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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Opus 2013-345: CCC: Poor Children

It tends to shock me the way kids react when I say, “You poor child.”  I am reflecting on their general lack of common sense or preparation.  I am not making a statement about their financial situation and yet invariably that is the way they take it.  Part of this is simply immaturity.  Children tend to think in concrete terms.  They are not capable of abstract thinking or associations.  Educators tend to forget this.  Part of the push for the coming Common Core Curriculum is based on ignoring this reality.  They want to push Collaboration, Creative Thinking, and......... but they forget the simple lessons we all learned in Psychology of Education 101.  Piaget showed that your cognitive ability must reach a certain development before you can think certain ways.  At middle school very few children are ready for this.  The sad truth is that many will never be ready. 

The second reason is that the students have a very limited vocabulary.  This can be related to many causes:  TV, texting, parents, rap music and such.  The only one I have any control over as a teacher is the education part.  In education we keep talking about rigor and high standards and then order the text books dumbed down.  We complain about low test scores and the answer is to change the test.  We say they can achieve their dreams and lower the bar.  I will do what I can in my room to fight that trend but it is a losing battle and the dinosaurs are on their way out.  We will be replaced by the warm fuzzy mammals.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Opus 2013-344: Plow and Crown: Energy Serfs and Water Peasants

My friendly neighborhood philanthropist was excited recently.  He had been at a meeting with people who were concerned about alternative energy and water conservation.  They were planning to bring lessons on this to our public schools.  They were developing a curriculum and planning a strategy.  He was really excited about this.

Being the curmudgeon that I am I began to list all of the important knowledge and skills that the kids don’t have:  They can’t read and understand, they can’t do simple math, they have no sense of history, they cannot write complete sentences, they have vocabularies that are anorexic.  I could have gone on but I could tell by his face that it was not what he wanted to hear.

I also pointed out that all of the solutions being brought forth involved cutting down and cutting back.  Everything proposed meant lowering our standard of living and stifling expectations.  It was a philosophy of defeat and retreat instead of “Can do.”

The elites want to steal our American birthright from us.  We were a nation that met the future as a challenge and reached down inside to find solutions that lead to a better life not compromises that kept us stagnant.  We had a faith in the future based on a faith in God and the reality of His blessings. 

Now we are becoming a nanny state that requires the wise leadership of the anointed few.  We are becoming a nation of serfs and peasants.

My solution to the energy and water problems is to get the government out of the way and allow the genius and entrepreneur mentality of the American people to emerge again and find answers that will move us forward not lock us in.  If we are running short of energy then it might make sense to drill for more oil instead of making it illegal.  It might mean building new power plants and refineries instead of increased regulation and taxes on what we have.

Of course if we move forward and have opportunities the masses might be reminded that they are responsible for their own lives and futures.  That would mean they don’t need the Progressives (Democrats, socialists, communists, elites) to guide them with their awesome wisdom.

More energy not more recycling.  More water not more unwashed bodies.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Opus 2013-343: Headlines: The Problem Is not Sebelius

As I walked through the bedroom Sunday morning my wife had the news on.  The topic of discussion was the snafu of the Obamcare website.  A guest talking head was saying something and underneath her face was an ID line and the question “Should Sebelius resign?”

The simple answer is, “No.” 

The problem we should be concerned about is not Sebelius.  The problem is not a dysfunctional website.  These are just symptoms.  If we focus too much on these things we will forget the real problem.  Remove Sebelius and you still have socialized medicine.  Fix the website and you still have socialized medicine.  Give everyone free health care and make them happy.  You will still have socialized medicine.

When a magician wants to fool you on the right side he will distract you on the left.  When a pickpocket wants to take your wallet he will get you worried about your head.  When a socialist wants to take away your freedom and substitute government mandates they get you mad at a figurehead. 

Sebelius is just a disposable, interchangeable stooge for the Obama-Reid-Polosi power grab.  Remove her and they will get someone else with a different hairdo and a different wardrobe but with the same masters. 

Socialism believes that a small elite of experts can make your decisions for you.  It believes your life needs to be controlled and managed by them.  It is for your own good.  Who knows better what you need in life but Ivy League graduates. 

Don’t lose your focus for a bit of slight of hand.  While we are yelling about a web site our health infrastructure is being dismantled and destroyed. 

homo unius libri

Monday, October 28, 2013

Opus 2013-342: Key Scriptures: Creation vs Chance

One of the declarations of the Bible is that God has revealed Himself through His creation.  A key verse on this is at the beginning of Romans.
(Romans 1:20 KJV)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Alistair Begg had an observation on this.  It has been a long time since I wrote it down so I don’t know if it is word-for-word but it went something like this:  “There is not enough in nature to convert you but there is enough to condemn you.”

