Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are Americans losing our core values?

Are Americans losing our core values?

Should radio personalities who promote hate and false statements be co-defendants in criminal court for inciting extrmists to burn a Tennessee Mosque or stab a NYC cabdriver? If not, then should someone who encourages an Islamic extremist to kill people be immune from prosecution? Aren't they the same thing?

Houston radio personality Michael Berry recently said "I hope someone blows it up" referring to the Islamic community center proposed in lower Manhattan. If he were a Muslim saying that about a synagogue, don't you think he'd be in jail now? What's the difference?

Free speech doesn't include the right to yell "Fire" in a theater, or to incite acts of violence --by anyone.

Have we fallen into the trap of extreme thinking - to heck with truth and facts? Is it part of a worldwide trend to greater extremism in religions other than Islam?

Are we ignoring our own best assets - our founding fathers values of equal justice?

We'll talk about American values today --from religion to politics and technology -- on the next Global American radio program this Saturday at 9 am Central time on Business 1110AM, streamed on www.Business1110KTEK.com and on www.GlobalAmerican.org

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Flood Worse Than Katrina - Do What the Taliban Don't Want Us to Do

The Taliban don't want us helping the Pakistani flood victims -which is exactly why we should.

I have been to Pakistan. Most of them are poor farmers trying to make a living with nothing, not terrorists. A few rich at the top control all the power, not these people who have only seen our stick but not any carrots (the top also hordes the money that comes in - so don't send money. Send goods with USA stamped on them!)

Our image has nowhere to go but up. Here is the perfect thing to donate--Family sized Lifestraw water filters. Bad water is the root problem right now. Here is the Lifestraw website link:

The floods are far greater than Katrina--Katrina displaced 1 million. Pakistan has had up to 20 million people impacted and displaced.

I'm also proposing it as a Rotary and Chamber project. If the Taliban don't want us giving aid, then that should tell you it is the right thing to do. Time is wasting. Act now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The NY Mosque & What our Founding Fathers' Would Have Done

The 1st Amendment of our Constitution states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

The controversy over the proposed Muslim community center with a prayer room a couple blocks from Ground Zero (which has been called a "Mosque") would have been supported by our founding fathers. Why?

Because that was one of the reasons they fled England, which under Henry 8 (VIII) made the Church of England the official church (because the Catholic church wouldn't let him divorce his wife, so he had her head cut off instead).

Our founding fathers saw the negative things that happens when one religion dominates a country as the "state religion," hence the language they wrote "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

To make exceptions (you can build anything but a Mosque) violates that founding American principle. There was a time that Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues were banned. That was wrong for the same reason.

Now, for both Christians and Jews to suddenly say that the 1st Amendment should not apply to Muslims, because a few of their conservative extremists conducted an attack not unlike the Catholic IRA bombing in Northern Ireland of the 1970's is violating that other hallowed American principal: equality of treatment.

I am shocked that the Jewish ADL came out for the ban on construction, considering it has been on the vanguard of fighting against religious discrimination and for good reasons. Jews have been discriminated against for many centuries. But in saying that same rule doesn't apply to an Islamic community center, it is basically saying that its fights against religious discrimination has exceptions when it comes to Muslims. That throws out the very reason of its existence.

I have attended Muslim Mosques and community centers in Houston (as well as churches, synagogues), along with other Republican candidates for office (Congress). I heard sermons that sounded very much like the sermons I heard in churches and at synagogues - be good, take care of your family, pray - the same guiding principles. During that experience I learned that the Muslim Koran says positive things about Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The Jewish Torah doesn't mention it because they are still waiting for the 'messiah.'

Unlike most Americans, I was lucky enough to travel the world and actually see what is going on rather than just relying on TV and a blank slate on what other people are like. I traveled to Muslim countries as part of over 50 countries (including Hindu India and atheist China) during my negotiating days early in my career.

I found that the majority of Muslim people are not like Al Qaida; they are like us. They want opportunities for work and a good education for their kids, and to be left alone. Just like everyone else I've met on this planet. They also tend to be conservative.

But like all religions, including Christians and Jews, there are Muslim extremists who can't tolerate anything other than their own narrow views. Do we punish the entire community for the acts of a murderer - or just the murderer?

In a world short on freedoms of religion, America must remain the special example it was when our founding fathers established our Constitutional framework. We do not establish a state religion nor should we prohibit the practice of a religion, even when its near a place where a terrible crime was committed.

If we forsake our Constitutional values, we will be committing a worse crime - a crime against our founding fathers to insure that all religions are treated equally.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Climate Change, Myth or Real? On Global American Radio

Climate Change, Myth or Real?

Our radio interview with Dr. Ron Sass of Rice University is now available on our website www.GlobalAmerican.org

Check it out - your kids’/grandkids’ future is at stake. The Pentagon has issued a statement that climate change is a greater risk to America’s national security then even terrorism!

It is predicted that an additional 5 million more illegal immigrants could try to move into the U.S. as a result of climate change drying up their farms and incomes.

Recent events such as the worst heat recorded in over 130 years of Russia’s history and the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan, as well as the intense heat and flooding in the U.S.-- and the breaking loose of the super-iceberg in Greenland that has the potential of destroying ship traffic and dumping enough fresh water into the Atlantic to stop the Gulf Stream from circulating -- are were predicted as signs of climate change.

Dr. Ron Sass is a scientist, not a politician, has studied climate on a global scale. He talks about the difference between the impact natural emissions and man-made emissions have on the planet, and the impact these changes could have on the lives of your children and grandchildren.

Dr. Sass confirms that, yes, there is a natural cycle of heating and cooling of the planet -- but that since industrialization we are seeing temperature increases way above and beyond the normal cycle of the last 800,000+ years. In short, we are busting the cycle wide open.

