Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


He is Risen!

March 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sharing a repost from one of our family’s most treasured Easter memories — Over a decade ago now in 2005, we took a trip with all of the children to the Grand Canyon for Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday. At the time, since they were small, I used pseudonyms for each child. Hannah was the Dreamer; John was the Dude; Helena was the Diva; Sarah was the Dancer; and James was Baby Boo. Happy Easter and God’s richest blessings to each of you and your families!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The alarm went off at 3 AM. Could we manage to rouse five tired children and make it to the sunrise service at the Grand Canyon 90 miles north? Having come this far on our westward adventure, we wanted to try. But the Penta-Posse got themselves up, into the ski clothes we’d laid out to combat the cold, and beat me into the truck. (They may have been eased along by the chocolate and jelly beans the easter bunny left. . .)

In fact, they were in such high spirits that they wanted our progress up Arizona Rt. 180 through the Coconino Forest to turn into a race with the lone hatchback we encountered along the way in the dark. As the little car left us in his wake (Dad, c’mon, let’s go!!) Jack told the posse that we would let the hatchback “hit the cow” for us and tried to refocus their attention on seeing who could guess how low the temperature would go. The Dreamer “won” when the thermometer dropped to 17 degrees. I worried about the wind-chill on the canyon rim. Then, we crested a hill and came up suddenly on the hatchback, which was stopped dead in front of us as a herd of six or seven deer charged acrosss the road.

The mountains to our right, capped in snow, glowed with the reflected light of a full moon. We reached the canyon at 5 AM just as the faintest light began breaching the eastern rim. We parked along the shoulder near Mather Point; the Dancer had fallen asleep again and didn’t want to venture into the cold — we wrapped her in a blanket and joined the others who were streaming in the direction of haunting music playing on a loudspeaker at the outlook. We were early enough to be among the first there; eventually around 1600 people arrived, filling up the platform, the stairs to the outlook, and lining the rim looking out over Mather Point.

The Dreamer, the Dude and the Diva scrambled up to a perch atop a large boulder, while Jack and I settled in to lower seats along a rocky wall with the Dancer and Boo. By now, a faint pink light was spreading along the horizon. We had made it! My eyes filled with tears as my apprehension and tension from the press to get there was replaced with a sense of awe at the majesty in front of me.

Then the cold started to seep in. The Dancer started to cry. She settled in to Jack’s lap and buried her face in his chest. A little later, the Dreamer came down to take her so that they could warm each other. Boo slept on.

Half an hour left until the service and now the light was spreading and we could see the growing crowd around us more clearly. My worst fears about the wind-chill never materialized, but it was very cold. A stranger came over to the Dancer and the Dreamer, and wrapped them in a blanket. “Here,” he said, “you look cold. This is an extra.” It wasn’t an extra. We were among friends.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

The service started and Boo began to cry. Then he settled quickly into my shoulder. . . The sun broke over the northeastern rim with a brilliant glow, revealing the colors of the canyon in all their glory. Red, green, pink, orange. Deep clefts of darkness and shadow. The Colorado silently running in dizzying depths below. A raw wood cross on the edge appeared to hang in the air, silhouetted with the vast expanse of the canyon behind.

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Afterward, the Dude and I stood and looked over the canyon. “This is awesome,” he said.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.


Originally published on March 28th, 2005.

Family Policy Councils: The Real Grass Roots Needed for the Next Conservative President

January 9, 2007 | By | One Comment


Policy Review

November & December 1996In the mid-nineties, Charmaine wrote a column for Policy Review magazine. One of her articles reviewed the Family Policy Councils. The FPCs are state based non-profits considered faith-based, cultural and economic conservatives.

A conservative president usually needs Ohio to win. And the embrace of the Family Policy Councils.

These state-based organizations work somewhat with the Family Research Council in DC and Focus on the Family in Colorado.

Originally published in 1996; and even more important today.

State Groups That Fight for Mom and Dad

by Charmaine Crouse Yoest

Rudy Gonzalez, a “cowboy poet” with a handlebar mustache and a home-on-the-range accent, strummed his guitar, then launched into a joke. The crowd relaxed into laughter as he regaled them with tall tales and folk wisdom.

This is the Idaho Family Forum’s annual summer fundraiser, the Spud Bake, where this group of moms and dads marks the end of summer by eating baked potatoes. Lots of them. Followed by spud-shaped ice cream.

But cowboy poetry soon gave way to public policy. U.S. Senator Larry Craig rose to address the group, and the question-and-answer session that followed was brisk and well informed. The Idaho Family Forum (IFF) and its supporters are dedicated to changing cultural trends that are undermining the stability of families — from no-fault divorce to teen pregnancy to chronic welfare dependency.

Led by executive director Dennis Mansfield, a former businessman, the IFF is part of a growing national movement of independent, state-based policy organizations called Family Policy Councils (FPCs). There are now more than 30 such organizations across the country, loosely affiliated by shared goals, common strategies, and mutual support. In order to win the ears of lawmakers, the media, and academics, they prefer research over rallies and education over activism.

