Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Memorial Day is Near

With Memorial Day approaching quickly your
grateful Peasant wishes once again to express
my gratitude to all those Americans who have
fought to make and keep our wonderful country
the free and grand homeland that it is for us,
from those who fought for and won our inde-
pendence from Britain to our military people
of today who have fought the radical Islamic
forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who in
the course of fighting our enemies made the
biggest sacrifice that a person can make in
the service of our country and to their fellow
Americans so that we may continue to live and
thrive in freedom instead of existing and languish-
ing in captivity.

As I so often say: freedom isn't free, it has a dear price.
But freedom isn't a luxury; rather, it's a necessity.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Facebook and the Right

It has been said by some, especially by conservatives
who have individual or political group Facebook
pages, that Facebook dislikes, slights, and harasses them
simply for posting politically conservative content.
Accusations have ranged from deleting some posts
to suspending accounts, with the latest being
omitting from their "trending stories" feature pieces
touting the conservative point of view on an issue
of interest. Just a few days ago the website Gizmodo
reported that Facebook employees jiggered FB's
section for trending stories which carries the most
liked and shared stories of the day, excluding stories
from conservative online outlets such as Red State
and Breitbart News. Anonymous ex-employees of
Facebook have revealed that they deleted said material
to Gizmodo. Moreover, according to Gizmodo,
Facebook also "injected" stories that were not receiving
as much attention into the FB trending column,
most notably a piece about the leftist racial group
Black Lives Matter after receiving complaints about
an alleged lack of representation. Selected stories
zoom to the top in shares and likes, as they get the
most attention.

Facebook has strongly denied the charges of such
disdain and favoritism, claiming that no evidence
of having done so has been discovered. The company
claims it takes such complaints "extremely seriously",
and that "There are rigorous guidelines in place for
the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality
... these guidelines do not permit the suppression of
political perspectives."

Now, Facebook is a media company and therefore is
not a public utility. It is certainly free to set its own
editorial standards. Yet they chose news stories through
a proprietary algorithm, after which a human staff member
makes news choices as to what will and will not be
touted by Facebook. To Facebook's credit, they do allow
conservative groups to have their own Facebook pages
where their members can gather online to share news items
and their opinions; your ubiquitous Peasant is a member
of a few such groups. But the administrators of some of
these sites have alerted their members that Facebook
has given them warnings about the content of some of
the material posted, and in some cases has stepped in to
censor the groups by deleting some pieces posted by them.
What could raise the ire of Facebook so that they would
resort to such action? Articles and opinions critical of
President Obama, certain race-themed political figures
and groups, radical Islamic individuals and groups and
such. Gee, haven't they gotten Hillary Clinton's message
from the Bush II era stating "dissent is patriotic"?

It should be noted, as an FYI, that Facebook founder and
CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave quite generously to both of
President Obama's presidential campaigns. Gee, do you
think that this might be impacting Facebook's company

Here's a way to end this brouhaha: Facebook should make
public a detailed look at its policies and standards. A news
distribution system such as Facebook's even suspected by
the public as being biased, especially to the point of being
censorious would lose the trust of the customers who make
the company's revenue possible with advertisement clicks.
Besides, if Facebook is not, after all, playing with content
to exclude conservatives, they would then have nothing to
hide by welcoming the public to study their standards and
how they adhere to them. I'd take a peek myself!

In the meantime, Zucky will host a sort of summit meeting
with some prominent conservatives to explain what Facebook's
content policy and related policies are, and that there is in fact
no attempt by Facebook to give short shrift in any way to
its conservative account holders. That's all very well, but he
had better follow it up with taking appropriate actions to ensure
that Facebook gives fair and honest treatment to the
conservatives who have Facebook pages, ferreting out and
disciplining its staff members who are not complying with
this standard.

Talk is cheap; action is a more valuable currency in the realm
of business interaction. Time for Facebook's honcho to pony up.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

Recently, two prominent figures of the political
left have made public statements on some topics
of import, sharing their wisdom, or what they have
that is trying desperately to pass for wisdom, with
we the Great Unwashed.

