William Thien

Recently two westerners were convicted of crimes against the state in North Korea, a communist country that I’ve written about in the past, and both westerners were subject to harsh sentences to be served in North Korean prison camps, which is often a death sentence.

The sentence for one of the indicted, a student named Otto Warmbier, will be fifteen years of hard labor in a North Korean prison camp for attempting to take a propaganda poster home with him upon his return from a college trip.

Another, a Korean born American convicted of stealing secrets and “unpardonable espionage” received only a ten year sentence.

Aside from the disparity in sentences for the two seemingly different levels of crime, one rather petty and the other considered serious by all governments, the thought occurred to me that the reason for the harsh sentences, which are somewhat out of character for westerners, is that North Korea is reacting to the idiotic film that recently came out of Hollywood and Sony Pictures titled “The Interview,” where the leader of North Korea is spoofed rather thoroughly and his head is exploded while the country of North Korea is mocked rather severely.

Otto Warmbier, a college student on a visit, merely attempted to take a propaganda poster as a sort of triumphal souvenir that we all might be tempted to snatch at that age and his sentence was substantially longer than that of Kim Dong Chul, who was convicted of espionage.

This may seem like a stretch, but the major differences in punishment and the methods North Korea used to announce the punishments indicate to me that North Korea is administering revenge for the ridiculous film “The Interview” produced by Sony Pictures. What else explains the differences in punishment for two substantially different levels of crime? We have little to go on but North Korea is a reclusive, communist country. What else is there? In fact, the mere absence of anything to go on indicates to me that it is exactly that, a response to the movie which explains the harsh sentences.

In my previous writings on the subject of the arrangement of North and South Korea and the DMZ I intimated that The US has received the short end of the stick in the matter.

Now it appears The US is getting wrapped over the hands with that same stick and is not only losing out economically from the unusual arrangement South Korea profits so thoroughly from, The US is being substantially marginalized by what appears to me to be perhaps some unspoken agreement between North and South Korea to perpetuate the arrangement that will certainly not end well for The US.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

 

Trump is right, the primary elections are rigged and to top it off there is substantial collusion between the two remaining candidates that trail Trump. No longer is it every man (or woman) for himself, it has become a socialistic political scheme to save a system most conservatives want to see change.

Now I don’t claim any one candidate is better than the other, but after making Trump sign the GOP pledge, something the party made no other candidate sign in such dramatic fashion, such collusive behavior on the part of the other two candidates should disqualify them. The GOP is not policing its own ranks.

It makes you wonder if this is all merely political histrionics to maintain the public’s attention or does it indicate something else?

Copyright © William Thien 2016

 

Whereas the individual tax payer has been made a tax surrogate and has been indentured by the tax code on behalf of unrelated others:

If the (a) government is going to tax an individual taxpayer at a rate or using a method that is different from others simply because the others own property or have a family with dependents, if the government is going to tax an individual taxpayer so that they must pay proportionately more in tax or so that they see less of a return for their efforts after taxes when compensated than others who own property or have a family, that is blatantly unfair to the individual tax payer.

The fact that someone has a family or the fact that someone is making mortgage payments on property are the result of life choices made by that particular person or family. They should not receive a lower tax rate or be taxed using a method that is different from an individual who has not made those same choices, particularly when the there is a greater likelihood that more government services are used by the family or the property owner.

These are the facts. The fact that it is difficult and expensive to raise a family or the fact that making mortgage payments is financially burdensome are invalid reasons to tax someone unrelated to those activities to compensate for the cost of those activities.

 

As I writer I understand the depth and significance of the ‘freedom of speech’ clause in The US Constitution rather plainly.

No where does it say that members of the media can follow citizens around in real-time and collect information about citizens in real-time or monitor their internet activity (as a contemporary example). No where does it say the media can take physical action of any kind or harass, but that is exactly what the media does.

You see that type of behavior quite frequently today as the media becomes more tabloid in format, behavior such as character assassination if you are running for office and don’t buy lots of ad space like your competition, following subjects around in cars if they have an interesting life (public persons) or are trying to bring some form of social change, none of it having anything to do with actual “press” activity but rather more often than not corporate activity to achieve ratings. Simply because you step outside your door does not entitle some media corporation a full invasion of your privacy for the sake of ratings, whether you are a public person or not.

