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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, July 17, 2019

Opus 2019-128: Weather I’m Right, or Weather I’m Wrong

As the current hurricane, I believe it is called Barry, plays itself out in the gulf, a word of reminder might be in order.  If you are into watching the weather on TV you need to keep in mind that even the weather can be Fake News.  We forget that the programs we watch are not really there to inform and educate.  Like public schools, the broadcasters are there to generate revenue to pay their salaries and indoctrinate to their own position.

The weather man is probably not hired because he is a highly trained, professional meteorologist.  He is hired because he can hold your attention until the next advertisement comes on and get you to tell your friends the exciting things you heard on their channel.  If the weather man is a sexy babe then you can add “sex sells” to the mix.  Their job is to take some dry data and make it into a remake of Gone with the Wind crossed with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

All the data I could pick up said our current hurricane was a minor issue.  I am sure that if you were at the wrong place at the wrong time with no awareness you could have some problems but for those of us 600 miles away in the opposite direction it is not time to buy extra water and put up the storm shutters.  We were in Texas for Hurricane Harvey.  It swamped Houston and caused a lot of havoc on the Gulf coast.  Where we live we got some robust winds and heavy rains. 

I remember being in California when we had some serious rain and a few mud slides.  My mother in law called from out of state to see if we were still alive.  Seriously.  She was worried that we had been overcome with mud slides when we lived on the top of a rise.  Such is Fake News Weather.

As President Reagan said about a more serious issue, “Trust, but verify.”  If the bouncy babe on the news tells you it is raining the least you can do is look out the window.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Opus 2019-127: On the Street: Fooling Only Yourself

I was a witness to attempted deception yesterday.  I think it is called a “comb-over”.  It has been awhile since I have noticed one.  If you have never seen it count yourself lucky.  A comb-over is when a guy who is bald on top lets the hair grow long on one side and combs it over the top of his head to try and cover up the baldness. 

I don’t know why people bother.  It is futile.  It looks worse than just accepting the shiny pate.  I am not sure why being bald is such a big deal.  The only problem I have with it is dealing with the shine in my eyes when I am looking in a mirror and the light reflects.  It is who I am and has nothing to do with my value as a human being.

Of course I feel the same way about dying my hair and jewelry.  I don’t understand the concepts.  I think of it as being like the ancient Chinese tradition of binding the feet of upper class women to keep them small.

So guys, if you have lost your hair embrace the reality.  At the same time I am willing to let the ladies wear wigs if they choose.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Opus 2019-126: New Laws: Minority Opinion

What minority groups am I a part of?

The list is as long as I want to make it.  I would start with being a serious Christian.  I am not sure what kind of label to use for that because all of them have their baggage, but that gives you an idea.  From there I can proceed down a long list to being someone with big feet.

We all face discrimination of one sort or another.  Let me take the most ridiculous example, big feet, and give extreme applications to make my point.  People with big feet cannot go out and buy shoes at just any shoe store.  You normal people can probably walk in, look at the display on the wall, make a choice and take it home.  I have never been able to do that.  When I was young and my feet were smaller, my parents had little money.  By the time I was in Junior High I was in a size 14 and in those days all that got you were guffaws. 

This is serious.  I saw a kid wearing iridescent, lime green kicks the other day.  I wanted some.  My first pair of the current style athletic shoes were bright orange Nikes.  I found them at an outlet mall for $10.  It was awesome.  Since then I have found some glowing yellow Under Armors and I have a pair of red New Balance.  Lime green I have not been able to find.  It makes me feel less of a human being and a victim of small feet privilege.  It isn’t fair.  I demand justice.

I cannot sit comfortably in restaurant booths.  Have you ever tried to move a pair of size 17's past the pole holding up the table?  Have you ever tried to keep you toes from being stepped on?  If you have not then you don’t know the daily trauma that I must live with. 

I cannot participate in fun activities such as roller skating or skiing.  They require special shoes and most people just walk up and state their size.  They get skates.  I get giggles.  I am excluded from my rightful place in society.

Now picture how our world would change if my “rights” were guaranteed by legislation.  Every manufacturer would be forced to make every style in all sizes.  Every store would be required to carry them in stock.  Either shoes would get too expensive for anyone or the shoe business would curl up and die, leaving people bare footed.  I guess another choice would to only have one style of shoe so they would have room in the back for all sizes.

Ridiculous?  Of course.  But it would be fair.  It would make me feel safe and avoid any hint of discrimination.  Multiply that by the accommodations that would need to be made for every variance in the human condition.  Life is not fair.  Deal with it.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 12, 2019

Opus 2019-125: Asking the Simple Questions

When I was teaching, one of the highlights of the beginning of the year was the number of teachers who would ask for help because their computer was not working.  I took great joy in asking, “Is it plugged in?”  From the look on the face you could tell they had not thought of that.  Usually I would hear no more. 

One time my wife spent a few hours waiting for the AAA man to show up.  She would not let me try to figure out why the car would not start.  As soon as he got there and climbed into the car he said, “I can tell you why it won’t start.”  Evidently it was not in park.

It is always a good to ask the simple questions first.

When the two stroke engine on my string edger would not start I tried everything.  I used the choke.  I let it sit and tried it again.  Nothing was happening.  I walked away.  The next day I was ready to try again and the first thing I noticed was the kill switch said, “Stop”.  I am glad no one was near by to hear my opinions about my native intelligence.  I moved the switch and it started right up.

If only all of life’s problems were so simple.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Opus 2019-124: The Calculated Risk

Progressives are taking a calculated risk.  They are pushing the traditional Americas as hard as they can and hoping that they can get us to the point of impotence before we wake up and get angry. 

They have good reason to be optimistic.  Turn your inner clock back twenty years and ask yourself if you would have accepted men claiming to be women competing in girls wrestling.  Would you have accepted what we now call “social media” blatantly censoring the speech of anyone who criticizes a liberal position?  They keep pushing.  We keep backing down.

What happens if they push too hard and too fast?  What happens when the man on the street decides that he has had enough?  What happens when he realizes that his children are threatened.  What happens when someone runs out of cheeks to turn?  Antifa will find themselves met by armed gangs who also have lost their respect for reasoned discourse.  Obstructive and arrogant clerks in government agencies may find out what “going postal” means when it is “going DMV” or “going city hall”.  What happens when the left bets on an inside straight and the latent wolf on the other side of the table sees the card being slipped out of the sleeve? 

I hope it doesn’t come to that because if things blow up then we all lose. 

Two things can avert the coming explosion.  The first and best is if the left would have a “come to Jesus” moment and decide that working in the system honestly is what they should be doing.  Wouldn’t it be great if word went out from the DNC that a lot of judges needed to be putting in for retirement or there would be impeachment proceedings in the near future and they would not be for the president?  I wonder what would happen if the IRS would start admitting that the tax-payers are their employers.  What if congress stopped exempting themselves from their own oppressive laws.  It would be great, but don’t hold your breath.  Oxygen deprived blue does not go well with your favorite colors.

The second solution would be if traditional Americans would simply stop going along to get along.  Investigate voter fraud and put some people in jail.  Look into treason and apply the death penalty as granted by the Constitution.  Find out where members of congress get all that money to buy those palaces.  When the fascist goons of the left riot in the streets demand that the police respond according to the law.  Apply the law.  Demand it by paying attention, voting with our principles and hounding people out of office.  It is most effective to start with the local city council and elected sheriff. 

When we know they are bluffing we don’t need to turn over the table and start shooting like it was an Italian western.  We need to see their bid and call.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Opus 2019-123: New Terms: Minority Groups

I know that this is not really a new term but the left, as they have done in so many areas, is trying to re-vocabulary us by redefining how we understand words.  As I was editing the previous post I noticed I used the following sentence,
“We have a constitution that protects the minority groups instead of allowing the mindless to be manipulated.”
It occurred to me that many people have been brainwashed in their understanding of important historical ideas.  The Founders were concerned about “minority groups” but their minds had not been put into little boxes that associated “minority” with skin color. 

