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Letters: It was a good week for the fight against discrimination

The Confederate flag has finally been recognized for the truth of its symbolism: hate, white supremacy and slavery. Unfortunately, it required the murder of nine innocent people in South Carolina to restart the discussion to begin removing this disgusting symbol from official state sanction. It is long past due that the Confederate flag, and all of the other… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Bobby Jindal gets media bounce from announcement

— When Gov. Bobby Jindal declared June 24 that he’s a candidate for president, it didn’t exactly come as a surprise. After all, he had acted like a candidate for months: traveling repeatedly to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — three states that decide early in the 2016 nominating process — to appear at… Continue reading →

Our Views: A grade of value, Louisiana should keep on striving to provide high-quality public education for its children

No matter how tough the sledding might appear ahead, Louisiana has simply no choice but to keep trying to provide high-quality public education for its children. The quality part of that is critical. That is why we hope that tougher academic standards and rigorous assessments will be used to determine the grades that schools and systems… Continue reading →

Letters: Respect between church and state should be mutual

Bishop Michael Jarrell, with the Diocese of Lafayette, was very quick to issue a statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. In the bishop’s statement, he explains “civil disobedience may be a proper response.” Surely, the bishop is not implying that government officials should ignore the ruling in Obergefell. It is one thing to not… Continue reading →

Our Views: New year, new fixes needed in budget

At an estimated $745 million or so right now, the count for revenues raised by the 2015 Legislature might even go up. That’s because of the uncertainty of legislation that reduced tax exemptions and credits as a way of staving off a complete budgetary collapse. One of the problems with getting a firmer number: The credits… Continue reading →

James Gill: Where’s Yankee know-how on executions?

Whatever happened to good old American know-how? Sure, we are the only advanced society with the death penalty, but we must ask ourselves whether we are proving worthy of the distinction. We sentence ’em to death all right, but we are seldom up to the task of killing them. In fact, the process has gotten… Continue reading →

Our Views: La. hosts a butterfly with dwindling population, the Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly ORG XMIT: NY353

CharacterStyle/BoldDropcap1trueGiven Louisiana’s status as a top tourist destination, we already know that the state gets a lot of visitors each year. What’s less known, perhaps, is that many of those visitors are butterflies. Monarch butterflies use Louisiana and several other southeastern states as stopovers during their migration from wintering grounds in Mexico to breeding grounds in… Continue reading →

Our Views: July 4 celebrates heroes of the past, not just any day

When Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter, the president of the United States quickly declared it an act of war. Abraham Lincoln not only immediately called out the militia of the states into federal service but also called the Congress into session. Lincoln had run many times for office and lost most of the time, but… Continue reading →

Letters: Constitution allows for change

In the midst of the cultural values convulsions, we need to be reminded of some fundamental issues. I refer to key statements in the Declaration of Independence, a document that James Madison called “the fundamental Act of Union in these States.” In it, we read what is often quoted but apparently not well understood or… Continue reading →

Letters: White liberals need to question selves on racial justice

In the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina, tragedy, there has been little conversation on how we white liberals should respond to questions related to race. As a native Charlestonian, I have a special reason to weep over the killings at Emmanuel AME Church: for the families of those who died, for my hometown that I will always… Continue reading →

Our Views: Let's not squander BP settlement funds, which are much needed to help Louisiana coast

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced Thursday morning that BP has reached an agreement with U.S. authorities on an $18.7 billion settlement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster  in the Gulf of Mexico.

Much more legal work is needed on the details, but that hasn’t stopped the Louisiana Legislature from spending a good bit of the BP settlement ahead of time. Hundreds of millions of dollars due to the state will go to refill a “rainy day” fund and another trust for the elderly. Why? Both have been depleted… Continue reading →

Guest column by only openly gay staffer for Bobby Jindal provides inside look at anti-gay company governor keeps

Taylor Huckaby ORG XMIT: Z-FNtsuSndEJfHHtqtpL

Five years ago, I was squeezing through Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office window on the fourth floor of the Louisiana Capitol building. The Louisiana Senate chamber’s roof provides the closest thing to box seating for downtown Baton Rouge events, and as such, the governor, his family, various staff members and I had taken the opportunity to sneak out… Continue reading →

Our Views: The House and Senate come through in key votes on trade that benefit Louisiana and the nation

Senator David Vitter

By two critical votes in the House and Senate, Congress has advanced the cause of more robust trade. That’s good for America and good for Louisiana. The issue was divisive among Democrats in both chambers. President Barack Obama sought what is called trade promotion authority, to negotiate a treaty with Asian and European partners that would… Continue reading →

