William Thien

Archive for March 2012

Dear Politician,

When I sent my donation or multiple donations to your campaign, or when I worked on your campaign, it was not with the intent that your hand would be outstretched at my door in the form of campaign junk mail everyday thereafter for all eternity. I did not volunteer with the intent that you would telephone me at all hours of the day from “Caller ID Unavailable” telephone numbers with surprise requests for more money. I for one need to keep my telephone line open for emergency calls and other communications. If I am concerned about answering the telephone because I am trying to avoid being approached for more money again and again, well I can guarantee that you have lost my vote.

I understand that it is difficult to get elected in these tough times without significant media saturation, which is of course expensive, but it occurs to me that if you really had something to offer, really had some substantial positions that “We the People” were in agreement on, you would not need such massive sums of money to bolster your campaign. But I don’t know. I am not a politician. You have made yourselves such a “special class” of people that perhaps you are also making yourselves impossible to get elected. It makes me wonder to whom you are beholden, the people, or are you really just paying off the media? Which causes me to recall my earlier essay Should The Media be Removed from The Election Process?

Of course it is obvious that it is necessary to essentially “buy off” the media with such huge sums of money for campaign commercials and ads in order to avoid damaging media coverage, or none at all, which would be sure to undermine your efforts to get elected, but you politicians wrote the laws that govern campaigns and campaign finances to begin with. Which, by the way, what is done with all of that money if you lose the election and haven’t spent it on the campaign?

With that said, please, my good man, or woman politician, please, stop with the barrage of slanderous, despicable, junk mail and the constant telephone calls. I have no place for it. Not any longer. We are not getting anywhere with these methods. Please stop, that is if you would like me to vote for you, vote for you again, or sign the petition to put you on the ballot.

Yours Truly, or, until we meet again, which will probably be tomorrow when you or one of your campaign staffers shows up at my door, or when I receive another piece of junk mail, or when someone calls me on the phone asking for money, or if I myself run for office, when I’ll be knocking on your door.

Yours Truly,

William Thien

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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Did you ever get the feeling that all the information they collect about you, the information they gather when you use your shopping card at the supermarket, the information they collect about you when you use your credit card, the web metrics they collect about you when you surf the internet, did you ever get the feeling that perhaps a little here and there isn’t bad, but the entire accumulation of it all is somehow a scourge on society of some sort and almost like preparation for an attack upon your person?

They were talking in the news recently about how several search engines collect massive amounts of information about you and track your interests, they say so they can target advertising, and that it is all indiscriminate, but did you ever get the feeling that it wasn’t, that they were somehow almost using the information against you? You had that feeling. I know you did. It was as if it was more than just a coincidence. It was as if it was a power play. It was as if they were asserting some sort of power over you. You felt it as if they were right behind your back in the room with you, didn’t you? Yes, I know you did.

They talked in the news about what could be done to curtail that kind of behavior. Then the discussion disappeared, almost as if the discussion was lip service alone, meant to quell any unrest, and then the wool was pulled over the public’s eyes and your desires to maintain your privacy were silenced right then and there.

Perhaps we as a country should have a “National Turn it Off” day and turn everything off that is connected to something that can collect and obtain information about you. Turn off the television if it is connected to cable or satellite, turn off the internet, turn off your cell phone. As a form of protest. Just turn it all off. Read a book made of paper. Go fishing. Cook out with the family.

Just a thought. Because I think more than anything that is what they fear, what the collectors of information about you fear. Otherwise, they won’t change their behavior. It will just get worse. What was once a beautiful and free place to research information and even shop, such as the internet, has become a toxic environment in many ways. Employers are forcing people to open up their Facebook accounts. Governments are collecting anything and everything. In a matter of a few years the internet has become a very, very dangerous place in a way, and there are few if any laws protecting the users from abuses of oversight and corporate and governmental tyranny.

A “National Turn it Off” day. Just a thought. What would be a good day for a “Nation Turn it Off” day? Let’s hear your suggestions.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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It is interesting to note, particularly since we are involved in a debate here in the midwest over Voter ID. legislation, it is interesting to note that in two states, Kansas and Rhode Island, Voter ID. laws were enacted during Democratic administrations, not Republican, or conservative administrations of any kind for that matter. So the comment that it is only Republicans which seek Voter ID. legislation is patently false.

That very fact also negates the implication that Republicans or conservatives are somehow acting in a discriminatory fashion towards those groups which wish not to comply.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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I received a letter from The Libertarian Party on Monday evening “LP Chair: If We Want Better Health Insurance For All, Why Are We Making It Illegal?” which posed the question, why is health insurance so expensive in The United States? Previously I myself concluded that health care is so expensive in The United States due to the fact that we pay into several systems at once to include our own private insurance, then Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well. The administrative costs of having so many different systems is enormous, particularly when there are so many personnel involved who are not providing any health care services whatsoever, merely administering the paperwork, which must be tremendous under such a bureaucracy. The mere design of such a system is inefficient and no business would ever structure itself in such a manner.