A “minority group” was any common grouping that was not in the majority.  It was something that usually had a political or religious implication.  Thus the Quakers were a minority group and their religious convictions as pacifists was recognized.  In current times we recognized the right of Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions based on their religion.  Currently we are watching to see if the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns, will be forced to accept abortion because the government says so.  Keep in mind that what happens to them will someday happen to you.

So grow up and put your mind back in gear.  The truth about “minority groups” is that we are all a part of them.  To paraphrase the famous Pogo insight, “I have met the minority and it is us.”  In some area of our life we are in a minority.  The reason the Founders put the Constitution together the way they did was not for majority rule but to keep the majority from trampling on the minorities.  That is why we have the checks and balances of our three branch government.  That is why we have a federal system.  That is why we have an electoral college.  Mess with them at your own risk.

If you have no area of your life that you stand in the minority, you have my sympathy.  It must really be boring to be you.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Opus 2019-122: Election 2020: Voting Requirements

We have another election coming up.  The Democrats have a sizable contingent of contestants and on the Republican side President Trump has announced he is running.  Based on how close the last several elections have been and the accusations of voter fraud and suppression, the question of who votes and what the qualifications are is a real issue. 

The Constitution and Amendments give the basic outline of whom should be allowed to vote.  Citizenship is required and you need to be at least 18 years of age.  It used to be necessary to be registered and a resident where you voted.  The Democrats are moving to do away with all of these remaining restrictions. 

One of the lies perpetuated by the America hating left is that the Founders wrote the constitution to serve only the rich and property owners.  While owning property was considered during the debates it was rejected.  Property ownership or minimum worth were requirements in England but the new American experiment did away with them.  There is nothing in the Constitution about owning property to be a voter.  Period.  It is not there.

Some states did have property or income requirements but  they were greatly reduced as the thinking of the Revolution made its way into society at large.  I find myself in sympathy toward limiting the right to vote.  I find that most people have no idea what they are voting on or how their elected officials vote.  I don’t know how many conversations I have had with black Americans on the different issues in campaigns.  Usually they would agree with Ronald Reagan on individual issues but still vote a straight Democrat ticket.  Would I limit the right to vote based on race?  No, but if it were possible to weed out those who are not paying attention without abusing the process, I would go for it.

Why?  The Founding Fathers knew the dangers of having a limited buy-in to society.  This is a quote from John Adams from Vindicating the Founders,
“Such is the frailty of the human heart, that very few men who have no property, have any judgment of their own.  They talk and vote as they are directed by some man of property, who has attached their minds to his interest....[M]en who are wholly destitute of property... [are] to all intents and purposed as much dependent upon others, who will please to feed, clothe, and employ them, as women are upon their husbands, or children upon their parents.”
This explains why all major cities are Democrat strongholds.  The majority of people in them are living off of government handouts or work for the government.  They know which side their butter is on and who gets milked to supply it.

And again, we make the mistake of using “democracy” instead of “republic”.  We are not, nor have we ever been a democracy.  The Founders did not trust the masses enough to have a democracy.  We have a constitution that protects the minority groups instead of allowing the mindless to be manipulated.  Enjoy what is left of your liberty while you still can.

West, Thomas G.  Vindicating the Founders.  Lanham, Maryland: Rowman &
     Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1997, page 122.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 8, 2019

Opus 2019-121: The Revised, Revised Abigail Adams

The history books that I used to work through in teaching middle school were constantly being revised.  There were two goals of the revision.  One was to dumb them down so that the kids could read them.  The second was to meet the latest revisionist demands of social justice warriors.  One of the requirements was to have a quota of minorities and women.  One of the women that was often referred to was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, second president of the United States.

I had no problem with her.  I had read biographies of her husband and knew that they had a very close and loving relationship.  The thing that set my pot to boiling was having her portrayed as an early feminist.  She was supposed to have been a rabid advocate of women’s rights but her concern was not power like modern feminism.  She was really all about fair treatment.  I am sure that she had some things to say but I doubt if she would have been happy about the portrayal. 

I came across a quote in Vindicating the Founders.  The author was trying to give a more accurate description of what the early Americans thought.  On page 94 the author offers the following quote from Abigail Adams,
 “Well ordered home is my chief delight, and the affectionate domestic wife with the relative duties which accompany that character my highest ambition.”
She was writing to her husband on June 20 1783 according to the footnotes.  Somehow that does not seem to fit the stereotypes that are being pushed in our modern culture.  Be careful what you read and hear.  Be double careful if it comes from a teacher or a text book.  Fake News is bigger than today’s headlines.

West, Thomas G.  Vindicating the Founders.  Lanham, Maryland: Rowman &
     Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1997.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Opus 2019-120: Another Hurdle Overcome

Now that it is over I can relax. 

Did you notice during the Independence Day celebration that at one point the president was joined by the vice president and many cabinet members?  Every time I see that I think of what a target they represent for the group that we are calling the “deep state”.  It makes me nervous because, if I remember correctly, the next in line if something happens to the president and vice president is the speaker of the House.  Today that would mean Nancy Pelosi.

With all of their talk of violence and not-so-subtle references to assassination, I would not put it past the left to come up with some scheme that would put them in power.  They hate Donald Trump that much.  I think he is aware of that or at least his advisors are.  I have never noticed the big screen in front of him before.  Maybe it was the rain that made it obvious but I am glad it was there.

The hatred of the left is one reason so many Americans support him, pray for him and are encouraged by him.  Unlike the left, he loves America and is going whole hog to make it great again.

Thanks to all Americans, and citizens of other countries, who are praying for his safety.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Opus 2019-119: Baby Talk: The New Green Deal

You are all familiar with AOC.  She is the one who brought up the New Green Deal and made an issue of farting cows.  I have noticed that the environmental folks have never thanked the American pioneers who got rid of the massive buffalo herds.  Just think of all the methane gas they were producing.  Maybe we should also do something about the large congregations of wild animals on the African game preserves.

But I digress.

My real concern is the precedent of making an issue of escaping gas.  I worry because I have a granddaughter who often announces her presence by the release of potent methane gas.  Baby gas can really be a show stopper.  Can you see the day when our government, in an effort to keep us save and secure, insists that babies never go out in public without air-tight diapers and that the homes of all new born children install those things they have in science labs that gives a negative pressure to keep killer microbes from escaping.

This of course will demand a cabinet position, Secretary of Baby Farts, and a large budget with regulations to match.

Don’t you love the AOC future?

homo unius libri

Friday, July 5, 2019

Opus 2019-118: Why Not Firworks

You may have noticed that more and more locations are making it illegal to shoot off your own fireworks.  It is illegal to sell them in many places.  It always amused me to see a fireworks stand right across the city limits from a no-fireworks domain.

I understand the stated logic of banning them.  First you want to keep your houses from burning down.  That makes sense.  People sleeping under a roof covered with old wooden shingles might not appreciate a still burning rocket landing on them unannounced.  Dry shakes do not mix well with sparks.  I am not sure that is a reason to ban all fireworks but city councils love to flex their muscles.  I wish citizens realized how easy it is to vote out a city council.  It is the way a democratic form of government is supposed to work.  If you don’t like them, vote them out.

