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As the Lava Flows : Current Events : Censorship
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Censorship
   

Michael Kirtley
Posted: 28 September 2006 - 07:14 AM
I am very offended by your characterization of those of us that want an accurate portrayal in a movie purporting to show an accurate representation of a politically significant historical event as "pro-censorship". You equate calls to make "Path to 9/11" consistent with the known facts, censorship, which coincidentally fits with the talking points of the RNC. You equate "Path to 9/11" with Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" because they are both propaganda pieces. Here is the difference:

1. The propaganda piece, "Path to 9/11" was produced by a company (ABC) that as a beneficiary of the free license to the public airways has a public trust and obligation to present accurate and balanced views of political pieces. You call this censorship.
2. The propaganda piece, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was produced by Michael Moore and only shown in theaters were people had to pay to view. Privately produced movies can take any political view they want and have no requirement to present an accurate or balanced portrayal of the facts. See: JFK, All the President's Men, Nixon, Red Dawn ect.

The "Path to 9/11" cost ABC $40 million dollars to make and was shown commercial free without revenue. In the middle of "Path to 9/11" George Bush breaks in to tell us how great his war in Iraq is going and how important it is to invade Islamic countries that had nothing to do with 9/11 in order to prevent another 9/11! Now this brings to mind a few questions:

1. Since "Path to 9/11" wasn't a commercial production meant to make money; what was ABC's motivation?
2. Isn't ABC required to present an accurate portrayal of the facts in political productions? I seem to remember Dan Rather getting canned because he used a document of dubious authenticity.
3. Does this one-sided political piece qualify as a political contribution to the Republican party?
4. Will ABC spend $40 million making a pro-Democrat movie to be shown 2 months before the elections?
5. If I am pro-censorship to insist ABC honor its public obligation for balanced political views, what do you call people who sit by while the public airwaves are used to promote a single political party's agenda by a corporation beholden to that political party - pro-free speech?

I have always found your open and loving approach to others the anti-thesis of right wing ideology. I find it perplexing that you would attack those of us who are fighting to maintain America as a free country as "pro-censorship". I am for free speech and a "free marketplace of ideas" but I am informed enough to know they are largely gone.

Michael Kirtley, proud member of the reality-based community in Salida, Colorado
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Lono Ho'ala
Posted: 28 September 2006 - 07:18 AM
Dear Brother,

I've discovered that connecting dots based on assumptions instead of facts impedes my ability to see Reality. It appears from my reading of your comments that you have made several assumptions that have nothing to do with my reality or the points I expressed in my piece on censorship. As a result, I find myself very confused about your comments.

In order to help me better understand your position, I wonder if you would be kind enough to address the comments that cause me confusion. To make it easy, I have inserted my comments and questions in the text of your email below.

On Sep 27, 2006, at 4:02 PM, Michael Kirtley wrote:

I am very offended . . .

Hopefully you don't blame me for your being offended. What I know for sure is that no one can offend me without my permission. I have never found that getting "very offended" serves me in any way. Even when people seem to want to "offend" me I realize that if they were more awake they wouldn't want to do that, so I don't take it personally in spite of their apparent intentions because that will only serve to deepen any sense of separation that exists. I am not interested in creating further separation with my comments. I know for sure that I love and respect you, and have no need, reason, or desire to offend you in any way. So, since you are creating your experience of life, and you are the gatekeeper to your emotions, how does getting "very offended" about my piece serve either you, me, or any attempt to establish a healthy dialog about this or any other matter? 

. . . by your characterization of those of us that want an accurate portrayal in a movie purporting to show an accurate representation of a politically significant historical event as "pro-censorship".

If you read or listen to my piece, there is no place in it that I characterize those who want an accurate portrayal of a politically significant historical event as "pro-censorship." (I have attached a copy for your convenience.) In fact, if accuracy is the question, then we are on the same page. Unfortunately, I see far too little that I can honestly characterize as "accurate" in the media, on either side of this political debate.

Bottom line: Saying that I characterize anyone as "pro-censorship" because they want accuracy is neither real, nor can it be honestly assumed by anything I said in my article. When you make this assumption you connect dots that do not belong connected together.

You equate calls to make "Path to 9/11" consistent with the known facts, censorship, which coincidentally fits with the talking points of the RNC.

Again, no where in my piece do I do anything of the kind. I have no idea what the "talking points of the RNC" may be, but they have nothing to do with my writing of the piece.


