Archive for October 2018

#Pre-Order #Sale #Kindle   Leave a comment

Day’s End (Book 4 of Transformation Project) is on Pre-Order for $2 off until November 20 launch.

The rest of the series is $1 off until launch.

Darkness Falls. 

They fought the USDA, but winning the battle didn’t assure their survival. The fundamental transformation of America is still underway and the next blow may be worse than the first. When the power grid goes down and stays down, people begin fleeing the cities in search of food and heat, forcing Emmaus, Kansas to re-evaluate what is important to them and what they owe strangers on the road going by the town.

While some distant community members undertake perilous journeys home through a human landscape that is rapidly becoming unrecognizable, others face life-altering decisions right where they are.

Darkness is falling and a new day will dawn, seared in blood and fire.

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Genesis of Violence   Leave a comment

Let’s say a man kicks down the door of his ex-girlfriend’s house and she shoots him dead in her foyer.

Who is responsible for his death?

Yes, she shot him, but don’t you suppose she was terrified that he was going to kill her and that’s why she pulled the trigger?

What if she had a restraining order against him because he’d been threatening her for months? Do you think maybe she was justified in shooting him then?

What if she called the cops and they refused to come because he was friends with some of the officers and they felt he was just blowing smoke?

What if his best friends had said she was just being hysterical? He was just trying to correct her negative behaviors. If she’d only just allowed him to beat her that night, all would have been well.

Would you find her guilty of murder if you were sitting on that jury?

Or would you acquit her because he was responsible for the violence and she had no other choice than to defend her life?

And, yes, I am discussing something larger than just a dysfunctional relationship.

Posted October 30, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense, Uncategorized

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Open Book Blog Hop – October 29th   1 comment

Stevie Turner

This week’s subject is:  ‘What would you do if you found £50 on the ground?’

Ha ha, this is a good one, and I have a few true (yes, all true) stories to tell that will let you know:

1.  Back in 1984 when Leon was a toddler, I was dismayed to discover one Saturday morning that after all the bills were paid I had just 50 pence left in my purse to last me the whole week.  With a sigh I opened the kitchen door to peg out the washing, and was astounded to see that many old type pound notes had fallen onto the grass.  I think they totalled about £50, which was a fortune for me then.

I looked up to check whether a benign presence was smiling at me from above (nope), and quickly picked up the notes before the wind could blow them away.  I…

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Posted October 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

The 50 From Nowhere   Leave a comment

Magical World Web

The Open Book Blog question of the week is:  What would you do if you found $50 on the ground (or substitute your local currency)

Well, after pocketing it and hanging around for a while waiting for somebody to remember and come back for it, some options come to mind.  If my kids are hungry, I’m buying groceries.  Otherwise, it’ll go in the donation plate at church or to somebody I know who needs it.

Until next time!

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Posted October 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Finders   3 comments

October 29, 2018

What would you do if you found $50 on the ground (or substitute your local currency)

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Depends on the circumstances, of course.

I’ve had actual experience at this. In Alaska, if you turn cash into the police, the cops are under no obligation to find the owner and if someone comes to claim it and doesn’t have proof it is theirs, it won’t be turned over to them. Eventually, it just gets absorbed into the general fund of the police department. And I am opposed to funding statist organizations like the police department, so … yeah, I’m not taking cash to the cops.

Money on the GroundSometimes when you find money, there is no way to know who it belongs to. It’s on the sidewalk and it could belong to anyone. Sometimes you just thank God for the financial help, and, yes, I’ve been in financial situations where a surprise $50 meant we ate that week. When you grow up poor, you don’t look gift horses in the mouth. Both times, I checked around the nearby shops to see if anyone had reported losing some cash and didn’t get any nibbles, so — yes, I kept it. But that was a long time ago and I’ve changed my ways since then. I still might keep the money if the circumstances were right, but I’d try harder to find the owner, because ….

Once I was picking up a hundred dollar bill when a young woman came running out of a nearby store, patting her pockets and looking around frantically. I said “Are you looking for something?”

She said, tears in her eyes, “I dropped my money. I guess it’s gone.” And I handed over the money to her great relief.

