Good morning, everyone.
In an interview with the Hoover Institution in 2019, Peter Thiel proclaimed that there were three global visions for the future.
- The first is a Chinese-style security state — all the COVID stuff fits in here.
- The second is universal sharia law — women wear burqas.
- The third is a conservationist, Green dystopia — no electricity after 8 PM.
Don't know about you, but none of these sound particularly exciting.
Is it possible the US could project a positive vision of the future for its citizens? It seems clear enough that the tyranny of Sharia Law is definitively not that, though it may not have any real effect on the wealth of the nation. Neither is the Chinese-style security state which, even if wealth increased, would come at such a great cost that one can imagine the impetus towards striving would be significantly reduced or artificially attenuated — in short, it's definitely not Western. And finally, the Green Dystopia which appears to be the most likely candidate at present — given that a war has been hastened along by policies inching us in that direction — would objectively impoverish the American people.
The East, best expressed through the policy of Russia and China, seems headed towards a Universal Security State, while the Middle East gets lost in the throes of Sharia Law, and Western Europe hallucinates a green future full of windmills like Don Quixote. Where does that leave the US?
Generally, the US has skirted away from the imposition of Sharia Law and seems unlikely to ever head down that path, but it's flirted increasingly with a Chinese-style security state expressed through its desire to explore the implementation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) which would put the nation on the short road to a social credit system — if it doesn't exist already, it'd make it worse. In contrast to its Western allies in the EU, the US has made efforts to go down the road to a carbon-free future, but because of its massive reserves of both oil and gas, it hasn't made it as far down that path. Vested oil and gas interests in the US make it more difficult for leaders to achieve their Green future.
According to Thiel, the Green, Malthusian future of impoverishment is the most preferable. But Thiel says that because he's worth $5 billion and would be shielded from the downside — increased food and energy prices, restrictive manufacturing policies, etc. Ignoring Thiel's preference and just reading the room, it seems like the Green New Deal is the preferred path forward for the present Zombie Occupied Government (ZOG) who would very nearly go to war rather than stop buying energy from the object of the war in order to perpetuate the hallucination.
But what if, like China and unlike the crumbling EU, we started producing more energy? Think of a world in which energy was more abundant and cheaper than at any time in history. An abundance of cheap energy would encourage and essentially subsidize human flourishing even more than it did following the explosion of the Industrial Revolution. Nuclear power plants and highly-efficient coal and natural gas could push the US towards a robust future not defined by the fear of Honda Civics and cow farts. Let us not fall into the same regurgitated fear of imminent destruction that our European forebears have across the pond, and instead, chart a visionary path forward where the abundance of energy is the goal, not the problem.
Combine this more progressive view of energy production with self-sovereign digital technologies like Bitcoin, and you could chart an unexplored fourth path that seems the most likely to encourage and even guarantee human flourishing on a scale grander than that which followed the Industrial Revolution. With more energy production and the introduction of digital rights for individuals — a second amendment for computers, essentially — we'd chart a path beyond the Chinese security state and away from the impoverishment guaranteed by Green Energy policy.
In keeping with the radicalness of the American founding, a future of abundant energy and protection from surveillance would set the US apart from its neighbors in much the same way as the lines "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" did over 200 years ago.
Call it a Bright New Deal.
Today, we preview tomorrow's council meeting, look at some of the contradictions inherent in the resettling of Ukrainian refugees, and introduce you to a water sommelier.
Thanks for reading.
OTHER MOVIE REVIEWS
❍ TOMORROW AT THE METRO COUNCIL
Tomorrow night’s Metro Council Meeting will be marked primarily by a public hearing where Davidson County residents are allowed to make general statements and suggestions regarding the upcoming operating budget or the Capital Improvements Budget. The floor will be open towards the beginning of the meeting to Davidson County residents who registered to speak in advance. We will be highlighting the general concerns expressed by community members in tomorrow’s recap.
- Grant money is flowing and it feels a bit like Christmas with regards to the resolutions up for a vote this week. Local grants, along with state and Federal ARP (American Rescue Plan) funding, are up for a vote. If the resolutions pass, most of the funds will go to non-profits and MNPD programs that support families, victims of abuse, misplaced children, addiction centers, and provide AIDS/HIV aid.
