Tuesday, May 29, 2007

District 21 (Waikiki-Kapahulu) Newsletter: Convention Wrap-Up

Bob Kessler follows with a good summary of the state Republican convention on Maui; I did not attend, nor did we have a representation from District 21.

For the last 3-4 years, I've been the major presence of the Waikiki-Kapahulu area for the Republican Party although people contact me now and then saying they would be interested in an involvement that never seems to fit in conveniently with their schedule -- which I would recommend become their priority over most other things they could be doing, because as I've learned over these past years, political activism, is the ultimate freedom of expression and speech.

I think anyone inclined to do so should fulfill the experience of running for public office -- in their lifetime, as an invaluable learning experience, as well as a benchmark in their life. I used it to launch me to a higher level of exposure, for which a more involved and intimate experience with politics, the process and of course, the personalities, gives a greater meaning to civic involvement -- no matter what the outcome of the elections.

While it is nice to win -- it is just as important to be involved in the process. In fact, I think the whole notion that one must always win, introduces the corruptive element -- that people will do anything to win -- when as in everything else one does, how one plays the game, defines their life. If one wins, but has to lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and deceive to do so -- one learns to think that is the only way they can win -- and a person who thinks that, is lost in whatever they do.

As Republicans, I think we can be especially proud that we do things the right way, and that is the most important thing in life. People get lost in all the rhetoric -- and when people all around are losing their heads, those who can maintain their own clarity, are society's leaders -- and not simply those who hold positions and titles while fearing to think for themselves, and do what is right.

I think one of the most important measures of the recently concluded legislative session was the failure to see tax fairness for the poorest in our society as an important issue that would have provided a rational base from which to consider all the other issues; that was the critical issue they could not see -- while being easily distracted by all the other diversions and posturings they came to think was what there were there for -- to serve their own interests and ambitions. My observation of the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the former want more government to serve themselves, while Republicans want more government to serve everybody else.

And that is why people are turned off by the political scene in Hawaii -- and those who have been active, need the relief of others to step up with their reserves of renewed energy and fresh perspective. That's how politics and government should work -- that we share this responsibility and involvement, so that others too can move on with their own lives.

At the conclusion of last year's elections, I became more visible on the political scene because I shifted my attention to commenting on the blogs the Honolulu Advertiser activated before the elections -- to be a representative voice of the Republican (alternative) perspective. I realized there was a whole niche there as a knowledgeable citizen voice -- who was capable and willing to rise to the challenge of stepping in if the elected officials failed to do the job. One can still represent their perspective -- as any citizen is entitled to speak for themselves, as their own truth. That may be even more powerful and effective than one "claiming" to speak for everyone else -- but really not.

My personal feeling is that traditional government is hopelessly broken -- and what has to evolve is a better form of government, not because the defenders of the status quo want to change, but because progress overtakes them and makes the status quo irrelevant. While it was pointed out that because of their low representation, the Republicans were irrelevant, the Democrats also managed to cancel themselves with their own power struggles.

The glaring difference between Governor Lingle and her immediate predecessor is that she is not an authoritarian and autocratic personality -- demanding that everyone believe what she tells them to. And if she does nothing else but that, it has been to restore that trust and integrity as a new beginning for government -- that has already changed the course of history. We just couldn't go on denying that everything that observers knew to be true, was a lie because they didn't want it to be true.

Unfortunately, that still seems to be the way government is conducted at City Hall -- with critics subject to personal attacks and abuse -- by the Mayor or his henchmen. But at least the governor no longer does it -- and that is a huge step in leadership. Once there is that trust and integrity, everything else is possible. Much of the legislature hasn't reached that point yet -- and that is the work still to be done. Of course they like to blind us with the smokescreens and all the irrelevant issues.

Those they have been most successful at fooling/manipulating, have been the media that should be reporting
all these things to us faithfully -- but they are also an institution protecting their own status quo in a time and sea of change. Most mainstream media have lately abandoned that claim of objectivity as the basis for their credibility -- and realize now that even they have to work hard at understanding and overcoming their own biases and prejudices -- like everybody else.

One of the major ones in Hawaii has been that against "Republicans" and anybody else representing an alternative viewpoint than the one the majority demands everyone conform to -- unquestioningly. We learn that in the public schools as the way life is -- and how we too, must conform, as the Golden Rule, along with the unquestioned commandment that, "Teachers deserve more pay, and their authority must never be challenged." The way things are, are sacred, and must be preserved at any cost, and the legislature will assure, at all costs.

