Thursday, March 30, 2006

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor...

If everything is killing us, why do we live so long?
By Jeff Randall (Filed: 31/03/2006)

Is it me, or are we becoming two nations, a society where what occurs in one half of the country bears no relation to events in the other?

I'm talking not about the divide identified by Disraeli - that between rich and poor. Nor do I mean the gap between north and south, or even black and white. No, the contrast to which I refer is starker than that.

It's the split between Negative Britain, in which we appear to be under relentless attack from an increasing list of death-inducing ailments and Positive Britain, where life expectancy is rising at such a rapid rate that the pension system is on the brink of collapse.

Flick through the daily papers' news pages and it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that everything is killing us. But then turn to the personal finance sections and it seems that our pension funds are skint because nobody is dying.

How can this be? Are we dropping like flies or living for ever? Such questions nag away at me, after I spotted a feature in yesterday's Financial Times under the headline "Dangers of a good night's sleep".

Jeepers! Now even having a kip is a cause for concern.

Every day, it seems, new warnings of a looming health disaster emerge in Negative Britain. The scale of imperilment is truly spectacular.

Mass obesity, rampant anorexia, drug addiction, drug shortages, NHS super bugs, junk food, salt poisoning, sugar dependency, sexual diseases, sexual impotence.

Chronic stress, passive smoking, alcohol abuse, carbohydrate overload, the Atkins diet; too few vitamins, vitamin pollution, fruit deficiency, factory farming.

Insomnia, night starvation, vicious sun beds, mobile phones that fry our brains, carcinogenic wrinkle creams, E numbers and, according to Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, killer domestic baths with no thermostats.

Wow! Call me paranoid but living in this half of the country feels like a stroll through a minefield in hobnail boots. I'm still in shock after reading on the internet that "Cheese is the Devil's Plaything".

It's a wonder that anyone makes it through to lunch.

I'd be tempted to stay in bed all day were it not for the risk of… too much sleep. Moving to Baghdad is probably a safer option, but I'm told that the beer there is not so good.

No wonder that UK health ministers have spent more than £50m on management consultants in the past six years. Dealing with all this must be giving Patricia Hewittless a headache.

That's Negative Britain for you. Now, hold my hand and we'll cross over to Positive Britain. It's a journey of only a few inches: the gap between your ears. There you go.

You're now in a very different place.

It's a happy scene, where far from being wiped out by avian flu, those on the back nine of life are heading for a golden age of independent activity, well past the biblical target of three score years and 10. Grey Power is on the march.

In 1900, the average life expectancy of a newborn British male was 56 years. By 2000, it had risen to 76 years. For women, it was even higher, 80 years. And since the turn of the millennium, life expectancy for both sexes in Positive Britain has improved further still.

Despite the range of illnesses, real and imaginary, in Negative Britain, about which public-safety warriors constantly remind us, the over-fifties in Positive Britain have never felt quite so fortified.

So why does one side have so many scares, when the other is in such good shape? The answer is, I suspect, a conspiracy, an unwitting alliance of private enterprise, lobby groups, a credulous media and a nanny state.

The next time you hear a story on BBC news or read a headline that claims, "Braeburn shock: thousands at risk from apple shortage", check out the source. The report invariably goes something like this:
"A new study today reveals that insufficient consumption of apples is creating possible dietary problems across the country. An investigation by the Kent Apple Growers' Collective shows that…"

You get the picture. Business groups, with a vested interest, commission research which reveals - surprise, surprise - that if we only bought more of what they're selling, we'd all be better off. Desperate news editors buy into "the crisis" and, the next thing you know, a pandemic of Apple Deprivation is sweeping the nation.

Another source of bogus fears is local councils, motivated either by crackpot political correctness or a genuine worry about being sued by ambulance-chasing lawyers.

Only this week, we learnt of the Yew Tree Danger Alert. No, I'm not making it up. A row of yew trees, next to a children's playground in Bristol, was pulled up in case the kids poisoned themselves by eating the leaves.

It's amazing. On one hand, nutritionists tell us that we need a government programme of food education because too many children won't eat salads, on the other a risk-assessment officer is warning that our kids are in danger of stuffing themselves with toxic foliage.

