William Thien

Archive for November 2015

Now that the holiday season is upon us I want to remind everyone not to forget the less fortunate, those who serve the country and our communities, and also to consider the natural future of our planet and its environment. The following are some organizations that I support regularly or volunteer with that could use your support, too.

You may donate by clicking directly on the links in this text.
In no particular order, here they are:

The USO https://secure.uso.org/?sc=WEBDONTRIL  Supporting the morale, welfare, and recreation of troops around the world and helping them stay connected.

Paralyzed Veterans of America http://www.SupportVeterans.org  A great organization dedicated to serving veterans suffering from spinal injuries.

Disabled American Veterans http://www.dav.org  DAV will help you get to the VA for medical visits or complete paperwork associated with VA claims and specializes in working with veterans injured in combat.

Homes for Our Troops  http://hfotusa.org is an organization with an excellent goal, “To build mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veterans Post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives.”

I have worked as a volunteer on one of these homes doing general things, handing roofing shingles up to the roofers, carrying wood to work locations, that kind of thing. They always need people. You can see if there is a home scheduled to be built in your area and volunteer by visiting their website.

Audubon http://www.audubon.org/  One of the most active organizations in seeing that our natural world is monitored and conserved. The Audubon Society does some incredible things when it comes to helping to restore and conserve natural environments. Take your kids to an Audubon Conservation Center for a guided hike and you will see what I mean.

The International Crane Foundation
https://www.savingcranes.org/  Eleven of the fifteen crane species face extinction, eleven of the fifteen species!

And don’t forget about your local food pantry. There is one in every town.

William Thien

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Having been employed in the past as an intelligence analyst and also having traveled to Hungary during the month of October of this year (2015) in another capacity, I believe I can comment on this matter with at the very least a modest level of authority.

This is an observation about something that has not quite been realized in the midst of all the reporting on terrorist activity lately.

In late September and early October it was reported that Hungary was closing its border with countries to its south as refugees flooded in. The reasoning given was that many of the refugees were undocumented and or traveling with false papers acquired from illegal sources acquired along the way in order to facilitate their entry into the EU.

Much of Europe was up in arms over Hungary’s decision to close its borders, suggesting some form of overt fascism, racism, or xenophobia that must be addressed through sanctions. EU countries were scheduling votes on political actions to be taken. Hungary was facing political isolation from many member countries of the EU.

Now that Paris has suffered numerous attacks it doesn’t seem like such an irrational or hate inspired move on Hungary’s part to have closed its borders while everyone else cried foul, does it?

It raises the question, had Hungary not closed its borders when it did, would the damage to Paris have been much worse and what is still in store for the rest of The EU?

Copyright © William Thien 2015

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As I write about some of the larger robber barons and consider the plight of the middle classes, something occurs to me about those profiteers who derive most of their revenue and profit through their alignment with funds coming from government social programs, medical programs, rent support (I’m not talking about the guy who owns a few rental properties and makes a decent living, I’m talking about the massive real estate concerns), government subsidy, appropriations and seemingly on ad infinitum. It is not that there isn’t a need for such business-government relationships, but to make profound changes to the tax code and the structure of social programs, enlarging them for the very reason of increasing profit, well that raises some significant questions.

There is a distinction between those profiteers and those of us who believe in the derivation of revenue from sales and service to the public primarily. Those who derive the predominance of their revenue through alignment with funding from social programs are difficult to distinguish from authoritarian or elite socialists and in the case of those multi-billionaires and the like who profit primarily from taxes derived for government programs, that would then make them “Super-Socialists” in a sense and ultimately no different from those who profited thoroughly from any advantageous position during the time of the Soviet Union, for example. Then, it was called corruption in The Soviet Union. Today, here and in the rest of the western world, it has been mislabeled “good business practice.”

And if we are to consider the tax code and how it directly affects the middle classes unfavorably, we must not forget that there is a reason for it and people behind the tax code’s structure, people, many to which I have just enumerated by definition who lobby for this condition and align with the elected. They are what I call the “Super-Socialists.”

