amendment #2

with a firm grasp on the dogma’s tail
you continue to trip and flail

withering on the vine
your temperament is anything but fine

keep losing another day after week
your horrid morals are so painfully bleak


The recent immigration debate

I tend to steer clear of the more divisive political debates, because, who needs the aggravation of it. Right? Well, I was listening to a program on NPR recently and they played a clip of someone saying something like ‘there is a cultural shift in this country, we used to speak English, and we’re becoming bilingual…’ This irked me. As someone who loves linguistics and languages in general, it struck me as odd that language would be such a motivating factor for anti-immigration. I quickly realized that the language issue was likely just a huge fig leaf for what amounts to racism and bigotry. I was right. I decided to investigate. How language dominance has changed in the US over the years. If all we compare is German and Spanish speakers, we get a clearer picture of the debate as being racist fodder that ignores facts.

1910 German Speakers 3,962,624 > 1970 German Speakers 1,201,535
1910 Spanish Speakers 258,131 > 1970 Spanish Speakers 1,696,240


What this very basic comparison shows us is that German immigration fell by well more than half, and that Spanish speakers have increased by almost 7 times. What these numbers gloss over is that much of the nineteenth century was spent bringing in new states to the Union which had previously belonged to Spain, and, you guessed it, were predominantly Spanish-speaking. As late as 1850 California had an official government translator for translating all state laws, decrees, documents, or orders into Spanish.1

This image, from WWII era, is warning against speaking German, Japanese, and Italian. Nothing on there about the horrors of Spanish speakers, or how the country is experiencing a cultural shift. In fact, until WWI, German was the second most widely spoken language in the United States. Its decline is directly related to the War, and a backlash against immigrants. 2 So, those numbers above were not the result of fewer Germans wanting to immigrate, or more Spanish speakers wanting to, they were the result of geopolitical shifts that were happening at a macro level and are consistent with trends throughout history.

I’m not concerned with people who want to have a healthy debate about what immigration policy should be, or how it should be enforced, in fact, the debate is good for democracy, and can strengthen our institutions, but when the debate is had, let it be on facts, not some clearly misinformed nonsense that seems to hint that the US was hatched on July 4th 1776 as some fully-formed White, Christian nation of 50 gun-toting, god-fearing, fried turkey-eating states, because it simply wasn’t so.

Of course, all of this quietly ignores the uncomfortable truth that indigenous languages which once were spoken from coast-to-coast are now either dead, dying, or relegated to a few small communities that live in poverty and/or cultural obscurity. The debate will continue, with or without my contribution, but clarity is key if we are to accept that the changes we are seeing as inevitable and simply another chapter of our collective history.

1) Martin, Daniel W. (2006). Henke’s California Law Guide (8th ed.). Newark: Matthew Bender & Co. pp. 45–46. ISBN 08205-7595-X

2) “The War on German Language and Culture, 1917-1925 by Paul Finkelman

Amal family terms

In the spirit of #Lextreme2018, I’ve been working on Amal. I just added some terms for family. I’m still working on some other terms for extended relatives.

I am also closer to completion of a writing system for Amal. It is based on Semitic abjads, but functions more like an alphabet.


Year. Happy. New.

As we enter what is sure to be an interesting year, please, if nothing else, be kind to everyone you meet. You have no idea what others may be living through.


Elefen Arabesca

“pas, sempre”
Peace, always.

This is an attempt to mimic the process outlined here.

This, and the few that I plan to do in the coming months are my attempt to create Square Kufic Designs similar to those on the great website I am using my adaptation of the Arabic script for Elefen, which I affectionately call Arabesca.


Trek Rant, sort of

So, lately I’ve been writing a few opinion pieces for a Star Trek blog. While I have been a long-time fan, and I enjoy writing, I’ve noticed that there are a multitude of serious fans that do not take kindly to having their precious sci-fi put to scrutiny. This is not a serious issue for me, as I am inclined to write and let my writing stand without much regret. However, it isn’t a goal of mine to ridicule or take away pleasure in a franchise that has endured for half a century.

My general view of the news series, starting on September 24th of this year, is that there have been multiple delays; key personnel have left the show, only to be replaced by others with less stellar resumes, and the overall look of the show has veered toward a Abrams-style that many fans found off-putting in the latest trilogy of films.

The tricky thing here is accepting a realistic assessment of a sci-fi television show…I say that because certainly a portion of the fan base wants to simply watch and be entertained, and not have the fantasy of it all be criticized or revealed as such. That’s completely understandable, but what would be too far? How much change is acceptable before a fan looses interest? Or, is it the fan, through aging, that no longer can accept the fantastical nature of a show like Discovery. These questions are perhaps too philosophical and overly analytical for a TV show, but they seem relevant none-the-less.

One possibility, that with a newer generation running things at CBS and Paramount, as well as a younger audience to entice, things need to change, things need to be fresh in order to be successful. My guess is that no one will ever reach a definitive answer for all of the consternation felt by so many for all of the various reasons they might voice could very well simply be veiled crotchetiness.

As for me, I’m well passed it all. I’ve lost interest in the whole debate; the Klingons, the style of the show, the uniforms, the characters…etc. I have seen every episode of Trek that has ever been shown on TV, but this newest series might be the one I skip, based on nothing more than wanting to have plausible deniability to avoid discussion and debate about its various controversial aspects.


Ch. 9, Path of the Warrior

다나고 더버기
도 어다 가어 오바모 아모
다 냐어 으문거 거 아냐바허 어다 마악 아냐

tanako tepeki

to eta ka’e opamo amo
ta nya’e umuanke ke anyapahe eta ma’ak anya

/tanaːko tɛpeːki

to eːta kaːʔe opaːmo aːmo
ta ɲaːʔe umʷaːnke kɛ aɲapaːɦɛ eːta maːʔak aːɲa/

fight-AG cover-REFL

way P.2sg toward danger-place carry
2s pain-ABE O see-ABIL-NEC P.2s without see

The Warrior Conceals Himself

The way carries you to a dangerous place.
In order to come out unharmed, you must be able to see without being seen.

From Path of the Warrior, by Lucas E. Schultz