- Metro Council's Public Health and Safety Committee also hosted a panel of experts concerning the opioid crisis in the courthouse yesterday. Committee members learned about many of the support and harm reduction programs already available to Davidson County residents. Mayor Cooper’s office recently announced that Davison County will receive $23 million dollars in funding from a settlement with some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors. This money will be used to tackle the opioid crisis in Davidson County.
ON SECOND READING
- BL2021-866 We are bound to hear a bit from the floor on the second reading of this bill that prohibits any alcohol from being consumed in a moving vehicle. The current law only prohibits the driver from consuming alcohol while a vehicle is being operated. The fine for a violation would be $50.
- BL2022-1089 In tandem with the last bill we mentioned, this is another amendment to the Entertain Transportation bill. Among other things, this bill assigns the responsibility of approving permits for alcohol consumption on entertainment vehicles to the Beer Board.
- BL2022-1088 This is a Dark Sky initiative to reduce light pollution throughout Davidson County. The Tennessee Boyscouts appeared at the council meeting during the introduction of this bill two weeks ago. The aim is to clear up the light pollution preventing the ability to see the night sky in Davidson County. Since this would require changing a lot of lightbulbs, we’re sure we’ll hear more from the floor.
- BL2022-1116 This bill continues to tie up some loose ends in the neverending LPR (License Plate Reader) discussion. The change proposed in this bill would permit a Community Oversight Board to be appointed and allowed to investigate and examine steps taken by the District Attorney and the Public Defender regarding actions pursued using the LPR technology.
- Titans have ‘aggressive’ plan for a new stadium by 2026 (Post) The Titans initially planned to renovate Nissan Stadium and began the process of piecing together a budget for stadium upgrades in 2020. However, the $600 million renovation estimate from two years ago proved to be closer to $1.2 billion in reality, which is approximately 60-75 percent of the cost of building a new stadium.
- Sales taxes would finance portion of new $1.1 to $1.5B Titans stadium (Main Street) The state of Tennessee conceded 50% of the tax revenue from any East Bank development back to the Titans and stadium upgrades during last year’s legislative session.
- Tennessee Senator Takes Issue With Taxpayer Funded Lobbying During Committee Meeting (TCN) Senator Kerry Roberts had stern words for two representatives of a state agency last week. During a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jim Layman from Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and Doug Diamond, general counsel for DCS provided testimony against Senate Bill 2098.
- Legislature looks to expand charters, vouchers (Post) Divisions within the legislature begin to form around charter schools as Democrats claim that are run by for-profit racketeers bent against the interest of the communities where they are built. Going to have to back that one up.
- Iconic Nashville tower sells for $50.5M (Post)
- Ex-east side assisted living property listed for $9.8M (Post)
- Sylvan Park retail buildings sell for $875K (Post)
- Charlotte Avenue mixed-use complex changes hands for $47.5M (NBJ)
- Site plan for Ford plant gets green light from Megasite Authority (TNJ)
- Garth Brooks eyes Broadway honky-tonk at former home of Paradise Park (NBJ)
- Five Oaks community nears completion with 136-home addition (NBJ)
➫ THE UKRAINIAN MOMENT
Pandemic restrictions remain in place as Ukrainians flee the war-torn nation. This is notable because Ukraine is one of the least vaccinated countries in the entire world with only 35% of its population considered fully vaxxed.
In Germany, for example, many Ukrainian refugees were forced to sleep outdoors in public parks or in train stations as Germany retains its overreaching vaccine passport program. In Italy, the options are even grimmer. The Green Passport program remains in place, so Ukrainians must either pay to receive a test every 48 hours or get vaccinated in order to access basic services. And Canada, helmed by the great and fearless Black Face Trudeau, has opened its borders to an unlimited number of Ukrainians but also requires that they vaccinate in order to gain access to basic services.
In the US, things aren't that different. Many entrants are turned away under Title 42 which was designed to prevent uninhibited migration in the midst of the pandemic — unless you enter illegally which appears to be what many Russian and Ukrainian refugees are doing at the Southern border. An attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugees Studies — yes, that's a real place — claims, "The fact that we're using COVID as an excuse to keep out asylum seekers at this moment in time, it's just becoming more and more absurd and untenable for the administration."
