Thursday, February 09, 2006

Freedom of Speech and Expression

Contrary to the ACLU, freedom of speech and expression is not the unlimited right to prime real estate rent free -- and contrary to some newspaper’s editorial, moving down the block is not “effectively banning free speech.” It’s very important to keep these distinctions clearly in mind -- because with the Hawaii media, all these discussions get muddied in pidgin thinking.

In the other newspaper, the letters editor delights in propagating the “war” between pedestrians and bicyclists, by only publishing letters arguing who should have exclusive right of way to the sidewalks -- as though only by providing each person with exclusive right of way, was the solution -- rather than the problem.

As a biker with many pedestrian friends, the encounter of the bicyclist and the pedestrian, is one of the great opportunities for manifesting “Aloha,” with each deferring to the other in a friendly acknowledgement. That is the reality of most encounters of such nature here as well as all over the world. Only in the minds of people like the editor of the newspaper (the old mentality), is conflict necessary for one to vanquish the other, at every opportunity -- causing road rage wherever that person has been.

This sharing is actually is the greater meaning and purpose of what society is all about -- and not merely passing edicts to punish and restrict one or the other -- as though in an perpetual vendetta against the rights of every other.

I wish the editors of the newspapers would capture this true spirit of Aloha, rather than taking every opportunity to only publish the arguments that cause the ill-will and distrust of each against every other. The greatest expression of any society is the will to share -- and not the dominance of each against every other.

That is the reason the new media are exploding in these possibilities for improved communications and information exchange -- instead of maintaining the old control of the mass media to manipulate one group against every other.


At February 10, 2006 8:48 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Really, if the newspapers took themselves seriously, they could do so much to use their media as a way for people directly to improve the interactions of society -- rather than to promote the demagoguery and arguments. The articles and letters they select exhibit that mentality; they separate the wheat from the chaff, and then they publish the chaff in order for them to maintain the illusion of being the smartest person in society -- and as evidence I suppose, that everybody in their organization is totally incapable of making any valid discriminations anymore, as some kind of misguided politically correct policy.

In doing so, they’ve made themselves totally worthless -- and then wonder why their influence and power has evaporated, and they have as much clout now as the next self-proclaimed messiah on Fort Street Mall, or for that matter, the innumerable bloggers bloviating editor-like.

I guess the most famous immortalization of such personalities, is Ayn Rand’s “Ellsworth M. Toohey,” who presumes that he rules the world by his opinions on how everybody else must live up to his expectations for them to please him. It’s really a mental illness, that in a more enlightened world, should be hidden from public display rather than flaunted daily as some kind of exercise of power. That’s what the therapists are for.

The world’s changed -- but the editors of the newspapers seem to be the last to realize that -- that people no longer (if they ever did) require them to do their thinking for them, for the community, and because of universal higher education, pretty nearly everyone can think and speak for themselves. So the need for the union bosses to speak for everyone also diminishes too -- and perhaps a few teachers and university professors realize that maybe it’s not such a great idea to let another dictate the terms for everybody on how they will conduct their instruction, which is increasingly the frustration they experience in regarding themselves as interchangeable cogs in the impersonal machinery -- that values seniority over merit.

If a school or university does not value merit over seniority, what good is it -- or can be? These are the heart of the problems they never discuss -- but as dutiful unionists, think that more money, is the answer to everything. The answer is not “More,” anymore, but “Better.” But the newspapers haven’t developed the language for discussing “Better,” and so it has to be done in the emerging alternatives.

The newspapers (mass media) becomes more irrelevant in these discussions and hope to revive the old feuds between the Hatfields and the McCoys, the malihinis against the kamaainas, the left against the right, the old against the new, as their only response to maintaining their control of the community dialogue -- in the pidgin thinking that if they shrink the pond small enough, they can remain the big fish, the self-important people.

You give them many chances hoping they mean well and can redeem themselves, but at some point, one has to conclude, “Abandon ship -- this baby is going down!” And nothing can alter that fact. If they could have, they would have. But it is time for something new, different, better.

At February 10, 2006 12:00 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

More pidgin thinking:

""There's no reason to stop someone from going through to attend a sporting event unless they pose a particular threat," said Vanessa Chong, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

ACLU says the mandatory pat-downs are unnecessary and plan to fight it. They are asking any ticket holder who objects to the new security measure to contact them. They may pursue legal action to have the pat-downs stopped. The ACLU agrees safety is important but shouldn't come at the cost of privacy."