Remarking on a commercial for Doritos chips that
appeared during the recent Super Bowl game, which
showed an unborn baby jumping out of his mother's
womb to grab some of the aforementioned chips to
snack on, long-ago feminist icon Gloria Steinem
castigated Frito-Lay, the makers of Doritos for
"humanizing the fetus" in their uniquely cute
advertisement. A longtime champion of legalized
abortion, the Doritos piece must have given her
major conniptions at even the humorous depiction
of a pre-born baby sensing a delicious snack just
outside of mummy's tummy, making a play for the
treat. Now anyone with even a scintilla of smarts
and sense knows that a baby in the mother's womb
cannot see or smell anything outside the womb,
much less burst forth to grab a food item; poor
Gloria must be losing it at her advanced age, or
perhaps the geriatric radical is simply so
ideologically glued to the idea that a not-yet-born
human baby is not human, is not living, is not capable
of much of anything that even a light-hearted commercial
taking a little humorous license sends her into fits.
Note to Gloria: One, the commercial was just an artistic,
humorous melding of entertainment and advertisement;
no more, no less. Two, you should lighten up and humanize

Then, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright was
stumping for Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, exhorting
women to vote for the wife of her old boss, President Bill
Clinton. Madeline Not-So-Bright admonished female voters
to turn out for Hillary because "there's a special place in hell
for women who don't help other women". Your falling-down-
laughing Peasant is spoiled for choices as to how to respond
to her bizarre statement, but I'll say this: Madeline dear,
your pal Hillary has been anything but a help to women,
especially those who had been preyed upon by her predatory
husband. She had, after all, headed up the team to respond to
hubby Bill's "bimbo eruptions", in which she savaged the
reputations of the women that Slick Willie tried to have his
way with, publicly pillorying each one of them, especially
those who threatened legal action against Billy boy. And
Hillary had the gall to claim in a speech that women who have
been mistreated by such men have a right to be heard and
believed (!). I suppose so, just as long as it wasn't Hill's Bill
who was doing the mistreating. And this is who you think
would make a fine president? I need to have a swig of
Pepto Bismol!

Why don't these two ageing, washed-up, elitist left-wing
has-beens just fade away? Their time on our political stage
is long up, and they should be long gone from it. Time,
as well as women and their aspirations, have passed them by,
and the more they try to speak for the members of their gender
the more they embarrass themselves, for they have ceased being
relevant to their fellow females as well as to our society
years ago.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

What Now?

After winning the Indiana Republican presidential primary
two days ago, Donald Trump supposedly now has at least
the required number of delegates amassed to clinch the
GOP nomination and thus head up their ticket in November.
Directly following the results of the Hoosier State's primary
Sen. Ted Cruz announced he was suspending his campaign
(this is the modern term for a candidate's packing it in).
Cruz was Trump's closest rival in delegates gathered, so
his gambits of choosing Carly Fiorina to be his running mate
well ahead of the Republican Convention in July and a pact
of cooperation with the other remaining GOP candidate,
Gov. John Kasich, have failed.

And so have my warnings to people about voting for Trump,
as he is an opportunistic player who is a newcomer to the
conservative/republican choir yet wanted to be the choirmaster;
damned if he didn't get what he was after! And now we
conservatives have to face some frightening possible
consequences of having the bellicose billionaire as the
standard bearer to face the likely Democrat nominee,
Hillary Clinton, in November.

Your mystified Peasant has given warnings about Trump on
this blog, in conversations with conservative friends both
in the Republican Party and not, and also voted for Ted Cruz
in my state's primary last month. When Cruz won Wisconsin's
GOP primary in a landslide, I was joyful and ecstatic because
it looked like the tide was turning for stopping Trump's march
to the GOP laurels, as Cruz also won a few other primaries
in smaller states but looked like he was catching fire; now his
campaign has crashed and burned, and Trump will quite likely
strut to Cleveland for the GOP confab, and what might have
been a brokered convention will become a mere formality.

