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Today's Takes: Monday, August 16

Today's Takes: Monday, August 16

Vol. I, No. 68 • A Journal of Freedom • Afghanistan • Prescription Drugs of the Planet • Financial Literacy • Guitar Solos • Much More!

The botched American withdrawal from Afghanistan dominated the news cycle over the weekend. We put together a Twitter thread collecting some of the more interesting commentary. But, why should we care at all? Afghanistan might as well be Middle Earth for the vast majority of Americans. Unless you served in the military, the material effect of our involvement in Afghanistan is invisible.

What the Afghanistan fiasco does show us is how incompetent the American government can be. The same people that spent 20 years and $2 trillion dollars propping up a faux-Western democracy that collapsed in two days want to rejigger the entire economy to meet arbitrary "green" standards and think they can eradicate a virus through sheer willpower.


📰 General News

  • House Moderates Say They Won’t Back Budget Vote Until Infrastructure Bill Passes (NYT)
  • Single-Family Home Prices Soar by 23 Percent, Sharpest Rise on Record (Epoch)
    • "The median price of an existing single-family home surged by 22.9 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the year-ago period, hitting an all-time high of $357,900, the NAR said in an Aug. 12 report. The nearly 23 percent rise represents an increase of $66,800 from a year ago."
  • At least 29 dead after 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti (NY Post)
    • Climate change, or nah?

🌍 Why Should We Care About Afghanistan?

  • The Pamphleteer put together a collection of commentary on Twitter (Twitter)
  • Who fought in Afghanistan? (CRS)
    • 85% of American deaths in Afghanistan were white soldiers
  • U.S. Asks Taliban to Spare Its Embassy in Coming Fight for Kabul (NY Times)
    • Pretty please
  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani leaves the country (NY Post)
  • US intelligence agencies who said just 4 days ago that Kabul could fall in 90 days have revised the figure to 72 hours (CNN)
  • President Biden expected to address nation regarding Afghanistan in the next few days (CNN)
    • They've already started to increase his standard diet of horse tranquilizers and amphetamines to meet the challenge

💊 Prescription Drugs for the Planet

  • Keeping a diesel is greener than buying a new electric car (Telegraph $)
    • "According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2015 the manufacture of a mid-range electric car with sufficient battery power to carry it 265 miles on a good day will require 68 per cent more emissions than the manufacture of a petrol equivalent."
  • For Many, Hydrogen Is the Fuel of the Future. New Research Raises Doubts. (NYT)
    • The race to the Stone Age continues apace.
  • Bill Gates Pledges $1.5 Billion for Infrastructure Bill’s New Climate Projects (WSJ)

🕰 The More Things Change

  • 203 cases of COVID-19 linked to Chicago's Lollapalooza (Yahoo)
    • After allowing more 385,000 to descend on Chicago for Lollapalooza, Chicago Mayor and Beetlejuice lookalike Lore Lightfoot defended a decision to forgo a traditional bagpipe procession in honor of the first female police officer to die in Chicago in 33 years over "COVID concerns" (Read)
  • Scotland Will Now Let 4-Year-Olds Identify As Opposite Sex Without Parental Consent (Federalist)
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Dress Like Your Kids (WSJ)
  • Can We Ever Look at Titian’s Paintings the Same Way Again (NYT)
    • There are lots of timeless misogynys in them
    • It's worth noting that liberalism, understood as universal equality for all at the expense of everything else, has not created a single enduring work of art.
  • Argentina rolls out gender-neutral ID (WaPo)
  • Two dads try to explain to their son where babies come from (Read)
    • They're the result of tons of paperwork. Coldly birthed and produced by the bureaucracy in exchange for a small fee.
  • BLM terrorists burn American flag and picture of Tucker Carlson outside Fox News HQ… (Citizen Free Press)
    • There was a guy who went to jail a while back for burning a rainbow flag

📈 Money Only Goes Up

  • Corporate profit margins at record high despite rising costs (Axios)
  • Your Daily Coffee Habit Is About to Get More Expensive (NYT)
  • How Overvalued is the Stock Market Right Now? (AWC)

💰 GDP or Bust!

  • Where Is America Diversifying the Fastest? Small Midwestern Towns. (WSJ)
    • "The more diversity you have in your community, the easier it is to sell global companies."
    • So, the goal of small Midwestern towns is to attract a global corporation that can tap into a cheap minority workforce. Sounds promising.
  • Canada on Track to Meet Ambitious 2021 Immigration Target, Minister Says (US News)
    • While citizens stay locked down, the Canadian government managed to import 400,000 new "citizens" to meet some spreadsheet quota. Democracy!

