William Thien

Archive for July 2010

Recently I witnessed newsreels of presidential campaign speeches, many from the backs of trains going from town to town, from the early 1900’s. Crowds gathered in the train stations hoping to hear something new, something promising. The campaign rhetoric sounded remarkably like that you might hear today.”Government is just too big! I will keep the size of government under control!”, and “Your taxes are too high. I am the only candidate that can do anything about that. The other ‘guy’ will just raise your taxes.”

It raises the question, if candidates and their electorate have been complaining for over one hundred years about government being too big, and government still gets bigger and bigger and our taxes still go up and up, what if anything can we do about it? This isn’t just a losing battle in a wider war on taxes anymore, this is something else, entirely something else.

To provide some perspective on the matter of taxes, Peter McWilliams cites William R. Mattox Jr. in his book Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do. William R. Mattox Jr. states that “In 1950, the average family of four paid 2% of its earnings to federal taxes. Today it pays 24%.” That is a thirty percent increase in taxes, just federal taxes, per year.

In 2008 one of my elected officials sent me a July 4th Newsletter. It talked about all the wonderful things “America” had become since we had fought off The British in The Revolutionary War, how Americans had fought bravely, and there was a lot of flag waving in the newsletter, something I felt was a bit too much for someone who claims to be a conservative. I wrote him a reply saying I thought he was out of touch, in so many words. I explained that I thought he was out of touch because the colonists who decided to take on the British did so because they were upset for the most part about a few pence tax on tea and not being protected in the outer reaches of the colonies from incursion. Hence, one of the reasons that the “Taxation without Representation” slogan came to be.

I added that I thought were our founding fathers alive today, it is likely that if they are of the same spirit as during revolutionary times, they would probably be attacking every US Government office they could at every chance they could get. That was their nature. They were not fighting The British, they were fighting what the British stood for, what the British took from them, particularly in the form of taxes, mainly in the form of taxes. It wasn’t, we don’t like you guys because you are British. It was, hey, get your grubby hands out of my pockets.

Of course the founding fathers as they are called are not alive themselves, but I’m sure, I added in my response to my elected official, they are turning in their graves right now. Why? Because there is no comparison between taxation then and now. Why? Because the argument that the America of today even compares to the very most pale shade of that of the America founded over two hundred years ago is approaching a dangerously false statement. The only clear similarity between that country and the one in which we reside today are a few remnants of The Constitution and the geographical boundaries within which said country was founded.

Then, the colonists thrived on independence. Raise your own food. Minimize government. Tame the land.

Today: What government program can I apply for to get some money? Who needs a husband, I can get pregnant and someone else can pay for it. Let’s give huge amounts of money in foreign aid to other countries when we can not even keep our roads above the quality of those in a third world country.

Yet, while all of this goes on, guess what? Our taxes still keep going up. UP and up and up!

And it raises the question, is it even possible to lower our taxes anymore? If one hundred years ago politicians were campaigning on the very slogan that government is too big and taxes are too high and things have only gotten worse since, well it makes you wonder who is behind it?

Where is all my money going? Yet, comparatively speaking, the colonists thought of the country as a sort of magical place, even with the hardships, there was an incredible sense of hope. Why? Because they were not overburdened with massive, expensive government.

Taxes are the result of laws. Once those laws are on the books, things are sort of written in stone. I don’t know of any major tax repeal in the history of The United States at any level whether it be municipal, state, or federal, that has significantly impacted, lowered the amount of taxes people pay and that counter balances taxes taken in simultaneously for some other reason.

So if taxes cannot be repealed in general, if taxes will continue to go up while our country moves towards a third world country in terms of quality of life, what can be done about it? Obviously there does not seem to be a legislative solution.

You hear talk from time to time about the choices. There are grumblings. Living communities are created by charismatic men and women that are frequently raided by the government, big government. So if you can’t organize in any major way to adopt a new way of life or to bring about change, change of any kind, that really only leaves one choice.

Yes, that only leaves one choice. Timothy McVeigh was an example some might say of that choice.  Perhaps Timothy McVeigh would have been made a general in The Revolutionary Army. I don’t mean to idolize or deify Timothy McVeigh, but let’s face the facts. War has changed. And in what some call “The War on Taxes” that seems to be the path some are taking to win the war. And I must admit, I don’t see many other paths if in fact we have been fighting the war for well over 100 years. Name another path. Name another choice than some sort of revolt to reverse the course of taxation in this country and to relieve ourselves of an oppressive government. Democracy doesn’t seem to offer a solution.

I have one.

