Tuesday, May 31, 2016

You Have the Time…

Photo: totalwomenscycling.com
… To Change the World

Boomer generation people are among the first in history to live long enough to not only retire but retire in good health.

“We’re going to see something we’ve never seen before—people in their 60s, 70s and 80s who want to continue working and remain connected.”*

Youth may be wasted on the young, but now you have the freedom of “retirement years” to accomplish those things you wanted to do when you were young but put aside to make a paycheck, have your children and take care of your family.

Please consider doing something you’ve put off doing. You have the time, the health, the knowledge and experience to do it now.

Let’s make our world a better place to live.

Please go here for more.

“The aging of America is not the crisis that is often portrayed in the media or even in scholarly papers,” says Richard Johnson, an economist and senior fellow at the Urban Institute, in Washington, D.C, who, along with a growing number of social scientists, is helping redefine what it means to be old. The rise in cases of age-related illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia is a real and urgent problem. But it’s not the whole story. “Today’s seniors are healthier, better educated, and more productive than ever,” Johnson says. “The challenge we face is finding ways to harness their talents.”

* Retiring Retirement, Linda Marsa, Nautilus, 26 May 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Why Not Try to Stop the Killing?

For me Memorial Day is about Peace. It's about most Vet's desire to stop killing. Please take a minute or two and listen to these New York Vets when they were arrested in 2013 for reading the names of fallen Vietnam War military. Please, can't we at least try to stop the killing?

NY Vets Make a Stand — One More Time
Veterans reading the names of New York citizens who lost their lives in service to their nation during the Vietnam War were arrested once again at the NY Vietnam Memorial. They refused to vacate the memorial after the 10 pm curfew on 8 Oct 2013 while they were reading the names of the fallen.

The vets said they refused to leave the NY Vietnam Memorial at the 10pm curfew for these four reasons:
  • We are calling for an end to the Afghan war after 12 years.
  • We are calling for an end to all U.S. wars of empire.
  • We are here to remember the fallen.
  • We are here to affirm our right to assemble.
They also said they were not trying to be antagonistic toward the NYPD.

Speaking to the NYPD policemen, one vet said, “It's important for you to know your government committed atrocities every day in Vietnam because some of you are so much younger and that history has been denied you. So, you just need to know why we are here.”

That statement did not stop them from being arrested for “criminal trespass”.

Please watch the video report above. Thanks to U.S. Air Force vet Matthew Adolph for sending the link to us. Matt is currently working on his degree at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. (Please overlook the ad which has been inserted by YouTube. You can skip it after a few seconds interruption.)

See more at:

“It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again”
During President Teddy Roosevelt’s term, 1901-1909, Mark Twain wrote about the U.S. Army torturing Filipino insurgents and slaughtering civilians during the Philippine-American War. One torture the Army used was called the “water cure.” Our CIA used the same technique in Iraq and Afghanistan, But, it's now named “water boarding.”

“There have been lies, yes, but they were told in a good cause,” Twain wrote, ridiculing the government with his acidic satire. “We have been treacherous, but that was only in order that real good might come out of apparent evil.”

Not much has changed over the past 100 years. We are still telling lies, torturing people and denying it all. Oh, and we are still accusing people of betraying the USA, just as Twain was accused, because they are outing these repugnant offenses to humanity.

Candice Millard, "Looking for a Fight", review of Honor in the Dust, Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines and the Rise and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream, by Gregg Jones, New York Times Book Review, pg 13, 19 Feb 2012.

(“Déjà vu…” quote offered with apologizes to Yogi Berra.)

See more at:

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Case for Peace

Why Peace Makes Sense Even for the 1%

As Boomers, we share a characteristic with millions of our brothers and sisters throughout the world: We just want to live our lives in PEACE and be left alone to enjoy the fruits of our labor. If we have freedom enough for that, well then, we're basically happy.

Until now we have had the good fortune to enjoy that state of mind. Life has been good.

But things changed during this past few years, what with Depression.2 and unfortunately, life is no longer as joyful as it once was. What has changed?

For certain one negative human characteristic has come back in favor. As the economic conditions become worse, the “us vs. them” mentality is back in full force. Soon, it will emerge with a vengeance.

History is on the side of the “us vs. them” and vengeance characteristics. One only need remember a little bit of history, i.e. the French Revolution, to understand how out of control things can become unless those that “have” allow those “without” just an itty bitty bit.

Second, not even the most self-absorbed Boomer wants to lose the little in life he / she still possesses. We all have awakened to the facts of life and are realizing that our world is now different and bad things are happening all around. Perhaps the same is true for the 1%ers, too. Only they have a lot more to lose.

