Thursday, May 11, 2017

AGEISM -- SHARKS -- FREE PRESS

Where has the time gone?    Mid-April after my last post here I simply focused on completing my federal and state income taxes to submit before the due date.    Then I became engrossed with other life activities and I see weeks have flown by.  Here are a few matters that have currently caught my interest. 

SWIMMING FUN?                                           
Local Los Angeles TV news accounts and videos at some of our Southern California area beaches report unusual numbers of sharks, including the Great Whites, in the waters – as many as fifteen adults and young ones at Long Beach today – only 50 yards from the shore.     Mostly they’ve not been aggressive but a vicious attack on a young woman last week at San Onofre beach has increased concern.  

Aggressive shark behaviors that bring swimmers out of the water and prompt beach closings occur when they bump a surfer’s board, or more seriously as reported today, one shark was circling the surfer.   We’re told it’s best to swim where there are lots of people since sharks presence in the waters are of greater concern at more remote beaches.  

CLIMATE WARMING?
We actually had snow down to 4000 ft level in the mountains a few days ago – highly unusual – but this couldn’t possibly be indicative of any climate changes or warming as some our illustrious federal government leaders and other luddite-type skeptics tell us.

AGEISM?
An enjoyable evening comes to mind which I shared with a number of younger adults aged thirties or forties to sixties.     In conversation I had revealed my age when describing a birthday celebration with my children.   Not long after I was startled to be asked by a middle-aged member of the group, "Are you still driving?"  I responded "Yes".    This was unrelated to anything under discussion and the conversation moved on to other topics.  

Later after I returned home that question came to mind and I thought, why wouldn’t I still be driving?   I have my mind, vision, hearing and physical abilities.   I wish I had thought quickly enough to say, “Yes” – adding – “Are you?”    I think the individual revealed a stereotypical bias based on age – an expectation that anyone my age couldn’t, or shouldn’t, drive.  

Driving ability, like so many other matters, is a highly individual skill.  What age each of us reach when we cease being safe competent drivers can vary widely.   I would rue the day when an age would arbitrarily be selected to define when a person had to cease driving. 

MORE BETRAYALS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE
Our present U.S. Administration continues actions that are counter to the best interests of ordinary citizens and much more in favor of the wealthy few.   Those of you paying attention can likely identify some of those acts, too.  More are slated to come.  One of the most egregious is the Trump Health Care bill the House of Representatives passed.  Will those affected remember when voting in 2018 and 2020?  

Our President continues to figuratively thumb his nose at the American people by refusing to reveal his income tax information to clearly establish he has no conflicts of interest.  

Absence of transparency with the legitimate American Press often continues to be a hallmark of our leader -- partly because the mainstream Press also report truth which is frequently contrary to our leader’s characteristic promotion of obvious flagrant alternate facts.  

Did you see our President laughing with the Russians when they met which only Russian press was allowed to cover -- insultingly excluding any U.S. Media in further efforts to discredit any outlet that has reported facts rather than Trump alternate truths -- a classic tactic associated with dictator wanna-bes, just as occurs in Russia, Turkey, other such nations.

Should we just ignore the continuing flagrant promotion of our leader’s family members businesses -- violating ethical behavior with these adults offering the equivalent of, “Gee, I didn’t know….” it wouldn’t be ethical to promote a connection to our nation’s leader – also saying you get special access to the U.S.?

DEMOCRATIC  REPUBLIC  AT RISK?
Our Democratic Republic continues to require persistent resistance against forces that would alter our form of government by solidifying power in the executive branch as other branches are gradually compromised, legitimate news media discounted.  

Israel’s leader (click link) seems to have chosen to address news dissension in his nation much as dictators do – by suppressing other points of view, even actual facts.    Our U.S. leader’s actions suggest he also aspires to allowing only his alternate facts in our news, also – his taking control of information distribution.   

There’s much to be concerned about in light of the recent firing of the FBI Director.  Our government systems checks and balances are being systematically whittled away.   Hopefully the Senate and other investigations will be able to either complete their work as needed, or an independent special prosecutor will be appointed to determine the facts about any Russia and Trump campaign relationships,  plus wherever else that might lead. 

We may need government whistleblowers now as we’ve never needed them before.  

