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.

 

A Little Privacy

When I was selected for grand jury duty decades ago, I learned a great deal.  I would suggest that one and all, if you are given the chance, take it.  It is a very enlightening experience.

First, it will open your eyes to the sort of people that are in this world.  Believe me, they are not all good.  Second, it will help you to realize that what you read in the paper is not always as it appears.

Indeed, there are many things it will teach you.  However, the one thing I learned on the first day is something they should teach in school, but don’t.  To the best of my knowledge, no one ever taught me one thing about grand juries or their purpose in all my twelve years of going to school.

Fortunately, the district attorney told us about them.  They actually serve three purposes.  They can perform investigations.  Indeed the grand jury I was on did perform a small investigation.  Primarily, the district attorney presents evidence and on the basis of that evidence, they vote, true bill or no true bill.

The interesting part about this is that if a true bill is returned, no one knows but the district attorney (and his team) and those on the grand jury.  The one being charged does not get a chance to pack his bags and head for Mexico, which he could do if he was forewarned.

Also, if a no true bill is returned, nothing happens.  Not only does the suspect not find out about it, but none of his friends, neighbors or family find out about it either.  It is one of the great parts about our justice system.  If the DA can’t get a true bill, he can’t ruin your reputation.  This is especially good, because if the DA can’t get a true bill against you, your boss will never know you were under investigation.  Neither will your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Moreover, it has been commonly held that any investigating body should keep things private for that reason.  In general, police do not go around telling the world that they are investigating John Doe until they have sufficient evidence to charge him with something.  I think everyone can see that this is a good practice and should be carefully followed.

Knowing this, I was surprised that when the southern US district court judge gave out the name of person “number three” when the demand was made by the an attorney representing The New York Times and some news channel.  She should have refused.  The man was not being charged and wasn’t even being investigated.  He wasn’t even a suspect.  Apparently, what he was guilty of was holding a few conversations with a friend, an attorney who also represents President Trump.

So, the Judge ordered the name be made public and we all now know he is Sean Hannity.  In this case, it did no harm.  However, it could have.  As it was, Mr. Hannity had to defend himself before Fox News, though he did nothing wrong.  Had it been something that he wanted kept quiet, too late now.

One of the things our justice system is supposed to do is protect the innocent people from being railroaded by over zealous investigators.  The judge, at the least, should be censured.  Yet, we have not heard one peep from the Bar association.  We have not heard a complaint from any official.

This of course means, if you are conservative, the justice system will not protect you.  Indeed, you need to be careful who you talk to.  You will need to be wary of what you say.  You will need to take care at hiring a lawyer.  Else, if you don’t, your name might appear on the front page of one of the best known newspapers in the world.

On the other hand, if you are a liberal, don’t worry about it.  It will never happen to you, that is, unless all the newspapers and media suddenly become conservative.  Then where will you be?  No need to worry.  That will not happen in our lifetime.

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.

A Few Words About Self-Driving Cars

I am sure there is much to be said about this subject, but let me start with the obvious.  I would suspect there are hundreds, maybe thousands of lawyers that are salivating at the prospect of taking some big company to court over an accident piloted by a computer.

First, there is the possibility of suing the car manufacturer.  Then they might sue the company that built the computer, or one of the sensors.  Then there is the software company or person who wrote the programming of the computer.  Then again, why discriminate.  They can sue all of them and let the jurors sort it out.

Each time they level a lawsuit, it means 40% of something they would be able to put in their pocket.  My guess is, few if any of the suits would go to court.  The defendants would not want to set any kind of precedent, so they would likely settle out of court.  They would admit no guilt and the plaintiffs would agree to drop the suit.

It would mean, after an accident, the lawyer would raise his hand and say “Suit,” and the defendants would ask how much.  Then, the nation would have two more instant millionaires,  The lawyer and his client.