You equate "Path to 9/11" with Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" because they are both propaganda pieces.

In fact, if you read my piece, I do not label either work as "propaganda." In my piece I use the word twice, and both times I am quoting from moveon.org's letter. There is a reason.

Because each of us see the world from varying perspectives, each of us have an intrinsically "biased" perspective. That means that each of us live in a world where our personal "truth" is rarely if ever the equivalent of "Reality." To someone who tends to look at the world from the same relative perspective as Michael Moore, every comment made by George Bush looks biased. To someone who looks at the world from the same general perspective as George Bush, every comment made by Michael Moore looks biased. In that sense, each of us are guilty of distributing "propaganda" every time we open our mouths about something.

The goal of effective communication is to make room for each other's perspectives, so we can broaden our own. Only in that way can we move our personal truth closer to Reality.

The word "propaganda" as used in this letter carries an energy that defeats that purpose. It conveys an impression that the ABC docudrama must be completely dismissed by any person who doesn't want to be "propagandized" because the program was made by political hacks to be deliberately misleading. The tone behind all of this is to make the program along with those that made it very "wrong" out of a passionate need to be "right."

While I most certainly understand the passion, nevertheless this is an arrogant assumption that implies people do not have the ability to think for themselves. Not only that, but such an attitude makes healthy communication impossible.

As a person who does value my ability to think for myself, as well as the ability of others to do the same, my goal is one of finding synthesis, not justifying energy to make someone who disagrees with me wrong and bad.

Many people are so busy trying to make their perspective "right" and their opponents perspective "wrong" that very little effective communication is taking place. As I've said so often in other writings, this is the essence of unconsciousness.

Regarding your comment, my assessment of Michael Moore's piece and the ABC piece being equivalent falls into the arena of people whose personal truth is in passionate disagreement - not deliberate attempts to conceal the truth using a deliberately organized campaign of disinformation.

In my view, here is where a lot of our political problems come from. People can be very quick to dismiss the heartfelt truth of people with whom they disagree. That is why, in Huna, we are very careful to separate "Reality" from "Truth."

Truth is something that is very personal. It creates a "feedback loop" that tends to feed itself. In other words, we see what we expect to see. If I want to see Michael Moore or George Bush as evil, I will find a myriad of reasons to do so. This conclusion will by my personal "truth" and will likely be quite different than other people's personal "truth." However, neither are likely to reflect anything but a small glimpse of Reality. Reality is something that is entirely impersonal. The closer our personal "truth" gets to Reality, the better off we all are.


Here is the difference:

1. The propaganda piece, "Path to 9/11" was produced by a company
(ABC) that as a beneficiary of the free license to the public
airways has a public trust and obligation to present accurate and
balanced views of political pieces.


I completely agree. As I said before, I see little of that from any of our public broadcasting stations. I completely support any public demand for higher journalistic standards across the board.


You call this censorship.

You are putting words in my mouth. Nowhere do I do that in my piece, nor do I ever do that in any other venue.

2. The propaganda piece, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was produced by Michael
Moore and only shown in theaters were people had to pay to view.
Privately produced movies can take any political view they want
and have no requirement to present an accurate or balanced
portrayal of the facts. See: JFK, All the President's Men, Nixon,
Red Dawn ect.

The "Path to 9/11" cost ABC $40 million dollars to make and was shown commercial free without revenue. In the middle of "Path to 9/11" George Bush breaks in to tell us how great his war in Iraq is going and how important it is to invade Islamic countries that had nothing to do with 9/11 in order to prevent another 9/11! Now this brings to mind a few questions:

1. Since "Path to 9/11" wasn't a commercial production meant to make
money; what was ABC's motivation?

You will have to ask ABC that. I am not qualified to speak accurately about the motivation of others. I have found that my world works much better when I keep my attention on my motivation and simply observe what others are doing as opposed to what they are saying.

2. Isn't ABC required to present an accurate portrayal of the facts
in political productions? I seem to remember Dan Rather getting
canned because he used a document of dubious authenticity.

First, Dan Rather got canned because his political agenda of needing to make George Bush "wrong" blinded his ability to be a journalist so he reported propaganda (which that stuff clearly was) as factual news. The "Path to 9/11" was not presented as a news piece, but rather as a "docu-drama" and prominently called attention to that difference.

