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.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Opus 2017-397: Headlines: Another Day, Another Accusation

I would be more shocked at reading that Matt Lauer was fired if I had ever watched him.  It was a name I knew but I had to read the article to find out why.  Being a talking head on NBC means that he will be easy to replace.

My issue is bigger than a broken heart and a sense of disappointment.  I want Matt Lauer and every other liberal to get the same due process that I think Judge Moore in Alabama should be getting.  I read the article at Fox News.  All I saw was the accusation of one woman.  With that, he was gone.  Is there any evidence?  Has he been allowed to face his accuser in open court as the Constitution demands?  It was interesting that they pointed out this is the first complaint in the twenty years he has worked for them.  One complaint after twenty years and he is gone?  It makes me wonder what he may have done that really makes them want to get rid of him.  Of course this is business, not the government, so the same rules do not apply but as a conservative who believes in the rule of law, I am getting very weary of trial by media and indictment by innuendo.  One woman sharing his pain and he is gone.  Al Franken with pictures and pubic confession is still in office. 

If they ever get a conservative it will drown out all the Democrats that have strayed.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 27, 2017

Opus 2017-396: On the Street: Millennial Baby Care

Modern technology is taking twists that I would have never thought necessary but are being embraced by the younger generation.  The older generation is having a hard time getting excited about these innovative tools that I learned about on Thanksgiving.

For the first time ever we were at a non-family home for Thanksgiving.  That in itself was an eye-opener.  They had a meal but there was no thanks given and no God acknowledged, but what I am writing about involved their joy and trial of having a newborn.  I got to hold a baby for the first time in years.  I did well.  I am glad they did not ask me to demonstrate my diaper changing skills.

They shared with us new baby care products that were amazing.  I was shown the Windi.  It is labeled as a “Gas and Colic Reliever”.  It is an innocent looking device that you insert in the rectum of a baby and it provides a clear path for the inner joy to be expressed.  It seems they are single use disposable.  I did not ask for a demonstration.  They did not offer.  If you don’t believe me check it out on Amazon yourself.

If you follow the Amazon page down you will find something called a “Nasal Aspirator”.  This is a snot sucker.  You, the parent not the guest for dinner, suck the snot out of the baby’s nose through a long tube with a filter to keep it from getting in your mouth. 

How did our children ever survive?

(I receive no financial reimbursement for this information nor do I suggest that either product is safe for non-professional use.)

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Opus 2017-395: Election 2018: Campaign Issues, Voter Fraud

One of the big issues that the politicians keep sweeping under the rug is voter fraud.  President Trump has appointed a commission to look into it and is meeting little besides resistance.  This would seem a no-brainer to me.  How can we have legitimate government if our elections are not run with integrity.

An article in The Daily Signal looks at the potential for fraud by the counties that have more registered voters than they have people eligible to vote.

The logical concern is expressed this way:
“When dead people or those no longer living in a specific voting jurisdiction continue to be registered there, voter integrity advocates argue, the likelihood for voter fraud increases.”
Again, that is something so clear it should require no brain to understand.  What is there to disagree about?

The response goes like this,
‘In a statement published in several media outlets, however, Grimes spokesman Bradford Queen said the Judicial Watch lawsuit is “without merit” and is an attempt to “make it harder for people to vote.”’
Taken at face value this is ridiculous.  Dead people can’t vote so how can you make it harder?  Non-citizens are not supposed to vote so why should you not make it harder? 

At the current point it is mainly the Democrats that don’t want to clean up the roles and the Democrats that are in favor of corrupt elections.  That may change in the future but that is the reality of now. 

Give it a read.  The only way you can be against cleaning up the voter roles is if you want to cheat and manipulate the elections.  I think that if this were presented clearly and repeatedly it could be a winning platform issue in 2018 and 2020.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 24, 2017

Opus 2017-394: Headlines: Will the Stupid Never Stop

Just when you think that the liberals have lowered their IQ as much as they can and still not need to be reminded to inhale and exhale, they continue to be the gift that keeps on giving.  You will love to read in the Boston Herald about how banning cell phone use in cars is now racist.

Yes, you read that right.  If you feel your life is in danger by fools texting while driving you are guilty of targeting minorities. 

What about those in the minority who don’t talk on their cell phones?

