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The Savvy Senior: Low-Cost and Free Cell Phone Options for Seniors

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By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls.
Seldom Calling Senior

Dear Seldom,
For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell phone for emergency purposes or occasional calls, there are a number of inexpensive no contract plans you can get. Or, depending on your income level, there are also free cell phones and monthly airtime minutes you may qualify for. Here’s where to find some of the cheapest deals.

No-Contract Phones

One way infrequent cell phone users can save money is with a prepaid cell phone – also known as pay-as-you-go phones. With a prepaid phone there’s no contract, no fixed monthly bills, no credit checks and no hidden costs that come with traditional cell phone plans. With this type of service, you buy a special prepaid phone then pre-purchase a certain amount of minutes (for talk or text) that must be used within a specified period of time.

READ MORE

Read All About It: A News Sampler from Around the Web

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Singapore Library Bans Books That Feature LGBT Families
The Diplomat
Court Rules for Gay Marriage in Oklahoma Case
ABC News
Consumer Reports: How to live well into your 80s and beyond
Hartford Courant
Researchers Identify A Gene That Links Stem Cells, Aging and Cancer
Counsel & Heal
Gay Marriage Stirs Backlash as Businesses Assert Religion
Bloomberg
Gay men in Africa face stigma, violence and limited access to HIV services
Gay News Network
Pfizer survey reveals fear of getting old put pressure on physical ability
pharmabiz.com

Obama to Issue Executive Order Barring Anti-LGBT Discrimination (without Religious Exemptions)

obamapenFrom the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to sign an executive order on Monday that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination by companies that do federal government work, fulfilling a promise to a crucial Democratic constituency, White House officials said on Friday. But the directive will not exempt religious groups, as many of them had sought.

The order will also, for the first time, explicitly protect federal employees from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, officials said. Federal workers are already protected based on their sexual orientation.

Continue at the New York Times

Featured Book: Lillian’s Last Affair and Other Stories

LillianThis week we have a new collection of short stories by Sue Katz. ‘Lillian’s Last Affair and Other Stories‘ from Consenting Adult Press. The stories are described as  ”a unique collection of short stories about the love lives of older people.” We’ll be interviewing Sue on our Aged to Perfection podcast soon and have a chance to talk to her about the book, her journey writing it, and her life as an activist.

“If I’m going to go after one more affair of the heart at 84, I’d better get my ass in gear,” says Lillian, speaking for all the characters in these six stories.

Ruby has a run-in with a waterbed and Catherine tokes her first joint in the bathtub with Victor. Elegant Anna’s introduction to kinky sex is bittersweet. And then there’s the neighbor with the strange attachment to the grocery cart. Sue Katz’s hilarious, tender, and impeccably written stories confirm that age fails to erode our eccentricities or dull our ardor.

Sue Katz’s stories are full of pleasure, pain, and humor, with carefully drawn, superbly evoked characters. –Richard Schweid, Oscar-nominated documentarian and author of Che’s Chevrolet.

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Mark’s Café Moi: Choosing to Be Born This Way

150MarkCafeBlackMark McNease/Editor

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Bindel, a lesbian activist, feminist and author who just put out a new book, ‘Straight Expectations.’ What first intrigued me was reading an interview she did with The Independent in which she told the interviewer that the claim of being ‘born this way’, whatever its merits, can seem like self-pitying capitulation: please accept us, we can’t help ourselves (and oh, by the way, we’d much rather be straight). I’ve been thinking and saying that for years, but rarely heard it from anyone else, let alone someone with a high profile.

Over twenty years ago a friend said to me, ‘When are we going to stop saying we’re born this way and say it doesn’t matter why we’re gay?’ His point, which I took to heart, was not that we’re not genetically inclined or programmed for our sexual orientation, but that if it were a choice (let’s say for the sake of argument), there would be nothing wrong with that choice. Joining in the constant refrain and now unshakable orthodoxy that we are born gay, lesbian or bisexual (I’m omitting transgender because, as many trans people will tell you, gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing) has only reduced us to victims of genetics and made us appear to use our helplessness in the face of biology as the reason we should have civil equality.

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The Savvy Senior: Senior Organizations That Appeal to Conservatives

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Editor’s note: I love these Savvy Senior columns. I also value diversity, and from the beginning of this website I’ve welcomed all different opinions. I appreciate that there are conservatives among us, liberals, libertarians, and all things along the political spectrum. Jim Miller provides a service to seniors and older Americans who ask him these questions, and I would be troubled were I not to run a column because it reflects a political persuasion that is not my own. – Mark McNease/Editor

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare, and am now looking for another organization that better represents me.
Conservative Senior

Dear Conservative,
There are actually quite a few senior advocacy organizations out there promoting themselves as conservative alternatives to AARP.

While AARP, with a membership of almost 38 million, is by far the biggest and most powerful advocacy group for people age 50 and older, there are millions of older Americans that don’t like or agree with their stance on various issues. Many believe AARP leans to far to the left despite its stated nonpartisan nature.

For seniors that are anti-AARP, there are numerous conservative leaning groups that you can join that may better represent your views, and most of them offer discount benefits too. Here are several to look into.

READ MORE

Read All About It: A News Sampler from Around the Web

newsboyStudy shows gay athletes face rampant homophobia
Sydney Morning Herald
LGBT community already feeling the impact of religious exemption
Dallas Morning News (blog)
Moving forward with USAID’s LGBT vision for action
LGBT Weekly
HIV: ‘Let’s dispel the myth that all gay men are irresponsible and promiscuous’
Telegraph.co.uk
Bogota To Host Fifth LGBT Confex Forum
Exhibition World
Aging adults optimistic about what lies ahead
USA TODAY
Naproxen Raises Risk of Heart Problems in Older Women
American News Report
Older Adults Challenged by Memory Distractions
PsychCentral.com
5 Signs of ‘Aging’ that Could Mean You Have Diabetes
Yahoo India News (blog)

New Health Survey Provides Data on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Population for First Time

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From the Washington Post:

Less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation.

The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.

The overwhelming majority of adults, 96.6 percent, labeled themselves as straight in the 2013 survey. An additional 1.1 percent declined to answer, responded “I don’t know the answer” or said they were “something else.”

(SNIP)

Begun in 1957, the federal health interview survey comprises a wide range of questions, on topics including medical care, vaccinations and tobacco use. The data is collected for the CDC by the Census Bureau, which conducts interviews with thousands of Americans across the country. It is highly regarded because of its large sample size — it comprised 33,557 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 for the most recent survey — and because of its methods, which include face-to-face interviews and some follow-up telephone queries.

Read in full at the Washington Post

Lesbian Activist, Feminist and Author Julie Bindel Joins the Aged to Perfection Podcast

Julie-BindelLesbian author, feminist and activist Julie Bindel joins the Aged to Perfection podcast for a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation. Her new book, ‘Straight Expectations‘ has just come out. It was refreshing to spend some time talking to Julie and getting her perspectives and ideas on marriage equality, sexual orientation and the current state of the gay rights movement.