Continue reading at the jump


Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger served on the Board of Directors for The Family Foundation, a Family Policy Council in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Read More

29 Dec



What Is The Best Predictor of Successful Leadership?

December 29, 2006 | By | 5 Comments

Bill John knows leadership. He is a Vietnam Vet credited with a Mig kill as a naval aviator and who later commanded a combat ship. I asked him how he identified future leaders.

Past success in sports.

Your Business Blogger is honored to advise senior leaders. I once had a conversation with Bill about mentoring managers.

Rules-bound games are the key. Leadership skills start early in sports, he said. Sports leaders pull their teams together to reach a common objective. They learn these skills at a young age… and are accurate predictors of leadership talent.


The Dude with the Wildcats a few seasons ago

Bill John’s analysis mirrors the philosophy from another military hero, General Douglas MacArthur, who was the West Point Superintendent for three-years in the early 1920s.

From AmericanHeritage on MacArthur. It is noted that some of,

…[H]is eloquence is on display over the main entrance to the gymnasium. Some blank verse that he penned as Supe memorializes the strenuous regimen of intramural athletics that he imposed on his alma mater:

Upon the fields of friendly strife

Are sown the seeds

That, upon other fields, on other days

Will bear the fruits of victory.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Management Training Tip: When evaluating new entry-level management trainees, ask about sports participation.

Be sure to visit the Panzer Commander who plays all manner of contact sports. And asks the question no parent would like to hear, Dad, what’s my blood type?

Full Disclosure: Bill John is a cousin.

Work and Family: One Size Does Not Fit All

December 23, 2006 | By | No Comments

No ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions: Family expert Charmaine Yoest says creativity, flexibility are keys to resolving work/family issues

Charmaine Yoest acknowledges that creative solutions to juggling work and family are never easy. “That’s part of why I study it as an issue.”

By Elizabeth Kiem [from May 14, 2004]

Charmaine Yoest, a doctoral candidate in U.Va.’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, is an up-and-coming young expert on family policy issues.


Charmaine Yoest

Photo by Andrew Shurtleff By normal counts, her 10 years at the University have been hyper-productive: Her papers on the subject are prolific, as are her media appearances, congressional testimonies and academic presentations. She has written a book on working mothers and is completing a second on parental leave policies.

But Yoest’s career must be viewed in the context of a not-so-typical doctoral student’s family life — she is the 39-year-old mother of five children, ranging from age 10 to infancy.

“I hope it’s inspirational to some,” she said of her ability to pursue her studies and career even with a full capacity mini-van. “Obviously I couldn’t do what I’ve done unless my husband was willing to live a nontraditional life as well.”

Yoest acknowledges that her domestic situation, with close family near by to step into the child-care breach and a husband willing to reduce his workload significantly to help raise children, has been unusually conducive to her career. Nonetheless, she would like to see more families adopt a “nontraditional lifestyle” to accommodate childrearing and professional equality among the parents.

There is such an emphasis on work and family that sometimes the family gets lost because people are so focused on ‘how can we facilitate work? she said.

A regular on the political talk-shows, Yoest is careful with her words, aware of just how politicized the debate has become. She is quick to emphasize that her pro-family stance in no way negates her advocacy for women to pursue careers and advanced education, as she has done. The mission, she says, is to find creative ways to do both — and women require the participation of spouses and employers to do so.

Continue reading at the jump.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Originially published by UVA Insider May 2004.

Read More

20 Dec



Media Alert: Charmaine on Tucker Today on MSNBC

December 20, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


Tucker Carlson Charmaine will be on Tucker Carlson today, Wednesday to talk about sex. The out-of-wed-lock kind.

The AP reports, Wait Until Marriage? ‘Extremely Challenging’

A 2002 survey of about 12,500 men and women found that 97 percent of people who were no longer virgins at age 44 had sexual intercourse for the first time before they married.

By age 20, only 12 percent of people interviewed had married, but 77 percent had sex, and 75 percent had sex before marriage. By age 44, 99 percent of people were no longer virgins, 95 percent reported having had premarital intercourse, and 85 percent had married at some point.


MSNBC Charmaine has another take on the topic. Tune in today and let us know what you think. Hit time is 4:20 Eastern.


Thank you (foot)notes:

And if you have any doubts about our dealing with our daughters, see Our Rules for Dating.

And if you’d like a Christmas Card, please email. Thank you for visiting. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

December 19, 2006 | By | One Comment


Merry Christmas to you and yours,

from Your Business Blogger, Charmaine and the Penta-Posse

If you would like to be added to our good-guy Christmas Card list please email us.

Read about London’s John Calcott Horsley and the business of the first Christmas card at the jump. And the original meaning of “merry.”

Read More

The Personal and the Polis: The Intersection of Individualism, the Family and the State (Part 3 of 3)

December 12, 2006 | By | No Comments


Gozzoli’s Augustine III. The Christian Individual: Augustine

As has been often noted, the problem for Platonic and Aristotelian political theory is that they venerated a social hierarchy with a foundation firmly established on inequality and misogyny. The family could be relegated to meaninglessness because the individuals involved in the institution were consigned to irrelevancy in the classical teleology. In Schochet’s formulation, the family served as the “rudimentary form of association,” but this did not confer value on it – the family was not a “building-block” of society, rather it was the raw material. Since the state was formed by a rudimentary, natural coalition of families, the family and the state were in one sense equivalent. But this was an equivalence much like the relationship between logs and a fire: the logs are used to provide the material for the fire, but they are then consumed in the generation of the heat and the flames.

