Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

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

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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Opus 2015-148: A Moment of Common Humanity

Vice President Joe Biden has lost a son to brain cancer.  It is time for Americans to set aside our political differences and pray for this family.  They may have known it was coming.  They may have prepared their hearts and minds but losing a child has to be one of the greatest pains in life.

Tragedy like this is also a time for us to look at our priorities and to be thankful for our blessings.  It can all change so quickly.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Opus 2015-147: We Call It Sin. We Believe in Forgiveness

I don’t believe I have ever watched the programs of the Duggar family.  I don’t know that I have ever read any of the articles about them.  My wife has and people I know have, but I have not.  I have not been involved so I don’t feel “betrayed”.  I have continued that pattern with the recent feeding frenzy of the Christ-hating media.  I have read a few posts and filtered it through my unemotional mind and heart.

My basic response to what I am hearing is:  I am glad you God-deniers are learning about forgiveness and grace.  We are sinners.  Some sins are worse than others.  All can be forgiven.  God has an open door policy to people who will repent.  No one in the Christian community is trying to say that what happened does not matter or was a good thing.  What we should be saying is that it has been dealt with and is no longer an issue.

From what I have read, the Duggar family responded to this as Christians should respond to sin in their midst.  It was not ignored or swept under the rug.  They were confronted with sin and dealt with it.  Experts, authorities and all relevant people were brought in.  Confession was made, counseling was given, forgiveness was extended and restoration was made.  It was not broadcast from the rooftops because it did not effect the rooftops and because it would have done nothing but sold a few newspapers and exercised a lot of self-righteous tongues.

To bring all this out now is like rejecting the Catholic church because Peter denied Jesus.  I have not read all that is out there.  If I read it in the secular press I would treat it like I do most of what they put out.  If the New York or Los Angeles Times tells me it is noon and the sun is up, I will go outside to check.  When they get all scandalized at a teenage sin from years ago I remember that they still have not been forthcoming about the frolicking of JFK or WJC.  They were both adults and neither one of them confessed or repented, let alone got counseling.

So when I read about scandal I consider the source.  These media types are people who think that nudity is free speech, homosexuality is normal, abortion is a right, global warming is more dangerous than ISIS and serious Christians are terrorists.  There problem here is not that they are scandalized by sin but that it is a chance to scandalize the Christian faith.

They need to get a life or a Bible and we need to get another source of news.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 29, 2015

Opus 2015-146: Discernment Watch: Beware of Success

I don’t know if you are familiar with Demotivator Posters.  They are found at the Despair website that sells posters, calendars, mugs and t-shirts.  It might be worth a visit if you have never seen what they have.  (I receive no payback for this recommendation)  Recently I saw what I assume is one of their posters on another website.  The captions is
“Success:  If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success and celebrate your victory.”
I feel this could be the catchy slogan that education has been searching for. 

All of the commotion about Common Core and testing pretty much comes down to this.  Instead of keeping standards high and consequences sure, we blink, draw another line in the sand, lower the standards and claim we have made progress because more students are passing and going to college.  The problem is that the increase is short lived because once the students realize the standards have been lowered, they put out even less effort and wait for them to be lowered again.  The percentage of students who finish college keeps declining.  Those who graduate often have no skills.

The kids are kids.  The teachers are warm hearted.  This is a destructive combination.  The future is not promising.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Opus 2015-145: Headlines: Body Counts

I am sure you have seen the blaring headlines about the dead bodies in Chicago and Baltimore.  I think I saw New York too but in just those two cities we had 21 dead.  Just think, it is more dangerous to be a civilian in Chicago than a soldier in Afghanistan.  Remember when the number killed in Iraq was a glaring headline.  Remember when the president and his Progressive allies were calling to pull out?  Maybe that should be the solution for our big cities.

The problem is, “Whom do you pull out?”  It seems that those being killed are civilians.  It seems that those doing the killing are civilians.  I would guess that a significant number were black.  For those who want to bleat about how black lives count, they can add 21 to the count.  Why don’t we hear that black killers count also?  Where were the police when this tragedy was going on? 

At least six of them were on trial in Baltimore. 

That sure kept the people of Baltimore safe, didn’t it.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Opus 2015-144: Firsts: Oatmeal Variations

I enjoy a good bowl of oatmeal.  I am currently working through some that cooks for ten minutes.  It is good but it can still be dressed up.  Cinnamon is good.  Cloves leave a lot to be desired.

I came up with another variation. 

You have used or seen the powdered drink mixes that will either make a quart or an individual portion of soft drink.  There are many brands including generic store brands.  The one I used was raspberry flavored and artificially sweetened. 

I tried it once with an entire single-serving packet for a bowl of oatmeal and it was too strong.  Today I made a double portion of oatmeal, mixed in the drink powder and sat down to find out if I would enjoy.  For me it was good.  I would not do it every day but if you like oatmeal you might try it.

Of course if you really like oatmeal this would be an adulteration.  Proceed at your own risk.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Opus 2015-143: Poisoned

I had a student take another dose of poison recently.  He is still functioning but his system is weaker.

