RAH!

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This should be a serpent eating its tail, but I don’t feel like looking for an image, so twisty candles will have to do.

It is Heinlein’s birthday.  It is also coincidentally my oldest son’s birthday.  It is one of those things that makes me believe I’m living in a novel, as it connects me simultaneously to the past and the future. The man who molded my thought, and the man I helped mold (a little bit.  It will shock all of you that he’s a stubborn cuss, right?) both sharing the same name and born on the same date.  (Though our Robert started the being born thing on the fourth of July, he hung fire till the seventh early morning.  Go figure.  And yeah, I loved the three days hard labor.  Not.)

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it means to be a writer, and to what a writer hopes to leave behind.  There are reasons for this, and yes, my entire family, collectively, has yelled me into going to the doctor.  I’ve been putting it off because it’s probably nothing, and I don’t want to give trouble, but at the same time, there are worrying symptoms, and at any rate I’m 55 which means I’m closer to the end than the beginning. There’s also the fact that 27 years ago today I almost died.  (They gave Dan 10% of chances both Robert and I would survive.  They said more than likely he’d lose one of us.  I’m very glad he didn’t.  I love my family.)  Also, 21 years and six months ago the doctors all said I wouldn’t live more than a few days (pervasive pneumonia. 11 days in ICU) and I prayed very earnestly to be allowed to live to raise my boys. Which I admittedly have.  And write my books.  Which I sort of have.  So, hence the morbid thoughts.

Anyway, any writer who is a working writer leaves a lot of crap behind.  And sometimes it is not what HE/SHE identifies as crap.  I mean Austen’s favorite book was Emma, a book I can barely get through because of the desire to reach through the book and strangle the eponymous twit.

So we’re not usually the best judges of our work, though I confess to giggling like a little girl while listening to number of the beast and hearing him refer to Stranger as “what some writers do for money.”

I have three of those, truth be told. Not that they made me anymore than a slightly upgraded advance.  (Hint: I haven’t reissued them yet.)

His books that I love: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress; Citizen of the Galaxy; Puppet Masters.  All the others too, but after those.  And btw, yeah, Puppet Masters was a rushed thing, for money.

I hope but don’t believe my work will be similarly worthy of praise thirty years after my death.

Happy birthday RAH (both of them) and thank you (both of them) for inspiration and encouragement to do my best.

I’m trying.

 

139 responses to “RAH!

  1. You may not be around to see it (though I hope you are) but don’t underestimate the worth of what you’ve written. I haven’t read all of your books (yet), but I really enjoyed the shifter stories and the furniture refinishing stories, and I think they will be enjoyed for a good long while yet. And the Darkship stories will, I think, still be read and enjoyed and appreciated a hundred years from now, if not longer. I make this judgment based on the books I read and enjoy that have already been around that long (or longer), and I’m not the only person who still reads them!

    I do think, though, that any books will have a better chance of still being around to read that far into the future if there are paper copies as well as ephemeral electronic copies….(Carved in stone would be better, but where would we put all of them?!?)

    • I think this item, reportedly inspired by his daughter’s questions about what happens when we die, expresses an answer t the value of your (or anybody’s) contribution to the world. N.B., I am not particularly a fan of Billy Joel, but credit where due:


      Goodnight, my angel
      Time to close your eyes
      And save these questions for another day
      I think I know what you’ve been asking me
      I think you know what I’ve been trying to say
      I promised I would never leave you
      And you should always know
      Wherever you may go
      No matter where you are
      I never will be far away

      Goodnight, my angel
      Now it’s time to sleep
      And still so many things I want to say
      Remember all the songs you sang for me
      When we went sailing on an emerald bay
      And like a boat out on the ocean
      I’m rocking you to sleep
      The water’s dark and deep
      Inside this ancient heart
      You’ll always be a part of me

      Lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu
      lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu

      Goodnight, my angel
      Now it’s time to dream
      And dream how wonderful your life will be
      Someday your child may cry
      And if you sing this lullabye
      Then in your heart
      There will always be a part of me

      Someday we’ll all be gone
      But lullabyes go on and on…
      They never die
      That’s how you
      And I
      Will be

  2. Christopher M. Chupik

    On one hand, it sucks that I bought into Heinlein’s “bad rep” when I was younger and stupider and missed out on his work. On the other, it means I have much Heinlein still to discover.

  3. And yeah, I loved the three days hard labor. Not.

    Back when C-band satellite for the home was a (big) thing… there was some comedienne with a promo.. one line was memorable and it was about being in labor for so long: “I don’t even want to do anything FUN for 72 hours!” or close to that, as I recall.

    • I may be wrong, but I think that was Rita Rudner.

      • You are right. I had things bit amiss:

        I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don’t even want to do anything that feels good for 36 hours. — Rita Rudner

  4. Happy Birthday– and I’m trying too… Not sure if I am succeeding.

  5. second to last para, you typed RHA instead of RAH. I tried not to say something buuuttt…

  6. Dorothy Grant

    Happy Birthday to Older Son! And yes, take care of yourself, so we can get decades of stories out of you yet… I mean, because we like you! 😛

    *hugs*

    The readers in the future will sort out the best from the worst according to their own tastes, mores, and time. All we can do is write everything we can, and let them choose the gems where they may.

  7. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Off Topic, but when I see “RAH” I think of my sister Ruth Ann Howard.

    Of course, since she got married it’s “RAM”. 😉

    Oh, baby sis has been married for years (and has grandkids). 😀

  8. Emma is my second favorite Austen (after Pride and Prejudice), precisely because its title character is such a brilliantly portrayed satiric figure. She would make perfect sense as a graduate of a modern elite university steering her lower class protégé away from the young businessman who’s been courting her. Not that that version’s going to be made by anyone in Hollywood. But I think Emma is a fine piece of Horatian satire, with maybe just a touch of Juvenal to give it bite.

