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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.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Opus 2019-049: Maui, Texas

It was an awesome sunrise in Texas today, at least from my perch.

First it goes from black to gray and then you begin to get the gray morphing slowly into pink.  Isolated clouds will start reflecting the gold of the still hidden sun while the upper reaches go from black to navy blue to a dark sky blue.  The portions of clear air between clouds will move from pink to what I think of as aquamarine and turquoise. 

It reminds me of the mornings in Maui when I would rise in the dark, prepare my coffee, grab my guitar, Bible and lawn chair and head for the beach to watch the same spectacle.  I guess you could say this is a Maui, Texas, hill country kind of morning.

When I stood up and stepped closer to the window for a broader view I realized that my framed portion of the sky what the central point of the action.  I guess God knew I needed a reminder.

I hope you get a chance to look out a window today.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 25, 2019

Opus 2019-048: Election 2020: Primary Elections Are the Key

One of Nancy Pelosi’s famous lines was, “We need to pass the bill so we can find out what is in the bill.”  We all laughed.  We thought she was trying to push the legislation.  Actually it is worse than that:  She was stating the standard operating procedure (SOP) of our elected officials.  With the passing of the recent spending bill it is obvious that the Republicans at least never read a bill until after it is passed and then they only read it to find out what loopholes they can use for their own personal benefit.  We see this pattern over and over again.

Is there any way that we can cut the pork and earmarks out of the legislative process?  There is but I am not sure the voting public has the drive or attention span needed to produce results.  We need to keep a record of what our elected officials do and when it is time to vote try to get rid of the ones that don’t measure up.  We also need to be willing to give up our pet projects for the good of the country.  Keep in mind that one man’s bacon is another man’s pork.

It also involves getting more involved in the primary process.  California has gutted their elections with open primaries and voter registration.  Those of us that have not been overwhelmed by the one party state need to get involved before the party’s candidate is selected.  In many areas the winner of the primary is a done deal in the general election in both parties.

So can you name your representatives?  I know my state senator and congressman.  I need to learn my state assembly member.  I then need to find out how they have voted on bills I think are key to the survival of the Republic.  If I am successful I will wax more eloquent.  If I bog down you won’t hear about it again.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Opus 2019-047: New Terms: Trumpophobia

I doubt if I am the first to come up with this.  We have things like Trump Derangement Syndrome.  I am sure there are many ways to describe the lack of thought process on the left.  I would suggest Trumpophobia.

It can be handy in conversations.  The mindless masses like to trot out homophobic, islamophobic and any other phobic that will put us in our places.  Maybe we can return the complement by simply calling them trumpophobic when they are being dense.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 22, 2019

Opus 2019-046: Baby Talk: Baby Me

Watching the baby has helped me understand the elites who want to take care of us.

The baby needs constant supervision because it doesn’t know what will hurt it.  There are sharp corners and poisons all around the child and it doesn’t know it.  A good parent looks out for the infant and guides its actions.  Dangers are removed.  Threats are neutralized.  And the baby never knows.

Of course if you protect the child too much it will never learn about the law of gravity.  He will never learn the frustration of failure that stimulates trying again.  He will think that everything is easy.  He will live in a bubble and never learn to think.  That is the kind of parent that socialism provides.

Pain is a good teacher but some need more supervision than others.  There are limits that are important but they should be designed to be removed as the child progresses.  Training wheels are good on a child’s first bicycle but if they are never removed the child will never know the freedom a bicycle provides.  It also adds the risk of riding in traffic surrounded by cars but that is part of the price of liberty.  If you never take the plug guards out of the receptacle the child will never be able to access the miracle of electricity. 

Socialism at its best wants to remove the chance of pain.  At its worst it is just a desire to control that grows out of a sense of superiority.

Babies can be great teachers.  We need to be better ones.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Opus 2019-045: Stealth Citizens

Are there any pockets of livability in Venezuela?  Of course I mean outside of the elite socialists running the country for the good of the people.  Two things socialist countries have in common.  They all have the masses of people living in poverty.  They are equal and poor.  At the top of the pile you have the anointed leaders who are living in luxury.  Venezuela is in lock step with that model.

Are there any quiet little groups outside the elites that have managed to have enough to eat?  Are there people that keep off the radar, living in seclusion, who have a stable life in the midst of chaos?  If there are I would like to know how they did it.

I  wonder because it looks to me like the progressives in education, government and the media have managed to brainwash a sizable portion of the young people approaching voting age.  With the fascist executives of the social media giants doing everything they can to control information there is little hope for the masses.  More and more of the young generation are being seduced by the siren call of socialism.  They think that redistribution of income and equality across the board will raise everyone’s boat to a comfortable level.  They think that you grow wealthy by printing more money.

I use “fascist” advisably.  Fascism is not the same as communism.  One of the things that is distinctive about fascism is that the government gets in bed with big business instead of destroying it.  Another word for it is crony capitalism.  Fascist dictators like Mussolini convinced the rich and powerful that if they would cooperate then they would rule.  Life at the top was good.

I also use “dictator” advisably.  What most people don’t understand it that dictators take power through due process.  They are elected by the masses or appointed by the elites.  They do not stage a military coup or a bloody revolution.  Often they use coercion and violence to make people insecure enough to vote for a strong man but in reality the population makes that decision.

I don’t know what the key is.  I don’t think it involves living totally off the grid.  Eventually you have to come to town for coffee and duct tape.  Then they get you.  I will keep looking and hoping that I am just being a cynic.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Opus 2019-044: Thanks Thoughts: The Self Made Man

As I was being thankful this morning it crossed my mind again how much has been prepared for me by the hands of others.  In the context of history I am living in unequaled luxury and wealth.  That is because of thousands, if not millions, of people who have done their part as they work to earn their daily bread.  I asked myself, “How many things that you can see could you have made yourself?”  At first the answer was, “None.”  I could not have even painted the walls as well as they are painted, let alone make the paint or brush.

I finally found something I could have made:  A coaster.  It would have been made of a chip of wood or a chunk of rock I ground down to semi-flatness.  It would not have been square or round.  It would not have a nice decoration on it.  An archeologist would wonder what it was but it would be a place where I could put my coffee cup in the morning.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to make a cup that will hold hot coffee and grow the coffee bushes after I figure out how to get clean water.

Thank you to all the hands that went into making my life good.  I thank the God who places each of us in our place.  I hope I have done my part in the Rube Goldberg plan of life.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 18, 2019

Opus 2019-043: Firsts: Pandora

By now the bar for new music should be so high that very few new compositions are ever heard by the general population.  There would not be time to waste on most of it.  It is kind of like being on a diet with a limited number of calories in a day.  You are not going to waste your time eating unleavened bread when you have pizza available.

I had forgotten how much I have forgotten.  Recently my children got me going on Pandora.  Pandora is a music ap that lets you pick the type of music you want and tailors its selections to your preferences.  It has been an eye opener.  I started listening to oldies and I was shocked at how many great songs there were in the music libraries.  Song after song that I had not heard in twenty years touched my ears and a nerve at the same time. 

Then I tried a thread with hymns and found out how many recordings have been made by different genres of musicians and it was surprising how many of them were worth listening to.  I went to the topic of Praise Music and again, the good stuff keeps flowing. 

Why is it then that when I turn on the radio I get nothing but drivel?  Why is it when I go to church I get nothing but monotonous sap that was written by people with a limited grasp of theology and knew three chords on a guitar?  It is like going to Flemings and choosing to eat the saltines I brought with me.  I think the congregation puts up with it because it allows people to spend time on their phones without missing out on anything.

To those leading the “worship teams” of the world, get an I-Pad and download Pandora.  You might be shocked out of writing your next song as you bask in the geniuses of the past.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Opus 2019-042: Baby Talk: A Future Progressive

I continue to see a lot of similarities between the actions of my infant granddaughter and your typical liberal.

