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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Opus 2017-066: Just War in Proverbs

One of the areas that Christians disagree is the place of war and how Christians should respond.  There is something in theology called the Just War.  It has a series of requirements and if they are met a Christian is free to be a soldier.  When I Googled it there were no Christian sources on the first page so you might as well go with Wikipedia if you want to read up on the theory.  Along these lines I came across these verses in Proverbs that might contribute to the discussion.

First is a general allowance for war.
(Proverbs 24:6 KJV)  For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
It seems obvious to me that if you need wise counsel in order to make war and there is no statement condemning war in general, it is not always forbidden.

One of the principles in just war deals with limiting your response and not giving in to the urge to rape, pillage and burn.
(Proverbs 24:17-18 KJV)  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:  Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
This is just a short moment.  Maybe when I retire I will get back to more detail.  The point is that there is no requirement for being a pacifist.  There is a requirement to limit the carnage and keep you attitude in check.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 27, 2017

Opus 2017-065: New Terms: Lieberry

What does it say when an administrator comes on the speakers in every room and calls on a certain group of students to meet in the “lieberry”? 

You wonder what is wrong with education.  Many things, including the poor example set by the leaders.  These are people who have been educated in a system that is mainly concerned with employing Democrats, not with educating children.  They rarely read books outside the fold, books written for and by educators.  They have calluses on their backs from patting each other.  They keep lowering standards in hopes that they will eventually get low enough that the students will measure up.

Maybe if they would spend more time in the library and less in the lieberry they would know how wildly they are failing.

Pay attention so you know.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Opus 2017-064: Boycotting, One Decision at a Time

I have read several places about how Ivanka’s products have moved to the top of Amazon since being ostracized by liberal drone stores.  I saw how Trump’s wine sold out after the left called for a boycott.  Consumers have power if they have the integrity to exercise it. 

Along those lines I have noticed that the Girl Scouts are selling cookies in front of every store I go into.  At the same time I have seen it mentioned that cookie sales are down.  It could be.  I stopped even considering buying Girl Scout cookies years ago when they decided to become supportive of the Lesbian agenda.  Sorry, but if I can I will not patronize places that take those kind of positions.  I don’t yell and scream at the innocent children selling cookies.  I don’t make a scene.  I smile and say, “No thank you.”  I also don’t shop at Target unless I must, which doesn’t happen often.  Since they banned the Salvation Army at Christmas, they have been off my list, or on my list, depending on how you look at it.

Americans with traditional values do not need a nationally organized boycott to let our power be felt.  A million citizens shopping at Walmart or the corner store instead of Target makes a difference, even if it is not admitted.  One person taking a stand on principle makes a difference, even if no one notices.

If Christians would stop going out to eat and shopping on Sunday there would be a lot of people who could not use work as an excuse to miss church.  I have already talked about using links on the internet.

Each decision makes a difference.  Each person makes a difference.  Every time.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-063: Gerrymandering in Democratic Controlled Maryland

I just wrote about the issue of gerrymandering.  I thought I might show you one example if it comes through.  I am new to trying to put pictures in my blog.  The current advocate of doing away with gerrymandering, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, does not want to show you this image of the 3rd district in Maryland.  This was a district when he was governor and he did nothing to change it, nor did he complain.

Image result for Outline of Maryland district 3

This is a Google Image.  You can find many more examples.

In case you are interested, according to PJ Media, the Democrats claim this is not gerrymandering.  Of course they claim that a Ruger 10/22 with a pistol grip is an assault rifle.

Politics and truth are two bedfellows that always stay in different hotels.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Opus 2017-062: Headlines: Suddenly, a Problem

I found it a bit amusing reading an article about the goals of the Democrats and Barak still-thinks-he-is-president Obama.  It seems now that the Democrats have been losing on so many levels when the people are actually allowed to vote, it is time to change the rules.  According to Fox News, gerrymandering is now a problem for the Democrats.

Just in case you don’t remember your high school civics classes or went to a modern progressive public school and there is nothing to forget, gerrymandering is a process of drawing the boundaries to congressional districts to favor the party in power.  By careful analysis you can load one district with a majority of your opponents supporters and leave a bevy of districts in your control.  It requires a lot of creativity and no moral scruples, but politicians of both parties are strong on one and lacking in the other.

In California where I am still prisoner the Democrats have been in control so long that with the recently approve “open primaries” the elections are now one party affairs.  Several election cycles ago the voters of California approved the establishment of a non-partisan panel to redraw the lines to do away with gerrymandering.  As far as I know it is still a vague dream.  Here is what former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has to say about the issue.
“America needs non-partisan redistricting commissions,” O’Malley said at Boston College Law School, where he’s now a visiting professor. “This simple reform … must become the new norm of American democracy. … How can we expect people to vote if their voice has been carved into irrelevance by a political map ahead of time?”
I find myself in the embarrassing position of agreeing with a former Democratic Presidential candidate.  What is probably embarrassing for him is that he is disagreeing with the position he held up until the party started losing elections at every level.  There are simple methods for drawing voting districts that pay no attention to party affiliation.  It can be done quickly on a computer.  The problem is that those who claim to want fair elections are not really concerned that the elections were not fair.  They are concerned that “fair” was not defined as making sure they win no matter what the voters want.