  9. > The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress; Citizen of the Galaxy; Puppet Masters.

    The Puppet Masters
    The Door Into Summer
    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • The Door Into Summer
      The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
      Time Enough for Love
      The Number of the Beast

      Door was confirmation bias: I wanted to be an engineer, and Daniel Boone Davis was a role model of sorts.

      The other three, I’m a sucker for self-aware computers. One of my machines is named Dora, another Minerva. The desktop is named Illiac because reasons. 🙂

      • My first car was Dora.

        • was it a Ford SUV?

          • Unfortunately, no. It was a 70s land-yatch

              • One of the amazing things, today, about looking at the big old cars of the 60’s and 70’s, is that they actually had adequate trunk space. Many a modern SUV would like to be able to brag about seating 4-5 while having that much cargo space available – without blocking the driver’s view out the rear.

                • Time does not facilitate my rant about inadequate trunk space, much less those “space-saver” tires which mean that, should you have a tire go flat and be forced to utilize that spare, the flattened tire will not fit into the trunk’s tire well, being (at least) half again as wide as the spare.

                  If the trunk will not hold three average-sized male bodies without cramming, I have no use for the car.

                  • My 91 Accord (the last car I owned) had enough space for the full size tire, but it was wider than the well was deep, so it did slightly intrude into the trunkage.
                    My 70’s Dodge Colts had space issues for the spare, but that was because instead of the 155/75 or 80 R13 stock tires I ran 235/60 R14 then on the last 225/60s.
                    My truck had a space saver but the real spare had been swiped somewhere in its past. It is a 4×4 and stock had a full size on a matching rim. I bought a cheap wagon wheel and have the same as the 4 it wears as a spare now.

                    Hold 3? Was it the 70 era Chrysler Newport that fit 4 or 5 easily and six in a spoon pattern? Comatose or dead (or on a bet) it held far more than that . . . iirc. they got 10 (two were small females) into the trunk of a buddy’s while they ran out of volunteers for the rest of the car so who knows how many he could have held, overall.

                  • At least they had a donut. Current car doesnt and had to limp home with air leak for 4 hrs

                • SUVs are 32 Ford Sedans with a rear hatch.
                  I’d rather a full size stationwagon myself.

        • Not brad?

  10. kenashimame

    C4C

  11. “I’ve been putting [going to the doctor] off because it’s probably nothing, and I don’t want to give trouble.”

    Don’t think of it as giving trouble. Think of it as humoring all the people who love you and are worried about the “probably nothing.”

    • My theory is that the reason I go to the doctor is to MAKE SURE that something that’s probably nothing really IS nothing. That’s why I went in for a thyroid biopsy back in the days of GWB.

      Isn’t not having that sort of worry in the back of your mind worth a bit of time and money?

      • Terry Sanders

        I noticed an odd looking spot on my arm. It itched a little. I decided it was too much trouble to check (I’m a trucker with no primary care physician, much less a bunch of specialists at my beck and call. I have a health plan, but using it is complicated and expensive.)

        So several months later, I noticed a lump in my armpit. I wasn’t quite stupid enough that time.

        The diagnosis was metastatic (three other locations) malignant melanoma. I’ve spent the last year taking expensive pills. Sheer luck that something much more drastic wasn’t called for. If I’d been slightly more stupid I might have been past the point of no return. If I’d been less stupid I could have gotten that dark spot removed and gone about my business.

        Please don’t be stupid, Sarah. The world has more to lose in you.

    • I’ve had “probably nothing” and “you need to watch this and call me if it gets worse”. My CPAP machine/monitor software keeps throwing nag messages; my body is Doing Things It Doesn’t Like. I see the cardiologist in a couple of weeks (barring things getting weirder) and we’ll take it from there. Meanwhile, I’m trying to do the right things. And it’s trying.

      • I probably should see a few specialists, now that I’ve reached A Certain (Medical) Age. But what if they find something wrong? 😉

        • The fun happens when it’s recursive: my retina guy referred me to a cornea specialist for unrelated problems. Then I had a reaction to the steroid eye drops. Now that all the festivities are done, I see pretty well, though the mostly paralyzed iris in the right eye is mildly annoying. It might recover, but Old Man Sunshields really do work.

    • If it hurts, it needs attention, now.
      If it’s not working right, it needs attention, now.
      If it’s messing with your wetware, it needs attention, now.

      My advice as a post-50 year old, FWIW, is you need to have periodic maintenance, faithful recording and reporting of how your personal equipment is operating, and prompt repairs for when something isn’t working properly; otherwise it will break worse, cost more, take longer to fix, and may not be repairable if you wait too long. Of course it might not be repairable anyway, but do you want to waste your time and energy worrying about it?

      People talk about how tragic suicide is. They talk about how damaging it is to those left behind. But what a lot of people don’t talk about is how damaging it can be when we don’t take care of ourselves and pass away far too soon. Maybe it’s just my experience, but I can extrapolate it to others. A grandfather who put off getting stomach pains to finish tidying up the Mason’s treasury records, and died from acute liver failure because it was too late. A father who was too busy to get a frigging chest x-ray, and died of lung cancer. A close friend who kept putting off seeing a doctor about his numb feet, and losing them to diabetic gangrene, and shortly thereafter, systemic blood poisoning.

      If life is still worth living, then it’s still worth living for your family and friends. It’s your choice, but who would choose to make a husband, a wife, best friend, or children sad or angry because you didn’t take care of yourself? Don’t steal time from being with them. Steal as much quality time to be with them as you can.

      IIRC, it was RAH via Lazarus Long who said something to the effect of, “The Universe owes you a living, but it takes a lifetime to collect.” Make the Universe pay every stinking penny it owes you.