Infants have their physical ability and mental perception very much entwined.  I often wonder how much of the developing coordination is a problem of muscle development and how much is limited mental understanding.  As I watch my granddaughter I am struck by how many simple things she cannot seem to get done.  I was watching her try to unfold a paper she removed from my pocket.  She kept coming back to it but she never found success.  At one point she had the two parts divided in two hands.  All she needed to do was pull.  Instead she let go.  The difference between her infant mind and a liberal is that she learns from what she observes.  I expect that in a few weeks or months she will be able to do this and move on to other tasks.  Liberals keep being confronted by simple facts and can’t seem to grasp what they mean.

At this stage our baby is not able to put anything back.  You  may have noticed this.  In adolescents it is demonstrated by the inability to clean up their room.  Grown men are often incapable of picking up their sox.  My daughter spends much of her time picking all the little parts up and putting them in bens and buckets.  In my early morning grandpa times I do the same thing.  The baby is quite capable when it comes to removing items but putting something in a container is beyond her.  Babies and liberals take but they cannot give.  They think there will always be someone to pick up after them, put money in their bank account for them, go to work for them, pay the utilities for them, etc.  Life is a never ending series of someone else being the adult.

Babies move it until it breaks.  This morning the focus was a mechanical scale I have in a corner.  The baby likes to climb up on it.  Today she discovered it would rock and when it does it makes a noise.  I was entertained by a baby rocking itself for an extended period of time.  Alas, like the typical liberal, she never rocked herself to sleep.  She seemed determined to keep it hitting the floor until something broke.  In this case the scale was stronger than she.  I used to watch this in middle school when a young man would rock back and forth on their desk until the welds would finally give up and the legs would collapse. 

I am confident that my granddaughter will not grow up to be a liberal.  The big question we must all face is, “Will there be enough non-liberals in the future to pick up after the babies that never grow up?”

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Opus 2019-041: New Laws: Putting the Rest Back in Restroom

I have found a new set of government regulations that we need to keep people secure in their personal lives.  We must establish some guidelines on public restrooms.  As I get older this is getting to be a bigger problem.  I am not referring to wondering which door to go through.  It is the fixtures that are messing with my mind.

I find myself having anxiety attacks because of all the variety I face.  Your first question is, “Will this flush itself?”  Even if it looks like it will, the wait for confirmation can be unsettling.  How long should I have to wait for the “whooosh”?  I would suggest a large federal grant to find the perfect pause for flushing.

Then there is the question of washing your hands.  Will it be sensor controlled or require active participation.  The sink it easy:  If there are no handles it is automatic.  What gets me is the soap dispenser.  Do I press a button or a lever?  Is the lever on the top, bottom or front?  Is it totally automatic?  Then you have the towel question.  Lever or sensor?  Some sort of standard is needed.  Maybe automatic could be green and manual red.  Perhaps we could have a requirement that everything be either automatic or manual and make a mandatory notice be posted at each entrance. 

The current situation makes me uneasy.  I need assurance and a safe space to do my business.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Opus 2019-040: Baby Talk: Learning by Rote

How many times does a baby have to drop something before it begins to understand the law of gravity.  I am watching my granddaughter as she plays with the various “toys” we have given her.  Right now her favorites are some measuring cups and spoons.  They are easy to grab and great for chewing.  I know that doesn’t make your day but watching her wave them around and pound on things is one of those great moments in life for an old man.

She looks so puzzled when she lets go and they fall to the ground.  You may have experienced the infant in a high chair that repeatedly drops something over the side and looks down wondering where it went.  You pick it up and return it and moments later it hits the ground again.  After a while it becomes a game and what is learned is manipulation of adults not the pull of gravity.  We try to draw a line between accidentally dropping and deliberately letting go.  Even a baby needs to learn cause and effect.  Even more important they need to learn that other animate objects are not there to fetch for them.

It is cute now.  It will not be cute when she gets to college age.  She has a lot of learning to do.  After gravity will come picking up sox and making a bed.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Opus 2019-039: What Is Best for America

I just had some strong words for Venezuela.  The same goes for us here in the United States.  Various people have been quoted making the point that liberty must be reestablished in each generation.  At present we are coasting on the blood, sweat and tears of previous generations.  They built up a lot of equity and the current population is busy enjoying the fruit of their sacrifice. 

Americans are going to need to step up to the plate and be ready to take one for the team.  Part of that is a matter of self policing instead of expecting the government to regulate us.  When we cross the line with selfish behavior because we can get away with it we are pounding nails into our own coffin.  When we violate commonly understood standards of behavior because we don’t believe we will be caught we are on a slippery slope.  When we hire a lawyer to get out of paying for our violations when we get caught we are part of the problem. 

There comes a tipping point in our culture where it is too late to recover.  We are reaching that point.  It comes when there are so many people on the government dole that they can vote themselves everything they want.  Being on the dole includes working for the government.  It is not just limited to people on different forms of welfare or entitlement programs.  The only way to recover is for enough individuals to make the decision that they will be part of the solution even if they are the only one.  It is like the soldier that grabs the live grenade and smothers it with his body to protect his comrades.  All would die if one was not willing to pay the price.

Will America go the way of Venezuela?  Take a look at the feces covered streets of San Francisco.  Look at the homeless wastes of Los Angeles.  Recently I saw tent cities growing in the underpasses of Austin.  Rat souffle is just around the corner.

We won’t recover if we wait for the next guy.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-038: Headlines: What Is Best for Venezuela

For what it is worth I think we should stay out of Venezuela.  We should not even think of sending any kind of military presence even if we call it “advisors”.

My reasoning?  I think there is truth in the saying “people get the government they deserve”.  By that I don’t say that the people of Venezuela don’t deserve better.  What I mean in this case is that they need to step up to the plate and make it happen themselves.  They need to take the risks, become martyrs if necessary and shed their own blood.  That is the only way it will be meaningful.  It is like welfare.  Outside help is a very warm and fuzzy idea but the destruction of doing people’s job for them is tragic.  In America we have destroyed the black community with welfare.  The liberals and Rino elites are working hard to do the same for the Latino community and are making progress among whites.  In a world connected by the internet there is no excuse for pockets of poverty based on location.  If the government would stop blocking real progress with food stamps, subsidized housing, minimum wage laws, regulations and all the other barriers to free enterprise then some entrepreneur would start up a business in the back woods of West Virginia and put people to work developing the skills to get ahead in the world.

How does that relate to Venezuela?  Could American troops defeat the local troops?  I have no doubt they could but in the process we would be forced to set up an American stooge to lead.  He would not be accepted and you would have some left wing wacko gather support and we are back to square one.  If the people of a country do not have the intestinal fortitude to hammer out their own freedoms they will not be able to keep them.  Picture an industry where the government subsidizes the jobs.  When reality hits the company goes out of business and everyone is back on the street.  Venezuela has gone back on the street.

Venezuela might want to be free.  They might also only want a painless form of socialism.  By that I mean they want security and peace with a freezer full of ready meals and a cooler full of beer.  To which I am reminded of a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin about how some people will give up their liberty for security and end up with neither.

Good luck to Venezuela.  There may be some ways we can help but the job of liberty is for them to apply for with their own blood, sweat and tears.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 11, 2019

Opus 2019-037: Headlines: Anti-Semitic Jews

The headline about an anti-Israel activist didn’t stir much focus, but when I saw the picture that accompanied it I felt some cognitive dissonance.  You can check out the picture at the Free Beacon.  The strangeness came when I noticed that the anti-Jewish hater was surrounded by a group of people dressed as Jewish leaders.  From the beards and prayer shawls I would even say they were Orthodox Jews.  This is like a group of cattle ranchers showing up for a photo op with Cory Booker when he is making his policy statements against eating meat. 

