How to Destroy a Nation

I am hardly the epitome of a great person.  I have made countless bad decisions, some, oddly, on purpose.  I thought that I could circumvent the consequences.

However, I’m hardly an ogre.  To the best of my knowledge, I murdered not one.  I try to be honest.  I try not to hurt people.  I neither drink nor smoke and never did.

Enough already.  It’s not my point to brag, but I’m sure you get my point.  The fact is, I do love this country.  I spent nine years in the Marines doing my little part to keep us free.  I even spent one year in Vietnam,  pretty much terrified.

However, if I decided I wanted to destroy this country, the first thing I would do is to destroy the family structure.  Well, I guess someone beat me to it.  The concept of one father, one mother and children is about gone.  Satan, through the communists Soviets, has been very busy.  Something tells me he does not like this country or what it stands for.

First, the idea of marriage has been completely redefined.  Second, children are being reprogrammed by the public education system.  They have forced God out of our schools so that they can put things into our children’s minds that are completely foreign to the principles that this country was founded on.

Third, they have made the state the main provider of sustenance, not the father.  Hence, there is no more need for the father to remain in the home.  He serves no purpose other than, possibly abusing the wife and children, which profits Satan and the communists.  After all, children are the future of any country.

The state has made marriage and divorce fast and easy, even to the point of the “No fault” divorces.  Believe it or not, there was a time when people actually had to present a valid reason to a judge in order to get a divorce.  Indeed there are some couples who get divorces for no other reason than for tax purposes.

Then, of course there are those who don’t even bother with the marriage at all.  Who wants to make a real commitment?   It is just paper, right?

…and so it is that the true concept of the family continues to fade off into obscurity.  Most assuredly,  if it is not soon reversed, our nation will follow.  I’m not a prophet.  It doesn’t take a prophet to see the future in this case.

Then, as Nikita  Khrushchev said, the Russians will just march in and take over without firing a shot.  However, they might have to hurry.  Mexico might beat them to it.

Home Made Guns

Some have the allusion that it takes a big factory to build guns.  Yet, David Marshall Williams made a semi-automatic rifle while incarcerated in prison.  He built it in the prison machine shop.

Basically, it was the one used by hundreds of thousands of soldiers during WWII.  In some some ways, it was a better gun for war than those that were designed and built in the big factories.

I have no doubt that a good blacksmith with the proper tools can build rifles or sidearms with nothing more than a little of the right raw materials and a few good tools.

Some might want to consider that when they say we should make guns illegal.  At least the ones we have now have serial numbers and can be traced to some degree.  If people start making them in basements, we won’t know where they come from, or, for that matter, what country they come from.

 

Back to Bible Days

Maybe it is time for us to return to the days we taught the Bible and Biblical principles in schools.  Maybe it is time to put prayer back in school.  It certainly hasn’t helped us much by taking Christianity out of our classrooms.

Some might want to convince the world that the one thing has nothing to do with the other.  Yet, the Bible does teach us not to murder.  It is Christian to love one another.  What wonderful principles does atheism have to offer.

It would appear to me that, as a nation, we have made a big mistake by taking God out of our schools and now we are suffering the unintended consequences: death, pain and suffering.

GAS TAX??!!

I heard someone else suggest increasing the gas tax, this time federal… 25 cents a gallon.  Easy assumption.  The man does not have to eek out a living and drive fifty miles each way for work.  He certainly doesn’t have to drive a hundred miles to and from work each day as some do.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe he drives an electric car.  At present people driving electric cars don’t pay gas tax.  (I suspect that will be changed soon, though I don’t know how.)

On the other hand, he might use a subway, train or bus to go to work.  He’d not pay a penny for gas tax, leastwise not directly.

Regardless of his method of transportation, he likely doesn’t have to give up groceries to pay the taxes.  He likely doesn’t hurt to pay the bills as most of us do.