What if a law were written to supersede all laws that limits the total amount of taxes that everyone, each individual, will have to pay and legislates the advent and demise of government programs that result in more taxation. In other words, if a given tax goes beyond a certain level, it is no longer a lawful tax and must be repealed automatically and immediately, or some form of action must be taken. That is all. An absolute law that deals with taxes absolutely.

Because otherwise there is only that one choice. Unless the government collapses completely and is rebuilt anew and completely differently. But at this rate of taxation, that is unlikely.

So, there really is only that one choice. Nothing else seems to work. Sooner or later we will have to face that choice. In fact, it would seem that it is not really even a choice anymore. There seems to be no fork in the road any longer. Taxes are just too high. Government is too intrusive.

Perhaps that is not even an option anymore because had they been alive one hundred years ago and heard the campaign speeches then our founding fathers would probably have said, “let’s get to work.”

And what new country would come from their efforts this time around? And more importantly, when will the time come to find out?

Copyright © William Thien 2010

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Milwaukee, WI – The thing about The Great Lakes and the gulf oil spill is that the gulf oil spill happened in what is essentially an open ocean. The Great Lakes would not offer the same capacity to restore ecological balance.

Far more catastrophic would be an oil or chemical spill inside The Great Lakes of such magnitude.

Damage would most likely be irreversible.

Widespread health emergencies are likely. You could expect to see an economic impact at the regional level at the very least if there is a catastrophic change to the quality of the water in The Great Lakes.

That is why I think there should be no more discussion on the matter unless it involves preventative measures or disaster recovery preparation.

Copyright © William Thien 2010

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Since the 1960’s something has been happening continuously to the relationship between men and women in America called The Sexual Revolution. It involves frequent, fluid changes, often legal changes to the way men and women address and deal with each other at home, in the work place, in public. The sexual revolution is an offshoot, a facet perhaps of the feminist movement.

But is the Sexual Revolution good or bad for women, for America? And is it really a revolution at all?

Well, for the most part, though I will answer that question to some extent later, that is not why I am talking to you today. I merely want to examine the Sexual Revolution for what it is, not for what we are told it is by say, the corporate media, for example.

Many people think it is the women of America that are the principal players in the feminist movement. It stands to reason, does it not? Feminist movement and women. Feminine, female, feminist movement. It is so darned obvious. Why…it has to be the women behind the feminist movement and The Sexual Revolution, who else could it be?

I am here to tell you that I think it is something different. Yes, women want to improve their lives. And who can blame them?

But the so-called feminist movement is not what it once was, not what it is. No, ladies and gentlemen, I believe the feminist movement has been hijacked as part of a larger corporate business plan meant to sell more products and undermine the American workforce and women, and men for that matter who do not recognize it for what it is, are just the unwitting dupes. Your own champions of the feminist movement of earlier years, the Gloria Steinem’s and the like don’t even know what is happening or may even be key players in what I describe here.

Before the sexual revolution, before Gloria Steinem and the feminist movement of the sixties and seventies, the American labor force consisted of mainly men, except during times of war when women happily manned the production lines to perpetuate the war effort. Before The Sexual Revolution there was less competition for every job. But with The Sexual Revolution and the migration of the woman out of the house and into the work force there were suddenly twice the number of applicants for every job. Corporate America could do nothing but accept the Sexual Revolution with open arms, to fall in love with The Sexual Revolution, in fact it may have even been part of a larger plan. Why? Now corporate America could offer lower wages.

Hold it. What do you mean they could offer lower wages?

What I am saying is that now there were double the applicants for every job with not just men looking for that job but both men and now women, too. More competition for jobs and the wage rate goes down. People get paid less. It is a fact of economics. Now corporate America doesn’t have to pay its workers as much.

A parallel can be seen in the fact that employers like to hire illegal aliens. With more people competing for the same jobs those people will accept less pay and perhaps no benefits to obtain those jobs. That is also a fact.

The presence of illegal aliens in America, because they will work for less, also drives down the cost of labor. Employers, the more unscrupulous ones in particular, like hiring illegal aliens for that very fact, even if they know it undermines the work force and their buying power and will eventually put America out of business. Because America’s own workers won’t have jobs and won’t be able to afford to make purchases of products manufactured by the illegal aliens. It’s a short-term business plan, that one is.

But let’s examine who else benefits from having more employees, or the newly arrived women, in the work force. Automakers. Now that all of those women want to go to work, they are going to need cars. Again, there is corporate America. Before the Sexual Revolution most families had only one car. Now they have two, sometimes three. So the Sexual Revolution is good for automakers. And really, that’s good. It’s good that automakers sell more cars, good for business anyway. And what is good for business is good for everyone for the most part. More workers needing cars means more cars need to be made which probably means more workers will be needed. It is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way. Though, read on.

