Thursday, May 24, 2012

Writing: My thoughts, My Opinions, My Philosophy

I spend a lot of time talking about political things (I was a poli-sci major, after all), but I don’t want you to feel like that’s what this whole blog is about. It’s not about politics, it’s about life.
So today, we’re going to talk about something that’s been going on in my life: writing. Yes, I’m writing a book. It’s a sci-fi action story about the “hidden” war between good and evil. I want to put things in a slightly different format than the normal “good versus bad” story. I’ll keep you up to date on it, but for now I’ll put a teaser at the end of this post so you can get a “feel” of what it’s about.

Personally, I think writing is entertaining and even relaxing at times. Sometimes, though, it’s just a pain in the neck to keep writing. I guess we all have that problem sometimes.

So what is my writing style? Basically, I try to put the details of the story in as few words as possible. In other words, I’m trying to use as little detail as possible to keep you continually interested and get to the point. 

Why, do I do this? It’s because I hate being long-winded. I also hate it when I’m reading a story that wasted over sixty to a hundred pages explaining every detail, every picture, and every blade of grass…and really has little to do with the story itself. If it’s not important to the story to mention all the animals, trees, the clouds moving at a swift pace, etc, then I really don’t care about reading it.

I’ve read really long books that could have been much shorter if they had practiced a little pithiness. I’m not afraid to be concise in my writing, so I don’t have to worry about omitting useless or unrelated details to my story. 

Does that mean that “fluff” is completely worthless? Of course not, but use it sparingly please! As much as you might love to think your readers want to know every single detail of the world you have created, the truth is they most likely don’t. Be thorough if you must, but don’t weigh people down with too many details.

Also, I try to keep the reader interested by using “cliff-hangers” at the end of chapters, and some form of action and/or suspense throughout each chapter. If a chapter starts to get boring, I need to edit it to make it exciting, or at the very least interesting

When it comes to my audience of readers, I don’t care if they love or hate me, but I never want them to get bored of me! People can hate your stories all day, but as long as you keep them interested, excited, and intrigued, they won’t be able to help but come back to you for more.
I’m the same way myself: I hate it when the plot gets boring. When a story is at a slow point, I’ll speed read and try to skip all the fluff and whatever looks unnecessary until I get back to the interesting stuff. If a book keeps me interested and intrigued, it doesn’t even have to excite me or give me the goosebumps… I’m going to keep reading.

Heck, I’ve read books where I hated where the story was going, and I hated the author for it (the second and third books of “The Hunger Games” series, for instance). But I couldn’t stop reading it, and if the author came out with another book to follow it up, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from reading it. 

So there you have it. My thoughts on writing and reading, laid bare for your enjoyment. ;)

What is your philosophy on reading/writing books? Do you hate “fluff” like I do, or do you soak it in with pleasure? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Are you a writer? Please feel free to leave some tips!

Now…as promised, here is the teaser:

The Black Mamba is at it again. I know what he’s after—it’s perfectly obvious. The person he has been at odds with for quite some time, who evades all his attempts of destruction,and the one person who has no clue as to what this personal feud is even about: Me.

Helen runs into my room with a terrible look on her face. “I have ears,” I say. “Where are my guns? Did they survive the explosion?” She nods, and runs out of the room. By the time she comes back with them, I have made my way out of the bed, and realize just how bad my situation really is. I can hardly bear the pain of standing up. But I know I have to, so I do it. I walk around a bit to try to loosen up my injured muscles and get somewhat accustomed to the pain.

Who am I kidding? I’m in no shape to be fighting off a siege. This is not going to end well.

“You really shouldn’t be doing this,” says Helen as she hands me the sawn-off shotgun and pistol-belt. “You’re in no condition to—”
I cut her off: “I don’t have a choice, and neither do you. We both know why he came here. He wants me. If you get in his way, you’ll only get yourselves killed.”
“What are you going to do?” she asks?
“That all depends,” I answer, “on how many painkillers you can shoot into me.”

She hurries out of the room, and through the door I can see that everyone in this primitive hospital is in a craze. Patients are being moved, doctors and nurses are scrambling to figure out what is going on, and everyone here is frightened out of their minds. Helen returns and fills me with the strongest stuff she can find (without killing me), and I stretch my muscles once again before heading out. I can hear the bullets pinging off the tin roof. Then I hear a grenade go off, and I haul myself to the next room, which thankfully has a window. I see a man outside poised to toss a grenade into the window, and I blast him with the shotgun out of reflex. A bullet ricochets off the window sill and I fall to the floor. Too close. A few inches closer and I would have a purple heart in the head.