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-394: Pumice Proclamation

Whereas Order in the Universe is essential to strong teeth and healthy gums, and

Whereas some People need clear rules in order to be comfortable, and

Whereas many stores have been stocking their shelves since Halloween, and

Whereas Thanksgiving is over except for the leftovers,

I hereby proclaim that it is now okay to play Christmas music.

Signed, November 24, 2017.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Opus 2017-393: A Thanksgiving Warning: Call Before You Dig

You have seen the signs.  They warn you about power cables and possibly buried plumbing.  If you start digging without knowing where the danger is you can find anything from death to calling a plumber.

Apply that to your family and friends as you gather for fellowship this year.  Today is Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming.  They say there are two topics that are risky at best:  Religion and politics.  They are also some of the most vital.  You may need to go there but it always pays to know where the 220 cables are before you start the backhoe.  Tread gently.  Know where reverse is.  Start with the knowledge that you may be wrong and you definitely don’t know everything.

Perhaps a review of a Biblical principle is in line.
(1 Peter 3:15 NAS77)  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
This is about religion but the principle applies to politics or anything else that is touchy.  Start with the right attitude.  Let other people bring things up.  Explain clearly.  Always be courteous and kind.

And keep in mind that you don’t know how well they are wired.  We had a light that would not work.  We thought that it was because it was getting no power.  The electrician found out that it was somehow connected so it was getting power from both wires and touching either could at least give us a nasty shock.

When in doubt, dig somewhere else.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-392: The Traditional Post

Sometimes there are two sides to our thanks.  I am thankful that Hillary is not president.  To my surprise, I am thankful that Trump is. 

I am thankful for a room in which I can’t hear the sound of a television.

I am thankful that the aches and pains I feel are all due to getting old and are within the range of annoying rather than crippling.

I am thankful that, as of yesterday, my children are still speaking to me.  And of course I am glad I still want them to speak to me.

I am thankful that so far I have seen the scorpions before they have seen me.

I am thankful that I have everything I need even if I don’t have everything I want.  And I am thankful that I know the difference.

The list could go on but you have family, friends and chores. 

Happy Thanksgiving and may your list be long enough to bore others.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Opus 2017-391: Headlines: Ukraine Channels Spain

The Daily Signal had an article in the side bar about the struggle between Ukraine and Russia.  It reminded me of the way in which the Communists and Fascists fought a proxy war in Spain before World War II broke out.

In case you missed it, World War II have an opening act in Spain as the Communists and the Fascists fought for control of the country.  It was brutal and bloody.  Recruits came from all over the world to fight for one side or the other.  Nations experimented with equipment and tactics.  In the end the Fascists won and Franco came to power.  He lasted for decades until his death in 1975. 

Is Ukraine a place where the forces of east and west are meeting to flex their muscles and beat their chests?  I know Russia is involved.  I don’t know how much we have contributed.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Opus 2017-390: Thanksgiving Countdown: Those Evil Pharmaceutical Companies

Are you thankful for the bounty of medications that are readily available?

What stirred this was the little red blood thinner I just took.  When I was paying the co-pay they cost around $14.00 a pill.  With Medicare D they still cost about $8.00 a day.  I understand that is cheap in relation to some drugs people are taking.  But you know what, I could probably live a long time without them.  The danger of not having this medication is statistical, not definite.  Yours could be literally life giving.

What about the things that are not expensive?  How about all the generic, over the counter remedies that we have?  I just took some ibuprofen for a day.  I don’t know if I have ever done that before but my joints were getting sore and I am getting old.  It was cheap.  It helped.  It was a miracle that the Founding Fathers might have written into the Bill of Rights if they had known.

I know that some people can only see the profit that the drug companies make.  They don’t see the billions that go into research.  They don’t see the billions that go into lawyers and insurance.  They don’t see the free drugs given to people in need.

Does greed exist?  You betcha.  Keep in mind, and be thankful, that the greed of profit is what may bring a cure to cancer, HIV and even the common cold.  Poor people are also greedy.  If you don’t believe it, watch the news on Black Friday and observe people being trampled to death at your local Walmart when they open the doors.  They aren’t looking for miracle cures.

And be thankful that you don’t need to be in that mob.

