Wednesday, August 30, 2006

How We Understand Education is Key

The major preoccupation and expenditure of state government is education -- in all its ramifications. Done in the way we’ve always done it in the past, is the problem of present day education, because something else entirely different is now possible and necessary.

Gone are the days when memorization of anything and everything was the most highly valued skill; what is even more important now, is simply being able to find information as needed -- and not merely learning and storing information for a time we might be able to use it -- or learning for learning’s sake. Rather than that being the measure of intelligence -- that is now a measure of unintelligence -- a waste, because there is so much necessary and urgent to learn now, and put to immediate use, in our actual, daily living.

Intelligence is how we actually live our lives -- and not some theoretical measure of how we could live our lives, if only we were intelligent.

Education has become a well-known failure because it is not necessary or appropriate in today’s capability for life -- in which learning, is a given -- and not something extraordinary and apart from our actual living.

The prototype for this new manner of learning, are those who get on their computers and are learning all the time -- as a way of life, integral to their lives. That’s how they do everything -- learning about it to do it, and not just learning with no intention or desire to do anything with it. So the motivation and purpose for learning has become something entirely different -- for which the old education model of just teaching people what they think they ought to know, is not productive -- and probably never has been, but we know that precisely now.

The new tools of our times, the computer and modern information processing strategies, has rendered the old education system obsolete. Test scores and performance will stagnate and regress because there is no critical need for that learning; if there was, as in the development of the computer, the growth would be explosive, and measurement is not possible when growth is that rapid and unprecedented. One can only measure the old by standards -- but not the new, which is the world we now live in.

The universities, the schools, the “news” media, former foundations of society, become unnecessary to maintain as institutions apart from our integrated lives -- in which individuals are capable of being universities, schools, media. So rather than the cost of these things going to infinity, they go to zero in the new society. Learning requires the learner -- but not necessarily the teacher, who may actually be a hindrance. It is just tradition that the student required the teacher -- and not that the teacher is necessary to the process. The best teacher is the student themselves.

But one good teacher can teach an infinite number of students -- rather than requiring a one-to-one ratio, which surely is an indication of poor instruction. And in requiring that education consume all of society’s resources, none is left to solve the other urgent needs of these times. Education doesn’t have to be a problem -- but understanding that is key.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Vote for REAL Change: Vote Republican

People sometimes ask me what a person with my background in organizing the counterculture and alternative/cutting edge revolutionaries, is doing running for office as a Republican, but see quickly, the logic of my response, “That in Hawaii, the Republican Party is the counterculture.”

Only a few are prepared to counter, that “But the Republicans are the party…,” and their minds shut down because they have no clear idea what a Republican or the Republican Party does mean, because it was always just the “unthinkable.” They could not even think of voting “Republican” -- that was the success of their conditioning (indoctrination) by their Democrat/union teachers.

But with the election of Governor Lingle -- and seeing that Christmas and different sex marriages were not abolished as the Democrat scare-mongers had promised if she was elected, many more came around to realizing that they were just being manipulated and deceived by those who think it is all right to do so, as long as they get paid for doing so and follow the professional rules that make such wrongs “right.”

Unfortunately, a lot of those types of people, are drawn into politics, or had been in the last several decades -- dominating it almost exclusively -- and driving everybody else away and out of it. And so government came to have a bad name and reputation that most people no longer wanted to have anything to do with.

And that’s primarily why we need a change -- because government shouldn’t be regarded with such low esteem. It should be attracting our most innovative and resourceful minds. What I’ve always been impressed with about such people, is that they are eminently communicative, rather than secretive about how they think and arrive at their conclusions -- and plans for action; what is described in politics as “transparency.” You see the logic of how they arrive at their conclusions -- and not just a mystifying conclusion after all is said and done, which is of course, tremendously discouraging to participation.

Such a manner of information processing can be described as “arbitrary” -- that there is no rhyme or reason for that conclusion other than what that person says so. Thus people drop out of participation to de-legitimize that institution and its processes. While the public is invited to participate and give their input, the feeling is, the decision has already been made, and one is just window dressing the outcome to make it seem “legitimate.”

The newspapers, as witnessed to these events, rather than reporting on such irregularities, further distort and legitimize such travesties -- and seem to take particular delight in doing so -- as though they had a stake in that perverse outcome.

