Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Homeless (Hopeless) Situation

The Department of Education should be taking the lead in socializing these people -- rather than simply creating a need for "more education," among those capable of learning better on their own. Make education remedial and corrective -- to solve the very real problems of society, and not spend money re-educating those who already come to school with more skills and knowledge than the teachers do -- and rightfully, should be teaching their peers, as highly respected and accomplished prodigies, who should also assume that role of leadership as they grow older, rather than teaching them to be perpetually immature, dependent and "entitled."

It's because all the money is tied up perpetuating the institutions (status quo) of the past, that no money and resources are available to solve the current problems society faces. At one time, that was that very few people could read or had access to the information (libraries), but in this age, that's not the lack anymore -- and just throwing all that money on the old solution, is creating (as another article in today's paper not allowing comments) the predictable DECREASED proficiency with MORE education.

So we need to stop that and let people learn because they can more easily do it themselves -- and spend those resources on those who can't, which are obviously the social problems of our time -- such as all these people who feel they have no place in mainstream society. Then it can be a comprehensive approach instead of teachers complaining that these problems are "not their job," as well as all these bureaucrats now paid to do essentially nothing but "act important."

But the kids see through all that and taunt such "teachers" unmercifully so that they have to be promoted to "educational administrators," and thus, those who can, do; those who can't, teach; and those who can't teach, become educational administrators -- and the problems of Hawaii keep getting worse, because there is no money "free" to do what has to be done.

So most of the government expenditures is for what doesn't need to be done anymore -- while the private sector assumes the lead in developing the cutting edge technologies, including these people going off and "making do" as best they can, which is quite impressive for homeless people. They know that tents are actually the optimal shelter in a tropical climate -- and most even know to purchase an air mattress, which makes any hard surface, a non-factor, and an even more luxurious support than most hotels provide. These people know what the basics are -- which are not unlike the logistical problems of the military in mobile and temporary conditions.

It has to be highly functional -- and even state of the art, which could serve the peoples of all the world in marginal and challenging circumstances. It's not a lifestyle and accommodation that should be suppressed but should instead be taken to the state of the art -- which is really the whole point of any society, and not merely preserving and perpetuating the institutions of the past as the best of all things possible -- and suppressing/oppressing everything else.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You Have Choices -- Just Like All Other Americans

The reason for government is to serve all the people -- and not just the government workers, which is all that government has become anymore -- while using everybody else (and particularly the vulnerable and gullible) as pawns for their own gains.

But one also hopes that the community newspaper, doesn't just become the union newsletter, reporting the biased results of the union's own studies to prove that they are grossly underpaid -- and reported as a fact, by whomever is the most complicit (corrupt) at the newspaper.

The fact of the matter is total compensation for state workers has been validly reported by reputable independent studies as $69,000 for local government workers ($79,000 federal), while the TOTAL COMPENSATION median for ALL workers is less than half the median for government workers -- who should be the comparable peers, and not the top 10%, who achieve that by merit and are usually not the same people because of risks they assume in becoming the best.

So despite paying evermore money for less work and productivity, the quality of life is lowered while the cost of living increases, making life increasingly unaffordable even in self-proclaimed "Paradise," which implies that life couldn't be better elsewhere, when the fact of the matter, is that it is now better everywhere else, than having to work multiple jobs just to pay the ever-increasing rent, utilities, fixed costs, and of course, compensation for those who should be working for them, and not vice-versa.

At the realization that are falling farther behind despite their greater efforts, most Americans and most of the people in the world, consider if life could be better elsewhere -- than the futile prospects they see for the foreseeable future. That is the great story of civilization, and particularly the legacy of America -- representing that land of opportunity for Americans first of all, and for the brave immigrants from elsewhere -- who are notable for the motivation and enthusiasm they bring to their new communities.

That could be true for Hawaii too -- if it was not so determined to reject those alien impulses -- in favor of maintaining the old status quo (that has been imposed upon them) -- that may or may not change when the old finally die off, but there is no guarantee of that. And by then, the generation that inherits that legacy, just holds on themselves until they die -- and so the vital energies of the new and the young, are never allowed to renew and revitalize a dying way of life.

As Jesus might say, "Let the dead bury the dead," and not like in many cultures, burying the living with the dead.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Everything You Know, You Learned From the Mass Media

"1984" is a very significant period in literature and history -- as depicted by George Orwell in his novel of that name. That year also signals the introduction of the (Apple) personal computer memorialized in the commercial that ran in that year's televised Super Bowl, of a woman throwing a hammer at a screen in which society and information is controlled by Big Brother, as represented by IBM and its centralized data processing monopolies. 1984 is also the year in which newspaper subscriptions peaked -- and have been in an irreversible decline since then.

At its peak though, the information in the "news," was sacrosanct -- as most information was popularized by that means, as though they were a official pipeline from the information priests, to the people awaiting the official word on what they should know. And in fact, the schools completed the triad by testing one on their "knowledge," of what they should have seen and retained in the mass media, as what every person needed to know -- as though that was absolute truth.

On a side note, for those who check into my blog on conditioning, that was also the year that the vaunted running guru was found dead on a roadside from a heart attack, which didn't seem to have a negative impact on the notion that the heart couldn't be overstressed from such conditioning. Many others would die subsequently, and their activity also not be implicated as a direct cause. One can see, only what one wants to see.

Up to that point, university professors were still going around proclaiming that everything that could be discovered, has already been discovered, and it was the work of the university professors now to perpetuate that information -- and graduate students were too late, in thinking that anything new could be discovered. Their task was simply to pass on the known (knowledge), to succeeding generations, and play their part in the endless repetition that was history.

