Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What the Hell, Ireland?

One of my ancestral countries, a country which has enjoyed great
prosperity and freedom with its capitalist democracy over the years
as a sovereign nation that at best makes no sense, and at worst mocks
their own struggles for the very freedom and liberties which
we Americans ourselves have fought for and cherish. Ireland's
national post office released a commemorative stamp honoring
Che Guevara, the communist revolutionary who was Fidel Castro's
top lieutenant in the unfortunately successful effort to instigate
a revolution which resulted in a communist dictatorship in Cuba
that still rules this nation with an iron fist.

The stamp shows a black, red and white drawing of Guevara
along with an envelope with a quote from his father: "In my son's
veins flowed the blood of Irish rebels." Where did your part-Irish
Peasant miss the era in Irish history in which Ireland threw out
the British, replacing the Crown with a communist revolutionary
state? It's awful enough when 20-something men and women
who are too young to have lived through the Cold War don T-shirts
with Che's image, mainly as a means of displaying their radical
chicness in hipster-frequented coffee shops and bars, but it's jaw-
droppingly shocking to see a country print postage stamps
honoring a cold-blooded totalitarian thug as Ireland is doing on
the 50th anniversary of Guevara's death by execution by a
Bolivian Army firing squad when he tried to bring a red revolution
to Bolivia. The struggle for Irish independence from Great Britain
was to achieve equality under the law, property rights, and political
self-determination beginning with Home Rule, establishing their own
legislature rather than having a distant British parliament dictate
how things would be in their native land. Communism and
communists are as far removed from these things as the sun is
from Pluto. Guevara having had some Irish blood is not a good
enough reason to honor him, given how he lived his life, forcing
oppression upon people under the weak guise of liberation.

During the rest of the Cold War years in the wake of Guevara's death,
the international Left made him a martyr to the cause of such
"liberation", but all one need to do is see the mass privation,
oppression, repression and broad suffering of the Cuban people
continuing today, under the rule of Raoul Castro, Fidel's brother who
succeeded his late sibling as Cuba's strongman. As horrible as British
rule was for over seven centuries in Ireland, it was not as much so as
the Cuban communist's regime's domination of that nation is, and
as the communist regimes in other nations from Soviet Russia to
China to North Korea to Vietnam to ... you get the point.

My dear ancestral country, please get a clue.


MEM

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Not At All Fabulous Four

Just recently, Senate Republicans once again booted another
opportunity to repeal Obamacare; well, four of them did so,
sinking the rest of them along with any chance of repeal before
year's end. The latest bill which would have repealed the hated
individual and employer mandates as well as the medical-device
tax along with block granting Medicaid money to the states,
giving them control over how to manage the program according
to their constituents' needs and wishes, the Graham-Cassidy bill,
missed passage because of the four rats whose votes denied 
the GOP the fifty votes needed to clinch repeal (Vice President
Mike Pence would then have cast the tie-breaking vote in favor
of passage). 

Here are the four who have made a mockery of the Republican
Party's promise to the American people to repeal the so-called 
Affordable Health Care Act if only we would vote for them,
granting them majorities in both chambers of Congress and 
voting for a Republican president, which of course we did:

Rand Paul (KY), who was elected on his promise to vote for 
repeal of the health coverage boondoggle but backed out 
at crunch time. Paul helped to kill the Senate's first replacement
bill over the summer because it didn't repeal every last provision
in the law (so he said at the time). He did, to his credit, vote for
the so-called "Skinny Repeal", but that bill merely repealed 
the mandates and the medical device tax, nothing more.
But on Graham-Cassidy, which would have done just a wee
bit more, Paul punted. Could it be that many of his fellow
Kentuckians are on the lower rungs of the economic ladder
and he is afraid that they'll vote him out in a trice if he tries
to rescind Obamacare? He has a golden opportunity to explain
to these constituents that Obamacare is not the panacea it has
been presented as and ballyhooed to be by the Democrats; that
a market-based health coverage program would be less costly
and more efficient for them and for everyone. As a political
libertarian, you would think that he'd jump at the chance to
do this. But Sen. Paul is doing no such thing. I guess that makes
him a LINO (Libertarian in name only).

Lisa Murkowski (AK) was all in favor of dumping Obamacare
while Obama was in office, but as soon as Donald Trump got
elected she did a sudden about-face and voted against repeal
in the previous votes on Obama's health coverage program.
On many other measures before the Senate Senator Murkowski
has proven her RINO credentials for all to see, so this
development is certainly no surprise. If there is a bill before
her chamber which would shrink the federal government even
by the tiniest increment she'll attack it like a pit bull that
hasn't eaten in three days.

John McCain (AZ) ran for re-election to the Senate on the
promise that he would vote to abolish Obamacare, and like
Sen. Murkowski did an abrupt about-face, in effect telling
the folks back in Arizona "Bleep you!". And with his recently
discovered inoperable brain cancer slowing him down, McCain
has been having his treatment covered by the cushy-comfy
health coverage plan which he and his colleagues have long had
available to them (which also is the same coverage that the
members of the House receive), and which they have voted
to keep by exempting themselves from having to enroll in
the Obamacare plans which were forced down the throats of
us mere peasants (!).

Finally, there's Susan Collins (ME), who through her years in
the Senate has authored a voting record indistinguishable from
those of many Democrat senators, so much so that she really
is in the wrong party. She also voted (surprisingly) to not pass
the legislation which sent the Affordable Health Care Act
(Obamacare) to then-President Obama's desk for his signature
to become law, but again, with the changing of the guard at
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue she voted against each measure
designed to repeal all or part of the act. She heard from many
of her fellow Maine folk who had wanted her to vote for
repeal but apparently thinks that they are too stupid to make
their own health care choices and that her state's government
is incapable of managing Medicaid better than Uncle Sam.
Sen. Collins certainly embraces the liberal mantra that the
government cannot trust us peasants with such important
choices; that it's better that the "experts" in Washington step
in and do these things for we simple-minded simpletons.
Besides, an independent and independent-minded peasantry
is a threat to the establishment's acquisition and wielding of
power! Horrors! What's a good statist to do?

Why Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell doesn't
impose at least a modicum of party discipline on these recalcitrant,
troublesome non-team players points out yet another reason
why we conservatives have neither any trust nor confidence
in him and his leadership (perhaps your frustrated Peasant
should have put that word in quotes?). We have to make it clear
to these senators that we elected them and their fellow GOP
colleagues to do a specific task, to do OUR bidding, not that
of any special interest parties, not big-monied beltway fat cats
who invite them to fancy-shmancy cocktail parties and stuff
their wallets with wads of cash in exchange for giving them
what they want and giving us the shaft, nor that of the
establishment press in the hope that they'll write complimentary
things about them. They didn't work on their campaigns,
we did! They didn't vote for them, we did! We put them in
office and we can take them out of office! With the mid-term
elections coming next year, we have to drive home these truths
to these four self-serving elitists. It's a crying shame that we
have to fight two battles, each on a separate front; fighting
the Democrats on one front, while fighting RINOS on another
front. But our mission is our mission, and although we didn't
choose these battles, they chose us. And now we must do what
we must do.

This is war!


MEM








Monday, October 2, 2017

Taking a Short Break

Friends, your favorite Peasant is in need of
a little break to take care of some personal
business. I am going on a business trip to 
participate in a business venture with a family
member. But I'll be back before you know it,
my fantastic readers!

Meanwhile, enjoy these fine online publications
while awaiting my return:


www.nationalreview.com/  National Review Online

www.weeklystandard.com/ Weekly Standard Online

Thank you everyone for your kind understanding
and indulgence! Be back soon!


MEM

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Charlie Matthew William Gard (Baby Charlie), R.I.P.

We here in the United States have been hearing about
the horrors of national health care programs in other
countries; your somber Peasant shall share with you,
my grand readers, a story which ranks as one of the
most heartbreaking to date.

A British baby, Charlie Gard, not even one year old,
was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder which
robbed him of his vision, hearing, and ability to breathe
without assistance, and caused brain damage. The doctors
at Grand Ormond Street Hospital in London halted treat-
ment and sent him to a hospice to die. In the meantime,
Charlie's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates heard
about an experimental treatment which could help
their suffering son. It meant having to take Charlie
to New York, and the cost for everything --- the
treatment, travel, lodging, etc. --- would be out of pocket,
but Charlie's parents told of their plight on GoFundMe
to raise money for it all, as the Birtish state health care system
would not pay anything toward it.

Well, Britain's NHS also would not allow Chris and Connie
to take little Charlie to New York, or anywhere outside
of Great Britain for treatment of any kind; Charlie's
doctors refused to release him, and went to the British
High Court to overrule the parent's treatment decision
for their baby. The High Court did so. Next, Charlie's
parents appealed to the European Court of Human Rights;
that court upheld the first court's ruling.

