Today's Takes: Wednesday, August 4

Today's Takes: Wednesday, August 4

Vol. I, No. 60 • A Journal of Freedom • The Sins of the Father • Money Talks • Marilyn Monroe • Orangutans • Much More!

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Headlines

⚠️ The Sins of the Father
World War II and the Holocaust are strong reminders of the horrors of political conflict. The strength of WWII in the collective memory, the entertainment industry, and government policy is a testament to this fact. These hallmarks of the modern era have become fables people fall back on in an increasingly secular world to clearly delineate between good and evil. Just this week in Germany, for example, a former Nazi guard, aged 100, is set to stand trial for his role in these atrocities. Few former Nazis are alive today, but punishing each and every one of them unto their death has become an effective political means by which to remind people who their enemy is: the Nazis.

The decades-long persistence as the number one enemy's nom de plume of all that is good, holy, and right has rendered the epithet "Nazi" a useless designation used by those on the Left and Right to insult each other. It's a strategy akin to flinging feces over a fence and hoping you hit someone. The term's persistence is both an attestation to the enduring horror of the Great Wars and an indication that our present gerontocracy came of age in a wholly different time. Until we can reckon with the present without applying the narrow rubric of WWII to it (e.g., Liberal, Nazi, Communist, and Fascist), it's difficult to see how things can move beyond the current moment of paralysis where politicians spend vast amounts of bureaucratic energy rooting out the phantoms of Nazism or Fascism—and increasingly, Whiteness—on tenuous pretexts while reproducing their effects in practice. Communism, as a friend to the progressive-liberal left, gets the pass. "No enemies to my left," goes the old saying. "Everyone to my right is a fascist."

🏛 On The Hill

  • As Eviction Moratorium Expires, White House Clashes With Progressives (WSJ)
    • "The White House said that on Sunday Mr. Biden asked the CDC to come up with a new, 30-day eviction moratorium focused on areas with high Covid-19 rates, rather than the monthslong options previously proposed. But the White House said the CDC said it hadn’t found the legal authority for that action either, and signaled it was loath to take an action that could lead to the high court striking down its public-health powers."
  • RESPONSE: Biden Admin to Implement Limited Eviction Moratorium (National Review)
    • The CDC's going to role play as property rights enforcer. The outfit will include a whip, thigh high leather boots, and a Fauci mask.
  • U.S. Senate bill seeks to require anti-drunk driving vehicle tech (Reuters)
    • Can your car drive itself if you are drunk?
  • What’s in the Infrastructure Bill for Roads, Bridges, Broadband and Cryptocurrency (WSJ)
    • What's in it?
      • $110 billion in funding for roads
      • $39 billion to modernize and make public transit more accessible to the disabled and elderly
      • $66 billion investment in rail maintenance, modernization and expansion
      • $11 billion in funding for highway and pedestrian safety programs
      • $7.5 billion will go to implementing a network of electric vehicle chargers
      • $7.5 billion will be used for zero-emission or low-emission buses and ferries
      • $42 billion for ports and airports
      • $50 billion to bolster the country’s infrastructure generally against climate change and cyberattacks
      • $55 billion will go toward clean drinking water
      • $65 billion will go toward broadband infrastructure and development
      • $21 billion in removing pollution from soil and groundwater, job creation in energy communities and a focus on economic and environmental justice.
      • $73 billion to update and expand the power grid
    • How's it paid for?
      • $200 billion in repurposed funds originally intended for coronavirus relief but left unused
      • $50 billion will come from delaying a Trump-era rule on Medicare rebates
      • $50 billion from certain states returning unused unemployment insurance supplemental funds.
      • $30 billion will be generated from applying information-reporting requirements for cryptocurrency
      • $60 billion will come from economic growth spurred by the spending
      • $87 billion from past and future sales of wireless spectrum space. A series of smaller pay-fors are expected to make up the difference.

🗺 On the Border Line

  • CBP Estimates Border Crossings Reached Highest Level in 21 Years Last Month (National Review)
  • California is overflowing with money (CalMatters)
    • "'I’m about to make an announcement that arguably no other governor in America has ever made,' Newsom said in the Oakland neighborhood of Fruitvale, before unveiling a proposal to use part of California’s staggering $75.7 billion budget surplus to issue $11.9 billion in rebates to households making less than $75,000 a year, families with children and undocumented immigrants."
    • If things keep going South for Newsom and California Democrats, they'll have to import a whole new batch of undocumented immigrants to throw on the dole.

