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Showing posts from January, 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

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. Fo

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 i

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 t

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)

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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 goal....open 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 t

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

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

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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

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 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). 

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

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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 wil

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 Summary

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

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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

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

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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 nu

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 perio

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

President Biden Executive Order and the Rise of SME

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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 internatio

Tacoma Police Car Plows Into Group-Justified?

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 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, a

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 follo

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

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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

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

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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 pr

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

Painting of Lighthouses and Guiding the Way

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 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.

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

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

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 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 th

Portland Protests-What does it mean?

Last week I'm watching with horror our capitol get sacked and now the Portland protests and I'm wondering what it means for us in the long run. 👀 We know that our nation is going through hard times and a lot of people have lost their jobs and are suffering. We also know that we are transitioning as a society and there will likely be some upheaval. What concerns me is the agendas (doesn't matter left or right) that seem to be moving toward extremism and destruction. When I look over the years at how politics has changed and why people are no longer buying into the system I'm confused. I suspect there is more going on here then just local people upset over issues that impact them. Could there be a pot stirrer somewhere? I guess time will tell :( I think that we may want to start encouraging our leadership (official and societal influencers) to start talking about solutions to our problems and instead of highlighting our differences. The more we encourage unbridled anger