Archive for June 2018

#Book #Sale #$1.99 Thru 7.4.18   1 comment

Chaos changes everything!

Shane Delaney, a burned-out mercenary with a troubled past, returns home to small-town Kansas to heal his scars and quiet his demons, not planning to stay long enough for the townsfolk to reject who he has become.

He never expected the town to need his deadlier skills.

When a terrorist attack on distant cities abruptly transforms life as they knew it, the people of Emmaus must forge their own disaster plan to survive.

What would you do if the world as you know it ended today?

The people of Emmaus will find out.

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Posted June 28, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

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Let’s Declare June 27 as Dues Freedom Day   Leave a comment

The Janis decision was all over the news on my morning commute so I was prepared when the union steward walked into my office and announced it was “union-busting” and practically put a pen in my hand to get me to “opt-in” to paying union dues. I’ve been a union member for about six years — not because I opted to become a member, but because I was not given a choice. It’s not that I object to the retirement fund or the medical insurance, but that I object to the political stances of the union which are almost never in agreement with what I believe about politics.

Image result for image of scotus union decisionI don’t do pressure as a rule. My father was a union organizer and I grew up serving coffee at the meetings, so I know all the tactics this Steward might wield. I also know that “talking shop” during work hours can get you fired. So I thanked him for the info and the card and said “I need to get back to work now.” I think he was honestly surprised that I didn’t weep over the Janis decision.

The card hasn’t hit the circular file yet, because I need to do some homework on the whole thing before I make a rash decision, but I think the Janis decision is a great thing and that we poor union slaves ought to celebrate June 27 as Freedom Day.

I don’t make a lot of secrets that I’m a libertarian. My union advocates for me to vote for the likes of David Guttenberg and Scott Kawasaki — both extreme liberals who are trying to institute an income tax in Alaska … when they aren’t favorably negotiating employee wages and benefits with the union that funded their campaigns.

Yeah, that’s collusion of the sort that, if they were in private business, would get them put in prison.  So, if I wasn’t opposed to voting for them because they want to take a chunk of the income I need to pay my bills with, I would be opposed to voting for them because they’re corrupt and possibly criminals.

But, watch! I’m willing to bet that over the next few months, as that card languishes in my suspense file, that my “brothers in employment” will exert some not-so-subtle pressure on me to comply with something I don’t agree with.

Posted June 28, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense, Uncategorized

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Open Book Blog Hop – 25th June   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

Thanks to my techie support husband, I can take part in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop while I’m over on the Island.  We now have Internet for more than half an hour every day!

This week’s topic is ‘What historical event would you have liked to witness?

Ooh, there is more than one event I would have liked to witness, some historical and some not, so I’ll list them here:

1.  Life in Osborne House, Isle of Wight before Prince Albert’s death in 1861, from the privileged viewpoint of Vicky, Princess Royal, eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

2.  The launch of the Titanic, in April 1912.

3.  To walk with Lord Tennyson on his regular perambulations over High Down, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, now called the ‘Tennyson Trail’.

4.  To have seen the cobbled street of my childhood as it was 100 years before I…

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Posted June 25, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Grand Sachem   2 comments

What historical event would you have liked to witness?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

 

 

Wow, that’s a great question. As a history geek, it might be easier to ask what historical event I would NOT want to witness – which would be the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I’ll stick with the movie version, thank you. That said, if they ever invent a time travel device, I’d take a grand tour of history and probably not come back.

Image result for image of tarheBut … honestly … I guess I have to narrow it to ONE event ….

I’m going to assume I’m a fly on the wall …. Following the prime directive of time travel, I don’t get to interfere in the event because space-time continuum pollution is a BAD thing.

Rather than a single event, I would like to follow a person and a series of events in his life. Sachem Tarhe is probably the most famous Wyandot Indian in history — a war-leader with a gift for diplomacy – variously known as  Tarhee, Tarkee, Takee, the Crane or – by the French – as Le Grue, Le Chef Grue, or Monsieur Grue.

Born near Detroit to a woman of the Porcupine Clan, Tarhe’s name might mean “tree”, which makes sense since he was 6 ft 4 in a day and age when six foot was considered tall. The name is now pronounced Tar-hee, but the earlier writers indicated that the accent was on the second syllable (so Tar-Hay). Tarhe was a warrior who served in most if not all of his nation’s battles, possibly even the Braddock fight when he would have been 13 or 14 years old. It’s known he was at Dunmore’s War and conspicuous at the Battle of Point Pleasant. He was a contemporary with Tecumseh, but they often disagreed sharply, especially on the need for peace with the white settlers and the value of negotiation.

