Most of my books are pretty unbelievable. A couple of them are just almost plausible. There there are those that are simply, well, let’s just say even a young child would know it’s not much more than a modern day fairy tale. In one of the books there is a sub plot, one I thought ridiculous, though maybe a tad plausible. In it, there are people that turning teenage gangs lose on certain areas in the attempt to drive the property prices down.

Then, at the right time, the intention was to go in and buy the bargain property. Then, they would make sure the gangs would get rounded up and either jailed or sent out of town. Plausible? I guess, not likely.

Now, I am having second thoughts. Did some of the dems read my book and get ideas from it. I mean, there have been a whole lot of rioting going on and I am sure the dems are behind it. Anyone with a brain in his head can see that the property values are plummeting, some of which is prime real estate.

Now, once the rioting is over, I really would like to know who will be the ones who took advantage of the bargain real estate deals. Do you suppose some speculator will dive in and make some big investments? Do you suppose they will all have D s after their names. One or two just might be members of the House or or Senate. On the other hand, they might hide their possessions by keeping their names hidden in the corporate documentation.

Now, wonder. Is the plot so far-fetched after all. Makes me suspect I should have never written the book.

But it is a good book. It was called excellent by my agent. Thing is, I guess not so many agreed with him. My best selling book is “The Prepper,” and I don’t think it is nearly as good. It shows what I know.


As for humans, the word can mean at least two things: that which is remembered and that which does the remembering. Ever since I was in high school, they fascinated me, both of them. I saw demonstrations of men hearing a hundred names one time and he is able to recite them back, in any order.

Me, you introduce me to someone, it generally goes in one ear and out the other. Then, I see the person five days later and I don’t remember their face.

I sort of get it. There are tricks to remembering names, or things. Still, I wonder, does in go into permanent memory or does he remember the names for a few days and he does a memory purge on them all. Besides, the trick only works when you are alerted. Then too, if it is permanent memory, wouldn’t it eventually cause an overflow?

Someone alerts you and introduces you to someone. You might remember the name forever. On the other hand, if you are not alerted, do you remember the name for five minutes?

There are, of course other things to remember besides names. When I was in school, the teachers kept trying to get me to remember dates. The one I remembered best was my birthday. Nowadays, there are a few other dates I remember, my wife’s birthday and our anniversary. Thankfully, both of them are easy, though I guess I ought make them public.

The other day a tune was going through my head so I tried looking it up on line. It took me 20 minutes to find it. I thought I was entering the title and I was entering some of the lyrics. The song was a fifties hit, “Make Yourself Comfortable.” Now I wish I hadn’t found it. It keeps going through my mind whether or not I want it to.

I have known people who have naturally good memories. I knew a master sergeant that certainly was better than any four men I ever knew, and I mean collectively. If I told the man I would be done with something at 3 PM, he was there asking for a status report at one minute after 3. Somehow, he could keep track of a dozen things at once without the paperwork. However, we did have plenty of paperwork to keep track of with twenty F-4 jets.

I guess bad spelling goes with bad memories. I never was good at spelling, even though I worked at it hard. Even today, I find myself using the wrong vowel until my spellchecker straightens me out. I guess, to some degree, that is one way to practice spelling. I don’t know why, however, to this day, I cannot spell the second word in FBI. (I think it’s those French messing with our language.)

The strange thing is that when I want to forget stuff, I can’t. When I want to remember stuff, I can’t. It sort of works backward to the desired way. Now and then, someone will ask me a question I know the answer to, and suddenly I don’t know it. For twenty or thirty minutes I try and try. Then, when I don’t need to know, it pops right into my mind immediately. It gets s frustrating.

It has gotten worse as I get old, but I have always had the problem. When I got off the bus in Needles, CA, a border patrol agent was right at the door and he asked where I was born. Now that is embarrassing. I knew it as I approached the door. Then, when he asked, I couldn’t remember. He put me in a group of people that that didn’t know English. I was 16 at the time.

