FCC Chairman no longer wants to be questioned in official hearings about Free Speech, Net Neutrality, Unfair Competition, etc.

Ajit Pai is tired of all the hearings. He prefers to receive complaints and concerns via suggestion box.

FCC CHAIRMAN INTRODUCES TWO NEW PROPOSALS TO MODERNIZE FCC PROCESSES

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2019—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that he has presented his colleagues with two new proposals to modernize and streamline the agency’s processes.  Under the first, the FCC would continue the agency’s move toward electronic filing and correspondence by fully transitioning the Universal Licensing System—the agency’s largest licensing system—from paper to electronic format.  The second proposal would expedite the Commission’s hearing processes by expanding the use of written hearings (i.e. hearings conducted without live testimony).

“As the communications marketplace is being transformed by the digital revolution, we must continue to modernize our own operations.” said Chairman Pai.  “That’s why I’m introducing two new proposals to update and streamline our processes for the digital age.  By transitioning more records and communications from paper to electronic format, we can save money and increase our efficiency.  And by streamlining our hearing rules, we can resolve disputes more quickly, which will benefit the private sector as well as the Commission.  I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting these good-government initiatives.”  

###

Address your concerns directly to: Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509 or email correspondence to will.wiquist@fcc.gov


Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 / ASL: (844) 432-2275 / TTY: (888) 835-5322 / Twitter: @FCC / www.fcc.gov
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. 

Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

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Are we still living in a merit based society?

San Francisco culture of mutual support helped create great opportunities for entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.

Since before the formation of this country by great men like Benjamin Franklin one of the best parts of living on this continent is that everyone has a chance to create the life they want to have. Benjamin Franklin is a great example of someone who grew up in a modest home, ventured out on his own to become a very wealthy world leader. Self-educated Abe Lincoln is another example of a young half orphan who made his own way in the world, reaching great achievements as a lawyer and US president. Andrew Carnegie was born into a Scottish weaver’s family that shared a one room house with their neighbors. Yet, later in the US he became synonymous with the Gilded Age. John D. Rockefeller who as the son of a con man and a very religious mother started out as a bookkeeper built one of the greatest wealth an American family ever enjoyed. He is quoted as saying: “The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest”. Even though he was a very tough and sometimes ruthless competitor he ended up donating more than $500 million to various philanthropic causes. Back in his days this was quite a lot of money.

In recent history we have Steve Jobs, the son of a Syrian refugee, was adopted and started his career in the warehouse. Ray Kroc started as an ambulance driver at 15 years old and later started McDonald’s corporation, considered one of the fastest growing companies. Sarah Breedlove, later known by one of her married names Madam C. J. Walker’s parents and siblings were slaves, yet she became the first known African American female Millionaire. Andy Grove spent part of his childhood in a Nazi concentration camp and came to the US penniless when he had to flee Hungary from Soviet Oppression at age 20. Later he became associated with the success of Intel, a company he led to international success as its CEO. Arthur Rock’s dad had a candy store and Arthur’s education was possible thanks to the G.I. bill. Arthur Rock founded one of the first investment firms in Silicon Valley, called Davis & Rock. He is considered one of the founders of Silicon Valley. Eric Hippeau received a wonderful education in France and chose to come to the US to achieve his fame and fortune. He came to the US as an ad sales manager for IDG, before becoming publisher of PC Magazine, CEO of Ziff-Davis, Softbank, and now runs a very successful venture firm, Lerer Hippeau.

In the US if you work hard and smart you can succeed. Yes, it is quite clear that in most cases being well educated or rather being able to educate yourself and re-educate yourself is a prerequisite for success. And yes, it possible to reach amazing success in the United States, regardless of background and family ties.

Is it easier to achieve success when you have a loving and supportive family that can afford to pay for a great education and make wonderful introductions? Of course, it is. Is it harder for children who have to overcome the long-term physiological and psychological challenges of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences)? Yes, it is harder. However, it is possible. This is what is unique about the USA. Many businesses in the US are merit based, especially in California.

When communities, business leaders, and educational institutions come together to focus on helping kids become successful adults, entire cities and villages thrive. Providing education that provides students with the life-long ability to learn may be one of the top gifts we can give our local communities. Most thriving towns have benevolent leaders who care about all its inhabitants. Why not bring the leaders in your community together to facilitate a local plan to create a thriving and high-quality place to live and grow up in. Amazing success will be up to the individual, luck, hard work, lots of studying, and the willingness to put in the necessary effort. There are no shortcuts to wealth, short of inheriting it. And as every successful business leader knows making the first money is easier than to hold on to the money and growing the business. This takes management skills, knowledge, competitiveness and most importantly content and satisfied customers.

It is best if we remind ourselves and future generations that only because someone else inherited their wealth, doesn’t make them the only ones who can thrive. With a strong desire to succeed, great networking skills, and the willingness to learn, the road to success is open to everyone in the USA. For self-made people there are no short cuts to success. It takes work and diligence, and the willingness to try over and over until the necessary skills are perfected.

In China during the Han Dynasty in the 6th century BC, when Confucius has a strong impact on culture the society was merit-based. Education became the key for social mobility back then in China. Europe opened its mind to become a merit-based society in the 17th Century and is still waffling about it. The US is the only country that was founded on the principles of being merit based. The West Coast naturally has embraced being merit-based since it was founded by people from all walks of life who were seeking fame and fortune in the 19th century during the gold rush era. Life in the Wild West required that towns people were there for each other and pool resources. This spirit of collaboration has survived in California. This is the reason why living is pleasant and easy. There is a “live and let live” attitude, and openness to new and different ways of looking at things, and the willingness to create teams, tribes, mutually beneficial groups, and everyone who is a good fit and is willing to contribute to the overall good is welcome.

