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.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Opus 2018-147: Foundations of Privilege

If there is such a thing as “white privilege” then it stands to reason that there would also be such a thing as “black privilege”.

What would black privilege be based on? 

It is interesting the racist attitudes that come through in the Tourette responses of the left as they blurt out pet phrases.  (Apologies for the comparison to those with Tourette.)  Notice when they talk about white privilege they seem to think it involves being corporate executives and when they are worried about black privilege it means being allowed to use the bathroom at Starbucks.  The way they try to say that minorities are equal is to give them cheat points.  It is almost like they are trying to cover up their own prejudices rather than give genuine opportunity to people they look down on.  If you can make the masses happy with bread and circuses then they will never demand a voice.

Black privilege should be based on the same thing that white privilege is supposed to be based on:  Hard work, ability and as close to an even chance as can be found in human society.  You don’t achieve that kind of deserved privilege by lowering the requirements for one group.  Are different ethnic groups different?  Probably, no, make that a yes.  When it comes to the individual do those differences have any significance?  No, not at all.  Just because men are taller on average than women does not mean that the random man will be taller than the random female.  And it certainly doesn’t reflect on intelligence or skill.

America is based on individual liberty not group identity.  As the left continues to work to Balkanize us we must work to look at people by what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the content of their character.  For Christians that is summarized in a couple of concepts.  First,
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(John 3:16 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
with a reminder,
(Galatians 3:28 KJV)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
These are the ideas that are at the root of the American Experiment.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 15, 2018

Opus 2018-146: Living in Oz

Do certain spots in our culture get a pass on honesty?  In a recent discussion with my son his proposition was that the news media has always been biased.  He brought up the news coverage of the Boston Massacre, Yellow Journalism and the propaganda of World War II.  Expecting the average reporter to be objective about truth is naive and pointless.  They usually either lie or believe that what they want is truth.  Not only is that consistent with New Age thinking, it is consistent with the Christian view of original sin.  His advice was, “Get over it.”

Should we “get over it”?

Think of the different areas that we are lied to on a regular basis.  Reporters in the main stream media have a hard time seeking truth.  For them the mantra might be, “What are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”  Whether it is Trump Derangement Syndrom or Global Warming the observable facts seem to be ignored to advance the agenda of the left.  When Obama or Clinton did it, praise.  When Bush or Trump does the same, shock.  I am not sure that the news sources of the right are always innocent of this method of reporting.  I know I never read anything without my baloney meter turned on high. 

Politicians?  I know that if they have a “D” by their name they are just repeating the DNC talking points.  It is depressing how lock step the Democrats are.  The Republicans also have their share of self-serving hacks.  We are used to it and expect it.  Should we?

How about sales and advertising.  Do you believe what you see on the label.  One of my favorites is a bag of lemon drops that advertised it was a “fat free food”.  Yes, but it was all sugar.  Then you have the packages that say “sugar free”.  True, but they often have another sweetener that has just as many calories.  This one I can live with by ignoring it or buying a different product.

Then think about the fiction we read and watch.  Was Homer one of the original liars?  Is the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” deceitful?  I always like the marital arts characters who knock people across the room and they come back for more.  Really?  I can only suspend belief so much.

We have learned to live with untruth.  In entertainment it is suspending reality for the purposes of enjoyment.  Maybe we should accept the news and the news makers as just other entertainers.  Are vocalists crooning about how much they love us really any different than a senator telling us he is concerned about the good of the country.

I would take it all with a grain of salt but they tell me salt is bad for me.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Opus 2018-145: Firsts: Enough Is Enough

I never thought I would see the day but it finally arrived.  I had enough bacon. 

Of course great moments never happen in a vacuum.  It was my final dinner at my son’s house.  We had to finish things off because he has a way of not eating left overs.  We started with corn on the cob and a big salad with every bit of vegetable matter that we did not need for BLT’s later.  We decided to wait a few hours for the bacon.

When the moment arrived we had lots of tomato, three kinds of heavy bread, the outside lettuce leaves and, of course, bacon.  It was a feast and I was shocked when my appetite and my bacon ran out at the same time. 

So I had enough bacon.  Anything is possible.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 11, 2018

Opus 2018-144: Japan: Expressions of Polite, Part 11 of ?

In Japan it is considered unacceptable to blow your nose in public.  For all I know it might be unacceptable in private also.

A lot of people wear those surgical masks in Japan.  At first I thought it was people who were germophobes but I was told it was really the people who were sick.  They were wearing the mask out of consideration for the people around them.

A polite people, the Japanese.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Opus 2018-143: Fathers’ Day Is Coming

My son asked me when Fathers’ Day was scheduled this year.  I told him the partial truth, “I don’t know.”  The other part of the truth is that I don’t particularly care.  It isn’t that I don’t value fatherhood.  I do.  It has been one of the great joys of my life.  The point for me is that one day where you act like your father is important means nothing if you have not been showing that all year.

We joke about something called “Children’s Day”.  It has to be a joke because every day is Children’s Day.  The fact that I can be perpetually proud of my children makes every day a type of Fathers’ Day.  The fact that they allow me to be part of their life adds special emphasis to certain days.

When my son asked me the question I had been spending a few weeks at his house.  I fit myself around his schedule and entertain myself when he is engaged.  I fix grits for breakfast and we plan the dinners that we like but can’t have when the women are in charge.  That can run from BLT’s to Soylent in Cocoa Pebbles.  We buy weird coffees and act like we are connoisseurs who know the meanings of acidic and balance.  Did you know that you can pay $62 a pound for Jamaican Blue Mountain?  I would say that three weeks living at my son’s place is a good Father’s Day gift.  I would say three weeks in Japan with my daughter, son in law and new grandchild are also great Father’s Day gifts.

It sure beats a new tie.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-142: Headlines: Zimbabwe Reprise Continues

If you have not been following events in South Africa it is not surprise.  No one seems to be covering it.  Recently the parliament of South Africa passed a bill that allowed the government to confiscate the farms of white citizens without compensation.  I wrote about this before.  Keep in mind that the agreement between the previous white controlled government and the new black controlled government contained constitutional guarantees that this would not happen.  The South African farmers had seen what happened in Zimbabwe and did not want a reprise. 

Unfortunately promises are made to be broken and if you are in a country that feels the government gives you the right to property, the government can take away your right to property.  Australia is looking to be of assistance.  Some of South Africa’s white farmers can see the writing on the wall and are looking to get out while they are still alive.  Australia is looking for ways to help them according to the article in The South African.

It seems like a workable solution before the remaining farmers are slaughtered or evicted.  From the article it could be assumed that Australia could use more farmers. 

Let’s hope this is a win for everyone.  Black South Africa has already decided that it wants to follow the route that Zimbabwe pursued, crop failure and famine.  If I lived in South Africa I would be getting out as soon as possible with as much as possible.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 8, 2018

Opus 2018-141: A Pseudotweet

It occurred to me this morning that I have developed the strange habit of “making” my bed each day.  Something which I resisted with all the fervor of youth has now become second nature.  The first miracle is that I notice it isn’t made.  The second is that I straighten it up without an inner struggle of my spirit of liberty yearning to live free.

I don’t know when the change happened.  I am wondering why?  Is my wife a better nagger than my mother?  Did an alien possess my body?  Is it a sudden need for islands of order in my life?  Is it because I am getting old and losing my mind?  I am going to go with modern culture and claim to be the victim.

I am the victim of the modern casual approach to life.  The last wedding I attended had me standing out as one of the few men who wore a tie.  Most guests were dressed like they were going on a date to a local bar.  At church last Sunday the uniform was some sort of worn looking denim and a shirt that was not tucked in.  That spirit has embraced my inner bed maker.

For those of you who are new to this world the making of a bed used to be an arduous task.  The corners had to be neatly tucked in.  The top sheet was to be evenly folded back over the blanket, even though it would be covered by the pillows and bed spread.  The pillows were neatly arranged across the top of the bed and the bed spread was brought up over them and tucked under the front.  The bed spread had to be evenly draped on all sides.  It was quite a procedure.  No wonder I hated it.

Now I just kind of pull things up until they are generally neat.  The pillow goes wherever it ends up and since the bed spread is really a down comforter it covers a lot of uneven sheet wrinkles.  It takes a few seconds.

Am I getting better or are the expectations worse?  Is it a victory for sanity or a sign of disintegration?  This sounds like one of those stereotypical tweets that share how many squares of toilet paper you used this morning. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Opus 2018-140: Headlines: The New Lottery

The Miss America Pageant has decided to do away with the swim suit competition.  If they had just gone ahead and done it with no announcement I would have never known because I don’t think I have ever watched it unless my wife wanted to sometime in the past.  Long ago I found that walking through an expensive bakery was not a good idea for an overweight diabetic. 

