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Opinion: Bringing clarity, history to monumental decisions

As the noisy removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans pushes the issue back into national headlines, the Atlanta History Center remains committed to a grassroots conversation about Confederate memorials. 


Opinion: All of us will determine Charlottesville’s lasting damage

“The vast majority of people in the United States have no interest whatsoever in street battles between the alt-right (better described today in more poignant terms) and the counter-protesters,” libertarian essayist Jeffrey Tucker wrote on Saturday, He added, “Most people have normal problems like paying bills, dealing with kids, getting health care, keeping life together under all...

Opinion: Routine ‘urban’ murders worthy of attention too

A 34-year-old usher at the Friendship Baptist Church in Chicago along with another man were murdered on Sunday morning while going up the steps of the church just as services were starting. These were just two of the nine killings, three of which were self-defense during a home invasion, that occurred in the Windy City this past weekend. Thirty-three others were injured in the violence that has racked...

Trump is right: bigotry, violence ‘on many sides’

British writer and theologian G.K. Chesterton observed, “It is hatred that unites people — while love is always individual.” The use of hatred to mobilize has a long and bloody history. We should understand why it works so well. It taps into human weakness. It exploits the unwillingness of individuals to take responsibility for their own lives, to courageously confront life&rsquo...
Opinion: Stone Mountain carving is heritage, warts and all

Opinion: Stone Mountain carving is heritage, warts and all

The carving at Stone Mountain should stay. It should be preserved for future generations of Georgians to visit and to marvel at, not out of veneration for the ugly cause that it was intended to glorify, not because of some claimed artistic value, but because the carving has itself become an essential piece of our history. To use a loaded term, it has become heritage. Not Confederate heritage, not...

Readers Write: Aug. 16

Will we be remembered for negligence or foresight? In a hundred years, our descendants will not hold us accountable for the kind of car we drove, our vote for governor or our favorite NFL team. But, if at that time, the sea has inundated coastal cities, millions have been displaced, and our national security is at risk, our purposeful negligence will be on display. The vast majority of scientists...

Readers Write: Aug. 15

Students aren’t being prepared for real world Just when you think colleges can’t get any wackier with their “safe spaces” and concern about hurt feelings from so-called “offensive speech,” along comes a professor who wants no stress at all for his students. His bright idea was to allow “students to change their grades, abandon group work that overwhelmed them...
Opinion: Remembering our photo editor: Portrait of a life well-lived

Opinion: Remembering our photo editor: Portrait of a life well-lived

I want you to meet someone special. Actually, I’ll let him tell you a little about himself. [On] July 5, 1982, [I] walked into the newsroom at the Muskogee Phoenix (Oklahoma) to start my first day. Little did I know that job would start me on a career that’s been wonderful, depressing, uplifting and fulfilling as it has been. It has carried me through five newspapers, countless hundreds...

Readers Write: Aug. 14

Plant mismanagement affects shareholders, too Jay Bookman faults Georgia Power and its parent, Southern Co., for the financial debacle of their Plant Vogtle nuclear project (“Ga. Power, Southern Co. nuked a lot of credibility,” Opinion, Aug. 9). The electric utility’s repeated failures to accurately predict costs and completion timetables cause Bookman to question the utility&rsquo...

Opinion: Trump and GOP show the strain

Back in our time of innocence, when Donald Trump was just a harmless New York B-list celebrity worth a few chuckles, his penchant for picking epic personal feuds found a partner in another New York-based B-list celebrity, a comedian by the name of Rosie O’Donnell. Well, I’m beginning to think O’Donnell has been replaced in that role by McConnell, as in Senate Majority Leader Mitch...

Readers Write: Aug. 13

Certain measures can make roads safer for cyclists I want to write a positive response to the reader who wrote with concerns about bicycling safety (“Cyclists need to find safer roads for rides,” Readers Write, July 30). I am one of those cyclists and have been cycling in Atlanta for the past 25 years. While I agree that many roads have little shoulders and safety concerns, those of us...

