Good morning, everyone.
In the past week or so, a new political slur has emerged: groomer. It's one lobbed at those on the Left who purportedly support the sexual indoctrination of children in public schools as expressed into the curriculum and, more recently, via Ketanji Brown Jackson's soft stance on sentencing a child pornographer because of the "internet".
We saw this same argument — because of the "internet" — emerge again this week when Josh Hawley attempted to introduce a bill that would impose harsher sentences on pornographers and predators while also preventing judges from issuing sentences below federal guidelines. In a pattern we've become all too familiar with, the Left cries "satanic panic" while the Right struggles to prove that its concerns are valid.
It is within this context — the latest in the quasi-conspiratorial lunge at the pedophilic, satanic elite — that "groomer" emerges. Toss it up there on the shelf with racist, xenophobe, misogynist, fascist, and all the other fairly effective rhetorical tools that people can employ to malign their opposition. We've seen the Left do this so well that it only took them a couple of decades to infiltrate American institutions and government by calling everyone that disagreed with them these things, but on the right, people are leery.
It didn't take long for the tone police to show up. National Review commentator Nate Hochman, for example, says, "Broadly speaking, left-wing teachers aren't 'grooming' kids. Gender ideology in schools isn't the same thing as 'pedophilia.'" It's a typical remark from a disconnected DC journalist who still believes things can be hashed out via debate and discussion. Chalk it up to naivete or disdain for the concerns. Neither one is a good look.
The fact is that a mind-bogglingly large portion of young Americans now identify as queer or transgender — 15.9% — and that number is on the way up. Where do these kids spend most of their time? School. Is groomer a technically precise term? No. Is it designed to be? No. The downside, of course, is that bringing up anything about sexual indoctrination gets lumped in with Q-Anon, water-is-turning-the-frogs-gay rhetoric which has effectively muted all discussion of the issue in all the right forums.
That politicians on the Right have gone too far adopting the language of the people is the reason for this, not that the people are having fun lobbing rhetorical bombs at their opponents. Marjorie Taylor-Green calling Mitt Romney "pro-pedophile" is obviously an example of ineffective language that doesn't belong in Washington DC. It undermines whatever goals she may have from the get-go.
Twenty years ago in 2001, the UK witnessed a similar panic after the murder of a young girl lead to a public outcry against the country's treatment of sex offenders. A petition circulated demanding the name and location of every registered sex offender which ultimately culminated in an angry mob ransacking the home of an ex-con.
To ease tensions, the British satire show Brass Eye returned after a four-year hiatus to air a final episode: "Paedogeddon". The episode excoriated concern over pedophilia in the UK and savagely attacked the media — The Telegraph, in particular — for portraying the incidence of pedophilia as existential. The show held a mirror up to the insanity of the times, namely a public hooked on the 24-hour news cycle, a media exploiting their hold on the country's attention, and all the paranoia being hyper-plugged in engenders.
The episode was particularly brutal, but it served the purpose that all great satire serves — to diffuse tension and point the finger at the real culprits, in this case, the media. I'm not entirely sure this time is different. We can either direct our anger at a nebulous blob of sex offenders without faces or names except for the ones that pop up now and then on unhinged TikTok videos. Or, we can place the blame squarely where it belongs: the media and leaders that make minced meat of citizens' concerns.
So back to the original question: is groomer an appropriate slur? In other words, does it place the blame where it belongs? To me, that answer is an obvious yes. Is it appropriate for Marjorie Taylor-Green to use it when actually trying to get things done? No.
But general tone policing of the kind undertaken by Hochman or Chalkboard Review's Tony Kinnet displays the kind of weak posturing that has guaranteed normal people lose out on these issues. Both Hochman and Kinnet serve well as examples of people who, at first, appear sympathetic to the cause of normal people, but upon encountering some distasteful element, abandon whatever noblesse oblige they might have a claim to and seek high ground away from the "ickiness" of the masses.
