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Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Opus 2018-295: Second String

I have become the second string, the back up quarterback, the pinch hitter.

When my wife came home after being gone a few weeks the cat would have nothing to do with her.  That lasted as long as it took the cat to realize that I was no longer the source of food.  The cat disappeared from my room for days.

Now she is appearing again on occasion.  When she does I can conclude that my wife is asleep or has left the house.  It is a good thing I don’t care about cats that much or I might get my feelings hurt.  As it is I know the cat has a need so I pet her when she gets in range.

We both seem to be able to live with that.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-294: Why Trump?

I have moved from an “anybody but Hillary” Trump voter to almost unquestioning support of the man.  It has been quite a journey and it is fueled by just about everything I see going on in our popular culture.  So why have I become one of those people who believes he is the man of the hour?

Trump represents the best current chance for a return to the rule of law.  I hear the stuff the conspiracy nuts are throwing out about military tribunals and thousands of sealed indictments.  As in any conspiracy there is probably a grain of truth.  The problem is you don’t know which grain it is.  I look at them the way I look at Biblical prophecy:  You won’t know until it is too late.  My confidence is that one reason Trump is moving slow on certain things is because he respects the Constitution, the rule of law and due process.

Trump demonstrates the total prostitution of the news media and the “watchdog” press.  Remember the story of the little boy who cried, “Wolf”?  Remember the story about the kings new clothes?  In both cases, people caught on.  I think our public is more like Charlie Brown repeatedly trusting Lucy to hold the football no matter how many times it is ripped away.  It is simple:  The MSM lies, about everything.

Trump really cares about America and what it means to be an American.  That may be one reason why the elites (Democrats, Rinos, Progressives, Communists, Socialists, liberals, etc) hate him so much.  What else do they need?  They hate the common man having liberty, thus, they hate Donald Trump who actually believes in America.

Trump really cares about the common folk.  It is not just talk and manipulation like we get from socialists who are “for the people”.  It is not just using the children for an excuse to push any perversion or limitation of our freedom.  We see countless examples of his caring when no one was paying attention.

Trump is hated by all the forces that want to turn the United States in Venezuela.

The things that disturb me about Trump are really minor:  A tendency to locker room talk, a tendency to exaggerate, and he gets two scoops of ice cream.  They are minor in reality and when compared to the flaws of the people attacking him they become minuscule. 

The condiment that pulls it all together is the reality that you can’t believe anything the press tells us at this point, and I do mean anything.  It really doesn’t matter if they are deliberately lying or just ignorant and delusional, the results are the same.  Deceit, fraud and deception are the standards for the MSM.  They hate the man so much that they are quite willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

As a Christian I know that the final solution is not political but spiritual.  In spite of that I believe that God can work through Donald J. Trump and seems to be doing so.

homo unius libri

Monday, December 10, 2018

Opus 2018-293: MSM RIP

Most of us are more than weary with what we see going on in the MSM.  Let me suggest that the national news organizations might be as much a victim as the rest of us, maybe more because they are so ignorant.

The powers behind the elites want to silence the free press.  They can’t do it with laws.  The courts would probably draw the line there.  They can do it with ridicule.  The public confidence in the news media is as low as its trust of congress.  Yes, that low.  How long can they survive being laughed at?  I often wonder how they keep paying the bills when people are turning them off.  How can you generate ad revenue when it is based on the number of people paying attention.  Maybe it is because the people like Soros and Bloomberg are subsidizing them in the hopes that they will dig their own graves.

Picture a business that is not making money but owns some prime property.  The bank will keep loaning them money based on their equity.  When they are in deep enough the bank will pull the plug and get the property.  For the bank the equity is land and buildings.  For the manipulative elites with bottomless pockets the equity could be a truly free press.

So the MSM is living on the equity of the public trust.  As measured in circulation and number of viewers that equity is about used up.  Disney bought Fox, the only news network that had shown growth.  Fox is sounding more liberal on a daily basis and I believe that means fewer people will be tuning in.  It could be we are nearing the day when the super wealthy cabals will turn off the subsidies and the free press will die.  Since the internet giants are already distorting our access and selling our information the New World Order folks will be able to take over and no one will know.  By censoring just a few web sites they could shut down our constitutional government and it would be a long time before I would notice on my hill top in Texas.

We live in complicated times, or am I just in one of those moods?

homo unius libri

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Opus 2018-292: What Happened to Admin?

One of the points of controversy in Christian circles deals with the age of the earth.  Bishop Ussher determined creation as happening on October 22, 4004 B.C. by going through all the ages listed in the Bible and taking it “literally”.  I came across an example that might mean that is not as accurate as we would want.  One of the points of the “old earth” school is that names could have been skipped.  I found an example of that in the genealogies of Jesus where a name is left out. 

Before you put me away on the dusty shelves I would like to proclaim that I am not an avid studier of things like genealogies.  I just happened to be looking through them to confirm something I had heard many times.  I had heard it said that both Mary and Joseph were decedents of David but through different lines.  So I compared the line in Matthew chapter 1 which goes from Abraham down to Jesus, through David.  In Luke starting in verse 23 you find a different genealogy.  It is different from Joseph to David.  Note how it is phrased.
(Luke 3:23 KJV)  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
The key to the difference here is the “supposed”.  This is because of the virgin birth.  Since Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus it was necessary for Him to trace His physical descent through Mary.  I assume this has something to do with what modern, new agers have with the patriarchy. 

Luke also works backward while Matthew worked forward.  Luke goes all the way back to Adam, not just to Abraham.

I will let you find the missing name and come to your own conclusions. 

homo unius libri

Friday, December 7, 2018

Opus 2018-291: Precious Memories

Why do we remember things like Pearl Harbor?

There are reasons that do not fit in with the American character.  We do not remember so that we can keep the hate alive.  The Spirit of Reparations and Vengeance is not American.  It comes from the ancient concept of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  Americans follow a different rule.
(Matthew 5:43-4 KJV)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That is why we built up Japan and Germany after World War II.  To many it seemed stupid.  It certainly went against all the traditions of history.  It created two allies that may disagree and disappoint but are still allies. 

We remember so that it will not happen again.  Being allies and friends does not mean being stupid.  The lesson of Pearl Harbor was to remain vigilant.  It was not to disarm but beware.  I live in a great neighborhood.  I have great neighbors.  I still lock my doors. 

President Reagan made an observation.  I doubt if he was the first one and I hope he won’t be the last.  I paraphrase, The best way to avoid war is to be so strong that no one will risk attacking you.  And of course that strength must be real, not just smoke and mirrors.  The fleet at rest in Pearl Harbor was not weak.  It was simply unprepared.  The time to take a nap is when someone else is alert.

So remember Pearl Harbor.  Forgive but do not let that be an excuse to rest on our laurels.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-290: Baby Talk: Ego Deflation

It will be at least six months before I actually get to see my granddaughter again.  I get pictures in my e-mail and get my fix with Skype so I am not going through withdrawals.  I look forward to the day when I can actually look her in the eye and work on the bonding. 

A word of caution is necessary.  When the baby responds I am impressed until I see her also talking to a toy.  I think I have done a great job of reaching her baby mind.  I am proud of myself.  Then I see her doing everything within her growing powers to reach her fathers toes wiggling in his sock on the floor. 

That is okay.  I will take what I can get and be grateful.

homo unius libri

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Opus 2018-289: Allowing the Adolescent to Grow Up

One mark of maturity is the responsible exercise of liberty.  You have seen this if you raised children.  Some young people are worthy of access to the family car and the freedom to do things with their friends.  Others require early curfews and constant monitoring.  I remember that I never had a deadline to be home and had a car if one was available.  I had those things because I was responsible.  I was so responsible that I was boring.  Parents would call my parents to see if I was home.  If I was still out running around they assumed there children were not in trouble.

The First Amendment is a mark of liberty that was given to the press among others.  They were given the right to say anything they wanted about the government without fear of censorship or reprisal.  They did so.  If you think today is extreme you can find even more in the historic press.  At one point we had the idea of “yellow journalism” which was an early code word for Fake News.  The difference in those days was that you had two ideologies pushing fake news and if you read both sides you had some chance at arriving at a bit of truth.

That has changed.  Since the right has retreated from the public square the MSM has become a single voice declaring Fake News from just about every outlet.  If you are paying attention even Fox has succumbed to the Siren call and for the most part can no longer be trusted.  They have taken the freedom enshrined in the Constitution and turned it into a license to destroy.  When a teen ager misuses freedom there are penalties.  I am not sure what kind of penalties we can levy on the press because we still believe in non-censorship.  We need to find something but it needs to be a something that keeps freedom of the press enshrined.