After meetings with his mother, he had been working to get in a couple of late assignments.  Then one day he announced that he was not going to be finishing them.  To my raised eyebrows and questioning look he informed me that his mother said he did not need to do them.  After a moments thought I said something to the effect, “Did this happen after she was told you would be promoted to high school no matter how many classes you failed?”  He nodded his head.

To his credit, he was not bragging and celebrating.  I think he knew in his heart that this was not good for him in the long run, but let’s be real here.  Who can really blame a child when he sees that the short term results will be the same if he works hard or he kicks back, and chooses to take the easy way?  What would I do if I was told that I would be paid whether I showed up for work or not? 

My understanding is that there are some poisons that kill you slowly.  They are relatively harmless until they reach a critical concentration.  It is a constant theme in murder mysteries.  So who is responsible for poisoning this young man?  Who is teaching him all the bad habits that will make success impossible?  The end result will not show up for years.  It is possible that he will get the antidote.

If parents were doing it right this would not be an issue.  If the school district really had standards and the will to enforce them, it would not be an issue.  If society would condemn such behavior, it would not be a problem.  Whom do I blame most?  The student.  We as individuals are responsible for the decisions we make.  We may not have perfect options.  We may be lacking in so many areas.  Still, it is what we do that makes for success or not.  Some will make it in life no matter what is thrown at them.  Some will crash and burn no matter what advantages they have.  Ultimately it comes down to you and me being responsible.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 25, 2015

Opus 2015-142: The Big Questions on Global Warming, part 2 of 2

Why do Progressives distort the truth and the dangers of a natural cycle?

It is politics and power, pure and simple.

Keep in mind that the Progressives want to control you and your options, for your own good, of course.  They are true believers in a Utopia that can only be created if you make the right choices.  Freedom will limit or delay that Utopia.  The cost of Utopia may be staggering, but they believe it will be worth it.  After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.  They consider us eggs and themselves the breakers.  Until the common masses are bred up to the needed level they will be content to rule us and maintain order.  For our own good, of course.

In order to keep us in line they need to neutralize the Bill of Rights.  This ties into global warning because the freedoms of speech, worship and association involve the right to move around with no government control on what we do or where we go.  That means we need to be removed from the flexibility of our cars and put on public transit.  That is the big reason the Progressives are in the war against cars.  Cheap energy and inexpensive transportation are agents of liberty.

The Progressives have joined forces with the environmentalists.  Their goals may be different but the means of arrival run on the same RTD buses.  Environmentalists view humans as a disease inflicted on Mother Earth, a deadly virus.  Ideally we would be done away with but since they need someone to produce their tofu and clean their homes at least some of the unwashed masses will be allowed.  The masses must be poor though, because any luxury beyond gruel and a hovel produce waste products that pollute the object of their worship, Gaia.  Cars must go.  The factories that produce them pollute.  The exhausts pollute.  The roads they drive on clutter the face of the earth.  They allow the masses to flee from environmentalists.  Cars must go.

It doesn’t matter if Global Warming is true or not.  It is just an excuse to limit your liberty.  They limit progress with EPA regulations.  They take away liberty by property restrictions.  They find ways to make life miserable for all the rest of us.  Meanwhile they jet to Aspen for their vacations and conferences.

The object is to hold us down and back.  They seem to be winning.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Opus 2015-141: The Big Questions on Global Warming, part 1 of 2

There are a number of turning points in the discussion of what used to be called Global Warming.  Before that it was concern for Global Cooling.  Since then it has been plea bargained to Climate Change. 

The first question is, “Are things heating up?”  The groups making millions in government grants and coercive politics say “Yes.”  Of course they have had to cook the books, if you will excuse that expression, in order to get rising numbers.  Time and again we see that they have fudged and made up the numbers.  Unbiased numbers show a slight cooling trend.

Another question is, “What will be the effects if it is true?”  Al Gore wants you to think that it will be the end of the world as we know it.  We have historical evidence of what happens when we have an increase in temperature.  The last time was around the year 1000.  It lead to bumper crops, population growth and the development of civilization in several areas of the world.  Overall it was a positive change.  In a sense we should hope for global warming, not fear it.

In between these two questions is, “Do humans have a hand in global warming?”  In one sense the answer is, “Yes, of course.”  But is it enough to be measured?  If you took the entire population of the world and put them in Los Angeles it would be crowded but not oppressive.  If you had everyone jump up and down at the same time it would cause the earth to wobble.  The laws of science do not go away.  The only problem is it would be such a small wobble you could not measure it.  Our effect on global warming is like that.  Every time you exhale in winter you are warming the atmosphere but it doesn’t make any difference.

Why do Progressives distort the truth and the dangers of a natural cycle?

Good question.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Opus 2015-140: Spam Wisdom

I love the way some spam feeds my ego.  How about this bit of wisdom,
“My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day.”
The spam bot got that far before it descended into obvious misspellings and the inevitable invitation to visit its website.

No thank you.  Since I am not stupid enough to believe the praise, I am also not stupid enough to visit the website. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-139: Ode to Old: You Know You Are Getting Old When... (Shaving)

You know you are getting old when you forget to shave and no one notices.

