OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

August 31, 2011

“The New Oklahoma Economy” – Insiders’ Summit: Global, Social, Sustainable, Strategic – Oct. 3-4, 2011

OK-SAFE, Inc. – August 31, 2011

It’s nice to have friends in high places who send you announcements every now and then.

There is something outrageous going on in every corner of this state, making it a challenge to keep up with activities, or to even decide which one to focus on. Networking amongst the grassroots is helpful in keeping up with various events and issues of concern, especially those events and issues that are advancing the sovereignty-killing tenets of globalization (the “new economy”), the rising technocracy, sustainable development, and foreign direct investment by the Chinese.

For a mere $300 one can attend (along with the political insiders) a single conference advancing all of these killer policies at one time – in Norman, OK.

One can also get a heads-up on what the 2012 OK legislative session will be emphasizing.  (That is, in addition to the establishment of a health insurance “marketplace” to replace the “exchanges” of last session.  More on that at a later date.)

The OEDC (Oklahoma Economic Development Council) is sponsoring the  2011 OEDC’ Economic Development SummitThe New Oklahoma Economy: Global, Social, Sustainable, Strategic.  October 3-4, 2011, Norman, OK at the Embassy Suites.

The entire agenda is below.  Governor Mary Fallin (referred to as the state’s “CEO”), is a keynote speaker, as well as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

Fallin’s topic on October 3, 2011 is “selling” Oklahoma in this new economy.  Selling it to whom? The Chinese?

Folks may want to contact our “CEO” and ask her this very question.  And what are Todd Lamb’s intentions?

Governor Fallin: 405-521-2342, Toll free: 800-865-5853

Lt. Governor Todd Lamb – 405-521-2161

Link to OEDC 2011 Summit Agenda: 2011SummitAgenda_8_24_11






Monday, October 3rd
8:00 Registration Open – Coffee and Exhibitor Showcase

8:30-8:45 Welcome and Introductions – Judee Snodderly, OEDC President

8:45-9:00 “The New Economy – Global/Social/Sustainable/Strategic” – 2011 Summit Chair, Richard Cornelison, OG&E

9:00-9:30 “Oklahoma’s CEO” – The Honorable Mary Fallin, Governor, State of Oklahoma
Governor Fallin will discuss her plan to sell Oklahoma in this new economy

9:30-10:30 “Oklahoma’s Strategic Assets: Capitalizing on Our Global Position in the New Economy”- Sandy Pratt,
Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce will discuss the state’s growth potential, competitive edge and location trends to determine
targeted industry sectors in the 21st century economy.

10:30-10:45 Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Break

10:45-11:45 Break-out sessions- choose from four- they repeat three times
1. Global- Economic Development/Foreign Direct Investments- Gene DePrez-Global Innovation
Our economies have become global. What happens in Europe, S. America, Africa and Asia affects companies in the United
States. Mr. DePrez will discuss economic development in today’s global environment, including a discussion on Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI).

2. Social/Social Media-ED communications/operations using social media- Mark James,
ED Solutions, Inc.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other types of social media and technology drive companies behaviors, marketing
messages and market communications. Mr. James will discuss the impact of social media on the practice of economic
development as well as how to position and communicate to compete. What does your state and region need to be doing?
Find out!

3. Sustainable/Economic Sustainability- Knowledge Economy: Innovation, entrepreneurship, technology- Piyush Patel, PL Studios, Inc., Green Economy: Renewable, sustainability, creating jobs in the new economy- Jeff Finkle, IEDC
With technology and innovation driving systemic changes in our economy, including job creation and investments for entrepreneurs as well as the green economy. Mr. Patel and Mr. Finkle will discuss what this means to economic development and what steps we need to take capture the investments and jobs in this environment of sustainability.

4. Strategy/Strategy is Everything – why being strategic matters and how to do it- Greg Main, President, St. Gregory’s University
How do you get to where you need to go? What competitive advantage have you created in your state/region that will allow companies to succeed? With limited resources, making tough decisions about investments in ED is critical. Mr. Main will discuss why being strategic in today’s new economy is critical to long-term success.

