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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Opus 2016-119: The Glorious Pagan

I salute those who have no faith but keep fighting the good fight. 

You know who you are.  You might have vaguely Christian standards but you don’t see the point in getting carried away with all the extreme stuff.  There is probably a god out there somewhere but you will worry about that later, if ever.  And yet, like me, you get up and go about your business.  You do the best you can.  You practice courtesy and help your neighbor when there is a problem. 

I don’t understand how you keep going but I see it.  It renews my faith in God that you keep on in spite of nihilism. 

Nihilism means that there is no real reason for life, intelligence or anything.  Nihilism says we are just an accident in a universe of chance and since in infinite time there will be infinite combinations of possibilities we are bound to happen.  If there is no God who created then it makes all of this nothing, nil, thus nihilism.  In reality it doesn’t matter what you do because what chance caused, chance can uncause.

Yet you still are good to live by. 

Thank you for the encouragement.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Opus 2016-118: Thanks Thoughts: Boiler Plate Discussions

I was having one of those coffee shop discussions.  We were commiserating about how the world is desperate.  Things are falling apart.  I was looking at going into the classroom filled with wet kittens and trying to herd them toward responsible adulthood.  He was looking at going to his small business and try to make enough money to pay his taxes and buy tomorrow’s coffee.  You know the discussion.  It is boiler plate and a staple of life.

In spite of that I have a hope.  I know that no matter how bad things look there is a glorious future for me because God is ultimately in charge.  Yes, it is a matter of faith and a choice to believe.  No, it is not pie in the sky.  It means that I don’t need to get upset about the guy who beats me to the 10 items or less line with a cart full of groceries, wants three totals so he can use his EBT card and WIC coupons and wants help to his Mercedes. 

According to Jesus the gate to heaven is narrow but the line will be short.  My goal.  You are welcome to join me.  I will even give you cuts in line.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Opus 2016-117: Rejecting B.F. Skinner

I was listening to a podcast from William Lane Craig.  He was on a tangent that involved the question of free will verses the concepts of irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints.  For those of you not into theological terms that is a question of whether you have free will or not.  I believe in secular philosophy B.F. Skinner taught the idea that everything is predetermined.  He was trying to explain how God can know what you will do and at the same time you can make free choices.

He mentioned his wife.  He postulated a situation where she was presented with two plates.  The first plate offered a choice of liver and onions.  The second plate was filled with chocolate chip cookies.  She had to make a choice.  He said he knew what she would choose.  I can also tell you now which I would chose.  She has free will in the matter.  Noone is compelling her.  He knew what she would choose. 

In the same way, God can know what we will do because He knows us.  If we in our limited knowledge can make sound predictions then God with His infinite knowledge can certainly do as well.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 25, 2016

Opus 2016-116: Middle Class Morality: Truth

Remember the old opening for the original Superman series?  It included the words, “Truth, Justice and the American Way”.  You could feel that the words were in capitals.  The concept of truth is part of America’s Middle Class Morality (MCM).
(Proverbs 12:17 KJV)  He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
Actually, the word still exists in the lexicon of our post modern era but the meaning has been changed.  In modern thinking truth is what you want it to be.  We can all have our own truths.  We can redefine words to fit our goals.  Truth is relative.

That is not Middle Class Morality.

MCM is based on absolute truth.  Thus when you say that the earth is getting warmer you actually need real numbers, objectively collected over a long period of time to show that.  You don’t just need the desire for a federal grant or to have Al Gore get off your back.  The facts need to match up one-to-one with reality.

The reason for this is that MCM is based on the God of the Bible.  Truth is important to one who defines Himself as truth.
(John 14:6 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
It is important to cling to truth.  Without it you cannot rely on anything.  Life would be total chaos.  If you don’t believe that look at the post modern era we live in.  How is relative truth working for you?

Viva la Middle Class Morality.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Opus 2016-115: The One Eared Man

You have heard it said that in a land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.  That is not true when it comes to hearing.

I feel like I am the only person at my school that has working ears.  I hear announcements made, for instance that cell phones will not be tolerated.  They are to be turned off and out of sight.  I have heard it in a school wide assembly.  I have heard it over the PA system.  I have seen it in print multiple times. 

Yet if you are a student and do not have your cell phone out, you are a weirdo. 