What I think was interesting was the idea that the women in the competition should not be judged on looks.  Okay.  Then to be consistent we would need to bring out the burkas and hook up those machines that disguise your voice.  If we are really concerned about doing away with physical responses then we can expect to see further announcements. 

Of course if we are trying to level the playing field we will also need to do away with other areas that some might have an unfair advantage.  Since some people are born tone deaf we could not have any musical talent displayed.  Some people do not speak English so there could actually be no verbal responses possible if we want to be fair.  To be complete we need to do away with anything having to do with intelligence also. 

As we continue down the road of the absurd we need to consider the comments by some that we must be sensitive to those who were born male but identify as female and have not gone public.  In fact, maybe limiting the competition to just women seems to be a bit discriminatory.  It should be open to all 49 gender identifications, or whatever the current number is. 

I would suggest that the only logical future for the Miss America Pageant is to become the Ms/Mr America Lottery.  If that ever becomes a reality and the rewards are good enough I might be inclined to sign up but only if there is no age discrimination.

What a world we are living in.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Opus 2018-139: Japan: Paying the Bill, Part 10 of ?

In Japan you do not hand anyone money directly.  You always lay it on the counter for them to pick up.  Everywhere you go they have these little trays like you get in fancy restaurants.  You put your money on the tray.  They carefully count out your change.  They bow.  All is good in the world.

I understand that it is considered an insult to hand them the money directly.  It has something to do with prostitution.  It seems strange to us but that is the way they do it.  Some accommodations are not a burden, just hard to remember. 

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Opus 2018-138: On the Street: The Return of the Longhorn

The sign said, “Registered Longhorns for Sale”.  It is amazing what happens when society becomes so rich they don’t have time for standards.  If you ever watched cowboy movies in which they were driving cattle to the railhead you know about the role of the longhorn.  The longhorn was a type of cattle that strangely enough had long horns.  The reason the long horns were important is that they became deadly weapons when the animal felt threatened and even more deadly when they were in a bad mood.  That was all the time.  They had run wild and survived in the wild.

Longhorns were noted for their bad attitudes.  It was almost as if they knew they were born to be the central feature at a barbeque.  They were also noted as having tough, stringy meat.  It was considered a great day for steak lovers when the longhorns were cross bred with other breeds of cattle to produce more tender steaks and roasts. 

Now for some reason things come full circle.  What would be considered a cull is now “registered” as if they were really special.  Maybe they are now considered pets.  They do look majestic when the horns spread six feet or more.  Some might even consider them a romantic figure but that is beyond my ken. 

It will be interesting if Longhorn Steak ever becomes an item in expensive restaurants.  My guess will be that they can only be eaten in rooms with no air conditioning.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Opus 2018-137: I Find a New Author

How do you know if a writer is a liberal?  There are lots of clues.  I am recently working through the novels of David Baldacci.  He writes an entertaining story.  The first couple I read I enjoyed with no qualifications but as I began to read through the different series he is working on I began to see certain patterns.

In one book he continually used the acronym ISIL instead of ISIS.  As far as I know President Obama is the main one who used this term in trying to push the legitimate cause of Islam in the Middle East.  ISIS stand for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”.  ISIL stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”.  To geographically challenged Americans the question is, “So what?”  Using the term Levant is granting that the Islamic state has a legitimate claim to the land of Israel.  If you question this, Google “Levant”.  When the results come up you will see some maps on the right that include Israel.  When you look at the major cities of the Levant you will find Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.  Obama was making a political statement by his choice of words.  I have to feel Baldacci was doing the same.  The other possibility is he only reads the New York Times.

There are a lot of other clues.  The tone he takes on issues like business, medicine and such.  So far the balance between irritating liberal doggerel and a good story are coming down on the side of the story, so I will continue reading.  He seems to have a theme in some of the books.  He dealt with human trafficking in one.  The one I am reading now seems to highlight the problems in foster care.  Another dealt with secret government programs that seemed to be developing cyborg soldiers.  Good topics that need to be highlighted.  Somehow I don’t think he will ever deal with the Planned Parenthood scandal of selling baby body parts or the lack of credibility in the media.  That would be too much to hope for but I will hope anyway.

I continue reading with my baloney meter turned on and my mind in gear.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Opus 2018-136: Questions

I have been reading in Judges.  It was a bloody time.  There are chapters that have no purpose or teaching that I can see.  Does that bother me?  Yes, but it is so far down my list I don’t think about it much. 

Some people approach the Bible with the doubt of pride.  They are committed to tearing it apart and proving it wrong.  So they focus on things like the massacre of Ai.  Others approach it from the questioning of faith.  They are looking for answers to life.  I count myself in the latter.

Do I have the answer to some of your questions?  No, not yet.  I will someday.  Until then I am too busy trying to understand the rest.  I may not get to your questions until I have been resurrected for a few millennia.  Of course, by then I might already know the answer from something else I was studying.

Are questions good?  They can be.  They can also just be an expression of a desire to agitate.  What is the difference?  When you tell your children to take out the trash and they ask “Why?”  It might be genuine curiosity about why you want them to empty something they just took out without you asking.  It could also be nothing but rebellion if things are running over onto the floor.

So ask away.  Question.  And be satisfied with a frequent “I have no idea” and an occasional “Because I said so.”

homo unius libri

Friday, June 1, 2018

Opus 2018-135: Headlines: Who Is Tommy Robinson?

If our Progressive (Liberal, Democrat, Socialist, Elite, RINO) leaders have their way the experience of Tommy Robinson will soon come to a community near you.  If you don’t know about Tommy Robinson then you either are not paying attention or their plan has already isolated you in a Nanny State cocoon. 

Tommy Robinson was standing outside a courthouse in England where some Muslims were on trial for rape and assorted other crimes.  He was using Facebook to report on what was happening.  He was arrested for “breaching the peace”.  That sounds pretty serious.  Evidently he had done such a heinous things before and standing in public making comments on his Facebook page was a violation of his parole.  Within five hours he appeared before a judge and was locked up again for thirteen months.  It seems he was locked up in the same prison that contained the Muslims.  Then the judge passed down a gag order telling the news media not to tell anybody about it.  In this country you don’t have to do that because the media is so one sided, but London still has competing newspapers that like to get a scoop.

This is what the English system of justice has become.  It is what the Progressives want to see in this country.  I have often noted that our basic Bill of Rights is based on the English Declaration of Rights of 1689.  One noticeable difference is in the right to what we call Freedom of Speech.  It contains a mention of such but it only applied to members of Parliament.  The common, every day, man on the street had no such protection.

Our Founding Fathers made it clear that they were determined to break from the European model.  Today’s Bumbling Bureaucrats are doing everything they can to repair the damage.  The European Model involved hereditary class systems.  The European Model made common people subjects more than citizens.

Which brings us to the case of Tommy Robinson.  He is in jail because he spoke out against the politically correct desire to cover up and protect the atrocities being unleashed on the British people my the growing Muslim minority.  With his incarceration we are slapped up side the head with an awareness that England is not the land of the free.  It isn’t now.  Maybe it wasn’t then. 

It is time for the United States to renew its commitment to not being like Europe.  If we don’t then many of us will be facing jail time and a lot of misery.  Elections are coming.  Don’t vote for anyone who is not proud to be different from the rest of the world.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Opus 2018-134: On the Street: Tactical Bathrooms

I read that Starbucks was closed yesterday to brainwash their employees.  Since I have always tried to avoid Starbucks, I must confess I did not notice.  I doubt if I will visit them often enough to feel the difference in diversity. 

However, I used the restroom at Panera yesterday and I didn’t need a key.  I simply walked in, went to the back of the store and pushed open the door marked “men”.  That was how I was identifying yesterday.  No one shouted at me or was rude.  No one asked if I was a customer or required me to purchase anything.  In fact, since they were out of the type of bread I had come for, I did not buy anything. 

To be honest, I rarely find a facility that has the ability to be locked, let alone one having the lock engaged.  I say that having visited bathrooms all across the country and even overseas.  I have a lot of experience.  When my son was young he took it on as his personal project to visit every bathroom within sensor range.  For years my wife has had issues that require up to three stops on the way to the airport.  I know my bathrooms.  They are rarely locked.

Restrooms that are locked are in areas where the service has been abused.  I can almost pick them out from the street.  Usually they have the cashiers behind grills or bulletproof glass.  They are in areas where you might expect to find a lot of homeless or the type of citizen who likes to carve their handle on the mirror.  They are in establishments who’s outside appearance make you decide you are not thirsty enough to stop and buy a drink.  The point is there is a reason why the bathroom is locked.

So I have serious questions about the event that sparked this whole white guilt event.  Is it possible that someone stepped out of line?  Sure.  Life happens.  People are not perfect.  Did it come down the way the media portrays it?  Is the Starbucks reaction rational?  Not so much.

Meanwhile since I don’t shop there and hope never to work there the only damage is the added sense of social justice smugness that has been reinforced.

