Bookmark and Share

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Some GOP Members Fighting Against Chemical Plant Security

It is strange sometimes what people oppose. Some GOP members are fighting against a bill that would provide chemical plant security where there is presently NONE.

More people would be killed in a chemical 9 11 attack than the original 9 11.

The Department of Homeland Security has warned that a single chlorine tank explosion could kill 17,500 people, according to stats are in a recent NYT article. Houston is the Grand Central Station of the country's chemical industry. MILLIONS of people live within miles of these plants.

So why would a GOP (or any) member of Congress actually BLOCK a bill to require Chemical plants to avoid a terrorist 9-11 attack? A NYT reporter was able to walk around entire plants for a half hour without being questioned. They walked right up to a chlorine tank holding 90 tons of the stuff. That means any nut can walk up and set off something that would threaten the health of millions of people in the Houston area.

And certain members of Congress are leaving that door wide open. Joe Baron is one mentioned in the article. So where is DeLay on this?

Parts of Congress District 22 - my district presently held by DeLay, includes Deer park, Clear Lake, Pasadena—which is basically refinery/chemical row. It is not just Ft Bend and sunny Sugar Land and Pearland. This district includes areas that would by high on a domestic Al Qaeda target list. Or worse, a local nut like the one the FBI caught trying to sell bomb-making secrets, could easily take advantage of our loose chemical plant security.

So people need to ask Joe Barton and any other member of Congress who concurs with him:

"Why are you opposing the Chemical Plant Security Bill?"

I support the bill.

I've done terrorism consulting in the past and we have left out chemical plant security. Industry is fighting it to save a few bucks and some members are backing them. I side with the millions who could be injured or worse unless this security bill takes effect. It's not fool proof, nothing is, but it is better than leaving tankers wide open for any zealot to light up.

This legislation is a no brainer guys.

Got to run...

Eisenhower quote

A Republican sent me this quote (with the comment "ouch!"):

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Ouch is right. I think the GOP needs to look back on its roots and pay close attention to the wisdom of its early leaders like Lincoln, the first Republican President, and Eisenhower, a military man who engineered the success of the D-Day invasion and fall of Hitler before becoming a Republican President.

And this - John McCain's "Group of 14" deserves watching. It could be a temporary blip on the radar before we return to "dog eat dog" politics --or a foreshadowing of a change in DC politics away from the two (left, right) partisanship divide. No one becomes President without attracting the center.

Some people prefer politics of destruction; others prefer building bridges.

We'll see what develops.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"2 Sides"

Kevin comments that I mention only "two sides" on Laura Bush's trip. He has a point.

I was referring to the Jewish and Muslim conflict primarily, since that is the main event.

But Kevin is right in that there are some other sides - such as the minority Christians who make up about 10% of the population in some Mideast countries. In Jerusalem they are caught in the middle.

I once visited one of these few Christian churches in the hills outside Damascus when I was in Syria (child kidnapping case). It's back door was once the hidden, secret front door - the church dates back to the Rome empire when lions ate Christians.

But think about this: Because of Christian divisions, the keys to the Christian "Mecca," the Church of the HolySepulcher (check my spelling) in Jerusalem are held by two Muslim families, and have been for centuries. And it has worked great.

The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis have made it tough to celebrate Christmas and other holy events without risking bullets or bombs. Someday, all three will need to share the city and its history.

But that will depend on the first TWO sides working it out -Muslim and Jew. Laura Bush's trip was an attempted positive step in that direction. I hope she continues it regardless.

In church a couple Sundays ago I heard reference to the "Ambassadors of Reconciliation." That was what Laura Bush was, an Ambassador of Reconciliation.

I encourage more of it. The EFFORT is the important thing at this point.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Laura Bush: Brave Woman

P.S. I was impressed with Laura Bush going to the Middle East alone, trying to improve our battered image.

She is a brave lady to go over there. She tried to meet both sides and talk to everyone.

