Friday, March 16, 2018

Wishing Everyone Saint Patrick's Day Cheer!

Your part-Irish but totally proud to be so Peasant wishes you,
my grand readers, a beautiful, enjoyable, and fantastic Saint
Patrick's Day! Tomorrow enjoy all the corned beef you can eat,
all the Guinness and other Irish ales you can drink, dancing until
you can't stand let alone dance some more, and the company and
love of family and friends! I shall be doing likewise at three
great Irish pubs here in Beertown with mine.

See you all back here next week Thursday!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

The President Goes to Bat for Conscience and Religious Freedom

Recently, President Trump and his administration has
announced the creation of a Conscience and Religious
Freedom Division within the Health and Human Services
(HHS) Department's Office for Civil Rights.

The new division's functions will include accepting reports
from citizens about potential violations of their rights
regarding conscience and religious freedom. This means
that doctors and other medical personnel will no longer be
forced to perform or assist in the performing of abortions,
sterilizations, and assisted suicides. In other words, this
division will work to protect and safeguard the First
Amendment rights of all Americans, regardless of their
faiths, beliefs or philosophies. And it is sure to drive
the lefties even further round the twist than they already are.
Bravo to President Trump for taking this huge but rightful
and constitutional step in protecting essential rights which
should never have even been questioned, let alone
disrespected and disregarded.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mort Walker, R.I.P.

Ever since my childhood, your favorite Peasant has
enjoyed the comics section of the newspaper. And
one of my favorite comic strips, and reasons for
heading first to that fun-filled section of my paper,
was Beetle Bailey.  A lackadaisical private in the
army, Beetle was the focal point of life at Camp
Swampy where he found so many ways to drive
his nemesis and friend Sgt. Orville P. Snorkel
to fits. Joined by an eclectic and colorful band
of camp mates, which included his fellow "grunts"
along with various quirky officers such as Lt. Fuzz,
Captain Scabbard, and Commanding Officer of
the camp General Amos T. Halftrack, Beetle
and company gave me so many hours of smiles,
chuckles, and thunderous laughter!

Mort Walker, the cartoonist who created the character
and the strip, passed away at 94, leaving a legacy of
good old fashioned, clean, and delightful fun.
Thank you, Mort, for all the merry myrth! The
Peasant gives you a big salute!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

William F. Buckley's Legacy

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the passing
of the man credited with bringing conservatism to the
forefront of the American political scene, showing
the country, and indeed the world that conservatism is
much more than a bunch of lonely pamphleteers on city
street corners warning people of the Red Menace in
the Cold War or to exhort people to write their congressmen
to complain about rising income taxes; truly, this man,
William F. Buckley Jr. made conservatism a political force
to be reckoned with rather than treated lightly, taken
seriously rather than scoffed at. Weeding out extremist
elements such as racists, fascists, militaristic nationalists,
and general cranks, Buckley turned conservatism into
a serious and intellectually sound ideology, one that could
(and does) give a credible alternative to liberal statism
with its top-down, edict-driven method of governance.

Having begun his career as a man "standing athwart history
yelling 'STOP!' ", Buckley began a movement which took
over one major political party, resulting in its nominating
some of the most conservative candidates to run for the
presidency (not to mention candidates for both chambers
of congress, state governorships, and state legislators in
every state) and the election of Ronald Reagan as the most
transformational president since Franklin D. Roosevelt
to hold that office. Reagan put the brakes on the runaway
growth of the federal government, making it more responsive
to the people and their concerns. Founding National Review 
as a magazine of conservative thought and ideas, NR quickly
became the arbiter of the standards to which conservatism
and conservatives should comport themselves to in order to
maintain and enhance credibility, to define conservative tenets,
and to therefore create a conservative electoral majority.

William F. Buckley Jr. left this world and his work to begin
his restful repose on this day in 2008, leaving a legacy
of which we conservatives have ample reason to be proud.
As long as Buckley's ideals are honored and comported to,
he will always be alive. And conservatism shall remain a viable
and intellectually sound alternative to the rigid, uncompromising
governance of the superstate.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rev. Billy Graham, R.I.P.

