Good morning, everyone.
Is a "high trust" society something we should strive for? We hear a lot about living in an egalitarian world, but what of one in which you can safely trust your neighbor? Are the two at odds with one another?
By definition, a high trust society would require some kind of fleecing mechanism to ensure untrustworthy members could not take advantage of others. A radically egalitarian world, though, would require equal treatment of everyone regardless of the threat they pose to a community.
A high-trust society provides its members with less mobility, but in return, it offers safety, relative stability, and trust. An egalitarian society offers its citizens mobility, but in return, it gives away some modicum of safety, stability, and trust. This, of course, is some napkin math style political theorizing, but it should be obvious enough that high-trust and equality as political goals are greatly at odds with one another.
The historical norm prior to the explosion of the Industrial Revolution and the rapid migration of rural folk into urban centers was people living in high-trust communities anchored by shared religious beliefs. Political policy motivated by egalitarianism chips away at the very real boundaries that exist around communities, flattens the differences between them, and forces them to intermingle. You can't socially engineer people out of this kind of behavior.
Before you take this as an argument in favor of segregation, it should be noted that a strong, civic institutional network that effectively patriates citizens to the cultural mores of a nation would make such concerns largely irrelevant.
As it stands, US leaders encourage a kind of identitarian pride that insists on individual expression — the segregation of identity, if you will — while offering no clear message on how to unite these disparate identities into a cohesive America — the desegregation of identity. There are gooey calls to "love one another" and things like that, but a nation isn't a support group. A cohesive belief system undergirding the rapidly splintering branches of identity would actually be an attempt to unite the country and move it towards some approximation of its high-trust past, but such a belief system would involve confronting hard truths which very few people seem interested in doing.
As it stands, though, it's much easier for them to sow seeds of discord and set groups against one another. This isn't a new observation, obviously, but comedian Theo Von expresses it well in a bit he does on white privilege.
Today, we check in on the latest in the Robby Starbuck lawsuit to get back on the GOP ballot, look at what's behind the gun violence spike, and consider what it takes to get into Harvard.
Thanks for reading.
➫ ALL WE KNOW ABOUT THE STARBUCK HEARING
Yesterday we finally heard from Tennessee Chief Judge Waverly Crenshaw regarding the Robby Starbuck lawsuit.
After US Congress Candidate for TN District 5, Robby Starbuck, failed to meet the criteria as a bona fide Republican candidate the Tennessee Republican Party’s State Executive Committee removed him from the primary ballot. Starbuck was not the only Republican candidate removed from the TN 5th district US Congressional primary. Local candidate Baxter Lee and Trump-endorsed Morgan Ortagus also got the boot. In an effort to get reinstated to the primary ballot as a Republican candidate, Robby Starbuck filed a lawsuit against the TN GOP and the state last week. We outlined Starbuck’s case, and you can refresh your memory with our previous rundown on the matter.
FACT SHEET ON YESTERDAY'S HEARING
- Presiding Judge Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw
- Referring Judge Magistrate Judge Jeffery S. Frensley
- Defendants Mark Goins Board of Elections, Scott Golden (TN Republican Party Chair), Tre Hargett (TN Secretary of State), and The Tennessee Republican Party
- Morgan Ortagus “filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amicus Brief in Support of Robert Starbuck Newsom’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order or in the Alternative a Preliminary Injunction (Doc. No. 31). The motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.” This just means that the judge did not find Ortagus to have any unique information that she could bring to the case and she didn’t have another case filed that would be affected by Starbuck’s case.
Based on courthouse coverage provided by Aaron Gulbransen from the Tennessee Star, it is hard to tell what the outcome of this case will be, but it is clear that the Judge doesn’t appear convinced that he has federal jurisdiction over how a state’s political party organization chooses its representative candidates. “I don’t see a federal question, do you,” Judge Crenshaw asked. A question no plaintiff’s lawyer would ever want to hear.
‣ Starbuck wins the case and is reinstated on the August 4th Republican ballot.
Pamphleteer’s Prediction 2/10 likelihood
‣ Starbuck loses the case and files another lawsuit with the state.
