Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
In his latest column for the New York Times, award-winning economist and best-selling author Paul Krugman tears to pieces Republican claims to oppose Obamacare because it denies Americans “the dignity of work.”
“It’s all very well to talk in the abstract about the dignity of work,” Krugman writes, “but to suggest that workers can have equal dignity despite huge inequality in pay is just silly.” He notes that in 2012, the top 40 hedge fund managers and traders made $16.7 billion — basically equal to the wages of no less than 400,000 regular Americans.
“Given that kind of disparity,” Krugman writes, “can anyone really believe in the equal dignity of work?”
Krugman then notes that it’s actually the 1 percent who seem most dead-set against recognizing the dignity of the rest of the country, with oligarchs like Sam Zell demanding everyone else agree that the 1 percent “work harder” and are “much bigger factors in all forms of our society.”
“Dignity for all!” writes Krugman, sarcastically.
Krugman then claims that the GOP is just like these members of the 1 percent when it comes to respecting most workers — he makes a point of highlighting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent admonition to his fellow Republicans to remember that most Americans aren’t small business owners, something Republicans in Congress apparently forget.
Beyond savaging the 1 percent and their Republican backers, though, Krugman makes a bigger point: that the welfare state — Social Security, Medicare and now Obamacare — is the real guarantor of workers’ dignity, making sure that people won’t have to worry about the essentials of life if they lose or quit their job.
“Think about it,” Krugman writes:
Has anything done as much to enhance the dignity of American seniors, to rescue them from the penury and dependence that were once so common among the elderly, as Social Security and Medicare? Inside the Beltway, fiscal scolds have turned “entitlements” into a bad word, but it’s precisely the fact that Americans are entitled to collect Social Security and be covered by Medicare, no questions asked, that makes these programs so empowering and liberating.
“The truth is,” Krugman concludes, “… if you really care about the dignity and freedom of American workers, you should favor more, not fewer, entitlements, a stronger, not weaker, social safety net.” And that’s why people should celebrate Obamacare, Krugman insists, because it’s “giving them exactly the kind of dignity and freedom politicians only pretend to love.”
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.