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, October 31, 2019

Opus 2019-212: The Joys of Isolation

I live in a world of isolation.  I don’t watch TV except when traveling with my wife or relegated to a waiting room.  I rarely turn on the radio.  I only go to movies when my family makes it a command performance.  I don’t recognize the people on the trash mags by the check out line.  Modern music is an excuse to claim you have a headache.  Some people might claim I need to get out more.

So when I read something like the list Jonah Goldberg gives I find it interesting.  Not shocking.  I have been around enough to be hard to shock.  Maybe you are out of touch enough that these are new details to you.
“Jennifer Lopez bars people from photographing her elbows.  Mariah Carey has an assistant whose only job is to hand her towels....  John Travolta ...demanded that his person chef be retained and he wanted approval of the catering staff for the rest of the cast and crew.” p. 175-6, (Emphasis in original)
He goes on but you may spend enough time watching daytime TV or reading in the grocery line that you already know this and much more.

I will stick with being isolated, thank you.  I am not sure the world is ready for my ridicule. 

Goldberg, Jonah.  The Tyranny of Cliches.  New York:  Sentinel, 2012.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Opus 2019-211: Monday Pulpit: Lessons from Joseph, part 2 of 2, Slavery Sidetrack

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.  He was sold to Ishmaelite traders, distant relatives on their way to Egypt.  This is a good time for another aside.  The tangent is slavery which is a hot topic for us in the United States.  Reparations anyone?

Americans don’t know history.  Part of that is deliberate.  People who know history tend to vote different than people who are ignorant.  Take slavery.  The average American feels like slavery is an American problem, a blot on the soul of a nation.  It is the American Sin.  Such an attitude feeds into the manipulation of the elites but has nothing to do with reality.

Slavery has been a normal part of society throughout the history of mankind.  It was common in every culture on every continent except Antarctica.  It was considered normal.  The only people who were against slavery were the slaves and even most of them accepted it as normal.  Slavery still exists today in its standard form.  Even more people are enslaved in trappings that we don’t think of as slavery, such as prostitution and sweat shops.  Far from being an American problem the stand against slavery was an area that America took an early interest.  The eradication of slavery should bring pride not the guilt demanded by the left. 

Joseph’s experience is a good illustration of how slavery works.  His brothers were mad at him so they got together, imprisoned him and then sold him.  A good number of the slaves that ended up in the Western hemisphere got there start that way.  As a slave Joseph prospered.  He was given responsibility and power.  Of course he was still a slave but if you follow his story through you find that eventually he was second in power only to Pharaoh. 

Does that make slavery a good thing?  No, not in our modern way of thinking.  It just makes it something that was considered normal until modern times. 

Making slavery some kind of test of worthiness of guilt is nonsense.  Keep in mind that the slaves that came to America started their journey being enslaved by other black Africans.  They might have gone through several black slave traders before they ended up on a European ship.  Keep in mind that the slaves were going east into the Arab world for millennia before they went across the Atlantic.  Look up Kush and Axum.  One of their main trade goods was slaves.

In fact it was the Christian gospel that began a serious examination of slavery.  It is hard to hold someone as a slave when they are created in the image of God and are a brother in Christ.

We need to continue the discussion without phony guilt trips and political manipulation. 

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Opus 2019-210: Monday Pulpit: Lessons from Joseph, part 1 of 2, Being Salt

The pastor made a good point:  God was with Joseph in spite of his situation.  God prospered him.  Good enough.  Encouraging.  My brain went into tangent mode.

If you have not read it recently the basic focus was Genesis 39.  Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers and the slave caravan took him to Egypt where he was purchased by Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s body guards.  He was quickly promoted to run Potipahr’s entire household and Potiphar prospered greatly.  Then the wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to rape her and he was thrown into prison.  In prison he was almost immediately appointed by the chief jailer to be in charge of all the prisoners.  You can see how this goes.

Thus the pastor observed that no matter what curve balls life threw at Joseph, God caused him to prosper.  My tangent noticed that Joseph was also a blessing to those he came in contact with.  God does bless us but the Bible has a strong theme that we are blessed so we can pass the blessing on to others.  It would be possible that God would even direct us toward hardship if there was a desired result. 

Culturally we would see this in terms of a Christian, or Jewish, minority being a real asset to the dominate culture.  They will often fill positions in medicine and the sciences.  They provide a framework of honesty and hard work.  I think of it in terms of being salt.  Believers can season the entire social structure if they are faithful to their calling.  It is frustrating to hear people talk about the Golden Age of Islam and have them ignore that most of the gold was produced by Christians and Jews or by recent converts. 

As I look at our current culture I think in terms of critical mass.  How much salt does it take to preserve a fish?  How much to save Western civilization?  Remember the dialogue between God and Abraham in Genesis 18 where God finally said he would preserve Sodom for 10 righteous.  How many will it take for America?  Are you part of the salt or the putrefaction? 

