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, July 29, 2016

Opus 2016-200: Election 2016: True/False not Multiple Choice

I was and am a Cruz supporter.  I had no trouble with what he said in his speech at the convention.  I also realize that he is no longer running for president in 2016.  I am getting over it. 

It is time to realize that we no longer have a multiple choice test before us.  Nor is it an essay test.  It is true/false. 

What are the qualities of a true/false test?  In reality we only have two choices, T or H.  You can leave the answer blank.  It will be marked wrong.  You may feel righteous, but it will be marked wrong.  You can put another letter.  It will be marked wrong.  You can give a short answer.  It will be marked wrong.

It seems like even if we get the “right” answer we will get it wrong.

In the world of tests you will always come across questions where there is really no correct answer.  It happens.  Sometimes it is a misprint, poor editing or simply ignorance.  Other times it is because the person building the test is pushing his opinions rather than reality.  In a situation like that you can leave it blank and be assured of losing, you can guess and have a statistical chance of winning or you can try to figure out what the fool who wrote the question wants.  The answer may be wrong in reality but in the fantasy world of tests you get the points.

The test comes in November. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-199: Headlines: Pop Culture

Who is Kim and why do I care that she went to the dentist?

The headline reads,
“Kim’s emergency dash to fix her pearly whites!”
It comes complete with an exclamation point and a picture of a mouth.  The headline was only overshadowed by one screaming “Deranged” about the kid who just gunned down 18 people in Munich.  He got a bigger picture too, which I am sure made Kim mad.

Do you wonder how Bill Clinton was elected twice?  Do you wonder why Obama was reelected?  Have you noticed the choices we have for president this year?  It is because a larger portion of the population knows who Kim is than recognize the name Bader Ginsburg.

How is that democracy rooted in public education working for you?

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Opus 2016-198: Firsts: Caramel Grits

My son and I are still enjoying mornings of oatmeal and grits.  Not at the same time although we may get to that.  We keep trying to find new variations.  I am good with what is good but he needs variety in life. 

One of the variations we have tried is the new taste sensation of salted caramel.  I have come across it in coffee, ice cream and doughnuts.  Why not in grits?

What got me to try it was a little more commonplace.  He had a bottle of flavoring syrup that was taking up space.  One of my missions is to help him clean off counters and empty shelves.  I took this bottle as something to target. 

The combination works well.  The experiments continue.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-197: Election 2016: Democracy Is Always Messy

The Republican convention is over.  The voting was done.  The political maneuvering was a wonder to behold.  Donald Trump won.

He won fair and square, or as fair and square as you can do in politics.  He gave and took punches.  Whether you like it or not, he won.  He got the required number of votes.  To complain about all of his tactics is nothing but sour grapes.  Every candidate had moments of questionable decisions.  It is called politics.  In a free country it is to be expected.  If you don’t like it, 2020 is coming and you can get started right after the next election.

If you don’t like the rules, now is the time to start changing them.  If you don’t know what the rules were then stop complaining and read them.

And all that powder that you have been keeping dry can now come out for the general election.  Remember it is no longer a contest between Hillary and Bernie or Donald and Ted.  It is now a contest between Hillary and Donald with a few supporting distractions thrown in.

It is time to make the hard choice.  For some that will be to vote or not but remember if you don’t vote you forfeit your right to complain.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Opus 2016-196: Election 2016: Target Practice

Okay folks, it is time to wake up and smell the nominee.  The Republican convention is over.  The candidate has been chosen.  You may not like the choice.  I am not overjoyed.  But the time for big talk and debating pro’s and con’s is over.  It doesn’t do any good for people who do not want Hillary as president and a Supreme Court staffed with Bader Ginsburg clones to keep pointing out all the weaknesses of Donald Trump.  It is time to grow up.  As a child you could express your opinion of which is better for dinner, pizza or tacos, but it didn’t change the fact that you were having tuna casserole. 

We need to deal with it.

If you want to go third party then admit it and get on with trumpeting the virtues of your candidate but make the attacks on Hillary, not Donald.  It doesn’t do any good to trumpet the virtues of your favorite over the choice of the convention.