Towns who are willing to support their neighbors’ kids thrive more than towns who live in brutally hierarchical ways without caring about each other. Businesses that receive help from financiers are able to afford an educated workforce. These businesses thrive easier. Invest in educating all kids, invest in your towns future. The investment in lifting the overall level of education of a town pays off within 10 to 15 years. It cannot be accomplished within a quarter. However, if you don’t invest in your city, you wil lend up with a ghost town suffering from unhappy, often drugged and depressed workforce who doesn’t work effectively, nor purchase anything. Every town has a chance to adopt these logical and simple principles if leaders choose to come together for the benefit of the entire population. Check out Oakland, CA it is now safer than Kansas City!

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Why foster self respect for boys and men?

The media is not really helping in promoting positive role models for boys.

Many men feel they are judged as cruel or mean. Why?

The general media often portrays men as cruel, insensitive brutes who only think about themselves and don’t respect women and children. While this improves reader and viewership for the general media, it does not foster self-respect among our young men and older men.

We need to take this outcry seriously because men are genuinely under severe stress. 129 suicides per happen each day and there are 3600 suicide attempts each day. It is the 10th highest cause of death in the US now. We need to help men cope to feel protected and worthy, even if they prefer not to engage in the horrible behaviors that are often highlighted. Of course, white men can’t be protected instead of everyone else, but they need to be protected alongside everyone else.

These days the suicide rate among white men is at an all-time high and it is growing rapidly. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention found in 2017:

  • The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2017 was 14.0 per 100,000 individuals.
  • The rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men in particular.
  • In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women.
  • On average, there are 129 suicides per day.
  • White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017.
  • In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.

The general media eager to sell subscriptions is focused on highlighting men who beat up women, defraud companies, cheats on their wives or girlfriends, and recently they are assisting politicians with exceedingly harmful policies. Devastating the environment, cutting sick people off medical care, engage in racist insults and killings, and commit fraud, abuse workers, and worse. White men are portrayed as self-serving, prejudiced, greedy, selfish and mean. This is most likely an important reason why men, especially young men and men in their old age feel disillusioned, unwanted and unloved.

Some old and even younger white men are causing this reputation

These Alabama men have decided that men have the right to impregnate women against their will, rape them and these rapists are rewarded by the state of Alabama forcing the raped women to carry the rapists’ children for nine to ten months against their will.

The lack of positive role models in the media is hurtful to men.

The current president lies consistently, is needy and greedy and often behaves rudely and has no respect for anyone but those who are willing to act out his will without question regardless how self-damaging it may be for their own lives.

The president thinks it is a show of strength if he reneges on promises made to partner countries, praises mass murdering dictators, pays shut up money to tricksters to silence prostitutes with whom he had affairs during his current wife’s pregnancy. He is proud that he shut these cheaters up in order to win the presidential election that he may have lost if the truth would have come to light before the electorate chose him as president against the will of the majority of American voters.

Is this what manhood is all about for all men? Of course not, however it is no surprise that so many white men and boys feel lost. If men live up to the general media’s “ideals” they are creepy, and if they are not willing to engage in these abhorrent and mean behaviors, they are called weak. Many choose death at alarmingly growing rates.

As a society we have a choice. We can choose to highlight and praise good men and restore the good name of men in general by focusing on genuinely great men and leaders.

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Today Oakland is a model city that has pulled together to create a new future for all its citizens. Part 4

Jonah Melvon & Adesha will join the Art & Soul Festival this year. The most ethnically diverse fun festival on the West Coast. Great music, great food, great art and good vibes.

The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”

Today 38% of people in Oakland hold secondary degrees, crime is down to the same level as San Francisco, aside of Long Beach California it is the most racially mixed town in the world. When researching the most crime ridden towns in the US no California town made it into the top 30 most dangerous towns in the US. Niche voted Oakland as the 26th best US city to live in.

How did Oakland do it? This is the story that Oakland born and raised artists “Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha” wish to tell. Their song 1099 available on Spotify tells the story of how cities need to pull together to become whole again. Jonah Melvon works closely with business leaders and educational and community outreach organizations to bring about a spirit of “togetherness, love, peace and understanding.” Adesha works with the Boys and Girls Club as a Community Relations Manager. They have lived the story and they want to help cities around the world to help create living conditions that are pleasing for all ethnic groups. It can be done! Oakland is proof that it can be done.

Jonah Melvon believes, as his lyrics explain, that we all need to support local businesses, make education available and accessable to everyone who wishes to improve their lifestyle and take part of a thriving economy. In Oakland, Peralta Colleges came together to provide educational access to everyone at affordable rates. Businesses cleaned up neighborhoods and provide access to comfortable yet affordable housing. Charities pitched in with Kindergardens and Schools. When all people, regardless of ethnic background join forces to create a nice place to live, with compassionate support for those least among us, and businesses create access to well paying jobs through education, mentorships, classes cities can be reclaimed. Today WeWorks, General Assembly, Kickstart Coding, App Academy, Springboard, help young and mature people find ways to succeed.

Most importantly the soul based neighborhood spirit that teaches belief in each of our ability to participate in a thriving economy creates a new mindset. Love is the answer. Diversity is beautiful. By opening people’s minds through the Peralta Study Abroad Programs and by offering genuine assistance the East Bay and especially Oakland are becoming a thriving metropolis again. http://web.peralta.edu/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/

This program is immensely successful and has brought peace and prosperity through education to Oakland. The Peralta Study Abroad program brings students from around the world together and allows them to see the world, broadening their horizons while boosting their confidence.

