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Our Views: IRS probe yields bills

When officials of the Internal Revenue Service targeted a number of conservative organizations seeking tax exemptions, it rightly caused a national furor. But while members of Congress of both parties are quick to criticize, they’re not as often willing to do the difficult work of addressing real-world problems. And even if the congressional machinery grinds into… Continue reading →

Letter: Letters spread lies about Affordable Care Act

Please stop printing letters that are 100 percent false. I am referring to the recent letter from Phillip Joffrion, of the Karl-Rovians for Prosperity. Insurance premiums have not “jumped by 50 percent.” In fact, since the passage of “Obamacare,” we have seen the slowest growth in health insurance premiums and health care cost… Continue reading →

Letter: Healthy eating should start in childhood

According to the American Heart Association, September is National Childhood Obesity Month. With a rising childhood obesity rate and heart disease being the No. 1 killer in the capital area, it is time to take notice. Healthy diets are not only important for adults but imperative for children. Introducing good habits at an… Continue reading →

Letter: Not all reformers have malicious intent

Regarding the recent letter of John Sanders, “Raising age for benefits hurts elderly”: Pastor Sanders implies that proposals to change Social Security reflect an attitude of ruthless rich people wanting to “cut ’em off by the knees.” I have great respect for those in society, like the pastors and clerics represented by Sanders,… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Cassidy tries to sidestep tough spots

As he tries to become Louisiana’s next U.S. senator, Republican Bill Cassidy is vulnerable to attack from two sides. The GOP congressman is playing defense against hits from both Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu and tea party favorite Rob Maness because the state’s unusual “jungle primary” has all candidates, regardless of party, running against each other in the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Secret interviews discount public

Closed-door meetings near airports might sound like a good plot device for a spy thriller. As a method to pick Louisiana’s top policymaker on higher education, though, they stink. But that was the clandestine tactic used by the Louisiana Board of Regents as it seeks the next commissioner of higher education. It’s a clear flouting of… Continue reading →

James Gill: Edmonson amendment dead on arrival

The Edmonson amendment was friendless in the end and DOA in court. Judge Janice Clark was merely required to list the multiple constitutional failures that proved fatal. Legal questions are seldom as easy to resolve as this. Those responsible for the scheme to give State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Is Senate campaign Maness’ mess?

U.S. senatorial candidate Rob Maness might be both a fine fellow and a solid conservative, but there are good reasons why some Louisiana conservatives wish he would exit his race. Most of those reasons involve conservatives’ desire to see incumbent Mary Landrieu finally evicted from office. The peculiar nature of Louisiana’s open primary makes it more likely Landrieu… Continue reading →

Our Views: Right vote on Kemp

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority member Paul Kemp.

Compared to the old days of governors appointing political friends to levee boards, the new process of appointment might seem a cumbersome alternative, involving an independent nominating committee and some board seats reserved for people with technical expertise. The renomination of Paul Kemp to the New Orleans-area levee authority is a vindication of the goal of… Continue reading →

Letter: People of faith support reproductive rights

As priest-in-charge at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, which is across South Claiborne Avenue from the new Planned Parenthood clinic, I am pleased that the clinic is moving to the area. I write to express my support for the right of the clinic to be there and to serve the reproductive… Continue reading →

Letter: Grand Isle trip better the second time around

Photo provided by the Office of State Parks  beach at Grand Isle

Last year, after a trip to Grand Isle, I wrote a letter of complaint about all the problems we experienced on our visit to the state park and stated I would never go there again. The manager at the time responded with “facts” that were not true. Subsequently, I received a call from Lt. Gov. Jay… Continue reading →

Letter: Don’t underestimate U.S. military actions

Within the past few days, it seems like the term “underestimated” has become a popular mea culpa. Of course, it is frequently used in all walks of life, and it has been applied to many other types of action, or inaction, as well as to those related to political or military situations. In 1957, during a… Continue reading →

Our Views: A lesson for session

A state district judge has laid to rest a controversial retirement boost to two state troopers, one of them the State Police superintendent. Judge Janice Clark agreed with an attorney for state Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, who filed suit challenging the new law. The lawsuit and Clark’s decision was not challenged by the troopers’ retirement… Continue reading →

Our Views: Two fans back Gulf

Photo provided by Liz Ammirato -- Rory and Maeve McCracken, ages 16 and 11, created Kids Love the Gulf in response to the BP oil Spill. The siblings have raised $8,000 to help marine animals and have published an ABC book about the Gulf for children.

You’re not too young to make a difference, as two Louisiana schoolchildren proved after the disastrous 2010 oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The brother-and-sister duo of Rory and Maeve McCracken were raised by parents with a love of the water and, particularly, diving. So after the BP leak, the project of a T-shirt to… Continue reading →

Letter: Research contradicts assertion about nature of sexuality

In his recent letter, “Ordinance not fair to everyone,” Mr. Gene Mills claimed that “…sexual attraction, sexual conduct and transgender behavior...” are not “…inborn, involuntary, immutable and morally neutral characteristics…” as are a person’s race, gender and national origin. He appears to believe that being homosexual, bisexual or transgender is a personal choice, since he believes that the… Continue reading →

Letter: Common Core math example was telling

Any reader who had difficulty comprehending a recent letter captioned “New math requires actual comprehension,” is not alone. The writer, Ben Lanier-Nabor, devotes several hundred words to illustrate and tout how the teaching of math problems such as “11+9” is handled in Common Core-style curriculums. Trouble is, a gold star need be conferred upon anyone who actually comprehends… Continue reading →

Letter: Social Secruity shifts with population

Seventy-nine years ago, when Social Security was signed into law, there were over 40 workers contributing to the fund for each retiree, and the average life span was 60 years. Today, there are approximately four workers contributing for each retiree, and, with people retiring earlier and living much longer, how long will it be before one contributing… Continue reading →

Letter: Humane agencies did not get equitable share of funds

In response to the recent “Building a better humane society” article: Our humane society is grateful for the story, written by Christine Gacharna, that described our Barkitecture Competition (dog house building contest) and pledge walk at Lakeside Mall, sponsored by First Bank and Trust. In the story, I was quoted as saying that after Hurricane… Continue reading →

Inside Report: Uninsured care causes problems for hospitals

The Jindal administration came to the rescue recently when Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City decided to close its emergency room because of mounting red ink. The General had long warned that the growing number of uninsured patients receiving emergency medical treatment — and not paying — threatened the hospital’s financial viability. Hospital… Continue reading →

Our Views: A pathway toward work

It’s hard to improve on “disturbing” and “unjust,” but those are just a few of the descriptions of the economic cost to the city of New Orleans of unemployment among black men. A report released last year by a Loyola University think tank found more than half of working-age black men were unemployed,… Continue reading →

James Gill: A business plan for Fair Grounds

It had been a splendid dinner, and I was in expansive mood as my manservant drove me home. “After you’ve put the car in the garage, bring me a glass of that 1915 Armagnac, Joe,” I said. “I’ll be on the bench at the end of the pergola.” The views of the… Continue reading →

Letter: Skilled leaders can guide victims of abuse

What is missing from the stories about Scott Rogers is the question of whether he might have had an abusive childhood himself that would have damaged any human being. This vital question is most important for the rest of us to explore, and we need spiritual healers and compassionate, mature, capable mental health leaders to explain… Continue reading →