She is really coming out as a cool lady. W should make her our UN Ambassador instead of Mr. Kiss Up Kick Down Bolton...

Her diplomacy is more what we need.

Influence Trading & the American Terrorist

A letter appeared in today's Galveston Daily News about Rep. DeLay taking contributions from a company that wanted to get into NASA.

Apparently Delay wanted Trane to get a $7 million contract and apparently Trane people made several $1,000 payments to DeLay. Influence peddling? You tell me.
Now we face “white American” terrorists! Today in Houston TV reports that a Pennsylvania man was arrested at a hotel after offering to provide bomb material to what he thought were Al Qaida operatives. They were really FBI agents. The man was a white male, Midwest American. He claimed he could provide a "fusion bomb."

When the agents said they wanted to kill a lot of Americans, the man said basically "he was ok with that." It's pretty sorry when Americans are willing to sell death technology to people claiming to be terrorists.

This guy is another Tim McVeigh type willing to sell his soul to kill his own people, in this case for money. Wouldn’t it be a sad day if the next attack is made possible by an American providing the weapons?

And this news. It turns out that the real terrorists (Hezbollah) are distributing a CD showing how to make suicide bombs, mines, etc. Pandora's high tech bomb box is opening. Too little is happening to shut it down.

What has happened to ethics and common sense? Sell your vote, influence or bomb to the highest bidder… Things need to change ASAP.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

American Equality - If Earle Must Resign So Must DeLay

Republicans are calling on Austin DA Ronnie Earle to resign after he attended a Democrat fundraiser and made comments about Mr. DeLay, whom he is investigating.

If Republicans want Mr. Earle to resign for his conduct, then in fairness so should Mr. DeLay based on his growing list of ethical and financial lapses.

If a man robs a convenience store, it is a crime regardless of whether the perpetrator was a Democrat or a Republican --unless Congress has changed that rule so that unlawful actions only by one side are prosecuted!?

As a possible GOP opponent to Tom DeLay, I believe that Ronnie Earle made an ethical blunder by addressing a Democrat fundraiser about DeLay while pursuing indictments against Republicans associated with Mr. DeLay. Despite prosecuting more Democrats than Republicans, Mr. Earle lost the appearance of impartiality.

Rules should apply equally to all regardless of party. Mr. DeLay has already stacked the deck in the Congress ethical process, by pulling GOP members who voted against him on his other ethics problems -- and stacking the next jury panel with new members who have taken money from him. Want to guess the outcome?

So an outside investigator is needed, but not one who makes partisan speeches.

American equality requires that if one has to resign, so should the other.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Positive Quote of the Day

I leave you today with this thought:

POSITIVE QUOTE OF THE DAY-----------------------------
You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.

-- Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) American Publisher

Link: Positive Sayings

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Spirit of Freedom

Friday I attended a GOP women's group in Ft. Bend, called "Spirit of Freedom." Despite it being DeLay's wife's group, the ladies I saw were quite nice and friendly. A couple interesting things occurred.

A young man from DeLay's office was there. He had on a "DeLay" sticker so he stood out. He had brought a resolution that was read that basically said: "We support Tom DeLay 100% no matter what -- even if he shot the Pope." OK, they left out the part about shooting the pope, but it was close.

Then they passed around a petition, saying it was "required" to get x number of signatures. That was news to me. I sat in the back. When it came by, I noticed it was a "Petition in lieu of filing fee" - something I had done before to avoid paying the $3,000 filing fee. Why circulate it? It isn't really required unless you want to save $3,000 by turning in 500 signatures from voters int he district. But for a guy like DeLay with millions of donations in the bank, why bother with it?

My best guess is that it is a way of polling people. If so, the results should be of concern to the incumbent --what surprised me was how few signatures the petition had, despite passing through nearly everyone else in the room before I saw it. It had maybe four or five signatures. When I did my own petition drive in 2002, I usually got nine signatures for every 10 requests I made.

