The Conversation: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Feb 22, 2017

Reality of the Federal Hiring Freeze; Monetizing University Discoveries; Salem Witch Trials as a Modern Metaphor

Reducing the size of the federal work force does not necessarily reduce the true size or cost of government according to the Brookings Institute.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Long View: Neal Milner

Members of a FEMA medical team assist a resident of Texas after Hurricane Ike. A recent Brookings Institution study found that most people want a smaller government, but not a reduction in services.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

One of the first things Donald Trump did as President was to put a hiring freeze on Federal employees. It once again raised the issue of the Federal bureaucracy as too big and wasteful. But according to a Brookings Institution study, the federal hiring freeze makes some important and often wrong assumptions about both the size of the Federal Government and how it really works.

Intro Music: Gonna Get Together by Leroy

Outro Music: Street Fighting Man (Instrumental) by The Rolling Stones

Yin/Yang Yoga: Sookie Kunst

Yoga is becoming increasingly popular among Americans for its physical and mental benefits.
Credit Pixabay

Yoga is seen by some as an exotic practice and by others as a return of the body and mind to their natural states, restoring neglected links between body and mind. For instructor Sookie Kunst, who’s teaching a “Yin and Yang Yoga” workshop this weekend in Makawao, Maui,  her teaching methods are rooted in her own personal journey.

Intro Music: Home by Miki Ratsula

Outro Music: Please Don't Go by Joel Adams

Civil Beat Reality Check: Missile Defense   

Missile launch from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai. The base has been suggested as a possible site for ballistic missile defense.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Is Hawaii vulnerable to ballistic missiles? A little noticed provision in the $607 billion National Defense Authorization Act is asking that question and whether a Kauai test site can be converted into an intercept site. DC-based Civil Beat reporter Kirstin Downey is on the line now with a reality check.

Outro Music: Swimming Away by Great Lakes Swimmers

Making Money from University Research: Dan Gluck

The University of Hawaii developed the technique that created glowing, green mice, but was unable to see any financial benefit.
Credit John A. Burns School of Medicine

A Hawaii House bill scheduled to be heard today would create the Innovation and Commercialization Initiative Program. It would give the University of Hawaii the legal authority to create, promote, and participate in new economic ventures. It would also expand workforce opportunities based on inventions and discoveries generated by or at the University. We asked Daniel Gluck, the executive director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission for his take.

Outro Music: PMA by The Ballantynes

Seabury Hall’s production of “The Crucible”: Carolyn Wright

'The Crucible' tells a tale of the Salem Witch Trials, inspired by the Red Scare of the 1950's.
Credit Seabury Hall

Fear of the unknown, an uneasiness about people who are “different” seems to be a fundamental human trait, one that allows us to be easily manipulated by those who traffic in fear. That’s what was happening in America in the early 1950’s, when Arthur Miller wrote “the Crucible,” a play about the Salem Witch trials, as an allegory for the times he was living in. To those who wonder if those times have come back, a new production of Miller’s play on Maui should provide plenty of food for thought. Carolyn Wright is the director of the Seabury Hall Performing Arts and Maui Academy of Performing Arts student and adult production of the Crucible, and she joins us by phone.

Intro Music: Hear No Evil by Alpine

Outro Music: First Night by The Hold Steady