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!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Your jolly Peasant wishes you, my beloved readers,
a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic Happy New Year!
Let us be merry and bright, and may this Christmas and
all our Christmases be bright!

Love and yuletide joy to you and yours from The Peasant!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sen. Fred Thompson, R.I.P.

A man of many talents, a man of many
accomplishments, and a man of boundless
love for our country, Fred Dalton Thompson,
passed away on November 1 after a heroic
12-year battle with Lymphoma. The dynamic
conservative from Tennessee was 73.

Thompson, an attorney, actor, author, radio
show host (he would substitute for the late
Paul Harvey on the latter's show while Harvey
himself was ailing), senator, and presidential
candidate, first came to notoriety as a young
federal prosecutor when he drew out the public
admission from a White House aide that President
Richard Nixon had a secret taping system in
the White House at the time of Watergate.

He later tried his hand at acting and again found
bountiful success, appearing in over 30 films,
most notably "In The Line of Duty" alongside
Clint Eastwood, and appeared in over a dozen
television series, the best known role being that
of fictional New York DA Arthur Branch on
the highly popular TV show "Law and Order".
Thompson left the show when he decided to
run for the presidency. Sadly for those of us
who would have loved to see him be nominated
by the Republican Party and elected president,
Thompson dropped out of the GOP side of the race
after a short, lackluster campaign in which some
thought that his heart wasn't really in it.

Next, Thompson was in radio and later returned
to acting, all the while quietly fighting the lymphoma
cancer which would ultimately claim victory. While
this larger-than-life, six-foot-six charismatic southern
gentleman may have left this world, he left us with a
legacy of warmth, humor, candor, joy, patriotism,
and country wisdom. Thank you, Senator Thompson,
for your many contributions to our body politic, our
culture, and our country. And now you have taken
your final bow on this mortal stage. Godspeed. R.I.P.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Is Donald Trump Presidential Material?

My friends, your troubled Peasant is seeing
more and more conservatives, both in the
Republican Party and not, flocking to
Donald Trump. Although I understand why,
I want to state my case here and now for
reconsidering supporting his presidential

I realize that the billionaire candidate
says many things that sound quite refreshing
in contrast to the noncommittal, passionless,
politically correct statements on the issues
most on the minds of Americans and conserva-
tives in particular. Trump has said things that
people have longed to hear from the other
presidential candidates from both parties but
have not and are not likely to (especially from
the Democrats). Trump has called for action
regarding securing our borders and expelling
immigrants who have engaged in criminal
behavior after illegally arriving in our country.
He has spoken out against bad trade pacts,
especially the Trans-Pacific Partnership
agreement which President Obama is trying
to have passed and enacted with alacrity.
And Trump has blasted the nuclear arms
pact with Iran, which would only delay
for a very short time Iran's ability to arm
itself with nuclear weaponry, which it would
LOVE to use against our only true ally
in the Middle East, Israel, as well as to threaten
doing so along with other atrocities if the West
doesn't cave in to Iranian demands on other
issues. But Donald Trump's conservatism is
only quite new, and is about a mile wide while
only an inch deep.

All you have to do is examine Trump's political
history, and you needn't go back many years.
Trump has openly supported and given money
to many Democrat candidates for public office,
including the presidency. He not only donated
money to Hillary Clinton's successful Senate
campaign but hosted a fundraising party for her,
at which he mugged for photographs with her and
her ex-president hubby Bill. Trump had been quite
complimentary to President Obama upon his winning
the presidency and in his governance during his
first term. Trump also took the liberal side on many
social issues including abortion. And Trump supported
increasing taxes on businesses and business owners
and investors (now here's an old ploy used by many
wealthy business tycoons and investors that they
make to stifle rival businesses in their industries while
either paying the higher taxes without even a wince,
as they have the cash and the income to afford to do so
with little if any hardship, while other businesses would
be rendered unable to innovate, expand, or in some
cases, simply maintain their positions and remain
operational) to shore up the nation's deficit and debt

But now that he has declared himself a republican and a
candidate for that party's presidential nomination Trump
has done an about face on all of the aforementioned,
including engaging in a limited war of words and potshots
with Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. And to some
in the GOP and their voters, as well as to conservative
independents, it all rings hollow. Your detail-minded
Peasant has commented here not long ago about Trump's
past presidential campaigns which he quickly launched
and even more quickly ended when it got to the point where
he would have to get serious about the issues and begin
staking out his positions and starting his campaign in earnest.
Well, this time he has stuck with it for more than a few weeks,
but along the way he has shown bombast, braggadocio,
petulance, and made childish verbal attacks on detractors and
debate moderators, as well as on a disabled reporter for the
New York Times, whom Trump had mimicked by
imitating his stature and movements affected by the man's
disability. All this following his suggesting that Megyn
Kelly, moderator of the first Republican candidates' debate,
was behaving aggressively toward Trump because it was
her womanly "time of the month". Yes, he really did say that.

And as for how he'd handle our economic difficulties and how
he'd manage our national budget, Trump has had four businesses
in his holdings go bankrupt with Trump pocketing millions
of dollars while leaving investors, creditors, vendors, and
employees holding empty bags.

In summation, Donald Trump has not been behaving in a
manner appropriate for a presidential candidate --- or a
president. And with his opportunistic 180s on some key
issues, along with his self-congratulatory musings on
his business activities and his handling of the biggest
political issues of the day, Donald Trump is fit not for
the highest elected office in the land, but rather for another
TV show, one in which he is the star, the main or only
act, and his biggest fan. As for his enthusiastic supporters,
some of whom are prominent, nationally known conservatives
(including some radio talk show hosts), please, please, PLEASE
do your homework on Trump and any other candidate that may
appeal to you before giving them your allegiance and support!
Research a candidate like you would a political issue; get all
the background, marshal all the facts, weigh everything on
your inner scale and then make your selection. One must be
thorough and methodical in choosing a presidential candidate,
for so much is at stake when you're helping to elect our nation's
top governmental official, as he or she will also be the face of
our government to the nation and to the world.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Maureen O'Hara, R.I.P.

A great Irish lady, a beloved film actress in her native
land and here in the United States as well as all around
the world, a fine singer of the songs of land of her birth,
and a gleaming icon, Maureen O'Hara, passed away on
October 24 at the age of 95. She had blazed an indelible
trail from Dublin to Hollywood, leaving a grand legacy
as an entertainer, a businesswoman, and as a person who
gave back to the arts which made her a star.

Your ever-lovin' Peasant being a big film fan, Maureen
O'Hara was my very favorite actress, having made cinematic
magic with my very favorite actor, John Wayne, giving me
as they did millions of other movie lovers adventurous and
romantic thrills to last many lifetimes; ever since I first
saw this gorgeous red-haired spitfire in a movie during
my boyhood I had a huge crush on her! Before Diana
Rigg, Lynda Carter, Elizabeth Hurley and Lucy Lawless,
Maureen O'Hara was the gold standard for stunningly
gorgeous actresses! Even in her final years she still
commanded attention for her exquisite features!

Born Maureen FitzSimons on August 17, 1920, she caught
the acting bug early in life; her mother was a noted stage
actress and had been a great influence. After taking acting
lessons, O'Hara went for a screen test. Although it was not
successful, famed British actor Charles Laughton saw some-
thing in the fiery red-head and arranged for her to appear
with him in the 1939 film Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred
Hitchcock. O'Hara would later join her benefactor in
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was released that same
year. From there, O'Hara would receive many film offers, and
went on to build her incredible career.

Having been in movies with the other greats of the day, such
as Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Douglas
Fairbanks, Jr., and a very young Natalie Wood (appearing
together in the charming Christmas story A Miracle on 34th Street),
O'Hara is most closely associated with iconic American
actor John Wayne, having co-starred in Irish classic
The Quiet Man (1952) as well as several fine westerns,
many made by legendary Irish-American director John Ford
(who also directed The Quiet Man). O'Hara loved her adopted
country as much as her native one, and she especially loved
appearing in movies with Wayne, the actor who most closely
represented American strength, determination, decency, and

O'Hara would also receive an honorary Oscar in 2014, only the
second actress (after Myrna Loy) to receive one having never
been nominated for an Oscar. A slight beautifully rectified by
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences!