I guess my right to hide my bomb trumps your right not to be blown up.

At February 11, 2006 11:14 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Despite the impression given by the mass media, most of the problems in the world are solved by individual initiatives and goodwill -- and only the exceptions require government decrees and policies to resolve. But the mass media gives the impression that nothing can be done except by government (mass) decrees -- and, of course, their editorial approval. It’s not that government is the only thing going on in the world -- but that it is the easiest to report because they conveniently provide them with news releases, so no reporters have to leave their air-conditioned, double-wide Lazyboys t-- tracking down a story that hasn’t been told a thousand times before.

And in the case of the ACLU, if you don’t report everything they say, as the word of righteous indignation and moral authority, they threaten to sue.

At February 11, 2006 11:39 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Intimidation and bullying is a time-proven tactic in this culture -- with plentiful directives printed daily in the newspapers of what everybody else ought to be doing to live up to their expectations of how everybody else can please them.

That’s not a healthy way to be.

If the newspaper editors think they would make a better governor, there are plenty of forms available at the county clerk’s office. That is the beauty of this country -- that everybody can do what they want to do. But merely to demand that everybody else do what one wants them to do -- is the terrorism in this world.

At February 11, 2006 11:49 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I'm sure the present governor is not going to require that you ask her permission to run against her. You can nominate yourself -- and a second is not required.

At February 12, 2006 12:04 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

How blind can some people be?

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 3:55 p.m. EST
Mary Mapes Blames 'Vicious' Bloggers

Fired CBS "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes is still blaming the internet for ending her media career prematurely - or more precisely; the "vicious" bloggers who discovered that documents she unearthed in a bid to trash President Bush's National Guard service were forgeries.

"The criticism that was launched at us initially really came from the very conservative blogosphere, folks who are on these very conservative web sites," Mapes complained Friday on WVMT Vermont's "Charlie & Ernie" radio show.

"This was really a terribly vicious attack they launched on CBS," she insisted, before lamenting: "Politics is not necessarily the way it was when we all grew up, where you might disagree on something but you wouldn't eviscerate someone."

Mapes says that she was a victim of a new standard in journalism where "the truth doesn't matter" but instead it's "the perception of truth that matters."

"What happened to me, I think, and to all of us at CBS, was that the perception of truth became that these documents were not real; that there were flaws in the typeface and all kinds of sort of dry and extremely dull details about proportional spacing and superscript and all that."
Mapes said that she still believes the documents cited in the "60 Minutes II" broadcast by her boss, Dan Rather, were authentic, saying; "I feel that if they had been forged there would have been a flaw. And I have not been able to find the flaw."

She also noted that CBS's own internal investigation "could not prove that the documents were false."

At February 14, 2006 1:06 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

For the preceding reason, I think the only education necessary to have now is a simple course in “information processing,” which is the basic skill required to handle any kind of information -- just as a computer does in reducing all information to digital “True” or “False” -- and not the complicated truths and twisted facts of those without such a familiarity, most commonly found in the liberal studies, social sciences, and professional schools and trade associations -- that regard information as something to be manipulated for their own ends, even if antagonistic to the greater society’s.

That is the old regard for information -- as a weapon of control rather than the modern vehicle of liberation for all. The major casualties are the institutions of the past that owe their ascendancy and status by those old rules, but that run counter to the emerging freedom of information as a basic right for all. The old establishment and status quo still regards that as their exclusive turf -- for which control will have to be pried from their dying grip, which assuredly it will be..

It’s not in the cards for history to devolve backwards to an earlier time -- the good ol’ times for the privileged few, and even those who merely imagine they would have been kings and queens in an earlier time. So one by one, they still parade the old icons hoping someone will rekindle the glory of the days that what was pronounced from on high by the (self-) Chosen Ones, were accepted and obeyed unquestionably by the masses.

The present “seniority” generation is as reluctant to let go of control as every previous generation has been -- but the difference is that they can maintain their viability much longer and later in life -- but doesn’t necessarily mean they should. There is a proper time and season for everything in life -- and one has to be willing to move on to the next level of challenge and growth -- in manifesting the life never possible before -- and not simply holding onto the past as long as possible.

That’s the underlying theme of the times. But most mature people recognize that the fullness of life is not living as though one is half of one’s years -- but the great challenge is in defining the new life of twice one’s years -- that could not even be imagined before. Those are the real leaders of these times.


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