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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.

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…


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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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Taxing Government Largesse

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We’ve recently found out that the City & County of Honolulu is going to take 10,000 applications from vulnerable people and families who need help paying rent or utility bills.  So, it’s a good time to review the tax rules applicable to payments like these so recipients don’t get nasty surprises from the tax agencies.

Usually, when people receive money or something else of value and don’t have to pay it back, it’s considered “income.”  Taxes are imposed against income.  In Hawaii, we have the net income tax and general excise tax among others.  But there is an exception, not written into the statute books, for “general welfare” payments.  To qualify, a payment must (1) be made pursuant to a governmental program, (2) be for the promotion of the general welfare (that is, based on need), and (3) not represent compensation for services.

In Tax Information Release 2020-06, our Department of Taxation says that it will generally respect the federal tax treatment for purposes of our income tax.  For GET, it says that although GET normally applies to amounts received by a business that replace income, it will not enforce GET against PUA payments, forgiven loans under PPP, and EIDL grants.

Under this definition, individual applicants who receive aid from the City & County of Honolulu shouldn’t be taxable on the aid received even though those applicants’ bills are being paid for them.  But what about the landlords and utility companies, since the payments are being made from the City & County directly to them?  General welfare treatment doesn’t extend to the landlords and utility companies because they are still providing the use of realty, goods, or services and are getting paid for it.  As the Department explains: “Landlords are subject to GET on these amounts whether the payments are received from the tenants or directly from the agency that administers the relief program on behalf of the tenant.”  The same reasoning applies to income tax, federal and state.

In the legislative session that just ended, there was much debate about unemployment compensation.  The federal government, in the American Rescue Plan Act, decided to exempt up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation received in 2020. Hawaii decided not to use that exclusion, making unemployment compensation taxable.  (Actually, because the American Rescue Plan Act is a 2021 law, the Legislature wouldn’t normally even consider conforming to that provision until the 2022 legislative session, but was debating it this time because it applied to 2020 income.)

But what about the general welfare exclusion for such payments? They seem to satisfy all three criteria, namely that the payments are not for actual work, are based on need, and come from a government agency.  The problem is that there is a federal law, Internal Revenue Code section 85, that specifically says that unemployment compensation is taxable gross income.  Hawaii’s income tax law conforms to the federal law in that respect.  Laws that are black and white supersede tax agency practices and positions, or at least are supposed to.  Thus, people who received unemployment compensation will have to pay income tax on it even though the federal government will exclude some of it.

In times of need, the government gives, and sometimes it takes back as well.  We hope that this summary will be helpful for the people and companies involved.

To Kill Marxism in America We Need to Empower the States

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There can be no doubt that Marxism is on the move in the United States. Those who have been paying attention to history understand that its introduction into our culture started at the turn of the 20th Century and has encroached into our society incrementally ever since.

When the Framers created the Republic – through the codification of the US Constitution and soon after the Bill of Rights, they understood that the documents were created to put the newly created government on notice that it had limitations and boundaries; that it was not the lord of the people, rather the people were the lords of government.

To that end, the tenets and principles that were codified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – among them the rights to free speech, the practice of religion, the redress of government, the right to bear arms, the right to be secure in our persons and possessions, among the other enumerated rights, were assumed to be a omnipresent constant in our society; that we, as a people, lived those rights every second of the day.

But 232 years on, our rights are not so assumed. The federal government has overreached to a point where it is tantamount to despotic and bureaucratic, devoid of true representation of its people.

Under the Wilson administration (coincidentally the exact moment that the influence of the Frankfort School took root in America), we lost a basic protection that was built into our Republic. While the US House of Representatives was meant to be the chamber where the direct representation of the people was executed at the federal level, the US Senate was supposed to be the chamber where each of the 50 states were represented, not the people of those states directly, but the governments of those states specifically.

Continue reading…

Enjoying Your Maui Resort Condo? Now Pay Up!

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Some taxpayers on Maui are getting a nasty surprise this year because they didn’t do anything, and their real property tax rate doubled.

What happened?  The Maui County Council passed a pair of bills, known as Bills 129 and 130.  They were introduced on November 20, 2020, passed the Council on December 4, 2020, and were signed into law the very next day by Mayor Michael Victorino.  They became Ordinance 5159 and Ordinance 5160.

