William Thien

Archive for the ‘Essays and Social and Political Commentary’ Category

This is a reprint of an observation published in 2018

The problem with a political system that caters primarily to two parties, in America’s case it is the Democrats and the Republicans, is that the public loses out, almost always.

Though the two parties as I’ve mentioned appear to be in opposition, it is in fact the opposing actions of the two parties that is most damaging to the rights of the American public.

The two opposing parties constantly working against each other, as they will to gain superiority over the other, create a pincering or scissoring effect upon the public like the two opposing cutting blades of a scissors, coming together on each issue, slicing at it and simultaneously shearing away at the constitutional rights of the American public simply so that the parties can win an election or maintain control of the elected body.

What is the solution? I think it is necessary to have a strong third party come on line, a 3rd party that prevents the shearing away of the constitutional rights of the American public simply for political party gain. It must be done before what remains of the constitution is left in little shreds and snippets of scissored paper on the capital floor that nobody can piece back together once the damage is done.

Copyright © William Thien 2018

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All week I’ve been seeing and hearing explanations by the media that video games are not the cause of the mass shootings and that there is no correlation between mass shootings and video games. And when I talk about “video” games here I am referring to what are called “first-person shooter” games where someone is using a video game controller of some form or computer mouse as the actionable weapon used to kill in a video game.

One report said that kids in Great Britain play video games as much as US kids and they don’t have the same violent tendencies and shoot up the place all of the time. The report of course neglected to mention that citizens are generally not able to have guns in most places in Europe and that gun ownership is highly restricted and expensive, to the point even that if you own guns you have to store them in a common location and you can’t have them in your own home. My response is obvious, that you can’t have a “correlation” if the variables and constants are not the same. But much of the viewing public bought it I’m sure as they don’t have the time to examine the issue closely enough, which of course was the intention of running slanted story in the first place, misdirection.

I think with video games and mass shootings, much like the correlation between money and crime where an investigator of white collar crime will tell you to follow the money, in the case of video games instead of following the money you need to follow the wires, and the wires are usually hooked up to a video game controller and to the television. Follow the wires.

There’s your answer as to why the media is telling you that there is no correlation. There is in fact a direct, physical connection to the mass media and thereby a correlation. Not only is there a correlation, the line between the video game fantasy killing and the reality mass shooting stories in the news is completely blurred as the gamer goes seamlessly from the one medium, the video game, to the other, the television, with the touch of the button on a remote.

The video games train the kids to kill not unlike a military simulator and the television rewards them with images of real mass murders not unlike Pavlov and his dogs. Eventually, the gamers start to fantasize about killing in reality and can no longer control their actions and begin searching for a reason to rationalize their actions. Obviously it doesn’t take much by that point. The killing is in the news, it is in the video games, and it is in the movies. The gamers don’t see anything else. They are immersed in it. They begin crave it. It was declared an addiction by the World Health Organization. That should tell you something. The WHO considers video game addiction a disease. What do you mean there is no correlation?

Yes, there IS a direct correlation between video games and mass shootings. The media, often sharing ownership of the companies that make the video games, are likely concerned about a clever attorney or lots of them coming along and beginning some sort of class action lawsuit that will be expensive to defend and settle.

Which is of course why there is no correlation between first-person shooter video games and mass murders, if you know what I mean.

Follow the wires.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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One of the disappointing aspects of the legalization of marijuana at the state level and not the federal level is that banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are unable to accept funds from businesses that are involved in the sale and production of the marijuana that is grown and sold in states where marijuana is legal.

In other words, if you are in the business of growing or selling marijuana, you can only transact business in cash and you are not eligible to bank your proceeds or to obtain capital (loans) or any of the other services banks and other financial institutions provide.

But at the same time, the big three automakers and other American industrialists through the guise of NAFTA can have their cars manufactured and assembled in countries such as Canada or Mexico where marijuana is legal or has been decriminalized.

To me that demonstrates a complete disregard for the will of the people by our elected.

There’s more.

Not only do Americans lose those manufacturing jobs to corporations that utilize the labor of countries that have legalized marijuana, our own country enforces draconian laws upon our citizenry and makes it easier for them to lose those jobs to Canada and Mexico at the same time.

If that does not typify a form of political betrayal by our elected on the most grand scale upon the entire country, I don’t know what does.

It is time to legalize marijuana in America.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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One of the most important tools in a politician’s toolbox is the “single” issue. Single issues are issues that cause a voter to toss everything else significant to them out the door when making a decision about who to vote for, casting their ballot in favor of the candidate that supports the voter’s favored single issue. Single issues motivate voters and divide the electorate at the same time.