Take all this into consideration and yes, it's true, there are solid financial reasons for adopting “a peace model” which make sense to the most hardcore capitalist among us.

It appears that a change of perspective is in order. Just a slight glance away from a traditional capitalist way of seeing life, offers a new view of the “us vs. them” problem. The problem actually becomes an unique opportunity for the 1%ers to accumulate even more wealth in a multitude of ways if the 99% actually have enough to spend. The 1%ers could be selling zillions of things and untold services to the billions of emerging “have-a-littles” — the Boomers and all the rest of humanity. For us, the 99%, we just want to be left alone with enough to live a reasonably humble existence.

Do you remember thinking that those who believed that our governments were “controlled by a few select people” were out of their minds and could “better occupy their time doing something constructive, like running for office?”

Today, we learned through life experience that change does not necessarily happen because a bright, motivated person gets elected to office.

Actually, it doesn't matter who is in office. Because nothing changes. It is now abundantly clear that the office holders enjoy incentives for maintaining the old way, the old power structure. So, everything keeps piling on for the 1%ers and little to nothing goes to the 99%. The politicos are rewarded for guarding the “same-old-same-old”.

But, outside of politics and government, the world has changed. For the first time in history, people throughout the world have the knowledge and the communication tools to create a new paradigm based upon their certain intuitive understanding that they have more in common with each other around the world than they have with their own political leadership.

As a result, we share an unspoken agreement that we all have everything to gain through PEACE, and everything to lose through war.

I've never met a combat vet who is in favor of going to war. Have you? - RB

- See more at: http://www.encoreboomer.com/encore_boomer_peace.html
and http://www.encoreboomer.com/encore_vets.html

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why "Treat 'em Like they're Humans" Pays Off

The Swedes have it right again!
(Swedish Chef from the Muppets.)
Improved Productivity or Dark Ages Continued

We believe we are “free” modern people. Don’t we?
We believe we have all the wonderful things in life because this is, after all, “now” and not “then”.

But, in fact, in the USA, we have never left the Dark Ages.
You know, the time when everybody was a serf or a slave. Back “then” one had to do the bidding of the overlord. For instance serfs had to give their harvests to the overlord because he owned the land, the tools, the people… he owned everything.

Not so today. We have our jobs to provide the means to sustain us. No overlord takes our harvest and leaves us with subsistence-level scraps.

Hold on there, partner!
Let’s cipher on this for a second or two.

It’s a modern day fact of life here in the USA that nearly all U.S. companies have an “employment-at-will” doctrine. That means employees can be fired or laid off at any time for any reason or, no reason at all, without notice. We have no job security. And, employers are not legally required to provide severance pay, either, unless you are fortunate enough to be a member of a union. (1.)

Many “white collar” workers live in fear of losing their jobs. So they eat lunch at their desk, work late, don’t take vacation or time off.

In my mind, that’s not much different than the “good old Dark Ages”. (Well, maybe a little.)

It’s not like that in more enlightened places… like Sweden.

For instance, not only do people have guaranteed time off and vacations, they actually take the time and vacations. Further, the government is experimenting with cutting the work week to 30hrs, down from the usual 40hrs. And get this - EMPLOYEE PAY IS NOT CUT!

How can that be!!!? 
That is such a sin! It’s downright Un-American, too.

So what happened? Productivity has gone up.
Yep, up. People are happier, more efficient and patients are treated better.

 Oh, My!

 Statutory requirements for paid vacations and paid holidays in 21 rich countries.
Note: the USA is "0". Please see reference 3. below.
From a recent New York Times article (2):

“Since we work fewer hours, we are constantly figuring out ways to do more with our time,” Ms. Brath said.

Sitting inside their airy office, Brath’s employees checked off the ways. “We don’t send unnecessary emails or tie ourselves up in meetings,” said Thommy Ottinger, a pay-per-click specialist. “If you have only six hours to work, you don’t waste your time or other people’s time.”

“It’s kind of a life changer,” he said, adding that the environment inspired fierce staff loyalty.

At Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska University Hospital, one of the biggest in Europe, officials have tried a similar approach to counter burnout and high absenteeism.

Last year, the orthopedics unit switched 89 nurses and doctors to a six-hour day. It hired 15 new staff members to make up for the lost time and extend operating room hours. At 1 million kroner (about $123,000) a month, the experiment was expensive, said Anders Hyltander, the executive director. But since then, almost no one calls in sick, and nurses and doctors have been more efficient.