On the other hand, my wife had an excellent memory. She worked in a hospital and she memorized these long account numbers and never got them wrong. Just how does a person do that?

A couple weeks ago, I yelled at my wife because she asked me the same question four times in less than five minutes. You see, she doesn’t remember so well anymore. I felt so bad about yelling at her for it and I told the doctor about it. He knew exactly what I was talking about. He said, “You could write it down or record it, but then that would anger her too.” I could so to speak, win the argument with nothing to gain.

A couple of weeks ago, she fell and broke her knee cap. I took her to the ER and I saw the photo. The bone was definitely in two pieces. The next morning, right after she woke up, she asked me why her knee hurt so much. I figure at this point, about all I can do is try my best to spoil her. Considering what she did for me, it is the least I can do.

The trick is, it means I must outlast her. Considering I had four bypassed about 20 years back, I don’t know if I can do that.

In it for the Money?

All these years, I thought McDonald’s was in business to make money. However, over the years I’ve started wondering. The was the time the woman at the counter took my order and immediately went to back. I wondered what the reason. Then I found out. I heard her call out, “We need nickles!” This of course she did while I was in a hurry to get to work.

Then there was the day I went in to get some breakfast. After one of the employees stood there and talked on her phone for four minutes. I gave up and went somewhere else. It gives a new meaning to “Fast Food.” I actually wrote a letter to their headquarters over that one. I got a free sandwich over it. No real apology, just a sandwich. By the way, I did remind them that there were three other places nearby where I could get breakfast. They didn’t seem to care. It seemed to be a “So what,” attitude.

I guess they have gotten too many customers. they have this method of thinning them out a little.

Then the other night I ordered Diet Coke with my meal. Guess what, no Diet Coke. They wanted me to buy tea instead. If there is one thing I have learned about dining out — don’t buy what you don’t want just because they don’t have what you do want.

In this day where many of us are diabetic, I cannot understand any restaurant of any kind running out of their only diet drink. It is a triple whammy. It is almost as bad as a place that specializes in hamburgers running out of hamburgers. It’s kind of dumb.

In this case, it left me without a drink for my meal, which irritated me. This discourages me from returning. Moreover, it greatly decreased the profit of their sell. Soft drinks are very high profit items in fast food restaurants. It might seem odd, but they don’t make nearly as much off hamburgers (about 40 – 45% gross profit). Where their real money is made in the soft drinks (about 95 – 96% gross profit).

I don’t think the employees care. They draw the same pay regardless. Most employees, especially new one likely think they make more money off the hamburgers.

The third whammy is a little more long range. When I got my food, I went to a convenience store and bought the drinks, Diet Pepsi, which I prefer. Now I know I don’t have to rely on McDonald’s for Diet Coke. I can buy bigger better sodas for about the same price at a convenience store just down the road. Not only that, if I want, I can buy my sweets at the store instead of from McDonald’s.

Now, if word gets around, McDonald’s just might wish they had an adequate supply of Diet Coke for me.

Then again. I might be wrong. McDonald’s makes a lot more money than me. Moreover, they will likely never hear my complaint. If they do, they will likely assume their “so what,” attitude.

However, if they keep trying to thin out their customer base, they just might find out it works.

The Hazards of Opening One’s Mouth

Joy Bayhar opened her mouth and all sorts of stupidity flowed out. Of the policeman who shot the young woman with a knife, she said, “He should have fired a warning shot.” “He should have shot straight up in the air.” “He should have used his Taser.”

Let me take the last one first. A Taser only has an effective range of about 10 feet. As near as I could tell from the videos the officer was at least 3 to 4 times that far. This also put her out of range of any other physical methods such as kicking her or striking her with a club. She was even out of range of a good horse whip. Time and distance eliminated all other forms of restraint besides the gun. Even then, if he did not act quickly, both might have ended up dead, the one from the knife, the other from the gun.

Shooting a bullet into the air is stupid, illegal and downright useless. Had he shot up in the air, it would not have stopped the woman from using the knife — and — the bullet might have come down on some passerby’s head. That sort of thing has happened before. That is why it is illegal.