As followers of Jesus we have the hope of eternal life.  If we stop there then we have stopped too soon.  We are called to be a blessing to the world in which we live.  Joseph was a good example.  We should follow it and be part of the solution.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Opus 2019-209: The Blame Game

I always enjoy it when someone whom people actually read agrees with me.  One of the sites I view regularly is Powerline.  One of the writers is Paul Mirengoff.  I often find him hard to take because I view him as a struggling Never Trumper.  He fights it but seems to delight at any little barb he can throw Trump’s way.  In spite of that he still has some interesting insights at times.  One of them came in his comments about a new study on the opioid crisis.

What hit home with me is his comments about how it is politically correct to lay the blame on big business for all of the things wrong with the country.  The study he sites seems to be saying that the opioid crisis is not because of unscrupulous drug companies but the same old drug culture of the streets.  He draws a parallel with the housing crisis of ten years ago.  I am sure he could have gone on with things like the credit card crisis and other popular themes of “blame the rich”.  When politicians and lobbyists get together to pull the wool over the eyes of the public then we have bad results. 

The problems we have in society are not the fault of Facebook, Amazon or the Deep State.  They are caused by people who refuse to be responsible for their own lives and discipline themselves so that they can be independent.  People want Uncle Sugar to take care of them.  He will but the hidden price is usually liberty and a healthy pride.

I have yet to see a gun jump out of a drawer and shoot someone.  I still am waiting for my credit card to crawl out of my wallet and charge something I want but don’t need.  And of course the last time I looked that Snickers bar did not unwrap itself and force its way into my mouth.

If we refuse to grow up we will always have a curfew.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Opus 2019-208: New Laws: Semi-Free Enterprise

I am wondering if it isn’t time to start putting limits on how big a company can get.  If you look at all of the social engineering going on you see that much of it is being done by people with a big piece of the pie.  Recently Walmart joined the chorus.  They don’t have a monopoly on anything but their long run of success has made them the only option in some parts of the country.  When you don’t have to compete you can become a Social Justice Warrior.  We keep hearing how You Tube, Facebook and Google blatantly discriminate against their political opponents. 

The wake up call should have been Alex Jones.  I didn’t know much about him except he had a powerful marketing program.  For a time on my new smart phone I would swipe left and see what the big stories of the day were.  It seemed like most days the first three were Alex Jones.  I only listened to a few minutes here and there and came to believe that if we could put aside the bombast and hype I would probably agree with him on most big issues.  They went for him and got him out of the limelight.  How many others have they done this to.

The problem is that we don’t want the government to pass laws and hire regulators to deal with the issue.  Although the target is irresponsible corporations it will only get worse if we give the government more power.  At least it has in the past.  So no, I don’t think we need more laws.  What I think we need is a groundswell of public opinion in which people look up from their smart phones and uninstall the apps.  We need to make it a similar situation to what Hollywood is facing.  They make $40,000,000 blockbusters and no one buys tickets.  Eventually they will run out of money.  Eventually the people subsidizing them will stop bailing them out.  The same goes for Facebook.  What would happen if every business run by someone who cares about liberty would remove the icon from their website? 

Until we are willing to change our behavior we need to understand the government cannot save us.  I guess the new law we need is a law against making new laws.

Meanwhile 2020 is coming.  If you are willing to vote the suckers out then don’t forget to vote.  If you are going for samo-samo then stay home and tweet.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Opus 2019-207: The Promise

Barak Obama made a promise.  He was going to fundamentally change America.  His promise was real.  In this case he was not lying but he was counting on our desensitization to political promises.  He assumed we would hear what we wanted to hear.  It was our understanding that was lacking.

We thought in terms of changes in application.  Thus our desire for health care was approached by Obamacare.  How bad can it be?  As he said, his goal was fundamental.  He promised we could keep our doctors and have lower premiums.  His goal was total socialized medicine and the first step to that was to destroy the current structure.  He stated that his advent would transform the environment.  We tend to think in terms of cleaner water and air.  His goal was to cripple the industrial sector and make us believe that we would all die if the government did not take away our cars and air conditioning.  You can continue in this theme.  He wanted to replace the rule of law based on the Constitution with the fiat declarations of the socialist elites who knew what was best for us. 

We were thinking of philosophical change in terms of Reagan following Carter.  He meant a revolution on the level of October 1917.  He was going after the fundamentals.

He is still working on fulfilling his promise.  If you follow the tracks of the attempts to drive Trump out of office you find Barak prints on everything.  It may be that he is a puppet of the older deep state operatives but he has been a willing puppet. 

I don’t know that we are facing the end of the world as we know it but we are definitely at a crossroad.  I am not sure whether to rejoice I am old enough I won’t have to see what happens or regret that I won’t live to see it work out.  On the other hand our world may come crashing down tomorrow.

Interesting times.  I would love to read the history books of the future except that if the Barak revolution succeeds it will write the story. 

