Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Representing Yourself

We’re still meeting on the 4th Thursdays, starting at 7pm now, at the Hawaii Republican Headquarters, Kapiolani & Cooke, so the next meeting (all welcome) will be this Thursday, September 27, with special guest speaker, Council member Charles Djou providing his insights on government in Hawaii (Honolulu). Additionally, Senator Trimble attends whenever he is in town, and other party leaders, if they have any information they want to pass on directly.

As you all may already be aware, participation in the elections as well as the political process is falling -- because we live in unprecedented times of diverse interests and activities. In the old days, there was political involvement and little else -- but now, increasingly many, feel that politics is irrelevant to their lives, and seems to offer little else but putting one into contact with argumentative, petty and difficult people, who have unfortunately, been the ones who have remained politically involved, and that’s why “normal” citizens, more than ever, need to make their presence felt -- or the elected officials will think, there is nobody else out there who cares what they do. And so we get the government we get.

For my part, I thought the most significant election of my lifetime, was the election and re-election of President George W. Bush nationally, and in Hawaii, the election of Governor Linda Lingle, as the campaigns one needed to get involved with if we were to change the course of history. They have fulfilled that trust and confidence -- in representing a breed of public officials seldom seen anymore, who attempt to rise above the partisanship that is often misrepresented as “politics”.

But “politics” is largely what we make of it, and unfortunately for much of the last several decades, it is to make it something people want to avoid -- rather than the honor and living symbol it should be. However, the media, schools and universities seem determined to undermine that trust and confidence, and install themselves as those who “speak” exclusively for the people, which is usually to say, that they alone should get all the government money and power -- and what little is left, they will return for next year.

That’s what happens when there is no presence and representation otherwise -- as much as people will complain bitterly to themselves, that there is no fairness and justice in society -- because they don’t make it known, that they know what that is. And that is the real shame of life in these times -- of unlimited opportunities to do so, which lately, only the fringe elements of society, have co-opted, because nobody else cares or shows up.

While some still continue to write letters to their “representatives” and editors of the local newspapers as thheir marginal participation, those voices are likely to be suppressed -- by these self-appointed censors of public opinion and will. So one has to find ways to work around them -- if they are not fulfilling their responsibility to represent all the diverse viewpoints but rather only those of the self-interests that paid to get them elected, or as many do, simply numb themselves to these abuses.
Way before one can hope to change those abuses of power, one has to first be aware of those actualities, rather than deluding themselves, that things will work out because that’s what one merely “wishes” will happen. Those desires have to be manifested in some tangible way -- or there is no way of knowing what matters, and if anybody notices any difference. That is unfortunately what many have deliberately been indoctrinated (educated) to believe -- that nothing makes a difference, and nothing matters, and so they are easily deceived and manipulated by those who do know better -- and they can not tell the difference.

The surprising thing is that it really doesn’t take much to make a difference -- but they have convinced us that we have to first change the world, before we can make that difference -- in just noticing these things, and letting others know that. That is the most powerful action of these times -- even more so than marching in the streets with signs and expressing our disgust, anger, and outrage. Those are largely the demonstrations of “caring” of the past -- which were mostly manipulated and contrived with the help of the mass media.

Mass media made it possible for the rise of totalitarian societies on an unprecedented level -- as the work of George Orwell depicts so well in “1984”. In this writing, as a journalist himself, he masterfully provides insight into all the strategies and techniques for getting people to believe precisely the opposite of what is true -- or for that matter, anything the source wants us to believe -- and very few of us will stop to question the trustworthiness of our sources, beyond their insistence and demands that they are “objective,” and nothing else is possible.

Such people have a predilection for fear- and hate-mongering, of which they will insist, they are just telling it like it is. The nature of hatred, bigotry and prejudice, is that those most afflicted, can never see it as that but will ennoble such attitudes and actions in the noblest-sounding sentiments, convincing themselves, if nobody else can tell them better. Having discriminating people who can tell the difference and don’t allow the hysteria and delusions of mobs to gather momentum, are the heroes of any age and circumstances.