Second, Aunt Nanny wants to keep her children safe.  Start a list of things the government does to protect you starting with mandatory seat belts, bicycle helmets, medicine bottles with safety caps and proceed to smoking in public and nutritional content labels.  The list goes on and on.  What we fail to see is that each law that is passed for out safety also limits our freedom.  It is sometimes limited by banning what used to be common practice such as fire works.  Other times it reduces our freedom by limiting our choices.  That is what government required licensing for things like barbers and eyebrow weavers do.  By limiting competition they also increase the cost of living.  That is both by limiting competition and raising prices because the business now has to pay a fee for the permit.  But they only do it because they want us safe.

But there is also a hidden reason for banning fireworks.  Exciting displays encourage people to be involved in celebrating their liberty.  It might even get people to think about the words of the national anthem.  The Progressives in charge of education, the media and government want us to sit down and be obedient, not blow things up and get excited about being free.  If you can make things boring enough, people will lose interest.  We have seen this in education.  When the feminists succeeded in making books boring and non-violent, boys have been dropping out of reading.  When colleges require freshmen to get in touch with their feelings in special tolerance classes we see fewer young men interested in a college education.

The recent celebration that President Trump led in Washington got a lot of people stirred up.  Some were stirred with patriotism and love for their country.  You could see that when the cameras were forced to turn around and see the solid mass of people all the way to the Washington Monument.  No, they were not photo-shopped in.  Others were stirred in horror at the fact that there are still people proud to be Americans.

I am for more fireworks.  I am for freedom.  Keep in mind that limiting immigration does not mean limiting emigration.  If you don’t know the difference, the first is what illegals do and the second is what liberals promise to do every election.  Maybe if we shoot off enough fire crackers some will keep their word and move to Canda.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-117: Why Fireworks

One of the big attractions of the 4th of July celebration is the fireworks.  We like to see things go boom.  Sparklers are fun but what really gets little boys excited it lighting a firecracker and throwing it before it blows up in their hand.  It gets big boys excited too.  I can’t speak for girls.  One year recently my son and son in law bought a bunch of stuff that would have gotten them arrested in California and we enjoyed the sight of them running as fast as they could from the fuses they had just lit.

It also gives people a chance to think about the national anthem.  Many of us have sung the song.  Few of us have considered the words.  Francis Scott Key was a prisoner on a British warship.  During the night the British fleet had been attacking Fort McHenry with naval artillery and rockets.  As morning was approaching he was wondering if the fort was going to surrender.  They would signal this by lowering the flag.  Thus he expressed his joy,
Oh, say, can you see? By the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming;
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
The flag was up when twilight descended.  It was still there in the dawn.  The sun was coming but it was still dark enough to see the rockets blowing up in the air.
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air.
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:...
What we might consider fireworks were the cutting edge of military technology in the 19th century.  The British were experimenting with rockets instead of cannon.  It made a lot of noise and bursts of light.  The big problem was hitting the target.

Americans shoot off fireworks on Independence Day to commemorate that day in the war of 1812.  They may not know it, but that is what they are doing.  I am not informed enough to declare that no one used rockets and bomblets to celebrate before Americans but I do believe that it has become a distinctively American thing to do.  From our front porch we picked out at least five different locations that were paying the big bucks to light up the sky.  We were happy that millions of Americans were doing the same in their back yards and streets.

I hope you enjoyed the day.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Opus 2019-116: A Good Read

    IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

    A DECLARATION

    By the REPRESENTATIVES of the

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

    In GENERAL CONGRESS assembled

When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.  Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.  The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.  To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable , and distant from the Depository of their Public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

 He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of, and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by out Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For Cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms:  Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury.  A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren.  We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us.  We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here.  We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence.  They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity.  We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

 We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.  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.

JOHN HANCOCK, President

Attest.
CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.

SIGNERS

Adams, John                     MA      Lawyer
Adams, Samuel                   MA      Political leader
Bartlett, Josiah                NH      Physician, Judge
Braxton, Carter                 VA      Farmer
Carroll, Charles of Carrollton  MD      Lawyer
Chase, Samuel                   MD      Judge
Clark, Abraham                  NJ      Surveyor
Clymer, George                  PA      Merchant
Ellery, William                 RI      Lawyer
Floyd, William                  NY      Soldier
Franklin, Benjamin              PA      Printer, Publisher
Gerry, Elbridge                 MA      Merchant
Gwinnett, Button                GA      Merchant
Hall, Lyman                     GA      Physician
Hancock, John                   MA      Merchant
Harrison, Benjamin              VA      Farmer
Hart, John                      NJ      Farmer
Hewes, Joseph                   NC      Merchant
Heyward, Thomas Jr.             SC      Lawyer, Farmer
Hooper, William                 NC      Lawyer
Hopkins, Stephen                RI      Judge, Educator
Hopkinson, Francis              NJ      Judge, Author
Huntington, Samuel              CT      Judge
Jefferson, Thomas               VA      Lawyer
Lee, Francis Lightfoot          VA      Farmer
Lee, Richard Henry              VA      Farmer
Lewis, Francis                  NY      Merchant
Livingston, Philip              NY      Merchant
Lynch, Thomas Jr.               SC      Farmer
McKean, Thomas                  DE      Lawyer
Middleton, Arthur               SC      Farmer
Morris, Lewis                   NY      Farmer
Morris, Robert                  PA      Merchant
Morton, John                    PA      Judge
Nelson, Thomas Jr.              VA      Farmer
Paca, William                   MD      Judge
Paine, Robert Treat             MA      Judge
Penn, John                      NC      Lawyer
Read, George                    DE      Judge
Rodney, Caesar                  DE      Judge
Ross, George                    PA      Judge
Rush, Benjamin                  PA      Physician
Rutledge, Edward                SC      Lawyer
Sherman, Roger                  CT      Lawyer
Smith, James                    PA      Lawyer
Stockton, Richard               NJ      Lawyer
Stone, Thomas                   MD      Lawyer
Taylor, George                  PA      Ironmaster
Thornton, Matthew               NH      Physician
Walter, George                  GA      Judge
Whipple, William                NH      Merchant, Judge
Williams, William               CT      Merchant
Wilson, James                   PA      Judge
Witherspoon, John               NJ      Educator
Wolcott, Oliver                 CT      Judge
Wythe, George                   VA      Lawyer

Opus 2019-115: A Good Question

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?  I know that seems a stupid question but have you been listening to the people elected to congress in the last session?  July 4, 1776 is the date inscribed on the Declaration of Independence.  Because of that we call this Independence Day and even though the Progressive elites are doing all they can to limit our liberty, we still have a lot to celebrate.  I urge you to stop and read the Declaration.

It starts,

    When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

and goes on from there.  I will post the document in a separate post.  I urge you to read the entire thing today.  You might even try a little exercise I had my middle school students do:  Paraphrase the paragraph without using any of the key words.  For instance, “When in the Course of human Events” could become, “all through history”.

We still have much to celebrate and be thankful for.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Opus 2019-114: Racist Squirrel!

Why do the social justice warriors of the left call “racist” so often?

Because it works.  It has been popularized by the movie “Up” with the expression, “Squirrel”.  In the movie a pack of dogs are about ready to bestow mortal harm and the victim yells, “Squirrel” and points the other way.  The dogs heads all whip around and they start searching.  It works time and time again.  The dogs never learn.  They are a lot like conservatives.  We used to use the technique when the kids were small and say things like, “Look, a horsie”. 

It is what is called a “knee-jerk reaction”.  You can’t help yourself.  Back in the days before I had insurance by Medicare the doctor used to check my reflexes.  He would tap my knee and my leg would jerk.  It didn’t require thought.  I am not sure I could keep it from happening.  That meant I was healthy.  When the hammer is “racist” it is not healthy.

Do racists exist?  Of course they do.  Almost everyone has a tendency to prefer people like themselves.  Of course that might be a preference for football over basketball or being into NASCAR more than tennis.  It is the way we are built.  I would say that the least “racist” group in the world are American, middle class, Christian white people.  We are also the ones most called racist.  It is just manipulation.

