Monday, October 28, 2013

Flames


 Shadows tottering, 
staggering throughout the forest

Yellowish light reveals
concealed sectors beyond

In these woods, death looms over
bold scents of burnt botanicals

A screen of haze wafts in the air
like an opaque fog after summer rain

The soothing sound of the nearby brook:
no longer the pacifier of adversity

Raging clamor of ferocious heat 
overwhelms untroubled dispositions

The mind imagines other states
but remains fixed upon colors

An observable, tangible hell
lacking the torturous gnashing

Life engulfed by nature herself:
an action of the barbarous cannibal  

Parched ground, ashes abound:
remnants of what stood before   
 
Gaze at the dancing flames
Such a mundane occurrence

Friday, October 25, 2013

Autumn


Crisp smells 
of decaying leaves
leaves my nose
reminiscing 
It almost smells 
like sticks
on a campfire

The woods and us:
Dad loved nature
Hatchet, water jugs,
lantern, matches,
effortless explanations 
of the way things were

Aches after every hike
led to subtle complaints
He was always 
observant
Impossible avoidance 

Now:
distorted vision
Images blurred,
indistinct 
The patter of tears
on dogwood leaves 




 

 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cycle

Bibs and cribs
pacifiers
bottles of warm milk
A place to play:
space, shelter

Toys
Decoys:
distractions from infractions
Potential troubles
avoided

Makeup, nice collared shirts
Hair gel and pretty purses  
Current styles accepted  
reads the fine print of society

"Always read the fine print"
Everyone will love you
The hand of dependence
Not a care where 
things come from

Powerful wheels and stainless steel
silverware
"That TV's too small"
Gourmet food
"Only the best for our children"

Garden tools and an expected inheritance
A trip to Hawaii 
Caribbean cruises
Fresh grandchildren waiting
for more hands

Certified nurses, regurgitated verses
from the old days
Pills and open house
Watching the sun set 
through the window



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On Different Kinds of Faith

Most reasonable people are reluctant to classify themselves as someone who "has faith." In a lot of contexts, especially with the rise of secularist values in education, to have faith means believing something for no good reason. As Matt Dillahunty always says: "Faith is gullibility."

I do think it is necessary to split faith into two sections. In one section, we have religious faith. This kind of faith rests upon the conviction that there is no scientific explanation for a phenomenon. It is usually maintained by the claim that there is a "spiritual" dimension of experience. Faith, defined in this way, is based entirely on the subject's resignation of reasonable faculties in order to include the spiritual experience.

On the other side of the divide, there is another kind of faith: practical faith. This, in my view, is the faith that is involved in scientific endeavors as well as everyday life. In science, for example, the scientist relies on practical faith to assume that the tools they use will adequately solve the inquiry. The microscope will serve its purpose; based on this calculation, we can assume that there are limits to the dimensions of this object. In this way, practical faith can be mathematical. For everyday life, we use practical faith as well. When going to the grocery store, customers have faith that they will stock certain goods available for purchase.

One could object and say that practical faith is based entirely on perfected reason. I do not think this is always the case. In the grocery store example, I think there is a sort of desire for the availability of the goods intended to purchase. In a sense, our intentions blind us from the possibility that our groceries are unavailable. It could be the case, though, that the particular store doesn't carry the desired good. So, in this sense, there is a certain risk involved when evaluating our faith-based motives. I think this runs contrary to many proclamations that say reason is totally without risk and potential error. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Solace


Solace

Written for my wonderful soul mate to celebrate two years of love.

I remember the day well

Two years back,
the students went to the desert
to study wildflowers
I felt alone within the class of seven

After gathering my pen and notebook, 
I opened my car door,
finally encountering the
blistering heat of the desert
without structure
Sweat gathered on my forehead

I rejoined the group,
life’s anxieties once again falling upon me
Dusty paths meandered,
dodging the sparse bushes and
occasional rattlesnakes
Sandy air coated my nostrils

We split into two groups –
one had three, the other had four
My group, along with the other two members,
scoured the plain in search of
what was thought a common flower

We couldn’t find it, and I obsessed about failure

Then, I had wandered from the group
I felt liberated to work at my own pace
Walking past the spiny cacti,
my glance fell on the most
beautiful flower I ever saw
The apricot petals blazing with charm

