October 3, 2013
Sunrise Makapu'u 2013
So few people see the Waimanalo shore at dawn that they do not know what they miss.
September 21, 2013
An introduction to longshoreman Eric Hoffer
Anything I can do to introduce Eric Hoffer to those unfamiliar with his thinking is worthwhile. What follows is a short excerpt from his The Temper of our Times. Try also the links below to a mid-1960s series of five interviews of him by CBS’ newsman Eric Sevareid.
“The attitude of the intellectual community toward America is shaped not by the creative few but by the many who for one reason or another cannot transmute their dissatisfaction into a creative impulse, and cannot acquire a sense of uniqueness and of growth by developing and expressing their capacities and talents. There is nothing in contemporary America that can cure or alleviate their chronic frustration. They want power, lordship, and opportunities for imposing action. Even if we should banish poverty from the land, lift up the Negro to true equality, withdraw from Vietnam, and give half of the national income as foreign aid, they will still see America as an air-conditioned nightmare unfit for them to live in.
"When you try to find out what it is in this country that stifles the American intellectual, you make a surprising discovery. It is not the landscape, though he is poignantly aware of its historical meagerness, and it is not the social system, particularly when it is headed by aristocrats like Roosevelt and Kennedy. What he cannot stomach is the mass of the American people—a mindless monstrosity devoid of spiritual, moral, and intellectual capacities. Like the aging Henry Adams, the contemporary American intellectual scans the daily newspapers for evidence of the depravity and perversity of American life, and arms himself with a battery of clippings to fortify his loathing and revulsion. When you listen to him or read what he writes about America you begin to suspect that what the American intellectuals know about the American people is actually what they know about each other: that they project upon America the infighting, mistrust, envy, malice, conformity, meagerness, and staleness of their cliques and sects. Imagine an American writing about America and not mentioning kindness, not mentioning the boundless capacity for working together, not mentioning the unprecedented diffusion of social, political, as well as technological skills, not mentioning the American’s ability to do the world’s work with a minimum of supervision and leadership, not mentioning the breathtaking potentialities which lurk in the commonest American.” Hoffer, Eric. The Temper of Our Times. Harper. 1967.
Interviews with Eric Sevareid:
September 13, 2013
A minimum wage law is compulsory unemployment.
The minimum wage law is being readied for an upgrade shortly. As I spell out in a new op/ed in the Hawaii Reporter, it will only increase unemployment. Here are the opening paragraphs:
"The minimum wage hurts the people most in need of help. For the most part, we are talking about low-performing teenagers — those least skilled, educated, and/or motivated.
"Here’s why it harms them.
"Most adult workers today earn anywhere from the $7.25 an hour minimum wage up to, say, $40 an hour. Whatever workers earn in private competitive companies, from the lowest paid to the highest, it is because they are worth it. Their employers can provide the goods or services to their customers that these folks produce at prices that cover their labor costs and add to the company’s earnings.
"If a teenager’s labor is worth less than $7.25 an hour then private non-charitable employers will not be able to cover their costs and so will not be able to hire them."
August 22nd, 2013
A new medical discipline may be taking hold
The following is the first few paragraphs of an article I wrote that appeared in the Hawaii Reporter on August 22, 2013. The full article with all sources of information is available here.
“There is an emerging medical discipline, termed Functional Medicine that may one day change the practice of medicine in the U.S. It is already being used in the Cleveland Clinic and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and by many physicians across the country.
Here’s the story: Have you noticed that while few people had even heard of autism before 1970, it now affects one in 150 children, an astonishing increase even allowing for our improved ability to recognize this disease? Or that obesity rates for adults have tripled in the last 50 years? Or, that there has been a 400 percent increase in diabetes in the last 20 years? We are facing an epidemic of diseases.
The Institute for Functional Medicine points to a growing body of evidence that the surge in food additives, and other changes in our food intake over the last 50 years, as being one of the primary causes of this epidemic.”
July 7th, 2013
We can improve health care ourselves
I wrote an op/ed for the Star Advertiser under the above title on July 3. It is about some opportunities to cut costs in Hawaii’s health care. This is the link to it together with the endnotes, which were not published in the original.
July 1, 2013
A word from Donald Rumsfeld:
“There are known unknowns—that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns—there are things we do not know we don’t know.”
July 1, 2013
Kenneth Minogue, National Review, 11/18/91:
“An ideological movement is a collection of people many of whom could hardly bake a cake, fix a car, sustain a friendship or a marriage, or even do a quadratic equation, yet they believe they know how to rule the world. The university, in which it is possible to combine theoretical pretension with comprehensive ineptitude, has become the natural habitat of the ideological enthusiast. A kind of adventure playground, carefully insulated from reality in order to prevent absent-minded professors from bumping into things as they explore transcendental realms, has become the institutional base for civilizational self-hatred.”