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The Election and Big Social Issues

category_bug_politics.gif You’ve probably been doing it too, mulling over the results of last week’s vote. The social implications of the election of Barack Obama are stunning to think about. Although it will take awhile for the effects of having a black president to bear fruit, anticipating the possibilities give us all renewed – what was that word? Oh, yeah, hope - for something better than the small-mindedness, meanness and greed that have been the hallmarks of governmental, business and society for the past eight years.

Ever since the founding of our republic, few social issues in politics have been bigger than race, but drugs, abortion and marriage aren’t far behind and they were also on some ballots this year.

Marijuana
Michigan became the 13th state to legalize marijuana for medical use, and – here’s the big news – Massachusetts became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot for personal use. An ounce or less in that state will get you a $100 fine now.

There has been hardly a peep of objection that I can find about what was once a hot-button issue and it’s about time. One can only hope the other 49 states follow along in due course, eliminating an entire class of criminals - the social users of marijuana.

Humankind has always found ways to sometimes alter its consciousness and marijuana is one of the least harmful; it certainly causes less mayhem than alcohol which is legal just about everywhere.

The worst outcome for me is weight gain when I get the munchies. I’ve been smoking pot or eating brownies and cookies laced with it, now and then, since I was about 16 years old, and I can’t imagine how I would have survived the first few months after my marriage broke up without it. A joint in the evening after work helped keep the miseries at bay until I was ready to get back to living.

The only reason I don’t do it these days is I’m too lazy to bake and smoking it makes me cough for an hour. I miss it, especially for listening to music, and for just getting silly sometimes, so I’ll probably give it another go soon, if I can control the coughing.

It’s long past time for marijuana to be decriminalized, if not legalized, and Massachusetts is leading the way.

Abortion
South Dakota rejected a measure to ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest and serious health threat to the mother. Colorado refused to change the definition of “person” to include any fertilized egg, embryo or fetus. And California defeated a measure requiring parental notification and a waiting period before abortion for minor women.

Abortion is a serious issue. Fewer is better and prevention is a smarter way to go, but I’ve got some personal experience with this – legal and illegal – and have listened to the arguments on all sides for decades. I’ve even produced few television programs about the controversy.

After all that, no one will convince me now that abortion is not a personal decision and a medical issue; the government has no business regulating it. Hurray for these three states.

Same Sex Marriage
Three states, Arizona, California and Florida, passed measures banning same sex marriage.

So let’s sum up the big social issues: we took a tiny step toward decriminalizing marijuana, tamped down proposed inroads toward banning abortion and elected a black president. But we don’t want a certain kind of people to have the same right as everyone else to express their love in the most time-honored and traditional way we have, not to mention gaining legal rights to inheritance, joint ownership and health decisions that go with marriage.

How stupid is this? The Mormon church, headquartered in Utah, apparently put a lot of effort and money into defeating California’s Proposition 8 and I could write several posts about separation of church and state, religious dogma versus civil law, imposing minority religious beliefs on majorities and one state’s attempt to influence (and succeeding) another state’s local election issue, etc.

I’ll skip all that except to say that contrary to what some christianists insist, the United States is not a Christian nation. My heart swelled with joy when former Secretary of State Colin Powell, in endorsing Senator Obama, publicly remarked:

“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is, no. Is there something wrong with some seven-year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she can be president?”
- Meet the Press, 20 October 2008

Back to gay marriage. To paraphrase Powell, what is wrong with being gay in this country? Why does anyone care? What possible difference could it make to any heterosexual person if a gay couple marries?

Never mind, I know the reason: Americans have always been puritanical about sex and they relate homosexuality pairing to sex instead of to love and affection.

It is important to ask too, among those other questions, how anyone who voted for Barack Obama could not see the parallels between breaking the presidential racial barrier and gay civil rights.

The votes in Arizona, California and Florida are a setback for these rights, but if we can elect a black president, there is hope that the day will come when Americans will see how outrageous it is to believe they can tell people who they may love and marry. It cannot be soon enough.


Sunday Issues - Post-Election Edition: 9 November 2008

category_bug_politics.gif This is a special Post-Election Edition of the Sunday Election Issues series that has run weekly here at TGB for several months. There is lot today; I got a bit over-exuberant. Near the bottom of the list is a Message and a Request.

