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Letters to the Editor 

What's Up With That?
In "Just a Little Off the Top" ("Virgets," News & Views, April 22), Ronnie Virgets writes, "The male organ simply looks better post-circumcision than it does pre-circumcision." Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? And if an intact man wants to look like [a circumcised one], it's easy enough; it's called an erection.

What Ronnie Virgets, with all his leg-crossing, doesn't address is why don't Americans stop circumcising babies? The rest of the English-speaking world almost has.

Hugh Young
New Zealand

Good Job, Senator
On behalf of Louisiana Federal Credit Union and our 20,000 members, we consider U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu to be a "Credit Union Hero" and thank her for being one of a group of bipartisan senators to introduce the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA).

While credit unions support regulatory relief for all financial institutions, this legislation will promote economic growth by enabling credit unions to better serve the financial needs of the 1.1 million credit union members in Louisiana. CURIA will modernize credit union capital standards to a system that is currently employed by other financial institutions, provide greater access to capital for members' small businesses, and improve the quality of services available to credit union members by eliminating unnecessary regulations.

Her actions clearly demonstrate her commitment to the future of credit unions.

Rhonda Hotard
President/CEO, Louisiana Federal Credit Union

Tell Us What You Really Think
It is grossly apparent by reading "Keep the Helmet Law" (Commentary, April 15) that being extremely sarcastic and a "sideline criticizer" make for newsworthy articles. However, nowhere in this article did you appeal for the opinion of the actual people who ride motorcycles. You simply stated you want to treat grown adults like children.

How bizarre is it that the people who matter the most in this are the only people not being asked their opinion in this issue? Yet it is obvious that you will not report a balanced opinion on this issue because you have no vested interest in the outcome. You only want to talk about issues that affect your readers and to manipulate your readers with one-sided articles. If anyone has ever won the Darwin Award for reckless journalism, I'm sure it was you. Know what you speak of before you open your mouth and prove you know little to nothing.

Stephen Newman
Lake Charles

Give Riders a Choice
I know "nanny-staters" are not very interested in such things as free-market decision-making, but I am curious why Louisiana doesn't consider letting insurance furnish the incentives for safety practices like helmets for bikers and seatbelts for vehicle drivers.

Your article "Keep the Helmet Law" (Commentary, April 15) neatly lays out the statistics involved with injury and death with and without helmets. Why not build those costs into the premium/payout structure of the required insurance programs? If a person has an accident on a motorcycle, set the payout according to the actual experience of injury with and without helmets. Not wearing a helmet would reduce the insurance payout. This way, the additional expenses caused by people having accidents while not wearing helmets would be absorbed by those so choosing, while the lesser expense of having accidents while wearing a helmet would benefit those who make the decision to do so.

Same thing with seatbelts.

Ron Lewis
Mandeville

What Hat Was He Wearing?
In reference to charges brought against state Sen. Derrick Shepherd: To the best of our knowledge, the senator is charged with criminal activity not associated with his function as a part-time public official. His public position is part time, unlike, say, U.S. Sen. David Vitter. Therefore, what is the connection between what he does as a public official and his full-time function as a private lawyer?

It seems to me that Vitter's confession relative to prostitution activities has an almost certain relationship to public corruption, considering he may have been sharing intimacies with a prostitute while on the public clock and settling any payments involved with the money he makes as a public official.

Plastered all over the front pages of conservative mainstream media is the phrase, "Shepherd indicted on corruption charges." If I were a lemming, I'd buy it and send Jim Letten a facsimile "eye of the tiger." But if they indicted a full-time, confessing public official like Vitter, prejudiced prosecution wouldn't even enter my mind.

Jessie Torrisi
Public Education & Development, ACLU of Louisiana

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