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, March 31, 2017

Opus 2017-098: Snowflake Popcorn

I witnessed another reason why the current generation is going to be worthless in the workforce.


I noticed a tide of students walking down the hall with hands full of popcorn.  I recognized them because they are one of my best examples of academic basket cases.  I followed the popcorn back to their previous class and saw the teacher standing in the door pouring popcorn into outstretched hands.  She was buying them off.

One of the ways that some people control their class is bribery.  They give out candy.  They take them to Burger King.  They have pizza parties.  I have had half my class come late with large drinks and pizza containers because the previous teacher was buying them off.  Guess who ends up with soda and pizza on the floor?  It isn’t the previous teacher.  Guess who pays for his bribery.

It becomes a mind set.  I have students who have done no work for two months ask me if they can have “extra credit”.  Can you imagine someone who has not been to work all week coming in on Friday afternoon and asking for overtime?  They learn it in school.  We just had a meeting with a parent.  We are nine weeks from the end of school, in the second semester.  The student had three failed classes first semester and is failing three now.  In my class he started with a D- and currently has an F.  His highest moment was a D.  The parent comes and demands to know what we are doing wrong.  Why is his son failing?  Civility and slander laws prohibit us from answering honestly.

Another snowflake in the making.

Brace yourselves.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Opus 2017-097: Ignoble, Ignorant, Incompetent

I usually say “evil, ignorant or stupid” but I think I have used those terms before.  Whatever the words the choice is still there.  I keep hearing people make excuses for others.  They will talk about how they are really good people but they don’t understand.  When the person being described is well educated and well read that doesn’t wash. 

Take any issue from global warming to abortion.  There is plenty of evidence.  It can be found with a little looking and a little thinking.  That is true even in a day of fake news.  When someone claims that voter ID is a racist idea you need to ask yourself who is the racist.  Is the racist the one who wants honest elections or the one who assumes that minorities are too helpless to have ID?  How in the world do you think they cash checks?  I had to show my ID three times yesterday just going through the business of the day.  It seems racist to me to think that because someone is black and poor they can’t function without the Democrats to protect them.

I am sorry.  Many of these people are either evil, ignorant or stupid.  Take your pick.  If that is too insensitive then go with ignoble, ignorant or incompetent.  They are not just nice people who are wrong.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Opus 2017-096: Greed or Power?

Relax.  America’s health care system will not collapse overnight.  The sick will not be laid out on the street like Lazarus in front of Dives house.  Get over the hysteria. 

Why?  Because the profit motive will still be in effect.  Supply and demand will still be the controlling factor.  Doctors will still need to make a living.  Those huge hospitals will still need to pay the utilities.  What will happen is that you will spend less time filling out all the paperwork that the government demands.  You will get to know your doctor and he will find a way to treat you.

I remember when I was young and foolish.  Notice I said “foolish” not “stupid”.  I had a problem.  I had lost the hearing in one of my ears and I was working a less-than-minimum-wage job for the summer.  I had no insurance.  That didn’t bother me because I had never had insurance.  The nurse where I worked made a phone call, I went to a doctor’s office, they told me what they usually charged and based on the reference of the nurse, charged me what I could afford to pay.  I am not sure it covered the cost of the materials for the treatment but I was taken care of.

Some variation of that will take place if the government goes back to following the Constitution.  Will some people suffer?  Probably.  Life happens.  People suffer now.  No bureaucrat will be able to take care of all pain in life.  If they get out the way then the doctors will be able to get into patient care instead of dodging government regulations.

Most doctor are just like you and me.  They have prepared to serve their community.  All they really want is a chance to do so without going to jail or bankruptcy court.  They will lower rates because that will be necessary to sell their service.  We will pay more out of pocket because that will be necessary to get our share of what is available.  The needle will meet in the middle and everybody will be better off.

Let the power hungry tyrants of the nanny state get out of the way and let the natural greed of the profit motive get into gear.  I trust greed more than power.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Opus 2017-095: Repeal Does not Demand Replace

I, for one, am glad the Republican health care bill was pulled.  It is not a failure of conservative principles it is a victory of liberty, debate and an open process of developing laws. 

The Ryan Republicans (RR) were trying to go Pelosi lite.  Remember how she said we needed to pass the bill so we could find out what was in it?  That is the same thing the Republicans were trying to do.  The problem for the RR’s is that Republicans are not mindless, lock-step zombies like the Democrats.  We don’t need a miniature nanny state in congress where certain anointed elites tell us what to think and how to vote.  It is good it did not pass.  It reminded the Rino’s and RR’s that there are still people who insist on thinking for themselves.  There were enough courageous congressmen to make it impossible to get the bill rubber stamped.

