The Baby Boomer Generation: trends, research, comment and discussion of the generation from 1946 - 1964. Includes bulletin boards, Sixties and Seventies music, culture, health and coverage of issues for Boomers
   

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The Baby Boomer Homepage is your source for trends, research, comment and discussion of the generation from 1946 - 1964. Includes bulletin boards, chat, Sixties and Seventies music, culture, health and coverage of issues for Boomers  
The Baby Boomer Generation is a source for trends, research, comment and discussion of and by people born from 1946 - 1964. Covering issues on the Boomer Generation including original content for Boomers, bulletin boards, user comments, Sixties and Seventies music, Baby Boomer culture, health and coverage of issues for "Aging Hipsters."
Complete Archive in Politics

Georgia Pacific Clear-Cuts The Forest
In Hindsight, What Do You Think?
Are Yesterday's Hippies Today's Conservatives?
Social Security and Baby Boomers
Timothy McVey Was A Registered Republican
AT&T Crying Foul - All The Way To The Bank
Boomers get SHAFTED, etc.
We Are One (and Boy, Are We Cold)
VOTE
From the Bizarre to the Obscene
A Boomer View of the Election
Nuevo California
Just the Facts, Ma'am
While We're on the Subject
Boomers - Get the Facts
A Boomer View of a Convention
I Don't Heart Huckabee
Who's Your Candidate?
Baby Boomer Presidential Voting Poll
Keith Olbermann's Commentary on Bush 'surge' speech
I Don't make this stuff up
Boomer Bush (ewwwww)
DeLay-ed to Rest? Fat Chance
How the Republicans Sell Us Out Every Way Every Day
Headline of the Month
Golfing for Katrina
On the Waterfronts
Social Security--The Story That Never Dies
The NSA and Me
Viet Nam, Iraq, & Baby Boomers
Baking Bread and Other Subversive Activities
Big Bird, We Hardly Knew Ye
How Secure is Social Security?
We're All Just (Boomer) Babes in the Woods
Boomers - Can You Spot The Big Lie?
Call Me Anything, Just Don't Call Me Conservative
Don't Like the Rules? Just Change 'Em
Can I Say 'Sex?'
New Zealand's Looking Pretty Good
Now That Was a Crisis
Silliness in Serious Times
Baby Boomers: Odd Political Ducks
Baby Boomers Fighting A War of Words
Trapped!
A Blast from the Right
Another Good One Gone
Baby Baby Boomer Speaks
Brown vs Board of Education
Baby Boomer Humor "You Take The Low Road, And I Will, Too"
Bush Is Laughing At You Baby Boomers
The Sixties and Stew Albert
Mr. Baby Boomer for President
President Match
Howard Dean Scream Re-mix
Social Security And Other Ways to Piss-Off Gen-X
Ain't No Boomer 'Care' in Medicare
5 Trillion Budget Deficit Looms for Boomers
Congress Fiscally Ignores Baby Boomers' Retirement
One Picture is Worth a Thousand Laughs
Boomer Poll 10-03
Oh Those Krazy Democrats
Blast Off! Gen-X Talks Back
Baby Boomer Politics and the Blog
Baby Boomers, The Silent Internet Majority
Does Bush Get IT?
Timberrrrrrrrrr
Bush II Pulls Out His Visa Card
Baby Boomers Say "No Nukes"
Infomercial War
Retro Political Humor
Gulf War II
A New Dean
George's War
The attack of Sept 11
Recent poll results
June 23, 2012

Georgia Pacific Clear-Cuts The Forest

brawny.jpgWhile reading about Georgia-Pacific's pollution record on Wisconsin's Fox River, it became all too clear why there's so much money being spent in Wisconsin elections. G-P, maker of the popular Brawny brand of paper towels is a Koch subsidiary and has a less than stellar record in regard to PCB dumping. And I think it's clear the Koch is an advocate of less government regulation - particularly the EPA and their costly meddling.

But what troubles me the most is how G-P has clear-cut the forest that used to stand tall behind the iconic Brawny Man. While he's gone through several make-overs, he always seemed to be proudly affirming his lumberjack roots.

Perhaps he now wants us to forget that paper towels come from trees and the process of making them can actually be killing us. Actually, I have no idea whether the process of making paper towels creates PCBs or any other pollutant, but it does seem rather telling that those tall pines are gone.

Just use a freakin' cloth towel



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January 29, 2012

In Hindsight, What Do You Think?

Sometimes being right is worse than being wrong.




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September 28, 2010

Are Yesterday's Hippies Today's Conservatives?

The NY Times had a wonderful section of articles from 40 years of the Op-Ed section. In 1971, an op-ed article predicted that, once out of college and into the 'real world,' "the college cohort of the late '60s will be relatively less receptive to the dominant social change-directed thrusts of the day, and in that sense more moderate or conservative."

I can report, albeit from anecdotal evidence, that many of my friends from college are indeed moderate to the point of conservative, especially fiscally. While I don't want to move to a commune any time soon, I'd like to think I maintain some of the idealism and impulse to activism I started with.

How far toward the right have you moved?




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July 31, 2010

Social Security and Baby Boomers

While probably not cause for immediate hysteria, possible changes in Social Security could effect Boomers. The NY Times has a good overview of potential Social Security scenarios.




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May 5, 2010

Timothy McVey Was A Registered Republican

Here we go again - quick to seize on any bit of falsehood, the blogsphere, Facebook included, is abuzz with the still unsubstantiated rumor that Faisal Shahzad (the Times Square bomber) is a registered Democrat. And your point is what?

Painting with a broad brush like this is disingenuous, and designed solely for the purpose of pandering. If I believe the subtext of this rumor, then because I'm a Democrat, I must be an Islamic terrorist. Or worse yet, because I registered as a Republican in 1974, I must be some rabid tea partier. Neither of which is true.

Frankly, I think what I'm hearing is a collective sigh of relief from the right that this guy wasn't some home-grown terrorist, or a registered Republican like Timothy McVey. Fact is, these guys are stone-cold killers motivated by what they believe is a higher purpose - and party affiliation has nothing to do with their dementia.

And in case the right-leaning megaphone is about to blame Obama's immigration policy for giving this guy his citizenship, the facts are he got his Green Card during the Bush administration and he was a naturalized citizen by virtue of his marriage to an U.S. citizen.

Doesn't anyone check the source of this stuff? Are we so dead-set on advancing a myopic view that we lose sight of the obvious?



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March 28, 2010

AT&T Crying Foul - All The Way To The Bank

Let me get one thing straight up front - if I was to measure my personal trust of both government and big corportations on a scale of one to ten, I'd rate government at 3 and corporate America at about 1. So when I read AT&T is doing some accounting magic to alledgedly pay for increased healthcare costs, I view it with a heaping helping of skepticism... and because the right-wing hyperbole machine has latched onto this as proof of a bad bill, I wanted to find out for myself what was going on.

Under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug program, companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees and employees have been able to receive subsidies covering 28 percent of eligible costs. AT&T got $1.3 billion in government subsidies - meaning they spent roughly $4.64 billion on prescription drug benefits. Under the 2003 law, they could deduct from their taxes the entire amount they spent, PLUS the subsidy. So in addition to the $1.3 billion they got from the government to help pay for retiree drug benefits, they wrote off $5.94 billion on their taxes. The new law states that they can now only deduct the amount they actually spend. So, what AT&T did yesterday was make a NON CASH accounting charge against a perceived future loss of tax deductions through Medicare subsidies.

Let me repeat that - AT&T got $1.3 billion from the government to help pay healthcare costs to their employees. Seems corporate America already HAS a government-run healthcare plan, and it's a pretty sweet deal!

Furthermore, in my opinion, AT&T is using this a a bargaining chip against negotiations with the communications workers union coming up in 2012. They will bring a sob story to the table saying the healthcare bill is costing them so much that they can't afford to offer a prescription drug benefit for their retirees anymore - and will seek concessions from the union that will dwarf any subsidy write-off they get now. How convenient to be able to blame the healthcare bill and make more profit - all without growing income.

In fact, if you listen to the talking heads - it's a done deal. But the opposite is just as likely. The healthcare bill may indeed end up saving them money on employee prescription drug benefits. In either case it's a win for AT&T - it's just how much they'll gain.

And Obama-haters are calling him a socialist because the healthcare bill closed a corporate largess in a 2003 bill passed during the Bush administration. Seems clear to me AT&T is crying foul over losing their own brand of corporate welfare.

Man-up, AT&T. Go out an grow your business through innovation, superior products, great service and market share - and quit relying on government handouts to make your bottom line look better.



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January 13, 2010

Boomers get SHAFTED, etc.

A friend sent the following to me in an email recently. Laughin' to keep from crying:

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown in the economy, Congress has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early). Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to Congress to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers). A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Congress deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance). Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Congress.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. Congress has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give our citizens.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to
the attention of your Congressman, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.

Sincerely,
The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (E.V.I.L.)

PS - - Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.




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January 18, 2009

We Are One (and Boy, Are We Cold)

If you missed this afternoon's Inaugural Celebration--We Are One concert, HBO will be presenting it again this evening. And if you don't subscribe to HBO, get this--they have opened up access to the channel to all of us for this one event. More details at HBO.

Putting aside jaded musical taste, remnants of cynicism, and the football game, this was a wonderful LIVE show: sincere, entertaining and moving at times. Personal fave moments: Soulful Bettye Lavette and just as soulful Jon Bon Jovi; Pete Seeger doing what he's been doing for eons--talking the lyrics a beat ahead so that we can all sing along; Renee Fleming looking ab fab singing the crap out of "You'll Never Walk Alone"; Garth Brooks rousing the audience with--guess....OK, you can't guess-"Shout."

