February 21, 2016

When I was a child my two best friends were soil and water, otherwise known as mud.I could find it anywhere and I took it everywhere, much to my mother’s dismay.

Not a day went by during my childhood where I wasn’t playing, thinking about or collecting mud. I carried it in my pockets, in buckets, on my bicycle, in my shoes, my hat, in my wagon and in my backpack. I used it to build roads, towns and airstrips for my G.I. Joe encampments that were under constant siege by my Star Wars armies. I used mud to build foxholes and forts all over the neighborhood and mud was used as ammunition during turf wars. I even used it as girl repellant, though these days I look for the ladies who prefer it.

Yes, mud was the Swiss army knife of toys growing up because it was everywhere; it was free and powered by my imagination it could be just about anything. Ah, those were the days. But times have changed, even for mud.

A few days ago I paced up and down the aisles of a local big box store to see if I could find any video games celebrating my childhood pal, mud. There were games for everything else, for sure. Games that pitted boys against dragons, robots against monkeys, demons against frogs and any and every sport you could ever want to play. Still, there wasn’t a single game that took a boy, his shovel and a field full of honest to goodness mud on an adventure.

Nowadays, mud and even its dry cousin, plain old dirt, are shunned by our youth. The once noble grit of greatness is feared, if not loathed by children preoccupied with costly, hypnotic electronics. Mud, dirt and yes plain old water, are all enemies to many of today’s most popular toys because of the damage it can do to circuit boards, battery connections and electronic screens. Many of today’s youth see playing in the mud now the same way I viewed being stuck inside all day way back then. The irony astounds me.

OK Jay, we get it. You miss getting muddy as a kid. So what’s that got to do with conservation?

It has everything to do with conservation! You see, when we forget, when we ignore what we once loved it becomes all too easy for us to let it slip away. Trees, animals, friends and yes, mud. As a boy I always knew a few things like any good soldier of fun like my dog’s mood, the value of glass soda pop bottles, and where the best mud holes were. Now, the same mud I used to fortify my childhood with then is the same soil I see get washed, blown and eroded from our backyards, our rivers, streams, mountains and farms. Some friend I am, huh?

Friends, we have forgotten about our childhood friends, mud, dirt and water. Yet, they haven’t forgotten us. As adults we’ve even tried to suppress our childhood by labeling our dear old friends with stuffy adult sounding names like soil and sediment. We dread it in our lives scrubbing it from our shoes, our rugs, our jeans and our cars. We’ve forgotten.

Dirt, I mean, soil conservation is so much more than a scientist’s quest to keep trees fed, animals burrowed and fields fertile. I feel it is every adult’s childhood contract with Mother Nature to make sure our children and our children’s children will know the joys of muddy shoes, dirt clog fights, imaginary forts and yes the occasional repellant. As adults, it’s not enough we simply keep mud around like we did as children. We have to keep it clean, wholesome and plentiful so all our children have to fear from mud is their mother’s wrath as they track it through the house.

So, how do we do it? How do we protect mud? It starts with remembering how much it meant to us then and how much we need it now. Mud isn’t just a childhood toy. It is the very cradle of our existence where most life begins. It nurtures our plants, animals and our imagination as only mud can. We must treat mud as we should any good friend, with respect, with kindness and with loyalty. This means we don’t contaminate it with pollutants. We don’t ruin mud’s sidekick, water, with oil, grease, grime and other crud. We don’t let others bully our friends so we need to make sure our neighbors treat mud well too. Along with these tasks, I strongly recommend you grab your family and head out to your local muddy field and wallow in it like pigs. Get dirty. Make mom or dad test that fancy new washing machine. Show your children the joy of mud and let them find the friendships you did. Who knows, they may even discover their imagination never needed batteries. It just needed a little soil, water and time.


February 21, 2016

Trump won South Carolina, a supposedly conservative Christian state, by a wide margin tonight. 
A few quick reactions:
– Don’t rationalize this. He didn’t win because of Democrats. The man won Evangelicals. The man who — JUST THIS WEEK — praised Planned Parenthood, and who fishes for applause lines by cussing out his competitors and mocking disabled people, and who can’t name a book in the Bible, and who said he doesn’t need forgiveness from God, and who brags about sleeping with married women, and who said he’d love to date his own daughter because she has a hot body, and who supported the murder of fully developed infant children, and who blatantly lies and then lies again about lying, and who has encapsulated literally the exact opposite of anything that could remotely be considered a “Christian value,” won with the indispensable assistance of Christians. The anger I feel towards those Christians in this moment cannot be put into words. They should be ashamed. I will pray for them.
– Speaking of winning conservatives, Trump — JUST THIS WEEK — said he likes the Obamacare mandate. This was, according to conservatives, the most important thing to defeat not but two years ago. Now some of those same conservatives are voting for a big government liberal who says he supports the very thing these very people were sure would undo the Republic just a few months ago.
– If Trump wins the nomination, conservatism in this country is officially dead, and the country itself will be close behind it. 
– Speaking of the country’s demise, Trump fans are gleefully ushering in tyranny. I am tired of hearing about their “anger.” They claim they are angry at the very thing they now embrace. They aren’t angry. They’re bored. They’re immature. They’re infatuated with celebrity and fame and money. They aren’t angry. I’m angry about what they are doing to my nation. The rest of us can be angry, but these people have lost the right to have their anger taken seriously.  
– I don’t want to hear about second place consolation prizes. If Cruz or Rubio can’t win South Carolina, it may be time to panic. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Deal with the reality, folks. 
– According to exit polls, Trump fans don’t necessarily think he’s electable and they don’t believe he shares their values, but “they want change.” Dear God, we are really doing 2008 all over again. People voting for ambiguous, non-specific change in spite of the avalanche of red flags. We are really doing this again. I am so disgusted at the stupidity in this country.  
– Bush should be commended for dropping out. He’s an honorable and decent man, although I didn’t support him. The others in the bottom tier, should they stay in, will be doing potentially irreparable harm to this country and my children’s future. And that is something I will struggle to forgive. 
– Get on your knees and pray for this country tonight. Right now. I feel we are on the cusp of something terrible. Pray we avoid it.
-Matt Walsh