One easy method is to carefully pick who has access to the president.  Another is to go to court immediately in cases of libel and slander.  Another is to put on trial reporters and editors who obviously have betrayed national security.  And, as I have said before, we can stop subscribing and buying.

A more difficult method would be to start some newspapers.  I know about how no one reads newspapers.  I hear the same thing about books but the publishing industry is doing quite well, thank you.  The reason people don’t read the newspapers is they are not worth reading.  Twenty years ago I heard people saying they would not take the L.A. Times if it was not for Jim Murray in the sports section.  Notice how the Weekly Standard has gone from success to failure in a few short years of turning on Trump.  Did they expect a subsidy from the Clinton Foundation?

I hope the media grow up.  I have felt the same way for a lot of teen agers.  I am still waiting on both.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Opus 2018-288: Want to Be Highly Favored?

Mary was a wise woman even if she was young.  She had been listening in Sunday School and paying attention to life around her.  So when the Gabriel showed up she was a bit upset.
(Luke 1:29 KJV)  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
What got her “troubled”?  It was probably his opening words.
(Luke 1:28 KJV)  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
She was worried because Gabriel said she was “highly favored”. 

Now most people would think this was cool.  “I am favored by God.  Look out world, here I come.”  You know the statement “If God is for you, who can be against you.”  That is an example of worldly application of eternal truths.

We need to understand that when God says we are worthy and blessed it usually means, “You have been selected for something that is going to challenge the sox off you.”  God has an agenda.  He has a universe to put through its paces and, to be honest, your personal agenda for the day is not His number one priority.  Mary was doing okay.  She had a husband lined up.  She had her place in society.  She was recognized by all as a virtuous young lady.  Life was planned out.

Then God said, “Have I got a job for you.”

Mary knew this was not going to end well.  She was right.  It started with being branded as a slut and having her husband-to-be getting ready to send her away to a home in the country.  It ended in standing at the foot of a cross where her first born had been crucified.  Okay, it did not end there.  He was resurrected, but she did not know that at the time.

Are you ready for God to use you?  I am almost sure that it will be a hard road.  It will also be a glorious road. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-287: Since They Can’t Tax Flatulence, an Additional Thought

When I went to post about a meat tax I realized that I was not giving the elites all the credit that they have due.  It is entirely possible that they will find a way to tax flatulence.  We are battling smart meters for our electricity.  We really don’t need the government being able to control every appliance in our house.  My new I-Pad has an ap that will let me set it up to run everything.  I guess the millennials have no sense of privacy and are trained to let Mommy take care of them.  It doesn’t take much of a jump to believe that there could be a required chip in new toilets that would measure the amount of gas being released.  Then we could have a government program to retrofit toilets.  Only friends of congress need apply for a permit or perhaps they would be reserved for preferred minorities.  We are now required to install fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  Some are required to have radon sensors in their basements.  Why not a methane detector.  Think of all the lives it would save.  Think about how we could rest easier at night.  Ultimately it is for the children, right?

This would be a special problem for older people.  We would be targeted and become pariahs in society.  We would set off alarms in public places and make the neighbors install huge fans.  We might be required to erect airtight tents over our houses.

My mind boggles at the possibilities.  I find comfort in knowing it will be for my own good, and of course for the children.  I am also wondering if I am getting enough sleep.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Opus 2018-286: Since they Can’t Tax Flatulence

In many blue enclaves they are taxing drinks containing sugar.  It is for your own good of course.  Now Powerline points out that the elites are moving on to a new target:  meat.  Actually the attack is not new.  You have long heard about cow farts causing global warming.  You have heard about how the grain used to fatten up cows takes food out of the mouths of children in third world countries.  Since you have not listened, the battle is being escalated to bring you to your knees.
“Another important addition to the conversation around meat is the PLoS One paper discussing health-related taxes for red meat.”
This is a quote from another publication called “The Lancet”.

When the elites (Progressives, Communists, Socialists, Democrats, Rinos, liberals) start talking about taxing something like meat you need to remember a quote attributed to Daniel Webster and John Marshall:
“The power to tax is the power to destroy”.
I heard it used as an explanation of why churches were tax exempt.  It is also something that has been used to attempt to bring down those who are too successful for the taste of the anointed ones.  Ultimately we need to understand that the America haters want to use tax policy to destroy the United States of America and hollow out your freedoms so that your choices are limited to what is best for you, and them.  They want to make the decisions about what to do with your excess income and when that is gone they will start in on necessities.  They think of Venezuela as a success story.

homo unius libri

Monday, December 3, 2018

Opus 2018-285: On the Street: Self Image

I have always had problems with self image.  I have always felt like the odd man out.  It is amazing looking at pictures of myself from college and seeing that I was pretty trim.  I always thought I was a blimp.  This kind of thinking is why I don’t like to wear shorts in public.  Why would I want to subject anyone to my legs. 

I wish the favor was returned.  I just saw a guy walking around in his front yard with nothing on but a pair of shorts.  It was not the most horrible thing I had ever seen but it was nothing to brag about.  I wonder what kind of self image produces the shirtless wonders, spandex babes and sagging tattoos that populate our culture.  And they flaunt it. 

I guess that is just another reason to not go out.  At least in a book the visions are limited by my imagination but as someone said, what has been seen cannot be unseen.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-284: Want to Be an Omelet?

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.  That is obviously true but like many sayings you can push it too far.  Would you make an omelet from fertilized eggs that are days away from the chicks breaking out?  Also keep in mind that you can’t do much of anything with eggs if you don’t break them.  I guess you could boil them, but then what?  People are not eggs.

Socialists down through history have broken a lot of eggs.  The leftists who are in it for power alone don’t care about the pain as long as they win.  The true believers think that the end justifies the means and that some day we will thank them for the destruction they are causing now.  Today’s Progressive leaders, be they labeled Republican or Democrat, only care about their omelet but talk about the eggs a lot.  One bit of cognitive dissonance that has been pointed out is claiming that they are for the children but at the same time advocating killing unborn children with abortions.  Historically socialists have butchered untold millions of people in the name of the people.

Capitalists break eggs too but they generally pay for the eggs so they only break what is necessary.  They realize that eggs are not people.  A genuine capitalist realizes that it won’t do him any good to make fancy computers if no one an afford to buy them.  A genuine capitalist knows that he can make more money if workers are paid enough to live well.  A capitalist knows the difference between fertile eggs that produce more chickens and the ones that have no use if not broken.  Capitalists make omelets that are big enough to share so that no one goes hungry.

All societies have elites.  Someone will be on top.  Socialists by their nature are elites that must use force to stay in control.  Capitalists are elites who stay on top by risking their own wealth and reaping the results.  They don’t use the police to force people to buy their products.  The modern perversion is called crony capitalism which uses government force in the form of regulations to do away with competition. 

Which direction do you want the country to go?  Remember that in socialism only a small controlling minority will enjoy the fruits of society’s labor.  In capitalism there is a massive majority that live well in addition to the very rich.  Think about it next time you are tempted to vote for someone who promises to reward you with government largess.

homo unius libri

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Opus 2018-283: Ode to Old: Do I Know You?

When I checked the story behind a link I made the mistake of looking at the side show of articles on a British “news-site”.  It made me feel old.  As I glanced down the screen I noticed that I had no idea who these people were.  From the accompanying pictures I could make a few wild guesses but for the life of me I don’t have any idea why I should care that some woman was seen on an outing with her daughter or why another was on the beach in a bikini. 

After a moments reflection I decided I would rather feel old than know who these people are.  I do have a life even if not as much as I used to have.  People need to visit the biography section of the library.

homo unius libri

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Opus 2018-282: Election 2020: A Thank You

It might be good for all of us to write a letter like this:

Dear Mr. Putin,

There is a segment of our talking heads class that claims that the election of Donald Trump was brought about by the meddling of the Russian government. 

I just want to take a moment to thank you.  Unlike you, I was not enthused about Donald Trump as president.  The only thing that got me to vote for him was the prospect of “Reset” Hillary being elected.  I concede that in this area your wisdom exceeded mine.  I am reasonably sure that your motivation and mine were entirely opposite but for a brief moment we moved in the same direction.

I am hoping that our man will run again in 2020.  Somehow I don’t think you will be too excited about that, after all, we are at least your competition if not actual enemies.  If you plan to back his opponent I will understand and wish you all the effectiveness that you had last time.  In case that is not clear I am hoping your efforts will be as weak and bumbling as they were in 2016.  It does not surprise or anger me that you tried to influence our election.  I would expect you to do nothing less that improve the condition of your country.  I am sure that you will understand if the benefit of Russia is not first on my agenda.

