Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Island in the Middle of Nowhere

Is obviously not the best place to be in difficult economic times unless it is greatly self-sufficient and immune from the problems tormenting the other population magnets -- because isolation limits choices.

While it is nice to have plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and water as far as the eye can see -- those are the givens of any particular environment, but not the necessities of food (including drinkable water), shelter, and clothing, which is what isolated, independent societies need to produce, rather than just the money. The basic productivity of a society, determines the value of money -- which is the medium for those exchanges, which is largely worthless otherwise.

That is the problem with any currency that is mainly a storehouse of perceived value rather than a medium of exchange -- like gold, precious stones, and illiquid real estate. You'd better enjoy it as much as it is -- because your chances of exchanging it for something of greater value and usefulness, is non-existent.

The fundamental problem of Hawaii is not any lack of money -- but the lack and diminishing opportunities for beneficial exchanges of the sort that make life better, which becomes more apparent with such ending of the illusions that they are going to successfully be able to swap trash for cash. That only happens in a "perfect world" delusions.

Not that one can't recycle trash to something more useful -- but that has to take place within a closed system, or internal economy to create greater value. Because it is the act of creating greater value from that which was fully used, or useless(worthless), that is the action of increasing wealth and prosperity -- and not just getting more money to bid the increasingly scarce goods, higher, until ultimately, all but a few, are locked out from participation in those markets of exchanges.

Implied in any "paradise," is the feeling that the best things in life are abundant and cheap, if not free, otherwise competing warm venues like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Texas, are much more compelling opportunities to take one's chances and place one's bets.

That is particularly true for the Baby Boom generation that might have been expected to fuel further real estate speculations in Hawaii -- and growth. There is a point in which even fantasies becomes "unaffordable."

The surprising thing for most newcomers to the Islands, is the realization that all the natural advantages of developing a culture that optimizes life under those advantageously mild conditions have been literally "taken for granted," and thus abused and wasted in that way. People have to appreciate what they have to make it greater, and not diminish it because it is "free," until one day, it is simply gone -- and they have no way of recreating it, or making something even better. "That's never been done before."

But that is the value of culture and societies, and not merely honoring the past by hoping they could repeat the old ways forevermore. Life doesn't work out that way for anybody. Far more likely is that even their best laid plans, come out differently -- and so the value of any "education" they get, is to prepare one adequately for those challenges of different (unexpected) outcomes, and not just the one they have all their bets on -- "happily forever after."

But frequently, the worst thing that could happen, is the best thing that ever happened -- and changed one's life in ways one could never have imagined it, which more often than not, are the truly great success stories in life, and not simply honoring and repeating the patterns, of every generation before.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The World Beyond

In a previous time, the mass media was many people's primary interface with their own society and culture, and a few institutions came to be very powerful and dominant in such a world -- as dinosaurs once ruled another. But then the earth shifted, and these powers could not adapt -- as quickly and effectively as the many, though smaller entities, whose very survival depended on their ability to adapt, and not just to claim the territory exclusively for themselves, and dictate the rules by which every other had to play (obey), and acknowledge as the "only game in town."

Because was it truly -- the only game in town, the only way it could ever be? Many would like to convince us of that "fact" -- but life and progress is eternally and persistently finding a better way -- even if they have to create it themselves. But everybody begins with what all those who have gone before them did -- and that is the evolution and progress of cultures, societies and individuals -- and not merely those who always want to remain at the top of the unchanging status quo, acknowledging and defending that entrenched hierarchy with themselves at the top or in favored positions, is the "correct" and "progressive" thing to do.

Which sounds eerily like what we see today -- of the old bureaucratic institutions insisting that they have always been at the top, and always should remain so -- and then we can "talk" about change. But obviously, it is no real change -- but only talk defusing the energy and focus of that need, so everything can stay the same, for just a little while longer. And then it is hoped, the people will forget about it, and the institutions will provide more distractions, entertainment, free food, even little gifts and favors, to speed that forgetting.

And what is the punishment for not complying, not conforming to the "consensus" of what they say is the only way a right thinking person could think? It is the freedom beyond that control and coercion -- where one has to think for themselves, and comes to like it. That is the world beyond the horizon -- that at first, only a few will sail towards and beyond -- while those left behind, fearing to venture out, say their disappearance is proof that there cannot be anything beyond.

Those are the moments of discovery, as well as the death of the "old world," as we knew it. That is where we are today -- with the mass media institutions still demanding that the only paths are to the left or the right -- and not that there can be anything else beyond. But surely, that is where most of reality, and the future, lies -- and of course, they don't want you to know about it, because it is beyond their control.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You Don't Get To Be a 300 Pounder Just Eating ONE Plate Lunch a Day

Liberal hypocrisy has gone beyond the turning point -- to out and out arrogance and naked greed, when the money intended for the poor, now gets diverted to "serve" the (union) government worker, because they can be reliably depended on to vote in their own self-interest -- as their "public service."

That's always been the danger of "democracies" -- that become "Democracies" by those who can control and manipulate the masses, and even create laws prohibiting their opposition from assembling and organizing against them. That's not a hard thing to do -- if one is ruthless enough because to believe that anything that serves oneself exclusively is fair and right -- and not that it should be to anyone else.

