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, August 31, 2015

Opus 2015-372: As Goes Wobegon...

As school moves through the first few weeks I am getting to know my classes.  The administration likes to give a few tests, ask a few questions, talk to their PR guy, hold their wet fingers in the wind and then they establish classes at different levels.  I have five classes.  Two of them are labeled “gifted” or “gate” and one is above that and labeled “advanced”.  That means that my leaders consider 60% of my students to be above average.  Really?  This at a school where few of the children are reading at grade level and as I said, not one of my students had any idea where the Mississippi River was located.  Our school is in the bottom quartile in the country.  And 60% of my children are above average?  I guess we are trying to catch up with Lake Wobegon where it is 100%.

When I was in junior high we had a section of track in PE.  One of the things they tried to get all of us to do was the high jump.  There are a number of ways you can increase the number of people going over the bar.  You can lay it on the ground.  You can build a ramp.  You can call it rigorous.  You can lie through your teeth.

I have a lot of great kids.  So far the knuckleheads are still controlling themselves.  I hope to make a contribution to their future.  It won’t be because someone put a label of “gifted” on them but because they choose to overcome in spite of that label.  It will be from work and focus instead of acting like it is an automatic guarantee.

homo unius libri

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Opus 2015-371: On the Street: Diversity on Wheels

As I was leaving the parking lot after my morning repast, I followed a truck with announcements of it’s product line.  It boldly announced it offered “gourmet coffee” and “toner cartridges”.  I hope they were not on the same kiosk.  I am not sure I would want to get my morning coffee from a company that specialized in printer ink.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-370: Discernment Watch: Slight of Hand Labels

I had the radio on to the Glen Beck program until I could get my I-Pod going without causing an accident.  I-Poding can be as dangerous as texting while driving.

They were playing sound bites from Trump’s appearance at the Iowa meeting from previous weeks.  I think I wrote about it before.  The question was about whether he had ever asked God for forgiveness and he went off on a praise moment for Norman Vincent Peale.  It was pretty obvious that either he did not understand the question or he was trying to avoid it.

What Beck and his sidekicks were getting at was that Trump had no idea what Christianity was all about.  They felt it was a deliberate attempt to sound religious when he isn’t.  They felt like it was pandering to the Christians in the crowd.

First, I think it was obvious to anyone with a real faith in Jesus that Donald Trump is not a Christian.  He might have actually gone to church.  He may have really enjoyed the sermons of Peale.  He might even try to do good.  But he clearly is not a Christian.  There are certain clear indicators of being a Christian or not.  People who reject the clear teachings of the Bible on the physical resurrection, eternal damnation, sexual morality and marriage my call themselves Christians but they are practicing what Orwell calls “newspeak” or the post moderns call “deconstruction”.  It is like me calling myself a great golfer.  I may have the clubs, I may have the shirt, I might have the money but I don’t have the swing.

Second, it is amusing to hear Mormons accusing Trump of deception when he calls himself a Christian.  Mormons are not Christians.  They may be wonderful neighbors, fine employees, great parents and patriots, but they are a cult, not a denomination.

As I have said, I don’t like Trump for president but I am enjoying his contribution to the season.  He is forcing issues that need to be addressed.  He is openly declaring that the King has no clothes.  For that I thank him and give him credit.  But he is not a Christian.  On that score I just smile and shake my head and wonder how many gullible people there are.  I want to thank him but I don’t want to vote for him for reasons that have nothing to do with being a Christian.

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Opus 2015-369: The Prince Has Moved to Manila

When I arrived at school and checked my e-mail I was surprised to learn that the parents of one of my students were stranded in Manila and needed me to send them money ASAP so they could get home.  Why was I suspicious?

First, I had seen the parent on Friday and the e-mail was dated on Saturday.  Not being geographically challenged and having done more traveling than LA to Las Vegas, it seemed unlikely that she could have gotten to Manila in time to send the message.

Second, the lady who supposedly sent the message is pretty sharp.  The e-mail said that she had lost her money and credit cards because the airlines had lost her luggage.  How many people who can figure out which bathroom to use would put their money and credit cards in their check-in luggage?

So it seems the Prince of Nigeria that had a fortune for us has moved to Manila, or Virginia, which is where she told me the hacker had been traced to.

If you get such an e-mail and are tempted, I would ask you to send me the money instead and trust me to forward it to them.

homo unius libri

Friday, August 28, 2015

Opus 2015-368: Both

How often do we ask people questions which are to be answered “yes” or “no,” when a definite answer is needed and they hedge their answers with “both.”  Or how about when you really want to know what they want for dinner and they say, “I don’t care”.  You know they do.  I think the hardest people to please are the ones who say they don’t care. 

Sometimes it does not make any difference.  If you were to ask me how I wanted my liver cooked I would say, “I don’t care.”  I don’t.  I hate liver.  There is no way it can be cooked that changes it from an organ that filters toxins out of the body.  That is what it tastes like and that is what it smells like.  My response is not because I don’t care.  It is because you asked the wrong question.

But say we are discussing freedom of speech and I am trying to get them involved.  I might ask them if they think four letter words should be allowed at school.  When I poll the class try to get  them to write a paragraph I get blank stares.  Someone always wants to write two paragraphs.

Many times this is simply a refusal to take a stand.  That can be because they really have no opinion or it could be they are afraid of criticism.  It could also be a problem of ignorance.

We have an election coming.  We need to be listening carefully to see when the different candidates are taking a stand and when they are blowing smoke.  When they are asked about illegal immigration, women in combat, aborting babies to sell body parts, transfer of wealth and socialized medicine the answer cannot be “both.”

homo unius libri

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Opus 2015-267: Cards Anyone?

I was listening to Alastair Begg and he used the term “playing the poor card.”  He was referring to his childhood where kids would act like they were poor in order to get sympathy or special treatment.  It is the way some of us are wired.  I know that at school the kids are are always playing the race card.  What that means is that when they are sitting, doing no work and disrupting the class any you tell them to be quiet and get to work they respond with, “It’s because I am black.” 

What kind of ways do we try to manipulate others?

The “health card” is always a good way to manipulate.  Many people have no visible signs of pain and suffering but they are quick to tell you about them.  How many times have you seen people pull into a handicap slot, hang the placard on the mirror and walk briskly away?  I understand that some people have high pain tolerance or are good at covering up their infirmities.  Others demand concessions because they have a minor pain.  Since it is hard for the observers to know, it is an effective way to manipulate. 

