A Modern Prayer Translated

Dear Lord,

Thank you for another day of life.

I ask that you be with me in all that I face today.

Please bless me, so I can be a blessing to others.

Be my strength and fill me with your peace.

Amen.

—–

YHWH,

Thank you for not killing me today.

I beg you to ally with me against my foes.

Give me power, so I may share that power.

Give me confidence and self-assurance.

So be it.

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Psalm 144, A Tyrants Prayer

Psalm 144, Translated to Modern Idiom

1. Adorable be YHWH, who provides me strength

Which teaches me to slaughter men in great numbers

And to brawl with grasping hands

2. My justification, and my defense,

My arrogance, and my blamelessness,

My concealment, and that which I hope will pay me later.

Who enslaves others human beings to me

3. YHWH, what is humanity, that you give a damn?

Or the progeny of men, that you keep track of their actions?

4. Man is selfish:

His life is short.

5. Come here from the supernatural world, YHWH,

Touch this world, and it will burn.

6. Throw energy at this world, and break it apart:

Shoot your weapons, and destroy our world.

7. Send your influence from your abode;

Save me from my confusing surroundings,

From the subjection of people who are not your cultists,

8. Who say you are not real,

Who tell me that what I believe to be wisdom is a lie.

9. I will praise you in a new way, my deity:

On a stage and with big and loud musical instruments,

I will praise you with my voice and music.

10. It is my deity that saves despots from overthrow:

Who delivered me, my deity’s cultist, from a violent death.

11. Save me from people who do not worship you.

Who say you are not real,

Who teach wisdom that I hope is not true:

12. So that my sons may grow tall,

That my daughters may be reliable,

Genteel and beautiful like my many palaces.

13. That my bank account may be huge,

That I can afford anything I want;

That my investments may earn 100 percent returns,

No… 1000 percent returns, and my stuff will spill into the streets.

14. That my cars, trucks, tractors, and such will work reliably,

That people won’t disturb my nation or escape it;

That there will be no mass protests.

15. Happy are my subjects, that is true:

Yes, happy are my subjects, who share my delusions.

Obama’s Immigration Proclamation

Obama just did something dramatically reckless. I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon the news. Here’s the headline from the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. to Stop Deporting Some Illegal Immigrants”

I could attack this from the anti-immigration camp, but I think it’s more effective to establish how this will hurt all immigrants Obama promises to help under this plan.

1. Limited Applicability.

To qualify for “deferred action” on immigration status, an unlawful immigrant must have arrived int he United States before the age of sixteen, be not more than 30 years old, and have lived in the country at least 5 years continuously before the Proclamation. That means a person must be born outside the USA after June 15 1982 and before June 15, 2007, AND have arrived in the USA before age 16 (and prove it).

2. Tricky gaps in coverage.

Any person who arrived in the USA after Obama was inaugurated is not eligible for this deferment. Neither is anybody born before Ronald Reagan became president.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (made law under Reagan) applies to anybody in the country after January 1, 1982. So, there’s a 5 1/2 month gap between the coverage of Obama’s Proclamation and that act. If you’re born outside the USA January 2, 1982, you’re screwed.

3. The Proclamation has no force of law.

When Romney becomes President in January, this deferment may vanish overnight. At that point, every single resident alien could be deported immediately, or perhaps face deportation as soon as the 2-year work permit expires. At that point, the US government will have a list of every immigrant and immigrant’s employer and there will be no hiding.

4. Obama’s only reliable constituency is black-skinned Americans.

That population fears Hispanic immigrants more than whites, and that group’s employment is most impacted by Hispanic immigration.  When (not if) the Hispanic population is deported, the black-skinned American vote will count for more. Obama knows he will lose this election. He’s hoping to win the next Presidential election by blaming the inevitable deportations on a Republican president. This leaves the next Republican President one option: grant citizenship to those hispanic immigrants. Obama is betting he won’t.

5. The move is obviously political.

Obama could have made this immigration proclamation the day he arrived in office. He didn’t because he doesn’t give a fuck about Hispanics. The President wants to leave a stink-bomb for the next President. If Obama gets elected, he will be unable to extend this deferment, and will accelerate deportation of Hispanics, all the while claiming that Republicans are making him do it.

