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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Opus 2014-163: Editor or Author

My wife found an error in the Bible.

At least that was what she said.  It certainly got my attention.  I wasn’t worried, but I was interested in what she was talking about.  She was reading in Proverbs 11:22.
(Proverbs 11:22 KJV)  As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
In her Bible it gave a cross reference to Genesis 27:47 but that presented a problem:  Genesis 27 only has 46 verses.  She interpreted this as a mistake in the Bible.

In one sense she was right.  It only took a little research in my copy to realize that the reference should have been Genesis 24:47.  To the eye we had the same book but the editors had found their mistake and fixed it before mine was printed.  So there was a mistake in hers but not in mine. 

Does that mean that my Bible was inspired and her’s wasn’t?  Of course not.  You need to understand what we mean by inspired.  We do not mean that every translator, editor, typesetter and spell-checker was inspired by God.  What we mean is that the original manuscript was exactly what God wanted.  Most of honest modern scholarship is aimed at getting back to the original.

Don’t get too excited about what might at first appear to be errors.  It could be the editors.  It could be the translators.  It might be an issue of reading the manuscripts.  I might even be that you were not paying attention when you read.  With a little prayerful thought you can find a solution.

None of these issues are new.  Remember that people have been able to read for centuries and there are answers.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-162: New Terms: UPWH

America has been dissolved, according to Democrat Nancy Pelosi. 

Here is a direct quote from Business Insider,
“This is a community with a border going through it.”
It would seem that we don’t have a One World Government but we do have a Half World Government, from Breitbart.
"We are all Americans -- north and south in this hemisphere,"
Does that make us the United Provinces of the Western Hemisphere (UPWH)?  Does the western hemisphere now only get one representative in the United Nations?  Does this make Obama an emperor instead of a king? 

With the Democrats in charge we not only have abandoned the rule of law but our national sovereignty.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Opus 2014-161: It Is Called “Impeachment”, Mr. Speaker

It seems strange for supposed supporters of the Constitution to try an end run around the Constitution in order to enforce the Constitution.

That is what House Speaker John Boehner is trying with his proposal to sue the Obama administration for the use of Executive Actions.  The president has acted illegally.  I have no question about that.  He has violated the Constitution and should be dealt with but the Constitution has an established procedure for that.  It is called impeachment.  There is nothing in there about publicity stunts because you don’t have the testosterone to follow the rules yourself.

I hesitate to link to a rag like the New York Times but it is one source of information.  The article quotes Boehner,
“The Constitution makes it clear that a president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws; in my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws,”
I agree that this is a problem but the Constitution also gives the method for dealing with this.  It is called impeachment.  If he hasn’t done enough to be impeached then Boehner should sit down and shut up about lawsuits.  If you can’t see that he has done enough to be impeached then maybe you are not qualified to be in Congress.  Then again maybe that is the place to send people who cannot see the obvious.

I can tell I am reading an article in the Times.  It explained the problem this way,
“The president has used his executive authority to carry out key elements of his second-term agenda, like halting the deportation of young illegal immigrants brought to the country by their parents as children, raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors, and allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to curb carbon emissions from coal plants.”
Notice how positive that sounds.  There is no indication that he is breaking the law and going around due process or exceeding his authority.  That is the Times at work.

The Times did get it right in its last paragraph,
“Courts have also generally been reluctant to intervene in separation-of-powers disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government, preferring to let them work out such questions using constitutional tools, like lawmakers’ power of the purse.”
So don’t waste our time, Mr. Speaker.  The courts won’t listen, and rightly so.  If you don’t have the manhood to impeach then use the other “constitutional tool” that you have.  Take away his ability to pay his minions.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-161: From Gates to Gore, part 3 of 3

All rich people are not the same.

In a third category you have people like Al Gore.  Al Gore has adopted the mantra of Global Warming and has been using his bully pulpit to push that agenda.  When I first heard about Al Gore he was a somewhat conservative Democrat.  He talked and voted pro-life.  His wife took a public stand against vulgarity in music lyrics.  I saw some value in his life. 

Then he decided he wanted to be president.  As a Democrat the only way that will happen is if you drink the kool-aide and get on board the left wing agenda.  Fortunately for the country he did not make it to president but he has done all he can to make the world green.  He is worried that your car and air conditioning are going to ruin the planet.  He was been a driving force behind the hysteria of Global Warming and how the world is dying.  In the process he has become a wealthy man.  He has used his clout to get laws passed and by a strange coincidence he has started companies that stand to make millions because of the new laws.  Need to buy or sell carbon offsets in order to stay in business?  He is the man to see.  He isn’t in a financial class with Soros but he certainly has the same moral rudder.

It makes a difference how you make it and what you do with it.  Wealth by itself is not evil.  We would all like to be there.  Proverbs puts it well for most of us.
(Proverbs 16:8 NAS77)  Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice.
Be careful about painting with a broad brush.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Opus 2014-160: From Gates to Gore, part 2 of 3

But, remember, All rich people are not the same.

Consider multi-billionaire George Soros.  He also is incredibly wealthy but as far as I can see he fits the stereotype of the rich parasite.  He gets his wealth by sucking up the milk intended for poor babies.  If there is anyone who gets rich by taking from the poor, this is the man.  The robber barons of American Capitalism became wealthy while making life better for others.  He may have started out differently but what is ballooning his wealth is currency manipulation and gaming the stock market.  In ways that common folks like us don’t understand, he can make a billion dollars in a day without leaving his office.  He produces nothing.  He contributes nothing.  It is all wealth on paper but it is still wealth.  He buys low and sells high.  It may be legal but it is the kind of thing that almost makes me want more government regulation, because he does it with manipulation and psychology rather than efficiency and production.  Almost, I said.  I think he buys and sells politicians, too, so I doubt if the government can touch him.  Like Bill Gates, I don’t like his politics.  His wealth goes to push every left wing agenda on the planet.  He seems to care about nothing but George Soros.  Unlike Bill Gates he has done nothing to benefit society.

