Thursday, June 29, 2006

“My Opponent Supports Randall Iwase for Governor!”

At last night’s District 21/22/23 meeting, we got a chance to learn up close and personal, the perspective and strategies of many candidates, and especially those running for statewide as well as county-wide offices for the US Senate and US Representatives. The challenge was finding a way in which to transfer some of that success and momentum of one of the great leaders, politicians and campaigners onto their own efforts -- which I‘m not convinced many people realize can be the strength of their own campaigns -- by which they immediately establish a common bond with many of the voters. “I support and am voting for Linda Lingle for Governor too.”

In that one statement, one is already demonstrating superior judgment, and not just mindless partisanship -- of voting for a candidate because the Party/union leadership demands that you do so blindly -- when all your own senses tell you, “This person is a winner ” -- and will take everybody with her, if we only allow it.

A lot of people are not used to thinking in that way -- especially in Hawaii. Everybody thinks they have to re-invent the wheel first -- just as they are taught in schools that they have to learn the obsolete ideas from the very beginning of time before they can learn the latest state-of-the-art. And so, virtually 99% of what they know is useless, outdated information -- that the powers-that-be insist, you must learn first. That ensures that one start and stay at the back of the pack -- and not immediately assume leadership because one has simply observed which way the pack and the course of history is heading, which way the wind is blowing, if you will.

That allows people to anticipate where society is heading, and intersect with it on its projected course -- which of course cannot be guaranteed, nor can the timing be perfect. Usually visionaries are too far ahead of their time -- however, in a rapidly changing world, that is less likely to be inevitable. But the proven losing formula is to run from the back of the pack hoping to overtake the leaders.

While I understand the need not to get complacent in the governor’s race, the fact is that Governor Lingle’s leadership qualities transcend partisanship to clearly recognize. If people cannot or do not recognize those clearly demonstrated, self-evident realities, then their whole lives are at jeopardy because it is not just an opinion but a fact. At some point, even the most rabid partisan, has to admit that “up” is up, “down” is down, “good” is good, and “bad” is bad. If your opponent cannot recognize that simple truth evident to virtually all but the most blindly partisan, biased persons, they have no right to exercise judgment on any matter, as your representative.

I think many of our “Republican” candidates are overlooking the obvious -- which should be the basis of their strength and recognition -- relative to a well-known, well-established landmark of the Hawaiian political landscape.

One person told me that they’ve contributed to the Lingle campaign, even while thinking, “She should be contributing to mine.” Well, there’s no reason or prohibition that they can’t be advertising that fact prominently in their campaign -- that they can recognize and support superior leadership -- as a testimony to their own good judgment.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

District 21/22/23 Newsletter (Diamond Head to Kakaako, Moiliili to Pawaa)

The election season is ramping up -- with July 25, 2006, the deadline for filing for this year’s elections. This year, it really does seem to be different. The Republicans seem to be united -- or at least have an understanding to respect their differences, while we’re still waiting for some leadership to emerge from the Democrat camp other than, “Blame Bush for everything,” and hoping to exploit some kind of local, petty differences.

I think today’s citizens are not petty, nor are they as ideological as the media makes us out to be -- ready to tear out the jugulars of all those who disagree with us on every issue -- as though we have nothing better to do but stampede on cue. That’s probably a large reason why the influence of mass media has diminished greatly, and is accelerating in these last few years -- making it truly possible for an effective grassroots campaign to succeed. The grassroots meanwhile, have picked up formidable new capacities in the new technologies of the Internet and cell phone networks enabling ease of communications unprecedented before.

The important concept is “mindshare.” Information has power when we share it with others -- so they are working with the same information you have. In a previous generation, information was thought to have power if one withheld it from the others in the thinking that one could control the others because they were not as informed, allowing some to dominate others -- as the leadership paradigm. Leaders were leaders because they were smarter and more powerful than anyone else (by exclusive access to information) -- rather than enabling the more effective strategy of delegating authority and sharing power with those worthy of that trust. But with more than just the traditional reporters telling us all we know, it is now possible for the ordinary citizen to have a bigger picture of what is going on than the principals -- too preoccupied in the machinations of power and pressure.