One can often get too hung up on the numbers, as though democratic republics, are simply the tyranny of the majority. Those are just tyrannies -- no matter how they represent themselves. Demagogues invariably call themselves “democrats,” and demand that we believe they are so, despite their behaviors to the contrary. The “actual” rather than just the words, is what one should be guided by in determining these truths. Thus, the important part of the political process, is meeting the principals in person, and deciding for oneself, the actuality and the words -- rather than letting the media (or anybody else) decide for you -- as they will gladly do.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What You Know That Isn’t So, Is What Hurts You

Most of the things that people “know,” are not true, but they have no way of finding that out, because most of what they know, cannot be tested and verified -- because that is not one of the things their education “teaches” them. If people could learn on their own and determine the truth for themselves, what would happen to job security for teachers and all that money for capital improvement projects to build more institutions for that manner of “learning”? It is unfortunate that the value of anything, is determined by how much revenue or funding can be obtained (usually from the federal government) to solve a massive problem that only massive government funding can provide virtually unlimited, unaccountable monies, and so communities become vested in these problems because that’s where the money is -- even if it means undermining much more fundamental human values.

Then the objective of each massive undertaking, is not because it will solve the fundamental problem, but that is what is required to secure that funding. It becomes a lifestyle in itself -- which on the individual basis, would be call “welfare,” and in government activities, pork barrel projects when they are so blatant and obvious. But people living under such values, come to regard the basic production of goods and services as secondary to going through the motions to appear busy doing a job. Thus, results are not as important, and may even be irrelevant, than to seem to be busily at work -- doing something or other, without actually doing anything (of consequence and value). In advanced cases, that busyness is often to prevent anybody else from doing anything productive either.

If the problem is truly solved, what would happen to all those jobs that exist to “eliminate” the problem? So a culture and its institutions must be established to see that such problems are never solved -- but continue in perpetuity and get worse, to create even more high paying jobs to “solve” those problems. Of course the “solution,” must be to get worse, so more (federal) funding can be justified for a situation threatening to grow out of control without desperate measures to resuscitate them to their level of chronic dysfunction of “full employment.”

Real problems are usually temporary; when problems become permanent, then it is the solution that is the problem -- which is a matter of proper understanding and insight -- and not more money and effort into "the solution" that is the problem. Once a society finds out how successful and lucrative a perpetual problem can be, there is obvious and understandable reluctance to solve that problem, because perpetual problems don’t come along every day. In fact, as we move into the future, it is realized that the nature of problems is that they are a lack of the proper understanding -- and not that a whole society needs to be educated to propagate them as their cultural heritage and legacy.

The problems are solved by the few individuals who see and understand this -- whether in or out of government, because such individuals break these chains of ignorance and misunderstanding with that awareness that is no longer the problem. Those few, are the true leaders in every society, and create another way entirely.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Authoritarian Personalities

Much has changed since many still living entered their “senior” adulthood; some have adapted and even embraced the changes, while unfortunately many others, still demand with outrage and anger growing each day, that the world must return to the days of their own glory, when they were sitting on top of the world -- bossing around everybody else.

Nowhere is that more true than in the world of media celebrity -- in which one becomes a ”superstar” for no other reason than that one is seen and heard daily -- while it remains a vast mystery to most why that is. In all likelihood, they just have an insatiable lust and need to be in the public eye and are willing to do anything required to keep themselves there.

A favorite tactic is the most outrageous and insulting slur of better known and legitimately distinguished people -- and of course the runaway winners at this, are those who demand daily that the president, governor, pope and lesser entities should consult their advice before making their latest decision, because they have the power to turn everybody against them otherwise. These people are of course deluded and enraptured by their own immense self-importance -- thinking it is etched forever in granite or gold somewhere, rather than just today’s newspapers that will be tomorrow’s landfill.

Even the most worthy find it difficult to maintain their imagery in the popular consciousness without constant attention to it, while there are countless many others who have dedicated their lives to that one objective -- of maximum exposure, so that they have no time to do anything truly worthwhile and useful to society to merit such attention. They are merely famous for being famous. This is called self-aggrandizing activity -- which is simply and exclusively, making one seem more important than they really are, and so are immensely flattered, when they are recognized out in public -- but most don’t go out in public anymore because they know they couldn’t live up to their image, and wish to preserve that image at any cost -- including their actual lives.

Everyone is unfortunately familiar with such people, beginning with their earliest childhood experiences of being reminded “Who is the Mommy?!” Kindergarten isn’t much different, but at least then, one can go home after another long, brutal day -- “at the office.” Eventually one graduates from these perpetual and captive harassments into the real world of “professionals” vying to be the Big Boss. For most, that is mainly in their dreams, or in the opinion pages that allow character assassinations and personal attacks as “the news.”

