Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Lessons of Hate Groups-A Learning Opportunity

We have seen hate groups come and go in society but none have been able to sack a capital like they have in the past year. Hate is a disease brewing in our hometowns for decades and only now have they entered our collective conscious. Each challenge becomes an opportunity to learn and do something new so we can move past this era of cultural confusion. 

This is what I have learned from grinding against those who think in terms of hate. 

1.) False Sense of Importance: There is a belief of importance that is based in their perception of what it means to be an American, a heightened sense of entitlement, and a belief in their elevated value. While value may be judge more accurately using appropriate metrics, such groups don't work off logic and instead delve into misperception. 

2. Dysfunctional Group Identity: Such groups have an ethnocentric and distorted group identity around identity pieces like race, sports, social clubs, politics, etc... Sometimes they can be both, for example a group could harbor race and religious based hate while still belonging to a sports group. People outside that group are often discounted as somehow less worthy.

3. Criticism and Comparison: The group forms their identity by comparing themselves to others. Often these are superficial issues (i.e. like clothing brand or skin color or religion) and don't move into any particular depth (i.e. this is why they often misjudge). What you will notice is the particular negative and dark bent on their characterization of out-group members. 

4. Rigid Internal-External Control: The people within these groups are not as free as they think they are. Their opinions are tied to certain leadership figures and they fit within a hierarchical system where people are ordered. If members get into an argument with someone higher on chain they will be made an example out of (informally or formally). 

5. Improper Root Assumptions: Language is a logic, math is a logic, and behaviors follow a logic. If you follow the logic back it tells you about the very basic needs of the person. Each member is drawn to the ideology based on a similar deep need. Gaining a sense of their root assumptions tells you how they will act to fulfill those needs based on the values of the group and how they relate to those assumptions (deep psychological  need). 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Benefits of ROI and Evaluations in Marketing

ROI is an important part of marketing and companies want to know what your bottom line and return is on marketing dollars spent. While creativity is important you will need to find tangible financial value.  Creating a profit center mentality that measures the financial benefits can be helpful. 

4 Things to Improve Marketing (DeVrie, 2021):

Create your own attribution model. Measure and understand touchpoints and conversion paths.

Include business objectives as part of marketing projects.  Know what business objectives you are trying to achieve and support those ideas. 

Go beyond profits internally. Find value beyond for the organizations for sociology and environmental benefits. 

Go beyond profits externally. Find value for society and how your products/services influence the world

Measure, measure, measure. Keep numbers and know how they measure and impact decision making. Sustainability and profitability. 

DeVrie, H (January 29th, 2021). H. Why You Must Measure Marketing ROI. Forbes

Friday, January 29, 2021

Chippewa County (U.P.) Selected as the Command and Control Center for Rocket Launch Sites

Chippewa County in the U.P. selected as the final site for the Command and Control Center for  launch sites that will be used by commercial, scientific, and military purposes. The selection of U.P. sites as the premier locations are going to be a windfall for jobs and opportunities. A technology community will be coming to the U.P. (one of the reasons why I think Delta County should include digital nomad land in addition to its tourism opportunities). The availability of talent impacts future contracts and opportunities.

You can sort of see the upswing in contracts in certain areas in terms of technology. You can look at the counties and the amount they are receiving and the companies awarded contracts to see which counties were going to receive new investment and activities HERE. You may want to review Delta County Receives $18.5 million for Broadband Access .

A couple of benefits having these sites in the U.P.:

1. High paying and skilled labor jobs. 40K jobs but I'm not sure if there are secondary jobs as they related to retail and other soft suppliers.

2. Improvement of job opportunities in the U.P.

3. Attracting skilled talent and younger families to the U.P.

4. Infrastructure adjustments that will benefit local communities. 

5. Opportunities to develop other related services, tourism, and activities that will meet the needs of new employees. 

6. Lots of products and services moving through the U.P. 

7. A lot of other stuff. 

The other two sites are Oscoda and Marquette. Launchers are expected in 2023 and 2024.

Many of the missions will be focused on cleaning up space debris, removing highly toxic metals, increasing 5-g connectivity, and increasing space "situation awareness" (probably code word for DOD stuff 💪). Something like 17,000 LEO satellites will be launched. With enough of these you can make a global net that can evaluate, test, and engage in serious scientific data collection about things like global warming, population growth, forest depletion, and other things. You may want to read about these LEO HERE.

You can watch the MAMA conference HERE.

The space race is on and our nation is seeking to jump forward into the digital world. It is important for us to do that to regain connectivity. I have been sort of working on a innovative cluster theory that would rely heavily on interconnectivity and resource allocation to develop advanced industries faster than others. I still have a lot of work to do on it but basic structure is there. (Thinking about sub factors of clusters and how the interconnect on a micro-economic level). HERE.

MAMA Selects Chippewa County for New Command and Control Center by Dr. Murad Abel on Scribd

Capital Rioters Charged in DOJ Docs-Highlights the Need for Civil Discourse

Violence at the capital is not an appropriate solution to our problems and will not result in a more beneficial end. Grievance and issues are resolved through voicing one's opinion and engaging with their fellow countrymen/women in constructive ways. While imperfect the legislative process does allow for "discussions" on how to handle affairs in our country. One group doesn't get to force their values or opinions on others without a process of input and discussion (This is also why we want our officials to share their opinions and vote their conscious to ensure we don't have group think). We debate and discuss in this country....and use of violence will quickly derail that process.

If we are to maintain a single free nation then we must not use violence, domination or hate to force one's will on another. The process is clunky and long to help us discuss ideas and not get caught up in the spirit of the times. While we may need to act quickly sometimes it is the adherence to democratic principles and our Constitution that makes us American.

