Thursday, December 30, 2010

So Whatcha Doin' New Year's Eve?

December 31, 2010
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Did you make a New Year’s resolution yet? I always do. Hope and foreboding are at the top of my list and have been these past few years. The New Year always brings a promise of uncertainty. More so for most of us in the coming year. I would rather be absorbed with the more mundane things in life. But that won’t happen in the busy lives that most of us lead.

One resolution I make each year is to maintain my curiosity. It does not matter how limited your perspective or the scope of your surroundings, there is (or should be) something to wet your interest and strike your fancy. I discovered early on that there are two kinds of people; those who are curious about the world around them, and those whose shallow attentions are generally limited to those things that pertain to their own personal well-being. I just hope all those I care about fall into the former category.

And a resolution of hope. Successful and fulfilling endeavors for my children, happiness and contentment for family and friends, the fortitude to handle both the highs and lows of daily living with dignity.
I asked each of my children to give me two gifts for this Christmas. First, to make a donation to a charity that will help needy families. And second, to read the unforgettable holocaust novel Night, by Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace laureate who survived the Nazi death camps. I have a Wiesel quote framed on my office desk.
To defeat injustice and misfortune,

if only for one instant, for a single victim,
is to invent a new reason

Just like many of you, our family welcomes in the New Year with “Auld Lang Syne.” Did you know this song is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the New Year? It’s an old Scotch tune, written by my favorite historical poet, Robert Burns in the 1700’s. (I’m Scottish, so there’s a bond here.) “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days.”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?
And here’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

I can look back over many years on a number of memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations. In recent years, my wife and I have joined a gathering of family and friends in New Orleans at Antoine’s Restaurant in the French Quarter. Our private party normally clusters in the Rex Room for a complete dinner including an array of seafood appetizers (oysters, shrimp and crabmeat) and Baked Alaska for dessert. A number of champagne-filled toasts with an occasional family member dancing on the dinner table. Then off to join the masses for the New Year’s countdown to midnight in Jackson Square. We often finish the evening (or early morning) at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville on Decatur Street.

When my daughters were quite young, we spent a number of New Years at a family camp on Davis Island, in the middle of the Mississippi River some 30 miles below Vicksburg. On several occasions, the only people there were my family and Bishop Charles P. Greco, who was the Catholic Bishop for central and north Louisiana. Bishop Greco had baptized all three of my daughters, and had been a family friend for years. And he did love to deer hunt.

On many a cold and rainy morning, the handful of us at the camp would rise before dawn for the Bishop to conduct a New Year’s Mass. After the service, most of the family went back to bed. I would crank up my old jeep, and take the Bishop out in the worst weather with hopes of putting him on a stand where a large buck would pass. No matter what the weather, he would stay all morning with his shotgun and thermos of coffee. He rarely got a deer, but oh how he loved to be there in the woods. Now I’m not a Catholic, but he treated me as one of his own.
One of the most fulfilling and rewarding projects I took on in my state senate days was to help Bishop Greco fund and build the St. Mary’s Residential and Training School for retarded children in Alexandria. He was, for me, a great mentor and friend who touched the lives of so many. He died in 1987, and I will always think of him on New Year’s Day.

New Year’s Day means lots of football, but I also put on my chef’s apron. I’m well regarded in the kitchen around my household, if I say so myself, for cooking up black-eyed peas as well as cabbage and corn bread. And don’t bet I won’t find the dime in the peas. After all, I’m going to put it there.
I’ll be back next week with my opinions that are cantankerous, opinionated, inflammatory, slanted, and always full of vim and vigor. Sometimes, to some, even a bit fun to read. In the meantime, Happy New Year to you, your friends and all of your family. See you next year.

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions. “

Joey Adams

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers and websites throughout the South. You can read all is past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at The show is televised at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keep the Politicians out of the way!

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators, and the criticism that decisions are being shaped behind closed doors is already raining down on this politically sensitive process. Lawmakers in my home state of Louisiana have scheduled a special session of its legislature in March to divvy up the various political boundaries including congressional, public service commission, and their own legislative districts. But a question should be asked as to why lawmakers are meeting at all?

By federal law, all election districts throughout the state must be reapportioned every 10 years in order to reflect the latest census figures. And as 2011 approaches, Louisiana elections officials are in a bind, knowing that census figures have just become available, in the same year as the Louisiana gubernatorial election. A process does need to be in place so that quick action can be taken once the new census figures are available -- but should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do the drawing?
The problem is one of gerrymandering, where district lines are drawn not to reflect geographical or political balance, but to favor the incumbent or some other partisan choice. When legislators do the redistricting, the norm seems to be that the state ends up with meandering footprints meticulously designed, it would seem, to ensure that no incumbent will face serious opposition regardless of how the political winds are blowing.

