Outside Voter Influence

The Dems are all in an uproar over the Russians trying to influence our election.  First, it’s not new.  It is an effort that started with Stalin.

Second, they  are not the only ones.  The Chinese raised tariffs aimed at farmers that voted for Trump.  They haven’t said as much, but it is sort of obvious.  The Mexicans have been trying to retake the southwest every since the Alamo.  Moreover, it is no secret.  They said it publicly.

Actually, it’s not just the outside influence.  The Dems have been the main cheering section for first the Soviets, and now the Chinese.  They are helping the Mexicans every day and they don’t seem to care who knows it.

Those who call themselves journalists are right in there helping any foreigner they can find who will weaken the Republicans, even if it causes harm to the US.  They don’t much care what country they come from.

Personally, I believe it should be a felony to accept money from outside the United States in any election, I don’t care what country it comes from.  If it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, those using the funds should be thrown in prison and he should be removed from office.

I only wished it could be so for funds coming from other states as well.  I suspect that if our founding fathers foresaw such a possibility, they would have tried to put something in the constitution to disallow it.  After all, whey should multi-millionaires in New York or California have anything to say about what goes on in Alabama or Arkansas.  People in their own state ought to have their own say  It is sort of the reason they included the Tenth Amendment.

Many years ago, the Mississippi Assembly decided to make it legal to have gambling casinos.  There was one requirement.  They had to get the permission of the county by popular vote.  Twice, Desoto County voted it down.

There was, to say the least, a big battle that ensued prior to each vote.  Millions of dollars came in from out of state, mostly from Memphis.  (Now I ask you, is it right for people who live in Memphis to decide gambling in Desoto County?)  Some came from New York and some from other places.

Memphis, by default had the big guns in advertising.  They had three TV stations and I have no idea how many radio stations that broadcast into Desoto county.  Much of it was straight forward advertising, but much of it was personal opinion passed in something of a casual way by many of the anchors.  Their attitude was, why not vote to allow gambling.  It is the fix-all for everything.

Those that apposed the gambling had very little money.  They certainly couldn’t afford the TV adds and radio was expensive too.  Mostly, it was word of mouth, churches and a few small organizations.  I feared the outcome.  To me, it looked like they were just going steam roll in here and set up shop.

What really angered me was that the mayors and councilmen got in the act.  The school teachers were telling about how wonderful the gambling would be.  These people were supposed to be representing the people, but it was obvious they had no idea what the people wanted…or worse, they were self serving.

Those that were for the gambling outspent those against it by more than ten to one, yet it was defeated by two thirds of the voters.  They told the outsiders, “We don’t want it!  We don’t want any part of it!”

…and so it was that Tunica County got the gambling instead.  From my observance of how things went in Tunica, I am very happy we rejected it.  The gambling brought everything that we thought it would, crime, corruption and, very likely, organized crime.  By the way, it also resulted in the worst schools in the state  It was the exact opposite of the promise made by the casinos.  The state had to take over the schools because they became so bad.

I don’t know about others, but when outside money comes to my state, I will be very Leary.  I don’t like outside wealth telling me how to vote or what to vote for.  I would suggest that others do the same.  Educate yourself well and guard your vote carefully.  It is very important.

