Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A statement of life principles

Something I can wholeheartedly throw my support behind.

                                                         Humanist Manifesto III

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.
This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe. It is in this sense that we affirm the following:
Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.
Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.
Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.
Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.
Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.
Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.
Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

Thus engaged in the flow of life, we aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.

- end

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Time Machine

   Remembering an old version of the “Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. I feel like that guy nowadays. Growth has sprung up all over, the cityscape has changed all around me. Like in Ankeny, where bare fields have given way to heaps of houses and apartment buildings. Or western suburb farmland being covered with bungalows. Some great things have happened to us all, and a lot of horrible things too. Humanity has changed irrevocably, and we can't go back.
     All we can do is be like that character in the movie, perhaps, and join a good cause, fight for an underdog, make our lives matter in some way or other. Or at least make it to work everyday, before our jobs become outmoded, and we get replaced by AI modules of some sort. While the flesh is willing, hang in there!

Monday, October 02, 2017

Automatic Gunfire from a High Position

Amid the carnage, questions roll in.
"How did he sneak all those weapons up to his room?"
"How did he buy them in the first place."
"Why?  Why and why.    550-plus whys."
No sense to it, no rhyme or reason.

Killing for killings sake seems to be the newest national sport.
If so, count me out and give me a place to hide.
A tyranny of death, a freedom to kill at random.
No author of a bill of rights envisioned such mass murder.

Now people who go to resort cities aren't just
gambling for dollars, they gamble for their lives.
Will we ever be the same?
Words do little justice to the injured or dead,
so enough of those today.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
We just never know how long we have left.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Do you know a secret

There are secrets all over downtown Des Moines.
Right in front of you if you know where to look;
desperate people of every sex, grinding their groins,
just find a shadow, some out of the way nook.

Every street breathes history along with auto fumes,
Every brick wall images dramas played out alongside.
Hidden air pockets with elite's colognes and perfumes,
less pleasant scents of the unlucky or the unrelieved.

The boardrooms and meeting rooms and rest rooms
of all those tall buildings carry daily dramas galore.
If a fraction of those walls would tell what they knew,
many a confident executive would shudder in horror.

Every city carries its share of secrets small or large,
Yet they all hum on, propelled with urgency of need.
Failures and cruelties would fill many a huge barge,
Everything gets overlooked in our mad rush of greed.

Some have an ear cocked for the greatest secret of all,
how to get off the career “treadmill” without a fatal fall.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A kiss a kiss

Just realized it has been 25 years since I've kissed a woman.  And kinky me, I decided it might be fun to try it again.   Even perhaps (invoking the ghost of Hugh Hefner,) see how many kisses I can collect the last three months of 2017.  Maybe offer to donate something to breast cancer research for every 10 kisses I receive.   Hmmmm - will have to think carefully about this.  I'll tally the kisses in a kiss-notebook, describing each one - duration, quality, name and age of the kisser.  Will keep the notebook hidden - wouldn't want a kiss-and-tell situation  LOL.  

Yep, might not be a bad idea.  Seems like fun, and who knows?  I might even meet a new special friend out of it.    The clever ideas I get on a Friday afternoon.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Total Exposure

What if Einstein posted nude pics,
along with his relativity theory?
What if Picasso blazoned the web with nudes
of himself, overweight as his works were disfigured?

Bing Crosby showing off his conquests?
Errol Flynn showing off his perfect pectorals?
Tyrone power flashing his guns online,
or Doris Day or Marilyn Monroe baring all,
leaving nothing to the imagination of an
admiring Internet public?

We may count ourselves lucky that these icons,
luminaries of the past lacked such exposure.
Why tarnish our shining ideal of fame or purity?
Those days are gone forever.

What celebrity of the last 20 years has not
been exposed in every way by some net denizen?
Celebrity is more, and less, than what it used to be.
More accessible for microscope-focused public eyes;
ephemeral, temporary – tomorrow they are replaced.

An inexhaustible supply of human pride and tragedy,
playing out moment by moment wherever we want to find it.
A star career now measured in months, days, clicks –
Being famous “ain't what it used to be.”

Click and search on, net-fanatics,
someday you, too will be famous,
or at least spied on by
more than one voyeur.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

They make an appearance at last

Planted the seed with a touch of bravado,
the narrow strip of dirt surrounded by Mums.
Still, I tended the strip, pulled away crabgrass,
watered them on occasion; hope persisting.

The summer wore on hot and dry,
the tall grasses hung over them,
They broke the soil, came up slowly,
stuck spindly leaf-ringed necks out.

No flower buds appeared,
so I gave them a last drink,
consoled self (the seeds only cost a dime!).
Pulled and culled everything else,
forgot about my lost little strip of snaps.

Then one day, the last day of summer,
I walked the yard, and looked around.
Two brilliant yellow flowers peeked
out from under a Sea Oats overhang.

They made it! My beauties bloomed,
despite all the odds, the insects and moles,
the drought and creeping charlie and crabgrass.
Two blooming beauties gracing a drab area.
A lovely treat to see on this last day of summer.

(And you can see them here too.)

- end