Because of both the place and the date, parallels to the March on Washington were obvious and yet inspiring. Lots of star power speakers made sure we didn't miss that or any other historical significance. And they did a darn fine job.

The presidential family and guests seemed to be having a grand time, although I can't imagine they weren't cold--the girls didn't even have mittens on. My hands got cold just watching.

Like Grant Park, the audience was thrillingly diverse. Where else will you see a balding boomer standing next to young tween black girls and punksters with what looked to be painful piercings and Gen-X parents with kids on their shoulders and they're ALL singing "This Land is Your Land?" and not even ironically.




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November 4, 2008

VOTE

In case you are just returning from outer space or have short-term memory loss, a reminder:
Today is Election Day. If you haven't already done so, please get out there and vote. Although the following information does come from the Obama campaign, it is useful for anyone who's not sure where to vote or who has problems at the polls:

Where and when do I vote?
Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office.



What should I do before I go?

  • After you've entered your address on either Vote For Change or Vote411, read the voting instructions and special rules for your state.
  • Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring it.
  • Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for: http://truth.voteforchange.com

What if something goes wrong?


  • Not on the voter list? Make sure you're at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
  • If you're voting on an electronic machine with a paper record, verify that the record is accurate.
  • Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
  • If you encounter a problem, try to videotape the situation and submit it to VideoTheVote.org
October 25, 2008

From the Bizarre to the Obscene

Here's what I learned while reading the paper today. Yes, it's the NY TImes and while some out there will grumble about its 'liberal bias', it is the paper of record and they don't make crap up.

On Sarah Palin's religious beliefs:

What is known, however, is that Ms. Palin has had long associations with religious leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as "spiritual warfare."

Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that "spiritual warriors" must "battle" them to assert God's control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement's fixation on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders' claims to exalted spiritual authority have troubled even some Pentecostal Christians...

...Russell P. Spittler, provost emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and an eminent scholar of Pentecostalism, said, "Most Christians would accept the view that there are forces and powers in the world that oppose Christian virtues." But, Mr. Spittler added, "Spiritual warfare makes a religion of identifying demons by names and ZIP codes."

So, the potential next-in-line for the presidency has been prayed over to be protected from "every form of witchcraft" and believes she can do some sort of demonism demographic study and come up with her own Black List. Wonder if they have my zip code.

Obama=Hitler

You heard it here first. According to an article by Jim Rutenberg in today's Times, an email went out to Jewish voters in Pennsylvania this week that equated a vote for Obama "with the 'tragic mistake' of their Jewish ancestors who 'ignored the warning signs in the 1930's and 1940's.'" And it was not sent by some crank political action group, but by the Pennsylvania Republican Party's 'Victory 2008' Committee.

Naturally they repudiated it, after the fact, and let a staff member take one for the team. That strategist says the email was approved. Of course it was. Pardon my naivete, but I still thought perhaps the McCain campaign had one slender thread of decency left. Apparently I was wrong. I only ask, in the most respectful way possible, are they freakin' insane??




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October 21, 2008

A Boomer View of the Election

As aging Hipsters, we've had the benefit of watching as the tenor of politics has grown ever more divisive. Negative campaigning isn't new - you can find examples as far back as Jefferson - but today the message seems designed to divide and polarize. And now, an even more insidious set of code words is creeping into the campaign with the expressed purpose of stirring racial hatred.

Perhaps MaCain reasons that if he can scare enough white people into voting against a black man, he might have a chance to once again split the electorate into numbers that favor his campaign. In the McCain/Palin world, "real Americans" means white people living in predominantly white states. "That One" is code for anything different than white.

What he doesn't count on is Obama's uniquely compelling message to bring real change to the country and unify the electorate. You don't have to even have a firm grasp of the issues to make a choice. Just observe. McCain - cranky and annoyed, attacking at every opportunity, or Obama - cool and composed with a message that looks to the good character of all Americans.

McCain would have us believe it's about experience. But experience without leadership is a hollow promise. It's really about judgment. McCain chose a divisive course when he unleashed his judgment on us in the form of Sarah Palin. Sure, she has "energized the base" (read, pander to the far-right) but at what cost?

There was a time when I might have supported McCain, but this single decision signaled that he had caved to the Republican hate machine and embraced its narrow agenda. Include the fact that he hired the same Rove disciples responsible for torpedoing him in the last election and we get a clear picture of a man who says "Country First" yet means McCain first... at all costs.

Once again, all you have to do is observe to see the contrast. If it's a matter of judgment, I'll take Biden as an indication of good judgment and Palin as an example of poor judgment.

I'm no socialist (whatever that means) but like to think I can spot fairness when I see it. The Bush administration has made a mockery of the American Dream by forcing a greater percentage of the tax burden on the middle class while easing it for the top 10% of wealthy Americans. And unfortunately, if the current trend keeps up, the top 10% will be the only ones working any way.

This election is about protecting the middle class. Not just the white, right-leaning, evangelical middle class, but the entire middle class. Its about creating jobs that help every American aspire to something greater. The "real Americans" in this race are the ones who realize it's time to stop focusing on greed and start thinking about what's fair.




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October 20, 2008

Nuevo California

This may be the best political email we've received all season.

Dear Red States,


We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you don't own a map, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.


To sum up briefly:

We get stem cell research and the best beaches. You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get
a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch ofd single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going
to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up eventually, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.


With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.


With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90
percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of
all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, and Bob Jones University.


We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.


Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty, abortion providers, homosexuals, Muslims, or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is
only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you
crazy bastards actually believe you are people with higher morals than us lefties.


By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they
grow in Mexico.

Peace Out,
The Blue States




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October 6, 2008

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Boy, the McCain camp can't get anything right: they actually have me on their email list. The good thing is I now get to see what they're sending supporters. We also hear from friends and relations in battleground states about the kind of advertising the Republicans are doing there. And it's ugly. I'm not naive, both sides have been known to skirt around the edges of the truth. Which is why we urge you and everyone you know to avail yourselves of these great fact checking websites:


FactCheck.org

Snopes.com

The FactCheck Wire, with the great tagline--"Faster than the speed of spin"

Just the Facts




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September 15, 2008

While We're on the Subject

If you are, have or know a college student who may not have registered to vote or hasn't gotten it together to get their absentee ballot, send 'em to this site, Vote For Change.

And if the college student you know is jaded, apathetic and cynical--like the 'indifferent son' of Passover--try this on them (found on the most unlikely of sources--a Mason's website):

Then there is the simple son who is indifferent to knowledge because he is not concerned with finding truth and is, therefore, the one who can be controlled and enslaved. The simple son asks, "What is all this anyway?" The danger of tyranny arises when enough people are indifferent to the truth, when there is a general failure to delve beneath the surface and consider statements carefully. Then people are subject to lies and deceits through which tyrants win power. Indifference to knowledge leads to the loss of freedom.

Ok, 'tyranny' may be a little strong, but you get the idea.




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September 13, 2008

Boomers - Get the Facts

Give this whole video a chance and let it run to the end.


Then, if you care even a little about the election - www.factcheck.org should be you new best friend.
This non-partisan group does the legwork on de-bunking lies in campaign ads.
I don't know about you, but this thing is getting ugly and it's refreshing to have someone, anyone, tell the truth.



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September 6, 2008

A Boomer View of a Convention

"You Go Girl!"

Ask any local TV news producer and he/she will tell you that ratings rise and fall on personality. Forget the fact that anchor people do not make news, nor provide commentary; remember that they are hired for their skill in reading, smiling, nodding with concern and ultimately connecting with viewers.

Taking a page out of the local news producer's handbook, we get Sarah Palin, speech reader. And while the praise is heaped on her ability to "connect", it is a cynical and shallow approach to choosing the second most powerful person in the land.

The RNC (Rove-Nurtured Candidate) is banking on our emotional response - not our intelliectual reaction to her stand on real issues. And while the speech was well delivered (and designed for memorable sound bites) it was missing any mention of substance. The RNC doesn't want you to either know or understand the issues - or care about Sarah's politics.

When it comes time for debates, Joe Biden will expose her obvious weaknesses but lose the debate becasue the focus will be on her poise and delivery. Forget that she won't address the issues, just remember that she won't cry when Biden goes for her throat. You go girl!

And after Biden goes into an hour-long explaination of the technical details about Russian aggression in Georgia, it won't matter that Sarah Palin supports sending troops to Atlanta, because she will say it in a heartflet, emotional and convincingly insightful way.

"Damn, she's cute, what was that about Atlanta?"

What's more, the shrewd cynicism of this VP selection allows the RNC to devalue Obama's credentials even more by now reflecting his experience off that of Palin. Apparently, according to the RNC's view, if we elect Obama, we don't have to wait for the Commander in Chief to die to get a frightfully unqualified person in the Oval Office.


"Drill Baby Drill."

Whatever you think about our dependence on oil, I think Rudy Guliani crystallized it for me when he led a chorus of "drill, baby, drill" at the republican convention.

It emphasizes a key difference between the two parties and a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue.

Offshore drilling or drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, will not translate into lower gas prices for years - if ever. The republicans would have us believe drilling is the silver bullet to freeing ourselves from an addiction to foreign oil. It's not.

In fact, the issue is not about freeing ourselves from a foreign oil addiction, it's about curing the oil addiction, period. Under the republicans, everything remains the same as we happily move farther and farther away from a real solution. We are already years behind the rest of the world in research and implementation of alternate fuels. But it doesn't matter, according to the republican spin, we have all the oil we need. All we need to do is shove aside the environment and drill, baby drill.

Perhaps in a few years I won't need number 2 fuel oil because New Jersey will be sprouting palm trees in a balmy 98 degree February.