Married three times, her third marriage was her happiest, her
husband being retired Air Force General Charles F. Blair Jr.
who was a noted pioneer of transatlantic aviation and CEO of
the U.S. Virgin islands-based airline Antilles Air Boats.
Upon his death in a plane crash due to engine failure, O'Hara
was elected to succeed her husband as the CEO and President
of the airline, making her the first woman to be the president of
a scheduled airline in the U.S.

When her long-time colleague and close friend John Wayne died
in 1979, O'Hara addressed Congress urging them to honor Wayne
with a Congressional medal awarded to American civilians for
their endeavors in a field which benefit the country and her people.
Wayne's movies exemplified the American spirit which helped make
our country and our way of life, and O'Hara pointed this out with
great pride and love. The medal was soon after cast.

In her eighties O'Hara wrote her autobiography, " 'Tis Herself",
in which she shared events and other tidbits about herself that
even her most die-hard fans (like your favorite Peasant) never
had an inkling of. A wonderful book for fans, both of Maureen
O'Hara and of movies!

A remarkable actress, a remarkable woman with fiery passions both
on and off the silver screen, Maureen O'Hara made her native Ireland
and her adopted country the United States proud to claim her as their
own. This dual citizen of these great countries, this queen of the
big screen, this unforgettable lady is now reunited with her husband,
with her old friend John Wayne, and with many other relations,
friends, and colleagues in perfect peace. Rest in peace, lovely
Irish rose, in the Land of Peace Unending.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Thoughts

My fantastic readers, let us give thanks and praise
here at Thanksgiving but also throughout the year,
for our countless blessings.

Of all the many blessings which we enjoy, let us be
especially thankful for living in the most free, the most
prosperous, the most righteous nation in this big wide
world: The United States of America. A place where
we can be whatever we want to be; do whatever we
want to do; go wherever we want to go, within or
outside of our borders; worship when, where, and
how we want to; have whatever we want to have;
and speak freely and unreservedly on whatever
topic we feel so moved to speak out on. Let us hold
these thoughts in our minds while we prepare to tuck
into our Thanksgiving turkeys and geese, the potatoes,
the green beans, the carrots, the dinner rolls and butter,
and the rich desserts (and let us be thankful for being
able to enjoy so much good food as well!). We have
so much and therefore so much to be thankful for!

God bless you all, my beautiful readers!
And God bless America!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Terrible Redux

Paris has been attacked again, and by radical Islamists
as last time. ISIS claimed credit for this, their latest
attack outside of their core territory of Syria and Iraq,
in which they took hostages in a concert hall and killed
some of them. They also attacked other sites in the
City of Lights, and the death toll is still climbing as I type
this piece. All this took place on Friday, November 13,
a day which proved all too frighteningly well to be unlucky
for the beautiful capital city of France.

This comes ten months after the attack on Paris-based
magazine Charlie Hebdo in which the editor of the
publication and ten other staff members were shot
and killed while eleven others were wounded by two
Islamic extremists who took issue with CH's satirical
missives against their faith and a likeness of the prophet
Mohammed displayed on the cover of an issue in which
the magazine's stinging takes on both had appeared.
Your outraged Peasant shall have more to say regarding
this latest tragedy in due course but for now wants to ask
you, my grand readers, to keep Paris and her people in your
prayers; please pray for comfort for the afflicted and justice
to be meted out to the savage perpetrators of this latest



Monday, November 9, 2015

A Prayer for Our Veterans

My friends, I want to do something different
for this Veterans Day to honor our brave veterans,
past and present. So I shall share with you this
beautiful prayer for our brave fellow Americans.
This lovely prayer outdoes everything that your
appreciative Peasant has said on past Veterans
Days, as well as anything further that I could
say this Veterans Day. I know not its author,
but this prayer is a heartfelt tribute to all our
selfless, patriotic veterans who have helped us
to be and to remain a free country which bows to
no one but our Heavenly Father.

Almighty God,

You are our Creator and Sustainer.

You are our Light and our Fortress.

You are our Wisdom and our Strength.

Lord, you moved upon men to establish this great
nation. You stirred men to hope and to dream for a
land of freedom. We praise for this great nation.

Lord, you have inspired many of our best and brightest
to volunteer to proudly stand and defend our beloved
country. You have given us brave and loyal men and
women who have steadfastly served in their chosen
branch of our military.

We gather today to remember our military personnel.
We acknowledge that their service enables us to walk
as free men and women in this great land.

Lord, today we seek to honor your sons and daughters
who have served or are serving our country. We are
reminded that because of their service we can live in

We ask that you abundantly bless those who have
previously served. May their service time be rewarded
in every way. May they gain earthly and heavenly
blessings from their unselfish love of country.

Lord, we stop now and remember those who are currently
serving. We ask that you provide them with your protection,
your strength, and your peace. We ask that you would
abundantly provide for all their needs. We ask that you
would enable them to overcome every personal and
professional obstacle. We ask that you would protect
their families from hurt and harm.

May each of our veterans feel honored not just today but
every day.

Father, we also give special recognition to our wounded
warriors. We realize that many of our heroes are dealing
with physical and emotional wounds that occurred as a
result of their time of service to our country.

We ask that they would be given the best treatments
available and that you would add your supernatural
blessings to all the efforts given to them to help them.
We ask that you, Lord, would show them miracles as
they seek to gain health, stability, and wholeness.

We pray these things in Jesus' name,



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Greetings and Cheer!

Friends, Halloween is almost here.
Time to buy your pumpkins if you
have not already done so. Get your
carving knives ready to make some
wonderful Jack O'Lanterns, as well
as some wonderful pumpkin pies!
Put up your scarecrows, your witches,
your black cats, your ghosts, and your
other figures and figurines for decor!
Then settle back with some lovely
pumpkin latte', turn on your radio or
TV, and catch the Benghazi hearings taking
place in Congress! See the horrifying witch
Hillary Clinton lie about her part in the
tragedy, then lie to cover her lies!

And remember everything that you see and hear
from the hearings if she wins the Democrat Party's
nomination! Come Election Day you can pass
your own judgement on her and her party!
Send her off on her broom!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Story That Should Be in the Funnies!

Om Thursday, October 15, your amused Peasant
read an article in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion
section, "Democrats Say The Economy Stinks".
This piece looked like it could have appeared in
The Onion, an online satirical publication which
makes up wonderful fall-down funny headlines
and stories which poke fun at real-life people,
places and events, but it in fact appeared in the

It discussed the recent Democrats' presidential
candidates' debate which had ex-First Lady (and
a few other ex-things) Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen.
Bernie (the Socialist) Sanders, ex-U.S. Sen. Jim
Webb, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, and
ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley duking it out
in what seemed to be more of "more-liberal-than-
thou" contest. As I myself listened to the event on the
radio, I can tell you that while it had many moments
where one would think, "typical of them!", there were
some genuinely funny moments to enjoy, one being
where the candidates actually admitted(!) that our
nation's economy is in crisis mode. Sen. Sanders
thundered about the American middle class
disappearing over the past 40 years with American
workers working longer hours for less wages, with
almost all of the newly created wealth accruing to
the "top 1%". Ah, yes, those dastardly one-per centers
who the lefties love to hold responsible for the
rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer,
while the middle-class slowly slips away down the
drain. And the funny bit here is the fact that not only
did the other candidates not contest Sanders' remarks,
but they each agreed with him, each saying so in so
many words!

Memo to the 2016 Democrat hopefuls: who has been in
the White house since January 2009 and is still there,
finishing his final term? Whose economic policies
have we had all this while? Hint: they bear his name
--- "Obamanomics"! What are you jerks trying to pull?
Not ALL of the country's electorate are "low information
voters"! You really believe that we are all, or are nearly
all a bunch of single-digit IQ peasants, bumpkins, and
nincompoops! If our national economy is in such sad
shape, then that is on your leader, and on YOU!

