Ripples In The World

Sorry this is late.  I am very tired/dragging, partly because the monster tiredness hit yesterday, I went to bed at nine thirty, then had a conversation with a family member that not only prevented me sleeping till well past midnight, but gave me the sort of night where you fight shadows in your sleep.  So I’m tired and achy.

For those who sent donations recently and to whom I haven’t answered because a ton of things are slipping as I’m trying to deal with older son’s (and his evil cat) moving out, as well as with getting the house ready for sale — I’ll get to it.

I meant to explain, because we sound as though we are in financial trouble — we’re not, precisely.  We are simply in a tight position, right now and until house sells.  We have no other debts, though we have financial obligations, such as helping sons with their tuitions (though not nearly most of it) which we promised to do if they took useful degrees.  The financial trouble will come only if house just sits and doesn’t sell, and I hope that’s not the case.

This is in fact one of those gambles you take for a better position, because if house sells as we hope/expect, then we can substantially reduce our mortgage debt, be able to help the boys more and also stop running scared.

My problem is that I don’t have the nerves to be a gambler, so I sit there imagining the worst possible outcomes.  It’s who I am.  As I said nervofage, or nervibore.

The other problem — one of you whom I will not name unless you choose me to — researched the surgery I had and tells me the normal recovery time is six months, and that either my doctor lied when she told me it was six weeks or I misunderstood, which is possible due to being high as a kite on percocet at the time.

Anyway, I thought it was six weeks and I’ve been impatient and trying to do what the guys need me to do (this whole house stops if I go to bed, as does the “house to be finished and sold”) and working more than I usually do even while healthy.

So, the whole Tiredness that Falls On You From Nowhere and which I’ve nicknamed The Stupid Tired, because I can’t function and nothing matters, and you could tell me the house is on fire and I’d ignore you and try to lie down and sleep (and sometimes just find myself lying down with no idea how I got up the stairs) is apparently a NORMAL symptom during recovery from this surgery.  For six months.  Which means I’m normal (for what I’m sure is the first time in my life.)

What difference does this make?  Well, today not much.  I have to go to the other house for the glass man (he fixes your panes) and while there, I might as well wax the front room floor, though cleaning the kitchen might wait till tomorrow.

Going forward?  Well, I’m afraid I might have done damage — I swear I thought I was following doctor’s orders — so I’ll try to rest more, but I will also try to write more.  Despite the Stupid Tired, stories have been bubbling up, and I’m reading again (three days after house death-march.  At the end of that I couldn’t even LISTEN to stories.)  I have my story for the Black Tide antho started and I WANT to write it.  (Rocky Mountain High plays a part in it.  No, REALLY.)

But I might schedule naps in the afternoon.

Meanwhile the point of this post: All of us make ripples in the world.  All of us change culture for the better or worse.  It might be small ripples, a conversation you had that someone else thinks about that leads to them having another conversation.  Sometimes the ripples turn big.

When I decided to start speaking and come out of the political closet, it was because I caught ripples of something vaguely hinted at in a post at a large and influential blog, where, to my knowledge, no one reads me.  But clearly because it was a very specific thing, someone talked to someone who talked to someone.  And I had been feeling a “pressure” to speak out, and suddenly that pivoted me out of the political closet.

Most of the ripples of what we do might never be obvious to us.  Jim Butcher speaks of that in the beginning of Side Jobs.  Others we think are really important and aren’t.

But the thing is this: some things that seem small or playful are the only things that can do the really big jobs.

I’m not announcing I’m closing the blog.  I need to say this, because my being late and what I’m going to say next will seem to lead to it.  It doesn’t.  This blog does its job and serves its purpose and I don’t know how big the ripples are, but I’ll leave to someone more omniscient than I to determine that.  I’ll just do what I can. (I might run more guest posts, because fortunately I have a dozen or so waiting, and I’ll be able to run them once the “help older son find apartment” run is done and I’m home to approve/nix comments.)

But yesterday I was reading something that truly made me ill about the culture and our government’s response to it: to whit that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal organs and our government’s response to it is to investigate the whistle blowers.

And the thought that ran through my mind was: this is too big and too sick to be handled by blog posts speaking directly to the point.  This needs stories that build the culture as it should be, that make people think and question things about humans and what happens to a culture that views humans as commodities.

That’s a big and slow job, like getting rich slowly.  It’s a job for fiction.

Before you laugh, Heinlein’s ripples in the world — sight unseen, possibly unintended — made a little Portuguese girl a Usaian, and are probably responsible for my being an sf writer.  (I likely would have been a writer, anyway, but probably not sf, almost certainly not in the US.)  Anything I do in/to the culture is a far off ripple of his work.  And he was “just” telling stories.

So my stories — as my publisher keeps telling me — need to happen and be front and center of my work.  The blog will happen too, because it too has its place, but it will have more guest posts (when husband and younger son are done with their work in the house probably regular features by both of them) and more bfps.  But it will have my stuff too.

I’ll do that best I can. And I’ll leave for someone else to judge and access my ripples.

150 responses to “Ripples In The World

  1. The ripples depend on the size of rock you toss, and where it lands … and whether anyone else has been tossing rocks as well.