The point we can make from nature is that it isn’t that you can’t see.  It is that you won’t see.  In listening to podcasts by William Lane Craig I hear frequent reference to the fine tuning of the universe.  Evidently this is well accepted.  There are a multitude of scientific measurements that are very precise in producing the universe we know.  If any one of them had been even slightly different then life would not be possible.  It speaks of a designer.  The data is there. 

Many scientists will acknowledge this fine tuning but refuse to accept that it indicates the existence of a god of any kind.  This forces them to come up with many creative theories to explain the existence of the universe and the existence of life.  Some of this creative thought is true inquiry, seeking for answers that can be measured and judged.  Some of it is simply a refusal to accept the simplest conclusion. 

In the end believing a multi-verse or an eternal universe with no beginning does not seem to be backed by any scientific data.  There is no evidence for one and the other has been proven impossible.  Yet they are still proposed and defended.  They are taken on faith.  Just like creation but without the moral requirements.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is still a theory.  Believe it if you like but don’t try to pretend it is based on hard science.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Opus 2013-341: Nanny State: They’re Coming to Take Them Away

The well intentioned are again looking out for your welfare and the welfare of your children.

Sometime in the middle of the night a magazine showed up on my chair.  It was not there when I went to bed.  It was there when I got up.  If I did not know my wife’s habits I would suspect gremlins or some conspiracy.  It’s title is California Educator and it is published by the California Teachers’ Association.  I think it ended up on my chair because my wife is a bad shot.  The trash can was three feet to the left.  Maybe she just missed. 

On the cover was a picture of a man in a football helmet.  He was not a player because he was wearing a polo shirt.  Guess what the educators of California are concerned about protecting you from now?  The title in the corner was “Changing the Concussion Discussion.”  They now want to protect us from competitive sports.

I generally don’t read these propaganda tools.  I glance through to see what their latest avenues of foolishness are and throw them away.  When I opened the cover I was greeted by a picture taking up a quarter of a page showing a women in a shirt labeled “Chico State Women’s Soccer” bouncing a soccer ball off of her head.  Do you sense where this is going?

Let me give you the short description of the article given in the Table of Contents.
“Repeat concussions are now linked to long-term brain damage.  Concussion rates skyrocketed in the last decade, especially in girls’ sports.  CTA members...are promoting new policies and procedures to protect students making the ‘winning at all costs’ concept second to athletes’ health.” p. 1
Notice the little phrase they slipped in, “especially in girls’ sports.”  I think an honest reporter would say that the skyrocketing is because of the increase in women’s sports.  And who was a big advocate of an increase in women’s sports?  Liberal, left wing, progressive educators.  Now in typical, “don’t let a crisis go to waste,” fashion these concerned citizens are going to go after team sports.

Education hates competition.  Competition is masculine.  Cooperation is feminine.  Education is run by women and feminine men. 

These helpful, concerned citizens want to make you safe.  Think seat belt laws, bicycle helmet laws, gun control, length-of-blade knife laws, nutrition information laws, etc.  Ultimately the safest way to live is without any freedom or chance of risk.  They will make the decisions for you including the sedative you will be issued or the prison you will be sent to.

Remember that teachers work from the government and they are here to help you.

California Educator.  October 2013.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Opus 2013-340: New Terms: Five Year Plan and Collaborator

Does the phrase “Five Year Plan” mean anything to you?  If someone accused you of being a “collaborator” would that be a good or bad thing?

Educators seem to have forgotten their history if they ever knew it.  Or perhaps it is just part of the plan of the America hating socialists to “fundamentally change America” as one leading socialist put it.

The five year plan was the standard building block of the Communist state.  Stalin and Mao were big on these.  They announced them regularly and they usually meant greater oppression, more hunger and a lot of death.  Our school superintendent proudly announced his five year plan this year.  He seemed oblivious to the history of the term.  Or maybe he has a hidden agenda.

A collaborator was a French citizen who cooperated with the occupying Nazi’s before and during World War II.  The term means traitor and turncoat.  It means one who betrays fellow countrymen for personal security and profit.  Why would educators pick this term to signify the process of working in groups when they already had the perfectly serviceable term, “cooperative learning”?

We should be learning from history, not ignoring it.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 25, 2013

Opus 2013-339: Social Dementia

No I don’t want to forget what happened.  I am a history teacher.  The past is supposed to teach.