I am in favor of simple, compact districts drawn on the basis of population and blind to race, religion, political affiliation and yes, even gender identification.  Will it happen?  Probably not, but a man can dream, can’t he.  Perhaps a Constitutional Amendment would do the trick but it would never get through congress because too many of them would get voted out in honest redistricting.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-061: Headlines: Info on Planet X

The link said, “Remote Viewer Takes a Look at Planet X”.  I thought it was a space probe I had not heard about and clicked to see what it was about.

It started off as a scientific article and I kept reading.  Then I began to wonder if it was a satire or some other type of spoof.  I finally woke up when I read,
“It was worth a shot, so I sat down meditated and sent my mind to the outer reaches of space looking for answers to the great mystery of Planet X.”
From there the author goes on to generational spaceships, giant aliens that evolved on earth before us and so forth.  It was entertaining if not informative.

If it is raining where you are and you need a little light entertainment then you might give it a read.  I quit, scrolled to the bottom and found that the author was a clinical psychologist.  My advice is to stay sane.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 24, 2017

Opus 2017-060: The Not-So-Grim Reaper

Every once in awhile the subject of death comes up in class.  We could be discussion terrorism, the latest epidemic panic, a recent accident or a death of a grandparent.  I have been known to joke about death and I often remark that I am ready to go.  The kids can get all squeamish over the mention of death.  They are afraid of the topic.  So are a lot of adults.

Fear of death?  My first reaction is, “Why?”  For Christians the Grim Reaper is not so grim.  For Christians death means that we go on to the destiny we were created for.  This morning in the car as I listened to Alistair Begg he quoted a verse that every Christian is familiar with.
(Philippians 1:21 KJV)  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
This verse reminds me of two bedrock truths for the Christian.  Life has a purpose and death is going to be even better.

Does that mean I am to commit suicide to be with Jesus?  Of course not.  It just means that although I am not allowed to cheat the IRS, I can cheat the grave.

So death can be a happy thought, a happy thought indeed.

I am sorry if you don’t understand.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Opus 2017-59: Ode to Old: I Apologize

I’m sorry.  I keep forgetting.  I am getting old but it slips my mind.  I am just around the corner from retirement but I keep ignoring it.

So sue me.

We are locked into our awareness.  I don’t usually feel old, at least not in the morning.  After a day of trying to education other people’s offspring I am dragging, but before I see them I am stepping high.  If I were writing this at 6:00 P.M. I would remember that I am old.  But then at 6:00 P.M. I am too tired to write. 

I must be getting old.  It is quite a journey.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Opus 2017-058: A New View of “Dis”

For those of you who only speak to people with high school educations one of the popular words of the month is “dis”.  It is understood as “disrespect”.  When you dis someone you don’t show them the respect that our society of diversity and multiculteralism says they should have.

I am thinking that is not strong enough.  Disrespect does not really get the nuances or outright contempt that I would like to show.  Might I suggest some substitutes?  How about despise?  I guess that would be “des” rather than “dis”.  It doesn’t matter, they can’t spell anyway and make up words on a whim of ignorance.  Try on disregard or distance.  Maybe disgraceful would be a good idea to get across.  Disgust anyone?

When I see a guy shading his eyes from the sun while his hat is on backwards, I am afraid that I dis him.  When I see him with pants that he has to hold up with two hands when he wants to hurry and he can only take baby steps because the crotch is so low, I dis.  I definitely dis.  When I see a young “lady” with so much material missing from her chest that it is clear she is advertising and she wants to be respected, all I can say is, “Dream on”.  When I see an ex-president who will not allow himself to step back and admit his party lost, I am afraid that dissing isn’t strong enough.

I can handle man buns and metrosexual as long as you don’t require a straight face.  I got used to bellbottoms.  After all you can get haircuts, shave and cut off the pants for shorts.  I am not sure what you do with a body covered with tattoos. 

Of course, they probably laugh at me.  I can deal with that too.  It is wonderful living in a country with no sumptuary laws and some freedom of speech.  I am happy to be weird to you.

If variety is the spice of life we are living in the day of firehouse chili.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Opus 2017-057: Headlines: More Gaps Than Facts

It was the leading article on my phone this morning.  Later I found it at the Guardian and read it in more detail.  As I read I grew more and more frustrated with what was called “reporting” and “journalism”.  There were many facts that did not add up.  Most of the facts that don’t add up are from unconfirmed statements.

Sorting through the hype, a young Muslim man was chosen for random screening and the process made him miss his flight.  That could be a bureaucracy out of control or good police work.  I can’t decide from the sketchy details.  Beyond that it is almost like reading the New York Times.

One discrepancy is where he was when it all started.  The beginning of the article states,
“We got to the airport, and as soon as we got to check in, the lady behind the desk read my passport and then straight away said you’ve been selected for a random security check.”
Okay.  A random security check.  More on that later but it led to him being taken to a hotel room that made him miss his flight.  Later in the same article it says,
“Mr Miah boarded the onward flight in Reykjavik on 16 February but was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel.”
Okay, which was it?  Was he taken off the flight or stopped at the check in?  Did the reporter bother to read what was written?  Is there an editor in the house?