Its kind of interesting that you can read the documents online. You can even see Richard Barnett's Department of Justice filing. If you remember Richard from the pictures he was the one sitting on Nancy Pelosi's desk. I guess if you read through them all you would have a pretty good understanding of the chaos at the White House. 😟

You can see the court documents and click on the names of those charged HERE

For example in the statement of fact for Barnett you can see some of the descriptions, 

"In the course of my duties, I learned that an individual entered the restricted office area of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and took photographs with his feet propped up on furniture. Those photos were circulated on numerous news media platforms which identified the individual as RICHARD BARNETT of Gravette, Arkansas. Capitol Police searched ........."  HERE

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Real GDP Declines 3.5% 2020 US

 The new GDP Numbers came out and are mixed and a little disappointing. I had hoped that the GDP would be about equal in growth to 2019 and then have a much more robust 1Q and 2Q of 2021. Sad to say that I am off with real GDP declining 3.5%. I'm still curious on Digital GDP. You can read the BEA information below. 

You will want to read the report for details HERE. 

Governor Whitmer State of State Address and GOP Response (Jan 27, 2021)

Governor Whitmer discussed the State of the State plan and a call for bi-partisanship. There seems to be some more focus on small business. The GOP responded that they would like to take up that bi-partisanship and have a plan the would like to submit. What happens during the process of negotiation will be what is important here. (See Interconnected Communication)

Governor Whitmer Offered a $5.6 Billion reopening plan and GOP have a $3.6 Plan. I have included both for your consideration.

With any negotiation there are a couple of things that people could start with. 

1. What is the ultimate the state? help others? encouraging businesses? all of the above?

2. Find where there is agreement (or close) and negotiate (Sometimes the sequence of resolving issues can lead to bi-partisanship motivation). 

3. See where there is disagreement and start to work on those in a spirit of solving problems (not winning arguments). See Social Cognition and Social Projection.

4. Maintain the spirt of bi-partisanship and solving problems from both leadership which prompt individuals to act in similar ways. 

5. When there is an impasse look for a different solution "outside the box" solutions. Look at what other countries are doing, research and other sources. 

As with any negotiation, participants will naturally need to communicate and communicate quickly to bounce back and forth ideas. Perhaps there are other solutions they didn't think of yet but that would require everyone to have an open mind with the "big picture" rolling around in the back of their heads.

Whitmer Jan. 2021 $5.6 Billion Plan 

$3.6 Billion Covid Relief Plan GOP Michigan by Dr. Murad Abel on Scribd

Why Its Important for the GOP Leadership to Stay Neutral in Party Debate

There are party principles that transcend each individual leader and are an important part of keeping the republic strong and growing. The GOP has been a practical party, and while holding different philosophical (theoretical) approaches when compared to Democrats, they are seeking the same end goal of improving the nation and the people who live within it. Opting for a neutral stance and allowing GOP members to rally around central values instead of specific party officials is important for long term appeal and brand. 

The next generation will determine whether the GOP will survive, dissipate, or transform into something else (not to mention that the GOP will also determine the fate of the Democrat Party). While the next generation will choose a party (many may pick none) on their own particular beliefs it will be the actions and behaviors of today's leaders that will create that brand to a large section of the population just starting to get politically involved.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel indicated the party will stay neutral (1). That is a wise choice as she tries to juggle the internal struggle the GOP is experiencing. A neutral stance focused on allowing internal debate on the future direction of members allows party leaders to maintain the overriding rules that adjusts the reins of the 6 ton elephant.

It will not be helpful if leadership looses their grip and we split and cannibalize each other in a destructive way (i.e. calling for the death of the V.P.). Managing the process versus the specific outcome might be helpful. The GOP maintain essential values (This is why I think the GOP should focus on in the future HERE) but it is a process of value formation and specific trends come and go.

Each leader comes with a mixed bag of good and bad. Their ideas influence the direction of the country and other leaders in an effort to draw support and resources. There is no such thing as a single leader for all times as far as national politics is concerned. Some will lead you to a better future and some raze the house. 

As a nation (or any organization) we must pick those leaders that are best for the time they are needed because they have the skill and abilities to rally people to a vision and goal.The right leader at the right time means we should have some understanding of the different types of leadership traits and their approaches. For example, this study shows....

"Using a sample of 2,461 executive-level leaders, six personality profiles were identified: Unpredictable Leaders with Low Diligence (7.3%); Conscientious, Backend Leaders (3.6%); Unpredictable Leaders (8.6%); Creative Communicators (20.8%); Power Players (32.4%); and Protocol Followers (27.1%)." (Parr, Lanza, & Bernthal, 2016).

No person within the country should ever have ultimate authority (history has shown how that works out) and the three branches of government counter balance each effectively (If that breaks the house comes down). Picking the next executive should be very much based in the needs of the country of that time (with an eye on future) and their particular ability to accomplish national goals. 

This is not an endorsement for or against any particular future candidate. The neutrality of the GOP is important to draw people into the political process in a way that leads to constructive, versus destructive, end results. The GOP (and other parties) have an important goal in building a republic and must always use wisdom when approaching thorny issues like this. 

Keeping things civil and allowing people to voice and vote their beliefs without intimidation is important to saving the essential truths of the purpose of our Republic (Isn't that why we started a new country in the first place?). The specific candidate makes no difference as choices in unique times often have unintended results and we must choose that fate freely as a party and a nation.

Parr, A. D., Lanza, S. T., & Bernthal, P. (2016). Personality Profiles of Effective Leadership Performance in Assessment Centers. Human performance, 29(2), 143–157.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Discusses State of Economy (January 28, 2021)

Federal Chair Jerome Powell Discusses the State of the Economy. There are still some people suffering from unemployment and those that it seems to hit the most work in certain fields. Minorities often are hit harder based on education access and job options. There is an increasing gap between the highly educated and those who do not have a lot of education.  Access to education and new opportunities will increasingly be important in a more digital economy.

A Few Key Notes

-Near 0% interest rate.

-Asset purchases

-Household services low

-Household goods recovered

-Business and investment manufacturing picked up. 

-Economic activity is still below. 

-Long term growth depends on 2% average of inflation.

-Increasing holdings of treasure securities $80 billion a month and agency backed mortgage securities $40 billion a month to reach goals.

-Seek to increase flow of credit.

-9 million people lost their job.