I always like when people play the teacher card on me since I am a teacher.  Have you ever heard teachers complain about being underpaid?  In my district new teachers start at around $44,000 a year.  How many of you could start at that rate?  Oh, did I forget to mention that they also get all summer off, two to three weeks off at Christmas and up to a week off at Thanksgiving?  Did I mention that after a couple of years they have awesome job security and regular pay raises no matter what kind of job they do?  Did I mention that they get ten paid sick days a year and up to five days paid for jury duty?  My auto mechanic would love that set up and yet it is his taxes that pay my salary.

How about veterans?  My favorite was the time a guy came up to me when we were on vacation in Washington D.C.  He asked for a handout because he was a Vietnam veteran.  What was interesting was that I am also a Vietnam veteran and I was one of the last sent over and he was much younger than me.  I was mystified at how he could have been there.  Or the guy who wants to wash my windows at a certain grocery store.  I am supposed to pay him because he was in Vietnam.  So was I.  Get a job, bro.

The “elderly card” is also useful.  I can testify to that.  Sometimes others play it for me.  I try to be gracious and not let it weaken me.  I need to be as active and self reliant as I can be.  At the same time when my wife wants heavy furniture moved I am finding that I am really too old for that kind of thing.

What kind of cards do you play?  Which kind irritate you the most?

When a noisy child plays the race card I refuse to be manipulated.  I respond with, “No, its because you are noisy.  Why are you being racist?”  They usually get flustered and ask “How is that racist?”  I go into a rant on how they are assuming that being black means being noisy and that sound like they hate black people.  It gets some amusing results.

Refuse to be manipulated.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Opus 2015-266: On the Street: Greetings from the Throne

I was in the men’s room taking care of some business when this disembodied voice said, “Hello, how are you?”  Whaaaaat?

I appeared to be alone but as I left I noticed a stall that I had not seen.  It seems that the occupant was multitasking.  To each his own but I think I would have a hard time making a phone call when I am on the thrown in a public venue.  I assume he was not talking to the TP dispenser. 

On the positive side, I was not going crazy.  The urinal was not talking to me.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Opus 2015-265: On the Street: Mom Is No Longer the Cause of Hunger

Do you remember the unfortunate man I met in the parking lot who’s mother had died so he needed a burrito from across the street? 

I met him again today.  He had a spanking new story and and the same old aversion to peanut butter/cheese crackers and bottled water.  But I was in the presence of a miracle.  It would appear that he had not been able to eat in the time since I saw him last.  He certainly hadn’t found a job.  He still was not hungry enough to accept my crackers and water.  If he had not walked away in disgust I would have offered to take him in and buy him the same thing I was having for breakfast:  a piece of bread and butter with a cup of coffee.  I don’t think that would have been good enough for him either.

I guess one of the big questions of life is, “Do you have a peanut-butter/cheese-cracker hunger or a beef-burrito hunger?”  I am guessing that people who work for a living can be satisfied by the crackers but beggars need real meat.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-264: New Terms: Helicopter Parents

It may have been around for awhile but I heard it this week for the first time.  As soon as I heard it, I knew what it meant.  Helicopter parents are people who are always hovering around.  I would have used the term “mosquito parent” because they always are in your face and only land to suck blood.  They call it being involved but it is more like your mother in law telling you how to make your favorite recipe.

I am not sure if it is a good thing to be or not.  I can see both sides of the issues. 

homo unius libri

Monday, August 24, 2015

Opus 2015-263: Headlines: I Wasn’t Going to Shoot

The Independent has an interesting headline.  It claims that the gunman on the train in France is “dumbfounded” that people think he is linked to terrorism.  Let’s see now, Arabic name, AK-47, telephone, multiple magazines, caught in the bathroom loading the gun.  I don’t know, but it seems to me that even the American media could connect those dots.

The article says he was discovered accidentally by another passenger, a non-terrorist.  My guess is that the gunman comes from a country that does not expect you to lock the door in the bathroom.

And yes, I believe French trains are considered “No Gun Zones”.

homo unius libri

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Opus 2015-262: Bumpers and Plates: Warning Label

Seen in Nevada,
“I am the gun owning, God fearing person that the president has been warning you about.”
Maybe in the future that will be a required labeling.  All gun owners will need to be tagged and all serious Christians will need to wear a badge or funny hat.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-261: Give Me Honest Greed Every Time

Why is free enterprise capitalism a better system to live under than crony capitalism (fascism) or a regulated economy (socialism)?  It comes down to “greed”.

You need to understand that “greed” is a condition of the human race.  We have a tendency to do what is best for us.  If we can sell an apple for a dime to person A, we won’t sell it to person B for a nickle.  That is unless the government fines us a quarter for the sale which is what is happening in our managed economy.

One of the basic rules of capitalism is that if you don’t make a product people want, they won’t buy it and you won’t make any money.  If you price it too high, they won’t buy it and you don’t make any money.  You pay them well because if they do not make enough money to afford it, you don’t make any money because they do not buy.  Understand.  Simple economics.  If you don’t make money you will never get rich.  The genuine capitalists who get rich make a good product that people can afford using well paid labor.

Enter government control through crony capitalism (fascism) and/or government coercion through regulation (socialism).  The elites control both.  They do not care if they make money because the government will make sure that they have power and all the benefits of power.  They cannot be put out of business because someone else makes a better mousetrap.  You either tax the competition out of existence, threaten them until they stop, beat them up until they run, or have them join the club.

Why would you trust the government more than big business?  Both have the same greedy people in charge but if you decide to buy Android instead of I-phone the IRS, CIA and FBI don’t show up at your door.

So grow up.  We have an election coming.  On the federal level that happens every two years.  On the other hand, every day you can vote with your dollars.  Which one do you have more control over?  Use them both wisely while you still have time.

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Opus 2015-260: Headlines: Prophecy by Technology

Maybe you saw it.  Maybe it was just me.  When I logged on to the Drudge Report the headline and picture were about Hillary.  Superimposed across that was an ad that asked, “Do you favor prison reform?”  Accidental, probably.  Clairvoyant, definitely.