If  he was selected for random screening it says he was taken to another room and most of what is described I have experienced. 
“She took me to the room, made me stand on a stool, take my shoes off, jacket off, checked under my foot, got a swab to brush over my hand and bag, my clothing and school hoodie. They gave me the all clear and then I went. The search was about five minutes. There were five or six people in the room, two searched me.”
All of this I have been through except the standing on a stool.  That is a bit strange.  But like he said, it took about five minutes and then he was cleared.  How does that fit together with the second story of being taken off the flight?

This article is very poor reporting.  All quotes and facts seem to come from the offended party and his circle of support.  We even read, “Mr Miah is a popular and respected teacher at Llangatwg comprehensive school.”   Without accusing Mr. Miah of anything I would point out that similar descriptions are given to terrorists and mass murderers, after the fact. 

Toward the end there is the required Trump bashing and mention of the travel ban.  What is not made clear is that the travel ban would have not applied to a British subject coming from Great Britain, so that was just gratuitous stirring the waters.

I would guess that there is a lot more below the smoke.  What it is I don’t have a clue and evidently the reporter doesn’t either.  Lazy or incompetent?  That is something else we don’t know.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 20, 2017

Opus 2017-056: Tax Dollars at Work: Cutting Edge Education

I just received my latest copy of The California Educator, February 2017, and it is full of articles that give an insight into modern education.  If you were to ask, “What does education need to be concerned with,” I think you could come up with the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.  In addition you might want skills that would prepare students to be productive citizens.  Let me give you a quick run down of the titles on the cover, saving the best for last.

First we have “Hunger on Campus, Solutions to rising food insecurity” on page 44.  Just when you thought that Michelle Obama’s remake on school cafeterias should be bearing fruit we find out that there is a new syndrome roaming our schools called “food insecurity”.

Then we have “Fighting Back Against Hate,” page 44.  What can I say?

Than we have “Most Innovative Apps” on page 52.  They feature names like Facebook, Google and Microsoft and it looks like all are designed to be used on expensive smart phones that the hungry, hate filled students are not supposed to have out or turned on at school.

Next is “Genius Hour:  A No-Brainer”.  My favorite quote of the featured educator:  “During Genius Hour, they study whatever they want to,...”, page 13.  That will certainly prepare them to be worthwhile employees or else to riot in the streets carrying signs saying, “Not my Job”.  “Work” becomes a trigger word.

But the highlight is an article titled “Riding the Wave, 8 Educators Raise the Bar for Students”.  Sounds good.  One librarian decided that libraries are “outdated”, page 23, and from the pictures turned them into a place where they can play with Lego type toys.  She says that circulation of books has gone up but the novice needs to understand that for educators “books” includes graphic novels which is jargon for comic books.

Another sample is a young black man teaching young black boys to be men, page 24.  It doesn’t say why he is qualified but it certainly is something that needs to be taught.

Another is a civil rights activist who is teaching the kids about the “Occupy movement and how it was spreading worldwide” and of course the Black Live Matter groups, page 26.  I will let you guess his approach.  The next is trying to entice minorities into teaching, page 27.  Then you have the one teaching them to garden and another to cook, pages 28-30.  The next is giving lessons that “are theatrical, culturally relevant, integrated with Next Generation Science Standards, and fun for the whole family,” page 31.  I wonder if that involves understanding the periodic table?

As you can see these students are being given the kind of skills that will prepare them to be the servants of the elitist upper class.  Not your dream for them?  This is education today.

And you are paying for it.

You will excuse me if I did not read every word of this issue.  I get enough of this in my weekly faculty meetings

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-055: Headlines: A Stream in the Desert

At last an unbiased news report.  It was on my phone as I was waking up this morning.  Trump was not mentioned in the headline.  None of his appointments were accuse of anything.  Of course it was only a weather report from San Antonio but you have to start somewhere.  It shows that they can do it.  Look at the facts.  Write them down.  Have an adult check your spelling and grammar.  Publish.  That can’t be all that hard.

I tried to find the article with Google but gave up.  My guess is that it was filtered out by their engine because they considered it fake news.  After all it didn’t blame Trump. 

It would seem to me that if Obama could stop the oceans from rising, Trump could at least cause a tornado.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Opus 2017-054: An Idea Whose Time Should Come

If we ever want to get the media to listen to us instead of the rich elites we are going to need to hit them where it hurts, in their pocketbooks.

How do common people put the squeeze on the vast left wing conspiracy?  My suggestion is that people of conscience stop clicking on links that take us to their sights.  Advertising revenue on the internet seems to be tied to how many people visit a site and thus see an ad.  Stop clicking blindly.  I am not sure it this works on every site but let me use The Drudge Report as an example.  Drudge researches and lists articles that you might be interested in.  The Report does not do a very good job of discriminating its sources, at least it doesn’t any more.  How often have I seen an interesting title, clicked it and been delivered to a New York Times hit piece?  Too many to count, and even though I only read a few lines, it ads money to their account.

