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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.

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