Thursday, December 29, 2011

China's Ambitious SPACE Plans - Passing U.S. by 2020?

China has big space plans that will make it the third major player behind the U.S. and Russia.

China is buildings its own space station - which will become operational in 2020 about the time the U.S. International Space Station is scheduled to retire. That would leave China with a brand news station on the "high ground" and the U.S. without any space platform!

Here is the link to the article with more details on China's space plans. It's clear that the U.S. needs to renew its space effort to stay ahead of the technology game in the coming decades. One thing is clear - SPACE is here to stay!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Wish 2012 - A FLYING Car

Birthdays ought to be special, right?

I was hoping to receive my very first FLYING CAR today -- but Santa was a no show.

There really is one, but it costs a quarter million, which makes me a quarter million short. Here is the link to their site:

I just spent over an hour each way for a Christmas dinner - traffic on 290 was shut down 2 lanes. We will DOUBLE in size in the next few years. It gained over 2 million in the last decade.

I WANT A FLYING CAR before I go NUTS from Houston traffic. That's my birthday wish again for 2012. LOL

But THEN I found this article that says the U.S. MILITARY has a RFQ for a "FLYING CAR" - COOL.

We are about to encounter the JETSONS age....This Fjet is ready for it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

China's Three Decades of Double Digit Growth Over?

Big changes are in the wind for China - and it will impact Europe and the U.S. It appears that China's miracle of three decades of double digit growth, averaging around 10% per years, is over.

Why? Part of it could be that it has reached that part of development that makes such high growth rates impossible - think of Germany and Japan after WWII, in which the construction boom finally ended as they reached developed status.

This development is risky for both China AND the U.S. China has managed to employ millions in export related manufacturing. Now those people will see a slowdown as wages have increased - reducing job prospects for the millions of Chinese in the country that have been immigrating into the cities for work.

Less work means more potential political turmoil, which China's leaders dread more than anything else.

It is possible that the slowdown could open up China to a "China Spring" as more people demand a voice in government to vent their frustration with falling housing markets and fewer jobs (Shanghai's housing prices are down 40%!)

For more details check out this article:

Iraq War Officially CLOSED Today - Did It Make a Difference?

Today is a significant date. After nearly 9 years of war in Iraq, the U.S. officially ended our involvement today - after nearly 4,500 service members were killed and over 150,000 Iraqis died.

Did it make a difference? I started the war as a TV terrorism analyst in Houston. It did eliminate Saddam Hussein as a dictator.

However, it also strengthened Iran's influence. Today the Shiites of Iran have great influence with the Shiite government of Iraq. People forget that in the 80's the U.S. supported Saddam in his war against Iran that lasted 8 years. Iraq was the keystone to keeping Iran from having too much influence in the Middle East. After the fall of Saddam Iran was free to pursue its nuclear program and to meddle in Iraq.

No Weapons of Mass Destruction were found. Iraq was not involved in 9/11. The cost: $1 Trillion dollars. Thousands of our troops came back with Post Traumatic Stress syndrome after having to serve multiple tours at huge cost to their family lives.

We could see a return to sectarian violence in Iraq - Muslim against Muslim as the old Sunni-Shiite rivalry begins anew. But that is their problem - not one where American lives should be put on the line.

We appreciate the sacrifices of our soldiers who served. Never again should they be put in harm's way without sufficient troops and a plan -- or body armor -- in the way the Iraq war started. The dismissal of the Iraqi army (with their weapons) by Paul Bremer started the insurgency that generated a hellacious scene of carnage from IED's, car bombs, truck bombs and assassinations. Both American troops and Iraqi civilians paid a high price for these mistakes.

So today we finally close a chapter on a long war that cost us huge amounts of blood and treasure. Let's hope it is a lesson when the next Congressman, Senator or Presidential candidate calls for yet another war - with Iran or any other country.

We should have learned that its much easier to get into these black holes than it is to get out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

China: World's High Tech Leader?

China is poised to take the world lead in technology. It now has the world's fastest supercomputer. Much has changed from my first trip to China in the early 80's when they had NOTHING. What a difference 30 years - and a plan -- can make.

"What scares competitors is that China has begun producing waves of amazing hardware engineers and software programmers, winning international competitions and beginning to dominate the best engineering programs in the United States. The University of California, Berkeley, is about to announce a deal to create an engineering campus in Shanghai, raising fears about transferring technology from one of the best American engineering schools."

And check this:
"Moreover, China is now the world’s second-largest venture capital market, growing to $7.6 billion from just $2.2 billion in 2005, while the American venture capital market has remained largely stagnant, according to Rebecca A. Fannin, author of the new book “Startup Asia” (Wiley)."

Meanwhile our Congress CUTS back on investments in technology, science, space, education, etc. Congress shortsightedness is dangerous and threatens our future tech lead.

Here is the link to the full WP article:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Unless Next President Has MORE GLOBAL Expertise - Elect Obama

For America to have SUCCESS in the 21st Century, we have to have a GLOBALLY SMART PRESIDENT. Whether it is President Obama OR one of the challengers running for that supreme office, American voters must make a SMART CHOICE.

What is smart? Electing someone as President (or even for Congress) who has never been out of Frog Jump AR or Paint Brush TX or Minnesota when we face a global meltdown from Europe and high tech challenges from Asia? How smart is that America? Do you want to pick some turkey who thinks the Supreme Court has 8 judges or that poor people don't want jobs and opportunity? Or do you want someone who is fighting for the Middle Class to get fair and equal treatment with the richest Americans?

That is the most significant question Americans face in 2012. Picking the SMARTEST President with the Best GLOBAL PLAN for economic success in 2012 is the one and only thing AMERICANS (the 100%) CAN DO TO INSURE OUR FUTURE PROSPERITY.

Electing a Presidential candidate who has NO international experience would be like making you next pilot on a 747 flight someone who has never flown it before. In this real case our entire country citizens are the passengers!

Do we want "oops" or $10,000 bets on the future of ordinary Americans who aren't career politicians telling American what they want to hear instead of what they NEED to hear to win the 21st Century? Do you want a President who believes gays or poor are not as American as the rest of us, and deserving of the same rights?

If America does not correct the financial Tsunami left by the last administration (when the GOP was the majority passing but not paying for massive defense spending, Plan D, Iraq, Afghanistan, tax cuts, etc. America cannot win on inexperience nor can it win on more voodoo, snake oil economics. We did it under President Clinton, we can do it again. No other President in 30 years has balanced an American budget.

If Europe's Union blows up the U.S. economy will take a HUGE HIT because of our billions in exports to the biggest economy on the planet - the EU. Each $1 billion exports, generates 20,000 jobs according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Do you think someone from backwoods Minnesota or Paint Brush TX has a clue about creating more export jobs?

I started life as a Iowa farm kid. But I went to college and law school before traveling dozens of countries for the Fortune 500, and as an entrepreneur. I can tell you that anyone who has NOT been there is CLUELESS. I just went to Norway in May for the first time. I read book on it. I can tell you that despite my already having been in over 50 countries, I didn't have a clue about Norway until I got there - and spent a week traveling, seeing things and talking to ordinary people.

America went gone from No. 1 in 2000 to No. 9 in education in 2008! Foreigners are more qualified to fill the 3 million available, unfilled, $70,000+ high paying high tech jobs IN AMERICA because AMERICAN workers don't have those skills!

That should scare people. It should be a wake up call we need to "up our game" and technical skills to stay competitive in the 21st century global, space age economy. We can't compete by being the best burger flippers on the planet.

I hate to say it but I have more global expertise (and a global economy strategy) to be qualified to be President than most of not all of the current GOP contenders. Did any of them predict 9/11? I did - it's on video, on Youtube.

Don't believe me? Check out my bio and the videos on YouTube under "Fjet2020" and

Unless the GOP has a candidate with more international experience than myself to challenge President Obama, the election of 2012 has only one solution for our American future -- President Obama.

Monday, December 5, 2011

An unfair fight for renewable energies

This article by the former Governor if California is worth publishing in its entirety:

"An unfair fight for renewable energies

By Arnold Schwarzenegger, Published: December 4

More energy from the sun hits Earth in one hour than all the energy consumed on our planet in an entire year.

In those terms, it is absurd that our federal government spends tens of billions of dollars annually subsidizing the oil industry, which pulls diminishing resources from underground, while the industry focused above ground on wind, solar and other renewable energies is derided in Washington.

Federal support for development of new energy sources is lower today than at any other point in U.S. history, and our government is forcing the ­clean-energy sector into a competitive disadvantage. To bring true competition to the energy market, ensure our national security and create jobs here rather than in China or elsewhere, we must level the playing field for renewable energies. In this presidential primary, Americans need to hear where the candidates stand on this critical issue.

Don’t get me wrong — we should not demonize fossil fuels. For more than 200 years, the United States has rightly invested in developing new sources of energy. From the land grants for timber and coal in the 1800s to the tax expenditures for oil and gas in the early 20th century to the investment in developing nuclear energy, support for energy innovation has always helped drive America’s growth.

