Columns

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Tax reform? Absolutely! I’m all for it, especially business and corporate taxes. Our corporate tax structure is by far the worlds most complex, confusing, easily evaded and unfair of any system on the globe.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The religious landscape of the Northwest Georgia area in which we live can best be described as predominantly evangelical fundamentalist Protestant. While there is a small number of atheists, agnostics and those expressing non-specific spiritual beliefs living here, we have relatively few re…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Needless to say I was both shocked and appalled by the results of the 2016 presidential election. Could this be the American version of a trend in European politics based on the compelling urge to "throw the rascals out?" And was Donald Trump’s election a one-time deviation or the beginning …

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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For better or for worse, America is today, and has been throughout most of its history, the world’s melting pot. But there is now some indication that without realizing it we are fast becoming an unmanageable polyglot nation of multiple ethnic backgrounds and cultures, starting with language.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Activists on one side of the Confederate statue controversy have suggested that if memorials to Confederate Generals Lee, Jackson and Forrest should come down, those to Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other national heroes should also be removed. After all, didn’t they own slaves too? Yes…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The largest single bloc of American voters today is the "League of Non Voters." In the 2016 presidential election over ninety million eligible voters failed to show up at the polls.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Although the First Amendment of our constitution clearly states that Congress shall pass no laws recognizing the establishment of religion, certain individuals still insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. I would like to know from where they get this idea; certainly…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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A nation originally founded on a tax revolt, if there is anything that defines the American political psyche today it is the fact that we do not like to pay taxes, any taxes. Instead of "No taxation without representation" in 1776, the Colonists probably meant "no taxation, damn it!" And whi…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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We continually hear warnings from the conservative community to the effect that our potential enemies, namely China, Russia and the Muslim Middle East, are getting ahead of us militarily while we have been sitting here doing nothing under Democratic administrations. From where do they get th…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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In 1860 there was no threat by Abraham Lincoln to interfere with the institution of slavery in states where it already existed. But the southern plantation aristocracy saw his opposition to the spread of slavery into the territories as a threat to their historic domination of all three branc…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Right-wing ideologues love to call government- run programs such as Social Security, Medicare and sometimes even public education "creeping socialism." And they often go unchallenged because few people bother to find out what socialism actually is. Socialism is government ownership and contr…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The old science-vs-religion argument continues. If viewed rationally by both sides there should be little conflict. Most differences are largely emotion-based and neither side is really interested in what the other has to say anyway. But there is one overriding belief that explains the creat…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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India’s political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led unprecedented non-violent movements to gain freedom for their people. But non-violence was not their only strategy and may not have been their most effective one. Both leaders were riding tides of poli…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Poet Emma Lazarus’s heartfelt words inscribed near the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses . . ." rather inaccurately and hypocritically portrays American attitudes toward immigrants throughout most of our history. We have welcomed foreigners to our shores …

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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As have previously noted, the United States has the highest medical costs in the world, almost twice as high as the next highest developed nation, France. But conservatives tell us we get the world’s best health service for those high dollars. But do we? The World Health Organization, measur…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Over my lifetime I have had four opportunities to vote for Jimmy Carter -- twice for governor and twice for president -- none of which I exercised. As the present White House occupant, I felt Carter lacked the political experience and knowhow to handle the job of chief executive. But later l…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Well into my eighties, I decided long ago that free-market capitalism was the best system to provide the most and best goods and services to the most people at the best prices. And I’ve never wavered from that belief. The free market is unsurpassed in providing cars, shoes, toasters, dwellin…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Have you ever wondered why the Germans and Scandinavians welcome immigrants from the war-ravaged Middle East? It isn’t from the goodness of their hearts, I assure you. It’s because of Europe’s declining birth rates. Most European countries are not even reproducing at a replacement level. Thu…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Any time a congressional bill is introduced for anything other than tax cuts or military spending, conservatives immediately trot out the "welfare mom" scenario. But today welfare spending consumes only about nine percent of our total budget, slightly more than what we pay annually in intere…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The Republicans have traditionally supported our fee-for-service health care system that is dependent on the free market to mediate both quality and costs. This is a function at which it has failed miserably.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Ronald Reagan, the "Teflon President" for whom, incidentally, I voted twice, shrewdly deceived us on taxes, fiscal realities and other things. And we swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. But to his everlasting credit Reagan hastened the Soviet Union’s demise by increasing U.S. defense spendi…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Of the recent election, journalist P.J. O’Rourke observes, "America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem Witch Trials of 1692." O’Rourke, a die-hard Republican, supported Hillary Clinton.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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A nation founded on a tax revolt, Americans simply do not like to pay taxes, any taxes of any kind. We see all taxes as confiscatory and oppressive. And it seems the wealthier we become the stingier we get.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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First George W. Bush and now Donald Trump has used the term "tax relief" to mask their tax cuts slanted toward the wealthiest Americans. Tax relief infers that we are suffering under an onerous, confiscatory tax burden.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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From reading some of my recent columns someone might get the idea that I believe Christianity and religion in general might be on their way out. Although there is some evidence to that effect in the U.S. and Europe, worldwide, Christianity is changing and expanding in dramatic ways.