What to do?  Go to Drudge and let your cursor hover over an article.  If you are quick enough you can look down at the bottom left of the screen and a box will show you the source before you click on the link.  If you see it is LATIMES, you know you are wasting your time.  The same goes for the Washington Post and New York times.  Try it.  Don’t waste your time and don’t throw revenue their way.  Most of us have stopped subscribing to their propaganda sheets.  We need to cut them off on the internet also.

It takes a bit of work but I think it could make a difference.  They might have deep pockets in people like Soros and Bloomberg but if the constant flow of internet funds dry up they will start to notice.

The invention of the cotton gin revived slavery.  Before it made cotton a big cash crop slavery was on the decline in this country and there were many voices against it even in the south.  Once it became possible to make big bucks on slave labor, suddenly the moral fervor began to decline.  The power of the purse works both ways.  If it could kill the moral ground of anti slavery it can cool the ardor for leftist revolution.

It is worth a try.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-053: Names and Culture

Somehow my sixth grade class got into a discussion on how many of the students in class had names I had never heard of before or seen spelled so uniquely.  Every year there are a few that show up but as I thought about it, this year seemed unusual.  I have 29 students in that class and I counted 13 that fit into the category of original names.

Some of the names are from areas of the Spanish world that have not come north of the border until now.  I would guess they come from Maya, Aztec or some other Meso-American culture.  Others are from the black culture that seems obsessed with coming up with original spellings and hyphenated strange sounds.  The mix contained no Armenia or Asian names.  13 out of 29 is almost half.

I wonder if the number has been increasing.  I think so.  Does it say something about our culture.  Part of it is just the healthy influx of new ideas.  Part of it is ignorance.  Part of it is rebellion.  What makes it harder is that as I struggle to get the names right some kids will change the pronunciation depending on the day.

I like to ask them what their names mean.  Most don’t have a clue.  I will sometimes share how in some cultures you are not given a permanent name until something happens to label you.  Thus some of them I say would be called “Perpetual Lips” or “Day Dreamer”.  When they ask me what my first name is I tell them, “To you, Mister.”  When they ask me what my middle name is I tell them “and” as in Lord and Master. 

Sometimes I think they are mumbling special names for me under their breath.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Opus 2017-052: Headlines: The Newest Green Victory

I don’t know if you have been following the potential disaster at the Oroville Dam.  When I Googled the topic I had three lead stories at the top of the page.  One was from the LA Times, another from The Mercury News.  These are two of the least dependable sources of information in the country.  The third was from an organization I had never heard of before.  I looked at the Times article anyway.  This is a complex issue.  We will never know all the fraud, corruption and political games that have gone on behind the scenes.  One thing that is obvious is the dam has not been maintained.  Something else we can depend on is that this will be a reason for the Greens and Progressives to advance the socialist state.  This from the Times,
“Crowfoot said officials should curtail Southern California’s reliance on water delivered from the northern reservoirs including Lake Oroville, reducing pressure on the state’s infrastructure by increasing water recycling or stormwater capture. Another step could be focusing on sending more water to underground aquifers, replenishing groundwater supplies.”
Sounds reasonable but each solution means to move more toward the reduction of productivity and the availability of water.  Notice “curtail” means cut the water.  An they want to force more water into the ground which means less for salad greens and showers.  All three concepts of the mantra of the greens is here:  Reduce, Recycle and recycle.  We see this a few paragraphs later.
“California has always grappled with cycles of drought and deluge — Gov. Leland Stanford used a rowboat to reach his inauguration in 1862 — but the problems are expected to be exacerbated by climate change.”
They admit that water is not a new problem.  The concede that California has always had a cycle of “drought and deluge” but then throw in the canard about climate change as if that was the reason for the cycle. 

Climate change is a socialist term for more government control.  What form it will take at this point I don’t know but it won’t be the old result of producing more water for a growing economy.  It will take the form of less water, used more wisely.  Who will determine what is wise?  Your local water commissioner.  You don’t have one?  You will.  Maybe they will call the position Aqua Czar.  Don’t worry it will be for your own good.  It is the nature of socialism.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 17, 2017

Opus 2017-051: Reverse the Flow

We have a lot of progressives who seem to want to live in a third world country.  They want to open the doors for large numbers of people who don’t share the American dream of building a future based on liberty for all but instead want to destroy the infidel or steal from the rich.  They tend to think that they will be immune.  What is so amusing, if it would not be so tragic, is when you seen homosexuals being supportive of Islamic sharia law and feminists wanting more men from the Middle East.  Sad but amusing.

Maybe we are looking at this the wrong way.  I am tired of the socialist state of California.  I am making plans to leave and move somewhere that the American dream is still alive.  We should extend the same courtesy to the left.  The answer is to deport liberals, not illegal aliens.  It should become a priority.  Let them live in the conditions they are trying to create.

We need a government programs to buy 40 acres and a mule in Venezuala for any liberal who wants to see true socialism up close.  We could return five years of taxes paid and let them keep their EBT cards.  At the same time we could raise their taxes if they stay here and limit their EBT purchases to crackers and peanut butter.

