Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is There No Hope For Hawaii?

"Speeding has nothing to do with traffic safety...The colleges need more remedial courses...Eating has nothing to do with obesity...The Islands are messed up because of the Republicans in control...Kailua only wants failing businesses and not successful ones...We need to build a rail to nowhere..."

The list of nonsense is endless, and dutifully reported in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, where now, the less sense an article makes, the more likely it is to be published as vetted fact. It is the final chapter of a society in decline -- drifting into anomie.

Goethe said, "Heaven is where everything is related and connected to everything else; Hell is where nothing is related and connected to anything else." Humankind can ascend but also descend, as the people in Haiti and Somalia can attest. Societies don't all have to succeed, just as in nature, not all animals are guaranteed long lives and prosperity.

Those are the realities and facts of life. Not everyone and every society can be guaranteed success; a few will succeed spectacularly, while many others will fail as spectacularly -- as they always have. That's why the great Roman Empire is no longer so great and dominant, just as the British also were at one time.

Societies and cultures rise and fall -- and so the question one asks, is this where the story of success will be written, or is this one of the many that will be plunged into endless and utter confusion -- and nobody can tell any difference anymore, or cares to? "Who is John Galt?," ask the characters of Ayn Rand's epitome of the novel Atlas Shrugged, which is intended to be a meaningless question for which no answer is expected, because nothing makes sense any longer.

Many familiar with the novel, would not be amazed at how it seems to be the story of where Hawaii at this time is -- even to its central story about a railroad as the metaphor for how life is going, and where it is headed. Nowhere.

The successful people who make a society work, finally realize their efforts are in vain, and even when they persist in their desire to better the lives of their fellow citizens, they are merely regarded as fools for thinking so, and the more they do, the less everyone else will do. So it doesn't matter how much they do -- the others will always do less, until they wake up and realize, they don't have to do all the work, for everyone else's benefit.

That is a great awakening -- much like the buddhahood, or epiphany. One awakens and sees things as they really are -- and it is that right understanding and perception, that leads to right action, and not any amount of greater effort and struggle, with the wrong perception and understanding. In thinking one was doing good, one was actually doing harm -- because the others merely learned to do less, and become more dependent on them, which is a disservice, rather than a service they thought they undertook for the benefit of society.

We also recognize that as a paradigm shift or inflection point -- at which things that have been going along in one direction, suddenly changes, disrupting that continuity and progression -- for a quantum leap into another realm of consciousness and reality. That is what the true leaders of any society ultimately must do -- and not like the many, who merely win elections and office, because they know how to play that game.

But when the name of the game is change, then only those who really are such leaders will know what to do, while those merely pretending to be so, will be lost.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Future Will Be Different

Very obviously, the only hope for a viable future, is that more people are going to have to learn to take better care of their own health -- and not just rely on the acute care medical system to make them well.

Fortunately, all the information is available to them to do so now, but they have to learn that they have to do things for themselves -- because nobody else can do it for them.

That's going to require a huge culture change from Hawaii's traditional culture of increasing dependency and co-dependencies.

That will give a whole new meaning to the "survival of the fittest." Those who are self-reliant and self-sufficient have a healthy and happy future to look forward to -- of increasing health even as they grow older, but those aging in the traditional fashion, have to realize it is a choice, and not a destiny.

That is the major difference between healthy people and people who have a multitude of health problems and conditions -- what they can do about it. Even your doctors will tell you so -- and if they don't, find a better doctor or health care program, than those who merely say, "That's okay, you have good medical insurance, We'll take care of everything."

That's a real change in the mentality and mindset that will make the biggest difference in the
quality of life, which more than the cost of living, is the true measure of well-being. Yet usually, if not unfortunately always, these are discussions only about the money -- rather than all the intangibles, that is the bottom line of existence. Of course nobody wants to live a longer life in pain and declining health and circumstances -- but is there a way to ensure this adequacy and abundance beyond the money.

And that has always been -- knowledge, insight and awareness -- that is worth far more than the money, and with it, one can even make money, but always, it costs one less money, and sometimes, dramatically less, so that much that people spend their entire fortunes and health on, can seem to be free and unlimited.

But it doesn't just happen; an individual (and it has to be an individual responsibility and undertaking), and is not achievable just by
group-think, or the "political correctness" (conventional wisdom), but is the looking beyond what others want one to know -- to what one desires for themselves to know.

That's not the kind of world we were brought up in, and certainly not the education we receive in the schools, which is about the conformity, and even coercion into one way of thinking -- even if it doesn't work, and produces the problems of these times.

That is the challenge of living in any time, in any society, anywhere -- but what else is more important to do?

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Lock the Gates!"

There seems to be increasing awareness that in a society that rewards "seniority" over every other qualification and quality, that the impact of "aging" in that society will be much more severe than a more "balanced" one that Hawaii has come to eschew and vilify as a diabolical Republican scheme.

I'm sure the Democratic legislature will come up with a diabolical scheme (law) to keep the young people from fleeing in Hawaii's famous "brain drain" -- and force them to be perpetual caregivers for all who came before them, and are the "most entitled."