In reading the “letters to the editor,” and now the many other (Internet) forums, the obvious and naked manipulations and deceit, are almost comical in their childishness and intents -- in an age in which most people know, and have seen better. “Real” people are not so highly-motivated to risk their credibility in such obvious deceptions and manipulations -- and do it so regularly and singlemindedly.

That is the weakness in the community information pool that is now the most exploited and tainted -- to the point in which it has virtually no credibility and integrity -- but also mandating the necessity for change. Something else emerges as the best of its time…

Few could predict that because of the Akaka-Case toxicity, the letters section would devolve from unrestrained Bush-bashing to a cesspool of unsubstantiated fabrications and personal attacks that is always the last gasp of a dying institution and way of life. But is it the newspapers or the Democrat Party?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Change versus the Status Quo

As much as some people like to complain about government and politics, they’re actually quite happy with the way things are, and would be very unhappy if there weren’t many things to complain about -- as that is the only way they’ve ever known.

That is the major reason one should choose a representative in these matters with the broadest, most varied experiences and perspectives it usually implies -- rather than one who has only known the one system, the one reality, the "no choice" that life must be a certain way whether we like it or not. And if we don’t like it, we can complain futilely about it -- as long as we continue to do what we’ve always done before, which is ultimately to reaffirm our belief that things that always have been before, must be continued, no matter how foolish it may now seem, even with all the other great choices and options now available.

When “problems” continue to get worse, threatening to consume all our energy and resources, it usually is a sign that a past solution we have chosen, is not the solution but merely perpetuates the problem -- until death is the final resolution. But hopefully before then, a few at the leading edge (the true leadership) will recognize the danger signals and steer society toward a safer, more productive course -- revitalizing society in this way.

That is particularly true of “government” problems that threaten and demand that all available resources must go to satisfying their demands for the highest wages granted to everybody in society -- as their “fair share.” No matter how much more they make than everybody else already, they are insistent that their “fair share” is even more -- and it is the job of their elected representatives to ensure that endless stream of money to pay for it.

The consequence of such a mentality is that ultimately, one demands as much as possible for as little as possible, and preferably, something for nothing. Thus the problems of exploitation and abuse are rampant -- and the categorical imperative is to “do unto others before others have a chance to do unto oneself," and that “everybody else does it, why shouldn’t I?”

Obviously, this is not leadership but the familiar pattern and justification of the status quo. “Yes, things are terrible, but that’s the way it’s always been -- and that too is our fate.” It has been said that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it -- when it is more truthful that those who do not learn that history in the first place, are free to live life in the best way now possible -- as though they were born today, anew, without all that historical baggage.

That is the great significance of 21st century culture and civilization -- the idea that life can be what we choose it to be -- and not what others have chosen for us, which we now have to bear. And we in turn, will place similar restrictions and obligations on succeeding generations -- so that every generation is sacrificed for every other, and none can actualize the greatest possibilities of their own lives and choices in their own time and circumstances. Nobody is really free -- in that way.

Monday, August 21, 2006

District 21/22/23 Newsletter (Diamond Head to Kakaako, Moiliili to Pawaa)

It's time to get focused on the elections here in Hawaii -- instead of all the issues one can't do much about nationally and internationally -- as an escape from the only things that do matter, and one can do something about.

Although I'm a candidate for the first time (Representative, District 21), I've had a close and personal look at many campaigns before, and have wondered whether much of what is done, is actually necessary, while many things that seem to be necessary to do, are ignored and dismissed as things one needn't do, or is "too busy" to do.

I think the number one thing that needs to be done is to make a good impression -- and not many bad ones. That may even mean doing less -- rather than doing more, increasingly badly. Politics is a lot like sports: it doesn't matter how much you do. What matters is how much you do well, and then when one does that, he only does that, and cuts out all the wasted and superfluous undermining that effort -- conserving one's energy and resources for the proper moments that he can't be "too busy" to recognize.

Some people are insistent that the key to campaign victory is the number of people involved in one's campaign, the money raised, or amount of brute hard work that one puts into it. The obvious is that one actually has to make contact with the actual voter -- as the only sure validation that one has done what he hopes to do.

Advertising media may suggest that their 100,000+ "readers" might actually see your classified ad under "Vote for Me." One might sign-wave at a corner with a lot of traffic but with very few actual voters looking for the "lucky" sign upon which to determine their most critical decisions in life.