I didn’t click the ad.  My guess is that they are defining prison reform by letting people out.  I want social reform by putting more people in.

homo unius libri

Friday, August 21, 2015

Opus 2015-259: Discernment Watch: Technology Is Not the Answer

Technology and scientific magic have become the panacea for all our problems.   We wait for the breakthrough in clean energy.  We hear about miracle drugs.  There is a rumor about a treatment that will let you eat as much as you want and not get fat.  We have the same expectations in education.

Teachers think that technology will make learning fun and easy, thus fooling lazy, unmotivated students into being educated.  Parents are using it as an excuse for student failure.

Many school districts have software available that makes it possible for parents to enter the database of the school and check on how their children are doing.  Let’s call it the Guardian Gateway.  Parents set up an account, get a password and can access all of their children’s schoolwork, how it was graded and what the current grade is.  In theory it is a beautiful concept.  In reality it is just another smokescreen for the child and his parents to hide behind.

One problem is the teacher entering the data.  I give up to four grades in a day for each student.  Last year I had about 160 students.  Can you picture how much time would be involved for me to enter that information each day so that parents can see how their child is doing?  It isn’t going to happen.  I have yet to go to a meeting where teachers who claim to use the system have all the information entered.  “Oh, I have not graded that yet” is a common comment.  “I am really behind in putting that in the computer” is a good one too.  And of course we can always hide behind the fact that IT has taken the site off line for some reason.

When presented with the information it is usually meaningless.  I have seen the printouts that teachers hand to parents.  Unless you work with it every day, you can’t figure out what all the lines and columns mean.  You have all experienced it when someone gives you a complicated chart or graph.  That is why we give simple grades.

Another problem is that the parents don’t really bother to check.  They talk a good game but when it comes down to it, they don’t do it.  They just want it available.  That way they have another good excuse to blame the teacher for not doing the job.  I have witnessed parents claiming that certain information is not there when it is. 

Let me share a few technological concepts:  Technology is wonderful, when it works.  GIGO.  The simpler it is the less flexibility it has.  Computers are stupid.  Most teachers can not make their voice mail work.  If the geeks were really good they would make twice as much working in the private sector.

Technology can be important and useful.  It might help us as the question but it is not the answer.

homo unius libri

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Opus 2015-258: Bumpers and Plates: Smarter than an Eighth Grader

We saw a bumper sticker in Nevada this summer that seemed to have an element of truth.
“My border collie is smarter than President Obama.”
Although that might give be a laugh and be a simple explanation of what is going on around us, it isn’t true.  The border collies I have known have not been able to advance the socialist agenda and move us closer to being a third world nation as successfully as this president.  No border collie has been able to move the Middle East to the verge of nuclear war.  No border collie has done so much to divide the people of this country and advance racial hatred. 

He may not be smart but he is certainly successful in achieving what he wants.  Or maybe had just has good handlers. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-257: Day One in Paradise

Tuesday was the first day of school.  It is over and the early indicators are not promising.

I put a map of the United States on the board and asked the class if anyone could come up and show me where the Mississippi River was located.  In fairness I will point out that it was a satellite map with no labels.  Not one student in any of my classes even came close.  A few came up and looked.  I guess they figured I would have it outlined in red or something.  None of them even had a clue. 

Out of my five classes, two are designated as “honors”.  One of them is some new category that is above honors.  The best they could do was point at the Pacific Ocean and a vague gesture towards New England.

It is going to be a long year.  At this point I don’t expect them to know the difference between a democracy and a republic.  I don’t expect them to know where the Darling River is located.  But the Mississippi? 

It is going to be a long year.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Opus 2015-256: Welcome Back 2015: Something Is in the Air

Do you like the new waterless urinals?  I have another reason to not trust them.

We were at the “Welcome Back” meeting for our school district.  When we broke from the main meeting to go to the workshops we were told that the bathrooms were open.  That may seem a strange thing to announce but last year they were locked. 

So I made use of the facilities and regretted the weakness of my bladder.  When I went into the men’s room (actually it was the boys’ room) I noticed a strange smell.  It was familiar but I could not place it.  By the time I reached the urinals I was almost overcome.  I finally figured out what the smell was.  It comes from my childhood when we used to go camping at places that had no running water.  Remember the outhouses that were sheds built over holes in the ground?  They would stand out in the hot sun for as long as it took a truck to come pump them out.  Remember the smell that the flies seemed to love and encouraged constipation?  That was what I as smelling.

I am guessing that over the summer the custodial staff decided to save a few bucks by not servicing the waterless urinals.  My guess is that the chemicals used to block the gas from the sewer had dried up.  Those are guesses.  The smell was real.

Welcome back to another year of school.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-255: Welcome Back 2015: Be Safe

As I walked onto the campus for our “Welcome Back” meeting I noticed a couple of little signs in the planter of the High School.  They informed me that this location was protected by armed security and gave the name and telephone number of a private security company.  I am not sure if that gave me a good feeling or not.

Does this mean that if we have a threat on campus we are supposed to call this private company instead of the police?  Does this mean that a private company is more trustworthy than the local police department?

I have no answer to that but I saw what I saw.  Maybe we could call them to deal with ISIS.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Opus 2015-254: Welcome Back 2015: Educational Mantras

I heard it again.  I guess educators are still not reading my blog.  “We are preparing students for future jobs that do not exist yet.”

Remember Dick Tracy and his wrist radio/phone.  People look at that and marvel at the insight about the future that these authors had.  Not so fast.  They made many other predictions that have not born out from massive wars over food destroying the world by 1980 to flying cars for the masses.  The future is not developing like it appeared on The Jetsons.

How do you prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet?  Do you teach them the latest product that Google wants you to buy or do you teach them to read, write and do basic math?  Since most of my students think they don’t need such frivolities because they are going to be rich athletes or video game beta testers, let me take an illustration from sports. 

If your football team has lost 10 games in a row you don’t go out and try to come up with some fancy play that will work in a game you haven’t played yet.  No, you work on fundamentals.  You spend your time developing endurance, memorizing patterns and assignments, blocking and tackling.  You work on the basics not because you know things are changing but because only the basics will allow you to know how to respond to new situations.

Apply it anywhere but especially in education.  Get ride of modern educational theory.  Dump Common Core.  Put away the calculator and computers, pass out the paper and books, and sharpen the pencils.  It may not be sexy but it will prepare the next generation for an unknown future.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-253: Welcome Back 2015: Marking Our Progress

Education is moving forward.  We are having great success, or so we are told.  At our “Welcome Back” meeting for my district the Superintendent read from a list of major accomplishments for the previous year.  While they did have a bit of prestige, don’t get too impressed.  Several of our schools were recognized by different organizations for their excellence.  Note though that the awards were given by other educational institutions and the media not by the people who are hiring our graduates.