Well, actually they may notice but they just figure it is the old man in you coming out.  I find that it happens more frequently than it used to.  I wonder if there have been times when I did not even notice.

The great thing about modern culture is that some people may think that you are just being cool and going for the metrosexual look.  Or maybe the younger generation is trying to look like old men so that people will think they are wise.


homo unius libri

Friday, May 22, 2015

Opus 2015-138: Religion and Culture: Greek vs Christian

Logic and the scientific method are tools that sometimes don’t work together.

Logic was the tool of the Greeks.  They developed a whole system of thinking through issues and coming to a conclusion that seemed to be acceptable.  For instance, when I turn up the heat on the stove, water boils quicker.  This is a logical conclusion that requires no explanation.  Now, using logic, lets take it one step further.  If I turn up the heat the water will not only boil quicker but will continue to get hotter.  This is logical.  It is also wrong. 

The scientific method is a tool that grew out of the Christian world view.  It is based on the belief that an unchanging God designed a world for humans to live on.  This world reflects His character, which is immutable.  Miracles are allowed, but what could be called the laws of nature do not change and can be counted on.  Thus we have scientific laws.  These laws are not based on logic and reason.  Logic and reason can be like the best kind of pizza.  It depends on the person and the day.  The scientific method assumes that certain things are true and do not change.  You experiment and look at the evidence to come to a conclusion.

Lets go back to the boiling of water.  In the scientific method you would state a hypothesis that water continues to get hotter as the heat is increased.  Experiment would find that this is true up to the boiling point but that you reach a point where the temperature does not go up any more.  Using empirical evidence you would come to the conclusion that your hypothesis was wrong.  Logic is used but is not the final arbitrator.  So you come up with another hypothesis and continue the search for truth.

The Greek method held back the quest for knowledge in science and medicine for centuries.  The Muslims never got beyond the used of the Greek method.  Neither did anyone else until Christendom matured and began to be applied over the Greek method.  The Renaissance was not a liberation from Christian thinking.  The Renaissance was a liberation from Greek thinking.

Unfortunately our cultures are moving back toward the Greek way of doing things.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Opus 2015-137: On the Street: Parking Lot BO

Recently as I was walking to class through the parking lot I noticed a deodorant container resting on the ground.  Middle school is the age that puberty usually kicks in and that means that the standard smells of unwashed bodies are enhanced by what we call body odor or BO.  That is a fact of life that has not changed since we were in school. 

What has changed is the acceptable behavior.  When you and I were young we took baths and prepared our bodies to go out in public by washing, anointing and covering while we were in the bedroom or bathroom at home.  In fact, I still do it that way.  I don’t usually get dressed in the living room or put on deodorant on the front porch.  Maybe you are different.  Students today certainly are.

It is not unusual to see a student pull out a bottle, hike up their shirt and begin to swab their armpits.  Applying nail polish is mainstream.  It is not considered strange to change your pants in the middle of class.  I kid you not.  It is even worse when they use a spray bottle for deodorant or cologne.

At the same time the student who remembered their deodorant and has enough gum to make ten trips to the trash can forgot to bring their textbook.  Usually these are the same students.

Picture the future.  You will be sitting in a restaurant giving your order to the waitress and she starts to paint her fingernails.  You will be expected to wait until she is happy with the results.  And hope she isn’t doing it French style.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Opus 2015-136: I Am the Frog

I had a rude awakening recently.

I am sure you have heard that if you put a frog in room temperature water and gradually heat the water, the frog will sit there and slowly cook to death.  It is used to show how people can be slowly influenced to do things they would normally reject.  For an example, think about a current television show.  The odds are that in the early 50's it would have been removed for the screen as being obscene.  Now it is accepted without a thought. 

My problem is that I tend to think everyone else is the frog and I am above such blindness.  I thought I was holding to high standards.  I recognized that students were less academic and motivated but thought I was holding the line.  Then this year I felt the heat.  I suddenly noticed  what a student was able to do who applied themselves.  I realized that I had been getting used to the declining academic skills of the students I serve.  I had slowly been accepting a lower level of performance.  Work that originally took one day was now taking two or three.

All the time I thought I was the water, or the heat, and all the time I was the frog.

And I am surrounded by frogs.

I work in a district of frogs.

I am not happy with that.  Sometimes the hardest revelations to deal with are about yourself.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Opus 2015-135: Election 2016: Winning Planks, Impeach Some Judges

If you payed attention in school you are familiar with the three branches of government and the concept of checks and balances.  The role of the legislature is to make laws.  The executive is to carry out the direction of congress.  The courts are to decide who is right in a disagreement over the law.  With Marbury vs Madison the courts took on an entire new power called Judicial Review.  This meant that they had the right to decide if the law was constitutional, not just who had the right of the law.  Activist judges of both side of the aisle have often used this decision to make up laws instead of decide who was right in a lawsuit. 

Federal judges are appointed for life.  The idea was to protect them from the whim of congress and presidents and make them independent.  This was supposed to make it possible for them to give justice without fear of losing their jobs.

Many judges are abusing this protection and using their position to advance their political and personal agendas.  It is time to instil a bit of fear.  It is called impeachment.