I am one of the those people who still believe that the Jews are God’s Chosen People.  They are a blessed race in many ways.  If you look at a list of Nobel Prize winners you will find the Jewish people to be over represented.  They are brilliant.  They are clever.  They are often successful.  They also seem to be a bit naive.  How do a bunch of Jewish leaders in the conservative wing of the faith find themselves in a picture endorsing someone who hates Jews?

They are a cursed race in many ways.  Throughout history they have been persecuted from the times they were expelled from Rome during the Empire to the latest nonsense from Democratic politicians.  We have words like pogrom and Holocaust that are a part of our vocabulary because of the persecution and murder of Jews.  We see anti-Semitism on the rise again.  It is true we will never forget but I don’t think this is what the phrase was designed to encourage.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 8, 2019

Opus 2019-36: Baby Talk: Learning by Example

It is amazing how much of a baby’s behavior is learned by observation.

My granddaughter has begun hugging her stuffed animals and the one she hugs the most is the one closest to human proportions, a Teddy bear.  She has handled them and tried to eat them but as I watch her this morning at 5:30 A.M., she is definitely hugging.

I am glad to see that because it tells me she is beginning to put together what is means when we hug her all the time.  And she is learning to pass it on.  She has been laying her head on us as a sign of affection but I don’t thing it will be long until she gets the arms in place. 

We have watched her mimic our clapping and waving.  I don’t think she knows why she is doing them but she does them on cue.  She also has the cutest way of shaking her head.  It won’t be so cute when she realizes what it means and begins to use it to communicate.

It is sobering to realize how much the little ones watch us and learn from us for good or evil.  I don’t think it ever stops.  I don’t think it is limited to our children.  I am challenged to keep trying to get my act together so that people I care about will be encouraged to get theirs into shape.  As a side benefit there will also be those whom we don’t notice.

Someone is watching you.  Will it make them a better person?

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Opus 2019-035: A Step Toward One World

In The Sound of Music one of the songs goes, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”  In an attempt to steal the talent I would change the words today to “How do you solve the problem Ihlan Omar?”  For people of principle she is a gift that goes on giving.  It is hard for Americans who don’t understand tribal hatred to look at a photogenic young woman with a big smile and process all the evil that flows from her mouth.

Welcome to the world America.  Whether you consider yourself Christian or not you have been raised in a culture that embraces forgiveness and traces its thinking back to such statements as “turn the other cheek” and “judge not”.  Most of the world thinks we are crazy to think that.  We are, in the world’s terms.  The world is still rooted in tribal group-think.  The left, which includes most Democrats, have been pushed this way with all the group-think and identity politics espoused by those who want to bring down America.

Under Christian influenced, American thinking your are responsible as an individual for what you do, and with due process you are to be treated as an individual under the law.  Under the tolerance of the progressives you are a part of a group and thus you are guilty or innocent based on the elite leadership’s judgement of your category.  That is where we get this brain-numbing nonsense that only white people can be racist and that the reason more blacks are arrested is a result of that racism. 

My concern is that the masses will not wake up to the poison that is festering in the Democratic Party.

(After I wrote this I found a headline that sounds like a great mind running in a similar channel.  It is found at American Greatness.  I did not read it to find how similar the text is.)

homo unius libri

Monday, March 4, 2019

Opus 2019-034: Baby Talk: The “N” Word

Nobody wants to be accused of being negative so everyone is afraid to say, “No.”  It is still one of the most important words an infant can learn.

As my granddaughter roams our house we have tried to make it a safe space.  Chemicals have been moved, under the sink is empty.  Sockets have been plugged.  Glass table covers have been relocated.  Doors are shut.  In spite of that there are still some things that require a “no”. 

Trash cans are necessary.  Our home has too many books to move.  Electric chords.  Eyeglasses on someone’s face.  Bugs that might have found a way inside.  It is really a pretty short list but we try to enforce it.  To be serious much of the reason is not that we could not hide things.  It is also necessary for the child to learn limits and self control.  If she does not learn it now, she may never grasp it.

If you want to look at a short list of root causes for the problems in our country you will find this on the list.  Parents have not wanted to be the bad guy.  In the game of good-cop/bad-cop no one wants the negative role.  It is much easier to let it go, this time.  What you have are a bunch of spineless snowflakes who think they are entitled.

So learn to use the N word.  Tell someone you love them, tell them “No”.  It could change someone’s life.  It could change our society.  It is one of those long term investments that keeps on giving.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Opus 2019-033: Immortal Quotes: On Cursing the Darkness

Don’t curse the flashlight when the problem is the batteries.

If you follow any of the prepper sites you find a lot of excitement about tactical flashlights, whatever those are.  There is talk of lumens that will blind attackers and how you always need to have a flashlight on you.  I don’t know about you but I need a flashlight for power outages and looking into corners a lot more than I need to stop Bruce Lee wannabes with a powerful surge of lumens.  I sometimes find myself thinking of getting a new flashlight.

What I actually need to do is change the batteries. 

If you are like me you have a lot of old flashlights around the house.  They either don’t work at all or they are very dim and flicker.  Sometimes the unit has been dropped once too often or it has batteries that have leaked.  I have had to bend connections and once even found that by switching the heads on two Maglites they both started to work properly.  Usually, however, it is just a need to change the batteries.  I tried it recently.  In each case the flashlight came to life and said, “Use me.” 

You may have heard the old saying about lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness.  Maybe if the sages were writing such things today it would be flashlights and batteries.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Opus 2019-032: Flea Market vs Supermarket

I want to thank Powerline for linking to a decent article on Politico about the sudden ending of the meeting between Trump and Kim.  I gave up on Politico soon after it opened because it began to sound more and more like another voice of the left.  And who needs another voice less?  The only reason I went to check it out was because Scott Johnson said it was written by his daughter.  It seemed well balanced which I am generally used on Powerline but not in Politico.

Most of the media tries to make everything Trump does a chance to show how superior they are instead of actually reporting what is happening.  One of the things I like about Trump is that he usually knows what he wants and has an idea of how to get it.  He does not generally get stampeded by the Fake News Network into melting down so they won’t say mean things about him.  He knows that no matter what he does, they will say mean things.  That is their role in life.

The key quote I read a couple of times is “Sometimes you need to just walk away.”  We, as Americans are used to shopping in stores where the price is displayed and that is the price.  You can ask if they have an AAA discount but even that is predetermined.  Trump understands that politics is more like a flea market, swap meet or Middle Eastern bazaar.  The prices are just there to be a starting point.  Part of the dance is to walk away.  Most of us are very uncomfortable with that.  Trump is in his element and we should be glad he is.

So the meeting ended early.  So, big deal.  Trump understands.  Kim understands.  The media is confused, but that is par for the course.  Tomorrow is another day and another deal.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Opus 2019-031: Baby Talk: Balance

My granddaughter is visiting from half way around the world and it is changing mine for a few weeks.  Of course my daughter came with her and I am enjoying time with her but those quiet breakfasts are much different with an infant along.

I find that my priorities are a bit different at this point.  It is great to pontificate on the latest lame excuse for Trump Derangement Syndrom but it is more important to crawl around on the floor.  Blogging is often like the old guy who came over to us as a fast food place and began to tell us “his story”.  It went on and on.  We were polite and listened.  He knew he was talking a long time because at one point he wondered if his wife had got tired of waiting and if he would need to walk home. 

The great thing about the internet is we can write what ever we want and not feel like we are imposing on anyone.  On the internet, relief if just a click away.  That is one reason why I get confused by the idea of cyber bullying.  And if I miss what you have to say it will be there next week unless one of the media censors blokes you.

