Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving for Our Many Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Your favorite Peasant wants to give you his wishes for a
most joyful Thanksgiving holiday. And have we got a lot
to be thankful for!

I made some wonderful business contacts and some new
friends during this year. Among the people I want to thank
for their coming into and enriching my life are Benson
Agbortogo, a consultant who has many talents, including
internet marketing. Benson has assisted me with the
monetizing of this blog; you all have seen the little ad
to the right of the text field that shows the latest and
hottest deals with for books and so many
other wonderful items. Now you, my wonderful readers,
can do your shopping online when you visit your ever-
lovin' Peasant! Soon I shall have more such ads and
links for you to help you with your shopping; in the
meantime, make your Christmas shopping a little easier
with --- they have a tremendous range of
items and gift ideas for your family and friends!

In addition, I want to thank my friends in the Gathering
of the Spirit at my church, The Cathedral of Saint
John the Evangelist in Milwaukee, our career support
group, for their friendship and camaraderie, as well as\
some wonderful leads, contacts, and career enhancing
advice. You all have made my career re-establishment
efforts easier and even fun! Much love as well to my
friends in the Milwaukee Celtic Song Circle, now
renamed for another good friend, Chuck Ward, a
grand singer/musician in a local Irish music band Blarney.
Chuck, a major force in Milwaukee's Irish community,
passed away on November 5 after a long fight against
cancer leaving his family, many friends, and even more
fans, and a legacy of friendship and love. Thanks so
much, Chuck, for the wonderful times and tunes!
And to my song circle mates, thanks for your joining
me in singing and celebrating Irish and other Celtic
songs and the culture which gave birth to them, and
for your friendship! Furthermore, I want to give my
thanks to the Milwaukee Irish Fest Song Circle for
welcoming a fellow with a great love of Irish songs
but precious little singing experience, having just
embarked upon a new hobby and passion not long
beforehand, into the fold. I thoroughly enjoyed
the five years that I was a member of your group,
performing at Milwaukee's Irish Fest and at other
venues. Thank you also for recognizing my need
to grow in a different musical direction which
led to my leaving to start my own song circle.
I shall forever be grateful to you all for everything!

To be sure, I certainly want to thank my landlord
Tom Barrett and his family for taking me in as a
lodger when I lost my home as a result of the
worst economic downturn since The Great
Depression, and for Tom, a very able attorney,
to help me with the resulting legal difficulties,
including representing me in court, "pro bono"
(latin for "free of charge"). They all have been
a great source of hope, cheer, and moral support
in my darkest hours. So has Bill Fangmann, my
friend, employer, and sponsor from
my confirmation in the Catholic faith in 2006.
Bill owns and operates Fangmann Landscaping,
and has had me as a crew member for the last
few seasons, and the work has been most welcome.
Until I get established in a new job and possibly a
new career (your industrious Peasant was in the
financial field) I am thankful and happy to help
you move mulch, soil, rocks and plants! Bill,
you're the greatest!

The rest of my friends at the Cathedral also get
my thanks and praise for their friendship and
spiritual nourishment. Thanks to them I can get
through each day a lot more smoothly and even
joyfully while I pick up the pieces of my shattered
life. Thanks to all of my friends near and far, some
of whom are among you, my dear readers, in the
enjoyment of my blog.

And you just know that I give thanks for the results
of the election our country held earlier this month,
when we gave a bunch of elitist pigs their walking
papers, sending them packing from Congress,
many state governors' offices, and state legislatures!
We made great strides in reclaiming our country's
government from the statist stuffed-shirts in both
parties, reminding them in no uncertain terms that
the people rule and they serve at OUR pleasure,
and that when they decide that they are above us
and cease to listen to us, that we can and will
replace them with people who will know their

I am thankful for my family, which these days
consists of a handful of cousins scattered from
Ireland to San Francisco, as my parents, my
stepmother, my uncles and aunts and a few
other cousins, and my dear cat Kevin have
since gone to glory. I am thankful for them
all, those in this physical realm and those in
the arms of Our Lord. Some other friends of
mine are with Him as well. They all have made
an incredible difference in my life with all that
they added to it, and I can only hope that I did
as much in turn for them, these wonderful
relations and friends.