The Wyandots were prominent in the defeat of Braddock in 1755. A Huron/Wendat from Lorette, Quebec, commanded all of the Indians in the battle. Although there was French support, it was truly an Indian victory. A contingent of Ottawa warriors led by Chief Pontiac were at Braddock’s defeat. Tarhe supported Pontiac at Detroit eight years later, so it would be interesting to know if the older man noticed the young Wyandot at that early age.

Pontiac depended heavily on the Wyandots in 1763. The chieftain whom Parkman refers to as “Takee” was almost certainly Tarhe. Another Wyandot, Teata, went along (with some reluctance), but his group of Wyandots never exhibited the enthusiasm of Tarhe’s followers.

Historians identify the Wyandots (also known as Wyndake) as the premier warriors of the Midwest and victories at the Battle of Bloody Bridge, Fort Sandusky, Presque Isle and elsewhere could hardly have been won without the Wyandots’ contribution. By 1763, when barely 20 years of age, Tarhe was regarded as a leading warrior.

Tarhe became Sachem – a war leader, but he never became chief, which carried the title of Ron-Tun-Dee, or Warpole. Although regarded as a very brave man, Tarhe was not considered a truly great warrior by his own tribe. The Wyandots loved and respected him but they believed Round Head, Zhaus-Sho-Toh, Khun, Splitlog and others to be superior warriors. In a nation of warriors excellence was commonplace.

The Grand Sachem was the titular head of the warriors of the Wyandot nation (women were the chiefs of non-war matters … including land distribution, which is why when whites negotiated with the sachems, the agreements were not wholly binding under Indian tradition). Truly great war chiefs (Grand Sachem) held the title of Sastaretsi. Wyandots didn’t have royalty, but the title of Sastaretsi was in actual practice often inherited. developing a hereditary line of chiefs. If Sastaretsi died without a suitable heir, the tribal council (controlled by the women) selected a successor.

Such an occasion arose in 1788 when Too-Dah-Reh-Zhooh died. he was better known by his many other names, such as Half-King, Pomoacan, Dunquad, Daunghuat and Petawontakas.

Tarhe was chosen to be the successor of Too-Doh-Reh-Zhooh. There is no record of any other member of the Porcupine Clan having become Sastaretsi up until that time. Sachems had always come from the Deer, Bear and Turtle clans. Tarhe, a Porcupine, had exhibited unique abilities as war leader and was selected by general consensus to guide the Wyandots in the desperate days as the new American military sought to gain control of the old Northwest Territory that included Ohio and parts of Michigan. Although he assumed the duties and powers of Grand Sachem, it is not believed that Tarhe ever assumed the title Sastaretsi.

And, I’d like to know why. Tribal legend says he was a fairly humble  man, so perhaps it was a personal choice. Some folks assume it was clan bigotry, but he was given all the power of Sastaretsi which puts the lie to bigotry. So why didn’t he assume the title?

Tarhe had already gained the respect of the various tribes and of the French, British and Americans long before this time. In 1786, Tarhe and his son-in-law, Isaac Zane, were listed among the witnesses to a United States treaty-signing with the Shawnee. Zane was a captive white raised in Wendat culture. He was later reunited with his white family, but chose to return to the Wyandots. He later married Tarhe’s daughter and served as Tarhe’s primary interpreter.

Tarhe became Grand Sachem in 1788, a critical time when the American government sent Arthur St. Clair into the Ohio Territory to reestablish peace (and pave the way for the founding of Marietta, Ohio, which was being built as Adelphia (brotherhood) at that time). St. Clair had been instructed to offer back to the tribes some lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Muskingum River in exchange for disputed territory where settlers already were. St. Clair defied orders and instead threatened the tribes with attack and then bribed several pliable chiefs into a one-sided agreement called the Treaty of Fort Harmar on January 9, 1789.

