Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Milwaukee Irish Fest was Grand!

Your part-Hibernian Peasant enjoyed Milwaukee's Irish Fest,
gathering with family and friends during this, my annual
Irish vacation. It's so wonderful, having an Irish vacation
without actually leaving the country --- although one day I
shall do precisely that! Visiting Ireland has always been a
dream of mine; I have visited Great Britain and much of
continental Europe, and have enjoyed every place I saw,
but I won't rest until I've been to The Emerald Isle,
where I have many relatives. I shall of course visit them,
and will take in some of the historic sights of Eire, including
some of the touristy-type attractions, camera in hand.

But for now, going to Milwaukee's Irish Fest is a real treat!
Our fest is the biggest Irish Festival in the world, so if you
want to enjoy more of Irish culture you'll have to visit
dear of Ireland itself!

It was great to be at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, and it's great to
be back with you, my beloved readers!


MEM

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Br. Gregory Conant, R.I.P.

My grand readers, your sorrowful Peasant wishes
to announce the passing of a truly God and country
gentleman. A loyal servant of God, a staunch patriot,
and a beloved family member, my cousin Br. Gregory
Conant, passed away peacefully after several years of
declining health in Still River, Massachusetts on July 23
at the age of 87.

Having received the calling to serve as a monk when he
was sixteen years of age, Brother Gregory also had a great
love of country. He first enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard a
year later, concealing his true age, then followed this stint with
enlistment in the U.S. Army, serving in Korea during the
war there as a communications specialist. Never a fan of
communism, he came to loathe it even more as a result
of his experiences in the Korean War, seeing the devastation
and misery it had wreaked upon the Korean people. After
his military service, he then began his training for his
holy vocation.

A proud conservative, both politically and religiously,
and staunchly pro-life, Brother Gregory was an activist
on all these fronts, making both friends and enemies
with his outspokenness and forthrightness. Your proud
Peasant was in agreement with Brother Gregory on
every subject but one: he would constantly badger me to
enter the seminary and become a priest or a brother.
It was an issue on which we had more discussions than I
can recall, and had clashed rather heatedly on a few times
as well. But in the end, my cousin acknowledged my need
to go in the direction I felt compelled to go, to establish
and maintain a career in business while devoting time to
politics as well, and we remained close friends as well as
close relatives in the years that passed. And now my
dear cousin has passed as well.

Bold, forthright, redoubtable, passionate, outspoken,
irrepressible, and unapologetic, Brother Gregory was
an advocate for his faith, his country, and the improvement
of the human condition --- spiritually, physically, and
morally. Would that we had public servants with his
courage, his conviction, and his outspokenness.
Come to think of it, the Catholic Church could use a few
more hearty souls like my cousin as well.

Rest in peace, Brother Gregory. We'll see each other again
when I'm called up yonder.


MEM

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's Time For My Annual Irish Vacation!

My dear readers, your beloved Peasant is going
to take another break this month, as August is the
month in which the Milwaukee Irish Fest takes place.
Therefore, I shall not be posting anything this week
but for this notice.

I shall be getting together with family and friends,
from Ireland as well as from around the country and
of course here in Milwaukee. The festival goes from
Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16.
If any of you are going to be in Milwaukee during
this time frame, come to our Irish Fest! You'll have
so much to see and do; Irish music from performers
from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, the U.S.,
wherever there is Celtic culture --- Irish dishes,
Irish whiskies, Irish theater, discussions on Irish
history and politics, the great and wickedly fast
Irish sport of hurling, a sailing regatta, a tug-of-war
tournament, Irish show dogs, and oh so much more!

For more information visit www.irishfest.com/ .
By the by, check out The High Kings in concert!
They are a hot (and growing hotter!) Irish
singing group of four ridiculously talented singers/
musicians from Ireland who have taken the United
States by storm! And one of the High Kings,
Finbarr Clancy, is a cousin! No blarney!

Meanwhile, do visit National Review Online
for your week's dose of conservative observation
and commentary on the latest political news.

www.nationalreview.com/

The Peasant shall return after the Milwaukee Irish Fest!
God bless!


MEM

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Peasant Recharges His Batteries

Your faithful Peasant is going on a trip to visit
some family members who live in another part
of Wisconsin, so while I am away please enjoy
these wonderful online publications until my return.
Their links are to be found below. I shall be leaving
on my trip in two days from today, so I want to get
this notice to you, my wonderful readers at this time.

Thank you all for your readership, your friendship,
and your encouragement in my efforts to bring you
the sharpest, most concise, most on-the-mark
commentary on the political and economic news
of the day! I shall be back before you know it,
well-rested and ready to roll!

God bless!


MEM


National Review Online
www.natioanlreview.com/

Newsmax
www.newsmax.com/

Reason
www.reason.com/

Freedom Weekly
www.freedomweekly.com/


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Theodore Bikel, R.I.P.

Theodore Bikel, Austrian-born folk singer, actor,
and human rights activist, passed away recently
at the age of 91.

Best known for playing Tevye in the Broadway
production of "Fiddler On The Roof", and a veteran
of many other theatrical productions as well as
film and television, Bikel was also an outspoken,
indefatigable human rights activist who had protested
at the Soviet and South African embassies in the days
that the Soviet Union and Apartheid existed, getting
arrested at both places.

