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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.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Opus 2017-201: Lazar Tweets

I am going to repeat something you may have heard if you listen to Rush or watch Fox.  I will paraphrase.

What Trump is doing with his Tweets is the same thing that cat owners do with a laser.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, let me explain.

First you get your lasar and shine it on the floor in front of the cat.  Kittens are extra good targets.  You then move it around and get the cat to chase it.  You can turn it off at just the right moment and watch the cat jump up to look under themselves.  You can get them climbing walls.  You can get them to do flips if you are really good and the cat is really gullible.  It can supply endless entertainment for people who need a life.

Trump Tweets and does this to the media.  Get the picture?  Thanks, Rush for the visual.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-200: Afghanistan Viewed with a Little History

President Trump is preparing to send more troops into Afghanistan.  We need to try to get an historical perspective on invaders of this country.  We are familiar with the way in which the Soviets were decimated.  I believe even Alexander the Great bumped up against these people.  Let’s look back a hundred years.

At the turn of the 20th century Great Britain was in the process of subduing the Subcontinent of India.  When Winston Churchill, as a young man, took time off from the cavalry to be a journalist he was a front line observer of the cultures they were dealing with.  When he was there the British had the lower area under control but the tribesmen from the mountains were continually raiding and causing problems.  The Empire decided to take on the tribesmen.  Here is how Churchill described these people.
    “They, when they fight among themselves, bear little malice, and the combatants not infrequently make friends over the corpses of their comrades or suspend operations for a festival or a horse race. At the end of the contest cordial relations are at once re-established. And yet so full of contradictions is their character, that all this is without prejudice to what has been written of their family vendettas and private blood feuds. Their system of ethics, which regards treachery and violence as virtues rather than vices, has produced a code of honour so strange and inconsistent, that it is incomprehensible to a logical mind.”  Kindle location, 128-132
I am not sure that anything has changed in the last hundred years.  I doubt if much changed for a thousand years.  I am not sure what we think we can do to change the situation.

Churchill, Winston S.  The Story of the Malakand Field Force, Project Gutenberg.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Opus 2017-199: Health Care Discussions: It’s a Republic, Folks

The talking heads are fixated on how the vote on the health care bill is not taking place right away.  They say the Republicans have not delivered on their promise.  They scream about the plan being developed in secret.  They keep running sound bites.  They want to instill panic or force rash behavior.

Enjoy.  This is the process of a republic.  There is a reason why dictatorships are more efficient than democratic processes.  This is how it is supposed to work.  The wonks and type A politicians try to tell us what we should do.  The statesmen who care about principle say, “Slow down.  Let us read it.  What’s the hurry.”  The discussion continues and in the end no one gets all that they want but you come up with compromises that everyone can live with.

It is call the democratic process.  It is not pretty.  It takes time.  It is frustrating.  It is not efficient.  It is the way it is supposed to work. 

Relax.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Opus 2017-198: Headlines: Teaser Headlines

I urge you to not get your news from the headlines.  The link on The Drudge Report said, “Illinois Becomes North America’s Venezuela”.  That got my attention, which was the goal.

I almost skipped over it because the title was so absurd.  Last I heard the people of Illinois were not facing empty grocery stores, a lack of toilet paper and long bread lines.  There are serious differences between the socialist paradise of Venezuela and the Progressive paradise of Illinois.  My curiosity was arouse by the absurdity.  First I checked the link to make sure it wasn’t from the obvious fake news outlets and, since the source was not on the list, I bit.

The teaser headline was not addressed much in the article.  What it was about was an editorial about the economy and something called cryptocurrency.  What is cryptocurrenccy?  Maybe you have heard of bitcoin.  It was educational because he went into the history of government manipulation of paper money but it was not a declaration about Illinois.

Fake link more than fake news but an informative article.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-197: Health Care Discussions: Pre-existent Conditions

Health care is on everyone’s mind.  Some have almost none and are struggling getting even basic care.  Some still have good coverage but the future is shrouded with all the monkey business of the Obama Care manipulations.  The cost is going up for everyone.  It is hard to figure out what is really happening because so many people distort what they tell us.  Congress is in the process of drafting a new health plan.

We need to have the discussion and be open to creative thinking.

There are some legitimate issues that need to be addressed in our modern society.  One of those is the issue of pre-existing conditions.  There is a genuine concerned group and a I-want-something-for-nothing crowd.

Some people have been paying into health care all their lives.  They have made the payments and co-payments.  Then, they need to make a change.  It might be their choice or beyond their control but the change means a new insurance plan.  People like this deserve some assurance that health issues will continue to be covered.  At the same time, insurance companies need to be able to cover the expense of the care.  I would think that requiring companies to give bridge coverage would be doable.  You might need to list out requirements for things like the level of previous coverage and how long you were covered but it could be worked out.

On the other hand you have the people who feel they are not sick so why should they pay for insurance.  They seem to think they can save all that money and then get a policy when they have a problem.  Economically clever but a bit irresponsible.  They want to play the hand without putting in the ante.  Why should they expect someone else to pay for what they were too selfish to take care of.  I don’t think society owes deliberate parasites a thing.