My granddaughter might be here in a week but she will be a totally different person.  She is on the verge of walking.  We are hoping she will hold off until she gets home with her dad but time waits for no toddler.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Opus 2019-030: Election 2020: Get Your Lists Started

Paul Mirengoff of Power Line gives a quick run down of how the Senate voted on the recent funding bill.  I find it very helpful to find out who is willing to stand on principle.  Only 11 Republicans voted against it.  I was glad to see that Ted Cruz was on the short list but disappointed that John Cornyn voted “yes”.  Those are my two senators.  You might check and see if either of yours made the cut.

I don’t begin to claim to be an expert on legislation but the list of obviously unacceptable provisions included in the bill keeps growing.  I don’t really expect every legislator to read every line of every bill but they have staff that can do it and give them a summary.  Were they all on vacation? 

2020 is coming.  We need to begin watching how people vote now.  We need to begin a list of what we agree on and what we don’t.  I have yet to see Cruz oppose what I think is right.  He may have done so but I haven’t noticed.  I am seeing that Cornyn is not always present in the fight to save America.  I need to remember that in the primaries that are to come.  In the general election Cornyn will almost certainly be better than what the Democrats have to offer but there might be some options in the primary. 

Start watching now so that you will be ready in primary season.  Your state will have different options and you will have different issues.  If you live in Nancy Pelosi’s district then you have my sympathy.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 15, 2019

Opus 2019-029: The Party of Freedom

I have often felt like complaining about how the Republicans can’t stick together and get anything done.  The left tends to maintain discipline.  If the leadership decides the vote should be “no” then the rank and file vote “no”.  It doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong.  It doesn’t matter what they promised or campaigned on, party unity is a priority.  I was impressed and found myself wishing that conservatives working together was not like herding cats.

The recent choir directing by Nancy Pelosi at the State of the Union is making me rethink that a little.  As I watched people who claimed to be Americans sitting unresponsive to all the good news about what has been happening I got a little repulsed by party loyalty.  Maybe one of the strengths of the Republicans is that we have some people who insist on thinking for themselves.  Sure we have our share of elitists and kiss ups but we also have those who stand up for what is right.  It shows we are the party of freedom.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Opus 2019-028: Shame Factor

Should people feel any shame when they use an EBT card or apply for disabled veteran license plates?  The answer is easy:  Yes and no.

A little bit of shame or embarrassment can go a long way to controlling abuse of programs that should be helping those in genuine need.  Why do I refrain from taking the last slice of pizza?  Because my friends will laugh at me and mock me.  It works to make me a healthier person even if I am not really a better person.  If I were close to starving and someone offered me the left over pizza I wouldn’t even hesitate. 

Do you really need the government to take care of you?  Some may be there.  I have been close a few times but either the church or my family have been there for me.  Why were they there for me?  Because they knew me and my need.  Even more because they knew I deserved a bit of help, and because they knew all those things they could tailor there “welfare programs” to make sure that I was strengthened and not destroyed.

If you are paying attention you will recognize that most government programs tend to destroy the people they are supposed to help.  People get used to getting something for nothing.  Their motivation is sapped.  Their good pride is ground up.  They become expectant instead of energized. 

When I was teaching I had to face the annual end of my welfare season.  It came when school started.  I had to go back to work.  Believe me that is hard after kicking back for three months.  If it was hard for me with my well developed sense of responsibility and a record of a solid work ethic, how hard must it be for someone who has had the government hand out checks with no accountability all their lives?

Did I feel a bit of shame when I had to move into my parents home with a pregnant wife?  You bet I did.  I also knew that if I didn’t get my act together I would be out on the street after a time.  It was a great motivator.  Maybe our dependent classes need a dose of that motivation.

It can be done humanely but it can’t be done painlessly.  It must be done.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Opus 2019-027: New Seating Chart Needed

I think we need to change the way in which people are arranged for televised speeches.  Most of what the president had to say was old news to those of us who have been listening.  For people sheltered by the liberal press it may have been new but all he did up until the last few minutes was repeated what he has been saying for two years. 

Maybe he got through to some this time.

The reason we need to change the seating is that I get tired of watching the clown show going on behind the president as he speaks.  I had a hard time paying attention to Donald Trump while Nancy Pelosi was acting like a cross between a choir director and a paper monitor.  She was constantly giving hand motions to the Democrat choir.  If you have ever been in a choir you recognize the signal for stand and sit as well as for more volume and cut.  As well as being immature it showed a lack of courtesy and class.  I guess that is another way of saying, “She was acting like a Democrat.”

I wonder if Democrats at home were following those signals.  It would have been fun to sit outside their window and listen to them clapping at certain times.  And I can just hear a  little voice saying, “Why are we standing, Mommy?”

We need a screen behind the president when he speaks.  That way the vice president can pick his nose if he needs to and the speaker can clean her teeth.  Maybe a screen with a big picture of the two looking attentive, perhaps photo shopped from when they were younger.  You might even be able to make it look real by having them make a 20 second loop.  Actually we might need to go for 10 second because of the attention spans we are dealing with.

If rock stars can lip sync their lyrics you would think politicians could fake being polite.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Opus 2019-026: The Big Tweet

I find the polls responding to President Trump’s second State of the Union speech to be interesting, assuming of course that they are not fake news.  It seems that the vast majority of Americans approved of what he had to say.  I have seen numbers as high as 76%.  How do we reconcile that with approval ratings around 50%?  Is all polling a form of fake news?  I wonder if some heads will roll for putting out the numbers without checking with superiors.

I think the difference is that the polls showing approval were immediate responses to the president without any media filters.  This is why it was so important to do the whole show at the SOTU.  One of the strengths this president has is that when he can actually get through to people they like what he as to say.

Of course we need to watch the approval numbers go down as the media massages the ears of the masses.  We have seen it before.  Approval at the moment that gradually drifts to disapproval as they listen to the talking heads of the nightly news with their constant drizzle of lies and distortions. 

But for a moment America got a chance to respond to the man instead of the media message.  Think of it as an hour and a half social media announcement.

Long may he tweet.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Opus 2019-025: Aletheiaphobia

Most people are familiar with the concept of phobia.  We know technical terms like claustrophobia.  If you want to do a little searching you can find all kinds of terms for all kinds of fears.  One that surprised me was aletheiaphobia.  The first part of the term comes from a Greek word for truth, aletheia.  Thus we have a fear of truth.

I should not have been surprised that it is a named problem.  We are surrounded by people who fear and hate the truth.  It could be something as simple as not wanting to admit that you are getting old.  Nothing is more pathetic than the old man with a comb-over, gold medallion and a hairy chest.  The saddest thing about such a uniform is that it makes you look older and robs of any dignity that might come with age.

Of course there are other things people are afraid of learning the truth about.  I am a global warming denier.  If there was a badge and I wore badges, I would wear it proudly.  It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to deny something that does not exist and that has been plainly demonstrated not to exist.  Actually I do not deny the possibility of global warming.  It has happened many times in a constant cycle all through the existence of the earth.  If it were not for global warming we would still be in the middle of an ice age.  What I deny is anthropomorphic global warming.  It is not caused because I drive a car.  Also notice that I did not say “climate change denier”.  Climate change is one of those silly terms that really means weather.  It is always changing.

Fear of truth is grounded in the desire to have everything the way you want it.  Life does not work that way.  I don’t care how much you want it, if you have an X and a Y, you are male.  If you have two X’s, you are a female.  Fear and denial does not change reality.  Lazy people tend to live in poverty.  Hasty people tend to make mistakes.  Tall people do not fit in sports cars. 

