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Friday, April 29, 2016

  • One of the biggest questions today for manufacturing companies is, how in the world will we replace all of the skilled workers due to retire in the next decade? There just aren’t enough young people graduating from high school or college who have the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to fill even today’s job openings, much less the huge number projected ten years from now.
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  • As I reflect back over my life, and in particularly the last sixteen years, and in particularly the recent Presidential debates, I am haunted by the words of Judge Andrew Napolitano:

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  • Exciting things are happening within the Montgomery County Republican Party.  So many new people are filing as Republican candidates for precinct committeeman, state delegate, and county elected offices.  There is a wonderful renewed interest in getting directly involved in our local civics. 

    Two factions have evolved in recent years, and that offers Republican voters a big choice at the May 3rd election on what political principles they want their local Party and its nominees to follow.  One faction is committed to upholding the principles of the Republican platform.  In the other faction, its prominent members have said they do not intend to hold themselves accountable to a platform.

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  • The bizarre economic theory of government-planned economic development is a disturbing one.  I think Craig Ladwig of The Indiana Policy Review said it best in his article titled, “Keeping the Crony Out of Capitalism.”  He explains that if you look at the annual reports from all the various economic development outfits around Indiana, you will be impressed… as long as you don’t ask too many questions.
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  • The time has come for a new economic plan for Montgomery County.  Our community has given the progressivist faction within our local government twenty years to prove their “economic development” strategy.  But after paying over $1 million to Montgomery County Economic Development corporation’s planners, and $30 million for their recommended “economic development” projects our community has little to show for it.  The Commerce Park sits empty after 10 years.  Accelplus went bankrupt.  MCED has not proven any of its specific actions contributed to any of the jobs that have been created in that time period.  It’s time for a new approach.
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  • At the last round of City Council, County Council, and County Commissioner meetings, a few of our courageous elected officials questioned why taxpayers are being forced to spend so much money on “economic development.”  That’s a very good question, indeed.  In the last 20 years Crawfordsville and Montgomery County have spent $4.5 million on a Commerce Park, $5 million on a building in the Commerce Park, $16 million on a fiber-optic network, almost $1 million on the Courthouse parking lot, $2.4 million on the airport runway extension, over $1 million on Montgomery County Economic Development corporation, and $120,000 on Amtrak subsidies.
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  • Since being elected Montgomery County Republican Chairman in 2013, I’ve heard a lot of people claim how they’ve been a “registered Republican” for a number of years.  That always puzzles me. 
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  • In his press release on Oct 4, Republican Congressman Justin Amash provides us with a rare peek inside the political machine called Congress, and gets to the bottom of why Congress is so dysfunctional today.

    “Speaker John Boehner’s announced resignation from Congress marks the inevitable fall of a speakership marred by internal Republican friction, raw partisanship and loss of influence for our great institution.
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  • I really appreciated the article on Thursday by Craig Ladwig of Indiana Policy Review in which he recognizes the civic heroes of local government.  In case you missed it, he pointed out that the typical local government council has one (or even two if we’re lucky) people who actually consider the long-term consequences of their vote, but that these heroes are too few and almost always underappreciated.
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  • “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” -- Indiana Constitution, Article I, Section 23.
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  • In 2004, an act of Congress established every September 17 as Constitution Day. This federal law requires that, on that day, all public schools provide a lesson about the history of the American Constitution. One of the most important lessons we can teach our kids is how the Constitution was written to restrict what the federal government is allowed to do.

    This question on what powers the federal government would have was a hot topic in 1787-1788. At the time there were cries of protest to reject the proposed Constitution because they were sure the “general welfare” clause would be abused. The general welfare clause (Article I Section 8 clause 1) stated, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; . . . ” Those opposing the adoption of the Constitution were concerned this would allow the new federal government to give itself unlimited power by claiming anything it wanted was for the so-called general welfare.

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  • When the U.S. stock market crashed on August 24 most media talking heads blamed it on China’s stock market crashing. But what they don’t mention is the fundamental reasons why both markets crashed: Currency manipulation by central banks in China and in the United States. Both have been essentially “printing” money (this counterfeiting is done electronically today) to prop up their banks, stock markets and economies, to push prices up and give the illusion that everything is rosy.

    But those high prices are an illusion. It’d be like playing Monopoly and at the end of every round taking a $500 monopoly bill, photocopies it twenty times and hand them out to each player. Soon players will pay $100,000 for Boardwalk. It’s not that Boardwalk has any more real value, it’s just that every monopoly dollar is worth less so it takes a lot more of them to buy the same thing. 

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  • On August 17, the Republican Town Committee of New Ross held its convention and chose incumbent Rebecca Lowe as the Republican nominee for clerk-treasurer. Lowe received 34 votes to challenger Michall Shaw’s 19 votes. The New Ross convention had an impressive turnout with 53 of the town’s 154 registered voters cast a ballot (34% turnout), exceeding everyone’s expectations and required additional chairs to be set up and ballots to be printed out minutes before the convention was due to start.

    On August 18, the Republican Town Committee of Wingate held its convention and chose incumbent Steve Stine, incumbent Joe Carter and newcomer Kathy Pipher as the three Republican nominees for town council. Pipher edged out incumbent Shane Walkup on the third ballot of the convention. Of the 148 registered voters in Wingate, 24 cast ballots in the convention (16%).

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  • “Observe good faith and justice toward all Nations.” – George Washington

    Last month the Obama administration actually did something right for a change. The Iran agreement marked a step in the right direction for our policy in the Middle East. This, along with normalizing relations with Cuba, is the kind of diplomacy that will lead to peaceful, positive change.

    We would do well to remember that Iran didn’t start this crisis. The crisis didn’t start with Iranians overthrowing the Shah and taking of American hostages in 1979. It started when the U.S. CIA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953, and installed a brutal dictator (the Shah) in his place. 

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  • I was treated to something extraordinary the other weekend. It was one of those experiences that stays with you, you can’t stop thinking about it, people catch you daydreaming and have to snap you back into the present (“John. John! Did you hear what I just said?”)

    Here’s what happened. A group of teenagers from St. Bernard Church had just returned from a mission trip to Carrefour-Sanon, a tiny mountain village in Haiti, and on Sunday morning before services began they gave an hour-long presentation on their experiences there. Each shared a very personal story. As we sat there listening to the first teen giving her account it soon became obvious we were witnessing something special. It wasn’t so much the story that she told, about finally meeting “grandmom,” the 100 year old Haitian woman that her family had sponsored for years, but it was this young lady’s own reaction as she was telling it. Fighting back tears, the young lady shared how happy grandmom was for everything her family had done for her, and how grandmom told her that she was now her granddaughter, too. It was more that we were witnessing how human beings are supposed to be with each other. We were witnessing the love God intended us to have toward one another. 

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