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

Korea's Schools Go All Digital for "Smart Education" - Why Not the U.S.?

South Korea is dumping the textbook in favor of an all digital school curriculum. They call it "Smart Education." This is another area where the United States cannot afford to fall behind. Our schools need to go digital for success in a high tech global economy.

The problem with textbooks is twofold: (1) they are quickly outdated and some schools have books that are ten years old or older. And (2) because Texas is such a large book market the publishers have to conform to what the Texas Board of Education wants, and the results end up going to all the other states. The problem is that the Texas school board has been dominated by prehistoric throwbacks to another century.

Recently the Texas school board demanded that history books delete references to slavery being an issue during the civil war. Efforts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were consistently defeated. Key founding father Thomas Jefferson was deleted from the book entirely!

As pointed out in a recent NY Times article: "...board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state."  

All of this would be eliminated if we went to digital books and let kids learn on computers like they are doing in South Korea.  America has dropped from being the No. 1 country for education in 2000 to No. 9 today.  We can reverse that trend by instituting digital education as the Koreans have.

Our future in a high tech global economy depends on it...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NASA: Moon Rich in Titanium. Mine it!

NASA has discovered that the moon contains vast sources of Titanium. Why is that important?

According to Wikipedia:

"Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines, missiles, and spacecraft), military, industrial process (chemicals and petro-chemicals, desalination plants, pulp, and paper), automotive, agri-food, medical prostheses, orthopedic implants, dental and endodontic instruments and files, dental implants, sporting goods, jewelry, mobile phones, and other applications.[2]

The two most useful properties of the metal form are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.[5] In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some steels, but 45% lighter."

Wow. And there is a lot more of it on the Moon than here on Earth.

They also discovered that "Lunar titanium is mostly found in the mineral ilmenite, a compound containing iron, titanium and oxygen. Future miners living and working on the Moon could break down ilmenite to liberate these elements. In addition, Apollo data shows that titanium-rich minerals are more efficient at retaining particles from the solar wind, such as helium and hydrogen. These gases would also provide a vital resource for future human inhabitants of lunar colonies."

In other words, a return to the Moon would be more than just a tourist excursion. The moon could be mined for a rare mineral that is vital for high-tech manufacturing here on Earth - and its soil contains oxygen that would enable a lunar colony to be self-sustaining.

America should rethink its space policy by making a return to the Moon for purposes of mining its resources a priority. It would have more value than landing astronauts on an Asteroid.  The technology gained from the effort would fuel the next generation of 21st Century jobs, just as our past space efforts have given us computers, weather forecasting, remote sensing, GPS systems, satellite television, Velcro and many other new products.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Goes GLOBAL...What It Means

Occupy Wall Street has gone GLOBAL--demonstrations broke out in cities worldwide, including Australia, Taiwan, England, France, Spain (over 300,000 people), Italy (where they broke bank windows and tossed fire bombs inside), and even "down under" Australia. Saturday's protests affected 950 cities in 80 countries. People in Europe and Asia were walking around with the same "We are the 99%" signs!

They are.

There IS a common theme--"Anger at austerity and unfair economic systems,” where the rich get special breaks and the gold while everyone else gets the shaft. In the U.S. the top 20% now control 84% of the wealth! That means the bottom 80% are trying to live on 16% of the wealth, and it doesn't work. The top 10% control 56% of our wealth. The top 1% control 33%. Wealth disparity has never been this out of control in America's history.

In Taiwan the protesters were saying the same thing as the Occupy Wall Street people in New York—a blatantly unfair economic system that has concentrated wealth causing a huge disparity between the “haves” and “have-nots.” As someone who has traveled the globe beginning with the Fortune 500, I know this to be true. 

In short, the U.S. economy is beginning to look like Mexico’s economic pyramid – a few people at the top control most of the wealth and fly to work in helicopters while everyone below them has nothing. That disparity has not been limited to the U.S.

Consumers worldwide are frustrated by austerity and unfairness, saying that they have had "ENOUGH! Who can blame them? Recent polls show that a majority of Americans--73%--agree that we should raise taxes on millionaires instead of forcing more cuts on little people that have been the theme of the austerity crowd. It’s a repeat of the mistake of 1937 during the Great Depression when too much austerity led to budget cuts that caused a double dip recession.

The anger over a blatantly unfair economic system that has concentrated wealth at the expense of America's (and the world's) middle class is made worse by a broken political system--where one party seems focused on preserving the advantages of the top 1% and the other party doesn’t have the majority to impose a 5% tax on millionaires to fund a Jobs Bill that would increase growth by 2%--putting at least 2 million people to work, doing things like repairing the one in four bridges that are deficient before they collapse into the waters below. Cutting regulations won’t repair 50-year old bridges and crumbling roads.

The economic frustration is going global. With Europe also obsessed with austerity and facing its own economic meltdown, these protests are not likely to recede in the coming months. If you are out of work, it leaves plenty of time for carrying signs on the street.

However, I heard something positive today. At breakfast Saturday I overheard young people in the next booth talking about these global economic issues, and much more. I stopped on the way out and said: "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation, but it's the most intelligent thing I've overheard in a restaurant EVER. Keep it up!"  The older gentleman pointed to a young man and said, "It's all coming from him." I hope we have an entire generation of Americans like that young thinker and the young girl with braces sitting next to him. They are our future.

Surviving a layoff and lessons from failure are the themes of an eBook I will soon publish. It also lays out an American “Agenda for Greatness” for America’s comeback.

Click "Follow" or "subscribe" at  to get insight into these global challenges and get the book release date. It traces a career starting as an Iowa farmer to becoming a Fortune 500 negotiator who got laid off. That led to being a TV terrorism analyst and a global entrepreneur that proves you don't have to be Steve Jobs to survive a layoff. The result was unimagined adventures...