I quickly raise to my knees, take a pot-shot out the window at the next goon with an SKS, and dive out the window into. I can tell I’ve upset some wounds from the blood staining parts of my clothing, but I really don’t have time to worry about that right now. Two more men come charging at me with machine guns. I drop the ground and level the first one with a well placed shot to the torso, but the second one keeps on charging. Lucky for me, he’s not the best shot in the world, so I am able to roll over to the side and take another shot at him, sending him flying back.

Time to reload. I take the extra shells off of the sling, and begin to put them in when my shotgun is yanked out of my hands. I turn around and find myself standing face to face with the biggest person I remember seeing—which might not be saying much. He has a nasty smile on his face, death and hate in his eyes, and from the way he is holding the barrel of the gun, he only has the worst intentions.

He swings the shotgun at me. I try to block most of the blow but it still sends me to ground. I’m really thankful for those painkillers right now. The man charges at me, obviously planning to bash my skull in. I roll away just in time to see the stock end smash into the ground where my head was just a second ago. In that same moment I reach for my .45 revolver and pull it out—only to have it batted away by the giant mercenary. Unarmed, I don’t have a chance. So, I do the only thing I can. I unclip my gun belt, and whip it at my shotgun-club wielding assailant.

He doesn’t even flinch, and most of the few hopes I had left have vanished. This is not good. Only when he pulls the shotgun back for a final, crushing blow do I see my chance. I rush him with all the limited strength I have left, and connect with the blow of the shotgun just as the momentum starts, cutting the majority of the blow’s force. I follow through, and bring my massive assailant to the ground. Now, it’s a simple matter of wrestling and hand to hand combat. I’d rather skip the wrestling part, as this guy just happens to be twice my size. While he’s still a bit dazed from the fall I punch him in the face to disorient him, knee him in the groin to distract, confuse, and obviously injure him, and poke him as hard as I can in the eyes to temporarily blind him. Then I body-slam him to the ground with all the force I can muster.

 No, I think to myself, there’s no point in fighting fair when you’re fighting for your life.

I start to feel like I might just survive when I see two more guys shooting at me. I feel a bullet graze my side, and another nicks my shoulder. I rush to recover my pistol, dive to grab it, roll over while pulling back the hammer, return to a kneeling position and fire at the first gentleman, dropping him instantly. The second guy lobs a grenade at me which I kick away in his direction, and dive away as far as I can before it explodes two seconds later. When I finally get and look around, I don’t see the guys who threw the grenade anymore. But by now I the giant starts to rise back up for revenge, so I put him back to sleep with a bullet in his head.

How I’m able to fight like this is still a mystery to me, but I don’t have any time to worry about that now. I just have to stay in my groove and keep the bullets flying. I search the bodies for ammo, replace my .45 revolver for an 1911 automatic, and pick up a decent-looking AUG Austrian assault rifle. I have to kill everyone, if this hospital is going to be safe. I at least have to hold them off until they can make an escape.

By know, I’m sure the doctors have started to make a run for it. I walk along the side of the old building, and I hear footsteps. There are still some people hanging around. I make a quick turn around the corner and level the first guy I see with the AUG. I take his machete, and try to find the last few people that must be hanging around somewhere. When I take a bullet in the forearm, I know they are close by. Even being flooded with the painkillers, I can still feel the intense burn of the bullet wound. I rush to come cover, quickly rip off a piece of my shirt, stuff the wound, and wrap it up as best I can. I can always look at the damage later. First I have to take out whoever just shot me.

I creep around the bushes, but I don’t see anyone. I begin to think that whoever it was must have ran off when I feel something very hard and very heavy smash into the back of my head. I can barely keep my consciousness. Everything is spinning around violently. I try to crawl away, but a heavy foot steps hard on me and keeps me down. Then the foot moves down to my side, hooks under my waist, and flips me over. Everything is still very dizzy, but I can barely make out a face. It’s a face I was hoping I wouldn’t have to see again.

“I told you before,” said the man known as The Black Mamba, “You are only killing yourself.”

Then I see the rifle stock speeding toward my face. Then everything goes black.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Blogging is Hard!