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Opus 2019-206: Free Enterprise in Trash

A new company is making an attempt to penetrate the trash market on our hill.  It is competition at its finest.  We already had three companies that I know of and now we have four.  I remember getting their flyer in the mail and now I am seeing their distinctive trash cans.

You might ask why we need four.  A better question is how many is enough.  When we first moved in we went with one company but their service was a mess.  We switched to number two and have been happy with they way they run their business.  So I would say you need at least two but I welcome all comers. 

Some might argue that one provider is more efficient.  It might be for the provider but not for the consumer.  In a city near us all the trash is picked up by a city truck.  I guess it works but there is nothing to keep the price down.  Knowing that someone will come along and charge less is a good stimulant. 

Service is important in competition.  I never even considered the new company because I am happy with the one we have. 

You have seen the pictures of cities with trash piled up everywhere.  New York is famous for their garbage strikes.  Outside the United States it is almost a given.  I would be willing to guess that in all those places it is the government’s responsibility, not free enterprise.  We have heard people ask those who want government run health care if they like the way the post office works.  We might also ask them about the monopoly city trash service. 

Freedom pops up in unexpected places. 

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Opus 2019-205: Romneyaches

I find myself becoming more embarrassed by the day.  I am glad no one was paying any attention a few years ago when I had good things to say about Mitt Romney.  I once thought he would make a solid president.  I thought of him as a good man. 

Now he is almost enough to make me a Buddhist and believe in reincarnation.  I am almost ready to believe that he is John McCain come back to haunt us.  I am not sure if karma moved him up or down.  Actually the timing is bad.  Maybe we are looking at Woodrow Wilson II.  Maybe Benedict Arnold.  He was a hero first and a traitor later. 

I can only hope that his Trump hatred is a bit isolated.  We have judges to approve and a country to run.  I think of how McCain kept us from getting rid of Obamacare.  Does Romney have a similar bit of treachery in his future?  Does he think he has a shot at 2020?

I would hope the people who elected him are paying attention and looking into a recall vote of some kind.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Opus 2019-204: Smart Fools

I continue to struggle with the idea that Democrats have any intelligence or integrity.  It is an ongoing mystery I have had with the world at large.  You know how it is, how can anyone have a clue if they disagree with me?  I talk to people who have a grasp of physics and chemistry but don’t understand that global warming and cooling are historic realities that have repeated time and again.  Math gurus can’t seem to understand that more carbon dioxide means that plants grow better and produce more oxygen.  Biologists who think cow farts are going to ruin the world but ignore the wall to wall buffalo herds that used to cover the great plains.  And, yes, I know they are bison not buffalo.  Why do they turn off their brains when it comes to socialism?

Since I am in a benevolent mood I am looking for explanations.  One thing that strikes me is that we all filter a lot of things out.  I will concede that Donald Trump has ways of speaking that would not be considered parlor parson parsing.  I concede that, knowing very little of what people complain about.  You see, I don’t listen to the hysterics of the Progressives.  I don’t follow anyone on social media.  I don’t even bother checking Drudge since he has gone to the dark side.  All I get are segments of his better lines that are repeated on various sites I visit.  Most of what I read from Donald Trump is either short and specific or downright funny.

Those who hate Trump are a lot like those who hate Rush.  They never really listen to what they say.  All they hear are edited comments and totally false accusations.  They claim they have listened but obviously they don’t because of what they say.  At the same time I have a hard time believing that Democrats are really listening when you have repeated calls from the left for assassination.  I wonder where the supposed decency of the Trump haters is when a member of congress stands in front of a microphone and urges everyone to get in the face of any member of Trumps team when they go out in public.  Do you really think it is cool to wait outside a trump rally and attack happy people on their way home?  Do you really think it is okay to call for the presidents son to be locked up with pedophiles?  There is a lot of filtering going on.

So I filter.  They filter.  The difference is that I go on and look at what the actual results are.  Barak Obama divided the country on racial lines.  He dragged the economy down.  He made the United States the laughing stock of the world.  Billions in cash sent on pallets to Iran was given just a ho hum by those who only saw his creased trousers and figured a brown man could do no wrong.  Under Trump I see judges who believe in the Constitution being appointed, an economy on the rise, China and Korea doing some real talking, NATO starting to man up, regulations being erased and a wall being built.  All of this is done with no help from the Democrats and a lot of foot dragging by Republicans. 

Who in their right mind could support Bernie Sanders with his plans to turn us into a socialist state?  Who would vote for Elizabeth Warren when the only thing she promises is free stuff?  How can anyone even look at Joe Biden without seeing corruption and sleaze?  And what can you really say for the rest of the pack.

Yes we all filter.  Some of us then think.  I guess that may be the difference.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 18, 2019

Opus 2019-203: On the Street: Gurney Wisdom

I was forced to watch.  I tried to tune it out but it kept probing.  I speak of the ubiquitous TV in our culture. 

