Dave Stancliff 2012-01-22 blogarama.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

‘Civilized to Death’– documentary explores plight of Aboriginal societies worldwide

          Another new road has opened today:

I’ve had the honor of corresponding with John H.W. Hummel, Pollution/Health Researcher, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, for less than a year, but in that time I’ve learned a lot about this world we live in. I’m going to share his most recent email because I heartily agree with it and think everyone should have an opportunity to know what’s happening to the Aboriginal people in our world today.

My friend Kimlee Wong kwong@aptn.ca and her colleagues at ‘Aboriginal People’s Television Network’ (APTN) produced this excellent documentary which has major implications for all Indigenous communities throughout the world. It shows what colonialism has done to the health of Indigenous people and gives us some direction as to where to go so the health of Indigenous People of this World might improve.”

                      Here are links so you can watch this documentary on your computer:

Part 1 http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/01/23/civilized-to-death-part-1/

Part 2 http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/01/23/civilized-to-death-part-2/

Here is a brief Synopsis of this documentary:

“Aboriginal peoples suffer from some of the worse health and social stats of anyone in Canada. Many blame aboriginal peoples for their dismal living conditions yet health professionals point to the social determinants of health as the primary cause for these conditions. Things like poverty, racism, housing, access to healthy food and colonialism have long been recognized by experts as key causes of ill health.. Many Canadians believe that if aboriginal people would only assimilate into the dominant culture their problems would be solved, however, in Civilized to Death, APTN's Kimlee Wong talks to experts who say the solutions lie elsewhere.”

Not something you hear about every day: On duty cops shoot it out with each other, one dies!

A Santa Maria police officer was shot and killed Saturday by a fellow officer who was trying to arrest him for suspected sexual misconduct with a minor, the Santa Maria Times reported.

According to the Santa Maria Police Department, the slain officer was on duty when police tried to take him into custody.

The suspect officer allegedly drew his weapon and fired. "In response, one officer on scene fired at the suspect officer hitting him once," officials said in a news release, according to the Santa Maria Times.

For updates go here.

If your white and well-connected ‘Uncle Haley’ will pardon you

Good Day Humboldt County!

Todays path take us back to a time when southern aristocrats didn’t have to answer to the law if they were white and well connected. 

The historical inequities in Mississippi justice have been chronicled by journalists and fictionalized by novelists from Faulkner to Grisham. Even today, prison terms for the same crime can vary significantly from one part of the state to another.

Enter Haley Barbour,  Mississippi’s governor who has pardoned 10 times more criminals that the past four governors combined. In a state with the highest poverty rate in the nation, where nearly 70 percent of convicts are black, official redemption appears to have been attained disproportionately by white people and the well connected.

Here’s some examples of Uncle Haley’s benevolence towards the connected in the state:

1)In some of the appeals for clemency, personal connections to Mr. Barbour were unabashedly made. “Maggi and I wanted to begin by thanking you and Marsha for a lovely and special lunch at the Mansion last Tuesday,” began a letter to the governor by a family friend of Doug Hindman, one pardon applicant. “It was very interesting to see the historical quilt upstairs.”

Mr. Hindman, the son of a cardiologist from Jackson, was arrested in 2006 after exchanging hundreds of sexually explicit messages with an undercover officer posing as an under-age girl.”

2) Four murderers who worked at the Governor’s Mansion and Brett Favre’s brother, who killed a friend in a drunken-driving accident were all recently pardoned by Haley. GOP's Barbour under fire after pardoning 4 killers

3) A close look at some of the clemency applications of the nearly 200 others who were pardoned reveals that a significant share contained appeals from members of prominent Mississippi families, major Republican donors or others from the higher social strata of Mississippi life.

4)The governor erased records or suspended the sentences of at least 10 felons who had been students at the University of Mississippi or Mississippi State when they were arrested, including at least three who killed people while driving drunk and several others charged with selling cocaine, ecstasy and other drugs. Another pardon went to the grandson of a couple who once lived near Mr. Barbour’s family in his hometown, Yazoo City.”