Second, I agree that ABC has a duty to the public to be as accurate with the facts in such a piece as possible. Which points made by the program did you find to be inaccurate?

3. Does this one-sided political piece qualify as a political
contribution to the Republican party?

4. Will ABC spend $40 million making a pro-Democrat movie to be shown
2 months before the elections?

Being aware of the hubbub made by moveon.org about this program, I watched the entire thing. I didn't see where the program favored Republicans or Democrats. In fact, I was surprised at how little partisan politics was involved. I didn't see the pro-Republican or anti-Democrat bias that we were so warned about. What I saw showed a bloated Federal government bureaucracy that was (and largely remains) unable to deal with threats to this country as effectively as I (and most of our citizens) would like.

5. If I am pro-censorship to insist ABC honor its public obligation
for balanced political views,

Once again, no where in my piece did I say that.

what do you call people who sit by
while the public airwaves are used to promote a single political
party's agenda by a corporation beholden to that political party -
pro-free speech?

Clearly your words, not mine. Please don't put such words in my mouth. It is not helpful.


I have always found your open and loving approach to others the anti-thesis of right wing ideology. I find it perplexing that you would attack those of us who are fighting to maintain America as a free country as "pro-censorship". I am for free speech and a "free marketplace of ideas" but I am informed enough to know they are largely gone.

Dear Michael, your own words betray you. You say you are for "free speech" and a "free marketplace of ideas." If that is true, how do you justify efforts to prevent something from airing before you have even seen it?

My point remains unanswered in your commentary. If moveon.org had been successful in this effort, the premise would be that people are too dumb to be allowed to see points of view other than those approved by Michael Moore, George Soros, and people who see the world as they do. I cannot see how that represents a "win-win" deal for anyone.


Michael Kirtley, proud member of the reality-based community in Salida, Colorado


I appreciate your desire to support a "reality-based" view of life. As a spiritual teacher, that is my full-time occupation. I teach Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, or any other person without regard to their political leanings. As a spiritual teacher, my responsibility is to get people from all political persuasions to respectfully share their perspectives with each other, not out of a need to be "right" but because they understand that wherever they are unconscious, they don't know it, so this is the only way to bring their personal truth closer to the Light of impersonal Reality/God. This is the only attitude that really works for us all.

What is real is that a political climate in which people are urged to make each other bad and wrong because of their perspectives don't agree is extremely divisive. As a spiritual teacher, it is clear to me that this kind of energy is absolutely counterproductive to any kind of a healthy dynamic.

Would I prefer a world in which all dialogues are perfectly "fair and balanced" and unaffected by personal bias? The answer is yes. Is that the world we live in? The answer is no. What is real is that neither you, nor Michael Moore, nor myself, nor even Bill Clinton or George Bush know the "Truth" about the events that led up to 9/11. Each of us only know a part. The only way we can know more is when people have the opportunity to share their perspective of events, as biased as it may appear to others who don't share that perspective.

That is the point of my piece - not whether or not the program should be aired on the public airwaves because it isn't strictly factual according to either Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh.

Which world would you rather live in, a world where the "thought-police" from some political organization get to determine what kind of information you have access to before you see it, or a world in which you can see what you want from all sides and draw your own conclusions?

This is the premise of my piece which remains unanswered by your commentary.

Aloha,
Your Brother Lono
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Earthangel Michael
Posted: 29 September 2006 - 11:47 PM
Dear Michael,
Antime we are offended this may be blessing for this is a place we may not healed.
After falling off a 32 foot ladder a week before Thanksgiving while cleaning chimneys for a woman I loved (which by the way I was doing something I did not like but only because I loved her) I hobbled on my crutches, just before Christmas, to help clean my girlfrends kitchen's cabinets. Because I was not doing this correctly she spit the big loogie right in my face and then coerced me afterwards (as I gave my power away twice) to go to a Christmas show as if nothing ever happened.
This is a blessing for me for I only accept the highest respect since studying the Huna principles. Anytime we are outside peace, love, and light we step outside our own divinity. Huna teaches us we are divine and so is everyone else Michael.
And of course belief is only required for that which is not real. In other words when we shed our opinions, discriminations, prejudices and seek only divinity in ourselves and others as the master said "The yoke may be heaven, but my burden is 'light'.
Bless you Michael

Namaste Earthangel Michael
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As the Lava Flows : Current Events : Censorship

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