Am I the only one with ears?  I feel like a shrill harpy.  I feel like the only cop in California writing speeding tickets.

I am learning to ignore the rules.  I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite me too hard.  I know the consequences will continue to mount.  If we kick the can down the road far enough I will be gone before it blows up.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 22, 2016

Opus 2016-114: Discernment Watch: Freedom Isn’t Free, Neither Is Bread

One of the ongoing discussions I am having at school is “What happens when everything is free?”  This is generated by the Bernie Sanders campaign rhetoric.  If you think the millennials that flock around the aging socialist are naive, you need to meet the next generation. 

My short answer is that when everything is free we will all starve to death in a few days.  I try to get them to understand that if everything is free no one needs to get paid.  If no one needs to get paid then no one will work.  That means that no food will be produced, processed, delivered, or offered for sale.  When the currently stocked grocery shelves are emptied all that is left to eat is each other.

Welcome to the Bernie Sanders Utopia.  Remember that fasting is a way to cleanse the soul.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Opus 2016-113: Me Tarzan, You Jane?

I was formatting the following Bible verse.
(Isaiah 64:8 KJV)  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
By that I mean I was going through and adding the italics that are in the KJV.  It then becomes,
(Isaiah 64:8 KJV)  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Why is this an issue?  The translators of the KJV put words in italics to show readers that the words were not in the actual Hebrew or Greek but were added to give clarity to English readers.  It is amazing how often the verb “to be” is not used in the Hebrew, but assumed.

If you leave out the “to be” verbs it becomes, “You father, me clay.”

Sounds like the movie version of Tarzan

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Opus 2016-112: Reunion Flattery or Insult?

I went to a reunion thingy recently.  I am not big on reunions.  I have never gone back to a high school gathering.  I went to one from college and that was enough to convince me it was not my cup of tea.  This one involved a group I was in during high school and college.  It was a great time and I was one of the leaders.  I have been to a few of their activities when someone would track me down and make the invite personal.  It happened again this time.  The leaders of the group are getting old and so are we.  The implication was this might be the last time to see them.

So I thought about going.  I figured I would wait and see if there was anything else happening that day.  When my wife found out about it she went ballistic.  She could not understand how I would even consider going.  Since she felt so strongly and I was tepid so I decided it would not be a good way to spend a day of my marriage.  Case closed.

Except it wasn’t.  A few days later she said something about where the gathering would be.  I asked what did it matter since we weren’t going.  Suddenly it seemed be were.  I knew she did not want to go so I told her I could go by myself which bring us to the point of my post.

She would not let me go by myself because she was afraid that the ladies would be hitting on me.  I guess she was worried that after 40 years I would run off with someone else.  I am not sure if I should be flattered or insulted. 

Should I be flattered to think that she views me as someone that would be pursued by another woman?  I find that hard to believe.  Later on she slipped and let me know it was because I had money in the bank, not that I was so good looking.

Should I be insulted to think that after all these years she thinks I would suddenly decide to throw away everything I have ever believed in for a chance to live in an illusion?

Besides all that, what makes her think I would be tempted to run off with someone almost as old as I am?

I am not big on reunions.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-111: Thanks Thoughts: I Lived to Tell about It

Most mornings as I pause to be thankful I have a boilerplate moment thanking God for a safe trip to breakfast with no breakdowns.  It is almost a mantra.  Not today.  Today I am glad to be alive.  There are certain days when the Crazies are out in force.  It happens every once in awhile.  There are always a few knuckleheads on the freeways.  Every once in awhile it is like they held a convention and all left at the same time.  Today it was bumper cars on steroids.  I swear that one guy endangered my life three times.

It was like someone left the cage open and didn’t hide the car keys. 

So today I am really thankful that I made it this far in one piece.  Now I need to get through the day and home.  If you don’t hear from me tomorrow it might mean that I didn’t make it.  It might also mean that my internet connection was down.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Opus 2016-110: Discernment Watch: Celebrity Endorsements

Glen Beck was talking about Austria and its banks.  He shared about how they were doing what Greece did.  They are limiting access to the money you have in the bank.  They are taking money from people’s savings.  They are eating away at what the frugal and thrifty have put aside for a rainy day.  His message was that it was spreading through Europe and coming here.