This kind of rich is a negative force in our world.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-159: From Gates to Gore, part 1 of 3

We hear a lot about the greedy rich but all rich people are not the same.  Let’s compare Bill Gates, George Soros and Al Gore.

The one who has touched most of our lives is Bill Gates.  In case you live in a cave that does not have an internet connection, Gates is the driving force behind Microsoft.  Its products run most of the government and businesses in the world that use computers.  Anything that does not have a little bitten apple on it probably runs on a Microsoft product.  He may not be the richest man in the world this week, but he comes close.  He has not gotten rich by raising prices but by volume of sales.

I don’t like his politics.  I don’t like some of his business practices.  I avoid his products as much as possible.  He is a modern Robber Baron.  Understand, I mean that as a compliment.  He has become incredibly wealthy by improving a product, marketing a product and driving the price of that product down regularly.  My first computer, with no hard drive, no wifi, 64k memory and weighing in at about 30 pounds cost $2,700.  My latest laptop cost under $600.  People line up to work for him because he pays well for people who know what they are doing.  In spite of all the bad press in the liberal academic circles, that is what the 19th century robber barons did too.  Life was better because of them.  Bill Gates created wealth for himself, thousands of employees, millions of investors and a better life for billions of people.

Society is better off with this type of rich person.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, June 27, 2014

Opus 2014-158: It Is No Longer Bush’s Fault

Has it been headlined?  I came across it in passing on the internet but evidently our economy has been shrinking for the last three months.  The Obama administration predicted a 4% gain.  The first number put out was .1% growth.  That is 1/10th of 1 percent not 1 percent.  Now they have revised it to be a negative 2.9%.  This means that the economy shrank.

I have to hand it to the Progressives (Democrats, elites, liberals, socialists).  They did not blame it on Bush.  They blamed it on the cold weather.  I guess that is progress, but then they are Progressives, aren’t they?

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Opus 2014-157: The President Seems to Support the Slave Trade

We have all been hearing about how the Obama administration has been planning and executing the importation of thousands of children in defiance of all immigration laws.  This man is doing everything he can to destroy the rule of law and bring back the Divine Right of Presidents.

I had a concern that I heard mentioned in passing but is being ignored.  What about the potential for abuse in the area of human trafficking.  That is the jargon for the international slave trade in women and children.  Most of them are kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery.  It is a real problem.  Here is a website that deals with the issue.

From the website you find this information,
“The UN crime-fighting office announced that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80 percent of them are being exploited as sexual slaves.”
Now instead of fighting the problem the United States has become a business partner of the slave traders.  It is ironic that we can thank the first black elected president of the United States for this honor.

It has been documented that they do not have enough people to handle all of these young children that are being flow into airports all across the country.  Want a sex slave?  Get a clipboard, look official and escort a few young children out the door.

I have no proof except knowing history, human nature, opportunity and the profit motive.  How many of these children will disappear? 

Only God knows.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-156: All Hangover, No Party

People like to joke about Hell.  They talk about how the devil won’t want them.  They think of Hell as being one long party with no cops coming to shut it down. 

Unfortunately they have it backwards.  Hell is more of an eternal hangover with no party.  I have never been drunk so I don’t know the misery of a hangover but it sounds pretty bad.  I have a feeling that it is nothing compared to an eternal lake of fire.

Something to think about.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Opus 2014-155: Traffic Tickets for Greed

My friendly neighborhood philanthropist shared that the highway patrol was being told to write more tickets.  At the same time the fines have been raised.  I joked about it being a two-fer.  It brings up an important question.

What is the purpose of our law enforcement system?

We have fines and imprisonment.  The government can take your money or your freedom.  That doesn’t answer the question.  Are fines and imprisonment for punishment or rehabilitation.  Is the purpose to protect the public or are they just to balance the budget?  Why do we have fines on traffic tickets?  Why do we punish drivers and rehabilitate criminals?  In regard to drivers, think of rehabilitation in the sense of behavior modification through the pocket book.

The government can take your money or your freedom.  Often it comes down to the whim or mood of one officer or one judge.  That is one reason why I am more afraid of the government than big business.  All the greedy capitalists can take is my money.  I have to get a permit to modify my house.  I have only one place to buy that permit.  I then have to pay a government inspector to check that I did it right.  Exxon, Ford Motor Company and General Electric have never put me in that position.

I am not afraid of Big Business.  I am afraid of my government.  Don’t get distracted from the real source of our problems.  Remember that the socialists (Democrats, liberals, communists, progressives, elites, Rinos) are always trying to distract us so we miss the slight of hand tricks that pick our pockets.  They want you to think that the guy who runs a multi-million dollar business is more greedy than the government official who runs a multi-billion dollar agency.

Don’t count on it and don’t call the judge that levies the fine greedy.  Contempt of court may be deserved but it is not allowed.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Opus 2014-154: On the Street: Where Is the Good Mexican Food?

It is really hard to find good Mexican food.

We first ran into this in New England.  They at least had the excuse of being far away from Mexico.  It was also thirty years ago and the Latino invasion was still confined to the Southwest.  We laughed at the way people pronounced simple words like taco and tortilla.  We watched the uncertainty when we served them enchiladas.  You have seen the look of concern on their face as they push something around with their fork and try to figure out what is in it.  The only place we could find that made a taco used Velveeta for the cheese.  But that was thirty years ago in a world far away.

Ten years ago we were in Indiana staying at a time share and noticed that recent emigrants had started a Mexican restaurant.  We were far from home and felt a need for some good Mexican food.  The names were the same but the ingredients had been changed to protect the innocent.  All of the strong accents were missing.  They seemed afraid that middle America was not yet ready for the jalapeno.  They provided us with decent, boring Indiana-Mex.  Boring.

