Thursday, April 26, 2012

And the Winner of the GOP Presidential Nomination is ...

At this moment, my fabulous readers, it appears that Mitt Romney
has by and large sewn up the Republican nomination for the
Presidency; having won the Wisconsin GOP primary, the former
Massachusetts governor has gathered 646 delegates for the party
convention to be held in Tampa this summer --- far more than his
closest rival, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is a distant third, and last
your diligent Peasant has heard he is thinking of suspending (read:
ending) his campaign. the unsinkable Molly Brown of American
politics, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is in fourth place and is stubbornly
sticking around. Romney needs just over 1,100 more delegates
and at this point, the mathematics are solidly in his favor.

You recall that I, your favorite Peasant, remarked in this blog that
although Sen. Santorum has been quite forthright on the social
issues of concern to conservatives, he has said comparatively
little of the economic issues which have a tighter grip on the
attention of not just conservatives but just about everyone.
As important as the social matters are, as they affect the quality
of our society, the economic challenges that we as a nation are
confronted with are a matter of our nation's life and death. The
biggest concern that most Americans, regardless of their political
persuasions, have is what will be our economic fate; will we have
raging inflation, will our taxes continue on their rocket ride (espe-
cially if the incumbent president should defy the odds and win
another term), will jobs make a comeback or will they continue
to die off or move overseas? Sen. Santorum learned the hard way
that although Americans, especially conservative Americans, still
care about the social state of affairs of these United  States, they
have to focus on their very survival; their --- our --- survival is
inextricably entwined with the economy and its health. And the
economy's health is precariously weak.

Gov. Romney has had a mixed record on economic matters as
the Bay State's top elected government official. Although he had
handcuffed the rise and proliferation of taxes, he did institute a
health care plan which is eerily similar to that which President
Obama had zipped through Congress and signed into law. And
it didn't help his cause when Romney claimed that his plan has
no individual mandate, unlike Obama's plan, when analysis
revealed that it in fact does. But Romney concentrated on the
money matters with a business-like approach, and that is what
won over many Republican voters in the primaries and caucuses
held thus far. In addition, Romney has garnered the support of
143 present or past Congressional members and six incumbent
governors. Many of these Republican officials, by the way, are
staunchly conservative; Arizona's no-nonsense governor, Jan
Brewer, is in the Romney camp. So is U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio,
the Tea Party favorite who defeated incumbent establishment
elitist Gov. Charlie Crist and a Democrat opponent to win one
of the Senate seats from Florida. They haven't watered down
their conservatism one bit, but they recognize that our attention
and energy must be focused on the economic plight of our
country, and therefore they are supporting the GOP candidate
that is best demonstrating that focus.

Your beloved Peasant certainly has reservations about this man,
no doubt about that. But I fervently believe that Mitt Romney at
his worst is still streaks better than Barack Obama at his best.
Besides, Romney has considerable business experience; he had
been a major contributor to the success of Bain Capital, and invest-
ment firm which he had been with for years and whose clients he
helped achieve their financial goals. And let's not forget that he
took over a financially hurting and operationally dysfunctional U.S.
Olympic Committee and restored it to robust financial health and
sound operational order. Obama was, as we all know all too well,
a "community organizer". A nebulous job with a nebulous title.
What is a "community organizer" when he's at home?

While Mitt Romney is posed to coast to the Republican Convention
in Tampa and the party's presidential nomination, he would do well
to do the following: One, he thinks of and checks things he has said
and done in the past thoroughly before disavowing anything. Recall
the video footage that your researching Peasant posted here a few
weeks ago showing Romney's "oops" moment re: RomneyCare.
This sort of thing will trip him up in debates with Obama. Two, he
adheres to his tough talk on the economy and related issues (i.e.
taxes), and that he listens carefully to taxpayers, as well as
business owners and managers of big AND small businesses!
It is small businesses which employ the majority of the U.S.
workforce). Romney should also listen to us Tea Party folks, as
we are the ones who have begun a new revolution in favor of more
reasonable tax rates as well as less taxes, paired with dramatically
less federal spending. Three, and this will be make-or-break, he
must empathize with those who don't make nearly as much
as himself; these people are the vast majority of our populace 
and have been hit harder and knocked to the curb more violently
than those in Romney's economic strata. In the 1950s, Adlai
Stevenson routed twice by Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower in two 
presidential elections largely because he couldn't empathize,
let alone identify with, the average wage-earner and his economic
difficulties for the lavish wealth that he was enveloped in. Romney
should study Ronald Reagan's way of communicating with these
folks, as he was able to make that vital connection with them in
order to show that he understood them and their problems and
was thus able to win their support; basically, Reagan listened to
people. It would behoove Romney to do the same.