It is now time to go ahead and start really working on a health bill.  We need to do away with anything that smacks of socialism.  We need to allow the free market to determine what happens.  I would be in favor of a simple statement saying that the government will no longer be involved in health care after July 4, 2017.  Make it a new kind of independence day.

We need to roll with the punches.  We need to not worry about setbacks.  Trump is not perfect.  He has some serious wrong ideas but seems to be on the right track.  Congress and the word perfect only work together if you throw in the word “idiot” somewhere.

Cheer up and get back to the drawing board.  Meanwhile Drudge points at a congressman I wish I could vote for.  He simply wants to repeal Obamacare. 

homo unius libri

Monday, March 27, 2017

Opus 2017-094: Venus Ascended

John Gray became famous with his book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.  At least he appeared on my radar at that point.  When I Googled it to make sure I had the author’s name right I was interested to see that it was available at something called  That is a type of fame.  I tried to listen to the book on tape but after a while I got the point and did not finish it.  It is a very useful insight.  I am not sure that he was the first but he expressed it with pith. 

I find Mars and Venus useful in discussions because they really describe attitudes not genders.  In our politically correct day it is not acceptable to talk about feminine and masculine.  It has gone so far that schools are beginning to do away with homecoming king and queen titles.  So instead of referring to someone as a real man we can say they are very Mars-like.

When we look at the problems of our culture I have noticed a trend.  We are becoming too much Venus and not enough Mars.  The problem is not necessarily too many women in leadership.   The problem is to much feminine perspective in leadership, excuse me, too much Venus perspective.  Recently I attended a meeting concerning a student who was having some problems.  At the meeting we had a psychologist, a speech therapist, a therapist, a nurse, a special education teacher, a regular education teacher (me), and an administrator.  I was the only man in the room. 

I have been teaching at the same school for almost 30 years.  In that time we have only had one male principal.  I don’t think that is an accident.  Venus rules education as much as other areas of our lives.

Venus drips compassion, sensitivity and caring.  If you want one word, feelings.  It does not matter what the issue is, feelings are the most important measure.  Facts are nice but are always interpreted by how we feel about them.  I found it amazing that I was the only one in the room who seemed to think he was capable of bringing his book to class.  I really didn’t care how he felt but I knew it is impossible to do work without tools. 

My point is that if we don’t get Mars back into the equation then we are doomed to be overwhelmed by cultures that subjugate Venus.  It is amazing how the feminist and homosexual communities are so supportive of the Muslim cultures that will kill them when they are able to implement Sharia law. 

It isn’t that I am insensitive, I just care.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Opus 2017-093: Reference Material

One of the trends I see in modern contemporary worship is the absence of Bibles in the hands of the congregation.  I see coffee and water bottles.  Those are never forgotten, but not Bibles.  The pewsitters are willing to sit and let the Bible verse to be displayed on the screen with the translation chosen to reinforce the speaker’s opinion and edited to avoid anything that would cause conflict.

It reminds me of the reason for the reformation.  The medieval church made it impossible for the average believer to access the word on his own.  It was illegal to translate the Bible so the common people could read it.  In fact, John Wycliffe had his bones dug up and burned because he had dared to do just that. 

Christians in the Roman Catholic era had to take the priest’s word for it.  To their credit the Catholic church has come around.  They now have a modern translation called the New American Bible which is quite acceptable.  I am sure they are happy I approve.

In case you were wondering, we see the same thing in Islam.  Muslims make a big deal about being able to read the Koran.  That simply means that they can phonetically pronounce the words and repeat memorized phrases.  I can read the Latin Vulgate too.  I just don’t know what I read.  Islam leaves it to the local teachers to tell the Muslim believers what they should know.

One of the reasons that modern education is weak comes back to the reason to educate.  If you do not want people to be able to think for themselves and be genuinely creative you get them hooked on video games and computer programs that are “easy” to use.  Technology does their thinking for them, dulls their minds and keeps them ignorant of all the options that used to be available.

Read for yourself.  Don’t take the Imam’s word for it.  Don’t take the pastor’s word for it.  Don’t take the teacher’s word for it.  Don’t take the reporter’s word for it.  And of course don’t believe everything you read on a blog.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 24, 2017

Opus 2017-092: Life Medicine

My day is a constant cycle of manic-depressive.

This morning the students were asking me why I was so happy.  I was singing to them and other nonsense.  In the morning there is so much spring in my step I have been known to bounce.

In the afternoon the spring has turned to winter.  Yesterday when I left I could hardly make it to the car.  Part of it is old age and a long day.  A bigger part of it is having to act like a lion tamer without a whip or pistol. 

I wonder if there is a medication for life?

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Opus 2017-091: Should-a-Beens: Chairman Sanders

What would my life be like if Bernie Sanders had won?  It might take a few years but the future would have been much different that what I know now and expect to come. 

