Tuesday, February 2, 2016

ZIKA Virus: Threat to ALL Pregnant Women - Why Their Problems Are Our Problems

This ZIKA VIRUS is a Threat to Pregnant women...It is the latest pandemic that the World Health Organization has been SLOW to respond to.

Folks, the world is a SMALL place. Someone can get on a plane and be halfway around the world in a day. Disease can travel the same way. A couple mosquitoes in an airplane could bring it here.

Bottom line:
THE problems people have in other countries (like Zika) are ours too. Because if we don't help address the problem there, those same problems WILL arrive at our shores.

It is better to fix it BEFORE it gets here....my view

That's part of "Agenda for American Greatness"....

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dear Iowa, As a former Iowan please do this on Election Day...

Re: This Election

Dear Iowans:

I was born in Iowa and my mom still lives in Mason City, so I have a vested interest in this election. 

First of all, let be me clear that this election will make a difference in your life when candidates are discussing doing away with guaranteed access to healthcare and social security -- or starting another war with American boots on the ground. 

Frankly, the GOP side seems to have gone totally insane in a contest of who can be the bigger bomb-thrower and hate-monger, so I will stick with the Democratic side.

Unlike many of you, I am old enough to remember past elections when democrats nominated a person George McGovern in 1972 and Walter Mondale in 1984, each of whom lost by a landslide because Democrats picked the most liberal candidate.  The old adage is “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.”  I was where college kids are today, voting as a senior for the first time in 1972 - and seeing the consequences.

I like Bernie Sanders but polls show that anyone who calls himself a “socialist” has lost 50% of the vote off the top. Secondly, while I like his proposals there is no way to pay for them nor get them through a GOP controlled Congress. It’s all pie-in-the-sky.  The GOP will hit him with their smear machine and like McGovern and Mondale, it will be another “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” moment for democrats.

I encourage thinking Democrats to vote for Hillary. She is the only candidate with the global skills needed by a President.  I know this since I have negotiated in nearly 50 countries while she has been in over 100. The presidency is no place for on the job training by amateurs. It is challenging even to those with experience, since no one controls the unexpected. She also is a fighter for the middle class.

So, I encourage a vote next Monday for Hillary Clinton, a sane candidate in a year of crazy candidates who plunge America back into the policies favoring the 1% and fiscal nightmare that led to the crash of 2008.

Michael Fjetland


Sunday, January 24, 2016

13 Hours - How it was a local CIA Station Chief, not Clinton or Obama, Who delayed a Rescue...

I Just saw "13 Hours" about the Benghazi attack.


I did NOT see it as a hit piece-- I say that as a supporter of Hillary (I like Bernie but am supporting Hillary who has the global expertise required).  It shows what's its like to be in a de-stabilized country. It looked authentic to me, since I have been in de-stablized countries (once flying into Thailand a day after a coup and being in Syria) described in "Better Times Ahead April Fool' )...

One of the Benghazi survivors, "Tig" confirmed on Fox News that it was the CIA station chief in Benghazi who said "stand down" - NOT Clinton or Obama. 

That CIA chief is probably the reason the ambassador died of smoke (not bullets.)  I have been in that part of the world. Once things fall apart communication with the rest of the world gets difficult and complex fast.  In the old days a phone call out of India would take me 4 hours. It takes hours to travel into these areas.

Final take-away: It was LIBYANS who rescued them in the end. That should tell you that not all Libyans are bad guys...duh.

The problem was telling who is who - who were the bad guys. Notice our guys didn't just shoot everyone outside the compound!

if we had a mass of people running the streets carrying AK 47's (in their case, all looted from Col. Qaddafi's armory after his fall), how would we know who was a good guy or a bad guy? Right? No one has a uniform.

Go see "13 Hours." It's dramatic, authentic and educational..

P.S. As a person who spent 911 on TV as a terrorism analyst, the one thing it does miss and downplays too much is that there WAS an Inflammatory VIDEO released at that time by an American religious zealot that WAS meant to cause this kind of adverse Islamic reaction. The timing was the worst.

In fact, since i follow this having been there, it did cause, Muslim reactions and protests as far as Egypt. It was a word grenade that played into Al Qaida's hands.  Amb. Stevens paid the price as a

result of religious intolerance and ignorance on BOTH sides.

These 6 guys are HEROES for what they did: 6 standing up against 30-40-50, all armed with the same heavy weapons.  

Who was worthless in the fight? The CIA staff, kids from places like Harvard who basically stood there, useless in fixing the mess they were in....Go see for yourself. 

Being the U.S. President is no place for arrogant bombast from a Trump or a Cruz. It takes knowledge. like these guys did when the chips were down. Even the experts can find ourselves in tough places like Benghazi. Imagine how an amateur would screw it up.