Now we have heard of candidates for public office,
having been nominated by their political party to
succeed the departing incumbents from same party,
running against their record while in office. But an
entire lineup of candidates from one party, each seeking
to succeed their incumbent, trashing his record (even
though not mentioning him by name) as if he were from
the opposition party? Really? Moreover, Gov. O'Malley
declared that the president shouldn't be held responsible
for the economy we presently have because he's not a
"magician". Really! Furthermore, the Dem candidates
all took pokes at the Republican-held Congress, blaming
them for the state of the economy, even blaming the last
GOP president, George W. Bush and his tax cuts, which
were enacted 12 years ago and have since been done
away with by the current Democrat president! Priceless!
Robert Ripley, call your office! Check out the Democrat
presidential pack who, to an individual, are using the
sickly economy which THEIR party's outgoing incumbent
president made sickly, as a talking point! A million laughs!
It would be even funnier if it were not reality! Thanks
ever so much to the Wall Street Journal for mentioning
this spectacle in its editorial section.

But the message from the Democrat presidential candidates
is no laughing matter: In the six years we so far have had of
this misbegotten president from their own party, American
workers and their families are suffering greatly in an economy
with the snares of disappearing decent-paying jobs, stagnant
paychecks (for those that still receive them), growing
income inequality, along with a system which has been rigged
to pump even more cash into the accounts of billionaires
(many of them supporters of the current president and his party!)
while bypassing ever-toiling Working Joes and Janes.
The exact same charges that the Democrats constantly hurl at
the Republicans, even when the Dems are in power. And those
horrible one-per centers? They are, as a matter of fact, overwhelm-
ingly DEMOCRATS! Gee, my fabulous readers, wouldn't
you LOVE to hear the Dem White House chasers explain why
this is so?

When it comes to sheer disingenuousness, arrogant elitism,
raping the truth, breathtaking hypocrisy, and a complete
divorce from shame (not to mention absolute ignorance of the
word), the Democrats are the undisputed champions! And if we
don't break their hold on the presidency in 2016 We the People
will be the undisputed chumpions, and our prize will be the
very government and governance we will deserve.


Bernie Sanders' Consolation Prize

Maverick Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent
senator and self-proclaimed socialist who caucuses
with the Democrats (he fits right in!) may not win
the Democrats' presidential nomination, but he may
yet win their future.

Like the British Labor Party's recently elected
party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Sanders turns off
many voters and even makes some Democrat
party bigwigs uncomfortable, the latter not so
much for his political views and ideas but for
being rather raw and unbridled in his expressing
them. The former simply want no more to do
with socialistic, Big-Government-knows-all-and-
is-the-solution-for-everything presidents after
suffering through two terms of the present one.
But Sanders may yet leave his mark on the party
which he caucuses with, as may Corbyn in
regards to his party. While in agreement with
the Democrats on many issues: taking an
isolationist view toward foreign policy, at the
very least being "hands off" on the Middle
East leaving our only true ally there, Israel,
to fend for itself against an increasingly nuclear
Iran and a host of cabals of radical Islamist thugs;
The U.S. stepping down from its longtime lead role
in world affairs; increased subsidies for, among other
things, college; a $15/hour minimum wage, and
higher/more taxes on the most productive people
and on businesses of all sizes, Bernie isn't quite
"one of the gang" in the Beltway club. He is not,
for example, a full-fledged member of either of the
two major political parties, and he can be a bit too
forward, too impolitic, for the Democrats' comfort,
thus putting pressure on the Dems to either take a
"me too" stand alongside Sanders or to downplay
Sanders and his ideas, thus alienating much of the
party base which has slid ever-leftward in recent years,
with the Dems along for the ride. Sanders is merely
capitalizing on the party's leftward tack.

Again, Sanders merely caucuses with the Senate
Democrats; he is not a full member, let alone a holder
of a leadership position, unlike Corbyn of the U.K.
Labor Party.

However, Sanders can still influence the Democrats'
platform and policies for years to come even without
winning the party's nomination, let alone the general
election. For a start, Sanders already provides the logical
end point of the party's progress to the far reaches to the
far Left; Everything is free! Well, at least until April 15
rolls around and the bill for it all comes due. Meanwhile,
payments in another kind will be collected, such as the
forfeiture of our rights and liberties as government
encroaches all the more upon us with its endless regulations,
taxes, and consequential erosion of our freedoms. A most
precious and priceless currency, to be paid for the growth
and empowerment of the do-all state.

Thus Senator Sanders would win a heck of a consolation prize
in the process, a prize which would rival the top prize in terms
of magnitude and importance. It would be like a dormant bomb,
with its timer set for its explosion, and that fateful time being
whenever another Democrat is elected president. The Democrat
Party of today is not at all your father's Democrat Party, and it
will be even father removed from it in the future, thanks in no
small part to Bernie Sanders.

Pretty good going for a presidential candidate who is not in a
party leadership position and is not likely to win election to
the presidency.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The British Obama

It seems that the British Labor Party is taking
a turn quite similar to that which the Democrat
Party here in the United States had taken seven
years earlier. The U.K. Labor Party has tacked
hard --- and I do mean hard --- left. This is
apparent from the election that party members
recently held to choose their new party leader,
who will now be their point man in the House
of Commons, leading them in opposition to
the ruling Conservative Party.

MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected in what can best
be described as a left-wing fever, fueling a desire
to return to the days when the Labor Party was
getting its collective clock cleaned by the Tories,
and Margaret Thatcher was Great Britain's counterpart
to our President Ronald Reagan who was our leader
during that period. The Conservatives were seen as
the party of prosperity and stability while the Laborites
were viewed as the part of stagnant statism and boundless
extremism. Labor finally succeeded in getting a Labor
Prime Minister elected when they ran Tony Blair,
a more moderate, reasonable left-winger who didn't
frighten the British electorate with totalitarian
views and plans for micro-managing the country.
So why the retrogression?

Blair realized that after the Labor governance
disasters in the 1970s, his party needed to demonstrate
that it was not hostile to markets and was not out
to undermine Britain's allies and cozy up to its enemies.
Corbyn, on the other hand, wants more exorbitant taxes,
renationalization of industries formerly run by the government
(such as the railways), Britain out of NATO, Britain's
backing of Hamas and Hezbollah, and cessation of military
action against Islamic State (ISIS). Corbyn makes our
President Obama look like Ronald Reagan!

Corbyn's ascent to the top of his party is causing consternation
among many of his party's faithful as well as mirth among
Conservatives, as both realize that this will make it very
difficult for Labor to be a viable force in British politics
for a long time to come. Further food for thought: even
if Corbyn never gets elected Prime Minister, his poisonous
ideas could become dominant in the Labor Party, and remain
so for generations; remember when George McGovern was
the Democrats' presidential candidate in 1972? He was routed
in the general election, carrying only Massachusetts and
the District of Columbia (he failed to win his home state of
South Dakota!), but his ideas took root and shaped the Democrats'
ideology for many years to come. And the late senator, arguably
our most left-of-center elected official in his day, was
nowhere near as rabidly radical as Corbyn is proving to be.

I just love it when our lefties admonish the Republican Party to
not lean to the right, warning that it would wander into extremist
territory and cease to be a viable political party and force here.
But they love it when Obama tries to push us into that very place
with his own radical brand of governance, bolstered by his
Executive Orders and absolute disregard and disrespect for
the Constitution. I suppose that they, and Obama, think of
Jeremy Corbyn as a political hero and soulmate!

The next few years in Great Britain should be most interesting
to watch.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yogi Berra, R.I.P.

A great baseball player, coach, manager, icon,
patriot, and a real piece of Americana has gone to
glory. Yogi Berra, all-star catcher with the New
York Yankees in the twilight of their glory years,
passed away on September 22 at the age of 90.

