Monday, September 20, 2021
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Grief as deep as you Love

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.
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Future of Work

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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

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Movement Model of Behavior

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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Vacant Homes Tax?

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Recently, the Honolulu City Council has taken up the idea of imposing a different tax rate for residences that are vacant.

The idea is contained in Bill 76 (2020), a bill that started off last year, was referred to the Council Budget Committee, and was postponed by the committee in November 2020 after a couple of public hearings with only a couple of members of the public weighing in. 

Now, KHON2 is reporting that there is new momentum for the bill following some discussion by the city’s Real Property Tax Advisory Commission.  “The idea is to get folks who have vacant homes to rent them out, or the sell them, hopefully to other local people,” Honolulu City Council chair Tommy Waters is quoted as saying.

The concept of a vacant homes tax is not new.  State lawmakers tried to attach the idea to the conveyance tax, but the bill to do that, SB 2216 (2020), passed  the Senate but ran into a brick wall in the House.

The devil, of course, is likely to be in the details. How does some bureaucrat sitting in the real property tax office have any idea whether a property is vacant?  Maybe the official can pull down some data from the water or electric utilities and send a proposed assessment when the numbers are low.  Maybe the official can take an idea from TV shows by sticking a business card in the front door and returning after a few days to see if the card is still there.

And, once the tax office has concluded that the property was vacant and is subject to the new tax, how is a property owner who in fact lived in the property to prove that fact?  Let’s listen to a conversation with a typical (?) property owner.

Watch Doggie:  I was living in that house.

Tax Official:  Prove it.

W:  I barked at the neighbors.

T:  Where’s your documentation of that?

W:  The neighbors called the police so there must be a police report.

T:  Do you have a copy of it?

W:  No…

T:  Pfft.  What other “proof” do you have?

W:  Here’s my electric bill.  Isn’t it high for a vacant property?

T:  So you forgot to turn off the fridge.  Doesn’t show anything.  Next!

W:  Here’s my state ID card listing my address.

T:  You got that ID six years ago.  But even if you got it yesterday, it doesn’t show that you actually live there. Next!

W:  I have receipts from my neighborhood grocery store.

T:  But you still could have been living somewhere else. Next!

W:  Grrr!  I’m going to bite you on the schnozz!

T:  You do that, you’ll be in the hoosegow, and there’ll be no doubt that you aren’t living in the property we’ve assessed!

Another interesting problem is that the rates for the vacant home classification are subject to be determined. That’s nothing new because usually rates are set in the annual budget ordinance. But until then, we won’t know how high they are thinking of raising the rates.  KHON2 reported that they were thinking about a tax between 1% and 7% … which translates into a bump from the current residential rate of $3.50 per $1000 of value to anywhere between $13.50 and $73.50 per $1000.  Which translates to an increase of between a 286% and 2000% from the current rate. Yeow!

This is an issue certainly worth watching in the months ahead.

Biden Administration Sends Opposing Signals On Islamofascist Terror Threat

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In an exhibition of a disturbing level of confusion and incoordination – and widely divergent determinations, two of the chief authorities on the security of our nation in combatting Islamofascist terrorism took diametrically opposed positions on the matter.

On the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States – attacks that took 2,996 lives that day and many more since FBI Director Christopher Wray and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had very different belief systems as to the security of our nation and the threat posed by the budding reconstitution of Islamofascist terror organizations in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Answering a question from reporters as he made his way to the anniversary remembrance, Mayorkas said, “There is no specific credible threat to the homeland at this time,” He issued the standard fare rhetoric about being “ever vigilant.”

But on a recent podcast episode of Inside the FBI, Wray said something completely opposite. “[T]he first thing I would say about the terrorist threat today versus 9/11 is that it’s just as much of a threat today as it was on 9/11,” Wray said. 

Wray went on to say that the threat, while it continues to metastasize in the form of sleeper cells – like the cells that executed the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93’s target, now includes those who are dedicated to the Islamofascist cause and acting independently of any terror groups.

“What we see today is not just that threat, but a more diverse threat,” Wray said.

Why This Is Important

This serves as a fantastic example of how disjointed and unorganized the Biden administration exists. On a topic as deadly serious as Islamofascist terrorism, and in light of the Biden administration’s facilitation of the reconstitution of an array of terrorist organizations in their ceding of Afghanistan, we must necessarily demand better execution of duties.

Whether you enjoy the bizarre approach to President Trump that came from former-President George W. Bush or not, Mr. Bush reacted in an appropriate manner in the aftermath of the attacks. The attacks interrupted an education-rich presidential agenda, transforming his presidency into one that would address the Islamofascist threat to our nation as its number one priority. He pivoted to address an unforeseen issue.

In stark contrast, the Biden administration has run from a required pivot in agenda priorities in a manner that can only be described as opportunistically political and cowardly. In fact, his refusal to pivot to address an even more potent threat to the homeland than we experienced on September 10, 2001, places every American in clear and present danger.

Mr. Biden and his team pathetically attempted to pivot away from the crisis in Afghanistan to return to the contrived narrative that race and gender-identity politics, and a vanquished virus, are the biggest problems facing our nation. Only fools would believe this to be true. And only deceivers would try to shop this ridiculous premise to the people of the United States.

In the face of this very real threat emanating from the Islamofascist Middle East – and on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, shouldn’t our government cease with transformative politics? Shouldn’t a pivot in agenda be executed to preserve the safety of the American people?

The answer for any honest and true public servant would be yes to both questions. Sadly we have but a handful of honest and true politicians in elected federal office. Even sadder yet is the fact that the bureaucracy runs roughshod over those elected officials assuming the station of the actual government here in the United States.

We, the citizens of the United States, have no representative government. Those in control today are subservient to special interest groups, global oligarchs, and the activist multinational corporations that bully the governments of the world to their whim.