    You no longer have to worry about any publication will buy your stories, so let them fall where they will.

    Much fun as this Blog is, most of us will happily read your stories and tout them to others — those ripples are in the pond; these ripples are in the puddle.

    • It can also depend on what you’re throwing it at– hit someone in the head so they fall in and flail around, and you get a lot of ripples, but they’re not very predictable.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    This Blog is fun to visit but your stories are more fun to read. [Smile]

    Take care and hopefully give us more stories to read. [Very Big Grin]

  3. Oh, yeah: naps.

    Yes. Do them. Your stamina has been sapped by the illness and its treatment, meaning while you are no longer as good as you once were, you can still be as good once as you ever were.


    Naps: cat endorsed, cat approved.

    Trigger warning: video includes sexual assault (touching without permission) and violence (unrelated.)

  4. Ripples? Pshaw my dear young Portagee. You shall tear them a new one.
    As to the latest bit from our current masters, a truly honorable man who finds himself in a position of power does his level best to govern judiciously, for the greatest good, and with the least damage. The other sort uses that power to cause harm to those they consider enemies or simply opponents.
    Takes a blind fool not to see what sort are running things these days.

    • The thing is that what is needed now is not so much to tear things down as build them up.

    • Looked at from a certain angle, a tsunami is also a ripple. Or at least, they are both waves. Perhaps you’re just making ripples, but you don’t have the right perspective to see whether they’re Jovian scale ripples on a Terran planet or the other way around.

  5. Aimee Morgan

    I consider myself a Usaian, too. I’m not a writer or an artist, but I am a Mom, and I’m doing my best to raise a child who doesn’t ask why there’s a scrap of Old Glory in my pocket, because there’s one in her pocket, too.

  6. Six weeks after I had surgery, I was off the prescription pain-killers and could amble about freely and pick up heavy objects. Still had tiredness and pains for quite some time.

    So it may mean what you mean by “recovery.”

    • I was just thinking along those lines. There’s “your flesh has knit together” and there’s “everything is completely normal,” and they are not the same.

      I recently asked a doctor whether I should be concerned that one leg was still mildly tender to pressure, where I landed on it on the stairs back in February… twice *mumble*… and was told that deep bruising can easily take months to fully resolve. Now, this hasn’t really been hindering me; I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t likely to be a sign that something more serious was going on under the radar. But I would imagine that abdominal surgery might not be significantly faster.

  7. Much as I enjoy it on the blog (it’s one of my daily, visit on computer bootup sites), your stories do need to come first.

    Fast house sale and swift recovery, eh?

    • You worry me when you’re late, you worry me when you post. I mean, doesn’t feel as if you tore something loose, does it, you were just sapped of strength and it would have been good for you to have had more time to rest? And I read in the Gazette this morning that home sales are doing very well in the Springs, why I’ll leave for someone else to deduce.

      • Jaysus Charles, how could I tear anything 4 months later?

        • Sorry. We’re talking about Charles-level worrying. And really, long article about how good the Springs house market is.

        • Sarah, it is not nearly as hard as it sounds, unfortunately. The line of the incision is a permanent weak spot, and if you do some sort of lifting / bending / stretching that finds that spot, it will tear. I had surgery in 2008, and had to go back in 2010 for a second round because I lifted something awkwardly and ended up with an abdominal hernia.

          • Oh. Okay. You have a point. But I wasn’t complaining of pain in this post — in the last update, but those were muscle pains. So it was still odd.

            • One of my symptoms was / is that my stomach muscles will cramp if I lift too much / too long.

              • Ah. Well, I haven’t been lifting as such. More scraping, polishing.

                • Although one does not initially tend to think of them as doing so, such activities put a significant amount of stress on the core, which is subjected to stretching, twisting, compressing to provide an anchor for other movements and so on. This in turn can affect those organs normally protected by those core muscles, impairing (most notably) the proper functioning of the GI tract.

  8. Well, here’s ripple. In 2012 a friend sent me a link to MGC. That led to DWS, KKR, and PG, which also led to this place. First, I discovered a community in the true sense of the word. Second I learned that I could publish those stories people liked without having an agent et al. And I found the guys I work with today, through a comment here. A Cat Among Dragons went live in late 2012. The blog appeared in February 2014. So you get at least a decent chunk of the credit/blame.

    • Their strength is an illusion, only maintained by their ability to direct the spotlight of MSM attention. Wresting control of that beam and widening it is an essential duty of those opposing their control, revealing the vast majority of people who reject their dominance, reject their “enlightenment”, reject their presumptions of superiority. We must use the strongest levers available to our hands.


      We are Spartacus. Observe our fingers.

      • “Directing the spotlight” gave them almost unlimited control of public opinion, once upon a time.

        We’re no longer limited to looking where they point, and the mainstream media have been reducted to factional bleating for some time now. Well, they probably always were factional, but we have our own spotlights now to expose it.

    • I’m not as far along in that process as you (The blog is kind of there and getting better, but the books need some work). But MHN brought me here, and this place is the one that’s kickstarting me into doing things… into actually participating rather than day dreaming.

