Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Can We Do About the Homeless?

The best Idea Mufi had when he forced the homeless out of Ala Moana Park, was to allow them to camp on the grounds of the police station -- and predictably, there were few takers, and those who did, were very well behaved because there was a constant police presence. That's what you need to make one of those campgrounds work -- a police/supervisory presence, and not just allow it to devolve into a free for all, where the worst prey on the worse,etc.

And of course, one needs adequate sanitation facilities and some provision for storing/preparing food so that the rats aren't running all over the place -- as is happening now, all over the city.

The presence of the homeless would be a good and constant reminder to the lawmakers of the very real problems of Hawaii/Honolulu -- that needs to be solved, instead of creating pork barrel projects for all the rich people they hope to become -- thinking everybody else is richer than them, and so why should they "work for free" in their government jobs?

Obviously, ignoring the problem and wishing the lawless are going to be law-abiding citizens is not going to work -- and one has to devise a strategy that will, for everybody, which means a win-win attitude that has to be cultivated and taught, as something very useful in schools, and not the so-called education that creates these problems. So it is quite predictable that everyone grows up wanting something for nothing -- and thus we have the present state of Hawaii/Honolulu.

And all your government workers say, "That's not my job, and do you expect me to work for free?!!!"

Solving the problems of a society/community, is the whole reason and purpose of government, and not their own job security and advancement. Yet that is largely what government has become -- an entitlement program for government workers -- far beyond providing the median for citizens in the society as a whole.

And that is the other major part of the present social/economic crisis, of increasing these entitlements for the self-serving government workers -- with nothing left over to serve the community at large. Instead, our government workers claim they are the poor and underprivileged -- and should get the money intended for the poor and underprivileged (keiki, kupuna, whatever).

All these things are related -- but one needs to be able to see the whole picture and not just the parts, and partisanships that fragment this vision and clarity.

Whenever there is a problem, there are two basic human impulses: One is to eliminate the problem, and the second, is to exploit it for one's own gain, which is to perpetuate the problem -- and that's why we constantly need more money for the schools, sewers, roads, but the money just disappears, and there is no accounting for them -- and department heads who insist they cannot be accountable. More money is not the solution, it is the problem -- that just keeps getting worse and more dire. Sadly, it usually requires a monumental catastrophe to change that status quo -- because seldom does a society change willingly -- and then they have to.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moving Out of the Vog (Fog)

The distinguishing feature of life in America, has been its mobility, and the story of how people willing to move elsewhere to better conditions, have been richly rewarded for doing so -- rather than simply resigning themselves to a fate their ancestors lived before them that those feel is their unescapable destiny.

Those are my first impressions upon reading the story about how the fumes from the volcano on the Big Island, have made life increasingly unbearable for those who remain there thinking the forces of nature will relent -- rather than their having to move.

And as miserable as life has been on some days, "there is no conclusive scientific evidence that it does longlasting harm," when all that life has become is smelling, tasting, eating, touching, thinking the fumes and dust from the volcano -- is the only life they have known and think possible for themselves.

While it is kind of sad that a few think nothing else is possible or even permissible, that is not untypical of the personalities and culture in the Islands that make it possible for the mass majority not to see their impending doom -- even with all the warning signs that they should consider all (any) alternatives than resigning themselves to their unpleasant lives, even while calling it "paradise."

The facts just don't bear out the conclusions. If it smells like hell, looks like hell, tastes like hell, you have to get the hell out of there -- and move to a place with air that smells good and healthful, because life has become untenable there.

The same can be said for the onerous high cost of living in the state now -- that ensures a life of deprivation for all but the wealthiest who have gotten it from somewhere else, since the possibilities of generating such wealth locally, are well nigh impossible, unless one of a rare exception of self-made success. While such things are possible under all conditions, some places are more favorable to those outcomes -- and that is what one should be determining as a place to relocate, and then further enhancing as the successful adaptation of their unique lives.