Having spent my first eight years of life in my
native New Jersey, the early 1960s were the
tail-end years of the great Yankees baseball
dynasty when they were almost always in the
World Series, and everyone followed the Yankees.
Even people who were merely casual fans, or not
even baseball fans but still knew the Yankees were
a special team with a magic that no other team in
baseball --- or any other sport --- has ever possessed
before or since. And Yogi Berra was one of the
players who contributed to that magic. As a wee
lad, I was in the thrall of that team and its catcher.
The Yankees were my team, and Yogi was my
favorite Yankee --- and my favorite player in the
big leagues!

A true defensive stalwart behind the plate, Yogi was
just as effective at the plate, batting .285 while clouting
358 home runs during his 19 seasons playing the game.
He caught the only perfect game (no batter getting on
base by any means: hits, walks, dropped third strike, or
hit by a pitch) in World Series history, the rare gem pitched
by Don Larsen in the 1955 World Series against their then-
crosstown rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, a series that Yogi
and his teammates would go on to win. Yogi could beat you
with his glove or his bat, and usually beat opponents with

Yogi was known as much for his off-the-field exploits
as much as those during a game. His unique and humorous
way of stating things, be it a game, a season, the World Series,
a teammate, the weather, a popular restaurant, a movie,
his family, whatever or whoever. Some examples, which
have come to be known as "Yogi-isms":

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded!"
(Yogi remarked about Rigazzi's, a popular restaurant in
Saint Louis)

"It ain't over 'til it's over!"

"It's deja vu all over again!"
(Yogi exclaimed when teammates Mickey Mantle and
Roger Maris hit back-to-back home runs in a game,
something that they did many times!)

"You can observe a lot by watching."

"Thank you for making this day necessary!"
(Yogi said to the crowd assembled at Yogi Berra Day,
held at Sportsman's Park in Saint Louis)

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"

"90% of the game (of baseball) is half-mental."

"Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they
won't go to yours."

There are so many more of these delightful malapropisms
and unintentional witticisms from the man, too many to
share here but can easily make a book, one of many

Born Lorenzo Pietro Berra in a mostly Italian Saint Louis,
Missouri neighorhood called "The Hill", on May 12, 1925,
his parents Italian immigrants to the United States.
Just across the street from his home lived childhood friend,
fellow baseball catcher, and fellow major league prospect
Joe Garagiola who would go on to play for the hometown
Cardinals, also playing in the World Series (1946). The two
were lifelong friends as well as baseball contemporaries.
A question: does anyone know of another case of two kids from
the same neighborhood, from the same street, both baseball
players playing the same position, both signed by major league
baseball teams? Imagine the odds!

Yogi, having signed with the Yankees, then interrupted his
baseball career to enlist in the U.S. Navy when WWII came
along, wanting to contribute to the war effort. He returned home
a decorated sailor and resumed his budding baseball career,
coming up through the minors to the Bronx Bombers themselves,
playing in 14 World Series, ten of which he and his teammates
won --- both are major league records for a single player.
Yogi was a class act on and off the field, never engaging in
any activity that would cast shame on himself or his team,
becoming the idol of many Little Leaguers and of baseball
fans of all ages. Yogi set many baseball records for a catcher,
and captured the attention, the imagination, and the fancy of
the country not just as a player but as a coach and as manager
for the Yankees and the crosstown Mets (leading both teams
to the World Series). Yogi was a coach for the 1969 "Amazing Mets"
who, after many successive seasons of losing, rose up to win
the National League East Division crown, sweep the Atlanta Braves
in the League playoff series, then whip the heavily favored
American League champion Baltimore Orioles in the World Series,
needing just five games to accomplish the feat. But through it all,
Yogi never let his success make his baseball cap size grow.
He remained humble and was ever thankful for his success,
including being thankful to all who helped develop him into
a premier catcher and ballplayer. Contrast Yogi to many of the
star athletes in sports today; also Yogi never took any "performance
enhancing" substances. He was a natural in the fullest sense of the
word! And along the way Yogi became a part of not only baseball
lore but of Americana, as a true American original.

The beloved Hannah Barbera cartoon character, Yogi Bear, was
named for Yogi Berra. This honor made Yogi Berra an even more
ingrained part of Americana.

So now the Yankee's great number 8, their standout catcher, their
inimitable star has joined the Angels (and I don't mean Anaheim!)
to hold a permanent spot on their roster. God couldn't have drafted
a finer ballplayer, nor a wittier fellow! Rest in peace, Yogi,
and thanks for all the fun!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Scott Walker Goes Home

Well, a few days after my post about Gov. Scott Walker's
difficulties on the campaign trail he officially left the
field. Indeed, his mistakes on the stump and what very
likely was bad advice from his advisors caused many
of the GOP faithful, as well as many conservative admirers
to shy away from Walker, causing among other things his
campaign donations and funds to dissipate.

While this is a sad happenstance, Wisconsin will benefit
from his remaining our governor, continuing to work for
needed reforms in how our state government operates and
to help it to work for the good of us all rather than for just
a few entrenched interests with lots of cash and even more
belligerence. The Republican Party presidential candidates
who remain are, for the most part, solid conservatives who
can be trusted to restore restraint, competence, and
constitutional mindfulness to our federal government and
therefore will restore the faith and confidence in it that
people once had in it, before it was encouraged to run amok
by its head of state currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Welcome home, Governor Walker. The United States will yet
have sound leadership once again, and Wisconsin shall continue
to have same.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Changing of the Guard (For the Better!)

A sudden and wonderful development occurred just
yesterday; House Speaker John Boehner announced
that he is resigning from his position and from the House
of Representatives, effective October 30. We now have
an opportunity to get some genuine conservative leader-
ship in the House! A member of the House for 25 years,
Boehner ran and was elected to that chamber as a true
conservative and an outsider who would shake up the
way business was being done there, but over time became
more and more a part of the establishment scenery, while
as Speaker refused to challenge the Obama regime on
most issues before Washington while clamping down on
the more conservative members in his own caucus, especially
the Tea Party conservatives, when they demanded appro-
priate action on same. Boehner even removed some of them
from committee chairmanships as well as from key
committees as punishment. Sure, he was a tough guy with
his own, but was a lap dog with Obama and the Democrats!

These latest clashes Boehner had with his fellow GOP
members of the House were the nails in his political coffin.
He had refused to send a spending bill to President Obama
which would have defunded the country's largest abortion
provider, Planned Parenthood, fearing that an ensuing
government shutdown would hurt the Republicans more than
it would Obama and the Democrats. While likely so, he at
least could have offered an alternative strategy in its place
but did not.

After vowing to defund Obamacare, Boehner let Obama's
controversial health insurance program receive funding
after all., joining his Senate counterpart Sen. Mitch McConnell
in huffing and puffing but not exhaling any wind to blow down
Obama's scheme. Obamacare still rumbles along toward full
implementation without interruption from these two ineffectual
dodos. Boehner announced that the battle over Obamacare was
"over", despite unrelenting objections from individuals, families,
and conservatives to the horrid health plan.

On immigration, nothing of substance came from the House,
thanks largely to Boehner, who claimed that Obama had
"Poisoned the well" on the subject, claiming that the president
had made the issue "impossible to resolve". Well of course Obama
had poisoned the well! That is what he does in order to ensure that
A) he gets his way, and B) he makes the Republicans look like the
unreasonable, intractable ones. Boehner could have and should
have challenged him anyway but he just couldn't muster the
fortitude to do so, preferring to get along in the Beltway by simply
going along, not ruffling any feathers except those of his constituents
back home and those of conservatives across the land thirsting for
titanium-spined leadership in Washington to reverse Obama's

Boehner also voted to keep the authorization for the Export-Import
Bank, despite conservative opposition to keeping its doors open and
allowing the private sector to take over for financing businesses.

As far as stopping Obama's executive orders being substituted for
Congress' role in creating legislation, Boehner merely rolled over like
a puppy looking for a tummy rub, instead of using the House's power
of the purse to cut off funding.

It appears that Boehner cannot withstand further brickbats for his
sorry performance as Speaker of the House, so he is getting out of
Dodge. Your overjoyed Peasant says to him thus: Don't let the door
whack your backside on the way out!

Let us now urge the Republican majority in the House to choose a
REAL conservative, a REAL leader, to be Speaker!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Another Great Year Together!

