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Today's Takes: Wednesday, September 1

Vol. I, No. 80 • A Journal of Freedom • Heartland to the Frontier • Woke-acracy • Preventable Illness • Much More!

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📰 Today's Front Pages

  • Reuters: With Kabul airport closed, fearful Afghans rush for the border (Read)
  • New York Times: Biden Defends Afghan Pullout and Declares an End to Nation-Building (Read)
  • Wall Street Journal: Taliban Battle Opposition Militias, Wield New Power in Kabul (Read)
  • Fox News: Taliban supporters hold mock funerals with coffins draped with American flags (Read)
  • CNN: Texas 6-week abortion ban takes effect after Supreme Court inaction (Read)
  • NPR: Texas Law That Bans Abortion Before Many Women Know They're Pregnant Takes Effect (Read)
  • Breitbart: Boebert Calls to Impeach Biden, Harris, and Sec. of State Blinken ‘if You Can Get Him Back from Vacation’ (Read)
  • HuffPost: Supreme Court Allows Extreme Texas Abortion Ban To Go Into Effect (Read)

🏜 From the Heartland

  • Texas Legislature Passes Elections-Reform Bill, Defeating Dem Obstruction (NR)
  • Social Security trust funds now projected to run out of money sooner than expected due to Covid, Treasury says (CNBC)

🗺 From the Frontier

  • FROM 2017: I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling. (National Interest)
    • "According to Austrian police statistics, Syrian refugees cause fewer than 10% of sexual assault cases. Afghans, whose numbers are comparable, are responsible for a stunning 50% of all cases."
    • ⭐️ "This brings us to a third, more compelling and quite disturbing theory—the one that my Afghan friend, the court translator, puts forward. On the basis of his hundreds of interactions with these young men in his professional capacity over the past several years, he believes to have discovered that they are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered."
  • China Tightens Limits for Young Online Gamers and Bans School Night Play (NYT)
    • "The restrictions reflect the government’s intensifying push for companies to jettison what it says are unhealthy cultural influences. Chinese children and teenagers are barred from online gaming on school days, and limited to one hour a day on weekend and holiday evenings, under government rules issued Monday."
    • China Game Stocks in U.S. Fall on Beijing’s Latest Crackdown (Bloomberg $)
  • Tencent's messaging platform blocks LGBTQ search terms (Protocol)
    • China's social initiatives are the exact opposite of America's.

👥 The People Have Spoken

  • Americans give Biden low marks on Afghanistan pullout (Reuters)
    • "Less than 40% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and three quarters wanted U.S. forces to remain in the country until all American civilians could get out."
  • Canada election: Justin Trudeau rally cancelled after angry protests (BBC)
    • "But in recent days his canvassing efforts have been dogged by protests against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and government restrictions."

🦄 Woke-acracy

  • Male-centric and whitewashed: major photography brands Fuji, Canon and Kodak scramble to diversify following criticism (Art Newspaper)
    • "Fuji, Canon and Kodak have each pledged to support more diverse photographers after receiving a barrage of criticism from activists over their allegedly male-centric and whitewashed ambassador programmes and Instagram accounts."
  • Cecily Myart-Cruz’s Hostile Takeover of L.A.’s Public Schools (LA Mag)
    • A glowing profile of the United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz filled with inane word salad quote from her.
    • Quote #1: "There is no such thing as learning loss. Our kids didn’t lose anything. It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup."
    • Quote #2: "Reopening schools without…a broader improvement of schools will be unsafe and will only deepen…racial and class inequalities."
    • And finally, Quote #3: "You can recall the Governor. You can recall the school board. But how are you going to recall me?"
    • Be thankful you're not in California.

⚠️ Sign of the Times

  • Chase Bank cancels General Flynn’s credit cards… (Citizen Free Press)
  • Service dogs left for dead after Biden administration abandons them in Kabul (Post Millenial)
    • Reportedly, the dogs belonged to a shelter in Kabul, but just as Trump was a Russian asset, Biden gets labeled a dog killer.
    • Especially potent in light of the recent news that Biden's own dog has bitten many service members in the White House (Read)

🧳 Can't Believe It's Not __

  • Segway company owner rides scooter off cliff, dies (NBC)
    • Live by the sword, die by the sword.
  • The Slumping Mets Are Booing Their Own Fans…for Booing Them (WSJ)

Original Essays

👋 Tell Them Phil Valentine Said, “Hey”: As legacy media revels in the COVID-related death of Nashville’s conservative talk-radio legend, we should remember his legacy of personal and governmental accountability.  (Read)

In case you missed it

  • Masked Dereliction by Jerod Hollyfield (Read)
  • Total Recall: California’s September election 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

  • Tennessee the Subject of Federal Probe Over COVID-19 Mask Mandate Opt-Out Policy (Star)
  • Davidson County rep feels ire of motorists over emissions testing (Lookout)
    • "As of January 2022, Davidson will be the only county in the state to test emissions after surrounding counties opted out. Constituent phone calls are 20-to-1 opposed to Metro Nashville keeping emissions testing in place."

