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Showing posts from October, 2020

What Does it Mean to be "American"?

My international friends call me "The American". It conjures the thought of national birth and cultural identity. Foreigners have a slightly different version of what it means to be American. We often think in terms of race and religion while others minimize those differences but raise up personality and cultural attributes within their definitions. Paying attention to their underlining definitions can sometimes lead us to insight.  A few reflections from others.... First, American is more of a thought than an actual identity. Its the way in which we are trained to question the world around us and to respect individual liberties. We speak up about what we believe and how things should be. In other words, we are known to let our opinions be known.  Secondly, religion and race are minimized in their definition of an American. My Muslim name doesn't seem to bother my international friends and my children's mixed race never seemed to be any real consideration. Yet in some

Sunset Jogging

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One thing you might want to try is jogging during the sunset. If your next to the beach even better. Today I was bored and decided to go for an evening job, in addition to a morning speed walk, to push myself to get in shape. Its not easy to get rid of a few lbs that seem to creep up when you are not paying attention. 

Queen City Shipwreck Research-Regional Historical Center Offers to Help

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Part of the process of developing our expeditions and research we have reached out to a number of different local/regional historical societies to find people with expertise and gauge curation interests. While we haven't found the ship yet we are ensuring we have a process and place that will move from discovery, documentation, permit obtainment, and curation into a museum. Having a regional historical institution take interest in the project helps us to obtain some of the resources we need. While we all have some experience in diving, and I have experience in research, this hasn't been specifically applied to shipwreck hunting. Part of the goal beyond raising awareness of local adventure tourism I am also creating "edu-u-tainment" videos to help students understand how basic research applies across fields. An additional benefit is highlighting the areas economic opportunities based on its historical past. Yes its a partial attempt to influence the local tourism indus

COVID Cases Still High in Delta County

 The cases in Delta County are still high according to an article in the Escanaba Free Press entitled " Delta County COVID-19 cases surpass 1,000 ". The new report discusses the cases in Delta County and rising COVID in other U.P. communities. The work helps us think about how using proper distancing and following solid cleaning habits can help avoid the spread. People often believe they are immune because they are isolated but that isn't necessarily the case. First, we are not isolated and no matter how much we lock down our environment we won't be able to truly stop this virus dead in its tracks. However, that doesn't mean we can't do anything.  We have a responsibility to wear our masks, be diligent, follow common sense, and help our businesses protect customers. That doesn't always mean closing them down completely if that can be avoided. It could mean changing ordinances to allow for outdoor seating, using cleaning protocol and being safe in interacti

Gossip vs. Rumor Aggression-Who Uses and Who Believes?

Gossip can be helpful and rumors can be destructive. (What did I just say? 👀) That depends on what you mean by gossip and rumors. First, gossip is normal and helps communities understand each other, threats in their environment, coordinate activities and set social expectation. On the flip side, rumors can be intentionally used to harm, harass, shame, or bully other people (especially people who might be different). To better understand the destructive behaviors of intentional rumor spreading we can look at an example and take a more critical view. What is the Function of Rumors?  Rumors are often not idle and accidental because they are part of a person's ability to influence others. Rumors are tools used to intimidate others in order to assert one's dominance over others. When used strategically with an intent to manipulate and intimidate others then this is a big problem as it not only indicates the dysfunction of the source(s) but also their aggression towards anther.   Wh

Investing in Industry-University Research for National Innovation

 As a nation we should think about research and innovation as a process of connecting resources to create new value driven products and resources. As a nation we spend a lot of money on a lot of different things that don't seem to make a big difference in our lives or our capacity as a nation to compete. One potential pathway to development is the creation of industry-university research opportunities. While this has been going on for some time I think we have made this somewhat more difficult because of regulations and red tape.  Companies regularly invest in research but what would be helpful is if there were some incentives for investing in solving those problems that impact the entire industry. For example, lets say that developing a better process to make paper leads to less pollution, more jobs, and a more competitive American paper manufacturing industry.  Sure...we can use tariffs and restrictions to create advantages but we might do well to include the ability to foster re

Dark Money in the Michigan Supreme Court?