They say that if you have real property in an area in which the zoning laws permit short-term rental, and that real property isn’t your home, then it doesn’t matter if you live in it, or if no one lives in it.  It will be subject to Maui real property tax as a short-term rental.

On Maui, property tax rates are very modest for people living in their own homes.  There is a three-tiered system, with rates going from $2.51 to $2.61 per $1,000 of net taxable valuation (the value of the property after any applicable exemptions are subtracted).  For people in second homes or renting their units, there is a classification called “Non-Owner-Occupied” in which the rates go from $5.45 to $6.90 per $1,000.  But for short-term rentals, the rate is a flat $11.08 per $1,000.  That rate is slightly higher than Hotel and Resort ($10.70).  The only classification with a higher rate is Time Share, at $14.40.

Thus, for a unit valued at $800,000, an owner may see the real property tax bill for the year jump from $4,360 to $8,864, an increase of more than 100%.

If there is a long-term renter actually living in the unit, the owner gets a break, but only for 2021.  The short-term rental rate will kick in for 2022 regardless.

The County explains, in a FAQ page, that this change is based upon “highest and best use” and uses allowed by zoning.  Normally in the real property tax world, the tax classification of real property depends not on the actual use that is made of it, but on the highest and best use (generally this means the most expensive) that could be made of the property under the zoning laws.  So, if I decided to build a farm in the middle of an industrial zoned area, I can expect my property to be classified as industrial, not agricultural.  The County’s website goes on to give an example of Puamana, which is a community in Lahaina, a known resort area.  “Starting this year,” the FAQ says, “properties in Puamana are classified as Short-Term Rental, even if they are not rented short term.”  This, they say, is just another example of the highest and best use principle at work.

To explain why long-term rentals are getting a temporary break, the County explains:  “In an effort to address the County’s housing shortage, the County Council has created real property tax incentives to encourage property owners to rent long term to residents.  Next year, condominium classification is being rescinded altogether and will be replaced with a long-term rental exemption program.”  So, it seems that more comprehensive property tax changes are in the works for next year.

We can’t help but wonder why these two ordinances were passed at warp speed.  The interval between bill introduction and enactment was just over two weeks.  Was adequate time allowed for public input and consideration?  Was it just a knee-jerk reaction to the Transient Accommodations Tax aid to the counties being shut off in Gov. Ige’s emergency proclamations and with the prospect, in House Bill 862, of that revenue source being permanently cut off? 

Look out, folks.  The fiscal fallout from the pandemic and the State’s response to it is starting to bite at the county level, and this is one of several responses to that.  Let’s keep our eyes peeled, for more is yet to come!

Have Bag – Will Travel

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Cover design by FourColorDesign.net

Adventures in International Living, Self-Discovery, and a Life of Meaning 

An Inspirational Memoir by James Cameron Mielke 

Author’s Note: In this “Adventures in International Living” series, my aim is to demonstrate how anyone can experience genuine fulfillment and self-discovery through different, freer ways of living – ones that are not narrowly focused on blind ambition, resume building, or saving the world, but more so on following your heart, discovering your life’s purpose, moving with the natural flow of your energy as it connects with the universal energy. By keeping it simple, easy and not forced, this may involve “living outside of the box”, experimenting with lifestyles learned from other cultures and different ways of living – being open to other priorities in life.

Following years of pain, depression and suffering with a debilitating chronic disease, newfound health catapulted a young man into a new reality – energized and free to enjoy all that life has to offer. 

Have you ever dreamed of discovering other countries, learning multiple languages, relishing foreign cultures and living abroad like a local? For me Jim Mielke, it’s a dream come true, and continues to unfold with amazing, at times hilarious (and often precarious!) travel adventures, along with meaningful professional contributions to the health and well-being of people living in some of the poorest, most remote and under-served places in the Asia-Pacific region.  

“Have Bag – Will Travel” is the first book in the “Adventures in International Living” series. Drawing on over 45 years of personal journal entries, the series chronicles some of my experiences living and working in developing countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, as well as low-cost adventure travel to exotic destinations on every continent except Antarctica.  