Every time educators come up with something new they actually think that it is new.  When I tell them we tried this before and it didn’t work they say something like, “Don’t be so negative.  Stop living in the past.  Let’s focus on the future.”  It is like our culture has developed a serious case of dementia.

When I first started writing this I was thinking in terms of Alzheimer disease.  That didn’t work.  My understanding of Alzheimer is that you can’t remember what happened today but remember clearly what happened forty years ago.  When my mother in law was going through dementia she not only could not remember earlier conversations but she could not remember what her daughter looked like.  She always remembered though when I made a date to take her to dinner.

So I think our society has dementia.  It only remembers what will bring it immediate gratification.  All else is forgotten.  This is why we continue to raise taxes when the clear evidence shows that it lowers tax revenue.  That is why in education they keep pushing the same things that have been pushed since I started teaching twenty five years ago.  They didn’t work then.  They have never worked.  They will not work now.  But they want us to forget that and look to the future.

Every country that has tried socialism has imploded and experienced great suffering.  Those with a solid free market foundation go down slower than others but the fall comes.  Ignore that.  Let us bring in more central planning and five year plans.  Let the elites make the decisions for us.  After all our modern socialists are really smarter than the older socialists.

Or we are just dumber.

Let’s try something new.  Let’s vote the suckers out.  All of them.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Opus 2013-338: Public or Private?

I think that President Obama should talk to the people at See’s Candy.

We are all aware of the circus that the Affordable Care Act website has become.  I am blessed that I have not yet been forced to access it.  Yet.  I think the day will come when we will all be thrown under the bus that we will also have to pay for.  Remember that a mandate is not based on consent.  I wish he would consult with the people who designed the See’s Candy website before it is too late.

Assuming it is not already too late.

I went on line to order a box of candy for a sick friend.  I was able to pick individual pieces to be packed in a unique mix just for me.  I had total flexibility.  It is awesome.  When I processed the order and was thinking about how to print out the receipt my cell phone gave that cute little chirp that said it had received an e-mail.  My suspicions were confirmed when I checked it out.  See’s Candy had sent me an acknowledging e-mail before I had even exited the site.  That is free enterprise at work.  They must produce to survive.

You may not have heard of See’s Candy.  It is expensive, but so is a mistake in health care.  The problem is that we will be required to conform to the government standard.  See’s needs to deliver.  It cannot send the IRS to our bank accounts to deduct money if we don’t order enough candy.

The president wants someone to help him fix the system?  I doubt it.  If he did he would call the people at See’s.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Opus 2013-337: CCC: The Battle Between Content and Process

Let me remind you again of the quote from the Common Core Curriculum (CCC) shared in a previous post:
“English language arts and math were the subjects chosen for the Common Core State Standards because they are areas upon which students build skill sets which are used in other subjects. They are also the subjects most frequently assessed for accountability purposes.”
It is important to notice the term “skill sets.”  Some areas of learning are foundational in the sense that they teach skills more than content.  Being able to communicate in English is a necessary base for success in other subjects.  You must know your alphabet before you can read words.  It is more than just simple reading and writing.  Students quickly learn to pronounce the words and form the letters.  They can read out loud and copy very well.  It is not enough.  They also need grammar, spelling, vocabulary and penmanship to be able to comprehend and express.

Anyone with any common sense realizes you need both.  I would believe that common sense would also say that you need the seeds of content before you can produce the fruit of process.  You need parts before you can build a car.  You need vocabulary before you can write a paragraph.  You need to know the stove is hot before you can boil water.

At a meeting I was informed the favorite analogy of the CCC gurus is that they are building the airplane while they learn to fly it.  That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  I would not fly on an airline that works that way.  Why would you put your children in a school that buys into such nonsense?

You really need to answer that last question because it is not rhetorical.  You are putting your children in a school that is buying into that nonsense.  Your child’s future is the down payment.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Opus 2013-336: CCC: Forget the Past, Look to the Future

Why are Progressives afraid of history?

In a previous post I mentioned that the new Common Core Curriculum (CCC) does not have any standards for history or science.  I did not make this up.  Their website has a section labeled FAQ which for fellow dinosaurs means “Frequently Asked Questions.”  In that section you find I am not the only one who has wondered about this.
“Q.  Why are the Common Core State Standards for just English language arts and math?”
And they have an answer.
“A.  English language arts and math were the subjects chosen for the Common Core State Standards because they are areas upon which students build skill sets which are used in other subjects. They are also the subjects most frequently assessed for accountability purposes.”
The first statement is a good reason to cover English and math but it is not a good reason to exclude history and science.  To answer the question they don’t answer the real question which is “Why did you leave out history and science.”

