Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cutting Cartels and Gov't Costs While Saving Willie Nelson

Cutting Cartels & Gov’t Costs While Saving Willie Nelson

Global American Series

22 April 2011

People are concerned about border security and the killings in Mexico. How can the U.S. cut the cartels down to size while cutting our own law enforcement costs -- and even generate new revenues in the process?

The last two Presidents of Mexico have vastly different views on the cause of the violence and the solution. One of them is right, but which one? The last President Felipe Calderon set out in 2006 to kill the cartel leadership. The result has been an explosion of violence, beheadings and over 34,000 people killed in Mexico in the last five years. Former President Vincente Fox has said that drugs should be decriminalized, which Mexico did in 2009 under Mr. Calderon for small quantities of marijuana and even heroin.

What is the solution? We’ve been here before, in the 1920’s and 30’s when alcohol was made illegal. A small time gangster named Al Capone ended up running one of the biggest criminal organizations out of Chicago and gangsters carried machine guns and used them on each other in the fight for control of the business. What we are seeing in Mexico is an international version of that drama. The cartels now rake in over $39 BILLION dollars a year, which they invest in heavy weapons like Ak-47’s, much of which is imported from the United States. The cartels are now moving into the U.S. They could be operating in your city or next door.

How do you fight a $39 billion/year business that pays no taxes and settles scores with firepower and can afford to build submarines to haul contraband into the U.S.? For fifty years the U.S. has spent up to $50 billion a year –now Trillions of dollars--on a lost cause that has not diminished supply or demand, despite jailing hundreds of thousands of people. The result was no different in Al Capone’s day. Despite the law, people still drank alcohol, and many ended up dying from contaminated bootleg booze. Bars were controlled by gangs and not mom and pop owners –until prohibition ended.

According to the FBI, last year more than 850,000 people in the U.S. were arrested for marijuana possession – not for selling or committing any crime other than possessing an illegal substance. In Texas over 80,000 people were arrested for marijuana, 97% of them for simple possession. The cost to the State of Texas ranges from $10,000 per arrest to an annual cost of $24,000 to house them in jails. Multiplied out Texas is spending from $800 million to $2 BILLION a year arresting people for simple marijuana possession. Over 50% of the drug arrests are for marijuana possession -

How many people have died from marijuana? According to the Center for Disease Control, tobacco kills about 435,000 per year, alcohol kills over 85,000, legal prescription drugs kill over 30,000 and marijuana has killed zero people – that’s right. Medical experts say a person would have to consume over 1,500 lbs of it in 15 minutes to overdose. Not even a dedicated pot head could go through more than a cigarette or two in that time! Estimates are that between 20 and 50 million people in the U.S. smoke it.

The current law results in unequal enforcement. Singer Willie Nelson, who was recently picked up at a traffic checkpoint in a bus on which officials found several ounces of pot. He paid a fine and was let go. The Sheriff even joked about him singing as part of the deal. Yet kids, mostly minorities, end up having their futures ruined by an arrest for simple possession and spend hard time in jail, at a huge cost to the State. It keeps them from getting jobs because they have a record. Can we afford to spend billions to lock up nonviolent offenders for possession – which forces jails to release the violent to make room for them? Does arresting people like Willie Nelson for possession of a substance that hasn’t killed anyone make sense in these tough budgetary times? The U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population, yet we have more people in jail than Russia and Communist China! Most of time are nonviolent offenders.

Fourteen states have now sanctioned medical marijuana, allowing it for medical purposes. It has been used to keep people from going blind with glaucoma to relieving the nausea from chemotherapy. Portugal and Holland have legalized it, and found that addiction rates did not rise – in fact kids there use less than half of the marijuana than kids in the U.S. where it is still illegal. Is it the fascination with forbidden fruit? Actually until 1937, marijuana was legal. It was used in ancient China as an herbal cure.

So how do we cut the cartels down to size, cutting them off of billions in income while also cutting billions of law enforcement dollars from hard-pressed State budgets – and even provide a new source of billions in “sin taxes” on currently untaxed revenue?

Hear the details by tuning in to the Global American radio program on Saturday at 9 am Central time, streamed on and podcast 24/7 on

Michael Fjetland

Global American Series

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Article on U.S. SPENDING in 2003! Another Hit Prediction?

Reprint of Global American column in 2003! Note the part about SPENDING...

"September 30, 2003
The "Global American" series

Where Does America Go From Here? Potential Solutions

Step out of the maddening crowd for a minute and look at the big
picture. Then we'll take a quick look at some potential solutions.

