Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Wonderful and Unique Institution of Higher Learning

One evening last autumn I had the good fortune
and the rare privilege to attend a dinner held by
representatives of Hillsdale College of Hillsdale,
Michigan, a small private college that places an
emphasis on American history, especially on
the founding principles of our federal government
and the Constitution. Among those present on
behalf of this fine school was Hillsdale's President
Larry Arnn. The purpose of the dinner was to
acquaint parents and students with Hillsdale
as well as to encourage estate planning with
Hillsdale College in mind. One could certainly do
worse with one's money, both in life and afterwards.

About Hillsdale College: Founded in 1844, Hillsdale
is a four-year, independent, liberal arts college which
is also co-educational, non-sectarian, and resideential
--- and unabashedly conservative. Although offering
many and varied majors, Hillsdale is famous for its
courses in Politics and History, especially U.S. History.
And it teaches a fantastic course about the Constitution,
one that has aided many of their students in forming
arguments in support of this bedrock document of our
country, its laws, and its governance, as well as in
countering the arguments against same by liberals and
their allies on the political left. Many Hillsdale graduates
went on to run for office, as well as to become lawyers,
businessmen and businesswomen, military officers,
professional athletes, journalists, and college professors
--- many of whom teach the very courses which they
received instruction in. And Hillsdale has a student honor
code whose concluding statement proclaims: "Through
education the student rises to self-government." This means
that Hillsdale's students leave Hillsdale well-equipped to
play a role in our ongoing experiment in self-governance
which began when thirteen British colonies declared their
independence from the Crown. The students are informed
on the issues inside and out, they are familiar with the public
officials and the candidates for said offices vying for
election to same, and are knowledgeable on the Constitution
and its importance in our ongoing self-government;
no "low information voters" here! As a matter of fact,
ALL Hillsdale students, regardless of majors and minors,
are required to take a course on the Constitution in order to
graduate.

And the thing that makes it possible for Hillsdale to provide
such a strong, conservative, principled education, is that
Hillsdale receives no federal money for any of their programs,
nor for anything pertaining to the school in any way, large
or small. Not on dime. Of course Washington has long
schmoozed Hillsdale to get the school to accept federal
money, if only to facilitate student loans and grants to
aid potential students in enrolling; Hillsdale always said,
and continues to say "Nothing doing!", for their officials
know that anything offered by Uncle Sam always has
strings, nay, chains attached! You take Uncle Sam's
money (or whatever else), you submit to his rules!
And those rules would impinge upon Hillsdale's ability
to offer its distinctively conservative curriculum, mandating
that they offer some left-wing courses, i.e. Feminist Studies
and the likes, taking up limited resources for courses created
and taught. Some trade-offs would then need to be made,
resulting in teaching less of Hillsdale's traditional bill of fare
and more leftist-flavored wares. An overwhelming majority
of colleges and universities across the country have such
curriculae because they themselves sup at the government
teat. Here is where Hillsdale is distinctly different.

Academic standards at Hillsdale are towering. Applicants
are required to have a high school GPA of at least 3.8,
an ACT score of at least 29, and an SAT score of at least
1933. And to stay at Hillsdale one has to be most dilligent
in one's studies so as to keep up and to keep on going.
But Hillsdale alums all proudly state that it's all worth it,
as many grads are quickly placed with an employer in their
field of study. Oh, by the way, the graduation rate at Hillsdale
is a robust 82%.

As for the dinner, I had the supreme pleasure of meeting and
conversing with Larry Arnn, a charming and gracious man
as well as a renown scholar, as well as with many fellow
conservatives, some from here in Milwaukee, some from
around Wisconsin, others from around the country. It was
a convention of conservative-minded Americans, united in
our esteem for Hillsdale College and our love for our great
country, our way of life, and the things which make it all
possible. And, of course, the things which help preserve it.
To your awed Peasant, it was heaven on Earth.

Would that there were more colleges and like schools for
our students to attend and receive a truly first-rate,
distinctly liberal (in the original meaning of the word!),
unflinchingly traditional education befitting of a citizenry
of a great and exceptional country!


MEM



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Congratulations to Rep. Paul Ryan!

