It's Sunday...the start of a new week and a time when friends can sit around together and talk about what went on...and what just might fill the coming week. That's Sunday Morning Coffee. Grab a cup and let me share some thoughts with you. And, because it's a conversation you get to join in too. Feel free to comment in the comment section...or if you don't want anybody else to listen in...you can always send me an e-mail. Let's start sippin'.
My Mother will be 90 years old, G-d willing, in just a few days. I know...I am so blessed. We get to talk several times a week and while I was in Wisconsin last week I made sure to take some video and stills of "the old home place". Can't wait to show her.
I usually don't do politics... That's because most people make up their mind about their political ideas based on emotion and not knowledge. In other words, they don't know squat. Last week Israel boarded and stopped a ship headed to Gaza on a "peace mission". Sadly, several people were killed and many more, including Israelis, were injured. The problem was...the "flotilla" was a political statement more than a humanitarian gesture. And, if you are honest with yourself you know that to be true. Many times Israel warned the "peace ships" that they were subject to boarding and that they should dock at Ashdod where the cargo, once inspected, would be sent on to Gaza the same as millions of tons of supplies have been distributed. But no...the warnings were ignored and Israel acted... As she must. This is a war that has been going on since 1948. Israel is in a fight for her existence as a state something her neighbors still don't recognize as evidenced by the map used in school books that fail to even mention Israel.
Then, CNN reports that a number of people were killed with "head shots" as if to say...what? US and Israeli commandos are given the three shot drill. One to the head and two to the body.
I hate to be so blunt but I'm a little cranky this morning.
This just in: "We Con The World" video. Even if it takes this to get the point across.
Here is a surprise... I traveled to Racine this past week and went through Illinois taking the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollroad (fitting or ironic?). I encountered four (4) toll workers along the way. Each one was polite and had a positive personality during our brief exchange. It was not expected. Somebody been doing some customer service training? Very cool!
Why Racine? I was there for a meeting of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Supplier Board of Governors. Mike Lessiter, of Lessiter Publications, set up the meetings, and a visit to the Case IH production facility that makes the Magnum line of tractors. We held our meeting at the Case - New Holland headquarters at 700 State Street. The building, finished in 1905 at a cost of roughly $200,000, is a beauty and patterned after the old Boston Public Library. We were warmly welcomed and a huge thank you to the folks at Case IH. Nicely done. Here is a quick overview written by the Chairman of the Supplier Section, Mike Lessiter.
A couple of thoughts about the private Magnum tractor factory tour led by "Bob" a 35+ year employee seen here with Andrew Novetzke and Gary Esterling (of our group). These people were amazing. Greeting us at the plant was Karen Evenson the manager of finance (nope, not a PR person) what a delight. She took time from her day to make us feel welcome and share business and personal stories. Nice. Along the tour we had the chance to visit with some of the 450 employees who make the tractors. They all shared their stories, answered questions and were interested in who we were and what we thought about their work. The plant was super clean, organized and, for a factory, quiet. Prior to automation the plant employed nearly 4,500. And, as a side note: My grandfather helped organize the union at JI Case over 75 years ago, my mother worked in the offices and my cousin at another facility. In a way...old home week.
One other tiny and personal item. While on the tour I spotted this vehicle. I had not seen one like it for over 45 years. My father worked for Ford Motor Company in Detroit where the supervisors would ride bicycles like this through the plant. I think his was painted blue. It was like a rush back to the Wixom Assembly Plant, now closed, where Ford made the Lincoln Continental and the Ford Thunderbird. Thanks for the memory.
In a few days there will be a primary here in Iowa. The Republicans will nominate former Governor Terry Branstad to challenge Governor Chet Culver. The "right wing" of the Republican party will be outraged and will seek a third party or independent candidate and Mr. Culver will win re-election in November. On the US Senate, Roxanne Conlin will be picked to go against senior senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley will win...again. Brad Zaun will be chosen, at the convention, to challenge Congressman Leonard Boswell and Boswell will be re-elected in the 3rd District. Other races also look good for sitting incumbents even though this is supposed to be an "anti-incumbent" election. Just a guess....what do you think?
Today, at 11:00AM I think I'm on the Liz Nead television show, Nead Inspiration. We've been doing some taping over the past week. The segment is on networking and airs on KCWI 23 in Des Moines.
Talking about media. My vacation is over. Insight on Business returns starting Monday at 12:30PM Central on WebcastOne LIVE. Over the past 90 days Robb Spearman and J. Michael McKoy have been working on a new platform to deliver timely news and information via webcasting. The studios have been re-designed and the delivery system is enhanced. This should be fun. You'll be able to learn more on our Insight on Business Blog later today.
Gotta push this out the door. Thanks for reading and as always, I am interested in your take. Join me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie. Have a great week!