Sign up for newsletter >>
Today's Takes: Friday, July 23

Today's Takes: Friday, July 23

Vol. I, No. 52 • A Journal of Freedom • Entourage • China, Wow • COVID Gutter • Great Movies • Flying Fish • Much More!

Looks like a hot, sunny weekend ahead of us. Some required reading:

  • Jerod Hollyfield's new essay on Entourage (Read)
  • Henry David Thoreau's essay 'Civil Disobedience' (Read)


📰 General News

  • War Breaks Out over Capitol Riot Committee (National Review)
  • Pelosi Rejects Two GOP Picks for Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Panel (WSJ)
  • PG&E, in Reversal, to Bury Power Lines in Fire-Prone Areas (WSJ)
    • From article: "California utility says plan for 10,000 miles of distribution lines carries estimated cost of $20 billion"
  • Watching the Watchmen (Buzzfeed)
    • Sub-heading: "The Michigan kidnapping case is a major test for the Biden administration’s commitment to fighting domestic terrorism — and a crucible for the fierce ideological divisions pulling the country apart."
    • In short, without the FBI's involvement with the group, there would have been no plan to kidnap the Governor. It was a manufactured incident to generate guilty suspects to further justify the department's efforts to discover the Big Foot like threat of White Supremacy.
  • 'Pingdemic' puts Britain's food supply under strain (Reuters)
    • From article: "With cases rising to nearly 50,000 day in the United Kingdom, hundreds of thousands of people have been advised - or "pinged" - by the National Health Service's contact-tracing app to isolate for 10 days."
    • That's what I call delegation.

🗺 Down on the Border

  • Biden’s Border Crisis Is About To Make History (Federalist)
    • From the article: "More than 1 million border apprehensions so far in FY2021. The last time we had more than a million apprehensions in a single year was 2006. And we still have 3 months to go in the FY."
    • You would think that in the midst of a global pandemic, devoting resources to preventing people from entering the country en masse and illegally (a.k.a., COVID untested) would be a vital imperative.
    • Unless...
    • Tucker Carlson did a segment on his show last night (Watch)

🇨🇳 China, Wow

  • The Latest Target of Hong Kong’s Crackdown: Children’s Books (NY Times)
    • From article: "On Thursday, the police arrested five leaders of the group behind the book, a speech therapists’ union, accusing them of instilling hatred of the government in children."
  • China Rejects WHO Plan for Second Phase of COVID Origin Probe (National Review)
    • Deny, deny, deny, reattack. China using the old Florida dodge-and-duck method of evasion.

🏦 Financial News

  • ECB pledges low rates for longer, warns about Delta variant (Reuters)
  • Fed Ramps Up Debate Over Taper Timing, Pace (WSJ)
  • Elon Musk Says Tesla Likely to Accept Bitcoin Again (Gizmodo)
  • How Inflation Threatens the Recovery (WSJ)

🗑 Detritus

  • The Trump Books Are Coming. Cue the War of the Excerpts. (NY Times)
    • They're going to put Trump in a league with Jesus and Napoleon if they keep printing books about him
  • Upper East Sider Realizes She’s Privileged (The Cut)
  • Facebook gardening group repeatedly flagged for violating standards after discussing 'hoes' (Audacy)
    • Hoes be mad. Censor what?

🏊‍♂️ Olympics, but not sports

  • Opening ceremony director fired on Tokyo Games eve over Holocaust joke (Reuters)
  • Norwegian women's beach handball team fined for not playing in bikinis (NBC)

Original Essays

🎥 Jerod Hollyfield discusses the enduring relevance of Entourage even in an age that consistently demonizes it (Read)

In case you missed it

  • 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' and the Evergreen Ills of American Politics by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • Avuncular Tom by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • The Man Who Sued the World by Megan Lee Podsiedlik (Read)
  • Tenured Negligence by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)

Nashville Politics

  • Emergency Hospitals Created in Nashville and Memphis for COVID Patients Decommissioned Having Treated No COVID Cases (Star)
  • Gov. Lee speaks before Forrest bust removal vote and for first time since Fiscus firing (Channel 5)
  • State lawmakers urge against push to vaccinate children (Lookout)
    • The fatality rate from COVID for healthy children under the age of 18 is zero.
  • Nashville Launches A New Department To Improve Transportation (WPLN)
  • Conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine hospitalized with COVID-19 (TNJ)

