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.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Opus 2021-102: On the Street: Just Wondering

Are you still washing your hands for 20 seconds?  Are you using warm water?

Remember all the lessons we were getting on basic sanitation.  Remember how everyone was so concerned?  Actually it was pretty funny to go in the men’s room and watch the compliance.  My favorite was the guy who turned on the cold water, swung his hands through and went to dry off.  Total time:  .5 seconds.  Total soap:  0.  When asked, “Did you wash your hands?”  He could say, “Yep.”

My guess is that we are getting a little lax.  It matches the increasing people who wear their mask below their nose and even on their chin.

Stay healthy.  Most of us will survive the virus but I am not sure about the fear.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-101: Candle Power: #2, Fun with Numbers

Those pesky Chinese seem to have thought of everything.  When I did a search to find out who said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness", I came up with a Chinese proverb.  At least it hasn’t gone viral.

Maybe it should.  What can we do as individuals to overcome the darkness we are facing?

We need to know our history.  Sometimes it warns us of dangers.  Sometimes it gives us a perspective that generates less fear and more hope and that is what we really need.

One of the mantras I am hearing is comparing the actions of the Nazis with the Progressives* of today.  That is a fair comparison because the Progressives of the early 20th Century were big fans of the fascists in Italy.  Mussolini was on the cover of Time Magazine many times starting in 1923.  So yes, there is some reason to worry but there is also reason to have hope.  First, the numbers don’t work for the modern fascists.  We keep hearing about the Jewish Holocaust and the 6,000,000 Jews murdered.  Add to that the other groups such as Gypsies, homosexuals, devout Christians, etc., and pretty soon you get to some significant numbers.  What we are not told is that few of those were Germans.  Thomas Sowell says,

“Of the millions of Jews killed by the Nazis, less than 200,000 were German.” page 280
In 1939 the population of Germany was approximately 70,000,000.  That means they imprisoned and killed off about 1/4 of one percent of their population.  That assumes my math is right.  For the Progressives to duplicate that effort in the American population of 328,000,000 they would need to liquidate 918,000.  That is a lot of people, but consider that the low number I have heard of people that voted for Trump it was 74,000,000.  That leaves a lot of MAGA.  That leaves a lot of families who look around and say, “It is time to go minute man.”

Then you have the fact that by the time Hitler moved against the Jews they were already effectively disarmed.  I know that is in the dreams of Uncle Joe and his handlers but have you been following the business news lately?  Gun sales are up.  These quotes were found on PJ Media and are quoting other sources.
“USA Today reported that gun sales surged in January by 60%, setting an all-time monthly record of 4,137,480.”
Now take a look at that number.  That is a lot of guns but it gets more interesting,
“Who bought these guns? CBS News pointed out that over 5 million people were first-time gun buyers last year. CNN reported a sharp rise in sales to Black Americans and women.”
Now the Progressives need to deal not only with the previously Armed Americans but also with the five million who are new gun owners.  I think I have also read that a lot of those are liberals.

So cheer up.  They may want to take our guns but at the present time there are more guns being bought than they can take away.  And about the liberals buying guns, I think it has occurred to them that eventually the Progressives will come for their own.

We live in interesting times.  Stay tuned and keep the candles lit.

Sowell, Thomas.  Migrations and Cultures.  New York:  Basic Books, 1996.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Friday, February 26, 2021

Opus 2021-100: Full Amish

I am wondering if we will have to go full Amish.  Or maybe the question is more “when” rather than “if”.  

I have driven through what could be called “Amish Country”.  I have seen the prosperous farms and thriving businesses of these people who dress funny and have a lot of strange customs.  I remember stopping to by some produce and pointing out a mistake the girl running the stand had made and heard “my bad” come out from under the bonnet.  I am aware that the Amish community is not a monolithic structure with everyone following the same rules.  They have a wide spectrum of understandings about the use of modern technology and social customs.  Yet in the face of this they endure and thrive.

Of course they are only able to do this here in America because in the past we have had a Constitution that had a First Amendment and a general population that believed in them.  We had government officials who might push the lines but knew they would be called to account if they crossed them.  That is what has changed.  Someone pointed out that if Gandhi had been doing his protesting in the Soviet Union we would have never heard of him.  He would have been liquidated.  If Martin Luther King, whom I hear was a Republican, had given his “I Have a Dream” speech today he would have been arrested and locked away by the woke proponents of “multiracial whiteness”.  

Did Alexander Solzhenitsyn bring down the Soviet Union?  No.  He was locked up in a prison camp.  His writings may have influenced people and caused a stir but did not end the Evil Empire.  They were not listening.  What they were forced to listen to was Reagan’s “Peace through Strength” policy.  They finally collapsed because they couldn’t keep up, not because they refused to reason.

Do we have a choice?  It is so late.  The Progressives* in government, media, business and education are moving relentlessly to strip you and me of our freedom.  They openly talk about locking us up.  They deplatform and cancel anyone who dares to be noticed.  My hope is that we will find ways to mobilize the population to clean up the voting system and begin removing the trash that pollutes our Republic.  If that can’t be done then we may be forced to begin dressing or wearing a piece of jewelry so we can identify ourselves to each other.  We may have no choice but to develop our own business and trade circles.  It may come down to barter and hand shake contracts.  

We may need to go Amish.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-099: On the Street: Expertise

I went to the doctor yesterday for my annual pace-maker check-up.  Since everything is going well and I don’t have any big physical issues we got to talking about the China Virus and the political situation.  It is a good example of how far we should take people’s advice.

He was a total believer in all the propaganda about the virus.  He thought I should take the vaccine.  He saw no problems with it.  He kept telling me that dying of Covid was a terrible thing.  I am sure it is but to me the issues are the low chances of dying of Covid and the big chance of side effects from an untested drug.  I would put more credibility in his opinions if he had not shared with me how the police officer in D.C. was killed with a fire extinguisher.  He still believes the original lie even though the NY Times itself has admitted it was wrong.  I wonder if his awareness of the China Virus scare is on the same level as his awareness of what is happening in D.C.  I am now wondering how much I can listen to him about my heart.  I guess he only listens to CNN and Uncle Joe.

At the same time I realize I should have listened more and talked less.  

Experts are not always experts.  Just because people are smart doesn’t mean they are wise.  Just because they are educated doesn’t mean they are informed.  Of course, all that applies to me also.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Opus 2021-098: Just War

Christians divide over a lot of issues.  I am not talking about the issues that separate what the Apostle Paul calls “so called brothers” from the saints.  Certain things are basic requirements:  Jesus is the only way to salvation, His physical resurrection, the Bible as the inspired word of God, the triune nature of God.  The list could go on.  If you are a Christian you know the kind of thing I am talking about.  If you are a pseudo-Christian you would tell me I am intolerant.  

There are other issues which we think are important but God just shakes His head over us.

Then there are the ones we disagree on, with strong arguments on both sides.  One of those deals with war and the use of force.  Some people feel that Christians must be pacifists.  They believe that it is always wrong to take human life.  War is wrong.  Violence is wrong.  There can be no compromise.  If you saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge you got an insight into how a pacifist responded to the draft in World War II.  Other Christians believe that there are times when it is acceptable to be a soldier or policeman.  Some will defend their families, others won’t.

Over the centuries the church has come up with the Doctrine of Just War.  There are two major voices in church history, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, who laid the groundwork for the thinking on the issue.  

Augustine made the first attempt at determining the issue of how Christians should respond to war.  The book that is usually referred to is City of God.  Due to the length and the way in which the ideas are spread around I am going to go with a summary presented by the Oregon State University.  It seems to follow the other sources I consulted.

Augustine said there are two aspects of war, Moral justification and Guidelines.

