What’s good for Georgia is that we base our social policies on traditional spiritual values of compassion and hospitality. But House Bill 87, a punitive immigration measure recently passed by the Georgia Assembly and sent to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk, telegraphs the message that there’s not enough love and not enough resources to go around. If a bill like this become law, we are diminished as a state.
I just don’t believe that there’s not enough to go around. Jesus taught us that when people are in need, you make room for them at the table, and there will always be enough of what is most important. You don’t buy into a scarcity mentality. All people have inherent worth and dignity. We need to make room for people coming to America with hopes of creating better lives for themselves, and if we can find ways of supporting them, the result can only add to our prosperity as a nation. It made America great in our past, and it can make us great again.
There are a tremendous number of problems with House Bill 87. It is racist. It is neither workable nor fair. It is bad for business. It reflects Georgia politicians acting far beyond the bounds of their proper jurisdiction. Its twin bill in Arizona has cost that state millions of dollars in litigation, and its unconstitutionality has recently been upheld. But even more problematic than all these is the fundamental spiritual blight that House Bill 87 reflects. It is hate-filled and fear-filled. I urge Governor Deal not to sign this bill into law. We need to make room at the table. There’s always enough of what’s truly important to go around if we’re resolved to make it so. What would Jesus do?
Rev. Anthony David, Senior Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Rev. Marti Keller, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Rev. Jeff Jones, Minister, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Marietta, Georgia
Rev. Dr. Morris Hudgins, Minister, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Sandy Springs, Georgia
Rev. Paul D. Daniel, Minister, The Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North Congregation, Roswell, Georgia
Rev. Alison Wilbur Eskildsen, Parish Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Athens, Georgia
Rev. Don Randall, Affiliated Community Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Athens, Georgia
Rev. Terry Davis, Atlanta, GA
Rev. Joan Armstrong Davis, Atlanta, GA
Norm Horofker, Ministerial Intern, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
One of the most obvious questions whenever taxes are discussed is “Who pays?”
It’s especially important to ask that now, as Georgia leaders consider changes to the state’s tax system. There’s talk of moving away from the current balanced reliance on personal income, corporate income, and sales tax to a system dominated by the sales tax. The Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness will release recommendations Monday that are likely to include such a shift, though the magnitude of the shift is still unknown.
Too dramatic a shift from income to sales tax would be a radical idea with dangerous consequences. It would mean middle class families and vulnerable Georgians will foot more of the bill for educating our children, ensuring safe communities in which to raise our families, and providing access to affordable health care.
Questions arise from time to time about the selected location of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a prime swath of land in Downtown Atlanta on Pemberton Place.
The site is steps from Centennial Olympic Park, adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. The land was donated by The Coca-Cola Company in 2008, and is one of thousands of gestures of support we have received since Ambassador Andrew Young, Evelyn Lowery and The Honorable Shirley Franklin began leading the effort to bring the long-held vision of the Center to life.
From 2006 to 2008, a dedicated group of staff and volunteers assessed the Center’s feasibility, exploring locations, design needs and exhibition content. The potential sites were evaluated by John Grant (100 Black Men of Atlanta), Egbert Perry (Integral Group), Frank Catroppa (King National Historic Site, retired) and Herman Russell (HJ Russell & Company), among other community members. Dozens of locations were considered, but based on the merits of the site including land quality, transportation accessibility, zoning issues, support for the Center’s long-term sustainability and construction logistics, the site at Pemberton Place was recommended and accepted.
Last week, CL columnist Cinque Hicks wrote an opinion piece about a Beltline artwork (a collaboration between local artists, Refugee Family Services youth, and a group of volunteers) that had found "itself at the center of a minor art-world scuffle" after covering up a longstanding piece by local street artist BORN. In response to Hicks' column, local artist and Refugee Family Services volunteer Joe Tsambiras wonders, "Who says what graffiti art is good enough to live on in the 'street gallery?,'" and why street art by children would be considered less valid than that of someone like BORN?
I feel that the article, “Graffiti wars” by Cinque Hicks, published in the June 10-16 paper edition and online blog, raises some issues that are not to be ignored. What are the rules of artwork existing in the public sphere? Who creates those rules? Who polices those rules? What is fine art’s role in culture and society? What is graffiti’s role? Since seeing Style Wars as a youth, and later personally getting a better understanding of the art of graffiti, I’ve always understood that an important feature of the art form is its ephemerality. Also, I understand graffiti as breaking from art gallery and museum rules in its essence. Who says what graffiti art is good enough to live on in the “street gallery?" Doesn’t the presence of the “street art curator” reek of policing and conformism that graffiti rallies against?
The wall where the "Global Garden Project" now resides was handed to Megan [Dunkelberg] and Karen [Cleveland] by the Beltline organizers to create their collaborative mosaic. Megan and Karen, along with the children of Refugee Family Services and several other volunteers, created the outdoor mosaics. I was surprised to find that a seasoned critic would assume Megan and Karen felt like they were “cleaning up the community." They were and are creating artwork. And so is Born. I volunteered with this project and I also sometimes teach printmaking workshops to the children at Refugee Family Services. To call working with the children on the mosaic project a “social service veneer” is bizarre to me. Some of Cinque’s concerns are valid. We do live in a world where beautiful things get wrongfully taken away from beautiful people every day. I don’t feel that was the case here.
In May, the AJC's Kyle Wingfield penned a multi-part opinion series about MARTA's financial woes. One possible solution the conservative columnist proposed was to privatize the cash-strapped transit agency's operations. MARTA board member Michael Walls, a labor attorney and former chairman, says Wingfield's idea might sound good on paper — but it would be neither feasible nor profitable in reality.
