Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Presidential Derby Starts to Take Form

Friends, candidates from both major political parties
have begun to declare their candidacies for the
presidency. Although it is very early in the proceedings,
your observant Peasant has a few thoughts to share about
each of the so far declared entrants.

On the Democrat's side of the track, Hillary Clinton very
recently (and quite expectedly) tossed her hat into the
ring. The former First Lady, ex-U.S. Senator, and ex-
Secretary of State was picked by political observers to
be the Democrats' presidential nominee in 2008, and it
was thought that her party's nomination was hers to lose;
boy did she ever lose the nomination! Not as adept nor as
smooth a campaigner as her husband Bill, she stumbled
and bumbled while Barack Obama picked up steam and
speed, leaving her in his wake while he zoomed to the
nomination and to victory in the general election.

This time around, Clinton taped her declaration speech
and transmitted it online from her recently established
campaign website. Quite fitting for Hillary, as she has
never been comfortable hobnobbing with everyday
Joe and Jane America; this is one of the things that sunk
her in 2008. Declaring her quest for the White House
online is one thing; campaigning heavily online will
not aid her cause, however. To be elected the leader of
our country one must go forth and meet the very people
whom one must gain the consent to govern. That means
one must look each voter one meets in the eye and listen
intently to what is on their minds. And Hillary is such
an elitist she cannot bear to be within one arm's length of
any of the peasants! 1952 and '56 Democrat presidential
candidate Adlai Stevenson was this way as well, and look
how he fared.

Then there's her considerable baggage that she lugs around,
most troubling being Benghazi. And many voters, even
Democrat voters, don't relish the idea of having the Clintons
return to the White House, albeit in a role reversal. Hers will
be a rocky road to the nomination, to be sure.

Oh, and a new rock in her path: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders,
self-proclaimed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats
in the Senate, his presidential candidacy very recently.
The farther-left party faithful are gleeful because at the very
least he will likely force Clinton to tack leftward.

The Republican side has had three candidates make it official:
Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio have all
declared. All are strong conservatives, the first two have
many supporters among Tea Party activists. Rubio, however,
lost some luster with the Tea Party folks over his somewhat
softer stand on immigration reform. While not in favor of
all but rendering our immigration law and our borders meaning-
less, like the Obama regime and the Democrats, Rubio has
caused some concern with his own ideas on the subject. That
said, Rubio still toes the conservative mark on taxes, spending,
defense, foreign policy, and abortion, so he still has more than
a little good will and a fair amount of support among the broad
spectrum of conservatives around the country. Rand Paul is
also strong on fiscal matters, and favors abolishing the IRS,
as did his father Ron, who was a presidential candidate both
as a Republican and as a Libertarian, having been nominated by
the latter party. Like Ron, Rand has a libertarian streak in his
conservatism. But also like Ron, he has a foreign policy that some
say means pulling back from our commitments abroad to the
point of isolationsim. This kind of foreign policy may have made
sense over a century ago but would not serve our interests nor
aid our allies, what with the way our world is today with the
spreading danger of radical Islam. Ted Cruz is strong on both
foreign policy and immigration, while being reliable on the
fiscal issues.

And there are some other GOP possibles for the White House who
have yet to declare, including my state's Gov. Scott Walker.
Lots to come, to be sure.

Meanwhile, this is what we now have for certain. Stay tuned.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Fort Hood Screwjob

Your outraged Peasant is hotter than a summer
day in Phoenix over the way that the slain Army
personnel at Fort Hood, the wounded, and their
families have been treated so dismissively by
our government in the wake of the treacherous,
murderous spree by an Army psychiatrist of
the Islamic religion who yelled "Allahu akbar!"
as he shot his victims. Although the terrible
incident took place nearly six years ago, I still
recall the disbelief and horror I felt when I heard
the news then, and I still almost cannot believe
that it was not a nightmare but a real event. And
now I learn that our government, in keeping with
its politically correct line terming the massacre a
case of "workplace violence", thereby denying what
it was, an act of war, as we are indeed at war with
the forces of radical Islam in the Middle East and
Afghanistan, is denying to these people and their
families their rightful combat pay, benefits and
recognition. They are also denying same to those
personnel on the base who weren't shot but were
so traumatized that they became psychologically
wounded that they couldn't carry on with their duties;
this third group of soldiers will receive neither Purple
Hearts nor any compensation for what they endured.