If you’re having trouble decompressing from months of obsessive campaign tracking, not to worry. You won’t have to go cold turkey. There is already an official website from President-Elect Barack Obama where you can follow each and every step of the transition to the new administration.

On the other hand, The Onion has a warning about obsessive Obama supporters [2:39 minutes]:

Now, here are some post-election thoughts from elderbloggers and a couple of others. There is a lot of good reading in this list:

From Mort Reichek at Octogenarian:
Welcome President Obama

From Jan Adams of Happening Here:
Whatever Happened to Prop. 8?

From Gullible at Gullible’s Travels:
Thoughts on the Day After…

From Lois Cochran at Guitar Grandma:
What Just Happened

From Virginia DeBolt at First 50 Words:
I Slept

From Sharry Teague at Embodied Aging:
Yes! Yes! Yes We Can!

From Citizen K:
Yes We Did!

From Sylvia from Over the Hill:
And Now the Hard Work Begins

From Leon Cohen of The Ancient One, Blessed Be He:
It Felt Good...

From Old Woman of 20th Century Woman:
After the Party

Ready to Re-Join the World?

Oliphant

From Lynette Sheppard of Menopause Goddess Blog:
Hope for Menopausal Goddesses and Everyone Else

From Cynthia Samuels of Don’t Gel Too Soon:
Obama’s Victory Garden – Exorcising Days of Rage

From Naomi Dagen Bloom at A Little Red Hen:
Harlem, on THE Night

From joared of Along the Way:
U.S.A. 2008 Historic Election

From James Whaley of Aging and Disability in America:
Change of the Season #1

From Claudia Snowden of Fried Okra Productions:
Recovering from PTSD

From Katie Sherrod of Desert's Child:
Living into the Promise
(Hat tip to Jan Adams of Happening Here)

From "John Brown" of Deer Hunting with Jesus:
Sarah Palin is the Future of Conservatism

From Saul Friedman of Newsday:
It's Time For a New New Deal

From Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post:
Morning in America
(I dare you to read this and not get weepy again.)

A Message and a Request
If the number of comments and email are an indication, many TGB readers have enjoyed and found value in this Sunday compendium of campaign issues and commentary from the media and especially from other elderbloggers.

Now that we have a new president and Congress and if would-be, future presidents will give us a break from their over-eager, overweening ambition, there won’t be a need for it for a couple of years.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of issues to discuss and a government to keep our eyes on, and I am wondering if this feature should continue and if so, in what form or on what topic. It doesn’t necessarily need to be about politics and policy.

It’s not a lot of work for me. During the week, I mark media stories I want to include and collect the elderblogger stories that readers email. Then all I need to do is write some headlines and create the links. In addition to good information and thought, I like encouraging readers to discover other elderblogs they might not otherwise have noticed.

So I’m going to leave it up to you. Do you want this Sunday links post to continue? If so, what should it be about? In what manner should it function? Leave your notes below in the comments and perhaps we’ll arrive at a consensus. Remember that Elder News is reserved for Saturdays.

Global Obama
The U.S. presidential campaign was followed closely throughout the world, election day even more so. The blog Change Your World has collected several dozen photos of celebrations at Senator Obama's election from just about everywhere. Here's one from Paris, France. (Hat tip to Citizen K)

ParisFrance


This Week in Elder News: 8 November 2008

In this regular weekend 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.

In at least one polling place in Georgia on Tuesday, elders who use wheelchairs and walkers were – illegally - prevented from voting until late in the day. In some places, elders who are physically incapable of standing for hours in long lines were allowed to go to the front, but that wasn’t so everywhere.

Long waiting times amount to an elder poll tax, as do polling stations with stairs that lack elevators. Next time, we elders should take it upon ourselves to communicate with our election boards long before election day to ensure access for everyone.

I’ve long insisted that the youngest baby boomers (44 this year) have next to nothing in common with oldest (62 this year). Here’s a story that discusses the differences and why President-elect Obama, born in 1961, has tried to distance himself from the boomer generation he is technically part of.