The rise and spread of Christianity challenged, and ultimately overthrew, this paradigm. With Jesus Christ’s teaching that men and women, slaves and free people are all equal before God, the individual was no longer dispensable. Elshtain argues that Christianity directly challenged Aristotle:

Christianity defied [Aristotle’s] rigid categorical separation of human beings by declaring that the potentia of every single human being was as great as any other and equal in God’s eyes. . . One reason the figure of Jesus remains important to political thought is his insistence that the realm of necessity. . . is not a despised forum for human endeavor. . .


Thank you (foot)notes:

This work was originally published by Charmaine at the University of Virginia.

And be sure to vote for Reasoned Audacity for Best Business Blog.

Also see Part 1

Part 2

Read More

The Frugal Mechanic Fixes A Flat

December 6, 2006 | By | No Comments


The Dude pulls out

the offending nail This is a cross post from The Dude’s Panzer Commander. Alert Readers will note his new Google Ads.

Fix a Flat

Today, I was really bummed out. The warm weather was gone and with it, 1 air-filled tire in The Business Blogger’s 1987 Mercedes. So, we couldn’t use the Mercedes for the day. But thanks to Fix a Flat (this is a non-paid advertisement) My father and I were able to fix the tire in 20 minutes.

The instructions were:

(1) If possible, remove foreign object from flat tire( it happened to be a short nail; easy to pull out with pliers)

(2)Shake can vigorously for 30 seconds before screwing on the nozzle to tire valve.

(3)If possible, move car slightly so that the tire valve is in the 6 o’ clock position. Screw the plastic nozzle clockwise on to the tire valve with can upside down and vertically aligned to the tire valve system. Contents of can will automatically discharge into tire.


The Dude applies the fix(4)After can has discharged, unscrew nozzle.

(5)Watch to make sure rim is lifted off the ground.

(6)Only if rim is off ground, DRIVE VEHICLE IMMEDIATELY a short distance-2 to 4 miles, (dang, then whats a long distance???) to allow tire pressure to increase (???) and sealant to spread evenly inside tire.

So, the fix a flat thing works, so use it if you got a flat. But one question you might ask… “why not use the spare?” Well, I used the spare one time with my father, it took at least a day or 2. But the Fix a Flat really saves you that trouble, and time of changing a flat.


04 Dec



The Personal and the Polis: The Intersection of Individualism, the Family and the State (Part 2 of 3)

December 4, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


Plato and Aristotle by RaphaelII. Classical Political Theory: Plato and Aristotle

While as moderns we tend to congratulate ourselves on having discovered gender equality, and imagine the past to be a wasteland of misogyny and hierarchical patriarchalism, the really radical explorer of equality was one of the earliest political theorists, Plato himself. (It should be noted, however, that this was a theoretical exploration that extended only to elite men and women.) When he constructed his model utopian Republic, Plato envisioned a society marked by a strict equality between men and women, at least among the leadership philosopher and guardian classes. Shorthand descriptions of his schema usually refer to “philosopher-kings,” but Plato himself was careful to underscore that his template for leadership was gender-neutral. After Socrates finished describing the education necessary to produce the leaders of the kallipolis, Glaucon comments: “Socrates, you’ve produced ruling men that are completely fine.” To which Socrates responds: “And ruling women, too, Glaucon, for you musn’t think that what I’ve said applies any more to men than it does to women who are born with the appropriate natures.”


Thank you (foot)notes:

This work was originally published by Charmaine at the University of Virginia.

And be sure to vote for Reasoned Audacity for Best Business Blog.

Also see Part 1

Read More

The Personal and the Polis: The Intersection of Individualism, the Family and the State (Part 1 of 3)

November 28, 2006 | By | No Comments

The family is the foundation of the city and what we might call the ‘seedbed’ of the polity.

Cicero, De Officiis


CiceroThis article intends to examine the ontological status of the individual and the family in society and address the question of how political theory has viewed the family as a societal institution throughout history.

In order to give an over-arching account of the sweep of trends in political thought on the family, this examination will trace the broad contours of shifts in philosophic approaches, rather than examining any one period or thinker in depth.

Contrary to what one might expect, the progression of political thought did not move in a linear progression from a more collectivist, familial-oriented emphasis to a postmodern radical individualism. Although it is true that, in general, historically the family was accepted as a foundational institution more than it is today when even the very definition of a “family” is under review, the legitimacy of the family as an institution has never gone entirely unchallenged. For example, Plato viewed the family as a threat to the unity of the polis, while Aristotle viewed the family as a societal necessity.


Thank you (foot)notes:

This work was originally published by Charmaine at the University of Virginia.

Management Training Tip: Every manager should be able to reconstruct, rebuild and restart his business unit, if the building burns down; the essence of ISO 9000. Start with the family album. Your highest priority.

Read More