Sunday, April 08, 2007

Writing to Your Representative

I think one of the big mistakes of writing on/to a forum like this, is trying to get somebody else to do something or think /act the way one wants them to -- rather than just articulating one’s understanding and insight as best one can themselves -- for whomever resonates with it. You don’t know who that might be; it might not be the person you have specifically targeted, and demand should act as your personal emissary for your own point of view which they may have no idea what you are talking about. You have to first be your own best representative -- of your point of view. The appeal is best made not by the office one holds but the validity of one’s perceptions and depth of that understanding and passion.

That’s why blogs are a quantum leap over letters to the editors pages -- in which not only do citizens try to get somebody else to do something that they might even be better able to do themselves, but the editors then select and manipulate those personal attacks to maximize the controversies and conflicts that are the problems in society. So this new forum makes possible problem-solving by the principals rather than going through so many intermediaries that might have been necessary in a time in which one couldn’t get their perspectives published -- as are now available to anyone who fully realizes these new realities.

The transition to blogging is problematical to a lot of the old media writers for that same reason -- in that they have no advantage or disadvantage to anyone else. In a previous era, everybody wrote to the editor hoping to convince/embarrass the editor/governor/president as the only person who could do anything -- to do their bidding, to understand what they alone could understand and articulate best. Now YOU can just state the case the best YOU can -- as the ultimate authority. That is empowerment in the age of the Internet.

That’s what a lot of people don’t get. Then if your case has merit, somebody will run with your idea. But to pick somebody out who SHOULD run with your idea and SHOULD understand your sentiments is not an effective way to see YOUR ideas come to fruition.

In the new world, everybody is a principal. The best way not to get one’s message through is to write to the editor of the newspaper to address a representative in state government to write to the president of the United States on your directive. This is the age of disintermediation. You need to write to the President directly. It’s not the old golden era of newspapers anymore.

The hardest thing for people to get used to in the new freedom of expression, is that there is no limit to how well they can express their OWN point of view -- and not as the mass media model of controlling everybody else’s opinion. That’s the paradigm shift of these times the mainstream media doesn’t know how to report on -- and why it fails to evolve (survive) to the next level.

9 Comments:

At April 08, 2007 8:41 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I've long felt that one can't change the mind of another -- or change the life of another.

The best one can do under any circumstances, is to awaken the intelligence in the other -- as one's best hope for the best outcome.

Otherwise, people merely mobilize their will to cancel out the opposing will -- and nothing positive can be accomplished in that way. All the energies go to canceling out one another -- and that has long been the problem, of expending all that energy not to get the job done but in merely determining who is the Boss.

One will recognize that behavior watching the "animal" shows as their driving life force.

Civilization is what has evolved beyond that.

 
At April 09, 2007 8:36 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

With “friends” like these, you don’t need enemies.

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?aa61d33e-1d5e-46ac-991c-03913cde664e

Republicans Can Make a Difference in the Hawaii State Legislature
Open Letter to Governor Linda Lingle
By Eric Ryan, 4/8/2007 10:36:07 PM

On Election Night 2006, just a few short months ago, you downplayed the GOP's minority status in the Legislature. "It is not going to be that big a difference," you told reporters at her victory celebration. "We will continue to work as we have in a bipartisan fashion." Now, a few short months later, your flippant, nonchalant and arrogant sentiments are coming back to bite you.

“I’m really disappointed about this” is the most that you seem to be able to muster about the devastating rejection of your cabinet nominee, Director of Public Safety Iwalani White, by the State Senate earlier this week. Perhaps you genuinely are disappointed, but I can’t imagine you’d actually be surprised. You don’t need to have an advanced degree in mathematics to count the votes in a Democrat-dominated legislative body, nor do you need a doctorate in organized labor to understand that Democrats aren’t going to support someone who ruffles the feathers of unionized slackers.