Many people and organizations entered the fray. A hospital
in Rome affiliated with the Holy See offered to admit Charlie,
as did a New York hospital affiliated with Columbia
University. On July 24, as Charlie's condition grew more dire,
the attorney for Charlie's parents withdrew their request to
transport their baby to New York for the experimental
treatment, but could Charlie remain on artificial ventilation
for just one more week? Nothing doing was the reply from
the High Court. Four days later, Baby Charlie died.
His parents were crushed, the doctors victorious, and the
NHS smug and arrogant. Although Great Britain has long
ago abolished capital punishment for deadly criminals,
the British government and its state-run health care system
in effect sentenced an innocent little baby to death, a death
which might have been avoided had he been able to
receive experimental medical treatment, and admitted
"Hail Mary" but was a better option than either continuing
conventional treatment or letting the helpless little patient
fade away in a hospice. But the NHS would not sacrifice any
of its power and control over Baby Charlie and his parents,
who with the rest of Great Britain's approximately sixty
million people are mere subjects to the monolith that
is that country's ultra-statist government.

And this is the kind of health care system that our own statist
politicians want to ensnare us in. Yet another reason that
government should not have a say in what kind of health
care and coverage we get, and that we should never give our
government that power. This is state power run amuck,
gone mad, and destroying freedom along with the priceless
value of human life!

Rest in peace, dear little Charlie. You deserved better.

MEM

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Eight Great Years!

It's anniversary time for us, my great and wonderful readers
and dear friends! September 23 marks eight years of getting
together each week to pick apart the political and economic
news of the day, to see who's been naughty and who's been
nice from a freedom standpoint, to comfort the afflicted and
afflict the comfortable (such as smug left-wingers!), and to
celebrate our great and wonderful country with the freedom
we enjoy and work to protect. Time flies when you're having
fun!

May we continue to meet right here each and every week
to have yet more fun, while standing up for all that we are
blessed with as Americans, and cheerfully standing athwart
history yelling "stop!", as the late great William F. Buckley
did with his magazine National Review. Remember, we
are the ones who author history day by day with our actions;
let us act in ways which shall preserve our country, our liberty,
and our way of life. And what's more fun than that!

God bless!


MEM

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Another Conservative Warrior Steps Forward!

No sooner than State Senator Leah Vukmir declare her candidacy
for the United States Senate seat from your faithful Peasant's
home state of Wisconsin did another conservative star and friend
of mine declare his candidacy for the seat that Sen. Vukmir
is vacating to run for the U.S. Senate: State Rep. Dale Kooyenga!
And as had Senator Vukmir, Rep. Kooyenga exclusively announced
his candidacy on Dan O'Donnell's radio show.

Dale has served seven years in the Wisconsin State Assembly,
as strong a champion for conservative principles there as has
Leah Vukmir been in the State Senate (and in the Assembly,
as she held that very seat before being elected to her current
office). Limited government, low taxes, minimal regulations
so as not to cause undue difficulty in establishing or operating
a business, livable budgets, quality education, responsive and
responsible government are his standards, and I have no doubt
that Rep. Kooyenga will seamlessly continue Sen. Vukmir's
work in the Senate therefore.

A reserve officer in the Army Reserves, Dale is also strong
on veteran's issues, and has always been there for Wisconsin
vets and their families. An accountant as well, Dale is also
strong on fiscal issues and is a proven friend to hard working,
taxpaying Wisconsinites. A finer candidate to replace Senator
Vukmir is as rare as a unicorn!

Therefore your pleased and proud Peasant endorses State Rep.
Dale Kooyenga for the State Senate! Success and blessings for
you, my good friend!


MEM

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Conservative Warrior Cometh!

Just this very morning your exuberant Peasant was listening
to one of my favorite conservative talk show hosts, 
Dan O'Donnell, conversing with guest State Senator
Leah Vukmir who made a very special announcement.
My one-time state representative and state senator
(I no longer live in her district), after much thought and 
deliberation has declared her candidacy for the United States
Senate seat currently held by Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

I told Leah when I saw her at the Wauwatosa Fourth of July
parade that whatever she wanted to do regarding this
opportunity that she would have my full support. Leah has
been a conservative warrior in the legislature, whether the
GOP was in the majority or the minority, whether a republican
or a democrat was in the governor's office. Always a
tireless, relentless, unwavering advocate for smaller, more
responsible government, lower and fewer taxes, less onerous
regulation for small businesses, defending the unborn, and
giving schoolchildren and their parents decent choices for
the children's education, Leah will bring principle and
responsiveness to the U.S. Senate, something that the
GOP majority seems to need a strong dose of and that the
Dems in that chamber need to be sobered up by.

Leah will be an asset to President Trump and his legislative
agenda, especially with his tax reform programs. And she is
a quick study on the issues, so she will contribute right away
to the president's efforts to curb illegal immigration, as well as
his ideas for strengthening our military and shaping our foreign
policy. She will also be most helpful in reforming the Veterans
Administration and how it administers its veteran's hospitals.
Some horror stories have come out of several of them; the one
in Tomah, here your favorite Peasant's home state of Wisconsin,
is among them. A close friend, an army veteran, was hospitalized
there and he was constantly doped up on an endless stream of
medication practically forced on him by the staff because no one
wanted to actually treat him for his ailments, no one seemed to care.
Senator Baldwin certainly didn't care about my friend or the other
patients that were treated to the same "care". A U.S. Marine patient
there was so overly medicated that he took his own life.
When Marquette Baylor, a member of Sen. Baldwin's staff played
whistleblower and shined the light of attention on the incidents
at the Tomah facility, Sen. Baldwin promptly fired her, and did
her damndest to sweep the matter under the rug, commenting as
little as possible about the matter. For this reason, Sen. Baldwin
should in turn be fired by the Wisconsin electorate.

My friend Leah Vukmir got into politics when she saw the poor
quality of education that her children were receiving from their
public school. When she inquired regarding same to their teacher,
she was sent --- literally --- to the principal's office. She was told
to speak to the principal about her concerns, and when doing so
she was referred to the school board. Having never received
any satisfactory answers to her questions regarding her children's
education, she took matters into her own hands and ran for public
office. She has been in one elected office or another over the
ensuing years, serving her constituents most ably.

Leah is challenging one other candidate for the Republican party's
nomination to run against Sen. Baldwin. The other candidate is
an earnest sort and a recent convert from the Democrat party,
having seen the light about their unrelenting leftism, but lacks
State Sen. Vukmir's experience in public office and accompanying
service, as well as her years of membership and involvement in
the Republican party. Therefore, your faithful Peasant is pleased
and proud to endorse Leah Vukmir, current state senator, for
the United States Senate, and I hereby pledge my support in any
and all ways that I am able. You'll make a fine candidate, and an
even better United States Senator, Leah! God bless!


MEM





Thursday, August 31, 2017

Milwaukee Bids Farewell to a Great Lawman

Just a few hours ago, at about 3:15 this afternoon,
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke handed in
his resignation to the Milwaukee County Clerk.
Sheriff Clarke's letter of resignation reportedly gave
no reason for his leaving office, although he has
been at one time under consideration for a post in
the Department of Homeland Security early in
President Trump's time in the White House and
reportedly has some other irons in the fire. At the
present time, your diligent Peasant has no
information as to Sheriff Clarke's next position.

But I can tell you this: Sheriff David Clarke is
the best Sheriff that a county can have, even above
the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona,
Joe Arpaio, a lawman who ignored the orders from
President Obama's Justice Department to ignore
standing law regarding capturing and detaining
illegal immigrants for deportation, resulting in his
being summoned to court where he risked being
sent to prison for his actions --- for following the
law! --- and may well have been so sentenced but
for a pardon from President Trump. Sheriff Clarke
always told it like it was, over the screeching and
screaming of the local Left, which includes but is
not limited to Mayor Thomas Barrett, his puppet
Police Chief Edward Flynn, most of the Milwaukee
Common Council, Milwaukee County Executive
Christopher Abele, and most of the members of
the County Board. What has their BVDs in bunches
regarding our outgoing sheriff are as follows:

1) Sheriff Clarke is a black conservative, a creature
which liberals swear is as nonexistent as the unicorn).

2) Our Sheriff addressed the Conservative Political
Action Committee (CPAC) at its most recent conclave
(left-wingers in Milwaukee, and from around the country,
went ballistic at this audacious act!). This alone caught
the attention of the national media and both major
political parties, those amenable to the sheriff as
well as those hostile.

3) He always took his job and his duties seriously;
Sheriff Clarke always strove to lock up the criminals,
whoever they were, whatever their skin color, whatever
ethnic group, whichever gender gender, whatever gender
preference, ad infintum, ad nauseum. Not paying any
attention to the rules of political correctness and its
pieties, this further cheesed off the local liberal
establishment. In Sheriff Clarke's book, if you broke
the law in Milwaukee County, you were going to be
arrested and brought to justice, no ifs, ands, or buts.

4) Sheriff Clarke endorsed Donald Trump for President
(HORRORS! What must Clarke have been thinking, the
lefties wondered).

5) He made Public Service Announcements urging people
to get firearms training and to keep a gun handy, for the
police and the sheriff's deputies cannot respond quickly
enough to stop a break-in or a situation in which an armed
confrontation is highly likely. Until they can figure out
a way to arrive on the scene at the speed of light, this is
the best way of staying alive when so accosted, much
to the outrage of the criminal-sympathizers on the Left.

6) In election after election, Sheriff Clarke drew broad
support from blacks, whites, Latinos, women, old,
young, inner city dwellers, suburbanites, and other
voting groups; many of these voters are democrats or
are Democrat-leaning, but they all voted their safety.
They realize that if you aren't safe in your community,
in your place of work, in your home, all else is irrelevant.
All other issues take a back seat to your very life.