I am currently in Texas and I am looking for some good Mexican food.  On previous trips we have been disappointed in what we found.  We were trying out a local place and my daughter said, “The rice tastes fishy.”  I pointed out to her it tasted fishy because it had chunks of fish in it.  This year we tried a new place in a small town.  We decided on the pink one rather than the yellow one.  They did not seem to know what a burrito could be. 

We may have to try the Tex-Mex style.  Or maybe we just need to re-label what we like as Cal-Mex and let it go at that.

Travel is tough but someone has to do it.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 23, 2014

Opus 2014-153: Headlines: Congress Is Above the Law

One of the dirty secrets of congress is that they don’t practice what they preach.  This is nothing new to me but it was surprising enough to be linked on the Drudge report under the title “Congress routinely passes laws they exempt themselves from”...  You can read it in the Nation Journal.
I have known about this a long time.  The basis for this idea is found in Article I, section 6, of the Constitution which says,
“They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.”
As you can see they were granted exemption from being arrested so that they could not be coerced or intimidated while in office.  There is some logic to this.  It is to protect congress from the power of the executive and courts.  They have taken this idea and extended it to almost every area of their existence.  They seem to want to protect themselves from life and the voters.

For more information feel free to review the article.

Maybe it is time to clean house with the ballot since we can’t do it with the law.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-152: Nobody’s Perfect? Part 2 of 2

Warning!  More theology ahead.

 How about a Biblical example of “perfect.”  Let’s look at the first time the word appears as “perfect” in both the KJV and NASB.
(Leviticus 22:21 NAS77)  'And when a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD to fulfill a special vow, or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.
How would a group of wandering nomads, without CAT scans, MRI machines or microscopes be able to tell if a lamb was perfect and without defect?  Obviously they could not if we define the word the way people want to define it when attacking concept of Christians being perfect.  Since the demand is made repeatedly and the priests were able to find plenty of perfect lambs for sacrifice, the word obviously must mean something else.  It would seem that God’s definition of perfect is a little different from the philosophical impossibility of the sceptics.

The Hebrew word is translated many ways.  The most common in the NASB is “without defect.”  In the KJV it is “without blemish.”  What is a defect for one person could be a value added feature for another.  A sunroof is nothing but a nusance to me but might be a tremendous accessory to you.  I like my steak well done.  The chef considers it burnt and unfit for human consumption.  The question is “What does God consider without defect?”  Or “How does the Bible define the term?”  The question is not, “Do you see it as perfect?”

The Greek word in the New Testament takes a different approach than popular theology.  It signifies complete in the sense that you have arrived at a goal.  It marks maturity. 

So when the Bible says we are to be perfect the Old Testament is implying we don’t have significant defects and the New Testament infers that we have reached a goal.  Does that mean that we can never make mistakes?  Does that mean that we cannot keep growing?  No.

Certain things would be considered natural and normal for a human being.  Consider some of the things that Jesus clearly experienced:  Hunger, fatigue, anger.  Since the Bible says He was tempted in all ways but was without sin, I think the list is a lot longer.  What qualities of being human would we throw out in the quest for our definition of perfect?  Human limitations are not signs of lack of perfection.

Perhaps we need another better word.  All words have their weaknesses.  What is expected of us is to engage our brains, read the scriptures, pray and wrestle with the big ideas.  It doesn’t mean accepting a canned, easy definition supplied by any theological camp.  This is one of the problems of being a follower of the Living God.  We are required to engage our minds and think.  Answers are often not simple and monochrome.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Opus 2014-151: Staying Home While Away from Home

I did not go to church today.

It wasn’t a hard decision.  I am traveling and I don’t know the churches in the area.  It took me a long time at home to find one old fashioned enough for me to feel like I could belong.  I would imagine that most of the churches in this area are like the ones that I couldn’t visit a second time back home. 

First, there would be a long period of standing while the home grown “worship team” would perform a bunch of songs that no one seemed to know.  About the only time that the congregation would join in is if they made the mistake of singing an old hymn in its original style.  They never seem to notice that people join in singing at that point.

Then there would be the fellowship time where you are supposed to go around and shake hands with everyone to show how much you care and ignore the fact that you had not talked to them all week.

Then you would have a sermon that either never refers to the Bible or is out of some modern translation that says nothing like yours.  The translation was picked because it says what the pastor wants to say.

So I will skip it for this week and probably next week.  Many write about how they don’t go to church very often any more.  I can understand that.  I just wish that more churches made it possible to worship.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-150: Nobody’s Perfect? Part 1 of 2

Warning!  Theology ahead.

We can be perfect and have flaws.

You may have a problem with that statement.  I can understand that.

First, for those who are Christians, let’s look at what the Bible says about being perfect.  Let’s start with the words of Jesus.
(Matthew 5:48 KJV)  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
This is a statement that is linked to Leviticus 19:2 and I Peter 1:16 which have the same structure but use the word “holy” instead of “perfect.”

When Jesus says we are to be perfect and numerous other references can be brought out to back up this simple statement, we cannot discount it with a simple, “No man can be perfect.”  If you are a pagan, atheist, or pseudo-Christian you can say that, but not if you accept the Bible as the word of God.

The problem we run into is in laying our definitions and presuppositions on the translation.  When we use the term “perfect” we assume something that even we know is not true.  For instance, a “perfect” diamond.  It may be considered “flawless.”  It may be worth a lot of money to people who pay for that kind of thing.  It is really “flawless?”  I doubt it.  Get a stronger scope.  Look closer.  Keep looking.  Somewhere, at some level, you will find a flaw.  It is still considered “flawless” and that is not considered inconsistent. 

When my firstborn child was produced he was the perfect baby to me and the perfect grandchild to my parents.  He also cried and pooped.  It is part of the package.  I stopped using the term “perfect” during diaper changes but still use it today when reminiscing.  If he was still crying and pooping we would have other words to describe it.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Opus 2014-149: On the Street: What Price Socialism?

I am currently in Texas and one of the first things I notice is the price of gas.  In California, the last time I filled up at a discount station, regular was $3.95 a gallon.  Here we just filled up for $3.36.  We are talking around 60 cents a gallon cheaper.  Why?

