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, February 29, 2016

Opus 2016-60: Monday Pulpit: A Feel Good Day

I visited a Methodist church recently.  As I was leaving I heard an elderly couple discussing the service, “Wasn’t that a lovely service?”  said one.  The other agreed.  Yes, it was a lovely service.  Other adjectives I could think of were insipid, lulling, pointless and you get the drift.

If I needed to summarize the entire sermon I would say something like, “There are a lot of unhappy people out there.  Go out and do something nice for someone.”  Now that is a wonderful thought.  There are unhappy people out there.  We should do nice things for people.  The problem is that the preacher knew what he wanted to say before you looked at his sermon text.  His sermon seemed to be based on the following verse,
(Luke 13:34 KJV)  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
The context was a warning for those who refuse to listen to what God has to say.  It was not an admonition for us to go out and gather people under our wings.

This abuse of scripture and preaching is a problem.  My fear is the problem is bigger than this local church.  It is not just a Methodist problem.  The desire to not offend anyone and ask people to be nice is pushing out the reality of sin and the necessity for repentance. 

It was a nice service.  Everyone was clean and smelled nice.  The congregation was diverse and friendly.  The pianist was top notch.  The choir was on key.  The sanctuary was attractive.  The devil was quite happy with the arrangements.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Opus 2016-59: Headlines: Dementia Hope

At my age I had to check out the Drudge teaser, “Dementia cure may be just five years away”.  Before I clicked on the link I made a little bet with myself, actually two bets.  My first bet was that it would be in an English newspaper.  I won.  My second bet was that it would be based on pure speculation and hope.  It was a two-fer for me.

Dementia is something that hovers on the horizon for all of us as we get older.  This article, like so many others, gives no evidence that there is any cure coming down the pike.  It is simply a retiring executive who has made his living researching dementia making a statement that he believe a cure will be found.

I guess it gets readers.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Opus 2016-58: The National Anthem

At school we were covering the War of 1812.  One of the points it touches us today is the National Anthem.  As I was watching the students during a video I was wondering if they had any idea what this country is all about.  One of the phrases in the Star Spangled Banner refers to America as “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.  How does this generation see that. 

My fear is that “the land of the free” means they don’t have to pay for anything.  This is all those bright-eyed, shinny-faced, dim-brained young people flocking to the Bernie Sanders banner.  He promises them “free stuff” starting with college and health care.  It is the same way that the Progressives have been buying the votes of the dependent classes for ages.  Remember the video of the woman who thought Obama was going to send her a check for her rent.  In Rome it was bread and circuses.  Today it is phones and rent.

And what about “the home of the brave”?  Keep in mind their concept of speaking “truth to power”.  This is supposed to mean courageously standing up and declaring truth in the face of the powerful, of not being cowed by their threats and coercion.   Think of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who knew they were singing their death warrants.  Today what it means is saying what is politically correct and acting like it is original.  Think of a Hollywood celebrity “boldly” taking a stand in favor of gay marriage.

Young people don’t have a clue.  One of the reasons is that a lot of older people have forgotten the clues they once had.

Freedom and economics run in cycles.  We are losing one and undermining the other.  Will we recover and get stronger or cave and join the ash heap of history?

Stay tuned.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 26, 2016

Opus 2016-57: Should-a-Beens: A Solvent Social Security

Guilt is a wonderful tool.  People talking about reforming Social Security and Medicare often try to make old people feel guilty because it is all going to be paid for by the young people. 

Hogwash.  Or at least semi-hogwash.

The problem is not generational theft with the old stealing from the young.  It is more a Peter-Paul issue with the one’s in power robbing those who are not.

Entitlement is not just Social Security and Medicare.  It is also EBT, WIC, Section 8, guaranteed student loans and a host of other programs that hand out money to people under 30.  The young people are just as guilty as the older ones.  Everyone wants a lavish lifestyle without doing the work to earn it.

At least the old people paid something in.  Often they were forced to contribute even though they disagreed with the socialistic approach.  What is overlooked is that if the money had not been used as a private slush fund by politicians over the years there would be plenty to take care of the elderly who paid in.  Insolvency is also ordained by giving to people who did not contribute.  This is one of those areas of bipartisan agreement by the Republicans and Democrats.  They have both lined up at the socialist banquet table and sucked out the millions for their own personal benefit.

So lets do this.  First, cut all entitlement programs by the Federal, State and county governments.  If cities want to hand out their money to the needy that is okay.  They will do so because they will see the need and they will do so more effectively because they will also see the sloth and irresponsibility and be in a place to reward those in genuine need and ignore the rest. 