Want a real solution? Check this out: A real solution


Let's Play "What IF"

What if McCain was actually elected. Based on his VP selection, here's a list of some of his cabinet appointees.

Depatment of Agriculture: Kayla Campbell, 17 of Greene County Ohio
Qualifications: Female. Exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Market Beef at the Ohio State Fair which sold for a record $26,000.

Department of Commerce: Ruth Garrett
Qualifications: Female. Mother of 5; retailing expert. "Crazy coupon skills, she can bring home groceries, personal-care products and household necessities for herself, her husband, her five children, three cats and a dog, all for $70 a week..." Ruth Garrett

Department of Defense: Nicole Malachowski
Qualifications: Female. First woman pilot selected to fly as part of the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds.
Nicole Malachowski

Department of Labor: Scottie Chapman
Qualifications: Female. MythBusters mistress of metal. Trained in welding, machining and metal fabrication she has built, burnt and bashed everything from bridges and amusement-park rides to seaplanes and race cars.
Scottie Chapman

Department of State: Ann Wagner
Qualifications: Female. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Previously, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) for two terms.
Ann Wagner

Department of Energy: Janet F. Clark
Qualifications: Female. Executive vice president and chief financial officer of Marathon Oil Corporation.
Janet F. Clark




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February 20, 2008

I Don't Heart Huckabee

I have a problem with Mike Huckabee and everyone who supports him. My other half is tired of hearing about it--'tiresome' he called me, 'paranoid' I believe was mentioned once or twice. I think the latter was invoked when I announced on Super Tuesday that I would never live in a state where Huckabee won the primary.

I'm not a Republican, never was, never will be. What I am however, is a non-Christian. When I heard the excerpt from Huckabee's Michigan speech, a chill went down my spine.

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

OK, perhaps there are certain types of Jews who may be a bit touchy about the kind of coded language that aims to exclude and/or diminish us. Perhaps there is something genetically implanted that might make one sensitive to the nuances of anti-Semitism or to the thought of living with the Christian American version of Sharia. So, do I dismiss him and his supporters as the lunatic fringe? Or is some measure of paranoia realistic? We all know where complacency gets us: think of the pre-war urban upper-class Jews who didn't believe that lunatic Nazi party would ever affect them. Or the Japanese-Americans who considered themselves Americans first, Japanese second-- right before they were rounded up for the internment camps. Or, for that matter, Muslims living in this country who are about as likely to be terrorists as your local PTA chapter.

Huckabee and his supporters are the kind of Americans who force me to think as a Jew first and an American a distant second; who invoke a fight-or-flight response. I ask both Christians and other non-Christians out there; does anyone else feel paranoid when an estimated 70 million Americans call themselves evangelicals? and roughly 20% of of Republicans planned to vote for Huckabee according to a USA Today poll? I'm definitely not feeling the love.

Joe Conason's article in Salon analyzes Huckabee's "biblical reformation of every aspect of American society' in a way that chills me further. It also brings to the forefront an aspect of the evangelical movement that I have long found abhorrent, which is the assumption that God speaks only to them, God favors only their causes, and, if you will, God has taken sides. Of course, all faith requires certain immovable conviction. I for example, cannot be convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. However, unlike such religious paradises as Saudi Arabia and Iran, this country's Constitution is pretty straightforward about the separation of church and state. Huckabee's Michigan speech says to me nothing less than he is an extremist of the worst kind--he smiles with affable charm and then tells us he'd basically like to overturn the Constitution. People have ended up on Gitmo for less.

If Huckabee still doesn't freak you out, here's some suggested reading:

Daily Kos

Democratic Strategist

Talk to Action

The Carpetbagger

For more on Dominionism ,or Reconstructionism, which many believe to be at the core of Huckabee's platform, see ReligiousTolerance.org


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February 7, 2008

Who's Your Candidate?

If you live in one of the 3 1/2 states that didn't participate in super-duper-whooper Tuesday, this website may help you decide on your candidate. In fact, even if you did vote in the primaries, you might want to refine your choice or rue the vote you did cast. Thanks to Mark Hurst's newsletter for pointing us there.


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February 17, 2007

Baby Boomer Presidential Voting Poll

Who would you vote for if the Presidential election of 2008 were held TODAY?

voting booth



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January 14, 2007

Keith Olbermann's Commentary on Bush 'surge' speech




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November 1, 2006

I Don't make this stuff up

Barney Bush The other day, I was expecting to find my daily dose of Barney and Friends, but to my shock and awe, was treated to a presidential news conference. Apparently no one bothered to tell channel 8 to change the titles on their program listings.

And if that wasn't enough irony, add to that the fact that Bush's dog is named Barney - like I said, I don't make this stuff up.




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July 14, 2006

Boomer Bush (ewwwww)

Simply ignore it, I said to myself, and it will just go away. No, not Bush, his 60th birthday. Confronted with the stark reality that this man is actually a member of the Baby Boomer Generation I shuddered, retched slightly and tried to avoid it. We even sabotaged two interviews (one with CNN, the other with CBS) because most of our responses weren't fit for prime time news.

I was jolted back to reality today by this diary on dailykos. I guess, based on this thesis, I can comfortably deny GWB inclusion in the Baby Boomer Generation (I feel better already). The writer's point: "we were in the mist (sic) of a REAL, full-blown culture war, not like the bizzaro-world one that goes on politically today, and like in any war, people wore uniforms to tell friend from foe. Our uniform was "freak." The opposition ... take a look at young Karl there."

Back then, we fought "The Man" and recognized "The Establishment" as the enemy. I guess we knew there were spies among us, but the battle front was drawn mostly along generational lines, so we ignored the rare exceptions. How foolish that was!

Thirty years later we have a generational Tory (and his right-wing Tory militia) running our country. Geeze, couldn't we have introduced George and Karl to Alice B. Toklas' brownie recipe back in 1969?




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June 21, 2006

DeLay-ed to Rest? Fat Chance

Earlier we bid farewell to Clarabell the Clown. Then Congress bid farewell to Tom DeLay. I'm seeing parallels. Unlike Clarabell though, DeLay coudn't manage to keep his mouth shut or to go out with dignity. But at least he was doing the Lord's work.




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May 18, 2006

How the Republicans Sell Us Out Every Way Every Day

We're on an email list for the DCCC who really know how to run email campaigns, by the way. This particular piece was pretty compelling, especially after going to their cool little chart.

Keep reading "How the Republicans Sell Us Out Every Way Every Day" >>


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April 6, 2006

Headline of the Month

Bush, Justice shine at USC pro scout workout

Seeing the words "Bush" and "justice" in the same sentence gave me pause...but it's actually REGGIE Bush and WINSTON Justice, mentioned in an ESPN headline. An article about the NFL draft is probably the only place we'd see those two words together in a sentence.




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February 25, 2006

Golfing for Katrina

Shortly before the end of last year, Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens engineered a hole-in-one by giving $165 million to a charity designed to benefit the golf program at Oklahoma State University. By giving the money before 2005 expired, Pickens was able to take advantage of a provision in Hurricane Katrina relief legislation that allowed him a

Keep reading "Golfing for Katrina" >>


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February 21, 2006

On the Waterfronts

I know I'm one of many who thinks our president is not too bright, easily swayed by political self-interest, self-aggrandizing, and morally suspect. Now, on the heels of his deal with a state-owned company in the United Arab Emirates to run US ports, I begin to think he's a) simply evil or b) the single most corrupt president in the history of the country or c) insane. Or all of the above. Is anyone reassured that Michael Chertoff, the man who brought us New Orleans as a third world country, said the deal passed a classified review and that it would include safeguards to protect U.S. national security?

Considering that some of the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as an operational and financial base, that two of the hijackers were from UAE, and that it was a transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to our good buddies Iran, North Korea and Libya , do you think the UAE is our new best friend?

Thank God for the resistance this deal is meeting--from both sides of the aisle as well as a whole lot of governors who are pretty sure they don't want a country linked to terrorism on their waterfronts.

What's next? Al Qaeda running airport security?




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February 2, 2006

Social Security--The Story That Never Dies

Occasionally we receive releases about book of interest to Boomers. And what could be closer to our hearts (and wallets) than social security? You can read an excerpt here from Nancy Altman's book, The Battle for Social Security, and buy the book at Amazon.

Keep reading "Social Security--The Story That Never Dies" >>


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January 26, 2006

The NSA and Me

I'm really hurt. Seems like the NSA is not monitoring my communications, electronic or otherwise. I just feel so left out now that anybody who is anybody is being tapped, collected, and analyzed. I mean, what more do I have to do to get noticed?!

It's not like I haven't tried:

I had a friend 30 years ago whose parents were from Palestine.
About ten years ago, I bought an Afghani war rug on eBay. In fact, I own several afghans--doesn't that count?
I've downloaded subversive music like old Tom Lehrer songs and Country Joe and the Fish singing about Viet Nam.
I'm pretty sure I have some clothes made in Korea--and it could even be North Korea for all I know.
I once rented Thief of Bagdhad from the video store.
I used the word 'Iraq' in Scrabble just last week.
And we all know what a hotbed of dissent this website is too.

But yet again, we fail to make the (NS)A List.




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December 20, 2005

Viet Nam, Iraq, & Baby Boomers

I meant to post this quite awhile ago, but it doesn't seem to have lost any relevance in the meantime.

This is an in interesting Australian take on the war in Iraq, the baby boomer positions on that war and on a searing article by Frank Rich in the NY Times. Referring to comparisons to Viet Nam, Michael Gawenda, the columnist in The Sydney Morning Herald believes we cannot draw parallels to Viet Nam, a comparison which some believe is valid even as it enrages the Bush administration.