Let’s start with taxes.  California charges through the nose.  Texas keeps it down.  Is there anything else to say?

Then we have regulations for saving the environment.  California has numerous regulations about additives that must be put in the fuel.  Each one causes the price to increase.  Since other states do not add these things it cuts down competition because their gas cannot be used in the Golden State.  California refineries are the only possible source.  Is that ka-ching the sound of the cash register?

Then we have another form of regulation in that California has not allowed a new refinery to be built in around 30 years.  Does lack of competition mean anything to you?  Have you ever heard of supply and demand?

California is a failed socialist state.  The governor is bragging about a balanced budget and how the economy is improving.  I am guessing that the balanced budget is based on overestimated increases in revenue because of tax increases and underestimated costs of programs.  The computer models are probably designed by the same people who preach global warming.  If you tweak the formula you put in the computer you can get the results you want.  The same goes for the economic recovery.  I am not seeing people find jobs.

Remember how Communist Russia claimed it was doing so well in the early years.  Remember how the useful idiots who visited from the West were willing to close their eyes and even outright lie about what was going on.  I think most of them are now working for the Government of California.  Socialism works, if you believe the socialists.  Socialism works if you don’t look at the facts.  If you need a loaf of bread or a TV that works you might have a different view of things.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 20, 2014

Opus 2014-148: Headlines: How Would You Feel?

As I watch the march of Islam back into Iraq my heart goes out, not to the Iraqi people being conquered, but to the American families who lost loved ones in the successful attempt to allow these people to live in security and freedom.  It was successful.  Face it all you Bush haters.  The war was won thanks to the determination of George Bush and the sacrifice of American soldiers.  All the Iraqi’s had to do was man-up and hold on to it.

They have not done so.  It continues to be true that you can’t win someone’s freedom for them. 

I grant you the abandonment of the Obama regime has been a major contributor.  Announcing when you are pulling out and adopting the old, failed Rules of Engagement are sure ingredients for failure.

I believe that American soldiers went to Iraq to assure our security and give the people of that country a chance to establish responsible government and personal liberty.  Both goals were achieved.  We can be proud of that but if I had lost a son in that effort I would be filled with rage now as our current Wimp-in-Chief throws it all away because in his heart he hates what America has been.

Will Iraq survive for two years until we have a change in leadership?  I have my doubts.  It will depend on the citizens of Iraq at this point.  Do they want to submit to murderous thugs or will they fight for their freedom?  Will we survive for two years until the Executive Order president is forced to step down?  Sure, but we don’t know how much more damage he will cause. 

Elections have consequences.  If you voted for Obama the first time you obviously were not paying attention to who he was and what he said.  If you voted for him a second time you are either a fool or are into race-baiting politics.

I think an ingredient for the survival of our republic will be how many of the incumbents are voted out in the next election.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-147: 2014, 1860 or 1866, part 3 of 3

Elections have consequences.

Then we come to 1866.  The moderate Republicans and the Democrats were having it all their way.  They were reimposing a system on the South that hundreds of thousands of Northerners had died to destroy.  The people of good will in the nation watched with horror.  They handled it the way Americans have traditionally handled dissatisfaction with the political situation.  They voted the suckers out. 

1866 was a key year in the history of our republic.  It was a year of mid-term elections.  The moderates were in control and they were doing moderate things.  1866 swept in the radicals.  The radicals passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866.  14th Amendment was passed out of Congress and approved by the states.

A moment on the 14th Amendment.  Most people are aware of the first section.
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
In addition it took away representation from states that kept people from voting (section 2).   It prohibited many leaders of the Confederacy from being elected to Congress (section 3).  It cancelled the debts incurred by the Confederacy to fight the war (section 4).  

How does this relate to today?  The moderate Republicans are still with us.  They are in control of the House of Representatives.  They are often called Rinos.  The Democrats, of course, are still with us trying to keep minorities on the plantation by getting them dependent on the government with welfare and subsidies.  They understand that where Federal money flows, Federal control goes.  In the wings we have the modern equivalent of the Radical Republicans.  We call them the Tea Party.  They are Republicans, Libertarians and Independent voters that are trying to get the country back. 

Are you mad?  Are you willing to do something about it?  We don’t want it to come to war so do the American thing:  Vote the Suckers Out.

Is it 2014 1860, 1866 or samo, samo.  It is up to you.  Elections have consequences.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Opus 2014-146: Headlines: E-mails Don’t Crash

I am not following with great interest the current scandal about the lost e-mails.  It is following me.  The problem is we are on the road and my wife has TV on in the hotel room and the radio going when we drive.  I can’t avoid it.  It is just another example of media foolishness.

Think about your e-mail account.  We are traveling.  I can take my computer and, over the hotel wifi, access my wife’s e-mail account.  All I need are passwords and such.  The reason I can do that is all our e-mails are stored at the G-mail site, not on our computer. 

I would hope that secure government offices don’t use G-mail but I think the principle is the same.  It doesn’t really matter if the hard drive crashes.  The e-mails are stored and backed up somewhere else. 

Also one of the reasons we are seeing so many scandals out of Facebook it that once something is posted on the internet it is around forever.  You can’t get rid of it.  That means that no matter what the tech or non-tech does to get rid of the evidence, if it went on the internet it is still out there.

You want to find the e-mails?  DEFCON is coming.  Ask the hackers to find them.  Give them a few minutes.  No problem

If we have not e-mails it is because no one wants the e-mails.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-145: 2014, 1860 or 1866, part 2 of 3

Elections have consequences.

Now we come to 1865, not an election year, and the issue of “what do you do with the freedmen?”  This involved the evolving concept of civil rights.  The South had lost the war.  The Democrats were definitely a minority party.  The thing that gave the Democrats hope was that the moderate Republicans were in control of congress and the White House.  At the end of the Civil War the moderate Republicans were happy to be winners and wanted to get along.  As a result they allowed the Southern states, still controlled by Democrats, to return to the fold with only lip service to protecting the freed slaves. 