Moral Justification (Jus Ad Bellum)

    1.  Just Authority
    2.  Just Cause
    3.  Right Intention
    4.  Last Resort

Guidelines (Jus In Bello)

    1.  Proportionality, response should not exceed the cause
    2.  Discrimination, between combatants and non-combatants
    3.  Responsibility
        a)  Intention of good consequences
        b)  Bad effects not intended
        c)  Good must outweigh the bad

Thomas Aquinas read Augustine and came up with his own theory.  I found this in his Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 40.  This one I did read but got my summary from Aquinas on Line.

War is justified (nation A wars justly against nation B) on the following conditions:

    A. It is called by a sovereign authority.
    B. It has a just cause.
    C. The combatants have morally right intentions
    D. Qualifying Conditions
        Cannot intend intrinsically evil actions.
        A good action, or at least a morally neutral action, will have two effects: a good intended, and an evil, not intended, but tolerated.
        Proportionality the good to be achieved outweighs the evil of war.

So what?  I have two real concerns, foreign and domestic.  With Biden in power the Chinese are almost certain to make a grab for Taiwan because they believe he will look the other way.  It is still a question of how we should respond.  Domestically I hear a lot of people wondering if the power grab by the left will lead to a violent response.  Rational people hope not.  The problem we are facing is that the left is not rational.  Christians are wondering if there is anything happening that would justify violence.  I offer this as an insight into the thinking of the past.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Opus 2020-097: Middle Class Morality: Free Enterprise

There are a lot of people who constantly misrepresent what the Bible has to say about so many things.  As our country is more consumed with a philosophy of feelings rather than facts we get consumed with editing the Bible to say what we want.  One of the attacks that people make is that basic free enterprise is selfish, profit is evil.  


The Bible is full of examples of people working for a profit and being blessed by God.  All you have to do is read the passage in Proverbs 31 about the woman that is referred to so often on Mother’s Day.  Actually it is not a description of a mother as much as a wife.  If you read through it you find her investing in real estate, manufacturing garments and generally busy making a profit.

That isn’t what I want to focus on today.  Today I want to point out what is easy to mistake as charity and it isn’t.

In a passage dealing with giving and generosity you come across this verse,

(Pro 11:26 KJV) He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
What I want you to notice is that the man is not blessed for giving away the corn but for selling it to those in need.  I think it is assumed that he asked a fair price and you can say gouging is bad but it is not charity.  

Profit and free enterprise is a Biblical standard.  It is a moral choice that is part of middle class values.

Viva la middle class morality.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Opus 2021-096: Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Age of Consent

The Declaration of Independence declares that the government is based on “the Consent of the Governed,...”  There is a sense in which this is true in any government.  Generally speaking no government of any type can continue to exist unless there are enough people who support it.  This is true in dictatorships as well as republics.  People forget that Hitler was elected and had the support of most Germans.  I will admit that they were manipulated and deceived to some point but just as we are being deceived, much of the acceptance was based on a willingness to be deceived.  The Soviet Union fell apart when it could not keep enough people content.

We have a higher expectation in the West.  We have the highest in the United States.  We think our elected representatives are supposed to listen to us.  Our first Amendment guarantees us the right to petition for redress of grievances.  The American colonies had the same expectation and it was not being realized.  The government in England was ignoring them.  They might kindly pat them on the head but they were still ignored.

A growing number of Americans are believing that the government has no concern with listening to what we have to say.  I will concede that there are many who are happy as clams and want things the way they are.  The same was true in Colonial America.  I am of the impression that the colonial population was divided up in thirds with Royalists, Rebels and Leave-me-aloners making up the fractions.  I have no idea what the division is today.

One thing I do know is that most of the actions of the Progressives* are not supported by the majority of Americans.  The kind of actions I mean are courts declaring that biological males can compete in sports with biological females because they declare they identify as women.  I mean passing laws allowing children to be sexually abused.  I mean the move to defund the police.  I mean letting violent criminals out of jail with no bail.  You know the kind of things we see every day.

It has been going on for years and is being pushed by both parties.  It does not have my consent.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Opus 2021-095: Reminders: #2, Why Me?

There are certain topics I have written about.  They are worth repeating.  I need to revisit them to refresh my memory and enhance my thinking.  Others need to be reminded.  There is a constant bombardment of ideas that clutter our minds.

Again I ask, “Why me?”

The country has been hit by a blast of Arctic air.  People have lost power and water.  I hear of one man who froze to death.  Millions have been struggling because the agencies tasked with preparation were asleep on the job.  I keep reading about all of the suffering.  It is real.

And I read about it in the warmth of a home that never lost power.  I read about it with a total time without water of about 23 hours.  I lost internet for an evening.  I had two pipes freeze.  The one that could have caused the most damage thawed out with no apparent damage.  The one over the garage doors blew out and spewed a lot of water.  No plumber would come.  The kid next door helped us get it under control.  

In the midst of all this my son left his in-town apartment because of the rolling black outs.  He works on line and could not do his job with the undependable power.  We had the joy of having him stay with us.  It was a win-win.  Yesterday we were able to open our home to some friends of his.  They came, did their laundry, had a hot meal and carted of six cases of bottled water.  We had the joy of being able to share and only felt bad that we had not known their problems earlier.

So again I say, “Why me?”  Why in the midst of a widespread disaster have me and mine been able to only suffer minor inconvenience?  Does God love us more than others?  I find that hard to believe.  I would like to think it is because we are more righteous but I know us better than to do more than laugh at the concept.

Why me?  I don’t know but I am thankful to be so blessed and pray that your suffering will end soon.  

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-094: Headlines: How Dare He!

The media is at it again.  This time, or should we say “again”, Ted Cruz is in the cross-hairs.  He had the audacity to leave town on a vacation with his family while Texas is struggling.  How dare he!  Unlike the democrat politician who broadcast a statement about people staying home while he was out of the country, I don’t remember Ted telling people to stay home.  Unlike the Democrat governor who went out to eat at a very expensive restaurant without a mask, Cruz did not order all restaurants closed.  Maybe I missed the announcement.  I am sure that millions of Texans have made adjustments to their conditions in the wake of this freeze.  They have done what they could, up to and including leaving the state.  

I like Ted Cruz.  He was my choice before Trump in 2016.  It is situations like this that have made me glad that Trump ended up the victor.  It is too bad that Cruz just missed an opportunity to have a Trump moment and maybe get closer to the While House.  

He should have come back with something about all the hot air coming out of the MSM could be used to heat Texas back to summer temperatures.  He could have said he was leaving to save more electricity for the people without.  We will never Make America Great Again if we keep on cringing in front of the Karens and Progressives* of life.  Spoiled children, and by that I mean the media not Cruz, should not be coddled or have their whining reinforced.  When we had a pipe break and the plumber could not make it I did not blame him for deserting Texas.  He had other emergencies to deal with and it turned out we were able to deal with the immediate crisis.  I don’t think Ted Cruz would have been much help getting my water under control.  He will, though, be instrumental in trying to curb the disaster happening in Washington, D.C.

So take my advice Ted.  Thumb your nose at people having tantrums.  

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Opus 2021-093: Should-a-Beens: Location, Location, Location

I wrote about the Big Freeze Out.  Part of the adventure was talking to the repair men trying to get the water running on our hill.  They finally showed up and we walked over to see what the diagnosis was.  I asked if they knew the problem or were still trying to figure it out.  They knew what was wrong.  The line that transports the water from the well to the tower was frozen solid.  This was at least the second day they had been aware of the problem and they were hoping that above freezing temperatures would make a difference.  While we stood there we heard what sounded like falling water in a big drum and realized that things were beginning to improve.  Before we left they had the water flowing into the tank again.  They said 2-5 hours.  

In looking at the situation my son asked why they had put the feeder pipe outside where it could be frozen instead of down the middle like they would in cold climates.  They had no answer.  I also asked why the feeder pipe was on the west side where it would only get the evening sun when, if it were on the south it would get sun all day.  They had no answer.  All we could come up with is that Texas may be tough but they don’t know how to deal with the cold.  They could not imagine it would ever get so cold that an exposed pipe would be a problem.  I am wondering if the Alamo had been attacked by a blizzard instead of Santa Ana the Texans would have surrendered.

