Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Peasant Has A Respite

Your busy but faithful Peasant is taking a little
time off to visit family and friends for a little
while. I shall be back, of course, before you
know it, my wonderful readers, with more
stories to pore over, people and events to study,
heroes to praise and villains to castigate.

Meanwhile, enjoy these wonderful conservative
online publications while I'm away.

National Review Online

The American Conservative


See you all soon!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Memorial Day Gratitude

Memorial Day is near, and so is all that
accompanies it --parades, picnics, parties,
lots of fun things. But let us not forget the
brave folks who made the day, and the freedom
to enjoy it, possible.

God rest our fellow Americans who served in
our military and made the ultimate sacrifice
for us. Your thankful Peasant takes time to
contemplate on Memorial Day and its purpose,
to remember and honor our warriors who
gave literally all for us and our country.

See you, my grand readers, very soon.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Whip 'Round The News

Hello all! How 'bout we take a whip 'round the news
to see what there is to see? We might turn up some
fun things to discuss, some maddening things to
raise our blood pressure, some things to cheer and
be grateful for, and maybe something to laugh over!

Easter has come and gone, and your beloved Peasant
spent the day with friends after attending Mass.
I ate well, I enjoyed the most wonderful company,
and I got to hear a pianist friend perform in a
wonderful lounge in downtown Milwaukee.
Sadly, not everyone in Milwaukee had a wonderful
Easter; six fatal shootings occurred there in the
space of 1 1/2 hours on the eve of Easter. Tears on
Easter morning. The perpetrators will likely get
light sentences from the spare-the-criminal-the-hell-
with-the-victim judges at the Milwaukee County
Courthouse, and Mayor Tom Barrett will just as likely
mount his soapbox to decry the easy availability of guns
on the streets of Milwaukee. Never mind that he is
also a big proponent of gun control, which makes it harder
only for the law-abiding to obtain firearms to defend
themselves, their families, and their property, while
not doing squat in making it harder for criminals
to get same to commit their crimes. Would that the
Easter Bunny had given our mayor and judges some
sense and sensibility, and I don't mean the classic book
by Jane Austen!

The political alliance between American Jews and the
Democrat Party is, for all intents and purposes, over.
Gradually coming apart at the seams in recent years,
the last stitches came undone with the sour feelings
between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, made worse over the U.S.-
brokered nuclear deal with Iran which will only slightly
retard Iran's progress toward developing nuclear weaponry
that will be capable of destroying Israel. Of course
Obama thinks it's the deal of the century! He has no love
for Israel, her people, or Jews in general, and it shows in
his foreign policy regarding Israel. Netanyahu could never
get through to Obama on the dangers Israel faces from
a nuclear Iran, whose mullah rulers have long pledged to
wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Many American Jews
who have consistently supported the Democrats are now
rethinking their loyalty to a political party that seems
to not give a flying whatever about them. Republicans
believe that as a consequence, they could pick up still
more Senate seats in 2016, as well as the White House
itself. President Obama has sown some bitter seeds of
contempt for friends at home and abroad, and now
his party is likely to reap a bitter harvest of defeat and

And the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East continues
with barely any acknowledgement from the White House,
let alone condemnation, still less action to protect them.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning
recently issued this statement in response to the dire economics
and jobs report: "This week's double whammy of bad economic
news with the Atlanta Fed's first quarter growth estimate down
to 0 percent and the abysmal jobs report showing only 34,000
more people are working while 277,000 left the labor force
effectively puts the breaks on recovery talk. The real question,
seven years after the financial crisis, is whether we have begun
to slide into a new recession." As far as your exasperated
Peasant is concerned, we have been and are still in the old
recession which was triggered by the bursting of the housing
bubble and exacerbated, on purpose, by President Obama.
He won't rest until he gets as many Americans dependent upon
government programs for as many of our needs as possible,
so as to create a command-and-control economy and society,
with the government installed as our master. Any talk that
comes from Obama and the Democrats about new numbers
showing that we are climbing out of the recession into a
recovery period is hogwash! We will at last have recovery
if we elect a truly conservative president in 2016, and give
him a veto-proof majority in the Senate while maintaining
the large conservative advantage in the House.

And why isn't Lois Lerner behind bars? Answer: U.S.
Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen told
House Speaker John Boehner that he won't be presenting
Lerner's contempt citation to a federal grand jury. The outgoing
DC Attorney is being a good little foot soldier in President
Obama's army of criminals, elitists, statists, and obstructionists,
spitting on the Constitution and We the People as a matter
of course. Your frustrated Peasant can't wait for next year's
elections, and for Inauguration Day in January 2017 (provided
we succeed in electing the aforementioned truly conservative
president to succeed Obama)!