What exactly is untenable? Isn't COVID supposed to be an existential threat to us all? What's the moral calculus whereby settling a refugee justifies deaths that may arise after admitting a whole slew of unwashed Europeans into a nation so bullish on vaccinating everyone at all costs against a virus that threatens all of us indiscriminately? Conveniently absent from any of the rhetoric here is the fact that border agents set a new record for arrests of people trying to enter the country illegally from Mexico: 1.9 million in 2021. And 402,000 of those were released within the United States. In February of this year alone, there was a 60% increase from February 2021 in the number of migrants apprehended at the border — a subset of whom are released into the US — which puts on pace for another all-time high. Title 42 for who exactly?
Even Chuck Schumer joined the dogpile, opining, "This is not who we are as a country. Continuing this Trump-era policy has defied common sense and common decency. Now's the time to stop the madness." Get this dinosaur out of office.
It's not clear if a vaccination requirement would apply to refugees — seems unlikely — were Title 42 to get the ax or whether it even matters as evidenced by the numbers above. What is obvious is that politicians will need to update their rhetoric to exempt refugees from their condemnations of all who have yet to receive the COVID vaccine as is implicitly the case for anyone who is not white. The problem here, of course, is that Ukrainians are generally considered white. Maybe the contradictions will collapse on themselves and a gaping chasm in the Earth will open up and swallow all those guilty.
⌁ GRAPH OF THE DAY: OIL PRODUCTION IN THE US
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 🏦 The Federal Reserve is poised to announce its first interest rate hike since 2018 on Wednesday. The central bank is likely to raise its target federal funds rate by 25 basis points, or one-quarter of one percent, to address the worst inflation in more than 40 years, partially brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. And we wait with baited breath...
- 🇮🇷 Iran’s top paramilitary force claimed responsibility for a missile attack early Sunday that slammed into northern Iraq, sending U.S. troops rushing for shelter, shattering windows and creating new complications for diplomatic efforts to ease tensions with Tehran.
- 🇮🇳 India may take up a Russian offer to buy crude oil and other commodities at a discount, two Indian officials said, in a sign that Delhi wants to keep its key trading partner on board despite Western attempts to isolate Moscow through sanctions.
- 🇻🇪 The United States said Monday it has no plans in the works to import oil from leftist-led and sanctions-hit Venezuela. “It’s not an active conversation at this time,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in response to a question from a reporter at her daily press conference.
- 🏈 Tom Brady tweeted Sunday evening that over the past two months he had realized his “place is still on the field and not in the stands,” and he would be coming back for another season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
🍀 St. Patty's day this Thursday, check out this Nashville St. Patties guide.
🖌 At the Cheekwood, Spanning the Atlantic, The Arts and Crafts Movement, an international trend in the decorative arts that originated in the British Isles during the 19th century.
💰 The End of an Era for Investors w/ Tom Landstreet via Zoom, 2p, Free, Info
🎋 Alash Ensemble @ 3rd and Lindsley, 6p, $20, Info
+ Tuvan throat singing (xöömei)
🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 5p, Free, Info
+ Two step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p
🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street
GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN
😂 Tim Dillon (3/24) @ The Ryman, $29.75+, 7p, Info
🎸 Buddy Guy (3/26) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $80, Info
🎸 Jerry Cantrell (4/17) @ The Ryman, $35, 7p, Info
🐷 Primus: A Farewell to Kings Tour (5/9) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
NEW THIS WEEK
FROM LAST WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
↯ What is Russia to Us? Understanding our longstanding confusion
✸ Misreading Auden About suffering, and art, the New York Times is usually wrong.
➫ The Edenic Allure of Ballerinafarm "It’s no wonder that many LDS women have taken to Momfluencing and Homefluencing (and now Farmfluencing) like fish who finally found water."
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- USAF Lt. Col. on military life under vaccine mandates: ‘I’ve never seen morale so low’
- NYT’s Matthew Rosenberg calls colleagues ‘bitches,’ says left overreacted to Capitol riot
- Bill Maher defends Florida's anti-grooming bill, slams CRT push
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Words of Wisdom
"The fate of entire Kingdoms often depends upon a few blockheads and irresolute men."