“I had reached a point where I could only work at 80 percent capacity,” said Gabrielle Tikman, a surgical nurse. “Now it’s easier to rest and I have time at home to sit and really talk with my children. I’ve got my power back.”

Ms. Tikman and her son Rasmus. With the six-hour day, she says, “Now it’s easier to rest and I have time at home to sit and really talk with my children.”

The unit is performing 20 percent more operations, generating additional business from treatments like hip replacements that would have gone to other hospitals. Surgery waiting times were cut to weeks from months, allowing patients to return to work faster and reducing sick leave elsewhere in the economy, Mr. Hyltander said.

“For years, we’ve been told that an eight-hour workday is optimal,” he said. “But I think we should let ourselves challenge that view and say, ‘Yes that’s the way it is now, but if you want to increase productivity, be open to new ideas.’”

The hospital was inspired by a nearby Toyota vehicle service center, which moved to a six-hour day 13 years ago to address employee stress and customer complaints about long waiting times. The new system keeps the garages open longer and reels in new business.

“What we can see today is that employees are at the very least doing the same amount in the six-hour workday, often more than they did in the eight-hour day,” said Martin Banck, the service center’s director. “It’s heavy work — drilling, building engine blocks — but they have stamina, and we have more profit and customers because cars get fixed faster.”

And employees say that more downtime makes them happier on the job. “Simply put, we work more efficiently,” said Matthias Larsson, 33. Thanks to his shorter hours, Mr. Larsson can care for his three children, cook, clean and shop while his wife is at work.

While a six-hour day may fit smaller organizations, larger Swedish companies have not rushed to embrace it. And other towns in Sweden that previously tested shorter workdays ultimately abandoned them. In the northern city of Kiruna, officials scrapped a six-hour day for 250 municipal employees after 16 years, citing high expenses and resentment among workers who were not part of the program.

Back at Svartedalens, Mr. Perez hopes the same fate will not befall him. “We never dreamed that there’d be a six-hour day,” he said. “You feel joy coming to work here.”

Ingrid Karlson, a 90-year-old tenant, nodded from her wheelchair. “The personnel are completely different,” she said. “They’re happier and we’re happier.”

1. Americans take half of their paid vacation, but Chinese take less, Quentin Fottrell, Marketwatch.com, 11 Sept 2015.
2. In Sweden, an Experiment Turns Shorter Workdays Into Bigger Gains, Liz Alderman, New York Times, 20 May 2016.
3. America is the no-vacation nation, Rebecca Ray, Milla Sanes, and John Schmitt, Center for Economic Policy Research, May 2013.

This report reviews the most recently available data from a range of national and international sources on statutory requirements for paid vacations and paid holidays in 21 rich countries (16 European countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States). In addition to our finding that the United States is the only country in the group that does not require employers to provide paid vacation time, we also note that several foreign countries offer additional time off for younger and older workers, shift workers, and those engaged in community service including jury duty. Five countries even mandate that employers pay vacationing workers a small premium above their standard pay in order to help with vacation-related expenses. Most other rich countries have also established legal rights to paid holidays over and above paid vacation days. We distinguish throughout the report between paid vacation ― or paid annual leave, terms we use interchangeably ― and paid holidays, which are organized around particular fixed dates in the calendar. Our analysis does not cover paid leave for other reasons such as sick leave, parental leave, or leave to care for sick relatives.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Breaking Corporate Shackles

There is Hope for Us

A recent Deloitte survey of Millennials* from around the world has given me hope for a better future.

It appears that Millennials favor “personal values / morals” in addition to “personal goals and ambitions and career progression” over “meeting the organization’s formal targets or objective”.

Could this suggest that the corporate, soulless entities (which seem to be in control of everything) might at some future time be nudged toward considering serving the needs of actual humans rather than poisoning the environment and minimizing their payroll?

O.K., I may be jumping to conclusions here. Still, it’s a good sign that our younger generation may not be as sucked into “corporate B.S.” as we Boomers were.

Here some findings:
Question: How much influence do the following factors have when you are making decisions at work?

When asked to state the level of influence different factors have on their decision making at work, “personal values/morals” ranked first. Over half (55 percent) said this had a very high degree of influence, with “personal goals and ambitions and career progression” (51 percent) ranking second. “Meeting the organization’s formal targets or objective” ranked only fifth of the seven factors measured.

This emphasis on personal values continues into the boardroom; the rank order of priorities does not change for senior Millennials. As such, we can expect Millennial leaders to base their decisions as much on personal values as on the achievement of specific targets or goals.