We need more refugees from the frozen states and fewer from California.

And as I mentioned a few days ago, the previous owner had lived here 30 years without realizing he didn’t have auxiliary heat.

Let’s hope Texas can live and learn.  

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-092: It Is Just a Cup of Coffee

One of the frequent trains of thought I have in my morning worship involves the amazement I feel at all the people that have gone into me enjoying a simple cup of coffee in the morning.  I think about the Juan Valdez’s picking the beans and my trail moves all the way to electrician who installed the wires for my coffee maker.  It is amazing how many people around the world are involved in the simple pleasures of life.

As I was looking through my notes on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations I came across him expressing this same idea.

“The woollen coat, for example, which covers the day-labourer, as coarse and rough as it may appear, is the produce of the joint labour of a great multitude of workmen. The shepherd, the sorter of the wool, the wool-comber or carder, the dyer, the scribbler, the spinner, the weaver, the fuller, the dresser, with many others, must all join their different arts in order to complete even this homely production. How many merchants and carriers, besides, must have been employed in transporting the materials from some of those workmen to others who often live in a very distant part of the country? How much commerce and navigation in particular, how many ship-builders, sailors, sail-makers, rope-makers, must have been employed in order to bring together the different drugs made use of by the dyer, which often come from the remotest corners of the world? What a variety of labour, too, is necessary in order to produce the tools of the meanest of those workmen!”  Wealth of Nations, Project Gutenberg, Kindle location 222-28

The thought of a government committee trying to arrange everything that goes on in my life fills me with panic.  The free market works because millions of people making decisions can not be duplicated in a government think tank.

Long live free enterprise.  Down with government controls.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Opus 2021-091: The Texas Freeze Out

The Texas Freeze-Out continues to unfold.  It is not our first experience with this kind of thing.  We lived in Boston during the blizzard of 1978 where martial law was declared.  I was in Maryland without power for a two day stretch.  So far we are above water.  I think we are past the nadir in temperature.  We had two nights that were severe for us, 8 and 10 degrees, and a spring day for North Dakota.  The first night we had one pipe freeze but all else was fine.  The second we had no new developments so we thought we were over the worst.  Our son came to stay with us because he was having power outages that he could not depend on.  

So there we were Tuesday afternoon thinking all was well.  The lights flickered.  No problem, except that we lost the internet.  That means we had no landline.  This should have been no problem because my son is a geek and scares computers into compliance.  I have seen it happen.  It didn’t happen this time.  Then as I was brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed, and went to wash off my brush, the water pressure started to fade.  Soon it was down to nothing.  This took place when the temperature was all the way up to 21.  It became clear it was not us but the entire water system had been shut down.

The next morning we still had no water but for some unknown reason the internet started working again.  All things considered we are better off than many people.  We have power for heat and lights.  We have the internet working.  We have found that you can flush a toilet with four bottles of water.  It was time to rotate the water we had stored anyway.  As long as the power stays up we will do well.  

It is so wonderful that our utility companies have been penetrated by the green movement even in Texas.  The adventure continues.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Opus 2021-090: Afghan Weather

The cold weather of Texas has brought a bit of nostalgia.  For reasons no one has been able to explain my bedroom does not respond to the heating or AC as well as the rest of the house.  During cold spells I throw something on top of the bed for an extra layer of warmth.  I have been using what I think is called an Afghan.  It was made years ago by my mother in law.  She made it extra long to accommodate me.  Most people I know try to find ways to get rid of them but I have held on to it.  

It makes the difference between a comfy night and the shivers.  It is also a good way to remember her and count the blessings of heritage.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-089: This Ain’t the First Time

Many people are unhappy with the last election.  I think that is an understatement both is using “many” and “unhappy”.  When we look at all the tyrannical steps being taken and proposed by the Progressives*, it puts a genuine fear of God in our hearts.  What do we do?  Where do we turn?  

One of the ideas being tossed around is secession or, as Jefferson termed it, separation.  It is easy to find maps dealing with the issue and you can find people sounding wise on both sides.  You need to know that talk about separation is not new in the United States.

The first bit of this talk I have come across was during the Constitutional Convention.  Those who know nothing about history tend to take the issue of slavery and believe everything the America haters of the 1619 Project say as if it were true.  Slavery was seen as a problem in the United States from the beginning.  What was unusual was that there was so much energy against it here when most of the world thought slavery was normal.  The debate in the Convention got so heated that several southern states threatened to not join the union if slavery was made illegal.  A compromise was reached and unity was restored.

Then we come to the Hartford Convention of 1814-5.  This involved the New England states looking into the issues of the day and one of the suggestions was leaving the union.  Keep in mind they were meeting during the War of 1812.  This sounds like treasonous talk, and I guess it was.  They had other recommendations they wanted to present to congress but they did discuss secession.

Then a few years later in 1828, John Calhoun led a discussion centered on tariffs.  This would be like a discussion of high taxes today.  In those days most of the government income came from tariffs.  There was definite talk of nullification of federal laws.  You are hearing the same type of talk and seeing legislation today from the state capitals.  South Carolina said they would not allow the federal tariffs to be collected.  

In 1850 the state legislature of Wisconsin declared a federal law, The Fugitive Slave Act, unconstitutional and asserted they had the right to secede.  Massachusetts passed a law giving a five year prison term to anyone who enforced the federal law.  

We tend to think we are the only generation to live with the federal government trying things and the states resisting.  Much of this has happened before.  Corruption is not new.  It is time for the states to step up to the plate.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-088: Green Peace: Learning Curves

Have you talked about the weather lately?  It seems to be one of those topics that is used to break the ice or comfort those who can’t abide silence.  

I am a bit disappointed in the Texas weather.  I expected the hot.  I don’t necessarily like it but it was part of the package.  I did not expect the cold.  This is our fourth winter in Texas and the second one that has been “unusually” cold.  The previous exception it got down to 18 degrees and we found out that our geothermal system was not up to the challenge.  We learned that there is something called “auxiliary heating” that is supposed to kick in but the previous owner did not install it.  I would assume that in the years he lived here he never needed it.

This year we got down to 8 degrees.  Since we learn from our mistakes we had installed the auxiliary system so we were good to go.  I left faucets running and was ready for the worst, I thought but we still have one pipe that is not passing water.  Time will tell if it has burst somewhere in the foundation.  What we could not plan for is the reality that Texas was bitten by the green bug.  We are having “rolling black outs” because there is not enough electricity to heat the state at this arctic level.  My son mentioned that the power plants were not designed to operate in this cold.  What he missed was that it was “renewables” that were failing the test of reality.  The solar panels were covered with snow and the wind-mills were frozen.  Even a refugee from California knows that it is hard to generate electricity in those conditions.  

We learned and installed the auxiliary system.  The big question will be whether Texas will learn and reopen their coal powered plants.  It will be an uphill climb with the Biden administration but we need to remember that we were sold out during previous years.  We can’t blame this on Biden or OAC even though they are good with it.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 15, 2021

Opus 2021-087: A Call to Unity

I think it is a time to call for unity.  Not with the hard left or the Never Trumpers, but with other people of faith and traditional values.  We have a way of joining in circular firing squads and picking off the ones we should be working with

There is an old joke about a couple of pious individuals sitting in a room, rocking their chairs and commiserating on the state of the world.  They work their way down the list and finally one of the says, “It looks like there is no one left but me and thee.”  The other answers, “And I am not too sure about thee.”

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

We need unity based on essentials.  In Christian circles I can tell if someone is a genuine Christian after a few short discussions.  I have learned that the denomination they belong to may give an indication but is not a reliable measure either way.  There are some consistent points of belief that have been consistent over the years.  John Wesley and John Calvin might have never been able to agree on a systematic theology but they would have not issues on the divinity of Christ, the physical resurrection and the existence of hell.  