Impeachment applies to more than the president.  It also applies to federal judges.  It is the only way they can be removed from office.  I would suggest that a strong platform would be to begin the discussion of why and when judges could be removed and possibly have their decisions vacated.  It is not a move that should be rushed into.  It is a procedure that needs to be addressed.

Elections matter.  Irreversible appointments matter.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 18, 2015

Opus 2015-134: Monday Pulpit: Light on Your Feet

Sunday was a good day for worship.  The pastor made some good points.  When a familiar verse was quoted my mind went on a tangent.
(Psalms 119:105 KJV)  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
The encouraging point was that the written word of God can give us the direction that we need in life.  I got that.  Then I started thinking about lamps and lighting.

We live in the modern age where instant illumination is assumed.  Did you wake up in the dark?  Lean over and turn on the lamp.  Are you entering a dark house?  Reach out and flick a switch.  Do you need to check out a sound in the yard at night?  Grab a flashlight.  If we don’t have instant access to light we feel like disaster has struck.

Not so in the past.  In the days the Psalms were written they didn’t even have matches.  They had to use flint to get a spark and keep sparking until they had ignition.  When they finally got a flame they faced the danger of it being blown out.  The amount of light was minor compared to what we are used to.

So when you think of a “lamp unto thy feet” don’t think of a floodlight illuminating as far as you can see.  Think of a candle-lit dinner where you can’t even read the menu.  Think about just enough to see where your next footstep is supposed to go.  Think about not stepping in a hole.  Think about moving at a speed regulated by what you an see.

God will give you the guidance you need, not the certainty you might want.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Opus 2015-133: Rightism

I have never found a shortage of things to be right about.

Or maybe I should just say things to argue about.  We can disagree about the best brand of gasoline, the best football team, the meaning of love or what we said yesterday.  The list is endless.  There are at least three possible solutions when two people disagree.  You have either/or, both/and, or neither.

We tend to think in terms of either/or, that one person is right and the other wrong.  Of course we are the first and the other guy is the latter.  It works when we are talking about something that can be observed or measured.  We can walk out the door and see if the car is blue or red.  We can check the list of credits to see who was the leading character in a movie.  The disagreement is on what the facts are with little room for opinion.

At other times it is almost impossible to come to agreement.  Local prejudices trump data.  Personal involvement colors our thinking.  We actually do have different tastebuds.  There are many levels of color blindness.  Our children are the brightest.  Our team is the best.  Mexican food is better than Italian food.  You will never come to agreement.  Even on important issues it is often better to accept that you agree to disagree.  You might even come to the place where you understand that it might be a case of both/and.  This requires an honesty and willingness to think that is often not present. 

The solution we don’t ever like to consider is that both of us might be wrong.  It usually requires a third party to get involved to see this.  Even then it is a hard road to follow.  I would venture to guess that many times when disagreements turn violent it is a matter of both being wrong. 

America is based on the belief that we can have differences in many areas as long as we agree on the basics which are expressed in the Bill of Rights.  Thus you may differ on how you see God.  You may express different opinions of the tax code.  You join different clubs and organizations.  We are still Americans. 

We agree to disagree because we believe in freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association.  If you can’t live with that then maybe you need to live somewhere else.  The big problem is there are no one-person countries that have room for you.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Opus 2015-132: Election 2016: Winning Planks, Abolish the DEA

I have been writing about winning the next election.  I have already talked about getting rid of the Department of Education.  It seems that The Next Chapter has gotten ahead of me and linked to a British Newspaper, the Daily Mail, who is proposing that we need to get rid of the DEA.

The newspaper article gives a lot of background on the abuses of the DEA and the way in which it can take your property away from you without even accusing you of a crime.  Then it is up to you to hire a lawyer and get it back.  As happens so often, you need to go to the British press to get the story.

If you are concerned about coercive government and your liberty, take a look.

I could not say it better.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-131: Tax Dollars at Work: It’s for the Children

And the veterans.

And the homeless.

And anyone else looking for an excuse to spend your money.

Have you ever stopped to observe how many of the billboards that bombard you every day are paid for with tax money?  It is hidden behind fancy websites and heart warming names, but most of the appeals you see for children and such are paid for with money appropriated by amendments to federal legislation.  It is a form of bribery or crony capitalism.

Take a look at who is sponsoring these ads.  If you don’t recognize the name of the organization as a company it is either a non-profit that is tax exempt or a front for a government group.  Either way you are paying for it.  If the project was something that people really cared about they would use their own money or find citizens to donate personally to support them.  Since it isn’t they hit up a politician to spring some tax money for their great idea.


homo unius libri

Friday, May 15, 2015

Opus 2015-130: Would You Marry Your Waitress (or Waiter)?

I am not in the market for a wife.  I already have one, thank you, and one is enough for a lifetime of challenge and growth.

But I got to thinking about how pleasant the ladies are that work in a good restaurant.  They are often attractive.  They are friendly and smile a lot.  They laugh at my jokes without rolling their eyes, at least when I am looking.  They give a window of worthiness to the day.

Would I look for a wife in a restaurant?