Generals playing vital civilian role now

Progressives from around the country are uncharacteristically applauding the placement of military generals within the Trump Administration. Tweets and posts note tongue-in-check sentiments such as: “I never thought I would say this, but can we get even more generals in the White House?” or “Any chance of a military coup?” Citizens who typically reject the mixing of the military...

Opinion: Annexation plan is problematic for DeKalb County, residents

Clifton Corridor institutions, led by Emory University have petitioned to annex their isolated property into Atlanta across a 65-foot-wide “land bridge” that Emory purchased last year. They urge stakeholders to look at the Big Picture when judging their unilateral action and ask Atlanta to reflexively approve their incorporation into the city. The Atlanta City Council and Atlanta voters...

Opinion: Annexation exposes weaknesses

The squabble over the proposed annexation of a rather-significant parcel of 744 now-unincorporated acres into the City of Atlanta points out important shortcomings vexing this region. Yes, “region.” More on that in a bit. The dispute, now headed for arbitration it seems, stems from the annexation application filed by Emory University, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Opinion: Insurers’ fleeing Obamacare is sadly nothing new

Any Georgians who thought Congress could simply move on from its Obamacare-repeal debacle — including our delegation in Washington — should have been set right by the news of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s partial retreat from the state. The company, the only one available today throughout Georgia on the Obamacare exchange, said this past week it will reduce its footprint next year to...

Opinion: City of Atlanta has capacity to boost annexation area

Since Mayor Kasim Reed took office in 2010, the City of Atlanta has acted upon 35 different annexation requests. Of those, 18 groups of petitioners requested annexation through the “100 percent method,” meaning 100 percent of the property owners on a given street or in a neighborhood wanted to be governed by the City of Atlanta. On July 25, Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control...

Readers Write: Aug. 11

Liberal logic has doomed DSH The Disproportionate Share Hospital program is part of Obama’s expanded welfare efforts. It pays hospitals federal funds to cover economic shortfalls due to patients not having adequate or no insurance. ‘Share’ is the key word. Responsible taxpayers are required to “share” their income with others who have chosen to depend on government welfare...

Opinion: The space between Americans

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The space shuttle Atlantis now hangs in a vast hall, a prime attraction for the Kennedy Space Center here on Florida’s eastern coast. Its 33rd and final mission ended just over six years ago, capping 30 years and 135 flights for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Looking at the Atlantis, it was hard to decide if it appears paused in mid-flight — or trapped in...

Readers Write: Aug. 10

We must stand together to fight enemies A Facebook video shows a baby elephant overturned and trapped on a railroad track. He frantically tries to free himself but cannot. An eager lion approaches, but hesitates when he sees the entire elephant herd moving helpfully toward their youngest member. When he accepts the fact that he is outnumbered, the lion slithers away. Our country has its enemies, too...

Ending anti-conservative bias on campuses is real affirmative action

Affirmative action is once again in the news. This time because of a leaked Justice Department memo indicating possible action regarding complaints from Asian-American groups that Harvard University is discriminating against Asian-Americans in its admissions policies. As this story was breaking, Harvard said that, for the first time in history, the majority of its incoming freshman class will not...

Opinion: Ga. Power, Southern Co. have nuked a lot of credibility

It really is hard to believe. Eight years after Georgia Power officials confidently assured us that they had this nuclear thing figured out, that two new units at Plant Vogtle could be brought in on budget and on time, leading a supposed renaissance in the U.S. nuclear industry, it’s all in danger of collapsing. The projected cost of those units has almost doubled, to $25 billion and counting...

Readers Write: Aug. 9

Airlines should be fined per passenger By now even people who don’t fly very often are well aware of how poorly airlines treat their passengers. Here is one way to hold them accountable: When it comes to avoidable delays, the airline would be held responsible by the FAA for paying each passenger on the affected flight $10 for every minute the flight arrives late. Airlines should not be penalized...
Analysis: Trump TV's 'real news' sounds more like real propaganda

Analysis: Trump TV's 'real news' sounds more like real propaganda

Kayleigh McEnany, who has been plying her trade as a pro-Trump pundit on CNN for a while, jumped ship to the Trump Team over the weekend. And Sunday, she debuted a Trump TV segment that she labeled the "real news." It is real spin, at best. And it feels a lot like real propaganda — or state TV. In her first 90-second segment, McEnany makes a number of questionable claims, most...