Unless We the People exercise a great amount of intestinal fortitude and re-empower the states to claw back power from the federal government, and then immediately convene a Constitutional Convention to expunge the current apparatus – as is our right per our Charters of Freedom, our Republic is lost and true freedom and liberty are but words in history books.

The Declaration of Independence reads, in part:

“…governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security…”

#ThowOffTheChains

Counties, You’re TAT Collectors Now

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Most of us have heard about House Bill 862, the bill that cut off the counties’ share of Transient  Accommodations Tax (TAT) but allowed the counties to impose their own TAT.  This bill became law by legislative override of Governor Ige’s veto. 

To make things “easier” for taxpayers, the law says that the counties‘ TAT needs to cover the same things, and have the same exemptions, as the state TAT.  But the law has no provision allowing the counties to piggyback on the State’s collections like the state GET surcharge.  Which means that counties that want to impose the TAT not only have to pass their own ordinance, but also need to hire their own people to do their own collections.

Kauai Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro said that it seemed like such a waste of resources,  “They [the state] assess [general excise] tax and they cut us a check for it.  I see it as the same thing with TAT.  For us to have the same system and pay two different sets of employees to do the same thing, I don’t see it as being anywhere near efficient.”  

The counties tried.  According to reports, the counties tried to work out a memorandum of understanding with the State Department of Taxation to come up with a solution similar to what happens with the GET now.  But the Attorney General put the kibosh on that idea, understandably pointing out that unlike the GET surcharge law, HB 862 makes no provision whatsoever for joint collection.  The counties are on their own.

This isn’t the first time the counties have been asked to administer on their own a tax that is mandated to follow state rules.  For the first ten years after the counties took control of the real property tax following the 1978 Constitutional Convention, the counties administered the tax mostly according to state rules, as provided in the Hawaii Constitution.  Also, after the counties sued for a piece of the Public Service Company Tax imposed on public utilities because it was imposed on the utilities instead of real property tax and GET, the resolution of the suit led to the enactment of Act 64 of 2001 allowing the counties to impose and collect their own PSC Tax.

Those changes, however, did not cause the counties headaches.  The transfer of real property tax was a change that the counties wanted and were ready for.  For the PSC tax, most counties seemed to respond by foisting the new responsibility on their finance department staff, which wasn’t too problematic given that there wasn’t an inordinate number of public utilities. 

In contrast, the language in HB 862 that dumped the TAT revenue sharing was introduced for the first time by the Conference Committee, which neither heard the bill nor accepted any public testimony.  A different bill with TAT surcharge language appeared late in the session.  It was put into play when the Senate gut-and-replaced a House TAT bill with a very different focus and sent the revamped bill into conference.  That bill (HB 321 SD1) contained language allowing the State to collect the tax on behalf of the counties.  Even so, the Hawaii State Association of Counties and some of the individual counties testified against it.  Imagine everyone’s surprise when the final version of HB 862 came out with a TAT surcharge that the State wouldn’t help the counties collect.

When a new tax is enacted, there are usually a few devils in the details.  This one presents the counties with pandemonium.  Economists generally like the idea of having taxes levied by a local government that is closer to the local population and thus more responsive to the local services that are required, as UHERO points out.  But this instance feels a lot more like sending the counties up the creek without a paddle.  Fixes to allow greater efficiencies in administering this tax should be enacted soon if this surcharge is to continue.

Trailer for Shaka, the Power of Aloha

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“Shaka, the Power of Aloha” is a documentary film project that explores the origin and meanings of Hawaii’s Shaka gesture. The film is produced by Bizgenics, a Hawai’i-based 501(C)(3) nonprofit that specializes in creativity, innovation & entrepreneurship programs

Is the Virus that Causes COVID-19 Affecting our Minds and Making us Mean?

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health mandates have created many social disruptions, including lockdowns, job losses, social isolation, mask mandates, social gathering restrictions, and even vaccine mandates, all challenging our lives, our health, our emotions, and our minds.

As a result of COVID-19, there is a widespread mental health and social stability crisis.

People are depressed, foggy-brained, anxious, sleepless, fearful, and desperate. Some people are getting aggressive towards others, with more violence and crime. Drug use is up. Spousal and child abuse are up. The culture is polarized in opinion to the point of physical confrontation. To control the message over COVID-19, censorship is high, creating disenfranchisement, alienation, and more anger.

Freedoms which were held sacred, like the right to choose whether one wishes to be vaccinated or not, are now challenged as selfish and harmful to the common good. People now see one another as threats to public safety and health.

We have gone from saying hello with a kiss or a handshake, to saying hello with a mask on and over the Internet.

It’s easy to see, and should have been expected, how the social disruption from the pandemic would lead to these mental health and social problems.

However, another possible contributor to this crisis could be the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the brain itself.

It is known that the SARS-CoV-2 virus does enter the brain, and antibodies to the virus have been found in cerebrospinal fluid. The NIH article, “Coronavirus and the Nervous System”, explains, “Changes in the immune system have been seen in studies of the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the brain, in people who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2. This includes the presence of antibodies—proteins made by the immune system to fight the virus—that may also react with the nervous system.”

The NIH article continues, “Researchers are following some known acute effects of the virus to determine their relationship to the post-acute complications of COVID-19 infection. These post-acute effects usually include fatigue in combination with a series of other symptoms. These may include trouble with concentration and memory, sleep disorders, fluctuating heart rate and alternating sense of feeling hot or cold, cough, shortness of breath, problems with sleep, inability to exercise to previous normal levels, feeling sick for a day or two after exercising (post-exertional malaise), and pain in muscle, joints, and chest. It is not yet known how the infection leads to these persistent symptoms and why in some individuals and not others.”

So what is currently known is that the virus does enter the brain, and both the virus and the antibodies to the virus may affect the brain. It may cause all sorts of symptoms, since the brain affects virtually all bodily functions.