I bear you no ill will.  I think that it is possible for there to be more than one strong, secure country in the world.  At present it seems to be just America but why not Russia and China if they can get their houses in order.

Sincerely,

Pumice

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Opus 2018-281: Another Drone, RIP

If you find my drone, just leave it on the front porch.  The last time we saw it was as it passed over the house, still rising but heading toward the valley.  It was an impressive flight.

I received it as a gift from my kids and my son was the pilot in “control” when it made its break for freedom.  We flew it in the house a bit and then went for the challenge of the great outdoors.  Unfortunately the winds of Texas were more than we bargained for. 

We looked in the trees and down the hill.  We talked to the neighbors and they had lost one over Thanksgiving and evidently the guy down the road had lost one recently.  I had hopes it would be like looking for my golf ball.  Often when I can’t find mine I find someone else’s.  I wonder how many drones are waiting out in the wilderness for someone to find them?

It was fun while it lasted.  If I was a ten year old boy I would be shattered.  Being older and wiser, I shrug my shoulders and get on with life.  The kids will probably buy me another one so they can play with it.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Opus 2018-280: Christmas Cat

Was there a cat at the Incarnation?  I have never made a study of the art work for the birth of Jesus but it would seem that a realistic depiction of a stable would have a few cats for catching mice and other pests.  That was their primary function and they are a part of farm life.

The reason I am focusing on cats is that my wife will soon be returning from Japan, she is in the air as I write, and I am afraid that the cat will not transfer its affection back to her.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not a cat hater.  I am also not an animal lover.  I can enjoy your animal at your home where you clean up and provide when you are out of town.  I don’t enjoy them enough to want to do that myself.

If she had been gone a day or two this would not be a problem.  As it is the cat seems to have imprinted on me.  She sleeps on or near me.  She follows me around the house.  She seems to be my constant companion.  What am I going to do if this is permanent.  My wife will then want to get another cat.  The animal has now taken a position on my desk where she can stare at me.

Maybe this will last until I travel to Japan and the cat can imprint back.

I hope not.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 26, 2018

Opus 2018-279: Transition

I started this on Thanksgiving evening.  “Today is one of the happiest days of the year.  It is now officially acceptable to play Christmas music.  The rule is that as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over you can take the plunge.  Most are not ready for it then, but it is still within the range of civilized behavior.”

Although it is days later I want you to know you have my permission to begin celebrating Advent and Christmas.  You can even move on to Epiphany it you want.  A few years ago the kids got me one of those bluetooth speakers that have a rechargeable battery.  Since none of our old cars have auxiliary inputs, let along USB ports, I learned that I can plug my old I-Pod into the speaker, turn it up and enjoy everything I want to hear as I drive.  I also have it all on a flash drive that I plug into a little bookshelf unit I have in my bedroom and it will scramble and play. 

So even days later I still have things to be thankful for.

Merry Christmas or Happy Incarnation Day.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-278: How Do You Know if You Are Sick?

I am back.  I am not sure you noticed I was gone but 24 hours after arriving at the home where we celebrated Thanksgiving, I started to fade.  I assume it was some sort of flu with muscle aches and such.  I did little except sleep for about 48 hours with a couple of cups of soup squeezed in.  I am sure you have had such an experience but it has been along time for me.  I have been doing blogs for eight years and I have never before missed a day because I was too sick to think.

Several indicators told me it was real.  For one I experienced no hunger and did not think about food from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.  For another I never even opened my computer.  When I was napping in my chair I never picked up a book.  I had no interest in turning on the Christmas music.

Since I am not 30 any more, nor 40, nor 50, nor 60, I expect that it will be a gradual return to what is normal for the 71 year old man.  It is hard to know at times if there is really something wrong or if it is just an unsupported hardware system. 

Whom do I blame?  It could have been the toddler or the teenager at the home.  It could have been the vegetable tray we got at the local store.  It could have been a government plot to put me out of action while they took over the country.  It could have been I forgot to wash my hands at a key point in my activities. 

Now it is on to advent.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Opus 2018-277: Thanksgiving, Really?

I wonder how many people sit down to a big feast today and never seriously think about being thankful.  Of course one of the reasons is that since they don’t really believe in a personal God, whom do they thank?  I guess some might ask, “What do they thank?”  Can you picture a thanksgiving day in the Empire of Star Wars?  How would you thank the Force for your blessings?  Which side of the Force?  Or both?  I know that some people might thank the wind for blowing but it seems kind of empty unless you believe the wind is aware of your thanks.

There is a reason that some refer to Turkey Day.  That is the center of their festivity.  They don’t seem to be aware that you can buy turkeys at other times of the year.  And what do you do if you can’t afford a big turkey and all the trimmings?

To me Thanksgiving Day is just another day in some ways.  I have a morning ritual that begins with looking at a description of the Last Supper.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-4 KJV)  ...the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Part of what I do is remind myself that if Jesus could be thankful knowing that the cross was coming, how much more could I be thankful living in America in the 21st century.  I am aware of the forecasts of doom and gloom.  I know that the socialist goons are doing everything they can to disrupt our society.  I am aware of the cesspool of public entertainment.  But I have a context.  My context is not this week or even this century.  My context is eternity and the Big Picture.  I know that there is a God who is in charge and has a plan.

In addition to that my life is swamped with blessings.  I think that those of us who are aware of the big picture are also more aware of our blessings.  I am enjoying the day.  I have blessings of family and friends.  The heater works and the roof does not leak.  My pacemaker is still working and no one has refused to accept my credit card. 

And I know the One who I am thanking.

Rejoice and enjoy the day.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Opus 2018-276: Baby Talk: Distractions

I was reminded of another reason why many people like to have the babies in the nursery instead of in the worship service on Sunday morning.  Sometimes they are more interesting than the sermon.

I found myself sitting behind a young couple with their baby on Sunday.  She was a cute little kid.  She was not as cute as my granddaughter, but I did not tell her mother that.  I found that I had to work at listening to the sermon instead of making faces at the baby.  She we responsive and seemed to have plenty of extra smiles so it was hard.  I found she was about two months younger than mine. 

I also was reminded of why some people would rather work in the nursery than be in the service.  In the nursery they don’t have to endure that “go around and greet everyone” moment that seems to be so popular in churches today.  I have always felt that if people really cared about talking to me they would come early, stay late or call me during the week.  I have six days and 23 hours for them to talk to me each week.  I only get an hour to experience congregational singing and the preaching of the words I need to be hearing.  But I am polite.

The sermon was on “thanks” because it was Thanksgiving Week.  See, I was listening.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Opus 2018-275: Don’t Ask if You Don’t Want

Be careful what you ask for. 

Now and then I have people who ask me to pray for them.  I am not sure they really want that.  I might include the concern they have but only as an add-on to my basic pattern.  I had developed my way of lifting people up and did not realize where it came from until my wife was in the hospital one time.  The chaplain came and as he prayed for her I could tell what he was doing and it became clear where I got it.  It came from Jesus.
(Mark 12:30 KJV)  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And He got it from the Old Testament.
(Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV)  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
My prayers for people follow the body, soul, mind, spirit path.  I put it different ways but I cover all of them because if they were important to Jesus, they are important to me.  I always start with salvation since everything else is a dead end street without it.

So unless you want the whole package, don’t ask for the pretty wrapping.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 16, 2018

Opus 2018-274: Instant Coffee Socialism

I don’t know who it was that originally got me to check out the Daily Time Waster but I find myself wasting time daily at the site.  One of the things it does is show you new products.  Today is had some kind of deluxe box cutter.  Does the world really need a new box cutter?  That is the result of this thing called liberty, also known as free enterprise and capitalism.

It was not a new thought.  The awesome reality hits me every once in awhile.  Do you want a clear example of the difference between socialism and free enterprise?  Go to Amazon or Walmart and check out all the different varieties available.  Or go to the grocery store and check out all the different brands and styles of coffee.  In the banana republics and workers’ paradises you will probably be lucky to get instant coffee let alone five choices of espresso. 

We live in a world of plenty.  Remember that people classified as poor in America live better than the vast majority of people in the world. 

Rejoice, be glad and enjoy it while you still can.  Remember that the Progressive socialist Democrats want to make these decisions for you and they are on the rise.  When _______ is redistributed then no one will have ______, except the elite decision makers.  Fill in the blanks any way you want.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Opus 2018-273: Headlines: Letting Jimmy Have His Way

It would seem that the solution to the Jim Acosta temper tantrum is simple.  Give him his press pass back and stop having press conferences.  We used to call it “all dressed up and no place to go”.  Or give him his press pass back and stop taking any questions.  The president could also call in small groups of reporters or give one-on-one interviews on a daily basis. 