Second, reduce all taxes at the same rate that these cuts decrease the budgets of the respective governments.  This will return untold wealth to individuals.  They will then be able to help those in genuine need in their area. 

Third, return the stolen funds.  Calculate all the money paid into things like Social Security and the balance that would be there if contemporary levels of interest had been paid.  Give it back and let people take care of themselves.  It is called being responsible instead of dependent.  Will some people suffer?  A few, but in most cases it will be because of decisions they made.  It is their own fault.  My prophetic utterance is that none will starve to death because their neighbors will find ways for them to survive.  They just won’t have cell phones, Niki’s and HD TV.

It won’t happen.  Remember Romeny’s 47%.  He was right and they also vote.  It is only a dream but there are no laws against that.  Yet.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Opus 2016-56: Ode to Old: A Noble Calling

Some days I can only look forward to retiring.  I often walk away from my class mumbling to myself, “I am so tired of stupid”. 

In the morning though, after a time of worship and Bible study, I often have different ideas.  Sometimes it is just a general hope and faith in the power of God.  It is a belief that I can make a difference.  Sometimes it has a different focus.  Recently it occurred to me that I might want to keep working just to drive the naive young people crazy.  They are so ignorant and so full of self esteem.  They are not used to anyone disagreeing with their ideas.  They think sloth is a spiritual gift.  I actually had one of my “brighter” students ask my why everything can’t be free.  Maybe I should keep it up as long as I can. 

It is a noble calling to be the stick stuck in the spokes of fools.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Opus 2016-55: Tax Dollars at Work: No Skateboards Allowed

On my way to work I pass through our local downtown district.  I noticed that in their desire to keep us safe the Nanny State has been at work again.  We already spent tax dollars tearing out curbs and putting in wheel chair ramps.  Then we paid again as they went back and installed yellow bumps.  I guess these were for blind people in wheel chairs so they would know they were going out into the street.  Or maybe they were for sleeping wheel chair drivers to alert them to danger.  We have now found work for our idle cities workers by again updating the ramps.

I now notice spray painting that states very clearly “Bicycles and skate boards are not allowed”.  I am sure that people on wheels will look at that.  I know when I am on a bicycle I always stop and read signs printed on the ground.  It is good to know we have so much money to spare.  I expect the next update will expand the signs to announce that wheel chair ramps are gun free zones.  Or maybe they will label them “Car free zones”.

I wish our city would put up signs saying, “Fool Free Zone”.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Opus 2016-54: Critical Mass: Approaching the Red Line

Critical mass is a concept that comes from nuclear physics.  Radioactive materials give off radiation.  A certain level of radiation is natural and harmless.  Higher levels can be damaging to living tissue if the exposure is extended but there is no problem if the uranium is left in the ground and not processed.  In attempting to produce what is called a nuclear reaction, it is necessary to purify the elements and jump through a lot of hoops.  If done right you can reach a point where the radiation can produce nuclear energy to power electric generators.  If done “right” another way it can produce nuclear explosions. 

Critical mass is the point at which the radioactive material is dense enough to start the chain reaction.  At certain levels you can harness the energy for constructive purposes.  At another point it leads to an explosion.  At that point it is obviously destructive.  I am not sure if it is realistic to talk about “after” that point because the explosion takes almost no time.

I think we can apply this concept to social and cultural actions.  I am going to be looking at things which at a certain level are irritating but not deadly.  At the present time they damage the fiber of society but they have not reached the point of destruction.  When they reach that point then there is a chain reaction that forces change whether it is wanted or not.

Mine is a developing list.  It starts with irritation and moves on to realizing the results of an irritation out of control.  Remember that a minor cut not treated can lead to gangrene and death.

The idea of Death by a Thousand Cuts may have started in China but it is living and well in America and the West.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 22, 2016

Opus 2016-53: The Day of Darth

We all want to be Darth Vader.  Don’t get confused by Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Lord is the real protagonist of modern America.

It is a matter of our pagan culture.  Although people are not aware of it they are followers of pagan religion and philosophies.  Why do pagan religions appeal to the modern mind and groups so much?  Because pagan deities are susceptible to being manipulated and fooled by men.  Mythology is loaded with humans who outsmart the local god and walk away with the prize.  They are also interchangeable parts in the story of life.  If you don’t like one you can switch to another.  In the pagan world men are in the drivers seat.  The gods are just there to be manipulated and blamed.  The God of the Bible will not accept that treatment.

The minor gods of paganism give people excuses for doing what they want to do.  They can blame others for the flaws that exists.  They can be in charge and self centered.  The gods are satellites that revolve around them.