Nashville News

  • TDH: 1 in every 85 Tennesseans currently has COVID-19 (WSMV)
    • Another number, full of noise and fear, signifying another.
  • Nashville to offer teachers COVID-19 sick leave — but only for those vaccinated (Tennessean)

Nashville Development

  • Society Nashville would rise 16 stories in the Gulch (Biz Journal)
  • Mixed-use building eyed for The Gulch (Post)
  • Texas, Tennessee snag the most California HQs as exodus accelerates, study finds (Biz Journal)
  • AJ Capital Partners announces completion of Wedgewood-Houston office project (Biz Journal)
  • Edley’s Bar-B-Que announces Donelson location (Post)
  • Edgehill commercial building listed for $849K (Post)
  • Beaman site eyed for four buildings (Post)

Nashville Life

🎸 A Tribute to The Allman Brothers Band @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $12 (Info)
🌌 Valley Maker w/ Carriers @ The Basement, 7p, $12 (Info)


  • OZ Arts to Present Beyond Bourbon at Its West Nashville Facility (Read)
  • Bonnaroo is canceled for the second year in a row and for the second time in its nearly 20 year history due to flooding from Hurricane Ida. (Read)

COVID Gutter

🦠 End the Case Count

The crux of the vaccine mandate question seems to hinge on keeping hospital resources open for people who really need them. This is an understandable impulse. But as news emerges concerning discrimination against unvaccinated individuals both at music venues in Nashville and elsewhere, it's worth considering what other "preventable" illnesses weigh down hospital resources and funding. The most preventable virus that sucks up a disproportionate amount of funds is HIV/AIDS.

Funding for HIV makes up 9% of the total National Institute of Health (NIH) budget and spending per patient is more than 6 times higher than spending per Cancer patient and 62 times higher than spending per diabetic patient—the two next largest recipients of NIH funding.

In 2018, 470,000 people globally died of HIV-related complications. Compare these numbers to, say, cancer (9.5 million deaths worldwide in 2018) which is significantly less preventable, if at all, than HIV. That's 20 times as many deaths. To reorient this health debate around the temporary COVID-19 Sun, 4.3 million people died in 2020 from COVID. That number is expected to rapidly dwindle in the coming years due to acquired immunity—be it through vaccination or previous infection—until the next Copernican Revolution reorienting the health debate around something else.

Looking past COVID (come on, you can do it), the question remains why the NIH disproportionately directs funding towards HIV research when Cancer is the far larger threat.

Additionally, what about funding for obesity research? As we've seen over the course of the pandemic, obesity is the most highly correlated pre-existing condition with hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Unfortunately for those susceptible to it, the question of whether obesity is preventable has become taboo. We've actually begun to incentivize and celebrate it. Severely overweight women don the cover of Sports Illustrated's teen fever dream swimsuit issue. The woke apparatus is desperate for us to fall in love with fatties—particularly of the female variety (there is a striking lack of representation for overweight male models). Why would we incent costly, unhealthy choices? If obesity is not preventable, then it would make sense to allocate a massive amount of funding towards it and away from preventable viruses like HIV/AIDS.

It's obvious why the focus is on COVID-19 at present. It's the low-hanging fruit of health issues plaguing the US. But there is a world beyond COVID with much larger, more serious health issues plaguing the nation. COVID will pass. The obesity epidemic and foolish misallocation of funds will continue. Define "preventable", good doctor.


  • Two top FDA officials in charge of Covid-19 vaccines to leave agency this fall (BioPharma)
    • Reportedly in response to Biden's endorsement of booster shots which places heavy pressure on the FDA to approve the shots.
  • European Union recommends halting non-essential travel from the U.S. (Axios)
  • Australia to end 'covid zero' policy: 'Not a sustainable way to live' (Fox News)
    • No shit, Sherlock.
  • 🎥 Protests against vaccine mandates/passports are happening all across the world. (Twitter)
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau: “What we learned from this COVID crisis, we will be applying to the climate crisis, to the housing crisis, to reconciliation, to making sure everyone has good jobs... ” (Twitter)
    • The mask slips...
  • California lawmakers grapple with whether to impose a statewide COVID-19 vaccination mandate (LA Time)
  • Pfizer Board Member: ‘Natural Immunity’ Against COVID-19 Needs to Be Included in Policy Discussions (Epoch Times)


  • Changes in Body Mass Index Among Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic (JAMA)
    • "Overweight or obesity increased among 5- through 11-year-olds from 36.2% to 45.7% during the pandemic, an absolute increase of 8.7% and relative increase of 23.8%."
  • Kids Head Back to School—and Bring Covid-19’s Mental-Health Scars With Them (WSJ)
    • "Between mid-March and mid-October 2020, the number of mental-health related ER visits per 100,000 total visits rose from the year-earlier period by 24%, from 782 to 972, for 5- to 11-year-olds and by 31%, from 3,098 to 4,051, for 12- to 17-year-olds, according to data from the CDC."
  • Most Children With Severe Post-Covid-19 Condition in Fine Health Year Later, U.K. Study Finds (WSJ)
  • Even before COVID-19 pandemic, youth suicide already at record high (UC Davis)
    • White American children are nearly twice as likely to commit suicide as other minority groups.


  • Zero COVID, a once wildly popular ideology, quietly faces extinction (The Dossier)

Words of Wisdom

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

'Other People's Money', Louis Brandeis, Ch. V: What Publicity Can Do

Have a great Wednesday