How about giving the Acosta his own personal interview with the president.  Then President Trump could sit drinking a diet Coke and saying nothing but, “No comment.”  What an exclusive that would be.

It is obvious that this “reporter” went to pubic school where he was repeatedly told he was special and allowed to disrupt class any time he did not get the bathroom pass.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-272: Headlines: You Sly Fox, You

It is official.  Fox has reached down into its orientation basket and decided it identifies as liberal.  It was actually an easier transition than that of Bruce Jenner.  According to Don Surber, Fox has joined all the other liberal lip-sinc “news” outlets in demanding Jim Acosta get his press pass back.

My only contacts with Fox News came in two forms.  The most regular was on Sunday mornings as I would walk through the room and catch a bit of the morning broadcast from Fox.  The second was on vacation when I was quarantined in one room with someone who loved TV.  I had to put up with 24 hour blather.  It was either some version of Flip a House or Fox News.  At the time Fox was interesting except for the view from the plantation presented by Juan Williams.  I guess he was there for comedy relief.

When I started going to Fox on the internet I began to see the drift taking place.  Headlines from the left moved from occasional to routine.  A liberal spin on the posts replaced “fair and balanced”.  I have not deleted the link yet but I rarely use it any more. 

I guess now it is official.  We have lost Fox.  Now we need to keep from losing Florida.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Opus 2018-271: Is Compromise Possible?

The internet has a lot of talk about another civil war.  That is real and horrifying at the same time.  Civil wars are the most brutal kinds of fighting.  You may not understand it but the American Civil War had more casualties than all of our other wars combined.  It literally turned brother against brother.  We are engaged in a generally non-violent civil war now.  The exceptions of course are the actions of the left as they try to escalate to the point of reprisals from conservatives.  Let us hope they don’t get what they want.  They are not out to build a better America.  They are out to destroy a system that has brought unprecedented prosperity, security and opportunity to the masses.  They cannot stand the fact that they cannot be in total control.  If they can bring us to their level then they know they have destroyed the unique experiment of the American Republic and transformed us into a police state.  Such is the norm for history.

The real issue in 1860 was states rights.  The question was, “Do states have a right to make their own rules or does the federal government have ultimate power?”  The South tried to reject central control by withdrawing from the Union.  Lincoln first tried the peaceful response of ignoring their withdrawal.  Then came Fort Sumter and the carnage escalated. 

For the South is was always about rejecting centralized control from Washington, D.C.  To this day the people below the Mason-Dixon line call it the War of Northern Aggression.  This is a rather accurate description.  Most of the fighting was done in the South by Northern armies invading. 

The war did not blossom over night.  It was not a sudden thing.  It had been festering for decades over a number of issues.  The trigger issues varied.  Slavery was one of the hot buttons that went back to the original Constitution.  Several Southern states refused to join if slavery was banned.  The issue was hotly debated at the Constitutional Convention.  The Southerners at that time seemed to understand that slavery needed to end but wanted time to adjust their economies and cultures.

Tarriffs were another source of anger.  The North had factories.  They wanted the Southerners to buy their products but it was cheaper to import them from England.  When the industrial states got enough power they raised tariffs and forced the South to buy American.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?  Can you say, “Steel”?  The nation wanted a railroad to go across the continent.  Where did you build it?  Did you put it in the north to benefit the industrial states or in the south to advance cotton?  There have always been sectional rivalries. 

Today the issue will not be states’ rights because things are so mixed.  Every state with a large city has a pocket of liberal politics  If you look at the different maps of elections with their blue and red you notice that it is not so much a difference in states as a difference between urban and rural.  The next civil war may be over the Electoral College which in reality determines whether the big cities run the country or will fly-over country still have a say.

The triggers are many:  Abortion, Second Amendment, gay marriage, immigration, health care, taxes, welfare, affirmative action, the list goes on.  The problem isn’t even that different people have different opinions.  The problem is that there are always groups that want to force their views on everyone.  Will the left push hard enough and fast enough to trigger the majority of Americans who just want to be left alone?

I hope I don’t live to find out but my children will certain see how the story unfolds.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 12, 2018

Opus 2018-270: Act II

Intermission is over.  It is time to get to the next act in the blockbuster play, If You Can Keep It.  I refer of course to the antidote in which Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government we would have.  He is reported to have answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.”  It is becoming questionable whether we can keep it.  I am not sure that too many want to try.

The intermission was a two year period where the Republicans controlled congress and the presidency.  During that time you had a Supreme Court with Justice Kennedy providing the mystery and the others voting as expected.  It was a time to get things done.  Donald Trump did his part.  He has done everything he could as an executive.  He has kept his promises.  He has been repeatedly stabbed in the back by the Republican establishment.  Just think what could have been done on health care, immigration, regulation, voter fraud, the right to bear arms, etc if the RINOs had not been such RINOs.  We dreamed and that is about all we got out of them.

Will the new make up in the Senate perform as hoped?  We will see.  There is some hope but keep in mind that Mitt Romney is not exactly Trump’s BFF.  I take some hope in the belief that Romney is basically a decent guy.  If Ted and Donald can kiss and make up for the good of the country, maybe Mitt will join in.  We also hold our breaths to see if Lindsey Graham 2.0 stays the same or has another metamorphosis. 

The curtain is about to rise.  Watch carefully.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Opus 2018-269: Levels of Honor

Most veterans do not deserve to be honored as heroes.  What they need to be honored for is their sense of responsibility, duty and willingness to sacrifice.  Both are of great value to the country.

I am a veteran.  I served in Vietnam.  I was in places where people had been killed.  It was a genuine war zone.  At the same time, I am not a hero.  I never knew the horrors of combat or the sickening fear that someone might be drawing a bead on me.  Although there was some risk of death the greatest danger I had was boredom.  I don’t mind being thanked for my service but the real honor should be reserved for the warriors.

All warriors did not choose to be warriors.  In the Vietnam war most soldiers were drafted.  The honor comes from responding to the call of duty.  We did not seek exotic deferments or head to Canada.  After your physical it was pretty much the luck of the draw.  I went through training with men who had enlisted to be clerks so they would be spared combat.  My guess is that once in Vietnam many of them found they were handed a rifle and told to get in line.  To their credit, most served with honor.

Keep in mind that for every fighter pilot there are hundreds in support.  For every Ranger or Seal there are at least dozens in the background.  All serve.  Some give much more than others.  Some give the ultimate.

So I honor the warriors out there, past and present.  I who served, thank you for your service.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Opus 2018-268: Gauntlet Time

I, like many Americans, do not have a clue to what is going on in Florida and Arizona.  Everything I read comes from one side or the other but it is strange how the same areas have so much trouble counting votes and always seem to find piles of uncounted Democrat votes after the Republicans win an election.

Now is the time to throw down the gauntlet of the law.  Or else this is the time to shut up and slink away.  As conservatives we are supposed to believe in the rule of law.  We are against rule by fiat or personality.  There are rules and they should be followed.  One of the basics of life is that you never win a game when only your opponent is allowed to cheat. 

So put up or shut up.  If the duly elected election officials of Broward County have been ignoring the laws passed to govern the validity of elections then here is what we do:  Arrest, Arraign, Indict, Try, Jail.  It is pretty simple.  Do it.  If there is no indictment or conviction then either you are full of hot air or you are incompetent.  If there is no significant jail time then you are part of the problem. 

The alternative is not acceptable to conservatives.  One of the character attributes of true conservatives is integrity.  I don’t mean just talking about it.  I mean living it.  We refuse to cheat.  We refuse to get violent until every other course has been followed.  We are patient and try to work through the system.  We cannot honestly cry “foul” until we have actually worked the system.

So use the law.  If we are forced to the alternative then we have lost because violent vigilante action usually ends up destroying the system it sets out to protect.

What does the arrogant rule breaker often say when caught in the act?  “So sue me.”  Do it.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 9, 2018

Opus 2018-267: Election 2020: More Rope, Please

I have a suggestion for the conservatives in the House.  Vote as a block for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.  Or maybe they could get Maxine Waters to step in.  These two have spouted so much hate and violence that we need to keep them in the limelight.  America does not seem to have started to pay attention yet. 

Of course that brings up the question of how clear the Democrats will need to get on their agenda of violence and socialism before the common folk of Pennsylvania, New York, California, etc. get the idea.  It may be that nothing will wake them up because they are already aware of what is going on and approve.  Once you get on the dole and adjust to living off the productivity of others it is hard to start being responsible.

Many conspiracy types are forecasting an economic collapse.  At some point the paper money will become useless and then we shall really find out what hard times are like.  The thing about that is I have been hearing about that for over 20 years and we don’t seem to be any closer than we were then.