      • Similar here. I think I got here by way of Brad, or someone, but yeah, I’m getting excited about writing again – and dragging my sister along for the ride.

    • I got here because Ace had a link in the sidebar of Gaypatriot’s review of A Few Good Men. I’d recently lost all of my writing mentors to saying stupid things on twitter (they said them, then doubled down when asked to clarify) and this blog seemed like a gift. I’ve stepped back a bit from active politics but I’m still here everyday, even if I’m catching 5 minutes here and there to read.

  9. BTW: remember Boss Tweed’s dictum about cartoons?
    “Stop them damned pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them damned pictures!”


    N.B. — Andy Marlette is about as standard issue a reliable Liberal as they get.

    See more at powerlineblog[DOT]com/archives/2015/07/planned-parenthoods-week-in-pictures.php

    • Historically inaccurate. Slaves were sold naked, so the bidders could evaluate that all of their parts (like legs and knees, not the other ‘parts;) were in good working order.

      • Besides, why waste money clothing the product? Sorta the same way some grocers used to bag the produce, with bruised faces carefully turned toward the packing tray.

        But historically accurate would have distracted from the point being made. Nor is the trade in fetal tissue is not done like a vendor booth at a con. It is the function of the artist to make the point clear, not to be technically correct.

      • And Christ was crucified naked, according to most histories of the punishment, but it’s perfectly fine dramatic license to add a loincloth.

        • For that matter, Michelangelo’s David has a foreskin, an obvious historical inaccuracy, but only the perpetually pecksniffian draw attention to it.

          • Could have been from some forgotten censorship rule, thang with foreskin ok, thang without, indecent!

            • The way the censorious think, I could totally believe that…

            • Actually, there is a point [sic] to having the tip covered. A foreskin meant it wasn’t erect, ergo artistic, whereas an uncovered tip implied tumescence, ergo pornographic. I learned that in a college Art History class, so it must be true.

  10. There’s a list of companies that donate directly to Planned Parenthood here. Send them e-mail and let them know that funding vivisection is Uncool.

    Since one of them is my current employer, I have some decisions to make.

      • Here is one of your ‘ripples’ already. Sarah, as an instigator/early supporter of Sad Puppies gave impetus to Vox and his minions to support Rabid Puppies… Now, neither #GamerGate’s need for honest, factual game reviews by online game companies nor SadPuppies need for honest, factual Hugo Awards to writers rises to the level of a great moral crisis. #PPGate is at another level. Abortion is debatable as a right or wrong. The trafficking of fetal body parts, enriching the country’s biggest abortion advocate is another matter. It is evil. It has no moral justification. Vox’s legions being turned on the corporate sponsors and a demand to shine some light on this area is a good for USAians and people the world over.
        On your personal recovery; 1)You have your family… they are priceless, do not worry over the money, your talent will sustain you. 2)Don’t worry about your loyal following of Huns. You could post Terry Pratchett’s last grocery list, and we will go on gleefully spinning off topic tangents, or just post blast from the past with out annotation to see how long it takes us to notice! More than anything, we want you well and whole. I say this in a pragmatic and selfish way… we want you well and whole because we want more books from you. Likewise, we want you well and whole because we all value you as a person that is noble and good, and the world needs you more than you realize.

    • First decision is how to phrase the question of whether your employer endorses Planned Parenthood’s actions or is rethinking their support in light of this new information. There are reasons Planned Parenthood maintains two faces, and it is likely your employer had only been aware of the kindly one, not this vile crone newly exposed.

      Hmmm … could I but draw, there is a cartoon there. maybe one of those “What the world thinks I do, what I think I do, what I actually do” type cartoons.

      Story (scene) idea: take all of Planned Parenthood’s defenses (the videos were illegally made, decades long vast pro-life conspiracy, etc.) and use them in the persona of a slave-holder/other evil person.

      N.B. see: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/07/22/planned-parenthood-worries-future-video-will-show-it-dissecting-aborted-babies-for-organs/
      … Planned Parenthood seeks to get in front of further scandal by speculating what it thinks will be on future damaging investigative videos by CMP. This includes an admission that CMP investigators may have video of actual tissue procurement at a PP facility.

      • To quote George Takei, Oh My:
        Of particular concern is the apparent revelation that Daleiden and his associates managed to infiltrate deep into the abortion care world, even attending conferences that require at least two letters of recommendation before any attendee can register.

        [SNIP]

        “Biomax had a booth that was right across from me,” recalls Heather Ault, a pro-choice artist and activist, describing the exhibition hall at the 2014 conference….

        Ault is one of five attendees who have told RH Reality Check of their discomfort at learning that Daleiden and his groups infiltrated what had until now been seen as a secure space.

        [SNIP]

        “How did they get vetted?” asked Rosemary Codding, policy director for Falls Church Healthcare Center, Virginia, speaking about the NAF conference. “It requires two bona fide letters. It requires quite a lot. That has got to be disturbing to all members. It’s always been a very secure place to go.

        Emphasis added.
        http://www.lifenews.com/2015/07/22/planned-parenthood-worries-future-video-will-show-it-dissecting-aborted-babies-for-organs/

        • So they snuck into the hideout, did they? People who what do what pro choice activists demand probably don’t deserve a safe space.