 

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in 1788 to see what transpired … to actually know rather than just surmise why Tarhe agreed to this devil’s deal. Was it because he was brand-new as Grand Sachem? Some historians believe the women tribal leaders might have instructed their freshly selected Grand Sachem to sue for peace at any cost. Did his interpreter not explain the negotiations properly? I kind of doubt that because Isaac Zane was a tribal member whose sympathies lie with the Wyandot and by all accounts he spoke English and Wendat fluently.

In later years, Tarhe helped negotiate many treaties as Grand Sachem, attempting to hold his tribe together, serve the other tribes in the area and relinquish each parcel of land only after the pressures had become unbearable. It makes no sense that he’d agreed to the Treaty of Muskogum as a successful and intelligent war chief only two years before, but then he’d agree to accept the Treaty of Harmar which completely contradicted that earlier treaty. After the Harmar treaty broke down, he personally led the fights against Clark, Bouquet, Harmar, St. Clair and Wayne. Although Tarhe was eventually defeated, both his enemies and his friends knew he was dedicated first and last to the welfare of his people.

So what happened in 1788 that he didn’t defend his people’s’s interests? There are legends that claim Tarhe chose not to accept the “gifts” St. Clair offered.  There’s the theories about the women and his interpreter. I never heard one in which people accused Tahre of being greedy, though it is said of other war leaders who signed the treaty. I’m not sure which of these I believe and I’d rather know for certain. This man is a hero of my tribe. Did he deserve that honor? I wish I knew.

The last battle Tarhe fought in personally was Fallen Timbers in 1794. The Indian alliance in the Ohio region was tattered by that time and Fallen Timbers was a devastating defeat for them. The only tribe to fight with distinction was the Wyandots. Pinned down near the river, they suffered heavy casualties — of the 13 chiefs who entered the battle, only Tarhe survived and he was severely wounded.

Most Indians realized their cause was lost after Fallen Timbers. The British had promised to support them if they attacked the American settlers and then failed to do so and the tribes could no longer assemble a force capable of opposing Wayne. Almost all of the Indian leaders in the Midwest responded and pledged peace at Greenville in July 1795. A notable exception was Tecumseh. At this great assemblage of Indians who met with Wayne, the acknowledged leader of the Indians was Tarhe, and a principal interpreter was Isaac Zane, his son-in-law.

During the lengthy negotiations Tarhe made several speeches. The following example of his eloquence gives some measure of his intellect:

“Elder brother! Now listen to us. The Great Spirit above has appointed this day for us to meet together. I shall now deliver my sentiments to you, the fifteen fires. I view you, lying in a gore of blood. It is me, an Indian who caused it. Our tomahawk yet remains in your head- the English gave it to me to place there.

Elder brother! I now take the tomahawk out of your head; but with so much care you shall not feel pain or injury. I will now tear a big tree up by the roots and throw the hatchet into the cavity which they occupy; where the waters will wash it away to where it can never be found. Now, I have buried the hatchet, and I expect that none of my color will ever again find it out. I now tell you that none in particular can justly claim this ground- it belongs in common to all. No earthly being has an exclusive right to it.

Brothers, the fifteen fires, listen! You now see that we have buried the hatchet. We still see blood around, and in order to clear away all grief, we now wipe away the blood from around you, which together with the dirt that comes away from it, we bury with the hatchet in the hole we have made for them, and replace the great tree, as it stood before, so that neither our children, nor our children’s children can ever again discover it.

 

Brother! We speak not from our lips, but from our hearts, when we are resolved upon good works. I always told you that I never intended to deceive you, when we entered upon this business. It was never the intention of us Indians to do so. I speak from my heart what I now say to you. The Great Spirit is now viewing us, and did he discover any baseness or treachery, it would excite his just anger against us.”

 

Echoes of Liberty (The Clarion Call Book 2) by [Walsh, Richard, Andersen, Diane, Brumley, Bokerah, Knowles, Joseph, Markham, Lela, Chiavari, Lyssa, Biedermann, Heather, Schulz, Cara, Johnson, Mark, Mickel, Calvin]Chief Tarhe died in November 1816, at Cranetown near Upper Sandusky Ohio. The funeral for this 76 year old man was the largest ever known for an Indian Chief. Among the Indians coming from great distances was Red Jacket, the noted leader and orator from Buffalo, New York. The mourners wore no paint or decorations of any kind and their countenance showed the deepest sorrow.