Let’s face it, blogging might be fun (and it is), but sometimes it just isn’t what we want to do at the moment. It’s much easier to put it off, and the procrastinator in all of us loves that little fact.
We put off punching out a new post…and continue to put it off. Before you know it, it’s been two months since you’ve posted anything! Trust me, I know.

So what do you do about it? Do you just force yourself to write more? Do you try to write every day until it becomes a habit? Or is the situation utterly hopeless?

Well, here’s the thing: it all depends.

Do you want to write every day? Or would you rather write twice a week, once a week, or twice a month? It’s all up to you! But whatever you do, make sure you stick with it (or at least appear as if you are sticking with it, which we’ll talk about next).

What if you come across a whole month where you don’t have the time or desire to post on your blog? What if you want to take a short (or long) break from your blog? How do you keep your blog alive during these sabbaticals? 

It’s quite easy, actually: schedule your posts ahead of time. 

Whenever you get into one of your crazy writing moods, go ahead and type out as many posts as can until you run dry. You can either save these posts for a rainy day (and schedule them later), or you can just go ahead and schedule them now. Keep track of your posting line up, and add your other posts to follow them in line.

This is going to save you time, as well as stress (you should always try to save stress for a rainy day, if you know what I mean). Instead of having to worry about posting on a particular day, you have nothing to worry about, because it’s already taken care of.

 For instance, this very post you are reading right now was scheduled to be posted two days after I submitted it to my blog. While this post was waiting to be posted, I was able to easily type out another one to go out 2-3 days later. See how easy it is? :)

Blogging is hard, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it!

Have you found scheduling posts to be helpful? Are you going to try and see if it works for you? Leave a comment and let me know! And if this post was helpful, please share it!

Until Next Time,

-El Pensador

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

Do you want to build a business empire? Or do you just want to start your own business and let your creative juices flow?

If so, then GOOD for you! Entrepreneurs are what make America awesome. So what if people think that big businesses are evil (and from the Devil himself)? So what if people think you’re just a capitalist pig? Follow your dream, and make your country proud!

Is there anything WRONG with capitalism? Can there be problems with “Big Business?” Sure, if they get too big for their britches. Capitalism follows the pattern of “rational self-interest,” so it has to be tempered with reason and responsibility. That’s probably the biggest problem with capitalism: people just don’t know how to be rational sometimes.

And what IS rational? It’s rather subjective, don’t you think?
Here’s the deal…you have to be careful not to let your self-interest get the best of you. How do you do that? STOP FOCUSING ON YOURSELF! :)

 Try to see ways you can improve the world around you: your employees, your work area, your customers, etc. Try to develop a responsible, principled mindset. 

Here’s the main point: don’t let your self interest get in the way of your success! Sure, you need to make money, and sure you need to establish a profitable business…but don’t do it at the risk of losing your reputation.

Ask yourself these questions:
“What would I want my employees, my customers, my partners, and the public to say about me and my business at my funeral? Did I add value to their lives? Did I satisfy a need in their lives? Did I improve myself along with my business? What legacy did I leave behind?”

Now you can decide how you want those questions to be answered, and you can implement a plan to give your business (and yourself) a lasting legacy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Truth About The Federal Reserve

This is a guest post by Austin Eldridge.The views expressed in this article may or may not be those of El Pensador.

The Fed. These words sometimes strike terror into your heart when you hear them. But, when someone mentions the Fed, do you know what they mean? Just what is the Fed? What is it for? Why was it created? In this post, I am going to do my best to answer these questions, and also point out the problems with the system. So, without further ado, let’s rock and roll.

The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States.
It was created on Dec. 23, 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. It was originally created by congress (it is NOT a government program) to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. (
The Congress established two key objectives for monetary policy--maximum employment and stable prices--in the Federal Reserve Act. These objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve's dual mandate.

But today, the Fed’s responsibilities have expanded (much like everything else in government), and they include:
1)- Conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing money and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of full employment and stable prices.
2)- Supervising and regulating banks and other important financial institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation's banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers.
3)-Maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.
4)-Providing certain financial services to the U.S. government, U.S. financial institutions, and foreign official institutions, and playing a major role in operating and overseeing the nation's payments systems.
Has the Fed really done all this, though? Do we really have a stable financial system? I would say no. After all, we are trillions of dollars in debt! (As I write this, America is $15,227,062,303,020 in debt, and it’s going up every second). The Fed is one of the main reasons for this, because they have so much control over our economic system. Also, we must ask ourselves, does the Fed have too much control, or are they overstepping their bounds? I personally believe they have too much control, control that they don’t really have the right to have, but, you can form your own opinions.
So, just how much of a problem is the Fed? Take a look at these 19 points taken from the Economic Collapse Blog. (Listed here are just the reasons themselves. I did not have room to fit the explanations due to the excessive length. You might want to look at the blog itself here to get the extended explanations.)