A noted congressman from my home state
of Wisconsin, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, was chosen
to become the next Speaker of the House of
Representatives. Heretofore the Chairman of
the House Ways and Means Committee, a very
powerful committee which holds great sway over
our budgetary matters,  Rep. Ryan became the first
Wisconsinite to be elected House Speaker.
Belated congratulations are in order for him!
Your elated Peasant apologizes for not posting this
news sooner.

But prayers are in order for Ryan as well, for he
faces a divided and quarrelsome GOP caucus
along with a small but cagey Democrat minority
led by a former House Speaker looking to regain
power and to settle some scores in the process.
In addition, Ryan is considered a RINO by some
in the GOP, both in and outside of Washington
for his votes on some bills, especially at least
one on immigration, while conversely others in
the party think he is too far to the right to be
an effective leader of the House. Your faithful
Peasant has a few questions regarding Paul Ryan
and some of his stands on a few issues, and the
foundation for his formulating them, but I feel
comfortable with Ryan having replaced the craven
John Boehner. Ryan will certainly stand up to
President Obama and counter the latter's excesses
(such as his abuse of Executive Orders which
impinge upon the legislative functions of Congress),
which Boehner was loathe to do.

Well done on your election to the position of Speaker
of the House of Representatives, Rep. Ryan. You are
now the most politically powerful Republican public
office holder in the country. May you employ your
new powers prudently, faithfully, and for the benefit
of all Americans, while promoting harmonious
cooperation in your chamber while staying true
to your principles and those of conservative governance;
limited size and scope of government, accountability to
the people, and engaging the constitutionally mandated
check on the power of the other executive and judicial
branches of our government --- especially the former,
as the final term of the most mendacious, power-lusting
president mercifully draws to a close. God be with you, sir.


MEM

Sybil Stockdale, R.I.P.

Sybil Stockdale was the wife of the late
Admiral James B. Stockdale, U.S. Navy,
Vietnam War P.O.W. and hero. In her
own right, Mrs. Stockdale was quite
heroic as well.

Sybil Stockdale, 80, went to join her husband
on October 10, leaving a legacy of courage and
steely resolve. While her husband was imprisoned
in Hoa Lo, the North Vietnamese prison camp
better known by the nickname given it by its
U.S. captives, the Hanoi Hilton (where Captain
John McCain, later U.S. Senator and Republican
presidential candidate was also imprisoned), she
campaigned for the end of torture of American
prisoners of war by the communists in North
Vietnam and to make them abide by the rules
of the Geneva Convention regarding the
prisoners. Stockdale helped found the National League
of Families of American Prisoners and Missing
in Southeast Asia, met with president Richard
Nixon to get action on behalf of the POWs,
appeared on TV many times to inform the nation
about their plight, and confronted a North Viet-
namese delegation at the Paris Peace Talks.
All this while the U.S. government discouraged
military wives and other family members from
speaking out about the maltreatment of our
POWs. But this gallant lady would not be deterred,
nor muzzled. And now, this great patriot will be
laid to rest beside her husband at the United States
Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sybil Stockdale showed that when a family has a
member off fighting in a war, the family back home
are combatants as well, especially when the family
member is taken prisoners by the enemy. And that
the family members at home can contribute greatly
to the effort to ensure just treatment of their captured
relations and to the victorious prosecution of the war.
Rest in peace, Madam Warrior. You have done our
country proud.


MEM

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Prospects for the GOP in 2016

Friends, despite what the lamestream media has
been saying about the Republican Party's chances
of winning the White House in November the GOP
actually has a wonderful chance to send a Republican
to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue --- if they don't get
stupid.

What your mildly optimistic Peasant means is that
the following factors will likely work in favor of the
GOP: one, it is quite difficult to win the presidency
three straight times. The Democrat Party has not
achieved this feat since the days of  four-term winner
Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940s; the Republicans
last pulled it off in 1992 when they got George H.W.
Bush elected after Ronald Reagan's second and final
term. Neither party has been able to accomplish this
with any notable frequency. The Republicans were able
to succeed in 1992 because of the success and popularity
of President Reagan and his economic policies, while
the Democrats will be lumbered by the dismal results
of President Obama's economic (not to mention his other)
policies. The Democrats will be starting with a tremen-
dous disadvantage.