Woody Allen is credited with the saying that, "90% of success is just showing up," because in many cases, the other person won't -- and if you do, you win by default. Which is pretty much the story of how I came to be the candidate for representative in the district of Waikiki-Kapahulu.

For one reason or another, everybody else dropped out or did not show up, despite countless invitations and entreaties to do so. They all were "too busy," or had more important things to do -- which creates an opportunity if one is just the right person, at the right place, at the right time -- rather than trying to make something happen, when all the signs do not augur well for those prospects. Then, all the hard work in the world, is not going to make something happen, that is not propitious to do so. So the chief requirement is one's ability to pay attention undistracted -- and recognize those moments when they present themselves, to be “available and willing,” at the right moment.

I was not willing to sign up for countless hours of hard work -- but agreed to do what was required to get my name on the ballot so the Democrat incumbent did not get a free ride. In collecting the required signatures for the filing, I learned for the first time that people were supportive of having a choice. And then when I reviewed the results of the last concurrent gubernatorial election results, realized that a Republican victory in this district was more than plausible -- despite the 2004 results for the election of the representative’s seat.

District 21 (Waikiki-Kapahulu), has two distinct demographics: the Waikiki precincts (high rises) is a fairly reliable Republican stronghold -- which Governor Lingle may conceivably win by over 66%-?, which carries over somewhat to the representative’s race. The weakness for the Republican candidate, has been the walkable neighborhoods (precincts) immediately around me -- who are most influenced by personal contact and shared history of experiences growing up and living in Kapahulu -- which I can tap into, while the Democrat incumbent cannot, having never lived in this neighborhood.

So I should have a “native” advantage in this respect -- which is obvious to those looking for that connection. Therefore, the limit to my success is simply my actually having a personal, authentic encounter to convince them I would be the best “representative” of the people of this district. That is just a fact -- and not a campaign ploy.

And so in the flyer I hand to them, and in the public access appearances I make regarding the elections, I make my case that I’m uniquely capable of articulating these insights to the larger audience. Those are the essentials of a successful campaign -- that one has to have a candidate capable of inspiring that confidence in those abilities, that place one at the leadership of these discussions, and keep the people well-informed about what is going on -- without the bureaucratic jargon masking what is going on. That’s what every citizen has a right to ask -- and is entitled to receive from their representative.

Otherwise, we have the familiar present apathy, indifference, and despair that marks political and civic participation all over the state. It doesn’t have to be that way. Government can be what people want it to be -- and not just what government experts tell them is good for them because they know better -- as if they really knew, and so their job is to make us think so too.

The reversal of this trend of alienation from government (governance), has always been a high priority with me, and has been my major reason for showing up in these forums -- because I think the underlying communications are the beginning of every successful undertaking.

Our monthly meetings, the fourth Wednesday of each month (Aug. 23, 6pm, Hawaii Republican Party Headquarters), is one of the many launching pads for who knows how far one might go in this field of participation and interest. Showing up is 90% of success.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

On the Campaign Trail

Yesterday, a couple was so excited to be “discovered” by me off the beaten track, that they wanted to register to vote, and vote for me just because they were impressed that I bothered to walk back there -- “rather than just standing on the road waving a sign.” It surprises and amazes me when one will have these life-affirming encounters -- when one least expects them.

The positive to negative runs about 20-2 -- which I guess must be pretty good. The trick is not to be the weakness, or the limitation in the encounter.

This past week, and for the reminder of the month, the candidates forum of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, plays for the last half an hour of the 3.5 hour meeting-- and I get to follow Councilmember Djou, in that sequence. I used to give a lot of public talks -- but haven’t in the last few years, so it’s kind of interesting to see myself on tape again. People note that I have a very distinctive speaking style -- which may be the most dynamic they will see on public access.

Additionally, all the candidates got a chance for a 5 minute "exclusive" taping at Olelo these past two weeks as part of their Vote 2006 presentations, after which the lineup for the elections will be running virtually nonstop during the election season. I think I gave a good account of myself, Governor Lingle, and the Republican Party. The producer was impressed that I kept getting better with each “take.” After the third take, they didn’t ask me if I wanted to try to improve on it further -- or even look at it to decide which was best. So I figure I nailed it.