Finally, I am most thankful for each and every one
of you, my dear, fabulous, fantastic, wonderful
readers! Without your support your Peasant's
Pitchfork would have dull prongs, and would
only be good for rusting in an old weathered barn.
You all mean more to me than I can ever express
in words! And of course I am thankful for being
a citizen of the most wonderful country in this
great big world --- the United States of America!

Let us enjoy Thanksgiving Day by tallying all of
our multitude of blessings! We truly do have so
much to be thankful for!


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Journalism Dead?

Often times in recent years your faithful Peasant has pondered
this question which is the title of this offering to you, my
tremendous readers. With the clear and pronounced bias
exhibited by much of the U.S. media, which embraces
the political left and its adherents, there appear to be
fewer journalists and more apologists in American
journalism. Last month, an incident occurred which has
triggered my concern anew.

Juan Williams, a nationally-known and respected journalist
who has of late been a news analyst with NPR (National
Public Radio), was fired by this media organization on
October 20 over comments Williams made while appearing
on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by conservative
commentator Bill O'Reilly. What, you may ask, did Juan
Williams say that was so awful so as to cost him his job?
His admission that he gets "nervous" when he sees Muslims
in traditional Muslim garb board planes. NPR announced
that "His remarks on the O'Reilly Factor this past Monday
were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices,
and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
Gee, that's rich, coming from a media outfit renown for its
stoutly left-wing point of view with which they routinely
imbue their stories. Williams, no rock-ribbed Reaganite,
simply voiced a concern shared by so many of us when
we travel by air; it was, after all, radical Muslim terrorists
who hijacked three of our passenger jets on that fateful
morning in September 2001, flying two of them into
the World Trade Center Towers while the third crashed
on an open field in Pennsylvania.

Williams shared that he was most upset over NPR CEO
Vivian Schiller's comment that he should have shared his
remarks "with his psychiatrist or publicist." Apparently
Schiller believes that anyone worried about their safety
while flying with people clad in traditional Muslim clothing
must be not only bigoted but crazy as well. Schiller has since
apologized for the way she handled Williams' dismissal
but also defended the decision to give him his walking papers.
The sacking precipitated a backlash, with conservative
politicians and commentators calling for the U.S. government
to defund NPR. Your favorite Peasant has long advocated
this measure; why should we be made to subsidize with our
tax monies an organization which promotes a point of view
which many of us do not share, under the guise of journalism?
For what NPR does is not journalism but advocacy.

After Williams' firing, he stated "At NPR ... they don't know
this: that one-third of the audience for Bill O'Reilly's show is
made up of people of color," adding "At NPR, they think,
'Oh, these people who watch Fox don't appreciate diversity
of opinion, they're not smart people. They're not informed
people.' Oh yeah? I'll tell you what: They're informed!"
This from a staunch liberal!

Williams went on: "Just consider the idea that Fox allows
me the opportunity to sit in for Bill O'Reilly on their #1
show ... That's the franchise. That's the moneymaker.
If that show falls into the toilet, it's bad for the lineup.
And yet Fox allows a black guy with a Hispanic name
to sit in the big chair and host the show." This in addition
to all the times Juan Williams has been a guest on the
Factor. At the time of his firing, Williams was the lone
black male that NPR had on their roster. And he got
canned like tuna for expressing a concern shared by
many air travelers but denigrated as being  "politically
incorrect" by the liberal establishmentarians in charge
of NPR as well as most of our country's media.

In fact, in a piece Williams posted on Fox News'
website he explained that he shared his fears on
the Factor "in order to (make) the case for not
making rash judgments about people of any faith
... and I made it clear that all Americans have to be
careful not to let fear lead to the violation of anyone's
constitutional rights ... This was an honest, sensitive
debate hosted by O'Reilly." Williams made it plain
that, in the case of Muslim passengers, one must
distinguish between the radical Muslims and the
rest when discussing people of that faith.

Yet two days after the show Ellen Weiss, Williams'
immediate boss at NPR, phoned him to say that
he had "crossed the line, essentially accusing (him)
of bigotry" and informed Williams that "(he) had
violated NPR's values for editorial commentary"
and that his contract with NPR was terminated.
Weiss didn't even have the decency to summon
Williams to her office to tell him face to face that
he was being shown the door. And it made no
difference that Williams did not make his comments
on NPR. When Williams asked Weiss why she
would fire him without speaking with him face to
face, Weiss responded that the decision to
terminate Williams' contract was made above her,
"so there was no point in meeting in person."

