Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Corruption is What We Get “Used” To

Unlike dramatic acts of violence and malice, “corruption” is the insidious slow disease of no longer being able to tell the difference between “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad” -- or as the liberals are so proud to proclaim, that they are blind to all such discriminations, as an overriding imperative and organizing principle of their lives. Such people of course, should not be placed in positions of critical judgment and discrimination -- but they in fact are, and are even selected on that criteria of not being able to make such (valid) distinctions.

As such, it is also the “liberal’s disease,” of not being able to exercise good judgment -- in a world increasingly dependent on that critical faculty from each. In the old mass media age, people tuned in to the networks whereby authoritative voices told them what to think -- and what was the one way for everyone to be, do and think. When many were still in a deficiency mode relative to a standard, that may have been expedient. Once one surpasses that standard, such information is no longer beneficial but becomes counterproductive. Frequently, one has to undo or undermine one’s favorable advantage to take advantage of information that brings them “up” to the standard -- rather than appreciating the favorable position they are already in, and moving beyond from there.

Thus, people who make more than the median income, have no problem claiming to be “disadvantaged,” and therefore justifying their claim on goods and services intended for the truly disadvantaged -- as their own entitlement. It is no longer enough that they have a place to live and a job guaranteed to them all their life, but they also claim that same entitlement for all their relatives and progeny at the expense of those who are really just trying to get by -- and can see no injustice as their demands expand to infinity, while those of genuine need are asked to deny themselves for infinity -- and it will even be claimed, that the poor gladly give up their food, clothing and shelter, so that the self-designated few in power, can go on to contest the wealthiest of the world -- as proof that this society is as good as any other in producing such disparities of prosperity.

Many people think they don’t have “enough,” unless they have it all -- and then their advice to others is, “I’ve got mine, you get your own.” Formerly, these were the words and the thinking of the bullies that became tyrants; now, it is likely to be the guy not with any real ambition, but thinking he is just grabbing everything he can, to keep up with everybody else. So it is a matter of perception rather than an actualized reality -- a sense of injustice rather than desire for justice, that compels that society. People have learned to merely agree, that that is what is happening in the world, and they are not going to work at a disadvantage, by depriving themselves of their opportunity to grab more than their “fair share” -- because they are convinced by their union and political leaders that that is what others are already doing, and they have to jump aboard in order not to be “left holding the bag.”

That is the environment of corruption that allows the unions and other lobbying interests to pack the hearing rooms and even offer pupu platters at public forums on their matters of self-interest. And rather than the chair of these committees being concerned or even offended about this obvious display of corruption and arrogance, are honored and flattered that the president of the unions and lobbying interests, have personally picked out the choicest morsels for their exclusive enjoyment.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Only Real Problem

When one reads the newspapers -- if one still bothers to read them at all -- the overwhelming theme and conclusion one arrives at, is that the multitude of existing problems and all those being created momentarily on top of them -- is just ONE, that we reward seniority and the status quo over merit and change. And that simple mistake, is the reason for ALL the problems of our lives, society and government.

If we could realize that horrendous error in oversight (denial), virtually all the problems would disappear immediately -- but not to realize this, is all the problems of our existences multiplied wildly beyond our control and power to do anything meaningfully about. When the most basic premise of our lives is wrong, there is no recovery and correcting it further down the line -- in all the other difficulties that will most certainly arise because we fail to recognize the most basic truth of our realities -- and that is in every case, that we have to distinguish merit OVER seniority, the status quo, and how we’ve always done it before -- to get to the root of all our problems, that therefore must always haunt and plague us as the unchallengeable and unquestionable foundations of our society.

Because of this prohibition against recognizing the only real problem, first and foremost, we can never solve any of the other problems -- because of this denial of essential reality -- no matter how many laws we pass, and how many financial incentives we create. Things will not change and improve until we confront the one unshakable truth in the world -- that we must acknowledge and reward merit and change, over seniority and the status quo -- which means no change, and therefore, allowing the problems to multiply and grow out of control.

And so the more we talk about it, the more the status quo is reaffirmed, and the problems must continue, of students failing to learn what is relevant to living, and people must die because they have learned to live in denial and unawareness of those things that could be dangerous to their health, and that legislators must be chosen only from those who will perpetuate these familiar problems -- as the only way things can ever be.

The only hope is for people to create alternate realities wherever they can -- beyond government control and interference -- AKA the free market, which many are even taught to believe ARE the source of the problems that a well-meaning but incompetent government is a response to. That’s the change in thinking that also needs to be overcome -- which of course, should not be put in the hands of the lawmakers to dictate, or of course, everything will continue exactly as they have been, except they will pay themselves and all their family members MORE.

That’s how it’s always been before, and that’s what their job is to perpetuate -- despite the problems created daily -- that they have no intention of doing anything about. Instead, they will solve all the imaginary problems created each day in the newspapers, to prevent us from ever considering the real problems -- which must never be solved, implying that it is the destruction of everything this society stands for!

Monday, February 12, 2007

“I Want to Buy a Clue.”(Determining Merit for Teachers)

As every legislative session shifts into gear, the only question of concern is, "How much will be our raises this year?", and everything else will be a diversion to the real deals in the backrooms. At the forefront of these groups pressing for across the board entitlements more than every other group will be the teachers -- and they will deny that merit should be a factor in determining their pay because there is absolutely no way of determining that.

Graduate the teachers -- just like we graduate the students. Every one should start off as kindergarten teachers and work their way up to teaching the best students at the highest levels. No career kindergarten teachers should make more than the governor of the entire state of Hawaii. I realize young people can be “daunting,” but surely being the governor of Hawaii is the standard of excellence -- until the “best and the brightest” prove otherwise.