Happy Thanksgiving.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 20, 2017

Opus 2017-389: On the Street: Invisible Tragedies

Word came yesterday of the children of friends who have suffered the agony of a miscarriage.  It doesn’t help to know that miscarriage is more common than people think.  It does nothing for the pain to know that they are young and will be able to have more children.  It is a loss and my heart goes out to them.

It is just a reminder that people are often going through difficult times that we are not aware of.  It is why we are told,
(1 Corinthians 13:4 NAS77)  Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
We do not know what struggle, loss or failure is dominating the thoughts and emotions of people we meet.  It could be that the clerk in the store is not really surly, they may have just heard they have cancer.  The guy cutting you off may actually be going to a fire. 

As a follower of Jesus it is my responsibility to give the other guy the benefit of the doubt.  It is why we are told to answer softly, go the extra mile, forgive and love our enemies. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Opus 2017-388: Thanksgiving Countdown: An Exercise

Some mornings when my brain is extra flaky I have a hard time being thankful.  I have a little exercise that helps me zero in on how God is providing for us.

Take any object you have used without thinking and trace it back in the process of production.  Thank God for the hands and skills that went into the final product.  Don’t use your computer, that is too easy.  Pick something really common like the chair you are sitting in.

For instance I have an insulated cup filled with coffee on the desk beside me.  I am mindful that somewhere in the world there is a person who picked the beans and others who processed them on their way to market.  There are many people of varied skills that went into the roasting.  A whole string of people were involved in making the grinder I used and delivering the clean water to my house.  You can go on this way for as long as you have time.  The list of semi-miracles required to get a simple beverage is awesome. 

So be thankful.  I am sure that when you are in the groove you will be reminded of some really awesome blessings that are a bit more significant than a cup of coffee.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 17, 2017

Opus 2017-387: A Howler of the Week

After the repeated frustration of trying to find a source of news that is not rabidly left wing I went to Google to see if there were any conservative newspapers.  I took a quick look and bookmarked a few.  In my search I came across this howler at a site called Quora.
“The major U.S. newspapers do not represent a very broad ideological spectrum because the ethics of U.S. journalism include attempting to be fair and even-handed in all matters and because they are financed by wealthy people. At best they range between just barely center-left and fairly far into the right -- essentially pro-capitalist, with leanings toward reform or toward laissez faire.”
With that kind of a lead in, why would I bother reading any farther?

When I get done laughing and run out of screams I may try again.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-386: Thanksgiving Countdown: Thank-list

Lack of gratitude it our default.  We take our blessings for granted.  Think of all the people who do things for you on a regular basis and don’t expect a “thank you.”  When was the last time you thanked someone for doing your laundry or were thanked for washing their dishes?  I don’t remember anyone showing that they appreciated me walking quietly through the house when they were trying to sleep or leaving the music turned off until they were up.  Thankfulness is a state of mind that needs to be stirred up, thus Thanksgiving Day.

Part of that is familiarity.  We get used to things and take them for granted.  How many times have you seen someone thanked for doing what you do all the time?  Maybe if we thought about all the little things we do for others it might help us see examples of them doing for us.

So play like you are Santa Claus.  Start a list.  Check it twice.  See if you have been naughty or nice.  Then use the list to find someone to thank.  Maybe you could even thank someone for doing a small thing for someone else.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Opus 2017-385: Headlines: Mugabe Out, Mnangagwa In, Maybe

Have you noticed how America lives in the ostrich bubble.  We are so caught up in our own soap opera that we forget there is a world going on out there.  Today there was a reminder of why we should be glad to live in America, at least until the Progressives are in total control.

The Daily Signal had a headline that used two names that many Americans probably think is a bit of cuisine from a local ethnic food joint:  Zimbabwe and Mugabe.  For those who were sleeping in my history classes, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southeast Africa.  It used to be called Rhodesia and was known as the breadbasket of Africa.  When it gained independence and took over the farms owned by whites it began a move that has brought it to the point of poverty, starvation and violence.  The man most responsible for this is the 40 year dictator Robert Mugabe.

As the headline tells you, he has been removed by a military coup. 

That might be considered good but you need to read the article to be glad you are American.  The military has been hand in hand with Mugabe until recently.  Since he was no longer doing things their way, they removed him. 

This is not really great news.
“However, there are no guarantees that whoever ultimately replaces Mugabe will be a significant improvement.”
One of the names submitted to be the new kingpin is Emmerson Mnangagwa.  His nickname is “the Crocodile” and he has also been involved in massacres and other pleasant pastimes.