A new survey of more than 3,000 Americans who were questioned twice nine years apart finds that young and middle-aged people tend to underestimate their past happiness and overestimate their future happiness. Elders, on the other hand, those 65 and older, are more realistic and accurate in their assessments. The researchers believe they understand the reason. More here. (Hat tip to Stan James of Wandering Stan)

YES! At last I’ve found someone else who objects to anyone 60 and older being referenced as elderly:

“Bag the 'elderly' tag, she said - the preferred terminology these days is ‘seniors’ or ‘older adults’.”

Personally, I find “seniors” and particularly “senior citizens” a bit dusty, terms that in time have become pejorative even when not intended to be so. “Older adults” is an improvement, but I’d like to see and hear “elders” more often. More here.

Among the election post mortems, some suggest that ageism played a bigger role than racism in how people voted. Exit polls revealed that of those who factored age into their choice, 78 percent voted for Senator Obama.

I don’t think that 72 is necessarily too old to begin a presidency, but the lack of the full disclosure of Senator McCain’s health records was worrisome and worth consideration. Some more thoughts here.

Reader and frequent TGB commenter Mary Jamison sent along this bittersweet poem, Lucky, by Tony Hoagland:

If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to help your enemy
the way I got to help my mother
when she was weakened past the point of saying no.

Into the big enamel tub
half-filled with water
which I had made just right,
I lowered the childish skeleton
she had become.

Her eyelids fluttered as I soaped and rinsed
her belly and her chest,
the sorry ruin of her flanks
and the frayed gray cloud
between her legs.

Some nights, sitting by her bed
book open in my lap
while I listened to the air
move thickly in and out of her dark lungs,
my mind filled up with praise
as lush as music,

amazed at the symmetry and luck
that would offer me the chance to pay
my heavy debt of punishment and love
with love and punishment.

And once I held her dripping wet
in the uncomfortable air
between the wheelchair and the tub,
and she begged me like a child

to stop,
an act of cruelty which we both understood
was the ancient irresistible rejoicing
of power over weakness.

If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to raise the spoon
of pristine, frosty ice cream
to the trusting creature mouth
of your old enemy

because the tastebuds at least are not broken
because there is a bond between you
and sweet is sweet in any language.


Guest Blogger: Saul Friedman

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The reason for the weekly Sunday Election Issues post would seem to have passed into history. This week, however, it would be nice to post links to elderblogs with stories of the aftermath and followup to the election. If you have written one you would like to share with others, please get a link to me via email (click "Contact" in the upper left corner of this page) by end of today.]

category_bug_politics.gif Although there were some reports that 65 percent of elders voted for Barack Obama, exit polling data from Pew Research reveals a different, less uplifting number.

Today's guest blogger, Saul Friedman, who writes the Gray Matters column for Newsday, explains why he thinks the elder vote for McCain makes no sense and wonders what happened, in a story titled Old.]


Perhaps the readers of Time Goes By can tell us why voters over the age of 65 (almost all white) voted against their own interests and supported Senator John McCain over Senator Barack Obama, 53 to 45 percent.

PewExitPollData

Indeed, according to this Pew Poll, elders gave McCain two percent more support than they gave to George W. Bush in 2004. White voters did two percent better for the Democrat than they did in 2004; still they voted 55 to 43 for McCain.

Bush repaid the older voters for their support in 2005, of course, by proposing and campaigning to privatize and thus kill Social Security as we know it. Bush failed, thanks to congressional Democrats, and senior advocacy groups such as the National Council to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, AARP and organized labor.

I thought older people had good memories, so I figured they'd remember the close call when McCain acknowledged during the campaign that he continued to favor some sort of privatization, similar to the Bush proposal. He even called Social Security an "absolute disgrace" because younger workers' taxes were paying the benefits of older retirees, which is the way the inter-generational Social Security system is supposed to work.

What's more, the Wall Street Journal reported that McCain was ready to cut billions from Medicare to fund his proposal to provide health insurance to uninsured Americans. And it's been no secret that McCain has been hostile to "government health programs," although he's benefitted from them most of his life. He has almost always voted with his party to limit Medicare and Medicaid and he proposed to charge more affluent older people more for Medicare's services.

On the other hand, Obama is a strong supporter of Medicare and Social Security and voted with the Democratic majority when Senator Edward M. Kennedy came to the Senate to break a Republican filibuster and override a Bush veto of a bill to strengthen Medicare. That bill cut some of the bonuses insurance companies get. McCain was absent but had made clear his agreement with Bush.