They leave out history and science because Progressives (liberals, socialists, elites, communists, intellectuals) are afraid of history and science.  History and science build where they are going on where they have been.  It is obvious in history but not so obvious in science.  The scientific method is all about the history of science, finding out what works and what doesn’t work.  By experiment, not taking polls.

For instance, Progressives like to make a big deal about how partisan the political process is.  They talk about being united and working together.  They want you to be ignorant of history because if you know history disagreement and conflict are the symbols of freedom.  Lack of dissent is either a sign of extreme crisis or extreme fear.  The debates in the Constitutional Convention were heated and angry.  People threatened to take their football and go home.  When the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification the debate continued.  It was a sign of a free people.  I doubt if there was much public debate when Mao issued his Little Red Book.  Educators don’t want you to know that because you might rock their boat.

I would say it is coming to a school near you but it is already there.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 21, 2013

Opus 2013-335: Healthy Insights: Don’t Be Ridiculous

People do the dumbest things in their obsession with hygiene.

I am sure that you have seen it happen.  Someone is done in the rest room.  They step up to the sink, turn on the water and run cold fluid over their hands for two seconds, reach up and turn off the water, dry their hands and walk out the door.

Some observations on this process.  First, two seconds of cold water with no soap isn’t going to do much but moisten your hands so that the bacteria will feel more at home.  Second, have you asked yourself who else has just touched that faucet?  Third, when you walk out the door, did you touch a knob or lever?  Have you wondered what hands have been their before you?  It is possible that the body parts you touched were cleaner than the bathroom surfaces you touched.

Today I noticed that I took two plastic butter pat containers out of the urn and put them on the plate with my food.  The butter inside might be sanitary but what journey did the plastic containers follow to get in my hand?  Who knows how many times they have been dropped or touched. 

If you think about it you can see many more examples. 

I don’t worry about it too much.  You see, I am a believer and know that God created everything.

Keep in mind that God designed your body.  That means that there are built in protections against the everyday germs and dirt of life.  We are expected to observe simple, common sense practices and let the natural processes take care of the rest.  Yes, sin has corrupted the world but I still believe that the Designer who put bacteria killing oils on my skin and germ toxic acid in my stomach knew what He was about.

Relax and enjoy your day.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Opus 2013-334: Headlines: Obama Lied, People Died, Eventually

What?  You say you have not seen that headline yet?  You probably won’t.  The cuddled media class knows which side of the bread their butter is on.  When the pain gets to them it will be too late.

As I walked through the bedroom getting dressed for church my wife had the TV on watching the news.  They were interviewing a yuppie from somewhere in Southern California.  I was passing through and didn’t get those details.  What I did hear was how this Obama believer was shocked that, not only was his monthly payment more than doubling and his deductible taking a big jump but he was informed that his insurance company would no longer be offering the option of the PPO.  That is the plan that many of us have held onto because we do not want the impersonal nature of the HMO.  He was not told it would cost more.  He was told it was no longer available.

This is how the Affordable Care Act is made affordable, by decimating the quality.  Oh, wait, it isn’t affordable either.  It sounds like a lose/lose situation to me.

He was in shock.  The president had promised that we could keep the insurance we have.  The promise was that costs would go down.  He quoted the man he helped elect.

Get used to it.  He lied.  People may not be dying today but they will when they cannot find care and are in a gurney in the hall of an ER room, if they can find an ER room and if they have an empty gurney. 

Welcome to the way that Obama has dreamed of transforming America.  Just wait until he gets to immigration.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Opus 2013-333: Health Insurance and a Sick Economy

Working Americans are feeling the pain or see it coming.

As promised by everyone except our socialist elite leaders, health insurance costs are already beginning to take a dramatic rise.  As a teacher the cost to me is negotiated by the union and does not change until it is re-negotiated.  That process is going on now.  The bare minimum increase that is being proposed is about $300 dollars a month.  That is a best case scenario.  The district is pushing for a resolution that will cost me $1,000 more a month.  When all is said and done, factoring in all the new requirements of Obamacare and the continued subsidies to people who are not even coming close to paying for what they get, I think the $1,000 will be closer to reality.  I hope they can keep it that low.

Can I survive with that kind of increase?  Do I have any choice?  It will mean that I will need to find ways to cut $1,000 from my budget each month, after all, I am not the government.  I can’t just keep borrowing and spending regardless of income.  Let’s assume that I succeed.  Again, I have no choice.  I will survive but how will it effect the economy?