However, note what is missing from the NIH list of symptoms. There is no mention of emotions and thoughts being impacted by the virus.

Usually, medicine studies physically measurable symptoms, for example, by looking for chemical markers of disease, or measuring nerve conductivity, or looking at levels of antibodies. We can see how well people sleep, and test their memory. But how do you measure changes in thoughts and moods? It’s not easy.

Realize that the seats of emotion and thought are in the brain. Any viral infection in the brain can impact the centers of the brain responsible for emotion and thought.

This means that in the brain, the virus, and/or antibodies to the virus, could be directly causing moods and thoughts, as parts of the brain associated with emotions and thinking are impacted.

Of course, if this is true, then it could partially explain the evidence we see of increased aggression, anger, and violence in society. However, since these are also the result of social disruption from pandemic management methods, as described above, it will be hard to separate these two contributions towards negative emotions and thoughts.

Scientists are seeing cognitive decline from the virus, including being “foggy-brained”, but what about a cognitive shift towards aggression from the virus? It is feasible that a virus could create a negative mindset by the way it affects our thinking. Likewise, a virus could theoretically cause a mood change towards negativity, intolerance, and hostility.

If the viral infection and the pandemic response can both lead to aggression and negative feelings and thoughts, then how could you tell which is more responsible? This is an important question, because it means that getting COVID-19 may itself be creating the mental and social dysfunction we are seeing develop, apart from public health measures.

This means that anyone who has had COVID-19, symptomatically or asymptomatically, might develop changes in mood and thoughts as a direct result of the viral infection, but possibly without other neurologic signs.

Aggression and hostility may be just as much a symptom of COVID-19 as heart disease or breathing difficulty.

Unfortunately, this will never be studied and confirmed, even if it is true.

Doing a study like this would require measurement of emotions and thoughts before and after COVID-19 infection, to see if there was a change. You would need to determine if there was previous asymptomatic infection, which could be done with antibody tests. However, these tests are not done routinely, at least in the US, and antibody levels drop with time, so conclusions are not reliable. You would also have to make sure these people did not also have to deal with the social disruptions caused by public health measures, which is virtually impossible since the entire planet has been affected.

There are also big political implications, if this is true. Any political leader who has been infected with COVID-19 may have an altered mood and mind. Could this be driving mandates that seem arbitrary and capricious, like requiring masks and COVID-19 tests for the unvaccinated but not for the vaccinated, even though the vaccinated can still get and spread the disease? We have seen politicians using pandemic emergency powers to spread mandates, lock people down, and force compliance with threats of jail. We have witnessed widespread censorship of information about this disease, its cause, and its treatment. There have been extreme violations of individual rights and freedom, and a call to subjugate one’s personal liberty and choice for “the common good” as defined by pubic officials.

Can an infection in the brain that causes aggression and hostility help explain why some politicians are calling for forced inoculation of vaccine into every body in the world, including people who have already been infected naturally and already have natural immunity?

Can a brain disease explain why the world has agreed to culturally-destructive lockdowns? Were the leaders who agreed to this destruction of their societies previously infected with COVID-19? Since most infections are considered asymptomatic, it’s hard to tell who has been infected in the past.

Whether or not the SARS-CoV-2 is affecting the brain directly, causing people and society to come apart at the seams, may never be researched. It may disqualify anyone who has been infected from being in a position of political power.

Of course, this could offer another way to get out of responsibility for doing aggressive, stupid things. Take the COVID defense. “The virus made me do it”.

Reference:
Coronavirus and the Nervous System
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Current-Research/Coronavirus-and-NINDS/nervous-system

Can Raising a Tax Lose Money?

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One fundamental assumption that has been made over the years by our lawmakers is that if you enact a tax, money will be raised.

What if that weren’t true?

In late 2019, a pair of economists, Enrico Moretti and Daniel Wilson, published a paper titled “Taxing Billionaires: Estate Taxes and the Geographical Location of the Ultra-Wealthy.”  In that paper, they followed the movement of 400 of the nation’s richest people (the “Forbes 400”) and came up with a mathematical model to predict the chances that a particular rich person would move out of state in response to either an enactment of or a hike in that state’s estate tax. 

Why concentrate on the wealthy?  Only they are on the hook for the estate tax.  Even in Hawai’i the estate tax doesn’t kick in unless the deceased person has amassed $5.49 million in wealth, so we are not talking about ordinary folks you see on the street.

Then, they theorized, based on earlier research, that if one of these rich people moves, they will pay a lot less of the former home state’s other taxes, such as income tax and sales tax. In that way, the move will cost that state. 

They then tried to answer this question:  “If X State adopts or increases an estate tax, will that state make money or lose money, and how much?”  They tried to answer that question both with a targeted tax aimed at the ultra-wealthy (a so-called “billionaire’s tax”), and with a broader based estate tax. 

When they modeled the billionaire’s tax, they found that 48 states had an expected revenue gain. But two states could be expected to lose money:  California and Hawai’i.  “For Hawaii,” the study said, “cost-benefit ratio [of having a bigger estate tax would be] equal to 1.43.  The expected present value of having an estate tax is ‑$73 million.  The difference between Connecticut [which would benefit from an estate tax] and Hawaii is largely due to the difference in their personal income tax (PIT) rate. Hawaii’s PIT is higher than Connecticut’s. The higher PIT rate in Hawaii means a higher opportunity cost of foregoing billionaires’ income tax streams.”

When they modeled the broader-based tax, assuming that the less ultrawealthy (people who had estates big enough to pay estate tax but who weren’t billionaires) were just as likely as the Fortune 400 to pack up and move in response to a tax hit, they found 42 states with an expected revenue gain.  Eight states were expected to come up short. Of the states that don’t have an estate tax now, four were at risk:  California, Idaho, Nebraska, and New Jersey. Of the states that do have an estate tax, four were at risk:  Vermont, Oregon, Minnesota, and—you guessed it—Hawai’i.