Like frogs in the kettle being slowly warmed, there is a good chance we won’t notice it’s too late until we have already been cooked. Last winter, when the northern U.S. was hit by unprecedented cold weather, the arctic was over 40 degrees warmer than normal!

That extra warmth leads to greater melting that is shedding even the world’s highest mountains in the Himalayas of its snow and ice cover, which is feeding the floods in Pakistan, India and even China.

An ice melt of the Antarctic could raise sea levels 200 feet. Over half of the world’s population lives near the coast. No wonder why the Pentagon is worried since mass migrations lead to greater conflicts.

Logical reasoning tells me that if the climate proponents are wrong, we will end up with cleaner fuels, air and water, and more forests capturing CO2. If the climate skeptics are wrong and we do nothing, we could end up with a dead planet that looks like hothouse Venus. Which is worse for your children and grandchildren?

Check it out on www.GlobalAmerican.org

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pakistan's Nukes & Our Indifference = Trouble

Our indifference to the millions of ordinary suffering Pakistani's who have nothing after the worst flooding in the country's history will win us nothing but trouble -- when the people decide the Taliban are helping them more than we are. The Taliban are handing out soup and assistance while we do nothing."

Yes, it's a Taliban trap but people know only what they see. Are they seeing us there, helping? No. I hear supposedly intelligent people who say "they are already terrorists" so who cares? This is beyond stupid and shortsighted.

The millions of ordinary Pakistani's now homeless and without food and water are not terrorists. Most of them are just poor people trying to get by. Since the floods they have not seen any sign of their own government helping.

But our indifference could turn them into people willing to throw out their lousy government (where power is rotated among the few rich who could not care less about main street Pakistani's who are mostly dirt poor) --giving terrorists control of their nukes. How does that help us?

I've been to Pakistan. I'm sorry to say that most Americans don't know squat about the world we are supposed to be leading. Acting ugly and wanting to nuke anybody as a "solution" won't keep us great or make us great.

We need to be good global neighbors if we are to beat the Taliban and Al Qaida and show Pakistani's we are truly a great people - and avoid letting Pakistan's nukes fall into terrorist hands.

We need to do for Pakistan what we did for Haiti and many others in their time of need...its the right thing to do if we are to lead the world in the right way.


Friday, August 6, 2010

GA Radio this Saturday: Are Your Children at Risk to International Sex Traffickers?

5 August 2010
Global American Series

Are Your Children at Risk to International Sex Traffickers?

You can hear our first Global American Radio broadcast on International Trafficking this Saturday, August 7, at 9 a.m. on Business 1110 AM Houston, streamed on http://business1110ktek.com/ and also available worldwide at our new Global American Radio website at:

Did you think slavery ended in the U.S. in 1862 with the 13th Amendment? Did you know that over 12 million people have been trafficked worldwide - and that nearly every city in the United States has people being held against their will for sex services and forced labor? According to official sources, 300,000 American children are at risk of becoming victims – including some of the 450,000 runaway children each year.

Did you know that human trafficking is today’s third largest criminal activity in the world – after arms and drugs? It’s a $10 billion/year business. It still exists on your street or in the massage parlor, the nail salon or private homes.

Many cities in the U.S. are hubs of trafficking, from San Francisco to Houston. Texas is a major hub and Houston is the hub of the hub. Over 90 languages are spoken in Houston. Its diversity allows traffickers to hide almost in plain sight. One group of labor trafficked men were made to take off their clothes and live on the second story of a house—the kidnappers lived downstairs--until they could ransom them to their families. But the same story is happening in American cities everywhere.

Did you know that despite the huge number of people being held in bondage, from 2001 to 2005 only 140 defendants have been convicted of human trafficking in U.S. courts – and that was a 109% increase from 1996-2000!

Children are preyed on by pimps and predators hanging out at bus stations etc., promising love that turns out to be a Dr. Jeyll and Mr. Hyde trap into an isolated controlled world of forced commercial sex and abuse. They are denied their own money. They can’t own a phone or talk to their family or friends. They are moved from city to city, living in apartments or massage parlors, and even private homes. The traffickers are also getting more violent against their captives.

80% of the trafficked are women, 50% of them are minors. Boys are also trafficked. Solution? Police still are not trained to recognize a trafficked person, who often hide or deny their victim status to official authorities who arrest them – and also take advantage of their plight. On August 5, the Houston Chronicle ran an article on two Houston vice officers who were caught taking nude photos of a prostitute – way beyond normal procedure. It is not an isolated incident according to many sources. Harris County Texas, however, gets high marks for training its officers to recognize a trafficked person. The Houston Police Department does not. I was informed that some HPD use the services provided by the massage parlors and don’t think of these women as being trafficked.

Europeans are ahead of the U.S in trafficking laws. Sweden has a model law that criminalizes the DEMAND for prostitution (arrest the guy asking for sex) but decriminalized prostitution itself. “Sex Purchase Laws’ have reduced prostitution by 50%!

The UN passed a law in 2004 and it ranks countries on their trafficking efforts. Kuwait flunked and ranked as the worst. It is unwilling to prosecute its own citizens -- who hire thousands of overseas workers and have a history of serious abuse cases. It makes you wonder why we saved their butt from Saddam?

There is only one person providing services to help people who have been trafficked in the Houston area. Dozens of groups provide help for drug or alcohol issues, but an empty hole exists for victims of sex trafficking. U.S. Law Enforcement needs training to recognize trafficked persons, and we need a system to get these people help. International trafficking victims can get help without being charged with a crime, but a domestic U.S. sex trafficking victim has to be charged with a crime to get assistance for counselors, etc.!

Attention needs to be paid to this important issue that could affect your sister, daughter, niece, brother, nephew , etc.

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series

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