There is a solution for building and repairing highways.  Stop squandering the money they have.  Obama was authorized a trillion dollars for “shovel ready projects.”  I believe he should have to repay it.

I still don’t know where that money went.  Maybe it’s time for the government to pinch their pennies for a while.  Maybe it’s time they stop squandering it.  Then maybe they will be more careful with it.  (I don’t hold out much hope for that.)

If you agree with me, send this to someone else.  Send this to your representatives.  Yell it from the housetops.  I’m not sure, they might increase it anyway.  It is what the government does.  It is what they do.  They tax and they spend.  What else would they do.  What else can they do.  Oh, yes.  Make laws.  They do have a tendency to mess that up too.

Why I Write

It just might be a little bit of irony that I don’t enjoy reading that much.  Although I have never been diagnosed as dyslexic, I have many of the symptoms, and then some.  I read slowly and it is mildly difficult for me.  My spelling is horrible.

When I write, I have a tendency to use 10 words where 6 will work better.  Moreover, I frequently repeat phrases.  One mistake I have to watch for is redundancy.  That is to say, I might use “also” at the beginning of a sentence and “too” at the end.

While proof reading, I once found a sentence that was worded so badly that I couldn’t understand it.  It took me an hour to patch around it.  To this day, I can’t remember what I wanted to say, just that it was important.

I have no idea why but I have a tendency to use “there” when I mean “their.”  I really do know the difference.  Homonyms really cause me no end of grief.  I think I am getting worse.  I never used to have problems with gender, but the last few years, would you believe.  I was proof reading “The Coincidence Theory,” again.  I was sure it was perfect.  After all, I had proof read it 7 or 8 times before.

Then, to my embarrassment, there it was.  Just after the second chapter.  I am sure it would cause confusion to the most liberal reader.  Well, that has just been added to my things to do.  I will correct the mistake.  What concerns me, is how many more mistakes elude me.

 

Because I read so slowly, I generally prefer to watch a good movie or TV show.  Nowadays, both have gotten rare.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone to a theater.  I used to go at least once a month.  My TV stays on the news most of the time.  About the only station turning out good movies are the Hallmark channels.

The so-called comedy channels make fun of those things that I hold precious to me, such as family life, parenthood, and Christianity.  You know, it’s all the things that made this nation different and great.

It would seem that they have done wonders in the technical aspects of productions and dove into the gutter in matters of subject and language.  Oddly, most in the industry consider these great advances.  The shock factor is the substitute for quality.  I do have one question.  If it is all so much better, why is everyone staying home and finding other things to do?

 

When I first left the Marines, we didn’t have a TV.  We also had two boys, 6 and 2.  It seemed a small disaster.  We bought second hand books and lay on the floor as we read.  (No furniture)  I generally read about three books every two days.  In my first eight months as a civilian, I read more books than all the years before or since.

As with reading, I have found it difficult to write.  As mentioned, I am prone to errors.  Without a good word processor, it would be unthinkable.  (Some might think it unthinkable anyway.)  At any rate, in spite of the difficulty, I found out I enjoy writing.  In spite of the hours of proof reading required, I still have a feeling of accomplishment.  Though I don’t have any million sellers, I do appreciate every person who has taken the time to read my stories.

I know that there are those who dislike the stories.  However, there are those who enjoy them.  Even a couple of doctors have read and like them.  I guess those with English majors won’t like them.  I don’t know.  So far I don’t know any that have read them.

 

One of my endeavors is to provide a few books for people to read that are not filled with filthy language.  When I bought my Kindle, one thing I noticed is that the vast majority of books available are horrible because of the language.  When I was in the Marines, I had to put up with that stuff.  Not now.  Generally, when I decide to buy a book, I will go through dozens before I find one worth reading.  If you don’t like books without any of that, I can guarantee you won’t like any of mine.