Some people will not go to see a doctor because they are afraid they might find out there is something wrong.  Some won’t read the nutrition label because they might find out how many calories are in their cupcake.  That funny noise in the engine goes without being checked.  That funky smell coming from the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator is not explored. 

Truth will not go away.  I guess to many that will not make much difference because it is more secure living in the dark.  Might I suggest that not paying attention to how your city council is voting can come back to bight you.  Believing the half truth in the news can ruin your future.

I don’t think Demosthenes ever found his honest man.  We might never find all the truth we need.  We should keep looking anyway.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Opus 2019-024: New Age or Christian

As I have said before, the basic point of philosophy that divides the children of God from the rest of the world comes down to our view of the human nature.  What is the basic character of a newborn before all the influences of life start to mold it?  Modern new age thinking and the basic tenet of education is that people are at worst a blank slate.  In reality they believe that people in their innermost beings are good and any problem is created by society.  Christians can accept the complications thrown in by environment but believe that the basic human nature is flawed.  One term for this is “original sin”.  Another name is “depravity”. 

It makes a difference in how you put your society together.

Original sin was not a matter of Adam and Eve having an argument.  It was not Adam getting mad at a rock when he stubbed his toe.  It was not a simple mistake.  Original sin was a deliberate rejection of the clear instructions of God.  It was a refusal to submit to the authority of God.  It is the basic difference between those who accept creation as an act of God and those who believe that today is just the result of a lot of random events.

It makes a difference in how you put your society together.

It makes a difference in how you plan your day.

It makes a difference in how you treat other people.

Excuse the soapbox.  I am going down this path because of the repeated expectation of Proverbs that we can live upright and righteous lives and how there are so many who deny that.  There are Christians who deny its is possible.  There are non-Christians who redefine what it means.

It makes a difference.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 1, 2019

Opus 2019-023: A New Brand of Flakes

Jeff Flake is out of the senate.  Unfortunately his mantle has been assumed by Mitt Romney.  Actually it is a mixed blessing.  It could be worse.  He could be president.  I must say I have never been more glad that Mitt Romney is not President. 

I always felt he would have been at least competent and by Washington standards was reasonably honest.  If he had been running against Trump I would have voted for him.  Since being elected to the Senate and putting distance between himself and Trump I have learned that I was as wrong about him as I was about Trump.  My opinion of both has changed.

Positions of power have an almost irresistible power to corrupt.  People tend to start thinking they are wiser than everyone else and should have the right to make us peasants see the error of our ways.  I will grant that Romney has had a successful life and has made a contribution.  I assume he is a good father and husband.  It is too bad that he seems to want to finish it off by supporting oppressive government instead of “liberty and justice for all.”

Pray for Donald Trump.  He is obviously not as perfect as you or I but he is far beyond the competition.  We might also begin praying that there will be an heir apparent to the office.  The country barely survived the vacuum between Ronald and Donald.

homo unius libri

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Opus 2019-022: The Real Fake, part 2 of 2

Modern science has sold its soul to the god of political correctness and federal grants.  Leftists in government wave a checkbook and “science” declares that we need to stop global cooling.  A few years later they wave it again and we are stopping global warming.  Every time they warn us that the end is near they pass more regulations that take away our liberty.  You may have heard the declaration recently of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.  I found it many places but am using part of the title from Real Clear Politics.
"The World Is Going To End In 12 Years If We Don't Address Climate Change"
The claim is ridiculous.  One reason is that it has been repeated again and again for years and it is based on lies.  It isn’t flawed science, it is lies.  The scientists who produce the data know that they have faked it and are only doing it to advance the left’s political agenda.

So I would agree that the end of America as we know it is near.  It will not be because of any type of climate change.  It will not be because of obesity, water pollution, extinction of an insect or any of the other things we worry about.  It will be because we have swallowed the pill that fake science has produced for us.

There is still time to get it right but I am not seeing it happen.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-021: The Real Fake, part 1 of 2

I am not overly concerned when I hear that we live in a post-Christian culture.  Since I believe in God and believe that Jesus is God, the current trends in society are just that, current trends.  We need to understand the difference between the organized church and the church as the body of Christ.  One is a legal entity which may or may not be necessary.  The legal institution can exist with no believers as a part of it.  There are many immense edifices today that have signs declaring them churches but they contain noone who believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus or His divinity.  They exist because somewhere in the past lot of money was invested and the interest on those investments keeps the doors open.  The real church is made up of believers whether they have a brick and mortar structure or meet in a park.  The true church will endure until the end.

What really concerns me is that we are living in a post-science culture.  The value of science is the scientific method which salutes a theory proved wrong almost as much as one verified.  True science it is never “settled”.  There will always be questions and experiments based on the three foundations:  Observable, repeatable, measurable.  Those who don’t understand that have a long history of declaring things like “you cannot go faster than the speed of sound” and “You can tell intelligence by the shape of the head”.  The world of real science and honest investigation is passing away.  What is now called science has become a pawn in the hands of left wing politicians who want to use the respect science has earned as a tainted club to force people into socialism and government tyranny controlled by a small elite. 

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Opus 2019-020: The 400+

I keep hoping that we as a people will learn.  I am not sure I am seeing it yet.

Cases in point:  The Covington Boys, the three week extension on the wall, the latest headline in almost any venue that has headlines. 

In each case the media paints a picture, people buy it, and then we find out it isn’t true or is nothing to worry about.  With the smear of the Covington Boys it was clear that even people who claim to be on the side of conservative values are part of the problem.  I am not sure which is worse Catholic leaders who jump to judgment or National Review writers who condemn without a thought of their own.

I keep remembering the 400 FBI files that disappeared under the Clinton watch.  I would love to have a list of the names and see how those people have caved at key times.  Of course the 400 were small potatoes compared to what Obama made available.  It makes me wonder what they have on me.  I think of the cameras and microphones in almost every piece of electronics we now have in our houses.

I am too old to go to camp.

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Opus 2019-019: Show Some Respect

Rodney Dangerfield has become the avatar of the 21st century.  We have come to the point where nothing gets any respect.

I remember I used to respect the police.  I thought FBI agents were noble servants of the republic.  And judges, what could be more worthy than a judge?  Pastors were awesome.  Teachers were the best. 

But what did I know?  Have I just learned to be more observant or have things changed?  I think it is both.  As I get older and have a broader pool of knowledge I find that things I used to accept now get me to raise my eyebrows.  I know that when I listen to the music I enjoyed as a kid I wonder how I survived the sexual innuendoes and suggestive pictures.

As a teacher I came to realize how lacking the profession is.  Part of that is the change that has gone on since I was a kid.  When I was in school being a teacher was one of the few professions that women and minorities could expect to use their talents, so if I had a black teacher it was someone who today would qualify to be a doctor or senior vice president if given the chance.  Today, with a few exceptions, we get the leftovers.  Principals were objects of awe.  Being sent to the principal was something to be avoided at all costs.  Now kids are on a first name basis with them and they side with the kid against the teacher.  Little respect needed here.

I have watched the FBI and court system become objects of derision rather than respect.  Top law enforcement has been using their power to destroy patriotic Americans based on political party.  You may have seen the FBI swat team that conducted a pre-dawn raid to arrest an elderly man who was accused of process crimes.  Judges ignore the Constitution and precedent to mold society when the left can’t succeed in the legislative process.  The ultimate was when the people of California passed a constitutional amendment and the state supreme court ruled it unconstitutional. 

As for pastors, I was one.  I have seen men put their wives to work so they could do their thing.  I have seen the egos.  I have watched as they have had affairs and embezzled funds.  I have watched the unworthy promoted and the worthy ignored.

