Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It Was the Worst of Times…

It’s unfortunate for the Democrats in Hawaii that they’ve characterized the major challenge of their party as merely the challenge to age -- rather than an issue much more fundamental to the survival of every organization. That is the quite legitimate challenge of the new to the old -- in every culture throughout time. When the new wins out, those individuals and their society is reborn, renewed, recharged; if the old wins out, it retards, cripples and eventually extinguishes that society -- from the face of the earth. It’s never failed.

The dying to the old is what makes evolution and progress possible -- and not just calling themselves “progressives,” while resisting, denying and fighting every change, every deviation, every exception from business as usual (and expected) as a mortal enemy, until their final battle is the one they wish they had not won -- for it brought the buildings down on their heads.

Everything changes to stay alive; once it cannot change, it’s no longer alive, and whether they are dead or alive, no longer matters -- as one cannot tell any difference. That was the final obstinance that proved to be fatal.

The new is not just that which is younger. Much more relevant is whether it is better -- and not simply more or less. A bad young guy is no better than an old bad guy; he merely prolongs the cycle of bad guys. Much more relevant is whether there are “good guy” alternatives. But of course, they don’t want us to see things that clearly. They will throw up all kinds of “red herring” issues to ensure we never see these things clearly.

Of course the easiest thing to do is blame somebody else for whatever goes wrong in the world. That is much easier than ever having to feel accountable and responsible for anything happening. Instead of actually doing anything, it is sufficient to just convince people that one is doing something -- making public service announcements to that effect, because the capacity to actually do anything, has long been lost. The only thing they can now do, is try to convince others that one is doing something by blaming somebody else.

Entire industries are devoted to that end. Rather than run for president themselves, they self-promote themselves to chief advisers, and berate the president for being stupid for not paying attention to them. They interpret the term “public servant,” to mean “personal servant,” who they feel entitled to abuse and harangue endlessly. These are the same people who take every opportunity out in public to humiliate all those they feel are restrained from answering back. They are the bullies and tyrants who regard democracy as the right of the majority to impose their will on the minority and everybody else not in their clique, or not in a position to defend themselves effectively.

That display of brutal, naked power, reveals what they are all about -- for all to see. It is the beginning of the end -- the long descent into the abyss. Their society and culture is no longer viable. Any association requires the willing consent of its participants. Enforced obedience to conformity leads to a widespread rebellion among its most intelligent, sensitive and fair. The final battle is the one they wish they had not won. The seeds of resentment they have sown ensures their end. Something better takes their place. They become entirely irrelevant -- which is far worse than getting old.


At June 01, 2006 9:29 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

There doesn’t seem to be any other option for the Dems but to unleash desperation Plan B of the misinformation and disinformation letter writing campaigns to the newspapers who either can’t tell the difference or think the public can’t.

At June 01, 2006 10:07 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Following are the two prototype letters one can expect to see running daily in the letters/commentries sections of our two local papers with different signatories, and when that is pointed out to the publishers and editors, they will respond, innocently, “What do you mean?” -- as though we could not tell that they were identical mass submissions edited slightly to seem “original.”


Don't trust Ken Lay even after death

It's becoming common knowledge that Enron's Ken Lay, found guilty of fraud, not only was a huge financial contributor in George Bush's initial campaign for the presidency, but also that he worked closely with him in the 1990s (when Bush was the governor of Texas) and in the 1980s (when Bush was an oil executive).

Lay might have hoped for no jail time, like the president's brother Neal for his mismanagement of investors' funds in the Silverado Savings and Loan scandal or the punishment Bush's grandfather Prescott Bush received for trading with Nazis during World War II. Both only paid fines.

What's Lay to do with a life sentence lurking in the shadows? He could look find someone who resembles himself, with similar teeth. If this imposter were mortally wounded in an unfortunate fiery accident, witnesses could mistakenly identify him as Lay, as would the dental records. Then Lay would be able to slip out of the country in Phase Two of his fleece-and-flee scam.

So how could Lay locate dental records that match his? Possibly from friends in the National Security Agency who have been collecting information on every citizen in the country for years and have the database to die for -- or from!




In the May 28 Advertiser article "Democrats urged to 'get back to our values,' " Derrick DePledge wrote, "Democrats are attempting to channel the public's anger with the direction of the war as an issue against Republicans across the country."
Rather, it is responsible to remember that it was Republican President George W. Bush who declared war based on false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction for the benefit of his rich oil friends.
This is the history that needs to be repeated again and again. Truth is the value that needs to be returned to the American public.

At June 01, 2006 10:11 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Neil Abercrombie sends them out routinely as "official business" of the US Congres. That he should do it is perfectly understandable.

