Thursday, July 31, 2008

Indiana economic data prepared by the WMD folks on Iraq?

I was amazed at all the headlines in the Indy Star today that may make for some interesting contrasts to Governor Mitch Daniels flashy ads about how great things are here in Indiana under his leadership.

Keep in mind we are paying IBM and ACS a huge contract on this. Of note similar to the way some contracts have been handled in DC. FSSA Secretary Mitch Roob and Ex Aging Director Steve Smith are both former ACS employees.

Starting to look more and more like corporate welfare then anything else.

Wow, Mitch Daniels old company and major donor now may idle an Indiana plant? In our great expansion of life sciences in Indiana this plant has gone from 1,500 employee's to 780. Now worries ASC has opened a call center paying $7.50 per hour. So we have a net increase in jobs on this right Mitch? But they are going to take a few month's to decide....hmm wonder what they want from Mitch to stay?

Just a couple of headlines from today to ponder. Are we really doing as well as those flashy commercials tell us? They are good and really well done. But are we all really better off in Indiana then we were 4 years ago? 8 years ago? I think it's time to take a serious look at the Daniels and Long Thompson campaigns and our state and make some decisions.

As for me......well I think that picture at the top is worth more then 1000 words.

Peace Dude!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NDSC Conference Presentation

Here is a very dark video clip of my part of the presentation in Boston.

I hope you enjoy.

DADS Presentation .....BigDawg

Peace Dude

Dr. Tony Bennett interview

Dr. Tony Bennett is running against Dr. Wood from Lafayette for Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. I personally due to the issues important to me think this is one of the most important races we can vote on this year. Not sure how far Abdul Shabazz's radio show is heard around the state but Abdul recently interviewed Dr. Bennett on his radio show. I am still trying to decide who I think is the best candidate. In that fact I thought I would link the interview here so that folks that are concerned about education around the state that read my blog can listen to it. You may be interested in the caller "Jeff from Noblesville about Special Education".

Abdul interviews Dr. Bennett

I hope you enjoy and find some information to ask more questions.

Peace Dude!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Corporate Greed on the way up, Government bailout on the way down!

Corporate America today wants to be left alone to grow their profits with out government interference. I don't have a problem with that. Profits are what makes the world work. What I do have a problem with is these pompass ass's wanting the taxpayers to bail out their companies after they spent too much time trying to make the snot nosed MBA Wall Street analysts happy instead of running their companies on strong business ethics and principles. It now looks like GW is going to sign the biggest corporate bailout ever for his pals while protesting that we are bailing out irresponsible homeowners. And my point on this is: I am not happy about bailing anyone. Especially the elite in Corporate America and Wall Street. Let's look at the Bailout part of this and connect the dot's to Bear Stearns, JP Morgan Chase, Wall Street, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It's mind blowing.

Senate passes landmark housing bill

Now let's look at just the section on Freddie and Fannie:

Bolster Fannie and Freddie

Concerns over whether Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) will have enough money to weather future losses in the housing market sent shares plummeting in recent weeks. Since the beginning of June, Fannie's stock price has dropped 57% and Freddie's plummeted 66%. For the past year, they're both down roughly 85% as of the end of trade on Friday.
Fannie and Freddie guarantee the purchase and trade of mortgages and own or back $5.2 trillion in mortgages.
To help stabilize markets, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Congress to temporarily empower Treasury to offer the companies a backstop if needed. Consequently the housing bill now includes provisions that let Treasury over the next 18 months offer Fannie and Freddie an unlimited line of credit and the authority to buy stock in the companies.
Both critics and supporters of the Paulson plan have expressed concern that loaning or investing money in the companies could leave taxpayers with a fat bill to pay.
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday estimated the potential cost of a rescue could be $25 billion. CBO said there is probably a better than 50% chance that Treasury would not need to step in. It also said there is a 5% chance that Freddie's and Fannie's losses could cost the government $100 billion.

Estimate of $25 billion up to maybe $100 billion????????

Now let's connect the dot's as to why it's going to be every bit of $100 billion or more. First you have to go back to March to the original mess when the other wall street boys started spreading rumors about Bear Stearn's being out of cash. Next thing you know ole Bear is in big trouble and the CEO actually had to leave his bridge tournament to get back to NY to negotiate his bailout. How did that work. Well JP Morgan Chase put on their white hat and stepped in over the weekend to save Bear Stearns....well with their new partner the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government. JP took on $35 billion in debt from Bear but only took on $1 billion of exposure. The other $34 billion was taken by our government. And to help raise the cash guess who was authorized to purchase some of the known bad portfolio's from Bear from guessed it Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae....who now needs bailed out...who are we going to shift it to next?