Copyright © William Thien 2015

Don’t forget to read my books! Just click on the link I’ve provided to Amazon and it will take you right to my page. Sales of my books are how I pay for all of this. The Kindle version is only $1.00! You can buy my books at Amazon.com

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. Or if you don’t want to offer your email address, click on the “Follow” button midway down the page. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

Conservatives have known since Trump’s entry into the presidential race that he is a close confidant of billionaire Carl Icahn.

In a recent Reuters article it was disclosed Icahn has been counseling Trump that comprehensive tax reform is unlikely to pass Congress and that Trump should focus on  economic growth rather than trying to shrink the government.

While stating the obvious may seem like a solution, or focusing on economic growth, shrinking the government is at the forefront of most Republican platforms. None of the GOP candidates believe the country should dismantle infrastructure or the maintenance thereof or downsize the military, what Republican candidates are focusing on and if they are not they should be focusing on it is the massive abuses of social systems and sloppy oversight and maintenance of the social safety net which so many people in the country now use as an avocation, in many cases it is believed, generation after generation, while the middle class suffers under the burden of massive taxation, a burden which the very wealthy such as Carl Icahn and the very poor, escape primarily through the tax code.

Naturally Carl Icahn does not want comprehensive tax reform. He likely benefits substantially from the tax code.

Carl Icahn, like many of the very wealthy, is treated differently by the tax code. Furthermore, many of the very wealthy profit substantially from a business alignment with some form of government social program, rent assistance (real estate moguls profit from it), medical assistance (large medical concerns profit from it), government appropriations (anyone who sells to the government), you name it. That list goes on and on. Naturally people like Icahn do not want to see a downsizing of the government, they are lined up at the government trough at both ends, at the profit source and at tax time. Yet you and I cannot do that.

When Icahn says the government should incentivize business, what he is saying is, hey, we think the government should give business more money. That may not be a bad choice, but we should not forget that the money the government will be giving those businesses is really taxpayer dollars, and maybe it is better if we have a business environment where businesses actually structure themselves in a way where they get off of the backs of taxpayers rather than line up at the front doors to their homes with outstretched hands. The government already does a pretty good job of that and maybe that should be the extent of that behavior, the privy of the government primarily. Allowing corporate American to restructure that behavior would not bode well for the taxpayer. I am pro-business, but there must be ethical considerations when addressing how the public is treated by the tax code in that respect. Corporate America is likely much more efficient at creating revenue streams than the government which is one reason why American business is so effective and thankfully so.

Ultimately Icahn is making a classist statement, though it is not the “rich against the poor,” the “haves against the have nots,” what Icahn’s statement refers to is more of a slight towards the middle classes, those who carry the burden of the country on their backs in the form of taxation and price. Essentially what Icahn is saying is, those stupid bastards can’t figure their way out of the hole we’ve dug for them, so let’s continue to bury to them. Icahn is saying, it’s a no-brainer, Donald.

If Candidate Trump is seeking advice as apparently he does from Icahn, I would advise him at this point to tell Carl Icahn the next time he calls that he is busy right now and he will call him back when he gets a chance and then forget he ever received the called in the first place. At once Trump may still be a viable candidate.

As conservatives, let us then take note that Trump may be in alignment with Icahn as the campaign moves forward.

Copyright © William Thien 2015
 

Don’t forget to read my books! Just click on the link I’ve provided to Amazon and it will take you right to my page. Sales of my books are how I pay for all of this. The Kindle version is only $1.00! You can buy my books at Amazon.com

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. Or if you don’t want to offer your email address, click on the “Follow” button midway down the page. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

I’ve been reading quite a few anti-public education editorials and negative articles lately, and it’s getting my attention, I have to admit.

I’m a product of public schools myself and I have a lot of friends that are teachers or public school administrators.

Students in urban areas are usually the subject but I see negative articles about kids in the burbs and farm country and usually the subject focuses on graduation rates and scholastic performance. But what the journalists almost always seem to do is to focus on public education failures and never, hardly ever, on public education successes.

Where I reside, the urban school districts often have schools that fall within the top five schools in the state and for some time have been the subject of national news magazines as examples of successful educational institutions, performing much better than many if not all private schools.