Computers, Good and Bad

Ever since computers have become somewhat common, I have had an interest in them. It helped that my brother designed them. He had a master’s in math and an Electronics Engineer degree. When I went into the Marines, I went into Aviation electronics. Admittedly, I didn’t have my brother’s abilities. If I had, I likely would have never gone in the Marines. Even as it was, I almost went to work for Autonetics, the electronic division of the no longer existing North American Aviation.
After the Marines, I went into the repair of computers and then into operations. There is no way I ever thought I would start writing books. Most of my English teachers concurred. By the time I reached the 7th grade, I was starting to have problems. At the time I had heard of Dyslexia, but I had no idea what it is. Though I have never been diagnosed as dyslexic, I now realize I have many of the symptoms. Anyone who knows the symptoms and has read my books will realize what I mean, although it is more of a reading problem.
So during my youth, I spent a great deal of my time trying to hide my problems. Because reading is difficult for me and I read slowly, I generally shy away from reading. I am good at listening, which allows me to somewhat make up for it. I can attend a lecture and I remember it far better than if I read the same material. In spite of my efforts to hide my problems, teachers should have recognized it and taken proper actions. Instead they just punished me for not keeping up.
I am very bad at spelling. It’s not specifically part of dyslexia, but the two sort of go together. When I write, I leave words and even phrases out. I frequently use words like also at the front of a sentence and then too at the end. Homonyms drive me crazy. I really do know the difference between there, their and they’re. That does not keep me from using the wrong one in the wrong place. I haven’t the foggiest reason for it. I don’t know if that has is something common among dyslexics or not, but it does drive me nuts. In my more recent books, I do searches on many homonyms to make sure I use them correctly.
Actually, as I started this my purpose was to write about computers. I guess I got off on a rabbit path. Nonetheless, it isn’t too far off of the beaten path. The fact is, without computers, I’d never be able to write. It would be hopeless. I have heard of other authors who were highly successful. You can do a Google on dyslexic authors and there will be a big list of them. (Including Earnest Hemingway and Jules Verne.) The word processors, as great as they are, simply cannot find all my errors. I have no idea how the old authors managed it, but many did. Maybe they just had good editors.
Here lately, computers have really made a mark on recent history. The text-to-speech has really made things nice. First time I heard one, a man had a small box connected to a desktop computer. He had it set up so that anything he typed, it said, though it sounded a little like Robbie the Robot. Also, it did mispronounce things. In baseball, it pronounced the e. It sort of made it sound Italian. The problem was easily solved by separating the words… base ball.
Nowadays, the text-to-speech programs are very good, though some provisions have to be made for some words. The one I purchased always read the word read the same way, present or past tense. Nonetheless, I do use my program a lot. I use it to help me with my editing. Others might find the program far more useful. Even at seventy, I have full use of my eyes, for which I am thankful. Some are not so fortunate. People who are blind can listen to books. Before computers, the blind couldn’t read anything that is not in Braille.
On the other hand, computers help those who have a difficulty hearing. The old hearing aids, as great as they were had one problem; they amplified all frequencies about the same. That was fine for most, but sometimes people hear almost all frequencies but a small band, especially high frequencies. Current hearing aids are smaller, but they can also be programmed for a specific person. They are expensive, but for those who have problems hearing, they are well worth it.
Then there is the cochlea implant. What an invention that is. And it is only possible because of computers. Indeed, it is a type of computer. As far as I am concerned it is one of the greatest inventions of modern man. You might argue with me about it, but not with someone whose life it has changed.
I sat and watched TV one day and saw a cripple man walk. I was absolutely amazed. He didn’t walk well nor did he walk very far. He carried a computer on his back that had probes connected to his legs. …and when he wanted his leg to move, it moved, using his own muscle. I was floored. I worked around computers almost all my life and I was stunned to see what they did.
From that day, I understand that they have made large advances to help people walk with the help of computers. It is a wonderful thing, if for no other reason than to keep the muscles from atrophying.
What wonderful things these computers are. To be sure, they are a tool. They can be used for good and they can be used for things not so good. They can be used to spy on people. They can be used to track all that an employee does all day. For a while, I was even one of those employees.
I can’t help but think, why do people use computers for bad when they can be used for such good? Who knows? Maybe, one of these days they will make a word processor that can correct all my mistakes. I don’t think that will happen really soon though.

Fear

Fear can be a good thing, or not so good.  It can keep us from doing stupid things and it can cause us to do stupid things.  Sometimes when we face fear, we become heroes, sometimes cowards.

I don’t mind telling you, I faced my times of fear.  In 1968, I got off a bus in San Diego and put my feet on some yellow foot prints painted on the asphalt.  …and I was afraid.  I spent a year in Vietnam.  While there, I had my moments in fear, even before the plane landed in Da Nang.  I don’t guess I need to tell you, I was not alone in my fear.