If you're looking for an example of how to handle these things, look no further than George Washington during the Revolutionary War leading a rag-tag band of undisciplined, inexperienced, and in many cases, crude farmers and cobblers against the most powerful army in the world. Washington avoided the crude language and behavior of his soldiers while dutifully respecting them and the cause they fought alongside him for. Our leaders could learn a lesson from this: you can't lead those you despise.
It's alright to say "groomer". It's not existential.
Today, we review last night's council meeting, look at some highlights from Gov. Lee's 2023 budget, peer at an old census just released to the public, and remind you with great passion to come to Bar Hours tomorrow night.
Thanks for reading.
⧖⧗⧖ Bar Hours ⧗⧖⧗
Join us! Tomorrow night for our weekly forum at Lucky's 3 Star Bar. You'll encounter lively banter with some of the city's most radical, intelligent people on how to shake off the sloth of the modern era and recapture the vitality that made this country great.
Where? Lucky's 3 Star Bar in Wedgewood-Houston
When? Every Thursday from 6-8 PM
First ten people get drinks on the house!
❍ LAST NIGHT AT THE METRO COUNCIL
Things were both spicy and tiresome at last night’s Metro City Council Meeting. The council lasted longer than usual as the chamber accommodated many speakers during open hearing. Most of the business had to do with zoning, but they also dealt with that pesky campaign finance violation by council member Jonathan Hall and rebuked the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
Here’s how it all shook out.
BL2022-1143 & BL2022-1144
Two bills that have to do with zoning for a certain building in 12 South. Many residents in a certain 12 South cul de sac came forward last night to plead with the council to defer the bills so the community can have more conversations with the builders. Their main concerns were with street parking, thru traffic, and the height of the building. The council went ahead and passed the bills on second reading.
This resolution literally says that it is a resolution “condemning the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's efforts to subvert democracy.” Bold, as were statements made on the floor. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has been lobbying to change the Metro school boards from being elected, to being appointed by the Mayor’s office.
All sorts of accusations were thrown around the room by council members. Even some vague threats about funding the Chamber. Council Member Bob Mendes didn’t pass up on the golden opportunity to point out that the Chamber’s ill-suited suggestion is less about their disregard for democracy and more about the poor relationship the Mayor has with the Chamber of Commerce. As he pointed out Cooper’s shortcomings in this area, you couldn’t help but get the feeling that it was a preview of how Mendes plans to platform himself if/when he runs for Mayor in 2023. (More Info)
Vote to Censure
The reluctant Metro Council also, eventually, voted to censure Council Member Jonathan Hall for campaign finance violations. As of right now, Hall does not have to resign his position. It’s worth noting that he shirked the violations off as a one-time mistake while taking the mic during the discussion on the floor, but his violations occurred over three consecutive years. (More Info)
BL2022-1114 & BL2022-1115
The council did discuss LPRs (license plate readers) once again and came to a consensus that the language “personally identifiable information,” when talking about what data can be collected by the LPRs, only means the picture of the license plate. This means the data collected and saved can’t have anything to do with physical descriptions, car make/model, etc. This passed, while the LPR bill about not using the scanners for immigration enforcement was tabled.
Did you know that some birds fly themselves to death when disoriented by lights beaming into the night sky? We didn’t either until last night’s city council meeting where a resolution encouraging the city to turn off unnecessary lights during fall and spring migration patterns was passed.
All this Metro council madness has us relating to the birds. Until next time.
↯ GOV. LEE'S AMENDED 2023 BUDGET
The Sycamore Institute put together an analysis of Governor Bill Lee's 2023 budget. Below are some of the main things that we took away.
- The 2023 budget amendment adds $260 million in net new spending from state revenues — which includes annual costs of new debt for a Titans stadium (a $500M bond authorization).
- In total, it proposes $316 million in new expenditures and $100 million in new tax cuts — offset by changes that increase revenues and reduce funding for items proposed in February.
- It does not fundamentally change tax collection forecasts or the use of recurring revenues for nonrecurring expenses – despite collections seven months into the current fiscal year being on a safe path to meet February’s updated projection.