In politics it gets a little more dicey.  A bare minimum would require embracing the original intent of the Constitution.  Think of it as the Nicene Creed of politics.  It includes checks and balances, the rights of the First and Second Amendments.  It involves due process and the rule of law.  I can accept that you don’t like Donald Trump’s tweets as long as you thought it through and realized that Joe Biden was not a real option.

One thing I get annoyed with is the Monday Morning Quarterbacks.  They will tell you all the things that Donald Trump did wrong and what he should have done.  Hind sight is marvelous.  One of the things I have learned in life it that how we talk in the living room and how we act when confronted are two different things.  I can have fantasies about being Rocky Balboa when I run into an angry protestor, but I have been to the shooting range and I know my marksmanship, or should I say, lack of marksmanship.  I may think I am Bruce Lee in my dreams but I have a hard time carrying my coffee to the living room without spilling it.

We need to unite on the essentials.  I think we can find them if we try.  It is fine if you disown the Lincoln project but don’t start kicking out everyone who disagrees with you on criticizing the Supreme Court.  Keep in mind that oil and water don’t mix but vinegar and water do just fine.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-086: Belated Valentine’s Greetings

Did you get a chance to see the precious hearts that decorated the lawn at the White House after Mrs. Biden found a way to apply her Ed.D. (Doctor of Education, not Ph.D. and definitely not M.D.) to the needs of the nation.  As a former public school teacher I can say that the educators of America felt right at home.  It is the kind of thing they do with their bulletin boards.  It used to be you only saw it in elementary school but it is at all levels today.  The kids may not know how to read and write or calculate percentages but they know what red and pink hearts mean.

At last we know what Donald Trump and Melania could have done to warm up the snowflakes and mush heads of the popular media and academia.  I wonder why they never thought about it.  Now we know what Joe and Jill were planning in the basement during the presidential campaign.

When I was teaching middle school, my wife offered to come in and do my bulletin boards.  I politely declined the opportunity.  I don’t like feminine decorations in a room where I am trying to teach important issues like American history.  If I was really careful I could make one set of staples make it through the entire year.

So, happy day-after-Valentine’s Day everyone.  Ladies, next year tell you husband you want big hearts on the front lawn instead of dinner at Flemings and See’s Chocolate.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Opus 2021-085: Candle Power: #1, Start with Number One

Those pesky Chinese seem to have thought of everything.  When I did a search to find out who said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness", I came up with a Chinese proverb.  At least it hasn’t gone viral.

Maybe it should.  What can we do as individuals to overcome the darkness we are facing?

The first thing I am going to suggest is hard to define simply.  It will express itself different ways in different people.  Begin by looking inward and getting your own self in order.  I make my case from a Christian perspective.  The Bible will be my resource book.  The Bible has many themes and many things people disagree with but there are certain themes that go through the entire book.

For today I want to point out that God rewards the righteous.  If you are a Calvinist don’t get too hung up on the issue of grace and works.  You would need to be Biblically illiterate to miss the many times that God promises to look out for His own.  It makes a difference how we live.  

I read through the book of Proverbs every month.  Let me look at the first few chapters and pick out some of the comments.

(Pro 1:33 KJV) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

(Pro 2:8 KJV) He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

This one I like from the NASB.  Somehow refreshed bones speaks to me.
(Pro 3:8 NAS77) It will be healing to your body, And refreshment to your bones.

(Pro 4:4 KJV) He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
You get the idea.  This is not a detailed doctrinal statement.  It is a basic truth.  God looks out after His own.  Of course the Bible also promises persecution and such but even in that God promises to give a blessing.

So before you try to change the country, work on changing yourself.  If God’s people will not be God’s people then the pagans among us will share His wrath with us.  If you want to set the world on fire for liberty, keep your matches and tender dry, your spiritual claim to God’s benefits.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Opus 2021-084: Pesky Popcorn

Have you ever made popcorn in the microwave?  Do you get frustrated by all the kernels that don’t go “pop”?  Let me give you some alternatives.  My suggestions are for those who buy popcorn in bulk, by the pound, not those who buy it pre-bagged and seasoned.  If it is prepped for you then accept that you are cared for.

If you measure it out into a microwave popper, only make popcorn on rare occasions and don’t really want that much, then just accept the reality of the situation.  It isn’t worth the stress.  Let it go.  Just accept the fact that those unpopped kernels did not identify as popcorn.

Suppose that you are one of those people who only make popcorn once a month and you seem to have a lot of stuff left in the bottom of the pan.  One of the things I did with this was stop the microwave and pour out the corn that was popped, leaving the rebels in the bottom.  I would then nuke them some more.  I would repeat this process until almost everything had blown up.  It takes some time but it is the principle of the thing.

I found that popcorn is relatively low calorie and has a lot of fiber.  Let me qualify that, popcorn itself is low in calories but I can’t say that for all the butter you drown it in.  I found a few low calorie things I could do to make it taste better and started eating more of it.  Being cheap, I found that all that unpopped corn left me feeling like a failure.  I decided to experiment.  I left the unprocessed kernels in the bowl and next time I measured out popcorn to prepare I would add the left over from the previous batch.  I would continue this because eventually it pops or turns to charcoal.  It worked.  Over time I would even have sessions where everything popped except one or two.

If you have known this all your life please don’t shatter my illusion of being creative.  I like to think I am on the cutting edge.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-083: Choice of Options Narrows

There are really only two reasons to resort to arms:  To impose your will on an unwilling target or to resist someone trying to impose their will on you by force.

Which are we?

The imposition is one sided.  It has only one measurement, success.  

The resistance is limited.  It is limited by timing and methods.  By timing I mean that the use of force to a person of conscience is always a last resort.  Conservatives believe in reason and the rule of law.  Thus we start by trying to discuss issues and use facts in a logical way.  Progressives* have done everything they can to shut off our freedom of speech, press and assembly.  

We have resorted to the courts.  The courts present two problems.  The first is the nature of the legal system and due process.  They take time.  When the Progressives* are on the march they are aware that time is their enemy so they use the delays to destroy.  There is a saying that evidently dates back to Plutarch and was translated by Longfellow as,

    Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceeding small;
    Though with patience He stands waiting, With exactness grinds He all.

I got this from Wikipedia so you can take it or leave it.

When you try to get justice in the courts it can take years before you even appear before a judge.  The left knows this.  They also know how certain judges will deal with things.  Which leads us to the second problem of the courts.

It seems to me that the courts have be suborned by the left.  Judges appointed by Progressive* presidents seem to have no regard for the letter of the law.  Those appointed by more conservative presidents have a long history of drifting toward the Progressive.  What that means is if you know your judge and can arrange to have them in charge, they will find for you no matter what the facts.

Which eventually brings us to the court of last resorts.  In our republic this is a relatively rare eruption.  We started our road to independence at Lexington and Concord with a last resort.  We fount the Civil War, or the War for Southern Independence, when states felt they had no resort.  We saw it during the different labor struggles.  Generally up until recently in the political arena both sides have been willing to not cross certain lines.  With the one sided censorship of social media and the tech giants, manipulation of information by the media and abuse of government power we see going on the question becomes:  What are our options?

I continue to urge people to use the powerful tools of boycott and speaking out.  Violence looks romantic in the movies but historically it tends to lead to even greater tyranny.  In terms of history you might ask yourself was Cromwell really and Improvement over Charles I?  

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Friday, February 12, 2021

Opus 2021-082: Liberal Thought

Julian taught me to think.  He did it by disagreeing with everything I said.  It didn’t matter what it was, he would take the other side and argue me into the ground.  It was great fun.  He didn’t do it with the equivalent of “Orange Man bad”.  He did it with logic and facts.  I miss those days.