So, what’s up with all of the negative coverage of public education?

I’ve concluded it’s this. The socialists who write for the newspapers and media love to talk about new educational programs and new methodologies to improve scholastic performance, because, well, that’s what it’s all about, improving schools.

But those same socialists are just like the guy who sits down with the salesman at the car lot and says yes, I want that, and yes, I want that on my new car, and yeah, I’ll take that, too. And when he sees what the bill will be, he realizes, whoa, I’ve overspent. I’m going to have to work a little harder to make that car payment and I don’t wanna work any harder because I’m a freakin’ socialist. Get it?

Yeah, yeah, we got it.

Socialist journalists are in a sense like tire kickers. They want all the bells and whistles, free this, free that, free free free with confetti and streamers and flabby arms flailing about in wild excitement, “oh my, isn’t this exciting!” But when it comes time to pay up, tax time, they try to find whatever they can that’s wrong with the car and then they want to walk away (I like to shop for cars on Sundays, by the way, when there are no salesmen on the lot, but I never kick the tires. Nope. And I haggle just like everyone else on the price).

Public education works. But there is a constant pull at the purse strings which fund public education from in my opinion those who in one breath say we need more support programs and more after school programs and free this and free that and when the tax bill comes, they freak out and go negative. In my opinion, that’s what explains a certain amount of the negative coverage by the media of public education, right up through college level. Free is good, until you have to pay for it. And it’s those same socialists asking for everything free that in the next breath are saying public education doesn’t work. You don’t hear conservatives asking for free everything.

One other observation. Parents like to think, hey, I don’t pay myself for taking care of my children, why should I have to pay someone else? My kids are great. Maybe we can get it for free? Yeah, well it doesn’t work that way. That’s what is called “a harebrained socialist scheme.” People need to eat and they need more than ramen. Parents also think that the money they receive in the form of a tax break (a tax break they receive even though they use more government services when they send their little tax breaks to school, public or voucher schools for that matter), they think the tax breaks they get for dependents grow on trees. The tax breaks are from the magical tax break fountain. Uh, wrong. People have to pay for those tax breaks. It comes from someone, usually someone like me with no tax breaks or deductions whatsoever aside from the standard BS (ahem, basic single) deduction.

Hi there.

Perhaps the socialists should have listened when their teacher told them to be quiet in class.

How about a car program for socialists? We’ll call it, the stripper lot. You gotta shop there if you are a socialist (even though that’s probably where most conservatives shop when they are looking for their first car because they are more cost conscious, knowing they will have to pay for the car themselves). Because pie-in-the-sky socialists usually don’t intend to pay for anything anyway because they don’t really know where the money is coming from because socialist money grows on trees and stuff like that, so why should they get all the bells and whistles?

It’s time to fund public education instead of trying to dismantle it. It’s worked for 200 years and it still works today.

Note: And many will say, well it was conservatives who started “voucher” schools. My response is, I think it is a valid response to “free everything!”

Finally, this is not really my type of subject material, it’s just that I’ve been reading so much negativity towards pubic education lately I had to write something. So I’m only going to keep this observation up for a day or two.

Copyright © William Thien 2015

My analysis of the Milwaukee Republican Debate is that the candidates upped their game. The candidates seemed to have gained substantially more traction with regard to platform and message. But there is still quite a bit of tip-toeing around the issues of wealth redistribution and an overly complex tax code that is unfair to large swaths of the middle class in various groups.

Those candidates that discussed control of certain corporate behaviors had my attention. The discussion of flat taxes is very appealing to me as well. At this point there are three candidates I would vote for using my personal scoring, all of them male candidates whose names I will refrain from mentioning here. My scoring included response time to questions and accusations and supporting arguments as well as temperament.

