Thursday, February 23, 2017

Alan Colmes, R.I.P.

A well-known and respected (on both sides of the political
divide) political commentator on television and radio
for many years, Alan Colmes, passed away after a brief
illness on February 23, aged 66.

A stand-up comedian as a young man, Colmes gravitated to
the media and the news for his career path. A staunch and
unapologetic liberal, Colmes could advocate for his political
beliefs and his favored candidates without being boorish
or bullying. He made as many friends among conservatives
as he had among his fellow liberals; one conservative friend
was television and radio talk show host Sean Hannity, with
whom Colmes made up the Fox TV news commentary duo
Hannity & Colmes. Although the two had spirited debates
on the political issues of the day, they always had the utmost
respect and admiration for each other, and were very close
friends. They maintained offices next door to each other at
the Fox TV studio right up until Colmes' untimely demise.
Hannity stated that Colmes was "one of life's most decent,
kind and wonderful people you'd ever want to meet."
Colmes once even went so far as to publically urge the
Democrats to spend less time attacking the Right, in the
2012 campaign season, to instead be positive and to share
specifics about their own plan for the country. Colmes
also said that they had to get better at messaging, because he
saw the Republicans doing a bettr job at it (which, your surprised
Peasant admits, is not what I saw and remember from that
election!). He could be as unsparing in his criticism of his
fellow Democrats and liberals as he was of the Republicans
and conservatives, for he wanted to see campaigns be conducted
to inform people more fully and to frustarte them much less.
In this way, Colmes advocated for the public to benefit from
their electoral experience in our elections, for the country would
so benefit.

Colmes' wife, Jocelyn Crowley issued a statement in tribute:
"He was a great guy, brilliant, hysterical, and moral. He was
fiercely loyal, and the only thing he loved more than his work
was his (family) life. He will be missed."

Other friends and colleagues paid tribute and respects:

Brit Hume: "So sad to hear of the death of Fox News colleague
Alan Colmes. He and I agreed on little, but I liked him immensely."

Megyn Kelly: "Heartbroken my friend Alan Colmes has died.
He lit up the Fox News Channel halls with his kindness and
humor ... prayers for his family."

Gov. Mike Huckabee: "Just heard of the death of Alan Colmes;
the kind of liberal I loved --- smart, witty and fair, never backed
up, but always backed up his views. RIP."

Ann Coulter: "WHAT? Alan Colmes passed away? Noooooooooooo!
Very sad. He was a good guy. Always surprised people that way."

And your faithful Peasant says: Alan Colmes was the sort of liberal
I would love to meet for a good, honest, clean political discussion,
a rarity these days. I feel sorrowful over never having had the
opportunity to meet Colmes, and I shall pray for him, his family,
and his friends and colleagues. God rest you, Alan Colmes. You
left our political scene a far better place, and you will be difficult
to replace. Rest in peace.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cyber Protection Arrives!

Both now ex-Presindet Obama and Congress have gotten
serious about cyber attacks toward the conclusion of the
former's final term. The Senate passed Senate Bill 754
On October 27, 2015, after an earlier, similar bill passed
the House that April. The bill's official name is
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015.
Your pleasantly dumbfounded Peasant confesses to only
just now learning of this important and very necessary
legislation and its becoming federal law!

S.754 requires that the Director of National Intelligence
and the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense,
and Justice develop procedures to share cybersecurity
threat information with private entities such as businesses,
non-federal governmental agencies, state, local, and tribal
governments, the public, and entities under threats.

This took so long in the making, because the Democrats
blocked a bipartisan bill when they held the Senate and
President Obama insisted upon imposing costly new
cybersecurity mandates on businesses. With the Senate
takeover by the Republicans in 2014, coupled with high-
profile attacks on Sony, Home Depot, and the Office of
Personnel Management, progress was then made on
passage of the legislation. The Democrats, having seen
reason, decided to compromise and helped with its passage.

The purpose of the bill is to let private businesses share
information with each other, as well as with the government,
for the purpose of uniting to combat an escalating and ever-
evolving cyber threat. As hackers can, and do, strike with
lightening speed, real-time cooperation is vital. However,
some large tech firms, among them Apple and Twitter, claim
that the bill doesn't do enough to protect the privacy of
individual computer users and may allow broad powers
for the government to spy on individuals and organizations
who are online.