🪵 Perks of the Job

  • Silicon Valley has a new recruitment strategy: The four-day workweek (Protocol)
    • SV jobs increasingly look and sound like a middle-class welfare program
  • New tool allows NPR to track source diversity in real time (Poynter)
    • Add to this a Twitter account, and you're really doing some real journalism.
  • These People Who Work From Home Have a Secret: They Have Two Jobs (WSJ)
  • The Co-Founder Of Snopes Wrote Dozens Of Plagiarized Articles For The Fact-Checking Site (Buzzfeed)
    • Concerning Survey Finds Too Many People Believe Snopes Is A Legitimate Fact-Checking Website (Babylon Bee)

Original Essays

🗺  Total Recall: California’s September election offers a path forward from identity politics by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)

In case you missed it

  • Anthony Bourdain and Documentary Artifice (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

  • A Year Out From Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District Primary (Scene)
  • Trump endorses Bill Lee re-election (Post)
  • State lawmakers look to levy punishments on those aiding undocumented immigrants (Lookout)
    • Cue the holocaust comparisons
  • Governor defends no-bid contracts during state of emergency (Lookout)
  • Gov. Bill Lee aide warns legislators against vaccine 'conspiracy theories' by right-wing groups (Tennessean)

Nashville Schools

  • Tennessee House Speaker Backs Away From Overturning Masks In Schools, But Says Parents Need Options (WPLN)
    • Gov. Lee is expected to announce this week if a special session will be called.
  • District TCAP Scores Show Pandemic's Negative Impact on Student Learning (Scene)
  • Nearly 3,400 students have been granted mask exemptions in Williamson County lower schools (Tennessean)
  • Tennessee GOP approves fee schedule for primary candidates (TNJ)

Nashville News

  • 👥 The decennial census results dropped last Thursday afternoon. Here are some facts about Nashville and Tennessee (Read):
    • The population of Tennessee increased by 564,564 (a 7.6% increase) from 2010.
    • Davidson County's population grew by 89,203 (a 14.23% increase) from 2010.
    • Williamson County's population grew by 65,544 (a 35.23% increase) from 2010.
  • 2020 Census results: Middle Tennessee drives population growth as state becomes more racially diverse (Tennessean)
  • Gas prices still rising in Nashville (Main Street)
    • One year ago, the national average price for gas was $2.17 per gallon, according to AAA. One year and one dollar later, today’s national average is $3.18 per gallon.
  • Midstate hospitals seeing surge of COVID cases in children (WSMV)
  • Only 7% of ICU beds remain statewide (Post)
  • Group pushes for safety regulations for Nashville party buses (Channel 5)

Nashville Development

  • Beaman Midtown site may have prospective buyer (Post)
  • Self-storage owner buys facility near Priest Lake (Post)
  • 20-story hotel pitched for Jackalope's former Gulch site (Biz Journal)
  • North Nashville Transit Center wraps up preliminary design phase with focus on community engagement (Biz Journal)
  • Hotel tower planned for ex-brewery site in The Gulch (Post)
  • Music Row apartment building sells for $75.7M+ (Post)
  • SomeraRoad tweaks plans for Wedgewood-Houston development (Biz Journal)
  • ‘Skyline Ridge’ Takes Development Along Dickerson Pike To New Heights (Now Next)
  • Spring Hill planners approve hundreds of homes, review proposed commercial lots (Homepage)
  • All about Eve, CA South's newest condo project (Biz Journal)

Nashville Life

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

🎡 The Tennessee State Fair runs until Saturday in Lebanon (Info)

🎞 Three great movies play at the Belcourt all week 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)

💀 Grateful Monday ft Hooteroll? @ Acme, 7p, FREE (Info)
🐦 Mike Henderson Band @ Bluebird Cafe, 9:30p, $15 (Info)
🎸 James Taylor & His All-Star Band with special guest Jackson Browne @ Bridgestone Arena, 7:30p (Info)

COVID Gutter


  • NSW Premier says even with 80 per cent double dose and zero cases restrictions will remain (Sky News)
  • Nolte: New York’s Jim Crow Vaccine Passport Will Deny Service to 72% of Young Black Residents (Breitbart)
  • At least 74 people on Martha's Vineyard have tested positive for Covid-19 since Barack Obama's maskless 60th birthday bash - the most cases on the island since April (Daily Mail)
    • But they were a "sophisticated, vaccinated crowd"
  • CDC Director Says She’s Struggling to Communicate With Americans About Covid-19 Amid Politics, Mistrust (WSJ)
    • Another fluff-piece for the woefully incompetent Rochelle Walensky
  • Oklahomans protest mandates on COVID-19 vaccine, masks during Freedom Rally at state Capitol (KOCO)


  • This Woman Secretly Runs One of the World's Biggest Anti-Vax Websites From Her House (Vice)
  • Job Postings Requiring Covid-19 Vaccination Jump in Past Month (WSJ)
    • No news on whether you'll also be subject to STD testing

Good to Know

💵 The 6 Concepts You Should Know to Be Financially Literate (Read):
1) Compound Interest
2) Good Debt
3) Credit-Utilization Rate
4) Pay Yourself First
5) Diversification
6) Liquidity

Music to Your Ears

🎸 From: Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Page: The 10 greatest live guitar solos of all time (Read)

Something to Watch

Words of Wisdom

"The very desire to be free. Do not ask me to analyze that sublime desire; you must feel it. It finds its way into great hearts that God has prepared to receive it. It fills them; it inflames them. To mediocre souls that have never felt it, one cannot hope to make it comprehensible."

Alexis Tocqueville

Have a great Monday