11:45 -12 Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Break

12-1:00 Keynote Address- “Economic Development in the New Economy”- Jeff Finkle, President/CEO, International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
Mr. Finkle will give an overview of the state of economic development and will discuss the issues he believes are critical to continue to growing jobs and capital investment in this new economy.

1:00-1:15 Exhibitor Showcase Networking Break

1:15-2:30 Repeat all four breakout sessions as described above

2:30-2:45 Exhibitor Showcase Networking Break

2:45-4:00 Repeat all four breakout sessions as described above

4:15-5:00 “Targeted Marketing and Branding”- Lea Taylor, What if Creative
Mrs. Taylor, President of What if Creative and Executive Director of the Greater Fort Smith Regional Alliance will discuss what you need to create a marketing message, how to strategically target companies and how to develop and branding message that makes an impact in today’s new economy.

5:00-6:00 Networking Reception and Exhibitor Showcase- Sponsored by Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau, Norman Economic Development Council and Norman Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, October 4th

8:00-8:30 Coffee and Exhibitor Showcase networking break

8:30-9:30 “The Other GDP- An Oklahoma Assessment”- Del Boyette, Boyette Strategic Advisors
Mr. Boyette, former head of AEDC and President/CEO of Boyette Strategic Advisors will discuss how to target and approach corporate decision makers and investment impact in this new economy. He will also explain how states/regions should be strategic in their approaches. He will also provide his assessment of Oklahoma’s effort and will reveal his top 10 list for Oklahoma.

9:30-9:45 Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Break

10:00-11:00 “Strategic Partnerships/Collaborative Initiatives”- Josh O’Brien- i2e and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber; Dr. Terry Golding- Amethyst Research, Inc. /OK Sensor Alliance; Brien Thorstenberg (Moderator)
Hear from two organizations that have figured it out. Collaboration and cooperation, along with articulated strategies, have allowed these two dynamic groups to flourish and have a significant impact on Oklahoma’s economy. Are you thinking strategically within your region? If not, this panel will have the ideas on what’s worked for them.

11:00-12:00 “Oklahoma’s Strengths & Weaknesses from a Business Perspective”-
•Siobhan Reilly, Food ProTech, Stillwater
•Jay Wade, Red Earth Systems, OKC
•Joe Robillard, President of Autoquip, Inc. in Guthrie
•Ken Parker, NextThought, Norman
•Kay Wade (Moderator)
Rural or urban, large or small, capital intensive or labor intensive, different industry sectors- every region and state has advantages.
These companies and their leaders found Oklahoma offered them what they needed to invest here. What do we do right, what needs to be improved? This panel will offer invaluable insight into the minds of business decision makers in our state.

12-1:30 Keynote Luncheon- Oklahoma’s Plan for Success
•Secretary of Commerce David Lopez
•The Honorable Todd Lamb, Lieutenant Governor, State of Oklahoma,
•Bob Sullivan Governor’s Economic Development Group
•OEDC’s Economic Development Professional of the Year

Hear from those in government and executive leadership positions on where Oklahoma needs to go from here. In this new economy, howdo  compete? What’s the next big idea? How do we create a strategy at the state level that can be implemented and shared with
regional partnerships and rural/urban communities? How do we leverage our assets and create an environment that keeps us competitive in this global, social, sustainable and strategic economy?

1:30-2:30 The Skinny on Consultant Relationships- Gene Stinson, Executive Director, Southern Economic Development

Council (SEDC). Ever wonder what consultants do? How they make their decisions and why some states/regions get selected for RFP’s and others don’t?

Mr. Stinson, Executive Director for SEDC, will give you his insight on what they do and why they do it.

2:30 Wrap-Up/Adjourn

August 26, 2011

FEMA’s Re-mapping of Oklahoma – Stealing Home

America in the Balance  recently interviewed two Oklahomans about their encounters with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration, aka the Mob), local officials and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB).

