The Cookie Tree

When I was stationed over in Japan, I worked 12 hour days.  When I got home, I wanted to rest.  I had no desire to read to my sons, 6 and 2.  Yet my wife insisted on it.  She gave me a Sesame Street book and said, “Read it.”

So I did.  It was a little book.  I guess it was about 40 pages.  Pictures filled about half of each page.  Yet I had a very difficult time finishing it.  You see, the boys started laughing, which of course, caused me to laugh.  So needless to say, the progress was slow.

The book was about a witch that didn’t want the Cookie Monster getting her cookies off of her tree, the one that grew cookies.  So she cast a spell on the tree keeping anyone from getting the cookies.  To her dismay, she found out the spell worked so good she was unable to get any of the cookies either, no matter how hard she tugged at them.

Actually, that’s about all I remember of the book.  I’m not even sure of the ending.  This much I am sure of.  I should have read to the boys far more often.  It is one of my great regrets.  Maybe you can learn from it.  Maybe you can get your kids to put down their electronic games for a few minutes each day so that you can read to them.  They just might enjoy it more than the game and you might enjoy it more than they do.  Even as they get older, there are some good books to read to read to them.  (Lassie, Come Home was one of my favorites.  Johnnie Tremain was good too, and patriotic.)

Even more, it just might add to those nice memories you want to hold onto.  Maybe it will help you let go of the bad ones.

As a side note, you might take a lesson from the story about the witch.  You might not want to cast a spell on your cookie tree.

My Mistake?

I made a mistake. I know. It is a big disappointment for you.

Before I explain what the mistake was, let me take a minute to repeat a story I heard from the late news and commentator, Paul Harvey. It seems there was an armed bank thief that decided to hold up a bank one afternoon. He walked up to a teller, handed her a note and pointed a gun at her. To his dismay, she broke into a hard laugh. Finally, the confused would-be thief turned to see the reason for her outburst. The lobby was full of men pointing guns at him. You see, the would-be thief chose to rob the bank across the street from the local FBI office. Worse yet, it was payday.

Yeah, you can file that one in the really dumb criminal file. One would think that even a dumb thief would know better than that. After all, the building was well labeled. I don’t know how FBI agents are paid; maybe it’s twice a month or maybe once. It might have been the first of the month or the fifteenth. Then again it might have been the last day of the month. Then too, it might have been Fridays. Regardless, if you have plans on holding up a bank anywhere near any law enforcement office, you might want to check on normal paydays.

Not that it matters much to the story or my mistake, but the guy just might get away with it today. Most everyone has a direct deposit these days. I know I do. The fact is, tellers are getting kind of rare. Between ATM’s and electronic banking, there isn’t nearly the need for tellers. The place I go rarely has more than two tellers, one on the drive through.

At any rate back to my mistake. I should have gone to Yale or Harvard. I have recently learned it is quite easy to graduate from one or the other or both. Then I could have gone on and become a lawyer.

I am sure you are confused. You likely think it is difficult to graduate from these well known institutes of higher learning. Some of you may have even gone to one or the other of these universities and found it difficult. I simply can’t understand why anyone should have any difficulty at all.

Let me refer you to my story of the dumb thief, a criminal incapable of putting two thoughts together. He too could have graduated from one of the Ivy League establishments. He certainly has something in common with some of the graduates. I would expect that the former director and assistant director of the FBI likely went to one of these most respected schools. Then too, Agent strozyk and his lover each other likely have law degrees, though they might have had to settle for a less respectable college. Either way, someone should have told them about emails and the internet. After all, they did use emails. I think the dumb bank robber would have known better than that. Then there is the agent who is identified only as FBI agent 2.

Then, of course there is Hillary. I understand she has a law degree too. Boy! Did she do some dumb stuff. Fact is, she should be wearing one of those orange jump suits. She would be if real FBI agents investigated her. Then too, I guess it would also take a mediocre prosecutor. If it weren’t for the need of a law degree, anyone who finished his first year of law school would do.