We can do anything, when we work together. When political leaders, business leaders, eduational leaders, and religious leaders come together with the single purpose to lift up everyone of its citizens success is within reach.

Since 2010 Oakland is a new shining star showing its can do spirit. Now, Jonah Melvon and Adesha want to share how it happened. They want to bring the knowledge that celebration of life, work, and family can bring amazing results and lead to a thriving, safe town. They are supported by Drew Gephart, International Services Manager at the Peralta College Group of fine educational institutions. This group of Junior Colleges serve as feeder schools to UC Hayward, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. All we have to do is believe and then act on our beliefs.

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“Mabagwe—a Tribute to Los Mayores” nominated for the Cubadisco Award

Michael Spiro on Facebook: “I am usually very hesitant to post things on Facebook about my accomplishments. It always seems a little self-serving. But in this case, I can’t help it. Jose Luis Seluma and I are very honored and proud to have been nominated for a Cubadisco award (the Cuban “Grammies”) in the “Tradicion Afro-Cubana” category for our CD, “Mabagwe—a Tribute to Los Mayores” .

It is hard for us to imagine that we could even be considered in the same group of artists as “Los Munequitos de Matanzas” and “Ochareo”. It is almost embarrassing for us, since Los Munequitos have always been, and will always be our idols. And so for once the cliché is true—just to be nominated in the same category is the honor of a lifetime. 

We must of course thank our multi-talented producer, Jesus Diaz, and all the great artists who recorded with us—Lali, El Gato Gatell, Fito Reinoso, Colin Douglas, Genesies Reinoso, Beatriz Godinez, Jesus Gonzalez, Ivan Camblor, and El Rubio, Jason McGuire.

Obviously Seluma and I couldn’t be at the nominating ceremony in La Habana, so we don’t yet have our plaque—As soon as we can get a photo, we’ll share it with you!”

Michael Spiro knows how to surround himself and inspire the world’s best musicians.

Michael Spiro writes, performs, and produces critically acclaimed instructional books and DVDs on percussion, and he launched two ground-breaking educational websites which offer complete instruction on Cuban and Brazilian percussion over the internet: CongaMasterClass.com and SambaMasterClass.com. Michael Spiro continues to be in demand as a guest artist at universities worldwide, and is a frequent presenter at national and statewide conventions of the Percussive Arts Society. 

He regularly performs with the reknowned percussionist Karl Perazzo, Wayne Wallace,

“BÁKINI En el Nuevo Mundo” (produced with Joe Galvin) had an official release date of September 21st, 2017. Previously he participated in these Grammy Nominated projects:

2017 – Michael Spiro and Wayne Wallace, Patois Records

2015 – The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, Patois Records

2014 – The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, Patois Records

2012 – John Santos and Grupo Folklorico Kindembo, Machete Records

2010 – The Wayne Wallace Jazz Quintet, Patois Records

2008 – John Santos and Grupo Folklorico Kindembo, Machete Records

2003 – Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge, Left Coast Clave Records (producer and artist)

1996 – Changuito/Patato Valdez/Orestes Vilato, Round World Records

1989 – Mark Murphy/Viva Brasil, Muse Records

https://www.mikespiro.com/bio

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Jerry Brown leads Oakland and slowly the city changes to make Equality possible – Part 3

Oakland was named the most ethnically and economically diverse city

Oakland is the most diverse city in the country and the world.

Even before the city “hit bottom” Jerry Brown and business leaders stepped up to create a plan to fix the city. After a six year out of public service Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007). It took a lot of work to attract new investments. The police corruption that plagued cities all across California had to be dealt with.

A group of four corrupt police officers called “The Rough Riders” finally were dealt with after outrage grew too much that the city kept settling law suits to sweep the offences under the table. The clashes between the racially white police and the largely ethnic population caused much dissatisfaction and distortions about the way Oakland was perceived. Politico reported in their March/April issue of 2015: “Oakland’s cops, a legal advocate for victims of police abuse said at the time, might just be “the worst department in the country. Officer-involved shootings were frequent, and often fatal.” In continued: “Complaints of beatings, shakedowns and unwarranted arrests were rampant and cost the city dearly. All told, from 2001 to 2011, Oakland paid some $57 million for claims, lawsuits and settlements involving alleged misconduct by the Oakland Police Department—not just the largest sum paid by any municipality in California, but more than double what San Francisco, with roughly twice the population, paid in the same time frame. The police force seemed broken, brutal beyond repair.”

Accusations of corruption in Oakland were rampant in 2005 the FBI investigated Perata. The East Bay Times reported: Records show Perata’s son’s and daughter’s businesses have been paid at least $750,000 since 1999 by political committees under his direct control, even as Nick Perata and his businesses have been involved in real estate rentals and sales with his father. Also, Perata’s consulting business brought in more than $100,000 in 2003, and between $10,000 and $100,000 in each of the four years before that; his bigger clients during those years included his son’s business as well as two belonging to Staples. The case was stopped by Schwarzenegger’s call for a special election.

The citizens were ready for the change. It started to gentrify without pushing out locals. The East Bay Times reports that the Fruitvale district is a great example that this is possible: “Schildt said it’s possible to invest in a community without causing displacement — particularly if it’s public investment or community-driven. Oakland’s Fruitvale Village is held up as a national model. As Scott Morris reports, the mixed-use development near Fruitvale BART improved the socio-economic well-being of residents in the immediate neighborhood and preserved the area’s racial and ethnic diversity.”

Education in Trouble

Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends $7,571, according to the report. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.

Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel.