🎭 Politics as Usual

  • Biden calls on Cuomo to resign after bombshell sexual harassment report (CNBC)
    • Now that Cuomo's out of office, they definitely won't have to investigate those pesky nursing home deaths that followed from official CDC guidelines
    • Cuomo's apology makes for hilarious, political theater (Watch)
  • Pelosi defends taxpayer-funded abortion while citing Catholic faith (Catholic News Agency)
  • Fourth police officer who responded to Jan. 6 attack dies by suicide (The Hill)
    • The hearing will frame the suicides as a result of trauma experienced on Jan. 6, but another question to ask might be whether the pressure to testify contributed.

💸 Money Talks

  • Janet Yellen to Enact Steps to Avoid Breaching Debt Ceiling (WSJ)
    • Stoned high schooler: "No, dude. Like, you don't get it. The debt doesn't, like, actually matter. I mean, money doesn't even have value, you know, so, like, why would it matter how much debt we have?"
      • Car gets impounded the next day.
    • The yearly, ritual reminder to Americans that government debt is not real, but for you, it is. Fiscal responsibility for thee, but not for me.
  • Goldman Sachs to raise pay for junior investment bankers - Business Insider (Reuters)
  • Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine to Be Sold for about $900 billion to Media Company Backed by Blackstone (WSJ)
    • A tip of the hat to a distinguished Nashville native
  • Cars, funerals and home improvements: EU to crack down on large cash payments (Independent)
    • "'The proposed measures extend the capping for large cash payments to services too, so that for example funeral services above €10,000 would have to be paid through card or via a bank,' Ms McGuinness told the Irish Independent."
    • "'It is a high threshold, as on average funerals in Ireland cost between €3,000 and €7,500,' she said."
    • The focus on funerals is an interesting journalistic decision. As if to say, "Yes. Life really is just death and taxes. Now pay up." Admirable stuff.

🎥 Media On Media

  • Jason Momoa Shuts Down NY Times Interviewer When Asked if He Regrets Doing Game of Thrones Rape Scenes (Mediaite)
  • Let It Go? Disney Princess Culture Isn’t Toxic, Study Finds (WSJ)
    • "By observing several hundred children over a chunk of the past decade, Dr. Coyne found that kids who were really into princesses at around age 5 were more likely by age 10 to hold progressive views about gender roles, and to reject the idea that boys should stifle their emotions. This held true for both girls and boys, she found."
    • So, the propaganda is working then?

🖥 Tech Travails

  • 4 Million Quest 2 Facial Interfaces Shipped In USA, Recall Listing Confirms (Upload)
    • The pandemic-led VR boom turned out to be a VR bust as the new Oculus Quest 2 reportedly causes skin rashes on user's face and just isn't that popular.
    • Nonetheless, in line with Zucker-borg's latest statements on the future of Facebook being in the "Meta-Verse", the hype around VR seems destined to remain. "You will desire it and like it! Our market performance depends on it!"
  • eBay manager imprisoned for harassment of journalists the CEO wanted to “take down” (Ars Technica)
    • Just a weird event to remind you that lots of people that work in tech are odd and have no business dictating what "humans" should live like.
  • AI has the worst superpower… medical racism. (Blog)
    • Oh, no. AI did a racism! It can tell who is of European descent and who is of North African descent!
    • Have these people heard of 23andMe or seen a black person standing next to a white person before?
  • How France tamed Google (Wired)
    • Fines.