Julian was an unregenerated liberal.  He remained that until the day he died, young, with MS.  He did not see the inconsistency of having an illegal as a housemaid in his big home on the side of the hill while he pleaded for the poor.  But then, he was a liberal.  I said he used logic and facts.  His logic was not good and his facts were wrong.  That didn’t stop him.  We had some great times.

We walked to school together before we got our drivers’ licenses.  It was about two miles and that gave us plenty of time to wear each other down.  He went on to Berkeley.  I ended up at a private Christian college.  One reason I miss those days is that I knew a liberal with a brain.  They are few and far between.  In time the liberalism overwhelms the brain and they become enemies to society.  

Oh, did I mention that he became a reporter?  I am not sure which came first, the job or the loss of integrity.  I am sure he would be glad to hear he helped me learn to think but would feel like a failure because I never toed his party line.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-081: Election 2022: Whose Side Are You On

What is the mandate of elected officials?  Are they elected to give their constituents what they want or to do what is right for the country?

Not an easy question to answer.  We tend to answer it based on what we think is best for the country.  We assume what we think is best is best.  I must admit it usually is, at least as long as you agree with me.

The problem I see is that too many of our elected officials don’t follow either path.  It is hard to discover how the last “stimulus bill” was good for the country.  American families were given $600 while trillions were given to foreign countries for questionable projects.  Most of the “foreign aid” went into the pockets of the foreign politicians with sizable kickbacks for the Americans in congress.  It is hard to believe this is what the local folks want either.  Sure they like getting $600 but if they stop to think about who is going to pay for gender studies in a Muslim country they won’t be too excited.  I guess the key word there is “think”.

We need to keep looking for people who can’t be bought.  I have seen people running for school board who flip as soon as elected.  I have seen pastors who come in on fire but the church they go to soon has them toeing the line of compromise.  I am not sure that term limits enshrined in the law is the answer but I would like to see more people willing to get rid of their representatives.  If they are getting wealthy on their government salary they need more than an audit.  If they are pushing their own agenda, they need a wake up call.

When in doubt, vote them out.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Opus 2021-080: Should-a-Beens: Joe, Please Call Home

Where is Senator McCarthy when we need him?

I do not personally have a memory of Senator Joe McCarthy.  I do remember that when I heard his name I got the impression he was one step to the right of the devil.  I was told he was an evil man who was out to ruin everyone’s life by labeling them “Communist” and harassing the victims into suicide.  I have never studied his actions in great detail but after I read Witness by Whittaker Chambers, I realized that the people he was after were everywhere and were out to destroy our country.  Communists and Communism is our enemy.

I have weird ideas like that.  I served in the Vietnam War.  I didn’t enlist, I was drafted.  I believed then and still believe that we needed to be there.  See what I mean by strange ideas.  I also believe that the Domino Theory was accurate.  We were there to keep Communism from spreading into the rest of Southeast Asia and then to our back yard.  I also believe that the war was won until the Democrats in congress cut off support for the South Vietnamese government.  They were standing up to the North on their own until we stopped sending them bullets.  My only mistake was that I didn’t realize that the Communists had already arrived and were preparing the United States for what we are seeing today.

Communism, Marxism, Fascism, Socialism, you can get into endless debates about the exact differences.  All are represented in the Progressives* of today.  They are all economic and political systems which hate people being free to make their own decisions.  They all are out to do away with out liberty, destroy Christianity and get us dancing to their tune.  Their lackeys are found in the social media empires that are choking off free expression, the media puppets that only publish what advances the tyranny of the left, government employees who are trying to vilify and jail anyone who disagrees with them.  

What we need is another Joe, not a Biden but a McCarthy, who will stand tall and take on the criminals on the left.  Whoever that hero is will be destroyed in the process but we need him, or her, now.  We need him more than ever.  

Step forward, Joe.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Opus 2021-079: Spare Me the Re-Runs

One of the trends that troubled us when our children were young was the redaction of established written works.  One prime example is the Hardy Boys series.  In the original they went to church, prayed at meals and a lot of other traditional parts of American life.  All that was scrubbed by the revisionists.  You see the same type of things going on today.  If you are old enough you have witnessed the darkening of the Batman franchise.  Witness the sanitization of the language of Huckleberry Finn.  Modern novels always have a homosexual character and woman who can do things that men can’t but are still attractive and sleek.  Hallmark movies are pushing the boundaries in every way they can.

What would happen if the powers that be decided to do remakes of famous shows of the past?  I am not sure we would recognize them or want to watch them.

Take for example the long running series, I Love Lucy.  Personally I could never stand it.  My sense of humor runs more to George Burns and the pre-sexual assault Bill Cosby.  Lucy and the Three Stooges were a waste of time.  But what if they did Lucy again?  I am sure that in addition to all the mayhem Lucy got into we would have a few dalliances showing up.  I have often said that the only two moral lines she didn’t cross were adultery and murder.  And of course you would need to make Ricky the fall guy at least half of the time.  Fred would probably come out of the closet and little Ricky would have a sex change operation.  

How about the old Westerns.  I think the longest running show on TV was Gunsmoke.  Matt’s sidekick changed a few times but the central cast endured.  In a rerun there would be a lot of stormy scenes between Matt and Kitty, leaving nothing to the imagination.  Doc would probably be of Mexican decent and there would be added characters of different ethnic groups.  It might even be part of the plot that Kitty is really a drag queen.  Criminals would not be shot or locked up, they would be counseled and understood.  The city would pioneer early recycling techniques and demonstrate how wind energy made the difference in their lives.  In fact you might need to change the name to Rubber Bullets.

I would say the sky is the limit but I think gutter might be an appropriate metaphor.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-078: Reminders: #1, A Bit of Philosophy

There are certain topics I have written about.  They are worth repeating.  I need to revisit them to refresh my memory and enhance my thinking.  Others need to be reminded.  There is a constant bombardment of ideas that clutter our minds.

Deconstruction is philosophy.  We have a hammer on the knee reaction to the idea of philosophy.  We tend to think it is only for eggheads.  That is a comforting thought but we live in a world that is decomposing because of the destructive philosophies that are running people’s lives.  Deconstruction is one of those.

If you think of deconstruction as what happens when they steal you car and break it down to sell the parts you have an idea of the effect of this school of thought.  It has a goal of stealing your culture and selling it off at your loss and their gain.

Deconstruction says there is no set meaning to words.  Words mean different things to different people.  Words are a product of your background and backgrounds vary from person to person.  Thus you can have no fixed meaning for anything.  This is how they can come up with such intellectually bankrupt labels as “multiracial whiteness”.  It means what they want it to mean, this week but maybe not the next.

As in most insidious ideas, there is a grain of truth.  When you talk about music you may have Beethoven in mind and your neighbor may have Tupac.  By a loose definition they are both music.  As we have been exploring the restaurants of Texas and trying to find good Mexican food we find that one man’s tostada is another man’s tortilla chips.  We met a Mexican restaurant owner who claimed his guacamole was hot.  He said, “I am Mexican.  I know hot.”  It was rather mild to us.  Sometimes it is the difference between a cultured pearl and a “real” pearl.  Real pearls develop when a grain of sand gets into an oyster and starts to irritate it.  It coats the sand with the iridescent material that we think is beautiful.  Cultured pearls develop when an oyster in a tank has a grain of sand inserted by a human with the goal of irritating the beast to the same result.

Surrounding many grains of truth are insidious applications.  That is where the deconstructionists come in.  They use a grain of truth to distort every standard and principle that society has developed for cohesion and turn them into tools for their own personal use.  Thus you come up with the chart that was displayed at the Smithsonian Institute showing “white privilege”.  They took building blocks of Western culture that lead to prosperity and success and re-labeled them as aspects of racism.  So being on time becomes an  element of white supremacy.  The scientific method is not an effective system of investigation but a racist thought pattern.  In the sub comments I noticed that it is a mark of white racism to be polite.