You had two trends developing.  On the positive side, many of the freed slaves were highly skilled craftsmen.  They were the ones who had been the blacksmiths, furniture makers, carpenters and so forth because they had been trained while slaves.  Many set themselves up in business and began to do very well.  Thousands of people came from the North to try and give the new citizens the things they had been denied.  The Freedman’s Bureau was established to provide emergency food, jobs and education.  With no money to back the mandate these volunteers still started 4,300 schools and several colleges.  A lot of hope was visible.

On the negative side you had the emergence of the Black Codes, laws that had only one purpose:  Limit the liberty of the freed slaves and keep them slaves in fact if not in name.  Things got really bad.  This is where black Americans were not allowed to own property or have firearms.  They were forced back into menial servitude.  The white Democrats of the South knew how politics worked and they wrote laws that would keep them in power.  About the same time the Ku Klux Klan, again filled with Democrats, was organized to destroy those who could not be dealt with through the law. 

But an election was coming and elections have consequences.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Opus 2014-144: 2014, 1860 or 1866, part 1 of 3

Elections have consequences. 

The general election of 2014 is coming.  Will it be like 1860 or like 1866?  1860 led to war.  1866 led to reform.

I know you didn’t pay attention in your history classes but now you might be old enough to listen.  You may be familiar enough with our past that you realize the two dates mentioned bracket the American Civil War.  On both dates elections made a difference.

In 1860 the hot button was on slavery.  The big issue then, as today, was how much power the federal government had to impose its will on citizens and states.  Citizens as individuals could not do much but the states were strong enough to think they could defy Washington and live to tell about it.  It turned out they were wrong.

In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president.  It could have been said that he did not have a mandate from the people.  Since he only received 39.8% of the popular vote it is hard to claim that the country was behind him.  His election was the catalyst that caused the South to secede and led to the Civil War. 

The Southern states tried to leave because they felt they had no voice left in the federal government.  It was an act of desperation.  Understand our political system.  In order to pass a new law or change an old law you need a victory in the House of Representative, the Senate and a signature in the White House.  The South had not had any influence in the House for years.  They had lost the Senate in 1850 when California was admitted as a free state.  Their only remaining hope was a president who would use his veto power on slavery bills.  Lincoln was against slavery but had repeatedly promised not to try to take it away from the Southern states.  They did not believe him and seceded. 

The result was a long and bloody war to guarantee that the federal government had the right to tell the states what to do.  More people died in the Civil War than in all our other wars combined.

I don’t care how angry you are we don’t want to see that again.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-143: On the Street: Diversity at Work

We are traveling and I am looking for things to distract me.  I found one item in the men’s room.  The urinals are designed for diversity.  I am used to low level receptacles for those confined to wheel chairs or younger children.  Of course there are the ones at “normal” elevation.  What I noticed on this trip were that others had been installed in increments.  We now have urinals for people of all altitudes.

It is an idea that expresses the heart of diversity.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Opus 2014-142: Ode to Old: What Did You Do with My...

It happened again and I am worried.

My wife could not find something.  She wanted to blame me for its disappearance.  I stopped doing what I was doing, walked to her point of crisis and found it in about 30 seconds, right where she said she had left it. 

This is not right.  It has gone the other way for almost 40 years.  Am I suddenly getting my act together or is she losing it?  Maybe it is both.

Getting old it really an adventure.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 16, 2014

Opus 2014-141: Typo’s and Ignorance

It is funny how often I find typo’s when I re-read a post.

I try to avoid writing and posting quickly.  It is a sure formula for looking ignorant.  I know the difference between their, there and they’re.  The problem is, my fingers don’t.  When I get in a hurry my fingers do the thinking for me.  Then you have the problem of keyboards that don’t respond the way you think they should and leave letters out.  Writing and re-writing is a technique that I try to teach at school when we are doing research reports.  Most people are too lazy.

When I first started this blog journey I remember reading a post on Gorges’ Grouse about how he does it.  He talked about writing, setting the piece aside and looking at it again later.  I am sure that an English teacher somewhere told me the same thing, but Gorges words stuck with me.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have read things.  I often find mistakes that I totally missed.  Don’t blame Gorges or my English teacher.  Blame the computer keyboard gods.  I am sure that it isn’t my fault.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Opus 2014-140: Who Brings Home Your Bacon?

A couple of years ago Alistar Begg made a comment in one of his podcasts, “Fathering is the most dignified role I will ever play.”

That bears repeating.  “Fathering is the most dignified role I will ever play.”  This is a concept that our culture needs to revisit.  If you are not a father you probably can’t understand it.  I know I didn’t.  I was not ready for the changes in perspective that a child could bring.  I noticed the same thing in my wife. 

Children change you.  Or they should.

Our culture is working against this.  A man now wants a woman who can not only bear his children but go to work to help pay for them.  Remember the song that began, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let him forget he’s a man.”  Men tend to want the toys and leisure that come from a working wife.  Women go along.  Doesn’t everyone deserve a manicure and nice clothes?

In the process the children are turned over to the day care centers of the nation.  The church has bought into this by supplying day care.  They endorse the concept of families leaving their decedents in the hands of people who often work for minimum wage because they can’t get anything better. 

It is time for the men of this nation to step up to the plate and become responsible again.  If the popular culture won’t because the narcissism is too ingrained, then it needs to begin in the church. 

Grow up and Happy Fathers’ Day.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 13, 2014

Opus 2014-139: Headlines: Wacko's Have Both Right and Left Wings

They are at it again.  I am no fan of the president but I am even less a fan of lazy, “gotcha” reporting.  Linked by Drudge you find this from the Weekly Standard” “Obama's Second $1.5M Brussels Hotel Bill in Less Than Three Months”

To those of us who work for a living that is a lot of pocket change.  Most of us could retire on the money spent on a few of these trips.  That is not the issue.  We are not the head of a nation.  When we go somewhere we make reservations by phone or internet.  We don’t have body guards and multiple secretaries.  All of that is part of the office.