One successfully rebuffed the officials; the other was not so successful.

The issue?  The designation of their (non-flooding) property as being in a flood zone, resulting in the devaluation of the property; limitations on development of the land; the devaluation of the land as collateral; negatively impacting the ability to sell their property; and the use of coercive methods to force the purchase of flood insurance.

In listening to the accounts of these two separate incidents, it appears that the maps being used to determine the flood zone designation are rather whimsical: it all depends on which map the agent is using, and whether you want to be designated as flood zone or not.  The gentleman in the township of Skiatook, OK was actually presented with 3 different maps over the course of three days.  He resisted the OWRB/FEMA efforts and they eventually backed down.

This was not the case in Ramona, OK.

There, a family with 40 acres of property was surprised to find that their property was now designated as being ‘Zone A High Risk’ flood zone.  The property has been in their family since 1946, has never flooded, and the land is actually mapped as upland agriculture.  The result of the ‘Zone A High Risk’ flood zone designation has been a 50% decrease in the appraised value of their property.

FEMA and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board are using covert means to steal property in Oklahoma.  FEMA and the OWRB is stealing home.

Listen to their stories on America in the Balance on Truth in Focus internet radio here. (Link: http://www.truthinfocus.org/radio/america_in_the_balance.php)

For an excellent analysis of the FEMA/Oklahoma Water Resources Board activities and ties to sustainable development see article below. (From a post on Axxiom For Liberty.)

Oklahoma Water Resources Board/FEMA Flood Map Follies

By Kaye Beach

August 24, 2011

America in the Balance, an internet radio program hosted by Amanda Teegarden (Exec. Director, OK-SAFE, Inc.) & Don Wyatt (Tulsa 912)  did a very interesting show on the FEMA Flood mapping taking place in our state last Sunday.

Their two guests David McClain and Margaret Snow shared their experiences with FEMA and the new floodplain maps that are being drawn up in Oklahoma.

The two are looking for other Oklahomans who have had a similar experience with FEMA and their new maps. OK. Attorney General Scott Pruitt has agreed to take a look at documented instances of questionable FEMA flood re-designations.  (Contact information can be found at the end of this article.)

These flood maps produced by FEMA will indicate which property owners must purchase flood insurance.  Development is discouraged in the designated zones and building or development in the floodplains is often highly regulated

If you have had your property’s flood designation changed or had an encounter with FEMA or the Oklahoma Water Resources Board regarding floodplain designation, you will be interested in these two stories.

(Listen to the archived show here or read the summary I have written from the radio show interviews.)

Skiatook Township, David McLain

David McLain,  who helps out at Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook tells Amanda and Don that a few weeks ago he noticed some officials taking measurements on his property.  David approached the two gentlemen to find out what they were doing.  The two identified themselves as being with FEMA and informed Mr. McClain that they were working on adjusting floodplain designations.  One of the agents, Gavin Brady, although he introduced himself as being with FEMA, the  business card he handed to David showed him as being with the Oklahoma Water Resource Board.  The other agent is reported to be Matthew Rollins.

Curious as to why the man is representing both FEMA and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, I did a little searching and found that the OWRB is under a cooperative agreement with FEMA and is the coordinating state agency for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the state of Oklahoma. link

Map Modernization

The OWRB website explains that this is a “Map Modernization” effort;

“Many of the nation’s flood hazard maps are outdated and no longer realistically depict the true flood risk. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting a multi-year effort, the Map Modernization Program, to update these maps and present them in a more reliable digital format that is easily accessible to local and state floodplain officials” link

(For more about the FEMA/ Oklahoma Map Modernization program, click here.)    (Rest of Kaye Beach article here.)


If you have had your non-flooding property (in Oklahoma) designated as flood zone/flood plain by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, FEMA (or FIMA), the Attorney General of Oklahoma may be interested in your situation.

Two people have agreed to be the contact persons for this effort.  Please have your paperwork together and organized, including any notes you may have taken about your conversations with OWRB, FEMA, or city officials.  Get names, titles, and contact information from everyone you have spoken with regarding this flood zone designation.  Include any before and after property assessments you may have.