There is a third group who have never been able to afford insurance.  My parents were in that category.  We made it just fine with occasional help from community agencies.  Of course that is the view of a child who did not need to pay the bills.

You can have requirements that previous conditions must be covered and still have a free market.  The key is having the playing field level.  If every insurance company is required to follow the same rules and turned loose it will lower costs.  If every person who wants something for nothing and pulls at our heart strings gets full coverage, nothing will work.

The discussion needs to go on without the name calling and distortion.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 26, 2017

Opus 2017-196: The Look of Lies

There are a number of humorous approaches to lies such as , “How can you tell if a politician is lying?  When his lips are moving.”  Today as I was locked in a hotel room being forced to endure the mind numbing TV, my wife had Fox news on.  My eyes were drawn to the discussion.  Marie Harf who I believe was the public voice of the Obama administration, was being interviewed about Russia.  It reminded me of my experience with middle school students.  They are so good at lying and so consistent in it that you cannot tell by their face when they lie. 

That was my feeling as I watched Ms. Harf.  She was really good.  She fabricated “facts” quickly, efficiently and with a look of sincerity that is hard to beat. 

This is what a Progressive looks like when they lie.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Opus 2017-195: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 7 of ?

On the good side we finally got the truck unloaded.  On the bad side that only means that there is enough area in the house finished off to pile it all.  But we are making progress.

My wife came through her first surgery.  What was originally to be an out-patient procedure and home that evening grew into two nights in a hospital and a lot of doubts.  I am playing nurse maid.  The problem is that my share of the worlds mercy is null.  I am relying on the Holy Spirit to fill in the gaps.

I won’t go into details but things are still rough.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-194: Headlines: Good News, Bad News

Our justice system is as dysfunctional as our news industry.  This came to me as I was reading in the Weekly Standard.  You remember the investigative journalists who took on Planned Parenthood.  They managed to take video of PP executives talking about selling baby body parts and laughing about cutting up the bodies for the most profit.  Instead of the media going after the Planned Parenthood ghouls, they went after the investigators.  Instead of Planned Parenthood being shut down the reporters were accused of a crime. 

Only in Progressive America.

At the same time you have James Comey saying he leaked privileged information because he wanted a special prosecutor appointed.  So far he is getting a pass and the rhetoric is about Jeff Sessions doing his job and talking to Russians.  Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice and Hillary and her foundation are still being ignored.

Only in Progressive America.

It is interesting that two people investigating the abortion industry are facing long prison terms but left wing media revealing officially classified information continue to get a walk.  The liberals hide behind freedom of the press in trying to pull of a coup against Trump.  At the same time they throw the book at two people looking into a pet perversion of the left and suddenly freedom of the press is forgotten.

The headline says the court did the right thing and dismissed charges but if you read the article it was only so the prosecutor could resubmit it and make it stronger.

Only in Progressive America.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Opus 2017-193: Why Barak Repatriated Winston

I am finding new reasons why the Progressives hate Winston Churchill.

Do you remember the scandal when Barak Obama removed the sculpture of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to England?  It was a slap in the face to the British but it was even more a statement about Progressive’s attitudes toward a man who saw the evil in Communism while FDR was calling Stalin “Uncle Joe”.  For the left it was a win/win.

I came across another reason while reading Winston Churchill. 
“Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men's passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness. In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist.”  Kindle location 459-464
Churchill was in the India/Afghan area of Asia at the time.  He was acting as a reporter in the same area that our troops are operating now.  He faced the reality of the situation on a day by day basis. 

Doesn’t it sound like what you are seeing and what the media are ignoring?  Keep in mind that the left keeps calling it a religion of peace in spite of the evidence.  Keep in mind that Obama did everything he could to weaken America and the West and strengthen the power of Islam.  Is it any wonder that he, and they, don’t like Winston Churchill?

Churchill, Winston S.  The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War.  Project Gutenberg download.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 23, 2017

Opus 2017-192: Should-a-Beens: Social Justice

I was reading the essay at Stilton’s Place and when he compared the young man who was murdered by North Korea for taking a campaign poster to the anarchists holding our colleges hostage, I realized we need a new law.

I think we should pass a law designating the punishment to fit the crime in cases of rioting, looting and arson.  I would suggest that the punishment for the Progressive snow flakes that like to break windows and silence conservative speech while calling us all Nazis should be exiled to the land of their dreams.  When you throw bricks at Ann Coulter and call Trump a tyrant, the call of justice says you should be transported to the DMZ of Korea and released on the north side of the fence.  This would take place preferably in winter.  Or maybe let them off at the north end of North Korea on the seashore and, if they can make it across the country and the DMZ, they will have served their time.

It is not cruel and unusual because they claim that the little fat guy is the beacon of hope for the world and socialism is the wave of the future.  I just want to make it the wave of their future, not mine.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Opus 2017-191: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 6 of ?

Texas is a different world.  I took my car to a neighborhood mechanic to have my air conditioning checked out.  Since people were ahead of me it was going to take several hours so I walked to a barber shop for a hair cut and then a fast food place for a fast breakfast and a cool place to read.  Eventually he called me to say the car was ready so I said I would start walking back.  I barely got started when my car pulled into the lot I was crossing.  The mechanic had decided that since it was so hot he would come and pick me up.  And the cost of the repairs was also reasonable.

