My Name is Ben Rhodes

My Name is Ben Rhodes (Benjamin F Rhodes).  The name has been mine for seventy years.  Before me, it was my grandfather’s name.  Please do not confuse me with Benjamin J Rhodes, who was a former member of Obama’s staff.

When I started seeing the Obama staffer drag my name through the swamps of DC, I considered altering the way I sign my name.  I considered my cousin’s approach.  Though he had the same name as me, Benjamin Franklin Rhodes, he went by Frankie.  I didn’t even know we shared names until I was in my forties.

I also considered simply adding my middle initial.  (Ben F Rhodes)  That would differentiate me from the man, but the way I figure it, it was my name first.  If anyone should have to make any changes, he should.  Indeed, I believe he owes me an apology, ruining my name as he has.

Sometimes, I wonder if people attribute my books to him when they see my name on my books.  By the way, I started writing books back in 1990 or there abouts.  I don’t think he was writing almost thirty years ago.

I will admit that he has had a little more success than I have, but that doesn’t mean his books are any better.  I must admit, I have not read any of his books, but given his political views, how can they be anywhere near as good as mine?  He just has the inside track with his liberal friends.

If I were to write the man and register my complaint, I doubt he would read it.  If he did, he’d likely do more than laugh, if that.  So I guess I’m just stuck.  But I assure you, I’ll not change my name I put on my books.  However, I just might start putting some kind of disclaimer (if that’s what it is called) to let the reader know that I am not that left winger who has no idea of reality.

By the way, lest we forget, the communists are responsible for far more deaths than the Nazis and WWII Japanese.

  1.  The Vietnamese communists alone, in spite of the small size of the country, murdered over a million of their own citizens.  Had it not been for those that escaped, the number would have likely been close to twice that.
  2. The North Korean’s, even now, are trying to hold the world at hostage.  Might I add, with the help of the Chinese and Russians.
  3. The Red Chinese murdered, likely, as many or more than Hitler.
  4. There is no telling how many the Russian communists slayed, not to mention the vast number of those improperly imprisoned or driven from the country.

Do I mean to imply that Ben J Rhodes is a communist?  I don’t know the man’s mind, only what he does and his friends. From that, I must conclude that his ideas are very close to Carl Marx, who, by the way, was the first communist.

By the way, at least I have the only website,  I got it first and Ben J. Rhodes can’t have it, even if he is better known.


The Last Days of the Big Publishers?

The world of publishing has been altered forever by Amazon.  While the big publishers continue to have something to say about which books are successful, they no longer have anything to say about which ones get published.  Moreover, bottom line, those that read the books have the last word in which books sell best.

Even if every publisher in the country denies my books, I can still get them published, both Kindle and paperback.  For this, I wish to publicly thank Amazon very much.  Now, if I can manage the publicity, I can compete with the best sellers.

Guess what.  I’m not the only one.  It is possible that some seventh or eighth-grader can sit down and write a book that could sky-rocket to number one and there is not one thing those publishers can do about it.  It’s not probable, but it is possible.

Moreover, the writer does not have to follow all the rules.  If we split an infinitive or two, if we end a sentence or two with a preposition or if we happen to use rather instead of whether, we might offend a reader or two but we can still sell books to those who don’t care.  If someone decides to use thru instead of through, it might offend some, but it won’t make a lot of difference if the book sells.

Also, I get to format my books the way I want to.  I don’t have to put the name of the book at the top of each page.  If I choose, I can put the chapter title up there instead.  In some cases, it suits my purpose better, especially in my books in The Ring series.

Who knows?  One day, to the horror of some purists, someone might write a book using the abbreviations used as in phone messaging.  To be sure, it will shorten the work, maybe even make for a faster read.  Regardless, it will save paper and ink.

Indeed, it just may one day cause the big publisher to go the way of the horse whip.  They still make horse whips these days, just not nearly as many.  They certainly have less of an affect on modern life as they once did.

If you doubt that this might happen, you might want to read my post on Then and Now.  The world has changed a lot.  I suspect it will change some more, in ways neither you or I expect and maybe against our preference.


It is Casual to the Most Obvious Observer

I really don’t think this post is needed.  Some things simply should not require explanation.  However, I suspect there are some things that are overlooked, even by PhD’s.  ….or should I say, especially by PhD’s.  In spite of all the news I watch, no one, but no one has pointed out any of the following.  Sometimes, I wonder if even the Republicans are aware of it.

States such as New York, New Jersey and California will collect a great deal more in income taxes.  It is unavoidable.  If the wages increase, revenue from the state income taxes increase.  If the number of people earning wages increase, then the revenues will increase.

If the GDP grows from 2% to 4%, it only stands to reason that revenues will drastically increase, even though the tax rates have decreased.  This is especially true for states.  They didn’t decrease their rates.

Sales have increased.  That means revenue from sales tax have increased.  This has helped states, counties and cities, this without lifting a finger.

