Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jeff Barta, R.I.P.

With the conclusion of this year, amid the joy of the
season with all its gaiety, your faithful Peasant wishes
to pay tribute to an old friend, a fellow conservative,
and an avid reader of this blog who passed away this year;
Jeff Barta, a schoolmate from our days at Waukesha (WI)
Catholic Memorial High School, suffered from a heart
infection which proved fatal.

Jeff and I met when we were Spanish students at CMH
and went on a trip to Mexico for Easter vacation with
our fellow Spanish students, a few parents along for
chaperones, and the head of the Spanish Language
Department, Sister Virginia, a rather cheerful but
sometimes stern nun. We stayed at a decent hotel in
Mexico City, going on jaunts around the city and
farther out, such as visits to the Aztec temples of
the sun and the moon, both of which we climbed
to their very tops to enjoy magnificent views of
the Mexican countryside. We even attended a wedding
on Easter Sunday, held at Mexico City's famous
Cathedral, and got to meet the newlywed couple.
A trip to Taxco, the Silver Mining Capital of the World
as it is known, was on our itinerary as well, with
traveling through some of Mexico's desert land
thrown in. All great adventure and fun!

Jeff provided what I would come to recognize as his
inexhaustible good humor, an integral part of his easy-
going nature, which made an enjoyable trip even more so.
Always cracking jokes, especially on the dangers of drinking
water not in a sealed bottle so as to avoid the malady known
south of the border as "Montezuma's Revenge" ("Don't 'Zuma
now! Stay healthy!"), and involved in some delightful
horseplay, Jeff was the life of a very lively contingent of
travelers. One night Jeff and some of the fellows were tossing
water bombs (plastic bottles and water balloons) at passerby
outside our hotel. They hit a few people on the sidewalk, as
well as a few passing cars, one a police squad car! Finally,
someone in our group came to warn that the hotel management
was sending someone up to investigate the aquatic bedlam,
and everyone quickly disappeared -- no one got caught.
Your swiftly-thinking and moving Peasant fled to the
relaxing confines of the hotel bar, which was on the top floor.

One night I was in said bar, on my own, as we had the evening
free and could do as we wished. As is my wont as an experienced
traveler, desiring to sample as much of Mexico's life and
staple, I ordered a Tequilla Sunrise. Knowing that this drink
would be powerful and potent, I nursed it gently, taking all of
forty-five minutes to finish. But as I took the last swallow, I
felt a warm sensation in my gut -- and it was getting warmer.
I stood up, walked from my table, and went out into the hall
to the elevators. Once I got inside an available lift, my gut felt
like it was ablaze; I could barely remain standing. When I got
to my floor, I made my way to our room, unlocked the door,
made it inside, tried to reach my bed, but instead collapsed on
the floor next to it, and lost consciousness. when I finally
awakened it was morning, Jeff and my other roomies were in
our quarters, and I noticed that my pillow was under my head,
my blanket covering me, and my clothes still on. Jeff asked how
I was, saying that he saw that I was in a bad way so he took down
the pillow and blanket from my bed to make me comfortable.
He cared about my well-being, and figured that I had run afoul of
some of the local booze (damn straight I did!). I thanked him
profusely, and we cemented an already established friendship.
This was in my junior year, Jeff's sophomore year. After I
graduated we lost touch but got back together on Facebook.
Availing himself of the link I provide to this blog, Jeff became
an enthusiastic reader, enjoying my take on the political and
economic news on a regular basis until his sad and sudden demise.
If heaven has wi-fi you can bet Jeff is still enjoying my essays and

In recent years Jeff and his dear wife Joette owned and operated
a delightful cigar bar in downtown Waukesha, the city of our
alma mater, that they dubbed "A Nice Ash". Not at all a smoker,
I still enjoyed my visits there, and go there when I can. Many
of our friends frequent the establishment, and some of them
perform there in their bands. And I can feel Jeff's joyful presence,
especially when standing and chatting with friends enjoying some
of the fine cigars from the bar's walk-in humidor. I get a feeling of
comfort from it.

I miss you Jeff more than I can say, and I am told that I have an
impressive vocabulary! We'll catch up on everything when I
am invited up to partake of our Lord's hospitality as you have
been. And we'll enjoy His fine drinks together and maybe I'll
try one of His divine cigars in that heavenly cigar bar!

Thank you for being a wonderful friend and a grand part of
my life! Rest well, my friend and brother conservative!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Happy New Year to All!