By the way, I have been so fascinated by this question that when asked to write an alternative historical fiction short story with libertarian influences, I chose to focus on what the Treaty of Harmar could have been if only someone had had the vision … and the US Constitution had not been ratified. “A Bridge at Adelphia” can be found in Echoes of Liberty, a project of the Agorist Writers Workshop, which comes out with an new anthology this fall … and, yes, I have another story in it, a modern Alaskan take on the fable “The Mouse and the Lion”.

And now that I think about it, it is really sad that the prime directive of time travel is don’t interfere because I would love to see what America would have become if Europeans had assimilated to American Indian culture rather than just flooded in and took over. I suspect we’d be different and, hopefully, better, retaining both elements of our combined culture.

Stay Tuned for the Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Featured Image -- 57569

This week we’re answering the question “What historical event would you have liked to witness?”

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

 

 

You gotta know I’m not giving the Miss America Pageant answer.

Posted June 24, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Let’s Discuss Violence   1 comment

A tour around the Internet says some portion of the population is really worried about dying from gun violence … so worried they’re willing to disarm everyone in hopes that will keep them safe and to jail anyone who disagrees.

First, they need to calm down. Your chance of dying of gun violence in the United States is about 30,000 out of a population of 360 million. That’s less than 1% risk. You’re far more likely to get run over by a bus or  bitten by a mongoose than killed with a gun.

Image result for image of violenceSecond, disarming the law-abiding won’t disarm criminals or the police (rather the same thing these days) so it won’t reduce violence … it will just shift how it is done. As a small woman, I am not defending myself against the physical violence of a large man unless I have a gun, which means I am much more likely to become a victim of non-gun violence if I am disarmed. Americans use guns between 100,000 and a half-million times a year to defend themselves from violent crime. My mother was one of those people when I was in junior high and the men she frightened away from our house (by brandishing a gun) went down the road and raped a classmate of mine. Needless to say, I think the ability to defend yourself is non-negotiable.

But let’s take a look at what are the most common gun-violence deaths.

Suicide accounts for 63% of all firearm deaths in the US. It’s the most common gun-related death. And, no, the answer is not “take all the guns away and people will stop killing themselves.” I worked in the mental health field, folks, and I saw this scenario way too many times. The client would be placed in the hospital, their guns (if they had any) would be confiscated, they’d be released and someone would find them hanging in the woods by a rope. Or they’d slit their wrists or they’d save up their anxiety meds and overdose. If someone wants to kill themselves, they will find a way to do that … and do, even while in hospitals for treatment. If violating the right of self-protection was the answer to suicide, Poland, with some of the strictest gun laws in the world, would not have a suicide rate 50% higher than that of the United States, which has some of the more lenient gun laws in the world. Leaving healthy people helpless at the hands of criminals or government thugs will not significantly reduce suicides … which still account for 63% of all gun violence.

Road rage situations.  About 100 people a year die from incidents involving a gun during a road rage incident and in most cases, they were described as the aggressor in the incident, who got out of their car to confront someone they considered to be a jerk and that “jerk” defended themselves with a gun because they preferred not to be beaten to death by an angry driver. And, yes, they could be included in another figure further down.

Gangs. Violence is the accepted norm among gang members, resulting in many becoming victims of gun violence. According to the Center for Disease Control, a staggering 80% of gun homicides are gang-related.

Illicit drug trade. Yes, we could argue that drug laws are likely to result in gun violence from cops, but it’s also true that people already on the wrong side of the law are more likely to commit gun violence than the law-abiding population.

Abusive romances. I’m all about letting people put their pasts well and truly in the past, but we should acknowledge that someone who has previously physically abused a partner is more likely to do so than are those who haven’t.

Gun Free zonesOne study showed that 98% of all mass shootings happen in these places. Gun-free zone signs tell violent people this is a spot where they will encounter little immediate resistance to killing large numbers of people. As for everywhere else, assuming you’re in a state or community that allows concealed carry, these predators may be deterred since they have to wonder if there’s already a good guy with a gun on the property. It might be an explanation for why only 2% of mass shootings occur outside of gun-free zones, but it also explains why states with constitutional carry rarely experience public mass shootings.

