Good morning, everyone.
As bureaucrats from across the world convene in Glasgow to dream up pie-in-the-sky initiatives to deal with climate change, it's important to remember who the best keepers of the land, soil, and waterways are: hunters, farmers, and fisherman.
Below, we talk about Tennessee's assertion of state's rights in the face of federal overreach and bring back fan favorite sections Climate Faux Pas and Woke-acracy to skewer the swelling insanity.
Thanks for reading.
⏎ What Ever Happened to State's Rights?
State’s rights: In the last decade, State’s rights haven’t truly been a big focus aside from arguments over the electoral college or Texas floating a new plan about how they want to secede from the Union. That said, 2020’s introduction of new emergency powers, extensive governmental oversight, and expert recommendations that turn into mandates has Americans schooled and it feels like we’re all freshmen sitting in the front row of Fundamentals of American Governance 101.
The balance between health, safety, and the economy shifts depending on who is doing the weighing and measuring. In Tennessee, the state wants to be in charge of that assessment, and State’s rights are officially in the center of the ring after state legislators sent a clear message during the Covid Special Session. What was that clear message? States are supplemented by the Federal government, not ruled by it. How did our legislation send that message? Well, despite the fact that it was unconstitutional, the state took a preemptive strike against the future OSHA mandates set into motion by the Biden administration by banning vaccine mandates. If Governor Bill Lee signs the Covid bill into law, some Tennessee businesses might eventually be put in a position where they will either decide to violate State mandates or Federal mandates, when it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations.
To buy himself time, Governor Lee recently extended his emergency powers until November 19th. His extended executive orders continue to give parents the right to opt out of mask mandates for their children in school. During this time, Lee is expected to go over the Covid bill. Ironically, the announcement of the Biden administration’s OSHA vaccination mandates for businesses of 100 employees or more by January 4th came the same week as the Covid bill landed on Lee’s desk. Even more amusing, not only has the OSHA mandate already been suspended by a Federal lawsuit, but Tennessee joined many other states in filing lawsuits against the President’s mandate on Friday.
As Tennessee is gridlocked and awaiting a ruling on the OSHA mandates as well as Governor Lee’s decision about the Covid bill, how does this compare to the experience in other states? One example of another red state that weighs the prioritization of health, safety, and the economy in a similar fashion to that of Tennessee is Florida. That being said, Florida has a completely different strategy.
A few differences between Florida and Tennessee’s responses to Federal overreach during the pandemic:
- Florida is strong on the front end meaning the state is assertive, proactive, and decisive in terms of Covid policy, rejecting Federal mandates, and communicating policy for the whole state.
- Florida has an assertive Governor. While it is Florida’s legislation that is quick to create the bills needed to combat Federal overreach, Desantis is very vocal, directive, and proactive in his approach as the executive of the state.
- Florida, specifically Governor Desantis, has become a target of the Biden administration. A good example of this is when Desantis banned mask mandates in schools. The Governor originally threatened to block funding for school districts that didn’t allow parents to make the decision about masking for their own child. The Biden administration fired back by offering extra grant money to schools that defied Governor Desantis’ parental opt out order.
- Governor Lee consistently decentralizes power in Tennessee by shifting it to the various entities of the state. A few examples of this are when he empowered Mayors during covid to create their own masking policies in each county and when Governor Lee refused to call the Special Covid Session despite the pleas of House Speaker Sexton. This forced the Senate and the House to drum up the support of a Covid special session by rallying a 2/3rds majority in both branches.
- Biden takes jabs at Governor Desantis in Florida, but takes jabs at the citizens themselves in Tennessee. Parents raising concerns during school board meetings in Williamson County have been targeted multiple times by President Biden during national addresses. What does this say to you about who the Biden administration looks at as a threat?
- Despite Tennessee making many of the same moves as Florida, ie. protecting and prioritizing the elderly during covid and vaccination rollout plans as well as diversifying treatments and investing in alternative therapies such as monoclonal antibodies, our Governor is consistently quiet. There aren’t earth shattering addresses, comical call outs, or memes of our Governor. Even the language in Governor Lee’s executive orders leaves Tennesseans scratching their heads and wanting more clarity while Desantis is known for very clear executive orders.
What do these differences mean for Tennessee? There are a few things to consider. Florida has a strong central figure in Desantis. His citizens and fellow statesmen derive their fortitude from him, but in Tennessee there is no central figurehead. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Tennesseans should consider the long-term boon of what they might interpret as a short-term weakness in leadership.
