Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Big Picture

In following the melodrama over at the state capitol more than I really like to (in all honesty), one comes away with the impression that the major objective of everything they do -- is to make a mountain out of a molehill, and that the chief themes emerging, is to figure out a way in which the governor, who is the singular competent person, can also do nothing.

The senate confirmation process was never intended to be another battle by each senator hoping eventually to become the governor, to get their chance to show how they can block the governor from getting people they think can best do the job in helping them, into positions of prominence. Instead, they now feel that the proper people to have in such positions, will be those who will obstruct the executive at every issue and directive -- as their job.

So the confirmation of nominations is turned into endless crisis and campaign -- when the people have clearly indicated by their failure to show up at elections, that they’d rather not be bothered -- and would like somebody in charge, to take charge. Otherwise, those who remain interested and highly-motivated to dominate the proceedings, are the self-serving special interests.

That’s why we have representative government -- so everybody doesn’t have to stay involved, micromanaging every detail. In obstructing the executive's nominations and advancing proposals to make more positions contentious in this way, these legislators never get around to doing their own jobs -- because they are too busy passing resolutions “weighing in” on all the subjects that the media can get people interested enough to pay attention to what they think is so important.

So we have government by sensationalism, demagoguery, obstructionism, a constant struggle to see who is Boss -- as the only work of their jobs, while the bigger picture objective of making society run better, is entirely lost. Those who have nothing better to do in their jobs, then proceed to prevent anybody else from doing theirs -- so they don’t make everybody else look bad in not doing anything.

That is social organization and government at its most primitive form of development -- entirely consumed with issues of dominance and who is the Boss. Larger objectives are just lost entirely to these petty struggles for dominance -- by usually petty people, made smaller at everything they say and do. These are disproportionately lawyers; in fact, it is the ONLY thing lawyers seem to do -- obstruct justice and getting anything useful and productive done.

That model of dysfunction pervades all the public discussions and forums -- so that most citizens are turned off and driven away -- but the few motivated disproportionately because of their self-interest. So the process becomes that of wearing down the opposition by pointless and petty concerns until the competent, willing and able, get frustrated and walk away. What we have remaining is Hawaii (country) state government and its minions.

Increasingly, the rise of alternatives to these “venerable” institutions emerrge to supplant them and make them totally obsolete and irrelevant -- as they already are for the younger generations despite the pleas from the older, that they have to get interested and involved -- as the only option badly-aging Baby Boomers still think are the times we live in.


At April 13, 2007 8:54 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The great failing of our “education” system, is that a number of people only “learn” that lying, cheating, and stealing is the only way for them to be competitive and “successful” -- and that the only way they can “win,” is to ensure that everybody else loses.

At April 19, 2007 7:26 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The recent sensational killings at a university in the US and those in the Middle East are instructive.

Apparently, that was the young man's only chance (expression) at power and fame -- which is the secular god for which those in the Middle East kill as many people as possible for the glory of their more traditional god -- who they think will bestow those rewards in heaven.

Power not only corrupts but it crazes -- causing people to compete reflexively because they think they have to, and that struggle and destruction justifies itself.

In the discussion of the young man's "mental illness," what is ignored is the fact that illness was really about his need for media attention, as an indication of their power and importance -- which has become a great sickness in the world.

If one praises the governor or president, one does not get published or attention -- but if one insults and demeans the governor and president, one receives great media attention, as well as drawing attention to oneself. So people do it because that’s what the media rewards them to do.

Thus, the rambling, pointless diatribe, is an attempt to justify with a greater purpose, that which is simply a base instinct not to see anybody else get ahead -- and to show that one is just as powerful and popular, by nullifying the governor’s (or any other successful (rich) person’s) effectiveness.

Bitterness, envy and resentment -- have become the currency of popular culture -- and now its own reason for being. There is no point but just mindless instinct to compete.

A smart person would just let the governor do all the work -- and get out of the way, if results were what mattered. But it is about ego -- and the need to feel powerful and important.

Have you noticed how the media doesn’t broach this subject at all? -- that the real motivation for this latest sensational act of senselessness, is to get on television and be famous -- as a very powerful person they do not feel they are?

At April 19, 2007 6:29 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Single Worst Editorial Decision In The History Of Broadcast News?
Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 10:48 PM

Soon after the press conference at which it was disclosed that NBC had received a package of print, photos and video materials from the Virginia Tech murderer, I interviewed Howard Kurtz about how NBC should handle it. (The transcript will be here later this evening.) We quickly agreed that any video should not be shown, and while I think that Howard thought perhaps a picture could be aired, I and the live audience I was broadcasting in front of disagreed. I would have published --instantly-- the text of the killer's statement's for the public to read, but I would have denied the killer the instant video glorification he so obviously desired, an immortalization which other deranged killers of the future will almost certainly seek to emulate. NBC decided differently.

Two days ago I shared a stage with NBC News president Steve Capus. Earlier today I commented on what I considered to be his cluelessness about the contempt in which MSM is held as well as my amazement at Capus' pride in MSM's Katrina coverage. Tonight I am dumbfounded by his --and his colleagues'-- decision-making in this matter. Instantly their decision to air the video and publish the pictures revolted vast numbers of ordinary Americans of all political opinions. (My sister-in-law, a very, very liberal individual, just said to me that "I don't recall ever hearing of anything so irresponsible.") I heard an outraged clinical psychiatrist from NYU University denouncing the decision in the harshest terms on Los Angeles radio station KNX. The airing of the pictures and video is obviously a hurtful and destructive act, one that will prime many killing pumps in the years ahead, and one obviously made on the fly by individuals of almost no experience with or curiosity about the deranged mind. Would it have killed Capus et al to ask around a bit about what to do? Of course not, but their decision could indeed kill others down the road. They acted as their own guides, because that is the way the business works. In their very, very closed world, it made sense. To the vast majority of Americans it was an appalling, horrific decision, far worse than what Don Imus had to say last week. As my producer asked this afternoon: Will Capus fire himself for the offense he has given the families of the victims and the rest of the country as well?

Other print stories may have harmed the country more --the New York Times' and Los Angeles Times' cavalier dismissal of national security in their stories that published national security secrets about our efforts to capture or kill terrorists come to mind.

But Dan Rather's and Mary Mapes' previous high-water mark in broadcast news' indifference to the public good has been trumped. NBC now stands for Nothing But Contempt for its audience. It was a shameful thing that the network did, and I doubt I will ever willingly watch NBC news again. Will even one "journalist" have the spine to quit?


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