So with the blogs, the control of information and opinion that used to be total(itarian), now allows the possibility for the alternatives to get a fuller and fairer exposure than it was suppressed, edited and distorted for much of the golden age of mass media. That's why I feel that I (Republicans) need to define themselves rather than continue letting the Democrats and the media do that for them -- as my own greatest contribution and challenge in Hawaii at this time -- while hoping there is somebody else in our district who is more up to the organizational challenges of just getting people together and in touch with one another better.

When campaigning, I learned that most people are not Democrats or Republicans -- but are independents -- when not indifferent. Most of my political life has not been spent as a Republican but as an independent -- and that is the voice most important to articulate in Hawaii, even more than partisanship, which is the source of our problems. That was my original impression when I returned to Hawaii in 1998 after 30 years on the Mainland -- the hopeless partisanship that can never solve anything.

What is needed is a return to the big picture -- rather than increasing fragmentation that loses the whole. And that is what good government must be -- the dedication to serving the whole, and not just the innumerable partisan special interests. I know all this talk seems a little alien from what we are used to seeing and hearing -- as the political scene, but I feel quite comfortable speaking for myself doing, as my unique calling at this time. Nothing else makes more sense to me -- than just "making sense" so that others know what it is when they see it. Otherwise, they've never seen it and don't know what it is -- as much as we implore them.

Mike Hu
3123 Esther Street
Honolulu, HI 96815

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Kessler <kessler.hawaii@hawaiiantel.net>
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Mon, 28 May 2007 1:07 pm
Subject: Convention Wrap-Up

Aloha all - For those who missed our monthly meeting, this is a brief wrap-up on the recent Hawaii Republican Party convention.

First, our Maui hosts and our Headquarters staff did a fantastic job. Everything was well planned and went very smoothly. Mahalo to all of those folks for their hard work.

Attendance was a little low, which is normal for neighbor island conventions. Approximately 180 delegates attended. The smaller turnout meant gatherings were more intimate, with lots of opportunities for photos and chatting with our elected officials and fellow Republicans. Elected officials attending included Senator Sam Slom, and Reps Lynn Finnegan, Corinne Ching, Kim Pyne, and Gend Ward. Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou also attended, and Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle acted as Convention Chair.

Press coverage was almost non-existent. Malia Zimmerman of Hawaii Reporter attended and wrote a good comprehensive summary. It's posted on her web site, HAWAIIREPORTER.COM. Please read Malia's article to get the real flavor of the convention. The two Honolulu dailies devoted a combined total of about 4 inches of space, buried somewhere after the used car section.

The theme of the convention was "Republicans Do Make A Difference" carrying the message that life in Hawaii is better under Republican leadership. Of course, the underlying theme was the recent Legislative session in which the Dems killed many Republican initiatives, and literally shredded the Governor's nominees during the inquisition that Dems called confirmation. And it ain't over. There's a strong likelihood of a special session being called to override the Governor's vetos. The good news is that our side stopped some very bad Dem legislation. And we're energized to send more Republicans to the Legislature to help the Governor and press the Republican agenda. The Governor indicated she plans to be involved in the next election cycle.

The convention agenda included some changes to Party Rules, and election of new Hawaii Republican Party officers. The list of new officers is at the end of this message. Congratulations to all of them. I believe our new team gives us an excellent shot at picking up seats in both Houses next year.

Lieutenant Governor Aiona left a very strong impression that he is running for Governor in 2010. He gave a very forceful speech laying out his beliefs and plans. To me it sounded a lot like campaign speech numba one.

Off line there were some great seminars which provided some excellent tips and motivation for the next campaign.

Which brings me to our meeting last week. The next campaign is NOW! We have both a House race and a Senate race to win. We started mapping out our campaign strategy and started on near-term tasks which are the necessary groundwork for the next 18 months. At our next meeting I'll provide a draft strategic plan which will propose a road map to victory. It will be a draft, open to review and revision. Part of the homework we all can do now is to start collecting those recent press articles, columns and op-ed pieces attacking the Dems for their behavior during the recent session.

And we need to start looking for candidates. Here in House District 23 we have two potential candidates for the State house seat. And we may have a possible candidate for HD 21. Fortunately we have a strong incumbent in Senator Gordon Trimble, who is up for re-election. But the Party also needs credible challengers to both Abercrombie and Hirono. So please think about people who might be good candidates for those offices as well. Pass their names along to me or to Party HQ and we'll take it from there.

