (yes, even those who pledged fealty to the Western occupational forces) prefer Sharia Law to whatever watered down, neoliberal banana republic the United States installed. Additionally, there's no reason to expect that the same intelligence agencies who "could not forsee the rapid collapse" will have any better idea about what's happening in the country now.

In the coming days and weeks, neoconservatives will continue—whether intentionally or out of habit—to sabre rattle for a military intervention, and liberals will continue to make the case for worsening conditions on their jihad to import a fresh batch of refugees into Middle America. Both are destructive inclinations at opposite ends of the spectrum. Kudos to the Biden administration for, however ineptly, ending the occupation and exposing to more and more US citizens how incompetent our ruling elites are.


📰 Today's Front Pages

  • Reuters: NATO pledges to speed evacuations from Afghanistan as criticism mounts (Read)
  • New York Times: Live Updates: Biden to Address Afghan Crisis as Desperation Builds at Kabul Airport (Read)
  • Wall Street Journal: Internal State Department Cable Warned of Kabul Collapse (Read)
  • Washington Post: ‘I’m begging you. ... Take that shot.’ (Read)
  • Fox News: Biden must authorize military to expand reach in Kabul, retake Bagram to save Americans: Crenshaw (Read)
  • CNN: As Covid-19 hospitalizations increase, a greater number of Americans are deciding to get vaccinated (Read)
  • NPR: The Topic Of Masks In Schools Is Polarizing Some Parents To The Point Of Violence (Read)
  • Bloomberg: Surging Delta Cases Reverse the World’s March Back to the Office (Read)
  • Politico: ‘This is Actually Happening’: Inside the Biden team's five-day scramble as Afghanistan collapsed. (Read)
  • Breitbart: Report: State Department Memo Warned of Afghanistan Collapse Back in July (Read)
  • HuffPost: COVID-19 Delta Wave Hits Kids In Record Numbers (Read)

💨 Weimerica

  • Soaring Cost of Food Is Forcing Families to Scrimp at the Dinner Table (Bloomberg)
    • "Food prices in July were up 31% from the same month last year, according to an index compiled by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization."
  • Bank of America teaches that the United States is a system of “white supremacy” and encourages employees to become “woke at work.” (City Journal)
    • "BOA executives launched the initiative by encouraging employees to participate in their “Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge,” a race-training program funded in part by the bank and built on the principles of critical race theory, including intersectionality, white privilege, white fragility, and systemic racism."
  • A Shadowy Bureaucracy Deciding Who’s “Black Enough” to Get Government Perks (Revolver)

💸 Money Moves

  • Fed Signals Asset Purchases Likely to Slow This Year (WSJ)
    • "The minutes said several officials favored reducing asset purchases in the coming months in order to better position the Fed to potentially raise interest rates if the economy strengthens further next year, while others thought the Fed could wait until early next year because they want to see stronger evidence that the job market has healed from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic."
    • The priests of the almighty dollar have spoken, and it's clear that don't know shit about shit.
    • The Fed’s next meeting will be September 21-22
  • Crypto’s ‘DeFi’ Projects Aren’t Immune to Regulation, SEC’s Gensler Says (WSJ)
    • DeFi Projects not sufficiently decentralized will be subject to regulation.
    • Bitcoin, on the other hand, has displayed decentralized characteristics that would absolve it from "on-chain" regulation.
  • Banks in Germany Tell Customers to Take Deposits Elsewhere )WSJ)
    • "Germany’s biggest lenders, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, have told new customers since last year to pay a 0.5% annual rate to keep large sums of money with them. The banks say they can no longer absorb the negative interest rates the European Central Bank charges them. The more customer deposits banks have, the more they have to park with the central bank."

💰 Corporations Are People Too

  • Amazon Plans to Open Large Retail Locations Akin to Department Stores (WSJ)
    • "Will have a footprint similar to scaled-down formats that Bloomingdale’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc., and other department-store chains have begun opening"
  • Apple Seeing Surging China iPhone Demand, Analyst Says (Barrons)
    • "Apple’s iPhone shipments in China in July were up 79% on a year-over-year basis, while China’s own handset vendors saw just a 27% increase over the same period."