🏊‍♂️ Olympics, but Not About Sports

  • Simone Biles has changed what it means to be an elite gymnast (ESPN)
    • Which is to say one who doesn't necessarily win, but justifies defeat in flowery, feel-good buzzwords.
    • The Simone Biles fracas is dumb and due solely to the way media decided to cover her.
    • Her decision to sit out because of a poor performance should not receive praise, but taken as it is: a personal decision whose dimensions we have zero perspective on.
    • It would be more appropriate to criticize her decision, but because she scored high on the intersectionality test, it becomes political if you do. So, those on the Right gnashed their teeth, and those on the left wept in celebration.
    • A society that celebrates weakness and chastises strength is not long for this world.
  • Raven Saunders: What the Olympian's X protest means to her (BBC)
    • The chick crossed her arms over her head and no one knew what it meant so she had to explain it saying that it represented "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet."
  • Certain countries 'should not be here', says US swimmer Lilly King (Guardian)
    • Expert journalists have not weighed in on whether this statement was racist, xenophobic, or anti-semitic yet. Stay tuned!

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 Schools

  • Tennessee House Speaker threatens special session if school districts mandate masks (Channel 5)
  • Parents sound off ahead of special MNPS board meeting focusing on COVID protocols (WSMV)

Nashville News

  • Tennessee plunges deeper into the opioid crisis (Lookout)
  • 2020 Crime in Tennessee report shows deadliest year since 2002 (Tennessean)
    • "The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released its 2020 Crime in Tennessee report showing a 37% increase in murders throughout the state, compared to 2019."
  • Two Shows Highlight Country Music’s Troubling Willingness to Keep Looking Back (Scene)
    • "Many country fans celebrated this as a moment of needed redemption and a welcome return to something approaching normal. But that perspective ignores the opportunity to make “normal” better than it was before."
    • Normal version 2. The New Normal. The Great Reset. Racism is everywhere. Repent.

Nashville Development

  • Belmont Advances Site Plans For New College Of Medicine. (Now Next)
  • Peek inside downtown's new Hyatt Centric hotel (Biz Journal)
  • Melrose commercial property sells for $2.7M (Post)
  • Minnesota firms buys Hermitage apartments for $22.5M (Biz Journal)
  • Murfreesboro developer sells four properties for $248M (Post)
  • GBT Realty Corp. secures $8.83M construction loan for Antioch development (Biz Journal)

COVID Gutter

New information has surfaced concerning the origin of COVID-19. A report released by the House Foreign Affairs Committee points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology spending $606 million on a "Central Air Conditioning Renovation Project" three months before the first case was reported. That's an enormous sum of money, and the details about how exactly it was spent are scant. Leaders speculate that the AC repair bill also dealt with facility deficiencies that could've contributed to a lab leak. It's almost embarrassing that a virus that emerged from Wuhan which has a Virology Institute conducting gain-of-function research on that same virus demands exhaustive proof, but like all else, the burden of proof lies with the accuser. Scientists, intelligence agencies, and politicians warn us that we will never know the truth of where the virus came from just like we will never know the location of Noah's ark. Some mysteries of the universe just get lost to time. SARS-CoV-2 may be no different.

Information

  • Americans Suffer Pandemic Whiplash as Leaders Struggle With Changing Virus (NY Times)
  • Quick update on the Israeli vaccine data (Alex Berenson)

Politics

  • Top RNC official in Florida spreads Covid-19 conspiracies, calling vaccines the 'mark of the beast' (CNN)
  • Sydney's ticket out of COVID lockdown? Six million shots (Reuters)
    • Sydney citizens held hostage by government to protect them from each other and themselves.
    • The severity of COVID in Australia does not warrant this.
  • NIH Director Francis Collins Calls for Parents Wear Masks at Home to Shield Their Unvaccinated Children (Mediaite)
  • Americans Suffer Pandemic Whiplash as Leaders Struggle With Changing Virus (NYT)
  • New York City Requires Proof of Vaccination for Indoor Activities (National Review)
    • “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said at the Tuesday press conference.
    • Build your own society, man.
  • Equinox and SoulCycle to require proof of vaccination starting in September (CNBC)

For Your Curiosity

  • 👃 What Should We Make Of Man's Claim That Taking LSD Restored His Sense Of Smell After COVID? (Read)

One Good Read

🆓 Sexual Liberation May Be Making Men Less Masculine (Read)

What Would Marilyn Do?

🥩 For the Vegan Weary, Marilyn Monroe's Strange Diet and Exercise Routine (Read)

Something to Watch

🐒 A Rare Look at the Secret Life of Orangutans (Watch)

Have a great Wednesday

Uh, that's not how that works, bro. (Read)