It is a form of cultural bullying and since we are against bullying, maybe it is time to grow up and move on.  Lets have a rational discussion instead of yelling “squirrel”. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Opus 2019-113: Election 2020: Loan Solution

The Democratic presidential debates seem to be a good place to declare the 2020 campaign season open.  I didn’t pay much attention since I don’t see any of them that has enough common sense and love for America to get a second glance.  One of the recurrent themes is “free stuff”.  It takes slightly different forms from reparations to forgiving student loans but all of it is based on the socialist idea that you take from the productive part of society and give to the non-productive.  I have a suggestion on how to deal with the load of student debt that the millennial snowflakes have accumulated.

Lawsuits.

I don’t know what the technical legal terms are.  Perhaps breach of contract would work.  Maybe something about false advertising.  Fraud comes to mind.

Instead of cancelling student loan debt maybe we should sue the universities that issued worthless degrees in things like gender studies the same way we would sue any other business.  A university would be exempted if they made it clear to the potential students that there would be no jobs for them when they got out of school.  I don’t think any will get that exemption.

We also want to make sure that they pay out of their endowments and not by increased government grants.  What people fail to understand is that universities are worth billions in tax sheltered money.  We can’t seem to get up the nerve to tax their wealth but we might be able to get juries to dip into it.

It is worth a try.  Sounds like a potential campaign platform to me.  Everyone wins except the deep pocket universities.  The snowflakes get money to buy their latte and the tax payers don’t get skinned.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Opus 2019-112: Baby Talk: Guardian Angels on Overtime

I don’t know if you ever read the comic strip “Rose Is Rose”.  One of my favorite support characters is Pasquale’s guardian angel.  At times he is a cute little cherub that looks just like Pasquale.  Every once in awhile he is revealed in his fearsome splendor as the warrior that he is.  Angels are not cute, they are scary.  And powerful.  And faithful.

So as a grandparent I want to put in a good word for what we call guardian angels.   I am not sure the term is Biblical.  I did a quick search for the two words in the same verse in both the KJV and NASB and came up empty.  The concept is there,
(Psa 91:11 KJV) For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
but not the exact phrase.  Good enough for me.  I am thanking the guardian angel, or angels, that have an eye on my granddaughter.

I think of the limited chances for harm I have been able to witness.  I have seen drawers and little fingers in situations that made me cringe.  I noticed a music stand that refused to fall over on her head.  I think of the times I have been around to remove things from little fingers.

At the same time I am grateful it was my wife that got stung by the scorpion and me that found the centipede.  My wife didn’t enjoy it.  Neither did the centipede. 

So thanks GA.  I owe you much more than one.  And thank the Father who sent you.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Opus 2019-111: New Terms: So-Called

Hypocrisy is alive and well.  Liars are everywhere.  Wolves are in the market for sheep’s clothing.  Not only is it irritating, it is dangerous.  When I say “dangerous” I don’t mean walking through a dark house dangerous.  I mean drinking the bleach you had in the water bottle dangerous. 

We have people calling for tolerance and crying that we need to accept people as fellow humans on the road to the future.  I think we need to learn the phrase “so-called” when we hear claims like this.  As a Christian I find my thinking started by a verse I keep coming across.
(1Co 5:11 NAS77) But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.
Paul is talking to the church here.  If you look it up and read the context he is not calling on the church to judge the world or reject non-believers.  He is focusing on the real church.  He is telling them that just because someone shows up on Sunday and may even bring their Bible, that does not make them part of the brethren.  He is saying that we need to draw a line between people who talk one way and live another and the ones who are interested in walking with Jesus.

It is simple bit of advice that should be applied to other areas of life.

In politics we already have a term RINO.  In case you have been out to a long lunch, that stands for Republican in Name Only.  It refers to the liberals and moderates who have run as genuine conservatives and then turn around and reject everything the party stands for.  They are, in Biblical language, so-called Republicans.  They need to be identified and voted out of office.  If we don’t do that then we will see the nation go the way the churches have been going: Down the drain.

I guess you could apply that same thing to things we eat.  Do you use so-called butter?  How about turkey bacon?  Unsalted potato chips, anyone?

We also have so-called love that our Hollywood culture has redefined from lust.

The applications are everywhere.  Open your eyes and start called spades as spades.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Opus 2019-110: Critical Mass: Inner Rot

Society has many bumps and potholes.  What happens when those potholes become sinkholes?  What happens when a small blip reaches Critical Mass.  Today I want to talk about treason.

We have a new group of Democrats in the House of Representatives.  They seem to hate America and everything we have stood for yet they were elected, sworn in and are getting paid.  They have not been locked up or deported.  The question is, “Is this a sign of our strength and resilience as a country or a measure of our stupidity?”

We have always had wacko politicians.  It goes with the territory of liberty.  People are free to elect whomever they want to represent them.  This is part of our strength.  We have the cultural equity that allows us to put up with a certain amount of dead weight.  We can deal with a few treasonous pieces of trash.  The First Amendment allows people to speak their mind or lack of one.  That is the real test of liberty, can we allow freedom of speech when we don’t like it?  The left has said “no”.  Actually they have said, “NO!!!!”

The problem we are facing is that these traitors are teaming up with the long term politicians who have been working hard to buy or coerce enough votes to keep getting reelected.  When it comes to the repeated reelection of people like Pelosi and Schumer you only need to pay attention to the second half of the question.  What will happen when the people who hate your liberty team up with the ones that are literally out to destroy the country?  When will we reach the point of critical mass?

Since I am getting old, I may not live to see it.  Then again, maybe I will.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 24, 2019

Opus 2019-109: Election 2020: Trump Isn’t Being Nice

I was skimming through various sites looking for things of interest.  I looked down the list of articles in Real Clear Politics and one caught my eye, “The Biggest Obstacle to Trump’s Re-Election”.  I didn’t know there were any obstacles but it got my interest. 

My first clue that I was wasting my time was that it was from The Atlantic.  I think Atlantic is Latin for “fake news”, but I could be wrong on that since I never took Latin.  I do know that they do not, nor have they ever, had a good word to say about Donald Trump.

Not much is changed.  I didn’t read every word but I scanned through to get the idea.  They felt like a lot of people who admit the economy is doing well still don’t like Trump because he isn’t nice.  They criticized his speech at the Orlando rally because it wasn’t nice and say his only hope of winning is by being nice.

Not much has changed.  The Fake News networks will keep hammering away about all the things they don’t like about Trump.  One of the biggest things they don’t like about Trump is the number of people that do like him.  All the voices that forecast he was going to lose in 2016 are trying to convince us that he will lose in 2020. 

2020 is coming.  I give you a choice:  Vote for Trump or buy a subscription to the Atlantic.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-108: Kicking the Can, part 2 of 2

We still have a lot of problems in our country today.  Many will admit them but few are willing to take the steps to make it happen.

Think of the federal deficit.  It is out of control.  It keeps getting bigger.  Logic and common sense tells us that we need to do something about it.  There is a limit to how high you can raise taxes without destroying the economy.  The big missing piece of the puzzle is cutting spending.  The question that no one wants to answer is “Where?”

Most people will admit we need to cut spending but they always want it to be on someone else’s dime.  The reason they are not willing to do anything is because it might hurt them.  Think about all the ways that many of us are on the public dole.  I was a public school teacher.  Because I worked for the government in a government controlled system I made about twice what teachers in private schools made and had an awesome health care package.  How many teachers do you know who are willing to cut back on education?  After all, it is for the kids, right?  And don’t look at the man behind the curtain making a lot of money.  And have you seen the obscene amounts of money university people make? 