The U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but is using 25% of the
world's energy and is importing a majority of our oil from overseas.
Most of the world's oil is located in the Middle East, which remains
in turmoil and controlled by people who like our money but that's
about it.

None of the Middle East oil countries is a democracy. Iraq is a wild
card experiment but giving democracy to the majority Shiite population
who were beat up by Saddam and Baathists for 30 years could lead to an
Islamic religious state -- or a secular one in which minority Sunnis
and Kurds get short sheeted and beat up instead. We could use Dr.
Phil's help sorting out that one. No. 1 oil player Saudi remains
undemocratic and has been a major source of funding for bin laden.

Russia has oil they'd like to sell us, a huge cache of nuclear
weapons, an active program to assist the extremist Iran government
develop its nuclear program, and a declining democracy. Opponents to
Mr. Putin are either exterminated or put on the ropes and independent
newspapers are shut down and no one in Washington seems alarmed by this.

While all eyes are on the usual suspects in the Middle East, China is
about to become the world's third space power, while it sells $100
billion more each year than it buys from the U.S. U.S. businesses
still have trouble getting into its marketplace and the Chinese refuse
to float their currency, which gives it a further, unfair trade advantage.

Osama bin laden remains active and almost forgotten, although he was
the chief architect of 9 11. No one is spending $87 billion to get to him.

So, where do we go from here and how do we fix this?

Here are a few potential solutions. Let's face it --we need to find
ways to drive further on less gas. Billions of our Petrodollars end up
on the hands of some in the Middle East who gladly give it to people
like bin laden. Buying an 8-mile per gallon Hummer may feed the ego,
but it also feeds undemocratic oil countries with a different agenda.
If we push up fuel economies, and turn 8 mile per gallon Hummers into
16-mpg machines, we just cut in half the cash flow to the oil zealots.

A big solution is energy independence. Switching to hydrogen and
alternative fuels would put dollars into our own pockets instead of
OPEC's and bin laden's. Arnold Schwarzenegger is switching his Hummer
to Hydrogen drive. Assuming the hydrogen is not produced using
foreign oil, that's a winner idea. Using more gas/electric hybrid
vehicles and Green Mountain Energy ( solar and
wind power for your house will do the same—you know the money isn't
leaving the country or being sent to a terrorist or Swiss bank account.

Get Russia to back off supplying countries like Iran with nuclear
technology. Russia needs money. We could buy off their contract with
Iran and actively help them reduce the huge arsenal of VX and
mini-nukes that are a magnet to terrorist groups who could do great
harm if they obtained even one from Russia's loosely guarded inventories.

Get China to stop selling missiles to Syria, Iran, Pakistan and other
countries. Sooner or later they will be turned on India or Israel and
that will ignite a potential nuclear exchange –some of it on top of
the oil we are buying. Whether or not a nuke hits an oilfield, these
missile sales affect the regions stability—by making it even more

Finally, we need to get our own house in order. The U.S. has a half
trillion deficit (over $500 billion) and Congress still wants to
spend, spend, spend. If we consumers did that we'd go to jail or
bankruptcy court—and deserve it. If Iraq must have $87 billion, then
something else needs to be cut. Billions in "pork" is stuffed in
Congressional budgets.

We should start with cutting the $180 billion we plan to make in farm
subsidies, which would also reduce terrorism. According to Thomas
Friedman, a New York Times columnist, had we reached a Cancún
agreement, reducing tariffs and agri-subsidies, we could have raised
global income by $500 billion a year by 2015 — over 60 per cent of
which would go to poor countries and pull 144 million people out of

People who have something are less inclined to become terrorists. We
have the power to change that, here and now. Want a change? You can
contact your federal elected officials at:
Michael Fjetland*
The Global American column"

Why is the Richest Nation of the World Risking Astronauts' Lives?

This is reprint from an article published in 2005 at the following Global American link (log in and check the archive):

"July 2, 2005
Global American Series

Why is the Richest Nation of the World Risking Astronauts' Lives in
25-year old Space Antiques?

America needs to think big again.

Today, in an article in the Houston Chronicle, an investigator for NASA stated
that the Shuttle is "too dangerous" to fly even with modifications -- and needs
to be replaced ASAP. The news article is at:

The investigator, Admiral Gehman, is certainly not a Chicken Little worried
about the sky falling. He is a sober professional who should be listened to
carefully. The lives of our men and women astronauts are on the line because the
next flight is scheduled a few days from now. A Shuttle hasn't flown since
Columbia crashed.