5)One beneficiary, Burton Waldon, killed an 8-month-old boy in an alcohol-induced crash in 2001. Mr. Waldon, a high school senior at the time, pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence. He is a member of the prominent Hill Brothers Construction Company family, big-money political donors who give mostly to Republicans, including Mr. Barbour. An uncle of Mr. Waldon, Kenneth W. Hill Sr., sought and received a pardon from President George W. Bush in 2006, erasing a federal income tax conviction.”

I could go on, but you get the idea. Uncle Haley is setting new lows when it comes to corruption in Mississippi. The Old South thrives in Mississippi because of people like Haley who are still in power.

Quotations from: 'Uncle Haley' pardoned many with ties to power, which ran in the New York Times today.

Time to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Here’s 20 interesting facts about the human body…

1. Every hour one billion cells in the body must be replaced.

2. The eye of a human can distinguish 500 shades of the gray.

3. Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

4. The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet (9 m).

5. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

6. The average cough comes out of your mouth at 60 miles (96.5 km) per hour.

7. Beards are the fastest growing hairs on the human body. If the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime.

8. Babies’ eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.

9. Every person has a unique tongue print.

10. A sneeze can exceed the speed of 100 mph.

11. Dead cells in the body ultimately go to the kidneys for excretion.

12. The smile is the most frequently used facial expression. A smile can use anywhere from a pair of 5 to 53 facial muscles.

13. One out of 20 people have an extra rib.

14. People with darker skin will not wrinkle as fast as people with lighter skin.

15. Human blood travels 60,000 miles (96,540 km) per day on its journey through the body.

16. 85% of the population can curl their tongue into a tube.

17. It takes food seven seconds to go from the mouth to the stomach via the esophagus.

18. Women hearts beat faster than men.

19. In one day your heart beats 100,000 times.

20. Hair is made from the same substance as fingernails.

                                               Sources: Reader’s Digest Book of Facts

Atheist teen forces school to remove prayer from wall after 49 years

Image: Jessica Ahlquist, 16, in Cranston, R.I.

            Good Day Humboldt County!

  Today we’re going to look at someone who has chosen the path less traveled. Jessica Ahlquist doesn’t believe in God. But when she forced her school to cover up a prayer in the Gym that has been there for nearly 50 years years, the backlash was immediate.

My question to you: is it fair for one person to force their views on the majority? Is that Democracy to you? It’s troubling to me that a minority can overall a majority in a case of beliefs.

I understand the reasoning for separation of church and state, and agree with the policy. Still, isn’t there times when common sense should prevail? Miss Ahlquist didn’t like seeing the prayer on the gym wall, but she wasn’t forced to recite it (no one was). She didn’t even have to look in the direction of the prayer that occupied a tiny spot on a massive wall. Still, she feels her views are more important than the rest of the community and likens her actions to giving a child a shot for their own good.

Why can’t there be a compromise of some kind? It just rankles me to see a minority over rule a majority. Because one young lady lost her belief in God the whole community pays the price. It hardly seems fair. Read the following article and you decide how fair the whole situation is:

She is 16, the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Harry Potter and Facebook. But Jessica Ahlquist is also an outspoken atheist who has incensed this heavily Roman Catholic city with a successful lawsuit to get a prayer removed from the wall of her high school auditorium, where it has hung for 49 years.

A federal judge ruled this month that the prayer’s presence at Cranston High School West was unconstitutional, concluding that it violated the principle of government neutrality in religion.

In the weeks since, residents have crowded school board meetings to demand an appeal, Jessica has received online threats and the police have escorted her at school, and Cranston, a dense city of 80,000 just south of Providence, has throbbed with raw emotion.

State Representative Peter G. Palumbo, a Democrat from Cranston, called Jessica “an evil little thing” on a popular talk radio show. Three separate florists refused to deliver her roses sent from a national atheist group. The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.

“I was amazed,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, which is based in Wisconsin and has given Jessica $13,000 from support and scholarship funds. “We haven’t seen a case like this in a long time, with this level of revilement and ostracism and stigmatizing.” (Read the rest here)

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Political theatre: Brewer gives letter to Obama then says it’s no one elses business!

Excuse me! Is Arizona’s governor finally losing whatever sanity she had left?

Gov. Jan Brewer said she won’t release a copy of a letter she so dramatically delivered to President Obama on Wednesday. One of her lackeys told the press it was a "personal, handwritten" correspondence and no one in her administration has a copy of it.