I am still pretending to be on the fence but I keep looking at assured disaster or a sliver of hope.  Remember that even a broken clock is right two times a day.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Opus 2016-195: Headlines: Making a List and Checking It Twice

Two ISIS thugs showed their courage and valor by murdering a 84 year old priest and seriously wounding a nun.  Remember that the goal of terrorists is terror not bravery.  You don’t create terror by attacking dug-in special forces who are looking your way and are locked and loaded.  You get it by making the defenseless feel defenseless.  The attack took place during mass and if church attendance is like other places in France the priest and nuns may have been the only people in the church at the time.  Fox News has the story.

What is amazing to me is that these killers were not unknowns.  Check this out from the article,
“One of Tuesday's attackers was on the radar of French police and had traveled to Turkey, said Mohammed Karabila, president of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith for Haute-Normandie.

"The person that did this odious act is known, and he has been followed by the police for at least a year and a half," he told the AP.”
So we have someone who is on the list.  The police are following him.  They have been doing so for a year and a half.  He is still able to murder and rampage.  Sure they killed him afterward but that isn’t much comfort for the dead priest.  Another case of the police being minutes away when seconds count.

This is harder to believe than fiction.  Coming to a community near you.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-194: Distortions, Ignorance or Propaganda?

We now have Christians getting on board the Transgender Express.  We find people claiming to follow Christ who are taking positions that would have either gotten them laughed out of the church or excommunicated for heresy a few years ago.  How do we get to positions like this?  Much of it comes because when silly statements are made about the Bible we keep silent and let the juggernaut of anti-Christian fervor roll on.

Lets look at one step in the process that keeps coming up. 

I have heard it expressed that the Bible is a document to justify male dominance in our society.  It is called archaic because it perpetuates a primitive belief in the superiority of men.  While it is true that the Bible refers to God as He in almost every case and that the husband is to be the head of the home, women have a special role that does not make them second class citizens.  I want to address the distortions about claims that punishment for sexual sin in one sided.

Some people claim that the woman is the only one to be punished when adultery is discovered.  You might take the case of the woman brought to Jesus starting in John 8:3.  The scribes and Pharisees were obviously wanting Jesus to condemn her to a stoning.  There is no mention of the man being dragged into the case.  Jesus saw through the charade,
(John 8:10-11 KJV)  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Deuteronomy gives directions for the law of Israel that are even earlier.
(Deuteronomy 22:22 KJV)  If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
Notice that it is not just the woman who is punished.  The Pharisees that were trying to trap Jesus were ignoring the whole teaching as well as modern theologians like to do.  In the attempt to water down the standards established by God many of these “scholars” are becoming more haters of Christianity than lovers of truth.

Read the primary sources.  If you can tell the difference between decaf and real coffee you should be able to tell the difference between secular wisdom and eternal truth.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 25, 2016

Opus 2016-193: Headlines: California Attacks Again

According to World Magazine the California Legislature is preparing a bill that will force Christian colleges to stop maintaining standards that are mandated in the Bible.  The punishment at this point will be financial not jail time.  The pogrom will come later.  It will be the typical way that government controls the pigs at the trough, first they threaten to withhold funds, then they decide who becomes bacon.

Basically schools that refuse to remove their codes of conduct about sexual activity and proclivity will no longer be able to receive any government funds.  The way this will hurt is by the withholding of Cal Grant scholarships.  Years ago it was called the California State Scholarship.  I had one for three years and it covered my tuition at a small Christian school quite nicely.
“If signed into law, SB 1146 could expose schools to punitive litigation and the loss of millions in student aid. Schools wanting to avoid any penalty would have to dissolve student codes of conduct based on biblical teachings about sex and wouldn’t be able to base hiring decision on religious convictions about sexuality, gender identity, and marriage.”
This is another salvo from the left to remove Christianity from the public square but I am not sure it will not be a good thing for truly Christian colleges.  It will force them to decide whether they are Christian or not.  The choice will be to either take the government’s money or take the Lord’s righteousness. 
“All schools wanting to keep state financial aid would have to accommodate students based on their gender identity and would not be able to separate housing, restrooms, or locker room facilities based on biology. The same standards would apply to gender fluid students, those who fluctuate between identifying as either male or female.”
As Jesus said,
(Matthew 6:24 KJV)  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
It isn’t really a matter of whether the schools will survive.  The question is will they survive as a part of the church?  Will they still be Christian?  Since the slide into perdition began long ago and most schools started by Christians have already sold out, this might be a good time for a wake up call.  I would suggest that it is time for the schools that are still Christian to bite the bullet, give up all government support and get back to being salt instead of tofu.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Opus 2016-192: Headlines: Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

