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Friday, April 27, 2007

Hating Hillary

Clearly, Hillary and her advisors have calculated that for a woman to be elected in this country, she’s got to come across as just as tough as the guys. And maybe they’re right. But so far, Hillary is not getting men with this strategy, and women feel written off. After the dark ages of this pugnacious administration, many of us want to let the light in. We want a break with the past, optimism, and a recommitment to the government caring about and serving the needs of everyday people. We want what feminism began to fight for 40 years ago—humanizing deeply patriarchal institutions. And, ironically, we see candidates like John Edwards or Barack Obama—men—offering just that. If Hillary Clinton wants to be the first female president, then maybe, just maybe, she should actually run as a woman

"Why Women Hate Hillary"
In These Times

Boomers and bankruptcy

Americans over the age of 55 are filing for bankruptcy at a faster rate than the general population as growing mortgage debt and higher health-care costs make them more vulnerable, a new study shows.

The trend of rising bankruptcies among older Americans is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, according to the study's authors, John Golmant and Tom Ulrich, researchers at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

"Baby Boomers Filing for Bankruptcy At a Higher Rate"
Sun Herald (Mississippi)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Aging boomers fuel unsettling youth obsession

If sexiness weren't precious, we wouldn't mind that it evaporates, but we do. So how bizarre that we're all complicit in a popular culture that increasingly — and perversely — defines sexy as a category you age out of somewhere in your 20s.

We have all sorts of major societal initiatives under way to protect children from sexual predators. At the same time, we're trying to convince the biggest cohort of Americans ever to hit retirement age that 60 is just the new 45. And meanwhile, the pop culture is busy defining the age of sexiness downward, past the age of legal consent. We're headed for a paradox where the only people perfect enough to be sexy are too young to have sex. Isn't culture interesting?

"As Boomer Age, Sexiness Is Being Defined Young"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Monday, April 23, 2007

In Australia: boomers dumb down military history

This flood of material should theoretically contribute to better knowledge and understanding, but there is scant evidence of that. For example, Hollywood has done its best over recent years to convince the rising generation, among other things, that the 13th century Scottish patriot William Wallace had a highly unlikely affair with a French princess (Braveheart) or that Americans rather than the British captured an code machine from a German U-boat (U-571) even though the actual event took place months before the United States entered the war.

And despite the huge volume of factual reports about the present war in Iraq, public opinion surveys in the United States show that many Americans still believe weapons of mass destruction were actually found in Iraq. Who knows what the same survey would show in Australia or Europe.

"Military Myths Help Nation-Building-But Is That Enough?"
On-Line Opinion (Australia)

So much for the fitness craze: boomers in bad shape

Data from the Health and Retirement Study, has shown that baby boomers born between 1948 and 1953 were less likely than their parents to describe their health as "very good" or "excellent, and a growing body of evidence suggests that the 'baby boomer' generation are more likely to report chronic aches and pains, as well as high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

The researchers say many of these ailments parallel a number of unhealthy nationwide trends, such as obesity, physical inactivity and higher stress levels, which exacerbate cholesterol and blood pressure problems.

"Baby Boomers Do a Lot More Whingeing"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tony Soprano: typical boomer leader

In a broader sense, The Sopranos is about male baby-boomer American leadership in an age of irreconcilable demands and diminished expectations. As a Mob boss and a family man, Tony is caught between what he is and what he imagines himself to be. He cannot muster the stoicism the past demanded of men nor the sensitivity the present does. He whines to his therapist and "goes about in pity" for himself (the quote is from an Ojibwe proverb that Tony reads and that he believes applies only to other people), yet he longs for the days when men were strong and silent like Gary Cooper. He's a hotheaded brute who imagines himself, as he says, a cool "captain-of-industry type." He longs for the patriarchal prerogatives of bosses before him yet feels obligated to be faithful to his wife--or at least to try, kind of, once in a while.

"The End of the Soprano Administration"

Investor eyes decrepit boomers

Can it be true? Can the generation that has arguably lived with the greatest improvement in living standards of the modern age actually be weaker than its worked-to-the-bone predecessor? If this research is correct, and baby boomers are indeed less healthy than their parents, it suggests a few interesting investing themes for Fools.

"Quick Take: Which Bet on Busted Boomers?"
Motley Fool

LTE: reader envisions payback to boomers

I can’t say that I know the whole story of the defeat of the Belvidere school referendum. However, I have an observation for some of the Belvidere boomers who are happy their taxes didn’t go up.

As a Gen Xer, I will find it absolutely hilarious in 10 to 15 years, when these kids will be working and will form the foundation of the tax base.

What will they do when the government needs to increase taxes to support all of the boomers’ little perks like health care, Social Security and prescription drug programs? It will be kind of like football and the chess club, but on a grander scale. Then, we will tell the same people who voted down the referendum to kiss our collective working-class behinds.

"Boomers Let Us Down"
Rockford Register Star (Illinois)