Question: If you had a choice, how long would you stay with your current employer before leaving to join a new organization or do something different?

During the next year, if given the choice, one in four Millennials would quit his or her current employer to join a new organization or to do something different. That figure increases to 44 percent when the time frame is expanded to two years. By the end of 2020, two of every three respondents hope to have moved on, while only 16 percent of Millennials see themselves with their current employers a decade from now. This remarkable absence of loyalty represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of Millennials, especially those in markets — like the United States — where Millennials now represent the largest segment of the workforce.

* The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, Dr. Patricia Buckley, Dr. Peter Viechnicki, and Akrur Baruahttp, “A New Understanding of Millennials: Generational Differences Reexamined”

Friday, May 20, 2016


By Gail Albin, RN

Stuf yu donet knno bout me 
I aint no profectist
Peeples stuf dont impress me, if they gots talent I gits impressedd
My minde thinck diferent then others
I see valoo in old stuf
Othher raises and Churche people are ok wit myslf
Raggs to riche storys arre cule
Youse gies all hav Gude daye

*To fulfill her /his recent creative writing group assignment, "Tell us something no one knows about you", (someone) submitted the above article. I believe (someone) has a code-writing position waiting for her / he with the CIA, NSA or some other top secret organization. We will keep (someone's) identity secret for now, O.K.? - RB

Now, a word from our secret inspiration...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Do Your Own Stuff

Well, Do You?
Do you have enough time to be corporate man and do your own stuff?
Then, you'd best change the world for the better while you can.

Monday, May 16, 2016

About That Leisure Time

That's 2.5 trillion hours of leisure time.
No boss, No rat race to work and home.
Now you make the choice.
You have enough time to play a few rounds
and change the world for the better, too.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Calling from God

By David L. Dyer
Three years as a deacon, have come to an end
That’s not so easy, to comprehend
What have I learned?  What have I done?
I know I’ve made friends, with most everyone
So now that it’s over, what’s next on my plate?
Should I wait for God, to decide my fate?
No, I’ve still got plenty to say

I’ll never forget, what happened that day
Eight years ago at age sixty nine, God reached out to me
It took a year to realize, since he works mysteriously
I collapsed on a treadmill and lost control and thought my life was through
An incurable disease called Parkinson’s, was the start of something new
He who knows all knew that I, would never give up my beer
And now that I was near seventy, he felt the time was now here

God reached me through my late brother, Wayne
Knowing what the outcome would be
Knowing I had a story to tell, Wayne uttered these words to me
“David, don’t give up, you must continue
Do not die, with your music still in you”

Next came a trip to the Vietnam Wall
That’s when I gave up alcohol
It took quite a while to understand
It was God who put that pen in my hand

There are fifty plus thousands, of names on that wall
God’s calling to me, was “remember them all.”
I began writing stories, and even a book
My efforts continued, whatever it took

Eight years have passed, I’m now seventy seven
I’ve been lifted from hell and I’m halfway to heaven
I’ll continue to write and take my stand
Til I can no longer hold, a pen in my hand


Friday, May 13, 2016

A Better Outcome Than Expected

By Gail Albin, RN

When I left the hospital late that night, I told my husband Leon, “I think you will be fine.”

I lied.

We had spent all afternoon dancing at a park for Senior Citizen Day. We later stopped at a restaurant.

There was something about him that made me ask, “Are you OK?  He denied problems. He went to the bathroom and came back staggering and clearly having a stroke.

911 was called, he went to a nearby hospital and had excellent care.

We ended up having the best ten years of our lives.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Gotta Dream

Today is Optimism Day. It’s a day to believe that right will triumph; people will be first in line rather than profit; priorities will be sorted to, "first make life better for all of us"; and, hate will be ploughed asunder.

Say What! “You must be a Maroon,” you say?

Well, the people of London did it!

O.K., so they at least took the first step. They elected a guy named Khan -a Muslim, son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver - over a dirt bag, hate mongering aristocrat.*

You know, I think those Londoners are more American than… Americans!

Now, I gotta dream… Americans will be more like Londoners!

*How London’s Sadiq Khan Triumphed Over Race-Baiting, Padraig Reidy, Moyers & Company, 6 May 2016.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

"Berrigan always told us to look at the faces of war."

Some people are blind to their path. Others walk mostly against their will. But, every once in awhile one person blazes his path, cutting it from the imprisoning foliage of our messy, soulless society.

Daniel Berrigan has passed.