We all want to be Darth Vader.  We want to be able to hold out our hand and have the powerful general sink to his knees as he suffocates.  We want to be powerful in the force.  We believe the force is there so serve us.  Of course we want to be Darth Vader before he repents and with the caveat that when it is time to pay the piper there will be a god like Luke Skywalker to get us out of the hot water waiting.

Paganism is the religion of the New Age.  Eventually it will bring back the civilization that brought slavery and subjection to the masses. 

Stay tuned for the sequels.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Opus 2016-52: To Be Like Jesus: Frustrated

I was reading a post at Christian Ear.  It is a daily blog that is short and thought provoking.  I don’t get to it very day but if you are looking for a quick shot in the thought patterns check it out.

Today she said something that sent me on a tangent, “Jesus often spoke figuratively using parables, which at time confused even His disciples.”  What tangent?  I am a teacher.  At times I get super frustrated because it seems like I am getting nothing across.  This reminded me that Jesus seemed to have the same problem and since I am micro league compared to Him as a teacher, I take a bit of comfort in that.  Some people are so dense that even Jesus could not get them to listen.

I think I shared it before but I also had a friend, frustrated with her child, who shared a word from the Lord.  She was reminded that even God, the perfect creator, did not have the results He wanted from Adam and Eve. 

We cannot be responsible for the choices or focus of others.  I am still frustrated, but a little more comfortable with my frustration.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Opus 2016-51: Infrastructure, part 2 of 2: The Ethical

Our culture also has had an infrastructure.  It is also crumbling.  We have abandoned the principles of responsibility and accountability.  We have drunk the kool aid of entitlement.  That worked for a time because for years most people were making contributions based on hard work and carrying their share of the burden.  Sure there were those who had genuine needs, but we took care of them without encouraging healthy people to go on the dole.  Now we look at the guy who works hard and plays by the rules as a chump. 

Well, I think the chumps are getting close to the end of their willingness to carry the dead weight.  I think those who have been investing in the future are beginning to go John Galt.  How that will look and be applied, I don’t know but remember it is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.  The only one who feels it coming is the camel.  I for one am tired of standing in line behind people with EBT cards and watching my golden eggs being used for bread, circuses, steak and fresh vegetables.

The national infrastructure is like a family or personal economy.  You can only live so long on credit and deficit spending.  That applies to roads as well as bank accounts.  The day comes when bankruptcy looms on the horizon.  Most Americans are in debt just like the government.  If the irresponsible behavior is not reined in the nation will experience what so many individuals have faced, bankruptcy. 

The debtors are not the ones who really suffer in a bankruptcy.  It is the elderly who had money invested in the organizations that bankrolled your irresponsibility.  It is the parents and friends who co-signed.  It is the business associate that put his life savings into the deal.  It is the people who have savings accounts.  It is the people who have not lived flagrantly. 

What will national bankruptcy look like?  I remember stories of needing a wheelbarrow of paper money to buy a few days groceries.  It has happened in Germany and Argentina in the developed world and is very common in third world countries.  It means hunger and hardship for everyone except the ones who are in charge.  It is coming if we do not get a handle on ourselves.

We have an election coming.  Every member of the House of Representatives will be up for re-election, or not.  Remember that they are the ones that the Constitution gives the power of the purse.  It isn’t the president or the senate.  If you are not sure about yours, vote the sucker out.

Elections matter.

It is amazing what can come to your mind when you are cleaning up after breakfast.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 19, 2016

Opus 2016-50: Infrastructure, part 1 of 2: The Physical

I find myself growing more aware of wasted water.  I am talking about legitimate usage that goes overboard.  What brought it to mind was running water into a pan so it could soak and soften the residue, a legitimate use.  What often happens is I try to multitask, get distracted and it runs over.  That water is wasted.  It isn’t a big deal but if everyone does it a few times a day it starts to add up.  It occasionaly hits me that every drop of that water had to be moved hundreds of miles and be treated to a certain standard before it came out of my tap. 

And I am letting it run down the drain.

That turned my thoughts to infrastructure.  Do you ever think about all that it takes to deliver a glass of water?  Or how much has been invested to bring you the electricity that lets you play our stereo?  Who makes the waste go away when you flush the toilet?  I marvel at the complexity involved and how long it took to build all that up.  It works day after day without any effort on our part.  One reason the third world’s standard of living is so low is a lack of infrastructure provided by previous generations.

We owe a lot to those who built our infrastructure.  I am not sure we are grateful enough.  One way in which we should be expressing our appreciation is by continuing to build and repair.  We are not doing it.  Because of that the quality of American life is declining, at least in California.  We have a shortage of water and power and a surplus of potholes because for years we have been living on the investments of our ancestors.  We are using up the principle.