You have been hearing about the shooting in Munich.  What I read in the Telegraph had 18 people killed.  Three observations:

He was probably a Muslim since he is repeatedly identified as German Iranian.  It said he was born and raised in Germany which fits in with the current crop of home grown terrorists.  They are often young men who were born in the west and have never been able to bring their religion into sync with the culture around them.  The article repeatedly mouthed the mantra of “no links to ISIS” but you need to remember that the same thing was said about the killer in Nice.  Remember how our Attorney General tried to sanitize the Orlando killer.  When the killers go out screaming Allah Akbar our political leaders keep saying they can’t understand the motive.  At least one witness says the Munich killer yelled “Allah akbar”.

He was under treatment for depression like so many of the mass shooters.  I have not done the research but I keep seeing reference to the number of these rampage killers who have been taking the medications associated with depression.  This really needs to be looked into.

He was bullied.  This is another mantra of the left.  The big problem is bullying, not terrorism.  This is part of the brainwashing going on in our public schools.

The story will fade from our short memories.  The killings will continue.  May you stay safe.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Opus 2016-191: Headlines: It Only Gets Worse

Earlier I posted about the 20 people killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.  Updates on another news site put the number at 61 and I would assume climbing.

The article in the Washington Times was either written later or with simply with more accuracy.  The times also pointed out that it was a Sunni/Shia conflict and introduces ISIS as claiming responsibility.  This is on the level of the local Methodists blowing up a crowd at the annual fund raiser of the Catholic church.

Welcome to the Middle East and Islam, coming to a neighborhood near you.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-190: Headlines: More Internecine Muslim Violence

It happened in Afghanistan.  It didn’t kill any Americans.  It was a case of Muslims blowing up Muslims.  Thus, it didn’t make the main headlines.  I found it as a sub story on Sky News.

It seems that a group of Muslims called Hazara were demonstrating because they didn’t like a power line through their area.  A suicide bomber went to his reward and killed at least 20 Hazara in the crowd.  What stood out to me was that this group were labeled as a minority in Afghanistan. 
“Witnesses said it happened where hundreds of Afghanistan's Hazara minority had gathered to protest over the route of a planned multi-million dollar power line.”
Since I had never heard of the Hazara I did a quick Google to see why they were different.  Wikipedia identifies them as the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.  Some minority.  It turns out that they have a language rooted in Persian and are Twelver Shia Muslims.  They would have fit into Iran quite well. 

Since the Western world doesn’t seem to be able to get its acts together in regard to Islam on the march, the biggest hope that we have may be that the world of Islam is not monolithic.  They hate each other more than they hate us and the divisions that they see as significant would just make us wonder what the big deal is all about.

So we have another tragedy.  We can expect more.  There is nothing I can do about it there, but I can call for us to continue to be Americans who are capable of living along side people that we disagree with and not feel a need to blow them up.

Be grateful for the Christian and Jewish roots that proclaim it is wrong to kill people just because you disagree with them.  Keep in mind that Jesus was quoting the Old Testament when He called on us to love our neighbor as ourselves. 

homo unius libri

Friday, July 22, 2016

Opus 2016-189: Revenge or Rehabilitation?

What do we do about crime and criminals?  We hear a lot of different solutions and issues from a demand to build more prisons to the claim that the system is racist.  Some are concerned about overcrowding.  Others think prisons are too comfortable.  Historically the solutions have been much more severe than we practice today.  Most cultures did not have the resources to build huge edifices and worry about exercise yards or balanced nutrition.  Jails were short term holding tanks with justice waiting in the door.  Execution and slavery were common ways of dealing with people who could not fit into society. 

Now we lock people away, sometimes for life.  Why?  What is the purpose of incarceration?

If you Google it you find a lot of opinions.  Certain basic reasons come up:  Punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation and protecting society are some.  Back in the 60's and 70's the psychologists and social workers managed to turn the emphasis in modern prisons toward rehabilitating the criminals and away from punishment. 