Shooting a warning shot sounds nice, but where is the bullet going to go. It might work in war. Certainly ships still shoot warning shots across the bow of other ships. However, it is dangerous and inappropriate in situations such as this. Worse, it could result in a hostage situation. The perpetrator could pull the victim between her and the officer while continuing to hold the knife. Then what is the officer supposed to do?

Something else that might have happened even after he shot her. The perp might not have died right away. Indeed sometimes it may take as many as four or five shots to bring a person down, especially if they are on dope. It was horrible the way it turned out, but, given the circumstances, it was unavoidable.

I say circumstances because of how things were when the officer arrived on the scene. The fact is, it all went wrong long before he arrived. I really think, instead of investigating the shooting, we need to figure out what happened that led to these circumstances and see that they are not repeated. That is the real way to save lives. That way, the officer won’t have to be called out and he won’t have to shoot anyone.

In essence, this woman was killed before the 911 call was made. Joy Bayhar, if she was thinking, just might have mentioned that, instead of complaining about the one true hero in this whole thing. In any case, Bayhar should adhere to an old and true saying, before opening mouth, engage brain. Well, come to think of it, she might have done it that way, which would speak to her intelligence, or lack there of.


We all make mistakes, some of us more than others. When I type, I can’t get through a full line without my backspace key. I have heard people say that they hate having to buy erasers. Why is it that others should make their fortunes off my mistakes. Yet, erasers are made by the millions. As for me, my problem was that I wore out the erasers long before I ran out of pencil. When I was in school, I had to buy those little erasers that fit over the end of the pencil. Nowadays, with computers, I hardly ever pick up a pencil. I hadn’t thought of it till just now.

I am now 73 and I have made a lot of mistakes. The problem with that is that I am very good at remembering those moments when I hurt others, those moments I said a thoughtless thing or two. No matter what I do, even when I said I’m sorry, I still feel badly when something happens that reminds me of this or that or the other thing.

I like to say, at least I feel bad when I do something wrong. There are many who could care less that they just ruined someone’s life. Over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that it is the difference between republicans and democrats, or at least one of the differences. And, I guess it is not a hard fast rule but it does seem to hold firmly.

Look at the woman that arranged the death of a diplomat and a couple of operators in Libya. Or, how about that president that withdrew our military from Iraq and permitted the murder of millions. Their deaths were by his hands and he did not so much as say he was sorry. I would suspect that not one dem lost one minute of sleep.

Then, of course, there is that president who stopped the pipelines resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. Did he apologize to any one of them, privately or publicly. I think not. Did he lose any sleep over that? I’ll have no way of knowing but it certainly didn’t seem to bother him. In fact, he seemed proud of himself.

Dose it bother any of the dems to see the disaster at the southern border. Has so much as one dem said a thing about the kids walking up to the border patrol agents with tears in their eyes.

As near as I can tell, the dems have feigned feeling really, really bad about the way the African Americans live, but did any democrat president help any of them? Do they feel bad about that? To be sure, it is the pattern of the liberals. They promise the world until after they are elected. Then, they put abortion clinics into the Black neighborhoods and hope that they, the Blacks just go away, that is, until the next election.

Do the dems feel bad about any of this. Of course not. They weren’t mistakes. It was all done by plan and they are proud of what they’ve done, even when they are confronted with it. Do they lose any sleep over it? Not at all, not one bit. Apparently, it is not in their DNA. It was in their past. It only stands to reason it will be in their future. Just why is it that anyone should be surprised? The dems love the misery… of others.


From reading the Bible over the years, I have drawn the conclusion that God likes Irony. I cannot absolutely say so but it does seem that God has used irony at least a few times over the millennia. I’m not going to go over but one instance here, the greatest one, the time when Christ was nailed to the cross.

In this one event there are likely several ironies, some which I may not have noticed. First, it occurred at a time that he seemed the weakest while he was displaying some of his greatest power. There was no way that they would have laid a finger on Jesus but that it was a fulfillment of his plan and his will. To some degree, He demonstrated this when He said, “I am.” in reply to the soldiers in The Garden of Gethsemane. When He replied, the soldiers were forced back by his words.