Frank Rich's original article is available only for a fee on the Times, but his most recent article continues the debate.




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July 6, 2005

Baking Bread and Other Subversive Activities

Growing wheat in your backyard garden for personal consumption is illegal. Based on the Supreme Court decision in Wickard v. Filburn, "Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity that is not itself "commercial," i.e., not produced for sale, if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."

"Filburn was a small farmer in Ohio. He was given a wheat acreage allotment of 11.1 acres under a Department of Agriculture directive which authorized the government to set production quotas for wheat. Filburn harvested nearly 12 acres of wheat above his allotment. He claimed that he wanted the wheat for use on his farm, including feed for his poultry and livestock. Fiburn was penalized. He argued that the excess wheat was unrelated to commerce since he grew it for his own use.

According to Filburn, the act regulated production and consumption, which are local in character. The rule laid down by Justice Jackson is that even if an activity is local and not regarded as commerce, "it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as 'direct' or 'indirect.'" www.oyez.com

By enacting the legislation Congress set forth controls to protect commodity wheat pricing. The Supreme Court (in 1942) upheld the laws agreeing that allowing Filburn to produce wheat for private use did indeed present a threat to the supply be reducing demand in the open market.

Growing a small plot of wheat in your backyard, while not in itself a threat to overall supply, could be regarded as a dangerous practice should it become commonplace. If, for instance, millions of Americans suddenly began planting wheat for home use, the Federal Government would have the power to step in and eliminate or control its cultivation.

The Supreme Court recently upheld the government's claim that growing and cultivating marijuana for private medical use did indeed violate laws regulating the production of commodity products and was within its Federal powers because the introduction of locally grown medical pot has an adverse effect on the entire market.

It would seem to me that the Government is somehow legitimizing large scale marijuana production and in limiting the cultivation of medical marijuana, it is protecting the street price of pot. I guess it's comforting to know that patients with a medically diagnosed condition for which marijuana can offer relief, can sleep soundly now knowing that cultivation, distribution and sale of marijuana is back in the hands of big, foreign drug cartels.




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May 7, 2005

Big Bird, We Hardly Knew Ye

bigrove.jpg
President Rove and his mouthpiece George Bush have quietly declared open season on dissenting opinion by replacing "fair and balanced" (I mean that in the traditional sense, not the way Fox News means it) reporting wherever they find it with their own version of the truth.

A right-wing shill in the White House press corp, paying "journalists" to write favorable articles on republican policy and administration-produced "news" videos are clear evidence of Rove's master plan. So why does it come as a surprise that they would cast their shadow on PBS?

The current chaiman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson recently hired Mary Catherine Andrews (ex of the White House Communications staff) who immediately set up a new "office of ombudsman" at the C.P.B. She recently appointed two other republican chronies as additional muscle.

Meanwhile Tomlinson hired a consultant to put "NOW with Bill Moyers" under a republican-filtered microscope. All this truth-management gives rise to my predictions for the future of PBS:

* Bert and Ernie are sent off to a gulag (obviously gay)
* Big Bird is hosting a new show titled "Living Right" (you're never too young to be a good little republican)
* "Nova" does a hard-hitting series on "The Big Ozone Lie"
* "Antiques Road Show" goes to the national parks to do valuations on ancient timber and oil for big business.
* "The McNeil Lehrer Hour" isn't cancelled but renamed "The McNeil Lehrer 30 Seconds." (programming note: new time, 3AM)

There is one upside to all this. Now that the republicans have taken over PBS, there will be no more fund-raising marathons. Corporations are lining up to pay for production costs - so long as the programming shines a favorable light on them.

By the way, in case you find this all a little far-fetched, consider that Tomlinson recently ousted the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and replaced her with Ken Ferree, an interim apointee. Patricia Harrison - former co-chairperson of the republican national committee will soon be holding the job permanently.

To read more in this subject:
Common Cause
American Progress Action Fund
Media Matters




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April 16, 2005

How Secure is Social Security?

Now here's a social security story I can get down with. How many more people have to point out that if anyone brings down Social security it will be the current administration, not 73 million Baby Boomers? Make up your own mind--read this from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and then let us know if you really want Wall Street safeguarding your retirement.

Here's an excerpt: " President Bushís proposal to shift payroll taxes into individual accounts would not help to close the Social Security shortfall, however, and could make the challenge greater. In the absence of any benefit cuts, the Presidentís private accounts would cause the trust fund to become insolvent 11 years earlier, in 2030 rather than 2041."




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February 20, 2005

We're All Just (Boomer) Babes in the Woods

The Sheriff of Knucklehead and his evil henchman Karl Rove have once again proven that this Sherwood Forest we call America is being systematically plundered - literally and figuratively. While Baby Boomers are occupied wringing their hands over whether or not Social Security even needs to be fixed much less overhauled, Bush has slipped in a budget which quite literally robs from the poor and gives to the rich.

"...the budget proposal really does take food from the mouths of babes. One of the proposed spending cuts would make it harder for working families with children to receive food stamps, terminating aid for about 300,000 people. Another would deny child care assistance to about 300,000 children, again in low-income working families."

"And the budget really does shower largesse on millionaires even as it punishes the needy. For example, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities informs us that even as the administration demands spending cuts, it will proceed with the phaseout of two little-known tax provisions - originally put in place under the first President George Bush - that limit deductions and exemptions for high-income households."

"More than half of the benefits from this backdoor tax cut would go to people with incomes of more than a million dollars; 97 percent would go to people with incomes exceeding $200,000." Paul Krugman - The New York Times (registration required)

As Rober B. Reich recently wrote, "It's morally wrong to give huge tax cuts to the rich while cutting social programs for the poor and working class -- especially when the gap between the rich and everyone else is wider than it's been in more than a century. As to "family values," the nation has a moral obligation to give every child a good education and decent health care. And it's morally wrong that millions of Americans who work full time don't earn enough to lift their families out of poverty."

It doesn't balance. Cuts in programs that quite literally are difference makers for the most helpless of the Forest's creatures, against more money in the pockets of greedy princes who need it the least. And just in case a real Robin Hood comes along and dares to point out the truth, the Sheriff has purchased policy insurance in the form of press corp shills and hired mouthpieces.

It's against the law to hunt the Royal Deer, yet more and more of the Sheriff's chosen few are lining up to bag a few bucks for themselves - leaving fewer and fewer to actually feed the starving forest inhabitants. And then we're told that the empty feeling in our stomachs isn't really hunger - we're just traitors who simply can't hold down a $200,000 a year job.




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January 31, 2005

Boomers - Can You Spot The Big Lie?

The Republicans and the Bush Administration are repeating a successful tactic by once again creating a climate of fear. The formula is simple, scare the living daylights out of the citizenry, then position Bush as the hero. This time it's Social Security.

Here, in Bush's own words, is the setup:

"You realize that the system of ours is going to be short ÷ the difference between obligations and money coming in ÷ by about $11 trillion unless we act."

But according to ABC News, "This is the biggest and one of the most controversial numbers the president has been using to make his case. First, some perspective on that number: $11 trillion is the size of the annual GDP of the U.S. economy! What the president is suggesting is that unless Congress acts now, Americans will have to make up a shortfall equal to the entire U.S. economy. It's unlikely this shortfall will ever occur. It's an estimate of the gap between promised benefits and revenues to pay for them if the government does nothing between now and the end of time.

Did you get that last sentence? "... through the END OF TIME." Frankly, I don't expect to be around for this measurement of infinity as it applies to Social Security, so I'll just guess that this is the biggest lie the administration has told to date and suggest that for the truth you look elsewhere.

Start by reading the full story at ABC News




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January 23, 2005

Call Me Anything, Just Don't Call Me Conservative

Are we getting more conservative as we get older? Will I start turning up my nose at radical music, radical lifestyles, radical politics, and alternative mindsets just because I'm getting old? Yes, according to this well-written opinion piece in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

When I was a little girl, I thought I'd magically become a grown-up one day and I would know when that day came because I'd wake up and suddenly prefer my parents' music to my own. Ok--I sort of do prefer their music these days---but 'their' music was jazz and classical, while mine at that time ran to The Monkees and Paul Revere & The Raiders. But, for godsake--please don't tell me I'll wake up on yet some other future day and wish I'd voted for George Bush!




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December 4, 2004

Don't Like the Rules? Just Change 'Em

Flexing their so-called "mandate muscle" the Republican-controlled Congress has begun re-writing the rules to suit themselves. Two recent examples prove that this party and this administration cares much less about moral obligation than it does about political expedience. I find it hard to understand how a party elected on so-called "moral values" can so blatantly ignore their own morality rules.

1. Charles Babington of the Washington Post writes: "House Republicans proposed changing their rules last night to allow members indicted by state grand juries to remain in a leadership post, a move that would benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, according to GOP leaders...

House Republicans adopted the indictment rule in 1993, when they were trying to end four decades of Democratic control of the House, in part by highlighting Democrats' ethical lapses. They said at the time that they held themselves to higher standards than prominent Democrats such as then-Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (Ill.), who eventually pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to prison.

The GOP rule drew little notice until this fall, when DeLay's associates were indicted and Republican lawmakers began to worry that their majority leader might be forced to step aside if the grand jury targeted him next."

2. You might want to re-read the article above after reading this article from the Christian Science Monitor about Ronnie Earle, the Texas DA pitted against Tom DeLay.

3. Carl P. Leubsdorf Washington bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News writes:
"Angered because the Democrats used the filibuster to block votes on 10 of more than 200 Bush judicial nominations, Majority Leader Bill Frist has threatened to use the GOP‚s 55-seat majority to force a rules change barring the tactic against judicial nominees.