  1. Northeast Oklahoma contact: Margaret Snow, email: msnow14@netzero.net  – this area includes Washington County, Rogers, etc.
  2. Rest of Oklahoma: Keith Shankle, email: kshankle@gmail.com

Oklahoma County map link is here.

This is an important issue – this re-mapping is the plundering of private property.

August 12, 2011

Appeals Court Rules Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the individual mandate called for in the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obama Care”, passed in March 2010.  (Read full opinion here.)

OK Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s reaction to this decision is noted below the AP announcement.

From the Associated Press,  8/12/11:

“Appeals court strikes health insurance requirement

Legality of the individual mandate is expected to go to the Supreme Court

By Greg Bluestein, AP 8/12/11

Washington – A federal appeals court panel on Friday struck down the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul package that virtually all Americans must carry health insurance or face penalties.

The divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law. But the panel didn’t go as far as a lower court that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.

The states and other critics argued the law violates people’s rights, while the Justice Department countered that the legislative branch was exercising a “quintessential” power.

The decision, penned by Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull, found that “the individual mandate contained in the Act exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power.”

“What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,” the opinion said.

Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus disagreed in a dissent.”

The AP article continues:

“The states urged the 11th Circuit to uphold Vinson’s ruling, saying in a court filing that letting the law stand would set a troubling precedent that “would imperil individual liberty, render Congress’s other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the states.” ”

Rest of AP article is here.

Oklahoma A.G. Scott Pruitt’s Reaction:

Pruitt Applauds Ruling on Federal Health Care Law 08/12/2011

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a statement in support of the ruling by the U.S. appeals court: “I am pleased the 11th circuit ruled today that the federal government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance. “Indeed, the ruling affirms and strengthens Oklahoma’s… more


So Where Does That Leave Oklahoma’s Health Insurance Exchange?

A joint legislative committee created by the Oklahoma legislature in May 2011 is to examine the impact of PPACA on Oklahoma. The committee will begin its’ series of 5 meetings in September 2011, with the first one scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in Oklahoma City, OK. (Time and location to be determined.)

The subject likely to take center stage is the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Health Insurance Exchanges.  These exchanges, or so-called clearinghouses, are a cornerstone of the  ObamaCare nightmare and most people can see the problems with their establishment.

The ones to be convinced, of course, are the legislators, who have to make a decision on how to move forward – follow the will of the people and common sense, or establish a state-based exchange.

The 8/2/11 House press release on this committee is below, including a list of the committee members.

Health care law committee to begin work
8/2/2011 11:09:00 PM

Jarred Brejcha
(405) 521-5605 desk

John Estus
(405) 962-7674 desk

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 2, 2011) – Legislative leaders today announced membership and meetings of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law, a special legislative committee that will study how the new federal health care law affects Oklahoma.

Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele ordered the formation of the joint committee this past legislative session to ensure Oklahoma properly addresses the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

At the direction of co-chairmen Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law will do its work through a series of public meetings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The committee’s first meeting will be Sept. 14 in Oklahoma City. The committee is expected to meet at least five times through November.

“Having suitable health care options in Oklahoma is an issue the Legislature takes very seriously and intends to proactively protect and address through this committee,” said Stanislawski, a Certified Financial Planner. “Oklahoma patients, taxpayers, businesses, health practitioners, insurers and others all have wide-ranging questions and concerns about this largely unwanted new federal law. The law will affect all Oklahomans, some in significant ways, so this committee will seek to address all relevant questions and concerns for the benefit of all Oklahomans.”

Among the topics to be studied are the state of health care in Oklahoma, logistics and ramifications of implementing the federal health care law, implementation timelines, responses to the law and the costs local governments and businesses may face as a result of the law.

The committee will also explore the implications Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality may have on the law’s implementation here.