Although the study didn’t pin down exactly when a state would be at risk for losing money if adopting an estate tax, it observed that California, the state with the most revenue at risk, had the highest personal income top tax rate.  Hawai’i has never been far behind on that metric.  We were even seriously considering legislation last session (Senate Bill 56, Senate Draft 1) that would have pushed our top personal income tax rate way past California’s, and we earned national attention, perhaps national derision, for that bill.

Over the years, this column, among others, has been accused of pandering to the wealthy and for being opposed to the “fundamental fairness“ that requires those with more to pay their fair share.  We at the Foundation, however, are not trying to decide social policy. We’re trying to present the facts and the risks of unintended consequences. Our legislators are the ones making the hard policy choices. They should be making these choices with more information, not less.

Have We Unwittingly Put the Brakes on HART?

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Lately, the news about HART, the body governing Honolulu’s largest ever public works project, has been focused on one of the nine voting members.  That member‘s term is coming to an end, and the news is focusing on Mayor Rick Blangiardi‘s choice to replace him. 

What you might not have seen is the difficulty the HART board is having making decisions.

HART was created in 2016, when the county’s voters approved a City Charter amendment establishing it.  City Charter section 17-104 provides for a ten-member board, consisting of nine voting members and one non-voting member. That section also incorporated section 13-103, which applied the rules governing other City boards and commissions to HART as well. 

One of the rules in 13-103 says:  “The affirmative vote of a majority of the entire membership shall be necessary to take any action, and such action shall be made at a meeting open to the public.”  But that language means whenever they take a vote, we assume that everybody who doesn’t vote “yes,” including people who can’t attend the meeting, are voting “no.“  With a ten-member board, that means we need six members to vote “yes” for anything to pass. 

Then, along came 2017. As part of the State‘s bailout of HART, the State added four more non-voting members to the HART board. Two would be appointed by the house and two more by the Senate.  After the bill was signed into law and became Act 1 of the 2017 First Special Session, HART had a 14-member board. That means we now need eight members to vote “yes” for anything to pass. 

Another of the rules in section 13-103 of the Charter is that a “majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.”  A quorum is the number of members needed to have a valid meeting.  By the same logic, a quorum of HART was six members before the 2017 legislation, and eight members after it.

Recall, however, that there are only nine voting members. Two of them are the City Director of Transportation Services and the State Director of Transportation, presumably very busy folks. If one of them can’t attend a meeting, a unanimous vote of the others is required to do anything. If two of them can’t attend, nothing can pass.  “Obtaining nine votes,” one voting member testified in February, “has proven difficult for the Board to obtain quorum to hold a Board meeting and proven very difficult to obtain a decision on any matter in front of the Board.”

It’s questionable whether the State, in putting four observers on the HART board, intended to change the voting dynamics drastically in this way.  But, according to the City’s Corporation Counsel, that was the effect.  (Lawmakers please note:  One reason why you get as much public comment as you can on a bill you are considering is that some public commenters will see chain-reaction consequences like this one so the bill can be refined to weed out unintended consequences.  Adding new material to bills at the eleventh hour, after the time has passed for public comment, can and does lead to problems.)

Some bills in this past legislative session aimed to fix the problem — HB 1288 and SB 998.  Neither survived this session, but one or the other might be reintroduced next year.  

A fix is needed to keep our HART board up and running. Hopefully there will be a reasonable chance of passage in the coming session once the pandemic and the damage it has done to our economy are not the all-consuming problems as they seemed to be in the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions.

Ditch and Bra and Skip the Mammogram

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One of the known causes of cancer is radiation from x-ray machines. That’s why radiation doses for medical diagnostic x-rays have been lowered over the years. It’s bad medicine when a diagnostic tool used to detect cancer also creates cancer.

The problem is that x-rays are like bullets shooting through the body, causing tissue trauma and burns and breaking DNA strands. Repair of this DNA damage can be faulty, leading to cellular changes that result in tumor development and growth. There is no safe amount of x-rays for the human body, and the impact of radiation damage is cumulative, so it adds up with each radiation exposure.

Mammograms are x-rays of the breasts, where the breasts are smashed between two plates and irradiated with x-rays to look for tumors. Radiologists know these x-rays to the breast cause cancer, and have estimated that mammograms cause breast cancer at about a 0.2% rate, or about the mortality rate for the flu.

This means that each year a woman gets a mammogram she increases her chances of developing breast cancer from that mammogram. Out of every million women who get mammograms, 1000-2000 will develop cancer from the mammograms.

The risk is worse for women who have genetic mutations in their tumor suppressor genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes, which lowers the body’s ability to repair radiation damage to DNA and thereby increases the chance of getting cancer from mammograms. Radiation damage needs to be cleaned up by these genes, helped along by a healthy immune system. Any impairment of the repair mechanism results in greater risk of developing breast cancer from mammograms.

As a result, women with a high risk of developing breast cancer due to defective BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are advised to not get mammograms, opting instead for safer MRI imaging, which does not use x-rays. Ironically, the more likely a woman is to get breast cancer, the more harmful is the radiation from mammograms.

However, there is another cause of immune system dysfunction which increases breast cancer incidence. It has to do with wearing tight bras for long hours daily. Studies have shown that bra-free women have about the same risk of breast cancer as men, while the tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the risk rises, to over 100 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to a bra-free woman.

How do bras increase breast cancer incidence?