Jaws of Life Training in Rural U.P. Communities

 In rural locations like Delta County we rely heavily on trained volunteer help. There are full-time officers that double in fire fighting. However, resources are scarce in many cases and we must work together to handle crisis as it occurs. Being in a rural environment, next to national forest, and far away from major cities we must work with the tools we have. 

This is Jaws of Life training across two rural communities fire departments. We can train and share our equipment to ensure everyone has an opportunity to better save lives. Maybe someday we will get a regional U.P. training center here for FF and law enforcement (If it makes cost sense). We also need donations in terms of equipment (air tanks and grass truck) and training (all types). 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

DNC Trails Escanaba West Side Brush Clean Up (Thurs, Jan 28)-Get Out and Help Local Tourism While Enjoying the Outdoors

Volunteering can be as simple as enjoying the outdoors and clearing trails. I try and get out on the trails to train around 3 times a week. There are lots of brush and other things you can clear for people who want to enjoy the trails without having to climb through dangerous brush and other trip/scratch hazards. 

Delta County could be a place that attracts outdoor tourists of different types. The west side trail is an easy get away for those who want a lunch hike. Get involved in creating a more vibrant community that attracts visitors. 

Delta County Non-Motorized Trails is a great organization to be involved with. HERE.

Below was taken from their release. People will be out on the trails cleaning things up so get out there!


We're looking for volunteers to help clear brush at the Escanaba West Side Recreation Area. Work involves clipping, chopping and cutting brush to open up alternate trail reroutes to bypass wet sections of the trail for year round use.

Volunteers will be on the trail tomorrow, Thursday, Jan 28, otherwise you can head out to work on the trail whenever it fits in your schedule.

If you're interested in helping out please contact Mike Segorski at 906-553-5366

Homeland Security Domestic Terrorism Bulletin: What Businesses Should Think About

HR professionals had it simple when they only needed to prepare for fire and tornadoes in the workplace. However, as the decades go on we are finding home extremism to be a bigger problem. Thus, we may need to prepare for these situations within the workplace. I have some ideas that might be helpful but really that is not the purpose of the blog post. Review Department of Homeland Security guidance or security professionals/consultants. Businesses would need to look to where they can lock doors, slow down barriers, protective areas/shelters, remove active shooter cover, scan/code cards, medical supplies, team leads, exit strategies, and ventilation systems that can minimize movement of gasses/fire/etc... There is probably an awful lot to this.

What I can say is that businesses should think ahead and follow the direction of Homeland Security and other industry professionals. 

The following was taken from DHS site. 

Date Issued:  Wednesday, January 27, 2021 11:00 am ET Read HERE


The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration.  Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.


Issued:  January 27, 2021 11:00 am
Expires:  April 30, 2021 01:00 pm


  • Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity.  DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities. 
  • Long-standing racial and ethnic tension—including opposition to immigration—has driven DVE attacks, including a 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.
  • DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.
  • DHS remains concerned that Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020, remain a threat.
  • Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions.  
  • DHS, as well as other Federal agencies and law enforcement partners will continue to take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the United States.
  • DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, identity or political views.
  • DHS encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure.

How You Can Help

  • We ask the public to report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity,  to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center.
  • Your choice can make a difference. Choose non-violent ways to make your voice heard and support friends and family in doing the same.
  • Communities are strongest when they are not divided:  Strengthen your community by standing together against violence.

Be Prepared

  • Avoiding large crowds, including protests, is safest due to ongoing pandemic conditions. However, if taking part in protests do so peacefully, safely, and wear masks.
  • Be responsible for your personal safety. Make note of your surroundings and security personnel. Carry emergency contact as well as medical and other needs information with you.
  • Connect, Plan, Train, and Report to prepare businesses & employees.

Stay Informed

  • Local, state and federal agencies will provide specific information about emerging threats as additional information is identified. The public is encouraged to listen to local law enforcement and public safety officials.
  • Last year, DHS released a Homeland Threat Assessment  to the public examining the threat environment through 2021.
  • The DHS Lexicon on terrorism includes terminology for DVEs and HVEs.

Types of Advisories

If You See Something, Say Something™. Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or call 911.

Homeland Security Terrorism Bulletin 

Biden Executive Orders on Climate Change-January 27th, 2021

Just watching this now. Discussion on creating and exporting green technologies that haven't been full picked up by other advanced nations. I can say tapping emerging markets is important. There will be further discussion on these things going. I'm curious to see the details of what is being proposed. He did mention mines....the U.P. has a lot. Maybe we could do something to attract those to Delta County/surrounding area?

1. Tacking Climate Change

2. Restoring Trust Through Science, Integrity, and Evidence Based Policy Making.

3. Presidents Council on Science and Technology

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

China and India Attract Foreign Investments While U.S. loses Nearly Half 2020-Could Diversity in Thought and Education Help?

Foreign Direct Investment (FD) is an important part of starting budding businesses and feeding expanding businesses. It is something the U.S. should strive to achieve as it often influences not only inflow of resources but also intellectual capital and future new products/services (intellectual and financial resources work off of each other). As a mechanism and indicator of future wealth and growth it is those with an influence of FDI that will grow (That means jobs and tax resources).

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently published findings indicating that China received $163 in FDI and the U.S. received $134 billion (UNCTAD, 2021). The U.S. lost about half and China and India increased. This change means were are not nimble and not prepared yet to corner new world markets without adjusting how we approach the global economy.

China's economy improves during the pandemic with a 2.3% GDP improvement during 2020 (He, 2021). (I didn't see any numbers on the U.S. yet). What is interesting about this change is that an initial contraction was boosted significantly in the 4th quarter to a whopping 6.5%. Economists also noticed that industrial manufacturing also bumped up 7.3% in 4th quarter indicating growing market appeal. 

Diversity in Research and Decision Making Needed:

While the video below is a marketing piece for Chinese investments you kind of get the point that the U.S. has for a long time not stepped up to the investment game and have been overusing old tools that don't seem to manage the economic system well. Some of this problem could be a result of limited perspectives and the limited movement of new intellectuals into the central circles (one of the risks of elitism...and that is not knocking anyone!). 