Although NASA has done what it can with what it has, based on Adm. Gehman’s
report I oppose sending our astronauts up in the old Shuttles again - until
there is a 21st century replacement for them to fly in. The Shuttle is 24-years
old! The remaining Shuttles aren't due for replacement until 2010 - when they
are 30 years old!

How many of you are driving a 24-30 year old car? My 15-year old Mercedes (now
deceased) developed a nasty habit of dying on the highway. Do you remember the
Hawaiian airline flying an old aircraft several years ago when the top of the
cabin peeled off above the passengers in flight?

The Shuttle is operating on 1970's technology (used when it first launched in
'81). Damage one of its delicate protective tiles and it is doomed. If one tiny
valve sticks in an engine designed 30 years ago, it blows up.

Can't the richest country in the world do better than to send its professionals
into space with three-decade-old technology?

Mr. Griffin, NASA’s new administrator, is an engineer and a major improvement
from having a “bean counter” in charge of a high tech enterprise. A Shuttle
replacement is his first priority after getting the old Shuttles flying again.

But Adm. Gehman says that even 1 more flight of these antiques (my term, not
his) is extremely dangerous. How could it hurt NASA to wait for a new generation
Shuttle before launching again?

What do we lose? The space station can wait. Everyone at NASA will get paid the
same regardless. The time and money that would go towards patching the old
Model T's could be better spent focused on preparing the new high tech "next
gen" crew vehicle instead. Focusing on the new vehicle could push up its launch
date from 2010 to maybe two or three years from now.

On the other hand, how much would it hurt NASA if they lose a third Shuttle? The
Shuttles should be treated like the Concorde, given a gold ribbon for service --
and parked at the Smithsonian (along with my Mercedes).

We have had a failure in Congressional leadership that should have made a "next
gen" Shuttle a priority over a decade ago. We don’t need a third Shuttle crash
to demoralize the American people, damage NASA and wake up Congress.

The next flight of American Astronauts should be in a Space vehicle designed
with 21st century technology --sooner rather than later.

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series

Global Americans – From living in China to Flying "Down Under"

In researching my book, I found this piece I wrote back in 2004!
(I also found a 2005 article talking about "Living on Foreign Money." If you recall, that was during the Bush administration!)

Here is the link to the article/s archive. If that doesn't work, here is a copy:

Global Americans - Living in China and Flying 'Down Under' Message List
Reply | Delete Message #77 of 334 < Prev | Next >
Monday, April 19, 2004
Global American Series

Global Americans – From living in China to Flying "Down Under"

Excerpt from "Better Times Ahead: April Fool" and an old travel journal:

"11 November 1984
8:09 P.M.
Night Train from Shanghai
I'm on the night train from Shanghai to Nanjing, China. Charles
is next door cutting a "$2 million dollar deal" to help a Hong Kong
Trading house sell commercial technology to the Chinese.

So while the technical advisor is doing his thing, I am sitting
here in this rocking compartment, wondering if the gamble was worth
it. We didn't have an official invite, zero cash until we got $1,000
the day we left Houston, my Gold American Express card--and that was it.

I knew we couldn't do any international business by
continuing on the rubber chicken circuit in Houston. To be
international, one has to get 'out there' and go for it.
It's a challenge to write in this swaying car, so I will lay back and
contemplate the world as we roll past the night landscape. This trip
can only get better..." *

It didn't. That six-week trip through China was part "Marco Polo" and
an eye opener. It was my first after getting laid off from a Fortune
500 company. I was trying to export American goods (which creates
jobs here) but I found few American companies willing to try. If I'd
decided to buy Chinese goods to import into the U.S. instead, I'd have
struck it rich. I didn't do that either. We are still feeling those
effects today.

That trip to China occurred when the Texas economy was going south in
the 80's --when Texas companies needed to sell products overseas to
stay in business, but many were too afraid to try anything new. A lot
went broke instead. A lot of U.S. companies now are going global but
many are exporting jobs instead of goods or services.

An example. My water heater just went out over Easter weekend. The
plumber told me that our new one was the last one that will be made in
America (story at my blog referenced below). What kind of future does
that leave us?

I think we'd be a better off if all Americans were required to travel
as a condition of citizenship – so they see for themselves what is
going on in the world, in business and politically, instead of just
taking as gospel what some politicians tell them. At the minimum it
would sure make people more grateful for what we have. We can't lead a
world we know too little about. I recently witnessed a Congress
candidate proclaim his ignorance on global affairs and threats against
us – not reassuring in a global economy that includes global terrorists.