And then the next generation can also make that sacrifice for everybody else when their time comes.

Obviously to most, that is not a vision of a sustainable and meaningful society -- in which every generation "sacrifices" itself for the next, so nobody is ever actualized and fulfilled in living their own. That is the dysfunctional tradition of life in Hawaii -- sacrificing for the keiki (young), kupuna (old), and best of all, the old government workers -- who presumably "sacrificed" themselves by working for everybody else, and so now they are entitled to all the tax revenue in their retirement -- even if there is no money left over to actually run current government programs except to pay their escalating retirement benefits.

That's all government, and society, has become in Hawaii anymore.

"Lock the gates before anybody else can escape!"

Monday, November 08, 2010

What Went Wrong

When Linda Lingle won the Hawaii governorship, the thing I suggested government should do, is provide an electronic bulletin board, so that the citizens and elected representatives, could communicate with each other directly -- rather than have to be edited/censored through the private mass media masquerading as a quasi-government agency. In those days, "the press" still fostered the notion that they were the "unofficial" fourth branch of government, with ultimate authority over all the others -- by virtue of the claim that they were the "voice of the people" -- instead of merely using the people, to say what they wanted them to say.

That's why the selections of the "letters to the editor," are so prejudicial and biased -- while claiming that is what the people are saying, instead of what they are made to say. Most of the writers here, have experienced that same malicious interference and editorial manipulation -- to what the editors want him to say, rather than what the author themselves want to say, and how they meant to say it. Their cover was that it was "edited for clarity and brevity" -- when it was done for malicious, deceptive and manipulative intent.

Often, it would turn out that the person in charge of this "editing," would be the newspaper union's own shop steward expressing their solidarity with their union/Democrat/gay brotherhood, or some aspiring would-be novelist/poet who was not there to make everybody else "rich, famous and influential," but to make only themselves so, and realizing they didn't have the talent to achieve that, was going to make sure that nobody else could "get ahead" of themselves.

Thus, nothing could be said or expressed beyond what they wanted to be said -- in the way they wanted to say it. And so those who were chosen most frequently for publication, were the many "useful idiots" (as Lenin would call them), who merely repeated what the editor/publishers wanted them to say -- which repeated often enough, becomes the "truth," or at least has the ring of familiarity and credibility.

And now, after another election in which the people are realizing how much they were once again manipulated and deceived (while the media raked in millions while denying their role in negative advertising), they now get on the comment boards insisting we have to go through them again -- as the only legitimate means of expression.

My original proposal for the community (government) electronic bulletin board, was that people could say what they wanted to say, but had to be registered under their actual names -- which produces responsible expression. It is the old mainstream media, that promotes anonymity under the guise that people have to be protected from their government in order to speak freely -- which is what The Constitution guarantees -- rather than the power given by the press to the people. That is the power the press "takes" from the people -- for only themselves.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Back to the Good (Bad) Ol' Days

People forget very quickly, that the reason they voted Linda Lingle to the office of governor of Hawaii, was that the Democrats did nothing when they were in full control -- and now they are back in full control. Sometimes, the people get the government they ask for and deserve -- which is that their goverrnment workers do nothing, while receiving maximum compensations for doing so. (Do we expect them to work for free?)

But then, nothing ever gets done -- and the problems and difficulties pile up again, until finally, the voters turn to the alternative -- out of sheer desperation and exasperation. But how soon they forget -- suffering as they are, from short-term "newspaper memory" -- which is that anything you read is true, until the next day's edition, and then anything that was said before, never happened.

So those who can remember beyond that each day, play an invaluable part in a sustainable society, because they can recall clearly, what happened yesterday, and the day before -- and can see that pattern of today's arbitrariness, and purchase of today's reality. This is what is called, "cultural memory," or history, which is not something that is rewritten daily, by whomever pays the bill today -- which is the buying of the news, or the truth, and that is the only truth they know.

Unfortunately, that is not the only truth they have to live with -- that will haunt them all their days, and is clearly visible in the bloated masks their faces have become -- that is the distinctive "look" of the people of a culture -- for those of any other, and especially to those, trained to notice such things, as the true indicator of the health of individuals and societies, let alone their relationships to one another.

Even more easily forgotten, is that Hawaii's most recent deep malaise, was not definitively overcome until the response President George W. Bush to put an end to the arbitrariness and cruelty of terrorist attacks that thought that they were protected because they represented no official country. The resulting security, caused a return to success and prosperity that nothing in their education and socialization prepared them for -- except to undermine it, so they could be successful coming from the bottom again, knowing how they did it the last time.

But the last time is not the present time -- and so solving the problem of the past, is not likely to solve the problem of the present -- as many who think history and experience merely repeat themselves, think. That is not an understanding of cause and effect but merely, a new conditioned (compulsive) behavior, having very little to do with the present situation -- and so merely doing the same thing over again, produces no satisfactory result (response).

And that was the situation Hawaii was at when I returned in 1998 -- and the rest of the country went on to boom, while Hawaii prided itself that it did not.