Administrative notes. Our monthly district meeting has been changed from 4th Wednesdays to 4th Thursdays to resolve a conflict with an ongoing HQ community event. Still at Party HQ, still at 6.

EXCEPT, the June meeting will be Thursday, June 21, at 6:30PM. This is a one-time deviation to accommodate my travel plans.

Significant Upcoming Events. Details at gophawaii.com
June 7 – Duke Aiona Birthday Bash - Hilton Haw'n Village. Call HQ 593-8180;
June 23 – Project Playground – Waianae Emergency Homeless Shelter
July 4 – Kailua Parade
July 13 – GOP Golf Tournament - Ewa Beach Golf Club
Oct 6 – Gov Lingles Ball
Chair Willes Lee
VC – Coordinated Campaign Marie Laderta
VC – Candidate Recruitment Gae Berquist-Trommald
VC – Communications Steve Bretschneider
VC – Community Service Barney Ho
VC – Coalitions Eric Barsatan
Treasurer Kathi Thomason
Secretary Sheila Leas
Still Da Boss Joanne Bretschneider

We have a busy 18 months ahead. I believe it will pay off.
Bob Kessler
District 23 Chair

Friday, May 25, 2007

Processing Information

When I first got back to Hawaii in 1998, after being on the Mainland for 30 years since leaving after one year at the University of Hawaii, what was striking was that everybody from the editors of the newspapers to every letter writer to the editors, all were obsessed and preoccupied with telling one person, the Governor, what he should do to make the state of Hawaii better, or at least work. Implied, in such advice, was the feeling that the people could do anything themselves to make things better -- as though all power, rights and capabilities, were vested in one person. That is the height of centralization, totalitarianism and disempowerment, that seems to have been reversed in the entire intellectual climate of the state now.

So while seeming to be a very innocuous proposal, the Innovation Initiatives of the Lingle-Aiona Administration, are really quite a remarkable turnaround and recovery from those days of despair and futility.

I think government, and politics, is less and less about control and majorities -- and more and more about who just has the will to make things happen, without asking permission from every other, if they can proceed with their initiatives. If people have to obtain permission and consensus before they can initiate anything, obviously, nothing new can ever be implemented, because that whole machinery of seeking approval and government guaranteed funding, is a sign that one is on the lagging edge rather than the leading edge of any developments.

Any society that wishes to be truly “World Class,” is not doing so in wanting to soak up more than its fair share of subsidies -- for segments of society indicating they are hopelessly troubled, which is the justification for such funding. Those pioneering the leading edge, have to underwrite and subsidize themselves -- because that is the chance they’re willing to bet on themselves. That psychology is very different -- and determines and reveals real world class winners from those who would like to be but have no idea what that entails and means.

So it is good that we entertain these possibilities now -- rather than being first in line begging for federal funds because everything is going wrong and therefore we need such help. While we may get the money, the damage to our psyche and self-perception, is crippling and retarding. We should not be proud of the fact that our representatives in congress can convince the rest of the country that we are the most hopeless failures -- and therefore need the most help, and then finance projects that fail even more spectacularly as convincing proof of that disability.

The measure of a truly successful society is that the people feel and talk of being successful people -- rather than the downtrodden losers and entitled victims. That is the feeling of being World Class and not simply as a promise some time in the future if we only receive enough money, enough help, enough respect -- from somebody else.

Longtime residents of Hawaii are often proud that nothing seems to change -- which is the weakness of cultures and societies, and not its strengths. Change is not the bad thing many, and especially the “institutions” would like to convince us it is -- so they can perpetuate themselves, even when we are ready to move up to the next step, and no longer require them. That is what it means to grow up and be more human than we were before -- which is the fulfillment of government and society, and not just the struggle for who has the control and majority -- which is a petty thing in itself.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Establishing Credibility

The critical and essential task of any blog, is to establish and maintain credibility, and whether one chooses to be anonymous or not is a trivial matter -- so don’t let people distract your attention from the real issue here. Blogs are not simply the “disco scene” of the last century in which people go there to tell other people “what they should think of them,” with no expectation that they ever have to account for anything they say. Such venues are not only useless but undermine human interactions and communications.

Since this thread is about “critical thinking,” we need to explore it not as just a demand on teachers, but investigate the very nature of what we are talking about -- which is being critical in our distinctions, and not just generalize about all blogs being hotbeds for con-artists, abusers and manipulators. They don’t have to be.