I prefer Panara coffee anyway.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 28, 2018

Opus 2018-133: Remember Day

Sunday we visited a church we had never attended before.  I am out of town and so this would be normal.  I forgot that it was Memorial Day weekend and pastors always feel a need to do something.  When he asked for all veterans to come forward I was of mixed emotions.  No one would know the difference except my family.  Later my son said he wondered if I would get up and go.  At the same time I am not ashamed of my service and it is an important time. 

So I joined the old guys shuffling to the front.  They prayed for those who had not come home from the nations wars, for those who had and were injured and for those still serving.  It didn’t hurt me to participate.

I find times like that mildly embarrassing.  I am a veteran.  I served in Vietnam and never felt any shame about that.  Okay.  You are welcome.  At the same time I don’t think I should be lumped together with the warriors.  Although I was in a war zone and did go to places where people had died and I could have died, I was never in that daily atmosphere of the battlefield.  I was never shot at.  Although I did my service I did not know the terror that many felt.  I wish there was a way that we could somehow honor those warriors for what they went through.

War is terrible, but until Jesus returns it will at times be necessary.  There are bullies and bully nations who will never back down from aggression and intimidation until someone comes along and makes their behavior too painful to continue.  We now have an all volunteer military.  I hope and pray that we never have another need for universal conscription.

It is good to remember those who have fallen.  I think it is even more important to care for the families of those in current service and pray for those on active duty.  Those of us who came home healthy and went on with life should be aware of their sacrifice more than others.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Opus 2018-132: Stroke Thoughts, Part 3 of 3, Opposites Attract

We are examining some logical reasons why the universe as we know it was not created by chance.  Keep in mind that if we got to today by a series of random events then tomorrow could be another random event and small details can have cosmic consequences.

What if positive and negative started repelling instead of attracting?  It is not just in romance that opposites attract.  It is at the root of the molecules that make up you and your toast in the morning.  How would the molecules that are you change if this concept were reversed?  Current science tells us that atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons.  Every atom exists in balance between the positive and negative.  Change how they relate and all those electrons will suddenly fly off in every direction and the entire universe becomes a nuclear explosion.  Maybe that is what the Big Bang was all about.  You say, “That can’t happen.”  How do you know? 

Those are all possible if the universe is the result of a random series of chance events.  Maybe that works for you.  It makes things like love, compassion and kindness really stupid ways to spend your time unless you prefer the feeling you get from that to pure sensual gratification.  If that is where the universe comes from then it is all a cruel joke.  Hitler becomes an acceptable role model.  Murder just becomes a way to lower the population.  Kick your dog.  Put your elbows on the table.  Jaywalk, but remember, if someone runs you down, that’s okay too.

I prefer going down the path that says there is a God who planned and created all of this.  That does not deliver you non-stop at the door to a Christian heaven but it does point you in the right direction.

Or all of this post is just accidental.  You know, like the monkeys in a room full of typewriters eventually producing the Encyclopedia Britannica. 

homo unius libri

Friday, May 25, 2018

Opus 2018-131: Stroke Thoughts, Part 2 of 3, Be Afraid

If you believe in evolution then you need to be prepared for the end of the world.  Everything could fall apart very quickly.

Let’s take a look at your favorite cold beverage.  The chances are you have ice cubes in the container.  You will notice that they are floating at the top.  Did you ever stop to think about that?  Do you remember the scientific explanation?  You are observing something that defies the general rule of physics that says things expand when they are heated and contract when they are cooled.  Most people know that.  There may be other exceptions but an important one is water.  Ice floats because when it crosses the threshold and and gets cold enough to change phases, i.e. goes from a liquid to a solid, instead of contracting it expands slightly.  That means that its mass becomes less than the water around it and it rises.  Simple science.  Understood physics. 

What if, by random chance, that law of nature decides it is bored and wants to change its behavior?  Ice stops floating.  It contracts like it is supposed to do.  It accumulates at the bottom of the ocean, far from the heat of the sun, and never melts.  The next layer of ice forms and sinks.  Soon you have the oceans frozen over and life as we know it is impossible.  I have no idea how this would effect the rest of the universe.  That would be enough.  So if you believe in evolution and random chance, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Tonight, while you are sleeping could be the moment.

And keep an eye on the ice in your glass.

What about diffusion?  If I remember my high school science, diffusion is the movement of molecules from an area of greater density to an area of lesser density.  It is how our lungs work with oxygen and carbon dioxide.  It is how you smell the roast burning in the oven when you are in the living room.  It is a common event.  It is regulated by a lot of laws of physics that I would not even know how to look up.  What if tonight while you were asleep the laws of physics were tweaked and the oxygen and carbon dioxide stopped moving back and forth?  Or what if it only slowed down 50%?  If you believe that life is a series of accidents then you have no reason to believe that could not happen tonight, or before I stop writing.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Opus 2018-130: Stroke Thoughts, Part 1 of 3

An acquaintance just had a mild stroke.  He is not a believer.  How do you talk to something like this?  His journey has taken him through a number of different religious experiences and left him outside of all of them.  How do you discuss the big questions if they come up.  Obviously you make small talk and cover sports and the weather but when you have had a brush with death it is possible that the conversation will get a little more serious. 

When you come close to death you wonder what is the meaning of life.  Is there any?

The evidence leads me to one of two options:  Believe in personal God or sink into nihilism.

To start with I reject the evolutionary approach.  My main reason for this is not that there cannot be any kind of change or development, there can and is.  What I reject is that the universe is the result of random events, or chance.  Under this theory the universe as we know it is an accidental creation.  In an infinite series of possibilities, this reality is only one of many.  In an infinite number of possibilities everything will eventually happen.

Okay.  I do not say that is not an option, I just say that if that is the answer then I might as well commit suicide because everything is meaningless.  If the universe as we know it is the result of a series of random changes then there is nothing to keep another random change from negating all that exists.  Consider the gambler who is on a roll.  He has had a series of hits playing a specific number at roulette.  He keeps putting all of his winnings on a random number.  He roles again and wins again.  Rinse and repeat as the label says.  In an infinite set of realities there is one where he will keep winning just because that will happen sometime in an infinite series.  The problem is that it only takes one miss to wipe him out.

If you believe in random evolution then you also need to believe that it all could disappear in the next second.  If you are going to be consistent you need to grab for all the gusto while you still have a chance.  Nothing matters except your immediate gratification.

“Nonsense,” you say.  Nothing could make that happen.  Well, let me give you a few examples that even I a non-scientist can see.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, May 21, 2018

Opus 2018-129: More Ivanhoes Needed

I used to hear the phrase “barking up the wrong tree”.  I apologize for pointing this out if you are familiar with it but the way our culture is going you never know what is still known.  It is amazing some times what you need to explain.  An example from the other direction, I had to have my middle school students explain to me who Kim Kardashian was.  I am still not sure what she has ever done besides exude sex.

The conspiracy nuts are barking up the right tree.  They have all kinds of complicated plots going on by the cabal of the deep state.  Everyone they don’t like is deep in the world wide conspiracy involving drugs, slavery, pedophilia, murder and body parts.  You might have a white hat today but be “exposed” tomorrow as a closet black hat.  Then the next day you can be Ivanhoe again. 

Keep in mind that just because a peanut looks like a nut, has a shell you crack, tastes like a nut, has a name that includes “nut” and is found in cans of mixed nuts does not make it a nut.  That is to say that many of the conspiracies do have genuine roots.  I believe the problems are more common that most of us know.  I also believe it is not as pervasive as they claim.

It sounds like President Trump is starting to move against these entrenched forces of evil.  We need to be praying for his safety and wisdom.  Evil exists.  Evil has power.  There is little we can do against EVIL but there is everything we can do against evil.  We can clean up our little corner of the world.  We can refuse to compromise for our short term gain.  We can vote thoughtfully. 

I don’t know the exact original quote but the idea that people get the government they deserve keeps coming  back to me.  Do your best to deserve the best.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Opus 2018-128: 0 for 2

There are two big events that I have not followed, the royal wedding and the film festival.  I see them getting a lot of press coverage but really, I could not care less.

I wish the Royals every happiness.  I hope they have a long and satisfying marriage.  It will be an uphill battle in this day and age, but I hope they make it.  I doubt if I will check in with them again.

As far as Cannes goes, I hope they lose a fortune on every film they make.  None of the titles do I recognize.  Few of the names ring a bell with me.  Their importance to the well being of the world is in the negative realms of nonsense.  Tide coming out with a new and improved formula would be more important to the world.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Opus 2018-127: A New Game

I just thought of a new game.  At least it is new to me.  You may have been playing it for years.  How about a competition to see who can bring up a specific ad on their computer.  Or you could go for how long it would take.  Have you noticed that when you look for something you start getting ads related to your search?  For instance, I looked at book shelf and now I am inundated with offers for furniture. 