I was confined to the gurney in preparation for the routine of a colonoscopy.  Since it is an assembly line process and profit is based on productivity, we were expected to be ready when they called.  I am guessing I laid there over an hour.  I tried to take a nap but the TV on the far wall kept trying to bring me into modern culture.  I asked about getting it turned off but it was shared by several beds.  I had them pull the curtain but the voices were molded to penetrate and deaden at the same time.  I learned that closing your eyes does not shut off your hearing.

I mourned over a new series of books that I should have had to teach my children to cooperate.  It would have kept them from their fighting in the back seat.  I am sure that bullying and whistle-blowing were discussed.  The idea was to develop modern leaders.  One of my questions on things like this is, if everyone can be a leader, who is doing the following? 

I learned about how to make Christmas ornaments out of old thread spools.  That comes as a real relief because I have all these drawers full of old thread spools.  If you don’t have that resource I learned you can go to craft stores and buy them ready to go.

One that puzzled me was DYI antique jewelry.  How can it be antique if you are making it yourself.  I guess it falls into the same category as Classic Heavy Metal. 

It seems there is a new exercise in town called spinning.  Since I only saw the trailer I don’t know if it was a new government program, an infomercial, a blatant advertisement or just something to fill the empty lives of people on the dole. 

To add to the drama of the hour I was able to listen to the “looking for love in the wrong places” laments of the lady in the next bin.  I gathered she was a rich widow that all the Casanova types thought was good for a few bucks.  Her current squeeze, whom she has known for several months, does not know where she lives.  How that works since he was there to take her home from the procedure is a mystery to me.  Maybe her car was stashed at his house.  I did get the TMI that he is really hung well.  All this without ever seeing her or him.

Medical procedures can be educational.  I am reinforced in my opinion that TV is a waste of electricity and people’s lives are a mess because they are into themselves.  And since you are wondering I seem to have a colon that is in wonderful shape.  I will not share the photos with you because you might be jealous.  We can’t all have a great colon.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Opus 2019-202: Book Review: The Case for Trump

I am reading the latest by Victor Davis Hanson, The Case for Trump.  He is trying to look at the reasons why Trump won the election and at the point I am now he is looking at his chances of success.  It is definitely not a white-wash.  The real Donald Trump emerges but it is written with an understanding that he is doing the things that those of us without power want to have done.

It is a good read but depressing.  It is depressing because he goes into great depth in what has been going on in what is being called the Deep State.  He has a long discourse on the large number of people who are deeply planted in the unelected arms of our government who think that they know what is best for the country and feel it is their responsibility to force the rest of us to conform.  They are committed to making the country go the “right” way regardless of how elections go.

Davis points out that this is a problem with government that goes back as far as history.  These elites tend to be almost impossible to dig out because they have not ethical restraints.  They consider themselves the true leaders.  They think of themselves as wise parent figures dealing with immature and spoiled children.  They think we need them.  This reminded me of how I have been living in a bubble of history. 

Where else in history has a normal person been able to live in the security, prosperity and comfort that we know today?  I was raised having no fear of the police or men in uniform.  They were there to serve and protect.  It said so right there on the door of their car.  And because the government was still relatively small, it worked.  When I was a child there was no concern about a SWAT team from the Department of Agriculture busting down my door and charging in with guns blazing only to find that they had the wrong address. 

I was raised in a miracle historically.  My concern is that my grandchildren will look at me and wonder what kind of fairy tales I am telling them.  We home schooled our children.  We lived in the awareness that the social workers and police might break into our house at any time.  It happened in the city in which we lived.  We did not register with the state.  You can’t get away with that any more because the government now requires every newborn to have a Social Security Number. 

The times are a changing.  What is not changing is my real confidence is in the God of history.  My prayer is that He will use Donald Trump as a tool to move this country back to what it once was and could be again.  I guess that is what MAGA means to me.

Hanson, Victor Davis.  The Case for Trump.  New York:  Basic Books, 2019.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Opus 2019-201: Change Happens

It is funny how our perceptions of people change.

At first I was not sure I could vote for Donald Trump.  Then it came to doing it while holding my nose.  Then I was glad I did.  Now I believe he is the man of the hour.  I was wrong.  I admit it.

There are a group of people who used to be foundational in the conservative world.  I think of Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry and Peggy Noonan.   There was a time when they had something to say and fit into the world of traditional values and a belief in truth.  Now they are just Never-Trumper hacks.  We need to understand that it is not just the left that offers Fake News.  Consider the Drudge Report, Fox News and National Review.   

Actually it could be that what is changing is not my perception but the people.  Either way we need to always make sure our thinking caps are on and our memories are working.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Opus 2019-200: Headlines: Or Not?

I heard about it from my wife.  I saw a meme poster on the internet.  My question was, “Is it true or satire?”  What I am questioning is that ABC used file footage from an air show in Kentucky and labeled it as the result of Trump pulling troops out of Syria.

I guess I will need to spend a few minutes checking....  Yes, it seems to have really happened.  Someone on some blog asked the question, “Don’t they have editors any more?”

