Let’s not think outside the box; let’s break the box!

April 24th, 2017

“Unemployment is corrosive…If we want to remain a leading economy, we change on our own, or change will continue to be forced upon us.”

                                                     Andy Grove, Late Founder and CEO of Intel

As state and federal governments off-load costs for vital services and investment in the commonwealth onto cities and counties, Floyd citizens have two choices: continuing economic deterioration or innovative local government funded by progressive local taxes. Read the rest of this entry »

Health Care—First Settle the Moral Question

April 11th, 2017

“Before you can set up a health care system for any country, you have to know that country’s values. The first question is: Do all people in your country have the right to health care?” William Hsiao, Health System Consultant  Read the rest of this entry »

Who are ‘We the People’? A bit of wisdom, please

March 20th, 2017

I recently finished re-watching the old Western movie “How the West Was Won”. The movie, like so many old Westerns, was a story of brave and hardy pioneers who moved west in the face of uncertainty and danger. My generation grew up on such movies. Cowboys, fearless lawmen, tough women, and assorted rugged individuals were our heroes. We love the rugged individualist and consider self-reliance a necessary virtue. To look to someone else for help or protection is typically thought to be a sign of weakness. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s our time to stand up for democracy

March 14th, 2017

“We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. What happens next is up to you and me. Don’t be afraid. This moment of danger can also be your finest hour as a citizen and an American.”  David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush

The ideal of government of the people, by the people and for the people is not as popular in the United States as it used to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s tear down these fences

February 27th, 2017

There was a movie out recently called” Fences” starring Denzel Washington. In this movie there was an attempt to build a fence as the theme of the movie. I would like to use this word as an analogy for our current state of affairs nationally. And as a country. America has become a nation of fences separated by groups, ethnicities, race, sex and beliefs. As we think of fences, they are built either to keep something out or to keep something in; either way it creates division. Read the rest of this entry »

We need more grace and less privilege

February 20th, 2017

“There but for the grace of God go I.” I grew up in my Baptist heritage with that phrase. In my experience it was most often spoken in regard to some down-and-out person, with the speaker recognizing that all kinds of circumstances could have caused a reversal of roles. At its best, the phrase was an exclamation of humility and gratitude.

Grace is a word that is at the heart of the Christian vocabulary. It recognizes that, no matter how much our own efforts may have contributed to successful life circumstances, so very much has been simply given to us. Read the rest of this entry »

Blood at the Root: legend and history in Forsyth County

February 13th, 2017

Three years ago, when there was highly publicized racial unrest in the national news, local citizens in Rome organized One Community United.

Believing Rome to be an exceptional town, they decided to intentionally increase dialogue and to develop new friendships across racial lines. They started meeting monthly in small diverse groups to get to know each other better and to share personal stories. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s better to do it ourselves

January 30th, 2017

“The ideological fervor for privatization has ebbed.”

Dr. John Donahue, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Recently, three Rome civic organizations that have traditionally used a dining room in The Forum River Center for events devoted to building up our youth and improving Rome and Floyd County have found themselves unable to afford the minimum $2,500 rental rate instituted by the private company controlling our downtown civic center. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in a name?

January 23rd, 2017

 

Less than two miles down the road was Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. A consortium agreement meant that students from one school could take classes at the other.

On the Baptist campus I considered myself to be on the liberal wing of the student body. However, a very strange thing happened when I went to class at Presbyterian — I became very conservative. It was a kind of Alice in Wonderland experience but one that burned itself into my brain. Read the rest of this entry »

Martin Luther King Jr. a hero for all Americans

January 16th, 2017

A hero is a person who is admired for courageous acts, noble qualities and who is regarded as a worthy role model for others to follow.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a true American hero.

His birthday is marked each year as a federal holiday on the third Monday of January. He is the first African-American to be so honored. Read the rest of this entry »

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