Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Opus 2019-152: Election 2020: Reinstate the Alamo

As I sit in the airport I keep hearing PR blurbs to promote San Antonio.  One of the often mentioned attractions is the Alamo.  That is interesting because the political leaders have been doing everything they can to drain the Alamo of any meaning to Americans.  There used to be an annual ritual of locals to go to the plaza in front of the Alamo and have a family picture taken in front of a huge Christmas tree.  The city fathers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to relocate the tree to a little park somewhere else.  The reason?  I never heard one worth remembering. 

In addition to that the Alamo is now or will be soon a UN World Heritage site.  This is an ongoing thing around the world.  In the process the history will be rewritten to eradicate anything that might make the United States look good.  It will become the location of an atrocity rather than a symbol of patriotism.  If you check you will find that there are a growing number of National Parks that are being moved under the umbrella of the UN.  I was shocked when I visited Smokey Mountain National Park and found out that it was a UN site.  In defense of the UN they did have a circle on the ground labeled a “Free Speech Zone” in which I could exercise my First Amendment right. 

I would like to submit as a campaign issue the reclaiming of American landmarks and natural resources for Americans.  I don’t think most Americans are aware that the Grand Canyon is no longer an American wonder but a product of their benevolent world government.  I think this would be a winner for anyone running for office who loves their country.

Foreigners would always be welcome and encouraged to visit.  They need to know that they are in America.

Meanwhile, remember to vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Opus 2019-151: Fame

Talk about making an impression, I have been trying to remember who was Hillary’s running mate in 2016.  I asked my wife and she drew a blank.  It is so important to me that I have not even taken the time to do a search.

Being famous is tough.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-150: Firsts: The Back of the Bus

For an average citizen I do a fair amount of flying.  I don’t go enough to benefit from the big time Frequent Flyer bennies but I did go through the process to guarantee TSA Pre when I fly.  This flight had a new experience.  For the first time I got off the back entrance of an airplane.

I have known they exist but I thought they were for emergency evacuations.  This may have applied in a way.  We were at least 40 minutes late taking off.  It was something about the First Officer getting sick and they needed to bring in a replacement.  That was a better excuse than the time a stewardess got stuck in the bathroom but a long wait is a long wait.  I assume that since we were so late at arrival that they decided to empty from both ends to speed the process up.

It was like the old days.  We had to go down some steps, walk across the open and climb stairs at the other end.  Just another day in the life of a world traveler.

homo unius libri

Friday, August 23, 2019

Opus 2019-149: Translation Service: Save the Planet

The tasteful little plastic placard gave a heart wrenching plea:  SAVE OUR PLANET.  Who would not want to be a part of that?  What they wanted you to do was reuse your towels instead of getting a clean one when housekeeping came in to do the room.  It sounds very righteous.

Let me translate that for you.  You should understand that as meaning, “Save our bottom line”.  Washing towels costs money and forces the hiring of workers.  That reduces the profit margin.  So please, reuse your towels.  It makes sense to corporate management.  They can save money, virtue signal and appear woke.  A good deal when the only one to give anything up is the traveler.

If they would only give me a discount for using a dirty towel they might have me on board.

It overlooks the fact that one reason I enjoy staying in hotels is the fresh towels every day.  At home I don’t have that luxury.  Too expensive.  My wife screams even if I do the laundry myself.

homo unius libri

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Opus 2019-148: On the Streer: Another Excuse to Party

I will soon be off to help celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of some friends.  It is to be a surprise and so far the secret is being kept.  I have been blessed by a few people who are genuine good friends and they are in that bunch.  That is Friends not “friends”.  They are a constant challenge spiritually and intellectually. 

When I was young a couple staying married 40 years would have been considered normal.  Divorce happened but I didn’t see it much in my parents generation.  Even in my circle I did not see it.  Of course I went to college in the 60's and didn’t see any campus protests either.  I guess I lived in a bubble, but that is a good thing.

They have gone through some struggles.  They have stayed the course.  I would imagine that there were times when they would repeat a phrase that keeps coming up in marriages that make it, “Divorce is not an option”. 

Why is divorce not an option?  The only reason is spiritual.  Our culture has embraced divorce as well as a lifestyle of fornication.  For this couple as well as most of my circle the reason we keep at it and make it work is not that we are such jewels but because our faith in Christ includes the Biblical standard of marriage:  One man, one woman, til death do us part.  Anything less is a foundation of sand.

We are at 44 and still counting.  I trust we will make it to 45 and they will make it to 41.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-147: Expiration Dates, part 5 of 5

Maybe we need to offer the cities their independence.  It would be a place to start.  We could bring back the idea of the city state, build walls or fences around them and declare them no longer a part of the United States.  They would pay no taxes but at the same time get no subsidies.  Citizens of Los Angeles would be treated as foreigners when they tried to travel to Burbank.  In some parts of the nation you would have nothing but a bunch of city states squabbling with each other for survival.  It would require some hard decisions and no nonsense negotiations.  Should they be given the opportunity to vote to leave or told that the checks would stop and the chain link go up on the morrow? 

Too drastic for you?  We could take a page from the story of the American Indians.  They exist today on “reservations”.  Those reservations are semi-independent.  Some federal law applies but the local sheriff can’t go on the reservation to enforce it.  At one time if you saw a gambling casino in certain states you could assume it was standing on Indian land.  It didn’t matter if the state law declared gambling illegal, the Indians were outside the United States. 

Maybe we need to encourage business to relocate.  Why are banks in a place like Los Angeles?  Why are computer firms clustered around San Francisco.  If they want to stay, well and good but if we removed all the government subsidies they might be glad to move to Iowa.  We already see this happening on the state level as businesses flee California.  It would lower the costs of their production if their employees could buy a house for $200,000 rather than $450,000. 

I am sure there are other things that can be done but I would stipulate that it is time for cities to go.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Opus 2019-146: Expiration Dates, part 4 of 5

Historically cities were sources of great wealth.  Part of the reason was that walls kept the profits safe from marauding bandits.  Production was in the hands of the guilds, early forms of labor unions, and they congregated for mutual support and protection.  It was also possible for the local authorities to tax more effectively. 

As the world of industry and production developed, walls were not the key to cities.  Now it was factories and factories needed workers.  Thus you would have locations that had access to transportation, like rivers and harbors, and were where raw materials could be gathered.  Iron works would need coal and iron ore, a way to ship their products and the people to do the work.  This would require more people to build houses and run stores to supply the needs of the people.  It was not long before you had the beginnings of modern cities.  Men would leave the farms to get jobs in the factories.  By modern standards they lived in poor circumstances but for their times it was better than walking behind a plow or swinging a hoe.

We still have factories and production located centrally.  They generate a lot of wealth, employ a lot of people and pay a lot of taxes.  What also seems to take on a life of its own is a large group of people who are living on the edge.  Most scrape by and keep trying.  A growing percentage turn to crime.  Also down through history cities have spawned a welfare class.  Ancient Rome had to deal with the jobless masses.  It is where we get the term “bread and circuses”.  Today the welfare classes seem to be taking over the cities.  When was the last time you heard anyone who wanted to move to the parts of your local big city that are considered run down and dangerous?

With modern technology, transportation and communication it is no longer necessary for the cash cows of industry to stay in the city.  More and more are fleeing to greener pastures.  Some are driven out by taxes.  Some are forced to make decisions because of politics.  The basics are, they are closing up shop and leaving.  But the cities remain and those left behind tend to depend on the government to support them. 

Maybe it is time to have a serious discussion on this.  Maybe we have learned all that history can teach us from the lesson of cities. 

To be concluded...

homo unius libri