🚧 Sign of the Times

  • Austin Is Capital of Homes Selling at Super Premiums (WSJ)
    • "Nearly 2,700 homes in the Texas capital have sold this year for $100,000 or more above their initial listing price"
    • "The number of homes sold year-over-year for at least $100,000 over asking price has grown nearly 10-fold in Seattle, and fivefold in Oakland, according to Redfin. In Austin, that figure grew by 57 times the number for last year at this time."
  • Will the rich world’s worker deficit last? (Economist)
    • "Our best guess, based on data from eight countries, is that employment in the rich world is 3% below its pre-pandemic high."
    • "To understand whether the worker deficit will ease, then, you must consider why labour supply has fallen. Three broad explanations stand out: disruption owing to the spread of covid-19; the impact of welfare policy and pensions; and changes to attitudes wrought by the pandemic."
  • Families opting to homeschool rather than return to classroom (Channel 5)
    • "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of households homeschooling more than doubled from 5.4% in March of 2020 to 11% just six months later in September. In Black and African American homes, it jumped by five times."

🌾 From the Heartland

  • Larry David ‘screamed’ at Alan Dershowitz at grocery store over Trump ties (Page Six)
    • “Larry is a knee-jerk radical,” Dershowitz told Page Six, “He takes his politics from Hollywood. He doesn’t read a lot. He doesn’t think a lot.”
    • A source added this bizarre antecdote: “Larry walks away. Alan takes off his T-shirt to reveal another T-shirt underneath it that says, ‘It’s The Constitution Stupid!’.”
    • Dershowitz's wife reportedly bought him the t-shirt in response to people's bafflement that he would involve himself with Trump. Dershowitz said he was wearing two T-shirts at the time of the incident because he was on his way to meet a friend when he ran into David, and he had been planning to give the outer T-shirt to his pal as a gag gift
  • Women Blaze Path to Top of California’s Water World (GV Wire)
    • They're doing a horrible job. California just instituted a water supply alert.

🗿 Return to the Stone Age

  • Alaska Oil Permits Blocked by Federal Judge (WSJ)
    • A project that would've brought 160,000-barrel-of-oil-a-day for 30-years.
    • With rising gas prices and an uncooperative OPEC, the Biden administration appears to want gas prices to sky rocket.
  • California builds a ‘Noah’s Ark’ to protect wildlife from extinction by fire and heat (LA Times)
    • A hot air balloon? California doesn't have water, so it can't be a boat...
  • Solar panels in space could help power the UK by 2039, claims report (New Scientist)
    • Nods politely
  • Small Reactors, Big Future for Nuclear Power (WSJ)
    • A rendering of Nuscale's Small Modular Reactor (SMR) that provides alternatives to unreliable and inefficient wind and solar power.

🗺 From the Frontier

  • Julian Assange aptly describes the purpose of the war in Afghanistan (@wikileaks)
    • "The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the United States, out of the tax bases of the European countries, through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite."
    • The goal was never to win.
  • Biden Administration Proposes Asylum Overhaul to Reduce Backlog, Speed Deportations (WSJ)
    • The process of claiming refugee status sounds a lot like just about every other label the USG requires before it disburses benefits: up for foggy interpretation and, thus, prone to manipulation, politicization, and fraud.
  • Today’s Taliban uses sophisticated social media practices that rarely violate the rules (Washington Post)
    • Sharia Law and murder, but without the mean tweets.
  • The Taliban are sitting on $1 trillion worth of minerals the world desperately needs (CNN)
    • Endless War, Pt. 2

Original Essays

🤿   Masked Dereliction: State Republican legislators are trying to shore up their base with special sessions and anti-mask stances; They willfully failed to prevent this debate four months ago. by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)

In case you missed it

  • Total Recall: California’s September election by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • Losing Christopher Hitchens by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • Entourage's Last Stand by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' and the Evergreen Ills of American Politics by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)

Nashville Politics

  • Nashville Mayor John Cooper Backs School Defiance of Governor Lee’s Mask Opt-Out Executive Order (Star)
  • Tit-for-tat over mask mandates continues (Post)
    • Bill Lee responded to a letter from Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona saying "Regarding the Biden Administration letter: Parents know better than the government what’s best for their children." (Read)
  • Ending vehicle emissions tests hailed as victory for Tennessee taxpayers (Center Square)