The question that is not asked is, “How does this compare, adjusted for inflation, with the expenses of previous presidents?”  Also not addressed in the article is whether these trips were necessary.

Do me favor, guys.  Let’s act like I have a brain and am not a knee-jerk, Neanderthal.  I get enough of that from the MSM.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Opus 2014-138: Headlines: “This Is Are Story”

A headline on Drudge caught my attention.  When you followed the link you saw this headline, “Chicago Public Schools prom slogan: ‘This Is Are Story’.”

I thought it was kind of funny.  As a public school teacher I run into this kind of stuff all the time.  When I am in a hurry I do it myself.  There may be some mistakes like that in this post.  I have even seen it in work produced by my school’s administration.  The fact that this “theme” was vetted and printed up on official posters is what makes it sad.  Were there no adults involved who know basic spelling?

Of course this was used as an attack on high paid teachers.  “But while CPS students get left behind, their teachers receive generous compensation.”  It must be the teachers’ fault if kids can’t read, write or spell.  Maybe, but I doubt it. 

Read the life of Frederick Douglass.  He was born a slave and lived in a time and place that made it illegal to teach slaves to read.  In spite of that he learned.  How?  He taught himself.  With no teacher he managed to get an education.  The same can be said for others.  Years ago I was involved in a Sunday School class on the edge of the Watts area of Los Angeles.  In my class I had students who could read well and others who could not recognize the word “the.”  They all went to the same schools.  Where did the readers learn?  At home.  Regardless of the credit teachers’ like to take, that is probably where most children learn to read. 

A student can’t read after a life in public school?  If they have been continually promoted, I blame that on the school.  If they cannot read, I blame it on the student.  I could teach any student to read but on many of them my techniques would get me arrested.

An old proverbs says it best, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”  I think the same goes for a jackass. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Opus 2014-137: New Terms: Selfie

It is a constant challenge to keep up with the development of the Popular Language.  Words come and go.  Meanings are created and nuances established.  I am still trying to figure out what my eighth graders mean by “ratchet” but at least I now know what a “selfie” is.  Who taught me?  The president of the United States.  I had never heard of a selfie until he demonstrated it at a state funeral.  Classy, right?

I didn’t even know that such a thing existed and there he was, demonstrating it for the entire world.  Now I see the term and the action everywhere.  Everyone wants to be like the president.

If you are out of the loop, a selfie is the action of taking your own picture with your cell phone.  The current generation of phones has the ability to not only act like a traditional camera but take pictures from the front or back.  You can see yourself on the screen so that you know what will be in the picture.

So get a smart phone if you don’t have one yet.  Start documenting your life.  Post it on the internet.  Future generations are waiting.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Opus 2014-136: Headlines: Cutting the Cheese

As I jumped around on the web I started seeing references to cheese, wooden boards and government regulation.  Eventually I Googled “cheese regulation” and found the story at Forbes.
In typical Nanny State style an official in the FDA “has issued an executive decree banning the centuries old practice of aging cheese on wooden boards.”  I don’t know anything about making cheese.  I do know about the crippling effects of government regulation and the arrogance of government elites. 

According to this article quality cheese is aged on wooden boards.  The Big Boys of cheese, the ones who probably slipped a little under-the-counter cash to this government official, don’t use wooden boards.  In fact, it sounds like Big Cheese products are untouched my human hands.  That is probably an exaggeration but you get the idea.

They are worried about bacteria on the boards.  I thought bacteria was part of the process of aging cheese. 

Have you felt threatened by that expensive cheese that is imported from Ireland or France?  You can begin to relax because your government is taking steps to protect you from the danger.   Most of it will be banned.  Do you get frustrated by all the different types of cheese other than American slices?  There is hope for you just around the corner.  Soon your only choice may be pasteurized process cheese or pasteurized process cheese food. 

Are you only happy with expensive cheese?  That too will be granted because I am sure that the new regulations will raise prices either by increased compliance costs or reduced competition.  Soon mild cheddar will cost more than Stilton used to cost.  There is something for everyone here, except those who love the smell of liberty.

Today cheese, tomorrow shower output.  Oh, wait.  They already did that.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-135: The Argument Is Never Over

The Global Warming fanatics are still at it.  They claim that we are all doomed if they are not given control of our lives.  They ignore all of the data that does not agree with their lust for power.  Their mantra is “Don’t confuse me with the facts.” 

Blaise Pascal had the same problem with the people of his day. 
“When we are accustomed to use bad reasons for proving natural effects, we are not willing to receive good reasons when they are discovered.” Pensées, Kindle Highlight Loc. 759-60
Science is the constant discovery of new information.  Every time you prove a hypothesis it just opens up new avenues of question.  Old proofs are always open to reevaluation.  At least that is how it is supposed to be.  Climate science according to Al Gore and his ilk can pick and choose what to evaluate, set up computer models to produce the results they want, make money from their mandates and demonize anyone who tries to point out the obvious errors.  It gives science a bad name.

So take the point that Pascal is trying to make and listen to all the good reasons why you might be wrong.  The truth never hurts unless you have a lot of money riding on deceit.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 9, 2014

Opus 2014-134: Adolf Hitler for President?

Awhile back I was listening to a podcast about the need for laws to lock up people who are mentally ill.  A large percentage of what we call the homeless population are people who used to be in institutions.  I assume it was for their protection and to keep the streets free of wandering panhandlers.  In one of the government austerity measures they were turned out.  I believe it was one of the brainchildren of Ronald Reagan.

When we talk about passing laws that regulate and control we need to ask ourselves a question: “What if the next president was Adolf Hitler.”  When we have government officials in office that we agree with and trust and we pass a law, we assume it will be administered with care and good will.  Thus, if we legislated putting these mentally ill people back into institutions we would assume that it would work out as we intended.  But what if...

