Thursday, February 28, 2013

A 600 year Event - A Few Thoughts for a Pope and 2,000 year old religion

For the first time in 600 years, a Pope has stepped down from office - instead of dying in office.

I took these two photos of the Coliseum when on a one-day stop in Rome around 1980. I also took some of the Vatican which I have in a box and need to scan. The pictures don't do justice to what it is like being there and feeling it in person.

In the Vatican i saw what seemed like a small chair. After walking awhile I came upon a HUGE chair. As I looked up i realized it was the same chair! The hall is so big that dimensions are distorted. And so has the church gone through distortions.

As part of his exit, the Pope flew to his retreat in a 21st century helicopter over this Roman Coliseum that was finished in 80 A.D. - nearly 2,000 years ago.

So a retired leader of a 2,000 year old church passed over two thousand year old artifacts, while facing an uncertain future. I can opine on this because I was raised in the Catholic church when I was young. I even went to a Catholic school for a year - when i was banned from the library "for reading too much.' But then I married a Lutheran and Episcopalian, and it seemed to be about the same for each. That makes mea religious "Heinz 57" - especially after I ran for Congress and went to Synagogues and Mosques in the district.  I remember hearing the same sermon in each.

As a little kid I thought once I wanted to be a priest - before I discovered GIRLS. I realize what a lucky choice I had made for more than one reason. The church has been hit with serious self-induced scandals from sex to money issues at the Vatican Bank.  It's not a job for 85-year old men. It's a time for change. There was a time when priests were allowed to have wives. I see nothing wrong with that - it's normal for humans.

 I once sat in the stands, looking at the tunnels that once lay below the wood floor where gladiators fought for their lives, many of them Christians founding a new religion. Six hundred years later would come Islam -- the third religion based on one man, Abraham. You have to sit in the Coliseum and the Vatican - and the Roman Pantheon, to get a sense of these incredible sights in our world. It hits you like a ton of bricks. You can't experience it without being there, even for the short time I had.

Good luck ex-Pope. I would like to see him get into inter-faith work. We have to have religions begin to work across the aisle just like we need in Congress - instead of everyone being in their own silo. It should include Jewish and Islamic leaders. I have been in each religion's place of worship--and heard the same sermon in each one. We have more in common than we know.

In other significant news today, Syria was given aid by the U.S. - another country I experienced. This is a GOOD thing. Bashir Assad is MURDERING his own people. Obama is not going to be stupid and put American troops in harm's way, but it is important we help the moderates win - instead of the extremists...
The next two photos are Syria - first one I took. Second one is today: MILLIONS of innocent civilians are being killed or having to flee as refugees. Assad's Syria is Iran's last friend. It needs to fall - the Russians are still arming Assad, along with Iran...

Finally, it could be a basketball player who becomes the Nixon of China but with North Korea. Dennis Rodman with North Korea's young Kim Jung Un was bizarre - and even hopeful. Better to have a basketball diplomacy than a nuclear exchange.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Anniversary of Bombing of World Trade - 6 killed

On this date in 1993 a car bomb went off under the World Trade Center - 6 were killed. This is me in 1994 - the year after, investigating it - because I had done a video about the potential of a terrorist attack on the U.S.

I had no idea in 1994 when I was standing there that that I am standing in front of a doomed sign in a doomed building. Even though i had written a book about a potential terrorist attack on the U.S. including Washington DC. 

Today, it is Congress killing us instead of terrorists. The deficit hawk Tea Party guys are strangling our economy -

Stupid cuts are never better than Smart Cuts. And repeating the mistake of 1937 is pretty stupid if you don't read the history books and are an actual sitting member of Congress. It was FDR's attempt to cut and balance the budget - after stimulating the economy in the Great Depression that put the American struggling economy back into recession. It happened when they made cuts and tried to balance the budget prematurely after the Great Depression started. it put us into a hole unto WWII.

If you want to know what prediction is next, click "follow" or "subscribe"...Europe has twice as much unemployment as the U.S. because of "Austerity" - the path chosen by the Tea Party GOP that controls the House of Representatives - killing the American economy even more than terrorism.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

GOP Sequester Give RUSSIANS Edge over American Private Space Companies

Thanks to the GOP the RUSSIANS win over American Private Space launch companies in Sequester. Brilliant...