And if there are more cars on the road, well those cars are going to need what? That’s right, gasoline. And who makes gasoline? Oil companies. And oil companies epitomize corporate America.

The list of those corporations that benefit from The Sexual Revolution is myriad. I merely offer two of the most obvious and omit the others for the sake of expediency here.

By the way, there is nothing wrong with corporate America. And there is nothing wrong with the Sexual Revolution and the feminist movement. I for one think many of the resultant changes to the lifestyles of women make them more attractive and easier to have a conversation with. Before the Sexual Revolution many women would not have entered into a conversation about a variety of subjects and would have simply demurred on the matter so as to adhere to what at the time was considered socially attractive, acceptable behavior. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with their perspective on the matter nowadays, just that I have another perspective to consider.

You might ask again, then, why ask the question “Who is behind the Sexual Revolution?” And what do you mean by the statement in the title of this post “What it is…”?  It was something people used to say to each other during the beginning of the sixties and throughout the seventies. It was a sort of greeting. But in this case, I say it as a question, because as you will see, what it is is usually what it does. And I believe The Sexual Revolution does something entirely different than what it says it does.

My answer is that even though many beneficial things have come to society from the advent of The Sexual Revolution, we must examine it for what it really is, who is really behind it and who benefits from it so that everyone benefits from it to some extent and not just particular segments of our society, so as not to move into something that we cannot back out of.

I believe we must ask the question who is behind The Sexual Revolution because I believe that it has created many demands on society that may not be in society’s best interest in the long run and may outweigh the actual benefits of The Sexual Revolution in the first place, substantially outweigh them. It has created demands on natural resources and changes to our tax situation that have resulted in many burdening new social programs meant to accommodate the “independent woman,” a woman who arrived as a result of the sexual revolution and who perhaps wants to have a child out-of-wedlock but can’t afford to pay for it herself and needs to fall back on public assistance, helping to raise the average federal tax rate of a family of four in 1952 from 2 percent in federal taxes to currently and frequently closer to twenty or thirty or more percent, a substantial, economy stifling burden.

Yet, even with the benefits brought forth by The Sexual Revolution and all of the wonderful changes to society, the negatives may in fact tremendously outweigh the benefits both in terms of dollars and also in terms of resources, in terms of pollution (more cars on the roads means more pollution. And cars are the major contributing factor to pollution in America), and that list goes on and on as well. Again, for the sake of expediency I won’t enumerate them.

But finally and most importantly to the women of The Sexual Revolution, I would not even ask the question. “who is behind The Sexual Revolution” had I not seen polls recently asking women if they would return to a more domestic lifestyle as perhaps housewives, again? Most answered they would not because their female peers would lose faith in them in that they accepted a so-called lesser role than they had taken before, as if there was something wrong with being a housewife.

And it’s that attitude, that of her peers who will think less of her if she returns to a lifestyle in the home, it is that attitude that tells me that even though The Sexual Revolution has brought us many great things, it has in fact not given today’s woman more freedom but less, it has shackled her mind. Because what once was a social movement designed to give a woman more power to choose what she does with her own life has in fact taken away one of her most significant choices, to take care of her own family, to do what she may very well need to do for herself and her own family by acting in their best interest.

The Sexual Revolution has in fact brought fewer choices to today’s woman, not more. And you have to ask yourself…why?

And you have to ask, “has The Sexual Revolution really been a revolution at all?”

Because what it is…is usually what it does, and The Sexual Revolution is definitely not “What it is.”

Copyright © William Thien 2010

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Did you ever drive by an abortion clinic during an anti-abortion protest? Were the protestors displaying large pickets with graphic pictures of aborted fetuses on them? Were the protestors shouting at cars as the cars passed by? That’s usually how such protests go off around here, like a witch hunt. It’s meant to be shocking, to drive you away from the idea of having an abortion if you are pregnant or know someone who is, and it’s meant to gather the support of others in the movement to ban abortion. But as the dictionary defines a subterfuge as a deceptive stratagem or device, I believe that is what the pro-life movement is to the conservative.

I believe that the pro-life movement has a negative effect to the conservative upon fifty percent of the voting body, the female vote, and may in fact drive a substantial portion of the female vote away from the conservative side of politics, that side of politics wherein resides the pro-life movement in the first place.

The predominant view out of the feminist movement regarding abortion is that since it is a woman’s body, it is her right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. I don’t agree entirely with this perspective in that I believe it is chauvinistic because it removes the father from the equation, but it is to this day the prevailing point of view on the matter.