Then again, I’m not sure.  It might be four more millionaires.  It is entirely plausible that the parties from both cars might sue to to get a piece of the pie.  On the other hand, what if there are more than two cars involved.  The little glitch in the software just might cause a ten car pileup.  I don’t want to even think about that.

The point is, the lawsuits are no longer limited to the tens of thousands of dollars that an individual driver can cough up.  We are talking megabucks now, millions of dollars over what we now call a fender-bender.  Every dent is a possible lawsuit.

It is all ironic.  Eventually, the driver-less cars will be safer than those driven by humans.  It is quite possible that the computer just might reduce crashes and deaths on the highway.  The computers, after all, have three advantages over humans.

Computers are not distracted.  That little instant that a man takes his eyes off the road to look at that barely dressed woman will no longer be a problem.  That misbehaving child in the back seat will not keep you from seeing that car pull out in front of you.  Moreover, should you nod off from staring at that endless ribbon of highway, it’s no problem.  The robot has it all in control.

It takes us humans about 1/4 of a second to react to an emergency.  From the time we see some child dart out in front of us to the time we put our foot on the brake, it takes at least two tenths of a second.  On the other hand, the computer would apply the brake in millionths of a second.  Even at thirty miles an hour, a car can travel quite a distance in a quarter of a second.

It has often been asked, what if the computer fails.  What if a component goes bad.  Today’s computers are incredibly reliable and will likely become far more reliable in the future.  On the other hand, we humans can and do fail from time to time.  I have known of many accidents that were the result of someone pressing on the throttle instead of the brake.  Then too, there are a few of us that are old.  If a heart goes out while we are driving, it can cause people to die… besides the heart attack victim.  Besides, even young people can have heart attacks, or black out from other ailments.

In the long run, computers will be far more reliable, though I would still be hesitant to put my life in the hands of one.

However, until something is done with the legal aspects, autonomous cars will continue to be the exception rather than the rule.  It means that women will not be able to put their makeup on at seventy mph and men will have to ignore that good-looking woman walking by.  As usual, it will be the lawyers that will impede the progress.  Even when it makes the roads safer, the driver-less cars are going to have to wait.  There is no way that our legal system will be able to handle it.  Our courts will be so backed up that they won’t be able to deal with the less important things… such as rape, robbery and murder.

Besides the legal problems, there are the recalls.  One accident, and it would likely result in the recall of millions of autos.  Talk about a nightmare.

Then again, there is one thing that I am really looking forward to… keeping all those alcoholics from driving.  That in itself would save uncountable lives, pain and suffering.  The problem is, as long as lawyers make the laws, driver-less autos will remain quite rare.

Thou Shalt Not Steal

I know there are all kinds of illegal robbery going around.  I even had a would be thief walk into my house one night with a .45.  Fortunately,  he decided to leave when our two big dogs confronted him.

However, I would suspect, maybe, a bigger problem might be legal robbery.  It happens all the time.  We read about it in the papers and we hear about it on the radio.  From time to time, a story is even on the TV.  Someone robs someone and no one can do a thing.  The theft is completely within the law.

I can’t prove it, but I have heard that legal theft is not new.  In the day that our Savior walked this earth, there were lawyers who accepted fees from widows in the hope they would receive help.  The lawyer provided very little help and abandoned her the moment her money ran out.

The priests refused to accept a sheep for sacrifices because of defects.  However, they did accept the lamb and money in exchange for a lamb that was acceptable.  Of course, everyone knew that the acceptable sheep was acquired from a man, maybe the day before, and the sheep the priest received in payment would be sold to a man in a day or two.

Only Temple currency was permitted for offering at the Temple.  Naturally, there were money changers at the Temple that could take in any form of currency, in exchange for Temple currency.  Naturally, for this, they took exorbitant fees.

The only time I know of where Jesus became somewhat violent was when he chased the thieves from His Temple, as he said, “You have made My Father’s House a den of thieves.”  Because of this, regardless of anything else, we know that there were thieves in the Temple.  We also know that it was likely legal thievery.  Otherwise, they would have been tossed in prison.  Instead they stole right out in open sight.