It is coming time to pay the piper.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Opus 2016-49:  Obama and Islam

Is Obama a Muslim?  As I have stated other places, I don’t think so.  I think Obama’s god is named Barak.  In that he is a typical modern American.

A better question, “Do the Muslims think he is a Muslim?”

In a book called The Obama Nation several details of Obama’s time in Indonesia are discussed.  First, when he attended the Catholic school it is reported that he was registered as a Muslim.  Second, when he attended the state school he participated in activities that were only allowed for Muslims.  People who went to school with him remember him dressing up like a Muslim and praying regularly in the mosque.  This was done without the protective screen that he was only accompanying his father.

In Islam all it takes to be considered a Muslim is to say that you are.  Once that step is taken you are not allowed to recant.  If you back away you are an apostate.  The penalty for apostasy is death. 

So we are left with a mystery.  Even if he did not mean it or recanted, Obama went through actions which made a declaration of being a Muslim.  He is now declaring he is a Christian.  Our choices are two.  Either he is a secret Muslim, which is allowed by the Koran or he is the target of death squads because he is an apostate.

It is a position I would not want to be in.  It is a position I wish my country was not in.

Corsi, Jerome R.  The Obama Nation.  New York:  Threshold Editions, 2008.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Opus 2016-48: Healthy Insights: The Three C’s of Cuisine

I like to dine out, too much.  So I avoid it when I can unless I have been to a place often enough to know what works for me and what doesn’t.  For me diabetes is the prognosis of gluttony.  Self control and moderation are the antidotes.

When I eat out I consider three C’s.

I count the calories.  This is hard to do at restaurants.  Often they will list a calorie count but if you are not aware of the technique or don’t want to know, you miss the fact that the condiments, side courses and bread are not included.  Sometimes on sandwiches they give you the count on a dry sandwich.  Give me a bowl of soup and skip the crackers. 

I consider the cost.  I am cheap.  I have a hard time paying big bucks for something I could make at home for a fraction of the cost.  At times it is socially necessary to eat out but it still hurts my pocketbook.

Does the food provide a sense of contentment?  It is often surprising what does it.  It requires experiment.  My wife has a deli she likes.  She will sometimes want to split a small pizza with me.  I love pizza so I used to go along with that.  The problem is that after eating half the pizza with an unknown, but high, calorie count I still wanted the other half.  I found that a bowl of vegetable soup would leave me satisfied.  It doesn’t make sense but it works for me.  It is just a strategy of having her take the other half of the pizza home and getting her to feel that it wasn’t rejection of her. 

So I make popcorn at home and I can get by with from 140 to 200 calories for a satisfying portion.  My wife has two Oreo Cookies, 160 calories.  I would need to finish the whole package with a lot of milk and still want more. 

Find what works for you and let me follow my drummer.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Opus 2016-47: Headlines: An Initial Reaction to a Death

Anton Scalia has gone on to his eternal reward.

My first reaction was political; my second, theological.  Both are emotional.

Politically this is like taking the battery out of an ambulance.  We are in crisis and now we have lost one of the rocks protecting the Constitution.  The Supreme Court is not 4-4 as some have commented.  It is now 4-3-1 with Kennedy the swing vote.  That does not bode well for the future.

Theologically I find myself questioning God’s timing.  What is He thinking?  Of course, when I say that He gets that look on His face, tilts his head and raises His eyebrows.  He kind of reminds me that the man was 79 years old and had a host of physical issues.  Actually, dying in your sleep after a good dinner with friends at almost 80 is a good way to exit.

Putting them together I keep thinking of the statement, “You get the government you deserve.”  I have always hoped not.  There are times like this when I wonder if God has given up on the United States and is getting ready to let the Babylonians or Egyptians have their way with us.

Another scary thought is that revival comes in times of crisis.  Is this another notch toward a time of genuine turmoil and misery.  We have not known such a time since the Civil War.  My selfish hope is for revival before the curtain comes down.  More maturely I hope for revival that will benefit the most people even if it comes after the four horsemen sweep across what was once the United States.

I don’t expect anything over night, but long term the rope is getting more and more frayed. 

That is just an initial, emotional response.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 15, 2016

Opus 2016-46: Thirst Is Scientific and Theological

(I need to post this before I go numb reading about the death of Justice Scalia.)

When I teach I love tangents.  Questions generated by a student trying to get me off topic are sometimes the most fertile teaching soil.  I can’t remember what the catalyst was but one of my classes got off onto the relationship between science and history.  I teach history and have taught science.  I am qualified on paper to teach both. 