If approved, it would give Republicans power beyond that of previous majorities.

But while a Senate rules change might produce short-term GOP gains by ensuring confirmation of embattled conservative judges, it would further exacerbate relations between the parties.

That could be a dangerous step, considering that resistance from some Republicans likely will require Bush to attract Democratic votes to pass tax, Social Security and immigration changes."

Welcome the the 2004 version of moral values.




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November 18, 2004

Can I Say 'Sex?'

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As if the Bush administration didn't give me enough to worry about, Regina Lynn's article on Wired News, has me wringing my hands about the administration's covert war on sex. According to the article, the government has stepped up its attack against pornography and, at the same time, keeps its obscenity guidelines secret. Were you a producer of explicit or even soft-core material, you'd pretty much have to guess if your content met the guidelines.

But pornography aside,with Bush more than doubling the abstinence education budget, who is going to teach our kids about birth control and AIDS prevention? My boys certainly don't want to discuss sex with me---where will they learn to be safe if informational websites and classroom teaching are abolished? My favorite quote in the Lynn article is this one from Jeffrey Douglas, chairman of the Free Speech Coalition.

"You just know high-ranking members of the Bush administration stay awake at night thinking that somewhere out there people are masturbating, and they have to do something to stop it," he says.

They'll find you in the press, they'll find you on the internet, now apparently they'll find you in your bedroom




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November 5, 2004

New Zealand's Looking Pretty Good

Thank you Maureen Dowd for articulating so well what I've only been able to babble about since Election Day. In her NY Times Op-Ed piece she validates what I thought were paranoid fears that, as far as W is concerned, there's only one way to unify the country; by agreeing with him. Unity, my ass---what's next for those of us who disagree? Resistance groups hiding in what will be left of the forests?

For those who cannot access the Dowd piece, it follows on a separate page.

Keep reading "New Zealand's Looking Pretty Good" >>


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October 27, 2004

Now That Was a Crisis

Forty-two years ago, America was in a stand-off with the Soviet Union 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Those two weeks were the closest the world had ever come to nuclear war.

President Kennedy outlined the 'clear and present danger' to our nation in his speech on October 22. He said:

"Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right-not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved."

As a nation, we believed him and trusted the administration had made a reasoned and difficult decision. Ah nostalgia. When I listen to our current president justify the war in Iraq and use 9/11 as a political marketing tactic to make us all afraid, very afraid, it almost makes me long for the certainty of the Cuban Missile Crisis.




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October 20, 2004

Silliness in Serious Times

A good antidote to having way too much work to do is to waste serious amounts of time doing frivolous things on the web. My current favorite is Comedy Central's Indecision 2004, where you can do fun stuff like generate political scandals about friends and family or swing electoral votes towards the party of your choice. If only it were that easy.




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September 17, 2004

Baby Boomers: Odd Political Ducks

Some interesting points in this article, but I continue to wonder why AARP has to do a study to understand Baby Boomers. By now they should be flexing their political muscle as ONE OF US instead of trying to figure out what makes us tick. There are many issues that have nothing to do with political polarization and the AARP seems content to do business as usual.

If they don't start addressing Baby Boomer issues, they will find themselves labeled as "them" instead of "us" and leave themselves open to a more responsive and active political entity - one that understands Boomers and takes up the banner.
_____________________________________________

From The Mature Market.com

The baby boom generation has always defied categorization, refusing to conform to the values and traditions of their elders.

And that's proving no less true in their politics.
One might think that as they age, boomers as a group would drift to the right in their political values, as prior generations have tended to do.

But in reality, as a new study reveals, boomers remain independent thinkers, uncommitted to any one set of political values or beliefs, even as the nation as a whole increasingly divides along harsh ideological lines.
Indeed, boomers' values remain highly variable and nearly impossible to label, according to a study by RoperASW for the AARP.

Boomers are far more likely than their predecessors to fragment along issue rather than party lines.
"When it comes to politics, boomers are very issue-sensitive," says Jeffrey Love, research director of AARP.

"The generations before them tended to be party-loyal and follow their parents' lead. But boomers want to see issues played out on their own terms, regardless of which party believes what."
The survey was conducted from a pool of 1,804 Americans belonging to the Baby Boom generation (ages 40-57), the Silent Generation (58-69) and the GI Generation (70 and older).

It found that boomers tend to share a mix of political views simultaneously, being liberal on some issues while conservative on others.

For example, 74 percent are in favor of more environmental regulations, 57 percent support legal abortions, 55 percent are for stem cell research, and 26 percent support gay marriage.

At the same time, four in 10 boomers say they have become more politically conservative as they have aged, with 75 percent in favor of school prayer, 70 percent in support of the death penalty, and 65 percent agreeing that civil liberties should be curbed because of terrorism.
Boomers are also evenly split on what matters most in a political candidate, positions on key issues or personality.

But the survey did find some commonalities among boomers as well.
According to the results, boomers are increasingly disenchanted with the two-party political system and with the government in general, preferring to rely on their own judgment in making important social and economic decisions.

Fifty-six percent feel the country would benefit from a strong third party. Only 32 percent trust the government to do what is right all or most of the time.

Additionally, boomers are less likely than the GI generation to believe it is very important to serve in the military, pay taxes or pay attention to political issues.
These findings arrive in light of a recent study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which concludes that political polarization in the U.S. is now at a 20-year high.

According to the Pew study, which posed a series of social, economic and political questions to members of both parties, there was a 17-percent difference in political and party attitudes between Republicans and Democrats in 2003.

That's up from 14 percent in 1999 and 11 percent in 1997.
So, in the face of such polarization, why is there such continued political unpredictability on the part of the world‚s largest cohort?

At least two factors play a role.
One, according to Love, has to do with how boomers were raised.
"The boomer generation was doted on and placed in the spotlight because it was the first generation born after World War II," he says.

"Boomers were given many more opportunities than their parents had, which added to their mystique as the 'special' generation, and has led them to be very concerned with their own self-interests."

According to Love, this means that when considering politics on an issue-by-issue basis, Boomers are more likely than their parents or their children to ask, "How does this fit into my life?" and "How does it enhance my standing?"

Therefore, a particular issue does not have to be labeled 'conservative' or 'liberal' for a boomer to latch onto it. Rather, it must effectively serve a personal need or desire.

Another reason for such wide fluctuations in political values: the nature of the generation itself.
"The baby boomer cohort spans 18 years, meaning that you and your child could technically both be baby boomers," says Robert Thompson, professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University.

"Whenever you have such a wide array of people, you can expect the range of political views to be diverse."

Regardless, Thompson sees this study as culturally significant.
"When someone says 'baby boomer,' you think of a former hippie who went to Woodstock and took recreational drugs," he says. "The results of this study show that you really can't make that kind of generalization.

"The cohort is just too dynamic for that."




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August 30, 2004

Baby Boomers Fighting A War of Words

The headline of this article says it best. We may write often here about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but the overarching theme of our younger days was the Vietnam War and now, 30 years later, it is still as divisive as it was then.

Three decades later, a campaign that's still about Vietnam
By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington was dedicated 22 years ago, it was said that the country at last could "separate the warrior from the war." With this presidential election, it's obvious that this has not happened.

Read the rest of the article.




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August 29, 2004

Trapped!

I have to give credit to those cagey Republican strategists who engineered this "Swift boat controversy"... but it has nothing to do with military service. I'm the last to believe in conspiracy theories; there are just too many variables to give much credibility. In this case, however, the Republicans have outmaneuvered Kerry and trapped him in a no-win political vice.

The issue is money. Plain and simple.

Keep reading "Trapped!" >>


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August 14, 2004

A Blast from the Right

I have long been to the left of liberal, but this article on freezerbox.com, written by a conservative, is the single best argument against the current administration I have heard so far. Those who consider themselves Republicans may be surprised by both the history lesson and the writer's conclusions.

The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush
BY WILLIAM BRYK
POLITICS | 8.6.2004

Theodore Roosevelt, that most virile of presidents, insisted that, "To announce that there should be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American people." With that in mind, I say: George W. Bush is no conservative, and his unprincipled abandonment of conservatism under the pressure of events is no statesmanship. The Republic would be well-served by his defeat this November.

Keep reading "A Blast from the Right" >>


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June 4, 2004

Another Good One Gone

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David Dellinger, a lifelong activist for peace and one of the Chicago 7, died on May 25th at 88.




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May 31, 2004

Baby Baby Boomer Speaks

From the "I wish I had written this (or at least thought of the domain name)" department comes the rantings of a student at Texas A&M University (which incidentally is the home of the George Bush Presidential Library.)

The domain is reason enough for every Baby Boomer to at least take a look at what your children are writing these days.
http://www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com/




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May 17, 2004

Brown vs Board of Education

On the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, it seems
right to spend some time at an extraordinary website,
The Voices of Civil Rights, that is the collaborative effort of AARP and The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). The site is rich with history, photographs, resources, and personal stories. Maybe you have a story of your own to add.




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May 5, 2004

Baby Boomer Humor "You Take The Low Road, And I Will, Too"

by Frank Mullen III

He's back. Ralph Nader has, once again, stuck his siphon into the
Democratic voting pool, threatening to suck away just enough of the liberal
vote to get George W. Bush reappointed. Democrats now hope for a
conservative spoiler to emerge, a far-right fourth-party extremist
with a history of irresponsibility, incompetency and weakness of character
that will attract the votes of those for whom Bush isn't shallow enough.

Therefore, I announce my independent candidacy for the presidency of
the United States. I'm the perfect spoiler; I've got every negative trait
that Bush has, plus more.