I am sure none of this is new.  It doesn’t mean I have to like it.  I am an idealist at heart.  I hope I always remain one even though my eyes are more open.

homo unius libri

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Opus 2019-218: Headlines: It Ain’t 1776

At this point I am not impressed with the “revolt against socialism” in Venezuela.  Socialism is an addictive form of welfare.  It is a conscience drug.  People begin to believe that they deserve something.  When they revolt, I am not so sure it is against socialism as much as it is that they don’t think they are getting their share.

Revolutions as a whole don’t always make things better.  One of the things about the United States is that it’s revolution was led by people who were genuinely interested in liberty.  They wanted it for themselves, yes, but they also wanted it for their fellow citizens.  The final words of the Declaration of Independence should be taken literally.  I have quoted it before, I offer it again.
“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
They believed in “Providence”.  That means they bought into the Christian understanding of God, what He expects and how He works.  They were fenced in by that.  It meant that George Washington refused to be made king and that a succession of presidents turned loose of power when they left office.  I think we were unique in history because of those leaders.  I wish we had more like them today.

I am not sure the revolutionaries in Venezuela understand it that way.  I would hope I am wrong but the history of revolutions is that when the dust settles, those with the biggest dust pans start becoming the tyrants they replaced.  I am afraid that those marching are simply looking for someone else to step up and promise to make life better with bigger handouts.

I could be totally wrong.  I hope so.

homo unius libri

Friday, January 25, 2019

Opus 2019-217: Father Figure

I am seeing a lot of confusion on recent history.  I keep seeing Walter Cronkite held up as the example of what American Journalism should be.  I think that a more accurate memory would be that he is the one who built up trust and then betrayed the country.

Keep in mind he is the one who lost the Vietnam War.

Why do I say that?  It goes back to the Tet Offensive of 1968.  For years all the antagonists of the Vietnam war had observed a truce during Tet.  It was an important holiday to the Vietnamese and was honored as such.  About the closest we in the West can come to the Tet Truce was the Christmas in World War I when the two sides came out of the trenches and sang Christmas carols together.  It is hard to believe, but it happened.

In 1968 the South Vietnamese and American forces were on stand-down to recognize the day.  The Communists decided that this was their chance to win big.  They infiltrated large numbers of North Vietnamese troops and gathered up all the Viet Cong they could find.  Then, when the allies were totally unprepared, they attacked.  They expected to have a walk over and bring the war to a screeching halt. 

It didn’t work out like they planned.  In spite of being totally unready the Americans and South Vietnamese rallied and cleaned the Communists’ clock.  What was supposed to be a slaughter of Americans turned out to be “the only good commie is a dead commie”.  There were a lot of good commies after there failed attempt at an atrocity.  It was the biggest defeat that the invaders had suffered.

You would not have known that from watching the news.  “Uncle” Walter took the lead in coming on the evening news and declaring that the war was lost because the Americans and Vietnamese had been so severely mauled.  It was the original Fake News.  And because he had built up such trust with the American public, he was believed.  He lied.  He deceived.  He lost the war because it took a long time for the public to be able to discover that we had won the battle, hands down.

So please.  Don’t act like Walter Cronkite was a virtuous icon.  He was the father of Fake News.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Opus 2019-216: Being Cheeky

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn about life is that some people have a need to be yelled at.  I was raised on the principle of turning the other cheek.
(Matthew 5:39 KJV)  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
I understand it and apply it on a regular basis.  Unfortunately there are many people who are so locked into their style of aggression they look at it as an invitation.  They have been taught that the way it works is you keep pushing until you meet resistance, then you back off and search for another victim or begin to communicate.  Think of them as scavengers such as jackals, hyenas or vultures.  They are looking for the weak and infirm.  They do not go for the healthy and robust.  In fact, I think it is the same way for lions and other predators.  They don’t chase the strongest.  They drag down the weak.

The principle of turning the other cheek is that we are to avoid conflict and give people the benefit of the doubt.  They may be having a bad day.  Cut them some slack.  The hard part is discerning who the total aggressors are. 

When I am driven to the point of screaming back at someone I always feel guilty.  What always amazes me is how mellow they can become after I stop yelling.  It should not be my default.  The Bible is full of admonitions to not fly off the handle.  I am still thinking it needs to be a tool in my repertoire. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-215: The Spoiled System

One of the great reforms of the past is considered to be the switch from the spoils system to the Civil Service.  You may have read about this in regard to the federal shutdown. 

The spoils system meant that to the victor goes the spoils.  When a political party won an election they could replace any employee of the government that was below them in the pecking order.  Thus when a Democrat was elected president, he could fire everyone working for the federal government who was a Republican and replace them with his supporters.  If a Republican was elected it worked the other way.  All systems have problems and give opportunities for corruption.  In the spoils system the corruption took the form of using your position to get rich until the next election and also the probability that you had no qualifications for the job.

In 1883 the Pendleton Civil Service Act was passed by congress which changed the way government employees were chosen and how they were dismissed.  The Chinese had come up with the idea centuries earlier.  It was based on taking a test to show you were qualified rather than just listing your political party or whom you were related to.  You could not be fired for political reasons.  It gave continuity to the job of government.  Today it effects almost all government employees.  States have the same type of system. 

This system also has its problems.  It is almost impossible to get rid of incompetent or corrupt government workers.  You have experienced this if you have ever gone to get your license renewed and the person behind the counter is more concerned with their cell phone than you getting to work.  It is the kind of problem that leads to a government shut down having 800,000 people stay home and no one notices the difference.  If being gone does not make a difference, why are they being paid in the first place?

I don’t know the actual law but what I am reading and hearing is that if the shutdown goes long enough then the people who are furloughed can be dismissed through a reduction in force.  Sounds good to me.  It is must another reason to keep the shutdown going.

Of course this will be hard on those laid off but it seems like they are not needed anyway.  This might be a way to get rid of the Department of Education and the EPA.  The good news for all those getting laid off is that there are a lot of jobs available in the private sector.  The bad news is that they might have to actually work and produce. 

The adventure continues.

homo unius libri

Monday, January 21, 2019

Opus 2019-214: Grave Spinning

Having the media celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday has a lot in common with Democrats remembering the birth of George Washington. 

For starters the left has watered down the contributions of George Washington so much that we now celebrate Presidents’ Day instead.  That means that we lump Jimmy Carter and Barak Obama in with George Washington and Calvin Coolidge.  That pretty much makes it a joke.  It is like taking the world’s finest chili and turning it over to a committee made up of a vegan, an anti-salt crusader and someone into organic foods. 

Did MLK make a contribution to America?  I am sure he did.  I only have sound bites but the ones I have are very much in the spirit of what America should be.  Do the people who claim to be champions of civil rights stand on his shoulders?  No way.  They have abandoned the principles that he espoused and sold American blacks back onto the plantation.  To reach the same level that we reached on presidents we would need to rename it Civil Rights Leaders’ Day and lump in KKK leader and Democrat Senator Robert Byrd with King.

If America continues to move toward a socialistic workers’ paradise like the Democrats seem to want there will be a few of us who remember leaders like Washington and honor their memories.  I trust we can now do the same for Martin Luther King Jr.

I hope they both are able to someday stop spinning in their graves.

homo unius libri

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Opus 2019-013: Baby Talk: Tear Attack

I have always thought of myself as someone who is not influenced by tears.  As a teacher I would have students and parents who could turn them on at will.  I was not impressed.  My daughter used to get a look like she was about to break out and I would ask her, “What’s the matter?  Indigestion?”  So I thought I was impervious.

Then came the granddaughter.  Even there as a general rule I would simply check to see if any of the Big Three were a problem.  Babies usually get cranky for one of three reasons:  Wet, hungry, tired.  I could deal with that.

