Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Arnaud de Borchgrave, R.I.P.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, son of a Belgian count,
foreign correspondent extroadianire, author
of thrilling novels of international intigue,
and diehard conservative, died on February 15
at the age of 88 following a lengthy battle
with cancer.

De Borchgrave had a long and storied career
in journalism, specializing in reporting on
the international scene. The son of Belgian
Count Baudoin Borchgrave D'Altena, who
was head of military intelligence for Belgium's
government-in-exile during World War II,
it was said of him "De Borchgrave has played
a role in world affairs known to no other
journalist. He has been able to tap the thinking
of numerous world leaders ... despite his
intimacy with major policy makers, he has
never aligned himself with either side of a
dispute ... (He) has made significant contributions
to world peace and understanding." The afore-
mentioned quote was from Osborn Elliott,
the former editor-in-chief of Newsweek,
a publication de Borchgrave had long endeavored
for. No doubt he learned a few things about
his subject matter from his father!

While with Newsweek, de Borchgrave interviewed
both Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and
Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol when they
were their nations' heads of state in the late
1960s. In 1972, he conducted his most famous
interview with North Vietnam Prime Minister
and Politburo member Pham Van Dong.

In 1985 de Borchgrave was appointed Editor-in
Chief of the Washington Times, a position he held
almost to the end of his life. He also co-wrote with
Robert Moss, an Australian historian and journalist
the smash novel The Spike, in which they showed
in their story line how the Soviet KGB was influencing
the attitudes of a largely naive Western media more
interesting in outing CIA agents in the field than in
doing same with KGB agents. de Borchgrave followed
up this novel with Monimbo', a 1989 novel envisioning
race rioters in Miami as the pawns and dupes of Cuban
and Nicaraguan communists. Writing in a Roman a Clef
style, he was able to create fictionalized versions of
real people and organizations which added a sense of
realism to his stories which served as warnings to the
West about Cold War plans and activities of the Soviet
Union and its allies. Your intrigued Peasant purchased
the Spike and having begun reading it one evening I couldn't
put it down until I had finished reading each and every
word; I finally reached the ending at five in the morning!

A riveting journalist, an exciting writer, and a man of
courage, cool and grace, Arnaud de Borchgrave will
be greatly missed by people who appreciated getting
world news straight without left-wing sugar-coating,
omissions, or spinning of facts, as well as fans of
electrifyingly thrilling books about international
mystery and intrigue. R.I.P.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Taking On the Forces of Hatred

The Left loves to accuse us on the Right of being hateful.
They claim that we engage in "hate speech", verbally or
in print tearing into the reputations of their comrades,
be they office seekers, office holders, activists, or groups
of all these, even making threats to them and their families
and friends, allegedly because we don't like their skin
colors, or their genders, or their gender preferences, or
their clothes or whatever. But in fact, if one were to
observe the skirmishes of words between the two warring
armies on our political landscape, one would see that the
barrage of hatred is coming from the lefties rather than
the righties' camp. This has been demonstrated by noted
conservatives who have made public the filth that they
have received in their inboxes, on their websites, and
their social media pages: Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin,
Vicki McKenna (a conservative radio talker on the local
airwaves here in Milwaukee) and Laura Ingraham to
name but a few have shared some of the "love" that they
have received from the forces of kindness, pluralism,
and tolerance that is known as our friendly Left Wing.
The latest missive has been aimed and fired at my state's
governor and all-but-officially-declared Republican
presidential candidate Scott Walker by a The Dropkick
Murphys, an Irish-American rock band out of Boston
and a band that your part-Irish Peasant enjoyed listening
to --- until now.

The Walker team has been playing as introductory music
one of this band's songs when he strides to a podium to address
a gathering the opening strains of one of this band's songs,
a rather high-energy piece typical of their fare. The
Dropkick Murphy's contacted Team Walker to insist that
they cease playing any of their music in connection with
his public appearances because, and I quote, "We really
hate you!"

Well, at least one can credit the DMs with being honest
about their poisonous feelings toward my state's governor,
which is more than one can say about the many hatemongers
on the left side of the political dividein these United States.
But the fact remains that this is but another case of a left-winger
or left-wingers spewing their bile at someone who does
not share their brand of politics and instead espouses one that
they cannot stand up to and counter with reason, logic,
and facts. As one of our early American political activists
Thomas Paine stated, "To argue with a person who has re-
nounced the use of reason is like administering medicine
to the dead". And the Dropkick Murphys know but one thing:
Scott Walker is not a fellow traveler, he travels on a different
road to a different destination, and they hate him for it.
With that in mind, I have an idea ...

Your fed-up Peasant proposes that we conservatives take this
tack with the DMs and all other lefties who labor as entertainers,
writers, and like endeavors where they are in the public eye and
therefore have a handy forum to fire their crude, hateful, devoid
of reason and logic rants at us. Let's boycott them! Let's
boycott all musicians, singers, actors, directors, producers,
from Hollywood and Broadway to the street corners where
buskers perform for coins! And let's boycott authors of books
and columns in magazines and newspapers who engage in
this putrid, rancorous behavior. Boycott them, the publications
that employ them, and the publishing houses that publish
their books, and tell them why! If ever (and I'm not holding
my breath waiting for this!) these feces-tossers would
desire to engage we conservatives in a calm, sane,
rational discussion of the issues on which we are in strong
disagreement and put aside their missiles of malice, then
we can engage them and perhaps put aside our boycott of
them and their works.