Renewable energies, however, have not been treated the same way. When the oil, gas and nuclear industries were forming, federal support for those energies totaled as much as 1 percent of federal spending. Subsidies available to the renewables industry today are just one-tenth of 1 percent.

If our goal is to encourage competition in the energy marketplace, then the conversation in Congress shouldn’t be about attacking green energy or cutting all oil subsidies. The conversation should be about leveling the playing field so that renewables are bound by the same rules as fossil fuels. We must make it a national priority to clear the red tape and bureaucracy that puts renewables at a disadvantage. If the candidates running for president believe in energy independence as a matter of national security — regardless of whether they agree with the science behind climate change — then the issue of investing in renewable energies must be front and center in the campaign.

Instead of a simplistic and misleading one-word argument against green energy — Solyndra! — I’d like to hear from the candidates that government shouldn’t pick winners, as it clearly has with our lopsided subsidies. Instead of talking about one terrible green investment or, for that matter, any of the investments in fossil fuels that have cost billions, I’d like to hear them talk about how to make sure we properly vet all our investments to get a good return for the American people.

Federal investment is critical to the success of the renewable energy industry. That’s not a new idea. The same was true for coal, which would not have been economically feasible without tax exemptions and incentives. It was also true for offshore oil drilling, which was deemed unprofitable without royalty waivers and favorable packaging of federal leases.

Imagine what the renewables industry would look like if the federal government leveled the playing field and showed the same dedication we have in California. Our green sector is the brightest spot in California’s economy, having grown 10 times faster than any other business sector since 2005. Today, one in every four jobs in the U.S. solar industry is in California. One-third of U.S. clean-tech venture capital flows into our state. Nurturing the green-tech sector was the right thing for me to do as governor, and it is the right thing for the federal government to do.

I know from experience that it is frustrating for states to wait for the federal government to take action. Around the world, countries await treaties and international consensus. The United Nations convention on climate change is taking place in Durban, South Africa. The U.N. leadership on this subject has been great, but I don’t think we should just wait around. That’s why I am focusing on sub-national work; states, provinces and regions have shown that the time for action is now.

What our nation needs — for our economy, our national security and our environment — is more than a treaty signed by dignitaries. We need a level field on which the United States allows renewable energies to develop by the same rules as oil. If we can get there, the bountiful clean energy above our planet’s surface will compete well with the oil beneath it."

The writer is the former governor of California.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Seven Days to Defuse European Financial Bomb Before It Hits U.S.

Global American Series

Seven Days to Defuse European Financial Bomb Before It Hits U.S.

Just as the U.S. economy gets some good news with unemployment dropping from 9% to 8.6%, all our hard-won economic gains could be lost in coming days if Europe’s economy implodes –and according to experts that is exactly where it is headed. No one in the world has enough money to fix Europe if it happens.

If Europe goes down it will take down the U.S. economy with it, throwing us back into recession. In other words we could be a week away from a European Financial Bomb Hitting the US Economy.

The United States is at risk because the 27-member European Union (EU), a region with 500 million citizens, produces an economy almost as large as the United States and China combined It is one of our largest export markets – exports that create jobs here in the USA that could be lost if Europe does not get its problems solved.
In 2010, 22.5 percent, or $412 billion worth, of U.S. exports in goods and services went to the European Union. Since the Department of Commerce estimates that each $1 billion in exports creates 20,000 U.S. jobs, that means over 8 million American jobs are in the line if Europe goes down!

What is their problem? Europe is caught in a trap of their own making when it went from a Eurozone in which each country had its own currency to a Eurozone that has a single currency, the Euro, the common currency of 16 EU members.

Why is that a problem? Because under the old European system if a country spent too much and got into trouble, its country currency could be devalued against other currencies and that would fix it. For example, if Greece spent too much (as it did) the Drachma would be devalued, and because it was suddenly cheaper, it could attract a flood of tourists and its exports would be cheaper and more competitive. You can’t do that when everyone has the same currency, the Euro, so Greece and Germany can’t adjust their currency value as needed. It’s a currency trap.

For example, in the U.S. if Texas gets it budget out of whack (which it has) and runs a deficit, it cannot devalue its “dollar” currency and benefit. Instead, it has relied on U.S. stimulus money to cover its deficit – just as Greece has had Euro loans to cover its Euro deficits. So, what happens if Texas and Greece refuse to put their budget house in order? Texas is finding it has to deal with its structural deficit now that the federal stimulus funds are no longer available to cover its shortfall. Greece is in the same boat.

There is agreement between the two biggest European players, France and Germany, that the flaws in the single currency system are systemic. They require a major redesign of institutions and agreements. Secondly, there is an acceptance that the Eurozone is moving beyond a monetary union to a fiscal union, with much greater central control over taxing and spending.

The problem is that “fixing” these problems requires agreements among dozens of countries and their voters. Worse yet, time is not on their side. Who would control each nation’s budget and spending? In America we have one Congress and President doing that, not 27 different legislatures and heads of state, each with their own idea ofwha t to do.

Now what happens?

As Nobel winning economist, Paul Krugman, has pointed out, “Although Europe’s leaders continue to insist that the problem is too much spending in debtor nations, the real problem is too little spending in Europe as a whole. And their efforts to fix matters by demanding ever harsher austerity have played a major role in making the situation worse.” In other words budget cuts have cut jobs not created them, leading to riots and unrest.

Krugman points out that the Europeans responded to the inevitable, recession-driven rise in deficits by demanding that all governments — not just those of the debtor nations — slash spending and raise taxes. Warnings that this would deepen the slump were waved away. “The idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect,” declared Jean-Claude Trichet, then the president of the European Central Bank.

“The combination of austerity-for-all and a central bank morbidly obsessed with inflation makes it essentially impossible for indebted countries to escape from their debt trap and is, therefore, a recipe for widespread debt defaults, bank runs and general financial collapse.”

Krugman states that the U.S. “ we desperately need expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to support the economy as these debtors struggle back to financial health. Yet, as in Europe, public discourse is dominated by deficit scolds and inflation obsessives.”

In other words both Europe and the U.S. have been repeating the mistakes of 1937 under FDR, when the government worried about rising deficits caused by government work programs to get the economy moving out of the depression -- and embarked on cutting budgets in an austerity move and tried to balance the budget. The result? Premature austerity cuts put the U.S. right back into a recession. We didn’t recover from the downturn until we embarked on the major spending required to support WWII.

The bottom line? Europe made a huge mistake with the single currency, but it can’t ditch it without causing major disaster. We can do little to keep Europe from stumbling as it goes back to the drawing board to create a 21st Century system that stabilizes the European Union. The only thing we can do is to avoid falling into the same austerity trap ourselves.

Either way it points out how vulnerable all of us are in a global economy when bad decisions made thousands of miles from our borders can impact the job you have today and tomorrow. Let’s not make things worse by making the same mistakes that history has taught us to avoid.

But from the sound of the Presidential candidates, it appears that we are heading for the same economic cliff as the Europeans…

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Days To Defuse Euro Economic Bomb Before It Hits U.S.

Sunset December 1 Clear Lake

Next topic: 10 Days To Defuse Euro Economic Bomb Before It Hits U.S.

The biggest threat to the American economy right now comes from over 3,000 miles away - how a European economic meltdown would cost jobs here in the U.S. On Global American Values...

Click "Subscribe" or "Follow" to get the updates. It's only our economy at stake.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

X37: Replacement for the Space Shuttle?

Military's X37 could be scaled up to replace the Shuttle. Did you know the Pentagons Space budget of $26 billion is larger than NASA's ($18 billion)?

Article link:

Monday, November 28, 2011

2012: Year of Self Imposed Stagnation?

The Economist in its usual insightful way points out that politicians may create a self imposed stagnation on the U.S. and European economies in 2012.

I have to agree. This blog has talked about repeating the mistakes of 1937 - which they mention.

For details see the entire article at this link:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Think Global. Your Life Depends on It

Sunset tonight, Clear Lake. That's a quarter moon and the Google sky map app on the smartphone says that bright "star" below the moon is really the planet MERCURY...have a nice night.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

California's Moon Shot - Go All Electric?

California has put itself in a tough spot - how to meet its energy goals.

"California must be fully electrified 40 years from now with residents driving only electric cars and plugging them into a grid powered by carbon-free power plants if the state is to meet its most far-reaching climate goals, according to a new study."

But just like JFK's famous speech about going to the moon "within a decade" - at a time when we didn't have the technology to do it - California could benefit greatly from setting a difficult goal. It will have to invent its way to a carbon-free future.

The beneficiaries will be the United States which needs to move up the technology food chain to the next level - or stagnant as a technology leader.
Asia is already investing more into clean energy than the United States. That puts Asia in the drivers seat (no pun intended) in this emerging new industry.