Without new ideas and new ways of viewing the economic system we will be stuck with old ways of thinking. As history has shown us over the past decade (probably 2) that our tools are not as effective as they once were. This FDI indicates there was some change in the economic system and we are not able to envision that change well and have some difficulty finding an appropriate course. 

All entities (whether business or governmental) need new people, new ideas, and new ways of looking at the world. Without new ideas you don't have change. One way to create innovative thinking is to have a mix of 30-40% new people that can create new ideas and 60%-70% experienced administrators that know how to make things function in the "real world" (Could be adjusted. Too many new ideas that can't be processed or vetted may lead to team ineffectiveness.).

We can continue to dump money into an older system or jump two feet forward into the digital economy. There is a risk to doing nothing and risks to doing something. The only thing we can say is we are not up to full competitive position yet (as seen in the numbers). We are in COVID exiting stage (hopefully) and we may want to use this opportunity to powerup and build up the fundamentals of our economy. 

He, L. (January 18th, 2021). China's economy grows 2.3% in 2020 as recovery quickens. CNN. Retreived

UNCTAD (January 24th, 2021). Investment Trends Monitor. Retrieved

UNCTAD Foreign Direct Investment 2020 Totals by Dr. Murad Abel on Scribd

Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program Application Period Opening

 Grants can help many small and local firefighter organizations. We need a grant like this for our fire department. When we checked into it we learned we need a special number before we could apply and that the process to obtain that number was pretty difficult. So we would need to pay $600 to have someone help us get that in and then it will take 30+ days to receive that so we could work on the application for a grant. We are likely too late for this year. Government might want to make the process a little easier for smaller entities that don't have grant writers or large resources to pay for special grant services. If we don't consider options for small departments, those who need it the most won't get it while those that are well funded will have an easier time applying to multiple grants. 

Congressman Bergman press email release.....

Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program Application Period Opening
Washington - This Advisory is notification that the application period for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security FEMA Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Program is now open, and will close on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET.

The purpose of the FP&S Program is to reach high-risk target groups and reduce deaths and injuries caused by fire and fire-related hazards. Funding under FP&S also supports Firefighter Safety as well as Research and Development (R&D) activities. The allocation of FP&S awards is a highly competitive process. Awards are determined based on an applicant’s ability to both address FP&S program priorities and provide the most compelling justification for their need.

The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. No. 116-93) includes $355 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and the FP&S Program. Of that amount, $319.5 million will be awarded under the FY 2020 AFG Program to assist first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types. The FY20 FP&S Program will award $35.5 million to strengthen community fire prevention programs and enable scientific research on innovations that improve firefighter safety, health and wellness.

Fire departments or other applicants requiring assistance, please visit; call the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program Help Desk at (866) 274-0960; or email them at

The AFG Program Help Desk is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET.

Racism, Bigotry and the Subjectivity of Laws

Crimes are something that detracts from all of our lives as the needs of some outweigh the needs of others. Some laws don't make a lot of sense while others are extremely helpful. As a nation, we have some laws that no longer reflect the values of society and are no longer reflective of the science of crime. At the same time, many laws make sense and should be kept and improved. Whether helpful or not we should review of many of these laws and make sure they are not subjectively applied. 

There are a lot of people upset out there (as seen from protests on both sides) because they feel the justice system no longer reflects their needs. I don't believe most officials set out to create this disparity but often it is embedded in the culture and language of the justice system itself (That is not in support of people who do crimes but fail to take responsibility for them...that's a different issue). 

I'm not a legal expert, but I wonder if there is a way to create more trust in the general mechanics and application of justice. While we can't control everything that has happened in the past we can begin to focus on changing things for the benefit of the future and going forward. We owe it to future generations to consider their best interests.

Crimes are activities that take away from society violate the rights of others. There is the legal side and the moral side of crime. The legal side is defined by the state (authority) while the moral side is often defined by the culture and norms of society (i.e. religion and moral conscious). 

For example, one can commit a crime and but be morally justified. Steeling food to feed one's family in the most difficult times is illegal but not a moral crime (That is why we love Robin Hood). Another example, might be sheltering Jewish people during the Nazi Era (A state crime that is counter to standard moral behavior). 

There are also people who commit crimes and are not held to account even though they are illegal and immoral. For example, someone engaging in coordinated harassment for financial gain by exploiting racial/religious differences that could have caused serious harm to children and others. Depending on where you live it would be considered illegal and immoral but in some locations its not a problem.

If the culture and social connections discount the value of some members of their society to support their social networks and personal bias then this would be a big problem for a country. The answers are not simple but ignoring these crimes could lead to all types of problems for society that ranges from encouraging extremism and radial partisanship (both sides of the argument). 

What I can say is that we will need some central anchor for justice that reflects the value of a diversified globally connected nation (whether we want to or not). Our legal infrastructure should change to improve trust by removing unscientific laws/punishments to increase accuracy and effectiveness in reform and punishment. Getting "tough on crime" is using the best tools for the best societal outcomes.

Even if we adjusted our system to a modern world we would nevertheless be faced with different perspectives on who and when people are punished. People have all types of misbeliefs about the law that range from "all officers are...this!" and "all those people are.....that!". None of that is the complete truth. The legal system is amuck in misinformation and misguidance. 

One way to improve the system is to focus on a concept of universal justice. Universal Justice occurs when we have laws in place that are scientific in orientation and reflective of the values of society that help our nation grow and develop through solid principles (i.e. white collar and blue collar theft) that reduce business activities and erodes societal trust. Yet these laws are anchored in a concept of universal value systems that apply to all human beings and doesn't unfairly punish one group over another. 

Universal justice looks at the particular merits of each person's case and makes decisions based upon the facts and potential solutions without allowing unexamined beliefs (left over from previous generations) to make their way into the decision. For example, we don't put kids in prison for decades because they got caught with a joint (that most of the judges did at one time or another when they were young). There is the law and their is virtue and we should consider ensuring our laws are beneficial to society and reflective of a global community in which we exist.

Aristotle maintained universal beliefs of moral justice and equality that work together to create a "just" society. You can read more about the philosophy HERE. 

"The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law."=Aristotle. 

