Saturday November 01, 2014
Archive - 2014
On June 3, the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders issued a news release with a stark headline: "Resurgence of Epidemic Ebola in West Africa." A day later, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak one of the deadliest ever, with 223 victims in three countries.
Neither announcement caused much of a stir in newsrooms across the United States.
"First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror ..."
-- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933 Inaugural Address
What is it about natural disasters and irony?
Just as local authorities in Detroit were denying thousands of people access to running water, the bankrupt city experienced an epic downpour. More than 4.5 inches of rain pounded Motown in mid-August, causing $1.2 billion in damage. Three people died, including a 100-year-old woman who apparently drowned in her flooded basement.
Collard greens are "the new kale?" So say some chic eaters, even as some concerned cultural guardians fear a new socio-economic menace: "food gentrification."
Gentrification, simply defined, is when something that you used to buy because it was cheap suddenly turns so fashionable that it is too expensive for its original consumers to afford.
Imagine yourself part of the typical American family. Your household would have, the Federal Reserve reported in September, a net worth of $81,200.
That’s not a whole lot of money. But half of America’s households would actually have less wealth than you do.
We Americans do panic really well.
We could use a few pointers on prudence.
Do me a favor. Turn away from the ceaseless media coverage of Ebola in Texas - the interviews with the Dallas nurse's neighbors, the hand-wringing over her pooch, the instructions on protective medical gear - and answer this: Have you had your flu shot? Are you planning on one?
It's not too soon to state the obvious: At this point, the war against the Islamic State can only be seen as failing.
There exists a government boondoggle that offends conservatives, liberals, environmentalists, oil refiners, cattle ranchers and taxpayers alike. It's not easy to get that kind of Kumbaya going, but the corn-based ethanol program has done it.
Would a Republican takeover of the Senate improve the prospects that an immigration bill will get to President Barack Obama's desk? That theory is making the rounds - and some of the people who oppose the dominant approach to immigration reform are starting to worry about it.