So Africa is being Africa.  Petti-dictators are being replaced by petti-dictators.  The people of Zimbabwe continue to starve and be murdered. 

Think about that next time someone calls Trump a Hitler or you get mad at our military.

This should go on your list of things to be thankful for.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Opus 2017-384: What Happened to the Rule of Law?

I am so disgusted to be a Republican.  I keep thinking I am going to register as an Independent but they are just as disgusting.  Which is more a danger to our future freedom, due process and the assumption of innocence until guilt is proven or accusations of inappropriate behavior that took place 40 years ago?  To me the answer is so obvious I wonder why Mitch McConnell and his cronies don’t see it.  Or maybe they do and don’t care because it is all about being loved by a mass media core that hates them with every ounce of their being.

So let me act like you are mature adults dealing with a bunch of middle school students making an accusation.

First, consider the source.  When I have a student accusing someone of something I would sometimes ignore it and other times get concerned.  If a student who would not know the truth if it were on his lunch tray tells me something, I am a bit skeptical.  People who lie regularly about whether they have gum in their mouth or whether the trash on the floor is theirs can’t be trusted to tell the truth about anything of importance.  Who is the source of the accusations against Judge Moore?  The Washington Post and a reporter with a long record of deceit and partisan activity.

Second, consider the accused.  When someone tells me that another teacher has said something I always ask myself if that sounds like what that teacher would do.  Students would have a hard time convincing other teachers I had cussed the student out because no teacher has ever heard me use profanity or vulgarity.  The principal would believe them but she isn’t known for her discernment or objectivity.  I have followed Judge Moore for years and have seen a man of principle and integrity that has stood up to the forces of liberal anti-Americanism and anti-Christian bigotry.  The accusations just don’t sound right.

Third, is there an ulterior motive?  You may not get out much but when a student is caught red handed they often try to distract from the issue at hand.  Or they may be mad at someone who did something they didn’t like and they are out to get them.  Can you really expect a football player at UCLA to say anything nice about a lineman from USC?  Picture all the sport events you have seen with players getting in the face of the referee trying to convince them that they have been wronged.  Unfortunately we do not have instant replays of events from 40 years ago.  We have a press corps that is in the pocket of the Democrats.  They hate conservatives.  They hate Christians.  They hate traditional values.  To them Judge Moore is fair game.

Is it possible that he acted in a totally unacceptable way 40 years ago?  Of course it is.  It is also possible that the American astronauts on the moon were really on a Hollywood set or that Bill Clinton never cheated on his wife.  This is why we have courts.  This is why it is on the accuser to prove his case in front of an impartial jury.  Let’s look at a few of the trials by media that we have faced:  Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, George Zimmerman, The Baltimore Police, Bruce Herschensohn, Dan Quayle, etc.  The list is long.  The charges have usually not been filed.  When the charges were filed we find that they were false.

There are times when I feel like I live in the France of 1793 (Reign of Terror) rather than America in 1868 (Impeachment of Andrew Johnson).

The American solution is to let the election proceed, file your charges and see where the chips fall.  If he is guilty then he can serve his time in the Senate and the State Pen concurrently. 

homo unius libri

Monday, November 13, 2017

Opus 2017-383: Headlines: How Cruel

I don’t go often to Breitbart but I am getting desperate for news that goes beyond the smoke and mirrors I am getting.  I didn’t get far before I saw a title in the sidebar that read “...SNL Cruelly Mocks Alabamans (sic) as Rednecks”.  That kind of surprised me so checked it out.

It didn’t look like it was anything more than SNL doing what SNL does.  I did not watch the clip.  I had just had my oatmeal and wanted it to settle a bit.  I didn’t see anything to get upset about.  I remember when they lampooned Sarah Palin.  I like Sarah Palin.  I did then, I do now.  She was the reason I could vote for John McCain.  They mocked her and did a good job.  It was funny.  I can laugh at myself.  I can laugh when the humor is real.  It is not “cruel mocking”, it is humor.

That is what comedy is supposed to be, funny.  If it is a bit offensive, get over it.  Stop wanting to be a right wing snowflake.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Opus 2017-382: Thanksgiving Countdown: Why?