That’s how the Lingle-Aiona Administration is remarkable, different and effective; the leadership style is not top-down from the Big Boss, who micromanages and second-guesses every decision so that people lose confidence in the ability to think and act for themselves. But the governor retains full responsibility and accountability -- and looks for causes when things don’t go right -- rather than just somebody to blame. That’s when we’ve moved out of the plantation era mentality of only one person being allowed to think -- for everybody else, even if they called themselves, “Democrats.” The words, the labels, the alibis, don’t mean anything; it is the actions, and the results.

Are we not better off than we were four years ago -- immeasurably? But success also brings challenges of their own -- or people know nothing else but to destroy their own success so that they can be successful again, in a dysfunctional repetition of history. Progress, evolution, “a more perfect society,” is going beyond, to where we have not been before.

The leader we can have confidence in moving forward, is our present governor, Linda Lingle; she’s blazed every path naturally, effortlessly, gracefully all her life. That’s a proven track-record, if there ever was one. Those are the kinds of people it takes to be the true leaders in the world, in all the aspects of a greater society, that the government and all the institutions are meant to serve. The government does not exist just to serve itself -- to provide more high-paying jobs for themselves for doing as little as possible (or anything at all), or even, creating a bigger problem that requires more high-paying jobs to solve.

So we need elected officials who are not enabling that mess -- that hopeless quagmire of expanding the problems infinitely, hopelessly -- even as they claim it is “for the keiki,” “for the kupuna,” for everybody else but themselves -- for their ambition is a selfless cause. Meanwhile, back on earth, we eventually have to pay for their generosity and largesse. In the past, there was no greater lure than, “Everything for free.” The world just doesn’t work that way. There are always costs -- while sometimes, the rewards disappear as soon as the free federal money expires. That’s not a healthy way to run any enterprise of sustainable values and purposes -- and especially government.

Particularly noteworthy about our present governor is that she demystifies government jargon and doesn’t use it herself, so that for the first time, people are not excluded because they don’t know the “secret talk” of government officials (bureaucrats). In this respect, she has fulfilled one of her primary promises to restore integrity and trust to government -- which is always the necessary first step. Once that trust and confidence in integrity is in place, anything is possible -- because all that energy that formerly went into undermining one another for personal aggrandizement, is freed to serve the greater good.

The new model of leadership is about leading by example -- and not just being “the baddest dude in town” who gets to boss around everybody else. That is not leadership -- but bullying and intimidation, which we hope is now a forgotten memory of the past, although one hears rumors they still condone it in some public schools and offices -- as a remnant of the “good old ways,” and the “good old boys.”

Our regularly scheduled monthly meeting, on the 4th Wednesdays of each month, is this Wednesday, June 28, 6:00 pm, at the Hawaii Republican Headquarters, Kapiolani Blvd and Cooke. Per the tradition of our meetings, everyone is invited to attend, and candidates running for office are especially encouraged and given an opportunity to deliver a brief message about their campaigns. After all, that’s what we’re all about, and there is no more important business we have to get on to.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mark Beatty for U.S. Senate

Mark Beatty will bring varied life experiences and ideas -- as a citizen on the cutting edge of developments -- to the US Senate, to address the challenge of our times:

Security: Mark is a combat veteran, having served in Iraq in 1990 and in Hawaii after 9-11. He understands that we must fight the enemy on their turf, rather than allow terrorists to bring the fight onto ours -- disrupting every facet of our lives.

Education: Our schools need to teach success -- not the institutionalized failure of the status quo that creates the need for “more” education. Mark has five graduate degrees, experience as a college dean, and is home schooling his own children, Esther, Deborah and Daniel, with wife Darlene, a social worker in Hawaii for 16 years.

Efficiency: Mark founded Everything Tailor, an international fashion company, as well as advises other businesses toward their own success, in his law practice (Tax, Business and Da Kine). He understands international competition and cooperation, frequently traveling to, and conducting business in Vietnamese. He has a global understanding of business and what it takes to be truly “world-class.”

The Akaka Bill/Hawaiian Rights: Mark thinks we can do better than the Akaka Bill. A government program can never outperform self motivated individuals who own their homes and land, fee simple, and control their own destiny.

Replace the status quo of stale ideas with a clean, safe and successful Hawaii for all—visit to elect Mark Beatty.