Like being shot from a cannon, I am still flying high with my new-found health thanks to ileostomy surgery – at age 19 I was fitted with an external pouch, following years of pain, depression and suffering with inflammatory bowel disease. The pain and misery were gone. Almost immediately after receiving the ‘bag’, I felt strong and exhilarated and this newfound health catapulted me into a whole new energized life. For the first time in years, I was free to enjoy all that life offers and that freedom continues now, 45 years later. 

Book One covers my early years growing up in the USA, giving some of my childhood background and continuing throughout my teen years. It goes on to describe my first decade or so living overseas. Join me for an epic journey spanning nearly a decade exploring 18 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the USA, including vivid tales of unique and meaningful international work experiences. Meet the rare mix of people along the way, and learn about the steps taken to achieve these goals and aspirations. Discover the deeper meaning and potential derived from overseas cross-cultural  experiences and perspectives  all on a shoestring budget!  

Packed with pithy narratives of overseas adventures, the thrills, humor, and heartaches, some romance, a bit of sex, and stunningly beautiful natural scenes – these stories give some glimpses into an evolving insight of a young man moving through the seasons of his life.  

“Another lovely evening in the tropics – watching the moon light up the clear tropical sky – highlighting the edges of thin clouds and shimmering off tall, elegant palms. The air is warm, a slight breeze wafts through the leaves. Daily swimming and diving on the reef in the clear lagoon waters, hiking and camping in the cool, dense jungles of the island’s interior – eating bat stew on the rim of an ancient volcano, swimming in a cold, bottomless crater lake – and becoming lost in a blanketing mist, outrigger canoe trips to uninhabited islands, numerous adventures by trail bike, romance in the setting sun, and night-dipping under the shooting stars. Too many social commitments, too much fun, too damn many women and not enough sleep.” [Journal excerpt, Western Samoa, December 1985]

I first learned about overseas volunteer opportunities as a college student working summers at a YMCA  Conference and Family Retreat Center in the USA. A six-week internship with the YMCAs in Sri Lanka turned into six months, and 40 years later I am still out in the world, having lived and worked in over 20 countries of the Asia-Pacific region. I also enjoy adventure travel to exotic destinations throughout the world.  

Over the years, I have spoken to college students, members of voluntary organizations and other interested groups about world service work and other options for international experiences – just as someone spoke to me 45 years ago, when I was a summer employee at the YMCA.  Many young people are keen for an overseas experience, and are searching for direction, but for various reasons, never get there. In a world of increasing global interdependence, the lasting benefits of international travel and cross-cultural service experiences are truly priceless.  

This book is important to stoke the fires of adventure – especially among young people. The stories in this book will resonate with anyone who has desired to travel and live overseas. They will inspire and encourage those seeking something beyond their national borders, beyond the mainstream tourist destinations, superficial material lifestyles and empty career paths. The discovery early in life of the deeper meaning and potential derived from international and cross-cultural perspectives might even save 30 years of meaningless work later.  

I  earned a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Public Health and work as an international health and development consultant for various humanitarian aid agencies. I am also an internationally certified yoga and meditation teacher, and teach classical yoga and meditation as a seasonal volunteer at  YMCAs in the USA and abroad. Having  survived  these adventures, I still travel, and live in a peaceful seaside setting on  Phuket  island in southern Thailand. 

This book has been quite a work of heart, and for a limited time, it will be available for free download June 4th, 5th and 6th. I welcome comments and reviews on all platforms. Feel free to contact me on Facebook, comment on Amazon, or to email me at jim_mielke@hotmail.com.  

Make sure to check out the book! I can’t wait to hear what you think! 

A Government of (Suspended) Laws, Not Men

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John Adams, later to become the second President of the United States, enshrined the concept of “a government of laws, not of men,” in the Massachusetts state constitution of 1780.  Those words were supposed to convey a fundamental idea:  Government should be based on clearly written laws, and not on the unpredictable will of one or even a few people.

In Hawaii, we are indeed a government of laws and not men.  We have three branches of government, as most of the States and the federal government do.  Power is divided among them.