How about all the tax loopholes we have.  I bought a home and had a mortgage.  I was allowed to write off the interest.  I accept the fact that some tax deductions make sense.  The cost of new equipment is an expense that should be deducted but board of directors meetings in resort areas?  You can get the same business done at the local school cafeteria. 

For me and millions of other elderly it would have to do with Medicare.  We want the cost of our drugs reduced.  There are a lot of crony capitalism things that could be changed but in reality we just want the cost to go down.  It doesn’t matter if those still working pay more or the government has to borrow the money, I want relief.  See the way it works?  And this at a time when the elderly are the ones who have most of the disposable income.  I still can’t figure out why I get a discount when the working stiff with three kids pays full price.

We need to start voting for people who will pledge to cut spending even if it means I have to give up going out to eat.  Eventually when someone goes to kick the can down the road they will find it has a giant rock behind it.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Opus 2019-107: Kicking the Can, part 1 of 2

From time to time I come across different writers criticizing politicians as refusing to deal with an issue and instead “kicking the can down the road.”  It refers to our so-called leaders refusing to take the bull by the horns and instead letting the problem go by assuming that future generations will deal with it.

We can look at such things as budget proposals that are going to balance the budget, at least until you look at the fine print.  Usually the balancing will happen four to eight years down the road when there has been another election.  What that means is never.

This is not a new problem.  I am reading Vindicating the Founders by Thomas G. West.  I am still in the early chapters and his first concern is over the issue of slavery.  I notice that he keeps referring to leaders of the day being against slavery but not willing to do anything about it.  Thomas Jefferson comes up frequently.  He is the one who penned the “all men are created equal” phrase that is so important.  At the same time he owned slaves and never made any attempt to free them even after his death.  His excuse seemed to be that he could not afford to set them free.

The thing that hit me was that the Founders kicked the can down the road.  They may have been forced to do so because there were three Southern states who would not have joined the new nation if slavery had been banned.  That was a political reality.  Northern states moved to do away with slavery but for the most part few who owned slaves and admitted it was wrong were willing to take the financial loss to do what was right.  In their defense they did outlaw the slave trade as soon as they could in 1808.

This curse still haunts us today.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, June 21, 2019

Opus 2019-106: The Last Word

I was recently led to reread Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”.  It was a pleasant journey into my educational preparation.  There is a reason it is one of the most popular poems in America, if not the English speaking world.

Then I noticed a site with the title “The Most Misread Poem in America”.  Obviously the author felt like everyone else misunderstood what Frost was saying.  I went to the sight and began to read.  I did not read very long before I realized that this was an essay paid for by the word so I started to skim.  Many down pages later I finally got to where I began to find out how everyone misread about the road.

At that point I stopped reading.  You may choose to go on but I am used to scholars sharing their own opinions as if it was the final word.  I do a bit of Bible study and at times I make the mistake of reading commentary instead of the Bible itself.  One of the things I have come to learn is that most of the great insights in such books are the opinion of the author rather than the actual meaning of the text.

I guess scholars can’t help themselves.  I am just sorry that they have never bothered to consult me about the true meaning and significance of the text.  I could give them some guidance that is truly the last word.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Opus 2019-105: Election 2020: Unintended Consequences

One of the principles we observe on a regular basis is the law of unintended consequences.  This is where a program is implemented that has a goal and even if the stated goal is reached there are a lot of results that no one factored in.  One example is the solar power array on the highway leading from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.  You see it for miles and don’t dare look directly at it.  It is that bright.  All in all it is a very impressive achievement and I am sure it produces a lot of electricity.  What no one told us about and still attempt to censor is the number of birds that are killed by the intense heat generated above the mirrors.  That was an unintended consequence.  Although they are sometimes pleasant surprises we usually find that the unexpected is negative. 
This is to be expected in human planning.  In a perfect world the negative would be compared to the positive and adjustments might be made.  We just keep on barreling down the road. 

God has no such limitations.  That is why I am often considering following the kosher laws laid down by the Old Testament although I am not Jewish and don’t have any obligation to follow them.  It seems to me that God had a reason for each of them and as science advances we often stumble across what was behind them.  With God there are no unintended consequences.

How does God bring about the results He wants?  He actually does not need to do a lot of spectacular miracles.  He can change the weather with a million little tweaks that no one else would notice.  When you add them up you see a hurricane dissipate or a plague die out.  Just because you don’t see Him working doesn’t mean that the drunk that was going to wipe out your family doesn’t have a flat tire or sneeze and run into a tree.

Meanwhile be looking at electing people who are willing to consider the facts and change their mind if things are not working out the way they were intended.  I can think of lots of laws that need to be repealed and programs that need to be canceled.  We need to get the message to the government.

Elections matter.  For many of us the Election of Donald Trump was a massive unintended consequence.  Then came 2018 and too many people read the news and ignored the truth.  We will get another chance at the House in two years.  2020 is coming.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Opus 2019-104: Headlines: The End Is Over

Another deadline has passed.  Maybe you count “the middle of June” different than I do but it looks to me we are there and so far the economy has not collapsed with a major reset which makes all the $100 bills you have under the mattress worthless.

My wife told me that things were so bad that there was going to be a total redoing of the way our finances are handled.  It think it involved shutting down the Federal Reserve, going to a gold standard and stacking our paper money by the toilet.  I may have missed a few details but it sounded scary.  In preparation I went to Costco and bought a six-pack of canned chicken.  Okay, maybe I would have done that anyway but I am ready for at least six days of suffering.

I have thoughts about how false prophets were to be treated in the Old Testament.
(Jer 14:15 KJV) Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
I thought it was stoning but this works too.

Of course the day is not over yet.  Check with me tomorrow.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Opus 2019-103: Well Done...

At the moment I am into proof texting.  Proof texting is where you take a quote, usually from the Bible, and offer it out of context to give irrefutable proof to back up your position.  One reason to use it is because you have a valid point, know the context supports you and the person you are talking to is too lazy to look it up.  Sadly that is a minuscule portion of the proof texting that goes on.  Most of it is done to deceive while gaining the support of someone much more reliable than you are.

It is the spirit of the second, deceitful style that I offer this.

How are we supposed to eat our meat?  Let me quote Jesus,
(Mat 25:23 KJV) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant;...
Now obviously I am proof texting but my point is still my point.

We are supposed to eat our meat well done, not rare.  There should be no evidence of blood when we cut into the steak.  Not only does the Old Testament tell us not to eat the blood but even in the New Testament, when the question is “What standards should we expect of the Gentiles?” we see the same restriction.
(Act 15:20 KJV) But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Although they were not talking about the local grill the point here is that blood is not to be a food.

So if you see me sending my steak back don’t sneer at me.  I am just trying to be a righteous diner.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 14, 2019

Opus 2019-102: The Phoenix Needs to Trump Gravity, Part 3 of 3

Some manage to go against the flow.  I think of Ronald Reagan.  I think of Thomas Sowell.  I think of Donald Trump.  How did they end up more conservative as they grew older?  One indicator might be that they were liberals when they were young but smart enough to grow out of it.  You may have heard the saying that if you are under 30 and not a liberal, you have no heart and if you are over 30 and still a liberal, you have no brain. 

I think that it might also be a matter of inner integrity.  Integrity demands that you confront truth and respond to it.  If you are ignorant then that explains some of your confusion but if you keep seeking truth then sooner or later you have to acknowledge if a change must be made.  Integrity also has an element of being your own man (sorry ladies, just a figure of speech).  Real integrity demands the courage to stand with truth instead of going with the flow.  Donald Trump comes to mind.  I only voted for him because he was not Hillary.  I admit it.  I was wrong in my analysis even if I was right in my goals.  He has surprised all of us.  On the integrity issue I think that you need to keep in mind that he has endured a two year witch hunt financed by unlimited resources taken from our tax dollars and they have come up with nothing.  I mean absolutely nothing.  Nothing on him.  Nothing on his children.  This is a man who worked in the building trade in New York.  And they found nothing. 