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Equality is making comeback and business leaders join in to make it happen – Part 2

Oakland went through a period of decline during in the mid 20th century

Then came the 50s, 60s, and 70s which were a very tough time for Oakland. The city became every more dangerous, crime-ridden, and unlivable. First West Oakland was destroyed by the Nimitz Freeway and the Cypress Viaduct. Many homes and businesses were destroyed creating a period of poverty for West Oakland. Then in the 1960 West Oakland suffered from the construction of BART and the Main Post Office Building on 7th Street. Again local businesses suffered, more jobs and entire neighborhoods were replaced.

Oakland become the home of the motorcycle gang the “Hell’s Angels” named after Howard Hughes movie, and eventually grew ever more corrupt and crime ridden. Eventually it became the market place of Fred Mitchell who ran a crime symposium changing Oakland into a hotbed for the sale of Crack Cocaine, a very harmful substance that ruined many people’s lives. Additionally, the crime wave sent a lot of middle class inhabitants packing and many of the people who remained lost business. They eventually were unable to keep buildings, street, school and the city services in good repair. Crime attracted more crime and the lack of policing opened the door for more crime.

By the end of the 70s crime was twice as high in Oakland than it was in San Francisco. Most of the Police Officers were white, frightened and entitled. As a result police brutality created ever more problems. This in turn brought impoverished communities together to forge alliances such as the Black Power Movement to help each other by “policing the police.” They created kindergardens and food pantries for the poor, but grew ever more militaristic. Unfortunately, this turned the city into a gang run town, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Crips and the Bloods, the People and the Folk, the 35th Street Gang, Norteños, Border Brothers and Sureños.

From the 1980s to 2000 Oakland suffered from a Crack epidemic that is now rivaled by the Opioid Crisis

By 2010 it was estimated that Oakland’s population of gang members had grown to over 10,000 members. The situation of both, the crime level, corruption and problems with the police became untenable.

Education

Even in 2009 SF Gate reported that Schwarzenegger decided to California ranks 47th in per-pupil spending, according to “Quality Counts,” a report issued Tuesday from Education Week, a national newspaper specializing in public schools. It showed that while the national average is $9,963 per pupil, California spends only $7,571 per pupil and three times that much on prisoners. Vermont spends the most, with $15,139. Utah spends the least, with just $5,964 per pupil.

Around the state, school administrators have begun looking at how many employees they can lay off next year and which programs they can cancel. Then citizens, business leaders, charities, and religious groups decided to get involved.

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Equality is making a comeback and business leaders are joining in. Your town can succeed as well. Part 1

Oakland was a thriving town about 100 years ago. It went through many phases and now once again is a thriving town.

Oakland might be a poster child for our future.

Oakland had a most impressive long history as a thriving industrial center.

Oakland was first incorporated as a town in 1852. It had always been a popular place for thousands of years before by the Muwekna Ohlone who were part of the original Californians the Miwoks who spent winters near Temescal Creek and Lake Merritt for thousands of years. In 1772 the Spaniards occupied the land in the name of their king. Peralta, a Spanish soldier was deeded 44 thousand acres by the Spanish crown and his deed was confirmed when Mexico declared their independence. The land was divided up by his 4 sons. As much of California this region was covered by Oak trees and this is how it eventually got its name. During the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the mid 19th century during the gold rush Mexico gave up the land to the US. Ever more and more squatters ignored the land ownership and a team of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo roving soldiers led by three men from nearby San Francisco established “Contra Costa.”

In 1853 John Coffee “Jack” Hays took up residence while he served as the sheriff in San Francisco. On March 25, 1854, Oakland was once again incorporated as the City of Oakland with Carpentier one of the San Francisco war lords as the Mayor. However he was quite corrupt and was quickly voted out of office and replaced by Charles Campbell as Mayor on March 5, 1855. Thanks to the fact that the several railroads ended up in Oakland it quickly became a major industrial hub. In 1868, the Central Pacific ended at the Port of Oakland. The Long Wharf also served as the terminus for the Transcontinental Railroad and the Southern Pacific, which was localed initially at  16th Street Station located at 16th and Wood.

In 1902 a deep channel was created for large ships and this is how Alameda become an Island separated from the mainland. Due to the earthquake and subsequent fires in San Francisco in 1906 the population doubled. This is when Mayor Frank Kanning Mott launched the “Beautiful City project” establishing the many parks, lakes and oak rimmed boulevards the city enjoys to this day. In 1914 he founded the Oakland Civic Auditorium which cost $1.4 Million dollars. It was used briefly as a hospital during the 1918 flue epidemic. Oakland was one of the most wonderful places to live and jobs were plentiful. Employers included General Motors, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and several other major auto companies.

Motorama “Dream Car” by Chevrolet 1954

The city also housed companies such as Kaiser, Bechtel, Phelan, Dreyer’s, Rocky Road Icecream, Western Union, Del Monte, and too many others to mention here. The high employment rate and associated growth of a strong middle class allowed Oakland to fashion itself into a world class city with the Golden State Theatre, Fox, Blumenfeld, Orpheum, Turner & Dahnken, the Grand Lake and the Paramount among others. By 1949 Oakland had a seating capacity of over 43 thousand theatre goers. Theatres came and went including the Hippodrome, Lurie, Premier and Roosevelt. Thanks to the start of commercial aviation Amelia Earhart , the Alameda Navel Air Station, and the 1930’s Howard Hughes’ movie the “Hell’s Angels” Oakland was one of the romanticized the epicenter of the West Coast.

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VigilintsHeart™ Launches “Shop, Save, Donate” helping parents save money while donating to schools and non-profits.