I am to the point that I don’t believe anything that the MSM tells me and I am skeptical of what even conservative sites share.  What is funny is the number of times the satire of the Babylon Bee is posted as serious news.

The thing that worries me even more than the media is the general public.  They keep believing that the talking heads and DNC talking-point print media are actually sources of news.  How many times do they need to be lied to before they scratch their heads and wonder?  Have they forgotten the two years of hype on investigating Trump?  Have they forgotten the 30,000 e-mails?  Didn’t they see the clip of Joe Biden bragging about threatening the Ukraine government?  Don’t they remember..., well, I guess they don’t want to because that would mean they have to admit they have been suckers.

My main advice is stop getting sucked into the click bait.  Cut their revenues.  Don’t use their coupons.  Work on taking the country back.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-199: Ode to Old: Fashion? What Fashion?

We need to be thankful for small blessings.  One that occurred to me recently was the trend in facial hair.  I am truly blessed that beards were not the thing when I was young enough to care.

Even now I cannot grow a beard.  I can do a decent goatee but a full beard would be an object of ridicule on me.  To have a beard you need a nice spread of hair.  Mine is more of a piebald pattern.

Shaving your head could be timely for me but I am too observant.  I have noticed that many of the men who shave their head to disguise their baldness forget that the pattern is still visible.  They still look bald but with shorter hair where it exists.  That doesn’t even consider the nooks and crannies that many of our heads have.

At this point fashion is of even less interest to me.  If you ever think I am looking cool because my pants are sagging and my underwear is showing it will not be a fashion statement but a mark of senility. 

homo unius libri

Monday, October 14, 2019

Opus 2019-198: Recognize the Mirage

I have led a sheltered life in many ways.  Although my father was blue collar and my mother never wore a pearl necklace around the house I had no trouble identifying with Leave It to Beaver.  The values were American and although it was not expressed, Christian.  In spite of that I have seen the other side.

My early years were spent in what would become a barrio and didn’t need to change much to qualify.  In high school and college I had a few friends who introduced me to the social atmosphere of drugs and alcohol.  I had enough inner character to not participate but I have distinct memories of a flop house in San Francisco with funny smoke floating in the air.  I was in Vietnam.  As a young adult I pastored a church in the inner city of Boston and not only got off at the train station but walked the streets and visited the homes.  As an adult I had a friend who would drag me to some local bars.  As a teacher I did extra hours home teaching and went into the housing projects to work with kids who could not make it to school.  There is a word for most of this with the exception of my childhood home:  Depressing.

I know what an environment based on hope and Jesus is like and how it contrasts to the typical life space of what we are labeling as snowflakes and millennials today.  I have been in the inner city homes of families in our church that radiated warmth and fellowship even though they had little money.  I have been at parties with the affluent that seemed to be desperate attempts to achieve the make believe world of happiness. 

When I see brief pictures in the news of violent mobs agitated by the America hating Communists on the left I recognize the atmosphere.  It is an echo of all the empty socializing I have seen over the years.  I don’t need to visit a room full of modern socialists like Antifa to know what it would be like.  In a word, depressing.  At least it would be depressing for anyone with a healthy outlook on life.

I worry about them.  I think they are a genuine danger to the peace of the world, let alone the United States.  Ultimately, in my heart, I pity them.  I feel the emptiness in their hearts and the desperate attempts they are making to fill it with so many false promises.  I have quoted it before but let me give you the words of Blaise Pascal in Pensees,  before I quoted from Project Gutenberg but I found another translation offered on Christianity Stack Exchange that was longer than the one I had marked.
“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”
Keep in mind that half of the battle for meaning is looking in the right place.  You usually can’t find pizza at the hardware store. 

Have a blessed day.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 11, 2019

Opus 2019-197: Worship Alternatives

Recently I was attending a Sunday worship service and got distracted.  It is not unusual for me to get distracted.  I remember in years past when the church had a great pianist.  I could get lost in the fifteen minutes of prelude that she played.  I would already be deep in worship when I realized that someone was standing in front of me trying to engage me in conversation.  It didn’t bother them that my eyes were closed and my head was moving in time with the music.  Since it was before formal worship began I was able to be polite.  During worship is different.  It is hard to concentrate with some of the entertainment offered.

The first thing I noticed was a young couple giving each other back rubs a few rows ahead of me.  They were married so it was fine to be touching each other but they were also young enough that I knew the young man was not paying any attention to the sermon.  I began to wonder what everyone else was doing that was distracting.

It is amazing how many people are just looking around.  I guess they are looking for friends or counting.  Maybe they are wondering if they are dressed in the proper style.  Some, as they look around, have some silent communication going on with friends.

Some were checking their phones.  I would like to think they had a Bible ap open but if they did they were reading very fast.  In this category would be ladies reorganizing their purse or cleaning out their pockets. 

It also amazes me the number of people who can’t make it an hour sitting in a cool room without taking frequent drinks from their water bottle.  And of course the same people seem to have weak bladders.

There are many people who could tell you how many lights there are in the sanctuary and where all the cracks are in the floor. 