This, of course assumes that the people within those states don’t go running to other states.  I know I did.  Up until 1973, I lived mostly in California.  Then I got smart and left.  (I liked the state, just not the people running it)

There is, of course, one more obvious thing.  For every dollar that comes into the state treasuries, they will spend two.  It’s just the way those politicians think.  They love to tax and spend.  It is from where they draw all their power.  …and if there’s one thing politicians like, it’s power.  That should be casual to the most obvious observer.

Just a Little Lie

The Dems would like you to believe that the Republicans control the Senate.  Not true, that is, unless they decide to change the rules.  Right now, in order to pass a bill, it takes 60 votes.  The Republicans only have fifty-one.  Unless the rule is changed, the 49 senators can stop anything and everything.  …and they have been doing a lot of that lately.  So far, they have stopped over 100 in 2017.

One bill they were not able to stop was the tax reduction and that is because they used one rule to get around the other.  The Republicans passed the bill with 51 votes.  (As a result of having to resort to this method, they were not able to make all the tax reductions permanent.  After a time, some individual taxes will return to what they were in 2017.  Hopefully, between now and then, the changes will be made permanent, or at least extended.  It sort of depends on if the Dems block the effort.)

I guess this is the sort of thing that happens when we let lawyers run our government.

Faith vs Religion

First, a little note:

I heard Rev. Billy Graham speak one night.  He said something that, for me, really stuck.  I will take great liberties at explaining his thought while hopefully remaining true to his idea.  He who puts his faith in a false religion is as one who has taken an inoculation.  The false religion will prevent him from catching the real thing.  Indeed, it can be more difficult to lead a devout atheist to Jesus than someone who has put his faith in a false religion, or for that matter any religion.

The fact is that no one was ever saved by religion.  For that, it takes faith in Jesus, Christ, the Son of the one and only living God.  It will work with no other god.  It will work with no other faith.  Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is either misled or he is lying.


Many years ago, I was told of a clergyman who said he couldn’t sing the word wretch in the song, Amazing Grace.  The tragedy is that he is not alone in this attitude.  We, as humans have a tendency to look at things from our point of view, which is also a relative point of view.

It is likely true that he was better than most, but that is not the way God looks at it.  If you want to know what God’s point of view is, read Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and our righteousnesses are like filthy rags, our iniquities , like the wind, have taken us away.” (New King James Version)

It is a common thing to think more highly of ourselves.  We have a tendency to say, “Well, I’m better than so and so.”  It even goes to an extreme with some people.  They compare themselves with clergymen who have fallen, especially those who are well known.  However, God does not judge us on a relative basis.  He judges us individually and each of us will have to stand before him and give an account of ourselves.  He does not grade on a curve.

Think of it this way, if a man is able to work his way into heaven, there would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross.  The penalty of sin is death.  It is what we all deserve.  Jesus paid the penalty for us.  It was his gift to us.  But those who do not accept his gift will die and go to hell.  God does not force salvation on you.  It is your choice.  If you choose hell, he will not force you to go to heaven.

Moreover, he will not accept the works of a man.  As said above, the best man has is filthiness to God.  Why would a person even try to offer our own works to God, when Jesus is offering his righteousness for us?  Yet, it is an argument that is lost over and over again.  People try to offer up their filthy rags and expect God to be impressed by them.


In my book, “Going Home,” I list a number of reasons people have for rejecting Jesus as their savior.  However, the two biggest reasons are simple, ignorance and pride.

Certainly, there are millions of people who have never heard the name of Jesus, but that is not the only ignorance.  There are many who claim to be Christians who don’t truly know what the word means.  Most count on religion for salvation.  They put their faith in a false church and its false teachings and hope they will go to heaven because they follow a few rituals, more or less.

The truth is that you can know that you are going to heaven.  If you don’t know, I would strongly suggest you find the truth…today.  Tomorrow might be too late.


Pride builds a wall between man and God.  The idea of, “I can do it myself or I am as good as the next guy,” is wide road that leads to hell.  The words gift and earn do not go together.  If salvation is a gift then it cannot be earned.  If you earn it, then it is not a gift.  Read it yourself in Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves.  It is the gift of God, not of your works, lest anyone should boast.”

You might note the final phrase, “…lest anyone should boast.”  I don’t recall anyone telling me so, bit it appears that God directly prevented us from earning our salvation, so that none of us would be able to brag of our achievement, which would build up our pride.  We all must approach God with humbly.  You will not find one person in heaven who contributed in any way to his being there.  God hates our pride.

It is a little bit of a paradox, but those who think that they might go to heaven won’t.  Those of us who know that we will go to heaven will.  To those who don’t know, it sounds like pride, but it is faith.  Those who think they have a chance rely on themselves.  Those who know they are going to heaven rely on Jesus and his Promise:

In John 3:16-18, Jesus himself tells us “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

The first verse is likely the most quoted verse in the Bible.  However, I personally believe in the importance of the other two verses.  They help in explaining the first.  The third verse plainly says, that if you don’t believe, then you are condemned, because you don’t believe.  Hence, if you don’t believe that Jesus will save you, then you are condemned by your unbelief.  The way I look at it, if you trample underfoot the salvation that Jesus offers, then there is no other salvation for you.

