A Gentle Question

So, without doubt this "I had to remind him he was black" bit is racist (and probably not the persuasive argument she thinks it is). Everyone seems to realize that, to judge from the reception it's getting online.

How to account for her closing argument, that she 'might be willing to seal the deal in more ways than one' if he changes his vote, though? No commentary I've seen addresses what is really a vicious argument in several ways:

1) It assumes his moral judgment about how to vote is for sale, and not even for cash, but for a mere night's pleasure;

2) It proposes that her sexuality is for sale, and not even for cash, but for one vote out of tens of millions in a state that is all but certain not to be swung by his vote nor even his influence;

3) It suggests that his morality is therefore cheaply bought;

4) ...and that her sexuality likewise. 

It is not extraordinary that someone might make a proposal like this, but it is extraordinary that they would do so in public -- without shame -- and be called on it by no one whatsoever as far as I can tell. This seems to be quite in alignment with our self-declared elite's mores on sexuality.

How do we deal with this?

The staff of life

I'm still experimenting with bread. My new King Arthur yeast works much better than the packets that probably spent too much time in a hot warehouse. Now I'm working on making the dough wetter, for a larger "crumb," and leaving the loaf in the oven longer to get a deeper crust. We're getting a cold front in a few days and plan to get the wood-fired outdoor oven cranked up again, which should also help with the crust.

This loaf is about 4 hours start to finish, with only one kneading at the beginning (10 minutes in a mixer) and a few minutes of effort every hour or so after that. All it takes is flour, water, salt, and yeast, and the oven just as hot as you can get it. The loaf takes 6 cups of flour; my hand is in the picture for some scale.

Wolf Lake

From the Panthertown Approach.

On the Lake, One.

On the Lake, Two.

Gorge Spillway.

Wolf Lake is one of three lakes built in these mountains for aircraft aluminum production during World War II. Aluminum requires vast amounts of electricity to produce, so they built new hydroelectric dams to create the power. The others are Bear Lake and Cedar Cliff Lakes, both of which have names that are appropriate to their environments. Wolf Lake refers to a species of wolf, the Red Wolf, that hasn't been around here for a long time. 

This Seems Apropos in Our Current Time

 "For better is a laudable war than a peace which severs a man from God: and therefore it is that the Spirit arms the gentle warrior, as one who is able to wage war in a good cause"

-St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Brave Sir Robin

I apologize for posting this link without first supplying you with context that will make you feel safer.  I don't think Snopes has had time to fact-check it yet.

A Good Use of A.I.

 Trying to crack long-forgotten languages.

I'm Identifying As 18, How About You?

"You can't sacrifice truth because some people are going to actually suffer because of the truth."

Clarity and the Constitution

 The Constitution is the crisis, writes Osita Nwanevu.

The American left should work toward abolishing the Constitution someday—either for a new document or a new democratic order without a written constitution....
This and this alone was the genius of the Founders and Framers: not a special capacity for principled compromise and not extraordinary foresight or a collective wisdom sure to endure through the ages, but rather the force of their will...
It is beyond debate that we are their moral superiors... it is certain that we will do better—securing for truly all Americans not only a framework of now familiar political freedoms but a framework of economic rights rooted in the notion that democratic values and a revulsion for arbitrary, unchallenged authority should shape more than just our system of government. Until then, a half-measure: If it is given the opportunity, the Democratic Party—without hesitation, guilt, or apology—should pack the Supreme Court to its advantage.
That's clear enough, at least. "It is beyond debate that we are their moral superiors," he says, meaning that he thinks it is not just beyond doubt but beyond any sort of devil's-advocate discussion of any theoretical possibility he might be wrong about that. He is twenty-six years old.

The USS Kidd and Pirate Flags

Apparently, the destroyer USS Kidd has perpetual permission to fly pirate flags, looking back to both Rear Admiral Kidd of USS Arizona fame and Captain Kidd the pirate / privateer.

Also, from the same place, the appropriately named destroyer USS Stout has just set a new Navy record for continuous days at sea: 215.

Spent a Lot of Time in Oklahoma




Pro tip for old sickish people like us

This time of year I catch up on my continuing legal education hours by doing online seminars, so you're going to get the occasional hot consumer law tip. I chose a couple of Medicare courses this year, my husband and I being of That Age. An interesting warning* about hospital stays: some hospitals don't want to "admit" a new patient, for fear that Medicare will dispute the necessity, so they call it keeping the patient "under observation." The hospital will get paid less this way but also is in less danger of having 100% of the bill denied by Medicare, so the trade-off makes sense for the hospital. It makes less for you.

Being held for observation but not "admitted" has two big impacts on the patient's Medicare reimbursement. First, the whole stay, which can last a week or more and involve fantastic amounts of expensive consultations and tests, will be billed under Medicare Part "B," the part that covers outpatient services, rather than Part “A,” which covers hospitalization. Part “B” has higher deductibles and copays (unless you have a private supplement, a/k/a "supplement" policy), and your prescriptions will not be covered unless you have separate prescription coverage.

Those two effects alone could mean a big unexpected bill. Even worse, however, you won't qualify for any Medicare reimbursement at all for followup long-term care unless you had been a formally admitted inpatient for 72 hours, no matter how long you stayed "under observation.” You know how high the daily charges for long-term care in a nursing home can be. If you were an inpatient, you may find the coverage cuts off after 100 days (though there are exceptions), but if you weren’t even an inpatient to start with, you get zero days covered.

This can happen even if you're too sick for your initial hospital doctor to allow you to leave other than "against medical advice." You're supposed to get a written notice within some period (36 hours?) warning you that you're not technically "admitted.” Even better, you should insist on being told immediately whether you’ve been admitted or not. Unfortunately I don't know what to do about it if you complain but the hospital won't budge, other than agitate to be transferred to a hospital that will admit you—or demand to go home, if you can do that safely.

* The actual seminar I had to suffer through merely mentioned the inpatient/observation danger without explaining it. Someone in the audience asked why a hospital would do this, but the lecturer said she was baffled. A Google search yielding the linked answer in about a nanosecond, along with a lot more detail about the dangers of the trap, and the infuriating way it can work out for patients and their families.