Vigilints Newsletter
Vigilints Newsletter
Working together to create a better world for our kids.
VigilintsHeart™ Launches “Shop, Save, Donate” helping parents save money while donating to schools and non-profits.

RioVida Networks is happy to announce the creation of the new VigilintsHeart program that will allow parents to shop online in over 1200 stores that offer special savings.  The portal which can be reached via a link on the VigilintsHeart tab or direct by visiting the store directly.

The customer signs up and receives the sales prizing from the overall stores directly, but because the shopping is done through the portal the customer an additional small savings.  And, more importantly this customer “VigilintsHeart” savings is matched and collected from the purchase of all the participants.   This collective affiliate fee is then donated to various school programs through Micro Donations addressing teachers concerns.

The VigilintsHeart™ “Shop, Save, Donate” community outreach program will provide micro donations to individual school teachers. Often these dedicated professionals reach into their own pocket to purchase school supplies for our kids.  The average teacher spends over $400 out of pocket each year and they really need pencils, paper, books, computer programs, chalk, rulers, glue, and many other items that they use during their instructions.  Many parents are either unable to financially assist the teacher or they “assume” that these supplies are provided by the schools. Unfortunately, school administrators often are burdened with safety needs, building maintenance, and salaries.

There are many wonderful people at the PTA that diligently raise money to help with the bigger issues, school trip, music lessons, art classes and new recess areas.  Often the “little things” – what the teacher actually needs to liven up their class room for the kids on a daily basis rescinds to the background.

Together we can help!   Just move your online shopping to the portal, get your friends and family to do it, and Vigilints will donate their portion of the  affiliate fee to teachers and non-profits.

The VigilintsHeart™ “Shop, Save, Donate” program is simple. Parents join the program FREE by signing up to shop online through the VigilintsHeart™ portal, they receive the discounts offered by the affiliates. The participating list of major stores includes nearly everyone’s favorite store, including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Old Navy, Disney’ and many other popular stores. Participants shop and save. The Loyalty Superstore receives 25% for licensing of the software platform, program managers, customer experience center, and maintenance team, and the rest of the affiliate commission will be donated to the VigilintsHeart™ program who will provide funds to the organizations.

Shop Save Donate

Click on picture to sign up for the shop, save and donate program

This program does not alter the other VigilintsHeart™ Educational Programs which provide product and donations to teacher’s class rooms and programs. We invite classrooms and teachers to submit their donation requests.

“We are excited to help schools, children and non-profits through VigilintsHeart™,” said Martin Berns, CEO of Loyalty Superstore. Mr. Berns continued, “Loyalty Superstore is dedicated to serving the needs of its affiliates, customers, and the community, and are proud to be a part of the VigilintsHeart.”

The VigilintsHeart™ “Shop, Save, Donate” program is reaching out to other companies who wish to participate or add funds through sponsorship. To sponsor or learn more about the American classroom’ needs and the donations VigilintsHeart™ make  by contacting Edie Okamoto to discuss how you may wish to participate as a co-sponsor.

About VigilintsHeart™

Vigilint Biosensors strives to provide fun and safe solutions to families with children: communications and learning for children and peace of mind for parents. The combination of the best location technologies (GPS, GNSS, A-GPS and sensors) will easily locate your child, anytime and anywhere. Vigilint Biosensors is dedicated to improving the quality of care that parents and senior caregivers provide through a complete 360º intelligent family care assistant, that connects family members together via smartwatches. Vigilint Biosensors provides the family/caregivers with a cloud infrastructure bringing devices and software services together, which strives to improve time management and reduce stress by improved non-intrusive care for kids, seniors, and other loved ones in need. This is achieved through the most modern application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to life data that provide alerts, if and when needed. “When those we care about are well, we can relax and focus on our day.” www.vigilint.store

Vigilint Biosensors

For introductions and appointments with the appropriate contact persons or to receive further Viglint Biosensors press materials, whitepaper links, or investor packages please contact Edie Okamoto at +1 510 693 0166 or edie.okamoto@riovida.net

Loyalty Superstore

The Loyalty Superstore Officers and Board have 50 years of successfully experience in the Loyalty and Rewards space. We have extensive experience in launching and operating public companies. Loyalty Superstore, Inc. (“LSS” or “the company”) began developing proprietary loyalty and rewards solutions in early 2013. The company has been servicing a niche market for mid-large brands that wanted a private branded, Value Add customizable online loyalty rewards platform, both nationally and locally. To learn more about the www.loyaltysuperstore.com

We love to learn more about your ideas on how we can grow this program. You may reach Edie Okamoto with your request or to learn how we could set up a school specific program for you.

And don’t forget to join our growing community of professionals and parents atTwitter & Facebook.

Attention writers and parents:  Please feel free to share your accomplishments, advice for other parents on the Vigilint Biosensor   blog

Feel free to reach out for an interview and for consideration of recommended products or services for review. We will be glad to consider featuring highly recommended products or services in our advice columns, as long as, we deem them to match well with our desire to support only high quality products that represent our core values and that we may consider reselling through our app(s) or store(s).

 

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Customer Support Woes – Microsoft’s CX is terrible due to lack of training.

On hold with Microsoft.  What a waste of time.  What a way to irk customers.  Steal their time with faulty products, lack of service and put them on the phone with an untrained macho Philippine young man with a fake name.  “Jared” he called himself.  His lack of English belies that fact.  I am glad that most Indians are now allowed to use Indian names. Anyway what I learned is this:

Microsoft = Hypocrisy.