I believe the facts he gave.  I understand it is coming.  My problem is that I never know if he is reporting news or going into an advertisement.  That is a trend on talk radio.  The host will finish one paragraph and move into the next with the same cadence and tone of voice.  He will share what sounds like another issue or concern and then segue into how you need a security system, a better mattress,  a new real estate agent or gold.  And of course he always has someone that he has a lot of trust in to help you through this moment. 

How much overlap is there.  Does he have these sponsors because this is his position or does he have this position because they are his sponsors?  I accept that these talking heads may have actually looked into the integrity and service of the sponsor.  They may believe what they are saying.  Maybe.  Then why do they have a different sponsor a few years later?

Until there is a better option, keep your baloney detector switched on.  Keep thinking.  Don’t accept anything at face value.  Even the most honorable of authorities can be wrong or misinformed.  That includes me.  What works for them may not work for you.

I believe the words are from Ronald Reagan, “Trust, but verify.”

homo unius libri

Monday, April 18, 2016

Opus 2016-109: Ode to Old: Handkerchiefs and Pocketknives

Remember some of the old standbys. 

What boy would be caught without a pocketknife?  They had so many uses and it never occurred to us that they could be used as weapons.  So could a hammer or a screwdriver.  What used to be standard equipment is now cause for arrest.  It is called progress.

What adult male would be caught without a handkerchief?  They were good for so many things from polishing glasses to blowing noses.  Now I am faced with the wrinkled noses of disgust when 8th graders see me pull it out of my pocket.  It never seems to register with them that they sit around begging for a tissue while I am taking care of the problem.  It’s also very green.  No, not the color, the philosophy.  I don’t need to cut down any trees or fill any landfills to use it.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, right.

For some people carrying something to write with is a thing of the past.  I guess the nerd image of a pocket protector filled with multiple pens and pencils drove people away from being prepared.  I get so tired of “professional” people asking me if they can borrow my pen.  The bacteria they leave behind is bad enough but often they walk off with my tool.

Remember when you were not free until you had a driver’s license?  Wheels opened the world.  Now it is opened by a portable probation officer called a cell phone.  The new version costs almost as much and probably causes as many deaths in a year by distraction at dangerous moments.

What a world.  What a future.  Sometimes I am glad that I am getting old enough that I won’t see how this story plays out.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Opus 2016-108: Listen for the Difference

Alistair Begg was preaching about the resurrection.  He explained how the disciples and the women did not expect the resurrection even though Jesus had been telling them repeatedly what would happen.  That reminded me of the students in my class who need things repeated again and again and still say, “You never told me that.”  A variation is “I wasn’t here when you gave out that paper.”

This is another way in which Jesus demonstrates that He knows what it is like for us.  If the eternal Son could not communicate with a small group that He spent three years trying to disciple, why should I feel like a failure if I can’t get inattentive children to listen?  Are you a parent or any kind of leader?  The problem in communication and training may not be in you but in the target audience.  Why are veteran soldiers such an asset to a battle?  It isn’t necessarily that they have learned from experience.  It may well be that they are the ones who listened and learned enough to survive.  It is a form of short term natural selection.

Learn to listen.  It makes a difference.

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Opus 2016-107: Headlines: Mother Nature vs the Nanny State

You have been reading about the earthquakes in Japan.  It caused a lot of damage and a number of deaths.  I keep getting different numbers but I noticed something as I was reading a summary at World.

The article said after the second quake there were 22 known deaths and 200,000 homes without electricity or running water.  The number I felt dissonance with was that “About 200 buildings, including homes, were damaged or destroyed.”  At the very end of the article it says the nuclear reactor in the area continues to operate with no damage.  That doesn’t seem to add up as a natural disaster as much as a cultural disaster.  When only 200 buildings are even damaged in an area where 200,000 homes were without utilities and only 22 people have died it starts to sound like it is a problem of architecture rather than raging mother nature. 

Japan is known for its earthquakes.  It is an advanced country.  The nuclear reactor was built with an awareness of scientific reality and was not damaged.  The homes were built traditionally and came tumbling down.  And even then it was only 0.1%.  As much as I think the government practices over-kill, it would seem that building codes can make a difference in who live and dies during an expected natural event.  As much as I think the media needs a headline, it would seem that the vast majority of people were just fine.