But for over a year now, one thing has thrown off the balance in dizzying and unpredictable ways:  the pandemic.  It’s allowed our governor to invoke “emergency powers,” which are in chapter 127A, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Emergency powers are meant to deal with a dangerous but isolated event like a tsunami, earthquake, or flood.  But our Governor and his staff have figured out a way to extend emergency powers continuously, for more than a whole year now, by daisy-chaining emergency proclamations together.  We are now on the twentieth one

Every so often, most recently in the nineteenth proclamation, the Governor publishes a list of laws that are suspended by virtue of his emergency powers.  This list has been consistently around twenty pages long.  A twenty-page list can suspend a large number of laws, especially since it takes only one sentence to freeze an entire chapter of the HRS, such as “Chapter 89, HRS, collective bargaining in public employment.”

Notable suspensions we have written about before, and which still are in effect, are the suspension of all distributions of transient accommodations tax money to the counties, the Hawaii tourism authority, and other beneficiaries of TAT earmarks; and the suspension of tax clearances as a requirement for doing business with the government.  Other notable suspensions, where the government backed off a little after pressure from us and other good government groups, were of the public procurement code and government transparency laws.

With all of these suspensions, it’s very tough to figure out which laws still apply and which don’t.  It’s then left to the bureaucrats, the government officials, to tell us that oh, yes, they are still enforcing Law A administratively, even though the proclamation has suspended the law; or that they have made an administrative decision not to enforce Law B even though it’s not in any proclamation (but certainly could be included in the next one that comes out).  The enforcement could be arbitrary; it could simply depend on what a particular bureaucrat who is making the call that day had for breakfast that morning.

Furthermore, it’s tough to understand why multiple whole chapters of the HRS can be suspended using these few sections of the HRS and with virtually zero oversight from the other branches of government.

Our Legislature had a chance to rein in some of this arbitrariness.  Both the House and the Senate passed versions of House Bill 103.  The House and Senate conferees agreed on a Conference Draft to recommend to both houses.  The Senate passed its version.  The House recommitted it in its floor vote.  That killed the bill.  Too bad, so sad.

So where does that leave us?  If we believe in the idea that government should be one of laws and not of men, as John Adams taught us all, then we had better prevent further erosion of the laws and restore the integrity of those we already have.

Maybe We Shouldn’t ‛Enjoy the Long Weekend’

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Vice President Kamala Harris (D), was rightfully castigated for her insulting and arrogant – albeit unwitting – assault on Memorial Day when she tweeted, ‟Enjoy the long weekend” without uttering a word about those who died for our freedoms. President Biden’s tweet – ‟Stay cool this weekend” – was no better. But should we be surprised?

Of course, Memorial Day is a day reserved for reflection and the heartfelt offering of gratitude, not celebration. It is a day for reverence. It is reserved for honoring all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country; those who put on the uniform to defend and afford freedom and who never had the opportunity to take the uniform off.

Memorial Day is a day reserved for understanding the value and cost of freedom; for acknowledging and reaffirming that freedom and liberty are not free and that good men and women must and have put themselves between our citizenry, our nation, and her enemies, today, the Marxist jackals who would feast on the carcass of liberty, given the chance.

This is not a long weekend to ‟enjoy,” nor is it a casual weekend to ‟stay cool.” It is a time reserved for introspection, to examine what we have as free people because of those who gave their lives for our freedoms. It is a time to force ourselves to bear witness to the finality of what they must have felt as they lay dying on the battlefields of the world’s conflicts. It should not be easy or ‟enjoyed.” It should be heartfelt and somber; respectful and, yes, uncomfortable. We should all feel a debt even as we offer our gratitude.

Astonishingly, the political faction that spews forth never-ending rhetoric about how important ‟feelings” are and how ‟offending” someone is the greatest sin on Earth, produce ‟leaders” like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, so completely addicted to their own self-importance that they not only ignore the core meaning of Memorial Day in their public comments but also sign-on to slaughtering the morale of those who wear the uniform; those who actually stand a chance to be honorees on Memorial Day.

Today, on Memorial Day, there is a body at the Pentagon called the Countering Extremism Working Group, that is ‟vetting” our military men and women for those they deem ‟extremists.” Stunningly, there are people on this panel who worked feverishly on behalf of al Qaeda operatives held at Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including one of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards and another who plotted to assassinate then-President George W. Bush.

