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Today's Takes: Wednesday, July 21

Today's Takes: Wednesday, July 21

Vol. I, No. 50 • A Journal of Freedom • Dangerous People & Groups • Space is the Place • Panic Porn • WTF Happened in 1971 • Much More!

Jeff Bezos went to space (more on that below), but first, let's catch up with Texas.

The Texas voting fiasco has been a disaster for Texas Democrats and a poor endorsement of the For the People Act meant to enforce federally mandated voting standards on all states.

First, there was the maskless airplane picture. Glowing with unearned pride, the Texas group looked like a parody of overweight tourists going on a bus tour through Hollywood.

Next, Kamala Harris delivered a ringing endorsement likening their efforts to those of the suffragettes and civil rights leaders which would be offensive if it wasn't so childish and naive. It's the kind of statement you expect from someone who built an identity off wearing Converse All-Stars.

Then, after getting roasted for not wearing masks on their flight—all members were vaccinated—news broke that six Texas Democrats tested positive for COVID. Fate smote the endeavor, expressing and revealing its hubris.

An interview with the cherubic Rep. James Talarico on Fox News popped up a couple of days later. He opened the contested conversation with a gentle appeal to his humble origins as a former middle school teacher who got into politics just to make a difference. We later learn he got a Masters from Harvard. Ambitious middle school teacher, that one.

Later, Rep. Donna Howard tweeted, swelling with pride and emotion, about washing her clothes in the sink—making due with what she had—like so many others in Texas. "I am just like them," you can imagine her thinking to herself as she sits in her free hotel room.

Since then, the narrative has slipped out of the limelight as the insanely brave and peerless group remains in D.C. receiving compliments, flowers, positive COVID tests, and, presumably, free accommodation. "Voter ID laws are oppressive," they cry out. "Racist, even, if you think about it."


📰 General Headlines

  • Apple Delays Office Return by At Least a Month as Covid Spikes (Bloomberg)
  • Montana Boomtown Jumps to No. 1 on WSJ/ Housing Market Index (WSJ)
  • U.S. states to unveil $26 billion opioid settlement with drug distributors, J&J - sources (Reuters)
  • China is buying up American farms. Washington wants to crack down. (Politico)
  • Merrick Garland Restricts Federal Prosecutors From Seeking Reporters’ Records (WSJ)
    • A response to Trump's efforts to obtain information about who was leaking news from the White House during his presidency

🚀 Space is the Place

  • Blue Origin Launch: Jeff Bezos and Crew Complete Successful Space Flight (WSJ)
  • Tulsi Gabbard tweeted, "Bezos, please stay up there. Do the world a favor." (Twitter)
    • Why is Tulsi negging Bezos? Is her marriage ok?
  • Wally Funk Is Defying Gravity and 60 Years of Exclusion From Space (NY Times)
    • From article: "Ms. Funk’s trip to space with Jeff Bezos is reason to celebrate. But the launch this week, decades after she was denied the opportunity, also raises questions about whom space is for."
    • Well, space is definitively not for humans. Space wants to kill you. We've all been thankfully excluded from space.
  • The Billionaire Space Race Is the Ultimate Symbol of Capitalist Decadence (Jacobin)
    • From article: "Billionaires like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk are parasites, worse than socially useless. But they’ve got to justify their existence somehow, so, like five-year-olds, they’re now pretending to be astronauts."
    • Jacobin is a self-described socialist magazine whose writers and readers wince at any sign of human flourishing. If you speak too loudly around them, they scatter like roaches.
  • Riva Tez tweeted, "man if you think billionaires self-funding trips to space is a waste of resources just wait until you learn about the government" (Twitter)

🎯 Dangerous People & Groups

  • Israel PM warns Unilever of 'severe consequences' from Ben & Jerry's decision (Reuters)
  • Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to weapons charge, destroying Black Lives Matter flag (Reuters)
    • BLM flags on the up and up.
  • Twitter temporarily blocks U.S. Republican Greene for COVID-19 posts (Reuters)
    • From article: "Greene posted that the coronavirus is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65, and that organizations should not force "non-FDA" approved vaccines or masks. These tweets have been labeled as "misleading" by the platform."
    • Just a reminder that 78% of patients hospitalized in the US were obese.
    • Will continue to repost the fantastic Tablet piece 'The War on Reality' (Read)