"California's landmark 2006 greenhouse gas law calls for reducing emissions by 2020 to 1990 levels. But the law also sets a goal of cutting emissions an additional 80 percent by 2050.

Friday's study found that meeting that long-term goal is possible and does not require major technological or behavioral breakthroughs like the development of nuclear fusion or a mass conversion to vegetarianism and bicycle commuting.

But it will require a lot of innovation and investment, preferably starting now..."

California has had the vision and guts to do something that Congress has not. I predict it will create green jobs and technology that will put it ahead of states like Texas that are fixated on dirty fossil fuels as Asian nations lead in clean tech. We need the rest of the nation to undertake this same challenge.

The full article link is:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Americans Need to Start Thinking in Unison

Sunset tonight on Clear Lake. We AMERICANS need to start thinking in unison - to stay ahead of the global economy. Its not a R thing or a D thing - its an AMERICAN thing we need to succeed. China and India are passing us and we are not upgrading our skills and technology base to stay ahead.

That's what Global American is all about...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Asia: Light Years Ahead of U.S. in Clean Tech

A new report shows that Asia is investing billions more than the U.S. in "clean tech" and is light years ahead of us. Article link:

The report says: "Asia is investing hundreds of billions of dollars more than the US in clean technology, according to a new report by two research institutions. In the future, the US may be importing trillions of dollars of needed clean technology (and losing countless jobs to Asia) as a result.

In total, the report showed that China, Japan, and South Korea will invest about $509 billion in clean tech over the next 5 years, whereas the US (with our greenest President in decades, maybe ever) is only expected to invest $172 billion (about 3 times less)..."

There's more: "“Asia’s rising ‘clean technology tigers’ – China, Japan, and South Korea – have already passed the United States in the production of virtually all clean energy technologies, and over the next five years, the governments of these nations will out-invest the United States three-to-one in these sectors. This public investment gap will allow these Asian nations to attract a significant share of private sector investments in clean energy technology, estimated to total in the trillions of dollars over the next decade."

Moral: Forget Solyndra. It failed because we are being out-invested by our global competitors. We better get into the game or finish last...

Defense Study: Climate Change a Security Threat

According to a new Defense Study climate change presents a "security threat" to the U.S. Here is the link to the article:

"Climate change has the potential for significant impacts on all three of the basic elements important to national and international security: defense, diplomacy and economics," says the Defense Science Board report.

It goes on:
"The DSB makes recommendations for the White House, Defense Department and other agencies including:

Creating an intelligence group to address climate under the Director of National Intelligence
Support civilian satellites to monitor climate change
Decision making that assumes a 5.4 to 7.2-degree rise in global average temperatures by the end of the century

The report concludes in an appendix by assessing various "tipping point" events, such as the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the potential for other nations, mentioning China, to attempt unilateral geoengineering schemes for staving off climate effects."

400 Million+ Chinese Have Studied ENGLISH -

In a recent "China Daily" paper, it states that during the last 30 years over 400 million Chinese have studied ENGLISH. That's more Chinese studying English than Americans who live in the U.S. (population 310 million)!

And how many Americans are studying Chinese? Actually, not many. In the past decade, thousands of Americans schools have stopped teaching any foreign languages according to the NY Times article:

Here are some highlight from the article. It states: "Americans have never been particularly interested in learning other languages and are even less interested today (with the exception of conversational Spanish).

Only 9 percent of Americans, compared with 44 percent of Europeans, speak a foreign language. The Web has only reinforced the smug American conviction that everyone worth talking to in the world speaks English."

So how does America compete in a GLOBAL ECONOMY when we don't learn other languages and know too little about other cultures?

It goes on to point out: "Richard D. Brecht, executive director of the Center for Advanced Study of Langauge at the University of Maryland, told me in 2003 that “America has no long-term strategy to build the expertise we need to understand other cultures. We’ve seen, in the worst possible way because of our lack of Arabists, where this short-term thinking leads.”

Their conclusion: "we don’t have enough diplomats, spies and business people who know other languages — is rooted in the much larger dumbing down of the American concept of what it means to be an educated person. Most states have dropped foreign language requirements for high school graduation, and most students complete college without studying any foreign language. We’re a Know-As-Little-As-You Can-Get-Away-With Nation and proud of it."

How to we win the future like that?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Climate Change Consequence - Raising Insurance Costs

Ironic, but what may finally create action on climate change is that it is increasing the costs of INSURANCE companies! Check out this article:

""In the last few years, weather related events have multiplied by five," said Swiss Re's Senior Vice President and Head of Sustainability Americas Mark Way. He said that as insurance companies shelled out more money due to natural disaster events, premiums would increase."

They also point out: ""The cost of these extreme weather events will keep ballooning. Cost as well as human impact will be profound..."

In 2011 we have had 14 Extreme Weather events that have cost almost $50 billion dollars!

And note this: "David Friedberg, founder and CEO of The Climate Corporation, agreed that as insurance premiums rise throughout the supply chain, commodity prices will rise, ultimately snowballing expenses.

"Because we are insuring our customers against extreme weather events, we model our services based on probability of events occurring," he said. "We've charged more over the last two seasons than we have historically."

"Lubber cited the recent Hurricane Irene, which some attribute to climate change, that caused over $7 billion in damages across the economy.

"The costs are being driven to all the parts of our economy," she said. She said it was time for business leaders, not only environmental leaders, to call for real change."

Recently a climate skeptic who was paid by the Koch climate change deniers ran a series of tests - and confirmed that climate change was indeed occurring.

Apparently the only way it will be taken seriously is when the insurance companies raise their premiums to pay for the consequences of more extreme weather caused by these changes.

Ironic indeed. But if that's what it takes to get us moving in the right direction before its too late for our planet, then its a good thing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

America Turns Towards Pacific Asia for 21st Century

America's Future lies in ASIA, with is growing 10% year - not stagnant Europe which is growing less than 1% year. BBC News sums it up in this article:

This is significant. The 21st century will be an Asian-American century between China, India and the USA...

Obama: "The economy in this area is going to be the engine for world economic growth for some time to come. The lines of commerce and trade are constantly expanding.

"And it's appropriate then for us to make sure that not only our alliance but the security architecture of the region is updated for the 21st century, and this initiative is going to allow us to do that."

From my international experience, that's true. President Obama is putting us where we need to be - focused on the East. That is where our greatest exports will come from.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

American World Wrap Up - Obama Assassination Attempt to A Taliban Nuke in Pakistan?

Welcome to Global American® World Wrap Up –The Big Picture of World Events Impacting America Today -- in a nutshell

Obama Assassination attempt? Can the White House Withstand Heavy Weapons? The man who shot at the White House fired 7 rounds from an assault weapon - at least two of which struck the White House, one hitting a window that was backed up by ballistic glass. (The rest of the DC fed buildings have Armor Glass-type security film installed). The shooter proved that heavy weapons threaten our leadership, from the President to Congress, no less than Flight 93 of 9/11. This shooter has said that he was “called by Jesus” and “hates the President.” Sound familiar(But let’s not drag any Presidential candidates into this).

What if the next shooter uses a MANPAD or RPG? After the fall of Gadhafi in Libya, entire stockpiles of Manpads and other dangerous weapons remain unguarded. Untold numbers are already uncounted for – the remainder are easy prey for international weapons dealers who pray for this kind of opportunity.

The US and UN should have teams in Libya RIGHT NOW helping the Libyan government get these weapons locked up, counted and secured - before an American or European airliner gets hit by one. Or DC.MILITARY COUP in MUSLIM, NUCLEAR Pakistan? The civilian leadership of Pakistan is in danger of being toppled by the Pakistan military.

Why care? Because Pakistan has nuclear tipped missiles -- the only Muslim country with that capability, and the new guys with the keys will be the extremist fruitcakes. A Taliban nuke is not a good thing.

Pakistan has recalled their U.S. ambassador because he “asked for U.S. help to avoid Pakistan military from toppling the civil government.” The military has taken over previous Pakistan governments. Pakistan is the ONLY Muslim country that has NUKES, fitted on missiles. Israel, Europe, etc are not far away. Pakistan’s double dealing spooky ISI has extremist ties and operates in their own world not controlled by the civilian government. ISI has been helping launch attacks against U.S. soldiers in next door Afghanistan. Keep your eye on updates on this one.

Cyber Vandalism: How a Russian Cyber Attack Killed a U.S. Water Plant Pump. Next Hack: NUKE Plant pump? This week it was discovered a Russia hacker was able to cause a water pump failure at a U.S. water plant. The vandal didn’t even enter the pump room – he or she was sitting at a computer somewhere in Russia. What if it had been a nuclear plant pump? Tanks and supersonic aircraft are useless in this high tech war. It could be lost without firing a shot.