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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Donald Trump tried to scare us with his exaggerated rhetoric about the dangers from illegal immigrants, Muslim travelers to the U.S. and other strawman issues. But neither he nor Hillary ever mentioned what I believe to be the No. 1 threat to our very survival: out-of-control drug abuse of e…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The cultural differences between Yankees and Southerners at the time of the civil War, and to a great extent even today, can be largely attributed to differences between the Celtic people of Scottish and Irish extraction who settled the southeast and the Anglo-Saxon and German settlers of th…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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According to "You-Know-Who," things are pretty bad right now. The country is going to Hell in a handbasket. But I think both the Prez and his followers are dead wrong. Despite persistent troubles in the Middle East and Africa, we are experiencing the longest period in modern history without …

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The old bluegrass/country song, "I’m Crying My Heart Out Over You," contains these plaintive words: "I was blind, I could not see that you meant the world to me; and like a fool I stood and watched you go." Are we likewise blind today to the slipping away of our religious heritage and traditions?

  • By George B. Reed Jr.
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My credentials as a southerner are impeccable. My family, originally Scottish, migrated from Ireland to South Carolina and Virginia in the early 1700s. My fraternal grandmother’s family owned fifteen slaves and, as far as I can determine, every male in our family of fighting age voluntarily …

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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The once-overwhelming Christian majority in the U.S. is shrinking, and this appears to be part of a worldwide trend. The number of Americans who identify as "non- affiliated" is growing. While young adults comprise the largest unchurched group, this trend is also occurring across the entire …

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As the first leader of a fledgling United States of America, George Washington is universally recognized as "The Father of His Country", Abraham Lincoln earned the nickname of "The Great Emancipator" for ending slavery in America, Ronald Reagan was known as "The Great Communicator" for his s…

  • George B. Reed Jr.
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I think the real explanation for Trump’s election is the fact that millions of Americans feel they have been increasingly left further behind after each successive economic cycle recovery. When we plug inflation into the equation it reveals that in terms of real income the American middle an…

  • By George B. Reed Jr.
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If Obamacare is repealed we will again be the only developed country without national health care. The Republicans propose to pay for low-income families’ health insurance with their usual tax cuts and "medical savings plans," whatever those are. But tell me any place or time that has ever worked.

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The 2016 elections — the results of which will be debated, dissected and detested for years to come — are behind us and next Thursday a new commander-in-chief will be sworn in. With the election of President Donald Trump the nation as we know it could very possibly undergo extreme change.

  • By George B. Reed Jr.
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To evaluate presidents’ performances before at least a generation after they have left office is usually an exercise in futility. But an early review of Obama’s record can at least give us some idea of how future historians and political scientists might evaluate his administration.

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About 60 were in attendance when Shannon Whitfield held his first regularly scheduled business meeting last Thursday. And rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame for the serious financial challenges he assumes as the county's first new commissioner in 16 years, he did what he knows h…

  • By George B. Reed Jr.
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Since the beginning of the modern era in American politics, and I wouldn’t venture to say exactly when that was, there has been a core conviction in both major parties that if this country would just elect a true conservative (or liberal) and a Congressional majority of the same persuasion, …

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