🚧 Panic Porn

  • It Seems Odd That We Would Just Let the World Burn (NY Times)
    • Ezra Klein, erstwhile editor of Vox, writes: "I do not want this to be a column arguing for despair."
    • Well, buddy, not sure what to say. Pondering the consequences of blowing up a pipeline sounds to me like the tail end of despair.
    • Klein cannot stand the idea of the world getting better. He cannot conceive of it. Even if climate change was vanquished, Klein would be on to some other imminent catastrophe.
  • Hannity Implores Fox Viewers to ‘Please Take COVID Seriously’ (Daily Beast)
    • From article: "While the host seemed to be urging Fox viewers to get vaccinated on Monday, he also bookended his comments by criticizing universities for mandating vaccines."
    • 66% of Hannity's viewers are 59+ so this makes sense
  • Nightclubs to require vaccine passports with other activities to potentially follow, says Boris Johnson (Scotsman)
    • How will they enforce vaccine passports for protests?

👁 Woke Wide Web

  • Senate Democrats propose requiring women to register for military draft (Politico)
    • Israel is the only military in the world that drafts women
    • I guess not giving women the opportunity to die for their country is sexism
  • Transgender model, biological male, makes cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (The Blaze)
    • You probably won't find this issue in the barbershop bathroom
  • What Is It About Dating Shows Where Contestants Can’t See Each Other? (NY Times)
    • If we are afraid to confront our innate, physical preferences without them falling under the jurisdiction of some -ism bias, it's only natural that in our selection of a romantic partner, we'd prefer not to see the other person.
    • Racial and sexual preferences are material. If both of these things are obscured, no one has to admit what their preference is.
    • Saying yes to one thing and no to another is now seen as violent. The more distance a person has between receiving or giving a yes/no, the safer he is.

🧩 Weird Stuff

  • Vegan influencer is now a hunter-gatherer teaching people to kill animals (NY Post)
  • The Olympic ‘Anti-Sex’ Cardboard Beds, Explained (Forbes)
    • The beds were planned for the Tokyo Olympics as a recycling initiative, long before the spread of COVID-19.
  • 'Virgin Boy Eggs' Cooked In Urine Are Spring Delicacy In Dongyang, China (Huff Post)
    • I don't know, man. I don't know.

Nashville Politics

  • Tennessee’s critical race theory fight could impede state’s teacher diversity efforts, some worry (Tennessean)
  • Nashville Schools Continuing With Vaccination Events, Despite Turmoil At State Health Department (WPLN)
  • Republicans Like Bob Corker Have Nowhere to Go (Atlantic)
    • What is an 'Orange Man Bad' Republican to do?
  • Tennessee Republicans Would Rather Their Kids Risk Death Than Defy Them (Scene)
    • Betsy Phillips at it again. This belongs in the Panic Porn section above.

Nashville News

  • First week after Tennessee opts out of federal unemployment programs sees increase in first-time claims (Homepage)
    • The number of first-time unemployment claims increased 3.8% from the prior week.
  • TBI Report: 2020 deadliest year for murder in Tennessee since 2002 (WSMV)
    • The report shows a nearly 31% increase in reported murders across Tennessee compared to 2019.
    • WPLN took an alternative approach to reporting the report: 'Serious Crimes In Tennessee Dropped 5% During 2020' (WPLN)
  • NFIB files brief in case that would provide tax relief for Tennessee small businesses (Main Street)

Nashville Development

  • Work on MetroCenter hotel project seemingly to start (Post)
  • Chewy Inc. opening 1,200-job distribution hub, one of Wilson County's biggest deals ever (Biz Journal)
  • Images released for buildings at soccer stadium site (Post)
  • HCA admissions inch past pre-pandemic levels in Q2 (Post)
  • MDHA approves signage for east side bar (Post)
  • Work on MetroCenter hotel project seemingly to start (Post)
  • Nashville remains one of the fastest-selling housing markets in the US (Biz Journal)
  • Airport Authority breaks ground on expansive redevelopment of John C. Tune Airport (Biz Journal)
  • Chartwell Residential eyes Midtown project (Biz Journal)
  • Residential towers added to Nashville Yards entertainment district (Post)
  • Revamped plans for entertainment district at Nashville Yards still feature AEG, and this partner taking MGM's place (Biz Journal)

One Good Read

📢 Does Advertising Actually Work? (~30 min) (Read)

On Fermented Foods

🥬 Fermented foods increase microbiome diversity and lower inflammation. Foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea led to an increase in overall microbial diversity, with stronger effects from larger servings. (Read)

WTF Happened in 1971?

📉 After 1971, income flatlined while the wealth gap exploded. A website with about a thousand graphs detailing the curious divergence of American economic life since 1971 (Look)

Graph of the Day

Have a great Wednesday