This Week in Elder News: 2 August 2008
Medical Favoritism

Sunday Election Issues - 3 August 2008

category_bug_politics.gif Last week, in discussing blogs as our “little First Amendment machines”, I suggested that readers choose a topic of importance to the November election and educate the rest of us about it. Do some background research, let us know what the candidates propose, find out what’s being reported in the mainstream and alternative press, include any links that would be helpful, etc. and publish it on your blog.

Then, each Sunday between now and 4 November, I’ll publish links to your stories. Here are this week’s links:

Education
From Elaine Frankonis of Kalilily Time: The Education Issue: Assessment

Ageism
From Granny Annie at Fools Rush in: If the Ageism Shoe Fits

Get Out the Vote
From Gary White at Having Fun Until I Die: Registering Voters Again

I’d like to add that NOW is the time to check your own voter registration. Make sure is in order for November because if something is amiss that need fixing, election day will be too late.

Healthcare
From Chancy at driftwoodinspiration: Obama vs McCain

How One President Knew How to Work With the Senate
From Jan Adams of Happening Here: Lyndon Johnson, the Senate and the People

An International Perspective
From Pamela of Costa de la Luz Gardening: a view of the U.S. election from Simon Tisdall of the Guardian in England

Keeping the Candidates Honest
From Darlene Costner of Darlene’s HodgePodge: Facts are Stubborn Things

Elders For Obama
Donna Woodka of Changing Places has created a new section at Senator Barack Obama’s official campaign website: Elders For Obama

This is a terrific start, particularly considering that I only published the idea last Wednesday. Read the original post here and please join in to educate each other about the serious issues our country faces. Add to the subjects you’ve begun or write about new ones.

Then send me the link to the story on your blog by Friday noon and I’ll include it in next Sunday’s issue post.

Comments

This is a very noble and well meant effort, but we have absolutely no control over what our big time politicians are going to do. They are controlled by forces of far more importance to them than ourselves.

I have no problem at all with learning things, but just don't think it is going to make any difference to what ultimately happens during or after any election for national office.

That's my spin.

You can count on one hand the number of times I have commented here, but I've read this blog every day for years and I also read every comment. I have laughed and cried and learned and been amazed at insights I don't believe I could find anywhere else. The camaraderie and conversation here are among the best on any blog and I feel that I've come to know not just Ronni, but many of the regular contributors. As though you are my friends in this excellent cyber-neighborhood.

What everyone has in common here is an eagerness to share experience and to benefit from one another's thoughts and ideas. But you, Evans, suffer from pomposity and rigidness - aren't you the one who found the recent amusing post about breasts to be dirty? - and now you've revealed your soul-crushing spirit. I hope that "Dr." in front of your name that you insist on braying to the blogosphere is in some ivory tower field and not concerned with real people as in medicine or psychology.

I'm breaking my usual silence in the hope it reminds other readers today to not be tainted by your attempt to deflate and disparage the people in the links above who believe that an informed citizenry are crucial to the future of this damaged democracy. If you won't join the conversation in the spirit Ronni and the commenters have worked hard to build here, take your killjoy "spin" somewhere else. You behave no better than the trolls on the dumbest blogs.

Just as TGB does it for me and you--the ageing house work--now Donna has raised the flag in the Obama campaign.

An aside, Jesse Landis really knows how to write a rant. Hope she heard excitement as I told spouse about elderbloggers' over-the-top responses to TGB's call. Jesse has noticed that "Dr Ron" brings absolutely nothing to this mostly-female table.

But there are many more of us--spunky, thoughtful, aging women ready to stay in the game.

I understand the Dr.'s frustration, having worked for two years in the legislative environment. (That was all I could take.) But good things can happen, and change can happen. No doubt, Obama will not have it easy, but the alternative is what is most terrifying. We lost our hope with Bush, but hope is the first step toward moving forward and pressing toward change. If the good Dr. is hope-less, that is very sad.

Hey, thanks or the shout out, Ronni! Much appreciated!

Well, I used to feel like Ron does, that it didn't matter what I thought or did. But I've gotten politically involved in the last few years and found what we do DOES indeed matter -- I've done GOTV efforts and turned a 10% difference in a precinct that helped shift an election. I've made the effort to write to politicians and candidates and seen their views shift when enough of us make that effort. I've seen entire campaigns turned around by the efforts of a few dedicated volunteers, gone precinct walking with union members, teachers, and teen aged kids, registered new voters including my own kids and their friends, and held MoveOn house parties from 2005 to 2006 that started the shift in this country that led to the 2006 Dem victories in the House and Senate. In a strongly conservative area, we are beginning to affect progressive changes on even conservative minded districts and changing the way our politicians have to think about their "safe" seats, the campaigns they have to run and affecting how they vote on legislation.

I've held Obama events now at my house where several excited young black marines came to get involved in politics for the very first time. At that event there were blacks, whites, hispanics, elders, a fifteen year old high school student, rich and poor, and all in all it was a fired up mix of people who are eager for change. The Obama campaign is real, believe it or not. And yes, the Obama team does indeed listen to us. I have friends who have become change agents within the Democratic party, one a retired teacher who has done wonders in creating awareness for animal rights this year. Yes, we can and do make a difference when we get involved. My claim to fame was sneaking into Republican campaign school and stealing their entire game plan for local Democratic groups. I'm a registered libertarian and yes, it was fun! ;^)

And I've made a ton of new friends, enjoyed myself and had a great time. There's fun victory parties, too. Had over 65 instant new friends at my 2006 victory party. Went through eight bottles of champagne and had a blast. It's not all work, work, work!

You can get old and cynical or you can put all your experience and knowledge to work to make a difference in this world. That's the choice we all have.

It is interesting to learn that, at least to some, this blog is about conformity and groupthink. My views of good taste and of politics is not convention, and I am just as glad. I never wanted to be like everybody else.

I am far from sad, for the person who suggested that. I am delighted to be retired, have my life to myself and to finally be unfettered from political correctness.

And, for the person who asked, I am a clinical psychologist, retired.

Best good wishes to all of you who think you can make a difference. Frankly, I hope you can....

Ron

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