“Clearly, most Oklahomans oppose this law. While we have taken steps to guard against harmful portions of the law, we would be remiss if we did not continue reviewing it so we can do our best to protect a choice-based, free-market health care system for Oklahomans,” said Mulready, a 28-year insurance industry veteran. “Simply put, the committee will show Oklahoma what to expect from this law, how we can continue to protect Oklahoma’s interests and how we can make sure we are best prepared as a state.”

The committee will solicit testimony and recommendations from a wide range of public and private sector experts. It is expected to hear from state and federal policymakers, business officials, insurance agents and brokers, legal experts, health care industry officials and more.

“All parties will be at the table working to make sure Oklahomans have health care choices, not mandates,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “This is an opportunity for Oklahoma to assert our state’s rights and I’m confident all stakeholders will rise to the challenge so we can avoid dangerous federal mandates wherever possible.”

Ultimately, the committee will make recommendations on how the state should address components of the federal health care law.

“The committee will explore all possibilities for putting forth Oklahoma solutions that support a free market health care system,” said Steele, R-Shawnee. “Not everything is clear about this law, and most of us don’t like it, but what we do know is Oklahoma cannot afford to be caught flat-footed, unprepared and unprotected if it takes effect. As much as anything else, this committee ensures Oklahoma is prepared.”

Committee members are:
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, co-chair
Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, co-chair
Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Oklahoma City
Sen. Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa
Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore
Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman
Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove
Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond
Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa
Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague

August 2, 2011

University Leaders and Former U.S. Senator Want Deeper U.S.-China Partnerships

OK-SAFE, Inc. Reporting – 8-1-2011,

[#2 in a series of 3 covering the U.S.-China 2011 Trade, Culture & Education Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 14-17, 2011.]


“Ladies and gentlemen, through this historic conference, new frontiers and new relationships will be forged in renewable energy, green technologies, information technologies, bio- and life- sciences, advanced materials, high end manufacturing and mining technologies.”   Mark McLellan, Vice President of Research, Utah State University, to Chinese audience at Eccles Conference Center, USU, as part of the U.S.-China 2011 Conference, 7/15/11.

“What we must recognize is that with the end of the Cold War there are no boundaries in the world anymore, and we must be open to cooperation and commerce and opportunity with everybody else in the world in all three of these areas….So what I am hoping for in the future is a partnership that is not just mutually beneficial between our two countries, but economic growth and the creation of wealth that can spread to the rest of the world with the joint leadership between Chinese and American entrepreneurs that move around the globe in ways that would not have been possible during the days of the Cold War.” Former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett to Chinese audience at Eccles Conference Center, USU, as part of the U.S.-China 2011 Conference, 7/15/11.







This is the second in a series of three transcripts of select sessions at the recent U.S.-China 2011 Trade, Culture & Education Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Little America Hotel, July 14-17, 2011.  This conference was held in conjunction with the National Governors Association/U.S.-China Governors Forum.

The overwhelming impression one came away with after attending this conference was that Utah, like many other states, is actively and enthusiastically pursuing economic, educational and cultural partnerships/integration with the Communist Chinese.  The fact that the Chinese political leaders honored were all long-time members of the Communist Party of China didn’t faze the conference organizers, business (Mormon) leaders, state government agencies, or universities one bit.

[In fact, Salt Lake City leaders, apparently wanting to embrace all things Asian, have gone so far as to start a “Chinatown” of their own. This Chinatown is not to be confused with those that happened organically over a period of time in the larger U.S. cities; this one is a several acre mall, bthat will feature businesses owned and operated by….Chinese.  Interested? See website for investment opportunities.  Wonder if it’s in a TIF district?]

Too bad the state of Utah (and the U.S. Governors), and the event organizers couldn’t demonstrate this much interest and enthusiasm about developing American owned businesses that hire Americans in America.







Attendees of the U.S.-China 2011 Trade, Culture & Education Conference held at The Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Ytah, board tour buses headed for Utah State University day trip, 7/15/11.

DATE:  Friday, 7-15-11

Event: Day trip to Utah State University – Comments by former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, of Utah








U.S.-China 2011 Trade, Culture & Education conference attendees walk to meeting on the campus of Utah  State University, 7/15/11.








