Good morning, everyone.
After this morning's rain, we're looking at a dry day here in Nashville. Below, we cover the upcoming special session concerning Covid-19 policies in the state, the formula that determines how schools get funding, the movement to create a new Buckhead City in Atlanta, and a smattering of other topics. Stay dry out there.
Thanks for reading.
📚 Another Very Special Session
What to expect
Tomorrow, a second special session following the Ford megasite special session that was carried out last week is set to address Covid related issues. Coming down the pipe you can expect to see discussions revolving around banning masking and vaccine mandates in schools and across Tennessee. Vaccination mandates for Covid-19 have been so politicized that skepticism and public distrust are sewn into the public’s opinion about government’s involvement in health campaigns, mandates, and initiatives in general. This has been fuelling Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton in his pursuit for a special session since August.
Something else to note
Protecting workers from Federal vaccination mandates seems to be on the minds of Tennessee legislators as well. A bill is in motion that would allow unemployment benefits for workers who experience termination due to rejecting a mandated vaccine in their workplace. As filed, it looks that we can expect this bill to come up during special session II if it is added to the agenda.
🧮 What's in a formula?
The Department of Education released dates for eight town halls that are organised to facilitate conversations about the funding formula of public education in Tennessee. Notoriously confusing, the Basic Education Program Education (BEP) is used to calculate how funds are allocated to each school district. Commissioner Penny Schwinn has set up these regional meetings to create a sounding board that will give the Department of Education a better understanding of what communities are experiencing and seeking from public education. The town halls will be both in person and virtual, and questions can be submitted ahead of time. Check out the schedule posted by News Channel Five.
THINGS TO NOTE
- Parents are going to be concerned about curriculum and painted as crazy.
- Teacher pay will inevitably be a politically polarizing topic due to teacher union involvement.
- Loud noises will obstruct the actual pork report: Lining the pockets of administration.
- Second Avenue plans take shape, prioritizing pedestrians and history (Tennessean)
- Berry Hill commercial building listed for $1.1M (Post)
- Las Palmas owners pay $1M for Midtown parking lot (Post)
- Shipping container project eyed for SoBro (Post)
🍑 How to Build a City
In what could become a sign of things to come, the wealthy North Atlanta suburb, Buckhead, is pursuing the creation of Buckhead City as distinct from Greater Atlanta. Motivated by heavy taxation and a 60% increase in violent crime since this time last year, residents of the area feel they aren't getting their money's worth. Forming a new city would allow them to enlist and pay their own police — that they promise will have some of the highest salaries in the nation — and allocate tax dollars in greater alignment with the area's needs.
Detractors, such as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, point out that were Buckhead to form its own city, the realignment would leave a gaping hole in the city's budget. Despite constituting just 20% of the city's population, Buckhead accounts for nearly 50% of the city's property tax revenue. Additionally, the median household income in Buckhead is $140,000 while the rest of the city's is just over $50,000. The area is also significantly whiter than the rest of Atlanta. A new Buckhead city would be nearly 75% white while the rest of the city would be 30% white.
Until 2016 and the emergence of the Big Bad Orange Man, Donald Trump, Buckhead voted reliably Republican in national elections. Since the latest GOP contortion, the area has developed an affinity for Democrat candidates, voting overwhelmingly for Clinton and Biden in the previous two elections. Despite their affinity for Democrats in D.C., Buckskulls (residents of the future Buckhead City) still support right-leaning candidates in local elections. Similar in ways to the Greater Idaho Movement in Oregon, Buckhead's attempt to leave Atlanta indicates a trend that we're likely to see more of as communities attempt to wrest control of their sovereignty from crumbling public institutions.
- Michael Myers Said To Be Homophobic In ‘Halloween Kills’ (Screen Geek) Gay character die in your favorite TV show? Yeah, it's probably homophobic.
- The End of Gender: Has fashion bid the binary goodbye? (NYT) Based on the article, it seems more accurate to say that men are just wearing women's clothes.
- Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sam Altman wants to scan your eyes in exchange for free cryptocurrency (CNBC) The eyes are the windows to the soul. Sam wants your soul.
- Vikings were in the Americas exactly 1,000 years ago (AJC) The Pamphleteer will start the 1021 Project to outwit both the 1619 Project and the 1776 Project.
- Prize-Winning Female Spanish Novelist Exposed as Male Screenwriting Trio (Variety) The wage gap is real, it turns out.
🎃 THE HALLOWEEN TEN
THINGS TO DO
🖼 The Frist Art Museum has an exhibit celebrating ascendant Art Deco art from the 1920s and 1930s running until January.
Thoughts and news concerning everyone's favorite viral pandemic.
- Rise in Cases and Deaths Tests Britain’s Gamble on Few Virus Restrictions (NYT)
- Vaccinated Children Likely Still Have to Wear Masks in School, Surgeon General Says (Epoch Times)
- CDC Director: ‘We May Need to Update our Definition of Fully Vaccinated’ as Booster Eligibility Increases (NRO)
- Latvia is first country to reimpose lockdown in Europe’s new Covid wave (The Guardian)
- Ron DeSantis has declared war on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination (Miami-Herald)
- 'Nothing to indicate' further lockdowns needed as cases in line with expectations, Boris Johnson says (Telegraph)
Around the Web
📸 Global Photo Contest Winners The Nature Conservancy is proud to announce the winners by category of our 2021 contest. Check out the images that amazed our judges the most—and the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award.
🚼 There is less pressure to have children than ever before Certain activists are pretending that we're still in the 1950s
📦 Supply Chain Silver Linings What Sam Walton, Ronald Reagan, and the Amish can Teach Us Right Now
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Sen. Rand Paul Hits Back At Critics After NIH Admits To Funding Gain-Of-Function Research, 'I told You So'
- Barack Obama: "We don't have time to be wasted on these phony trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage, the right-wing media's pedals to juice their ratings." That culture you're seeing crumble before your very eyes? Yeah, don't pay that any mind.
- Treasury Secretary Yellen proposes a tax on unrealized capital gains—also known as theft—to finance Biden's "Build Back Better" plans.
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Words of Wisdom
"A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man