          • Waiting for condemnation and investigation of all those 60 Minutes / Nightline / etc. hidden camera videos in 3…2…1…

            • But it’s perfectly okay to obtain unauthorized videos by lying to gain access to a slaughter house . . . if it’s done to film meat animal butchering.

              If I could draw, that’d be my choice of cartoon comparison.

              • Two panels, one caption for both: A Nazi Concentration Camp commandant and a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, with the subhead reading: “We are doing this for scientific research, for the good of mankind.”

              • Heh. Remember the ABC expose of Food Lion’s food handling … in which the investigative reporters deliberately violated Food Lion’s procedures then used that as “proof” Food Lion’s policies were ineffective?

                That didn’t much impress the jury, but likely those were just a buncha North Carolina yokels.

                From the NY Times:

                Beyond ABC v. Food Lion
                By Walter Goodman
                Published: March 9, 1997
                ARE DECEPTIVE PRACTICES BY A NEWS organization justified if they reveal deceptive practices by others? How serious do suspected abuses have to be to warrant reporters’ going undercover to expose them? Should certain kinds of journalistic deception be prohibited by law? Such are the questions that continue to roil about the case of Food Lion v. Capital Cities/ABC more than two months after the verdict.

                [SNIP]

                In more than two hours devoted to the case by ABC News one night a few weeks ago, ABC personalities, including Ms. Sawyer, who introduced the original program, argued that those little cameras gave viewers an unequaled opportunity to see how their food was treated before it reached the shelves. Food Lion executives and lawyers asserted that scenes had been staged and that the reporting was faked.

                Several viewings of the contested program and of a rebuttal tape of unused scenes put together by Food Lion persuaded me of the credibility of the ”Prime Time Live” report. Yes, the reporters were out to catch instances of unappetizing behavior and the most flagrant and unfragrant of them were played up, as is the way in exposes. But the program made a strong case that tricks like repackaging outdated fish and prettifying unsold chicken with barbecue sauce were common at two Food Lion stores at least. Employees seemed to be doing such refurbishment as a matter of course. To dismiss this evidence, as Food Lion does, you have to believe that the ”Prime Time Live” team was devoid of basic professionalism as well as short on ethics.

                It has been suggested that the reporting could have been done in a more aboveboard way, perhaps simply by buying the food and subjecting it to analysis. Such findings, although welcome, would have been no substitute for the on-the-spot evidence of malpractice. When employees and former employees told ABC of the goings-on in the back room, Food Lion called them mouthpieces for an antagonistic labor union. Even if the union instigated the investigation, however, the cameras confirmed the charges.

                [SNIP]

                Yet, for all such succumbings to temptation, the undercover stories can deliver close-ups of wrongdoing that interviews and documents cannot match. In her program’s defense, Ms. Sawyer reminded us of hidden-camera operations that revealed abuses of the mentally ill and of children at day-care centers, politicians living high on lobbyist junkets and so forth. I have seen most of those reports, and they struck me as zesty journalism and inimitable television. And truthful too.

                Sure, such exposes are entertainments; all journalism is to some degree packaged as entertainment, and news magazines are known for slipping into sheer show biz. But when the issue is serious, when the suspicions are well-grounded, then the undercover approach becomes a weapon of last resort. Would Food Lion have invited the reporters in if they had identified themselves? If lying was required to enter the employees-only area, the violation of the letter of the law, which was assuredly not written with reporters in mind, was outweighed by the public service.

                Insofar as television journalists are inhibited from finagling their way into forbidden precincts and using their hidden cameras to get at hidden doings, television news, so often so synthetic, will be even less likely to risk undertaking the worthwhile job that it was made to do.

                – 30 –

                Bwah-hah-hah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Remember, it was an edited video, pulling comments out of context to make them seem more terrible.


              Above is another segment from the video, one which allows people to better understand and appreciate the complex issues involved.

            • this is under investigation by the Just Us dept.
              not PP of course, the whistle blowers will be investigated until a Repub gets in office and shits it down. or they fabricate enough to frame them up some mona lisa evidence for a conviction .

        • Wow. I think the CIA might be missing on recruiting the really good potential agents.

      • “We believe that on at least one occasion a representative from Biomax was shown a highly sensitive area in a clinic where tissue is processed after abortion procedures. While this work is standard and essential during any abortion procedure, any filming in such an area would be an extremely serious invasion of our patients’ privacy and dignity.”

        Tissue? Or patients? And how can being treated like tissue not invade your dignity far more than being filmed?

        • … a highly sensitive area in a clinic where tissue is processed after abortion procedures. While this work is standard and essential during any abortion procedure …

          Standard and essential? How is it essential? Essential to what?

          At a guess, Planned Parenthood has a related company — StemExpress is mentioned — where it takes it profits on the fetal tissue, with those profits ultimately being realized in the portfolios of those backing both Planned Parenthood and its sock puppet affiliated tissue vendor.

          BTW – Mother Jones [ http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/planned-parenthood-sting-videos-explained ] agrees that these videos are disturbing and pose a potential ACORN-like existential threat to Planned Parenthood Big Abortion.