In that way, 1984 signals a turning point -- when everything that used to be true, no longer was the monolithic truth, but cracks and challenges appeared everywhere that are still being resolved today. And in fact, the truth and truism of these times, is that nobody owns the truth exclusively, but everyone has the tools to find out for themselves now -- if they want to. That eliminates the convenient middleman that the press once played -- as popularizer of esoteric knowledge that only those with their credentials, had access to.

So that was the height of mass media, when that flow of information, was limited by the understanding of those who sought to spread that information more broadly -- as a public service. But seeing that, there were those who then sought to spread information, for their own exclusive benefit and advantage, which marketers have traditionally done, but also came to be blurred by those claiming that their own self-promotion and self-aggrandizement was the public good (interest), because what would the world be like, if they were not permanently awarded a position on top, as their own entitlement?

That's what the media has come to mean for those who have not learned the responsibilities of power, and its misuses and abuses, and so think that anything possible, is allowed -- until they are caught and expressly forbidden to continue. This is the missing element in those with a professional education rather than a traditional grounding in the foundaments of civilization and civilized behavior.

That is when a little learning becomes a dangerous thing -- to be used as a weapon against all the others, rather than as a tool for the common good. Such terms are not even mentioned very often anymore, as it is expected that everyone must be acting and thinking only for their partisan dominance over every other, and that one is simply a fool if they aren't grabbing for more than their fair share, understandably at the expense of everybody else. That is what is to understood by "professional," as partisan, and self-serving, and not, abiding by higher universal standards of conduct that apply to all under all conditions.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Are We Better Off Now Than We Were Four Years Ago?

Who knew that everything that could go wrong, would go wrong -- as soon as he "won" the presidency? Rather than place blame, it is enough to note the unfortunate timing of doing so -- but it was also an unfortunate time when the previous president took office under much less auspicious circumstances.

George Bush didn't assume the presidency as the new messiah, but actually under a cloud of doubt that he even legitimately won the election -- even stealing it from the rightful self-proclaimed genius of our times, Al Bore. What that candidate, as well as the present incumbent have in common, was the unshakable and unquestionable faith in their own superiority to make the best decisions for everybody else, regardless of whether everybody else thinks so or not.

His enablers in this, were the mainstream mass media, who have presently fallen on hard times themselves -- as one supportive editorial staff after another, finds themselves looking for a new line of work. So this president, hasn't been the savior, even for those who promoted his ascendancy most vigorously, and the hope and change they clamored for, have turned out to be their own nightmare, reinforcing that old wisdom, "Be careful of what you wish for," it may be your own undoing.

For the liberal press, life was good, as long as they could blame everything on the president, but not so easy, when they have to think of other things to say, when they no longer do. In fact, then, a lot of people find they have nothing else to say -- and merely self-destruct, as the recent doyenne of the industry found herself out on the limb, and nobody to back her up, simply because she led the "blame-Bush" chants. The mainstream mass media, would have to find a new pom-pom girl.

Meanwhile, the whole business of the newspapers now seems to be walking around in a daze -- wondering what is their relevance now, without a president to kick around to denote their power. What exactly are their credentials for knowing anything else with passion and authority, since they've long forgotten (eight years is a long time), how to do anything else? "All lines are open."

So for everybody in the information business, that is the challenge of these times. What do you know and can do besides blame George W. Bush for everything? He's no longer the president, and so, that is not enough, or anything at all.

And they already purged, everybody who was not on that bandwagon. As I warned them repeatedly, you can't keep circling the wagons in tighter formations until everybody's heads are up each others assholes -- while locking out the talent on the other side.

That's always a bad formula for future success.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Day the Music Died (Another One Bites the Dust)

Finally, on the eve of its own demise, the newspaper (The Honolulu Advertiser -- Gannett) publishes a sample of the communications that have been begging all along for a fair representation of the "other side" of the story -- besides the union/liberal/Democratic Party's portrayal of ownership and management as the evil oppressors of all workers.

In the past, those omissions were usually justified with explanations that "it's OK because we're biased FOR the Democrats and liberals" and not FOR the evil rich (Republicans) -- which shows no understanding of the whole nature of bias and prejudice. Of course you think your side is all good, and the other side is all evil, and therefore should rightly be censored, suppressed and edited to distortion -- because you are so "progressive," know better and unilaterally ought to do the speaking for everybody else.

So when their own day of reckoning comes, they cannot understand why it was that they were so innocently going about their business ensuring "fair" play, when their own plugs got pulled.

In many "liberal" organs such as the newspapers have become, the newspapers own union shop stewards are either the assistant or associate editorial page editor, ensuring that only one side of the story is portrayed, while the other side is mischaracterized and misrepresented, by the skills of the mass communication skills they've learned to make the people believe anything they want them to believe. That is the insidious nature of "mass communications," which "journalism" has become a subset of.

But simply having these skills, is not enough to render anybody "objective," in and by itself. That's also true of lawyers who justify that the justice they serve, is whomever is their client, and pays them to lie for them. And one of the distinguishing profiles of occupations in Hawaii, are the disproportionate numbers of people employed to distort the truth for the benefit of whomever pays them to do so -- or what their union tells them, as though that made it right in itself, because their "might (majority) makes right," and there is no questioning or insight beyond that.

But that era is coming to an end -- as one day it must. And then like that cruel childhood game of "musical chairs," they find that there is no place for themselves at the new dinner table. And the band plays on -- until the next time. When will they ever learn?