Then we were enjoying our granddaughter on Facetime.  We were playing peek-a-boo on the screen and she was into in until she started trying to look behind the screen to see where we were.  When she could not find us she got this look on her face like the world had betrayed her or she had found out that her grandparents had voted for a Democrat.  You know the look.

I found out that I could be influenced by tears.

She will get over it.  I am not sure I will.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-012: Headlines: I Didn’t Know Gillette Was Still in Business

I have avoided watching the much talked about ad from Gillette.  I have enough nonsense in my life to pollute my mind and raise my anger level.  Besides that it might trigger anxiety.

I have not bought a blade in years.  I have no idea what brand I bought.  All I can tell you was that it had three blades and was on sale at Costco.  Years ago I moved to an electric because I got tired of the nicks a blade gave. 

I don’t expect to buy any more blades.   My reason is that I now take a blood thinner and they recommend using an electric.  If I did change back I would try to avoid Gillette.

I think the ad was really trying to attract the metrosexual crowd.  The current cool look in the millennial age group is to appear to have gone three days without a shave.  They get that look with an electric, not a blade.  Maybe Gillette was trying to win over that crowd.  I also notice a lot more guys wearing beards than when I was young.  To a dwindling market they may have felt they needed to be extra virtuous.

My sympathy to the workers who will be looking for new jobs because of a loss of sales.  Maybe Schick is hiring.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Opus 2019-011: Shot or Hung

One of my recent posts on my other blog was “Pick a Side”.  Before I proof read it my mind jumped to the experience of restaurants.  When we get a steak we are told we can pick two sides.  I began to think that maybe I should approach this the way many approach politics, let the server pick for me.

I hope you aren’t saying, “That sounds like a good idea”.  We already have too many people telling us what our choices will be.  I have no plans on buying a new car.  One reason is the cost.  Another reason is that new cars want to make the choices for me.  It drives me crazy when I am in a rental car and it locks the doors for me or, even worse, unlocks the doors when I put the car in park.  What genius assumes that I want to unlock my doors in a strange part of town just because I stop the car?

Then there are the “choices” which I label “Do You Want to Be Shot or Hung” choices.  We used to get those all the time when I was teaching.  We were always being given two bad choices and told that was all we could do.  I remember one bit of software we were supposed to work with in one of our faculty meetings.  The problem was that in order to use it you needed to check the box saying you gave the software developer permission to use all of your personal information.

Give me real choices.  Don’t tell me you will do it for me.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-010: Headlines: May Day Rejection

Maybe there is hope for Great Britain.  Parliament has rejected the sell out that their prime minister had “negotiated” with the EU.  Now she might face a vote of “no confidence.”

Most Americans don’t understand what that means so a little lesson in civics might be in order.  In the American system people are elected for a set time and serve until the time is up unless there is an impeachment.  Impeachment is a difficult hill to climb so most elected officials feel pretty safe from repercussions.

The parliamentary system is different.  When elections are held the victors meet and they elect the chief executive.  For them that is the prime minister.  The political party that wins control of Parliament gets to choose the head dog.  One of their checks and balances is that the person chosen must be approved by the monarch.  They are elected but there is a curve ball in the mix.  At any time new elections can be demanded by two methods that I know about.  The first is that the members of Parliament can have a vote of “now confidence” in the prime minister.  That means at least that there is a vote for a new prime minister.  It might even mean all of Parliament faces a new election.  The second method of cleansing the pool is that the monarch can send Parliament home and that forces new elections. 

So this is not like the American congress passing a non-binding declaration that the president is not a nice person.  This could cause a major shuffle in the British government.

Stay tuned.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Opus 2019-009: Organic Twitter

I had a sudden insight into why social media applications like Twitter have no appeal to me.  Maybe it occurred to you long ago.  I live in a world of organic Twitter.  I constantly run into people who do not know how to have intelligent conversations.  They just ramble on about everything that pops into their head.  Thus you will get a recital of everything that has happened in their life since the last time you saw them.

It is possible that the masses of people who are addicted to Twitter and Facebook have lived their lives in that kind of environment.  We used to have a caricature of the Valley Girl.  The adjectives would be boring, insipid, and self centered.  Conversations were liberally salted with “like” and “you know” and “just”.  For these kind of people the inane nonsense of the social media is a warm fuzzy blanket of familiarity. 

Of course even on Twitter there is a scattering of pithy comment and important information.  It is simply a matter of not caring about how many squares of toilet paper you used today.  I don’t want to wade through the vapor to get to the meat.

In personal relationships I need to be polite and often I can learn to avoid certain people.  With the social media all I have to do is ignore it.

homo unius libri

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Opus 2019-008: A New Kind of Social Justice

Someone simply identified as “a New York man” died in prison and it sounds like a desirable outcome.  He was in for a 40 year term for child pornography according to It Ain’t Holy Water.

I have a suggestion.  If they can identify the seven inmates who beat him to death they should send the names to President Trump.  It might be impossible to give them a pardon and set them free, but they might at least be allowed to have two scoops of ice cream as a reward for their public service.

It is a sad day for America when the criminals in jail understand justice better than the judges that sentenced them.  Child pornography destroys lives and makes life dangerous for anyone who has children. 

Or maybe it is a good day.  Justice was done.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-007: The Murder Race

Most of us have heard about the murder of Jazmine Barnes.  As a parent I can only begin to feel the horror such an event would generate in me.  The murderer needs to pay.

What is even more sad is the racial politics being employed.  Since it has been discovered that the murderer was a black man instead of a white man that is supposed to make it less brutal.  Suddenly it is not a “hate crime”, whatever that is, but just a shooting. 

We need to discard this hate crime nonsense.  Of course it was a hate crime.  That is what murder is.  You don’t shoot a seven year old child because you love her.  You don’t attack people to show your affection.  Of course it is hate.  We are allowed to hate.  We are not allowed to murder.  The crime is in the killing, not the emotion. 

I hate liver.  That does not mean I can break into a meat market and attack the display.  I hate mosquitos.  That does not give me the right to get a flamethrower and start shooting it off at the picnic.  I hate hypocrisy.  That does not give me the right to burn down the houses of all the Democrats in the neighborhood.

Crime is crime.  It is behavior.  Stop making it worse by trying to attack a color.  A child died.  The villain should be prosecuted because he killed not because of race.

Grow up America.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Opus 2019-006: Joining the Masses

For years we were spoiled by having a Cadillac health insurance plan.  We knew it but knowing and experiencing the difference are two different things.  As a teacher I was forced to be a union member and if there is any group that has the government in its pockets, it is the teachers’ unions.  We were taken care of.  For instance, dental insurance.  I think we paid $10.00 in a co-pay the first year and nothing for the next 29.  Now we pay cash.

Then I finally retired and moved to Medicare, Plan D and supplemental policies.  It has taken us a time to start hitting the bumps.  We have found that the specialists that we have seen are on top of things and give excellent care.  Since my wife wants the best we signed up for the best and bought the top supplemental plan.  The GP and the Medicare “Wellness checks” I have written about already. 

She is in the hospital again.  We have had not problem getting into emergency rooms, getting in to see the specialist she wanted and scheduled for surgery. 

Then we come to the prescriptions.  We already found out the difference between private insurance and the government when my cost for a 30 day supply went from $20 to $400+.  When I went in to fill her latest, an antibiotic cream, it cost me $117 and the other prescription, if it had been in stock, would have cost us $600. 