      • My dad didn’t put off getting a chest X-ray; they didn’t have that as a “should do that” at the time he was diagnosed with lung cancer. (They put it on the Medicare checklist a year or two after he died; if you have been a smoker, they suggest yearly. He’d quit a dozen years before but the decades prior to his quitting had done their damage.)

  12. Good Luck with your medical issues! Did they say why you were in labor for 3 days? I always remember your books. I think that your Earth’s Revolution series will be remembered. It does seem to tie in with current concerns. I can see an English or Political Economy teacher asking “What 3 writers were indicative of mid 21st century concerns?” It could be just an essay question on Sarah Hoyt. Or even term papers on you.

    • Yes. They gave me too much pitosin, so the labor stopped with the baby crowned. Yes, the doctor was a moron. We missed the deadline for suing by 3 years, by the time we figured out HOW BAD she was. I don’t normally even consider suing, but she’d been practicing a year and lost 4 moms and 3 babies. She was a menace and we SHOULD have sued.

      • We lost an aunt and cousin in one go from too much pitocin. But that was 40+ years ago. 20 years ago should have been a no brainier. I hope you at least reported the doc even if you couldn’t sue. If you haven’t reported her, check to see if she is still practicing and then report her. I don’t think reporting things like that has an expiration date.

        • “Pitocin”

          Yes. Got that too, to help with contractions. When doctor mentioned it, we told him I was sensitive to most drugs, not allergic, but they hit me hard, very telling with pain killers, didn’t know about pitocin as never had it. Doctor said dosage would be “conservative”. OMG heaven & hell on earth, if that was conservative, I’d hate to know what the full dosage was suppose to be for my size; this was 29 years ago, so …. Yes, they backed the drip rate way back. Then after 26 hours, kid came via emergency C-Section anyway.

          Again fortunate because my SIL pediatric emergency nurse getting the story said in general an emergency C-section is not organized that quickly in light of that situation, often resulting in baby’s brain damage or death. Maybe because I didn’t care how the baby was delivered & hubby & mom (who was also there) were of the same mind. Yes, you could say mom had no say … trust me no one ignores my mom, she spotted the abnormality on the baby monitor first. Less than 20 minutes from abnormality spotted, to baby’s emergency delivery via C-Section; sequence being “What’s happening?” “Not good.” “Recommend C-Section.” “Okay” “Lets go, page the team & on call peds.” Move to surgery, prep, delivery.

          • Yep. Emergency c-section first child. It ended up with one of my ovaries bisected and the uterus so scarred it’s amazing I have a second son.
            And then second doctor believed first doctor’s notes that labor had inexplicably stopped (!) and hit me with pitocin when I went in 2 cm dilated.
            The pain was MASSIVELY worse. I thought I was going to die, with this “tiny bit to hurry things along.” He thought that this way I’d be in hard labor when he finished his office hours. An hour later I convinced a nurse to call him, because I couldn’t STOP FROM PUSHING for the love of bob. He came in in street clothes just in time to catch younger son, 1h and 1/2 after that pitosin shot. His head never conformed. Completely round.

          • And yep, from son’s oxygen faltering to delivery? 15 minutes.

            • Yep. Incredibly fast from that baby monitor flat lining. Mom’s second child was born with chord wrapped around neck (sis is fine) 60 years ago (probably why she freaked when she saw monitor flat line). My son didn’t have the chord wrapped around neck, c-section birth would have still seen that. Near they can tell was the chord was trapped between his head & the pelvis, so it pinched when pushing. Luckily I was so tired by then, telling me not to push while they prepped, while not easy, was not totally impossible. Wasn’t lucky enough to have another child. No known reason, just never got pregnant again, not even miscarriages.

              • Robert was CROWNED. For two and a half days. My C-section scar is so low after I deflated post-pre-eclampsia water retention, it was under my pubic hair. Seriously.

                • Jeff had started to crown, but barely & not long. My scar is low too, right at, a smidgen below hairline. Still there too. Didn’t have any complications afterwards.

                  Pretty sure lack of further kiddos is genetic, both me & hubby. Tests on his side imply that any problems on my side means it’s lucky we have one; no diagnosed reason on my side. My side, if one looks back before birth control availability/wide-spread-usage, one sees repetitively small families, with kids widely spaced, a lot of adoptions, & not due to infant/early-childhood losses. Not everyone, but a lot. In fact a lot of adoptions were the more prolific “spreading the wealth” or community raising of kids. The problem is hit & miss, my sisters had diagnosed reasons to not be able to have kids, they both have 3 biological; one had 5 pregnancies (two tubal she had to abort or “spontaneously abort” & likely die) & she was told she couldn’t have kids, period, with pictures.

              • Oh, I had a ton of miscarriages, probably due to scarring. Younger son is a miracle. (Worried) I just wonder from which side.

          • One thing I really liked about my hospital’s pediatric ward is that they were HUGELY on top of things. Right down to “we recommend an epidural because if we have to take this baby to emergency C-section, we would otherwise have to knock you out and that’s not fun on your end.”

            This was Kaiser, FWIW, totally integrated insurance and hospital, so everybody’s on shift work and you don’t get charged weirdly when they have to bring the specialists in. First child aspirated meconium, so they told me they’d have to do a deep aspiration, and I swear they brought the circus in when he was born. Cost the same as the other two, though.

            • Jeff had aspirated meconimum too, so most the circus was already present, just had to be moved to surgery. I think they had to bring in two or 3 more people, maybe; hey by then I was pretty far out of it. Was awake for the delivery, but couldn’t see anything. Hubby could, at least watch them lift him out, chose not to see more. But hubby didn’t get to hold him until pediatrician & nurses had done their thing & he was wrapped. I only got about 10 minutes back in the room with him & hubby before they took kid for assessment, with hubby in tow, was not letting the kid out of his sight, even thou by then we both had bracelets. Mom (grandma) got to act as go between. Took “forever”, but then again, I was really not fully with it.