Williams then remarked "To say the least this is
a chilling assault on free speech." Your loyal
Peasant couldn't put it more aptly. This is now
the price in our society for not being sufficiently
liberal. If you voice an opinion, a thought, or a
feeling which fails to meet muster for political
correctness, you will face opprobrium, condem-
nation, and possibly an interruption in or the ter-
mination of your livelihood, especially if you work
in the media field.

This story, however, does have a happy ending:
Juan Williams was hired almost immediately after
his ouster from NPR by Fox News as a commen-
tator and was offered a very generous salary,
much more than he was getting from NPR from
all accounts. The hiring of Williams by Fox was
a big story, and a big feather in Fox News' cap.

Journalism may not be dead after all.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Thoughts

Today being Veterans Day, your loyal Peasant is thinking about
all of the men and women who have served our country in times
of war and the sacrifices that they have made in their service to
our country. But then, I think about them all throughout the year,
not just on days like Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or the Fourth
of July; no, I think of these brave fellow citizens and their service,
both those who came marching home and those who were either
carried home or never came home at all frequently. And I give my
thanks for all that they have done to protect us and our way of life,
with all the freedoms that it entails, freedoms that we Americans 
at times take for granted. Finally, I say a prayer for all our military
people, those currently serving and those who have served,
including of course those who made the ultimate sacrifice in their 
service to our country; dying while helping us to go on living in
freedom and security.

To all of our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, coast guardians,
and merchant marines, your humble Peasant thanks you for all
that you do. To those who have so served, you also have my
thanks and appreciation. To all those who gave their lives in your
service to our country, you certainly have my thanks even though
it can never repay you properly for what you have sacrificed.
I can only hope to live my life as a citizen of our wonderful
country in a way that might make me worthy of what you have
done, and perhaps make you one iota as proud of me as I am
of you.

God bless our military. God bless America.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Your favorite Peasant had an interesting political conversation
with an old friend and fellow political activist last week, and he
shared with me a stunning idea that would make it less
discomfiting for some elected candidates for public office to
take the oath of office and thereby be sworn in, officially beginning
their terms and duties of the offices that they were elected to.
I'm referring to candidates who, because they are not of the
Christian nor the Jewish faiths, would find it awkward to swear
theoath of office on a Bible. Perhaps some Jewish candidates
would be uncomfortable with taking the oath on the Bible as well.

My fellow political enthusiast, John-Mark Pawlowski, who is active
in political circles in Saint Paul (where I used to live before
returning to the Milwaukee area nine years ago), mentioned his  
idea as an alternative which would have served U.S. Rep. Keith
Ellison (D-MN) well when he first won election to the House of 
representatives a few years ago, and in his subsequent reelection. 
Ellison, a Muslim, took the oath of office on a copy of the Koran,
Isalm's holy book. This caused some controversy in that some 
people thought that Ellison would not somehow be well and truly
sworn in and set to being his congressional duties; after all,
everyone else who ever was elected to either chamber of 
Congress, let alone all other political offices, regardless of  
religious faith or lack thereof have sworn the oath on the Bible.
But, my friend states, for Ellison to have sworn the oath on the 
Bible would have had as much meaning for him as swearing on
a Marvel comic book. I agree wholeheartedly.

So John-Mark proposes this: every elected candidate to public
office, from dogcatcher in the smallest podunk in the country up
to the Presidency, swear the oath of office which requires the
elected candidate to uphold the Constitution on the Constitution.
Think of this for a moment. All candidates would be able to stay
true to their beliefs, religious or otherwise, while still officially
starting their duties in the offices which they were elected to.
In the case of state and local elected officials, they could swear
the oath on the state constitution of the state that they live in.
All that matters, it seems to John-Mark and myself, is that the
elected candidates promise to uphold the law which is rooted
in the state constitutions and the national one, and be held to
their promises; what does it matter how or whether they worship?

