Thursday, August 11, 2022
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    Hawaii needs to avoid massive unemployment tax increase

    By Keli’i Akina

    For Hawaii employers, it’s deja vu all over again.

    Just like they were a year ago at this time, the businesses that provide jobs to the state’s civilian workforce are in danger of having their annual unemployment taxes skyrocket, which, in turn, could cripple Hawaii’s economy just when it is starting to get back on its feet.

    Last year, the tax was supposed to more than triple, until the Legislature finally stepped in to ease the pain. This year it could increase by more than double, from an average of $825 per employee to $1,768.

    The tax is legally required to increase because of all the demands on the unemployment system caused by the coronavirus lockdowns, which at one point saw more than 200,000 Hawaii employees out of work.

    Many of those employees are still out of work, still drawing unemployment wages and still depleting the state’s unemployment fund reserve, as the state’s emergency restrictions on businesses approach possibly their third year.

    When the reserve drops, Hawaii employers are expected to make up the difference.

    Last year, the Legislature passed a law that froze the unemployment tax rate for employers at the Schedule D rate — a slight increase from the pre-lockdowns rate, but far less than the catastrophic Schedule H hike that would have otherwise automatically gone into effect.

    Unfortunately, the bill was little more than a stop-gap, addressing only 2021 and 2022. Now, as 2023 approaches, Hawaii businesses are once again in a pickle.

    Since the lockdowns began, the state has paid out $6.5 billion in jobless claims, leaving the unemployment fund with only $123 million.

    In order to keep the fund up last year, the state funneled $800 million from the federal government into it, then cleared that debt with an equivalent amount of federal relief funds. Still, the fund is still far from the $1.3 billion reserve that is deemed adequate for a year’s unemployment claims.

    Thus, if the Legislature doesn’t intervene again, the state unemployment tax will soar up to Schedule H — the highest rate — for 2023. That’s an increase of 114%, more than enough to affect hiring decisions or prevent struggling businesses from surviving the lockdowns.

    Hawaii was one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus lockdowns, especially given their effect on tourism. Yet, we’ve seen some positive trends, with the economy growing faster than some predicted, leading to higher state revenues. In fact, the state budget currently has a $3 billion surplus, at least a portion of which could be used to shore up the unemployment fund.

    In a recovering economy, the last thing you want to do is introduce a massive tax hike. Instead, you want to embrace policies that grow the economy. That’s because the state can gain far more in revenues from an economic bump than from trying to wring more tax dollars out of already-strapped Hawaii businesses.

    The Aloha State’s private sector has had to overcome so much in the past two years. Many businesses have had to close their doors forever. Others are barely holding on, hoping that the worst is behind us.

    There are many ways that the Legislature can address this problem. One could be to introduce another rate freeze, to give officials time to reexamine the law and its automatic tax increases.

    What we should not do is levy yet another heavy burden on Hawaii’s businesses and disrupt our state’s economic recovery.
    ____________

    Keli’i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

    Grief as deep as you Love

    Grief is a complex human emotion. It can produce love, anger, confusion, depression, anxiety, regret—well you get what I am saying.

    Humans seem never prepared and not in the least taught how to cope and resolve grief. Like anger, another confusing human emotion, there are few common sense coping strategies or tactics to deal with the cascade of emotion.

    Grief is as ignored as peace-making—we devalue and sabotage peace-making in our lives.

    Grief, Anger, Jealousy act on humans like a water/mudslide. It seems we can only guess at the onset, where it will go, or how to cope with the sheer force of these emotions. Mostly, we lash out and hurt others in our expression of a fundamental human emotion.

    If I take the meta-view, to look at my life as an observer would, at the thousands of cascading emotional episodes, contemplating the trauma creating the triggers, in the light of the deaths of so many friends, it is clear, what we take for real is not permanent.

    From the perspective of our own death, and the wisdom of our meta-view, our existence is unreal, just as our solid material world is not real, at least in the light of timelessness and eternity.

    Rainbow bridge over Hawaii

    A wonderful poet, Hafiz once spake so, “To take for real that which is ephemeral, is like the ravings of a madman.”

    Yet as I watch those I’ve walked beside, friends, colleagues, citizens, frenemies, who have been around me, pass across the rainbow bridge, I see it as a promise and a warning to be in alignment with your highest purpose, or be in fear and regret.

    Choices are our greatest power

    The warning: Those who seek to “rule” their worlds are distracting you from creating your world through your choices, narrowing your sense-of-power to better manipulate you by their words and decisions.

    The promise: When what you think, say and do are in alignment, there you will find happiness. Happiness and a collaborative co-creative world that benefits the many not the few is a choice. Choose carefully, think focused, visualize the thought forms of what you prefer, and then act to choose it in the material world.

    Align>Ask>Accept>Act>Receive is the promise

    It’s not the journey that crowns you but the end.

    As day turns to night, like flowers, we are here, then gone, so are also our lives in the broad span of time. We are soon forgotten, even if we are famous.

    So, make the most of your one wild and crazy life.

    Robert Kinslow is a coach, consultant, change agent and sustainability expert. Connect with him here or LinkedIn

    SureFire Powerpak

    Mobile video light review

    When it comes to a video light, I used to lug heavy camera gear around to capture the funny, meaningful or downright awesome moments that can spontaneously arise during the days of our lives. Since the cellphone revolution, my camera has become my choice mostly for it’s light weight, flexibility of use and features, and reasonably fast time of operation.

    Let’s say an important moment is emerging, I reach for my cell and in a second or two am ready for the moment to present. Or, perhaps a moment is in full swing, in a few seconds, I’m recording without having lost much of the meaningful moments.

    A serious impediment to night-time photography, recording those “dark moments,” is the cellphone camera itself. Cell cameras are notorious for their poor low-light performance, making low light spontaneity unable to be visually recorded. Also, cell flashlights have limited range and focus. External video lights can be cumbersome and lack flexibility. So, if I’m holding a light and trying to focus/exposure, AND point-n-shoot, frame the image, I’m not going to get optimum results.

    SureFire video light and mobile case
    The video light mounted on a iph6

    FirePak video light

    Along comes the FirePak video light, charger and flashlight. SureFire’s design strategy is simple enough, integrate a phone case with rechargeable storage and 2 high-performance mobile LED lights with enough lumens designed for video for 16:9 video frames in a form factor compatible with multiple sizes of phone cameras. USB and micro-USB ports allow charging your cell phone from the charger, or an included cable can be used to recharge the FirePak video light. SureFire says it has an effective range of up to 50 feet and while the light does travel that far, usable lumens land in the mid-range.

    When I picked up the FirePak for the first time, I was struck by the wedge shape that fit comfortably in my hand. At first, the squished wedge shape looks cumbersome. Pick it up and it feels completely different. If you can imagine a drip coffee cone with the tip cut off and both sides squished flatter into an oval shape, you can imagine the shape of this flashlight. The FirePak slides smoothly under the molded rails of the phone case snapping securely onto a stop that positions the LED lights in two positions with respect to the iPhone camera.

    SureFire video light and mounting case
    Features of the video light and mobile case

    The durable case is built for rugged use (not moisture or water) with a 4-level light switch and distinct illumination levels. Design-wise the features are functional while dramatically expanding your performance—as a video light or a back-up battery.

    LED lights create enough lumens for 16:9 video frames

    When I switched it on, the double LED “eyes”  emitted two blinding rays of light, even at the lowest setting. I wondered when I might use that much light? However, once you turn it on at night, you discover the benefit of blinding light.

    At the highest setting the bulbs create significant heat, so don’t be surprised when you touch it. As an illumination device, there is enough light to do fine work, like reading or repairing, too. A distinct setting for faces for interviews would be a good user feature, just in case you are listening, SureFire?

    It’s kinda tough to steady the cell when the light is installed on the case because of the extra weight and thickness requires your normal hand position to block the LEDs. Your hand size and strength will discover what position is best for you. I had to adjust as shown in the pictures below. It’s quite difficult to switch on/off the light without shaking the image. Shooting vertically is difficult for the same reasons, so you’ll have to learn how to control the frame with two hands.

    SureFire video light
    Normal hand position for mobile recording

    SureFire video light
    You may have to modify your hand position for this video light

    If I were a DP on a film using cell-phone video, and this light, I would make sure there were several on charge at all times. No one wants to wait for your only battery to charge. A question a newbie DP might ask is: How long will one last? So, test your equipment before shoot day, OK?

    Charging the unit

    Charging the unit was problematic, as my first attempts failed, due I believe to a mismatched charger plug. Initially, I began charging the Firepak using a USB port built into a small power strip. After two days, the blinking red light indicated it was not fully charged, though I thought it might be close to fully charged, so I began to charge my cellphone at 5%. I recorded the time and charging rate at 10% intervals but at 57% the FirePak fully discharged and stopped charging the cell battery. I reached out to Rob Kay of Guns and Tech, he suggested using a direct charging plug and trying again. Once I plugged it into a 2A charger direct to the plug, it charged up overnight.

    All in all, this unit is a good buy for those who want to expand their video capabilities to low-night-time conditions. It is small and powerful enough to have in your toolbox, just in case. It is durable and useful for most cellphone recording situations. And, it serves well as a flashlight illuminator during emergencies and when you might need a torch to light your path.

    Whether you already have a youtube channel, are a budding professional videographer, or just want the firepower to be able to record life’s dark moments, FirePak is an excellent choice for all. You can see the FirePak in action at the manufacturer’s website: surefire.com/firepak

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    GoalZero & Sunjack reviews

    Portable Powerpack Solar panel reviews

    As everyone who lives here knows, Hawaii is no stranger to power outrages. The last big storm that came through knocked power out on the North Shore for half a day, yet that of course would be child’s play, if we got hit by something the magnitude of Iniki or Irma. As we all know, it’s just a matter of time.