All on the backs of the Taxpayer. Corporate greed on the way up and government bailout on the way down for the everyone except the taxpayer.

Now this is a great one for discussion don't you all think.

Peace Dude!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Indianapolis Public Schools are OUR problem!

Study: Black males falter in IPS
19% graduated in 2005-06, report finds; superintendent says changes helping

First of all as usual I have an issue with the Indy Star Headline. Black males falter...well the graduation rate is the same for white males in IPS so what the hell is the point of their headline?

Now let's get onto the real problems here. I have read and read of late the crime rates, welfare issues, corruption in not for profits and county government in Indianapolis and Marion County. But the issue that creates all of these problems is IPS. And it is not just a Center Township problem it is a central Indiana problem and we most all roll up our sleeves to fix it like it or not. If not then quit your whining and belly aching about your taxes going to welfare recipients and crime issues from the sidelines.

Here are a few what I think are simple issues we can get off the ground:

1. Get rid of ISTEP! ISTEP was originally designed with a 40% failure rate for students. How do I know this? My parents are both educators and my father was an administrator at the time that fought against this test. Now I am not opposed to ISTEP for students going to a 4 year university but now we have created a system of failure for everyone else. We need to create a system that allows students to earn and yes I said earn not be given a high school diploma. They then can have the opportunity to pursue a post secondary education in a trade or other vocation. When you are 14 years old in a system that tells you that you have to pass a test you know you can't pass to get a diploma to go to college what is the point in staying? What is the incentive to learn and see a future other then the street? When did we decide that all kids need to go to college? I think this one was thought up by the legislators, University folks and test makers like the ISTEP creators. Since when is everyone supposed to get a 4 year and advanced degree to sit in a lab and create new medical advances? Let's use that as an example. You got the degree and create that new product. Who is going to build the building you manufacture that product in? Who is going to run, maintain and repair the equipment it is manufactured on? Another chemist? I think not.

2. We need to activate a motivated group of DADS. If you have read my blog you know how importance fatherhood initiatives are to me. We need to start a DADS program to mentor these young men about life and what they can accomplish in school and on the street. Every male in Indiana can assist in making this happen.

3. Bring back a strong Vocational Program at the high school level and at Ivy Tech. If you have read my program on machinery in my blog you will know what I am getting at. Now I know there are young men out there that have no desire to go to college but want to build things. They want to build houses, work on cars and much more. When I see a young man driving a completely rebuilt 1984 Buick, Chevy or Caddy totally tricked out looking like a million bucks I have no doubt about the creativity, talent or hard work ethic that young man has is given a chance. For those of us in white collar jobs that look at that young man with contempt....can you work on your car? Can you rebuild a 350 V8?

4. We need to look at and build a regional approach to public education in Indiana. We can accomplish this and make our schools the best and creates the brightest and talented. Where do we get the money. Easy.....we have created a Bastien of wealth with our 4 year universities with this idea that everyone should go to college. They have their own fundraising machines and tuition had gone up drastically compared to the rest of the economy. Move funding away from our state Universities for 4 years and drive it into rebuilding our public school system.

I know many will shoot holes in all of this but they shoot those holes with out ever offering a solution.

Peace Dude!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

State Rep Richardson cleared.

I have posted a couple of times that this issue needed to get wrapped up. Looks like it finally has been taken care of.

Probe turns up no violations


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman.

Recently Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman become the new Dean of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. Now I have worked with Christine on a few things in the past and have a great deal of respect for her. With that said I have an issue to pick with the way things get done in Hamilton County. With this new position should Commissioner Altman be the person pushing funding for the Leadership Academy in county meetings?

This is from the minutes of the last Commissioners meeting:

2009 Commissioner’s Budget
Swift stated he was waiting for some figures for the 2009 Commissioner’s budget, including vehicle requests.
Altman asked that the specifications and gas mileage is on the proposed new vehicles be submitted to the
Commissioners. Altman stated last year we submitted $20,000 for the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. The
Council cut it to $5,000. Altman would like that amount to be taken back to the previous amount of $10,000. Holt
concurred. Altman stated the tuition for the Leadership Academy should be $2,500. Altman asked that the grant writing
position be including under contractual, not personnel.