Most recently we see how fragile democracy can be as Turkey’s leader has consolidated the once promise of democracy under his centralized power – much like Russia’s dictator Putin who calls himself, President.   
  
French voters have refreshingly survived the onslaught of populism and nationalism in Europe.   Now, the young politically inexperienced just-elected leader without a political party must meet his citizens expectations.    He will likely have to turn to Germany for support since our U.S. leader is not one to emulate if the new French leader seeks the values which have been those of our nation and which most of our populace still embrace.   

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MOTHER’S DAY THOUGHTS on the link -- scroll down to Sun., May 11.     



24 comments:

  1. The president is turning our country into a dangerous joke and yet he still has his fans who will defend him to the end. He's not happy unless he does or says something outrageous to keep his name in the media so we take our eyes off how his raping the country.

    I would have been shocked to be asked about still driving at our ages. I hope I can remember your comeback when someone asks me that question.

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    1. The driving question came from a health care professional which was even more startling to me -- even those who should know better can have their prejudices -- as they age, so will their perspective I expect.

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  2. It seems a daily occurrence, now, where I wonder when he is going to be tarred and feathered. Why are we Americans allowing #45 to do what he's doing?

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    1. I think it's because we're trying to follow the letter of the law, giving him the benefit of the doubt and seeking the real truth, not alternate ones.

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  3. Glad you're back!

    My mother--87--is not driving, at the insistence of me and my three siblings. She was a terrific driver (taught all four of us well), but she has compromised mobility, and we were concerned about her reaction time from gas to brake. I'm glad you are still a safe and vigilant driver.

    I've all but given up on the republican-driven congress having the country's best interest topmost. They are sacrificing the entire nation for their party's control, period. How much more corruption do they need to see paraded in front of them? Nepotism, conflict of interest, collusion with foreign government, undue influence, interference with a federal election, the list is truly endless. I don't understand why we are being sold out in such a shameful way.

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    1. The safety concern for your mother's driving sounds like a matter you seriously considered -- sometimes a difficult one for the driver and family. There are professional assessments for an individual's functional level besides just a licensing driving test that can be administered by some members of a rehabilitation team such as an Occupational Therapist that can sometimes be obtained.

      I, too, am concerned that more Republican Congresspersons are slow to speak up on behalf of our nation's best interests. I hope they pay attention to the views of all of their constituency -- that voters remember their actions or inactions to safeguard our form of government in coming elections.

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  4. I am 74 and quite often am asked the same question about driving and I have the presence of mind to ask what you did not! I have had enough practice.

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    1. Good for you! I'll be prepared with a response should I be asked again, based solely on my age, by someone who has no idea what my functional skill level is.

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  5. This pot is now boiling over...it is only a matter of time. More Americans are shocked and angry than accepting.

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    1. I certainly hope more Americans are realizing what may be at stake for our country.

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  6. There's been some debate in the British media recently, after some nasty accidents, about older drivers and whether they're still fit to drive. To renew our driving licence, we oldies only have to self-declare our medical fitness, with no need for a GP's confirmation. One survey found that a large percentage of older drivers actually have deficient eyesight but have never reported it. It's been suggested that opticians should be obliged to report anyone whose eyesight isn't up to driving safely.

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  7. Interesting, as the topic often arises here, too, after some wicked accidents with an older driver involved. Periodically talk has been of setting a specific age -- think one time it was 80 -- for terminating a driving license. In California I have annual eye exam and Dr. says my vision continues to be appropriate for driving, but seeing a Dr. isn't a requirement. I know not everyone has vision insurance coverage or has regular vision check. Our driving license bureau requires in person renewals which includes reading an eye chart plus written test. License person could require actual driving demonstration if the person seeking renewal aroused concern.

    I know research studies have shown older people have slower reaction times, but I don't know of any specific assessment made of that aspect by the licensing office unless concern is aroused in their interactions and observations of the applicant renewing. We are asked to report any medical changes but that's voluntary. Statistics in U.S. show more accidents are caused by teenagers than older people, so perhaps there needs to be some focus on that age group, too. Of course, the worst offenders of any age are those who have been drinking alcohol and now with the legalization of marijuana there's concern the numbers will increase. Often unlicensed drivers plus those who don't carry auto insurance, all of any age, are prominent in accidents and leaving the scene of accidents. I think often the latter group are composed of a high number of people who have been drinking or using drugs and they're trying to avoid the additional charges, possible incarceration, their condition would
    incur. Since tech emerged, drivers of all ages distracted by their cell phone usage, despite that being banned, cause many accidents.