The election, and the fate of our country could very well depend
on it.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark, R.I.P.

Dick ClarkDick Clark (Photo credit: Alan Light)
For those of you who, like your beloved Peasant, were growing up
in the 1960s and '70s, "American Bandstand" was likely a show
that you made a regular staple of television entertainment in your
lives. The joyful, energetic music by the pop stars of the day and
the impossibly youthful-looking host, Dick Clark, who brought it
all to you every week, provided heady, enjoyable escapism from
the cares of school, household chores, and admonitions from parents,
other adult family members, and teachers to adhere to their rules
at home and in class. Dick Clark and his show gave youngsters
the happiest of respite.

Dubbed "The World's Oldest Teenager", Dick Clark held on to
his age-belying visage through the years, as well as a major stroke
which affected his speech but not his enthusiasm for his adoring
public or for life itself. Yesterday, the renown host of "American
Bandstand", at least one TV game show (The $10,000 Pyramid and
a few higher-stakes editions), and a televised annual event, the
New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, died after a heart
attack in Santa Monica, California, while undergoing a routine
medical procedure during a checkup. He was 82 years YOUNG.
Yes, your mindful Peasant intentionally put the word "young" in
caps! Clark brought such great artists as Simon & Garfunkel,
Buddy Holly, James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner, and The Lovin'
Spoonful to the teens and pre-teens of America, helping the
musicians and singers to build huge fan bases by connecting
them with young people hungry for invigorating music that
they could claim as their own, most decidedly NOT their
mom and dad's music. The pop music of that time, however,
had an innocence about it which was its greatest charm. This
in contrast to the pop music of today, with its wild and
oft-times violent lyrics; this is before getting around to
discussing rap and hip-hop!

Dick Clark is an icon of a happier time in our culture
and our society. And now, like that era, he has drifted into
history. Through the years, he kept the good times rolling.
We shall keep his memory rolling, remembering those good
times and the man who brought them to us. Thanks, Dick,
for all the fun.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Priscilla Buckley, R.I.P.

The long-serving managing editor of NATIONAL REVIEW,
confidante to (and sister of) its founder, the late William F.
Buckley Jr., Priscilla Buckley, passed away in late March.
She was 90 years of age.

As managing editor of her younger brother's magazine, she ran
a very disciplined operation but also made it a fun operation to
work in. A famous story pointing up this fact tells of how Nika
Hazelton, NR's food writer, came in to have lunch with Priscilla,
and had arrived at the offices of Bill Buckley's magazine when
gales of laughter rang out from three different corners of the
editorial department. Nika asked, "Priscilla, what is this unseemly
hilarity? When do your people ever get any work done?" But
they got a lot of work done, in that they produced the very
periodical which brought conservatism up from an almost-
backwater brand of political thought to a mighty political
force to be reckoned with, reshaping the United State's
political landscape and government both. Your faithful
Peasant has the utmost respect and regard for this remarkable

In addition to being a shrewd and savvy managing editor for NR,
Priscilla Buckley was a world traveler, adventurer, and a political
stateswoman in her own right. She had a blend of assertiveness,
confidence, intelligence, and femininity that liberals and the mush-
minded believed could only be displayed by fiery feminists a' la
Gloria Steinem, but had eclipsed such women in that she had
a robust and delightful sense of humor where the lefty feminists
often are quite dour. Buckley also taught and developed many
journalists, columnists, and editors currently employed by many
major newspapers, magazines, and electronic media.
This lady will be greatly missed.

And now, Priscilla Buckley has gone to join her brother in a
place of perfect repose. Conservatives are in mourning but
feel tremendous gratitude for the contributions of this great
lady to the cause and its flagship vehicle.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Addition by Subtraction

Milwaukee County is saying goodbye to a long-time
political figure who, over the twenty years that he has
been a member of the Milwaukee County Board of
Supervisors, has been both colorful and controversial
in his work and his demeanor. County Board Chairman
Lee Holloway has resigned from the board, and will
leave office on April 16.

