Monday, August 24, 2009

Elianna Grace

With grateful hearts filled with joy, we praise God for the newest blessing he has added to our family:
Elianna Grace

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord hath given me my desire which I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Stonewall Minute

Well, the public school systems are underway and all of those children are learning the great Marxist and Socialist ideals that our country was founded upon. They'll be either explicitly or implicitly learning about man's creation in order to take God out of the equation: with science, it will be evolution instead of creation; with morality, it will be Fascism instead of Christianity. They'll be having a moment of silence every morning to meditate, recite the Koran, the pledge of allegiance to Obama, etc, etc.

Okay, maybe it's not all that bad, but if the current course continues we're well on the way. I'm reading a book by Jonah Goldberg called Liberal Fascism. One particular point jumped out at me in this book. Goldberg writes: "Crisis is routinely identified as a core mechanism of fascism because it short-circuits debate and democratic deliberation. Hence all fascistic movements commit considerable energy to prolonging a heightened state of emergency." The book points to World War I as giving birth to Fascism, and the American "progressives" as being descendants of the fascist way.

Now, here we are and all I hear from the media is that health care is broken and the swine flu is going to kill us all! This may not be the height of emergency that World Wars afforded others, but it's all the "Administration" has got to grasp for right now. There's no doubt that the swine flu will be an avenue for the "Administration" to attempt to force legislation, or at least coerce the people, all justified by "achieving the common good" (i.e., denying the people their individual rights to choose). It jumped out at me how both the past and current "Administrations" have taken advantage of states of emergency in order to circumvent democratic deliberation.

I just thought you'd like to know that your government is using these same fascist tactics on WE THE PEOPLE. Now with the kids congregating in all the public flu pool schools, keep an eye on how the government plays its "emergency" card. I think it will be very telling of how far we've gotten away from being a free republic, and how close we're leaning towards becoming a socialist state. Think about this the next time the "Administration" mentions the "common good".

Stonewall out

Friday, August 14, 2009

Farm Friday

This week we have continued preparing the fields which we will plant in next year. We have almost finished building a fence to divide our fields from the rest of the pasture. The next step will be to grind all of the stumps and plant a cover crop.

I also planted some late tomatoes in our hoophouse this week. We hope that they will produce late into the fall, and I'm interested to see how long they will last. Some farmers I've talked to have used hoophouses to grow tomatoes right into January.

One of our heirloom sunflowers finally bloomed this week. It turned out to be much smaller than a typical sunflower, but still beautiful.

Have a great weekend,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cuckoo for Clunkers

The Cash for Clunkers program appears to be very popular among the American public, despite a few complaints about the fate of all the poor clunkers. The program is yet another manifestation of the government giving back what it takes. It's easy to forget that any money the government spends was earned in taxes that Americans paid.

This article provides an interesting overview of the program, though it focuses only on the traitorous absurd comments of a "free market" Republican, Larry Kudlow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

College Decisions

I will be beginning my online college courses next week, and that being the case I wanted to write a post explaining my journey from “not going to college” to “enrolling in an online college program”. It all started last October…

I wrote this post on August 21, 2006:

"I... don't plan on going to college… I plan to farm

“College is certainly thought of extremely highly now[a]days. I've discussed with my parents how people will either think that I'm dumb or that I'm wasting my intelligence (wouldn't that be a flattering opinion?). However, I think the wisest way to think about college is how we think of most things. If it looks like it will be beneficial, then invest in it; but it is a waste of alot of time and money to go to college simply to "go with the flow" if it doesn't seem to be beneficial. Therefore, I have decided to invest the time and money in building a business and beginning a family instead of going to college."

Such were my plans until November of last year. I had no intentions of taking even online courses, for a couple of reasons. The first was the time requirement; I wanted the four years that would be required for college studies to be devoted instead to building my farm business. The second reason was the expense. I saw no purpose in sinking at least $15,000 dollars or so into a degree that I might never need, when the same money could go so far if invested in the farm.

For some reason that I can’t recall, I took the ACT test in October. Shortly before my 18th birthday we received my scores, which opened up some opportunities that we had not considered before. We slipped in an application to the University of Alabama (UA in the rest of this post) and another college or two, just before their deadlines, and waited to see what would happen.

It has been a wild ride from there. I was accepted to both UA and my local community college, and offered a full scholarship to either one. We knew that the program would have to be online, as we certainly were not considering college instead of farming, so we drove down to UA and talked to several contacts there. To our chagrin, we learned that the program we were considering (New College), though much more open than traditional programs, still required about half of the credits towards a degree to be taken on campus.

At that point we gave up on UA. We instead looked into a Business program at Wallace State, the community college just down the road from here, which was mostly online. Wallace is just a two-year college, so for the last two years I would have transferred to Athens State, which has an online General Business program but does not offer General Education courses. This would have required me to re-apply for a scholarship when I transferred and was much less appealing than the scholarship that UA had offered.

