A Return to Making Things Here

There was a recent flurry of press coverage concerning activity at the Micron plant in Manassas, Virginia. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with the company’s chief executive officer, Sanjay Mehrotra. She was joined with two key lawmakers in a debate about funding for electronic semiconductors (chips) manufacturing and American competitiveness. Yes, we are finally going to use taxpayer money to create more jobs in America.

Most of the chips we use in our technologies come from Asia. According to Bloomberg news, “Semiconductor manufacturers have pushed the U.S. to create incentives through grants and tax credits to help spur production in America. Congress is debating legislation to fund semiconductor research and development and may include it in a broader China bill in the coming months.”

President Biden is smartly pushing modern-future technologies rather than trying to prop up the old ways of doing things, you know, like burning coal to produce electricity. Just look at what happened in Texas over the winter. The Hightower Lowdown newsletter pointed out that Governor Greg Abbott has received more than $26 million in campaign contributions from the companies that didn’t prepare for the future and caused a power outage that killed 111 people and cost the state $130 billion in damages. If proper maintenance and management of our energy girds are not a paramount responsibility of our leaders, then what the hell is?

We also need to find water, cleanly process it and then pump it out to our citizens. Right now, we have hundreds of thousands of dangerous lead pipelines in every state. Since Jimmy Carter was president, federal funding for water systems in America has dropped by 77%. The Flint, Michigan water crisis is only the tip of the iceberg. U.S. water systems have been rotting away for more than 50 years. If we cannot produce the most important product in this country — Water — then we are incompetent.

Natural Quartz

But let’s get back to chips. It’s not that we couldn’t design and manufacture semiconductors in our country, we just found is easier and cheaper to source them from Taiwan. To be clear, it will take years to beef up our plants and produce the volume of chips that our industries demand. The good news is we have the Spruce Pine Mining District, a swath of the valley to the North Toe River in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina. Located there is the largest cache of “Spruce Pine” ever found on Earth. It’s the purest natural quartz — a species of pristine sand — and this ultra‑elite deposit of silicon dioxide particles plays a key role in the manufacturing of computer chips. The Spruce Pine area is mined for its mica, kaolin, quartz and feldspar. So, you see, we already have the natural resources. Now all we need is plants, highly skilled workers and money.

Back in the day, we let the steel mills move out of the country and we closed many manufacturing plants because we could import lower priced goods manufactured elsewhere. Having fewer American employees was considered “good business,” because it allowed us to compete more effectively. However, I’m almost ready to say it was anti-American not forcing offshore manufacturers to pay higher import taxes on their goods. Many of those companies paid little or no taxes, and now are we going to offer federal funds to these same companies to make them more productive? The Obama administration tried that with solar panel manufacturers, some of which turned out to be scams and cons.

We need to understand the competitive landscape as it pertains to the U.S. economy, but it’s getting harder to discern exactly what is happening. Take digital currency, for example. It stores billions of dollars which cannot be traced or investigated, and with all the loopholes in our tax laws monetary incentives will continue landing in the bank accounts of donors and political operatives. Despite that, we should at least try to make improvements.

We are the leaders in technologies and software, yet we always bring in players from other countries to help us build our products, and that makes us vulnerable. Even with the best security in place, some of our intellectual property ends up in the minds and hands of other countries. In addition, smart developers in foreign lands have the will and time to reverse engineer our concepts and devices. The best way around this challenge is continually improving and upgrading our products. It’s harder to hit a moving target.

We should no longer be concerned about blue and white collar workers. Think about the WeatherTech company, 100% owned by its founder and CEO David MacNeil. In 1989, Mr. MacNeil said he was dissatisfied with the quality of existing automotive floor mats and started a company out of his home in Clarendon Hills, IL. WeatherTech began by importing the mats directly from England, but that changed with the introduction of digitization and CAD- CAM technologies. Now, all the mats are made in Illinois. Made in the U.S.A.

Can we make smart phones in America? Well, we could, but the path is scattered with the carcasses of many companies that tried to make flatscreen TVs, only to fade away because of costs. Can we make steel in America? Sure, but the investors would probably want to see a unique market. We make cars and trucks here and we probably always will, although with each new robot and automation breakthrough fewer workers are needed.