There are answers.  We just need to be creative.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Opus 2017-050: Hood Economics

I usually have an annual rant in my classes on economics that involves people spending their money foolishly.  I talk about shoes.  Yes, shoes.  Pick a kid.  Ask them how much they pay for their shoes, how many pair they have and how many they buy in a year.  The answer is shocking when you consider that these are supposed to be disadvantaged children from disadvantaged homes.  Evidently being disadvantaged does not extend to buying shoes.

I then talk about how much I pay for a pair of shoes and how long I wear them.  A little math shows that it doesn’t take too many years before I am thousands of dollars ahead of them, just because of shoes.  Extend that to other areas of their lives and the lives of many people around us.

This year I ran into something new.  During my rant a student tells me that the shoes he buys for $225 he sells for $500. I stop and listen.  It seems there is a waiting list for some shoe styles and that if you know how to work it you can buy the shoes over the internet for one price and sell them for a lot more on the street.  It is like scalping Super Bowl tickets.  It is probably illegal but it pays well.  This is an eighth grade.r  This student is almost failing all of his classes yet he is making a living.  It is free enterprise at work.  It is raw capitalism.  It is also the cash economy.  He pays no taxes.  I salute him. 

He is breaking the law and costing me money.  I would bet he has an EBT card in his pocket.  It would bet he lives in government subsidized housing.  I am paying the bills for this boy while he makes the money.  At the same time I salute him.  Maybe his ambition and drive will pay off for society in the end.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Opus 2017-049: Thanks Thoughts: Whatever

I was working through my blessings and almost passed over my general good health.  I am healthy.  I am thankful.  But there is this thought in the back of my head about the other shoe dropping.  What happens if next trip to the doctor reveals some crisis? 

The answer is that I either believe God is in charge, or I don’t.  If I do, and the other shoe drops, then I will live in confidence about how it will play out.  What is the worst that could happen?  I could die and go to be with Jesus.

If I don’t really believe it, I will fret and fuss.  I will focus on all the possible dark clouds and really start feeling sorry for myself.  It won’t matter how many promises I know, I will ignore them.  Too often that is the route I find myself on.

In a spirit of thanks I will continue to trust, whatever.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Opus 2017-048: Buy the Expensive Card

I think I am like a lot of men.  I can’t get into Valentine’s Day.  I remember a story about a wife complaining because her husband did not tell he loved her often enough.  His response was, “Didn’t I tell you I loved you when I proposed?”  “Yes,” she answered.  “Didn’t I promise to love you in our wedding vows?”  “Yes.”  He concluded his part of the discussion with, “If it ever changes, I will let you know.”  I don’t think it concluded her side of the conversation.

A lot of us hide behind the old canard, “It’s the thought that counts”.  That is a beautiful thought, but it doesn’t count because it is only a thought.  There are two things that really must be added to the equation if you want the thought to count.

First comes action.  You must do something about the thought.  Here is where I face my initial failure.  I have a lot of good thoughts.  I make a lot of romantic plans.  My heart is in the right place but it is kind of like planning on paying your income taxes but never getting around to it.  The IRS will not be impressed by the thought.  Neither will your wife.

Second comes money.  Even action is not the “thought that counts” unless it involves a lot of money.  I know it is sad but the only way that women seem to feel like you are sincere is if you spend more than you can afford when you are in your rational mind.  I enjoy watching “Father of the Bride.”  I think Steve Martin did a good job of remaking it.  Both versions are delightful on one level.  On another level they are terrifying.  They spend enough on the wedding to buy a small house for the newly wedded couple or place a substantial down payment on a big one.  My daughter did a good job of keeping the cost down on her wedding, after all, I raised her, but I shudder when I think of the sit down dinners I have attended at the Ritz Carlton after the ceremony of some weddings.  Wedding debt is an albatross as much as college debt.

So I will do what I must do but in my heart I struggle.  Christian love is agape.  Secular love is eros.  It is too bad that the love word of the world is replacing the love word of the Gospel.

Maybe next year I will have a better attitude.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 13, 2017

Opus 2017-047: Cat’s Got My Tongue

My wife is out of town and I am in charge of the cat.  I can deal with the feeding and keep a good attitude when cleaning out the litter box.  I am such a fine fellow.  I even let it sit on my lap and scratch its chin.  The constant yowling is starting to get to me but she will be back soon.  I just hope it has not imprinted me to replace her.  If I am gibbering and drooling then it won’t be because I am getting old.  It will because of the cat.

I am worried.  I have reason to be.  I find myself having conversations with the cat.  I speak to it in complete sentences and ask questions.  I seem to think I get answers. 

Should I be worried?  Will anybody notice?  When they lock me up can I have the cat for company?

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-046: How the Mighty Have Fallen

I have today off work.  I have next Monday off work.  It is nice working for the government.  When I was a kid one was Lincoln’s birthday and the other was to commemorate Washington.  In our modern world we still remember Lincoln today but have added all the other presidents in a lump to make next Monday President’s Day.  Remember that a lot of these guys owned slaves so we don’t want to give them any special attention. 