#1 The Federal Reserve system is a debt-based financial system.
#2 The Federal Reserve and the bankers have a monopoly on the creation of this debt-based money.
#3 The power of money creation and debt creation is in the hands of private individuals - not the government.
#4 The Federal Reserve itself is not much of a profit-making institution.  Rather, it is a tool that enables others to make obscene amounts of money.
#5 The Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine

#6 The Federal Reserve system is designed to cause inflation.
  The U.S. never had massive problems with inflation before the Fed was created, but now it is just wildly out of control....

#7 The Federal Reserve has decided to play bizarre games with our money supply.
#8 The Federal Reserve is undemocratic.
#9 The Federal Reserve runs the U.S. economy.
#10 The Federal Reserve favors the big banks.
#11 The worse the debt problems caused by the Federal Reserve become, the more money the IRS needs to collect from the rest of us.#12 The Federal Reserve creates artificial financial bubbles.
#13 The Federal Reserve is anti-free market.
#14 The Federal Reserve tells the rest of our banks what to do.
#15 The people currently running the Federal Reserve pretty much have no idea what they are doing.
If one of us could go down the street and appoint the manager of the local Dairy Queen as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, it is very doubtful that person would do a worse job than Bernanke has done.
#16 Even though the Federal Reserve has such extraordinary power over the financial system, the American people are not permitted to examine their books.
#18 The Federal Reserve is dominated by Wall Street and the New York banks.
#19 The Federal Reserve has brought us to the brink of economic collapse.
 (Keep in mind these are points from the Economic Collapse Blog, not myself or El Pensador, and the views expressed may not necessarily be our views.)
What have others had to say about this?  “All the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise not from defects of the constitution, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” -John Adams in a 1787 letter to Thomas Jefferson.
“Of all the contrivances devised for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes him with paper money.”-Daniel Webster
"We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it". — Congressman Louis T. McFadden in 1932
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."-Thomas Jefferson
And finally, a quote on debt from one of our favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan: “We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much”
These are just a few statements on the problems with the Fed. There are many more. Basically, the Fed is putting our liberty in jeopardy. The more debt you are in, the more vulnerable you are. Many people realized that, but, their wisdom was not heeded, and look where we are today. We are facing the biggest economic crisis since the great depression.
So, what can we do about it? That’s a tough question. Te best thing to do would be to end the Fed and go back to a gold standard. Alan Greenspan had this to say about the gold standard:
In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. ... This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard” 

Ludwig von Mises said “The gold standard has one tremendous virtue: the quantity of the money supply, under the gold standard, is independent of the policies of governments and political parties. This is its advantage. It is a form of protection against spendthrift governments”

Ronald Reagan was also firmly in support of the gold standard. ( Reagan said “There has never been a great nation that gave up the gold standard and remained great.”

Again, these are just a few of many quotes on the subject.

One last point I would like to touch on. Velocity. What is velocity? Simply put, it is the speed at which money changes hands. But let me explain. Here is an example given by economist Richard Maybury in his book “Whatever Happened To Penny Candy” (which you should read!). Imagine ten people sitting in a circle. Each has two things in his hands, a dollar bill and a baseball card. Now imagine each person selling his card to the person on his right for one dollar. Every card has been sold, and every dollar has changed hands once. The velocity of the money is one. Now imagine the same circle. Each person has a baseball card, but only one person has a dollar. Now imagine the person with the dollar buying his neighbors card. The neighbor then uses the dollar to buy his neighbor’s card, and so forth. The dollar goes all the way around the circle. That single dollar has done the same work as the ten dollars in the first example. But the money has changed hands not once, but ten times. Velocity is ten. So, a small amount of money can do the same work as a large amount. It can be used in the same number of transactions and have the same effect on prices if it changes hands quickly enough. So, why would people trade their money away faster? A decline in the demand for money.

Money responds to the laws of supply and demand. There is a demand for money, as well as a supply of it. All that to say, this is where our money problem has come in. 