Banner hanging off top of the Eccles Conference Center building on the USU campus 7/15/11.

Opening Comments (Bold and Italics added for emphasis.)

Speaker: Mark McLellan, Vice President for Research, USU.

Summary of first few statements:  USU has 38 visiting scholars.  700 students enrolled in program. Strong research ties with colleagues in China. McLellan mentioned three USU instructors involved in joint USU/China University projects and long-term relationships.  McLellan credited Senator Bob Bennett with developing a particular long-term partnership between USU and a Chinese university.








Mark McLellan, Vice President for Research, USU, in the Eccles Conference Center, 7/15/11.

“Our partnerships in China have strengthened and enriched Utah State’s ability to not just talk its land grant mission but to walk it, to believe it, to make it really, really work.

Ladies and gentlemen, through this historic conference, new frontiers and new relationships will be forged in renewable energy, green technologies, information technologies, bio- and life- sciences, advanced materials, high end manufacturing and mining technologies.

We have great opportunities to build partnerships here.

Each of these areas open (sic) up new opportunities and areas for growth and we are anxious to grow with you in these news partnerships and continue to build a long-term relationship.

Again, I welcome you to our campus, and I hope you enjoy your days here in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.

And now let me ask Neil Abercrombie, our Director of Government Relations at Utah State, to come to the podium… Neil?”


Speaker: Neil Abercrombie.

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I’m thrilled to also welcome you to Utah State University and introduce our keynote speaker this morning.

Bob Bennett served in the United States Senate, representing the state of Utah for three terms.  During that 18 years of service he developed a great reputation best described, and most accurately described, as “a pragmatic problem solver.”

During this time of developing solutions to very complex policy problems Senator Bennett developed a great reputation on both sides of the aisle not only for his intelligent and innovative ideas, but for his impeccable integrity.

And while Bob Bennett is no longer serving in the United States Senate he certainly is not retired. He continues to keep a very busy schedule, very influential in Washington, D.C.,  across the nation, and even globally, applying the same skills of pragmatic problem solving to complex world issues.

So this morning, please join me in welcoming Senator Bob Bennett to speak to us.

Speaker: Senator Bob Bennett 

“Thank you very much, I appreciate the opportunity. I’ve spoken in this hall before but the crowd was usually a little more hostile because it was in the middle of a political campaign.  I don’t imagine any of you is going to be as excited about seeing me defeated as many of the other people who sat in those seats were prior to my coming here.








Former Utah Senator Bob Bennett, speaking at the U.S.-China 2011 Trade, Culture & Education Conference, in the Eccles Conference Center at USU 7/15/11.

(To translator: That was quick. I thought I talked a little longer than that.)

We’re on the campus of the University so I am going to be a little bit professorial.  Professorial – I am going to be a school teacher this morning.

If you go all the way back in human history you find that the original people were hunter/gatherers, who lived primarily on meat if they could run down the animal, and then whatever they could gather in the form of fruit and nuts.

And in the words of one political philosopher life was nasty, brutish, and short.

Then somebody made a discovery – if you stayed in one place and planted seeds and then tended the plants and harvested, you could get a lot more to eat than you could running around the country-side chasing the animals.

That was called the Neolithic Revolution for those of you taking notes like a college class. And it was the “big bang” that changed society forever.

Some historians say all of human history can be divided into that which took place before and that which took place after this revolution.

People had more to eat and they could begin to engage in trade with their surplus food. They weren’t living hand-to-mouth now; they had extra crops, and commerce grew up.

When commerce came along they had to invent some medium of exchange, and we had money.

Originally it was in the form of precious metals because that’s hard to counterfeit and it doesn’t spoil if it gets left out in the rain.

And human beings lived like for thousands of years, raising crops, trading their excess wealth, spending money back and forth, and growing and exploring until they covered the whole world.

