as i begin, yet again, to try and post regularly, i’ve been giving some thought to the kinds of things i’d could write about. in addition to personal matters and glimpses at my life, i think it might also be good to share my thoughts on current events, politicts, etc. i had originally set up a entirely separate blog for that purpose, but years later i’m not sure it’s valuable.

to that end, i’ll be closing down and migrating my other blog, peoplesdialectic.com, to this site, and forwarding the domain. maybe making it a sub-domain of this site, though i’ll need to do some research to ensure that’s the best choice.

in the meantime, i’m looking for good new agregators. though facebook is my default, a recent announcement to what it prioritizes in our newsfeeds, has sent me on a search to find an alternative. initial searches suggest flipboard may be the best option, based on how it functions and some of my own personal preferences.

still, i’m curious what sources others might use, or if, similarly aware of facebook’s announced chagnes, if anyone has found other interesting new aggregating alternatives.

as an aside, now that my flickr account is easily accessible via the blog, i’m hoping to share more photos, both recent and not-so-recent. so come back occasionally and take a look.

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happy new year! it had been my intention to have all this finished and have a set of goals, and a plan for them, before the bell tolled midnight on december 31st. the holiday, not to mention a growing to do list for the coming week, kept me sufficiently distracted. so, here i am on january 3rd still struggling to prepare for the year ahead.

here we go with the last question….

~ thinking about the person i aspire to be, how do i imagine myself in 5 year? what does that person do, know? how does that person spend their time?

in my reading, these questions all seem closely related to one another, thus my lumping them together with one answer….

this is incredibly difficult for me to answer. the realist/pessimist in me is hesitant to predict my future; predictions so seldom rise to meet reality. still, for the sake of the exercise; i see myself as a lobbyist, activist, organizer. i’ll be working for a progressively-focused organization, non-profit, pushing forward on issues that affect working and middle-class people and their families.

i see myself with a masters degree of some kind: either in political science, public policy, or political management. getting accepted and figuring out how to pay for it all is part of a plan still in the development stage.

i see myself with more friends, maybe a “special someone,” and a more well-balanced life. for the last several years, my existence has revolved, almost entirely, around my career and gaining the experience and making the connections necessary to continue climbing to my goal. while i generally don’t have any problem with the choices i’ve made in this regard, it has become clear to me that i’ve neglected other parts of my life, leaving me somewhat socially isolated. i need a life away from the politics and volunteering. i have no doubt that this bit in particular will be instrumental to mental and emotional health.

after all this, i’m nearly set on my “yearly theme” and my “top goals.” in typical fashion, i’m a bit concerned that i’m being to ambitious; i don’t want to make the mistake of setting numerous lofty goals, only to fail at too many of them. so, even though the year is already a few days old, i’m going to ruminate for a few more days before settling on anything.

in the meantime, let me say “happy new year” to everyone. i hope you reach all your goals for the year.

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we’re just about two weeks away from the hawaii people’s fund annual dinner, on saturday, november 8.

HPF Annual Dinner & Expoif i haven’t mentioned it previously (i’m pretty sure i have), i currently have the honor of serving as a member of it’s board. so, to help let more people know about what the organization does, all (or nearly) of my videos between now and the dinner will highlight some of the great grantee organizations.

common cause hawaii (cch) is a great organization that i’ve personally worked with on projects in the past. if you’re interested in open, transparent, and responsive government, this is the organization for you. cch has been involved in supporting same-day voter registration, online voter registration, and stricter super pac disclosure laws.

playbuilders hawaii is a group of theater makers “who wish, through theater, to create opportunities for effective communication and cultural exchange between many the many diverse peoples of hawaii.” check out their website. they’re currently accepting original scripts for their 2015 festival of original plays and i expect there could be some interesting productions.

movement for aloha no ka aina (mana) is a “movement-building organization established to achieve independence and social justice through direct action, political education, economic development, international diplomacy, and public advocacy, with a cultural and spiritual foundation.” good stuff! check out their platform of unity, too.

hawaii rural development council (hrdc) received a grant from hpf to help produce its documentary seeds of hope, which “tells the story of agriculture and food in hawaii.” i haven’t seen the film, but it definitely sounds interesting and worth a look.


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on the ballot this november, there will be five questions relating to proposed amendments to the hawaii state constitution:

CON AMEND: Relating to Disclosure of Judicial Nominees

“Shall the judicial selection commission, when presenting a list of nominees to the governor or the chief justice to fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, supreme court, intermediate appellate court, circuit courts or district courts, be required, at the same time, to disclose that list to the public?”

CON AMEND: Relating to Agricultural Enterprises

“Shall the State be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land, rather than only important agricultural lands?”

CON AMEND: Relating to State Justices and Judges

“Shall the mandatory retirement age for all state court justices and judges by increased from seventy to eighty years of age?”

CON AMEND: Relating to Early Childhood Education

“Shall the appropriation of public funds be permitted for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs that shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex or ancestry, as provided by law?”

CON AMEND: Relating to Dams and Reservoirs

“Shall the State be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to offer loans to qualifying dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water sources?”

i talk today about the second and fourth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nipjyPWb1Eg

you can find the post here where senator thielen discusses one of these, plus another i don’t talk about.


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…and the referendum vote in scotland to stay part of the united kingdom.

i do my best to stay up on world affairs, but as the world seems to be spinning out of control at an ever-increasing rate, it’s hard to stay engaged knowing there’s little i can do about it without wanting to give up and set the whole thing ablaze.

still last thursday’s historic vote in scotland on whether or not to leave the united kingdom was particularly interesting. i watched patiently as the votes were counted, while political commentators discussed the vote from every angle imaginable. actually, part of what was so entertaining for me was how much the coverage seemed to mimic election coverage here in the states: reporters camped out at the different watch parties, talking to supporters on both side of the issue, and speculating on the outcome.

in the end, somewhere around 90% of scotland voters decided to continue on as a partner in the united kingdom, with both sides promising there would be positive changes in the future.

i know the politics in europe are different than they are here, but i will be nonetheless surprised if there are any real, substantive changes to the benefit of the scotish people….

laborfest was great fun. and what an inspiring way to spend an evening. the keynote speakers were gerald horne, moors professor of history and african-american studies at the university of houston, and steve early, a labor journalist, lawyer, organizer, and union representative. both were entertaining and interesting, but i have to say professor horne was great. i bought his book, fighting paradise: labor unions, racism, and communists in the making of modern hawaii. my friends bart dame and bill puette also participated, as well as others from various backgrounds.

if you’re interested, you can see the whole event broadcast on olelo:Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.32.16 PM

also, check out hawaii alliance for progressive action (hapa). it’s an organization from which i expect great things. consider getting involved and help make hawaii a better place for all of us and for future generations.

and stay tuned for exciting news about the new collaboration project with my old friend shawn steiman.

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