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Today's Takes: Friday, July 30

Today's Takes: Friday, July 30

Vol. I, No. 57 • A Journal of Freedom • Number Go Up • From the Hill • Burnt Offerings • French Fries • Hitchens • Much More!

If you're holding out on the vaccine, it might pay to wait. Biden is urging states to offer $100 in exchange for vaccination. We've gone from beer, doobies, and tacos to cold hard cash. Remember, in the "New Normal", stocks only go up. Vaccination bounties appear to be no different. Being unvaccinated right now is like buying Bitcoin when it was $5. Hold out a little longer, and you too could become an overnight millionaire.

In other news, Jerod Hollyfield has a new essay on the late, great, beloved provocateur, Christopher Hitchens.

And finally, if you have friends, family, lovers, etc. who would like the Pamphleteer, please forward this email along to them.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and have a great weekend.


🏛 From the Hill

  • Justice Department Warns States Over New Voting Laws (WSJ)
    • WARNING: "If your state doesn't want to elect a Democrat in favor of open borders, taxes, and neutering your kids, we'll elect them for you."
  • U.S. expected to keep border expulsions policy as Delta variant cases surge (Reuters)
    • "Border arrests have risen to their highest monthly levels in 20 years. Since he took office in January, migrants have been expelled under Title 42 more than 500,000 times, although many of those include repeat border crossers."
  • Sinema doesn't support Democrats' $3.5T bill, clinches bipartisan infrastructure deal (AZ Central)
    • AOC's response: "Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin - especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a “bi-partisan accomplishment." (@AOC)
    • Nice.
    • Rashida Tlaib having a conniption: "Sinema seems not to care that her own state is flooding, the west is burning, and infrastructure around the country is crumbling. Sinema is more interested in gaining GOP friends and blocking much needed resources, than fighting for her residents' future." (@RashidaTlaib)
    • Wow. I knew that Sinema was the most attractive Senator, but not that she had otherworldly powers to bend and shape the weather... Hot.

🌕 Stocks Don't Go Down

  • U.S. Economy Grows 6.5 Percent in Second Quarter, Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Level (National Review)
    • Wonder if the Fed buying $120 billion worth of bonds every month has anything to do with this.

🪵 Burnt Offerings to the Progressive Gods

  • Wharton Is First Elite M.B.A. Program to Enroll More Women Than Men (WSJ)
    • They worked really hard for this one.
  • Is This the End of Summer as We’ve Known It? (NY Times)
    • Stop laughing. This is serious. Seriously.
  • There Is No Good Reason You Should Have to Be a Citizen to Vote (NY Times)
    • Stoned high schooler: "I mean, like, if you think about it, is there, like, a good reason for anything?"

🖋 Media on Media

  • New NPR Ethics Policy: It's OK For Journalists To Demonstrate (Sometimes) (NPR)
    • The formal merger of the press and the leftwing activist class
  • Tell-all crime reporting is a peculiarly American practice. Now U.S. news outlets are rethinking it (Nieman Lab)
    • "Private individuals committing crimes, even major crimes, are rarely identified in mainstream news accounts in the Netherlands, Sweden or Germany, despite those names being on the public record with the potential to be revealed by tabloids and websites. One reason: 'We believe everyone deserves a second chance,' said Thomas Bruning, head of the Dutch journalists union."
  • Our democracy is under attack. Washington journalists must stop covering it like politics as usual. (Washington Post)
    • Guys, like, for real this time.
  • Vice Media plans to go deeper into video and other visuals as it targets a younger audience. (NY Times)
    • Vice Media will reduce the number of old-fashioned text articles on, Refinery29 and another Vice-owned site, i-D, by 40 to 50 percent.

Original Essays

🖊 Losing Christopher Hitchens: Journalism’s intellectual giant died ten years ago. Our civic discourse will never recover. (Read)

In case you missed it

  • Entourage's Last Stand by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • '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)

Nashville Politics

  • Senate GOP lawmakers encourage COVID-19 vaccines, say shots ‘should not be political’ (Main Street)
  • Unemployed Tennesseans sue Gov. Bill Lee in hopes of reinstating federal support funds (Tennessean)
    • "Unemployed Tennesseans" is just a bit of an overstatement. There are only 7 people involved in the suit.

