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Letters: A monumental overreaction of misplaced offense

With all this fuss about the senseless killings in South Carolina, we have, I believe, lost all reason and are reacting out of panic without analyzing the facts. The flags and the monuments that have been mentioned did not cause this horrendous event. The cause was basically the fact that this father purchased and gave his deranged young… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Change gun law, help law-abiding citizens

We never will know why a mentally unstable person chose Lafayette to try to restart his life. We never will know why, after a matter of days there, he decided to fire a handgun inside a movie theater. The only thing we do know is that Louisiana law permits private entities engaged in public commerce a latitude that… Continue reading →

In Toon with Walt Handelsman: August Caption Contest

ICE, ICE, BABY!! The dog days of summer are upon us, and it’s hot and getting hotter! Everyone’s looking for ways to beat the heat. Perhaps with a nice ice-cold drink? So, what’s going in this scene? You tell me. Keep it clean; be creative. be witty; be wacky. Avoid the obvious, and most importantly, have fun!… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: A program to show that black lives matter

Way back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was young reporter playing on one of this newspaper’s softball teams. One of the opposing teams was a bunch of young lawyers. One of the lawyers was Hillar Moore III, the current East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney. I can announce, without equivocation, that Moore is a… Continue reading →

Letter: Student journalists a crucial voice in future of industry, must drive decisions on LSU Reveille

The Reveille Alumni Association has been flooded with comments about the potential of new revenue streams and the impending reduction of print publication for The Daily Reveille. LSU Student Media alumni worldwide have varying opinions on each one of the difficult issues spelled out in Elizabeth Crisp’s story, but we all agree on one thing: Students,… Continue reading →

Letters: Bobby Jindal a willing accomplice in Planned Parenthood smear campaign

It should be obvious to anyone that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s directive ordering an investigation of Planned Parenthood in Louisiana is political grandstanding designed to create unnecessary delays in the opening of a new Planned Parenthood clinic in New Orleans that will perform abortions. Jeff Sadow is helping the governor along, using the same techniques used in the video… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Super PACs shaping Louisiana’s governor race; see who's throwing thousands at each candidate

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., watches before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Up in Mount Vernon, Ohio, there’s a guy who’s concerned about Louisiana. Very, very concerned. So concerned that he recently cut a $150,000 check to the Fund for Louisiana’s Future. What Thomas Rastin was really supporting when he made the big donation, of course, wasn’t the state itself but U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s quest to become… Continue reading →

Our Views: Hillary Clinton’s decision to dodge questions about the Keystone XL pipeline makes no sense

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop ,Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

As a former head of the U.S. State Department, there probably are some questions that Hillary Clinton ought not answer as a political candidate, because her opinions could prejudice some operation. Perhaps there could also be legal ramifications for some issue at State that is now in the courts. But does anyone think that the endlessly… Continue reading →

Letters: Columnist Jeff Sadow is wrong to support Bobby Jindal’s decision against Medicaid expansion

Columnist Jeff Sadow makes two basic claims in support of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to turn his back on more than 300,000 working-age Louisiana adults who could benefit from Medicaid expansion: First, he says expansion costs the state too much. Second, he claims that having Medicaid coverage is no better than being uninsured — and that people might… Continue reading →

Our Views: Back-to-school vaccinations are a private and public health issue

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif. A new study published in the journal Science suggests the measles vaccine not only prevents measles, but may also help the body ward off other infections. The vaccine was in the spotlight this year after a large measles outbreak linked to Disneyland sickened people in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Despite all the controversy about vaccines, their value in preventing the spread of serious illness is indisputable. That’s why parents in Louisiana should make sure that their school-age children are current in all of their vaccinations as the school year approaches. Some parents have suggested that vaccines can produce autism in youngsters, and that belief has… Continue reading →

Letters: The benefits of maintaining TOPS outweigh the costs

Our lawmakers frequently tell us that the cost of TOPS is increasing so fast that the program cannot be sustained. They don’t tell us that 100 percent of TOPS funding goes from the state general fund, the tobacco trust fund and the tobacco settlement revenues into institutional budgets. In short, TOPS is a modest component of funding… Continue reading →

Letters: The 2015-16 Louisiana Student Standards Review deserves strong participation from the public

The 2015-16 Louisiana Student Standards Review gives parents, educators and all concerned citizens the chance to provide input on our state’s learning standards for English and math. This important review, led by Louisiana educators, ensures that K-12 education stays on the right track and that our current and future standards meet the needs of our students… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: The Metro Council in tiff over tax-increment financing

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Mayor Kip Holden

When East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Bobby Simpson took office in 2001, the grand plan for revitalizing downtown Baton Rouge was on the drawing boards, but practically speaking, it faced a huge stumbling block: The blighted block of the old Capitol House hotel was an obstacle to progress. After at least a decade of failed efforts,… Continue reading →

Our Views: ‘The battle over preserving GOMESA is even more vital for those with a long-term commitment to Louisiana’s coastline’