Some ladies are redoing their hair or fixing their lipstick. 

And what is startling, there are actually some people listening to the sermon.  Maybe I need to get back to that.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Opus 2019-196: The Danger of Open Borders

In the back of my mind is a quotation, “Turn about is fair play.”  Another version of this is “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.  A perversion of the golden rule would be “Do unto others as they have done unto you”.  Let’s suspend our awareness of such things as turning the other cheek and following the high road for a moment. 

My suggestion today is to accept the wishes of the Mexican government with the understanding that it works both ways.  This from Who Are We,
“Homeland governments encourage their people to leave their country and facilitate their doing so.  Immediately after his election, Vicente Fox announced his long-term goal of an open border with the free movement of people between Mexico and the United States.” page 280
Okay.  Let’s give them what they want.  Let’s have free movement across borders and all of the implications that Fox has no trouble with north of the old border.  I am thinking that it would not take all that long for Americans to sniff the wind and smell opportunity. 

Mexico is a country rich in natural resources with a large population of potential workers.  The things that have held them back have been a class oriented government and a culture that likes to take a nap in the afternoon.  If turned loose under the same lack of restraints northern bound Mexicans have, just think of all the wealth waiting to be realized by southern bound Yankees.  It would be a repeat of the 1840's when Americans moved into California, started loaning money to the large land owners and marrying their daughters.  Before you knew it they owned the state.

And if we allow the free markets to be free, think of the potential customers waiting to spend the new found wealth from all those jobs.  It reminds me of two shoe salesmen sent to a country where no one wore shoes.  One said it was a hopeless task because everyone went barefoot.  The next demanded a huge shipment and more help because everyone needed shoes. 

It would take some time to adjust but I think the American dream can be transferred and free enterprise can cause a revolution socially and politically.  And keep in mind that when the cartels started telling the Americans what to do we would pay the same attention to the gun laws that they do.  In time we would see the Americanization of what used to be Mexico.

Who knows, it might be that Mexico becomes Americanized rather than the United States becoming part of Mexico.

Huntington, Samuel P.  Who Are We?  New York:  Simon & Schuster, 2004.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Opus 2019-195: Bigger than a Border

Immigration is a problem.  I don’t think most people realize how big a problem.  Our focus on immigration is being sidetracked by illegal Mexicans sneaking across our southern border.  It is much bigger than that.  Consider this,
“Beginning in the 1960's, some 25,000 Indian ‘top graduates’ in engineering and related fields left for the United States, where many became extremely successful, among other things, running ‘more than 750 technology companies in California’s Silicone Valley alone.’  They have responded positively to the Indian government’s urging them to invest in education programs, training institutes, and productive facilities in India.” page 284
We not only need to build a wall on the southern border but possibly walls around the airports.  I have heard a lot of concern about the H-1B.  It sounds like a virus instead of a visa but if my memory serves me correctly it is for people who have skills that are needed but in short supply.  I heard about it because the techies I was around were complaining because people were being brought in from India to fill jobs they wanted and the people from India were willing to work for much less.  It was a high tech way of getting cheap labor. 

It was also a way to undermine the advantages of the United States.  India has made a focused appeal to keep people loyal to their home country.  They were encouraged to look at themselves as agents of India who were going to take as much as they could from this country and transfer it home.  It isn’t only the Mexicans who are sending billions back to momma.  It is common in the Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and others. 

It has long been a policy for countries to try for a brain drain from others.  The idea was originally that the stronger nation would invite the brightest and best to come and study.  They would offer a superior education.  The hope was that once here the students would end up staying and enriching the host nation.  Now it seems to be working the other way.

We need to tighten up on the visas that undermine American workers.  We need to examine the role of foreign nationals who have no allegiance to the United States and are in positions to undermine our security.  The hard part will be balancing freedom with responsible policies that are open and fair to all involved.

Keep in mind, it is more than just a leaky southern border.  It also effects high tech.

Huntington, Samuel P.  Who Are We?  New York:  Simon & Schuster, 2004.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Opus 2019-194: Mass Identification

It is amazing how disgusting the Democratic candidates for president are.  I would not trust any of them to take the cookies out of oven let alone run the country.  They uniformly have an aversion to truth and seem to have no understanding about economics or morality.  And yet they still have people that will put bumper stickers on their cars and signs on their lawns.

The Democrat party is bankrupt yet they control the House of Representatives.  What kind of people would continue to reelect Nancy Pelosi?  Actually I should know better than to ask that question.  I lived in California for most of Diane Feinstein’s march to wealth as a United States Senator.  I was surrounded by the masses who voted again and again.  They are called the masses because they are, well, the masses.  I think of pouring pop-corn into a jar from the bag.  The mass of kernels follow the flow uniformly.  One might get bumped and miss the jar but still is a slave to physics.  I have yet to see one fight its way back into the bag.  That is the masses.