Are there any organizations that are resisting the rot?  The one that comes to mind is the Salvation Army.  I still feel that they are fulfilling their original calling of taking the Gospel of Jesus to the poor.  I don’t think they have any executives that make seven figure salaries.  They are still on track. 

What about you?  What about me?  Ultimately that is the only point we will have any power to change or monitor.  If enough of us stay on the high road and keep on track them maybe we can pull the culture back.  Each of us has to do our part even if it doesn’t work.  That means a series of daily choices.  It might mean finding a way to pass on any family wealth in a way that does not destroy the next generation.  It definitely means how we treat our neighbors. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Opus 2019-101: The Phoenix Needs to Trump Gravity, Part 2 of 3

People and organizations need a Phoenix Moment.  In mythology the Phoenix was a creature that would be consumed by fire and then be resurrected from the ashes.  This should become a law of nature.  We have many colleges that need to sell all their assets and start over again at the struggle level.  I don’t know what they would do with the assets but they need to go away.  There was a day when today’s major universities were struggling little colleges.  The professors were living hand to mouth.  The students were dressed in hand me downs and were not sure where the next meal would come from.  They accumulated massive endowments, became powerful forces, drifted down hill and moral gravity took its toll.

The same could be said of mega-churches.  This is why I am convinced that church splits are not necessarily a bad thing.  Sure there is a bit of pain and a lot of unchristian behavior but at least one of the parties will see the light and have a Phoenix moment.  Revival will follow.

This is why old political parties need to fade away and be replaced.  The Whigs were once the opposition to the Democrats.  Then came the convention when they refused to take a stand against slavery.  The Republicans were in the wings waiting and they came to life out of the ashes of the Whig party.  It may be time for the Republican party to go the same way.

This is why computers need to be rebooted.  My son tells me that you can leave your computer on too long.  Over time it accumulates so many obstructions to its clean operation that it slows down and starts crashing.  When it gets the wrong virus the only answer is to Phoenix the hard drive and start over.

Many organizations are like a patient who has lost both kidneys.  They need to go on dialysis regularly to clean up their blood.  If they don’t, they die.  It would be better to go Phoenix. 

Maybe we need a law that requires all organizations to liquidate after a certain number of years.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Opus 2019-100: The Phoenix Needs to Trump Gravity, Part 1 of 3

Water runs downhill.  Always.  Why?  Gravity.  There seems to be the same tendency in public life.

We have seen the pattern.  People start middle of the road or lightly to the right of center.  They are put in a position of responsibility.  They begin to drift left and the movement becomes perpetual.  We have seen it with judges and members of congress.  We are now seeing it with Fox News.  The network still has voices of reason and balance, but the rot is setting in and the drift is becoming obvious.

Consider Jessie Jackson.  He was once a man I could support.  He started out really trying to help poor people and lift them up.  Along the way he had to make a decision and he decided to get back on the plantation and accept the largess of the left.  Which came first, the drifting or the selling out?

We see it in laws.  Take the various Civil Rights Acts.  They are passed for the best of reasons.  In the debates and explanations there are certain things such as racial preferences that are labeled as anathema.  Then they introduce Affirmative Action.  I have read even that was supposed to be balanced when it was introduced.  We have a concern for the environment that has morphed to a tyranny of petty, bored bureaucrats who love to throw around their power.  Concern for safety shuts down businesses and keeps innovative ideas from being developed. 

How can you resist the drift?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Opus 2019-099: New Terms: Do a Thomas Jefferson

As I was deep in discussion of the Bible with a friend I found him picking and choosing parts of the Bible to accept and parts to reject.  At least that is what it seemed like to me.  He didn’t see it that way.  I accused him of pulling a Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson did what modern cafeteria Christians are doing but he was a bit more clear in how he did it.  He took a Bible and literally cut out the parts that he did not agree with.  What was left is called the Jefferson Bible.  I think we have a lot of people doing that kind of thing.

A good example might be the mayor whose name we can’t pronounce calling Mike Pence non-Christian.  That is a Thomas Jefferson.  You see, the Bible makes a very clear statement about homosexuality and the mayor was very vocal about his homosexual union.  Mike Pence would say it was wrong because the Bible says so.  The mayor says Pence, and the Bible, are wrong.

We could come up with variations of the expression such as “Doing a Jefferson”, or “Don’t Jeff me”. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Opus 2019-098: Headlines: In the Marrow

I have been on the road for over a week as I begin to write this.  I am visiting with good friends on my final stop, staying at their house and letting them feed me.  One of the focal points of the visit is an ongoing dialogue, i.e. discussion, i.e. argument, about just about anything but focused on certain theological issues.  My friend is a King James Only guy and very serious about it but he still has not cried, “Heretic!”  He may mumble it in his sleep but not when his free will is operating.

On one of our tangents he brought up an article he had come across having to do with paleontology.  It was an interview with a researcher called Marry Schweitzer.  In her research she believes she has come across what appears to be soft tissue in the marrow area of some fossils and she thinks it is something that deserves study.  If that wiggles your antennae then go to the site and read the article. 

That isn’t what I wanted to comment on.

There were a couple of quotes that she offered in passing that I thought we important.  She is offering a theory that is in conflict with the Established Wisdom.  She says that if she is correct then scientists will either need to reevaluate the accepted age of the fossils or the theories about how fossils are formed.  Either one threatens some people and is resisted.

She is good with that.  She says she expects good science to challenge her theory.  She gets a little up tight when they reject her data.  She kind of says, “Bring it on!”  because that is good science.  If you know anything about the genuine scientific theory you will agree with her.  Then she said,
“I learned the role of science is to disprove, not prove.”  (emphasis in original)
When researchers offer an hypothesis they are supposed to set up experiments that will show a true/false answer.  In most cases is it impossible to prove a theory because you might have missed the one thing that would throw it out.  After enough people have failed in trying to debunk it, it is promoted to an established theory which is often accepted as fact.

Something else she said resonated with me because it echoed something I read somewhere else and liked.
“If you step back a little bit and let God be God I don’t think there’s any contradiction at all between the Bible and what we see in nature. He is under no obligation to meet our expectations. He is bigger than that.”
My basic belief when it comes to where life came from is found in Genesis 1:1.
(Gen 1:1 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The how and when I am willing to debate and listen to good science as they try to figure it out.  The why is where I run into problems.  I have no fear of good honest science.  The problem we run into is that much of the science that is being made popular is not good science.  It is based on models that were set up to show the desired results or it is edited to cut out anything that goes against the accepted truth.

An interesting article worth reading.


homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Opus 2019-097: On the Street: Next Stop

I was waiting in line to board the aircraft.  I had one stop over where I would need to change planes in Phoenix.  I was forced to listen to a couple of women talking behind me and began to fear that I might be stuck sitting next to one of them.  Their mouths were on automatic.  Together they were a wonder of nature.  Alone they were looking for a target.

Suddenly my ears were on alert.  One of the women asked the other, “Are you going all the way to Phoenix?”  For a brief moment I wondered if there was a stop in between that I had missed.  I want you to be proud of me though because of my self control.  I didn’t even turn around to look at them.  I assumed they were democrats.

No, they did not sit by me.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Opus 2019-096: Baby Talk: Musical Fantasy

There is a Gaither song in the Christian repertoire that has a line, “How sweet to hold a new born baby...”  It gathers deeper meaning and magnifies your feelings when you have a child or grandchild.  Suddenly you own it.