You, my fantastic readers, remember the ungodly
details: the shooter, an officer and a psychiatrist,
both of Arab extraction and a follower of Islam,
had been heavily influenced by a radical Islamic
cleric. The latter exhorted the shooter to bring jihad 
to the army base where he was stationed, to
kill those who had been or soon would be deployed
to fight the forces of Islam. After many years of
this manipulation, the cleric's heinous mission
came to awful fruition on November 5, 2009. Fourteen
dead, including a female soldier and her unborn child,
and 32 wounded, not counting the psychologically
wounded. The FBI and the Defense Department (DoD)
possessed more than sufficient information to detect
the shooter's radicalization, amassed over several
years, and could have taken pre-emptive steps to
remove this individual from his duties and his post.
But no such action was taken. As a matter of fact,
in the interim the Army promoted him! The shooter
was planning to shoot even more people at the base
and would have done so had he not been shot and
taken into custody by civilian police who were on
hand. Political correctness led many in the Army
and in the Defense Department to fear that reporting
the shooter would result in charges of racial or
religious discrimination. Yes, quite sadly, PC has
infected the Army, and we are already all the worse
off for it. And because of this poison, neither the
Army, nor the DoD, and above all certainly not the
Obama regime will officially recognize the tragedy
for what it was: a terrorist attack, part and parcel of
the war that the United States is engaged in. Nothing
to see here, folks, no terrorism here. Move along!

A somewhat positive update: Congress has rewritten
the language regarding our fallen military people, and
the Secretary of the Army has announced that the
Fort Hood dead and wounded will at last receive long-
overdue medals, and will also receive burial plots at
Arlington National Cemetery as well as compensation
pay when they retire. However, no such medals nor
compensation will be extended to those who suffered
severe psychological injuries which made them unable
to work. They are still being screwed over. Perhaps
they, too, shall be so recognized and compensated when
we elect a Republican president, and that everyone
shall then receive the full panoply of health benefits
and appropriate pay, as well as the gratitude of the
government in whose service they labored, that they
so richly deserve, along with an official apology for
the tardiness in its coming.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Standing Up For Charlie

You all, my grand readers, are aware of the terrible
tragedy that recently occurred in Paris. I'm referring here
to the morning massacre on January 7 of this still new
year by two radical Muslim brothers at the offices of
the satirical weekly periodical Charlie Hebdo in which,
armed with various weapons, murdered eleven people
while wounding eleven more, all the while shouting
"Allahu akbar!" (God is great!).

Now, we have heard many accounts of how radical
Islamic sorts have made deadly reprisals against anyone
critical of them and/or their religion in many pars of the
world. It's all a part of their campaign, their jihad, to
make the whole world submit to Islam and their oppres-
sively draconian Sharia law. This movement and its
Middle Eastern origins have replaced the menace of
communism as the number one worldwide threat of
the moment, and is much more vicious and violent.
In some cities and towns in some countries, these
people have established their own little governments
--- quite separate in many ways from those of the
communities in which they have settled --- including
their own courts, in which Sharia law is the basis of
their governance. And they go after anyone who speaks
negatively about them and their faith.

Which brings us to  Charlie Hebdo. A magazine which
engages in stinging satirical takes on individuals and
institutions, including religious faiths, the staff at this
mag do not pull their punches; your faithful Peasant
can attest to this, having seen some online editions
of theirs. In 2011 they published an issue that they
renamed Charia Hebdo, French for Sharia Weekly,
in which they featured a cartoon likeness of the
Islamic prophet Muhammad --- a cardinal sin in
that faith and is considered an affront by many of its
followers, one that Sharia law requires terrible
retribution. The following year Charlie (the shorthand
name for the magazine) doubled down on this by
publishing a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad,
including some caricatures "in the buff". Cartoonist
Stephane Charbonnier, Editor-in-Chief of Charlie
from 2009, was one of the people killed in the attack
in January; he was placed on Islamic terrorist group
Al-Qaeda's most wanted list.