It wouldn’t hurt to look but it would only be a first step.  I would want to know if they are paying attention to the world and if they are capable of thinking for themselves.  I would want to know if they are reading and what they are reading.  I would want to know how much time they spend watching TV.  I would want to know why they are working as a waitress and what long range goals are ahead.

It could be that the person bringing your coffee is a rare jewel in a simple setting.  Of course it could also be that she is a simple stone that has been polished a lot.

I am glad I am not in the market.  Just the thought is depressing.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Opus 2015-129: Another Battle Lost

Yesterday morning as I walked through the bedroom the TV was on to some news program.  It was sharing about a train that had derailed.  My wife wondered if it was a result of terrorism.  That s an indication that we are losing.

The purpose of terrorism is not really the destruction.  The goal is to get the target to change the way they live and enter into the world of fear and anxiety.  It begins to choke off the liberty and variety of life because we begin to operate from a position of fear instead of confidence.  When did we begin to blame every minor breakdown in our society on thugs from the Middle East? 

How have the terrorists changed your life?  Think of the time you lose when you try to travel by airplane.  The long lines created by security procedures eat up your time for rest, study and recreation.  They win.  Think about the times that you decide to not travel because you would be forced to fly and go through the TSA checkpoint.  They win.  The government gets control over you by taking away due process and probable cause on the whim of political correctness.  They win. 

Do you find yourself more careful about what you say on the phone or in e-mails?  Remember the NSA is watching you.  Of course it is for your own good.  It is to keep us safe.  It also moves Big Brother closer to control of our lives.  They win. 

They win when we ask ourselves if every little crisis in life is caused by “them”. 

Somehow we need to go on with life like Americans.  We need to risk going to a mall or a baseball game.  Life happens.  Nothing is totally safe.  The only real safety and peace is the peace that Islam promises to the non-believer.  We are promised the security of the slave or the peace of the grave.

Deal with it and lets get on with life.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Opus 2015-128: Discernment Watch: Hit Man or Road Rage

I can’t remember which on-line newspaper I saw it on but it seems that someone shot George Zimmerman as he was driving down the street.  The bullet went through the window.  The article said he was not seriously injured.

The headline laid the blame on “road rage”.  There was nothing in the article to give any substance to that headline.  It seems more of an editorial comment than reporting.  It would seem to me that this could have been one of the many vigilantes in the country who did not like the acquittal of Zimmerman and have committed themselves to shooting him on sight. 

It is dangerous to be considered not-guilty by a jury of your peers when the thug media has already condemned you.  We see this repeatedly.  The media smells blood and ratings and begins to report only part of the news and even make things up to stir the mobs to action.  As the truth begins to come out the thinking public reevaluates but the mob yells coverup.  Remember the Duke lacrosse players being accused of rape?  Probably.  Do you remember that eventually the prosecutor was prosecuted for making much of it up?  Probably not.  Keep in mind that this could be any one of us.  I don’t know George Zimmerman but I know he was pronounced “not-guilty” by people who heard all the evidence.

Read with discernment

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Opus 2015-127: How Wrong Can I Be?, Part 2 of 2

It is easy to blame the people you see but often they are only doing what those in authority above them tell them to do.  When kids ask me, “Why?”, often the only answer is, “Because I said so”.  Even your boss might say that at times.

I came across some information by accident.  I usually don’t spend a lot of time reading my local union propaganda.  This month as I glanced through I noticed a title, “AB 420:  Student Discipline - Keeping Kids in School”.  As briefly as I can summarize what I read, this new law allows the teacher to suspend a kid from class but no longer allows the administration to suspend them from school for defiance or disruption.  To quote the article,
“AB 420 eliminates ‘willful defiance or classroom disruption’ as a reason to expel a student from school.”  It also rules out suspending from school in grade K through 3.
So when the administrator did nothing, he was simply following the new law in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia that went into effect January 1, 2015.  Also keep in mind that it seems that the educational establishment has redefined the word “expel”.  It used to mean to kick someone out of the school district.  Now it seems to mean move them to a different school on the district.

What is the reason for this change?  Bigotry.  The article says, in explaining the background, that “New highlighting the fact that racial disparities are arising in the treatment of students under one provision...(willful defiance or classroom disruption)."

If you felt like certain minority groups are being kicked out of class because the teachers and administrators are racists, you would have understood the attitude of California education.  It isn’t because they are being willfully defiant or disruptive.  It is because they are black, or brown, or who knows what qualifies this week.

You think the riots in Baltimore were created in a vacuum?  Go check out the standards and values being reinforced by their public schools.  Check it out for your public schools.  My guess is you will see the same philosophy.  My guess is you will see the same results.

Coming to a city near you.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-126: How Wrong Can I Be?, Part 1 of 2

That was a rhetorical question.

Recently I had an experience that put me in a slow burn.  Okay, it was a fast burn.  I found out I was angry at the wrong people.

I had a student who expressed some very impolite attitudes toward me.  He told me that I needed to have sexual intercourse.  Twice.  He then informed me that I was a female dog.  Then he walked out of the room.  I wrote out a referral, called the office to inform them that they had a stray student somewhere on campus and got on with life. 