Some people were asked more than once to sign, and refused, according to a friend of mine who was there and saw it happen.

My focus during the meeting was not on the paper but on the speaker, a young mother who said she had been molested as a young girl and was trying to get a law passed in Texas to remove the statute of limitations on child abuse cases. I thought it was a "no brainer" that would pass easily, but not so. She said one GOP member in the Texas house was keeping it in committee and away from a vote. Why? That one baffled me. I told her to get GOP women calling the guy. He can ignore the young lady, but he can't ignore 50% of the population.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bio Request from reader

A reader has requested a bio - we are working on a website with all that. In the meantime here is some bio info.

I've negotiated international agreements since the 1970's begining with the Fortune 500 but for the last 20 years I've focused on helping medium and small businesses start and grow. I've also produced international TV programs.

Some recent activities:
Charter Member, BOARD OF ADVISORS, Center of International
Business Studies, Texas A&M University (1985-2003).
· Board Member, InFocus. Non-profit corporation. Provides eye care to those most in
need due to poverty or geographical location. Helped start projects in India, Tanzania
· World Affairs Council Houston
· Volunteer - Captain, USAF Auxiliary, Mission Pilot qualified (Homeland security)
· Advisor, International Business Center, Houston Community College, Houston.
· Pilot (Private/Commercial ratings; Was one of the youngest pilots licensed in the 60's).· Developed International Legal Internet Network

Monday, May 09, 2005


It is interesting what you see by observing people in action.

I went to a Hispanic Republican event last Thursday, May 5, for "Cinco de Mayo." I arrived late --and noticed a couple of interns walking around with clipboards wearing "Tom DeLay" stickers.

It turned out they were asking people to sign a "commitment" for Tom DeLay. From across the room, I watched them make their pitch to people at various tables, then I noticed a look of terror from the person approached, something like: "Oh my God, they want my signature! Egads!"

Maybe I was wrong about that look, but maybe not. When the young lady walked by me with her clipboard, I could not help but notice that -- despite her low cut dress -- that she had only about 3 signatures, despite a room full of party regulars (mostly non-Hispanic).

Since when do you need a commitment to run against a Democrat? What is DeLay afraid of if he is campaigning already--nine months before the March '06 primary?

Last year nearly 40% of the GOP primary voters skipped DeLay's name in his home county of Ft. Bend. The ones I met told me it was a protest statement.

I'm not even officially running and I'm getting attacked already in various blogs (I even link to those who don't like me). No, I didn't raise millions from lobbyists in my prior campaigns and no one paid for me to go golf in Scotland. Good. I don't want their money and I've already been around the world without lobbyists paying for it.

Instead, I represent the regular people of this district -- like the teachers who got royally screwed on their pensions by Rep. Delay last year. (Note: He did NOT cut his own pension. In fact, he gave himself a raise!). That move cost our kids a lot of good teachers, who had to retire early to keep what they had. This is not my idea of leadership. To see what Congress gives itself for retirement, see this article in the Houston Chronicle.

I expect that there will be a lot more attacks on me. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Challenging the Powerful = An American duty

Welcome to my exploratory committee blog. My name is Michael Fjetland ("Fetland"). Fjetland is a Viking name, hence the name of this blog.

I am considering a challenge to Rep. Tom DeLay in the 2006 GOP primary. Why? It would not be my first time, but it could be the first time I do it with proper funding. It's hard getting money to run against the powerful, but something is different this year --ethics charges for one. Actually there have been a slew of them against the 20-year incumbent.

The last time I challenged DeLay in a GOP primary (in 2002), I got booted off the ballot. I had to sue to get back on. I won the suit but lost valuable time, the primary was nearly over. I got 20% then without a mail out or an ad. This time I'm shooting for 51% or better.

There is something uniquely American about challenging the powerful. I've traveled to over 50 countries and in a lot of them you can lose your head if you challenge the powers-that-be. This year, we will see who loses their head (or their job). This blog will chronicle the process.