This panel – sanctioned and supported by the President and the Vice President, uses the contrived rubric of ‟White supremacy,” and any opposition to Critical Race Theory or gender-identity politics to establish ‟extremism.”

These are the same people who ordered our uniformed men and women to Washington, DC for five months in their execution of political theater; to manipulate the perception of the American people; to paint a false picture of a threatening atmosphere in the nation’s Capitol, even as they refuse to prosecute anarchists who have caused billions in damage in our major cities, causing law-abiding citizens to live in fear for their lives.

So, why should be we surprised that the President and Vice President – along with their Marxist-sympathetic congressional leaders and their staunchly Marxist elected rank-and-file – have no concept of what Memorial Day means; of its purpose? How can we expect people who have no respect for those who sacrifice for others – but who constantly tell everyone else to sacrifice, how can we expect them to understand the intense and total sacrifice of dying for our country; of giving your life for a cause greater than self?

This Memorial Day, as during each of the Memorials Days before as well as all that will come after, I stand in reflection of the finality of the sacrifices made by each and every American soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine – and the allies who fell beside them. It is because of their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families that I live free today.

Perhaps we need to take a little bit of Memorial Day with us the next time we go into the voting booths. Honestly, we would be a better nation if we elected leaders who had reverence for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation; for our freedoms.

Truth be told, those in power now are an embarrassment and I beg that those who have fallen forgive us for being so shallow as to have elected them to power.

Biden Taps Islamofascist Activists to Vet US Military for ‛Extremism’

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If you weren’t actively looking for this item you would think the only threat to our military from the Marxists who now control the seats of power in Washington, DC, was from the battle sphere of Critical Race Theory. But those who have been tapped to vet extremism in the US military are an array of those who have taken up ideological arms against the United States in the War on Terror.

A recent article in FrontPage Magazine by Daniel Greenfield, exposes a list of Islamofascist operatives that the Biden administration has hand-picked to vet the US Armed Forces for ‟extremists.” Osama bin Laden himself could have never imagined it would be this easy to hobble the US military.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently announced the formation of the Countering Extremism Working Group (CEWG), an assortment of ‟vetters” to search out and destroy ‟extremism” in the military. The problem in the existence of this group is in its make-up. The list of CEWG partners contains a variety of Islamofascist lawyers and activists:

  • Hina Shamsi, a Pakistani citizen with permanent legal residency in America, served as the head of the ACLU’s National Security Project which fought fiercely for the Islamist terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. She also litigated on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation, whose leaders were convicted of providing material support to Hamas.
  • Faiza Patel, another Pakistani immigrant, worked for the International Criminal Tribunal and was a member of a UN Human Rights Council working group (which listed her from Pakistan, not the United States). Patel authored analysis arguing against designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. She also claims that laws against Sharia are Islamophobic.
  • Khurrum Wahid, the national co-chair and founding member of the Islamic group Emgage, is currently on the US DHS terrorist watch list. Wahid is a prominent lawyer to terrorists. His clients include an al Qaeda operative who plotted to kill President George W. Bush and Sami al-Arian who was linked to Islamic Jihad.
  • Iman Boukadou is a staff attorney for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which has a potent history of defending and excusing Islamofascist terrorism.

Why This Is Important

Every Friday as calls to prayer across the Islamofascist Middle East – and in radical mosques right here in the United States, devout Islamists chant the common refrain, ‟Death to America! Death to the Great Satan! Death to Israel! Death to the Little Satan!” This sentiment is held in the hearts of those mentioned above; those who are vetting the United States Armed Forces for ‟extremism.”

Allowing these Islamofascist anti-Americans to vet our military would have been akin to allowing the SS to adjudicate Patton’s slapping of an enlisted man during World War II. The people in Mr. Biden’s CEWG are the enemy! They are sympathetic to and symbiotic with the 19 Islamofascist terrorists who slaughtered 3000-plus Americans on September 11, 2001.

They have no place in the roles they have been installed to and, in fact, they should all be on the DHS terrorist watch list.

So, the very serious questions that demand answers are theses:

  1. Who in the Biden administration believed these choices to be of sound judgment?
  2. Who believed these people were qualified to judge our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines?
  3. What Marxist, hater of freedom chose these people to vet our military, and who authorized the list to be executed?