Our global computer/internet grid is now so thoroughly interconnected that we can steal each other’s technology and secrets worldwide from our armchairs 10,000 miles away. Imagine dedicated hacking spies doing that to the countries (USA, Europe) who have the No. 1 technology! Technology is our No. 1 asset. If we don’t protect it on a 21st Century level, it can be a world away in nano-seconds, and used to gain advantage if not defeat us.

Our technology assets are too valuable and vulnerable to global theft and sabotage to be ignored. We must fix it.

OCCUPY CAIRO (EGYPT) – People are people everywhere. Treat them unjustly and they hit the streets. It has happened again in Egypt where the people see their hard won freedom being stolen by the military, after enduring a 30 year dictator, whose 1% cronies made all the money and there was no rule of law, fairness or justice. Now the Egyptian people are getting to vote for the first time but forces are trying to deny them.

They went back on the streets of Tahrir Square screaming that the Egyptian military is trying to take over the government. They are right. The military has insisted on a secret budget. It doesn't want to take orders from a civilian government elected by Egyptians in the upcoming elections. It would be yet another dictatorship and defeat of democracy, not another military dictatorship. The people want a change. They want freedom and democracy. Anything could happen.

America's PACIFIC Era Begins. President Obama has started the beginning of the American Pacific era. It is a smart economic move that points America in the right direction for thriving in the 21st century – Asia. The stagnating markets of the West (Europe) represent the past.

America’s future prosperity lies towards the rapidly growing markets of East in Asia --which are growing fast and have a thirst for stuff Americans make, like Boeing aircraft, etc. It will mean billions in sales (and that means American jobs) to American companies in the coming decades.China and India (South Asia) are 40% of the world's population – 2 billion plus people total. Both countries have millions of young people with the math and science skills to fill the 3 million high tech, high paying USA jobs that are available today – enough to drop our unemployment rate to 6.1%

The problem? Americans don't have the skills for these 3 million unfilled jobs! And 90% of Americans who take the qualifying tests required by the company to be trained for those jobs are disqualified! That leaves only 10% good enough to get training.

That raises the question - are Americans lazy if they think it is too much work to get the degrees and skills needed to take these high paying jobs – jobs that will go to foreigners or remain unfilled otherwise?). Just asking…

China and India have growth rates of 9 - 10% versus a normal U.S. growth rate of 3% or less. Our future prosperity is tied to Asia. Europe will be our No. 2 most important economic partner.

How the Europe Economic Mess Could Kill US: If Europe goes down so does the U.S. economy! America sells a lot of exports to Europe, which at 733 million people is twice the size of the U.S. If the Europe market crashes so do those sales. Pray that doesn't happen. Again the Presidential candidates have it backwards – it is not that Europe will ask the U.S. for a bailout. Europe is bigger than the U.S. and whales do not swallow whales. But they can hurt each other.

A downturn in Europe will cost American companies export sales --that will cost jobs making that stuff here in the U.S. (the only country with $3 trillion in cash who could bailout Europe is China, and they aren't willing to do it) Europe’s austerity programs and lack of job opportunities for youth have fed their own Occupy protests -- including window-breaking, car burning riots.

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
Stay tuned for future Global American insights by signing up for notification of future blog entries at:“Subscribe or Follow” Global American Values
Either I am getting FASTER or my computer/s are getting SLOWER. It has to be the latter - especially when i have two of them going and both of them are doing that stupid spinning circle thing - frozen like Congress in action. Ugh! Microsoft PLEASE get us some fast software next time PLEASE. It's bad when humans have to wait on the machines instead of vice

Friday, November 18, 2011

Poll on American Exceptionism: Americans are Split

Remarkable as it may seem, but even on the issue of "American Exceptionalism" Americans are SPLIT, according to a recent CBS poll.
Article Link:

It found: "Just under half, 49 percent, of Americans agree with the statement, "Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others," according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Forty-six percent of Americans say they disagree with the statement.

The percentage of Americans who think their nation's culture is superior has declined in the past decade, according to Pew -- in 2007, 55 percent called American culture superior, while about 60 percent did so in 2002."

There is an age split in the poll: "For instance, six in 10 Americans ages 50 or older say American culture is superior, while just 37 percent of Americans younger than 30 agree. Those who did not graduate from college are more likely than those who did graduate from college to call American culture superior by a difference of 9 percent."

But in a way, American attitudes are close to those of the Europeans: "the change in attitude about American exceptionalism does put the U.S. more in line with European beliefs -- 47 percent of Germans think their culture is superior, while 44 percent of Spaniards think their country is the best (fewer British or French citizens are inclined to call their respective countries the best).

Apparently the poll did not ask the Chinese or Indians --the two rapidly growing Asian superpowers -- about their cultural attitudes...

I am not really troubled by this. It's good to feel special about your own culture but not if it means that other cultures are viewed negatively. If you recall, during WWII Nazi superiority was carried to the extreme. None of us want to go down that road again...

Extreme Weather Cause: Climate Change

2011 has had 14 Extreme Weather events so far this year - from Super-tornadoes to triple digit heat waves to Floods to Drought. A new report out says that climate change creates extreme weather conditions.

That means we can expect more of these freak events that are causing so much damage.

"Unprecedented extreme weather and climate events" look likely in coming decades as a result of a changing climate, says the draft report.

A final version will be released later today...stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NBA Strike: Fight Among the 1% While Costing People Jobs, Cities Millions

Sunset on Clear Lake tonight.

Just saw a NBC report on how the rich NBA players and owners are fighting while the little people and cities lose their jobs and MILLIONS. Because the 1% are fighting among themselves. Have we AMericans lost our moral compass?

Have we forgotten the little people who survive from week to week?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Experts: Global Warming Irreversible by 2017

What is the most important question today? What is the most important thing in our lives? It's something we should ask on this 11-11-11. (In China that number is 'Good Luck').

Is it Joe Paterno's fate? Is it the Presidential election of 2012? Will it matter if our planet is killed by our own negligence by 2017? Plan to move to another planet if that happens? What fate does that leave our children?

The sharp spike in warming in the past year has shocked experts, who now believe if global warming is not neutralized by 2017 it may be too late to stop it - at the peril of our children and grandchildren. Something to think about when you see this 7 minute video. Check out the charts...

Check out the 7 minute video about a short fuse burning on the future of Planet Earth at:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why NASA Needs More $$$$ - This is Why

WHY do we need to put MORE $$$ into NASA?

This is why...(as in avoiding future strikes by one of these aircraft carrier sized beasts that could put us back into the stone age)...

Memo to government: Plan Ahead! You can't prepare for this at the last minute...

Journists/Democracy Under Attack in Russia - With Guns and Beatings

Journalists are under attack in Russia, and so is "democracy." In fact, democracy seems to be as dead as some of the reporters who have been killed by vicious attacks for daring to report truth in Russia.

Russian reporters have been shot or beaten into a coma with baseball bats. For the full graphics, read the article at the above link.

Already, Mr. Vladimir Putin is shoving aside current President Medvedev for his third term.

It is also reported that it was a Russian nuclear scientist is the one who has helped Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, providing key technology support. That would explain Russia's resistance to more sanctions on Iran (see link):

Don't forget, the one country with as much nuclear firepower as the U.S. is Russia.

Russia joins Nicaragua, where Daniel Ortega of the Sandinistas won an unprecedented third term as President, and Guatemala as nations falling away from the promise of democracy - and back into "one man rule."

Ironically, it is happening as the "Arab Spring" movement has sought to eliminate decades old dictatorships.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

7 Occupatons with the Highest Hiring Demands

Check out this excellent article in U.S. News & World Report Money section about "7 Occupations with the Highest Hiring Demands." Link:

They include:
Registered Nurses
Computer Systems Analysts
Web Developers
First-line supervisors/managers for Retail
Computer Application software engineers
18-wheeler Truck Drivers
Retails sales people

The article also lists average pay...

And don't forget the solar jobs listed in our prior post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Solar Jobs on the Rise

Want a job? Look to the solar industry which expects to GROW dramatically. In the next six months, 50% of the solar firms expect to add jobs.

"The solar industry is not only an economic powerhouse, but it's also a tremendous jobs creator," says Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation.

"the growth rate for solar jobs was almost 10 times higher than the national average employment growth rate of 0.7 percent.) Compare that to the fossil fuel industry, which experienced negative growth of 2 percent over the same time period. The Solar Foundation expects the number of solar jobs to grow by about 24 percent, or about 24,000 new jobs, by August 2012."

The BIG news? Solar prices are dropping like computer prices, increasing its competitiveness and affordability, as noted in this column by Paul Krugman:

Says Krugman: "we're just a few years from the point at which electricity from solar panels becomes cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal."

But a familiar problem has arisen. Job skills. ""Employers are saying, 'Look, we received plenty of applications. That's not the problem. We have more applicants than we can handle. It's just that they're not skilled enough,'" Luecke says. "The message here is that to get a job, you need to be experienced, you need to be able to hit the ground running."