They are sheep.  They have an instinctual understanding that the tall dandelion gets cut off even if the grass escapes.  They are content as long as they have enough beer, sports and air conditioning.  They are happy in churches that say, “That is a political issue” and “We want people to feel at home”. 

We need to understand that the masses on the right are as much sheep as the masses on the left.  They pick a goat and follow without thinking.  Think of the people who elected Mitt Romney and John McCain.  Give them some conservative sounding slogans and be nice and you are in.  If you have never heard of a “Judas goat” you might want to check it out at Urban Dictionary.

So who are the goats of the left?  You saw at least two stages stocked with the breed during the Democrat debates.  To that you can add most university professors and administrators.  There is almost assurance that your child’s kindergarten teacher is one.  You need to be a careful listener when your pastor gets up to preach because he might also have sold out.

For that matter, who are the goats of the right?  There are a plethora of men and women who earned their spurs advancing traditional values and the Constitution.  One way to find out who have switched sides is to check their attitude about Donald Trump.  Instead of being mildly critical of his missteps and encouraging about all the good things he gets done, they become cheerleaders of the Never Trumpers. 

How can you tell the difference?  Non-sheep are cynical but willing to listen.  They have learned to think and analyze the information that is given them.  Non-sheep don’t forget the lessons of the nation’s history or their own personal history and when they hear dissonance they are not afraid to call it out.  It is possible to tell but it requires thinking for yourself.  That is hard.  It is also uncomfortable.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 4, 2019

Opus 2019-193: Threefer

I am really getting tired of the way the progressives are trying to redefine the English language to advance their bigotry.  Years ago they ripped the guts out of the concept of love.  It no longer is a matter of self-sacrifice and giving yourself for others but a matter of satisfying the lusts of the moment as in, “If you loved me you would _______.”  More recently they have reversed the meaning of tolerance and totally warped the point of respect.

What lit my fire this morning was the threefer in SJW.  This is supposed to mean “Social Justice Warrior” but it does the same thing with these honorable words that it has done to tolerance.  The Babylon Bee has a great satire explaining what social justice is.  Check it out.  Double check if you have never visited the Babylon Bee.  If you are a liberal keep in mind that it is Christian humor and satire.

Back on track, I am offended that the progressives have stolen three more great concepts.  Let’s look at them.  “Social” means how we get along with each other.  It involves being a part of society.  Hopefully it is a positive term where you ask what you can contribute.  The progs may know what that means but they tend to look at society in terms of groups to exploit rather than a culture to build up.

“Justice” is a total fraud in their definition.  In the world based on Judeo-Christian values it means that there are eternal truths that apply evenly to all human beings.  It is the basis of the rule of law which says that we all are held accountable to the same standards of right and wrong.  The Progressives have total gutted this one.  They consider justice whatever moves their agenda forward.  Thus “Black Pride” is noble and “White Pride” is racist.  If you disagree with them then you are to be punished.  If you agree with them but don’t fit into their current in-group, you still get punished.  There is no justice in their justice.

“Warrior” is another total joke.  A warrior is someone who risks his life in order to do battle against the enemy.  His attributes are courage, skill and discipline.  I was in the army.  I was in Vietnam.  I was trained to shoot a gun and knew which end of my rifle the bayonet went on.  By no expansion of the imagination would I have been considered a warrior.  They had an acronym for people like me that started RE... as in “rear echelon”.  In the same way the troops of Antifa and other fascist mobs are not warriors.  Thugs, yes.  Warriors, no.  They are drive-by warriors who specialize in unexpected attacks against unarmed opponents who did not ever realize they were in a fight.  They sneak up on isolated old people and attack brutally.  Please stop calling them warriors.

Calling them warrior is like calling Hillary Clinton a statesman, Brian Williams honest and James Acosta a reporter.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Opus 2019-192: Kudzu’s Revenge

I wonder if I am laying the seeds for some future biological disaster.  If not I might at least have a story line for an eco-thriller.

When I am active in the yard I sometimes notice that my socks have become infested with little seed pods.  I would call them burrs but they aren’t big enough.  They are seeds of wild plants that are doing their best to spread.  What I try to do is pull them off and carefully drop them in the trash can.  It is not big deal.

Then my tangents strike.  These are going into a plastic trash can liner.  It will be tied up and put in a trash can where it will be hauled to a land fill and buried far away from sun and air.  What happens if some future budding scientist digs up the bag, opens it and allows the seeds to escape into the environment?  The title of the film could be “Kudzu’s Revenge”.

How many other potential planet destroyers have I buried in mother Earth?  I guess if she is really a god she can handle it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-191: Law or Fiat

Can the rule of law survive in the face of the rule by fiat?

Call them what  you will, Progressives, leftists, moderates, socialists, communists, Democrats or Uncle Bob, they are out to win no matter what.  They know the consequences if they lose:  Jail, incarceration, shame, poverty.  They are willing to do whatever it takes to win and we need to understand that.  Just look at the number of well timed deaths of people who have the goods on the left.  Notice how many important stories are not reported because they don’t fit the narrative.  For that matter, take a close look at your local public school and see what their agenda is.  Sure the teacher has a nice smile but does she believe that marriage is a man and a woman?