Whoever is responsible for the assembly of this working group is an enemy of the State. To wit, the only aspects of the federal government that need to be vetting for extremism are the Biden administration and the Marxist wing of Congress.

They are the real clear and present danger to our nation.

Teacher Payments and the “Me Too” Syndrome

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This week, we focus on House Bill 613, another bill that has undergone radical metamorphosis while in our Legislature.

As introduced, the bill was a “short form” bill.  Its operative language was simply:  “The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended to conform to the purpose of this act.”

Subsequent drafts of the bill in the House were all variations on the theme of appropriating federal funds that Hawaii was getting for education.  The bill wanted to ensure that federal “maintenance of effort” requirements as applied to the Department of Education were complied with and were spent according to the collective bargaining agreement with those employed at the school level.  

When the bill crossed over into the Senate, “those employed at the school level” was changed to “those employed at the school level in the classroom,” namely teachers who, for the most part, are members of HSTA, the teachers’ union.  At that point HGEA, another large public worker union whose members include administrators, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, and office support workers, cried foul.  But the Ways and Means Committee let the language stand and sent the bill to a House-Senate conference.

The first Conference Draft of the bill was much more detailed.  It appropriated money for educators, staff, administrators, and others.  It funded all manner of programs, including learning loss, charter schools, facilities for safe reopening, software subscriptions and licenses, and an automated greenhouse pilot program (Kohala, Molokai, Lahainaluna, Kauai, Waialua, and Mililani high schools each received a little more than $1 million for this).

But then came the clincher, section 3(13) of the conference draft.  That language appropriated $29.7 million for the purpose of educator workforce stabilization to retain teachers, “provided that moneys appropriated shall be used for a one-time stabilization payment of $2,200 for each teacher.”  So here we had a stimulus payment of sorts, but only for teachers (i.e., HSTA) and not for staff and principals (i.e., HGEA). 

Worse, “each teacher” was vague.  A substitute who taught for only one day conceivably would get the payment under that description.  Lawmakers recognized this possibility at the last minute and rushed through a floor amendment in both houses to change the wording to “$2,200 for each full-time and half-time teacher.”  The bill went to the Governor in that form.

This may be a bill where the Governor whips out his veto pen.  Hawaii News Now reported that the Governor thought the Legislature had no authority to mandate the payments, noting that the Administration, not the Legislature, negotiates with the unions and signs collective bargaining agreements with them.  And, of course, the HGEA is still fuming over this development, calling it an outrage, and may be encouraging Gov. Ige to bring the hammer down.

The Governor now has until June 21 to decide whether he has an intent to veto a bill or line-item veto an appropriations bill.  Bills not so identified by that date will become law with or without the Governor’s signature.  Bills that make the intent-to-veto list would need to be vetoed by July 6, 2021 and could still become law if the Legislature votes to override the veto.  Finally, even if the bill does become law, the Governor can restrict, or refuse to spend, the appropriated money.

There is still much distance between the $2,200 payments and teachers’ pockets, and hard feelings are likely to be created.  Perhaps many of the issues that are now seen as problems, including the “me too” position in which HGEA finds itself, could have been worked out if there had been a bit more transparency and a bit less last-minute scrambling.

Are China & the US Government Colluding to Attack Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies?

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Two pressures, both based on false-narrative and self-serving fear-mongering, saw cryptocurrencies dive overnight. The first in an announcement by China, a known currency manipulator, and the second by a continuous drip of smear by the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The Communist Chinese government, which is all-in on seeing the digital yuan become the world reserve currency, displacing the US dollar, announced Tuesday that it banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions. The ulterior-motive announcement also warned investors against speculative crypto trading.

This announcement led to a sell-off, led by Bitcoin tumbling (but then recovering) to below the $40,000 mark on Wednesday. Bitcoin, the most popular and successful cryptocurrency, had already been under pressure from a series of misinformed tweets from Tesla boss Elon Musk.

But China isn’t the only adversary of cryptocurrencies, which educated investors understand to be a hedge against centralized government-controlled currency manipulation which leads to inflation and even hyperinflation. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned about the dangers of Bitcoin.

As the United States, financial markets stare hyper-inflation in the face – and as they explore the creation of a digital US dollar, Yellen condemned the non-government-controlled Bitcoin as a ‟highly speculative asset” and intimated she worried about potential losses investors can suffer.