On the big screen we would see taxes we only have nightmares about unless you were wealthy during the reign of FDR.  Then you have flashbacks.  This would bring all of us who have worked and saved down to the level of those who have partied and spent.  Our wealth would be bled off to support their subsidies. 

But what would be the difference day to day?

I would lose my job and become a day laborer.  If I were forced onto public transportation which is the dream of the Progressive left I would not be able to work 20 miles away from home.  I would be limited to what is available within walking distance.  I might be forced to relocate in order to find work.  Since the increased taxes and lower income would make it impossible to keep up my home I would be forced to live the way people survive in Communist countries.  I would divide my house, live in a few rooms and rent out the rest.

It would take me all day to shop and there would only be one choice.  Big, well stocked stores would be the subject of children’s fairy tales.  I would need to walk to the store and could only buy what I could carry.  If you have ever seen stores in Communist countries you also know that there is nothing on the shelves to buy.  I would find myself standing in long lines hoping that there would be something left when I got to the front.  If there was not, I would go hungry and be forced to make the same trip again.  Gone would be the days of choosing which flavor and brand of yogurt I wanted to buy.  Gone are the days of choosing the size I want.  I would take what I could get and run.

Vacation would be spent in the city park.  Long trips would be out of the question.  In fact I am not sure that “vacation” would be in the vocabulary of anyone but government workers in a Sander’s America.  If I was a member of the elite, sure.  They will always take care of themselves. 

Of course the upside of this is that the snowflakes and parasites who brought it all on would be just as poor as I am.  The difference is that I know my history and I know where socialism leads.  I have seen pictures of the starving masses of North Korea.  The difference is that they are living their dream.  For me it would be a nightmare.

Be grateful.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Opus 2017-090: Hoop Based Administration

School administrators that I work with have a philosophy:  If you throw enough hoops in front of people they will eventually get tired of jumping and go away.  Thus you will not need to do anything but have your secretary shuffle some paperwork.

This was set off by three girls sitting in the school office writing “statements”.  I have no idea what the issue was.  I did not know the girls.  Someone said, “You girls look like you are having too much fun writing those statements”.  Truer words have not been spoken.  The girls got out of class.  They got attention.  The school feels like they are “doing something”.  Nothing happens.  Everyone is happy.

Hoop based administration.  It is not coming to a school near you.  It has already arrived.  It is in charge.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Opus 2017-089: Hate as a Red Herring

We are called haters if we call a spade a spade.  We are nasty when we speak truth to a power that the left doesn’t like.  We are mean spirited when we expect people to pick up their own trash.  We are selfish and greedy when we expect people to get a job and pay their own bills.  The left with its progressive elite values keeps trying to control and manipulate us by calling us names that have nothing to do with the behavior but sound really bad.

And we fall for it every time.

Maybe we need to embrace their words but do what they do:  Move the needle of meaning.  Maybe we need to have a more fact based hate.  There are some things that deserve hatred. 
(Amos 5:15 KJV)  Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
What is worthy of hatred?  God hates divorce.  How do I know?  He said so.
(Malachi 2:16 NAS77)  "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."
And notice that He includes in that hatred the person who causes it to happen.  You can’t cop out and say “God hates the sin, not the sinner”.  If you want a list then do a little research on your own.
(Proverbs 6:16 KJV)  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
The antidote to all the hate in the world is not love, it is information and honesty.  It is values based on truth, not emotion.  It is measured by the eternal not the contemporary.

Some people and groups deserve hate.  Islamic terrorists as well as their syncopates:  media terrorists, political terrorists, educational terrorists.  These are people who deliberately set out to destroy the innocent and unsuspecting.  So the solution is not to be void of hate but be selective in its target.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Opus 2017-088: Goodbye Privacy

I think I would vote to ban cell phones from restaurants if given a chance.  Of course that would mean that my wife would demand that I not go into restaurants because then she could not call me.  Right now as I am trying to think, an old man (I should talk) is sitting across the room having a raucous discussion with someone on his cell phone.  I really don’t need to know every detail of his personal life.  I wonder if it occurs to him that the world is listening.

Now he is up walking around while he talks on the phone.  Maybe he is senile.  Maybe he is just a Democrat.  Maybe they are the same.

Do people who are concerned about security and privacy talk on their phones in public?  Are they worried about the government reading their e-mails and recording their phone calls?  Then why do they broadcast their lives to a bunch on strangers?

I understand there are devices that will jam cell phone reception but they are illegal.  I would love to have them in class at school, in church, and, of course in restaurants. 

