Sunday, December 17, 2006

Making A Difference

Unlike many other candidates, and many party leaders, I think winning elections is not the only objective of waging campaigns. Some do it because they want to give exposure to their platforms (or blogging sites for that matter) -- which is a great ideal, in the finest tradition of American politics. In fact, such campaigns really give legitimacy to the others. However, many who begin with such noble intentions and purposes, can quickly lose sight of them -- in the heat of their desire to win.

I’m of the opinion that everybody ought to run -- if they truly desire to do so. It doesn’t require (a lot of) money to do so -- for that purpose. As a candidate, one is already granted the esteem of that office -- that doesn’t have to end with the election. It can be a new beginning -- just like everything we do, can be a new beginning, also.

Leadership is not limited to election of such office -- as it is the actual exhibition and exercise of manifesting and embodying leading edge ideas. Many elected officials will be nothing more than followers -- which others like because they can flatter such “leaders” into thinking and doing what they want them to. That’s why the media likes people more easily swayed to their way of thinking than those who aren’t -- because they feel that it is “they,” who should really be in charge. So they require the most complicit and conformist to achieve those ends.

There are a lot of interest groups that wold like to run the government for their exclusive benefit and self-aggrandizement, but they are a highly visible and well organized minority -- rather than the majority they purport to be. The majority are less attentive and disinterested, and so can be easily deceived and manipulated -- particularly if it is the cultural conditioning to be so. They will call those rigid social (political) hierarchies, “democracies” also. They may say something like, “Might is right,” rather than that true representation, makes right. That was the genesis of the American Revolution -- that there was taxation without true representation; it was imposed by a few, on the many.

The critical quality of democracy is not which party is the majority and controls the government, but whether that government is a true representation of all the interests -- and not just the dominance of a few over all the others. That is the danger inherent in democracies -- that Plato warned about -- that a strong, ruthless faction takes over and dominates and suppresses all the others while claiming it was in the best interest of all, who no longer had a voice, although a great show was made to convince everyone they did.

That is the impression one gets looking at the public access hearings on the The Rail Option that must be the only solution we arrive at. There are some pockets of resistance that are quite contrary to the reporting of them. Nobody disputes anymore that it is not a real solution. But the majority has the votes to pass the project that will solve nothing -- because the builders demand it, even to convincing people who have never taken public transportation before, that they would if it was just rail, instead of the demeaning buses. An expensive rail, is the only way they could see themselves taking mass transportation -- they are convinced.

The rail is where they would like to see development take place -- rather than that there is an existing demand for it in actual use of mass transportation options that are already underutilized.

They’re talking as though mass transit is an idea never thought of before -- and doesn’t exist until they build a rail. What are all those empty buses running around for? Sure they run slow because they get caught up in traffic -- that wouldn't be there, if people rode the buses.

3 Comments:

At December 17, 2006 7:36 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I'm frequently told in person or by email that this blog is the most brilliant writing anywhere, but add that while they understand everything I write with the brilliant clarity I write them, that others (the average person) won't or can't understand -- as they do.

Almost everybody says that to me -- which is probably an indication that most people do -- but that most people do not think that others do. It indicates that people tend to underestimate every other person's ability to understand -- because the writing is ineffective at eliciting that response.

That's what a really effective writer can do, that most other writers cannot. So most people despair in the ability to communicate -- rather than that their skill level is not the same. Some people do it a whole lot better than others do -- but most think they do it as well as anybody else does, and so what differentiates, is quantity, and not quality. and so they turn up the volume or write lengthy pieces exhibiting everything they've ever learned -- in the unabridged edition.

What is most impressive, is the one-page essay and the one-minute speech -- which I think are the genres of this age. Rather than reading a thousand page novel, people want to obtain the same information in one-page, which is the goal of master writers now.

In speech, few should talk for more than a minute without interruption, feedback and interaction. Most novice writers and speakers want to tell everybody, everything they know -- rather than one thing well.

Attentive silence, can say a lot too.

 
At December 19, 2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

More News the "Democratic" Press doesn't want us to know about:

http://newsbusters.org/node/9726

Media Shocker: Newsweek Reports Iraq Economy Booming
Posted by Noel Sheppard on December 18, 2006 - 17:08.

In the midst of all the civil war, quagmire, cataclysmic, doom and gloom reports about Iraq comes a shocking story from an even more shocking source. According to Newsweek, Iraq’s economy is booming (hat tip to Drudge, emphasis mine throughout):

Civil war or not, Iraq has an economy, and—mother of all surprises—it's doing remarkably well. Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago. Sales of secondhand cars, televisions and mobile phones have all risen sharply. Estimates vary, but one from Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006. The World Bank has it lower: at 4 percent this year. But, given all the attention paid to deteriorating security, the startling fact is that Iraq is growing at all.

Amazed? Shocked? Sound like those who claim that only the negative side of the story is reaching our shores? Well, there’s more: "Iraq is a crippled nation growing on the financial equivalent of steroids, with money pouring in from abroad. National oil revenues and foreign grants look set to total $41 billion this year, according to the IMF. With security improving in one key spot—the southern oilfields—that figure could go up."

And more:

Even so, there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq. Partly it's the trickle-down effect. However it's spent, whether on security or something else, money circulates. Nor are ordinary Iraqis themselves short on cash. After so many years of living under sanctions, with little to consume, many built up considerable nest eggs—which they are now spending. That's boosted economic activity, particularly in retail. Imported goods have grown increasingly affordable, thanks to the elimination of tariffs and trade barriers. Salaries have gone up more than 100 percent since the fall of Saddam, and income-tax cuts (from 45 percent to just 15 percent) have put more cash in Iraqi pockets. "The U.S. wanted to create the conditions in which small-scale private enterprise could blossom," says Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk at Global Insight. "In a sense, they've succeeded."

Finally:

Consider some less formal indicators. Perhaps the most pervasive is the horrendous Iraqi traffic jams. Roadside bombs account for fewer backups than the sheer number of secondhand cars that have crowded onto the nation's roads—five times as many in Baghdad as before the war. Cheap Chinese goods overflow from shop shelves, and store owners report quick turnover. Real-estate prices have risen several hundred percent, suggesting that Iraqis are more optimistic about the future than most Americans are.

Unbelievable. Think any of this will be front-page news or the lead story for the Nets some time soon? Or, will that have to wait until there’s a Democrat in the White House that can take all the credit?

 
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