Try to imagine the conversation: "No burgers, chips and fizzy pop for me tonight, Mum, I've just tucked into a large portion of belladonna and toadstool mix". I don't think so.

As a fully paid-up hypochondriac, I decided long ago that residing in Negative Britain wasn't for me.

It was simply too depressing.

So, sustained by the thought that if sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll are bad for us, why is Keith Richards still alive? I packed up my mental baggage and left for life on the other side.

Here, along with fellow members of the Saga generation, I look forward to confounding the actuaries and draining the pension system of its resources, way beyond the point where my contributions will have run out. Growing old disgracefully is a wonderful prospect.

Just as long as that deadly nightshade doesn't get me first.

The Really Big Picture

U.S., China and India Growth to Expand World Economy to $100 Trillion by 2020
Study Conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Shows Personalization, Knowledge Workers and Collaboration Technologies Will Play a Critical Role in Corporate Success

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 30, 2006 - By the year 2020 a new global economic paradigm will emerge defined by the globalization of companies, the increased role of knowledge workers and the personalization of customer experiences as key factors to economic success, according to a study released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The definitive study, sponsored by Cisco Systems, projects the rapid continued globalization of the economy with the United States, China and India driving more than half of world's economic growth over the next fifteen years. The study also explores the challenges faced by the economies of Europe and Japan due to aging workforces or relatively lower levels of productivity.

Specifically the study found that tailored customer experiences will play a critical role in economic success. Companies will differentiate themselves and create competitive advantage by creating high touch customer experiences through customization of products and quality of customer services Cisco has found that as production processes and transactions become more commoditized and automated, value with customers lies in hard-to-replicate personal relationships and interactions. These interactions will be heightened by collaboration, high-value services and knowledge workers all enabled by technology.

"This study underscores what we see every day with our customers -The global economy is evolving rapidly as globalization and technology change our industries, our companies and our workforce in ways that we never imagined a decade ago," said Rob Lloyd, Senior Vice President of U.S. and Canada Operations. "Knowledge workers combined with IT can change customer experiences. Companies that can collaborate globally to create the customer experience will win the competitive battleground."

The study's projections of sizeable growth in global economic output despite only a 15 percent increase in workforce also validates the importance that productivity-based interactions will play in economic growth for the next 15 years.

The EIU surveyed 1,656 executives from 100 countries and conducted in-depth interviews with executives, analysts and policy makers in late 2005.

Key findings of the study include:

Economic growth is expected to remain robust over the next 15 years with the United States, China and India accounting for more than 50 percent of all new growth. Overall, global gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent.

The US, which will account for 16 percent of the world's economic growth, will continue to outpace other major developed economies between now and 2020. U.S. growth will be driven by its ability to continue to add knowledge workers to its workforce that are strong in skills such as collaboration, communication, decision-making and leadership. In addition, the US will benefit from interaction-based productivity from continued investment and use of information technologies.

By 2020, China's economy measured at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates will be on par with the United States and Asia's overall share of the global economy will rise to 43 percent from 35 percent currently. During this growth period, China is set to have the second largest consumer market and will have the largest tech sector.

471 million net new workers will enter the global workforce, with India accounting for a remarkable 30 percent (142.4 million). China will account for 65 million, with the United States the third-largest contributor with 12.5 million new workers. The EU will experience a growth of 8.4 million workers. The overwhelming majority of new U.S. and EU jobs will be in the service industry.

While price and quality will continue to matter, more than 90 percent of those surveyed believe the importance of the personalization of services will increase dramatically as interactions and customization become vital components of both customer service and worker behavior.

As automation of process becomes more prevalent, companies will increasingly seek competitive advantage by enhancing the productivity and growth of knowledge workers. Among survey respondents, the greatest area for productivity gains is knowledge management. Technology spending will shift to enable knowledge workers to do their jobs better.

The nature of the workforce will continue to change. Two-thirds of executives expect flatter organizations in which independent decision-making and collaborative environments will be the norm. These changes will require a new approach to organizational management and human relations. Customers and suppliers will become more involved in product development, cross-functional and cross border teams will work together more frequently and partnerships with other organizations will proliferate.

