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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan

The Pipeline for Canada

Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00

There has been a great deal of controversy over the proposed pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Texas. Trans-Canada proposed the Keystone Pipeline to enter the U.S. in Montana and then pass through South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma before ending up on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Construction plans were to be completed by 2014. Then the Obama Administration vetoed the project.

Now, I have to admit that I may be a bit prejudiced since my father was born and raised in Canada. I have many cousins in Canada and hear from some of them during the course of a year. They were not happy with the Obama Administration’s veto. And believe me, I feel it was a big mistake!


IQ Around the Globe

Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00

Why should I even consider writing a column about the Intelligence Quotient?

Well, it just hit me that there are differences around the globe, and I wanted to take a practical look.

First, what is IQ?

Basically, IQ is the measurement of your cognitive ability. Simply put, IQ tests measure an individual’s general ability to solve problems and understand concepts. The measure of IQ is not perfect, but it does stand as a simple way to examine reasoning ability, problem solving ability, and the ability to store and retrieve information.

As for scores, an IQ with 100 stands as the median score. That means the person with an IQ of 100 has an average intelligence. Someone with a score of 130 indicates exceptional intelligence, while a person below 70 may possibly have mental retardation.


Voting with Photo ID?

Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00

Last December, Attorney General Eric Holder authorized blocking South Carolina’s law requiring voters to produce a photo ID as a way to stop voter fraud. The United States Department of Justice stated that tens of thousands of minorities in South Carolina might not be able to cast ballots because they don’t have a photo ID.

This is an interesting approach when you consider that 31 states require some form of ID to vote. Eight states have a strict photo ID requirement that means that a person can “provisionally” vote without a photo ID, but must then produce a photo ID within several days after the election. Seven other states require a photo ID, but a person can vote without such identification if they sign off or provide a birth date.

Then, 16 states require some form of ID to be produced before voting such as a bank statement or utility bill.


Health Care Update

Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a law sometimes referred to as “Obamacare,” a great deal of controversy followed with 26 states filing legal actions to stop the new law from going into effect. Different rulings took place around the country.

Circuit Court of Appeals rulings approved the law in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati, Ohio. In Atlanta, Georgia, the Court struck down Obamacare while the Circuit Court in Virginia said it could make no decision until 2015 when the penalties are to be applied when no insurance is purchased under the mandate.

The challenge is based on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which states that powers not delegated to the United States “… are reserved to the States…”


Follow Through

Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00

Whether it be in management or in our personal lives, following through with decisions is extremely important. Let me explain what I mean using a business activity.

It does not matter what the business decision is about. The key issue is whether the manager and his or her staff carry out the decision – the follow through. For example, after a decision is made, we all then prioritize our activities – sometimes leaving out decisions, which we do not consider important.

As I reflected on this piece, I could not help but think back to my days involved in running the Asia-Pacific profit center for Avon Products. I will never forget my first trip to Japan in that capacity. The head of Avon in Japan was a very efficient and wonderful person. We met for several hours and made several decisions about business issues. As I reviewed each issue, I would always get “hi” as an answer, and always with a very friendly smile.


Too Much Too Soon

Friday, 20 January 2012 00:00

Now that we find ourselves in the middle of the primaries for the selection of the Republican candidate for president, I have to say that the campaign coverage – if not the campaign itself – has been too much and too soon. Let me explain.

Unless I am missing something the coverage, particularly on the cable news channels has gone on for most of 2011. And even today, we are ten months away from the November 2012 election.

Between debates, interviews, polls, political panels and commentary, the coverage goes on and on. What a life for the presidential candidates! They have to be on the road for well over a year and a half. At least, they all get a lot of practice before facing Barrack Obama next November. And of course, the president is also on the road quite a bit.


Donald Trump

Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00

If there ever was a character with more TV presence than Donald Trump, please let me know. From his weekly television show, The Apprentice, to political commentary on Cable television, and from his presiding over a presidential debate for Newsmax, to his own expressed interest in being, first, a Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump seems to be addicted to television. He really likes the spotlight.

What is most interesting to me is hisearly declaration about running in the Republican Primary for president. At the start, he led the field. But, he really could not run if he wanted to keep his personal TV show. Then, he dropped out.


Are You Active in Politics?

Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00

For some 40 years, I have had a paperweight on my desk with this quote from President Dwight Eisenhower – “Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen.”

Notice the phrase used the words “part time.” I do not advocate giving everything up to get active in politics – no matter what political party you consider. With 24/7 cable news coverage, mostly focused on government and politics, we all can tend to cut off even thinking about being active in the political process. We do get turned off.


Manuel Noriega Returns to Panama

Friday, 30 December 2011 00:00
It has been 22 years since the United States forces took Manuel Noriega out of power in Panama. He had been a ruthless dictator from 1983 to 1989. At the same time, it can truly be said that he was a “good cap” who went “bad.” Let me explain.

During the “Cold War” he was on our side in terms of dealing with Castro in Cuba and even in support of the Contras in Nicaragua. But, he went bad through corruption and drug deals.


Holiday Gatherings Are More Difficult

Friday, 23 December 2011 00:00

It is the time of the year for families to gather for holiday celebrations. Traditionally, families have gathered around the holidays for centuries. Today, there is a real challenge for us all to come together.

In the past, I have written about mobile families. It used to be that children would move a few blocks away or even to the next town. That has all changed for many reasons. First, the price of housing is so high that many young people just have to move away for housing and even to secure jobs. They cannot afford to live near their homes.


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