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Today's Takes: Thursday, August 5

Today's Takes: Thursday, August 5

Vol. I, No. 61 • A Journal of Freedom • Money Moves • Consumer Convenience • Mandate Mania • Two Hours of MTV • Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

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📰 General News

  • Psaki Brushes Off Concerns about Constitutionality of Eviction Moratorium (National Review)
    • Nothing to see here.
  • DeSantis Gives Ben & Jerry’s Parent Company 90 Days to Cease Israel Boycott or Face Consequences (Mediaite)
  • Federal Judge Blocks Texas Ban on Transporting Migrants (WSJ)
  • City of McAllen statement on tent facility in response to migrant surge (Rio Grande Guardian)
    • "Since mid-February of 2021 there have been over 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 positive immigrants released into the City of McAllen by CBP, including over 1,500 new cases in the past seven days."

💸 Money Moves

  • What if bitcoin went to zero? (Economist)
  • New SEC Boss Wants More Crypto Oversight to Protect Investors (Bloomberg)
    • "SEC Chair Gary Gensler thinks it will improve the ecosystem 'because it sets guardrails and can pave the way for success. After all, it wasn’t until the government installed traffic lights and speed limits that the auto industry really took off.'"
  • EU’s New Weapon in Rule-of-Law Battle With Poland, Hungary: Money (WSJ)
    • "The EU and most governments in its Western region are concerned about legal changes by Poland and Hungary that they think are eroding the rule of law, weakening judicial independence, and breaching human rights. They are particularly alarmed by an effort by Warsaw to assert the primacy of Polish law over EU law and court decisions."
    • In short, both countries indicate interests diverging with the EU.

👕 Consumer Convenience

  • The High Price of Fast Fashion (WSJ)
    • "In 1991, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, 56.2% of all clothing purchased in the U.S. was American-made; by 2012, it was down to 2.5%. Between 1990 and 2012, the bureau reports, the U.S. textile and garment industry lost more than three-quarters of the sector’s labor force. U.S. factories sat empty even while apparel and textile jobs globally nearly doubled, from 34 million in 1990 to nearly 58 million in 2012."

🍸 Reinventing the Booze

  • The Weird, Sustainable Booze of the Future Tastes … Good? (Wired)
    • "Another bottle, called “Fuck Trump and His Stupid Fucking Wall”—the last few years were also a lot, right?—is made with habanero peppers and a couple kinds of barley, fermented with a Belgian beer yeast and then distilled to a low 27 percent alcohol."
    • The definition of "sustainable" increasingly just means "worse than we used to do it"

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

  • Nashville mayor to require face masks in city buildings as delta variant surges (Tennessean)
    • Only applies to Metro buildings
  • Tennessee Department of Education Releases New Critical Race Theory Guidelines (Scene)
    • The document states that schools can teach controversial aspects of history, but cannot make claims that one group is superior to another or that some people should feel burdened because of their skin color.
  • Nashville Police Department Urges Officers To De-Escalate In New Use-Of-Force Policy (WPLN)
  • Long Drives, Costly Flights And Wearying Waits: What Abortion Requires In The South (WPLN)
    • Aren't condoms free?

Nashville News

  • What this weekend's Indy Car race will look like from the driver's seat (Twitter)
  • Nashville road closures take effect today ahead of Music City Grand Prix (WSMV)
  • White House details how much Tennessee would receive from infrastructure bill (TNJ)
    • "Based on formula funding alone, Tennessee would expect to receive $5.8 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $302 million for bridge replacement and repairs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years. Tennessee can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding in the bill dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities."

Nashville Development

  • Music Row properties sell for $3.2M+ (Post)
  • Developer buys SoBro site for $34M (Post)
  • Vintage South Development announces latest Nations project at lumber warehouse site (Biz Journal)
  • Eastside Bowl Announces Opening Date (Scene)
  • Clarksville’s multi-purpose event center named F&M Bank Arena (Main Street)
  • Broussard Mechanical Plans For An Office Mixed-use Development In North Nashville (Now Next)
  • Image released, work to soon start on Sylvan Heights apartment building (Post)
  • Early plans for new Nashville park leave some hopeful, others fearful (Post)

COVID Gutter

Regardless of what you think about vaccines, they have proven effective in preventing hospitalizations and death among those who sit on the border of vulnerability. For many, what drives hesitancy is more complicated than general skepticism. Vaccination has become symbolic of a paradoxical return to a "new normal". Many simply do not want to return to anything. Even prior to COVID-19 and the Summer of Racial Reckoning, the state of affairs in the US was increasingly hostile for more than half the country. As COVID has worn on, it has become increasingly clear how compromised our leaders are. The pandemic has enriched them to an unparalleled degree which speaks to their incentive to perpetuate it as long as possible, and once it's over, fully assert their freshly concentrated authority to accomplish their innumerable and asinine social projects. Why would anyone want to aid and abet this process if they were aware of it? The conflation of COVID disaster management and policies springing forth from the World Economic Forum's Great Reset agenda is nothing if not accurate.