We already hear about doctors asking questions about our attitudes toward guns.  It hasn’t happened to me, but I hear about it.  We recently had the kids at school do a survey.  It was never in my hands.  It was administered by an outside agency.  I never saw the questions.  Afterwards the kids told me it asked a lot of very personal, invasive questions.  Under the wrong people questions like this can be used to decide that you or I are mentally unstable and need to be locked up for our own good. 

Or how about home schoolers.  These people are the target of the fascists in government.  If you remove a child from the brainwashing of public education the concern is that they might learn to think for themselves and develop contrary views.  One recent case is “Texas Judge keeps family apart for two months over homeschooling.”  The key quote to me is,
“While the Tutts were not accused of abuse or neglect, officials objecting to their decision to home-school their children removed their children from the home.”
It was not abuse.  It was simply a matter of being out of the mainstream. 

We need to take the long term view on things that we would like to see made into law.  What if the wrong person is applying them?  I think we should assume it will be the wrong people, not hope it isn’t.

I suggest that no law is better than bad law.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Opus 2014-133: Fast Food and Freedom

Some of us need the restrictions of rules and regulations; all of us some times;  some of us all the time.

In one of his sermons Alistair Begg shares how he struggled with math.  He could understand how to do a specific problem but could never seem to grasp how the bigger principles applied to the entire math world. 

There is a good possibility that all of us have areas of our life where we will never get the big picture or the principles of how things will work.  There are many possibilities of why.  Some may not care to know the big principles because the principle of “me” is all they care about.  Some may be immature and developing.  They will get there some day.  Some may be to limited in their mental equipment. 

It may be there are some people who need a legalistic structure because they need people to tell them in each specific case what to do.  Making mature decisions is hard to do.  It requires mental effort as well as an understanding of how life works.  Often it is easier to just have someone else make the decisions.  I can decide what to eat at In-n-Out much quicker than I can at Cracker Barrel.  In-n-Out has the choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or double-double.  I also get to choose fries or not.  Cracker Barrel has multiple pages with variations on each theme.  There is a reason why one is called fast food.  Most of the thinking is done before I hit the parking lot.

Even eating out is a sign of releasing responsibility.  It is easier.  To eat at home it is necessary that someone go to the grocery store and make many selections, haul it in the house, store it, make more selections when it is time to prepare, cook making decisions and then you need to decide on portions.  Freedom is a burden.  That is why so many are content to allow the Nanny State a growing power over their lives.

Freedom demands.  Liberty demands responsibility. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Opus 2014-132: Links: Walter Williams on Education

As I was looking through sites I have bookmarked I came across a post by Mychal Massie that deals with education and the push for Common Core Curriculum (CCC).  He is quoting a piece written by Walter Williams.  It is an easy read and gives you some insight into where the leaders in public education want to take us.  For your own benefit take the time to read it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-131: Healthy Insights: Cookies, Anyone?

One of the big potholes on my personal spiritual journey is learning to be servant. 

I do not have the spiritual gifts of service or mercy.  I do not understand people who have them.  At the same time I am expected to learn the disciplines of service and mercy.  It is the same principle that says I am expected to witness even if I don’t have the gift of evangelism. 

A little gimmick occurred to me. 

First, the problem.  I get irritated by people who ask me to do something for them that they are perfectly capable of doing themselves and involves just as much extra effort on my part as it would for them.  I am not talking about when I am getting a cookie and walking past where they sit and having them ask me to bring them one.  That is cool.  I am talking about someone calling from the other room while they watch a TV program, interrupt me as I read a book and ask me to bring them a cookie. 

Now the gimmick.  When I go out of my way to do something simple like this I burn a few calories.  When they rest on their throne they store a few calories.  If the difference is 10 calories a day then I lose a pound over a year and they gain a pound.  For every 10 calories of service and mercy I lose a pound.

So I am trying to think of it as “Help a friend, lose a pound;  ask for help, gain a pound.”

I am not sure my attitude is spiritual but how often have you seen pictures of fat slaves?

homo unius libri

Friday, June 6, 2014

Opus 2014-130: Fascism Is More than Mussolini

The frenzy over Global Warming is a good example of the fascist need to use everything to increase the control of the elites.  If it gets hot it is global warming.  If it gets cold, global warming.  If the economy is good we need more government action to redistribute wealth.  If the economy is bad, same.

Fascism is a form of government that has many levels of tyranny but always centers on the state being the center of control and importance.  It can hide in democratic forms like we have or be blatant in a Communist state.  It can use capitalism as well as state control.  It involves a small core of elites who think that they have the right to make decisions for everyone else.  They wear the label of Democrat, Republican or Independent.  They can be political, academic or economic leaders.  Usually all work together.  Every choice they make is to increase the control of the central government because it is the only wise authority.  Personal freedom is only allowed in areas that the state has not decided to be in control.  Those areas get smaller on a regular basis.

Think of the concerns that are being used to take away your freedom:  The War on Drugs, terrorism, climate change, overpopulation, gun control, war, poverty, racism, Christianity.  The list could go on because anything that can advance the agenda of the fascists from left and right is fair game.  All of them are advanced out of concern for your safety.  Of course the safest people in the country are those in straight jackets, with a feeding tube of approved foods, locked in padded rooms with 24 hour surveillance cameras. 

Maybe all of us should register as Libertarians and make laws illegal.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Opus 2014-129: On the Street: The Demise of Democratic Process

When I returned from voting yesterday for the first time in my life I wondered why I bothered.

In a previous election the stooges of the Democratic party managed to pass a law changing our ballots in California.  We now have what they call an “open primary.”  This means that for state offices all candidates are listed in a lump and anyone can vote for any name regardless of political party affiliation.  If I understand it correctly, the top two names will then be listed in the general election of November. 

What is the problem?