Your liberty-loving Peasant finds some things in
Charlie that I don't find amusing, witty, or in any
way entertaining. Moreover, Charlie takes some
pretty wicked shots at Catholicism, my own faith.
But I do not wish death and destruction on the
publication, nor its staff. I adhere to the American
notion that bad, or in any way undesirable speech,
be countered by good speech --- speech that counters
the offending speech with logic, facts, and a sharp
retort. This is how such things are handled in the
good ol' USA (at least in some quarters, as
political correctness has displaced this tack in
academia and some other places). Freedom of
expression is a precious thing; when its is infringed
upon, a chill descends over a society. When it
is eliminated, be it by a tyrannical government
or a tyrannical political or religious movement,
the freedoms enjoyed by those in that society
will not long remain standing. Indeed, in a free
society where the right to speak one's mind is
guaranteed some mean-spirited, stupid, and/or
crude people will pipe up in print, online, or
verbally in a meeting hall or on a street corner.
But the right to freely express oneself cancels
must be extended to all in the society, for if it
is not then the society has no freedom of
expression, not really; if only a select few get
to have a public say then that right ceases to be
a freedom and then becomes a privilege. And
anyone trying to avail themselves of that privilege
would face terrible consequences.

This is what we must take away from the
Charlie Hedbo tragedy. And this is why
The Peasant supports Charlie's right to publish
what they wish.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wisconsin Makes History!

On Monday, March 9, your proud Peasant's
home state, Wisconsin, did something that
few people, myself included, ever thought
that it would do. Wisconsin became a
right-to-work state.

The Republican-controlled state legislature
drafted and passed the bill that would go on
to make the Badger State the twenty-fifth
state to become a right-to-work state,
and Republican Gov. Scott Walker
signed the bill into law on the aforementioned
Monday. Right-to-work laws do the following:

*It protects workers from having to join unions
and pay them for representation in order to
obtain or maintain employment. Wisconsin
workers never again need fear dismissal for
refusing to do so. This law protects their
right to freedom of association, a
constitutionally guaranteed right under the
First Amendment.

*It makes for a more conducive atmosphere
for job creation in states that enact them.
Right-to-work laws have, on average, made
for job growth that was 11.5% higher in
those states which enacted these laws than
in those states which have not done so in
the period from 1977 to 2012, according
to data from the Competitive Enterprise
Institute's Richard Vedder and Jonathan Robe,
takes into account factors such as population
growth and changes in employment in the
manufacturing sector. Their studies have
shown that, for instance, California's
per capita income would have been at least
$3,700 per annum greater in 2012 had it
had a right-to-work law since 1977.
More employers will seriously consider
moving to or expanding in right-to-work
states, while start-up businesses will
increase in these states; the opposite will
be the case with the states that don't have
these laws.

*The dollars in workers' wages in right-to
-work states go farther in purchasing
power than in non-right-to-work states.
Although union bosses and liberals
in general claim that right-to-work laws
decrease workers' wages and diminish
workers' standard of living, it is only
because they think that these laws are
the only factors that affect a state's
economy and its cost of living .
The research by Vedder and Robe
has been very thorough, and
consequently has shown that although
wages for some jobs in some right-to-work
states are lower on average, the resultant
low prices for goods and services produced
there make for a dollar that stretches farther
than in non-right-to-work states.
For example: In Mississippi, the median
wage is $13.57 per hour, while in New York
the median wage is $19.45. However, due
to the higher prices of goods and services
produced there, not to mention New York's
astronomic taxes, a dollar goes not nearly as
far for New York workers. Moreover, workers
can, in right-to-work states negotiate for
themselves higher wages and more generous
overall compensation packages because they
are not lumped together with all the other
workers at their company or in their job
category as unionized workers are. Workers
thus can sell their employers on their superior
job performance in bargaining for increased
compensation as well as for more plentiful
opportunities to ascend the company
ladder via promotions to position with
more pay and more responsibility, something
that is anathema to many unions. After all,
imagine their horror over one of their rank-
and-filers becoming (gasp!) management!