One of the things that is helpful to curb the abuse, is to allow people to say whatever they want to say -- but they have to post it as their real identities, which is not a problem for most legitimate users. Authentic people are proud of who they are and everything they do. That is why they are who they are. Those thinking, “I’ll do what I can because nobody knows who I am,” are doomed to remain that way -- yet they still have this unfulfilled longing to be “somebody,” but don’t know how to go about it properly. It’s not by taking on the pseudonym, “World’s Greatest Guy” -- which is telling people what they want them to think, rather than exhibiting it through their words, thoughts and actions.

That’s how some blog venues have evolved and pioneered way beyond the old mainstream media‘s ability to detect fraudulent information from the authentic -- because their participants had to develop superior detection and comprehension capabilities.

The first major popular use of the Internet forums, was the stock chat boards of the late ‘90s -- that drove the development of the Worldwide Web just as they were profiting from it through these discussions -- known to most people as the “dot.com boom.” That got a lot of the sharpest minds to migrate to the web -- as their primary activity because in doing so, they could make unprecedented money -- just in being well-informed.

But then as 2000 unveiled, the market fell and many of these formerly wildly successful people lost their fortunes -- but still remained on the web because it was their life now. Then they started to notice that something else had started to gain momentum in the widespread use of the Internet -- for political purposes, which many now turned their attention reluctantly to, and noticed the similar abuses of the new trust. These are two of the most demanding environments to evolve forums in because there’s money and power to be achieved -- and not just news and information as a leisure, entertainment activity.

So these people have to get very good at what they do -- in detecting the credible and useful information, beyond the old mass marketing “propaganda” mode. And that is, that if something becomes repeated often enough, it becomes the truth -- and of course, the ideal target would be those in the old mass media who loobyists and propagandists have “locked in” on as the most precdictable people to convince and manipulate.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Meaning of Freedom

There are still people in the world, who believe that if they can coerce, manipulate and deceive another into doing their bidding, that is what "freedom" is all about -- that it is only about their own freedom and not about anybody else’s. It just never occurs to them that others should have those rights too -- and even believe in fact, that their rights must come at the cost of everyone else’s -- and that’s just too bad and the way it is, or at least, the way they make it so. Many of these people actually believe that they are the world’s freedom fighters -- when in fact, everything they actually do, makes everyone else in the world, less free.

Somehow, there is no connection in their minds between their own freedom and the freedom of others -- and that there can just be freedom, for everyone. Immediately, they will demand, “Whose freedom?”, and if it is not just their own, they are not interested. How absurd and a waste of time that they should be interested in anybody else’s freedom. All that matters is their own -- even if they have to oppress, suppress, and repress everybody else to obtain it. That, to their minds, is what freedom is all about, the extent to which “the world” can be free, and it is this manner of thinking, that enslaves the world -- no matter what they want to call themselves. And of course, the greater the oppression, the more they will want a grand name indicating otherwise -- like The Great Benevolent Order of Peace-Loving People Who Never give a thought to Themselves but selflessly and piously sacrifice themselves for everyone else’s benefit.

Something like that: more often than not, it is just implied or suggested as the “correct” way one should be thinking about these things. They are “democratic, liberal, fair-minded, selfless,” and so all their demands must be met -- on the punishment that they will withhold their selflessness until their demands are met. The freedom everyone else has, is to meet their demands -- and if not, they can take sterner measures to enforce that compliance -- which hopefully to a few still, is not freedom -- no matter how much they demand that we believe it so.

Real freedom is really the regard one has for the freedom of all -- and not just their own, to suppress everybody else’s. This essential understanding -- is the great problem for “democratic” republics around the world -- that freedom is not just the tyranny of the majority, or even the minority, over everybody else -- and we have to believe it!

At what point do people really become free -- and not just repeat words mindlessly with no understanding of what they are talking about? That is a very critical issue of “discrimination” of that difference, which the oppressors of the world, don’t want people to do -- which is their own thinking and ability to determine these things for themselves. It is far more convenient and expedient that they just be told what to think -- as the education, indoctrination, conditioning they get -- and are taught never to question.

But among them, a few will emerge, who will insist that there can be "agreement," only when everyone is free to arrive at their own conclusions -- rather than being forced to accept these conclusions without participating in the process of arriving at them. That is the freedom to know -- which is the very basis of any understanding, of the truth that sets one free.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Only In Hawaii: Robbing the Poor to Give to the Rich

Probably the greatest unfairness that the powers-that-be refuse to talk about, is that the poorest people in Hawaii, are also expected to contribute their “fair share” of the money to pay the salaries of government workers who are all among those in the upper half of income earners because they claim they are the "truly neediest and poor of Hawaii." And the newspapers and other venerable testifiers vouchsafe for that claim -- and completely ignore the requests that the truly poor be exempted from this burden -- as any beginning point about the discussion of fairness and justice.