Thanksgiving is coming.  It is a national holiday and like most national holidays it is celebrated with a full agenda and an empty head.  I checked out Wikipedia which has a decent article on Thanksgiving, at least the parts I read.  There is a lot of debate on where the first Thanksgiving was held.  Hopefully most of it is friendly like the discussion of the best recipe for stuffing.  Proclaiming days of thanks or days of petition have a long history in Christian circles at least.  I think the day we can look at as the beginning of our national holiday began where so much else began.
‘As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."’
Notice that it is public and based in a faith in God.  Note also that this is in the first year of the new Constitution.  At this point only Rhode Island was holding out.  There was much to be thankful for.

Why do we celebrate this holiday today?  Is it just because it is on the calendar?  Whom, or what, are we thanking?  If you do not believe in God, welcome to the festivities but why did you come?  It might be like your wife watching football with you.  For some it is just a day to watch football.

As Christians we thank a God who is aware of our thanks.  We thank the God who is the only God and who created and maintains our world.  The pagans might also give thanks.  I understand that many in hunting cultures would thank the animal for giving its life.  We are not thanking the cow for becoming hamburger.  We are not thanking the tree for becoming a toothpick.  We are not thanking the rock for not stubbing our toe.  We are thanking God for His blessings.

One of the significant items on the Pumice Calendar is that after dinner on Thanksgiving Day we can start up the Christmas music.  That is something to be thankful for.  What makes it so easy is I-Pod, I-Tunes and Bluetooth.  What makes is special is we are singing about the Incarnation.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Opus 2017-381: I Know Green Baloney When I See It

Have you ever had jury duty?  I used to get summoned every couple of years.  I only made it on one jury because defense attorneys don’t want me sitting in judgement on their clients.

Why?  Because they judge my life experiences as disqualifying me from being unbiased.  I don’t drink so they assume I cannot be fair on a case involving alcohol.  My house has been broken into multiple times so obviously I can’t determine if someone is guilty of such a crime.  Family members have been assaulted, and so forth.  You get the picture.  They want people like the ones who march in snowflake rallies.  Thinking is not an option; it is forbidden.

Why?  Because my values and experience make me a good judge of evidence.  I tend to be skeptical of authority and question sources.  Or is it the other way around?  Either way, they want people they can fool, who won’t ask the simple question, “Really?”  When I hear that someone has shot themselves while cleaning a gun I tend to say, “Really?  That is God’s way of trying to raise the national IQ level.”  Defense attorneys, or for that matter prosecutors, want people who will buy the new cereal because the label says, “New and Improved”.

So if I can’t qualify to sit on a jury, how does a reporter like the one who wrote the hit piece on Judge Moore get anyone to listen to her?  Various other sources list her qualifications, or lack of them.  The last I heard was that she had worked on the Clinton campaign.  All I really need to know is that the Washington Post hired her.  It is like the pot calling the wall “white privileged”.  (In this PC world we can’t use the original form of the saying, racist you know.)

Of course, just because the can is bent doesn’t mean that the contents is spoiled, but would you want to serve the beef stew inside to your family?  Knowing the history of the can would help make a decision.  I don’t really know anything about this reporter.  She is just another mouthpiece for the Democrat party if she works for the Washington Post.  Judge Moore I have been watching for years and I approve of what I see.  So, if I got the can of stew out of an old abandoned house I would throw it out.  If it had been in my pantry for a year, I would enjoy.

Don’t lose your baloney filters.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-380: All Vets Are Not Equal

Today is Veterans’ Day.  It is appropriate to thank a veteran for serving, but like many things in life it should be done properly.

I write as a Vietnam veteran.  I was drafted.  I did not enlist.  I did not want to take time out to serve in the military but I accepted it as a part of my civic duty.  I am glad I served but I would not want to do it again.  I was not in combat and, although I did go places where people had died, I never was seriously threatened the whole time I was there.  I was one of the majority who struggled with boredom more than the Vietcong.

I do not deserve the same thanks that a warrior deserves.  Everyone cannot be a warrior.  Armies are made up of a minority who actually fight and a majority who support them.  That is the way it works.  Those who end up being warriors do not always volunteer for the position, but they serve anyway.  They are the ones who really deserve our thanks.