He was back in class the next day.  That isn’t what made me angry.  That is normal for our school and district.  We call it rigor, high standards and a learning culture.

The righteous anger was provoked by the paperwork when I got it back.  It seems that the “administrative action” that was taken was to suspend him from my class...for the day he walked out.  So get this straight.  He used insulting and abusive language three times and walked out of class and his punishment was to be out of my class the day he chose to walk out.  Keep in mind this was not a model child who was having a bad day.  He has a long list of this kind of activity.

It turns out that the administration may not be totally to blame.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, May 11, 2015

Opus 2015-125: RACIST vs racist

Everyone is a racist.  It is part of the human condition.

Only a few misguided people are RACIST.

When people want to manipulate you they accuse you of being a RACIST.  Substitutes would be “homophobic” and “sexist”.  They are terms that are meaningless except for the dispersion that is being cast by the accuser.  If you had used these terms 100 years ago people would have looked at you like you were a nut-case.  They would have been right.

Calling people RACIST is a part of the growing push by the Progressives (aka liberals, Democrats, Rinos, socialists, communists) to sunder our society.  They want people rejecting anyone who does not agree with the Fearless Leaders and that disagreement will be de jour, not de facto.  They define the word to match the meaning needed for the day.  Progressives claim to know your heart and the inner workings of your mind.  They tell you that they know your motivation even better than you do.

People are different.  Accept it.  Stop trying to drive us apart.  When the difference meaningless, such as what spices your culture uses, the Progressives praise it as diversity.  When it is something significant like calling a thug a “thug” it is labeled RACIST.  And, if you will pardon a phrase which will be labeled “RACIST”, it is usually a case of the pot calling the kettle black.  Thus we have the left talking about angry, hate filled conservative talk radio when you would be really challenged to give an example of any such thing.  At the same time they spread anger and hatred with every accusation.  Thus they lied when they called Bush a liar.

I don’t like kimchi.  That does not make me a racist.  I think maneudo smells like a dirty toilet.  That does not make me a racist.  I want to barf at the smell of liver and onions.  That does not make me a racist.  I don’t think that smashing windows and stealing from business is an expression of justice.  That does not make me a racist.  I don’t think high tax rates on productive people so that we can reward the unproductive is a good idea.  That does not make me a racist.

It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion when the left only wants to throw insults and silence any opposition by coercion and intimidation.  You will note, as has been stated many times, people on the right call the left wrong.  People on the left call people on the right evil.  That is no way to hold a country together.

Call me RACIST.  Pour water on a ducks back.  It accomplishes nothing.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Opus 2015-124: Star Surfing

I am uncoordinated.  I was in fifth grade before I learned to ride a bike.  I was 25 years old before I understood give-and-go on the basketball court.  I am not sure if I can walk and chew gum because I don’t chew gum.  Maybe that is the reason.

I was thinking about all the things that look like fun that I will never try.  I might put one foot on a skateboard but I make sure I have two hands on a rail and the other foot on the ground.  I would try skiing but I have memories of my children being helicoptered out of the mountains after a brief trip on the snow and a meeting with a tree that could not get out of the way in time.  There is a long list of things I will never do in this life.

What about the next life?  What will eternity be like?  Will Jesus teach me to surf?  Will I ever be able to play the piano?  Will I be able to eat and not come down with diabetes? 

Or will it be so overloaded with unimaginable experiences that sky-diving will sound boring?  Just think of finding out that your best sexual experience seems like iceberg lettuce when you look at the potential ingredients available.

It will be a glorious eternity.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Opus 2015-123: The Isis of Texas

I keep reading references to the shootings at the free speech conference in Texas.  The liberals are blaming the people who believe in free speech.  Typical.  At least they could praise the terrorists for exercising the right to bear arms.  Isis is claiming credit.  For what, a total fail?

It seems like at the end of the day the score was Isis 0, Texas 2.  My guess is that next time their brave soldiers try to attack weak, unarmed women and children they will do it in a state other than Texas.  If I read the story right, and that is always dubious in our media, the mighty warriors were armed with assault rifles and the off duty cop only had a hand gun.  Usually only Texas Rangers can do something like this.  One hand gun against two rifles.  This match-up in weapons is like winning a chili cook-off against Paula Dean with a can of chili you bought at the 99 Cent Store.

My guess is they will try again, but it will be like the other psycho attacks we have.  They will come to a gun free zone in a blue state.  I live in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.  I expect them here next.  Or maybe New York City.  Or maybe Baltimore.  Since their police have been sent a message to do nothing about violence, that would be a natural.  How about a Brady Campaign Convention in Baltimore?

Stay tuned.  And stay out of the malls.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-122: It Is Rodney King All Over Again

Remember the Rodney King riots?  Remember how the poorest parts of LA were decimated?  Remember how stores that had braved the inner city to bring resources to the lower income people were destroyed.  Remember how the police did nothing when they could have stopped the violence in its tracks? We have seen that again in Baltimore.

I watch people on the left trying to draw parallels with the Patriots of the American Revolution.  I see them comparing this event with the marches of Martin Luther King.  I read all kinds of nonsense written by people that should know better.  But they don’t. 