Will 2020 be any different?  Stay tuned and stock up on canned goods.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Opus 2018-266: Headlines: Today’s Crisis

Don’t you love the talking point of the left about the current “Constitutional Crisis”?  This one is over Trump asking for Sessions’ resignation.  It is always interesting that the socialists who ignore the Constitution all of the time get so into it when they think it can help them.  They might want to read it.  They count on the masses never having done so.  I am still waiting to hear the source in the Constitution which says that the president cannot fire anyone who is not elected. 

The Senate has a say in who is approved.  Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution lays out the basis of that.
“He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the supreme court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law.  But the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the president alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.”
You notice that the cabinet is not specifically mentioned but most agree it would be included. 

The mysterious crisis that the left if finding has to do with the president firing a cabinet member, not appointing one.  Historically this was dealt with in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.  One of his cabinet members was basically a seditious spy for Radical Republicans.  He was making it impossible for Johnson to do his job, so he fired the man.  Congress said, “You can’t do that” and started impeachment procedures.  It failed by one vote in the Senate and thus you would assume that precedent says the president can fire. 

This is the kind of nonsense that you can expect from a political party that finds the right to an abortion in the Constitution but can’t find the right to bear arms.

It is a moot point anyway.  Sessions was not “fired” he was asked to resign, and he did.

The Democrats have not even finished contesting elections and already the push to make us a banana republic is moving forward.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Opus 2018-265: On the Street: Being Accepted

You know you are becoming part of the community when the dogs stop barking at you.  When I first started walking in my new community the dogs would throw themselves at the fence like they knew I was from California.  The next dog down the street would be alerted and ready for me as I walked by. 

Now they don’t even bother getting up.  If they do come they only give me a little “woof” of hello.  It is good to be accepted.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-264: Election 2018: Scratching My Head

I was hoping for better news on the House of Representatives but it looks like most of the races were won by significant enough numbers to demonstrate the will of the voters.  I know how they voted and it was very frustrating to watch all of those seats flip to the party of hate.  It really just reinforces my view of a nation that elected Clinton and Obama and repeated the nonsense. 

Business as usual, but I really can’t figure out some of the results.

I now live in Texas.  I came here to get away from politicians like Beto O’Rouke.  He is an empty suit that disagrees with the values and culture of Texas on just about every issue.  He lost as he should.  The thing that mystifies me is that he came so close.  According to the latest information from the Secretary of State he received 48.32 compared to Cruz at 50.89.  ??????  Pick an issue.  Guns, he was against them.  Abortions, he was for them.  Open borders was his theme.  Go on down the list and he sounded like he could have won in California.  He came close enough to be scary.

And look at Arizona.  According to Real Clear Politics McSally is less than one percent ahead of a Democrat who said Arizona voters were crazy and had no problem with people joining ISIS to fight against America.  This should have been a runaway situation.  Of course this is the state that kept returning John McCain, Mr. RINO, to the senate.  You need to factor in all the liberals fleeing their model socialist state to the west.  Still, where are the Americans?

I can understand Virginia moving blue.  Northern Virginia is simply an overflow for the swamp of D.C.  Their gravy train in on the line.  What I can’t understand is Pennsylvania.  Four districts switched to the swamp support by sizable margins.  Have they ever heard of coal?

We will move on.  Divided government is part of the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers envisioned.  It is probably healthy.  So are Brussel sprouts.  It doesn’t mean I have to like them.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Opus 2018-263: Election 2018: Day of Hope

This is a day of hope.  Today Americans have the choice to make their voices heard or to sit back and do nothing.  One of the benefits of our system is that we have a choice and we are not forced to exercise it. 

I am optimistic.  I hope that the numbers at the end of the day are good for the America I envision.  I am aware that there are a lot of people who are so brainwashed and ignorant that they don’t recognize the danger of socialism and the tyranny it produces.  I am aware that they don’t have any idea of economics and so many are employed or supported by government jobs and largess that they think money grows on trees.  They forget that leaves also grow on trees and most leaves are of no value except mulch.

I am still optimistic.  I have Hope because God is on the throne.  I do not assume that America is God’s chosen people.  That position was given to Israel and I have not heard about it being reassigned.  At the same time there are still a lot of people living in obedience and faith.  I know that the country survived FDR, Jimmy, WJC and BHO.  We can outlast the demagogues and self appointed messiahs because overall our system is robust and there are still enough of a righteous remnant that I believe God is not done with us as a country.  People came through the Great Depression.  We can not only survive but thrive in what is coming.

That gives me hope about the future no matter how the numbers come out. 

My hope is not in the American people.  These are the same people who elected Bill Clinton twice and Barak Obama twice.  This is a country that almost elected Al Gore.  This is a country in which the major media outlets have not gone bankrupt and people who know better are still going to Starbuck’s and eating Ben and Jerry’s.

God is patient.  I hope that tomorrow will bring good news about politics.  I know today brings good news about eternity.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Opus 2018-262: Because, Gorges, Part 2 of 2

What do I do with the Sabbath. 
(Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Again, that is pretty clear and I am not sure any of us try to pay attention to it.  I have a feeling that if we did the shopping malls and restaurants would start closing up one day a week.

I could make the defense that I am not a Jew and this is the Law, thus it does not apply to me.  That does not work too well because if I can do that with the Sabbath I can also do it to stealing and adultery, if you catch my drift.  While I feel comfortable doing that with the ceremonial law I can’t do it with the moral law.

So lets go literal.  What is the purpose of the Sabbath?  It seems clear that it is a day of rest.  It is a day for no work.  Notice that there is no mention of worship, synagogue or temple.  God did not go to church on Saturday, He rested.  He stopped His work of creation.

So the Sabbath is to be a day of rest.  I will admit that we do not honor that.  I could go along with the idea that we do no work on Saturday.  Maybe that is where the church has missed it.  We have taken Saturday to be the day we catch up on chores and called Sunday a day of rest.  Then on Sunday we wear ourselves out doing church stuff.  In the process we don’t have a day of rest.  Now that I am retired I could easily avoid any work on Saturday and still go to church on Sunday.  That would leave me five days to get everything done on the “honey-do” list.  If you are working you don’t have that luxury. 

Modern appointment calendars may solve the problem for me.  If you have bought one you have noticed that they are now making Monday the first day of the week and putting Sunday at the end.  They do it because it saves space on the format that puts a week on two pages.  Personally I think it is also done to kick the Lord’s Day off the beginning of the week.  It will be interesting to see if it ever spreads to the monthly calendars people have on their walls.

I see the Sabbath as Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.  I see Sunday as the Lord’s Day.  One should be for rest and the other for worship.

Until I work that out, just call me “inconsistent”. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Opus 2018-261: Because, Gorges, Part 1 of 2

Recently Gorges of Gorges Grouse got a bit upset with me and my inconsistency.  He stopped short of the word “hypocrisy” but you could see it wanting to jump out between the lines.  In case you don’t bother with reading comments, here is what he had to say,

“So why do you deny the TRUE Sabbath, but then stick the commandments for it on the FIRST day of the week? And please don't use the silly argument that man can choose any day he wants for “‘the Sabbath.’”
He has a point.  This is what the Bible has to say.
(Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
That seems pretty straight forward. 

Of course we also need to point out some conflicts that Jesus had about the Sabbath.  One is found in Mark 2:23-28. 
(Mark 2:23-4 KJV)  And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.  And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
The law allowed people to take enough grain from a field to deal with their hunger so we are not looking at theft or trespass.  What the Pharisees got upset about was that plucking grain was work and that meant that they were working on the Sabbath.  If you understand the passage in Exodus rigidly, then Jesus was breaking the Law.  Yet He answers them to point out an understanding that I am not sure we get yet.
(Mark 2:27 KJV)  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
The Sabbath rest was not a burden that God put on His people.  It was a protection that He demanded for their lives.  They were not to work themselves into the ground.  Notice that it applied even to the cattle.  If it were written today it might apply to our automobiles.  God knew about type A people who never rest.  He knew that such behavior was bad for us.  To He called a Sabbath rest.

Like all Biblical laws, there is a good reason for them.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Opus 2018-260: Happy Reformation Day

Sunday I attended a Presbyterian church that was very proud of being part of the Reformed tradition.  Sunday was Reformation Sunday and the pastor explained that it came on the Sunday before Reformation Day which is October 31.  I had never noticed that before.

He said the October 31, 1517 was the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesis to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral and started the theological debate that led to the Protestant Revolution.  In case you can’t do the math that is 501 years ago. 

Today most protestant denominations trace their roots back to Martin Luther and the other reformers such as John Calvin.