But that the newspapers don't call him on it, says everything one needs to know about their own integrity and judgment.

At June 01, 2006 10:55 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Undoubtedly, one of the editors may even be keeping Evan Dobelle informed daily about his chances for the governorship -- as though we could all be convinced that what happened, didin't really happen -- that in newspaper time, enough time had passed for all those stories to have made it to the landfill to be buried and fogotten.

It's just that times have changed, and it is not so conveninent anymore to say something completely different than what one said before -- and get away with it. But that doesn't stop them from trying.

At June 01, 2006 11:15 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

A lot of the old institutions haven't accepted the fact that times have changed -- and think that their jobs are still to do everybody's thinking for them and tell them what to do, what to chant, how to stuff the letter boxes, and all those goon tactics of a prior time.

When people are educated, it actually changes society -- and not that everything stays the same, and we endlessly need more education (more money for educational adminsistrators) -- without it making a difference.

Because of successful widespread education despite the educational hierarchies, most educated people's abilities to read, far exceed the old professional writer's ability to write. Many are not aware of that shift in the balance of power -- and so when a few of those successful "old style" writers try to make the transition to new writing forums and formats (where even they recognize the future lies), they have their heads handed to them instantly -- by a much more competent readership than they ever imagined existed.

Because in the blog space (the World Wide Web), everybody has to stand alone -- without the props of the old institutions anointing them to exalted status. And when one has to go one-on-one with anybody in the world, anytime, any place, no one can hear their screams, or are responding to their plaintive cries, "Do you know who I AM? I am socmebody important like you wouldn't believe!"

At June 01, 2006 11:20 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

All the old institutions are collapsing at the same time (not coincidentally), and their immediate instinct is to band ever tighter togehter -- rather than for the intelligent and successful tactic of embracing the new and becoming good at it.

Instead, they will insist that the world has to return to them -- with them in the leadership until they die -- and then we can "have it all."

At June 01, 2006 12:05 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

There's nothing more pathetic than when not-too-terribly bright people think they can deceive and manipulate everybody else who can so easily and obviously see through everything they're doing.

At June 03, 2006 7:05 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Here are some original letters to the editor -- for a change. See how much more thoughtful and articulate they are instead of the typical press releases sent by the MoveOn.org and signed by the local bank of dupe signatories?


Put aside partisanship and support our troops

Reflecting on Memorial Day, it is very sad that in Hawaii and the nation excessive partisanship, especially over President Bush's terrorism and Iraq policies, has made victims of our men and women serving in Iraq. Symbols that are used to show support for them and unite as Americans are now seen as divisive. The American flag, yellow ribbons, red-white-and-blue buttons, etc., are seen as politically incorrect by large numbers of Americans.

It should not be that way. These symbols represent all Americans -- white, black, brown, liberal, conservative, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. What is really sad is that because they are serving in a controversial war in Iraq, many Americans feel it is politically incorrect to wear the American flag or a yellow ribbon as a means to show respect and support for those men and women in Iraq. When Americans are in harm's way, volunteering to serve their country, we should put aside partisanship to support our men and women in whatever way we can.

Theodore Taba

Senior senators add to crippling deficit

A quote taken from your May 30 editorial: "Seniority is very important, as Senator Inouye ... has demonstrated through his 43 years in the institution, where he has earned the reputation as king of pork for directing federal money to Hawaii."

Being elected a U.S. senator seems akin to obtaining a job for life, doesn't it? Once elected, all you need to do, like Inouye has done very effectively, is to direct plenty of money back to your state, deficits be damned. The sole measurement of good governance is counting the dollars being spent. If this isn't a good reason for term limits, then there's no such animal. In Inouye's 43 years in the Senate he has helped steer the finances of the United States into the gutter. This country is trillions of dollars in debt. People who don't know any better blame the president for budget deficits, but in truth it is Congress, populated by the spendthrift likes of Senators Inouye and Akaka, that really spends the money.

In turn, because our generous congressional representatives can't help but spend other people's money, they continue to raise taxes, add user fees and levy new duties (see all the security fees added after 9/11). They can't help but fiddle with the tax code, resulting in a labyrinthine nine-million-word behemoth that not even the Internal Revenue Service can figure out. Not to blame just the Democrats; even so-called conservative Republicans can't help but spend. We need term limits. Inouye, Akaka, Byrd and Kennedy, even Case and Abercrombie, they all need to get kicked out. Let's not wait for them to die while in office.

James Ko

At June 03, 2006 9:11 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

While I certainly feel that newspaper editors are entitled to whatever opinions they can conceive of -- I find objectionable the misrepresentation of the public as hatred-consumed partisans, all thinking they're smarter and should be the President, to be a projection of frustrated editors recognizing their own limited chances for that possibility and expressing their own bitterness, resentment and hatreds to be a humiliation and debasement of their profession.