In the story of The Good Samaritan, Jesus also spoke of thieves that used force.  However, I get the impression he hated the legal thieves more than those who used force.  This is especially true for those who stole in His Father’s Name.

In the operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, “The Pirates of Penzance,” the pirate king says he is more honest than the businessman.  When he hoists The Jolly Roger, everyone knows what he is about.  The businessman hides behind his nice suit and respectability and steals even more than the pirate.

Indeed, history is full of those who have used their offices or businesses to steal.  Unfortunately, most of these have succeeded.  They never went to prison.  To this day, some are still respected.  I am not going to go through all I know.  It would take a book.

Let me just mention a few.  Jackson stole land from the Indians.  His picture is on the twenty-dollar bill.  Many, after The Civil War, went down into the south to plunder.  Lincoln tried to stop this but was assassinated.  The pole tax and literacy laws grew from this.  The KKK was not formed to kill the Blacks, but to stop the carpetbaggers.  Eventually, the ransacking resulted in the “Solid South.”

Speaker of the House Hastert made a really great land deal because of inside info.  Most of us would have gone to jail for that, or at least paid a big fine.  There is no telling how much thievery the Clintons were involved in.  Many congressional members made millions off of books that were never read.  It is a left-handed method of bribery.  The Bible has much to say about that (bribery) as well.  Maybe, a few of you remember the house post office and banking system.  (Eventually, that did end in the incarceration of one man, though hundreds were guilty.)

Perhaps the most prevalent form of legal thievery is welfare.  This is where perfectly healthy man or woman draws money under the guise of inability to earn money.  In truth they steal, not only from the feds, but, in truth, from people who really need welfare.  This they with clear conscience because, by George, it’s legal.  Moreover, there are some in the federal government that encourage such activity.  Indeed, the bureaucracy depends on the welfare system; so they encourage the robbery, knowing it is dishonest.  They are all members of a den of thieves and they know it.

May I use my imagination for just a moment?  What would happen if all of a sudden the Lord took all those who actually work for living from this country.  I think, possibly, we are talking major panic.  However, if one day, people in this country get tired of working so that others can sit on their tails doing nothing, they, those who do the work, just might stop working.  The effect would be the same.

The fact is thievery is thievery no matter what euphemisms you put on it.  Those that steal are thieves and those that encourage them are just as guilty.  Whether it is done at the point of a knife or as the result of some land grab, the thieves will answer for their sins.  After all, the Lord did say, “Thou shalt not steal.”  I don’t think he made any exceptions for those who hide behind the law.  Those of you who practice law should take note of this.  (I wonder how many have become multimillionaires because of the tobacco judgement.  I wonder how many are now living in mansions because of asbestos… or baby powder.  What percentage of our doctor bills are for paying lawyer’s fees?  How many useful products will never make it to the marketplace because someone is afraid of the lawyers?

By the way, Jesus’ story of The Good Samaritan was a reply to a Lawyer’s question, “Who is our neighbor?”  Even back then, they were looking for loopholes.  The fact is that sometimes the law gets in the way of doing things that are good.  Sometimes the law encourages those who do things that are bad.

The question is, what do we do about it?  Let’s start by electing good honest people to public office.  Personally, I think it would be a good idea to make sure they are Christian.  Personally, I think it would be a good idea to elect people who have the courage and conviction to be publicly pro-life.  I think maybe it would be a good idea if our representatives are not thieves or encourage thievery, regardless of the form it takes.  If we would occasionally throw thieves in public office in jail, it would help.  If we don’t, this nation is headed for a train wreck.

The Lord has blessed this nation from its birth.  Why should He continue His blessings on a nation that treats Him and his people so badly?  He doesn’t need to pronounce judgement on a crooked nation.  It is a natural result.  No nation can survive when its citizens look the other way while legal murder and robbery abound.  This is true even for atheist nations.  Why should we be better?