Plan accordingly.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-106: Is It You or the Other Guy?

How much concentration should be necessary to understand the words of a song. 

At breakfast I was distracted by a song in the background music.  My first reaction was that it was rather dull and repetitive.  It was not offensive, just dull.  So I started paying attention and realized I could not understand anything being sung.  Part of that is my old ears but I think an even bigger ingredient was the fact that it was a muddled mess.

It happens more often than we are aware.  I remember how some child thought “Lead on O King Eternal” was “Lead on O Kinky Turtle.”  We often hear within the framework of our knowledge and experience.  Our mind tries to put some structure to the confusion.  Think of a spell check program and the offerings it will give to a word you misspelled.  Think of the times when none of what is offered is close to what you want.  When I use the projector at school and have names in the text they are often underlined because the computer is ignorant of the name.

How much concentration should be necessary to understand what a politician is saying?  How about the car salesman or the IRS.  I am not sure that I have enough energy to understand that which is designed to confuse.

Your taxes are due and we have an election going on.  Pay attention.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 15, 2016

Opus 2016-105: Basic Beliefs: Imago Dei

I was listening to a hymn that spoke of “I am the Potter, you are the clay”.

This is an expression of two points of Christian belief that are paradoxical.

One is that we are nothing compared to God.  This is what the song was singing about.  We are the created beings.  He is the Creator.  That gives him the right to do with us as He pleases.  This is expressed in different ways in the Old and New Testaments.  An early expression is,
(Isaiah 64:8 KJV)  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Generally speaking the clay on the wheel doesn’t tell the potter how to shape it.

The other is that we are created in the Image of God.  This is the Imago Dei. 
(Genesis 1:26 KJV)  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
This is the reason that Christians can turn the other cheek with dignity.  This is why Christians can have a belief in the future.  Our God cares about us.  He has instilled something in us that is not in the animals, plants of rocks of the field.  We are a unique creation and that governs not only how we relate to the world but how we relate to each other. 

This is why Christians have been at the front of the battle against slavery and its modern jargon of “human trafficking”.  When a slave is declared to be your brother that means you must treat him as a brother even if the status of slave is legal.  You also know that if you don’t treat him right then the Father of you both will meet you behind the woodshed and He will not be happy.  That can be a powerful motivator.

This is why Christians have been the creative force behind ending slavery and creating hospitals, orphanages, food banks, and the rule of law. 

If you are a believer you need to understand this.  If you are not a believer you need to understand this.  It could make your day, or ruin it.  Or make it by ruining it.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Opus 2016-104: Educational Incubators

We tell students to be on time and yet every teacher on my floor is late to class, in the middle of the day, on a regular basis.  Two of them are often still coming into the building when the students are supposed to be in class already.  You wonder why young people laugh at the law.

The students were told at a school-wide assembly that phones and I-pods would not be tolerated.  They were to be turned off and out of sight.  Come visit our school and see if you can find a student who is not on their phone between  classes and even during class.  The hall is blocked in front of my room by a covey of little chicks doing whatever little chicks find to do on cell phones.  I have to step over them to get to my door.

At the same assembly students were told that hoods would not be tolerated.  If you were wearing a hood it could be assumed that you were not a student at our school.  I don’t know how often I have had students ask me if they were students at this school. 

I could go on, but you get the idea.  When the snowflakes are rioting and demanding, when the Michael Brown’s of the world are assaulting police officers, when an aunt complains that her nephew was shot while breaking into a home when all he wanted was money for school, when life is what you see every day...remember it started at school with a lot of help from home.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Opus 2016-103: Love and the Balance Sheet

Learning to love is a lifetime effort.  For the longest time I have been focusing on the beginning lessons.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
In modern language that deals with patience, kindness, jealousy, bragging and arrogance.  I still need a lot of growth in these areas.

I am finding that after 40 years of marriage the advanced studies are just as important.
(1 Corinthians 13:5 NAS77)  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
I can act patiently but it is hard not to keep a balance sheet of how many times I have been wronged.  It is such simple things as I noticed this morning.  When I leave a dish on the counter it is like I have held a Woodstock festival in the kitchen with all the trash involved.  When my wife leaves a growing pile of stuff in the sink it is because she is so busy and tired.  I have learned not to comment on things like that.  I am trying to learn not to keep a record in my soul.  Petty but real.