Like most new laws, if people would simply be polite and considerate of others the regulation would not be necessary or sought after.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Opus 2017-087: On the Street: The Smell of Failure

I continue to struggle with my weight.  I am not winning.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that I am not even close to giving up.  I have been here before but usually when I reach my goal on weight loss I just start eating again.  I am sure that if weight is a problem, you have been there with me.  I am still in the battle.

That doesn’t mean that the smell of bacon and cheese has stopped calling to me.  Oh, the temptations of breakfast.  As I walk down the aisle with my piece of bread and coffee I can smell all the good stuff being prepared a few feet away.  Surely it won’t hurt if I indulge myself today.  Just one day won’t make a difference, right?  Wrong.

I look at my piece of bread and smell the bacon.  I enjoy the smell but I call up the vision of a needle dripping insulin.  That is my future if I give in to my appetite. 

The Battle of the Bulge continues.  I don’t claim to be as heroic as the men who fought that in World War II but if I fail my destiny is just as final.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-086: New Terms: Food Insecurity

I mentioned the phrase “food insecurity” in a recent post.  This is a new term to me.  It must come from the left because it plays into the idea of safe spots and trigger warnings.

As near as I can tell, food insecurity is a state you get in when you are worried about where your next meal comes from.  It is supposed to be a major problem with school children who are starving to death in spite of the billions of dollars poured into school lunches, WIC, EBT and all the other subsidies that are going on.

If people feel insecure in that environment then I suggest there is nothing we can do for them.

Of course it could refer to the way Michele Obama felt about the lunches that parents sent with their children.  In her socialist, elite agenda she got feelings of insecurity when other people acted like they were free Americans and ate what they wanted instead of what she knew was best for them.  In my classes food insecurity is what the students feel when they are on their second bag of Doritos and they are torn between concern that I will catch them eating or that they will run out of snacks before the period ends.

I am sure we will be hearing more about this in the future.  It is possible that the American Psychiatric Association will add it to their list of chronic conditions.  Expect even more government programs to be presented and an organized effort to make you feel shame for not caring enough about this.

The insanity of the left keeps spreading.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 17, 2017

Opus 2017-085: What Day Did You Say It Is?

I don’t get to upset when I ignore Cinco de Mayo or Black History Month.  I do the same for Saint Patrick’s Day.  I totally forgot about it until I heard someone mention it.  That would not be any big problem but I am on my way to a day at middle school with no green on.

The students will not remember when their report is due but they will remember to pinch the teacher.  Maybe I should use it as a time to remind them that Saint Patrick had also been a slave and he was not black.  Most students still live in the fantasy that slavery was just an American problem.  The ignorance is reinforced by the false teaching they get from the ignorant adults in their lives.

So maybe I will get to teach something on Saint Patrick’s Day.  I happy and pain free day to you.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Opus 2017-084: How Terrible! What Is an Anti-Semite?

Have you wondered why people are so open to the trend of Fake News?  You should have been in my class this week.

We are looking at the Jacksonian Era.  One of the things I do is go through the book looking for words that the students would not know.  You would be amazed at the level of ignorance and limited vocabulary.  At least you would be amazed if you are old enough to have a real education.  One of the words I picked out was “mudslinging”.  I explained that it was the tendency to make negative accusations and tell outright lies during an election.  Since we just came through an election and are in the midst of a media psychotic tantrum over the election of Donald Trump it wasn’t hard to come up with examples. 

But I have to be careful.  If I come on too strong, with too much honesty, they will tune me out.  So I picked an example that should not generate any controversy.  I brought up that President Trump had been accused of being anti-Semitic.  The dead eyes in front of me alerted me that I had crossed the line from text message words to real life.  I asked each class if anyone knew what “anti-Semitic” meant.  Out of four classes, two of them considered advanced, I only found two students who could tell me what it meant and one of them was just guessing.

You wonder why the snowflakes live in a world of unicorns and free everything?  Ignorance.  Undeveloped minds.  Safe zones devoid of thinking.  Progressive indoctrination.

If we don’t do something about the mind warping going on in public education the barbarians will be able to talk their way through the gates.  These kittens might even fall for the Trojan horse again.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Opus 2017-083: Sanctuary Homes, Anyone?

How come the people who are in favor of sanctuary cities seem to be against the sanctuary home.  You know, where a man’s home is his castle and the government should stay out.  Where self defense is an obvious right.

I guess it may be the same concept, really.  They believe that lawbreakers and criminals have a right to go about their business without the local citizens having the right to protection.  The police are told not to comply with the law, not to protect the law abiding from invaders and to penalize anyone who stands up for the American citizen.

The same is true if I defend myself in my home from a lawbreaker and criminal.  In California I am told that if someone breaks into my home and threatens my family and I use a gun to defend them, I am to assume I will be arrested and go to jail.  I may get out in a few hours if I have a lawyer, but I will be going to jail.