The dispersion of responsibility creates fertile ground for the potential of Tennessee to flourish as a truly self-governing state. The state has seen new coalitions, new PACs, more first time candidates running for office, and a more engaged populace in general. Does all this activity truly matter? It depends on how much you like centralized government and how you feel about the United States Constitution. Kind of scary that this is a real topic up for discussion in America at this point, isn’t it?
This brings us back to State’s rights. For the American experiment to truly flourish as it was originally intended, the responsibility of freedom and the delegation of power must always fall back to the citizens themselves. At this point in time, the two most important things Americans who believe in the Constitution possess are their will to take on the burden of freedom and all that comes with it, and the protection from Federal government overreach provided by their state. Which state currently fortifies its citizens and statesmen better? Florida or Tennessee? Perhaps they will both farewell despite two different approaches.
- Tennessee’s municipalities tackle redistricting (Lookout) City councils, county commissions and school boards could all look different
- Bell won’t seek re-election to Tenn. Senate (TNJ) Bell has served since 2006
- Process to fill Tenn. Supreme Court vacancy getting underway (TNJ) The vacancy on the five-member bench was created by the death of Justice Connie Clark on Sept. 24.
- Green Hills building home to neighborhood bar, Joe's Place, sells (Post)
- Centennial Park-area apartment building sells for $18.5M (Post)
- Amazon launching boot camp with Nashville Software School (Post)
- West Nashville slated for Chuy’s (Post)
- ESa-Designed Tower Proposed Next To Asurion HQs, In The Nashville Gulch. (Now Next)
- Project eyed for area between The Nations, TSU progressing (Post)
🌪 CLIMATE FAUX PAS
- Canadian becomes world’s first patient to be diagnosed as suffering from ‘climate change’ (Independent) I'm suffering from this thing called "time passage". Every moment that passes, I just get older.
- Famed Scientist Warns That Earth May Rise Up and Kill Humanity (Futurism) "Big Sun angry. We must hide in cave until he hide. Cold night is good."
- Body Shaming Dressed Up as a Fitness Goal Is Still Body Shaming (NYT) Getting in shape is something only Nazis and racists do.
- Unfair dress codes, refusal to play hip-hop, few local clubs (Boston Globe) These are the issues around nightlife in Boston that Black voters hope a new mayor will tackle. These are the important issues.
- Glenn Youngkin’s victory proves white ignorance is a powerful weapon (MSNBC) "Critical Race Theory doesn't exist, but it's good that it does."
- Mayor Mayor to take his entire salary in Bitcoin (BTC Mag) Mayor Francis Suarez credited "manipulated central bank currency systems" as the main driver for his move.
- Elon Musk faces a $15 billion tax bill, which is likely the real reason he’s selling stock (CNBC) Musk used to a Twitter poll to ask if he should sell 10% of his Tesla holdings, but it appears he'd do so regardless because of a looming $15B tax bill.
THINGS TO DO
🖼 Medieval Bologna: Art for a Universal City opened at the Frist on Friday. It's the first museum exhibition in the United States to focus on medieval art made in the northern Italian city of Bologna. Home to the oldest university in Europe, Bologna fostered a unique artistic culture at the end of the Middle Ages (Info)
🎙 Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn, Sarah Jarosz @ Ryman, 7:30p, Info
Around the Web
☢︎ Two Stories About Tacit Knowledge To build a nuke or (can) not build a nuke
♠︎ The Bush Restoration The populist wave is receding, leaving neoliberal elites in charge of both parties and a beleaguered working class out in the cold
✿ Advanced Narrative Collapse One of Germany's dumbest immunologists explains why everything is actually going as expected right now.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- White House tells businesses to proceed with vaccine mandate despite court-ordered pause (CNBC) And the White House wants us to believe they're the defenders of Democracy?
- LA city workers stage a protest against vaccine mandates saying “we will not comply” (Insider Paper)
- Gavin Newsom to Make First Public Appearance in Two Weeks Amid Questions Over Absence (Newsweek)
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Words of Wisdom
"I do not like experts. They are our jailers... Experts are addicts. They solve nothing. They are servants of whatever system hires them. They perpetuate it. When we are tortured, we shall be tortured by experts. When we are hanged, experts will hang us... When the world is destroyed, it will be destroyed not by its madmen but by the sanity of its experits and the superior ignorance of its bureaucrats."
John le Carre, The Russia House (1988)