This is at the heart of the Living Constitution.  It doesn’t mean what it says.  It means what those in power want it to mean.  I could go on.  At some time in the future I may hit it again.  

I hope you get the idea.  They seek to destroy you and your country.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Opus 2021-077: Headlines: Or Not, More Mostly Peaceful Protesting

It looks like we are back in the era of “mostly peaceful protests.”  I followed a link on the Citizen Free Press.  It took me to another one of their pages.  It contained some video and tweets about a protest by Antifa and BLM in Washington D.C.  

My question is, “Did it really happen?”  My second question is, “If it did, why can’t I find reference to it anywhere else?”

Could it be more of the information blackout that the Progressives* in government and media are imposing on us?  Every time I turn around I hear about another established news site being shut down.  People that have been speaking for years are being silenced.  As far as I know it isn’t a matter of violence, just cutting them off from the means to communicate with the world.  

I kept looking and eventually found it mentioned on Breitbart who says that Fox reported the demonstration was going to take place.

As far as I can tell there was no looting or arson.  There were veiled threats of burning down neighborhoods but it seemed it was mainly intimidation.  They did have “scuffles” with the police and they harassed some people out for dinner.  

It seems like a lot of similar behavior to what happened on January 6.  I will wait for the arrests and trials but I will find a good book to read while I wait.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Monday, February 8, 2021

Opus 2021-076: Nuremberg II

Will there be Nuremberg trials after all this nonsense is over?  The pictures of our capital are embarrassing and frightening.  They embarrass me as an American.  What happened to a government that we have the right to petition.  Why are they so much more important to keep safe than the citizens of all the cities destroyed by Antifa and BLM?  Barbed wire?  Around all of the government buildings?  Have you seen how extended this barrier is?  I thought it was just around one or two building but it goes on and on.

What frightens me is the willingness to bring soldiers into our streets when there is nothing going on more than breaking and entering and trespass.  Nothing if you ignore the unarmed women shot for being in the wrong place.  What happened to all the outrage about police brutality?  Why is this officer not named?  I understand that we can’t even find out which of the many police forces he was part of.  

And then you have the vetting of the National Guard.  Were they really asked if they had voted for Trump?  Why did their officers put up with it?  At least some of the governors called their troops home.  Of course the People’s Republic of Massachusetts sent more.  One of the strengths of our military has been that they do not swear allegiance to a person or a political party.  They are sworn to the Constitution and the country.  The Progressives* seem to be changing that.  It sounds like they are trying to turn us into a Banana Republic.

Will anyone survive to hold the trials.  These people are doing everything they can to incite a violent response.  They are trying for Civil War.  They don’t care what the result are.  You have known and watched people who would destroy something if they cannot have it for themselves.  Picture children arguing over a toy.  Observe divorcing parents using the children to get at each other.  Traditional conservatives do not want civil war.  We paid attention in history and we know how that works out.

We were founded on the rule of law.  That is changing.  We are moving toward Star Chambers and Kangaroo Courts?  You may not be familiar with the term “Star Chamber”.  It goes back to England in the 1600's.  It was a secret court controlled by the king.  People would be arrested and dragged in for trial.  There was no record and no due process.  Generally if you were forced through the doors, you were never heard from again.  The First Amendment Encyclopedia defines it this way:

“The term star chamber refers pejoratively to any secret or closed meeting held by a judicial or executive body, or to a court proceeding that seems grossly unfair or that is used to persecute an individual.”
This is why the Sixth Amendment starts with these words,
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,...”
Take the positive view.  Assume that the rule of law is reestablished.  Assume that the abuses going on come before a legitimate court.  Dream of Nuremberg II.  

Who will be on trial?

Who will judge?

Will the excuse, “I was only following orders” be accepted then?

Either the Progressive* forces will triumph and all dissent will be stamped out or there will be a different group of individuals and cabals that will have to answer to their actions.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Opus 2021-075: Watch Out for Zack

One of the sites I visit fairly regularly is The Next Chapter.  I have been reading what Zack has to say for years.  I got started with some of the reviews he did about firearms that were not on the Newest and Coolest list.  Imagine my shock when I clicked the other day and Big Brother warned me that I was heading into a place that might be outside of my safe space.

I never knew that Zack was so dangerous to my feelings.

It was called a “Sensitive Content Warning”.  I felt warm fuzzies all over as I realized that Google cared about me and my feelings.  Since I am usually not confused with a person who is “sensitive” I need warnings like this to teach me how to live.  It is for my own good.

If you have strong character, not too sensitive, and would like to check out some great reviews I offer this up as a suggestion.

I wonder if I will ever have them care about you enough to warn you off of my site.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-074: Hope and Despair

One of the types of preachers that seem to be able to draw big crowds are what are referred to as the “name it and claim it” brand.  One of the problems with understanding the Bible is that an unscrupulous quoter can make a case for a lot of bizarre teachings.  There are verses that give the idea that there is nothing for true believers except wealth and health.  

Then there are all the other teachings that have to be taken into consideration.

As I was wondering about the future of our country in light of all the fascist moves by the Democrats and their cronies, I came across a passage in the 73rd Psalm that made me feel like Asaph, the author, was living in 21st century America.  I won’t bore you with all of it but let me give you a few verses for flavor.

(Psa 73:8-9 KJV) They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.  They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
Asaph then reminds us to get the long range view, which is certainly the view an eternal omniscient God would have.  He points out that God is still in charge,
(Psa 73:2526 KJV) Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.  My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
God continues to give us strength and guidance.  This is why I can keep getting up and not live in despair.  

There is also a warning,
(Psa 73:27 KJV) For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
Our political liberty may be on the trash heap.  It may look like the wicked, if you will excuse the term, are on a roll.  We are reminded that God will be the final decider.  

Hang in there if you are a believer.  Hang in there if you are not a believer but make sure you are not numbered among those who will perish.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Opus 2021-073: On the Street: I Look at the Checkout Counter

I would never pick up one of the magazines at the check out counter.  It would be embarrassing if someone saw me.  That doesn’t keep me from reading the covers.  Once in awhile something catches my attention.  I happened recently.  I noticed to special editions of Life, side by side.  One said that All in the Family was a ground breaking comedy.  The other said that the Mary Tyler Moore show was ground breaking.  It must be really easy to be ground breaking in the Time/Life world.

I know that I watched both and remember enjoying them.  It occurred to me that if they were to bring them back as reruns to a audience that knew nothing about them they would still be ground breaking as well as scandalous.  

They would be ground breaking because they were funny.  It is possible that Archie might need to be retooled for modern politics but he was still funny.  I didn’t like the way they made fun of my world but I still could enjoy good writing and acting.  They would be scandalous because the women were portrayed in a way that you cannot portray women in this day and age.  Ignore the fact that that was part of the satire.  Liberals today have no sense of humor.

Similar things could be said about problems in the character of Mary Richards.  She was the classic weak woman who was always falling for the manipulation of the men around her.  The actual scripts, if you could get past the politically correct police, would need little change to be funny because it wasn’t making fun of society as much as playing off of the characters.

I don’t like the politics of the stars but I could enjoy their talent.  I don’t know that I can say that about any entertainers today.  The world is poorer because of it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-072: Headlines: Lou who?

I woke up this morning and started my morning routine.  When I came to the phase for checking news sources the first thing I saw was that Lou Dobbs was being removed from Fox.  There were all kinds of explanations given but the basic truth in my mind was that he was saying things they did not like.  I will concede that I have little exposure to Dobbs.  I only watch TV when I am dragged kicking and screaming into the room, the door is locked and I am chained to the chair.  So I have seen him a few times but I have heard him quoted a lot.

It was only a matter of time under the new regime in Washington and the Fox management.  

It is a reminder for us.

If they will come for Lou Dobbs then they will come for any of the talking heads.

It gets better.