Welcome to Progressive, Democrat, liberal America.

Now go home.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Opus 2017-082: New Terms: Teacher

My students are redefining the word “teacher”.  What it means to them is domestic servant, you know, a person who is paid to do your work for you.  On a regular basis they say they need help.  They can’t find the answer.  I pick up their book and in a few seconds I see the answer.  I close the book, hand it back and say, “The answer is there.  Keep looking.”  They go ballistic and claim that I am not a real teacher.

I have no scientific evidence, but I get the feeling that by the time they get to me their pattern of learning has been established.  They either copy from each other or try to get the teacher to point out the answer for them.  They will go to any length to avoid the engagement of their brain.

Let Jeeves do it. 

That is not my definition of teaching.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 13, 2017

Opus 2017-081: Headlines: Terrorists Win without Firing a Shot

The headline declares that the German police have shut down a mall in order to thwart the terrorists.  It claims they had “credible tips” about an attack.  The police are puffing out their chests and claiming to be the saviors of the citizens.  In reality they have surrendered to the terrorists.

Terrorists don’t really have the goal of killing people.  As individuals that may be the thrill but the overall desire is to destabilize Western culture and force us to change our way of life.  If they can do that with a few well placed “credible tips” then they save the explosives and suicide squads for a harder target. 

The terrorists made one phone call.  The Germans went into culture change mode.
“The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed as about a hundred police officers positioned themselves around the compound to make sure nobody could enter the mall.”
What is the point of surrounding the mall with a hundred police officers?  The battle was already over.  Maybe if there had been a hundred armed citizens in the mall shopping, the terrorists would have been the losers.

Coming to a mall, school, church, theater, park,.....near you.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Opus 2017-080: Thanks Thoughts: Trump instead of Hillary

Every smear piece about Trump and anyone who works with him reminds me of how important the last election was.  When I look at things I disagree with that Trump supports, such as the homosexual agenda, I am reminded that he is a long way from perfect.  His language could be a little more polished but I have been in enough locker rooms to know that it is fairly common.  I have been around groups of pastors when no laymen are listening. 

Every piece of left wing propaganda that is distributed as news reminds me to be thankful.  WWHHD.  What Would Hillary Have Done.  Picture whom she would have chosen for the Supreme Court, Attorney General, U.N. Ambassador and so on.  Do I approve of all his picks?  I don’t know.  To be honest I don’t know enough about them to make a clear statement but it is clear that the direction he is going is the right one.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.”  I am thankful for that.  I am also thankful that we might have a leader that can take the country in the right direction.  At least he might steer us away from the abyss. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Opus 2017-079: Headlines: The Flippy Side

I am loving it.  There have been numerous headlines and posts about the new machine that will be flipping hamburgers, replacing someone who refused to pay attention in school.  They keep mentioning the $15 an hour minimum wage but keep in mind this is happening when it has been raised to “only” $10.  Imagine what will follow as it moves incrementally up to $15. 

I would like to think the celebrations will stop but keep in mind these are the same people who did not vote, did not register and then complained that their girl lost the election.  Reason, logic, facts, details are all lost in the demand for safe spaces and trigger warnings.  They refuse to accept that global warming is really caused by unicorn farts.

I am sure that next they will declare victory and demand a raise to $20 an hour.  Keep in mind this is in a context of robot cars, delivery drones and trucks that drive themselves.  I am even seeing this in education.  Computers are being programmed to teach.  They claim to be able to grade essays now.  I have classes full of students who complain because I don’t let them play on the chrome books like their other teachers and actually expect them to learn to write a bibliography rather than have a computer template do it for them.

I will soon retire.  It would be interesting to see if I am replaced by a computer but I don’t plan on hanging around to find out.  When you think that a machine can do it just as well, ask yourself a question:  Is the canned spaghetti sauce as good as what mom used to make?” 

Of course if your mom never made spaghetti sauce you will give the wrong answer.  One of the benefits of ignorance is that you don’t know what you are missing.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 10, 2017

Opus 2017-078: Headlines: Love in Action

You may have missed this one from a local Twin Cities newspaper.  I doubt if it made it to the nightly news but I will never know since I don’t watch it.

It seems that the son of the Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was arrested for violent acts in attacking peaceful pro-Trump supporters.  Not only was he showing the love from the left toward the right he evidently resisted arrest and refused to comply.

It is unusual that this made any media mention.  What is not unusual is that the violent thugs seem to have been released with no consequences.  Maybe that will change but if I never post again it will not because I passed out from holding my breath it will be because I had a heart attack when I heard charges had been filed.