For details, check out the link.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Europe's Ills Could Torpedo U.S. Recovery

Is it possible that a tiny little country like Greece could set in motion an economic Tsunami that could hit the U.S. like a tons of bricks - and torpedo our economic recovery?

Absolutely. After all, it's the global economy, stupid. The United States and Europe are close trading partners - the two biggest economies in the world. The problem is not just Greece, which the Europeans have enough money to keep afloat. The problem is that the debt burden in other countries, like Italy, is a far greater risk - and there's not enough money in Europe to fix it.

If Italy goes into the tank, or Spain, Portugal, etc. the United States will take a big economic hit. Don't take my word for it.

"there is the same fear now that a meltdown in Europe this time tied to sovereign debt, the debt of countries that are collectively known as PIIGS in an affectionate way - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. That debt is sitting on bank balance sheets in Europe. And there's a fear that the problems tied to the debt will bring down the banks and bring down the financial system in a way that cascades around the world again." Source: Wall Street Journal Reporter Sudeep Reddy via NPR.

"The economic health of Europe is vital to the prosperity of the United States," says Daniel Price, managing director at Rock Creek Global Advisors, who was President George W. Bush's top deputy for international economics."

And this:

"Our big banks are tethered at the hip to their banks," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "They're all at risk. They're all exposed."
(Source: USA Today:

And the problem is not just American bank exposure. A Europe crash would also cut jobs in the U.S. from our exports:

"More than 20% of all U.S. exports go to Europe, making it the nation's largest trading partner. About 14% go to the 17 eurozone countries, behind only Canada and Mexico. Total exports to the European Union were $177 billion in the first eight months of 2011, up 15% from last year."

"(American) Industries that are most dependent on European trade include chemicals, transportation, computers and electronics. Companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are heavily invested in Europe, as are aerospace companies such as Boeing.

If orders in Europe slow for aircraft or computers, "that can ripple right back into economic activity here," says Kent Hughes, director of the Program on America and the Global Economy at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars."

Another example: "The eurozone is the biggest market for U.S. companies with direct foreign investments. More than half the sales of American-owned foreign affiliates are in Europe.

Even now, "a lot of companies are sort of battening down the hatches in terms of their capital budgets," Orszag says.

The European crisis has been a drain on U.S. automakers for most of the year."

So, pay attention. Unlike Vegas, the problems in Europe will not stay in Europe. They could impact your job and investments.

And not one GOP candidate has addressed how they would deal with it in their economic plan (of those who actually have one).

Pass it on. And stay tuned...

Cuba's Economic Makeover -Creeping Capitalism

Something remarkable is happening in Cuba. After a half century of Communist dogma and a dead economy, capitalism is coming into the light for the first time. First it was a new rule that allowed people to own a small business like a restaurant. Then it was another rule that allowed the private purchase and sale of real estate.

Now a new rule allows Cubans, for the first time in 50 years, to buy and sell used cars (they still can't buy new ones --only the privileged few can do that). Check out this NY Times article on the change:

What a classic car? Get it in Cuba.

Something incredible is beginning to happen in Cuba - CHANGE. And Capitalism.

Perhaps they are following the China model - keeping the same government but allowing free markets and entrepreneurs room to flourish. Or they are just relieving political pressure since cars were being traded on the black market, but without a guarantee of a clear title). Obviously the old ways led only to stagnation.

Whatever it is, Cuba seems to be waking up from its long slumber under Fidel. Since his brother Raul has taken over, Cuba has been reforming for the better.

Here are a couple links to related articles on changes in Cuba:
Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Biggest-ever jump seen in global warming gases

Latest reports are that heating of the planet has taken a HUGE jump as the world economies rebound from the recession. LA Times article link:,0,4278356.story

"The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst-case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago."

"The world pumped about 564 million more tons of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. That's an increase of 6%. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries — China, the United States and India, the world's top producers of greenhouse gases.

It is a "monster" increase that is unheard of, said Gregg Marland, a professor of geology..."

Bottom line: We are leaving our children a hell-on-earth if we don't address this before Earth looks like Venus (runaway greenhouse gases)...surface temperature on Venus is now 460 degrees.

I don't have kids, so its no skin off my nose. What about yours?

Can America Compete in High Tech 21st Century?

The American Skills Gap: Can We Compete in High-Tech 21st Century?

America, we have a (skills gap) problem. We have 3 million unfilled, high-tech jobs available right now - enough to bring the unemployment rate down from 9% to 6%! The problem? We don't have Americans with the skills to fill them! How do we fix this self-inflicted problem?

We are in a high-tech, space-age 21st century that requires complex math and science skills, yet many of the U.S. students willing to undertake that difficult mission are dropping out like flies to pursue easier subjects that won't help us invent the future. This is why Americans don't have the skills to fill these 3 million high tech, high paying jobs. Are students lazy? Are the math and science programs at colleges too stale? Or is the problem a bit of both? What's wrong?

The issue is covered thoughtfully in this NY Times article: ?

The good news: a lot of students are trying to improve their math and science skills to be the engineers our industries need, but the drop-out rate is extraordinarily high. It appears that a large part of the problem is that the courses being taught are "dry lectures” -- guaranteed to put off even the best students. Recognizing this, some colleges have "refreshed" their courses to make them more interesting and provide more "hands on" work. To quote from the NYT article:

"Research confirmed in the 1990s that students learn more by grappling with open-ended problems, like creating a computer game or designing an alternative energy system, than listening to lectures. While the National Science Foundation went on to finance pilot courses that employed interactive projects, when the money dried up, so did most of the courses. Lecture classes are far cheaper to produce, and top professors are focused on bringing in research grants, not teaching undergraduates."

Clearly, schools need to do a better job teaching these complex subjects. According to the National Academy of Engineering: "“Treating the freshman year as a ‘sink or swim’ experience and accepting attrition as inevitable is both unfair to students and wasteful of resources and faculty time.” It's also a roadblock to America building a high tech future instead of shipping those jobs overseas, or employing foreigners in the U.S. who do have those valuable skills.

Another problem is that the schools do not have the high tech equipment necessary to train people, as pointed out in this MSNBC article:

But some help is on the way: For example, at Notre Dame, the students now do four projects. They build Lego robots and design bridges capable of carrying heavy loads at minimal cost. They also create electronic circuit boards and dream up a project of their own.

In light of the shortage of the new digital skills required to fill the new jobs in marketing and advertising, Rutgers Center for Management Development started back in 2010 a series of executive education programs designed to give the advertising and marketing people of today a solid grasp of the core concepts and tools of digital marketing management. This includes its Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing program. Rutgers is the first major university to offer a “mini MBA” program in digital marketing with the goal of training students and those needing to update their professional skill-set for the kinds of digital advertising and marketing jobs now in demand.

But much more needs to be done. The Republicans controlling the House of Representatives have cut Pell grant funding students need. Space programs have been cut. Students are jumping into English courses where it is easier to get high grades then a job.

Meanwhile, China and India continue to produce graduates with the engineering and math skills needed by American industry in the 21st Century. If the United States is going to lower our unemployment and compete in the global economy, it will take a combination of student effort, government funding and college course improvements to add fuel to our economic engine.

Michael Fjetland
Global American® Series
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Friday, November 4, 2011

China's Space Dock - Cuba's Big Change

Two big events just occurred. China has successfully made its first docking in space - totally by computer. My sources at NASA say that NASA has NEVER achieved a fully automated docking like this. China plans to have its own space station operational by 2020 - just when the ISS space station is scheduled for retirement. It shows that the USA has a lot of work to do to remain a leader in this permanent space age. The second big event occurred in Cuba - where the government, for the first time ever, is allowing private ownership and transfer of property. Quoting from the linked article: "the law published on Thursday amounts to a major break from decades of socialist housing. For the first time since the early days of the revolution, buyers and sellers will be allowed to set home prices and move when they want. Transactions of various kinds, including sales, trades and gifts to relatives by Cubans who are emigrating, will no longer be subject to government approval, the new law says." Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Earth Test: 520 day Mission to Mars

The Russians are concluding a test to see if humans could survive a mission to Mars that could last 520 days - without a murder or other human crisis. They claim they have done it - with an all male volunteer group.

"The all-male team is made up of three Russians, two doctors and one engineer; a Chinese astronaut trainer; and French and Italian engineers, who were sent by the European Space Agency." It was a six person team.

NASA experts say that such a mission should involve an odd-number of people (you need a tie-breaker) and WOMEN.

520 days in space and no mass murder or fist fights? Why not employ the plasma engine of Ad Astra in Houston - earth to Mars in a mere 39 days! Back again in another 39 days.

Check out the study at:

Threat to America's Future: Failure to Educate

New results are out regarding American students' abilities in reading and math. The shocking conclusion? Only about 35% of 8th graders are proficient in MATH (see link). Reading proficiency is about the same.