They all believed they were going to get away with it. Then again, they never in the world figured that Hillary was going to lose the election. It was supposed to be a slam dunk. Now, if I might use the politically incorrect phrase, they just might be in heap big trouble.

…and, by the way, the colleges that they graduated from, they just might want to do what they can to disown them. Then again, maybe not. Given what they teach nowadays, they just might be real proud of them. If that is true, I don’t guess I made a mistake after all. I just thought I did. I don’t think I would want to tell anyone that I graduated from Harvard. I don’t think I would want anyone thinking I am that dumb. (If you graduated from any of these schools, you might want to hide or rid yourself of anything that remind you of it.)

Windows, Doors and Walls

Walls are wonderful things.  I have no idea when the first one was made, but it was likely well before recorded history.  Nonetheless, they do serve a number of really neat purposes.

They do provide protection, in many ways.  They protect us from the weather, ravenous wild animals, from humans that mean us harm and, of course, to some degree unwelcome relatives.

They also provide us with some degree of privacy.  They allow us to live four feet from our neighbor and still keep him or her from seeing or hearing us.  Then again, maybe you live in a condo or apartment.  The walls still provide some privacy, just not as much.

Walls have been built to keep invaders away.  The most famous of such walls, of course, is The Great Wall of China.  Some walls are better for this purpose than others.  The Berlin Wall, while not completely effective, did keep most East Berliners on the east side of the wall.  I guess it kept most West Berliners west of the wall, but that was not its primary purpose.  It is not as if the West Berliners were apt to attack those on the east.

To be sure, there are other walls built to keep people inside.  Prisons are the primary ones.  On the other hand, Israel built a wall that is very effective at keeping people out.

I guess I am going astray of my main subject, doors and windows.  I guess after they invented walls, it wasn’t long before men came up with doors and windows.  Naturally, they have undergone a few changes over the years.  Let’s face it, in all his glory, Solomon had windows, but they didn’t have glass.  I guess I could be wrong about that.  I wasn’t around to see them, but I don’t think glass really arrived on the scene until much later.  It meant, if he wanted to keep the cold out, he had to close the windows, likely made from wood.  On the other hand, the best he could do when it got to hot was to have a couple of slaves wave palm branches at him.  (It was the latest in air conditioning in the day.)

By the way, the pharaohs were not any better off and they considered themselves to be gods.  Yet with all their power, they could not cause the temperature to go down one degree.  The pharaohs, of course, had their walls and they were a little odd.  We can still see some of them near the Nile.  In spite of all their efforts to keep the grave robbers out, they still got into those pyramids.  I don’t think it really matters to them.  They don’t know it, so let’s not tell them.  It won’t hurt anyone to let them believe it worked.

By the way, getting back to doors and windows, the pyramids didn’t have any.  They were the ultimate in designed security, at least for the day.

The miraculous thing about modern day windows is that they allow us to see through walls.  Incredible as that might sound, it is true.  If you are inside a wall, you can see outside.  If you are outside, you can see in, provided the drapes aren’t closed.

Now doors, they are even more incredible.  They actually give us humans the ability to walk through walls.  Incredible as it might seem, they even allow us to carry objects with us as we go through.  Moreover, if we close and lock them, we are almost as secure as we would be if it were just a wall.  That’s right; they keep wild animals out.  Most of the time, they keep robbers out.

In a way, they accomplish the same thing a gate does with the big walls.  As I am sure you know, during the middle ages, they built large walls and gates to keep marauders out.  To some degree, they were effective, but no gate or wall can truly be said to be impenetrable.  Yet they still put a lot of effort into building the walls and gates.  They figured that there was no sense making it easy for the marauders.

Now it would seem, the experts tell us that a wall on the south border will not do any good.  They call me prejudice for even suggesting a wall.  Guess what.  The idea of a wall is not new.  They do work.  It has been proven for thousands of years.  Now suddenly, they stop working?  Maybe they have catapults or cannons and their friends shoot them over the wall.