I am not sure that I want to celebrate President’s Day.  I have no reason to bring attention to Buchanan or Harrison.  I am sure they were nice men but not great lights in history.  Some such as FDR, Carter and Obama make me want to forget that we had presidents.  I will just continue to consider it Washington’s birthday.  Maybe we could have a “Fill in the Blank President’s Day”.  I would nominate Calvin Coolidge. 

How discerning are we in our choices for commemoration?  I did a little Google for February and came up with some of the days listed along with Presidents’ Day:  Groundhog day, National Wear Red, World Cancer Day, World Radio Day, Valentines Day (synced with International Condom Day), International Language Day and National Margarita Day.

I found a more inclusive list at National Calendar Day.  It included such worthy events as National Carrot Cake Day, National Lame Duck Day and National Toast Day.  I could not find a mention of Lincoln or Washington.  I understand that my school district has voted to take off Cesar Chaves day in the future.  Sorry I will miss that.

What a country.  I hope you got paid for not working today.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Opus 2017-045: Are Grits Gluten Free?, part 2 of 2

Why do I not embrace every new mantra of diet and health that comes down the pike?  Why do I not automatically accept every announcement of the AMA.  In the words of the old children’s song, “How do I know, the Bible tells me so.”

Bread is made of grain, right?  Maybe you didn’t know that.  Jesus said,
(John 6:48 KJV)  I am that bread of life.
That tells me that bread isn’t bad.  He didn’t say, “I am the GMO free, gluten free, organic, vegan turnip of life.”  He said bread.

How about salt?  I know the mantra that salt is a learned taste and we get plenty of it in our regular diet.  Then why did Jesus say,
(Matthew 5:13 KJV)  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
If we get enough in our diet why do deer go to salt licks and enjoy a few moments? 

I know it doesn’t say, “Eat bread and salt your spinach if you want to go to heaven.”  Did I mention how much salt I put on spinach?  Does Pikes Peak in winter bring a picture to mind?  It does however imply that these things are good.

If those references don’t work for you how about God speaking to Noah,
(Genesis 9:3 KJV)  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
That sounds pretty inclusive to me.

I know that some people are very sensitive to salt.  Got it.  I keep hearing that gluten and lactose can cause issues.  If you say that is you, I will not argue with you.  Some people will also die if they eat peanuts.  I believe it.  That does not mean that the rest of the world has to do without.

All this came from a bowl of grits.  Maybe I need to go mow the lawn.  I can’t, I am in an apartment.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Opus 2017-044: Are Grits Gluten Free?, part 1 of 2

Somewhere in the past few months I remember listening to a podcast on which the guest was expressing his enthusiasm for a life devoid of carbohydrates and full of wind sprints.  He never mentioned “paleo” or cross fit but I had the understanding that his system was a combination of the two without using the copyrighted terms.

I thought about him as I was savoring my slow cooked grits this morning.  And did I say they had a touch of butter and artificial sweetener?  He would have screamed in frustration on a bad day and smiled sadly at my ignorance on a good day.  That’s okay.  I have a hard time believing that I evolved to not eat grain products.  And how about salt?  If I am going to eat pop corn, another grain food, it needs a healthy dose of salt.

Don’t get me totally wrong, I also enjoy fruits and vegetables.  My wife goes nuts because I stop to shop so often and cannot believe the number of apples I can put away in a day. 

And then there is the meat.  I love lean meat and, another sin against another data group, I like it well done.  When we go to a restaurant and I order steak I ask for it well done.  I want it cooked until the chef threatens to quit.  My wife tells them to make it jerky.

If you want to go organic, paleo or vegan, I salute you and I salute a country that is still free enough to allow you choice.  Just don’t demand that I put it on my plate.  Why do I reject their mantras?  That is for another post and for those of you who are Bible averse you might want to skip the next one.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, February 10, 2017

Opus 2017-043: On the Street: Winning the Cold War

There is a story about Ronald Reagan and a soviet leader who was touring the US.  It turns out what he was most impressed with was our grocery stores with their fully stocked shelves.

A sign that our system works is the dollar stores sprinkled around the community.  Picture all of the merchandise that is spread out on those shelves.  Granted, most of it is junk, but it is junk that is providing millions of people with jobs and provides a level of purchase that is possibly the only one available for most of the world.  I generally ignore most of what they have but if I want something cheap for short term use, they are the place to go.  On some items you get the same quality at a fraction of the cost.  On other items you actually pay more.  If I want a brush to scrub the grill at my apartment for a few months I am happy to pay a dollar for something that might fall apart quickly.  If I want fresh fruits and vegetables I might want to shop somewhere else.

It is a kind of freedom we don’t think about much. 

Maybe it wasn’t Ronald Reagan that brought down the Soviet Union.  Maybe it was the free market represented by dollar stores.  The Dollar Store, a sign of liberty and freedom. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Opus 2017-042: Responsibility Is a Long Term Concept

Why do the thought police have so much trouble with the confederate flag?  It represents rebellion and the left believes independent action is a privilege reserved for them alone.  Remember the TV program The Dukes of Hazzard?  They had the flag on top of there car and they were always rebelling against authority.