Once the money was right beside a car, so I folded it into a piece of paper and slid it under the wiper, because it was obvious it had been dropped as someone was getting out of their car. I did something similar with a terrific fox hat (probably $500 in value) I found by someone’s car one warming winter day. I hung it on the side mirror in a plastic shopping bag because I’d be deeply sad if I lost my own terrific fox hat.

The most dramatic cash encounter, however, was a definite test of my honesty and it was hard. I was at a church conference and our group was staying in the building. While the kids and my husband were bedding down, I went to the chapel to be quiet for a while and when I sat down on the pew, there was an envelope with $15,700 in it. It didn’t have a name on it. I seriously thought about what we could do with that money. It was hard to decide not to take all or some of it. What I didn’t know is that the owner of the money thought he’d left it in his car and it had been stolen while they were at a mall across town because his kid had left a door unlocked. I could have pocketed that money and nobody would have been the wiser and I wouldn’t have ever have been confronted for it … except by God. I knew this wasn’t pocket change. Whoever had lost the money, unless they were a millionaire, would feel the pain. In fact, the shop owner who had lost the money would have probably have gone out of business. So, the next morning, I went to the conference leadership and asked if anyone was missing any money. They said “no”, but about an hour later, a man who owned a shop in that town came to me with profuse thanks. My honesty had saved his business. That was 26 years ago and we still get a Christmas card and an occasional gift from him and his wife — whenever their business does well, they kick something nice our way and they’re fans of my books, so — I’ve probably gotten more than $16,000 in satisfaction and assorted goodies. Honesty has its perks, though you often won’t see them at the side before you’re actually honest.

So, what would I do if I found $50 on the ground? I would make a true good faith effort to find the owner, but I wouldn’t feel guilty if that effort failed and I’m never giving money to cops.

Posted October 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Pyrrhic Victory   4 comments

There’s a young man who attends our church (a student at the University of Alaska) who fled Malaysia after his parents were killed by a mob who insisted his mother had cast sorcery spells on a man who died in their village. After seeing his parents machetied to death, Daniel (yes, the name his Malaysian Christian parents gave him) had to flee Malaysia to save his own life.

Image result for image of violent Kavanaugh protestersThat’s just an example of the mob violence Western civilization crawled free of through the establishment of principles like the presumption of innocence.

To millions of Americans, Brett Kavanaugh seems just as guilty as Daniel’s family seemed to their accusers. They sincerely believe that Kavanaugh has all the signs of a abusive male — afterall, he’s an affluent, white, elite Catholic school attendee, conservative and nominated by the “serial rapist” Donald Trump. Millions of people have repeated this so often that it feels deeply true and who can deny the “corroborating” accusations? And, thus you see the power of groupthink on the human mind. It is possible they’re right and Kavanaugh is guilty as charged, but it is equally possible they are wrong and are unfairly attacking a man who is being lied about. Without corroboration of Ford’s statements, there’s really no way of knowing … but his children will grow up thinking Daddy’s might be a sex offender, regardless.

Daniel’s parents met the profile of “witches”, according to their accusers. When a missionary couple who came to Daniel’s aid went to the authorities, they were told charges of sorcery are fairly common against Christians in Malaysia and may seem absurd to third-party observers, but it is a near-universal belief in that part of Malaysia. Sorcery has power there because people believe it has power and so the accusation of sorcery is likely to result in death by machete-wielding mobs…especially if you’re so foolish as to call yourself a Christian.

Western society fought a long battle with ourselves to establish personhood. It’s a relatively new idea that an individual person has a right to their own life and liberty regardless of the passions of the collective. For most of history, the individual accused by a crowd or community had no ability to escape its destructive path.

When Potiphar’s wife accused her Hebrew slave Joseph of trying to rape her (it was she who tried to seduce him), Joseph was thrown into prison without any need for corroboration beyond the shirt she’d ripped off him.

“Believe our women!” was the slogan of lynching organizers during Jim Crow. The “justice” crowd felt as sure about their scapegoats’ guilt as new partisan crowds do about their conservative targets. To mobs, a person’s wealth (or poverty) or race, religion, gender or whatever makes them other is sufficient reason to ignore their humanity and cast shame or even kill. There’s a zeal that posses the minds of people who think that dressing out of fashion, having opposing political opinions, or bearing a “guilty” skin color makes one suspect for non-corroborated accusations.

Image result for image of a pyrrhic victoryVictim-garbed political stunts are growing. Yes, we should take the survivors of assault seriously, but allowing them to be used as props for political power is not how we go about that.