Yellen has also made it clear in interviews that she believes Bitcoin is not widely used as a transaction mechanism due to its ‟inefficiency,” reiterating her view that the cryptocurrency is often used ‟to launder the profits of online drug traffickers; they’ve been a tool to finance terrorism.”

Yellen rounds out her attack advancing a blatant falsehood in warning that Bitcoin’s environmental impact uses a “staggering” amount of power.

First, to the environmental concerns, Bitcoin mining – and all of cryptocurrency mining – uses less energy and, in fact, lends itself to the application of renewable energy, infinitely more so than traditional banking and finance.

The idea that cryptocurrency mining is carbon-heavy is a disingenuous lie that has been advanced by those who want to see a decentralized financial medium – and one not controlled by the usual suspect financial tyrants – fail.

To the false argument that cryptocurrency – and again, Bitcoin is the favorite target of those spreading false rumors – is unstable, nothing could be further from the truth. The advance of this narrative preys on people who do not understand the absoluteness of blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology is centered on a growing list of records called ‟blocks” that are interconnected by utilizing cryptography. Each block contains a ‟cryptographic hash” of the previous block, a time stamp, and exchange information. Blockchain safely stores information over a shared system, where everybody can see it to audit accuracy but a system in which no alterations can be made.

The use of blockchain also would make any ‟illicit transactions,” as Ms. Yellen so often talks about, exposed making it the least preferred method of financial transfer among criminals, i.e. drug dealers, terrorists, etc. In fact, paper currency remains the financial vehicle preferred by the criminal element, and because the US dollar is the world reserve currency, it should be unsurprising that it is used in illicit transactions over half the time.

So, why would we find the US Treasury Secretary and the Communist Chinese government on the same side in attempting to destroy Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency realm? The answer is simple: They can’t control it.

While those of us who truly understand cryptocurrency and blockchain know currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to be true hedges against government-induced inflation and hyper-inflation, newby crypto investors and traditional financial market investors are polluting the environment bring their fear-trading to the crypto platforms. This is a testimony to the fact that blockchain and financial decentralization are not well understood by a majority in the traditional financial sector.

But more sinister in this story are what China and the US Treasury (read: the Biden administration) are uncoordinatedly colluding to do: kill a decentralized financial vehicle that is actively serving to lift people into wealth and financial stability.

Both China and the US, along with the rest of the Great Reset Davos financial oligarchic crowd, need to be able to control currencies. This is why world banks are racing to establish digital currencies. If they do not control the currencies and the financial transaction markets, there is no way for the Great Reset to have punitive powers over the people, setting that power grab up for failure.

So, for China, Yellen, and the World Economic Forum oligarchs, Bitcoin and the free-market, decentralized, non-governmental aligned or controlled cryptocurrencies must die.

The question that needs to be answered is this. We the free people of the world allow these tyrants to succeed?

Nazi-Adoring CNN Contributor: ‛The World Today Needs a Hitler’

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CNN issued a questionable response to revelations that a frequent contributor from Pakistan to the network had, on many occasions, issued glowing adoration for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in their relationship with the Jewish community during World War II.

In the most outrageous post, Adeel Raja, posted, ‟The world today needs a Hitler.” Raja had written dozens of pieces for the outlet.

Sunday, after declaring that the network had ‟never heard of him,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic provided a statement that read, in part, ‟Adeel Raja has never been a CNN employee. As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.”

Some cursory digging into Raja revealed that he was, actually, a prolific admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, often extolling his admiration for the genocidal leader across social media.

‟The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals – Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews!” Raja wrote during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. ‟Hail Hitler!” Raja wrote the following day.

The overarching point in this issue is this. If CNN couldn’t vet contributing journalists to their coverage to the point they would find what it took amateur sleuths just minutes to uncover, who seriously do they vet both their sources and their story information?

It is beyond unacceptable that CNN did not know they had a Nazi-loving, Hitler-glorifying, Jew-hater contributing to their broadcasts and publications. It is irresponsible and it should disqualify CNN from being considered a serious news outlet. This is not an ‟issue an apology and it will go away” moment. This is – and should be – a fatal blow of realism that should make even the most ardent CNN sycophant wince.