That is true but momentary.  Life has a way of being unsentimental.  Sooner or later that bundle of joy becomes a drooling, burping, squirming, screaming bucket of “I want my real mommy.”  It has been fun watching my son try to fulfill the uncle role without getting a drop of slobber on him.  He is one of those people who always washes his hands after he holds a baby.  Germs, you know.

While in Japan we had a moment when my granddaughter returned her last two meals to us while strapped in a car seat between me and my daughter.  It just kept coming.  What was fascinating was the calm look on the child’s face.  She never cried or got upset, she just kept barfing.  I wondered where she had stored it all.  For breakfast she had enjoyed oatmeal spiced with cinnamon.  That was the main smell of the moment.  I am not sure I will ever be able to enjoy oatmeal with cinnamon again.

We pulled over and three adults tried to clean it all up.  I have to hand it to the kid, she kept it all in the car seat.  Not once in the entire event did she get upset except when we tried to change her clothes.

The joys of being a grandparent.  Fortunately my son was in the front seat or he might never hold a baby again. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Opus 2019-095: Headlines: The Game Is Over

I have mixed credentials when it comes to talking about “Game of Thrones”. 

On the negative side, I never watched any of the series.  Of course that could be a positive but it is hard to tell at this early date.

On the positive side, I read the entire series in book form.  It was over several years and I don’t remember much except it was a good story.

From what I pick up on blogs and in memes the series has come to an end.  It also seems that what was very promising in the first 6 (?) years turned into a bomb in the last two.  My guess is that the first six followed Martin’s writing and the last two were products of millennial snowflakes expectations. 

After a few years I expressed an interest in taking a look at the series.  I enjoyed the books and I like things like Lord of the Rings.  I like a good story, told well with characters worth caring about.  I mentioned it to my son and his comment was that if I watched it I need to prepare myself for a lot of violence, gratuitous sex and associated paraphernalia.  The violence part I could deal with.  It is hard to tell a medieval war story without violence but I really don’t need to fill my mind with improbable sexual exploits reflecting the frustrations of the artists so I decided to wait for the PG version if it ever comes out.

I am not sure why the ending is being lampooned.  I don’t know if it was really bad or just not politically correct.  I keep seeing a poster of a very blond woman being hailed by a bunch of darker skinned people in chains so there is a good chance the latter is the case.

I will never know.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Opus 2019-094: Election 2020: Time Management

I am wondering if I should spend time learning to pronounce Pete Buttigeig’s last name?  I only have so much time and so much energy as I get older and I am not sure he is going to last long enough to warrant the effort. 

Living in Texas has been a real challenge in pronunciation.  Some of the names I have needed to learn to keep people from laughing at me,

The city of Boerne, pronounced like Bernie, as in Sanders

The city of Gruene, pronounced green

Bexar county, is pronounced bear, like the animal

Since I plan on living here and people know these names I have needed to learn them.  Buttigeig I can pronounce any way and get the same blank stares as if I got it right.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Opus 2019-093: Baby Talk: She Has Rhythm

She can’t walk, or she couldn’t when she was with us in Texas.  She could not even stand up unless she was hanging on to something.  But she had rhythm.  We began to notice that her shoulders and hips would begin to sway when music was on.  At first I thought it was indigestion but after some experiments it was infant dancing.  She really like Father Abraham accompanied by the guitar.

We noticed that when we were in the car and she was fussy that certain music would calm her down.  That brings up thoughts about the effects of music.  I have heard that plants grow better when you play classical music than they do to the sounds of rap.  While I can understand that for anything with a brain I don’t see how that works with plants.  God has truly designed a complex world.  Evolution would certainly have not programed in musical response in plants.

I am not a fan of rap.  A few days ago I had my window open and a car pulled up next to me with its window open.  I had the chance to listen to his choice of “music”.  The most obvious element of his choice was that it only had a loud bass and a steady rhythm.  The second most obvious contribution was vocabulary that would get me fired if I was still working, arrested if out in public and slapped if my mother were still alive. 

I guess I should not gripe if I have to sing Father Abraham or The Hokey Pokey.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Opus 2019-092: Donald and David

Sometimes I ask myself how I can approve of Donald Trump.  As a serious Christian I have certain standards that I think people should live up to.  If I look back over his life I cannot ignore the many times he has showed his flawed side.  I think of multiple marriages.  I think of locker room talk and crude statements.  He definitely has a flawed side and I see it.  Yet I still think of him as the man God has for this hour.

How can this be? 

I think of others who are in the same boat.  I could start with Bible characters.  I could look at how Abraham hid behind his wife because he was afraid.  I could look at how Moses tried to weasel out of God’s call.  For the life of me I cannot see why Sampson is lifted up as a judge of Israel. 

Then you have David.  Name a sin or crime he was not guilty of.  In addition to murder and adultery we have the example he set as a lousy father and a spineless parent.  How is it that he is considered a man after God’s own heart.
(Act 13:22 KJV) And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
I could go on.  I could draw examples from modern times.  It won’t clear things up. 

It is not always clear how to judge people.  Maybe that is why we are cautioned about judging.  Yet we must make judgements.  We live in a republic not a monarchy.  I guess we need to go back to David and try to understand why he stands out.  Let me give a verse that points to a solution to the puzzle,
(1Ch 17:2 KJV) Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
The Bible is not shy about pointing out the many times that David failed as a man and as a servant of God.  The point it makes though is that those failures were points of weakness, not the desire of his heart.  His inner man wanted to please and honor God.  As a flawed human being, he failed often and spectacularly.  I can relate to that in my own life.

Back to President Trump.  I don’t pretend to know how things are between him and God.  I do know that as I look back in his life I see a pattern of loving America and doing countless quiet things to help people, things that the media does not tell us about.  I see a man who has raised children who honor him and are productive achievers.  Even his divorced wife seems to get along with him.  As I look past the failures I see a man who has a heart I can endorse that, if you will excuse the expression, trumps the obvious sins. 

Is he a “man of God”?  It doesn’t matter as much as “Is he a man God is using?”  Keep in mind that God used such figures as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Paul of Tarsus just to name Biblical figures.  He can use Donald Trump.  He can use you.  He can use me.

Good news indeed.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 20, 2019

Opus 2019-091: College Replacement Exams, Part 2 of 2

How can we ever get competent doctors, lawyers, teachers, pastors, engineers, taxi drivers and so on?  History gives us some examples.

We can use the apprenticeship model.  It still works for carpenters and plumbers.  Why could it not work for an engineer.  Young people find someone who is willing to invest in them for the future.  Lawyers used to get their education reading law in a lawyers office.  In the process they probably did some clerking and even swept floors but they learned what they needed to know at the feet of someone they considered qualified.  I could never have been a successful blue collar worker.  My hands don’t work that way, but I did learn some skills simply by being on the job with my dad and older brother.  No one ever sent me to a class on how to change a washer or install a faucet but I have done both.

We can use the medieval model if we are after academic knowledge.  The organization was pretty loose.  Students went to the classes they wanted and listened to the scholars they thought were worth hearing.  Eventually they would be tested on their knowledge.  There was no course of study or minimum requirements.  And in reality if they wanted to go out and start teaching without the test, who was going to stop them?  If they had something to say and people would listen, caveat emptor.  Keep in mind that people considered to be educated and highly qualified make some of the stupidest declarations you could imagine.  Having a degree does not make you worth listening to.

We can use the Abraham Lincoln model.  If my memory is correct Abraham Lincoln spent less than a year total in formal education.  Between what he learned at home and his personal desire to study he became one of the most literate presidents we have ever had.  He would borrow books and devour them.  He took responsibility for his own education.  It seemed to work for him, why not for you.