Readers Write: Aug. 8

Entitlements keep growing and growing I’ve always believed that you could stand on a corner each day and hand out $20 bills to passing strangers and get an amazing result when you suddenly switched to $5 bills: “Where is the rest of my money?” would probably be the most common response. Well, we have a similar system in place now, but the idea is to switch from $20 bills to $50 bills...

Readers Write: Aug. 7

Approach to climate change gets broad support It was great to read that Tesla’s Model 3 is now rolling off the assembly line, bringing affordable electric vehicles to the public. Reducing the number of cars powered by gasoline will reduce the pollution responsible for health problems that plague so many of our citizens, particularly children. The transition to electric vehicles will also reduce...

Opinion: What Trump fears most is coming

He promised to give America an administration that was filled with the best people, “people that are truly, truly capable.” Instead we witness a rotating freak show, a cavalcade of clowns and cretins culled from the dark corners of American politics to which they are destined to retreat, but not before they get the chance to turn their long-nurtured, malignant dreams into our national...

Readers Write: Aug. 6

Downey speaks truth about school scheduling Hooray to Maureen Downey. Thank you for saying what I, and probably thousands of parents and grandparents, have been speaking out about the foolish scheduling perpetrated on the public school kids in Georgia and their families. Not only is there no evidence that the schedule increases success and achievement, but starting classes in the hottest month of...

Opinion: If D.C. won’t act, Georgia should

“Georgia’s healthcare system is getting squeezed, and with Washington’s dysfunction and gridlock, the state must act.” From the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Quality Healthcare Access Study. It’s been a full year since the state’s business leaders concisely put Georgia’s ongoing health care woes in perspective. Despite wishful thinking – and...

Regime change, not war, needed in N. Korea

July 27th, 1953 is the day the killing stopped in the Korean War 64 years ago. On this anniversary occasion, it is timely to contemplate a solution to the North Korean dilemma confronting the United States and the world. I am a 90-year-old veteran of the Korean War. I hope that someone somewhere will pay attention to what I have to say. We saved South Korea from the North Koreans at great cost all...

Opinion: Ga. should move past wait-and-see on Medicaid expansion

In 2013, Georgia leaders had the chance to prepare to accept $3 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid at the state’s first opportunity the next year. Instead they decided to wait and see if 2014 national elections would undercut the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act survived 2014 intact, so state leaders decided to wait and see if the Congressional turnover that took effect...

Opinion: Ga. should seek flexibility waiver to help meet care needs

With the failure of the federal government to address this nation’s health care crisis, the job now falls to the states. Fortunately for the states, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides them broad authority to restructure federal funding and regulations through the underutilized State Innovation Waiver. Georgia is well-positioned to seize this opportunity and serve as a model to show the rest...

Opinion: Do pensions still make sense for Georgia’s teachers?

Earlier this summer, my AJC colleague James Salzer broke the news that Georgia expects to have to increase its payment into our Teachers Retirement System by as much as $400 million next year. That’s on top of a $233 million boost this year, which pushed the annual payment above $1.5 billion. At $1.9 billion, the pension payment would represent about $1 of every $13 the state spends. That&rsquo...

Thoughts on the ACA, its goals and challenges

Excerpts from an Aug. 1 blog post by Edwin J. Feulner, founder of The Heritage Foundation: For more than seven years, Republican lawmakers, including President Trump, campaigned on a promise to repeal Obamacare. They rightly noted that Obamacare severely disrupted the health insurance markets, making health plans prohibitively expensive for many Americans. They reminded everyone of President Obama&rsquo...

Readers Write: August 4

Buchanan’s column has white supremacist tone Pat Buchanan’s column, “Alone in the world perhaps,” Opinion, July 14, seems a camouflaged “white-supremacy-Christianity” advocacy. He is concerned about homogenization of cultures and Christianity becoming “a dying faith.” Unfamiliar with broader perspectives from classics such as Jacob Bronowski’s...