Bras are designed to alter breast shape for fashion reasons, and this requires constant pressure being applied to the breasts to achieve that shape. This pressure constricts the thin, easily compressed lymphatic system within the breasts. The lymphatic system consists of a network of microscopic drainage tubes within the breast tissue. Lymph fluid drains from the breasts to the lymph nodes, most of which are in the arm pits. This pathway for fluid circulation in the breasts is essential for the immune system to cleanse away tissue debris from trauma and radiation damage, as well as to remove toxins, bacteria, and viruses from the tissue. If the lymphatic system becomes constricted by tight bras, the lymph fluid stagnates, as the breast tissue becomes increasingly toxic, causing a condition called lymph-stasis. Pain and cysts develop over time, and eventually this leads to cancer, since the immune system is hampered in attacking any developing cancer cells.

Keep in mind that cancer cells develop all the time in our bodies, as errors in DNA repair and replication are common. However, the immune system detects these defective cells and attacks them before they become a problem. The vast majority of developing cancer cells are killed by our immune system, so long as it is allowed to do its job. However, when we constrict the body with tight clothing, the compression of the lymphatics impairs this circulatory pathway of the immune system, resulting in decreased immune protection, just like having defective tumor suppressor genes.

The bra impairs immune function by constriction of the lymphatics. Any damage to the breasts, either by trauma, radiation, or exposure to carcinogenic chemicals or toxins, is made worse by bras, since the immune system cannot do its job when constricted and compressed by a bra. Blood flow to the breasts is also reduced by tight bras, essentially choking the breast tissue as it marinates in waste products and toxins due to lymphatic impairment. Add to this the repeated radiation damage to the breasts from mammograms, and you can see why there is a breast cancer epidemic.

Unfortunately, the role of the bra in breast pathology is under appreciated in the US, since bra usage has been promoted for economic, fashion, and sexist reasons. While dozens of studies internationally have confirmed the bra-cancer link, cancer authorities have been dismissing the issue out of hand, since the bra-cancer link is a research game-changer which has the potential of upending breast cancer research that has ignored this important factor affecting breast health. It’s like researching lung cancer while ignoring smoking (which was the case in the early 1900’s.)

Research into breast disease which ignores the constrictive impact of bras on breast lymphatics and circulation is flawed. However, the breast cancer industry insists that the cause of breast cancer is mostly unknown (apart from an approximately 5% cause from genetics), and insists that early detection of tumors with mammograms followed by treatment is the only alternative.

One of the major concerns that the cancer industry has had about the bra- cancer link is that women would avoid mammograms if they believed that their breast cancer risk was low due to eliminating bra usage. If the medical model for breast cancer management requires regular mammograms, then anything which can get in the way of that message is silenced. If becoming bra-free lowers risk, then why get mammograms, which are painful and exposes women to increased cancer rates through radiation damage? The promotion of mammograms as the alternative to prevention has created a multi-billion dollar mammogram industry. Prevention by bra removal is not lucrative for the medical industry. Dismissing the bra-cancer link, which is a major way women can effectively lower breast cancer risk, keeps women coming for their mammograms to detect the tumor once it appears.

As a result, women are not warned about the impact their bras are having on their breast health. Breast pain and cysts, in addition to cancer, are mostly the result of tight bras. Breathing is reduced by wearing bras. The sympathetic nervous system is harmed by wearing bras. The only thing that benefits from wearing bras is the bra industry which profits from bra sales, and the medical industry which profits from cancer detection and treatment.

Fortunately, becoming bra-free is now the fashion. Women have become skeptical of the alleged need for uncomfortable bras, and have opted for freedom and comfort. Gender-based clothing is also in question, as women ask why they “need” bras in the first place if men do not. While the bra industry has created cultural narratives which claim bras are “needed for support”, research shows that breasts support themselves when the natural suspensory ligaments in the breasts are allowed to function and hold the weight of the breasts by themselves. In fact, bras cause the breasts to droop more than they would naturally, since the artificial support from the bra results in these suspensory ligaments becoming weak and atrophying from nonuse. The breasts are also heavier when using a bra, due to fluid accumulation in the breasts from impaired lymphatic drainage. And large-breasted women are not freaks of nature who require 20th century lingerie for “support”. It’s all sales propaganda from the bra industry.

Conclusion:
Mammograms cause radiation damage to the breasts and cause breast cancer.
Bras cause lymphatic impairment in the breasts and cause breast cancer.
Get rid of your bra, and avoid mammograms.

References:
1. Radiation-Induced Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality From Digital Mammography Screening. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/ m15-1241

2. DNA damage induced by mammography in high family risk patients: Only one single view in screening. https://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/pii/S0960977611004115
3. Time to stop mammography screening? https://www.cmaj.ca/content/ 183/17/1957.short
4. Is Mammographic Screening Justifiable Considering Its Substantial Overdiagnosis Rate and Minor Effect on Mortality? https:// pubs.rsna.org/doi/pdf/10.1148/radiol.11110210
5. Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. Second Edition (2018), Square One Publishers, NY.
6. How Bras Cause Lymph-Stasis and Breast Cancer. https:// www.academia.edu/36287546/ HOW_BRAS_CAUSE_LYMPH_STASIS_AND_BREAST_CANCER
7. Bras Cause More than Breast Cancer: Preliminary Results of the International Bra-Free Study. https://www.academia.edu/40226963/ Bras_Cause_More_than_Breast_Cancer_Preliminary_Results_of_the_In ternational_Bra_Free_Study

With the Epic Fail In Afghanistan, It’s Time To Ask What We’ve Become

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With the incredible failure in planning and leadership, not to mention the almost belligerent reluctance to act on the part of the Biden administration on the issue of Afghanistan – and the subsequent posturing by the mainstream media and the political Left, the time has arrived for serious self-examination.

What have we become as a country when we can elect such politically self-absorbed narcissists into leadership? Who are we as a people if we elect such unaware, arrogant, and ineffective embarrassments to office?

