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Today's Takes: Monday, July 19

Today's Takes: Monday, July 19

Vol. I, No. 48 • A Journal of Freedom • Apocalypse Now • Covid Buffet • Headlines from Crises Past • Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

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📰 General News

  • Biden Promised To End New Drilling On Federal Land, But Approvals Are Up (NPR)
  • Biden says U.S. reviewing European travel ban, sees update in coming days (Reuters)
  • Border Patrol Stopped 188,000 Migrants in June, Breaking Ten-Year Record (National Review)
  • U.S. Jobless Claims, Benefits Payments Fall to Pandemic Lows (WSJ)
  • Biden Faces New Pressure on Immigration (NY Times)
    • As worker shortages persist, the Biden administration considers whether to import some more cheap illegal labor that won't demand pesky things like rights or promote policy that reshores jobs

❤️‍🔥 PANIC!!!!

  • ‘No One Is Safe’: Extreme Weather Batters the Wealthy World (NY Times)
    • Yes. They are.
    • Never in the history of mankind have we been safer from the weather
    • Deaths from inclement weather have declined 98% from 245 deaths per million to 5 deaths per million since their peak in the 1940s (Study)

🧪 COVID Buffet

The Delta variant is definitively more contagious, but significantly less deadly due, in part, to the availability of vaccines. This bit of information seems lost to the apocalyptic, doomsday prophets like Fauci and Walensky or the uber-statistical analysis by random people on Twitter. A viral Twitter thread making the case that COVID is here to stay (albeit in a much, much milder form) is a good example of the latter. For the former, we can all reflect on Rachel Walensky's intution of "impending doom" back in March. The vaccines work and the Delta variant, which is now the predominant strain, is provably less deadly, even amongst the unvaccinated. Alex Gutentag's piece in Tablet entitled 'The War on Reality' should be required reading as the narrative becomes intertwined with political policy. Covid has a 99.8% survival rate. We're not talking about Polio here. No reason for the doomsday theatrics.

  • A bar in Los Angeles requires proof of vaccination or a negative test result in the last 72 hours to enter (Instagram)
    • are now free to suck face.
  • After a Steep Plunge in Virus Cases, Every State Is Seeing an Uptick (NY Times)
    • ...and significantly fewer people are dying.
  • Texas Democrats Catch COVID-19 After Maskless Private Jet Stunt (Federalist)
    • Joke makes itself
  • US officials: Anxiety drove vaccine reactions in 5 states (AP)
    • Still waiting for the CDC to weigh in on the anxiety epidemic
  • Surgeon General Urges Social Media Platforms to Confront COVID Misinformation ‘Wildfire’ (National Review)
    • Man, I wonder if the "COVID misinformation 'wildfire'" will soon become a "general misinformation 'wildfire'"

Friday's Comments Today

📉 From a reader as regards the falling unemployment rate reported by Williamson County Homepage (Read):
"Worth wondering [if it is the result of ending unemployment benefits], but is this a significant drop when it’s on par with all of 2021? Kind of a suspect headline for a 0.1% ‘drop’, too—looking at you, Homepage. Could be the sign of a bigger trend to come... Personally, I’m waiting on July’s number to speculate."

Nashville Politics

  • As COVID-19 raged, to whom did Tennessee turn for help? Michelle Fiscus. (Tennessean)
    • The national optics war over Michelle Fiscus' firing rages on
    • The big question that the media has posed: Democrat bad or Republican bad?
    • The question that lead to the firing: should minors be able to receive vaccines without their parent's permission?
    • The Tennessean got orders from their Gannett overlords to run an 1,800 word PR piece
  • Congressional race kicks into gear as Dems post six-figure fundraising quarters (Post)
    • Jim Cooper prepares for his most serious challenger yet, Odessa Kelly
    • In 2019, Cooper raised $159,000. This year, he's raised $580,226.87.

Nashville News

  • Edible Nashville's restaurant guide (Edible Nashville)
  • $900 million in federal funding heading to Tennessee schools (WSMV)
  • Here's where Nashville ranks on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Places to Live list (Bix Journal)
    • Nashville ranks 30th in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Places to Live.
  • New law seeks to curb theft of catalytic converters (Lookout)
    • Catalytic converters contain valuable metals that have risen in value in response to supply shortages
    • From Jan. 1 to June 27, there were 458 cases of catalytic converters stolen, while in all of 2020 there were 92 cases.
    • The new law requires scrap dealers to register with police

Nashville Development

  • Gulch property listed for undisclosed asking pric (Post)
  • Hotel project planned for The Gulch scrapped (Post)
  • Mixed-use project planned in North Nashville (Biz Journal)
  • Law firm, architects among latest to move to McEwen Northside (Post)
  • Mixed-use project eyed for North Nashville (Post)
  • New images released for project slated for Gulch-area site (Post)
  • 225 units proposed on high-growth corridor by Oracle Corp. site (Biz Journal)
  • Cheekwood Golf Club announces family-friendly expansion plans (Post)
  • Preserving Puckett's: The man who helped revive Leiper's Fork is buying the village hub (Tennessean)

Two Good Reads

🔋 The Power of the Marginal by Paul Graham (Read)

🎀 A hilarious guide to conservative commentators by Ben Sixsmith (Read)

A Quick Note on Type 2 Diabetes and COVID

🍔 We already know that 78% of the people hospitalized for COVID in the US were overweight or obese, but new research shows that diabetics make up 40% of COVID deaths in the US. Alarmingly, the ADA has also said that cases of type 2 diabetes have almost doubled in children since the pandemic. As we learn more about who exactly is at risk of sever illness or death from COVID, we can extrapolate greater health lessons that will help make us more resitant to future deadly viruses of dubious origin.

For example, Scientists have discovered that, in many cases, type 2 diabetes can be reversed solely through diet (see here and here). As is often the case in American diets, seed oils (such as corn, soybean, vegetable, etc.) contribute disproprtionately to insulin resistance. Seed oils are in everything from your favorite "milk" replacement to your favorite vegan "burger" replacement to the fried foods you get at your favorite burger joint. One study showed that using olive oil or canola oil—a "less bad" seed oil—instead of soybean oil for cooking led to large reductions in insulin resistance in participants. Low-carb diets high in animal fats that avoid processed grains, seed oils, and sugars have been proven to reduce insulin resistance—the root of many modern health problems. Never too late to change what you eat.

A Headline from Crises Past

Make no mistake about it...

Have a great Monday