The $1,000 will disappear into the maw of the unknown.  It will also disappear from the local economy.  That means that there will be $1,000 less to be spent by local employers to give people jobs.  I would guess that will eliminate at least two part time jobs from my community.  That will mean a decrease in income tax and sales tax across the board.  Multiply that by the millions of people who are spending less and the immediate result of this increase will be a dramatic increase in unemployment and death to the economy. 

That of course will force more people to have their health insurance subsidized.  That will increase the cost of my insurance.  That will take more money out of the local economy. 

Do you see the pattern?

Enjoy the ride.  As Robert Heinlein said in his science fiction, TANSTAAFL, There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 18, 2013

Opus 2013-332:  Running Out of Towels

I feel like throwing in the towel.  The Woosipublicans have demonstrated a lack of principle again.

I won’t give up.  I just feel like it.  What was all the noise about if the Republicans did not intend to stick to their guns and bring about change?  When the Democrats (Progressives, liberals, socialists, communists) passed Obamacare they did so in a brief window when they controlled all three steps in the process and had enough Rhinos in the Senate to keep a filibuster from working.  I understand that.  Now they, I am reluctant to say “we”, control the house and have enough votes in the Senate to keep anything from passing.  In spite of that the Democrats again “compromise” by getting everything they want.

What was all the noise about?  The debt limit is raised.  Health care will continue being destroyed.  The size of government will increase.  There will be no cuts in spending.  Same-o, same-o.

Maybe it is time to join those of you who have re-registered as Independents.  

Vote the suckers out.  Every time.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Opus 2013-331: On the Street: Playing Make-over

When I find someone’s looks to be extreme I sometimes play the game of make-over.

Some people are ugly.  They can’t do anything about it.  I am not offended by ugly.  There is no way I can be sure that I myself am not ugly.  Sometimes things can be so ugly they are cute.  Do you remember your first reaction to the Volkswagen Bug?  You can’t fault a person for the shape of their head or their general body style.  Tall is tall.  Short is short.  It is not a failure to apply the right kinds of fertilizer on the feet.  It is genetic.  A big nose just grows.  But if you have a head with the nooks and crannies of a Thomas English Muffin you might want to grow some hair instead of shaving it.

So I ask myself, “What would I do different if I were in charge of a make-over?”  My thinking was jump-started by a young man filling his coffee cup this morning.  I have seen him before.  He looks too young to be drinking coffee.  In fact he looks too young to be out by himself.  He is pale, boney and geeky.  I noticed that he had cute little diamonds in his ears but it was offset by zits that were bigger.  What would I do to make him look like someone with a purpose and a future?

In his case there isn’t much I could do except ditch the ear studs, but that is purely a personal taste.  I think that time will take care of most of the issues.  From my lofty perch of senior citizen I notice that there are ages that just don’t work well for some people.

For others I might suggest clothes that are clean and in good repair.  Some might want to wash and comb their hair.  Some could lose weight or at least wear clothes that don’t call attention to the rolls that ball up yonder. 

Actually it is none of my business, but since when does that stop us from meddling.  After all, as a teacher, I can say I work for the government and I am here to help them.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Opus 2013-330: On the Street: An Example of the New Economy

Bag ladies have something in common with me as a child.

As I was pulling out of a parking lot I saw a bag lady pounding on a newspaper kiosk trying to dislodge any change in the coin return.  I salute her efforts.  It reminded me of myself as a child.  One of my hopes was to find change in pay phone coin returns.  The tragedy comes from seeing adults who have had every opportunity going around trying to find spare change out of vending machines.

My fear is that this is in the future for many of us.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Opus 2013-329: CCC: A Mission Statement Written in Fantasyland, Part 2 of 2

Beware of educators seeking rigor.

Look at the second statment in the CCC mission statement.
“The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”
Keep in mind they are talking about the new standards.  In the case of history and science these are standards that don’t exist.  They have not been written.  They are not going to be written, but more on that another time.  Also keep in mind that they said the same thing about the last set of standards.

Understand Edu-speak.  “Robust and relevant to the real world” to people in education means that it is designed for people who cannot read and can’t work on their own.  We recently had an in-service to train us for the new standards and almost every strategy presented involved drawing pictures.  Every strategy involved some kind of group work.

They are so concerned about rigor that they are already taking class time to try to train the kids to take the new tests which have not been written yet.  They involve working on computers.  There are hints that they will involve group work.  Although there are places in life where group work is necessary we usually call them committees.  Everyone knows that if you want to look busy and get nothing done you form a committee.