Your appreciative Peasant had the opportunity to hear
Bikel fifteen years ago when he was on the lecture
circuit, and found him to be all that he was made out
to be, and more besides. Warm, genuine, caring, witty,
and even handy with a song (he sang a couple of
Hebrew hymns), Bikel captivated the entire audience
that evening! My only regret is that I didn't get to meet
him and tell him directly how much I enjoyed his lecture,
his theatrical work, his singing, and his efforts to improve
the human condition for all, especially for those whose
conditions were made intolerable and unbearable by tyrants,
be they fascist, communist, or any other terrible
variety of freedom-squelching ideology.  Bikel played
no favorites but for his preference for humanity, for
human beings to live free and thrive. He was also a strong
opponent of capital punishment, be it for political
opponents of a corrupt government or for those guilty
of violent, non-political crimes. Bikel, no softie on crime,
believed in sentencing which could be amended or
reversed in the event of new evidence coming to light
proving the innocence of, or at least the doubt of the guilt,
of the accused.

Theodore Bikel was as much at home singing with his
fellow folk singer friends which included the Clancy
Brothers and Tommy Makem, Odetta, and many other
of his contemporaries as he was protesting the
unjust treatment of someone somewhere in the world.
Bikel was a great soul with a great voice and a great
presence. He shall be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace, Theo.


MEM

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Testament of Faith in South Carolina

Your sorrowful Peasant is reflecting today on the
fatal shooting of nine members of a historic black
church in Charleston, South Carolina. It has been
on my mind for quite some time, and I pray for the
church, its members --- the slain and the living,
the city, and the state often.

As you, my very aware readers know, a 21-year-old
white racist wanted to start a race war, and he felt
the best way to do it was to plan and execute an attack
on a prominent black church, Emanuel AME Church.
Armed with a .45-caliber handgun and an evil agenda,
this evil individual walked into this church, took part
in a Bible study meeting with some of the congregants
(to blend in, and not raise any suspicion), and at its
conclusion opened fire, killing six women and three
men. One of the victims was the pastor of the church,
as well as also being a state legislator.

But the murderous slime didn't get the result that he
had hoped for. Quite the contrary. Instead of inciting
even a fistfight. let alone a war, the congregants of
this church --- those that were witness to the shocking
event, and the others who soon learned of it --- came
together in prayer and forgave the shooter. They did as
their heavenly Father bade them to do in the face of
injustice, of maltreatment, of evil, and forgave the
hateful malefactor his hideous crime.

It's not that they thought it was okay for the killer to do
what he did. It's not that they didn't want justice to be
served. It's not that they were being weak and wimpy.
They actually showed incredible strength, the strength
of their faith in their practice of it under the most
harrowing circumstances, that which try our souls and
test our mettle. They forgave a fiend for the slaughter of
their friends, their relations, their fellow congregants.
They did what Christianity teaches us to do, one of the
hardest --- if not the hardest --- things a practitioner of
the faith will ever be called upon to do. And it's not
a thing that many people, regardless of their faith, can
ever do, your humble Peasant included. I still have
trouble forgiving people in my past who have wronged
me in some way or another, including an abusive father.
Your awed Peasant salutes and commends these aggrieved
congregants of the church!

And the people of Charleston, and the state of South Carolina,
came together to pray for and show solidarity and moral
support with these hearty folks --- black, white, young,
old, conservative, liberal, moderate, any and all categories
of people all stood with the members of this church.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a staunch conservative
Republican (sorry lefties, here goes one of your treasured
narratives!), gave a statement of heartfelt sympathy and moral
support. Out of this terrible tragedy, a beautiful union of many
making an outpouring of love and solidarity. The triumph of
love and care over racism and divisiveness. The triumph of the
human spirit over the forces of darkness.

It all makes your moved Peasant proud to be a Christian and
an American.


MEM





Thursday, July 16, 2015

When a Liberal Company Cheats a Little Guy or Gal

From the realm of pop music comes a morality tale
which says a lot about the values of liberals in big
business. Pop sensation Taylor Swift won a big battle
with Apple Music over whether she (and ultimately
rising artists) will be paid by the division of the
computer/software company that gave us the iMac
the iPad, and the iPhone, for music they recorded for
Apple's new streaming service which they are letting
people sample with a free trial period. Problem was,
for Swift and some other artists, Apple Music wanted
to mitigate the costs of this by not paying Swift and
the rest who created the music during the free trial
time.

Well, this didn't sit well with Swift. Not being paid
for her music which a company with a market
capitalization of $729 billion was, in her mind, both
an insult and a ripoff. She wrote an open letter to Apple
on Tumblr, one of the many social media sties online,
saying that she "finds it to be shocking, disappointing,
and completely unlike this historically progressive and
generous company." Please note, Apple is progressive
not only in terms of its renown innovation in communi-
cation technology but in its politics; Steve Jobs, the late
founder of Apple, supported President Obama with both
endorsement and campaign contributions. The firm still
supports left-wing candidates and causes. And here
Apple was trying to stiff musicians and singers, most
of them just on the way up, at least one having reached
prominence --- Taylor Swift.

Swift called for Apple to change its policy, stating "We
don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide
you with our music for no compensation." A valid point.
She further threatened to withhold from Apple Muisc her
chart-storming album "1989" --- no idle threat, for she
earlier did similar by withholding her entire catalog of
songs from Spotify, another music-streaming service,
also over compensation disagreements. Apple quickly
turned around, announcing that they would after all pay
Swift, and the other affected artists, for the music used
in the free trial period for the new streaming service.

A classic case of a "little gal" standing up to a huge,
money-laden corporation taking unfair advantage,
and winning. And the corporation controlled by
liberals, the self-proclaimed champions of said
"little gals and guys". A bit like the film "Norma
Rae", with a "little gal" winning a great battle
against a big employer in which many others like
her benefit. And this film was quite popular with
the left-of-center set!

Irony sure is delicious, isn't it?


MEM