While at Olelo, I resubmitted my classic hourlong video on Understanding Conditioning, which twelve years later, is still ahead of its time but becoming more the mainstream view of exercise and conditioning, with the Baby Boom generation and beyond realizing that it is the only way that makes sense. That’s just the reality of the situation/observation -- which no amount of wishful thinking can deny.

It’s good training for government -- in which many have difficulty distinguishing between wishful thinking and reality, and so many of our laws don’t eliminate problems but become the perpetual source of them -- ensuring job security for highly paid government experts. That is probably the greatest danger of our times -- that government is run for the benefit of the government experts, rather than the citizens at large. And that is also the source of inflation -- that we pay more and more, for less and less -- until finally, most of the budget goes to pay for those who we don’t know what they are doing.

They are just “administrators” -- or some fancy-sounding title while lobbying, blogging and emailing for their favorite candidates and causes. So we really need more people in government who are willing to tell us what is really going on in government. It’s happening in all the fields -- even exercise, when formerly, one did what the P.E. teacher told us to do, and if we didn’t, had to do twice as much.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mass Media Is Good for Propaganda -- Not the Truth

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is running its usual letter of the day distortion that “despite the Bush Administration’s War on Terror, this country is not any safer than it was before 9/11” -- when any historian would be amazed that there indeed, hasn’t been another terrorist attack in the US in all that time.

Now with the Akaka-Case ready to move into full-blown manipulation and distortion, virtually nothing one reads in the daily newspapers now can be taken at face value, and the papers probably won’t recover their credibility after the elections are over. It’s just time for an inferior mode of information to pass into history -- as they would’ve done five years ago, but got one more bailout to continue its ragtag existence into oblivion and embarrassment.

It used to be argued that we needed two newspapers to ensure the integrity of the news but since the sources are identical and the methodology for fact-checking identical, it doesn’t matter if there is just one newspaper or ten -- if they’re all doing the same thing, in the same way. That is not diversity or choice but merely the same thing done ten times. So they come to believe that simply more is better -- rather than that better is something else entirely.

Thus, their solution to inflation is that there should be more inflation! That is, everybody should now demand to be paid more for the same or less work -- BECAUSE of inflation, without realizing, that is the CAUSE of inflation. In their world, nothing is connected to anything else; everything is arbitrary, and just wishful thinking makes it so -- and just saying anything they want and repeating it over and over again makes it true.

Maybe a hundred years ago, that was the best one could expect -- in a world in which information (news) was scarce. Now, one is far better off not relying on tainted sources of these types -- that the most astute consumers and processors of information have long recognized is manipulated and distorted to serve the purposes of people who either can’t tell the difference or deliberately want to mislead. It doesn’t really matter; one has to move on -- to better sources.

That brings us back to the original sources -- before the Age of Mass Media. A lot of people haven’t even learned that way of thinking because they grew up in the Age of Mass Media -- and have never learned anything else.

Before the Age of Mass Media, there were those who actually discovered the truth for themselves -- and shared it with others, including the mass media -- without intending to distort and manipulate the truth of anything. They were just interested in the truth -- and not manipulating the truth.

So people are kind of shocked when I just walk up to them, hand them my flyers and advise them to make up their own minds about how to vote in the coming elections. People seem to like and appreciate the difference.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Changing the Face of Government

A “representative” is nothing more than the interface of government -- by which the citizens communicate to the government, and the government communicates to the citizens. So the primary skills necessary, really, are the ability to relate effectively -- and not merely seniority at relating poorly, disastrously, bureaucratically -- which accounts for the disgust and exasperation many people came to have about Hawaii politics (government) over the last twenty years.

Many years of experience doing a bad job, is not a high recommendation for a good job in a way that’s never been done before (well) -- and is really the objective of every human purpose and enterprise. All this gets lost in the usual diversions and distractions unto things that don’t matter -- conducted as though they did.

Seniority in itself is no value; it is what it was meant to imply -- a certain amount of experience and maybe even talent and ability at those tasks -- but that is not a substitute for actual talent and ability. Even unions don’t have to structure their value and reward system by seniority; it is entirely possible and permissible to structure their rewards according to talent and ability. In choosing to promote and defend the seniority system as the ultimate value, that is their most indefensible weakness and the target that undermines their value in the marketplace of the consumer-citizens.

Nobody argues that a person who is doing the best job possible should not be rewarded highly. What people cannot defend as well, is that those whose sole talent has been to stick around as long as possible without distinction as far as anybody can recall and detect, while even driving out the more talented, deserve to be highly rewarded for those “talents” and “abilities.”