As I said, my books are not million sellers, but you can assume that there is no vulgar or even questionable language in any of my books.  Moreover, what little violence is in my stories is essential to the plot.  Moreover, my books encourage good moral behavior.  Indeed, a few encourage Christian beliefs.

 

…and so I write.  No longer for the masses, but for myself.  If a few join me in my imaginary journeys, all the better.  If I can encourage one or two to make the right decisions, far better yet.

If any find mistakes in my books, feel free to write me at Kaay@att.net.  All I ask is that you remain relatively civil and keep the language clean.  If you don’t remain within these broad requirements, you will waste your time to write.  I will delete your message unread.

Your words of corrections are very valuable to me.  I have found that editing a book can cost over eight-thousand dollars.  I did that once.  I can’t afford to do that with 35 books.  In fact, I can’t afford to do that even one more time.  I am retired and I live on Social Security.  …and thanks to Obama, half of that goes to my wife’s health insurance.

I Learned One More Thing

In the last couple of weeks, I learned something very important.  A multi-billionaire is subject to being illegally spied on.  If the government was able to spy on candidate Trump, they can spy on any person for any reason.

Forget the 4th amendment.  If you want something kept private, maybe you need to bury it.  If you want to have a private conversation, forget using any kind of phone.  It would be best to go out in the middle of a cow pasture to carry on a private conversation.  Then you might want something that generates white noise.  If you must use email and you don’t want the FBI or NSA to read it, you will likely want to double encrypt it.

Indeed, it is starting to look like money can be made by people selling:

1. Sound proof rooms.

2. E-mail encoders.

3. Audio encryption devices for phones and so forth.

Maybe I missed a few suggestions.  Feel free to add a few.

By the way, I don’t have a whole lot to hide, but if I should decide to encrypt something, no one will ever figure it out.  It is actually a surprisingly simple thing to do.  Maybe I should start doing it just to confuse a few folks.  It would serve them right for abusing their positions.

A Little Help for My Competition

I likely shouldn’t write this.  It just might increase my effective competition.  However, considering my sales, I don’t guess any competition can hurt me.  Most of those who read my books read them free now.

As I mentioned in one of my other posts, I found that Amazon has made it a great deal easier to get my books printed in paperback.  Even so, I have found a few things that can really make things simpler.  I will list them below.  I must mention ahead of time, while they have made it simpler, it still takes a little time.  I have more than thirty-five books to convert for paperback.  At about an hour or two each, we are talking almost two 40-hour work weeks.  Maybe I can save you an hour or two.