The man known as America's Pastor, who has been a
faith confidante to several presidents, held rallies for
Christ throughout the United States and the world,
and made a tremendous difference in the lives of
millions of people the world over, Rev. Billy Graham,
went to his heavenly reward this week at the grand age
of 99.

Not only did Rev. Graham reach out to Christians, he
reached out to many people of many faiths, making
an indelible mark on them with his humble yet forth-
right and unapologetic preaching of the gospel. Graham
paid no mind to political correctness, nor to whatever
the times proclaimed to be socially acceptable, necessary,
or taboo; he chose to obey God rather than man, as the
Family Research Council said in a tribute to Graham.
Having had a humble and simple upbringing, he
accomplished much with his worldwide ministry,
having dedicated himself as an instrument of God.

To have attended one of his famous rallies was to have
experienced something that was unique and transformational;
many who have had the good fortune to have done so
commented that they were never the same since, and were
grateful for it. Your faithful Peasant attests to this, having
attended a 1996 rally in Minneapolis. Rev. Graham was a
stately and riveting sight, so dignified in appearance in a
bright-colored but appropriate suit and his silver hair
immaculate, his face beaming in the main lights as if
he were Moses having returned from the mountain where
he communicated with God. It was a sight I shall never forget,
even if I live for as long as the good reverend himself.
And I felt lighter of body as well as spirit besides, whatever
my challenges at that point in my life having withered in the
presence of this heavenly ambassador.

Rev. Graham ministered to the famous and the common;
the rich and the poor; the young and the old; all races,
all colors, all whatever category you can think of. Although
having received fundamentalist Christian training at
Bob Jones University, Rev. Graham crafted his sermons,
his lectures, and his books to appeal to a wide and varied
section of humanity. Over the course of his long and amazing
life and career, Rev. Graham made many more friends than
enemies without ever diluting his teaching, without compro-
mising on the tenets of his message. A rare talent, especially
in this present age.

Thank you, Rev, Graham, for making our country and our
world all the better for your having been here. You leave
us a most magnificent legacy, one that will likely never
be matched, much less surpassed. Godspeed and
God bless.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Victory for an Unfettered Internet

Toward the end of 2017 the Federal Communications Commission
voted 3-2 in favor of approving Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to
repeal the President Obama's "net neutrality" rules which
reclassified internet service providers as common carriers
under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.
This act prohibits "any unjust or unreasonable discrimination
in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities,
or services." Then-FCC Chairman and Obama ally Tom
Wheeler greased the wheels to ensure net neutrality's
establishment and implementation, which gave the FCC
the position and powers of political gatekeeper, as this
regulation prohibited broadband providers from blocking,
throttling and favoring content. This Mr. Wheeler craftily
intended to help large content providers like Google, Yahoo,
and Netflix gain leverage and undue advantage against cable
companies, with application and enforcement of the rules
depending on politics (whose side a content provider would
be on would greatly determine how it would thus be treated).

Bans on throttling content may be popular in some circles,
but the regulations have not made at all clear what the FCC
would or would not allow, thus throttling investment.
Investors are, of course, uncomfortable with uncertainty
regarding an investment opportunity. The new rules as
presented by Mr. Pai would require that broadband providers
must disclose discriminatory practices, obliging cable
companies to be transparent if they throttle content when
their users reach a data cap or speed up live programming.
Consumers can then choose broadband providers and their
plans with this information, with the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) having the authority to play cop, being on the lookout
for predatory and monopolistic behavior, just as it had
before the Obama-Wheeler power gambit.

Furthermore, Rolling back net neutrality will aid growth in content,
as producers and consumers of content will reap the benefits of
increased investment in improved wireless and fiber technology;
they will be able to affordably acquire more speed and efficiency.
In addition, consumers will also benefit from the breakup of the
cable monopoly through customizing "bundles" like Hulu
which would cost less to stream broadcasts, as well as from new
distribution options, which could have been barred by so-called
net neutrality.

Getting back to Google, they have been beating the drum for net
neutrality without actually practicing it; while Google claims to
remain "committed to the net neutrality policies" the firm utilizes
certain algorithms to prioritize and discriminate against content,
undercutting some of their competitors as they go. Where, pray tell,
is Google's transparency regarding its policies and practices?
Once again we see the old ploy of one or more large corporate
entities supporting regulation which would at worst cause very
minor inconvenience for these big boys while greatly hampering
their smaller competitors who do not have the economic wherewithal
to deal with the aforementioned red tape.

Chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC has taken a truly neutral position
on that vast online marketplace that is the internet, guaranteeing its
freedom for buyers and sellers to come together to meet their respective
needs without unnecessary meddling by the federal government.
Mr. Pai and his agency have faith and trust in the people, unlike the
liberals who supported this Obama era sham that has now thankfully
been replaced.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sixty Very Good Years!

Last week your seasoned citizen Peasant celebrated
60 years of life, gathering with friends in food, drink
and song. While it was great to share my Emerald Jubilee
with them, I took time to reflect on where I am and how far
I came to get here. As we all get older, it is natural to do
some reflection and retrospect on our lives.

While I had my share of misses, as do we all, I also had my
share of hits, and there were times when I hit one out of the
park. Among these blasts were traveling around our great and
beautiful country (I've visited 15 states, and have resided in
three of them; I am chomping at the bit to see the remaining 35),
visiting ten countries -- Mexico, Canada, and eight European
countries; having worked in the exciting and challenging world
of finance (sadly I never made the really big money, but I learned
much and had fun doing it!); started and manage my own business
(I am a handyman for hire, and call my little biz Friendship House
& Yard Service); involved myself in politics (that's how I came to
establish this blog and to visit with you, my great and wonderful
readers every week!), along the way having worked on Ronald
Reagan's 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns and having met
many elected representatives at all levels of government, including
U.S. representatives, senators (U.S. and state), mayors, governors,
and a vice president (don't get overly excited, it was Walter Mondale.
Oh, well, he was quite friendly and personable). Best of all, I met my
hero, and the man who has influenced my politics more than
anyone and who was my inspiration to publish this blog,
William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review magazine
and the driving force behind the conservative movement; I even
had my picture taken with him!

I drove a Dodge Ram pickup truck (for a job; quite an experience,
as they are very large pickup trucks!), learned to ride a horse, drove a
go-kart (yes, one with an engine), had a few lessons in judo as a boy (I'd
have had more, but my instructor was dying of leukemia and I never
got back to it after his death), wrestled, boxed (I learned boxing for a
comedy sketch in a high school show), dated some grand ladies
who drew double- and triple-takes from guys, especially when they
were with me ("What does that guy have that I don't? Money?
Connections? What?", I'm sure they asked themselves), met famous
entertainers, especially after having become one myself (I've referred
in this blog to my Chuck Ward Celtic Song Circle), including
not only singers and musicians but actors, folks you've seen in
movies and on TV shows. Heck, I'm even related to a few of these

Most of my family have accepted Our Lord's invitation to partake of
his heavenly hospitality, but I have cousins from San Francisco to
Ireland and have met and stayed in contact with many of them. As an
animal lover, I have had many amazing pets since childhood, the latest
being my dear departed cat Kevin, who is with my other relations
who have gone up yonder and is waiting with them for me to show up
(which, I trust, will not be for at least a bit more! I have many things
to do and many places to visit before I see the Place of Places, and
your busy and intrepid Peasant shall endeavor to do and see as much
as I can!).

There have been a few regrets along the way, but there have also been
triumphs which I savor and give thanks for. I have made friends with
the right people to have for friends, have made enemies with those
with whom it would have been foolish and even dangerous to attempt
friendship with, and have loved and been loved by some special people
in my life, including family and some incredible ladies (some of them,
even though they went on to marry other fellows, are dear friends to
this day!). I have had, and currently have some health challenges, but
with two terrific doctors, helpful medicine, and health maintenance
diet books to study and refer to I have the upper hand on them.

And of course, I have you, my dear readers and friends. My cup run-
neth over; I have more blessings than I can possibly count! I say
prayers of gratitude every day for all that I have, for all that I've been
blessed with, which certainly includes living in our great, wonderful,
prosperous, beautiful, free and magnificent country.

To quote a Frank Sinatra song, "Now I think of my life as vintage wine
from fine old kegs/from the brim to the dregs/it pours sweet and clear/
it was a very good year." And I shall have some more very good years,
and I hope you'll all come along for the ride. God bless!