So, if there is a political movement such as the pro-life movement now telling the woman that she should have no choice in the matter, it will be in her nature to question that sentiment. And who can blame her? It is her body. And even though I disagree with that feminist perspective on abortion, that it is only her choice that matters and the father plays no part, one would be ignorant to disregard what the net effect of something such as the pro-life movement would be to the psyche of a newly pregnant woman who was not expecting the pregnancy nor can support it.

It is human nature to want more choices, not fewer. And the pro-life movement tells the woman she has no choice but to have the baby. Naturally the woman will gravitate towards the political ideology that refrains from restricting feminine discretion in the matter.

In other words, like a simple machine, a wedge in this case, the Pro-Life movement has the potential net effect of driving the entire female vote to the liberal side of things over one issue.

That, to me, seems like a political subterfuge. And though that may not be what it is, that is exactly what it does. And you know what they say about that.

Copyright © William Thien 2010

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At the onset of the gulf oil spill the mainstream media bandied about the conspiracy theory that the catastrophe may have been the result of sabotage. Then, overnight nothing was said of it again. Seventy days later and the subject of sabotage has not come up once while I have watched the news.

Were it not such a catastrophic event, and had the president not made a proclamation only days before that he was going to open up the coastlines for more offshore drilling, I would probably have forgotten all the talk of sabotage.

A cursory examination of stories on the internet about a possible saboteur reveal that some think it was another oil company in competition with BP (British Petroleum). Another web site has significant interest in The North Koreans.

I myself hold to another theory, one that did not appear in my search of the internet. I believe the gulf oil spill may have indeed been sabotage, sabotage for a political purpose.

First, let’s rule out who did not sabotage the oil rig causing this catastrophe. Environmentalists. There was talk the oil rig was damaged by environmentalists looking to make a point. That is unlikely in my estimation. Most environmentalists are zero tolerance types that get upset about minute amounts of pollutants in our waterways. With the exception of the Greenpeace anti-whaling efforts and some extended stays in trees, most environmentalists are mainly focused on lobbying and fund raising. Furthermore, were it to be discovered that the sabotage of the oil rig was the result of environmentalists, their entire movement would be discredited. In my opinion, environmentalists are not so rash. Let’s hope it was not the environmentalists, for the sake of the environment.

Second, it is unlikely it was the North Koreans that torpedoed the oil rig. For the North Koreans to get a submarine into The Gulf of Mexico undetected by The United States Navy and Coast Guard seems to me to be a rather unlikely event. Could it have happened? Yes. But it is unlikely.

Was it then another oil company in competition with BP? This to me seems rather unlikely as well and here is why. When laws are made governing the behavior of oil companies those laws generally tend to hit them all equally and not very favorably. So is the result of the moratorium on offshore oil exploration and drilling brought by The Whitehouse shortly after the gulf oil spill and had to be addressed in court. To me it is unlikely the Gulf oil spill was the result of sabotage from a competitor.

The list of potential saboteurs goes on and on.

But there is one more possible saboteur that interests me, at least in a speculative sense.

Recently in America’s political history we have had a resurgence of a conservative movement calling themselves The Tea Party. If you have read my previous posts you know that I myself am a conservative and favor much of what they stand for, except I do not favor the name.

Named after an act by colonists helping to incite the revolutionary war of independence between the American Colonies and England, The Tea Party is to me a misnomer that should be changed. It’s catchy, I’ll agree, but not well chosen. It focuses too much negativity on one of our allies, England in a historical context, and not our own massive, expensive government, which it was originally meant to address. One must ask if that were in fact the original intent? Probably not. But you have to ask that question.

Let’s examine the title of my post today. BP, Texas Tea, and The Gulf Oil Spill. Does the answer therein lie?

But let’s consider that for the last 200 plus years the US has been an ally of The English even though once a year we celebrate our ‘complete’ independence from England by blowing up a lot of stuff. England has been our major ally in every major war we have fought for the last 100 years and are our allies today in Iraq and Afghanistan along with our other allies Germany (another ally we seem to still be fighting at least in Hollywood), Poland, Italy, and much of the rest of the world.

Yet here in The United States we have started a political movement with a name, The Tea Party, that seemingly reinvents The Revolutionary War against England, a major ally, one I favor myself, along with Germany and the others.

So where then in all of this lies the saboteur? Did someone from The Tea Party sabotage the oil rig and fill the gulf with Texas Tea? Was it someone from BP sick of being the target of The Tea Party? Is the gulf oil spill the result of action by The Tea Party, by someone in response to the formation of The Tea Party?

More importantly, does the advent of the new Tea Party signify a potential war with one of our most favored allies? Or is it just a catchy name, however misguided it may be?

You had better think about it.

Copyright © William Thien 2010

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