One reason this is so important is that we have a natural tendency to be super sensitive to our pain and callous to the pain we cause.  God knows this so He tells us to stop keeping a balance sheet.

Love does not act like an accountant. 

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Opus 2016-102: Ode to Old: The Exciting Prospect of Oatmeal

Will I still enjoy oatmeal when I retire?  This is a real question and bigger than you might think.

Now it is a luxury for weekends when I have the time to prepare it.  The kind I like takes ten minutes to cook.  Sometimes I mix in ground cinnamon.  Sometimes I eat it straight.  It is a holiday pleasure.

What happens when I eat it because it is cheap instead of because it is good?  What happens when I have time on my hands so I eat it every morning.  Will I get bored with it?

Many times in life it is the contrasts and delayed gratification that make the pleasure.  I enjoy my weekends because I get up and go to work five days a week.  I have had Saturdays when I rose before my regular time and began to worship and study.  It was not a burden because I did not have an alarm going off in my ear.  With retirement that will change.

I look forward to the adjustment.  It will be a challenge to keep the edge on my mind.  If I keep posting you will know if I am losing it before I do.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 11, 2016

Opus 2016-101: New Terms: God of the Gaps

I listen to a podcast on philosophy by William Lane Craig.  He occasionally refers to something called “the God of the gaps”.  It is a term used by naturalist scientists and philosophers to describe Christian faith.  They claim that when Christians find areas that science has not explained, the gap in knowledge is filled by faith instead of reason.

It is a pejorative term.  Pagans say it is a substitute for thinking.  They feel it is a defense mechanism that Christians have so they don’t have to think and look reality in the eye.

Not so.  Christians see “the gaps” as a reason to think.  It encourages us to think.  It does not say we cannot know and the answer is magic.  It says there is an answer and we are to keep seeking it.  It is the Judeo-Christian concept of an immutable God and the belief that the universe is by design that gives us a reason to expect to find answers and keep looking.  If life, intelligence and the cosmos were chance then it could go out of existence at any moment.  What comes by chance can un-chance.  If you reject the creator God then what is the point of learning about science?  If all is a string of coincidences then the string could end at any time.  Just because you have a long run of guessing the winning number at the roulette wheel doesn’t mean that the next spin will be a win.  In fact, the odds are against the run continuing. 

Recently I have come across a meme in science.  I have read it in science fiction and heard it expressed in pod-casts.  There is a growing belief that we are approaching the place where we cannot learn any more.  Out knowledge is so advanced that it is beginning to require more than we humans can grasp.  Some of the “gap” can be made up by computers with blazing speed and awesome memory but that doesn’t take us beyond the barrier.

Fortunately, as a Christian, I already know that such a limit exists.  It doesn’t bother me because the infinite nature of God still invites me to explore, speculate and expand my understanding.  I may never understand infinity but I can enjoy the journey to try.

Yes, God is in the gaps but He is also in the non-gaps. 

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Opus 2016-100: Past Impressions

If you are a blogger you probably remember the excitement that filled your chest when you reached 100 posts.  It was an amazing landmark.  You might even have a follower by that time.  After 1,994 posts it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.  Some of you make me look like a posting wannabe. 

I read that blogging has topped out and is in decline.  Such is life, but I hope that enough people keep feeling the need to write and publish that the insights and information keep coming.

Today is not big red letter day, just the number 100 again.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-99: Sources of Superstition

The history of humanity is marked by people looking for meaning.  It doesn’t even require leisure or wealth.  At the upper levels of academia it might be called philosophy.  In the hovels of poverty it would be labeled superstition.  At either extreme and in between it is a search for meaning.

I recently read a post at Buzzard Bushcraft on superstitions and traditions about knives.  He gave fifty.  Superstition is based on an attempt to try to find out the reasons for things that don’t make sense, coincidences we don’t understand.  It involves forces and fairies.  It has omens and ogres.  There has to be a reason why people seem to die in three’s.  There must be a cause for the string of bad news and events.  If we can’t see a reason we make one up.  It starts with a duffer joking about the golf gods.  It becomes an obsession with certain rituals and habits at every tee.