It obviously isn’t the issue of slavery.  The left still has the black population of America on the plantation.  The chains are now government handouts and guarantees of preference generated by things like Affirmative Action and court mandates.  The poor people on the government dole don’t have much real liberty but they have a guaranteed safety net.

The federal system is based on the states having some autonomy and a minimum of central control.  It expects each state to be unique and have different priorities.  The Feds are supposed to be there to take care of things the states cannot do, like defense and a post office.  The left has a socialist agenda with the central government controlling everything.  I think of the things the Federal government has gotten its fingers in during my lifetime:  Health care, food stamps (EBT), education, racial quotas, nutrition labels,

The problem is that each of us has a specific area where they take bribes and we like our little corner of the world.  The reason the American Indians were not able to resist the European invasion whether it be Aztecs or Iroquois was that they were more concerned with beating out the next tribe that their own liberty.  I am getting to where I qualify for medicare.  I have received a tax break on my mortgage over the years.  The government bribes are offered to all so that all will want to keep theirs and thus we allow others to keep theirs.

We need a rebellion of personal responsibility.  We need to be willing to stand up on our own two feet and live with the consequences of our lives.  Should I expect the children of today to pay for my medical expenses?  I say, “No.”  That is something that I should be responsible for.  This rebellion will be painful in the short run.  Will people who are sleeping in, knowing that their EBT card will be honored, have some hunger pangs?  It is possible but will depend on how long they refuse to recognize the new order.  Will some people need to forgo a trip to Disneyland in order to take their children to a doctor?  Sometimes the choices in life are hard.  Will I need to forgo some expensive tests instead of demanding all that are available?  It depends on whether I want to leave something to my children.

It will hurt in the long run but in the long run we will be a healthier people.  Geronimo would still be on the loose if it had not been for other Apaches who were willing to work with the United States Army to track him down.  They might not have gotten the money but their liberty would have still existed.

Let’s stop acting like the American Indians and act like Americans.

E Pluribus Unum

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Opus 2017-041: On the Street: Spanglish at Work

At breakfast I heard two women having a conversation in English.  Both had heavy accents.  They would occasionally lapse into Spanish.  It made me sad, not that they were speaking in Spanish but that they were probably losing their skills in Spanish without picking up English.  I see this in the students at school.  They claim to speak Spanish but it is a street Spanish that is missing key words.  At the same time they are not learning to express themselves well in English.  It is a tragedy.

I have an American dream for them, for every immigrant.  I want them to live the American dream and it will not be possible without English.  I want them to be able to develop their potential and be ready when opportunity knocks at their door.  Spanglish won’t cut it. 

I can dream, can’t I?

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Opus 2017-040: Consider the Source

It is a sad statement on our world when the off-the-top-of-the-head blasts of social media are considered more accurate and believable than the products of the professional “journalists”.  Instead of going to a newspaper and expecting an in depth article explaining an issue we have millions turning to twitter with its 140 character comments.  The real problem is that there are probably more accurate facts in the tweet than in the front page journalism.

The fact that it is sad does not make it any less true.  You heard it here on a form of social media.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 6, 2017

Opus 2017-039: Headlines: Social Free Enterprise

I keep reading about how everyday Americans are sick and tired of the media lies and bias.  I like hearing that because that is the way I feel but feeling doesn’t make it go away.  If so many people are turned off then why aren’t they turning them off.  How is it that these people have any advertising revenue at all.  Why do people watch their programs?  Why do people buy their publications?  How can they stay on the air and in print if the masses don’t like them.

Could it be that the people complaining are too lazy to cancel subscriptions, turn off their TVs or write a letter?  If all the people complaining would actually put their money where their mouths are then the major media outlets would be forced to shut down.  Can you still get news?  Yes, but you have to work for it.  You need to make sure that you check facts, leave your brain turned on and ask yourself, “What is their bias?”  You need to make sure that you don’t click any links that can generate ad revenue.  You need to find other sights that are more concerned with truth.

We can change America the old fashioned way, by free enterprise.  Movie stars live in million dollar homes because we go to their movies.  Read a book.  Make sure it is one you got at the library if the author is part of the left.

The future waits on your purchases.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Opus 2017-038: Care to Dance?

The political dance continues.  That is the way it is in a free country.  The president takes an action.  The leftists find a pliable judge and get a restraining order.  The appeal is filed.  The process continues.

One of the dance deals with the Senate and confirmations.  There are two things which I think are a bit of a two step:  Voting nominations out of committee and getting them confirmed by the full Senate.

If you have been paying attention you remember how the Democrats refused to attend the committee meetings because they knew they could not win a vote.  Evidently the rules say you cannot conduct business unless there is at least one member of each party present.  That makes sense.  You don’t want midnight meetings of an inner circle running the government, although that seems to be how most things get done.  Remember the Pelosi mantra, “We need to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.”

What the Democrats did not do was read the rest of the rules.  Evidently the rules allow you to change that rule.  What is surprising is that the Republicans had enough manhood to make the change and vote the candidates out for appearances before the full body of the Senate.  Yeah, team.

