Sunday, September 29, 2013

Due to Congress - America is losing the 21st century high tech global economic race

You may not think it or want to hear it, but America is losing the 21st century high tech global economic race.  I know because for over 3 decades I have worked in that world – from the Fortune 500 big guys to being the small entrepreneur –not just locally but on a global scale.   

If you listen to those in Congress you would miss it. There job is politics: telling people what they want you  to hear;  I have a successful business that has grown 500% the past six years despite the worst economy in 70 years -and have worked around the world for over 30 years in nearly 50 countries. I can be honest and tell you what you need to hear – that is,  if you want America to succeed. 

But don’t give up, there is a solution. 

Stay with me on this..its more important than who wins a football game or Duck Dynasty…our economic LIFE depends on paying attention at this critical juncture.

This is Michael Fjetland. This is my story and my vision for returning America to a respected world power that is second to none in technology and education. Otherwise, we are doomed to watch China and others take our place.  

 My book shows with photos I personally took over 30 years countries like China that started with nothing becoming a country leading us in 7 key technologies. In 1982 everyone made $30 a month and wore cheap blue outfits. When I went back in 2013 I road the fastest train in the world in a land of millionaires and billionaires.  India and China students today have the math skills to do 2 million American jobs Americans are not skilled to fill – that’s but one example in my book.

While most of this book  “Better Times Ahead April Fool” is a true global adventure story, the key chapter for me is the last – Agenda for American Greatness.

I’ve seen some weird stuff in the world (some described in the book) yet the worse thing I  see is our Congress being so small minded that they are missing the greater global dangers – and opportunities—we face. 

Because of Congress we are committing national suicide with our narrow gerrymandered districts that yield only the most extreme of candidates, with no end in sight. Putting America over politics has gone the way of the dodo bird.
We are letting our country fall apart and rank so low in education –no. 17 at best -- that countries like South Korea and China rank higher. 

For example,  “students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students, while those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate.”

If you want to know how to avoid that, and win, read “Better Times Ahead April Fool.”  You’ll see that I had no special advantages but got a global witness view of the world working the past 3 decades.  Agenda for American Greatness is an opening chapter in how we get or mojo back – and win the future in an unstable world.
It explains the real reason HOW got into this mess. And how we win the 21st century especially when we are coming from behind…

It’s all laid out in the final chapter of “Better Times Ahead April Fool” 
Details at the website.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

You think the Middle East is rough? Ever been to East Texas?

Syria's largest stockpile in the world of chemical weapons will be destroyed after a UNANIMOUS vote by the UN Security Council - even RUSSIA and CHINA agreed (which NEVER happens). But hell, Americans can't be bothered with that - DUCK DYNASTY is ON!

So let's do the American thing and dive in to a bizarre story of kidnapping and intrigue. Add an aircraft failure. True story.

Another excerpt from "Better Times Ahead April Fool" in the chapter entitled "IS THIS THE MIDDLE EAST OR EAST TEXAS?"  lol. Actually, there are similarities. But we'll get into that later!

"You think the Middle East is rough? Ever been to East Texas? I had survived the ’80s and started a law practice. Things were going much better, but life still has surprises when you least expect it. You would expect trouble overseas, but not in your home state, right?

I had just completed being checked out a It was my first cross-country flight in 28 years, so how was I to know that the plane’s electric system would fail over a lake surrounded by pine trees?  Later that day, I would be kidnapped, and the electrical failure may have actually saved me…

            It was Friday, exactly one week before the 13th.  After I’d worked for two years on a difficult case in East Texas, it was finally time to collect payment, so this was to be the last trip.  Nacogdoches, the “oldest city in Texas,” does not have commercial air service to and from Houston.  I decided to treat myself to renting a private plane for the trip instead of making yet another of those grueling 5-hour round-trip drives that had worn out a set of tires. Since my brother was a pilot-in-training and was due to start a new job the next Monday, I invited him to go along at big brother’s expense. 

            We arrived at Sugar Land airport early and checked out the Cessna 182RG, few days before.  After passing, I told the instructor that it had been 28 years since I’d flown an airplane after getting a private license at 17 and a commercial license at 18 (I didn’t want to scare him).  After that I had a legal career spent flying the world as a passenger inside 747s.  It was the only flying I had done until deciding to renew my pilot’s wings.

            The plane checked out and I had the tanks topped off.  We borrowed a couple of headsets since I didn’t yet own any.  We took off into a clear but hazy day. I began to relax, getting used to the controls and enjoying the scenery. About an hour later, while flying at 150 miles per hour over the widest part of Lake Livingston, I noticed my brother fiddling with his headset. It didn’t seem to be working.  “Darn,” I thought, “that’s what I get for borrowing someone’s headset. It’s a dud.” 

            Then he pointed to the fuel gauges—both read “E”!   Empty? How could that be? But the engine was still running. Then I looked at the digital radio dial. It was blank.  Finally it dawned on me. Our electrical system had failed.  The engine was the only thing working! 

Thankfully it ran on magnetos separate from the electrical system.  But if both of them also failed we’d be coming down either in the lake or the pine trees. But I had no way to tell anyone we had an emergency. Things are happening very fast when you are flying...."


From "Is This the Middle East or East Texas?"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Miss America, Congress and Know Nothingness

The past week shows that America has a know nothing problem that does not bode well for our future.  It impacts both ordinary Americans and our Congressional decision-makers.