On the other hand our house is not finished.  The truck is still loaded.  My wife is scheduled for surgery today.  It is going to be a long week.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Opus 2017-190: New Terms: Close Election

In the brief views I have had of the liberal media, they are labeling the win in Georgia as not really strong, a squeaker.  They claim it was no big deal.  I wonder what it takes for them to say it is a strong victory.  The Republican, Karen Handel, beat the Democrat, Jon Ossoff, by 6 points.  That sounds like a really strong win to me.  Not to the media.

How did they respond to the wins of Democrats running for President?

    In 2012 Obama beat Romney by 4%
    In 2012 Obama beat McCain by 7%
    In 1996 Clinton won with less than 50%
    In 1992 Clinton won with 43% of the vote

The only one that was stronger than this congressional election was the 2012 election.  I am sure that the media never talked about them as non-mandates. 

I think we should all accept that although all politics is local, this was a statement about President Trump.  It was a statement that the voters of America are in favor of what he is doing.

But we need to understand that a 6% victory is really a close election, at least until the Democrats win by 3%, which will be a mandate.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-189: Headlines: The War on Drug Drones

Every morning when I go down to the lobby of the hotel to get some coffee I pick up a free copy of USA Today.  Usually it is worth what I pay for it.  The Headline today was “Inmates use drones to smuggle”.  My first response is that the editors of USA Today are continuing to dumb down the population by refusing to follow the rules of capitalization, but that is another rant.

Evidently prisoners are using drones to access all the contraband they have been denied.  It almost seems a no-brainer.  I am not so sure why it is supposed to be so hard to stop.  I assume that drone controllers operate on specific frequencies.  Locating the controllers is simply a matter of triangulating on the broadcast.  I would also think that scanners could locate the controllers with little trouble.

The bigger problem, which is not mentioned in the article, is smuggling drugs across the border using drones.  It is probably happening as we post.  The border is so long and so desolate that it would not be hard to find locations free of surveillance and launch a drone to a specific location.  It would also be easy to program them to go to a specific location or hone in on a specific broadcast.  It would be risk free. 

We have the technology to take drones out of the sky.  We have the technology to make it impossible to use cell phones.  We have a lot of technology we do not use.  Cell phones are extremely disruptive to the school environment.  We could set up jammers to keep them from working.  We could get the kids focused again.  The problem is that the parents would complain.  They want to be able to text and call their children any time they want.  We could do it in theaters and any other place that needs a lack of disruption.  But we don’t.

We have the means to stop a lot of abuses.  What we are lacking is the will to make them happen.  We forget that our freedom stops at the edge of another persons freedom.  One of the principles of liberty is that in our quest for fulfillment we need to allow others the same options and fences that we expect for ourselves.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Opus 2017-188: Book Review: The Shack, part 3 of 3

So why would I urge a word of caution about this book?  It has a very new age/emergent church view of the atonement and salvation.

Although sin is mentioned it tends to be watered down in its significance.  Take this for instance.
“I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie, I don’t need to punish people for sin.  Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside.  It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.” pp. 119-20
If you have the feminine new age view of God then you reject His wrath and how sin demands punishment.  Take the very familiar verse,
(Romans 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
While the love of God comes through it is very clear that sin demands punishment.  The book contradicts itself here.  In this chapter it tends to make the justice and wrath of God misunderstandings of the Bible, leaving the way open for having a God of the Old Testament and a God of the New Testament.  Later it refutes that, as it should.
“Mean?  Sad, isn’t it?  He came to show people who I am and most folks believe it about him.  They still play us off like good cop/bad cop most of the time, especially the religious folk.  When they want people to do what they think is right, they need a stern God.  When they need forgiveness, they run to Jesus.”
    “Exactly,” Mack said with a point of his finger.
    “But we were all in him.  He reflected my heart exactly.  I love you and invite you to love me.” p. 186
One of the heresies that I have read in emergent church literature is that Jesus did not die to pay for our sins but to make us feel good about ourselves.  This book tends to follow along that path.  It uses some of the same language but doesn’t deal with the sin problem. 
“Honey, you asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross; so now listen to me carefully:  through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world.”
    “The whole world?  You mean those who believe in you, right?”
    “The whole world, Mack.  All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally.  It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way.” p. 192
It doesn’t really tell us why the world needed to be reconciled.  You see the beginning of a sense of universalism.  This is stated more clearly on the last page.
“And one day, when all is revealed, every one of us will bow our knee and confess in the power of Sarayu that Jesus is the Lord of all Creation, to the glory of Papa.” p. 248
I could go on with pro’s and con’s but that is more than enough.  If your faith is strong, read it for yourself.

Young, William P.  The Shack.  Los Angeles:  Windblown Media, 2007..

homo unius libri

Monday, June 19, 2017

Opus 2017-187: Headlines: Georgia on My Mind

There is a special election in process in Georgia.  The media is making much of it and is labeling it as a referendum on Donald Trump and singing the death knell of the Republican party.  Even Fox is playing this chorus.  This could be an astute political prediction.  It could also be the mindless mantra of the left.  It is the latter.