That means more than 50% of our current 8th graders are NOT proficient in either reading or math! The United States seriously lags behind other developed countries --placing our kids at 28 out of 41 countries, behind places like Bulgaria and Slovenia -- in the bottom 1/3 of 41 countries!

This is why we have over 3 million high tech jobs unfilled - the failure to educate kids with the skills needed in the 21st century.

America's future is at stake until we reform our education system, increase the school days and expect more from our students who have to compete on a world scale in this century - or else they will be flipping burgers while the high tech jobs go to kids from Bulgaria and Slovenia...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Drug Shortages - Congress Fails to Act

People are being denied life saving drugs yet Congress has failed to act to fix it. It finally took President Obama issuing an Executive Order today to do something.

What is wrong with a Congress that cannot even address the growing shortages of legal prescription drugs that millions of Americans depend on?

Why would it get to this absurd point - that Congress won't even act to protect the health of Americans and their drug supply?

This Congress is doing absolutely nothing, and ordinary Americans are paying the price.

Libya's New Prime Minister - Electronics Engineer

Significant if you wanted to know what the "Arab Spring" was all about. The NEW Prime Minister for Libya - is an Electronics Engineer from Tripoli.

Note that. The first-ever Libyan Prime Minister is an engineer, not a Mullah nut case. Or a Gadhafi nut case.

This is a good sign for a new Libya which just brought America justice when Gadhafi was captured and killed.

It was Gaddafi who ordered the bombing of American Pan Am 103 flight from London to the U.S. a Christmas in 1988. The Americans wrapped up in Jersey Shore or fake reality shows should at least take time to know and remember that fact.

The "Arab Spring" has been about justice, and freedom from murdering dictators. The tiniest comment about Gaddafi in a cafe would often lead to that person never being seen alive again. That is why the young freedom fighters were willing to sacrifice their lives to eliminate such arbitrary injustice.

Arab Spring and Libya's fight was not a religious driven revolution. It was a justice driven thirst for a more democratic and fair society.

The American SKILLS GAP - High Paying Jobs We Can't Fill

America, we have a SKILLS GAP - Existing Jobs that require skills Americans don't have. We have over 3 million high tech jobs RIGHT NOW that can't be filled because Americans don't have the skills for them. Filling them would drop our unemployment rate from 9.1% to 6.1%!

And here is another example of the skills gap -

"The dilemma, one familiar to many industries across the country, is particularly acute for jobs that require hard-core quantitative, mathematical and technical skills.

The talent pool, advertising technology company executives say, is not a deep one. And those who have the skills are in high demand, often fetching annual salaries that can reach $100,000."

In other words, we have jobs available but people need to "up their game" and get the training to fill them. Our education system is not producing them.

Maybe Pogo was right: "We have met the enemy and he is us!" It's one thing not to have a job choice. It's quite another to have high paying jobs available and we have to either leave them vacant or give them to foreigners who do have the skills we don't have.

Now that is the tragedy...when are we going to realize we can't compete in a high tech world with low tech skills?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A New Generation Wakes Up - Globally. A "ticking time bomb"

A new generation has awakened politically (remember when it was our generation and the trigger was Vietnam?).

Austerity and the lack of jobs has kids globally demanding change from their politicians...

In Spain, it was OK for kids to sleep in the square overnight, waiting for Justin Bieber tickets. But when it was for economic reforms and jobs, the police drove them out at 4 a.m. It struck young people as discriminatory and unfair -- when youth unemployment is 44%!

"The youth of Puerta del Sol have taken some of their inspiration from the youth of the Arab Spring. Both groups have directly inspired young members of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests in America. Indeed, from Latin America to the Middle East to China, the issue of jobless youth has become a worrisome global trend – what one British minister calls a "ticking time bomb."

Said one: "We need a Franklin Roosevelt and what we've got are a bunch of Herbert Hoovers," says Karim Emile Bitar, at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris."

And this analysis: "...says José Ignacio Torreblanca of the Madrid office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. "But they see the political class as closed, opaque, corrupt, insensitive. All polls show a wide feeling among youth that the political class and elites are a problem."

So are the youth going left or right? "The protesters, highly educated but often unemployed, shot back that, yes, they were Ni-Nis – they supported neither center-left Socialists, nor the center-right Popular Party, something akin in the US to a pox on both Democratic and Republican houses."

Sound familiar?

Standby for interesting times ahead as a new generation demands jobs and economic justice...worldwide.

China to Launch 25 Satellties - While NASA Gets Further Behind

China is set to launch 25 satellites in 2011 - right behind the number launched by Russia.

Meanwhile NASA will take 10 years to develop its next rocket while Houston Mayor Parker opposes private companies doing it faster, better, cheaper...

Where is OUR vision?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Israel's Strange Deal With Hamas

Israel recently did a puzzling thing --it made a prisoner exchange deal. That part wasn't strange (they trade 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for the release of 1 Israeli - Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas and held hostage for five long years).

The strange part was that instead of making the deal with the Palestinian leader Abbas, who heads the faction that is opposed to violence, the Israeli's made the deal with HAMAS, an organization sworn to use violence to eliminate Israel.

WHY? Why would they make a deal with the devil and undercut Abbas and his nonviolent wing?

Some said that the deal would encourage HAMAS to kidnap more Israelis. Today HAMAS fired rockets into Israel, injuring several Israelis.

Now Israel has undermined peace and its own security by encouraging HAMAS militants to resume their violence against it. All they have done is to invite Hamas to attack Israel again, which they have...

Why? This is very strange...and not a good sign for the future.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ironic - "Communist China is bailing out Capitalist Europe"

Too Ironic - "Communist China is bailing out Capitalist Europe." It is China's laugh.

Europe's financial mess is 4x worse than ours. If they go down, so do we. But don't worry about that. Our own Congress is holding us back and bringing us down. GOP cuts have already cut over 370,000 jobs in the U.S.

Our Congress geniuses who have never been out of Frog jump USA haven't got a clue how they are sabotaging our future in face of China's investment in their infrastructure that we are not making. While China shoots for the Moon (literally) our reps don't even bother fixing 80 year old bridges before they fall into the waters below.

Consider this. Congress is failing us by not helping fill 3 MILLION JOBS NOW OPEN in the USA TODAY. They have done nothing to train the Americans who could fill these jobs --which would drop the unemployment rate 1%! These are high tech jobs that pay over $70,000 year - not minimum wage dead ends. If Americans don't fill them they go unfilled - or to the many foreigners who DO have the skills.

I will cover this on future Global American blogs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Coming Fresh Water Crisis - China invests

Fresh water will soon be more valuable than oil. China is taking the lead in desalination...

"The global market for desalination technology will more than quadruple by 2020 to about $50 billion a year, the research firm SBI Energy predicted last month, and growing water shortages worldwide appear to ensure further growth."

One problem with this: "some foreign investors in technology-laden projects like wind energy and high-speed rail later claimed their Chinese partners appropriated their technologies..."

It's another area where the Chinese are leading in advancing critical 21st century technology while we sit on our hands and do nothing (think Congress)...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

50 Amazing Facts About U.S. Economy

I came across this fascinating article on 50 amazing numbers about our economy which will make your head swim.

I have copied it here with attribution to the Motley Fool: Did you know that...
Did you know that...

50. From 1948 until 2007, the average duration of unemployment was 13.5 weeks. Today, it's 40.5 weeks.

49. In 1982, a 30-year mortgage carried an interest rate of 17.6%. Today, it's 4.1%. On a $250,000 loan, that's the difference between a monthly payment of $3,686 versus $1,210.

48. In 2000, 69% of businesses offered workers health insurance. By 2009, just 60% did, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

47. In 1952, corporate taxes were 6.1% of GDP, and employment taxes were 1.8% of GDP. In 2009, corporate taxes were 1% of GDP, and employment taxes were 6.3% of GDP.

46. The day after Standard & Poor's downgraded U.S. Treasuries was the second best day for Treasuries in modern history.

45. "Just 1 in 7 U.S. workers is of normal weight without a chronic health problem," according to The Wall Street Journal, citing Gallup data.

44. Adjusted for inflation, nationwide home prices have dropped 8.5% since 1979. Unrelated: 60% of homeowners say a major reason they bought a home is because they think it will make a good retirement investment.

43. The markup AT&T (NYSE: T ) charges for a single text message ($0.20) compared with a standard mobile data package ($25 for 2 gigs) is roughly 10 million percent.

42. Tax evasion has added an estimated $3 trillion to the national debt over the past decade, according to David Callahan of Demos, citing Internal Revenue Service data.

41. According to The Wall Street Journal, "every year 17,000 American-trained masters and doctoral students leave the U.S. to find work elsewhere."

40. Over the past 25 years, college tuition has increased at nearly four times the rate of broader inflation.

39. Health care for an average family now runs $19,393 a year, according to the Milliman Medical Index. It was about half that much in 2002.