I bent down, the bones in my knees cracking
An awestruck feeling came upon me
I rubbed the petals in between my fingers
like a loner who finds his first love,
caressing the hair of his new found purpose

Just then, I did not care that I was alone


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Guidelines for a New Socialism

It seems admirable, in this day and age, to concoct new ways of politics in light of the numerous troubles of our current circumstances. Although, it is crucial to resist the temptation to cast aside ideas solely for the fact that those ideas go against our established conceptions of what is acceptable. Slavery, for instance, was seen as a norm before its abolition. Soon after, the degradation of the inhumane ownership could be clearly observed by anyone with developed empathy. So, when investigating and putting forth possibilities about new systems of government, we should not completely disregard our reason, but allow for us to postpone our criticism until after all of the premises are conveyed and tested. And, for this reason, history might not serve as an effective reason for dismissal. For history merely shows the effects of a single system under a certain regime. This does not mean that another approach, one that is entirely unlike those of the past, would fail in the same ways. These proclamations are by no means complete, and will require some further thoughts.  I'm writing this now so I can return to it in the future.

Proposed Criteria for a Flourishing Dictatorial Socialist Society


1. Above all, the dictator must be willingly and unreservedly beneficent in character and actions.   

No leader that is unfit to lead should lead a nation. It is not enough to elect the dictator by use of coercion. And, to complicate the matter, it might not be adequate to elect the dictator by democratic means. For, even in the democratic voting system, there is still unwavering ignorance of the populace. Even today, there are citizens that remain in total oblivion in respect to political events. Usually, monsters arise because of this kind of ignorance: ignorance that, in the end, effects every other citizen. It is unclear, at this point, to indicate the most effective election scheme.

2. Rulings shall be made with the main purpose of benefiting the greatest number of citizens, regardless of class, race, religion, or any other identifier. 

Undoubtedly, there is bias within the current political arena. In the United States, there is a constant fracas between the democrats and republicans, which will be discussed in the next criterion. The purpose of this criterion is to totally destroy such biases before they are manifested in political programs.

3. All party affiliations prohibited.

Even in the beginning of the nation's history, the founding fathers (especially Washington) never intended the implementation of party identifiers. It creates an opposition between citizens that harm relationships and causes opposition where it shouldn't exist. People will be free to speak their opinion about political actions on an individual basis.

4. Amendments on free speech. 

The First Amendment states many acceptable freedoms and guidelines. However, there is one aspect of the article that needs refinement: the freedom of speech. In the new socialist society, there is no room for anger or hatred for some at the disposal of others. Radical groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church will be forced to change their behavior of hatred or be ordered to disband. If such vulgar groups that spout hatred refuse such prohibitions, they will face imprisonment for the sake of the victims of their hatred.

5. The economy will be under the surveillance of the government, and harsh punishments will be issued for immoral use of such powers. 

This is crucial to counter the mania that exists within capitalistic economies. Businesses and markets become so powerful that they can indulge in unfair practices that cause harm to individuals as well as the environment. The surveillance branch of the socialist government will be overseen by the beneficent dictator. He will ensure that no one in the surveillance branch will infringe upon the moral interests of the citizens. If, for any reason, a member of the surveillance branch breaches code of conduct, he/she will face imprisonment at the discretion of the leader. This criterion will surely involve plenty of revising before it reaches applicability.

6. Special requirements for the dictator.

The dictator will live among the people of the nation, and will not receive extra income for the sole fact that he is dictator. Their home will not be something akin to the White House. Their lifestyle must be humble and not extravagant. They will receive citizens upon their request at any time to discuss the topic of their choosing. The whole point is to break down the barrier between ruler and citizen. The military must belong to a separate branch which would oversee the rules of the dictator. Imprisonment of the dictator is the main course of action if such abuses ensue.

7. Special requirements for the head of military

The main requirement is an early indoctrination in beneficence.  Commanding an army requires a special moral awareness. The child will learn, especially, the tragedies (taught also as tragedies) of Nazism and the failed Communists. They must know his moral responsibility. Also, classing in empathy is needed to read and study the dictator. They must ask questions like: Has he gone too far? Will he cause severe pain and suffering of the citizens? Is he mentally unstable? Leaders must also learn to prevent as much harm as possible so they can see where lines are crossed. This is the leader.