Also, though I probably would not vote for her at this point I must admit beyond the three male candidates I chose that are basically tied using my scoring system, I am somewhat partial to Carly Fiorina due to her leadership of a major tech company in an age where tech is everywhere. To me this indicates that she would be able to leverage her knowledge and experience when it comes to working with federal agencies that deal with such subjects as computer hacking and so forth and she would have a good hold on legislation involving the same. In other words, she is not ignorant about the subject of the internet age whereas some candidates clearly are so. I have written that I believe the internet is still in its infancy, much like the television was for fifty years, and to me someone who can address internet issues with experience and clarity will be of great use to The United States. Though, that is not all of what The US is about, it is significant and any leadership that can keep the US out in front of the development of internet technologies and regulation will be useful. Fiorina also offers a suitable counter-candidate to the “enemy,” whoops, I mean “competition” if this is going to be an election about gender politics and not general issues that effect us all.

Finally, I think Milwaukee is the ideal venue for such a debate. For some reason the candidates seemed to be more motivated and their responses more on message. There is something stifling I believe to the political process when the debates are held on the east coast, in Washington D.C., or California. The candidates seem to be subject to too many influences. It could be the D.C. effect.

Now we will have to wait and see if the Democrats shine like the Republicans when the Democrats visit Milwaukee for their debate in 2016.

Copyright © William Thien 2015

Don’t forget to read my books! Just click on the link I’ve provided to Amazon and it will take you right to my page. Sales of my books are how I pay for all of this. The Kindle version is only $1.00! You can buy my books at Amazon.com

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. Or if you don’t want to offer your email address, click on the “Follow” button midway down the page. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

I only had three sets of little goblins come to my door this Halloween. It had been raining rather thoroughly all day and the trick or treaters must have stayed in.

After tossing a twenty-five cent piece into the little orange plastic jack-o-lantern basket of one diminutive vampire, I received an inquisitive look from his partner, a fairy princess I believe she was. So I tossed a quarter into her basket. And with a shrugging of the shoulders or a flapping of the wings or whatever those things were, they flew off.

The next trick or treater showed up with his mom and I said to her, “I only have quarters. I’m giving them quarters.” She said that was fine. He can learn to save some money, then.

I said to her, “good idea.” But it wasn’t the reason I was handing out quarters, something I’ve been doing for a couple of years, now. No, my motives are more selfish than that, I must admit.

I think it’s great that kids can learn to save by collecting money during trick or treat. But the reason I give out quarters is that the country is becoming ever more socialized with each day and each election and this next presidential election seems to be going that way as well.

And what that means is it is quite possible in short order we should expect to see completely socialized medicine, something entirely different than the Affordable Care Act.

And that means I’m going to have to pay more in taxes to cover those costs to pay for that socialized medicine when it comes to be.

So, here is my logic about giving out the quarters: if I contribute to the tooth decay and obesity of the little goblins by giving them candy, in a few years I’m going to have to pay for that in terms of taxes when it comes time to pay for the socialized medical care and dental care that resulted from eating that chewy, gooey goodness we Americans call candy. Because if one of those socialist candidates masquerading as a Democrat gets elected we are probably going to see real socialized medicine, you know the kind where they get rid of medical insurers altogether and you have no choice about where you go for health care. To me, tossing the gremlins a quarter on Halloween is money well spent rather than giving them something that will rot their teeth and give them coronary illness later in life.

That’s my logic behind giving the rascals quarters.

Being that I only had three visits from munchkins during trick or treat, I’d say that’s $1.25 that was well spent! Had I given them candy bars, when they combine that with all of the other chewy, cavity yanking candy they pirated from my neighbors, that can do some damage to teeth and cost you and I a lot more further on down the road.

Besides, I did the math and even those little candy bars can cost as much as a quarter, some even more. I’m doing the math a lot lately. Maybe I should forget about the math. Maybe I should just let the socialists take over, enter into a complete state of ignorance, and turn the country in no time at all into a “real” communist hole.

Ignorance is bliss, as the saying goes. Until you have to wait in line for a loaf of bread and another for your butter. And you can forget about the candy. And clothing. And cars. And working electronics. And the list goes on and on.

Copyright © William Thien 2015

Don’t forget to read my books! Just click on the link I’ve provided to Amazon and it will take you right to my page. Sales of my books are how I pay for all of this. The Kindle version is only $1.00! You can buy my books at Amazon.com

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. Or if you don’t want to offer your email address, click on the “Follow” button midway down the page. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.


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