In one of the most embarrassing and chilling responses to a question posed by a member of the media, a question about Afghan’s falling to their deaths from the exoskeletons of US Air Force C-17s departing from Kabul airport, our president, President Joe Biden, said – annoyed that he was even being questioned on the matter, “That was four or five days ago!”

What kind of a human being responds to a question on an issue of that magnitude so dismissively? What kind of a politically opportune narcissist callously attempts to deflect from a question like that?

And then we have the President either lying directly to the American people or disclosing the fact that he doesn’t have a handle on what his own administration is doing, in his insistence that he was caught off guard by the swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in the shadow of the US withdrawal.

The Wall Street Journal reported, as conveyed by Blaze.com:

“The July 13 cable signed by nearly two dozen Embassy staffers went through the Department of State’s confidential dissent channel and warned of swift ground gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces, and it also supplied suggestions on how to mitigate the crisis and expedite an evacuation, the two individuals said, according to the outlet.

“‘The cable, sent via the State Department’s confidential dissent channel, warned of rapid territorial gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces, and offered recommendations on ways to mitigate the crisis and speed up an evacuation, the two people said,’ the Journal reported. ‘The cable, dated July 13, also called for the State Department to use tougher language in describing the atrocities being committed by the Taliban, one of the people said.’”

And then we have the nauseating declaration by the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, that the United States military doesn’t have the ability to provide safe passage to Americans and US assets out of Afghanistan.

As reported by The Washington Examiner, Austin told reporters:

“I don’t have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul…We don’t have the capability to go out and collect up large numbers of people.”

But this sentiment is exposed as another blatant lie from a member of the Biden administration, and one that is tangibly putting American lives and the lives of American assets in grave danger.

Again, from The Washington Examiner and analyst Tom Rogan:

“[US] Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue has told his British Army counterpart, a high-ranking field-grade officer of the British army’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, that British operations were embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar US military operations…

“…I understand that the SAS has conducted operations to bring American citizens, as well as British citizens and at-risk personnel, through checkpoints and to the airport. This is not an indictment on US capabilities or special operations intent, but rather, it’s a reflection of political-military authorities.”

So, again, the actions of our duly elected federal government in Afghanistan –  and in addressing Afghanistan – beg the question: Who are we as a people; what have we become?

The idea that the Taliban was sincere in its declaration that the government they intend to establish is to be “inclusive” and equitable toward women is so far beyond the realm of reality it defies even disillusion. The Taliban is not “Woke” and never will be.

And yet the US State Department, UNICEF, and the United Nations issued almost identical statements declaring they were “optimistic” about the Taliban’s declaration, UNICEF’s chief of field operations in Afghanistan, Mustapha Ben Messaoud, going as far as to say, “We have not a single issue with the Taliban…”

Meanwhile, Taliban Islamofascists have brutally massacred members of the minority Hazara community in the Ghazni province despite public claims that the Taliban would provide amnesty across Afghanistan.

According to Amnesty International, Hazara men have been shot and “three were tortured to death, including one man who was strangled with his own scarf and had his arm muscles sliced off.” The human rights group said the Taliban “killings likely represent a tiny fraction of the total death toll inflicted by the Taliban to date, as the group has cut mobile phone service in many of the areas they have recently captured, controlling which photographs and videos are then shared from these regions.”

Providing a first-hand warning in an interview with India’s News 18 of what is to come for the women of Afghanistan, Khatera, an Afghani woman, insisted the Taliban will not respect or honor women’s rights despite the Islamofascist group’s assertions to the contrary.

Khatera, 33, told of a horrific attack that took place in 2020 when her father – a Taliban fighter – tipped off the local Taliban faction that his daughter was employed (women, under Sharia law, are not permitted to work).

In October of that year, Khatera said that her father conspired with the local  Taliban faction to attack her as she returned home from work. During the attack, Khatera – who, ironically worked for the police in a US-NATO controlled area – was shot at least eight times, stabbed, and had her eyes knifed out of their sockets before Taliban fighters left her for dead. She was pregnant at the time.

In a statement by the leader of the underground church ministering to Christians in Afghanistan, a first-hand account of the realities on the ground in that Taliban-controlled territory serves up monstrous details:

“The Taliban has a hit list of known Christians they are targeting to pursue and kill. The US Embassy is defunct and there is no longer a safe place for believers to take refuge… 

“All borders to neighboring countries are closed and all flights to and from have been halted, with the exception of private planes. People are fleeing into the mountains looking for asylum…

“The Taliban are going door-to-door taking women and children…The people must mark their house with an ‘X’ if they have a girl over 12 years old, so that the Taliban can take them. If they find a young girl and the house was not marked, they will execute the entire family. If a married woman 25 years old or older has been found, the Taliban promptly kill her husband, do whatever they want to her, and then sell her as a sex slave.”

The responsibility for the wholly inept execution of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan rests exclusively with President Biden and his administration. They had the ability to change course up to the very last minute and, instead, chose to ignore reports from responsible underlings in deference to whipping the political agenda vehicle that is COVID, an event that is all but over.

In fact, the British Parliament, the governing body of our greatest ally, voted to condemn not the United States, but President Biden himself for the disaster the withdrawal has turned out to be.

The Daily Mail reported:

“The speed of the Taliban’s gains after the US-led forces withdrew the bulk of their troops from Afghanistan surprised the West, leaving many nations having to scramble to get their diplomats and Afghans who had helped them out of the country.

“Several lawmakers on Wednesday focused on the US decision to withdraw – a move which Johnson admitted left Britain with no choice but to pull out its own forces – and Biden’s subsequent criticism of Afghan forces’ surrender…”

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May, said on the floor of Parliament, “Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak? Was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate? Or did we just feel that we have to follow the United States and hope that, on a wing and a prayer, it would be alright on the night.”