What is the Christian approach?  Too often “Christians” simply adopt the popular approach that the current cultural icons are advocating and ignore the complete teaching of scripture.  It is easy to cherry pick verses and ignore anything that does not make you conform with social pressure.  Thus with the current push toward rehabilitation we hear the verses about love, forgiveness and turning the other cheek.  Those exist.  That is part of the balance, but only one side.

There is also the truth that the law and its enforcement are meant to compel the deviate to curb their excess.  The Bible does not rule out the ideas of fear and punishment.  I am currently reading through Deuteronomy and came across a statement that was repeated at least four times.  After bringing up punishment involving the death penalty we come across statements like this:
(Deuteronomy 19:20 KJV)  And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
You see similar words in 13:11, 17:13 and 21:21.

Punishment has a role in justice according the Bible.  Fear has a role.  The Bible says that recognizing the potential for pain, suffering and paying the price will serve to keep those inclined to evil from inclining. 

Fear and punishment do work as deterrents.  You may disagree but don’t do so on the basis of the Bible and Christianity.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Opus 2016-188: Discernment Watch: Percentages

Percentages are meaningless without context.

This came home to me when I was trying to decide on a coffee to try out at Baltimore Coffee.  I would guess there were 30 choices.  I saw one of the decaffeinated blends claim “99.9% caffeine free”.  My mind always goes off on tangents so I began to wonder, how caffeine free is normal coffee?  No coffee is 100%.  That would leave not room for water.  Is 99.9% significant or just a sales gimmick?

Think about other percentages you see.  How about milk?  You have fat free, 1% and 2% on the labels.  That sounds impressive.  Have you ever asked how much fat regular milk has?  Depending on the source I find 3.25% and 3.5%.  When you know that it is a little less impressive to drink 2%.

How about the atmosphere.  Have you ever heard worries about greenhouse gases?  Did you listen in high school science?  Do you know what the most common gas in the atmosphere it?  Nitrogen.  I think normal air is 71% nitrogen.  You can Google it if you want.  Carbon dioxide, the big worry is 0.04%.  When the CO2 level goes up, plants grow better.  More food is produced.  So just keep in mind that global warming could be a solution to world hunger.

How about those promises at the shopping mall.  I am not impressed when I see 20% off.  I love to walk through the discount stores like Marshalls or TJ Max and look at the clearance racks.  I have seen shirts that after all the markdown are still three times as much as I have every paid for a shirt.  If an item costs $20 at Walmart but Macy’s advertises it at 25% off, which is cheaper?  You don’t know until you do the math.  If the original price at Macy’s was $40 then 25% off means it is still $30.

Be a wise consumer.  Never turn off your brain.  It could cost you a lot of money.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Opus 2016-187: New Terms: VOMIT

Perhaps it is time to design a symbol for victims and family of victims to wear.  With the increase of terrorism it becomes more and more likely that you know someone who has been a casualty of the crazies.  It might be good to show the world how much we are being touched before it cripples western civilization.  If we saw how many people are being effected it might mean that common sense profiling would come back into vogue.

Historically Jews have been forced to identify themselves.  Many are familiar with the yellow star the Nazis required them to wear.  Most don’t know that in medieval Europe the sumptuary laws required them to dress certain ways.  In Islam it is common to force Jews to wear something to identify them.

We have seen the positive use of tags.  Think of the yellow ribbons that became popular during the Iran hostage situation.  That led to the pink ribbons we see signifying an awareness of breast cancer.  We also had the black flags for MIA and POWs. 

What if you have lost someone to terrorism?  It could be a friend or a family member.  We read about two Americans killed in the recent Muslim attacks in Nice.  How many knew them or were related?  What would be appropriate?  Maybe a pink crescent.  Yellow is associated with cowardice which might be appropriate for terrorists but that has been claimed by others.  Maybe we could pick an acronym like the WWJD movement.  How about VOMIT, Victims of Muslim Inspired Terrorism. 

I have not been personally touched yet.  I hope that continues but it might help us all to know who to express sympathy for.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Opus 2016-186: An Accident Averted

Warning:  Theology ahead.