My dear readers, your favorite Peasant wishes all of you
a beautiful, blessed, joyful, prosperous, happy new year!
We're certainly getting it off to a fantastic start with the
inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, finally
and mercifully concluding the misbegotten presidency
of Barack Obama and beginning a new and bound to be
happier era with the new administration. May all your
fondest wishes and cherished dreams for 2017 come true!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Greetings and Good Wishes!

My dear readers, your grateful Peasant wishes all of you
a truly Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year!
We had a fantastic year, this blessed year of 2016, and
derailing Hillary Clinton's presidential election bid was
a Christmas present come early! Let us enjoy this beautiful,
magical time of the year and gather round with our families
and friends to not merely give each other lovely presents but
give each other our love, and to reflect on the loving gift
to our world that our loving God gave us on that first
Christmas over two thousand years ago, the gift of gifts,
the very gift that started it all.

God bless you all, your families and friends, and our
beautiful and beloved country! Your faithful Peasant
shall be back with you after the day!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Jill Stein and Her Army of Malcontents

Well, the people have spoken loud and clear on Tuesday
November 8; no Hillary, no third term of Obama policies,
no more ramming statism down our throats; Donald Trump
was voted in, and Hillary Clinton was told to take a long walk
off a short pier. But some of the lefties just won't accept defeat;
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who didn't win a
single state, has filed to recount the votes in some key swing
states, which happen to include your favorite Peasant's home
state of Wisconsin, claiming to "stand up for a vote that is
accurate, secure, fair, and just, in which every vote counts."

Now, this is just what it looks like, folks: a quixotic campaign,
even more than the one she ran in her attempt to win election to
the presidency, for the purpose of embarrassing and/or deligitimi-
tizing President-Elect Donald Trump's victory and his nascent
presidency. While the lefties always demand that we conservatives
respect and live with the results of elections, especially those with
the presidency on the line, which they win, they will behave like
spoiled and unruly children when we win these elections and get our
presidential candidate elected. These hypocritical dimwits will and do
make excuses, accusations, and conspiracy theories as to why they
lost, and this year's presidential election is certainly no exception!
They have gotten behind Jill Stein to march onward in a feeble
attempt to make mischief for Trump and those who voted for him.

So what has greenie Jill Stein gotten for her efforts? Not a heck of
a lot. Pennsylvania has shut her out, as Stein could not get her papers
filed on time there to get the Keystone State folks to recount their
votes. In my state a judge has declined a request by the Steinies to
have the recount there done by hand, which would have been more
prone to ballot hanky-panky than the other methods. And while
defeated Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton initially cheered Stein
on, many in Clinton's party have come to realize that Stein's efforts
shall be for naught both in terms of changing the election outcome
as well as to denigrate victor Donald Trump. Finally, the cruelest and
deepest cut of all, Stein's own Green Party has turned away from her
and her ploy. The Green Party recently issued the following statement:

"There are significant electoral reforms needed to make elections more
democratic and more representative of the people. While we support
electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support
the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein ... The decision to
pursue a recount was not made in a democratic or strategic way, nor
did it the established decision making process and structures of the
Green Party of the United States."

OW! It sounds like poor ol' Jill cheesed off not only the Trump voters
and the Republican Party, and perhaps the Democrats as well, but
her own party pals to boot! It appears that Stein has embarrassed her
fellow greenies with her cockeyed crusade. And the last your amused
Peasant heard, the recount in Wisconsin has shown Donald Trump
GAINING more votes, rather than losing votes, with similar findings
in some of the other states' recounts.

The Green Party gave a fitting coda to this comic farce in their
summation of their statement: "As a candidate, Dr. Stein has a right
to call for a recount. However, we urge the GPUS (Green Party of
the United States) to distance itself from any appearance of support
for either Democrats or Republicans. We are well aware of the
undemocratic actions taken by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign.
Greens cannot be perceived to be allied with such a party."

The Green Party has acquitted itself admirably on this matter.
Their failed (in more ways than one) candidate Jill Stein should,
for the good of not only her party but for the good of the nation's
electorate, pack it in.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Its Lessons

Your overworked Peasant apologizes for not getting this
post put up for you on the day, but am grateful for being
able to seize the time to share this with you, my dear
readers, on this, the day after. I am referring to the
75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,
which brought our country into the Second World War.

When this territorial target was hit (Hawaii was still a
territory at that time) Americans were enraged and wanted
to defend themselves, not wanting to wait to see if Japan
would attack any of the then 48 states on the mainland.
Congress declared war on Japan the next day, America
quickly mobilized, and we joined the then two year old
fray which was enveloping the world. The outcome showed
Japan, their axis chums, and all the world that the United
States was not a nation to be trifled with, not to be disrespected,
not to be bullied, and certainly not to be attacked.

