Insights and POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS on global events that impact America by Michael Fjetland.
"The Global American® values are based on these principles:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL?
These are AMERICAN values. They should apply in our lives and actions globally. Michael's story is in: "Better Times Ahead: April Fool"
It ends with Agenda for American Greatness--how we get back to No. 1 again.
The drunk who flew a drone into the side of the White House
at 3 a.m. did us a favor. He showed that (1) drinking and flying is a BAD idea
and (2) the dangers of modern technology need to be addressed to protect
the President. I say this as someone who was a terrorism adviser on 911.
While this man meant no harm the incident will give others ideas. What if the next drone is packed with C4 military explosive?
What if it is flown by either a (1) domestic or (2) foreign terrorist? Do we really want to wait until there is a tragedy
Instead of studying this issue to death the secret service
needs to act! The fence jumper a few
months ago showed how inadequate White House security has become. It is evident that changes need to be made
NOW to protect the President. These include:
1)Making the present fence higher, or better yet,
adding a second fence with a ditch in between to make it very difficult for a
fence jumper to get over it before security has had time to react.
2)Add a “jamming device” that would incapacitate
any drones flying near the White House. The technology already exists. Just do
3)Make sure that the White House is not within the
line of sight of anyone with a sniper rifle like that seen in “American Sniper.”
It’s a fact that a sniper can make a shot from as far away as one mile! Put obstacles wherever needed to force them
to get within the area patrolled by security to attempt a shot.
4)Add more agents on the White House grounds, and surrounding areas.
Even the secret service has recommended adding four to five
feet to the current fence. So why hasn’t it already been done? I suspect there are thousands of contractors
who could put it up in a few days. However, once a single fence is scaled, its useless. Adding a second one changes the odds of a jumper getting past the fence and onto the grounds.
It’s time to quit studying things to death. It is time to act. It
wasn’t until JFK was shot that Presidents stopped riding in open air
vehicles. Let’s make the changes now
before it is too late – for either President Obama or future Presidents.
It's a new century with new threats and new technology. We need to make the changes necessary to deal with it...
If you agree, please pass this on to the White House.
Why the Presidents of the World’s Largest and Oldest
Democracies Need Each Other in a Dangerous World
President Obama-- who represents the oldest democracy in the
world is visiting India -- the largest democracy of the world.India’s leaders are discovering that they like
America under President Obama; and that we have much in common.
Both leaders share a similar personal story of growing up
poor. Mr. Modi sold tea on a railway platform as a child. Obama grew up as the
son of a single mother. Neither had the advantage of a dad who was rich or a
former President or CEO to insure their success. Yet both Modi and Obama were
elected to lead their respective nations to address staggering economic issues.
Obama inherited the worst economy in 70 years; Mr. Modi has
over 1 billion people that need food and jobs. India is a land of a million
villages and extreme wealth disparities.
I have a long history with India. I was sent their as a
young attorney for an American Fortune 500 company who wanted to sell our
products there. Ironically, the product was pollution control equipment for
coal fired power plants. It was a 100
year old technology invented in England that my company in Houston had
purchased. I was setting up an export that creates jobs here. At the time, India has made it extremely difficult for American
companies like us to sell into their market. The tax rate was 70%.
The deal I made with an Indian company (one of the largest
in India) had to be approved by the government before it could go into effect. My
trips cost thousands even in 70’s and 80’s dollars my first class air tickets
were $5,000.A sale would pay for the
salaries, overhead and profit of our staff and engineers in Houston and
Birmingham, England (note: Yes, Birmingham, the place an “expert” on Fox News claimed
is a Muslim no-go zone, before he was
laughed at by the conservative head of England’s government, David Cameron, who
called him an “idiot”).
India and China are rising powers – communist China’s
economy will pass America’s in size in 2015. India can help America influence
non-democratic China so that it does not become a greater threat to Asia. That
is very possible since China has been growing its military budget substantially
and trying to grab remote islands from Vietnam because of their oil potential.
India and China share a border in the highest mountains in the world.
The title of my book “Better Times Ahead April Fool” comes
from a sign I once saw in India while zipping through a depressingly black
Bombay at 2 a.m. on a trip. I had arrived on April Fool’s day of that
year.America and India need each other
to avoid being divided and conquered as fools by Russia and China in a
dynamically changing space age, nuclear world.