We can use the Frederick Douglass model.  He taught himself to read in spite of laws against such a thing.  He was a slave.  It was illegal to teach a slave to read.  It tended to make them aware of the outside world and made them very unreconciled to their position.  He would not settle for being someone else’s property.  First, he started to educate himself.  Then he ran for freedom and kept learning.  He should be an inspiration to all those people with degrees in worthless subjects who cannot get a job.

If we don’t do something we will be forced to use the Conan the Barbarian model.  That is the plan in which civilized society falls apart and the spoils go to the one with the biggest muscles, fastest reactions and sharpest sword.  The barbarians did not create, they destroyed while they enjoyed the fruits of other people’s labor.  Sounds like the socialists of today, doesn’t it?

Higher education is not.  It is broken.  We need to fix it or the barbarians with Ph.D.s will destroy us.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-090: College Replacement Exams, Part 1 of 2

Maybe it is time to totally reject the modern idea of a college education and our university system.  Actually there is no “maybe” about it.  The recent addition of an “Adversity Score” to the SAT testing should be the final nail in the coffin of “advanced” education.  Add that to such majors as “Gender Studies”, the classes on diversity training, coed dorms and totally left wing professors and you come up with the question of “Who needs them?”

In the interests of destroying excellence and making America mediocre, the left has pushed the idea that everyone should go to college.  I taught in middle school for almost 30 years and the mantra was that everyone needed and deserved a college education.  It doesn’t really matter that most people are not qualified.  The sad result is that the standards have been reduced so that everyone can feel good about what they are doing.  There was a day when a high school diploma meant something and a college degree was a mark of achievement.  No longer.  Now everyone graduates, thus making the honor meaningless.

So how could we deal with the need for quality doctors, top notch engineers and trained scientists?  We think we need them to have a government endorsed degree or attain a government license.  Not really.  Let the free marketplace take care of the qualifications.  Remember the mark on appliances, UL approved?  Remember the Good Housekeeping seal of approval?  Remember that the AAA sign on a motel used to mean something?  We need to expect people to be responsible for their own choices and the results.  Caveat emptor. 

I don’t need the government to tell me a barber is licensed.  If he gives me a bad haircut, I won’t go back.  I don’t need the city to tell me if a restaurant has a clean kitchen.  I don’t need the government requiring me to wear a seat belt.  I am a big boy.

So how do we get the qualified people we need.

To be continued....

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Opus 2019-089: Election 2020: Hugs

I am not a hugger.  I guess I was.  My mother used to say I was quite the hugger until I was around ten years old.  I don’t remember that but I will take her word for it. 

In spite of not being a hugger, I know how to hug.  I have no problem with hugging family and I have learned that some close friends are huggers.  I deal with it.  When I get introduced to some people and they get that look in their eye, I will ask them, “Are you a hugger?”  If they are I go ahead and join in the ritual, but I avoid it if I can.  Germs, you know.

So when Joe Biden says he came from an affectionate family, I can accept that.  You have seen them.  If it moves they hug it, unless it moves fast enough.  If it doesn’t move, they hug it anyway.  That may be how tree huggers got started.  He could be simply a hugger but he is also a fool.  Many people do not want to be hugged.  Many children do not feel comfortable with strangers touching them.  Many adults don’t want strange men touching their little girls.  If he would simply accept that and modify his behavior I could deal with it. 

His ideas and foot in the mouth scorched earth comments are another issue.  That is a serious defect that disqualifies him from the presidency in my opinion.  I think we should focus on his left wing ideology rather than his huginess.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-088: Headlines: Congressional Investigations

Why is congress investigating Donald Trump Jr. and not Hunter Biden?

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Opus 2019-087: Term Limits

One of the complaints we have about our political leaders is that they become career politicians and have not sense of who we are as a people.  They live in their beltway bubble and only come out to campaign.  Look at people like Joe Biden who has been in political offices for 50 years.  That doesn’t leave a lot of time to have worked a real job.  One of the reasons people in power don’t like Donald Trump is that he has been forced to meet a payroll and produce results.  He does not have the mindset of career politicians.  He does not fit in.

One of the solutions to this is term limits.  Term limits is legislation that limits the number of times a person can be elected to an office.  The only such limit in the Constitution has to do with president and that was not in the original document.  It was added in the 22nd Amendment as a response to the four terms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  His long run put people in fear of a popular president setting himself up for life as has happened so often in the world.  America has not wanted a king, at least in the past.

The Founding Fathers were not big fans of term limits.  If they had been then we would see it in the Constitution.  They seemed to feel that the arbitrators of length of service should be the voters.  They deliberately made it easy to vote out members of the House of Representative by having them all run for reelection every two years.  Since they were the authors of spending bills this made it easy for people to get rid of them and find a replacement.  The Senate, on the other hand, served for six years.  It was supposed to give them time to deliberate and not be so sensitive to the emotions of the people.  The Senate was originally elected by the state legislators which further isolated them from the fickle nature of the masses.  But there were no term limits.

Keep in mind that term limits work both ways.  It gets rid of dead weight but also dumps people who are doing a good job and have the experience to get things done.  Usually we have different people we want thrown out, depending on our political party.

At present I am against term limits.  Members of Congress are elected to represent the people they serve.  If the people don’t like them then vote the suckers out.  The fact that most people are not paying attention is no excuse.  As much as I would like to see Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer depart the scene, that is up to the people who elected them, not me or my cronies. 

The answer to the fools in Congress is to have fewer fools in the ballot box.  That means more discussion in the public square by you and me.  That means educating ourselves and plugging along.  That is why Face Book, Twitter and Google are so set on driving conservative voices out of the public conversation.

Keep talking while you have a chance.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 17, 2019

Opus 2019-086: Baby Talk: Skill Sets

I am developing my one hand skills.  It only requires one arm to hold a baby, but surely there is something you can do with the other.

Have you ever tried to blow your nose with one hand?  For that matter have you ever had trouble getting a tissue out of a resistant box with only one hand?  This is something that we don’t think about a lot.  Try to use a can opener with one hand.  How about tying your shoes?  The list goes on and holding a baby forces you to grow.

Of course some of us have trouble doing some of these things with two hands. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Opus 2019-085: Election 2020: The Mud Settles More in the Water

The lust to destroy Western culture is in the process of removing another hurdle from the race.  The Progressives are experts at getting the camel’s nose under the tent using the American desire to be fair.  They then keep pushing, redefining the terms, moving the goal posts until they reach the point of cutting off the head that offends them.

It seems to me that another milestone has been reached as we see women’s sports being destroyed.  I refer to the growing trend to allow “transgenders”, men claiming to be female, to compete as women in women’s sports.  We now even see the leader of the culture smashers, Nancy Pelosi, introducing legislation at the federal level to add these people to the list of those protected against discrimination.  These are the people who brought you the spectacle of men walking into women’s bathroom, boys taking showers in the girls locker rooms and the removal of gender pronouns from textbooks. 

It starts with a claim to treat all people equally.  The Declaration of Independence has that concept but the Founding Fathers expected it to be applied with a little common sense and a common sense of morality.  It makes sense that if a boy is racing his hot rod against a lady in her souped up racer that both would get the same speeding ticket and fines.  It does not make sense to allow a testosterone loaded guy to put on a wig and win a wrestling competition against someone with estrogen conditioned muscles.  Not only does it not make sense, it is stupid.  Not only is it stupid, it is evil.  Yet that is where the Democrats (Liberals, Progressives, Communists, Rinos, elites) are at. 

And they keep coming.

If you are one of those people who has been intimidated into perpetual silence as this attack against our culture goes on then enjoy the world your fear is building.  The attack based on gender differences is just one prong.  Eventually these people will get to where you live.

Elections matter.  Values matter.  Morals matter. 

homo unius libri