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Monday, December 10, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-eight, Strategy; Chapter One, Objective

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 344, Monday
December 10th, 2018

Chapter One: Objective

Jim was the quintessential Observer.

In this moment he was free from the chemical sequences of a human body that might influence his decision making.

He watched the drama unfold, gathering data from a million instruments, from his command position in the control seat that was once held by the Continuum.

He was the Continuum now, his consciousness governed the vast apparatus of HomeWorld, of the entire Central System, of the machinery that once housed and protected the Collective.

The battle was spectacular, the movements of the fleet, the light and heat, the surprise and gallantry, the courage on display, and the cold calculation of death.

It was a grand work of art, an epic moment worthy of poetry, and song. And the entire thing was being recorded for dissemination through the Empire.

Jim was already editing the feed from the sensors, from the combatants, their communications, everything for transmission back to the Empire.

The people of the million worlds needed to know that the fleet would not return to punish them. The news would fuel the rebellion and make it complete.

His aim was to draw the fleet in toward the Central Planet, as close as possible, and then grind it to nothing.

That is exactly what he did.

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Homily - (The Second Sunday of Advent)

The Gospel of the Day - Luke 3:1 – 6
Gospel Acclamation - Lk3:4,6
Second Reading - Philippians 1:4-6,8-11 ©
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 125(126) ©
First Reading - Baruch 5:1-9 ©

Integrity and Mercy, these Are the Splendor of God

Bear this in mind:

In the scripture reading for today, from the Prophet Baruch to the Apostle, Saint Paul, we must take Jerusalem and Israel as representative of the whole people of God, we must see these images as humanity writ large.

The hope expressed in the scripture, from the Psalms to the Gospel, is a hope for the whole human race, it is not selective, it cannot be limited to a select group of people in a specific time and place.

Remember this, the splendor of God is not the splendor of royalty. We must not seek the honor of princes or of queens and kings.

The glory of God is the glory of service, we should not expect any reward other than peace.

Though it may be true that our work is met with enmity, remember this, God, the creator of the universe, God has no enemies, and we may not regard those who oppose us as such. They are God’s children, even as we are. They are equal recipients of God’s love.

The path of God’s servant may be arduous, but at the end of the day there is rest.

Do not expect God to prepare the way, for God does not intervene in the affairs of human beings, set those vain notions aside and take up the mission in faith and trust

It was not God who released the Jews from captivity, from bondage in Egypt or in Babylon. It was Moses and Joshua. It was the Emperor of Persia.

Those were great deeds, marked by heroism and courage and mercy.

The clemency offered to the Jews, which led to the diaspora, honored the fellowship that all human beings share. Insofar as all good deeds have their origin in the goodness of the creator, then yes, God deserves the credit.

Nevertheless, it was the free choice of the Persian King to release those who had been enslaved and allow them to return to their homes. That was Cyrus not God who exercised that agency.

Many of those who were freed by the Persians never returned Judea, they remained living in the diaspora, carrying on their traditions in foreign lands, becoming citizens, building synagogues sharing the faith of their ancestors among them.

Some of those who were released returned to Judea, and chose to regard their neighbors and cousins as gentiles, as impure and as outcasts.

This was unjust, and out of alignment with the will of God. It is a mistake that has been repeated over and over again, in their history. It is an error they are living through in the modern day.

Listen to the Prayer of the Apostle

Listen to the Apostle, we are the objects of God’s love, every single one of us.

The creator of the universe loves us.

God has set out to make a good work through our agency, God will see it through. God will not abandon anyone.

The work will be completed and no-one shall be lost.

This is the hope of the Gospels, this is the good news.

Listen, the Apostle prays for you, he prays for everyone, in so doing the Apostle echoes the prayer of Jesus, the prayer of God’s own self; it is a prayer of love, a prayer of hope and a prayer of faith.

God has placed God’s trust in us. God trust is not a fa├žade.

God has placed God’s hope in us, God’s hope is without measure.

God has placed God’s love in us, like a fruit that will flower forever.

To Emulate Jesus We Must Practice Forgiveness

Understanding of history is a crucial component of understanding the gospel. The Christian tradition has always attempted to root itself in historical realities; but with greater and lesser degrees of success, often with outright failure, and intentional malfeasance.

Nevertheless, the study of the tradition gave birth to modern historical criticism; without which we would have no understanding of the uses and limitations of history whatsoever

That only took eighteen hundred years of scholarship to develop.

Our narrative about the life and mission, the arrest and killing of Jesus are a part of the testimony of our faith.

Our understanding of these events is aided when we are able to locate the point in time, the singular moment when our commitment to the teachings of Jesus took place.

Jesus was born during the reign of Tiberius, heir to Augustus, and during the Herodian dynasty’s, he came of age and started his mission when Pontius Pilate was governor of Palestine.