At last, something of lighter(?) substance: rapper DMX recently
robbed one of his fans at gunpoint(!). Most fans of celebrities
get autographs of their idols or have their photos taken with
them. But rappers are a different breed: a fan can only say that
he has connected with his favorite rapper if that rapper sticks him
up. There's another reason to not be a fan of any rapper; in
addition to their songs being full of obscenities and violent
fantasies, it's dangerous to have close contact with a rapper.
It doesn't seem worth it to me, how about you, my grand

See you all soon with more news to share and to comment on!


On Excusing Criminal Behavior

As you, my fabulous readers know, your beloved
Peasant is a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
a city that I am proud to call home. The city has
many wonderful and exciting places to see and
things to do for everyone of all ages. Milwaukee
has a long, rich history of industry, art, finance,
entertainment, sports, education, and politics.
But, like too many major American cities these
days, Milwaukee has some terrible problems
centering on its inner city neighborhoods --- violent
crime in the forefront. And this aforementioned
problem is worsening as your faithful Peasant
writes this piece.

In recent months the following crimes took place
in Milwaukee's troubled neighborhoods: a pregnant
mother was shot dead in front of her son. A little girl
was shot while playing on a playground when rival
gang members swept in, exchanging gunfire, when
a stray bullet struck the child; she died a few days
later in a hospital. A man accidentally struck a small
boy when the child went into the street without paying
mind to traffic, stopped to help the child, and was shot
dead while he did so. Violent crimes, including gun-
related crimes, are up in number from this month last
year. Why are these atrocities happening, and in
greater frequency?

A Milwaukee County judge who hears homicide and
sexual assault cases, Judge David Borowski, shared
his insight into these dark matters in a guest editorial
piece which appeared a few days ago in the Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel. He states that Milwaukee has to face
the fact that "there has been a major breakdown in the
family structure" accompanied by a major breakdown
in values. Poor or no parenting is a factor; so is a lack
of respect for life. So is a lack of self-control. Ditto
a lack of a proper education. I  have been well
aware for some years that many children who have
attended Milwaukee's public schools straight on from
kindergarten through high school graduate without
the reading schools enabling them to read what is
printed on their diplomas. What kind of jobs are they
going to get?

Judge Borowski points out that yes, guns are part of the
problem, as too many of them are obtained by felons
who have histories of dangerous behavior. But underneath
all that is what the judge calls "bad, thoughtless, violent
behavior." He went on to point out that the guns being
used in this manner are not purchased at sporting goods
stores or from legal, reputable gun dealers at their shops
or at weekend gun shows, but rather are bought off
"the street" or bought by straw purchasers, that is, those
pretending to buy them for someone, or are simply stolen.
These sales, therefore, are outside of firearm laws.
Criminals don't obey laws; that is why they are

What can concerned city citizens do about this threat to
their safety, to the stability of the city and its neighborhoods,
to the the citizens' very lives? His Honor has these ideas:
Law abiding citizens in these crime-ridden neighborhoods
must stop tolerating crime, and to do so by cooperating
with the police when they investigate criminal activity
there. They must stop the "no snitch" culture that is
rooted in fear and distrust of the police, as well as fear
of reprisals from gangs and other hoodlums. Parents
must be parents to their children, and must support other
parents in doing the same. Support good schools, be they
public or private. Be watchful of each other's kids and
the other kids in their neighborhoods, and demand
personal responsibility all around. And elected officials
can and must have roles in combating crime, including
judges; the latter have to be held accountable for fair
sentences and also for protecting the public. The state
Department of Corrections can help as well by doing
a better job of monitoring former criminals who are
walking around free while on extended supervision.
And finally, Judge Borowski calls for (and your
beloved Peasant has been wanting this to be done
for the longest time!) an end to excuses for violent
behavior; no more excusing criminals for their crimes
due to joblessness, poverty, or whatever other social
ills. We must all be accountable, and held accountable,
for our actions, and Judge Borowski, unlike some of
his colleagues at the courthouse, realizes this.
And I say that if we keep excusing away violent behavior
and other criminal conduct, how will we excuse away
the resultant injuries and deaths of the victims to their
their families, their friends, and their neighbors?

The Peasant says to Judge Borowski, "Hear hear!"


Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Presidential Derby Starts to Take Form

Friends, candidates from both major political parties
have begun to declare their candidacies for the
presidency. Although it is very early in the proceedings,
your observant Peasant has a few thoughts to share about
each of the so far declared entrants.