A recent poll exclaiming that President Biden has hit a low-water mark in his approval rating reveals that 54 percent of Americans disapprove of Mr. Biden’s performance. Additionally, approximately 1-in-10 Democrats regret their 2020 vote with 15 percent of Black Americans regretting their vote.

But what of the other 10 Democrat voters who still support Mr. Biden? What of the 46 percent of the electorate that believes Mr. Biden’s performance is a positive thing?

Higher gas prices. Higher food prices. Higher construction material prices. Higher taxes. The dissemination of our economy. An exploding national debt. The diminishment of America’s standing in the world. The facilitation of the rise of China. And now the facilitation of the enslavement and slaughter of millions of innocent, trusting Afghanis.

So, again, some questions beg to be asked.

What have we become as a country if we can elect such inept and politically greedy people to positions of power?

Have we become so addicted to “being right,” to “winning at all cost for the sake of winning,” so blind to the actions of the charlatan activists who run for public office that the difference between right and wrong simply doesn’t matter any longer?

Have we, as a nation, become a pathetic gaggle of self-absorbed, self-centered, elitist cry-babies that places more priority in “being offended” by gender pronouns and claiming victimhood for the wrongs of generations past than in preventing the enslavement and slaughter of an entire nation, acts facilitated by our ridiculous “Woke” cultural disability?

We cannot claim the mantle of righteousness if we do not stand up to tyranny in real-time when Islamofascist tyrants are slaughtering people and enslaving young girls and women as sex slaves. We cannot feign outrage at the slavery of America’s past if we do nothing to stop the enslavement of women and children today. We cannot claim to be the last best hope of freedom on Earth if we turn our backs on those begging for freedom.

Today, the people who have tasted freedom for the last 20 years in Afghanistan are crying out for help. They are begging for our help so they can hold on to freedom as bloodthirsty Islamofascist barbarians begin their slaughter in the name of their demented religion.

And as they beg, as they plead, as they fall from in-flight C-17 aircraft to their deaths in attempts to escape the certain deaths; the grisly deaths that await them if don’t at least try, our President is more concerned with who is wearing COVID masks and who isn’t, even as his order facilitates that slaughter and slavery.

If we, the American people, stand at this moment in time, as we witness the uncaring cruelty that our government is unleashing on the Afghan people and especially their females – and especially those who aided us in good faith over the last 20 years, we must all ask ourselves: What have we become as a nation if we allow this to happen without lifting our voices to the Heavens in protest to force our elected officials to do the right thing.

It is time to dispense with the Alinskyite politics of win at all cost. It is time to do the right thing. If we don’t, then who are we really? What have we become?

Frank Salvato is the executive partner at The CompassPoint Group, LLC. He is the co-host of the Underground USA podcast as heard on iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, and anywhere podcasts are heard. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His analysis has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, National File, and Accuracy in Media, and is nationally syndicated. Mr. Salvato appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the author of six monographs examining internal and external threats facing our country. He can be heard twice weekly on “The Captain’s America: Third Watch” radio program syndicated nationally on the Salem Broadcasting Network and Genesis Communications affiliate stations.

Prepping healthy food with kitchen appliances for the Covid Era

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Let’s face it folks. We’ve spent a helluva lot more time in our kitchens in the last year or so than we ever dreamed possible. We’ve had no choice but to prepare nearly 100% more of our own meals. Not all of those meals were healthy and there are a lot of expanded waistlines to prove it. I’ve tried to use this period to learn how to prepare food that is going to not only be tasty but better for me.

The first device in my healthy kitchen arsenal is the Vitamix Ascent 2500 which occupies the upper mid-range of the company’s product line.

For readers who are serious home chefs, Vitamix is hardly an unknown entity. There’s a near cult-following around the product which was introduced in 1949.

I didn’t really understand the enthusiasm around this blender until I started using it. Now I get it and would have to agree, this is one bad-ass kitchen appliance.

Some have likened the Vitamix to a “Ferrari”. As I’ve written in another article, I would compare it to a Rolls Royce. Not the car but the jet aircraft engine. This came to mind after my “first blend” which is what the instruction manual calls your first cleaning after set it up.  (Naturally you’ll want to clean the container before you use it).

Ascent A2500 black faceplate
The Ascent 2500 control panel is easy to use. There’s a speed for every application and clicking on the icon (on righthand side of dial) will automatically blend smoothies, frozen desserts, spreads and soups.

The instructions direct you to add water and a few drops of soap.  Then the fun begins.

You’re instructed to slowly crank up the rpms for 60 seconds—from 1 to 10 on the dial.  The blades whip the soapy water in a foamy frenzy.

Holy moly! At “full throttle” the 2.2 horsepower motor it screams like a 747 on takeoff. It was impressive and to me, the uninitiated, it was a little scary. I mean my weed wacker probably doesn’t have the ponies that the Ascent 2500 has.

Was this thing going to blow up and scatter shrapnel around my kitchen?

No way.

These are built on the order of “milspec” (military specifications) — like a tank. Maybe more dependable than an Abrams Tank. The warranty is good for ten years!

So, I started making stuff.

First were smoothies from dragon fruit, bananas, papaya—you name it. I’ve got a big garden that’s quite productive this time of year. So, it was smoothie city, throwing in items such as ginger and turmeric. For good measure I added vanilla. Not the stuff you get in the store. One of my neighbors cultivates the real deal. OMG, these smoothies oozed of good health.

Ascent Series Container 64oz
The blender comes with a massive 64 oz container with “self-detect” technology that will read the size of the container (via wi-fi) and adjust blending times and speeds. The nice thing about this item is that it’s really easy to clean.

Then onto humus and soups. Did you know that you can make hummus out of black beans or kidney beans? Experiment, kids!

So this is where the technology offers the home chef a few options. You can either point the dial to an automatic setting for smoothies, frozen desserts, and soups and flip the switch…and walk away. The program knows what to do.

