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Today's Takes: Friday, September 3

Vol. I, No. 82 • A Journal of Freedom • Grasping at Straws • Climate Faux Pas • Boosters • Dystopia Down Under • Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

We hope you enjoy a balmy Labor Day weekend here in Nashville. We'll be taking Labor Day off, so we'll catch back up with you on Tuesday.

Until then, check out Megan Podsiedlik's conversation with Noble's Beer Hall & Kitchen. If you've been out and about the past couple of months, you've undoubtedly witnessed the staffing issues restaurants face. Megan's conversation sheds light on how restaurants, Noble's in particular, manage.

Thanks for reading.


📰 Today's Front Pages

  • Reuters: Are COVID boosters needed? FDA vaccine advisers wrestle with a thorny issue (Read)
  • New York Times: The Storm Warnings Were Dire. Why Couldn’t the City Be Protected? (Read)
  • Wall Street Journal: Ida Causes Massive Flooding, Killing at Least 45 in Northeast (Read)
  • Fox News: Mark Meadows blasts Biden's promise to Hurricane Ida survivors after Afghanistan withdrawal (Read)
  • CNN: Supreme Court and Joe Manchin tighten Biden's political straitjacket (Read)
  • NPR: The East Coast Begins The Clean-Up After Historic Storm Kills More Than 45 (Read)
  • Breitbart: USA Today Forced to Correct ‘Fact Check’ Defending Biden over Looking at Watch During Dignified Transfer (Read)
  • HuffPost: Democrats Vow To Protect Abortion Rights. The Question Is How. (Read)

🏛 From the Hill

  • Lawyer Representing 17 Jan. 6 Defendants Has Mysteriously Gone Missing: Court Filings (Epoch Times)
  • In Leaving Afghanistan, U.S. Reshuffles Global Power Relations (WSJ)
    • Afghanistan becomes China and Russia's problem now. Both countries have asked the US to retain diplomatic relations with Afghanistan in order to encourage stability.
  • Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Plan Approved, Freeing Sacklers From Lawsuits (WSJ)
    • Effectively absolving the cretinous Sackler family from punishment. There's a trend in America: those in power face zero consequences for their actions, but if you say something mean on the internet or cry foul about a vaccine passport, you're a racist pig.
  • Biden Slams Supreme Court Decision on Texas Heartbeat Law: ‘Unconstitutional Chaos’ (NR)
    • He called it an assault on women's constitutional rights, but failed to mention birthing persons or chest feeders. Blasphemy.
  • Tree of Life synagogue disputes Biden’s claim he visited after massacre (NY Post)
    • Biden must've forgotten that it was Trump who visited the synagogue and not himself.

🗺 From the Frontier

  • China declares war on celebrities who are deemed 'social tumours' that must be removed (Daily Mail)
    • China needs to stop being so based...
    • Fun Fact: Jiang Qing was a famous Chinese actress before becoming Mao Zedong's wife.

☁️ Climate Faux Pas

  • National corporate TV news largely failed to cover Hurricane Ida as a climate justice story (Media Matters)
    • The Horror: "Just 4% of the combined 774 total TV news segments on Hurricane Ida mentioned climate change."
  • Treasury Department Seeks Public Input on Insurance Companies’ Climate-Risk Data (WSJ)
  • Weather disasters more common, costly but less deadly than in the past (Axios)
  • In California, College Students Are Now Officially Considered an Environmental Menace (Slate)
    • "A local judge has ruled that UC–Berkeley must freeze its enrollment so it can assess the ecological impact of its undergrads."

💪 Employment Booster Shot

After jobs numbers fell significantly short of the 600,000 estimate for the month of August, a few companies come to the rescue.