My friends, we are concluding another great year
to mark, examining the political and economic
news stories of the moment together! Six great
years of perusing and studying the people and
events which shape our communities, our
country, and our world. And your grateful
Peasant thanks you all for joining me on this
wonderful journey, in which we have plumbed
the depths of self-serving behavior, and explored
the heights of true public service, all shown by
our elected and appointed officials. We have
taken action to ensure that the nation's needs be met,
its best interests served, and that justice is upheld.
And we have recognized and commended those who
have acted in this praiseworthy manner, while
shining the light of scrutiny on those who have
acted in the interests of themselves and their cronies
rather than that of the people whom they are supposed
to serve, sending these slimy characters back under
the rocks from which they emerged.

These times we are living in demand that those who
care about our wonderful country both speak and act
to preserve our freedom, our prosperity, and our
way of life. And that's not all that's at stake; our
actions as a country impact the world as well. Our
allies have to be able to rely on us, along with the people
facing oppression and general hardship in their
respective lands. The United States has long been a
beacon of hope for the world, and with the current regime
in Washington there doesn't seem to be much cause for hope
from anyone at home or abroad.

We now must gear up for bringing about some REAL hope
and change for our country and the world in the coming year.
What we do here is to prepare ourselves to do what must be
done in order to be victorious in our quest. That, and to have
a bit of fun as well!

Here's to another fantastic year, and many more to come!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Up, Up, and ... ???

Well, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has entered the GOP
presidential fray. So far, he has made the rounds visiting
Iowa and New Hampshire, the states which respectively
host the first caucuses and primaries in the country in
presidential election years. The news of his candidacy
generated much excitement among the party faithful,
conservative independents, and Tea Party activists
around the country. Everyone wanted to see and hear
the governor with a titanium spine and fire in his belly
who stood up to organized labor and their allies in
creating true reform of his state's budget and giving
relief to stretched and beleaguered taxpayers, worn down
from having to pay ever-increasing state taxes to pay for
the ever-increasing pay and benefits of the public sector
union members. Many thought that here was a candidate
who would be an antidote to the excesses in taxation,
spending, and arrogant governance of President Obama.

Then that Scott Walker mysteriously disappeared; another
Scott Walker took his place, one that seems to be the
exact opposite of the first. This Scott Walker waffled on
some issues, including whether the government should
continue to subsidize and mandate the use of ethanol
for fuel (having called for ending this practice in
Wisconsin, but backed off when in Iowa, a major corn-
growing state); made a seemingly ludicrous statement
on immigration (proposed building a fence along the
border with Canada -- with the illegal entries being made
at our border with Mexico); and dodging some questions
(such as to whether he'll make changes to his campaign
staff in the light of the aforementioned missteps and
similar other errors). The Scott Walker that stared down
the unions and the rest of the left-wingers in Wisconsin
was replaced by a ducking and covering one.

What gives here?

Whereas Walker had counted on having routes to victory
in many states, he now has to work for one route in one
state: Iowa. And, his performance in the first two Repub-
lican candidates' debates, while not terrible, did not evoke
the Gov. Walker everyone heard and read so much about.
Outside of adroitly warding off Donald Trump's harassing
attacks in the second debate, scolding the billionaire butthead
for reciting "the Democrats' talking points (against him)"
while defending his state's fiscal performance during his
administration to date, the Badger State governor didn't
make much of an impact.

Some donors to his campaign are calling for the removal of
Walker's campaign manager, Rick Wiley, thinking him to
blame for Walkers' rudderless performance. Larry Sabato,
Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics,
opined "His donors --- and many of his voters --- are getting
antsy." Your concerned Peasant must here admit that I, too,
am getting antsy as well. Walker slid from being first or
second in the polls to fifth or lower. He needed a boost from
a strong performance in the second debate; his performance,
however, may not prove to be strong enough to rejuvenate
his campaign.

Stanley Hubbard, founder of the Minnesota-based media
corporation Hubbard Broadcasting, and a major donor to
Walker's campaign, stated recently "He has the right message.
He's smart. And I'd like to know why he's not breaking through."
So would a lot of other people. Eric Anton, a Walker donor and
financial bundler, while concerned, does not call for a shakeup
of Team Walker. "I don't get the sense that we're in a crisis mode,"
he said in a recent interview with The Capital Times, a major
state newspaper in Madison.

Then, too, Walker didn't get terribly much air time to share his
views and ideas in the second debate. According to National
Public Radio (NPR), a most politically liberal media organi-
zation, averred that their analysis of the debate revealed that
Walker received the least amount of air time of all eleven
candidates --- a paltry eight minutes and twenty-nine seconds.
CNN, another media outfit not known for its conservatism,
hosted the debate. Could CNN have been trying to undermine
a candidate that they felt could be a threat in the GOP race,
knowing that candidate's record as governor, successfully battling
an alliance of labor unions and their allies to institute sweeping
reform? That would, of course, have been out of Walker's and
his team's control.

But the aforementioned difficulties with his appearances and
interviews are completely within Team Walker's control.
The sooner they repair what needs repair, the sooner that Gov.
Walker can regain lost ground in the polls and lost confidence
in the Republican rank-and-file from around the country.
It would be not only a shame, but a tragedy if the gutsiest
governor in the land cannot regain his footing in his quest
to become our next president, and provide the courageous
leadership and reform that has benefited his state and would
do the same for the rest of the country at a time when both
are desperately needed.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The First Amendment Applies Online, Too!

There has been much talk about determining how
much leeway political speech, or at least that from
certain quarters, should have online. Some people
(mainly those to the left of center) think that conser-
vatives have too much of a presence in cyberspace,
and that regulations of some sort will guarantee
other voices (again, mainly lefties) will have 
supposedly equal access and forum for their views.
But consider the following:

Ten years ago, The Federal Election Commission (FEC)
pondered whether it should regulate political content
posted on the Internet. In 2006 the commission 
unanimously approved a rule which freed the great
majority of political commentary on the Internet from
governmental regulation. This rule, casually known as
the Internet Freedom Rule, exempted all political
commentary distributed online for free by citizens
and groups alike, whether in e-mail or on blogs,
websites, or social media websites such as Facebook,
Twitter, and such. The commission retained jurisdiction 
over just a few limited areas: political parties, political
campaigns, and political action committees, and all others
who posts electoral advocacy online for an advertising fee.

This rule empowered millions of citizens to speak widely
as bloggers (like your favorite Peasant!), podcasters, 
YouTube posters, and such, reaching a nationwide audience.
New political communities have been formed online.
Political speech flourished as a result, with the Internet
becoming the nation's town hall, if you will.

But liberals have begun to call for investigations of 
conservative groups for posting political videos on 
YouTube without first reporting them to the FEC. 
The commission voted to investigate one such group,
voting along party/ideological lines; the two Republicans
voted no, the two Democrats and the lone independent
voted yes. This case generated a wave of protest from
citizens wanting the Internet to remain unfettered
by regulation, with nearly 2,000 comments submitted 
to the FEC to that effect. 

The FEC should stick to their 2006 rule and expand 
Internet freedom, for the low cost of a personal computer
and a monthly connectivity charge, people can reach
millions of people. The Internet has been a force for 
democracy for modern journalism, enabling so many
people to become online publishers of opinions and
ideas. Furthermore, the FEC has no authority to regulate
political speech for the purpose of limiting same, except
for regard to large monetary contributions that have 
corruptive potential. Also, citizens have the right and 
the ability to seek the viewpoints that they want to hear from. 
Government should not be allowed to impose regulatory 
hurdles to the ability to access these viewpoints. This would,
of course, fly in the face of the First Amendment.

Finally, the FEC would have no effective means of 
monitoring the Internet to find posts meriting its investigative
eye. And that is a good thing, lest the dread chill of govern-
mental presence be at the backs of all those who wish to
share political ideas and opinions. This is what happens
in countries with totalitarian governments. And for this reason
alone FEC regulation of content on the Internet, to the degree 
which some in our country would like to see, should never
be implemented nor encouraged.