              The hospital I was at has “moved” & during the new build, redid pediatric. Now the rooms are set up for birth to in-room, including all assessments, until you leave. Pretty sure you still have to be taken to surgery area if needed, don’t know, but even 29 years ago it was just across the hall.

              • I asked to be put to sleep once I saw Robert and he was okay, because sewing and stuff I didn’t need to be awake for. They fave me a tiny “sleep pill” via IV. i didn’t wake for 24 hours. Woke enough to hold Robert and then went back to sleep for 12 hours.

  13. “I don’t want to give trouble.” Tell you what. Pick a date, and I’ll coerce, er, that is, pick volunteers from “That Class” [waits for other teachers to stop having flashbacks] and send them to help you with yard-work. You’ll have plenty of trouble free for the asking. 🙂

  14. “I’ve been putting it off because it’s probably nothing,”

    Every time I go to the doc because I’m worried it’s something, they tell me it’s nothing. Chest pains? Oh, it’s just a pinched nerve in your neck. Five years and a quadruple bypass later, no more chest pains. Not like I could have died in the interim or anything.

    For some reason I have trouble trusting doctors.

    • I had a 4-way bypass last year, but there was no chest pain. Odd symptoms; doc sent me to an enterologist, who said “First, a cardiogram”, and the cardiologist hooked me up for a stress test, and then said I didn’t need one because “You wouldn’t pass it; you have blockages.”

    • I dropped out of Johns Hopkins undergraduate, spent four to five years hanging around campus courting my Lady. In that time I met two pre-med students I would allow to touch me with a stethoscope.

      Society is too prone to treat doctors like immaculate Priests, when what they mostly are is mechanics. The good ones know this. The mediocre ones make a lot of trouble, and the bad ones create horror shows.

      I’m looking at YOU Kermit Gosnell.

      At least half the trouble stems from the fact that the Government has been trying to ‘fix’ ‘healthcare’ (meaning not only the medical care systems, but the health insurance systems). I know that, in theory, each subsequent bill of Legislature is supposed to supersede and render void the previous one, but I can’t help but feel that we have layer after layer of legislative bandages over a wound that nobody has seen for decades.

      Governments are good at brute force and bean counting. Why anyone thought they would be good at overseeing the practice of medicine is beyond me.

      As for ‘single payer’, didn’t it just come out that some hundreds of elderly patients in the British National Health system were given overdoses of opiates not because they were terminal and in pain, but because they were complainers and troublesome?

      We need to get the government the hell out of ‘healthcare’; all the way out, or as out as politically possible. If they could make the system work as well as the Post Office (to borrow a common criticism) they might be tolerable. The post office does a decent job. Not perfect, but outside of a few trouble areas (mostly run by – wait for it – Democrats) but pretty good. Healthcare is several orders of magnitude more complicated than delivering the mail.

      • We need to get the government the hell out of ‘healthcare’; all the way out, or as out as politically possible.

        Reducing the role of government to that which it can practically perform seems preferable but probably not possible. The government can reasonably measure performances and outcomes — it is great at monitoring and measuring but not so good at prescribing policies nor at providing services.

        The government plays a useful role as umpire but makes things terrible when it plays on the field.

        • Well said.

          We need umpires on the Supreme Court.
          Not players swinging for the fences

          • I’ve heard people saying that we need justices who care about women and the poor.

            • Well, sure we do. We need more people who are pro-life and anti-socialism all around. 🙂 (I’m sure that’s not what the people you’re hearing mean, but hey.)

              But the justices still need to act based on accurate legal interpretation.

              • Not to endorse his nomination but to recognize the salience of his arguments, try this argument at NRO’s Bench Memos blog, supporting the candidacy of Judge Kethledge:

                Judge Kethledge — Integrity & Originalism
                With Justice Kennedy’s retirement, President Trump has a unique opportunity to further solidify how the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution and federal statutes. Ideally he will select the judge on his list who best fits Justice Gorsuch’s mold — Raymond M. Kethledge.

                [SNIP]

                Even two decades ago, it was clear that Judge Kethledge venerated the Judiciary — and its proper, limited status within our constitutional design — and that he wanted enforcing that design to be his life’s work. From those core premises — modesty, integrity, respect — it naturally follows that Judge Kethledge would be an originalist and textualist. As he explained in a recent law review article, a judge’s task is to unearth “the meaning that the citizens bound by the law would have ascribed to it at the time it was approved.” Accordingly, “the judge who succeeds in that task thereby does her part to maintain our constitutional separation of powers.”

                Judge Kethledge has spent the last ten years turning these beliefs into principles — and putting these principles into action in his service on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. As an originalist, “faithful adherence to the Constitution and its Amendments requires us to examine their terms as they were commonly understood when the text was adopted and ratified, rather than applying meaning derived years later that may weaken constitutional rights.” And when Judge Kethledge interprets a statute, he uses textualist tools for unearthing its meaning — such as the dictionary—as well as his own preternaturally good ear. As he says, “we have definitions for every word in the language, and rules of grammar, and, perhaps most important, our own ordinary usage of the language.”

                Equally important is what Judge Kethledge does not do: He rejects the interpretive ruses that some judges use to enact their own policy preferences into law — and he does so in unequivocal terms. To cite only a few examples:

                0 The improper purpose of legislative history “is often not to explain the statutory text, but to advocate — to convince the courts, or perhaps to allow them, to read into the text certain values that lacked the votes to be included there.” Judge Kethledge knows this firsthand; when working for the Senate, watching others draft legislative history was “rather like being a teenager at home while your parents are away for the weekend: there was no supervision.”