So if Social Security and Medicare didn't matter to people over 65, what did? McCain's age? I doubt it; older Americans, according to an earlier Pew poll, know that 72 is a bit too old to begin a presidency. Perhaps older people, more than younger Americans, liked McCain's experience and policies. Perhaps. Or perhaps older people feared change. Or maybe it was something else.

Whatever the reasons, I'd really like to know. I think it will be sad if in the future a kid, coming home from school and learning about the first black president, asks his or her grandmother, "did you vote for him?" And she has to answer, "No."


Winter’s Late Arrival

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The reason for the weekly Sunday Election Issues post would seem to have passed into history. This week, however, it would be nice to post links to elderblogs with stories of the aftermath and followup to the election. If you have written one you would like to share with others, please get a link to me via email (click "Contact" in the upper left corner of this page) by end of day on Friday.]

category_bug_journal2.gif We watched and worried and held our breath for so many months that I’m surprised the collective exhale Tuesday night didn’t send Earth out of orbit. For now, I’ll leave the post mortems to the people who get paid for it and use today as a transition, a way to clear our minds of political detritus and get back to daily living.

Although I don’t have a lot of experience yet with Maine weather, it seems to have been a remarkably long and warm fall this year. A native agrees. He told me that by now there has usually been at least one big snowstorm, but so far I’ve counted only two nights during which the temperature fell below freezing and most days have been in the 40s and 50s F.

On a recent walk around the neighborhood, I tried to capture the astounding array of color in the local foliage. You don’t need to drive to the woods here for leaf peeping. There is a wide variety of trees which turn at differing rates and times.

Still Green
MostlyGreen


Light Green
LightGreen


Orange-y
FadingFast


Mixed Colors
MixedColors


Colorful Vine
ColorfulVine


Red and Pink
RedandPink


Red and Green
RedandGreen


Bright Red
MostlyRed


And just because he’s so damned cute, Ollie the cat.
Ollie2008_11

Feel free to continue discussing the election if that's on your mind. Consider today an open thread.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, a message from me.]


Weeping in Relief

category_bug_journal2.gif This seems an odd comparison and it has been many years since I thought of it. But it sprang to mind this morning when I woke up, checked The New York Times front page to be sure I hadn’t dreamed president-elect Barack Obama’s victory, and got as weepy about it as I was last night:

Forty-one years ago, almost to the day, the soap slipped out of my hand in the shower. I grabbed for it, missed, and caught my breast instead. And, I caught a shock. The kind that makes your brain rattle around in your head. The kind that makes you dizzy.

In my hand was a hard lump that felt like a pebble about the size of a pea. There was no mistaking it: no mistaking that it was what cancer warnings are about, no mistaking that a doctor was required. Now!

It was my third day in Minneapolis, having just moved north with my then-husband from Houston. I didn’t know a soul yet, let alone a physician. Through a series of telephone calls, I found one and made an appointment.

Yes, he told me, it was the kind of lump that needed immediate surgery. Although it was seldom malignant in women my age (I was 26), he said as he showed me a drawing in a medical book about breast cancer, it was not unknown and it was often malignant in older women. It should be removed without delay.

Back in those days, 1967, there wasn’t much choice about treating breast cancer and I signed the permission, if the lump proved malignant, to remove my breast then and there. So I went into surgery a few days later not knowing if I would have one breast or two when I woke up.

In the recovery room of a hospital, a nurse told me the lump was benign, that under what seemed to me to be an excessive amount of bandaging for three stitches, I still had my breast.

I wept. And I kept weeping. So great was my relief that I didn’t stop weeping, on and off, for two or three days. More than I had wept over anything before or since.

Now, forty-odd years after marches and riots and bombings and murders over the right of black people to vote, over the right of black children to attend the same schools as white children, over the right of black people to sit and eat and travel and use the same drinking fountains as white people do, the United States has elected a black man to be president. And not just any man – black or white.

Yesterday, we elected a man who has engaged the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans, a man who believes hope is consequential. A man who convinced us to believe in hope too and that with it, there can be change.

It is a new day in so many respects, and I weep this morning in even greater relief than in 1967, which was, after all, only a personal release. Today’s is universal.