Now should not Commissioner Altman declare that she is the new Dean of this organization? This is just one example of a good ole boy deal at the tax payer bank in Hamilton County with more to come.

We should expect better then this.

Peace Dude!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My son has Down syndrome and I VOTE!

What a weekend we had in Boston! And we won't even get into the Barking Crab! And it continued through this week and into this weekend so I have not had a chance to add much until today.

Last Friday - Sunday I spent most of my time inside sessions at the Annual National Down Syndrome Congress National Convention. Nothing like spending the weekend with 3,000 good friends talking about issues, ideas and opportunities.

We also had our DADS booth there and presented on our organization in the Sunday morning sessions. I had the opportunity to chat with fellow DADS from around the country including our own Pacers Head Coach Jim O'Brien and MA State Representative Tom Sannicondro. So we now have an NBA head coach and an elected official wearing DADS hats. How cool is that.

I spent most of my time in sessions on Post Secondary Education and Employment educational settings. Many of you may know that Nash has Down syndrome and that he is only 7 so why would I spend my time in those sessions? Because Indiana is close to the bottom on both of these issues. As a matter of fact in one session on Post Secondary Education they put up a map of the nation. In each state where stars for all the post secondary opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and there was my beloved Indiana staring at me with a big....ZERO!

I also had the chance to listen to a presentation by the HR Director from Walgreen's distribution and heard all the really amazing things going on in their new state of the art facility in South Carolina. Interesting that it is 20% more productive then any of their other locations and 30% of their workforce has a significant disability. I have some really cool info on this on a DVD to post as soon as I can figure out how to post it here.

I decided to post this picture of Nash and I taken last night while we had a house full of good friends who also happen to have a child with Down syndrome. I thought it was a really good pic of Nash and I and I had my Arc of Indiana t-shirt on.

Why is that important? The Arc of Indiana is the largest legislative and Advocacy group in Indiana for individuals with intellectual Disabilities. And this September they are having a convention in Indiana for self advocates with disabilities from around the country. One of the guests at that conference will be my fellow DADS member Representative Tom Sannicandro who was instrumental in getting funding in MA for post secondary programs. I am putting together a dinner with Tom and a few others.

Now, I want to offer an invite to both Governor Mitch Daniels and Candidate Jill Long Thompson to join us for that dinner to discuss this issue with us.

So you ask why should an elected official take the time to chat with us?

There are 52 million people with a disability in the United States. If you add mother, father, brother, sister, aunt and uncle to that number it gets pretty damn big and guess what...


Peace Dude!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Indiana Economy and Packaging Machinery

Thought the timing was interesting last night as I breezed thru my copy of Packaging World last night.

See my blog post on Indiana Economy

Here is the Editorial from the July Issue:

Plugging the skills gap

Published in Packaging World Magazine, July 2008 , p. 6

Written by Pat Reynolds, Editor

Our May 20 Packaging Automation Forum focused on trends and developments that hold great promise for the packaging profession.
But one worrisome note echoed repeatedly in the day’s proceedings: that little thing called skills erosion. First it was touched on by keynote speaker David Atherton, director of TIMQ & supply chain engineering at Unilever. He called the skills gap “the biggest problem facing us as we go forward. I see it as mission critical.”
A few sessions later, Procter & Gamble’s Rob Aleksa sounded the same refrain. Aleksa, who is corporate machine control section head at P&G, wants to see the educational institutions in this country pay much more attention to mechatronics, which he describes as a science-based focus on machine dynamics from a multidisciplinary standpoint that includes mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and modeling analysis. “We need to influence our educational institutions,” said Aleksa.
Members of the audience chimed in, too. Educator James Higley of Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, IN, reminded everyone that his school, in cooperation with the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, is sponsoring a program beginning this Fall in Mechatronics Engineering Technology.
“The whole educational system is very slow to respond to things like this,” Higley continued. “The educational community doesn’t know that there is an enormous need in packaging for this kind of help. And the students don’t know that there are excellent jobs waiting out there. It’s partly a public relations problem. But we’re working on it.”One of the questions raised by Unilever’s Atherton addressed the issue of practical steps that packaged goods companies might take today in order to become a part of the solution. Audience member Mike Pichler, manufacturing solutions program manager at Coors Brewing, suggested that packaging professionals might want to look into what are called Industrial Advisory Boards at nearby engineering schools. These boards are designed to help schools turn out the students that industry needs.
“I’m part of two boards, Metro State and Colorado State,” Pichler tells me in a recent email. “A few years back at Metro State we met monthly and redesigned parts of the curriculum to meet the changes in industry. This has proven successful, and enrollment is climbing.”
The Packaging Automation Forum isn’t the only recent venue where skills erosion was top of mind. Consider what Sean Monahan, a vice president at consultancy A.T. Kearney, had to say at a June 3 Financial Times/Italian Trade Commission conference in Chicago called Manufacturing For The Future: “Too many equipment maintenance professionals are nearing retirement and no one under age 30 is coming up to replace them. Repair protocols exist only in people’s heads. This should all be documented now so that it can be used to train for tomorrow.”At the same event, Italian Trade Commissioner Pasquale Bova identified investment in a skilled labor force as a key strategy that U.S. manufacturers should consider in coping with today’s rising energy costs, an impending global recession, new competitors from low-cost markets, and an increasingly demanding consumer.Knowing that people are talking about the skills gap is a good sign. Even more encouraging is the kind of initiative we see unfolding at Purdue U. Calumet. The combined strengths of a powerful association like PMMI and a premier university should produce meaningful results.
Speaking of universities, don’t miss the first installment of Academic Food Stuff, a monthly column written by members of the country’s leading packaging schools. Michigan State gets things started on page 29.

Still have an open invite to the Daniels and Thompson Campaigns on talking about this one.

Peace Dude!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Heading to Boston!

Steering away from Indiana politics for a few days and focusing back on National Issues. I am off to Boston for the National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention in Boston. It should be a great long weekend catching up with Friends from around the world that we only see once a year.

The DADS Program will be front and center with our booth open the entire weekend. My good buddy Joe who came up with the idea of getting this thing off the ground will be getting a national award Saturday night. And then Sunday morning we will be doing our thing and talking to other DADS from around the world in our annual Sunday morning presentation.

It will be fun to spend a few straight days concentrating on my number one passion of assisting the effort to improve post secondary educational, housing and employment opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

Peace Dude!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Hoosier Pundit Calls me out!

Update on article below......Scott over at Hoosier Pundit and I talked today and cleared up the confusion on the issue below. Scott you are a good man and keep up the good work.


Scott Fluhr over at The Hoosier Pundit has decided to call me out in his post today. I have been very upfront in my support of Greg Zeller for Indiana Attorney General even though I lean somewhat left. Not long ago I asked a question on another great blog Advance Indiana about the issue of outside council and settlements with Reith Riley. Here was the question:

"She knocked the Attorney General for using costly outside counsel without noting the counsel had more than paid for his fees through the settlements he collected from her client and others." I might be wrong and will have to see what I can find but I think Reith actually settled before the Chicago outside counsel was hired. So that settlement should be credited to the AG's Office and staff.

Now in today's post Scott shared this:

And to answer a commenter over at Advance Indiana, the Rieth-Riley settlement did indeed come in January of 2006, after the outside counsel was brought on.

Now Scott.....Lets make this real easy. If Reith settled in 2006 while outside council was still working for the Federal Government per his profile and joining the firm in April of 2007 how the heck did they put together the settlement?

Peace Dude!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bring Back the Bambino!

Another article from the IBJ below. I spent most of my youth making Noble Roman's Pizza's in two of my fathers franchise stores. Noble Roman's had a great product and reputation even for being expensive for Pizza back then. That was the day of the Deep Dish and we could not make them fast enough. I can remember to this day thinking the lines out the door on Friday nights might never end. And how many people remember the Bambino individual deep dish served at was that thing great. And a little trivia....everyone has breadsticks now but a group of Noble Roman's franchisees in the late 70's came up with that idea after way too many pitchers of beer trying to figure out a way to use pizza dough from the hand tossed rounds that was about to be beyond it's shelf life. I sure hope things can get turned around. I have heard that they finally brought the deep dish back, now then need to bring back the Bambino.

Peace Dude!