* The preceding message was neither paid for, authorized, approved, nor solicited by Mark Beatty or the Hawaii Republican Party. Mark asked me to review his 250-word statement to appear in the Voter’s Pamphlet when he officially files his papers for his candidacy. At the Republican Convention last month, I let candidates know I would be glad to review their critical literature and tweak them for maximum impact, as many told me how much they enjoyed reading my writings on the Web.

My specialty, if anybody has been paying close attention to these things, is the 500-word essay/letter (one-page) as the ultimate literary genre of these times -- down to the great one-liners ever heard. The objective is to say the most with the fewest words -- rather than the old publishing tendency to say the least and/or nothing, in the most words possible. Busy, productive people don’t have time to waste in that way -- and so they have to select those sources they can reliably count on to change their whole way of seeing things in a very brief article, having maximum impact at very little cost of time and energy.

Many candidates will just say what everybody else is saying -- giving them no competitive edge, or distinction. So, much money and opportunities are wasted in this way -- of making the outreach and contact, but not having anything really noteworthy to say; some even convey wholly negative messages! Many will overlook the critical role everything they say and write, plays in their election chances.

Leaders must clearly, decisively, and definitively distinguish themselves in that way -- of not just doing what has always been done before, in the same way it’s always been done before -- thinking that merely sticking together is the basis of their strength. We’ve had too much of that kind of leadership in the past. The new age requires people of vision, imagination and creativity -- and not just repeating the same old lines that were said in the ‘60s, as though nobody has heard them before.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Implicate Order

There is at any time, a lot more going on than is reported going on -- and in fact, most of what is actually going on in the world, is not being reported by the mass media, or are they even aware that it is happening -- because the filters of their perception, are the familiar, which is usually not very contemporary, but is the old reported as the new.

The really new is always unprecedented -- for which there is no training to perceive, because well-known knowledge is always of the old and familiar. The truly new, which is happening all the time, cannot be seen -- until it has long passed into the old and familiar, which is what traditional knowledge and education has been about. In a rapidly changing world, that kind of education becomes more and more irrelevant -- learning the problems and the solutions of the past, which is not productive in solving the problems of the present -- which would be the useful education of these times.

Rather than learning the information of the past, it would be much more useful to learn the information of this actual present -- since that is what we all wish to know, and know very little about. We don’t have to know how a problem was solved in the past in order to learn how it can be solved in the present. The former is just wasteful -- a continuation of a tradition of knowledge that is obsolete, while ignoring the important lessons we need to solve in the present, which is to be aware of the present like no other.

One doesn’t need to learn the history of computing, in order to compute. One doesn’t need to learn the literature of the past to know how to communicate in the present. The great writers of the present have all surpassed the legends of the past -- not just because they know the works of the past, but because they begin with that heritage as their base -- as the standard for ordinary communications.

It’s not that the old icons need to be worshiped into perpetuity as an end in itself. Truly great people are not concerned that their legacy be remembered -- over paying attention to the actual living -- no matter how great their ideas. They just don’t think that way; the many mediocrities who follow and idolize, regard that as their meaning and purpose in life -- to acknowledge and celebrate the dead, while undermining and abusing those actually living. And then when those die, they will praise them greatly and endlessly -- as though that is the only affection allowed -- for the dead, and never the living.

It is a culture of the dead -- of memories, traditions, legacies and knowledge -- of the past. Living in the present, is not allowed; there is no language, no protocols for it -- in the old culture. But what is increasingly emerging is the culture of the present -- for which the traditional media has no abilities to perceive, and so it reported by the most perceptive almost exclusively in the new media (blogs) and other powerful new communications, that most are not aware of yet. It is all the communications of the past summarized and integrated into an overpowering effectiveness in these new times.

It is recognizable as the living language and culture of our times -- while the old is still living and not fully buried, kicking and screaming alive. But the writing is on the wall, and we see increasing defections from the old media now claiming they have always been the leaders and the pioneers of the new.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The World’s Already Changed

Republicans have the luxury of pointing out that under their watch, the world’s already changed -- for the better, while the Democrats, like so many Rip van Winkles, slept through it all, and awoke to continue with their demand that the world needed to change, and they would be the leaders in bringing that promise about.