That is the old style notion of leadership -- that all that is required to be the king, is to get to the top -- and beyond that, nothing more was expected, least of all -- these modern notions of “leadership.” The most modern of these, is that people should be enabled and empowered to lead (govern) themselves. As populations grow larger, more diverse and more individualized, we can’t have one group of people telling everybody else what to do and everybody obeying dutifully because that’s what they always did in the past -- and should consider no other options.

The other evening, while passing out my flyer, I encountered that face of fear for the first time -- of one fearing to even consider any other option but voting in the way they had been conditioned to vote -- rejecting all possibilities of any alternatives. It was as though that person felt that accepting a flyer of a different alternative and reality, was a “thought crime” punishable by whatever was their greatest nightmare.

By this, one can understand the fear of people living under tyrannical governments and arbitrary rule elsewhere. When I meet such people, I don’t try to convince them they have a choice -- and there is no crime in considering the alternatives, side by side, merit by merit -- as is their right in a free society. That is the constituency of the "other guy."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Integrity in Government

There’s a lot of talk these days about the left-wing extremists of the Democrat Party taking over -- and making moderation, balance and perspective, politically and socially “incorrect.” That’s usually a sign of certain madness which eventually runs its course and corrects itself.

I was in Seattle prior to the violent riots promoted by the anarchists (against the World Trade Organization (WTO))-- and saw it coming. Working as a community activist trying to pull all the disparate “alternative” groups together, I noticed a disturbing trend: Working for the betterment of anything and longterm objectives, was replaced by the goal of just being disruptive -- for no other reason than that they could be, as the ultimate exercise of their power.

And that is the approach they’ve taken to government -- as the national minority party. As the majority party in Hawaii, such leftwing extremism is repackaged as “progressivism” and “liberalism,” giving both a bad name. One should not mistake the voice of dysfunction for the voice of intelligent dissent -- which is something quite different from the knee-jerk (self-) hatred demagogues promote as a sophisticated person’s humility and place in society.

It is not. The whole objective is to undermine one’s confidence in thinking for oneself. That is how I see the role of the representative in/of government being different from the traditional role of it: I think the greater role is to empower the participation of the citizens, rather than cultivating the notion of dependence on government and government bureaucrats and technocrats (experts).

I think the thing we all like most about the governance of Linda Lingle is that she never resorts to jargon to impress/intimidate us in explaining the workings of government -- and that is the underlying revolution she has brought to government, allowing ordinary citizens, like you and me, to reclaim government as something we do -- and not just as something government experts do. That is the greatest danger of government in American/Hawaiian life -- that the future is not decided by ourselves, but by these self-proclaimed experts who know better what is best for the people.

That’s what people don’t like about “government,” and drives most to this cynical attitude and regard for it. It is largely about narrow self-interests and lobbyists dictating the course of society. Though most people complain loudly that that is the way it is, they don’t seem to think there is anything they can do but complain -- and the newspapers encourage them in this futility and despair, to protect and defend the status quo -- rather than the larger transcendent values -- that are lost, and even ridiculed as something no “sophisticated” person ought to believe in anymore.

And that is foremost, one’s own goodness and intelligence -- to do the right thing, and not be compelled to do the right thing by laws governing every facet of one’s existence. Even more important than the laws and statutes, are the attitudes and values of those institutions that embody and represent us. That is the integrity and strength of government.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sending “Aloha” To Terrorists Is Not Going To Deter Them

Fortunately, the Hawaii State Legislature is not in charge of the national defense -- but that doesn’t seem to faze them from passing resolutions sending “Aloha” to Saddam -- as though that is going to solve world crises and create world peace, by wishful thinking.

The media and Hawaii Democrats like to engage in selective remembering in pointing out that we should not have invaded Iraq because no weapons of mass destruction were found (which is not true), without remembering the historical context -- that Saddam was "threatening" to unleash his weapons of mass destruction on the rest of the world, and so even the United Nations (UN) passed several demands that Iraq open itself for inspections -- which Saddam refused to comply with, thereby inviting anybody to do “something” about it.

Once the Americans and coalition forces invaded, it was too late for “One more chance -- I promise to behave this time.” It was the end of the Saddam story and time for a new chapter and new leash on life in Iraq.” This time, President Bush vowed American troops would not be withdrawn prematurely as in the First Gulf War, after which Saddam ruthlessly exterminated masses of his countrymen whose loyalty to him was questioned and blamed for his defeat.