So if you don’t want to celebrate Halloween I suggest you celebrate Reformation Sunday.  You could go around nailing lists to people’s front doors.  We might start a whole new tradition.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Opus 2018-259: Cui Bono

Who benefits from illegal aliens invading our country?  It is a question that is often ignored or presented as a partisan issue.  It is not a chasm populated by Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other.  The list is long and ubiquitous.

The countries sending them want easy access.  This is nothing new.  We act like dumping your problem people is a new phenomenon.  Not so.  Oliver Cromwell sent large numbers of rebellious Scots and Irish as indentured servants.  Georgia was established as a penal colony.  Even the slaves that were sold by Africans to European and Muslim slave dealers were the ones that the locals wanted to get rid of.

The people who come want easy crossings.  Whether they are fleeing oppression, looking for a better job or terrorists wanting to destroy us, they have one thing in common.  Abolish ICE.  Neuter the border patrol.  Create more sanctuary cities.  A large part of the world would love to move to Southern California if they could just get across the ocean.

People who want cheap labor are in favor of a porous border.  It isn’t just the rich businessmen who run sweat shops.  The desire for cheap labor extends everywhere.  People who want cheap labor to mow their lawn are in favor of open borders.  People who want restaurant prices to stay down don’t mind cheap labor.  I was struck by a recent headline sparked by an illegal who murdered a college girl.  The reporters suddenly became aware of farms in the area who depended on illegals to work for low wages.

The Democrat Party believes they are gaining a whole new voter base.  They don’t even care if the voters are citizens.  They will register them and have them voting the rest of their lives.  In many case they will keep them voting for years after they die.  Their problem is that the country is so awesome that many of them start doing well, gaining wealth and realizing that the Democrats want to take that away from them.

Who then is hurt by illegal aliens.  The biggest hit is taken by the everyday tax payer.  They are the ones who fund the schools, government medical programs, food subsidies and rent payments.  The money comes from some where and many of the illegals are either in the cash economy or working under assumed identities so they make reduced contributions, if any.

You also have the victims of crime.  We hear the statistics again and again.  Currently the headlines are repetitious about illegal aliens committing murder, rape and robbery.  Our jails are full of the ones who have been caught and convicted.  Many people live in fear even within their homes.
  
Do we need to do something about illegal aliens?  Yes we do.  Will we?  Probably not.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Opus 2018-258: Toast Rules

All games have rules.  If they didn’t they would be impossible to play.  Certain things are understood and not allowed and people are always trying to get away with things.  It is the nature of games.  One of the card games that I played in my youth was called Rook.  It is a recognized, registered, trademarked game even if you have never heard of it.  I played it for years before I ever read the rules and found that what I had been playing was not Rook.  It was our version of Rook.  We even had subversions.  We called ours Pasadena College Rules.  If we had been playing with someone who had read the rules they would have claimed we were cheating.  No.  We understood the rules.  It didn’t do any good to complain that the rules didn’t allow something.  We all agreed to play that way.  If you refused to acknowledge the rules you played under, you were toast.

Politically a lot of us low level conservatives have been toast.  This came to me as I was reading a post by Don Surber about recent activity in the Senate.  Evidently the Senate Judiciary Committee met while the Senate was not in session and approved some judges to go to the floor for a floor vote.  Democrats are crying, “Foul!”  It seems that they were all out of town and even the Republicans only had two senators present.  I am guessing that they were playing by Pasadena College Rules.  It must be legal because they are getting away with it but it doesn’t seem logical.

This is where those of us in fly-over country probably need to read the real rule book.  Traditionally conservatives have believed that the rule of law means you follow the law even if you don’t agree with it.  That means a Supreme Court with a conservative majority will abide by such nonsense as Roe v Wade because it is the law and precedent.  A liberal, activist court will throw out 200 years of American rulings and 2,000 years of Western civilization because they can and it advances their leftist agenda.  That means the conservatives can never move forward.  All they can do is hold the line while the liberals are free to go crazy.

We need to take another look at the rule book.  This time it needs to be the actual play-book that is being used, not the one that sits in the box and gets ignored.  What are the rules, encased in the Constitution, and what are traditions made up by the dominate party and the ingrown incumbents?  Take the idea of a 60 vote necessity to end debate and get on with the business of confirming judges.  This is not in the Constitution and if used as it was originally intended, to make sure everyone had a chance to speak, it was a tool to keep the majority from running over the minority.  It became a way for people who lost elections to keep the Senate from voting and doing its job.  It was tradition and it was changed.  If it had not been changed we would be getting no judges confirmed.

Jury nullification is another principle that citizens need to consider.  When you are on a jury the judge tells you the choices you have under the law.  That is the judges opinion and what he tells you may be technically correct.  But what if the law is wrong and it is being used to railroad someone for political purposes?  Jury nullification says that the jury can declare someone “not guilty” no matter what the law says.  It is the jury applying the same principles to their role that the liberal Supreme Court justices apply to theirs.  Just because the jury only serves on one trial and doesn’t get black robes does not mean they are second class citizens.

I am sure there are other ways we can begin to play by the real rules.  I am tired of being toast.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 26, 2018

Opus 2018-257: Liberty Is Not Tolerance, part 2 of 2

Why is it important that we stand up for religious liberty today?  In one word, Islam.  Islam is one of those realities that you need to look into yourself.  Do not take anyone else’s word for what Islam is, even mine.  Get a Koran and read it yourself.  If you are not a reader, you have my sympathy but do not accept the carefully chosen “sound bites” that are given to you by the media.  Islam is like Christianity in that it is given a charge to convert the entire world.  The difference that effects our lives is that the Bible never gives Christians the commission to use force or coercion.  The Koran does.  If you read it you will also find that it condones lies if they advance the cause. 

America and Americans are willing to grant Muslims religious liberty.  That is no problem.  The problem comes when you realize that their religion, if they truly believe it, demands that they bring you to your knees in submission.  It can be the submission of conversion.  It can be the submission of servitude or slavery which they call “dhimmi”.  When you research it and see it means “protected person” then understand the jargon.  Slaves in the south were protected people also.  People locked into rubber rooms and straight jackets are protected also.  The final classification of submission is death, the ultimate peace.

We have home-grown religious groups that are determined to convert everyone.  I immediately think of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons.  They are very aggressive in presenting their beliefs but last time I heard Mormon missionary teams were not armed.  There are religions rooted in other countries that suppress those who differ but they are not set on conquering the world and forcing it into one mold with violence and suppression.  I have not heard of Buddhist suicide bombers trying to take down American democracy.  Maybe that is because I don’t read the New York Times.

We still have religious liberty although the left is working hard to throttle it.  In the past year the mayor of Austin, Texas tried to require pastors to turn over their sermon material and e-mails so she could scan it for what she would call hate language.  She was stopped.  The next bright light of the left may get away with it.  Some probably have by using zoning laws, parking regulation and parade permits. 

Religious liberty is a protection that goes both ways.  Don’t give it up in the name of tolerance.

Background

Thomas M. Cooley was on the Michigan State Supreme Court after the Civil War.

Dennis Prager covers the distinction between liberty and freedom well in many forums.  You can do a search for “Dennis Prager on liberty” and find many listings.

Blakely, William Addison, Ed.  American State Papers and Related 
   Documents on Freedom in Religion, Fourth Revised Edition. 
   Washington, D.C.:  The Religious Liberty Association, 1949.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Opus 2018-256: Liberty Is Not Tolerance, part 1 of 2

I was looking over my book shelf trying to decide which books I would never get around to reading.  One that caught my eye was American State Papers.  Since so much is available on line I wondered why I still had this old volume.  When I looked a little closer and saw the subtitle I got a better idea.  It continued with and Related Documents on Freedom of Religion.  It was a collection that focused on the American concept found in the First Amendment that we called “Freedom of Religion.” 

A statement in the Foreword caught my eye.
“This is a country of religious liberty, not of religious toleration merely.” page 9
The Foreword was written in 1893 by a man named Thomas M. Cooley.  I think it would help us today to think about the difference between liberty and toleration.

Liberty is an important term to understand.  It is not the same as freedom.  Freedom has the idea that you can do anything you want at any time you want.  The American concept of liberty understands that your right to do anything you want has boundaries set by the rights of others.  Thus I am free to turn my music as loud as I want until it reaches into someone else’s space where they desire quiet.  At that point I can either turn my music down, change locations, use my headphones or invest in some insulation.  They don’t have to tolerate your liberty.

American religious liberty has been a development.  Almost every one of the original thirteen colonies had an official church.  The exceptions that come up in my memory are Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.  There were struggles to allow the kind of denominational differences that we take for granted today.  The key is that the struggle continued until the First Amendment demanded that we be free from an official state church.  Even after the Bill of Rights was ratified states still had official churches but the tide was moving toward liberty.