Why should we compare art against science? What is more meaningful is to compare the best of the artists and the best of the scientists in their respective fields because what we are trying to determine is "quality" -- in every field. We have to begin with that meaningful discussion before we get into the smokescreens the HSTA (NEA) lobbyists are going to throw up -- hoping to exploit the bad education they’ve propagated, which is this inability to distinguish meaningful differences.

So I think we need to establish the Governor’s Challenge -- as the standard of the highest pay for all government workers, and then pay all the others as some percentage of their ability to give a speech (presentation), or write a document (lesson) as well. The governor becomes the maximum value (pay) and everybody else is rated on the basis of that -- and if they can deliver or write a better presentation, they should run for governor, and get everything they’re “entitled” to.

If there is no way of measuring ability and merit, then why have schools at all? Just because the legislators cannot think of a productive way to spend money -- to produce some good, instead of making the problems grow worse each year so we need to hire more people at higher wages to ensure that the problems get worse -- and they can spend more, as a measure of THEIR increased productivity?

These simple ideas are so shocking to those steeped in "seniority" that on first hearing them, they reflexively and instinctively think it is "wrong," because it violates the ONLY principle that 10-20 years of indoctrination have instilled in them -- which is the preservation and perpetuation of the status quo -- as the only way things can ever be. And that is the ONLY problem of our times -- no matter what the field.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's "Wrong" with the Legislature?

The world is changing -- which is the news the traditional media doesn’t report on, and this is the reason for the decline in the interest in “politics” as well as the ‘news” in general. Their interests and empowerment have shifted to a much more personal (effective) but also global scale.

About the only ones left in the old style political process are the union members because they are the only ones who still believe that they are “nothing” unless they all stick together and impose their will and interests on everybody else. Most competent people have evolved beyond that mindset -- to become individuals -- who are capable of speaking and representing themselves, and want to do so.

Legislators these days are little more than “shop stewards” rather than leaders and respected in the community at large, with the possible exception of a Linda Lingle or Ed Case. Most of them are advocates (lawyers) for special interests -- and so those are the small minority of people who lobby long and hard for their grab of the pie every year. The rest want no part of it -- and recognize that their participation only legitimizes and validates an unfair process -- in which all the hired hands lie, cheat and steal -- and the press is impressed rather than acting as the first line of defense for the public interest. Instead, they will disclaim that they have a higher purpose than the public good -- which is their own “objectivity” -- as though they were gods rather than human beings with the power to do something, as their first duty as citizens of any society.

And so the press also loses its credibility and influence -- because people see what is going on that the mainstream media doesn’t want to report on, and instead, report on the partisanship as though it was leadership and the only game in town. Real leadership dies for the lack of recognition and reinforcement. The most narrow partisanship is what is reported on -- which doesn’t interest fair-minded people who are interested in a good return of their investment, and not its frivolous waste and frustration.

The reason newspapers lost their influence is because they no longer saw their essential role as contributors to the construction of a better society but instead became “objective” reporters of the “decline” -- while they did nothing positive even if they were the only ones there, because that would make them “subjective.” So they became complicit to this indifference -- and so did everybody else. Everybody has a duty to create a better world -- and not just everybody else so the reporters can objectively report about it while doing nothing to contribute to it, and even fanning the flames of demagoguery as “their” job.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Are the People Getting Too Smart?

It used to be that people believed everything the “experts” told them to believe -- but in this new age of unlimited information sources, and not just those who can afford to buy all the “professionals,” there isn’t enough money to buy off everybody, who may be even better-informed because of a compelling personal interest. Most problems are not solved by dispassionate and disinterested professionals -- but people with a personal stake in the outcome, which needn’t make that interest and success necessarily bad or invalid.

I think that is one of the grave errors in information processing that has become a crisis ready to turn the page on the old notion that information was something only “objective” people could do -- so we have those who have never invested a single penny of and on their own, proclaiming to be the experts on investing and finance -- because they’ve never risked anything of their own, but had read all the books in the safety and security of a tenured position that absolved them of any requirement to learn anything from actual experience!

Society produced too many of these instant experts -- with gaudy credentials and certificates as proof that they knew something -- when they only knew how to fool everybody else into thinking that they did. That was the distinction between “professional” schools from classic “academia,” before those distinctions got blurred -- and success in the profession, overrode and even derided concerns about truth. What one was taught at professional schools, was how to act like every other professional -- and not independence of thought, which is the categorical imperative of a student worthy of the name, which every great teacher must always be.

But somewhere along the line, the vocation of student was no longer the job description of the teacher -- but was regarded as that which the teacher graduated from -- which makes them worthless as teachers. For the only thing one can truly teach, is how to learn -- and those who are no longer students, but think they never need to learn anything anymore to fool anybody else, is the reason their students have learned not to learn. Yet this is mostly what our education systems produce -- teachers no longer capable of learning anything themselves. That is what children are for -- to learn all those things they don’t want to learn themselves, and to past that tradition on to every succeeding (failing) generation.

That is perpetually the crisis of education. Education has meaning, purpose and power if it can teach even the oldest -- to learn, to change, to adapt. If it doesn’t have that power, than what good is it even among the young? -- who really, are born into the state-of-the-art information -- and must be coerced and compelled to learn all that is no longer valid and true, as history, culture and “correctness,” that in time, will become increasingly political and arbitrary.

Thus it becomes more important to learn how things used to be, have been, and always must be -- than to discover what is possible and true right now, as though everything that is no longer true, never existed as fact. What it is important to discover are the facts right now, and not to have opinions about “facts,” that might never have been true at all, but just widely taught.

That should be no excuse for why there is no time to teach the relevant and urgent.