Built into the system is “Self-Detect” technology. That means the blender “reads” the container size (which is communicated via wi-fi) and adjusts blending times and speed.

Or, you can download their “Perfect Mix” app and pair the blender with your smartphone.

Once you have the app on your tablet or phone you find  the hummus recipe. You add the ingredients to the container and point your finger to the “blend” icon on your screen. That brings up a bunch of other icons. For hummus you’ll want to find the “spreads” symbol. Tap that icon and the command is sent to the Vitamix.  

The “Perfect Mix” app comes in very handy. I used it for a hummus recipe.

Now the Vitamix “knows” has its marching orders. Flip the switch and the machine will take care of the rest.

Or, you can operate the 10-speed blender manually.  My white kidney bean, or as we say in Italian (the can was imported) Fagioli Cannellini hummus was creamy smooth and the cumin seeds (which is what the recipe called for) were simply vaporized. It only took sixty seconds.

In the future I may try 30 or 45 second to get a slightly rougher texture using the manual controls.

The engine is so powerful, the Vitamix can grind coffee or make nut “butter”. (For example, you toast walnuts and made walnut butter). It will pulverize anything to the point where the temperature of your mixture will rise if you don’t remove it in time. You can even grind grain and make flour with the Vitamix.

Of course, you can take your soups or dhal or whatever is loaded with vegetables and beat it into creamy submission.

Simply Blending”, a 95-page recipe book comes with the package. There’s something for everyone.

One nice perk that comes with the blender is Simply Blending, a 95-page recipe book. It’s superbly photographed with some wonderful recipes to get you started.

Is this for everyone? At $500 probably not, if you’re just into weekly smoothies.

However, if you are serious about making other dishes and are willing to spend a few more bucks for a machine that’s a “keeper”, you’ll want this device.

A great selling point is that the Vitamix works both as blender and a food processor, so you get a two-fer. You can pack up that old food processer and give it away.

Leave it to the Italians for a wonderful sense of aesthetics. The small footprint of the the DeLonghi Livenza Air Fry Digital Convection Oven will both fit and look good on your counter.

My other kitchen acquisition is the DeLonghi Livenza Air Fry Digital Convection Oven. Essentially, it’s a 9-function digital Air Fry, Convection, Toaster Oven, Grill, Broil, Bake, Roast all-in-one toaster, air fryer, broiler and convection oven. Yes, it has nine presets.—Toast, Pizza, Bake, Broil, Grill, Air Fry, Convection, Cookies, Keep Warm and Pre-Heat.

Why opt for something like this?

Having a multi-functional device saves room and money. I don’t bake a lot of cookies or pizza. My primary use for this machine is to toast my whole wheat bread slices from the Bread Shop on Waialae and use it as an air fryer.

During this Covid era I decided to go primarily plant-based and the Livenza is perfect for air frying tofu (which takes about 25 minutes).  Simple recipe—just cut the firm tofu into cubes, marinate it in shoyu, lime, garlic and a touch of chili. Roll it around in some hemp seeds (the kind from Costco) and put it in the air fryer basket which comes with the unit.

Amazon.com: De'Longhi Livenza 9-in-1 Digital Air Fry Convection Toaster Oven,  Grills, Broils, Bakes, Roasts, Keep Warm, Reheats, 1800-Watts + Cooking  Accessories, Stainless Steel, 14L (.5 cu ft), EO141164M : Everything Else
The air fryer does a wonderful job of making healthy dishes without overdoing on the oil. I like making tofu.

I also started using the air fryer on this device to make “chips” from edible hibiscus or “bele” (which is popular in the South Pacific) and other greens such as kale. Just harvest the leaves, tear them into about 3″ pieces, massage with olive oil and a bit of shoyu and air fry for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees. You can eat them like potato chips but they are much healthier.

At $158 on Amazon, it’s very reasonably priced and has a small footprint on the counter.

If there’s just one or two of you and there’s limited counter space (19 x 17.5 x 12 in) it’s perfect.  

You can cook everything and save energy to boot. Of course, you’re limited by volume. If you’re gong to bake cookies, you won’t have all that much room compared to a standard oven.

Here are the features I really like: The oven’s interior is illuminated when cooking so you can see what in the heck is going on inside. It will beep when its finished.

The control panel of the DeLonghi Livenza Air Fry Digital Convection Oven offers nine options.

The digital display is easy to read. The oven is constructed from stainless steel which is aesthetically pleasing and very robust.

If you plan to cook or toast anything you must experiment and see what will work. Two steps are involved for making anything—set the time and the function. With the toaster you can opt for 2,4 or six slices.  In addition to the air fryer basket you get a bake pan, pizza pan, wire rack, crumb tray and a one year warranty.

To make the walnut butter I described in the Vitamix I first toasted the nuts in the Livenza. It worked perfectly for that, and they provide a pan for this purpose.

The only thing I didn’t like about the design was that the oven door handle will hit the counter before it entirely opens. Thus, you have to keep some weight on the door when you open it or it will pop closed. There is a way around it.  If you slide the front of the oven near the edge of the countertop the door handle will then overlap the edge and stay open by itself.  Not a deal breaker.

You’ll want the Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin on your kitchen counter.

The final item in your high tech kitchen is decidedly low tech but, entirely green in concept.  It answers the age-old question, ‘what do you do with compost without attracting flies or stinking up your kitchen?’ I ditched the coffee can and went to the 1.75 gallon Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin ($29.99). The smooth plastic makes it easy to clean or better yet you recycle a plastic bag you get at the grocery store. It has a “stay-open” lid so you can easily toss the egg shells or watermelon rinds. And yes, the lid is removable for convenient emptying.

Rob Kay, a Honolulu-based writer, covers technology and sustainability for Tech View and is the creator of fijiguide.com. He can be reached at Robertfredkay@gmail.com.