  • Walmart Will Add 20,000 Workers to Supply-Chain Operations This Year (WSJ)
  • Amazon Seeks to Hire 55,000 for Corporate, Tech Roles (WSJ)
  • Fidelity Wants to Add 9,000 Jobs by Year-End (WSJ)

💸 Money Moves

  • The 5 Worst Investment Tips on TikTok (Nerd Wallet)
    • Milieage on these will vary:
    1. The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is for everyone
    2. Forget about 401(k)s and IRAs
    3. Precious metals are the best long-term play
    4. Hundreds of thousands of people can’t be wrong
    5. Your cryptocurrency will absolutely go to the moon

🍟 Being Fat Is Not Good

  • As overweight and obesity increase, so does risk of dying prematurely (Harvard)
  • Sweetgreen CEO: Vaccines and Masks Will Not Save Us, But Salads Might (Vice)
    • “78% of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,” Jonathan Neman said in a Linkedin post. “Is there an underlying problem that perhaps we have not given enough attention to? Is there another way to think about how we tackle ‘healthcare’ by addressing the root cause?”
    • “What if we made the food that is making us sick illegal? What if we taxed processed food and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic? What if we incentivized health?” he added.
    • If government can incentivize the "Green Dream", why can't it subsidize nourishing whole foods?

💨 Today's Puff Pieces

  • Gavin Newsom Is Much More Than the Lesser of Two Evils (NYT)
    • They're really pulling out all the stops to protect Gavin Newsom. Here we find former Vox Editor Ezra Klein coming to the governor's defense.

Original Essays

📏 Megan Podsiedlik checks in with Noble's Beer Hall & Kitchen to see how they weathered the pandemic and the challenges they face (Read)

In case you missed it

  • Tell Them Phil Valentine Said, “Hey” by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • Total Recall: California’s September election 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

  • Ousted Tennessee vaccine chief sues state officials for defamation over firing (Axios)
    • Fiscus maintained that someone purchased the dog muzzle to intimidate her.
  • Tennessee officials hold private budget hearing for federal COVID-19 funds (Tennessean)
  • What Nashville's rapid growth over the last decade means for its council redistricting process (Tennessean)
    • "Davidson County's population reached 715,884 in 2020, up 14.2% from 626,662 in 2010. The county's center and southeast region saw the most drastic population changes."
  • Union endorses Kelly over Cooper (Post)
    • ...because she is a member of the union.

Nashville Schools

  • Parents, teachers decry 'tone deaf' video by Tennessee education chief (Tennessean)
    • And the mob cried, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!"
  • Rutherford County Schools will be closed today (WSMV)
    • Do schools require proof of a positive COVID test or can people just say "because COVID" and get paid to not work?
  • As Entire School Districts Shutter, Few Have Applied To Shift Online. Here’s Why. (WPLN)

Nashville News

  • Nashville Music Venues Say Latest Relief Money May Only Buy Them A Few Months (WPLN)
    • “Things are really, really slow right now,” says Chris Cobb of Exit/In, Nashville’s oldest rock club. “We’re losing significantly more money on a monthly basis now than we were when we were fully closed.”
    • Hm. Wonder if this is because of the vaccine passports you've mandated...
  • Pilgrimage pledging to go carbon neutral during festival, with help from business partners (Homepage)
    • ...and before you ask, no they are not canceling the festival.
  • No lane closures for Labor Day weekend (Main Street)

Nashville Development

  • Mixed-use project starts near Lenox Village (Post)
  • SoBro site under contract to be sold (Post)
  • St. Louis-based The Normal Brand to open retail space in Fifth + Broadway development (Biz Journal)
  • Pension fund acquires Mallory Corners retail center for almost $25 million (Homepage)
  • Mixed-use building to interact with downtown alleys (Post)
  • Wedgewood-Houston property sells for $15M (Post)

Nashville Life

Friday, 9/3
🌳 Musician's Corner @ Centennial Park, 5p, FREE (Info)
⚽️ Nashville SC vs. New York City FC @ Nissan Stadium, 6:30p (Info)