Eventually the discussion moved to science and religion.  If you are not familiar with any science teachers they have a monochrome view of the world that says science is for thinkers and religion is for non-thinkers.  It is arrogant and patronizing.  I always love to see the look on their faces when I say they go together very well.  As a Christian I believe that God created the reality we think of as the world.  It is stated simply.
(Genesis 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
If He did that then He also crafted the laws of physics.  God understands the limitations of Newtonian physics and also of quantum physics.  He knows about the speed of light and deterioration of carbon 14.  He also inspired the Bible to be written.  There can be no conflict in the truth of both.  We might be wrong in what we understand but that is our problem to work out.

My last post lays the groundwork for this point:  God designed the earth to heal from both natural and man made disasters.  You can look at the article again on Yahoo if you want.

Think about all the times we have been told the world was coming to an end because of human pollution.  Remember the recent oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico?  It was supposed to destroy the area forever.  The massive oil slicks never developed.  Why?  It seems there is a “new” microbe no one knew about that was designed to consume oil that leaks naturally from the ocean floor.  For the microbes this was just a banquet.  For God it was good planning.

Now we find that the earth absorbs more water when it needs it.  My brother said, “Yes, it is called the ‘water cycle’.”  The earth goes through many changes.  It gets hotter.  It gets cooler.  It shakes.  It rises and sinks.  It was designed that way.

Good science and good theology work together.  God designed it.  That is theology.  That is the who and why.  That gives a basis for ethics and priorities.  Water expands when it freezes.  That is science.  That involves the how and when.  That develops technology and improvements. 

Don’t confuse the two.  Don’t build conflicts that don’t exist.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Opus 2016-45: Green Piece: The Parched Earth Takes a Drink

The Drudge bait-line read “Now parched Earth IS SLOWING sea level rise”.  I had to read this.  When I noticed it was from Yahoo News I put on my baloney filters.  I was not being overcautious.

If you read with discernment you get a piece of the puzzle that had never occurred to me and is very useful if you are concerned about global warming.  The earth absorbs water.  Who would have thunk?  When it is pointed out it seems so obvious. 

I think the key quote is of J.T. Reager from JPL.  It just labels him as an author but I assume he is a scientist who should know something. 
"What we didn't realize until now is that over the past decade, changes in the global water cycle more than offset the losses that occurred from groundwater pumping, causing the land to act like a sponge -- at least temporarily."
I am surprised that this made it past the editors.  Maybe they will remove it in an update.  What is seems to be saying is that the earth is absorbing more water than those evil people are sucking out of it.  Isn’t that what “more than offset” means?

Again we see that it is the satellite information that is giving us more accurate information, just like it has done on global temperature.
“Just how much effect on sea level rise this kind of land storage would have has remained unknown until now because there are no land-based instruments that can measure such changes planet-wide.”
So just as objective satellite sensors tell us that the earth is not heating up like the PC, grant seeking researchers have said, it now tells us that the oceans are not going to rise as projected.  And that is even if the other data is correct, which is a political data point, not scientific.

I wonder if this kind of information has anything to do with the Obama administration cutting funding for the space program and assigning NASA the job of explaining all the contributions of Islam to science.

Of course the PC spin is still inserted by the mindless press.
“Researchers said the findings will help scientists better calculate sea level changes in the years ahead.”
All it is going to require is time for them to massage the data and slant their charts and graphs to show what they want politically.  Then the new calculations will give us more to fear and the government more reason to regulate away our freedom.

The problem with real science is that it doesn’t follow the Progressive agenda.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 12, 2016

Opus 2016-44: Headlines: Read Between the Lines

Sometimes a news article can be well written and cover a real bit of news, tell no lies and yet still leave out the big issue.

The article I am referring to is titled “Refugee despair grows as peace deal breaks down”.  I found it in The Washington Time, National Weekly, dated January 25, 2016, page 22.  It looks at one of the world’s refugee sites.  This one is the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.  The camp was designed for 125,000 and currently tries to care for 185,000.  Things are tight and life is difficult.  All that is informative and probably accurate.  The article focuses on the 80,000 from South Sudan.  In analyzing the reason they are refugees it gives some facts but leaves out the essential factor in the conflict that drives them south.

Sudan has been split by a civil war.  In the article this is a war between the Nuer tribe and the Dinka tribe.  There is violence and brutality, murder and rape.  It is not a pretty picture.  That is all true as far as it goes.  What the article leaves out is that the entire motivating factor is not tribal loyalty but religion.  The origin of the conflict in Sudan before it was split was religion.  The Muslim north was attacking the Christian south.  After years of warfare the south managed to break off.  Why is the religious aspect not mentioned?

What about the other 105,000 people.  It mentions that 30% come from Somalia, another Muslim country controlled by warlords and terrorists.  Why do they switch to “30%” instead of pointing out that is 60,000 people?  What is the religious makeup of the rest of the camp?