World's WORST Dictator - Now Killing in the Tens of Thousands

We should NOT forget the innocent people being killed by the world's WORST DICTATOR today - Bashir Assad in Syria.  Shelling women and children in the tens of thousands. Today's Syria could be tomorrow's 9/11 attack if it doesn't work out right.
The 1st photo is me on a child kidnapping case in Damascus, Syria in the late 90's, standing next to the Great Mosque.
2nd photo is one that I took that shows what the Damascus streets looked like THEN. Pretty quiet and tame.
3rd Photo is what those Damascus streets look like NOW...blown away by Bashir Assad, son of his father dictator, who was also a wholesale killer of his people.   
Basir is the Kim Jung Un of the Middle East--another son of a dictator who has more power than concern about his own people. One starves his people while he builds nukes, the other shells his own people to hold on to power.

When I was in Syria it was the dictator father Hafez Assad who ruled. His face was on every billboard we drove past. The streets at night were deserted and eery. He shelled an entire village to suppress a protest.
His son is even worse...shelling his own cities, snipers shooting women and kids trying to get food. Without U.S. help the rebels trying to free Syria are needing the crazies to help break the stalemate. It could become a Egypt or Iran. Even Israel is nervous about the outcome.
There are no good choices. To put troop in would be nuts. weapons yes but not the wrong kind to the wrong people. Otherwise, Syria could become another Al Qaida haven. Anything could happen.
Stay tuned with updates by following Global American Values...
Standby for the illustrated updated for "BETTER Times Ahead..."
Next photo: What the market in Damascus looked like when we were trying to get Teri's girl back:

 Last  photo is what those streets in Damascus look like TODAY....
What happens there could affect our tomorrow's security. Stay tuned for updates in Global American values...

That Half Century Took About 5 Minutes!

What happened? TIME Flies! Seems like yesterday we were just kids. Now we are geezers! LOL. At least this time Rose is paying attention...:0)

 I intended to keep working on my book (worked til after 10 last night) then discovered the computer had decided to suck in several gigabytes of photos and videos from an external drive - almost filling up the hard drive. That could have led to a nasty instead of doing houston rodeo stuff today I am deleting a lot of duplicates to keep computer humming, then back to writing. I HAVE to get this done ASAP, because I have another one to do after that.

As I work I'm watching Rick Steve's Europe on PBS - he just did a program on Budapest (Hungry) - it's on my bucket list. Americans need to travel if they are to lead the world. We can't lead what we don't know.  Congress is so clueless -- they are costing us the global economic lead. The only thing working for us is that Europe is also pursuing the "Austerity" road which has kept them in a hole. Our own Congress is attempting to get us to join them in that hole of negative growth.  How they are hurting us, and how we win is in my updated "Better Times Ahead" book..coming soon!

Rick is now in Lisbon...I was there for a weekend once...great food! I think that is where I tried PORT for the first time. Stout stuff!

Standby for updates on the Updated, Illustrated Photo Essay  "Better Times Ahead"...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Start Treating Each Other Professionally and With RESPECT

After a small car accident, one American couple found themselves looking at the barrel of a gun. Over an accident a man actually pulled a gun! THEN he shot the man in the leg!

 Then Olympic champion Oscar Pistorius, with a bright future in front of him, who seemed to be such an incredible story of a person overcoming great obstacles - a boy born without legs below his knee who became a "blade runner" winning races with a prosthesis, suddenly goes off the rails and rains bullets on his girlfriend.

He claimed it was a "burglar" --that he didn't have his "legs on" and "felt vulnerable" if it was a burglar.  Then it turns out  the bullets were coming DOWN on Reeva as she cowered in that bathroom from someone standing ABOVE her, someone on his legs.One neighbor reported an argument before the shooting that lasted over an hour. Another neighbor reported hearing an argument, then shots, screams. THE he heard MORE shots after the screams. Sure Oscar, I am so stupid to believe you versus a neighbor who isn't shooting anybody...

 If our role models are shallow reality stars what does that say about us as as Americans?

If all we watch are violent TV and movies, to the point where our own citizens start pulling weapons on each other, then we have lost the values of our founding fathers (and mothers)? We need to get our values back or else we enter a slippery slope that no one - no one - will like.

Let's get off the violence and bad behavior. I have had enough of people who feel justified in blowing their stacks publicly - Cary Grant would not be pleased.

 I am not impressed with grown up idiots acting out on public. I am not impressed with the guy who slapped a crying baby on a flight, then said a racial epithet. Someone should have slapped him. Only the ignorant judge a person by their color instead of their character. I know this, having met people of all colors in over three decades from Asia to Africa.

We need more men like Bogie and Cary Grant. We need more Michelle Obama's and Princess Leia's out there -- and less focus on the mindless lives of Jersey Shore or the Kim Kardashians or the horror of an Oscar Pistorius. It is robbing our minds and our lives of true meaning and value to our fellow humans.

