Category Archives: senior citizens

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS WE SENIOR CITIZENS RULE AMERICA

You know how I know we senior citizens rule America? Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson says so in his column of February 21. Right in the title, he says: “Who Rules America?” and then right in the title, he gives the answer: “AARP.”

According to him, the AARP, with it 40 million members, has taken over the government. Now he doesn’t say this in so many words. No, his words are “The great question haunting Washington’s budget debate is whether our elected politicians will take back government from AARP…”

Well, sir, I’m one of those 40 Million members and this is the first I heard that AARP had taken government from who? I suppose the taxpayers, of which I am one.

Anyway, his beef with us senior citizens is we will not allow the politicians to touch Medicare and Social Security. No, sir, we AARP frustrates “needed Social Security and Medicare changes.”

AARP is so powerful it throws fear into the politicians.

I don’t know how long it took the politicians to make payment for medicines a part of Medicare, but it took a long time. If the AARP is powerful, why did it take so long.

And if you senior citizens didn’t know it, these programs, says Samuelson, “constitute middle-class welfare.” Ignore the fact that senior citizens paid into both programs during their working years.

If you can’t find anyone else to pick on, pick on the old folks.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, politics, senior citizens, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON MUST ADJUST TO THE INFORMATION AGE

During the years I crowded into a bus along with the rest of the worker drones and got off and entered a high rise building in San Francisco, I was too tired when I got home in the evening to read the newspapers, so, I got my news from television.

Upon retirement, I turned off the television news and joined those reader drones who believed that it wasn’t news if it wasn’t in a newspaper or news magazine. I spent my mornings reading the newspapers and my afternoons reading such news magazines as U. S. News and World Report.

I resisted as long as I could going online and reading the online newspapers. However, once I could no longer afford mail delivery of the New York Times, I turned to reading it free online and discovered I could read the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and many other newspapers for free (hey, we all like free stuff, right).

Still, I resisted reading online magazines until U. S. News and World Report stopped sending me the print edition, forcing me to download the online issue and read it on my computer monitor, which I had. However, I still received the print edition containing advice on various subjects, that is, until this month.

This month, on the cover is the report that no longer will the print and digital issues of the U. S. News and World Report be published. The company will, however, continue to publish the usnews.com website. I still receive the print edition of The New Republic, but I suspect the online-magazine avalanche will soon overtake it too.

 

I must adjust to reading newspaper and magazine stories on my computer monitor if I am to survive in the Information Age. I don’t think I help the environment any when I download stories and print them because the computer monster is hard on an old man’s eyes.

But I’ve been told learning new skills may help me live longer because it keeps the brain active.

 

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Filed under Education, Information Age, News, senior citizens, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS HE DON’T WANT TO LIVE TO BE 100

A news story about longevity begins with the question, and I paraphrase here, would you want to know if you were gonna live to be 100?

These here scientist folks in New England what are studying something called “genomes” of folks who done lived to be 100 done found some genes what can predict how long you gon live at 77 percent accuracy. One of them expert types at another place think identifying the genes will help protect us against old age diseases cause it’ll be better than attacking them diseases one by one.

Well, now, I’m happy for them scientist cause they got something to keep them busy for years. But I wonder what would happen if a whole lotta us were to live to be 100? I mean the world already crowded, and young folks these days don’t always want to be bother with old folks, not even they parents.

Me, I don’t want to live to be 100 even ifn I’m physically healthy and mentally alert, and I don’t want no test predicting ifn I could live so long cause it’ll mean telling me the date I just might keel over and die. Like I said, the earth gettin crowded and young folks gon start pushing us old folks off the planet.

No, I aint thinkin bout killin myself. I love life and aint gon cry when nature tells me it time to leave life behind and return to the dust. The only fear I have is I might miss something important on this old earth.

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Filed under LIFE, senior citizens, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS HE AINT NO BURDEN

I’ve been reading in various magazine articles claiming we old folks (I don’t like being called a senior citizen) are a current and future burden on the economy, health care, and just about anything else some young pundit can think of. We are sometimes pawns in the political game. During the debates on health care, one side tried to scare the bejesus out of us with the claim that the bill would set up “death panels.”

Now maybe some of you young bloods resent me taking up space and not being productive as I was in my younger years. Too bad.

When they were young, My mother and aunts supported my grandmothers, and I and my cousins supported our parents through taxes that paid for Social Security and Medicare. Now my kids support me and other old folks through paying taxes.

One of the duties of government is to see that we old heads are cared for in our declining years. Most of us live on pensions that sometimes are not enough to pay all of our bills, especially if we get sick.

I did my part during my productive years, and now that I’m not as productive, I don’t expect to go into the woods and lie down and provide food for the animals.