On September 11, 2001, we were attacked again, this time
in two of our states and in our nation's capital city, and by
a stealthy band of low-rent thugs from the Middle East.
We went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, been over there
for over a decade, had some successes in both countries,
then ... didn't follow up and follow through. We still have
some major (and more than a few minor) radical Muslim
groups at large over there and in other countries in the
greater region; some radical Islamists in our country have
struck against Americans in San Bernardino, Fort Hood,
and Columbus, with one attempt at terror thwarted in your
favorite Peasant's hometown of Milwaukee. We have a
national media which has downplayed 9/11 and the smaller
subsequent terror strikes, and has tried to play up President
Obama's weak responses to the latter, and has even refused
to call these incidents what they are: acts of terror, adhering
to some politically correct code so as to "not be offensive"
and to be more "sensitive"(!?). Meanwhile, our friends
are wondering what's up with us and our enemies are falling
down laughing at us; maybe we can hope that they'll
pop a few ribs and rupture some internal organs?

Well, now we have a president-elect waiting to be inaugurated
in about six weeks who has pledged to reverse this sad and
tragic backtracking from our commitment and responsibility
to protect our country and our allies from this radical scourge.
Donald Trump will respond and act more like 1941 than
2009-today, and has already gotten some cheers from our
beleaguered and frustrated military, eagerly awaiting a new
commander-in-chief who will allow them to do their jobs,
to do the work that they signed up to do, and to demonstrate
support and encouragement rather than disdain and contempt
for these brave and patriotic fellow Americans. And once in
office, our new president and CIC will do what the soon-to-be-
leaving president failed to do --- follow up and follow through!
Our WWII veterans understood that there is no substitute for
victory and fought their war accordingly. It will be refreshing
to have a president who shares this understanding.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Way to Reduce Student Loan Debt (In Some Cases)

Much has been said about the many college students
who are deep in debt re: the loans they obtained to
finance their educations, only to find that there are
precious few jobs in our present economy that they
can both start their careers with and start earning and
saving money to service their student loan debt as
well as establish their savings. Your favorite Peasant
is going to share with you a plan that, while it will
not solve this problem for all or most of these
bewildered students, it can help those who became
ensnared in this predicament via fraudulent
misrepresentation by some institutions of higher

I shall explain: there is an idea coming from
Washington in which federal student loans would
be forgiven if the applicants were bamboozled
into enrolling at colleges making false promises.
This idea, which was recently announced
by the White House, was developed to assist former
students of Corinthian Colleges Inc., a large for-
profit chain that underwent bankruptcy reorganization
this spring. This organization was accused last year
by federal officials of misleading prospective students
about its graduates' success in finding and excelling
at career-relevant jobs. Among the shenanigans
perpetrated by Corinthian was paying temp agencies
to hire its graduates for as little as two days' time (!)
just so they could count these grads as being
employed. One of Corinthian's campuses counted one
grad as being employed in her field major based on
her having worked in a fast-food restaurant, not as a
manager, but as one of the food preparers.

Federal government officials said that under this new plan
they would consider forgiving any loans made directly
by the government --- those held by a majority of the
43 million Americans with student debt --- provided that
the borrower can document that a school lured him to
apply for the loan under conditions which would violate
state laws. Now Washington has admitted that this plan
potentially would come with a very high price on its
sticker, a price that would certainly be in the billions of
dollars, although federal officials have declined to
estimate the potential total amount of loans that could
be eligible for forgiveness.

This plan was created in the wake of former Corinthian
students holding demonstrations. Some of these students
have organized a "debt strike" in which they are refusing
to make payments on their outstanding loans. Education
Department officials and the president have said that the
plan would relieve borrowers of mounting debts that were
the result of fraudulent representation by dishonest schools.
Critics of the plan, including some members of Congress,
state that the plan would punish taxpayers instead of the
fraud-perpetrating colleges. One related danger would be
false claims put out by dishonest borrowers who simply
don't want to repay their loans.

What might --- just might --- make this plan successful
would be verifiable documentation provided by the
recipients of said loans, so that fraud from the other end
of the equation would be greatly minimized. This would
help the real victims of these crooked colleges while
not further burdening the taxpayers with exorbitant costs.
In the meantime, no legislation to enact this plan
should even be considered at all without this proviso;
for it would distinguish said plan from other debt
forgiveness proposals that in recent months
have come out of Washington which have put taxpayers
on the hook for billions of dollars already. And it
potentially can reduce the total delinquent debt by
a considerable amount in the process.

This may seem like an iffy plan at best to some. But it is
a far better plan than many of, if not all, of the other
plans which have come before.