Pamphleteer’s Prediction 5/10 likelihood
‣ Starbuck loses the case and rallies his followers with a write-in campaign.
Pamphleteer’s Prediction 9/10 likelihood
‣ Starbuck loses the case and decides to wait and run in 2 years.
Pamphleteer’s Prediction 5/10 likelihood
We expect to hear a decision from the Judge on this case before the end of the week. In the meantime, Starbuck canceled his May 9th rally and reporter Aaron Gulbransen has been asking some pretty interesting questions about Starbuck on Twitter.
- Home sales dip 7% as inventory challenge continues (Homepage) The area recorded 3,818 home closings in April, down from the 4,119 closings reported for the same period in 2021. The median price for a residential single-family home was $480,000 compared to $385,000 last year.
- WPLN’s reporting on Rutherford County’s juvenile court is a Pulitzer Prize finalist (WPLN) WPLN and ProPublica’s joint investigation of the juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tenn., is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize’s feature writing category.
- After Years of Legislating and Litigating, Google Fiber Is Digging in Around the City (Scene) You can see the tech giant’s progress around the city, thanks to spools of orange tubing
- Amid a mechanic shortage, one Nashville high school is training students for the automotive repair field (WPLN) Nearly a dozen students at Maplewood High School in Nashville were recognized for their performance in an automotive training program last Thursday. The program prepares kids for careers in the auto industry, which has a nationwide technician shortage.
- Lee still awaiting several late-session bills from the Tennessee Legislature (Center Square) Bills from late in the session that have not been signed by both speakers and sent to the governor include permission for a Davidson County hotel/motel tax increase for a new Tennessee Titans stadium, a sales tax deal for a new Chattanooga Lookouts stadium and a bill allowing for a one-year break on state registration fees for personal vehicles and motorcycles.
- Federal Judge Takes Arguments Under Advisement, Appears Extremely Skeptical of Robby Starbuck’s Case to Get Back on TN-5 Ballot (Star) District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee Chief Judge Waverly Crenshaw appeared to take an extremely skeptical view of the case presented by Robby Starbuck’s legal team during a Tuesday hearing on a preliminary injunction request.
- Winstead hires advertising consultant Davis, Trump pollster Fabrizio for 5th District bid (TNJ) Fred Davis, a veteran media consultant, has advised on a number of successful state and federal campaigns including Governor Bill Lee, Governor Bill Haslam and Senator Lamar Alexander. Davis will produce the television and radio advertising.
- Plans Submitted For A New Marriott Branded Hotel In Downtown Nashville (Now Next)
- Second Avenue building sells for $4.7M (Post)
- Start looms on Sinatra Bar project downtown (Post)
- Work continues on mixed-use building near ballpark (Post)
⤴ THE MYSTERY OF RISING GUN VIOLENCE
The NYT noted again that the past two years have seen homicide rates faster than any prior period for which there are numbers. That, of course, places a big grain of salt next to the observations, but what's distinct about the NYT's coverage of this issue is that they're willing to explore every potential cause except the actual cause.
Chuck Wexler, who supposedly researches these things, noted, "Something has happened to the American people during this two years that has taken violence to a new level." The statement echoes the sentiments of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti who voiced his concerns earlier this year, saying, "We have two things together: the trauma of the past two years, and the mental health crisis that came out of this pandemic."
The Times, and other outlets like the Washington Post, will frequently motion vaguely at the mental health crisis, income inequality, or some other political cause that needs to be remedied by more legislation. A rise in gun sales is also frequently noted as a potential cause, but as research by the WSJ noted last year, women accounted for nearly half of new gun purchases over the course of the crime spike.
Comparatively, women commit around 10% of the murders, and until the Summer Race Riots of 2020, only accounted for roughly 20% of gun purchases. There has been no sudden increase in female assassins. Additionally, a study from the Manhattan Institute showed there was no correlation between states in which gun sales rose and states in which murder rates rose.
As the NYT correctly notes in its reporting on this issue, gun violence continues to gather disproportionately in poor, black neighborhoods. Young, black men are more likely to commit murder by a significant factor. This is a pattern that has roots much deeper than "mental health" issues stemming from the pandemic. Some might say there are systemic forces at play here. If leaders wish to solve the issue, it first helps to have an accurate account of it which they clearly do not.