Keep reading "Baby Boomer Humor "You Take The Low Road, And I Will, Too"" >>


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April 27, 2004

Bush Is Laughing At You Baby Boomers

Once again, Boomers sit quietly by as Bush begins oil drilling in National Parks, expands logging operations in National Forests and relaxes rules that govern power plant emissions. Couple that with two court appointments that bypass Senate confirmation hearings and a war on less-than-solid justification and it's clear Bush Jr. is capable quietly shaping environmental and national policy with backroom deals and end-run tactics.

Now, he wants us to believe he's some kind of environmental savior by protecting 3 million wetland acres when in January of 2003, he issued new rule changes to the Clean Water Act that could adversely affect 20 million acres of isolated wetlands.

The Clean Air and Clean Water acts were passed in the 70's as the result of many Baby Boomers and their broad-based concern for the environment. It was clear then (and still clear today) that corporations will act in their own self-interest with regard to the environment. Without protective rules and government actions to enforce them, corporate polluters and environmentally insensitive companies continue to profitably pollute with the blessing and assistance of the Bush Administration. In less than three years, Bush has systematically dismantled much of what we worked for, but Baby Boomers seem content to deny their roots by peering out at the world through rose-colord SUV windshields.

I was born at night, George, but not last night.

Update: May 8, 2004. I found this it's certainly not as entertaining as a Letterman top ten, but it's right up there.




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March 11, 2004

The Sixties and Stew Albert

While surfing Counterpunch A nifty political blog by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, I came across a review for Who the Hell is Stew Albert?
Even if you don't know who he is, if you were breathing in the 60's, you'll want to learn more about this book.




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February 29, 2004

Mr. Baby Boomer for President

Unless you believe that being a Boomer is really a state of mind rather than a generational demarcation, we must (however reluctantly) accept the fact the George W. Bush is also 'one of us.'

An interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the differences between our two Baby Boomer presidential candidates.




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February 8, 2004

President Match

In case you were wondering where you stood on a particular issue, and what candidate is a good "match" ; here's a handy-dandy little tool that asks several questions about your stand on the issues, then matches your Baby Boomer sensibilities to one of the candidates (Republican, Democrat or "I'm feeling lucky") Give it a try here: Presidential Match




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January 30, 2004

Howard Dean Scream Re-mix

Howard Dean, known for leveraging the power of the Internet to raise both awareness and money, has now found himself the target of Internet Chaos Theory. According to MTV, Dean's recent impassioned entreaty to his supporters in Des Moines after a disappointing 3rd place finish, has been set to music by more than one enterprising techno-republican.

"One of the first remixes to surface, Jonathan Strong's "Dean Goes Nuts Remix" hosted by Right-Magazine.com, featured Dean's shrieking yowl set to Aphex Twin's frenetic electronic "Wax the Nip" from 1995's I Care Because You Do. The track has since been taken down due to bandwidth issues. With many pundits speculating that Dean's campaign has gone off the rails, it's no surprise that a remix with Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" has also made its way onto the Web. Other remixes include Dean paired with Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" and Lil Jon's "Throw It Up." MTV




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December 29, 2003

Social Security And Other Ways to Piss-Off Gen-X

Social Security (or a future lack of it) has been on the minds of Gen-X lately and 76 million Baby Boomers are to blame for the bleak picture. But Dave Lindorff writes in The American Prospect "...baby boomers, if united, have the numbers and the political clout to guard -- and even improve -- Social Security."

"...the sooner boomers realize that thanks to their growing political clout Social Security will be whatever they want it to be in years to come, the sooner they can rally to improve its financial condition, the easier needed reforms will be and the more they'll be able to demand from the system in the future. (Example: In 2042, it would take a 49 percent increase in the payroll tax to fund the projected benefits shortfall. Today, a tiny 1.9 percent rise in the payroll tax, split between employer and employee, would fund the system fully through 2075.) "

"Says Tom Hayden, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society and now a grizzled member of the California legislature: "'60s people were tempted, under [Bill] Clinton, to buy into the conservative warnings that Social Security might go bankrupt, and that maybe it should be privatized. But with the recent Enron scandals, I think perhaps they're getting religion regarding Social Security. I think that generation will be inclined now to fight to preserve it. At 63, I'm probably one of the oldest of the '60s generation, and I'm certainly starting to think about my Social Security retirement benefits."

And then, there's always the gloomy outlook for stocks... Newsday's Susan Harrigan writes "...some experts say the next generation, which numbers 10 million fewer than the boomers, will be unable to absorb all the investments sold by retiring boomers, causing prices to fall. The stock market began rising again last year after a three-year slump."




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November 30, 2003

Ain't No Boomer 'Care' in Medicare

Well, we've read everything we could find about the new Medicare bill, and the
New York Times is right, it's impossibly complex.

A few conclusions
--The prescription drug benefits benefit those who don't really need the help and the pharmaceutical companies.
--The Republican mantra of 'privatize, privatize, privatize' has found its way into the new policy. That means insurance companies and HMOs will have the real say on who's covered and for what. For example, they don't want to pay the high cost of carrying people with MS? Simple, they disallow most MS medications. Yeah--they can do that.
--We can't use the collective power of the US government to lower drug prices, we're going to pay large deductibles, and as a final insult, AARP, with only the best intentions no doubt, has turned on its own.

The only solace we got from reading the New York Times coverage was that, on the page opposite the article, there was a picture of our president petting a turkey. We're seeing some irony here.


24-bush-turkey.jpg





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November 22, 2003

5 Trillion Budget Deficit Looms for Boomers

The Committee for Economic Development, the Concord Coalition and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a joint policy briefing on Monday, September 29 at the National Press Club to discuss the rapidly deteriorating budget outlook and the policy, economic, and generational impact of rising long-term federal deficits.

The group is predicting a 5 trillion budget deficit and "with just a few years remaining before the Baby Boomers' retirement, the government is on course to squander its final opportunity to prepare for that event by reducing national debt.

The CED report is available here. (PDF download)




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November 21, 2003

Congress Fiscally Ignores Baby Boomers' Retirement

Some sobering and thoughtful insight into Congressional gridlock and its effect on the real issue of fiscal responsibility and Baby Boomer futures.

Commentary from www.nashvillecitypaper.com by Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts
November 07, 2003

The senior administration official allowed himself a rare burst of candor. The „biggest public policy fiscal issueš facing the country, he said at a background briefing, was the coming retirement of the baby boomers and their impact on Medicare and Social Security.

Ideas for dealing with the problem are plentiful, he added, but political will is not: "What's lacking is political leadership to translate those ideas into practice."

In fact, almost everything that is happening in Washington right now is making it harder for that "political leadership" to emerge, not easier.

The problem of the baby boomers is not a matter of guesswork or even debate. Every one of them who will leave the workforce in the next few years has already been born. So the persistent refusal of the political world to confront that fact is recklessly irresponsible.

Pressed on this point, the administration official insisted that it was unreasonable to expect the Bush administration to take on such a volatile question before next year's election. If we win a second term, he promised, "2005 will be the great test."

Fair enough. But the policies of President Bush and his Congressional allies will make that test even tougher, starting with their massive tax cuts. Most economists agree: those cuts have stimulated the economy in the short run but will explode budget deficits in the long run. And those deficits will make the retirement issue enormously more difficult to resolve.

Last month, a joint report by three sober-sided groups - the Committee for Economic Development, the Concord Coalition and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - estimated that if current policies are kept in place, the federal debt would rise by $5 trillion over the next decade. How do you fix Medicare and Social Security with that number staring you in the face?

The only debate regarding Medicare right now is how to expand benefits - by $400 billion for prescription drugs - not contract them.

But while fiscal discipline has collapsed, party discipline - and animosity - have increased dramatically. The tribal feuds and ancient grudges dominating Congress today make Capitol Hill look like Kabul or Baghdad, minus the car bombs.

The conference committees debating energy policy and drug benefits have excluded Democrats from their deliberations. The word is out: if the Democrats who have been named to the panels actually show up, the meetings will be cancelled.

When the Democrats controlled Congress did they act with overpowering arrogance? Absolutely. Is some payback justified? Of course.

But during the Democratic dominance, Republican leaders like Bob Michel in the House and Bob Dole in the Senate were always consulted, and always respected.

As one of those leaders told us recently, "you see a much harder edge" among Republicans than just a few years ago. And the Democrats have responded in kind, adopting the notion that the legislative process is a jihad, a holy war for political advantage, with no regard for the public interest.

All this comes at a time when the country, and the Congress, remains closely divided along partisan lines. In the latest ABC News poll, 46 percent of all voters identified with the Democrats and 45 percent with the Republicans.

As a result, the Democratic leader told us, both parties remain paralyzed by the fear that "any misstep or accommodation" will swing control of the Congress to the other party. In fact, the leader predicted, nothing will happen until there is "a crisis of such proportions it cannot be ignored."

One thing is certain: that crisis will happen. What's not certain is whether the political leadership will respond effectively. So far, they're only making matters worse.




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October 15, 2003

One Picture is Worth a Thousand Laughs

49535216576.jpg
I'm still laughing at the star-struck, cross-eyed look on Bush's face. Could the United States be more of a laughing stock for the rest of the world?

Proof once again that if you're Republican and don't like the result of the vote, just find a way to have yourself appointed.




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October 7, 2003

Boomer Poll 10-03

Our recently ended poll asked if Germany and France should have a voice in the reconstruction of Iraq. Here are the results:

Yes: 66
No: 115
Undecided: 6

Our new poll asks: "Will you have enough money when it comes time to retire?"
Vote in the Boomer Poll on the left sidebar.