I have had the  rare and unique opportunity to get to know people in nearly 50 countries in my life so far and I have found good people in every one of them. I have met very few awful people in all of those countries, including America. American values have always been a high standard in the world - other countries envied what we were and what we did. We were free, democratic and builders.

But today in Washington DC I see  a Congress that has forgotten about America and American values. They haven't got a real clue on global economics. They have no global strategy and don't even know that America's key global competitors DO. Congress seems focused on creating fiscal cliffs and mindless Sequester cuts versus smart cuts. They seem ignorant of the FDR mistake of 1937 (austerity) and still are addicted to voodoo economics. There insincerity is evidenced when they object to every Presidential proposal even when it was originally their ideas - until they were adopted by the President.

I have been around the world, from representing both large Fortune 500 - the biggest - to the smallest American entrepreneur.  I am embarrassed that we have such hillbilly idiots as alleged Congress representatives for America. They are driving us into the dirt. They have no clue what is going on in the world. 

That includes new Senator from Texas-never-elected-to-anything before Cruz-courtesy-of-hillbillie-teabaggers. He is so full of himself that he even lectures the seniors who know things Mr. Cruz disrespects. Cruz was one of only 3 votes against Secretary of State John Kerry. What does that tell you about his opinion?  His whole demeanor is uncivil and disrespect. That is not an American value of our founders.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chinese Hacks on Over 100 U.S. Corporations - this Ain't my First Rodeo, with China

It has been disclosed that China's military has a cyber unit that has hacked over 100 U.S. corporations not to mention our own Pentagon. This has been going on for over 7 years.

Yet Congress has refused to pass a Cyber-Security bill requested by the President. Insane.

In the old days spies had to travel and risk copying a paper file in the dead of night. Not anymore.

Now they can sit in a nondescript building in Shanghai China and steal a million times more data while safe from arrest. After a day of stealing American secrets, they can look forward to dinner at home every night. I was on the Shanghai Bund last October - 30 years after my first trip there for a Fortune 500 company selling pollution control technology in the 80's.

Stealing globally is now done as we sleep from half way across the planet. Patents, user names, every piece of data of a company or person may have on their computer. Or our own government can now be viewed by someone sitting in a military financed building in Shanghai, or a hacker in Russia sitting in his underwear.

It is a brave new cyber world - and our systems are 18th century horse and buggy systems begging to allow global rip offs by computer criminals and foreign military spies -- with zero risk of physical risk.

All because Congress FAILS to act to protect Americans from 21st Century Economic and Military threats.

To get a peek into the dark world that has led to Chinese hacking you have to "Better Times Ahead: APril Fool?" since the author has seen the changes in China for the past 30 plus years, personally, starting with the Fortune 500.

But standby. "Better times Ahead" is being updated with photos from around the world, most taken by the author - and the shocking changes. How does America rate?

Standby for 2nd Edition of "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?"
 What is it about? Peek at

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

For Americans to win the 21st century

For Americans to win the 21st century we can't be infighting. We need a global strategic view - that's what Global American Values is all about. While buzzards in Congress try to recreate 1937 and crash our economy, we still aren't masters of the world like we should be in education and technology.

We have to get and stay ahead of 195 countries - and right now the U.S. ranks 17th in education in the world...

China now leads us in 7 key 21st century technologies - all because we have hillbillies in Congress who haven't got a clue what's really going on in the real world... Americans have lost our skills edge - and a lot of us are in DENIAL about it. Doing nothing is NOT a solution. New skills and getting SMARTER are.

subscribe or follow for info on our future you need to know - or watch Asia pass us by...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Margaret Warner on PBS just did the most intelligent report on the Middle East I have seen ever. 

She says that know the Israeli's and Palestinians don't even know each other - they have ZERO contact. 

No wonder why there are problems there! You can't improve relations when there is no contact and dialogue. Just look at the U.S. Congress - that is our problem as well. R's won't get personal with D's and vice versa. We have lost our sensible center in politics because of partisan districts, which aren't like the normal Americans in the real world - 70-80% of whom are fairly centrist.

One Israeli described how he used to have trade with a Palestinian business man - but that ended when the wall was built to separate the two areas. Palestinians lost business and the Israeli lost contact with his Palestinian small business friend.

Even the old South black and whites had contact - not much -but more than what Israel and the Palestinians have now. Like our Congress, you can't solve national or international issues when people isolate from each other...

I'd like to see if I could go to ISRAEL - AND to the West Bank and perhaps Gaza at the same time -- just like I have been able to do from the U.S. to Mexico - by car.