HS and Cruz

February 8, 2016

The concern many homeschool parents have with Senator Cruz can be summed up in this quote by C. S. Lewis:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
We don’t accuse you of hating homeschoolers, Senator Cruz. It’s actually the opposite. We worry that you want to “help” us a little too much.
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” – Ronald Reagan

Blame Game

February 7, 2016

The Far-Left bible of blame:

On Healthcare – “The insurance companies did it.”

On the Struggling Economy – “Bush did it.”

On the Public Education Crisis – “Parents did it.”

On Radical Islamic Terror – “White Christians did it.”

On Global Instability – “U.S. imperialism did it.”

On Poverty – “Free markets did it.”

On the Business Cycle – “Greed did it.”

On the Housing Crisis – “The banks did it.”

On the Lack of Neighborhood Diversity – “Racism did it.”

On too much Neighborhood Diversity – “Gentrification did it.”

On Violence – “The gun did it.”

Are you sensing a pattern here? If you are even remotely intellectually curious you will come to learn that the origins of most of these problems is in far-left, collectivist ideology.
The reality is, the left did it. Because socialism provides easy answers for people too intellectually lazy to consider the questions.



February 6, 2016

How to Really Know Your Daughter

It was a real revelation to me that I could pursue a relationship with my daughters by dating them.

By Greg Wright


I’m not exactly a bejeweled kind of guy. Yet I wear this woven thing around my wrist. My eldest daughter made it about a year ago, and when she gave it to me, I thought, Oh, that’s sweet, but nothing too unusual—Tori’s a thoughtful girl, and we have that kind of relationship.
But as it turns out, this wasn’t any ole object d’art she created. I guess you could say it was a form of show-and-tell for high school that’s still telling. It was part of an oral report assignment, which was to write an essay about the meaning of a best friend, and she said I was the only one in her life who fit all of the criteria. When she told me what it represented, I was moved to tears.
“Really?” Wow.
Yep, this true blue Southern boy wears a bracelet. Whenever I wonder if I’m on the right dad-track, it’s right there for inspiration and encouragement. That bracelet will have to rot off of me.
The details are hazy about that conversation, but I clearly remember saying to my daughter at the time, “Gee, you have a million friends. Why did you pick me?” Tori looked at me like I was just plain silly. “Daddy, of course you’re my best friend. I can talk to you about anything.”
That just blew me away, and I now realize that this is a core concept for me as a father. Knowing a daughter—really knowing her—won’t happen just by going to her soccer practice, no matter how many high-fives and “good jobs” you give her. Pursuing a relationship with your daughter is a conscious choice, and it takes energy and imagination, and (there’s no way around this) the willingness to deal with messy emotions and questionable logic.
It doesn’t mean you’ll always want to do it or that it will be easy. But it is achievable, and you can learn how to observe the ups and downs in the relationship without getting seasick. And more than that, it’s totally worth it.
Intentional pursuit
Pursuing a daughter with the goal of getting to know what’s in her heart and mind is how you will bond with her, build her confidence, and find happiness … for both of you.
My payoff is that I have the kind of relationship with my teenage daughters that other dads envy. I have a blast with my girls, and we’re super close, but trust me, I’m no pushover. (Well, not always.) Do they mess up? Sure. Do I mess up? All the time. But I have their love and respect, and our teens are eager participants in family life. They’re not perfect (and neither am I), but we’re connected. Like superglue.
Now, by “pursuit” I’m not talking about chasing your little princess, spoiling her, or giving in to endless wishes and whims. I’m talking about making the effort to understand your kid, because that way, as she evolves and navigates the teen years, you will be able to follow where she’s going mentally and keep her grounded so she’ll be self-confident and less susceptible to losers, scammers, and avoidable disasters when she’s out on her own.
She’ll turn to you when she needs a strong shoulder until she gets married, and she’ll actually want to be around the old man later on.
That’s what we all want for our girls, right?
Let’s get something straight, though. When you intentionally pursue how a girl thinks about things, it usually means how she feels. That’s where it’s a little different from being with a son, where you can sit there with a hot dog, watch a ballgame, yell at strangers, say little to each other, and still have a bonding experience. Girls? Nope. If Dad wants to get close and know how his daughter feels about a movie, a sport, a teacher, a trip, the big cosmic question “to diet or not to diet,” or—heaven forbid—a boy, then there’s only one way to accomplish that. You have to talk. And listen.
That one insight—that I wanted to pursue knowing my daughters—was the lightning bolt ah-ha moment. And then I came up with a strategy: Dust off the old dating skills and put them back into action, but this time for a different purpose.
Pursue daughter-knowing by dating them. Yeah, that’s the ticket.