Then he shared two big successes for the last year.  They were so significant, I only remember one.  Evidently one of the great steps forward was having a very nice retirement dinner last year.  Sorry I missed it.  I am sure that they wish I had taken advantage of their golden handshake offer but it would not have even covered the additional insurance costs I would have incurred.

Maybe next year.  Or the next.  Meanwhile it is good to know that such wonderful things are happening in public education.  There is no word about whether our graduates are yet able to read their diplomas.

Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath.

homo unius libri

Monday, August 17, 2015

Opus 2015-252: Welcome Back: The Babysitters Have Returned

Yes, teachers are returning to their Romper Rooms.

As I begin writing I am waiting for the first meeting of the year on our district.  All employees are gathering for a time of inspiration, smoke and mirrors.  I have been “invited” to attend.  Of course they will have sign in sheets and if I don’t show up I will be docked.  I will take my Kindle and hope all the back seats are not taken.

Our superintendent sent a long e-mail and it contained a list of goals for the year.  Not one of the goals was objectively measurable.  They sounded good.  They were inspiring.  They are also not measurable so you have the best of both worlds:  Noble words and no accountability. 

At our first “professional development” session I was reminded of how naive educators are about the world they live in.  In an atmosphere of identity theft and security breaches they not only used my full name in public but included the need for me to publicize my birthday as I access their computers.  It is so much easier to use that for a password than actually generate safe access.  Understand that makes my password eight characters long and all numbers.  At the hackers convention I attended this summer a speaker announced a piece of security hardware that has six digit passwords, all numbers and the hackers fell out of their seats laughing.  It took him about 15 seconds to find out what the password was on the site he was trying to hack.  If it had been eight characters it probably would have take a lot longer, say 20 seconds.

So if you wonder how the government, Target, Home Depot and so many other large organizations have been hacked and given up all your personal information keep one thing in mind:  They all probably went to public school.

Welcome Back.

homo unius libri

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Opus 2015-251: Koran Klarifications in the Headlines: It Is All in How You Define It

I don’t know if this was carried in American media but The Independent has an article about an American woman who was kidnaped by ISIS and is now being used as a sex slave by the leader of the self declared Caliphate.  The article says “he had married her by force”.  We in the non-Muslim world call it rape.

How is this possible in a religion of peace?  Is this an aberration of a few radical fringers?  It works this way, Muslims make a big deal about honoring their women but that applies only for honorable, “free” women.  Slaves can be used anyway you want and since this woman is a kafir prisoner, she qualifies as a slave.  From the Koran,
“Forbidden to you also are married women, except those who are in your hands as slaves: This is the law of God for you. And it is allowed you, beside this, to seek out wives by means of your wealth, with modest conduct, and without fornication. And give those with whom ye have cohabited their dowry.  This is the law. But it shall be no crime in you to make agreements over and above the law. Verily, God is Knowing, Wise!”  Sura 4, Women, verse 24
Read that over a few times and understand all the exceptions and permissions given there.  Then realize that the code word for slaves is “who are in your hands”.  Here is another reference from the Koran.
Who humble them in their prayer,
And who keep aloof from vain words,
And who are doers of alms deeds,
And who restrain their appetites,
(Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess: for in that case they shall be free from blame:”  Sura 23, The Believers, verse 1-6
Retrain your appetites, except when it involves your wives and slaves.  So, yes, this is a part of the religion of peace.  No, this is not just for the radical fringe unless you define radical fringe as someone who is a devout believer in the Koran as dictation by Allah to Mohammed. 

If you Google “rape in Islam” you will find many sites that tell you rape is condemned by Islam, that women are revered and protected and even give you selected references.  The key is to read carefully what they mean by rape and who is included.  If you don’t believe me then get a copy of the Koran and read it for yourself and think about what you have read in the primary sources.  Read it all the way through not just the parts I select or anyone else selects for you.

Wake up and smell the slavery, Kafirs.

All Koran quotes are from the translation by Rev. J.M. Rodwell, M.A. provided by the Gutenberg Project.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-250: On the Street: Do As I Say...

We are in the middle of a drought in California.  It is called living in a desert with a lack of future oriented leaders.  You know, a drought.  Signs are appearing everywhere pleading with us to conserve water, paid for with my tax money. 

So how does the government model this behavior for us?  Hypocritically.

I was outside at 3:30 AM.  Don’t ask.  It was legal and moral.  I noticed that the school across the street had its sprinklers going full blast, on a day we are not supposed to water.  I stood on my 3/4 dead lawn watching the public sphere spray water all over the place.  I guess they figured there would be few people watching at 3:30 AM and even fewer that would notice.  I guess they are right.

Forward to my school in another district.  As I walked into the inner quad I noticed that the turf was lush and green.  It was obviously being well watered.  As I entered the main building I could look through a breeze way to see the lawn the public could see.  It was full of brown and bare patches.  Clever.  Kind of like what goes on in the classroom but that is a rant for another day.

One thing I can say about the government is that they are consistent.  Hypocritical, but consistent.

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Opus 2015-249: Green Pieces: How about Reusable Toilet Paper?

Currently the Progressive Environmentalists are trying to drive you back to being peasants by taking away the things they consider gross polluters and wasters of natural resources.  They are already attacking you car, hot showers, flush toilets, green lawns, A/C and the soap that cleans your dishes, to name a few.

Where might they go in the future?  Paper products have been neglected.  Think about the many variations of wood pulp that are quiet parts of your life and you just throw them away:  facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels, wet wipes, tooth picks.

My prophecy is that the Progressives will soon start expanding their concern about how the forests are being destroyed and the land fills are being filled.  The only solution will be to go to reusable resources.  Can you picture reusable toilet paper?  Why not, they already want to recycle the water from your throne.

After all, we must save the trees.  Everyone knows that the greedy capitalists are cutting down 5,000 year old redwoods to make your Kleenex, right? 

Does anyone notice what usually happens in a forest when you cut down the trees?  It isn’t the picture they always show you of gullies and waste land.  What happens is, drum roll please, they grow back.  Really.  In much of the country keeping the trees from growing is the problem.  My understanding is that there are more trees today than when the settlers arrived.  Of course, you won’t hear that.  You will be told that we need to cut back to save the earth.