So, thank you warriors.  You paid a price that the rest of us cannot understand, even those like me who did their duty.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 10, 2017

Opus 2017-379: Get Rid of the Silencers

I have laughed along with the rest of you at the humor proposing that the government needs to issue permits for the rental of trucks since they are being used in acts of terror.  If you stop to think about it, it isn’t funny.  They already do.

The trucks must be registered and licensed.  They must pass safety tests and pay extra taxes.  There are limitations on caliber, or size, and where you can drive them.  The driver must have a license.  Think about it.  There are people in the elites who want to take us out of our cars.  Cars represent mobility and liberty.  They allow us to choose where we live, work and shop.  Simple little things but the Progressives want to make those decisions for you.  Of course it is for your own good.

So don’t laugh too hard.

In the spirit of bipartisanship I have a suggestion to make though.  We need to make trucks safer.  One of the reasons they are so dangerous is that people don’t know they are coming.  They can be used to commit crimes without being heard.  So, just as we have outlawed “silencers” on guns, I think we should make it illegal for trucks to have mufflers.  Drivers can wear hearing protection.  Pedestrians can wear hearing protection.  We can sound proof our homes.  The important thing is that our safety would be insured.  After we get the trucks under control we can move on to cars, generators and lawn mowers.

So write to your congressmen.  Speak up at town meetings.  Maybe we can get it passed by a few cities like Berkeley and New York and then California will jump on board.  I predict a groundswell of support as people become more aware of the killing machines around them.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Opus 2017-378: Family Feud Education

Sometimes you need to get out of the forest to see how many trees have been destroyed by the beetles.  As a teacher I was always being indoctrinated in the idea that there are many types of intelligence.  It is more than book learning and the ability to do well on the SAT.  There is a logic to that, I admit.  I think of my brother who could build you a house but had a hard time writing a letter.  I, on the other hand, can’t cut a board straight.  He would have been what is called kinesthetic.  I was a traditional linguistic.  Originally, according to Gardner, there are seven intelligences.  Not to let a good idea go to waste that was expanded to nine and for all I know has grown beyond that.  I think many of them could be covered with snowflake intelligence because there are so many that can only learn in their isolated safe-space.

What was interesting to me is that Gardner did not honor the traditional method of research and analysis of data.
“Gardner’s approach is also radical in that he does not defend his theory with quantitative data.  He draws on findings from anthropology to zoology in his narrative., but, in a field that has been intensely quantitative since its inception, Gardner’s work is uniquely devoid of psychometric or other quantitative evidence.” page 18
What that means is there is no evidence for his theory.  It is true because he likes the idea.  The dangerous part of this is that education now thinks this way.  The standards and techniques that are in control of education are based on what the elite wants to be considered.  It is kind of like Family Feud research.  If you have watched the program, the right answers are determined by a random group of people giving a response.  It is accurate for those people that day but it is not scientific.

So when someone tells you how smart their child is you need to understand that they may be talking about the kid’s ability to throw tantrums, not his ability to write an essay.

Herrnstein, Richard J. and Murray, Charles.  The Bell Curve.  New York:  The Free Press, 1994.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Opus 2017-377: Headlines: Just a Finger of Speech

Perhaps you have seen reference to the woman who gave the finger to the presidents motorcade.  I ignored it until I saw it at Fox News.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or scream in rage.

I would laugh because it is such a trivial thing.  A frustrated lefty gives the finger.  It is an everyday event.  We see pictures of illegals going it all the time.  How does this make the news?

I want to scream because to me this is a first amendment issue.  It really doesn’t matter that I don’t agree with her.  It isn’t important that I would consider her a brainwashed lefty fool.  What matters is that in the decayed culture of today giving the finger is so common that it is something to be ignored.  Also it is specifically the kind of thing that the right to free speech is supposed to cover:  An out of power person saying something that the in-power don’t like. 

It would seem to me that if you can burn a flag, stand over a picture of a corpse with a “Trump” tag on the toe, put on a play with a presidential look-alike murdered and so many other offensive actions, you should be able to give a stream of cars the finger.

Maybe this is time for another presidential pardon.

Maybe she just doesn’t like Cadillacs.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Opus 2017-376: Do You Need a Cat?