I'm a conservative by nature and believe that all human beings have value in our society. Thus, the laws should be applied in a way that allows for maximum universal justice that leads to a stable and productive society that can sustain itself politically into the future. Working on my own economic theories an important component is trust in our basic institutions in a way that unlocks human potential and common good will toward each other. I'm working on climbing Mount Everest for universal justice (even if I only make it to Base Camp 1 I made effort to help society). 

Monday, January 25, 2021

President Biden Executive Order and the Rise of SME

President Joe Biden discusses some of the executives orders he has planned. Bringing manufacturing back is an important part of economic recovery. Its interesting because both Presidents (Trump and Biden) believe that we should begin to compete in a way that leads to higher levels of U.S. manufacturing and technology development (and other businesses). While we have two different strategies the essential goal of bringing manufacturing back is important. It not only provides opportunities for a new generation of wealth but has the ability to create long-term growth as Millennials learn new skills and adjust their culture in a changing new business environment. 

The problem many small American manufacturers face is they don't know what is actually needed by the market (and some need to develop new skills). Giving them a place to search for opportunities can be helpful (That could also work on an international level as well via a website where we can connect American SME to international business needs).  Manufacturing Extension Partnership focuses on SME manufacturing and that can give a rise to innovation and production. When SME does well they create new products, ideas, and economic growth at a higher rate than many larger companies whose structures have become costly (Internal transaction efficiency declines when in comparison to younger more nimble companies). 

Such a system may power an initial development spurt but they will eventually need to obtain increased contracts to produce items (niche, small/large batch manufactured) for businesses worldwide to be successful. I would pay attention to the AI, big data, and science approach as they are likely to impact market changes. The U.S. is still large and can readjust the supply chain networks in its favor. One would need to develop a concrete strategy and have the pathway to make it happen. The latter being much more detailed and thus far not available in research because most scientists focus on the details but miss the big picture of how all the details connect into a theoretical framework. Scientists are not often trained to put their research into a broad applied perspective (one of the criticism of indoctrinated higher education).

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Tacoma Police Car Plows Into Group-Justified?

 Officer runs over person but its hard to see it as a cut and dry situation. Street races are illegal and for good reason as people can get hurt (drivers and others). While a street race is not the major issue, the swarming of the car and eventual injury is concerning and indicative of the times.

A number of officers have been targeted over the past year and I suspect they are likely on edge. While I believe in beneficial police reform and universal justice putting officers into a threatening situation is going to be dangerous for everyone involved. You can see from the video the driver tried to back up and then punched it forward. 

It takes a lot of training to not react to situations that seem dangerous. Perhaps he could have went slower but fear often takes over the nervous system and the officer may have defaulted to fight or flight reactions.

Before one can really overcome automatic reactions they must understand where the feeling of panic comes from, how it influences the body, and then shortcut the response to slow down the nervous system to avoid tunnel vision that limits proper choice making. Thus, one must cut the nervous loop and purposely not react until they take a few seconds to assess all the options and pick the one that leads to the most options and best outcomes during a fluid situation. You can read more about the neuroscience of it all HERE. 

I wouldn't be quick to judge on guilty or innocent (or in between) until the details come out and witness statements, video, police statement, bullet proof windows, etc..are collected and assessed. If the officer truly felt threatened and a reaction was necessary based on realized threats then it would be difficult to assess blame. I wish the injured person injured has a speedy recovery. 

What do you think? If you don't have all the details it is often best to wait to make a judgement.

When Greed Leads to Criminality

 A relative of mine discussed greed and despite its destructive nature people don't really have a grasp of it from a criminal vantage point. While some of us know that greed is a moral hazard there are others that relish in the ability to engage in theft without concern for others. While greed is part of our lives our laws should help to protect us from such behaviors through investigating credible threats. Without this protection of the law  those who engage in greed are likely to do so again. 

Its amazing that while we know people have the propensity of greed we often don't follow up to find the causes of illegal behavior. For example, harassing someone and engaging in aggressive behavior could sometimes be a result of financial crimes and the need to keep such behavior undiscovered. Other times such behavior could have other causes. Its much easier to justify behaviors against people who are seen as less worthy by the perpetrators.

The problem is that when we don't follow up on these issues we have given a green light for people to commit these behaviors again. While I do understand limited time and budgets it is highly important to ensure that illegal activity is uncovered and prosecuted accordingly. When these crimes are mixed with threats, rumors and aggression they should take even more precedence in our legal system.

Greed isn't an innocent act but is based in something deeper as the person devalues the rights of others. A study found that "trait greed predicts selfish economic decisions that come at the expense of others in a resource dilemma." (Mussel & Hewig, 2019, para 1). It is not a one off event but based in a lack of internal feedback or ability to adjust behavior to environmental stimuli. 

That means selfish people will display other selfish behavior that seeks to raise their social status. In the example I'm familiar with, the person who engaged in theft also engaged in ethnic intimidation, put children in harm's way, constantly seeks to attention, and places herself at the center of nearly every social situation (always with a catch). This narcisstic behavior goes unchallenged. 

I've learned a few things. Not following up on theft, greed, and criminality may encourage others to engage in similar behavior due to a lack of consequence (Such behaviors have a social root). It doesn't take much for people to "catch on" that certain crimes will not be considered important and people may decide that the punishments and the low level of detection bank in their favor. 

Mussel, P., & Hewig, J. (2019). A neural perspective on when and why trait greed comes at the expense of others. Scientific reports, 9(1), 10985.

To Trump or not to Trump? GOP Engaged in Internal Battles

Watching the news and reeling from the backlash from capitol insurrection GOP members are struggling with essential questions of what it means to be a GOP member. This isn't an argument for or against impeachment (there are a lot of reasons either way) in so much as it is a discussion on the struggle that is looming within the party. As GOP members turn inward they will have to come to grips with what direction the party will take going forward. Censorship is increasingly being used on "old guard" Republicans leaving many confused whether bi-partisanship will be possible.  I think in the near future how we view topics today will be seen in a different light and perspectives will begin to change. 

Subjectivity of Laws-Different Societies for Different People?