Louisiana political columnist John Maginnis summed the problem up well when he wrote: “Think about it this way. In elections, people choose their legislators. In reapportionment, legislators choose their people.”
Gerrymandering, by the way, means to manipulate the electoral boundaries for political gain so as to give undue influence to an incumbent or other favored candidate. The name comes from Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1812 created winding districts that looked like salamanders to favor incumbents. Thus the convoluted word of gerrymandering.

What most voters want to avoid is the self dealing by legislators where voting districts slash across communities of interest and geography. A blatant example of winding, disjointed gerrymandering is the Louisiana third congressional district. It winds from the Mississippi border south of New Orleans though the southern part of Jefferson Parish, and all the way through south Louisiana up to Lafayette, some 300 miles in length. And it was created with one purpose in mind; to protect the local incumbent.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been leading an effort in his home state to get the elected officials out of the redistricting business. “The politicians have divided a neighborhood,” he says. “They have divided cities, towns and people, and this is what we what want to eliminate. And this is why we need redistricting, because the district lines were drawn to favor incumbents, rather than to favor the voters.”

The question for voters is this: Are they concerned that the legislature is, for all practical purposes, creating their own voters? Is this healthy in the Bayou State, or for that matter, any state? Many think it’s not.
“The self-dealing quality of legislators drawing districts for themselves or for their partisans has basically collapsed the enterprise,” says Samuel Issacharoff, a law professor, who is an expert on redistricting. “There’s an increasing sense of revulsion among voters at this self-dealing. It is somewhat scandalous that there are few competitive elections anymore.”

So what are the alternatives? What are other progressive states doing to transfer the power of redistricting to a system less driven by self-interest? Fourteen states have assigned the task to officials or panels outside the state legislature. Independent redistricting wears the cloak of good-government reform, as long as a consensus can be built on just who will serve on such panels. How do you pick the members? How can such a system be put in place that assures voters the final result will be fair, non-partisan, and keep local interests balanced?

There are a number of bright people in here Louisiana and in every state with solid business and educational backgrounds that are capable of taking on this controversial task. There are several respected demographers in the state, and a number of professors at Louisiana universities well qualified for the job. Retired judges fit the category. as well as representatives of some of the state’s good government groups.

When I was first elected to the Louisiana legislature back in 1971, legislative redistricting had taken place just months before. But the reapportionment plan did not pass federal court muster, and was thrown out just weeks before the primary election date. Ed Steimel was head of the Public Affairs Research Council at the time, and he was appointed by federal judge Frank Polozola to serve as a “special master” to redraw the district lines. Based on Steimel’s rework, the old plan was thrown out and the new court ordered plan put in place. There was general agreement that the Steimel Plan was fair and kept districts more cohesive and less spread out. (It must have been good as I won my senate seat easily in the first primary.)
One idea would be to create in each state a Fair Reapportionment Practices Commission made up from a cross section of various recommendations. Let nominations come from the legislature, the Supreme Court, good government groups, various college boards, and perhaps a key business group or two. Then put all the submissions in a hat, and draw out eleven names to serve as members to begin their work right after the new census data is made available.

The goal for such a commission is simple – put the important issue of redistricting into the hands of fewer vested interests instead of those who in the past have been allowed to define the terms of their own cartel. Simply put, it’s just wrong for legislators to draw these districts and then run in them. There needs to be a better way.
If you are sitting around with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the legislature. You’ll get the same kind of feeling and you won’t have to pay.” Former La. Sen. Dudley LeBlanc

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers and on websites throughout the South. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at The show is televised at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who's Going to Pay the Piper?

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


It’s the holiday season, and we always talk a good bit about watching our weight and curtailing our appetite. We just cannot pass up all the tempting finger food at holiday parties, washed down with too much to drink and desserts galore. Wait till the New Year, right? That’s the message we received from Democrats and Republicans alike in the final days of the 111th congress. Both parties are supporting a second stimulus package that will blow another $1 trillion hole in the budget. Forget the ever growing deficit. It’s just not the right time.

What a well worn phrase. It never seems to be the right time in Washington. After all, we are continually told, the economy is fragile and the recovery is halting. But when is the “right time?” It wasn’t that long ago when the economy was churning. So instead of planning a reduction of the deficit, both parties joined the fray by adding massive entitlement programs, cutting taxes, and entering two wars that cost several trillion dollars. Who cares about the debt? The mantra to follow is Mark Twain’s -- "never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

It should be obvious to Republicans in congress that the president was wrong to believe that the United States could fight a war, cut taxes and increase federal spending all at once. Yet here they are, embracing Keynesian economic arguments they have denounced for years.