Wherever Sheriff David Clarke goes from here, your
grateful and appreciative Peasant wishes him nothing but
success. Here is a law enforcement official who could
not be brought, intimidated, threatened, or manipulated
in any way, who was and is the friend of the law-abiding,
decent, good people in our county, placing his fidelity with
same over the self-serving elites in the halls of power and
in the media. Thank you, sir, for your unwavering service.
You shall be missed in my hometown and county.


MEM





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Keep Texas in Your Prayers

Over this past weekend, coastal Texas was hit by
one of largest and deadliest hurricanes ever recorded.
Hurricane Harvey blasted her coast with winds of
160 miles per hour, and at the time of this posting
is walloping cities and towns as far inland as Houston
with high winds and torrential rain; Houston has already
received 20 inches of rain and 30 more (!) are predicted
before the storm finally runs out of its ferocious energy.
The death toll is starting to climb, entire homes have
been submerged, swept away, or both; a parking garage
has gone completely under the rising waters with many
cars parked in it; people are searching for their families,
their pets, their friends and neighbors; in a nursing home
some residents were found sitting in chairs with the waters
up to their waists. Pets have been abandoned, left to fend
for themselves. A police officer drowned while on his way
to render assistance. Many more harrowing situations
have been happening in this dark real life drama.

It will take months, some say years, for the people of
southern Texas to rebuild their homes, their businesses,
their schools, their churches, their lives. Please keep the
people of this region of Texas in your prayers, and look
up organizations working to give aid and assistance to
them and send them some money, as much as you can
afford.

Many people have begun to help, starting with neighbors
helping neighbors, and some people have traveled to the
afflicted areas of the state to do what they can. We can
take comfort in one thing from this living horror; and
it is that the American people are not only generous of
spirit and resources, but have a genuine concern for their
fellow men, women, and children which is our country's
greatest resource by far. This is what will help coastal
Texas to pull through and make its way to a brand new,
better day.

God bless Texas. God bless America.


MEM


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Shell Frozen Out of Alaska

Royal Dutch Shell has been frozen out of Alaska
for oil exploration, but not because of the weather.
Rather, the regulatory enviornment is leaving the
oil company cold, not the freezing temperatures in
our northernmost state.

Shell reported that a recent exploratory well showed
that although there were some hints of oil there, that
there was not nearly enough to justify further explor-
ation. The costs of such projects is quite steep, and
when the additional costs of the regulatory environment
imposed by Washington in coastal Alaska are factored
in it doesn't seem worthwhile for an oil company to
look for oil there. So Shell is leaving Alaska to focus
its efforts elsewhere, and Alaska's economy and our
nation's energy production will be the worse for this.

Although the federal government finally allowed Shell
to do exploratory drilling in Alaska's Chukchi Sea this
summer, the company had already paid $2.1 billion to
obtain leases there, and now has to go home empty-handed
and with a lighter wallet.

Some of Shell's investors were not sorry to see Shell pack it
in up in Alaska with oil then going for a lower price. They
want Shell to concentrate on smaller, less costly projects which
will be more likely to increase the bottom line. But Shell's
work in Alaska was about the future price of oil, looking
ten years ahead, rather than current markets and prices.
Shell even applied to extend their offshore Alaska leases,
which are due to expire before the end of the decade.
And now Shell will take a cold bath for their venture in
Alaska's frigid waters.

Something more to bear in mind for President Trump.
He is certainly amenable to lightening the regulatory
burden to help us to become energy-independent
and therefore able to tell OPEC to take a hike, as some
hostile nations along with iffy ones make up much of its
membership. That's a good sign, because it's not just our
economy that requires it but our national security as well.
His predecessor seemed not to care much about either.


MEM


Monday, August 7, 2017

Vacation Time for the Peasant

Friends, your beloved Peasant is having a little vacation
time to travel to visit family out-of-town. But not to worry;
I shall return in a week or two and we'll meet back here
again to pore over the latest news in the realms of politics
and economics, to recognize and reward the heroes and
to uncover and castigate the villains.

Thank you all for your ongoing support and kind indulgence!
In the meantime here are some links to some wonderful online
publications which you're sure to enjoy:

www.investors.com/   Investors Business Daily
(Hey, they have a GREAT editorial page in which they offer up
wonderful, in-depth conservative commentary! And their invest-
ment-related pages are first-rate!)

www.theamericanconservative.com/  The American Conservative

reason.com  Reason Magazine

I'll be back before you realize!


MEM

Thursday, August 3, 2017

States Supporting Life

A wonderful national pro-life organization,
Americans United for Life (AUL) released
its annual "Life List" for the year of 2016,
near that year's conclusion, having
listed the top 10 pro-life states, based on
legislative initiatives created to protect the
lives of unborn babies in their states.
The list also ranks the rest of the states
in descending order from the most protective
states to the least.

The top 10 for 2016 are, in order:

1) Oklahoma
2) Kansas
3) Louisiana
4) Arkansas
5) Mississippi
6) Nebraska
7) Indiana
8) North Dakota
9) Missouri
10) Texas

"The momentum for creating a culture that
respects life in the law increases each year,"
states Charmaine Yost, CEO of AUL. "This
is a historic time for life. More life-affirming
and protective state laws have been enacted
since 2010 than in any similar period since
Roe v. Wade."

Would you, my wonderful readers, like to see
your home states make it into the top 10 of
this list. or at least move up from the bottom
10? Contact your state representatives and
senators, and of course your governors and
get the gears moving for drafting and passing
appropriate legislation for guarding the unborn
from abortion. Stay in touch with them, and
check in regularly with them to see what is
being accomplished. Talk to your friends,
your family members, and your neighbors
to enlist support. It's work that saves lives
and satisfies the soul.


MEM

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sir Roger Moore, R.I.P.

Many of you, my fantastic readers, remember Sir Roger Moore
as one of the actors who played James Bond in the movies of
that franchise; a few of you may remember Moore as The Saint
in that British television series which also aired on our side of
"The Pond". Still others might remember him for other roles in
movies and television shows here and in Britain. A fantastic
actor, a suave and smooth gentleman, a spokesman for UNICEF,
a grand wit, and a loving husband and father, Sir Roger Moore
passed away after a bout with cancer on May 23 at the age of 89.

The star in seven Bond films, Moore was behooved to assist
UNICEF when he saw first hand the shocking poverty in India
when he was there filming his sixth Bond film "Octopussy".
He joined friend and fellow actor Audrey Hepburn in this
endeavor, as they became the faces for the organization. Moore
also was an avid skiier; he skiied with his family as well as
with his friends liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith
and conservative publisher, author, sailor, and harpsichordist
William F. Buckley, founder and publisher of National Review,
the renown magazine of conservative politics and thought.
While Moore enjoyed the company of a wide variety of
celebrities, he was a conservative throughout his long and
storied life. Although he loved his native Great Britain, he
moved to Monaco to escape his beloved country's confiscatory
tax rates. He gave to charities in addition to doing publicity
for them, but didn't care to be coerced into supporting a large
and unwieldly welfare state. And in the role of British Secret
Agent 007 he was internationally popular with the world's
conservatives, soundly defeating communists (this was, after
all, during the latter years of the Cold War) and anyone
allied with them in the Bond storylines.

Moore's conservatism reached into day-to-day life away from the
film set as well, having been a strong advocate for teaching
children manners, kindness, and consideration for others, once
stating that doing so would result in the children teaching other
adults by their mannerly ways. He was not merely a model
of a quintessential English gentleman, but a sterling example of
a conservative in both public and private life. Rest in Peace,
Sir Roger; your death may have left us shaken, but your legacy
stirs us to emulate you with the example you set for a beautiful life.


MEM

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Political Correctness In the Courtroom

Political correctness, the invention of the radical Left for
the purpose of censoring speech and actions by anyone on
the Right, including putting pressure on to self-censor oneself
so as to avoid balefully disapproving reactions, has
wormed it way into many areas of our society --- all levels
of government, education, entertainment, even the military
--- and now has made its way into our courts.

For the entire history of our country U.S. law has guarded
jury verdicts from being overturned due to bias or juror
misconduct. Late last winter, before the late Justice Antonin
Scalia's Supreme Court seat was filled with the appointment
and confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, a temporary liberal
Supreme Court majority has scuttled this protection with the
creation of an exception for racial bias, never mind that it did
not supply a clearly defined means of identifying bias with a
limiting principle to guard against political mischief to
accompany this exception.

Just recently, after a Colorado jury convicted a Mexican
defendant in a sexual harassment case, two jurors signed
affidavits stating that a retried police officer also serving
on the jury made racially hostile remarks during deliberations.
The juror in question was reported to have stated that
"nine times out of ten Mexican men were guilty of being
aggressive toward women and young girls," as well as having
made other statements of a similar nature. The defendant's counsel
tried to get the conviction overturned based on racial animus
but the trial judge denied the request.