          • Standard and essential? How is it essential?

            Part of the abortion procedure is (forgive me for graphicness) reassembling the fetus to make sure no parts have been accidentally left in the uterus. (Almost all surgical abortions involve dismemberment and removal of the fetus in pieces, and forgetting a piece can cause serious medical problems or even death of the woman who had the abortion.) That part of the process is in fact standard and essential, and I’m guessing they fear someone has this gruesome process on videotape.

            Setting aside the desired body parts and organs for sale would probably be done at the same time, for convenience.

      • The other question is whether they are giving money as themselves or simply allowing it as an option for corporate match, which they do for a wide range of charities, including Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse. (When / If I do this, I’ll also be asking Samaritan’s Purse whether they want the matching funds from a Planned Parenthood supporter.)

    • Double-check. Some have responded by saying they don’t.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Do not now doesn’t mean never having done so in the past.

        • Well, yeah, but we want to encourage people to stop. Treating those who have stopped like those who haven’t means there’s no encouragement.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            This is true.

            • Especially since I know of women who thought that PP mostly did actual health care– something the news keeps pushing– rather than mostly pushing abortion and birth control.
              There’s a REASON they keep claiming to provide “breast cancer exams,” when at most they refer for them or can show a woman how to do self-exams.
              (They can even produce the stats to “prove” it– by counting each required exams, and walking into the office to pick up condoms, as a “healthcare consultation.” They got caught on that a couple of times when they were billing state health insurance accordingly.)

              • walk in to 90+% of PP “clinics” for anything other than an abortion and you get sent down the road because they don’t handle that there. Oh, sure, they point you to someone but you can get the services yourself without PP. The reasoning for the Texas regulations on them was if they are going to claim medical clinic standards, they must meet actual medical practice standards. Gee, for someone who claims abortion needs to be legal in order to be clean and safe, they sure got grumpy when required to, you know, actually BE clean and safe.

                • You know when abortion is rare, clean and safe? When it’s illegal. I saw this in Portugal. Classmates still had them WHEN THERE WAS NO SANE OTHER CHOICE. (Like, their parents would kill them, quite literally. Remember the moorish roots of the culture.) Someone always knew someone who knew someone, but the someone was a doctor and TERRIFIED of losing his license, so he made sure it was safe and clean. It was unholy expensive, too, of course, which helped keep it rare.
                  Other than one classmate who was … how do I describe this? I was in international studies. She was an international… escort and whose employer paid for it I didn’t know anyone who had had more than one abortion. That girl, though, had 5 by the age of 18. I never understood why she didn’t use contraceptives, but there it is. MOST people though just used contraceptives and were very careful.

                  • common and cheap gets us Kermit the Fraud and his Charnel House of Horrors

                    (wth, charnel is not in the spell check? egad)

                    • Yes, exactly. And btw, I was thinking about why that girl didn’t get contraceptives and I can think of two reasons: a) she might have been telling these foreign guys that she paid like 4 times as much. Since she was dealing with Germans, Englishmen and Americans this would seem plausible. b) since these people were mostly married and she was 15-to-18 she might have been blackmailing them.
                      Caveat Emptor.

                    • One thing I could never grasp about prostitution is the idea the customer is paying to be lied to (when there are plenty of people willing to lie for free.)


                      Not much of a fan of the show, but this sequence rang hilariously true.

                      I also never quite grasped the logic of expecting people you pay to put up be with you to have higher ethical standards than your own. Of course you’re risking blackmail; you’re lucky you aren’t waking up in a bathtub full of ice.

    • RealityObserver

      Double-check before raising a stink.

      There are several companies that only match employee donations to anything; it doesn’t mean they approve. And there are several on that list that donate not a single red cent to PP. (Can’t blame the journalist – he took the list straight from the PP web page that lists their corporate donors. This is being corrected as companies wake up to the fact that being on that list actually matters.)

      For some others – I do not like the way that the United Way leans, politically. However, I do know how they work. There are “member agencies” that they actually do promote, and donations to the “United Way” as a whole are split up among those agencies. Then there are the “designated” contributions – which they have to pass on to the agency (so long as it is a registered charitable / social organization), whether they like it or not. After the United Way pitched the Boy Scouts out on their ear for “hate,” I still donated (expected in my workplace then) – but designated 100% to the BSA.

      • Do be careful though. One of the sneaky ways some organizations have to deal with designated contributions is to dollar for dollar divert general donations to compensate. For ex. when Illinois promised that every penny of lottery money would go to education they literally kept their promise, but removed dollars from the general fund for education in the exact amount that the lottery provided.
        One of the less honest practices common to many charitable organizations is to piggyback on a current tragedy when soliciting donations then once in their coffers spend on whatever they wish rather than what the donor intended.
        Not saying don’t give to charity, but give to organizations that you fully support and are certain will put your donations to good use.

        • Money is fungible. And United Way does exactly that.

          It also takes 10% off the top. I prefer mailing checks because I can do that with an overhead of 0.1%.

          • In the 1990’s every city of any size that I had lived in or near – Cleveland, New Bedford, Baltimore, Washinton – had had at least one major United Fund embezzlement or misuse of funds scandal in my lifetime.

