Monday, November 30, 2015

Hillary's Infrastructure Plan - Right for America. Opponents would have us using biplanes against jets

When I hear opponents of upgrading our 70 year old +infrastructure --bridges, roads, pipes, I think of someone who would have us go into World War II flying biplanes from World War I and think we had a chance.

Hillary Clinton has what I have asked for years - a plan to make American infrastructure new again, the best in the world.  For example, here is a photo of  a Chinese High Speed train (same for Europe, Japan, etc). It doesn't even touch the rails - 265 mph. Now, compare that to ....

The Fastest AMERICAN Train (Below):
Amtrak: Under 100 mph.
(I rode one that never got over 60 and even stopped in a field on the way to New Orleans.)

QUESTION: So, tell me how we win the global tech economy race with outdated roades, falling down bridges and trains that are as slow today as Chinese trains I saw in 1982 in China!

Details are in Better Times Ahead April Fool, especially the Agenda for American Greatness chapter. Free at the link. 

Hillary Clinton's plan is the only infrastructure plan that makes sense. She is the only electable candidate in this race that has the global experience and vision in this race to be President.  For example, Ben Carson just went to Jordan for the first time, to find out that refugees really don't want to come here. Duh. Hillary already knew that because she has negotiated in over 100 countries.

 I can confirm it from my 50+ country international experience. Going basically as a tourist to one place for a couple days--out of 200 countries--is nothing. 

The GOP has been letting our core infrastructure rot into rust and they continue to let the 1% park free money overseas and pay no taxes. It makes no sense.  I can only hope that it is the Congress reps who refuse to upgrade our infrastructure are the bridge like I 35 in Minneapolis when it does collapse into the waters below. Otherwise it will just be their voters drowning, due to their neglect of our great country's backbone...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

America vs. Tribalism in the Middle East -- Signs we are Becoming Like Them?

                                     America vs. Tribalism in the Middle East
                     Will We Become Them – Or Keep Being the American Tribe?

America has much to offer, but we are falling into the same trap I see happening in the Middle East - tribalism.  It’s killing them and will kill us if we don’t get back to what made America special, our acceptance and guarantee of equality and justice to everyone, not just members of your own tribe.

Over there it has been degenerating into a Sunni vs. Shiite vs. Kurd.  Iraq’s leader is a Shiite, so the Sunni’s get zero say in government. Therefore their army deserted and ran when ISIS came. Now its becoming a regional, multi-country Shiite vs. Sunni (vs. Kurds) battle, pushed by fundamentalists on both sides.

In America, we are starting to see the same bizarre religious fundamentalism and tribalism inflect our politics and society at large. We have people claiming to be “Christian” who basically feel “all” Muslims are terrorists, even though they never met a Muslim (or a Hindu or a Jew.)

These same people claim to be “Christian” while wanting to deny poor kids food or medical care by expanding Medicaid. They don’t seem to follow any words of Jesus that I ever read in the bible, like caring for the least among us and the outcasts. It’s like they never went beyond the Old Testament (“Stone the adulterers” and an “eye for an eye”). They represent “Christians” as little as ISIS represents Islam, because neither does.

Too bad because its pretty stupid since America was built on all of us being part of the one American tribe –not Christian vs. Muslim or black vs. white, or Asian, or African or European. My ancestors came from Norway, but I am an American.  That is what we should relate to – not colors or religion. Such tribalism brings us down and keeps us from focusing on the one key prize – setting up America the nation for winning in a competitive global economy as countries not based on democracy, like China, overtake us.

We should have a Congress saying “How best can we compete with Europe and China considering we have half century old infrastructure falling apart under our feet and kids not getting the skills needed to compete with kids from China and India who do qualify for high tech U.S. jobs that go begging because American kids don’t have those skills?

Instead, we have a Congress would oppose oxygen if the President came out for it. They get paid full time to work 111 days a day, and spend ite focused solely on the lobbyists and favor seekers in the 1%. Instead of helping us advance all Americans, especially those at the bottom due to the highest inequality in 80 years, its members lust for power -- fueled by money supplied by that same 1%. They use the money to become fishers of votes by pandering to the lowest common denominator, selling fear (not vision) and pushing phony facts and magic dust voodoo economics they know won’t work.

They do it because it works and the 99% get screwed.

So instead of putting country first, the politicians generate phony enemies, like Syrian kids fleeing death by ISIS. They rage against young black men and poor women needing community medical services because they are pregnant – while telling them to practice abstinence and not to “believe” in birth control. They oppose both abortion and the sex education and technology that would lower it to near zero.  They make possible what they oppose.