Letters: Federal inventory tax idea would be bad for Louisiana business

Taxing business inventory was a major issue during this year’s legislative session. Louisiana’s archaic local inventory tax and the problematic Band-Aid of a state tax credit to offset it both came under fire. But there is another fight over inventory taxation that is currently taking place in Washington, D.C., and its outcome will just as significantly impact Louisiana… Continue reading →

Guest column: A bad sequel: Return of the Zombie Tax

Thirty years ago, Louisiana was enmeshed in a smothering economic downturn. The collapse of oil and gas prices devoured prosperity in the Bayou State. I worked at the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce when the crash hit. Almost overnight, the energy investments that fueled the boom dried up and precipitated the bust that followed. Lafayette in the boom… Continue reading →

Letters: Marriage is between a man and a woman

I don’t bow to the U.S. Supreme Court, but only to the supreme triune God: Marriage is ordained by God between a man and a woman. The sacrament of marriage is a holy sacrifice and a mystery, but it is crystal clear what it is not: the union of two of the same gender! As noted… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: When it comes to the Confederate flag issue, I’m with Mitt Romney

Associated Press file photo Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Republican presidental candidate

Here’s something I’m not sure I’ve ever heard myself say, at least until about 10 days ago: I’m with Mitt. That’s former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, of course, who came out of retirement after the racially motivated murders at a historically black Charleston church to basically challenge politicians who either supported flying the… Continue reading →

Letters: Commissioners of the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission, past and present, defend Maury Drummond

We are present and former commissioners of the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission (USS Kidd) who have known and worked with Maury Drummond for years. We know of his many accomplishments as executive director for the commission, causing the USS Kidd to become a landmark in Baton Rouge, bringing many tourists to our city. Maury, during his… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Bobby Jindal touting his record as governor could get him in trouble on campaign trail

The strategy for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is partly based on a “tell them what you’ve done” approach. But touting his achievements back home could get him into muddy water quickly if anyone decides to look too deeply at the list. Campaign aides made it clear as Jindal launched his campaign that… Continue reading →

Letter from Louisiana war veteran: ‘Sickens me to read and listen to garbage about ‘help is right around the corner’”

It sickens me to read and listen to garbage about “help is right around the corner” for the veterans of this nation. Let’s realize that nothing will be accomplished until a new administration and more pro-veteran persons are elected to Congress. One month before the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Robert McDonald as the new Veterans… Continue reading →

Our Views: Milking the students at state colleges

One of the worst policy decisions of the past few years: the state Board of Regents watering down admissions requirements in state universities. The regents and the governor should reconsider an ill-judged initiative allowing colleges to admit students who require a remedial course. “The goal is to get more graduates,” said Regents Chairman Roy Martin,… Continue reading →

James Gill: Removing flags? Why not focus on the guns?

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- With the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee behind them, Malcolm Suber, left,  and Rev. Raymond Brown along with other protesters burn the Confederate battle flag at Lee Circle during a rally to remove the symbol, along with statues like the one of General Robert E. Lee at Lee circle, from public places in New Orleans, La. Friday, June 26, 2015.

The threat posed by armed lunatics draped in Confederate flags is one that will spur any prudent society to action. Fortunately, this country has risen to the challenge as a consensus builds about what should be done. The answer is obvious. Get rid of the flags that fly over statehouses in several parts of the old South,… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: The unhappy warrior of a lost cause

Gov. Bobby Jindal, a perpetual cellar-dweller in Republican presidential polls, finally managed to best his rivals at something on Friday. The governor was the first GOP candidate to pounce on the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring same-sex marriage legal across the land. Needless to say, Jindal didn’t take the opportunity to congratulate all… Continue reading →

Our Views: Debate over Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage should remain respectful

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--People rally during the "Decision Day Rally for Marriage Equality" in Jackson Square in New Orleans, La. Friday, June 26, 2015. The rally was called after today's U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling allowing same sex marriage across the country, though Louisiana same sex couples may have to wait 25 days to acquire licenses.

In America, from the beginning, there has been the tension between the democratic process and the courts’ role in protecting the constitutional rights that are “inalienable,” in the words of the Declaration of Independence. The rule of the majority was at once celebrated and feared by the Founding Fathers of this country. The gay marriage ruling… Continue reading →

Guest column: Marriage equality comes to Louisiana... now what?

Across Louisiana Saturday, local and state officials will begin scrambling to comply with Friday’s sweeping Supreme Court ruling granting same-sex couples the right to marry. With this decision, many of the legal obstacles that have long prevented gays and lesbians from being treated as equal partners under the law will need to be changed. In one fell swoop,… Continue reading →