But if they had been paying attention, they would be aware that all the changes they were now promising, had already come to pass -- but with that realization, they couldn’t be the leaders anymore, the progressive vanguard of the wonderful world to come -- if they were now the last to know that all those things they were advocating, had already come to pass.

That is the curious state of politics at this present time -- that while the world has changed immeasurably in the last forty years, the worldview of the Democrat/liberal/”progressives,” have not. They are still living with the memories and programming of the 1960s -- championing the causes of “civil rights,” getting out of the war (in Vietnam), and that they, the most progressive members of society, should be our leaders -- in a world in which everyone could be their own leader, and think for themselves; it was no longer necessary for a group of self-appointed technocrats to decide for everybody else what everybody should do and be doing -- because they alone knew better, what was best for all.

That’s how the world had changed -- but a few refused to acknowledge it. They were called Democrats -- and were calling themselves, “progressives.” Many had grown up and were educated (conditioned) in the 60s, and didn’t grow and evolve beyond that initial indoctrination. In their fantasies, they were still the swashbuckling rebels against the homogenization of those times -- and never changed though they grew older.

In previous times, that was the expected pattern, that once stamped in adolescence, people did not change, or learn anything substantially new in the remainder of their lives. They just grew older -- without re-examining, re-vitalizing, re-creating their lives and world view to accommodate all the changes since they were formally and systematically indoctrinated in the ways of the world.

We still see this resistance in the lives of those vowed never to learn how to use a computer or a cell phone -- no matter how long they live, no matter how much life will revolve around these new tools. That is just the most obvious manifestation of the new voluntary retardation -- for surely, that is what it is, like those who cannot learn the adaptations successfully the first time.

Yet many others, while ostensibly adapting the new technologies, still use them with the mindset of a previous generation and consciousness. Since most are familiar with the culture of the mass media, that culture is probably our best record of those changes -- in which the playing field has been leveled to invite full participation from and for everybody. Yet the old icons are still insisting, “It is I who am important. I hold the microphone and editor’s pen. I am the progressive leader. The world is, what I say it is.”

The rest of the world just passes them by.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Brainstorming the Possibilities

As of this moment, there haven’t been any filings for candidates for the Representative position for House District 21 (Waikiki-Kapahulu), so anybody interested in running for elective office should feel free to indulge their aspirations.

I think the major requirement for elective office these days is largely that one wants to run -- since the mainstream media has made it such an intrusion of one’s life that few want to run anymore and thus expose themselves to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Talk about an unintended consequence: previously, the whole rationale for the newspapers and other media was to promote civic awareness and participation -- but they’ve made it so onerous, contentious, divisive and invasive, that nobody wants to participate anymore -- even for the governorship, which should be the highest honor of every state.

So it seems that the Fourth Estate (the press) has sought to dominate the other components of traditional society by destroying the others, or at least, severely undermining their capacity to attract willing and able participants to the other major categories (government, church, public), while placing themselves at the top to dominate all the others.

However, that has given rise to the emergence of the Fifth Estate -- of the alternative media -- the Fourth Estate generally refuses to acknowledge, which in the past, were the alternative newspapers, etc. Those media operated at distinct disadvantages -- until the Internet turned the power structure upside-down. Then the advantage shifted to the nimble, quick and unbureaucratic -- while the mainstream newspapers, could only persist in trying to sell the old ways as the new, or news.

Sometimes though, the newspapers can serve a useful purpose, as I happened to note that one of the prominent citizens of our district is featured in this letter to the editor to the Honolulu Advertiser:


As someone who has been closely involved in the ongoing effort to curb the dangerous use of drugs and alcohol among our youth, I strongly disagree with Lee Cataluna's characterization that the establishment of a hotline designed to prevent underage drinking and report on those furnishing alcohol to minors is a "superfluous ... no-make-difference government initiative" (June 4, "Hotline needs fast response").

Ms. Cataluna complains that the Underage Drinking Hotline does not allow citizens to report a violation that is already in progress. Had she attended the news conference explaining this worthy program or asked the hotline partners, the Honolulu Liquor Commission or the Honolulu Police Department, she would have known that the hotline does not replace the official 911 crime-reporting process.

Rather, it is another strategy employed by the Hawai'i Drug Control and Underage Drinking Plan to curb the tragic consequences of underage drinking.