The murder and torture of people by Saddam were legend all over the world, and Saddam bragged that nobody and nothing could stop him -- as mad tyrants and terrorists are wont to do.

I was a “Conscientious Objector” during the Vietnam War myself, influenced by the Taoistic teachings of my father, but several years after, when I was high on the list for a job as police officer, they anguished whether one who was a “conscientious objector” could act properly in a life-threatening situation -- to which I responded, “If a life is to be taken, one should be clear, that the perpetrator must be the one that suffers the loss and not the innocent victim.” It was not a problem to me -- and why often in these Kung Fu movies, the master who is vowed to peace, has no problem dealing with it -- as many guilt-ridden, self-loathing "liberals" do.

It is because they are clear in this understanding -- and not muddled in their thinking that the mass murderers of the world have as much right to “do their thing,” as anybody else. We need to have people rich in experience to see through the manipulations of words -- that is the challenge of governance in these times.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Running For Office

One of the unexpected benefits of campaigning for public office is the enhanced physical activity in just getting out to the people -- walking door to door. Actually, rather than methodically walking door to door, I go from person to person -- because it is a bird in hand. Knocking on a door, you never know if someone is home or not, but if somebody is out watering the yard, raking or sweeping, or walking -- there’s no doubt that they’re there, so one might as well talk to them. People who are already out, are quite naturally more inclined to encounter people, rather than those intruded upon in their houses. Some houses are more conducive to interaction than others -- as though they are part of the street, rather than fortresses away from it.

That can lead to a series of 25-50 yard dashes, which not surprisingly, keeps one in good shape -- while impressing on-lookers that one is indeed a go-getter. There’s nothing to build credibility as much as seeing how their neighbors react to the “pitch,” with many previous visitees, then becoming one’s biggest boosters -- honking approval as they’re passing, as though long-lost friends.

That is how one becomes “known” in an unfamiliar block -- and further builds confidence in interacting with a neighborhood. It’s a lost art in an impersonal, mass media world -- that I discovered quite by accident by being a last-minute filer for an office. Thus I had no funds, a darn good one-page flyer, and the Party made 1,000 copies of my flyer. However, the weakness of my district was the immediately walkable area right around my neighborhood -- where I’d control my own destiny just in the effectiveness of making that contact, which is precisely what people wanted -- a personal audience with their representative -- in an authentic manner of their own capabilities, on their own turf.

It is the walking “talk story” tour -- that I probably more than anybody else, feel comfortable and confident at conducting. In one of many former lives, I conducted exercise instruction at virtually every opportunity and venue. So it is easy to morph personal training into personal campaigning. Both are about fitness -- and is that person a living testimony of what he is talking about?

The major complaint of most people is the feeling of distance and unresponsiveness from the political process -- speaking in a foreign language of bureaucratic jargon. That is what the mass media particularly, does not want to acknowledge, because that is their role as interpreters and intermediaries -- that disappears, if people can communicate with each other directly.

In the mass media world, the editor presumes to speak for the people as well. And so the source as well as the consumer can be misled and controlled -- by the intermediary, if that is their objective -- to maintain this control of distrust and suspicion of each from the other. Those who rely on the mass media for their “information” have a much higher distrust than those who obtain their information of the world directly from their own interactions -- in face-to-face encounters. It is the preferred method of campaigning if at all possible.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Good Speaking is Like Good Writing

The objective is to say as much as one can in as few words as possible -- and not simply to say the most words -- and then try to overstay one‘s welcome as long as one can.

That’s always perplexed me about most public forums I’ve attended, and probably why I’m not in the habit of attending more. And I suppose that is why most people don’t; they feel that it is just a waste of their time and energy -- over which they have no control.

I don’t know what they teach in the schools that makes people think that sheer quantity of verbiage is impressive; for some, it seems that the ultimate objective is to take as long as possible to say nothing at all -- in the despair, that nobody can tell the difference. Otherwise I would recommend that people take speech and writing classes -- but that is where I think most of them learn bad communication skills, or as they like to call it, mass communication skills.