Recently we watched a guy who turned south on a highway we were on.  There were numerous lanes.  He wanted to go south.  The road was connected to his destination.  The car responded to his direction.  There was no law enforcement officer saying, “No.”  The reason we noticed?  It was a one way road heading north.

You would have thought he would have known better.
    Already crossed the southbound lane.
    Signs saying “no right turn”
    Arrows on the ground
    No center line

He was finally convinced by three lanes of traffic heading straight towards him.  It worked out well with shaking heads and laughter for all.  Embarrassment usually doesn’t do permanent harm.

What will it take to convince you?  How is life working for you?  I don’t mean whether you got the raise or whether your transmission just blew up.  I mean the general sense of purpose and satisfaction.  Sometimes the choices we make seem so right and are so wrong.  Jesus put it this way,
(Matthew 7:13 KJV)  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Just because the road is wide and inviting does not mean it is the right way to go.  Maybe it is time to rethink some life strategies and priorities.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 18, 2016

Opus 2016-185: One the Street: I Am Starting to Get Nervous

Summer sees me at the airport a lot.  Members of my family will be making at least ten flights.  In light of what is going on in France I am beginning to wonder.  Someday I may be at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

I served in Vietnam.  I drove over roads where people had been killed.  I stood in formation on parade grounds that were targets of rocket attacks.  I was never in the wrong place at the wrong time but I was aware that death could happen anywhere.  On the positive side I was not too worried.  I was young and stupid.  I had no wife or children to leave behind.  Spiritually I was prepared and ready to go.

I am still ready to go.  Knowing Jesus gives a certain sense of peace.  I am also old enough now that my loss would not be that big of a tragedy.  I would, however, leave behind some family that might miss me, at least on Christmas and Thanksgiving.  But I am getting leery of being in large groups.  The threat of violence makes me alert when I walk through parking lots.  I lock my car all the time and check the doors to the house at night.  I do the things I can as an individual but there isn’t anything you can do if the guy behind you in the airport has a custom designed vest.

I fly again next week.  I will continue to fly.  Sometimes I will fly when I don’t need to.  Part of the reason is I am ready to go so I don’t worry too much.  Another reason is that if we quit going then the terrorists will win.  They don’t really need to kill us all.  The only thing they need to accomplish is to make us give up our liberty in order to feel safe.  Then they can have the government come and get us while they continue to dance in the streets.

So keep flying and vote for people who will take the threat seriously and do that things that will deal with the bad guys without having little old ladies and children strip searched at airports.  That, of course, assumes that such candidates can be found and I am aware that is a big assumption. 

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Opus 2016-184: Possibilities

Can it happen here?  Yes.

Will it happen here?  It depends on what you are talking about.

If you are talking about terrorist attacks like Nice, the answer is obvious.  It has already happened here.  Remember 911.  And the use of vehicles by Muslims to kill isn’t new either.  Google it.  One of the reports you will find from 2006 was at the University of North Carolina.  And of course Orlando is fresh on our minds.  It has happened and it will continue to happen.  Our choice is in whether we have labeled gun free zones like Orlando where many Americans die or unlabeled armed citizen zones like in Texas where only terrorists die.

What about a military coup against the government?  It could happen, anything is possible ,but we have a number of factors that make it unlikely.  First of all any group of military officers who want to take over the country know how well armed the population is and how many citizens have served in the armed forces.  While I concede that no citizen would have much chance against a group of special forces commandos, there are not enough of them to take over the country even if they agreed to follow illegal orders.  The Second Amendment was there to keep such a thing from happening.

We also have an organization of the military that works against a coup.  The rank and file of our armed forces are moved around from unit to unit enough that it would be hard to find the kind of blind loyalty to leaders that would make such a think workable.  Soldiers swear allegiance to the
Constitution not their commanding officers.  Historically regiments were made up of people from one area and recruited by a local celebrity.  We don’t do it that way.  In some countries a unit will have a tribal identity that leads to blind obedience.  When you have a military unit of 1,000 with citizens from 35 different states is encourages national loyalty.