The rules would require some kind of limitations, like if you were looking for left-handed monkey wrenches you could not use any of those words or even the word “tools”.  The prize could be a cookie that banned all advertising.

The world of the internet is the source of continual creativity and endless bargains.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-126: Headlines: Where Have All the Babies Gone

The lead story at the Washington Free Beacon dealt with a decline in the birth rate in America.  This is not a new issue.  The graph they showed had a steady decline for over 10 years.  They gave a lot of reasons for the decline including some who are blaming it on President Trump.  Go figure.

Some of the theories are just liberal boiler plate.  For instance, one of their big reasons for the decline in the birth rate was economic problems.  People felt like they could not afford to have children.  This was obviously written by someone who didn’t get out much.  The decrease in the number of children is not obvious in the poorer areas.  I used to work at a school full of poor people and those women just kept pumping them out.  It is the wealthy that are having fewer children.  Actually I should say the middle classes.  I don’t know many wealthy people but I do know a few in the middle classes.  It is amazing how many of my children’s generation are not having children.  They are educated and have good jobs.  They are wonderful people who would make great parents.  They don’t seem to be able to have children.

Then there is a theory I picked up on some fly-by-night web site somewhere in my foggy memory.  Their theory was that since it is cool to be thin women are not having children.  It wasn’t the obvious look of pregnancy.  It had to do with the theory of evolution and how women were designed so that if they did not have enough body fat their fertility would go down.  It was supposed to protect them during times of famine.  Since the poor tend to be more obese it stands to reason that the fashion conscious yuppies and millennials have a harder time getting pregnant.

I think the lower birth rate is a sign of economic prosperity.  It has been noted that as societies get wealthier the birth rate declines.  As health care improves the birth rate declines.  If you know your children are going to live you know you don’t need to many to guarantee some will survive.  If you know you can buy a tractor and milking machines you don’t need so many for labor around the farm. 

So up to a certain point the declining birth rate can be a plus factor.  Just because I want more grandchildren doesn’t mean it is going to happen.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 18, 2018

Opus 2018-125: Prepare Yourself

In Texas we are going through another heat wave.  We need to remind ourselves about the tendency we have as humans to respond to anecdotal experiences instead of evaluating the full slate of evidence.  I refer to the manipulation called “global warming”.  Those of us who have memory spans longer than the time between Fake News Trump Attacks realize that the data does not back up anthropomorphic climate change.  Let’s act like it.

There is a movement in the intellectual elites of the left to change from the scientific method to the Marxist method.  That means the published evidence is the group of carefully selected facts that back up the conclusion we want to reach.  I saw it when I was teaching.  The administrators and their gurus began talking about evidence backed research instead of scientific studies.  Evidence backed research is based on collecting stories that reinforce you point and only telling those stories.  You see it every day in the Acronym media.  One example I kept hearing was that when you fail students it causes them to doubt themselves and so they don’t graduate from high school.  The point was that we were causing them to fail.  It never occurred to them, or if it did they would not admit it, that people who will drop out of school would also be the ones who tended to not have the skills or habits to make them successful.  Which caused which? 

When we were going through cold spells we had all kinds of jokes about global warming.  Now that the days are getting longer it is inevitable that the days will get hotter.  At present they are talking about record highs.  I am sure we will see some swipes from the climatistas about how it is all because of “climate change”.  No, it is because of spring and summer.

Enjoy the heat because that thing called winter will be back.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-124: Firsts: Walking the Dog Texas Style

Texas seems to have its own way of doing things.  We have one family down our street that is out daily walking their three dogs.  Today I had a quick glace of someone out walking his pets and I had to get where I could take a second look.  He was walking a dog, a pig and a goat.  None of them were on leashes or harnesses.  They all responded to his direction and seemed very happy to be part of the family.

Only in Texas.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Opus 2018-123: GPS Walk

It has been around 50 years but I still remember the faith walks.  It was part of a college Psych class and was all the rage.  You would submit to a blind fold and have someone else lead you around the campus and you would trust them to keep you safe.  On the secular side it had to do with being able to trust other people.  The spiritual lesson for Christians was to illustrate the idea of walking by faith. 

In current culture this is lived out every day by people who would reject the whole idea of walking by faith.  In this case it is the GPS interface that is being trusted.  If you are one of the few who have never used them they can also inform you about road conditions and traffic flow.  If you have blind faith you will find yourself being led around the barn to get in the front door.  If you insist on following every direction you will find yourself driving into ditches when your phone tells you to turn left and the road goes right.

When it works as intended it is a perfect example of what it means to walk by faith.  You will get directions and they may take you in a way that makes no sense to you but the GPS knows things you don’t, just as God knows things we don’t.  One of the problems my wife has when I try to use it involves the fact that she wants the phone to tell her things it is not ready to tell her.  She wants to be in charge.  When dealing with cyber gods I agree with that.  When waiting on the God of the universe I need to learn patience.

Technology imitates life. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-122: Japan: Star Trek Bathrooms, Part 9 of ?

Public rest rooms in Japan almost make the trip worthwhile.  They really get into their sanitation.  Relieving yourself becomes a major event.

The have heated toilet seats.  Maybe your Lexus has heated seats but have you ever considered one for the bathroom and of course they are padded.

Then there are the bidets on demand.  In addition you can have a rectal shower with controls for how strong the flow would be.  I must confess that I don’t have any idea the difference between a bidet and the shower feature.  I was not even close to trying them.

They also have what you might call Music to Fart By.  This is more in the lady’s room than the men’s.  The idea is that the music will drown out any offensive noises that you might make while doing your thing.  The stalls are also often totally confined rooms so you have to live with what you make.

Then there are what are called “Squatty potties” by some.  These are holes in the floor that meet all your needs.

To top it all off there are no paper towels.  I always found an electric dryer but I have heard that some places do not even offer that.  People carry their own little towels to use when needed.

If you feel you have done everything that America has to offer you might want to take a trip to Japan just for the experience of their bathrooms.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 14, 2018

Opus 2018-121: Thanks Thoughts: Yokes

I was reading in Proverbs and came across this verse.
(Proverbs 14:4 KJV)  Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
It stood out to me because I had quoted it to some people working in a cluttered environment.  I was pointing out that clutter is often the sign of work going on.  As I read it I noticed one thing that was not mentioned:  the yoke.

Certain inventions have changed the way our society functions.  They have made it possible for common people to gain security and success.  One of them was the yoke.  Before the yoke draft animals were only for the rich.  An ox or horse could not earn its daily grain because it could only pull so hard with a rope around its neck without choking.  The yoke put the pressure on the bones of the shoulders and produced much more work for the same effort.  Suddenly the peasant could afford an ox because the ox generated wealth.  No longer did he need to hook his wife and children to the plow. 

How many little things will I use today that were once revolutionary?  Do I marvel every time I flick a switch and the light comes on?  Am I overcome with awe when I zip my pants up in less than a second?  Do I rejoice when I hop in my car and drive seven miles to pick up a quart of milk?  How about when I hear the thump in the night and realize that I not only have a baseball bat but six rounds of lead if the wood isn’t enough.

So much that we take for granted.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-120: Cornerstone Considerations: CUSA, The Iran Deal

I have not read any “news” articles about it but I am coming across the idea that Iran might release a list of people who took bribes to endorse the big payoff they received from Obama.  It sounds good but I am afraid we need to get out the salt shaker and take a few grains.  My guess is that there will be some interesting revelations but the spill as a whole would fall into the category of fake news.  Since when can we take the word of Iran on anything?

As much as we might want to see and believe the list I think it would need to be verified.

If it can be, then it is time for some trials for more than bribery.  Some crimes are well defined in the Constitution. 

Article IV, Section 3.
1.  Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.  No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
The Founders were serious about this.  Maybe we should be too.  And when it says “two witnesses” it doesn’t mean CNN and MSNBC.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Opus 2018-119: Firsts: Eco-Wasping

This was not the first time I have attacked the wasps around our house.  It was the first time I did it without insecticides. 

We are out in the country.  Wasps have a place in the food chain and I accept that.  However, there place is not on my porch or in my living room.  If I never got buzzed I would be willing to let them live in the brush around my house.  I generally don’t mess with spiders if they stay outside.  If I could communicate I would tell them that but they don’t seem to want to listen.

I have used different sprays and they work well.  I have no complaints on that but I begin to wonder about the possible build up of toxic chemicals.  As an old man I figured I could out live the results but now I am a grandparent and things look different.

So I went on line and looked for alternatives.  One that I kept seeing was a simple solution of dishwashing soap and water.  If you want to get fancy you can add some peppermint oil.  In all the videos the wasps would drop fast enough that I would not need to worry about revenge.  One guy was spraying the wasps inside a small greenhouse with no special clothes and his son playing around his feet.