If you go back to the special elections since Trump was elected you will find that every one has been marketed by the media as a referendum on Trump.  A loss by the Republicans would herald the way in which the people of the country are turning on him and thus he should be removed.  You hear it time and again.  Every time the Republican has won.  Does the talking head declare that this shows that the people on the street are with Trump?  Not on your life.  They then start giving you reasons why this election doesn’t really show you anything.

We will see the same thing here.  The drama will increase until the Republican wins and then the excuses will swamp the boat.  It will then be the next special election that will provide the tea leaves.  It is kind of like dealing with terrorism.  We have to win all the time.  All they need to do is win once.

Congressman Tip O’Neill is associated with the statement “all politics is local”.  Whoever wins in Georgia it will be a reflection of the local candidates and the issues they campaigned on.  It will be an indication of how the people in that district were thinking.  Don’t get too excited if we win.  Satisfied is okay, but don’t think it proves anything.  Conversely, don’t get too upset if the left pulls it off.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-186: Book Review: The Shack, part 2 of 3

The Shack also offers some interesting insights into the trinity.  The continual loving relationship between the three persons is almost a theme.  The oneness is repeatedly stated and yet the persons are distinct.

The book also seems to understand the uniqueness of Jesus.  It is pointed out that He was the creator and is totally involved in maintaining the universe.  At the same time it emphasizes His humanity.
“Although by nature he is fully God, Jesus is fully human and lives as such.” p. 99
The centrality of Jesus is well presented through the book. 
“Like I said, everything is about him.  Creation and history are all about Jesus.  He is the very center of our purpose and in him we are now fully human, so our purpose and your destiny are forever linked.  You might say that we have put all our eggs in the one human basket.  There is no plan B.” p. 192
One of the areas that sects and cults get off base is in the divinity and humanity of Christ.  This book is good on that issue.

Young, William P.  The Shack.  Los Angeles:  Windblown Media, 2007.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Opus 2017-185: Book Review: The Shack, part 1 of 3

I just finished The Shack.  It was a best seller about five years ago and finally ended up on the free shelf at a local library.  That tends to be when I get to best sellers, when everyone else is done with them.

On the good side, it was well written and held my attention.  On the bad side I am not sure I would recommend it to people of weak faith or limited knowledge of the Bible.

If you are not familiar with it, Mackenzie has a tragedy in his life.  His daughter is kidnaped and it does not end well.  Years later he gets a note from “Papa” to meet at the shack where the girl was killed.  He goes and meets Papa who turns out to be the Father in the trinity.  He proceeds to interact with all three persons of the trinity and finds release from the depression of his loss.  Once I got past the setting of the scene with its depressing desperation, it was an easy read.  Like I said, it was well written.

Some of the things that I remember hearing were troubling didn’t bother me at all.  God the Father was portrayed as a black woman named Elousia.  The Holy Spirit was an Arab woman called Sarayu.  Jesus was a homely Jewish carpenter.  No problem; allow the guy some artistic license.  He explained why it was more effective that way. When Mackenzie, or Mack, the protagonist, had a hard time with it, Papa explained it this way:
"She picked up the wooden spoon again, dripping with some sort of batter.  ‘Mackenzie, I am neither male nor female, even though both genders are derived from my nature.  If I choose to appear to you as a man or woman, it’s because I love you.  For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.’
    “She leaned forward as if to share a secret.  ‘To reveal myself to you as a very large, white grandfather figure with flowing beard, like Gandalf, would simply reinforce your religious stereotypes, and this weekend is not about reinforcing your religious stereotypes.’” p. 93
And a few pages later He shared it this way,
“‘I’m not who your think I am, Mackenzie’”, p. 96
I get the point and since it is a man-made story, I can go with that even if it sidesteps the entire politically correct nature of the choice.

Young, William P.  The Shack.  Los Angeles:  Windblown Media, 2007.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Opus 2017-184: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 5 of ?

We finally arrived in town expecting to spend a few days in a hotel before our new home was ready for us to unload the truck.  It was not to be.

We drove the truck up the hill to our house aware that I might not be able to turn around.  We decided to leave it on the street instead of trying to get up the driveway.  We already had a car waiting for us and we were going to take it back to the motel before we unloaded the next day.  We took a quick look inside the house and realized it wasn’t going to happen that way.

So, we started looking for a place to spend a few days.  It is now a week and a half later and we are still not sure when things will be finished.  It gets better.  That night my wife started having pains, we went to the emergency room and found out that she had gall stones.  Now we are looking at two surgeries and don’t even know when we will have a place to live.

But we are in Texas with a whole new world to explore.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, June 16, 2017

Opus 2017-183: Please Protect the President

Isn’t it righteous that the congress is suddenly thinking they all need concealed carry permits but still refuse to give us that basic protection.  Perhaps instead of universal health care we should have universal armed security care.  Of course, just like eating right and exercise can reduce our need for health care, a pistol under out shirt might eliminate our need for armed security.

But I digress.