Daniel knows the dangerous of witch hunts because he’s a survivor of a witch hunt. Had he and his parents been afforded the presumption of innocents, his parents might still be alive and he might not have such horrific memories. The presumption of innocence should be a cultural norm practiced outside of the courts because winning in a court of law (or the Senate), but losing the court of public opinion is a Pyrrhic victory.

What Is Wrong With Us?   1 comment

This is Lela. The book is going well and I’m emerging from the writer’s cave. And, I’ve been thinking.

Incivility 1We’ve arrived at a point in our history where gangs of hecklers chase politicians from restaurants and Senate hearings lack all semblance of decorum. Perhaps it’s not surprising that family members and friends part ways over politics.

Is there something in the water? New examples of incivility and violence toward dissenters appear every day. Last week, when I needed a break from editing, I casually browsed several sites online. There was a professor advocating castration for white Republicans; celebrities mocking Kanye West (a black man) for praising the president; strangers leaving death threats on the phones of politicians, judges, and their families; anonymous University of Washington students publishing false accusations of rape; and some wicked soul mailing the poison ricin to government officials.

Only a quarter of a century ago this ongoing malevolence would have shocked most Americans. Sure, conservatives and liberals debated each other, but those disagreements resemble a dialogue in Plato’s Academy compared to the scream-fests of 2018.

 So, I identified five possible reasons for this devolution in civility.

Twenty-five years ago, the Internet and cell phones were in their infancy. Twitter was a noise made by sparrows in the yard. These devices are wonderful but allow every bozo with an opinion—including myself—to shoot that opinion into cyberspace instantaneously and often anonymously. From school bullying to Supreme Court nominations, our technology gives us the power to destroy a fellow human being with threats and insults.

Remember when many people, liberals and conservatives alike, poked fun at political correctness on campus? It stopped being funny a while ago. PC remains rampant in our educational institutions, but now graduates of the liberal universities that popularized trigger warnings have injected PC into the world of business and government. In our public universities, we have long tolerated professors calling for radical changes to American society. The former students of these professors are now agents of this transformation sitting in boardrooms and on government committees.

Google “Americans ignorant about history.” Magazines as different as The AtlanticAmerican Heritage, and National Review feature articles lamenting this lack of knowledge about our past. In 2011, for example, a majority of adults didn’t know that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land. Others can’t identify the Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address, or the reason for celebrating Independence Day.

“Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana famously remarked. He actually was being optimistic. Instead of repeating history, we may instead descend into a dystopia we never imagined. Fifty years of steering away from courses in basic civics and denigrating American achievements have produced a bumper crop of malice against history.

Many Americans have taken politics for their religion, fanatical as any Reformation Calvinists or Catholics. We make gods of our politicians and demons of our opponents and their leaders. We are on the side of the angels, and they conspire with devils.

“Follow the money” is a journalistic axiom. So, let’s follow some money. Of the 25 richest counties in the United States, 11 are located in the area surrounding DC. The Capitol also hosts administrators and employees of government, think tanks, lobbying groups, and private businesses involved in federal endeavors. Do you think poison becomes less dangerous when it is combined? Of course not. The source of our conflict is not Austin, Boise or Minneapolis, but Washington D.C.

Incivility 2We’ve been in a slowly developing “cold civil war” for about two decades now, but it has a feel to it that suggests it may become a hot civil war with very little encouragement. And that’s bad because the blue religionists just spent the last month gathering verbal stones to exterminate their chosen target. Hillary Clinton is calling for an escalation of hostilities. There’s no reason to suppose the left would hold back if the vitriol increases. They don’t even seem to be intimidated by the knowledge that red America is much better armed than they are. Perhaps because their leaders know that whoever starts shooting first will be the loser … which is what almost always happened in similar situations in history. So is the next step for the blues to start building guillotines so they can lop off the heads of their opponents? It certainly seems like they wouldn’t find that unacceptable any longer.

I can’t offer any grand solutions, but I have one small suggest. Let’s talk and ask each other questions without all the cacophony of the mainstream media and the politicians. Let’s actually listen to one another and calm the heck down so we can find a way lay aside our differences and return to being a country that isn’t on the verse of a civil war..

Posted October 23, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide, Uncategorized

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