By any measure, the dimensions of Louisiana’s effort to fight back against coastal erosion are going to be vastly enhanced over the next decade or so by the BP court settlement. That means not only more active projects but bigger ones, engineering the diversions of Mississippi River water and sediments to rebuild land along the state’s… Continue reading →

Letters: Lack of re-election doesn’t end the job for state representative Karen Gaudet St. Germain

I read with interest Sunday’s Capitol Buzz column titled “Lawmakers on national conference circuit.” In it, there’s the implication, although not stated outright, that it’s a waste of state money for Louisiana legislators to attend conferences with fellow lawmakers from other states where we participate in discussion panels related to issues we all face. The implication… Continue reading →

Letters: Rich Lowry’s review of ‘Between the World and Me’ is ‘harsh and hasty”

Columnist Rich Lowry’s critical review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” (The Advocate, Sunday, July 26, 6B) is harsh and hasty. Coates’ “view of America” is neither “toxic,” nor “silly,” nor “morally blinkered.” Coates, in the current issue of The Atlantic (July/August 2015, pages 85-86), contends that post-racial society is still a distant dream. This assertion… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders' message finds eager audience even in Louisiana, among reddest of red states

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana, Sunday, July 26, 2015.

When some 4,500 people venture out to a conservative New Orleans suburb on a sweltering Sunday night to cheer on a self-described socialist, it’s safe to say that something’s going on here. Bernie Sanders, the New York born, 73-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont, has emerged as a populist sensation on the Democratic… Continue reading →

Guest Column: Louisiana politicians spend outrageous time, resources blocking abortion under guise of 'protecting women'

Marlo Barrera

Recently, during the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans, an annual anti-abortion conference, Gov. Bobby Jindal touted Louisiana as the “most pro-life” state. He flaunted the amount of anti-abortion restrictions that he has signed during his two terms in office, using “religious freedom” to justify taking away a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about… Continue reading →

Letters: It is time to rethink mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenses

In response to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman’s Guest Column “How We Can Achieve True Prison Reform, Reduce Criminal Relapses” — we applaud the district attorney’s agreement that we in Louisiana “incarcerate too many people.” That is the starting point to any conversation. However, Mr. Bowman is wrong to argue the problem is not that we send… Continue reading →

Letters: Today’s biology textbooks fail our students by leaving out discussion of major biological puzzles

Recent news concerning the Louisiana black bear’s “endangered species” status calls to mind an interesting story from Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” That important book’s first edition (1859) contains this account in chapter six (Difficulties on Theory): “In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus… Continue reading →

Letters: A recent letter to the editor that was clinging to a ‘lost cause’ battle flag was intellectually lazy

In response to the recent letter by Rebecca Carl, there is a reason KKK cowards hiding behind sheets display the Confederate flag, and it is not to teach civics or history classes. Her argument and that of others that removing public symbols is, as she said, “rewriting Southern history” is simply bogus. The history was already… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Louisiana right to reject Medicaid expansion

Even as the Louisiana Legislature edged closer this year to embracing the folly of Medicaid expansion, the data continue to pile up underscoring how its adoption it would lay waste to future state budgets. As time has passed, states that already unwisely went the expansion route now project nasty surprises on the cost side. It seems practically… Continue reading →

James Gill: For whom the whistle blows, like it or not

It’s the same old story. You try to do someone a favor, but there’s not a word of thanks. Rerouting freight trains from Old Metairie to Hollygrove is an idea that has been kicking around for years, but the feds cannot put off a decision much longer. Jefferson Parish President John Young says… Continue reading →

Our Views: Lafayette a good place where something terrible happened... goodness will prevail

Law enforcement and other emergency personnel respond to the scene of a deadly shooting at the Grand Theatre on Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, La. (Leslie Westbrook/The Advocate via AP)

Here in Louisiana, we often like to think of our state as a place apart from the rest of the world. There is comfort in that kind of attitude, since it gives us the feeling, however illusory, that we’re somehow insulated from the darker realities that govern life everywhere else on the planet. But Thursday night’s… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: An organ donor’s unlikely tale

Photo provided by SUE POTTS -- Muriel Haysbert and Ed Pratt

My friend Muriel Haysbert has a new kidney that has given her a new lease on life. I wanted to interview her and the donor about how the process happened. Colette Greggs, the donor, initially refused. I told Greggs that her decision to be a donor might inspire… Continue reading →

Letters: In postwar life, Beauregard was advocate for equality

It is a shame that the vandals who defaced the Beauregard statue were not aware that he believed that black lives mattered as well. He swore an oath of loyalty, applied for a pardon under terms of President Andrew Johnston’s amnesty proclamation for ex-Confederates, and after it was granted, his remaining civil rights, including being able to hold… Continue reading →

Letters: United States in steep decline, isn’t enforcing own laws

The U.S. is in a steep decline in every way one looks at it. Current policies, local and federal, are creating lawlessness — examples being sanctuary cities, ignoring illegal aliens, not enforcing border laws. Federal laws are being broken and the federal government is complicit in turning illegal aliens and criminals loose on U.S. citizens. The… Continue reading →