Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Third War: North Korea?

Will North Korea become our third war? Or is the recent shelling of South Korea, sinking of a South Korean warship and other hostile acts by North Korea meant to be something else?

A reading of North Korea’s history will make you dizzy. It’s a history of deals made and deals broken. At one moment, Pres. George W Bush called it part of the “axis of evil.” Then on June 26, 2008, following the D.P.R.K.'s submission of its nuclear declaration and progress on disablement, “President George W. Bush announced that the United States would no longer apply the Trading with the Enemy Act to North Korea. Additionally, on October 11, the Secretary of State rescinded the United States’ designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.”

But then things change again. In May 2010, (under the Obama administration) the United States re-certified North Korea as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. counterterrorism efforts under Section 40A of the Arms Export and Control Act, as amended. “Pursuant to this certification, defense articles and services could not be sold or licensed for export to North Korea from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010.”

So, are we facing a war with a hostile Communist country that possesses nukes and missiles? If you look at a history of North Korea you will see that every few years North Korea has taken hostile action against South Korea, from trying to assassinate South Korean leader Park to the bombing of a South Korean airliner. This year a South Korean ship was torpedoed and, for the first time, a civilian target was shelled. It is part of a decades-old schizophrenic pattern of hostile actions coupled with shaking down the west for more food and fuel aid to stave off starvation of North Korea’s population.

I believe what we are seeing is this -- the process by which North Korea transfers power. When Kim Jung il took power from his father, it was accompanied by military aggression. Now Kim Jung il is dying. He has three sons. The oldest son lost favor when he tried to sneak into Japan with a fake passport to visit its Disneyland, the second son was considered “too effeminate,” so that left the third and youngest son – who went to school in Switzerland and, at age 26, looks like a baby-faced kid who hasn’t got a clue what to do.

So, strategically, igniting a conflict with the South is part of an intentional strategy by North Korea to generate loyalty of the North Korean military to Jung il’s third son, Jung un, so the country will “rally around” him. How far will it go?

Probably not too far, if they follow history, but that is a big “if.” North Korea has twice the number of troops as South Korea. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is within 25 miles of the DMZ – within artillery range of North Korea. The city could be leveled just by North Korean artillery fire in one day.

But North Korea didn’t attack Seoul -- the artillery fire was directed at a small island only 7 miles off N. Korea’s coast. It is part of a border dispute – there isn’t much on the island but fishermen and S. Korean military.

The hope, of course, is to provoke a counter attack that would rally the downtrodden North Korean people to support its new leader-apparent, baby dictator-to-be Jung-un. These attacks have always been accompanied by a North Korean demand for more fuel and food. It’s a dangerous game in which the stakes keep rising as North Korea expands its missile and nuclear programs, while its economy remains on life support. (Nothing like a war, or threat of it, to take peoples’ minds off food shortages).

Solution? There may not be one. If Kim Jung il dies, his son could remain in power -- or be replaced by the military hardliners. If the North Korean people find out how much better off South Koreans live, it could collapse the military’s support, so don’t expect the military to want reunification or reconciliation. China is the only country with leverage over North Korea, but even they fear a collapse of North Korea would lead to mass migration of hungry North Koreans into China.

A third war? Let’s hope not. The one hope is that the oldest son, who disputes dad giving power to the youngest son, somehow wins out. A North Korean leader who likes Disneyland might be someone we can deal with!

If you want to see how North Korea looked to American tourists as recently as last August, check out my podcast interview with one of those tourists at (click on ‘favorite programs’ – it is at the top). It will also demonstrate what a schizophrenic country we are dealing with.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For the Good of America, Let ALL the Tax Cuts Expire

For the good of America, we the people should really let ALL the tax cuts that got us into this mess expire. Because the only other choice is cutting favorite programs from medicare to the Pentagon.

There is a role model - it was the first President Bush, as in George H.W. Bush. The Reagan cuts in the 80's (coupled with increased defense spending - the 'supply side economics' the first President Bush called 'voodoo economics') had savaged our budget and the deficits were soaring - just like today.

Bush did the right thing and let the rates go up. It cost him the election but it resulted in Pres. Clinton's balanced budget - the first one in decades. Clinton controlled spending and handed George W Bush a $200 billion surplus in 2000. Remember?

That $200+ billion surplus became an immediate $1.6 TRILLION deficit on the day the second Bush tax cuts were made in 2001. We have been in the hole since.