The hope is that in talking to a hundred, one will strike a resonance in one -- rather than in talking to the one, and having the confidence that one can reach a hundred in that manner, effectively. What is taught as communication skills, ensures that one will not be able to communicate successfully and effectively with another, including personal and intimate communications and relationships, because the intent of mass communications, is to manipulate (persuade) the thinking of the other.

And that is destructive -- of the other. If both do it, than there is this immediate and inevitable war for dominance -- of each over the other, leading of course to constant struggle, even with those one should feel completely safe and at ease with. Thus every waking moment of their lives is this brutal struggle for survival -- not to be vanquished by every other.

That is essentially what is wrong with our present education system -- that it promotes competition instead of interaction, cooperation and collaboration. All energies go towards nullifying (compromising and contradicting) every other. That is a tremendous handicap to go through life with.

The smaller the pond, the more vicious these competitions and struggles become. The obvious solution is to increase the size of the pond, the gene pool, the playing field, the plane of concern to its most expansive level -- and not the most petty -- which ensures the vicious struggle over nothing.
No amount of words will ever replace thinking -- which is the silence between the words. Most people have been taught to fear this silence -- and think it must be destroyed -- by noise, by words, by every compulsion possible.

But it is only out of this silence, that great words and thoughts are possible.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Developing a Sense of Presence

The challenge for every aspirant to elected office now is developing name recognition and beyond that, a sense of presence and familiarity with how a person thinks and sees the world. In the old days, that was indicated by what fixed position they took on pat issues -- rather than the trust in the representative’s ability to come up with the best solution -- considering everything. That is the job of the new politician -- unlike the old.

In a world of information, the office holder may not have all the information (answers) initially -- and so it is even more important to learn how the candidate can process new information. Otherwise, he is like so many others, who suppress, distort and deny every information that does not confirm his preconceived judgment -- which he will not reconsider. That is the familiar frustration with bureaucrats.

But every dying breed gives way to a new breed. What is striking about the differences in the Democrats and Republicans this year, is how much the former pool is drawn fairly narrowly from lawyers -- instead of the much broader representation and gene pool of the Republicans recruiting from a broader cross section of society, experience and perspective.

Do we want all our government representatives to be lawyers -- or should they have a broader perspective of life and experience, beyond laws? Bad laws are job security for trial lawyers. Good laws are the will of the people -- coming from every walk of life. Laws were not meant to be an interference of life -- as they have come to be regarded; they were meant to be means by which people attained their happiness -- and freedom.

All that is lost -- in which the new meaning of government is to control every aspect of our lives, and determine what is (politically) correct for everybody -- rather than increasing our choices and the expression of intelligence.

I have one of the great presences on the World Wide Web because I was one of the first writers to recognize it as the publication of the future, and publish my writings there rather than in the more traditional forms and ways, that disappear as soon as the next issue is published. So of all the candidates running for office anywhere, I have the greatest archives of recorded thought -- upon which to make a valid assessment of the quality and competence of my thinking.

It was not done just for the purpose of seeking office -- obviously, and there may even be a compromising or contradictory statement somewhere, but on balance, I think it represents one of the great collections of innovative thinking as these developments were being shaped in these dialogues and discussions.

These new forums are very different in that they are interactive and collaborative -- instead of soliloquies and rants, of people talking to themselves. Even books were of this nature. New dialogue, new culture, new government is this vital dynamic of interactive communication.

Many of the people running for office as Republicans, have this similar background -- of being very competent and confident of dealing with the new technologies of information processing and sharing -- rather than the old manner of hoarding, manipulating, distorting information as the old familiar political game.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Greatest Gimmick of All

When I used to give my presentations on exercise at libraries, coffee shops, retirement centers, art galleries, class rooms -- and yes, even weight rooms, perceptive people would remark to me, “You’ve got the greatest gimmick of all. There is no gimmick.” It was just the simple and straightforward truth -- which I will be resurrecting as my campaign spiel. It’s very easy to get caught up in all the gimmickry, strategy, fund raising, campaign spending, favorite colors, slogans, lobbyists, image makeovers -- that one can quickly stray far from their original intent and purpose -- and become like everybody else, instead of remaining the great hope for sanity that may have initially excited everyone else about one's candidacy.

I still see that excitement in the faces of those who are surprised that I just walk up to them and tell them I am running for the representative’s position in this district. It reminds me of the excitement people would have in the sixth-grade -- in thinking about their class elections. Unfortunately, people lose that excitement over the years and become very cynical -- not only about politicians, but about everyone in general. Life has been a great betrayal -- that promised to bring so much fun and excitement.

