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By jenkuz, Section News
It's funny, once Granholm leaves, the boys in the house man-up and the nerd-in-chief grows fickle.
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Yesterday, I listened to President Obama say these words.
Despite the progress we've made, many businesses are still skittish about hiring. Some are still digging themselves out of the losses they incurred over the past year. Many have figured out how to squeeze more productivity out of fewer workers. And that cost-cutting has become embedded in their operations and in their culture. That may result in good profits, but it's not translating into hiring and so that's the question that we have to ask ourselves today: How do we get businesses to start hiring again?
From the perspective of an employee of a small business, I can't tell you how cynical and dream-crushing your perspective is, Mr. President.
I don't see how you can claim, sir, that your administration has made any progress, economy-wise. Here in Michigan, I've been told there were some stimulus jobs in the 83rd congressional district, however, there are only 15 districts in Michigan, and they number 1 through 15.
I don't like to talk about myself as much as you do, but I'd like to share some of my experience to let you know what types of things you all are doing "in Washington that are inhibiting" me.
I was hired 4 years ago to do a highly-skilled job that I had no idea how to do. With the help of my fellow co-workers, I learned. I learned fast. It wasn't long before I could see some ways of doing things at work to make the job simpler, and more effective. I became supervisor and was involved in the hiring process. I helped hire people who had the same amount of knowledge of the job as I did when I got hired. I am now helping them to become as successful as I have been.
I can't tell you how many jobs I've had before this that I literally stared at the clock, waiting to go home-where I never did anything either. That's not living, that is only existing.
You see, when you learn something, a skill or a piece of knowledge, you feel good about yourself. You say to yourself, "Wow, I did that. Maybe there are more things I don't yet know I can do."
When you know you are able to do something that you never thought you could, you start to think that what you have been dreaming about doesn't just happen to lucky people, you start to think that those people who have reached their dreams worked at it, and learned as much as they could to achieve them.
Those people become entrepreneurs, small businessmen and businesswomen.
Every person has a dream of what they really want to do. Some dreams become nothing because of the lack of work involved in making them come true. In Michigan, I believe the back-breaking amount of work involved in holding one's dream is a direct result of the "inhibiting" effects of Michigan's current administration and your administration.
Sir, why would any small business person hire someone to do nothing? After they worked so hard to take the chance to reach their dreams, why would they disrespect another human being in such a manner? Who would say to an applicant, "Look, don't try to get ahead in life, sure I did it, but you can't." Not me, never ever.
It takes hard work to reach your dreams, it takes a non-productive existence to suck them away.
For the small business owner out there, I have a few questions that I'd like to ask you to answer in the form of a comment.
Do you believe intrusive government is slowing your recovery? If so, how?
Do you believe the current administration has made progress in the economy?
Are you cutting costs on your workers? If so, how has that resulted in good profits?
When do you plan to hire, and, what needs to happen so you can hire again?
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Over a week ago, the leading climate research institution, the Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU) was compromised by an email hacker. The hacked emails exposed some of the most nefarious cover-ups in climate research, one of which namely, that the earth has been cooling for the past ten years.
The public has been steadily becoming more skeptical of the idea of global warming, not from arguments from leading skeptics, but from their experience with nature.
So, put another way, if most of the public were told that the climate experts were messing with the numbers to make sure that millions of important people across the globe won't lose money on their investment of green technology, most of the public would say, "figures."
That is what is happening.
But, just for fun, let's think about what would happen if global warming was able to be proved wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that man hasn't the power to change the earth's climate.
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I heard it said recently that "the worst recession in decades" in the US has finally come to an end. While I pray that to be true, I fear that Michigan will remain stuck in this for quite some time. States around the country have found means to pull themselves out, but unfortunately, it seems that Michigan has lost its once-thriving auto industry for good. In its trail, the question remains about what will be Michigan's industry of the future.
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After the Biomass public hearing, Tom Karas (Michigan Energy Alternatives,) wrote an editorial that appeared in the Advance to counter an argument between himself and Bob Noffze, president of the citizen-formed Wolverine Clean Energy Venture Support Group. Apparently, after the biomass hearing, Bob and Tom had a brief exchange during which Bob made it clear he did not wish to invite Tom to speak at the next meeting of WCEVSG because Mr. Karas had stated in an Alpena News article that the coal plant in in Rogers City would be "a monument to ignorance." Bob took offense to the statement. The editorial pointed out that when Karas said the word ignorant, he just meant that the people of Rogers City are unaware of the "current position that the coal industry is in." He may be right about that, but it isn't because the people of this state don't want energy, it is precisely because of people like Tom Karas.
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Let's remember the names Byron Delong and Tom Harkleroad. They are the two members of both CEI and the County Planning Commission earlier in the story. By May, 2008 only Delong was still a member of both. Delong was also the man who, in March of 2008, made it clear during a Planning Commission meeting that their should be a public forum to discuss the addition of biomass to the special use permit before the commission issues an amended permit. That meeting was also attended by Tom Karas, (Michigan Energy Alternatives) and Jim Dulzo, (Michigan Land Institute) environmentalist buddies from the other side of the state. Now, let me be clear, the environmental movement had representatives from three groups. One serving on the board, and the other two pushing for a public forum. The one on the board suggested the forum be held in May.
It was around this time I was alarmed to read a report by Judy Pasternak of the Los Angeles Times titled, "Global warming has a new battleground: coal plants," in the April 14th issue of the paper. I will link to it with one proviso, it no longer includes the best part of the report. Here is the titled story, with the first nine paragraphs removed.
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The Citizens for Environmental Inquiry, in their never ending quest to kill the Wolverine Clean Energy Venture, filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Ingham County Circuit Court, five months after the group demanded the DEQ regulate CO2 as a pollutant. The DEQ didn't respond to their demand within 90 days, so CEI filed the suit because, "my clients can no longer delay measures to assess and control the millions of tons of global warming pollution that can be released," said retired Judge Swallow, CEI's legal counsel. Seven people in Rogers City must be heard. The Advance reported that, "In filing this lawsuit, CEI is very much aware that Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and Presque Isle County has the highest in Michigan."
In late March, 2008, Wolverine asked the County Planning Commission to amend it's original special use permit to include the burning of biomass.
Up until now, there had been two groups interested in killing the power plant. The seven people of CEI, all locals who believed Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and a man from Traverse City who gets his money from San Fransisco, Tom Karas (Michigan Energy Alternatives.) However, the Planning Commission meeting attracted more outsiders.
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Wolverine Clean Energy Venture to this point had created a good rapport with the town by giving to local charity, opening an office in town to answer questions, organized a Citizens Advisory Board, acquiring zoning approval, asked for and got resolutions of support from the city of Rogers City, the Commissioners of Presque Isle County and Rogers Township. They announced that they were, in the beginning of 2008, attempting to obtain an air quality permit from the state.
In a January 3, 2008 article in the Advance titled, County continues to support Wolverine's plans, Wolverine's Director of Community and Government Affairs, Ken Bradstreet, outlines the realities of the need for more power in Michigan. The proposed baseload plant satisfies the Department of Energy as clean coal technology. Bradstreet offered, "Those that oppose projects like this across the country aren't really helping the environment, because they are forcing us to continue using plants that should be retired."
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