This moment shouldn’t just even Raja’s relationship with CNN, it should end CNN’s relationship with the public.

Of course, as CNN smolders, we should offer them a serious thank you for outing the fact that a mainstream media outlet would be so deep in the tank ideologically for the Marxist agenda that they would overlook a Nazi-sympathizer and champion of the Holocaust in their midst.

If an organization that prides itself on investigative reporting is so thoroughly blinded by ideology that they can’t readily recognize the pure evil in the hatred of someone like Adeel Raja, then their credibility as an investigative body simply doesn’t exist.

Our society has become numb to the horrors of what happened to not only the over 6 million European Jews at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis, but to Catholics, Blacks, homosexuals, Gypsies, the physically and mentally disabled, Poles and Slavics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and members of political opposition groups to number approximately 5 million.

A short but disturbing depiction of events:

‟The first gas chamber at Auschwitz II–Birkenau was the ‛red house’ (‛Bunker’), a brick cottage converted to a gassing facility by tearing out the inside and bricking up the windows. It was operational by March 1942. A second brick cottage, called the ‛white house’ (Bunker 2), was converted some weeks later. According to Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz, Bunker 1 held 800 victims and Bunker 2 held 1,200 victims. These structures were in use for mass killings until early 1943.

‟At that point, the Nazis decided to greatly increase the gassing capacity of Birkenau. Crematorium II, originally designed as a mortuary with morgues in the basement and ground-level incinerators, was converted into a killing factory by installing gas-tight doors, vents for the Zyklon B to be dropped into the chamber, and ventilation equipment to remove the gas afterwards. Crematorium III was built using the same design. Crematoria IV and V, designed from the beginning as gassing centers, were also constructed that spring. By June 1943, all four crematoria were operational. Most of the victims were killed using these four structures.

‟The Nazis began shipping large numbers of Jews and other ‟undesirables” from all over Europe to Auschwitz in the middle of 1942. Those who were not selected for work crews were immediately gassed.

‟Those selected to die generally comprised about three-quarters of the total and included almost all children, women with small children, all the elderly, and all those who appeared on brief and superficial inspection by an SS doctor not to be completely fit.

‟The victims were told that they were to undergo delousing and a shower. They were stripped of their belongings and herded into the gas chamber.

‟A special SS bureau known as the Hygienic Institute delivered the Zyklon B to the crematoria by ambulance but the actual delivery of the gas to the victims was always handled by the SS.

‟After the doors were shut, the SS dumped in the Zyklon B pellets through vents in the roof or holes in the side of the chamber. The victims were dead within 20 minutes. Johann Kremer, an SS doctor who oversaw gassings, testified that the ‛shouting and screaming of the victims could be heard through the opening and it was clear that they fought for their lives.’”

Approximately half of the 420,000 Americans who dies fighting in World War II died ending the evil of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. During their reign of terror they literally gassed, burned, shot, tortured, and worked to death the inhabitants of their concentration camps, often dumping the bodies of the mass executed into mass graves, making the dead’s brethren bury them.

Those slaughtered by Hitler and the Nazis were killed, murdered, because of what color skin they had, what religion they were, what disabilities they had, what they said, thought and believed.

Today, as we approach the 75th year since the end of the war, arrogant, hate-filled, uneducated malcontents who want to believe they are aggrieved call anyone who doesn’t agree with their ideology ‟Nazis” and ‟Hitler.” Fascists and anarchists with much more in common with Hitler and the Nazis than not – defended by American politicians in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York as they reign dark terror in the streets – identify their prey by the color of their skin, by their religions, their politics, their disabilities, their gender-beliefs…just like the fascists of the Third Reich. And those who have embraced the genocidal evils of the past are so blind to the fact they could be wrong they haven’t the intellectual capacity to self-examine themselves for what they have become.

Those who are quick to call their political opponents ‟Nazis” and ‟Hitler” do two things. They diminish the horrors of what took place at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis, but they also expose themselves for the shallow intellects that they really are.

No, they aren’t woke, they are simply intellectually stunted, uneducated, self-important, spoiled children who have grown to be dangerous. If they are left unchallenged, they will become as dangerous and genocidal as the Nazis.