What I do expect of my government, which taxes my pension, so you see, I still pay taxes, is to help me when I can no longer help myself.

You young bloods must accept the fact that you, too, will be old one day and I wonder if you will see yourselves as a burden on society.

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ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS SOMEBODY LYING

Alvin rattled the newspaper, and we, Jabo, Leroy, and I, knew he was about to express his displeasure at something.

“The government keeps tellin us poor fools that the economy is bad, real bad, and that things gonna get worse before they get better. Somebody in the government is lying,” he announced.

I took the bait. “What makes you think the government lying, Alvin.”

“You wanta know what makes me think that, well, I’ll tell you. If the economy is so bad, how is it the NBA teams can pay players, some of them guys sure ain’t worth the money they get, anyway, how can they pay them millions of dollars, huh, answer me that.” Alvin leaned back in the barber chair in his usual self-satisfied fashion.

“I know where you comin from Alvin,” said Leroy. “I betcha those guys don’t have no trouble paying for gas for those big cars they drive.”

Jabo, not be outdone, added his ten cents worth. “You know what I don’t like? I don’t like it when a guy asks for a million dollars more than the team offers and say he needs it to take care of his family. I mean, come on, he can’t take care of his family on the five million he already getting.”

“Well,” I said, trying to bring some sense to the conversation, “they can afford to pay the players a lotta money because they get money from television and fans who attend the games. You guys got remember, the players are making a living playing ball. It’s their job.”

“Man, it’s not just ballplayers who don’t seem to have no problem with the economy,” said Alvin. “Look at the money Obama is raisin supposedly from us little people. What I’m sayin is the money is out there cause somebody is still gettin rich. It just ain’t us poor people.”

“You got that right,” said Leroy. “Why just the other day, I paid a dollar and 98 cents a pound for tomatoes. And I don’t know if they the bad kind the government has been warnin us bout.”

“Yeah, those of us on pension can’t afford the high prices, man. Everythin goin up, you know what I’m sayin.” Jabo reminded us.

“Jabo, your pension, all of our pensions, come from the government.” I reminded them.

Alvin sat up in the barber chair. “Then the government oughta give us raises cause we show can’t live on what we gettin if gas go up to five dollars.”

“You don’t trust the government, but you want the government to give you more money. You jive turkeys are crazy with the heat and think you living right.” This time I got in the last word.

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ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS HIS FEET HURT

Alvin was sitting in a chair against the wall with his head back, eyes closed, and feet in a pan of hot water, I was sitting in the barber chair when Leroy entered the shop.

“Why’s the closed sign showing,” he asked.

Behind him, Jabo looked at Alvin. “Why you closed, today, Alvin?” When Alvin didn’t answer, he directed the next question to me, “What’s wrong with him.”

“He show don’t look good.” Leroy commented.

“The fool walked to work this morning,” I explained.

“What, Alvin are you nuts?” Jabo shouted at Alvin.

Alvin opened his eyes briefly. “To hell with you Jabo, to hell with all of you.”

“He was trying to save gas,” I further explained. “At four dollars a gallon, that old caddy of his just about breaks him each week. Was a time he could fill up and ride for a month. Not no more, huh Alvin.”

“But the walk from his house to the shop is a half mile,” Leroy reminded us, “man, you aint young no more. We could do it back in the day, but we old, and our body don’t always want to do what our mind say do.”

“Look, you jive turkeys, my feet hurt, and they have always hurt. They hurt from me standing on them all day cuttin the hair of more jive turkeys like you.”

We knew he was just making an excuse instead of admitting he shouldn’t have walked that far.

“Man,” asked Jabo, “whatever possessed you to walk?”

“Cause foot power don’t cost nothin. We were walkin ‘fore we were drivin.” Alvin continued to try to justify his rash action.

“Well, when gas go to five dollars a gallon, I just might start walkin,” said Leroy.

“You got that right,” Jabo agreed.

Shortman came from the back and sat next to Alvin. “Uncle Alvin, why don’t you ride the bus like me?”

“Yeah, Alvin, you can ride the bus free. All you have to do is get a senior citizen’s pass.” This bit of information from Leroy infuriated Alvin.

“Boy, you know I don’t take no handouts. I aint never been on welfare and I aint bout to go on welfare just cause my feet hurt.”

I had argued with him several times and tried to explain that free stuff for senior citizens like us was not welfare. I didn’t change his mind. So, I tried something different–I agreed that he should walk.

“Alvin,” I said, “walkin is a good idea. It’s good exercise, and parking that rattle trap of yours helps the environment.”

“All of you just shut up. My feet hurt, and when my feet hurt, I don’t want to hear the crap you jive turkeys puttin down.” Alvin got in the last word on the matter.

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