When I was younger and heard the story for the first time, I was as others. I wondered why God did not send his angels in to save Him. I mean, in the movies, don’t the horse soldiers come riding to the rescue at the last minute. Not this time. God let Him die on the cross. Jesus willingly gave up his life. It was an a picture of utter defeat.

Indeed, since Jesus was born, Satan had tried to kill Him. He knew who Jesus was and he knew Jesus came to save mankind from sin. Even so, I wonder if someone had filled him in on the details. As Jesus died, people mocked him, likely at the encouragement of Satan. Could it be that Satan didn’t know that it was all a big plan. Did he know that Jesus was going to pay for all man’s sin in His death.

Then again, I suppose Satan would have won if Jesus stepped down from the cross and punished those who mocked Him. That was not the Plan and if Satan thwarted the plan, then maybe he would have won. But Jesus stayed on the cross and never tried to explain why. It was the plan. He did it for love of all those who mocked and hated Him, among others.

The Bible does not say and we are warned against speculating. Maybe Satan knew. Maybe he didn’t. It just is that from my point of view, it looked as if Satan did exactly what he was supposed to do exactly when he was supposed to do it. Finally, after thirty years of Jesus walking this earth, Satan seemed to succeed at one thing he had been trying since Jesus’ birth.

So, as the people of the day looked on and mocked Him, I would suspect that millions of Satan’s minions watched and cheered too. God’s messengers were there too, but they had a different attitude. They wanted to go in and help but they were ordered to stand back and let it happen.

So the people yelled, “Others he saved, himself he cannot.” Perhaps throughout the Bible, encapsulated in those few words are the greatest irony in the Bible. You see, the truth is He could, but He would not. It did not fit his purpose to save Himself but to save us.

Then three days later, He rose and walked among men. In what looked like Jesus’ greatest defeat was His greatest victory. And now, because He did decide to pay the price, don’t you think we should recognize the fact. Is it so horrible to go to our knees and admit, without Him paying the price, our future would be hopeless.

Surly, He deserves our respect. Surely He deserves our faith.

And what a disaster it is when man turns his face from Jesus Christ after what he did. What a disaster it is when a man stands on his feeble legs and defiantly says, I can save myself. I am just as good as the next guy. The truth is, though, none of us are as good or as powerful as Jesus.

Certainly one of the greatest ironies is that it is difficult for someone to be saved because he relies on his own abilities instead of Jesus. May I remind you, when you say you are good enough to save yourself, it is akin to spitting in the eye of Jesus. You are saying that He did it all for nothing. To me, and perhaps to Him, it is the greatest sin of all. Regardless, it is the only sin that will keep you out of heaven. If you will not accept him as your one and only savior, you will spend forever in a very unpleasant place we call hell. The only reason we call it hell is that we cannot find a word that truly describes it.

The worst part about it is that there is no hope for anyone who goes there. You see, after you have been there one or two million years, your days in the future have not been decreased by one. God has done what He can for you. There is no reason for you to go to hell but your own stubborn decision.

One final brief important note. Religion will not save you. Jesus and Jesus alone saves. To be saved, first you must admit you are lost. Second, you must admit you cannot save yourself. Finally, you must accept Jesus as your savior. You must accept him as your Lord and savior. If you take any other path, it will lead to hell. It is the irony. No one likes being in a position where he can’t help himself. It is hard to completely rely on someone else, especially when you can’t see him.

Revisiting the E-car

I say E-car because someone apparently took my advice and started racing them. I saw the other day that they raced SUV s through the Arabian deserts. Then, a few days ago, they were racing cars that weren’t that different than the Indy cars, of course, with the exception that they were powered electrically.

It was a little odd to watch them while the only noise they made was from the transmissions and I think they were amplifying that. The noise was not a rumble or roar but a buzzing, sort like the toy cars. I do wonder what the on-watchers thought of that.