Even people with a background in science have superstitions.  They might be too embarrassed to share them with you but they exist. 

I am not a superstitious person yet I find myself personifying my car.  This is how it starts.  When it likes me I can picture my car straining to make it to the gas station on nothing but fumes.  I can sense it deliberately causing friction to wear out a bearing when it is mad at me.  I begin to believe that the bump in the rug is a sign that the rug is out to get me.  Are there really gremlins in the dryer that turn all my tee shirts inside out?  It is a natural progression of thought.

It is a search for meaning.

Belief in the God of the Bible puts superstition at bay.  I still believe in demons.  That is not superstition.  I am aware that they can cause harm but ultimately I don’t fear them because they are not infinite or divine.  God is.  That transforms superstition into rational thought.  It gives me a reason for things.  I may not understand but someday I will and God does now.

So don’t break any mirrors, walk under any ladders, step on a crack or forget to knock on wood.  God needs a good laugh.

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Opus 2016-98: Discernment Watch: Beware Conservative Media Bias

I am starting to get irritated by conservative sources that are starting to act like the liberals I avoid.  I am seeing it on the Drudge Report.  Although this is just a source of linked news it is possible to massage the results by placement of headlines and how they are worded.  Today I was looking over the choices after checking several newspapers and saw one that caught my attention.  Let me try to present it with the flavor of Drudge.

                       TRUMP FATE 
                       VOTES CAST”

Now if that doesn’t sound nefarious, I don’t know what does.  The reason this grabbed my attention was because I had listened to several radio programs where this was discussed.  What is being portrayed here is a grab for power by party elites. In reality it is what we call the political process.  It gets a little more clear when you look at the actual headline from the Washington Post.
“These 200 people could decide whether Donald Trump gets the GOP nomination”
That is not quite as dramatic as the Drudge headline.  It is not a copy of the Democrat super-delegate system which gives the advantage to the choice of the party leaders.  It is just the opposite.

When you read the article it explains that the rules allow every state to select its delegates in the way it chooses.  Some states have primary elections.  Some have the caucuses like we watched in Iowa.  Each state has different rules that are developed and passed by the state party.  There is nothing secret.  There is no more cheating than is normal in human endeavors. 

It is called the political process. 

So, no Drudge, it is not a grab by the party for illicit power.  It is not the party out to get Trump.  It is not Cruz cheating.  It is the political process, put in place by the people in the 50 states to choose their delegates for the convention in the way they want.  Some are proportional.  Some are winner take all. 

It is not tyranny or elitism.  It is the democratic process.  Stop trying to make it sound like the Democrat Process.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-97: Wise Guy

I was asked the question again.  “Why do you know so much?”  I point out that I don’t know so much, it is just in comparison to them it seems that way.  And of course I give the same reasons why I know as much as I do.

I listen.

I read.

I think.

All three of these are foreign concepts to middle school children.  Unfortunately they are also illegal aliens to the minds of must adults I meet.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 8, 2016

Opus 2016-96: Election 2016: Chaos According to the Rules, Please

Since Cruz is spoken here I must say that I have no dog in the race for the Democratic nomination.  I care, but since I have rejected the party, it is none of my business.  I see the way in which the Party of Transparency has made it so clear who will win with the awarding of super-delegates that I am in awe at all the people who bother to vote on that side.

But you know what?  That is there business, not mine. 

If the Republicans don’t try to change the rules at the last minute then  I can’t complain about how that convention turns out either.  I will vote.  I will advocate.  I will share my opinions and my reasoning but ultimately it is the job of those who are elected as delegates to make the choice.

Will I vote for Trump if he wins?  I honestly don’t know at this point.  The idea of an open socialist in the White House is something that might make me spin the cylinder and put the gun to my head.  At least in Russian Roulette you have a small chance of winning.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-95: Election 2016: Strange Bedfellows

I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with both Democrat candidates.  I guess it was bound to happen in the sense of a broken clock being right two times a day.  No, I am not the broken clock.

They both claim that the other is not qualified to be president.  They are both right.

Mark your calendars.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Opus 2016-94: Election 2016: Partisan Politics, Huzzah!

Can democracy survive democracy? 