Noble Roman's slapped with suit Former franchisees allege fraud over risks, startup costs

AuthorCory Schouten

Nine former Noble Roman's franchisees and a current operator have filed a lawsuit charging that the Indianapolis chain lied to them about the costs and risks of opening one of its pizza and sub restaurants. The franchisees say the 1,000-restaurant chain aggressively marketed its stand-alone, dual-brand Noble Roman's and Tuscano's Italian Style Subs restaurants without testing the concept-a scheme they contend was designed to inflate the company's stock price so owners could unload shares at a profit.
The plaintiffs are seeking more than $6.4 million in actual damages and likely will seek much more in punitive damages in the lawsuit, filed June 19 in Hamilton County. The group includes franchise owners and area developers from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and California.
Noble Roman's President A. Scott Mobley denied the allegations in a statement to IBJ. He declined to elaborate on the specifics of the case, citing company policy.
"Virtually anyone can file a lawsuit, but that does not automatically make it legitimate,"Mobley wrote. "We do not believe this lawsuit has merit, and we intend to vigorously defend against it."
The suit names Scott Mobley, 44, and his father Paul, 67, who serves as the company's chairman. It also names company vice presidents Troy Branson and Mitch Grunat, along with lenders CIT Small Business Lending Corp. of New Jersey and PNC Bank of Kentucky. The suit accuses the lenders of acting "in concert" with Noble Roman's to mislead franchisees.
The local attorney for the plaintiffs, John R. Price of Price-Owen Law, said he has limited knowledge of the case and referred questions to lead attorney David M. Duree of Illinois-based David M. Duree & Associates PC.
Duree, who specializes in franchise cases, said the plaintiffs contacted him about taking on Noble Roman's. He filed the case in Hamilton County, as required by the franchise agreements.
"The plaintiff's contention is they were misled about the prospects for success and the costs involved in starting up one of these restaurants," Duree said.
The 10 franchisees who are suing reported operating losses for their restaurants ranging from $100,000 to $200,000, after spending $310,000 to $610,000 on startup costs.
The suit claims Noble Roman's said franchisees would spend no more than $241,000 on startup costs, and the typical franchisee would earn a profit of more than $100,000 per year. The chain provided the figures in advertisements, DVDs and documents filed with state franchise regulators, the suit says.
Franchise documents Noble Roman's filed in Indiana estimate an initial investment of $212,600 to $338,000 for stand-alone, dualbrand restaurants. The document says Noble Roman's does not provide or authorize its salespeople to provide estimates of "potential sales, costs, income or profit."
Franchisees to blame?
All but one of the restaurant franchises mentioned in the lawsuits has closed. Three of the plaintiffs also had paid Noble Roman's for area-development agreements and are seeking additional damages stemming from those deals.
A courtroom loss for Noble Roman's would be a devastating blow for the publicly traded company, which reported profit of $2.5 million in 2007 on royalty and fee income of $10.4 million.
Noble Roman's has struggled in recent years, blaming franchisees for many of its problems, including the closing of several stand-alone stores that closed shortly after opening. The problems have decimated Noble Roman's stock, which had been marching higher before last fall.
The company last year stepped up its enforcement of franchise standards, lengthened training requirements, and strengthened the franchisee-selection process. And earlier this year, Noble Roman's took over the operation of six franchised restaurants in Indianapolis in a bid to prove its concept can be executed profitably.
Paul and Scott Mobley have said those efforts are paying off.
But plenty of the blame for franchise problems rests with the Mobleys, according to Michael Goode, a St. Louis stock trader and financial blogger who writes
The company owns only a few stores, giving it little opportunity to prove the model works and to test new products or strategies, Goode said. The Mobleys also tried a nationwide expansion despite lacking national marketing and having limited brand recognition.
But the biggest red flag for Goode was the barrage of area developer agreements that boosted revenue and profit.
"They engaged in business in such a way to get lots of near-term earnings at the expense of future earnings," said Goode, who previously bet against Noble Roman's by selling the stock short but no longer has a position.
Built on reinvention
Noble Roman's has reinvented itself several times since launching in the 1970s as a chain of dine-in restaurants. In 1997, after intense competition and rising costs made stand-alone pizza joints difficult to operate profitably, Noble Roman's turned to franchising nontraditional outlets like bowling alleys and gas stations-a strategy that paid off handsomely.
But the strategy of stand-alone, dualbrand restaurants has been a drag on the company. Shares of Noble Roman's are off 85 percent from their 52-week high and now trade for only about $1.20 each.
In late 2006, before the big drop, insiders began selling Noble Roman's thinly traded shares.
New York-based Geovest Capital Partners LP, a company controlled by board member Douglas H. Coape-Arnold, sold more than 950,000 shares in dozens of transactions between November 2006 and June 2007, at prices ranging from $3 to $7 per share.
Mobley, for his part, sold about 169,000 shares for $1.2 million in June 2007. Still, insiders own about 40 percent of the shares in Noble Roman's, and Paul Mobley alone owns about 20 percent.
In March, the company said it had hired Newport Beach, Calif.-based Roth Capital Partners to evaluate "various strategies to enhance shareholder value."
The move raises the possibility that the company could be sold, although observers say tight credit markets and a sputtering economy likely would make a sale difficult.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A challenge to the Indiana Economy!