I gave it a try.  I went out around dawn.  The wasps are supposed to be sleeping in at that point.  I had found a series of new nests the day before and had plenty of targets.  I hit the first one and some of them literally dropped like rocks immediately.  Others struggled for a bit but did not know what hit them.  I tried a second nest and one managed to fly away so I decided I would retreat while still enjoying the flush of victory.  Later I will check to see the results and knock down the residue.

Why the peppermint?  They say that peppermint and water by itself will kill the larvae but the main reason was that wasps don’t like the smell and it will keep them from coming back. 

Now I have to deal with my wife asking, “What happened to all my dish soap?”

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Opus 2018-118: Firsts: NRA Convention

When my wife suggested getting out of town for a few days she had a number of items on her agenda.  The only one that materialized as planned was attending the NRA convention.  This was the first time I hazarded an appearance.  I do not like big crowds and long lines.  I assumed I would not be attending the events with big names and waiting lists.  My experience at conventions is that the sessions that are really worth going to are so crowded that the benefit is sucked out of the air as far as I am concerned.

I set my sights on not attending any of the big events and it seems my expectations were correct.  By the time I got around to checking things out everything was sold out.  My main interest was walking through the vender section and seeing what it was like.  We went on Friday afternoon hoping that would be the least crowded time.  Dallas traffic reminds me of L.A.  Every time we went somewhere in the area we ran into accidents and construction that snuffed out spontaneity.  That worked out well though.  We were able to listen to President Trump’s speech while we enjoyed the red tail lights in front of us. 

It was an overwhelming display of free enterprise and enthusiasm about the Second Amendment.  People were friendly and polite.  It was crowded but there was very little pushing and shoving.  My wife commented on how clean cut the crowd looked.  I guess she was expecting a Duck Dynasty style.  I don’t know if she was disappointed or encouraged.  There was a lot to look at and if you had to spend money you could find a lot of outlets.  I did not see any seedy gun hustlers.  I am sure that you could have purchased a gun but the general pattern was you placed an order.  Of course I did not have time to see everything so they may have been hiding some dark tunnel.

So I have been to an NRA Convention.  Will I do it again?  I don’t know.  Ask me next year.  It depends on how bored I am.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 7, 2018

Opus 2018-117: Election 2018: Selective Shutdown

I was drawn to a post at the Daily Signal that turned out to be letters written in response to an earlier interview with Betsy DeVos.

Since she is Secretary of Education you can assume it had to do with education.  It was interesting enough in its own way but the comment I read in the first post about shutting down the Department of Education was what got my attention.  It was not mentioned in the interview.

It should have been.  Shutting down the Department of Education should be the focus of educational reform.  I am sure they mean well and think they can tweak the existing structure.  The power brokers in D.C. may have even thought of that years ago but there is something that happens when people become a part of the institution.  They forget that the institution is not the end but the means.  When it ceases to produce results it needs to be done away with and they are still trying to fix it.  Think of a field that has had corn or cotton planted year after year.  Every year the yield gets smaller until it is useless.  It is time to change the crops.  Maybe it is time to build condos.

These articles dealt with the Department of Education.  It is just one of many federal behemoths that have become useless tails looking for a dog to wag.  I think this could be an issue in the campaigns for 2018.  We don’t need reform that is incremental.  We need to fumigate.

If they can’t see the picture, vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Opus 2018-116: On the Street: It’s Funny How That Works

My wife recommended a book to me written by Jerome Corsi called Killing the Deep State.  It is in the conspiracy theory genre and is very supportive of President Trump.  Since I had a gift card from Barns and Noble, I figured I would use it to bring my cost on the book.  I went shopping.

The sales clerk knew the book.  She knew what it looked like.  She knew where it was supposed to be.  No book.  She spent some time on the computer and took me to the section it would have been in if it wasn’t on the kiosk for new releases.  No book.  She checked the computer again and it said there were four of them in the store.  Still no book.  She checked with other employees and no one could find any of the four that were supposed to be in the store.

I have heard about this phenomenon but never experienced it.  On the kiosk were the books by Hillary and Comey.  There was a book by Madeline Albright and a selection of other works by people who had no place in their world for Donald Trump.  The only one missing was the one by the conservative.  Strange how those things happen.

I eventually found the book in another Barns and Noble store.  It was where it was supposed to be along with the others.  It took me about 30 seconds. 

This is one reason why people go to the internet and the local stores are struggling.  It is also an example of the kind of subtle forces of the left that are trying to mold the thinking of the masses.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 4, 2018

Opus 2018-115: Japan: The Price of Polite, part 8 of ?

Japan is a polite society.  They are bowing all the time.  It is a part of their culture. 

On the return flight you see it.  The people at the desk bow to you as you come and as you go.  The gate attendant would stop and bow to the entire room before he preceded to open the door to the ramp.  When they began to give the safety lecture before take off the attendants would bow several times to the passengers. 

The ultimate was after we boarded the airplane and it started backing away from the gate.  If you looked out the window at the right time you could see the entire ground crew lined up.  They would bow to the plane and then wave as you began your journey.  Nice touch.  That of course stopped once we were on the return flight and the Americans took over.

On their cross country trains you are considered very rude if anyone can hear you talking.  It is considered the ultimate in vulgarity to blow your nose in public.  They have little access to napkins.  You are expected to bring your own.  As an extension of this they have no public trash cans and yet there is no litter. 

There are no Politeness Police that I noticed.  They don’t need them.  The social pressure is enough to keep everyone in line.  They are polite and seem to be happy as a people.  At the same time the suicide rates in school age children are out of site.  While they are hard working, punctual and trustworthy, Japanese are not known for being creative or original in their thinking.

Is there a cost for all the rigid traditions?  I think so.  Much of the price they pay is something they are willing to accept.  They have an orderly life but they live in very small houses, drive tiny cars and have fewer options.  Those are not evil but they are things that most Americans would not settle for.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Opus 2018-114: Headlines: Why Alfie Needs to Be Remembered

Alfie Evans has died.  It may be that he would have died no matter what course was taken.  We will never know.

His death saddens me.  This is partly a personal reaction.  I have just experienced the joy of having a grandchild.  Already she has been back to the hospital.  It grabs hold of your heart and squeezes when it happens.  I can remember a time when my son was in a coma and not responding.  I know the fear and when it becomes a reality you want to go into denial.  So it touched a chord.

The way he died fills me with horror.  To think that a government agency would be able to make the kind of decisions that were made means tyranny that we can only have nightmares about.  And people want to bring British style medical care to the United States.  The terror is not personal.  I am not afraid of dying.  I am getting up there.  I know Jesus.  I am ready to go.  No big deal.  The day may come when my children are forced to approve the removal of life support.  I guess you could say I can live with that.

But I have children and a hope for future generations.  I fear for them if the Democrats (Progressives, liberals, socialists, communists, Rinos, elites) have their way and decide what is best for each of us.  It wasn’t that they turned the machines off.  That may have been a necessary move.  There are times when you take away the artificial supports.  But then the death panels continued to make decisions they should not have been allowed to do.  Food was withheld.  At one point water was withheld.  That is criminal.  Then you have all the outside groups that volunteered to take the baby and see what they could do at no expense to the British Government.  I understand even the Pope tried to intervene.

The government had decided that this child had to die for his own good.  That was not their decision to make in a free country.  I guess that tells you something about liberty in Great Britain.  And again, keep in mind, the liberals want to bring it here.  Alfie may have died anyway.  I guess we will never know.

Next time you hear a liberal talking about health care for all, remember Alfie.  Vote the suckers out, while you still have a chance.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Opus 2018-113: On the Street: Vulture Envy

Have you ever been jealous of a vulture? 

I was sitting out on my porch playing my guitar as the day faded.  It was cloudy and very windy.  If you were in a bad mood it would be dismal.  If you had watched a horror movie you would have been convinced that something wicked this way came.  Since I had a porch, a guitar and a view I was enjoying the moment.  Then I noticed the vultures and got a bit jealous.

I am told their correct name is turkey vultures and they are usually busy working to clean up the highways.  Today they were obviously not hungry but they were rejoicing in their niche in creation.  They were soaring, diving, ascending and just rejoicing on being vultures on a windy day.  They were probably laughing at me because I was stuck on the ground.  At one point a few went by to see if I was road kill.  I wanted to get up and join them.

It was not to be.  I probably would not have enjoyed their idea of dinner either.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Opus 2018-112, Cornerstone Considerations: CUSA, Time for Section 4

I am thinking that the United States Army may need to invade the People’s Republik of Kalifornia soon.  They will do so on Constitutional grounds.  You find the following in the Constitution, Article 4, Section. 4. 
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.”  
California is moving away from being a republic.  The move started with the open primaries.  With open primaries the domination of one party is assured.  Last time I voted in California I was not able to vote for any candidate who was not a Democrat.  One party rule does not a republic make. 