We have a tradition of civilian leadership.  In most of the third world the political leaders have come to power by way of a military take over.  It is the way things are done.  No one is surprised.  That is not the tradition of the West.  Even a dictator like Hitler was elected by the people not selected from the ranks of the generals.  It would be more likely for the president to declare martial law and suspend civil rights than for the military to step in and take over on their own.  Of course some people are afraid Obama will try that but I remember the same fears about Clinton and I imagine the Democrats had the same panic about Regan and Bush.

Our soldiers are not just spear carriers.  While I know that there are a fair share of knuckle draggers in uniform there are also a large number of well informed and educated Americans.  They are patriotic and serve to guarantee liberty not to impose martial law.  While education does not guarantee your motives or actions it can make you more aware of the issues and less likely to follow blindly.

Can it happen?  Yes.  Will it happen?  I don’t expect it.

If you are worried, enlist and serve.  Be part of the guarantee.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Opus 2016-183: Headlines: To Coup or Not to Coup

I woke up this morning to headlines of a coup attempt in Turkey.  I am seeing a very mixed bag of headlines and reports.  In spite of the claims that the coup has failed I see indications that the media either don’t know what is happening or are not telling us.

    There is a claim that all social media has been cut off.
    There is a claim that all news media has been taken over by the government.

With that in mind we can only wait and try to wade through all that we are reading. 

I don’t know enough to have a dog in this fight.  One indicator that the coup might be a good thing is the response of our own President Barak Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry.  They both claim they support the elected government.  Since they both have a record of selling our friends down the river and supporting our enemies that makes me think that the coup might be a good thing for us and the world.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-182: On the Street: No Thanks

Maybe it is time to start sitting on the back porch. 

I used to like the idea of sitting on the front porch watching people go by.  I had not done it much in real life.  My wife’s grandfather had one of those houses on a busy street that had a huge covered porch out front.  I had a few chances on vacation to sit out front and watch the world go by.  I enjoyed it at the time.

Not any more.  With all the violence and vulgarity the front porch has become a place to avoid.  There are not very many people walking by in my back yard, at least not yet, but it is a lot safer.  At my sons house it doesn’t matter if you pick front or back all you see are trees.  I don’t have much of the way in a front porch anyway.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 15, 2016

Opus 2016-181: The Peasant Palate

I am grateful that I do not have a discerning palate.  I am not totally insensitive to taste but the nuances are usually beyond me.

I can tell really good coffee from really bad coffee.  Give me Jamaican Blue, fresh roasted, hand ground and French press brewed vs Dollar Store instant and I will notice the difference; not so much whether Moka Java is better then Peruvian.  I can tell a Flemings New York strip from the stuff on sale for $1.99 and Food 4 Less.  Kobe beef is a waste on me. 

What this does is open up options for me that others might find disturbing.  I don’t need to be too picky when I go to the grocery store, just mildly selective.  You know how it is, don’t buy the bell peppers with the big, purple, soft spots on them.  Make sure the word “cheese” appears in the product name.  It is kind of simple.

Certain tastes such as liver and onions, menudo and nuoc mam don’t require taste buds, just a clothes pen for your nose.  I find comfort in the knowledge that people do actually taste things differently.  I assume that has variations like color blindness.  For all I know I may be the one who is to be most pitied. 

Meanwhile, I am sure that my political opinions are haute cuisine.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Opus 2016-180: History Lessons on Representative Government

We have the feeling that things are getting worse.  We may be right, but reading good books about history brings the past alive and tells us that all was not smooth.  Most educated people have heard of the Federalist Papers even if they have not read them.  They were symbolic of the debate going on in the newspapers in the day that the states were deciding whether to ratify the new Constitution of 1787.  They are civil and intellectual.

It wasn’t always that way.  What did they do when people refused to play by the rules.  One of the rules of committee work involves a quorum, a minimum number of people to do business.  It was established to keep a small minority from having a quick meeting and passing laws that could never make it in honest debate.  It could also be used if you were losing the debate and did not want a vote to take place.  Here is what happened when Pennsylvania was deciding to ratify or not.
“When its opponents, failing in every other device to delay or defeat it, refused to attend the sessions, thus breaking a quorum, a band of Constitutionalists ‘broke into their lodgings, seized them, dragged them though the streets to the State House and thrust them into the Assembly room with clothes torn and faces white with rage.’ And there the objecting members were forcibly kept until the vote was taken. Thus was the quorum made and the majority of the Legislature enabled to ‘pass’ the ordinance for calling the Pennsylvania State Convention to ratify the National Constitution.  And this action was taken before the Legislature had even received from Congress a copy of that document.”  (Kindle Highlight Location 6780-6785)
Get the picture.  A parliamentary technique was used to keep a vote from happening.  The minority simply stayed away so that there was no quorum, thus no vote.  The majority physically dragged them into the hall, claimed a quorum, and took the vote.  Aggressive, yes.  Not polite, yes.  Effective, yes.