There is so much to do. So many wrongs to right. So much hard work ahead. But today, let us rejoice, tears and all. We have a done a good thing.


Full Up to Here With Politics

category_bug_politics.gif Here we are today at the end of the long, long road to the 2008 presidential election. No doubt the candidates - having been hopping on and off airplanes, exhorting crowds to vote for them, shaking thousands of hands, kissing babies, eating all manner of yucky food and sleeping in interchangeable hotel rooms for two years - are exhausted.

Well, so are we the people or, at least, this one. But you can't say this hasn't been the most interesting, exciting and surprising campaign of our lives.

I clearly remember groaning, on the day after the midterm Congressional election in November 2006, when someone on CNN said (I’m paraphrasing, but close), “And now the race for the presidency begins.” Wh-a-a-a-t? The 110th Congress hadn’t even been sworn in yet.

And it was true. This hasn’t been a two-year presidential campaign; it’s been a four-year, non-stop campaign first for 2006 and then for this one.

Are there still wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan? Where did the several million illegal immigrants who were so controversial last year go? Is the Arctic ice cap still melting? How many more signing statements negating duly passed legislation has President Bush saddled the country with this year? Are all the frogs still dying? How is New Orleans’ recovery going? And how is Senator Ted Kennedy? Is it flu season yet?

Difficult to know in a 24/7 campaign cycle occasionally interspersed with bad news from the economic front. In regard to the latter, The New York Times, in what should be named the Marie Antoinette Series, hasn’t let a week go by in which it did not report on the hardship billion- and millionaires are suffering. Here’s one of the most recent. Let them eat cupcakes, I say.

Now that caviar and Dom Perignon have been struck from their party menus, the rich are undoubtedly among the 85 percent who, in the most recent polls, believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Did you see the long lines of people waiting to vote early over the weekend? People in at least one city lined up starting at 6AM for a 10AM opening at a polling station. In some states, millions have already voted. One TV news show reported that by the time polls open Tuesday morning, one-third of Americans will have voted.

As the Buffalo Springfield sang a long time ago, “Something’s happening here.”

And something IS happening. I sense something new in the zeitgeist, a seriousness and urgency among the people. After eight years of the disastrous administration of George W. Bush that has bankrupted the country, killed thousands of our young people, decimated the military, transferred billions of dollars in wealth to corporations and one percent of the populace while impoverishing the middle class and gutting the Constitution, we are at a turning point.

It is apparent that a large percentage of the country, maybe even a majority, knows that now. And so does one candidate.

Barack Obama, if elected, cannot turn around the country in his first 100 days or even in 100 weeks. He cannot do anything he has promised without the cooperation of Congress – not a given even with a Democratic majority. He also won’t be able to do everything he has promised because Senator Joe Biden was right: something unexpected, perhaps more than one, will happen that will require immediate diversion of attention, time and, of course, money.

Money. Yes. One of the things neither candidate has told us is that we are in for a lot of economic pain and it won’t be easy. I’m pretty sure we have several years ahead of us that will require belt-tightening, doing without, several kinds of sacrifice and helping one another. And then there are all the other problems: wars, environment, energy, education, jobs, healthcare and the rest that our profligacy – corporate, governmental and individual – have saddled us with.

Although it won’t be pretty, we can get through it. Our parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression; so can we survive ours. And, anyway, what other choice do we have?

First, however, I need a rest from the endless campaign and I will be grateful, after tomorrow, to ignore the news for awhile, read a couple of trashy novels, recharge and then get back to the real business of this blog.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mort Reichek is back with another memoir: Tales of the 903rd Signal Co. which was first published on his blog two years ago, and now with a surprising update.]


Sunday Election Issues: 2 November 2008

category_bug_politics.gif This Sunday post is a collection of links to elderblog stories about the issues that are important to understand in making our choices on who to vote for in the November election. You can read the original post announcing this feature here.

Beyond the Pale(in)
On Friday, Governor Sarah Palin said in a radio interview with WMAL-AM:

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

Until I read that, I believed Palin was just generally ignorant, uneducated and incurious – a rigid ideologue. Now she has revealed that she does not have a school kid’s understanding of U. S. civil rights and the Constitution, apparently believing that the First Amendment is there to prevent the press from criticizing elected officials and candidates for high office. This is terrifying and it alone should disqualify her from any elected office, including the one she currently holds.

Obama’s Closing Argument
From Cynthia Samuels: Live Blogging Obama’s Canton Speech

Obama’s Infomercial: To Savor and Remember [31:45 minutes]

Why Obama is a Leader for Our Times
From Sylvia Kirkwood: An Article Worth the Read

Getting Ahead of Ourselves
From Gary White: Obama Wins?

California’s Gay Marriage Proposition
From Xtreme English: 12 Important Reasons Gay Marriage Will Ruin Society

Bush Administration Accountability
From Darlene Costner: Cafferty File: Immunity from War Crimes?

Why We Vote the Way We Do
From Elaine Frankonis of Kalilily Time: What? Me Biased?

Watching the Poll Watchers
From joared of Along the Way: Will Your Vote Count?

Financial Crisis Tough on Elders
From Saul Friedman: Wall Street’s “Historic Swindle” Hurts Elderly Most

What Paulson and Bernanke Hath Wrought
From economist Kevin Phillips: The New Hooverites

Bank Bailout Bait and Switch
From The New York Times editorial board: Loans? Did We Say Loans?

Political Workers with a Conscience
From Talking Point Memo: Dozens of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest

Why the Political Far Right is So Dumb
From George Monbiot: The Triumph of Ignorance: How Morons Succeed in U.S. Politics

Palin Pranked
This is way too good to pass up. Two comedians from CKOI Radio in Montreal who call themselves The Masked Avengers convinced Governor Palin and her staff that she was speaking by phone with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Listen carefully; they give her several opportunities to realize she's been had, but they go right over her head. Hilarious. [5:59 minutes]


This Week in Elder News: 1 November 2008

In this regular weekend 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.

Spring Forward, Fall Back. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to sleep tonight. We get back that hour we lost in the spring, but clock-changing hardly seems worth the effort these days. Daylight Saving Time will return on 8 March 2009, giving us just four months of “standard” time.

What song was No. 1 on the Billboard tally on the day you were born – or any other date you care about? Jeanne Horak of Cook Sister sent along this website and the list of No. 1 songs goes clear back to 1891, so I don’t think there’s anyone here who won’t find a match for themselves. Mine was Amapola by Jimmy Dorsey. What about you?

Thank you to the 100 or so readers who have emailed to tell me about the blog by two 80-something friends, Margaret and Helen. I first heard of them a couple of months ago but did not add them to the Elderbloggers List because months had gone by between posts.

Now they, like so many sometime bloggers, have felt the urge during the election campaign to post more frequently. So for the rest of you who haven’t visited Margaret and Helen, here you go. You’re in for a treat. On the other hand, this guy doesn’t believe the two women are who they say they are.

Centenarians for Senator Obama are popping up all over the country. And now there is another: 109-year-old Amanda Jones, whose father had been a slave, voted by mail last week. Read more here. (Hat tip to Donna Woodka of Changing Places)

She was not quite a centenarian, but 93-year-old Dora Fitzgerald made voting for Barack Obama her last act before dying. The video refused to embed, so you'll need to click here to see Dora's daughter tell the story. (Hat tip to Jan Adams of Happening Here)

Crabby Old Lady tells me that she thinks marketers and entrepreneurs cashing in on the word “boomer” have gone far enough now. Boomerator is a new question-and-answer information site where you can “gain insight you can trust,” it says on the home page, “from other boomers with first-hand experience because boomers know best.”

Crabby gets answers from people of all ages all the time. Why would a website deliberately limit its potential number of users by dissing everyone younger than 44 and older than 62?

Here’s a 50-something newspaper columnist who doesn’t buy the baby boomer myth that their generation won’t ever get old. Having some fun with a Just For Men hair color discount coupon he received in the mail, Wally Spiers says, “Actually, I think that look that says I'm on top of the world would have no gray at all. It also would make me taller and better looking. Nobody is sending me a coupon for any of that.” More here.

Six-foot tall shooting guard Ken Mink has joined the basketball team at Roane State Junior College. No big deal except that Mink is 73 years old. There’s more about him here plus this video of him at practice with his much younger teammates.