…or another way of stating the same thing, if you don’t accept his way, you can’t design or invent your own.  To some, it is horrible to be so narrow minded.  However, it is far more horrible to teach people that there is any other way.  If you are one of those who teach that there are many ways, you are the horrible one.  You are leading others into condemnation and God will hold you accountable for it.

Moreover, when Jesus says he will save me, why should I doubt Him?  It is not vanity when I say I will go to heaven.  It is faith in Him and His promise.  If I doubt him, then I make him a liar, or at the least I doubt his ability and/or his word.



A Quick Note to My Book Readers

I finally figured out how to publish paperbacks on  It’s easy but time consuming.  With so many to convert to paperbacks, it will take me a while to finish them all.  Please be patient with me.  I am trying to continue to write new books and edit my old ones.

This is a list of those that are now on paper:

The Secret of the Ring, The Detailer, Stormy, The Prepper, Going Home, The Almost Floater, Mitch.

If you have one in mind that you want on paper, just let me know in the comments.

Also: Some books are listed as eBook and paperback together.  Others are listed separately.  Double check to make sure you are getting the right one.  One easy way to tell the difference is the difference in price.  All the paperbacks are close to or more than 5$  Stormy is about $10 and The Detailer about $12.

Unintended Consequences

When I was in the eighth grade, I made the trip from California to Arkansas to see my brother, a Republican.  During my stay with him, he and his wife were going to vote in the Democrat primary.  At that time, it served no purpose to vote in the Republican primary.  There was but one Republican running and he wasn’t likely the win the general election.
I suggested that he vote for the worst of those running among the Democrats.  It seemed to me a good way to give the Republican an advantage.  He told me he was going to vote for the best Democrat.  That confused me until he told me why.  “What if the worst Democrat wins?”

To be sure, during the recent presidential primaries, Donald Trump was not my favorite.  Although I did like his promises, he was an unknown.  I didn’t know if he would follow through on the promises.  Moreover, he had no government experience.  My favorite was Senator Cruz.  Not only did he think as I did, but he had already proved himself several times.
I did find it interesting that one by one dropped out, seemingly determined on the way they felt about illegal immigration.  Those that liked the idea of just opening the borders were taken out in the first round.  Some of those didn’t even last until the first debate.

What I didn’t understand at the time was the way the media backed Trump.  Anyone who has a memory knows this to be true.  Despite this, Senator Cruz almost overtook Trump.
Then, after the primary was settled, the media turned against Candidate Trump.  One day, he was their darling.  The next day they spoke of him as if he were a monster.
Then it became apparent to me what the media was doing.  They were using the trick I suggested to my brother and helped the worst candidate in order to help Hillary win.  What they didn’t know was that their decision had unintended consequences.  Not only did Candidate Trump beat her soundly, but he has turned out to be a very good president.

Certainly, as a Christian, I don’t like his language, especially in front of small kids.  Nonetheless, he is keeping his promises far better than I expected.  If we had a few more good Republican senators, I am sure he would keep his promises far better.  Just maybe, I would not be spending a thousand dollars a month for my wife’s health insurance.
More than this, he has become the Dems worst nightmare, a success.  As he has decreased regulations and lowered taxes, the economy has taken off, the unemployment has dropped and the Dems are beside themselves.  There has been a drop in those streaming across our border and there are even some rinos angered.  Their source of low wage employees is drying up.

Now I realize the Dems had one thing in common with me, their underestimate of President Trump.  Now they will have unintended consequences.  If we have 4% growth (likely more) the Dems will realize a significant drop in their number of fans, especially among those living in the rust belt.  This will be true in spite of how strongly the press beats up on President Trump and how much they try to help the Dems.  It will be obvious to one and all that the Dems were wrong all the time.

One thing I still don’t understand.  Why do the African Americans like the Dems?  They haven’t done anything for them.  Indeed, many of the things they have done have hurt them.  They worst thing they have done is to insist on backing an organization that had its foundation in trying to eradicate the Black race.  Margaret Sanger founded Family Planning for that express purpose.  I suspect, though they won’t admit to it, it is likely still one of their purposes.  Please don’t take my word for it.  Look it up.

Now, the Dems want to stand in the way of building a wall.  I can’t understand that.  I lock my door.  It helps keep the bad guys out.  A wall helps keep the bad guys out.  It helps keep the drugs out.  This is true no matter who the next president is.  On the other hand, if all we have is a virtual wall, that can go away as a matter of policy.  It went away while President Obama was in office and, to a lesser degree while President Bush was in office.
It is important to realize that building the wall even helps the illegal immigrants.  Many die sneaking into our country.  Many young women are raped.  Countless numbers of them end up working in sweatshops or brothels.  Of course, as payment for their passage, many are forced to carry drugs.  That’s not good for them or us.
I’m tired of hearing about comprehensive immigration.  We were promised a wall twice.  They were empty promises.  The way I figure it, they owe us the wall, not promises.  The way I figure it, the time for talk is over.  It is time to start building.

One more small note:  If we don’t have a good strong defense, eventually, we will not have a good economy.  For sure, we won’t even have a country.  We will be overrun by any one of a dozen of other countries.  We might not be an aggressive country, but others are.  The instant they realize we are weak, they will take advantage of it.