Opinion


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: Left-wing violence matters; Trump right to say so

Opinion: Left-wing violence matters; Trump right to say so

There were many things to deplore in Donald Trump’s post-Charlottesville address last Sunday, but his condemnation of violence on “many sides” wasn’t one of them. Yet pundits have spent recent days wagging their fingers and scratching their heads.In one of the most willfully obtuse pieces of journalism I’ve ever read, Jeremy Peters at the New York Times spent more than...
Opinion: Choosing the right side of history

Opinion: Choosing the right side of history

America’s current, crazed embrace of “us” versus “to hell with ‘them’ ” is, predictably, getting people killed. The homicide last weekend in Charlottesville being the latest example. We should long ago have had enough of a corrosive mindset that too-often flashes over into bigotry, violence and destruction. Alas, the intoxicating rush from fanning nascent...
Opinions: Rights of hate groups deserve protection too

Opinions: Rights of hate groups deserve protection too

White nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members have an absolute right to protest peaceably. An important point of view — that has not been acknowledged by most of the media hysteria surrounding the events in Charlottesville last weekend — is the question of free speech. Most politicians, the mainstream media, and editorial writers are eager to point out the obvious: how evil,...

Opinion: Leave Confederacy’s old monuments alone

I’ve had it with the people who choose to be offended by the symbols and memorabilia from the nation’s past. First it was Confederate flags. Now monuments and statues have to go. What’s next? The carving at Stone Mountain? Oh yeah, now someone wants that wiped out! What the hell is wrong with us? Have we lost all sense of reason, all common sense? There’s no erasing history...
Charlottesville can teach valuable lessons

Charlottesville can teach valuable lessons

The brazen, terroristic march of the KKK, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists through an American city in defense of the Confederacy is both tragic and telling. It is tragic because it reveals the depth and deadly consequences of a spiritual sickness spreading in our nation 60 years after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference...
Opinion: Varied viewpoints on old American nightmare

Opinion: Varied viewpoints on old American nightmare

An extraordinary and sad week of the American experience has drawn to a close, even as continuing debate and analysis pores over last weekend’s violent outburst of race-based rioting in Charlottesville. Pundits and ordinary citizens alike have been offering their viewpoints as to what happened in that college town last Saturday, culminating with a female counter-protester being struck and killed...
Opinion: Debate about Confederate symbols veers into the absurd

Opinion: Debate about Confederate symbols veers into the absurd

We’ve been here before. A deadly rampage by a white supremacist. A debate about Confederate symbols in public places. Two years ago, we searched our souls after a mass shooting in a historic black church in Charleston. Now we’re doing the same after Charlottesville, where a man described as a Nazi sympathizer is charged with running over and killing a woman and injuring 19 others, after...
Opinion: For Trump it’s all subtraction

Opinion: For Trump it’s all subtraction

“I, alone ….” That’s how this all began, with Donald Trump bragging about all the things that “I, alone” could fix. Looking down an increasingly clear road, it is also how it will end, with Donald Trump alone. From his inaugural speech onward, the man elected by a minority of American voters has done nothing to build on that fragile base. Instead he has watched...

Readers Write: Aug. 18

Isakson’s evasive answers are no help I just watched U.S. Senator Isakson’s town hall meeting at Kennesaw State University. I appreciate the senator participating in a town hall to hear his constituents after months of requests. While I was worried that questions from the audience would be censored, I was pleased he took all types of questions from a mostly unhappy crowd. Unfortunately...

Opinion: A leading Georgia Democrat embraces a nasty brand of politics

If not for Charlottesville, the big political story this week — locally, anyway — would have been the self-immolation of Georgia’s Democratic Party. By now, you’ve probably heard the story. Way-left activists from across America were in Atlanta this past weekend for the annual Netroots Nation gathering. Both of Georgia’s Democratic contenders for governor in 2018 were...

Readers Write: Aug. 17

Dead zones a troubling result of runoff It is troubling news to read in the July 31 article that excessive use of nitrogen-based fertilizer and increased rainfall due to global warming, is leading to larger than normal algae blooms in our ocean waters, “Warming to worsen dead zones, algae blooms choking U.S. waters.” The fertilizer runoff has created dead zones at places like the mouth...