 Our nation should strive for laws that ensure we have equal protections and that those who engage in criminal behavior are held to account for their actions. We are not talking about simple life mistakes and learning opportunities but those behaviors that are designed to cause serious harm to others. There is some subjectivity in our laws and we should start to think about how we can hold "bad actors" accountable and preserve the integrity of our legal system. 

There are a lot of people out there protesting for various reasons. Protests range all over the map in terms of the cause. Some want more opportunities, some want equality, some feel they are politically cheated, and others just want to be destructive. They each contain a message.

Our political leadership (not party specific) are struggling with serious questions as it relates to what is means to be "an American" and what rights do we have under our Constitution. While these group protest (for whatever their particular cause is) at the end of the day they are trying to shape the definition of what an American is and what America should look like in the future. 

In some ways, police have been unfairly put in the crosshairs of the political dialogue and staunch stubbornness that defies the more logical members of society. Other times they deserve the criticisms for failing to uphold the rule of law or allowing some groups a free pass.

Laws have become politicized and depending on which party one belongs often determines how our legal system acts; or doesn't. The message is not lost on the average American who is watching the self-oriented battles displayed on television (depending on which politicized channel they turn on). 

What I can say is that universal justice is one of the only ways I can think of to restore trust in the system. Universal justice indicates that all humans are worthwhile and justice should not be subject to a persons race, religion, political position, party affiliation, etc...

Trust of different people with different perspectives can only be had when the rules apply universally to all members of society. This means that the rules should not ignore the crimes of some while over focus on the crimes of others.  

I'm working on climbing Mount Everest to raise awareness of Universal Justice and the need to ensure laws are applied fairly and universally across our national perspective. I may never make it up there, and maybe only to Base Camp 1, but I would like very much to do something constructive.

We do not have a perfect society but we have one in which we are striving to be something greater, more universal, and focused on the long-term needs of its citizens. It isn't those who commit crimes and receive a wink and nod pass but it is those who push for higher standards that are engaged in the struggle to restore America as a leading international player.

In some ways I have faith we can do better but the reality of the situation is it doesn't rely on good judgement alone but the political factions that have allowed such ineptitude persist. I wonder if our government officials and policy makers are looking at the next generation and their responsibility to stand up for our most basic American principles in order to set the table for their children and grand children's success.

As an idealist I have hope while as a realist I understand we simply can't muster the moral ability to "do the right thing". We are lost in our own self-interest. Time will tell if we strive or we resign. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Proper Use of Force in Portland-Balancing Freedom of Speech with Peaceful Protests

There have been a lot of protests over the past year and some of the demonstrations have gotten violent. There are a lot of central themes being played out and many of them are legitimate concerns of the youth. However, engaging in purposeful destruction is different than promoting one's cause. Every society will need some method of policing poor behavior (whether among the population or within itself). There are times when using appropriate force, with respect to human dignity, is needed in order to ensure protests have an appropriate non-violent message.

(As a side note, violence destroys the message and devalues its central legitimacy.)

 Arresting those who are committing legitimate crimes that run afoul of legal and moral codes is an acceptable use of police power. They are paid by taxpayers to protect the right for free speech and the right for people not to have their property damaged/destroyed. While we may not agree with everything each individual officer does they often provide an essential function to society that exists in all forms of government.

For example, protesting police excesses, environmental issues, racism, direction of the country, etc... are all acceptable concerns and we have an opportunity to improve our society through collaboration. How and where people direct that message will determine whether it is a useful message designed to help society adapt or it is a useless message that starts to erode society.

 Some of the people in these protests are moving beyond voicing their beliefs to purposely damaging other's property and all societies have the right to not allow anger to boil down a destructive path. In this case, I have to support the right of police to use appropriate force to arrest wrong doers and the right of protestors to voice their beliefs without resorting to violence. 

I'm not an expert on this topic (other then what I remember from old skateboard culture) I guess there are essential arguments as it relates to capitalism, immigration, BLM, etc... embedded in the march and anarchist symbols. As a youth movement it appears they are saying they do not trust the capitalist system, don't believe their government cares about them, and want more rights for people/workers. Some of what they hope is to end racial disparity and a freer society You can read one description HERE

Its interesting because we can sort of listen to the central theme and see a disconnected youth that are upset with the direction of the country. True capitalism offers opportunities for all members of society to improve their position based on their skill and ability that is not hindered by race, discrimination, and elitism. Creating a more farer society, a capitalist system that helps the young and poor rise on their skills, is something we can take from what they are saying for future policy consumption. 

At the end of the day, it is up to older generations to listen to the multiple protests occurring and find the best way to help youth feel connected to society (its past, present, and future) through providing opportunities to avoid the growing problem of those who are "haves" from those who are "have nots" (i.e. renewed focus on small business). The bitter rivalry between Republicans and Democrats is fueling some of these other issues and it would be wise for our leaders to start thinking about drawing people to a rational center. 

(As a side note I believe Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz is doing a pretty good job balancing some of those divergent needs in his press conference.)

Delta County MI (Escanaba and Gladstone) as a Digital Nomad Land

Digital nomads are a growing demographic of highly educated online workers that can be anyplace at nearly any time across the globe. Depending on their personality and flavor for the year they may travel to Europe, South American, Africa, or the U.S. Locations that offer something unique. Such locations maintain a proper data infrastructure that can attract digital nomads and utilize their broad abilities not only create new business opportunities but also enhance existing businesses within the area.  

Drawing Ideas and Talent

No place can grow without new ideas and those ideas come from others that think differently and have different backgrounds. Bringing in small businesses to populate and popularize downtown goes a long long way in putting the area on the map as a place to live and invest. 

Adding on top of that the increasing digital nomad demographic creates further entrepreneurial ideation that often leads to new wealth and ideas for locals.  While places like Escanaba/Gladstone in Delta County have a physical location with outdoor tourism appeal it will need visitors and ideas to grow.

The area was known for its mining, paper manufacturing, and low boil tourism. Not much has changed over the past 50+ years and rejuvenating small towns in the U.P and the Midwest will rest in part on reconnecting them to the global supply chain as suppliers versus simple consumers.