They need to have their post midlife crises in some other manner.

At June 03, 2006 9:57 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...


Bad News: J-school graduates, commence worrying

By Gene Weingarten

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | From a commencement address I delivered last week:

I want to congratulate you all upon your graduation from the University of Maryland College of Journalism, and wish you luck as you prepare to embark on exciting careers in telemarketing or large-appliance repair.

My point is, this is a challenging time for journalists.

And because you are word people, you understand that "challenging time" is a euphemism often used to describe disasters of epic proportions. For example, Richard Pryor was facing a "challenging time" when he ran down the street half-naked and on fire.

What are your challenges, specifically? Let us begin with, quote unquote, getting a job. Good jobs in journalism have become scarce as newspapers shrink and die, broadcast media fragment to smaller niche audiences and the public appears more and more willing to receive its "news" online from nincompoops ranting in their underpants.

But, it's not like there is no hope. There are still high-prestige, well-paying positions in journalism. Unfortunately, they are filled by tired old coots who aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Me, for example. It'll take a hydraulic winch to pry me loose from this gig.

Two decades ago, I worked with your dean, Tom Kunkel, at the Miami Herald. Back then, the Herald was a newspaper the thickness of the Singapore telephone directory. Today, when carriers fling the Herald onto suburban driveways, it settles to the pavement gently, like a sycamore leaf in the breeze. When Tom and I worked there, the Herald was the flagship of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, which no longer exists, having recently been purchased by the McClatchy chain, which sold some of the papers to the MediaNews chain, which sold some of the papers to the Kmart chain, which is using them as packing material for Scooby-Doo sippy cups. My point is, and I mean this sincerely, this is a challenging time for newspapers.

But enough with the bad news. There's plenty of good news, too. Vitally important accountability journalism is still being practiced by fearless men and women who question authority and speak truth to power, right up until the time power incarcerates them. The public doesn't seem to care. Our industry is not exactly riding a crest of support. The most recent job-approval rankings place journalists between "loan shark" and "ho'-bag skank."

We are not without blame for this. It seems as though every week we hear stories about some journalist somewhere who has gone bad — plagiarizing someone, making something up, extorting cash from sources, robbing a convenience store and pistol-whipping the clerk. As a columnist, I am particularly dismayed by the smug, self-congratulatory attitudes exhibited by some of my brethren. We columnists should know better, inasmuch as we are the only people in America intelligent and principled enough to tell people what to think and how to behave.

Most of all, it is imperative that we journalists state the truth, without fear or favor. We must be prepared to take unconventional, unpopular positions on grave matters of public interest. Accordingly, I would like to leave you with four points to ponder.

(1) We need more Jews in the media. You can never have too many Jews, is my position.

(2) Objectivity is a good thing to strive for in journalism, but not at the expense of failing to confront the obvious. My own newspaper, for example, has written extensively about Vice President Cheney without once pointing out the self-evident fact that he is — and I offer this as a trained professional observer — Satan.

(3) You know that guy, Anderson Cooper, the CNN correspondent with the elegant white hair and the really sincere attitude who manages not only to report the news but also to feel the news resonate deep in his soul? Can't we put him in jail?

And, lastly:

(4) Our field is changing rapidly. Technology is overtaking us at an unheard-of pace. The journalists of tomorrow may not look anything like the journalists of today. I mean, literally. For all we know, they might have gills and three buttocks. That's how fast things are changing. But rest assured that, however dizzying the rate of change, when what's at stake is the sacred art of truth-telling, there is always one constant. One thing will always stay the same: Your editor is going to be an idiot.

At June 05, 2006 10:22 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...




The recently held State Democratic Convention demonstrated again the historically repetitive syndrome of "the old guard won't let go." This is justified under the banner headlined "Respect."

Respect for what?

Respect for the past, yes! Respect for past accomplishments is a wonderful memory, but it does not ensure that the state will get its fair share of federal monies in the future.

We keep repeating that this or that person does not have the experience. Well, how are they supposed to get it?

This type of divisiveness within the state Democratic Party has led to a lack of young leadership because there is no program to support aspiring politicians.

Despite what the party chairman says, the glaring example of this is that the party has not brought us a credible candidate to challenge Gov. Lingle. How can you trust the entrenched party powerful when their total program is "Don't rock the boat"?

By their action, they are telling us that there is no Democratic candidate good enough to hold the top position in our state. I do not believe this. This attitude, of course, spills out into the other races where only the old is good enough. Beware of the young upstarts! No wonder young people don't vote.

Paul Tyksinski


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