I have already sworn off listening to the DM's music when it
plays on the radio, and I will never buy their CDs or anything
that bears their name and likeness, nor will I ever buy a ticket
to any concert that they are booked to appear in. I am inviting
all conservatives to join me in this effort to deny these clods
a paying audience, so as to not subsidize them in
their boorishness and thus be willing as well as
paying targets of their verbal garbage-throwing. Let us not
encourage such horrible rabble, but make it not worth their
while to spew their acidic discharge; for it is no fun to fire
at a target that is not there. And why should we in effect
subsidize the very people who have such blind hatred for us,
paying them to take such venomous shots at us? Yes, the
Constitution guarantees the right of misguided, troubled people
like the Dropkick Murphys to state their hatred for people
with whom they vehemently disagree; yet it is also our right
to turn our backs on them and their distressing antics, and not
pay them any money nor any attention. They have the right to
vent their bilious spleen, and we have the right not to be a
captive and paying audience.

Just because a punk might throw rocks at one, does not mean
that one has an obligation to stand still and simply take it.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Polly Williams, R.I.P.

An renown and unlikely champion for school choice
from your proud Peasant's hometown of Milwaukee
passed away in November of the old year. I say this
for reasons which will be manifest as I relate the
story to you, my fantastic readers.

Annette "Polly" Williams, veteran Democrat and
member of the Wisconsin Assembly for over 30
years, making her the longest-serving woman in
the state legislature, died on November 8. She was
77. Current Milwaukee Mayor Thomas Barrett,
who served with Williams in the legislature for
a time in the '80s, praised her thus:

"She was a fierce fighter and did what she believed
was right for African-American kids living in poverty
and was relentless in her fight on the education front.
She didn't care if she were fighting Republicans or
Democrats, she was going to do what she thought was

In taking this tack, Williams, a staunch liberal, caused
people in her party and allies of same to scratch their
heads and ask "What gives with her? Whose side is
she on?" Williams was on the side of her constituents,
and certainly for the children encumbered by the
shadow of poverty. The teacher's union was not
pleased, nor were at least some of her party's leadership
in both chambers of the legislature, but Williams was
undeterred. Some accused her of selling out to
conservatives; Williams denied the allegations, stating
that she just wanted to give poor children an opportunity
to get a quality education that would help lift them
out of poverty and into good careers and better lives,
bucking the selfish interests of those who profited (and,
sadly, still profit) from the children being bogged down
in an unresponsive, intransigent public school system,
also giving poor parents some measure of say in their
children's education.

Annette Williams may have had her political preferences,
but she knew that her loyalties and her service were to be
for her constituents, even when it meant going against her
party and its powerful allies; she was a true public servant
and was recognized and honored for same by members of
both political parties in the legislature and throughout the
state. I deeply regret that I never had the opportunity to
meet Williams and express my admiration for her, so this
tribute here on this blog will have to suffice.

God rest you, Annette "Polly" Williams. R.I.P.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How Government is Really Run (Especially Obama's Health Care Scam)

The recent reports of Darrell Issa's House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee
confirmed what many of us conservatives have
long thought of President Obama's so-called
Affordable Health Care Act; it is, indeed,
simply a subsidy program throwing money
--- our tax money --- at health care.

Have a gander at these figures:

Seven million (so far) get health coverage
from Obama's program, with 149 million(!)
getting same from the veritable tax gift from
the huge handout for employer-provided health

Most of this money (totaling approximately
$1.3 trillion this year) is given out regardless
of need. This will drive up prices along with
encouraging production of services of rather
questionable value. The spending will not
necessarily help to better the nation's health.

Next, there is Halbig v. Burwell, the latest
challenge to Obama's sick joke of a health care
plan. The main point of contention is whether
Congress had authorized the subsidies that
the regime has been forking over to users of
the federally run health care exchanges (not
the state run exchanges, mind you, but the
ones run by Uncle Sam).

Meanwhile, back at the White House, the
president is badly hobbled by an ever-worsening
world situation while he concentrated intently
on his Affordable (HA!) Health Care Act. The
Con Man-in-Chief is weakened further by U.S.
Companies fleeing the country and an increasingly
business-unfriendly tax system, again because
Obama cares only for imposing his godawful
health care plan on the country.

Halbig, which is awaiting its day before the appeals
system, is not going to be so important to health
care reform, as far as closing the gap between its
costs and whatever benefits it may yield so as to
save the U.S. from bankruptcy. In fact, the peak
time to establish single-payer health care in our
country has passed, and it doesn't look like it is likely
to return. And our main focus as a nation, at this point
in time, is figuring out how to defend ourselves from
the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism at
home while also militarily defeating it on its home turf
in the Middle East and Afghanistan. We cannot afford
to do this and set up a national health care system
a' la Canada at the same time. In this year's interim
election, we should elect new senators who will force
the White House to change direction in regards to these
choices, and follow up in 2016 by electing a president
who will work with the Senate to keep us on this new