When I was on the radio in New Orleans on WRNO a few years back, I enjoyed my regular economic policy arguments with Rob Couhig, a lawyer friend who preceded me on the early morning time slot. Rob would often stay over for my show, and it was a standing joke that he would constantly bring up the theories of Nobel Prize economist Milton Friedman, working Freidman’s thoughts in to any and every conversation.

Friedman's ideas were embraced by President Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, and lauded by many in the business world. But they were also controversial because of the deep cuts in government spending and the more restricted role they entailed for government in buffering citizens from economic forces. To most Republicans, Friedman’s views represented the “holy grail” of how government spending policy should be implemented.

But we sure have seen an about face by Republicans and conservative Democrats alike. Now, Republicans have joined hands with Democrats in a Kumbaya embrace of the Keynesian arguments that they have denounced for years. As Time economist Fareed Zakaria points out: “John Maynard Keynes argued that when private demand weakens, the government should pick up the slack. He advocated either of two paths: government spending or tax cuts.” Republicans and democrats alike have irresponsibly embraced both options with no one around to pay the bill.

And what’s all this ballyhooing for bipartisanship? Both parties are so proud of themselves for “reaching across the aisle” to find the middle ground. But how does this really get the best result? Does this, “I’ll take a half a loaf if I can’t get the whole loaf” theory really benefit anyone? Voters want solutions that work, and problems to be solved. Not so much “bipartisanship,” but more “post partisanship.”
It’s not easy for a new congressman arriving in Washington not to be seduced by the swarm of vested interests licking their chops to bring the new lawmaker into the partisan fold. Platoons of Wall Street bankers, 13,000 corporate lobbyists, corporate media flacks, Demodon’ts, Republican’ts, war machine promoters, tea party yackety-yackers, and other powerful forces of business-as-usual politics are not so easy to resist. I wrote last week about the throng of Tea Party candidates who ran against the Washington establishment – and that within weeks of their election victory they were jumping at the chance to have these same lobbying interests pony up at one big money Washington fundraiser after another. The early lesson is to stay in lock step with your respective party leadership, and, from the very start, gather up campaign dollars. No time here for post partisanship solutions.

State governments are not immune from the Washington mentality of spending with little regard for cutting back. In my home state of Louisiana, the governor is proposing the selling off of state buildings and other state properties to fill the current year’s budget shortfall. This means doing away with an asset to pay for years worth of debt. Huey Long would be rolling over in his grave on the front lawn of the state capitol, except for the fact that he might be part of the onetime fire sale. Any way you look at it, this is an irresponsible way to pay stare expenses.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy, who is a dwindling voice of reason in state government, put it this way, "A junkie can go sell his television and sell the radio and pay for a fix," Kennedy said. "But sooner or later... he's got to face his addiction. I would prefer to have us face our addiction."

Louisiana workers, by the way, will see significantly less help in the new proposal than most of the rest of the country because of the greater number of low wage earners. Any employee making $20,000 or less will not get the benefit of a $400 tax credit, and state employees, who are exempt from payroll deductions will also see a tax increase compared to those who make significantly higher wages.

Americans are borrowing more and spending more. And they are running up a higher personal and national debt. We keep hearing that our national debt is now above $13 trillion dollars. But when you include Baby Boomer demographic demands that include Social Security, union, pension and health-care obligations that all end up drawing on the public purse, the national debt skyrockets.

China lends us cash so that we can give ourselves one more big tax break. So when all is said and done in Washington, Democrats and Republicans alike, find it much easier to give away $ one trillion, than to make any meaningful effort to curtail spending. Congress is merely buying time. Sadly, that’s not what leadership should be about.
Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers and websites throughout the South. You can read all is past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at The show is televised at

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hypocrisy and Tea Party Candidates

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


It was just a few months ago when we listened to Tea Party candidates across the country declaring that they were going to Washington in order to shake up the political establishment. No more “politics as usual” was the battle cry. But in a matter of a few weeks, these new guys and gals on the block have rapidly embraced the Washington culture of big-money fundraisers. Special interests galore and numerous lobbying groups are falling all over themselves to host fundraisers for these progressive agents of change. And the new so-called reformers are taking the bait and gathering up the big bucks for their campaign war chests. The more we hear about change in Washington, the more things stay the same.