    No easy answers, but I am, and always have been opposed, even when I was much younger, to arbitrarily selecting a license cutoff age. Refining assessment requirements for determining a driver's skills and safety for themselves and others at all ages, including older drivers, is certainly appropriate, I believe.

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  8. I am 82 and at his time feel comfortable driving locally.
    At 80 stopped driving to big city to pick up grandchildren.
    With recent falls not the best for the last year I have had to have someone drive me occasionally. At this time when I do
    not feel comfortable doing something - I do not do it.
    Always stretched myself, but not as much lately.

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    1. Sounds like you're wise about determining when and where to drive.

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  9. Hi. Good to have another one of your thoughtful entries. I turned 84 in February and am still driving. I don't take the long distance rides anymore but that's more because I don't trust my 2001 car than my driving abilities. If I break down near home I have 2 sons to call on !

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    1. I think most older drivers do adjust their driving activities as may be necessary. Glad you have family nearby for assistance if needed.

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  10. Yes, I'm still driving, and I have a totally different view of our political situation. I voted for Trump and would do so again. No I am not fond of some of his remarks, but he is first and foremost a businessman, something we have needed for a long time now. We must relearn to help ourselves, and our neighbors, it is not for the government to do. Wailing about him, helps no one. MAGA

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Your point of view is welcome here. Freedom to civilly express ourselves without fear of retribution is what America is about. I didn't recognize the acronym at the end of your comment so Google searched the Urban Dictionary which listed several meanings. FWIW I never agreed with the false assumption that America was not great. Certainly there have always been challenges to make our nation better. However, every decade and century America has been great in differing ways and has continued to be so IMHO.

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  11. I am totally in agreement with your entire post. I have a dear friend whose right hip does not allow her to brake consistently so she gave up driving. She didn't feel safe using her left leg to brake. I admire her for doing that although the hip problem is the only thing that would inhibit her ability.

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    1. That sounds like a very wise action on your friend's part. Years ago my mother had a friend who was deliberating if she should give up driving, then did. I think most older people do exercise appropriate judgement about giving up driving. There are many alternative means for transportation in many communities from volunteers to reduced cost modes. I do recognize there are instances when some drivers do require intervention to give up driving for their own and others safety. There are ways in which this situation can be addressed.

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  12. First of all, I want to thank you for coming over to Marmelade Gypsy! I really appreciated your visit and your comment.

    As for the rest of your post? Well, it sure is good to find a kindred spirit in Blogland! It saddens me that so many people don't recognize what is happening to our country. It's the embarrassment of the world stage. I can only hope things will change, though every day brings something new and shocking. You state the points most eloquently.

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    1. Appreciate your visit and comment. Yes, every day seems to bring "something new and shocking" -- today issues have emerged raising the question as whether or not the President has engaged in obstruction of justice.

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  13. Have you seen this Joared? http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/video-suggests-trump-suffering-alzheimers
    It may explain a lot.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. No, I hadn't seen this specific article. Thanks for the link.

      I've intentionally not written about any observations I've had about President Trump's language, communication, cognitive behaviors since I would want to withhold comment without having made a formal evaluation in those areas. Medical professionals could then consider any findings from such examination with their evaluations for diagnosis. I believe I would be professionally remiss to do otherwise, as assessing any individual's functions has major ramifications on that person's life and that of others. I would not want to speculate in such a public forum.

      The Ronald Reagan situation mentioned in the link does reveal how subtle and gradual the onset of dementia symptoms can be -- years before an individual is formally diagnosed. We are left to consider his status during some of his presidential years.

      Alzheimer's caregivers often describe the day to day experience. A couple eloquent spousal writers doing just that have links on my side bar: "One of Life's Little Surprises" and "Alice in Memoryland" which I highly recommend for the clarity, realistic writing, tempered with coping mechanisms and optimism they each express about living in their unpredictable world.

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