Miss America crown was won by Nina Davuluri, who is from India, yet we saw many Americans outraged that a “Muslim” had won.  Having worked in India (and the Middle East), I know that Indians are Hindu, not Muslim. But you don’t have to travel there to know the difference. Cultural ignorance in the inescapable global economy in which we live is not a good sign. Diversity has always been America’s strength, not a curse.

That bit of ignorance was joined by a Congress full of members –all of whom have government paid health insurance -- who pledged to “defund Obamacare.”  The hypocrisy was missed by those Americans who support the GOP attempt to repeal the law which would return us to the days when insurance companies acted as death panels since they could reject people for health insurance due to a pre-existing condition.  Before the ACA people could have their policies cancelled and run out of insurance when their lifetime limits were reached – although Congress members have no such worries since they get insurance regardless of their state of health.

How can Americans lead a world we know nothing about?  In the 1850’s there was once a party called the “Know Nothing” party. It was founded out of fear of Irish Catholics – the Muslims of their day. Now we live in a country with citizens who know nothing about other cultures but aren’t afraid to express their bigotry in social media.  We have sororities of whites only in Alabama decades after segregation was supposed to end. We have UT students dropping ammonia on minority students.

Americans can tell you everything about “Duck Dynasty” but can’t find Syria on a map despite our having been in next-door Iraq for over a decade.  Even members of Congress have the same problem with maps and history.   In Texas, we have political leaders and Board of Education members who literally believe our 4 billion year old planet is only 5,000 years old.  Damascus, Syria, China and Egypt each have cultures that are 5,000 years old (versus America’s 200-plus years). That is know nothingness at its extreme.

How many Americans know that we have over 2 million high-tech, high-paying jobs available in America? How many know that the problem is that Americans don’t have the skills to fill those jobs – whereas Chinese and Indians do?

We have a political process that has led to narrow, gerrymandered Congressional districts where reps are chosen who have zero global experience but sure know how to sell insurance and cars. They represent people who don’t have the same insurance benefits Congress members have.

Finally, know nothingness has led to a faction in Congress that would shut down government over defunding a healthcare law – denying veterans food stamps, and the elderly their social security checks, while members of Congress continue to get paid their $172,000 plus a year!

So does knowing nothing help Americans win the future?  I recommend we get that knowledge if we really want to lead a world – a world in which the U.S. is the only country that doesn’t provide for its citizens healthcare.

Here is the video version:

Michael Fjetland
Global American Values Series
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Author: “Better Times Ahead April Fool” (Looking Back on the Future of America)

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Global American VALUES - & the 21st Century Economy We're in

What are the Global American Values?

They are American values -- applied globally.

America is about EQUALITY.  All are treated equally regardless of color, sex or religion.

"All men and women are created equal" is written into our Constitution.  It is our keystone principle.

America is about FAIRNESS and JUSTICE -- even for the smallest of its citizens.  We know that justice is hard to find in too many countries.  The United States was always the gold standard for having the best system that built a prosperous economy because even the little guy had a chance to grow and get relief in a court.

But its getting harder for the little guy in the U.S.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made billion-dollar corporations people for political donations.

Congress reps --all of whom have government paid health insurance-- will continue to pay themselves $172,000 year while they deny that same protection to ordinary Americans. These reps, almost 100% of them Republicans who are demanding it, WILL BE PAID while denying veterans and children food stamps and not paying seniors social security benefits.

At the same time these same Congress reps voted billions in subsidies for the top 1%. How is it "Christian" to deny food and health assistance to our poorest citizens?  Other developed countries actually care for their citizens.

If there is neither fairness nor justice for the average citizen, America will lose its gold standard status. I saw how our justice system worked as an attorney representing ordinary Americans with claims against giant corporations. And how it didn't work.

It's part of the story in "Better Times Ahead April Fool"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How an American Church Bombing is Like Syria and Mideast Today

How an American Church Bombing is Like Syria and Mideast Today

50 years ago today, four little black girls attending church were blown to bits by a bomb – planted by a white man who hated people who were a different color from him.

Today in Syria, and Iraq, and in countries across the Middle East – little girls are being blown up (and gassed) by men who hate people of a different sect of the same religion.  Gee, that's like Catholics fighting Protestants, right? How stupid right? Well tell that to the IRA in Northern Ireland that blew up Protestants - we have done the same.

These events may seem different, but they are really the same. They represent the same intolerance. They represent the same murder of innocents. They represent the same hate and ignorance.

I have news for bigots of all nations and colors – get over it. We are a world of different people. Better get used to it! The world is full of people of many colors and many religions. Tough.

Chill out and knock off gassing babies in Syria.  

 As for our Congress, stop denying our kids pre-K and healthcare in the United States. Conservatives are killing with bullets in the Middle East. In the  U.S. conservatives may not use bullets, but its just as deadly - they deny food stamps and healthcare to the poor. What’s the difference between killing people fast …or slow?

If it had not been for President Obama’s guts to threaten a strike on Syria, Syria would not be offering to sign the chemical treaty – at the point of a gun by Putin who saw his big military sales going down the tube. It’s a shotgun wedding that removes the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world from our world. What’s wrong with that?

My view of Syria can be seen with photos I took there in “Better Times Ahead April Fool”

And since we are losing in the global economy, check out and pass on “Agenda for American Greatness” the final chapter. Pass it On! "Follow" for updates...