I was interested to see another perspective on the matter as well. The Libertarian letter posed the question, if your auto insurance is designed to cover merely those events which are generally catastrophic or not ordinary, and not maintenance costs such as oil changes and so forth, then why does health insurance cover basic maintenance costs such as the annual physical visit or basic visits to the doctor? It was the contention of the letter from The Libertarian Party that it was that very fact, that health insurance covers the maintenance costs of health care and not just the catastrophic health events which makes health insurance so expensive in the first place. I think that observation makes a lot of sense, or at the very least deserves some consideration, and I wanted you to hear the Libertarian position, particularly since health care costs are slated to go up another twenty-five percent in the next two years, and it is in 2014 that Obamacare begins to take effect en masse.

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After hearing Republican after Republican call themselves “conservative” and then seeing them create larger and larger government, I think what we need in this country is a Zero Tolerance Litmus Test for Conservatives.

By zero tolerance I mean, “has anything the candidate done led to bigger government?” If so, then they simply don’t pass the Zero Tolerance Litmus Test as a “conservative.” And if elected after passing said test while in office their actions lead to larger government, then another more conservative candidate shall be selected.

One does not like to prevent the growth of beneficial programs by implementing across the board cuts to government, but severe taxes prevent the growth of the economy.

In 1951 a family of four paid two percent of their income in federal taxes. It is close to ten times that today, often more. And that is just federal taxes.

Copyright 2012 William Thien

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Recently in the news the subject of America being The World’s Police Force came up again and something occurred to me about the matter. And this really only pertains to the capacity of our military in reference to a “police force.”

Since due to its force structure The United States is really the only country eminently capable of handling military activity around the world, it would seem then that by default The United States should be “The World’s Police Force.” You would think it should almost be automatic.

The problem with that sentiment, and it is a good one, is that it costs a lot of money.

Ordinarily police are paid for with local, state, and federal tax dollars. And they work within the borders of our country so the costs associated with the police traveling to and from police calls is limited to the geographical area within which taxes are originated for their employment.

Once you start sending so-called “police forces” outside of The United States, they begin policing in an area where no taxes are accumulated for their efforts. In other words, they are working for free at the cost of The US taxpayer.

Now there can be no question that there may be benefits to seeing peace installed in certain areas of the world where US forces intervene, but sometimes, actually, more often lately it would seem, the costs are way beyond the benefits to the American tax payer.

So, the question is raised, how do we pay for such military interventions without bankrupting The American Public? Well, for example, in Iraq I believe we should have somehow acquired at the very least partial rights to the oil reserves, for example. This is just an example, of course, though I believe it would have been suitable compensation for the dollar costs of the war there.

What is important is that as a country The United States doesn’t bankrupt its citizenry running all around the world attempting to quell each and every conflict. At any given time there are somewhere in the vicinity of 150 military actions taking place throughout the world. And unless we are protecting some viable resources of our own, I believe we should proceed with greater caution in the future unless we can insure our efforts will be compensated directly with the express intent of paying for the military action.

Military activity is expensive. I see no reason why The United States should not be able to acquire payment for its efforts. Call it colonialism if you will. It is better than making The American public out to be a bunch of patsies. And they are quite good at doing just that with their public relations campaigns and parades of sympathizers.

Otherwise, often we are really just working, and more importantly sacrificing our sons and daughters, for nothing really. An idea perhaps. But do we really want to keep making such sacrifices for everyone else’s ideas?

The world becomes a smaller and smaller place now. It is one thing to stand by your neighbor. It is another thing entirely to be tricked into accepting his fate.

Copyright 2012 William Thien

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Several people have approached me today and asked why I was pointing out the fact that Republicans are missing the point on abortion and birth control? It goes against party politics it was suggested to disagree with such a major issue.

My response is this, throughout history mankind has concluded that before societies can take care of matters outside of their own affairs, they must first take care of their own realm, so to speak.

I see this matter as exactly that, a position which is primarily undoing the Republican Party and conservatism in general and which needs to be addressed directly, as it undermines a woman’s individual rights, with individual rights being primary to the foundation of The Republican Party and one of if not “the” primary characteristics of conservatism.

Since women vote, they should be accommodated in such regard as their own bodies. Otherwise, such a position will be to the continued peril of The Republican Party which likes to call itself “conservative,” a sanction which I believe a political party must earn, or at least maintain, and in said case which if examined thoroughly, one would see large increases in the size of government coming from Republican Administrations, which traditionally have claimed to be the harbinger of “small government.” In fact, “I am for smaller government” is a sort of mantra of The Republican Party whether it is contrary to what is actually accomplished.

If Republicans say abortion and birth control are illegal and it results in a large increase in unwed mothers seeking government assistance, which of course consequently drives up taxes, I believe then that Republicans disqualify themselves as “true conservatives” because their positions on birth control and abortion directly increase the size of government, dramatically, which is of course contrary to the policies of true conservatism.

That is all.

Carry on.

Copyright 2012 William Thien

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