And furthermore, despite what union bosses
swear to be true, union membership has
fallen in greater numbers in states without
right-to-work laws than in those with them.
Vedder and Robe discovered that union-
member workers have diminished by 6%
in the former while declining only 4% in
the latter since 2007. The union chiefs
cry that right-to-work laws make it almost
impossible to organize workers in workplaces,
but all they do is give workers freedom of choice
as to whether or not pay money to get money.
And many American workers in union shop
jobs have complained in vain for many years
about their dues being spent on things that they
never were given a say in whether or not to
have their dues money so utilized; some of
these workers have subsequently been harassed
by their union officers for speaking out, some
of these have even been subjected to the threat
of violence. Funny how freedom of choice is
something that, for the most part, left-wingers
and their chums find so frightening that they
go all out to deny people that particular freedom
--- except when it comes to the matter of abortion.

And for these reasons, among others, many
people in states which have long-standing
union ties, with powerful unions calling the
shots in state legislatures and governors'
offices, such as Midwestern states
Michigan (the home of the United Auto
Workers), Indiana, and now Wisconsin have
pushed for and won passage of right-
to-work laws. Even some people who consider
themselves Democrats, or at least politically
left-of-center, have joined the movement to
broaden workers' freedom of choice in the
workplace. And for these very reasons unions
have become afraid; very afraid. As well they
should be, for this spells the end of their
political dominance and importance in the
economy and on our political scene, and the
beginning of a new and exciting era of
political and economic freedom for American

On, Wisconsin!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Greetings to All!

Your favorite Peasant wishes you, my wonderful readers,
a most beautiful and blessed Happy Easter! May you all
be able to get together with family and friends to celebrate
this beautiful holiday and enjoy each other's company and
share lots of love!

We'll get back together in the coming week. God bless!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

A VERY Fond Farewell!

Some fantastic news, my fantastic readers:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D)
announced that he will not seek another term!
After five terms in the Senate, making thirty years
in that chamber, Reid said that he would leave
when his current term concludes in January 2017.

Reid leaves a legacy of corruption, elitism, cronyism,
arrogance, and blind loyalty to an imperial president
who has labored to cut Congress out of the legislative
process with but a pen and a phone. In 2010 he was
a major player in the controversial passage of Obama-
care, greatly changing the rules in the Senate in order
to ensure that minimal, if any, resistance to the bill
would occur. Reid even scrapped the filibuster(!) in
order to clamp down on opposition to this and other
legislation backed by the White House. This little
slime turned what was long termed "The World's
Greatest Deliberative Body" into a rubber-stamping
operation. Furthermore, when people started losing
their health coverage as the so-called Affordable Health
Care Act began to take effect, causing much hardship
for many families and individuals both, causing them
to be loudly critical, Reid called them "liars".

He had amassed a huge fortune for himself and his
family by making legally dubious land deals that he
got officials in Nevada, his home state, to turn a
blind eye upon. After thirty years as a senator he
had multiplied his assets manyfold; much more so
than if he had just drawn his senate salary all that time,
no other monies coming in. Nice feat!

"Dingy Harry", as conservative talk show megastar
Rush Limbaugh refers to him, helped President Obama
to help his wealthy chums by shepherding legislation
designed to favor them, their businesses, and/or their
industries over their competitors. Remember Solyndra,
the solar power company which received millions of
dollars just from Washington but still failed to make
a profit, or even to produce any solar power or solar
power generating products? Their owners made out
very well while their employees lost their jobs and
got little or nothing on their way out the door. And
the taxpayers simply got shafted.

And the taxpayers got shafted some more, as Reid
assisted in the passage of many, many bills calling
for record spending on domestic government programs,
making for not only record spending but record budget
deficits and national debt levels as the Treasury had
to issue and sell more and more debt instruments to
China, Japan, and anyone else who would be foolish
enough to buy the debts of a country with an out-of-
control government as hooked on spending money as
a junkie is hooked on heroin. More and bigger fixes,
pronto! Our next two generations of Americans (and
soon to be three) are now on the hook for much of this
fiscal and political obscenity.