Early in our history we had tolerance.  There was an accepted state church but they tolerated others.  In the toleration only the state church received tax support.  In the toleration the non-conformists faced a lot of discrimination.  The key is that in time we moved from tolerating what we did not like to allowing freedom of conscience without penalty.

To be continued...

Background

Thomas M. Cooley was on the Michigan State Supreme Court after the Civil War.

Dennis Prager covers the distinction between liberty and freedom well in many forums.  You can do a search for “Dennis Prager on liberty” and find many listings.

Blakely, William Addison, Ed.  American State Papers and Related 
   Documents on Freedom in Religion, Fourth Revised Edition. 
   Washington, D.C.:  The Religious Liberty Association, 1949.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Opus 2018-255: New Terms: USM and OMQ

I continue to see the “Just Do It” meme based on the Oppressed Millionaire Quarterback OMQ with bad knees.  I am wondering if the Unnamed Shoe Maker (USM) is like Liberace, “laughing all the way to the bank.”  Someone once commented that there was no bad publicity except no publicity.  As long as people who are angry at the USM for what they did and continue to make fun of them, they get free publicity. 

This is a page out of the Trump play book.  Remember all the free publicity he got because the media kept mocking him.  My guess is that the USM is good with what is going on. 

Sure they are funny.  Yes, they are creative.  I do enjoy them.  I am just wondering....

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Opus 2018-254: Pick Your Law

You have heard the nonsense of “What would happen if you had a war and nobody came?”  In reality what would happen is that one side would show up and the other would become slaves.  So far we have seen that scenario playing itself out in our streets as the left has declared a war and the right is still refusing to show up.  If it continues this way then we will become slaves of a socialist state.

We need to remember that we have the super weapons in this battle.  All we really need to do is show up and put them in action.  I refer to truth and the law.  They require two different platforms.

The truth needs to be put out where it can be seen.  We who get on the internet and know where to look can find a lot of truth.  The problem is that the sheeple of the United States tend to still believe what the talking heads tell them.  I will concede that the Kavanaugh hearings unglazed the eyes of some but I am not sure it is a long term fix.  I have heard it asked so let me repeat the question, “Why are all the newspapers owned by liberals if conservatives have all the money?”  I recently picked up the front page of our local big city paper while I was in a waiting room.  I did not need to get past the headlines to realize that there was no point in reading it.  I have this dream that someday I will pick up a newspaper and find a well written, coherent and honest report of something that has happened.  If I do I will subscribe but I refuse to put any more money into funding liberal rags.

The law is our big secret weapon that we refuse to use.  When a mob shows up at a restaurant and begins to threaten law abiding citizens who are minding their own business, it is time for some arrests to be made and some trials to go on.  How is it that Democrats can call for violence and nothing happens?  How is it that people can make accusations under oath and walk away scot free when it is obvious they have lied?  How can we literally have riots by masked Antifa goons and no one goes to jail?

We need to apply the law of justice or we will end up being forced to resort to the law of the jungle.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 19, 2018

Opus 2018-253: The Balance of Partisanship

One of the characteristics of the American Republic is the division of power along with checks and balances.  We often credit Montesquieu with this but if you read his The Spirit of Laws you find that he did a lot of looking at the English system which had two houses of legislature plus a monarchy.  The Founding Fathers dug even deeper than that.  They did a lot of research into the Greek democracies and the Roman Republic.  One of the examples of divided power was found in Sparta even though it was not a democracy.
    “The Spartan people preferred two kings at odds, rather than one directing affairs with unchallenged power.
    “The two-king system, although it produced its own difficulties, did prevent the rise of a Mesopotamian-style monarchy”, p. 421
I am not sure how we would recreate that today but I would suggest the two political parties as candidates for kings.  They are constantly fighting each other for control and to set the agenda.  I don’t know how many times I have heard “this is the end of the _______ party”.  And then a few years later I hear it the other way.

Partisanship is part of the reason our system works.  If you only have one party then you end up with the kind of brutal repression common in the socialist systems of National Socialism and Communism.  Anyone who ever gets out of their bedroom realizes that large number of people never agree on things.  The only way you can have one party rule is by severe repression of any dissenting voice.

So let’s here it for partisanship.  That is the point of the First Amendment.  The Second is there for those times when the left forgets the boundaries of discourse.

November is coming.  Let the anarchists and socialists feel the burn.

Bauer, Susan Wise.  The History of the Ancient World.  New York: 
      W. W. Norton, 2007.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Opus 2018-252: Different Trigger, Same Gun

Some things never seem to change.  It is hard to believe.  I have found myself talking about how today’s Democrat party is different than it used to be.  There may be some truth to that but not as much as you think.  John Batchelor quotes an editorial from a newspaper called The Tribune back in 1896.  Read through it and ask yourself, “Does this sound familiar?”  The trigger issue in those days was silver as a base for the dollar instead of gold.  The trigger changes but the gun is the same.
    “Man and blind hatred of property, hatred of those who appear more fortunate and seem to have easier lives, notions that all men ought to be equal in income and expenditure and tastes and engagements, as well as legal rights with a passionate desire to tear down the existing state of things if it cannot be made to suit such a fanaticism - that is the desperate and dangerous force which only uses the silver issue as a means of striking at all property and all the prosperous.
    “Does anybody ask how such a brainless craze came to exist in this free country?
    “The Democratic party cultivated it laboriously and patently for twenty-five years, especially in all the Western and Southern States, as its only hope of defeating the Republican party.
    “Every day and every night it appealed persistently to the mean hatred of success by those who do not succeed, of property by those who have none, of employers by employed, of capital by labor, and contrived at last to create a communistic spirit in free American which is as ignorant, as stupid, as vindictive and madly destructive as that which lightened the torch and danced around the corpses in Paris.” pages 129-130
The title of the editorial was “American Silver Communists”.  It is interesting that even in 1896 the informed were aware of the danger of Communism.  Too bad so few are informed now.  The tactic of the Democrat party was to divide the country by class warfare.  It is still their goal.

Batchelor, John Calvin.  Ain’t You Glad You Joined the Republicans? 
     New York:  Henry Holt Company, 1996.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Opus 2018-251: Who Is the Deep State?

I imagine everyone has a different definition of the deep state.  For some it is a tight group at the center of the halls of power that act as puppet masters, pulling strings and manipulating society toward a police state that they control.  For some it is rogue, unelected bureaucrats who ignore the law and advance their own personal egos and power.

I think it is much bigger than that.  I think it is a vast host of individuals.  Some work alone and others work in groups.  They may not even be aware of each other but they have one major flaw:  They think they are the exception.  They don’t need to play by the rules.  They consider themselves what Thomas Sowell calls “the Anointed.”

If you are playing Monopoly they want to be the banker or at least sit by the banker so that they can make slight-of-hand “loans”.  After all, it is only a game and suckers don’t deserve to win.

If they are a preacher they carefully select the Bible passages they use and skip any verse that might cause you to question what they say.

If they are politicians they say things like, “We need to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.”

If they work for the DMV, IRS of OSHA they make sure that things go as slow as possible.  They are obsessed with forms and check marks.  They make dealing with the government a living hell.  They are anyone who has the ability to tell you “no” based on a technicality or minor error.  They move your application to the bottom of the pile or send it to the wrong office.  They stand in classrooms, sit behind plate glass windows.  They wear badges and robes.  They have a wide variety of incomes and live in many neighborhoods.

What they have in common is power over others that they use as their priorities dictate instead of the way the rules were intended.

Think how much better our lives would be if we did away with entire departments of the federal government.  Do we really need a Department of Education?  Do we need the government to tell us that food products must have nutrition labels?  Does your barber really need to be licensed?

November is coming.  One of the issues you should examine is elected officials who want to cut the size of government.

The Deep State wants you.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 15, 2018

Opus 2018-250: Curses

I can’t find where I first saw it mentioned but you my have read about the witches coming together to throw a curse on Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  It is supposed to be focused on his mistreatment of women.  I imagine they are basing it all on a vague, unsupported accusation that he got too pushy once when he was a teenager.  I have good news for the new justice from the book of Proverbs.
(Proverbs 26:2 NAS77)  Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, So a curse without cause does not alight.
I don’t think political assassinations or publicity stunts qualify as a reason for a curse.

What is interesting to me is that it doesn’t say that curses don’t exist, just that they are worthless if not deserved.