One of my big fears with the violence the Democrats, socialists and progressives are generating is that someone will take a shot at Donald Trump. A bigger fear is that they are better shots than most liberals or just get lucky.  I was not a Trump supporter although I did vote for him.  There are some areas I disagree with him.  Over all, though, I must say that I am pleased with what he is doing.  One reason his approval ratings are not higher is that the media makes up lies and refuses to report what really happens. 

And he keeps going.  Did I like Cruz?  Yes, and I still due.  Do I like Pence?   Yes, but he would never get as much done as Trump. 

So protect the President.  Get rid of Secret Service agents who are like the woman who said she would not take a bullet for him.  He offers a ray of hope.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Opus 2017-182: Just Another Left Wing Nut Job

One post I was reading at Trumpland was talking about the recent attempted mass assassination by a Republican hating Democrat used suggested he might just be “another left wing nut job”.  With and caveat that the right wing has its share of nut jobs, I would respectfully submit that the term “left wing nut job” is redundant.  If you doubt that then look at the way in which the Democrats in congress and the Democrats in the media are clearly nut jobs and all left wing.  They think Comey is a patriot American and Jeff Sessions is a Russian dupe.  That fits any definition of left wing nut job you might want.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Opus 2017-181: Headlines: Trump Follows the Rules

I know that is not what the headline actually said.  We are still staying in a hotel and it follows the trend in hotels by supplying a free copy of USA Today.  I usually pick one up and at least look at the headlines.  This one, 6.14.17, really led with “Trump property buyers shield their IDs” (sic).  Shock of all shocks:  The President’s business trust, run by his sons, have been hiding that it is Trump selling property.  Let me share what they say, “...the majority of his companies’ real estate sales have been to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities.” p. 1.  Well duh.  Actually that is duh, duh, duh, duh. 

Trump is expected to be disconnected from the trust.  I don’t know the details but one of the things that wealthy people are expected to do when they assume office is to distance themselves from their financial interests in order to avoid conflict of interest and corruption.  That goes two ways.  You don’t want the president taking advantage of his power.  You don’t want people trying to take advantage of him.  He is following the rules.

Many companies hide their identities to keep from price gouging.  This is not unusual.  If you are Soros and want to buy up a large group of properties for a redevelopment project, you hide who you are.  You don’t want the last property owner raising his asking price because he knows he has you over a barrel.  The seller still gets the fair market value.

The purpose of incorporation is to protect investors.  Imagine demanding a list of everyone who owns stock in a major corporation.  It would go into the thousands.  They invest that way to divide the risk as well as the reward.

Limited partnership are old news.  In the first paragraph I quoted the phrase “secretive shell companies”.  That is a very loaded way of describing what the next paragraph tells you are “limited liability companies”.  Later it admits that this is common practice.

On page 5A the USA Today writers finally sandwich in the disclaimer:  “USA TODAY found no sales by Trump’s companies that were obviously above the market rate,...”  This allows them to claim that this is not Trump bashing.

If you read the entire article with an open mind you learn a lot about limited partnerships.  We learned the hard way.  When we were young we lost about $20,000 in one.  We were young enough to recover but I will always remember a room full of people in their seventies who were going to be forced to find jobs because the investment went bust.  We were young enough to recover.  They were not.  The managers of the LLC went to jail but that didn’t help all us “rich investors”.

What was also of interest to me was on page 1A, “USA TODAY journalists spent six months cataloging every condo, penthouse or other property Trump and his companies own - and tracking the buyers behind every transaction.”  Good for them.  That is what journalists used to do.  I salute them for their dedication and am willing to overlook the reality that they were simply looking for dirt on Trump.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the country if they had spent that time looking into any one of the Obama or Clinton scandals.

Since that is too much to hope for I will just ask them to rewrite the headline:  Trump Follows the Rules.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-180: New Terms: GGCD

This is not my new term.  I owe it to The Well Meaning Gentleman.  He defines it as “grammatical gender confusion disorder”.  To be more up to date you can read what he has to say.


homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Opus 2017-179: Middle Class Morality: Chastity

Recently I was talking to a student and out of the blue he shared with me that he had had fellatio when he was 14 and wanted to know when I had experienced it.  TMI.  If you don’t know what the term means then look it up or read about Bill Clinton’s use of the oval office.  This is where our pagan culture is taking us.

Conversely, Middle Class Morality is based on chastity.  Let me remind you that chastity means purity in sexual relations, not celibacy which is the abstinence of sexual contact.  Celibacy is expected before marriage.  Chastity is expected after marriage.  America in the past embraced the concept that sex was for marriage.  They may not have lived up to it but they knew what was right and what was wrong.

Chastity is rooted in the Bible. 
(Exodus 20:14 KJV)  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
For people wanting to live God’s way that is enough but we have the modern sophists who will say, “But that applies to married people, not me.”  Okay. 

Let’s play legalistic lawyer.  Technically adultery does involved a married person sexually involved with someone outside their covenant.  Got it.  Fornication, on the other hand, is any sexual contact outside marriage.  So do a search on fornication.  You find many references to it.  Among them is,
(Acts 15:20 KJV)  But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Still not convinced?  You think they are synonyms?  Then how about this verse that uses both words?
(1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV)  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
In spite of what you may have heard by your seeker friendly pastor, in your latest Christian self-esteem book or from the guy who is trying to get you into bed, God’s standards have not changed.