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September 6, 2003

Oh Those Krazy Democrats

The assembled multitude of Democratic presidential contenders were going for "big air" Thursday night as they collectively bashed Bush on his foreign policy. But while they were only nipping at the heels of national politics over on PBS, Bush was feeding the big dog with Brittany and Aerosmith.

What mental giant puts the entire Democratic slate on PBS opposite the NFL kcik-off show - complete with a message from the god-fearin', football-lovin', flag-wavin' president?

All is not lost though, chances are good that the Dems will be inviited to deliver the opening statement prior to the first English League soccer game over on channel 237.




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August 11, 2003

Blast Off! Gen-X Talks Back

Is this any way to talk about their elders? Seems Gen-Xers really do think it's all our fault and that they'll foot the bill. Considering that baby boomers pay 58% of the taxes in this country, they better stop whining or we'll cut off their allowance. See what you think.

From FoxNews
Thursday, July 31, 2003
By Radley Balko

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.š -- Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1742-1813), Scottish jurist and historian, professor of Universal History at Edinburgh University.

"Don't trust anyone over thirty," -- 1960s radical Jack Weinberg.

Message to my fellow Gen-Xers: Lace up your boots. Shave that God-awful dot-com goatee. And stop sulking about how you hung onto those stock options just a wee bit too long. It's time for inter-generational war. We're about to be blindsided, Pearl-Harbored, politically cold-cocked by our generational nemesis.

I'm talking about the baby boomers.

Don't get me wrong, some of my best parents are baby boomers. But the most self-aware, self-congratulatory, and self-destructive generation in American history is aging. Boomers are catching faint glimpses of their own mortality. They're beginning to see themselves in nursing homes, convalescent centers and retirement communities. And so the generation that introduced us to political identity groups and the culture of victimization now sees itself as an identity group, and an aging generation of victims. And now they want entitlements.

Keep reading "Blast Off! Gen-X Talks Back" >>


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July 31, 2003

Baby Boomer Politics and the Blog

One of the things I love about the Internet today is the proliferation of web logs (blogs). For many, it's the quintessential 15 minutes of fame we all seek. More importantly, it has become an open forum for the expression of political views. But as we've mentioned here before, if you get caught up in the endless linking from one blog to another, you come away with a rather one-sided view of the world.

Here's an interesting political blog that features Democrat, Republican and Independant opinion on the same page. It's very interesting to see political views side by side, and I might add, a nice way to make up your own mind about party spin on the upcoming election. Give it a look.

WatchBlog




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July 25, 2003

Baby Boomers, The Silent Internet Majority

Earlier this week we wrote a comment on the new White House e-mail system. Essentially, the Bush administration has made it much more difficult to communicate with the President by forcing comment through a contorted trail of web pages (you can no longer send e-mail to president @whitehouse.gov). Designed to pre-filter comments into pro/con and further into selected categories, the new system appears to be an attempt to dump comment into convenient buckets.

While White House staffers may find it easier to tabulate e-mail on various subjects (perhaps for the purpose of providing quick polling numbers) they forgot that the medium is the message... or more precisely perhaps, they never understood the Internet in the first place. In fact, the White House servers were hit with an unintentional denial of service (DOS) attack as the curious rushed to see the new system.

While the White House is trying to understand the chaos, Howard Dean, the ex-Vermont Govenor/democtatic presidential candidate is embracing it. Dean's various web-based outlets have been responsible for over 70,000 contributions and 60,000 volunteers. His strategy is playing to an Internet savvy (read Gen-X) audience who understand the essential viral power (read, web logs).

Keep reading "Baby Boomers, The Silent Internet Majority" >>


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July 19, 2003

Does Bush Get IT?

As if invading Iraq on questionable justification, granting oil and reconstruction rights to his oil buddies or opening up National Forests to his logging buddies wasn't enough, now Bush has taken a step backwards by making it nearly impossible to comment on any of these shenanigans.

And according to The Register an article in the New York Times describing the new e-mail system has resulted in a Denial of Service attack on the White House website.

"The President's revamped mailbox has been hit with a denial-of-service attack, as users rushed to see if the White House's e-mail system is as awful as billed. "

"John Markoff at The New York Times wrote an article describing the new "hide the e-mail" policy instituted by the White House, and users have reacted in force. In the good old days, citizens could make a simple plea to president@whitehouse.gov. Critical times, however, call for more complicated measures, and the White House has now set up a multi-stage process to e-mail the President. "

I admit, I was one of those users early this morning that rushed to the new system to see how it worked. Just my little contribution, George, to the economic, social and now Internet chaos you've created.





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June 2, 2003

Timberrrrrrrrrr

The economy sucks, we have the largest national debt ever and Bush wants to open up Alaskan oilfields for his Big Oil Cronies.

Now, under the guise of wildfire prevention, George II wants to open up our forests to the Big Timber industry.

I was born at night but not last night, George.

Of everything that came out of the 60's and 70's I'm most proud of our generation's efforts to construct a national environmental policy. Granted the government, in creating the EPA, has all but dilluted those ideals, but this latest environmental attack by the Bush administration is an affront to our nation's wilderness and a profit-motivated scam.

If you're sitting out there buying all this opportunistic Bush rhetoric, consider a second opinion before you blindly support this flawed and far-reaching legislation.

Statement on President Bush's Announcement Concerning Wildfire Legislation
By William H. Meadows, President, The Wilderness Society

May 20, 2003 (Washington, DC) - "Keeping people safe and protecting homes must be the first and most important priority for any wildfire policy. We share the concern of all Americans that every effort is made to protect the safety of those threatened by wildfires, and for the men and women who risk their lives to protect our communities. We know what needs to be done. Now we need to roll up our sleeves, get to work, and protect these communities.

Universal agreement already exists that making homes firewise and creating a defense space around communities will dramatically improve homeowner and firefighter safety. The highest responsibility of any elected official is to provide for the safety and security of our citizens. At a time when we urgently need to focus on protecting communities from wildfires, it is wrong to entertain proposals that would weaken environmental protections and encourage logging in the backcountry, far from threatened homes.

The President's wildfire bill cynically uses the emotion of wildfires to promote an agenda that science and research have repeatedly shown have no merit and little to do with wildfire safety. The bill fails on three counts. First, it does not focus efforts on improving the safety of people, homes, and communities at risk from wildfires this summer. Second, the bill is based on flawed assumptions that have been directly contradicted by three independent studies. Third, the measure unnecessarily weakens environmental safeguards and the right to public participation.

During the past several wildfire seasons, the President, several Members of Congress, and the timber industry have been quick to blame conservationists for obstructing wildfire prevention efforts. For the second time in two years, however, a study by the General Accounting Office has demonstrated that wildfire prevention efforts are not hampered by the public comment and appeals process. The findings of the two GAO reports strongly support an independent Northern Arizona University report issued this April.

The President's bill stands in direct contrast to two better approaches, one by Rep. George Miller and the other by the Western Governors' Association. These measures focus on protecting people, homes, and communities. The Miller bill, for example, would provide funds for fuel reduction on private, state and tribal land -- which comprise 85 percent of the forested land near vulnerable communities -- as well as on federal lands. The Governors ten-year plan released last year, with the participation of The Wilderness Society, also is based on the fundamental principle that resources for wildfire prevention should be prioritized first on where it makes the most difference: in the Community Protection Zone. Nowhere in the Governors' plan was there any mention of changing or repealing environmental laws or restricting access to the courts, as is the case with the President's bill."




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May 27, 2003

Bush II Pulls Out His Visa Card

Baby Boomers who have witnessed decades of deficit spending are once again faced with the largest national debt in history. Just when you thought it couldn't get any larger... out comes the national credit card.

22-toon.jpg

By Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun, for USA TODAY, May 23.




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April 18, 2003

Baby Boomers Say "No Nukes"

Our most recent poll asked whether or not Boomers thought the US should use nuclear weapons in respons to a chemical or bilolgical attack by Saddam. Of 111 votes, roughly 60% (66) said "No Nukes." The pro-nukes clicked in at 35 votes and the undecided accounted for 10 votes.

Our latest poll asks if Germany, France and the UN should have a major roll in rebuilding Iraq.

Cast your vote in the left sidebar.




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March 30, 2003

Infomercial War

It's unlikely that there is a Baby Boomer alive who hasn't, even briefly, been mesmerized by the late-night infomercials. They're the 21st century offspring of patent medicine road shows. They have become so much a part of our national psyche that George Bush II has used the same techniques to sell this war.

My BS detector was honed at an early age. After saving what seemed like millions of Bazooka comics, I dutifully sent my collection off in anxious anticipation of receiving the incredible diving submarine. What arrived was a three inch long piece of plastic that vaguely resembled a submarine. Powered by baking soda (or baking powder, I can never remember which) the theory was that as the soda reacted with vinegar, gas was produced and the sub would rise and fall. Yeah, right.

During the Viet Nam War, Johnson convinced me the US was winning the war, and just a few more bombs and a few thousand more troops would tip the scale. Yeah, right.

Later, Reagan convinced me we needed a multi-billion dollar "star wars" defense system that he said would stop Soviet missiles in the upper regions of the atmosphere. Yeah, right.

Now, like the rube that I am, Bush II has taken a page out of the Billy Mays School of Salesmanship and convinced me that we not only need a war with Iraq, but has assured me it would be a quick and decisive victory. "Vicious Dictators magically disappear with just an ounce or two of 'Shock and Awe.'" Yeah, right.

My father fought in France and Germany during WWII. Watching the pictures from Iraq must be giving him nightmares about snipers in every window, ambushes around every corner and Hitler Youth with machine guns. Viet Nam Vets are probably having chilling flashbacks to booby traps and underground rat's nests.

Now, my BS detector is flashing red at regular intervals.