If we are to remain a free country, we must foster and maintain
open channels of communication. To do anything to the contrary 
would undermine one of our most important freedoms: freedom
of speech. 


Thursday, September 3, 2015

On Which Side is the Grass Greener?

Your favorite Peasant has a running battle, a friendly one
mind, going with a friend from my days in Minnesota
where I attended college and lived for twenty years
after my four years at the University of Saint Thomas
in Saint Paul. My friend, who still lives there, needles me
with articles which compare my Wisconsin, my once and
again home state with Minnesota on subjects such as
business climate, economy, quality of life, and so forth.
I came home to Wisconsin because, most of all, I missed
the warmth and genuineness of the people in the Badger State.
Besides, the people here, except for Madison and some
Milwaukee neighborhoods, are not reflexively politically
liberal --- that is to say that they are not knee-jerk about
their politics, unlike more than a few Minnesotans I have met.
I'm talking about a state that has gone Republican just once
in the presidential elections since 1932, almost three-quarters
of a century!

Anyway, I came across a recent guest editorial piece in the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week, written by Kurt R.
Bauer, President and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers &
Commerce. This gentleman pointed out the contrasts in the
economies of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and how each state
compares as a result. Bauer states that it is far too early to
tell how effective Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker's business-
friendly reforms have impacted the state's long-term economic
competitiveness. Bauer did state, however, that Walker was
hampered greatly in his first term by the left-wing protests
and the recall election that took place just two years after
first being elected.

But many indicators are optimistic on Wisconsin's future
economic prospects. Business optimism is very high, and
many leading rankings on economic outlook as well as
business climate have improved greatly since Walker took
office in 2011, taking over from a spendthrift Democrat
governor who even raided the state transportation fund
to spend that money on programs unrelated to transportation.
By comparison, Minnesota has not fared quite as well in
these rankings.

Now, Bauer does aver that Wisconsin does trail the North
Star State in some economic metrics; Minnesota has more
corporate headquarters, higher per capita income, a lower
unemployment rate, and a better educated population. But
the last measure is largely due to the fact that the Twin Cities
(Saint Paul and Minneapolis) were not part of the Great
Migration of people moving up from the south to get work
in the factories. Milwaukee, Beloit, and Racine, Bauer states,
were adversely affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs
in the 1970s and '80s when those jobs went overseas, and many
of the people left behind never made it back to the same
economic footing that they had when they had these jobs.
This phenomenon was not as prevalent in Minnesota.

Also, those well-schooled in technology (read: computers) and
in finance have largely chosen Minnesota over Wisconsin as
their career destinations, hence the edge Minnesota has over
my Badger State in education (your studious Peasant's
observation). However, the overall quality of education in the
colleges and universities in each state are running neck-and-neck.
Bauer also notes that the Twin Cities are a big draw for these
young and budding professionals in his article.

However, Wisconsin has a definite advantage over their western
neighbor in that it has a fully funded state employment pension
fund. Also, Wisconsin's taxes are declining while Minnesota
Gov. Mark Dayton, a stoutly liberal Democrat, has taxes on the
rise in his state. Moreover, Dayton has increased the costs of
doing business in Minnesota while Walker has taken same in
the opposite direction in Wisconsin. Furthermore, when
Wisconsin recently became a right-to-work state, that left
Minnesota surrounded on three sides by states considered by
business observers as being more business-friendly, making
Minnesota stand out in a negative way.

A note to my friend, who is also an avid reader of this blog:
Wisconsin's improving business climate will lead to a better
economy for Wisconsin. My state realizes this truth and is
acting upon it. Minnesota seems to not be cognizant of the
benefits of making itself more business-friendly, and that is
to its peril. You may want to begin looking at the online
versions of my state's newspapers' jobs sections and circle
some leads!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Milwaukee Irish Fest was Grand!

Your part-Hibernian Peasant enjoyed Milwaukee's Irish Fest,
gathering with family and friends during this, my annual
Irish vacation. It's so wonderful, having an Irish vacation
without actually leaving the country --- although one day I
shall do precisely that! Visiting Ireland has always been a
dream of mine; I have visited Great Britain and much of
continental Europe, and have enjoyed every place I saw,
but I won't rest until I've been to The Emerald Isle,
where I have many relatives. I shall of course visit them,
and will take in some of the historic sights of Eire, including
some of the touristy-type attractions, camera in hand.

But for now, going to Milwaukee's Irish Fest is a real treat!
Our fest is the biggest Irish Festival in the world, so if you
want to enjoy more of Irish culture you'll have to visit
dear of Ireland itself!

It was great to be at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, and it's great to
be back with you, my beloved readers!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Br. Gregory Conant, R.I.P.

My grand readers, your sorrowful Peasant wishes
to announce the passing of a truly God and country
gentleman. A loyal servant of God, a staunch patriot,
and a beloved family member, my cousin Br. Gregory
Conant, passed away peacefully after several years of
declining health in Still River, Massachusetts on July 23
at the age of 87.

Having received the calling to serve as a monk when he
was sixteen years of age, Brother Gregory also had a great
love of country. He first enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard a
year later, concealing his true age, then followed this stint with
enlistment in the U.S. Army, serving in Korea during the
war there as a communications specialist. Never a fan of
communism, he came to loathe it even more as a result
of his experiences in the Korean War, seeing the devastation
and misery it had wreaked upon the Korean people. After
his military service, he then began his training for his
holy vocation.

A proud conservative, both politically and religiously,
and staunchly pro-life, Brother Gregory was an activist
on all these fronts, making both friends and enemies
with his outspokenness and forthrightness. Your proud
Peasant was in agreement with Brother Gregory on
every subject but one: he would constantly badger me to
enter the seminary and become a priest or a brother.
It was an issue on which we had more discussions than I
can recall, and had clashed rather heatedly on a few times
as well. But in the end, my cousin acknowledged my need
to go in the direction I felt compelled to go, to establish
and maintain a career in business while devoting time to
politics as well, and we remained close friends as well as
close relatives in the years that passed. And now my
dear cousin has passed as well.

Bold, forthright, redoubtable, passionate, outspoken,
irrepressible, and unapologetic, Brother Gregory was
an advocate for his faith, his country, and the improvement
of the human condition --- spiritually, physically, and
morally. Would that we had public servants with his
courage, his conviction, and his outspokenness.
Come to think of it, the Catholic Church could use a few
more hearty souls like my cousin as well.

Rest in peace, Brother Gregory. We'll see each other again
when I'm called up yonder.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's Time For My Annual Irish Vacation!

My dear readers, your beloved Peasant is going
to take another break this month, as August is the
month in which the Milwaukee Irish Fest takes place.
Therefore, I shall not be posting anything this week
but for this notice.

I shall be getting together with family and friends,
from Ireland as well as from around the country and
of course here in Milwaukee. The festival goes from
Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16.
If any of you are going to be in Milwaukee during
this time frame, come to our Irish Fest! You'll have
so much to see and do; Irish music from performers
from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, the U.S.,
wherever there is Celtic culture --- Irish dishes,
Irish whiskies, Irish theater, discussions on Irish
history and politics, the great and wickedly fast
Irish sport of hurling, a sailing regatta, a tug-of-war
tournament, Irish show dogs, and oh so much more!

For more information visit www.irishfest.com/ .
By the by, check out The High Kings in concert!
They are a hot (and growing hotter!) Irish
singing group of four ridiculously talented singers/
musicians from Ireland who have taken the United
States by storm! And one of the High Kings,
Finbarr Clancy, is a cousin! No blarney!

Meanwhile, do visit National Review Online
for your week's dose of conservative observation
and commentary on the latest political news.


The Peasant shall return after the Milwaukee Irish Fest!
God bless!


Monday, August 3, 2015

The Peasant Recharges His Batteries

Your faithful Peasant is going on a trip to visit
some family members who live in another part
of Wisconsin, so while I am away please enjoy
these wonderful online publications until my return.
Their links are to be found below. I shall be leaving
on my trip in two days from today, so I want to get
this notice to you, my wonderful readers at this time.