The problem is this: When money is printed in large quantities, the volume (amount) of money goes up. What happens when the amount of something increases? The demand for it goes down. The same goes for money. The demand goes down when the volume goes up. What happens when the demand goes down? The value decreases. When people don’t want or need something, it isn’t worth as much. This is what has happened with our money! We have had so much money, (which today just means paper that’s green), printed that there is a great quantity of it! Sounds good doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. Now that there is so much paper money in the system, the demand has gone down. The dollar is going more and more down the trail to being worthless. Thus creating another huge problem in the economy.

I hope this article helps you in your understanding of the Fed, what it does, and why it is a flawed system, as well as more understanding of the problems with inflation. 
So, until next time, so long!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What’s wrong with this Country? YOU ARE

Guest Post by Stephen Morrison

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”~ John Adams.

Over the past several months the press, social events, Facebook posts, and “tweets” have been littered with a proliferation of posturing politicians. It seems that the fate of our nation lies in the hands of six men currently vying for the Republican nomination.

What will it be that saves our country? Our national debt exceeds 15 trillion dollars (that looks like this $15,000,000,000,000.00), our expenditure exceeds revenue by 1.3 trillion dollars. 26 million Americans are without jobs, praying for work so that they can continue to live the “American Dream”. Each year in excess of 1 million children are slaughtered, before even taking their first breath. A man and women, joined together in the sight of God no longer constitutes the definition of a marriage. Hostile countries threaten the security of our homes and families, lead by insolent and dangerous men who wish to end everything for which we stand united. Heaven forbid that we should oppose them. Rather, according to the diplomats and leadership of our country, it’s all just an inter-cultural miscommunication. Wrong is no longer wrong, its just different.

So…according to many political pundits (especially those of a more…right wing extreme variety) this election is the hinging point for our nations future. This election cycle has experienced some good ol’ fashion apocalyptic politics.

But is the election of this one man truly the hope of America?

The American people have lost everything that set us apart as a nation. Our nation’s founding was a precedent for liberty, for the entire world. This is what I have heard, that this next election is going to be the most important election in American history. So what is to be done? Is there really hope for America, or have we finally descended into the long predicted spiral reminiscent of Roman Imperial demise? Our illustrious candidates for President have argued this very question in what seems like countless debates…currently, as the primary process proceeds; it is the conservative vote that has spotlighted much of the Presidential rhetoric. With the sweeping victories of the 2010 mid-term elections, and the rising of the Tea Party on a tide of near revolutionary passion, the Constitution has taken a front seat. But what of this document? Will a strict constructivist  approach bring this Country back from the edge of collapse?

No. No. No, and again No.

John Adams knew this, a man that sacrificed his life and reputation for the cause of liberty. He did not do this because liberty can be won on its own. It can only be wielded by a people who regard themselves last, putting others interest before there own. In fact, only a fallen citizenship that first recognizes its fallen estate and accepts that gift of redemption given by the true Founding Father of our nation can hope to bring itself back from potential collapse.

It is the church, not the Federal Reserve that has caused the economic collapse. It is the church, not the Congress that has allowed for the butcher of millions of the unborn. The church has become irrelevant, divided, as our country is by denominations and confused by false teachers. There are no men to lead this country because the Church has stopped producing them, and its backbone has become frail. The Word of God is being set aside for loud and ecstatic worship, or withered teaching where the congregation feels it must first repent in sackcloth and ashes. The Church has lost the supremacy of Scripture and neglected the sovereignty of God.

There is hope, but its not in the process and its not in the election…the process is what got us into this mess, its definitely not going to take us back out.

There is only one recourse that can bring our America back, and restore our glorious constitution for which our Founding Fathers tediously labored and so many brave men and women gave their lives so that it might not be preserved.


When you pray, pray for revival. It has long be known that the family is the building block of our government, and a collapse of the family is a collapse of the nation. However, the government cannot produce, legislate, or litigate strong families. That is a power and responsibility that only the Body of Christ can fulfill.

Pray for our country, know your candidates, and for goodness sake please vote. But remember, we cannot have trickle down morality. Electing godly men and women to office is a great blessing, but it is of no avail if the Church remains in its current state. Arise Church, this valley of dry bones must hear the Word of God. There is hope for this nation, but it is not in any candidate or constitution. Let this be our prayer as we stand for what is right.

“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.”
-        Psalm 25:21

Stephen Morrison is a political activist, consultant, and a hardcore American. In his spare time (if he has any), he enjoys playing the bagpipes, eating shrimp, and solving the nation’s problems.