But there is good news. A fellow member of my Civil Air Patrol
Squadron, whom we call "Traveler" is currently flying a small plane
over Australia with his wife (it's a 20 hour jet ride just to get
there). His nickname comes from having traveled to over 30 countries
since he retired from a Fortune 500 company. When he gets back I
intend to ask him if flying on the bottom of the planet "Down Under"
in Australia is upside down (just kidding).

I also met a young couple with a cute baby named Sarah at a festival
this weekend who told me that they had lived in Shanghai, China for
three years, teaching, before moving to Sugar Land – a burb just
outside of Houston. Their worldview was sharply different from many
Americans I meet. They were conservative, but were informed.

These are just two examples of what I call "Global Americans" who
represent our future if we are to remain a superpower. We need more
like them, ranging from the young soldiers sent to Iraq to students
like my wife's oldest son who has studied abroad in East Europe and
South America, and knows more about global events than that Congress

To thrive (and survive) in the 21st Century, we will need to become
Global Americans – from Main Street to Wall Street, and in Congress
and the White House.

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series

*From "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?" a book being written about the
future of America by Michael Fjetland.

Reprints allowed with author credit and website reference to this site
where interested parties can subscribe (free):

Michael Fjetland (pronounced "Fetland") is an international
attorney/negotiator who has been in over 55 countries since the
1970's, is a volunteer pilot with the US Air Force Auxiliary and is a
TV terrorism analyst in Houston"

You can access the article archives at:

Friday, April 15, 2011

How many American have forgotten Gadhafi bombed Pan Am 103?

How many American have forgotten Gadhafi bombed Pan Am 103? I'm running into a lot of Americans who look puzzled when I mention it - like they never heard of something just as awful as 9/11. Pan Am 103 WAS the 9/11 of 1988 --270 people blown out of the sky or killed by the aircraft falling on their quiet Scottish homes. Gadhafi's own Minister said it was Gadhafi who ordered the bombing.

Today his tanks and snipers are now killing civilians in Misrata - and no NATO or US airstrikes taking out Gadhafi's killing machines?

Is this any way to run out a known terrorist? But shockingly, I've found most Americans don't remember Pan Am 103!

This is shocking. This isn't American Idol at stake. The rebels are people like you and me...they are being butchered by Gadhafi's thugs right you focus on everything else...

If I were President Gadhafi would have bad his ass kicked long before now, and definitely NOW. Our forces won't be sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

It's good to be a moderate and deliberate in making decisions, but when you decide to kick butt and enter a war like Libya, you don't go into it moderately. You use all force necessary to end it before it unravels --like Rumseld's decision to use too few troops in Iraq which resulted in the loss of control. They didn't even have enough troops to guard Iraq's nuclear materials storage. Going slow and doing things undermanned is a recipe for disaster -- for us.

GOP Throws Your Momma, Gran and Us Under the Train

This reckless bill by GOP Rep. Ryan, supported by the entire GOP would drastically reduce my mother's Medicare, and mine and yours too. Messing with my mom makes me really MAD. I've never heard her so worried as when we talked about this bill last weekend.

Ryan and the GOP just voted to toss Mom, Grandma and us Baby Boomers under the train. Under their plan, seniors get screwed and have to pay more for less - as much as $6,400 more a year.

This GOP vote violates a long-standing contract with Americans by our government to provide all Medicare required when we reach retirement (which isn't far off for me either). Instead, the GOP voted to turn us over to the real death panels: insurance companies who cut benefits and increase premiums at will. This is so wrong.

But what do you expect from a bunch of Republican millionaires who have gov't health benefits way beyond even my Mom's (and yours) Medicare...?

The care Rep. Giffords is getting, and the healthcare benefits the Paul Ryan's and other Congressional members get is not available to people like you and me! I think Rep. Giffords deserves to get that care. I think ALL Americans deserve to get that kind of care!

I don't see the GOP members voting today to give up THEIR gold-plated health care benefits in Congress! Do you?

They can afford to give theirs up. Many of these Congressmen are millionaires -- and even those who aren't are collecting hundreds of thousands or millions in fat checks from lobbyists and every Tom-Dick and Harry Corporation who wants a special favor or tax deal.

Most Americans can't afford to lose what they have, as modest as it has been. Medicare is what has protected older Americans after a life of service to their country. And this is how they are treated -- by people who never have to worry about getting first class care, or paying for needed prescriptions? This cruel vote pulls the rug out from under the average American.