    So, how to charge our devices, in this event? Not everyone can afford a gas-powered generator (at least $1000) much less deal with the hassle of storing fuel. There are a few fixes that will at least keep small devices like your phone, pad, flashlight or radio powered up.

    The first option, and the least expensive, is to stock up on batteries. The industry standard for modern flashlights, radios, lanterns, etc is the 18650 Li-Ion battery. Get yourself a battery charger to keep them topped off.

    If you want to charge devices such as tablets, cell phones, etc., you’ll need to get some type of powerbank, essentially a battery with ports that allow you to charge any USB-based device. I’d suggest, opting for a portable solar panel which can assist in charging small devices, and keeping powerbanks topped off. There are a number of them available for backpackers or home users.

    Input: Solar panels with charging cable arrangement. Output: Panel—>Powerpak—>Phone is the correct order

    Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Kit

    With a little research, I soon came upon the weatherproof GoalZero Zero Venture 30 portable power-bank phone, tablet & solar panel combo. It is a compact kit that includes storage and recharger. The kit is designed for the backpacker or traveler but anyone with charging needs in an emergency can benefit from this system.

    Designed to charge point-of-view cameras, tablets, phones and other USB compatible devices, it’s 28 Wh (3.6V 7800 mAh) rechargeable battery can be coupled with a Nomad 7, 13 or 20-watt solar panel. Together they weigh a little more than 1-½ pounds. Built for travel or backpacking, for home use, it’s a bit under-powered.

    Output kit showing cable types and solar panel chaining feature

    The battery unit has been designed to be weatherproof (light rain not submersion) and shock-proof (moderate impact resistance) and can remember charging profiles of the devices you connect. The battery can be placed into a protective shipping mode designed to avoid self-discharge during periods of storage. For natural disasters, fully charging the battery and then placing it in storage mode for future use, is recommended prior to the event. Such a practice extends battery life significantly. The manufacturer claims “hundreds of life charging cycles” for the battery. The battery has two USB ports each capable of dishing out 2.4A each just like a plug version would. Apple, Android and Windows devices compatible with the output cables above.

    This system included a 7-watt panel. While a standard 2A USB plug-in source can charge the battery in as little as 5 hours, charging times will vary from 16-hours with the 7-watt panel to 6-hours with the 20 watt panel. Priced accordingly, an innovative aspect of this kit is up to 4 solar panels can be chained together via the chaining input port.  Remember, battery and device charging times will depend on both the panels capacity, the angle of the sun to the panels, and the amount of sunlight available in your geographic location.

    Test setup: Input (solar panels) and Output (cable types): Panel—>Powerpak—>Phone is the correct order

    During periods of use, charge the battery fully first, then connect to the battery and charge your devices is the recommended use cycle. And, don’t forget to place the recharger in storage mode before you put it away for future use. Prior to an emergency, I suggest a dry run with the devices you plan to use before the emergency occurs so you understand the limits and capabilities of your Venture 30 Solar panel recharger kit.

    SunJack 14W solar charger with 1o000mAh battery pack retails for $169 and is a good bet for camping or home use.

    Sunjack 14W Portable Solar Charger + Powerbank

    Another solar panel/powerbank combo we tested was the Sunjack 14W Portable Solar Charger + Powerbank.

    The solar charger has four panels and when folded is about the size of an Apple iPad. It folds into a rugged nylon case, which can be quickly unfolded and hung up to face the sun. A mesh pouch on the rear holds the charging port and cables, the devices to be charged, and the battery pack. It has a series of grommets along the edges of the panel so that you can easily attach it to your backpack.

    The panels provide up to 14W of 5 volt USB power under a bright sun ideally producing 2,000mAh every hour. That means you can recharge the powerbank that comes with it in about 4 hours (under a bright Hawaii sun).

    Sunjack’s powerbank includes Qualcomm’s “Quick Charge 3.0” technology, which speeds up charging appreciably if the device on the other end (in this case my phone) also has “Quick Charge” capabilities.

    The panels provide up to 14W of 5 volt USB power under a bright sun ideally producing 2,000mAh every hour. That means you can recharge the powerbank that comes with it in about 4 hours (under a bright Hawaii sun).

    According to the experts I spoke to at Illuminationgear.com 1.5-2Ah is the minimum acceptable usable panel output.

    Otherwise, charging your powerbank, or anything else, will take a full day. The Sunjack 14 W system, which retails for $149 (with the power bank) is a good place to start. You could also consider their 20W kit with 2 lithium battery packs, for $169.

    The Sunjack’s 10,000mAh Advanced Powerbank, which comes with the solar kit (or sells separately for $29) has three ports, the standard USB, the micro USB and the new USB-C. What I really like is that it comes with Qualcomm’s “Quick Charge 3.0” technology. This means if you have a phone or other device that is “quick charge” compatible (such as my Samsung 7) this little unit will charge your device (according to the manufacturer) up to 80% faster.

    A mesh pouch on the rear holds the charging port and cables, the devices to be charged, and the battery pack. (Courtesy Tim Yan photo)

    Whether it’s 80% or 59% faster is anyone’s guess but it’s fast. My cell phone was charged in about 20 minutes. In an emergency situation this could be crucial.

    I’d certainly recommend this nifty little combo from SunJack.

    The takeaway on this piece is the larger solar charging unit you can afford, the better. What’s more, if you can get a combo that comes with a fast-charging powerbank, assuming your devices also have this capability, get one.

    Editor’s Note: Rob Kay contributed to this article

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    Earth Day 2017

    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.10.37 AMHow many of you remember the first time you saw our Earth? This view of ourselves embedded in a living planet, wrapped in oneness, exploded into our collective consciousness.

    Did you know soon after this view of our whole planet was available to us, the modern global environmental movement was birthed?

    “Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.” – Sir Fred Hoyle, 1948

    For many Americans, perhaps the entire human population, this picture has sparked a collective shift about our planet. For the first time in history, we saw that we are all on a canoe—one race of islanders afloat in a sea of space.

    This photo was taken from Apollo 8 on Christmas eve 1968 while scouting for a moon landing site. The crew lost radio contact with NASA going around the back of the moon and took this photo when they re-emerged from the dark side of the moon.

    Imagine… as they rounded the moon’s edge, they saw our Earth some 240,000 miles away—glowing in deep blue framed by white clouds—embedded in seemingly empty space. The surface features in the foreground are on the eastern limb of the moon as viewed from our planet.

    Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders had become the first humans to leave Earth orbit, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve 1968. In a historic live broadcast that night, the crew took turns reading from the Book of Genesis, closing with a holiday wish from Commander Borman: “We close Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.07.03 AMwith good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth.”

    “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.” — Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell

    As a species we had ventured beyond our Earth’s atmosphere into the sea of emptiness around our planet home. It was the first mission to leave Earth orbit and these were the first astronauts to see the Earth as a whole. Now we have the meta-view, a view of ourselves as one system, held together in space with no one to save us and no one more responsible than us for our shared destiny.

    Within 2 years of publication of this perspective, 1970, the modern environmental movement was birthed, the first Earth Day was held, and the Federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed by a Republican, Richard Nixon, who clearly recognized the values of conservation, of clean air and water to all our people.

    In 1970, with nine staff members and a $125,000 budget, a Washington, D.C.-based group organized the Environmental Teach-in, which would become became the first Earth Day.

 With then senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as their champion, the staffers brought together volunteers in dozens of cities and college campuses around the country.

    04221970
    Judy Moody and Denis Hayes on April 22, 1970 with the first Earthday teach-in banner in the background

    Hayes, who had dropped out of Harvard Law School the year before to join Senator Nelson’s project, also chaired the Earth Day anniversary celebrations in 1990 and 2000. 
”[Hayes was] the one who did the unglamorous, wearisome job of starting it up,” Ralph Nader told the New York Times in 1990. “[Hayes] is an orchestrator of environmental events which were national … and now are global.”

    Like Earth, Hawaiian islands are remote and surrounded by a sea that restricts passage, yet, unlike Hawaii, humans do not have ships bringing food or water to Earth. There is no Planet B. We have no other home nor do we have alternative sources of food and water.

    BruceJustinAlGore1999LtrEarth day 1970 celebrations in Hawaii were led by Bruce Justin Miller and his team at University of Hawaii. The events of the first Earth Day, were called the First National Environmental Teach-In. While I do not have any pictures from that day, I ran across this letter written from Al Gore to Bruce and his team in 1999.
    [Click on the pictures to expand them into larger sizes for reading or to download.]

    And, these micro-fiche snippets from Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser, are illustrative of the energy and interest of folks then. Thanks to Dave Atcheson.

    HonoluluAdvertiser_EarthDay1970In the Honolulu-Advertiser article was an a column advocating green practices. Notice it mentions the UH Earth Day event, and proposes ways for islanders to reduce waste by using reusable bags, making laundry soap, reducing car miles, and eliminating toxic cleaning products, and pesticides, such as DDT, etc.

    Yet, here we are almost 50-years later debating those same ideas, because fossil fuel businesses have such a stranglehold on politics and people, we still cannot believe we can change our behaviors, it seems.StarBulletin04221970

     In the second article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, dated April 22, 1970, a prophetic quote from scientist, Dr. J. Murray Mitchell Jr. who said, “…The release of increasing quantities of carbon dioxide and thermal pollution into the atmosphere threatens to change global weather and melt the polar ice, flooding wide areas. Man may begin to notice the change by the end of this century.”

    For many GenX’ers, perhaps even Boomers—ahead of our time—that our society is still _talking_ about changing our behavior, almost 50-years later, reducing our waste and footprint on our only planet—still talking and not doing—induces major depression and climate angst. Yet, it is also the driving force for social improvement of our continued advocacy. As the 50th anniversary approaches of that moment when a picture of our Earth shimmering in space changed us forever, why not get involved with the Earth Day Network?

    Riseup folks, we are much better than we have been programmed to believe! Stand up for the Earth on which you stand.