A recent column by Kyle Wingfield recommended privatization as a possible solution for MARTA’s financial problems. Wingfield claims that a private contractor would be able to operate MARTA with the same, inadequate funding sources while increasing service.
Wingfield’s sole rationale is that, since privatization has “worked” at other systems, then why not here?
Not so fast. All systems are different and must be evaluated individually. Beyond that, there are some fundamental reasons why it’s simply not possible for a responsible private operator to run MARTA’s bus service more frequently, efficiently — or profitably.
In the final days of a legislative session marked by deep cuts to Georgia's budget, state lawmakers found the opportunity to pass tax cuts that would benefit select residents and eliminate a tax credit that offers relief to the poorest of Georgians. Sarah Beth Gehl of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says Gov. Sonny Perdue still has time to stop legislation that will only add to the state's budget mess.
The Georgia House of Representatives and Senate took some positive steps to address the $5 billion budget deficit, such as passing bills to raise almost $375 million in new revenues and to improve tax collections and transparency. The General Assembly also created a 2010 Tax Reform Council to examine Georgia's tax structure and recommend improvements.
However, despite record revenue declines, the General Assembly once again passed long-term tax cuts ($624 million a year when fully implemented), disregarded other revenue options, and shifted the cost of government services onto middle class and low-income Georgians.
Governor Perdue has been a good fiscal manager, and we hope he will exercise similar prudence this year as he reviews tax legislation. The governor has until June 8th to sign or veto these bills that could enact permanent revenue drains on future budgets.
Guest blogger Charles McNair gives his eyewitness report from the front.
The little community of Flounder sits only a few miles off I-75. Here, short weeks after the Russians pulled out of Georgia, signs of invasion remain widespread.
Morning sunlight streams through a dozen bullet holes in the Welcome To Flounder sign. The town lies in ruins apparently the Russians caved in most awnings on the old brick buildings along the towns only paved street, and their cruel vandalism collapsed several roofs. Refrigerators, tires and mounds of valuables obviously forced from houses by the ransacking soldiers litter roadsides. The only sign of life is a lean hound, her teats nearly dragging the ground. Is she searching in vain for her newborn puppies, brutally seized by the invaders?
A burned car sits by the road, and other disabled vehicles of all shapes and sizes pick-up trucks, all-terrain vehicles, even school buses clutter front yards. Up a wooded hill, a black tornado of vultures circles something dead or perhaps just very smelly.
Zac Farber, a junior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., gives his impressions of the on-going Republican National Convention.
Hurricane Gustav subsided, the Republicans were able to step off the political tightrope of balancing convention festivities with catastrophe sympathies Wednesday night and turn their efforts toward calming the storm surrounding their vice presidential nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
The Republicans tried to turn Palins string of scandalsfiring a state trooper, soliciting pork for her hometown, mothering a pregnant 17-year-oldinto minor peccadilloes.
In an effort to quash the media frenzy, Bristol Palin was offered as a sacrifice to the eager cameras. The teen posed with a baby (her mothers), a fiancé (her own) and the wholesome Cindy McCain, providing photographic evidence that the Palins are a happy family.
Zac Farber, a junior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., gives his impressions of the on-going Republican National Convention.
Do not let the politicians fool you; it wasnt their convention. The stage may have been reserved for Minnesota elected officials, failed presidential candidates and White House residents, but hogging the limelight from the politicians under the klieg lights Tuesday night were the 100,000 balloons pinned to the rafters; the three-story, high-definition video screen featuringfor much of the nighta billowing image of the American Flag; and the Xcel center convention floor itselfa blur of flashbulb photography, elbows, press credentials and power ties.
Neither was the convention for the delegates. Given front-row seats to the spectacle, the dilettantes were rewarded for their interest with supporting roles in the kabuki. Their part is to look like average Americans and to hoot and hollerpolitical knowledge is optional. Asked for her favorite part of Sen. John McCains education policy, fifth-grade teacher and delegate from Marshfield, Wisc., Jeanie Moore replied, Well, actually, I guess I would have to delve in to it more, but from what I hear he is right on. At the first commercial break, the House minority leader John Boehner of Ohio took the opportunity to ask the delegates to face the rear and stand still for the official convention photo. Opportunity for purchase to follow, he told them, as if he were a carnie at the end of a thrill ride.
Edward McNally is a guest blogger for CL and is blogging about his experiences as a runner for the press at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. This is his report on day 3 of the convention. You can read about the first 48 hours here.
Standing surprisingly close to the podium when Barack makes his surprise appearance in the Pepsi Center. Crowd, which was already pumped after Bidens speech, erupts with cheers and shouts to see the man theyve been glorifying for 48 hours. His casual remarks have just the right common touch to make the arena of 20,000 feel like the biggest, hottest wedding reception you can imagine. One where everyone feels connected AND pumped.
Bill Clinton completely makes the case that Barack Obama is ready to be president . and he does so as only a former US President can. Over-flowing convention hall eats it up.
I almost literally run into Bill three minutes after his speech, as he talks to Sen. Leahy backstage. I congratulate him on yet another great speech and remind him I was his driver during a brief campaign swing through Atlanta 17 years ago. He smiles warmly, but I know, of course, he has no recollection of this previous encounter.
A Master Class in Turd Polishing. A shame to see it led by Carlos Campos.
let me fix that for ya, ignoramous13: "If the facts that this TSARNAEV kid used…
'Smyrna Shitholes' is somehow amusing, but I'm guessing 'Fulton Faggots' or 'Atlanta Apes' wouldn't be…
Why is Utz apologizing again? He should apologize when Joe Dendy does.
hahaha... "the smyrna shitholes"...
If the facts that this kid used Molotov cocktails and a shotgun, and the growing…