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Today's Takes: Wednesday, August 11

Today's Takes: Wednesday, August 11

Vol. I, No. 65 • A Journal of Freedom • Dog Moms • It's Not What You Think • Race Hunt • Something to Look At • Much More!

Get outside enough and you'll begin to notice how dogs are everywhere. Soon, you'll begin to overhear comments from parents and grandparents about how "everyone has a dog now." The numbers back this up. 70% of U.S. households own a pet compared to 56% in 1988. The pet industry has exploded over the past ten years, growing from a $48 billion industry in 2010 to close to $100 billion in 2020. Women call themselves "dog moms" (you honestly don't hear too much about "dog dads"). House cats are the internet's mascot. The term "service animal" has leaked into common parlance. As someone once commented to me, "Liking everyone's dog is exhausting."

Pets are great—dogs in particular if you're asking me—but the obsession with animals has begun to manifest in strange ways. Both Uber and Lyft offer options for riders with pets, but only Uber offers a car seat option and only in New York City. What this indicates is a higher demand for pet-friendly options than for child-friendly options. Where once people complained about liking one another's kids, they now rue the day when they have to crouch down, pet Scruffy, and offer cheap praise from the floor.


📰 General News

  • Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (WSJ)
  • Andrew Cuomo resigns as governor of New York (NY Post)
    • ...and ironically paves the way for the first female Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul.
    • A lesson we can all learn from this: it's ok if your actions result in the death of 15,000 elderly, just don't stick your hand up a girl's shirt without asking politely first.
    • And speaking of dogs, here's what Camille Paglia had to say about Cuomo in 2018: "Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail."
  • Climate Change Has Consumed Journalistic Standards (WSJ)
    • No shit.

🚷 It's Not What You Think

  • Billionaire-backed mining firm to seek electric vehicle metals in Greenland (Reuters)
    • Backers include Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg
    • No, no, no. Not that kind of human climate change
    • The boys are bout to turn GREEN-land into BROWN-land
  • Federal judge questions $1.5M Capitol riot restitution cap (Axios)
    • "Congress last month passed a $2.1 billion Capitol security bill to help cover the costs incurred during the deadly insurrection. This included $70.7 million for the Capitol Police response to the attack and $521 million to reimburse the National Guard for deploying guards to help with security efforts on Jan. 6 and after."
    • Damage to the Capital following Jan. 6 only amounted to $1.5 million in repairs
  • Inflation wiped out America's pay raises (CNN)
    • "...compensation is now lower than it was in December 2019, when adjusted for inflation."
  • Decline in Immigration Threatens Growth of Regions on the Rise (WSJ)
    • This is your sign that jobs in Middle America are starting to pay well again.
  • Rwandan immigrant suspected of killing French priest who sheltered him (Reuters)
    • No, no, no. It's not what you think. He was an immigrant and they were white Christians.

☠️ Dead Bodies

  • Will California lawmakers legalize human composting — transforming bodies into soil? (CalMatters)
    • Forget composting your junk mail, now you can compost Grandma!
  • 1,000-year-old remains in Finland may be non-binary iron age leader (Guardian)
    • His (her?) Twitter handle was allegedly @rainbowkitten69

🗾 Hunting for a Racism

  • Colorado Rockies say fan shouted at mascot Dinger, didn't yell racial slur at Miami Marlins' Lewis Brinson (ESPN)
    • The phantom N-word strikes again. One day we'll catch him.
    • Columnist Bob Nightengale originally sniffed out the racism then apologized for being wrong.
  • PayPal Co-Founder Warns: Get Ready for Big Tech ‘No Buy’ List (CryptoPotato)
    • PayPal has partnered with the ADL and SPLC to create "No Buy" lists for who they deem to be political dissidents.
  • Twitter’s photo-cropping algorithm prefers young, beautiful, and light-skinned faces (The Verge)
    • I think they're taking the wrong angle on this. We should be asking if this could explain why everyone wants to immigrate to Western countries.
  • ‘Jeopardy!’ Producer and Potential Host Mike Richards Responds to Backlash (WSJ)
    • Well, not a racism, but a misogyny or something similar.