Tesla manufactures 100% of their cars in this country. The Tesla factory in Fremont, California is one of the world’s most advanced automotive plants, with 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space on 370 acres of land. Currently 10,000 people work in Tesla’s Fremont plant. You may not like Elon Musk, but he’s done more for American manufacturing that anyone. Yeah, an immigrant from Pretoria, South Africa seems to have better vision than many U.S. titans.

A new business has to start out with a marketing plan, but companies like Micron that have been around for more than 40 years understand their markets. Micron made their money by producing computer components such as random-access memory, flash memory, and USB flash drives. They were never a wafer chip producer per se, but they understand the tech. However, if we try to up-covert a company like Micron, or ask Kodak to make chemicals for vaccines, we might have a flaw in our thinking. Maybe it’s time we fund NEW companies that aren’t burdened with debt, legacy equipment or outdated thinking. It always takes longer to convert an older company rather than creating a new one. Ask China. That’s how they do it.


We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES. Get some here. 


Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here


Writing Bad Laws & Just Looking Away

Have you ever worked with someone who went out of their way to make it seem they were always busy and working hard when they really weren’t doing much of anything? When asked for an answer, they will likely issue a long memo with self-aggrandizing rewrites of history and finger pointing. Well, after losing a big election, the Republican party is going out of its way to appear they are very, very busy but they’re only being noisy while making America worse.

First, based on the big Trump election lie, they are pushing more than 170 laws under the guise of battling voter fraud but most of that legislation will only make it harder for people to vote. They big goal is clamping down on mail-in voting, even though that method has been used successfully for decades and some states use it exclusively. Many of these new laws just restate things already on the books but with more intimidating and stern language, while making voting more difficult for low-income folks, rural dwellers and those without a government ID.

Small Minded DeSantis

Next, some Republican governors took a stand against vaccine passports attempting to appeal to libertarian values. They don’t have the power to tell any company what to do and this will be determined by the courts in those states, not the governor.

And then, Florida passed an anti-riot act which codifies punishments for protesters who go too far, but it’s so poorly written that one could get arrested while crossing the street during a protest the authorities have declared is a riot. Nowhere in the law does is define terms, and peaceful activists will have no idea if part of their crowd has put the whole assembly in jeopardy of a felony. Here’s the best part. This proposed law gives anyone the right to drive their car into protesters who are blocking a street. Can you even believe that? It’s a kind of “stand your ground” with a two-ton weapon and it literally grants the driver immunity from prosecution. WTF?

And while the pen is still wet, governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis have tried to limit liabilities for insurance companies after a disaster destroys people’s properties. Homeowners and attorneys have testified before the state House Commerce Committee that the new legislation would make it easier for insurance companies to lowball payments to homeowners with legitimate damage claims. Who are these people?

The Republicans come off like whiny little bitches when screaming about Dr. Seuss and the “Cancel Culture.” On top of that, they want to keep trans kids from playing sports. Not even a doctor’s verification that the student has gone through one year of hormone change therapy and deemed “NON-MALE,” will guarantee these kids a chance to engage in a sport of their choosing. They want to codify trans-gendered people as a separate class. Maybe they should take a page from history and declare every trans person as three fifths of a “regular person” and then just look away.

We have crumbling roads, bridges ready to fall into rivers and millions of Americans barely getting by during this pandemic, yet the Republicans have decided to attack and destroy democracy rather than working to make things better. I just don’t get it. Are they catering only to those who are ignorant about the dire need for action? Are they focusing their work solely on the sycophants who believed all of Trump’s bullshit? They are making no attempt to broaden their party and they’re not smart enough or talented enough to find a better path.

The Republican Party has come to a fork in the road. Many of them are doubling down on Trumpism and following the lead of Fox News. It’s funny to me how an entire political party has been hijacked by an idiot and continues to be manipulated by C-student talk show hosts. Sad.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.




What’s wrong with Donald Trump?

I just turned 70-years old so I get to say things that younger people cannot. Some might think that I have become a curmudgeon of monumental proportions, and to those ageists, and in the spirit of age equals wisdom, I say, “Go F yourself.”