Nashville News

  • The Bluebird Cafe reopens after 16 months (Channel 5)
  • Reconstruction and the Aftermath of War’ tour comes to Carnton Fridays and Saturdays (Homepage)
  • World Championship Invitational Barbecue Will Return to Lynchburg (Scene)
  • State will move bust of KKK founder from Capitol (Post)
  • Tennessee Encourages States And Cities To Drop Opioid Litigation And Join $26B Settlement (WPLN)

Nashville Development

  • Restaurant brand coming to Nashville named among top fine dining, brunch spots by TripAdvisor (Biz Journal)
  • Florida company seemingly to develop Gulch site (Post)
  • East Nashville site slated for project sells for $1.8M (Post)
  • 12South building slated for Brooklyn pizza restaurant (Post)

COVID Gutter

Whatever the intent, political policy in reaction to the pandemic led to an uptick in premature deaths and a massive wealth transfer away from the lower and middle classes. These are the material outcomes of policy and not the virus. Your fellow citizens are not at fault and neither is the virus nor, for that matter, China. American politicians, bureaucrats, and leaders pushing harmful policies are. That is where you should direct your anger. Your elected and non-elected leaders who failed.

  • Opening Its Economy as Delta Variant Surges, the U.K. Becomes a Covid-19 Test Case (WSJ)
    • From article: "Daily hospital admissions are currently averaging around 600 in Britain, and daily deaths around 40. In January, the deadliest period of the pandemic in Britain, daily cases peaked at around 60,000, hospital admissions reached 4,000 a day, and more than 1,200 people were dying each day."
    • In other words, the test passed.
  • India’s true pandemic death toll is likely to be well over 3 million, a new study finds. (NY Times)
    • These are large numbers, but India has around 1.4 billion people and only 7% of the population has received a vaccine
    • Nonetheless, the Times wants to ensure that you remain very afraid
    • Here are the Infection Fatality Rates (IFR) for each "estimate" from the study:
      • Official Count (307,231 deaths): IFR of 0.08%
      • Conservative Scenario (600,000 deaths): IFR of 0.15%
      • More Likely Scenario (1.6 million deaths): IFR of 0.30%
      • Worse Case Scenario (4.2 million): IFR of 0.60%
    • The global IFR is estimated to be 0.15% and the median IFR for people under 70 is 0.05%
    • These numbers, again, do not account for unreported cases, so IFR is likely lower than this
    • Taking it one more step, the IFR is even lower (read non-existent) for people without comorbidities and who live moderately healthy lifestyles
    • For healthy children under 18, the IFR is zero
  • White House officials debate masking push as covid infections spike (WaPo)
    • Has something fundamentally changed about the virus or masks that suddenly makes masks effective or are we just watching the muscle spasms of a dying institution?
  • Daily COVID Deaths in Sweden Hit Zero, as Other Nations Brace for More Lockdowns (FEE)
    • From article: "What are the results of Sweden’s much-derided laissez-faire policy? Data show the 7-day rolling average for COVID deaths yesterday was zero."
  • Eric Clapton Says He Won't Play Venues That Require COVID Vaccines (NPR)
  • Italy says it will require proof of vaccination or a negative test for many social activities. (NY Times)
  • The C.D.C. director warns the U.S. is ‘not out of the woods’ in the pandemic (NY Times)
    • Rochelle Walensky will never admit we are out of the woods.
    • This is the same broad who warned of impending doom back in March just before "case counts" dropped dramatically. I guess her feminine intuition came online again?
    • From article: "The warning reflects a growing concern that the gains the Biden administration appeared to have made are being erased."
    • The Biden administration is apparently staffed by wizards and fairies who can dictate the behavior of a virus. Wait...

Stat of the Day

💰 One in four Americans aged 40 to 49 is a millionaire, if you include in their household net worth the net present value of their retirement benefits (Read)

The 100 Greatest Films of All Time

🎞 The British Film Institute list of the 100 greatest films of all-time. Pick one for this weekend. Here are five of our favorites in no particular order (Read)

  • Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963), one of the best movies about making movies
  • Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), famous adaptation of Hearts of Darkness
  • Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. (1950), one of the best movies about Hollywood
  • Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949), the inspiration for Jack White's record label, Third Man Records
  • Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), a loopy portrayal of Nashville in the 70s

Something to Watch

🐟 Flying fish: video shows Utah wildlife agency restocking lake by plane (Watch)

Have a great weekend!