Now we are moving to open tyranny and violation of the First Amendment.  A recent article in the Gateway Pundit pointed out that a bill has been introduced into the state legislature that would allow prior restraint of free speech.  To those of you who were not paying attention in civics, that is called censorship when it is done by the government and the bill plans for the government to be the one approving on-line content.  How do you think that will go in California?

So the federal government has a clear responsibility to restore a free society.

The second part of Section 4 has to do with protecting against invasion.  If there is a state being invaded it is California.  Being masochistic, California is enjoying the pain but it is still an invasion.  One wave comes from Latin America.  A second wave is coming from Asia.  It is very similar to the German barbarians flooding into the Roman Empire and if it is not stopped the results will be the same.

So it is time for the federal government to do its job.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 30, 2018

Opus 2018-111: Ode to Old: Stockinged Up

I realized the other day that I will probably never buy another pair of sox.  The main reason is I have been the beneficiary of my son’s evolving taste in haberdashery.  He keeps changing the kind of sox he wears.  As a result I end up with bags of perfectly good stuff.  Currently I have a profusion in white and black.  I have a small selection in natural colors.  Most are cotton, some are wool and a few are artificial materials.  For white cotton I literally have a box in the garage, a large sack on the floor of my closet and a large basket on the shelf. 

Also at my age I don’t think I will need to do any stocking up unless the fashion goes back to high water pants and pastel sox for men.  Even then I don’t think I would buy any.

Getting old has some advantages.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Opus 2018-110: Headlines: Who Likes Trump and Emma?

Recent events make me begin to wonder about President Trump.  I am referring to the positive comments uttered by Kanye West.  I know that the enemy of my enemy can be my ally.  What do you do when someone on the left endorses your man?  To quote Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify.”

There are many issues in the world that I am either not bright enough to understand, don’t have time to research or am too lazy to study.  In those situations what I do is take the word of people I trust.  Kanye West is a name I know.  How could I teach middle school and not have heard of him.  To this day I cannot remember how to pronounce his first name.  Should I be concerned about his pronouncements?  I find them of interest but he is not high on my list of wise men. 

A case in point:  As I did a little research I find that he has just praised Emma Gonzalez of bald headed Parkland fame.  I was trying to verify what my memory told me, he is married to Kim Kardashian.  These are not marks of becoming a trusted source.

Was his comment about Trump just a publicity tweet?  Was it a case of the broken clock being right twice a day?  Was it sincere?  Will it last?

I am not going to buy a bust of Kayne to put in my guru room.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 27, 2018

Opus 2018-109: Japan: Great Service, No Tipping

It was surprising how hard it was for me to get used to the idea of not tipping.  In Japan, tipping is not done.  I am not sure why but you don’t do it in most places. 

The problem is that the service is usually so good you want to leave a little something.  While in Japan the kids took us to a number of different types of restaurants.  The staff was attentive and polite.  Even though there were language difficulties they worked at it.  On our way home we had a stopover in Tokyo.  We decided to try one of the local places in the airport.  While I was waiting I dropped a straw and immediately there was this guy who was there to pick it up and get me another one.  Then when he saw me looking for my wife he told me where she was.  Then when I started to take our drinks over to her he insisted on taking them for me.  Later he brought us napkins and finger wipes.  All of this in a public airport where you don’t tip. 

I could get used to it.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Opus 2018-108: Japan: In a Time Machine

It is tomorrow in Japan.  It is really strange living a day ahead of the world I come from.  I see it in the posts I make.  I see it in the blogs I read.  It isn’t just the hour shift.  When I look at the date and time app I see that today hasn’t even arrived yet back home.  It requires planning to know when to make phone calls.  I have found that calling someone in the afternoon and finding them sound asleep is not good for relationships.

Japan also has some aspects of America in the past.  There is an honesty here that we used to have in the States.  I have been watching a bike that some kid left on the curb.  Three weeks later it is still there.  No one has stolen it.  When you go to the airports you find that the baggage carts are free. 

Some aspects of Japan are like America’s future.  Socialism is part of life.  Regulations are omnipresent.  That causes the price of everything to be very high and wages to be very low.  It is part of the reason that Japanese homes are smaller and cars are tiny.  They are not hungry but they also are limited in expectations.  It is like Boston in the People’s Republik of Massachusetts, it is a great place to visit but I would not want to live here.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Opus 2018-107: Small Victories

I didn’t eat any peanuts yesterday.  Okay, neither did you but were you sitting at a table with an endless supply included in the cost of your meal?  We were at a steak place that has barrels of peanuts in every corner and buckets of peanuts on every table.  It is awesome.  I love peanuts.  I did not eat any.

I kept telling myself they were the spawn of Satan there to temp me into gluttony.  I would have been partly right.  They were tempting and I have good, logical reasons to scarf.  If they are included in the price of the meal it would be good stewardship to eat as many of them as I can and then take my steak home, right?  I keep telling myself that but my scale at home reminds me that I would be taking home more than the steak.

As a diabetic I have to watch what I eat and keep my weight down.  Many of you have been there.  You can lose the weight.  We have all done it many times.  The issue is that it keeps coming back.  One of the culprits is free peanuts.  Ounce by ounce, pound by pound the scales keep reporting the facts.

Peanuts are good.  They are not evil.  However I believe gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins and moderation is one of the seven ignored virtues.  I am not good at moderation.  I could have had a few peanuts and been okay.  I know my limits or at least I did this trip.  I refrained.

I had a six ounce sirloin at 250 calories and double broccoli at about 100.  I ignored the peanuts and declined the rolls dripping in butter.  It was enough.  This time.

But those peanuts looked good.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-106: Plead Guilty

I am sure you have heard about the lawsuit the Democrats are filing against everyone else.  They are accusing Trump and a long list of co-conspirators with conspiring to win, sorry, rig, the 2016 election.  I would suggest that the Trump administration work out a plea bargain where they admit their guilt and offer them a dollar in compensation.

You see, the purpose of a political party, advertising, research, rallies, voter registration and get out the vote efforts is to rig the election so you win.  The general idea in traditional forms of democracy is that the one who is more successful in getting more votes wins the election.  That does not play well with California and the rest of the Democrats.  If you have ever played Monopoly with someone who demands to be the banker and cheats, you know the scenario.  When you cheat, if you lose then it must be because the other person cheated more than you.

So yes, the election of 2016 was rigged.  Until the Democrats succeed in turning the country into a one party paradise like California and Venezuela those of us who love liberty will continue to rig elections, by getting more votes.

Guilty as charged.  So sue me.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Opus 2018-105: One Man’s Suppression Is Another Man’s Genocide

You always need to ask yourself the bias or slant of a source.  One of the books I read this year involved the history of the Arabs.  It was written by a British professor with an Arabic name.  He was born in Lebanon to a Christian family.  I worked with a teacher who had a similar background and, although I enjoyed the spirited discussions we had, he was a total left winger who embraced most of the anti-American and anti-Israel memes of our day.  I would guess Hourani would be similar, a great human being as long as you didn’t cross certain lines.

I say that leading up to his book, A History of the Arab Peoples, and what it had to say about the Armenian Holocaust.  In a word, nothing.  He did mention something that hinted that there might have been a few problems, but genocide or holocaust, no.  Here is how he dealt with the event commemorated today,
“This was shown in the 1890's, when nationalist parties in another Christian community, the Armenians, began to work actively for independence the Ottomans were able to suppress the movement with great loss of life, and without effective European action,...”  p. 280
From his point of view it was just another example of how Muslims have responded to Christians through the ages.  1890 is a bit early.  I would guess that the serious attempts to kill Christians were put off until the world was distracted by World War I.

As with the Jewish Holocaust, never forget.

Hourani, Albert.  A History of the Arab Peoples.  Cambridge:  The Belknap
        Press of Harvard University Press, 1991.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-104: Headlines: Yeti ‘nother Corporate Suicide

Yeti corporation has reportedly decided to not sell their products to the NRA.  Is this Fake News or real?  This is either another example of liberals in zombie mode or an incredibly clever marketing technique.

It could be that the Yeti corporation has decided they have made enough money and it is time to self destruct.  If you were to line up the members of different SJW organizations who had used their own money to buy a Yeti you could probably fit them in the transgender bathroom at the next Superbowl while the NRA members who had bought one would fill the stadium.  I know my children have been thinking about investing in a Yeti for me at some future gift giving moment.  I don’t think that is going to happen now.

Is it a marketing technique?  What spurs this thought are the numerous links to sites reporting NRA members blowing up their Yeti coolers.  My first thought was that if this turns out to be a false rumor then they will need to buy another Yeti cooler.  So this could be Yeti being clever and trying to sell more products.  This is reinforced by another headline link that claims the report is inaccurate. 

So far I have not fallen for the click bait.  We will see how it works out.

Just when you think stupid has figured out which shoe goes on the left foot something like this hits the net. 

homo unius libri

Monday, April 23, 2018

Opus 2018-103: Natural Diversity

As the sun began to rise I found myself contemplating the beauty of creation in all of its variety and change.  How many shades of green are there?  How many changes does the sky have hidden in the pre-dawn darkness?  How many different types of wildflowers are there within a mile of my house?