As for skills they will need in college, from what I am hearing that isn’t much any more either.

Get ready.  One of the cartoons I enjoyed showed a student looking at a book and asking where you installed the batteries.  It is getting too close to the truth.

homo unius libri

Opus 2013-328: CCC: A Mission Statement Written in Fantasyland, Part 1 of 2

The noise over the budget and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are distracting you from another dramatic change that is going on in American culture.  Education is in the process of being lobotomized.

If you are paying attention to education you may have seen mention of something called Common Core Curriculum (CCC).  This is portrayed as a grass roots attempt to improve education.  In reality it is another move by the elites to take over public education for the social engineering that socialism demands.  If you follow what is going on you will see a power grab by the central authorities that may not seem as dramatic as Obamacare but will have more damaging results. 

I continue to look at the claims and actions of CCC.

From the website the Mission Statement reads like this.
“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”
This sounds very noble but it is just jargon.  Consider the first sentence.  We already have “a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn.”  In California it was called the California Content Standards.  Although I would tweak them, I would tweak anything, and they are basically solid. 

Parents already know what to do to help students.  They act like they don’t because that would require them to own responsibility but they know.  Can you believe that some administrators tell me that some parents don’t understand that the child is supposed to bring pencil and paper to school?  Really?  After being in school for six years?  Really?  I am not naive enough to believe that.  It is like parents not understanding that their kid has to wear clothes to school.

The problem is not that we don’t know but that we don’t admit.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, October 11, 2013

Opus 2013-327: Headlines: Sir Bob Geldof: 'All humans will die before 2030'

It is now official.  We are all going to die.

We know this because of an article linked by the Drudge Report that quotes a celebrity on this issue.  I have never heard of the guy before but that doesn’t mean anything.  I don’t have many fools of this level in my circle.

I quit reading after a few paragraphs but it seemed that this member of the English nobility stopped reading after he finished Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance.  He is convinced that climate change will wipe out human life in about 17 years.  Didn’t he hear about Obama being elected and how the oceans were going to stop rising and global warming would cease?

Maybe he didn’t get the message in South Africa.  He may have also missed the information that the Arctic ice increased this year and the polar bears are doing just fine.

Another case of, “Don’t confuse me with the facts.  My mind is made up.”  Or as Big Al so wisely stated, “The debate on global warming is over.”  For some it is an article of faith on which the debate never began.

So have a great 17 years.  Rejoice.  I think the microbes are scheduled to survive.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Opus 2013-326: Headlines: Teachers Are Causing Bullying

The Drudge Report attracted my attention with the Title, “STUDY: Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools Causing Students To Bully More...”  I love it when I see headlines that confirm what I have been observing. 

The researchers thought they had a slam dunk on being politically correct.  They were going to casually do some research to support their efforts to do good.  What was shocking to me is that they were actually honest in publishing the results when they went against the agenda.  This is research as it should be:  Throw out your data and let the chips fall where the may.

It seems that the videos with the curriculum, which I was required to use, teach kids new ways to bully and how to counter resistance.  You see it is true that students can learn something every day.

It is not a long article, check it out before it is removed from the web because it does not conform to the expectations of the Progressives.

While you are waiting for the denials you might have your kids sign up for the best anti-bullying program available:  Boxing lessons.  It is my belief that most bullies are cowards who look for the weak to dominate.  They will run at any real resistance.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Opus 2013-325: Headlines: Silly Rabbit, I-pads Are For Games

A couple of weeks ago the radio news had a piece on the schools of Los Angeles and a new technology program.  Students were given an I-pad to take home.  It had security on it which was supposed to limit them to only school work.  It only took a week for them to get around the experts’ blocks and set them up for recreational play.

One of the fantasies that modern educators believe but will never admit is that they are smarter than the students.  In reality most educators feel the students are stupid.  They might not even admit it to themselves but the actions and policies scream it.  The kids are not stupid, just lazy.  When they want something enough to chase it they can be quite creative and clever.

The program has been suspended.  The score is Students 1, Educators 0.  The kids know the score even if the adults don’t.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Opus 2013-324: Headlines: An Obamacare Apostate Is Formed

He was all for free health care until he realized TANSTAAFL.

At the beginning of a Drudge Report link called “Obamacare's winners and losers in Bay Area” the following comment is made,
“Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.” 
They are true believers but what we call LIV, or Low Information Voters.  Or maybe they are just typical Progressives who believe that someone else will pay for all their dreams.