And this is not necessarily a sop to seperation of church and state
zealots. All it is is a simple means of ensuring that each elected
candidate be responsible, by his or her word, for adhering to
constitutional requirements regarding making and upholding
the law while also making the ceremony of taking the oath of 
office more comfortable and meaningful for those candidates
of faiths which do not act by biblical instruction. And I
would add to this idea, which is simplicity itself, that
candidates of either the Christian or Jewish faith could
still swear their oaths on the Bible if they so choose.
This way there would be freedom of choice in the matter
as to who or what elected government officials swear their
oaths of office upon, and that they will be duly sworn in
and immediately held to the promise made to adhere to
constitutional principles in executing their duties. And
when all is said and done, that certain promise and
the keeping of it is what really counts.

In closing, wouldn't it be better, and wiser, to have an
elected official swear the oath of office in a manner
not inconsistent with the religious beliefs of said offical,
rather than have the official be inserted into a needlessly
awkward and contradictory position, and forced therefore
to live a lie? Politicians lie enough on their own as it is,
let's not require that a politician lie right off the bat in
order to assume the duties of office!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Savoring the Election Results

Still in a celebratory mood after Tuesday? Can't say that
I blame you, my loyal readers, as I am of that mindset

Here are the highlights of the 2010 election and your
faithful Peasant's take on them:

Here in Badgerland (Wisconsin) we took back the governor's
office by electing Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker
(R) to replace James "Diamond Jim" Doyle (D), a very liberal
Democrat who wisely declined to seek a third term after jacking
taxes up to the sky, regulating businesses almost out of business
thus causing some businesses to leave Wisconsin and others to
rethink moving or expanding into our state, and forcing a high-
speed rail line with trains to boot upon us over our loud and
repeated objections (gee, doesn't that tactic sound familiar?).
Doyle was elected and re-elected by scant margins to begin with,
so he has long been skating on rather thin ice; he decided to put
his skates away upon seeing the writing on the wall in the months
before the election, and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett (D) ran
in his place. We saw Barrett as Doyle version 2.0 so we said
"no thanks" and chose Walker, a proven foe of confiscatory
taxation and a proven friend of job creation and retention.
He's a solid all-around conservative as well! Furthermore,
we took both chambers of our state legislature! Scott Walker
will have a cooperative legislature to work with, so he can
undo the damage that Doyle and Company have done to our
state's economy and business climate. Walker announced in
his victory speech "Wisconsin is open for business!". About
time! We must replace the many jobs that have either moved
out of state or have died from suffocation from the smothering
of overregulation and relentless taxation.

We also elected Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson (R) over
incumbent Russ Feingold (D) for the contested U.S. Senate seat.
A Striking observation: Both races were decided by the same
percentages of votes cast for each candidate! Walker and Johnson
each received 52% of the entire vote to their Democrat opponents'
47% of same, with 1% going to thirs party and/or independent
candidates. But take a look at the county-by-county results; each
of the Dems were lucky to get between 10 and 20 counties out of
the 72 counties in the state!

Also, we now have a GOP majority in our state's delegation to the
U.S. House; incumbent Steve Kagan (D) lost by 55% to 45% to
Republican Reid Ribble in the District 8 contest, while GOP choice
Sean Duffy defeated Democrat Julie Lassa 52% to 44% (4% to
a third party candidate) to represent District 7 in the House of
Representatives. The other seats' races  had predictable results,
with the incumbents all winning new terms (yes, Dan Sebring lost
in District 4 despite a gallant effort. Hopefully he'll run again for
public office in the future).

