William Thien

Archive for March 2017

Contact your Congress person and tell them you will not vote for them if they pass this Senate Bill allowing your Internet Service Provider to wholesale your personal information: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/03/senate-votes-to-let-isps-sell-your-web-browsing-history-to-advertisers/

What is really disturbing about this is that as a conservative, it’s the Republicans that keep writing this kind of legislation or regulatory change. This leads to the term I have for many Republicans, “big business robot frontmen.”

Maybe it’s time for conservatives to take care of their side of the aisle and start pulling the plug on the robots. If you ask me, allowing the ISP’s to sell information such as the surfing habits of your children and wives along with their most personal information is tantamount to a modern day atrocity in the internet age.

In the internet age privacy is everything.

You can contact your legislator through this link: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Here is an interesting statistic. The United States spends $3 Trillion annually on health care, more than 10 other wealthy nations, but has the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rate of the 10 wealthy nations: http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/USA-OBAMACARE/010040BL0Q1/index.html

If you look at the numbers, it would appear that both Italy and Spain are doing something right. Both are in the top five for longevity but their costs are way down compared to other countries with Italy in tenth place for cost and Spain in eleventh.

 

To me what is getting lost in all of this discussion about the possible wire tapping of The Trump Towers is that not only now that Trump is in The Whitehouse he doesn’t appear to have a complete understanding of the scope of surveillance upon the American public, the Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee is not communicating with Trump about potential capabilities.

In other words, how could President Trump now that he is in The White House not understand how surveillance of his team occurred? It’s happening to all of us all of the time. The entire country is under a blanket search warrant. Once called “The Patriot Act,” it’s now called “The USA Freedom Act” (really, I mean come on, The USA Freedom Act?) after The Patriot Act expired in 2015. The difference is that The NSA no longer stores all of the information from your phone calls and emails, texts. That is done by telecoms. That’s right. The phone companies are now keeping all of your information.

And that is why I concluded in my earlier observation on the matter that it was more likely that telecoms (telecommunications/phone companies) or the media were leaking information about The Trump Campaign rather than the government. If they are storing the information there is a pretty good chance they can access or someone else can access the information because in no way is it as secure as if were stored at The NSA.

If Trump does not know this, somebody isn’t doing their job very well, which is where Devin Nunes (R-CA) stepped in and that is probably why Adam Schiff is so upset. The Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, a Democrat, has conveniently neglected to apprise the current administration, which is Republican, of the true nature and capability of such matters.

For more information on this issue read the following two articles:

https://www.marketplace.org/2015/06/01/tech/patriot-acts-new-name

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/15/congress-pressures-fbi-reveal-any-trump-wiretap-info-graham/99203964/

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Preface: They say we have the best health care system in the world. Then why do the people in so many other countries live longer than here in The United States?

The Republicans in Congress are having trouble repealing Obamacare not because there aren’t enough Republican votes. The Republicans in Congress are having trouble repealing Obamacare because half of the Republicans in Congress aren’t Republicans. They are either corporate shills, what I have termed “big business robot frontmen,” in this case fronting for health care special interests, or they are just as socialist as the socialists on the other side of the aisle.

They’ve socialized the country for a particular reason.

I know people who are practically being bankrupted by the high deductibles and costly premiums from the insurance available on the exchanges created as a result of implementation of The ACA. Middles class workers usually don’t have $10,000 sitting around to cover the cost of deductibles and some of the plans I’ve heard of have $5,000 or $6,000 deductibles for individuals and more for families. Consequently, if they need some routine medical care, often costing thousands of dollars today now that health insurers have their hands so thoroughly in the care process, having to suddenly come up with that kind of money to cover the deductible is financially painful for a middle class family or individual.

I had thought originally the plan was to “repeal and deregulate” the sale of health insurance across state lines. That was the clarion call during the election that I heard. The idea was to open up competition on a national and even international scale so the health care consumer had more insurance choices. But then the tune changed immediately following the election and I haven’t heard that brass since.

The best quote I heard on the matter was from an interview on the evening news last night (NBC, CBS, or ABC, I don’t remember, I was switching between them). The quote was from an elderly grocer who said he voted for Trump because he was having trouble getting health care for his employees under the current scheme, and by the way, that’s what the ACA is, a “scheme.” The grocer said that watching congress screw the vote up on the repeal was something akin to ‘watching professional wrestlers duke it out in the ring and then meet for drinks in the tavern after the fight.’

We get it friend. Whether it is a majority Republican Congress or a majority Democrat, Congress is a sham.

Epilogue: They say we have the best health care system in the world. Then why do the people in so many other countries live longer than here in The United States?

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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I think it is possible but unlikely that some part of the government tapped the phones at The Trump Towers as is suspected, suspected due primarily to the amount of leakage of critical information, I am sure.

Rather, it is more likely that a media or telecommunications company tapped his phones if they were indeed tapped.

It is after all those types of organizations that do the economic forecasting constantly to determine profit potentials and it is quite possible they were trying to determine what the potential for a Trump presidency would be and how it might affect their bottom line. In the course of those events they accumulated a significant amount of actionable intelligence.

The media always have us focusing on an intrusive government. And to be sure we must be aware of governmental incursions into the private lives of the citizenry. But the government doesn’t have the resources that the privateers and corporations do, and it is my opinion that we must be just as conscious of what media and communications corporations that have direct access to your information are doing with our most private information. One only needs to surf the internet to have hundreds of corporations automatically start a file on you and then the sale of the information starts.

So to me it is more likely that a private entity tapped Trump Towers than the government. I could be wrong, but I’m just playing the odds in that regard.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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A debate should be had about claims of “Made in America” of globally sourced components. If a manufacturer can assemble something in The US that is made up of globally sourced components, should the manufacturer be allowed to put The American Flag on their product?

Many think not and I’m inclined to agree with them. Often all it takes is for one part of the “globally sourced” components to fail and then the product is useless.

It’s better to simply just buy foreign products from a county of your choosing in that case as you are not being misled in a sense by the big display of The American flag with the small print “of globally sourced components.”

If a manufacturer wants to put The American flag on their product that is assembled of globally sourced products, maybe they should be required to put all of the flags of the countries from where their product’s components originate and put those flags right next to the American flag since many people can no longer read.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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