Tapping into global trends early to enhance local offers can make a big difference. Digital nomads look for places that inspire them and provide the stimulation they need for their creative work habits and recreational down time. With proper marketing and outreach to improve investments in downtown districts they can attract these nomads to their shores. 

You may read the article Tourist Micro-Manufacturing Can Improve Delta County's Manufacturing and Distribution Sectors

The more we can bring in business and digital nomads the easier it will be to reach a threshold where a local hub will begin to grow on its own through enhancing local business with new ideas, investors, and customers. A study of rural digital hubs indicates, we want to "reach the number of users required to generate added value, especially in the rural context." (Rundel, Salemink, & Strijker, 2020).

 You may red the article Multi-Clusters In Delta County Can Create New Innovative Industries

Delta County Economic Consumers

In a prior article I discussed Adventure Tourism and how that demographic may appeal to a high income educated entrepreneurial class who are not only at a youthful age where they enjoy these activities but also have the money to settle locally and/or start new businesses. 

You may read the article Attracting SME Adventure-Venture Capitalism to Delta County (Escanaba & Gladstone) Through Neuroeconomics

The demographic of people the county focuses on attracting can be anything from the casual cross country skier to a more purposeful visitor that wants to stay for a while and set down roots. Typically digital workers make more money and spend more on services than the average. When they own a business they may also be seeking to find a location for operations. 

Attracting more wealth into the area not only enhances the local businesses through purchases but also pushes those businesses to stay more relevant to an international community (i.e. tourism micro manufacturing and exports). Innovation is a process of connecting ideas and resources in a place that solve problems.

I can't really discuss in this article the way in which different aspects of clusters interact to feed and support each other (I will save for another where I can put together a basic map of a few sections) but I can say that if your going to attract certain demographics you may want to attract those who capitalize on the natural strengths of the area and are likely to have the longest tale in terms of revenue generation. 

A few things that might help the draw in more digital talent and encourage them to engage:

-Focus on international vacationers looking for places to enjoy the outdoors and work digitally. 

-Short term housing, hotel and AirBnB rentals. 

-Free Internet in the downtown area. 

-Easy auto rental and cab/Uber access.

-Coffee shops, bars and restaurants in the downtown area.

-A culture of openness that seeks to draw in skilled talent from across the globe. 

-Temporary (day, week, month) short-term office rentals for small businesses and travelers.

-Policing and law enforcement that follows basic universal human rights.

-A marketing campaign that seeks to attract SME manufacturers and tourist mico-manufacturers to create themed "uniqueness" of the area. 

-Activities, events, and attractions that not only draw in people from the local area but also provide entertainment for visitors.

-Affordable living costs.

-Local government that encourages investment in the area.

-Reaching out to other digital nomad destinations to market and offer another destination (partnerships) for visitors.

-A walkable and shoppable downtown area.

The work is part of a larger theoretical work on innovation and transactional clusters with Delta County as an example. HERE

Rundel, C. T., Salemink, K., & Strijker, D. (2020). Exploring Rural Digital Hubs and Their Possible Contribution to Communities in Europe. Journal of Rural & Community Development, 15(3), 21–44 

Cowie, P., Thompson, N., & Rowe, F. (n.d.). Honey pots and hives: Maximising the potential of rural enterprise hubs. United Kingdom: Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University.

Painting of Lighthouses and Guiding the Way

 Thinking of Lighthouses and how they guide ships to port. While they may be left overs from a previous era they are still important not only as historical landmarks but also shipping lanes (now using GPS). As a nation we still have the Great Lakes and their ability to grow the regional economy. As a metaphor we might be able to say our leadership (both sides) may be guiding us to different ports when they should be guiding us to the same one using different shipping lanes.

Friday, January 22, 2021

In Response to White House "Sacking" New Anti-Terrorism Bill and Govt. Admin. Initiative

New legislation was brought forward by co-sponsor U.S. Rep. Fred Upton from Michigan along with other policymakers are working to bring forward an extremism bill HR 350 to track and avoid extremist groups from making their way into law enforcement. There are opportunities to coordinate between local, state, and federal entities that would create a better draw of hate crime data for policy making as well as to further understand how to avoid and thwart radicalization of individuals engaged in hate based behaviors.

Co-author of the bill U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R) states, "The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it,” (Barrett, January 21, 2020, para 3)

The bill sets up a new way of viewing domestic terrorism and puts more focus on discovering White Supremist and Neo-Nazi type behaviors. What is beneficial is that we start thinking of ways to uncover, disrupt, and redirect hate behavior before it becomes a bigger issue. 

This can be more confusing on a local level where such behaviors have become accustomed. While only a few may become radicalized their behaviors are often encouraged by others who are in silent agreement. Any successful program will need to look at local triggers to radical hate behaviors. 

We are shifting from thinking about such groups from a single perspective and taking on a whole different vantage point as the consequences of not effectively acting lead to a paradigm shift. What was once ignored is now front face and we know little on how they operated for soo long avoiding responsibility (likely from personal connections). 

You will also notice renewed emphasis on human rights to ensure we are not overstepping our bounds or prejudging information from an incorrect lens (i.e. race, religion, etc...). We must stop and think about our own existing bias before we can accurately judge others. We are moving into a era of no majorities and will need to think on a universal level.

Training will be a big issue (skill based and cognitive based) to improve how officials respond to potential threats. A few weeks ago someone mentioned we should have a regional fire fighter training hall/station in the U.P. Considering military expenditures in Marinette/Menominee and commercial space flight in Marquette we might want to consider a regional training center in Delta County.

To raise the centers value we would want to open it to state/local firefighting, state/local law enforcement, and multiple federal agencies. Furthermore, cross-border coordination with Canada could be another unexplored benefit (Its an unvetted idea. Not to mention it might fit in one of the cluster spots for the military that could enhance other industries 🤷).

