Obama managed to cut a fairly good deal with the obstructionist Republican House members. Unpleasant as it is to have to fight out every issue with reactionary conservatives, all victories against them are real progress.
One matter that is coming to a crisis point everywhere is the continuing aggression against women, the most egregious case of late being the gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi. Women there endure endless harassment everywhere in public and in their work places. They have to learn to ignore it, because there seems to be no check on this behavior. For the first time, legions of men have come out to demonstrate in support of the women who are on the streets, calling for change. The change has to come, not from the victims, but from the perpetrators.
Religious groups that prescribe submission to men and creating large families are losing membership, because they are stepping up the rhetoric on their reactionary policies. More and more women are revolting against the double standards and hypocrisy of church leaders.
And I've always wondered why my thin and average weight friends seem to have more health problems than I do. Health mavens insist that thin is healthy and fat is not. A new study disputes this. I have thought dieting was unwise, because dieters lose not only fat but also muscle, and they almost always regain the weight they lose. Probably the unhealthiest practice is yo-yo dieting. Michael Moore, who is fat, started walking every evening for 30 minutes. That is the only measure he has taken to improve his health, and he is steadily losing weight without endangering his health.
It is certainly a social advantage to be thin, but it probably is not a health advantage, at least not in old people. One thing I've seen is friends taking a health nosedive after losing a lot of weight on some sort of diet, with precipitous aging and development of heart trouble, bone problems, or some other condition. The very old people I know are not fat but what is called "in good flesh," with adequate strength. I think staying active is the key, not limiting one's calories.
When we were in Peru I lost 15 pounds to the turista but was able to keep going on my reserves! I haven't stepped on the scale lately, but I imagine I've regained those pounds. I dieted once, a long time ago, and became frightened at how easy it is just to stop eating. I got very ill and have not dieted since. My BMI is 29, overweight but not obese. I am physically lazy by nature but fight that tendency.
Yesterday several of us went on a long hike, more strenuous than I would have chosen to take, but I had to keep up. We trudged over a trail through lava beds with very uneven footing and were at about 5,000 feet altitude. I'm the heaviest, oldest and slowest of us hikers at age 73, but I always reach the finish line, so to speak. The key to this kind of rough hiking for older people is to use a walking stick or two walking sticks. That minimizes the risk of twisting an ankle or taking a fall.
So my personal good news of the day: thin friends, you can stop telling me about your diets and the latest concoction of straw and algae you think it would be good for me to eat!