With Republicans in the super-minority at the Hawaii State Legislature, no matter how hard you tried to rally votes for your nominee, either with the endorsement of the highly-respected city prosecutor Peter Carlisle or the last minute plea from your handpicked, pathetic chairman of the Hawaii GOP Sam Aiona, did you really think you’d eke out a victory?

Your list of failures at the Hawaii State Legislature hardly begins or ends with Ms. White’s downfall. For starters, remember “education reform”? It’s the most important issue to the voters. But after getting a predictably cool reception from the Democrat majority during your first term, you decided to kick that can down the road for someone else to deal with, while our children keep getting the short end of the stick with a public education system which sucks.

And how about the high cost of living? With all the time you spend in Washington D.C. trying to divide Hawaiians from non-Hawaiians with the racist and dependency-creating Akaka Bill, have you really done all you can to reform the monopolistic shipping laws (i.e. the Jones Act) which artificially increase the price of virtually everything your constituents purchase? No, ma'am, you have not.

That’s why so many people are disappointed with you. To many, you held the promise for change that mattered. But you honestly haven’t spent time making the case for reform since you first ran for governor nine years ago in 1998. Since then, all you’ve cared about is getting enough money and worthless publicity to finally get the keys to the governor’s mansion and someday the keys to the U.S. Senate.

As a result, since you don’t appear to stand for anything which delivers on that promise of change, nobody feels either inspired or compelled to stand with you . . . certainly not when it comes to making real changes or selecting real movers and shakers to help lead the way for change.

Governor, there’s more to public service than press releases and photo opportunities. If you want to be remembered for anything, you need to actually do something. And there is plenty to do.

The list of needed reforms blocked by Democrats in Hawaii is endless, as is the list of stupid ideas promulgated by Democrats and the list of bad laws and programs protected by Democrats.

It’s time that you once again recognized the need for concrete reforms in Hawaii. Indeed, it’s time that you recognized the importance of having more' Republicans in the Hawaii State Legislature, not less.

If you show some political courage, get yourself on the right side the important issues of the day and help lead a genuine revolution, the public will reward you. But if you keep falling short of your promise to seriously change things for the better, then you’ll be remembered as an empty suit full of personal ambition and nothing else.

You still have a few more years as Governor and that means you will face off with the Legislature a few more times. If you don’t want to keep coming up empty-handed at the State Capitol, maybe it’s a good idea to have more Republicans after all.

Because, contrary to what you said a few months ago, it is going to be that big a difference.

Eric Ryan is a Republican who lives in Kapolei. Reach him via email at mailto:mailto:ericryan@hawaii.rr.com

 
At April 09, 2007 9:05 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I don't think a lot of people understand the concept -- that in order to win a war, you have to empower your allies -- rather than undermining them and consuming all their energy defending against their allies.

This is the well-described phenomenon in Hawaii of the other crabs pulling the one escaping down. You can't get ahead by putting everybody else down. I don't know why they even teach that strategy in the education schools anymore. It would seem to be a well-known loser.

 
At April 09, 2007 9:10 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The only justification I can see for the publication of personal attacks like this is the journalist's/publisher's belief that their job in life is to make things turn out neutrally -- rather than better.

The objective of all work in any society, is to make society better, and not just to be "objective" in seeing it get worse -- and thinking one serves a higher purpose for it.

 
At April 09, 2007 9:32 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I think thoughtful and responsible journalism and reporting, is as much of the political process as what the politicians do. In Hawaii, that has been a particular weakness in the process because an ill-informed and highly-manipulated citizenry, is the ultimate fruit of their labors -- that produces everything else.

Once the citizenry is honestly and well-informed, I think everybody functions as well as they can -- but nobody functions well under coercion, threats, humiliations, deceptions and misinformation.

So rather than putting efforts into the final politically correct solution, they need to begin at the very basics of understanding == anything, and that people must come to their perceptions freely -- rather than as a process of coercion and all that political nonsense to "force" another to their point of view.