 I like to keep up on the political news and find out what is going on around the state. I read an article entitled " How dark money is permeating Michigan’s Supreme Court race " by    Lauren Gibbons . The article is well written and provides some political fairness when discussing the topic. What I like most is that she is able to cover the topic from a neutral standpoint of how money influence politics and even our legal environment. Reporting and discussing these issues helps us stay focused on the meaning and purpose of justice beyond its political ends.  It should be remembered that we have two major parties within this country and that each of them has their own deep philosophical and social roots. It means that there are people and parties all connected together. Deep divisions between these two parties causes some of our current problems. The way in which people now see their world seems radically different even though both parties essentially want similar things when

COVID Protection Legislation-38th District U.P. Michigan

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If you are a business owner in Michigan, especially the U.P., you will want to keep up with the new rules, regulations, and legislative changes. There have been a number of changes that have helped U.P. residents. It is helpful for people and businesses to be aware of these changes so as to navigate the local environment (...especially as it relates to COVID). Senator McBroom's release provides details on the Covid Protection help. If your so inclined to watch politics, especially local politics, you may want to view his webpage and sign up for these releases just to keep aware.  SenatorEdMcBroom.com  It may also be beneficial for you to check out any Democrat candidates to create a rounder perspective of what is important to both parties. That is what helps us understand what the area needs and what the stakeholders need. Remember politics is about helping our people and country...and we will have to work across the isle.  Explanations were....... "Senate Bills  886  and  911

3Q 2020 GDP Rises 33.1%-Could Manufacturing/Export Improvements be Coming?

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I'm watching the markets and trying to gain a grasp of what the market is doing and how our abilities to adapt as well as the changes in the market due to the pandemic impact our export abilities. This is a blog post so I'm not going to justify everything I say or use citations for a basic discussion. However, the information presented is based in solid logic and in general research support. What I am mostly interested in is the connection of pre-markers that signal a fundamental change in the economy that would hint at a specific type of recovery. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) provides information and data for public consumption. It is important for governments to provide this type of information so that companies, investors, intellectuals, etc... can try and make meaning out of the information for business decision making as well as gauge our current economic health.  The BEA came out with some powerful GDP improvements in Q3 2020 mounting to a 33.1% increase. The Bur

Let's Put Stimulus Where it Counts! Building Diverse Business Ownership and Economic Competitiveness

Stimulus conversation is in buzz and lawmakers are thinking through all of the different ways to enhance economic activities. The problem many of these lawmakers faces is that they are fighting over not only the amount but also where the money is going to be spent. Personally, I think we can enhance our long term infrastructure that leads to increased economic opportunity and the biggest bang for the buck if we do something a little different and really focus on fostering investment rich economic environments (i.e. clusters) that bring prosperity to our diverse young population. We have old cities and we have a trade war with China. There are protesters on the streets and general distrust of government  is on the rise. There is extremism and hate brewing on both sides of the political perspective. Few things can get done if we are all fighting. I'm going to make some very basic and probably incorrect assumptions here.  1. Our politicians want our country to succeed and would be wil

Protest Goals?-Encouraging Pro Business Urban Environments

Watching the protests a few blocks away, hearing the helicopters, the BLM signs in all of the store windows, police sirens, ambulances and chanting crowds.  Each morning the chaos becomes quiet as though there was some battle the evening before and everyone went home for donuts and coffee. What is often left behind are broken windows, burnt cars, looted stores, injured officers, arrested protestors and lots and lots of headline news. The problem is that is that real change comes from changing the environment. There is the raising awareness side and there is a practical side to raising local opportunities for personal and economic growth. I'm not sure shutting down the downtowns or damaging downtown property is the best approach. Sure, getting destructive does raise awareness for a cause but also associates that cause with negative images in the viewers eyes (i.e. the consumer of information and BLM values).  If the strategy is to raise awareness of a global economy and global justi

Are we going to have a big GDP growth 3Q 2020?

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The Fed is expecting to announce a huge GDP growth. I don't know what that means but by the end of the year it is hoped we have a full recovery and by the end of Q1 2021 we see improvements over pre-Covid closures. With any luck we could even find a big bump 2-3 years down the road. 

Between Empathy and Firmness in Employee Management

 Most people who have managed others will attest there are all types of personalities and a spectrum of motivation levels. The hardest part of managing people are the employee problems that creep up that have little to do with work. These are family problems, crisis problems, and issues that distract from the work setting. We also know that things come up and we have to adjust and change to help our employees. However, there are some that seem to always have problems those are the ones where empathy and firmness can work together.  Its not easy to find that balance. You want to be flexible and give people an opportunity to overcome their own personal issues while at the same time trying to better ensure people are focused on the organization's tasks and goals.  I believe one of the better approaches is to offer flexibility in the first incident and increased gradation for punishment thereafter. There is a point where someone has to perform and personal problems can't always be

What is it like to Fitness Train for Outdoor Sports?