Their tune changes at the end of the article when the dirty truth starts to reveal that they are the ones considered rich by the administration.
“‘Of course, I want people to have health care,’ Vinson said. ‘I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.’”
No.  They thought someone else would pay for it.  Someone like you and me.  Pain can be a great teacher.

Maybe the Affordable Care Act will be worth it after all.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Opus 2013-323: Better Apps in One Day

I keep getting notices for updates on my apps.  That is apps, not abs. 

My children keep forcing me into the modern era.  They bought me a smart phone, set it up and are paying for the coverage.  So far.  How can I resist.

But it keeps wanting to upgrade the applications.  This really gets irritating.  The demands won’t go away.  I get upgrade notices for apps I have never used. 

This weekend I decided to try updating the ones I found useful.  One of the things I noticed is all the legal jargon that is involved.  My kids understand it, I don’t.  If I want to go through word by word I and have someone to define key terms I can get the general idea.  I am sure that if I wanted to spend the time and effort I might be able to understand them.  Since my kids have been through it, I take much of it by faith.  I touch the screen and move on to application.

Why is it that when it comes to things like electronic legal jargon we accept and assume.  We don’t go through life refusing to use the tools because we don’t agree with some of the legal-speak.  How many of you really read through the entire document that came with the last upgrade in your e-mail software?  Did you really figure out what you were signing away on the last software product on which you hit “agree”?

Yet when it comes to eternal issues and the teachings of the Bible we get so picky.  We use ignorance, partial understanding and lack of effort as reasons to ignore what God is trying to say to us.  Could it be that in all areas we tend to take the lazy way and seek the most bang for the least buck?

In your latest smart phone app it might only cost you a few bucks or some inconvenience.  In ignoring God updates you are going to miss the ultimate update that comes with death.

Get serious.  God’s network makes 5G look like an ancient superstition. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Opus 2013-322: Headlines; Obama’s Hit List

Does the name Dr. Ben Carson sound familiar.  You may remember him for his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast with President Obama sitting next to him.  He is in the news again.

He is being audited by the IRS.  Can you believe this?  You can Google his name and IRS and get a lot of hits or just check out the article at the Washington Times.

Everyone said he criticized the president.  I watched the speech on You-Tube and didn’t see it as being a hard core attack, just some observations and encouragements.  It seems to have been enough to set in motion another example of the chilling misuse of power that we are seeing with this administration.  It is the ultimate coercion, using the tentacles of the federal government to silence dissent.  The Obama administration is blatantly using every organ of government to harass anyone who they see as raising a voice of disagreement.

Has the government power been misused before.  I am sure it has.  Does that excuse it now?  This is one of the reasons that I am in that part of the political spectrum that fears the government more than the greedy corporations.  Exxon has never been able to call out the SWAT teams when I bought gas somewhere else.  Wal-mart has never had me audited by the IRS when I stopped at a local retailer.  Microsoft may try to mess with my computer but I have never been visited by the FBI because I use WordPerfect instead of Word.


Are the words “impeachment” and “indictment” still in the dictionary?

Our political leaders need to change them from nouns to verbs and from passive to active tense.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 4, 2013

Opus 2013-321: Tax Dollars at Work: Club Z

Sometimes it gets pretty brazen.  The handout says this at the top, English on one side, Spanish on the other:  “Club Z! Can Provide Your Child with Free In-Home Tutoring Paid for by the Federal Government.’  It gives a web site to go for more information.

I received this in my box at school on Thursday morning.  The timing was not good.  We have people being told we can’t pay them and at the same time we are advertising free “in-home” tutoring that your tax dollars will pay for.  This are not flyers done on the library copier.  These are full color with photographs.  They are printed on heavy card stock.  They were expensive to produce.  And you are paying for them with your tax dollars.

Do you know anyone who has been furloughed?  I do.  Maybe I could send them a flyer.

I would submit that the president and leaders in the Senate are deliberately targeting people on their political hit lists.  I would guess that someone in this organization donates to the Obama campaign. 

We need to clean house.

Join me.  Please. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2013-320: On the Street: Economic Traffic Report

I have driven to work two days now in rush hour traffic and my report is that the government shut  down has had no noticeable effect on people going to work. 

Part of the observation is totally subjective.  It is still stop and go.  It still takes a long time.  I still hate the drive.  Little has changed.