Those are the realities most people are moving into now, everywhere else. It is foremost, a state of mind, and not the state determined for everybody else -- by a chosen few who know better for everyone else. That is one vision of "paradise" -- that it is created by The One, for everybody else.

That is the mentality seen so often in the pages of the newspaper in which person after person demands that all the rest of society, must change to suit them -- rather than that they should waste any of their own precious lives, adapting to the world as it is -- or finding and living in a better one. No, their vision of paradise, is that everyone has to change to suit them -- or everybody else has to live their lives in the same way to suit them, and nothing else, should be possible or permissible.

What if everybody thought their lives could be better? Wouldn't that be disastrous for society (the social order)?

Monday, October 11, 2010

More Valuable Than Gold

If worse ever comes to worst, gold is not the best thing to have. The best thing to have are all the skills that enable one to provide all one's needs themselves -- which is not something, many people living in cities are used to doing anymore. For that reason, people living in those conditions, would be the most vulnerable -- and gold will just be another useless thing that can't do anything, and thus, becomes worthless. Only things that can actually do something, have value. Just having them -- even if it lasts forever, has no value.

And if worse comes to worst, one needs to be able to produce something of value -- for their own use and consumption -- that might then be valuable and valued by others, and could be used in trade. But in a world of dire needs, gold would be the least valuable thing -- because it has no use. Most people get along fine without it -- and could conceivably, their whole lives.

In a world of survival, only those things that can sustain life immediately and directly, would have great value. So that justification for the value of gold -- is really the use of gold, which except for dentistry, has no use.

Of course that doesn't mean that a few people cannot value and hoard it, as though it
was worth something, and even worth more than anything else -- which I can assure one it isn't, never has been, and never will be. In the worst case scenario, things that are usually free or cheap -- like air, water, and food, are much more valuable. And beyond that, shoes and bicycles, would be more useful than cars dependent on fuel.

Those who can care for themselves, will be much better off than those who need caregivers -- and beyond that, all the other professionals to maintain one's viability. Many in the urban areas have lost that capacity for self-sufficiency, and are almost totally dependent for survival and sustenance, on others -- which can be extremely advantageous in the best of times and conditions.

And so one does well to have that range of preparations and skills -- and not merely put all one's trust in gold, or any other one thing. That would be being able to access the knowledge of everyone else while also cultivating those skills enough to be able to be self-sustaining and self-sufficient if forced to do without that connection for an indefinite period of time.

Such an orientation is a
sustainable lifestyle -- rather than the demand that others must provide those needs for them, under some kind of threat, coercion or even moral duty -- the will of the one, or even the many. And so, most people are now used to demanding that everyone else has to provide for them, rather than in first asking how they can provide for themselves -- much better.

Friday, October 01, 2010

How To Solve the Problem of Education

If you want to attract talent to any field, you pay the entry level as much as those with the most seniority -- to encourage people from all walks of life to enter it.

Then, those who are naturally gifted in that profession, are rewarded by the job becoming easier and more enjoyable (rewarding) for them, and the job they would do if all jobs were paid identically (all things being equal) -- instead of merely rewarding those who can't do anything else but hang on to the one job for dear life.

The problem in education is that too many bad teachers occupy positions permanently -- so that good teachers don't have the opportunity to try it, and remain at it because they are good at it -- instead of complaining incessantly about how impossible the job is because they are not getting paid more money.

The real function of education is learning, and not teaching whether the students learn or not.

As it is, education tries to restrict those who can enter the field by requiring all these mickey mouse education courses for teachers to pretend to know about a subject rather than actually mastering any subject -- which the truly intelligent and gifted regard as an insult to their intelligence, and after dealing with the idiotic rules of the education bureaucrats/union on how they have to teach, decide they can't put up with that for the rest of their adult lives and opt out.

That's why so many teachers leave -- and not because they aren't paid enough. They don't want to be treated like children all their lives -- and have somebody else do all their thinking and talking for them.

No self-respecting individual would want to remain a part of such an association.