                0 Judge Kethledge dismisses requests to apply legislative purpose from general principles drawn from scattered laws, rather than the words of the statute at issue as “more impressionistic than legal.” To him, “statutes are not artistic palettes, from which the court can daub different colors until it obtains a desired effect.” Nor is a judge’s role “to fashion a sort of judicial string theory, under which we develop universal principles that harmonize different statutes with different language. Our task instead is to apply the words of the statute at hand.”

                0 And Judge Kethledge rejects arguments based solely on policy: “Neither policy concerns, nor some general sense of the statute’s overriding purpose, nor the spirit of the age, provides us with any lawful basis to do what” Congress could have done “with a few keystrokes”—yet did not. Judges are “confined to what the law says.”

                Each tactic has the same end: to empower the judge to make a decision based on something other than what elected representatives voted upon. Thus, as cogently explained by Judge Kethledge, doing so would impermissibly arrogate to the Judiciary the responsibilities the Constitution assigns to the Legislature.

                [END EXCERPT]

                Perhaps the selection of the next Justice ought look toward ability to deliver the snark.

      • I’m looking at YOU Kermit Gosnell.

        I recently was in a discussion with someone who claimed to be pro-life but not wanting to “return” to the days when women died from abortions.

        I cited Gosnell. And how he wasn’t caught until he commited drug violations as well, so there’s no reason to believe that he’s the only one, since others could last as long.

        The other person claimed that was irrelevant

        • Oh, Gosnell is plenty relevant. He’s the reason so many states are tightening up on regulation of abortion clinics. And the Pro-Choice people are howling about it, but they shot themselves in the foot when they didn’t catch Gosnell and scream bloody murder about his abattoir.

          So Pro-Choice spokes-moron actually said that they hadn’t looked too closely at Gosnell’s operation because it was so important that ‘poor women’ have access to abortion services.

          And if that sounds like “Who cares if a bunch of them brown sluts die as long as they don’t spawn” to you, it does to me too.

          • Just a quick note, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is scheduled to open in October. A big open, along with the placement of Trump’s next appointment to the Supreme Court and the impending mid-term elections should make Progressive heads explode like a school john with an M-80 dropped in.

            Directed by & featuring Nick Searcy, with script by Andrew Klavan and starring Dean Cain we can expect the critics to savage this no matter how damned good it proves to be.

            • N.B.:

              Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer’ to Open in 750 Theaters in October
              The film about abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell – that had been blocked from distribution by a judge – will now open in as many as 750 theaters in October.

              Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer will finally open as a result of a distribution deal with GVN Releasing and following “a really hard road,” said its producers, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

              “The fanatic subject matter poses a risk,” said executive producer John Sullivan, who also co-directed Dinesh D’Souza’s first two documentary films. “We were very careful not to make it too graphic. Gosnell saving feet of infants in jars as trophies plays a role, and you’ll see him take scissors out, but that part plays out as theater of the mind.”

              Filmmakers Anne McElhinney and Phelim McAleer are hoping the movie will not acquire an “R” rating. They produced the film in 2014 with $2.3 million raised on crowdfunding website Indiegogo and have been trying to get it into theaters for nearly four years.

              “It’s a story that needs to be told fairly and we’ve done just that,” said McElhinney. “The cover-up stops here.”

              In an interview with Breitbart News in January 2017, McAleer said, “The most shocking thing I found was how many people knew.”

              He added:

              Health officials, doctors in emergency rooms who were seeing and fixing the results of his butchery – even the Philadelphia homicide department was notified. The National Abortion Federation was notified; there were trainee nurses passing through his house of horrors; the coroner’s office saw the bodies of the women and babies – and they all said nothing.

              “This is in Philadelphia, not a third world country or a rural backwater in America,” he stressed. “It also shows the pointlessness of big government and regulations – they are never enforced when it is politically expedient.”

              McElhinney and McAleer thought they had a distribution deal last year but Judge Jeffrey Minehart – who presided over Gosnell’s trial – sued to block the film’s release because he reportedly was fearful of being portrayed* as a member of “Philadelphia’s liberal corrupt government.”

              According to the Hollywood Reporter, Minehart’s lawsuit claimed the producers were “shamelessly exploiting for profit** the morally divisive issue of abortion and the notoriety of the horrific Kermit Gosnell trial, which involved a Philadelphia abortion doctor who was found guilty of grisly mass murders of fully developed in-vitro infants, some of whom were born alive.”

              The lawsuit, however, has been resolved, and the film will now also be distributed via DVD, Blu-ray disc, and streaming in addition to the theatrical deal. The fact that it will have such widespread distribution reflects the many victories of the pro-life movement since Gosnell’s conviction.

              [SNIP]

              Actor Nick Searcy of Justified directed the Gosnell film that is based on a grand jury’s report underscoring how the abortionist’s clinic avoided scrutiny because bureaucrats and media looked the other way in order to avoid dealing with criticism from the abortion industry and its friends. Gosnell’s murder trial went unnoticed until a journalist published photos of an empty courtroom.

              Searcy, who also has a role in the film, said, “No matter what your stance is on abortion, you will have a more informed opinion after you see Gosnell.”

              Sullivan also observed the film is creating anxiety in Hollywood.

              “Hollywood is afraid of this content,” he said. “It’s a true story the media tried to ignore from the very beginning, so I wasn’t surprised to see Hollywood ignore us.”
              – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

              *In other words, of being accurately portrayed; if he had performed in the trial as a Judge John “Watergate” Sirica*** icon of the judicial integrity, or even as an Atticus Finch defender of fairness he would be eager for the film’s release.

              **Not illegal. A complete listing of “morally divisive” and “notorious” events shamelessly exploited for profit by our Media and Entertainment industry would exceed any reasonable length of comment here.

              ***Sirica, in spite of press reports at the time and since, was a thoroughly corrupt and dishonest partisan hack, viiolating judicial guidelines left and left in order to drive Richard Nixon from office.