On the Democrat's side of the track, Hillary Clinton very
recently (and quite expectedly) tossed her hat into the
ring. The former First Lady, ex-U.S. Senator, and ex-
Secretary of State was picked by political observers to
be the Democrats' presidential nominee in 2008, and it
was thought that her party's nomination was hers to lose;
boy did she ever lose the nomination! Not as adept nor as
smooth a campaigner as her husband Bill, she stumbled
and bumbled while Barack Obama picked up steam and
speed, leaving her in his wake while he zoomed to the
nomination and to victory in the general election.

This time around, Clinton taped her declaration speech
and transmitted it online from her recently established
campaign website. Quite fitting for Hillary, as she has
never been comfortable hobnobbing with everyday
Joe and Jane America; this is one of the things that sunk
her in 2008. Declaring her quest for the White House
online is one thing; campaigning heavily online will
not aid her cause, however. To be elected the leader of
our country one must go forth and meet the very people
whom one must gain the consent to govern. That means
one must look each voter one meets in the eye and listen
intently to what is on their minds. And Hillary is such
an elitist she cannot bear to be within one arm's length of
any of the peasants! 1952 and '56 Democrat presidential
candidate Adlai Stevenson was this way as well, and look
how he fared.

Then there's her considerable baggage that she lugs around,
most troubling being Benghazi. And many voters, even
Democrat voters, don't relish the idea of having the Clintons
return to the White House, albeit in a role reversal. Hers will
be a rocky road to the nomination, to be sure.

Oh, and a new rock in her path: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders,
self-proclaimed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats
in the Senate, his presidential candidacy very recently.
The farther-left party faithful are gleeful because at the very
least he will likely force Clinton to tack leftward.

The Republican side has had three candidates make it official:
Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio have all
declared. All are strong conservatives, the first two have
many supporters among Tea Party activists. Rubio, however,
lost some luster with the Tea Party folks over his somewhat
softer stand on immigration reform. While not in favor of
all but rendering our immigration law and our borders meaning-
less, like the Obama regime and the Democrats, Rubio has
caused some concern with his own ideas on the subject. That
said, Rubio still toes the conservative mark on taxes, spending,
defense, foreign policy, and abortion, so he still has more than
a little good will and a fair amount of support among the broad
spectrum of conservatives around the country. Rand Paul is
also strong on fiscal matters, and favors abolishing the IRS,
as did his father Ron, who was a presidential candidate both
as a Republican and as a Libertarian, having been nominated by
the latter party. Like Ron, Rand has a libertarian streak in his
conservatism. But also like Ron, he has a foreign policy that some
say means pulling back from our commitments abroad to the
point of isolationsim. This kind of foreign policy may have made
sense over a century ago but would not serve our interests nor
aid our allies, what with the way our world is today with the
spreading danger of radical Islam. Ted Cruz is strong on both
foreign policy and immigration, while being reliable on the
fiscal issues.

And there are some other GOP possibles for the White House who
have yet to declare, including my state's Gov. Scott Walker.
Lots to come, to be sure.

Meanwhile, this is what we now have for certain. Stay tuned.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Fort Hood Screwjob

Your outraged Peasant is hotter than a summer
day in Phoenix over the way that the slain Army
personnel at Fort Hood, the wounded, and their
families have been treated so dismissively by
our government in the wake of the treacherous,
murderous spree by an Army psychiatrist of
the Islamic religion who yelled "Allahu akbar!"
as he shot his victims. Although the terrible
incident took place nearly six years ago, I still
recall the disbelief and horror I felt when I heard
the news then, and I still almost cannot believe
that it was not a nightmare but a real event. And
now I learn that our government, in keeping with
its politically correct line terming the massacre a
case of "workplace violence", thereby denying what
it was, an act of war, as we are indeed at war with
the forces of radical Islam in the Middle East and
Afghanistan, is denying to these people and their
families their rightful combat pay, benefits and
recognition. They are also denying same to those
personnel on the base who weren't shot but were
so traumatized that they became psychologically
wounded that they couldn't carry on with their duties;
this third group of soldiers will receive neither Purple
Hearts nor any compensation for what they endured.