Viva la middle class morality.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, June 12, 2017

Opus 2017-178: Pumicisms: Q & A

One of the strategies of education is called Inquiry.  It simply means asking questions and getting students to ask questions that they are willing to research.  The students can really get into it because they know it gives them a chance to get the class off track.

What teacher has not had their hopes awakened by a student raising a hand and saying, “I have a question.”  One I get often is “What size shoe do you wear?”  Another is “When is this class over?”  When we are in the middle of an important issue the question is usually, “Can I go to the bathroom?”

I don’t get excited when they tell me they have a question.  I simply tell them, “I have an answer.”

That has become one of my standard replies.  Sometimes I have to remind them that “I don’t know” is an answer.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Opus 2017-177: A Still Greater Evil

Like much of America I have been following the Comey testimony this week.  Since I was driving in a truck across country and my wife likes to listen to Rush, Shawn and Mark, I got an earful.  By the end I had an idea of what a weasel Comey was and could see clearly how he had worked to undermine the Republican president.

The difficulty came when I listened to liberals like Juan Williams and other unrecognized faces talk as if Comey were the good guy.  I watched the vipers of the left already starting to turn after Jeff Sessions.  I saw nothing but lies and deceit.  I keep asking myself a question, “How can these people live with themselves knowing that they are selling the country down the drain in an attempt to put themselves in a position of power and control.”

I came across this thought from Pascal.
“Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them, and to be unwilling to recognize them, since that is to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion.”
I guess it must be that the left is unwilling to recognize their dishonesty.  Some people might accept that as a reasonable excuse.  They can’t help themselves.  Yes they can.  Their continued attempts to deceive the country only make them more pathetic and more evil.

Pascal, Pensees, Project Gutenberg download, Kindle Highlight Loc. 786-87

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-176: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 4 of ?

I am on the road, but up at 4:00 A.M.  Lights and TV turned on by some mysterious force might have something to do with it, but I am up.  Fox News was on and the story was that Governor Brown of California was going to ignore President Trump and have California continue to abide by the Kyoto agreements on climate change.  He has been meeting with Chinese leaders and evidently there are eleven states doing the same.

I left California because of this type of nonsense and I am glad I have gone.  At the same time I want to support California’s right to be stupid.  The Constitution does not say only the federal government can show stupidity.  Idiocy is not mentioned at all, so it is reserved as a right of the states.  This should be an example of Federalism at work.  President Trump calls the Kyoto guidelines “job killers”.  I agree, but Governor Brown and the other governors are free to prove him wrong. 

Meanwhile I am on the road to Texas.  All those companies that might have started up in California or expanded in California are welcome to look at my new home state as an alternative.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Opus 2017-175: Mad Media

My childhood of reading Mad Magazine prepared me well for modern media.  It was the one expense I always found the coin for.  I enjoyed its brand of humor.  It was good training for what I see as “news” today.

The difference was, I knew it was humor.  I read what is called serious news today and I am not sure that the “reporter” realizes that he is more in the mold of Mad Magazine than.....  I am sorry, I can’t think of a positive comparison today.

It would be interesting to see what history will say about this time period.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-174: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 3 of ?

The next day we were making better time.  We were moving along in New Mexico when suddenly a car emerged from the brush in the median strip, turned into the flow of traffic and began driving down the shoulder in the wrong direction.  I wondered what he was doing so I watched him in my rearview mirror.  He pulled out into the fast lane, going the wrong way.  The truck coming up behind me pulled over and let him by, but he kept moving.  I could not see all that happened beyond that, but I did see a big 18 wheeler suddenly make a sharp left turn into the median and a big cloud of dust and smoke in the same area.  Drugs?  Alcohol?  Anger at Trump?  I don’t know.  I hope no one was killed but once again we managed to miss death by a few moments.

At 3:22 P.M. we entered the Republic of Texas.

We kept driving and finally arrived at our reserved hotel.  It was 8:00 P.M. local.  We had been on the road another 10 hours but at least made 500 miles for the day.  Our plan was to rest a day before we headed on.  The motel is a brand name that we have used before but, my wife took one look and I knew we would not be staying there.  I won’t use the language she needed to describe it.  She got her money back.  We were not going to keep going at 8:00 in the middle of nowhere.  We have done that before and driven until 3:00 A.M.  So we looked around and found something better. 

Travel is still full of danger and the unknown.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, June 9, 2017

Opus 2017-173: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 2 of ?

The first night we stayed in a “resort” in the Palm Springs area.  Picture trying to drive a 20 foot U-Haul with a double axle auto trailer through a parking lot full of tourists.  I only went over a few curbs and hit no cars to my knowledge.  When we got settled in my wife suddenly realized the remote control didn’t work.  For me this would be a blessing because it would mean that the TV would not be on.  For my wife it is a tragedy worse than a President Hillary Clinton.  Something must be done.  The front desk said they would send someone in the morning.  That was an empty hope on their part.  Finally they sent someone who turned out to be the security guy.  He tried everything he knew and finally went and got a new remote out of the package.  It responded and our first night was saved.

