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This Week in Elder News: 2 February 2008

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.

Few of the Democratic presidential candidates have addressed aging issues in the campaign. The Crone Speaks has a good story about where each one stands and how the oldest, Hillary Clinton, who enjoys a large following among elders, is not the best choice. The story was written before John Edwards dropped out of the race. (Hat tip to Naomi Dagen Bloom of A Little Red Hen)

Speaking of the presidential campaign, you can quickly check which candidate holds positions most closely matched to your own with the Candidate Calculator. When I checked mine, the Calculator was dead on. Unfortunately, most of the candidates aren’t in the race any longer.

According to a new study from U.S. and British researchers, middle age is prime time for depression among both men and women. The good news is that if you make it to age 70, you’ll be as happy as you were at age 20. (Hat tip to Chancy of driftwoodinspiration)

Paul Craig Roberts reports at Information Clearing House that Homeland Security Department chief, Michael Chertoff, has mandated national ID cards for all Americans “without which [they] may not enter airports or courthouses.” Note that this mandate, which is radical enough to require a thorough national debate, comes from a partisan political appointee and not from Congress. America’s slide into fascism moves faster every day and not one presidential candidate has addressed it.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Kay Dennison of Kay’s Thinking Cap sent the link to this statement about the Thought Crime Bill (S.1959) that Ron Paul read into the Congressional record.

According to a new story from The New York Times' excellent reporter on aging issues, Gina Kolata, elders can enjoy better health and maintain muscle strength far into old age if they will just train hard and train often. I don’t mean to make light of this information, but 10Ks and marathons are not in my future.

Deejay of Small Beer and The Chinese Mirror emailed this terrific story imagining what the late, great Molly Ivins would have to say about this season’s presidential campaign (registration required). The writer, Susan Lenfestey is also the co-writer of an excellent elderblog, Clothes Line.

Brian Retchless, who is the production coordinator for the WGHB Lab in Boston, emailed inviting anyone who has ever cared for an aging relative to submit a short video about how it changed their life and relationships. The best will be included in an April PBS broadcast, Caring For Your Parents. The submission deadline is 22 February, and if you’re interested in participating, there is more information here.

Unlimited spending got us into this new recession and now the government is sending money to taxpayers and encouraging them to spend it which will do more for China than the U.S. It begs the question, who are the morons running this country. Average credit card debt per person is just under $10,000 and the national savings rate is in minus figures. Here’s a little history lesson on how we got where we are today. (6:05 minutes)


Excellent links! And thanks for the link!!!!!!

"...if you make it to age 70, you’ll be as happy as you were at age 20."

Oh God, I'm in trouble.

Pres. Bush's economic stimulus package (giving money to individuals) is just adding more fuel to the fire. Where does that money come from? Why, from the government borrowing, of course, thus increasing the deficit and adding more debt for our children and grandchildren to pay. This is like telling someone that in order to stimulate the economy, all they need is to have the credit limit on their credit card increased. How illogical is that?

If I get any money back, I'm going to save it for the rainy days that are ahead.

"...if you make it to age 70, you’ll be as happy as you were at age 20."

Does this mean next year I should start using drugs again?

I was dirt poor when I was 20. Please God don't let me go back to that. I could take it if I get to have my 20 year old figure as well.

I thought Mike Gravel was the oldest Dem candidate:

I'm disappointed, Ronni. I really, truly thought that you knew "...who are the morons running this country."

Well, yes, I am as happy now as I was 50 years ago, thank you; but, my outlook isn't nearly as promising.

I have less than 3 full years to go until I am 70. Assuming I make it, I should be ecstatic, since I was pretty happy go lucky at 20. That's good news!

The big caveat to happiness at 70 (according to the study) is being physically fit.

At 58, I have lower back, hip, hearing and other issues already though I hold a full-time job and attempt to engage in life to the fullest, as best I can. But I can only imagine how I'll feel physically at 70, and how my mental state will be affected by these physical challenges. Guess I need to consider hip replacement while I still have decent medical coverage, though I was dismayed (but not really surprised) to learn recently that my plan does not cover hearing aids or assisted communication devices. Is it just me or does anyone else see this as blatant age discrimination? I mean, isn't hearing supposed to be, well, pretty important?

On June 21, 1788, Melancton Smith, a prominent businessman gave a speech at the New York Ratifying Convention for the U.S. Constitution which reads like a prophesy. He pointed out that representation and political power under the proposed Constitution would automatically flow to the wealthy class, thereby “depriving the government of valuable and realistic input from the ‘middling class’ and the poor.”

He went on to point out that the wealthy easily form associations, thereby uniting their interests, but the the poor and middling class form them with difficulty. He observed that the common people will divide and their divisions will be promoted by the wealthy.

Until public finance of all political campaigns is demanded by those of us who are so divided, we will continue to live with the insane results of an ultimate monopoly game.

Ronni, I'm fast closing in on my third quarter-century. It's hard to judge whether one is as happy at 75 as at twenty, but I had fewer responsibilities and much better health then. (Wouldn't go back and do it all over, though.) As for "training hard and training often" to enjoy better health and muscle strength, it should be the other way around. Lots of us would gladly exercise more if we were able! Thanks for the news briefs.

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