Recently, we all saw what happens when two parents fear for the life of their child and a government fears for a revelation of a substandard health care.  It would appear to me that the English government had but one reason for not allowing a child to go outside the islands for possible care; Italy’s doctors might have succeeded where British doctors didn’t.  They feared that it would uncover that they might have done something wrong.

…and so it was that an innocent three-year-old child died at the hands of substandard health system that is being run by a substandard government.  Though the Prime Minister had nothing to do with the death, she must share the guilt.  There is no doubt in my mind that she could have done something, but, instead she ignored the situation, as if she never read or heard about it.

My guess is that she was acting, or perhaps more accurately, not acting out of fear.  After all, she might lose votes in Parliament if her government were to be exposed for their fear.  Certainly, the last thing Parliament wants is to have the world find out that their wonderful health care system isn’t all it is supposed to be.

I don’t know if anything could have been done for the child.  I do know that it shows a pattern.  It is not the first time it has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last.  To me, it sounds like a good reason to avoid going to London on holiday, especially if you have children.  If your 2 year-old gets sick while there, you just might not be able to get him out of the country.

More-than-that, we will never know what was wrong with the last child.  No one outside of the country will be able to look at the body.  No one will be able to tell the world that some mistake was made during his diagnosis or his treatment.

It is but one small reason that a nation’s government should never manage healthcare.  Just think, if we had national healthcare, that poor child might be yours one day.  He will lie at death’s door.  Even if you know a way to bring him back to good health, even if you know a doctor who can heal your child, there will not be one thing you will be able to do.  The healthcare system will be afraid that you just might prove them wrong and they can’t afford something like that.

If your child does die because of some blunder by a state doctor, who is there to find out?  Certainly not the state.  They have too much to fear to do something like that.

I once heard someone say, “If you think healthcare is bad now, just wait until it is free.”  It is one one of my greatest fears.  You see, I lived under single provider healthcare while I was in the Corps.  My oldest son almost died of tonsillitis though he was treated by Navy doctors for a week.

Finally, I went to a civilian doctor who said he was barely able to breath because his tonsils were so swollen.  I really hate to think of what might have happened if I didn’t have that option.  Just remembering how close I was to losing him makes me more afraid than I ever was in Vietnam.

 

Compromise

I seldom want to quote Bernie Sanders, but I just heard him say something undeniably true.  “What was once considered radical is now mainstream.”

Sounds like a good reason not to compromise to me.  If he has his way, we will compromise all the way to communism.  As he said, we are already over half way there.  On the other hand, liberals never want to compromise when it means moving toward being more conservative.

As Lady Margaret Thatcher once said, (No matter how slow it is going, why get on the train if it’s going the wrong way?)  Notice I used parenthesis instead of quotes because it is a paraphrase.  I heard her on TV one day and I am not sure of the precise words.

I agree with what she said, but I think I would have said that doing such a thing is, “Crazy Nuts,” if I may quote the title of one of my own books.

Should you like to see any of my other titles, you might check my authors page at

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

Or you can simply log onto Amazon.com and enter my name in the search box.  Please do not confuse me with that other Ben Rhodes, the one that worked for Obama.

Controllers and Floaters

The following is the premise of a group of my books about a group of people called floaters and another group called controllers. While neither group really exists, I do believe there are people who like to control other people. Some were called kings, some emperors, pharaohs, etc, they do their best to take control of all the world. They are also on a smaller scale. Some are politicians, some are businessmen, some lawyers. In the previous post, the controllers are the communists. Unfortunately, those protecting the Vietnamese gave up and let the communists come in and take control.

In the world I’ve created in my books, the controllers have natural enemies. They are called floaters. After you have read the below premise, you might decide you want to visit my little world. I think it is better than the real one. If only floaters were real. Maybe then, we would not have health care systems that require women to be covered for prostrate cancer. We would not require men to be covered for miscarriages.

The following is an excerpt from the foreword in the book, “Wolf.”

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There are controllers in this world. They are part of a large organization that want to control the world as well as each other. Some go into business and use the business laws to take control. Some go into politics. Others simply linger in the background and provide backing for those who are willing to do their bidding.