I would never describe myself as an animal lover.  Neither would anyone else that knows me, but I am not an animal hater either.  Right now I have our new kitten sitting on the file cabinet by my desk purring and tonguing.  I have not thrown him out or thrown anything in his direction.  I have been working on kittenizing my desk and my morning routine.  Animals are like the coaster under my coffee cup.  They serve a purpose and can be ignored most of the time.  They are also hard to find when you need them, although why you would need a kitten I don’t know.

My wife is an animal lover.  She needed a new kitten so we got a new kitten.  It was kind of like a drug addict needing a fix or a gun guy lusting after the most recent shinny.  Now that she has it she locks it out of the room so she can have some peace.  That sends it to me for companionship. 

She wishes it would do for her what it is doing in my office.  It is taking a nap with its head hanging in my direction like it is asking to be petted.  Cats are not really loners.  This one needs to be near someone even if it is me.  It just wants our relationship to be on cat terms which means the cat is in charge.

I go to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup and when I turn around there is the cat.  I find myself talking to the thing as if it could understand.  I don’t talk to my coffee cup, at least not often.  I also am not tempted to kick my coffee cup across the room.

Do you need a kitten?  I envy you.  I also worry about you.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 6, 2017

Opus 2017-375: The End of Savings

I just discovered one of the joys of retirement.  I forgot to set my clocks back and it didn’t matter.  I had been up for over two hours and was showered and ready to go on the weekly pilgrimage to find the perfect church.  Then I noticed a post about turning our clocks back.  I checked my date book, my computer clock and my phone.  They all agreed.

So I had an extra hour before I left the house.  As they say, “No harm, no foul.”

Being retired, it could have happened any day of the week without a penalty.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Opus 2017-374: History Is a Riot

One of the major attacks to our liberty lately has been the riots on university campuses whenever a conservative speaker shows up.  Historically it goes back to the brownshirts of the rising National Socialists.  It is designed to silence opposition and drive them from public forums.  It worked then, it is working now.  When is the last time you were willing to speak up on an issue that the left doesn’t like?

History did not jump from the 1930's to the twenty first century.  This has been going on a long time.  I came across a similar situation as I began working through the book The Bell Curve.  It seems that way back in 1969 even the liberals were noticing that the educational programs of the War on Poverty were not producing the results they wanted.  They made the mistake of asking someone who might know, Arthur Jensen of Cal Berkeley.  He made the mistake of giving them an honest answer.  He did it in the Harvard Educational Review.  He was immediately attacked in print but it even went to the level we have been seeing. 
“During the first few years after the Harvard Educational Review article was published, Jensen could appear in no public forum in the United States without triggering something perilously close to a riot.” page 9
Notice the date.  This was just after the height of the so called Free Speech Movement, also from Berkeley.  The left has been concerned for their own freedom of speech and silencing everyone else for a long time. 

Herrnstein, Richard J. and Murray, Charles.  The Bell Curve.  New York:  The Free Press, 1994.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Opus 2017-373: How Much Is Enough

The comment is attributed to different people but it goes like this:  How much money does it take to make a man happy?  Just a little more.

Maybe Donald Trump has found out.  He has raised children that seem to be an asset to the country.  He has played with a successful TV program.  Maybe he has made enough money to feel successful and he is ready to give back.  Maybe one of his great traits is that he cannot be bought.

Hillary Clinton has not come to that point yet.  She is still seeking to make a memorable mark on the world and it doesn’t seem to be going well.  It is obvious to anyone paying attention that the Clinton Foundation is just a front for laundering bribes to influence their political decisions.  She is in the midst of a power grab and has slippery fingers.

Donald Trump seems to be a happy man.  Hillary seems more and more desperate with each passing day.   Be glad that we have the president we have.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 3, 2017

Opus 2017-372: Headlines: Not a Presidential Question

The headline seemed to be asking the right question.  The Washington Times quotes President Trump as wondering why the Department of Justice was not investigating Hillary Clinton.  It is a good question but the wrong person asking it.

The Times shows the president’s tweets and he seems to be asking why the DOJ and FBI are not looking into all the scandal around the Clintons.  I am confused.  Isn’t he the president?  Isn’t he in charge of the executive branch?  He may not be able to give the FBI orders but he can certainly sit down with Secretary Sessions and say, “Now look, Jeff, here is a list of crimes I want you to get busy on.  If you can’t do it and need to recuse yourself from any or all of them, let me know.  I will find someone who can do their job.”