38. Power to the people! According to The Los Angeles Times: "Some 75% of respondents said they were following the [California] budget debate, yet only 16% were aware that state spending has shrunk by billions of dollars over the last three years."

37. California will spend $5.7 billion on its main public universities this year, and $9.6 billion on prisons, according to The Bay Citizen.

36. The labor force participation rate for men has dropped from 87% in 1948 to 71% today.

35. The personal savings rate in August was 4.5%. Since 1959, it has averaged 7%. Returning to that level would divert more than $200 billion a year from consumer spending into saving.

34. 5.5 million Americans are unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits. Last year, that number was 1.4 million.

33. The U.S. government provides health care for a minority of its population (elderly and poor) at a greater cost per citizen than many European countries spend on universal coverage.

32. As a percentage of GDP, federal taxes in 2010 were the lowest since 1950.

31. Between 2007 and 2009, those with a bachelor's degree saw the employment-to-population ratio fall by just 0.5%. For those without a bachelor's degree, it fell by more than 2%.

30. Household debt payments as a percentage of income are now at the lowest level since 1994.

29. Despite record federal deficits, total debt throughout the economy -- public plus private -- as a percentage of GDP has been dropping since 2008. Households are shedding debt faster than the government can go into it.

28. Just not student debt: Total student loans outstanding are expected to reach $1 trillion this year. The average student now leaves college with nearly $23,000 of debt. As Time pointed out, "Students today are borrowing double the amount they did ten years ago -- after adjusting for inflation.

27. Total state and local pension shortfalls now equal $4.4 trillion, according to State Budget Solutions.

26. In 2000, interest payments on the national debt totaled $222 billion. By 2009, the debt had more than doubled, but interest payments were $186 billion. Lower interest rates have saved taxpayers trillions of dollars.

25. According to The New York Times, only 23% of Americans benefit from the mortgage interest tax deduction, yet 93% support it.

24. For every $1,000 decline in home values, Americans reduce spending by $20 to $70 a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

23. Without mortgage equity withdrawal -- people using their homes as ATMs -- the U.S. economy would have been in recession for most of the 2001-2006 period.

22. The percentage of Americans covered by health insurance fell from 86.9% in 2000 to 83.7% in 2010. It has declined in eight of the past 10 years.

21. Nationwide real estate values have declined by about $7 trillion since 2006.

20. CEOs of S&P 500 companies are entitled to receive an average of $22 million upon being fired, according to GMI. "In total, it would cost shareholders $10.8 billion to fire the CEOs of all of the companies in the S&P 500," it writes.

19. One percent of households captured 52% of all income gains from 1993-2008.

18. Just 400 people earned 10% of all capital gains in 2007. Between 2000 and 2007, the top 400 taxpayers captured about 2% of all economic growth.

17. People spend their money on different sets of goods and services. The richest 10% of Americans had an inflation rate that was about 6% higher than the bottom 10% between 1994 and 2005.

16. According to former White House budget advisor Peter Orszag: "In 1990, about 63 percent of business income in the U.S. took the form of wages and other types of labor compensation. ... By 2005, that figure had dropped to 61 percent. And by the middle of this year, it had fallen to 58 percent. ... The difference from 1990 to today -- about 5 percentage points or so of private-sector income -- amounts to more than $500 billion a year."

15. Private jobs growth over the past two years has been faster than it was from 2001-2003. Public job losses have been a major factor in our current jobs crisis.

14. If federal, state, and local governments hadn't been slashing jobs since 2009, today's unemployment rate would be nearly a full percentage point lower.

13. The White House -- famously optimistic throughout all administrations -- forecasts that the unemployment rate won't return to pre-recession levels until 2016.

12. According to the National Review, "[General Motors (NYSE: GM ) ] has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people."

11. While gold hit record highs this summer, the yield on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS, implied a forecast of near record low inflation.

10. According to author Matt Ridley, it took an average person 4,700 hours of work to afford a Ford (NYSE: F ) Model T in 1908. Today, it takes an average person 1,000 hours of work to afford an ordinary car.

9. Adjusted for inflation, the first Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) Macintosh cost $5,440. Today's iPad costs $500, and is outrageously more advanced.

8. About half of all Tweets are derived from 20,000 people -- or just 0.05% of Twitter members.

7. UBS estimates that illegal lending in China amounts to $630 billion a year, or about 10% of the country's gross domestic product.

6. Only 2.7% of what Americans spend their money on are goods and services from China. 88.5% is on American-made goods and services.

5. Cash flow among S&P 500 companies set a new all-time record last year, at $1.2 trillion.

4. Between dividends and buybacks, S&P 500 companies returned $4.3 trillion to shareholders from 2003 to 2010.

3. According to the Hedge Fund Research index, hedge funds as a group returned 19.6% between March 2009 and May 2011. Broad stock market indexes in the developed world returned 114% during that period.

2. Food prices invariably come up when people talk about inflation. But average disposable income has risen twice as fast as food prices over the past 50 years. There's been fairly steady food deflation over time.

1. America is still by far the largest economy in the world, nearly three times the size of China's or Japan's economy, and nearly five times the size of Germany's. We have the best schools, the deepest financial system, the most advanced innovation, and the brightest entrepreneurs.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Burned Out Moonscape and Prez Candidates without a Plan

In San Antonio on Riverwalk, a break from the 10 hour travel time to West Texas – another universe. West of San Antonio the effects of the drought were stunning – dead trees were up to 50% of the ground cover in some areas. The grass was tinder dry – a raging fire waiting to happen as our drought drags on.

The dead Cedars were burnt brown like Christmas trees that had been microwaved too long. The dead majestic oaks looked like gray ghosts, lifeless trees that were almost invisible against the horizon.

Got to watch a big game in which Permian saw a huge lead dwindle down to a one point difference in the last six seconds. Their fierce rival from Midland tried a fake 2 point conversion and it would have worked but for one Permian player getting a fingertip on the ball just enough to edge it beyond the grip of the Midland player, a foot from the line. To Permian it meant going down in defeat for the season – or going to the playoffs. To some people, it was entire careers on the line. It was a heart stopper.

I heard about Gadhafi’s death Thursday on the radio during the drive to the lunar moonscape that calls itself West Texas. Three days later it seems as if centuries have past. Libyans can’t believe that the man who hunted them for decades is dead. Young engineers and those like him who took up arms to rid themselves of a ruthless dictator are now free.

Yet I am still amazed by the sheer number of Americans who look blank when you mention Gadhafi’s name – even in places like Houston and Odessa/Midland. He only blew up an American airliner, Pan Am 103, killing 270 of which 189 were Americans – many of whom were still alive and strapped in their seats when the aircraft fell on Lockerbee Scotland. Are we that clueless as to our own history? 1988 is not that long ago when it comes to murder of our own. How soon we forget them?

Gadhafi killed his own people in far greater numbers. Thousands vanished under his rule. Saying even the smallest thing that was taken as criticism during Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship was enough for you to disappear and never be seen by your family again.

And people wonder why he ended up with a bullet in the head instead of a prison podium to continue agitating his supporters to defeat the rebels? Libya isn’t America where even a serial killer gets Miranda rights. He would have done the same to any of them in a heartbeat – and continued causing trouble from his cell to sabotage their fledgling democracy, which will be hard enough to do as is.
Now they can move on with the next chapter of Libyan history and work on building a more humane society, a country that is not run by a crazy family of killers and abusers.

On the Presidential front I have watched the debates and followed the developments and have a couple observations.

First I am amazed someone could run for President and not even have an Economic Plan on Day 1 (I’m talking about you Gov. Perry in particular since I live in your state). What? We are electing you because you can read talking points? And then Perry’s economic plan was shallow and superficial -- 100% focused on drilling for oil. That’s it? Just oil? What about high tech? I guess all of us will be deck hands on an oil rig or driving a tank truck instead of building next generation space ships and high technology products.

Perry never mentioned all the other American industries that must compete in the 21st century –biotech, medical, space, green jobs. Nor did he mention he has been cutting our education funds, insuring that we will not be leading the 21st century when high tech jobs in Texas (and 3 million in America) go unfilled because we don’t have the people with the skills to fill them. They won’t be filled with high school drop-outs, an area where Texas is No. 1.

Iraq – President Obama says that we are out by the end of this year. Thank God that after nine years and nearly $1 trillion dollars we are leaving Iraq, the country that was not involved in 9/11 and did not have weapons of mass destruction. It took the lives of over 4,400 Americans and 150,000 Iraqis – and allowed Iran to gain an advantage and build its nuclear investment after we eliminated their No. 1 threat. Now the Iraqis need to do their own work just as Libyans are doing on their own.

We spent $1 trillion on Iraq at the costs of thousands of Americans versus only $1 billion on Libya at the cost of zero Americans. Big difference in cost in money and lives! Which do you think is better? That’s $1 trillion we could have invested in American lives, roads, bridges, modern infrastructure and education needed to stay ahead of China and India who are educating more high tech skilled workers than we are!