Let's face it - it is the citizens of this country who believed in voodoo economics that let us get into this hole. We added to it by starting two wars and for the first time in history didn't pay for either of them - and still aren't. Never in American history did we fight a war and not have a tax to pay for it.

So we taxpayers need to grow up and be mature and decide to let the rates rise (it's only 3% - nothing!) and avoid painful cuts, or insist on giving millionaires a tax cut that adds another $1 trillion to our total debt. How crazy is that?

And we should also have a "war tax" to finally pay the cost of being in Iraq and Afghanistan all these years. You don't have a free war. You don't have free health care.

Education is not free but it is the key to our future success. We are about to sabotage our own future success by cutting that too. Remember Rome? Careless acts on their part lead to their demise, just as the same will diminish our leadership in higher learning, technology, etc.

Time to make a mature decision, America. Time for voters to have more guts because our leaders won't do the right thing without public support. And its time for the public to stop believing in fairy tales and voodoo economics and do the right thing that makes our economic future sustainable.

It's our future that depends on letting these ill-advised cuts disappear, to return us to fiscal sanity and a better future. It’s time for Americans to do this, as JFK said, “not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” We wouldn’t be space pioneers today if it had been easy… We won’t be pioneers tomorrow if we don’t make the hard decisions today.

Michael Fjetland

Michael Fjetland

Global American Series

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How about a "Civil Party"? (it could be part of the Cocktail Party!).

The conversation should be about SOLUTIONS for America, based on real facts not the disrespect and lack of civility that seems to be the rage (as well as voodoo economics).

People are making up stuff and acting like the airline steward who screamed at his passengers, grabbed a couple beers and slid out the escape chute.

Let's start acting mature and having civil conversations about real SOLUTIONS for America's economy instead of the pseudo patriot stuff passing as intelligent conversation these days...(like suggesting you can cut the deficit and hand out tax breaks to the wealthy and not add another $1 trillion to our debt! Like waging two wars and still not paying for them. Like spending more on defense than the next 45 countries defense budgets COMBINED, and not consider it bloated. The math doesn't add up folks.

Even when the gov't drops its stake in GM from majority to minority, people bitch - even when it favors private control. I've had enough of the negativity and false facts masquerading as truth.

Now people are demanding security and yet screaming about the new body scanners even though the underwear bomber and shoe bomber eluded the old screening techniques. Logic and common sense have flown out the window - which doesn't bode well for our future if we make decisions bases on false facts, voodoo economics and gridlock in the midst of the biggest economic downturn in 70 years.

But we can't fix any of this without civility and leadership instead of political grandstanding when the economy is in the tank.

What say?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today at 9 am hear about the Iranians and N Koreans who like Americans.

Today at 9 am hear about the Iranians and N Koreans who like Americans.

Hear what Iranians on the streets told American tourists in October -- they couldn't stand their own government!

On Global AMerican radio, Houston Business 1110 AM, steamed on and, if you miss it, Podcast 24/7 on (Click on 'Favorite Programs').

Friday, November 19, 2010

An American Who Went to North Korea and Iran in 2010 – And Lived to Tell

An American Who Went to North Korea and Iran in 2010 –
And Lived to Tell

Ever wonder how ordinary North Koreans and Iranians would treat an American they discovered in their own country? Couldn’t be good, right?

Would you be surprised to discover that American tourists have been to Iran THIS year – and were neither tossed into prison, water-boarded nor killed? And what about North Korea? Death? Prison for sure, right? Wrong, to my total surprise. I didn’t even know Americans were allowed into these two isolated countries.

This week on Global American radio I interview a retired insurance agent who was one of fewer than 200 Americans who have visited North Korea this year. Then in October he went to Iran! (Not Iraq). He found some big differences and some big surprises he didn’t expect. And he wasn’t thrown into prison or killed. How can that be?

You’ll be surprised what Iranians he met on the street told him about their government! How did ordinary Koreans and Iranians treat the Americans? And what about the odd ritual he and the other tourists had to agree to do to even be allowed into North Korea?

Listen in Saturday at 9 am Central time on Houston’s Business 1110 AM which is streamed on and carried as a podcast 24/7 on

North Korea and Iran each have huge potential to impact our future, yet we know almost nothing about them. One has nuclear weapons and one is close to having them. Both countries have missiles and are international outcasts. Both have faced sanctions for decades. Few people ever get to travel there. Three American hikers in Iraq were put in prison by Iran a year ago (one has been released). Bill Clinton recently secured the release of two journalists held in North Korea after they crossed the Chinese border.