We recall the role that Pilate played in the killing of Jesus, we shout it out at every hour of every day in all parts of the world; we proclaim that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and buried.

This story is told unceasingly and without end.

It is long since time that we, as heirs to the ministry and teaching of Jesus, forgive Pilate for the role he played in that political murder.

Just as the Apostle prays for us.

John the Baptist taught us to repent and be forgiven, but Jesus taught us simply, to forgive.

Jesus forgave those who killed him, even as they were killing him, asked God to forgive them when he was up on the cross.

It is time we do the same. This is the character of mercy that we are called to.

The promise of Isaiah, which John echoed in the wilderness cannot be fulfilled unless we do.

Remember, God is the author of our salvation, but we are the agents. It is incumbent on us to proceed with the healing, if the human race is to be made well.

First Reading - Baruch 5:1-9 ©

Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever, wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you, put the diadem of the glory of the Eternal on your head:

Since God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven, since the name God gives you for ever will be, ‘Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.’

Arise, Jerusalem, stand on the heights and turn your eyes to the east:

See your sons reassembled from west and east at the command of the Holy One, jubilant that God has remembered them.

Though they left you on foot, with enemies for an escort, now God brings them back to you like royal princes carried back in glory.

For God has decreed the flattening of each high mountain, of the everlasting hills, the filling of the valleys to make the ground level so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God.

And the forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade for Israel at the command of God; for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory with his mercy and integrity for escort.

Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 125(126) ©

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
  it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
  on our lips there were songs.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels
  the Lord worked for them!’

What marvels the Lord worked for us!
  Indeed we were glad.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
  as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
  will sing when they reap.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

They go out, they go out, full of tears,
  carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
  carrying their sheaves.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.

Second Reading - Philippians 1:4-6,8-11 ©

May You Become Pure and Blameless in Preparation for the Day of Christ

Every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present. I am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes; and God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you. My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ, when you will reach the perfect goodness which Jesus Christ produces in us for the glory and praise of God.

Gospel Acclamation - Lk3:4,6

Alleluia, alleluia!

Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.


Gospel Reading - Luke 3:1-6 ©

The Call of John the Baptist

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

The Second Sunday of Advent

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-seven, Tactics; Chapter Seven, Range

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 342, Sunday
December 9th, 2018

Chapter Seven: Range

There were millions of bits of wreckage in motion, glowing in the light of plasma cannons, lasers and explosive fire.

In the ever-changing dynamics of ZeroG combat, the relative range between opponents was in constant flux, as well as the vector of any approach. Every action created an equal and opposite reaction.

Only energy weapons could close the gap between it targets from long range with ease and accuracy.

Every victory created new obstacles, sudden changes in the vectors of pilotless craft, the creation of debris fields, scattering in the void, every piece of wreckage was potentially a lethal projectile that all combatants sought to use to their advantage, either as a screen, a shield or a weapon.

These fields of destruction were so immense that they were beyond the ability of strategists to account for them, those commanders whose thinking was focused on the macro scale and long-term objectives.

Even the wing commanders, the battlefield tacticians who were responsible for coordinating the engagements in real time could not manage this aspect of combat effectively.  

Every object had to be scanned and tracked, every possible danger had to be analyzed for threats. Data had to be sent to every commander in the fleet and every pilot of small craft.

Ultimately the effective use of debris came down to the close witness of pilots and space marines, in heavy battle armor.

Small engagements might not pose any threat at all to the Imperial powers, due to the superior fire power and overwhelming force they brought to the combat theatre, which was how their training dictated all engagements to be conducted.

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Flag Folding - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Flag Folding

I am a veteran, but I am not super patriotic.

I am averse to jingoism in all of its forms.

I haven’t stood for the national anthem since 911, and after the wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq, because I am against the unconstitutional use of military power.

I am against torture. I am against the policies of extraordinary rendition, against holding prisoners taken from the battlefield without extending to them the protections that should be afforded to every human being who is under the aegis of American power.

I am against it.

But I witnessed a simple little something last night that tugged at my heart strings a little bit.

My lady and I were at a local tavern; it was Friday night and we stepped out for a burger and beer.

This little bar, Pat’s Tap, it’s not a VFW, or an American Legion hall. It’s just a bar that happens to have a flag pole out front, and the owner flies the flag out front, both the Stars and Stripes, and the State flag of Minnesota.

The owner of this place owns a number of bars and restaurants around town, and to my knowledge this is the only with a flag pole.

The flag pole came with the property, and she kept the custom of flying our flags here intact.

We arrived there at about sundown, and where we were seated, facing the door we were able to watch as two of the staff members brought the flags down, carried them carefully inside and gave them each a proper fold.

It touched me.

Pat’s Tap is just a neighborhood place, middle class, with decent food and games.

They have Skee Ball, it’s vaguely a rock n’ roll place.