I believe the following three issues will be at the forefront of the 2020 presidential election and candidates running for office at all levels that neglect these issues will suffer at the ballot box. Here the issues are in no particular order since they are all important to one group of voters or another:

  1. Abortion rights – an obvious choice as Republicans currently around the country are busy writing laws that restrict a woman’s options, infuriating the female voter, while the Republicans are in the legislative majority in many states.
  2. Gun rights – another obvious choice as liberal legislatures are restricting gun rights in states where Democrats are in the majority. This is a movement that is gaining momentum as the leading organization lobbying for gun rights, The NRA, has suffered from financial improprieties and related scandals. The NRA even lost my own renewal payment and when I provided proof from my credit card statement that I paid for two renewals in the same year, I never heard from them again. Go figure they are having problems.
  3. National marijuana legalization and related criminal record expungement. This in my opinion is the game changer of the three significant “single” issues I list here. Why? By the time of the 2020 election it is believed that as many as 15 states will have legalized adult recreational use at the state level. Currently there are eleven (11) states that have legalized adult recreational usage already with 33 states allowing medical marijuana usage. Ninety percent of the country now has legal access to some form of marijuana yet the federal government is still grasping at the public’s neck on the issue. The big three automakers and other large industrialists can have their cars and supplies manufactured in Canada or Mexico where marijuana is legal or decriminalized and sell their products here, yet Americans lose those related jobs, and still the big three automakers and other manufacturers who have offshored their production to Canada and Mexico fight against your right to use marijuana. Furthermore, huge numbers of people have a criminal record for non-violent marijuana possession. There are a number of viable bills designed to legalize marijuana usage at the federal level and expunge the records of those who were caught using marijuana. Numerous presidential candidates from The Democratic Party have publicly come out in favor of such legislation. To my knowledge no Republican presidential candidates favor such legislation, yet a substantial majority of the public thinks marijuana should be legal. This tells me the Republicans are out of touch with the voter.

If you do the math two of the major “single” issues, abortion rights and legislation legalizing marijuana at the national level, favor The Democrats as gun rights is a single issue favored by voters that vote primarily for Republicans.

I myself favor the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use. The widespread panic and moral breakdown of society many Republicans and some skittish Democrats in office said would happen upon legalization in states where marijuana has been legalized has not materialized. In fact, quite the opposite has happened as the states take in huge sums of revenue they can use for infrastructure improvements and social programs. Correspondingly, where adult and medical use is legalized, usage among adolescents goes down, too.

Fear is a powerful motivator. A similar method, the installation of fear was used by Democrats during the wave which legalized concealed carry across the country that installed Republicans in office who favored concealed carry, a movement which happened in hundreds of elections at both the state and federal level during the last ten years.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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When a large majority of the population and so many states favor marijuana legalization yet the federal government remains steadfast in its prohibitionist stance, that indicates we are governed by an authoritarian state, not a body of duly elected officials, and when our elected officials are unable to control the actions of the government to which they are elected, the aforementioned authoritarian state, that indicates a dysfunctional democracy. Americans live in a dysfunctional democracy.

Why have federal elections in the first place?

(Term limits)

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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Here is an interesting question: If marijuana is so bad for the population, why are American manufacturers of big ticket items such as automobiles and washing machines sending a majority of their production to countries where marijuana is legal such as Canada or Mexico and then selling those products to us here while restricting our use of marijuana?

Now that’s a good question.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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I believe I have a right to discuss this matter as it was my idea delivered to the Senate regarding the best reason for a bailout of the auto industry, something I lobbied for and have gained nothing from. I stated to the entire Senate through correspondence to include my Senator at the time, Senator Kohl (D-WI) that were America to become involved in another world war, America would need the industrial infrastructure of the big three automakers to ramp up production, something done during World War II to great effect. After Washington hemmed and hawed for days suddenly the bailout was approved. I have since applied for work at the big three and have heard nothing. I am justified in the following:

Some would have us think that the only inequalities in America regarding marijuana involve racial inequalities and I would agree that they are egregious. But there are many other inequalities you never hear about. Here are a few them with more to follow.

  1. The big three automakers can have their cars manufactured in Canada and Mexico where marijuana is legal or has been decriminalized and sell those cars here in America but marijuana is still illegal in America and the big three automakers will fight your right to use marijuana, too.
  2. Many in American industry are against legalization of marijuana because they believe it will effect production due to employees smoking marijuana while at work. But American industrialists have no problem utilizing parts and supplies made in Canada or Mexico where marijuana usage is legal and or decriminalized. Yet still the industrialist and the big three automakers will fight your right to use marijuana. NAFTA.
  3. The seat of America’s federal government resides in The District of Columbia where adult marijuana usage is legal but usage for regular Americans throughout the rest of the country is still not legal. Makes you wonder if that is why congress spends more time in Washington, now?
  4. American industry can have complete products or component parts made in countries where marijuana is legal and sell those products here in The United States and receive full favorable consideration regarding tax law from the federal government yet legitimate producers of medicinal and recreational marijuana where it is legal at the state level are subject to punitive tax laws at the federal level.

More to follow.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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