What we see can convey only a vague sense of the reality of the perfection of come.  Was it Plato that talked about the ideal which we can never really know except for shadows on the back of the cave of life?  It was one of those Greeks.  Someday we will be able to be overcome by the reality of purity.  What does pure red look like?  What is pure strawberry?  What will be served at the Wedding feast of the Lamb?

Enjoyment of purity will be a small segment of what we will experience in eternity.  Most of what we will experience will be the cacophony of combinations.  Actually that is the wrong word because cacophony assume dissonance.  We will experience total consonance.  Is there a pure coffee flavor?  I doubt it because every coffee is a unique blend of different nuances.  Each is complete in itself.  It is a diversity that we ignore here. 

We will glory in diversity but it will be a diversity in balance.  A diversity that does not involve belittling one savor over another.  A diversity that is based on contribution to the whole and not parochialism.  We hear a lot about diversity but it is base on conforming to one groups preferences rather than recognizing the spectrum of strengths.

Cultural diversity is a necessity but its beauty will be found in its blend, not its equality.  It will not be achieved by the kind of seminars that the liberals are pushing.  It will only be achieved when we all embrace the value we have as children of a complex and infinite God who created us in His image.

Maybe not in this life but definitely in the next. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Opus 2018-102: Headlines: Starbucks, the Next Step

I am sure that everyone who has electricity in their home has heard about the nonsense going on at Starbucks.  The only thing more ridiculous than having their staff of liberals take diversity training is to require customers to go through indoctrination before they can buy coffee.  It could be like a concealed carry permit for having a gun but it would apply to your ability to buy coffee.  You may have also seen the “free coupon” being circulated for a free cup of coffee.  The coupon is fake; the nonsense very real.

I came across the coupon on the Gun Free Zone site.  It was not the first time I had seen it but the post included a comment that got me thinking.
“What I do know is that if Starbucks tired any harder to acquiesce to the Progressive mob, Starbucks better install showers in their bathrooms and just allow anybody who is a member of a Progressive victim group to live in Starbucks, rent free.”
There is a real opportunity here.  What will be the response if at closing time a group of black customers refuse to leave?  They feel it is racist to not let them spend the night.  Is Starbucks going to call the police and have them removed or will the race card once again trump the law and common sense?  I will wait with interest.  If you have ever seen how long it takes for a landlord to have freeloaders who have stopped paying their rent evicted you will know that this could be entertaining to watch.  I have also heard of people camping out in empty houses and the owners not being able to get the out.

So keep your doors locked and although I would not recommend you buy coffee at Starbucks you might cruise by after closing hours and see if the nonsense has taken the next logical step.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-101: Japan: Stupid Questions, Part 5 of ?

As I shared earlier, our first grandchild has arrived and we were able to be in Japan for the event.  I got a picture from my daughter this morning of the new family leaving the hospital after a doctor visit.  It is a good way to start off the morning.

Which brings me to The Ultimate Stupid Question which was asked the day after she was born, “Do you want to hold her?”  I had waited decades for this moment.  The real question was, “Are you willing to let me hold her?”

Awesome moments are worth flying around the world for.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, April 20, 2018

Opus 2018-100: Headlines: The Strange Case of Natalie Portman

Now I know who Natalie Portman is.  Don’t ask me tomorrow, I might have forgotten.  She evidently had a part in one of the Star Wars movies.

The Washington Free Beacon tells us that she was due to receive an award from something called the Genesis Prize Foundation.  This seems to be a mini-Nobel Prize group located in Israel.  The prize was to “for her work upholding the advancement of women’s rights and philanthropy.” 

Evidently she refused to travel to Israel because she felt the country was being mean to Hamas.  That would seem to put her in the mainstream of the left.  What makes it seem a bit odd is that she was born in Israel and claims to be a big supporter of the country.  I find myself in a state of cognitive dissonance.  How can you be a supporter of Israel and get offended when they protect themselves from terrorists?

Only in the mind of a liberal snowflake, but are there any other kind?

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-099: The Cycle Continues

As I was listening to my hymn collection I noticed that I did not recognize the selection.  That is not unusual.  I have several sets of CD’s that contain the works of 16th and 17th century hymn writers and sung by some big name choir.  What struck me was the awareness that I was experiencing the same phenomenon I observed at church when the contemporary version of worship was going on.  The music was rather uninspired and unoriginal.  I could not really tell one hymn from the next.  It wasn’t a problem of skill or content.  It was repetitious.

We make fun of 7/11 music.  It is a phenomenon of the ages.  There have always been places for repetition.  If done properly it reinforces truth and aids memory.  If done poorly it does the opposite.  For me much of what is called contemporary music does the latter.  I need to learn not to get too hysterical about it.

We are at the end of a centuries long selection process where the dull and empty hymns that were churned out have been left in the dust of history.  That is good and natural.  We are the beneficiaries of that process.  Take Charles Wesley for instance.  The number I kept coming up with for just him was over 6,000 hymns.  I don’t know about you but I don’t care how much of a genius someone is, 6,000 hymns is going to stretch creativity.  Somewhere in there are going to be a few misses.  Actually what you have are a few hits with a lot of 20th Century Worship Team material left over.

We are now in the beginning of a process of sorting through the offerings of a new generation.  It is probably normal that much of it is boring and repetitive.  It will take time for the cream to rise to the top.  I keep telling myself that through gritted teeth.

It just seems like the “worship teams” have an aversion to cream and a love of skim milk.

I will endure.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Opus 2018-098: Japan: National Anthem, part 4 of ?

We are visiting family stationed at a military base in Japan.  My last extended exposure to a military base was during the Vietnam war.  It is much more pleasant being a civilian than a draftee. 

Yesterday we went out the door, got in the car, backed out and started down the street.  Suddenly we stopped in the middle of the road.  It was 5:00 P.M.  At five o’clock they play the national anthems of Japan and the United States.   What that means is that everything stops, even cars on the road.  If you are walking you are supposed to face the music and either salute or put your hand over your heart.  Even the children on the playground stop moving.  That was our clue that the music had started.  When they moved again we knew it was over.

I wonder how we would respond if that were tried here?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Opus 2018-097: Japan: Island Driving, Part 3 of ?

In Japan they drive on the wrong side of the road.  To them we drive on the wrong side but obviously that cannot be true.  I think all island nations drive on the left.

At first you don’t think it is any big deal.  You just drive on a different side of the road, right?  No.  Think of all the things you do naturally.  When you turn right you follow the curb.  Do that in Japan and you are soon in a head-on collusion.  You find yourself in a constant panic because you think people are driving toward you in your lane.  The turn indicator is on the opposite side of the steering wheel.  After a week I was still glad I didn’t need to drive here.  I am still trying to get in the right hand seat even though I am not driving.

And it isn’t just the driving.  It makes walking dangerous.  You must learn to look right instead of left as you cross a street.  Think about your natural habits.  When you step off a curb the first direction you look is left.  That will get you killed in Japan.

Just a little thing with big consequences.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 16, 2018

Opus 2018-096: It’s Everywhere

There are times when I despair for the future of my country and I understand how the Progressives (Democrats, socialists, communists, leftists, Rinos, elites) are gaining momentum in constricting our liberties and destroying the American way of life. 

What can you do to maintain the republic if people refuse to pay attention.  Maybe I expect too much.  Let me give you an example.  I was having a conversation with a neighbor and I mentioned Maxine Waters.  I got a blank look.  How do you explain to someone who Maxine Waters is?  Do I know only because I am from California?  Is she some kind of obscure minor politician?  I could only wish.

When you talk with someone who is successful, articulate and a seemingly active member of the community and they don’t know the name of one of the vocal fools of the left, how can you expect to make any progress on the great issues of the day?  How can a blank slate make wise decisions?  Recently I read an article about the ignorance of millennials regarding the Jewish Holocaust.  I am not sure where I read it but the Kansas City Star has an article about it.

When I taught middle school I got used to my eighth graders being totally ignorant.  I find it harder to deal with in regard to educated adults.  I guess if your major interaction is with social media filtered by people like Zuckerberg, it is to be expected.

If you know who Maxine Waters is, count yourself among the minority.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Opus 2018-095: Japan: Jet Lag, Part 2 of ?

For the second time in a month we are experiencing what is called “jet lag”.  I thought I knew what it was all about.  We have done a bit of flying.  We used to go to Hawaii on a regular basis and when we were on the left coast and our kids on the east, we flew across country a lot.  There is a fatigue that hits you when the clock changes a few hours.

It is nothing like flying half way around the world. 

The flight from Los Angels to Tokyo took about twelve hours.  The flight back only took nine because of the tail winds.  Add to that the flight from Texas to LA and the flight from Tokyo north.  Add to that the wait time in different airports.  It adds up to a long day.