Opinion: Future smartphones will have awesome, worrisome abilities

As Apple launches the 10th anniversary iPhone this fall, we should not only marvel at where the device has taken us, but also consider where it is likely to go. Smartphones have proven transformational products, much like Ford’s Model T or television. They put into our pockets mobile and immediate access to internet, personal computing, cameras and scanners, and cloud data and analytics. With...

Readers Write: August 3

Congress can do better on health care When making critical health-care decisions for my family, especially for my son who has Type 1 Diabetes, I do my homework. I research, I speak with experts, I weigh our budgetary constraints, I listen closely to my son, and together we commit to the course of action that will best serve his well-being. I expect the same level of care from my representatives when...

Opinion: Fake news and the marketplace of ideas

The truth lies. In an information infrastructure of fake news, echo chambers, and social media filter bubbles, our governing rationale supporting the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment — that perspectives from a range of disparate sources stock a marketplace of ideas from which society can collectively come to the truth — may be in need of repair. To decide whether the First Amendment...

Opinion: GOP’s work on health care must go on

NBC’s Chuck Todd started his “Meet the Press” interview with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price with an important question. Shouldn’t we accept, Todd suggested, that it’s “not Obamacare anymore, it’s our national health care system. …(Do) you accept that the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act as we know it are dead and now your...

Readers Write: August 2

Kaepernick’s behavior is the most un-American On July 22, John Crisp wrote that fans protesting Colin Kaepernick’s “kneeling during the National Anthem were more un-American than Kaepernick.” Crisp attributes Kaepernick’s benching and his not being picked up by other teams as being a result of the protest distractions. What Crisp does not seem to get is that patriotic...

Readers Write: August 1

Kudos to Fulton for standing up to tax commissioner I’m so glad to see Commissioner Liz Hausmann and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners stand up to the Fulton County Tax Commissioner and his continued attempt to line his own pockets off the labor of county employees. Yes, it may very well be more efficient for Fulton County to provide a tax service to the city of South Fulton – but...

Readers Write: July 31

Krugman’s mindset devoid of personal responsibility In reading Paul Krugman’s latest assault on Trumpcare, there are two points he makes in this article that basically sums up the liberal philosophy of government-run health care, “Trump is sabotaging your health care because of spite,” Opinion, July 24. He mentions that the simplest way for people to be assured of health care...

Readers Write: July 30

Left’s idea of ‘rights’ hurts individual freedoms Unfortunately, Jay Bookman is correct when he says health care is now considered a right for everyone in “Health care is now a right,” Opinion, July 23. The dictionary indeed defines a right as an entitlement to fulfill someone’s needs. But the rights Bookman cites from the Constitution were perceived by the founders...

Fentanyl can be a one-pill Ga. death sentence

As a 30-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Administration, I’ve seen drugs destroy communities nationwide. Fentanyl abuse is as bad as I have seen and it is devastating communities all across this great Nation. A synthetic opioid, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. A person can die from ingesting one granule the size of a flake of sea salt...

Plotting a path toward racial reconciliation

Editor’s Note: The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation (winterinstitute.org) is named after a Mississippi governor. Its vision statement reads in part: “Envisions a world where people honestly engage in their history in order to live more truthfully in the present; where the inequities of the past no longer dictate the possibilities of the future.” The theory of racial...
Opinion: It’s not that hard to be clear-eyed about Charlottesville

Opinion: It’s not that hard to be clear-eyed about Charlottesville

President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, New York. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais) I’m back after a couple of days of reporting outside Atlanta. Somehow, we are still talking about the propriety of those who assembled under and against the banners of Nazi swastikas in Charlottesville . Sigh. Folks...