Thank you all for your readership, your friendship,
and your encouragement in my efforts to bring you
the sharpest, most concise, most on-the-mark
commentary on the political and economic news
of the day! I shall be back before you know it,
well-rested and ready to roll!

God bless!


National Review Online



Freedom Weekly

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Theodore Bikel, R.I.P.

Theodore Bikel, Austrian-born folk singer, actor,
and human rights activist, passed away recently
at the age of 91.

Best known for playing Tevye in the Broadway
production of "Fiddler On The Roof", and a veteran
of many other theatrical productions as well as
film and television, Bikel was also an outspoken,
indefatigable human rights activist who had protested
at the Soviet and South African embassies in the days
that the Soviet Union and Apartheid existed, getting
arrested at both places.

Your appreciative Peasant had the opportunity to hear
Bikel fifteen years ago when he was on the lecture
circuit, and found him to be all that he was made out
to be, and more besides. Warm, genuine, caring, witty,
and even handy with a song (he sang a couple of
Hebrew hymns), Bikel captivated the entire audience
that evening! My only regret is that I didn't get to meet
him and tell him directly how much I enjoyed his lecture,
his theatrical work, his singing, and his efforts to improve
the human condition for all, especially for those whose
conditions were made intolerable and unbearable by tyrants,
be they fascist, communist, or any other terrible
variety of freedom-squelching ideology.  Bikel played
no favorites but for his preference for humanity, for
human beings to live free and thrive. He was also a strong
opponent of capital punishment, be it for political
opponents of a corrupt government or for those guilty
of violent, non-political crimes. Bikel, no softie on crime,
believed in sentencing which could be amended or
reversed in the event of new evidence coming to light
proving the innocence of, or at least the doubt of the guilt,
of the accused.

Theodore Bikel was as much at home singing with his
fellow folk singer friends which included the Clancy
Brothers and Tommy Makem, Odetta, and many other
of his contemporaries as he was protesting the
unjust treatment of someone somewhere in the world.
Bikel was a great soul with a great voice and a great
presence. He shall be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace, Theo.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Testament of Faith in South Carolina

Your sorrowful Peasant is reflecting today on the
fatal shooting of nine members of a historic black
church in Charleston, South Carolina. It has been
on my mind for quite some time, and I pray for the
church, its members --- the slain and the living,
the city, and the state often.

As you, my very aware readers know, a 21-year-old
white racist wanted to start a race war, and he felt
the best way to do it was to plan and execute an attack
on a prominent black church, Emanuel AME Church.
Armed with a .45-caliber handgun and an evil agenda,
this evil individual walked into this church, took part
in a Bible study meeting with some of the congregants
(to blend in, and not raise any suspicion), and at its
conclusion opened fire, killing six women and three
men. One of the victims was the pastor of the church,
as well as also being a state legislator.

But the murderous slime didn't get the result that he
had hoped for. Quite the contrary. Instead of inciting
even a fistfight. let alone a war, the congregants of
this church --- those that were witness to the shocking
event, and the others who soon learned of it --- came
together in prayer and forgave the shooter. They did as
their heavenly Father bade them to do in the face of
injustice, of maltreatment, of evil, and forgave the
hateful malefactor his hideous crime.

It's not that they thought it was okay for the killer to do
what he did. It's not that they didn't want justice to be
served. It's not that they were being weak and wimpy.
They actually showed incredible strength, the strength
of their faith in their practice of it under the most
harrowing circumstances, that which try our souls and
test our mettle. They forgave a fiend for the slaughter of
their friends, their relations, their fellow congregants.
They did what Christianity teaches us to do, one of the
hardest --- if not the hardest --- things a practitioner of
the faith will ever be called upon to do. And it's not
a thing that many people, regardless of their faith, can
ever do, your humble Peasant included. I still have
trouble forgiving people in my past who have wronged
me in some way or another, including an abusive father.
Your awed Peasant salutes and commends these aggrieved
congregants of the church!

And the people of Charleston, and the state of South Carolina,
came together to pray for and show solidarity and moral
support with these hearty folks --- black, white, young,
old, conservative, liberal, moderate, any and all categories
of people all stood with the members of this church.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a staunch conservative
Republican (sorry lefties, here goes one of your treasured
narratives!), gave a statement of heartfelt sympathy and moral
support. Out of this terrible tragedy, a beautiful union of many
making an outpouring of love and solidarity. The triumph of
love and care over racism and divisiveness. The triumph of the
human spirit over the forces of darkness.

It all makes your moved Peasant proud to be a Christian and
an American.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

When a Liberal Company Cheats a Little Guy or Gal

From the realm of pop music comes a morality tale
which says a lot about the values of liberals in big
business. Pop sensation Taylor Swift won a big battle
with Apple Music over whether she (and ultimately
rising artists) will be paid by the division of the
computer/software company that gave us the iMac
the iPad, and the iPhone, for music they recorded for
Apple's new streaming service which they are letting
people sample with a free trial period. Problem was,
for Swift and some other artists, Apple Music wanted
to mitigate the costs of this by not paying Swift and
the rest who created the music during the free trial

Well, this didn't sit well with Swift. Not being paid
for her music which a company with a market
capitalization of $729 billion was, in her mind, both
an insult and a ripoff. She wrote an open letter to Apple
on Tumblr, one of the many social media sties online,
saying that she "finds it to be shocking, disappointing,
and completely unlike this historically progressive and
generous company." Please note, Apple is progressive
not only in terms of its renown innovation in communi-
cation technology but in its politics; Steve Jobs, the late
founder of Apple, supported President Obama with both
endorsement and campaign contributions. The firm still
supports left-wing candidates and causes. And here
Apple was trying to stiff musicians and singers, most
of them just on the way up, at least one having reached
prominence --- Taylor Swift.

Swift called for Apple to change its policy, stating "We
don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide
you with our music for no compensation." A valid point.
She further threatened to withhold from Apple Muisc her
chart-storming album "1989" --- no idle threat, for she
earlier did similar by withholding her entire catalog of
songs from Spotify, another music-streaming service,
also over compensation disagreements. Apple quickly
turned around, announcing that they would after all pay
Swift, and the other affected artists, for the music used
in the free trial period for the new streaming service.

A classic case of a "little gal" standing up to a huge,
money-laden corporation taking unfair advantage,
and winning. And the corporation controlled by
liberals, the self-proclaimed champions of said
"little gals and guys". A bit like the film "Norma
Rae", with a "little gal" winning a great battle
against a big employer in which many others like
her benefit. And this film was quite popular with
the left-of-center set!

Irony sure is delicious, isn't it?


Thursday, July 9, 2015

The NSA Gets Taken to the Woodshed

A federal appeals court recently ruled that a
National Security Agency (NSA) program that
collects telephone records on millions of Americans
is illegal. The Second U.S. Court of Appeals issued
a 97-page ruling to this effect, and rightfully so.

Although the judges on the appellate court didn't
address the constitutional ramifications of the NSA
program re: privacy rights, they did find the PATRIOT
act language used to justify such mass data collecting
was not meant for doing that.

"The statutes to which the government points have never
been interpreted to authorize anything approaching the
breadth of the sweeping surveillance at issue here ...
The sheer volume of information sought is staggering."
opined the judges. And they are spot on! The controversial
program gathers metadata; the number called, the time and
duration of the call, but not the content of the conversation
(your skeptical Peasant is not at all sure of the veracity of
this last point!) --- the idea being to look for possible
contacts among terror suspects. But with the millions of
calls so monitored, the NSA has been getting information
on many calls not made nor received by such suspects,
nor having anything remotely to do with terrorism.
And with the harassment of Tea Party groups and other
conservative organizations by the IRS, who's to say that
other governmental agencies have not joined in the
unconstitutional persecution of political activists,
individuals or groups, who dare to exercise their
First Amendment rights to speak out in dissent of the
current administration and/or any other part of the
country's government? Or that of Christians and their
churches who disagree with Obama over gay marriage
or abortion? Or any other citizens, individually or in
groups who have views which the Obama regime does
not approve of?

