Thank you for subscribing to Buzz’s Half-Dozen. I launched this Substack in order to share things I’ve read that I found interesting and offer my thoughts on them. I don’t plan on sharing items that might be commonly found in other publications. I hope to provide you with things you may not have heard about, and I hope you reading.
1) My employer, the Georgia Center for Opportunity, is hosting an event we call Breakthrough this coming Tuesday October 5th from 4 - 6 PM at Bold Monk Brewery in Atlanta. The topic for this event is prisoner reentry and it’s a free to attend. I hope you’ll join us. Register here.
2) The botched pullout of Afghanistan may have receded from the front pages, but the finger pointing continues. Congress has been holding hearings in an effort to determine what happened. On Wednesday General Frank McKenzie pointed to two things he thinks dealt devastating blows to the Afghan Army and government: Trump’s so-called Doha Agreement with the Taliban, and Biden’s decision in April to reduce the number of military advisors to under 2,500.
Buzz’s thoughts: While most Americans support leaving Afghanistan, few support the manner in which the departure was executed. Americans were left behind, as well as Afghans who helped our Troops. Understanding the decisions that led us to the current state of affairs is important, no matter how painful or politically damaging.
3) Enrollment in public charter schools has risen across the United States since pandemic-induced school closures in 2020, according to a new report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Enrollment in Georgia’s charter schools grew by 9%. In addition, homeschooling in Georgia now accounts for 16% of households, up from 3% pre-pandemic, according to the Census Bureau.
Buzz’s thoughts: The covid19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of life in America. Now we are witnessing the disruption of our educational system. Educators in all types of schools need to be prepared to change. Parents are feeling empowered to make choices. This can be a good thing for all, if we are willing to adapt.
4) Both major political parties are in turmoil. The travails of Republicans are playing out in public, as witnessed by the controversial rally former President Trump held in Perry, GA last weekend. However, there are folks on the Left who are concerned about the situation they find themselves in. Ruy Teixeira in the Liberal Patriot, warns Democrats not to ignore the working class, and that the cultural left is pushing Democrats out of the mainstream.
Buzz’s thoughts: What we see take place in both major political parties has been a long time in the making - I contend since the birth of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements in the wake of the Great Recession (2007 - 2009). The turmoil within the parties is not done. The next few years will be very interesting.
5) Speaking of better ways, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan is making the rounds promoting his new book, and his GOP 2.0 project. He was recently on The Bulwark podcast with Charlie Sykes. Duncan and Sykes has a good back and forth. Give it a listen.
Buzz’s thoughts: In order for the GOP to succeed, it must move on from Trump. The answer is not to return to the pre-Trump GOP (as Liz Cheney seems to want to do), but to forge a new path forward. Geoff Duncan’s GOP 2.0 is a worthy contribution to a debate about the future.
6) Membership in houses of worship has been declining for some time now. In March, Gallup reported the number of Americans who are members of a church, mosque or temple dipped below 50% for the first time. Russell Moore is a theologian who recently disaffiliated from the Southern Baptist Convention, but not the Christian faith. No matter your thoughts on the direction of the SBC, take the time to read his article on why so many young people are leaving the Christian faith.
Buzz’s thoughts: The rise of the “Nones” and the number of people departing the Christian faith should concern all Christians. Now more than ever, Christians must recommit ourselves to the truth of the scriptures, and not look to politics for solutions to cultural and moral problems.