Opinion: Heaven comes with blisters, poison ivy and mosquitos

ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL, Calif. — This will make me sound grouchy and misanthropic, but I sometimes wonder if what makes America great isn’t so much its people as its trees and mountains. In contrast to many advanced countries, we have a vast and spectacular publicly owned wilderness, mostly free and available to all. The affluent have gated neighborhoods, private schools, backup generators...
Opinion: Trump owns what is coming next

Opinion: Trump owns what is coming next

(AP) In his comments Tuesday, President Trump claimed to know everything about what had happened in Charlottesville; he claimed to know more than almost anyone on the subject, especially his critics. If that is true, then Trump must know that what happened in Charlottesville had little to do with peaceful protest or the preservation of Confederate heritage. He knows that it...

Opinion: Trump imagines “very fine” Nazis, white supremacists

You could see it coming Monday, after President Trump dutifully read off a script in which he condemned white nationalist racists and American neo-Nazis for their roles in the Charlottesville violence. When reviews of his sullen performance weren’t overwhelmingly positive, he started fuming: Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the ...
Opinion: Stone Mountain carving is heritage … warts and all

Opinion: Stone Mountain carving is heritage … warts and all

The carving at Stone Mountain should stay. It should be preserved for future generations of Georgians to visit and to marvel at, not out of veneration for the ugly cause that it was intended to glorify, not because of some claimed artistic value, but because the carving has itself become an essential piece of our history. To use a loaded term, it has become heritage. Not Confederate...
Opinion: Stacey Abrams embraces a nasty brand of Democratic politics

Opinion: Stacey Abrams embraces a nasty brand of Democratic politics

Protesters disrupt a speech by Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans during Netroots Nation 2017 in Atlanta on Saturday. (Photo by Kevin D. Liles for The Washington Post) Before Charlottesville happened , this stood to be the big political story of the weekend — at least, locally (from my...
Opinion: What Trump didn’t say is eloquent

Opinion: What Trump didn’t say is eloquent

(AP) It may have dawned upon you by now that Donald Trump is not a shy man. When he dislikes something, when someone has done something to earn his disfavor, he has no problem emphatically expressing those emotions in the strongest, most explicit terms possible. On Monday morning, for example, Merck CEO Ken Frazier announced that he had resigned from Trump’s manufacturing...

COMMENTARY: Where does climate change denial come from?

“It’s Not Your Imagination: Summers Are Getting Hotter.” So read a recent headline in The Times, highlighting a decade-by-decade statistical analysis by climate expert James Hansen. “Most summers,” the analysis concluded, “are now either hot or extremely hot compared with the mid-20th century.” So what else is new? At this point the evidence for human-caused...
Opinion: The long path to Charlottesville

Opinion: The long path to Charlottesville

(AP) While some celebrated Obama's win as proof that America had put racism behind it, others experienced it as unconscious fears made real. (2) — Jay Bookman AJC (@jaybookmanajc) August 12, 2017 As always, opportunists rushed to validate and encourage that fear and hate as a means of winning both political power and ...

Opinion: Jeff Flake’s ‘Conservative Conscience’

The book pulls no punches. It sharply condemns conservatism for its role in a “culture of vicious dehumanization,” not to mention its sins of incoherence, rejection of empirical fact and plain hypocrisy. Writing of the rush by the conservative party, i.e., the GOP, to embrace the regrettable Donald Trump during the last election, the author is blunt and unsparing. “Never has a party...

Opinion: Why can’t we have rational conversation about immigration?

WASHINGTON — What better way to usher in the hissingly hot dog days of summer, otherwise known as August, than with a high-wire verbal duel between CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta and White House sniper Stephen Miller. The sniping began during a news conference Wednesday, the same day President Trump endorsed Senate Republicans’ plan to reform legal immigration from family-based...