We have fifteen names listed for the office of governor.  Six of those are identified as Republican and two as Democrat.  This is California.  It is entirely possible that the top two names on the ballot will be Democrats and thus there will be no real choice for millions of Californians in November.  This has been a brilliant ploy to keep the party of welfare handouts and crony capitalism in power.

So what is the point of voting?

Add to that the recent joke involving Proposition 8.  Proposition 8 was passed by a strong majority of Californians who wanted to make it clear that marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman.  That was all it said.  The people spoke.  Shortly after that one Federal judge, serving for life, declared it unconstitutional.  Did the fact that the judge is a homosexual have anything to do with his decision?  Is water wet?  Is the Pope a Catholic?

So one untouchable Federal judge imposes his personal views on the population of California. 

So what is the point of voting?

We need to impeach more than the president.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Opus 2014-128: Headlines or Should-a-Beens: An Alternative to Impeachment?

When I went to the Drudge Report this morning I saw a headline that I agreed with but it had the wrong picture above it.  The headline read, “Bowe Should Face Court-Martial.”  I then noticed the name was not Obama so I realized it might be the right picture.

Actually though, it isn’t a bad idea.  If the President is the top of the food chain in the military, I believe the Constitution calls him the Commander in Chief, then why not have the military put him on trial if congress won’t do their job.  You could throw in a couple of generals to sweeten the pot.

Impeachment anyone?

If you follow the link you find that it is a English newspaper, the Daily Mail, that came up with the idea.  Once again we are forced to go to the English for our news.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-127: New Terms: The Inaccurate Mind

When I first developed an interest in blogs and blogging I seemed to have a lot more time.  I came across an atheist’s blog.  It looked interesting.  He made some strong statements and I wanted to respond.  The problem was he did not take comments.

He made it very clear that anyone who disagreed with him was stupid and not worth listening to.  There is nothing like an open mind.  And there is nothing like a closed mind.  I find both kinds on both sides of the aisle.

I sometimes wonder if we are wasting our time in continuing to dialogue with people who refuse to listen or consider plain facts.  I often shake my head over the comedy line, “Who are you going to believe, me or you lying eyes?”  I look at simple things like raising the minimum wage.  The correlation is clear.  When you raise the minimum wage the result is fewer jobs for those at the lower economic levels.  Why are things like that so hard to see and accept?

Blaise Pascal had a term I came across.  He called it an “inaccurate mind.”
“ must have a quite inaccurate mind who reasons wrongly from principles so plain that it is almost impossible they should escape notice.”  Pensées, Kindle Highlight Loc. 257-58
I had a student doing a report on FDR.  He had the idea that Roosevelt had brought us out of the Great Depression and cured the failed economy.  After all, didn’t his programs put people back to work and end unemployment?  Didn’t he save the country?  He had been reading the works of well educated historians.  I quietly walked the the computer, Googled unemployment statistics and showed the graph to him.  It only took him a few seconds see that unemployment got much worse under the New Deal than is had been when the banks failed.  It was clear that unemployment was never dealt with until World War II started.  It was clear that Roosevelt was a failure.  It only took him a few moments.  Why do scholars not see it?

Could it be that having an education gives you an “inaccurate mind”?

At the same time I wonder how many times in our relationships is it us who turn off the comment section so people think we won’t listen.

Communication involves a willingness to listen.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 2, 2014

Opus 2014-126: The Blue Screen

I keep getting these messages on my computer that I need to restart in order to put the upgrades into effect.  I am asked “Now or later?”  The question keeps coming until I do something about it.  It never seems to be a good time.

How often does God send these types of messages.  God is not satisfied with your virus protection.  You are open to attack.  There has been a corruption in one of your files.  It needs to be fixed.  I have been there, have you?  How often have you heard irritating things about what is wrong with your life.  You don’t want to hear it.  You actually know it is true but you still don’t want to be reminded.  Yet the message keeps coming in different forms.

Sometimes the only way to get your computer to work correctly is to reboot.  The problem could be in the operating system, software or data.  It doesn’t matter.  Reboot.

It works on spiritual issues too.  You need to reinstall the values and principles that God designed you for.  You need to allow His bios and virus controls to reinstall everything the way it was intended to be run before the corruption set in.  I don’t understand how it works on my computer but I know it needs a fix.  I don’t know all that God is doing but the same applies.

If you are getting those messages, take a break and reboot.  Things will work better.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Opus 2014-125: What Seeds Are We Planting

I have some mixed emotions.

We just went through what the students call “graduation” but in reality is just a promotion ceremony where we hand out certificates, not diplomas.  After all it is only the movement from eighth grade to ninth.  You would not know that from the attention it gets with music, processioal, speeches, names read and recessional.  Students dress up like it is a Harvard event.  Parents come with flowers and balloons. 

On one level it is a joke.  We were given instructions by our district that we must allow students with two “F” grades to participate.  We know that people with multiple failures over the last three years will be promoted to the next grade.  It is called social promotion.  If they did not have all their book responsibility taken care of they participated, walked across the stage and received an envelope but it did not contain the certificate.  So even if you did not bother to be responsible you got all the attention that those who had fulfilled their requirements received.  Like I said, a joke.

Another action is what I have mixed feelings about.  We have a large number of special education students at our school.  The group I am talking about are in special classes all day but have lunch and breaks with the general education students.  They went through the promotion just like the rest of the students.  They are human beings and deserve the dignity of being treated as such.  But what does it say when a kid who has a hard time figuring out how to walk across  a stage is given the same recognition as someone headed to an Ivy League school?  When we went to the park the previous week they went along.  Fine.  Some of them needed an adult with them at all times because they are so out of touch with life.  Fine.  Should they walk across a stage like they were doing real academic work when they probably don’t understand what is going on?  Tie that together with the students who could do the work, refuse, and get to walk also.  What does that say to the young people who are still trying to do their best and see the unqualified getting the same rewards?

I have mixed feelings but I see the results in lower scores, less effort and borderline chaos on campus.  Whatever my feelings, it isn’t working.

homo unius libri