Then somebody made another discovery, just as important as the discovery of the planting of seeds – somebody realized that you could make things easier and more cheaply if you used interchangeable parts.  (To translator: Interchangeable parts.)

Best example of that is in building a carriage. In the agricultural age, if you wanted a carriage you hired an expert carriage maker who, with his team, would build you one and it would be one of a kind. And if you wanted two, you had to hire two carriage makers, or wait twice as long.

After the introduction of interchangeable parts, Henry Ford could produce a carriage, it’s named shortened to ‘car’, every 3 and ½ minutes, by having a factory in which people would take those parts and assemble them in a predetermined way. And the cars they produced was (sic) cheaper and better and far more powerful than any of the carriages that had been built before.

And instead of carrying a bag of coins around with him to pay his workers, people would accept a piece of paper that would say, “Well there’s this much precious metal available and you take this check that will be a medium of exchange and you can use it to buy things instead of walking around with a bunch of gold.”

Now, what I’ve just described was called the Industrial Revolution, and it changed everything just as dramatically as the Neolithic Revolution did, and human history has never been the same again since the Industrial Revolution came along.

We were all just getting used to that when once again somebody had an idea and we have the third revolution hit us.

It’s called the Information Revolution.

The idea is just as simple as the idea of planting seeds and staying in one place or assembling things out of interchangeable parts.

It was the idea that a switch in a transistor could be either on or off.

If it was “on” it represented a zero, and if it was “off” it represented a one, and if you string enough transistors together and create enough combinations of zeroes and one, and ones, you could describe anything in the world.  (OK-SAFE NOTE: Actually, “on” represents a one, and “off” represents zero.)

They built machines with all those transistors in them and they were huge. They would occupy rooms bigger than this one – they were called “computers”.

And in order to read all of the combinations of zeros and ones that were stored in those giant machines a new language was created, called “digital code”.

Once again, it changed human history as dramatically as the two ideas that I’ve described before it.

And it changed the concept of wealth and of the way we do commerce.

In the agricultural age, a man’s wealth was determined by how much land he owned. We don’t know who it was in the United States in those days but a good candidate for the title was a fellow named George Washington.

In the industrial age it didn’t matter how much land you owned, the richest man was the one who had the biggest factory and his name was Henry Ford.

Now the richest man in America doesn’t own any land (of consequence), doesn’t have a factory, but he has proven the best master of digital code and his name is Bill Gates.

Society is reeling under the changes that the information revolution has brought into our lives just as much as it did under the changes that were brought by the industrial revolution or the agricultural revolution.

Commerce has changed dramatically as one of the main commodities being bought and sold around the world is knowledge.

Money is no longer a pile of gold coins or a stack of checks, but electronic blips that move around the world with the speed of light. 

Now, at the risk of stepping into territory that’s a little unfamiliar to me, I look at China and realize that China was in the agricultural age just 50 years ago.

The Industrial age was not the dominant factor there.

Then came the information age, and China is now dealing with all three simultaneously.

The speed with which you have moved into the information age, and the ease with which you navigate the information age, is breathtaking and an example to the rest of the world.

Now, we in America have a great deal to contribute in all three areas. 

We can help make agriculture more productive; we can help make industrial processes more streamlined; and we’re, we hope we are leading the world in information, entrepreneurial-ship and innovation.

What we must recognize is that with the end of the Cold War there are no boundaries in the world anymore, and we must be open to cooperation and commerce and opportunity with everybody else in the world in all three of these areas. 

I recognize that China is also reaching out to the rest of world to do what it can to deal with the challenges created by this new revolution, and one place I’d like to talk about very briefly with you is Africa. 

The western world’s approach to Africa over the last decades, a half century or more, has been, “These people are poor, let’s give them money. That’s the humanitarian thing to do.”

The record of accomplishment in Africa has not been good.  And we’ve found that just giving them money doesn’t help solve their problems.

As I go around Africa today I realize, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, the nation in the world that is there doing things that will be productive is China.

Interestingly, in many parts of Africa they have missed the industrial age altogether. They have the agricultural age and they have cell phones but they have nothing in-between.