I don't think Americans voted for this kind of extremism last November. Ask them - how many ordinary Americans would vote to give up THEIR Medicare benefits so an insurance company can deny them coverage for the care they need?

We'll find out in November 2012...

Two Parties United - in Promoting Freedom from Dictators

This fascinating piece on the New York Times shows that the Republicans and Democrats CAN work together - in promoting FREEDOM from dictators.

"The money spent on these programs was minute compared with efforts led by the Pentagon." But they were vastly more effective. It's proof that we get more 'bang for our buck' by promoting democracy then laying bombs on peoples' heads.

Let's keep up the democracy training overseas, even while the two parties battle each other domestically. At least our debates are verbal duels and not an exercise of power at the end of a gun...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Battle of the Budget Plans – Which is Best?

15 April 2011
Global American Series

The Battle of the Budget Plans – Which is Best?

Within the last week we have seen two budget plans introduced – one for the GOP
by Rep. Paul Ryan and the plan outlined Wednesday by President Obama. Which is
best for the future of America? That is the topic of this week's Global American
radio Saturday at 9 am Central.

It all boils down to tax revenue and expenditures. Did you know the first U.S.
income tax was instituted by President Lincoln during the Civil War in 1862 –not
1913 as commonly thought? It was a progressive tax: 3% on incomes up to $600, 5%
on incomes over $10,000. It was repealed in 1872. The Supreme Court ruled the
new income tax passed in 1894 unconstitutional. So it remained until 1913 when
the sixteenth amendment was ratified.

Did you know that the highest tax rate during World War I was 77%? During World
War II the highest rate for the richest was 94%. The highest rate in 1982 was
50%. Today it is 35% - yet hedge fund managers only pay 15% - the capital gains
tax rate (their house cleaners pay a higher rate). And for the Afghanistan and
Iraq war what did we do? We CUT taxes, with the top incomes getting the lion's
share and BORROWED money to pay for the wars. It's the first time in our history
we didn't pay for our wars.

That 2001 cut turned Clinton's last budget surplus of $250 billion, which Bush
43 inherited, into an immediate $1.65 TRILLION deficit. That caused our national
debt to double from 2000 - 2008. And when Bush 43 left office in January 2009,
he handled Obama a $1.2 Trillion deficit on the first day of the job, TARP, and
an economy in free-fall. It was a scary time if you recall.

So now what is the best plan going forward to fix our debt problem? Today the
tax burden on wealth is the lowest in 50 years!

Rep. Ryan proposes making the Bush tax cuts permanent. 100% of his plan is
focused on 12% of the budget. Defense spending remains untouched. It converts
Medicare from an open-ended entitlement to a voucher system tied to State block
grants. Seniors would have to pay $6,400 more for insurance. What if the private
insurance premiums go up or doesn't pay for a procedure? Basically it privatizes
Medicare just as baby boomers reach retirement.

The President's proposed plan would do two things: Eliminate the Bush tax cuts
on the top 2%, netting another $1 trillion in income AND cut Medicare costs by,
for example, allowing drug prices to be negotiated down (the 2004 Plan D
prohibited the government from negotiating lower drug prices!) He also put
defense spending on the table – currently the $700 billion/year is more than the
defense budgets of the rest of the 200-county world COMBINED, which should
indicate how bloated it is (especially when it is sitting on the sidelines in
Libya whose leader killed 270 on Pan Am 103 rides around Tripoli laughing). Its
costs aren't covered by taxes. Our military is still marching on borrowed money.
It isn't sustainable unless we have more revenues. How many toys are we willing
to tax ourselves for?

So which budget plan is best for America -- the one that cuts grandma's Medicare
while giving millionaires a better rate than you and me, or the Presidents plan
-- which asks the wealthy to pay their fair share while preserving the Medicare
safety net for Grandma --and us boomers? But we have bigger things to fix.

Did you know that America ranks 52nd (out of 200 countries) in math and science?
And America is 24th in percentage of households with a personal computer? 9th in
college graduates? We give stats on America's global standing. We talk about how
to return America to No. 1. That's important, right?

Tune into the insights on America's future and "the big picture" this Saturday
on Global American radio at 9 am Central time on Business 1110 AM, streamed on and Podcast 24/7 at

Host: Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fascinating story of the President's Unique Mother

This is a fascinating story of President Obama's unique mother. I suggest Mr. Trump and the other "birthers" read it. He might learn something...