Nashville News

  • Nashville listed as a top post-pandemic city (Main Street)
  • More pandemic relief funds available for music venues; here's how to apply (Channel 5)
    • List of prior grants for Nashville venues:
      • The Basement East: $616,333.76
      • Belcourt Theatre: $771,370.68
      • Bluebird Cafe: $1,060,526.25
      • Mercy Lounge: $2,192,628.15
      • The 5 Spot: $356,131.17
      • Third Coast Comedy: $232,821.40
  • Bring Afghan Refugees to Tennessee (Scene)
    • A desperate plea from Steven Hale to bring Afghan refugees to the state to atone for our racist past? Presumably, taking in an arbitrary minority group gets you Pokémon points that will eventually gain you a "not one of those bad white guys" badge.
    • Steven should volunteer to shelter some.
  • Metro sees drop in curbside recycling contamination (Main Street)
  • Dunkin' releasing limited edition Tennessee Titans donut Thursday (WSMV)
  • After a tourist's fall from a Nashville party bus, push for industry regulation intensifies (Tennessean)

Nashville Development

  • Urban multifamily starts to see recovery amid frothy apartment investment market (Biz Journal)
  • Developer Beau Fowler closes on Dickerson Pike land needed to build apartments (Biz Journal)
  • 166 gas station properties up for auction, including two in Tennessee (Biz Journal)
  • Mixed-use project planned for Madison site (Post)
  • Image finalized for project planned for One City-area site (Post)
  • Local developers team up on 18-acre Madison project (Biz Journal)

Nashville Life

📅 Check out our suggestions for things to do this weekend (Info)

🎡 Last chance to catch the Tennessee State Fair which runs until tomorrow in Lebanon (Info)

🎞 Three great movies play at the Belcourt all weekend long:
1) Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark (See)
2) Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain (See)
3) The Green Knight (See)

Tonight, 8/20
🪕 Full Moon Pickin' Party @ Percy Warner Park, 6p, $25 (Info)
🎸 Futurebirds w/ Teddy and the Rough Riders @ 6th & Peabody, 7p, $25 (Info)
🎸 Langhorne Slim @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $30 (Info)

Tomorrow, 8/21
🎣 Arts Fishing Club @ Exit/In, 8p, $12 (Info)
🪕 Full Moon Pickin' Party @ Percy Warner Park, 5p, $25 (Info)

Sunday, 8/22
🎸 T. Hardy Morris with Shelly Colvin @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8p, $12 (Info)


  • The 7 Best Steakhouses We Love (Nashville Edit)
  • East Nashville slated for cocktail bar (Post)

COVID Gutter

🦠 The COVID-19 Case Count must end.


  • Biden Admin Considers Using Civil Rights Law to Challenge GOP Governors’ Anti-Mask Mandate Orders (National Review)
    • Something, something, but what about the LGBTQ+, BIPOC, minority communities that can't even figure out how to get a driver's license?
  • Covid-19 Booster Shot to Be Offered to Americans Fully Vaccinated With Pfizer, Moderna (WSJ)
  • New Zealand Reports 4 More COVID-19 Cases as Delta Variant Spreads (Epoch)
  • Biden Ramps Up Virus Strategy for Nursing Homes and Schools, and Urges Booster Shots (NYT)
  • Australian Psychiatrist Says Achieving Zero COVID Cases ‘Unrealistic’, Affecting Mental Health (Epoch)

What Pandemic?

  • New jobless claims fall to pandemic low despite Delta variant concerns (NY Post)
  • Home Depot's early release of Halloween products sold out 'almost immediately' (Fox News)

Around the Web

🤳 How Social-Media Redesigns Manipulate Us (Read)

Blame Canada

🌲 With over 347 million hectares (ha) of forest, Canada has 9% of the world’s forests. Forests dominate many Canadian landscapes, but cover only 38% of Canada’s land area. The forest area of Canada is stable, with less than half of 1% deforested since 1990. Although 77% of Canada’s forests are found in the boreal zone, 37% of Canada’s wood volume is found in our temperate forests. (Read)

Have a great weekend!