India assaulted my senses like none of the other 50 plus
countries I have been in. It’s not every
day that you ride in a taxi when children with missing limbs surround the car, begging
for money. Yet last year they put an orbiter around Mars for 10% of the cost of
a NASA program.
What I saw, along with the rise of China, is detailed in
journal entries I wrote in airplanes and hotels, long before the days of
computers and internet.
We need closer ties to India. Out two democracies are the
only bright lights in a world of monarchies, dictatorships and one party government
like those in Russia and China.
Stay tuned to Global American values for updates on these
vital issues to our future.Pass it on. What
country do you think America should worry about the most?
1:30 pm. We are somewhere between Roatan, Honduras and
Houston. This is one of two full sea days before we arrive Saturday morning
back at Bayport.
Yesterday we got the tour of Roatan, which is a nice island
about 30 miles off deadly Honduras. But on Roatan it was laid back and
comfortable.A “sea” of people got off
the boat and disappeared for the day. We spent about 4 hours driving to the
east side of the island and watched some traditional people do their music and
Probably the best photo I got was right before the event
started when I caught on the women performers resting her head in her hands.
She looked very bored. Lol. I took a few shots of the tourists, who also looked
quite bored during the performance. We are a jaded bunch.
We did see a couple shipwrecks and the water was beautiful
as well as the beach at Pirate’s Bay. They don’t have much for beaches and the
island is protected by a reef that surrounds it – the water is a light blue
versus the darker blue deeper waters.
We have had the pleasure of meeting different people when we
“table share” during meals – most of them from cold places like Canada, Kansas,
Utah, New York, etc. But Wednesday night we ended up in the dining area sharing
a table with two other couples. For the first time we were seated with people
from Texas. Why is it some people feel free to bring up politics during a
That’s happened a couple times and it wasn’t me. It went
downhill when the giant guy across the table from me starting going off about
climate change being “normal” – and how he had taught science at Texas
A&M.Then he said he found out how
some A&M students in animal husbandry got to eat the cows or the turkeys or
whatever animal they worked on. Apparently he felt like they got a better deal
than he. He did look like he had eaten a whale.
The final straw fortunately came as we finished dessert.
Laura asked him how he felt about the new Pope Francis. The guy said “I think
he is evil.” He went on about how he thought it was the “end times”
because of a pope bringing the religions together. What? Religions getting along are a bad thing? I couldn’t keep quiet at that
point and said “I LIKE him” and by the way, I ran for Congress and went to
Mosques, Synagogues, churches etc. and “heard the same sermon in each—be good,
pray, don’t sin.”
He puffed up and said “No you didn’t.”I could have--should have--cut him off at the
knees but instead we called it a night. Like Hyatt’s book says, “If it’s a troll,
ignore them; they feed on conflict.”I
had no desire to debate a dead brain. But I was still so pissed that it took a
couple hours to calm down. Another phony “Christian.”It’s funny, the same conservatives are
holding back us as well as places like Saudi Arabia (no women drivers) and
ISIS/Taliban (no girls’ school or music, no pigeon raising!).
Needless to say the odds of having to share time with them
again is remote since on a ship of 2,000 you get a different couple every time!Lol.
January 23, 2015
10:30. Woke up to RAIN. But it is still smooth sailing. Home
tomorrow. Spent yesterday cataloging videos from the past year to upload later.
Most of them were video journals during the US Senate campaign. I didn’t have
time to write a journal so I taped some on the road. More on that later.
I am about to run out of Ship Internet minutes at 40 cents.
Then it jumps to 75 cents a minute!
So what has been YOUR favorite place in the world to see far
We are sitting on a Norwegian cruise ship 5 miles off Belize
– there is a reef that keeps us from getting closer. So they send out small
boats to “tender” us to the mainland at Belize City, the capital.We can see at least two other ships near us,
one is a Carnival and the other is too far away to tell, but its huge like us.
Yesterday we woke up in Cozumel, on the Yucatan in Mexico
after leaving Bayport, Houston and spending a night and a day crossing the Gulf
Above: Cozumel, Mexico harbor
When we left Port Houston an entire world of ports opened up
to us—if you had the time and money you could sail to any port in the entire
world. Commercial ships do it all the time – over 6,000 of them a year coming
into the Houston port alone. But on this trip we are making 3 ports of call--
Cozumel, Belize and Roatan, an island 30 miles from the mainland of Honduras.