Now, the Sixth Amendment guarantees a trial by an impartial
jury, and our legal system has many protections against juror
bias and misconduct, including screening potential jurors for
bias in voir dire, a French term meaning "to see, to speak"
applied to the process of determining the qualifications of a
prospective juror to serve on a jury in a trial. Furthermore,
the judge and counsel for both the plaintiff and the defendant
can discipline a juror for any and all misconduct, including
speaking or acting in a biased manner. Additionally, the other
eleven jurors can monitor for such behavior and report any
infractions.

So the Court overturned these protective guidelines in a 5-3
majority opinion in Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, claiming that
racial bias is so common that if left unaddressed, "systemic
injury to the administration of justice" would occur. And with
this declaration a new racial standard was also declared, one
for overturning jury verdicts that was rejected by Colorado
and has no basis to be found in the Constitution. Conservative
justice Samuel Alito wrote in dissent "Although the Court tries
to limit the degree of intrusion, it is doubtful that there are
principled grounds for preventing the expansion of today's
holding,"

The ruling is a frightening move toward infecting juries with
political standards based on left-wing dogma on race, gender,
gender orientation, and class. Both Congress and the President
should utilize the System of Checks and Balances which the three
branches of our federal government have to police each other's
actions with an eye to upholding and preserving our constitutional
rule of law to make the Supreme Court rethink this perilous flight
of progressive fancy.


MEM




Thursday, July 13, 2017

Can America Escape the Debt Spider's Web?

The national debt of the United States, as of this posting,
is at $19.9 trillion, with no letup in sight. Although, thank
heaven, Barack Obama is no longer in the White House,
the debt is still soaring, powered by long-standing unfunded
mandates and unrestrained federal spending going back to
before President Obama's fiscal profligacy (although, it must
be noted, Obama had increased the debt to record levels,
going so far as to accumulate more debt than has all of
his presidential predecessors combined!). The question
now is, what will our current president Donald Trump
do about the spending, and what will the Federal Reserve
do concerning money supply management?

George Melloan, a former deputy editor of the Wall Street
Journal page, and no stranger to economic matters, blamed
the latest round of debt on the easy credit that came about by
the Fed's zero-rate targets in the wake of the 2008 crash.
While the Fed was not entirely responsible for this state
of affairs, through its "quantitative easing" (basically running
the printing presses at full blast turning out lots of newly
created dollars) had an effect by adding an additional
$3.5 trillion in demand for Treasury bills and for the besieged
Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-issued mortgage-backed
securities, which was a part of the housing bubble popping
that touched off the Great Recession of 2008. With cheap
credit, almost free in cost, Washington nearly doubled the
debt in the subsequent seven years. The annual federal budget
deficit still hovers between $500 billion and $1 trillion,
this too with no significant reversal in sight.

In an attempt to avoid runaway inflation, the Fed arranged
for banks to put approximately $2 trillion into their reserve
accounts at the central bank, paying the banks a pittance for
interest (currently 0.5%) in exchange. This maneuver has kept
the excess reserves from overloading the economy via
cheap loans.

As for foreign investors buying and holding U.S. debt, demand
for our debt has slacked off. China was the biggest purchaser
of American debt, but their foreign currency reserves are declining
as business in their country slows, and capital flees for safer
locales. Total dollar holdings by central banks in other countries
have decreased to around $2.8 trillion at present from $3 trillion
in 2013.

A credit cycle when both lenders and borrowers considerably slow
their interactions is what we may be seeing happen now. This
development portends a downward turn in the business cycle,
and will also put the current bull market in stocks in jeopardy.

More direct bond buying --- another method of quantitative easing
--- would increase the debt load with alacrity. The flip side of this
coin shows that selling from the central bank's portfolio will send
interest rates soaring by causing the debt supply to exceed demand.

And President Trump cannot do much about this situation. But he
could worsen this situation by threatening trade wars against
America's largest trading partners; he already has one such trade
war going with Canada. If Trump blocks our industries' ability to
earn dollars, he will hamper our ability to climb out of our debt
swamp. The past decade of government and Fed fiscal insanity is
certainly not his fault, but he shouldn't do anything which could
make things more painful, lest he get the blame, and nasty electoral
repercussions could happen in 2020.


MEM

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Note for My Followers on the Tea Party Community's Website

To my friends who follow me on the Tea Party Community website,
I want to inform you that in recent weeks I have encountered some
technical problems that have prevented me from accessing the site,
so I couldn't always inform you of my latest postings on this blog. I've
no idea if it is the computer system at this one local library whose
computers your favorite Peasant uses, or if it is a web-wide problem.
So this is why I haven't always been able to inform you of my
latest offerings during this time.

I still haven't any idea what is causing this difficulty, so I am
letting you know that you can still follow The Peasant by looking
for my posting announcements on Twitter (@markeminor5)
and on Facebook (Mark Minor). For those of you who are not
on either of these social media sites, try entering "Peasant With
A Pitchfork" (minus the quotation marks) into your favorite search
engines and your browsers to see if you can access the TPC site
and with it my page. You can still access this blog if you click
on my notices of my past offerings on Twitter and Facebook,
and you'll be taken to the notices of whatever I recently posted.
If you can reach me via the Tea Party Community page, then
maybe the problem has been either cleared up or it has eased up
for a little while. The latter has sometimes occurred, though it has
so far never been a lasting condition.

I do apologize for this nuisance, and hope it will soon be permanently
rectified. I shall keep you posted. Thank you for your understanding
and your ongoing readership!


MEM

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My, How Times (and Attitudes) Change

Your favorite Peasant recently came across an excerpt from
a U.S. Senate floor speech given by Sen. Elizabeth Warren
(D-MA) on November 13, 2013, regarding Republicans
implementing the filibuster in opposition to then-President
Obama's nominees to federal district and appellate court seats.
Gee, isn't it funny how the Dem's mind changes on certain things
when the White House changes hands! These are the words
of Senator Warren, published in The Wall Street Journal 
in that newspaper's April 1-2, 2017 weekend edition:

"We need to call out these filibusters for what they are ---
naked attempts to nullify the results of the elections of the last
presidential election, to force us to govern as though President
Obama had not won the 2012 election ... If Republicans
continue to filibuster these highly qualified nominees for no
reason other than to nullify the President's constitutional
authority, then Senators not only have the right ... but ...
a duty to change the filibuster rules.

"We cannot turn our back on the Constitution. We cannot
abdicate our oath of office. We have a responsibility to protect
and defend our democracy, and that includes protecting the
neutrality of our courts and preserving the constitutional
power of the President to nominate highly qualified people
to court vacancies."

Contrast these words to how Senator Warren and her fellow
Democrats in the Senate behaved when new President
Donald Trump began choosing nominees for court
vacancies, most notably the U.S. Supreme Court seat
vacated with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Happily, the Republican senators were able to stop
their filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch, who has the
most impressive qualifications and overall legal background
for being a Supreme Court justice since the late Judge
Robert Bork (remember him, and what the Democrats did
to both his nomination and his reputation?). So where was
Senator Warren's outrage when her fellow senate Democrats
did the same thing in an attempt to derail Judge Gorsuch?
For one thing, the Massachusetts senator worked and voted
with her colleagues on her side of the aisle to so derail
Trump's SCOTUS pick!

So much for Senator Warren's concern for the Constitution,
its provisions for the POTUS, our democracy (note to the
Senator: our government is not a democracy but a constitu-
tional republic. Check it out!), and the neutrality of our courts.
And it seems that she pays no mind to the results of the 2016
election either.

In closing, have a look at the way that the Republicans have
voted regarding the acceptance or rejection of President
Obama's nominees to the Supreme Court. Just for kicks,
go back to their votes on President Bill Clinton's choices.
They were more accommodating to these Democrat
presidents and their SCOTUS picks than their Democrat
counterparts have been to President Trump and his choice
of Judge Gorsuch, and going back, their votes on the picks
of both President Bushes and President Ronald Reagan.
The Republicans acknowledged the will of the electorate
in electing Democrat presidents and seeing them nominate
their people much more than have the Democrats in
considering the people favored by Republican presidents.
The Republicans focused on the education, the philosophies,
and the experience of the Democrat nominees; the Democrats
focused on the fact that the GOP presidents' choices were just
that --- the GOP presidents' choices for our top court, and the hell
with the results of the last presidential election, which clearly
demonstrated which direction the people wanted to go in,
giving the Dems conniptions.

Gee, isn't it funny?


MEM




Thursday, June 29, 2017

Independence Day is Here!

Friends, when you enjoy your Independence Day
(Fourth of July) celebrations, please take a moment
to reflect on the brave, patriotic Americans past
and present who made our great, free, and wonderful
country possible, and have kept it that way through
these past 241 years. Also reflect on how frighteningly
close we came to losing everything to the ever-present
left-wing cabal seeking to take our precious country
further down the dark and foreboding road to
totalitarianism in last year's presidential election.

We have much to be grateful for as we celebrate
the United States' birthday! Let us pray for her and
give thanks for her remaining a beacon of freedom
and hope for a troubled world. Now, let's have a
grand 4th of July picnic and watch some fireworks!
Please pass the hot dogs and save some potato salad
for your favorite Peasant!


MEM

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Left's Derangement Syndrome

My wonderful readers, the political atmosphere in these
United States has become absolutely toxic, the political
rhetoric has become downright hateful, and violent behavior
is becoming the order (disorder?) of the day. And we have
the Left to thank for it all.