It is not about saving the trees.  We all love trees when we don’t have to rake leaves.  It is about abridging your liberty.  That is the love of Progressives, abridging, not liberty.  Remember a Democrat can’t make an omelet without breaking someone else’s eggs.

homo unius libri

Friday, August 14, 2015

Opus 2015-248: DEFCON: A Useful Reminder

DEFCON is over for the year.  I hate Las Vegas but I enjoy the time with my son and the opportunity to rub elbows with a part of the world that is usually below my radar.  Both keep me alert.

I wish that the public could attend some of these sessions.  One lesson that we need to broadcast is that you are not secure, even in your home.  The invasive nature of electronics and the nasty need of politicians and corporate executives to control others is a very real threat to liberty.  It is a real threat to your privacy.  It is a real threat to your financial security.

We hear about the loss of personal, private information that happened at the government level.  If you have ever been used as a reference by anyone in that database the chances are that all of your personal information is now in the hands of someone who wants to do you harm.  Don’t forget all the major businesses that have also had the same experience recently.

As I look at the screen on my laptop I notice one of the great gadgets I came across at DEFCON.  It is a little sliding aperture that goes over the camera on my laptop.  It slides open easily but more important it slides closed so that the camera is blocked.  I am sure that you are aware than any good hacker can access your computer if you are connected to the internet and activate the camera and microphone without you knowing it.  Oh, you didn’t know that?  Now you do.  At least at this point they cannot see me.

I watched the hackers show how to start a car that is not theirs.  I watched them open doors in security areas without a key.  You have reason to worry.  Make sure that you are not an easy target.  Make sure your computer has a firewall.  Make sure you change passwords.

Be careful.  DEFCON is over but the real world is still there.

homo unius libri

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Opus 2015-247: Shower Thoughts: Molding the Future

I have a problem.  It is called procrastination.  There are few things that I cannot put off until tomorrow.

I have finally come to realize something that neatniks have always realized:  It is easier to remove filth if you get it early.  That means today, not tomorrow.  This applies to the black gunk under the rim of the toilet.  It applies to the black gunk on the grout in your shower.  It applies to the plaque and tartar on your teeth.  Ask your dentist it you don’t believe me, about your teeth, not your toilet.

I have found that you need to keep ahead of the destructive mold of your life.  We as conservatives need to get a handle on this.  We conservatives tend to be a tolerant, live and let live bunch.  In spite of the bad press and lies of the left, it is the conservatives that put up with abuse.  We don’t have near as much gay bashing as we have conservative mashing. 

We need to get over it.  If you don’t slap the mosquito quick it will draw your blood.  Cockroaches are like lightening.  We need to get used to speaking up and not backing down.  We need to understand that after you give a Progressive half of your loaf in a compromise the next step for them is to look at what you have left and say you need to share again.

This is a reminder to conservatives:  We cannot relax.  The only way you can win is to keep attacking every little glimmer of mold.  Vote the suckers out.  Sue them.  Impeach them.  Confront them at the PTA.  Argue with them in line for groceries.  Make them actually fear us rather than patronize and spit on us.

Old stains are hard to get out without scissors.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Opus 2015-246: Headlines: A Wake Up Call?

If you insist on remaining asleep, nothing will wake you up.  If you are keeping an open mind it probably means nothing will penetrate.  If you are aware there is a problem, here is another step in the direction of destroying all pretense of moral fiber in our culture.

This comes from England and involves European Convention on Human rights.  The article is found in The Independent.  It involves an English Lord who is accused of “child sex abuse” and his lawyer is claiming that making him appear in court would “be a breach of his human rights”.  I have no idea how strong the evidence is or whether he is innocent or not.  He is not the issue.  The issue is that a European lawyer is trying to use European law to justify molesting children.

There are a lot of nuances and special circumstances so you might be inclined to claim this is straining at gnats and swallowing camels.  I see you point.  See mine.  The Supreme Court of the United States has been taking into consideration international law in deciding cases.  In my opinion that is treason, but put that aside for today.  What is more important is to understand that we live in a system of Common Law in which decisions are based on precedent from other court cases.  What lawyers look at is not what the law says but what the judges say about the law.  Thus, when a court in England starts carving out new ground in regard to what most would consider sexual perversion we need to sit up and take notice.

What happens in England does not stay in England.

Homosexual marriage, euthanasia, prostitution, legalizing drugs, unisex bathrooms, metrosexual military.  The list goes on.  The enemies of traditional and Biblical values keep pushing.

Will it never stop?  No.

Elections matter.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Opus 2015-245: Headline: Swimming While Burquaed?

Genuine religion makes a difference in how you act.  It sets your priorities and limits your choices.  Today in The Telegraph we see an article that shows the potential results of a sincere belief in Islam.  Unusual circumstances but logical application of what is believed.

It seems that a Muslim man’s daughter was swimming and got into trouble.  The lifeguards started to go to her rescue but were prevented by the girl’s father.  He got violent.  The girl drowned.  "He told them that he prefers his daughter being dead than being touched by a strange man,"

I wonder why he let her go swimming in the first place.  Was she swimming in her burqa?  That in itself would cause her to drown.  If she wasn’t, then she was exposing herself and asking for death.

The term for this in an active murder is “honor killing”.  This was a passive, letting die.  It is a part of Islam.

Religion matters and it is coming to America.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-244: Thinkers

The popular propaganda says different but, as Christians, we are to think and use our mind.  It is part of being created in the image of God. 

This is demonstrated many ways.  One example is seeing the patriarchs arguing with God.  Take the time when God was going to destroy Sodom for its sinful ways in Genesis 18.  Abraham starts to argue with God.
(Genesis 18:23 KJV)  And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
He then proceeds to make a deal with God.  It starts with the hopes of finding 50 righteous in the city and Abraham bargains it down to 10.  God agrees that if there are 10 He will spare it.  Unfortunately for Sodom there were not even 10.  The point isn’t that God probably knew that when He agree.  The point is He let Abraham have his say and did not zap him for impertinence.

Then in Exodus 32 we see God planning on destroying Israel because they made the golden calf.  Moses argues Him out of it and we find this verse,
(Exodus 32:14 KJV)  And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
There is a lot of give and take between the God of the Bible and His people.