As a hate filled right winger I must point out that the actions of a child are not necessarily a reflection on the values and parenting style of the biological father.  That is only fait.  It is still true that the nut does not fall far from the tree.  Also, weeds seem to spread faster than oaks.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Opus 2017-077: Headlines: Recycled Revelations

The article on my smart phone was from the Reason website.  I can’t find it now and refuse to go to a similar article on the Washington Post but the breath-taking scandal was the “new” revelation that the CIA, NSA, FBI, Russians, whomever, can spy on you through your TV, phone, GPS and other electronic devices.

This is not new news.  This is old news.  Just because the public refuses to pay attention does not make it a new revelation.  It is why I have a cover over the camera on my laptop. 

The government can turn on any electronic device and use it for listening.  I understand there is even a way to make your earphones into microphones.  My suspicion is that most of the devices that we have had made in China contain backdoors for their spying at their whim. 

Welcome to the modern age.  Wake up and watch what you say.  Someone or something is listening.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Opus 2017-076: Headlines: Any Publicity Is Good Publicity

Whom are you gonna believe, the report of record sales by Ivanka Trump’s clothing company or all the stores that cancelled her clothing line because it wasn’t selling?  Drudge linked to this item at The Hill.  The list of companies that cancelled her designs is long.  Her company cites “reporting record sales figures”.  I have already read that her jewelry line was topping Amazon.

Is this a continuation of what would have happened or is it another example of how Donald Trump has played the news media for an almost free presidential campaign and lots of exposure now.  Are people buying her styles in rebellion or because they like them?

Does it matter?  She is paying taxes and building the economy.

Eat your heart out Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus and all the others.  This is a common thread on the left.  They make movies that no one wants to see and lose millions.  They put on TV programs no one wants to watch and lose millions.  They cancel clothing lines that would make them money and lose millions.  Yet they continue on.

Where is their money coming from?  Maybe we need a congressional investigation.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Opus 2017-075: White Privilege in Texas

In class were looking at the regions of the country in 1815 and in order to engage the students I asked if any had ever visited the South.  One student said he had been to Texas so I asked if people were different there.  In other classes I had responses about how polite people were and such.  This young man said, “There are only white people.”  In Texas?  He himself was black visiting family who had move there from California.  I am not sure why all the black people were hiding from him.

When I was there last we had a problem with our rental car.  The manager who helped us was black.  I remember, not because he was black, but because we had a good discussion about politics.  The time-share we stayed in had a black family right across from us.  I am not sure what Texas he was visiting.  That doesn’t even get into the large Latino population.

But you heard it first here, from my class:  There are only white people in Texas.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-074: How Can Three Be One

Warning.  Theology ahead.

I just finished listening to an eleven part discussion of the trinity lead by William Lane Craig on his Defender’s podcasts.  It was part of an ongoing discussion of Christian theology.  I found it at times stimulating and at times boring as watching paint dry.

For the general public the trinity is an orthodox Christian doctrine that is an attempt to put together two Bible teachings.  The Bible makes it clear there is only one God.  Then it goes on to call the Father God, Jesus God and the Holy Spirit God.  They are presented as individual persons who can interact with each other.  Confusing?  Yes, but so is quantum theory.

Philosophy and theology are vital parts of our lives.  Whether you are aware of it or not, you have philosophical and theological positions.  Many would deny that, not because it is not true but because they have never thought about it.  Refusing to think about philosophy is a philosophical position.

These areas of study are vital but that does not keep them from being boring.  The reason they get boring is because the experts take over and start nit picking on minutia.  It is similar to the mention in school of the medieval scholars that argued how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.  It is possible that the discussion actually happened but I doubt it if was a major event with a large attentive audience.  It was probably late at night when everyone had forgotten to bring a book and they were looking for something to do.

I remember a professor in seminary who said something to the effect, “If you ever come to feel you understand the trinity, you have probably drifted into heresy.”  After eleven episodes I am convinced he was on to something.  Some of the points that were being brought up and discussed made me want to scream, “So what?”  Others made my day.

I believe in the trinity because I see it in the Bible.  Do I understand it?  On a gut level I feel I do but on an intellectual level I am still working on it.

Welcome to life.  Everything is not neat and tidy, is it?

homo unius libri

Monday, March 6, 2017

Opus 2017-073: Constitutional Considerations: Liberty Is Not Secure

If we are going to preserve our liberty we are going to need to do two things.  Accept increased risk and learn to take care of ourselves.  They may actually be the same.

Benjamin Franklin was supposed to have made a comment about how you could not have both security and liberty.  We tend to want both.  We want the liberty to do our own thing.  We don’t want anyone telling us what to do.  At the same time we want the government to keep us safe.  Safe from hunger, terrorists, boredom and any other thing that we feel should be far away. 

