Sunday, March 29, 2009
More unfortunate news as Wayland Chevy closes in Wayland. Tempers apparently ran high and there were a couple of scuffles.
Video from a WWMT report captured one of these scuffles.
It drives home the real cost of this terrible economy, as people loose their livelihoods, and families are effected. From what little I gleaned from this report, and others on the net, the company decided to not give notice of the closure until the day the doors would be shut. If true, such actions may very well be deserving of a knuckle sandwich being delivered in my opinion. As heartbreaking as it is to the owners and their families, that their businesses are being forced shut, they must remember the people working for them that put their hearts and souls into that company as well.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I was considering a post on the outlook for new fuel efficient auto's and new business' that are interested in making them here in Michigan. But rather than running through some hopefuls that may or may not designate this state for their American home I thought we could put that off until another day. Instead let's take a look at
Rep. Betty Sutton's (OH) Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Act
While I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about when I mention the CARS Act, please give me a moment in case you have been out of town for awhile.
The CARS act proposes to give consumers up to $5,000 for an old clunker trade in on an auto that is built in the United States that gets at least 27 mpg.
This proposal has many advantages to people living in the state of Michigan.
First and foremost it would help the economy as people who take advantage of the measure buy new cars. A similar measure in Germany caused a new car sales surge of 21 percent.
Secondly it helps the environment when people buy autos with more efficient motors. I still see some eighties land yachts floating around our highways, and this may be enough money to benefit those that otherwise cannot afford more practical means of getting to, and from work.
Third it makes us more independent from foreign sources of oil. Something that all sides of the political spectrum can agree is in our best interest.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Dana Houle knows about Brandon:
"You probably wouldn't realize that he's a rightwing Republican who in 2006 chaired the gubernatorial campaign of Amway heir and rightwing loon Dick DeVos and in 2008 bundled donations for Mitt Romney and was a major donor to John McCain.That's a lot of money for a guy who's company isn't even doing that well. Well, thanks to a high profile advertising campaign that has suddenly appeared on the TV airwaves, people are getting to know David Brandon who is now shamelessly touting "Domino’s Big Taste Bailout" with high-profile spots aired during mega-ratings blockbuster "American Idol."
You might not know that in 2006 Brandon seriously considered running against Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow..."Or..."that last year Brandon was the second highest paid CEO in Michigan, or that he is often paid in the range of $20 million per year."
According to a press release:
"Dave Brandon, CEO of Domino’s Pizza is taking to the streets for the launch of "Domino’s Big Taste Bailout" promotion. The TV commercials will premiere today during Fox’s American Idol. Brandon will be guiding us from Capitol Hill via Wall Street to Main Street, with an offer to deliver three or more medium, one topping pizzas or oven baked sandwiches for just $5 each to American consumers.So, are these ads meant to advertise the offer (which gets a single mention in the press release) or the name of the CEO (which appears four times in the space of seven sentences) who is suddenly a "pizza populist" who is spreading economic goodwill in the form of affordable slabs of bleached flour topped with tomato sauce, cheese, etc.? And does this remind anyone else of the last time we had a gubernatorial campaign and suddenly the company of a candidate started to use it's ad money to assist the campaign in a way that played footsy with potential campaign finance violations?
In an on-line continuation of the promotion, Domino’s consumers can actually win a Super Big Taste Bailout. Consumers are encouraged to visit Dominos.com to nominate a friend in need of a bailout. Two winners, as well as their nominating friends, will receive a year’s worth of Domino’s Pizza products with the prize delivered directly to their door by CEO Dave Brandon himself. Leading up to the first delivery, a countdown can be viewed on Dominos.com indicating when the delivery will take place. When the delivery takes place, the site will change to show Brandon’s location as he arrives at the winner’s house."
If you've already forgotten, Brandon's buddy Dick Devos tried this with the Amway company who's horrible reputation as a reputed pyramid scheme was dragging down his campaign and was becoming the target of more and more attacks from the Democratic Party. Amway, who many life-long Michigan citizens could never recall having advertised on TV, suddenly brought out a huge waves of ads in a campaign called "I Am Amway" which were meant to show the company in a positive light and meant to help DeVos' poor personal approval numbers. It didn't help. Then again, I'm sure people like their cheap pizza more than the low cost laundry soap their co-worker keeps nagging them to buy. The difference here is that Amway and Devos were already unpopular and the candidate, mired in a losing campaign, tried this as a last ditch effort. This time around, Brandon is merely trying to raise his Q rating so Michigan voters in the GOP primary will have heard of the CEO when he runs.
Any way you slice it, it's obvious Brandon is using company money to build up his name recognition in order to bolster his upcoming campaign. Will Michigan voters buy it? Myself, I just find it humorous that a right wing Republican is talking up a bailout as if it's a good thing. Maybe those ads might not work as well as Brandon would like them to, especially since the base of the Republican Party likes the idea of bailouts about as much as most people like their pizza with anchovies.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
"...there was an editor in Barry County who sometimes freely published his opinions about individuals."The quotes come from former Hastings Banner M.L. Cook circa 1940 speaking of Orno Strong who was editor at the Nashville News apparently sometime in the 1890s. They appear in the "From Time to Time" history column without much information. I find it ironic those words were printed in the paper that fired their editor for espousing a personal opinion on his own blog with quotes fully attributed under his name, the blog even carrying a disclaimer that the writings were his own personal opinion.
..."he had a way of stating what he meant. He did not criticize to be mean-spirited. He had the conviction that a newspaper should be free to criticize officers and persons, if public interested seemed to demand that course."
I think one reason we see the trouble that newspapers are in is because so many of them took personal criticism as something to be avoided, firm stances alienate advertisers and readers. I can remember having a discussion with David T. Young, the former editor of the Banner, when I was considering starting this blog. The way I saw it, blogs were returning to the roots of the American newspaper. Blogs are all about opinion and point of view.
While many look down their noses even to this day, I think we've seen the American public voting with their wallets as newspapers whither on the vine and blogs enjoy increasing respectability and visibility. When I've been (often rightly) criticized for my own failings and shortcoming, I always tell the critics that they are free to start their own blog.
We are no longer help captive by the rich men who buy ink by the barrel. In fact, if this site cost me a dime I'd never have been able or willing to start it. You are free to publish your own unedited opinion without charge or much technical skill and I welcome you to do so. And sure, some may abuse that privilege, you may even think I've done so but how many newspapers have ignored their duty? How many newspapers, as well as TV news outlets, led the way into a misguided war in Iraq? How many stood by while the last administration ran up the debt and dismantled the protections that could have stopped or impeded the "economic tsunami" that now threatens us? How many newspapers are still allowing viewpoints they agree with through the filter of the editors pen without question while stopping others from accessing the precious space of the editorial pages? How many times does a trusted friend or political ally get to have their say, while potentially violating campaign finance laws and standards of ethics, while others are censored and silenced?
You can't ignore that often this blog and others like it have been places for vigorous discussions that couldn't take place in newspapers which often censor opinions the publisher disagrees with, while allowing its owner to stand high on his soapbox spouting off his own personal opinion. The thing is, you probably don't have the personal fortune to start your newspaper if you don't like the one you have. But you can start your own blog....