After my travels I believe as she did: "She believed that people were all basically the same under their skin, that bigotry of any sort was wrong and that the goal was then to treat everybody as unique individuals."

The more you travel to other countries the more you realize how alike we all are - people want job opportunities, education opportunities for themselves and their children and to be treated with respect.

No one has a monopoly on good or bad. MLK was right. It's all about the content of your character not the color of your skin that counts.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sharia Law: Does it Apply in U.S.? Expert Opinion

There has been a lot of hysteria over the issue of “Sharia Law” in the United States. Here are the facts about Sharia Law and why my opinion as a Fortune 500-trained international attorney should interest you. Here is why Sharia Law does not apply in the U.S.

I have negotiated in over 50 countries since the 70s, which means I’ve had to research and know 50 different legal systems (plus numerous State laws and all the international treaties, etc. as part of representing an international company, and later as an entrepreneur). I first encountered Sharia Law as in-house counsel for Brown & Root and Dresser Industries when my employers were establishing Joint Ventures and other contracts for construction, oil services and manufacturing in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, etc. (At one point I was asked to be the contract attorney for B&R on the naval base they were building for the Shah of Iran at Chabahar on the Persian Gulf. Fortunately I took another job and was not there when it was overrun by the Iranian revolutionaries in 1979. Instead, I was in Cairo at the time, giving up my room at the Nile Hilton for a Presidential peace mission between Egypt and Israel. Details will be included in my upcoming book "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?")

So my opinion should be considered as an international legal expert opinion, right? BUT even I did what no one else apparently has done, including our lawmakers - I researched it! (Lawyers don't just blow opinions out the nose, or base "fact" on what some wacko on the Internet says. They dig for FACTS and what the law books say).

I'm embarrassed our legislators don't know that Sharia Law only applies in two Mideast countries, Saudi Arabia and Iran, not here. Everyone within our jurisdiction is subject only to our laws, not theirs, regardless of your nationality. If you are Martian in Texas, Texas law applies, not Martian law. If you are from Saudi Arabia, only American law applies. Any judge who doesn’t know that is incompetent and gets embarrassed and reversed on appeal, like a recent New Jersey case of a husband who claimed it was ok “back home” to rape his wife.

If you and I go to Saudi Arabia, then yes, their Saudi Sharia law applies. Same in Iran. Note that the debate between the “cutting off a hand for theft” versus executing a person later exonerated by DNA evidence is not a debate we should engage until we no longer have those incidents in our own system. How many Congressmen would be missing limbs under Sharia law anyway? LOL.

To their relief of lawmakers and their hands and feet, I can say that Sharia Law only applies in Saudi Arabia and Iran, not Washington DC, Austin or Phoenix. Any law student should be able to tell you that.

The only law that applies in Texas is Texas law (and U.S. law). The only law that applies in Arizona is Arizona law (and U.S. law), etc. It's the same for all the states. Anyone within our borders is subject to the law of the place where you are. Even foreign travelers are subject to Texas law when in Texas, and Iowa when in Iowa, etc. regardless of what their legal system is like at home in England, Saudi or Mars.

So, is this is a phony issue? Is it intended to be a distraction from the real key issue facing us: Developing a sustainable budget in the face of extraordinary deficits!?

Because nothing else is more important to our future. We MUST get our budget system in balance but avoid the 1937 mistake of FDR cutting back too fast and depressing the economy.

We also have to avoid undercutting the investment needed by our country's next generation for America to maintain a lead in the global high tech competition we face. We can't fix a problem caused by a decade of ‘borrow and spend’ like drunken sailors’ with ‘cutting like drunken butchers.’ We don't need to cut bone or muscle. We need a scalpel approach, not a meat cleaver.

Those obsessed with Sharia Law need to educate themselves. The issue is whether it applies to cases in states in the United States or in U.S. courts. It doesn't. Get an international lawyer to research it and confirm what I am saying. Then let us move on to real urgent issues facing us!

Once we fix the budget we need an American strategic plan that is fair and balanced and plays our strengths in an increasingly competitive world with its shrinking resources.

What has been proposed by Mr. Ryan is neither. It penalizes seniors and kids. It gives the richest a permanent pass on paying their fair share. It fails to invest in our technology future, which is vital for our success against a world of high tech countries. It does not lift all boats, only the wealthiest ones.

The President is about to announce a budget plan. Beyond what Mr. Ryan and the President offer, I am proposing my own vision for America as part of my upcoming book, "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?" It is a global strategic plan for the United States. It is more visionary than anything we have had since JFK.