These guys weren't amateurs, and it wasn't them who screwed up. They were Americans protecting Americans, working with our foreign national allies, who in this case were Libyan....We all get by with a little help from our friends, not alone.


Monday, December 28, 2015

I have Negotiated in Nearly 50 Countries - The Most Dangerous? The Place Where I was Kidnapped

Even though I once negotiated in nearly 50 countries over 30 years -- including in SYRIA for a Texas mom whose 12 year old daughter was taken without her consent to a city near Damascus -- the most dangerous place I have encountered was right here in the USA. 

Despite flying into coups and traveling around war zones (documented in my book “Better Times Ahead April Fool”), the only crime that ever happened to me was when I was personally kidnapped in East Texas, by a white man. Ironically, I even knew the person, which makes it even more strange.

As an American who has negotiated in nearly 50 countries, people often have asked me “what is the most dangerous country you have been in?”  I have to say …the USA.  Why is that? 

Why is that we fear a foreign terrorist when our own domestic terror is so much GREATER?  

Even murder of little kids at schools like Sandy Hook hasn’t bothered America as much as two losers in California killing co-workers. The term “postal” is old hat in America.  (And if its true that a co-worker did that “My religion is better than yours” crap, then I can see why they became the targets instead of a mall. The whole problem is the “My religion is better than yours” crap going on by all sides).

In 2015, 14 people were horribly gunned down by two Muslims and people lost their minds. That demeans the deaths of the other 30,000 people who were gunned down in the U.S. by our own killers with easy access to the most lethal of firepower with the minimum of thought.

We should not ignore those 30,000 deaths as less important.  ISIS cannot bring us down any more than Al Capone or the drug lords could bring down our nation.  We can fear ourselves to death and hide under our desks, but ISIS is not an existential threat.

Planetary suicide from runaway carbon emissions is. A dead planet doesn’t have an economy. So on the priority scale Climate change should rank No. 1 and terrorism No. 3 after our economy (No. 2).

We need to elect a president in 2016 that doesn’t make the situation worse. We need a Congress to match. Under those standards, Mr. Trump is disqualified to be president but would make a great Nazi bully-sexist-racist-disgusting-rich-bastard-that-is-screwing-people-like-his-supporters!

Stay tuned…
Michael Fjetland
Author, Better Times AheadApril Fool

Get Updates at Global American Values blog

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Texas Gov. Abbott - Stop Fearmongering and Sabotaging Texas' Future

Dear Gov. Abbott:

We had hoped that when Gov. Perry left that Texas would join the 21st century, a high tech global economy that needs Texans with high tech skills. Instead, we have seen a leader that has made us less safe and wasted billions while failing to invest wisely.
I say that as someone who is a Texan and has negotiated worldwide and seen what we are up against.  Gov. Abbott, I can see that you are setting up Texas to fail our citizens and their future. Thanks to you, our roads will be potholed and crowded as we double in size even as our road debt soars; thanks to you our kids will be on the bottom rung of the ladder as kids with high tech skills from other states and countries take the best jobs of the 2st century leaving Texans behind.

Governor, you claim to be “pro life” but everything you are doing is the polar opposite. In fact, your policies are better described as “pro death.”  How else to describe denying the expansion of Medicaid?
Texas leads the nation in uninsured, yet to hear you talk one would think that having access to medical care is horrible and to be sabotaged at all costs.   That's pretty sick and disgusting. Even Mexico provides medical care to its poor.

Rather than expand Medicaid at no cost to our state, you cut access to low cost medical care provided by Planned Parenthood which serves poor women  across the state who need mammograms and prenatal care (only 3% of their services are abortion related.)

Instead of promoting sex education and access to contraception that would reduce abortions, you do the opposite. Instead of believing the 97% of scientists who say climate change is real and caused by us, you fight it even as the seas rise, threatening our coast. Did you know that you are the only conservative party in the entire world that doesn't acknowledge climate change? That makes you either pretty ignorant -- or a prostitute for the fossil fuel industry that is destroying the planet.

Like Gov. Perry, you are wasting millions of Texas taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on frivolous lawsuits against the Federal government (and gifts for Ag. Commissioner Sid Millers friends) while throwing nearly $1 billion away by sending the Texas guard to the border -- to sit around twiddling their thumbs waiting to wave their guns at unaccompanied, unarmed children fleeing the death gangs of central America.

You stoke fear of refugee children, rather than providing a mature welcome and leading this diverse state like a mature adult who cares about the least among us (as Jesus did.)