So how can it be that ordinary Americans can show up in these countries and not face the same treatment?

Tune in Saturday and find out. Americans will be surprised by what they hear, especially about how Americans were treated in each country (and which one kept them away from normal people and which did not!).

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Rise of Extremism on Both Sides Doesn't Help Us Compete

The problem is that each party has swing to the extreme left and right - and the sensible moderates in the middle have lost out. Both Democrats and Republicans seem to foam at the mouth at the mention of "moderate."

That is what we have to get back because neither extreme has the answer. In fact each extreme is the problem. If neither Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner can talk to one another or hash things out over a dinner after work like Tip O'Neil and Reagan did, then how do we solve the problems that 80% of Americans want the two parties working on to solve?

I see the same extreme trend expanding beyond Islam and into Christian and Jewish (even Hindu) sects also - the unwillingness to talk to others different from them.

This extremism is nothing but trouble for all of us and our future. Our ship of state is in serious trouble and the refusal of both sides to work towards common ground bodes ill for America - we are playing in our own fishbowl.

We have to compete with a global, high tech world after digging ourselves into the deepest financial hole of our nation's history. We can't do it with politicians refusing to give an inch on either side.

How does refusing to enact an arms agreement with Russia help Americans? How do tax cuts that add to the deficit help bring it down, when the same cuts have only doubled our national debt in the last decade?

We need to find solutions and they will only be found by moderates on both sides working together to shut out the extremists who only want to throw Molotov cocktails, verbal or otherwise.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Americans can actually visit NORTH Korea and IRAN and not be put in prison or killed?

Did you know that Americans can actually visit NORTH Korea and IRAN and not be put in prison or killed?
This week I interview a man who just returned from trips to BOTH countries, on Global American radio -- it blew me away that anyone could do that. What were ordinary North Koreans and Iranians like? How did the people treat him and other Americans? What happens there that we don't see in the news?
This is an opportunity for rare insight into two very odd places by an ordinary American citizen.
The reactions he got were fascinating and unexpected...(I haven't heard his Iran story yet--we'll get to it this week)
It will broadcast at 9 am Saturday on Business 1110 AM, streamed on www.Business1110KTEK.co1 and Podcast 24/7 at

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dead Goldfish, Dead Planet - A Warning ?

This morning I discovered the remaining goldfish in the aquarium lifeless, eyes bulging, lying on the bottom of the tank. Inspection discovered that the filter had become clogged with toxic waste - but it was too late for Mr. Goldfish. The toxins had killed him (His identical roommate fared better. A couple weeks ago he was sent to a pond for being too fat for the tank -- where he is now either swimming freely or has become protein for a cat or raccoon in the food chain).

But the Aquarium Goldfish story could be our story - that 6 billion humans discover too late that we have fouled our own planetary tank with billions in fossil fuel emissions and brought life as we know it to an end. Scientists have discovered that the water temperature under the arctic ice is 40 degrees - way above freezing! This speeds up the ice melt even faster.

By the time we realize that our own greenhouse gas emissions have passed 'fail safe' on the path towards killing us by overheating the planet into a Venus-type hothouse atmosphere, it will be too late to fix it. At that time it will be too late for your grandkids to do anything about it. Their future is in our hands.

Denials that millions of our global industries which are pumping billions of tons of emissions into the atmosphere are not having an effect compared to 800,000 years of a few cavemen sitting around a campfire is not logical, or smart on our part.

The world the goldfish lived in wasn't the entire planet. So if we get it wrong and fail to address imbalances in our world's carbon system, there is no suburb we can move to to escape the inevitable. I've heard that the moon Titan has potential as a second home for humans, but it would be smarter to fix our own planet first -- before we kill our grandchildrens' future. The oceans are already predicted to rise several feet this century. Even our military has warned about the disaster of human induced climate change.

If I'm wrong, we end up with Green energy jobs and cleaner air and water. If the skeptics are wrong, we end up with a Venus climate for Earth, a dead world where neither people nor goldfish can survive.

Which is worse?

And consider this. Scientists think that there is another "Goldilocks Planet" like EARTH in our solar system. The Bad News: With our current space technology, it would take 380,000 years to reach it! Ummm, so if we mess up this one, it's a LONG way to the next Earth folks...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Immigration Problem is Simple: Lack of a System

Our Immigration Problem is Simple: We Lack an Immigration System.

