Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Future of the Republican Party

Republicans are at a distinct disadvantage in winning majority numbers since a large part of their belief -- is that there should be less government and not more, while the pat Democrat answer to everything, is MORE government. So the success of a Republican platform is that government becomes a smaller part of our lives and intrusion -- rather than dictating every aspect of our lives.

That should be a fairly long-term trend -- not because government dictates that it be so, but because the new options far outstrip government’s ability to regulate them -- so that when they do, society has already moved on to further developments and discoveries.

In an age of abundant information, such traditional cultural/government institutions like libraries and schools have to reinvent themselves to remain relevant -- because what is foremost is the information, and not who controls it. That was the preoccupation in the past, in which everything was mainly a control issue. And that is largely how we still measure the success of political parties -- rather than by the people and their society, in and of itself, which is I think is the success of the Republican Party.

It’s a healthier culture than the preoccupation with who controls and dominates -- which is the prevailing culture and mindset of a previous century. That is even mostly what our schools and newspapers have been about -- status and hierarchy -- who is more important than the other, and not what are the facts of the situation regardless of what office such a person holds.

This cultural evolution seems to be inevitable no matter who is in power. The next step in the evolution of knowledge is trusting in one’s ability to think for oneself -- instead of a few doing the thinking for everyone else, and then telling them what to chant, and what is politically correct.

It should matter less and less what party is in power and more what ideas rule the day. It’s more than what the government or institutions declare that it is. I think it is not even necessary anymore to convert people to one’s point of view but more important and productive to find those who are already moving in the same direction towards a convergence of purpose.

Those who aren’t moving in that direction, have already determined their obsolescence. They’re not going to change no matter how long they live. In a previous time, that might have seemed quaint, if not admirable. But I think life in these times, is a measure of how it moves with the times, changes and challenges.

Ideologies fail because they don’t change with the times -- but demand that the times move towards their ideology. The best way to understand the political parties is not by what they believe -- but how they actually communicate that to one another, which has been the strength of Republicanism -- of every individual to do their own thinking, rather than cede that power to their leaders, and then repeat them as though they thought of it themselves.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Living Richly (Thanksgiving)

The challenge of life in these times is no longer want and scarcity but abundance and excess -- when people who have enough, demand ever increasingly MORE -- which has no end and no fulfillment. What is required is for all those people brought up in another time and circumstances to be re-educated, re-conditioned, and re-created in the realities of the present times, more so than the young and unformed need to be given MORE education -- particularly in the “old" ways, which they proudly call the “traditional values.”

Beyond a common level of subsistence, the greater gain is in quality of experience and involvement -- rather than simply more of going through the motions, acquiring more toys, the rituals and trappings of life -- as though that is what living richly is all about. And so no matter how much these people have, it is never enough, and the only answer in life, is MORE, unceasingly more -- which of course creates the problems of our times -- in that many otherrs are truly and hopelessly in need because increasingly more of the numerous middle-class are led to believe it is their entitlement to live as lavishly as royalty of the past and celebrities of these times.

It is one thing for one or a few to have much, but it is something else when most demand it as their birthright -- that they too have a right to live as the richest man in America lives -- if only they work hard enough to achieve that dream. Even extremely gifted individuals in the field of their specialty, are wont to credit their hard work rather then the immense natural gifts and advantages they were blessed with -- that no amount of hard work can duplicate or create -- but they cannot claim credit for.

Does that doom the rest of us laboring in the fields in which we are not as successful? -- or is it just information telling us where our own talents and treasure may truly lie. When we discover that, it is the line of least resistance and great productivity and satisfaction that all the frustration in the world could never earn or entitle them.

The sense of gratitude (appreciation for what one already has), is very different from the sense of entitlement that always demands more no matter how much it has -- and can no longer appreciate any of it, so obsessed has it become only for that which it doesn’t already have. And of course, that which they don’t have is the infinite and insatiable.

So the lesson in Thanksgiving is the appreciation of what one already has -- and seeing the infiinte in them. Very few people really need more -- not that their unions and other associations won’t try to convince them of how much more they are entitled to and have less than everybody else. That seems to be the great disease of the last few decades, that Vance Packard already began warning about in his studies of The Status Seekers and The Hidden Persuaders -- 50 years ago. It hasn’t gotten as much attention lately, nor has George Orwell's observations of the corruption of well-intentioned people.

Initially, as naive young people, they tell us they do what they do, because they love mankind. Later, as more experienced “workers,” they feel that no matter how much society has enriched them -- it can never be enough until they have more than everybody else -- as their “fair” share.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What Is the Real Solution?

The lobbyists are shifting into hyperdrive to force the people of Honolulu to accept their most costly solution as the only solution; it's become a single-minded obsession as the panacea that delivers The Promised Land -- without having to do anything about it but trust the politicians and their consultants.