Instead, they will wax eloquently about the wonderful tax credits available our legislators make available to the poor by dutifully paying their taxes -- as though it is some magnanimous generosity of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. And when these points are brought to their attention, they immediately stop all manner of discussions -- and then wonder why each year, they have less credibility, and decidedly less participation and credibility.

That doesn’t seem to bother them outside of their mutual admiration circles that exist to flatter each other on. In fact, now in the age of the Internet, it is possible to devise lavish followings of “supporters” oneself -- for all the aliases and confederates one can concoct. However, since they all write exactly alike, and are unequivocally effusive in their praise as rarely encountered in real life/experience, it’s not difficult to see through, to the obvious manipulations and deceptions so pathetically manufactured.

Because of the various scams conducted on the Internet, it was necessary for a higher level of reading ability and comprehension to have evolved along with it -- to see what was largely not detected before, particularly with mainstream media enforcing the “correctness,” and providing a false sense of security. It was just never suspected, that it might be any other than they proclaimed themselves to be, “fair and objective” -- just as our government workers proclaimed themselves the most poorly paid and treated members of any society in the history of civilization. That all got past the censors (editors), but to point out these gross betrayals of the public trust, could not be allowed to see the light of day, or fall on any ears -- is the reason for distrust of those who protest too adamantly about their “honesty and integrity,” which is not self-evident.

It’s very instructional that because of all the behaviors now evident and perpetrated, we have a better insight into the true nature of behaviors and motivations -- beyond the monolithic picture presented by one self-selected few, who proclaims themselves the only guardians of this function -- the Holy Grail of Objectivity -- whatever that means.

So while many more deceptions, distortions and manipulations can now be perpetrated by many others, what is revealing is the extent to which it is just mimicking the behaviors of those we formerly regarded as “respectable” people, because they told us they were -- and knew better for all of us, what was best for us all.

That apparently, was that they should get more than everybody else -- as they were the “truly deserving and poor.”

Friday, May 04, 2007

Traditional Education IS the Problem

If it is not clear by now, it should be -- that the traditional education that may have once been the solution to ignorance in society, is now the leading cause of ignorance in society -- because it prepares us to “live” in a time and place that no longer exists, when really, what would be immensely beneficial, is learning to live better and fully, in these unprecedented times.

The future is not simply a projection and continuation of the past -- but a quantum leap from it, and so preparing oneself to adapt to that past (that is not understood very well in the first place and is largely myth), conditions one to an unreality -- while the simple and obvious reality merely needs to be embraced with an uncluttered and unprejudiced mind. That is a mind that is simply attentive or aware of what is going on -- rather than knowing all the explanations and rationalizations of what they think is going on.

A mind in that state of presence, can solve any problem -- because it does not accept the problem, as the way it must be, and can consider all the ways it can be -- without preference to the tradition that is now the great problem. But problems create a justification for many jobs -- to “solve” them, but realizing that it would eliminate their jobs, the new objective becomes to perpetuate the problems indefinitely and make them grow worse -- as we see in our educational institutions. They do not eliminate or reduce ignorance and incompetence, but merely create the need for more education -- creating more higher-paying jobs for professionals in that field.

The powerful counterculture, has actually become industries that eliminate themselves -- BECAUSE they are so successful. They eliminate the need for that job entirely! -- and then go on to eliminate a subsequent more obvious problem, while on the other hand, the "unsolvable" problems of the human condition we are convinced can never change, are institutionalized, with honorific titles and impressive lifetime security packages for its perpetuators.

Many fields also operate in this manner, including fields enabling extended life spans while doing nothing to improve the quality of that life. That is most commonly seen in sick people who live much longer -- rather than that sick and people in poor condition, should not be that way, reducing the need for that external support system and concern. Any honest doctor would admit that 90% of health ills are behaviors individuals could do for themselves -- with just the proper knowledge of their condition, and cause and effect.

So of course, misinformation and undermining confidence in one’s observations and judgments, is a large part of that industry. Fortunately, there is a healthy prototype -- of what has happened in technology -- of which use, implies the understanding. That is, that it is not necessary to know the explanation to act properly, if one can simply identify credible information -- from any source, as it is likely, that information provided from the duly certified one, may serve the professional interest more than the consumer’s.

This is the great problem today of “professionalism” -- in which anything done for the money, is the only ethic.