Other religions have a different rational.  One reason Muslims don’t argue with Allah is that they are not allowed to.  Allah is sovereign, which Christians and Jews would agree with about YHWH, but in Islam man is not created in Allah’s image.  I don’t think there is an equivalent to the patriarchs arguing with YHWH.  Allah is above logic and fair play.  He is above justice and righteousness.  Those terms mean whatever he wants them to mean and as the line in the small print says, “Subject to change without notice.”

Eastern religions do not argue with God because he is not a person and not necessarily powerful.  The Greek Gods were powerful and personal but lacked wisdom so either it did no good to argue or it was all you did.  They were really no more wise than humans.  Contrasting these views of God with the concept of a God who is personal, powerful and wise.

Religious leaders often don’t want you to speak your mind or think for yourself.  The masses who have not developed their minds and don’t think accept this kind of leadership but real Christians can’t get by with that because God expects more.

Happy thinking.

homo unius libri

Monday, August 10, 2015

Opus 2015-243: Discernment Watch: Your Spell-checker

It is hard to believe that such a simple thing as a spell-checker on your computer can be politically correct but the observed evidence says otherwise.  I have run across a lot of little things in my Biblical studies that reflect this.  For instance the abbreviation for OT for Old Testament is marked as a misspelling but NT, or New Testament, is accepted.  Why?  Because Microsoft has an operating system labeled “NT.”

Now, about politics.  I was writing about an article that reflected positively on America.  In the article and in my post I used the words American Exceptionalism.  They cannot yet label “American” as a misspelling but the term “Exceptionalism” was highlighted and had no suggestions for a correct spelling.  “Liberalism” is not a misspelling.  “Vegetarianism” is not a misspelling.  Exceptionalism is.

GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) is the motto of anything you find built into your computer.  Remember the computer is stupid and programmed, much like our current college graduates.  As Regan said, “Trust, but verify.”

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-242: DEFCON: A New Approach to Transgender

There has been a bit of talk this year about transgender bathrooms in our schools and the military seems to be moving toward embracing transgender soldiers.  DEFCON has been on board for years but this year I am noticing an increase in the trend.  I am talking about men in skirts.  They call them kilts but they still look like skirts to me.

I always wonder if they are man enough to wear them at their day jobs or around their families.  I would suggest though that if you are short and squat, a dress doesn’t do much for you.

Keep your eyes up and keep walking.

homo unius libri

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Opus 2015-241: They Call It Progess(ive)

Some of you may question the ability of Liberals (aka Progressives, Democrats, Rinos, Communists, Educators) to think and their perception of reality.  Mona Charen relates this example of what schools call High Level Thinking.

A group of liberals were visiting Cuba and marveling over their awesome health care system.  Then they discovered that the Communist healthcare system lobotomized mental patients.  For some this cause a problem, “But another pilgrim, Suzanne Ross, was unperturbed:  ‘We have to understand that there are differences between capitalist lobotomies and socialist lobotomies.’” p. 176

It only makes a difference to liberals.  The patients don’t care any more.  I wonder if this means that the left has found a way to perform lobotomies on reporters without it showing physically?

Charen, Mona.  Useful Idiots.  Washington, D.C.:  Regnery, 2004.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-240: DEFCON: Access Not Denied

It is a good thing that computer hackers are basically honest.  I know that is an oxymoron but it is still true at least in the area of computer security.  I would not trust them with the key to my wine cellar.

I went to one session today where the presenter showed how to quickly and easily get doors to open that are theoretically protected.  You have all seen the boxes at apartment complexes or other limited access areas.  They have a keypad for authorized people to enter a code and the gate or door will open.  He claimed the installer usually doesn’t bother to change from the default password and the new owner doesn’t either.  Thus many boxes, he believes most, across the country can be controlled by the same password, set at the factory.  Even if they did change the password he pointed out that it was always six characters and they could only be numbers.  He then showed how quickly his computer could discover the password if it had been changed.

He showed how to open all the doors controlled by the box and either keep them open or lock them shut so the legitimate user could not get them open.  He showed how it could be done on many of them remotely using the internet.

It was scary.  He made it clear that this demonstration only covered one manufacturer but he said it was by far the most common brand in the country.

Did you remember to lock the front door?  Are you sure?

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Opus 2015-239: DEFCON: How Safe Is Your Car?

One of the themes at DEFCON this year is the openness of our machines to outside manipulation.  There are a whole series of presentations dealing with cars and how they can be hacked.  One of the standing-room-only presentations was given by a couple of guys who had borrowed a friends new Tesla, removed the dash board and precede to see how well it was designed against hackers. 

They said the software in the car was very well designed.  They were able to work all of the peripheral controls such as door locks and head lights but when they tried to shut the car down they found that, although they could cut the fancy instruments and kill the engine they could not take over the steering and breaks at anything over 5 MPH.  They found several problems but by the time they gave their presentation they said two had been fixed and the company was working on another.  One of the Tesla top executives was present and thanked them for their work. 

This is the way hackers would like to work.  Find ways things can be broken and have them fixed.  Then they look for other problems.  When done correctly, it makes the world safer for everyone.  The Tesla company has set up a reward program for hackers that find bugs in their system.  At present the top award is $10,000.

I drive old cars so I don’t need to worry about it but you might ask yourself if you have one of those cars where they can unlock the doors for you, it might be a good idea to ask yourself what else they can do.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-238: Elections 2016: The First Debate

I only got to see the first part of the Republican Presidential Debate on Thursday.  I found it entertaining and well done.  I am very impressed with the field this year.  Even the candidates that I hope come up short sounded solid on the issues that I heard addressed.  It was great to see them going after each other and maintain a good humor about it all.  They had the chance to speak up.

I also felt like the panel asking the questions did a good job of asking hard questions and trying to get the candidates to answer.  On the first part thumbs up.  On the second part, well, at least they tried.  How many times in a limited venue can you try to pin down a slippery politician?

It is going to be an interesting season.  I hope that the ones who have little chance will start dropping out and throwing their support behind someone else so that we have a clear choice between a moderate and a conservative when it gets to California.  The moderates who have been nominated in the past were all good men and would have made good presidents but they were not the best choices. 

Our country needs the best after we have had the worst.

Remember that elections matter.

homo unius libri

Friday, August 7, 2015

Opus 2015-237: DECON: 23 Years and Counting

DEFCON 23 is underway.  It is in the process of overwhelming two casinos in Las Vegas, Bally’s and Paris. 