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    Preparing for the Future of Work

    Future of Work is Here

    Each generation’s ability to advance their own destinies and contribute positively to subsequent generations is dependent on their awareness of how important it is to be future focused. The hourglass of time does not stop running, and it will take all of us, starting now, to imagine and work our way beyond the past we and our ancestors have created, yet where many surprisingly find ourselves stuck.

    Look… the future is coming for you. Can you imagine a future-focused—worst and best-case scenario—a scenario largely dependent upon what we do now?

    Starting with a pragmatic understanding of reality, as it is today—this moment—is crucial to effectively create our dreams in the future. It has been said, if you are anxious, you are focused too much on the future. If you are, regretful or depressed, too much on the past. If you are content, then you are present focused. Too much of one and you are stuck!

    Near Future Scenario
    Anyone Born after 2000 and Today’s High School Students

    man-76196_1920Scenario…The year is 2025. Hawaii, like most of the U.S., has accelerated their shift to a model relying upon extended family groups. College debt has continued to rise and further compromised meager savings; increased long-term debt has become an unsustainable challenge for many parents and students, alike. Little attention has been focused on what courses and degrees will result in work (or jobs) for these youngsters who have grown up in an age of uncertainty. The poor have grown poorer, educational systems have not kept up with emerging market-driven needs and the middle-class, especially has continued to erode. The U.S. world educational ranking grade remains at a “C” – i.e., the bottom of the middle of the pack.

    A different scenario…The year is still 2025.

    Ostock-exchange-911608_1920ur educational institutions have responded to the revolutionary needs of students and provided them with expert guidance as to the set of courses that will ensure their best options in the future. Likewise, college costs have been eased by the inclusion of more virtual courses taught by world-renowned educators who inspire as well as instruct. Targeted technical knowledge, specific skills, flexibility and lifetime learning are now embraced by highly diverse mainstream workers. U.S. world educational rankings have risen to a “B” and we are on our way to an “A” ranking.

    Now, today, ask yourself:

    Playbook4Teens
    The Playbook for Teens is co-authored by Hawaii Wingman, Carleen MacKay, who is the originator of a series of work-focused playbooks for several generations.
    • Are your children’s schools teaching robotics and new technologies at every age and level – from kindergarten on? Do you know?
    • Are you involved with your children’s teachers – challenging them to advocate for continuous improvement in teaching methodologies?
    • Have you read Playbook for Teens on Amazon? Might you inspire high-schoolers with the real-life stories of people, just a few years older than they are; people who can demonstrate winning game plans that will matter to their own futures.
    • Are you building blocks for future-focused viable careers by helping your children to find opportunities to learn well beyond the classroom walls?

    The future will be determined by what we teach our children today


    Pivot to the Pacific, into YOUR future.

    workforcewingmentaglogoWe are your Wingmen

    Reach out to your favorite wingman—we are multi-generational coaches. You will benefit from our proven 8-Step process. Let us guide you to what you need to know and do in order to advance your career in a time of hyper-shift. We can help you implement a plan that will work for you the day after the day after tomorrow.

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay :: Rob Kinslow
    Authors, Speakers, Emergent Workforce Experts


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    Riseup

    What’s your calling?

    What motivates you to get out into the urban world to stand and speak for positive vision of the future?

    timrobiblogpic
    My inspiring brother, Blue eyes Tim Kinslow

    In 2007, as he lay in the hospital, his body succumbing to the ravages of chemo and cancer, my younger brother called me out. I was there with about 30 of his family and friends. Tim had been sitting quietly in his bed, propped up, yet with his head lowered, listening to the muffled banter from everyone. I was over at the door, opening and closing it softly so that the sudden sounds would not jar him, as he loved quiet stillness.

    Suddenly, he raised his head, looked me in the eyes from across the room, and asked, “What are you doing over there, Robbie?”

    Continue reading the rest of the story…


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    Future of Work Trends

    Think about five short years from now, UNLESS something radical changes…

    By 2021…

    1. The old will be older and broker and millions, in this fastest aging of U.S. States, will increase dependence upon younger generations amid overburdened social and healthcare systems that are ready to plunge our economy into a state-of-disaster.
    1. Gen “Z” will be out in full force – half won’t be ready and many more will be denied access to specific skills and competencies the future demands. Increased negative economic and societal challenges will increase major differences. In Hawaii, for example, college costs will continue to rise much faster than subsequent wage growth.

      wakeupwithpurpose

    2. Hawaii’s workers will not be in the full-time, “job” workforce. In the private sector, needed skills, competencies and talent will be used when needed, if needed and as often as needed. The race to a safe haven in the public sector will be overtaken by underfunded pensions. Our ability to pay for the last of the “lifetime” jobs, already standing on shaky ground, will be vulnerable to changes you might not want to experience.

    Yet, IF we straighten up and fly right… support our people,

    By 2021…

    1. Old age will be re-defined and Kupuna will be encouraged to continue to contribute to the world of work – well into their 70’s, perhaps 80’s. Likewise, a shift to emerging active aging programs, such as health-focused Blue Zones project, will prove beneficial to all.generation-z_infographic
    1. Gen “Z” will have many more opportunities to learn at modest costs. Much of this learning will be online and will be augmented with the dedicated help of pensioned, older folks who will have the time and interest to actively mentor the most challenged of Gen Z’ers. And, by the way, the youngest among us will also mentor up to help Gen Y, X generations learn what they have to teach.
    1. We will all learn to manage our work lives as our businesses – not as simply jobs! We will embrace lifetime learning, a term that, once-upon-a-time, was simply granted lip service. We will grow our careers, re-align our lives in line with our own changing interests and changing technologies, re-boot old interests and help others to succeed.

    We are your Wingmen

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay ::  Rob Kinslow

    The Science of Consciousness & Healing

    I want to share a little-known secret for improving your quality of life, achieving deep healing and radiant health… even living longer… and better.

    stream-1106336_1920(1)It’s not a new super-food.

    It’s not a new yoga practice.

    And, it’s certainly not a new pill…

    It’s your own consciousness.   

    Consciousness is the “x-factor” behind deep healing, radiant health and living a long, productive life — even as you advance into your 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond!

    Yes, health and longevity originate in human consciousness and finds expression in body, mind, heart and soul.

    If you’re curious about WHY this is so and, more importantly, want to discover tools you can use to shape your health and happiness, connect with Dr. Marilyn Schlitz. Marilyn has been at the forefront of fascinating and game-changing work in consciousness research, integrative medicine, longevity and healing. She brings more than 30 years experience and study with leading-edge scientists, healers and shamans.ConsciousnessHealing_intro_skyscraper

    On Saturday, July 23, she will present a fascinating FREE online event: Using the Power of Your Consciousness for Healing: Discover the X-Factor in Creating Radiant Health.

    During this exciting event, you’ll…

    • Receive a more complete picture of how healing really happens through consciousness
    • Discover the power of expectancy in creating pain and discomfort (and what you can do to shift it)
    • Recognize the importance of loving relationships in any healing process
    • Receive insights into the remarkable new findings that show you can consciously influence your genetics, as well as your endocrine and immune system

    I invite you to join me for a mind-expanding hour on how to use the power of your consciousness for health and healing. 

    True holistic health is so much more than managing your weight and cholesterol and hoping for the best… Marilyn will show you how you can work with your consciousness to achieve a quality life. Register here

    be-1358282_1920Using the Power of Your Consciousness for Healing you’ll receive the latest scientific insights that demonstrate the power of your thoughts, emotions and relationships in shaping your health and happiness.

    You’ll also be given simple practices to apply in your daily life.

    If you can’t listen live, you’ll receive a downloadable replay of the event.

    Questions? Answers? More posts by the author.
    If you like my posts—even if you don’t—why not contribute to helping spread the word?
    Thanks in advance for caring and sharing this post on your social media sites.

    Disclosure: The link in this post is an affiliate, which means I receive a small commission if you clicknpick. Affiliate link or not, my promise is to only recommend and link to resources I believe will add value to your life and/or work.

     

    Let’s talk about the Future of Work

    Enough about the past; let’s talk about the future of work.

    How, when and where will we work? 21stCenturywork

    We are already working full-time, part-time, on-demand, temporarily, once-in-awhile… from home, from our car, a train, plane or automobile and from across town or across the world. We work for free, for a fee, for ourselves, for the good of others, for learning and/or for the fun of it! We gain-share, bargain or are paid an hourly rate.

    The speed of change is accelerating. Within a year or two, few people will ask the question we are asking.

    The more you have to offer the changed market, the more choices you’ll have to work in any – or all – ways we have just highlighted.

    The more you prepare to meet the demands of change, the more adaptable you’ll be. The more you will be able to accommodate swiftly moving life circumstances and interests.

    What are a few of the most recent changes that have affected how, who and where some of us will work in Hawaii in the near future?

    hand-1112469_1920First, take a look at the on-demand world and you’ll soon have help with everything from Spring Cleaning to furniture packing. Haven’t heard about the hundreds of on-demand companies in Hawaii? Take a look at how many home food delivery options are a short 808 call away. Want a glass of wine with your dinner? Google “home wine delivery – Honolulu.” Prepare to see well over 150 home delivery options. Your favorite food and wine will be on your table within 24 to 48 hours.

    These, and many other firms are delivering services and goods in new ways that will affect you—including, how you work, where you might work, or… how you shop!

    The tip of an iceberg of change is floating your way. Keep looking. A new option will emerge tomorrow or the very next day. We’ll keep you posted to many of the changes.

    Speaking of changes… here’s one to watch: reasonably long-term jobs with a good company began to change in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. Such jobs are now only one way of working and if trends are to be believed, also diminishing in numbers.

    The On-Demand, Hyper-Shift, Work from Anywhere Economy is here. Everyone is now a business – including you!

    It’s time to learn how to run You, Inc.
    But, it’s a bad idea to solo,
    at least until you are ready to fly without a wing-man.

    Ask us how we can help you to prepare for a future that matters. Let’s #makeworkbetter, ok?