Still, they had other limits. Mostly the range. While the Indianapolis has the three hundred, it appears that the e-cars will never go beyond the E-100. What is it? I’m not sure, the La mans 500? I’m not a big car racing fanatic. Still, it would appear that it would be limited to the E-La mans 100.

I do have some solutions for them, that is if they will listen to me, the one without any letters after my name. First they need interchangeable batteries. Instead of charging the batteries, they would change them out during pit stops. Perhaps it could be done with a small crane or maybe they could simply drive the E-auto under a building with the appropriate equipment. The exhausted battery would be pulled out and a fully charged one could be dropped in. It might take about the same time as to replace tires. Perhaps the one part that would take the longest would be attaching the terminals. I don’t know. It sounds to me as if some experiments are needed. I don’t have the money for the research but I would guess to make sure of the connection, nuts and bolts would be needed. The battery pack would have to be fastened in too. You would not want one of those things flying around after an accident.

Then, who knows, maybe we could have thousand mile races, for those willing to endure them, both for the drivers and spectators. The nice thing is that what they could learn during the races. They might put it to use in the private E-autos.

For instance. Instead of driving into a service station and saying, “Fill it up,” we would say, “Replace the battery pack.” Sorry, there would be no self service stations. Too dangerous.

I wish I had thought of the idea but I didn’t. Someone else thought of it first. The advantages are many. First, the owner of the car doesn’t own the batteries. That drastically reduces the price of the car. Instead, they are leased. Each car would have a power meter and the owner would pay the price of the electricity as we pay our electric bill now. Instead of the car having a limit of 300 miles, it could go clean across country and back again, clean; without emitting so much as a puff of smoke in any form.

There are two problems remaining: cost and service stations that will stock enough batteries to get the job done. Oh. there is one more problem. We don’t have the electric grid to support the idea.

So. We need a drastic change to the cars, a drastic change to the service stations, and a big beefing up to the grid. I’m sure we can deal with it. We can get on it right away, except no one seems to have a clue, especially the ones with all the letters after their names.

Manna From Heaven

The first time I heard the passage (From Exodus) about manna, I must admit I had a hard time understanding it. Oh, I had no difficulty believing that God sent it. I had no problem understanding the concept. What I did have problems with were the Hebrews who were not satisfied with it.

I mean, how can someone complain about food you don’t have to hunt or farm. You simply wake each morning and pick it up. As near as I can tell it was about the most perfect food ever was. You could simply pick it up off the ground and eat it raw. You could cook it just about any imaginable way and it still tasted good. Moreover, as near as I can tell, it provided every nutritional need for man.

And the Hebrews complained about it? They did. You can read the account yourself. In fact I wish you would. It just might do you some good.

Now that I am in my early 70s, I have learned a thing about the human race. We love to complain, especially when things are going good. I saw this even more when I was in the Marines. They fed us good three times a day and people complained.

Okay. I will agree, sometimes things weren’t the best, but it was good nutritious food. I guess I did complain a few times. One time, I cut into a pancake and that wasn’t done. No one’s perfect. I called it to the attention of the cook and he made me three more pancakes and they were perfect, though the cook did not seem to like my complaint.

Nonetheless, over the years, I told myself that I would have never complained about manna from God. I mean that is stupid. However, the older I get the more I realize I just might have been a complainer. I don’t really know. I guess, until we are put in those conditions we simply do not know.

The thing here is the broader lesson. Most of us, even good Christians become dissatisfied with the position we are in. Specifically, we don’t like what God has provided for us. Now that is stupid. Yet, I myself have caught myself complaining about the provisions of God. It is simply in our nature, the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. To some degree, we can’t help it, although we make a conscience decision to complain about the gifts God gives us.

Every day, I eat generally twice. Before I eat, I try to thank God. Most of the time I do. Sometimes I forget. Yet, God keeps providing for me, though I do not deserve any of it. I don’t want to make myself higher than any other, but I have noticed that most people, even Christians do not take a few seconds to say a few words of appreciation before eating or after receiving heavenly gifts. Many times, when we mumble the words of thanks, our hearts are not in it. I am ashamed of myself. Many times I catch myself thoughtlessly going through the motions, even to the point that the words run together.