On the broad field that is part of the government’s responsibility.  Article IV, Section 4 reads,
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.  
That means kicking out any would-be kings, defending our borders against invasion and slapping down insurrection.  That does not mean defending my front door against local thugs.  It does not mean requiring nutrition labels on the cans I buy.  It does not mean forcing a restaurant to post calorie content on their signs.  It does not mean having safe spaces for people who are emotionally unstable.  It means protecting us from the big things we cannot be expected to deal with.  Invasion by China, sure.  Invasion by bed bugs, not so much.

I am getting old and looking at retirement.  Do I expect the government to take care of me?  No, not really.  I will take whatever they are giving out, after all I am being taxed to pay for it, but if I am too cheap to buy insurance it is not the governments job to give me Cadillac health care.  At the same time I don’t expect them to bump me off because I am past my prime.  Have you ever asked yourself why seniors get the discounts when they have most of the money?

Give me a gun and let me lock my doors and windows.  If I leave my windows open for some criminal to climb in why should I expect the police to come bail me out.  Get the laws changed that put me in jail for defending my sanctuary and family.  And no, what they guy stole from my home was not just stuff.  Some of it was heirloom items that I received from my dead ancestors.  It can’t be replaced.  Some is heart items given to me by my children.  Some of it is things that cannot be replaced in the modern market.  He has taken a part of my life so he can buy drugs to ruin his.

Every time the government moves to protect you they chip away at the latitude you have for freedom of movement.  We need to learn to stand on our own two feet and earn our own bread.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Opus 2017-072: On the Street: Cool Meets Physics

I didn’t laugh at first.  He was cool.  His hat was on backwards and he was cruisin’ on his skateboard.  He was speeding across the street, in the crosswalk, and to be fair, he would have made it before the light went red. 

The problem with cool is that cool does not trump the laws of physics.  When his front wheels met a crack that his momentum could not bridge, gravity did what gravity does, the wheels when down, the skateboard stopped, the cool dude did not.

At first I cringed, watching him plunge to his face.  I had been knocked down a few days earlier and I had visions of doom and destruction for him.  My fears were assuaged as he quickly jumped up trying to look like he had planned it that way.  Cool never admits non-cool.  He probably will have some scrapes and bruises but the biggest victim was his dignity.

That was when I had to struggle with laughter.  Another skateboarder bites the dust.  It gave me a brief chance to feel superior.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-071: Federalists, Whigs and ?

A recurring story in the news over the last several administrations has been the end of the ___ party.  They used to say it about the Republicans.  Now they are saying it about the Democrats.  It is generally partisan hype.  To be honest neither party is going anywhere soon.

But it will happen eventually.  The Federalists faded away.  The Whigs imploded.  Which of the current two will be the first to go?  My guess right now is the Democrats.  Why?  Not because I am a Republican and have a blind faith that we are on the right side of history.  It is because I look into the wings and ask, “Who would replace them?”

Disgruntled, grass roots Republicans have no place to go.  The Libertarians are all over the place and can’t even seem to work together.  The other parties tend to be fringe groups.  The elites don’t represent me but there are enough in the organization for me to stick with it.

On the other hand, the groundwork is already in place for the Democrats to morph into a socialist or communist organization.  You look at the way in which they are pressing further and further left.  The elites that run that party are looking to marginalize the masses while they retain all the power in their hands.  They want to control all means of wealth and remove all voices of dissent.  They have the press on board and education has drunk the kool aide.  The tactics you see are the same that totalitarians have used all around the world.  You see the brown shirts.  You see the Big Lie.  You see Kangaroo courts.  You see attempts to disarm the population.  You see loyalty to the party instead of the nation.  You see the derision of the rule of law. 

Will they succeed this time?  They have tried before through organized labor.  This time it is a blatant grab for the reigns of government.  Will we have a Whittaker Chambers this time?  Will we have a politician like Richard Nixon step forward?  Will the American people wake up?

I invite you to stay tuned.  I am not sure you have any choice.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Opus 2017-070: Headlines: Where Are the Cops?

I am sure that by now those who get beyond CNN have heard about the brownshirts at Middlebury College.  They not only disrupted the planned visit of a world known scholar but attacked the car he was trying to leave in and roughed up the faculty member who was escorting him.  One reason we know this is fascism at work is that the faculty member was a liberal who had the temerity to actually be open minded and wanted to give the other side a chance to express its opinion.  To the fascist left that is probably the biggest sin.

We are going to see more and more of this but the reason I highlight this post is all in the title.  The title asks, “Where are the cops?”  Why are violent insurrectionists being arrested and allowed to find out what the rule of law means?  Every time we let them get away with this kind of thing and say, “Just childish enthusiasm” they will be emboldened to get even more violent next time.  If we do not start arresting, putting on trial and jailing the revolutionaries they will drive us from the square and take over our society.