The other day, I ran into a rare person who said he wasn’t going to vote for Lingle again, because “she’s just like all the other politicians.” I quickly surmised that this person didn’t want to hear from me either, as just another politician, and so I was ready to move on when he said, “We need more guys like you in office,” as he clutched my flyer rapaciously.

There’s nothing more interesting happening on the “news” than what one can experience and learn just walking around talking to all the neighbors -- in kind of a spontaneous manner. Being a candidate is a very privileged position in this regard -- that it’s kind of a license to talk to anybody, and nobody will be offended, and many honored that you do choose to talk to them. But mostly, it is what each individual makes of it.

I’ve known what it is like to win a few times -- and also that one doesn’t all the time in life, but in the handling of that, is a victory of a higher sort. I’m not talking about rationalizing losing -- but winning with a higher purpose.

A few people tell me they understand that, but don’t think anybody else can. I’ve heard that despair so often -- as kind of a universal refrain, and wonder what is it that makes people think that others can’t understand what only they can. And that is what gives them the right to tell everybody else what to think -- as if only they knew how to think.

There’s something wrong in our education system if that is what we are conditioned to believe -- that goes far beyond most discussions of why government and society is failing. It is the lack of basic trust -- which may be the great challenge of life in the 21st century and beyond.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Special Waikiki Neighborhood Board Meeting: Candidates Forum and Fair

The Waikiki Neighborhood Board is hosting the candidates on August 8th and I plan to give each candidate for office five minutes to present his/her self to the community. This will not be a debate and the Board will not provide any questions to be answered or entertain questions from the audience. I will draw names for order of appearance that evening.

Following the meeting all candidates are welcome to visit with the audience and address specific issues with individuals. They may also solicit volunteers and distribute campaign materials.

Our meeting will be replayed on Olelo at least four times before the primary election and Olelo has used our material for separate election coverage in the past.

If you are available to participate please respond by August 4th so I can finalize the Agenda for the 8th.

Mahalo for your service to the community and we hope to see you on the 8th.

Robert J.Finley
Chair (of Waikiki Neighborhood Board)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

“How Can I Help?”

The response from the walking/talking tour has been overwhelming. I aim for 20-40 new votes daily. Not just wishful thinking votes but those who say, “Don’t need to bother coming around anymore, we’re good.“

Kapahulu is a neighborhood particularly suited to targeted communications -- rather than mass communications. That is so because the community is stable rather than mobile and transient. Everybody does know everybody or somebody -- and so finding that common bond is the key.

Five-ten superficial contacts do not seal the deal. You need one solid contact -- and not twenty swings and misses. That manner of thinking is an indication that one is not making solid contact.

And while it is nice to have everyone’s vote, there are those I’d rather my opponent have -- because they are a barometer of what I don’t want to represent, which is that acrimony, bitterness and resentment against all their neighbors one finds in every community and society. They are toxic people who no matter what you do for them, is never enough. And the intelligent response is to recognize those people and realize their sole purpose in life is to undermine my, and everybody else’s confidence and well-being.

They’re a pretty insidious lot; initially, they seem to be the nicest, most pleasant people -- actually demanding you believe that is true of them, and once they have that confidence -- they launch into an attack of everyone in government, everyone in the neighborhood, and then everybody in their own household.

Those votes you don’t want -- because everybody else will be voting against them. You want the votes of those who are the positive leaders among their own sphere of influence.

Most of the advice I’ve heard, has been from those telling me how to do an effective mass marketing outreach -- rather than a more highly targeted one -- of the right people, at the right place, at the right time, using the right communications strategies/technologies. There really is nothing more helpful in any campaign than simply giving me your vote -- and getting one other person to vote for me -- to those who have inquired, “How can I help?”

Everything else is less relevant -- and many are endless distractions from one’s real purpose.

In this election, we Republicans have the luxury of the Governor’s good will and highly professional campaign. I wouldn’t be trying to reinvent the wheel by duplicating it -- and even trying to match it. Nobody will, and it is folly to do so.

Every individual has to find their own strengths -- and know their weaknesses. An obvious strength for everyone is the Governor’s matching votes; you don’t want to be working those same votes but focusing on the ones one is uniquely capable of attaining.

Contact me to receive my very effective flyer -- for you and your friend.