It would be refreshing is our political leaders had the nerve to do something like this today.  Don’t hold your breath.

And notice how similar it is to what did happen with Obamacare.  They voted on the document before they had read it.

Beveridge, Albert J.  The Life of John Marshall, Vol. 1.  Boston:  Houghton
      Mifflin Company, 1916.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 11, 2016

Opus 2016-179: Firsts: Haircuts

I remember the day that we took my son to the barber for the first time.  I think we have pictures.

Now he has turned the tables.  We had a big family event and my wife wanted my hair to look good.  Since we were out of town she did not trust any barber to do the job right so she said my son, who cuts his own hair with a cool kit he bought on line, should trim me up and make me look good.  Since I only look at my hair once each day, I was fine with that.

So for the first time my son cut my hair.  It set me to thinking that this could be a pattern for when I am so old I can’t get to a barber or they won’t allow me out in public.

It came out fine, this time.  I am sorry that we don’t have any pictures to commemorate the event.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Opus 2016-178: Dear Race-Baiters

You know who you are.  You are the “human” slugs that go around sowing discord and hatred because you are trying to increase your power.  You are the racists who believe that “Black lives matter” more than any other color.  It would also include anyone who thinks that “_______ lives matter more than any other color (insert your own color). 

You seem to be obsessed with the wrongs done to you because of slavery and the racist attitudes of people from the past.  You ignore that the vast majority of black slaves were enslaved by other blacks and sold by other blacks to start the journey toward today.  You refuse to accept the fact that there were blacks who owned plantations and slaves in America.  You ignore that fact that slavery has put shackles on people of every ethnic group in history.  You suffer from the “don’t confuse me with the facts” syndrome.

I do not accept the guilt you are trying to impose.

But I am willing to make a deal with you.  If you will accept the guilt for killing five random policemen in Dallas and confess to the crime, I will consider confessing to the fact that my ancestors might have owned a slave somewhere in the 6,000 years of recorded history.  You confess, go to jail and possibly face the death penalty in your solidarity with all people of your particular sub-group and I will do the same.  Your action would result in execution.  My “guilt” would involve a few dollars reparations. 

Do we have a deal?

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Opus 2016-177: On the Street: What Are They Mad About?

Walking and getting exercise are difficult when away from home.  I have tried walking when I stay at my son’s house but it is in a semi-rural location and the narrow roads make walking more adventure than I can handle.  So I have tried to hit the malls to do a spin through.  This week I was walking past the promise of a new store and the barriers had pictures of young people dressed in the latest, promising to change my life if I would plan on shopping there. 

No thank you.  I don’t think I would want to be infected by whatever the models had been breathing.  You have seen the look.  I see it in my passport picture.  I was told to stare at the camera and told not to smile.  They wanted me to look like I was an antisocial thug.  That is the look on the models faces.  The guy, in addition to needing a shave, looked like he still had ten days in solitaire to do and he wasn’t going to show them he cared.  The girl looked bored out of her mind. 

You have seen it.  It is a reflection of our modern obsession with thugs and criminals.  It is a nihilistic philosophy of life that has expressed itself on the faces of our physical role models.

It is sad.

If you are a Christian this is not a face that should sit well on your soul.  It does not express faith, hope or charity.  It radiates nothingness. 

Just another way in which I am reminded that “This world is not my home...”

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Opus 2016-176: Firsts: AeroPress

I am on vacation, staying at my son’s house.  This is the time to experiment.  In addition to new blends of coffee I have decided to try out the AeroPress Coffee Maker.  I am going back and forth between it and my french press.  There is a learning curve involved.  So far the jury is still out on whether it is as big a deal as some people claim.