The 22 minutes I wasted today are better than the 6 1/4 hours it took last time. Today  I got nothing resolved, but gave up quicker.  Yet, I am so upset.  My cortisol levels have sky rocketed, my adrenaline level is in need of rigorous exercise to get them back down. CX is the future.  Everyone including Microsoft agrees.

I ask Jared:  “How long have you worked at Microsoft.  2 Years. Are you an expert on Excel.”

Jared claims that he was trained for more than 1 year.  However, he cautioned me right away, that he is not trained on using the product.  He is merely able to provide help with the installation of Microsoft 365’s  program.  Not with solving anything that may go wrong with it.  When I described the problem he first explained that it is Facebook’s fault.  While there are many things Facebook could improve about themselves, I don’t agree with him that being able to save Facebook Analytics xls documents sometimes, but not always is a Facebook issue. The conversation immediately went beyond the young man’s scope of understanding. I asked for a supervisor.  He never came.  Maybe he was never notified.  Who knows?  Well, we only know that Microsoft doesn’t care about my Customer Experience.  I am having a terrible one.

If the program is already installed,  he explains, then Microsoft can’t help.  He told me that I am welcome to ask other Microsoft users in the “community.”  I asked  him, if there is a glitch with the product, such as many times I can save a document but sometimes I can’t – I am on my own?  He assured me:  “No, no, you are not on your own, I am suggesting that you speak with others in  the community.  Often other users who have similar problem can talk to you and listen to you.  I can’t. ”   When I told him that this is preposterous, he said you can also try to find solutions by watching YouTube or by going to a support site, like ansheishlscam.  I said I beg your pardon.  he repeated ansheishlscam or something like that.  I suggested the he spell it for me since I could not make out the answer.  He seemed entirely stumped at that point.  Apparently they didn’t teach him how to spell word aside of not reaching him how to pronounce them.

I asked him where he is from.  He answered that he is in  the Philippines.  I have had wonderful experiences and philosophical discussions with a Philippine Art professor and his mom in the past.  I know that Jared is not the only person representing the Philippines, but he is certainly representing the CX experience of Microsoft.

I can’t understand his accent.    I had asked to speak to his supervisor.  He had kept me on hold for 16 minutes and then told me that his supervisor was busy with another disgruntled customer.  No, he didn’t really say “disgruntled” he said “valued.”

The problem with Customer Service contracts is that people get paid by the minute.  The companies, Microsoft in this instance,  don’t seem to care if the customer gets help or if you are merely put on hold. I imagine that “big data” shows that calls in the Philippines are shorter than those in India.  I know because last time when I didn’t have to luxury of hanging up because I needed the software installed – I was on hold for over well over 5 hours – only to be told that they wanted to call me back in an extra 22 hours.

I asked whether he could help with a Skype glitch while I was waiting.  Realizing that I was being silly as soon as the sentence came out of my mouth.  Since I joined this 365 subscription, my Skype credits disappeared because my email is in use for this account  already.  Completely irrational frankly, since I have been a customer with Microsoft since 1980 and used Skype since 2004.

Microsoft  touts their AI capabilities and how it  provides “finished services to customers” – but clearly Microsoft is not using their own AI platform or it doesn’t work at all.  My service was neither “finished” nor did it exist. Clearly Microsoft can’t keep track of customers, like me.  Sad.  Or, probably, Microsoft just doesn’t care. I has the credit card booking the money out of the bank account each month.  So there is no more need to actually give a functioning product.  They refer me to the “community” whatever the heck that is?    I googled Community & Microsoft and got this:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum  – a place where frustrated people who don’t have a clue can vote up and down of how frustrated they are with the non-existing answers.  Swell.

I actually think it is not a technology problem, but an attitude problem.  The new Indian born CEO Nadella doesn’t give a hoot about his customers. If he did they would not have all these issues.  They want those issues to complete the retreat from consumer based business.  HP tried that and shot themselves in the foot, big time.  They did the opposite.  They focused on the printers and stopped supporting their techies sub contractors who built their company in the first place.  Not realizing that most people are both – consumers and business people.  Love that Epson Printer after years of using and recommending  HP for everything and my clients.   I use a MACs now. Love Apple’s customer service,  I really do.  They genuinely care,  they speak English and are culturally “with it”  and highly trained.  Love them.

Microsoft, certainly is not the only US bred tech company, that seems to suffer from hypocrisy.  They are just one of the largest offenders.   And it is not that the company as a whole doesn’t know that customer service is important.  In their blog they sing the praises about importance of a positive Customer Experience. In reality however they clearly don’t care at all.

What they say:

Microsoft Logo

Social media can have a positive influence on your brand and your product. It can also drive a stronger bottom line. Case in point: loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.1 Customer relationships that lead to loyalty and trust are the foundation of a brand’s success. At Microsoft, the Customer Experience Center (CXC) is dedicated to building deeper customer relationships. etc.

My Microsoft customer experience was horrible and the company clearly has no interest in walking their talk.  What goes on my nerves is when people talk one way out of this side of their mouth and the other way out of the other side.  I can’t stand hypocrisy.

I prefer people who are consistent. Microsoft is in decline – angry and upset customer are not a good sign for their future health.  As an angry and upset customers I probably will share my story with more than the average 15 people for negative, and 5 people for positive experiences.

Well, the health advice is working.  I feel much calmer now.  I wasted an awful lot of time.  Maybe I should start working with better customer experience experts and show Microsoft and those other phony companies, how it’s done.   Maybe in the end this  frequent and horrid customer experience is just the inspiration I needed.