Personally, I don’t think their knowledge is built on experience or common sense.  Instead, it has been influenced by bribes, AKA known as money and favors from lobbyists.  Take the bribes and our representatives just might be able to start thinking straight.

By the way, if we do want anyone to come north of the border, the wall would have a gate.  If they have the proper ID, if they are not carrying illegal drugs, if they are not criminals, then we can let them in.  On the other hand, if they disobey our laws, we can send them south with the warning that we don’t want them back.

Some would like to make it all sound complicated.  It isn’t.  If we want the bad guys to stay south of the border, we need to make sure that we don’t make it easy for them to enter.  Moreover, we need to do everything possible to discourage them from coming in the first place.  A wall goes a long ways in that direction.  It is sort of the reason our homes have walls.  They are not perfect, but they do provide some level of security.

Maybe Congress doesn’t want a wall, but we do.  It is time for them to ignore the bribes and start listening to us.  On the other hand, maybe it is time to send them all home and send some people in there that will actually pay attention to the constituency.  Just maybe they will not lose their memory before they take the oath of office.  Then too, we need to make sure that they are never allowed to use the word comprehensive.  The word must be removed from their vocabulary.

Words of Deception

Over the years, I have noticed there are a few terms that are frequently used in deceptions.  I figured that I might include them below for you.

The children.  Usually, when a politician uses this term, the children benefit the least.  If money is involved, it usually goes to some other purpose and often into someone’s pocket.

Comprehensive.  The first time I heard this word was “Comprehensive immigration bill.”  It was supposed to solve all the woes of immigration.  However, after studying the bill, it became obvious that it solved everything but illegal immigration.  Actually, it encouraged it.  Then they were upset because the people all got in an uproar and made them vote it down.  Ever since then, they complain about it.  Now and then, they bring it up again, in hopes that maybe they will catch us napping, or maybe we’ll tire of fighting it.  Needless to say, comprehensive or a similar term is used from time to make other expressions:  Healthcare, crime bill, education, mass transit, etc.  Unless you don’t mind getting deceived, keep your eyes open.

Environment.  It is the new home for the communists.  Those  that like to use the word want to make sure we all ride around on bicycles while they go around in limos and jets.  it is the same concept the communists have.  A few people in control telling the rest of us what to do, where to go, and of course, what to think.

Prejudice.  This word and a few synonyms are used whenever a person with common sense gets in the way of the powers to be.  Naturally, it is a term that has been used frequently to disparage President Trump.  It has caused the the controllers no end of grief that it hasn’t worked.  Maybe one reason it fails to work on him is that the term has been abused and overused so much that the public has become immune to it.  In a sense, we have been inoculated to it.  The bad thing is that the people who truly suffer prejudice are ignored.  I heard a story about that one time.  Let me see.  Oh yes.  It’s the story about the boy who called wolf.  Most of us know the disaster the befell the boy that made that mistake.

Lobbying.  Also known as bribery.  The problem with a government or its representatives accepting bribes is that it usually benefits the one doing the bribing.  To be sure, bribes are illegal in federal, state and local governments.  However they are still common place.  More than that, lobbyists bribe representatives all the time and it is legal, as long as the money goes to a campaign.  However, offers in kind are often collected after the politician retires and goes back into private life.  It makes it next to impossible to enforce.  Besides, its an acceptable practice.  Its a retirement plan.  Certainly, much of the bribery comes in from unions, especially the National Education Association (NEA).  (The National Endowment for the Arts (also NEA) also makes bribes, though they are greatly financed by the federal government.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds improper.  They are using government money to bribe government officials.)  I don’t know anything that can be done about lobbyists.  Corporations and unions do have an ethical right to representation.  However, I do believe all such money should be published.  Nowadays, with the Internet, that shouldn’t be a problem.  The government official and the those lobbying the officials should post the financial info on web pages and kept there for a reasonable time.  That way, when I get ready to vote for someone, I will know where they get most of their contributions.  Also, it will let me keep an eye on those doing the lobbying.  As for the art outfit: that’s just wrong.  It ought to be illegal, though I don’t think that will happen.  Those receiving the funds are not likely going to vote against it.  It’s sort of like expecting our representatives to vote for term limits.  It’s just not going to happen.