So, Mr. President, do your job.  Don’t just ask questions, give orders.

Your doing fine on the big picture but it is time to realize that the swamp is in your administration.  Start draining.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-371: Headlines: Head Fake in the Right Direction

The headline that greeted me on the Washington Times site talked about something we have needed for a long time.  I know it is spun as an attack by mean Republicans on decent, hard working DACAs but in reality it a gesture toward the government doing what it needs to do:  Cut spending.

Tax cuts are well and good but they are just candy being given out to childish people by evil clowns.  They are bribes for votes.  All we are missing is the white vans.  If the clowns ever want to become super-heroes then they will pull spending cuts out from under their capes.  Of course that is like offering fat children broccoli instead of chocolate. 

I would be willing to let the taxes stay as they are if the government would simply limit next year’s spending total to the same dollar amount it was this fiscal year.  In order to make it work there would be no adjustments for inflation or cost of living.  There would be no escape clause for emergencies.  It would be just like my allowance as a kid.  Here is your money.  Spend it as you please.  Don’t bother asking for more.

We need to grow up and be the parents to the children in congress. 

Slap their hands and vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Opus 2017-370: Should-a-Beens: Hillary Indicted

If special prosecutor Mueller had any integrity the indictments that were issued would have been for Hillary Clinton instead of Manafort.  If he can reach so far as to look into common criminal behavior in a businessman then you would think he could find treasonous behavior by a powerful politician.  The way our justice system goes she would probably be allowed to plea bargain down to jay walking as long as she gave testimony against Trump.

This kind of thing breaks down the respect for law and justice that has been a part of traditional American culture.  That is the whole point.  That is why the elites allow it to happen.  If the courts worked properly they would be the ones in jail.  They need to make sure that does not happen.  On an even more sinister level, they know that if they can make enough people feel there is no justice in the courts then vigilantes will emerge and we will have the kind of anarchy that Antifa is pushing.  That will lead to a police state with them in control.

Will the Republicans step out of the elite conclave and start standing up for America?  Most of them don’t even know there is a problem.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-369: Dumb Question

Speaking of cultural appropriation, is the cowboy hat an attempt to channel John Wayne?  I keep seeing pictures of this congresswoman in garish headgear.  How come I am not hearing any protests by the PC police?

Dumb question. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Opus 2017-368: Headlines: Oh, Well

The headline in The Federalist read that Bill Gates admits the Common Core Curriculum (CCC) has been a failure.  For those of us who went into the classroom with our brains turned on and our memory intact that is no surprise.  CCC was simply another attempt to move public education toward a socialist propaganda tool by dumbing down learning.  It stressed group work and feeling good about a process while ignoring data and facts.  There was nothing new.  It was just well financed by people like Gates and their political cronies.

What struck me about the title was the honesty of the word “experiment”.  The liberal education establishment was simply using your children as a guinea pig to further their desire to substitute a docile mass of sheep for what used to be thinking Americans.  The following statement by Gates in a speech sounds noble.
“If there is one thing I have learned,” Gates says in concluding his speech, “it is that no matter how enthusiastic we might be about one approach or another, the decision to go from pilot to wide-scale usage is ultimately and always something that has to be decided by you and others the field.”
The next sentence is the indictment on the CCC movement.
“If this statement encompasses his Common Core debacle, Gates could have at least the humility to recall that Common Core had no pilot before he took it national.”
A pilot program is a carefully controlled experiment that is run before a new technique or product is introduced.  There was no pilot program to see if the ideas of Common Core had merit.  One of the hidden truths of public education is that there never is.  The testing is done on the children with trillions of tax dollars.

I don’t so much blame Gates as the teachers and administrators who sat like mute slugs while this was being pushed in our schools.  Gates meant well but children are not computers.  The teachers should have known better.  The problem is that the teachers were trained by people who had drunk the kool aid.

It will take years for CCC to be removed from the system.  If history is any guide it will be replaced by something just like it by the same people that brought this debacle.  I am so glad I don’t need to argue with them any more and be patted on the head.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-367: Happy All Saints Day

One of the explanations for Halloween is that it is just a celebration before All Saints Day.  With that in mind I think that everyone who went out gathering candy yesterday or partying last week should now go down to the church and spend an equal amount of time acting like a saint.

Why do I not expect a big crowd?

homo unius libri