While its income per head will lag behind, by 2020 China will be on par with the United States as the leading consumer market. China's share of global consumer spending will nearly triple in the next 15 years. Asia overall will be the largest consumer region. For example, by 2020 Asia is projected to account for 38 percent of all car sales, nearly double current levels.

About the Survey

As mentioned, the EIU surveyed 1,656 executives in over 100 countries. Nearly a third of those surveyed were CEO level. Respondents were spread fairly equally from Asia-Pacific (30 percent), Western and Eastern Europe (34 percent) and North America (27 percent). The Foresight 20/20 study findings can be found at

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

Monday, March 27, 2006

The War Against Ourselves

There are actually people and professions whose entire purpose in life is to make us hate ourselves -- and in that way, exploit our feelings of worthlessness, powerlessness, and despair in becoming our “leaders” and “spokespersons” -- because we are too unworthy to think, talk and act for ourselves.

That is the familiar manipulations and techniques of the con-artists of the world -- whose entire rationale and reason for doing anything, is for the money, as the end-all and be-all of all human activity. As long as they can enrich themselves, that is all they need to know -- and whether they have to lie, cheat and steal to obtain their ends, justifies any means.

Their philosophical and moral arguments for behaving as they do, is the convincing argument that that is what everybody else does -- and so they quote studies and polls that support their claims -- while ignoring, suppressing and editing information that doesn’t support their biased point of view. Yet these people have no problem regarding themselves as highly respectable and objective people -- obviously not knowing what those terms mean, but liking the sounds of those words and the effects they produce on others.

Such people are not unique in the annals of history and literature -- but are the major subjects of the great works. They allow their ambition, their greed, their need for control and power, to distort and destroy whatever values they would otherwise be generously endowed with except for their maddeningly insatiable need for "more." In this age of unprecedented affluence, ever greater illusions and deceptions are necessary to convince us this is not so -- so some demagogue can rise exploiting that which is not true.

It may be heard that $100,000 a year is the new poverty level -- and that’s why their members need more, because it is the middle and upper middle class who are being hurt the most in the present economy. Of course, nothing is supposed to make sense; it is only to be believed -- because it has been claimed, and repeated by every other medium and publication so as to seem to be the conventional wisdom of these times. “Yes, the person making two or three times the median income, is the worst off in society. Those who have less, are used to having nothing.”

The newspapers, school teachers, university professors, lobbying professionals will be the first to jump on that bandwagon because they will be those claiming such injustice and entitlements -- at the cost of the truth. “Objective,” is their trademark claim in this world. Everybody else, are not entitled to the privileges they alone should have -- and will ally themselves with those who support their claims for these special rights -- they claim are guaranteed them alone in the constitution of the greater society.

They alone should be guaranteed the right to speak -- and to determine what is proper for everyone else to say and believe.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Next Revolution

The generation gap at Harvard
Posted: March 23, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

There is a generation gap at Harvard University. The students are far more conservative than the faculty. The aging radical professors haven't enough to do, so they nitpicked their president's words and pressured his resignation. The students are dismayed.

President Larry Summers' resignation last month followed a "lack of confidence" vote by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In a poll released March 13 by the Harvard Crimson, 66 percent of surveyed Harvard students claimed to "disapprove of the way that members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences have handled their relationship" with President Summers. Only 15 percent agree with the faculty's handling of grievances.

The faculty is dominated by left-wing '60s radicals, all of them aging despite their former fantasies. It is perhaps from the realization that the sands of time are sinking and a new generation is rising on campus at odds with the values of the '60s that makes the Faculty of Arts and Sciences so desperate. Because they know their days are numbered and that their establishment is uncertain, they sought their president's ouster. Even left-wing Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz calls it an "academic coup d'état by … the die-hard left of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences."

Summers pushed aggressively for progress in science and technology programs, and he developed friendly teaching relationships with students.