Last week your faithful Peasant made mention of the assas-
ination attempt on House Majority Whip Steven Scalise when
he was at a team practice in Alexandria, Virginia to get ready
for the annual Congressional baseball game between teams
of Democrats and Republicans, a game that is supposed to
lessen political tensions between the elected representatives
from both parties and to raise money for charity. The gunman
was a Bernie Sanders supporter and campaign volunteer from
Belleville, Illinois, who traveled all the way to the Washington
D.C. area with a list of Republican members of Congress in
his pocket. It seems pretty obvious what the purpose for the
list was, given his actions in Alexandria. Moreover, he had been
very vocal about his fierce hatred for President Donald Trump
and the Republican Party, with the recent presidential election's
results being more than his fevered mind could handle. A
deeply left-wing activist, he had been calling for an even more
progressive tax schedule, and was a staunch supporter of
labor unions.

The people back in Belleville who knew the gunman expressed
shock and disbelief over the news of what he had done; the
former mayor of Alexandria, Bill Euille, told the Washington Post
that he had spoken with him nearly every morning when they
saw each other at the local YMCA, nearby the ballpark where
the shooting took place. The gunman had been in town for several
days before committing his heinous crime, shooting the congressman
and three other people, one of whom was a Washington police
officer assigned to guard Rep. Scalise. All victims as of this posting
are alive and being treated for their wounds, with Rep. Scalise's
condition having been upgraded from critical to serious.

Now, in the days and months since the inauguration of President
Trump the Left has become even more unhinged than they had
previously been; witness the march in Washington by the radical
feminists wearing caps resembling vaginas, the speeches made by
show biz libs Madonna and Ashley Judd, the former stating that
she had a wish to "blow up the White House" and F-bombing
the "detractors" of the march and its participants, just this for a start.
Add to the mix still more hateful, violence-flavored rhetoric from
other left-wingers in Hollywood and Broadway, the mean-spirited
"humor" from late night talk show hosts and other alleged comedians,
the incessant calls for the impeachment of President Trump from
Democrat members of Congress (never mind the fact that the president
has not committed any impeachable offenses, nor has he committed
any offenses, period!), and some deranged lunatics in the ranks of the
Far Left absorb this vile bile, then someone acts on these vicious,
violent sentiments. This explains the would-be assassin from Illinois
and his actions in Alexandria.

I can't say that I am surprised by this ugly turn of events, as someone
who has observed the Left for many years. They always accuse their
enemies, the conservatives, of saying what they say, doing what they
do, and being what they are. They would have you, and in fact demand
you believe that the conservatives are the uncivil, unhinged, vicious,
racist, misogynistic, homophobic bullies.  But consider: we conser-
vatives made no hateful remarks about President Obama or his family
when he was in the White House, nor were we the ones who advocated
blowing up the White House; we weren't the ones who formed groups
to "resist" the president when we had a president from the other party;
we weren't the ones who exhorted for the stoning of elected officials
from the opposing party; we weren't the ones who called for raping any
women from the opposing party; we weren't the ones who hurled racist
epithets at black people in the other party, nor sexist and misogynistic
slurs at various women from the other party. And we sure as hell didn't
make any death threats against anyone from the other party or
ideology. Rather, the Left had done all of these things to our people,
and are stepping up their evil behavior, as witnessed in the shooting
of Rep. Scalise. MSNBC recently asked on their network "Do we
HAVE to feel bad about Steve Scalise?", and they along with other
voices on the Left intoned that the House Majority Whip brought the
shooting upon himself (!). The lefties are not only the real bullies,
they also blame their victims for their situations.

This is not unlike a battle in which one side takes peashooters and
slingshots to the battlefield while the other side brings machine
guns, flamethrowers, and howitzers to the fray. We conservatives
have always prided ourselves on combating the liberals and others
on the left side of the political divide with respectful debate, logic,
employing logic and facts. We have left the ad hominem attacks
and the rancor to the left-wingers, feeling sorry for them since they
don't have logic and facts in their arsenal and therefore feel the need
to take the low road when we engage in battle. But in the wake
of the shooting of Rep. Scalise, we must not show such for our
lefty foes, for they do not deserve any sympathy; they are taking
our country down a dark path which leads to the experiences of
other countries where base passions drown out comity, and
to be outspoken is to wear a target on your back. The Democrats
and the Left in general are not like their forerunners from 50 years
ago, nor 40, nor 25, nor even 10; these people (and I use this term
loosely) are totalitarians. They will never acknowledge defeat,
even when decisively defeated in a national election as what
happened last November; they won't listen to any differing voices
with differing ideas. This bunch perceive their political opponents
as the enemy army on a battlefield, and attempt to destroy them by
demonization, discrediting, slander and libel, and now bullets.

Senator Sanders, to his credit, publicly condemned the shooting and
the shooter, sorrowfully acknowledging the gunman's having been
one of his presidential campaign volunteers. This was most gratifying,
coming from the most left-leaning major political figure in the country.
Sanders also wished Rep. Scalise a full and speedy recovery. Let us
fervently hope against hope that others on the Left follow their
hero's example and follow suit, going further by renouncing gross
incivility and embracing clean, honest, respectful, civil and open
debate and discourse.

Otherwise we shall be in danger of having a second civil war, one
that will make the one in the 1860s look like a children's pillow
fight.


MEM







Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Tragedy in Virginia

With the increasing fever pitch on our nation's political scene,
your concerned Peasant has been worried about the accompanying
increase in violence between the partisans on both sides of the
political divide. Now a member of Congress has been shot while
preparing to play in Congress' traditional annual baseball game
pitting Democrats and Republicans for fun and for charity.
While engaging in a team practice at a field in Alexandria,
Virginia, House Majority Whip Steven Scalise was shot in the
hip by a gunman who also shot several other people before police
shot him dead. What is known about the gunman at the present
time is that he is a Bernie Sanders volunteer, having helped on
Sanders' unsuccessful presidential campaign, and has been
a member of some rather controversial left-wing political
groups. Moreover, he had a history of scrapes with the law
which included domestic abuse and aiding damage to a motor
vehicle. And he was allegedly distraught over Donald Trump
winning last year's presidential election, with the Republicans
also doing well in the Congressional and state races, so he
traveled from his home in Belleville, Illinois, to the Washington
D.C. area to vent his frustrations on Capitol Hill Republicans
with a gun.

I want to take the time to address this horrible event in the way
it needs to be addressed, but time is not proving generous today.
So, I shall do so next week, when I can more easily set aside
a block of time to do justice to this terrible act. Meanwhile,
please keep Rep. Scalise and his family in your prayers as he
is fighting for his life; he has had two operations just to stop
the internal bleeding, and faces more surgeries to repair his hip
and some internal organs. I have been praying the rosary for
them. Thank you and God bless. God be with Rep. Scalise
and the other victims.


MEM



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Roger Ailes, R.I.P.

Sometimes a person comes along who makes such a great impact
on a field of endeavor that the both the field and society, are never
again the same. Roger Ailes was just such a person, having created
FOX News, the news network that gave television viewers an
alternative source for their TV news which did not have a left-
wing tilt, a place to turn for a fresh perspective on the news of
the day. A Republican operative for many years beforehand,
Ailes saw the potential which television had for the GOP to
overcome the establishment broadcast media cartel with its
Dan Rathers, Tom Brokaws, Peter Jenningses, and Sam
Donaldsons delivering only what the establishment wanted the
public to hear. As an aide to President Richard Nixon, Ailes
wrote a 300-page memorandum titled "A Plan for Putting the
GOP on TV News", in which he detailed his ideas which he
would implement for founding FOX News.

Along the way, he had encountered lots of adversity --- much of it
in the form of hate from the Left --- for upsetting their cartel
apple cart. But Ailes was a patriot who cared deeply for our
country and he wanted people to get different takes on the news,
especially American political news in order to make well-informed
political decisions, especially at election time. In this instance Roger
Ailes was a liberator as well as a pioneer in the national media.

In his later years Ailes had been accused by some of the female
staff at FOX of sexual harassment;  He claimed that the first such
action was taken by one of FOX's news show hosts because she
was angry about not having her contract with FOX renewed.
However, five more women at FOX filed suits of their own
making the same complaints, and FOX paid one woman a
$1 million out of court settlement. Your diligent Peasant does
not have all the information concerning this serious matter,
but will posit that if Ailes were innocent of the charges made,
he and FOX would have fought them, telling the complainants
to do their worst in court, and Ailes would never have resigned
from the organization he founded. Having followed similar stories
over the years, I would have to say that a blameless person could,
and should, fight with all they've got any attempts to besmirch
his good name and reputation, for these are the most valuable
possessions that any one of us have in life. In the wake of
Roger Ailes' passing on May 18, I shall hold out hope for
Ailes to be cleared and vindicated so that he shall be remembered
in a positive light, remembered for his considerable contributions
to news broadcasting and to our national political discourse
rather than for some alleged instances of poor judgement and
resultant misbehavior. Rest in Peace.


MEM

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Study in Contrasts

Your favorite Peasant had a wonderful, and rather interesting
Memorial Day.

