Jim Brown’s Weekly Column: Erosion of freedoms nothing new!

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


In the past week, the Washington establishment is in crisis mode over a series of revelations of government intrusions that would seem to go way over the line of what is constitutionally legal. First, the Internal Revenue Service admitted it had targeted Tea Party groups for priority audits. Then came another bombshell disclosure. The Justice Department had secretly seized and monitored phone records from the Associated Press, which is a direct threat to a news organization’s constitutional right to gather and report the news.

Is this a new chapter in the country moving toward a “Brave New World?” Hardly. This type of undermining of one’s constitutional rights has been going on for years. The press turned its back on gross attacks on our individual freedoms as the Patriot Act “legalized” a litany of personal and private invasions that our constitution was intended to prevent.

The difference is that now, the abuse is hitting close to home. “The audacity of invading the freedoms of the press and political groups like the Tea Party!” many cry out. But where were the voices of such concern during a whole rash of such individual privacy invasions during the Bush and, now, the Obama Administration? Both Democrats and Republicans, who now express outrage, stood by and allowed the Patriot Act to sweep individual protections under the rug.

In an interview with CNN this past week, former FBI counter terrorism agent Tim Clemente said that the FBI could listen to phone conversations between anybody they wanted. “Welcome to America,” he said. “All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.” Continue Reading…….

Today’s feature business: Thanh Thanh Restaurant in historic downtown Gretna

Chicken Sate at Thanh Thanh Image via Urbanspoon.com

Visiting New Orleans from out of town? Are you tired of eating at French Quarter tourist traps and want to go where the locals go? Even better you heard about the areas rich history involving organized crime and you want to retrace the steps of the most famous tomato salesman in U.S. History. Well then you are in luck because downtown Gretna Louisiana, just across the Mighty Mississippi River from the downtown New Orleans, has some very good eats and the one favored by today’s West Bank movers and shakers is Thanh Thanh Restaurant on historic Huey P Long Avenue close to Gretna City Hall.

They have it all folks, from an American style breakfast favored by several local political luminaries to authentic Vietnamese banh mi style sandwiches and egg rolls that are to die for.

Don’t take it from me folks, check out the satisfied customer comments over at Urbanspoon. Next time you’re in town for a visit it is well worth the trip across the river.

John Young discussing the Heather Hilliard suit via his private email: That woman will be the death of me

Welp, folks I think what we have now in the council chambers is a bona fide circus with Heather Hilliard busting team Young for using their private email accounts to conduct the public’s business plus Joe Caldarera is running back to the Parish Council to tattle on Deb Foshee. None of these are exactly confidence inspiring developments, especially in the Parish council for tolerating Joe Caldarera’s end runs around their attorney.

Over the next few months Slabbed will be hosting several out of state and international guests

And I am counting on everyone in the greater Slabbed Nation here in the greater Soggy Bottom metropolitan area to be on their best behavior and exhibit the southern hospitality for which we are famous. I’ll announce the first guest a few days before his arrival so please stay tuned.

In other news I am pleased to announce Slabbed is in preliminary discussions with a local law firm (maybe two) regarding banner ad placement on the right sidebar of the most widely read lay written legal affairs blog in the Gulf South.