Micah Kawaguchi-Ailetcher

This blog discusses current events and issues. Topic areas that are of interest include politics, media, California, and Hawaii.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The vulnerability of Polynesia

Comments on "Trouble in Paradise" by John Braddock for Dysfunctions on ocus.net

Being from Hawaii, news from around the rest of Polynesia has always been of significance to me. This blog is about the turmoil of strikes and marches in Samoa, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Tonga, and Fiji. While events of such happen in other countries around the world, these cases in these small countries demonstrate the vulnerablity of these small nations. For example, with the strike of 23 doctors in Samoa, patients had to be sent to New Zealand because the medical staff in the country is severly understaffed.

Like these counties, Hawaii is physically isolated, has an economy heavily dependent on tourism, and has tensions between indiginous peoples (and also lower class immigrants) with the upper class. However, Hawaii, as part of the U.S., also receives federal funds and support unlike these other countries. None the less, the future of these Polynesian countries should be watched to give insight to the future of Hawaii and our vulnerabilites.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Inspiration for the New Year

Comments on the article, "Why do I love online publishing" by Robert Niles, editor of USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review.

Robert Niles talks with a few leaders in the idustry about why they love online news. The passion with which they describe working with online news demonstrates a greater passion for journalism as a whole and online is turning out to be an ideal outlet for journalistic expression.

From my peers, I often hear about how unreliable or untrustworthy news on the internet can be, but it is important to also know that this has a lot to do with the sheer amount of venues for news and blogs on the internet, giving the web a broader spectrum of journalism (from good to bad). What online journalism has shown me is that we are smarter citizens. This can be seen in many places from the comments on blogs to the initiative and dedication shown by the individual publishers/bloggers, and generally all other types of citizen journalism. I have also come to realize that I am a smarter citizen than I had thought and have been surprised by my interest and ability to understand and follow the news, which has developed almost entirely online.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pali View (Lahaina, Maui, Hawai`i) Posted by Picasa

News Story of the Week (1/7/06)

Comments on "Electronic eye grows wider in Britain" by Mary Jordan and "Report rebuts Bush on spying" by Carol D. Leonning, both from the Washington Post

Two of the top stories from the Post this Saturday deal with spy tacticts utilized by the U.S. and Britain and provide an interesting contrast in terms of how these surveilance methods are perceived. The U.S.'s warrantless eavesdropping on phone conversations, recently found to conflict with existing law according to a report from the Congressional Research Service, has become a hot issue among U.S. citizens and politicians. What I find interesting is the reaction in the article on the big brother-like spying done in Britain. The article focuses on the success on closed circuit tv systems to aid in catching criminals in the "most-watched nation in the world." It should be noted, however, that these two examples of spying have some differences: one is legal, while the other's legality is highly questionable; one is done in which citizens are meant to be aware of the surveilance, the other when the citizen is not meant to be aware. Despite these differences, the contrast in the attitude towards two acts that are fundamentally related begs many questions. Would we (in the U.S.) be more accepting of surveilance if it were a more public type? What gains has the U.s. made with spying that have lead to public safety? To what extent is spying acceptable? How much of our privacy are citizens willing to negotiate with their government in return for protection from terrorists? Can we be assured that surveilance and spying will only be used to further the means of counter-terrosim? We shouldn't be mislead in thinking that Britain and its citizens have no qualms about surveilance, but we should look to their compartive success in surveilance, with their key difference being the awareness of the public in their participation.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Downtown Lahaina Posted by Picasa