Other lawmakers focused on tackling this problem are listed below and taken from Rep. Brad Schneider's page,

"Today, Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-01), Rep. Vicente González (TX-15), Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06), Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced the introduction of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA) of 2021, H.R. 350. A Senate companion bill is led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)"

The Biden Administration has also ordered a review of domestic terrorism within the country. To conduct this analysis Jen Psaki, Whitehouse Press Secretary, states “...we will rely on our appropriate law enforcement and intelligence officials to provide that analysis.” (Bertrand, January 22nd, 2020, para 7-8).  She further states, "Relevant parts of the federal government will also be asked to coordinate on monitoring and countering evolving threats, radicalization, operational responses, social media activity" 

 Hate Crime Definitions Might Impact What is Analyzed

How we define and code a "hate crime incident" will determine what data is available for research, review and analysis. If hate crimes are defined in a limiting factor, ignored and miscoded it will be under reported. However, if hate based behaviors are rewritten to reflect actual behavior it will be more accurate for prosecution and analysis (i.e.. mental health, misdemeanor in additional to felony charges).

18 USC Section 241 HERE
18 USC Section 245 HERE.
18 USC Section 247 HERE.
18 USC Section 249 HERE.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police have some ideas on how to handle such incidents HERE.

You can get a copy of the Bill HERE.

Michigan and Hate Crime Definitions

Most of these incidents will be investigated by local/state policing entities and referrals are made to Federal entities. To ensure that the full scope of hate is coded and referred effectively local/state policing entities will need additional training. If they do not know what a hate crime is then they will be unlikely to differentiate them from other crimes. Some may avoid coding properly because such behaviors don't reach the level of a felony or don't seem to fit their political/ideological perspectives.

The devil is in the definition and how hate based behaviors are applied and prosecuted.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights Defines a hate crime as (MDRC Brochure, para 2):

A criminal act of intimidation, harassment, physical force, or threat of physical force, directed against a victim, their advocate or property, motivated in whole or in part by bias against a protected group, based on the real or perceived race, color, ethnic background, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim. 

The definition of punishments for the law are (MDRC Brochure, para 3):

 Michigan’s hate crime law (MCL 750.147b), is called the Ethnic Intimidation Act. The law makes it a felony to harm, or threaten to harm, a person, or the property of a person, “with specific intent to intimidate or harass” that person “because of that person’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.” The crime is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and/or up to $5,000.00 in fines. Federal hate crime laws may also apply and include incidents involving disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. 

All research relies on good data coming in so that relevant conclusions can be made by that data.  While I'm not an attorney and this is for my own understanding I can say its worthwhile to review some of our laws in Michigan to determine if they are truly detecting hate crimes (misdemeanor and/or felony) as well as redirecting lesser forms of the crime (i.e. mental health alternatives) to ensure that such behaviors are tracked and deradicalize during initial contacts with law enforcement. Such a system may help create connections and evaluation on how effective mental health help, intervention and policies at early stages minimizes violent felony crimes at later stages. It may also offer a stronger review of hate crimes and their impact on other aspects of society such as economic development and human capital growth (Big Data?). 

MDRC Brochure (unknown date). Retrieved January 22nd, 2020

Barrett, M. (January 21, 2021, para 3). Michigan congressman backs bill to track domestic terrorism, stop neo-Nazis from infiltrating police. MLive. Retrieved January 22nd, 2021 at

Bertrand, N. (January 22nd, 2021, para 7-8). White House launches ‘comprehensive threat assessment’ on domestic extremism. Politico. Retrieved

Dtpa of 2021 Authorizing of Domestic Terrorism Offices 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Eben Ice Caves in the U.P. Michigan (Pictures and Video)

 Eben Ice Caves are located about 40 miles north of Escanaba and Gladstone (Delta County MI). Because the water seeps through the rock and freezes it creates large icicles that create a "cave". You will need to walk 1.2 miles in and out along a trail and river to reach the location you can enter the cave. 


Soo Locks, First District Priorities Added to Army Corps FY21 Work Plan

The Great Lakes are unique waterway system in the world and have been part of the economic resilience of the area since the founding of the country. It is also likely to be part of recovery in the future as the U.S. develops its infrastructure to again compete on the international stage. Shipping is a major supply chain cost factor and with a little analysis I think it would be possible to find a great place to coordinate shipping to reduce the cost of both procuring materials and shipping finished products. 

Enhancing the Soo Locks and keeping evasive species out (environmental enhancement) while at the same time increasing trade volume is the line of thinking we should explore more. As we increase the use of shipping (and revenue) we will also want to ensure a certain percentage of that money goes back into improving the shipping and improving the health of the system.  

Sustainability means that a system is created whereby increased revenue means increase investments that improve the health of the Great Lakes. If one can find the "sweet spot" they can improve revenue and improve the environment at the same time whereby increased economic activity could be beneficial for other concerned parties that include business and environmental stakeholders. Business and reducing global warming don't have to be on opposite ends of the spectrum but perhaps we could find some way of enhancing each other.

The following was taken from a press release......

Soo Locks, First District Priorities Added to Army Corps FY21 Work Plan
Washington - Earlier this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its FY21 work plan to reflect the appropriations provided in H.R. 133The work plan includes an additional $46.543 million for continuing construction of a new lock at the Soo, bringing the total FY21 funding up to $169.763 million. This is in addition to the $63.815 million available for operations and maintenance on the St. Mary's River - including Soo Lock Asset Renewal. 

Rep. Bergman stated, "The FY21 Army Corps work plan is a great next step in our effort to build a new Soo Lock, rebuild critical waterway infrastructure, and protect our Great Lakes from invasive species. Just a few short years ago, many of these projects were considered pipe dreams - but through our collaborative effort, a new Soo Lock is being built, and early stages of the planning for the Brandon Road project are beginning."

On January 8th, Rep. Bergman signed a bipartisan letter urging the Army Corps to prioritize Great Lakes projects. 

With the enactment of key authorizations and funding provided by Congress at the end of 2020, the bipartisan group identified continued Soo Locks improvements, Asian Carp prevention, and implementation of both the Great Lakes Resiliency Study and the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration program as top priorities. Read the full letter here.

You can find the entire FY21 Army Corps Work Plan, which includes many First District priorities here.

Army Civil Works Program, FY 2021 work plan by Dr. Murad Abel on Scribd