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-
--- 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

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


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

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.


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!


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.