Some of the observation is more objective.  My route one of those electronic sign boards that is used to announce amber alerts and major traffic issues.  On a daily basis it estimates the time to certain locations.  You can compare the time and get a feel for what is happening.  The lowest number I have seen for my destination is 13 minutes.  The highest I have seen when traffic is not totally stopped is 25 minutes.  I would consider a day that said 15 minutes to be typical of a good day.  For the past two days it has been 20 minutes.  It would seem that people are still going to work.

Washington is playing games.  We are the pawns being moved.  I resent it.  I plan on continuing to try to vote the suckers out.

Join me.  Please.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Opus 2013-319: Headlines: Obama Proves It Is Political

I don’t have the direct quote but the sound bite went something like, “The Republicans have tried to shut down the government rather than let the Affordable Care act go forward.  The joke is on them because everyone else is out of work but the registration for the new program goes forward.”  The speaker was President Obama.

That means that the entire process of shutdown is political posturing to portray an Obama manufactured crisis.  The one thing that has never been funded is going forward.  The entire block that was to be funded is shut down.  This is executive choice, not legislation.  While the administration and Senate talk about total shut down they are quietly funding the things that are important to them.  Like I am experiencing in public education, they cry broke and spend money on their pet projects.

One example I was reading yesterday was an historical site that accepts no federal money.  It is totally self-funded and staffed.  They sent in armed park police to force them to shut down.  Or take the World War II Memorial.  I was there last summer.  It is a wide open area in the middle of the park area.  There are not gates or fences.  It is open 24/7 and there was not visible staffing.  You could have visited it in the middle of the night and no one would care.  No longer.  Now we have spent money (which we don’t have) to send workers (who have been furloughed) to put up barricades to keep people away.  Then the government pays security to make sure that no one goes behind the barricades. 

Maybe the government needs to be shut down until everyone working for it goes and finds another job. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Opus 2013-318: On the Street: The Theology of Party Sameness

The conversation recently at the tire store covered a lot of ground.  One topic was the two political parties.  We often hear that they are the same.  They really are not and yet it often seems that way.  I tell people they are the same in the sense that a dog and cat are the same.  Both animals have four legs and a tail.  Both are carnivores and predators.  At the same time, one is nocturnal and the other enjoys the sunlight.  One is a pack animal and one is a loner.  They are not the same

The political party’s are similar in some areas.  In fact they are the same in many areas.  One common trait is that many in both parties ignore their party platforms.  Corruption is rampant is both.  Elitism does not know a party name.  Arrogance flows downhill from all high spots.

This is true even though their platforms are not the same.  They have different philosophies.  One believes in government answers, the other believes people should make their own mistakes. 

What causes the similarities?  They both have people and human nature is the same.  Followers of Christ are familiar with the concepts of original sin and depravity.  Nonbelievers might talk about broken people caused by social inequality.  Either way these faulty personalities strike across party lines.   Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, all parties frequently violate moral standards because they have people with the same flaws, not because they are not different.

To put it simply,
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Corruption, graft, cronyism, arrogance and coercion can be reduced by citizens paying attention and getting involved but they will never go away totally in this life.  The government has “shut down,” except for all the pet projects of the powerful.  Health care is in turmoil, but I bet a Senator can still get an immediate appointment. 

Meanwhile the sun is coming up, the corn is being harvested and the drive to work should be easier if you still have a job.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Opus 2013-317: Headlines: Day One of Obamacare

The media begins to carry water for Obamacare on the first day.

I am currently experimenting with listening to the radio to catch traffic reports.  The station I am sampling has traffic “on the 5's.”  As I waited I heard what I thought was an advertisement, paid for by the Obama administration, for the new out-of-my-pocket, affordable health care.  I kept waiting for the little line at the end, “Paid for by Obama the Savior Committee.”  It never came.

The tone of voice was upbeat and breathless like an eight year old girl announcing the latest Justin Bieber album.  The attitude seemed to imply that the oceans did stop rising today.  The reporter interviewed two people.  One, who gave a sound bite, was from England and thought socialized medicine was a grand idea.  There was no word on why he was not in England enjoying it.  The second person was dropping off her mother at the Emergency Room and didn’t know anything about Obamacare.  I am guessing she did not have a sound bite because she was illegal and didn’t speak English well. 

Two people interviewed.  Two positive responses.  This in a nation that has the vast majority of people who know about the new mandate and do not approve.  I wonder how that happened?

Then there was a chirpy listing of all the things the radio station was going to do to help us get signed up.  A two hour special was coming.  They had a website with information.  There was a list of services available. 

There were no indications of who was going to pay for all this.

This is what we called the unbiased media.

homo unius libri