Here is a map:
Cozumel (and cancun) is probably the safest place in Mexico.
Because of tourism they have tons of jobs, so they don’t have the issues like
western Mexico, where I heard they stopped taking cruise passengers because a
busload of them were stopped at a checkpoint and robbed. That’s not good for
business so the ships stopped going to places like Mazatlan, where I have been.Here is a street shot:
Above: Street scene in Cozumel. Notice the police in the
truck carrying a machine gun.
Next stop we made was Belize
The funniest thing that happened in Belize was when we were
riding the tour bus and a lady in the back piped up and asked: “What about the
damage from the Tsunami?”I almost
cracked up and wanted to shout: “That was in Indonesia, on the other side of
the world!” but I let the guide handle out. “No, we have not had any Tsunami’s
here” and she went on from there.
A lot of Americans live in Belize because it is cheap as a
retirement place.Gas costs $4.50 a
gallon – when it is under $2 in the U.S. (our guide said it had been $6 before
the price drop). She said that a company
has a monopoly on gasoline distribution. That explains a lot. I wondered why
they allowed their government to do that, but they seemed to think “that’s the
way it is.”So, people use the term “driving
their BMW” – meaning “Be Me Walking.” Many use bicycles. They have zero solar and
zero wind power – the gasoline monopoly I am sure opposes that too since it
would be competition.
Belize people consider themselves ‘creole’ and speak English.
This came about after the Spanish and British had a big fight over it and the
Brits won. It and the U.S. are the only two countries that speak English. Our
guide said “We have almost 320,000 people!”Wow, the entire country has about the same number of people as Amarillo
and Lubbock combined! Houston’s five
million would swallow it.
When she showed the “rich” district of Belize City, it could
have been any U.S. neighborhood. Someone asked how much houses cost, she said:
“They are very expensive, about $250,000!”Needless to say a lot of ears perked up on that one. Here is a shot of
downtown Belize City:
They are very friendly, and prefer to speak a Creole among
themselves. But the country was founded upon the sweat of slaves, who are
represented on their flag with a white colonist. They put metal bars over the windows. When a
storm comes, they cut plywood and put it behind the metal, in front of the
windows. Wow. The things you learn when traveling…
21 January 2015
This morning we woke up coming into the port on Roatan,
Honduras. It is an island about 30 miles off the coast of Honduras.
Above: Roatan, Honduras – Port
The capital of Honduras, Teguichagapa (sp), is the murder
capital of the world. A passenger we met last night at dinner pointed out. He
was ok with going to Roatan, but he would not want to be on the mainland of
The flood of children to the U.S. borders last year came
from near here on mainland Honduras (El Salvador, etc.)– where being a kid on the street means
facing of choice of either joining a gang or being killed.This isn’t what most U.S. kids face or can
even contemplate. Many of these gangs started when the U.S. started deporting
L.A. gang members, and others like them, back to their home countries such as
El Salvador and Honduras.
These thugs took their gang ways with them, and overwhelmed
the underpaid police in places like Mexico and Honduras, who are easily
corrupted or killed by these gangs now controlling cities in central
America.So that is what bought tens of
thousands of mostly children to the U.S. in 2014.They were fleeing death from gangs created by
So, we in fact created our current problem with our own past
Our local guide in Roatan, Samantha, said gas was $4.50 a
liter, which would make a gallon near $14 so that can’t be right. But even if
its $7 a gallon its more expensive than Belize or the U.S. Roatan does use
solar power and we saw a yard where parts of windmills were laid out.
Above: Roatan Honduras port and parts of windmills awaiting
Standby or “Follow” for updates to my Global American Values
blog. Upon my return, the more interesting photos will be posted for online
viewing, with explanations.
Right now 1% own over 50% of the GLOBAL income. A mere 85
people own as much as the bottom 3.5 Billion people in the world!More on this to come! Check out BBC’s “A
Richer World” – google it.Extreme Income
inequality threatens our existence.
Since the Bush tax cuts, the wealth transfer has given all
the benefits to the top 1% instead of the 99%. It’s why the American Middle
Class has been shrinking. Let’s explore the solutions.