It must be pointed out, though, that although the government
makes mistakes (and some of them are prize foulups!), the
bigger threat to privacy is from domestic criminals and
foreign-government hackers. The bill does, as a matter of fact,
provides for penalties if Uncle Sam misuses the information.
Another provision states that before either side can share data,
any personal information that might impinge upon customer
privacy must be scrubbed.

Some of the tech giants aside, most American businesses
support the passage of this bill. President Obama even
signed the legislation (!) straightaway. The age of miracles
has not ceased! Your grateful Peasant heartily praises the
now-retired president for his signing this vital bill into law!
It will be a helpful law that will aid companies in protecting
their data from cyber crooks as well as bolster privacy
for individuals and organizations who access the internet.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Peasant Celebrates His Birthday

Friends, your another year older Peasant shall be celebrating
my birthday today, February 2, and will be taking today off.
I shall be with friends for most of the day in celebration.
After my reverie I shall return to you to tend to business
once again.

Oh, in case you're wondering, I am now 59 years young.

Meanwhile, here's a little treat for you:
A video of a Firing Line Show hosted by the late, great
William F. Buckley titled: "The Uses of the United Nation"
with the late U.S. Sen. Patrick Moynihan (D) of New York
as guest. These gentlemen always had stellar discussions of
the political issues of the day in their time. A classic piece of
political discourse!

The link for you:

You have my boundless gratitude!


The Way Forward for Our New President

Donald J. Trump has now been our president for nearly three
weeks, and he has hit the ground running. Right away he has
issued executive orders to undo those made by his unconstitutional
predecessor. A good start, to be sure. But President Trump
and the country have merely taken the first few steps together
on what will be a long, winding, and challenging journey.

For a start, Democrat party leaders are calling his election
illegitimate, and with it his presidency. Their pals in the
laughingly termed mainstream media are waiting like
vultures for Trump to make a misstep which will, if not
unravel his presidency, then at least cripple it, and therefore
his ability to govern. But these gathering dark clouds also
bear the silver lining of opportunity for our new president.
By working smoothly with Congress Trump can explode the
left-wingers' predictions of his giving rise to fascism and
other similar blather. In the process, President Trump can
give us tax reform, both for individuals and businesses,
refurbish our infrastructure, replace President Obama's
anything-but-affordable ACA with a truly affordable, market-
based health care program which will also give people more
variety of choices for coverage, and prosecute a faster, more
serious campaign against ISIS and their allies. His voters
will be not only satisfied, but pleased that their confidence
in candidate Trump is being rewarded by President Trump.

Our 45th president can also direct his economic efforts to
further policies which will heal and rebuild the American middle-
class, which was trashed by Obama's policies. Removing
Obama's barriers to growth which has hamstrung businesses
would make for more jobs, which would certainly help the
heretofore middle-class workers who lost their jobs due to
Obamanomics. If Trump lightens the yoke of regulation and
creates a more reasonable tax code, the middle-class will get its
life-saving healing. He must, however, abandon his fervor for
tariffs and embrace a pro-trade growth program in order to
open up markets for U.S. goods and widen existing markets
for same. When tariffs are enacted, the costs are always passed
along to the consumers when they buy the goods.

Tightening and preserving our borders are an imperative. A
nation that will not protect is borders will soon cease to be a
nation, and lawlessness and chaos would predominate; see
what has been happening in cities such as San Francisco
and Chicago whose municipal governments have declared
themselves "sanctuary cities", enabling illegal aliens, even
those with criminal histories, to reside in said cities free to
wreak havoc with the protection of these cities from ICE
(Immigration Customs and Enforcement). Trump has
promised to make these cities give up their sanctuary statuses
and follow federal immigration law regarding illegal aliens,
using as a cudgel the threat of withholding federal funds.
And Trump has promised to build a fence along the southern
border to prevent such aliens from sneaking over in the first

President Trump needs assistance in getting his initiatives
legislated into law. This means that he must work hand-in-
hand with Congress that, although both its chambers are
in Republican hands, has many members in the GOP that
still cast wary eyes on Trump. If he can soothe worries and,
in some cases, mend fences with them, Trump's presidency
could be a grand success. If not, the Democrats will happily
step back in. pick up the pieces, and pick up where Obama,
Pelosi and company left off in transforming our country into
a great big socialist backwater. He can do these things; all he
needs to do is to keep his cool and his sense of perspective
and proportion.

It's all in your hands, Mr. President. A supportive but watchful
nation awaits.