Every Memorial Day I head over to Elm Grove, a lovely and
charming village which I have loved since boyhood. Living
in nearby New Berlin and later Brookfield, and having attended
high school with a few chums from The Grove, as the locals call
their quaint community, I discovered their wonderful Memorial
Day parade and except for the years that I lived out of state I have
attended this parade every year. The usual features of such a parade
are always present ---  marching military honor guards, local celebrities
and politicians, beauty pageant queens, and decorated military
heroes riding in classic cars; floats with bands playing, students from
a local martial arts dojo, members of a village gardening club,
staff from the village library and such; the village police and
firefighters in their respective vehicles; some villagers walking
their dogs, both clad in red, white and blue decor for the occasion,
and clowns doing delightful stunts. But this year, the parade had
an entrant that they never before had, at least to my memory.
And they certainly stood out!

The Waukesha County Democratic Party sent a contingent to march
in Elm Grove's Memorial Day parade. They marched right down
the main street of rock-ribbed, unabashed, proudly conservative
Elm Grove, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by God-knows-
how-many to one.

No blarney, about fifteen members of their party marched with their
party banner, nearly every one of them carrying an American flag,
some also carrying signs which said things like "patriotism" and
"veterans". And the crowd became very silent. Everyone just
quietly and respectfully watched as the Dems marched by. No one
yelled any obscenities, any threats, any slurs of any kind; no one
threw garbage; no one charged at them to assault them; no one
so much as gave them the finger. Everyone was very polite.
All of this in this bastion of conservatism and small-town values
and virtues, a community which would give a lefty anything from
conniptions to apoplexy.

Now contrast this to the events in places like Berkely, where on
separate occasions conservative speakers were shouted down and
all but run off of the University of California Berkely campus,
and in one of these incidents left-wing students and other "activists"
rioted in the streets. They bragged afterward that they didn't allow
"fascists" to speak on their campus; and affirmed their visceral
hatred of President Donald Trump. In Portland, Oregon, Black
Lives Matter thugs teamed up with other radical groups and rag-tag
individual hooligans to force local Republican Party members and
elected officials from marching in an annual parade in which they
have always marched, with no problems of any kind, until
this year. The GOP folk were told that they would be physically
attacked by the left-wingers if they appeared in the parade, and
since they could not (or perhaps would not?) be guaranteed
safety by the city and its police, they cancelled their scheduled
appearances in the parade.

And your faithful Peasant can come up with more, many more,
such instances of leftist thugs silencing the people whose views
differ from their own, going so far as to threaten them with mayhem
if they appeared in their cities and on their college campuses.
This behavior from the people (I use this term VERY loosely!) who
boast of their supposed tolerance, inclusion, pluralism, and, yes,
love, while accusing conservatives and other non-lefties of
intolerance, exclusion, elitism, and hatred. I have asked this
question here on this blog before, and now ask it again; don't you
love it when the Left accuses we conservatives of behaving as they
do?

I think that these stories are perfectly illustrative and revealing as
to the true behavior of each side, and no more remains to be said.
This was certainly a most interesting, and instructive Memorial
Day for your observant Peasant; a tale of two ideologies and their
adherents.


MEM






Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Day Thoughts

Friends, Memorial Day is drawing near again.
On this day, as you enjoy picnics, cookouts,
visiting family and friends, going to the beach,
perhaps going to a Memorial Day parade near you,
always remember your fellow Americans, past and
present, who made our country, our freedom, and
this special day possible. Tell a vet, be he or she a
family member, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker,
or a vet selling poppies to raise money to help vets,
thank you for your service and sacrifice. For it was
their standing up to assume such staggering duties
that has made our lives so rich, so bright, so free.

Thus The Peasant thanks all our vets for all you've done
for our dear country. I for one am forever in your debt.
God bless!


MEM

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nat Hentoff, R.I.P.

Nat Hentoff was a ferocious champion of the First Amendment.
The political activist, journalist, author, jazz affecionado, pro-life
advocate, atheist, and liberal who often found common ground with
conservatives and libertarians, believed strongly in the right to
express oneself, no matter how unpopular, controversial, and
provocative one's opinions were. Hentoff defended people from
both sides of the political spectrum, pleasantly surprising and edifying
those on the right while confounding and dismaying those on the left.
A man of many talents, as well as many passions, Hentoff was
a true Renaissance Man in the realms of politics and the arts.

During his long life and career, Hentoff received many awards for
his work and his advocacy of civil liberties. Among the awards he
garnered were the American Bar Association (ABA) Silver Gavel
for his coverage of the law and criminal justice in his columns. He
was a columnist and was for over 50 years a staff writer of the
very left-wing newspaper The Village Voice. A firm opponent of
the death penalty, Hentoff was also vociferously opposed to abortion
on demand, further confounding as well as angering many on the left.
Hentoff stood for civil rights for all, regardless of color, creed, gender,
sexual orientation, already born or waiting to be born, with neither
compromise nor apology.

Hentoff was also on the advisory board of the Foundation for Indi-
vidual Rights in Education (FIRE), advocating for First Amendment
rights for students battling political correctness-grounded speech codes
on campuses. He could not abide even the slightest restriction on
speech in our society, and detested censorship of both the spoken and
the written word, making many friends as well as enemies on both
sides of the political spectrum. But whether one loved Nat Hentoff
or loathed him, one couldn't help but  him for his scholarliness, his
determination, his rigorous examination of all of the facts, and his
balanced solutions to the disputes which he weighed in on.

Just a few days into 2017, Nat Hentoff took his rest from his tireless
advocational work which he dedicated most of his 91 years to. Rest
in peace, Nat, and may you receive a most pleasant surprise upon
having shed this mortal coil!


MEM




Thursday, May 11, 2017

Oh Give Me a Home Where Uncle Sam Doesn't Roam ...

President Trump has recently undertaken the task of stopping
the grabbing and hoarding of land by the federal government.
He has begun by ordering a review of national monument
designations with this purpose in mind, to "end another
egregious use of government power" as he so aptly termed it.

His executive order directs the Interior Secretary to review all
national monuments of over 100,000 acres that have been
established since 1996. There is a federal law which limits
the size of national monuments to "the smallest area compatible
with the proper care and management of the objects to be
protected (the 1906 Antiquities Act)". The last two democrat
presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, stood this law on
its ear by establishing vast areas of land in order to block
resource development, such as timber, mining, farming and
ranching. They, in so doing, went against the wishes of the
local citizens, also running an end-around of environmental
review and public comment rules, both required in the public
land-use planning process.

Presidents may also reduce or expand the size of national
monuments; three past presidents have reduced Mount
Olympus, and just before leaving office President Obama
enlarged to nearly double the size of Cascade-Siskiyou
National Monument in Oregon just to impose further
restrictions on commercial timber harvesting. Such acts
are one reason for the tough times our country's lumber
industry is undergoing.

Here, President Trump has a golden opportunity to advance his
two-pronged agenda of growing the economy and shrinking
the size and scope of the federal government. After listening
to the concerns of the local stakeholders who have been
elbowed aside by liberal presidents he can return to them the power
to determine the best use of these lands to them and promote
greater prosperity in the process. Your hopeful Peasant believes
that the president will follow through, given his course which
he has set for himself and his administration. Now that would
be power to the people!


MEM

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thoughts on President Trump's First 100 Days

Starting with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our presidents
have been graded for their performance in their initial 100 days,
this parcel of time having been that in which FDR had accom-
plished some of his major initiatives that he said he would do.
He of course went on to make many changes to the scope and
the functions of the federal government with his New Deal
programs during the recession of the 1930s. Ever since then,
the Rooseveltian benchmark has thus been the standard by which
all successive presidents have been judged for their hitting the
ground running once inaugurated. President Donald Trump has
not exactly been letting moss grow on his skin in his first hundred
days, the 100th day having been this past Saturday.

Here is but a partial list of the accomplishments of our 45th president
in this time frame:

*President Trump presented a tax reform proposal which, among other
things, would cut the top corporate tax rate from 35%, the highest such
rate in the entire world, to 15%. Such a rate will stanch the flow of U.S.
corporations moving some or all of their operations to countries with
lower rates of corporate taxation. This would, of course, keep U.S.
jobs in the U.S.

*Trump has begun discussions with the Canadian and Mexican
governments regarding renegotiating the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA). Many feel that this trade pact has been a far
better deal for Canada and Mexico than for the United States, among
them the president himself.

*Our 45th president became the first of our presidents since 1881 to
gain a Supreme Court nominee confirmation with the Senate giving
their yea to Judge Neil Gorsuch.

*He issued an executive order to establish a federal hiring freeze,
checking the growth of government in terms of employees.

*Trump gave his approval for the construction of the Keystone XL
and Dakota pipelines, both of which were stymied by President
Barack Obama, acting to placate his radical environmentalist
supporters. This move will help create more jobs in the private
sector. He also removed the crippling regulations Obama placed
on the coal industry, saving that industry and thousands of jobs
from eradication.

*The president also issued an executive order requiring that for
every new federal regulation created two regulations be eliminated.
A splendid way to eliminate extraneous red tape.

*Trump signed an executive order, "Enhancing Public Safety in the
Interior of the United States" to the Secretary of Homeland Security
and the U.S. Attorney General and their respective agencies to
increase the enforcement of immigration laws. The order contains
a proviso that "sanctuary jurisdictions", which include "sanctuary
cities" who do not comply with these laws will lose federal grants,
excepting those deemed necessary by the aforementioned officials
and their agencies.