Sustainability initiatives that go so far as to swap out beef for glorified dog food, the destruction of homeownership as a common rite of passage, the dilution of hard-won dollars at the hands of the Federal Reserve, and a new racial hierarchy encoded into law all define the "new normal". In light of these initiatives thrust forth by the ailing Biden administration, the vaccine represents a strong nudge of the American people into the throes of a government with zero interest in their success. Additionally, no authorities will admit that natural immunity has proven vastly superior to vaccinated immunity which brings into question the competence of said leaders and, in light of cratering trust levels, is enough for many to completely ignore them.

I've maintained that vaccines tend to work, but are a personal choice. I additionally have stated that vaccine mandates are beyond the pale. Believing that the vaccines do work and that vaccine mandates are overreach are not mutually exclusive opinions. The politicization of health initiatives arose solely because of leaders like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. Even Fauci, for all his faults, stood with Trump and never overtly politicized the question of vaccination. As is indicated in the On Vaccine Mandates section below, the largest vaccine divide cuts across racial and class boundaries. Much of the antipathy for anti-vaxxers is— conveniently for Pelosi, Harris, Biden, & Co.—also antipathy for the very people government wants disempowered and eating out of their hand. The association of anti-vaxx sentiments with "Trump Country" is largely overblown despite the concentrated dose of "vaccine regret" propaganda the media spoonfeeds us to further stoke division.

On Vaccine Mandates

  • Is New York City’s vaccine passport scheme racist? (Spectator)
    • "Only 31% of Black New Yorkers are partially vaccinated, 42% of Hispanics and 76% of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, according to city data. About half of whites in New York City are vaccinated."
    • The new Jim Crow same as the old Jim Crow
  • Boston mayor compares NYC’s vaccine mandate to slavery, birtherism (NY Post)
    • "Acting Mayor Kim Janey — the first woman and black Bostonian to hold the office — said “there’s a long history” in the United States of people 'needing to show their papers.'"
    • "'During slavery, post-slavery, as recent as, you know, what the immigrant population has to go through here, we’ve heard Trump with the birth certificate nonsense,' Janey told WCVB. 'Here, we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionally impact BIPOC communities.'"


  • Here’s what we know about the delta-plus variant (WaPo)
    • This one is apparently more, like, a body high while the original delta is more headier.
  • Polls Show Just How Misinformed Americans Are On Delta Variant (Daily Caller)
    • "Only 23% of unvaccinated Americans believe COVID-19 vaccines are “extremely or very effective” at preventing death, and only 21% believed they are extremely or very effective at preventing hospitalization. Just 13% said the vaccines are extremely or very effective at preventing infection."
    • "In reality, the vaccines are overwhelmingly effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19 and are highly effective at preventing infection, including against the delta variant. As of July 26, just 1,263 vaccinated Americans had died with COVID-19 out of more than 163 million vaccine recipients, and only 6,587 had been hospitalized or died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
  • Biden admin expected to make vaccination mandatory for all active duty soldiers (Post Millenial)
    • There are over 2 million active duty service members. Over 200k have had COVID. 28 have died.
  • Ron DeSantis appears to be the only politician with balls who has taken a hardline against vaccine passports (Twitter)


  • The W.H.O. calls for a moratorium on Covid vaccine boosters to help each country get more people vaccinated. (NY Times)
  • Israel reintroduces some virus restrictions in the hope of avoiding a full lockdown. (NY Times)
  • Tennessee won't incentivize Covid shots — but pays to vax cows (Politico)
    • Correct. People are not cows.
  • Obama Significantly Scales Back 60th Birthday Party as Virus Cases Rebound (NYT)
  • Unvaccinated People Need to Bear the Burden (Atlantic)
    • The original headline read: "Unvaccinated People Belong on the No-Fly List"
    • The writer's husband is well-known for a legal memo justifying the use of lethal drone strikes against US citizens (Read)

One Good Read

🗽 How Could the Founders Have Done Better? by Michael Anton (Read)

Stat of the Day

🍻 From a study entitled 'Uber and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities' (Read):
Overall, our results imply that ridesharing has decreased US alcohol-related traffic fatalities by 6.1% and reduced total US traffic fatalities by 4.0%. Based on conventional estimates of the value of statistical life the annual life-saving benefits range from $2.3 to $5.4 billion.

Something to Watch

📺 The Very First Two Hours Of MTV (Watch)

Have a great Thursday