The more likely cause of the pandemic crime spike is loose policing in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Along with rising gun violence, the nation also witnessed a spike in automobile fatalities and accidents. Weirdly enough, the fatality increase also disproportionately affected black drivers. The potent brew of 2020's Summer Race Riots, demands to defund the police, and a police force reckoning with staffing issues led to looser policing partially out of necessity, and to some degree, in response to the large, vocal backlash from rich white women who live in crime-free neighborhoods. The AP noted in June of last year that in Missouri "traffic stops and arrests resulting from those stops declined sharply last year due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic." The same was true here in Tennessee both in regard to traffic stops and traffic fatalities.
One cannot solve a problem unless he has a clear view of it. Pursuing arcane initiatives designed to heal "emotional wounds" or some other such new-age-y poopoo peepee diagnosis will likely only exacerbate these trends by covering them in a layer of fog and deceit.
⦿ GRAPH OF THE DAY: HOW TO GET INTO HARVARD
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 📵 Elon Musk announced Tuesday that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on former president Donald Trump. Musk called the decision to ban Trump “foolish” and “morally wrong” in his Tuesday remarks.
- 🖥 Twenty internet providers agreed to improve subsidized high-speed internet plans they offer to millions of unconnected households, part of a Biden administration push to advertise a program created in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law.
- 🇯🇵 Japan announced Monday it will join other Group of Seven member nations in phasing out Russian oil imports, but will remain involved with two Russian oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Sakhalin.
- 🏢 The SEC said Monday it has extended the public-comment period on three major rule proposals after receiving widespread complaints from interest groups that it wasn’t allowing enough time for analysis.
- 🪤 Senator Josh Hawley (R., MO.) is proposing new legislation — the Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022 — to end special copyright protections extended to the Walt Disney Company, and cap all federal copyright protections at 56 years.
- 📲 Tech-industry representatives are coming to Capitol Hill this week to warn that the remote-work trend will lead to more offshoring of software developer and other technology jobs unless the U.S. admits more high-skilled immigrants.
- 🏛 The Senate swiftly passed a bill to expand police protections for Supreme Court justices to include their immediate family members, in the wake of protests following a leaked draft ruling that indicated the court could overturn Roe v. Wade.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the last Thursday of every month at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab.
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
🎸 Alvin Youngblood Hart @ Eastside Bowl, 8p, $14.42, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info
GET 'EM WHILE YOU CAN
🥁 Gogol Bordello (5/21) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $33, Info
🎸 Boulevards (7/17) @ Basement East, 7p, $10, Info
🎸 My Morning Jacket (9/23) @ Ascend Amphitheater, 7p, $22.88, Info
⏚ TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE GROUND: PRIMUS AT THE RYMAN
Primus took to the Ryman on Monday night and played the Rush album A Farewell to Kings sandwiched between two Primus sets, opening with Those Damn Blue Collar Tweakers, for all you Primus fans. They also played their new song, “Conspiranoid,” which takes a jab at conspiracy theorists — likely most of his audience.
I’ve tried to find the humor in Les Claypool trolling his own audience but the song is so hack that I simply can’t. As a younger man, Claypool might have made his audience want to indulge in their conspiratorial tendencies by romanticizing them as he romanticized other poor white pastimes like tuning up cars, booze, racing, fishing, and huffin’ lacquer. A man loses artistic talent with age, it seems.
FROM LAST WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
↩︎ Cable’s Last Laugh If there is one industry people in tech are eternally certain is doomed, it is cable.
𐂅 Seeds Of Destruction Will Americans continue to permit an order that treats certain forms of lawlessness as untouchable, even praiseworthy?
✸ The desperation of Biden’s Disinformation Board There are dangers to using censorship as a political tool
You May Also Like
Words of Wisdom
"Price fluctuations have only one significant meaning for the true investor. They provide him with an opportunity to buy wisely when prices fall sharply and to sell wisely when they advance a great deal. At other times he will do better if he forgets about the stock market...."