These ladies brought the flags down, carried them in. They were careful to ensure that they did not touch the floor. They folded it into a neat little triangle, she said, “as the Scout manual instructed them too.”

I asked her about it. She told me it was just what they did. She seemed happy to talk about it, and proud for her part, in caring for the symbols of our nation and our state.

It made me feel good.  

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-seven, Tactics; Chapter Six, Supply

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 342, Saturday
December 8th, 2018

Chapter Six: Supply

It is impossible to develop strategy in the absence of intelligence.

You cannot deploy tactics in the face of the unknown.

The majority of the High Command anticipated a prolonged engagement, believing they would have time to survey the field, gather data, and generate the information they needed to understand the peril they were in, and what aid they could supply to the Central Planet.

They could not envision that the threat they were facing was military in nature, they knew to little.

The entire fleet did not launch, only the expeditionary forces, the most lethal war ships bristling with the most exotic array of weaponry.

They argued for the need to be prepared for any eventuality.

The most seasoned and combat ready commanders took the lead, unaware of the rebels in their midst.

They leapt into the Central System blind, and unknowing.

During the insurrection, this mistake became obvious, they had acted hastily, and forewent the usual vetting processes and precautions that would normally proceed such a massive deployment.  

The failure to launch left the majority of the Imperial forces vulnerable, weak and defenseless, they were open to be attacked.

The rebels took advantage in both theatres of combat, at the muster point above the Throne World, and at the jump point above Home World.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-seven, Tactics; Chapter Five, Movement

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 341, Friday
December 7th, 2018

Chapter Five: Movement

Everything is in motion.

Pilots of both small craft and large, and combat marines in mechanized battle gear study these principles day in and day out.

They drilled for it.

The text books informed them that ZeroG tactics had to be developed according to the following understanding: in the vacuum of space, when you are maneuvering and not subject to gravity, where there is no resistance, everything is in motion, everything is spinning, including the combat matrix.

The battlefield could not be conceptualized on a two-dimensional axis, on a horizontal and vertical plane.

It was a five-dimensional matrix that including the three dimensions of space, along with those of time and mass.

There is no straight line between you and your objective. Without the assistance of computerized telemetry, the pilot would have to be able to do the complex math in their head, in an instant, on an unconscious level.

Pilots were bred for these traits, but even so, in the intensity of battle, when the mind is flooded with the chemical signals for fear and rage, it was extremely difficult.

There is no clear path. The pilot had to trust their gut, their instincts.

Every object in the vicinity was tracked, data was constantly pouring into the onboard systems of individual craft, analyzed and simplified.  

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Emergence 2.0 - Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Six, Approach, Collected Chapters

Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Friday, November 30th, 2018

Chapter One: Observing

Jim allowed his replicas to oversee the work of organizing the his web of spies and educators, and one special replica to carry his report back to the Collective each cycle.

They acted in concert, they were one.

The deployment allowed him to devote his attention to observing the mutation engineered into the human stock.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Chapter Two: Identifying

Jim built systems into the social fabric, systems of reporting that allowed him to identify those who carried the genetic sequences he was looking for, structures to build upon.

A trait in the Iris, the earlobe, the shape of a thumb, the texture of hair, physical traits that marked them as distinct.

Cognitive testing followed.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Chapter Three: Testing

He tested the population of his subjects in hospitals and asylums, in monasteries and convents, in university laboratories and in prisons.

He tested candidates in the military and he bred them, he experimented on them.

Slowly, the genetic line came into focus, he built the desired properties into the genetic simulacrum of his own body.  

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Chapter Four: Verifying

Year after year he verified the strengthening and enhancement of the genetic features he was building into the endowment of the human race.

He was moving inexorably toward his goal.

The humans of Earth, these children of the Ancients, they represented the answer to the Continuum, their sacrifice would lead to freedom in the Empire.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Chapter Five: Validating

When Jim discovered the family he surmised would produce the offspring he had been looking for, he inserted himself into their life as a counselor.

He manipulated them though his agents, preparing them like an artist might prepare a canvas, establishing the material conditions that would bring about the end game he had been seeking.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Chapter Six: Counseling

He had long since validated his hypothesis concerning Earth’s cynergenic field.

Through his programs he validated his theory on how that field could be accessed.

Through the centuries, tens of thousands of his subjects fell into madness. He was seeking balance.

He was interested in actively controlling it, not merely the passive experience of it.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Chapter Seven: Controlling

Jim found Kathy at long last. She was the one he had searched for, his Holy Grail, the sacred vessel that would carry his ambitions.

He took possession of her.

In the end, her parents were grateful for the opportunity to give her up.

Jim was primed to begin his preparation, of the holy victim.

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Emergence: 2.0
Section Five (a), Jim

Appendix Part Six, Approach

Collected Chapters
01 Observing
02 Identifying
03 Testing
04 Verifying
05 Validating
06 Counseling
07 Controlling

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