In my home state of Louisiana, newly elected congressman Jeff Landry was the Tea Party’s poster boy for opposing the Washington culture of bowing to special interests. On election night, he told his followers that it’s going to be a new day in Washington, and “we need to get our country back on the right track.” Three weeks later, Landry was in the heart of Washington at the posh Capitol Hill Club on the hunt for Washington campaign dollars. He’s two months away from even being sworn into office, yet Landy is asking for money from K Street lobbyists and other Washington power brokers.

Getting to visit with Landry doesn’t come cheap. The high priced “meet and greet” with the new Louisiana 3rd District Congressman carried a price tag of $5,000 for the “PAC Gold Level; $2,400 for the individual Gold Level; $2,500 for the PAC Silver Level, and $1,000” just to get in the door. All of a sudden, just weeks after getting elected, many new congressman like Landry found that Washington went from a “cesspool” when they were campaigning, to a “hot tube” once elected.
A guest on my weekly nationally syndicated radio show this week will be Gabriela Schneider, who tracks political fund raisers for the Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group. She observes that “the lobbyists are all saying, ‘Welcome to Washington -- let me help pay off your debt.’ It’s particularly interesting when so many of this year’s freshman congressmen were running against Washington. But as soon as they get elected, they come to Washington and put out their hand.”

Another guest on the program this Sunday will be Meredith McGehee, who serves as policy director at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington. She told me this week that debt-retirement events and other post-election fundraisers “are God’s gift to special interests,” that allows corporate PACs and lobbyists to curry favor with grateful congressmen. And she says these early fundraisers for newly elected lawmakers are a way to get an inside relationship for some lobbyists who had ignored or even opposed the congressman-elect back during the campaign.“If you were on the wrong side or just AWOL during the election, this is your chance to make it up,” McGehee told me. “It’s a great way to get in good with members of Congress.”

The good news for Landry and other new Republican congressman is that, with the Republicans now in control of the U.S. House, the campaign money spickets have opened and are abundantly flowing. These new GOP Tea Partiers strongly oppose earmarks, unless the earmark is a campaign donation sent in their direction. The bad news is that many states like Louisiana could well become the “wild, wild west” for political fundraising with candidates no longer in control of their own campaigns.

Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court declared that corporations and unions can now spend money on political advertising. In the future, corporate boardrooms will soon become political cockpits for plotting the success or demise of candidates like Landry. Better tow the special interest line, or guess who just might come after you?
It’s no secret that in the majority of elections there are two key elements in getting elected to a major political office. The first is money. I’ve forgotten the second. My home state of Louisiana is often the most expensive for campaign spending, per capita, in the nation. Out of state corporate and special interest money regularly flood into the campaign coffers of Louisiana candidates.

Current Governor Bobby Jindal has raised over $10 million for his re election campaign. The New Orleans Times Picayune reported this year that Jindal has more contributions from outside Louisiana than from within. One might wonder why almost 1000 California contributors are so interested in Louisiana issues.

How do Louisiana citizens benefit when large amounts of campaign cash flood into the state to influence Louisiana elections? The same question could be asked about out of state dollars being sent in to any state. Isn’t there a built in conflict of interest as to where an official’s loyalties lie when large, out of state donations are accepted?

There is a simple and constitutional way to keep Louisiana elected officials focused on Louisiana issues. A candidate for public office should only raise campaign funds in the district from where he or she is running. If a candidate is running statewide, he or she should raise all their financial resources within the state. If a candidate is running parish or countywide, the limits should be within the home district. Legislators would be limited to raising campaign dollars from within their respective districts. Simple. Keep fund raising local. Make the candidates focus and be responsive solely to the voters in the boundaries that put them in office.

To be sure, there would be loud protests from lobbyists who hand out the campaign dollars to gain their “special access.” And incumbents, who can work the system from day one in office, would object at having to forgo all the many out of district fund raising opportunities. The voters would be the beneficiaries. But don’t count on any groundswell of change. The recent Supreme Court decision was touted as a catalyst for major campaign changes. But as long as out of state money floods into any state, it’s going to be the same old, same old in both Baton Rouge and Washington. Yes, the more we hear about change, the more it’s just the same old song and dance.

People used to complain that selling a campaign was like selling a bar of soap. But when you buy soap, at least you get the soap. In this campaign, you just get two guys telling you they really value cleanliness.”— David Brooks

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers and websites throughout the South. You can read all is past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at The show is televised at

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Can See Sarah Palin from my House!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Baton Rouge, Louisiana



Sarah Palin brought her indomitable road show to my hometown of Baton Rouge this week with the flair and the chutzpah of a larger than life personality, which she just might be. Security was tight at the local Books-A-Million, and the crowd of over 1000 was given strict instructions of what it could, and could not do. From the way her entourage carried on, on you would have thought she was trying to be like Louisiana’s own, Governor Bobby Jindal.