The handling of the letter, considered a public record by experts, raises legal questions about the way the Governor's Office is complying with Arizona's public-records law. Just now? They should have been looking a long time ago.

This letter is a perfect example. According to Dan Barr, a First Amendment attorney who commented on the letter, "Absolutely it's a public record — it's created in her official capacity."

Barr went on to say, “There's nothing remotely personal about this. She presented it to the president of the United States in the most public way possible. The whole reason to hand him this letter in public is for political theater, and then to be asked what was in the letter. I find it incredible to believe there is no copy — and that there is not at least a draft of this letter lying around. My response to that excuse is — is that your story? Really?"

Well, Brewer? Is that your story? Because if it is, it’s so full of holes that it’ll never fly in the real world. It sure must be an interesting letter if your afraid to leave any copies around. Were staffers instructed to eat any hand-written notes left lying around? Just curious.

I hope you don’t think you’ve scored some sort of political victory on behalf of your crazed tea party cronies, by this grandstanding game. And don’t give me any crap about not remembering shaking your finger at the president like he was a bad boy. It went viral just like you intended.

The only thing you proved Brewer, is that you are a political creature always looking out for an opportunity to show your credentials as Alice in Wonderland for the Tea Party set.

For the record: quick thinking kids save lives all the time…

This cheerful little guy is a hero. You gotta love his personality…

      Good Day Humboldt County!

I always enjoy stories about children saving lives. Today, I found these examples to share with you.

We always seem to see stories about children/teens acting badly in the media nowadays. The negative images portrayed in the mainstream press far outweigh the positive ones.

You can test my assertion by scanning the headlines or listening to the TV or radio on any given day.

Not today. Not here. I’m talking about children who do the right things in emergencies. If you look hard enough, there are stories about them all the time. The problem is the stories are usually buried on page six. NOT today…they’re Page One on this blog.

This young lady is inspirational. her parents must be so proud.

Good news doesn’t seem to sell newspapers or get high ratings on TV or the radio, so we are seldom exposed to it.

The sensational, which is usually a negative report, is everywhere from the games we play to the news we listen and watch every day.

A Philadelphia teenager (see video on left) saves lives. In an eerily similar situation last March, a New York teenager saved a school bus from crashing. Here’s her story:

Julie Corson, 15, hopped on the school bus, took a seat up front and stared out of the window, while about 20 other kids chattered and listened to MP3s. But then, less than a mile from Newark Valley High School in upstate New York, the morning of March 6, the bus started swerving.

No one knew it then, but Ed Card, the 69-year-old driver, had suffered a heart attack. "He was going off the road—we were hitting mailboxes," Corson says. Worse still, the bus was careering straight for the side of a mattress store. Now cries of fear filled the bus—and the coolheaded Corson went to work. "I got on my hands and knees and moved Mr. Card's foot off the gas," she recalls. "Then I pushed my hands on the brake."

The bus skidded to a stop just a few feet short of the building. None of the kids were hurt, but many were still screaming—and Card lay slouched over in his seat, slipping into unconsciousness. Corson, a freshman, grabbed the bus radio and called for help while Samantha Lindquist, 16, and Jackie Celiberti, 16, soothed the stricken man. "I just held him and said, 'It's gonna be okay, Mr. Card,'" Celiberti says. Sadly, it wasn't: He died en route to the hospital.

The kids miss their grandfatherly driver, who often handed out candy to his passengers. "Even if he was having a bad day, he'd open the door with a smile and say something funny," Corson remembers. But as passenger Austin Brocious, 15, points out, "It easily could have been a lot worse. I think it's really, really good what they did."  (article source)

Time to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In Amerika? Man spends 2 years in solitary after DWI arrest

How could anyone in America be treated so inhumanly for just having a DUI? This story will blow your mind.

What happened to him was so horrific someone had to pay. The question is, how many more prisoners in the Dona Ana County jail are being treated like animals? 

“A New Mexico man who said he was forced to pull his own tooth while in solitary confinement because he was denied access to a dentist has been awarded $22 million due to inhumane treatment by New (Picture above: Stephen Slevin’s booking photo right – left, what he looked like when released)

Mexico's Dona Ana County Jail. Stephen Slevin was arrested in August of 2005 for driving while intoxicated, then thrown in jail for two years. He was in solitary at Dona Ana County Jail for his entire sentence and basically forgotten about and never given a trial, he told NBC station KOB.com Tuesday night.