We have set it up so that human smuggling has been big business because we push people to go "around the gate" instead of "through the gate" to enter the U.S.

The talk about not having a secure border is nonsense. We have built a Berlin Wall along our border. Its forced people to cross in the desert and given the drug gangs a whole new business - people smuggling.

When people say "get control of the border" I have to say that we have control of our border. The real problem is we have a non-functioning system for immigration --which is like trying to run a jet on 5 gallons of gas.

Our system only allows 5,000 unskilled laborers a year to come into the U.S. to do millions of jobs Americans won't do, like work in meat plants and pick lettuce or housekeep for Meg Whitman. You REALLY want to be a meat packer? Your kids? Get real.

Then on the high skill end we shot ourselves in the foot limit the number of those even when Americans don't have those skills, so our companies that need those skills ot stay on top of a global economy lose out. Of course, they SHOULD have those skills but don't because everyone wants to be a lawyer or hedge fund manager and not a tech geek. We should be retraining people to have those skills but we aren't even doing that.

So we end up with people jumping the fence for the low skills and keeping out the high skill people we need to stay on top of the global economic technology race - in other words we have a stupid system; and a dysfunctional one. So we are screwing ourselves twice over.

If we revised our system to let in those we need and have them identified with a card, biometrics, and background check we end up with a better system instead of the present chaos.

Actually the fall off of over 1 million illegals in the U.S. in the last two years has been largely because of the lousy economy -they aren't here for welfare, they want WORK. So some of them are now going to Europe instead --for jobs. They certainly don't want to sit around with nothing to do - they can do that back home.

To find out more about how we can fix our system, tune in to today's Global American radio program on Illegal Immigration, where we talk about how it is and how we can fix it. On Business 1110 AM, streamed on and available 24/7 under "favorite programs" at

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Did you Know: Illegal Immigration is DOWN by 1 Million since 2008!?

Did you Know: Illegal Immigration is DOWN by 1 Million since 2008!?
Facts & Myths

Global American Series
12 Nov. 2010

Did you know that Illegal immigration is actually DOWN by 1 million in the last
two years?

Did you know that the Obama administration is deporting more people than were
deported during the Bush administration? (True!)

Are there really hordes of illegal border crossers swooping out of Mexico -- or
fact-less fear mongering? (I just returned from a trip to the Mexico border and
saw it up close and personal).

Did you know that after giving foreign students Ph.D's, we show them the exit
door – so they can make the next great invention for companies in China or India
instead of giving them a Green Card to stay in America to pay taxes and help
U.S. companies compete on the cutting edge in the global market?

Did you know we have a shortage of highly skilled people that can't fill $80,000
jobs in American companies–and only allow in 5,000 unskilled workers to do farm
work and meat packing most Americans won't?

What is the real solution to the immigration issue –our present non-system -- or
something better? If something better, what should it look like?

This Saturday on Global American Radio we give Americans some real FACTS and
TRUTH about illegal immigration – what is happening and potential solutions. My
guest is 30-plus year Houston immigration attorney , Charles Foster, who has
served as policy advisor for both Presidents Bush and Obama and currently leads
the Greater Houston Partnership Task Force on Immigration Reform, a nationwide
effort to make our non-working immigration system to work for business, families
and our economy. Charles once helped a Chinese ballet dancer defect to stay in
America back in the early 80's (Li Cunxin, a Chinese national, was forcibly
detained inside the Chinese Consulate in Houston after informing Chinese
authorities that he intended to remain in the United States—Charles got him out
and got him his freedom).

Did you know that our present focus is on deporting criminals and repeat

You don't know any of this if you have been listening to the other radio guys
who are either (1) not giving Americans the truth about our border situation
either because they don't know any better or (2) they are being dishonest for a
political purposes that includes not giving Americans the truth about the
current situation. Why can't they give you the true facts instead of making them
up? (Remember, Limbaugh claiming the President's trip cost $200 million/day plus
1/3 of our navy – even the military laughed at that figure because it was so

Global American radio trusts Americans will make the right decisions if given
Truth and Honest Facts instead of false, phony ones. A country whose people
decide issues based on false facts run the same risk as an aircraft or ship with
a faulty compass that takes it off course where it can run aground, or worse.