Jindal, for the benefit of you readers outside Louisiana, has set a standard for inaccessibility that is unmatched in Louisiana history. As is the case in most states, Governors in general are openly available public officials. A few, like the Governor of South Dakota, even answer their own home phones. Stories are legendary in Louisiana of average citizens just showing up at the Governor’s office, or even the Governor’s mansion, asking for help, or even just to pay a visit. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour receives accolades from locals in his home state for being easily available to the press and the general public. Jindal has taken the opposite approach.

When the Louisiana Governor is making a speech, even in the far reaches of the state, the Baton Rouge press corps complains that they are often given only a few hours notice, if any notice at all. The national press gains easy accessibility to Jindal where the locals, at best, get a self-serving quote from a staff member – an approach similar to the one taken by Palin back home in Alaska.

I live just a short walk from Books-A-Million, so I decided to mosey on over to check out the Sarah phenomena. I read Palin’s first book, Going Rogue, which came out last year. Yes, it was an easy read, but you know what? I learned a lot.

First of all, it was no surprise that Sarah didn’t actually write the book. Few celebrities do these days. Writing a book of personal experiences is a long and drawn out labor of love as I know from my own experiences, both as a writer and a publisher. The breezy Palin memoir was written by former Bush speech writer, Lynn Vincent, but there are still enough “you betchas” in the book to give it the lady’s special Alaska flavor.

Wanting to read all the juicy tidbits first, I immediately went to the index to get an idea of what Palin listed as being of particular importance. Surprise! There is no index in Palin’s first book. Nor is there an index in her new book. So there was no choice for me but to wade on through. I did make a few page number notations so I could share with you, my loyal readers, some of the more relevant parts of the book -- key words that should wet your appetite for more.

First, a stop on page 102 is a “must read,” just for the lyrical prose: “As the soles of my shoes hit the soft ground, I pushed past tall cottonwood trees in a euphoric cadence, and meandered through willow branches that the moose munched on.” Faulkner would have been impressed.

During the campaign, there were questions of Palin’s reading habits. Who can forget her non answer when Katie Couric asked her what she liked to read. She cleared up any uncertainty in her new book by listing cookbooks (p. 15), Reader’s Digest (P.15), Sports Illustrated (P. 27), The Wonderful World of Oz (p. 16), and my favorite, Ranger Rick (p. 27).

Then, of course, there is Palin’s vivid description on page 302 of praying in the shower with Rev. Rick Warren. I kid you not. OK, maybe I inferred too much. She was in the shower when the California Evangelist called, so she pulled in the phone to join him in prayer.

And food? She makes no bones about how she loves and cooks Alaskan edibles. Her specialties include halibut tacos (p. 1), reindeer sausage (p. 1) and caribou lasagna (p. 218). She recounts how on the day she got married “we stopped by the Wendy’s drive-thru for our wedding dinner.” (p. 49). Palin also makes it quite clear that “I love meat,” particularly “the seared fatty edges of a well-done steak.” (p. 18). She follows this homily with one of the book’s deeper and more poignant quotes: “If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat? “ (p. 133) Nuf said.

So after getting a taste of these and other Palin homilies, you can imagine my enthusiasm to join the throng of Sarah diehards marching on my local bookstore. But before getting near the store entrance, I was confronted by a team of guards who spelled out the rules. There was a list of requirements for anyone who wanted Sarah’s autograph on her book.

To be allowed admission to Palin’s book signing, you had to have a wristband. But to get one, you had to show up two days before, on Sunday, and be one of the first 500 in line.

On book signing day, you had to show up one hour in advance, with a copy of Sarah’s book to be allowed to get in line. No photos or video of any kind were allowed, and all cameras and cell phones had to be checked outside the bookstore.

Look, this was a real labor of love to stand there for hours and go though all these procedures just to get a book signed. The process was similar to visiting a relative in prison, or maybe waiting to see Kim Kardashian. But as much as I would have liked to visit with Sarah, the hoops you had to go through were just a little too much for me. So with some reluctance, I walked back home.

Now, like I said, I live just a stone’s through away from the bookstore. So when I got home, I decided to climb up on my roof. It’s flat, with a full view of the shopping center where the bookstore is located. And then it dawned on me. We have a common bond, this lady and I. Remember back during the campaign when she was asked about her foreign policy experience? She said she could see Russia from her house. Well guess what! I can see Sarah from my house! Pretty cool, huh? “You betcha.”


''Only dead fish go with the flow.''

—Sarah Palin, quitting her job as governor, July 3, 2009

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers and websites throughout the South. You can read all is past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at The show is televised at