Our expectations were turned on their head again shortly after Thanksgiving. One evening I was browsing UA’s website and looked at their Business college. There I found a link that said “Online Program”. In that serendipitous way we discovered that UA does, indeed, have some online programs, one of which is General Business. The program is completely online, which seemed like a tailored fit to my situation, and I enrolled in the program. Ironically, not one of the 6 people that we talked to at UA, all of whom knew I wanted to earn a degree online, made any mention of the possibility of my doing so.

Once our need for an online program was met, we spent a few weeks working through the requirements for a scholarship. Scholarships are intended for on-campus students, so my case was presented to the Scholarship Committee. They agreed to grant me the scholarship despite my Distance Student designation; as far as we know, I am the first scholarship online student.

Those are the facts, but they don’t reveal the massive change that it took for my parents and I to decide that pursuing a college degree was the appropriate course for me. I wish to follow the Lord’s leading in all things, and we really felt that these opportunities were doors opened by God and should be utilized. Our decisions were made with much thought and prayer- and struggling, at times.

I plan to continue growing the farm during my years in college, and I hope that the farm is earning enough profit to support a family by the time I graduate. God has blessed me with a multitude of opportunities; my duty for the next few years is to work as hard as I can to make good use of them. As Theodore Roosevelt (one of my heroes) exhorted: I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.” I expect the next few years of my life to be more strenuous than anything I have experienced, and I have worked to make them so.

Now that we have decided that I will pursue a college degree after all, we find ourselves more honored by some of our extended family. I mourn our culture’s perception of college as the determining factor in whether one is “smart” or successful. My circumstances could have easily led me along the path I expected, of building my farm exclusively. If I had pursued that course, I believe some of my family (having deemed me lost) would have immediately started talking to Smokestack about the importance of college.

At any rate, cultural acceptance played no part in making my college decisions. Our culture also looks down on large families, farming, and homeschooling, so I’ve plunged too far over the ideological cliff to make any peace with the culture, anyway.

I’d like to close with two quotes, both from a President of the United States. Both received a college education, but the latter had a far more rigorous and impressive college career than those seen today. Don't worry, the first quote had no influence upon my decision making, but it serves to illustrate our society's beliefs about college education:

"Education is the currency of the Information Age, no longer just a pathway to opportunity and success but a prerequisite." Barack Obama

The second quote: a Biblical view of knowledge which looks at education with a proper perspective.

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, August 10, 2009


Friday, August 07, 2009

Farm Friday

Our vegetables are at their peak production now, after a very moist July, so we're enjoying cucumbers, squash, a little okra, green beans, peppers, and tomatoes large and small. I measured our tallest corn plant this evening, and found that it is 10 feet and 7 inches from ground level to the tip of the tassel.

I have been presented a couple of new opportunities this week: hoophouse vegetable production this fall, for one. I may be able to grow some vegetables for Birmingham chefs in our hoophouse. I may also have an opportunity to raise poulet rouge (chickens), a French breed of chicken highly coveted by chefs, to some restaurants as well.

I'm afraid I have no pictures; it seems I exhausted my material last week. To compensate, I include a poem composed by master John Bunyan.



The egg's no chick by falling from the hen;
Nor man a Christian, till he's born again.
The egg's at first contained in the shell;
Men, afore grace, in sins and darkness dwell.
The egg, when laid, by warmth is made a chicken,
And Christ, by grace, those dead in sin doth quicken.
The egg, when first a chick, the shell's its prison;
So's flesh to the soul, who yet with Christ is risen.
The shell doth crack, the chick doth chirp and peep,
The flesh decays, as men do pray and weep.
The shell doth break, the chick's at liberty,
The flesh falls off, the soul mounts up on high
But both do not enjoy the self-same plight;
The soul is safe, the chick now fears the kite.


But chicks from rotten eggs do not proceed,
Nor is a hypocrite a saint indeed.
The rotten egg, though underneath the hen,
If crack'd, stinks, and is loathsome unto men.
Nor doth her warmth make what is rotten sound;
What's rotten, rotten will at last be found.
The hypocrite, sin has him in possession,
He is a rotten egg under profession.


Some eggs bring cockatrices; and some men
Seem hatch'd and brooded in the viper's den.
Some eggs bring wild-fowls; and some men there be
As wild as are the wildest fowls that flee.
Some eggs bring spiders, and some men appear
More venom'd than the worst of spiders are.

Some eggs bring pisants, and some seem to me
As much for trifles as the pisants be.
Thus divers eggs do produce divers shapes,
As like some men as monkeys are like apes.
But this is but an egg, were it a chick,
Here had been legs, and wings, and bones to pick.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Make My Day!