Stay tuned for updates either here or at our blog:

Michael Fjetland

Global American Series

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Is American Education Meeting Our Future Needs?

Is American Education Meeting Our Future Needs?

8 April 2011

Global American Series

What happens to American business-- and our students-- in a high tech globally-competitive world if legislatures cut education funding at a time when the U.S. has sunk to 9th in the world in the percentage of students who are college graduates?

Today America has 3 million jobs that can’t be filled by Americans because they don’t have the skills required. How will funding cuts improve this situation?

We specifically look at the Texas situation this week on Global American radio – and get some surprising insights on the impact on business from a former GOP lawmaker who is the current President of the Texas Association of Business.

We also talk to two teachers, one with the State statistics and another who is a former teacher in Houston who describes what the classrooms will look like as a result of these radical changes in funding as the State of Texas continues to grow by 170,000 more students each year, joining the 5 million presently in school.

Our first guest is Bill Hammond, President of the Texas Association of Business, who in a recent article in the Austin American Statesman said: “If we don’t have an educated workforce, the jobs will leave.” He also said that, even before these cuts are made: “We are not meeting the needs of the future.”

He also says: “Sixty percent of students entering college need remedial courses.” HOW do we fix that?!

“By 2030, 60 percent of adult Texans will need an associate’s degree or higher for future jobs. Today only 30 percent of adult Texans have those degrees compared with 42 percent nationwide.”

Hammond says: “Higher education has a worse completion rate than high school.” He talks about HOW we fix that.

As it stands, Texas could cut as many as 100,000 teachers and school jobs, which will have a ripple effect through the economy. Right now, Texas ranks about 44th out of 50 states in education.

We ask Mr. Hammond and the teachers: “How will cutting education funding improve our status?” Tune in for the answers on Saturday at 9 am Central time on Business 1110 AM, streamed on and Podcast 24/7 at (Click on Favorite Programs).

Michael Fjetland

Global American Series

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

TV Clip Mentioning Gadhafi as a terrorist -- in 1991 Gulf War

For the first time in probably a decade I actually LISTENED to this Video (which has some 680,000 views), and realized that the TV anchor and I mentioned Moamar Gadhafi relative to the FIRST Gulf War in 1991!!...

Amazing that he was in the conversation as a known terrorist even that far back ...!

It is a short clip. Check it out - then freak out at the crazy comments kids make regarding 9/11...

Where do they get their education? Let some sanity weigh in...

Friday, April 1, 2011

How a Bigot in U.S. Caused Beheadings in Afghanistan

Because a hateful bigot and misguided Minister in Florida burned a Koran in an act of religious intolerance -- and a rogue squad of American soldiers took photos of a teenage civilian they had killed for fun in Afghanistan as if he were a deer -- and their officers failed to take action to stop or even report it, an angry mob of Afghans today hit the streets, looking for Americans to kill in Afghanistan today.

Finding none, they beheaded UN staff, the only western symbol available. Innocent people died in Afghanistan today because of a nasty alleged "Minister" bigot in Florida, falsely claiming to be "Christian"... What was in their odd heads--and I'm referring to OUR idiots? This is so un-American and disgusting -- and not an isolated example of a plague we need to wipe out in America.

Yesterday over lunch, a friend of mine said he went to a restaurant to have dinner and a beer with his wife recently in the Spring area. He was well dressed in a white shirt. As he sipped a drink with his wife, he heard a white guy seated nearby, say quite clearly: "Ah, Mexican mafia is here!" It really hurt him. Yes, he is an Hispanic, someone I've known as an honest, decent family man for over 20 years.

My friend is an American military veteran! The sting of racism from an asshole white guy was visible on his face as he told his story, the first time he had ever shared such as thing with me. I've known him to be a successful, bright professional, whose sales are earning his employer over $1 million a year! Although he could have made an issue of it with that idiot, he didn't. His wife works for Spring school district and is regarded as a key employee.

Had I been there I would have told that white jerk (as a white guy sick of jerks like him) that he had just insulted an American veteran -- and that he either apologize or explain why he could wrongly make assumptions about people he didn't know.

This ignorant behavior needs to change. I'm sick of such low brain stupidity -- and ignorance that offends civilized nice people, who happen to be a different color, yet have served in America's military and worked like dogs to make a living for their family, and serve their employers.

It's the content of the character, not the color as MLK said, that really counts. Having been in over 50 countries and meeting all kinds of people, I know that to be true. There are good and bad in every culture. But we need fewer prejudiced jerks out there, killing people they don't know, or opening casting untrue negatives on people they don't know in a public restaurant.

