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"If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability" -- Henry Ford.

* Colleague Ron French directed my attention to this report on what is, in certain circles an old story now: American society is not quite the "land of opportunity" that we like to think it is. In fact, American society is ossifying: If you start well-off, you remain that way; if you start poor, you remain that way, too. Effort doesn't count as much as we'd like. These are overall trends that have anecdotal exceptions, of course, so please don't fire me a single example as "evidence" that the results are illegitimate:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-from-lower-rungs.html?ref=todayspaper

* The Detroit Free Press reports on wrangling over an effort by graduate students to organize a union at the University of Michigan. This nugget is most ... interesting:  "(Attorney General Bill) Schuette says allowing the GSRAs to organize will cause harm to U-M’s reputation and research abilities, which will in turn harm the state’s economy":
http://www.freep.com/article/20120109/NEWS06/120109022/Bill-Schuette-U-M-GSRA-union?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

* Capitol observer Tim Skubick says bipartisanship withered on the vine at the State Capitol in 2011:
http://domemagazine.com/skubick/sku121611

* Crain's Detroit says 2012 is not shaping up well for the furniture industry in West Michigan:
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120108/FREE/301089968/uncomfortable-forecast#

* Saginaw's City Council, in a close vote, just gave authorization for a $75,000 settlement of this defamation case involving a well-intentioned collaboration with a nonprofit that went seriously awry:
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/01/defamation_lawsuit_against_par.html

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