Two golden opportunities has not just been blown, but blown up.
We not only passed on nominating a candidate who could
have beaten Clinton, winning over more women as well as
voters from various ethnic and racial groups to thwart the
Democrats and their candidate, we have also declined a
fantastic opportunity to build a conservative coalition, one
even bigger and more cohesive than the Reagan coalition
was, to ensure conservative victories in future presidential
races as well as maintaining control of both houses of Congress
guaranteeing mutual cooperation between the executive and
legislative branches of government, which would share the
goals of limiting government and restoring constitutional rule
of law. We could have, in other words, made it difficult, if
not impossible for another Barack Obama to be elected
president and given a Democrat-controlled Congress which
would give him carte blanche in how he would govern.
We could have had a government which would finally act
on halting the growth of both the national debt and the
budget deficit, and put us on the path to solvency, thus
ceasing to enslave our coming generations of fellow Americans
in debt, necessitating their paying ever-increasing taxes
to a government which would continue to spend revenue
faster than it could collect it, which we currently suffer.

But most of the Trump voters never thought this through; oh, no,
they voted their anger instead of our possibilities for true
change (not the crapioca pudding for change that Obama
has been feeding us for nearly eight years!) which would result
in repairing our government, our nation's finances, and our
nation. With Trump at the top of the GOP ticket, the party
stands a realistic chance of not only losing to Clinton,
thus giving the Democrats their Phase 2 in their plans to
convert our country into a statist nightmare; one (or both)
chambers of Congress could revert to the Dems as well.
Moreover, there could also be considerable losses down
the ticket as well, with governorships and state legislatures
being lost. Trump has not built any working relationships
with any GOP officeholders in Washington, let alone at the
state levels; he has been too busy promoting himself and
his candidacy with his braggadoccio, his boasting, and his
bellicosity. And of course Trump never gave any specifics
as to his programs and plans for the economy, health care,
and national defense, only talk of building a wall between
Mexico and the United States to keep out illegal aliens,
making Mexico pay for its construction (how would Trump
make that happen?). Trump is for Trump, period. That is
not a good way to forge alliances and mutual cooperation
with people. But the Trump crowd was attracted to the verbal
roundhouse swinging on these issues (especially on illegal
immigration and immigrants) by their hero, and that's all that
they cared about. They could not, would not see past their
emotions and be guided by logic rather than rage. And we
may all be made the worse for it.

I'm angry too; I have become increasingly frustrated by the
steadily encroaching growth of the power and scope of the
government despite the promises of actual and supposed
conservatives to do something about it if we would but only
elect them. Some have been magnificent; others not. Some
have been faithful to their constituents by walking the walk;
others merely talked the talk, then threw in with the estab-
lishment after settling in following being elected. And the
Democrats have grown more arrogant, more cocky, more
self-righteous, more full of themselves, listening less and
less to the objections of the We the People to their escalating
taxing, spending, regulating, mandating, and running roughshod
over us and the Constitution. Some days I am so angry that I
can barely manage to be sociable with people. On days like
this I am not a lot of fun to be around. But I will never, ever,
sacrifice my thought and reason in choosing a course of
action to turn this situation around. And as you, my wonderful
readers know, I read and study most diligently the political
and economic news each and every day. I endeavor to inform
myself as to the events and the people behind them. All I am
doing is what any good, responsible citizen would do in order
to be an informed voter, to ensure that our representative form
of government, our republic will continue to operate with
efficiency, for our government in order to so work requires a
citizenry that takes the time to educate itself about these things.
This, too, is helpful in keeping one's emotions in check while
exercising one's reasoning abilities. While I share the Trump
supporters' anger, frustration, and outrage, I do not share their
enthusiasm for their chosen candidate.

What now must happen is to make Donald Trump realize that
if he is to win over the support of those of us who have been
at best skeptical, and at worst mistrusting of him, that he must
take more solid positions on the crucial issues which we face,
and to formulate specific courses of action, stating each step
in their implementation. And we must make it known that,
although he has been politically liberal in his past (recent past
included), if he is to be the Republican candidate for the highest
elected office in the land he must take a copy of our songbook,
learn the words therein, and sing in harmony with us. For we
are not joining with him; he is joining with us. After all, Trump
came over to the Republican Party and said "Me too!" to being
a Republican, following up with making conservative-ish
noises. We didn't seek Trump; he sought us. The aforementioned
is what he should do if he is serious about earning the support
of Republicans and conservatives, those in the party and those
who are not.

Will this transpire? Time will tell. But we haven't much time to
wait to find out.