Fortunately these days, it is not the only sources of information -- which is the distinguishing aspect of modern culture. People no longer are dependent on single, exslusive sources of information, attitudes, perceptions and values -- which is very distressing to those brought up in that world of unquestioned and unchallenged authority.

They cannot understand why everybody else would choose to do their own thinking -- when they remain willing, able and ready to do everybody else’s thinking for them -- and tell them what to do.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Government and Culture in Hawaii

Politics in Hawaii is a very toxic environment that most people are corrupted by; the exception seems to be the Republicans -- who obviously are so few. It's not so important that they are the majority as much as it is that there is at least one of them at each level -- because it is the one of steadfast integrity who always makes the difference, and not the many who conform to whatever "correctness" somebody else tells them to follow.

Government and its institutions are no longer the primary driver of society and culture -- especially in the age of virtual communications. "Government" was the appropriate vehicle in its time -- so that the many voices that could not be present, were represented. In Hawaii, government is for the purpose that all the voices are not represented -- by only a few, which is an oligopoly, and rather than a true democracy being restored through the elections, which have become virtually impossible, other ways of governance (society and culture) manifest.

The most obvious of them is the Internet -- which supersedes everything else. The status quo of the old mass media, schools, universities, don't want us to know about that yet, and do their best to subvert and underrmine the evolving new society beyond its control. The old institutions were about maintaining control -- and government today still tries to do this despite the rapid pace of change and innovation. Thus government, is largely about controlling their own participants, most notably the (elected) government officials.

However, that which is easiest to report on (because they send out voluminous press releases and other self-promotion), is not necessarily the most significant things happening in society -- which as always, is the consciousness of the people -- just like your own awakening of your own possibilities. The media, schools, universities primarily exist to put and keep people in their place, especially in highly traditional societies that Hawaii is. That is the distinctive culture of Hawaii -- the worshiping of the past -- which of course prevents growth beyond.

We are captives of that culture as long as we believe we must be. One can simply choose to be otherwise, while living among those who do not choose their fate. We don't have to convert everybody else to our beliefs before we ourselves can live that way -- and that is the problem in our society. People are free to live in whichever way they choose for themselves -- but instead, they think their mission in life, is to convert everybody else first. And that's why there is no paradise.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Fear of Change

The value of an education is our willingness and predisposition to recognize and embrace better ideas when we learn of them -- and not simply resisting and rejecting everything but what we learned as the only and absolute truth for all time. There is no inherent value in just accumulating information for its own sake that has no usefulness. That is the reason for being informed and educated, and not so one can use their knowledge to perpetuate their own and society’s ignorance and resistance to better ideas, as is the case we see so often as the popular notion (culture). That kind of education is worse than useless -- preventing us from learning anything that we don’t already know.

The measure of success is not how many letters one gets in a lifetime but what one actually does, with what they know and have -- which makes the biggest difference. People can have everything, and make it nothing and worthless. Others can have little, appreciate it greatly, and change the world. But knowing this difference rather than joining a crowd parading in public demanding infinitely more money (resources) exclusively for themselves, is the measure of every society and its socialization (education/indoctrination) system.

While many are called, few are chosen, or choose themselves to rise from these maddening mobs of unthinking conformity -- who show up at the appointed time and place to repeat mindlessly whatever their exploiters want them to -- as “their public service.” Little do they realize that they do the public a disservice by providing cover for those who believe that “democracy” is following the madness of the mob, rather than provide a forum for the free marketplace and exchange of ideas, goods and services that define every society and community.

Instead, their tactics are to suppress any alternative but their own -- while claiming “unfair” treatment if anything other than their own idea, good and service is proposed. Somewhere along the line in somebody’s captive class, these students got the notion that this kind of tyranny was democracy -- from a dictatorial instructor who didn’t know how to teach anything else, and didn’t want anybody to realize that.

So every year, tens of thousands of these indoctrinees are unloosed on the population as the next generation of duly and dutifully trained dupes who will remind thinking citizens that the tyranny of the classrooms are not left behind forever, but is one’s perpetual fate should one choose to challenge the existing status quo of believing that there are those who tell them what to do -- and those who should obey their directions until it is their time to oppress and suppress everybody else -- and that’s what they think a “democracy” is all about -- because that’s all they’ve ever been allowed to see and think that it is.

While anybody can call themselves a “democrat,” people who can tell this difference, call themselves “republicans.”