            I no longer donate to or through the United Way.

            • It was a United Way scandal that taught me of the ways that a not-for-profit can be very profitable for those who run it.

              Annual Expenses:
              CEO Salary: $100,000 before taxes
              CEO Housing Stipend: $1,500,000 (corporate expense, not taxable as income) (Must have nice living quarters in NY, DC, LA, SF, etc. where funds can be raised)
              CEO per diem Meals Stipend: $275 (corporate expense, not taxable as income) (Annual benefit: $100,375)
              CEO Entertainment Budget: $1,150,000 (ditto) (For fund-raising)
              CEO Clothing Budget $150,000 (ditto) (Must look good when representing the organization)

              Total benefit: $3,000,375
              Taxable benefit: $100,000

              Of course, no responsible organization would fail to provide extensive health insurance for an executive, as well as life insurance and a suitable pension.

              Nice work if you can get it.

              • Oh, they did that deliberately after people were complaining in the early 90s about the UW CEO’s $800k/yr salary.

              • Back in the mid’90s I worked for one of the largest employers in my state. They had religious affiliations, which weren’t a problem… but when I got a notice with my paycheck that said their directors had decided all employees would contribute to United Way I tossed it in the trash. They wanted 15% off the top, too.

                A few weeks later I got a follow-up phone call from HR wanting to know why I hadn’t returned my payroll deduction card. I told them I’d handle my own charities, thankyouverymuch. The woman was very upset, “But it was decided…” Not by me.

                A few weeks after that I was unemployed. I’m sure that was totally unrelated, of course.

                What they were doing was theft, not charity.

      • Didn’t see this before posting above.

      • From The Daily Signal:

        Planned Parenthood Pulls Names of Corporate Donors After Coca-Cola, Ford and Xerox Object
        By Chelsea Scism
        Representatives from Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Co. and Xerox say they’ve asked Planned Parenthood to remove their names as corporate donors to the embattled organization.

        The move follows a Daily Signal report revealing the names of 41 companies that Planned Parenthood listed as donors. That list, which was featured on Planned Parenthood’s website, has since been removed.

        [SNIP]

        The companies were cited by Planned Parenthood as employers who match charitable contributions. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is exempt from paying federal income taxes.

        A representative from Coca-Cola confirmed for The Daily Signal that the company does not contribute to Planned Parenthood, nor does it match employee contributions to the organization.

        When told that its named appeared on Planned Parenthood’s website, the Coca-Cola representative said, “We’ll ask them to correct the information.”

        Other companies voiced similar concerns about Planned Parenthood’s donor list.

        “We are making sure that Ford Motor Company is not listed as a Planned Parenthood contributor on their website,” a representative from Ford told The Daily Signal.

        “In addition, we do not offer an employee match for charitable contributions,” the Ford representative said.

        Similarly, Xerox was listed on the Planned Parenthood website and has said it also does not donate in any way.

        “We checked our files for the last 20 years and have no record of Xerox Corp. contributing to Planned Parenthood,” a representative from Xerox told The Daily Signal.

        By Wednesday afternoon, Planned Parenthood had removed Xerox from its list of companies that match gifts to the organization. By Thursday morning, Planned Parenthood removed every company name listed as a donor. …

  11. Hugs and prayers for you and yours.

  12. Consider the time line that these on-going videos were done in. A two or three year period… allow at least a year to gear up to do them – that’s three or four years which means in all probability this has been going on for decades. And of course the admin-thugs(BIRM) are going after the whistle blowers. THAT’S. WHAT. THEY. DO.
    And ya just gots to love the “We’re only recovering our costs.” line of crap from the abortionists. With a $500,000,000 cover from the government I really don’t see where they should have any uncovered costs.

    • If they are just recovering the costs, there would have been no negotiations, just a bill.

  13. c4c. When I had similar surgery it took me 6 months to recover. I recovered more slowly than you are. With God’s help,the house will sell, as fast and as profitably as it can.

  14. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Of course they investigate the whistleblowers. Planned Parenthood’s graft is just another franchise; they pay their fee, they get their protection.

    Over the counter birth control will supposedly help defund Planned Parenthood.

    • It’s the Chicago Way in action.

    • And too, since Obamacare is such a roaring success and we now have universal health care, what purpose does Planned Parenthood serve anyway?
      What? Surely they didn’t lie to us. Not the trusted officials we elected to care for our precious country. Say it isn’t so.

  15. Randy Wilde

    My problem is that I don’t have the nerves to be a gambler

    I guess that explains your safe choice of career. What could be more relaxing than a life as an indie author?

  16. I should probably admit i never much liked Ripple. In my impoverished youth I was more inclined to go for jug wines from Gallo.


    I was also, for a time, an acknowledged Deadhead.

    Ripple in still water,
    When there is no pebble tossed,
    Nor wind to blow.

    Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
    If your cup is full may it be again,
    Let it be known there is a fountain,
    That was not made by the hands of men.

    Drink from the fountain of the living water, and teach your children that they may do the same.