So. Just how many of us would complain if we were provided, every morning with all the perfect food we can eat. I don’t know but I would guess, eventually, all of us. I hate to admit it, but it is in my nature. I suspect it is in yours too.

One of the reasons we complain is that our relation with God is not right. For if our relation is truly right, we would be satisfied, though we have nothing. If our relationship is not right, we will never be satisfied, though we live in mansions and drive nice expensive cars.

So, whenever you feel like complaining, you just might try getting right with God. I guess that goes for me too.

Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun

In one of my books, one of my characters was a detective in the narcotics division. Recalling the days, he said that one of his biggest fears was looking down the barrel of a gun held by a twelve-year-old. I was reminded of the passage by the recent actual police shooting of the thirteen-year-old in Chicago.

The circumstance wasn’t the same but it was pretty close. I wrote the passage close to two decades ago and from time to time I think about it. Surely such things have happened. Since my youth I thought about becoming a policeman. I was a little more serious about it when I left the Marines. Instead I worked on computers.

The truth of the matter, I don’t know what I would do if I were caught in such a situation, as in my book or as in the actual situation in Chicago, that is, if I knew I was shooting at a young man. In the situation in Chicago, the policeman did not know he was firing on a youth.

However, imagine if you would. You are the officer. He is pointing a forty-five at you and you know he is thirteen. Just what would you do. Would you shoot or would you seek shelter and talk the young man into giving up?

Fortunately, most policemen never draw their weapon. Most officers are never fired on. Indeed, it can draw the officer into a false sense of security. However, all policemen can conceivably face such a situation and not one of them knows what he will do until he faces it for real, regardless of his or her training. I mean, when you come right down to it, you can never fake reality.

In Vietnam a kid, about nine walked up to me and asked if I wanted the grenade he had. You don’t think that made the hair stand up on the back of my head. It happened one night when I was on guard duty. He was on the other side of the fence and I simply told him to get away from me. Fortunately, he did. I also backed off some. I will never know if the kid meant harm, very likely not. In fact, he likely had no idea how much fear he put in me. For that matter, he likely had no idea how close he came to getting shot.

I would have hated killing him. It would have been a horrible thing. It likely would have caused a big stink and I’d have likely been grilled for a while, but the kid did have a grenade and he just might have used it. I had no way of knowing.

It is a cold hard fact. Kids do bad things from time to time. Sometimes they put policemen in bad situations. That doesn’t make the cop bad and it never will. However, it does make policing all the more dangerous. This time the cop shot. Maybe, next time, the cop thinking of this situation doesn’t shoot. So the policeman dies instead of the kid, him and maybe another two or three people.

The important thing for a policeman must remember. A gun, even in the hands of a ten-year-old little girl is deadly. That gun has no mind of its own. When the holder pulls the trigger, a bullet is going to come out of it and it can kill, no matter the good intentions of the target.

As with the character in my book; it is a cops worst nightmare. Believe me, there is no one who can guarantee that he or she would do any better regardless of the training; regardless of the desire to do what is right.

The best way to prevent situations as this is to keep the criminals in prison. It teaches those who remain out of prison to be more careful about using guns. It is also a good idea for us to teach our children — be compliant with the police. It is best for everyone. Besides, that policeman represents the law. If you don’t have any respect for him, then you likely have no respect for the law.

For those who like to read, I am offering the book to which I referred to, “Mitch,” free. On Friday, 4/23/2001, click on the following URL. It will take you to my author’s page. Then look for the book, “Mitch.” Then or order the book. Last time I looked, Mitch was on the last line of the second page.

I used to say just look up my name on but that doesn’t work any more. If you should try it, you will not come across any of my books until the second or third page. In fact you won’t see any books written by any Ben Rhodes on the first page. Maybe they don’t like my blogs at Amazon. I have no idea why.