              • Re: politically expedience, I notice the 24 Hours to Hell show by Gordon Ramsey has been uncovering tons of US restaurants that had been operating for years under conditions that should have been caught and stopped by the local health inspectors within weeks or a few months.

                Why weren’t they? The question is never asked, but it is screaming to be heard.

                • Back when I was working the hotel trade I learned many a restaurant expected their hostesses to “manage” the health inspectors.

                • When young I, like many others, worked in a restaurant.  I asked for sit down with the manager after we had gotten a warning from the health inspector.  One of the things I had to explain was that using naked hands to squeeze out the giant tea bags when making vats of ice tea was not good practice.  I touched on the need for regular cleaning, not just of the obvious surfaces, but of anything that came into contact with food or beverage, including the dispensers.  I even covered products used for cleaning.  (Surprisingly, I was not fired.)   

                  Everyone working there except the manager knew these things and we all wanted to do better, but he was the boss and the one with a degree in food / hospitality industry management.  head –> desk

          • IN TX, we passed a law requiring abortion providers to have hospital privileges and to be located within X distance of a hospital with trauma care. The activist judges and other activists have said that this infringes too much on the rights of minority women. *facepaw*

            • The dirty little secret is that many abortionists are doctors or surgeons who could not cut it, and therefore cannot get hospital privileges. (In Vermont, they do not have to be doctors, even.)

              • So much for safe. We are told that to place any requirements on providers is to deny poor and minority women their rights. My head spins at the hypocrisy of it all. If they truly cared for these women shouldn’t they, at minimum, insist that the providers are properly certified to perform the surgery, that the clinics are sanitary and follow proper practices and that in case of an emergency there is timely access to appropriate higher level care?

      • When I moved here to the middle of nowhere I found a young DO who listened to me and worked as my partner in healthcare. His wife got a good job in the midwest, and since doctors can get a job anywhere- he went with her. His replacement was an import. Who spoke barely understandable English. Who felt doctors were bosses over their patients. One visit to him and I found another practice to go to. Local, lived here his whole life except for his time training to be a doctor. A good doctor in all respects, but apparently not a good person. He’s sitting in jail right now. If you pay attention to things the Trump administration is doing, IOW, read sources other than the MSM, you know that child porn arrests are way up. Way way up. My former doctor probably won’t be seeing daylight again. So the practice finally got a permanent primary care provider in place, and I saw her this week. The reason I set the appointment up- 6 months ago- is that I need a yearly BSA physical to attend camp. Told her that right at the start and handed her the form. She threw it on the counter, never looked at it, said I could pick it up next week…. Bad start. Then she told me I shouldn’t be on metformin if I’ve never been actually diagnosed with diabetes; it’s not a preventive measure. Uh… my previous doctor and lots of doctors, not quacks, on the internet disagree. Along with a family history of diabetes, as in brother, sister, father, his father. Then she told me I was on the wrong blood pressure meds if I was taking metformin and told me I should be taking another- which I stopped taking because it had bad side effects… It’s almost as if she never looked at my medical history on the computer she was carrying. It went downhill from there. I have a follow up in 3 months and if it goes as well, I’ll be looking for a new practice or relying on the local VA clinic, which isn’t all that local.

        Finding a doctor is easy. Finding a good doctor is harder.

        • I would have told her “This appointment is over” picked up my papers and left.

          • I prefer “You’re FIRED!”

            They work for me, and I won’t tolerate incompetence, particularly not at the rates they charge.

            It’s a good idea to get copies of the visit notes each time you see a doctor. It can be scary, reading about all the questions they asked and observations they made, that you don’t remember…

            • “It’s a good idea to get copies of the visit notes each time you see a doctor. It can be scary, reading about all the questions they asked and observations they made, that you don’t remember…”

              Our doctor does that in front of you, right into the computer. Before they had this system, he would dictate it into a recorder. Latter you could request transcript notes once they were transcribed. Current system they are posted & you can log into your clinic account to review them any time. All test results are listed there too. You can leave questions regarding any transcripts & test results which your doctor will answer or ask you to come in for further consult.

            • And if you see something wrong, say something right then, before you have anything else to do with that doctor or practice. Once the bad data gets embedded in your records it’s damn near impossible to get rid of it without lawyers.

        • “is that I need a yearly BSA physical to attend camp.”

          Ahhh, yes. Annual BSA & Sports physicals. Locally both the Scouting Council & Youth sports have clinics for youth that don’t have a primary physician. Most the clinics have a special appointment for that too, thou with our primary pediatric he would do an annual for that cost, then fill out both forms. Our primary would do the same thing. We’re past that now. Last scouting activity was in 2010.

          We had trouble keeping primaries around after the physician that I’ve had since I was 18 retired. They just weren’t hanging around in the State. When we got one that stayed, he’s great. Lets you know when he doesn’t know.

          Plus I get to cheat somewhat, he’s also my parents primary, & took care of dad through his hospice & death. So he knows my family history. Handy for my 83 year-old mom, & yes he can legally discuss her health with me; not that it’s nothing beyond, “she’s doing great” currently.

          Liked to say he won’t retire on us … but no. We got good gene’s & looking at another 10 to 15 years for mom, and another 30 to 35 for me, so we won’t get that lucky.

          • One thing I do love about Kaiser is that they’re very good with forms. I got most of the forms printed out before the physical, but the pediatrician said there was one missing. Got hold of the PDF and emailed it to her; she wasn’t in, but another doctor pulled up the records, filled out and signed the form, and left it at the front desk for me to pick up. Easy and painless, like it SHOULD be.