Opinion: Thoughts on Charlottesville melee

The dismaying spectacle and carnage that was last weekend’s Charlottesville showdown and melee has Americans of goodwill — on all sides — saddened and shaking their heads, we believe. The televised-live uproar represented the latest test of the bonds that, loosely but nonetheless securely, should tie together Americans whose visions of the nation and world may differ quite radically...

Opinion: Fear, courage from front lines of a just struggle

It was hard to see at first, but if you looked deeply past the swaggering, strutting, smirking and smug arrogance, the fear was visible in their eyes. I’m not even sure they were aware of it, but it was there, buried in their shouted slogans, angry and distorted faces. Fear is what possessed them to have so much artillery, so many guns, so many other explosives in their vests that no one in...

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...

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...

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: Is the party of Lincoln now the party of Lee?

This year will mark my 30th anniversary as a syndicated columnist. During these years, I have written more words than I would have preferred about race. But race is America’s great moral stain and unending challenge. I’ve tackled school choice, affirmative action, transracial adoption, crime, police conduct, family structure, poverty, free-enterprise zones and more. Some of those columns...

Opinion: Tragedy in Charlottesville should unite decent Americans

In the South during the Jim Crow era, the “one-drop rule,” codified into law, asserted that if a person had just one drop of African-American blood, they were considered “black.” I wonder what we’d learn if we gave former KKK leader David Duke and the “white nationalists” who caused havoc in Charlottesville last Saturday a DNA test to determine their racial...

Opinion: Sadly, the United States is not ‘better than this’

It has become the go-to cliche for moments like this. We whisper it when someone breaks the mosque window or scrawls hatred on the synagogue wall. It is our assurance and our hope. “We are better than this,” we say. “This is not America.” So it is no surprise to be hearing that sentiment days after white supremacists descended, armored and armed, on a Virginia college town...

Opinion: Always, The King

Damn, 40 years already? On Aug. 16, 1977, I was working as an intern at the Omaha World-Herald, and one of my jobs as a lowly intern was to answer telephone calls coming into the newsroom. A phone rang and I punched the flashing light to answer. “Is it true?!” a woman yelled in my ear. “IS IT TRUE?!” “Uh, is what true, ma’am?” “Is he dead?...

Opinion: And just like that, Steve Bannon’s out at the White House

Well, there’s at least one thing Donald Trump brought from the private sector to government: The firings come on Fridays. From my news-side colleagues : The details — did Bannon quit or was he fired? — and the potential implications — will he and Breitbart News now go after Trump, or just ...
Opinion: President Show Pony and his do-nothing Congress

Opinion: President Show Pony and his do-nothing Congress

(AP) When Donald Trump walked out to the TV cameras and microphones at Trump Tower on Tuesday, his supposed mission was to publicize an executive order that he had just signed on federal infrastructure projects. As we know by now though, what he really, really wanted to talk about was Charlottesville. Because that’s how it goes under President Show Pony. As part of his...
Cass Sunstein: Trump actually did something good this week

Cass Sunstein: Trump actually did something good this week

Obscured by the tumult surrounding President Donald Trump’s horrendous response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the White House managed to take a significant positive step this week: issuing an executive order designed to lower regulatory barriers to infrastructure projects, and to speed up and simplify the process for obtaining necessary permits and clearances. If the permitting...

Opinion: If we erase our history, who are we?

When the Dodge Charger of 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr., plunged into that crowd of protesters Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, Fields put Charlottesville on the map of modernity alongside Ferguson. Before Fields ran down the protesters, and then backed up, running down more, what was happening seemed but a bloody brawl between extremists on both sides of the issue...
Gail Collins: How to handle Donald Trump

Gail Collins: How to handle Donald Trump

Donald Trump is still president. Hard to know what to do with this, people. In less than a week he’s managed to put on one of the most divisive, un-helpful, un-healing presidential performances in American history. It’s been a great stretch for fans of Richard Nixon and James Buchanan. On Wednesday, Trump had to dissolve his business advisory councils because the CEOs were fleeing like...
Opinion: “One is the loneliest number ….”

Opinion: “One is the loneliest number ….”

(AP) “I, alone ….” That’s how this all began, with Donald Trump bragging about all the things that “I, alone” could fix. Looking down an increasingly clear road, it is also how it will end, with Donald Trump alone. From his inaugural speech onward, the man elected by a minority of American voters has done nothing to build on that fragile...
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...
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