Around the country we saw Republicans take back the House
with a gain of 61 seats, nearly completely reversing the margin
there, established in 2008 with the Obama victory; that election
gave the Dems 257 seats to the GOP's 178. The count now
shall be 239 for the Republicans to 185 for Obama's pals.
Although we didn't take the Senate, we did cut the Dem's
margin by about seven seats; I say this because two of the
senate races is still being decided in the counting of the votes
in what proved to be extremely tight races. In Alaska, Joe
Miller (R) is neck-and-neck with spite-in (er, write-in)
candidate and incumbent Lisa Murkowski, whom he beat
for the GOP nod to run on that ticket. Washington is seeing
who will emerge the victor between incumbent Sen. Patty
Murray (D) and challenger Dino Rossi (R). Sadly, former
state legislator Sharron Angle lost a narrow race to Sen.
Harry Reid (D), who also happens to be the Senate Majority
Leader. Although it was a bitter moment in an otherwise happy
evening, ol' Dingy Harry (as Rush Limbaugh calls him) will find
it much harder to muster the votes that President Obama will
need to get any more of his Big Government programs passed
in the Senate. Angle was a strong and articulate candidate with
principled conservatism, and we hope that we'll see more of her
in a future campaign for elected office. Christine O'Donnell (R) lost
her bid for the open senate seat from Delaware by a decisive
margin to Democrat Chris Coons. The latter was hand-picked
by Vice President Joe Biden, who had held that senate seat at
the time of his election to the Vice Presidency, to be his successor,
and Coons looks to be every bit the tax-and-spend fanatic that
Biden is. O'Donnell, who was dogged by some controversial
stories from her past, some being blown out of proportion but
some not, lost another race for a U.S. Senate seat from her
home state, and another race for an elected office period, did
her best but she is now so politically damaged that she should
make her future in the private sector. A sad ending to a political
career of a dedictaed conservative.

The Republican tide included claiming many governorships and
state legislatures around the country as well. It was truly open
season on Democrats, especially those who hitched their wagons
to Obama's now rapidly dimming star. This is what comes of the
arrogance of power in government, where those in office think
themselves smarter than and superior to the people who put them
there. The moral of this story is plain: ignore the people at your
peril, for those who elected you can un-elect you in a trice.
Disrespect the electorate, dictate to them, talk down to them,
and you are destroying your political careers. For in our republic,
where we elect representatives to speak and act for us in our
government, we are the ultimate rulers; we are the boss. The
folks we elect serve at our pleasure, and when they no longer
serve us well we can, and shall, replace them.

Note to Democrats and RINOs: That's the way it is. Live with it!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010


We did it gang!

We prevailed in yesterday's election, giving no quarter
and showing no mercy! We made our voice so loud
and clear that we could not possibly be ignored this
time! Now the Democrats and the RINOs will HAVE
to listen to us, to take us seriously, to show us some
respect (and perhaps a little fear as well). We showed
them who's boss!

In Congress, the House of Representatives is no longer
in Nancy Pelosi's claws; the Republicans gained over 50
seats there. Some speculate that Pelosi may step down
as the Democrats' leader in the House so as not to lead
what is now a minority in that chamber; others think that
she may call it a career and leave Congress (better yet!).
The Senate, unfortunately, is still under the Democrats'
control, but with at least six less seats; now they can't
rely on one or two RINO senators to vote with them
to sustain a filibuster. Obama must have been making
a breakfast of his fingernails this morning!

We put some solid conservatives into the governors'
offices in more than a few states, along with GOP
majorities in those states' legislatures to accompany
them, my home state of Wisconsin being one such
state. Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive
and Republican candidate for Governor, won the
office defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
quite handily. We Badger State folk sent Scott
a Republican Assembly and Senate both to help
him in his work to restore our state's economic
good health and to make businesses and jobs
welcome once again. Also, we sent U.S. Sen.
Russ Feingold (D), archliberal, hyperelitist pain
in our backside packing in favor of Republican
Ron Johnson, Oshkosh business owner and rookie
candidate for elected office. Ron Johnson certainly
understands the concept of responsibility for the
income and expenditures of money and accountability
for same, a concept that Russ Feingold failed to grasp
during the three terms he had as senator.

Before the weekend your diligent Peasant shall give
some in-depth examination of the most-watched races
and also provide some numbers and percentages. Some
races are still not settled, and one race in particular might
not be settled for quite a few days, that being the Alaska
U.S. Senate race between incumbent and write-in spoil-
sport Lisa Murkowski and Republican nominee Joe Miller.
The Democrat candidate finished a distant third, well behind
the contentious pair, so that candidate is not a factor here.
Therefore the wait for just a couple of days for the juicy
details of the election results.

But in the meantime, rejoice and be glad! We have taken
that crucial first step to reclaiming our government and our
country from Obama & Co. We have neutralized the almighty
Obama. We have defanged the monster. We have made his
quest to turn our country into a western European-style nanny
state a whale of a lot harder. Many of his cohorts on Capitol Hill
have been fired by We The People, the REAL boss around here.

See what happened last night, Barack?  YOU'RE NEXT!


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