Lots of Excitement Lately

Wow! Am I ever behind on blogging. I am barely able to squeeze out one column a week right now, much less blog. I am not complaining, it is just that lots of stuff started happening all at once. All of it is exciting and good. One thing that I haven’t blogged about enough was my daughter married a wonderful young man. IMG_0955 After that, something exciting and scary came up that involves a writing opportunity but I can’t make that one public yet, but its a big deal for me and its very time consuming so prayers appreciated. More to come on that when I can.

Also, in there, Tracy and I went to the Ark Encounter. I wanted to do a stand alone blog on this trip but instead just ended up doing a bunch of facebook posts. Suffice it to say that it was very moving for me to visit and to physically see the ark. I highly recommend you plan a trip when you can.

Next, I traveled to Denver to attend the Red State Gathering. I met with lots of conservative politicians, delegates to the Republican Convention and just concerned citizens. I write about that trip here.

Katie Pavlich, Chief Editor at Townhall.com where I contribute holding a wallaby

Katie Pavlich, Chief Editor at Townhall.com where I contribute holding a wallaby

This is Katie Pavlich, Fox News Contributor and Editor at Townhall media cuddling a Wallaby. Yes, of course there was a Wallaby at the gathering. Why wouldn’t there be?

Senator Ben Sasse gave an excellent lecture on the Constitution

Senator Ben Sasse gave an excellent lecture on the Constitution

The hotel was a gorgeous setting for a conference. This was my view out the window as I waited for Senator Sasse to begin.



But perhaps the most inspirational speaker for me was Peggy Grande. She has a new book out about her years as personal assistant to President Reagan. Her talk was extremely interesting. She was so close to history being made. Buy her book. The photo’s she captured alone are worth it. But I couldn’t help but think how fascinating it would be to live that life, to see Margaret Thatcher and Reagan sit down and talk. IMG_0950Finally, the highlight for me was the Killer Nashville conference. It is so named because this conference focuses on Thrillers and crime fiction. There were 500 authors there. We were told at Orientation that we would be fortunate to get a single agent to ask to read our manuscript. There were no “Pitch Sessions” per say. Instead this conference used an author round table format that I liked very much. Ten authors got to meet for about 40 minutes with two agents. You got to request the agents you wanted and I was fortunate to get my first and second choices. You got to read your first two pages of your manuscript (and only two pages). The agents see so many writers work, they can make an assessment from those two pages. But you read in front of the whole group so it was a little nerve wracking. You had the option to use a reader that was in the room but since my story is in the voice of my grandpa, I chose to read it. I was so gratified that both agents were VERY complimentary of my writing and my story. Both asked to see the manuscript!! That was the best outcome I could have hoped for. I sent the manuscript via email as soon as I got home and yesterday my #1 most coveted agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group called me and we agreed he would become my new agent!! I notified the other agent today via email so that she wouldn’t use up her valuable time assessing my manuscript. I think this is a turning point for me as a novelist. Mark was the agent on a book that I often compare mine to. The book was originally titled “Wettest County in the World” but the title was changed to “Lawless” after the book became a major motion picture. I am VERY excited to be working with Mr. Gottlieb. I can tell he “gets” my story.

This only means that now I have a representative to call on publishers on my behalf. So it still may be some time before I get a publishing contract. I hope it happens within weeks but these things usually take longer than that.

In any case, it has been a whirlwind three weeks and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’ll still be writing columns and I love doing that too.




New Look to Blog

I changed the photos and background of my blog. I also rewrote the “About Me” page. I want to emphasize my fiction writing more here at the blog. I don’t want this site to only be a repository for my columns. I want it to be more about entertainment and story telling. Let me know what you think. I am doing some test posting to Facebook and Twitter today so don’t be annoyed if you see several posts in a row that may not say that much. IMG_1256