If they will come for him they will come for us.  It may be a subtle choking off or a swat team in the middle of the night.  It depends on how it will effect those around you.  The tool of terrorists is not actual damage but the mental state of fear that induces cooperation.  If you are paying attention the Progressives* have censured a congresswoman, threatened senators, isolated a sitting president, done loyalty checks on the military, banned thousands of Americans from expressing their right to free speech on social media, cut off financial resources of businesses and the list goes on.

The only question is, “Where are you on the list and how long will it take them to get you?”

I write this assuming they have not gotten to the low hanging fruit yet.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Friday, February 5, 2021

Opus 2021-071: Fear and Fear Not

What does it mean to fear not?

It is not permission to glibly run red lights.  It does not mean leaving your front door unlocked at night.  It does not mean that the China Virus doesn’t know where you live.  There are a lot of extremes that it does not mean.

It means,

(Psa 23:4 KJV) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
It means staying out of downtown if you can.  It means washing your hands, if you can.  It means making sure you have gas, a fully charged cell phone and maybe some extra water before you start over the desert in summer.  But notice that he is going through the valley, not around.

Many things require a healthy respect.  Most of them also require to be kept in perspective.  When I read the promises of God I realize that they include both a promise of His protection and a promise of persecution.  The courage comes when you understand that He will be there to help you through the persecution.  How?  He has more ways to work it out than you have excuses not to live in faith.  That is a lot.  One of my favorites is,
(Psa 91:11 KJV) For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Sometimes the help is obvious.  I can remember when my dad put a credit card in my hand when I left on a trip.  Sometimes it is simple and assumed faith.  I remember the feeling of knowing my family would be there for me when I returned home with no job and a pregnant wife.  

We are told repeatedly in the Bible to “fear not.”  A quick search turned up 63 times in the KJV.  There is one exception.  We are told to fear God ten times.  It isn’t a contradiction.  Believing the second is the reason we can live the first.  

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-070: Digging in the Muck

How do we tell truth in media from their incessant lies?  Sometimes a little research will help.  Other times we realize the tools we have for the research are also corrupt.  I am sure you have seen the different results people get from Google and Duck Duck Go.  There is also the use of logic and your own personal experiences.  Let me refer back to the recent posts I made on the claim that HEB grocery stores had cancelled My Pillow products.

The corporation told me they still stocked My Pillow products.  The media told me they didn’t.  The media quoted Mike Lindell as saying they had.  How do you figure it out?  Consider the sources.  Someone is lying or being quoted out of context.  It is time to look at character and past performance.

First of all I look at Mike Lindell.  I do not know him personally.  I do not study his life.  In spite of that I have observed that he is a vocal Christian.  He believes and acts on his beliefs.  That means he would not be telling whoppers.  It is possible he had the wrong information.  It is much more likely that he was deliberately misquoted.  

So that takes me to the Associated Press (AP).  I don’t know if you have been paying attention but the AP falls into that category of Fake News.  Does that mean that everything they say is a lie?  Of course not.  It only means that anything important to the future of the United States and its Constitution is a lie.  
Then we have HEB.  I have only been in Texas for three years but I have been very impressed by this company.  When I first came from California with its competitive grocery market I was worried that HEB would be a corporate bully.  I found out that they were very highly regarded by local people and saw what a great job they did.  In light of that it did not seem that they would be the kind of Cancel Culture business that would try to use economic coercion on a supplier.

Then we have the lady I talked to on the phone.  Was she lying to me?  I find it hard to believe that she would survive long on the job with HEB if she were deliberately lying to the public.

So when you look at the possible sources of the problem it seems that the weak link is AP.  Recently I have had someone else say that Lindell made the claim.  Since I know how often that person only gets half the story and misquotes, I am still not convinced.

Someone, who shall remain unknown, said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  I am working on it.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Opus 2021-069: Bounced Checks and Loaded Balances, part 3 of 3

The glue that has held all of this together was a common set of moral values.  It really wasn’t the Constitution that gave us our liberty.  I am sorry to be the one to disillusion you.  My understanding is that the Soviet Union had a constitution too and it guaranteed freedom of religion.  How did that work for them?  The glue was the shared understanding that there were limits and that you didn’t cross certain lines.  We agreed that some things are always right and others always wrong.  That unchanging moral base was what was necessary to keep the piece of paper in place.  What good is a contract if one side refuses to honor it?  What good is the law if you have people in positions of responsibility who make it a one way gate?

The Founders were aware of this need.  Here are a few quotes,

“But it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can surely stand.” John Adams in letter
“Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free Government.”  George Washington, Farewell Address
We are living to see the end of that consensus.  The new Democratic regime, and I say regime not administration, is at war with the Constitution.  There is nothing new about that.  Powerful people have always pushed against restraints.  What has changed is they are also at war with the Judeo-Christian foundations of our country.  In reality that is not new either.  What is new is that they have become so blatant about it.  They have gone to warp speed.

Do Americans care enough to stop it?  I don’t know.  I have watched the pastors of the nation’s churches compromise and abandon their calling in order to be accepted.  We criticize politicians who go liberal when they get to Washington because they want to be invited to the best parties.  That same seems to be true of the clergy.  I have heard people claiming to be Christian while they reject the teachings of the Bible.  Will there be enough salt to savor the stew?  I hope so.  I pray so.  

Time will tell.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-068: Bounced Checks and Loaded Balances, part 2 of 3

We had a system of checks and balances.  

How is all that working out today?  The three branches of government seem to be in lock step.  We have had this before.  FDR had a lock on everything but the Supreme Court and when they resisted he threatened to appoint more justices.  Sound familiar?  His one party government managed to take a recession and turn it into an ongoing depression.  It was so bad it is referred to as “The Great Depression”.  One strong theory is that they could have kept the economy in the tank for years and would have done so if not forced to gear up for World War II.  It gave them a way to advance the socialist agenda with little interference.  Unfortunately for them they could not ignore the treat to their power offered by the national socialists of another country.  Like today, the administration of FDR was infiltrated with what we would call Progressives*.  

Then you had the two years that Obama had unchecked power.  He managed to get through Obamacare.  When the Supreme Court had a chance to adjust the mandate, John Roberts found out that congress did not mean what it said in regard to it being a tax.  Obama worked hard with his identity politics to divide us as a people.  Remember those moving words, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”?  When Obama was talked into meeting with heads of the so-called opposition party, he smugly said, and I paraphrase from memory, “Elections have consequences.  We won.”  So much for working together.  Now we are back to that kind of dictatorial leadership.  Biden talks unity and acts division.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-067: Bounced Checks and Loaded Balances, part 1 of 3

The genius of the American system was a multi-layered system of checks and balances.  We are seeing that break down.  

The level that most people learn about in school is the three branches of government, Executive, Legislative, Judicial.  Each branch has ways to counter the actions of the other two.  The idea was that if you got a corrupt President then Congress could pass laws to keep him in check, override his veto and even impeach him.  The president had the veto, the pardon, nominating power and the daily administration of the laws.  The courts could decide what the law meant.  Each branch could rein in the others.  It slowed things down.  Slow working government was created on purpose.

In addition to that you had the three elected sources of power.  The House was elected by popular vote.  The Senate was elected by the states.  The president was elected by a combination of the two.  Each nexus looked to a different segment of the country for its base.  That was seriously handicapped by the seventeenth amendment which moved the choice of senators from the political leaders of the states to a popular vote.  

The level we don’t think about is the federal part of the equation.  Keep in mind that we are not a democracy and in a sense we are not a republic.  We are a Federal Republic.  Notice again the tenth amendment.  

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The original colonies looked at themselves as sovereign nations.  They were reluctant to give up that power.  That is one reason why the Articles of Confederation did not work.  When they signed on to the Constitution power was surrendered, but they still felt they had a say in things.  Much of that attitude was beaten down by the Civil War.  Abraham Lincoln and the North said, “We are in charge.  You will obey.”