      • The AMA and the feds have been in each other’s pockets for far too long. We have a doctor shortage because they deliberately limit the number of people we can put through med school, so they can jack the prices of healthcare and physician compensation up. Hell, we import foreign physicians because we aren’t allowed to make enough here; and at least half of those imports are dumber than I am. (Don’t get me wrong, some of those imports are among the best of the best, that’s the kind of immigration I support!)

        • they deliberately limit the number of people we can put through med school

          Which also means they can exercise more control over who gets in and what criteria are in their secret sauce.

          It should be noted that intelligence is a minimal criterion for being a doctor: you must be sufficiently intelligent to understand the science involved, but that alone is insufficient to being a good doctor, and any intellect above that level does not necessarily constitute additional value.

          • “Which also means they can exercise more control over who gets in and what criteria are in their secret sauce.”

            And nowadays that includes the right ideology. Sarah’s son got into med school before they politicized the MCAT.
            https://www.weeklystandard.com/devorah-goldman/the-politicization-of-the-mcat
            “In that address and others, he described the AAMC’s “Holistic Review Project,” which the organization launched in 2007 with the goal of “redefining what makes a good doctor.” The project’s objectives included revising the MCAT and a wide range of other reforms. A series of new guidelines (some of which have yet to be implemented) called on medical school admissions teams to place less emphasis on applicants’ grades, changed the requirements for letters of recommendation, and altered the standardized application by requesting a great deal more information about students’ upbringing and life experiences. ”

            Based on some of the stories I’m seeing, getting licensed to practice in blue jurisdictions may be another story.

        • It gets funky at the local level, too. I used to go to a clinic in a town outside of Klamath Falls, and the MD there had been trained as an OB-GYN. She left because she couldn’t get practicing privileges at the only hospital in the area. (No idea on how good she was in her specialty, but when I needed a couple dozen stitches in my face, she put me together quite nicely.)

          Meanwhile, another doctor in that town was trying to shut the clinic down because he didn’t want the competition. He failed at that, but is still practicing. Sigh.

          My current primary care doctor is teaching at the K-Falls extension of the Oregon medical school, and is actually willing to listen to people. I get to deal with freshly minted nurses and the occasional resident helping out, but that’s fine.

          • so far the best “stick” I have had was a candy striper. Very large bore needle in the wrist. Hardly felt it, but then, my other hand was swollen and throbbing from an infected cat bite. They pumped a liter of fluid/antibiotics into me in a few minutes.

            • my other hand was swollen and throbbing from an infected cat bite.

              Yeah, you wanna be careful around those infected cats.

              More seriously, the nature of a cat’s dentition means their bites are highly prone to abscessing and can play havoc with the bitten. I have “fond” memories of when we had outdoor cats and had to “inject” antibiotic cream into their butts where they had been bitten while running from a fight and the matt of fur and scabbing over had developed into an abscess. Bites on head and shoulders are easier to treat (and are evidence of the cat charging in.)

              • I wonder if that cat is still around. He was still kicking several years back when the owners (an aunt and uncle) had some health issues, but part of caring for those relatives involved them deciding to not talk to much of the family afterwards. They complained to me about it but that was the last I heard from them, then my aunt succumb to MS a little over a year ago.

            • My veins tend to roll, so I try to remember to tell the sticker to watch out for it. For various reasons, my monthly clotting time test involves a blood draw, so I make note of who’s good at sticking needles in my arm.

              • been lucky, and haven’t needed too many sticks in life.

              • “My veins tend to roll…”

                Mine are small & difficult. Don’t go for tests enough to track who draws blood for tests. Last time I went, the poor gal could not get a vein. She grabbed a co-worker who was just finishing up. The co-worker did grab a vein, but it then kept “tapering off”. She glared at my arm, grabbed what is called the “butterfly” needle (used for babies). Took a while to get all the vials for the span of panels the doctor wanted. I was bruised on both arms for a week. Plus I bruise easily. Pretty sure hubby wanted to wear a T-Shirt “NOT my Fault!”. OTOH wasn’t using the “ran into a door” or “fell down stairs” excuses, either.

                • The butterfly needle is also good for people with rollers. The worst is when the vein rolls as it’s being stuck and one gets a bruise. With the warfarin, it can be annoying. OTOH, I don’t have the really high clotting times; my dad had to keep an emergency stash of Vitamin K if he got cut, and he’d bruise badly.

              • After surgeries I was having constant blood draws.  I shall be forever thankful that the hospital and center where I was being treated had recruited some of the best phlebotomists. It might seem like a small thing, but it can make a great deal of difference in your experience.  There was only one that ever I had any problem with, he was skilled with the needle, but his particular personality did not mesh with mine.

              • Mine tend to roll, though I don’t need nearly as many blood draws as you do. I complimented someone on a blood draw once and he looked surprised and pleased.

    • #metoo. Particularly since I’m a zebra. (Zebra: what doctors call patients who are Weird. come from “when you hear hoofbeats, think horse, not zebra.)

      • My dentist gave me that line when I had bony structure punching through the soft tissues above my upper molars. No, he said it wasn’t cancer, and I got the zebra speech. (For some reason, he didn’t say what he thought it was…)

        A month or so later, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes.

        I moved a few years later, and the current practice is much more proactive without being ridiculous about it. We’re both clear that the dental fees are (mostly) my money. We’re trying the Physician’s Mutual thing, but I’m skeptical it will be cost effective.

  15. Isn’t Emma the heroine of whom Jane Austen said no one but me will like her? I have to agree with Jane. I don’t like Emma. I even prefer Fanny Price to Emma.

    • Fanny Price is an introvert’s introvert. I like her, even though I’m nothing like her. Also note that I have a tendency to cultivate introvert friends.

  16. Puppet Masters was a rushed thing, for money.

    Wasn’t Have Spacesuit, Will Travel supposedly written in a day?

    The reason for the writing nor the time spent on it do not necessarily much effect the result.