The problems of Africa are many.  Tribal thinking, socialists, Muslim terrorists, power hungry ego-maniacs are all a problem.  The major conflict that is often ignored is the place of religion.  Islam is at war with the world.  Africa is one of the places of violent confrontation.  Don’t ignore that reality just to be politically correct.

Is that important?  How does your chili taste when you leave out the chili powder?  How about potato chips without salt?  Is there a difference between Campbell’s Vegetable Beef and the store brand?  Do you like your soda when the fizz is gone?

Read with care.  Think and put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Politicians and reporters will not do it for you.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Opus 2016-43: “It Is Just That Some People Are More Equal Than Others.”

The sign on the door is very clear, “Students are not allowed to use the printing equipment”.  I have been reading it for years.  It was put up by administration to keep teachers from sending their students down to do their work for them.  It is a good policy.  It keeps them from hurting themselves on all the moving parts.  It keeps students from breaking or even vandalizing the equipment.  It makes sense.

Enter the Progressives.  Socialism at its finest is demonstrated here on a regular basis.  I encountered it yesterday when I went down during my prep period to run off some work for a later class.  The machine I wanted had a red light, the other was being used by students.  I don’t know that the red light was their fault.  It did show that someone was too lazy to pick up the phone and inform the office that there was a problem.  I did that and started the process.  If the students had not been monopolizing the other machine I could have been done and on my way before the other machine was back on line.  As it was I had to wait.

What does that have to do with the elites?  The students were violating the rule put in place by administration because they were doing some work for the administration.  That makes it okay.  You see, in the world of the elites the rules only apply to the peasants, not the ruling class.  Only those who qualify as minions are expected to observe the limitations placed on them by those who know better.  Because they are superior they are exempt from the need for guidance.

We see this in the headlines all the time.  How many high level Obama appointees owe how much in back taxes?  We would be in jail.  They are promoted.  Or shall we talk violating the law by ignoring the steps required for top secret documents.  You would be in jail.  I would be in jail.  Hillary is running for president.

Training the masses that the laws don’t apply equally to everyone starts at an early age.  What I experienced in the copy room is just one lesson in an on-going curriculum.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Opus 2016-42: John Wayne Channeled Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome and a famous Stoic philosopher.  As such he was not in step with the masses of his time.  He is also not in step with our current thinkers.  One of the things he said was,
“A man then must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.”, p. 208, Book III, 5
That might not sound like anything more than John Wayne in one of his movies but Wayne was the old America, not the Post Modern America.

The American Republic was founded on the idea of individual rights and individual responsibility.  The world was your oyster if you were willing to dive and crack shells.  The history of the United States is full of examples of individuals coming from poverty and climbing to wealth and power.  Of course it was also full of those who crashed and burned, but in between are the large numbers who bettered their lives without becoming Carnegie’s or Rockefeller’s. 
Did they know how to work together?  Of course.  But it was not the type of working together that is being fostered in our modern culture.  Rockefeller had a large group of highly talented men who supported him in his drive to the top.  He could not have done it alone.  They, however, were clear that they were supporting him, not building a group empire.  All prospered but it was his dream and his dynasty.  Although people knew how to work together, they were judged as individuals, not as members of a group.

Children today are being taught that they deserve their dreams because they are part of a group.  That is the root of the nonsense that is going on at our colleges with the demands for free education and equality instead of excellence.  It is at the root the diversity training going on in our businesses.  It is the opposite of what America was about and what Aurelius felt was key.

We need to get back to standing on our own feet and save the support for times of genuine crisis.

Aurelius, Marcus.  The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, from the Harvard 
     Classics, Vol 2.  New York:  P.F. Collier & Son Corporation, 1937.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Opus 2016-41: Perils of Maturity

When we are young and know it all, we have all the answers.  Remember those days?  Actually it may not be youth.  It may be immaturity or lack of experience that defines youth.  When we get older and less ignorant something changes.  We begin to see nuances that escaped us before.  Gradually black and white morph into shades of gray.  It is like the transition from a moonless night to a sunny day. 

Another issue that changes our certainty is called responsibility.  It is easy for me to tell the president of the United States how to respond to the rise of Putin or the saber rattling of China.  Talk is cheap and if I am wrong I can go play computer games.  It is like playing poker without money.  Bets are easy and there is no risk.

Life comes down to principles and values.  Is abortion wrong?  Yes, but....  There is a condition called ectopic pregnancy.  It involves the fertilized egg attaching itself in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.  Sometimes this can lead to the death of the mother and the child.  Is abortion wrong in that case? 