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay :: Rob Kinslow :: Fabian Lewis

    Story of a Freelancer

    Story of a Freelancer
    by Carleen MacKay
    :: Rob Kinslow

    In our April 5th post, we introduced you to the new world of work, to “Freelancers,” or people who work on behalf of organizations when and wherever needed.

    pexels-photoBy 2020, according to a raft of experts, 40%+ of American workers will be “freelancers” in all sectors of the economy. Other experts predict the number may be as high as 50% by 2020.

    Situation: This is the story of a real-life person. Our freelancer is someone who migrated from a dozen years of full-time work where he had been designated the “Employee of the Year” to being laid-off and forced to taste the painful and “Unexpected Freedom” of freelancing.outsource-1345109_1280

    Goal: Although he submitted resumes for numerous full-time editorial and corporate communications positions, the response rate was low to non-existent. He was further encouraged to pursue freelancing by the lack of interest among prospective new employers, who tended to view his extensive experience and knowledge, not as an asset but as a negative option. Especially, when considered against hiring recent college graduates for a fraction of the salary, our story-teller felt he wanted or his experience deserved. He discovered the world of hiring in the new decade is not about experience and capabilities, but about casting ones portfolio within the needs of prospective clients. He learned to explore and market for this new business of freelancing.

    Actions: He undertook face-to-face networking activities, while simultaneously expanding his LinkedIn profile and building a network of 500+ contacts. He accepted freelance opportunities that did not pay well, simply in order to gain experience. He began building a portfolio of work samples.

    As time went by, he became adept at turning in quality work on tight deadlines, which drew the attention of new clients. Soon he landed two or three “anchor clients,” giving him a solid foundation of steady work at a respectable wage which, in turn, led to several large-scale web content projects.

    By the end of his first year as a freelancer, entrepreneur-696966_1920he began to reap the benefit of client recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals.

    Consequences: Our freelancer is now established in a successful freelance business. Not only does he have the comfort of working from home, his daily schedule allows time to play tennis and swim laps at his neighborhood club. He is no longer dependent upon a single company for his earnings, but instead works regularly for a wide range of clients – most of whom he has never met in person and with whom he stays in contact via various online modes of communications.

    Lesson: Our freelancer learned the value of persistence by making strong use of online platforms and staying in touch with prospective clients. She has become adept at establishing his brand, at creating sales documents, at maximizing his profile on LinkedIn as well as at leveraging various social connections online as well as in person. He learned to set boundaries to client requests for uncompensated hours in order to prove his worth. Eagerness to work should not be over-used to extract uncompensated commitments or outcomes.

    Credible experts predict that the workplace may be dominated by Freelancers in the next decade. Here’s a snippet, summarizing these predictions, from Thomas Frey (futuristspeaker.com).

    “Virtually any company that cannot find ways to do things more efficiently and reduce costs will not survive. Business colonies are an organic process of matching labor to projects for the exact duration of the contract.  No more, no less.”                                                                                                                        

    Do you want to learn how to Freelance? Ask us for help!

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay :: Rob Kinslow

    Would you like to learn about another way to work in the 21st century?

    Look for our next post…


    Questions? Answers? More posts by the author.
    If you like my posts—even if you don’t—why not contribute to helping spread the word?
    Thanks in advance for caring and sharing this post on your social media sites

    Future of Work

    Did you know? The Future of Work is HERE and NOW…

    Jobs are disappearing from the future of work

    The world is saying no to many traditional jobs these days.  Take a look at the truth of Work. Ensure you have a Future of Work

    • No political party can promise you a job. At best, they attempt to create platforms that will encourage business success, thus (presumably) encouraging hiring.

    • No private sector organization will hire you full-time, if you’re not needed full-time.

    • No public sector organization or institution can afford to ignore their enormous pension debts by continuing to hire as they have in the past.

    Layoffs are the future of work

    • No large company is any safer, than any smaller company in terms of providing job security. The Fortune’s 100 companies (the largest employers) have had more than double the number of layoffs than non-Fortune’s 100 companies.

    • No, invention is not a birthright. New technologies have created thousands of new jobs, while causing the loss of thousands.

    Future of Work is YOU

    • No end is in sight for the economic unrest that the world is facing. Economic unrest works for and against “jobs” in this country as elsewhere.

    • If pension-less workers do not continue to work, in some capacity, later in life, our economic system will be challenged to cope.

    • No, we cannot afford to overlook the aging of America. There are millions of Americans age 65 and older. Put this in perspective, in the United States there are more people 65 and older than in each of the entire Canadian and Australian populations. This demographic will double by 2030. More than 30% of the US workforce is 50+ years young.

    • No, the U.S. workforce is no longer competitive in the high-demand areas of mathematics and the sciences. Our children are fragmented into the haves and have-nots; our boomers are under-prepared for new massively disruptive challenges, retirement requirements and longer work lifetimes.

    What are you willing to do to win your battle for the Future of Work? Will you find new ways to work? Can you see opportunities embedded within the many threats? Will you dare to do something different than experience dictates?

    Join us now, fasten your space-suits, summon your reserve of courage for there are many, and often better, ways to work beyond the old world of the familiar. Let us tell you the stories of the pioneers of the future who have turned tomorrow’s threats into today’s opportunities!

    Visit us at NewWorkForceHawaii and explore stories of inspiration written just for YOU.

    Or, contact us via our LinkedIn Profiles:

    Carleen MacKay ::  Angelica Lewis :: Fabian Lewis :: Rob Kinslow

    Leadership Learning from the Wheel

    0

    Learning from the Wheel of Life
    Figure 1: Movement Model of Behavior

    Leadership Learning:

    According to my Native heritage, teachings and wisdom, recognition of Our ancestors, who’ve prepared the path of life for us, must be acknowledged. My teachers and mentors inspired me to leadership. Our relationships can include those with those who have gone before and those yet to come. Honoring and acknowledging those on whose shoulders we stand, connecting and communicating with our past and future, are fundamental practices of sustainable development. Me, you, we are all a bridge between the ancestors and those yet to come. Leadership from Learning is key.

    Figure 1 shows how you may exemplify leadership learning. Read more here, or connect with me on LinkedIn


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    Thanks in advance for caring and sharing this post on your social media sites

    Free-Fall – A series of postings offering perspective and commentary on art and global environmental issues from Joe Carlisi

    Beginning of the End?

    After discussing the unprecedented, deadly heat waves and fires
    sweeping across the US and Europe, my friend, who is normally
    an optimist said: “Unbelievable, i’m afraid this might be the
    beginning of the end.”

    Well no, I thought. It’s more like the middle or the end of the end.
    Not the first inning of the end game . . . maybe the seventh.

    The beginning of the end, in my reckoning began about five
    hundred years ago when European explorers . . . colonizers . . .
    conquistadors . . . marauders first sailed into the pristine bays
    and harbors of the Americas and began a relentless decimation
    of the New World environment.

    After decades of war and destruction, barbaric hordes of
    conquerers and “crusaders” that swept across Europe and Asia
    boarded ships and sailed to the New World seeking new
    territories and fortunes for their royal patrons and sponsors.

    They discovered the Americas and systematically began the
    deconstruction / destabilization of vast, vibrant, habitats on two
    continents and the many unsullied islands along their coasts.
    Indigenous cultures were slaughtered and converted, natural
    habitats annihilated in their rapacious quest for riches . .
    plundering resources and acquiring territories. In exchange they
    left rats, disease, whiskey and christianity. History books proudly
    describe it as an age of discovery.

    It never stopped.

    The only things that changed were the enormous growth in the number of people involved along with the sophistication and lethal scope of the weapons and tools of
    destruction brought to the task. The shot – callers are no longer
    kings, queens, popes or emperors. Now they are industrial
    giants, huge corporations and of course, their stewards, the
    political minions who clear and keep secure their paths. Real
    time, live viewing of current episodes can be enjoyed by simply
    turning on one’s TV to any news program.


    So, here we are. “Beginning of the end?” Hardly. Free – fall is
    more like it. How will it play out? Can the momentum of
    destabilization on planet earth be broken . . . dialed back by
    corrective human action to a level capable of sustaining life or . . .
    is it now beyond the point of no return and simply a matter of
    evolutionary process . . . nature taking its course, seeking a new
    balance?

    “Deep Tropics” – The image clearly states the message . . . It’s really getting way too hot.

    ***********************

    Joseph Carlisi – Biography     

    Born and raised in New York City, he earned BA and MA degrees in Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York and then continued his graduate studies in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working under the mentorship of Marvin Minsky. Joseph worked as a part time content and copy editor for Harvard University Press (science and medicine) while attending M.I.T.     

    After ten years as a university lecturer, researcher and administrator, he started and managed an advertising / public relations firm in San Diego, CA that handled a wide range of commercial accounts. On the academic side, he published a series of seven articles on animal behavior for Harvard Magazine and two books: “A Guide to Personal Power” and most recently “Playing God on the Eve of Extinction”.

    Joseph Carlisi creates oil on canvas paintings that can be described as vivid, surreal and unexpected. His paintings have been exhibited and sold in: Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Tokyo, Yokohama, Amsterdam, Berlin and Salvador Brazil.

    Joe’s art is available for purchase.

    Contact him at carlisijoseph@yahoo.com.Advertisements

    Evidence keeps piling up against minimum-wage increases

    It’s too late for now, but next time this issue comes around, let’s hope our legislators heed the evidence and ignore misguided popular opinion

    Hawaii lawmakers approved a bill earlier this year that will nearly double the state’s legal minimum wage over the next six years, from $10.10 to $18 an hour — despite overwhelming evidence against such a move.

    And that evidence keeps piling up. 

    Just last month, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a paper by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, “Minimum Wages and Labor Markets in the Twin Cities,” that evaluated the effects of minimum-wage increases in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. 