During his lifetime he blazed his path toward peace and away from war. He did make a difference in my life. His sacrifice opened my eyes and drove me toward trying to be a Medic in the U.S. Army. I believe, in that role, I could make a difference to a few people in a very small way. If I had to go to war, then let me try to help my friends.

During his trial for the public burning of draft records*, Berrigan said:

“Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise.... We act against the law at a time of the Poor People’s March, at a time moreover when the government is announcing ever more massive paramilitary means to confront disorder in the cities....The war in Vietnam is more and more literally brought home to us. Its inmost meaning strikes the American ghettos; in servitude to the affluent. We must resist and protest this crime....”The time is past when good men can remain silent, when obedience can segregate men from public risk, when the poor can die without defense.” (1.)

For me, the question was, and remains: Is it not my responsibility to see the faces of those I encounter along my life path? And, with the seeing, is it not true as Berrigan said: “to look at the faces of war?” Then with the witnessing is not my responsibility as a human being and a follower of Christ to walk a path toward peace?

*You may not know how about the draft. I can attest to living under the thumb of the people who ran the local Selective Service Draft Board. They literally made the decision about who lived and died. I was lucky. I got to go to college and enlist in the Army. Many, many others never had a choice. Today, we know for fact that the Golf of Tonkin attack on U.S. Navy ships never happened. The Vietnam War was an atrocity. - RB

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Survival Tips

Intuitively you already know this:
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

“For real” verification of what you already know was published in two recent Washington Post articles that reported research findings which were published in medical journals.

Here’s the story:

"It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeing care,” explained Dr. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who led the research which was published a couple of days ago in the BMJ (formerly, the British Medical Journal). (1)

In a paper recently published in JAMA Surgery (Journal of the American Medical Association) , researchers said that they discovered: “…a mere seven procedures accounted for approximately 80 percent of all admissions, deaths, complications and inpatient costs related to emergency surgeries.” 

“The seven dangerous and costly procedures are mostly related to the organs of the digestive system: removing part of the colon, small-bowel resection, removing the gallbladder, operations related to peptic ulcer disease, removing abdominal adhesions, appendectomy and other operations to open the abdomen.” (2)

So, what can you do to protect yourself from becoming an additional bit of datum in a future research medical error report ?

Answer… Do Not Go to the Hospital for Any Reason!!!

O.K. I know that at some point you may wake up in the emergency room. And / or knowing that there is next to nothing you can do to protect yourself from errors made during surgical procedures. Then, if you must be in the hospital, here are ten suggestions aimed at enhancing your possibility of surviving your post-surgical hospital stay.
  1. Empower someone you trust and who loves you to be your patient advocate.
  2. Each day, especially Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, at the beginning of every shift, your patient advocate must meet and be confident in your assigned nurse. Follow this practice until you leave the hospital.
  3. Move to a room, as close to the nurses’ station as you can be. If the room is semi-private, ask for the bed closest to the entry door.
  4. Make sure your patient advocate understands which medications your doctor has ordered for you as well as how much of each medication you are to receive.
  5. Make absolutely certain that your patient advocate ensures that your nurse correctly administers your medications as your doctor has ordered.
  6. Do not submit to any procedure unless you understand that your doctor has ordered it for you and you have agreed to have it done.
  7. Closely observe the nursing team and make certain that they wash their hands and use clean gloves; do not use suction tubes which have fallen onto the floor or onto your bed; and maintain sterile technique when required, e.g. when changing a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) dressing.
  8. Question everything and ask your questions in three different ways.
  9. Ask what are the known side effects of every medication and procedure.
  10. Research everything until you feel comfortable that you understand.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Carnac Delivers!

Carnac The Magnificent, a.k.a. Johnny Carson,
30-year host of the Tonight Show.
It’s time to bring back the greatest prognosticator of all time… Carnac The Magnificent… to shed some light on the likely winner of the next presidential election.

Carnac said, “Just like Winston Churchill remarked, ‘The Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives,’ we will do the right thing this November. We will elect Co-Presidents!”

Yes, Co-Presidents!

Due to Republican and Democratic party intransigence, Americans will be forced to go outside the existing two-party, sold-out system and elect a third party candidate.

For the first time in our history, we will elect the Third Party Candidate because the existing parties have so miserably failed. The good news is that rather than rebellion in the streets and outright anarchy, we will invent a better way to go.

We will elect Bernie Sanders for his humanitarianism and true-to-the-Constitution Americanism and Donald Trump for his hoped-for ability to get the “good deal” (whatever that means) for America.

Thank you, Carnac The Magnificent! I feel greatly relieved now. Don't you?