The $22 million settlement, awarded by a federal jury Tuesday, is one of the largest prisoner civil rights settlements in U.S. history, according to KOB.com.”

Newly identified critters: Strange new species found in Suriname

  Good Day Humboldt County!

 Are you ready to explore a new path today? Then let’s take a look at some newly discovered animals discovered in Suriname.

  A non-profit group called Conservation International has reporting the identification of 46 potentially new species, observed during a three-week expedition to southwest Suriname in 2010.

----------------------------------------

This is one of the katydid species (Copiphora longicauda) observed during Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program survey in southwest Suriname

-----------------------------------------

The list includes a fancifully named "cowboy frog," a strangely spiked species of armored catfish, and colorful breeds of beetles and katydids. Check out slideshow to get a close look at a few of the newly identified critters.

Such species will take their place alongside other strangely named critters found in that region of Suriname, including the Pac-Man frog and the conehead katydid. And there may be more to come: Conservation International is planning to send another RAP expedition to southern Suriname in March.

Time to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MARIJUANA BILLS FACE SHOWDOWN VOTE IN SACRAMENTO

20101007_34676

The California legislature will soon be voting on two marijuana reform bills that seem to be more popular with the public than with the politicians in Sacramento: SB 129 by Sen. Leno, which would prohibit employment discrimination against medical marijuana patients, and AB 1017 by Tom Ammiano, which would allow for reduced, misdemeanor charges in marijuana cultivation cases.

Both bills have strong public support according to a newly released poll of state voters by EMC Research http://www.canorml.org/emcpoll2011.pdf. However both have had trouble getting through the state legislature, where they must be approved by Jan 31 in order to stay alive.

The Leno bill would protect employment rights of medical marijuana users, reversing a state supreme court decision, Ross v Raging Wire, that allowed employers to use urine testing to discriminate against workers for off-the-job, medical use of marijuana. A similar bill by Leno was approved by the legislature in 2008 but vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

The EMC poll shows that 66% of state voters agree that "employers should not be allowed to discriminate against workers who use medical marijuana off the job." However, this year senators are under increased pressure from business lobbyists, who claim without evidence that the bill would endanger workplace safety. Supporters counter that urine testing is ineffective in protecting job safety or productivity, since it is doesn't detect on-the-job impairment, but rather past use days or weeks previously.

Ammiano's bill, which is sponsored by Mendocino District Attorney David Eyster, would allow marijuana cultivation cases to be charged as "wobblers" (alternative misdemeanors) instead of mandatory felonies at the discretion of the court or prosecutor. Supporters argue that the bill would save the state court and prison expenses in lesser cultivation cases, an important benefit given the state's prison and budget crises.

The EMC poll found that 58% of voters support a change in law to reduce penalties for lesser marijuana sales, cultivation and transportation offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.

Nonetheless, AB 1017 faced tough sledding in the Assembly last session due to strong opposition from police chiefs and narcotics officers. The bill was rejected 24 to 36 on first consideration, with numerous liberals and Democrats voting no, among them: Sandre Swanson (Oakland), Jerry Hill (San Mateo), Richard Gordon (Mountain View), Richard Pan (Sacramento) and Mike Feuer (W. Hollywood). A single Republican, Chris Norby (Fullerton) voted aye.

AB 1017 will be up for reconsideration in the next week; like SB 129, it must be approved by Jan. 31 in order to stay alive.

The EMC poll shows California voters overwhelmingly support the state's medical marijuana law by 71%- 26%, while a slender majority of 52% support outright legalization. "It's time for the legislature to catch up with public opinion," says California NORML director Dale Gieringer, "The laws against marijuana are a last-century government program to support drug cops and criminals."

More details:

http://www.canorml.org/news/SB129AB1017.html

Relesase by: Dale Gieringer (510) 540-1066

canorml@canorml.org

www.canorml.org

Kids say the darnest things like ‘Mommy smokes weed all the time’

                        Good Day Humboldt County!

Welcome to “They Really Said That.” Scanning the headlines today revealed a ghost as an accused attacker. A Wisconsin man charged with domestic abuse told police that a "ghost" had attacked his wife and was responsible for her injuries.