Thou shalt not murder

I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.  The death of those kids in Florida is horrible.  Moreover, the killer in this case almost got away.  Had it not been for one observant police officer, the killer might have remained free for hours, if not days more.  Conceivably, he might have even left the country.  The mass murderer was already miles away from the school when he was taken.

I have, however noticed a pattern.  Every time there is a mass killing with a gun, the media goes nuts, “We must get rid of guns, and right now.  Never mind the second amendment.”  Never mind that the next killer likely already has his gun or will find a way of getting one.

The fact is that killers don’t need guns.  There’s no telling how many boys were killed by Rock Hudson, and he is upheld by society as a hero.  (By the way, I refuse to see any of his movies because of it.  Anyone who has a brain and really feels badly for murder victims should do the same.)  He contracted AIDS and continued to practice his homosexual lifestyle, knowing he might infect the young men.

During the outbreak of AIDS, homosexuals, some who knew they might have AIDS, insisted on giving blood.  Arthur Ashe (a prominent tennis player) became one of their victims when he was given a transfusion.  The federal government was complicit when the CDC refused to believe that the disease could be transferred through the blood.  To this day, there is no attempt to isolate people who are infected, though they finally figured out that they should do what they can to keep infected blood out of our supplies.

If they had adopted the proper infection procedures as soon as the disease was detected, it would have saved thousands, if not millions of lives.  Well, they did get one thing they were after, billions of dollars on research.  To a small degree, they have had some success.  However, for most that contract it, AIDS is a death sentence.  …and, by the way, I have not heard one homosexual apologize.  (Lest someone remind me, drug abusers deserve some of the blame.  In many cases, though, the drug users and the homosexuals were and are the same.)

Those doctors who perform abortions, especially late term abortions commit murder on a regular basis.  Sometimes, the mother suffers physical damage as a result.  Planned Parenthood likely has as much or more blood on their hands as Hitler.  In defiance, they claim they are helping the mother.  In truth, all they want is the money.  If you doubt me, remove the money and see how long the practice continues.  Abortion is a multi-million dollar industry that heavily lobbies congress, especially Dems.

Then, of course there is Obama.  He withdrew the troops from Iraq and hundreds of thousands of people died.  He is held in high esteem by many.  Then there is Hillary.  She killed four men by doing nothing.  She just stood by and blamed it on a film.  (Now that’s dumb.)  I don’t understand.  Why are they not in prison?  The killer in Florida was a mass killer.  Obama and his friends are wholesale killers.

Then again, their killings might not have been so bad.  Their crime was different.  They didn’t use a gun.  Then to, they are democrats.  They can get away with anything.  Teddy and Jack Kennedy got away with murder, literally.

For those who would like to see what kind of books I write, check my author’s page:

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I Don’t Understand It

I Don’t Get it.

NOW our nation prays.

I’m sure it will do some good,
but it seems to me that the praying should have started years ago.

If earnest prayer started decades ago
maybe seventeen young men and women would still be alive.

Of course, that would have offended a few atheist.

Let’s Get Real.

Let’s face the facts, the ones that our God-less leaders tell us don’t exists.

There are real thieves in this world.

Not all of them wear masks.

Some hide behind respectable business suits.  They use the law.

They steal.

It is in their nature.

They take that which is not theirs.

There are killers in this world.

Not all of them use guns.

Oddly some of them even call themselves doctor.

They murder.

It is in their nature.

They seek wealth, fame and power.

 

There are people in this world who are evil.

The worst of these are some of our leaders.

They do evil.

It is in their nature
and their evil manifests itself in dozens of ways.

 

If we continue to vote for God-less candidates,
why should we expect them to do anything good?

They seek to control.
They want money, power and fame,
even when it destroys others.

 

A little note: in the laws of the fifties, a young man would have been institutionalized and seventeen young men and women would still be alive.

 

On the other hand, with the way things are today, we may as well post signs on our schools, no guns allowed on premises, except for killers.

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