In addition to rising to the post of Chairman, Holloway
has been --- in the eyes of at least some of his fellow
county supervisors and many board staffers --- the
courthouse bully. He has, on two occasions, gotten
into physical altercations with other supervisors in
his quest to get his way on some matter or other.
he has ridden herd on board staff members, making
it known that he was the big cheese at the office and
that to cross him in any way was not healthy to the
longevity of their jobs. Just two weeks ago Holloway
fired the only legislative staffer of supervisor Nikiya
Harris for "disrespecting" His Lordship. What was this
staffer's transgression, by the way? When asked
about the incident, Holloway would only state that
it was a "personnel matter".

However, some county workers say that it was more
of a personal matter. Some have proffered that the
Chairman was sore about Harris and her staffer,
David Crowley, didn't each fork over $30 to attend
Holloway's farewell event which was held at the
Discovery World Museum and banquet facility
near the end of March. Some courthouse insiders
have intimated that it was more likely that Crowley
ran into Holloway while each was working out at
the downtown YMCA and had not addressed the
County Board chieftain by his title, "Chairman".
Supervisor Harris confronted Holloway about the
firing, but all that he would say was that he was
"disrespected" by Crowley without going into
any details. The nerve of the knave! Some peasants
don't know the meaning of respect! Horrors!

Under the County Board's regulations, the super-
visors pick their own staffers but the staffers in
fact report to the board chairman. So via this
stipulation Holloway has the power to remove
any board staffers that he dislikes, apparently
for any reason at all, and not have to divulge
that reason. This is a rule that the County Board
may want to rethink with the departure of his
nibs Holloway. At least Harris can soon bring her
dismissed aide, Crowley, back to work without

Holloway's high-handed manner was not restricted
to the office, either. The owner of some rental pro-
perties in Milwaukee's inner city area, he has clashed
often with some of his tenants who have complained
about the poor conditions of the buildings that they
live in. Decaying structures, deficiently-working
heat and similar complaints have not only gone
ignored by Holloway but he has been accused of
sending some representatives of his to visit the
dissatisfied tenants to, shall we say, persuade
them to ease up on their criticisms of their rental
homes in Holloway's buildings and cut their
landlord some slack. Sound like slumlord behavior
to me, my fabulous readers, how about you?

So we have the portrait of a person who holds some
positions of power, and has enjoyed the inherent
power of said positions a bit too much; Lee Holloway
had gotten drunk on that power like a party reveler
imbibing strong liquor, and had developed an inflated
sense of self-importance over time. An all too familiar
story from the realm of politics. Add to that his feuds
with some of his constituents over matters pertaining
to taxation and spending (yes, Holloway has also
fought with Tea Party activists on more than a few
occasions), and his opposition to then-County
Board Executive Scott Walker and Walker's cutting
of both, thereby making it easier on Milwaukee
County homeowners regarding their property
taxes, enabling them to keep and stay in their homes,
as well as Holloway's recent arguments with current
Executive Chris Abele (a political liberal, like
Holloway) over some of the same subjects(!),
and you have a picture of a self-serving pol who
thinks that those around him (constituents included)
should cater to his majesty's whims, rather than work
in cooperation with peers and to serve the needs of
those who elected him. Your faithful Peasant says
goodbye and good riddance to Lee Holloway, and
may he be replaced by someone who knows his
or her role and does not get caught up in the cushy,
clubby, comfy trappings of the halls of power.
Because this is the biggest problem with government
officials, and the biggest obstacle to responsive,
responsible, efficient government.

Lee Holloway's departure from the Milwaukee County
Board of Supervisors is addition by subtraction. The
restoration of integrity and fairness is an addition
gained by the subtraction of Holloway from the
County Board.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Something Different

My fabulous readers:

I have a little treat to share with you today!
Just click this link below and listen to a very
beautiful patriotic song from Scotland,
"Scots Wha Hae", sung by Scottish folk
singing star Dick Gaughan. As you know,
I have a great love of the music of Ireland
and Scotland, as I love Celtic music and
culture, and I thought I'd treat you to a
little something out of the ordinary!

This song is featured in a video that I found 
on YouTube recently. Enjoy!



P.S. (4/17/12):  Your faithful Peasant regretfully avers
there is a technical problem with the link to the video of the
song, "Scots Wha Hae" that I put up on this posting. You can,
my understanding readers, still access and enjoy this recording
of "Scots Wha Hae" as sung by Dick Gaughan by going to
YouTube and entering the title of the song into the web site's
browser (you can also add "Dick Gaughan", although it is not
necessary). You will be taken to a page where there will be
choices on the right side of the screen when you are on that page;
just look for "Dick Gaughan Scots Wha Hae" and click on that
option. The video will load and play for you. The Peasant
apologizes for any inconvenience and confusion which you
may have encountered in trying to access this recording via
the link provided in this post.      MEM
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Keeping You Up to Date

Your busy Peasant has some exciting news for you, my wonderful
readers; I shall share with you what I have been doing with my
time away from this blog and you all.