That manner of "politics" and "partisanship" has no place in any intelligent society. It's just a kind of political "road rage" that is unfortunately celebrated as a "healthy" passion for justice.

 
At April 09, 2007 10:20 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The most promising development of journalism in Hawaii (as elsewhere in the world), is the Honolulu Advertiser's foray into blogging -- as a way of ensuring their honesty, openness, integrity and ultimately, viability.

Of course, there will always be those who will seek to subvert those good faith efforts -- to create and sustain the distrust of less developed societies -- that require the ruthless tyranny of self-chosen despots to enforce the social order.

Much of the malice is actually created by such demagogues -- because it is NOT in human nature to be so. It has to be programmed into people at a young age and reinforced throughout their lives in the partisanship that is regarded as "respectable" rather than "unfair."

So partisanship has become the new standard of moral relativism that allows anything done for partisan purposes to be "justified," rather than assessed by universal standards of fairness. That is the huge problem that fortunately exists mainly in the minds of the media makers -- but who have a disproportionately high visibility -- based mainly on their ambition rather than talent.

So they have to self-promote themselves endlessly -- proclaiming themselves as the great next Big Thing in the business. In a former day, everybody else would practically be obligated to repeat what they heard on the news the previous night -- in order to be considered well-informed. That stayed intact until the widespread popularity of the World Wide Web of information around 1995 -- which was the beginning of a whole new world.

Old media and journalism (as well as schools, universities and other sources of information) have been its greatest victim -- because most of the changes have happened on their traditional turf.

A lot of the popular literature of the past century, was shaped by the mass media model -- of control rather than the liberation of the mind. That's why political correctness came to play such an important role in the dialogue -- especially in the media.

And rather than consulting with anybody else, they chose to designate themselves as the arbiters of right and wrong -- all the while denying any role in that. They maintained that they alone were "objective," which is like a license to print money.

Blogs tend to be self-correcting in this. The only improvement I would note, is that rather than allowing the irresponsibility of anonymous blogging, people tend to protect their own reputations and integrity in being known for what they write.

I was one of the few people who when the World Wide Web started to take off in popularity, decided unlike everybody else, not to assume anonymity -- but thought it made more sense for everybody to be "known" as who they really are. The lack in society is being known -- and not that one is too well-known and needs to be anonymous, or a nobody.

That's why American Idol and all those reality shows are so popular -- people wanting to be known, and wanting to establish a presence in the world. Why they think achieving anything anonymously is beneficial is beyond me -- but maybe the result of the old conditioning of media-thinking that one could only have the freedom of epxression if it was anonymous -- which is no freedom.

The freedom truly exists when there is no fear of saying what one is saying -- in an open forum, rather than that which is moderated, "protected," edited, distorted and suppressed -- as traditional publications were famous for doing.

Only truly open blogs, ensure that transparency.

That is what I've advocated was the first step in establishing a truly responsive and representative government that would solve its own problems.

 
At April 09, 2007 10:43 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

One of the most damaging lessons taught to school children, is the notion that "the majority is always right," or that "might makes right" -- so that whenever they can strongarm everybody else, that is quite OK.

In that manner, independent minded people are terrorized into thinking what somebody thinks they ought to "for their own good," which is just terroristic threatening, no matter how good one's intentions and how noble sounding the cause.

Bullying and intimidation are considered rites of passage -- fully approved by the professional educators as justification for their own practices.

These are the troubling undercurrents not only in politics -- but underlying all facets of a troubled society. But because we no longer live in a mass media world, some have already broken through to the other side.

One is most likely to read about it in their blogs and forums -- but not all blogs and forums, which is the old manner of generalized thinking -- of mass media. One has to differentiate and discriminate the good from the bad. NOT to do so, is a biased and prejudiced mind -- despite what one calls themselves.

 
At April 09, 2007 1:00 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Judas Iscariot had the same explanation for turning against Jesus:

"I turned him in because he failed to live up to my expectations."

 
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