The Ghosts of Independence

The Ghosts of Independence

“Intrinsically it is but a barren, war-worn rock, hallowed as so many places are by death and disaster. Yet it symbolizes within itself that priceless, deathless thing, the honor of a nation. Until we claim again the ghastly remnants of its last gaunt garrison, we can but stand humble supplicants before Almighty God. There lies our Holy Grail.”
General Douglas MacArthur, upon the surrender of Corregidor and Bataan
There will be fireworks tonight. I’ll go out and enjoy them with my family as I have since my children were small. This year will be different, however. For the first time in my life, I will wonder what we are celebrating. We’re certainly not celebrating freedom or independence in the way our parents and grandparents knew it. After all, the entirety of our populace is currently ruled by four black robed, unelected, jurists who sometimes are often tyrannical. Most recently they passed down from on high that there is some mythical constitutional right that abortion must also include the risk of butchery (i.e. Kermit Gosnell) and that making the macabre procedure more sanitary and safe is somehow a violation of the Constitution. In the same week, these leftist activists refused to hear an important religious freedom case that prompted Justice Alito to write, “Those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.”
The quote above came after MacArthur was ordered to leave Corregidor and the collection of cooks, mechanics, pilots whose planes had been shot down, seamen whose ships had been sunk and some civilian volunteers who had served as his “infantry” in defense of Bataan. And what a defense it was. Dealing with daily torrential downpours, nearly impenetrable jungles, without food or medical supplies, they fended off 20,000 Nipponese troops while living off of roots, leaves and occasionally monkey meat. They waited for reinforcements that would never come…would never even be sent. After MacArthur’s quote above, as a reward for their valor, these fighting men would face the Bataan Death March.
This Independence Day I am haunted by the ghosts of the casualties of battles like Bataan, Valley Forge, Hamburger Hill, Omaha Beach, Fallujah and the Chosin Reservoir. I am haunted because I can’t help but think that they are furious with my generation. Would they have fought so viciously and sacrificially if they’d known that we would roll over and give up our freedom, without so much as a struggle?
MacArthur was referring to a rock…a piece of land, but more than that he was referring to the national honor that piece of land represented. Remember the sailors that were taken hostage last year in the Persian Gulf? This week the Navy held a press conference in which they stated that a loss of morale led these seamen and their commander to make a series of mistakes that led to their capture. Ultimately it led to the release of far more information than the Navy code of conduct permits. Is it any wonder that morale was low when the sailors’ humiliation was preceded by Obama’s agreement to pay Iran twelve billion dollars of taxpayer money, all while the GOP led Congress fiddled? Is the honor of this nation any less at stake when the international viewing of American sailors on their knees at gunpoint was followed by John Kerry giving thanks to Iran for the treatment of the sailors? How do we inspire young men and women to fight for freedom when they know full well that freedom is daily being ceded on the home front?
We as citizens thought getting more informed would be enough. We thought if we voted correctly things would turn around. But if this presidential race has taught us anything, it should have jolted us from our delusions. All the conservative think tanks we’ve donated to, the candidates we volunteered for, the columns we have written and read, the hours of talk radio we listened to, haven’t been enough. We are losing the Republic that the “Bastards of Bataan” fought to preserve. At first the Republic was chipped away in tiny pieces. Now it’s being smashed away in large chunks.
This election cycle, ending up with two horrible Presidential candidates (one of whom is probably a traitor) has convinced me that the old tactics have failed us. I no longer believe that helping get GOP candidates elected can save the country. The primaries are very nearly a rigged game, manipulated by those who have been in power a long time and wish to remain so (the establishment) at all costs. Likewise, the media and the GOP are only able to work together for a few weeks every couple of years, during primary season when they share a common enemy…conservatism.
A couple of weeks ago in this space I alluded to the need for individual acts of valor. I think that those acts must manifest themselves in some type of major push for state’s rights. I am not sure yet if that means an Article Five convention of the States, or merely states actually exercising their existing Tenth Amendment rights. Nine years ago, I had never written a political column. I wrote about matters of the Christian faith, the heart and stories to make people laugh. Around 2007 I decided to turn the focus of my writing toward the political. I wanted to play a small part in articulating a Christian/conservative worldview back into political discussions. At the same time I volunteered with my local GOP office, eventually working on a winning campaign team at the state level. It hasn’t been enough. We must do more. We must move more boldly. There are legal, non-violent means of redress at our disposal. We must pursue them.
How ironic that on this Independence Day, the empire that we once fought so desperately for our freedom, now provides us with precisely the example of courage we need. Brexit should be our model. True independence from the federal behemoth must be our goal. So this year, instead of letting the fireworks be a tribute to the ghost of independence that has passed away, I’ll let them be a celebration for a new birth of freedom yet to come. I hope you will too.

Defending Your Values in a Sea of The Absurd, full text

Something went wrong with the link to my column I posted last night. Several followers reported that they got a message that the security certificate was not recognized. Not sure what happened but I deleted the post. Rather than take a chance with the link, below find the full text of that column:

It’s kind of hard to catch your breath isn’t it? If you’re a Christian in this country, working hard, trying to maintain a Christian home, and show love, kindness and God’s grace to your fellow man, then over these past weeks you’ve not been allowed a moment of respite. That’s because the left never rests, never stops coming, never seems to tire of chipping away at the foundations of the west. But since the left bases everything they believe on the premise that everything we see in the universe originated from nothing (ex-nhilio) then they can’t help themselves. Since the foundation of their belief system is based on the absurd notion that everything sprang from nothing, then their arguments on more specific matters must always devolve into the absurd. This has always been the case, the reason things seem to be so much more topsy turvy these days is because now the left is in charge. The left now owns the courts, the executive branch, the universities, and the most of the culture.