Two, Obama and his policies are highly unpopular with
much of the electorate and it's no wonder; the economy is
now in the seventh year of the worst economic recovery in
decades, with stagnant incomes except for the wealthiest
Americans (so much for the Democrat Party being the
party of the "little guy"!). Also a factor is the growing
anxiety over growing global chaos exacerbated by the
rising terrorist threat. And Russia's head of state Vladimir
Putin has twisted Obama around his little finger over
this, along with the Middle East in general, not to mention
on its military occupation of Ukraine.

Three, the most likely Democrat to be their party's nominee,
Hillary Clinton, has dark and heavy baggage to carry into
the November election, what with Benghazi, her e-mail
scandal, her husband the former president and, as some
wags put it, the former Philanderer-in-Chief, and the vicious
way that Hillary had gone after the women who came forward
with accusations of sexual assault against Bill --- this from a
woman who once stated in a speech that women who have
been victims of sexual assault have a right to be heard and
believed. Sure thing, Hill, except when the accused is Bill,
right? Moreover, the former First Lady cannot mask her
discomfort with the public when she goes campaigning,
acting as if she would contract some disease if she were to
rub elbows with one of the everyday Americans who don't
have the billions of dollars, the opulent homes, and the
many other fancy trappings of wealth that the Clintons
enjoy. Psssst, Hill, your elitism is showing! She was
supposed to be the annointed candidate of the Dems in 2008,
with political observers of all stripes thought her party's
nomination was hers to lose, and damned if they weren't right!
Lose it she did, with many gaffes and her ever-present
looks of disgust with the Great Unwashed at her campaign
stops. She could blow the general election in similar
fashion.

The Republicans can win, but they must choose a nominee
who can exploit the Democrats' many weaknesses while uniting
the party's divided factions to ensure party unity. Everyone
who calls themselves a Republican or a conservative has to be
motivated to turn out to vote! Moreover, they have to improve
their messaging skills so as to draw the contrast between
themselves and the Democrats, and not allow them to define
the GOP, their candidate, and their message. The Republicans
have to define the Democrats and maintain control of their
message if they are to be victorious in November. They must
also realize and internalize the urgency to win, knowing full
well that this may prove the last opportunity to reclaim our
country from the radicalism of the Democrats lest the United
States be irreversibly transformed into a socialistic wasteland.
There is precious little margin for error, and failure is not an
option.


MEM

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Peasant Takes a Brief Break

Your favorite Peasant needs a few days to take care
of some personal errands which, while not of a dire
nature, nevertheless require a considerable block of
time. So I shall return to you, my wonderful readers,
in approximately two weeks, ready to roll once again!

Meanwhile, enjoy these fine online publications in
my absence:


National Review Online
www.nationalreview.com/


Newsmaxx
www.newsmax.com/


Thank you for your understanding and indulgence!


MEM

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Here's To A Victorious New Year!

Friends, your joyous Peasant wishes all of you
a most Happy New Year! In this brand new annum
of 2016, let us make it our mission to elect a truly
constitutional, truly conservative, truly pro-American
president who shall work to undo the damge that
Obama has done in the eight misbegotten years
in which he will have held the presidency.

And just as importantly, let us work to ensure that
both chambers of Congress remain in Republican
hands, and at the same time work to elect members
of the House and the Senate whose politics will match
those of the president whom we shall elect so our
new president shall have plenty of help and little
opposition in his or her efforts to turn our country
and her government around. We don't have the time
to spend on battling back and forth with an intransigent
chamber, let alone two! Our country needs urgent
repairs, and we have to elect a government that shall
hit the ground running in taking care of business.

I hope you all have had a wonderful New Year's Eve
and an equally wonderful New Year's Day!

MEM

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Most Joyful, Prosperous, and Happy New Year to My Readers!

Your favorite Peasant wants to wish you, my absolutely
fantastic, wonderful, and delightful readers a truly Happy
New Year filled with love, joy, and prosperity for you and
your dear ones! We'll assemble here after the festivities
and get back to more examination and deliberation of
and about the political and economic news and the people
who make it all happen.

Thank you all for your company throughout another exciting
year! See you all in 2016!


MEM