They are out to win and the only rule is win.

How can we survive?  I believe most Americans are willing to play by the rules.  They understand that in a large and diverse population, which American has always been, you don’t get everything you want but neither does the other guy.  We understand that most scissors work best for right handed people and feel it creates a market for entrepreneur who come up with better design.  When we play Monopoly we ignore certain rules in the book but we all agree on what the rules will be.  It works for people of good will. 

We need to understand that they are not people of good will.

What do we do?

It must start with individual responsibility.  Each American needs to understand that the battle is going on in front of him and often in his own home.  We need to stop passing the buck and expecting “someone” to do “something”.  Keep in mind that “Someone” is doing what benefits him because he knows you are a sucker.  Each American needs to take a stand on every issue.  If it makes things inconvenient then it is probably the right decision.  If you must make a phone call or write a postcard instead of posting a tweet, then bite the bullet and get it done.  If it means not shopping at the store that has everything and spending more, then do it.  If Christians would uninstall their Twitter accounts my guess is that bankruptcy would be just around the corner, but keep in mind I don’t have a Twitter account so that is easy to say.

It must involve the willingness to apply the law and take the time to go through due process.  The rule of law tends to be slow but it does not need to be as slow as it is. 

We need to begin using the rule of law to remove people who are secret agents of the left.  This involves judges who give purely partisan rulings and ignore the Constitution.  It involves the local clerk at the DMV who makes ridiculous demands in paperwork.  It is city council members who keep adding regulations.  Some we can get rid of through elections.  Some need to have a form of impeachment applied.  Some need to go to jail.  We need to understand that they are committed to their ideology of elite run government and have a raging hatred for liberty.  They may smile and act nice.  They may pat your dog and tell you your baby is cute.  They are still the voice and face of evil.

We have a robust country with a lot of people of good will.  We can pull this out.  It has happened before.  The Wesley revival pulled England back from the abyss of revolution.  The Great Awakenings (yes, there was more than one) moved America toward the righteous decisions politically.  They of course were grounded in a renewed trust and obedience in Jesus and the righteousness of God.  You might consider that we will not pull this out unless we see a similar movement in America.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Opus 2019-190: How!

We live in stereotypes.  I started wondering, just how tough were the Apaches?

I am not talking about could they have cleaned my clock.  Any thug in the inner city of Los Angeles could do that without breathing hard.  I am talking about in the context of history, how tough were they?

The Apache tribes, and there were several of them, were located in the southwest United States and northern Mexico.  In case you don’t get out much that is a barren wasteland.  Rattlesnakes and cactus.  Vultures and skeletons.  Sand and scorpions.  It is not a place that you would chose to live if you did not have air conditioning and bug spray.  If the Apache were such great warriors why didn’t they move to greener pastures?

I asked myself what would happen if you were to pit 100 Apache against 100 Mongol warriors in 1,300 A.D.?  It would be a slaughter.  None of the Apache would live to tell their grandchildren about the embarrassment. 

Technology would be part of the difference.  Set aside that the Mongol might have had iron weapons.  Give the Apache horses.  It would have still been no contest.  The Mongol used compound bows that were much stronger than what the Apache weapon.  The Mongol had discovered that undergarments of layered silk would stop arrowheads. 

One of the reasons that the American Indians were routinely defeated was that their culture had no room for technological advancement.  Some of the tribes learned to work with copper but they never moved to bronze and iron.  They used the metal for ornaments, not tools.  While it is true that they probably learned how to make sharper arrowheads from flint, they still remained flint.  Someone once said that when the first Indian started using a steel knife without knowing how to make it, the fate of the American Indian was sealed.

It is true that the American Indians had domesticated some plants but they never developed any tools beyond a sharpened stick to increase their yield.  They adopted the horse from the Europeans but never learned to make their own rifles or ammunition.  Like it or not they were a culture that was destined to fail.  They did not fail because they were weak.  They failed because they refused to move forward.

Stereotypes only help when you are picking out a music system.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-189: Firsts: Far South of the Border

As I was helping my son move to Texas we had the problem of finding places to eat that were not greasy spoons or fast food clones.  He took up the challenge since he is a geek and had a smart phone.  He found some great places that were off the beaten path.  One that we had never tried before was a Colombian restaurant.

It was a very pleasant experience.  I can’t tell you what we ate.  All the names were new and the tastes ranged from somewhat bland fritter type objects to unidentified meats and combinations.  We tried a sampler plate for two.  I don’t remember any issues with being too spicy but it also avoided the bland approach.  Much of the Mexican food we tried in Maryland was from a part of Mexico that forgot about cyan and jalapenos.   This had a good balance.

So I will be looking to try some local versions of Colombian if I can find any.  I would recommend it to you.  Keep in mind that my son likes sushi and I like broccoli so we have diverse tastes.

homo unius libri