All is not roses.  I went down to get a large coffee.  The girl said, “$6.22, please.”  To my credit I kept a straight face, paid up and began to savor the gold standard in coffee.

No longer is Las Vegas the place of my youth.  No longer do you find cheap rooms, cheap meals and a wild time.  Now you pay through the nose for the honor of being surrounded by people throwing away their money.  If it wasn’t a chance for bonding with my son as he attends the Con, I would run from this place, fast.

I am constantly reminded that this city was not built by winners or people being paid big salaries.  I think Las Vegas is Greek for Sodom.

Let the Con begin.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-236: On the Street: Helps to Happiness

I saw a billboard that said, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but a good bank will help.”

Funny.  I enjoyed it.  Then my mind went on a tangent.  I got to thinking about the old Beatles’ song, “Can’t Buy Me Love”.  I tried it in the billboard caption and banks can’t help in that area.  Then I wondered if the Beatles were right.  Maybe then, but I am not so sure now.

I would suggest in our current culture, money can buy us love and the reason is that our society has adopted a perverted, watered down meaning of “love”.  It is possible that one of the first strokes in that dilution was a cartoon series that declared, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  In reality that is the opposite of what love is.

Most popular uses of “love” today would not change their meaning if you substituted the words “lust” or “sex”.  Love today is a response to someone who gives us gratification.  This is not really new, but it has been accepted as the standard.

In our Western culture the real definition of love used to be rooted in the Christian concept of love.  The supreme Biblical passage is found in I Corinthians 13 which is called the love chapter.  It contains this verse in which “charity” means “love”.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
If you have never read this chapter in the Bible, try to get around to it.

Money can buy 21st Century love.  What it can’t buy is 1st Century love.  The word in the Greek is agape.  It is one of five words in Greek for love and it was adopted by the Christian church to express the self sacrificing nature of God that we are expected to demonstrate in our lives.

Money can buy you love but it can’t buy agapeAgape is a decision powered by the grace of God and the support of the Holy Spirit. 

Agape can change the world.  All love does is break and mend hearts, sell candy and inspire songs.

homo unius libri

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Opus 2015-235: Discernment Watch: The Cold War on the Second Amendment, part 2 of 2

The elites and their trained sheep believe that guns are the cause of violence and so they pass laws to limit the access to guns by law abiding people.

This belief is held in spite of documented evidence that shows just the opposite.  There is no correlation between an increase in gun ownership and violent crime.  In fact, the results are just the opposite of what the progressive left claims.  Another case of “don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Also, violent criminals are much more likely to be violent and criminal if they think that the victim is helpless.  They are not as stupid as the liberals, progressives and Democrats.  It starts with bullies in school.  It is demonstrated by the cops who would rather pull over an old lady going five miles over the speed limit than a low-rider with his stereo deafening the neighborhood.  It continues in the world of thugs.  How would a burglar answer the following question?  I ask my students this when gun control comes up in class.
“If you wanted to break into a house and steal someone else’s property would you hit the house that has a sign saying ‘Gun Free Zone,’ or the one with an announcement ‘Insured by Smith and Wesson”?
For those living in the bubble of modern education, Smith and Wesson is a gun manufacturer.

I believe in freedom and responsibility.  I think you should have the freedom to live in a gun free zone.  I would love to live next door to you so that you look like the target of choice.  You could be my insurance policy.  I prefer the freedom guaranteed in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  I also think that you should be responsible for the loss of your property and possibly, life.  I am willing to be responsible for my misuse of a firearm.

Liberty, please. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Opus 2015-234: Discernment Watch: The Cold War on the Second Amendment, part 1 of 2

Another term that people under 20 don’t seem to understand is “Cold War.”  And again, many over 20 don’t believe it ever happened.

The Cold War was the period when the free western world, led by the US, was in a deep conflict with the Communist world, led by the USSR.  It never broke out into open war between the superpowers, that is why it was called “cold”.  It did result in much fighting behind the scenes and through surrogates so it was called a war.

One reason that many don’t believe in it is because the Progressives who control the media, education and the Democrat Party have made it a practice of deception and distraction.  Mona Charen in her book Useful Idiots addresses this issue.  In her discussion she makes this comment:
“The Democrats in Congress did not believe in fighting, far less winning the Cold War.  Scarred by Vietnam (for all the wrong reasons) and tolerant of Third World flirtations with communism, they believed above all in one thing:  arms control.  It was the sheer ownership of weapons, they argued, that endangered the peace of the world.  Wars, they believed, could not be avoided when nations engaged in ‘arms races.’”  p. 122
What struck me in this is that the logic of the left never changes.  They felt like the reason for war was weapons.  If we want to avoid war then we should disarm because the only reason that Germany invaded France, The Soviet Union invaded Poland, Japan invaded China, the Huns invaded Europe, the Aztec attacked the Maya, etc was that the countries invaded had weapons and these noble nations were afraid.

Once a useful idiot, always a useful idiot, it seems.  They have carried this thinking over into the issue of the Second Amendment.  They believe the answer to crime and violence is to disarm the law abiding citizens.  The problem is not failing schools, belief in entitlements, the war on Christianity, sympathetic judges and pornographic television.  The problem is too many guns.

To be continued....

Charen, Mona.  Useful Idiots.  Washington, D.C.:  Regnery, 2004.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-233: Firsts: What Is a Pluot?

I have seen them in the stores.  I have heard them discussed.  Now I have eaten one.  Okay, so I ate three of them.

If you see them on the stand you would think they were a type of plum.  If someone blindfolded you and had you taste it, it would taste like a plumb.  When you pay for it is sure doesn’t cost like a plumb.  On line it says it is a hybrid cross between a plum and an apricot.

They are good.  If you see them at a reasonable price try one.  My opinion is they are just expensive plumbs but keep in mind I like my steak very well done and can’t see why Jamaican Blue Mountain is so expensive.  You can form your own opinion.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Opus 2015-232: Headlines: The Difference Between R and D

I teach U.S. History, eighth grade edition.  Since I believe that the ability to think and weigh the opinions of others is important, I practice full disclosure.  Most of my students have never met anyone, let alone a teacher, who would admit to being a Republican.  I want to be the wake up call in their lives.