The American Revolution was not a looting and destroying spree with lawyers lined up to keep you from suffering the consequences of your actions.  It wasn’t about stealing TVs and toilet paper.  It wasn’t about dancing on top of cars while you grab your genitals.  It was an attempt to establish liberty at the risk of life, limb and property.  While there were what we would call “terrorists” on both sides they were usually renegades and considered criminals by civilized people. 

To link these thieves, arsonists and haters with Martin Luther King, Jr. is nothing but a total disconnect from reality.  If it were a religious issue it would be considered blaspheme, here it is degrading at best. 

Yet the Progressives keep acting like this is an issue of justice and opportunity.  They talk about the high unemployment in the area of the arrest.  I wonder why I don’t hear about the number of high school drop outs and absentee fathers.  How many houses in the area have no books library cards in the house?  These are the results of choices made by the people who live there, no oppression.  The problem is not a lack of opportunity the problem is training an entire generation that they deserve the affluent life-style without the element of hard work.  If the race baiters and success haters keep being successful then we will have ring side seats to the end of civilization as we know it.

Coming to a city near you?  Already there?  Thank your local media people, teachers and Democratic politicians.  After all you never want a good crisis to go to waste.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 8, 2015

Opus 2015-121: Door Monitor

I feel like Horatius getting to the bridge and trying to save Rome by engaging the barbarian rear guard. 

We have been told to greet the students at the door.  This is supposed to show them that we care and sensing we care, they will care, enter the classroom and get ready to learn.  This is one of the modern techniques that is being pushed at my school to improve the level of education.  It is based in the new age view that mankind is good and wholesome and given the opportunity, people will do the right thing.

In reality, being not totally stupid, students take my standing at the door as an opportunity to slam books, move furniture, play grab-ass and participate in general mayhem.  For them the “right thing” is to take advantage of the situation.

I don’t need to be told to stand in the door and greet students.  I do that anyway, or I try to, but I am also aware that I can’t be in the door, monitoring the hall and keep an eye on the classroom at the same time. 

I don’t believe everything my fearless leaders propose.  That is amazing considering I also went to public school.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Opus 2015-120: On the Street: Numbers Can Lie

I was driving so I may have the numbers wrong but they are close enough to ask some questions.

The two numbers on the giant billboard were 62,300 and 9,100 and underneath the numbers were the words “prison” and “school” respectively.  I think the statement had to do with the cost of one inmate in each institution for a year.  It did not explain what they were proposing.  It just had the numbers.

Did they want to spend less keeping criminals locked up or more keeping children locked up?  Maybe the opposite?  I have been around enough of these people to guess where they are going.  They believe that if we will spend more money on education we will not need to spend so much on prisons.  This is one of many Marie Antoinette moments that Progressives have.  She is reported to have responded to the poor people complaining about a lack of bread, “Then let them eat cake.”  The point is that she was totally out of contact with the world most people lived in.

More money will not solve the problems in education.  Let me make a comparison.  I am a messy.  I do not see mess unless I trip or it is pointed out to me.  Then I quickly forget.  After all, there are always more things to pile higher, right?  You can buy me all the brooms and storage containers you want.  It will just add to the clutter.  You need to change me.

There is no indication that more money improves the product of education.  You can pay for parents to go to parenting classes.  It won’t do any good unless they spend less time at the spa or shopping.  You can buy more technology but technology is part of the problem.  We don’t need more people who can use technology.  We need more people who can design it. 

There are many sources of the problems in crime and education.  There will be no solutions without holding people accountable for their behavior.  The problem for the Progressives is that if people take responsibility for their actions and learn to think, there is no more need for Progressives.  Informed, responsible people are not easy to lead and manipulate.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Opus 2015-119: On the Street: Danger in the Hood

Hoodies are dangerous. 

As I was on my way to work recently I car rushed up behind me and rode my tail.  Glancing in the mirror I could tell the driver was wearing a hoodie.  It was just a passing observation.  When he got bored reading my license plate he changed lanes and zoomed past me.  At that point I realized a good reason not to wear a hoodie while driving.  The driver could not see.  In order to look cool in a hoodie you need to pull it forward.  When you do that you block your peripheral vision.  It does not do any good to turn your head, the hood doesn’t turn with you.  This guy could not see anything except straight ahead.  That is fine when you are speeding but doesn’t help when you change lanes.

I wonder if they will find time to ban hoodies while driving.  It seems a bigger hazzard than cell phones.  Of course some fool will yell, “Racist” if you bring it up but they will probably yell it no matter what you do.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Opus 2015-118: Monday Pulpit: Both And

One of the points the pastor made on Sunday was that Jesus demands to be both Savior and Lord.  She (yes, she) pointed out how many people are quite happy to accept the forgiveness of God which is possible because Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  They are on board for that one.  The problem is that when it comes to the daily matter of obedience they yell, “Foul!”  They did not sign up for a life change, just fire insurance.

It doesn’t work that way.