Read the rest on the Sycamore Institute's website (More Info)
- Tennessee advancing bill banning abortion pills by mail (Fox17) The bill is part of a coordinated nationwide effort by anti-abortion groups responding to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision allowing women to pick up abortion medication in person.
- Gas prices drop below $4 in Tennessee (WSMV) Gas prices, on average, fell five cents over the last week. The Tennessee Gas Price Average is now $3.97, which is 30 cents more expensive than one month ago and $1.28 more than one year ago.
- Nashville General Hospital takes steps after cyberattack (Main Street) Nashville General Hospital is dealing with the aftermath of a cyberattack in February, which did not result in any information for patients or employees being compromised, according to the hospital.
- Tennessee 38th in U.S. in transparency of economic development incentives (Center Square) Tennessee had a ranking of 9.6 while the national average was 22.0 points. The study looked at the top four or five major economic development incentive programs in each state.
- Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation keeps Duck River withdrawal limits (Lookout) The Duck River, which is the longest river to be entirely contained in Tennessee, is also one of the most biologically diverse rivers in North America. It is home to 151 species of fish, 56 freshwater mussel species, 22 aquatic snail species and 225 species of macroinvertebrates, including aquatic insects and crustaceans.
- Rep. Eddie Mannis is latest to retire from House (TNJ) The Knoxville businessman is the 10th Republican to decide against seeking re-election to the House this fall.
- New Residential Development Unveiled Near Dickerson Pike In East Nashville (Now Next)
- Tivity Health to be sold for $2B (Post)
- South Davidson County office building sells for $15M (Post)
- Ryman to sell 30% share of subsidiary (Post)
- Pre-sales begin for 48-home development on north side (Post)
❒ 72-YEAR CENSUS DUMP
Last Friday, the National Archives released 6.4 million pages of digitized 1950 Census data. Every 10 years, the Archives release detailed information from the census taken 72-years prior. 2012 saw the release of a trove of documents from 1940. You can search through the documents to find family members.
An interesting observation comparing 1950 to today:
The Census data shows that of the nation's 10 largest cities in 1950, only New York City and Los Angeles went on to have larger populations in 2020. The other eight -- Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, St Louis, Washington, D.C., and Boston -- all saw their populations fall in the following seven decades.
There is much, much more that has changed since then. For example, the nation was 89% white. Aside from the fairly predictable demographic shift that we've been told to "celebrate", the 1950 census asked residents if they had a kitchen sink or a TV. You can view the full form here.
Source: Official 1950 Census Website
National Archives, View Online
⚔︎ MISSIVES ⚔︎
- 🛢 The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia became Europe’s first region to abandon Russian gas supplies entirely this weekend, and they urged other nations on the continent to do the same.
- 🇷🇺 The European Commission is set to propose broad new sanctions on Russia on Tuesday, European officials said, including a ban on imports of Russian coal, slashing the access of Russian road and shipping goods carriers into the bloc, targeting oligarchs and their families and blocking some machinery exports.
- 💨 Bank of America Corp. said Monday it mobilized and deployed about $250 billion in sustainable finance activity for 2021, an all-time high and an increase of 140% over the year-ago figure of $105 billion.
- 💸 A two-year federal probe found that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s campaign did not “properly” disclose some of its expenses — but the Federal Election Commission voted to give her a pass, according to filings made public this week.
- 🎓 The Biden administration intends to extend a pause on student-loan repayments through the end of August. The extension could be announced formally on Wednesday.
THINGS TO DO
View the full calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours every Thursday night at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab. Join us to discuss how to shake off the sloth of the modern era and recapture the vitality that made this country great.
🎙 Hannah Juanita is playing two-steppin' music every Friday in April at Bobby's Idle Hour.
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
+ Gather, all ye pickers
🌖 Jeff Moon @ Springwater, 9p, $7, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info
GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN
🎸 Jerry Cantrell (4/17) @ The Ryman, $35, 7p, Info
🌊 The Brian Jonestown Massacre (5/5) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $25, Info
🐷 Primus: a Farewell to Kings tour & Battles (5/9) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
🥁 Gogol Bordello (5/21) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $33, Info
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Words of Wisdom
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”