Yes I know we are a republic, not a democracy, but the question is still real.  We hear so much about a contested convention and how terrible that would be, but I wonder.  Why?  It seems to me that a contested convention has the potential of being a living laboratory for demonstrating how a free people can work out their differences.  Sure there will be heads knocked and feelings hurt.  None of us will be totally satisfied, but that is what is supposed to happen.  The only place where you have total agreement is when a gun is held to people’s heads.

If we have repeated ballots that do not produce a winner then the different voices will begin to wheel and deal.  That can be a good thing if it isn’t just the elite power brokers strong arming another anemic moderate into the nomination. 

If there is not a clear winner and no working together then maybe it would be time to go back to a Scott Walker or to a totally fresh face.  As long as it is done openly and by the pre-approved rules, I will live with it.

Actually, since I don’t see going to Canada as an improvement, I will live with it either way.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Opus 2016-93: Tax Dollars at Work: Successful Failure

I have been wondering why certain students come to class every day and refuse to do any work.  They put no effort into passing.  Why? 

I did a little research.  Each of the students in question was failing two classes.  None are worried because our official district policy reads, “To be eligible to participate in promotion privileges..students must adhere to and maintain the following requirements:  No more than 2 F’s in the last reporting period.” 

They can fail two classes and still do all the fun stuff associated with the end of the year.  Is it an wonder that they have stopped working in two of their classes.

So what?  Someday these people will be the clerks behind the counter at the government agency that you need help from.  The way affirmative action is going and with the advent of Obamacare, one of them may be the doctor that tells you everything is fine.

Good luck.  I am old enough that all I will need to worry about is getting my bed pan changed.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Opus 2016-92: The New Dark Ages

Why does every new lamp I see say that you should not use more than a 60 watt bulb?  It gets frustrating because my old eyes need more light than 60 watts can give me.

For those too young to remember 100 watt bulbs used to be common.  It was bright enough to see by.  We could read.  We could work with small parts in confined spaces.  It worked.  What has changed?  Why is it suddenly necessary to get by with 40% less light?

Are they suddenly making lamps weaker?  Do the cheaper materials decompose if they get too hot?  I have a floor lamp that is probably as old as I am and it is still working just fine.  Do new ones fall apart because the metal melts at 100 watts?  Are they using cheaper wire that won’t bear the load?  Is it because they are made in China and the Communists like to keep people in the dark?

Is it a marketing ploy to sell more lightbulbs?  Instead of one you now need two and they still wear out and need to be replaced.  If all else is equal you make a killing just by putting a little label on all the lamps.  Remember the shampoo company that doubled their sales by adding the little word, “repeat” to the directions on how to wash your hair.

Is it an environmentalist ploy?  Is it another example of socialist thinking that if we use 60 watts instead of 100 we will save a lot of trees?  Don’t they realize that people still need to see and if you can’t see with one 60 you will go with two.  Of course they might pass legislation to put people in jail who work under two lamps instead of one.

Which makes me wonder if crony capitalism is again at work.  Is this another example of why you can’t trust the government.  Is it the nanny state, for our own good, trying to make sure that our homes don’t burn down because we used a 100 watt bulb?  Does the fact that it serves the purposes of other special interests who make donations to their campaigns have anything to do with it? 


homo unius libri

Monday, April 4, 2016

Opus 2016-91: Calendar Coincidences

Who arranges these things?    Is there a secret committee of practical jokers that pick out things like National Artichoke Day and Secretary Day? 

April 1 is April Fools’ Day.  There is a movement to change it to Bernie Sanders Supporters Day but I don’t expect it to get much traction.  It is too late for this year and next year will be beyond the attention span of his followers.  If he wins they will forget they voted for him and curse the darkness he brings.

Then we have April 15, tax day.  This is not the day that we pay our taxes.  This is the day in which we have to file the paperwork for the taxes that we have already paid.  This is the day that we try to get some of our money back.  It would seem to me that the government should pay us interest on the money they have coerced from us.  Good luck with that.

Than we have May 1 which in Progressive lands is called May day.  This is when the Communists have their parades of military might and nuclear missiles.  It used to be when children would dance around the May pole to celebrate spring.  In truly pagan times you might find a few virgins sacrificed. 