Is it wrong to lie?  Yes, but....  When the Gestapo came and asked if you were hiding any Jews there might be a higher issue at stake.

Life still must be lived.  Decisions must be made.  I believe there is absolute truth and right and wrong.  I also realize that sometimes all we can see are shades of gray.  We still have the moral responsibility to make the right choices.  I make the Bible my source of principles and standards.

Welcome to maturity. 

homo unius libri

Monday, February 8, 2016

Opus 2016-40: The True Philosopher

Most people avoid philosophy.  They think it is obscure and boring.  They are just fooling themselves because everyone is a philosopher.  Everyone has a philosophy.  It is just that most people don’t think in those terms.  Any time you have a serious discussion you are talking philosophy.

The word comes from two Greek words.  The first if philios or the love that is regarded as brotherly love.  The second is sophia, which means wisdom.  Everyone has their own version of wisdom even if it is foolish. 

I came across this in Pascal’s Pensées,
“To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.”
In a sense I think Pascal is saying that the guy sitting out on the porch talking about what is wrong with the world is more of a philosopher than the guy with a Ph.D. who uses big words and convoluted arguments to say the same thing.  One is trying to communicate.  The other might also be trying but often is more concerned with impressing other people with Ph.D.’s.

You are a philosopher and, according to Pascal, you might be a better one than the guy at the university.

Pascal's Pensées, a download from Project Gutenberg, Kindle location 300-301.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Opus 2016-39: Obama and the Prayer Breakfast

I am a believing, practicing Christian.  As such I find it either offensive, hilarious or defining to have President Obama address the National Prayer Breakfast.

On one level I find it offensive.  I am not one who claims that the president is a secret Muslim.  It is possible because the Koran gives Muslims permission to stay in the closet while they undermine the kafirs, but there is no way of knowing that.  Evidently in Indonesia he attended both Catholic and Muslim schools.  At the Catholic school he registered as a Muslim, but that could have simply been the paperwork of his Muslim step-father.  It doesn’t really matter.  I don’t believe he has any genuine religious beliefs because he is too arrogant and narcissistic to actually believe there is a supreme being judging his actions.  To give even lip service that he speaks for Christianity is insulting.

It is also hilarious, for the same reasons.  What a joke.  A man who endorses gay marriage, supports abortion on demand, praises Islam and lies on a regular basis is nothing but a Saturday Night Live caricature when he talks at something called a prayer breakfast.  It is like one of the presidential hopefuls saying something nice about a rival.

It is defining because it shows that the National Prayer Breakfast has become a meaningless activity of Political Correctness.  I don’t pay a lot of attention.  I assume that it was started by Christians and for a time was a genuine time to come together and call on God.  Those days are long past.  It has become a place to be seen.  It is a mantra like saying “God bless America” at the end of a speech.  It is a sad statement about the condition of Christianity in our nation.

It is just part of the cacophony of distractions in the media to keep the sheep in the pasture.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Opus 2016-38: Veterinarians Lead the Way

A new entry into the morning radio market of LA is the Armstrong and Getty show.  I think they hale from Northern California.  They are entertaining in an adolescent boy humor way.  They touch on topics of substance but are so busy laughing at their own jokes that a lot of time goes by with nothing learned.  They are somewhat conservative on economics and politically correct on moral issues.  At this point I listen for short period of time and during commercials go to my pod-casts.  Often I do not come back.

But my brain can be stimulated even by mush.  At one point they were talking about capital punishment and my mind Went Tangent.  My daughter had just faced putting a pet to sleep.  I am not an animal person but my family is.  I care because they care.  I have been through this with her before but was not able to fly across the country for this one.  It was hard but the loved pet went easy.

That made me wonder:  If we can put animals to sleep without undue suffering, why can’t we do it with criminals.  One of the reasons that the Republik of Kalifornia Commissars keep putting a halt to capital punishment is because it is cruel and unusual.  It seems that they don’t want the mass murderers and psychopaths to feel discomfort when they get their just reward.  If a cat or dog can go to the grave without a whimper it seems that a slightly larger dose would do for the but cats and dogs on death row.

Is there something I am missing here?

homo unius libri

Friday, February 5, 2016

Opus 2016-37: Healthy Insights: Less Is Not More

I just finished my breakfast portion and my body is calling out, “More!”  Intellectually I know I have had enough.  If I listen to my inner self I can tell that my body is trying to deceive me.  Today I had another victory and ignored that inner voice.

The thing I miss while working on my eating is not a particular food but the feeling of satiation.  You see, I can eat anything I want.  Yes, I am diabetic, but it is on a level that if I follow common sense and show moderation I can eat anything.  I just can’t eat as much as I want.  The is the rub.  I want to supersize and finish every crumb.  I look on all-you-can-eat as a challenge.  I act like leftovers are a sin.