The clear teaching of scripture is that you can’t have one without the other.  Unfortunately there are many people claiming to be Christians who refuse to act like one.  I see this on a regular basis at school.  I run into a fair number of children who will loudly proclaim that they went to church on Sunday and say blasphemous things about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I could live with that and not call their statements blasphemy if the next sentence didn’t contain vulgarity and profanity.  I could accept they were Christians if their life was not an open demonstration of defiance and lack of self control. 

Just because a toadstool calls itself a mushroom doesn’t mean it is edible. 

In most areas of behavior I don’t know how to evaluate the actions of followers of other religions.  I don’t know their beliefs well enough to know what is acceptable and what isn’t.  I think I do, but I concede I could be wrong.  But I do know what a Christian is.

They ain’t it.  A Christian doesn’t act that way.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 4, 2015

Opus 2015-117: Discernment Watch: All Progress Isn’t

What is the difference between the Progressive picture of the future and that of the traditional conservative?  Both speak of rights and liberty.  Both talk about the people.  They mean entirely different things because they have different principles and understanding of human nature.

Progressives view of future of prosperity and freedom....for themselves.  In their utopia the elites will be in charge and make decisions about what choices others have.  Thus the common masses will be free to chose but only from the list that is provided by those who are wiser than they are.  Progressives view human nature as good but most of us are warped by society and evil things like religion and patriarchal families.  Only a small group of anointed are free of those restraints and until such silly notions are out of our heads, the elites must guide us.  Remember it is for your own good.  Remember that Progressive is the newest name for an old idea under many titles from Communist to Democrat (modern variety).

Traditional conservatives believe that it is man that is flawed and because he is flawed society has problems.  Unlike the Progressives, conservatives view themselves as flawed like everyone else.  Because of this they established a political system with checks and balances that made it very hard for a small group of elitists to control everyone else.  The Progressives are working hard to dismantle that system.  They now control the courts, education, the media and most government agencies.  These agencies are appointed by the elites and are beyond the control of the voters.  Conservatives believe in individuals being responsible for their own lives and expect people to live with the consequences of their decisions.

The differences are not always drawn by party lines.  There are many calling themselves Republicans that are in bed with the Progressives.  In my heart I believe there are probably a few Democrats that believe in individual liberty but I have to take that on faith because I don’t see it.

We are all for progress but only some of us are for genuine liberty.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Opus 2015-116: Headlines: Who, What, Why, Where, When, How?

Was it skinheads?  Was it the Neo-Nazi party?  Was it misdirected youths from Baltimore?  Was it Israel hating followers of President Obama?  The article doesn’t say but my money would be on Muslims.  The headline on The Drudge Report pretty much contained the entire story.

Two Jews were attacked by 40 thugs in Paris.  The article in something called Algemeiner tells about how the two were attacked.  It gives no mention of who did the attacking.  In America we never describe the perpetrators of violence if they are black.  It would be considered racist.  Evidently the same rule applies to Muslims in Europe.

It would seem that 40 thugs is enough to beat up two victims in a town that does not even let the police carry guns. 

Apart from the assumption that both sides were human there is no indication of what happened.  Was it 40 old men attacking two young women because their Viagra prescriptions were denied?  Maybe it was Orthodox Jews attacking two Reform Jews.  We know how violent they can be.  Maybe in reality the two attacked the forty and the news got it wrong.

I would say, “Stay tuned” but there will probably be nothing else we hear.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Opus 2015-115: On the Street: Talk About Suicide

What kind of norms cut across our differences?  Might I suggest suicide?

I don’t mean the act of killing yourself, although that is probably universally condemned.  Well, except for modern Progressives who want euthanasia but since they want to destroy the American way of life as a whole that is no surprise.  What I mean is stepping up to the soft drink dispenser and mixing orange, root beer, cola and any other wild flavor available.

It is called a “suicide”.

I had that beverage bar discussion today at breakfast.  A man who would match me in none of the categories that we love to use to divide us (color, religion, culture, etc.) was mixing light roast, dark roast and hazelnut in his cup.  I commented on him making a suicide.  He immediately knew what I was talking about.  We had a moment of bonding by the decaf dispenser. 

Our president and his liberal friends spend so much time trying to divide this country with the politics of race, the war on women and Robin Hood economics that we sometimes overlook all the things that we have in common.  Pizza.  Spring mornings.  Love of our children.  A desire to protect our families.  Finding a wanted item on sale.  And, yes, suicide.

The list goes on.  We need to understand that being an American is not an ethnic identification.  That is the view of Europe, Asia and Africa.  Being an American is being in love with an idea, an idea that begins with all men being created equal, continues through the Bill of Rights and expresses itself in a desire for liberty.

Embrace the dream.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 1, 2015

Opus 2015-114: On the Street: Setting an Example

I saw a tree and realized where the nuts were coming from.

I was waiting at a signal.  Next to me was the left turn lane.  The green arrow came on and the car beside me did not move.  There was a toot from the car behind and I looked over to see a lady looking up from her cell phone.  As she pulled out I caught a bumper sticker that informed me that her child was an honor student at one of the nearby schools.

I wonder if that child ever hides his phone under the desk and sends text messages.  I wonder where that behavior was learned.  We assume it is from other students. 

Maybe not.

homo unius libri