Though controllers use various methods and though they compete viciously with each other, they will unite in a minute for one purpose, to kill floaters. The floaters are the only people who can stop them from reaching their goals. As long as one floater lives, they know they cannot achieve world dominance.

For this reason, they will stop at nothing to kill any floater. For this reason, floaters must work quietly. They must never reveal who they are. If they do, they know that they will be hounded by the controllers until they are dead.

Not all controllers know about floaters. It is something they keep within the higher ranks. It would seem contrary to their desire to destroy the floaters, but if the floaters were revealed to the public, the controllers would also reveal themselves. If they and their purposes were revealed, it would make their goals unattainable.
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Unfortunately, there are no floaters. At least some of us must take up our cause and fight for our freedom every day. If we don’t, the controllers will take it from us. They have already attacked our freedom of speech, religion and the right to use weapons to protect ourselves.

Most of us are like the farmer in my previous post. We are completely oblivious to the fact that the controllers, the real ones are after our freedom. One day we will wake up and find we are under the control of a controller who calls himself, president. He will take control by promising us free food, housing and phones.

For those that would like to browse my author’s page, simply enter the following URL in your browser.

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

One Farmer

While in Vietnam one day, I was in a truck. I wasn’t the only one in the truck. I guess there were about 14 of us. However, I was likely the only one who took note of a farmer in his field up to his knees in water. My guess is that he was harvesting his rice crop, but I don’t know.

Now, why would I take note of this farmer and what makes me write about him? After all, it was decades ago. Most people would have forgotten about the man a long time ago.

The fact is, the farmer was completely oblivious to what all was going on around him. He was too busy just trying to survive. There was one group of people who wanted to take control of his life, his and all those around him. Then there were those of us who were trying to protect him from the communists.

It is conceivable that someone might have told him, but he likely had no interest in it. First, he likely didn’t truly understand. Second, he likely felt he couldn’t do anything one way or the other. Third, he likely didn’t look far beyond the next day. It is hard to think politics when you have a wife and a couple of children who are facing starvation in the next few days.

Besides these two groups, there was another group, very far removed from Vietnam. They had goals too. They wanted an end to the war in Vietnam. They had little interest in the farmer or what might happen to him.  I am sure the protesters are proud of what they did.

So it was, in a short time, the decision was made to withdraw. Decades later, I talked to a pilot who flew for the Vietnamese Air Force. When he left his country, he was flying a C-130 (a large cargo plane) that was overloaded and people were falling off the rear door as he went to the runway. Somehow, I suspect that the war protesters cared little about them either, or those who died at sea trying to escape the communists.

Today, I often think about that farmer I saw. I wonder what happened to him. I suspect he lost his farm, though he was likely required to continue working it. It’s the sort of thing the communists do.

On the other hand, he might have been one of the million or so that were killed by the communists. If he objected about them taking over his farm, it is the sort of thing they might have done.

…and, of course, the war protesters are really happy they prevailed.

I had no desire to go to Vietnam. I even had one year of exemption for college. I must admit, I was afraid. (That’s right, I was a scared marine) Fortunately, I spent my tour mostly at Da Nang air base. There were still some nights we were scared enough to go running for the bunker.

There is, however, but one thing I truly regret, that I was never able to help that farmer. After all, most of us would die without the farmers.

(Please note, this and the next post are loosely related.  If you like this one, you might like the next.)

I have an Idea (2)

No need to build a wall.

Winston Churchill said that socialists need walls to hold people in. (my words, such as East Berlin)  Capitalists need walls to keep people out.  (my words, such as the US)

Solution: turn Mexico from socialism to capitalism.  The US is already going from capitalism to socialism.  At some point, people will stop coming north and start going south.  (oddly, beach front property in southern California will again be affordable.  Property in Baha California will be outrageous.)

To be sure, there is one problem with this approach.  Getting the US to become socialist seems to be simple.  Getting Mexico to become capitalist is likely a tad bit more difficult than impossible.  It just might be easier to build the wall, though I’m not sure.