Summers also conflicted with noted African-American Studies professor Cornel West, for which West left Harvard. Summers expressed his strong support for the ROTC program, which had been excluded from the campus for decades. For appearing to align opponents of Israel with anti-Semitism, Summers was accused of hampering dialogue. And when Summers dared suggest that differences between men and women cause a disproportionate representation of the sexes in the sciences, the faculty panicked and reckoned upon the advance of Armageddon. Professors met several times and decided to assert their no-confidence vote.
Now, the students of Harvard have no confidence in their left-wing professors.

One editorial in the Crimson headlined, "No Confidence in 'No Confidence.'" Despite that the FAS is one of nine faculties at Harvard, its radicalism is loud, and it must be held accountable, the editorial urged. "As much as discontented Faculty members may lack confidence in Summers, we would modestly submit that, at this point in time, we lack confidence in them."

After Summers' resignation, Pieropaolo Barbieri wrote in the Crimson that "there is a world beyond FAS." Summers should not have resigned, Barbieri said. "Unlike the Faculty's foggy qualms, Summers' achievements keep materializing on campus and in students' lives."

Another Crimson editorial stated, "Whatever satisfaction was today enjoyed by the elements of unrest in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, it is unrepresentative of the sobering sense of emptiness that now pervades Cambridge's streets. Harvard's loss is real." The Crimson staff registered their agreement with Summers' vision, a vision that was perceived as a threat by "too many of today's entrenched interests" on the faculty.

The day Summers resigned, students repaired in mass to Harvard Yard where they joined in unison, "Five More Years!"

When Summers first spoke publicly about his resignation, undergraduate students flocked to Massachusetts Hall. Summers didn't know whether they were there to cheer or boo him, but when he began shaking their hands it was clear which side they took. They shook his hand warmly. As the Crimson editorial said, "Students believe in Summers' vision."

It is more than a passive belief; it is a belief of action that runs against almost every revolutionary stronghold of the aging professoriate. As Ruth Wisse writes in the Wall Street Journal, "Student response to the ouster suggests another long-term outcome. Although the activists of yesteryear may have found a temporary stronghold in the universities, a new generation of students has had its fill of radicalism. Sobered by the heavy financial burdens most of their families have to bear for their schooling, they want an education solid enough to warrant the investment.

Chastened by the fallout of the sexual revolution and the breakdown of the family, they are wary of human experiments that destabilize society even further. Alert to the war that is being waged against America, they feel responsible for its defense even when they may not agree with the policies of the current administration.

"If the students I have come to know at Harvard are at all representative, a new moral seriousness prevails on campus, one that has yet to affect the faculty members because it does not yet know how to marshal its powers."

Here is hope. Even at Harvard, bastion of the left, there is a revolution underway. Not since the professors had their revolution 40 years ago has there been anything like it. Only this time, there is a return to that little word on the Harvard logo that is its motto: "Veritas." By the generation most counted upon to finally reject truth, truth is welcomed, if yet undiscovered. And even if Larry Summers will no longer preside at Harvard, his legacy is just getting under way.

Hans Zeiger is an Eagle Scout, president and founder of the Scout Honor Coalition and a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan. His new book, "Get Off My Honor: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America," can be purchased from ShopNetDaily.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

District 21/22/23 Newsletter (Diamond Head to Kakaako, Moiliili to Pawaa)

The regular monthly meeting for Districts 21/22/23 will be on the usual 4th Wednesday of the month, this coming March 22, 2006, at the Hawaii Republican Headquarters, at 6 pm., which Bob Kessler's note at the end of this newsletter, might be up for reconsideration -- because of his ongoing concern that one day, we might have too many people show up, to which I say, "We'll worry about that when that happens."

Like most political discussions, one has to quickly draw a line between problems that could arise, from those that are actually dragging us under -- and solve the ones that are most urgent, and not simply the ones that are easiest to solve -- which are of course, all the hypothetical problems of many political discussions. If there is one thing I learned in Political Science classes -- it is that above all else, it is the science of the possible -- otherwise it can quickly get out of hand into the endless bs sessions of everything anybody else could do in this world to make it a better place for us. So one of the major reasons we ask for your involvement, is as an education on the realities of the political process and the people actually involved -- because hopefully, most people realize it is something different from what is often represented in the media, from often a very partisan or incomplete view -- even, and especially from the reporter/editors who vehemently insist that they are being "objective" -- as nobody else in society can be but them.

It's very important that you find out for yourself what is going on and make up your own minds as to what is the truth of the matter -- because that is what matters! Of course we do so confident that when you experience the alternatives, you won't be able to help but make an intelligent, best choice. I think the most telling consideration is simply in the treatment and regard one has for every other -- that tells you what you need to know about those you want representing you in government affairs, if you choose not to be your own best representative. And there is that option with the Republican Party; you don't have to ask for anybody's "blessing" to run for office -- even against them. That is what we all understand -- that it is the best person that should represent us, and not simply those who must be maintained in office because they've simply been there the longest, and that's the way it's always been done before, and therefore, must be forever.

That's basically the difference in the culture and mindsets of the two major parties. One is alive with ideas and people who think things could be done differently -- and better, and not simply in the way they've always been done before, and we simply have to stick together no matter what, to see that that continues. We know that's a dying culture and mindset as an effective response to life ahead -- not just "for the keikis" or some other untouchable icons of the present status quo -- but for a society just as meaningful and purposeful for everyone. Why should anyone feel a need to sacrifice themselves for a self-designated few who think they alone should have permanent entitlement to status and privileges by playing off all the others against each other?

I think one of the great accomplishments of the Lingle-Aiona administration of government, is this reduction in partisanship as the be-all and end-all of every political discussion. I support the Republicans not because I'm partisan -- but because they're great people to know and associate with. You talk and feel that someone is listening rather than going into denial, while trying to convince you that everything your own good senses tell you, is untrue -- and it is their job to tell you what is "true," and it is merely your duty as a citizen to believe them. That's how things are very different now under the new leadership -- and how it manifests at every level of participation. So feel free to join us.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Problem with the Rail Solution

What's ignored in the Honolulu rail discussion is that even in places where rail has been successful -- like Tokyo, New York City, San Francisco, etc. -- nobody's ever been able to make a "commuter rail" successful -- because basically you have a system that's unused except an hour each way everyday because there's no reason to go to Kapolei unless you live there.

The winning formula is that you have to have a high density of population throughout the route of the kind that doesn't exist anywhere in Honolulu, no matter how much they try to deceive us that is so. So basically they'll be running empty rail cars most of the day -- which is true even of the rail projects in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento. There's nowhere for people to go -- and during off-peak hours, driving is the fastest, preferable way to get there because there is no congestion problem then.

We only have a congestion problem for a couple of hours each way, everyday -- and the rest of the time, the roads are basically uncongested and underutilized. So the real solution is managing the congestion around those hours -- and not adding more capacity that will be underutilized at all other times -- just as the freeways and highways are presently.

It's a traffic management problem and not a lack of capacity. The preferable solution is ride-sharing -- because that's what the people would be doing anyway, with a rail system. In the age of the Internet (communications), that would seem to be an ideal use of the technology -- to manage a ride-sharing bulletin board.

Honolulu would be an ideal community to do ride-sharing because most of the people are fairly stable. The rail solution is just empty cars moving around so the people at City Council can say, "We're world-class too," of which the rail developers are skilled at exploiting those inferiority complexes and sense of inadequacies.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Middle Is NOT the Lowest

The current union and Democratic propaganda campaign is to convince the public that the middle, and even upper middle class, is the poorest, lowest and most abused class in society -- and therefore, they are entitled to even more -- at the expense of the truly poor, as has been increasingly and alarmingly noted by the most conscientious people working in the fields of public service. Programs and money initially designed to serve a targeted population, instead go largely to serve an infinitely expanding bureaucratic class that uses their intended beneficiaries as justification for their own wage increases -- while decreasingly fewer dollars trickle down to the intended beneficiaries. And in fact, as more money is expended, the problems grow infinitely worse requiring evermore more money and the creation of even more highly paid expert jobs.

Eventually, the original intent of the function is lost and the institutions become largely a self-sustaining self-interest dedicated to the perpetuation of these problems as their job security -- rather than as it was originally hoped for, that such massive mobilization of time, energy and money, would eliminate the condition. Education was originally intended to eliminate ignorance -- and not create an ever increasing demand for more education, and more high paying jobs for the education "professionals."

With today’s new technologies and understanding of human behavior, it is evident to those learning at the highest rate of new capabilities, that learning must now be self-directed and enabled in order to keep up with the voracious demand for learning -- that rightfully should outstrip the reliance on teachers. In fact, this very reliance on teachers, limits the freedom to learn and know -- all that is possible now. So the problem of education now is actually the forcing of the learning of only one politically correct and socially approved version of what needs to be known -- while ignoring and actually suppressing the natural impulse of virtually everyone to learn, when not constrained only to learn what somebody who claims to know better, demands that they learn.

You don’t see those commercials on the television, radio, newspapers -- because no richly-funded self-interest is paying for it. So people have to come to see the value and truth of these things for themselves -- without the infomercials. Learning is not about subjects confined to narrow categories and turfs anymore, but is limited by one’s own interests. A person vitally interested in learning, can devour the entire library on that subject matter in virtually no time -- while those who have no real interest and motivation, will not not learn the subject matter no matter what manner of inducements and coercion.

Learning is not the problem; learning what one wants to know, is never a problem. Learning what somebody else decides one should know, while suppressing what one truly desires to know, is the surest prescription for creating insurmountable problems in the education institutions.

Obviously, the insurmountable problems of education, is this tradition of education -- to do it as it’s always been done, by the education "experts." When there are no education experts, everyone will have to learn for their own benefit -- and not for the benefit of the education industry.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Right to Know -- and to be Known

Yesterday, I participated in a discussion at , that I think is the most important discussion on the Web to have at this time. It was about the value of anonymous free speech -- which accounts for practically all the irresponsible and unaccountable abuses of speech while those with legitimate gripes, claims, insights, are usually not reluctant to divulge their real identity, and revealing their true identity gives added credibility to their statements.

But we had the usual defense of those who are primarily anonymous abusers -- that it removes their cover and exposes them to retaliation in the event that they have to reveal a great truth -- which none of them ever do. They just want to assure their inviolable rights to visit child pornography sites, attack anybody they please anonymously, and shield them from other antisocial behaviors -- while those of good faith, integrity, credibility, usually don’t hide who they are because their behaviors, thoughts and words are nothing they would be ashamed of -- and in fact, is a source of great pride to record to their credit, as the Internet will do now by default.

That’s how the world has greatly changed in the last ten years. It is now a world of virtual publication -- when formerly, it was very difficult to get published. Now, the tables are turned, and everything one says, is a matter record and so one has to go through the more laborious task of covering their tracks and identity, rather than having them available to whomever may be interested.

Not only do these denizens of this deceptive underground assume an anonymous identity, they frequently create many of these aliases -- in a similar fashion that career criminals do -- to escape detection, responsibility, accountability, as well as to manipulate in creating a supportive "majority," in their favor. However, as a response, it has caused a powerful capability to recognize, identify and track their movements -- by security agencies surely, but also by many casual participants and witnesses. In the case of public forums, and any literature, for that matter, a powerful reading comprehension had to evolve as a necessary response to detect the illicit from the authentic.

So it became possible for many of the best readers, to see through the many aliases and deceptions to detect the essential pattern and style of communications, what was previously called modus operandi. Not everyone developed these skills but enough did so that the 90% who were anonymous but not criminal or antisocial, could understand what was going on.

Thus the 5% criminal element and 5% vigilant, swayed or used the 90%, which is historically throughout the ages, the ratio of the good guys to the bad guys and everybody else. The bad guys try to convince everybody else is like them -- a crook, a liar, cheater, robber, totally dysfunctional -- while the vigilant few at the other end, keep the sociopaths in check -- in addition to the official law enforcement agencies.

But by and large, the conduct in any society, is largely off the books -- and not within the jurisdiction of government regulation. It is what people voluntarily decide to do -- and live their lives.

So while it is not illegal to be anonymous and a “nobody” -- from a practical standpoint and societal efficiency, it would be better for everybody to be known -- as the person they truly are -- and in that process, come to know themselves, which as many wise people have advised, is the meaning and purpose of life.