But there is one very possible reason that Senator Reid
is packing it in after a three-decade run: according to
Brietbart News, a possible election of a Republican
president in 2016 would of course bring a Republican
Attorney General along, who would be sure to conduct
a criminal investigation into Reid's abuse of political office
regarding a brazen intervention into the Department
of Homeland Security's (DHS) issuance of EB-5 visas
to investors in a Las Vegas casino/hotel represented by
Reid's son Rory. as was highlighted in a report released
by the Inspector General of the DHS recently. Shortly
afterward, a non-profit group Cause of Action called for
the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a criminal
investigation of Reid, citing specific federal statutes
having been violated "related to the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program".
Now we know that this investigation ain't ever gonna
happen as long as Obama is in the White House! Neither
his outgoing AG Eric Holder nor Holder's replacement
will move an inch to get at the truth of this matter for the
remaining time that this sorry regime is in power. That's
why Reid knows that he has a small cushion of time to
stave all this off before next year's presidential election
and the very possible election of a GOP successor to his
ally in corruption, by resigning now and getting out of
Dodge. Besides, Reid will not only face a stiff GOP
challenge for the senate seat he has held for so long, but
as of this posting there are two Nevada Democrats who
are looking to challenge Reid for their party's nomination,
and Reid doesn't look like he likes the odds. Reid is, in
at least this regard, a smart and savvy gambler.

As if that is not enough, there is the little matter of Reid's
complicity in colleague Senator Robert Menendez' (D-NJ)
abuse of his own political office by intervening in an
ongoing adjudication process by the Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) involving $8.9 billion in
overbilling by the latter's friend and campaign donor, Dr.
Salomon Melgen. Reid had arranged and hosted a meeting
between Sen. Menendez and then-HHS Secretary Kathleen
Sebilius, at which Menendez made the case for his friend
Dr. Meglen, who at that time was embroiled in this legal
fracas. Right before the meeting Dr. Meglen, according to
Breitbart News donated $300,000 to the Senate Majority
PAC, an organization with close ties to Reid. By the end
of 2012, Dr. Meglen's donations to this PAC came to
$700,000. Hmmmmmmmmm!

Oh, and one of the investors who received a visa in return
for investing in the casino/hotel represented by Reid's son
Rory has been linked to child pornography charges in
China. And Reid has been working of late for the passage
of a bill to stop child sex-trafficking in the U.S.; many of
the children dragged into this evil business are forced to
appear in pornographic movies and photos.

Oh, and one more little story about Reid and his misbehavior:
In 2007 the aforementioned Rush Limbaugh made Reid more
than a little bit uncomfortable with his commentary about the
senior Senator from Nevada on his show, so Reid wrote a letter
to Limbaugh's boss at the time, the Chairman/CEO of Clear
Channel, demanding that he get Rush to cease making such
commentary about Reid with the threat of removing him from
the airwaves. Well, Limbaugh was shown the letter, and he
came up with an idea: he would auction off the letter on E-bay,
and donate the proceeds to a charity that Rush has long supported
and touted on his show, the Marine Corps Law Enforcement
Foundation, which provides a $30,000 college scholarship account
for every child who lost a parent in the service of the U.S.
Marine Corps or any Federal Law Enforcement Agency.
This Rush did, and Reid, in a clumsy, last-ditch tail-saving attempt,
tried to take credit for the fundraising move, making light of the
content of the letter itself. How would any of you, my grand
readers, like to have a tooth with that nerve? Happily, no one
took Reid and his ploy seriously.

The annals of American politics have stories of more than a few
crooked, self-serving politicians; none, however, have the sheer
duplicity, corruption, dirty-dealing, lying, and just plain chutzpah
of U.S. Senator Harry Reid. He finally made a move which will,
and can only, benefit the people of Nevada as well as the rest of
our country. Don't let the door whack you in your boney butt,
Harry; just exit and keep going!