Human predator. A significant number (about 700 each year) of gun deaths are justifiable homicide wherein a victim successfully defends themselves from criminal assault. Which, when you think about it, is amazing. If Americans protect themselves from violent crime 100,000 times a year with a gun, but only 700 predator-humans are killed … that says that an awful lot of concealed carry people de-escalate situations while having a gun in their hand … or it could mean that the predators run away when confronted with a gun.

Irresponsible gun owners. There really is no such thing as an accidental discharge of a gun. Someone pulled the trigger or caused a situation in which the trigger was pulled by an inanimate object. Still “accidental” shootings account for 4% of all gun-violence deaths. If you know someone who breaks any of the four rules of gun safety, they are one of a tiny minority of gun owners who give the rest of us a bad image.

Thankfully, the odds of anyone in the U.S. dying from gun violence each year is exceedingly low … about 30,000 out of 360 million people — so less than 1%. Now can we have a conversation about what to do with the behaviors around guns that cause these shootings rather than trying to disarm everyone in a futile attempt to end violence?

Not Living Up to the World’s Standards   1 comment

A new post on Christian Creative Nexus.

https://deliatalent.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/not-living-up-to-the-worlds-standards/

What makes a Christian creative a Christian?

I had to ask myself that question recently when someone with an axe to grind posted a review of one of my books that said, in essence, that I wasn’t a Christian because I don’t think the Army would walk on water and hand out flowers during the Apocalypse.

Sigh.

Image result for image of christian vs worldly standardsI grew up and now live in a very military town. About one-quarter of my friends and family are either in the military or were once in the military. I know some lovely military people. I also have had plenty of experience with jerks who were jacked up on the power of being in the military. There’s that dichotomy in human nature that doesn’t go away if you ignore it. The Transformation Project series focuses on how ordinary people, including military and civilian authorities, react in an apocalyptic situation where their command structure has been fractured. I don’t show all individuals with military authority acting in a heroic manner because I personally know people who wouldn’t act honorably in a situation where they’re given that kind of power and no oversight.  The news has covered some of these people. I believe there would be more of them if the command structure that is in place no longer existed. I have other military characters who do act honorably … and some of them die for that stand. That’s the only defense I’m going to offer.

Circling back to my original theme of “in the world, but not of it” … must Christian creatives stand for certain secular societal norms or be deemed “not Christian”?

Being a Christian is defined by one thing. You can discover it in Romans 10:9-10.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God, Savior of mankind and your soul and do you confess that publicly? Your lifestyle should adhere to that and your politics are part of your lifestyle. Whether you support the military, love policemen, eat apple pie, or spend Mother’s Day with your mom isn’t really addressed in the Bible, therefore, they are personal decisions that each of us make individually.

“Art, though, is never the voice of a country; it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction; in particular, the novel.” ~ Eudora Welty in On Writing.

Writing a novel is about addressing truth as the author sees it. A lot of Christians are very supportive of conservative political causes that I can’t find anywhere in the Bible. There’s nothing wrong with that – most of the time. We live in this world and the politics of the secular world affects us. When my taxes go up, I have less money to give to the church, which I feel spends social welfare funds much more wisely than the government does. I vote accordingly. We should all care if a politician believes it is okay to kill babies in the womb. We should pray for people caught up in the cycle of drug addiction or alcoholism, pornography or polyamory. The Bible is clear on many issues that Christians ought to have an opinion on and the Bible tells us what that opinion should be.

Image result for image of christian vs worldly standardsThe Bible is less clear on our involvement in those secular programs designed to address some of the world’s evils. I harbor doubts about how Jesus would feel about some secular programs American Christians are expected to support simply because we’re expected to support them. As a Christian creative who wants to reach a larger audience than just Christians who read religiously-oriented literature, I have given serious thought to which subjects for which I’m willing to fall on my authorial sword. I made a commitment to show Christian characters as human … with flaws, while showing their beliefs respectfully. I have every admiration for our Savior, not always the same feeling toward His followers. I try to show the world as I see it and not as I would like it to be, recognizing that it is fallen and so are the people in it. And, yet, I struggle with where the lines are because it’s not so simple as the Christian publishers make it seem. Because I’ve rejected those made-up constraints, I have to set new ones of my own – ones that I hope are Biblically-based, but not ignoring this world as it really is.

What about you? If you’re a Christian creative trying to reach a secular audience, do you find it difficult to push the “Christian” boundaries in a Christ-centric way without upsetting the “standards” people have applied to Christian creatives?

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