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who as recent as a few days was taking credit for the war plan, recently said, "The war plan is Tom Franks's war plan." Who the heck is Tommy Franks anyway? Perhaps Don's very own BS set off his personal BS detector. Does the Pentagon have a customer service department? I'd like to call and complain that the product doesn't live up to the claims.

Infomercials often invite a "celebrity guest" to support claims, so the administration dusted off Dick Chaney who said Saddam's regime would "fall like a house of cards." Dick hasn't been heard from since. Probably playing Rummy in some "undisclosed location."

We're not talking about soap powder or magic diet pills here. We're talking about our boys and girls in the Iraqi desert slogging it out house to house against the 2003 version of SS divisions and Hitler Youth. Add to that taxi-driving homicide bombers and you have a clue to what it's going to be like when we roll up to the gates of Baghdad.

I'm not advocating we get out of Iraq. We've already made that commitment. I'm suggesting the government stop treating us like 10-year-olds and realize that 76 million Baby Boomers have seen and heard it all before. If patriotism is the currency, I'm only spending what I have to until we get some straight talk and some good old fashioned inspiration.

Lt. Gen. William Wallace, the top man on the front lines said, "The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against," That line should be read as the ubiquitous disclaimer prior to every Pentagon infomercial.






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March 23, 2003

Retro Political Humor

These "nostaglic" posters are the cat's meow for all you retro political jokesters out there. The two above are just a sample of the 20 or so available at The Whitehouse.org.

And as if that weren't enough, take a trip into the sixties with PSYCHEDELIC REPUBLICANS:THE COMPLETE TRADING CARD SET! You guessed it, your favorite Republicans in groovy "action photos" complete with personal "stats."


Posted by Pete at March 23, 2003 07:57 PM


Comments

btw - love your domain name :-)

Posted by: The Dynamic Driveler on March 24, 2003 01:24 PM

"aging hipsters" is a line from Austin Powers... my hero.

Posted by: Pete on March 24, 2003 01:46 PM



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March 17, 2003

Gulf War II

It's difficult to be rational over the impending Gulf War II. As Ann Florini, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has studied protest movements, points out: "There is this attitude that anyone who disagrees with you is unpatriotic or evil. We have gotten into a confrontational media culture where it's all about scoring debate points, not illuminating policy options," Florini says. "The pundits who should be doing the most to elevate the debate are doing the most to lower it. (quoted from 3-6-2003 issue of USA Today)

I was recently trapped in an endless loop of pro-war blogs, each more virulent than the next. Those of you who know and follow personal blogging understand this - and it is opinion after all - so bloggers shouldn't feel compelled to offer counterpoints. But the same thing Florini points out with the mainstream media is aplified on the web. What's worse, they don't pretend offer an open forum. The very nature of hyperlinking insures that opposing views don't get a voice. Cleverness in maligning the opposition seems to be the coin of the realm.

Neither is there moderation in the daily mudslinging from either side. What's worse, there doesn't seem to be any reasonable voice offering even another view. It's left, right and a huge void in the middle. But let me predict for a moment what will happen the day we invade: Public opinion will soar in favor of war (more precisely, in favor of supporting our troops.) This isn't too hard to predict, but what's lost in all this rhetoric is the underlying politics.

While starting a war will give Bush instant support, he has himself in a real pickle. He's run off any hope of a coalition, he's handed the despot Saddam "peace" rallies and human shields and has sent the economy into the toilet. His approval rating is headed downward and judging from his father's experience, he shouldn't mistake support for an ongoing war with long-term support for anything else, especially the economy. Call it a temporary suspension of opinion in favor of patriotism.

What will motivate the vast middle (and relegate extreme views back to the lunatic fringes) is the pocketbook. Clinton campaigned and won on economic issues against a popular President who had won a decisive victory in Iraq. He was able to beat the economic drum once again when running for his second term. In fact, Clinton didn't win a second term, the economy did. Voters were generally happy with their economic condition and decided not to upset the economic apple cart. It could have been any President, but Clinton happened to be in office.

Granted 9/11 alters the playing field, but once this war is over, the focus will be on the economy. This time, the current Bush is going to need a miracle to turn it around. War, especially a decisive one, will quickly turn our collective gaze on the sorry state of our economy, and he'll be hard pressed to find solutions with an election so close. And with an enraged and vocal middle struggling to find a paycheck, Bush's right-leaning policies will sink the US deeper into an economic battleground.

It's not about war. Even the most ardent opponents must surely agree that Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction have to be dealt with. We either do this now, or risk a Middle East nuclear power with a madman on the button.

As Baby Boomers, we're old enough to remember our high school classmates coming home in body bags. Viet Nam puts an historical perspective on any war and because we remember, we need to be convinced of the need for war. Bush hasn't convinced a lot of people and his mishandling of our allies and the poor job he has done in selling this war has created opposition where none should exist.

If he tries to sell his economic measures the way he's gone about selling this war, he's in for some tough political times.

"It's about the economy, stupid."




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March 1, 2003

A New Dean

deans.jpg
You might know two of the three above, but the third isn't a household name...yet.

"Howard Dean is running for president as Jimmy Stewart. The buttoned-down Democrat begins campaign speeches by conceding to his audience, 'You don't know me,' before describing his transformation from medical doctor to Vermont's five-term governor.

Instead of jetting around the country on chartered planes, Dean flies coach on Southwest Airlines and JetBlue. Known for padding around his governor's office with holes in his socks and plain, well-worn suits, this frugal contender for the highest office in the free world avoids $450 hotel suites on his travels, preferring to bunk at the homes of supporters, even though it often means being shoehorned into kids' quarters. When he comes to New York, as he does often these days, he stays at his mom's place." More (New York Magazine) >

And for good measure, Mo!





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January 26, 2003

George's War

It seems not only is Bush willing to go pick a fight, but he's ready to go it alone.

I have 20 year old twin sons and my perspective on war hasn't changed in 30 years. But with "cannon fodder" aged sons, voicing my opinions against war takes on a whole new meaning.

I can't bear the thought of them going off to fight in some foreign country so fat-cat lawyers and accountants can drive a 10 MPG SUV.

It IS about economics. And from what I've seen, Bush has done a horrible job... taking over a healthy economy and turning it into crap in a matter of a couple of years.

So George, if you want a fight, I suggest you start at home.



Posted by Pete at January 26, 2003 09:05 AM


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I really feel for you. Really I do. My dear brother was K.I.A. in Vietnam 40 years ago!! Our mother never really got over loosing her first born. She did loved him so, and still does. He was my big brother, and I still feel him watching over me. But damn-it...that's not good enough!! I want Harold here, NOW with us!!!

When my Godson got married this fall, we were all sitting with our fingers crossed and prayers on our lips that he, would not be called. Thank God he wasn't. But I know that many were...I prayed for all those nameless faces also. One side of my family 'lucked' out, and was not called. The other side sent four young men. Again, thank God they came home seemingly unharmed. But what if something sets them off in 10 or 20 years?

I have always maintained that the leaders of the two countries that are at odds, should be locked in a padded room. Let them work it out, or let the best one win!!! This form of reasoning may very well have it's place. If they think that they may very well loose the fight so to speak, I don't think that they will be so fast to come out shooting!

Please, my prayers and good wishes I send to your sons, and to the many thousands of other unknowns. And yes, there is an Iranian family that lost their sons, or whole families! I pray
for them also. Bin Laden involved another country (Afganistan)in his EVIL war. The Afganiaistans didn't kick him out or imprison him. Now they have paid for it. But they are
mothers and fathers and siblings. They love them as we love ours. That should never be taken away from them.

Peace and blessings for your sons and for all others.

In Gods Name;
Trudi

Posted by: Trudi on May 13, 2003 11:33 PM



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The attack of Sept 11

The attack of Sept 11 had the potential to cripple the American spirit, drain our resources, and strike a death blow to an already uncertain economy. As almost all hope for survivors has waned and the people of the country begin to figure out how to pick up any threads of a normal life, we watch themountains of debris lessen day by day, watch the military response.

We give blood, give supplies, give donations, give help anywhere we can. But, watching the stock market this week, I begin to wonder if the terrorist attack may have accomplished one of its goals: the market bore its biggest losses ever just at the time we need to believe in the US economy.

Reports, perhaps substantiated, have been coming in reporting that, right before Sept. 11, there was a vigorous surge in options and short selling of United States airline companies and insurance companies stock. Soone could reasonably assume that, not only did the terrorists destroy so much - they profited - making millions of dollars to support their actions. Millions of OUR dollars.

After thinking about all this, I had an idea that could prove our solidarity as a country, keep us from sliding into a recession and in the long run, make this country even stronger and more resolved to fight terrorism.

Here's the plan:

Now that the stock market has re-opened, call your stock broker or go online and spend however much you can affordon some shares of stock in AMERICAN companies. If you recently received a tax refund, why not take that few hundred dollars and invest in our economy?

Can you imagine the result if no one sells and millions of Americans buy? I know you've worked hard for that your money, but if we all do this - whether it's fifty dollars or five hundred dollars - we can not only send a message, but play a real role in shoring up the economy rightnow.

We can band together in an unbreakable chain of investors pouring billions into the stock market. We have the chance right now to take control of our financial destiny and come out of this stronger and more resolved than ever.

The result will be more money to the government, more money in our pockets, solid retirement funds and a sense of pride in knowing YOU were able to help this country in its time of greatest need. INVEST in our future NOW.




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Recent poll results

Our most recent poll indicates readers here have a certain skepticism toward Social Security's liquidity. Of 419 votes, over 60% said they did not believe there would be enough money in Social Security when it comes time for them to retire. The remainder were split evenly between "Yes" and "Maybe"




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