Then the purges will really begin.  1984, anyone?

homo unius libri

Friday, March 3, 2017

Opus 2017-069: The Problem of Liberty

The problem with liberty is that it is self destructive.

People who believe in liberty believe that even people who disagree with them have a right to their opinions.  That is good, or it should be.  The problem is that the people on the other side do not believe that everyone has a right to their own way of living.  They take it another step.  While liberty loving conservatives generally take a live-and-let-live attitude the leftist progressive sets out to destroy variety and options.

We who love liberty get blind sided.  It happens time and time again.  We are nearing the nader of a cycle.  We have people rioting, looting and assaulting strangers in the name of free speech.  What is the phrase from 1984, “Freedom is slavery”?  These people have that feel.

The courts reflect this asymmetrical justice.  Progressive liberals feel free to legislate from the bench.  They ignore precedent and the Constitution.  Common law is based on those two things but fiat law is in the mind and the power of the judge.  Thus they come up with some bizarre ideas that are considered justice.  Traditionalist conservative judges then refuse to change the law back because the new interpretation has become precedent and is not to be changed lightly.  Thus we continue to lose and lose big time.

If we were playing Monopoly we would refuse to play with them just like we refused to play with people who kept changing the rules when we were kids.  Unfortunately we are not playing the game of Monopoly but the game of Liberty.

I am not sure of the solution because if we become like them we have lost.  We need to debate what freedom of speech looks like today but people are afraid of becoming targets.  That is part of the left’s strategy but we need to get over the fear of having the conversation.  Maybe something can be hammered out.  Or we could pass an Amendment that would allow bills of attainder and throw all the bums in jail.  Then we could change the law back. 

The other answer is violence in which he who has the most guns wins.  That is not a solution I want to face.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Opus 2017-068: Headlines: Black Holes and Quasars

A site called The Daily Time Waster had an interesting post about quasars.  I was willing to take their word for it.  I don’t have a dog in that race.  It was worth reading, until I came to this line,
“The intense gravity of the black hole makes the gas orbit at insane speeds. And the gas becomes incredibly hot as a result. And because of the size of supermassive black holes, the superheated gascloud is larger than our whole solar system.”
This was also interesting but set off a little alarm in my mind.  I am not a scientist but I am credentialed to teach science.  That isn’t worth much but it is true.  In my limited knowledge of physics I was under the impression that black holes were based totally on theory.  It is a way of explaining a phenomenon in the sky that is not understood.  As a theory it might be valid, but we don’t know.

Now we have a bunch of theory about quasars based on a bunch of theory about black holes being presented as established fact. 

Laymen to science need to understand that it is a bunch of theories based on a bunch of facts.  The facts can be duplicated and verified.  How they fit together is open to interpretation and that interpretation is constantly changing.  Newton was the guru until guys like Einstein came along.  Einstein is no longer the final word.  The scientific method is based on the assumption that the science will never be settled, unless you are Al Gore talking about global warming, of course.

So if you are a Christian who is not comfortable with some of the nonsense you hear about evolution you need to realize that they can no more prove evolution than you can creation.  The same goes for global warming, people being born homosexual and the list goes on.

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet or your textbooks.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Opus 2017-067: The Editor

I have never written a book but from descriptions in forwards and acknowledgments I get a picture of a group of experts who know English and how to write.  A book it submitted to an editor who corrects the errors in grammar and syntax and gives ideas on how to improve the manuscript.  A good editor has a lot of influence.

Newspapers also have editors, who with the publisher, make the decisions about what stories will be published and which will be buried, where they appear in the paper and if they need to be shorter or longer.  Errors are pointed out and headlines are created.  Sometimes the entire article is rewritten to conform to the political stand of the editor.  They also have a lot of power. 

When I think of the media I am beginning to believe there is a little man, or could be a woman, who sits in a room somewhere and helps the robots of the media rewrite their hit pieces to be more effective against Trump.  There is a certain consistency of language and style.  There is a similarity of phrases and a common ignoring of important facts.  I would call it a conspiracy except for a Bible verse from the Old Testament,
(Isaiah 8:12 NAS77)  "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
Okay.  I can’t call it a conspiracy.  It is just like minds, or lack of them, and like morals, or lack of them, and a desire to destroy the country.  It is almost like some diabolical force is forcing them into the same mold of America hating.  I guess it doesn’t take much imagination  or organization to recycle all the nonsense they threw at George Bush and filed away for eight years under Barak Obama. 

You have heard of “talking points”.  They are recommended questions and responses published by the political parties and special interest groups for their sycophants.  I understand that both parties are accused of putting them out but liberals have a harder time thinking for themselves so you see more uniformity in their opinions.

Maybe we should do away with editors and find out how well the media can write on their own.

homo unius libri