Now it’s time to focus on American jobs and education to compete with our global competitors in China and India. However, one of our parties seems more interested in sabotaging our economic success then helping jump starting it.

Maybe it is because Congressmen have jobs (at taxpayer expense) that they can vote against funding the repair of thousands of derelict bridges and crumbling roads that would employ millions. Hopefully the same people will be on those bridges when they collapse into the waters below and we can elect representatives that don’t do nothing to fix the worst financial downturn we’ve had in 70 years. Now they want to repeal the financial reforms to avoid yet another Wall Street meltdown. Apparently there is one party that represents the top 1% that got us into this mess.
Stay tuned…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The 99% Proposal - Makes a Lot of Sense

The Occupy Wall Street/99% movement has posted a declaration and list of issues it wants addressed.

In reading through the list, I was surprise by how much of it I agree with. It does not seem radical or a bunch of nutters wrote it. Instead it sounds very reasonable - eliminate the sources of corruption and unlimited political donations, train people for jobs, etc.  Here it is:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the PEOPLE, shall elect and convene a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY beginning on July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia.

I. Election of Delegates:
The People, consisting of all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18, regardless of party affiliation and voter registration status, shall elect Two Delegates, one male and one female, by direct vote, from each of the existing 435 Congressional Districts to represent the People at the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in Philadelphia. Said Assembly shall convene on July 4, 2012 in the city of Philadelphia.  
The office of Delegate shall be open to all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18. Election Committees, elected by local General Assemblies from all over the United States, shall coordinate with the 99 Percent Declaration Working Group ( to organize, coordinate and fund this national election by direct democratic voting. The Election Committees shall operate like the original Committees of Correspondence did before the first American Revolution. 
II. Meeting of the National General Assembly and Deliberation:
At the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, the 870 Delegates shall set forth, consider and vote upon a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES to be submitted to all members of Congress, The Supreme Court and President and each of the political candidates running in the nationwide Congressional and Presidential election in November 2012.  The Delegates of the National General Assembly shall vote upon and implement their own agenda, propagate their own rules and elect or appoint committee members as the Delegates see fit to accomplish their goal of presenting a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES from the 99% of Americans before the 2012 elections.
III. Proposed Petition for the Redress of Grievances:
The PETITION OF GRIEVANCES shall be non-partisan and address the critical issues now confronting the People of the United States. The Delegates shall deliberate and vote upon proposals for the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES in consultation with the People as the delegates to the first two Continental Congresses did. Below is a suggested list of grievances respectfully submitted by the OWS Working Group on the 99% Declaration. The final version of the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES voted upon by the Delegates of the National General Assembly MAY or MAY NOT include the following suggested issues: 

1. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from Individuals, Corporations, Political Action Committees, Super Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, Unions and all other private sources of money to be replaced by the fair and equal public financing of all federal political campaigns. We categorically REJECT the concept that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest would have a voice. These actions must be taken because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions and ensure their reelection year after year.

2. The immediate reversal, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the "Citizens United" case by the Supreme Court, which equates the payment of money by corporations, wealthy individuals and unions to politicians with free speech. We, the People, demand that institutional bribery and corruption not be deemed protected speech.

3. Prohibiting all federal public officials and their immediate family members, whether elected or appointed, from EVER being employed by any corporation they regulate while in office and/or holding any stock or shares in any corporation they regulate while in office until a full 5 years after their term is completed.  

4. A complete lifetime ban on accepting all gifts, services, money, directly or indirectly, to any elected or appointed federal officials or their immediate family members, from any person, corporation, union or other entity that the public official was charged to regulate while in office.

5.  A complete reformation of the United States Tax Code to require ALL citizens to pay a fair share of a progressive, graduated income tax by eliminating loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies (e.g. oil, gas and farm) and ending all other methods of evading taxes. The current system of taxation favors the wealthiest Americans, many of whom, pay fewer taxes to the United States Treasury than citizens who earn much less and pay a much higher percentage of income in taxes to the United States Treasury. We, like Warren Buffet, find this income tax disparity to be fundamentally unjust.

6. Medicare for all American citizens or another single-payer healthcare system, adjusted by a means test (i.e. citizens who can afford it may opt-out and pay their own health insurance or opt-in and pay a means tested premium). The Medicaid program, fraught with corruption and fraud, will be eliminated except for the purpose of providing emergency room care to indigent non-citizens who will not be covered by the single-payer program.

7. New comprehensive regulations to give the Environmental Protection Agency expanded powers to shut down corporations, businesses or any entities that intentionally or recklessly damage the environment and/or criminally prosecute individuals who intentionally damage the environment. We also demand the immediate adoption of the most recent international protocols, including the "Washington Declaration" to cap carbon emissions and implement new and existing programs to transition away from fossil fuels to reusable or carbon neutral sources of power.

8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the "healthcare" industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream AND a truly progressive income tax code that does not allow the wealthy and corporations to evade taxes through excessive deductions, subsidies and loopholes. We agree that spending cuts are necessary but those cuts must be made to facilitate what is best for the People of the United States of America, not multinational and domestic corporations. 

9. Passage of a comprehensive job and job-training act like the American Jobs Act to employ our citizens in jobs that are available with specialized training and by putting People to work now by repairing America's crumbling infrastructure. We also recommend the establishment of an online international job exchange to match employers with skilled workers or employers willing to train workers in 21st century skills.

10. Student loan debt relief. Our young People and students are more than $830 billion in debt from education loans alone. Payment and interest on these debts should be deferred for periods of unemployment and the principal on these loans reduced using a corporate tax surcharge.

11. Immediate passage of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration and border security reform including offering visas, lawful permanent resident status and citizenship to the world’s brightest People to stay and work in our industries and schools after they obtain their education and training in the United States.

12. Recalling all military personnel at all non-essential bases and refocusing national defense goals to address threats posed by the geopolitics of the 21st century, including terrorism and limiting the large scale deployment of military forces to instances where Congressional approval has been granted to counter the Military Industrial Complex's goal of perpetual war for profit.

13. Mandating new educational goals to train the American public to perform jobs in a 21st Century economy, particularly in the areas of technology and green energy, taking into consideration the redundancy caused by technology and the inexpensive cost of labor in China, India and other countries and paying our teachers a competitive salary commensurate with the salaries of employees in the private sector with similar skills. 

14. Subject to the elimination of corporate tax loopholes and exploited exemptions and deductions stated above, offering tax incentives to businesses to remain in the United States and hire its citizens rather than outsource jobs and reconstruct the manufacturing capacity of the United States.  In conjunction with a new jobs act, reinstitution of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps or a similar emergency governmental agency tasked with creating new public works projects to provide jobs to the 46 million People living in poverty, the 9.1% unemployed and 10% underemployed.

15. Implementing of immediate legislation to encourage China and our other trading partners to end currency manipulation and reduce the trade deficit.

16.  Immediate reenactment of the Glass-Steagall Act and increased regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry by the SEC, FINRA and the other financial regulators, and the commencement of a Justice Department criminal investigations into the Securities and Banking industries practices that led to the collapse of markets, $700 billion bail-out, and financial firm failures in 2007-2008.

17. Adoption of a plan similar to President Clinton’s proposal to end the mortgage crisis and instead of the Federal Reserve continuing to lower interest rates for loans to banks who are refusing to loan to small businesses and consumers, the Federal Reserve shall buy all underwater or foreclosed mortgages and refinance these debts at 1% or less to be managed by the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (and foreclosure task force described below) because 1% or less is the interest rate the Federal Reserve loans to the banks directly who hoard the cash rather than loan it to the People and small businesses.

18. An immediate one year freeze on all foreclosures to be reviewed by an independent foreclosure task force appointed by Congress and the Executive Branch to (in conjunction with the  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau determine, on a case by case basis, whether foreclosure proceedings should continue based on the circumstances of each homeowner and propriety of the financial institution's conduct.

19. Subject to the above ban on all private money and gifts in politics, to enact additional campaign finance reform requiring free air time and public campaign finances to all candidates who obtain sufficient petition signatures and/or votes to participate in the primaries and/or electoral process, to shorten the campaign season and to allow voting on weekends and holidays.

20. An immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and a substantial increase in the amount of funding needed for veteran job placement and the treatment of the physical and emotional injuries sustained by veterans in these wars. Our veterans are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate and we must help now.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that IF the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES approved by the 870 Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in consultation with the PEOPLE, is not acted upon by Congress, the President, and Supreme Court, to the satisfaction of the Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, said Delegates shall organize a THIRD, COMPLETELY NON-PARTISAN, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY to run candidates for every available Congressional seat in the mid-term election of 2014 and again in 2016 until all vestiges of the existing corrupt corporatocracy have been removed by the ballot box.

Email us with your ideas for this declaration and petition at: or join this Working Group by visiting and the Working Group Forum at