Nashville News

  • NFL's tough stance on vaccinations is working. Just ask Titans' Ryan Tannehill (Tennessean)
    • In response to the mandate, Ryan Tannehill stated, "I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine without the protocols they’re enforcing on us (in the NFL). I think it’s a personal decision for everyone. Everyone has to make the best decision for them and their families. That’s kind of our mindset in this building. But they’re trying to force your hand, and they ultimately have forced a lot of hands."
    • Journalist Gentry Estes assesses his comments: "Yet whether Tannehill realized it or not, his comments — critical as they were — should do nothing but warm the hearts of league officials. You’d rather it be the carrot. But the stick is working."
    • Govern me harder, daddy.
  • Nashville Symphony reaches new deal with musicians, includes temporary pay cut (Channel 5)
  • Nashville restaurant scene changes every day, but don't miss these old favorites (Tennessean)
  • Nashville party bus rider falls off bus, gets run over on Broadway (WSMV)

Nashville Development

  • Mixed-use building eyed for Buchanan Street (Post)
  • Garden-style apartments planned for Bellevue (Post)
  • California aluminum maker moving HQ to Cool Springs (Post)
  • Baton Rouge chicken fingers chain finds first local location (Post)
  • Berry Hill industrial property hits market (Post)
  • Kaiser Aluminum Corp. relocating California HQ to Franklin, bringing 80 jobs (Biz Journal)

COVID Gutter

Just last summer, it seemed like we were going to get a race war. How things have changed...


  • COVID-19 Has Given Us Progressivism Unleashed (National Review)
    • "'Science' is being routinely used as a means by which to launder political authority."
    • "They can either 'report facts and uncertainties transparently,' which is science; or they can 'shape information, via nudges, to influence the public to take specific actions,' which is politics."
    • "In the long run, progressivism will always fail, because it is incompatible with human nature and because it is simply not possible to abolish politics, but it can work for a short while, providing that its technocrats have the discipline to prioritize science as a neutral process over 'science' as a deceptive buzzword."


  • Behind the Masks, a Mystery: How Often Do the Vaccinated Spread the Virus? (NY Times)
    • "The CDC is expected to release data showing that vaccinated people may transmit the Delta variant, a finding that prompted its new masking advice."
    • Without the Big Bad Orange Man on whom to focus blame, the fascist state devolves into muttering maniacs
  • Pfizer forecasts it will earn $33.5B in revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine in '21 (Fox Business)
    • Pfizer really, really wants you to get vaccinated. Even if it means future booster shots.
  • Omaha zoo won't yet vaccinate animals against COVID (Omaha World-Herald)
    • Yes. This is information.
  • Pompeo: Fauci ‘Should No Longer Be Serving in American Government’ (National Review)
    • Yes. This is also information.


  • Biden Plans to Require Covid-19 Vaccine or Regular Tests for Federal Workers (WSJ)
  • Frank Bruni's weekly NY Times Column (NY Times)
    • "Know that the road to normalcy — economically, socially — runs through a vaccination rate much higher than the current one, so if you want the prepandemic days back, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeve."
    • Eat your kibble, and you can go back outside.
  • California Governor Takes Kids Out of Summer Camp That Doesn’t Require Masks (Daily Signal)
    • "Masks for thee, but not for me son. I don't want to stunt his growth."
  • Google and Facebook mandate vaccines for all employees returning to offices (NBC)
  • Facebook News Consumers Are More Anti-Vaccine Than Fox News Viewers, Study Finds (Gizmodo)
  • New NYC Mask Guidance Coming, as Mayor Hints at More Vaccinated-Only Rules (NBC NYC)
    • Do you have to be vaccinated to protest?
  • Mask Mandate Issued for All at Miami-Dade County Facilities: Mayor (NBC Miami)
  • Biden Orders Plans for Mandatory COVID Vaccination for Military Personnel (National Review)
  • California’s biggest state worker union challenges Gavin Newsom’s vaccine order (Sacramento Bee)

One Good Read

💰 What it Means to be Rich (Read)

A Lesson in Game Theory

♟ A great, interactive lesson in game theory. The animation is a bit childish (a personal pet peeve), but it teaches the basic tenets of game theory effectively. Worth a look (Play)

Fried Potatoes

🍟 Serendipity3 creates the world’s most expensive French fries. Our suggestion, if you're into this kind of thing, is to go to McDonald's and light $199 dollars on fire while you eat their dollar fries (Read)

American Tanks

🛻 How American SUVs are now bigger than the TANKS that fought in World War II (Read)

The Certain End of the World

🎇 Cultists gather at the top of a mountain to await the end of the world. (Watch)

Have a great weekend!