We live with that legacy.  As I watch the abuse of power going on my attitude has changed.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Opus 2021-066: Seeking Transformation

I almost hit on it.  The click bait said, “TV Star:  Eat This Every Morning And Transform Your Bowels.”

I don’t know about you but the idea of transforming my bowels seemed like an important thing to do.  I remember the pictures from high school science books of the villi inside the intestines.  I have been supplied with color photographs of my colonoscopy.  I have had varied results from an untransformed bowel.  What is there not to like?

These people really know how to touch the hot button, but I restrained myself.  I must admit some of these links have real drawing power.  I long ago got over wondering what kind of Russian women wanted to meet me.  I stopped checking out the Ten Biggest Train Wrecks in History.  Transformed bowels almost got me.

Do you ever wonder what kind of people write these things?  Is there an approval process?  Could I get a job in that industry?

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-065: Buying Used

I recently heard someone express the idea that Donald Trump was just using Christians to advance his agenda.  He was not advocating it, just quoting someone in the Fake News Media.

Really?  He has an interesting way of “using” us.

He has been the most pro-life president ever.  He has been a true friend of Israel.  He has worked to deregulate the federal government.  The list goes on.  And on.  And on.  Take a look at his accomplishments and tell me which one is “using” Christians and which ones are being supportive of what we believe is important.

About the only thing I can think of that I would question is his openness the homosexuals, but even there it has been accepting them as people, not advancing or advocating their agenda.  Compare his stand with Biden signing an Executive Order directing trans-gender men to be allowed to participate in women’s sports.  I prefer to be “used” instead of abused.

Keep lifting him up in your prayers.  I pray first for his salvation whether that is to keep it or gain it.  I pray next for his safety.  I am sure he is in the sights of the deep state.  I pray for his wisdom.  I think he still has much to give.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more elected officials used us this way?

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Opus 2021-064: The Emperor Needs a Fool

Humor is dangerous.  You may have noticed that it has disappeared.  The only people who get to laugh are the elites in their gated mansions as they talk about the deplorables they are grinding down.

The Progressives* take themselves seriously.  They don’t see how ridiculous they are and because they control the Fake News and educated the people who consume it, no one else can see it either.  Historically rulers used to have a court fool.  His job was to mock the monarch and help him to see his own weakness.  I am sure that it was a dangerous position to be in but it was a job.  I miss them.

When I was a kid I was an avid reader of Mad Magazine.  It was one of the few things I managed to get the money together for every month.  It was full of absurd situations and extreme exaggeration.  I knew it.  It was called satire.  

Satire has become anathema because it pokes fun at the ruling juntas of America.  That can not be allowed.  Thus when you bring up any reference to the idiotic predictions of climate disaster that have been made repeatedly over the years, you are silenced.  You are labeled a science denier.  You are punished.  When you point out that socialism has been tried repeatedly over the years and unless subsidized by a powerful capitalist economy like northern Europe’s it has lead to genocide like killings, extreme poverty and starvation.  They move the goal posts and say that it was not “real” socialism.  It will work this time.  As Lucy said, “Come on, Charlie Brown, this time I won’t pull the ball away.”

We used to watch Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show as he poked humor at just about everyone.  Politicians were not immune.  When he pointed out the silly foibles that I was guilty of, I could laugh.  He would also roast the left.  It was all good fun.  It made us think.  It kept us from getting full of ourselves.  It was healthy.

Now humor is viewed as dangerous.  You might hurt someone’s feelings.  You might invade their safe space.  Worst of all, you might make them think.  You are a pariah.

Just kidding.

homo unius libri

Opus 2021-063: Yes, Virginia, The Sky Is Falling

We are in a time of sedition.  We have a large group of people that I label Progessives* who are infesting all levels of our government, media and education and finally see the chance to bring America to her knees.  Are those words strong enough?  I always try to put the asterisk so I can add the boilerplate at the end to remind you of whom is included in this August Body.  I tried to find the beginning of the “They’re everywhere!  They’re everywhere!” chant but there were too many opinions to nail it down.  Some are clerks at your local DMV.  Some are pastors of your churches.  Some are in the Oval Office.

I do know it was Chicken Little who went around screaming, “The sky is falling!”  Sometimes I feel like Chicken Little.  The sky is not falling.  It only feels like it.  Times of falling sky are times of sifting.  We are in a time of persecution and it is just beginning.  We have political persecution, religious persecution and economic persecution.  They are out to get you.  Now we find out who are the Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots of Thomas Paine.  Now is when we find out what we are made out of.  

There is hope.  People are taking action all around you.  In Texas the state government is filing lawsuits.  Other states are getting some skin in the game.  I have a hard time believing that all the people who invested a fortune in the Keystone XL pipeline are going to roll over and play dead.  I think that when millions of Americans finally realize that the OWH (occupant of the White House) has tried to make it legal and acceptable for men to claim to be women so they can push the girls out of the way in women’s sports, there will be push back.  I know it will come when they try to get into the showers.

There are things we can all do.  If you are in a free state that lets you go out to eat, tip well and do it in cash.  It is legal.  Then the server can decide how much to declare on the tax forms.  Any chance you get, go with cash.  One thing I need to do is line up a lawyer.  The government will mess with your life if you have any standards at all.  Count on it.  

Be vocal.  Also, be polite.  Taking a stand does not need to be shrill and angry.  Save that for the Progressives*.  Get back into telling jokes and laughing.  I still treasure the Polack jokes that started with “How many Polacks does it take to...”  In time those morphed into blond jokes but they are still funny.  Work on being politically incorrect.  Wear a gauss mask.  Park in the stalls reserved for electric vehicles.  Pay your utility bills in pennies.  Be creative.

Cream rises to the top.  If you shake the bottle it takes a while but be patient.  Keep in mind that the elites want to make an omelette and you are the eggs.  At least try to get some shells in their breakfast.

It is not over yet.  Hang in there.  Be American.  Go to church.  Eat out and when you are done walk out without putting on your mask.  They may not seat you without conformity but when you are done they won’t make you stay.  Get back into life.  Above all, get over the fear they are trying to push down your throat.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, MSM, etc.  Another word for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Monday, February 1, 2021

Opus 2021-062: Monday Pulpit: Pestilence to the Right of Me, Pestilence to the Left of Me...

FDR is not one of my favorite people.  He prepared us for World War II so he was significant.  He also planted the seeds of socialism that are destroying us today.  In spite of that, he had some great speech writers.  One of the lines they wrote for him are double true today,

“We have nothing to fear except fear itself.”
You might want to write that down and read it during the day if you are following the news.

The truth of this statement is doubled for Christians.  This came home to me today as I was reading the 91st Psalm.  Let me share a few selected verses.  The Psalm starts off reminding us that he is writing to those who live in the shelter of Almighty God.  Then he says this,
(Psa 91:3 NAS77) For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence.
That hit me in two ways.  First we have the authoritarians taking over the government who are intent on locking up anyone who has ever supported Trump or claimed to believe in Jesus.  Although one does not lead to the other there is an amazing amount of overlap.  They want to trap us.  They want to destroy us.

Then you have the “pestilence”.  It comes up again,
(Psa 91:5-6 NAS77) You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
We are being told, “Do not fear.”  The author admits that they are out to get you and that there is disease.  But he is saying, “Do not fear.”  Did I say that you should not fear?  Did you hear it?

“But people are dying,” you say.  Yes, but that is true all the time.  Notice the next verse,
(Psa 91:7 NAS77) A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not approach you.
It goes on.  You might want to take a few minutes and look it over.

But a word of caution.  These are promises that are only made to the righteous, the ones who are part of God’s people.  What troubles me about that is His people are a pretty small group.  Anyone can be a part but most people would rather keep living in rebellion and disobedience.  They think God is dumber than the person they sold their used car to.  It doesn’t work that way.

But that is a sermon for another day.

I hope you can fear not.

homo unius libri