*He also has requested an increase in defense spending, restoring
much of the cuts in same made by President Obama and the then-
Democrat controlled Congress, enabling our troops to better perform
their duties in the Middle East and Afghanistan among other needs.

Your greatly pleased Peasant could list many more accomplishments,
but time is not of such a generous disposition. I know, I was very
skeptical of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and thought that
if he got elected, he would not be able (or willing) to fulfill his many
boastful-sounding campaign promises. I have now been proven wrong
in my concerns regarding our president, and am overjoyed! President
Donald Trump may not be in the mold of the late, great conservative
president Ronald Reagan, but he is of a unique quality; a political
outsider, who had never run for even local office before, then runs
for and gets elected to the highest office in the land, bringing an
outsider's fresh view and sensibility to the job. President Trump just
might be the right person for this position at the right time, a time
when many people have had it with politics and politicians, the latter
making the former unpalatable with their pie crust promises, their
double-talking, their back-stabbing and backroom dealing, and of
course their interminable lies and hypocrisy. We as a nation could
use a fresh, new way of doing things in our governance, and Donald
Trump is providing that very way. Your grateful Peasant, admittedly
once a "Never Trumper", now stands with Trump and will continue
to do so as long as he stays his course.


MEM












Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wake Forest Needs to Wake Up

Brothers Charles and David Koch are billionaires,
businessmen, and philanthropists who are also
politically active. Their brand of politics is libertarian,
and they have espoused and supported many causes
and organizations on the right, and a few on the left.
And they have cheesed off many people on the latter
side of the political divide. Sometimes even the very
mention of their names are enough to send some
left-wingers into apoplectic fits of rage.

Your faithful Peasant shall relate one such instance.
just a couple of years ago at Wake Forest University in
North Carolina, one of their professors shared with the
administration an idea: establishing a center for the
study of happiness. James Otteson, a scholar of
classical philosophy, offered a rather unique
interdisciplinary approach with his idea. Plans for
the center were drawn up, with the purpose being
to draw scholars from across Wake Forest University
to study the political, economic, cultural, and moral
institutions which encourage happiness in people.
Named the Eudaimonia Institute, Aristotle's term
for flourishing, Otteson had high hopes of flourishment
for his institute.

None of this made so much as a ripple in the Wake Forest
pond. But wait! The University accepted $3.7 million
from the Charles Koch Foundation to financially support
the fledgling institute for a five year period. Waves
abounded, with the faculty senate forming two committees
to investigate Eudaimonia; one to report on Eudaimonia
itself, the other to study the university's policies regarding
The Koch Foundation's funding of same.

The first committee made a tidal wave of opposition,
exhorting Wake Forest to (and yes, they really put their
admonishment in capital letters!) "SEVER ALL CON-
NECTIONS TO THE CHARLES KOCH FOUNDATION"
--- a veritable tornado siren. The other committee proclaimed
that the foundation's "parasitical behavior" posed a threat to
the university's "academic integrity, financial autonomy, and
institutional governance". Really. This from a university
whose campus was built with the generous donations of
the family that has long owned and operated the R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Company (which make those evil cigarettes that the
libs allegedly despise!).

These guardians of liberal orthodoxy and catechism were just
getting warmed up. Committee number two then recommended
the cancelling of Eudaimonia's April conference, an indefinite
hiring freeze, and requiring that its publications be reviewed
by another faculty group ahead of their publication and distribution.

Now, such brouhahas over the Koch's money, often exacerbated (if
not in fact instigated by) the George Soros-funded campus organization
UnKoch My Campus, are not a new phenomenon. Faculty at
some other universities have complained bitterly about their
schools accepting money from the Kochs, but have no qualms
at all over accepting money from this leftist billionaire gadfly.
The United Negro College Fund was raked over the coals for its
acceptance of a $25 million monetary gift from the Koch boys.
Gee, isn't it interesting that many of Wake Forest's faculty
have visions of the Kochs turning their institution into
a Koch machine, dispensing free market ideas along with
arguments in favor of limited government, particularly in the
marketplace!

One may wonder what would they say if George Soros, the
leftist billionaire with many fingers in many pies worldwide
and yin to the Koch's yan, were the benefactor to Wake Forest
for Eudaimonia. or any other project on their campus? Your
skeptical Peasant will gladly bet the farm that they not only
wouldn't make a peep of protest, they would welcome the
totalitarian curmudgeon and his cash with open arms. So in
the meantime, in the words of Ana Iltis, a faculty adviser
to Eudaimonia, "In the name of academic freedom, they're
going to undermine it."

And the battle for the minds of the students at our country's
universities rages on, between the forces of free markets,
free academic inquiry, and free minds, and those of a closed
academic enviornment, with the aim of making a closed society,
where such things would be absolutely prohibited. Wake Forest
is but a battleground in this war, and its administration and faculty
must recognize their situation and decide which side they will
join.


MEM





Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Democrats Get a Dose of Their Own Medicine

Judge Neil Gorsuch, of late an appellate court judge and
nominee to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the
United States Supreme Court, has now been confirmed and
sworn in as the newest justice on the court. And the Repub-
licans used the Democrats' "Nuclear Option" ruse that then-
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid created to cut debate
and opposition to then-President Barack Obama's picks for
our highest court, as well as for government appointees.

Well, current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-KY) used the Democrats' weapon on them, and boy
are the Dems smarting as a result! With the electorate
chososing Republican Donald J. Trump to be the next president
and kept the Republicans in charge of both chambers of
Congress, they let it be known that they preferred to have
another conservative jurist succeed the departed Justice Scalia,
so as to keep SCOTUS'  delicate ideological balance in place,
rather than give the court a liberal tilt. With that, President
Trump sent Judge Gorsuch to the Congress for approval.
Sen. McConnell then cut off any possibility of  Democrat
filibusters by utilizing Sen. Reid's ploy, and Judge Gorsuch is
now Justice Gorsuch, the newest member of the highest court
in the land.

The Democrats' reaction? They're trying mightily to put any
kind of a negative spin on Neil Gorsuch's ascension, claiming
that the filibuster is some sort of sacred thing, and that Sen.
McConnell behaved in a dastardly fashion when he withheld
a vote on Judge Merrick Garland in the closing year of Obama's
presidency. In truth, McConnell acted so as to avoid the Democrats
putting the GOP into a box. The Dems bet that McConnell and
the Republicans would simply wave Garland through to stave off
the predicted President Hillary Clinton nominating someone
much farther to the left. McConnell took that bet, waited for
the 2016 election to see what the direction the people wanted for
the Supreme Court to go, and got a piggy-back win with Trump's
seemingly unlikely victory. Sen. McConnell showed, to the astonish-
ment of many (including your stunned Peasant) his newly discovered
spine and stood firm, holding his caucus together, breaking the
Democrats' filibuster. When the smoke cleared and the dust settled,
the Dems spewed a pitiful narrative about a "stolen" SCOTUS seat.
Sound familiar? Remember the 2000 presidential election which they
lost when the Supremes ordered a cessation of vote recounts in
Florida, resulting in George W. Bush winning the presidency in a
race which was rife with polling precinct and ballot box shenanigans
in several swing states perpetrated by the Democrats? Same old
song!

Current Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) also
whined about the politicizing of the process of picking a Supreme
Court justice. Well, Chuckie, this is nothing new! Your party
certainly politicized the 1987 nomination and hearings on the late
Judge Robert Bork, President Ronald Reagan's nominee for a
seat on the Court. Although, like with Justice Gorsuch, Judge Bork's
qualifications were impeccable and unimpeachable, the Dems
attacked and defeated Bork on politics alone. The Gorsuch hearings
supports the Senate's "advise and consent" role with a majority vote.
And if the Dems don't like it ---  and by all indications they evidently
don't --- they can stroll down to the Potomac River, find a short pier,
and take a long walk off of it! If they can't take their own medicine,
then they ought not prescribe it.


MEM








Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Warm Easter Wishes!

The Peasant wishes all of you, my dear and treasured readers,
a Happy Easter, with all of the joy of this special
day for you, your families, and your friends!

We'll get together again directly after the day, with more news
stories to pore over and to comment on. God Bless you all!


MEM

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

John Glenn, R.I.P.

Your apologetic Peasant is most regretful for not mentioning
the passing of Astronaut and United States Senator John Glenn
sooner. John Herschel Glenn Jr., who was also an engineer
and a decorated U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot who flew
missions in WWII and the Korean War, died on December 8
of last year, having attained the grand age of 95.

Born in Cambridge, Ohio, to a plumbing service firm owner
and a schoolteacher, Glenn studied engineering at Muskingum
(OH) College. For a credit in his physics class, Glenn earned a
private pilot's license, a portent of things to come for the then-
engineering student. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor,
bringing the country into the Second World War, Glenn quit
college, just short of graduation in order to enlist in the U.S.
Army Air Corps. Frustrated at never getting called to duty,
Glenn enlisted as a U.S. Navy aviation cadet three months
after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During his Navy training,
Glenn accepted an offer to transfer to the U.S. Marine Corps
to become a fighter pilot with that branch.