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series

Sponsored by Armor Glass International, Inc.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Congress? The Strange Iran Assassination Case

Occupy Congress? The Strange Iran Assassination Case
The Tiny Terrorists Homeland Security Missed
14 October 2011
Global American® Series

As one who has been a TV terrorism analyst before and after 9/11, there is something about the Iran assassination attempt of the Saudi Ambassador in DC using a Mexican drug cartel that just doesn’t make sense.  But it strangely tracks a “fiction” book I once wrote that chronicled a similar plot.

Why would the Iranians pick as their “bag man” a bumbling guy whose wife divorced him because he kept losing his keys? He was no James Bond. And the risks to Iran from this plot far outweigh the advantages. Why risk the wrath of the U.S. in a bombing that would have killed Americans and bought the weight of our military on Iran? Is a rogue faction responsible? We discuss this strange case in the second segment of Global American radio this week.

Occupy Congress? The failure to pass the President’s Jobs Bill with unemployment stuck at 9.1% will bring no relief to the 14 million unemployed. Recent polls show that once people know the details of the plan, two thirds support it. So is “Occupy Congress” next?   If the government doesn’t invest to rebuild the 1 in 4 bridges rated as “deficient” in our country, who will? GE? McDonalds? Surely not any private company.  Now what? How does a do-nothing Congress help us revive our economy? We explore this maze in our first segment.

The latest GOP Presidential debate features Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, Rick Perry’s need for 9-1-1 and Mitt Romney’s statement that he “would not have loaned General Motors money” to save it –even though GM is once again a private company, has repaid its loans and over 1 million jobs were saved.  How would losing another 1 million jobs help us? What are the economic consequences of imposing a 9% Federal sales tax on everything people buy? What about the 47% who are paying no taxes who would have to pay 9%? What would happen to our deficit? We’ll discuss it in our third segment.

Finally, we look at the tiny terrorists that got passed Homeland Security. And they cost the U.S.A. over $120 billion year in higher food costs and eradication programs. How did this happen after 9/11?

The Global American radio series airs Saturday, Oct. 15 at 9 am Central time, is streamed on and podcast 24/7 at 

Global American radio will soon be available nationally (and globally) 24/7 on Internet radio. Standby for updates.

Michael Fjetland
Global American® Series
Global American® is a U.S. registered trademark

Sponsored by Armor Glass International, Inc.
Saving Enough Energy to Pay for Itself While Protecting People and Property

Monday, October 10, 2011

If the China Bubble Bursts - Look Out America

I came across this excellent article on China in Time- and how it has a real estate bubble that could pop, and take the U.S. economy down with it.

How? For one, U.S. companies sell $92 Billion/year to China. That would be cut dramatically.  The other problem is that the Chinese are in a dangerous loop that relies on projects for jobs and increases in land values to get promotions.  Like all bubbles, it will burst at some point, and the fall out will be global.

The best thing the U.S. can do right now is get a real Jobs Act passed that gets us started in rebuilding the 1 in 4 derelict bridges we have - economists say that would boost our growth by an additional 2%.

And we could be training the 3 million Americans needed to fill high tech jobs that are open TODAY, but there aren't enough Americans with the skills to fill them. That alone would drop the unemployment rate 1 point from 9.1 to 8%!

If Europe or China melts down these actions will be a hedge against us having a double dip recession. If we do nothing, prepare for a disaster we could have avoided by taking action NOW...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs: American Visionary. Role Model for Our Future

In 1981, I bought my first computer - an Apple II. It cost $3,000 - an enormous sum then and now. But it was the first time a professional like myself (an attorney) could write letters and documents and save them on a disk, or print time.

When I lost my Fortune 500 job at the end of 1983, I started my first business with that same Apple II (see the photo; ignore the wild haircut). Fortunately Hurricane Alicia that swept over Houston in August of that year had destroyed my sailboat at the Houston Yacht Club, so the insurance proceeds helped me buy a $1,600 dot matrix printer - that best that was available at that time.

That lay off from a dream job led to a series of adventures and insight I never would have had but for that experience, from negotiating international kidnapping cases once running out of cash in Bangkok. But, like Steve Jobs but with a zero bankroll I always survived and even thrived. It's all in my book which is in final editing for release as an eBook (working title "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?" The title comes from a sign I once saw in India, after landing on April Fool's day. I found out today that Apple was founded on April Fools day, 1976. Click "Follow" if you want to get updates on publication).

Time magazine wrote a great article on what Steve Jobs accomplished. In his 2005 address, he talked more about his failures and how they taught him more than his successes. Having been laid off from a multinational company and had my own failure experiences I understand completely what he meant when he said:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life," he said, sounding as if the very thought of living someone else's life infuriated him. "Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

America is in trouble, but we can climb out of it if all of us follow the advice of Steve Jobs, an American visionary.  He didn't follow the polls. He didn't have focus groups to tell him what to invent. He invented things that didn't exist, things that we didn't know we needed until they were invented.

Steve Jobs was a role model for America. He didn't wallow in self-pity over being fired from his own company. He went on to invent new things like Pixar. That is a valuable lesson for all Americans today, especially those who have lost jobs and are wondering what to do next.

Do what Steve Jobs would have done. Go out and invent the next great thing. It's an American tradition.
Rest in peace Steve. And if you could text me from heaven, I need an app to find out what ever happened to my old Apple II?

Second Bill of Rights - What America is All About

I saw this on Facebook. I liked it so much I'm posting it here.

THIS is what America should be all about - not letting people die because they don't have health insurance...If you agree, pass it on!