The next day we experienced the fear that every traveler between Phoenix and Los Angeles fears.  We had a blow out in the middle of the desert.  If you don’t know the area, we were 40 miles from Indio (Palm Springs) and 70 miles from Blythe on the Arizona border.  It is 100 miles of desolation with nothing the break the monotony of sand and sage.  When we finally got U-Haul on the line and they contacted their emergency people we were told it would be 75 minutes before anyone could get to us.  104ยบ.  A cat.  An invalid wife.  The blessing was the truck engine was fine and did not overheat so we sat in the A/C waiting.  Eventually we were up and on our way again.

At 3:02 P.M. we crossed the border out of the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.  Somehow the air seemed clearer and the sand looked less brown.  We had access to plastic bags in grocery stores again.  Gas also became cheaper.  We made it to Tucson after 10 hours on the road.  That was not enough for my wife.  We had to go looking for a place to eat.  It was past 10:00 and almost any place she would consider good enough was closed.  We stopped to get gas and I got caught in my big fear:  The long trailer would not make the turn around the gas pumps.  It was not a panic situation.  I was able to back up a bit and try another approach but it is a dread I have with this set up.  I can’t seem to convince my wife that this is not a sports car.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-172: On the Street: More Like on the Road, part 1 of ?

It was almost as if God did not want us to leave California. 

We are in the process of moving to Texas, the final steps of the process.  Our plan was to pick up the truck today and leave tomorrow.  All the ducks were in a row and motel rooms were reserved for this perfect plan.

Then life started happening.  I managed to schedule a few posts but not enough to get me through this experience.  I have had almost no contact with the internet for three days.

First the pain.  My wife started having severe abdominal pain and we went to the emergency room.  Since a hernia showed up she assumed surgery was in order and we made an appointment with the doctor the next day.  While waiting she cancelled all the arrangements and prepared to stay another month.  Unfortunately the doctor said it was an elective surgery that he could not get to for two months.

So she got on the phone, got the truck rescheduled for the next day, lined up the kid who was going to help us load and we kept rolling.  Finally the truck was loaded and we were ready to go and my wife says, “Where’s my cat?”

The cat had disappeared.  We went through the empty apartment.  The maintenance man looked in all the hiding places he knew.  We had the entire complex looking for her cat.  Desperation is setting.  I could see my marriage coming to an end, because of course it was all my fault.  I could see us cancelling our move to Texas.  We were in the empty apartment feeling desperate when we heard a scratching noise.  We went looking again and as I stepped into the dark bathroom there was a hiss and why wife yelled from the living room, “My cat!”  All we could figure was that she had climbed up under the sink and was huddled up among the pipes and hoses.  I speak of the cat, not my wife.

So we were ready to go.  We made about 100 miles the first night.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Opus 2017-171: Snowflakes Do Not a Blizzard Make

If the whining liberals are snowflakes, what are the rest of us?

What are the characteristics of snowflakes?  Snowflakes are unique.  One of the awesome theories of science is that no two snowflakes are identical.  I say theory because I doubt if anyone will ever build a database of every snowflake to find out if one is copied, although the way the federal government spends money someone may be working on it.

Snowflakes alone are rarely noticed and quickly fade away.  They only have an effect when they appear in overwhelming numbers.  Even when they are part of a storm they don’t seriously effect people who are prepared.  Snowed in?  Great.  Break out the hot chocolate and get into a good book.  Power out?  Great.  Stoke up the fire and cuddle with someone you care about.  I can just see the snowflakes plastered against the window screaming about the injustice of the comfort they see.

Snowflakes require just the right conditions.  If anything is wrong they become fog, rain or hail.  They often disappear when they actually touch the ground.

Snowflakes are beautiful at first but quickly become yellow or grey snow. 

Snowflakes are never invited to the party.  They need to remain outside looking in.  Individual snowflakes are rarely noticed or missed.  Masses of snowflakes quickly become boring and people rejoice when they are gone.

The rest of us, the productive, must be the opposite. 

So be prepared.  Don’t despair.  Remember that spring is the worst enemy a snowflake has.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Opus 2017-170: The First Amendment Applies to Left Wing Fools Too

We were all offended by the “humor” showing a decapitated president.  Rightly so.  It was offensive.

At the same time, it was her expressing her political opinion and is thus covered by the First Amendment.  The thing the left has forgotten is that freedom of speech is a right because it covers things that we find offensive.  We on the right cannot afford to forget.

It is also a chance for the free market to do its job.  We keep hearing the whining about how the president is bullying her.  Not really.  What is working to whip her into shape is capitalism.  She is not being cancelled because the venues disagree with her.  I imagine that before they stopped to think, the left wing thought the picture was a great expression of their desires.  She is being cancelled because the average Americans who pay money to attend events would refuse to let the cash flow to support such a sick mind. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  By the time it is finished this picture will be worth a million dollars, or more.

Allowing her to display her true colors is a way of supporting our liberty.  Allowing her to crash and burn is also a way of supporting out liberty.  I just wish I could be there when she applies for her first EBT card.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 5, 2017

Opus 2017-169: Headlines: Channeling Jackson

If you get past the screaming headlines based on Trumphate you see a man who is pushing forward on what he promised to do.  I went past the lead article at the Washington Times and saw another that implied Trump was reducing the immigration flow in spite of all the court tantrums. 