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 I'm a little bit of an outdoor enthusiast and engage in outdoor sports. I would love to consider climbing Mount Everest someday. Some might wonder what it is like to train for extreme sports and activities. The wild is not like sports played in a controlled environment. The outdoors is nature and holds real risks for people beyond sprained ankles and bruised egos.  There is lots of learning. Whenever I can I read about the topic, watch videos, and engage in a community of people who do these types of activities. Having as much knowledge as possible before heading out on a risky adventure can make a big difference.  For example, this morning it is cold (i.e. 20 degrees) and freezing and wind is whipping making it feel much colder. It is also 4:30 in the morning and I'm having a quick cup of coffee before I head out to jog around Big Bear Lake.  Sure....I could go to a gym and workout in comfort. Yet that doesn't mimic what happens in the real world on the side of a mountain

Michigan Has Opportunities for Growth-Political Protectionism?

I'm reading an article by Scott Lincicome entitled by " Tariffs, Michigan and the Perils of 'Political Protectionism " from Cato at Liberty. I must say I like what he did here in terms of putting together data on a scatter plot and showing how tariffs have an impact in 2018 and 2019. I think that most of us would expect these short term adjustments in the import and export market. There can be no change without adjustment and we should expect to see that within the data.  Where the "proof in the pudding" will be is in the 2021 and 2022 years where the risks of COVID decline, new factors like online transition, and where organizations have adjusted to new import/export adjustments, and then in turn develop stronger strategies to meet market demand (assuming they have the capacity to do so).  I guess that is the point of challenging China now versus a decade down the road when our manufacturing has been further hampered and we are not in the same place. There

Let's Not Forget Michigan in National Politics

National politics are important and we should pay attention. In our desire to engage in national debates let  our politicians not forget about the needs of Michigan. Each of the parties has their mantras, beliefs, pulpit topics, and party line requirements. Money is flowing in and its likely to become a very contentious race. What we don't want to do is forget the needs of Michigan.  First, localized government is more responsive to the needs of the people. Each individual vote makes a difference in the process of government management. While we may not always feel connected to national politics we should feel connected to our local politics.  It should also be important to note that our politicians work for people who adhere to both parties. That means Republicans also work for people who vote Democrat and Democrats have responsibilities  over people who vote republican.  We are not voting for one side or another as much as we about the needs of our state and the needs of Michigan

When Regulations are Helpful and Unhelpful?

Regulations are a necessary part of modern life. Let people do what they want and the last thing they think about is the impact on the environment community. We also need our industries working toward the health and strength of their nation and people. Regulations are an important part of nudging industries forward and protecting the greater good. However, regulations can be harmful and/or helpful and we need to keep both in mind when making a decision.  If we have no regulations we have problems and if we have too many regulations then we have different kinds of problems. Regulation should be used when there is no way to get industry to self-regulate. Government provides the goals but industry determines the best way to reach those goals; unless they shirk their greater responsibility.  Much of the choices at the senior leadership positions are based in making choices to follow or not follow regulations. Sometimes it can be seen as a cost factor that makes no difference beyond the cos

Overcoming Difficult Backgrounds-Stand on Your Own Two Feet

I come from a difficult background, one of those that would make most people either cringe or cry. People often feel they will be limited by their backgrounds and that they are doomed to whatever lot they started out in life. I'm here to say that this isn't necessarily true. Yes...you will be limited by the beliefs others taught you but you can overcome those limitations if you learn to self-reflect. Where I grew up image is everything. I've had some very good people in my life and I appreciate them and honor them but there were some very cruel individuals suffering from mental health (This is one reason why we have to deal with mental health better. People who suffer can often be sadistic to others).  It would be a shame to live one's whole life and never share any wisdom or knowledge you may have picked up over the years. Some people may need that advice and are wondering how they may reach out past the "cave" in which they grew up.  First, let me say that I

Mountain Hiking-Preparing for Mount Everest

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Mount Everest is a big hill and I'm starting the process of preparing. I'm hiking for a concept of Justice and how we need a universal justice system so that all people in the U.S. feel part of the same society. I'm not advocating for different sides but I'm just trying to raise some awareness for how things should be, how we should view each other, and how we treat each other. Bigotry, racism, hate, anti-American beliefs, etc....are no longer acceptable in a global society. We must be much more open to superficial differences if we hope to truly engage in the global market. We should also consider the economic benefits of full engagement of 50% +/- minorities in the educational, labor, and entrepreneurial markets. 