PS:  Special thanks, to Yussuf.  You were great last time we spoke and you solve my install problem in 33 minutes flat.  Microsoft should promote you over these uncultured, untrained stone-age macho men who wasted 6 hours and 15 minutes of my time, before I played CX roulette and found you.  If people like you, Yussuf, were in charge of Microsoft, the company would have a chance to thrive again.   The way it is run right now, it will go down as a mere footnote in history.

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Basic trust in parents is essential for healthy child development.

Photo by Filios Sazeides
This boy trusts his father completely.  Photo by Filios Sazeides, www.unsplash.com

Basic trust that develops through interaction between parents and children is the foundation of a purposeful and content life.  Without trust life is not worth living.  When children are in a trusting environment they learn to relax, count on the people around them,  trust in themselves and trust in their ability to overcome obstacles.  For that reason it is important for kids to learn to trust in the people around them.  This is also the reason betrayal of basic trust, or interruption due to abandonment during early childhood while the essential first trust is build, is so very damaging to the psyche.

Father-daughter duo Dave and Claire Crosby

In our modern lives people are not  always available to children. There is  work, travel .  Experts know that being responsive to children’s needs is the Nr. 1 important thing that can done for them.  Their psychological make-up and their outlook during the rest of their lives depends on their ability to know that when they reach their most trusted adults and that they we will be there when needed.  Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget to of the most formidable child psychologists teach that trust in self cannot happen without this basic trust. When kids are able to trust that their parents will respond to their every need they develop this “basic trust” or ‘Urvertrauen” is formed. Without this basic trust a person will develop “basic mistrust.”

The only way a parent can help a child find that basic positive outlook on life it to respond to their children  in  realtime.  Technology can have a positive or negative effect on our lives.  We can become distracted or we can use the technology the be there for our kids. The choice is ours.

Smartwatches are a solution that will allow us to stay in touch with those who are most important to us.  We can created phone trees of trusted adults and create a digital circle of love with Family Assistant Apps and Vigilints Kids Smartwatches are a potential for parents to stay connected, regardless of how busy life gets. Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Fact based Information is a thing of the past: Misinformation is protected by conservative Supreme Court

Lines are 20 feel long for free food in San Francisco, May 2018
Lines are 20 feel long for free food in San Francisco, May 2018

Children who are pregnant because they were molested and raped; young teenage mothers who are not equipped to raise a child – since clearly they are too young to take responsibility for themselves; impoverished mothers who have a hard time raising the kids they already have; they all no longer have a right to fact-based information.

The conservative leaning Supreme Court ruled that withholding information about options available to people who really may benefit from an array of information will now be misled, misinformed – legally.  There are a lot of women who are not equipped to be a parent they need options with help, not judgment and misinformation.   www.kidscount.org

Brave New World: 2018 US Supreme Court decided it is okay to mislead pregnant girls and women base on "religious" grounds.
Brave New World: 2018 US Supreme Court decided it is okay to mislead pregnant girls and women base on “religious” grounds.

The youngest person on record giving birth after being raped was Linda Medina who gave birth at six years and five months. It is not unusual for 11 to 12 year old girls to ovulate.  If they are raped or their sexual explorations end up in pregnancy they are faced with a very challenging life.

Now in 2018 the Supreme Court decided that religious extremists have the right to mislead and misinform and lie to women who really need information more than anyone else.  If they were informed they would not be in the plight they find themselves in.  They would not seek help from religious extremists who want to impose their apocalyptic views onto any miserable person that falls into their clutches.

Already without this debacle 1 in 4 women will go on a welfare benefit program within 3 years of their child being born.  Who will care for unwanted children who are a result of misinformation?  It is clear the Supreme Court doesn’t care nor is that in their job description.  Religious extremists want to abolish insurance, privatize welfare and they want to  mislead people who are ill equipped to be parents to have children.  60% of unwed mothers live in poverty.

14 Million children in the US go hungry every night.  There is no care for that clearly.  The religious extremists voted for a philandering president who had sex with porn stars.  Michael Cohen handled his behavioral issues of the president and  those of his  friends.   Mistresses were paid hush money and to have abortions.

The religious extremists clearly don’t have any consistent value system.  They want to control and impose their will on the victims who need help more than anyone. No one is more vulnerable than a pregnant girl or women  recovering from rape or sexual molestation, or even just a mistake.

The president is  friends, with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted child molester who was convicted for soliciting underage girls for prostitution. Religious extremists voted in a friend of a convicted child molester and human trafficker.  They  mislead people just as their chosen leader enjoys to do. Important information about options are withheld.  The centers lie to and mislead victims.  It’s official:

The use of the freedom of speech laws is now used to protect liars. This is yet another low for the US.  This is a country of laws, and now:

Misinformation is now officially legal in the US. 

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140 has been decided. The conservative Supreme Court voted for misinformation and is against California’s State Rights to handle their own affairs.

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Trade Wars: What will the multi-billion dollar trade wars accomplish for the US?