The left wing syncopates of the court keep doing everything they can to cripple Trump.  One court said he could not do what the law says he can do.  He rewrote his executive order to allow for their concerns.  They found another judge to continue the judicial harassment.  He has found a way to work around it.  He has not reduced the potential terrorists as much as he wanted, but it is still better than it would have been under Obama.  The numbers they give are:  Obama wanted 110,000, Trump called for 50,000 and, in spite of the courts, he will still get it down to 60,000.

It reminds me of Andrew Jackson.  The Supreme Court told him he had to act a certain way.  His response is reported to have been,
"John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."
And President Jackson quietly went about his business.  The article seems to imply that the current administration is quietly going about its business.  Donald Trump is getting a lot done.  Unlike the politicians who preceded him, he is actually working to fulfill his campaign promises.  The screams you hear are the people who did not vote for him trying to return to the Days of Obama.

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and for Trump to turn on us.  Meanwhile I am enjoying the tears and frustration of the media.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-168: Digging into Deuteronomy: Partiality

(Deuteronomy 1:17 NAS77)  'You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.'

God has a real problem with “partiality” (5234/6440).  This is a compound word meaning “regard” (5234) the “face” (6440).  This is part of the issue of justice.  Biblical justice has two sides.  The side that is totally rejected by our pagan culture is that justice is based on the unchanging righteousness and truth of God.  Right and wrong do not change.  They are immutable. 

The second part is addressed here.  Biblical justice is impartial because it does not give one result for a rich person and another for a poor person.  The law is blind.  That is why the statue for justice has a blindfold on.  Different people distort this different ways.  The Progressives think they are God’s anointed and have the right to tell everyone else how to live.  They don’t think the rules apply to them.  They are like the absolute monarchs of old.  Social Justice Warriors think that poor people should get special privileges.  They believe that the wealth of others should be redistributed in the name of fairness.  They believe that the penalties of breaking the law should be lighter for the less fortunate.  In all cases they are above the law.

Neither is justice.  We are not to discriminate for the “small” (6996b) or the “great” (1419).  That is God’s word on the matter and we ignore it at our peril.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Opus 2017-167: Headlines: The Segregationists Are Back

I am almost ready to visit the grave of MLK and see if the ground is registering any earthquake waves.  I keep seeing headlines about institutions of dubious learning having separate graduations for minority students.  For years I have been hearing about how black students were allowed to have their own dorms and student union buildings.  I have waited for the voices of racial equality and reconciliation to raise their unanimous voices of protest.

Crickets.  In small letters.  With the mute button on.

Has everyone but the white middle class lost their minds?  Do the Black Codes suddenly sound like a good idea again?  Are we now supporting a Revised Black Code?  Are we looking for a new name for Jim Crow?  Maybe the next goal is to establish all white neighborhoods so that our black citizens won’t feel threatened.  It is a strange day when the KKK, Nation of Islam, ACLU and Aryan Nation all agree on a program.

Wake up people.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 2, 2017

Opus 2017-166: They Really Care

My union cares about me.  Really.  They wish me luck in my retirement.  I don’t know where they got the picture but it was okay.  The message lost a little bit though when they got my first name wrong.  It isn’t like I had never been involved.  I was a rep from our school at least twice.  I went to meetings regular until I couldn’t take it any more.

Actually I think it is funny.  It may explain why we are almost the lowest paid teachers in Southern California.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Opus 2017-165: Middle Class Morality: Saving, Not Spending

We live in an affluent age.  Americans live in a culture that takes a massive amount of wealth just to provide the basics.  That is in relation to the rest of the world and even more so to history.  I don’t get too concerned when I hear about the poor people of the world living on $300 dollars a year.  The part most people don’t hear is that they are living on it.  And in their circumstances they might be doing quite well.

How can this be?  If you have no utility bills, grow your own food and don’t pay taxes, how much do you need to live in a third world country?  Obviously it would not get you through the week in Washington D.C.  Many today can spend that much at dinner.  The point is to live within your means.

The Bible gives us the concept of moderation and thrift. 
(Proverbs 21:17 KJV)  He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
The reference to oil may go over your head.  They did more than mix it with balsamic vinegar to put on their salads.  They used it as a lotion and anointed their heads with it.  It was medicinal.  The rich would use large quantities for extravagant purposes.  Lots to drink and lots of massages can make Jack a poor boy.  Today with credit cards we face the same temptation.  Middle class Americans use to drive used cars and pass clothes down to their children.  It was a Biblical concept.

Another aspect of delayed gratification is leaving something for your children.
(Proverbs 13:22 KJV)  A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
The name of the game in Middle Class America is not to die when your last cent is spent.  It is not to drive a giant RV with a bumper sticker saying, “We’re spending our children’s inheritance”.  Middle Class Morality says you are building for the future.  That is why old people plant fruit trees and invest in long term stocks and bonds.

I can’t give you the source but John Wesley was reported to have said, “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”  Of course he was also reported to live on £20 a year.

homo unius libri