 

Scotland

(This post is published long after its original writing. I found it among some drafts and realized that even though my thoughts weren’t complete, it deserved publication. Perhaps I’ll elaborate another time.)

I spent the Easter “holy day” alone. I’m about three-quarters through a major back-yard project to install a vegetable garden. At this point, my financial investment in the project is driving my efforts; I need to reap the fruits of my labor – literally.

It was a very good weekend without friends, family, or other distractions; just physical – and a little mental – labor. I may have even lost a few pounds around my waist and shifted them to my arms and legs. Muscle = good.

I also had an opportunity to work with a jack hammer. The thing was very heavy, so much so I couldn’t lift it into my pick-up truck. But once I started working with it, it was’t so bad. I rented the thing to break up a thick slab of concrete that had been buried under another concrete slab. I hired a man to take out that top slab and another one alongside that, but he asked for more cash when the slab underneath became apparent, and I wasn’t willing to fork over any more cash. So, hammer time!

The work wasn’t too bad: hammer, load concrete chunks into wheelbarrow, haul concrete chunks to pick-up truck, repeat. At the end of the day, I had a concrete-free hole in the ground, a truckload of concrete bits, and a feeling of accomplishment. Mostly, it felt good to be outside on a pleasant day and working my muscles to exhaustion. I slept well, and started the next day with a trip to the dump to unload the concrete: a pleasant drive and a little more exercise.

I’ve omitted the Saturday spent cutting and hauling wood. There’s a pile of that refuse inthe front yard right now waiting for the city to pick it up as yard waste.

Why I’ve titled this “Scotland” is that it reminds me of the months I spent there without any distractions other than work – which was a strictly 8-5 affair with precious little overtime. I spent most of my free time walking the streets of various Scottish cities, moors, highlands, mountains, and ruins. It allowed me a lot of time to think without the usual distractions that so many of us must face: family, work, church (not a problem for me), friends. Most of the time, I think, we allow ourselves to be driven by the priorities of others, by the opportunity presented by another person, or group, and lose sight of our own goals. For me, Scotland is forever linked to my own personal reckoning with my personal happiness versus the happiness of people around me. Once I was able to achieve significant physical distance between myself and others, I was also able to achieve the emotional distance necessary to establish my own independent identity, something I had taken for granted before that time, but found I lacked upon introspective examination.

Per Anum

This is the second year anniversary of my business, more or less. With that comes some satisfaction, but also a mountain of work and a mountain range of annual renewal fees. Among these have been licensing fees, software subscriptions, and… well, stuff. A big check from one client almost got swallowed, and another will vanish just as fast. Fortunately, it appears more work (and income) is just around the corner. Still, it’s stress I’d rather not face.

Coupled with this, I’ll be alone with my son for nearly a week amongst all this angst, so I’ll need to attempt to maintain a stress free façade if not actual absence of stress. Should be fun.

Mysterious Girlfriend X

I stumbled upon Mysterious Girlfiend X through Hulu, and as a 41-year-old man, found many of the same themes Alterego 9 also discovered. Additionally, the story accurately portrays the way most young men approach women: with wonder, respect, and longing for love and understanding. If you’re looking for an anime story without false innocence, then you need to check out Mysterious Girlfrined X.

Anime September

No, seriously. Just think about it. While it’s true that the overwhelming majority of anime characters are virgins, the reasons for it are varying from fetishist appeal, to the inherent moe appeal of youthful innocence, (that is also used in series that aren’t supposed  to be sexually appealing). Sometimes, it’s pointed out as a significant plot point. Other times, it’s just implied by the characters’ age and behavior.

And then here is this one anime, that finally bothered to actually discuss teenage sexuality.

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In Memoriam – Ray Bradbury

“When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.” –Ray Bradbury

Ray was a master storyteller, working primarily with science fiction stories, but also with fantasy and contemporary tales. My favorite of his stories is Something Wicked This Way Comes.