One thing I am noticing is that even when I think I am doing things the same way, my coffee comes out slightly different every time.  At present I have eight different types of coffee on the shelf.  When you don’t use the traditional drip brewer you can change the blend on each cup. 

I guess we have to find our adventure where we can.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Opus 2016-175: The Spreading Curse of Bi-Partisanship

I long for the days in which I could look at a label and know what I was getting.  It was a label that built Best Western and AAA in a day when local motels were a genuine gamble complete with undisclosed charges and bedbugs.  McDonald’s success was built on countless encounters with greasy spoons that served Mystery Meat and green french fries. 

I long for the days when I could identify a church or a political party based on the label.  Maybe those memories are just fantasies created by my aging mind.  Maybe things are getting worse.  What I do know is that you can’t assume that a Republican is a Republican.  Intrenched elites on the “right” have become soul brothers to the left.  We saw this recently when the Republicans were carrying the banner for censorship. 

The Washington Times tells us,
“A Republican-led effort to broaden the FBI’s access to individuals’ internet data was defeated in the Senate Wednesday,”
At the time I became a voter, the Republican party was the party of less government.  Now we have the Senate Republicans working hard to increase the grasp of government on my personal life. 

Remember when John Kerry was lampooned by the right when he said something to the effect, “I voted for the bill before I voted against it.”  We thought it was crazy left-wing lingo but it turns out to be a bipartisan principle.
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his vote to oppose the amendment at the last minute in a procedural maneuver that allows him to revive the amendment, and filed a motion for reconsideration.”
Our guys are cloning their guys and neither picture is pretty.  It makes the Senate look like a computer game that has a lot of cheat codes available.  All you need to know is how to pervert the process. 
“The proposal would not give investigators warrantless access to the content of emails, said the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.”
At this point all you needed to tell me was that John McCain was behind it and I would have seen the writing on the wall.

Label him “Rino” and realize that he is just one in the herd.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Opus 2016-174: Headlines: Sarcasm at Its Best

The Muslim immigrants saturating Europe have been having a field day with the whores on the street.  At least they consider them whores, after all they are showing their legs and arms and no self respecting woman would dress that way.  So they treat them like whores.  That is the source of the wave of rape and sexual attacks growing common in Europe.  According to Towhhall the Swedes have come up with a solution.
“Genius: Swedish Police Unveil New 'Don't Touch Me' Wristbands In Effort to Stop Sexual Assaults by Migrants”
There seems to be one major flaw in this approach.
“The wristbands are written in Swedish, however, while the vast majority of those perpetrating the sexual assaults are thought to be migrants, who are unable to read Swedish.”
Of course to print the wristbands in Arabic would be Islamophobic and any other language would be a waste of time.

You don’t get a clue that the author is tongue-in-cheek until the last line.
“This sounds like about as good of an idea as gun-free zone signs.”
I wonder if they will be available on Amazon?

homo unius libri

Friday, July 1, 2016

Opus 2016-173: Headlines: It Turned out Not to be a Gun Free Zone

One of the silly remarks by the anti-gun people is that armed citizens never stop the shooting rampages that turn into mass murders.  That is obviously not true to those who are watching.  Many stories are gathered each month in the NRA magazines but some will say that is a biased source.  They would be right.  Here is an account from the Washington Times.

There is no indication that this is a terrorist act.  From the picture of the attempted murder you can conclude a couple of things.  First, the picture was taken before the event.  He doesn’t seem to be in pain from the wound he received that stopped his spree.  Second, if you look you will notice he is wearing a bright orange piece of clothing that looks strangely like prison clothing.  I think it is safe to say that he has a previous record.  He did not have a license to carry a concealed weapon.  I am sure that he was just ignorant of that requirement.

For the record, he was stopped by a man with a concealed carry license.  Three people in the crowd had already been hit when the law abiding citizen pulled iron and took the shooter down.

It was a different result than Orlando gave us.  It was interesting to note at the end of the article,

“South Carolina passed a law in 2014 that allows people holding concealed weapon permits to carry guns inside establishments that serve alcohol.”

Good job, SC.  I am sure the police arrived promptly and did a good job of crowd control but remember that saying that when seconds count the police are only minutes away.

homo unius libri