    Birthday happiness to all who’ve had one or know somebody who has.

    • The Door Into Summer! Not Have Spacesuit, Will TravelThe Door Into Summer!

      Makes the point about time spent writing not being a relevant measure of the quality of the novel even better, I guess,

      • I loved “Have Spacesuit…” when I was a child. It’s still a pretty good read… but I don’t think an adult encountering it for the first time would be as impressed as I was.

        • I don’t know. I like it.

        • It’s the book I would give years of life to write a sequel for. Nope, never even dared broach it to Ginny.

        • I first encountered Have Spacesuit, Will Travel when The Spouse choose it for a family read aloud. I was entranced, as was The Daughter. To this day I will wax poetic about an author who can spend five pages accurately explaining the challenges and workings of a spacesuit and make it both comprehensible and thoroughly entertaining.

    • The Door Into Summer was “pure” Heinlein. Cats, contrarians, engineering, the love of your life gained after many trials – it all came together, because (in many ways) that was him.

      The ones that give me somewhat of a jar are those that were “written to order.” Such as Sixth Column. When you fundamentally disagree with the entire thesis, I think it is really time to walk away. (Although, in 1939-1940, you did not walk away from John Campbell. Not if you wanted eating money.)

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Man, I wish I could write a novel in a day. No idea if it would be any good, but just the achievement.

  17. Timothy Harris

    Governments are good at brute force and bean counting. Why anyone thought they would be good at overseeing the practice of medicine is beyond me.
    They weren’t thinking about whether or not Government would be good at it. They were thinking that passing “Free medical care for seniors” (the group that votes in the highest percentage) would keep Democrats in power for decades. And they were right.

  18. If you like Heinlein, I highly recommend Will and Ariel Durant’s History of Western Civilization. It’s the mother lode of much of his philosophy.

  19. The first science fiction I ever read was RAH’s “Star Beast”. I have been hooked ever since.

  20. Happy Birthday to your son ^_^

    And well, I know how you feel about the ‘it’s probably nothing.’

    As for doctors, I rather wish they could figure out what’s wrong with my heart. I’ve had all the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse since I was 16 – initially, that was the diagnosis, in fact. But over the years the flappy valve isn’t as visible and if seen considered ‘very mild.’ But that’s what killed my ability to be athletic, or do more than walk.

    • Happy Birthday to your son

      And many happy returns of the day.

    • It is probably nothing. But it is not assuredly nothing. If it is not nothing there my be something that can be done to ensure it amounts to nothing.

      OTOH, “in the long run we’re all dead” so whether it happens sooner rather than later is more a matter of timing than significance.

  21. Because our hostess has from time to time mentioned the subject, here is a video recommended at imao.us. It’s on world population. Two caveats: I haven’t watched it and it’s an hour long. See https://youtu.be/IdQylsNKMK8.

  22. Wish I’d seen this earlier. My novel Target Seventeen Must Die was on sale on July 7 in honor of target seventeen’s birthday. It’s back to full price, but is available on Kindle Unlimited.

  23. I am not a huge fan of “Time for the Stars”, “Podkayne of Mars”, “Farnham’s Freehold”, “I Will Fear No Evil”, “Number of the Beast”, “Job”, “Cat Who Walks through Walls”, “To Sail Beyond the Sunset”. Much, much easier to list the ones I do NOT love. (I by no means dislike any of those listed, they just aren’t favorites). “The Door Into Summer” is so special to me that I refuse to reread it more than once every few years, because I don’t want to spoil it. All the “Future History” stories were huge favorites growing up, but they have aged a bit. The “Juveniles” are timeless classics, having lost no more to the passage of time than did “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.

    All the times I’ve read it and I can’t get through “The Man Who Traveled in Elephants” with a dry eye, nor the speech to the Three Galaxies at the end of “Have Spacesuit” without a catch in my throat. “Starship Troopers” has nuances that I’m still catching as I get more age and experience. I have no idea what would have become of me had I not found Heinlein at an early age — but it wouldn’t have been the same, that much is sure.

    • Dan Hamilton

      “Farnham’s Freehold” that gets even more hate then Troopers. I like to read comments about Troopers, of the negative comments it is obvious that at least 80% of them never read the book or didn’t understand what they read. It is not like any RAH was ever a difficult read but the second and further reads allowed you to find things you had missed the time before.

      RAH was right these ARE the Crazy Years. He even predicted the giving of trophies to make the kiddies FEEL better and then shot it down.

      I would STILL like to put a HIT out on the people that did the Troopers Movie, “Puppet Masters” Movie I only want them beaten badly, for stupidity.
      RAH isn’t that hard to do movies from. But you do have to have actually READ the book and understood it.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        The people who wanted to do the Puppet Masters had read the book.

        The problem was that they didn’t have complete control of the making of the movie. The “money men” were the problem.

        Oh, by the way there was no movie made from RAH’s Starship Troopers. 😈

        • The “Puppet Masters” movie had its moments, and I rather like Sutherland’s performance as the Old Man. As for anything by Paul Verhoeven, he is there to make a point, and he makes it, I do sorely wish he had just gone ahead and made the film he wanted to make without borrowing some character names from a book he either clearly never read or, if he did, hated.

    • The man who traveled in elephants is guaranteed to make me cry like a baby. And your least favorites are my least favorites. They’re still better than a ton of other SF, just t not my favorites.

      • Oh, indeed, RAH on his worst day is better than some ‘acclaimed’ authors of a later generation on their best.

      • And oddly enough, while Podkayne didn’t grab me, “Cliff and the Calories” did :). Made a pilgrimage, a few years ago, to the ruins of Santa Claus, Arizona….

  24. Dan Hamilton

    Still waiting for the TV preacher to understand the money to be made using the Shudderites (SP) from Stranger. Can’t you see that WORKING.