They rage against Planned Parenthood over abortion; but never mention that is only 3% of their activities; never mentioning the 97% of routine medical services it provides to poor women who need like mammograms, etc. that they can only get at a Planned Parenthood facility.

Instead, they try to shut them down, and failing that, rile up the extremes to take violent action until someone snaps, as happened in Colorado Springs.  The GOP candidates, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc. --they are accessories to murder of a policeman and two others. Free speech does not include the right to falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, or incite someone to kill employees of a facility.

Our infrastructure is going to hell in its post-retirement age, yet some politicians focus on hate speech and the same small minded tribalism.

You can change this by starting to treat others as part of this one tribe – as Americans!  We are one tribe regardless of your color, religion, sex or sanity status. Let's start acting like it. Treat others the way you wanted to be treated, with respect.

Michael Fjetland
Author, Better Times Ahead April Fool
Agenda for American Greatness (at the link)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I Personally Witnessed How the GOP Went from Secular to "White Christians only" Party in last 15 years

I ran in GOP primaries 15 years ago, starting in 2000. So I have personally seen it from the inside versus what it is today.  I can also compare that to today's Democrats since I ran in the 2014 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate.

My goal in 2000 was to get rid of Tom DeLay, an arrogant powerful tyrant and then Majority Whip (later Leader) who controlled my district at the time.  Since Democrats had been gerrymandered into only 1/3 of the vote in CD22, I did the one thing that would put the fear of god into him. I "primary-ed" DeLay. It was my best shot at winning when you are playing in a crooked casino.

I ran in his party's primary, meaning I would need a small number of votes to actually win.  In the process I got to meet a lot of Republicans in one of the most diverse counties in America, Ft. Bend.  There was even a "Republican Muslim" caucus. Many who called themselves "conservatives" stuck me as moderates - about 25% of the primary (because they were the votes I got).

So, unlike many people, I have personally witnessed the change in the Republican party since then, having "been there, done that."

And its shocking.

The GOP was conservative then, but it still had a secular vision.  No more.  The "Republican Muslim" caucus is not hiding under the table. The meetings are usually 98% whites. At a Trump rally whites even beat a black protester instead of merely escorting him out the door. Senator rubio said that between his god and the Constitution that his god would control!  That's pretty radical - and what it take sin a GOP primary these days. The more crazy stuff you say the better.

When I ran in the Democratic party primary in 2014, the meetings were a true mix of whites, hispanics, blacks, asians, muslims, gays, etc. It looked like the America I know from my many travels across this great country and around the world.

 From the comments on the GOP campaign trail I see it has become the "white 'Christians' only" party. The language is brutal even in "code" words which Trump uses openly. Its the same attitude. It's not Christian as I experienced it.  Basically the GOP primary voters have become an American version of ISIS -they are intolerant and hate anyone who is not in their religion.

Note that I said "primary voters" not all Republicans.  Because in my "tilting at windmills" run against DeLay I did discover a lot of moderate, kind, caring, truly nice people. They voted for me, many sight unseen. That stunned me, and gave me new awareness of the reality.

But the party has changed in dangerous and crude ways that threaten not only what America is about, but its own future existence.

Like ISIS, who is hating everyone who doesn't believe as they do--even attacking (and killing) more Muslims than anyone, the GOP is doing the same intolerant thing in a world with dozens of religions, a world that is 5% white. (They also make it worse by blaming the poor while giving more special breaks to the 1%.) So its pretty ignorant and not even strategically smart. It gets votes from bigots based on fear. Its Fox phony news and right wing commentators flood the airwaves with false facts. That makes for stupid decisions.

I wrote about what I saw then in a chapter entitled "Predicting 911 and Running Against the Hammer" in "Better Times Ahead April Fool."

The only party that reflects America's diversity and human values of openness of all people regardless of race, sex, religion is today's Democratic Party.  We really need the GOP to go back to the likes of a George HW Bush instead of today's Cruz's and Trumps.

We need a real Agenda for American Greatness, which has been updated to 2015 at the link.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mocking Disabled, Touting Voodoo Economics 3.0, Failing Geography and 911 Facts, Trump and GOP candidates Lack Qualifications for President

Apparently Mr. Trump mocked a disabled reporter at a recent campaign event.  Before that he encouraged white guys who beat up a black protester at another rally. I am wondering if they will all be wearing brown shirts or white robes at the next event.  Whites only separatists are as ignorant as ISIS separatists in this inescapably multi-cultural world. And no, Muslims in New Jersey did NOT cheer when 911 occurred.