I have been working on getting my driver's license! At the age
of 54 I am finally going to drive! Here's how this came about:
I have started doing some part-time work, in addition to my
enterprises (one of which is this blog). I am a part-time member
of the groundskeeping crew at St. Mary's Catholic Church of
the Visitation in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, and have been in this
position since last autumn. It has been put to me that I can be
of even more service to the church in my capacity if I were to
obtain a driver's license so that I can drive one of the pickup
trucks in the course of my duties. As I have been unable
to find any positions in my normal career field (financial
services) or in any secondary career areas, I have cast my
net into other parts of the sea of career opportunities, so I
was offered this work by a friend who is in a prominent
position at St. Mary's. Last week I received my temporary
license, or Learner's Permit upon passing the written
driver's education exam. In the afternoon that same day I
began my behind-the-wheel training under the coaching and
supervision of one of my crewmates who is an experienced,
and of course, licensed driver. After I log the state-required
minimum of 30 hours at the wheel in this manner I can try for
my actual license by taking the road test. I feel like a boy
with a new toy!

In time I shall purchase a second-hand car to get myself
around town with, so I won't have to rely on the local buses
so much anymore. I never objected to riding the buses, but
it's no fun when you're waiting for one in bitter cold or very
wet weather, and even less fun when the bus you need either
comes late or, and this has happened to your intrepid Peasant
on occasion and even just yesterday (!), the bus doesn't come
at all. Besides, it will be a thrill to slip the chain of the bus
route schedules and be on my own travel schedule! And I
can avail myself of fun places to visit that I have needed
a friend with a car to get to. If the place you want to go to
is not on a bus line, if you're without a car and no one can
run you out there then it's too bad, so sad. Furthermore,
there are the career and social functions that I can easily
attend with my own set of wheels!

St. Mary's is even going to assist me in getting a second-hand
car, and of course I will be covered by their insurance when I'm
on the job. Your grateful Peasant wishes to thank his generous
friends at St. Mary's for this life-changing benefit! It is an
example of friends helping a friend and vice-versa; one hand
washing the other. And there is NO GOVERNMENT
PROGRAM involved! The private sector comes through in
grand fashion! We peasants do for ourselves and each other;
it is the American way! Your soon-to-be-more-mobile
Peasant shall keep you, my beloved readers, up to date on
my progress toward my driver's license and my car in the
days and weeks to come. And we shall get back down to
business in a few days with the events in the realm of politics.
A final note: your favorite Peasant shall be, until further
notice, posting on Thursdays or Fridays each week, as my
schedule now affords me this new space of time to get
together with you for our weekly visits. If anything truly
juicy breaks near the weekend I shall post on both
Thursday and Friday! How's that?

Meantime, to my fellow Wisconsinites: tomorrow is the
day of our presidential primary. Do go to your polling
places and vote for the conservative, or as near to conser-
vative GOP candidate of your choice to send against
Obama in November. And if your favored candidate
fails to win the party's nomination, suck it up, set your
jaws, and turn out to vote for the Republican nominee,
whoever it will be, so that we can end the nightmare
that is the reign of the most nightmarish president that
we as a nation have ever countenanced. It is imperative!
We do not have the luxury of hurt feelings over someone
other than our chosen candidates winning the party nod
to head up the ticket when Election Day rolls around,
staying home to assuage ourselves or to quietly protest.
Know this: if you don't vote in November for the candidate
who clinches the nomination then Obama wins! The elitist
pig-in-chief gets another four years to wreak more havoc
on our economy, our liberties, and our lives! We can,
and should, build toward the government we want with
the leadership we want right NOW! We can find
someone whom more of us will find to our liking in
the time down the road; for now, let's concentrate on
replacing Obama with someone with whom we have
more ideas and values which we share, someone who
will at least listen to us when we voice our concerns,
someone who will not be hell-bent on taking our dear
country in a direction in which we do not want to go.
I say this not just for the benefit of my fellow Badger
Staters but for all of my fellow Americans who are
disgusted with the kind of leadership and resultant
government which we are chafing and straining under.

Be strong. Focus on the Big Picture. Stay focused.
And always have confidence!

See you soon!


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