If you have ever read my profile or my blog you will notice that I quite often fondly refer to the "Banks of the Buck Creek" or Crick as I say it. Well the Buck Creek runs thru my beloved Delaware County. I left the Muncie area in 1981 to attend college in Ohio and really never had the chance to return to my hometown. College turned into careers that took me around the country and Europe before landing back in Central Indiana. I have always had the dream to move all the way back home but have yet to find the right situation to "Get r done".

Recently, as we find when we get older my wife and I have had to head home for funerals. A couple of weeks ago we had to return home for one of those funerals. After that we took a couple of hours to look around Muncie to see what was going on. What a shock to our system it was to see our once booming home town turned into a ghost town. Many of the business's and locations we remember are gone. I seemed to see as many "For Sale" signs on commercial buildings as I did actual business signage.

Growing up in a middle class neighborhood where my friends parents where business owners, school teachers, factory workers and government employee's we thought we had everything. And what a life we had. I can't count the number of my friends whose parents worked for Chevrolet, GM or Warner Gear (BorgWarner).

While I know this has been tough on Anderson it has slapped Muncie pretty hard also. Now the latest hit is the upcoming shut down of BorgWarner. You can read the article in the Muncie Star or their Editorial by clicking the highlights.

Another 500 jobs leaving. But there is great news and assistance from the state!

BorgWarner employees have some powerful tools at their disposal to help them in the transition to new careers. Officials from United Auto Workers Local 287, BorgWarner, WorkOne and Ivy Tech Community College have been working to set up an array of opportunities such as job fairs, career counseling and résumé workshops.

Wow, the powerful tools are job fairs, career counseling and resume workshops? So we can bring in the big guns to let you know how much it costs to go to Ivy Tech, counsel you on and help you build a resume to land one of those new telemarketing jobs in Daleville for $7.50 an hour.

While I appreciate it is not the state's job to give these workers anything. But it is the State's job to lure business to the state.

Here is my challenge if either Mitch or JLT if they want to play!

Muncie is a great place to make this happen.

I spent almost 17 years in the packaging machinery business. This is the industry that supplies the manufacturing equipment to the life science industries and consumer goods industries. In easy terms if you walk into any grocery store or drug store, everything on those shelves was produced by packaging machinery.

While I am in agreement that we must work toward more college graduates and retain them in Indiana we must also create a highly trained workforce in manufacturing. Each and every life science company we talk about here in Indiana uses this machinery.

Let's build a state of the art training program similar to the program at The University of Wisconsin - Stout in the packaging machinery industry. We could then have a 2 year program for machinery and a 4 year degree in packaging. I am not going to get into the specifics here but there are assets all over Indiana to make this work.

We then could be the leader in luring great high tech, life science, consumer goods and machinery manufacturer's to Indiana that offer great jobs to our college grads and our hard working middle class. Yes all of the industries that Indiana talks about are 100% still manufacturing items that use this equipment and after spending 17 years on the factory floors of companies like Eli Lilly I have yet to ever see a scientist come down from the lab to fix the capping machine when it was not working right.

So if either campaigns wants to chat about an idea that would actually work, give me a call.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

The leader of the Business world in Indiana...oh someone save us!