It isn't just Trump. If it was, this would easily be solved – just dump him. But the rest of the GOP candidates do the same thing but only in dog whistles and code words. The current Republican presidential candidates don’t convey actual facts and truth about how Obama turned around the worst economy in 70 years without their help. They don’t talk about their party vowed to sabotage him before he had a chance to have his first cup of coffee in the oval office. They put our economy on a reef and didn’t even want to help the new Captain fix it.

It goes way beyond these jokes of candidates, who may have a lot of money but lack the geography skills of a 5th grader. They are not a decent role model to be an American President. 

If only it were presidential candidates who spoke so disrespectfully. I see this conduct in comments ALL the time - people mocking those of a different color or religion or sex.  I see experts mocked by people who can’t even spell. It’s bizarre.

You can mock me because I am a progressive. But you don’t have the right to mock someone who has had a disabling disease -- or is a woman wanting equal pay for equal work, or a young black man filled with bullet holes, or a Muslim family fleeing barrel bombs and thugs.

(Global) American values rest on treating people with (1) RESPECT.  Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s always worked for me in the 50 plus countries that I have worked in.

It’s a world of many religions and colors. Get over it thinking everyone has to confirm to your narrow world view. Not everyone eats meat and potatoes and not everybody goes to church on Sunday. That mentality led to Catholics shooting protestants (remember Northern Ireland?), and Christians burning innocent people they deemed witches and killing Muslims in the Crusades. It led to ISIS killing fellow Muslims.  ISIS is only the latest version of intolerance; but they don’t have a monopoly on it. All reflect the same extremist intolerance behind the world’s violence today.

In this presidential campaign we have witnessed presidential candidates leading in the polls with zero political experience look lost trying to figure out one country from another.  They speak of Christian values while touting their opposition to medical care for the poor.  They preach the opposite of what Jesus spoke of in the bible I read.  Instead of being the Good Samarian helping the injured man in the ditch, they are too busy hurrying by saying “I’ll pray for you” while they take another bag full of special deals to the 1% get special deals the average American lying in the ditch doesn’t.

Disrespect is all around us. The Donald just does it louder and without codes like his equally disrespectful co-candidates.  They hope their talking points covers up the fact that none of them have laid out a vision beyond more voodoo economics guaranteed to yield more trillion dollar deficits.

Why anyone would consider them serious candidates is beyond stupid. Having negotiated globally and predicted 911 on TV during the first Gulf War, I haven’t seen them come close to being honest and truthful with the American public about our course ahead. Hell, I have a better plan than they do. Anyone thinking of voting for them really needs to get out of town and see the world because they have no clue! Lol

When candidates for president start showing ALL groups respect and present a real global strategy for American success, then we can consider them something more than just Class C Clowns. Even then, they still need more than voodoo economics to offer. We have seen that play before. It gave us this $17 Trillion debt…

Michael Fjetland

Author, Better Times Ahead April Fool

Agenda for American Greatness

A Holiday Prayer for Christians— Watch Out for Pharisees. Following Human Values

                   A Holiday Prayer for Christians—

                            Watch Out for Pharisees

Dear Father,

As families stuff themselves these holidays, some are

Proud of their Christian values,

based on a loving Jesus.

Some of the same ones feverishly Pray

to Deny Even a Stable to those like him and his mother,

Seeking Shelter from the Middle East.

Some are so pro-life,

They pray our leaders deny

the poor medical care,

Jesus would be so pleased with that,

Having healed them for free.

Christian Americans live in
the “home of the brave”

Armed with over 300 million guns,

Yet quiver and panic, 
afraid of little Syrian children

and their parents,

While ignoring the Horror of a White Guy

Murdering 26 school kids 
with a military weapon,

 Or scores of unarmed black men.

Jesus had a name for those who pretend to be Christian.

 Google “Pharisees”

and look in the mirror

if you claim to be Christian.

Does it apply or not? Only you know the answer.

What would Jesus do? 

He would afflict the comfortable,

And comfort the afflicted.

ISIS is not Islamic; Pharisees are not Christian.

No religion condones murder.

Women and children deserve protection. From all rapists, thugs, murderers and abusers.

The Muslim holy book Koran praises Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

The next time you pray in Jesus Name,

Ask, “What would Jesus Do?”

And remember his words

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

In other words, treat others as you wish to be treated.

Jesus cared for the outcast, the least among us.

It’s time we did the same.

These are also Global American values.

They are human values regardless of your religion or none.


Michael Fjetland, 11/2015

Global American Values

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