Only on thoughtful reflection is it revealed that this most costly of solutions, solves nothing -- but creates many high-paying jobs they hope to sustain indefinitely. And that is the very cause of high inflation in Hawaii -- that one spends maximum dollars for nothing of value and usefulness. Beyond the money, it creates a culture that rewards waste, inefficiency and purposelessness -- that is manifested in many other ways, because people do not see the relationship of one thing to any other; everything is arbitrary, so because someone in authority says so, and demands that we believe them. Even that most people do, does not ensure victory and ultimate vindication.

That there is the one who doesn't, is the beginning of every revolution. In the mass media culture, what is given highest value is that which most people believes to be true -- regardless of what is actually true, which is the only thing that can stand the test of time. And that is why time is so critically important, to those who hope to exploit the madness and delusions of crowds. In time, the hysteria wears off. They do not want the elections to be held 365 days of the year.

Every time the Understanding Conditioning video plays, I always have one person I would not suspect or could predict, calling me to tell me how much sense I make -- that they haven't heard before, and where can they hear more. That is the consequence of popular culture -- that popularity determines what is true and valued -- and is the great problem of these times, the monolithic control of information by the old institutions of information and communications (education) suppressing all but the obviously absurd and pathetic as the alternative.

Every threat to any part of the status quo is considered a threat to every part of the status quo. It is a reflex and not a thoughtful action.

So the supporters of the Mayor's rail system, had nothing to say but their show of numbers hoping to intimidate the remaining few who were not convinced. Dissent was not to be tolerated anymore.

Rail projects have become the public works projects of these times -- ensuring the maximum flow of monies to an entrenched middle class while depriving real urgent needs to the most vulnerable -- which have been the major justification for government in addition to the common defense.

No wonder increasingly many do not want to get involved, to "participate" in government that has become such a sham run by a few, for themselves. Why should they legitimize such a government by showing up to "vote?"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

UNDERSTANDING CONDITIONING: Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 7 PM, Olelo Channel 49 (FOCUS), Hawaii

Now that the elections are over, I can resume my focus on that body of work I am largely known for -- as the premier writer/speaker on exercise and conditioning. I was raised in a “tradition” of exercise -- and so have always observed and studied it before I was aware of what I was doing -- but that has been an integral part of me, since it was my essential exposure and practice in the formative years.

Throughout my life, being around world champion athletes has just been a natural thing, and I’ve talked to more creators of their own disciplines, than most people realize is possible. But the great teachers must first be great students, and not just be teachers -- or students. Integral to any practice is that one eventually becomes their own greatest teacher.

These are the valuable lessons of the many disciplines before they became “professionalized,” which means done mostly for money, status and power. If there is no money, many are no longer interested; those who remain interested, whether there is money in it or not, are the great teachers and students of that field. Those are the people who do what they do because that is who/what they are, and so their very being is their doing. The most familiar of such people are the artists, and other creative types; many are entrepreneurs, creating their own way in life.

Yet the dominant types in contemporary society tend to be the institutional or organizational person -- who finds a place they can fit in and stays in it unless there is an extraordinary event that propels them on to some other path. They will rarely choose their own destiny -- and even think that there is something wrong and foolish about those who do. They are the many bureaucratic personalities -- for which money, status, and power, if they reach the top of the seniority pyramid, is the only reality.

To such people, any new or different idea is regarded as “wrong,” because they haven’t heard it before, and view their role in society as being to defend the status quo -- until they get orders to do otherwise.

Obviously, the most receptive people to new information are the creative types -- who can appreciate the better in the new and different, rather than reject it reflexively. These people are invariably the leaders in any society -- whether they have designations as such. Those who know, can recognize that in the others of whatever field they are the “masters” of -- because they inquire and challenge the very authority of what is known, familiar and established -- with greater confidence than the defenders of the old status quo can muster.

In the field of exercise, I placed the emphasis of importance at the extremities rather than the heart because it seemed to be the only way to exercise all the muscles as though they were one large, integrated muscle. But the further importance of this, which I did not make the central teaching in the video, is that the need and value of exercise is not in making the heart work harder and faster to pump blood (fluids) out to the extremities, but in creating at the extremities, a pumping effect back towards the heart -- because that is the weakness and breakdown in the circulatory system since sedentary lifestyles produce so few of these alternating contractions/relaxations -- that pump the fluids in the tissues back to the heart, thus resulting in the bloated look of people considered to be fat, disabled and diseased.

Most people are not aware of the movements possible at the extremities of the hands, feet and head and Understanding Conditioning, teaches that full articulation and possibility most have not seen before, or if they have, have not realized the essential importance of.