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As I looked around the table, I noticed that the old retirees I was with were in the same place that the country seems to be in today. Everyone wants to be heard, no one wants to listen, and everyone's point of view is as plain as a nose on your face. Of course you can double that for old male retirees. We knew it all back then and now we are convinced...

Our breakfast get- together will not last much longer because like everything else; the novelty wears off. After the same old greetings of comparing medical problems, medication, and trying to remember our old friend's children's names, so we could ask about their family in a caring way; we went to solving the world's problems. For some reason, the firing of NPR's Juan Williams came up first. Juan Williams and Bill O'Reilly we're talking about O'Reilly miffing Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar during his recent appearance on The View... In typical fashion O'Reilly said that " Muslims killed us on,9/11... That's something I would expect O'Reilly to say but Juan Williams said "I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."..... Most of my old friends thought political correctness was going too far, when we cannot speak our minds. In typical fashion, two of my old friend said "even though he's a liberal and I disagree with him 99% of the time, Juan Williams is right this time.” I believe they will take the side of anyone who disagrees with NPR or the mainstream media. I do agree that Juan's reputation should take priority, but NPR wants to protect their reputation as being neutral....NPR won't even let their employees take an active part in Jon Stewarts and Stephen Colbert's upcoming rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

After I told the group that I would be going on Medicare pretty soon; the advice seem to come from everywhere, some good, some bad, but they all thought they had to give me their expert advice. I politely listened but I tactfully changed the subject to Social Security. We all knew that we were not going to be affected because of the politics but we had different ideas on what it took to preserve it for future generations. We knew if you had a cushion job, raising the age limits wouldn't matter that much but it would affect those still doing labor intensive jobs. Aches and pains of turning 60, hearing, eyesight, and other natural aging problems should be considered. Perhaps they could exempt the coal mines from the mandatory retirement age of 67, which will be proposed. I thought, they should lift the cap of $106,800 to about $500,000 but my conservative buddies thought that we should never raise taxes. I said "it's that WE" in their statement we should strive for. Everyone is going have to give and take. We were on our third cup coffee by now, so it didn't surprise me when I mentioned cutting defense spending, that I would get the same old " Have you forgotten 9/11" lecture....My conservative buddies wouldn't give an inch when it came to cut defense spending. They were all in agreement that individual entitlements and welfare should be cut but not much of anything else. At this point, we were all getting to that last sip of coffee, so I knew it wouldn't do any good to cite CBO numbers and studies... We were all looking around for our separate checks (the days of hand me the bill, were over) and getting back into the mood we were in 45 minutes ago.

Every now and then I think of those guys because it takes me back to 37 years ago when we all had a common bond.... We were all hired about 10 years after the Civil Rights legislation was passed, but we still had to be constantly reminded by our supervisors that “you just can't say that anymore." After we got over that hurdle, we had to familiarize ourselves with the company's computers and then shortly after, women in the workplace. We all made it but I think it is because we knew one another so well. We have never mentioned today's Tea Party and their goal of taking the country back. I don't know for a fact, but I think we all know what that means, and we are all afraid to discuss it. After working together for 30 years, we know where to draw the line. We had disputes and quarrels but we all had families to feed and carrying a grudge was counterproductive. Like in any good marriage, we accepted one another for what we were. We made a pact never to leave the workplace angry over something silly; like politics.