Simply put, if this hotline can prevent even one family from suffering the heartache of losing a child in a senseless drunk-driving accident, it will be worth it. I think Ms. Cataluna would agree with that.

Each time I read about another fatal accident caused by illegal underage drinking, I am reminded that many of these senseless tragedies can be avoided if we as a community take a more proactive approach.

In January 2005, the Lingle-Aiona administration released the Hawai'i Drug Control and Underage Drinking Plan, the framework for the state to move forward with a coordinated and comprehensive approach to address illicit drug use and underage drinking. One of the three identified strategies of the plan is "to prevent illicit drug use and underage drinking before it starts."

Alcohol is by far the No. 1 drug of choice for Hawai'i teens. It is an entry-level drug that often leads to abuse of other illegal substances such as marijuana or crystal methamphetamine. Underage drinking has also been associated with poor academic performance, violence, suicide, risky sexual activities, victimization, other problem behaviors and death.

Moreover, even if it never leads to the abuse of other illegal drugs, underage alcohol use, in and of itself, places our entire community at risk. Did you know that underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people than all other illegal drugs combined? Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 20? Did you know that in 2001, underage drinking cost the citizens of Hawai'i $182 million?

To make matters worse, approximately 35 percent of Hawai'i students report they first drank alcohol (more than a few sips) before age 13. Additionally, one-third of Hawai'i 10th-graders report having been drunk at least once, and 72 percent of them say that alcohol is fairly easy to get.

Clearly, underage drinking must be addressed. It can no longer be viewed as a minor infraction or a simple "rite of passage" for our teens. By condoning underage drinking, we as a society are perpetuating this destructive cycle.

Drinking hotlineCall the hotline — 523-4194 — to report underage drinking and help keep our kids safe and alcohol-free.

Karl Espaldon
Drug control specialist, state of Hawai'i

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Beyond Government

I’ve always thought that one of the big problems of government -- if not the only problem of government -- is in thinking that the government is all of society, culture and reality, rather than actually a small but critical, most visible part of it. I think most people don’t rise each day by government edict and conduct their lives by government fiats -- of how to think, what to do, whom to associate with, etc.

There is far more going on in that society than what the government actually does control. At best, the government sets a baseline standard -- that shouldn’t be regarded as the highest realms of human achievement and possibilities, but is the minimum expectations of a civilized society. In cultures that mistake the minimum for the maximum, all deviations are regarded as “crimes” against that political and moral rightness (conformity), rather than considering the possibility that deviations also include expressions of that objective, in ways that substantially exceed the minimum -- that they have no training to recognize because it may be the creation of that moment.

So it is that people think, that in order to do anything, they have to convince everyone else to do it -- before they can, themselves. It never occurs to them that those freedoms and liberties are allowed unless specifically (or generally) prohibited -- and not that there has to be a specific law on the books before they can ride a bike to work, plan for their own rainy day fund, make their lives better in all the ways possible. It doesn’t require a permit -- although some authoritarian figures, will try to convince everyone they can, that everyone else must live up to their expectations for how everybody else ought to behave.

The most famous of these are usually to be found as editors of the local newspapers -- but they are also plentiful at the schools and universities, where people regard those situations not as a trust, but as their personal fiefdom. They invariably claim special rights and privileges not granted to everybody else in that society -- by unilaterally claiming them in this way. As editor of the newspaper (president of a one-person organization, etc.), they’ll claim to speak for all the people -- as though that was their exclusive right guaranteed in the Constitution -- and not just the right, as every citizen has, to speak for themselves without the fear of persecution.

In fact, they will insist on their further right to speak anonymously or misleadingly because of their fear of persecution -- which enables them to evade responsibility and accountability for their expressions. These are obviously abuses and deceptions rather than the freedom to express the truth that was the intent of these guarantees that enable the flowering of humanity’s greatest achievements and possibilities.

So when we only talk about what the government (governor) must do to ensure our happiness and well-being, it undermines our own primary powers and duties to provide those things for ourselves -- as individuals, which is the ultimate power in a free society, in a free republic. The greatest fear of the founders of the republic about “democracy,” was this tendency to devolve simply into the tyranny of the majority, or the masses manipulated by a few.