You, my fantastic readers, remember the ungodly
details: the shooter, an officer and a psychiatrist,
both of Arab extraction and a follower of Islam,
had been heavily influenced by a radical Islamic
cleric. The latter exhorted the shooter to bring jihad 
to the army base where he was stationed, to
kill those who had been or soon would be deployed
to fight the forces of Islam. After many years of
this manipulation, the cleric's heinous mission
came to awful fruition on November 5, 2009. Fourteen
dead, including a female soldier and her unborn child,
and 32 wounded, not counting the psychologically
wounded. The FBI and the Defense Department (DoD)
possessed more than sufficient information to detect
the shooter's radicalization, amassed over several
years, and could have taken pre-emptive steps to
remove this individual from his duties and his post.
But no such action was taken. As a matter of fact,
in the interim the Army promoted him! The shooter
was planning to shoot even more people at the base
and would have done so had he not been shot and
taken into custody by civilian police who were on
hand. Political correctness led many in the Army
and in the Defense Department to fear that reporting
the shooter would result in charges of racial or
religious discrimination. Yes, quite sadly, PC has
infected the Army, and we are already all the worse
off for it. And because of this poison, neither the
Army, nor the DoD, and above all certainly not the
Obama regime will officially recognize the tragedy
for what it was: a terrorist attack, part and parcel of
the war that the United States is engaged in. Nothing
to see here, folks, no terrorism here. Move along!

A somewhat positive update: Congress has rewritten
the language regarding our fallen military people, and
the Secretary of the Army has announced that the
Fort Hood dead and wounded will at last receive long-
overdue medals, and will also receive burial plots at
Arlington National Cemetery as well as compensation
pay when they retire. However, no such medals nor
compensation will be extended to those who suffered
severe psychological injuries which made them unable
to work. They are still being screwed over. Perhaps
they, too, shall be so recognized and compensated when
we elect a Republican president, and that everyone
shall then receive the full panoply of health benefits
and appropriate pay, as well as the gratitude of the
government in whose service they labored, that they
so richly deserve, along with an official apology for
the tardiness in its coming.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Standing Up For Charlie

You all, my grand readers, are aware of the terrible
tragedy that recently occurred in Paris. I'm referring here
to the morning massacre on January 7 of this still new
year by two radical Muslim brothers at the offices of
the satirical weekly periodical Charlie Hebdo in which,
armed with various weapons, murdered eleven people
while wounding eleven more, all the while shouting
"Allahu akbar!" (God is great!).

Now, we have heard many accounts of how radical
Islamic sorts have made deadly reprisals against anyone
critical of them and/or their religion in many pars of the
world. It's all a part of their campaign, their jihad, to
make the whole world submit to Islam and their oppres-
sively draconian Sharia law. This movement and its
Middle Eastern origins have replaced the menace of
communism as the number one worldwide threat of
the moment, and is much more vicious and violent.
In some cities and towns in some countries, these
people have established their own little governments
--- quite separate in many ways from those of the
communities in which they have settled --- including
their own courts, in which Sharia law is the basis of
their governance. And they go after anyone who speaks
negatively about them and their faith.

Which brings us to  Charlie Hebdo. A magazine which
engages in stinging satirical takes on individuals and
institutions, including religious faiths, the staff at this
mag do not pull their punches; your faithful Peasant
can attest to this, having seen some online editions
of theirs. In 2011 they published an issue that they
renamed Charia Hebdo, French for Sharia Weekly,
in which they featured a cartoon likeness of the
Islamic prophet Muhammad --- a cardinal sin in
that faith and is considered an affront by many of its
followers, one that Sharia law requires terrible
retribution. The following year Charlie (the shorthand
name for the magazine) doubled down on this by
publishing a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad,
including some caricatures "in the buff". Cartoonist
Stephane Charbonnier, Editor-in-Chief of Charlie
from 2009, was one of the people killed in the attack
in January; he was placed on Islamic terrorist group
Al-Qaeda's most wanted list.

Your liberty-loving Peasant finds some things in
Charlie that I don't find amusing, witty, or in any
way entertaining. Moreover, Charlie takes some
pretty wicked shots at Catholicism, my own faith.
But I do not wish death and destruction on the
publication, nor its staff. I adhere to the American
notion that bad, or in any way undesirable speech,
be countered by good speech --- speech that counters
the offending speech with logic, facts, and a sharp
retort. This is how such things are handled in the
good ol' USA (at least in some quarters, as
political correctness has displaced this tack in
academia and some other places). Freedom of
expression is a precious thing; when its is infringed
upon, a chill descends over a society. When it
is eliminated, be it by a tyrannical government
or a tyrannical political or religious movement,
the freedoms enjoyed by those in that society
will not long remain standing. Indeed, in a free
society where the right to speak one's mind is
guaranteed some mean-spirited, stupid, and/or
crude people will pipe up in print, online, or
verbally in a meeting hall or on a street corner.
But the right to freely express oneself cancels
must be extended to all in the society, for if it
is not then the society has no freedom of
expression, not really; if only a select few get
to have a public say then that right ceases to be
a freedom and then becomes a privilege. And
anyone trying to avail themselves of that privilege
would face terrible consequences.

This is what we must take away from the
Charlie Hedbo tragedy. And this is why
The Peasant supports Charlie's right to publish
what they wish.