The second issue is what is called the “nuclear option”.  It refers to the Senate rule that a minority of the Senate can keep you from voting on something unless you can get 60 Senators to vote to go ahead.  The original purpose made sense.  It was to guarantee that debate would not be cut off and the majority program rammed through without a chance for the minority to state it’s case.  Instead you have it used to keep anything from happening.  They have changed the way it works.  It used to be you could stand up and talk as long as you wanted.  Thus one senator had the floor until he ran out of things to say.  It was limited by your endurance.  Now they have taken the new and improved version.  You don’t need to keep talking.  All you need is to have 40 party members in resistance and nothing happens.  You can go drink your latte or work out in the gym knowing that nothing is getting done.  Sweet.

The nuclear option removes this and allows a vote by a simple majority.  Under parliamentary procedure you can “call the question” any time.  It seems to make sense but keep in mind that nefarious minds can corrupt anything.

I think the Republicans changed the rules in committee as a shot across the bows to wake up the Democrats.  I think the message is, “You didn’t think we would change the committee rules.  We did.  You don’t think we will change the rules on filibuster?  Are you willing to take the chance?”

The dance continues.  So far the republic endures.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Opus 2017-037: Media Mystery

There is a meme that I am seeing developed.  It goes like this, “The students a Berkeley were not responsible for the terrible violence.  They were there for a peaceful protest and some outside agitators stirred things up.  The students are innocent bystanders.”  I even read that a Clinton crony was saying it was a plot by Trump to make the left look bad.


First of all the students were there to try to stop someone they disagreed with from speaking.  They are part of the problem.  It may have been a party for them but it was a brown-shirt party and they are just as involved as the guys bussed in to do the heavy lifting.  The anarchists would not have a mob to protect their identity if the useful idiots did not show up and think it was all fun and games.

Let’s paraphrase a bit of nonsense from the left, “What if they had a protest and nobody came?”  It would be easy to arrest the rioters then, wouldn’t it?

homo unius libri

Friday, February 3, 2017

Opus 2017-036: 50 Shades of Hate

Will I make it to retirement?  Sometimes I wonder if it will be worth it.

I came across a story about a teacher being fired for showing the Confederate flag in his classroom.  It wasn’t a case of waving it, singing Dixie and demanding secession.  It’s not like he was from California demanding to be set free from the nation.  Oh, wait.  I think he was in California, oh well.

No.  He was teaching a unit on the Civil War and on one wall he had a presentation that included the Stars and Bars.  On the other he had the Stars and Stripes.  Evidently this is a sign of hate and racism in his school district.  I played a newscast for one of my classes and we had a good discussion.  It always amazes me that children who have not been brainwashed by political correctness can often see the issues more clearly than the adults doing the washing.

When I got home that evening I began wondering about my walls and the next day when I went to class, sure enough, there was a confederate flag on the wall.  It was right next to a picture of Robert E. Lee.  I guess that makes me a hate monger.  The only problem is that the pictures were on a poster drawn by a student for a class presentation.  I am going to leave it up.  Maybe it will get me put on administrative leave.  Maybe I can retire early.  That should give me the chance to play more golf until my lawsuit cleans out the coffers of the district.

I hope the guy sues and I hope he gets a jury full of people from Georgia.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Opus 2017-035: Plenty to Do

“It’s somewhere to go.”  I keep hearing this from my wife and my inner response, behind the smile and nod is, “Why do I need to go somewhere?”

Is it because I am old and boring?  Is it because I am too lazy to get out of my chair?  Is it because I have a life and don’t need to charge around looking for amusement?  Is it all of the above.

As I write we are out of town taking care of some business.  We have a nice condo and a rental car.  Because of my son’s wizard technology we both have internet access through my phone.  I have my Kindle full of unread books.  She has cable and a TV.  I am quite content to spend the morning reading, writing and blogging.  She can’t wait to get out of the condo and on the roads.

I have lots of places to go and I don’t need to leave the comfort of my condo to go there.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Opus 2017-034: Cooking Slave

There are many types of bondage.  Many times bondage is simply having the wrong idea about where the boundaries are.  Have you every been driving 55 and realized that the speed limit was 65.  You have been in bondage to false knowledge.  Have you ever wondered the definition of slow when you see a sign saying “slow traffic keep right”?

I am struggling with bondage in my growth as a cook.  In my chili it is freeing to realize that it doesn’t matter if the tablespoons of chili are level, rounded or heaping.  Just keep putting it in until it feels good.  Cayenne, on the other hand, demands respect.  Even freedom has its limits.  They are called taste buds.

On weekends when I don’t have an appointment with an employer I will work with hot cereal for breakfast.  I am currently playing with some Irish oatmeal my kids gave me.  It has a recipe for four servings.  I cut it down to one.  The directions say a portion of oats takes a cup of water.  It tells me to simmer the mix for 30 minutes.  The problem is that with that amount of water and thirty minutes on even low heat you end up with plaster on the bottom of the pan.  What is a chef to do?

It took the plunge.  I added more water.  I know it wasn’t in the directions but I was feeling bold and the oatmeal was starting to bond with the steel.  It works.  It is freeing to be able to make the decision to ignore the directions provided by the oatmeal gods and add water.

Adding more water.  They won’t revoke my man card, will they?

homo unius libri