"I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dolmitt-romney-is-two-facedlar more,Mitt Romney recently told the press. Bowing to increasing political pressure to provide more detail about his vast wealth, the former private equity executive released tax returns indicating he and his wife, Ann, paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010. Romney paid $6.2 million in taxes on a total of $42.5 million in income over the years 2010 and 2011.

A federal judge has ruled that a Colorado woman, charged in a mortgage scam case, must turn over the password needed to decrypt her hard drive so that police can view the files on it. Ramona Fricosu was given until Feb. 21 to comply with the order by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn. The judge said Fricosu's defense — the Fifth Amendment's right against self-incrimination — did not apply in the case, in which she is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. "I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer," the judge said in his ruling Tuesday, as reported by CNET.

After North Dakota cops pulled over a vehicle and recognized the strong odor of pot, the driver’s four-year-old daughter gave officers the lowdown on the ownership of drug paraphernalia found in the car. "That’s mommy’s," the girl said in reference to a glass marijuana pipe that police found in the auto’s back seat (where she was seated with her one-year-old brother). The child then added, "Mommy smokes weed all the time," according to a Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office report.

Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, January 23, 2012

‘Go ask Alice when she’s 10-feet tall…’ scientists say psychedelic drugs can treat depression

Sometimes I feel like I dropped down the rabbit hole and what was once wrong, is now so right. I’m speaking of psilocybin, magic mushrooms if you will. Back in the day, eating shrooms was a mystical experience you took with friends. When Jimi Hendrix asked, “Are you experienced?” he wanted to know if you ever dropped acid. But the “Man” said it was wrong.

This is the coolest version I’ve seen yet. Disney characters (like Alice) move with the words of the song White Rabbit. Take a look and listen.

Now in the 21st century, those “mind-expanding” drugs we loved so much in the 1960s, are back and researchers are telling us it’s a good idea to take them for depression.

Hmmmmmmm…..blitzed out Baby Boomers eh? I think it’s a conspiracy to keep old hippies from causing any political trouble today! Seriously though, walking around feeling strange doesn’t seem like the best way to cure depression.

What the hell do I know anyway? In the interest of fairness, I‘d like to hear your views about taking really stony drugs to treat depression. Is it just me, or doesn’t Big Pharma already have a lock on that market?   

“The brains of people tripping on magic mushrooms have given the best picture yet of how psychedelic drugs work and British scientists say the findings suggest such drugs could be used to treat depression.

Two separate studies into the effects of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, showed that contrary to scientists' expectations, it does not increase but rather suppresses activity in areas of the brain that are also dampened with other anti-depressant treatments.

"Psychedelics are thought of as 'mind-expanding' drugs so it has commonly been assumed that they work by increasing brain activity," said David Nutt of Imperial College London, who gave a briefing about the studies on Monday. "But, surprisingly, we found that psilocybin actually caused activity to decrease in areas that have the densest connections with other areas."

These so-called "hub" regions of the brain are known to play a role in constraining our experience of the world and keeping it orderly, he said. "We now know that deactivating these regions leads to a state in which the world is experienced as strange." Read more here.

A second study is due to be published in the British Journal of Psychiatry on Thursday.

Company claims it can turn seaweed into viable feedstock for fuel and other chemicals

    Good Day Humboldt County! 

We can now consider a new path for securing future fuel … seaweed. The whole idea seems murky to me, but who am I to question progress?

The following article reflects the energy scramble in this county, as scientists seek alternatives to fossil fuels. I guess there would be no shortage of seaweed, but securing the slimy stuff would involve  underwater farming. How expensive would that be? Is this just another pie-in-the-sky solution that’ll never be viable? I’m not sure, but I invite you to read the following:

A group of scientists has gone offshore in an effort to bypass the food-versus-fuel debate. Startup Bio Architecture Lab today published a paper in Science it claims will turn seaweed into a viable feedstock for fuel and other chemicals.

Making fuel and chemicals from crops such as corn and sugar cane requires significant quantities of land and fresh water, creating competition for resources with agriculture. Macroalgae such as seaweed, by contrast, grow in salt water and are relatively productive energy sources because they are 60 percent carbohydrates and don't contain lignin, which binds up useful molecules in many earthbound plants.