If we are going to see the betterment of the human condition around the entire world, it’s going to take leadership from those countries that have moved forward in the progress of human society in the way I have described.

I can think of no better partnership for leadership in this regard, than between the United State and China. 

China has become a major manufacturing source not only for the Chinese but for the rest of the world. I’m a strong believer in free trade, and I don’t feel threatened by that fact.

Agriculture is obviously still important in China, but China’s activities in the information age indicate that China is a country like the United States, that can be innovative and powerful and productive in all three areas – agricultural, industrial,  and information. 

So what I am hoping for in the future is a partnership that is not just mutually beneficial between our two countries, but economic growth and the creation of wealth that can spread to the rest of the world with the joint leadership between Chinese and American entrepreneurs that move around the globe in ways that would not have been possible during the days of the Cold War.

I started out by talking about the very beginning of human history and economic activity. I didn’t mention, but we need to recognize, that one human activity that goes back as far as anything else has been war.

It’s been driven sometimes by religious differences, sometimes by ethnic differences, and many times by economic challenges and, uh, on the part of an aggressor the thought of economic opportunity, to take away from one group that which they have so that the invading group can get it for their own without effort.

Now we have discovered that you can achieve economic prosperity without taking it away from your neighbor. You can do it by engaging in intelligent commerce and trade.  And countries that trade with each other in an open and free manner do not go to war with each other.

So as we move into the high productivity era of the information age where commerce becomes even more valuable, and more and more wealth is created all the time, it is not just an economic opportunity that’s available to us, it’s a humanitarian and peaceful opportunity that’s available to us as well.

As we cooperate in high-tech trade and knowledge exchange, we make war even more and more obsolete – you don’t shoot your customers. 

The more we have conferences like this, the more we get together to talk about things like the agenda items you will cover today,  the more we travel back and forth, the more we create wealth, the more we exploit the opportunities of the  information age, and the more we make peace probable and predictable for our futures. (sic)

The last comment I’ll make with respect to the information revolution has to do with the speed with which it is coming on us and changing everything.

The industrial age took hundreds of years to unfold and we could adjust to the changes that it made in our lives fairly easily, but the information age is coming at us almost with the speed of light. When I went to the Senate I watched the lights that would blink, that would tell you whether or not the Senate was voting, a system that was put in place some years ago.

Then they gave me a beeper to hang on my belt so that I didn’t need to watch the lights; and electronically they could tell me whether the Senate was voting.

I just got the point where I could figure it out when Senator Frisk said, “I have some important information for you.”  We all pulled out our pens and he said, “It’s on your Blackberry.”

None of us had Blackberries.

So, we get them, I get to the point where I begin to understand the Blackberry, and they take it away from me and give me another Blackberry which is the next generation and I can’t figure that one out.

Then I leave the Senate and in my new incarnation they tell me I have to carry an I-Phone.  I still don’t have all the APPS that are available to me and they’re selling me an I-Pad.

Now I sit in front of my flat screen television and watch all the ads telling me that the I-Pad is completely obsolete and look at all the toys that are available.

The young people that are just coming of age can handle all of this without turning a hair.  My grandson says to me, “Hey, Grandpa, do you want me to set up a new website for you on your palm pilot?”  Which doesn’t exist anymore, that another example of how fast the technology changes.

For many in my generation this kind of thing is very unsettling.  I was talking with one woman and said,  “I will send you an email on that” and she said, “I don’t do email, I still use stamps.”

The rising generation has no patience for that attitude, whether it’s in China or in the United States.

They’re coming at us; a wave of young people prepared to embrace the information revolution, prosper in it, and spread it throughout all of the world.

The U.S. and China should join hands and do everything we can to encourage these young people and conquer the future as dramatically as Henry Ford conquered the past.

And I’ll do just fine because I have plenty of grandchildren who will tell me how it works.

Thank you so much for being here.”

End of statement.

The full pdf of this transcript including more photos and a summary of USU President Stan Albrecht, is available here.

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