In this regular Saturday feature you will find links to news items from the preceding week related to elders and aging, along with whatever else catches my fancy that I think you might like to know. Suggestions are welcome with, however, no promises of publication.
When 65-year-old Joan Anderson retired in 2007, she named her new blog, Peace in Retirement and vowed to work for peace and justice now that she has the time. I’m not sure about the justice, but peace is in short supply. Joan was arrested, tried and convicted of trespassing while participating in a non-violent demonstration on a military installation, Fort Benning, Georgia, and now faces 30 days in federal prison and a $500 fine. You can read about her trial on her blog and a recent update. Do stop by and lend some moral support. (Hat tip to Joan's daughter, Tara Anderson, of I Quit For Lijit.)
I'm not a John McCain supporter in the presidential sweepstakes, but I’m not pleased about the growing number of ageist attacks on him. Jay Dyckman, who blogs at 23/6, in a post titled, "Not So Fast, Pops", had this to say: “Simply put, I can't vote for a president whose motorcade will constantly have the left-turn blinker on. I can't vote for a president who comes to the door of the White House in a bathrobe and yells at protesters to get off his lawn. I can't vote for a president who holds White House dinners at 4:30PM.” Unfortunately, there’s more.
Given how generally ticked off I am with Google, I’m not unhappy to see that the company may get nailed for age discrimination. The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of 58-year-old Brian Reid who says he was fired from Google because of his age. In his suit, he alleges that just two percent of Google’s 1900 employees in 2004 were older than 40. I’ll be watching this case carefully. (Hat tip to ptmeridian)
Pat Temiz, who has contributed some wonderful stories about her adopted country, Turkey, at The Elder Storytelling Place, can now be seen in a YouTube video. She and five other British ex-pats perform in a local folk-dancing group. Pat is the female singer and the routine, she says, is a well known, classic Turkish folk dance about a man bringing gifts to the local women. However, the ladies who present themselves have various disabilities including a club foot much to the distaste of the gift giver.
This would be funny if it didn’t cost taxpayers money. A psychiatrist and minister in Tennessee with the unlikely name of Cupid Poe has allegedly been billing Medicare for sending untrained church members to pray with his psychiatric patients in nursing homes. Between 2004 and 2006, according to Newschannel 5 in Nashville, Poe billed Medicare $250,000 for this service. Medicare fraud is not an uncommon occurrence and it could be I’m telling you this only because the doctor’s name amuses me.
Three years ago, President Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security met with resounding failure, but he hasn’t given up his distaste for the federal program. Now he’s trying an end run in his 2009 budget by slashing more than $100 million in administrative funds for local Social Security offices around the country which could force some to close just when we need them now that the first wave of baby boomers is signing up for Social Security.
The end-of-life information website, Agis, has partnered with the Hospice Foundation of America to offer personalized information for caregivers with their new Ask the Expert service. Their End of Life section abounds with excellent and useful information too.
In a New York Times Op-Ed piece this week, Robert Reich, who served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and is now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, published one of the smartest pieces I’ve read in a long time concerning our country’s current economic woes. His solutions are long overdue.
You’ve probably heard of the vacuum cleaning robot, Roomba. I dislike pushing a vacuum cleaner around as much as I dislike changing beds, but I don’t believe the Roomba really works, especially in corners and it certainly won’t do anything for upholstered furniture. But for others kinds of tasks, robots might do the trick. Researchers in Norway are developing elder-specific robots to help with house cleaning, monitor vital signs and other health-related work. Maybe by the time I need one, they will be available. (Hat tip to George of I’ve Been Mugged)
In an attempt to counteract what it calls “myths” about HR.1955/S.1959 - The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act - the House Committee on Homeland Security published a so-called Fact Sheet [pdf] on the bill which is currently awaiting action in the Senate. If you believe what they’re saying, I’m sure I can find a bridge here in Maine you'd be willing to buy. Find out about the real dangers of the thought crime bill here.
I enjoyed this well-done rant on body-size bigotry from newly discovered elderblogger, Daniel Will-Harris at FrickinGenius.
Quote of the Week:
“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent.”
- - Gore Vidal