this n that

I don’t know about you, but I was thinking like this nearly 20 years ago. It seems like all my life or at least since Reagan’s era, people have been saying that Social Security will be gone by the time I retire. (Curiously, my father — an old-style conservative — has always disagreed: he says its an entitlement program that will never go away because the people who need it are a large enough demographic that know how to be noisy enough to keep it. I guess we’ll see who was right in the next few decades.) Plus which, I could not imagine sitting around doing nothing — if I rejected the life of a “housewife” back then, how could I put up with sitting around in retirement in the future? But other people are catching on, and it’s not just the United States: How Retirement Is Being Reinvented Worldwide. The bigger issue here, though, seems to be simply that we live longer. And that changes a lot of things everywhere.

A World Without Jobs. Steve Jobs, that is. His announcement of stepping back from Apple again has garnered comment. But I wanted to draw attention to this which contained a quote from Jobs:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Nice. Very zen.

The general consensus seems to be that despite Republican efforts, HCR won’t be repealed at least not on Obama’s watch. But it could be whittled away at, and Digby in Universal Weakness identifies one potential weakness: the use of Medicaid to close a gap, especially for those with “preexisting conditions”. Getting rid of this might save some states money, but estimates are also that it could dump as much as 1/2 the uninsured back into the land of no insurance.

I don’t use Video Relay — my signing isn’t quite good enough for extended conversations in ASL — but I’d probably use Convo Relay if I did. I like the way they profile various people in the community, including cartoonist Shawn Richardson: Convo comic: Why some of us can’t sleep. I wish it were Halloween, I’d use this one in a heartbeat:

Who wouldn’t be moved to tears by this? After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead. A dog lays faithfully by the grave of her owner, who perished in the flooding in Brazil.

I don’t know what to think of this: Predicting the future with The Web Bot Project. I suppose you’d have to keep an eye on it to see if it’s current set of predictions come true or not.

Possible Terror Attack on MLK Parade in Spokane Thwarted. Bomb in a backpack apparently set to detonate during an MLK march in Spokane. Yikes. Some more info here: FBI: Bomb found on MLK march route — it’s being described as “domestic terrorism.” Yet another take on this: Why relatively little media news coverage of this? Has right-wing carping killed coverage of major “domestic terrorism” in Spokane?

Independent activism, with an online model. This could be interesting: A Time for Action – Not Servility.

More privacy issues: Insurers Test Data Profiles to Identify Risky Clients.

Insurers have long used blood and urine tests to assess people’s health—a costly process. Today, however, data-gathering companies have such extensive files on most U.S. consumers—online shopping details, catalog purchases, magazine subscriptions, leisure activities and information from social-networking sites—that some insurers are exploring whether data can reveal nearly as much about a person as a lab analysis of their bodily fluids.

And I still run into people who don’t understand why I do the bulk of my online activity pseudonymously… I really love how this approach is described in the context of “customer friendly” — as in, it’s worse to submit a urine sample than to have your online privacy invaded. Maybe if they practiced total disclosure? Raise your hand if you think they’d tell us exactly what they found and how exactly they used that info to craft the insurance policy. *Looks around.* Yeah, thought so.

This is a pretty cool chart that breaks down the federal budget. A lot less (or more) go to different things than people think. More details are provided when hovering over the squares: Obama’s 2011 Budget Proposal: How It’s Spent

About time. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) to Retire.

The way that support for Wikileaks has been defined by some as “supporting terrorism” actually has more far reaching issues than you might think. In particular, Peter King, in today’s climate, could be considered as supportive of terrorism: Peter King’s Terrorism Problem. What? Not our patriotic Peter “Assange is a Terrorist!” King! Yep, indeed… the man has a long record of supporting the terrorist organization, the Irish Republican Army.

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