  17. I think about this a lot myself — it’s central to my own self-worth that I be “making a difference” and helping in my own small way to move the Human Project forward.*

    Sarah, if I had not been reading you starting last year, I wouldn’t have written two books. Your example encouraged me to get involved with the Sad Puppies thing, and if I had not done that, I wouldn’t have donated to get the Heinlein bust finished, or chatted up a certain hyperventilating writer to get him to lay off the blanket mischaracterizations of the Sad Puppies. So I’m a ripple, and have made more ripples, all because of you.

    I can remember that feeling of not caring about anything after my appendix surgery. Your body is asking your brain for a time-out while it repairs itself, and pushing too hard when you’re feeling that is definitely asking for trouble. With the house stuff done, give yourself permission not to do quite so much. We will read what you write when you write it, and you can rest on your laurels just a bit and use guest posts as long as necessary.

    * – Ask a Progressive what they see as the end goal of Progress, and you will usually get an answer about all human beings being well-fed and comfortable, well-educated and kind, and behind that, some hint that the goal is universal love as expressed in equality of material possessions and comfort, and enforced by unity of thought. Which is a strange ideal, akin to the goal of a cloistered religious community. I see Progress as removing the obstacles to every individual’s best realization of their abilities, and I know that no one reaches their potential by avoiding all hard work, suffering, and stress. Disconnecting outcomes from effort destroys the incentive to achieve, and ultimately blunts the edge of human enterprise — stagnation is the result. Not to mention loss of freedom.

    • Yes, but being a ‘ripple’ doesn’t get you off the hook for Substrate Wars #3. If enough ripples are made, and they are all in phase with one another, they will reach tsunami force.

      • I’m working on it. The Taos people convinced me that I needed to make the opening more dramatic and improve on the characterizations — I was lazily assuming everyone knew them already. Going back and looking at it through new eyes was helpful but means an additional month of rewrites.

        • *passes Jeb towel to catch mental sweat* I’m facing a massive re-write of an older book pretty soon. I knew it had holes, but not Eisenhower-Tunnel-sized holes. Thanks be for beta readers.

  18. reddragonhawk

    The blog also does make a difference, but your guest posters usually are interesting to so as long as you don’t vanish, I’ll be pretty happy. The Usain stories scare me, probably because they feel prophetic, so you probably better keep up with those for certain. Thanks and good luck.

  19. Funny coincidence – I was thinking about ripples, myself – in a post at Chicagoboyz. http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/49220.html
    “I would despair entirely – but for knowing something about history, and in seeing certain rebellious trends developing, like ripples on the surface of a body of water which might indicate a strong current underneath.”
    There are quite a few movements in the deep water, which make only a bare ripple on the surface. A lot people quietly taking quiet steps to ensure their own security and that of their loved ones, a lot of people quietly supporting people and small businesses which have been righteously denounced by the elite, a lot of people cheering for Donald Trump – because figure of fun that he is, he at least has the guts to come out and address the issues.
    Yes indeed – ripples.

    • Kim du Toit

      One of the wonderful side-effects of strating my little blog was that people used to ask me to teach them to shoot. (Mostly women, which was wonderful-squared.) I once estimated that I have taught well over five hundred women how to shoot, and at least half were referred to by a one-time pupil. Fathers asked me to teach their daughters, brothers their sisters.

      Also, I received well over two thousand emails from people who said something like, “I never thought I’d want to shoot, but after reading your blog…” or else, “I haven’t fired a gun since the Army, but you’ve made me realize I need to get back in the saddle…” as well as the perennial “Curse you, Kim du Toit! I saw that pic of [fill in beautiful gun], and I just had to get one for myself!”

      So one little blog, one little ripple on the Internet, thousands of new armed citizens. I can live with that.

      • Well, now I want to read your blog.

      • clark e myers

        To say nothing of annoying Patrick and Teresa no end on other issues. Though Teresa, as befits her background, likes guns well enough.

        I have no idea who first said “you have enemies, good” or “known by his enemies” but I do believe that applies as well in the instant case.

        I wonder why none of the SJWs made an issue of denying folks jobs in the grocery business. I suppose I can guess.

        On health issues. I knew a woman still in the hospital after major surgery (most all cuts under total are major) who was fluffed and buffed. Rosy rouged cheeks hid a critical need for blood.

        Knew another woman who rolled an S10 Blazer and never got better despite assurances from physicians that all her problems were traceable to injuries from the rollover. Until the day she was told there was another explanation and she’d be dead within six months.

        As folks say there’s a reason to put the oxygen mask on yourself first when the airplane decompresses.

        • Winston Churchill is supposed to have said “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood for something in your life.”

      • Kim, I still have and wear your “Nation of Riflemen” T-Shirts, still have people ask me where they can get one / is the site still active, and am still sad when I have to tell them you closed it.

  20. Every book we sell, every blog post we put up causes ripples. We’ll never know the extent. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing some good. Just sayin…

    • Everything we do causes ripples.

      I have to fight the urge to adorn my car with pro-choice, pro-Hillary, anti-gun, anti-defense bumper stickers and driving like a maniac, cutting people off, jumping ahead of them in traffic, not signalling turns and all the other little ploys of royally annoying everybody else on the road.

      It would be trolling and it would be wrong.