America is better than that. America is better than the bigots who think they are better than others. If they did some traveling around the world would show these turkeys would see what I've seen -- how much we are all alike. I discovered when I was sent around the world as a young negotiator so many years ago...more of us need to do the same thing.

Meltdowns, Hurricanes & Billionaires

Meltdowns, Hurricanes & Billionaires

1 April 2011

Global American Series

No April Fool -- This Week on Global American Radio…

Segment 1: From a Job Layoff to the Making of a Billionaire

How could a laid-off guy connect an American businessman to an African oil deal that ended up making BILLIONS in oil profits -- for the people he connected? It’s like an Indiana Jones/Beverly Hillbilly story sort of… (and an example how listening to the same guy behind the mike could make YOU rich -- or at least globally smarter, so you can impress friends if desired).

It’s another week of meltdowns from plants to dictators --to the NCAA. Why should we worry about the Libyan rebels more than the guy who killed over 200 Americans on Pan Am 103? Gadhafi’s Foreign Minister just defected from the guy who declared himself “king of kings” and is despised by the other despicables in the Middle East. And what can be done about Japan’s out-of-control reactors when its spewing radiation traces are turning up in 15 U.S. states from west to east –and in milk from our own cows in the U.S.?! The U.S. has 29 ships helping Japan. Are they near an unfolding Japanese Chernobyl?

Segment 2: Hurricane Forecast: 50% More Hurricanes in 2011!

Hurricane Experts predict “50% more Hurricanes in 2011. In 2008, IKE -- a mere 94 mph CAT 1 – blew out windows and power all the way from Houston to Ohio—causing over $5 million damage to one Houston building alone. What makes them building killers according to a Florida study? Hear about a space station executive’s odd experience with plywood before a storm would make even Charlie Sheen’s former bosses laugh. What is NASA’s procedure to prepare for a hurricane? We’ll tell you, but you won’t believe it. As the oceans warm, even a one half degree increase is raw meat for these heat-fueled monsters, making them stronger and more dangerous. CAT 2 and 3 could become the norm…

Segment 3: FOUND: Billions for Texas Budget. Couldn’t other States do this too?

The BAD News: Texas faces a mammoth deficit up to $25 BILLION. The GOOD News: I found a list of BILLIONS of potential revenue dollars that could dramatically cut our deficit with little or no “pain”! An example: Adding slot machines at EXISTING gambling sites in Texas would raise $2 BILLION! “State legislators are gutting education, and our future,” says the President of Texas Business Association, a former GOP lawmaker (and our guest next week). Think? GE makes $14 BILLION and pays ZERO?

Segment 4: President’s Energy Drive to Cut 1/3 by 2025: Enough to Avoid Future Oil Crisis?

Did you know that when you fill your car with gas from Saudi Arabia, some of your money going to Saudi is funneled to terrorist groups targeting the same Americans filling up?! Want to stop doing that?

The United States has NEVER had a “Strategy for Energy Independence.” While China executes its global strategy, Congress can’t see past 3-week “Continuing Resolutions.” The President’s goal to cut imports of oil by 1/3 in 2025 is a start -- but is it enough when China and India will add another 1 BILLION CARS by 2030? Have we hit global peak oil as an expert says? By 2028 Saudi will be consuming 8 million barrels a day INTERNALLY--oil it now exports! China’s investment in renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.) last year was DOUBLE that of the U.S. How do we lead from behind? Green jobs and renewal energy are the next economic driver worldwide. With a high jobless rate in rustbelt industries, how can we NOT invest in our own future and the next generation technology?

Find out more by tuning in to Global American radio Saturday, April 2 at 9 am Central time on Business 1110 AM, streamed on and Podcast 24/7 on (Click Favorite Programs and look for the above title “Meltdowns, Hurricanes & Billionaires…

P.S. The 10th Anniversary of 9/11 is this year. But something has gone wrong. A disturbing number of the kids commenting at the link below think 9/11 was a “hoax” or that it was done by the U.S. government! It’s just crazy what they say (The YouTube video has had over 680,000 views! It is a TV appearance I made in the 1991 Gulf War as a Mideast expert, predicting a future 9/11).

Please weigh in with your own comments! Set the record straight on behalf of our first responders and troops! But be more civil than I was. LOL.

Here’s the link:

On behalf of our troops and 9/11 responders, THANKS!

Michael Fjetland

Global American Series

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