Opinion: Good ol’ boys having themselves a time …

Let’s fire up the WayBack Machine for this one, shall we? Earlier this year, almost a decade after his death, Atlanta native Jerry Reed was finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. And of course, earlier this week we lost the great Glen Campbell, songwriter, singer, guitar player extraordinaire and the pride of Delight, Ark. Here’s the two of them at...
Opinion: Trump has no strategy, only impulse

Opinion: Trump has no strategy, only impulse

(AP) Carrying out a strategy of nuclear brinkmanship against North Korea without allowing it to veer into catastrophe would require a sober-minded, well-prepared and emotionally mature president at the helm. We do not have that president. We have this one: Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find ...
Trudy Rubin: How Trump’s loose lips can sink us all

Trudy Rubin: How Trump’s loose lips can sink us all

Here’s the good news about the crisis over North Korea. We are not going to war. Donald Trump is not going to nuke Pyongyang. Nor is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un going to nuke Guam. Yes, I know the president just threatened to meet any more North Korean threats to the United States “with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” This is the kind of extreme military rhetoric...
Ed Rogers: At a time like this, Trump’s team sure seems heaven-sent

Ed Rogers: At a time like this, Trump’s team sure seems heaven-sent

War clouds are gathering over the Korean Peninsula, and we are reminded of what former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld (almost) famously said: “You go to war with the president you have, not the president you might want or wish to have at a later time.” President Donald Trump probably possesses the raw will to launch an attack that will leave North Korea smoldering. The U.S. military...

Opinion: After the coup by the press, what then?

That the Trump presidency is bedeviled is undeniable. As President Donald Trump flew off for August at his Jersey club, there came word that Special Counsel Robert Mueller III had impaneled a grand jury and subpoenas were going out to the Trump family and campaign associates. The jurors will be drawn from a pool of citizens in a city Hillary Clinton swept with 91 percent of the vote. Trump got 4 percent...
Opinion: The GOP’s circular firing squad commences

Opinion: The GOP’s circular firing squad commences

(AP) Back in our time of innocence, when Donald Trump was just a harmless New York B-list celebrity worth a few chuckles, his penchant for picking epic personal feuds found a target in another New York-based B-list celebrity, a comedian by the name of Rosie O’Donnell. Well, I’m beginning to think O’Donnell has been replaced in that role by McConnell, as in...
Opinion: Exploring the space between Americans

Opinion: Exploring the space between Americans

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The space shuttle Atlantis now hangs in a vast hall, a prime attraction for the Kennedy Space Center here on Florida’s eastern coast. Its 33rd and final mission ended just over six years ago, capping 30 years and 135 flights for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program . Photo by...

Opinion: “Fire and fury …,” signifying nothing

We used to laugh at the clownish, buffoonish rhetoric that came out of North Korea, with its dire threats to wreak catastrophic destruction on its enemies. “If the United States dares tease our nation with a nuclear weapon and sanctions,” NK officials said just this week, “the mainland United States will be catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire.&rdquo...

Opinion: Motherhood is deadlier in United States

HOUSTON — We love mothers, or at least we say we do, and we claim that motherhood is as American as apple pie. We’re lying. In fact, we’ve structured health care so that motherhood is far more deadly in the United States than in other advanced countries. An American woman is about five times as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as a British woman — partly because Britain...
Opinion: Ga. Power, Southern Co. have nuked their credibility

Opinion: Ga. Power, Southern Co. have nuked their credibility

(AJC) It really is hard to believe. Eight years after Georgia Power officials confidently assured us that they had this nuclear thing figured out, that two new units at Plant Vogtle could be brought in on budget and on time, leading a supposed renaissance in the U.S. nuclear industry, it’s all in danger of collapsing. The projected cost of those units has almost doubled...
Opinion: The other numbers crunch for Georgia’s rural hospitals

Opinion: The other numbers crunch for Georgia’s rural hospitals

Sometimes, while working through a complex problem, a simple but inescapable fact pops up. Here’s such a fact about Georgia’s rural health-care crisis : The minimum population needed to sustain a hospital is 40,000. (quick Google search) More than two-thirds of Georgia’s counties, 110 of them, have ...
Opinion: Conservatism in the Age of Trump

Opinion: Conservatism in the Age of Trump

(AP) Jeff Flake has regrets. Boy, does he ever. Over his 16 years in Congress, the U.S. senator from Arizona has watched firsthand as his Grand Old Party first abandoned its aspirations as a party of ideals and principle and then devolved into a personality cult dedicated to the worship of a reality-TV star, a man who has no interest or ability in governance and whose personal...
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