Offering Educational Services on an Industry and National Scale

A few days ago I was a moderator in an conference on the topic of UN Sustainable Development goals. Much of the discussion revolved around the cost of education and how we have Western perceptions of higher education but many countries may not need the same level of theoretical ideas and should be much more practical. That discussion brought up an opportunity to consider national scale higher education offerings.  Let us say that we looked at a country's GDP and their needs 15-20 years down the road. We may find that we need 10K people to work in technology, 5K in military skills, etc.... Each of these are then broken down into specific skill sets that can be taught.  I wonder if it is possible to offer packages to countries of higher education offerings. While these offerings may come from American universities we do know that online education is opening new opportunities. It wouldn't be far fetched to offer to open a certain amount of educational slots for particular prices. 

How Jogging is Making a Difference in My Waistline

 One of the things I used to hate the most was jogging. It is almost no fun at all. Running for the heck of running and getting hot and exerting energy first thing in the morning was definitely not for me!  If I miss my job I am very unlikely to jog after I take a shower. Despites all of its negative aspects one thing that does seem to make sense is that engaging in the activity of jogging helps your waistline much more than any other activities.  Covid helps me rethink my strategy and I'm happy it did. I always gravitated toward the gym. Yes...the gym still should be part of the workout and we should try and gain additional muscle tone. However, it isn't the most important thing.  To really get in shape we have to increase our heart rate. We can jog, speed walk, sprint, and walk, HIT train and just about anything else that improve our cardio condition.  Now its one of the first things I think about when I get up. I'm not sure how long my enthusiasm lasts but so far it has

European Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund

 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announces economic outlook. The projections are that there is a GDP loss of 3 million Euros and this is not expected to return quickly. There are differences in economic activity between Europe and the U.S. We often think of fiscal interventions are improved through government financial intervention. Such intervention often focuses on improving liquidity through money. Yet money only represents a unit of labor and thus more money means more units of labor are applied. It is like creating artificial units of labor to improve liquidity. However, it is also possible to think about improving transactions. One could do this not only through money, investment in data infrastructure, removing restrictions that don't have benefits, and coordinating sectors to create new innovative market solutions. Thus....under the Theory of Transactional Clusters (not finished yet) one could focus on improving economic transaction volume through lowering the cost o

Sudan and Israel Normalize Relationships-Has the Pandemic Changed Our Views

Sudan and Israel have decided to normalize relationships and that is a positive step toward greater stability and peace to the region. This isn't getting into all of the details and many reasons why people agree or disagree with the agreement. It is about finding some path forward that helps the region develop as well as all Palestinians and Israelis live in some framework of peace.  Normalization of relationships, along as the terms appear reasonably fair, is a sign the international community is willing to put the past in the past and move forward together toward a more peaceful world. This has gone on a long time and it is time to think about what we are going to do in the future What this does get me thinking is about how the Pandemic might have humbled us and some of our differences and this could lead to new ways of looking at old problems. Perhaps what we find so important really isn't that important. Other things can take precedence like the common shared humanity goals

Exploring the Concept of Justice-One or Two Systems?

We have a huge debate as a nation whether we have one or two justice systems at work. We know that we have a system in play and that the system needs changes but why people from different backgrounds see different systems at work. Going forward as a nation we will want to ensure people trust that there is one system of justice at work and that people believe in the ability of the system to deliver on its stated and unstated contracts.  Minorities often view the justice system differently. For much of the country's existence there have been two different societies that move beyond wealth and into the essence of people. Slavery, segregation, and human bias created those differences in perceptions and lives. Every century or so people challenge the system to push it to stronger footing and with effort "the system" eventually reacts and moves the dial a little closer to universal justice ( ...and freeing of human spirt. Think philosophically here .). Our viewpoints creep into

Join a Night in Baja Silent Auction for Orphans

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 I support these orphans and have visited them in the past. I would like to visit them soon. To help raise awareness of the needs of orphans I'm posting the following announcement. This is an organization I know pretty well and they really have their heart in the right place. Some of the money I raise from my small business goes to help these kids grow up to be healthy and happy neighbors.  Thursday October 29th, 2020 at 7:00 PM PST. Virtual Gala and Silent Auction "A Night in Baja". HERE BE OUR GUEST! A Night in Baja wouldn't be the same without you. We are so fortunate to have the support of the most caring and loving community for the past 26 years. After an incredibly challenging year, we want to make sure that everyone can join us in our first virtual event ever,  A Night in Baja!   We are releasing a  free  registration option this weekend. We hope to have you join us to celebrate this very special evening with the Corazon de Vida family. Our silent auction will

Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill Becomes Law

Suicide is not something we like to discuss. The traumatic events that many of our veterans have experienced is not something people from the civilian population truly understand (Its not the same thing as watching war movies on tv). Yes...there are lots of types of traumas in the world but with military service comes putting oneself in harm's way in foreign countries and lands. We are not talking about people who disagree with each other but with foreign adversaries that seek to dominate a battlefield.  Military veteran suicide is important and not something we should brush under the carpet. We don't leave men/women behind just because the bullets stop flying. We continue to serve and help each other where we can in a way that leads to environmental mastery. Wounds of the heart often cut deeper than those of the flesh.  Taken from press release.... Bergman’s Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill Becomes Law ALPENA - President Donald J. Trump signed into law S. 785, the  Commander Jo

Broadening Education Communication Channels UN Sustainable Development Goal #4

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 I was asked to host a discussion on #4 Sustainable Development Goal by the UN. Its not as prestigious as it sounds but I do have an opportunity to help doctor's think about ways to make education more sustainable and cost effective. I have some ideas but this isn't a discussion about my ideas it is more about getting people to think about these things in an Academic World.  We have these beautiful campuses that are likely to go partially dark. These look like great places to be physical academic presence but utilize their natural resources and cultural benefits to broad cast that to people interested in education in other parts of the world. Channel Expansion Theory helps us think about how we might be able to use physical assets to create wider online networks of learners. 

4 Methods to Advertisement Enhancement (SME)

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Developing advertisement pieces is not easy. We are in a media world where people are swarmed with information and they often skip right over relevant advertisements that they may be interested in simply because they have "information overload". Breaking through that barrier isn't only about getting louder and more bold. It should include a concept of unique. If you are a small business you don't have the ability to spend a lot on advertising. Use four principles of Time or Money, Uniqueness, Movement, and Next Action. I was trying to blend painting with "eye popping" lettering to attract reader attention. I think it might look a little more like an "eye sore" than anything. 😵 I was also thinking about making the piece look like the hooves are coming from the heavens with a Greek God sort of theme. Didn't work out as planned (Maybe I should hoof on a stone pedestal 🤔).  Think a bout a few things before you get started. Here are a few things s

People Have a Hard Time Seeing Past Problems-Think to Resolution!

People with problems are often consumed and overwhelmed with those problems. It bothers them, takes up their time and soaks up huge aspects of their life. When these problems are really big they influence just about everything in their lives. I raised two boys, went to school full time and worked, dealt with income/loss, and every other aspect of the game of life. I'm not immune to life's problems. Over the years I developed a strategy that helps me put current actions in alignment with future vision in a way that leads to higher outcomes.  That is right...focusing on what a resolution looks like helps to keep everything else in perspective. It also helps us see past our problems to constructive resolution.   We are often consumed by the here and now and it blinds us to what is more important and that is how the problems get resolved. I'm going to use a friend as an example here. Due to her previous marriage and relationship her and her ex husband owe the IRS money and she

Letter Concerning Queen City Shipwreck to Delta County Michigan Area Museums & Historical Societies

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 As a team of divers and explorers we searching for the Queen City shipwreck that sunk around 1875 near Ford River Michigan. As of date, we have conducted one dive to practice working together and checking on our equipment. You can watch that video HERE . We decided as a team we are going to reach out to some of the local historical societies and museums to see if they would have any preliminary interest in curating any artifacts we find. Thus we are trying to set up and understand the general permit and curation process once a shipwreck is found.  Yes we are diving enthusiasts and are doing this for in part because we are enjoy the sense of adventure but also we are also trying to use our skills to help the local community through contributions to science. The work we do is to help raise awareness of underutilized Delta County Michigan as an investment and adventure tourism region as well as the general importance of its historical significance as a shipping location in the global sup

President Trump and Joe Biden Conduct Town Halls 10-15-20

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 If your watching the election news and want to catch up on the latest and greatest you may want to watch....... President  Trumps Town Hall 10-15-20..... Joe Biden Town Hall 10-15-20.......

Thoughts on President Trumps Speech at NY Economic Club

President Trump discusses the economy, vaccines, trade deals and much more. For the purposes of this blog I'm more into the economic side. He said we are going to have a great 3Q. I also believe this is possible but I'm not really anything special when it comes to economic projections. I'm just dabbling with an economic theory of transactional clusters that might do a better job of incorporating digital GDP and new virtual employment. Technological adaptation and changing of American habits can have an impact on online purchases, services, etc... (There is going to be some need for changing our regulations and policies to better protect business and consumers from overreaching marketspace policies but that ultimately they trail blazed some of what we need for a digital transformation.) Yikes...I keep blabbing! Ultimately....if its true that his administration indicates there 3Q will be a great economy and then early next year better...I would like to know the logic they are