Saturday, 9/4
🎤 Justin Timberlake vs Bruno Mars Tribute @ Mercy Lounge, 9p, $15 (Info)
🎸 Phoebe Bridgers and Brittany Howard and Sylvan Esso @ Ascend Amphitheater, 7p (Info)

Sunday, 9/5
⚡️ Liz Cooper with The Mango Furs @ 3rd & Lindsley, 8p, $18 (Info)


  • The Other Fest To Offer Alternative To Displaced Bonnaroovians With Andy Frasco, Big Something, More (Read)

COVID Gutter

🦠 End the Case Count

New Zealand and Australia continue to walk the path of tyranny. New Zealand's continued pursuit of COVID Zero means the nation will remain on lockdown until mid-September and return as soon as another case pops up. Police have installed checkpoints throughout the country to limit free travel and use terminology like "stay in your bubble" to instruct citizens. To Americans, this may sound draconian, but supposedly, 85% of New Zealanders support the measures. Insane.

Australia may be worse. Even the Atlantic has questioned whether Australia can rightly claim the designation Liberal Democracy. Aside from not allowing citizens to leave the country, the government announced recently that they will test a new app that will require citizens to take photos of themselves to verify their location. If they fail to respond within 15 minutes, police will be dispatched to check on them. The app is meant to limit movement within the country. Additionally, the app will require citizens to disclose all of their social media profiles in an attempt to deanonymize the internet in response to "mean tweets." The app appears to be the bleeding edge of a Chinese-like social credit system. Premier Steven Marshall declared, “I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.” Right.

For what it's worth, both New Zealand and Australia have successfully contained the virus. COVID-19 has killed 194 of every 100,000 Americans, 77 of every 100,000 Israelis, and only four of every 100,000 Australians. The low numbers are due largely to both nations being islands and instituting the harsh measures mentioned above. As health officials in the US proclaim truisms like "everyone will get COVID" and there is "no Zero COVID solution" it seems completely backwards that our two Anglosphere partners would succumb to such nonsensical health measures. What's becoming clearer is that it's less about health, but we've known this all along.


  • Joe Rogan gets COVID-19 after urging listeners not to get the vaccine (NY Post)
    • To add insult to injury, he also took Ivermectin and got over it in just three days.
  • Candace Owens denied service at COVID test site for spreading misinformation (Yahoo)
    • How can we be certain she was not denied because she is black?
  • Sweden Bans Travelers From Israel, One of the Most Vaccinated Nations (Epoch Times)
    • Israel is the most vaccinated nation in the entire world.


  • There isn’t a case for mass ‘booster’ jabs (Telegraph)
    • "Vaccines typically do not outperform natural immunity, so it should come as no surprise that Covid vaccines do not offer long-term protection against infection. At the same time, we can be confident that they will continue to work well to prevent severe clinical outcomes. The role of these vaccines is to offer protection to the clinically vulnerable; to foist them upon those who are at negligible risk in the hope of augmenting herd immunity is illogical."


  • Who’s Really Being Hospitalized? (Epoch Times)
    • “The CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.”
  • COVID-19 lockdowns caused more deaths instead of reducing them, study finds (Washington Times)
  • Massive randomized study is proof that surgical masks limit coronavirus spread, authors say (WaPo)
    • A large study looking at 360,000 people across 600 villages in Bangladesh, but the study has not yet been peer reviewed, and so the findings can only be considered preliminary. Based on the politics, I think we all know what's going to happen.
    • Could the reduced spread be due to changes in weather over that period? Less sun meaning lower Vitamin D levels?
    • For a long rebuttal of the study, look here
  • A Look At Scientific Evidence Suggesting Face Masks Damage Your Health (Federalist)
    • "Scientists have found significant impaired thinking or concentration after only 100 minutes of mask use, correlating significantly with reduced blood oxygen levels in the test subjects."

Something to Look At

🪶 See the Stunning Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 Finalists (Read)

Have a great weekend!