I’m sure there are many words I’ve left out that you can think of.  If you like, I welcome your suggestions.  Let’s just keep it clean and reasonable.  Invariably, the terms are easy to see, provided you take a minute to think about it.  Mostly it is a matter of making sure you understand any law involved and determine who would benefit the most.  This is usually the person who uses the euphemism.

I G Report

Now that the inspector general’s report is out, I am sure the whole world is waiting to know what I have to say about it.  I don’t believe it, not for a minute.  The FBI and Justice Department has had 2 weeks to modify it.  Moreover, the I.G. was well aware that his report would have to go through both gauntlets before its release.

The truth is that all my books are more believable than this report.  Those who have read my books, or even read the synopsis will know that this is really saying something.  It also says something about those who have read it.  Not only are they dishonest, they aren’t so smart if they expect the public to believe such intentional deceit.

Perhaps we will learn a little more after the House and Senate hearings.  His words will not be subject to editing by Justice.  I suspect we won’t learn much though.  It would seem some unknown person, persons, organization or organizations are behind the scenes controlling it all.  I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it is the only explanation I can think of.

I guess one thing we can say for sure is that Comey was a bad director and he surrounded himself with prejudicial and poor quality personnel.  I might even go so far as to say some were criminal.  How else can you define someone using his position to change an election based on his own politics.

Naturally, the current FBI director came out to throw in his two cents.  Unfortunately, I missed most of his speech, but from what I gather, most of it could be summarized as follows:

We didn’t do anything wrong.


We won’t do it again.

I do not believe the first statement and, given the current director, I certainly don’t believe the second.  It sounds like something a child would say after he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar right up to his elbow.  …and I might add, with his mouth full of cookies.

Well, maybe the whole world won’t know my beliefs on the subject.  If you agree with what I have written, you might tell your relatives and friends.  Actually, I won’t mind you telling others, even if you disagree with me.  Also, I do welcome reasonable comments, as long as they don’t contain any profanity.

Finally, I would appreciate it if you browse my author’s page.  I have over thirty-five books there for you to choose from.  Most are well within the PG rating, though a few do have some violence.  As long as you can put up with a few grammar mistakes and typos, I think you will enjoy them.  All are available on Kindle, and hence many other devices too, including PC’s.  Some are on paperback as well, though, of necessity, they do cost a little more.  (By the way, Amazon does a very good job of printing paperbacks.  Other than the cover, they are every bit as good as hard cover books.)

The URL for my author’s page is:

You can also log onto and look up my name Ben Rhodes (not to be confused with the communist that worked for Obama).  That will work too, but you might be distracted by some inferior books written by someone else.  I assure you, you will want to ignore all the ones by the other writers.


A Few Words About Deceit

Some time ago, I heard a public service announcement (PSA) that 50% of all car accidents involving fatalities were caused by a drunk driver. More recently, I heard another PSA that it is now 30%. Given this info and only this info, a person might suggest that we get all the sober drivers off the road. They are causing almost three-fourths of fatal accidents.

I call it flawed logic, where a person makes a decision based on incomplete information. The information, as such is correct, just not complete.

I once heard a preacher say, “Deceit and the truth cannot coincide.” Certainly what he said was and is true. Where the problem comes is when part of the truth is withheld. It is on this that deceivers base their craft. Over time, I have formed four rules for deceit.
1. The person easiest to deceive is yourself.
2. To deceive someone else, you must keep at least part of the truth from that person. (The same goes for a group of people.)
3. People are egotistical. When you tell a person how wonderful they are, they are more likely to believe you. Besides, they are more likely to like you.
4. Lies are not required for deceit. Notice, in the above example, I did not lie to you, but I did leave out an important part of the truth. Therefore, I convinced you to keep the sober drivers off the road. (Hopefully, you had enough common sense not to swallow that one.