But such societies have to fail, or are failing already -- but the sanctioned observers of such things, ignore, or are in on the power grab, because it serves the other to let them -- until at least the elections are over, and then they can resume the disintegration of their credibility and usefulness. Eventually, they have to turn on each other -- but then they'll be others to take its place.

The problem of monopolies is that it gives one no choice, and no ability to exercise wise choices and become better at that -- no matter how many elections they have with no choices, because they have been conditioned (educated) to summarily dismiss every other choice (possibility) but the "right" one, and of course, that is determined by the union teacher teaching that teachers should get more pay, even while their students wonder, "What for?"

In the past, teaching has been a great calling, by people who were just recognized by others as such, and not just self-proclaimed, and certified by their own trade associations as the only ones allowed to practice that "profession." That's where teaching and especially "education," went astray, and become the self-serving interest that no longer serves the greater public interest and welfare.

When we have nothing but exclusively self-serving trade associations determining the fate of the larger society, that society has to disintegrate into battles over which faction has a right to all -- leaving nothing for the rest, which is on the verge of where present Hawaii is. And so rightly, people have to leave such societies in search of better ones -- as the original settlers and immigrants of the lands of greater opportunity had to.

It's not unfortunate that many have to leave the land where they grew up -- and have fond memories that they are reluctant to let go of, but that is absolutely necessary is one is to discover a greater life they could not have imagined as a child. That is the world disappearing and dissolving as we speak -- challenging everyone to embrace the new.

But if one limits the future to only the repetition of the past as all that is possible -- before seeing anything else, that world will be limited and shrinking daily until it is just the box one is buried in. People are doing that to themselves as their choice -- and the only way many think is possible, and that lifestyle is supported, and even encouraged by those who make a good living off of it -- knowing that the other has no choice but to depend on them exclusively, which many come to regard their government -- as the only way it can ever be.

They are encouraged by the many authoritarian personalities who prey on the vulnerabilities of people who feel they have no choice other than the dismal one controlled by these individuals who not surprisingly, delight in the helplessness of those they help to make that way. Thus, so-called teachers increase the need of their students for "more education," rather than less. That gets really bad in end of life issues, when people are taught to depend on external agencies and services as their "primary caregivers," instead of being their own -- and first line of defense.

Such people become entirely dependent on others -- early on for approval, and then the tyranny of their opinions, and their political/social correctness. That is largely what public education has become -- because many of the more gifted students, achieve the full mandatory education skills before they enter kindergarten. Such individuals are then taught to unlearn everything they have learned, for the politically correct programming -- which that it takes 12 years or more, and often never, to learn all they have already learned -- but must now discard, because the student is not allowed to know beyond what the teacher knows -- as everything that can be known, and is knowable.

Such students are trained to become the ideal bureaucrats -- who believe everything they're told, by the powers that be, who intend always to remain so.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Government Can't Solve All Your Problems

Government is an instrumental part of every society -- but it is not the totality of every society, community and culture, or for that matter, the major part of individual experience. That is to say, we don't live for government, but government exists to help us live better -- and if it doesn't, needs to be adjusted to the greater purpose of living better lives, and not that lives must be diminished, for the purpose of making government more powerful.

All cultural institutions, including government, exist for that purpose, and are not what individual lives must be sacrificed for, or towards. Thus the present crisis, is that these government institutions have come to demand that all other aspects of society and individuality must not be sacrificed to the state.

We see that in a nationally famous persecution of a little girl wishing to operate a lemonade stand, and the public officials threatening to fine and otherwise intimidating her from doing so -- under the guise of protecting the public health, and their official and unofficial spokespersons rationalizing their unreasonable persecutions in saying that the public order must be maintained, and what we be the ensuing chaos if every kid wanted to run a lemonade stand without asking permission and obtaining the proper licenses to do so.

Do you see what an ugly, thoughtless bureaucratic society we've become, when people threatened by vermin and pest infestations from the abandonment of property next door, are fearful of protecting their own well-being because government claims they have been cut back and so they can do nothing -- but demand their $100,000 a year compensation to explain why they cannot do anything, or why what they do, is ineffective, but if we simply give them more, somehow that would be enough to hire more people to advocate for more money.

At times like this, one comes to the realization that government really does nothing, while demanding compensation at the highest levels possible. The story is the same throughout the communities throughout the country -- of self-serving government officials demanding and getting $400,000 salaries to oversee rural unpopulated communities while demanding compensation commensurate with mayors of the largest cities, universities and corporations, because they can and know how to "play the game."

That's basically what career government jobs are all about anymore -- self-aggrandizement, and not public service. They believe their own lies and propaganda of what great "sacrifices" they are making for everybody else -- as though they had any other talents or options. But they are convinced, that if they merely stick together, nobody can challenge the validity of what they all claim as their might to make it right -- while demanding that nobody else, has the right to assemble or organize in opposition to them.

That's no the road to tyranny; that is tyranny -- no matter how insistent one is in calling it a "Democracy." Sometimes, government is the problem -- and the right and duty of each citizen, is to recognize that.