      • so basically you’d just act like a ‘proper California progressive’

      • Professor Badness

        *Maniacal Laughter*

        Would it be wrong? Would it?

      • I am a printer, working for a company that makes bumper stickers (now known as automotive tramp stamps). some free advice, worth every penny you pay for it. before adding a sticker to you car, first attach them to a magnet. the magnets come in large sheets. trim to fit. add/remove as needed. example: use your Hillary stickers when you wish to cut people off, park in more than one parking space (or handicap), etc. place your scott walker when around union people. and if near jon steward, use one that reads “president jeb bush” it may make his head explode. happy face

        • Tried that. First time I parked my car in town, my “Save The Tatas” magnet went missing.

      • EVERYthing. Turns out that my pride&joy research on the nature of bards (and Bards) has reached further and touched more than I *ever* considered possible when I was first compiling and refining the thing. (BSP free version at bard.ansteorra.org/bardcraft/whatisabard.doc)

        I’ve been quoted / re-used / referred to all over the place since that was released into the wild. I *like* it!

      • the Prius drivers of Austin take care of those duties for you here in Texas, so you’d just get lost in the noise.

  21. sabrinachase

    And on the healing thing…when I was recovering from my emergency appendectomy, I would feel “all better” and sick of lying around in bed, and head off for a nice walk–and suddenly run COMPLETELY out of steam. None of the usual fatigue warning signs. It was either all ahead full or dead stop. And that is why it makes no sense to you. You have no reserves to run on. Plus the fuel gauge is borked.

    You are not allowed to fix any more houses until All Better. You may lounge like an odalisque, nap, be a cat-stand, write, stuff like that. (No bear wrestling, either, even if the bear started it.)

    • Likewise. After my appendectomy, I really wasn’t back up to snuff for at least 6 months, maybe closer to nine. I did have complications, though.

    • Yes! That’s the Stupid Tired.

    • I had 2 c-sections. It still pisses me off that I would be doing fine and then suddenly need to SIT DOWN. As someone who used to be bored if I wasn’t going a mile a minute 18 hours a day, I felt betrayed and lazy. I got another lecture recently from a new doctor that sleep was not a suggestion.

      • I had one, but I was so out of it I don’t remember the recovery.

        • I don’t remember much of the first one, just that I was so out of it I forgot our anniversary and have managed to never remember it since. I basically slept for a month and a half if my mother’s to be believed. Now, there were other complications that went with that but yeah, pretty much. My second I felt like I was recovering faster except that I wasn’t, I just knew what to expect and would override my body’s need to sleep and get just suddenly, stupidly tired for “no reason”.

          • First one, I was recovering from severe pre-eclampsia — TMI they had to put a catheter in, and first day I filled 40 liter bottles — and three days in labor. The second was VBAC and it is MUCH easier to recover.

            • I never went into labor but pre-eclampsia is scary. My son was 2 weeks overdue, breech and his heart rate was falling while we were in the doctor’s office. They wheeled me up and took him out just before his heart stopped.

              My daughter was due on 9/11 and the doctor didn’t like the scar placement from the last one so didn’t want to chance a VBAC. I’m glad we had her scheduled because she decided to be just like her big brother, right down to being born at the same time.

  22. Just remember, the main goal is to outlive your enemies. Worked for Heinlein.

  23. How will this affect updates to Ninja Nun?

    🙂

  24. Astrosorceror

    Get well! Pace yourself and recover.

  25. Apropos of nothing in particular, my favorite every day carry pocket knife is the Ken Onion designed Ripple. Assisted opening, 3.125 inch blade so street legal most places, wicked sharp, and a very useful tool. Were I to find myself in a situation where it was all I had I would not consider myself defenseless.
    So I guess ripples are as ripples do in some regards.

  26. MadRocketSci

    Go for it. I look forward to reading your future books.

  27. Sarah, take care of Sarah first, please. The rest will follow.

  28. Aaaaand apropos of nothing especially important, I broke 25K words on the WIP today, with the set up for the conflict with the Big Bad organized and ready to go. (As if the protagonist needs more trouble in his life. He lives in Hungary in the 1920s and 30s.) Chocolate mousse here I come!

  29. Third option: the doctor was thinking “normal activity” different than you are.

    My mom surgery at one point, and they cleared her for “riding.”

    Thankfully, she figured out that where they were thinking “riding” like “hiking on a level area for 15 minutes each way, with a nice table to set at for either end,” she was talking “riding” like “I’m going to attempt Everest, that cool with you?”

    I’ve had doctors nearly flip when they found out that packing 50-70 pound loads up and down stairs was normal for me, which may have been because I’m a small woman or may have been because… hey, I’m well rounded in SOME ways…. (We lived in an apartment complex without elevators.)

  30. Professor Badness

    My wife just pointed out, you’ve basically received a “precision punch to the gut” in the form of your surgery. Recovery always takes longer than we want it to.
    My family has moved more than thirty times in my life, and we’ve done home renovations in most of those locations. You have my sympathy, as well as a heartfelt “Good on You!”

  31. Christopher M. Chupik

    It’s amusing, in a grim way, to see PP’s defense:

    “They tricked us! It’s not fair! Waaaa!”