  1. First and foremost, save your book as a PDF file.  This is not an absolute must, but it does have its advantages.  The biggest advantage is that it helps me see what the final book will look like.
  2. Before creating your PDF file format your book as follows (whole document):
    1. Page size, usually 6 by 9 inches.  If you use another size, it will affect some of the other settings.
    2. set the margins for .8 inches at top and bottom.  This normally works well with .3 inches for header and footer.  If you don’t have a footer, you can decrease your lower margin to .3 inches and this will decrease the size of your book slightly.  In turn, this will decrease the cost of printing.
    3. I have found that it works for me if  I select mirrored side margins.  I set the inside margin to .7 inch for a small book (less than 200 pages)  and .8 for larger books.  I have one book that is almost four hundred pages, and it worked well on that.  If you don’t do this, it will make it, at the least frustrating for people to read the inside margins on your books.
    4. Amazon seems to prefer a font size of 9.  I prefer 10 or even 11.  I would suggest that you purchase at least one proof of the book so you can see for yourself.
    5. Stay away from fancy fonts.  I use times new roman, and even that generates a warning.  I have a few books that had fancy fonts for headings and such and they did not come out well.
  3. Once you have formatted your book, take a good look at it in PDF format.  The conversion takes a while and finding a mistake after the conversion can be frustrating and time consuming.  You don’t want to go through it more than once.
  4. They permit you to build a cover for the book.  If you have your own, make sure it has a resolution of 300 dpi or more.  If you use their book cover maker, not all the designs are 300 dpi.  Some of the books I did are less and they seem fine to me, but you certainly don’t want anything less than 200 dpi.  It will cause the image to be a little grainy.
  5. If there is any weakness in Amazon’s publishing process, it is the cover builder.  Knowing Amazon, they are likely already addressing this.  However, currently, you will want to use a large high resolution screen while building your cover.  It is very difficult to see the printing.  When you bring it up and start working with it, you will see what I mean.  As you add content, the printing decreases in size, making it difficult to see as you finish.  Also, there is no spell checker, so you might want to pre-check your content before entering it.
  6. The above assumes you already have a Kindle book.  To convert the book, go to your bookshelf and go to the book you want to convert.  Then simply click on the “+Create Paperback.”  It is in small blue letters just to the right of center.  On the other hand, if you are in the midst of registering a new Kindle book, you will be prompted when you finish.
  7. Once you finish loading the text and book cover, click on preview book.  After that, you will need to wait fifteen to thirty minutes.  Probably longer if you are writing “War and Peace.”  Before displaying the image, Amazon must do a lot.  It is why I encourage you to get it right the first time.
  8. When done, you will be presented a picture of what your book will look like.  Also, it will point out any errors that that were found in the process.  Some might make your book unprintable.  Some are just suggestions, cautions.  The book is still printable, but it will suffer quality problems.
  9. I don’t know if page numbers are required in your file.  I have always included them in my footer, though they prefer them in the header.  The page numbers must be sequential from front to back with the odd number on the right and even on the left.  (That was a hard lesson for me to learn)  I there is an error in the page numbers, they will not print the book.
  10. Once you are satisfied with your work, click on approve.  If not, click on cancel, and fix the problems.  Then you get to wait again.
  11. Once you have an approved book, you will be asked to set a price.  It will have to be more than a minimum that they set.  I’m sure the minimum is primarily determined by the number of pages, though I am sure there would be some kind of minimum even for one page.
  12. Before trying to order a proof, you will need to wait again, this time likely 6 to 24 hours.  When it was done with mine, I received an email.  When your book is ready and you have your bookshelf open, select the book you converted.  Under paperback options, you’ll see a button “edit details”  To the right of that, you will see a button with four dots.  When you pass over the dots with the mouse, you will see a popup menu.  Click on proof.  select the number, most likely one.  select the area, for me, it is Amazon.Com.  It will be different if you are in a different country.  Then for some reason, you will need to click on another button  (haven’t figured out the reason yet) to request a proof.  After, the system will seem to have lost its memory, as it will bring you right back to the page you just left.  Just close the page.  In a while, you will get an email.  Follow the instructions and it will take you to the market place screen.
  13. You can also order author’s copies in the same way or you can order copies as a customer.  The advantage of proofs and author’s copies is that they don’t cost as much.  The proof will have a label across it, “Not for Resale.”  Books purchased in this way, to the best of my knowledge, do not affect sales stats.
  14. Once you get the proof, look it over carefully.  Inspect the print to make sure it is easily read, even near the spine of the book.  On the other hand, you need to make sure there is a lot of wasted space.  Check the cover for errors.  In my case, I opened a parenthesis and didn’t close it.  With the small print in the cover designer, I didn’t notice it until I had the proof.  It meant going back and fixing the cover and then going back through the conversion process.

Maybe, with this little bit of info, you won’t have to go through the process of learning as I did.  They do give away templates you can use.  I’m sure that will help you avoid some of the mistakes I did.  It just is, I don’t have a lot of faith in templates.  Moreover, if I use template, then I have to conform totally to the template.  I guess I am a non-conformist.  As I said, they like the page number in the header.  I like mine in the footer.  They like the title in the header, I like the chapter title in the header.  However, I did use a template to determine the optimum page layout.

I hope things go well for you, even if you are my competition.

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller