Jim Brown: Walker Percy’s Impact on Louisiana

June 4th, 2015
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Many readers who love Louisiana literature will gather this weekend in St. Francisville to celebrate the live and works of novelist Walker Percy. He was, to me, a literary icon who spent most of his life in Louisiana. Many consider him to be America’s most significant Catholic writer. And he was passionate about Louisiana. So passionate that he took the time to give me some good advise about what he considered to be the insidious politics in the Bayou State.

I first heard about Dr. Percy (he was a psychiatrist by training) back in 1961 when I was an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina. I was writing a weekly column for the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. Percy was a Carolina graduate, and had also written regular columns for the Tar Heel back in the late 1930s. His first novel, The Moviegoer, had just won the National Book award, and there was a lot of buzz about him in Chapel Hill.

One of the amusing stories that circulated around the English Department at Carolina was about Percy taking his freshman English placement test. He had just read Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” and wrote his entire essay in one long paragraph without punctuation. He was promptly placed into a class for slow learners and was told that he needed a lot of help to pass English composition.

The Moviegoer was set in New Orleans, a place I had never visited. Percy’s descriptions of the French Quarter, Mardi Gras, and the streets of the Crescent City were enchanting to me, and one of the reasons I decided to attend Tulane Law School. One of my courses in constitutional law was taught by Professor Billups Percy, Dr. Percy’s brother. His uncle, Will Percy, had written an important history titled “Lanterns on the Levee,” a memorial to the South of his youth and young manhood, where he describes life in the Mississippi Delta. The introduction was written by Walker Percy. Continue Reading……..

Other Voices | Wednesdays Wars: The Iran Deal – It could end in Impeachment

Published on Jun 3, 2015

Let’s cut to the chase on the Iran Deal. It could end in Impeachment.

If it comes to Impeachment, that would be a good thing. Why? Because it would give the country the benefit of a knock-down, drag-out brawl over the question of who runs foreign policy in the United States of America … the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, or the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Stripped to the core, niceties aside, that’s exactly what the fight over the Iran Deal is all about. It’s a fight worth having. Indeed, it’s long overdue.

Here’s how all this could go down:

The US and its five negotiating partners (UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) make a deal with Iran, on its nuclear program, that’s acceptable to all parties. That’s the easy part.

The deal will then be presented to Congress in late June or early July. Congress has roughly 50 days to deliberate and, if it chooses, reject the deal by a 2/3 vote in both Houses of Congress. Procedurally, it’s a little more complicated, but that’s the essence.

Between now and the release of language constituting the final agreement, we can expect a steady stream of information and misinformation tending to indicate that Iran is evil incarnate while Israel is pure as the driven snow. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Remember, Iran has had soldiers on the ground assisting us in two of our last four wars. After 9-11, they were on the ground in Afghanistan, working for us and coordinating with us before our troops moved into the country. Now, they are on the ground fighting ISIL and coordinating their efforts with us. Continue Reading………..