We are in the middle of all that now.  Surely you can find something to celebrate about.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Opus 2016-90: Tax Dollars at Work: Horatio Alger Is Back

It was presented as an inspirational story.  A young man was introduced as Captain _____.  He was presented as the youngest man to fly solo around the world and since that isn’t enough in our politically correct world, he was the first African-American to fly solo around the world.  The first was impressive.  The second is racist.

He did a good job in his presentation.  His parents came to the US from Jamaica but he portrayed a childhood lived in the hood.  He had no money but managed to get scholarships for a degree in aeronautical engineering and someone paid for his training as a pilot.  He decided he wanted to fly around the world, had no money and found a way to get people to sponsor him as he built an airplane and made the trip.  He is now traveling around the country working with school children in disadvantaged areas teaching them to dream and follow their dreams.  He claimed that he had kids building race cars from the ground up. 

Good stuff.  The problem is that we had wi-fi available at the meeting and the teacher in the row in front of me Googled the guy.

I did not read what he found.  I believe that everything the “Captain” told us was based on facts.  What was on the web-sight that he showed me was that little point of info that the speaking fee he charged ranged from $15,000 to 24,000.  That isn’t bad for a half hour presentation.  I would like to think that he came to speak to us for free but I am not naive.  At the beginning of his presentation he shared that he did a lot of deception and con work to get in to see his first benefactor.  I was under the impression when he was billed as “Captain” that he was in the Air Force.  Only slowly did I realize that was not true.  Add to that the fact that there was never any indication that he was being paid to speak.  I am not sure what was true and what was lies.

I’ll tell you what I do know.  We don’t have money for a librarian.  We don’t have money for new text books.  Our furniture is falling apart.  We have ceiling tiles falling in the hallways and floor tiles coming up.  In a world where we can’t supply the needs of the students our leaders somehow find money to pay a motivational speaker.

No we don’t need more money in education.  We need more common sense and honesty.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 1, 2016

Opus 2016-89: War Is Coming

Human history is a constant litany of wars.  It has been a long time and I don’t have a clue to the source, but I heard someone say that in all the history of humanity there were only about 30 years in which a war was not being fought somewhere.

So prophesying about war is no great risk.  It will come.  The question is when.

There are two countries of concern for us in America:  China and Russia.  China is flexing muscles and rattling sabers.  The leaders of China are trying to make it a world power.  You have probably read about them building islands in the South China Sea.  There is oil under the waves and the bottom is shallow.  It is also the path of much of the world’s shipping.  Big dreams lay under big gambles.  Sooner or later China is going to come into confrontation with the United States and our allies.  They will also be pushing against those who consider themselves independent.  If we are strong and resolute with an up-to-date military it will probably just be brinkmanship.  A lot will depend on who the next president.  If we have a strong, resolute leader we may have some tension but the bullies will back down. 

Russia is in a similar situation except they have a bully with a name, Putin.  He has been looking around for years to see what small weak countries he could gobble up.  His latest “conquest” is part of Ukraine.  If Ronald Reagan had been president he would have sent all the military hardware he could find and Ukraine would have stopped the Russians cold.  Bullies talk big until someone stands up to them.  If we get another president like Obama we can expect the Russians to keep taking big bites out of Europe and laughing at us as they do it.  It can be avoided but only if we are strong and resolute.

There is another war I don’t think it can be avoided.  We may refuse to fight it and if that is the case we will see what happens when someone calls a war and nobody comes.  The other side will come and they will come with their explosive vests.  They will have sharp knives and swords to behead the enemy.  The enemy will be, and is, anyone who does not bow their knee to Islam. 

Why do I know we will have a war with Islam?  Because we have been at war with Islam ever since Mohammad led his armies against the city of Medina back in 627.  There have been cease fires and truces but the war has been fought for around 1,400 years.  What you are seeing in the headlines is simply the current battles.  We are at war, even if we are not fighting.

Why do I not say “radical Islam”?  The war is against anyone who is a sincere believer in Allah.  The world is to be brought into submission.  If it can be done peacefully, good.  If not, then violence is the answer.  If you don’t believe it then buy a Koran and read the entire thing.  Don’t just read the passages that sound like the book of Psalms.  Read the ones that insist on death to those who are not of the one true faith.

Can it be a war we win?  Yes, but only if we fight it.

homo unius libri