This last week, we saw some extremely funny reality TV, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi taking pot shots at the President of the United States. The fool in the White House seized the bait and attempted to console himself with his sophomoric retorts. What is rather remarkable is these people oversee billions of our tax dollars and the defense of our country — scary old white people are running things.

In their back and forth, each older leader claimed the other is not mentally right. Now age doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose your faculties but judging by his comments a case could be made that the leader of the free world has some mental problems. Our president says he hasn’t changed, and that might be true, but that doesn’t mean he’s fit to be president.

Donald Trump is a pathological liar.  Anyone who has observed his routines over the years would agree he has a major problem telling the truth. He forces those he hires to lie at his command. We saw that in the Roosevelt Room when he asked his team to claim he was calm during the three-minute monologue he used to abort a planned meeting on US infrastructure. Of course, his minions said what he wanted them to say, and Nancy Pelosi’s description of his temperament and tone was certainly shaped to advance her agenda. That aside, more than six Democratic leaders came to the White House for a meeting, and I have to believe they attended in the hope of getting some things accomplished. Trump then walked to the Rose Garden and barked about how badly the meeting went. On display was a prepared sign outlining the Mueller report. I’m not sure what the sign had to do with the subject of the meeting, infrastructure. Why would any mature adult need a fabricated interpretation of RUDE? Trump walked out of the meeting and he admitted that Pelosi’s comments were the reason.

Let’s face it. Donald Trump is a fucking, spoiled brat. He has no logic circuitry in his conspiracy ridden brain. It’s time that we get beyond this polite protocol and treat him like the child he is. First, we need some discipline, and if that doesn’t work, a shrink.

For grins, let’s assume Trump has a few good ideas. If those ideas are beneficial to America and our people, why is there always an air of despair about things being unfair, sad and a disgrace? Why does he always need to put down the other party or the former president, which makes half of America feel badly when he’s pitching an idea? Any good communicator knows that you don’t implant negatives when seeking acceptance.

Trump loves to slip a giant turd into the punch bowl before dancing around the party lauding the tasty libation. He tries to convince the attendees that Obama and the Democrats put gin in the punch. Huh? More than half of the country doesn’t trust him, and I suspect most world leaders clearly see his lack of credibility. I may be old, but I’m not stupid. Trump is worse than Nixon.

Research and poll results are important to Americans. We always want to know what people are thinking. We crave knowledge and truth. When Trump says he’s the most transparent president ever, any thinking person will laugh. He requires and exists on lies and secrets. He won’t show his tax returns, when every other president for the past 50 years has disclosed the details of their wealth. What could be so wrong with his taxes that he fights so hard to keep them from being revealed?

Could it simply be that he isn’t rich? Yes, it could. His ego is fragile, his skin is thin and he’s highly vulnerable to shame. Did you notice that he almost crumbled when Pelosi suggested that an intervention should take place? The highest-ranking member of the House just said out loud that she thinks Trump is nuts, causing Trump to repeat his “very stable genius” sales pitch. Who says shit like that?

I think the researchers need a new model. We don’t need to know if people approve of the job he’s doing or whether they support the old white guy. We need to get down in the dirt and dig up the true feelings of our people. And by the way, pollsters should feel free to use this suggestion to gather feelings about anyone running for office, Congress or the Supreme Court. I call it the DOUGLAS SCALE, and this metric will help us understand the real feelings of the America voters and citizens.

How would you describe your true feelings about Donald Trump? (choose one):

    1. He’s worse than what my body feels after Chemotherapy.
    2. He’s a total loser and I hate him with all my heart.
    3. He’s a despicable human being with no redeeming qualities.
    4. He’s a pathological liar who should seek professional help.
    5. He’s only in this thing for himself and will do the wrong things for his ego.
    6. He means well but lacks the ability to be understood.
    7. He’s got some good ideas, but everyone is against him.
    8. He’s a remarkable President who will change America forever.
    9. He’s really doing God’s work, the American God.
    10. He’s the best and should be made President for life.

It would be interesting to see the percentage of people who truly hate the guy. I’ve presented a more American grading scale. We are not a polite people and, since Trump has become president, we have become a more open and direct populace. He’s a dangerous President who needs to be taken out of office, either by impeachment or voting. Trump is an unstable menace to our mental health.


Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.