After 25 years in the Indiana business world I have finally arrived at the belief that there is a self appointed King in Indiana and his name is Kevin Brenigar. In the latest issue of the IBJ "Chamber suing Chamber" we see the latest in King Kevin's power grabs. He now owns the rights to anything Chamber of Commerce. Beware other Chambers and take notice, if you don't bow down and kiss the ring of King Kevin you may be next. Now I personally think Chambers are a good thing but I am always amazed at the total arrogance of Kevin Brenigar whether at the Indiana State House, on television, Chamber event or Noblesville School board meeting. It is always fun to be reminded by King Kevin that we are in his presence and beneath him. But let's be honest Kevin does know more about running business's then you and I. Let's see he grew up working in his fathers business as many of us in Indiana did. He has a BA, MPA and MBA from IU which I commend him for. He has worked for the Legislative Service Agency, The Indiana Senate Finance Committee and then the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Now let's reflect on this......what business did Kevin own operate or run? None until he became CEO of the Chamber.

I do think King Kevin has done a pretty good job of running the Chamber, but I think as with many of our current elected officials his worthyness has gone to his head. Kevin you are a smart guy and pretty damn good at what you do but the King you are not. Come down off your high horse and get a grip.

I can think of only one reason and one reason only for this lawsuit....Sue Swayze at the Indiana Christian Chamber of Commerce forgot to pay her respects to King Kevin.

Peace Dude.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Indy Star

Happy 4th of July to all on the left, the right and in the middle. Quite a few years ago I had a go round with the Indy Star and have refused to subscribe to the paper ever since. This decision meant I gave up one of my favorite pastimes of reading the Sunday paper. So now I just read the online version or occasionally I will pick up the Noblesville Ledger or the Sunday Star but not often. We were just talking the other night about subscribing again but I just changed my mind and am not going to and here is why.

Property tax protesters brave the rain

I have so many problems with this story it just irks me. First of all to write a headline on the 4th of July calling tax protesters BRAVE for standing in the rain? Today we celebrate the many Americans that have given their lives to our country so that each of us have the freedoms that we have here in the United States. But Brave to protest in the rain....come on

One of the captions on the pictures: "The crowd outside Governor Daniel's house was pelted by rain during their property tax protests. - DANESE KENON / The Star

Has everyone at the Star lost their minds? It is not Governor Daniel's house. It is the Governor's Mansion of the Great State of Indiana. Our Man Mitch does not even reside their because it is not fancy enough for his wifey. They live in Geist while building the new Daniels Mansion in Carmel.

Enough on the writing....

A couple of thoughts:

1. Congrats to the protesters but how about protesting at Daniels house in Geist of blocking the gated entrance to his new house in Carmel if you really want to make a point.

2. If the Mansion is unworthy of our Gov's family residence why don't we sell it like some of our other assets and buy a condo in the Block building so the Gov can walk two blocks to the office.

Anyway enough ranting for today.....

Peace Dude

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday to The United States of America!

Spending time reading in the blogisphere and listening to talk radio and the good people at Fox, CNN and MSNBC sometimes thoughts can become a bit jaded. The word Patriot gets thrown around quite often. And I have to say it seems my good friends on the right tend to define anyone that does not agree with them as not being Patriotic. I tend to disagree. While I may not agree with someones view and they may not agree with mine that in itself does not value the amount of love they have for The United States of America. I think we have much work to do with out community, state and country and it can be done. I am a very proud American that actually had the chance to live in another country for 4 years. It was a bit odd to live in England on the 4th of July. With that said I thought a reminder was due about Patriotism. Happy 4th of July to all my friends on the left, right and in the middle. Because you speak your mind I tip my hat to you all as Patriots!

Peace Dude....and I hope you enjoy this that I borrowed on Patriotism of our Founding Fathers.

Founding Fathers / First Patriots

Interesting facts about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence!

Twenty-four were lawyers / jurists.

Eleven were merchants.

Nine were farmers and large plantation owners.

Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

And while many know of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, John Adams, and other famous signers . . . here is what happened to several of the lesser known ones...

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Rutledge, and Middleton had their properties looted by vandals or soldiers.

Thomas Nelson Jr., at the battle of Yorktown, noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed or war hungry . . . They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged . . .

"For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

So, every July 4th . . . take a moment to silently remember these first USA patriots for doing what was needed, regardless of consequences to themselves . . . And do the same for all of the heroes who have followed them, as their noble efforts allow us to continue to celebrate Independence Day as it was meant to be!

Freedom is priceless . . . as its costs are the lives given valiantly to have it!