You know a corner's been turned when someone in a legion of foreign sweatshop workers is given a face. That's happened in Bangladesh, home of hideous factory conditions -- as seen in the ruins of Rana Plaza, a former eight-story work warren. Death toll: over 1,100.
We may not have time for exercise, but there's always time to read about exercising. And while the motivation to exercise may not be tops, the motivation to shop for "aids" to exercise seems forever strong.
We who work through colds, bad backs and low moods -- however liberal we might be -- have permission to resent those who could hold a job but don't, preferring to collect disability checks unto the decades. You see them at the coffee shop, refilling their cups in leisure, or even pumping iron at the gym.
The uncle of the accused Boston Marathon bombers got the boys right. They were unable to settle into American life, Ruslan Tsarni told reporters from his home in Maryland, "and thereby just hating everyone who did."
Thatcher would have laughed at when Obamacare foes' called the reforms "a government takeover of health care." Recall how, in the heat of battle, the right waved Britain's National Health Service as a warning of terrible things awaiting American health care under the Affordable Care Act.
The fight goes on. Whether cats are bird-killing machines or soft balls of love (for themselves, anyway) remains a subject of painful debate.
The first part is undoubtedly true. Cats in the United States destroy a median of 2.4 billion birds a year. Add to that death toll 2.3 billion mammals, many of them native creatures: chipmunks, rabbits and voles, reptiles and amphibians.
You want a routine checkup. Or your throat is sore. It's probably nothing, but you're concerned. Do you need a full-fledged MD with all those certificates and perhaps a God complex?
When folks pan the Affordable Care Act for being nearly 3,000 pages long, here's a sensible response: It could have been done in a page and a half if it simply declared that Medicare would cover everyone.
Lunch hour in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Workers walk dogs they can take to the office. Lines form in hip restaurants. Something big is going on here, but the only sure sign of a major employer is the many blue ID cards hanging out of jackets.
"Obama says he's going to make middle-class jobs," the breakfast room troubadour bellowed at the Holiday Inn Express to those who wanted to listen -- and to those who didn't. "Did he make your job?" he went on, cornering a female employee. "Private companies make jobs."
The commentary was not entirely wrong.
The following is a crashing generalization, but here goes: When it comes to how we dress, there are serious gender inequities -- in standards of comfort and in body exposure. Valentine's Day underscores a third that rankles just as much: inequality of effort.
Go to any romantic restaurant on Valentine's Day, and observe. The girls are dressed for festivity, and the boys are dressed for walking the dog.
I'm looking forward to the year 2040, because that is when we won't be debating anymore whether birth control belongs in a basic health plan.
The Obama administration initially billed France about $18 million to cover U.S. military support for its mission in Mali, while Canada offered similar services at no cost. Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens expressed shock at this alleged nickel-and-diming, noting that $18 million is pocket change to a Washington spending over $10 billion a day.
Aaron Swartz: Robin Hood or John Dillinger? He was not as virtuous as Robin and hardly as bad as John. Call the computer genius saint or sinner, few will argue with labeling his suicide at age 26 a "tragic loss."
A decorated Vietnam vet, Chuck Hagel combines experience in war with skepticism over turning to military solutions where diplomacy might work. Add to those qualifications a tendency to speak his mind (after using it), and the former Republican senator from Nebraska seems uniquely placed to lead the Department of Defense in 2013.
The people are sad. If holiday shopping is any measure of public mood, the joy vanished this year. The grade-school massacre depressed everyone, and now our rapid approach to the Fiscal Cliff has many scared and afraid to spend money.
They don't like the crowds, the traffic, the parking chaos. They dislike the sameness -- the same mall chain stores piping in the same holiday music and selling the same made-in-China sweaters, whether in Spokane, Indianapolis or Raleigh. They stress out when waiting for someone to take their payment. Small wonder that 45 percent of consumers are doing at least some holiday shopping this year via the Internet, according to the Deloitte consulting firm.
The usual gun extremists largely went into hiding this weekend after the obscenity in Connecticut. The National Rifle Association offered only a flowery expression of sympathy for the victims. Real brave, aren't they?
Nothing like a debt-ceiling brawl to raise the public's anxiety levels.
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