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.

 

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.

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, BenRhodes.blog.  I got it first and Ben J. Rhodes can’t have it, even if he is better known.

 

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.