    The researchers — Loukas Karabarbounis, Jeremy Lise and Anusha Nath — found that  “establishments with larger exposure to the minimum wage experienced larger increases in their wage and larger declines in their jobs, hours and wage bill [than those with less exposure],” while “workers who are more exposed to the minimum wage experience significantly larger employment and earnings losses [than those with less exposure].”

    Also last month, NBER published the findings of researchers from Stanford University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennyslvania that looked at the issue from both short-run and long-run perspectives.

    In their paper, “The Distributional Impact of the Minimum Wage in the Short and Long Run,” Erik Hurst, Patrick J. Kehoe, Elena Pastorino and Thomas Winberry said their “main message” was that “a permanent increase in the minimum wage to $15 has beneficial effects for low-earning workers in the short run but detrimental effects for them in the long run.” 

    In the short run, they said, “even a sizable increase in the minimum wage induces only a small adjustment in the employment of workers who initially earn less than the new minimum wage. Hence, an increase in the minimum wage leads to an increase in labor income and welfare for such workers.” 

    Over time, though, they continued, “as firms reorganize their production in response to the higher minimum, they start substituting away from these workers on whom the minimum wage binds and towards those on whom it does not.”

    Unfortunately, it’s too late now for Hawaii’s lawmakers to undo what they did in the 2022 legislative session. But if they really want to support those in poverty in the future, they will resist further interfering with the state’s delicate labor market other than to remove the regulatory barriers that make new and unskilled workers less employable.

    Water regulation is newest roadblock to Maui housing

    By Keli‘i Akina

    When bureaucracy grows, housing does not. That’s because more bureaucracy nearly always results in more regulation and delays — and I hope someday soon the majority of our policymakers in Hawaii will figure this out.

    The latest bureaucratic wrench to be thrown into the gears of homebuilding, especially on Maui, is a June ruling by the state Commission on Water Resource Management — also known as “C worm” — that designated West Maui as a surface water and groundwater management area.

    The ruling is intended to protect the environment and Maui’s water supply. But as a practical matter, it heightens the level of bureaucratic scrutiny regarding everything water-related on the island, including new housing.

    Maui homebuilders already had to deal with the county Department of Water Supply. The agency not only manages and operates Maui’s existing water systems, it also implements land-use plans and identifies what resources are available for current and future use.

    CWRM, on the other hand, administers the state water code and governs permits related to surface water diversions and ground water development. Its expansion into Maui’s affairs was protested by both local politicians and residents as an affront to home rule and for adding another hurdle to homebuilding.

    Eva Blumenstein, program manager of the Maui County Department of Water Supply, said Tuesday on my regular “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii that the CWRM ruling means that every water purveyor on Maui will have to apply for a water-use permit that is subject to special conditions under the state code.

    During the program, hosted by my Grassroot Institute of Hawaii colleague Ted Kefalas, Blumenstein said parties applying for new-use permits, such as for wells not yet in production for housing tracts yet to be built, will be dealt with only after existing uses have been addressed.

    “There are, at least, I think … 80 existing wells in West Maui,” Blumenstein said, “so maybe 60 or so of those are production wells that need to be processed.”

    Given that Maui is still waiting for a new state permit requested in 2009 for a water-treatment facility, it’s safe to say, she said, that, “It’ll be years, I’m sure,” before any new permits are granted.

    Part of the problem, she said, is that every application has to navigate a process wherein anyone can file an objection or comment, which then must be resolved.

    How many applications are slowed down by objections? According to Blumenstein, the answer is “all of them.”

    “Every water-use permit application we have filed has been objected to,” she said.

    Thus, if an affordable-housing project wants to proceed on Maui and it has already managed to navigate the other land-use and zoning requirements, that is only the beginning.

    “[Imagine] an affordable-housing project proposed to develop a new water source to serve a project,” she said. “If your water use in that permit application is contested, then that whole project may be subject to a contested-case hearing. So that could result in appeal and add time and expense to the applicant” — which, of course, the prospective homebuilder might not have.

    The most frustrating thing about all this is that CWRM appears to be duplicating the work of the county water department while ignoring the expertise the county agency has to offer.

    The county, said Blumenstein, had planned how to meet the needs of the community and even allocate resources in a sustainable manner that could still support new housing. But CWRM’s designation completely ignored the county’s calculations and alleges that West Maui’s water needs exceed the supply.

    Blumenstein explained that the county plan includes sources of water other than groundwater.

    The county’s plan, she said, “allocates the most appropriate resource to future demand, considering the county land-use plans, the community’s priorities, climate-changing impacts, legal constraints, etc. So future development, for example, will have non-potable irrigation needs.

    “The [county] plan says that should be primarily met with recycled water, not by potable groundwater. The plan may also prescribe that supply for new development should not be served by that underlying aquifer for groundwater.”

    This is not to cast aspersions on CWRM officials. Undoubtedly, they think they’re doing the right thing too. Either way, no one is disputing that it is important to act responsibly and preserve our state’s resources. That is as true for our water supplies as for anything else.

    But delay and bureaucracy aren’t “green.” They are just additional barriers that make it harder to live in our state and more expensive to build and buy a home.

    Yes, let’s protect our water supplies, on Maui and throughout our beautiful islands. But don’t make it impossible to build affordable homes. We need to reduce the number of bureaucratic hurdles to housing, not increase them with more layers of well-intended but inappropriate regulation.
    _____________

    Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

    Upgrade your Rock Island 10mm and reload for accuracy

    Upgrading your handgun to meet your own needs is obligatory. In my case that means adding a Caspian slide that will accept an optic. (Of course having a gunsmith fit a custom slide is going to improve accuracy dramatically).

    But let’s get back to the subject of optics on handguns.

    Over the last few years manufacturers of polymer guns, such as the Glock MOS system, the Smith & Wesson M&P series and others are now configuring slides many of their models that will accept optics.

    Of course, adding optics to “old fashioned” handguns such as 1911s or wheel guns is nothing new. Bullseye shooters have been doing this for generations.

    The difference is that putting an optic on a 1911 almost always entails outfitting them with a rail type mount. What’s new with this platform is that Caspian Arms, the venerable manufacturer of 1911 kits, now offers a optics-ready slide to accommodate a red dot. Providing a mounting platform, along with the appropriately tapped holes, allows the end-user to easily place a red dot directly on the slide.

    My starting point with this project was the Rock Island Armory Pro Match Ultra 6″. Out of the box this is a decent, well-finished gun. I simply tweaked it, so that it would easily accept a red dot and to improve accuracy.

    So I turned to Caspian Arms.

    Caspian is one of the most respected manufacturers of 1911 parts and accessories, is a small company and they don’t spend much on marketing. They don’t have to. They have a great reputation for their products, mostly frames and slides which are used almost exclusively for competition guns. I suspect a good number of the winners at Camp Perry use Caspian frames or slides. I own a 1911 built with a Caspian frame and it’s one of my most prized possessions.

    The Caspian/C-More combination on the RIA 10mm will work for everything from home defense to pig hunting

    When I learned about the new Caspian optic-ready slide option I knew that’s how I wanted to modify my RIA PRO Match Ultra.  Essentially you tell the Caspian folks what optic you want mounted on your gun and they’ll machine a Caspian slide to match the footprint. This is not exactly a mass produced product but it’s faster and less expensive than having a gunsmith do a custom job.

    I was introduced to this model at the 2016 SHOT Show in Vegas and was smitten. It was accurate, well finished and reasonably priced. RIA guns are manufactured in the Philippines which gives them a competitive edge in pricing. Just because the Phillipines is not traditionally thought of as gun manufacturing mecca don’t let that dissuade you from a purchase. RIA, aka Armscor, makes more 1911s than anyone else in the world and based on this model, I would not hesitate to recommend them.

    Street price is about $950 which is a bargain, considering that you are getting a match grade 1911. The stock gun served as the perfect platform for this project.

    You’re not going to be shooting Bullseye matches with a 10 mm handgun but it’s ideal for hunting and taking to the silhouette range. The 10 mm chambering, combined with the extra velocity afforded by the 6” barrel, makes it perfect to reach out and touch something at a long distance.

    It’s a great little gun but with a red dot it becomes more functional by an order of magnitude. That was my rationale for adding this slide/optic combo.

    For the optic, I opted for the C-More RTS2.

    C-More Systems is a family owned optics company that you may not hear about as much as the larger manufacturers but don’t let that put you off. They specialize in high end gear for race guns and have been doing so for years.

    Founded in Manassas, Virginia in 1993, its primary products are red dot sights for M1911 pistols, Glock pistols, and AR-15s. Their sights come recommended by FN Herstal for the M249 SAW (light machine gun) and M240 machine gun. The company also manufactures the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System for the United States Armed Forces.

    I really liked the lock-down feature which ensures that your windage and elevation adjustments stay put.

    Quality is first class because it has to stand up to the pounding it’s inevitably going to get in a competitive or combat scenario. Hence many of C-More’s clientele tends to be Bullseye competitors. That said, it’s reasonably priced—much less than the expensive stuff from Europe or this country for that matter.

    The C-MORE RTS2 series reflex sight is C-More’s newest product and is among their smaller reflex sights. It offers the shooter a parallax free design which means you can acquire a target without having to center the dot in the lens. The company uses a “beam-splitter lens” manufactured of hard coated glass to protect the product from scratches.

    The housing is manufactured from aviation alloy and the electronics are designed to deal with hot loads from large caliber firearms. In short this system is perfect for an energetic round like the 10 mm. It offers 1 moa click adjustment for both windage and elevation. A 10 position, manually operated push button switch offers plenty of options for intensity adjustment and it will shut off automatically after eight hours of inactivity. A nice touch is that after setting your adjustments you can lock them down securely with a separate tweak using an Allen wrench.

    One of the coolest features about the RTS2 is that you can replace the battery (a CR2032 lithium model) without dismounting the sight. That means you don’t have to re-zero it every time you replace it—which shouldn’t be that often. Very clever those Americans. What’s more, the battery compartment has an O-ring seal to keep it waterproof.