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-art-of-the-deal-royalties-trump-2017-6
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-art-of-the-deal-royalties-trump-2017-6

Trump Supporters are exhilarated about their US created global trade wars 

Trump supporters approve of the US presidents actions, words and attitude at historic levels. 90% approve of everything Trump does or says, not everyone agrees.  Yet, many wonder whether the GOP actually is following a plan:

“Yes, they have a plan. No, I don’t think it will work,” said Bill Reinsch, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The plan is always push harder, demand everything and offer nothing.”  Source:  South China Morning Post

European’s, especially Merkel, are frightened by the changes imposed on the EU. The situation depends on the individual global companies business strategies.  Many European and Asian companies are baffled by Trump’s strategy.  For many decades they have listened to many US presidents and their “Partners in Leadership” promises and in the spirit of collaboration have created hundreds and thousands of jobs for Americans in the US.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/mobility/vw-bmw-daimler-trump-import-895206

Das Handelblatt’s, Lukas Bay, reports: “The US president has threatened European automakers such as VW, BMW and Daimler with a levy. He’s forgetting that the Germans have huge plants in the US.  At the time, he warned that BMW and other carmakers could face a 35 percent import duty for cars not built in the United States. He targeted BMW because it is building a new plant in Mexico. Trump doesn’t seem to realize that the BMW plan in Mexico is there to meet rising demands for cars in Latin America.” BMW actually exports cars made in the US by American workers.   Source:  Das Handelsblatt

Der Spiegel reports:  “Executives at Siemens, the global engineering giant, are still relatively relaxed at company headquarters in Munich. Siemens operates its own plants in the U.S. for products with high steel or aluminum content like trains, gas turbines and ultrasound equipment. In theory, at least, its subsidiaries could buy raw materials or semi-finished products locally to circumvent the punitive tariffs. But that does not apply to special alloys that are not produced in the U.S. They would have to be imported from Germany and would be slapped with the additional tariffs.  The biggest concern is not the impact the trade tariff’s have on the US – German trade – it is only 4% for many companies so they can withstand that comfortably.

The bigger issue that companies and countries are grappling with is cheap steel that is now diverted from Russia, India and Turkey.  Since these companies were not given a temporary exemption they have dumped their inferior products in the EU for super low prices.  The EU is more worried about the effect these inferior steel will have on the EU brand around the globe as cheap inferior products are making it on the market.  It will not affect the US either in trade nor in taxes.

In Germany for instance 95% of all wealth is created by small and midsize firms. This is the reason why Germany is thriving and able to withstand economic upheaval.  Germany has a very strong middle class that has been growing jobs.  In the US the Middle Class has been eroded by corporate welfare laws that favor large global conglomerates.

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How to teach your child the confidence of a peak performer.

We all want the best for our kids Photo Credit: Creative Commons
We all want the best for our kids.   Photo Credit:  Creative Commons

Our job as parents is to prep our kids to live happy and successful lives.  We want them to succeed to allow them to enjoy a life without financial stress. We want them to find love to allow them to have healthy and fulfilling  relationships.  We want them to feel confident and able to achieve their very own dreams.   So how can we protect the kids, while prepping them to become peak performers?

Step 1 –  Build up their confidence.

One way to build confidence in our children. When children feel loved, heard, and held in esteem they feel confident that they matter.  The  child eventually knows that she is important to us. This also means parents have to avoid any prolonged absences.  Small children don’t understand why the parents are not there, even if it feels unavoidable to the parent.  The child needs to know that it can reach us and count on us to be there for them.   We want the children to know they are important to us. We also teach the child that we are in charge of our own life. We have the freedom to set priorities.  We choose to be there for the child.  The child learns by observing.  If we are there for them, they will  feel that it is natural to care for themselves and to care about themselves.  They learn to trust not only the parents but also themselves.

Photo by Caleb Mullin via Unsplash.
Photo by Caleb Mullin via Unsplash.

Step 2 – Honesty is important for realistic self assessment and leads to follow through.

Life has challenges and it has ups and downs.  When we are honest with our children they don’t always like it.  Yet, this is how they  learn that sometimes the truth is difficult.  They also learn to trust us, when we give them genuine compliments. Genuine compliments are worth so much more than indiscriminate praise.  The child learns that honesty is ok.  If we tell them they didn’t seem to have given their personal best, they learn they could try harder and get better.  Then when they do well after they really practiced and succeeded, the praise feels wonderful.  Additionally, if they try something that isn’t realistic, you can plan with them what they may wish to  do instead, or what they may have to do to carry out the desired task. They learn to research, analyze and make plans. The also learn that plans without action will not yield results.  Honest with children leads to self honesty by children, which helps them to keep a clear mind rooted in reality.

Step 3 – Responsibility helps us feel in charge of our own destiny

When we take responsibility for our own actions we model behavior to our children. The sooner we teach kids that they are responsible for their own actions and words, the sooner they will feel in charge of their own life.  They learn while they cannot influence everything that happens around them, they are in charge of how they react to the circumstances.  They are in charge of how they act, speak, follow through, commit themselves and equally important take care of their health, both mentally and physically. By taking responsibility they will learn fast that they have choices in life.  They are free to choose how they want to live their life.  Do they want to study and get good grades, do they diligently practice their work outs.  Naturally as they responsibly work on improving themselves they perform better and better. The children feel in charge because they learned they are responsible for their own actions and words.

Peak Performance is a result of hard work, a good attitude, and the willingness to do what it takes.  We can start our support for children by providing them with the basis of success. We let them know they are important, valued and adored by us.  We are available when they need us.

www.vigilints.com - smartwatches for kids
www.vigilints.com – Hawkeye Smartwatches for kids

In the digital age, this means we are there to guide and coach them.   One valuable tool is a Hawkeye Smartwatch which is designed for 3 to 7-year-old kids.  The Vigilint Parental Assistant app provides the function to check their child’s friends. Parents can talk or text (emojis) allowing to share in their life. The app has a listening function and an SOS button.  This allows parents to coach the children and advise them when the child needs help dealing with other kids. A parent can share responsibility with three other trusted adults and link up to 8 people into a phone tree of trusted care takers.  Additionally the child can have up to 20 friends in their phone.  The Hawkeye Smartwatch has a roll over function which can be set to call the father if the mother is not available. It  rolls over to the babysitter, aunt or the child’s friends parent.    Being there for our kids matters and it is the foundation to a successful life.

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