It didn’t really hit me until I could finally relax and stop worrying about the next connection.  For several days I was waking up at 3:00 A.M. and not able to get back to sleep.  It took over a week to adjust to sleeping when the sun was down.  Now that I am home I am going through the same ritual.  If I keep moving I do all right.  If I sit down I make no promises.

After four nights at home I am still waking up frequently at night.  This morning I gave up and got up to turn on the coffee at 4:30.  Then I will be sleepy all day.  It will go away in time.

You need to ask yourself if it is worth it.  Going to Japan to see the Cherry Blossom Festival, maybe not.  Going to see your first grandchild, definitely.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Opus 2018-094: Headlines: Trump Hits a Home Run for Justice

I almost had a shouting spell when I saw the headline on the Powerline post.  Trump has pardoned Scooter Libby.  It is about time.  Two presidents too late, but at last justice is done.

The Powerline post has some spin to it.  Though generally conservative the site is not a fan of Donald Trump, so they of course had to downplay his motives and second guess his goals.
“As if to drive home his point, Trump made no serious attempt to address Libby’s case. He said, in essence, that he doesn’t know Libby, but heard he got a raw deal. Normally, this isn’t the stuff of pardons.”
So once again Trump does what is right but the established sources don’t want to give him credit.

I checked quickly my list of news outlets and only found, Washington Free Beacon, which gave this any notice.  Maybe it is too early in the news cycle.  Actually, I don’t think the media wants the public to know that Trump has once again stood up for the little guy.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-093: Japan: The Ultimate First, Part 1 of ?

We have just returned from a three week trip to Japan.  The reason for our trip was not to dispose of all that extra income we have accumulated over the years, although at times it seemed to be working that way.  We were invited to share the birth of our first grandchild.  Some firsts only come once.  So we went.

I guess you could call this an official announcement.  Some of you are grandparents many times over.  You smile indulgently and want to pat me on the head.  I have met people who were grandfathered in at 44 years of age.  I am afraid I had to wait a bit longer than that.  I had almost given up as some of you have done.  I did my part although I fell short of the 2.1 children needed for replacement.  I could never figure how to get the .1.  I take comfort in the fact that I have brothers who have gone above and beyond. 

It is a grand experience holding the next generation.  It is also encouraging to know that your children want you around to share the moment.  How many children are there who don’t want anything to do with their parents?  I hope it says something about us as parents as much as it says about our children.  To be honest, it was more about a girl needing her mother for support rather than having dad around, but I got to tag along. 

It was also a chance to get to know our son-in-law better.  We are still pleased with the man God brought our daughter.  She had to wait long enough.  We thought it was because she was too picky but it seems that God had to get the boy ready and that took some time.

I am going to be sharing some observations about Japan.  I jotted down things I noticed as they came to me.  I will be writing some as if I were still in Japan and others as reflections. 

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Opus 2018-092: The War on God, part 5 of 5, Second Doesn’t Get the Gold

The conflict between God and government comes down to an attitude we see in the Olympics.  You have athletes from all around the world competing.  They are the best from each country.  At the end of the day only one can get the Gold.  Have you noticed that people are polite about Silver being great but in their minds they still know it isn’t the gold.

Or I could talk about a guy I know who was engaged to be married.  He gave her the ring and everything.  Then it fell through and she gave him back the ring.  Not to be a wastrel, the next time he asked a girl to marry him he tried to give her the same ring.  I am told she was not real happy about it.

We see this conflict being played out in the Bible.  Jesus is willing to admit that the government has a place.
(Luke 20:25 KJV)  And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
But the priority is also clear.  Peter and John were arrested and told to stop talking about Jesus. 
(Acts 4:18-9 KJV)  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
And then they went back to preaching.

The conflict goes on.  The government pays lip service to a Constitution that guarantees freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.  Then they try to shut up the Christians.  How will it end?  Compare the results of the American Revolution and the French Revolution.  One embraced God, the other outlawed Him.  One led to a growing republic, the other to the Reign of Terror. 

If the government gets its way you can expect to see the same thing again.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Opus 2018-091: The War on God, part 4 of 5, Robin Hood Strikes Again

One of the basic moral positions laid out in the Bible is respect for the property of others.
(Exodus 20:15 KJV)  Thou shalt not steal.
Although all cultures that I know of condemn stealing there are different definitions.  Stealing involves taking something that is not yours without the permission of the owner.  Coercion is a form of stealing, thus when the Mafia Dons would collect money so that a store owner would not have rocks thrown through his window, it was stealing

If you are going to have government you need to be able to pay for it.  Human cultures seem to develop some kind of government.  Once it gets beyond the oldest guy in the village being the chief and settling minor disputes you get into paying for things.  Society needs roads.  We seem to need some kind of court system.  Modern society in its concentration of people needs sewer systems and clean water.  This can be paid for by each person being billed for what they use or, you can have taxes.

How so?  Didn’t Jesus Himself say,
(Matthew 22:21 KJV)  They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
Yes, He did.  So the question then becomes, “What is Caesar’s?”

Taxes transition from legitimate collection to stealing.  Somewhere rulers discovered that you could get more money with a tax system than a billing system.  Not only do you claim the money to do the necessary jobs of government but you also need to collect to pay the salaries of the tax collector and all his assistants.  Then you have the projects that government officials in their wisdom know are vital but noone will willingly pay for.  You hide that in the taxation.

Soon you move to Robin Hood collections.  I don’t know if you ever read any of the original Robin Hood books but the real Robin Hood did not rob from the rich to give to the poor.  He robbed from anyone who had money and kept it for himself.  In that sense our taxation is a Robin Hood system.  You find that some people don’t, or won’t, pay their “fair share”.  You raise the rate on everyone else to compensate.  The responsible keep thinking it is their “fair share” and the ones benefitting are not going to tell them any different.

The government does not want anyone pointing out that much of what disguises itself as legitimate taxes is really stealing by special interest groups.  Because of that the government is not a big fan of God.  He had a flat rate called the tithe.

To be  continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, April 9, 2018

Opus 2018-090: The War on God, part 3 of 5, The Family Is a Threat

The government wants to take the place of the family.  Remember the famous words of Hillary Clinton, “it takes a village”.  While there is some truth in community working together her point was that a man and woman cannot do it on their own.  The disguised thrust is that parents should not be allowed to do it on their own.  Certain philosophies of government, specifically communism and socialism, realize that the family is the enemy of the government being in total control.  If you have a predicate of loyalty to your immediate family then the government is forced into the back seat.  That is why we are in the midst of the political left reworking our educational system and gradually taking over the role of parents.  Drive by a local school as the sun comes up.  You will see children already being dropped off.  Drive by again as the sun goes down.  If you don’t see any kids still waiting to be picked up it is because they have gone down the street to another government run program.

The government feeds them breakfast and lunch.  The government has a nurse to check their hearing, eyesight and backbone.  The government wants to teach them about sex and sexuality.  The current flood of anti-bullying lessons is teaching children that they need the government to keep them safe.

School programs also gather information about the adults of the children.  When they take standardized tests and talk to school psychologists and counselors, who knows what they are telling government employees about your home. 

The Ten Commandments tell us,
(Exodus 20:12 KJV)  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
There are also places where we are told to allow the government to punish evil and even Jesus paid taxes, but the children are the responsibility of the parents. 

The Progressive Left does not like that.  God is competition.  He must go.

To be  continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Opus 2018-089: The War on God, part 2 of 5, Who Is the Boss

If God represents competition then the Ten Commandments are His basic rules.  That is why they are such a threat to governments.  As we said earlier, government hates competition.  It turns out that God also hates competition.  Take a look at the first commandment.
(Exodus 20:3 KJV)  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
If you are a devout Jew or a believing Christian then God must be the Prime Mover in you life.  He does not leave you any other choice. 

The battle of the boss begins in our personal lives.  Many individuals reject Jesus as Lord because that means they need to take second place in their own little universe.  People will be attracted to the saccharine version of Jesus that is based on half truths.  That Jesus is gentle and mild.  He is the one who would never expect them to take a stand or ignore their feelings because a silly book like the Bible tells them they are wrong.

The battle of the boss continues into our culture.  Even people who will not let Jesus rule their lives will embrace the liberty that a moral life delivers.  They don’t want child molesters teaching school.  They don’t want the government to raise their children.  This kind of thinking is a threat to the domination of the government.  People who stand up for the values that God laid down must be slapped down.  We have fools claiming that the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights come from the government not God.  While God does not change and is not fickle or capricious, the government is known for going back on its word.

Rights are from God, not the government.  This is a basic principle laid down in the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men,...”
Our rights come from God and the government is there to protect those rights.  It is not there to give us rights or decide who gets them. 

Obviously this God thing has to be gotten rid of for the government to have the power it craves.

To be  continued...

homo unius libri