    It’s a cool little optic that works splendidly for longer shots, which was exactly what I wanted.

    Mounting the optic couldn’t have been more straight forward. The Caspian machine shop tapped the holes so all I had to do was to cinch down the RTS2 and apply a little Loctite.

    Adding the slide assembly to the frame is pretty standard stuff if you own a 1911. However, the RIA model has a 20 lb recoil spring to contend with. Shall we say it’s a bit challenging to put back on.

    I did need the services of a gunsmith to fit the barrel to the slide. The slide fit on the rails of the frame perfectly so nothing had to be done in that department.

    I preferred Magpul grips over the stock RIA offering, which I felt were overly aggressive.

    Magpul Grips

    In addition to the slide assembly I added one more essential item to transform this gun into a much more user-friendly firearm–a set of Magpul MOE grip panels. Why do so? There’s nothing inherently wrong with the stock (VZ) grips on the RIA but like all things in life it’s a matter of preference. I thought they were too aggressive for my sensibilities and started to literally grate on me. I understand that control is an issue with a 10 mm handgun. However I found the Mapguls, which have diamond-shaped cross section to prevent twisting in the hand, offered both control and great ergonomics. They felt better in my hands and at $19.95, didn’t break the bank.

    Working up a load

    It’s not enough to have a fully accurized pistol with cool optics without decent ammo.

    By rolling your own, you can manufacture cartridges precisely to your own requirements — often with more accuracy than a factory round.

    The challenge is of course coming up with an alchemical equation that takes into account the weight of your bullet, the length of your barrel, the make of your primer and a half a dozen other factors.

    What I found really useful in the 10 mm space was to join the 10mm Firearms forum. As you’d expect, these are hard core enthusiasts who have done a lot of experimentation when it comes to reloading. They were incredibly helpful.

    Finally, none other than famed shooter Jerry Miceluk was also a source of info. He likes heavier bullets for longer distance shooting which meant at least 180 gr. I wasn’t about to second guess him.

    So what did I discover? After hundreds of experimental rounds one of the primary lessons that I learned (and this most likely is not going to be an epiphany to hand loaders) is that hollow point bullets are the most accurate. However, at 25 yards and under, I didn’t see that much of a difference between the flat point and the hollow points.

    The Montana Gold 10 mm 180 gr HP bullet was accurate at 100 yards.

    Shooting at 50+ yards was a different story. Jacketed hollow points (such as Montana Gold) worked the best. Between the jacketed and the plated I would say the former were more accurate than the plated bullets at longer distances. I used both 165 and 180 grain bullets, jacketed and plated.

    I also opted to experiment with some locally cast 180 gr bullets from a true craftsman here in Hawaii. The results were somewhere between plated and jacketed bullets.

    The bottom line: A really competitive shooter will appreciate the difference between the jacketed and plated bullets. The average shooter, just plinking away, is not going to see much of a difference if any between plated jacketed and cast bullets.

    Standardize with one type of brass and prepare accordingly

    For accuracy and consistency stick with one brand of brass for reloads. My first choice is Starline. (Note their distinctive logo).

    When it comes to brass, none other than legendary gunsmith Jim Clark stated in Gil Hebard’s The Pistol Shooter’s Treasury  that case consistency is key to accurate reloads. Using brass from different sources is an anathema to creating uniformly made ammo. Thus if you’re serious about “standardizing” your ammo, use one brand of quality brass.

    Why?

    Reloading with scrounged range brass runs counter to consistency and quality control. Brass collected from different manufacturers is by definition going to have slightly different dimensions and varying quality.

    My suggestion? Go with Starline

    I’ve used their brass over the years with great success. Their QC is second to none and, the cases are very durable. Starline management keeps on top of things because it’s a family-owned business rather than some corporate entity that is owned by a hedge fund. They care about their products in a very personal way.

    chamfer/deburr tool from Brownells is crucial for preparing new brass. Starline recommends this in their documentation and I concur.

    Prepping new cases

    One note regarding preparation: When using new brass you’ll need to chamfer the case mouth. 

    Why?

    A new case will have a jagged mouth which can create problems when you seat the bullet (especially if it’s a plated bullet) so you’ll need to smooth out the sharp edges.

    That can be done with a chamfer/deburr tool which you can pick up from Brownells or other reloading outlets. Once the brass is fired you won’t have to go through this process again.

    Pick your powder

    My selection of powder was not entirely scientific.

    I have a quantity of Accurate Arms (aka AA) powder from Western Powders on hand so I used it for my experimentation. I’ve used this brand for years with 357 and .41 magnum loads with stellar results. The very same powders that excel in the magnum space, AA #7 and AA #9, are excellent for the 10 mm which is essentially a magnum round. (For good measure, I also tried AA#5 which also worked well).

    What I liked about AA #7 and AA#5 is that you don’t have to max out on the load to get good efficiency. AA #9 on the other hand usually (but not always as I found out) needs to be loaded on the heavier side. Thus you can get away with less than a full-on load with AA#5 and #7 and get some very impressive results.

    Why does this matter?

    My bias, perhaps from shooting Bullseye guns for years, is come up with a load that is the most accurate with the least recoil. A full house load has it’s place but too much recoil too much of the time is a drag. Not only is it going to put more stress on you, but on your firearm as well.

    My go-to powder for the Caspian/RIA 10mm was AA No. 9 for 180 gn bullets.

    With this in mind, I managed to come up with a couple of balanced loads for this gun which worked exceptionally well:

    • I found that 12.5 gr of Accurate #9 over a 180 gr (plated) bullet from a plated or jacketed bullet such as Montana Gold hollow point was particularly effective. This load also worked well for the Rainier 180 gr FP (a bullet with a flat point that resembles a truncated cone).
    • For a 165 gr jacketed or plated bullet (either hollow point or FP) 11-11.5 gr of Accurate #7 worked great. 8 gr of AA#5 also worked wonders for the 165 gr plated bullet.
    • If you’re shooting a cast 180 gr bullet, a light but very accurate load was 8 gr of AA #7.
    • The recipes for all of the AA powders on this round usually fills at least half of the volume of the cartridge. That’s a good thing because if you accidentally double-charge, the powder will spill thus tipping you off.

    Picking the right load for a plated bullet

    There is one important issue to consider when loading for the 10 mm or similar magnum style round. Donny Shride, former owner of Rainer Ballistics, suggests that you use the recipes for jacketed bullets of the same weight and style. Thus if the recipe calls for 165 gr hollow point, jacketed bullet, that same recipe can be used for a plated 165 grain hollow point.

    However there is an important caveat.

    Shride stresses that you should only load plated bullets to a “mid range” level. Thus, if the reloading guide says use 10 to 13 grains of powder for the particular load, you shouldn’t go higher than 11.5 grains.  The base of plated bullets (unlike jacketed) tend to deform more easily under high pressure loads so it’s not a good idea to push them too much.

    Western Powders publishes a very useful reloading guide and there’s no shortage of “pet loads” on forums. Of course you have to be a bit careful about using data off the internet. Naturally the standard reloading guides from Speer, Lyman and others also have data.

    A tack driver at 25 yards. Montana Gold 165 gr bullet.

    Shooting the gun

    The RIA/Caspian hybrid was wickedly accurate. At 25 yards it wasn’t much of a chore to get a decent group. At 50 yards, it’s going to take a bit more work, as you’d expect. Within a few minutes of getting the sight zeroed in, I got some pretty good groupings that I’m sure would be even better with a few more outings.

    I was also able to accomplish a personal goal with this setup–to whack an 8″ diameter gong at just over 100 yards.

    For those not familiar with the 10 mm, it’s not a handgun for the fainthearted. You’re going to get a good dose of recoil commensurate with magnum-like character of the round. Of course recoil can be tweaked with your loads. If you don’t like the heavier loads, 8 gr of AA#5 was a sweet load for a 165 gr plated bullet.

    Other Tweaks

    The only other modification I made was lightening up the trigger perhaps by half a pound. The stock trigger is excellent but I wanted it modified to my own specs. At the time of publication I’m also experimenting a bit with the recoil spring. The stock spring is 20 lbs. With the heavier Caspian slide to move I put in a lighter spring and so far that seems to help the gun to cycle. Of course, it still needs to be broken in so we’ll see how this plays out. Ordinarily I don’t think it’s a good idea to second guess the factory settings but in this case I did–at least for the time being.

    Conclusion

    Let’s begin with the optics. The C-More worked splendidly.

    The use of a red dot, particularly for longer shots, was exactly what I wanted. The red dot is a crisp little orb and 6 MOA functioned perfectly for my needs. The C-More RTS2 retails for $418.49 on Amazon.

    There are several advantages going with a custom slide/optic combination. First off there’s no rail to contend with. All you do is mount the optic on the slide by screwing it on. It sits lower and is aesthetically more pleasing and cleaner than a rail. There’s nothing between the optic and the slide.

    To fit the barrel, material had to be removed from the slide in several areas including the edge of the dust cover.

    The disadvantage is that you can’t change your brand of reflex sight unless it has the exact same footprint as the original optic. It’s also going to be a bit more expensive adding the whole assembly rather than a rail.

    Price for the Caspian Long Slide (which I needed for the RIA gun) is $302 with an additional $61 to machine the rear sight cut. The serrated round top option for the slide is $38. Caspian will be able to machine a cut for any slide. However, in some cases Caspian may want you to send your optic to them to make certain they have the correct dimensions in order to do the work. Your best bet is peruse their parts on Brownells or head directly to the Caspian website.

    One more caveat. Note as alluded to earlier, you may have to spend a few more bucks to get your Caspian slide fitted with the barrel. This necessitated some removal of metal from the slide in several areas with a dremel. It wasn’t major surgery but you want to leave this to the pros. In my case it was the deft hand of my gunsmith, “Bobot” Duquez, a superb Hawaii gunsmith.