In their paper, scientists at Bio Architecture Lab say they have isolated an enzyme they could use to rapidly convert seaweed into its constituent sugars. Technically, they inserted genes into E. coli bacteria that can process molecules found in the cell walls of seaweed into sugars--and then ferment those sugars into ethanol or other commodity chemicals.

"About 60 percent of the dry biomass of seaweed are sugars, and more than half of those are locked in a single sugar--alginate," said Bio Architecture Lab CEO Daniel Trunfio in a statement. "Our scientists have developed a pathway to metabolize the alginate, allowing us to unlock all the sugars in seaweed."

Read more here and watch video

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, January 22, 2012

As It Stands: Sharing the benefits of being an ‘old toot’

 

               By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
 I’m enjoying being an old toot (since this is a family newspaper I won’t say old fart) since I became eligible a few months ago.
In case you wonder about the difference between an old coot and an old toot, the latter has a better sense of humor. I’ve already seen one of the benefits derived from my new status.
I forgot I was wearing blue house slippers the other day when I went to the supermarket, and it didn‘t bother me! There was a time when I would have been so embarrassed I would never have entered that store again for fear someone working there might remember seeing me wear them.
You know what people think when they see an old toot shuffling around in his bedroom slippers; “Who let that old fool out of the house in his slippers?” Or, “Look at that guy. That’s never going to happen to  me!” 

But now I don’t care what people think. So what if I’m wearing slippers in public? It’s better than forgetting to wear my pants in public. Even old toots can’t get away with that.
Unless they live in  San Francisco, where it’s legal to walk around without pants or anything else on in public. Just the idea of a bunch of old coots/toots walking around in their birthday suits makes me shudder. It must be hell on tourism where they hang out.
Old toots do have limits. At least some of us do. I count on my wife to notice if I’m missing a piece of clothing or something drastic like that when going out of the house.
Little things do get past her occasionally, like slippers, or shirts on backward, but she’s normally a reliable backup. She is much younger than I and assures me that she will never join the old toot’s club.

 She doesn’t know what she’s missing. If she joins the club she won’t have to worry if her hair changes color and is streaked with sneaky silver strands. There’s no need to impress anyone when you‘re an old toot.
My days of  trying to look good for every female on the planet are gone, and with them the many vanities that younger people have about their appearance. In other words I’m a slob. Not really, my wife wouldn’t allow that, but I have that certain disheveled look old toots get.
  I have my lap dog, a precious pug named Millie, further securing my old toot credentials. I mumble to myself (you couldn’t call it talking) when writing. I resist new technological innovations just because. I don’t slide down the stair railing anymore.
If you asked me about any of the current musicians I would say something like, “They don’t make music like the Led Zeppelin anymore,” or “You call that music?” Old toots and coots simply don’t listen to music newer than the 70s era.

It’s taken me years of study to become an old toot and now I’m reaping the benefits. I can communicate with other old toots I don’t even know who remember the Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra,  Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
I don’t like being called a Baby Boomer. I’m more comfortable with old toot. There are no expectations for old toots. Baby boomers had a lot of high hopes. Many  wonder if they sold out to “the man,” and why they failed to change the world into one big utopia.
I don’t suffer any past remorse’s crammed with social expectations at this point in my life. As Popeye once said, “I yam who I yam.” And that’s an old toot happy to be grazing on books that can be held by hand, or newspapers that leave ink on my fingers.
  I don’t mind being around other old toots for a little while. But too many in one room becomes a challenge for my one operating ear (with the help of a hearing aide). By the way, old toots (like coots) tend to be hard of hearing. My wife’s hearing is so acute I almost believe her when she says she’s is not going to be an old toot, or coot.
 I realize not everyone wants to be an old toot. Some people would rather be known as active seniors, or elder statesmen. Something that rings with more dignity. Something that indicates they’re still vital and not nearing an ungraceful senility.
  In the end, it’s all about individual style as we hit a certain age. On the boardwalk of life, I’m proudly stumbling along on bad knees, confident that I’m an old toot who’ll always have plenty of like-minded company.
  As It Stands, if you find yourself belching and passing gas at the same time when walking you could well be on the way to becoming an old toot yourself!