This of course often brings up the question, “What is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?”  I try to put all of the current issues out of the way on this one and get down to basic principles.  I tell them that the root difference is that people who believe the government is the best source of progress and plenty are Democrats.  People who believe that individuals should make their own decisions and be responsible for their own prosperity are Republicans.

This difference is being broadcast all the time, but people don’t see it.  I saw it in a recent article I read in The Washington Times National Weekly, July 20, 2015, page 25.  I could not get a workable link so you will have to trust me.  The article, titled “Uber-rated?  Clinton, Republicans spar over ‘gig economy’”, dealt with comments that Hillary Clinton made in regard to people who are working as independent contractors instead of getting what the article called “traditional jobs”.

Here are a couple of paragraphs that demonstrate the difference between real Democrats and real Republicans.  First, the writer’s opinion.
“Supporters say companies such as the ride-hailing Uber provide flexibility to workers and consumers with a minimum of government regulatory oversight.  Critics such as Mrs. Clinton say the ‘gig economy’ model may have its virtues but it leaves workers as disposable contractors with potentially no recourse for mistreatment by a company”
Those are the words of the reporter and, if your reading comprehension is in gear, you can see that the difference is that either you are responsible for you success or you need the government to protect you.

Now for the actual words of Clinton.
“This on-demand, or so-called gig economy, is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation.  But it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”
Then there are responses from a couple of Republican presidential hopefuls. 

Do you see the pattern?  You should.  Elections matter.  There are a lot of things about the Republican big tent that I don’t embrace.  Smoke and mirrors abound.  When the smoke clears and the mirrors break I find that I am still a person who believes that I know what is best for me and I don’t need the government to tell me.

I am a Republican, a real one.  What are you?

homo unius libri

Monday, August 3, 2015

Opus 2015-231: Discernment Watch: Remember the Communist Threat?

People under 20 have never been aware of the Communist threat that seemed to recede when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.  Many people over 20 never really believed there was a threat because they watched people like Dan Rather each night.  Mona Charen, in her book Useful Idiots, shares a quote attributed to John Meynard Keynes in 1934.  Keynes is no bastion of conservative free enterprise but in this case he called a spade a spade (with apologies to shovels).
“Communism is not a reaction against the failure of the nineteenth century to organize optimal economic output.  It is a reaction against its comparative success.  It is a protest against the emptiness of economic welfare, an appeal to the ascetic in us all.” p. 91
Keep in mind the Communism (aks socialism, liberalism, progressivism) is a belief system based on faith and assumptions.  It is like any other religion, based ultimately on faith and assumptions.  The assumption is that the ultimate reason for humanity to exist is to evolve into a Marxist state where everyone lives in equality and justice.  That is fine but because they are fanatics, they believe that it is okay to kill millions in order to achieve this enlightenment.  Don’t believe me?  Then check out how many have been butchered by the Communist states of the world.  Start with the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia.  If that isn’t enough for you don’t waste any more time.  You qualify as a Useful Idiot.

The Communist threat is still alive.  Some would say it is being resurrected but in reality it never went away.  It has festered in our universities and media.  It has hunkered down in Russia.  It has adjusted in China.  It has gone chameleon on us but it has never gone away.  As long as we have self righteous zealots who think they know what is best for us common folks the seeds will be alive among us.  When you don’t have the power to starve peasants and shoot dissidents they get temporary relief by limiting our showers, downsizing our cars and turning out cities into centers of racism.

Charen, Mona.  Useful Idiots.  Washington, D.C.:  Regnery, 2004.

homo unius libri

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Opus 2015-230: On the Street: 99 Cent Protection

Would you trust a condom purchased at the 99 Cent Store?

Just asking.  I was in line buying some brown rice and saltine crackers.  As I waited I was looking over all of the items they had by the cash register for last minute purchase.  There they were.  I forgot to look and see how many you got for 99 cents.  It looked like more than one.

Maybe they are surplus from the local middle school.

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Opus 2015-229: Ideology Trumps Integrity

Some things never change.

I am reading a bestseller from years gone by called Useful Idiots by Mona Charen.  She goes back and brings out the repeated statements by Democrats and media reporters showing how they have consistently been down on America and pro-Soviet.  She traces this bias back to the last time they were called Progressives, in the 1920's.  She points out some of it is pure naivete but other times it is blatant lies to advance the cause of Communism.  She looks back to the early days of the Socialist threat.
“It might be thought that in those early days, particularly since accurate reporting from inside the USSR was hard to come by, liberals and leftists who made excuses for the USSR were simply ill informed.  But in fact the 1930s and early 1940s were characterized by vigorous and spirited debates within left-wing circles about the nature of Communism.  Figures of the anticommunist left ... provided ample published evidence about the arbitrary arrests, disappearance, and persecutions being carried out in Soviet Russia, as well as copious proof that organs like the New York Times were not telling the truth about the famine and others matters.”  p. 90
So in reality it has never been a lack of evidence but a political philosophy that at its heart is anti-American and anti liberty.  As she summarized,
“The evidence, in other words, was there for those with eyes to see.  But in the 1930s and 1940s, no less than in the 1970s and 1980s, many on the liberal Left suspended their skepticism where Communist regimes were concerned.” p. 90
A book that is eleven years old but still has truth that we are refusing to see.  See if your library has a copy.

Charen, Mona.  Useful Idiots.  Washington, D.C.:  Regnery, 2004.

homo unius libri

Opus 2015-228: The Trials of Life

In one of his sermons Alistair Begg pointed out that life is going to be a series of trials.  I don’t like that.  I want a smooth ride filled with success and harmony.

The fact that I don’t like it means it has more chance of being true.  Have you thought about that?  We tend to reject things we don’t like.  So many things effect us:  Color, smell, texture, size.  Often we will not try a new food because we don’t like its appearance.  Think back to the Nixon/Kennedy debates.  Those who listened to the debate on radio gave Nixon the clear win.  Those who watched on TV gave it to Kennedy.  Why?  Because Kennedy had better makeup. 

So beware of the smooth life.  If you are a Christian, remember that the life of faith is not a matter of cafeteria choices of our favorite truth but accepting what is true.  I don’t like the idea of Hell.  Tough.  There is something in men that is attracted to pornography.  As the old advertising jingle went, “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys-R-Us kid.”  Why work when I can get a government check? 

Why?  Because the wrong choices can not only ruin this life, but ruin eternity.  Read the Owner’s Manual. 

homo unius libri