    The entire upgrade endeavor will set you back about $1000, including gunsmithing. However, considering the price of a decent accurized 1911 without optics will run at least $2000, this is a bargain.

    If you’re a 1911 owner and you want to add a red dot, the Caspian “Optics-ready Option”, in combination with a quality sight such as the C-More RTS2, is an upgrade worthy of consideration.

    Addressing the Tax Crisis in Health Care

    It’s been obvious for some time that there is a physician crisis here in Hawaii.  Simply put, we don’t have enough doctors here.  The ones we do have are moving away, and most of the medical school graduates are opting to stay away from here. 

    According to the Hawaii Physician Shortage Crisis Task Force, taxes are one of the reason for the shortage.  A petition attributed to the task force on change.org argues that Hawaii’s General Excise Tax (GET) taxes patients for getting sick or injured, and it penalizes physicians who serve Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE populations who are already accepting substantially lower reimbursement rates even before the GET is applied.

    Health insurance and the GET don’t mix, that’s for sure.  According to the petition, Medicare doesn’t pay GET, and prevents physicians from passing it on to the patient.  The same is true for Medicaid/QUEST and TRICARE (the health care system for the federal uniformed services).  Some private insurers also don’t pay for GET, requiring medical care providers to bill patients for the tax separately.  No other state taxes health care in this way, the petition says. 

    So, health care providers are caught between a rock and a hard place.  They are required to pay a tax that most states don’t impose on health care, and they can’t get economic relief by passing on the tax like most businesses do.

    In the late 1970’s, insurance agents apparently had the same problem.  A study undertaken by the Legislative Reference Bureau at the time found that  there were three types of commissioned agents who were prevented from passing on the cost of the general excise tax to their customers. Taxi drivers were prohibited by county ordinance, travel agents were prohibited by federal law, and insurance agents were prohibited by state law.  State legislators weren’t willing to do anything about the taxi drivers and the travel agents, apparently because the problem was created by another government entity; but they figured they needed to give some relief to the insurance agents. 

    Act 144 of 1978 recites, “The legislature finds that under present law insurance agents are prohibited from passing on the excise tax to their customers, while the other occupations which operate on a commission basis are allowed to pass on the tax. The direct result of this differential statutory treatment is that those occupations which can and do pass on the excise tax are subject to an actual burden of .15 per cent while insurance agents are subject to an actual tax burden of either 2 or 4 per cent.”  That law made insurance agents’ commissions subject to GET at 0.15%.  That rate is still in effect today, and the commissions are, moreover, exempt from the 0.5% county surcharge that is slapped on top of all 4% GET levies.

    Arguably, doctors and medical practices are worse off than the insurance agents.  Commission agents are taxed only on their commissions, and not on every dollar that comes in the door.  Doctors and other service providers, however, are taxed on everything they earn from providing their services.  Hospitals found a way out of the problem by structuring as charitable organizations, and then qualifying for tax-exempt organization treatment in the GET section applicable to charities.  But individual doctors and small medical clinics can’t do that.  (And one recent hospital that didn’t structure itself in that way found itself in bankruptcy court.  Twice.)

    Should medical services be given the 0.15% special rate like insurance agents are?  There does seem to be precedent for that solution.  Some lawmakers will think of doctors as wealthy fat cats who are there to be fleeced, not pitied.  I wonder what they are going to say when THEY need doctors and can’t find them here.

    Haole Do It is back for Season 2

    After a successful first season, “Haole Do It” is back for more learning, laughing and living Aloha. Watch as Brother Noland, Paul Buckley and members of the Big Island community teach Adam, a mainland transplant, how to properly find his way in his new Hawaiian home.

    Season Two covers topics such as Kapa, sustainable food growth, Malama Aina and more! Entertaining to locals and visitors alike, “Haole Do It” dives into local culture and explores what it means to be Haole in Hawaii through adventures, talk story, skills tests, community interviews and lighthearted laughter.

    Tune in to K5 every Sunday at 9:30pm HST starting August 7, 2022. Episodes will be available worldwide on www.HawaiiNewsNow.com.

    Haole Do It trailer

    Exempt food and medicine from GET

    This commentary was originally published by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Aug. 3, 2022.
    _____________

    By Keli‘i Akina

    Candidates for political office in Hawaii have suddenly started talking about a policy option that has been kicking around for years: Exempt food and medicine from the state general excise tax (GET).

    The reasoning is that such an exemption would offset the rising cost of groceries and other necessities at a time of accelerating inflation, when Hawaii residents desperately need help making ends meet.

    And that reasoning is correct.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hawaii households spend a much higher percentage — 16.5% — of their budget on food than the U.S. average of 12.5%. Given that food prices in Honolulu alone have gone up 8.7% over the past year, a tax exemption for groceries would go a long way toward alleviating food costs, especially since with the county surcharges, Hawaii’s general excise tax can be as high as 4.712%.

    To put it another way: Would it help your family to take $1 off your grocery bill every time you spent about $21? Anyone who has ever clipped a coupon or used a store discount card knows the answer to that question.

    The state director of taxation recently argued there is no need to exempt food or medicine from the excise tax because drugs and prosthetics are already exempt, as are food stamp payments (“GET not as regressive as some believe,” Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, July 24). But the purpose of this exemption isn’t to help a select group of people. The idea is to give everyone some relief from Hawaii’s high cost of living — especially working families who don’t qualify for government assistance and must watch every penny.

    Moreover, the benefits of the exemption wouldn’t stop there. By expanding the medicine exemption to include medical services, Hawaii policymakers would not only help lower healthcare costs, they also could help alleviate Hawaii’s doctor shortage.

    Currently, the GET is not applied to hospitals, but it does apply to private practice physicians. Because federal rules do not allow doctors to pass on the tax to Medicare patients, physicians find it difficult to run a successful practice in Hawaii.

    Combined with other problems doctors face, including the high cost of living and onerous regulations, the tax on medical services is among the reasons that many doctors have left Hawaii to practice elsewhere — and that’s according to the doctors themselves.

    A 2020 study commissioned by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii showed that a GET exemption for medical services would result in savings of about $200 million a year. Furthermore, if the exemption persuaded just 820 new physicians to start a practice in Hawaii, that would result in 4,000 new full-time healthcare jobs in the state, as well as 4,000 new supplier and induced jobs, resulting in $1.4 billion in new economic activity and $67.3 million in taxes.

    That tax bump would help offset lost revenue from the excise tax, without putting additional burdens on the industry.

    In other words, the proposed GET tax exemptions would not just help lower the cost of living. They would have a ripple effect that creates jobs and spurs enterprise — as long as policymakers could resist the urge to “make up the difference” with more taxes elsewhere.

    Hawaii already has a long list of excise tax exemptions intended to help different industries or lower costs. Isn’t it time that personal necessities such as food and medical care be exempted as well?
    _____________

    Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

    Big Sky Releases a Trailer for the new season of ‘Deadly Trails’ featuring Hawaii’s Henry Ian Cusick

    ABC released it’s trailer for Big Sky’s season 3 premiering Sept. 21 and gave us a first look at Henry Ian Cusick’s recurring character, Avery.

    Big Sky is produced by Disney Television Studios’ 20th Television for ABC and is executive produced by C. J. Box, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Paul McGuigan, Matthew Gross, Ross Fineman, David E. Kelley, and Elwood Reid. Kelly serves as the series creator.

    Narrated by Reba McIntyre, who also joined the cast as Sunny Barnes, leads an camping expedition and by her narrative, it sounds like the campers may be in for more than they signed up for!

    Official Trailer

    Henry Ian Cusick is Avery, a well-meaning, successful tech entrepreneur who books himself and his stepdaughter Emily on Barnes’ camping trip.

    Jensen Ackles has also joined on as regular Sheriff Beau Arlen.

    Season 3 premieres September 21 on ABC. Be sure to tune in!

    Germany’s Political Miracles after WWII

    0

    by Manfred Henningsen

    Germany has been characterized after WWII by a series of remarkable developments that have reached its present culmination in the role the members of the Green Party play in the administration of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Unlike the Green parties in almost all other Western societies, the German Greens have succeeded in shedding their social movement background and the radical critique of the so-called “system.” They have become a regular political party and abide by the rules of the system, they once criticized in the way some of the so-called progressives undermine the mainstream agenda of the Democratic Party in the US. Realizing the need for this transformation a few years ago, they have succeeded in becoming accepted by a large section of German voters in all age groups.

    This miraculous political development in contemporary Germany has not been noticed by Western politicians, journalists, and intellectuals. Even Germans themselves, as I discovered on a recent visit to my country of birth, are unaware that something remarkable is going on in their society. Germany is undergoing a political transformation that will not only have a tremendous impact on the demographically and economically most powerful member state of the European Union (EU). It will have repercussions for the EU.

    According to recent polls published by the news magazine, Der Spiegel (June 25, 2022), Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of the Green Party (pictured above) is one of the most popular politicians in Germany. Once considered “fringe”, Greens like Baerbock have proven to be political pragmatists.

    Even the four victorious powers of WWII, which politically pacified the defeated country by occupying it until its reunification in 1990 with hundred of thousands of troops, could learn from contemporary Germany how to run their own societies peacefully and successfully. The messy political environments in the contemporary United States, United Kingdom, and even France call for a kind of pragmatic and at the same time visionary politics that is characterizing contemporary Germany. Putin’s Russia seems to be a hopeless case that can only be cured by an explosion of its civil society as a response to the sickening performance of its military in the Ukraine. Yet this scenario seems to linger at this moment in a distant future.

    According to recent polls published by the news magazine, Der Spiegel (June 25, 2022), the three most popular politicians behind President Steinmeier and ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz are three members of his cabinet. All three of them are not members of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) but belong to the Green Party. They are the Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economics and Energy, Robert Habeck; the Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and the Minister for Agriculture, Cem Oezdemir.