📍 Look, We Found One

  • GOP Senate Candidate Says You Should Be Worried About ‘Anti-White Racism’ (Vice)

Original Essays

🖊 Anthony Bourdain and Documentary Artifice: Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain stirred controversy for manufacturing voiceover of its late subject. Documentary film has more pressing issues. (Read)

In case you missed it

  • 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)
  • Avuncular Tom by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)

Nashville Schools

Nobody has put forth a compelling case for why children under the age of 18 should wear masks in schools except vague hysteria. There has been plenty of evidence and "science" to the contrary with no rebuttal. Children are at close to zero risk from COVID-19 and, as we've learned, no more likely to spread the virus than vaccinated or unvaccinated adults. Bill Lee needs to grow a spine and voice strong disapproval of mask mandates in schools like his Republican colleagues Henry McMaster in South Carolina and Ron DeSantis in Florida.

  • Williamson Co. School Board votes to require masks in elementary schools (Channel 5)
  • Gov. Bill Lee says school boards have right to set mask mandates — for now (Tennessean)
  • Parents get educated regarding emojis their children are using (WSMV)
    • None of them are good.

Nashville Politics

  • Blackburn, Hagerty not among 19 GOP senators to approve infrastructure bill (TNJ)
  • Tenn. Dept. of Safety created confidential dossier of 50+ activists during Nashville protests (Channel 5)
  • Cordell Hull building closed due to water line ruptures (TNJ)

Nashville News

  • Tennessee tourism spending drops by more than 30% in 2020 (Center Square)
  • Tenn. Nissan plant to close for 2 weeks due to chip shortage (Channel 5)
  • Nashville, Raleigh, Austin see most economic growth in 2021 (Center Square)
  • How Nashville's streets became IndyCar race-ready and what it will take to return them to normal (Tennessean)
    • The 2.17-mile track was constructed with more than 2,100 concrete barriers
    • The track featured 11 turns, with the longest straightaway being 553 yards over the Korean War Veterans Memorial bridge
    • 300 feet of pit road were created in Nissan Stadium's parking lot
    • $8 million to $10 million in total infrastructure investment, including road and bridge repairs, barriers and temporary bridges. It was paid for by race organizers.
  • Tennessee's federal rental aid funds remain largely unspent. Here's why. (Tennessean)
    • "As of Monday morning, the agency had only distributed $15.7 million — or 4% of the $383.4 million it received in federal funds — in helping roughly 2,400 families with payments, according to Ralph Perrey, director of Tennessee Housing Development Agency."
  • Average hourly pay for restaurant workers tops $15, yet hiring struggles remain (Main Street)
    • According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 80% of all United States workers make at least $15 per hour, which is a major increase compared to its 60% marker in 2014.
  • Jason Isbell to require vaccination or negative COVID-19 test at upcoming shows — including the Ryman (Tennessean)
    • Take this as your sign that Isbell's music has been dog-shit since he stopped drinking

Nashville Development

  • Hotel slated for Rutledge Hill sees movement (Post)
  • SoBro properties offered for $22M (Post)
  • Global real estate company pays $27.8M+ for Antioch building (Post)
  • West Nashville apartments sell for $57.57M (Biz Journal)

Nashville Life


📅 Check out our suggestions for THINGS TO DO this week (Info)

🎸 Tonight, the Basement East hosts Blink 182 and Weezer cover groups at 8 PM (Info)

New Spots

  • East Nashville set for Denver breakfast chain (Post)

COVID Gutter


  • Moderna may be superior to Pfizer against Delta; breakthrough odds rise with time (Reuters)
    • "The effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had fallen to 42% from 76%, researchers said."
  • Virus Misinformation Spikes as Delta Cases Surge (NY Times)
    • Here's the future: a viral case count of the latest pandemic du jour alongside a "misinformation" meter. Science says that when misinformation is down, cases are down.
  • Kids are the victims of new GOP bid to politicize the pandemic (CNN)
    • Checkmate, DeSantis. Your move.


  • Latest Data on COVID-19 Vaccinations by Race/Ethnicity (KFF)
    • "While White adults account for the largest share (57%) of unvaccinated adults, Black and Hispanic people remain less likely than their White counterparts to have received a vaccine, leaving them at increased risk, particularly as the variant spreads."

Two Good Reads

🏛 Something political: Here Are Joe ‘Moderate’ Biden’s 10 Most Insanely Radical Nominees (Read)

🐚 Something different: A visual and literary walk through the Spiral and its resemblance to everything from spiral galaxies to sea shells to cucumber tendrils (Read)

Something to Look At

📲 A interactive, visual look at the top trends in tech (Read)

Have a great Wednesday