William Thien

Archive for May 2016

This evening a particular news broadcast on PBS attempted to address what some are calling negative stereotyping of “Hispanics” in America as a result of The Trump campaign.

After the piece concluded you would think that Hispanics are all little angels and the economy could not run without them. That may or may not be true. But that’s not what this observation is about.

During the newscast former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros was interviewed and he referred to Hispanics as “Latinos.” A businessman named Trujillo was also interviewed and he used different language.

After the news piece concluded the PBS Newshour used different language, referring to Latinos as “Hispanics.”

Trump, who started this entire dialogue if you want to call it that, was speaking expressly about “Mexicans” if I’m not mistaken, not the broader and less defined category of “Hispanics” or “Latinos.” Trump’s comments early on in his campaign were directed at illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico.

You would conclude after listening to Cisneros and Trujillo on the Newshour that Trump had directed his commentary at all those who speak Spanish, but I don’t think that’s the case actually, though it was clear that Cisneros and Trujillo would rather it appeared that way.

Trump was referring specifically to large numbers of gang members and criminals originating from Mexico and bringing drugs and crime to America and crossing the border at leisure.

That’s what Trump is referring to in his comments. That’s what the wall he will be building is meant to address,  if I’m not mistaken. I keep saying “if I’m not mistaken” because it seems to me now that massive attempts are being made to muddy the waters as to what Trump is referring to in his comments and it is clear to me that Trump is referring to gang members and criminals originating from Mexico, not “Hispanics” and “Latinos” as the cited experts Cisneros and Trujillo would have us believe.

Anyone who has seen movies coming out of Hollywood can attest to the romanticized criminal lifestyles of “Hispanic” and “Latino” (or maybe they are Mexican) drug cartels illustrated in Hollywood movies, movies often directed, produced, or written by “Hispanics,” “Latinos,” and or “Mexicans” about how romantic their criminal lifestyles actually are and designed in my opinion to spread fear in the American public about such cartels. Maybe that was what Trump is referring to in his comments, the fear.

Maybe what Trump is referring to in his comments is based entirely on what he sees in Hollywood movies.

Or maybe what Trump is referring to are the huge numbers of drug murders, tens of thousands, south of the border and in the desert southwest of America as well as in your city or American town that has large numbers of Hispanics or Latinos, to which were the country without it was suggested tonight that the economy would collapse, regardless of the direct effect on the quality of American life otherwise, the loss of good paying jobs to illegals that work for cash under the table (like nobody cares) and then don’t pay income taxes but somehow are still eligible for government services (like nobody cares). WTF?

Maybe that’s what Trump was referring to in his comments.

Do ya think? Do you really think that’s what Trump’s comments are all about? Do you really think that? Really?

Hispanic, Latino, or Mexican, then? Which one is it?

Because I do believe there is a problem with the language that was used. I really do believe that. But after hearing the references made by the so-called authorities tonight on Hispanics, Latinos, and of course Mexicans, I’m not so sure the problem is as clearly defined as those who blame Trump for starting the whole thing.

In fact it’s not so clear to me that Trump started the whole thing in the first place.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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During the previous presidential election cycle Mitt Romney made the remark that corporations are “people.” This was a surprise to many in the public, but it is true. From the standpoint of the tax code and corporate law, corporations are treated as people.

As a staunch conservative and a recent graduate of one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the country I probably shouldn’t say this, but the problem with “corporations as people” is that the “people” many corporations portray are bullies and sociopaths and those corporate “people” often display the most anti-social, psychopathic behaviors, demonstrating complete disregard for the environment or treating The American Public and employees like chattel.

I think the big disconnect when it comes to understanding that corporations are treated like “people” by the law arises when there is the realization that were certain corporations truly “people,” those figurative corporate-people would be locked up or worse, dead by now were those corporations truly, really “people.”

I should also state here that I am not calling for any generalized reform. I think the system of regulation works quite well in most cases. I am merely explaining the motivation of a particular group of voters during this presidential election cycle.

To me this is one reason Bernie Sanders is doing so well against Hillary Clinton. His followers have reached a similar conclusion.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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Last year one of my favorite sports personalities came clean about his use of “performance enhancing drugs.” It was a big deal in the media.

To me what was really disturbing about the episode, though, was not so much that he used steroids, or whatever he was using, but that almost immediately a regional convenience store and gasoline chain dropped its endorsement of the guy.

At first I suppose you could say, “Well, I guess he had it coming to him.”

But at the time the price of gasoline was well over $3 a gallon, closer to $4 a gallon, and it had remained at that level for several years.

It occurred to me that the convenience store chain’s move to drop their endorsement of the guy was a bit hypocritical.

Here they were raising the price of gasoline when someone sneezed in a foreign country or when the weather changed one way or the other (they used both as excuses), or when there was a tropical storm in some other part of the world, or when one single fuel truck somewhere ran off the road, or when some politician was caught for infidelity, or when some little war somewhere flared up, or when the seasons changed, or when there was a holiday and people were traveling, or when global warming was announced, then climate change, then it was determined that global warming might not happen, then only when climate change happened some times, then when baby boomers started retiring, when some volcano somewhere fired up, when it flooded somewhere, when there was a drought, when it snowed, when it rained, when the sun was shining, on cloudy days, when birds started migrating, when the birds returned, and the list goes on and on.

Here and everywhere else the gasoline station/convenience store chain was giving it pretty thoroughly to everyone up the you know what along with all of the others who sell gasoline and totally mucking up the economy, eating up everyone’s discretionary income, and THEY, yes THEY were dropping the endorsement of some guy who used performance enhancing drugs so he looked a little better on the field.

I tell you what!

Why don’t they take the ethanol out of my gasoline because that definitely doesn’t enhance the performance of my car and it is driving up the cost of food, too. Why don’t they stop adding water to the gasoline? That would help, particularly at this time of year. And take all of those varnish type solutions out of the gasoline so I can store it for a couple of years like I used to be able to do. If you ask me, America’s fuel supply could use some “performance enhancements” itself, particularly now that the price of gasoline though down recently is going right back up.

Needless to stay I stopped buying my gasoline from that convenience store chain.

Copyright © William Thien 2015

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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

 


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