Instead of investing in our kids’ education and upgrading our transportation needs , you have governed as if Texas is a never-ending GOP primary requiring the most extreme position – guns on campus, guns in classrooms, guns in churches, guns everywhere, yet no medical care for the poor, no help for Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS, no equal pay for equal work, no paying for road improvements with cash instead of borrowed money that your kids have to pay back.

In short, Gov. Abbott, you are sabotaging Texas future. You should resign along with your indicted Attorney General Paxton and make way for a real leader who will invest in Texas schools and update our transportation system to handle 21st century demands; someone who would stop the senseless fearmongering about children refugees; someone who would cease encouraging people to wear a gun to eat a hamburger. That's nuts, and making us more dangerous than the 50 plus countries I have been in so far.
Texas deserves better than what you and the GOP are providing.  I know you won’t resign (or respond to this letter) and Texas will be the loser as a result. We can only hope either you come to your senses -- or the voters do in 2018.

Michael Fjetland, BBA/JD
Author, Better Times Ahead April Fool

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Big Short - How Wall Street Destoyed the World Economy in 2008 - And May Be Doing It Again

If you are a citizen of America and worried about our economy and your job, then you MUST see the just released movie “The Big Short.”  It is about how Wall Street crashed the American (and global) economy in 2008, which led to massive job losses that Obama had to face his first days in office. Ok, it isn’t “Star Wars” but it matters because your wallet is at risk again.

The movie is fast paced and lays out how corruption took over to the point where even the referees were rigging the game – Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s were giving AAA ratings to JUNK Bonds, consisting of Grade D mortgages, bought by investors worldwide.  They are supposed to be independent referees on ratings, but weren’t.  “If we don’t give a AAA, they will take their business to the other guy” was their excuse!

Moral: It could happen again! 

The Chinese have a saying that “To scare the monkeys you have to kill a chicken.”  Since no chicken was killed—no big bankers went to jail--no monkeys were scared. In fact, they may be encouraged to act out again because, as the movie portrays, the same flawed system remains in place as rich lobbyists dumped money bombs on Congress to get the laws watered down.

The Chinese have been around 5,000 years know a lot about human behavior.  No one went to jail for massive, systemic FRAUD in our financial system during the Bush years that the “experts” didn’t see--but a couple clever entrepreneurs did.  This movie shows how two of them turned $110,000 in $80 million (and they were the little players who saw through the hype and greed on Wall Street.)

What Wall Street was doing was beyond gambling with other people’s money. It turns out that if you and I make a bet, Wall Street was then selling bets on those bets! That “bet-on-a-bet-on-a-bet” system turned a $10 million bet (on mortgages) into a multi-Billion loss! It brought the world’s economic system to its knees in the dark days of late 2008 and early 2009 as Wall Street giants like Lehman Brothers started going bust fast and furiously. The Bush administration ran out of office just as the ceiling and walls were collapsing in the market.

There is another saying in China that, "Once you open the window, ALL the flies can come in."

The flies are the lobbyists that now control our Congress to benefit the 1% (Wall Street) while the 99% will be left to pick up the tab-- like in 2008.

Obama was left with a smoking wrecked ship on a reef by the Bush administration and two hot wars and chaos, so maybe that’s why he passed on prosecuting the offenders. Big mistake. Since then, banking as grown more powerful and concentrated –now only 6 big banks control the vast majority of assets (2/3’s), and can still play Russian Roulette with your money.

But Obama can’t be blamed when the GOP Congress has the big banks best friend, watering down Dodd Frank (weak as it is) and by fighting the restoration of Glass Steagall, the law that resulted from the Great Depression which forbid banks to also be stock traders with other people’s money.  

Go watch “The Big Short” because the howler monkeys on Wall Street are brewing up another bust and are trying to buy this presidential election and Congress.

We don’t want to be hit by another Financial Tsunami when the pain of millions of jobs lost and lives ruined could be avoided by proper Congressional action.

Michael Fjetland

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Christian, A Muslim and a Jew - All Friends for Over 15 years. America's model

It dawned on me in the shower this morning that America has the answer in one county in Texas, where a Christian, Muslim and Jew can be friends. I am thinking of myself and my friends Farha and Hillary G.

While Donald Trump and the GOP presidential candidates continue their fear campaign, it dawned on me that we have an example of the real America right her in Ft. Bend County, Texas.

I was raised as a Christian, and since 2000 I have been friends with a lot of people I met while running for Congress, including MUSLIMS and JEWS. I went to Mosques and Synagogues.
I heard the same sermon in each - be good, pray, repeat.

My shower thought was that Farha, Hillary G and I should do a video to show America how its done. We have been friends for over 15 years.

And guess what? One of us is a Republican, and its not what you think. Two of us are Democrats.

People fear what they don't know.  Let's get to know one another. That is what Global American values is all about.