Thus in only the past three weeks, around the water cooler, in the breakroom, or in the school cafeteria, you have been forced to actually debate the following:

  • Whether grown men should use the restroom with little girls.
  • If a child’s life is life is more valuable than a gorilla’s.
  • And whether or not your Scriptural views on marriage caused an Islamic extremist you never heard of prior to last week to abide by the teachings of his local mosque and slaughter people.

And those are only the top three from very recent history. Interacting with people of the extreme left has been a constant journey through the looking glass for generations. Nowhere is this more crystal clear than in the aftermath of the Orlando terror attack. Not only as bulleted above did the New York Times Editorial page blame Christians, none other than, Jenn Hatmaker, who apparently now in addition to being a humorist, sees herself as a theological and intellectual giant who is fit to make pronouncements for all of Christiandom, said Christians were complicit. Planned Parenthood blamed “toxic masculinity”. While there is no denying that Planned Parenthood knows as much as any entity in history about the slaughter of innocent human beings, their root cause analysis in this instance is downright ludicrous.

If you get drawn in to such conversations in which you may bravely be trying to defend your faith based views, keep one thing in mind, you do not owe anyone a justification of the obvious. You will drive yourself nuts attempting to do so. Take the NCAA as another example. They recently released a statement regarding North Carolina’s bathroom law (which law had to be passed to defend the obvious and age old standard that males use the men’s room and females use the ladies’ room). The NCAA insisted on an “open” bathroom policy because they said they wanted to “provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination”. Let that soak in a moment. In the view of this body made up of academics it is safer for little girls to be forced to enter public restrooms that can now be frequented by strange men than for those little girls to have the expectation of privacy. As Muggeridge once wrote, this is a classic example of these NCAA officials having “educated themselves into imbecility”.

None of this is to say that the tiny fraction of the population of people who actually have gender identity issues should not be treated with compassion. That too is obvious. But as the left always insists, just being compassionate and respectful isn’t enough. Instead the entirety of the rest of the 99.3% of the population must be made to bend to the will of the 0.7%. That’s because for the left this entire issue is not about compassion for the transgendered. Whether they realize it consciously or not the issue is being used as a chisel to damage the foundation of a civil society. The fact that mores relating to gender have withstood the test of all of human history seems to bother the left not at all.

One must understand where we have arrived in history. We now live in a culture where for the majority of the people the God of the Bible seems dead. Make no mistake, God is alive, sovereign and still on His throne. But the majority of the population rejects that truth. Thus, with no basis in objective truth as laid out in Scripture there is no basis to determine what is right and what is wrong. Thus the primary ethic of America and most of the world in 2016 is expediency. Whatever the whim of the culture happens to be at this brief moment in time is what is right. Tradition and moral absolutes that have withstood time’s test be damned.

The way for a Christian to face this reality is not by becoming mired down in debate with persons who do not even accept the most basic premises of western culture (Such as that man is made in the image of God and thus has much more value than an animal, or that God made us male and female.) Society must continue to operate on with these values in mind, when it does not, chaos will ensue. In the case of gender, though tragic exceptions derive from the fall, the whole of society cannot turn itself on its head to accommodate and embrace these exceptions. Rather than debate then, just keep living by them.

The people around us sense that something is dreadfully wrong in society even as they argue against these truths. In such a culture we have the opportunity for our lives, which are lived with full acknowledgement of these moral abosolutes, to be an active, ongoing testimony. We can’t win an argument with the absurd. But we can continue to live the God’s truth and allow that truth to be a beacon to lead others out of the chaos.

Commemorating WWII as We Lose WWIII

I wrote this column after a visit with my son to the National WWII Museum. A Quote from the column: Despite the emotions I felt that day of awe, wonder, abject sadness and horror, I left the museum with one overriding feeling that hasn’t left me even now, five days later…regret. I can’t stop asking myself how did the culture of the West go from that level of valor and selflessness and determination, to one that has nominated Clinton and Trump? How is it that my generation is in the active process of allowing what one writer called the unholy trinity of media, entertainers, and leftist university professors, to do that which our grandparents would not allow Hitler, or Mussolini, or Stalin to do?