Check out "Illegal Immigration and America's Future" on Global American Radio,
Saturday Nov. 13 at 9 am Central time on Business 1110 AM, streamed on and then available 24/7 on
(Click on Favorite Programs, then the program name).

Next week we meet a man who was just in North Korea and Iran -- and lived to
tell about it. (Did he really have to do THAT in front of Kim's statue!?)

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
Global American Radio:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heading to McAllen, Just Across the Border from 1930's Chicago

Growth is GREEN JObs folks. My green company keeps growing - got to go to McAllen today for a job, just across from where drug gangs closed the international bridge at one point last week.

While illegal immigration has dropped dramatically under the Obama administration, our drug policy the last 40 years has failed...even after 8 years of Bush admin control over border issues, it has become more dangerous...

Only a change in strategy has the potential of turning this situation around. There are no jobs for young people in Mexico, other than being a police officer (and those are risky) or a drug mule for a gang.

And they are getting their heavy weapons from AMERICAN GUN DEALERS. If I hear gunfire from across the border, it will be American weapons killing innocent civilians and police...and I bet they sleep very well knowing that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

India and American Jobs - How to get back to No. 1

When I was a young Fortune 500 attorney-negotiator, I was sent to India - and stayed at the same Taj Mahal hotel the President is on this trip. But it was before terrorists stormed the hotel and killed over 160 people. When I went India was still a stagnant economy, but no more.

India is the largest democracy in the world, and once it unleashed its private sector and free market system in the 90's it has become a global powerhouse along with China. It was not like that in the 1970's when I first arrived - but the stark constant between wealth and poverty was. There weren't billion dollar skyscrapers for six people next to slums when I was there in the 80's.

The President's trip will yield 50,000 American jobs. Our ties with them are vital for our future.

India and China are leading the U.S. because they have so many students interested in-- and graduating from -- engineering and science programs. That is why America has a competitive problem - we can't even fill aircraft machinist jobs that pay $80,000 because the plants can't find people with the skills to do the job.

Any politician who has not been to India and China is clueless, and unqualified to make decisions about American policy, since our future depends on knowledge of our global competitors, not ignorance. As a business negotiator you see it from the ground level -- the REAL world you don't see as a Congressman, Senator or President.

India and China are the two key countries in our future. Every member of Congress should have already been there - yet many do not even have a Passport! How to we lead a world our own Congress reps are ignorant about?

In Saturday's Global American radio, I talked about where the U.S. ranks in the world in education etc (sorry, we are not No. 1 or even close), and WHAT we have to do to become No. 1 again. Look for it under "favorite programs" under "The Gathering Storm"

If you want America back in the game, pass this to a friend.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Gathering Storm: CATEGORY 5 Global Threat to America’s Success

The Gathering Storm: CATEGORY 5 Global Threat to America’s Success

Most Americans assume that we are No. 1 where it counts, but according to a study made during the Bush administration in 2005 and recently updated in 2010, the U.S. ranks No. 11 in the number of people with a high school degree, 16th in college completion, 24th in life expectancy, 48th in quality of K-12 math and science education, and 27th in the number of college students holding science and engineering degrees. Shocked?

We face a GLOBAL threat that cannot be addressed by Washington DC focusing solely on inter-party rivalry instead of an American national strategy.

Have you heard about the 2005 study, recently updated in 2010, called “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing America for a Brighter Economic Future”? If you read it you will find the above rankings and realize that no politician, from either party, has leveled with the American people on our nation’s true status in the world –from education to technology—and what we need to do to fix it.

How do we get back to No. 1? This Saturday, on Global American Radio, we look at how America’s success is threatened by a rapidly approaching Category 5 of global competition that we are not prepared for – and some of the real world SOLUTIONS that you aren’t hearing from the politicians.

And there is a significant danger that the politicians will cut the one thing needed to put us back into the game. The last thing we need to do is eat our seed corn! You don’t lighten an aircraft by removing an engine. Deficit cutting in the wrong area will spell doom for America, which went from the world’s No. 1 creditor nation in 2000 to the No. 1 debtor nation today. We have to make some important changes that go beyond the usual “tax and spend” debates swirling about.

Find out details of this global Tsunami heading our way and how we fix it on Global American radio, Saturday at 9 am Central time, on Houston Business 1110 AM, which is streamed on and archived 24/7 at

Global American Radio puts American interests ahead of any party or ideology. I believe it is best to tell Americans the facts and the truth, so they can make up their minds with honest information instead of the smoke and mirrors agenda of either party.