Yet people are deceived every day by things just as obvious. Many years ago, New York wanted a lottery to pay for the schools. They managed to pass the law by saying that it would be completely for the schools. The deceit lies in a little word, fungible. That means, once the government has our money, they can use it for what ever they want. It’s just a matter of bookkeeping. Today, they aren’t even trying to fool anyone. They have come right out and admitted it. The schools, of course got very little of it. Now they get none of it.

Nowadays, there are people who would like us to believe that a wall on our southern border will not help. Never mind our common sense. Never mind the fact that people put fences around buildings all the time to keep people out. Guess what? It works. Moreover, the walls are permanent. An election won’t erase them.

It is, of course obvious that torture doesn’t work. Guess what? It does. Ask the Russians. They have a lot of experience at it. Do I advocate torture? Only when the lives of thousands of people are at risk. A little discomfort for one verses the lives of millions… not a difficult choice. By the way, telling the enemy I don’t torture is probably a bad idea.

Now, after our president held a meeting with Kim, the bulk of the media are trying to make it sound like a failure. It might end up being a failure. The president himself said so. That is no reason for the vast majority of the media to rain on his parade. If nothing else, it undercuts the chances of success. Then again, the media does not want him to succeed. For them it is the worst of all possibilities. If it should succeed, it would guarantee his re-election. It would also mean the big blue wave would turn red.

I do find it absurdly humorous the contortions the news anchors go through to make the effort look bad. It is casual to the most obvious observer that what happened is good and they are doing their best to make it look bad. I look forward to seeing what they do should they get rid of the atomic weapons and build hotels along the beachfront of North Korea. Maybe the best thing for them to do would be to go and rent a room at one of the new hotels and spend the rest of their lives there. If they stay here, they might still have jobs, but no one will listen to them.

On the other hand, if the effort fails, they will be sure to make the most of it. After all, failure is what they want, even if it means the loss of millions of lives. I do find this a little ironic. They don’t like a little torture, but all those lives mean so little to them.

It is time to look beyond the deceit and use a little common sense. It is time to look at all the facts, not just the ones that are convenient to the media.


A Plausible Solution for the Problem With North Korea

I was watching the news this morning, about the meeting.  As I watched, a thought occurred to me.  I wonder what would happen if we offered Mr. Kim a billion dollars and a home on some South Pacific island.

Okay, it’s a long shot.  He would likely turn it down in a millisecond.  Still, I was in South Korea for one miserable week.  I know something about the weather there.  I have no idea how it was that we were able to fight a war there.  It gets cold there, especially at night.  Tell you the truth, I have no idea how anyone can live there.

Considering the weather, Kim just might like the idea of going somewhere warm.  A billion dollars would certainly look pretty good too.  So we offer him a billion dollar check, a deed to a big estate and a one way ticket.  If it doesn’t work, nothing is lost.

On the other hand, if he accepts, the two Koreas could be reunited.  The world would be free of another nut armed with nuclear weapons and no one would be killed.  Oh… and by the way, a few million people could actually start eating regular.  If it worked, it would be a bargain at four times the price.

Who knows?  If it works we can try it on Kumani, and then what’s his name?  The one that likes to go around without a shirt in Russia.  Who says money won’t buy happiness.  If it worked, a whole world would be very happy.  Then again, it is unlikely to work.

All those people are controllers.  They would rather starve than to give up an ounce of control over their people, even though they know they are causing starvation.  I don’t think I like these guys.  I cannot understand how anyone could like these guys.  Yet, in spite of the millions they kill, they have their followers… even in this country.  Now that’s stupid.