Maybe someone has cursed all the media outlets that report fake news.  Their circulation has certainly take a nose dive.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-249: The Next Cool Look

One of the older texts I am reading on my Kindle is the Journals of Lewis and Clarke.  It is quite a slog.  Getting through the spelling and grammar is a chore.  Then you have double entries for each day, I think one is from Lewis and one from Clarke.  I am currently reading the entry for November 1, 1805.  At this point they were east of modern Portland. 

As they traveled they described the Indian tribes that they met.  One thing you learn from historical documents is that the American Indians were not a monolithic culture.  Two groups even a few miles apart could speak totally different languages and dress totally different.  Today as I read they went into the methods used to mold the heads of their children.  Not the minds, the heads.  They had previously mentioned flat heads among some tribes, now they described the method of strapping boards on the heads of the babies until the heads went to the form they wanted.

The reason I bring this up is I think we could be looking at a wave of the future.  I am thinking of the body mutilation going on in the millennial generation.  I am even seeing it in older people who must be trying to relate.  Have you seen the picture of the guy that has big rings in his cheeks and nose and you can look through his head?  Piercing and tattoos are a growing trend.  So I ask, “When you have covered and punctured your body as far as it will go, what next?”  How do you set the new trend?  I would suggest head molding for children.

I am not wanting this to happen.  I find tattoos, studs and rings to be silly at best and ugly most often but keep in mind that I don’t understand why anyone would wear a necklace either.  I am just guessing at where the next silly stage will be.  Like tattoos, once you have formed the babies head it will be that way the rest of their lives. 

Sadly, you heard it here first.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Opus 2018-248: Headlines: Response to Resist

We need to see more of this response to leftist violence.  According to the Gateway Pundit a member of a college Republican group was pushed around by a leftist.  He called the police and is filing charges.  It will be interesting to see if there is any video and if this goes anywhere.  This needs to be an automatic response.

This might be a good time for a group of conservative lawyers to offer their services in a pro bono or “no charge unless a claim is won” basis.  I don’t know the legal costs involved in something like that but it would seem to me that it would be money well spent.  These people will not go away unless it becomes too painful to continue acting like bullies.  If we don’t want to end up with blood running in the streets and violent civil war we should start using the tools of the rule of law while we still have a chance.

If you sheriff won’t back you up, vote the sucker out.  If your police won’t support you then it is time to make changes on your city council.  They appoint the police chief.  Even in a republic the people are supposed to have a say in their leaders and a way to hold them accountable.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 12, 2018

Opus 2018-247: Election 2018: What Kind of Government Do We Deserve?

I watch the mindless, unprincipled march of the Democrats.  They could not be sitting in positions of power and working their evil if they did not have a lot of Democrats voting for them and a lot of Republicans not voting at all.  I keep wondering how so many people can be so blind.  Can’t they see what is obvious?  Have they lost their minds?  Do they have no sense of logic or morals?

Then I begin to wonder if they are saying the same things about me.  Actually they are saying a lot worse things. 

They are wrong, of course.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Opus 2018-246: Firsts: I Still Can’t Believe It

Part of moving to Texas is needing to begin to do my own yard maintenance.  That means I am now trying to mow the non-tree and rock free parts of our property.  I am guessing that means almost an acre.  I am getting into the swing of pushing a mower around.  I do about an hour at a time and eventually get it done.

What I was not prepared for was dealing with the machinery.  My wife brought home a used string trimmer with a two stroke-engine.  I have always avoided two-strokes.  I don’t understand them and they don’t want me to understand them.  The device slowly went down hill.  At first it was impossible to start once it was warm so I only could use it until the string wore down.  Then I needed to wait until the next day.  Eventually it started refusing to run. 

I had a choice to make.  I could keep taking it back to the guy who sold it to us and have him work his magic or I could try to fix it myself.  Since I am cheap and my manhood was on the line I decided to give it a go.  What was the worst that could happen?  I would fail and take it to him anyway.  I had nothing to lose.

So I did a search on You Tube and watched a few videos.  I ordered a kit that included everything I would need including a new carburetor.  The day came when all the parts were in my possession and I had no more excuses.  I started taking out screws and pulling things apart.  Eventually I did all I knew to do and the moment of truth came............It started.  I was in shock.

I did some trimming and then turned it off and renewed the string.  It started again.  I am impressed. 

So now I have actually fixed something.  I need a nap.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Opus 2018-245: Baby Talk: The Joy of Anticipation

Recently we were able to Skype with my daughter and granddaughter.  The baby is at that stage where she is able to move all four extremities and each one has the strength to accomplish a task but the coordination isn’t there.  She will rear up like a seal and examine her world.  The next minute her face is in the rug but her rear is in the air.  You can watch her try to figure it out but there is still something missing.  A fun time was had by all, except maybe the baby.

One of the great side benefits of having grandchildren is that your mind drifts into the past.  I was sitting and thinking about chasing my granddaughter when she starts to crawl.  That brought back fond memories of chasing my son down the hall while he howled with laughter.  I don’t need any trigger warnings.  The memories are warm and gratifying. 

I had forgotten how long it takes infants to master basic skills.  In a sense it will never change.  There are still some things that I have trouble with like getting all the pieces of lettuce off the counter when I make a salad or using the right amount of shampoo.  Life will continue to have it’s challenges.  I can see the day coming when I will have a hard time getting my shoes done right.  I already have days I get my underwear on backwards. 

Fortunately I have mastered crawling.  I will need it next time I see my granddaughter.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Opus 2018-244: Election 2018: History Lessons

At the end of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln called for reconciliation and forgiveness.  Most people have heard the famous finish to his second inaugural even if they don’t know the source.
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
He made this statement after references to God, the Bible and our Christian tradition.  They are very noble and correct.

He relaxed, went to the theater and was murdered.

At the end of World War II we began to rebuild Germany and Japan.  In Europe it was called the Marshall Plan.  Japan was put under the control of General Douglas MacArthur who had a very high regard for the future of that country.  Do you get who we are.  We forgave our enemies and helped to rebuild their nations.

Of course we had totally defeated them with a no-holds barred approach to victory.  They were shattered.  We could afford to be magnanimous. 

The results are open to interpretation.  True, we did not have Germany rising again to bring us to World War III.  Japan did away with its military.  We have had peace on those fronts but the direction they are going today makes you wonder if it was the best approach.

With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court we won a battle in the War for the Heart of America.  For the moment due process, the rule of law and presumption of innocence came out on top.  It ceased being an issue of who he was but instead what he represented.  Let’s take a moment to rejoice, but only a moment.  We need to keep digging the trenches, putting stakes around our castles and combing the countryside for the guerilla resistance.  We need to root out the traitors and by the careful use of law and due process show them what justice means.  They will be back and they are good at hitting us in places that we don’t think a person of integrity would strike.

That is because they are not people of integrity.  Morals for the socialist are whatever brings them victory.  The only high road is the one that destroys the opposition.

We are the opposition.  We have a duty to follow the rule of law and due process.  If you are a Christian or a believing Jew you have a responsibility to be kind to your enemies, but that comes after you win, not before. 

There will be many battles in the coming days to wear us down and get us to compromise.  We need to stay alert and remember to vote on November 6.  I will say vote early.  I would say also vote often but that is one of their techniques.  Our biggest danger is that we give up on how slow freedom works, throw in the towel and become like them.

Then we lose.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-243: How About a Red Bull?

One of the memes going on today seems to be having a Beer for Brett.  While I support the effort I don’t drink, so I can’t join the movement.  I have a suggestion for those of us who are teetotalers.  I would suggest Dr. Pepper for Due Process, Perrier for Presumed Innocent or Red Bull for Rule of Law. 

It is a good day to celebrate but keep in mind that the forces of tyranny will only back off far enough to get a running start.  Their entire goal is to force socialism so that we can all be equally poor and bound.  Expect them in your churches and public parks.  They can show up at your weddings or your next high school football game. 

Expect it.  They will come.  Be ready.  Stand strong.  It might be better to have the Red Bull and stay alert than the beer and lose control.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Opus 2018-242: Political Theater in Proverbs

I want to share something I came across in Proverbs today.  As I read it my mind went to a recent political display that most of us have been following.  I will mention no names or point any fingers although I am probably shaking a fist.  It starts with this,
(Proverbs 6:16 KJV)  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
I have read that many times and reflected on the verses that follow.  Usually I am looking to get my own act together but today it seemed like something that should have been covered by the MSM.  Read this and ponder.
(Proverbs 6:17 KJV)  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

I’m going to guess you didn’t need to ponder too long.  I have this feeling that certain faces and actions came to your mind without me saying anything.  If not then you have been playing video games too much.

The things we have seen have created a lot of rage in me and probably in you.  Keep in mind that they are an abomination to God.

It is good to be on the right side.  Again, I will let you fill in the names.

homo unius libri