We will make it.  We will not starve, go naked or freeze to death.  At least, not yet.  I don’t consider the pharmaceutical companies to be the enemy.  They are entitled to a return on their investment.  I understand that in extreme cases they have plans to help the genuine poor.  What frustrates me is the crony capitalism, socialism, that stifles competition and keeps costs high.  I don’t want a government program to subsidize my medications.  I want the government to get out of the way and let the free market generate the kind of competition that makes companies more efficient and leaner.  I know how to price shop but I can’t do that if the government colludes with the drug makers to limit my choices. 

homo unius libri

Monday, January 7, 2019

Opus 2019-005: The Body Snatchers Are Here

We are already seeing a lot of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and we will be seeing more.  The more I see of Democratic leaders the more I become convinced that there are large areas of our country where the body snatchers have congregated.  How do these people get reelected?  Do they send every voter a check?  Do they have FBI files on every citizen in their district?  How could anyone with any tiny bit of integrity and decency vote for them?  Add to the list such role models as Maxine Waters and Diane Feinstein.  I guess it explains a lot that these people are elected by residents of California and New York.

There are Republicans I don’t trust at all, such as Mitt Romney, but at least he gives the appearance of decency.  John McCain was able to pretend that he was a hero because he had been a prisoner of war.  I can see how they pull the wool over people’s eyes.  What excuse do the people of California and New York have?

I pray that sanity will win out.

homo unius libri

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Opus 2019-004: A Kinder, Gentler America

By now you have heard the remarks of a new congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib.  She has been glorified as the first Palestinian woman elected to congress.  If I were into racial politics I am sure that would impress me.  I am more interested in what kind of person she is and her priorities for the country.

She has shown herself to be a genuine Democrat by making her first priority to impeach president Trump.  We may be approaching the time when being a Republican is enough grounds for impeachment.  We have already reached that point in indictments and government coercion to intimidate people into making false accusations, witness Mike Flynn, et al.  We see Flynn facing jail time for what was questionably a lie while Comey runs free after admitting to turning over classified documents to a friend so the friend could leak them to a reporter.  We see Hillary running free after breaking numerous laws in the use and elimination of e-mails.  Since they are not Republicans, there are no trials.  So maybe the Democrats can make a case.

At the same time, Tlaib, a representative of the party of tolerance and kindness, decided to reveal what Trump will really be accused of.  She accused him of having sexual relations with his mother, or possibly other mothers.  I don’t recall him using that offensive word against political rivals.  I want the left to know that I am triggered and feel offended.  I am going to apply for a snowflake card.

I would scratch my head if it wasn’t already bloody.  The Democrats and their sycophants in the media like to attack President Trump because they consider him vulgar and not nice.  Then one of their new shining lights uses language like this.  It is nothing new.  This has been going on for at least a decade.  Remember how they accused conservative talk radio of inciting violence when it was always the left calling for it?  Remember Hillary and the “vast right wing conspiracy” when the conspiracies are all on the left?  The pattern continues. 

And now a Republican Shining Light, Mitt Romney, joins the circus.  I wonder if it is too late for him to re-register as a Democrat. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Opus 2019-003: Hats Off for the New Year

I barely got started when the wind blew my hat off.  That is kind of strange since the weather report said 1-2 mph out of the north.  It was as cold as they said it would be.  So I put my hat back on, pulled it as low as it would go, hunkered down and continued.

Eventually the wind died down and as the Psalmist directed, I lifted up my eyes.  What a glorious day.  It was cold, yes, but I had a heavy coat, a scarf, gloves and a warm home waiting for me.  It was brisk and invigorating.  I admired the clouds stretching across the sky and the sun shining through.  And then I said to myself, “If it is this good now with my bad eyes and ringing in my ears, what will it be like in eternity.”  I know that young people don’t think about it much but when you get to my age you start expecting the Great Transition, sometimes called death, at any time.

I am not expecting any big change and plan to make the best of the time I have here, but I am ready to go.  If it is this marvelous now it will be truly awesome then.  And I then am aware that I can’t even begin to comprehend the awesomeness of what is to come.  If I could then it would not be something created by the God of the Bible.

I compare my expectations with what little I know of other religions.  Since I am not a warrior and don’t plan to die with my sword in my hand, Valhalla is out of the question.  The supernatural perversion of the afterlife that you find in video games makes no sense.  The reincarnation of Buddhism and Hinduism leading to being absorbed by the Force seems depressing.  Reclining under a palm tree with dates, wine and 72 virgins seems like it would get very boring, very fast.

I prefer the eternity that is created by the God who created the world I can see.  I can’t understand it but then I couldn’t understand BLT’s when I was born either.  Maybe eternity is long enough for me to like sushi.  Because I accept the meaning of Christmas and Easter, that God became man in Jesus and died to pay the price for my sin, I am looking forward to finding out what is to come.  As one wise person put it, if I am wrong I have nothing to lose. 

I guess this is my way of saying Happy New Year and hoping for a glorious eternity.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Opus 2019-002: Sometimes I Feel Like a Genius, part 2 of 2

We also need to develop some voices and authorities that we can trust.  What do we look for in such people?  First is integrity.  Do they live their lives in such a way that they show they believe in right and wrong?  When someone sets themself up as an expert on marriage and family and they have failed at both, I have some questions.  Do they fudge the truth to advance their point?  Second, they should have some reason to be an authority.  If someone has a degree in physics they are not the best source for biology.  It amazes me how many people with a Ph.D. in a physical science make pronouncements about the universe or evolution.

Keep in mind that some disciplines are so complicated that even the experts don’t know what they are talking about.  Next time you have your taxes done ask a CPA if you can look at the IRS tax code.  If it is print it will take up shelves.  It contradicts itself and it open to interpretation.  That is why the government usually nails criminals on tax issues rather than the real crime they committed.  That is why people who do money laundering make sure that they pay taxes on the illicit funds they are dealing with.  They fear the IRS more than the DOJ.  So being “stupid” about some subjects is just the way it is.  Things like government regulations from the EPA are deliberately done that way.

And some people are just ignorant.  I was recently watching a video from Prager U that had a guy on a university campus asking questions about Pearl Harbor Day.  It was amazing how many did not know who attacked us or where Pearl Harbor is located.  I used to ask my class, “Who won the American Revolution?”  And of course you have all hear the one, “Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?” 

Pay attention.  You may never become a meme on the internet but you don’t want the neighborhood commenting on how out of touch you are.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Opus 2019-001 Sometimes I Feel Like a Genius, part 1 of 2

How do people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deal with being memed as stupid by the entire internet?  Since I have not listened to her speak I don’t know if it is true or just a conception she has cultivated.  She has a lot of competition.

Remember the congressman who thought Guam would tip over if it got too many people.

Remember when a certain presidential candidate said he had not visited all 57 states yet.  He won.

I can excuse ignorance in the young.  It is harder to accept the way in which people who know nothing keep putting themselves in a position where they feel they are special enough to tell us how to live our lives. 

Are we any better if we accept what we are told without looking into it.  I realize that we cannot investigate everything.  There is too much going on and too much effort to confuse the issues.  But we need to do some basic research.  Dig a little.  You have heard the concept of a Baloney Meter.  You have heard of common sense.  When people tell me things with a serious face that conflict with everything I know, I have a few questions.  It is amazing how many valid conclusions we can make if we just take a moment to think and compare what they are saying with what we know. 

One of the scares that is easy for the masses to believe is the concept of overpopulation.  For decades the fear mongers have been telling us that we only had a few years before massive starvation would hit us and the world would go to war over food.  If you lived in the middle of any large city this would hit a chord with you.  You would look around and say, “Yes.  It is crowded.  We need to do something.”  Since a majority of American live in large cities they are easy to fool.  When they bring it up I ask them if they have ever been out of Southern California.  Most have no idea that you can drive across a thousand miles of mid-America and see few people.  Picture the drive from Denver to Kansas City.  Picture going across Montana and Wyoming.  Can’t picture it?  You need to get out more.  A few years ago I did the math and the entire population of the world could fit into Texas living in single family homes.  Texas might object but it is still a fact.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri