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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.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Opus 2019-046: Baby Talk: Baby Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Opus 2019-045: Stealth Citizens

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

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Monday, March 18, 2019

Opus 2019-043: Firsts: Pandora

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Opus 2019-042: Baby Talk: A Future Progressive

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 16, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Opus 2019-040: Baby Talk: Learning by Rote

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Opus 2019-039: What Is Best for America

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

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

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Monday, March 11, 2019

Opus 2019-037: Headlines: Anti-Semitic Jews

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Friday, March 8, 2019

Opus 2019-36: Baby Talk: Learning by Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Opus 2019-035: A Step Toward One World

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Monday, March 4, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 3, 2019

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

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

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

What I actually need to do is change the batteries. 

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

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

homo unius libri