But I can’t follow the inclination of my appetite.  A good motivation is to think of insulin syringes.  Another reason not to keep eating is so that I can keep my eyes and feet.  I have fought the good fight for several years and don’t plan on giving up.

But those pastries and breakfast sandwiches keep calling to me.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Opus 2016-36: Ponzi Deluxe

I was listening to Alistair Begg.  Yes, again.  He was sharing that to his knowledge there is not one believer in the news media standing up and declaring the cause of Christ.  He did not say there were no believers, just that they were not making a clear statement.

I don’t know why but that made me think about how rampant porn and such is everywhere you turn.  It is getting to the point where dissipation is on auto-pilot.  Satan does not have to push very hard any more.  Simple things like the internet are doing his work for him.  Once the seed is planted tendencies grow on their own.  Think of the ads you see when you are on line.  They start with a mild attraction and you bite.  Then you click on something just a little further down the path.  Then you click again.  If we don’t stop clicking, Satan has us.  Even if you stop the cookies have been imbedded and you will keep getting those types of ads.  The cookies planted by business are a perfect tool for Satan to distracted us with the subtle desires of our hearts.  He just sits back and laughs.  It is kind of like a spiritual Ponzi Scheme. 

Social pressure works the same way.  He spends his time working on a more subtle level:  getting young girls to dress like a rock star, getting older girls to dress in provocative ways.  Getting the boys interested and then pulled into lust.  It doesn’t start off with hard core porn but by looking out the corner of our eye. 

An old saying is that “mighty oaks out of acorns grow”.  The same procedure can produce a yard full of dandelions. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Opus 2016-35: Election 2016: Vive Principle

The report is that Cruz came out on top in Iowa.  I think that is a good thing.  He is the only one in the top tier that I could support without a lot of questions and big doubts.

In the overall race it doesn’t mean that much.  The winner in Iowa is mainly a morale booster.  I think of Santorum and Huckabee as previous winners that went on to defeat.  My hope is that Cruz will have what it takes to stay in the race and get the nomination.  He has been consistent in what he stands for.

I think the most significant detail about this race involves the Cruz position on ethanol subsidies.  He has been against them and wants to get rid of them.  In Iowa that is a death knell, or it has been until now.  Even the Republican governor of Iowa came out as “anyone but Cruz” because of his stand.  It is an honest stand.  It is a principled stand.  He maintained it in the face of pragmatic compromise.

That makes me believe that we can continue to see him stand strong on issues of principle.  Will compromise be necessary?  Of course.  He won’t take the end run around the Constitution that Obama has used.  On ethanol we see this in his willingness to phase it out over five years not in abandoning the goal. 

It is a glimmer of hope for me but the road is long, opposition is unprincipled and the hatred for people they cannot control is deeply rooted in the elites.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Opus 2016-34: On the Street: Another Potential Death Statistic

I saw another statistic today.  A foolish person, I could not tell anything else, was riding a skateboard across a busy street with his hood pulled so far forward that he could not have seen a 747 getting ready to flatten him.  He is going to make some driver feel very guilty when he finally gets run down.

I was reminded of part of the equipment that teamsters used to use on their horses and mules.  I think they were called blinders.  The purpose what to keep the horse from getting distracted by things to the side.  It made it so they could only see strait ahead.  It made them easier to control.

I do not understand why people become slaves to fashions that make life more difficult and more dangerous.  But then I have always been boring.

Grace and peace

Monday, February 1, 2016

Opus 2016-33: Monday Pulpit: Surprise, Surprise

Was it Gomer Pyle that used to say, “Surprise, Surprise!”  The pastor had an interesting statement a few weeks ago, “We should not be surprised by evil.”  This is an alert that is specifically germane to Americans.  We tend to be a Pollyanna culture.  We tend to think that the good guys win and life is full of happy endings.  We do not understand the hatred and animosity that is the standard for the rest of the world.

Notice:  Evil exists.  In fact it is very common in our world.  It is what motivates the terrorists and murderers of the world.  It is what motivates many in politics, business and even in churches.  If you live on Sunshine Acres then you need to know that you are a target.  If you are a believer then all you need to do is read Proverbs.  I found many verses dealing with this.  Let me share just two.
(Proverbs 1:16 KJV)  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

(Proverbs 21:10 KJV)  The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
If you are not a believer then just open your eyes and look around you.  Human nature is not a desire to do good being frustrated by society.  It is rampant with narcissism and aggression. 

Don’t be surprised.

homo unius libri