The Supreme Court has examined the matter somewhat from time to time and has fallen in favor of corporatized media intrusiveness. But the Supreme Court has also ruled that money is speech. Money is not speech. Clearly The Supreme Court has a twisted sense of the matter and is likely somewhat derelict.

It could be that members of The Supreme Court are themselves afraid of the media, a powerful and seemingly uncontrolled institution in contemporary society to which we are clearly meant all to live in fear of, as the media plays the moralist, selectively of course.

If we are living in fear of anything, the government, gangs, whatever, the only entity that exists today which is given a clear mandate and a protection to spread fear is the media, we are told by the media. That protection, the media claim, is called The First Amendment, which is of course a false, self-serving interpretation.

Maybe it is time for a new amendment to the constitution that governs how the media (no longer “the press” to which The First Amendment refers, now something more complex and all-encompassing), maybe it is time for a new amendment that governs how the contemporary, intrusive, parasitic corporate media behaves.

Yes, I think it is.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

The FED and the administration have been saying inflation is under control but the numbers tell us otherwise. In a recent article on Reuters it was determined that many major pharmaceutical manufacturers are charging prices as much as one hundred percent (100 %) higher than just five years ago for necessary medications. Is it inflation? Is it price gouging? Is it ethical? One thing is for sure, the prices are up. That signifies inflation.

Read the article here, Makers took big price increases on widely used U.S. drugs.

Drug price increases at 100 percent over five years and inflation is under control? What’s that you say?

Copyright © William Thien 2016

Nothing of any measure, no social movement positive or negative, no political change happens today in The United States without the thorough complicity and assistance of the media.

Your condition, the state of the country, all are directly tied to media activity and enhancement. In a manner of speaking, if you want things to change, first you will have to directly impact the media.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

 

I was looking for a particular shop tool last night and located something ideal but when I checked the label I was disappointed to find out it was manufactured in Asia. It is well made and receives good reviews and there is nothing wrong with Asia by the way except it is my opinion a disproportionately large amount of industrial production has migrated there due often to unfair trade practices and currency manipulation that doesn’t favor The US and to which The US does little to prevent. You’ve heard this from me before, of course, for quite some time, long before this election cycle, long before some interloper picked up what we’ve been discussing here, Notes from The Silent Majority, and used it for their own.

It is a local company that offshored production, so I want to make the purchase because it is a local company, but while deliberating on the purchase a question occurred to me.

Obviously the reason companies are off shoring is because it pays. Sales margins improve dramatically in many cases when production is offshored to Asia and some other areas and there are other more indirect benefits we don’t hear about. But the incredible damage all of the offshoring has done to the US economy will have to be reversed.

So the question occurred to me: What will it take to bring industry back? Nobody seems to be asking that very question. There is a lot of talk about the damage offshoring primarily to Asia has done but nobody really seems to be quantifying and qualifying what would be required to bring industry back. Americans may never work for the wages offered overseas in many areas but in many of those areas wages are rising to become somewhat comparable and American wages are stagnant or trending downward when considering inflation.

So what can be done to bring those jobs back? Is there something the government can do to facilitate the return of those jobs that it is not doing? I know certain tax breaks are available for offshoring in some respects. Must we completely obliterate those tax breaks? Can we offer better tax breaks to bring the jobs back to American soil? Should we restrict sales of products manufactured by US concerns overseas to only be sold overseas? What is it going to take?

I think this is where the discussion in the current presidential campaign needs to focus.

The media will have to participate with the repatriation of jobs of course for after all, it is the media that has misled the public to the purchase.

Women are complaining that they are paid a fraction of what men make, which I think is rather unlikely since all they have to do is file a discrimination complaint (and they do). But maybe if those jobs were to return to the US, women would see comparable pay or something approaching that.

I think it is time to start a national discussion on what must be done to bring offshored jobs and “specifically offshored jobs,” jobs that were once located on American soil back to The United States?

Copyright © William Thien 2016

 

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