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Today's Takes: Wednesday, August 18

Vol. I, No. 70 • A Journal of Freedom • New Money • Heartland to the Frontier • NZ/AUS Crackdowns • Stats • Archive • Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

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📰 General News

  • Growing Share of Migrants From Outside Mexico, Central America Poses Challenge for Biden (WSJ)
    • Nearly three in 10 arrested at the southern border in July came from South America, the Caribbean or beyond
  • Democrats splinter over how best to move forward with Biden’s economic agenda (MSNBC)
  • Jerome Powell Says It’s Unclear What Covid-19 Surge Means for Economy (WSJ)
    • An unrelated comment from Powell: "America’s schoolchildren “have been forced, sooner than most people, to consider what in life is truly important,” Mr. Powell said. With the experience gained in the pandemic, “I hope this will cause you to think about how you want to make your mark, knowing that things do change, and sometimes they change quickly,” Mr. Powell said. “This is an extraordinary time, and I believe that it will result in an extraordinary generation,” he added."

💰 New Money

  • Palantir bought $50 million in gold bars in August as cash pile grows (CNBC)
    • "The company told Bloomberg that it is preparing for another 'black swan event' and inviting customers to pay for its data analysis software in gold."
  • Bitcoin Fans Are Suddenly a Political Force (WSJ)
  • Moderna’s stock price is ‘ridiculous,’ says BofA analyst (Market Watch)
  • Historic increase in food stamp benefits is on the way (CNN)
    • "Food stamp benefits will jump 27% above pre-pandemic levels, on average, starting in October -- the largest increase in the program's history"
    • Either a tacit admission of what the inflation rate is or will be, or the Biden admin shoring up hand-outs before pandemic benefits expire in September.

🔨 On Leadership

  • OPEC+ Rejects Biden's Call to Pump More Oil (PJ Media)
    • When Trump told OPEC to halt oil production back in April 2020 he threatened the dissolution of the 75-year-old Saudia-American alliance. He got what he wanted. (Reuters)

🌾 From the Heartland

  • Sen. Sanders Says July Was Hottest Month in Earth’s History (Epoch)
    • Technically not true, but they don't pay this guy to be honest.
  • Let's talk about (queer) sex: The importance of LGBTQ-inclusive sex education in schools (USA Today)
    • Nah.
  • Daniel Craig calls inheritance ‘distasteful,’ will ‘get rid of’ money (Page Six)
    • The “Skyfall” actor, 53, revealed that he has no plans to leave an inheritance to his children because he finds the practice “distasteful.”

🗺 From the Frontier

  • Disbelief and betrayal: Europe reacts to Biden’s Afghanistan ‘miscalculation’ (Politico)
  • Taliban Vow No Haven for Terrorists, Breaking With Own Past (Bloomberg)
    • Nods politely
  • Intel Agencies Warned of Afghan Collapse as Biden Publicly Downplayed Possibility (National Review)
  • Trudeau says Canadians need to "counter the 'she-cession' and turn it into a 'she-covery'." (Post Millenial)
    • No clue what this means, but RIP Canada.

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

  • Fiscus disputes report she had muzzle sent to her office before firing
  • MNPS pushes back against Lee's executive order (Post)
  • Metro Nashville school district bucks governor’s mask order (Lookout)
  • 'I'm fed up,' says member of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's COVID-19 task force (Channel 5)
  • Legislature 'will not allow' executive order on school masks to be defied by Nashville, Memphis schools, Lt. Gov. says (Tennessean)

Nashville News

  • Tennessee Hospitals Are Full And Left With Fewer Strings To Pull (WPLN)
    • A more accurate headline would indicate that Tennessee Hospitals are understaffed. A problem that Bill Lee's Executive Order No. 83 sought to remedy (Read)
  • Emissions testing to end in 5 Tennessee counties in January (TNJ)
  • Miel Owner Seema Prasad Pushes for Digital COVID Passport (Scene)
  • Music City Center says mask requirements up to event organizers (Main Street)
  • Comptroller report shows Tennessee public schools spent nearly $10K per pupil in 2019-20 school year (Center Square)

Nashville Development

  • Urban Grout CRE Breaks Ground on Adaptive Reuse Project In Wedgewood-Houston (Now Next)
  • Rutledge Hill building sells for $3.2M+ (Post)
  • Virginia firm spends $48M on Donelson apartments (Biz Journal)
  • East Nashville land offered for sale (Post)
  • French multinational IT company Capgemini scouts Nashville for new hub (Biz Journal)
  • Music Row building sells for $78.5M (Post)
  • MDHA OKs concept plan for three-tower SoBro project (Post)

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)

🎸 Foreigner @ Ryman Auditorium, 7:30p (Info)
🥁 Nané @ The Basement, 7p, $10 (Info)

COVID Gutter

🦠 The COVID-19 case count must end.

Lost amidst the Afghanistan meltdown has been the dystopian anti-COVID measures instituted in New Zealand and Australia where leaders implore citizens to "not to talk to neighbors" and "keep in their bubbles". The threat of COVID does not warrant such measures. Anyone who takes off their CNN beer goggles can see that.


  • New Zealand enters nationwide lockdown over one Covid case (BBC)
    • This is what happens when a child doesn't hear no.
    • Later, the Prime Minister implored the Taliban to uphold human rights. Pretty please. (Reuters)
  • White House to advise COVID vax boosters for all Americans (NY Post)
  • As Delta Surges, Covid-19 Breakthrough Cases Remain Uncommon (WSJ)
    • "The Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus appears to be breaking through the protection vaccines provide at a higher rate than previous strains, a Wall Street Journal analysis found, though infections among the fully inoculated remain a tiny fraction of overall cases, and symptoms tend to be milder."
  • At Issue in Theranos Trial: Whether Elizabeth Holmes, Witnesses Will Wear Face Masks (WSJ)
  • Baseball Has a High Vaccination Rate. It Still Hasn’t Been Able to Shut Down Outbreaks. (WSJ)
    • "Researchers have continued to conclude that all vaccines remain highly effective at preventing their recipients’ serious illness or death from the virus. But there has been little real-world data on the efficacy of certain types of vaccines in blocking infection as well as symptoms."
    • End the Case Count
  • Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Draws Throngs as Covid-19 Surges (WSJ)
    • Journalists around the country pray for an outbreak.
    • Sturgis curiously absent the anti-super-spreader characteristics of last summer's race riots.
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott Tests Positive for COVID (National Review)


  • How to talk to vaccine-hesitant people (MIT)
    • Don't.

One Good Read

🧠 How to Think for Yourself by Paul Graham (Read)

Stat of the Day

🌾 Oatly, the oat milk giant, made a loss of $76.6 million on sales of $286 million in the first 6 months of 2021. Losses were up by 800% compared to last year! Every $1 of product they sell costs $1.26 to produce. It takes a special talent to run a business like that! (Read)

From the Archives

🔥 "War Party" SNL November 17th, 2001 celebrates the beginning of the Afghan War (Watch)

Have a great Wednesday