After serving in combat Glenn became a test pilot for the U.S.
Navy, and became an astronaut when the United States started
its space program. Glenn, then a colonel in the Marines, made
his famous flight aboard Friendship 7 in which he became the
first American to orbit the Earth, the third American in space,
and the fifth person in space. He became the latest testament to
the "can do" ethos of the American nation and its people;
the confidence possessed by her people that they can accomplish
any task, achieve any goal, and overcome any challenge as a nation.

During his 24 years of service as a United States senator from
his native Ohio, Glenn returned to space as a crew member of
the spaceship Discovery as its payload specialist. He was 77
at the time and became a hero again, this time to America's
seniors for his adventurous accomplishment. The "can-do"
ethos shone again with Senator Glenn as its shining star.
Glenn also ran for president in 1984,but lost his party's (Democrat)
nomination to former Vice President Walter Mondale.

In 1983, Glenn was portrayed as one of the Mercury 7  astronauts
that orbited Earth in the movie "The Right Stuff". It was a
tremendous honor which also made Glenn more of a real-life
hero in the eyes of many, rather than a comic book-esque
hero figure.

After an undisclosed illness, following a remarkably long and healthy
life of adventure, accomplishment and service, John Glenn
embarked upon the Ultimate Flight. Godspeed, sir. Your legacy
shall live for all time in our country's memory. You made us all
the more proud to be Americans.


MEM




Thursday, March 30, 2017

School Choice Gives More Bang for Less Bucks

Your Beertown-based Peasant doesn't like to brag ---
oh, yes he does, when it's about something that puts
the Left's nose out of joint! Milwaukee's landmark
voucher program is not just the talk of my town,
but is on the minds and tongues of much of the country.
Liberal politicians and activists adamantly opposed to
school choice contend that vouchers and charter schools
deprive traditional public schools of money, but the fact
is that these charter, or choice schools, typically spend
less money per student. Moreover, a recent study
conducted by WILL (Wisconsin Institute for Law and
Liberty), a nonprofit organization that advocates for
educational reform and limited government, discovered
that students participating in Milwaukee's voucher
program will provide the city, state, and children
nearly half a billion dollars in economic benefits through
2035 thanks to more students graduating and less
of them getting arrested and sentenced to prison or
juvenile hall.

Basing their study on data from a crime and graduation
study by Corey DeAngelis and Patrick Wolf at the
University of Arkansas, WILL's study finds that through
2035 Wisconsin will receive a $473 million benefit from
higher graduation rates by school choice students.
More and better education makes for higher incomes for
the students when they are ready to begin their careers,
more tax revenue for Wisconsin's treasury, and a less
likely need for welfare, food stamps, or other payments
from government social programs. No wonder so many
Democrats and left-wing activists are chewing their
fingernails down to their knuckles! In addition, the
resultant greater economic opportunity also takes away
the urge for young adults to turn to lives of crime, which
WILL's study estimates will save Wisconsin $1.7 million
from decreasing misdemeanors and $24 million from
waning felonies over the same time period.

If the lefties were really concerned about the plight of the
inner city children trapped in the deteriorating public
school system's inept and ineffective schools and their
futures, given their propensity to spend our tax monies like
drunks in a bar on social programs which only promote
dependency rather than independence and economic
opportunity you would think that they would jump at the
chance to support school choice. But then, their intransigence
speaks volumes about their agenda and their true priorities.


MEM

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Peasant Regroups

Friends, I need a bit of time off in order to take care
of some personal business as well as to have some
down time so I can refresh myself and be back with
you in good repair.

Meanwhile, enjoy this fine online publication:

Blabber Buzz     blabber.buzz/       

Don't worry; the site has a goofy name but it is
a wonderful conservative news site that delivers
the very latest in controversial political, entertainment,
and lifestyle news. Your favorite Peasant has been
enjoying this website for quite a while, and I think you
will too!

See you all shortly!


MEM

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Obamacare Continues to Slide Into Oblivion

When given the chance, many Americans will dodge and
have dodged ObamaCare's rules and limits. And who can
blame them.

The Affordable Health Care Act's mandates and regulations
are a big driver of higher health care costs. Happily, there are
health care plans that are not in compliance with the ACA's
rules that are very persistent. These rules were, of course,
created for two bad purposes: to make our nation's health
care industry serve politically progressive political goals,
and to squelch and minimize opposition from people who,
through this legislation, lost the health coverage that they
were quite satisfied with.

ObamaCare then "grandfathered" plans that existed before
March 23, 2010, when the legislation became law, making
this alternate coverage still legal as long as these insurers
made no major changes, such as decreasing benefits for
the policyholders. Then, in 2013, other plans in force that
year also were granted a regulatory commutation, so when
people were scheduled to be booted off of their non-Obama-
Care plans the regime waved through renewals. An extension
allowed these "grandmothered" plans to remain until 2017.

These plans are not required to comply with ObamaCare's
lofty "essential benefits" coverage floor, and are not required
to obey tight price controls which limit how much premiums
can differ based on pre-existing medical conditions. So, four
years into this health coverage program, over 8 million people
are still in these "grandfathered" and "grandmothered" plans.
Most of these plans are non-ObamaCare compliant, with
a majority of thus insured reporting satisfaction with their
plans, as opposed to those satisfied with their ACA plans.

So what we have here are a great many people opting out of
ObamaCare when given the chance. President Trump and the
GOP Congress should, with alacrity, deregulate this mess en
route to full repeal, ensuring Americans will retain the right
to upgrade to more generous benefits, while the ACA-banned
cheaper plans will have their ban lifted. These measures would
be wonderful first steps along the path to restoring a market-
based health care system, the likes of which we Americans
once enjoyed and was the envy of the world.


MEM


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Some People Can't Handle Democracy

Since the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as our
45th president and the installment of our still-
Republican Congress, the lefties have gone beyond
ballistic in their response to it all. Starting with
Inauguration Day they, in the parlance of their
hippie forebearers, "let it all hang out", man.
Your angered yet amused Peasant has some of the
gory details:

On Friday, January 20, what began as a morning of
peaceful protests along with coordinated disruptions
of the inauguration ceremony had degenerated into
street violence. At least three people were taken to
the hospital, two of them DC police, with injuries.
Black-clad self-proclaimed "antifascist" protesters
destroyed bus stops and smashed storefront windows,
including those of a Starbucks coffeehouse (didn't these
geniuses know that Starbucks was founded and is owned
by Howard Schultz, a fellow lefty?), as well as those of a
limousine and several police squad cars, along with
pelting the police with rocks. Some of them even showed
up at the ceremony itself and the inaugural ball, attempting
to block entrances to the events to keep Trump supporters
out. And these people claim to be the champions of
democracy, pluralism, and tolerance.

Similar protests took place in some other major U.S. cities
as well, including Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Chicago and
New York. There were, however, protests --- including
parades --- which were in fact peaceful throughout, but
very, very bizarre. One such rally had a pop star, Madonna
(yes, she's still around), swear at her and her fellow
protesters' detractors, spewing "F*** YOU!" repeatedly
at them. Actress Ashley Judd, I think she was at the same
rally, ranted about President Trump in connection with her
"bloody sheets" (a remark regarding her menstruation; no,
really! She meant EXACTLY that!) and that Trump's election
is somehow rape (honestly, you CAN'T make this stuff up!).
I could say more, but I want to be respectful of those of you,
my wonderful readers, whose stomachs may be rather delicate,
and those readers who may be youngsters. Oh, and there were
radical feminists marching in a parade wearing (no blarney!)
caps on their heads resembling vaginas (!), and some others were
wearing (wait for it!) vagina costumes (!!). Yes, these "ladies"
were dressed up as their own sex organs! Rush Limbaugh hit
the bull's eye when he said on his show, and he has said this many
times, that the Left is at their wackiest when they are out of
power. Judging from what has transpired around the country
with this bunch, I'd say that Rush's assessment of them is
spot on!

The left-wing festivities included many of the usual suspects in
attendance: the Black Lives Matter crowd; the "Greenies"; the
hard-core Marxists, be they in a political group or not;  radical
gender-rights groups who, among other things, advocate for
there to be no longer two gender-designated restrooms, as
they discriminate against transsexuals and ... you get the idea.
And a headache to boot. Your exasperated Peasant could use
a few aspirin tablets about now!

So as to save you, my hearty readers, further shock, disbelief,
nausea, and various pains in the head and the abdominal area,
I shall now close this post with a few parting thoughts:
The lefties, who have been lurching more and more leftward,
are now on a land rocket ride to even farther-left territory,
and their main organ the Democrat Party has moved along just
a wee bit behind them. In fact, some Democrat members of
Congress have publicly praised the protesters in Washington
and in the other aforementioned cities. In recent years, every time
the Democrats lose an election, be it at the state level or national,
now including the most recent presidential election, they
actually believe that the overriding reason they lost was that they
didn't go far enough to the left. Never mind the fact that We the
People have, in each of these elections, made our preference
clear for the politics and governance of constitutionally limited
government rather than those of an all-encompassing statist regimen.
But hey, let the Dems and their pals keep moving along their
chosen path to political Palookaville; for that is where they will
eventually end up if they fail to learn the lessons of their failed
campaigns, the most important one being that we don't want
totalitarianism to any degree, in any form. Personally, I don't
think that the Left is smart enough to figure this out.


MEM