The judges undercut the main legal basis the government
has long cited for its records collection en masse. Lawyers
for the government have claimed that they are allowed to
collect extensive records because --- while such data aren't
necessarily connected to any terror suspects --- they all are
"inherently relevant to terrorism probes" and that "law
enforcement may need to search said records to find
connections between suspects". This, my grand readers, is
how totalitarianism takes root. Fabricate a reason to spy on
the citizenry in order to get "evidence" of treasonous or
seditious activity, then persecute, prosecute, and punish
the so-called offenders. It seems to your curious Peasant
that the Obamunists in government are more than a little

The court's ruling was in response to an American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit, in which it agreed that the
data collection should be ended because it violates privacy
rights. A lower court judge ruled in favor of the NSA and
its program, stating that it is in fact constitutional, and the
ACLU promptly appealed, leading to the May 7 decision.
This is one of the very few times that your faithful Peasant
is in agreement with the ACLU, and I want to commend them
for the actions that they have taken in opposing the NSA's
broad-scoped snooping activities. They can do something
good and helpful on occasion after all.

The phone data roundup program began in 2001, at the start of
the George W. Bush administration. Five years later Bush
placed it under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court, which approved and re-approved it in
secret meetings. That figures! And the saddest thing of it is that
this began under a Republican president. All the more reason
to end this terrible assault on out privacy, and to hold both
parties' feet to the fire to make them never to do this to us

This episode illustrates the disrespect, the disdain, and the contempt
that both the Democrats and the Republicans have for we, the
citizens of our country. Also, the PATRIOT act should be scrapped,
and new national security legislation should be created that would
preserve our protections under the Fourth Amendment while
providing steps for the protection of our country.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thoughts on the Fourth

Your favorite Peasant wishes you, my grand and
wonderful readers, a wonderful, happy, and safe
Fourth of July, Independence Day, and while
enjoying your cookouts, your visits to the beach
or to a nearby park, or to the homes of friends and
family, and wonderful fireworks shows, give a
thought and a prayer to our great country and
the people down through the years who made both
this day and our country possible. Let us be thankful
for our freedom and our free time to enjoy, among
so many wonderful things that we Americans enjoy,
on this our great nation's birthday!

God bless you all, and God bless America!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Whither Donald Trump?

Donald Trump, multi-billionaire real estate mogul,
reality TV show star/host, and political gadfly is
running for president. Trump is seeking the GOP
nomination, and plans to stir the pot --- not just for
republicans, but for everyone as well.

Now keep in mind, friends, that Trump has toyed with
the idea in times past; in 2010 he publicly expressed
interest in campaigning for the presidency, but the next
year decided against doing so. He has been known to
do things that generate a lot of publicity, which he has
a constant thirst for. His TV show, "The Apprentice"
is one example. A riveting show, to be sure; your beloved
Peasant has watched it several times and enjoyed it quite
a lot, especially his "Celebrity Apprentice" edition.
But with a personal fortune of over $9 billion, business
interests galore, the Miss USA Pageant, golf games
for charity and other charitable activities, you'd think that
Trump would have enough to keep him self busy, too much
so to even consider engaging in what would be a grueling
run for the highest elected office in the land. Yet as
much as Donald Trump loves to make money (and who can
blame him for this?) Trump loves the limelight every
bit as much. Many believe, including your skeptical
Peasant, that Trump's first run for the big diadem was just
a ploy for the attention, simply an ego feast.

Trump announced his candidacy just a few days ago, saying
that he would spend some of his fortune to conduct his campaign.
In what was described as a rambling, boastful speech in
New York, his home turf, Trump proclaimed "the American
dream is dead ... But if I get elected president, I will bring it
back bigger, and better than ever before and we will make
America great again." A laudable, if broadly general goal.
And Trump always states that he will do, create, build, or
deliver something "bigger and better" than whatever has come
before, be it from Trump or from anyone else. That's what
big-moneyed tycoons from New York like to say, don't you
know? It's all part of the razzmatazz, you see, a very important
part of a New York pronouncement, proclamation, or a
Broadway show. It's expected.

While Trump may, this time around, take his campaign seriously,
not many political analysts think he is a serious contender but
merfely a pretender --- and a potential headache for the Repub-
lican Party.

Nathan Gonzalez, editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg & Gonzalez 
Report, commented "Any time that he consumes on the debate
stage and in the media is time he's taking away from a legitimate
contender." Fox News, sponsor of the coming opening debate,
announced that only the top ten ranking contenders in the national
polls would be allowed to take part in said debate, set for August.
Donald Trump, according to RealClearPolitics' rolling average
of the national polls, is currently in the #9 position, so he will,
barring any last-minute slippage, squeak in to the festivities.

Trump, 69, will put his role of host of his TV show on hold, or
perhaps the show itself, while he is campaigning, due to
requirements that the network might by law have to give to
other GOP candidates.

Meantime, Trump is contrasting himself against the rest of the
Republican field, taking pot shots at a few of them. Your observant
Peasant would advise The Donald to be on the lookout for big
broadsides fired his way by those whom he is currently targeting.
Although Trump may have some good ideas for solving our
country's many problems, especially our economic ones, he must
prove to all that he is for real, that his commitment to the race
and the commitment he would bring to the White House if elected
would be real, rather than just a whimsical rich guy with lots of cash
and too much time on his hands.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Nixonian Ploy

It appears that Hillary Clinton has taken a page
from Richard Nixon's playbook regarding the
e-mail brouhaha that she got herself caught up
in. The once and again presidential candidate,
as you have been following, used a private e-mail
account to receive and send sensitive information
instead of using a government e-mail account
which would have provided more security for
the e-mail in question. When this was discovered,
Clinton was subpoenaed for the e-mail on her
computer's hard drive; although she turned over
a few of the e-mails in question she had scrubbed
her hard drive of all the rest. Remember Nixon's
Watergate tapes, with the 18 1/2 minute gap?

And get this: Clinton's actions have made some
of her fellow Democrats jittery. Some party
bigwigs have averred that it would benefit their
party to have some other Democrats step into the
contest for their party's presidential nomination,
even though said nomination seemed to have
Clinton's name on it. Add to the mixture the worries
that some Dems have over the Clinton Foundation's
practice of accepting money from foreign govern-
ments coinciding with Hillary's getting ready to make
another run for the White House.The foundation is
a supposed charity established by Hillary and her
husband, the former president, but some would call its
stated purpose into question.

And the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks
on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya has issues new
subpoenas to attorneys for Mrs. Clinton and to the State
Department for communications related to Benghazi,
which may well have been on Clinton's hard drive.
Oh, my! The things ganging up on the former First Lady
and former Secretary of State! And in the midst of it all
she declared her candidacy for the White House.
Your curious Peasant does not know whether ol' Hill is
showing chutzpah or stupidity. The aforementioned
scandals will certainly reveal whether she has the teflon
coating that Bill had, keeping him from succumbing to
his own scandals. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

B.B. King, R.I.P.

The Blues is a genre of music which issued from the
southern United States, in predominately black
communities soon after the Civil War. It is a uniquely
American genre of music, and B.B. King was its 
modern-day ambassador, interpreter, and indeed,
king. The king is dead, long live his legacy.
B.B. King passed away on May 14 after several 
several years of declining health at the age of 89.

Named to the American Hall of Fame and to the 
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King had made fans
and friends the world over in his long and storied
career. He was given the nickname "The King of the 
Blues", and he traveled widely, performing often
through the years. King made an average of 200 
concert appearances each year going into his 70s,
slowing down only a few years ago when his 
health started to slide. In 1956, King was
reported to have made 342 such appearances

In 1990, King was awarded the National Medal 
of Arts by President George H.W. Bush. He is 
regarded by many as one of the most influential
blues guitarists of all time, playing his beloved 
guitar Lucille in concert and in the recording studio,
inspiring many electric blues and blues rock 
guitarists over the years as he went. B.B. King
was certainly a great favorite with your appreciative
Peasant. I miss him greatly, as do the many fans of
blues music throughout the world. 

B.B. King was truly an American master. Rest in
peace, your musical majesty.


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!"