    These three politicians are members of a party that emerged out of the radical Green environmental, anti-nuclear and pacifist social movement of the 1970s. This social movement has overcome the internal divisions between the so-called ‘Realos’ and ‘Fundis’, the ecological realists, and fundamentalists, that tore the movement apart. These divisions have become a feature of the past.

    Unlike right wing populists in France and the U.S. the right wing AfD party does not represent a threat to political stability in Germany.

    Ideological tensions, however, color the parties on the extreme left and right, the Linke (Left) and the AfD (Alternative for Germany). Both parties are engaged in internal ideological struggles that demonstrate their growing irrelevance in German politics. Neither the extreme Linke nor the AfD constitute a threat to the stability of the political order as did the French left under Jean-Luc Melenchon and the right under Marine Le Pen in the recent parliamentary elections in France. Comparing German politics with those of France, Italy, and the United Kingdom or even the United States, Germany seems to today to be the most stable major Western country.

    Yet this new German political miracle is not identical with the stability of the political system itself. It is the transformation of the Green social movement into a political party that has accepted the rules and conditions of a political system whose existential legitimacy they once questioned. They have become part of the system and are recognized by a majority of German voters, primarily still in the Western part of the country, as a viable and trusted political force.

    Cem Oezdemir, Minister of Agriculture for the Scholtz administration was cited by Der Spiegel (June 25, 2022) as one of the three most popular politicians in Germany (behind President Steinmeier and ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz). He is a poster child for the successful integration of people with migrant backgrounds in German society. (This photo is dated 2009).

    It is also remarkable that one of the three, Cem Oezdemir, underlines the successful integration of people with migrant background in society. He was born in Germany as the son of his Turkish parents who came to the country as guest workers in the 1960s. This is, by the way, also the background of the 29-year-old Aminata Toure, a German born daughter of African migrant parents, who was just appointed Minister of Social Affairs in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, after having been Vice President of the parliament in that state.

    The Green Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, was interviewed by the news magazine Der Spiegel about the unpredictable but certain energy crisis that will hit Germany this fall and winter. The way he responded to the question about the anticipated shortages for private and business consumers demonstrated the reasons for his appeal with voters primarily in the West of the country.

    He was not evasive but confirmed the shortfalls that have been the result of the reduction in Russian gas and oil deliveries. Yet speaking at the end of June to the workers of a major refinery in the East, which will become a victim of the Russian gas delivery cut-off, he was greeted by protesting workers. These reductions that were the result of the German political response to Putin’s bloody invasion in the Ukraine and were initially criticized by American and other allies for their slow implementation, have been publicly identified as causing rising consumer prices and delivery problems in major sectors of the economy.

    Robert Habeck, Green Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, didn’t hesitate to outline the tough measures he would recommend if Germany’s energy crisis precipitated by the Ukraine war went south.

    Habeck emphasized the existence of these problems and their continuation. He didn’t refuse answers and affirmed the bleakness of the predictions. He didn’t hesitate to outline the tough measures he would recommend and be willing to implement. He also affirmed the commitment to the expansion of alternative energy sources and demonstrated political pragmatism without ever forgetting the heavy social costs these measures will cause.

    Habeck, Baerbock and Oezdemir represent a new class of politicians whose political commitment can be identified with pragmatism. Yet the German Green pragmatists differ from their Anglo-American colleagues. Anglo-American pragmatism was defined by one of its founders, the British philosopher Charles Saunders Peirce, at the beginning of the 20th century, as being a realism devoid of any moral ideas. A recent political portrayal of Habeck was published under the headline: “Adieu, Ideale” (Goodbye, Ideals) [in: Sueddeutsche Zeitung, June 28. 2022]. It suggested that his no-nonsense attitude towards the coming energy crisis was captured by this phrase.

    I think the author, Hillary Klute, missed the crucial difference. Habeck and his fellow Greens are pragmatists, yet they never forget the ecological, social, and overall moral consequences of their actions. They have not forgotten the comprehensive ‘Green’ vision of a world in trouble that can only be saved from environmental collapse by political action that recognizes the terminal nature of the threat.

    Unlike the Green members of his cabinet , Olaf Scholz (at center during the recent G7 conference) hesitated to commit to the termination of the Nordstream-2 pipeline and couldn’t bring himself to issue a statement in support of a Ukrainian victory. Instead, he stated that Putin should not win.

    Reflecting on the moral dimension of their political identity, the ‘Green’ trio in Scholz’ cabinet realized from the moment Putin’s criminal invasion was launched on February 24 that he had to be stopped. Scholz had hesitated before that event for a long time to commit himself to the termination of the Nordstream-2 pipeline yet gave his famous “Zeitenwende” speech in the German parliament, the Bundestag, with the promise of upgrading the military budget by 100 billion Euros a few days after the invasion and declared his unconditional support for the defense of the Ukraine against the bloody invader.

    He had probably hesitated out of respect for the pacifist legacy of post-WWII Germany and especially the Social Democratic foreign policy initiatives by the two Social Democratic chancellors, Willy Brandt (1969-1974) and Helmut Schmidt (1974-1982). The memory of his own radical left youth may have added to his reluctance. Even at the G7 meeting in Germany that he led in June, he couldn’t bring himself to issue a statement in support of a Ukrainian victory. Instead, he stated that Putin should not win.

    The Green members of his cabinet insisted that the Ukraine should win. Their moral compass told them that the lessons from WWII and the history of Nazi Germany should be a clear refusal to compromise with leaders like Putin. His reckless and violent behavior and the ruthless conduct of Russian soldiers reminded them of Hitler and the real Nazis Putin pretends to be fighting in the Ukraine.

    ***********************

    Manfred Henningsen is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, where he taught from 1970 until 2020. He received his PhD under Eric Voegelin in Munich in 1967. His dissertation was a critical assessment of A. J. Toynbee’s A Study of History in the general context of comparative philosophy of history. It became published in 1967 as Menschheit und Geschichte (Mankind and History). From 1968 until 1974 he edited and contributed, together with Juergen Gebhardt and Peter J. Opitz the 14 volume paperback series Geschichte des politischen Denkens (History of political thought), Munich. In addition, he published Der Fall Amerika (Munich, 1974) and Der Mythos Amerika (Frankfurt, 2009), books that dealt with European Anti-Americanism and American self-interpretations. He edited Vol.5 of Voegelin’s Collected Works, Modernity without Restraint (2000); Vol. IX of the German translation of Order & History (Ordnung und Geschichte), Das Oekumenische Zeitalter. Weltherrschaft und Philosophie (Munich 2004) and the original German version of Voegelin’s 1964 Munich lectures on Hitler und die Deutschen (2006). In addition, he published 23 articles in the German cultural journal Merkur and articles and reviews in The Review of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, China Review International, and many edited volumes on history, political philosophy and politics.

    Photo and text courtesy VoegelinView

    We Need an Emergency Declaration for Health Care

    Last week, I ranted and raved about our COVID-19 emergency proclamations, more than 20 of them, that finally ended on March 25, 2022.  Now we see in the news that the Healthcare Association of Hawaii wants the Governor to declare a state of emergency once again.

    Here’s their reasoning, as KHON2 has reported.  Health care facilities across the state are in a pinch because 1,000 workers are out on any given day.  They are out because they either were exposed to COVID, tested positive, or are experiencing symptoms.  With so many workers out, it’s not always possible to discharge patients from hospitals to care facilities like nursing homes because the care facilities are not able to care for the patient adequately.  So, patients are piling up at hospitals and are stretching them to capacity.  This problem could be solved if the hospitals and other facilities are able to bring workers in from the mainland; however, with the current licensing requirements in place the workers won’t be able to work here until they get through a bunch of bureaucratic red tape.  The state of emergency could be used to bypass the licensing requirements and get the mainland workers ready for duty here, stat.

    Licensing means that you need permission from the government to work in some industries here.  All states require licensing for some occupations, such as being a doctor or a lawyer.  According to a 2012 study by the Institute for Justice called “License to Work,” Hawaii “tops the list as the most burdensome state, with an average of more than $360 in fees, 724 days—almost two years—in education and experience and two exams, as well as grade and age requirements for the 43 occupations it licenses.”  In contrast, a 2017 study by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, entitled “Land of the Free?  50 State Study on How Professional Licensing Laws Lead to Fewer Jobs,” Hawaii was identified as the least burdensome state in the nation for occupational licensing, at least over the occupations that study covered.

    Licensing laws can help the public by giving some assurance that the person or business licensed is competent to do the job.  When we are talking about bringing in health care workers from other states, however, it’s not like we are dragging in just anyone off the street.  Doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and the like presumably would be licensed in the jurisdiction they are coming from.  Assuming that these workers are in good standing with their own regulatory authority, making them go through a bunch of red tape just to do temporary work here does not seem like a particularly efficient use of everyone’s time.  Our lawmakers should see if there is a relief valve that they can add to our current laws so that the system can respond to urgent needs without excessive bureaucratic delays.

    But then again, the health care system here in Hawaii is suffering from a supply shortage as well as excess demand.  The University of Hawaii System Annual Report to the 2021 Legislature on the Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project shows us that the physicians we have are moving away or retiring.  As local commentator Keli’i Akina argued in a 2021 op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Hawaii Is No Paradise if You Need Medical Care,” high taxes contribute to a shortage of doctors while certificate-of-need laws keep market entrants away.  Our laws seem to say that we don’t need or want more health care practitioners, but our reality is otherwise. 

    Maybe we do need a state of emergency declared.  We need to stabilize the patient and give ourselves a time-out necessary to fix this mess.  Then we need to plan a route to recovery – the University of Hawaii report has some ideas on how to do that – and we need to execute on the plan. 

    Lawmakers, you might have some thoughts about doctors and the health care industry.  Maybe you think they make too much money and should be paying heavy taxes.  If you put that vision into law, you will find health care professionals buying one-way tickets away from here, somewhat like the situation now.  Then what happens when you need them?  A state of emergency?